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Broadband plumber Openreach yanks legacy copper phone lines in Suffolk town of Mildenhall en route to getting the UK on VoIP
Friday, 07 May 2021 23:04

HTTP/2 200 date: Sat, 08 May 2021 14:00:05 GMT content-type: text/html; charset=UTF-8 link: ; rel=preload; as=script;,/30c9ae81354259cfa94c15dde5a91e44686ba28a/javascript/_.js>; rel=preload; as=script;,/default/8c0b711e636f619ad765f54031df185124d1d814/scaffolding.css>; rel=preload; as=style;,/default/8c0b711e636f619ad765f54031df185124d1d814/design.css>; rel=preload; as=style;,/5e49edbd1875f214e0decae1e24b200066780fa8/style/fonts/arimo/arimo-700.latin.woff2>; rel=preload; as=font; crossorigin;,/5e49edbd1875f214e0decae1e24b200066780fa8/style/fonts/arimo/arimo-400.latin.woff2>; rel=preload; as=font; crossorigin; cache-control: max-age=0 expires: Sat, 08 May 2021 14:00:04 GMT vary: Accept-Encoding x-reg-bofh: pfy02us x-clacks-overhead: GNU Terry Pratchett, Lester Haines cf-cache-status: DYNAMIC cf-request-id: 09ede0499c000062d2568df000000001 expect-ct: max-age=604800, report-uri="https://report-uri.cloudflare.com/cdn-cgi/beacon/expect-ct" server: cloudflare cf-ray: 64c33655cb7462d2-SYD Broadband plumber Openreach yanks legacy copper phone lines in Suffolk town of Mildenhall en route to getting the UK on VoIP • The Register

Just four years to go before planned switch-off


The tiny Suffolk town of Mildenhall is the second place where Openreach has stopped selling copper products as the company develops its strategy for withdrawing legacy telephone lines.

The "stop-sell" order came into effect on 4 May, and also extends to copper-based phone connections. It follows a similar stop-sell edict in Salisbury, which last year became the first UK city to receive full-fibre coverage.

While this decision hasn't had an immediate impact on those hanging onto their slower copper lines, it has meant those hoping to switch providers or upgrade their connection will be pushed to a digital-only service.

Mildenhall was reportedly selected as it represented a standard exchange area in terms of users, with the right mix of residential and business customers, as well as the diversity of providers operating in the leafy East England town, which include Sky, BT, and Zen Internet.

Openreach said it hoped the transition will allow communication providers to test and develop their procedures for migrating users from copper to fibre, particularly on the telephony front.

The company has set a target to retire the copper telephone network by 2025 as the UK's fibre rollout gathers pace and landline calls are shifted to SoGEA, SoGfast, and SOTAP digital connections.

The BT-owned infrastructure provider has repeatedly cited the costs of running two parallel networks as a major motivation. The legacy copper network has proven particularly expensive to maintain as the cables and telephone poles used are exposed to the elements, and thus susceptible to weather damage. And, as more people switch to fibre, it will inevitably become less relevant to the UK's telecommunications infrastructure.

Openreach has repeatedly touted the benefits of an all-digital system to consumers, including call quality.

For most people, the most immediate impact will be the need to plug their phone into a router (which providers will offer free of charge, irrespective of whether the customer has a broadband plan) rather than an RJ-11 jack. This may necessitate the purchase of a new handset, if the provider doesn't offer one free of charge.

It also noted that some devices that rely on analogue phone connections to work – like care and security systems – may cease to function.

Another potential drawback is that the all-digital system won't work in the case of a power outage, as it draws a current from the mains, rather than the telephone exchange itself. In short: anything that relies on a landline, from phone calls to alarms, will briefly cease to function.

In a statement, James Lilley, Openreach's director of managed migrations, claimed the Mildenhall move is "an important early step" in upgrading the UK to VoIP.

"We're working closely with service providers to make sure any changes happen as smoothly as possible. We also have extensive learning from our recent work in Salisbury, which became the first city in the UK to rely solely on digital services," he added.

For those living in Mildenhall, Openreach has created a site advising residents of the transition, and how it may affect them. ®


Video One of the microphones on Perseverance, NASA’s latest and greatest Mars rover, has recorded the sounds of its autonomous helicopter Ingenuity flying on the Red Planet, providing scientists with the first ever audio samples of an aircraft operating on another planet.

You can hear the recording in the video below. Make sure to listen out for a low buzzing sound, which comes from its rotors spinning at 2,537 rpm, as the drone flits in and out of view.

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Legal non-profit PlainSite obtained the DMV documents via the California Public Records Act and they include a summary, written by Miguel Acosta, chief of the DMV's Autonomous Vehicles Branch, of a March 9, 2021 meeting between DMV officials and Tesla personnel.

Acosta wrote that "DMV asked CJ [CJ Moore, director of Autopilot software at Tesla] to address, from an engineering perspective, Elon’s messaging about L5 capability by the end of the year."

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The number of Facebook and Instagram users on iOS agreeing to be tracked by the social networking behemoth for targeted ads has fallen drastically in the week since Apple's iOS 14.5 debuted – and Zuck & Co have hit back.

The App Tracking Transparency framework in iOS 14.5 requires companies to ask permission to observe the activities of iOS app users – that is to say, to link application usage and data with user or device information collected from other sources for targeted advertising or analytics.

This opt-in regime looks to be an extinction event for the current incarnation of targeted advertising, on iOS at least. According to analytics biz Flurry, only about 12 per cent of iOS users worldwide and only four per cent in the US have decided they want to be tracked.

Continue readingXpand your horizons: MariaDB launches distributed query engine into proprietary DBaaS But beware lock-in-as-a-service, analyst warns

MariaDB has added proprietary bells and whistles, in the form of distributed SQL, for its DBaaS and supposedly developer-friendly front end.

The biz supporting the open-source MySQL-derived database introduced its DBaaS SkySQL last year and has now announced the general availability of its distributed SQL as one of the engines in MariaDB's SkySQL system, said CMO Franz Aman.

"What's cool about distributed SQL is that you get all the scale of NoSQL, but you get it with all the benefits of relational," he said. "So, you have strong consistency, you have full SQL vocabulary, but at a scale that is ready for the internet for internet-scale."

Continue readingRussian cyber-spies changed tactics after the UK and US outed their techniques – so here's a list of those changes Plus: NCSC warns of how hostile powers may exploit smart city infrastructure

Russian spies from APT29 responded to Western agencies outing their tactics by adopting a red-teaming tool to blend into targets' networks as a legitimate pentesting exercise.

Now, the UK's National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) and the US warn, the SVR is busy exploiting a dozen critical-rated vulns (including RCEs) in equipment ranging from Cisco routers through to VMware virtualization kit – and the well-known Pulse Secure VPN flaw, among others.

"In one example identified by the NCSC, the actor had searched for authentication credentials in mailboxes, including passwords and PKI keys," warned the GCHQ offshoot today.

Continue readingGitLab's 10-day certification freebie offer lasted only two because, surprise surprise, people really like freebies Biz expected 4,000 signups, got 60,000, system couldn't cope

GitLab says a surge in demand and a technical shortcoming resulted in the DevOps outfit yanking a free certification offer barely two days after turning on the tap.

In a postmortem write-up this week, GitLab manager Christine Yoshida said the infrastructure of its glossy "learning experience ... eventually hit a system limit" as excited users piled on, and the promotion period was ended early.

A discount code was made available in April to people who wanted to get GitLab-certified. The 100 per cent discount was planned to last for ten days, and the GitLab gang figured 4,000 users would sign up.

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We're told the transaction hold-up, which the Edinburgh-based bank said was linked to debit accounts, would be resolved "overnight." It did claim to have fixed a "temperamental" technical fault preventing some customers from accessing their online accounts, however.

Reg readers who double up as customers of TSB – once known as the comedy bank because of the frequency at which its web-based services fell over – maintained they were still having troubles logging onto the app or website, with some having experienced issues for days.

Continue readingPrivacy activist Max Schrems on Microsoft's EU data move: It won't keep the NSA away Software giant vows data processing of EU cloud services to stay in EU, which means that currently...

Microsoft has announced plans to ensure data processing of EU cloud services within the borders of the political bloc in a move that expert observers claim reveals problems with the firm's existing setup.

Those problems extend to UK public sector organisations seeking to stick within government guidance as well as a longstanding issue where personal data held in the EU can potentially be accessed via US security laws.

In a blog, Brad Smith, Microsoft’s president and chief legal officer, said the software and cloud services giant would, by the end 2022, enable EU customers of Azure, Microsoft 365, and Dynamics 365 to have all their data processed physically within the EU.

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Testifying on the fourth day of the bench trial, Apple's vice president of App Store, Matt Fischer, said he had been "blindsided" by the deployment of the workaround, given the amicable relationship previously enjoyed by both companies.

Fischer said (audio here) that Apple's marketing teams had previously promoted in-game events taking place within Fortnite involving DJ Marshmello and rapper Travis Scott. He also claimed that Cupertino had expressed a willingness to reconsider its prohibition on the in-game gifting of virtual items.

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The request turned up in GitHub this week, aimed at providing some telemetry, and the author of the request, Dmitry Vedenko, explained:

Continue readingStale and past its best. Are you talking about Windows or the pizza you're waiting for? A reminder of golden Start Menu days

Bork!Bork!Bork! There are certain things that do not belong in pizza. One is pineapple. Another is the Windows Start Menu.

Spotted by Reg reader Dean K, who was making an essential journey to collect the steaming disc of doughy delight from a well-known cheese-and-tomato bread slinger, the screen that would normally tell customers how long they had to wait was flashing something altogether more worrying.

In this instance, it was the Windows Start Menu from long ago. Long removed from current versions of the operating system (although Microsoft has continued to find ways of reintroducing it without admitting that the unmitigated disaster of the Windows 8 user interface was anything other than an adventure in touch-first design), the old thing is showing its wares for all to see.

Continue reading

HTTP/2 200 date: Sat, 08 May 2021 14:00:05 GMT content-type: text/html; charset=UTF-8 link: ; rel=preload; as=script;,/30c9ae81354259cfa94c15dde5a91e44686ba28a/javascript/_.js>; rel=preload; as=script;,/default/8c0b711e636f619ad765f54031df185124d1d814/scaffolding.css>; rel=preload; as=style;,/default/8c0b711e636f619ad765f54031df185124d1d814/design.css>; rel=preload; as=style;,/5e49edbd1875f214e0decae1e24b200066780fa8/style/fonts/arimo/arimo-700.latin.woff2>; rel=preload; as=font; crossorigin;,/5e49edbd1875f214e0decae1e24b200066780fa8/style/fonts/arimo/arimo-400.latin.woff2>; rel=preload; as=font; crossorigin; cache-control: max-age=0 expires: Sat, 08 May 2021 14:00:04 GMT vary: Accept-Encoding x-reg-bofh: pfy02us x-clacks-overhead: GNU Terry Pratchett, Lester Haines cf-cache-status: DYNAMIC cf-request-id: 09ede0499c000062d2568df000000001 expect-ct: max-age=604800, report-uri="https://report-uri.cloudflare.com/cdn-cgi/beacon/expect-ct" server: cloudflare cf-ray: 64c33655cb7462d2-SYD Broadband plumber Openreach yanks legacy copper phone lines in Suffolk town of Mildenhall en route to getting the UK on VoIP • The Register

Just four years to go before planned switch-off


The tiny Suffolk town of Mildenhall is the second place where Openreach has stopped selling copper products as the company develops its strategy for withdrawing legacy telephone lines.

The "stop-sell" order came into effect on 4 May, and also extends to copper-based phone connections. It follows a similar stop-sell edict in Salisbury, which last year became the first UK city to receive full-fibre coverage.

While this decision hasn't had an immediate impact on those hanging onto their slower copper lines, it has meant those hoping to switch providers or upgrade their connection will be pushed to a digital-only service.

Mildenhall was reportedly selected as it represented a standard exchange area in terms of users, with the right mix of residential and business customers, as well as the diversity of providers operating in the leafy East England town, which include Sky, BT, and Zen Internet.

Openreach said it hoped the transition will allow communication providers to test and develop their procedures for migrating users from copper to fibre, particularly on the telephony front.

The company has set a target to retire the copper telephone network by 2025 as the UK's fibre rollout gathers pace and landline calls are shifted to SoGEA, SoGfast, and SOTAP digital connections.

The BT-owned infrastructure provider has repeatedly cited the costs of running two parallel networks as a major motivation. The legacy copper network has proven particularly expensive to maintain as the cables and telephone poles used are exposed to the elements, and thus susceptible to weather damage. And, as more people switch to fibre, it will inevitably become less relevant to the UK's telecommunications infrastructure.

Openreach has repeatedly touted the benefits of an all-digital system to consumers, including call quality.

For most people, the most immediate impact will be the need to plug their phone into a router (which providers will offer free of charge, irrespective of whether the customer has a broadband plan) rather than an RJ-11 jack. This may necessitate the purchase of a new handset, if the provider doesn't offer one free of charge.

It also noted that some devices that rely on analogue phone connections to work – like care and security systems – may cease to function.

Another potential drawback is that the all-digital system won't work in the case of a power outage, as it draws a current from the mains, rather than the telephone exchange itself. In short: anything that relies on a landline, from phone calls to alarms, will briefly cease to function.

In a statement, James Lilley, Openreach's director of managed migrations, claimed the Mildenhall move is "an important early step" in upgrading the UK to VoIP.

"We're working closely with service providers to make sure any changes happen as smoothly as possible. We also have extensive learning from our recent work in Salisbury, which became the first city in the UK to rely solely on digital services," he added.

For those living in Mildenhall, Openreach has created a site advising residents of the transition, and how it may affect them. ®


Video One of the microphones on Perseverance, NASA’s latest and greatest Mars rover, has recorded the sounds of its autonomous helicopter Ingenuity flying on the Red Planet, providing scientists with the first ever audio samples of an aircraft operating on another planet.

You can hear the recording in the video below. Make sure to listen out for a low buzzing sound, which comes from its rotors spinning at 2,537 rpm, as the drone flits in and out of view.

Continue readingTesla Autopilot is a lot dumber than CEO Musk claims, says Cali DMV after speaking to the software's boss 'Elon's tweet does not match engineering reality' states poorly redacted report

Tesla CEO Elon Musk's public statements about the state of his automaker's Autopilot assistive driving technology overestimate the system's capabilities, according to documents released by the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

Legal non-profit PlainSite obtained the DMV documents via the California Public Records Act and they include a summary, written by Miguel Acosta, chief of the DMV's Autonomous Vehicles Branch, of a March 9, 2021 meeting between DMV officials and Tesla personnel.

Acosta wrote that "DMV asked CJ [CJ Moore, director of Autopilot software at Tesla] to address, from an engineering perspective, Elon’s messaging about L5 capability by the end of the year."

Continue readingFacebook: Nice iOS app of ours you have there, would be a shame if you had to pay for it Antisocial giant insists 'Help keep FB free of charge' messaging is merely educational

The number of Facebook and Instagram users on iOS agreeing to be tracked by the social networking behemoth for targeted ads has fallen drastically in the week since Apple's iOS 14.5 debuted – and Zuck & Co have hit back.

The App Tracking Transparency framework in iOS 14.5 requires companies to ask permission to observe the activities of iOS app users – that is to say, to link application usage and data with user or device information collected from other sources for targeted advertising or analytics.

This opt-in regime looks to be an extinction event for the current incarnation of targeted advertising, on iOS at least. According to analytics biz Flurry, only about 12 per cent of iOS users worldwide and only four per cent in the US have decided they want to be tracked.

Continue readingXpand your horizons: MariaDB launches distributed query engine into proprietary DBaaS But beware lock-in-as-a-service, analyst warns

MariaDB has added proprietary bells and whistles, in the form of distributed SQL, for its DBaaS and supposedly developer-friendly front end.

The biz supporting the open-source MySQL-derived database introduced its DBaaS SkySQL last year and has now announced the general availability of its distributed SQL as one of the engines in MariaDB's SkySQL system, said CMO Franz Aman.

"What's cool about distributed SQL is that you get all the scale of NoSQL, but you get it with all the benefits of relational," he said. "So, you have strong consistency, you have full SQL vocabulary, but at a scale that is ready for the internet for internet-scale."

Continue readingRussian cyber-spies changed tactics after the UK and US outed their techniques – so here's a list of those changes Plus: NCSC warns of how hostile powers may exploit smart city infrastructure

Russian spies from APT29 responded to Western agencies outing their tactics by adopting a red-teaming tool to blend into targets' networks as a legitimate pentesting exercise.

Now, the UK's National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) and the US warn, the SVR is busy exploiting a dozen critical-rated vulns (including RCEs) in equipment ranging from Cisco routers through to VMware virtualization kit – and the well-known Pulse Secure VPN flaw, among others.

"In one example identified by the NCSC, the actor had searched for authentication credentials in mailboxes, including passwords and PKI keys," warned the GCHQ offshoot today.

Continue readingGitLab's 10-day certification freebie offer lasted only two because, surprise surprise, people really like freebies Biz expected 4,000 signups, got 60,000, system couldn't cope

GitLab says a surge in demand and a technical shortcoming resulted in the DevOps outfit yanking a free certification offer barely two days after turning on the tap.

In a postmortem write-up this week, GitLab manager Christine Yoshida said the infrastructure of its glossy "learning experience ... eventually hit a system limit" as excited users piled on, and the promotion period was ended early.

A discount code was made available in April to people who wanted to get GitLab-certified. The 100 per cent discount was planned to last for ten days, and the GitLab gang figured 4,000 users would sign up.

Continue readingBritish bank TSB says it will fix days-long transaction troubles tonight Totally Sucks, Buddy: Debit payments held up since April, online and app still wobbly, say readers

TSB admitted today it still hadn't fixed a transaction processing issue that has for days held up customers' payments, with users continuing to have issues at the time of publication.

We're told the transaction hold-up, which the Edinburgh-based bank said was linked to debit accounts, would be resolved "overnight." It did claim to have fixed a "temperamental" technical fault preventing some customers from accessing their online accounts, however.

Reg readers who double up as customers of TSB – once known as the comedy bank because of the frequency at which its web-based services fell over – maintained they were still having troubles logging onto the app or website, with some having experienced issues for days.

Continue readingPrivacy activist Max Schrems on Microsoft's EU data move: It won't keep the NSA away Software giant vows data processing of EU cloud services to stay in EU, which means that currently...

Microsoft has announced plans to ensure data processing of EU cloud services within the borders of the political bloc in a move that expert observers claim reveals problems with the firm's existing setup.

Those problems extend to UK public sector organisations seeking to stick within government guidance as well as a longstanding issue where personal data held in the EU can potentially be accessed via US security laws.

In a blog, Brad Smith, Microsoft’s president and chief legal officer, said the software and cloud services giant would, by the end 2022, enable EU customers of Azure, Microsoft 365, and Dynamics 365 to have all their data processed physically within the EU.

Continue readingWe were 'blindsided' by Epic's cheek, claims Apple exec on 4th day of antitrust wrangling I thought we were friends

An Apple exec has spoken of his shock after Fortnite creator Epic Games installed a hotfix that allowed it to deploy its own payment methods, thus skirting the 30 per cent App Store tax.

Testifying on the fourth day of the bench trial, Apple's vice president of App Store, Matt Fischer, said he had been "blindsided" by the deployment of the workaround, given the amicable relationship previously enjoyed by both companies.

Fischer said (audio here) that Apple's marketing teams had previously promoted in-game events taking place within Fortnite involving DJ Marshmello and rapper Travis Scott. He also claimed that Cupertino had expressed a willingness to reconsider its prohibition on the in-game gifting of virtual items.

Continue reading'A massive middle finger': Open-source audio fans up in arms after Audacity opts to add telemetry capture Move comes days after firm acquired by Muse Group

Open source audio software outfit Audacity, now under new management, is adding some "basic telemetry", much to the alarm of many of its community.

The request turned up in GitHub this week, aimed at providing some telemetry, and the author of the request, Dmitry Vedenko, explained:

Continue readingStale and past its best. Are you talking about Windows or the pizza you're waiting for? A reminder of golden Start Menu days

Bork!Bork!Bork! There are certain things that do not belong in pizza. One is pineapple. Another is the Windows Start Menu.

Spotted by Reg reader Dean K, who was making an essential journey to collect the steaming disc of doughy delight from a well-known cheese-and-tomato bread slinger, the screen that would normally tell customers how long they had to wait was flashing something altogether more worrying.

In this instance, it was the Windows Start Menu from long ago. Long removed from current versions of the operating system (although Microsoft has continued to find ways of reintroducing it without admitting that the unmitigated disaster of the Windows 8 user interface was anything other than an adventure in touch-first design), the old thing is showing its wares for all to see.

Continue reading

Source: https://bit.ly/3bc3ZFa