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Hacking a Dollar Store Bluetooth Device
Thursday, 15 September 2016 11:30

Hardware hackers are always looking for devices to tear apart and scavenge from. It’s hardly a secret that purchasing components individually is significantly more expensive than the minuscule cost per unit that goes along with mass manufacturing. Bluetooth devices are no exception. Sure, they’re not exactly a luxury purchase anymore, but they’re still not dirt cheap either.

Luckily for [Troy Denton], it seems dollar stores have started carrying a Bluetooth camera shutter for just a few dollars (it was three bucks, perhaps the dollar store actually means divisible-by). The device is designed to pair with a smart phone, and has …read more

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Raspberry Pi Walkie Talkie Mumbles To Friends
Thursday, 08 September 2016 07:01

His kids wanted walkie talkies, so [Daniel Chote] built one. The TalkiePi is a neat project built around a Raspberry Pi running Mumble, the open-source voice chat system that his kids can share with their siblings and friends.

It’s easy enough to choose the Raspberry Pi, and Mumble is pretty well known. But what’s the easiest way you can think of to add microphone and speakers to the RPi? We applaud [Daniel’s] choice to equip it with the guts of a USB speakerphone. Mumble lets you choose voice activation or keyboard input — in this case an added button makes …read more

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Run a RepRap on an ESP8266
Wednesday, 07 September 2016 14:31

What can’t the little $5 WiFi module do? Now that [lhartmann] has got an ESP8266 controlling the motors of a 3D printer, that’s one more item to check off the list.

What’s coolest about this project is the way that [lhartmann] does it. The tiny ESP8266 has nowhere near the required number of GPIO pins, the primary SPI is connected to the onboard flash memory, and the secondary SPI is poorly documented and almost nobody uses it. So, [lhartmann] chose to use the I2S outputs.

I2S is most often an audio protocol, so this might at first seem like a …read more

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Colour us shocked: ISPs not that keen to sign up for Universal Service Obligation
Wednesday, 17 August 2016 01:09

Telco regulator Ofcom has admitted that internet service providers are not particularly eager to sign up to the government's Universal Service Obligation.

The USO is intended to give everyone the legal right to request 10Mbps by 2018.

However, in its summary of responses for its call for input to the plans earlier this year, Ofcom said providers were lukewarm about taking on the role.

It said: "We note that, although the majority of respondents called for a competitive designation process, most industry stakeholders did not express a willingness to become a designated USO provider.

"This could affect the degree to

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BT best provider for 10Mbps USO, says former digi minister Ed Vaizey
Thursday, 18 August 2016 17:01

BT's Openreach is the internet provider best placed to deliver the government's plan for a Universal Service Obligation (USO) of 10Mbps by the end of the decade, former digital minister Ed Vaizey has said.

Speaking to The Register , Vaizey said: "I think if you want the most effective, quickest and likely-to-be-delivered solution, it should be Openreach delivering it without a subsidy from the government."

This week, Ofcom published its response to a consultation calling for input on how the USO should be delivered. It revealed that many service providers do not want to take on the job.

The regulator

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Ireland looks like it's outpacing Britain in the superfast broadband rollout stakes
Monday, 29 August 2016 18:32

Comment How do Blighty’s future broadband plans compare to its Irish neighbour, which arguably has its sights on a much more ambitious target than BT?

The UK’s state-subsidised broadband deployment scheme ends next year, with the scheme on track to deliver “super fast” coverage to 95 per cent of Great Britain.

Plans for connecting the final five per cent of the UK have involved, so far, vague talk of a Universal Service Obligation of 10Mbps, with operators in Blighty having remained lukewarm about putting themselves forward.

Former digital minister Ed Vaizey has said he believes BT is best placed to

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