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.

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

iphone-microwave-wave-ss-250

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.

Kim Kardashian, Vanessa Hudgens, et al. targeted in latest naked celebrity photo leak

Celebgate redux: Alleged nudies of Kim Kardashian, Vanessa Hudgens et al. doxed

Early on Saturday morning, Celebgate flooded the same sites as it did three weeks ago - 4Chan and Reddit, among others - as cyber crooks again posted nude celebrity photos, despite the scuffle of threatened lawsuits and attention from the FBI.

eBay takes flak for leaving rigged iPhone listing up for 12 hours

Ebay. Image courtesy of Radu Bercan/Shutterstock.com

eBay's getting flak for its chilled response to a serious XSS attack, sprung when a user clicked on a fake listing for an Iphone 5S and was redirected to a spoofed site that was after users' login credentials.

Is Facebook building a "Moments" app for ultra-private sharing?

Finger on lips. Image courtesy of Shutterstock

The company's reportedly putting the finishing touches on a separate app for composing intimate updates, designed to be an entirely different experience than what we have now: the kludgy toggling of the sharing settings on one composer interface in order to create both intimate content and blasted-out-to-the-universe Newsfeed updates.

Facebook meets with LGBT community over real-name policy

Facebook meets with LGBT community over real-name policy

After mounting protests, Facebook reps scheduled a meeting with San Francisco activists and city officials over its real-name policy, which many say discriminates against the LGBT community.

Apple questioned on Watch privacy by state attorney general

Apple Watch

Apple calls the gadget its "most personal device ever". Attorney General George Jepsen would like to know how Apple's planning to protect all that data, which will include things as intimate as our heartbeats.

California passes "landmark bill" to protect students' personal data

Classroom. Image courtesy of Shutterstock

There's a lot at stake: think student records that cover attendance, grades, discipline, health, academics, intimate details about family members, parent and student contact information, biometrics, and sometimes even a child's geolocation.

Man buys old servers, accuses Ernst & Young of data breach

Broken lock. Image courtesy of Shutterstock

Mark Morris claims he picked up some old servers for $300 and recently found out they're full of customer data. Ernst & Young wants the data deleted or just to get the servers back, but Morris says whoa, not so fast - time is money!

Legendary NYC steakhouse sues Yelp to unmask spitting-waiter reviewer

Steak. Image courtesy of Shutterstock

A man turned down for a job at the eatery shares a name with the reviewer, who claimed to work at Sparks Steak House, where management purportedly encourages spittle garnishes. He says it wasn't him; it was an imposter! Sparks wants Yelp to reveal the true identity to get to the bottom of the bogus claim.

Facebook wants to know why you hate specific adverts

Facebook. Image courtesy of Shutterstock

Facebook's not happy to just let us hide ads anymore; now it wants to know why we hid a given ad so it can purge newsfeeds of super-cruddy ads.

'Yelp Bill' protects Californians from getting pants sued off over reviews

Yelp logo

California has passed a bill that protects customers from getting penalized by companies after writing bad reviews. Yelp's response: Yippee!

Facebook tests Snapchat-like vanishing act for posts

Facebook on phone. Image courtesy of Twin Design/Shutterstock

Faceboook's going Mission: Impossible, ephemeral-message on us, having confirmed that it's testing an auto-delete feature that will let users schedule their posts' demise.

Twitter, Netflix, Reddit, Foursquare et al. protest end to net neutrality

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Those sites and many more simulated a slowdown of their sites and services by doing things such as posting the dreaded spinning wheel of death. The internet didn't really slow down; the companies were, rather, trying to illustrate what the internet would be like if the US passes rules proposed by ISPs.

Microsoft held in contempt while it appeals court decision in customer email case

Microsoft held in contempt while it appeals court decision in customer email case

Microsoft and the US government have agreed that the company will be held in contempt for its refusal to hand over email stored in the cloud at its Dublin data center but won't be fined or punished, giving it a chance to appeal a court order to cough up a customer's communications.

Google grapples anew with EC in the search/advertising antitrust swamp

Google v EC

The EC's poked the sleeping dragon, yet again reopening a four-year antitrust investigation that puts Google in the hot seat. The surprise move comes after rivals fumed loud and hard about getting unfairly shut out in the most recent settlement. This time, Android may be up for investigation, too.