Is there an unsecured wireless network near you?
Brits look at Google and Facebook every 210 seconds, says survey
Thursday, 10 August 2017 00:01

All your eyeballs are belong to the online ad borgs

Ad companies Facebook and Google slurp one in every 3½ minutes that Britons spend online, according to a survey.

This, says audience metrics company Verto Analytics, accounts for 17 per cent of British adults’ time online, the equivalent of 42.7 million days a month across Google, YouTube and Gmail.

Similarly, Facebook-owned sites, including the ad-driven data-mining website itself, Instagram and WhatsApp, account for 11 per cent of time online, or a relatively paltry 28.4 million days.

“Google and Facebook’s share of internet time and ad revenue is staggering considering the

South London: Rats! The rodents have killed the internet
Friday, 11 August 2017 19:28

Giant cable-nomming rodents have caused "extensive damage" in South London by chewing through fibre, leaving customers without broadband since last night.

Sky and TalkTalk apologised this morning for the lost of service, which occurred yesterday evening around 9pm.

A message to one customer from Sky at 9:55am said: "Engineers are still working on resolving the fibre break.

"Extensive damage has been caused by rodents chewing through cables and it’s taking longer to fix than we’d like and have estimated your service should be restored at lunchtime. Thanks for your patience."

TalkTalk said: "We're aware some customers in South London may

FLEX Pager Protocol in Depth
Sunday, 13 August 2017 10:00

We love pager hacks. One of our earliest head-slappers was completely reverse-engineering a restaurant pager’s protocol, only to find out that it was industry-standard POCSAG. Doh!

[Corn] apparently scratches the same itch, but in the Netherlands where the FLEX protocol is more common. In addition to walking us through all of the details of the FLEX system, he bought a FLEX pager, gutted it, and soldered on an ATMega328 board and an ESP8266. The former does the FLEX decoding, and the latter posts whatever it hears on his local network.

These days, we’re sure that you could do the same …read more

Making a Cheap Radar Unit Awesome
Friday, 11 August 2017 07:00

[JBeale] squeezed every last drop of performance from a $5 Doppler radar module, and the secrets of that success are half hardware, half firmware, and all hack.

On the hardware side, the first prototype radar horn was made out of cardboard with aluminum foil taped around it. With the concept proven, [JBeale] made a second horn out of thin copper-clad sheets, but reports that the performance is just about the same. The other hardware hack was simply to tack a wire on the radar module’s analog output and add a simple op-amp gain stage, which extended the sensing range well …read more

Welcome to the Rise of the Machine-to-Machine. Isn't it time to 'block off' some data ducts?
Tuesday, 01 August 2017 23:58

Sysadmin blog Do you remember Web 2.0, Web 3.0 and so forth? It's marketing terminology that was popular at the turn of the millennium and was as used and abused as "cloud" is today. Underneath all the fluff, however, were solid and reasoned ideas about how technology would evolve and the benefits they'd bring.

To understand where technology is going tomorrow, it's worth looking back at where technology has been.

Web 1.0 was all about content. Bare bones web pages made possible by the invention of HTML, early information exchange beyond academia. The technologies of the Web 1.0 era were

Dirty carbon nanotubes offer telcos chance at secure quantum comms
Tuesday, 01 August 2017 14:58

Single-photon emitters aren't a new thing in physics labs, but they usually require liquid-helium-chilled freezers.

America's Los Alamos National Laboratories (LANL) reckons it's cracked a difficult double : a telecom-frequency single photon emitter that works at room temperature.

This has potential because the two key telecommunications wavelengths are 1330 nm and 1550 nm. At those wavelengths it's easy to make devices like optical amplifiers (erbium-doped amplifiers for 1550 nm are the most common; praseodymium is used for the less-deployed 1330 nm range).

This discovery therefore opens up the possibility that network operators with more-or-less garden variety kit could offer secure

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