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.

Smartphone anti-theft "kill switch" law goes into effect in California

Smartphone anti-theft "kill switch" law goes into effect in California

It requires all mobile phones sold in the state to be enabled with the anti-theft technology by default.

Facebook Messenger now lets users send money to friends

Facebook Messenger now lets US users send money to friends

Facebook has switched on person-to-person (P2P) payments for users in the US to instantly message money to friends.

Twin prodigies-turned-hackers face long jail terms after pleading guilty

Twin computer whiz-kids plead guilty to plans to break into State Dept.

The youngest ever to graduate from George Mason University, they put their talents to use at schemes like inflating gift card value and stealing credit card data.

PayPal backpedals on awful robocalling policy

PayPal backpedals on awful robocalling policy

"Sorry for the confusion!" it said, promising to erase the no-opt-out, robocalling/autotexting nightmare seemingly poised to grip the US.

Drones in restricted area divert planes fighting wildfire

Wildfire grew as drones got in the way of planes with fire retardant

Air drops were aborted as a DC-10 and two smaller planes were forced back from the fire, costing the US Forest Service more than $10,000.

BBC sets up list of news article links 'forgotten' by Google

Google. Image courtesy of ChameleonsEye / Shutterstock.

Search engines are now complying with right to be forgotten requests, but the new list makes the de-indexed articles easy to find through the BBC itself.

Private eye jailed for hacking email of Scientology critics and others

Private eye jailed for hacking email accounts of Scientology critics and others

Eric Saldarriaga pled guilty to prying open the accounts of over 50 people, including prominent Scientology critics Mike Rinder and Tony Ortega.

Apple tweaks iOS 9 to stop advertisers getting our app data

iOS 9 tweak to stop advertisers from snooping into app download lists

Developers and advertisers have been eyeballing the apps we download to target-pitch their own wares. Apple are shuttering the peepshow.

Privacy outcry over proposal to reveal website owners' identities

Privacy outcry over proposal to reveal website owners' identities

An ICANN proposal would strip the rights of commercial site owners to use proxy services to shield their identities: a move the EFF says comes from copyright-hungry entertainment companies.

DEA agent who lined his pockets with Silk Road bitcoins pleads guilty

bitcoin-theft-1200

Carl Force confessed to routing bitcoins into his own accounts while investigating the black market site.

Hundreds of Australian nude images posted without women's consent

Keyboard. Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

"Come at me Aussie police," the uploader jeered, threatening to repost the images to the Deep Web.

Uber wants even more customer data - EPIC asks FTC to slam on the brakes

EPIC asks FTC to slam the brakes on Uber's upcoming data grab

Uber wants location data when the app's running in the background (even when it's off on iOS), location data from IP address, and users' contact lists.

US Navy pays millions to cling to Windows XP

US Navy pays millions to cling to Windows XP

More than a year after Microsoft pulled the plug on free support for the end-of-life'd OS, hundreds of millions of users are still clinging to the drifting ship.

Amazon uses artificial intelligence to weed out fake reviews

Amazon starts weighting reviews to raise up the fresh/helpful/verified

Given enough time for the new AI system to learn what a helpful review is, fake reviews may sink to the bottom of the reviews ocean.

Google, John Oliver & (hopefully soon) US give revenge porn 3 swift kicks

Google, John Oliver & (hopefully soon) US give revenge porn 3 swift kicks

Google's putting up search result takedown, the US is moving toward criminalisation, and John Oliver calls culprits "malevolent gods".

Millions of fake online reviews are gumming up the joy of buying stuff

Disguise. Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

A UK watchdog is investigating online reviews, be they "This changed my LIFE!" bogosity or fake negative reviews used as blackmail.

WhatsApp ranked worst at protecting user data

WhatsApp, AT&T ranked worst at protecting user data

Even the one star WhatsApp got in the EFF's ranking - for publicly opposing backdoors for government spying - was inherited from Facebook.

Former Googler fights adblockers with adblocker blocker

Former Googler fights adblockers with adblocker blocker

Somebody formerly at Google - a somebody who was close to the enormous sucking sound of lost advertising revenues - has decided to fight the adblockers.

FBI investigates Cardinals for breaking into Astros' database in baseball data theft

FBI investigates Cardinals for breaking into Astros' database in baseball data theft

The FBI is investigating one of the best baseball teams in the US after it allegedly broke into a database belonging to one of the worst.