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'Up to two BEEELLION' mobes easily hacked by evil base stations

Black Hat 2014 videos The mechanisms used to update smartphone operating systems over the air are vulnerable to hijacking and abuse, researchers have claimed. Speaking at the Black Hat conference in Las Vegas on Thursday, the infosec bods believe up to two billion handsets are at risk, and that in some cases patches for the flaw still haven't been …
Iain Thomson, 8 Aug 2014
Gulf coast webcam image

Submarine cable operator says storms could hit Pacific traffic

Hawaii's a tropical paradise, right? Most of the time, yes. But right now Hurricane Iselle is heading for the island cluster. As the link back there explains, Iselle is packing serious winds, is expected to kick up serious waves and make life miserable. How miserable? Miserable enough that a submarine cable operator has issued …
Dogecoin

Network hijacker steals $83,000 in Bitcoin ... and enough Dogecoin for a cup of coffee

Researchers at Dell's SecureWorks Counter Threat Unit (CTU) have identified an exploit that can be used to steal cryptocurrency from mining pools – and they claim that at least one unknown miscreant has already used the technique to pilfer tens of thousands of dollars in digital cash. The heist was achieved by using bogus Border …
Google Chocolate Factory

Gmail gains support for non-ASCII email addresses

Google has decided to give a two-year-old IETF e-mail standard a push towards universal adoption, by switching on support for RFC 6530 international character support in Gmail. The RFC was crafted to allow people “to use close variations on their own names (written correctly in their own languages and scripts) as mailbox names …
T-Mobile Sprint

POW! Sprint kills T-Mobile US bid ... BAM! CEO Hesse is out

Sprint has confirmed industry rumors by announcing the departure of its CEO, and has abandoned its pursuit of T-Mobile US. The telco said Wednesday morning that big cheese Dan Hesse will leave the biz and hand the reins to Brightstar CEO Marcelo Claure. Hesse will leave the position effective Monday, August 11. Claure cofounded …
Shaun Nichols, 6 Aug 2014
Telephone

BT FON fail: Telco CHARGES customers for FREE Wi-Fi usage

Telecoms giant BT has admitted charging a number of customers for the traffic racked up by its FON services, which uses a portion of each customer's Wi-Fi connection to provide hotspots accessible to the public. A few weeks ago The Register reported that bungling cops in the grim north of England didn't understand the idea …
Jasper Hamill, 6 Aug 2014

Cor blimey: Virgin Media pipes 152Mb fibre to 100,000 East Londoners

Virgin Media has announced the largest single expansion of its fibre optic network yet, extending its 152Mb broadband service to 100,000 homes in East London. The area was chosen because it’s close to existing Virgin Media infrastructure. Areas set to receive Virgin's pipes will include Bethnal Green, the Isle of Dogs and West …

'POWER from AIR' backscatter tech now juices up Internet of Stuff Wi-Fi gizmos

Researchers who last year demonstrated they could harvest stray RF signals to power RFID tags have scaled-up their technology to power Wi-Fi devices. The University of Washington team is pitching their ultra low-power “backscatter harvesting” technology with the inevitable Internet of Things (IoT) tag, since if it could be …
Ten protestors at the NBN Day of Action

Surprise! Government mega-infrastructure project cocked up

Worstall on Weds That Australia's National Broadband Network is late, over budget and chaotically managed will come as no surprise to aficionados of government infrastructure projects. It's just the latest in a long and inglorious rollcall of politicians pissing our money away on things they simply don't understand. Ten protestors at the NBN …
Tim Worstall, 6 Aug 2014
Nanu VoiP over mobile data

Nanu nanu! Mork calling Orson on VoIP over 2G

A Singaporean outfit called Gentay Communications has launched “nanu”, an ad-funded VoIP-over-mobile-data service it says will succeed where others have failed. Ad-funded phone calls are an old idea, but have hardly ever met with success. Last March, for example, free mobile network operator Ovivo went titsup. Gentay's founder …
T-Mobile Sprint

Sprint spits out T-Mobile US gobble bid, says goodbye to CEO – claim

Sprint is set to give up its attempt to acquire T-Mobile US and plans to replace its own CEO, or so it is claimed. The Wall Street Journal cited unnamed sources in reporting that fears monopoly watchdogs would nix the merger led US carrier Sprint to abandon its pursuit of T-Mob US. The deal was rumored to be worth as much as US$ …
Shaun Nichols, 6 Aug 2014

Verizon to FCC: What ya looking at? Everyone throttles internet traffic

Verizon is hitting back at the FCC's criticism over plans to throttle bandwidth hogs' download speeds. The US telco said in a letter [PDF], obtained by The Register, to the American watchdog's commissioner Tom Wheeler that its plan to limit data speeds at times of heavy use was not only legal – but a commonly used tactic for …
Shaun Nichols, 5 Aug 2014
cloud

BT offers vanilla mobile deal to biz bods

The latest deal for small businesses from BT is part of its move to become a mobile phone network again. The deal from BT Business includes a bundle of resold EE airtime and Wi-Fi – with or without hardware. The hardware bit includes a range of Android and Windows Phones and Apple, Android and Windows tablets. It's also offering …
Simon Rockman, 5 Aug 2014
NBN Co logo

Turnbull says NBN 'most reckless commitment of Commonwealth funds in our history'

The Scales Review of NBN Mark II Australia's National Broadband Network (NBN) has found the second version of the network's early planning process was chaotic and that NBN Co, the company created to build the network, was not built on foundations suitable to enable the project's success. Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull …
A fake iPhone with electric shock capabilities

Surfing the web from Android? We KNEW it – sorry, iOS fanbois

Google's Android has slipped past Apple's iOS to become the top mobile operating system for the first time, in terms of online usage. Figures from Net Marketshare show that devices powered by Android were detected browsing the web more than iPhones, iPads, and iPod Touch devices running iOS throughout July 2014. Net Marketshare …
Jasper Hamill, 4 Aug 2014
Internet of Things

It's WAR: Internet of Stuff firms butt heads over talking-fridge tech standards

Intel’s Internet of Stuff standards-seeking group is planning to have a first code drop of middleware ready for developers in the third quarter this year, the firm told The Register. Smart home Gary Martz, Chipzilla's wireless product line manager, said that between members like Intel, Broadcom, Samsung, Dell and Atmel, the …
Huawei P1

European networks giants have adjusted to life with Huawei at last

Analysis The wireless infrastructure vendors were uncharacteristically upbeat in their second quarter results announcements. The impact of Huawei and ZTE has overshadowed them for so long that it seemed like a permanent fixture, but to a great extent, the western suppliers, and their shareholders, have now adjusted to the reality of …
Do Not Adjust Your Set

Nokia Networks: Don't hate us, broadcasters – we're testing LTE for TV

Comment The Nokia Networking LTE Broadcast trial announced in Germany this week is all about building bridges between broadcasters and mobile operators, because it is about sending TV for televisions through an LTE Network, rather than TV for phones. And for a change the trial was explained clearly in its release, which meant quite a …
Faultline, 4 Aug 2014
Presidetn Obama signs the Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act

It's official: You can now legally carrier-unlock your mobile in the US

President Obama has signed off on the Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act, meaning that, in the US, people can take their mobile phone and unlock it from the carrier that sold it to them. President Obama signs the Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act President Obama signs the Unlocking …
Iain Thomson, 2 Aug 2014
Cables

Comcast, Time Warner boost net speeds in Google Fiber city – COINCIDENCE?

Comcast and Time Warner will hike their broadband speeds in Kansas City, which just so happens to be the first place Google Fiber rolled out. The pair of telco giants will boost transfer rates without a price increase, the Kansas City Star in Missouri reports. Kansas City is one of the few US markets where Comcast and Time …
Shaun Nichols, 1 Aug 2014

Operators get the FEAR as Ofcom proposes 275% hike in mobile spectrum fees

Ofcom has “rethought” the fees that UK mobile networks pay for their 900MHz and 1800MHz spectrum, based on the industry's reaction to its latest proposal. Previously Ofcom decided to hike the annual fee that the networks pay for access to spectrum from £65m to £309m – a relative rise of 375 per cent. That’s now been modified to …
Simon Rockman, 1 Aug 2014

Apple's iWatch may be DELAYED over sapphire glass supply problems

Problems with Apple's sapphire glass supply chain could mean the Apple iWatch will only be released in small numbers this year, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has predicted. The latest leaked note from the respected KGI Securities bod has claimed that production of the iWatch will be moved back September to November. Kuo also …
Jasper Hamill, 1 Aug 2014
BlackBerry Messenger (BBM)

BlackBerry lands feature-light BBM on Windows Phone

The wait for BBM on Windows Phone is over. BlackBerry has brought its pioneering and much-imitated messaging app to Windows, following launches on Android and iOS last year, albeit with the "Beta" label. BBM for Windows looks a lot more like a native app than other BBM ports: it uses Windows Phone pivot views and includes …
Slow downloads

Brits STUNG for up to £625 when they try to cancel broadband

Thousands of Brits are being slapped with costly cancellation fees worth hundreds of pounds when they try to switch broadband providers, the Citizens Advice charity has warned. The group found that the average cost of extricating oneself from a rubbish broadband deal was £190, but customers had been handed out fees of up to £625 …

5G about the whole network, not just speed, says Alca-Luminary

So in The Register's ongoing untangling of what 5G might mean, we spoke to Tod Sizer of Alcatel-Lucent. Sizer – Dr Theodore (Tod) Sizer – is Vice President of the Wireless Research Program in Alcatel-Lucent Bell Labs, and he told El Reg that 5G has to be about more than eye-opening press-dazzling showing off what vendors can do …

Ah ha, mon amour violet ... French Iliad attempts to nibble on T-Mobile US

French telco Iliad has made a surprise offer to acquire a majority stake in mobile carrier T-Mobile US, though the bid may have already been shot down. Following multiple press reports, Iliad confirmed it was indeed making an offer to buy out a 56.6 per cent stake in T-Mob US. "The US mobile market is large and attractive," the …
Shaun Nichols, 1 Aug 2014
T-Mobile Zest 2

T-Mobile US preps for $43 MEEELLION shower of gold on cram victims

As American regulators at the FTC crack down on mobile bill "cramming" scams, T-Mobile US has ring-fenced at least $43 million – to refund customers who were fraudulently charged for premium SMS services. The network said in its quarterly earnings report that the expected payouts were among the non-recurring factors it listed …
Shaun Nichols, 31 Jul 2014
Iranian flag flying

ICANN can't hand over Iran's internet, bomb victims told

It's not possible to hand over Iran's internet because it doesn't own it, a Washington DC court has been told in a mind-boggling submission to terrorism victims. Lawyers for nine US citizens injured in an Iran-financed bombing in Jerusalem back in 1997 have turned to the internet in an effort to recoup millions of dollars …
Kieren McCarthy, 31 Jul 2014
Angry woman on mobile

You, Verizon. What's with the download throttle? Explain yourself – FCC boss

The head of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is demanding an explanation from Verizon over the carrier's decision to throttle LTE speeds for heavy users. Chairman Tom Wheeler wrote to Verizon CEO Daniel Mead seeking information about the network's plan to deliberately slow data speeds for the top five per cent of …
Shaun Nichols, 31 Jul 2014
Cortana China

Microsoft's Brit kid Cortana lands on UK WinPhone 8.1, but China's is the real cutie

Microsoft will be fine-tuning its virtual assistant Cortana in its first update to Windows Phone 8.1. The Siri rival is predicted to arrive on UK users' smartphones over the next few months. The preview pack for developers is already out, of course. Youtube Video Cortana will be coming to folks in Blighty and China as a beta …
australian credit cards fraud contactless

iWallet: No BONKING PLEASE, we're Apple

Apple's iWallet mobile money app could be the start of a more general trend that sees web giants such as Facebook pushing into the payment industry, according to online payment experts. iWallet would give iPhone-toting consumers the ability to pay for goods with their smartphones. It is predicted to use the firm's Touch ID …
John Leyden, 30 Jul 2014

Speak your brains on SIGNAL-FREE mobile comms

Live Chat Our previous article about goTenna, a new device which allows mobile phones to communicate without signal, stirred up a lot of interest from readers and fellow journalists. goTenna CEO Daniela Perdomo and her brother, CTO Jorge Perdomo, held a live chat on El Reg this Friday, 1 August, at 3pm BST. Daniela Perdomo has worked in …
Simon Rockman, 30 Jul 2014
Bletchley Park Manor House, photo: Gavin Clarke

Trying to sell your house? It'd better have KILLER mobile coverage

Young property buyers see mobile coverage as a more important when it comes to choosing a location – rating it as more important than proximity to schools and transport or local crime rates, says a report commissioned by mobile survey company RootMetrics. It’s long been known that the main reason people change mobile networks is …
Simon Rockman, 30 Jul 2014

DDOS takes down Cirrus Communications

Fixed wireless broadband provider Cirrus Communications has experienced a distributed denial of service (DDOS) attack that incapacitated half its network. Cirrus provides wireless networks to business, apartment complexes, residential colleges and military bases. The company says it is a last mile provider and prides itself on “ …
Simon Sharwood, 30 Jul 2014
Facebook Messenger app

Facebook: Want to stay in touch? Then it's Messenger or NOTHING

If you're used to sending messages to Facebook friends, enjoy it while you can – Facebook plans to kill the feature on mobile clients and force users to download its Messenger app instead. "In the next few days, we're continuing to notify more people that if they want to send and receive Facebook messages, they'll need to …
Iain Thomson, 30 Jul 2014
Netflix

We're BFFs AGAIN, say AT&T and Netflix after penning peering pact

Netflix has agreed to a network peering deal with AT&T. The two firms said in a joint statement that they have inked an agreement which will provide better connections between the Netflix service and AT&T's own network, confirming an earlier report from Mashable. "We reached an interconnect agreement with AT&T in May and since …
Shaun Nichols, 30 Jul 2014
Facebook privacy image

Ethicists say Facebook's experiments not SO creepy

The Ethical Research Project has weighed into the argument over the ethics of Facebook's “creepy” social contagion research, doing the unthinkable: actually asking ordinary punters how they feel about being lab rats. Interestingly, the study suggests that users might have not felt too badly about the Facebook work, if anyone had …
NBN Co Customer premises equipment

NBN Co pricing under spotlight

NBN Co is considering revising its wholesale pricing model, and has approached the industry for comment. According to industry newsletter Communications Day, the usage-based Connectivity Virtual Circuit (CVC) charge, which has been subject to criticism since it was first announced in 2010, may be either overhauled or eliminated …

BlackBerry: We'll buy Angela Merkel's phone security company. HA!

BlackBerry has bought privately held German firm Secusmart as part of its drive to become the handset provider of choice for security-conscious clients such as government agencies and big businesses. Secusmart, which specialises in voice and data encryption, was already a partner of the one-time business phone giant, providing …
Virgin Media Satellite acquisition

Scotland's BIG question: Will independence cost me my broadband?

Feature On 18 September, the people living in Scotland will vote in a referendum to decide if we should to slice the top off Great Britain and create a separate country. If that happens, and once the locals sober up, Scotland could be a country with universal broadband, a publicly owned postal service and mobile coverage which would be …
Bill Ray, 29 Jul 2014
Cat 5 cable

Telcos renew calls to limit metadata retention

Australian internet service provider (ISP) iiNet's chief regulatory officer Steve Dalby has (once again) come out swinging against proposals in Australia to introduce a mass data retention regime, telling a senate committee that the head of ASIO doesn't understand what law enforcement is asking for. Dalby was addressing the …
NBN Co Customer premises equipment

NBN Co adds apartments to FTTP rollout

NBN Co – via Telstra Wholesale – has revealed which apartment blocks will be the first to get FTTP under commercial trials of a rollout plan designed to thwart cherry-picking by competitors. The Telstra Wholesale rollout publication (PDF or Excel, here) obliquely identifies suburbs in Sydney (Millers Point and Haymarket), …