Is there an unsecured wireless network near you?
Revive that old Analog Cell Phone with SDR
Sunday, 04 November 2018 11:00

With the latest and greatest 5G cellular networks right around the corner, it can be difficult to believe that it wasn’t so long ago that cell phones relied on analog networks. They aren’t used anymore, but it might only take a visit to a swap meet or flea market to get your hands on some of this vintage hardware. Of course these phones of a bygone era aren’t just impractical due to their monstrous size compared to modern gear, but because analog cell networks have long since gone the way of the floppy disk.

But thanks to the efforts of …read more

Oz spy boss defends 'high risk vendor' ban
Tuesday, 30 October 2018 10:00

The head of the Australian Signals Directorate, the Down Under equivalent of America's NSA, has said Chinese vendors Huawei and ZTE would be a threat to critical infrastructure if they were allowed to take part in building the country's 5G networks.

In a rare public speech, ASD boss Mike Burgess said “a potential threat anywhere in the network is a threat to the whole network”.

It's “paramount” that Australia gets critical infrastructure security right, he said.

Without explicitly calling out China, Burgess said decisions to exclude “high risk vendors” from Australian infrastructure was was “supported by technical advice from our

Pirate radio = drug dealing and municipal broadband is anti-competitive censorship
Tuesday, 30 October 2018 09:16

Comment It has long been a sad truth that Washington DC lives within its own distorted universe, but even by DC standards a recent speech by federal regulator Michael O'Rielly is a wonder to behold.

O'Rielly is one of four current commissioners on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and on occasion is known for his sharp insights in telecoms regulation, particularly when it comes to the FCC's own outdated systems and work patterns.

His speech [PDF] at "The Media Institute" last week as a keynote during its "Free Speech America Gala" was not one of those times.

We have repeatedly

Oliver Heaviside: Rags to Recognition, to Madness
Wednesday, 31 October 2018 14:01

Like any complex topic, electromagnetic theory has its own vocabulary. When speaking about dielectrics we may refer to their permittivity, and discussions on magnetic circuits might find terms like reluctance and inductance bandied about. At a more practical level, a ham radio operator might discuss the impedance of the coaxial cable used to send signals to an antenna that will then be bounced off the ionosphere for long-range communications.

It’s everyday stuff to most of us, but none of this vocabulary would exist if it hadn’t been for Oliver Heaviside, the brilliant but challenging self-taught British electrical engineer and …read more

Super Cali goes ballistic, net neutrality hopeless? Even Ajit Pai's gloating is something quite atrocious
Saturday, 27 October 2018 09:00

The US state of California has agreed to put its controversial net neutrality law on hold pending a legal challenge against it from the federal government.

Cali governor Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill 822 ( SB-822 ) into law on the last day of September – the last day he was able to before leaving office.

The federal government was expecting it, and in less than an hour, on a Sunday, the US Department of Justice filed suit against it , claiming that it is "preempted by federal law and therefore violates the Supremacy Clause of the United States Constitution."

What can I say about this 5G elixir? Try it on steaks! Cleans nylons! It's made for the home! The office! On fruits!
Saturday, 27 October 2018 06:56

Once in a generation, a technology comes along that changes everything: how we work, communicate, trade, live.

And based on a year of seemingly endless coverage, you could be forgiven for believing that "5G", the next advance in wireless technology, is it.

It will make the internet-of-things a reality; it will fixed internet access for rural areas; it will create entire new markets; it will change literally everything that we do on a day-to-day basis.

Except it won't. And more and more people are getting fed up with the hype . Hype that, incidentally, has led pretty much every Congressman

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