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Can you hear me now – over the picket line? Verizon workers strike
Thursday, 14 April 2016 03:26

The workers who handle Verizon's wireline services in the Eastern US have gone on strike.

At 6:00am local time Wednesday morning, the Communications Workers of America (CWA) said that members in districts ranging from Maryland and Delaware up through New York and New England were officially on strike barring failed negotiations with the telecom giant.

The union cited labor issues including overtime pay, wages, pensions, and the use of outsourced contractors to handle support calls among the reasons its workers were walking off the job and picketing Verizon.

While the striking workers are mostly those who handle the copper and

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Ofcom promises to have details on duct and pole access by summer
Wednesday, 13 April 2016 00:05

The communications regulator Ofcom has promised to release more details on how it intends to give BT's competitors greater access to Openreach's poles and ducts by the summer.

The details follow Ofcom's decision in February in the once-in-a-decade Digital Communications Review to open up BT's network of telegraph poles and underground tunnels to rivals so competitors can connect fibre to homes and offices.

Speaking before MPs today, Ofcom head Sharon White said greater network access to Openreach would improve competition and reduce the country's reliance on one single dominant supplier. Such a move ought to improve the number of fibre-to-the-premise

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CarontePass: Open Access Control For Your Hackerspace
Friday, 15 April 2016 01:01

A problem faced by all collaborative working spaces as they grow is that of access control. How can you give your membership secure access to the space without the cost and inconvenience of having a keyholder on site at all times.

[Torehc] is working on solving this problem with his CarontePass RFID access system, at the Kreitek Makerspace (Spanish, Google Translate link) in Tenerife, Canary Islands.

Each door has a client with RFID readers, either a Raspberry Pi or an ESP8266, which  connects via WiFi to a Raspberry Pi 2 server running a Django-based REST API. This server has access …read more

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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

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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

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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

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