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GiffGaff spanked for clumsy attempt at mum-and-dad-humping humour

Vid GiffGaff has been admonished by the UK's advertising watchdog, after a publicity stunt backfired for being too fruity. The mobile network posted a video on Twitter that read: "The situations in our new videos are, well, awkward." The tweet also carried the NSFW (not safe for work) hashtag. The Advertising Standards Authority …
Kelly Fiveash, 19 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
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

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

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

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
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
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
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 …
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
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
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 …
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 …
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 …
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

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 …

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” …
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
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 …

'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
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
Galaxy

Samsung launches 'perfect pair' of skinny mid-range phones

The world’s biggest mobile phone manufacturer has unveiled two new Galaxy devices aimed at halting its falling market share and plummeting profits. The Samsung Galaxy A3 is 130.1 x 65.5 x 6.9mm, and 110g with a 4.5-inch screen, while the A5 is 139.3 x 69.7 x 6.7mm and 123g with a 5-inch screen. For comparison, the flagship …
Simon Rockman, 31 Oct 2014
france

How many telecoms firms left in Europe? Another mega-billion deal slated in France

French cable telecoms operator Numericable has won conditional approval for its multi-billion-euro takeover of Vivendi's SFR mobile network operator, paving the way for the firm to close the deal by the end of the year. Reuters reported that France's competition authority said Numericable would have to divest certain assets and …
OUT-LAW.COM, 31 Oct 2014

Verizon set to pay $64 MEEELLION for overbilling customers

Verizon has agreed to pay $64m to settle claims that the mobile carrier overcharged some customers on their bills. According to copies of the settlement posted online, Verizon will issue both cash payments for customers and credits for free calls. The settlement would put aside claims that the company overcharged some of its US …
Shaun Nichols, 30 Oct 2014