Is there an unsecured wireless network near you?
Heir to SMS finally excites carriers, by making Google grovel
Monday, 07 May 2018 22:02

ANALYSIS A couple of weeks ago, the world learned that Google's desire to gain more than a toehold in the world's messaging market had spawned a new "Chat" app.

The news left El Reg scratching its head because Google's new effort supports Rich Communication Services (RCS) – an effort that's spent years in that dullest of places: The Limbo of Half-Finished Standards.

Given that RCS has spent years in that nasty place we decided to figure out what it is and whether it matters.

As explained to The Register by David O'Byrne, a program director at GSMA, the mobile network

Arista: Sales up, profit up, share price down
Monday, 07 May 2018 20:06

Arista has turned in just over 40 per cent growth for Q1 2018 over the same quarter last year, recording US$472.5 million revenue for the quarter.

Arista's president and CEO Jayshree Ullal said the move to 100 Gbps Ethernet is “not yet in the first innings” (think baseball or cricket), and expects that shift will give it a chance to keep things moving through the remainder of 2018.

Even so, it would be remarkable for any company to keep piling on growth at a 40 per cent rate. Arista's forecast for the remainder of the year is for growth “in

Project Lightning, you say? Virgin Media's fibre rollout is pretty glacial
Wednesday, 09 May 2018 21:54

Virgin Media reported another quarter of low growth for its troubled £3bn fibre programme Project Lightning, adding just 111,000 premises in the first three months of 2018 – the lowest for the last four quarters.

So far VM has managed 1.2 million connections, with the aim of connecting 4 million premises by the end of 2019 to speeds of 300Mbps.

Virgin Media came under fire after admitting last year it had overstated the rollout by 142,000 premises – a move that  led to the suspension of four staff  and a reshuffle of its top brass.

The firm reported an increase

Africa's internet body hit with sexual harassment cover-up claims
Wednesday, 09 May 2018 00:00

Special report The body responsible for allocating internet network addresses across Africa has been enveloped in yet another scandal, resulting in calls for the entire board to step down.

Afrinic is one of the world's five regional internet registries ( RIRs ) and plays a critical role in the internet's global infrastructure. But this week some of its members may call for the dissolution of the entire organization after its Board refused to table a motion of no confidence in themselves.

That no-confidence call followed the resignation of Afrinic's chair and vice-chair in response to a sexual harassment case, the

Measure for measure: Why network surveys don't count what counts
Tuesday, 08 May 2018 21:58

Interview If you can't measure something, does it actually exist?

That's a question raised by Dr Paul Carter, founder of the oldest mobile network performance operation, GWS. Carter's company has been doing labour-intensive drive-testing of the networks for over 20 years, which is not cheap, but it is thorough. The more rigorous, scientific approach means that a measurement of call quality and dropped calls can be calculated. But in recent years, a wave of "crowd-sourced" rivals have sprung up, attracted to the market because gathering data on Android phones is cheap.

Crowd-derived data can be fascinating – the ping rates

OpenFlow protocol has a switch authentication vulnerability
Thursday, 10 May 2018 14:09

The early software-defined networking protocol, OpenFlow, has a vulnerability – but will anyone fix it?

That's the question on the mind of The Register's networking desk, as we await confirmation of the bug by the Open Networking Foundation.

In this post at the oss-sec list, Kashyap Thimmaraju from the Technical University of Berlin wrote that the OpenFlow handshake has always had a missing authentication step: it “does not require the controller to authenticate switches”, and “the controller is not required to authorise switches access to the controller.”

Because it's a protocol vulnerability, there's a chance that any OpenFlow implementation could

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