08/07/2005

When Microsoft's push comes to shove - vnunet.com

When Microsoft's push comes to shove - vnunet.com

Microsoft is adding "push Email" to Exchange 2003 and Windows Mobile 5.0 (though not until the end of the year). Depending on how Microsoft enable the push service it could be a boon for customers and a major dent to RIM (who make the Blackberry) who dominate the push email market with around 3 million units.

Many people don't know, but RIM actually make a large ammount of money from the GPRS traffic generated by push email. When a Blackberry Enterprise Server (BES) is installed in a company it sends the (encrypted) push to RIM over the Internet who then send it out to the mobile networks via their APN (access point name), conversely when a user sends Email or whatever on the Blackberry it makes a connection with the RIM APN and it then connects to the BES again via the Internet.

Since there's a lot of traffic going across the APN, RIM have a deal with the operators and they get a cut of the data traffic charges.

If a (medium size) company or ISP were to get an APN and connect to the operators then utilise the MS solution (if MS don't do the same as RIM) then the company or ISP can reap the benefits themselves or at least get cheaper data charges for their mobile users.

Wireless: NewsFactor Network - - Man Charged with Using Somebody Else's Wi-Fi

Wireless: NewsFactor Network - - Man Charged with Using Somebody Else's Wi-Fi

It's suprising this hasn't happened earlier.

In the UK there are at least 2 laws which can be broken by unauthorised use of someone Wireless LAN (WLAN) or WiFi network.

The Computer Misuse Act can be used to prosecute as the perpertrator doesn;t have specfic authorisation to utilise resources on the WiFi network (or beyond). Resource is used just because the access point is having to process their connection.

The Regulation of Investigatory Powers (RIP) Act covers unlawfull intercept of data, and any client connecting to a WiFi network has to decode beacon packets. Again if access isn't authorised the connecting user is potentiially illegally intercepting data.

The Police would need to have a pretty strong case against someone (at least in the UK) as computer expertise is severely limited in the forces and the resulting prosecution would not be trated as a high priority (unless access was gained for some other unlawfull purpose). Unfortunately a lot of this type of activity is probably just ignored as the police resources are much better spent catchng criminals where the payoffs are greater (sic) i.e. catch a WiFi user or catch someone trying to break into a bank. The Police have to decide which has a monetary better result for them.

Net4Now :: News Story

Net4Now :: News Story

Google investing in Powerline technology (PLT)? Why not? The main advantage of the technology is it uses existing infrastructure i.e. electricity powerlines. That means a lower entry cost as the broadband company only needs to overlay the broadband technology, not dig fibre or lay copper.

PLT can work very well, and trials have been launched in various areas of the UK. It unfortunately can lead to emissions in the electomagnetic spectrum which interfere with other radio services. Electromagnetic Interference (EMI) can be reduced, but it has to be vary carefully controlled and only works in specific conditions.

The technology is much better suited to rural areas where single substations power many premises (the broadband equipment is installed at the substation). It tends not to work where multiple substations feed multiple premises such as in urban areas (cities).

Current trials have shown that using powerlines for backhaul is also difficult as the grid powerlines act as aerials and EMI becomes a major problem.

BBC Preps Online TV Premier

BBC Preps Online TV Premier

The BBC is premiering content through its broadband portal (only available to UK). Though only a very limited ammount of TV is available at the moment, much of the radio programming is available through the BBC Radio Player (a branded Real player) which allows radio programmes to be listened to for up to a week after they've been broadcast. They are going to follow suit with TV.

Currently most of the UK is on 2Mb/s broadband (and contended at 50:1) but local loop unbundlers (LLU) are now starting to offer 8Mbs/ and one player has announced they will be launching 18Mb/s ADS:2+ services in the near future though only to 45 exchanges initially.

In France 18-22Mb/s is now the norm, with prices starting at 15 Euros per month including Internet, TV and voice packages. This will happen in the UK, especially when BT's 21CN is rolled-out.

Internet Protocol (TV (IPTV) is the way of the future, and currently Ofcom is sitting on the bench with respect to regulation as theyll have great difficulty policing out of UK content.

However for IPTV to succeed, local caching of content needs to occur near theexchanges or backhaul becomes a major headache (and financial nightmare) which means it will have to be stored. Maybe Ofcom can regulate at that level.

The BBC knows traditional broadcasting is going to (at least eventually) give way to IPTV and you can be sure they'll be there ready for it.

BBC NEWS | Technology | Mobile networks bear blast strain

BBC NEWS | Technology | Mobile networks bear blast strain

The mobile networks went into overload as people in London tried calling yesterday.

It's likely the operators put the networks into a mode where "operator overload class" went into action. This is a system whereby voice channels are prioritised for Emergency services, government, spooks etc. There are rumoured to be 15 levels and the operators set the operating level and anyone below this level (i.e. normal users) will not be able to make or receive calls or get dropped from an existing call if anyone with a higher level is trying to make a call.

On O2 up until about 2pm though the network was available it didn't seem to allow calls at all, maybe that's because of the vicinity of a hospital which was on "Emergency Status" and was receiving walking wounded.

After 2pm the network was congested by calls did get through.

06/07/2005

BBC NEWS | Technology | Software patent bill thrown out

BBC NEWS | Technology | Software patent bill thrown out

The bill to unify patents across Europe and more importantly allow software patents has failed to get through the European Parliament even though another version has gone through.

Patents will be handled by the individual patent offices in the 25 member states as they have done.

05/07/2005

BBC NEWS | Wales | Phone users switch to new service

BBC NEWS | Wales | Phone users switch to new service

This is the first concrete announcement of BT 21 Century Network (21CN) plans. BT are rolling out the network in Cardiff, Pontypridd and Bridgend in 2006 with other areas following and the PSTN switched off by the end of the decade.

Though it's a 3-4 year roll-out period BT are likely to rapidly install 21CN into metro areas then move into more rural areas, so large proportions of the UK's population will actually be migrated in the initial phase of the roll-out. BT have also stated they are bringing out new Ethernet based services which will rely on at least some of the technology needed for 21CN (IP/MPLS for national and city backhaul).

21CN is a revolution for BT, and though they are under fierce pressure to seperate their access and retail arms, in some ways 21CN blurs the distinction and being all IP, Ofcom have less regulatory hold over them (without taking a tough stance over IP services with everyone).

Without very careful regulation and industry cooperation, everyone (i.e. traditional telcos) will all just be BT resellers once again.

BBC NEWS | Technology | Man convicted for chipping Xbox

BBC NEWS | Technology | Man convicted for chipping Xbox

Well there's some truth to the story. The article actually says "The man had been selling modified Xbox consoles which he fitted with a big hard drive containing 80 games".

Though Sony won a case against chipping PlayStation2's, there's been no cases against chipping Xboxes. The crime here was more than likely the 80 games on the hard disk.

04/07/2005

Apple takes podcasting mainstream - vnunet.com

Apple takes podcasting mainstream - vnunet.com

Though Apple have made it easy to search and download podcasts, it's suprising they haven't actually made the tools to make a podcast. Maybe that'll be the reason to upgrade to iTunes 5?

They've in some ways knocked out the competition (except on Linux).

Sorry Mr Lacey, but iTunes is much nicer ...

24Mbps broadband comes to London - Broadband & ISPs - Breaking Business and Technology News at silicon.com

24Mbps broadband comes to London - Broadband & ISPs - Breaking Business and Technology News at silicon.com

It seems ADSL2+ is now here, well almost. Avatar Broadband has signed up to 45 exchanges in London and it can take 6 months from order to actually putting equipment in.

It seems Avatar have also joined RIPE (so they can get IP allocations).

Why want 24Mbs ADSL? triple-plays of Internet, voice and TV. 24Mb/s is ample for even HDTV.

Ofcom have obiviously changed the Access Network Frequency Plan (ANFP) to allow ADSL2+, anything to do with BT rolling out their 21CN?

Unfortunately it's unlikely VDSL(2) can now be used as that will interfere.