Articles by Lisa Vaas

About Lisa Vaas

I've been writing about technology, careers, science and health since 1995. I rose to the lofty heights of Executive Editor for eWEEK, popped out with the 2008 crash, joined the freelancer economy, and am still writing for my beloved peeps at places like Sophos's Naked Security, CIO Mag, ComputerWorld, PC Mag, IT Expert Voice, Software Quality Connection, Time, and the US and British editions of HP's Input/Output. I respond to cash and spicy sites, so don't be shy.

Facebook sort-of apologizes for treating users like lab rats

Facebook sort-of apologizes for treating users like lab rats

Facebook says it was "unprepared" for the ruckus stirred up around its emotional contagion research, and that there were things "it should have done differently." Does that include asking for informed consent next time?

Security incidents are up - and pricier! - but infosec budgets are dwindling

Security incidents are up - and pricier! - but budgets to prevent them dwindle

The number of security incidents is popping, as are associated costs to mop them up, according to a report from PcW. Global corporate security budgets, meanwhile, seem to be hiding in the closet, just hoping it all goes away.

Facebook says sorry to LGBT community over real-name policy, promises change

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Facebook's apologised and promised to fix what turns out to be, it admits, an unsophisticated policy that doesn't reflect the importance of pseudonyms in protecting people from harassment and violence.

Civil liberties advocates, bookstores, publishers sue to stop anti revenge porn law

Gavel. Image courtesy of Shutterstock

Those seeking to outlaw revenge porn are now battling a coalition of free-speech advocates who claim the existing laws were thrown together so shabbily, they could arguably be used to criminalize a host of non-vengeful innocents who handle nude images.

US Attorney General urges tech companies to leave back doors open on gadgets for police

US Attorney General urges tech companies to leave back doors open on gadgets for police

Don't lock police out of popular consumer gadgets, lest law enforcement's efforts to nab kidnappers or child predators be stymied, the US AG said, becoming the latest of a string of government officials to speak out since Google and Apple announced they were changing encryption on their mobile operating systems.

Head of 'StealthGenie' mobile stalking app indicted for selling spyware

Stealth Genie

The indictment alleges that StealthGenie can and has recorded all incoming/outgoing voice calls; intercepted calls to be monitored in real time; allowed the buyer to call the phone and activate it at any time to monitor all surrounding conversations within a 15-foot radius; and much more...

'Anti-Facebook' Ello: swamped with privacy-hungry refugees, bouncing back from DDoS

Ello logo

Either somebody really, really hates the idea of a social media platform that doesn't sell ads based on user data, or Ello is so popular it got trampled. Either way, it's been an outage-plagued few days for the service that thinks ad-based social networks are corrupt.

China blocks Instagram as Hong Kong protesters take over the streets

China blocks Instagram as Hong Kong protesters take over the streets

China has blocked Facebook's photo-sharing site Instagram, as pro-democracy protesters flooded the Central financial district in Hong Kong on Monday and chronicled it all by flooding social media sites with #OccupyCentral hashtagged images.

George Clooney issues burner phones to stop guests from leaking wedding photos

George Clooney issues burner phones to stop guests from leaking wedding photos

Mr Oceans Eleven wasn't about to let leaked photos ruin his Big Day so he handed out coded burner phones to all his guests.

Facebook's new 'Atlas' ad platform will follow us around on non-Facebook sites

Facebook's new 'Atlas' ad platform will follow us around on non-Facebook sites

The ad technology will enable Facebook partners to siphon user data from Facebook's deep, deep sea and use it to super-target ads at users on and off its website, no matter what wireless or wired device we're using.

Child abuser sues Facebook and page admin over allegedly posting his address

Child abuser sues Facebook and page admin over allegedly posting his address

The administrator of the paedophile-monitoring site admitted in High Court to "naming and shaming" 400 sex offenders on the Facebook page but denied posting the address. As of Thursday, the case had been continued as un-redacted evidence was sought.

Ex-con Kevin Mitnick now selling zero-day exploits, starting at $100K

Ex-con Kevin Mitnick now selling zero-day exploits, starting at $100K

He says his firm will carefully screen potential clients and that he'd never sell to an entity such as the Syrian regime or a criminal gang. Then again, he's not asking what clients intend to do with the high-end exploits.

Apple pulls iOS 8.0.1 update, tells users to roll back to iOS 8

Apple pulls iOS 8.0.1 update, tells users to roll back to iOS 8

Apple's telling users to ditch the update after it knocked out cellular service and disabled Touch ID for iPhones, on top of a list of other glitches - stalling, crashing and more.

Netflix deadlocked with broadcast regulator over "confidential" subscriber data

Netflix logo

Things are getting testy between Netflix and Canada's broadcast regulator over "confidential" subscriber data which the regulator wants to be able to access.

Disgruntled employees are increasingly e-sabotaging businesses, FBI says

Disgruntled employees are increasingly e-sabotaging businesses, FBI says

Employees with an axe to grind are increasingly sticking it to their current or former employers by carrying out "computer network exploitation and disruption", the FBI says.

Emma Watson threatened with hoax nude photo leak by internet marketers

Emma Watson. Image courtesy of cinemafestival/Shutterstock.com

Up sprung the threateningly titled emmayouarenext.com website which featured a clock counting down to the release of apparently stolen photos of Emma Watson. Were there photos? No, it was just a viral marketing stunt.

DuckDuckGoAway: China blocks privacy-oriented search engine

DuckDuckGo

Getting selected as the default private search engine for Apple's Safari browser has been a boon for young search engine DuckDuckGo. But it may well have tainted the search engine in the eyes of the Apple-leery Chinese government.

No, 'Apple Wave' does not let you charge your iPhones in the microwave

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No, new features in iOS 8 do *not* include "Apple Wave" wireless microwave frequency charging, regardless of what 4chan tells you. Remember: Don't let Apple-new-release fever fog your brain, and do NOT believe everything you read on the intertubes!

Bistro turns the tables on Yelp, offers discounts to customers for 1-star reviews

Bistro turns the tables on Yelp with 1-star reviews

A business is asking its customers to write one-star reviews on Yelp, in exchange for a 25% discount, after it said it got fed up with Yelp advertising calls.

Tor users could be FBI's main target if legal power grab succeeds

Tor users could be FBI's main target if legal power grab succeeds

The US Department of Justice is proposing a power grab that would make it easier for domestic law enforcement to break into computers of people trying to protect their anonymity via Tor or other anonymizing technologies.