ZX Spectrum reboot scandal man sits on Steve Bannon design tech shindig committee

RCL chief David Levy is member of ACE2018 committee

David Levy, one of the players in the Sinclair ZX Spectrum Vega+ scandal in the UK, has reappeared in the news – in connection with a gaming and design tech conference that invited notorious alt-right firebrand Steve Bannon to be its keynote speaker.

The Advances in Computer Entertainment 2018 conference, an obscure academic knees-up (example paper title: “Technical and User Evaluation of Babbage Cabbage: An Empathetic Biological Media”) has shot to prominence after its organisers asked Bannon to discuss economic nationalism.

For those lucky few who have managed to avoid hearing about the boiling cesspit that is American politics right now, Bannon was briefly a top adviser to US President Donald Trump, as well as having been exec chairman of the far-right American website Breitbart "News." He is something of a hate figure to those not on the hard-right wing of politics. Many on the right also keep their distance from this chap, who once said he was fascinated by Mussolini.

Wired magazine published a querulous article asking why Bannon had been invited to speak at the conference, noting that organiser Adrian Cheok had merged ACE2018 with another conference he runs: the International Congress on Love and Sex with Robots.

Curiously, that is also the title of a book written by Levy, who sits on ACE’s organising committee. That fact has not gone unnoticed by the crowd who funded Levy’s last commercial venture, the ZX Spectrum Vega+ handheld gaming console. They flooded ACE’s Facebook page with outrage at his appointment to the ACE committee in August.

ZX Spectrum saga not over yet

As regular readers know all too well, Levy’s company, Retro Computers Ltd, took £513,000 in crowdfunded cash from 4,500 members of the public a few years ago to build modern, handheld versions of the old Sinclair ZX Spectrum. Levy is RCL's chairman.

A small number of devices in what appeared to be prototype format were eventually delivered, with the company ignoring the majority of those demanding their money back. One sued RCL; and won; others are waiting patiently for their £105 per device to be refunded to them.

Indiegogo, the crowdfunding platform which enabled all this, has seemingly turned its back on the whole scandal after some vague words about retaining debt collectors. It has issued no updates about progress on recovering the monies, and its last involvement with the project was to contradict (on 5 July 2018) claims by RCL that Indiegogo itself had been hacked.

We have asked Levy to comment on both his involvement with ACE and Steve Bannon, as well as the status of RCL and the Vega+. He has, however, been uncommunicative since the summer. ®

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You’ve trained at the cutting edge, here’s how to keep your DFIR skills razor sharp

Sometimes the most important tool is a bookmark

Sponsored There’s nothing like five or six days of in-depth training with SANS Institute to develop cutting-edge Digital Forensics and Incident Response security skills.

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Chips'n'China on the agenda as the Quad – Japan, India, Oz, US – prepares to meet

Not that the Middle Kingdom is singled out directly

A private meeting will be held between President Joe Biden and India’s Prime Minister during the first in-person summit of The Quad in Washington DC this Friday, during which semiconductors and a united front against China are likely to be discussed.

"The President will participate in a bilateral meeting with His Excellency Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of the Republic of India," said the White House confirmed on Monday regarding the first meeting between the two leaders. Biden is also planning to privately meet Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga.

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Amazon Web Services set to support more Asia-Pacific currencies for customer bills

Australian users told first of plans to create 'Seller of Record' subject to regulatory approval

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is working to bill its products in a range of Asia-Pacific currencies as necessary, The Register has learned.

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Among the changes to flow from the arrangement outlined above include locally issued invoices, the inclusion of local taxes, and a move to paying for services in Australian Dollars by default for credit card customers.

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Twitter offers to cough up 80 days of annual sales to settle 'false' user count lawsuit

Web biz proposes $800m to disappear accusations of over-promising audience size to investors

Twitter has offered to pay $809.5m to settle a class-action lawsuit filed in 2016 accusing it of misleading investors by falsely inflating its number of monthly active users.

“The proposed settlement resolves all claims asserted against Twitter and the other named defendants without any admission, concession or finding of any fault, liability or wrongdoing by the Company or any defendant,” the web biz stated in an announcement. “Twitter and the individual defendants continue to deny any wrongdoing or any other improper actions.”

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Apache OpenOffice can be hijacked by malicious documents, fix still in beta

If you need another reason to try an alternative software suite

Apache OpenOffice (AOO) is currently vulnerable to a remote code execution vulnerability and while the app's source code has been patched, the fix has only been made available as beta software and awaits an official release.

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On Saturday, September 18, security researcher Eugene Lim revealed details about the vulnerability (CVE-2021-33035) at HackerOne's Hacktivity online conference after an August 30 public disclosure date came and went without the fix being fully deployed.

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Eco-friendly warning from UK tech trade group: Some of you have dirty green credentials

IT sector at risk of public humiliation if CMA finds they're not up to code

TechUK – the UK’s digital trade association representing computer giants and start-ups alike – has called on firms to check their green credentials and make sure they stand up to scrutiny.

The warning comes as UK businesses were told to brush up on their eco-claims or risk public humiliation and enforcement action by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA).

Businesses have until the New Year to make sure their environmental claims – such as those regarding energy consumption, packaging, recycling, and product lifecycle assessments – comply with the law and are not simply an exercise in greenwashing.

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A Burger King where the only Whopper is the BSOD font

Come for the bork, stay for the burger

Bork!Bork!Bork! Bork goes back to its roots today, with a screen of purest blue showing its unwanted face outside a US Burger King branch.

At least it makes a change from McDonald's, very much the DNS of Bork when it comes to failures.

In this instance, it looks like it is the exterior signage, normally showing a slideshow of tasty (and frequently greasy) treats, that has succumbed to the curse of Microsoft.

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Ransomware recovery: Start getting back up before you’re even hit

Here’s how to put your plan together

Sponsored What’s the first step to recovering from a ransomware attack? Making sure you have a recovery plan in place well before you get attacked.

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Like a phoenix rising from the smouldering ruins of its data centre, OVH sets sights on IPO

Tells market not to worry - insurers will pay $58m to 'cover the consequences of the fire'

OVH Groupe SAS is edging closer to a potential initial public offering (IPO) expected to value the European hosting and cloud biz at around $4.7bn – months after a fire engulfed part of its data centre real estate.

The privately owned company, which trades as OVH Cloud, today issued a letter and series of documents confirming it is "contemplating" an IPO on Euronext Paris with the intent to "raise up to €400m through the issuance of new shares."

As part of the move, existing shareholders that have "supported the business" since 2016 – namely private equity investors KKR and Towerbrook, which own 10 per cent of the shareholding each – intend to sell some of the stock. Back then, OVH Cloud was valued at £1bn.

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GitLab all set to go public as revenues – and losses – rise

IPO was expected last year but then we had a pandemic

DevOps darling GitLab has finally filed for an Initial Public Offering (IPO) as revenues continue to grow and losses widen.

The IPO had been expected in 2020 but the company put things off due to the pandemic until late last week, when the paperwork was filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

The company, founded in 2014, has remained tight-lipped over the sums involved, although the filed S-1 form recorded that the proposed maximum aggregate offering price is estimated at $100m.

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Kali Linux 2021.3 released with new tools

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