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Reddit scrubs up: Child abuse? Gone. Drugs? Cool. RACISM? FINE

Freeloading commentblurt site Reddit is to implement a limited scrub-off of some of its more noxious communities - but others will stay. Reddit CEO Steve Huffman said the message-board website he cofounded will crack down on harassment, threats, and posts that break the law. Under the new regime, spam, child-abuse imagery, …
Shaun Nichols, 17 Jul 2015

Having been slammed and embarrassed, ICANN tells the world: We've done nowt wrong

Last week, a group of retired judges slammed domain-name overseer ICANN for breaking its own bylaws by having failed to "act fairly, neutrally [and] non-discriminatorily" in a dispute over the .africa top-level domain. Yesterday, we revealed that ICANN's staff redacted the judges' final report to remove all evidence that the …
Kieren McCarthy, 16 Jul 2015
Australian attorney general George Brandis by https://www.flickr.com/photos/cebitaus/ cc 2.0 attribution https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

AARNet warns of 'draconian overreach' in telco regulation

As the deadline for submissions on the Australian government's telecom security legislation approaches, concerns are emerging at the potential for the laws to stifle innovation. The laws, introduced to Federal Parliament late in June, are designed to make sure that telecommunications carriers protect their infrastructure …
Netflix

Merger-killer Netflix: We're actually OK with Charter's TWC gobble

Netflix has publicly backed the proposed merger between Charter Communications and Time Warner Cable (TWC). The video-streaming giant has filed with US watchdog the FCC in support of the proposed deal. Netflix is offering its support of the deal thanks to an offer Charter has made to continue its free interconnect deal with …
Shaun Nichols, 15 Jul 2015

Free internet for kids! Obama's offering free internet to kids! (Yes, there's a catch)

President Obama will officially launch Wednesday afternoon a new program to get kids in flat-broke households online. ConnectHome is a joint partnership between the federal government (the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)), local communities, and a number of different profit and non-profit organizations that …
Kieren McCarthy, 15 Jul 2015
Netflix

Telstra vid downloads getting SLOWER says new Netflix speed test

Netflix's latest ranking of Australian service providers again shows that Telstra is the nation's worst-performing network when it comes to downloading the streaming video company's content. Netflix speed rating data for australia Netflix speed rating for streaming video downloads in Australia, April-June 2015 In its May …
Simon Sharwood, 15 Jul 2015
Mamod steam traction engine

Nokia Networks is going to make zer Vaterland's trains run on time

Nokia Networks is trumpeting an eight-year contract incorporating the sale of over 2,000 mobile base stations – and a GSM-R frequency band upgrade – to Deutsche Bahn, Germany's national railway company. The contract to supply the new Flexi base stations to the railway is a good win for Nokia, ousting Kapsch as the major …
Simon Rockman, 15 Jul 2015
NBN Logo

nbnTM plans for future backhaul upgrade to FTTN cabinets

+comment nbn™ , the entity charged with building and operating Australia's National Broadband Network (NBN), has argued it is better to re-configure its fibre-to-the-node network than to build it to handle high levels of traffic. In a new post by nbn™ chief architect Tony Cross, the network builder explains “getting the balance right …
Simon Sharwood, 15 Jul 2015

Google joins Bluetooth snoop pals with iBeacon rival tech Eddystone

Google has jumped on the Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) beacon bandwagon with a set of open standards and software interfaces to give Apple's iBeacon a run for its money. Apple rolled out iBeacon in 2013, and has been pushing it as a way for companies to do things like tracking potential customers' movements as they wander around …
Neil McAllister, 14 Jul 2015

Proxyham Wi-Fi relay SUPPRESSED. CONSPIRACY, yowl tinfoilers

Rhino Security has suddenly pulled the plug on its “ProxyHam” Wi-Fi relay project and withdrawn from the upcoming DefCon conference. The company's Bun Cuadill made the “announcement” in the way most likely to send conspiracists hyperventilating: a couple of Twitter messages that offered no explanation. Since the aim of …
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Huawei: in the world of 5G, we're all Europeans now

Huawei has formalised its cooperation with Europe's 5G-PPP (public-private partnership), announcing the projects it will be working on under the project. The Chinese juggernaut's interest was signalled last year when it dominated sponsorship of the 5G@Europe summit in Munich. Earlier this year, Europe's digital commish …
Fibre Optic by Barta IV https://www.flickr.com/photos/98640399@N08/ cc 2.0 attribution https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Comcast: We're twice as fast as Google's 1Gbps Fiber (for x4 the price)

Google's stated aim of bringing some competition into the US broadband market has led to an interesting offer from Comcast – it'll double the Chocolate Factory's connection speed for more than four times the monthly cost. Comcast's Gigabit Pro Xfinity service, launched on Monday, will offer residential customers living within …
Iain Thomson, 13 Jul 2015
Pair of pliers cutting wire

Practice makes perfect: NBN fibre deployments accelerate

Communications minister Malcolm Turnbull has jumped the gun on nbnTM's annual report, trumpeting that the company has exceeded its June 2015 performance targets. The long-anticipated acceleration of the fibre rollout was evident in February, when nbnTM announced its 2014-15 half-year results. The official full-year results are …

Yes! Windows Phone lives: Microsoft to pump the device Kool-Aid

WPC 2015 Microsoft will this week try to convince thousands of partners to invest in Windows Phone despite taking the axe to its hardware manufacturing operation. “Windows Phone is and will continue to be an important component of our hardware portfolio,” Phil Sorgen, chief of Microsoft’s worldwide partner group told The Channel, …
Gavin Clarke, 13 Jul 2015
Bernie Sanders (I-VT)

Bernie Sanders wants FCC to probe broadband prices (but wait, is there an election coming?)

A group of US Senators led by presidential candidate Bernie Sanders want the USA's broadband regulator FCC to investigate whether Americans are being overcharged for internet access. In a letter (PDF) to FCC chairman Tom Wheeler, Sanders (I-VT), along with Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Al Franken (D-MN), and Ed Markey (D- …
Shaun Nichols, 10 Jul 2015
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Emergency-service comms omnishambles worsens as HP dives for the door

Things have gone from worse to even worse for the Government’s attempts to replace the ageing emergency-services network, as HP has withdrawn its bid. HP has followed Telefonica in deciding that the terms of the deal were too onerous and deciding it didn’t want to be part of Emergency Services Mobile Communications Programme ( …
Simon Rockman, 10 Jul 2015
The monopoly box

BT issues formal whinge to Ofcom over Sky dominance in pay telly

Former state-owned telecoms giant BT has formally whinged to Ofcom that archrival Sky should be subject to regulatory intervention over its dominance in the paid-TV market. BT has asked Ofcom to change the scope of its review into digital communications, citing "high prices and poor outcomes for consumers arising from a lack …
Kat Hall, 10 Jul 2015
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Ericsson seeks cat-herding jacket, attempts EU 5G standardisation

Ericsson has taken on a new role as chief technology cat-herder, otherwise known as development coordinator of the EU’s new €8m METIS-II project, which will eventually recommend 5G specs. Funded by the EU, METIS (Mobile and wireless communications Enablers for the Twenty-twenty Information Society) and now METIS II are …
Simon Rockman, 10 Jul 2015

Microsoft starts switching on paid Wi-Fi service with latest Windows 10 preview

Microsoft has shipped another preview build of Windows 10 to the Windows Insider program's Fast release ring – the fourth in two weeks – but the single new feature is access to a paid Wi-Fi service that is only available to a small fraction of testers. "We're getting close to release now," Windows 10 ambassador Gabe Aul said …
Neil McAllister, 10 Jul 2015

How many top-level domains are there now? 300? 500? No, it's 1,000

There are now more than 1,000 top-level domains (TLDs) for internet addresses, covering everything from .abb to .zw. This week, seven TLDs were added to the internet's root as part of the "new generic TLD" process being run by DNS overseer ICANN, pushing it over the 1,000 threshold. They were: .airtel, .barcelona, .bcn, .game …
Kieren McCarthy, 10 Jul 2015
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Vodafone tests Ericsson Radio Dots on corporate big cheeses

Vodafone is testing the Ericsson Radio Dot system as part of a push to improve in-building coverage. Aimed at big buildings with lots of mobile phone users, the technology uses CAT 5 Ethernet to connect small antennae throughout the premises, with the radio access network gubbins in a central location. Its proponents claim it …
Simon Rockman, 9 Jul 2015

ICANN running the global internet? It's gonna be OK, it's gonna be OK, US Congress told

US Congress was soothed Wednesday morning over the fundamental shift of the IANA contract, which oversees the running of the global internet, from the US government to non-profit domain overlord ICANN, but significant questions remain. In a hearing called by the House Energy and Commerce Committee, ICANN's smooth-talking CEO …
The dns entry for Facebook says it's face:b00c

Facebook casts a hex with self-referential IPv6

Poll IPv6 addresses aren't really supposed to spell out domain names, but Facebook has adopted an IPv6 addy that includes the characters "faceb00c." A quick DNS lookup of facebook.com confirms this: the domain resolves to 2a03:2880:2130:cf05:face:b00c::1. Faceb00c. Get it? At The Reg's London office, we can’t agree on what we …
Simon Rockman, 8 Jul 2015

#FishermenNeedTwitter: Vodafone extends 4G to the edge of Iceland

Vodafone Iceland is feeding 4G to the fishes and adding significant coverage for the maritime industry. Industry website Telecompaper reports that the network has just added the areas of Blönduós, Reyðarfjörður, and the town Hofn to the places which get 4G coverage. It's seemingly aimed at seafarers, particularly fishermen. …
Simon Rockman, 8 Jul 2015
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The modest father of SMS, who had much to be modest about

Matti Makkonen died last week and was celebrated as the father of SMS. He’s been described as being too modest to acknowledge his involvement. It seems, however, that the story of how Short Messaging came to be is far more complicated than we originally thought, and the system has many fathers. In fact, not only did Makkonen …
Simon Rockman, 8 Jul 2015

Americans in Europe like using Wi-Fi calling, Ericsson discovers

Research from Ericsson shows that people like using Wi-Fi calling, the service which can act as a replacement for a mobile phone network. The big thing which differentiates Wi-Fi calling from other forms of VoIP is that it’s part of the IMS 3GPP standard. It doesn’t need any apps and ties in neatly to your phone number, …
Simon Rockman, 7 Jul 2015
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Apple fanbois to be empowered to bonk each other

Apple has filed a patent which uses NFC and Bluetooth to transfer funds when you bonk two iPhones together. The technology doesn’t use the NFC radio to transfer the funds: it’s done either over the air or by Bluetooth. The NFC is used to establish the veracity of the two ends and to encrypt the data using the secure element. …
Simon Rockman, 6 Jul 2015
NBN logo

iiNet warns NBN circuits too expensive in the Netflix era

iiNet reckons the runaway success of Netflix in Australia is going to put the National Broadband Network pricing model under pressure. The problem is that the prices retailers pay the network company nbnTM is heavily influenced by download volumes. Backhaul from nbnTM points of interconnect back to a retail service provider ( …
Pulling the plug

Vectone Mobile gone for the week, don't know when it'll be back

Updated MVNO Vectone Mobile's service has been down for days, with the company offering no indication as to when it might resume, or any public statement acknowledging the depth of the blunder. To the fury of customers who believe they have received inadequate support and information, the MVNO issued a "sincere" apology to those …
Woman slaps man. Pic: Shutterstock

Pisspoor EE customer service earns it a cool £1 MILLION Ofcom fine

Ofcom has whacked EE with a £1m fine for failing to comply with the regulator's rules on handling customer complaints. Between July 2011 to 8 April 2014 EE did not provide certain customers with accurate information about their rights to use an alternative dispute resolution (ADR) scheme. The company also failed to inform its …
Kat Hall, 3 Jul 2015
Becks buys Sprint

David Beckham fakes bewilderment to flog mobiles to Yanks. Fakes?

Fashion model and former one-footed footie ace David Beckham walks into a phone shop and finds it all rather confusing, or so a new US television commercial for mobile operator Sprint would have us believe. While he quizzes AT&T, T-Mobile US and Verizon on their offers, he doesn’t ask the Sprint salesperson anything like as …
Simon Rockman, 3 Jul 2015
Facebook laser

Facebook prepares to STRAFE the developing world with FRICKIN' internet LASERS

Facebook has been showing off a new laser communications system that CEO Mark Zuckerberg wants to mount on massive solar-powered drones so as to beam the interwebs to inaccessible parts of the world. "As part of our Internet.org efforts, we're working on ways to use drones and satellites to connect the billion people who don't …
Iain Thomson, 2 Jul 2015
DirecTV

Uncle Sam poised to OK AT&T DirecTV gobble

AT&T's $48.5bn acquisition of DirecTV looks to be heading toward approval by the US government. Both the US Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) are expected to sign off on the deal as soon as next week. Bloomberg cited a DOJ source familiar with the matter in reporting that approval for …
Shaun Nichols, 2 Jul 2015

'I am so TIRED of your bullsh*t...' Sprint boss flips lid at T-Mobile US CEO

Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure has had enough of T-Mobile US chief John Legere, and he's told the world about it. The Sprint boss took to Twitter last night and fired off a testy rant calling T-Mobile US "bullshit" and accusing the telco of being "cheap" and "misleading" its customers. The rant came after Legere posted a tweet …
Shaun Nichols, 2 Jul 2015
Smart Meter keeps you on top of your spending

Chair legs it from UK govt smart meter installation programme

The chair of the government's controversial smart meter programme, Baroness McDonagh, has left her post after recently criticising the roll-out of the widely hated scheme. Current costs of the scheme are expected to reach £11bn, while total lifetime costs were recently pegged as high as £19bn – the same amount that the programme …
Kat Hall, 2 Jul 2015
NBN logo

New nbnTM roadmap reveals HFC tests to start in Q4

nbnTM, the entity charged with building and operating Australia's national broadband network (NBN) has released a new product roadmap. The new plan (PDF) reveals that retail service providers will be provided with a Network Sandpit for HFC” in 2015's fourth quarter. In Q2 of 2016, “HFC Business Readiness Testing” will commence …

Sprint: Forget all we said about strangling your web video streams

US telco Sprint has killed off its attempt to strangle internet video streaming on its so-called "unlimited" phone plan. The carrier said its "All-In" $80 monthly plan will no longer impose a 600Kbps cap on streaming video speeds. "At Sprint, we strive to provide customers a great experience when using our network. We heard you …
Shaun Nichols, 1 Jul 2015
You seen him? Hasidim

Orange hurls €90m at Israel's Partner to end political bunfight

Orange has been caught in a political storm after trying to stop Israeli mobile network Partner Communications from using its name. The company uses the brand because it received funding from, but was not owned by, Hutchison Whampoa, which launched the Orange brand in the UK several years ago. When Orange (then the UK's third- …
Simon Rockman, 1 Jul 2015
SMS inventor Matti Makkonen

Vale Matti Makkonen, SMS dreamer

Matti Makkonen, a figure widely held to have influenced the development of SMS, has died at the relatively young age of 63. According to BT, it took some years for Makkonen's pitch to Finland's Telecoms and Postal agency in 1984 to become a reality in 1992. It took even longer for SMS to really hit its straps, because carriers …
NBN Co fixed wireless antenna

While city slickers argue about the NBN, rural retailers are smiling

While debate continues in Australian cities about the technology employed to build Australia's national broadband network (NBN), a regional specialist reckons things are on the improve beyond the sandstone curtain. Tony Bundrock, CEO of NBN satellite and wireless retail service provider (RSP) Activ8me, told Vulture South the …
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Sprint: Our 'unlimited' mobe plan has one tiny limit: High-quality video

US phone carrier Sprint is offering an unlimited data plan that carries one important caveat: throttled data rates for video. The carrier's All-In smartphone plan charges users $80 per month with no limit on voice or data usage. Streaming video, however, will be slowed to a crawl, thanks to a limit holding video to "3G" data …
Shaun Nichols, 1 Jul 2015

EUROPEAN PURGE on hated mobile roaming charges

After 12 hours of tense negotiations, EU negotiators agreed at 3am on Tuesday to impose a minimal cap on mobile phone roaming charges for calls, texts and data. The so-called Telecoms Package has been in trouble for months, but – acting on behalf of EU member states – the rotating EU Council Presidency, under Latvia, pushed hard …
Jennifer Baker, 30 Jun 2015