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Carphone Warehouse coughs to MONSTER data breach – 2.4 MEELLION Brits at risk

Carphone Warehouse has taken three days to go public about a serious data breach affecting nearly 2.5 million customers – with the confession that up to 90,000 subscribers may have had their credit card info ransacked. The company said on Saturday afternoon that it had first discovered its systems had been violated by a " …
Kelly Fiveash, 8 Aug 2015
EE Power Bar

Power Bar: EE was warned of safety risk BEFORE user was burned in explosion

Exclusive EE management was warned that its popular "Power Bar" phone charging devices had serious safety risks before they were given to customers, the Register has learned. A Power Bar subsequently exploded, injuring a young woman badly enough that she required hospital treatment, and some Power Bars have since been recalled. Last …
Kelly Fiveash, 7 Aug 2015

Fancy 10 Gbps home broadband? Broadcom's built the guts of it

While network operators around the world squeeze the last drops of sweat out of their copper, silicon vendors like Broadcom have an eye firmly on a fibre future. The company, currently in the throes of a takeover by Avago technologies, has announced a reference design to help its OEMs build kit to the emerging Ethernet Passive …

Telcos' revenge is coming as SDN brings a way to build smart pipes

Telcos, terrified of being consigned to eternal status as ‘dumb pipes’, keep coming up with crazy ideas for over-the-top (OTT) high-value services. In America, they’re buying entertainment properties. Comcast, easily that nation’s most hated company, purchased NBCUniversal so that they’d have something to transmit over all that …
Mark Pesce, 6 Aug 2015

DNS chief and wannabe master-of-the-internet ICANN pwned… again

ICANN says its website's user accounts have been compromised by hackers who gained access to their names, email addresses, hashed passwords, and more. On Wednesday, the domain-name system overlord admitted its server security was breached within the past week: an "unauthorized person" obtained account records, which included …
Shaun Nichols, 5 Aug 2015

Indian DEITY lifts national pr0n ban

India's ban on online pornography looks to have gone limp after four days, after a DEITY recommended a change of interpretation to the nation's ban on 857 sites. The DEITY in question is India's marvellously-named Department of Electronics and Information Technology. DEITY is India's acronym, as the deity.gov.in website …

If you read anything today about ICANN taking over the internet, make sure it's this

Analysis The internet community has published its plan to pull the United States government out of its role at the top of the internet's hierarchy. Unfortunately, the near-final version is a hodgepodge of ideas and compromises that fails to address a key aspect of Uncle Sam's role. In addition, the plan substitutes a complex set of …
Masai in red toga talks on his cell phone from the grasslands of the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy in North Kenya, Africa

Vodafone adopts hydrogen fuel cells to dodge African outages

Vodafone in South Africa plans to avoid the recent problems it has had with South African power outages with more hydrogen-powered fuel cell base stations. To support remote mobile cell sites, Vodafone puts in on-site generation and microwave backhaul. The sites can be dedicated to 2G, 3G, 4G or use multiple technologies. …
Simon Rockman, 4 Aug 2015
Internet email sign. Pic: @mattw1lson, Twitter

Next-gen secure email using internet's own DNS – your help needed

A group of researchers from the US government and dot-com operator VeriSign are working on a new system for secure email: using domain names. Highlighting the problems and security holes associated with current mail systems, the team from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), a subset of the US Department …
Siri logo

Hey, Apple! 1999 just called and it wants its voicemail avatar back

Siri will soon answer your phone calls, adding a functionality that Orange killed in 2005 when it shut down the still-lamented Wildfire service. It’s rumoured that Apple employees are testing a system which can transcribe voicemails. Believed to be called iCloud Voicemail, the service seems to be a mix of Wildfire and that …
Simon Rockman, 3 Aug 2015
Fibre Optic by Barta IV https://www.flickr.com/photos/98640399@N08/ cc 2.0 attribution https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Internet, schminternet: Boffins propose private 100Gbps HYPERNET

A "hypernet" to be known as the Pacific Research Platform, shuffling data at up to 100Gb/s, will be established between US West Coast laboratories and several supercomputers thanks to a $5m grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF). The grant will span five years, reports the New York Times, and will connect the NSF's …
ganesha_648

What balls! India blocks 0.00008 per cent of web in anti-pr0n move

The Indian government has got a grip on the Asian nation's masturbation issues and dished out an order to ISPs to block access to a staggering 857 pornography websites. While the private perusal of pornography is perfectly permissible in India, both its sale and distribution is a criminal offence. The nation, birthplace to …
Siemens GSM-R train cab radio. Pic: Joshua Brown

German railways upgrade their comms tech from 2G to 4G

German choo-choo chaps Deutsche Bahn are replacing their GSM-R communications technology and has commissioned a consortium of Siemens Convergence Creators and Huawei to sort out the migration of the system across northern Germany's railway lines. GSM-R is a technology which dates back around 15 years and provides both voice …
Simon Rockman, 3 Aug 2015

Jasper and Microsoft glue together connectivity and Azure

Cloud-based IoT player Jasper has announced a strategic partnership with Microsoft, which will see Jasper’s platform integrated with the tech giant's Azure cloud suite. "More than 2,000 enterprises across dozens of industries worldwide have selected the Jasper Platform to enable them to deliver IoT services that increase …
Simon Rockman, 3 Aug 2015

Remote Queensland fibre hookup hopes dashed, for now

Remote communities in Queensland believe they've been dudded out of a promise to give them a connection to the long-haul fibre connections being built as part of Australia's National Broadband Network. Barcoo and Diamantina shires had wanted AU$7 million, part of the cost of extending the NBN's fibre footprint to their towns, …

BT Sport website AND app go TITSUP – footie fans weep

Enraged BT Sport subscribers have moaned about severe online disruptions to the service – but the company was yet to explain what had caused the Total Inability To Support Usual Performance (TITSUP) incident. An unknown number of football fans appeared to have seen their Sunday afternoon ruined after they were unable to view …
Kelly Fiveash, 2 Aug 2015

New twist in telco giants' fight to destroy the FCC's net neutrality

Analysis When an entire page of a lawsuit is taken up just listing the lawyers on the case, you know you have hit some vested interests. And so it is with the opening arguments [PDF] of the US Telecom Association et al versus the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC), aka status quo versus Open Internet. There are seven …

$100m fine? How about, er, $16k? AT&T teabags FCC with its giant balls

AT&T has taken its four-year campaign to avoid liability for throttling its "unlimited" data plans to new heights by proposing that a $100m fine imposed last month be reduced to just $16,000. In a filing leaked to Congress obsessive The Hill, the US telco giant argued that the fine levied by the Federal Communications …
Kieren McCarthy, 31 Jul 2015
Telephone. Copyright: macinate

Lying to customers, Unicom? Cough up £200k, do not pass Go

It’s good to know that complaints to Ofcom produce action. A probe into broken promises and lies told by Unicom has seen the company fined £200,000 by the regulator. It wasn’t just customer complaints which led to the action. An Ofcom initiative looked into Unicom's terms and conditions – most notably, that unwitting customers …
Simon Rockman, 31 Jul 2015
Google provides great mobile coverage for Yetis

Sri Lanka braves monsoon with Loon broadband balloons

Service to launch just weeks before monsoon hits, complete with rain and wind a-plenty Sri Lanka has signed up for broadband services delivered by Google's “Project Loon” broadband balloons. The Indian ocean nation's minister for foreign affairs, telecommunications and IT Mangala Samaraweera this week took to the stage …
Simon Sharwood, 31 Jul 2015

Giant Facebook SOLAR LASER DRONE to FEED interwebs into YOUR FACE

Pics Facebook's bonkers dream of beaming internet access to remote corners of the globe has taken yet another step – or perhaps that should be flight – closer to reality with its new flying laser drone. Engineers working for the free content ad network unveiled a massive Aquila autonomous drone, which is fitted with a laser …
Iain Thomson, 30 Jul 2015
FCC paddling

FCC swamped by 2,000+ net neutrality complaints against ISPs

The FCC has reportedly received over 2,000 complaints related to alleged violations of its Open Internet rules. A report from the National Journal cites FCC records it obtained in reporting that thousands of complaints allege throttling of internet service by local carriers. The National Journal was able, via a Freedom of …
Shaun Nichols, 30 Jul 2015
shutterstock_170724905-Fibre

BT hands £129m back to UK.gov after beating rural broadband targets

Both BT and the Ministry of Fun – or the Department of Culture, Media and Sport, if you prefer – have spun BT’s toeing-the-line-of-a-contractual-obligation as unbridled generosity towards taxpayers. A statement from the Minister of Fun, John Whittingdale, said: It's fantastic to see that the rollout of superfast broadband is …
Simon Rockman, 30 Jul 2015

So just WHO ARE the 15 per cent of Americans still not online?

Analysis According to the most recent survey of online usage by Americans, 15 per cent of adults are still not online. What is just as interesting is the fact that this 15 per cent appear to be stubbornly refusing to get online despite numerous efforts by the US government and others to get broadband to both rural and low-income areas …
Kieren McCarthy, 29 Jul 2015
Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR)

Your voter-trolling autodialer is illegal: The cringey moment the FCC spanks a congresscritter

FCC chairman Tom Wheeler caught the members of the US House Subcommittee on Communications and Technology off guard Tuesday when he told them that one of their favorite campaign tools is against the law to use. Speaking alongside FCC commissioner Ajit Pai, Wheeler testified before the Congressional subcommittee on issues …
Shaun Nichols, 29 Jul 2015
Ofcom has great power over mobiles

Ofcom wants to ease the pain of switching mobile networks. Good luck

UK regulator Ofcom has started a consultation aimed at consumers to find out how hard it is to switch mobile phone networks, and eventually put in place processes which reduce the pain of switching, while also eliminating “slamming” where a company fraudulently migrates a customer. The consultation is a follow-up to previous …
Simon Rockman, 29 Jul 2015
BT Openreach at work

BT broadband in broad-based brownout and TITSUP incidents

If you can't reach a chum in the UK, chances are they've fallen victim to a substantial outage that's hit BT's voice and broadband services. Or a Total Inability To Support Usual Performance (TITSUP) incident. The carrier appears to be suffering from two issues, the first reported to us by Reg readers Colin and Neil who've …
Simon Sharwood, 29 Jul 2015
Indian mobile use

Indian mobe networks don’t want 700MHz – because they're too poor

While most telcos are baying for more radio spectrum to stuff with mobile internet broadband, the Indian operators are asking their government to hold off. They want the hold not just on the high-frequency 2.6GHz and 3.4GHz spectrum that will be useful for cities, but for the extra-valuable 700MHz spectrum that would give the …
Simon Rockman, 28 Jul 2015

FCC now regulates ISPs – but don't take your complaints to the watchdog just yet

Net neutrality Tom Wheeler, chairman of America's broadband watchdog the FCC, has insisted that "we know what we're doing," as his regulator gobbles up more and more power. This is despite him acknowledging that the FCC isn't sure how far its authority stretches – and that it doesn't have crucial rules and guidelines in place. At a …
Kieren McCarthy, 28 Jul 2015
Google+

Google bows to inevitable, stops forcing Google+ logins on YouTubers

Google will get rid of any requirement to "use" its tumbleweed-tastic "social network" Google+ from YouTube and others of its popular websites, following mounting annoyance among users. This means people will no longer be forced to use the ghost-town social network: you'll be able to log into YouTube, and other Googley …
Shaun Nichols, 27 Jul 2015

AT&T: Sorry vendors, SDN is eating your lunch

In news that will chill purveyors of big networking iron, AT&T last week told its earnings call it reckons its software-defined network (SDN) rollout will cut its capital expenditure. While reports last week focussed on the company's revenue (US$33 billion for the second quarter), margins (36.3 per cent), and operating income …
You can't shut me up, Jennifer Moo, Flickr, CC 2.0

Optus tells Department of Comms to sit down and shut up

The relationship between the Australian government and the telco sector continues to deteriorate, with more carriers pushing back against Canberra's micro-management of their operations, with both industry regulation and security reforms as ongoing battlegrounds. Optus is the latest to raise its voice against the Department of …
Virgin Media Tivo

Help! Our Virgin Media TiVo boxes are stuck in a loop! Help! Our Virgin..

Virgin Media subscribers are complaining that their TiVo set-top boxes are randomly and repeatedly restarting in what appears to be a widespread service disruption. Lots of Brits posting to the UK cableco's support forum say the TV boxes, provided by Virgin Media, being thrown into reboot loops. The issue appears to have …
Shaun Nichols, 23 Jul 2015
NBN Logo

Cheaper broadband will slow NBN adoption, says Turnbull

Australia's Department of Communications has argued that higher broadband prices are necessary in order to protect the under-construction National Broadband Network (NBN). The Department, helmed by Communications minister Malcolm Turnbull, has written to the the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) as that …
Simon Sharwood, 23 Jul 2015
Pair of pliers cutting wire

Regulator okays Optus exit from HFC network

The deal between nbnTM and Optus has taken another step towards regulatory approval, with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) issuing a draft decision to let the deal go ahead. The two carriers have been waiting since December 2014 for the rubber-stamp. The deal will progressively transfer elements of …
Bob and Doug McKenzie of Canada

Canucks: Hey, Big Dog Telcos. Share that fiber with the little guys, eh?

The government of Canada has ruled that large broadband providers will have to open up their fiber data lines for use by smaller carriers. The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) said Wednesday that large incumbent companies who control high-speed data lines will now be required by law to make …
Shaun Nichols, 23 Jul 2015
Tangle of cables attached to a telegraph pole

Find someone else to untangle your comms

Unified communications (UC) is both complicated and boring. The goal is to help companies, from SMBs to global conglomerates, to increase productivity. At its most basic, UC is the bringing together of as many forms of business communication as possible to create a single, easily accessible user experience. Most organisations …
Trevor Pott, 21 Jul 2015
Boy slapping another boy on the head

Google dumps ISP email support. Virgin Media takes ball, stomps home

Virgin Media plans to shunt its email users over to an in-house system after Google told the cable company that it was ditching Gmail support for ISPs. The Register heard from a number of readers who have been told in recent days about the upcoming changes to the mail service. Virgin Media switched over to Gmail in 2009 and …
Kelly Fiveash, 21 Jul 2015
Sim card

A dual-SIM smartphone in your hand beats two in the bush

Smartphones packing two SIM slots are set to grab a third of the overall smartphone market, according to Strategy Analytics. Dual-SIM phones are already big business, the firm reckons, with about 431 million of the devices to ship this year. Come 2016, the firm says, expect 19 per cent growth to take the dual-SIM total to …
Simon Sharwood, 21 Jul 2015

Snowden to the IETF: Please make an internet for users, not the spies

NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden has urged the world's leading group of internet engineers to design a future 'net that puts the user in the center, and so protects people's privacy. Speaking via webcast to a meeting in Prague of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), the former spy talked about a range of possible …
Kieren McCarthy, 20 Jul 2015
drone

Spyware-spewing Wi-Fi drone found on Hacking Team, Boeing's to-do list

Leaked emails have exposed plans by Hacking Team and a Boeing subsidiary to deliver spyware via drones for sale to government agencies. The scheme proposed the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs or drones) to deliver Hacking Team's Remote Control System Galileo spyware via Wi-Fi networks from above. Boeing subsidiary Insitu …
John Leyden, 20 Jul 2015
shutterstock_170724905-Fibre

BT's Openreach plots G.fast end-user trials

BT's Openreach has taken another step in the introduction of G.fast services, and late last week briefed Brit ISPs on how to join customer trials. The talks, held on Friday 17 July, were staged to get providers on board for what it has dubbed “NGA2” (Next Generation Access). The G.Fast trial will be run in conjunction with a …