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America's comms watchdog takes on the internet era's real criminals: Pirate pastors
Saturday, 26 May 2018 07:38

US airwaves watchdog the FCC has taken a lot of flak in the past year for its determined effort to roll back its own rules on net neutrality – but that issue aside, the federal regulator has its finger on the pulse of America in the internet era.

Which is why it is reassuring to see the hard line that continues to be taken on the cutting edge of modern media consumption: pirate radio.

"Why do some pastors/churches think they can run illegal pirate radio 'stations'?" FCC Commissioner Michael O'Reilly roared on Friday, noting: "There is no pastoral exemption in

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Cisco admins: Hold that IOS XR update while you get new firmware
Friday, 25 May 2018 15:55

Eight Cisco NCS 6000 line cards need firmware upgrades, after Switchzilla learned they could be bricked by an IOS XR upgrade.

The operating system upgrade in question is IOS XR 5.2.x.

What Cisco found is that a number of line cards in the NC6 range with “updated 500 MHz ternary content-addressable memory (TCAM)” could either fail to boot, or move into the “IN-RESET” state unless they have a System Management Unit upgrade as well.

The symptom is pretty unmistakeable: if you install a new line card in a system running IOS XR 5.2.x, you'll get a Network Processor Unit (NPU)

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UK Home Office considers 'complete shutdown' of emergency services mobile platform
Wednesday, 30 May 2018 21:42
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Emergency crew might be hanging onto those Airwaves. Pic Michael Puche/Shutterstock

Exclusive The UK Home Office is contemplating "a complete or a partial shutdown" of its ambitious programme to shift blue light services off radio and on to 4G, The Register can reveal.

The Emergency Services Mobile Communication Programme (ESMCP) was supposed to replace the Motorola-owned Airwave radio service with a £1.2bn 4G Emergency Services Network (ESN) run by EE. It also intended to kit out emergency services with 4G-enabled devices ahead of Airwave being switched off by 31 December 2019.

However, the Home Office is in the process of

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Internet engineers tear into United Nations' plan to move us all to IPv6
Thursday, 31 May 2018 06:46

A newly released draft of the United Nations' masterplan to transition the internet to IPv6 has met a furious and despairing response from internet engineers.

"Utterly, utterly, broken. It has no redeeming or worthwhile qualities at all," commented one engineer to an dedicated IPv6 working group at Europe's regional internet registry, RIPE.

Others called the draft "fundamentally flawed," "ill-conceived," "awful," and "pointless to the degree of being self-destructive."

With one day left before RIPE is due to provide formal comments, there is not a single positive sentence, and the general consensus appears to be that the entire document should be

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Dead Simple Ultrasonic Data Communication
Saturday, 02 June 2018 07:00

Some of the best hacks are the ones which seem perfectly obvious in hindsight; a solution to the problem that’s so elegant, you wonder how it never occurred to you before. Of course we also love the hacks that are so complex your eyes start to water, but it’s nice to have a balance. This one, sent in by [Eduardo Zola] is definitely in the former group.

In the video after the break, [Eduardo] demonstrates his extremely simple setup for using ultrasonic transducers for one-way data communication. Powered by a pair of Arduinos and using transducers salvaged from the extremely …read more

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ESP32 Boards With Displays: An Overview
Friday, 25 May 2018 01:00

The ESP8266 has become practically the 555 chip of WiFi connected microcontrollers. Traditionally, you’d buy one on a little breakout board with some pins and a few connectors, and then wire up anything else you need. The ESP8266’s big brother, the ESP32, hasn’t quite taken over from the ESP8266, but it has a lot more power and many more options. [Andreas] has a new video that shows seven new ESP32 boards that have integral displays. These boards can simplify a lot of applications where you need both WiFi and a user interface.

Of the boards examined, six of them have …read more

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