Almost all stations on London’s Tube network now offer super-fast WiFi, after service is brought to 100 more stations this month.
Transport for London (TfL) and Virgin Media have finished the latest round of rolling out high-speed internet across the Tube, bringing the total number of stations where it’s now available to 250 out of the 270 stations on the underground network.
Approximately 500,000 laptops, phones and tablets connect to the network everyday, downloading 20 terabytes of data – a figure that’s a 700% increase on last year.
Gregor McNeil, a spokesman for Virgin Media, said that “Since we launched the LU WiFi service three years ago we have been astounded by the take-up and reaction from Tube users and reaching the 250 station milestone has been a long-term ambition for us.
“By bringing connectivity to more people where and when they need it, out of their homes, we are helping Londoners to stay connected and for them to do all the stuff they love – post, tweet, watch and share – whilst on the move.”
The service can reach download speeds of up to 100MB and is offered free of charge to customers of EE, O2, Orange, T-Mobile, Three, Virgin Media and Vodafone.… Read more
Mattel’s all-new talking Hello Barbie has come under scrutiny by a number of leading security experts who have already managed to hack the WiFi enabled doll.
The first interactive Barbie was unveiled by the company earlier this year, a doll that allows children to talk to it, with audio files being processed over the internet and replied to, allowing Barbie to respond.
Matt Jakubowski, an internet security expert, said that he has already managed to hack the Hello Barbie system, extracting WiFi network names, account IDs and audio files, which he claims could be used to find out whether or not someone is home, leaving you more exposed to the threat of break ins from criminals.
“You can take that information and find out a person’s house or business. It’s just a matter of time until we are able to replace their servers with ours and have her say anything we want,” Jakubowski warned.… Read more
Rail passengers may soon be able to claim refunds for the cost of travel if there is no WiFi available or if they’re unable to get a first class seat, under a new set of proposals outlined by the government.
The plans, put forward by the Department for Transport, would apply to anyone travelling on a service which advertises wifi, entitling them to claim a full or partial refund, whilst first class passengers would be entitle to a full refund if wifi or a first class seat are unavailable.
The Department of Transport’s proposals state that “If a passenger had paid for a first class ticket but no first class accommodation was available, or they had been promised an onboard wifi service that was not available, they would be able to make a claim under the CRA for a price reduction which, in appropriate circumstances, could be up to a full refund.”
If the new legislation is approved it would begin from April of next year and will require train operators to provide refunds provided they’re made within 14 days from the initial date of travel.… Read more
Devices from a number of home gateway manufacturers can be hijacked using common hard-coded logins, presumably as they source their firmware from the same place.
Vendors who have their hardware compromised by this issue include ASUS and ZTE in Adia, Digicom and Observa Telecom in Europe, along with Philippine Long Distance Telephone (PLDT).
All of the devices affected by the issue share the telnet password “XXXXairocon”, with the “XXXX” being the devices’s MAC address. The username is admin for all except the PLDT device, which has the username “adminpldt”.
The vulnerability was first discovered last year with the ZTE ZXV10 W300 router, and was later featured in May on the full disclosure list of Observa Telecom.
Devices that are affected include:
ASUS DSL N12E
PLDT SpeedSurf 504AN
ZTE ZXV10 W300
Since the firmware of devices affected by the issue has not yet been patched, the CERT recommends that users should block telnet and SNMP in their firewall rules.… Read more
Riga, capital of Latvia, was found to have the densest Wi-Fi hotspot network of any capital city within the European Unions, according to research carried out by telecommunications firm Lattelecom.
The research looked at the number of Wi-Fi hotspots compared to population, showing that in Riga there are 444 people per hotspot. The rest of the top four cities were Tallinn, with 975, Valletta, with 1,071, Lisbon with 1090, and Vilnius with 2,162.
“By developing free Wi-Fi access points and providing free service we have become an example to all other European Union countries – this is also proved by the high interest from the international media. For example, Vienna plans to open 400 free Wi-Fi hotspots in 2016 – quite a lot more Internet hotspots have been available for the residents of Riga and Latvia for three years already,” says Gulbis, CEO for Lattelecom.
“That is why appreciation by people is very important, and Lattelecom polls show that more than half of Latvian Internet users claim that Latvian public Wi-Fi hotspots are better than those abroad in terms of availability, quality, and ease of use.”
The study was carried out earlier this month and included data from both Lattelecom hotspots as well as those from numerous other EU telecommunications providers.… Read more
A court in France has recognised as a medical disorder a woman’s allergy to Wi-Fi for the first time.
Marine Richard, 39, was awarded a disability allowance of £500 per month after convincing the Marseilles court that her condition had forced her to retire away from urban areas, as her allergy to Wi-Fi had made a city life impossible.
The condition that Ms Richard claims to be suffering from is Electromagnetic Hypersenitivity (EHS), a condition which has so far been unsubstantiated by medical experts. Those who allege that they suffer from the condition claim that exposure to mobile phones, Wi-Fi and televisions can cause them severe discomfort.
“This is a breakthrough,” said Ms Richard, who has been forced to live in rural Ariège département in a barn without electricity as a result of her condition.
Alice Terrasse, Ms Richard’s lawyer said that the ruiling set a new legal precedent for “thousands of people”.… Read more
The Better Business Bureau have released a new warning relating to free, public WiFi.
As free WiFi becomes more widely available, it’s becoming easier than ever before for hackers to gain access to your computer through back doors, accessing and compromising your data.
In an effort to combat this and to make using public WiFi more secure the BBB have offered a number of tips, these are:
Familiarise yourself with and learn how computer encryption works, and encrypting your information will make it far easier for hackers to access it.
When logging onto a website it’s important to always look for “HTTPS” in the URL, indicating that the connection is secure. However, mobile applications don’t have a similar indicator, which led the BBB to advise against using potentially sensitive applications, such as mobile banking apps, on unsecured public WiFi.
Typically, if you aren’t required to enter a password to access a WiFi hotspots, it’s more likely than not to be an insecure and potentially unsafe connection.… Read more
In this June 10, 2013 photo released by Jon Shenk, a Google balloon sails through the air with the Southern Alps mountains in the background, in Tekapo, New Zealand. Google is testing the balloons which sail in the stratosphere and beam the Internet to Earth. (AP Photo/Jon Shenk) EDITORIAL USE ONLY[/caption]
Google Labs’ ambitious Project Loon, a project that aims to provide free internet to parts of the world which suffer from poor internet coverage through a network of high-altitude balloons, is set to be launched first in Sri Lanka.
A deal between Google and the Sri Lankan government signed on the 28th July will see the project rolled out in March 2016, making the country the first in the world to have free, universal internet access.
“Sri Lanka is on its way to becoming the very first country in the world to have network connectivity cover the entire country,” said Mangala Samaraweera, Sri Lankan Telecom Minister.… Read more
A researcher at NASA has come up with an all-new WiFi chip for phones, computers and other wireless tech, that uses up to 100 times less power than traditional WiFi receivers.
Developed by both Adrian Tang, based at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab in California, and Professor MC Frank Chang of the University of California-Los Angeles, the new chip could potentially reduce the power consumption of pretty much any WiFi enabled device.
It works by reflecting a constant signal that is sent by a customised router, rather than generating it’s own signal as current WiFi receivers do. Data is then imprinted onto this signal as it is reflected.
“Because you are only imprinting on a wi-fi signal, you are not generating it and do not need power,” said Tang.
According to Tang, the biggest problem the pair faced was how to isolate the specific signal that was being reflected back, as the signal was also being reflected on every other surface within the room.… Read more
A businessman from Co Antrim has developed a new technology for the agriculture sector that will make WiFi access far easier than it is now for farms, who due to their remote locations have typically struggled to get reliable, fast internet.
The company behind the new system, Vynomic, was set up by Dr Aaron McConnel from Templepatrick in 2014, and have said that it can enable access to internet connections that are up to 25 miles away.
The new technology works using solar power, with a spokesperson for the Causeway Enterprise Agency, who were involved with the project, said that it could have a far wider application than traditional internet alternatives as it didn’t require an additional power source to operate.
“Dr McConnell’s invention could therefore also act as a vital resource further afield, such as in areas devastated by natural disasters, where communication infrastructures have been wiped out,” the spokesperson said.… Read more