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Ofcom tackles complaint over Premier League footie TV rights

UK communications watchdog Ofcom has opened an investigation into Premier League football TV rights, following a complaint from Virgin Media. The telco's chief Tom Mockridge said his company welcomed the probe. "Fans in the UK pay the highest prices in Europe to watch the least amount of football on TV," he griped. "Now is the …
Kelly Fiveash, 18 Nov 2014
2001: A Space Odyssey

Can’t be TRUSTe-d? Online privacy firm coughs $200k to settle 'deception' charges

TRUSTe, which issues the privacy seals displayed on thousands of websites, has paid a settlement over charges it deceived consumers through its Privacy Seal Program. As part of an agreed settlement with US consumer watchdogs at the Federal Trade Commission, it also promised it would ensure all certified websites removed a …
John Leyden, 18 Nov 2014
Objection!

China BLOCKS Verizon's EdgeCast before internet meeting

Verizon's recently acquired content delivery network EdgeCast has been blocked in China the day before the country hosts the World Internet Conference. The US telco confirmed on Monday that its service had been subjected to censorship in the People's Republic. EdgeCast said in a statement on its website that it was the latest …
Kelly Fiveash, 18 Nov 2014
smartphones

So you want to introduce a BYOD plan. Where do you start?

Like it or not, BYOD (bring your own device) is here to stay. Being able to get your emails on your personal iPad and such is all very well but it comes with both a cost and a risk. Often the success or failure of a BYOD deployment is determined before the first machine is touched. BYOD comes in two distinct flavours: "I want …
Dave Burn, 18 Nov 2014
New York's proposed wi-fi station

You know those WEIRD glass sheds in New York? They'll be replaced with Gbps WiFi

New York City could replace its payphones in five boroughs with Wi-Fi hubs, to build a superfast city-wide wireless internet network. If approved by city officials and built, it would be the largest municipal Wi-Fi network in the world, we're told. The plan was drawn up by NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio and a consortium called LinkNYC …
Shaun Nichols, 17 Nov 2014
Another tree anchors the cable

NBN Co screws lid on FTTP coffin

NBN Co has set in place the new rollout principles announced last week, in the form of a new corporate plan. Published yesterday, the 2014-2017 plan lays out the company's expectations now that the “multi-technology mix” has been set in stone. In the event that NBN Co is able to complete its negotiations for access to Telstra's …
Gun and dollars

FCC: Gonna need y'all to cough up $1.5bn to put broadband in schools

The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) wants to spend $1.5bn on hooking up high-speed broadband to more American schools and libraries. The money will come from you, dear US readers: the FCC will put up phone bills by about $2 a year per line to foot the damage, it's understood. Specifically, the monthly E-Rate charge …
Shaun Nichols, 17 Nov 2014

Internet Society slams online 'UN Security Council' plan, snubs permanent seat offer

The Internet Society has blasted efforts from some quarters to create a "UN Security Council" for the internet – which would rule over the online world. The society (ISoc) is a non-profit organization that, among other things, runs the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), which develops and publishes crucial internet's …
Kieren McCarthy, 17 Nov 2014

Holy cow! Fasthosts outage blamed on DDoS hack attack AND Windows 2003 vuln

Fasthosts' five-hour collapse today has been blamed on a Distributed Denial of Service attack and a security flaw spotted on its Windows 2003 shared web server kit. The company explained the torrid morning it had suffered in an emailed statement to The Register. Earlier today, after we reported that Fasthosts had gone titsup, …
Kelly Fiveash, 17 Nov 2014
Google Wallet 'vision' illustration

Soz, web devs: Google snatches its Wallet off the table

If you sell digital goods on a website using Google Wallet to take payment, you have a little over three months to find an alternative. The service is being “retired” on 2 March 2015 and will not be replaced. Google argues that there are enough alternative solutions, which might translate to mean “no one was using it”. The …
Simon Rockman, 17 Nov 2014

We come bearing internet: Google sends up Project Loon balloons in second test

Google is to run another test flight for its Project Loon internet-bringing balloons, this time sending up 20 new helium gas bags in Australia in partnership with Telstra. The Australian Associated Press reported that a second trial of the moonshot project will be taking place over western Queensland in December. Google had not …

TalkTalk wants more FOURPLAY, jumps into bed with Telefónica

Carphone Warehouse’s former pet telco TalkTalk has jumped ship from Vodafone to do an MVNO deal with Telefonica, signalling a move that will see it take on other quad-play telcos. The model of selling the four services of TV, broadband, fixed and mobile phones all as part of a single package is much more developed in other parts …
Simon Rockman, 17 Nov 2014

Fasthosts goes titsup, blames DNS blunder

Fasthosts went titsup this morning after DNS issues blighted the service. Biz customers complained about the outage and demanded an immediate fix from Fasthosts, which has been responding to the technical crisis via its Twitter account. Others moaned that they were unable to get through on Fasthosts' support phone line, which …
Kelly Fiveash, 17 Nov 2014

Broadband sellers in the UK are UP TO no good, says Which?

UK telcos need to stop fibbing about the network speeds they offer to subscribers, consumer champion Which? demanded today. It said that British ISPs had a dirty habit of using "up to" jargon in their marketing – even though such a superfast broadband connection promise only applied to 12 per cent of punters. Which? noted that …
Kelly Fiveash, 17 Nov 2014

Facebook, working on Facebook at Work, works on Facebook. At Work

Facebook's decision to hire engineers in London is apparently related to plans to build a biz-friendly platform that will compete with such products as LinkedIn, Microsoft Office and Google's Drive. But, until "Facebook At Work" is ready, Facebookers will still be using ordinary Facebook at work. According to an FT scoop, …
Kelly Fiveash, 17 Nov 2014
Undertaker with urn of ashes

DEATH fails to end mobile contract: Widow forced to take HUBBY's ASHES into shop

A widow was forced to take direct action against a T-Mobile shop after it repeatedly demanded payments for her dead husband's mobile. Maria Raybould from Cardiff, Wales, arrived at the store with her hubby's ashes in an effort to stop T-Mobile from continuing to charge £26 per month by direct debit for a Samsung Galaxy Mini SII …
Team Register, 16 Nov 2014

Virgin Media struck dumb by NATIONWIDE packet loss balls-up

Virgin Media's broadband network suffered what appeared to be a widespread service disruption on Saturday – the second such weekend, packet loss blunder to have struck the cable company in recent months. Customers complained on VM's forum and Twitter about major performance problems blighting the network. However, it took …
Kelly Fiveash, 16 Nov 2014

FCC: You, AT&T. Get over here and explain this 'no more gigabit fiber' threat

The US Federal Communications Commission is calling out AT&T for throwing a hissy-fit over net neutrality and halting its gigabit-a-second fiber rollout. The watchdog said in a letter to AT&T execs that it wants the telco giant to explain why it thinks it will lose money if it expands its fiber broadband network. AT&T said …
Shaun Nichols, 15 Nov 2014

AT&T mothballs creepy customer web stalking system (until everyone's forgotten about it)

AT&T has stopped stamping unique ID numbers on its customers, which allowed websites and ad networks to track them across the web. The telco promised to offer an opt-out switch if the system returns. "We have completed testing of the numeric code that would be part of any new mobile Relevant Advertising program we may launch," …
Iain Thomson, 14 Nov 2014
Nokia 7650

Could YOU identify these 10 cool vintage mobile phones?

The winner of the competition for a Poppy 3D viewer from Firebox is Martin Harding from Great Yarmouth. Martin is a self-confessed geek who twitches at Matrixis, but even he could not identify all the mobes. He did, however, correctly identify nine of the 10 mystery phones. Indeed none of the entrants got the 10th phone right …
Simon Rockman, 14 Nov 2014

BlackBerry comeback: BES12 server revealed – it will manage ALL THE THINGS

Turnaround artiste John Chen marked one year as BlackBerry boss with an avalanche of enterprise software news related to the firm's new BES12 server, which can manage enterprise mobe devices running Android, iOS, Windows Phone – and of course, BB's own mobile OS. BlackBerry wants to manage absolutely everything: PCs, Macs, …
Andrew Orlowski, 14 Nov 2014
Fawlty Towers

4G is quicker than 3G, says Ofcom. Can't we get you on Mastermind, Sybil?

Mobile broadband speeds in Blighty are pretty good, according to a new report from Ofcom, although concerns remain over the methodology used. The average mobile broadband download speed on 4G (15.1Mbps) was more than twice as fast as 3G (6.1Mbps) across all the networks. Predictably, EE’s lead in launching 4G showed EE and O2 …
Simon Rockman, 14 Nov 2014
Smartphones

Are dangers lurking on your workers' operating systems?

We have had enough wake-up calls now, right? Enough squeaky-bum moments. Events over the past year have made it clear that hackers, whether sponsored by the NSA, GCHQ or a crooked millionaire, can and will breach the defences of mobile operating systems of any type. For IT, it has become apparent that guaranteeing the security …
David Gordon, 14 Nov 2014

Bloated, slow and self-perpetuating: Cisco slams standards groups

Cisco's chief architect and CTO for engineering David Ward has blasted standards development organisations (SDOs), asking whether they are “relevant in a rapidly expanding environment of Open Source Software (OSS) projects.” Ward's post on the subject is pointedly timed: he's released it on the even of the Internet Engineering …
Simon Sharwood, 14 Nov 2014

America, here's what the FCC's Rosenworcel REALLY thinks about your broadband

One of the FCC's five commissioners, Jessica Rosenworcel, says she wants to use both the 1934 and 1996 telecommunication laws to bring US broadband up to date. The problem is that today's rules, here in America, are still focused on the telephone era, when really they need to account for the internet age. Sound familiar? Yes, …
Kieren McCarthy, 14 Nov 2014
management regulation1

Judge: Terror bomb victims CAN'T seize Iran's domain name as compensation

A judge in Washington DC has ruled that a country's entire internet registry cannot be seized, averting a global diplomatic crisis. In a ruling [PDF] made earlier this week but released late last night, Judge Royce Lamberth focused in on a single argument presented by DNS overseer ICANN that country code top-level domains ( …
Dark Side of the Moon album cover

CityFibre FEEDS hungry EE and Three customers with DARK FIBRE

EE and Three signed an agreement with CityFibre this morning to deploy dark fibre backhaul links to mobile masts for the UK networks. Financial details of the national framework deal, which was also struck with the operators' Mobile Broadband Network Ltd (MBNL) joint venture, were kept secret. CityFibre said that lighting up …
Kelly Fiveash, 13 Nov 2014
City Lifeline cable guys get busy outside

'Net Neut' activists: Are you just POSEURS, or do you want to Get Something Done?

Analysis On Monday, President Obama wrote out a cheque he knew he couldn't cash. The President is signalling to activists and his Silicon Valley backers that although, yes, he may spend much of the time playing golf, he actually truly and deeply does care. He "gets it". City Lifeline cable guys get busy outside You want cable? It's like …
Andrew Orlowski, 13 Nov 2014

Is your kid ADDICTED to web porn? Twitter? Hint: Don't blame the internet

Parents' biggest concern about life online is admen stalking kids across the web, according to new research. Unveiling the results of its study [PDF] at the Family Online Safety Institute's annual conference in Washington DC on Wednesday, Hart Research noted that 57 per cent of parents feel the harms outweigh the benefits when …
Kieren McCarthy, 13 Nov 2014
secondary age school kids outside NBN truck

NBN 'working' on pay-for-fibre-to-your-premises product

NBN Co, the company building Australia's national broadband network, has released “broad principles” it says “will determine which access technology will be deployed to connect communities to the National Broadband Network (NBN).” For each service area NBN Co will consider whether: Existing infrastructure can be leveraged to …
Simon Sharwood, 13 Nov 2014

SCREW YOU, net neutrality hippies – AT&T halts gigabit fiber

AT&T has frozen its plans to build a gigabit broadband network in the US – at least until the FCC scraps, er, straightens out net neutrality. The telco's CEO and chairman Randall Stephenson said his company will hold off installing super-high-speed internet connections to homes until the US watchdog decides how it's going to …
Shaun Nichols, 12 Nov 2014

FCC makes up its mind about net neutrality: Er, we'll decide in 2015

US watchdog the FCC has decided to ponder a little more on the fate of net neutrality – and delayed a crucial vote on the issue until next year. The regulator is in the middle of rewriting its rules to guarantee an "open internet" for all, after Verizon decided it didn't like the original rules and sued the agency. And won. FCC …
Iain Thomson, 12 Nov 2014
Plugs

Why can't a mobile be more like a cordless kettle?

When Dick Powell, ace designer and co-founder of SeymourPowell, designed the Tefal Freeline, the world’s first cordless kettle, it wasn’t for the likes of you and me. The thinking behind it was that while most people could cope with a power lead, those with restricted mobility could not. The ease of use that it delivered, …
Simon Rockman, 12 Nov 2014

Yorkshire man NICKS 1,000 Orange customer records. Court issues TINY FINE

A man who attempted to illegally access the passwords and login details of more than 1,000 Orange customers has been fined just £500 for his actions. The Information Commissioner's Office said that the 25-year-old company director Matthew Devlin was handed the financial penalty after he appeared before Calderdale Magistrates' …
Kelly Fiveash, 12 Nov 2014
TalkTalk YouView set top box launch

TalkTalk's 'unbeatable signal strength' and 'fastest Wi-Fi tech' FIBS silenced by ad watchdog

TalkTalk is the latest ISP to be rapped by the UK's advertising watchdog for telling porkies about its broadband service. The budget telco was admonished by the Advertising Standards Authority for failing to substantiate claims it made about its network. TalkTalk made the following outlandish assertion in a circular advert: …
Kelly Fiveash, 12 Nov 2014

Shuddit, Obama! Here in Blighty, we ISPs have net neutrality nailed

Analysis As we saw from Vodafone's announcement on Tuesday, competition in the broadband market is thriving here in the UK. So, should consumers be fretting about the fierce net neutrality debate going on across the Atlantic? The European Commission, steered by former unelected digi czar "Steelie" Neelie Kroes, would very much like it if …
Kelly Fiveash, 12 Nov 2014
Photo of Ubuntu running on tablets and smartphones

Manage the risks and seize the opportunities of BYOD

Many companies understand the obvious aspects of BYOD (bring your own device) and mobile device management (MDM). Employees work on the devices that they like and use and share data seamlessly, whether that data is personal or business. Mobile devices nowadays can do so much more than texting and sending emails. They can provide …
Grumpy cat

We interrupt this cat video to say you're out of data

Australia's dominant telco, Telstra, has flicked the switch on real-time notifications of mobile data use. Vulture South has personal experience of Telstra's notifications arriving after users have consumed rather more than their monthly data download allowances. The company is kind to customers who quickly react by purchasing …
Simon Sharwood, 12 Nov 2014

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