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Judges put FCC back in its box: No, you can't override state laws, not even for city broadband
Thursday, 11 August 2016 06:02

A US circuit court has torpedoed the FCC and its efforts to champion city-owned broadband networks.

The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals said on Wednesday [PDF] that the American regulator lacks the authority to overrule state laws that prevent cities from operating their own ISPs.

Last year, the watchdog declared it was unfair of North Carolina and Tennessee to block community-run broadband. Now an appeals court has said the FCC overstepped the mark by trying to undo that block with a preemptive order. In other words, in this case, the US states can't be pushed around and overruled by the

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We’re Fans of Dave’s Fans
Sunday, 14 August 2016 10:00

Hackaday.io contributor extraordinaire [davedarko] gets hot in the summer. We all do. But what separates him from the casual hacker is that he beat the heat by ordering four 120 mm case fans. He then 3D printed a minimalistic tower frame for the fans, and tied them all together with a ULN2004 and an ESP8266. The whole thing is controlled over the network via MQTT. That’s dedication to staying cool.

We really like the aesthetics of this design. A fan made up of fans! But from personal experience, we also know that these large case fans can push a lot …read more

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[CNLohr], ESP8266, USB…
Wednesday, 10 August 2016 11:30

“Round up the usual suspects…”

[CNLohr] just can’t get enough of the ESP8266 these days — now he’s working on getting a version of V-USB software low-speed USB device emulation working on the thing. (GitHub link here, video also embedded below.) That’s not likely to be an afternoon project, and we should warn you that it’s still a project in progress, but he’s made some in-progress material available, and if you’re interested either in USB or the way the mind of [CNLohr] works, it’s worth a watch.

In this video, he leans heavily on the logic analyzer. He’s not a …read more

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Again with the cheap internet access in India, Facebook?
Monday, 08 August 2016 16:41

Facebook's trying to bring affordable internet access to rural India again.

The company has dangled a programme called “Express Wi-fi” at Internet.org , the platform it used for its Free Basics programme. India banned that service on net neutrality grounds . The Register notes that the "Express WiFi" page at Internet.org offers a link that publishers can use to apply for inclusion in Free Basics.

Now the Economic Times of India quotes a Facebook spokesperson saying words to the effect that the company has teamed with state-owned carrier Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd to test an affordably priced Wi-Fi service for

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How To Detect And Find Rogue Cell Towers
Wednesday, 10 August 2016 07:00

Software defined radios are getting better and better all the time. The balaclava-wearing hackers know it, too. From what we saw at HOPE in New York a few weeks ago, we’re just months away from being able to put a femtocell in a desktop computer for under $3,000. In less than a year, evil, bad hackers could be tapping into your cell phone or reading your text message from the comfort of a van parked across the street. You should be scared, even though police departments everywhere and every government agency already has this capability.

These rogue cell sites have …read more

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DNS Tunneling: Getting The Data Out Over Other Peoples’ WiFi
Monday, 08 August 2016 16:00

[KC Budd] wanted to make a car-tracking GPS unit, and he wanted it to be able to phone home. Adding in a GSM phone with a data plan would be too easy (and more expensive), so he opted for the hacker’s way: tunneling the data over DNS queries every time the device found an open WiFi hotspot. The result is a device that sends very little data, and sends it sporadically, but gets the messages out.

This system isn’t going to be reliable — you’re at the mercy of the open WiFi spots that are in the area. This certainly …read more

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