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Where the HELL is that Comcast technician? Finally – an app for that
Friday, 21 November 2014 15:01

The business benefits of unified storage

US cable giant Comcast is offering some subscribers an app that tracks the whereabouts of its technicians before they arrive for a service appointment. So if you're waiting around for ages wondering where he or she is, there'll be a light at the end of the tunnel.

The ISP said its MyAccount app, available on iOS and Android devices, would soon add the real-time tracking feature.

According to Comcast, it will activate when the technician reports in as being 30 minutes away within the target two-hour appointment period. Users will then be able to

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Using the ESP8266 as a Web-enabled sensor
Monday, 24 November 2014 09:00

A few months ago, the ESP8266 came onto the scene as a cheap way to add WiFi to just about any project that had a spare UART. Since then, a few people have figured out how to get this neat chip running custom firmware, opening the doors to an Internet of Things based around an ESP8266. [Marc] and [Xavi] just wrote up a quick tutorial on how to turn the ESP8266 into a WiFi sensor platform that will relay the state of a GPIO pin to the Internet.

If you’re going to replicate this project, you won’t be using the … Read more

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Test Your Signal with the WiFi Cup
Wednesday, 12 November 2014 06:01

wifi cup

[CNLohr] wanted to test the WiFi range in his house. One look at his roommate’s cup and an unorthodox idea was born. The WiFi Cup used an ESP8266 to connect to his home network. For output, [CNLohr] also added a WS2812 LED strip to the cup. The ESP8266 was programmed to send UDP packets to [CNLohr's] laptop. When the laptop responded back, the ESP8266 turned on the LEDs, lighting up the cup. The cup’s response to signal strength was very quick – about a second.

[CNLohr] took the WiFi Cup around the house. He was surprised to detect the connection … Read the rest

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Why 120 people just protested outside San Francisco City Hall (Hint: 'Hybrid' net neutrality)
Saturday, 08 November 2014 10:43

How to select the right remote support tool

Video If you wandered through San Francisco's Civic Centre Plaza on Thursday between 6 and 6.35pm, at the City Hall end, it would have been hard, though not impossible, to avoid a protest held against new net neutrality proposals.

Why 120 people just protested outside San Francisco City Hall (Hint: 'Hybrid' net neutrality)

With just two days' notice, a turnout of 100 to 120 people is pretty good (although 333 said they would attend on its Facebook page ). It was roughly the same size as protests held in another 14 cities across the US, including outside the White House.

They were protesting against a proposed

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RFToy Makes Wireless Projects Easier
Tuesday, 11 November 2014 09:01

RFT0y

[Ray] has created RFToy, a simple gadget to aid in setting up wireless systems with a variety of common radio modules. RFToy is an open source microcontroller board running on an ATmega328. While RFToy is Arduino code compatible, [Ray] chose to ditch the familiar Arduino shield layout for one that makes it easier to install RF modules, and is more handheld friendly.

[RFToy] includes headers for the popular nRF24L01 2.4 GHz transceiver, as well as 433/315 transmitters and receivers found in many low-cost wireless electronic devices. The 128×64 pixel OLED screen and 3 button interface make it easy to … Read the rest

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Virgin Media CUTS OFF weekend 'net surfers after embarrassing smut-filtering snafu
Monday, 10 November 2014 01:30

Managing Apple devices in the enterprise

Virgin Media customers were hit by an annoying network cockup on Saturday, after the cable company's smut-filtering Web Safe system stupidly blocked lots of websites.

Subscribers complained about the snafu on Twitter, where many people claimed that they could barely access anything over Virgin Media's network.

Reg reader Red Bren alerted us to the blunder on Saturday night.

"My Virgin Media broadband has stopped working due to an SSL error on the Web Safe server," he told us.

"What's annoying is that I haven't opted in to their Web Safe service, but all my

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