Articles about Comms

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 Shutterstock.com

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 Riseup.net rattles tin

Encrypted communications collective Riseup.net has launched a funding drive, saying it has run so short of money that it might need to close next month. Demand for Riseup.net’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
tanami_desert_near_willowra_648

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
iot_internet_of_things

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
spy_eye_648

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

How to make the move from ISDN to SIP

ISDN is fast becoming a technology of the past. Today's telcos have networks that bypass traditional telephony signalling technologies for IP networks: the hardest thing they do is present a “legacy” connection such as an analogue line or an ISDN connection to a customer, as layering a non-IP service on an IP network is non- …
Dave Cartwright, 25 Jul 2016

Ofcom should push for fibre – Ex BT CTO

Tomorrow UK comms watchdog Ofcom will announce its plans for strengthening Openreach’s independence from BT and creating a more competitive UK broadband market. That follows a damning report by MPs last week that warned if BT doesn't get its house in order and address its significant under-investment in Blighty's …
Kat Hall, 25 Jul 2016
MH 370 Search Zone

We're not looking for MH370 in the wrong place say investigators

Dutch geosciences company Fugro has denied that the search for missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 has been conducted in the wrong place. Reuters yesterday quoted Fugro figures as saying that the chosen search area assumes the plane met a sudden end, but that if the crew were awake the plane could have glided well beyond …
Simon Sharwood, 22 Jul 2016
Profits down, image via Shutterstock

Logicalis: Top line shrinks as UK restructuring continues

Restructuring at Logicalis that weighed heavy on the integrator’s financials in recent times will be over and done with at some point before the, er, end of next February. Datatec, the London-listed parent of Logicalis and networking and comms distie Weston, today issued a heads up for first quarter trading ended June - sales …
Paul Kunert, 20 Jul 2016
Woman holds up PBX phone in office. Pic by Shutterstock

Really Scary Telecoms Stuff? Nah – telephony's just an app

In 2009, I moved to Jersey to become the network and telecoms manager for a multinational company. It was tremendous fun, as I had a variety of kit to play with. I tended to favour the Mitel 3300 ICP range (still do, actually) that supported about half of our offices, and I did the various engineer courses and exams for the …
Dave Cartwright, 20 Jul 2016

Correction: There was no hangman's noose, claims Hyperloop countersuit ... it was a cowboy's lasso

An extraordinary fight at tube-travel company Hyperloop One has hit warp speed with a court filing filled with more wild claims. Faced with accusations of physical threats, financial mismanagement and nepotism in a lawsuit from its former CTO Brogan BamBrogan, the company's management has fired back with a 46-page cross- …
Kieren McCarthy, 19 Jul 2016
Mclaren F1 car with NTT logo

NTT slips into ITC cockpit at F1 legends McLaren

Notoriously secretive F1 team McLaren-Honda is set to race into the cloud with a worldwide tech partnership with Japanese teclo NTT Communications. Speaking to journalists at McLaren’s Woking HQ team, McLaren Technology Group chairman and CEO Ron Dennis said data and analytics played a key role in the McLaren operation. The …
Joe Fay, 08 Jul 2016
stack of newspapers

Polycom bins Mitel for Siris

Polycom's planned $1.96bn sale to Mitel has been scrapped as the company plans a new merger agreement with Siris Capital. Following Elliott Management taking a stake in both businesses, the unified comms business announced plans to merge with Mitel three months ago. It will now pay Mitel a termination fee of $60m. The Siris …

Gartner: Brexit cluster-fsck has ballsed up our spending forecast

Tech spending forecasters at Gartner are all in a tizzy – Brexit and currency fluctuations are both to blame. At the start of this year, the crystal ball stroker estimated the industry would grow 0.5 per cent in 2016, then flip flopped and reduced this prediction by a full percentage point to $3.49 trillion, blaming the …
Paul Kunert, 07 Jul 2016
Phone cables, photo via Shutterstock

Comms intercept commish: There were some top secret orders

An oversight body has revealed that secretaries of state for the Home Office and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office have issued at least 23 secret orders to telecommunications companies on national security grounds since 2001. The Interception of Communications Commissioner’s Office (IOCCO) has today published its 55-page …
recruitment_hired

SCC and Entanet haul in big hitters

A couple of senior hires showed up in the channel this week with Entanet bulking out its senior management line-up and SCC poaching a big hitter from infrastructure integrator Proact. Midlands-based SCC has hired James Wallis to run its public sector business, a function he performed at Proact. He was on gardening leave but …
Paul Kunert, 05 Jul 2016
I quit

Azzurri CEO quits, will walk out sometime in 'summer'

The CEO of Maintel-owned Azzurri Communications, Chris Jagusz, is quitting in the summer but the company's new owners haven’t specified the exact departure date. Cloudy comms integrator Azzurri was acquired by Maintel in April for £48.5m and so it was only a matter of time before the exec exited once the handover period was …
Paul Kunert, 01 Jul 2016