Is there an unsecured wireless network near you?
Bluetooth makes a mesh of itself with new spec
Friday, 21 July 2017 12:58

The Bluetooth Special Interest Group has released the spec for Bluetooth Mesh, a many-to-many extension of the technology.

Readers are doubtless familiar with Bluetooth's point-to-point connectivity features that enable you to do things like pair a wireless keyboard with a computer. Bluetooth's second application is broadcasting, most often used “beacons” that offer one-to-many links and are often used to provide location-dependent services or information.

Bluetooth Mesh aims to make the standard capable of carrying data for longer distances, by bouncing messages through Bluetooth devices to their eventual destination.

“Hang on”, you may well be saying at this point, “WiFi has

Firefox doesn't need to be No 1 – and that's OK, 'cos it's falling off a cliff
Tuesday, 25 July 2017 18:52

Open Source Insider Just in case you didn't believe Firefox was on a trajectory that should have it crash and burn into extinction in the next couple of years, former chief technology officer Andreas Gal has usage stats that confirm it . To use Gal's words: "Firefox market share is falling off a cliff." The same could be said of Firefox itself.

What's most interesting about this data and Gal's interpretation of it is that at the same time that Firefox is sliding into irrelevancy it's becoming a better browser. It's faster than it's ever been and uses less memory

UK ministers' Broadband '2.0' report confuses superfast with 10Mbps
Monday, 24 July 2017 18:22

A report by MP Grant Shapps into the state of broadband in Blighty has been criticised for doing more harm than good, as the research appears to conflate superfast broadband (24 Mbps) with 10Mbps broadband – the Universal Service Obligation goal.

The Register has seen a copy of the report, due to be published this week, which states as 6.7 million UK broadband connections may fail to receive speeds above the proposed minimum download speed of 10Mbps.

However, Ofcom had previously found that 1.4 million people have sub-10Mbps speeds.

Andrew Ferguson, editor of thinkbroadband.com, said the report raised some interesting

Smart Gun Beaten by Dumb Magnets
Wednesday, 26 July 2017 16:00

[Plore], a hacker with an interest in safe cracking, read a vehemently anti-smart-gun thread in 2015. With the words “Could you imagine what the guys at DEF CON could do with this?” [Plore] knew what he had to do: hack some smart guns. Watch the video below the break.

Armed with the Armatix IP1, [Plore] started with one of the oldest tricks in the book: an RF relay attack. The Armatix IP1 is designed to fire only when a corresponding watch is nearby, indicating that a trusted individual is the one holding the gun. However, by using a custom-built $20 …read more

European Telecoms Standards Institute emits mobile edge APIs
Monday, 10 July 2017 14:58

The European Telecommunications Standards Institute has unveiled the first APIs created under its Multi-Access Edge Computing project.

The name of the multi-access edge (MEC) game is to open up computing in mobile base stations to third-party developers. The API releases cover mobile edge services, application lifecycle management, applications running on edge platforms, a location service (LS) API, and a radio network information service (RNIS) API.

The last two are pitched as value-add APIs, designed to help third party applications get information about the state of the radio network and user location.

The full specs are:

Robot: Do My Bidding!
Wednesday, 12 July 2017 19:00

Remote control robots are nothing new. Using Bluetooth isn’t all that unusual, either. What [SayantanM4] did was make a Bluetooth robot that accepts voice commands via his phone. The robot itself isn’t very remarkable. An Arduino and an HC05 module make up most of the electronics. A standard motor driver runs the two wheels.

The Arduino doesn’t usually do much voice processing, and the trick is–of course–in the phone application. BT Voice Control for Arduino is a free download that simply sends strings to a host computer via Bluetooth. If you say “Hello” into your phone, the robot receives *Hello# …read more

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