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Net neutrality, Verizon, open internet ... How can we solve this mess?

Analysis So President Obama chimed in this week over the issue of "net neutrality" – arguing that in order to protect netizens and keep the internet "free and open", cable companies should be reclassified as "Title II common carriers". "Whether you use computer, phone or tablet, your internet provider should have a legal obligation not …
Kieren McCarthy, 12 Nov 2014

Net neutrality, Obama, FCC, Title II:Your ESSENTIAL guide to WTF is happening

Analysis President Obama ploughed into the net neutrality debate on Monday by demanding reclassification of "internet service under Title II of a law known as the Telecommunication Act." What does that actually mean? And why are some for and some against this as a solution? First, some very quick history: The Telecommunications Act [PDF …
Kieren McCarthy, 11 Nov 2014
ISO7816 Tattoo

Vodafone: For Pete's sake! Apple’s 'soft' SIM's JUST AN EE SIM

+Comment Vodafone CEO Vittorio Colao has dismissed the Apple Soft-SIM as “just an EE SIM” and said that it would not be supported by his company. “To me, a SIM which can switch from one operator to the other [but] ... is locked – I’m not sure how much to support [it],” the charismatic CEO said. He can see the benefits, though. “Is there …
Simon Rockman, 11 Nov 2014

Behold the Lumia 535 NOTkia: Microsoft wipes Nokia brand from mobes

Microsoft is finally putting its own brand on the phones it makes and sells itself. The Windows giant's latest Lumia 535 drops the Nokia branding completely – as expected – and will instead sport a proud "Microsoft" front and rear. The device itself is unremarkable except for a very aggressive price: it's a mere €110 (£86) …
Andrew Orlowski, 11 Nov 2014
Uni of Texas Radio Wave Circulator

Texas boffins put radio waves in a spin

University of Texas researchers have developed an electronic “radio wave circulator” they say would enable full-duplex communications on mobile phones using a single frequency band. A circulator is a special application of a waveguide (using a magnetic material) that allows an RF signal to pass from one port to the next. They're …
Original "Airplane" image from Paramount Pictures

AT&T drops plans for LTE data networking on commercial flights

US mobile carrier AT&T is scrapping its plans to roll out high-speed data connectivity for commercial airline flights, a mere six months after announcing the effort. The wireless provider said in April that it had formed a partnership with Honeywell to develop an in-flight internet network based on 4G LTE technology. Under that …
Neil McAllister, 11 Nov 2014
Facebook Like Stamp

Facebook: Over half a BEELLION loyalists have SPURNED our Messenger app

Facebook says approximately 500 million people use the huge free-content advertising platform's Messenger phone app, which is more than somewhat short of the 1,120 million people who visit the social network each month from their mobiles. Meanwhile, rival WhatsApp is said to have more than 600 million regular users. "This is an …
Shaun Nichols, 11 Nov 2014
Swiss alps

Has Switzerland cracked the net neutrality riddle?

Analysis Broadband providers in Switzerland – a country synonymous with neutrality – have formulated new rules for ISPs that may save regulators and lawmakers from fruitless battles over "net neutrality". The code of conduct formulated by Swisscom, Sunrise, UPC Cablecom and Orange pledges to allow all subscribers "to use the content, …
Andrew Orlowski, 10 Nov 2014
Downing Street road sign

Reg mobile man: National roaming plan? Oh UK.gov, you've GOT to be joking

Comment It seems the government’s solution to poor mobile phone coverage in the UK is to mandate a system that leads to less mobile phone coverage. They have got this backwards. As my colleague Andrew Orlowski has noted, it’s a typical Ministry of Fun reaction to a problem of the government’s own making. If national roaming is …
Simon Rockman, 10 Nov 2014

Online tat bazaar eBay collapses in UK

Online tat bazaar eBay has collapsed in the UK, with intermittent outages affecting people around the country. Users told The Reg that the community forums, messaging facility and the "My eBay page" were crippled. According to Down Detector, the problems started at about 9am this morning. An eBay spokesman told us: "Some users …
Jasper Hamill, 10 Nov 2014
Smartphones

Managing BYOD starts with asset management

The prevalence of BYOD (bring your own device) activity across the enterprise landscape has seen every IT vendor worth its salt try to offer a solution to the problem of keeping employees' mobile devices under control. There are several worthy options, such as CYOD (choose your own device) and managed virtualised desktop …

Russian internet traffic detours through China's Frankfurt outpost

Russian domestic internet traffic has in the past year sailed through Shanghai due to routing errors by China Telecom, network boffin Doug Madory says. The apparent networking gaffe appeared to stem from a BGP peering deal between the telco and top Russian mobile provider Vimpelcom to save money on transit operators. Dyn …
Darren Pauli, 10 Nov 2014
BrickArms' Toy taliban figure

'Tech giants who encrypt comms are unwittingly aiding terrorists', claims ex-Home Sec Blunkett

Former, draconian Home Secretary David Blunkett – who held the post at the time of the 9/11 attacks in the US – has claimed that technology companies that encrypt communications on their networks are helping terrorists to spread fear. The Labour MP, writing in Saturday's Daily Telegraph, lambasted Martha Lane-Fox for telling the …
Kelly Fiveash, 9 Nov 2014

Virgin Media CUTS OFF weekend 'net surfers after embarrassing smut-filtering snafu

Virgin Media customers were hit by an annoying network cockup on Saturday, after the cable company's smut-filtering Web Safe system stupidly blocked lots of websites. Subscribers complained about the snafu on Twitter, where many people claimed that they could barely access anything over Virgin Media's network. Reg reader Red …
Kelly Fiveash, 9 Nov 2014

Elon Musk and ex-Google man mull flinging 700 internet satellites into orbit

Space rocket baron Elon Musk is reportedly in tentative talks with industry players and regulatory bods to build 700 internet satellites weighing less than 250 pounds each. The billionaire is discussing the plans with Greg Wyler, according to the Wall Street Journal. Until very recently, Wyler was leading Google's efforts to …
Team Register, 9 Nov 2014
Various devices including phone, laptop and tablet

How mobile device management is taking on the BYOD challenge

Every IT manager worth his or her salt would really like to get hold of users’ physical devices to lock down security and manage privileges, protocols and permissions in the perpetual quest for control. This is not always possible. The situation has given rise to industry terminology such as mobile device management (MDM) and …

Why 120 people protested outside San Francisco City Hall (Hint: 'Hybrid' net neutrality)

Vid+Comment If you wandered through San Francisco's Civic Centre Plaza on Thursday between 6pm and 6.35pm at the City Hall end, it would have been hard, though not impossible, to avoid a protest held against new net neutrality proposals. With just two days' notice, a turnout of 100 to 120 people is pretty good (although 333 said they …
Dom Joly

Guess what's missing from Ofcom's big MoD spectrum sale ... YEP, coverage obligation

Ofcom has opened a consultation (PDF) on plans to auction Ministry of Defence spectrum next year – but the watchdog has failed to include coverage obligations in the proposals, despite controversy over mobile "notspots". Bidders are being asked to comment on proposals for the auction of spectrum in the 2.3 GHz and 3.4 GHz bands …
Kat Hall, 7 Nov 2014
Angry woman on mobile

Mobile giants: 4G is so yesterday. Better IT can kickstart revenue growth

Just as operators struggle to make direct profit improvements from LTE, so the vendors have long given up on 4G upgrades being the solution to all their problems. LTE is the most significant factor in driving revenue growth for the big five infrastructure suppliers, for sure, but the margins and differentiation in the equipment …

Ericsson boss sticks a pin in Google’s loony Loon bubble

Google is wasting its time with its aptly named Project Loon and drones. So says Hans Vestberg, Ericsson’s CEO. Loon is a Google project to provide wireless internet coverage to remote areas of the world without web access – putting the cloud into clouds. It will fly helium balloons, with radio-linked base stations attached, …
Simon Rockman, 6 Nov 2014
Cartoon of  green skeletal figure reaching out of phone

BYOD: don't let the dream turn into a nightmare

Most vendors and analysts agree: you can’t avoid BYOD (bring your own device). But despite all the excitement about letting people use whatever smartphones, tablets, convertibles or latest thingamajig they want at work, many businesses are still wary of the BYOD trend. Some organisations, by necessity, just cannot adopt BYOD …
Stuart Burns, 6 Nov 2014
Barney Rubble driving with Fred Flinstone

Forget 5G, UK.gov is making 2G fit for the 21st century!

Analysis The government flagged up the biggest shake-up in mobile regulation for 25 years yesterday. Tories who ridiculed Ed Miliband’s intervention in the energy market might need to remove the large wooden beam from their field of vision first. Four major policy options are suggested in the Ministry of Fun’s rural mobile consultation …
cookies_eyes_privacy evercookies flash cookies

EFF: VPNs will crumble Verizon's creepy supercookie stalkers

The Electronic Frontier Foundation says Verizon's silent supercookies, which always follow subscribers around the internet, are being abused by creepy advertisers to push targeted ads. The EFF says people should start using encrypted VPNs by default to claw back their privacy, because opting out of the system is not enough. Two …
Iain Thomson, 6 Nov 2014
Ed Zander

UK superfast broadband? Not in my backyard – MP

A MP has questioned the government's ability to provide superfast broadband nationwide if it cannot even meet its commitments "in an urban area such as Cheltenham". Martin Horwood, Lib Dem MP for Cheltenham, told Ed Vaizey, Minister of Fun (and Broadband), that the government's target of 90 per cent superfast broadband and a …
Kat Hall, 5 Nov 2014

Fatty Brit 4G networks SLOW DOWN. Too much Bacon, perhaps?

Brits clamouring to sign new mobile contracts to get their hands on speedier networks might want to pause for thought: 4G speeds have halved in the past year just as demand rose. This is according to a new market report from Which? — working in collaboration with OpenSignal. The mag said it used real data and real people to come …
Team Register, 5 Nov 2014
Nokia Lumia 930

Can you really run your business on a smartphone?

We have all seen them: people who wander around with a phone glued to their ear as if their entire world depended on it. And we have all worked with people for whom eye contact means sitting with head stooped peering at texts, emails or, occasionally, videos of real people. This got us wondering: can normal people actually run …

7 questions we're dying to ask the internet's MOST EXCITING BLOKE

It is some irony that the further away the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) walks from trying to run the internet, the more it understands it. Having opened up their documents, started webcasting meetings, and expanded outside communications, now it is the turn of new Secretary-General Houlin Zhao to take questions …

Why Comrade Cameron went all Russell Brand on the UK’s mobile networks

Analysis Dropped calls between President Obama to Prime Minister David Cameron on the Vodafone network over Christmas led to the government getting bossy with the mobile networks, according to industry sources. Shoulda used a landline, Dave... The PM was in rural Oxfordshire over Christmas and decided that “something must be done” …
Paddy Cosgrave at Web Summit

Having a Web Summit? Get some decent Wi-Fi!

Web Summit It’s never a good thing for conference organisers when their Wi-Fi goes down – but it’s even worse when you’re positioning yourself as the première European tech conference of the year, Web Summit. Attendees were pretty miffed as Dublin’s massive 22,000-strong event kicked off today and the Wi-Fi at the RDS venue promptly …
Pile of mobiles

Hold onto your hats and follow the BYOD generation

A recent survey has suggested that young people would be willing to accept lower pay as long as they could use their own mobile devices in the workplace Really? Would and should an employer be happy to take somebody on who values personal data access over and above core compensation for a job well done? If this trend is real, …

The Great Smartphone Massacre: Android bloodbath gathers pace

Analysis The bloodbath continues for smartphone vendors, results from the leading Android vendors have confirmed in the past week. While it’s a great time to be a buyer, in saturated Western markets, only LG can show black ink on its earnings statements. Sony, Samsung and HTC also reported and the pages were awash with minus signs, …
Telephone

Verizon and AT&T sitting in a tree, V-o-L-T-E: Duo vow to hookup by 2015

Verizon and AT&T are lashing together their voice-over-LTE (VoLTE) networks in the US – so people on Verizon can make high-quality calls and video chats to those on AT&T, and vice versa. The telco pair – America's largest US mobile carriers – confirmed in a joint statement on Monday that they're hoping to complete the hookup …
Shaun Nichols, 4 Nov 2014
Un Frog

France KICKS UK into THIRD PLACE for public Wi-Fi hotspots

The UK is ranked third in the world for publicly available Wi-Fi, with one hotspot per 11 people, according to research released on Monday, but France leads the way, while the US steals second place. By 2018, the number of UK hotspots will increase to one per five people, according to Wi-Fi provider iPass. The number of global …
Kat Hall, 3 Nov 2014
Japan Siri manga drawing girl

Japan tells operators: Put a SIM lock in a new mobe? You'd better UNLOCK it for FREE

From May next year, all mobile phones sold in Japan will either arrive unlocked or be able to be unlocked. An edict from Japan’s Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications has stipulated that the mobile phone operators will have to unlock phones free of charge if the customer requests it. This is aimed at making the pricing …
Simon Rockman, 3 Nov 2014

Manufacturers SLAM UK.gov: 'High speed broadband' rollout is TOO SLOW

Manufacturers have slammed the UK government for its "poor communication" and "lack of clarity" over the high speed Broadband UK (BDUK) programme. In a survey of 134 manufacturers by representative body the Engineering Employers' Federation (EEF), 40 per cent rated broadband as "quite poor" or "very poor". Only 30 per cent said …
Kat Hall, 3 Nov 2014
let's mock the Greeks

Greeks BEST in WORLD – at, er, breaking their mobile phones

Insurance is dull. Mobile phone insurance is doubly so, to spice it up insurance company SquareTrade has published figures for how good people in different countries are at using their phones without falling over. It transpires that the Poles and Belgians are very good, while the Greeks and Italians are the most likely to have a …
Simon Rockman, 3 Nov 2014

That 'TECH-FREE' Nophone? It was already out years ago

A “tech free” phone has raised over $18,000 on Kickstarter. The electronics-free "NoPhone" provides “a rectangle of smooth, cold plastic to clutch without forgoing any potential engagement with your direct environment” – according to its makers. The NoPhone Backers receive a 3D-printed model of the dummy, which is itself a …
broken smashed harddrives forensics

ICANN, ICAN'T, IWON'T: uWHAT? How the internet is actually run

Comment A few weeks ago in Los Angeles, internet oversight body ICANN met for the 51st time – apparently in order to suck as much life as possible from 2,000 souls suffering a collective case of permanent, misplaced optimism. It was, as it always is, declared an enormous success, which is why you should ignore all the following …
ipv6 logo

IPv6 web starts to look like the internet we know

Hurricane Electric's daily report on IPv6 adoption isn't the kind of thing you'd report on too often, but Vulture South sometimes takes a look in case the internet suddenly woke up and decided to ramp up its deployment of the addressing scheme. Germany is the largest national IPv6 top-level domain (TLD) with 13,155,766 domains, …

'National roaming' law: Stubborn UK operators to be FORCED to share

Mobile operators in the UK could be forced to accept network-switching arrangements with their rivals, if legislation – reportedly expected to be unveiled this week – is pushed through Parliament. According to a number of reports in the Sunday newspapers this morning, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport wants to …
Kelly Fiveash, 2 Nov 2014
Pilot atop sinking vintage aircraft

Forget eyeballs and radar! Brits tackle GPS JAMMERS with WWII technology

Navigation technology developed during World War Two has been deployed to run a network of longwave transmitters as a GPS backup in parts of England and Scotland. As of Friday, the eLoran system had been switched on along the east coast at seven ports. It is expected to cover all of the British Isles by 2020. Quangocrats who …
Team Register, 1 Nov 2014
Sky Anytime+

Sky ponders 200,000-customer MVNO 'trial'. Soft launch, anyone?

Rupert Murdoch’s Sky is looking to become a mobile network in partnership with Vodafone, which would help tout services to the telly company’s five million customers. 200,000 customers were contacted to see if they would like to take part in a “trial”, which seems like at least 100 times as many people as you’d want on a trial …
Simon Rockman, 31 Oct 2014