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Rolex in Live and Let Die

ISPs 'blindsided' by UK.gov's 'emergency' data retention and investigation powers law

The Tory-led government's "emergency" data retention and investigation powers (Drip) bill currently being rushed through Parliament has caught ISPs off guard, it has emerged. The Register understands that telcos were only gently briefed on the plans ahead of last week's announcement from Prime Minister David Cameron. An industry …
Kelly Fiveash, 14 Jul 2014
slow_sign

UK.gov warned: Small biz bods 'blunted' by broadband bumbling

Small businesses in Britain are missing out on the government's £1.2bn taxpayer-funded broadband deployment project, a lobby group warned today. The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) complained in a report titled The fourth utility (PDF) published this morning that 45,000 companies in the UK remained stuck using dial-up …
Kelly Fiveash, 14 Jul 2014
RFID_snail

NBN Co execs: No FTTN product until 2015

NBN Co executives have defended the slow progress of the organisation's fibre-to-the-node rollout, telling a Senate committee it would be “unlikely” for any telco to have a product ready for launch within a year of receiving new policy directions. The statement was made by NBN Co chief customer officer John Simon. Under …
closed_sign shut down under collapsed liquidation

China Mobile to quit WiFi rollout

After spending 17 billion yuan on WiFi hotspots – more than $US2.75 billion at the current exchange rate – China Mobile has quit on the rollout and will redirect its spend to LTE. The reason for the decision, reported in Sohu IT (original in Chinese, here), is simple: the hotspots don't make money. Sohu IT says the hotspots are …
School kids

FCC OKs $5 BEEELLION Wi-Fi cash splash in schools, libraries

Five billion dollars will be used to fund Wi-Fi networks in US schools and libraries after the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) passed an overhaul of the E-rate program. The commission issued an order that will pour $2bn of additional funds into E-rate over the next two years for the purpose of installing and upgrading …
Shaun Nichols, 11 Jul 2014
Microsoft campus

Will Microsoft devices sit happily on a single platform?

The world can be a confusing place. Often a one-size-fits-all solution looks to be just the thing but ultimately it turns out that it fits no one. Microsoft is touting a single development environment for desktops, laptops, tablets, phablets, mobiles and the Xbox. Can this deliver? The platform for PC, phone and tablet comes …
Simon Rockman, 11 Jul 2014

Telefonica inks deal with mobile ads platform: Find your customer? There's an API for that

Spanish telco Telefonica has looked to Brainstorm Mobile to supply it with a platform to roll out its global marketing strategy. The Brainstorm platform is also behind Weve, which is the UK consortium of mobile operators working in mobile marketing. By working directly with Brainstorm, Telefonica can use the service outside the …
Simon Rockman, 11 Jul 2014

Do your execs take mobile security seriously?

Reader Poll One of the findings emerging from our latest poll is that many of you are highlighting a lack of exec awareness and air cover when it comes to mobile security. This in turn appears to translate to a lack of funding to put the systems in place to cope with new devices, BYOD and so on. Is this something you are experiencing? If …
Dale Vile, 11 Jul 2014

Verizon points more fingers at Netflix: It's YOUR pals slowing data

Verizon and Netflix are having another go-round in their ongoing war over network access for streaming video. In a report posted to its Public Policy Blog, Verizon vice-president of federal regulatory affairs David Young said claims that it deliberately throttles Netflix traffic are untrue and that any traffic bottlenecks were …
Shaun Nichols, 11 Jul 2014
Silent Circle email

Silent Circle takes on Skype, Viber, mobile telcos with crypto-VoIP

Silent Circle has launched a global encrypted IP voice calling service that will go up against over-the-top services Skype and Viber, among others. The idea here, however, is that it will feature a way to communicate privately. It's more bad news for mobile carriers, which are already beating off roaming-revenue pinchers in the …
John Leyden, 10 Jul 2014
Cat 5 cable

10Gbps over crumbling COPPER: Boffins cram bits down telco wire

Bell Labs has pumped data faster than ever before down antiquated copper wiring. The boffins used a frequency modulation system that they claim will be perfect for hooking up aging telco cables to future broadband fiber networks. The technique is based on the G.fast standard being considered by the International …
Iain Thomson, 9 Jul 2014

Siri, did we just take a hit in that voice-recog patent fight?

Apple has lost the first stage of a patent infringement battle in China over its voice-controlled assistant Siri – after a Beijing court ruled a speech-recognition patent held by the Chinese firm that launched the lawsuit is valid. The iPhone maker was arguing with both Shanghai-based Zhizhen Network Technology and the State …

BT slapped down by BSkyB over O2 broadband 'switch off' porkies

A BT direct mail advertising campaign spectacularly backfired on the telco after it claimed BSkyB would switch off O2 users' broadband. Sky bought the consumer broadband and fixed-line biz of Telefónica UK-owned O2 in March last year. The telecoms giant had claimed in a shouty flyer posted through Brits' letterboxes that BSkyB …
Kelly Fiveash, 9 Jul 2014
A boat full of Fail

TalkTalk talks itself into trouble with budget broadband package fibs

TalkTalk has been admonished for misleading customers with claims that it offered "Britain's lowest priced totally unlimited broadband". BT and another complainant challenged three separate issues with a series of adverts in the press and online that wrongly suggested that the budget telco had cheaper deals than its competitors …
Kelly Fiveash, 9 Jul 2014
Xbox_baby

What the world needs now is... a Bluetooth-enabled baby's dummy

UK startup Blue Maestro is about to solve the spit-the-dummy-out-of-the-crib problems forever with Pacifi, a toddler’s dummy that comes with a Bluetooth connection. The device combines silicon and silicone to measure the child’s temperature and can provide a level of monitoring which is not possible even with regular checking. …
Simon Rockman, 9 Jul 2014
Grumpy cat

Virgin Media goes titsup AGAIN. The cause? Yet MORE DNS strife

Virgin Media has declined to comment on yet another DNS outage that hit some of its subscribers on Monday night. The telco, when quizzed by The Register, admitted that it had suffered yet more downtime woe but refused to explain what was behind the company's recent network wobbles. A spokesman at the Liberty Global-owned cable …
Kelly Fiveash, 8 Jul 2014
SwissInfo.org blocked

Kiwi ISP 'Slingshot' stones geo-blocked content

New Zealanders will once again get offered “global by default” Internet access that lets them past the geo-blocking of international services like Netflix, the BBC's iPlayer, Hulu and Amazon Prime. Kiwi ISP FYX announced a similar service in 2012, but it only lasted two days. Now another New Zealand ISP, Slingshot, has decided …
Isis mobile wallet logo

Islamic terror peril hits US giants' phone wallets

US mobile payments biz Isis has decided to change its name to avoid associations with terrorist group the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Isis – not an acronym for anything – offers a pay-by-tap platform that allows customers to use their NFC-enabled smartphones to make purchases wirelessly. As such, it competes directly …
Generic mast

O2 and 'leccy firm's MNVO bid flops as £25m glugs down the drain

A new mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) planned by Scottish and Southern Energy has been switched off. The plan, as reported by Mobile magazine, was for the network to run on O2's infrastructure and use SSE’s customer base of 9.6 million customers. Two hundred thousand of those customers already have broadband and fixed …
Simon Rockman, 7 Jul 2014
Street View spymobile captures Street View spymobile on Street View

Brit celebs' homes VANISH from Google's Street View

Google is scrubbing out the homes of Blighty's rich and famous from its nosey Street View site. It has been reported that the likes of former Labour Prime Minister Tony Blair, former Beatle Paul McCartney and Led Zeppelin axeman Jimmy Page have had their houses blurred on the mapping service. Popstar Lily Allen and former RBS …
Team Register, 7 Jul 2014
Smartphones

IDC interview: The five stages of business mobility

Youtube Video It has long been a familiar feature of everyone’s working life but really we are all still waiting for mobile working to come of age. There has been plenty of progress, the advent of 4G and the uptake of cloud services having led to a big change of attitude in the last couple of years, but generally few UK …
Eira Hayward, 5 Jul 2014
padlock

BlackBerry knocks Google's KNOX LOCK PICK for Android

John Chen, CEO of BlackBerry, has hit out at Google’s decision to adopt Sammy’s KNOX security platform across the whole Android ecosystem. In a blog post on the official BlackBerry website Chen is quoted saying: While we applaud Google and Samsung for their plans, we don’t think it’s enough for security-minded enterprises. …
Simon Rockman, 4 Jul 2014
Paul Winchell

Your Android phone is a SNITCH: Wi-Fi bug makes you easy to track

Your mobile device could be compromising your privacy by broadcasting your location history over the air, even when it is in sleep mode, according to new research by the Electronic Frontier Foundation. Of particular concern are newer Android gadgets, specifically those running Android 3.1 "Honeycomb" or later. That version of …
John Legere

T-Mobile US boss: Hey, FTC! We didn't make THAT much from 'bogus premium texts'

The head of T-Mobile US is refuting claims from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) that his company made huge revenues from allowing customers to be flooded with expensive text messages. CEO John Legere said his cell network never bagged the "hundreds of millions of dollars" that the commission claims it did when people were …
Shaun Nichols, 3 Jul 2014

British owners flog Virgin Mobile France

Virgin Mobile France has been sold to cable network Numericable. The French MVNO was 46 per cent owned by Richard Branson's Virgin Group and 46 per cent owned by Carphone Warehouse, with the remaining shareholding being owned by the company management. The deal is valued at €325m, which given the 1.7 million subscribers is a …
Simon Rockman, 3 Jul 2014
Nokia Lumia 625 displaying Office app

Watch the videos of the Microsoft enterprise mobility event

Business Transformed – conference in full On June 4, Microsoft ran an enterprise mobility conference in London. Among the speakers were a tech-anthropologist, an IDC analyst and Microsoft execs and customers. As media partner for the event The Register was there to video the proceedings. Above is the webcast of the whole …
David Gordon, 3 Jul 2014

Got mobile security sussed yet? No fibbing, now

Reader Survey First we were told that BYOD would define the future of end user computing. Now many are saying that the use of personal devices for work isn't the way forward after all. While the truth is probably somewhere in between – BYOD for some users, but company devices for others – most agree that the use of mobile technology is set to …
Dale Vile, 3 Jul 2014
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Ericsson and ZTE run demos, join the 'my 5G is the real 5G' club

Mobile vendors are continuing to jockey for position in a market that doesn't yet exist, with Ericsson and ZTE the latest kit-shippers to give the 5G can a kick. Ericsson pitched its latest horseshoe in a demonstration at Kista in Sweden, where the company says by using frequencies in the 15 GHz band it was able to run enough …
Internet of Things

Microsoft joins Qualcomm's gang in Internet of Stuff standards fight

Microsoft has joined a standards-setting consortium of 50 companies that is hoping to be instrumental in setting up interoperability for the Internet of Things. The software giant has signed up to the Allseen Alliance, which also counts companies like Qualcomm, LG, Cisco and Symantec among its members. The group is trying to …
Slick looking picture of  xiaomi's Mi3 Android smartphone

Xiaomi: Hidden Android dragon is growing fast, despite being unknown in the West

Xiaomi - the fastest growing mobile phone manufacturer - is now Number Three in China and setting its sights on the top spot. The company has said through its blog that it sold 26.11 million phones in the first six months of the year and has set a target of 60m phones for the full year. The figure shows extraordinary growth of …
Simon Rockman, 2 Jul 2014
Pierce Brosnan in Tomorrow Never Dies

ISPs haul GCHQ into COURT over dragnet interwebs snooping

Britain's eavesdropping nerve centre GCHQ has been accused of unlawfully accessing the private communications of potentially millions of people – and angry internet service providers are dragging the snooping agency to court. ISPs and organisations from the US, UK, Netherlands, Zimbabwe, Korea and Germany have teamed up with …
Kelly Fiveash, 2 Jul 2014

Virgin Media struck dumb by NATIONWIDE DNS outage

Virgin Media customers were kicked offline last night, after a DNS blunder from the cable company disrupted its network on Tuesday. It comes after rival BT suffered a similar, widespread technical cockup over the weekend. Virgin Media, which is owned by US telecoms giant Liberty Global, coughed to a "nationwide DNS outage" on …
Kelly Fiveash, 2 Jul 2014
NBN Co Customer premises equipment

Fibre to YOUR premises NBN still on table pending telco talks

NBN Co's new roadmap, released yesterday, contained an interesting omission: no mention was made of a product offering domestic users the chance to pay for an optic fibre to be laid to their homes even if they live in an area where fibre-to-the-node (FTTN) will be built. The omission is interesting given Australia's …
Wifi grumpy cat

Sydney wallows in cesspit of WiFi obsolescence and ignorance

Sophos has brought its Raspberry-Pi-powered World of Warbiking WiFi-sniffing peloton to Sydney and found, as it does everywhere around the world, that some people just can't be bothered with WiFi security. The Word of Warbiking sees Sophos' head of security research James Lynbe strap a Pi and various WiFi cards to his bicycle …

FTC: T-Mobile USA took '$100s of millions' in bogus txt charges

T-Mobile US has been accused of hitting customers with bogus text-message charges running into hundreds of millions of dollars. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has filed suit against the carrier, and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has opened an investigation. The agencies alleged the company allowed users to be …
Shaun Nichols, 1 Jul 2014

Keith McMahon, tech analyst, dies at 50

Obit We're very shocked to hear of the death of one of the telcomms industry's wisest and best-loved experts, Keith McMahon, aged just 50. Born in Salford, Keith was widely known as a witty and shrewd analyst of the media and telecomms industries for STL Partners, where his presentations were the highlight of its Telco 2.0 …
ISIS Islamists in Iraq

REVEALED: The sites blocked by Great Firewall of Iraq

Exclusive The Register has obtained a list of the websites which are still blocked by the Iraqi government despite its decision to lift partial and total internet blockades around the country. Although the Ministry of Communications appears to have gone back on its decision to restrict access to Facebook and Twitter, ISPs have been told …
Jasper Hamill, 1 Jul 2014
NBN Co logo

NBN Co reveals 1 Gbps business plans in new product roadmap

NBN Co, the entity charged with building and operating Australia's national broadband network (NBN), has released a detailed product roadmap stretching out until 2016. The document (PDF) offers a few interesting insights into the network's progress. One item of special interest is a promised “Enterprise Ethernet Service” that …
NBN FTTN cabinet

Keep monopoly or make network expensive, NBN Co warns

Australia doesn't need to revise its telecomms competition policy, says NBN Co – except if the policy is interpreted as allowing infrastructure-based competition to its national network. That's the conundrum the company building Australia's reduced-scope national broadband network has raised in its submission to the competition …
Street View vehicle in Tramore, County Waterford

Street View Wi-Fi slurp nightmare: US Supremes snub Google's appeal

Google isn't quite done dealing with the fallout of its Street View cars' Wi-Fi snooping scandal. The US Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear the web giant's appeal to dismiss a class-action suit against it. Google will now have to face suit from 18 plaintiffs – Google v Joffe et al – who accuse the ads goliath of illegal …
Shaun Nichols, 30 Jun 2014

Google kills its successful social network. Yes, we mean Orkut

Google is killing off Orkut, the web giant's original and arguably most successful social network, which remains popular in Brazil and India but never really gained traction in the West. Worse still, the Mountain View company announced the move during the World Cup football tournament – taking place in Brazil. In a carefully …
Kelly Fiveash, 30 Jun 2014

BT at last coughs to 'major outage' after broadband went titsup across UK on Sat

BT was hit by a huge DNS outage on Saturday morning but the telecoms giant was very slow to respond to customer complaints, it has been claimed. A DNS flaw downed BT's network across Blighty, according to anecdotal reports on Twitter. But the one-time state monopoly was very sluggish to respond to gripes from subscribers who …
Kelly Fiveash, 30 Jun 2014