Kelly Fiveash

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Vittorio Colao (CEO)

Vodafone slings sueball at Dutch telco alleging anti-competitive conduct

Vodafone has initiated legal proceedings against Netherlands-based telco KPN, with the claim that the latter's business practices have affected competition and consumer choice in the country. The Dutch incumbent has been accused by the mobile giant of failing to deliver the technology needed for Voda to debut its rival TV, …
Kelly Fiveash, 10 Dec 2015

Spotify mulls Swift change of policy – we can stream Taylor, but we'll charge

Spotify has reportedly been considering a major policy change to its music-streaming service, by allowing big name artists to release albums on the platform only to paying customers. It comes after Spotify's chief Daniel Ek very publicly dissed pop star Taylor Swift late last year, after she pulled her catalogue from the …
Kelly Fiveash, 09 Dec 2015

In-a-spin! Yahoo! clutches! Alibaba! baby! to! breast!

Yahoo! has backed away from plans to cut loose its remaining multi-billion-dollar stake in Chinese e-commerce firm Alibaba. The Purple Palace said that it will now spin off assets and liabilities other than its Alibaba stake, after it got in a pickle over "the market's perception of tax risk" over the original proposal. Yahoo …
Kelly Fiveash, 09 Dec 2015
Doctor Who, Season 9 – Hell Bent. Pic credit: BBC

Doctor Who: Oh, look! There's a restaurant at the end of the universe in Hell Bent

TV Review Readers please note: THIS IS A POST-UK BROADCAST REVIEW – THERE WILL BE SPOILERS! Finally, the Doctor is over his mid-life crisis and his Sonic Screwdriver is back where it belongs. I was hoping that Clara (yes, I'll get to Clara) would keep the sunnies for herself after she reversed the polarity on the human-compatible neural …
Kelly Fiveash, 05 Dec 2015
Ofcom has great power over mobiles

Ofcom retreats from 4G spectrum auction after legal threat from Three, O2

Ofcom has halted its 4G spectrum auction, following threats of legal action from Telefónica UK and Hutchison. The two mobile operators are currently being probed by antitrust officials in Brussels, who are considering whether Telefónica UK's planned sell-off of O2 to Three owner Hutchison "would harm competition". The firms' …
Kelly Fiveash, 04 Dec 2015

Booming Ballmer bellows 'bulls**t' over Microsoft's cloud revenue run rate

Microsoft's biggest individual shareholder – its erstwhile CEO Steve Ballmer – has complained in classic ballsy fashion about the software giant's lack of disclosure about its cloud biz. According to Bloomberg, Ballmer said that profit margins and sales were a "key metric" that should be reported by MS. He added that the firm …
Kelly Fiveash, 03 Dec 2015
Zuck balloons

Facebook to Belgian data cops: Block all the cookies across the web, then!

Facebook has confirmed that it will temporarily comply with an order from a Belgian court to stop tracking people who don't have accounts on the free content ad network. However, it has attempted to frame Belgium's privacy watchdog's successful complaint as flawed by claiming that blocking its data cookie will expose netizens …
Kelly Fiveash, 03 Dec 2015

Ofcom spins out Wi-Fi checker app just in time for Christmas

The UK's communications watchdog has released a Wi-Fi checker app to help broadband customers with wireless set-up in their homes and offices. According to Ofcom, there are plenty of chumps out there who plonk their kit way too close to electronic devices, such as lamps and baby monitors. The regulator was keen to keep its …
Kelly Fiveash, 01 Dec 2015
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Blighty competition watchdog pokes pointy finger into cloud storage

Price hikes and last-minute service tweaks to cloud storage offerings have caught unwanted attention from the UK's Competition and Markets Authority. The regulator confirmed on Tuesday morning that it planned to carry out a review of the market, following concerns expressed by consumers. It will consider whether practices and …
Kelly Fiveash, 01 Dec 2015
Fiber optics

UK.gov pooh-poohs Virgin Media's whinge to Brussels over beefy broadband pot

Virgin Media has whined about the UK government's broadband rollout scheme, claiming that the £680m taxpayer-funded pot of cash doesn't represent "value for money". The cable company has handed its complaint to state aid officials in Brussels. It has also submitted evidence (PDF) to the cross-party culture, media and sport …
Kelly Fiveash, 30 Nov 2015
Doctor Who, Season 9 – Heaven Sent. Pic credit: BBC

Doctor Who: The Hybrid finally reveals itself in the epic Heaven Sent

TV Review Readers please note: THIS IS A POST-UK BROADCAST REVIEW – THERE WILL BE SPOILERS! At last! The Doctor is on Gallifrey. And what an epic journey to get there. Two billion years of punching his way, Kill Bill-style, through that 20-ft thick wall – 400 times harder than diamond. This is truly how you "get up off your arse and …
Kelly Fiveash, 28 Nov 2015
Houses of Parliament at night-time

MPs and peers have just weeks to eyeball UK gov's super-snoop bid

IPB A joint panel of cross-party politicos and peers have been granted a very small window to scrutinise the Home Office's draft Investigatory Powers Bill. The committee is expected to report by mid-February next year – which is an incredibly short space of time to pore over a legalese-packed document that runs to nearly 300 pages …
Kelly Fiveash, 26 Nov 2015
Raspberry Pi Zero

What the world needs now is Pi, sweet $5 Raspberry Pi Zero

Our American cousins may be getting stuck in to pumpkin pie today, but Raspberry Pi hopes they'll also appreciate its $5 (£4) Pi Zero computer, which the Blighty outfit launched today. In a video showing off the teeny-tiny 'puter, Raspberry Pi boss Eben Upton spoke about how the high cost of machines, such as the Commodore …
Kelly Fiveash, 26 Nov 2015
George Osborne delivers 2015 Autumn Statement. Image credit: Parliament TV

Thin-lipped chancellor tight-lipped on contractor-nudge-onto-payroll plan

Autumn Statement Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne failed to mention IR35 even once during his Autumn Statement to MPs on Wednesday at lunchtime – despite the government recently floating new rules to crackdown on freelancers' tax arrangements. In the small print of Osbo's statement – which in classic style was published after the …
Kelly Fiveash, 25 Nov 2015
Whack-a-mole

Google takedown requests mushroom as copyright holders play whack-a-mole

Google received more than 65 million removal requests for search results containing alleged copyright violations in the space of the past month. The takedown demands have come from the usual suspects, including the British Recorded Music Industry (BPI), which asked Google to remove 7.1 million URLs as of mid-November this year …
Kelly Fiveash, 23 Nov 2015
Pretty woman looks miffed. Copyright: Danil Nevsky via Shutterstock http://www.shutterstock.com/pic.mhtml?id=149618984&src=id

TalkTalk Business email servers titsup for days after DNS config snafu

An unknown number of TalkTalk Business customers have been unable to access their email messages for days, after the budget telco's servers went down on Friday. One customer told The Register that he had been advised by the ISP to use a webmail service to retrieve the messages in the meantime while TalkTalk attempted to bring …
Kelly Fiveash, 23 Nov 2015
Don Draper is Sad

EE plans to block annoying ads on mobile network

EE may have a pretty pathetic customer service record, but the company is hoping to cheer up its 27-million-strong subscriber base by potentially allowing them to block ads on their mobile phones. At present, the carrier is mulling a proposal to bring in network-level blocking tools for its customers. “We're at the beginning …
Kelly Fiveash, 23 Nov 2015

Austria's highest court mulls class action status for Schrems v Facebook

Austria's highest court is poised to consider whether the Schrems vs Facebook case should be granted class-action status. Complainant Max Schrems, who has tirelessly campaigned against Facebook's alleged privacy violations, said that the claims of thousands of others needed to be heard in court. "It would not make a lot of …
Kelly Fiveash, 23 Nov 2015
Doctor Who, Season 9 – Face the Raven. Pic credit: BBC

Doctor Who: Even the TARDIS key can't unpick the chronolock in Face the Raven

TV Review Readers please note: THIS IS A POST-UK BROADCAST REVIEW – THERE WILL BE SPOILERS! So this week we have our hero stumbling upon a Harry Potter-like set, with Clara and returning character Rigsy (remember him?) in tow. A mysterious tattoo on the back of Rigsy's neck counts down to zero and – with the clock ticking – the hunt is …
Kelly Fiveash, 21 Nov 2015

Qualcomm huffs and puffs at Korean competition probe

Mobile chipmaker Qualcomm disclosed on Wednesday that it has been accused of violating South Korea's competition law. The company could be hit with fresh antitrust charges, following the publication of a case examiner's report penned by officials at the South Korea Fair Trade Commission. Qualcomm said in a statement that it …
Kelly Fiveash, 19 Nov 2015
The Rise of Islamic State: ISIS and the New Sunni Revolution

Telegram messaging app blocks some 'public' ISIS-related channels

Telegram is – following bad publicity about its messaging app – on a whack-a-mole mission against channels understood to have been set up on the service by ISIS. The tool has been used to spread propaganda and urge others to join the terrorist group. However, anyone wishing to read Telegram's full statement – in which it …
Kelly Fiveash, 19 Nov 2015

BT could lawyer up after Sky’s sport channels obligation removed

BT has attacked Ofcom's decision to lift a five-year-long obligation on Sky to offer its sports channels to competitors in the market. The UK's communications regulator confirmed on Thursday morning it was removing the regulation, which had required the broadcaster to offer Sky Sports 1 and 2 on a wholesale basis. Ofcom …
Kelly Fiveash, 19 Nov 2015

TalkTalk boss on Joe Garner exit, Virgin Media support for Openreach and THAT attack

ECTA Regulatory Conf '15 TalkTalk boss Dido Harding has described the departure of BT Openreach’s chief Joe Garner as a big headache for the former state monopoly – which is in the midst of battling to retain the infrastructure wing of its business. Garner resigned on Monday, having been poached by Nationwide to head up the building society. Speaking …
Kelly Fiveash, 17 Nov 2015
De Vaartkapoen. Pic: Bianca Bueno

Small Euro telco lobby group births small Euro telco lobby group

ECTA Regulatory Conf '15 "We’re not going to pilot the first generation of VR games because the infrastructure isn’t good enough," according to the European Commission's head of broadband, Anna Krzyzanowska, who added: "That might be one of the greatest opportunities lost in the current time." The EC's policy wonk made the comment during a discussion …
Kelly Fiveash, 17 Nov 2015
Cowboy_wranglers

Virgin Media daddy Liberty Global swoops on Cable & Wireless Communications

Liberty Global – the owner of UK telco Virgin Media – has agreed to buy Caribbean-based operator Cable & Wireless Communications for £3.5bn ($5.3bn). The cash and stock deal extends Cable Cowboy John Malone's lasso into Latin America. CWC said that the buyout would "enhance customer benefits" and allow the business to grow as …
Kelly Fiveash, 17 Nov 2015

Broadband minister: Our voucher scheme for SMEs is a tremendous success

Digital hairdressers and beardy, Web2.0 purveyors of boxes of cereal chomped down on more than 1,000 broadband vouchers that were dished out to small businesses by the UK government. The Department for Culture, Media and Sport crowed on Monday that 55,000 SMEs had got their hands on grants for faster web access costing up to £ …
Kelly Fiveash, 16 Nov 2015
BT Openreach at work

Openreach boss quits BT in midst of split uncertainty

BT's Openreach chief Joe Garner has quit the telecoms giant during a deeply unsettling time for the firm's infrastructure division. Calls for Openreach to be divorced from the one-time state monopoly have been intensifying in recent weeks as UK communications regulator Ofcom mulls such a split. BT has not yet lined up a …
Kelly Fiveash, 16 Nov 2015
Doctor Who, Season 9 – Sleep No More. Pic credit: BBC

Doctor Who: Nigel Farage-alike bogey beast terrorises in darkly comic Sleep No More

TV Review Readers please note: THIS IS A POST-UK BROADCAST REVIEW – THERE WILL BE SPOILERS! When someone tells you not to look, what do you do? Stare incessantly, of course. Mark Gatiss – dark comedy master and the writer of this week's episode, Sleep No More – knows this only too well. And with a monster to boot that has the same …
Kelly Fiveash, 14 Nov 2015
bang_648

Ex-competition watchdog and TalkTalk adviser calls for Openreach split from BT

Another day, and another person steps forward to add their voice to the chorus of people demanding that BT breaks away from its Openreach division. This time, it's ex-Office of Fair Trading head John Fingleton who has been whinging about BT's powerful position in the broadband market in Blighty. As noted by the Financial …
Kelly Fiveash, 13 Nov 2015
Gene Amdahl. Image credit: Computer History Museum

Big Blue's big iron daddy Gene Amdahl dies aged 92

Obit IBM's mainframe systems' trailblazer, Gene Amdahl, has died at the age of 92. His wife Marian said he had passed away on Tuesday, after suffering from pneumonia. Amdahl was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease five years ago, she said. Amdahl was born in Flandreau, South Dakota in 1922. He joined IBM in 1952, immediately after …
Kelly Fiveash, 13 Nov 2015
Still from Stand By Me movie. Pie eating contest

BT reveals vanishingly small detail about its fibre broadband network

BT's Openreach has released a tiny amount of information about data usage over the former state monopoly's fibre network. In fact, it's so insignificant that Ofcom wasn't even aware of the firm's shiny new quarterly index until The Register flagged it up to the UK's communications watchdog. Highlights (if you can call them …
Kelly Fiveash, 13 Nov 2015

Mozilla releases iOS app version of Firefox browser for world+dog

Mozilla has unwrapped an iOS app version of its Firefox browser for Apple users across the globe. It taken just two months to get a full airing, after the surfing app was released only to New Zealanders in September this year. Mozilla had held back from popping the lid on such an app, however. The outfit's erstwhile boss …
Kelly Fiveash, 12 Nov 2015
HMRC photo, Gov.uk

IT contractors raise alarm over HMRC mulling 'one-month' nudge onto payrolls

Freelance IT workers in the UK have expressed concern about claims that the government plans to force contractors onto the payroll of their clients after just one month of service. It was reported over the weekend that Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne would crack down on personal service firms during his spending …
Kelly Fiveash, 12 Nov 2015

Brussels paws Android map apps to see if they displace Euro rivals – report

The European Commission has reportedly widened the scope of its investigation into Google's alleged anti-competitive Android operating system tactics in the 28-member-state bloc. According to Bloomberg, officials at the antitrust wing of the European Commission have fired off missives to companies seeking their views on …
Kelly Fiveash, 11 Nov 2015

Virgin Media hikes broadband, phone prices by five per cent

Virgin Media will jack up the price tag on its broadband and phone service bundles by up to £3.99 from early next year. The Liberty Global-owned company has written to customers to warn them of the price hike, which will hit their bills from February next year. Virgin Media has been fielding complaints about the price rise, …
Kelly Fiveash, 11 Nov 2015

TalkTalk boss: 'Customers think we're doing right thing after attack'

Shares in TalkTalk climbed more than 12 per cent, following the company's first half fiscal report to the City this morning. The budget telco's boss Dido Harding was bullish about TalkTalk's response to the attack on its systems last month. She claimed during a conference call with journalists and analysts that some customers …
Kelly Fiveash, 11 Nov 2015

TalkTalk to swallow £35m ‘financial impact’ after attack

Budget ISP TalkTalk confirmed this morning that it would be hit with a bill of up to £35m following the attack on its systems last month. The security breach affected fewer customers than previously feared, TalkTalk’s chief Dido Harding claimed. It had initially warned that its entire four-million-strong subscriber base could …
Kelly Fiveash, 11 Nov 2015
GCHQ Benhall doughnut aerial view

Ex-GCHQ chief: Bulk access to internet comms not same as mass surveillance

IPB A specially convened, one-off chinwag about the so-called "tech issues" in the UK government's latest draft super-snoop bill failed to get to the nitty-gritty on Tuesday afternoon. Parliament's science and technology committee faced down industry bods, the former boss of GCHQ and a number of academics to try to better …
Kelly Fiveash, 11 Nov 2015
shutterstock_192561857-cat-

Virgin Media whines about Sky's customer service claims, ad watchdog agrees

It's been a quiet year for ISPs being placed on the naughty step by the UK's advertising watchdog. But today, Sky has been admonished for making misleading and unsubstantiated claims about its customer service. Rival Virgin Media successfully challenged the methodology used by Sky, in which it had boasted that it offered " …
Kelly Fiveash, 11 Nov 2015
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Tim Cook: UK crypto backdoors would lead to 'dire consequences'

IPB Apple boss Tim Cook has once again warned of what he says would be the "dire consequences" of opening up backdoors to allow spies to access our data. He said it would be wrong for the UK government's latest super-spy bid – the draft Investigatory Powers Bill, which landed in Parliament last week – to weaken cryptography. Cook …
Kelly Fiveash, 10 Nov 2015
Vittorio Colao (CEO)

Voda boss claims 'turning point' as infra investment kicks in

Vodafone CEO Vittorio Colao claimed this morning that the company's huge £18bn infrastructure investment was slowly starting to pay off, with the operator reporting a growth in earnings for the first half of its financial year. Group sales fell 2.3 per cent to £20.3bn for the six months ended 30 September, while organic …
Kelly Fiveash, 10 Nov 2015
David Cameron during PMQs on Wednesday, 28 October. Pic credit: Parliament TV

UK.gov finally promises legally binding broadband service obligation – by 2020

It has been three years since countryside lobbyists demanded a legally binding promise from the UK government on broadband speeds – but the wheels are only now starting to turn. On Saturday, Prime Minister David Cameron pledged that everyone across Blighty should be given a legal right to request a 10Mbit/s broadband …
Kelly Fiveash, 09 Nov 2015
Apple logo on glass fronted building. Licensed under cc0 / editorial use only

Judge bins Apple Store end-of-shift shakedown lawsuit

Apple Store employees are better off turning up to work without a bag, if – that is – they want to avoid being frisked for stolen goods at the end of their shifts. On Saturday, a judge chucked out a class action lawsuit that had been brought against Apple by two ex-staffers, who had objected to the shake downs taking place …
Kelly Fiveash, 09 Nov 2015
Still from Back to the Future II. Pic: Universal

Ericsson and Cisco ink deal for networks of the future

Cisco and Ericsson have formalised a decade-long, strategic partnership to allow the two firms to work together on cloud, 5G, IP and the Internet of Things tech. The outfits claimed today that the courtship could help each firm ring up $1bn in sales by 2018. Financial terms of the multiple agreements signed by the two parties …
Kelly Fiveash, 09 Nov 2015
Doctor Who, Season 9 – The Zygon Inversion. Pic credit: BBC

Doctor Who's good/bad duality, war futility tale in The Zygon Inversion fails to fizz

TV Review Readers please note: THIS IS A POST-UK BROADCAST REVIEW – THERE WILL BE SPOILERS! "I'm me", says Osgood, in response to the Doctor's question: is she Zygon or human? This got me thinking about Me. No, not me, but Me! Ashildr is another would-be companion to the Time Lord, except that – like Osgood – she remains stuck on Earth …
Kelly Fiveash, 07 Nov 2015

Brussels flings out Safe Harbour guidelines, demands 'safer' new framework ASAP

The Oxford Dictionary states the following for its definition of the word "safe": "Protected from or not exposed to danger or risk; not likely to be harmed or lost." On Friday morning, Brussels' vice-president Andrus Ansip got a little tautological by once again calling for a "safer" Safe Harbour agreement between the European …
Kelly Fiveash, 06 Nov 2015
TalkTalk YouView set top box launch

TalkTalk claims 157,000 customers were victims of security breach

TalkTalk has once again attempted to downplay the seriousness of the attack on its systems by claiming on Friday morning that only four per cent of its customers – nearly 157,000 people – were affected by the security breach. The budget ISP said that bank account numbers and sort codes of 15,656 of its subscribers had been …
Kelly Fiveash, 06 Nov 2015

UK's internet spy law: £250m in costs could balloon to £2 BILLION

Analysis The Home Office has revealed some of the costs associated with its proposed Investigatory Powers law – but the final price tag could arguably run into billions of pounds. At present, Secretary of State Theresa May's department has estimated a price tag of £247m over a 10-year-period to cover the costs of communications data …
Kelly Fiveash, 06 Nov 2015

UK govt sneaks citizen database aka 'request filters' into proposed internet super-spy law

A secret database of citizens' personal lives and habits isn't explicitly spelled out in the UK's latest surveillance law. No, instead, it's described as a set of "request filters." The term is buried in the draft Investigatory Powers Bill (IPB), which was introduced to Parliament on Wednesday. Turn to page 254 of the 299-page …
Kelly Fiveash, 04 Nov 2015
Home Secretary Theresa May introduces draft Investigatory Powers Bill to MPs. Pic credit: Parliament TV

UK's super-cyber-snoop shopping list: Internet data, bulk spying, covert equipment tapping

Britain's Home Secretary Theresa May revealed today that Brit spooks have, for years, been using section 94 of the 1984 Telecommunications Act to intercept bulk communications data of people in the UK. Her comments came as the Secretary of State introduced her 299-page-long draft Investigatory Powers Bill [PDF] to the House of …
Kelly Fiveash, 04 Nov 2015