Twitpic still shuttering, service in 'read only' mode for now
With time ticking down before the permanent shutdown of Twitpic, the company has announced that it has agreed to an acquisition offer by Twitter itself. The arrangement keeps the domain and photo archive accumulated by the service intact, and this keeps "the photos and links alive for the time being" according to a blog post announcing the deal. The service is not completely rescued, however, as the service is still shutting down ultimately, and in "read-only mode" for now.
Sprint, T-Mobile leave devices open
The new Apple SIM in the iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 is being locked to AT&T if data subscribers choose that carrier, according to complaints. The problem is confirmed by a new Apple support document, which says that when buyers "choose AT&T on iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3, AT&T dedicates Apple SIM to [that] network only."
Hardware appeared to be sourced from Alibaba, software straight OpenWRT
Following allegations casting doubt on the project, the TOR-based Anonabox Kickstarter project has been terminated. Since the launch of the security-minded Anonabox, and nearly instant completion of funding goals, commenters and other figures questioned the source of the hardware, the actual security of the device, and criticized the lack of a promised and complete open-sourcing of the code.
Features also available to iPad, iPod owners
Although OS X Yosemite is out and most Continuity and Handoff features should already work, two important ones -- Instant Hotspot and SMS Relay -- won't function until iOS 8.1 is released on Monday, notes AppleInsider. The former automatically tethers a Mac, iPad, or iPod touch to an iPhone, while the latter lets people receive SMS/MMS messages from an iPhone on the above devices. Instant Hotspot requires the paired devices to be on the same Apple ID and the iPhone to have tethering enabled by a carrier.
Claims decision contradicts statutes, Supreme Court precedent
Patent holding firm VirnetX has filed a motion with the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, requesting a rehearing of a September decision tossing a $368.2 million verdict against Apple, and asking it to reinstate a District Court's damages award in full. In a press release, VirnetX says the decision was "contrary to the patent statute and Supreme Court precedent." It also asserts that it should receive damage payments on the basis that the District Court properly construed the claim term "secure communication link."
E8350 dual-band, EA9200 tri-band routers available October 19 starting at $280
Linksys announced two new routers today, both of which are aimed at households with multiple Internet users or have a high-demand on bandwidth. The company is releasing the AC3200 Tri-Band Smart Wi-Fi router (EA9200) and the AC2400 Dual-Band Gigabit Wi-Fi router (E8350), devices that have been specifically designed to handle "maximum performance and range" in home networks.
New SIM tech lets users switch between carriers
The iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3, both announced today, will also come with a new SIM card dubbed the Apple SIM. Previously, people ordering a cellular iPad had to choose their carrier in advance. The Apple SIM will let buyers pick a single iPad and quickly switch between AT&T, Sprint, or T-Mobile plans in the US, and even EE in the UK. Verizon is not participating, and the service will require activating through a store.
Reddit users suggest Anonabox created from existing routers sold in China
A Kickstarter campaign for a privacy-focused Wi-Fi router has drawn the ire of some Internet users, with the suggestion that all may not be as it seems. Reddit users are complaining about the Anonabox Tor router's claimed "open hardware," with components apparently being sourced from Chinese resellers rather than being designed specifically for the project.
Fiberhood sign-up system will be reused for deciding Austin construction priority
Residents of Austin won't have much longer to wait before they can start using Google Fiber. The search company revealed in a recent planning meeting at the Texas capitol that it would start to launch its delayed fiber network in the region from December, though not all areas will gain access to the high-speed Internet connection at first.
Kickstarter campaign for Anonabox vastly exceeds target in first day
Welcome to another edition of Crowdfunding Critic, an article series where the staff of MacNN and Electronista will highlight a new crowdfunded project from sites such as Kickstarter and Indiegogo, with this edition focusing on the popular Anonabox. As always, we are not endorsing a project or warning of any potential funding risks associated with crowdfunded projects, so it is advisable to do your own research before investing.
New device creates audio-only network for Sonos streamers
As expected, speaker company Sonos has released the Sonos Boost, a device which aims to provide "enterprise-grade wireless capabilities" to the company's speaker offerings, doubling the Sonos Bridge's effective range. The device connects to an existing Wi-Fi network, and makes a separate network for the wireless Sonos speakers. This removes the traffic from the main network, minimizing streaming problems that may cause audio dropout as a result of network congestion.
High-speed 60GHz Wi-Fi promises 4.6Gbps maximum transmission speed
Samsung may be releasing devices with 60GHz Wi-Fi technology as soon as next year, the manufacturer has revealed. The technology, which uses a completely separate section of spectrum than the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands in current Wi-Fi standards, allows for data to be transmitted at 4.6Gb/s, or 575MB/s, five times the current 866Mb/s or 108MB/s capable with existing wireless networking technologies.
Trial success could lead to white space usage in conservation efforts
The latest experiment in using 'white spaces' in the United Kingdom is underway, with London Zoo being the unexpected location for testing. Communications regulator Ofcom has detailed a trial by Google and ZSL London Zoo of technologies using white spaces, by streaming live video from several animal exhibits on YouTube.
List of affected Belkin devices, cause of incident both unknown
Some of accessory manufacturer Belkin's router customers are experiencing connectivity issues, predominantly with older models. For reasons unknown, possibly due to a silent, automatic firmware update, some Belkin networking products are refusing connection to the Internet, but maintaining local area network connectivity. Some models can be restored by pointing Domain Name Services to Google's or other providers' services.
Wi-Fi scanning and graphing tool for OS X receives update
Koingo Software has announced the release of AirRadar 3, a Wi-Fi scanning and graphing tool for OS X. AirRadar lets users set up a scan frequency to search for available wireless signals, and have new open or closed networks have their name spoken, play alerts, or display notifications. Featuring enhancements that cater to Yosemite, the latest version has been overhauled and includes improved graphing, the ability to join Enterprise networks, 802.11ac support, and more. Users can access more personalization options, and can tag found networks as Favorites or filter them out. Upgrades are free for buyers who have ordered AirRadar 2.x within the past six months, with upgrade outside of this policy priced at $7 and $10 for entirely new users.
Apple developing fix
The current versions of iOS 8 is creating problems for people who pair their iPhones with Bluetooth devices, particularly car audio systems, according to complaints. In the case of cars, devices with the firmware may refuse to pair, fail to play audio, or disconnect when a phonecall comes in. The problem can't be solved with iOS 8.0.2, and is affecting many automotive brands, including BMW, Ford, Hyundai, Toyota, and others.
Bug-finding and reporting emphasized, event runs through Sunday
Developers and AppleSeed testers working with the latest beta of the forthcoming OS X 10.10 Yosemite are receiving email invitations from Apple to join in on a focused "test fest" that concentrates on one particular feature -- AirDrop, which allows wireless transfers of files between Macs and iOS devices. This is the first time in recent memory that Apple has opened up a "test fest" to users outside Apple for this level of focused feature examination.
D-Link now shipping Wi-Fi Smart Plug
Network accessories company D-Link has announced that its new Wi-Fi Smart Plug is now shipping. Originally introduced in the spring, the device allows users to turn devices on and off from anywhere using the free Mydlink Home app, available for iOS as well as Android. A range of devices are compatible, allowing users to create power on/off schedules that are suitable for frequent travellers.
Five companies owed total of $18.6 million for meritless patent claim
Northern District of California Court Judge Claudia Wilken has ruled that non-practicing entity Linex Technologies must pay Apple, Aruba, Meru, Ruckus, and HP millions in attorney fees after pursuing a patent case that it knew was destined for failure. Apple and HP are seeking $3.6 million each, with the other three companies seeking $3.8 million -- the ruling puts the patent troll on the hook for $18.6 million, an amount it may not have.
Update downloads peaked at 3Tbps
The deployment of iOS 8 on Wednesday was Apple's first large-scale test of its new content delivery network, or CDN, says research firm DeepField. At its high point, iOS 8 downloads reportedly consumed 3Tbps, comparable to about 25 HD movies being downloaded simultaneously by as many users. DeepField notes that at least in North America, the launch was almost entirely dependent on Apple CDN servers.
Gogo 2Ku satellite Internet could provide Virgin passengers with shared 70Mbps connection
In-flight Wi-Fi provider Gogo is expanding to Europe, with Virgin Atlantic set to become the first airline operating in the region to offer the service to passengers. The airline will reportedly retrofit its entire fleet to work with the Internet service as part of the deal, and while the two sides are still discussing the finer points of the agreement, the principal terms have already been settled.
Promo video used as evidence
The Apple Watch's S1 processor appears to be paired with a Broadcom BCM4334 Wi-Fi module, says research firm Chipworks. The claim is based on an analysis of Apple's promotional video, during which viewers can briefly see the circuitboard the watch uses. Contacts near the top of the board are believed to match a BCM4334 flip-bonded directly.
Encrypted chat used BitTorrent backbone to provide secure communications
Peer-to-peer protocol pioneer BitTorrent has released an alpha version of its chat client. BitTorrent has revealed Bleep -- what used to be called BitTorrent Chat -- for Android and OS X. Bleep offers fully-encrypted, end-to-end communications between users only stored locally on devices, and not retained by servers any step of the way.
Epson brings Mopria Android printing to seven printer models
Epson America today announced its first Mopria-certified printers for home and business -- the Epson Expression Photo XP-860, Epson Expression Premium XP-820, XP-620, XP-520, and Epson WorkForce WF-2660, WF-2650 and WF-2630. The new printers will, after a firmware update, support the Mopria Alliance's Print Service, and the Printing Framework in Android 4.4 and later, in addition to other connectivity technologies like AirPrint.
Virtual private networking used in FaceTime infringed VirnetX patents
Last week, the US Federal Court of Appeals in Washington, DC threw out a jury award of $368.2 million to patent holder VirnetX. While the court agreed that some patents were infringed by Apple, the appeals court ruled that incorrect jury instructions were doled out by the judge, which tainted the jury when it determined the damage award.
Tech initially reserved for Apple Pay
Third-party app developers won't be able to access the APIs for Apple's NFC chips this year, a company spokesperson says. That effectively limits the NFC support in the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus to Apple Pay, as well as a few other authorized uses, at least for the next few months. That may be a security measure on Apple's part, since opening up the APIs too early could make it easier for hackers to crack the payment technology.
Exec proposes bonuses for users, websites assisting with 'congestion'
BitTorrent's Chief Executive Officer Eric Klinker has made his response to the US Federal Communications Commission's net neutrality proposal, using the "fast lane" provisions, known. Klinker believes that a model similar to that of the electric distribution in the US can be used, where users and websites get lower rates for use in times of lower demand rather than the potential conflict of interest, and double-payment, that ISPs would get for having sponsored faster access under FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler's proposal.
Initiative to make as many users as possible able to use Wi-Fi calling
At today's latest "Uncarrier" event, wireless provider T-Mobile has unveiled a series of programs to kick-start Wi-Fi calling across its network. The carrier has revealed that every smartphone it sells going forward will be capable of Wi-Fi calling. Additionally, it is launching an initiative to provide a 802.11ac Wi-Fi router for free to Simple Choice plan users who own a smartphone capable of Wi-Fi calling. Finally, T-Mobile is short-cycling its Jump program, and allowing users not eligible for a yearly upgrade to buy a new Wi-Fi calling-capable device.
Minority leader concerned with both FCC behavior, ISP policies
House Minority Leader (D-CA) Nancy Pelosi has called for broadband to be reclassified as a public utility under Title II legislation. Instead of railing against the Internet Service Providers themselves, Pelosi wants the reclassification, as she is concerned that upcoming Federal Communication Commission (FCC) rulings will result in discrimination against consumers and innovators relying on an unfettered Internet to survive.
$40 plan doubles data from 500MB to 1GB
T-Mobile-owned MetroPCS has announced several important changes, the most important being the loosening of its 4G data caps. Customers on the carrier's $40-per-month plan are getting their cap raised from 500MB to 1GB. The $50 plan is getting a similar boost, from 2.5GB to 3GB.
New device features failover, wake-on-lan, driverless installation
Sonnet Technologies today announced the Twin 10G Thunderbolt 2 to Dual-Port Copper 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10GbE) Adapter, a near-plug-and-play solution for adding 10GbE network connectivity to any computer with Thunderbolt 2 or Thunderbolt ports. Featuring 20Gbps Thunderbolt 2 technology, the Twin 10G enables users to connect to high-speed infrastructure and storage systems using the 10GbE standard -- offering up to 10 times the performance of Gigabit Ethernet.
Letter to FCC alleges that government owned networks hold undue power
Given the opportunity to petition against the expansion of municipal broadband expansion in Chattanooga, Tennessee and Wilson, North Carolina, AT&T has taken the opportunity to remind the government of its role in the state of Internet connectivity in the US. In its filing with the US Federal Communcations Commission, the telecom giant lays out its case against why local broadband, or "Government-Owned Networks" (GON), shouldn't be allowed.
Update eliminates requirement for physical network connection, Sonos Bridge
Sonos has started to implement a change to the wireless networking used by its speaker system, eliminating the need for a physical connection. The previously-announced update will now allow for speakers to connect to an existing Wi-Fi network, instead of the wireless mesh network created between the speakers.
High-speed TransferJet adapters pass data between nearby devices at up to 375Mbps
Toshiba will be attempting to make TransferJet more prominent in the US and Europe, by releasing adapters for the high-speed wireless data transmission technology. The manufacturer is planning to use the Sony-created technology to provide quick transfers of data between devices located physically close to each other, with the dongles shipping to Europe later this year.
Suit likely to span years, covers most all of Cox's in-home networking
After what AT&T calls "years of protracted negotiations," it has filed suit against Cox Communications, alleging that the cable company has violated seven patents covering general networking, digital video recorders (DVR), and packet loss mitigation. In a change from "normal" patent suits, AT&T is not seeking sales embargoes, but instead looks for a "compulsory ongoing royalty" for products that use the patents in question.
Time Warner Cable blames issue during scheduled maintenance for Internet failure
Time Warner Cable's nationwide outage of its Internet and phone service earlier today was caused by a problem during routine maintenance, the company claims. The multi-hour fault, which affected a large proportion of its 15 million subscribers including 11.4 million Internet customers, has been rectified for the majority of affected subscribers.
New device would receive video streamed from Windows Phone, PCs
Microsoft appears to be in the process of developing a Google Chromecast-like device. Filings with the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) show the software giant to be at least considering a HDMI dongle with Wi-Fi and a USB port, using Miracast to send content from a Windows device in a manner similar to Apple's Airplay. The device would fill an unserved market, with AirPlay only on iOS and OS X devices, and Google Cast on Android, iOS, and web apps.
Extra capacity added to LTE in tests by using 5GHz unlicensed spectrum
Carriers could use Wi-Fi spectrum to extend capacity for its LTE service in the future, if new research is adopted. Researchers from Japanese carrier NTT Docomo and Huawei have managed to use the 5GHz unlicensed spectrum, typically used for Wi-Fi, to operate an LTE network, with the extra bandwidth having the potential to enhance existing LTE cellular networks.
Affected services included Photos, Keychain, Find My iPhone
Many Apple online services -- and "some" percentage of users -- were caught in a brief but severe outage on Thursday, according to the company's official system status page. This included every iCloud service, such as Photos, device backups, Keychain, Mail, Documents in the Cloud, and web apps. Also impacted were Back to My Mac, Find My Friends, Find My iPhone, and iMovie Theater.
Tech may appear in iOS 8, new iPhone models
Apple has posted two job listings asking for people with experience in voice-over-LTE technology, better known as VoLTE. The first asks for a "cellular systems protocol engineer," while the second asks for a "wireless communication software engineer" familiar with "SIP, RTP, and VoIP related protocols." Although it's dependent on carrier support, VoLTE can allow for much better call quality than regular or even 3G voice channels.
PSBCG90 Smart Bicycling Computer launched by Pyle Audio
Pyle Audio has announced the availability of its new tracking computer device for cyclists, the PSBCG90 Smart Bicycling Computer. Offering cyclists the ability to track their performance, map locations and plan new, chartered routes, the device can connect to one's computer for the purpose of saving training data records. The computer device features software that includes Google Maps, as well as GPS navigation assistance.
Gigabit Internet will become available in Cupertino
AT&T has become the first major telecommunications provider to declare it will offer a gigabit Internet service in Silicon Valley in the future. The high-speed service will roll out in Cupertino, Apple's base of operations, though the company has not yet revealed when it will roll out the network in the area, when it will be available to customers, nor how much it will ultimately cost.
AppleScript, multi-platform hooks make spamming easier
Over 30 percent of all mobile spam messages are now being sent through Apple's iMessage system, claims Tom Landesman, a security researcher at Cloudmark. Many of the messages are pushing fake luxury products, such as sunglasses and handbags. Landesman explains that spammers are -- or were -- taking advantage of several aspects of Apple's ecosystem. However, Apple has responded to the charge, and said that some countermeasures have been implemented.
Deal marks fourth major deal with Internet service providers
Netflix has signed a new peering deal, this time with Time Warner Cable. The deal now gives the video streamer interconnection deals with Internet service providers that cover about 68 percent of all the broadband customers in the US. Notably, the 32 percent it doesn't have deals with are smaller providers - largely carriers that have pro-net neutrality views, and haven't been found to limit or slow down Netflix traffic for users.
Would only be half of standard's maximum
Continuing a series of rumors, Chinese repair firm GeekBar is claiming that the iPhone 6 will also use a Qualcomm MDM9625 modem, which supports LTE-A, but only up to 150Mbps. That would be an improvement over the 100Mbps limit in the iPhone 5s, but only half the full potential of LTE-A, which is 300Mbps. Carriers across the world are only just beginning to deploy LTE-A-compatible networks, so Apple may not be worried about maximizing speeds within the expected life-cycle of the iPhone 6.
Facility presumably meant to support iCloud in South America
Construction of a new Apple datacenter is underway on Curaçao, reports say. Curaçao is an island off the coast of Venezuela, but a constituent country of the Netherlands. The center is said to be nearly complete already; the original company behind the project went bankrupt however, forcing the Unique Infrastructure Group to take over.
BGP tables hitting 512K limit, could mean more outages as capped machines surface
Since yesterday, the Internet has hit some bouts of turbulence as a widespread issue slowly works its way across infrastructure. The issues aren't tied to any sort of fiber issues or due to the exhaustion of iPv4 address, but rather the exhaustion of memory inside of some hardware such as routers and switches. Starting on Tuesday, border gateway protocol (BGP) tables, the tables responsible for keeping track of a map of the Internet, started to hit their limit in older hardware, making chunks of the Internet inaccessible in the process.
Repeated outages in space of a month
"Some" iCloud Mail users have been unable to receive messages since about noon Eastern time, according to Apple's system status page. Apple hasn't identified the percentage of users affected, a cause, or when issues might be resolved. The system tracker doesn't usually provide the latter two pieces of information.
Malware strikes un-updated Synology NAS units
Synology product users affected by the SynoLocker attack may have lost their files to the cryptoware. Representatives from Synology have informed Electronista that at this time, they are unable to provide assistance recovering data that has been forcibly encrypted by the malware.
SynoLocker demanding 0.6 bitcoin to release encrypted data
[Updated with additional info] Network attached storage device manufacturer Synology is reporting that a new form of malware is spreading to some of its customers. Dubbed the SynoLocker cryptoware, the malware encrypts data on the network peripheral, and the perpetrators are demanding 0.6 bitcoin ($350) to get the key to retrieve the files.