Articles about Comms

Comically sad tearful man doing fake-looking wail of despair. Photo by Shutterstock

Capita's head of tech solutions resigns

The head of Capita’s technology solutions division Simon Furber is the most recent capo to leave the biz. His departure comes as the outsourcing Goliath issued its first ever profit warning in which it blamed a drop-off in the reseller businesses in the IT Enterprise Services subsidiary for a £30m shortfall in sales. A Capita …
Kat Hall, 25 Oct 2016
Price rises

Microsoft: We're hiking UK cloud prices 22%. Stop whining – it's the Brexit

Life is to get a lot more expensive for Microsoft customers from the start of next year with currency linked, double-digit price hikes looming for cloud and on-premise software. Software resellers, integrators and cloud service providers were warned about the price rises late on Friday afternoon and told us they expected a …
Paul Kunert, 24 Oct 2016
Photo by Helga Esteb / Shutterstock

Whinge on: T-Mobile US docked $48m for limiting 'unlimited' data plans

T-Mobile US has agreed to pay the US comms watchdog the FCC $48m to settle claims that it illegally throttled the connections of some unlimited-plan data users. The settlement package [PDF] ends an investigation the US broadband watchdog launched over T‑Mobile's handling of customers on its unlimited data plans. At issue was …
Shaun Nichols, 19 Oct 2016
The Microscope satellite. Pic: CNES / D.Ducros

Vodafone and Inmarsat hang satellites over potential Internet of Things customers

Vodafone and satellite phone firm Inmarsat have inked a deal to provide backhaul for Internet of Things devices in far-flung corners of the globe. According to this morning's Financial Times, the mobile network operator is seeking to expand into providing IoT connectivity for driverless cars, smart cities, smart farms and …
Gareth Corfield, 18 Oct 2016

Dutch govt ordered to use open standards for comms from 2017

Government bodies in the Netherlands will have to use open technology standards for communications after next year, following a vote by the nation's parliament. The requirement for open document standards has already been adopted by the Netherlands Senate, but a motion by Member of Parliament Astrid Oosenbrug has now unified …
Iain Thomson, 14 Oct 2016
Dell micro Modular Data Center

Dell to reveal 'micro data centres' for outdoor use

Dell's teased something interesting ahead of next week's DellWorld gabfest: a “micro Modular Data Center (MDC)” that can be deployed outdoors if required. As depicted above (or here for those of you on our mobile site) Dell's offering has three racks. One will hold the company's DSS 9000 rack scale infrastructure that our …
Simon Sharwood, 14 Oct 2016

Probe cops' Stingray phone masts, senators tell US comms watchdog

A group of US Senators has asked the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to investigate concerns that police stingray devices are causing illegally high levels of interference to wireless networks. In a letter addressed to FCC chairman Tom Wheeler, Senators Bernie Sanders (I‑VT), Ron Wyden (D‑OR), Al Franken (D‑MN), …
Shaun Nichols, 07 Oct 2016

Ofcom finds 'reasonable grounds' that KCOM failed to maintain 999 services

UK comms watchdog Ofcom has today said it has "reasonable grounds" for believing operator KCOM failed to maintain emergency services access in Hull. KCOM notified Ofcom in February 2016 that its phone service in the region had suffered a “temporary reduction in availability.” In an update today the regulator said: "Ofcom has …
Kat Hall, 07 Oct 2016

‘You can’t opt out of IoT’: Our future is the Rise of the Sensor Machines

IPExpo “The majority of SMEs are bamboozled by the Internet of Things and how it will support their business,” Mike van Bunnens, MD of comms tech firm Comms365 told The Register today. Predicting a future where “everything” is an IoT device that “binds us together”, van Bunnens - flanked by colleagues Shaun Nicholls and Nick Sacke - …
Gareth Corfield, 05 Oct 2016

FCC keeps secret Google TV landgrab under wraps forever

Analysis US broadband regulator the FCC dramatically cancelled the much-anticipated vote on its secretive TV set-top box plan on Thursday – and it's keeping the details confidential. The terse note announcing the cancellation of the vote [PDF] at the ironically named “Open Meeting” declared that: The item remains on circulation and …
Andrew Orlowski, 30 Sep 2016
Man looks at his mobile - mildly surprised or shocked about something. Photo by shutterstock

Blighty's telly, radio watchdog Ofcom does a swear

NSFW UK comms regulator Ofcom has released in-depth research into the British public’s attitudes to fucking swearing. Researchers found that context is bloody everything and there is still strong support for the 9pm watershed, with less tolerance for anything but mildly offensive language and gestures before that time. Tone and …
John Oates, 30 Sep 2016
Building IoT London

Got a great IoT story to tell? You have until Friday to let us know

Reg Events The deadline to get your proposals in Building IoT London is just days away, on Friday October 7, so if you want to tell an audience of real world tech pros about your real world experiences developing and implementing the internet of things, don't delay. Building IoOT London, brought to you by Heise and The Register, will be …
Team Register, 30 Sep 2016
Pennies in a jar. Photo via Shutterstock

Damn you Brexit! You screwed my biz – LSE-listed tech supplier

The management team at Alternative Networks has played the Brexit card to explain why the London-listed IT and comms integrator has missed profit expectations for FY’16, which ends this month. The Mobile division had stabilised and with cost-cutting actions to offset the impact of new tariffs on roaming rates, margins were …
Paul Kunert, 27 Sep 2016

That's cold: This is how our boss told us our jobs are at risk, staffers claim

Shrinking Cisco Gold reseller Intrinsic Technology has put a bunch of staff across various departments at risk of redundancy amid an organisational restructure. Employees at the Merseyside-based company were last week ushered into one of three boardrooms where presentations were played simultaneously to sales, HR & support and …
Paul Kunert, 27 Sep 2016
VMware project goldilocks model

VMware's secret security plan revealed

VMware has shown off a working prototype of “Project Goldilocks”, its long-hinted-at plan to develop a new approach to security. The new idea is inspired by the NSX network virtualisation product's ability to create network “microsegments”, isolated virtual networks walled off from the rest of the network in a “least privilege …
Simon Sharwood, 21 Sep 2016
drawing of live cat and cat skeleton

Quantum comms succeed over metro-scale fibre networks

Two groups both reported successfully teleporting state information across metro-scale fibre networks. A Chinese team is claiming a teleportation over a 30 km fibre in Haifei (the entanglement travelled nearly 16 km), while the University of Calgary used that city's fibre network to carry entanglement 6.2 km (preprint here). …
Quick fix - worker running while carrying a wrench

Ghost of Windows NT haunts EMC's VNX, Celerra and Avamar

EMC has patched a six-year-old Windows bug that's popped up in its VNX and Celerra storage kit. Its NTLM implementation – yes, that really does stand for “NT LAN Manager”, protocols last much longer than products – is at risk because the authentication nonce comes from a weak random number generator. Microsoft fixed its …

FCC Comms criticized

The two Republican commissioners in the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) have been accused of withholding documents that show they acted in cahoots with congressional Republicans in trying to kill net neutrality rules. Ranking member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Elijah Cummings, has sent …
Kieren McCarthy, 19 Sep 2016

Hybrid infrastructure: You did it. You switched over. Now lock it down. Yes, really

Hybrid infrastructures – where you combine on-premise equipment with systems that sit in a public cloud installation – have their own particular foibles when it comes to management. It's really not so hard, though – here are 10 things to think about when you're looking at the security aspects of managing your hybrid world. …
Dave Cartwright, 19 Sep 2016
DATA RETENTION Guidelines for Service Providers

Australian universities drop tech services to dodge metadata retention obligation

When Australia's federal government finally revealed who had been given money to help pay for metadata retention efforts The Register was surprised to see eight Universities on the list. So we've asked around and figured out why. Universities have a metadata retention obligation thanks to the Section 187B(a) of the …
Simon Sharwood, 19 Sep 2016
Australian Parliament House Canberra

Former comms minster Stephen Conroy to leave Parliament

Stephen Conroy, the Australian Labor Party Senator who proposed a fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) national broadband network (NBN) for Australia, has announced he will leave the Parliament despite being re-elected for a six-year term just two months ago. “When you resent being in Canberra because you are missing your daughter's …
Simon Sharwood, 16 Sep 2016
Picture by Orlok / Shutterstock

Encryption backdoors? It's an ongoing dialogue, say anti-terror bods

CloudFlare Internet Summit It's not every day you walk into a tech conference in San Francisco to find a propaganda video for the Islamic State playing on the screens. Two counterterrorism experts from Washington, DC, were opening the CloudFlare Internet Summit by talking about the use of social media by terrorist groups and what could be done to …
Kieren McCarthy, 15 Sep 2016
Java, photo via Shutterstock

Oracle: Delayed Java Enterprise Edition 8 to land 'within the year'

Oracle has committed to deliver the delayed Java Enterprise Edition 8 “within a year.” Bill Shannon, architect at Oracle, sketched out the goal in an email to Java community members sent on August 22 and seen by The Reg. The current date for Java EE 8 is “first half of 2017” - pushed back this year from JavaOne 2016, which …
Gavin Clarke, 15 Sep 2016

Slack adds 'All Unreads' view

Hipsters Slack users, rejoice: your preferred post-email comms tool just got a teensy bit more like email by adding an "All Unreads" view. This one does what it says on the can - group all unread messages in one place so you can - ummm - read them. Slack just scrolls messages off the screen as they age, so there's a decent …
Simon Sharwood, 15 Sep 2016
Cell tower, view from below. Image by

UK oversight body tipped to examine phone snooping tech in prisons

The secretive use of IMSI grabbers in the UK is set to receive oversight from the Interception of Communications Commissioner's Office (IOCCO). IOCCO is awaiting a formal request from the Prime Minister to provide oversight of the use of mobile phone eavesdropping devices in prisons, its head has confirmed to The Register. …

Wait, wait – I got it this time, says FCC as it swings again at rip-off US TV cable boxes

US comms watchdog the FCC has published its revised plans to kill the multi-billion-dollar cable box rip-off. In a fact sheet [PDF], chair Tom Wheeler reiterates the same arguments he made back in January when he first proposed forcing cable companies to publish their data streams in an open format so competitors could offer …
Kieren McCarthy, 09 Sep 2016

Really – 80% FTTP in UK by 2026? Woah, ambitious!

The government must create an “ambitious strategy” for the majority of the UK to have access to a fibre-to-the-premise (FTTP) connections in the next 10 years and near universal coverage by 2030, the representative body for small "alternative network" providers. In its "Building Gigabit Britain" report today, the Independent …
Kat Hall, 08 Sep 2016

Inside our three-month effort to attend Apple's iPhone 7 launch party

It's been a number of years since an Apple PR staffer secretly admitted to one of our reporters that The Register was on a blacklist. We also learned that they were under strict instructions never to admit to the blacklist – presumably because it would make one of the world's largest companies look, you know, pathetically …
Kieren McCarthy, 07 Sep 2016
Xeon E3-1500 v5

Hardcore core-to-core comms core-alled into hardware

Intel and boffins at the North Carolina State University have cooked up a framework that coordinates core-to-core communications in hardware rather than software. This work is important because to keep processing power scaling up, you want the overhead of multi-core computing processes to stay down. The CAF – core-to-core …

Encrypted comms collective rattles tin

Encrypted communications collective has launched a funding drive, saying it has run so short of money that it might need to close next month. Demand for’s services has surged in the wake of the Snowden revelations without anything like a corresponding increase in donations, hence the financial problems, …
John Leyden, 06 Sep 2016
Sleeping man on couch with a beer , popcorn and a food-stained vest. Photo by Shutterstock

Retired Philae lander slouches on Comet 67P

The European Space Agency's (ESA) obsolete robotic lander Philae has been spotted lying on its side in the dark depths of Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko as the Rosetta mission nears completion. The images were snapped on 2 September by the OSIRIS narrow-angle camera on board the spacecraft, which has orbited the comet within …
Katyanna Quach, 06 Sep 2016

A plumber with a blowtorch is the enemy of the data centre

On-Call Welcome again to On-Call, our regular week-ender in which readers share their tales of possibly-career-ending errors. This week, reader “Harry” tells us he's done support for the same global company for the last thirteen years and in one role found himself doing network support. One cold, cold winter's day, that gig took him …
Simon Sharwood, 02 Sep 2016

InIn now in Genesys

Customer service tech specialist Genesys has acquired rival firm Interactive Intelligence for about US$1.4bn. Interactive Intelligence pioneered software-as-a-service for the call centre and customer service capers, adding unified comms and telephony along the way. The company brings in about $400m a year. The two companies …
Simon Sharwood, 01 Sep 2016

BT boils over, blows off Steam, accuses Valve of patent infringement

UK telecoms goliath BT is suing games developer and publisher Valve, alleging the Steam service infringes multiple patents. In a complaint [PDF] filed with the Delaware district court, BT accused Valve of ripping off four technologies it has patented related to the operation of cloud services (in this case, Steam). This is the …
Shaun Nichols, 31 Aug 2016

Fifty bills for new Oz parliament, nothing much for tech

The tech sector's going to have to take care of itself in 2016, at least as far at the Turnbull government's legislative agenda is concerned. As federal parliament resumes in Canberra, the government is choosing between different hills to die on – its union-regulating Building and Construction Commission bill, a corrosive …

Biz phones 'n' broadband bods Gamma suffer a network TITSUP

Business broadband comms outfit Gamma is experiencing a service outage. According to monitoring site Down Detector, the problem began this morning just after 8am. One customer told us: "I am a reseller and we are having issues with customer phones also... Still ongoing." Another said: "We have customers reporting one way …
Kat Hall, 25 Aug 2016
Three cows image via Shutterstock

The Internet of Cows is moo-ving fast … no bull!

If you worry the Internet of Things is bollocks and that the industry's just milking an old idea, think again: research outfit Arcluster has declared that the “Connected Cow and Farm” market will become a US$10.75 billion concern in 2021, a rather nice jump from today's $1.27 billion. Byte-blowing bovines are going to drive …
Simon Sharwood, 25 Aug 2016
AFP Commissioner Andrew Colvin

Australian Federal Police resume NBN raids, this time in parliament

The Australian Federal Police (AFP) is resuming its hunt for documents associated with leaks about the financial position of the National Broadband Network. Senator Stephen Conroy – former communications minister and now shadow to the special minister of state – has told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) that the …

EU ministers look to tighten up privacy – JUST KIDDING – surveillance laws

European ministers are debating a clampdown on encryption and a further increase in surveillance in response to mounting terrorist threats. Bernard Cazeneuve, France’s interior minister is due to meet his German counterpart, Thomas de Maizere, to discuss possible regulations to limit the use of encrypted communications across …
John Leyden, 23 Aug 2016

Cisco-backed iOT comms aspirant LoRa ships IoT dev kit

Three companies backing the LoRa Alliance have joined together to push things along with an Internet of Things development kit. LoRaWAN is one of a bunch of low-power wireless communications proposals for IoT, in particular targeting the battery-powered sensor applications. The LoRa Alliance members, silicon developer Semtech …
NBN logo

Labor's new comms spokesperson Michelle Rowland gets off to a bad start

The new communications spokesperson of Australia's opposition Labor has made a mess of her first foray into the portfolio. New comms shadow Michelle Rowland's parliamentary CV suggests she's got the experience for the job: she was shadow assistant comms spokesperson and has spent two stints on the standing parliamentary …
Simon Sharwood, 14 Aug 2016
Tony Montana on the phone in Scarface

AT&T dinged for $7.75m after letting scammers gouge customers (again)

US telco giant AT&T has been fined $7.75m after scammers were found sneaking bogus charges onto customer bills. The punishment was levied by America's comms watchdog the FCC. The regulator said the US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) was to thank for uncovering the scam in which criminals were duping landline customers into …
Shaun Nichols, 08 Aug 2016
Miller and Valasek

Jeep hackers: How we swerved past Chrysler's car security patches

Black Hat Last year, the Black Hat presentation by Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek caused Chrysler to recall 1.4 million vehicles to install a software update after they proved they could remotely hack Jeeps. This year, in Las Vegas, the pair showed us how to defeat that update. The dynamic duo praised Chrysler's efforts to secure …
Iain Thomson, 04 Aug 2016

Users of secure chat app Telegram popped after possible nation-state attack

Black Hat An attack group known for rudimentary phishing scams and having operational security so bad their servers were popped by Check Point has compromised a dozen Telegram accounts and gained phone numbers for a further 15 million, possibly with state assistance. Telegram is a well-regarded end-to-end encrypted chat client used by …
Darren Pauli, 04 Aug 2016
CSIRO's 1992 WiFi Testbed

First Wi-Fi box ever is chosen as Australia's best contribution to global history

The National Museum of Australia (NMA) has chosen Wi-Fi hardware as Australia's greatest contribution to world history. The NMA will shortly host an exhibition titled A History of the World in 100 Objects featuring a variety of artefacts from the British Museum and other institutions, and chose to add an Australian object. …
Simon Sharwood, 03 Aug 2016

Intel's smartwatches are so hot right now – too hot: Basis Peak recalled for skin burns, blistering

Intel has recalled every single one of its Basis Peak smartwatches – as well as urging people to stop using them – because they can become dangerously hot. Chipzilla has told everyone who bought a Peak to send back the watch along with any and all accessories for a full refund. Keeping it is not an option: by the end of the …
Shaun Nichols, 03 Aug 2016

What's on a road to nowhere? Ingram's Q2 numbers

Ingram Micro outlined progress, or rather lack of it, when it reported calendar Q2 numbers last night and did little to convince financial markets - including Shanghai’s Stock Exchange - that it is a business going places fast. The world’s largest tech distributor said revenue for the three months ended 30 June were down four …
Paul Kunert, 29 Jul 2016

Did Donald Trump really just ask Russia to hack the US govt? Yes, he did

In the latest of a series of implausibly appalling statements, Republican presidential nightmare Donald Trump encouraged the Russian government to hack into the servers of US government officials in order to provide him political ammunition against his Democratic rival. Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday, Trump said …
Kieren McCarthy, 27 Jul 2016
Baby looks taken aback/shocked/affronted. Photo by Shutterstock

Ofcom: Legal separation will force Openreach to eat more fibre

Sharon White, the boss of UK comms watchdog Ofcom, hopes plans to legally separate Openreach from BT will force it to increase its investment of two million fibre-to-the-premise (FTTP) connections over the next four years. White was speaking at a briefing following the announcement by the regulator this morning that Openreach …
Kat Hall, 26 Jul 2016
Reese witherspoon as Elle Woods from the film Legally Blonde. Photo copyright MGM Studios

Openreach to split from BT... so they'll be 'Legally Separate'

UK comms regulator Ofcom has said today Openreach must become a "legally" separate company from BT – with its own independent board – under plans to reform the former state monopoly's infrastructure division. In February, Ofcom identified serious failings with BT's ownership model of Openreach. However, it stopped short of …
Kat Hall, 26 Jul 2016