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nbn™ talks up HFC upgrades to gigabit speed

nbn™, the entity building and operating Australia's national broadband network (NBN), has started to talk up the scalability of the hybrid fibre-coax (HFC) networks it will use to provide services to many Australians. The company commissioned analyst firm Ovum to research the role of HFC in broadband around the world. In what …
Simon Sharwood, 22 Jul 2016
Burning money, photo via Shutterstock

AT&T: Money? Oh, sure, no I'm fine – I'm doing great (if you ignore my phone business)

AT&T says wireless revenues are down in what was an otherwise solid quarter for the US telecom giant. Its second quarter of 2016 [PDF] period was, overall, a success thanks to solid returns from the newly-acquired DirecTV. They were, however, tempered by falling revenues in other areas. Quarterly revenues were $40.5bn, up 22 …
Shaun Nichols, 21 Jul 2016
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Rumor on repeat: Spotify IPO

Music streaming service Spotify is again rumored to be preparing to go public. The company has managed to maintain its market lead against competitors from some of the world's largest tech companies including Apple and Amazon, and has more paying subscribers than any other streaming service. It has started reaching out to …
Kieren McCarthy, 21 Jul 2016

CenturyLink punishes hogs

US ISP CenturyLink is going to charge some customers for what it deems is excessive data use. Under the new excessive use policy, subscribers with 1.5Mbps plans will be told not to download more than 150GB a month, and those with faster broadband access will be given a 250GB limit. That's a soft limit – you'll simply get a …
Shaun Nichols, 20 Jul 2016
airplane just kidding shot

BT internet outage was our fault, says Equinix

Telecity data center owner Equinix has 'fessed up to a "brief outage" that knocked 10 per cent of BT internet subscribers offline in the UK as well as a number of other providers on the morning of 20 July. A spokesman from the group, which slurped up Telecity for £2.3bn in 2015, confirmed that the outage occurred at Equinix's …
Kat Hall, 20 Jul 2016
walking_fingers

TalkTalk: 9,000 broadband customers did the walk walk last quarter

UK ISP TalkTalk has confirmed 9,000 customers abandoned its broadband services in the first three months of fiscal '17 ended June – and that overall group sales were pretty much flat on the prior year period. The provider did not release the exact turnover for the period - that comes at the half way point of the year - but it …
Kat Hall, 20 Jul 2016
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Atlassian looks at StatusPage, reaches for wallet

Atlassian has made its first buy since raising $462m in its December IPO, snapping up StatusPage. StatusPage, which is barely three years old, is described as "the leader in status and incident communication." More particularly, it offers a hosted service for status pages covering incidents, scheduled maintenance and the like …
Joe Fay, 14 Jul 2016
Street musician busks for coins. Photo by Shutterstock

Spotify, YouTube pay musicians with ever-shrinking buttons

Digital music is a loss leader for tech giants, driving traffic to other parts of the plantation as they harvest personal data. But it’s creators who are carrying the loss. “Leaked” Spotify numbers suggest its maintaining an audience lead over Apple in the digital streaming business - but only by giving the music away for …
Andrew Orlowski, 12 Jul 2016
Barracuda_cloud_sea

Barracuda picks teeth after chowing down on cloud market

Revenues grew 11 per cent year-over-year to $86.7m in Barracuda’s first fiscal 2017 quarter, confirming its return to growth. Net income was $2.8m. Recurring subscription revenue grew to $65.3m, up 20 per cent from $54.3m in the year-ago quarter and 75 per cent of total revenue. Appliance revenue though, was down, at $21.3m, …
Chris Mellor, 08 Jul 2016
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Brexit: More cash for mobile operators or consumers? Pick one

One thing the Brexit debate hasn't been short on is hyperbole, with much talk about a potential economic Armageddon triggered by a leave scenario. Certainly there has been no shortage of tech companies loudly nailing their colours to the remain mast. Microsoft and Hewlett Packard Enterprise even went so far as to email staff …
Kat Hall, 20 Jun 2016
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Apple App Store adds ads

Apple is making some changes to its App Store ahead of next week's Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) in San Francisco. Revenue from an iOS app is split 70-30 with the developer and Apple, respectively. Under the shakeup, that will change to 85-15 after an app's spent its first year in the online store. This will apply to …
Chris Williams, 08 Jun 2016
Microsoft Planner

Do you have a 'co-working mindset' and 'ephemerally involve others' in work?

In the olden days, when Reg hacks rode dinosaurs to work and used chisels and stone to write stories, Microsoft Office offered four applications: Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Access. These days Office is a sprawling affair with new bits that Microsoft's pitching at those “with a co-working mindset” and keen to be empowered to “ …
Simon Sharwood, 08 Jun 2016
Still from Minions cartoon trailer.  	Copyright: Universal Pictures

Hey you – minion. Yes, IT dudes and dudettes, they're talking to you

Sysadmin Blog Who are you, dear reader, and why are you reading this? If you've a yen to answer that literally, by all means please do, but the question is somewhat more metaphorical in intent. I'm not seeking an existentialist answer about your sense of purpose in life, but I am hoping that you can answer – to yourself if to no one else – …
Trevor Pott, 18 May 2016
trollstation

Art heist 'pranksters' sent down for six months

Four men that staged two art gallery thefts and a kidnapping as part of a "prank" for their YouTube channel have been jailed by a judge in the UK. The group, operating under the name Trollstation, staged faked thefts at the National Portrait Gallery and Tate Britain art museum in London this summer, causing panic among …
Iain Thomson, 16 May 2016

TalkTalk customers decide to StayStay after £3m in free upgrades

TalkTalk's profits plunged by 56 per cent during 2016 to a mere £14m, but chief exec Dido Harding claimed the company "bounced back strongly in the final quarter". That quarter was certainly unusual. The firm recorded its lowest ever churn in Q4 despite experiencing a massive data breach just seven months ago. The fall in …
Kat Hall, 12 May 2016
Silhouette of spy discerning password from code uses a command on graphic user interface

SS7 spookery on the cheap allows hackers to impersonate mobile chat subscribers

Flaws in the mobile signalling protocols can be abused to read messaging apps such as WhatsApp and Telegram. Security researchers at Positive Technologies found they can intercept messages and respond as if they were the intended recipient in services such as WhatsApp or Telegram. This is not a man in the middle attack: …
John Leyden, 10 May 2016
Still from Stand By Me movie. Pie eating contest

Gobble away! Charter-Time Warner Cable merger OK'd by FCC

The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has given its blessing to Charter's $78.7bn acquisition of Time Warner Cable (TWC) and Bright House Networks. The watchdog said on Friday in a brief statement that it had approved the massive biz gobble with conditions floated earlier by FCC chairman Tom Wheeler. Those conditions …
Shaun Nichols, 06 May 2016

BT Sport takes Elemental step of software encoding

Analysis BT has been as bold over distribution technology as the content itself for its sport channels, but then it had to be given Sky’s entrenched position in sports rights in the UK. BT Sport succeeded in at least ruffling Sky’s feathers and arguably making serious inroads firstly by biting into the English Premier League pie and …
Faultline, 05 May 2016

Legal fight against USA Today's news app info-flogging OK'd by court

A US judicial panel has greenlighted a lawsuit over the way mobile apps handle people's private information. The US First Circuit Court of Appeals overturned an earlier ruling throwing out a lawsuit filed by Alexander Yershov against newspaper publisher Gannett alleging misuse of personally identifiable information. In doing …
Shaun Nichols, 02 May 2016
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NBN launches satellite broadband services

Australia's national broadband network (NBN) has turned on its 25Mbps satellite service. Communications minister Mitch Fifeld and regional communications minister Fiona Nash today pressed the go button for satellite services. The service isn't complete, because only one of two planned Sky Muster satellites is in orbit. That …
Simon Sharwood, 29 Apr 2016
happy_woman_at_desk

Comcast Com-templates Com-trashing Com-crap Com-pact Com-caps

Comcast has decided that rather than slap a 300GB-a-month download cap on some of its broadband customers, it will instead give them a 1TB limit. The US cable kingpin says it has begun tests in trial markets in 12 US states that gives users an allowance of 1,000GB monthly. That's up from the 300GB cap it slapped on subscribers …
Shaun Nichols, 29 Apr 2016

Chomp! Barracuda gets its bite back after turning a profit again

The sum of $83.7m exceeded Barracuda’s revenue estimates for its fourth fiscal 2016 quarter, ended Feb 29, 2016. It was a 16 per cent rise year-on-year and a 4.5 per cent rise quarter-on-quarter. There was a $3.2m net profit, pleasing after five straight loss-making quarters. The full year revenue number was $320.2m, 15.4 per …
Chris Mellor, 28 Apr 2016
NBN Logo

Sure, let's build the NBN with technology that's not proven at scale

Comment Internet Australia's new National Broadband Network (NBN) policy advocates using a technology yet to be proven to work at scale. The organisation last week decided to update its policy from one I surmise as “never compromise: only fibre-to-the-premises will do” to advocating fibre-to-the-distribution-point (FTTDP) rollout as …
Simon Sharwood, 27 Apr 2016
DirecTV

AT&T credits DirecTV gobble for $41bn quarter

AT&T says its recent purchase of satellite provider DirecTV helped drive a 24 per cent jump in revenues. The US telco giant said that the $49bn merger was already beginning to pay dividends with its 2016 Q1 [PDF] period. "We're seeing good momentum with our initial integrated wireless, video and broadband offers," said AT&T …
Shaun Nichols, 27 Apr 2016

T-Mobile US gobbles up another 2.2m customers

For yet another quarter, "uncarrier" T‑Mobile US has shown that there is money to be made in giving customers what they want. Its revenue for Q1 2016 was up on the year-ago period to $8.6bn, beating analysts' expectations: Revenues: Up 10.6 per cent year-on-year to $8.6bn. Service revenues up 13 per cent year-on-year to $6. …
Kieren McCarthy, 26 Apr 2016
Strom Clouds

Stalled cloud growth, software flatlining, hated Lumias unsold... It's all fine, says Microsoft CEO

Microsoft is putting a brave face on disappointing third-quarter earnings that saw profits fall 25 per cent year-on-year and cloud revenues failing to rise fast enough to offset losses in other areas. Earnings per share were $0.62 non-GAAP, down 23 per cent from 2015, compared to analysts' estimates of $0.64. "We had a solid …
Iain Thomson, 21 Apr 2016

Big Cable threatens to sue FCC: You can't stop us ripping off customers

The US National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA) has threatened to sue the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) if it pushes ahead with plans to open up cable boxes. Speaking at a press conference Thursday, the NCTA's president – and former FCC chair – Michael Powell said that the plan to force cable companies …
Kieren McCarthy, 21 Apr 2016

Utah declares 'war on smut'

The US state of Utah is trying a different approach to its long-standing campaign against online smut, passing a resolution that says pornography is a “public health emergency”. The rationale for the bill, according to its main provisions, is that “pornography is a public health hazard leading to a broad spectrum of individual …

Netflix's $1.81 billion Q1 disappoints markets

Netflix is pleased with its first quarter results, but has warned it will face headwinds in Q2. Its first quarter 2016 results (PDF) showed revenue at US$1.81 billion, strongly ahead of last year's $1.4 billion first quarter. That result fell short of the $1.97 billion analysts had expected, and its forecast of $1.96 billion …
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5G is looming, but network innovations are needed far more urgently

In all the excitement about 5G, it is easy to forget that the most intensive innovations of 2016-2020 will go on in "4.5G" – in Release 13 and 14, of course, but more importantly in the way the carriers and their vendors reinvent their cellular networks with new approaches like virtualization and HetNet, in the desperate bid to …
Wireless Watch, 18 Apr 2016

Seagate revenue numbers rain on cloud after market misses

+Comment Seagate has issued an early warning that its third fy2016 quarter revenue will be off by $100m from its forecast of $2.7bn. The company expects to report revenue of approximately $2.6bn and non-GAAP gross margin of approximately 23 per cent, for the quarter which ended April 1 – no, this is not a late April Fool joke. The …
Chris Mellor, 15 Apr 2016
Aries

Facebook open-sources city-wide WiGig internet comms, phone masts

Facebook's quest to connect the remaining four billion people on the planet without internet access up to Facebook the web is a huge task. On Thursday, Facebook showed off its open-source telecommunications tech that it hopes will get unconnected folks connected, and give those of us already on the internet a smoother ride. …
Iain Thomson, 14 Apr 2016
Zuckerberg

Zuck: You're still using non-Facebook websites ... I'll put an end to that

At the opening keynote of the Facebook F8 developer conference, Mark Zuckerberg has outlined his company's plan to get everyone online and hooked on Facebook within the next decade. "Instead of building walls we can help people build bridges, instead of dividing people we can bring people together – one connection at a time, …
Iain Thomson, 12 Apr 2016

Popular cable modem vulnerable to remote reboot/reset flaw

Updated Security defence man David Longenecker says millions of users could have their internet connections severed thanks to a flaw in Surfboard SB6141 modems. The soon-to-be-patched cross-site request forgery flaw allows attackers to cut off users from the internet until their modem renegotiates with the ISP and reconfigures itself …
Darren Pauli, 11 Apr 2016
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Wikibon goes big on Big Data

Comment Wikibon researchers have produced a trio of Big Data reports, so why have the Wikiboners got a hard-on for Big Data? They have looked at recent Big Data history and out to the 2016-2026 period, and think that Big Data use will explode, growing from $18.2bn in 2014 to $92.1bn – a 14.5 per cent CAGR (compound annual growth rate …
Chris Mellor, 08 Apr 2016
An angry mob

Verizon peeps gobbled by Frontier enter week two of crap internet

The problems that have plagued the handover of broadband subscribers from Verizon to Frontier Communications are entering their second week – and Frontier says that some internet services will not be restored until mid-April. The issues began on April 1, when people reported widespread outages and service disruptions in …
Shaun Nichols, 07 Apr 2016
retro cartoon featuring two men fighting against cloud backdrop

VMware dumps vCloud Air from user group and home lab code bundle

UPDATE VMware's written to members of its user group (VMUG) and subscribers to its EVALExperience program to advise they're being booted out of its cloud. VMUGs offer a program called VMUG Advantage, a US$200/year affair that offers discounted licences and certification exams. EVALExperience offers trial software licences for nine of …
Simon Sharwood, 06 Apr 2016

Mobe and Wi-Fi firms flog your location data to commercial firms, claim reports

Two reports by privacy campaigners into mobile and Wi-Fi services' location tracking activities have revealed practices of questionable legality and security. The studies found that “at best, companies are fulfilling the minimal legal requirements, and at worst could breaking the law and breaching our right to privacy.” The …

Divided FCC passes ISP privacy rules, overhauls LifeLine

The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has passed a pair of important new rules designed to extend broadband service in the US and protect user data. The commission's rulings came after a last-minute delay in its scheduled March 31 meeting, but ultimately ended with both proposals passing. The LifeLine rules will …
Shaun Nichols, 31 Mar 2016
Internet anonymity

FBI: Er, no, we won't reveal how we unmask and torpedo Tor pedos

The FBI is refusing to hand over details of the software it used to track and unmask anonymous viewers of a child sex abuse websites. The Feds said the details are irrelevant to the case. In February of 2015, the FBI seized the servers running a dark-web pedophile website called Playpen, described as the largest archive of its …
Iain Thomson, 29 Mar 2016
scissors cut cable

Basslink says cable repairs won't be done until June

Tasmania's long-suffering electricity and Internet users – in other words, nearly everyone – will have to wait until mid-June for a fix to the Basslink power and optical fibre cables. The company has announced (PDF) that it's pinpointed the fault on its electricity cables, just 1,150 metres from where it cut the cable for …

Reposting 8-second sports clips infringes copyright

The High Court of England and Wales has ruled against an app developer who encouraged users to post eight-second sports clips under the guise that it was a social network. Mr Justice Arnold rejected the defence offered by Fanatix developer Will Muirhead that he could avoid infringement using either a fair use defence or a user …
Andrew Orlowski, 22 Mar 2016

FCC boss: Oh look, net neutrality didn't end the world after all. Surprise!

Tom Wheeler, chairman of US broadband watchdog the FCC, has given telcos a firm poke in the eye over their net neutrality doomsday predictions. Speaking on the one-year anniversary of the Open Internet Order at the GnoviCon conference in Washington DC, Wheeler reflected on the fact that the big telcos railed against the rules …
Kieren McCarthy, 21 Mar 2016

A third of Australians lose mobile services after Telstra outage

Australian incumbent telco Telstra has been forced to offer another day of free mobile data after a nationwide outage knocked out mobile services for eight million customers across the country. The carrier says the cause of the outage, the second in about a month, was an offshore connection issue affecting international …
Darren Pauli, 17 Mar 2016

T-Mobile US finally lets websites escape Binge On's web vid crusher

T‑Mobile US will let video-streaming websites opt out of being included in Binge On. This is the service that lets people watch stuff online without the downloads counting against their monthly limits, although the video quality is deliberately reduced to 480p. Subscribers using Binge On can stream as much as they like all …
Shaun Nichols, 17 Mar 2016
Cable ship Ile de Re

Tasmania's Basslink data and power cable cut (on purpose) but fix not until May

Cable ship the Ile de Re has made its first cut to the Basslink electrical cable, and residents of the Australian state of Tasmanians have been plunged back to the era when only one telco (Australia's dominant player Telstra) provided Internet backhaul to the mainland. As a result, Taswegian broadband subscribers to Telstra's …

EE-gad! Orange webmail cut off in Blighty outage

Everything Everywhere (EE) says it has resolved a problem that left many Orange customers in the UK unable to access their email accounts. The telco did not say what caused the outage that customers say plagued them for more than two days, but service should now be restored. "We have now resolved the issues preventing some …
Shaun Nichols, 09 Mar 2016

Verizon fined just $1.4m for stalker supercookies

Verizon will pay $1.35m for its use of "supercookies," but its customers will still have to opt out of the permanent trackers, under an agreement [PDF] reached with the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on Monday. The mobile giant will be required to tells its customers the supercookie exists and provide a simple …
Kieren McCarthy, 07 Mar 2016
Bundled files, image via Shutterstock

'$5bn for Slack?! I refuse to pay!' You don't pay – and that's its biggest problem

Comment That thing you love so much – no, not pizza, or reruns of Game of Thrones on Netflix – wants more money from you. Workplace collaboration tool Slack is reported to be once more casting about for funding, somewhere between $150m and $300m. Unnamed sources, presumably either Slack or those same titans from Sand Hill Road lubing …
Gavin Clarke, 04 Mar 2016
scissors cut cable

Net neutrality crusaders take aim at Comcast's Stream TV service

Open internet group Public Knowledge is accusing Comcast of violating net neutrality rules. The complaint filed with the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) alleges that by not counting its Stream TV service towards its monthly data cap allotment, Comcast is favoring its own offering in violation of rules the commission …
Shaun Nichols, 04 Mar 2016