Kat Hall

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VR gamer, image via Shutterstock

Virgin broadband latency probs still not fixed 6 months on

Latency issues with Intel's Puma 6, used in gigabit broadband modems, have yet to be resolved for Virgin Media customers using the UK company's superhub 3. The issues with Intel's Puma 6 chipset first appeared last year and have been the bane of many online gamers' lives. A Virgin Media spokesman said: “We have been working …
Kat Hall, 21 Jul 2017
Uber delivery person

Uber, Twitter's legal eagles gather to wring claws about bro culture

Lawyers from Uber and Twitter spoke about ways to curb "bro culture" in the male-dominated world of Silicon Valley at an annual judicial conference this week. Salle Yoo, Uber’s chief legal officer, told the Ninth Circuit’s judicial conference in San Francisco that it is important to hire diverse teams, reported Law360. Uber …
Kat Hall, 20 Jul 2017
NHS hosptial photo, by Marbury via Shutterstock

NHS trusts splashed £260m on PCs in last four years

In the last four years, NHS Trusts have spent £260m on 401,084 new PCs, at an average cost of £650.54 a box, according to Freedom of Information responses. More than 100 NHS trusts splashed £34m on new PCs in the first half of 2017 alone, according to an analysis of the data. However, despite splashing cash on new computers …
Kat Hall, 20 Jul 2017
Policeman number 10, photo by pcruciatti via Shutterstock

UK.gov watchdog didn't red flag any IT projects. And that alone should be a red flag to everyone

Analysis The BBC’s release of its top earners’ salaries this week stirred up both long-time detractors of Auntie and dyed-in-the-wool supporters. Yet for anyone who cares about public sector transparency, the disclosure was welcomed as a good thing, irrespective of political slant. With that in mind, it’s worth taking a moment to …
Kat Hall, 20 Jul 2017
Roadworks: fibre optic cable being laid

TalkTalk posts 3% sales drop, says Openreach should walk the WalkWalk

TalkTalk's sales dropped by 3 per cent in its first quarter, with an extra 20,000 new customers failing to offset the drop. The Brit broadband provider blamed the dip in revenue on a fall in overall consumer sales. No figure was provided for the three months to the end of June. However, full-year guidance remained unchanged, …
Kat Hall, 19 Jul 2017

Testing, testing, 1, 2, 3, 4G: Tube comms trials for emergency crews

Transport for London has tentatively started testing 4G on the Tube for emergency services. TfL's CTO said he was not "absolutely confident" it would be complete by January, 2019, however. The £2.9bn Airwave contract, which dates from 2000, will be switched off by 2020 and replaced by the 4G Emergency Services Network (ESN) …
Kat Hall, 19 Jul 2017
Screengrab from the Thick of IT - Brit govt satirical comedy show. Cast text furiously while in crisis mode.

One-quarter of UK.gov IT projects at high risk of failure

One-quarter of the UK government’s major IT programmes worth a total lifetime cost of £8bn are at high risk of failure, according to a Register analysis of the major project watchdog's annual report of 143 government programmes worth over £455bn. The Infrastructure Projects Authority report rated 39 ICT projects worth £18.6bn …
Kat Hall, 18 Jul 2017

UK regulator set to ban ads depicting bumbling manchildren

Ads depicting manchildren incapable of carrying out basic household tasks, and women in the role of Stepford Wives clearing up their mess, are to be banned in a crackdown by the Advertising Standards Authority. It follows a review conducted by the watchdog following the public's reaction to the "beach body ready" advertising …
Kat Hall, 18 Jul 2017

Openreach asks UK what it thinks about 10 million 'full fibre' connections

Openreach has launched a consultation seeking input from industry to create "full fibre" broadband in Blighty - part of its new cuddly, collaborative approach post legal separation from BT. Under its proposals, the body could roll out fibre to 10 million premises by 2025. Openreach under BT had committed to laying two million …
Kat Hall, 18 Jul 2017

UK.gov snaps on rubber gloves, prepares for mandatory porn checks

The government is poised to usher in mandatory porn checks this week, with reports it will require users to provide details from a credit card to prove they are over 18. The legislation was introduced in the Digital Economy Act in April, and will require websites serving up adult content to verify users' ages or be blocked by …
Kat Hall, 17 Jul 2017
Oracle corporate HQ

UK.gov embraces Oracle's cloud: Pragmatism or defeatism?

Analysis Oracle recently launched its dedicated Government Cloud in the UK - duly wheeling out the Home Office as an example of an early adopter. But to what extent are its new services just vendor lock-in under a cloudwash veneer or a change for the better? The size of Oracle’s footprint has loomed large across government for many …
Kat Hall, 17 Jul 2017
schoolchildren_kids_victorian_cropped

Now here's a novel idea: Digitising Victorian-era stamp duty machines

Government tech often gets slagged off for being old and clunky. But spare a thought for the folks issuing stamp duty, who have to handle machines from the 1870s which "close down" at 2pm every day to be cleaned. In a report this week [PDF], the Office of Tax Simplification urged the government to digitise paper stamp duty on …
Kat Hall, 14 Jul 2017
Sun photo via Shutterstock

Open-source world resurrects Oracle-free Solaris project OmniOS

The open-source community has fought back and resurrected the development of OmniOS – an Oracle-free non-proprietary variant of Solaris, which had been shelved in April. The development of OmniOS, a distribution of Illumos derived from Sun's open-source flavor of Solaris, was killed after five years of work by web applications …
Kat Hall, 13 Jul 2017
Giant burger

Cisco gobbles up security cloud upstart Observable Networks

Cisco hopes to boost its enterprise security gear by snapping up real-time network behavior monitoring startup Observable Networks. No financial details were disclosed regarding the deal. The biz, located in Saint Louis, Missouri, was founded in 2011 and raised $4.4m (£3.4m) from investors. Switchzilla intends to use …
Kat Hall, 13 Jul 2017

Ofcom creates watchdog specifically to make sure Openreach is behaving

Brit comms regulator Ofcom has created a dedicated Openreach Monitoring Unit, in a move reminiscent of the naughty kid at school being forced to sit next to the teacher. The body will watch Openreach to ensure it delivers progress towards its network division becoming legally separate from BT, following the outcome of the …
Kat Hall, 13 Jul 2017
French

Wi-Fi firm Purple sneaks 'community service' clause into its T&Cs

For a regulation designed to safeguard data processing, the forthcoming GDPR has already generated a surfeit of info. Somewhere in Europe sits a growing compliance mountain. How then do companies get their messages to stand out amid this deluge of press releases? The crazy kids at Wi-Fi biz Purple have the answer: be zany! In …
Kat Hall, 13 Jul 2017
HMRC photo via Shutterstock

NAO: Customs union IT system may not be ready before Brexit

Plans by HMRC to overhaul the clunky IT system underpinning £34bn in tax at the border may not be complete before Brexit, the UK government's spending watchdog has warned today. The National Audit Office said there is a risk that HMRC will not have the full functionality and scope of the Customs Declaration Service (CDS) in …
Kat Hall, 13 Jul 2017

Blighty's prosecutors slammed for failing to deliver savings on electronic tagging

The UK's Ministry of Justice has been slammed by the government's spending watchdog for failing to achieve value for money on its controversial electronic monitoring programme. The National Audit Office found the £60m GPS tagging system for offenders is five years behind plan. It was supposed to reduce costs by £9m, but has so …
Kat Hall, 12 Jul 2017
Image from Shutterstock 161369036

Ofcom pops 37% spectrum cap on mobile providers' domes

Telecoms regulator Ofcom has capped the maximum amount of mobile spectrum a company can own at 37 per cent, ahead of its auction of mobile spectrum later this year. Later this year the regulator will flog licences to use 190 MHz of spectrum in two frequency bands, increasing the airwaves available for mobile devices by almost …
Kat Hall, 11 Jul 2017
BT Openreach van

Openreach kicks off 'rebrand' by painting over BT logo on vans

Openreach has finally started removing BT's logo from its 22,000 vans, "unveiling its new branding" four months after the former UK state monopoly agreed to a legal separation of its broadband division. The changes will begin this month and continue over the next four years on all vehicles, customer-facing websites and apps, …
Kat Hall, 11 Jul 2017
cloud

Ex-GDS man to pluck tech strings at UKCloud

Former director of Common Technology Services at the Government Digital Service, Iain Patterson, has rocked up at UKCloud as chief digital officer. Notably, he's one of the few ex-GDS crew not to have left for the Co-op. In his role, Patterson will review UKCloud's technical platform and operations and product propositions as …
Kat Hall, 11 Jul 2017
Young "creatives" whip out their mobile phones. Photo by Shutterstock

Twitter will no longer snaffle data allowances on Virgin Mobile

Virgin Mobile is allowing customers to access Twitter without paying up for data, in what some might see as one way to ensure users keep using their data allowances. The social whinge platform is now available to use data-free on the UK cell network's 4G plans, alongside WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger. Jeff Dodds, managing …
Kat Hall, 10 Jul 2017

Judge used personal email to send out details of sensitive case

Concerns have been raised over a British judge's use of his personal email address to send out a ruling in a family court case, which contained sensitive personal information. The Register has seen evidence that the judge in question used two personal accounts to send out a draft ruling and final ruling: one using a domain …
Kat Hall, 10 Jul 2017
Skeptical hipster. photo by shutterstock

Virgin Media biz service goes TITSUP* across London

A London-wide Virgin Media outage caused by a "fibre break" has left business customers across the UK capital without broadband - including a number of borough councils. Bromley Council apologised for its phones and online systems being out of action, blaming the "London wide technical issue" caused by the outage. Virgin …
Kat Hall, 07 Jul 2017
STUDENT ON MOBILE PHONE IN LIBRARY

Brit unis bunged £16m in gov cash for 5G test

The UK government has handed £16m to King's College London and the Universities of Surrey and Bristol to test 5G technology. This investment will fund a 5G end-to-end trial in early 2018. This could include a trial in which a signal is sent from a mobile device, such as a phone or in a car, to a data centre and back again. The …
Kat Hall, 07 Jul 2017

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