James NiccolaiDeputy News Editor, IDG News Service

James Niccolai covers data centers and general technology news for the IDG News Service, and is based in San Francisco.

Whitfield Diffie

As encryption debate rages, inventors of public key encryption win prestigious Turing Award

The inventors of public key cryptography have won the 2015 Turing Award, just as a contentious debate kicks off in Washington over how much protection encryption should really offer.

samsungunpacked 02

The Apple-FBI encryption dispute: What tech leaders have said so far

In the week since Apple said it would do battle with the FBI over its request for access to a smartphone belonging to one of the San Bernardino terrorists, tech industry leaders have been weighing in with their views.

Apple CEO Tim Cook

Most Americans support the FBI over Apple, Pew study finds

Most Americans think that Apple should help the FBI unlock a smartphone used by one of the terrorists in the San Bernardino mass shooting, according to a study released Monday by the Pew Research Center.

Donald Trump

Donald Trump says you should boycott Apple because it won't help the FBI

Donald Trump has called for a boycott of Apple products over its refusal to help the FBI break into an iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino mass shooters.

Bitcoins

Butterfly Labs can't afford the $39M fine to settle charges it duped bitcoin hopefuls

Butterfly Labs and two employees have settled charges they deceived thousands of people by keeping payments for bitcoin mining systems that were never delivered.

ibm watson on jeopardy

IBM dangles $5 million prize for major breakthroughs using Watson

IBM has been encouraging developers to build apps using its Watson artificial intelligence system, which it hopes will be a big money maker for the company in the future. It kicked off the latest effort on Wednesday, pledging $5 million in prize money to whoever makes the biggest breakthroughs with Watson by 2020.

Google data center

Google is said to endorse ARM server chips, but don't get excited yet

Google will give its public backing to Qualcomm's ARM server chip next week, according to a report Wednesday, but history suggests it's too early to draw conclusions.

160202 mayer

Yahoo to slash jobs and close web properties in major turnaround plan

Yahoo will cut 15 percent of its workforce and close some online services in a major turnaround plan announced Tuesday.

Google self driving car

'Big bets' cost Google parent Alphabet $3.6 billion in losses last year

Google's parent company Alphabet racked up $3.6 billion in losses last year through investments in "big bets" such as self-driving cars and Internet balloons.

Bezos with the Kindle Fire

Amazon's cloud is flying high, but profits disappoint overall

Profits from Amazon's cloud division jumped 69 percent last quarter, but the rest of its business fared less well.

OCP Summit

Look out, Cisco: Major telcos join Facebook's open hardware push

Big telcos including Verizon and AT&T have joined a Facebook-led project to build low-cost computing hardware, posing a fresh challenge for network vendors like Cisco and Juniper.

IBM's new S822LC Linux Power server

IBM's Power systems business is growing for the first time in years

A few years ago, you wouldn't have bet on IBM Power systems having much of a future. But a new strategy to embrace Linux and open up the platform is starting to pay off.

Yahoo Corporate

Yahoo has released a ton of anonymized user data to help machine learning scientists

Yahoo has released a 13.5TB file of anonymized user data to machine learning scientists in academia, calling it the largest-ever release of its kind

IBM CEO Ginni Rometti

IBM cuts new Watson deals that push it deeper into health

When you think of IBM you probably don't think of consumer electronics, but the company's CEO came to Las Vegas Wednesday to push IBM's Watson technology deeper into wearables and health.

Netflix The Crown

Netflix gets its own 'Downton Abbey' with a period drama about the British Monarchy

Netflix just announced a massive global expansion of its service, along with two new shows coming this year including a period drama about Britain's Queen Elizabeth II.