Is there an unsecured wireless network near you?
WarWalking With The ESP8266
Monday, 24 October 2016 08:01

[Steve] needed a tool to diagnose and fix his friend’s and family’s WiFi. A laptop would do, but WiFi modules and tiny OLED displays are cheap now. His solution was to build a War Walker, a tiny handheld device that would listen in WiFi access points, return the signal strength, and monitor the 2.4GHz environment around him.

The War Walker didn’t appear out of a vacuum. It’s based on the WarCollar Dope Scope, a tiny, portable device consisting of an off-the-shelf Chinese OLED display, an ESP8266 module, and a PCB that can charge batteries, provide a serial port, and ties …read more

AT T tries broadband over power lines again
Wednesday, 21 September 2016 10:49

AT&T has charged up the paddles, yelled “clear!”, and fired the defibrillator into one of telecommunications' worst ideas: broadband over power lines (BPL).

Except, as chief strategy officer John Donovan stressed in a media call, this isn't BPL, it's kind of wireless-broadband-near-powerlines.

The Reg wasn't invited to the call, and AT&T's statements and video (below) are annoyingly vague about the technology.

However, Donovan said the company's gone public because the patents it's been filing for “AirGig” were starting to attract attention, so we went to the USPTO.

The general AirGig system is outlined in this patent , granted in October

Ofcom smacks Sky for breaching broadband switching rules
Wednesday, 21 September 2016 01:18

Communications regulator Ofcom has ruled that there are "reasonable grounds" to suspect Sky breached rules to allow consumers to easily switch broadband and landline providers, which could lead to a multi-million pound fine.

It follows a year-long investigation by the regulator as to whether Sky contravened the rules on landline and broadband services between 1 May 2015 and 31 July 2015 in respect of landline and broadband services.

A Sky spokesman said the company was disappointed by the ruling. “We are incredibly proud to have the highest customer satisfaction levels in the industry, as ranked in the last Ofcom customer

BT Openreach boss wants you to know that deep down, they care
Friday, 23 September 2016 00:33

BT's Openreach is today releasing a service dashboard for customers in an attempt to be more transparent about its “performance issues” over areas such as missed appointments.

Chief exec of Openreach Clive Selley said in a call that missed appointments by BT were down by one-third compared with last May.

"I'm confident we will meet our target of halving that," he said.

He added: "This is one of the things needs to get better at on the service front... I think it is a real irritant to customers if we book an appointment with you and don’t show that is

Smelly toilets, smokers and the Kardishians. Virgin Media staff grill top brass
Saturday, 24 September 2016 22:24

Smelly toilets, smoking outside and questions as to who is the best Kardashian: these were just some of the issues Virgin Media top brass were grilled on in Q&A with staff seen by The Register .

Many of Virgin Media's staff are worried about their future following its mega merger with US biz Liberty Global - as revealed by The Register .

However, concerns over the minutiae of day-to-day office life - which will no doubt resonate with most wage slaves - were also high on the list. It's just this time the exec team had to answer.

One staffer

Plusnet outage leaves customers unable to stream Netflix. Horrors!
Friday, 23 September 2016 23:11

Ongoing technical problems at gaffe-prone Plusnet are leaving customers unable to stream videos or play games.

According to the outfit's forum, the problems first began to appear yesterday. However, Plusnet also encountered packet loss problems earlier this month .

One customer wrote to The Register to complain: "There is no way of getting through to Plusnet support, with waiting times on the phone of anywhere between 30 minutes and an hour, no matter what time of day.

"Livechat is frequently offline,” continued our source. “And even if you were to get through to them their canned message tells you that

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