Bill Ray

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The Register breaking news

Mobe networks hacked phones to fix SIM hijack flaw, says bug-finder

A terrifying weakness at the heart of global mobile phone security has turned into a damp squib: networks scrambled so fast to patch the flaw that the researcher behind the discovery isn't making the details public. It's claimed five carriers pushed out fixes to their customers by exploiting the bug. The flaw was supposed to …
Bill Ray, 05 Aug 2013
The Register breaking news

You CAN'T be a Silicon Roundabout hipster... you don't have Bluetooth socks

Hipsters concerned that their footwear is lagging in the cool stakes will soon be ordering Bluetooth-enabled socks, even if they do make them look like a young offender with an electronic tag. The Sensoria sock monitors impact across the toes and heel of the foot as the wearer runs, providing helpful advice about stride and …
Bill Ray, 05 Aug 2013
A Standard SM-3 missile launching from a US warship. Credit: MDA

Ultimate Radio Deathmatch: US Navy missile-defence radar vs 4G mobile mast

On Monday the US Navy will fire up its mighty, six-megawatt AN/SPY-1 raygun radar while academics run an LTE mobile-data base station in the same band, so both sides can establish if coexistence is a workable proposition. AN/SPY-1 is used as part of the Aegis anti-missile system mounted on, amongst other platforms, the US Navy's …
Bill Ray, 02 Aug 2013
The Register breaking news

Mobes, fondleslabs, web sending Brit families back to THE FIFTIES - Ofcom

Broadcasting watchdog Ofcom's latest research shows living-room TV watching is on the rise: picture families gathering round in front of the goggle box even if half their eyes are elsewhere. The living room is regaining its dominant position as the nerve-centre of TV viewing for families - as fondleable tablets and phones …
Bill Ray, 02 Aug 2013
FBI badge and gun

FBI spooks use MALWARE to spy on suspects' Android mobes - report

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is using mobile malware to infect, and control, suspects' Android handsets, allowing it to record nearby sounds and copy data without physical access to the devices. That's according to "former officers" interviewed by the Wall Street Journal ahead of privacy advocate Christopher Soghoian's …
Bill Ray, 02 Aug 2013

Base stations get high on helium, ride MUTANT kite-balloons at the football

A team of European boffins has hoisted a mobile network base station into the air from a balloon/kite combination. Yet unlike similar schemes, this one is intended for everyday use, not just for emergencies. In a paper published by Cornell University, the team demonstrates that modern small cell technology can be combined with …
Bill Ray, 02 Aug 2013

Nokia sidles up to Qualcomm, hands over bulging map package

Nokia Here will be sharing its global floorplan database with Qualcomm, putting indoor maps together with indoor positioning in an assault on the last place one can get lost. Here is Nokia's mapping division. It has accumulated a huge database of airports, museums and venues which it will share with Qualcomm in the new deal. …
Bill Ray, 01 Aug 2013
The Register breaking news

First Austin, now live across the US: Watch Americans pay by bonk

US pay-by-bonk platform ISIS will go live across the US later this year following the pilots in Salt Lake City and Austin, as network operators make their big play for big data. ISIS is jointly owned by AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon, and has been trialling its electronic wallet for the last nine months. Now it's going national with …
Bill Ray, 01 Aug 2013
tumbling dice

The O2 4G Lottery: Are YOU in one of the three LUCKY cities?

O2's 4G network will go live in London, Leeds and Bradford this month - followed by ten more cities by the end of the year. The rollout will end EE's virtual monopoly on high-speed mobile internet connectivity. O2 customers will need a new SIM and a handset compatible with the 800MHz radio band that O2 bought in the last …
Bill Ray, 01 Aug 2013
The Register breaking news

HALF of air passengers leave phones on ... yet STILL no DEATH PLUNGE

Almost half of UK flyers admit not bothering to switch their phones to flight mode (or off) while in the air, despite the dire warnings. While most just forget, the rest think they know better. The numbers come from holiday booking outfit sunshine.co.uk, who asked almost 2,000 UK flyers about their mobile phone use and found …
Bill Ray, 01 Aug 2013

Kevin Bacon avoids slapped wrist after TV pipe-fatness claims

EE has received a stern talking to from the Advertising Standards Authority for website claims of "superfast" connectivity, though when Kevin Bacon says the same thing on TV that's OK. The difference is the context: on TV Kevin's words are accompanied by numbers and comparisons to 3G, while the web ad just made the "superfast" …
Bill Ray, 31 Jul 2013
HF Aerial, at the National Radio Centre, credit The Register

Move over, Freeview, just like you promised: You're hogging the 4G bed

Today, the last Freeview transmitters will be relocated out of the bands that were sold off for 4G telephony earlier this year. The whole shift has happened ahead of schedule, which means that by the beginning of autumn, EE's monopoly on next-generation telecoms will come to an end. The bands, which were auctioned off early this …
Bill Ray, 31 Jul 2013
The Register breaking news

Alcatel-Lucent takes Qualcomm coin for personal 4G network tech

Chip designer Qualcomm has taken a share in telecoms gear maker Alcatel-Lucent as the pair collaborate on Small Cells - despite the architectural differences of opinion. Qualcomm will end up with less than five per cent of Alcatel-Lucent, a share the Financial Times described as "symbolic of a wider partnership". That …
Bill Ray, 30 Jul 2013

UK economy to lose £198m if BBC and pals lose EPG slots - Ministry of Fun

The evolution of channel surfing risks sidelining public service broadcasters such as the BBC and ITV, and has prompted the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (aka the Ministry of Fun) to work out how much a prominent position on our Electronic Programme Guides (EPGs) is worth. Legislation covering channel placement on EPGs …
Bill Ray, 30 Jul 2013
Batman Figure

Selfridges dreaming of a snot-themed Christmas

Oxford Street stalwart Selfridges will plunge into the 3D-printing business with a pop-up shop - just in time for the Christmas rush. The store within a store comes from London's iMakr, which has its own 3D printer outlet on London's Clerkenwell Road (and dangerously close to Vulture Central's new digs). Visitors to Selfridges …
Bill Ray, 30 Jul 2013
The Register breaking news

Galaxy S4 FIREBALL ATE MY HOUSE, claims Hong Kong man

According to Mr Du, he was playing a quick game of Love Machine on his Galaxy S4 when it exploded into flame, causing him to cast it onto the alarmingly flammable sofa and thus gutting his whole house. Thankfully no one was seriously hurt, both Du and his wife got out if their Hong Kong apartment with minor injuries as Xianguo. …
Bill Ray, 29 Jul 2013

Hey, Silicon Valley milky drink fans: Starbucks intros wireless charging

Another round of coffee* shops are being fitted for wireless charging; this time in Silicon Valley, as the third wireless charging standard grabs a little more retail estate. Starbucks, who will be wiring up tables in a selection of its Californian drinking holes, has already endorsed charging tech from The Power Matters …
Bill Ray, 29 Jul 2013
The Register breaking news

Fed up with poor Brit telly and radio output? Ofcom wants a word with YOU

Ofcom has kicked off a two-year study to map digital TV and radio reception in the UK. The watchdog has asked Brits for input on whether signal quality should be improved, and who should be paid to do the research. The answer to the latter question will probably be Arqiva. The company has a near monopoly on providing the …
Bill Ray, 29 Jul 2013
The Register breaking news

New in Android 4.3: At last we get a grip on privacy-invading crApps

The latest version of Google's Android, 4.3, has a panel controlling access permissions on an app-by-app basis - but only for those users ready to experiment with untested functionality. The App Ops control was found by Android Police and initially required a hack to bring it to life. Now there's an app in the Google Play store …
Bill Ray, 26 Jul 2013
The Register breaking news

Wow! British Gas bungs a million remote-controlled sales-droids in UK homes

One million UK homes now have a "smart meter" from British Gas. The rollout may save each household £65 a year and feed £14bn into the economy, but most importantly, it will save British Gas money. The energy giant led the way towards the mandated smart-meters, relying on mobile phone networks to communicate with the new power …
Bill Ray, 26 Jul 2013
TP Link WR2543ND dual-band wireless router

Hotshots' hotchpotch hotspots: Office Wi-Fi is a great big botch

Two thirds of IT directors admit their company's wireless network was rolled out without any kind of plan despite their businesses being dependent on it - resulting in inefficient and overloaded networks. The numbers come from Damovo UK and Ireland, who'd love to help companies plan their networks, obviously. But the study …
Bill Ray, 26 Jul 2013
Sign, Free Beer Here (Tomorrow Only)

Guinness: Have a quick bonk over the bar and receive FREE BEER

For the next month anyone with an NFC-equipped Android or Blackberry handset is invited to enjoy a free pint of the black stuff, in exchange for a quick bonk on the bar. It's a competition, and only available in 20 pubs around the UK, as NFC World explains, so not everyone who bonks their handset against the specially-equipped …
Bill Ray, 26 Jul 2013
The Register breaking news

O2 pulls plug on OAP-monitoring service

O2 has shut down its foray into health monitoring, quietly dropping Help at Hand and Health at Home and offering refunds to the few who had signed up to the services. Health at Home was only launched a few months ago, in March. It was supposed to be a direct-to-consumer counterpart to Help at Hand, the professional service which …
Bill Ray, 25 Jul 2013
The Register breaking news

Fanbois smash iPhone 5s much sooner than iPhone 3s ... but WHY?

Early iPhones last significantly longer before being accidentally destroyed than later models, according to a new survey - but nobody knows why. Twelve per cent of smashed iPhones were left on the roof of a car, an experience which would challenge any model of handset, while 35 per cent were dropped into a bath or similar, which …
Bill Ray, 25 Jul 2013
The Register breaking news

You've got 600k+ customers on 4G... but look behind you, EE

EE has signed up 687,000 4G customers, and is in track to hit a million by year's end, but average revenue per user (ARPU) and total customer numbers are both a shade down as its 4G monopoly comes to an end. EE, the fruit of a merger of T-Mobile and Orange in the UK, was given the monopoly on 4G last year, and loudly announced …
Bill Ray, 24 Jul 2013
The Shadow unamanned aircraft being prepared for launch

Pentagon: Mobe operators want our radio bands? Fine, but it'll cost $3.5bn

The US Department of Defense has estimated at $3.5bn the costs of clearing military ops out of 25MHz of radio spectrum to make way for mobe operators – except it doesn't want to march off entirely, demanding instead that the band's new owners share nicely. Following a June 2010 edict from President Obama calling on US government …
Bill Ray, 24 Jul 2013
The Register breaking news

Virgin Media hangs from traffic lights, hands out free Wi-Fi to Brummies

Virgin Media plans to get mobile operators to pay for free Birmingham-wide Wi-Fi in a deal which could see every traffic light in the city turned unto a 4G cell base station. The free Wi-Fi is set to go live in September, and comes as part of the government's Super Connected Cities Digital Birmingham's Smart City initiative*. …
Bill Ray, 24 Jul 2013

Sammy had Sweet Fanny Adams to do with Swiss Fanny madam's blast

Last week's thigh-roasting "Samsung" smartphone battery has turned out not to be from Samsung at all - proving yet again the hazardous nature of cheap knockoff batts. When 18-year-old Fanny Schlatter's pocket went off like a firecracker the finger was quickly pointed at the battery in her Sammy Galaxy S3. But an investigation …
Bill Ray, 23 Jul 2013
The Register breaking news

Yes, UK fanbois, you can now use iPhones as bonking aids!

Following EE's Android-based wallet, the iPhone has finally got into the Near Field Communications bonking game with a sled from Device Fidelity and a service from Moneto, bringing the joy of bonking to all. EE's service, which launched last week, is limited to the Samsung Galaxy S4 and S3 LTE. Prepaid mobe wallet service Moneto …
Bill Ray, 23 Jul 2013

PHWOAR! Huh! What is it good for? Absolutely nothing, Prime Minister

Comment The government wants to stop children getting easy access to hard-core pornography: but the interwebs have exploded in righteous indignation at the apparent emergence of a police state. The Prime Minister wants ISPs to filter pornography, just as mobile operators have been doing for half a decade or so. Users wanting to access …
Bill Ray, 23 Jul 2013
The machine hall

Boffins, Tunnel Tigers and Scotland's world-first power mountain

Geek's Guide to Britain In the middle of a Scottish mountain is a man-made cavern 90 metres high and 36 metres long - tall enough to stuff an entire Cathedral in its belly - which is only accessible through a kilometre-long rock tunnel. This is the home of the Cruachan Power Station. In 1921 - with one world war down and one to go - the British …
Bill Ray, 23 Jul 2013

Mobe SIM crypto hijack threatens millions: Here's HOW IT WORKS

Analysis A German researcher reckons he can take control of your phone's SIM card and hijack the handset by cracking the encryption on the device. But he's not alone: network operators have long been able to do just that, and a careful look at how that's possible makes the long-standing security of GSM phone networks all the more …
Bill Ray, 22 Jul 2013
The Register breaking news

Flogging an iTunes app? Just 4k downloads will get you in Top 10

A free app in iTunes' US top 10 gets around 70,000 downloads daily, while a paid app needs just 4,000 nods from fanbois to get to the top of the tree – but markedly fewer on a Tuesday. The numbers come from number-crunchers Distimo (free with registration), but combine with those from NetBiscuits (also free, also requires …
Bill Ray, 04 Jul 2013
The Register breaking news

Rest your head against a train window, hear VOICES in your SKULL

Sky's ad agency has been showing off train windows capable of pushing ads direct into the skulls of tired commuters, as though advertising wasn't all-pervasive enough already. The Talking Window uses bone conduction to startle commuters who rest their weary head against the glass of the train window, admonishing them for failing …
Bill Ray, 03 Jul 2013
The Register breaking news

Watch out Tesco Mobile: Vodafone, Sainsbury's want to eat your lunch

Sainsbury's, the “Premium Economy of supermarkets”, has launched a branded mobile virtual network operator service with Vodafone, offering the usual cross-branding and shelf space – and, of course, Nectar points. The service will launch in a month or two, so we don't have critical factors like pricing or a detailed breakdown of …
Bill Ray, 02 Jul 2013
The Register breaking news

Sky News hack of Canoe Man's email in public interest, Ofcom says

Sky News hacked into Yahoo! email accounts owned by John and Anne Darwin and broadcast their contents to the world - but Ofcom reckons that's OK, thanks to the unique nature of the case. John Darwin is better known as the "Canoe Man", who faked his own death so his wife could collect his life insurance and they could both enjoy …
Bill Ray, 01 Jul 2013
The Register breaking news

Buh-bye Siemens: Nokia to splash €1.7bn turning NSN into N

Nokia is buying out its network partner Siemens, for €1.2bn in cash plus a half-a-billion loan, putting the Finnish firm in sole control of the infrastructure business. Ownership of Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN) is split equally between the companies, and managed to turn a thin profit last year following repeated rounds of cost- …
Bill Ray, 01 Jul 2013
The Register breaking news

At last: EU slashes mobile roaming fees

From today the EU cap on roaming plunges down to €0.45 (38p) per MB, and €0.24 (21p) for a minute's conversation, but in another 12 months the very concept of roaming will change forever. The drops represent the first enforced data tariffs, although the EU has mandated drops in the cost of voice calls and SMSes since 2009. The …
Bill Ray, 01 Jul 2013
closed_sign shut down under collapsed liquidation

Company which built O2's London 4G in administration

Cellular Systems, the company which built O2's 4G network in London and which was apparently a cornerstone of Cornerstone - the Vodafone/O2 shared-infrastructure project - has gone into administration. Cellular Systems built the 4G trial network 18 months ago, so that O2 could test LTE transmissions at 2.6GHz before the spectrum …
Bill Ray, 01 Jul 2013
The Register breaking news

Ofcom set to release interesting spectrum chunk for unlicenced use

Following its January consultation Ofcom plans to release another 12MHz of spectrum into the unlicensed wilds, to the benefit of hobbyists and utilities alike. The two bands start at 870 and 915MHz and are both 6MHz wide. In January Ofcom noted that the MoD hadn't yet agreed to the release, and that the EU was considering …
Bill Ray, 28 Jun 2013
The Register breaking news

EU sets ball rolling on ominous telly spectrum review

The Electronic Communications Committee, Europe’s continent-wide guardian of radio, has kicked off a "major study" of the TV broadcast bands with a view to presenting its findings at the World Radio Conference in 2015. A new Task Group will look carefully at the band, which runs from 470-694MHz and is earmarked for broadcast TV …
Bill Ray, 28 Jun 2013
The Register breaking news

New Motorola Mobility badge: Too late for this pinball machine lover

Logo Watch Motorola, or at least the Mobility bit of it owned by Google, has a new logo with a different font and a rainbow circle: but it's too late to help some distressed pinball machine fanatics who've been crying inside for many years. I should explain that I have a very personal relationship with the Motorola logo - and with pinball …
Bill Ray, 28 Jun 2013
The Register breaking news

iOS7 headshaking interface revealed

Fanbois fond of whipping their hair back and forth will be pleased to know that hidden in the accessibility options of iOS7 is an interface driven by head movements, although some of the experimenters report being locked into a head-shaking paradigm. The feature is clearly a beta concept, and aimed at those unable to use a touch …
Bill Ray, 27 Jun 2013
The Register breaking news

Radio hams tell Ofcom: Put that Wi-Fi mob back in their place

The UK's amateur radio operators have banded together to insist that Wi-Fi be properly confined to 2.4GHz, in response to Ofcom's suggestion that LTE be allowed to nestle up real close to other bands. Under the auspices of the Radio Society of Great Britain (RSGB), various ham radio groups have said that the 10MHz immediately …
Bill Ray, 27 Jun 2013
The Register breaking news

First quartet of low-latency broadband satellites now in space

Internet-to-the-world's-poor satellite backhaul provider O3b now has four satellites in orbit, ready to offer latency-free internet access to the three billion humans unable to see Facebook - by November if all goes to plan. There was a day's delay to the scheduled launch, caused by high winds at the launch site in French Guiana …
Bill Ray, 26 Jun 2013
The Register breaking news

Samsung: Psst, EU regulator. About that $17.3bn fine... let's talk

Samsung is in discussions with the EU about settling charges of anti-competitive behaviour against Apple, in order to slip the potential $17.3bn fine it faces if found guilty. The news comes from Reuters, which has been chatting to a couple of "people familiar with the matter" and discovered Samsung has opened negotiations …
Bill Ray, 26 Jun 2013
The Register breaking news

Hey Britain, want to link your mobile to your BANK ACCOUNT?

VocaLink, not content with processing 90 per cent of UK salaries and almost all of the DWP's benefits payments, has launched a payments platform to turn mobile phone numbers into bank account keys. The company's Zapp system is targeted at merchants who want to take payments without having to muck about with cards, and banks who …
Bill Ray, 26 Jun 2013
The Register breaking news

BlackBerry introduces iOS and Android to Work Space

BlackBerry Work Space is now available for iOS and Android, creating a secure container (under your own BOFH's control, natch) on devices owned by employees. That container houses a web browser, intended for Intranet access, and clients for email, calendar and task management. All of these are partitioned from the local OS to …
Bill Ray, 25 Jun 2013
The Register breaking news

O3b's satellites on launch pad, ready to bring cats+porn to billions

This evening the first four satellites of the O3b satellite constellation are slated to launch from French Guiana, to provide connectivity to the three billion humans lacking a Google+ account. The four satellites are atop a Soyuz rocket, ready for launch at 19.53 UK time, and are headed for a Medium Earth Orbit (MEO) in order …
Bill Ray, 24 Jun 2013
The Register breaking news

Telly psychics fail to foresee £12k fine for peddling nonsense

Psychic TV has been fined £12,500 for failing to remind viewers that it’s all nonsense, while interactive quiz channel The Big Deal got stung with a 10 grand fine for advertising the service - something neither of them saw coming. The broadcast breached Ofcom's latest guidance for flimflam artists: that they must regularly …
Bill Ray, 24 Jun 2013