Is there an unsecured wireless network near you?
Dear Britain's mast-fearing Nimbys: Do you want your phone to work or not?
Friday, 08 March 2019 22:44

Analysis The UK's four big mobile network operators dropped in on Whitehall yesterday to plead their case for taller masts and other policy tweaks. With the public thirsting for better data, but derailing attempts to improve it, they're treading a delicate line.

One of the concerns is the policy emphasis on providing coverage where nobody goes – except perhaps sheep (a sheep explained the case for rural broadband in this 2012 Reg comment piece ). Another widespread concern is being ambushed by local protesters. Operators are exasperated that rural residents complain about poor coverage – then object to attempts to

TalkTalk returns to the email hall of shame as Pipex accounts throw weekend-long wobbly
Monday, 11 March 2019 23:07

TalkTalk is back in the spotlight over its email services after ageing Pipex mail addresses stopped working abruptly on Saturday.

Reg readers wrote in over the weekend to say that, following the news of an eight-year-old zombie TalkTalk email address staggering back to life in a blizzard of spam , their Pipex accounts had mysteriously stopped working.

One forlorn Pipex customer triggered a lengthy thread on its customer service support forums, posting : "I've been trying to access my Pipex email account since 0700 today. Cannot log into Webmail, and same for POP. The latter is throwing up 0x800CCC90 and

Radio gaga: Techies fear EU directive to stop RF device tinkering will do more harm than good
Monday, 11 March 2019 21:05

EU plans to ban the sale of user-moddable radio frequency devices – like phones and routers – have provoked widespread condemnation from across the political bloc.

The controversy centres on Article 3(3)(i) of the EU Radio Equipment Directive , which was passed into law back in 2014.

However, an EU working group is now about to define precisely which devices will be subject to the directive – and academics, researchers, individual "makers" and software companies are worried that their activities and business models will be outlawed.

Article 3(3)(i) states that RF gear sold in the EU must support "certain features

Packet switching pickle prompts potential pecuniary problems
Monday, 11 March 2019 18:59

Who, Me? Our warmest of wishes to you all on this fine Monday. Let us provide you with some of El Reg ’s finest word sustenance, with this week’s Who, Me?

This time, our trip down the cringeworthy memory lane is led by a chap we’ll name “Bryce”.

In about 1989, Bryce made what was technically a rather costly mistake for his company – but not many people noticed.

At the time, he was working for a market research company with a customer who was based in Japan.

That customer connected to a VAX database in the UK via packet

Marvell-ous! Chip slinger unleashes 400Gbps switching silicon for the edge
Thursday, 14 March 2019 00:51

US chipmaker Marvell Technology has created 400Gbps silicon for Ethernet switches, destined for data centres that live at the edge of the network.

The shiny new Prestera CX 8500 family supports 32 ports of 400Gbps or 256 ports of 50Gbps – that's up to 12.8Tb per second of total bandwidth.

The chips integrate two technologies proprietary to Marvell.

The first, Storage Aware Flow Engine (or SAFE), offers visibility into network flows that should help orchestrate disaggregated, virtual storage – think composable infrastructure and NVMe over fabrics.

Forwarding Architecture, the second, uses Slices of Terabit Ethernet Routers (or FASTER, these guys

We can do this the easy way or the Huawei, US tells Germany with threat to snip intel over 5G fears
Wednesday, 13 March 2019 00:14

Uncle Sam has reportedly threatened Germany with a reduction in intelligence sharing if it allows Huawei equipment to be installed on its 5G networks.

This comes after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo last month warned that America would cut off its allies from hush-hush secrets if they dared deploy Huawei gear in core communications systems.

This latest threat was made by Richard Grenell, the US ambassador to Germany, writing to economics minister Peter Altmaier, according to the Wall Street Journal yesterday.

While the US embassy in Berlin would not confirm that a message was sent, the German Federal Economics

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