Telcos behaving badly? Lack of subsidies? Whatever the cause, nation wants it fixed to handle flood of video
India is revisiting how to stimulate more investment in wired broadband.
The nation currently relies on wireless for most of its broadband connections: just 22 million services are wired, compared to 747.41 million wireless connections, so about three per cent. Mobile phones and dongles account for 725 million of the wireless connections.
As noted in a new consultation paper [PDF] published yesterday by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, 2020 saw a vast increase in video consumption over Indian networks, either for entertainment or as part of remote collaboration. The Authority assumes that trend will continue post-pandemic, states “fixed-line Broadband is the most reliable medium for video streaming and conferencing applications” and therefore likely to benefit the nation.
The paper therefore sets out a range of policy options to get more fixed-line connections built, with giving carriers a break from licence fees the most-discussed option. Subsidies for subscribers are also suggested. Telcos’ obligations to operate an orderly application process for wired services are also discussed, with questions raised about whether carriers are doing enough.
Another issue the paper touches on is how to get 5G rolling in India, with access to street furniture as sites for small cells identified as an issue that needs to be better understood if the new standard is to make an impact.
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The paper also notes that India has considered how to stimulate wired broadband twice , in 2015 and 2020, and that discussions in those years appear not to have made much progress towards wider provision or adoption of wired connections. Maybe the third time will be the charm? We’ll get some idea of the potential for change from June 3rd, as that’s the deadline to submit comments on the Telecom Regulatory Authority’s paper. The Authority has promised to post comments online and has set a June 10th deadline to receive counter-comments. ®
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Apple’s macOS is sub-par for security, Apple exec Craig Federighi tells Epic trial
Trashing your desktop OS to save the iOS walled garden – it’s a bold strategy. Let’s see if it pays off for ’em
Apple’s software supremo Craig Federighi on Wednesday condemned the security of macOS in an astonishing attempt to defend the walled garden that is the iOS App Store.
It’s the latest twist in the ongoing Epic v Apple bench trial in which Cupertino is accused of illegally monopolizing app distribution and payments for iPhones and iPads. Federighi took the stand to argue that because Apple does not control the availability of software on macOS to the extent that it controls what applications are available from its iOS Store, Macs suffer as a consequence. He said the level of malware on Macs is unacceptable, and criticized the security protections in the desktop operating system.
The point, apparently, being that Apple needs to maintain and gatekeep its one and only iOS app store so that iPhone owners don’t suffer like Mac users. And yes, that one and only app store needs to set standards and rules. One such rule is that Apple takes a cut of app purchases and in-app purchases, which is what Epic is suing over: it wants to handle payments without Apple’s involvement, and if that involves distributing its iOS apps itself, so be it. iOS, unless jailbroken, generally speaking only accepts applications from Apple’s official store, though.
Cisco discloses self-sabotaging SSD bug that causes rolling outages for some Firepower appliances
Boxes stop working, admins may be locked out after 28,224 hours – and then every 1,008 hours after that
Cisco has detailed a bug that causes 43 models in its Firepower security appliance range to stop passing traffic and perhaps also prevent logins to the devices’ management console.
A field notice dated May 18 explains that “due to a flaw in solid-state drive (SSD) firmware, the SSD that is internal to the FPR9300 Supervisor module and FPR4100 Series security appliances will no longer respond after approximately 3.2 years of cumulative operation.
“After the first unresponsive event occurs, every subsequent power-cycle allows the SSD to operate for approximately six weeks of cumulative operation before the SSD will no longer respond again.”
Frontier sued by FTC, six states for allegedly over-promising, under-delivering broadband
ISP denies wrongdoing, notes how difficult it is to get wires to rural areas
ISP Frontier Communications was sued on Wednesday by the US Federal Trade Commission and law enforcement agencies six states for allegedly misrepresenting the speed of its internet service and for billing customers for service it didn’t provide.
The FTC filed its complaint [PDF] with the support of Attorneys General from Arizona, Indiana, Michigan, North Carolina, and Wisconsin, along with the district attorneys’ offices of Los Angeles County and Riverside County, representing California.
The complaint, filed in a federal district court in central California, accuses Frontier of misrepresentation and unfair billing under the FTC Act and of violating various state fraud and business practice statutes.
Twitter: Our AI image-cropping algorithm is biased toward White people, women
And that’s why we’ve let humans take back control
Twitter said its AI-powered image-cropping algorithm is slightly biased in favor of White people and women after all, and has taken steps to ditch its reliance on the machine-learning code.
The algorithm was used to automatically decide which portion of a photo shared on the social network was best for the screen viewing it. You can upload pictures in all sorts of sizes and aspect ratios; at some point the images have to be displayed, and Twitter used a trained system to decide which parts of the media to show. The option to view the whole image was available – the algorithm was used to create a preview of the media.
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Freenode IRC staff resign en masse, unhappy about new management
Crown Prince and network boss Andrew Lee disputes claims made by those leaving the internet chat community
Most of the volunteer staff of Freenode, an internet relay chat (IRC) network dating back to 1995, have resigned in protest over what they describe as a hostile takeover of the chat service.
And many have launched an alternative service, Libera Chat.
Freenode, which has focused on serving as a real-time communication channel for free and open source software projects, currently has about 76,000 users and 42,000 chat rooms.
Qualcomm promises 5G 6nm Snapdragon 778G chip in mid-range phones by summer
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Qualcomm announced its Snapdragon 778G 5G system-on-chip for next generation mid-to-high-end smartphones at its annual 5G Summit, which kicked off on Wednesday.
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“Snapdragon 778G was developed to address the growing demand by global OEMs for more platform options in the high-tier,” Kedar Kondap, veep of product management at Qualy, said in a canned statement. “Snapdragon 778G brings many of the latest premium technologies and features into the high-tier to help make next generation experiences more broadly accessible.”
Apple seeks to junk claim that iOS is an ‘essential facility’ in legal spat with Epic Games
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Apple is seeking to dismiss one of the fundamental claims in its long-running legal spat with Epic Games.
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The term “essential facility” typically refers to physical infrastructure – such as roads, bridges, or power conduits. These are things that cannot typically be replicated easily, and are necessary for the delivery of something.
That Salesforce outage: Global DNS downfall started by one engineer trying a quick fix
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The sound of rumbling rubber could be heard today as Salesforce threw an engineer responsible for a change that knocked it offline under a passing bus.
“We’re not blaming one employee,” said Chief Availability Officer Darryn Dieken after spending the first half hour of a Wednesday briefing on the outage doing pretty much that very thing.
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AWS App Runner: Fast path from GitHub to deployed application, but limited features in first release
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Parliament demands to know the score with Fujitsu as Post Office Horizon scandal gets inquiry with legal teeth
‘Government’s got to take responsibility for this,’ rages opposition MP
A statutory public inquiry will be held into the Post Office Horizon scandal, the UK government said today – and MPs want to know why Fujitsu has largely been out of the limelight in the case so far.
The existing inquiry, chaired by retired judge Sir Wyn Williams, has no legal powers to force witnesses to give evidence, raising fears it would not be able to scrutinise people such as ex-Post Office CEO Paula Vennells if they decided not to co-operate.
Junior business minister Paul Scully told the House of Commons today: “I will convert the inquiry into a statutory footing [sic] on the first of June 2021.”
Android 12 beta lands bringing better personalisation, speed upgrades, and some privacy tools borrowed from iOS 14
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Google has flicked “publish” on its Android 12 beta, with the bleeding-edge OS winging its way to enrolled devices.
With the version number, Google has taken an axe to the core Android experience, emphasising personalisation while cribbing some privacy-centric features from Apple.
The stock Android experience has remained largely unchanged since the introduction of Android 5.0 Lollipop in 2015, save for the occasional tweak. Lollipop brought Google’s Material Design, which conglomerated a set of design guidelines, reusable components, and icons into a single monolithic package.
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