12/08/2005

Deadline set for C&W's Energis take-over | The Register

Deadline set for C&W's Energis take-over | The Register

C&W has put in an offer to buy Energis with a catch, it's only valid until Monday.

If they get 75% of shareholder agreement, then it's a done deal otherwise it dies. Two banks aren't happy and could kill it, but since Energis are losing most of the Wanadoo revenue, it may be a pre-fire sale.

11/08/2005

Digital speed cameras could be illegal

Digital speed cameras could be illegal

A court in Sidney heard that the Roads and Traffic Authority could not prove the authenticity of the pictures. Though they are signed using a digital signature, it's based on an MD5 hash, which has known flaws.

In the UK deplayments of speed cameras has been suspended since July. Full reasons haven't been given, but there is speculation that since they're meant to reduce accidents not just generate revenue and people tend to break to below the speed limit that in a lot of instances accidents actually increase.

Google beats Microsoft�s top geeks

Google beats Microsoft�s top geeks

Google beating Microsoft, a vision into the future when Google's empire is bigger than MS's. Though MS are into many things, they main thrust is in the desktop and applications. Google works with MS and any other OS and is user agnostic, they just track what the user is doing.

Google is going to permeate into everything with their search technology getting into handlhelds, with location based services linked into Google maps etc.

MS beware.

Rockstar throws cold water on 'Hot Coffee' | Tech News on ZDNet

Rockstar throws cold water on 'Hot Coffee' | Tech News on ZDNet

The PC version of Grand Theft Auto (GTA) seems to have had scenes of an adult nature hidden in it by Rockstar Games programmers (they aren't meant to be in console versions). There's a "Hot Coffee" patch on the Internet which makes them available to players.

Now Rockstar have released a patch which removes or at least blocks the content, even if the hot coffee patch is applied.

GTA has been hit badly by the original news as it's rating was changed from mature to adult and several retailers took it off shelves.

Other companies are now likely to be delving into their code to ensure no inappropriate content has been inadvertently left in.

Net4Now :: ISP pays customers to stay

Net4Now :: News Story

Seriously Internet has introduced a scheme where customers get paid for staying with them, but only if they stay for 36 months and only £20. With the decreasing price of broadband that really isn't much of an incentive.

There's also the penalty of moving which is £60 if the customer moves in month 0 - 6, £40 in months 6 - 12, £20 months 12 - 18 and nothing if they move in months 18 - 24.

More of a gimmick to get their name in the press and poeple writing about it, seems to work :)

Digit Online news - Sony sues firm over UK PSP sales

Digit Online news - Sony sues firm over UK PSP sales

Sony (Computer Entertainment International or SCEI) has been going for importers of PSPs, Nuplayer in the UK recently lost a high court battle to sell imported PSPs. Now Sony is going after a Hong Kong firm (who run the Lik-Sang.com site) who sell PSPs to the UK and rest of Europe. Though they are fighting the case and will continue to sell PSPs in the meantime, Sony has won the cases so far.

Japanese PSPs use a Sharp manufactured display which is brighter and sharper (sic) than the Samsung one that is used by US PSPs and will be on the UK versions. Japanese PSPs are also Region 2 (as in DVD region encoding) which is the same as the UK so Japanese games and videos on UMDs should always work in UK models (and vice versa) if Sony do implement region coding.

10/08/2005

Macworld: News: Microsoft Messenger 5.0 for Mac released

Macworld: News: Microsoft Messenger 5.0 for Mac released

MSN Messenger for Mac always seems to be lagging behind MSN for Windows suprising given Office for Mac is generally now a step ahead of Office for Windows. Though mainly geared at enterprise users with support for Live Communications Server 2005 there are improvements for consumers too.

M$ shunned by British ISPs | The Register

M$ shunned by British ISPs | The Register

Microsoft are a content provide, though their content is software. A lot of people access Microsoft's sites. Joining LINX doesn't mean anybody actually transferring any packets with MS as LINX is completely neutral and generally allows anyone to join (as in connect to a LINX comms port). Anybody connecting to LINX becomes a LINX member.

Once the connection is in place, it's up to MS and others to agree to peering which is where they agree to allow traffic between their networks.

If LINX members don't let Microsoft join purely for political reasons it will actually be a sad day as they are then excerting some form of "censorship" which goes against what a neutral peering point should be.

PlusNet Warns Heavy ADSL Users

PlusNet Warns Heavy ADSL Users

Though companies are offering 2Mb/s ADSL services and several with no usage caps, they really hope customers wont actually utilise the service to its full capacity. Margins are very low with ADSL and transit costs (i.e. costs to get off the ISP network) can escalate hugely if there are lots of high usage customers.

PlusNet are telling their customers they'll monitor their bandwidth for the next month (or more) and if usage goes above 50GB/month (avergaged upstream and downstream) then they'll be capped by contending them (which probably means moving all high usage customers to a different bit of the network). The other alternative is to leave the service (and PlusNet wont require the contract term to be completed) which is probably their preferrable option as it just moves the problem to another ISP.

Wiretaps For VoIP

Wiretaps For VoIP:

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is expanding the reach of U.S. wiretapping laws to wireline broadband providers and Internet telephone companies.

In an order issued Friday, the FCC gave the providers 18 months to comply with the network wiretap accessibility rules of the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA).

This could be a big problem as wiretapping VoIP can be hard if the calls stay VoIP all the way through the network. As soon as they hit the normal telephone network (i.e. PSTN) it's covered by standard wiretap protocols.

How this is going to affect players like Skype who operate in the US is as yet unknown.

Since the FCC have gone this route, it's likely Ofcom will follow suite and the UK will adopt a similar regime.

Macromedia drops FreeHand from bundle | CNET News.com

Macromedia drops FreeHand from bundle | CNET News.com

MAcromedia has dropped Freehand from their Studio 8 bundle, not really a suprise since Adobe acquired them and their Illustrator product is generally the preferred product anyway.

What will be next to go Fireworks replaced by Photoshop? When Adobe really get everything under their wing it'll probably be Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign and Dreamweaver and maybe Contribute, the latter two being the only 2 Macromedia products that have major intrindic value and are better than their Adobe counterparts.

09/08/2005

NTL to offer 10Mbps broadband as standard - Network IT Week

NTL to offer 10Mbps broadband as standard - Network IT Week

Though pricing hasn't been announced, what this actually means is a move from bandwidth based pricing to usage based pricing. Everyone gets 10Mb/s (eventually). Current 3Mb/s users will be first to be migtrated and will have an allowance of 75GB per month (up from 30GB).

Usage based billing makes sense for low users, but can rapidly escalate out of control for customers who move a lot of data around (espeicially in the p2p world), it also makes sense for NTL as bandwidth really isn't the issue but how much transit they have to purchase from elsewhere, which will also be usage based.

OneTel cuts off BT broadband - Network IT Week

OneTel cuts off BT broadband - Network IT Week

The article implies OneTel is transferring all its broadband customers on to Easynet's LLU offering. Unfortunately this is wishfull thinking as Easynet only cover about 2 - 300 exchanges (while BT cover several thousand). So OneTel will be migrating those customers that happen to be on an Easynet unbundled exchange.

It wont be plain sailing either as mass migrations are currently problematic as there are still major process issues with BT's systems.

Easynet are trying to make a big push into the wholesale broadband market, but there are still major hurdles to overcome. OneTel must be feeling quite brave to have been one of their first customers to take the plunge.

Easynet are currently offering speeds up to 8Mb/s, however their kit is (vendor financed by Marconi) is relatively featureless compared to other vendors and this may bite them in the future if service providers wish to offer triple-play solutions utilising Easynet's infrastructure.

Though Easynet may be looking at ADSL2+ support speeds of up to 24Mb/s, it's not quite legal yet as the Access Network Frequency Plan (ANFP) needs to be modified to support it.

Technology News: Business : News Corp. Reportedly Had Takeover Talks With Skype

Technology News: Business : News Corp. Reportedly Had Takeover Talks With Skype

Would Skype make a good acquistion for News Corp? What wouldn't make a good acquisition for News Corp is more to the point. News Corp want consumers, they're moving into the Internet space rapidly and have ploughed money into various net ventures. It's estimated that they were going to spend $3bn. Skype has little revenue (though customers are purchasing add-ons such as SkypeIn/Out and Voicemail), but it's the 47m users that must attract News Corp.

Though talks have broken down, it's likely Skype will find a buyer.

FT.com / By industry / Telecoms - Marconi lifted by news of takeover talks

FT.com / By industry / Telecoms - Marconi lifted by news of takeover talks

Marconi are in trouble which is well known and it's inevitable that they're looking for a buyer.

Though Huawei claim it's speculation, they would make a good fit with Marconi. They already sell each other's products and Marconi have a large maintenance group which Huawei could utilise to support their 21CN activities and other markets when they decide to aggressively attack them.