Is there an unsecured wireless network near you?
Australian Bureau of Statistics stops counting 24Mbps broadband services
Wednesday, 06 April 2016 14:02

Australians downloaded 1,714,922 Terabytes in the 90 days to December 31st, 2015, according to new data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

The bureau's new Internet Activity, Australia, December 2015 , released today, points out that 98 per cent of those downloads used wired networks, which rather dampens the argument that Australia can do without a new terrestrial network.

The report also notes that downloads increased by 50.4 per cent compared to the same 90-day period in 2014. El Reg notes that video-streaming arrived in Australia in early 2015, making it an obvious source of the increased downloads. And

Broadband bods Gigaclear bag £24m for rural hi-speed internet
Tuesday, 05 April 2016 21:02

Rural broadband provider Gigaclear has bagged an additional £24m in investment, part of its plans to serve 1.5 million homes currently without fibre-to-the-premises networks.

This investment follows a cash injection of ‎£20m (€25m) from the EU-controlled European Investment Bank in January . Gigaclear is targeting a fund-raising goal of £90m this year.

Gigaclear offers customer speeds of between 50Mps to 1Gbps via its optic fibre networks. So far it has built 60 rural fibre networks, with 25 in construction.

By the end of 2015, it had more than 15,000 homes on its network.

For the full-year 2015 the company reported

Tiny BLE UART Makes Bluetooth Low Energy Simple
Thursday, 07 April 2016 13:01

Last time I talked about the internals of how Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) handles data. I mentioned that the way it is set up is meant to conserve power and also to support common BLE devices like heart rate monitors. On the other hand, I also mentioned that you often didn’t need to deal with that because you’d use an abstraction layer.

This time, I want to show you how I used the Hackaday special edition Tiny BLE (from Seeed Studios) and its mbed library to do a quick simple BLE project. If you didn’t read the first part, don’t …read more

IR Rework Station
Wednesday, 06 April 2016 22:00

Modern surface mount components often need special tools for rework. However, those tools can be expensive. [Michael Skrepsky] wanted an infrared rework station, but didn’t like the price. So he built his own.

According to [Michael] he used a lot of scrap in the construction. . He used K-type thermocouples, optotriacs, triacs, a 20×4 display and, of course, an Arduino. An old bathroom heater, along with a 600W and 100W halogen bulb work as heaters.

The Arduino runs two PIDs. One is a slow regulator for preheating. The other is an interrupt-driven phase regulator for the top heater. [Michael] built the circuit on …read more

Makerville Knit: Industrial-Strength WiFi Breakout
Wednesday, 06 April 2016 07:01

If you need an industrial-strength IoT product, you need an industrial-strength WiFi chipset. For our own household hacks, we’re totally happy with the ESP8266 chip. But if you need to connect to the big, scary Internet you’ll probably want state-of-the-art encryption. In particular, Amazon insists on TLS 1.2 for their Web Services (AWS), and we don’t know how to get that working on the ESP.

[Anuj] designed a breakout board called the knit which includes a Marvell MW300 WiFi SOC. This chip has an onboard ARM Cortex M4F running at 200 MHz, which means you’ve got a lot of everything …read more

Legal right to 10Mbps broadband is 'not enough', thunders KCOM chief
Wednesday, 30 March 2016 19:01

The government's plans to make 10Mbps a 'legal right' by 2020 do not nearly go far enough, Bill Halbert, chief exec of telecoms sector firm Kcom has said.

Achieving an ultrafast broadband infrastructure is "one of the most important things we can achieve as a country," Halbert told The Register .

"The Universal Service Obligation of 10Mbps – in my view, that is not enough."

Kcom recently sold the majority of its telecoms infrastructure to rival CityFibre for £90m – something Halbert says has put it in a position of having "no net debt."

However, Halbert believes revenue and profits

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