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Wheel of a sunken ship,  covered in barnacles

GERONTIC 'Ghost ship' prowled the undersea cables of the 1940s

A "ghost ship" which helped develop the world's network of undersea cables - and worked for the former British Cable & Wireless firm, nowadays renowned as partner to the Five-Eyes spook alliance under the secret codename GERONTIC - has been discovered deep beneath the waves near Hawaii. The ship in question is the Dickenson, …
Lewis Page, 9 Dec 2014
NSA TTTC logo

GSMA denies latest Snowden leak

Mobile carrier club the GSMA has hit back against the latest round of Snowden claims, saying it can't find any evidence of “active targeting or compromise of GSMA systems, communications and stored documentation”. When The Intercept first ran its accusation – that the NSA and GCHQ successfully broke into the traffic of more than …
The Zuckerberg comic cover. Image: Bluewater

Marky Mark & the techie bunch: We love you, China. Can Facebook 'n' Apple come over?

Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg, Amazon chief Jeff Bezos and Apple kingpin Tim Cook recently welcomed China's top internet regulator to the United States. Photographs posted on a People's Republic state-owned news website showed the tech titans heartily laughing and smiling with Lu Wei. Zuckerberg apparently greeted Wei in …
Kelly Fiveash, 8 Dec 2014
NFC tag with Bluetooth connectivity

18 million iPHONE USERS HAVE NEVER BONKED to ApplePay

+Comment Oh, what a surprise. NFC has failed to ignite the imagination of iPhone users, with 90 per cent of them shunning the payment method of the future. This is among the findings of stats-loving website InfoScout, which reports that of the approximately 20 million or so iPhone 6s which have been sold, 18 million have never been used …
Simon Rockman, 8 Dec 2014

Yes, Obama has got some things wrong on the internet. But so has the GOP

Analysis Last month, Texan Congressman and lead voice in the Republican party in the US, Ted Cruz, wrote an opinion piece about the internet. Last week, Wall Street Journal columnist and media-Republican L Gordon Crovitz did the same. Both dig into critical decisions that will be made in 2015 and cast a critical eye over them. Both make …

Gigabit-over-copper VDSL successor G.fast signed off at last

The long-awaited G.fast physical layer standard has been signed off by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), improving the chance that the world will see standards-compliant, interoperable kit start to ship in 2015. The ITU almost manages to work up some excitement about the announcement, reminding a grateful world …

Virgin Media customers suffer YET MORE YouTube buffering blues

An unknown number of Virgin Media customers are once again complaining about YouTube buffering glitches with the cable network. El Reg understands that some subscribers have been griping about the poor service for days. And moany tweets aimed at Virgin Media are stacking up on Twitter. This is the latest in a series of …
Kelly Fiveash, 7 Dec 2014

Internet RFC overseer snubs ICANN and co's web power grab offer

In a further blow to efforts by domain-names overlord ICANN to create a body to steer the future of the internet, the NetMundial Initiative has now been snubbed by the Internet Architecture Board (IAB). In a letter published on Thursday, the board – which oversees the influential Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), a …
snowden SXSW

Snowden files show NSA's AURORAGOLD pwned 70% of world's mobe networks

The NSA, and its British counterpart GCHQ, snooped on innocent telco employees and standards bodies to tap into mobile phone networks worldwide, according to the latest leak from the Edward Snowden archive. The mobile tapping system, dubbed AURORAGOLD, successfully cracked 701 of an estimated 985 cellular networks worldwide, …
Iain Thomson, 4 Dec 2014

Commish: Stop playing that Spanish jazz, Orange. Wait until we’ve done our homework

Orange’s plans to take over Jazztel in Spain could hit a wall as the European Commission begin an investigation to determine if the merger is in line with EU competition law. Both Orange and Jazztel operate fixed telco networks in Spain and the planned takeover would reduce the number of nationwide providers from four to three …

FCC puts AT&T and Comcast gobbles back on the table

The FCC has restarted the approval process for a pair of high-profile proposed mergers – Comcast-Time Warner Cable, and AT&T-DirecTV. The US watchdog said it has officially set two deadlines for folks sending in their views on the biz gobbles. In the proposed Comcast-Time Warner Cable (TWC) tie-up, citizens will have until …
Shaun Nichols, 3 Dec 2014

Outage STILL hitting Virgin Media Business broadband customers

A number of Virgin Media broadband customers have been cut off due to a firmware update cock-up, The Register can reveal. Customers using the company's Super Hub 1 services were affected by the outage at the beginning of the weekend, with the company saying it is "working to resolve the problem". However, it is unclear how many …
Kat Hall, 3 Dec 2014
management BYOD5

Should you call on comms suppliers when you go for a BYOD setup?

BYOD (bring your own device) has its ups and its downs but it is becoming more and more popular and those of us in IT management need to learn to live with it. So assuming we have bitten the bullet and decided to go with BYOD, is it something we can do all on our own or should we be getting third parties involved? Are we …
Paul Graham installs a Parallel Networks cell for EE in Cumbria

EE's not-spot-busting small cell trial delights Cumbrian villagers

If EE was being its normal hype-filled self, it would call its latest mobile trial in Cumbria 5G. Its restraint is admirable – and the technology even more so. Putting up cell sites is one way of solving rural mobile not-spots, but getting data from those sites back to the network is an increasingly thorny problem. Building …
Simon Rockman, 3 Dec 2014
The new Twitter logo. Pic: Twitter

Tenacious Twitter tries to topple terrible trolls

Twitter is tweeting about how much easier it'll be for tweeters to report abusive twits. Stick that in your 140 characters. The microblogging website says it will soon simplify the process of reporting offensive tweets and accounts, and it's promised to respond to allegations of trolling much faster than before. Crucially, …
Shaun Nichols, 3 Dec 2014

FCC bigwig grills Netflix: If internet fast lanes are so bad, why did YOU build them?

An FCC commissioner has asked Netflix to explain an apparent contradiction in its demand for net neutrality: on the one hand, Netflix wants an open and neutral internet for all – and on the other hand, it's making deals with ISPs to speed up its video streams. Netflix pays Comcast and Verizon to install servers within their …
Shaun Nichols, 2 Dec 2014
Brown greets Obama at Downing Street

UK national mobile roaming: A stupid idea that'll never work

It might be a cunning plan. Culture minister Sajid Javid’s really stupid idea of national roaming seems to have got the mobile phone networks to pull their fingers out about "not spots". The government has tried to fund the filling in of not spots, indeed Javid’s own department stumped up £150m three years ago and has managed …
Simon Rockman, 2 Dec 2014

While the web stares at cat pics, the glue of the internet is being shifted from US govt control

The US government's role at the top of the internet should be replaced by four different groups, according to an official proposal put out for public comment. The proposal [PDF] was developed by a small group of volunteers looking at the "names" aspect of the current internet arrangements and would effectively recreate the …
Armoured submarine cable

Globe-spanning SEA-ME-WE 3 sea cable feared cut, broken or ...

SEA-ME-WE 3 is a marvel: the 39,000km submarine cable connects 31 nations, has 39 landing stations and stretches from Germany to Japan. Its two fibre pairs each carry 480 Gbits/s, a decent slice of the world's data traffic. But right now the cable's not at its best because the spur between Jakarta and Singapore looks to have …
Hidden Bing developer ad

Yahoo, Bing beg 'right to be forgotten' wipers: Don't FORGET about US

Amid the growing number of demands by netizens for Google to remove their out-of-date information under the controversial "right to be forgotten" ruling, it seems other search engines are keen to remind us not to forget them, too. Earlier this year the EU's Court of Justice ruled that individuals have a "right to be forgotten" …
Kat Hall, 1 Dec 2014
Samsung Galaxy S5

Shin avoids boot: Samsung hangs onto mobile chief despite crappy Galaxy S5 sales

Samsung has surprisingly opted to hang onto its current head of mobile JK Shin, despite rumours that he was for the chop after the mobile division underperformed all year. Reports suggested last week that Shin would be ousted in favour of appliances and telly boss BK Yoon because sales of Sammy’s latest flagship, the Galaxy S5, …
Photo of Kim Jong-un using an archaic computer

Brits to teach Norks hacks about 'multimedia websites'. 5% of DPRK is in for a TREAT

A group of North Korean journalists will visit the UK next year to "observe how multimedia websites work at British media companies". The Foreign and Commonwealth Office-funded project Inside Out: Working in North Korea to connect its journalists to the internet world aims to give North Korean journalists a greater understanding …
Kat Hall, 1 Dec 2014
Dingo Gap

Get your staff working on the move: Develop that app for mobile

Working on the move has become most people's normal way of operating. We are used to having our world in our pocket and being able to read and write emails, produce simple documents and generally stay in the corporate loop whether we are in the office, in the pub, on a train or (sadly) sitting on a beach trying to be on holiday …
The Alphasat laser communications payload

ESA and Airbus test LASER data networks IN SPAAACE

The European Space Agency (ESA) and Airbus Defence and Space say they have successfully sent data between satellites, using lasers, in a proof-of-concept demonstration of what both call the “SpaceDataHighway”. A canned statement from Airbus Defence and Space says two satellites - Sentinel-1A and Alphasat – were connected over a …
NBN Co Customer premises equipment

NBN Co details fibre/copper divide in new rollout plan

NBN Co has reconfirmed what's been known ever since the 2013 election: fiber-to-the-premises (FTTP) builds are more-or-less frozen, and all new builds will be under its multi-technology model. Two weeks after its revised corporate plan capped Australia's experiment with fibre-to-the-premises, the network builder has published a …

Did North Korean hackers nobble Sony Pictures?

Sony Pictures has reportedly begun investigating possible hacking links to North Korea, following a savage attack on its network earlier this week. According to Re/code, which cited insiders, the company was yet to determine whether Nork hackers, possibly operating from within China, were behind the attack. As The Register …
Kelly Fiveash, 30 Nov 2014
Netgear ReadyNAS 314 (RN31400) 4-bay NAS box

Trevor contemplates Consumer Netgear gear. BUT does it pass the cat hair test?

Sysadmin blog Is consumer networking gear really crap? As technologists, we tend to have a chip on our shoulder about it because it can't do all the things the latest, greatest enterprise stuff can do, but does that really matter? The capabilities of consumer gear have been steadily increasing, and perhaps some of our ire is unwarranted. …
Trevor Pott, 30 Nov 2014
Kim Dotcom at the NZ parliamentary hearing

'America radicalised me!' cries Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom

QuoTW This week’s security scare came in the form of Regin, the highly advanced malware that’s said to be as sophisticated as Stuxnet and Duqu. Symantec researchers were the first to report the evil software, saying: Regin is a complex piece of malware whose structure displays a degree of technical competence rarely seen. …

Vodafone eyes up Liberty Global – report

Mobile giant Vodafone has reportedly been mulling over a number of takeover plans, including the possibility of scooping up cable company Liberty Global – Virgin Media's owner. According to Reuters, which cited five anonymous sources close to the matter, Vodafone could see Liberty Global's European operations as a natural fit …
Kelly Fiveash, 29 Nov 2014

TalkTalk email goes titsup FOR DAYS. Cheapo telco warns: Changing password WON'T fix it

An unknown number of TalkTalk customers have been locked out of their email accounts for days, but the budget ISP warned this morning that its service was still struggling to return to normal. According to anecdotal reports on Twitter, TalkTalk's email system first went titsup on Thursday. The company was claiming on Friday …
Kelly Fiveash, 29 Nov 2014
Pile of mobiles

Will security concerns scupper your BYOD policy?

Analysis Almost everyone involved in IT fears BYOD to some extent. That’s largely because they are terrified of careless colleagues costing the business a shed load of money. But small to medium sized businesses who lack the budget and resources to do security well fear BYOD more than most. Just this week, Hugh Boyes from the Institution …
Tom Brewster, 29 Nov 2014
BioLite CampStove

Cutting the cord without losing touch with your office

If you're a member of the backroom staff at a big company, you probably spend a lot of time sitting at a desk bashing at a computer. Indeed, in my day job as IT ops manager for a telco I'm delighted to have probably the only truly comfy chair on the premises and my huge desktop screen for the Excel-wrangling that forms part of …
Dave Cartwright, 28 Nov 2014

It's BLOCK FRIDAY: Britain in GREED-crazed bargain bonanza mob frenzy riot MELTDOWN

The sceptred isle of old Blighty is in flames today as greed crazed mobs, both online and in the real world, stormed bricks'n'mortar shops and etail websites alike leaving blood on the linoleum and smoke belching from overstressed data centres – hosting Currys, Tesco and other box-flingers – up and down the land. Truly, these …
Team Register, 28 Nov 2014
Fawlty Towers

Customers RAGE after Webfusion goes TITSUP

Venerable hosting firm Webfusion UK is experiencing a crippling outage which has hobbled web services across the country. At 15 years old, Webfusion is one of the UK's premier server hosts. Its website collapsed earlier today, although it is now back up, and customers said they were unable to get through to technical support on …
Team Register, 28 Nov 2014

Simplez: OLD SCHOOL TECH can SAVE the MEERKAT

Ever wondered who tried to steal your meerkat? Well, worry no longer thanks to the London Zoo, Google and CCTV biz Kinesense. During our review of Nominet and LoveHz use of TV whitespace to create a flood early warning system in Oxford, we stumbled across another test program in the works - the use of cameras to catch poachers …
Kieren McCarthy, 28 Nov 2014
The BlackBerry Z10

BlackBerry's turnaround relies on a secret weapon: Its own network

Analysis Last year we invited you, as a thought experiment, to value BlackBerry as an oddball cluster of startups – and now it seems the company has taken our advice to heart. It forms the heart of its strategy: the once tightly coupled divisions are free to compete – even if it means taking business off each other. It also means playing …
Andrew Orlowski, 27 Nov 2014
Lightning

Wireless Power standards are like Highlanders: There can be only ONE

Analysis It has been more than 100 years since the first wireless power systems were demonstrated and the principles are about as well-known as any in the technology field. While wireless networking has been the norm for over a decade, wireless power is still very much in its infancy and is years away from mass adoption. Last week, the …
Iain Thomson, 27 Nov 2014

Global Commission on Internet Governance wobbles into IANA debate

The Global Commission on Internet Governance (GCIG) has waded into the debate over the critical IANA contract with a formal statement and position paper. Rather than making a splash, however, the result is somewhat of a soggy mess. The elite group has spent two days in closed meetings in Canada and on Wednesday morning held a …
Kieren McCarthy, 27 Nov 2014
Gesture six

AT&T to FTC: I'd like to see YOU install 1Gbps fiber across the US. Which we're still doing

AT&T has told the FCC to mind its own business after the US watchdog started poking around the ISP's threat to halt its fiber broadband rollout. The phone giant, in a strop over proposed net neutrality regulations, announced it was freezing its program of high-speed internet expansion in America. Execs at the company said it was …
Shaun Nichols, 27 Nov 2014
P3 uses dedicated hardware

Yes, UK. REST OF EUROPE has better mobe services than you

UK readers, what you've always suspected has been proven true – even the weakest mobile networks abroad perform better than some of our best. This is according to German mobile network survey company P3, which this week published solid numbers on mobile network coverage. P3 uses dedicated hardware P3's test equipment And it’s …
Simon Rockman, 26 Nov 2014
management regulation2

BT said to have pulled patent-infringing boxes from DSL network

BT's patent spat with US company ASSIA will start to be noticed by customers, with the carrier reportedly shutting down boxes that provide rate adaptation after it lost a crucial round of legal action. In December 2013, Britain's High Court ruled that BT had infringed ASSIA patents by developing DSL management platforms referred …

Bloke fighting Facebook in court says ad network claims its users lack 'legal capacity' to sue it

Austrian Facebook-botherer-in-chief Max Schrems says the US social network appears to be saying its users are either too young or too insane to file a class-action lawsuit against it. In August, Schrems filed a legal complaint in Austria against Facebook with a long list of alleged violations of EU privacy laws. Some 25,000 FB …
Jennifer Baker, 26 Nov 2014