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Network

frontier Exits Bankruptcy, Claims It Will Double Fiber-To-the-Home Footprint (arstechnica.com) 26

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: frontier Communications emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Friday, saying that it plans to double its fiber-to-the-premises footprint by extending fiber to an additional 3 million homes and businesses. "frontier is deploying capital and pursuing an extensive fiber build-out plan that will accelerate the company's transformation from a legacy provider of copper-based services to a fiber-based provider... Under the first phase of the plan, frontier intends to invest heavily and pass more than 3 million homes and business locations, enabling a total of over 6 million homes and businesses with Gig-plus speeds," the company said in a press release.

Expanding to 3 million additional homes will take multiple years, as frontier said it plans to reach "approximately 495,000 additional locations in 2021." That apparently includes 100,000 new fiber locations already built in the first three months of this year. frontier is analyzing whether it can "at least double the build rate next year," frontier's newly hired CEO Nick Jeffery said, according to FierceTelecom. "We have 3.4 million total fiber passings today and plan to at least double this footprint over the coming years," Jeffery also said.

frontier's current network consists of copper lines that pass 11.8 million homes and businesses and fiber lines passing 3.4 million homes and businesses, frontier said in a presentation for investors. Even if frontier achieves its goal of doubling its fiber network, over 8 million homes and businesses would remain stuck on frontier's old copper network, which provides slower DSL service. Although frontier didn't promise to extend fiber to all or even to a majority of its copper locations, its presentation said the company's network has a "substantial competitive advantage relative to competitors" because it includes "12 million copper passings to potentially convert to fiber."

Network

Belgium's Government Network Goes Down After Massive DDoS Attack 22

Most of the Belgium government's IT network has been down today after a massive distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack knocked offline both internal systems and public-facing websites. From a report: The attack targeted Belnet, a government-funded ISP that provides internet connectivity for Belgian government organizations, such as its Parliament, educational institutes, ministries, and research centers. The incident, which Belnet is still dealing with at the time of writing, is believed to have impacted the activities of more than 200 Belgian government organizations. Impacted services include My Minfin, the government's official tax- and form-filing portal, but also IT systems used by schools and universities for remote learning applications. In a tweet today, the Belgium Justice Department also reported disruptions but did not go into details.
PlayStation (Games)

Sony Invests In Discord, To Integrate It With PlayStation In 2022 (polygon.com) 15

Sony Interactive Entertainment and Discord will connect the communication service to PlayStation Network early next year, now that Sony has taken an ownership stake in Discord's latest round of capital-raising. Polygon reports: SIE president and CEO Jim Ryan didn't list specifics for how PlayStation and Discord will work together. "Our goal is to bring the Discord and PlayStation experiences closer together on console and mobile starting early next year," Ryan said, "allowing friends, groups, and communities to hang out, have fun, and communicate more easily while playing games together." Sony's investment in Discord was made "to bring these experiences to life for our players," he said. Ryan said both companies are already at work on Discord/PSN integration. "Empowering players to create communities and enjoy shared gaming experiences is at the heart of what we do," Ryan said.
Google

GitHub Joins Movement Against Google's FLOC (inside.com) 21

An anonymous reader quotes Inside.com's developer newsletter: GitHub is blocking Google's new third-party cookie tracking alternative, Federated Learning of Cohorts (FLoC), across all of GitHub Pages. Those GitHub Pages served from the github.io domain will now come with a Permissions-Policy: interest-cohort=() header set, although Pages sites with custom domains will not.

Several big names have also spoken out against the new alternative and implemented similar moves. WordPress is proposing automatically blocking FLoC by default on its websites, dubbing it a security risk. However, WordPress says it may add a setting that will enable admins to control whether FLoC is allowed.

Firefox, Brave, and Vivaldi have also issued similar moves...

One web developer recently published a guide showing others how to opt their site out of Google's FLoC Network. Developer Paramdeo Singh shows you how to ensure your web server doesn't participate in the network by adding a custom HTTP response header to web and proxy server configurations.

GNU is Not Unix

The FSF Says ThinkPenguin's Wireless-N Mini Router 'Respects Your Freedom' (fsf.org) 36

Friday the Free Software Foundation awarded their coveted "Respects Your Freedom" (RYF) certification to another new product: the Free Software Wireless-N Mini Router v3 (TPE-R1300) from ThinkPenguin, Inc.

Just 45 products currently hold the FSF's certification "that these products meet the FSF's standards in regard to users' freedom, control over the product, and privacy." (That is to say, they run on 100% free software, allow the installation of modified software, and are free from DRM, spyware and tracking.) The FSF writes: As with previous routers from ThinkPenguin, the Free Software Wireless-N Mini Router v3 ships with an FSF-endorsed fully free embedded GNU/Linux distribution called libreCMC. It also comes with a custom flavor of the U-Boot boot loader, assembled by Robert Call, who is the maintainer of libreCMC and a former FSF intern.

The router enables users to run multiple devices on a network through a VPN service, helping to simplify the process of keeping their communications secure and private. While ThinkPenguin offers a VPN service, users are not required to purchase a subscription to their service in order to use the router, and the device comes with detailed instructions on how to use the router with a wide variety of VPN providers...

"ThinkPenguin once again demonstrates a long-standing commitment to protecting the rights of their users. With the latest iteration of the Wireless-N Mini Router, users know that they'll have up to date hardware they can trust for years to come," said the FSF's licensing and compliance manager, Donald Robertson, III.

Phoronix points its readers to the device's page at ThinkPenguin.com "should you be looking to build out your wireless network using the decade old 802.11n standard."
Transportation

A Chinese Company Has Started Charging For Fully Driverless Rides (arstechnica.com) 24

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: Baidu, China's leading search engine, is often compared to Google. And just as Google has spun off Waymo to commercialize self-driving technology, so Baidu is developing self-driving technology of its own. On Thursday, the Chinese search giant announced the launch of what it is calling China's first paid autonomous vehicle service, known as Apollo Go. Arguably, the service is better described as a shuttle service than a taxi service. Customers are picked up and dropped off from one of eight predefined stations. The initial service area is 2.7 square kilometers -- a little over one square mile. The longest route in the network is 5 km (3 miles). That makes the service a lot smaller than the Waymo One taxi service in Phoenix, which has a service area of around 50 square miles.

Still, there's little doubt that Baidu is one of China's leading self-driving companies -- and that China is the world's No. 2 market for self-driving technology after the United States. In total, Baidu is testing fully driverless vehicles in three Chinese cities and is testing its technology with safety drivers in more than two dozen cities. Baidu has even gotten permission to test fully driverless vehicles near its Silicon Valley offices in Sunnyvale. Another Chinese company, AutoX, has been testing fully driverless vehicles in Shenzhen since December. The service has been open to select members of the public since January, though AutoX hasn't started charging for rides. Several other Chinese companies are working on self-driving technology.

The Courts

Humble Bundle Creator Brings Antitrust Lawsuit Against Valve Over Steam (arstechnica.com) 88

Indie developer (and Humble Indie Bundle originator) Wolfire Games has filed a proposed class-action lawsuit against Steam creator Valve, saying that the company is wielding Steam's monopoly power over the PC gaming market to extract "an extraordinarily high cut from nearly every sale that passes through its storeâ"30%." Ars Technica reports: The lawsuit, filed in a Washington state federal court, centers on what it considers an illegal tying of the Steam gaming platform (which provides game library management, social networking, achievement tracking, Steam Workshop mods, etc.) and the Steam game store (which processes online payments and delivers a copy of the game). After years of growth, the vast majority of PC gamers are locked into the Steam platform thanks to "immense network effects" and the high switching costs to move to a new PC platform, the suit argues. That makes the platform "a must-have for game publishers," who need access to the players on Steam to succeed. But games that use the Steam platform also have to be sold on the Steam Store, where Valve takes its 30 percent cut of all sales. By leveraging its monopoly platform power into a "gatekeeper role" for the store, Valve "wield[s] extreme power over publishers of PC Desktop Games" that leads to a "small but significant and non-transitory increase in price" for developers compared to a truly competitive market, the suit argues.

The suit includes a laundry list of competitors that have tried to create their own platforms to take on Steam's monopoly, including CD Projekt Red, EA, Microsoft, Amazon, and Epic (not to mention "pure distributors" with platform-free stores like GameStop, Green Man Gaming, Impulse, and Direct2Drive). But the lawsuit argues that Steam's lock-in effects mean none of these stores have been able to make much of a dent in Valve's monopoly position, despite plenty of well-funded attempts. Even the Epic Games Store, which has spent hundreds of millions of dollars securing exclusives and free game giveaways, has a market share of only "a little above 2 percent," according to one cited analysis (in an interview last June, Epic's Tim Sweeney estimated a more robust 15 percent market share for EGS).

"The failure of these companies to meaningfully compete against the Steam Gaming Platform shows it is virtually impossible as an economic matter to compete against the Steam Gaming Platform," the suit argues. "The Steam Gaming Platform has well-cemented dominance in the PC Desktop Gaming Platform Market, and given its unique and strong network effects, that is unlikely to change." The only meaningful way to avoid [Valve's] anticompetitive measures, the suit argues, is "to avoid using the Steam Gaming Platform at all." But Valve's monopoly position means that "there are no economically viable alternatives to the Steam Gaming Platform" for most PC games. While the suit acknowledges a few counterexamples (Riot's League of Legends is cited by name), such titles "typically require a long history of recognition and success before they can attempt to thrive without the Steam Gaming Platform," the suit says.

Youtube

YouTube TV Removed From Roku Channel Store Amid Google Contract Dispute (axios.com) 26

YouTube TV has been removed from Roku's channel store, after Roku and YouTube TV parent Google failed to come to a distribution agreement amid accusations that the tech giant made anti-competitive demands. From a report: These spats happen regularly between Pay-TV providers and linear TV networks. But in the digital era, this is one of the rare times in which consumers will have a major streaming network removed from their platform's channel store due to a breakdown in negotiations. The channel will still be available for existing YouTube TV customers, but new users that wish to download the app from Roku's channel store will no longer have the ability to do so. Roku is keeping the app available to existing users so that customers don't get caught up in the messy negotiations. Earlier this week, Roku notified customers that YouTube TV may be forced off its platform if it couldn't come to an agreement with Google over a distribution deal. Notably, the dispute between Google and Roku is not over financial terms.
Security

US Government Probes VPN Hack Within Federal Agencies, Races To Find Clues (reuters.com) 12

For at least the third time since the beginning of this year, the U.S. government is investigating a hack against federal agencies that began during the Trump administration but was only recently discovered, according to senior U.S. officials and private sector cyber defenders. Reuters reports: The new government breaches involve a popular virtual private network (VPN) known as Pulse Connect Secure, which hackers were able to break into as customers used it. More than a dozen federal agencies run Pulse Secure on their networks, according to public contract records. An emergency cybersecurity directive last week demanded that agencies scan their systems for related compromises and report back.

The results, collected on Friday and analyzed this week, show evidence of potential breaches in at least five federal civilian agencies, said Matt Hartman, a senior official with the U.S. Cybersecurity Infrastructure Security Agency. "This is a combination of traditional espionage with some element of economic theft," said one cybersecurity consultant familiar with the matter. "We've already confirmed data exfiltration across numerous environments." The maker of Pulse Secure, Utah-based software company Ivanti, said it expected to provide a patch to fix the problem by this Monday, two weeks after it was first publicized. Only a "very limited number of customer systems" had been penetrated, it added.

Over the last two months, CISA and the FBI have been working with Pulse Secure and victims of the hack to kick out the intruders and uncover other evidence, said another senior U.S. official who declined to be named but is responding to the hacks. The FBI, Justice Department and National Security Agency declined to comment. The U.S. government's investigation into the Pulse Secure activity is still in its early stages, said the senior U.S. official, who added the scope, impact and attribution remain unclear. Security researchers at U.S. cybersecurity firm FireEye and another firm, which declined to be named, say they've watched multiple hacking groups, including an elite team they associate with China, exploiting the new flaw and several others like it since 2019.

United States

White House Urged To Address Surge in Ransomware Attacks (bloomberg.com) 72

Cybersecurity experts, law enforcement agencies and governments urged the White House to root out safe havens for criminals engaging in ransomware and step up regulation of cryptocurrencies, the lifeblood of hackers, in the hopes of controlling a growing wave of attacks. From a report: These are two of 48 recommendations made by a task force in a report Thursday to the Biden administration aimed at fighting the continuing ransomware episodes that plague major corporations, local governments and health-care providers across the world. The task force, organized by the Institute for Security and Technology, said the cyber-attacks have become a $350 million criminal industry -- a four-fold increase from the previous year. Last week, the U.S. Justice Department created its own, independent ransomware task force, signaling growing awareness inside the U.S. government of the now decade-old threat. Ransomware is a type of malicious code that typically encrypts a victim's data or network of computers. The hackers then demand a ransom to decrypt the information. More recently, ransomware gangs have also stolen data and threatened to make it public unless the victim pays a fee.
IT

Mighty's Plan To Reignite the Future of Desktop Computing (mightyapp.com) 219

New submitter oblom writes about Mighty, a new approach to web browsing: In short, server-side web navigation, with client-side rendering. Per Y Combinator founder Paul Graham: "Usually when people talk about grand things like changing "the future of computing," they're full of it. But not this time. Suhail [founder of Mighty] has been working on this for 2 years. There's a good chance it's the new default infrastructure. Suhail writes in a blog post: After 2 years of hard work, we've created something that's indistinguishable from a Google Chrome that runs at 4K, 60 frames a second, takes no more than 500 MB of RAM, and often less than 30% CPU with 50+ tabs open. This is the first step in making a new kind of computer. [...] When you switch to Mighty, it will feel like you went out and bought a new computer with a much faster processor and much more memory. But you don't have [to] buy a new computer. All you have to do is download a desktop app.

To make Mighty work, we had to solve a lot of complex engineering problems, including designing a custom server to keep costs low, building a custom low-latency networking protocol, forking Chromium to integrate directly with various low-level render/encoder pipelines, and making the software interoperate with a long list of macOS features. We are working hard at ramping up server capacity across the world as we roll it out to users. You might be thinking: "Yeah but what about the lag?" Lag would have been a real problem 5 years ago, but new advances since then have allowed us to eliminate nearly all of it: 5 Ghz WiFi bands, H.265 hardware-accelerated low-latency encoders, widespread 100 Mbps Internet, and cheaper, more powerful GPUs. We also designed a new low-latency network protocol, and we locate servers as close to users geographically as possible. As a result, a user with 100 Mbps internet will rarely notice lag while using Mighty. Watch this demo video and see for yourself.

Android

Eddy Cue Wanted To Bring iMessage To Android In 2013 (theverge.com) 102

According to The Verge, citing a new deposition made public as part of the Epic case, Apple's senior VP of software and services, Eddy Cue, pushed to bring iMessage to Android as early as 2013. "[...] Cue wanted to devote a full team to iMessage support on Android, only to be overruled by other executives," adds The Verge. From the report: The latest deposition cites a specific email exchange between Cue and Craig Federighi, currently Apple's SVP of software engineering, beginning on April 7th and 8th, 2013. The exchange came after news circulated that Google had attempted to purchase WhatsApp for $1 billion. According to the exchange, Cue took the rumors as a sign that iMessage should expand to Android to cement Apple's hold on messaging apps:

Cue: We really need to bring iMessage to Android. I have had a couple of people investigating this but we should go full speed and make this an official project.... Do we want to lose one of the most important apps in a mobile environment to Google? They have search, mail, free video, and growing quickly in browsers. We have the best messaging app and we should make it the industry standard. I don't know what ways we can monetize it but it doesn't cost us a lot to run.

Federighi: Do you have any thoughts on how we would make switching to iMessage (from WhatsApp) compelling to masses of Android users who don't have a bunch of iOS friends? iMessage is a nice app/service, but to get users to switch social networks we'd need more than a marginally better app. (This is why Google is willing to pay $1 billion -- for the network, not for the app.)...In the absence of a strategy to become the primary messaging service for [the] bulk of cell phone users, I am concerned [that] iMessage on Android would simply serve to remove an obstacle to iPhone families giving their kids Android phones.

Elsewhere in the deposition, Cue says, "I remember the time of wanting to do an iMessage app on Android ourselves." "Would there have been cross-compatibility with the iOS platform so that users of both platforms would have been able to exchange messages?" the questioner responds. "That was certainly the discussion and the view that I had," Cue says. [...] The line of questioning is likely to play a significant role in Epic's antitrust lawsuit, which argues that iOS app store exclusivity represents an illegal use of market power. Epic has made clear in previous filings that it plans to make iMessage exclusivity part of that argument, citing a 2016 email from Phil Schiller that argues iMessage expansion "will hurt us more than help us."

United States

FCC Green-Lights SpaceX Satellite Plans (axios.com) 50

SpaceX scored a regulatory victory at the Federal Communications Commission Tuesday, overcoming opposition from Amazon and other satellite companies on a key change to its plans for a satellite network that will beam internet access across the globe. From a report: SpaceX needed FCC approval to move forward with its plan to provide internet access in hard-to-reach areas. SpaceX asked the FCC for permission to lower the orbit of its future Starlink satellites.
Businesses

Network Security Company Proofprint Goes Private In $12.3 Billion Deal (venturebeat.com) 7

Private equity firm Thoma Bravo has announced plans to acquire cybersecurity company Proofpoint in a deal worth $12.3 billion. VentureBeat reports: Founded in 2002 by former Netscape CTO Eric Hahn, Proofpoint was originally known for an email security product that helped businesses identify spam, viruses, and other electric correspondence that might contravene company policies. In the subsequent years, the Sunnyvale, California-based company has expanded its scope to include an array of cloud-based security products designed to protect enterprises from targeted threats. Proofpoint went public back in 2012, with its shares initially trading at around $13 -- these have grown steadily over the past decade, hitting an all-time high of $140 earlier this year and giving it a market capitalization of more than $7 billion.

Thoma Bravo has a track record of taking publicly traded cybersecurity companies private, having done just that with network security company Barracuda in a 2017 deal worth $1.6 billion and with Sophos last year for $3.9 billion. The Proofpoint deal, which is expected to close in Q3 2021, sees Thoma Bravo paying a 34% premium on Proofpoint's closing price at the last full trading day (April 23), with shareholders set to receive $176 for each share they own. It's worth noting that the $12.3 billion price tag positions this as the biggest cybersecurity acquisition of all time, putting it ahead of the $7.68 billion Intel shelled out for McAfee 11 years ago. And by VentureBeat's calculations, the Proofpoint acquisition represents one of the biggest overall technology acquisitions ever, putting it in the top 20, alongside megadeals that include Dell's $67 billion EMC purchase, IBM's $34 billion Red Hat deal, and Salesforce's impending $27.7 billion Slack acquisition.

Businesses

Lyft Will Sell Self-Driving Car Unit To a Subsidiary of Toyota For $550 Million (cnbc.com) 8

Lyft will sell its self-driving car unit to Woven Planet, a subsidiary of Toyota, for $550 million in cash, the companies announced Monday. CNBC reports: As part of the deal, Lyft and Woven Planet will work together on enhancing automated driving technology safety, according to a release. "Not only will this transaction allow Lyft to focus on advancing our leading Autonomous platform and transportation network, this partnership will help pull in our profitability timeline," Lyft Co-Founder and President John Zimmer said in a statement.

The company expects the deal will remove $100 million of annualized non-GAAP operating expenses on a net basis, according to the release. Because of that, Zimmer added that if the deal closes when expected in the third quarter and recovery from the pandemic continues, Lyft expects to become profitable on an adjusted EBITDA basis in Q3.

Facebook

'Facebook Knows It Was Used To Help Incite The Capitol Insurrection' (buzzfeednews.com) 384

"An internal task force found that Facebook failed to take appropriate action against the Stop the Steal movement ahead of the January 6 Capitol insurrection, and hoped the company could 'do better next time,'" writes Buzzfeed: Last month, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testified in front of a House of Representatives committee that his company had done its part "to secure the integrity of the election." While the social network did not catch everything, the billionaire chief executive said, Facebook had "made our services inhospitable to those who might do harm" in the lead-up to the Jan. 6 insurrection.

Less than a week after his appearance, however, an internal company report reached a far different conclusion... Shared on Facebook's employee communication platform last month, the report is a blunt assessment of how people connected to "Stop the Steal," a far-right movement based on the conspiracy theory that former president Donald Trump won the 2020 US presidential election, used the social network to foment an attempted coup. The document explicitly states that Facebook activity from people connected to Stop the Steal and other Trump loyalist groups including the Patriot Party played a role in the events of Jan. 6, and that the company's emphasis on rooting out fake accounts and "inauthentic behavior" held it back from taking preemptive action when real people were involved...

The document contradicts Zuckerberg's statement to Congress about Facebook being "inhospitable" to harmful content about the election, and refutes chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg's January comment that the insurrection was "largely organized on platforms that don't have our abilities to stop hate, don't have our standards and don't have our transparency...." Facebook disputed the idea that the report went against Zuckerberg's and Sandberg's public statements and noted that both had said there was violative content on the platform that the company did not catch...

Facebook's researchers also outline the bureaucratic, policy, and enforcement struggles of the social giant when trying to respond to a coordinated, fast-paced movement that exploits its platform to spread hate and incite violence. Despite the company removing the most populous Stop the Steal groups from its platform, the enforcement was "piecemeal" and allowed other groups to flourish. The company admitted that it only realized it was a cohesive movement "after the Capitol Insurrection and a wave of Storm the Capitol events across the country...." Ultimately, the report says, the issue is that the company is not prepared to deal with what it calls "coordinated authentic harm."

"We learned a lot from these cases," the report says. "We're building tools and protocols and having policy discussions to help us do better next time."

But Buzzfeed's 3,400-article concludes on a skeptical note. "The report echoes previous high-profile examples where Facebook failed to act and later issued a report promising to do better..."

UPDATE (4/26): After the report's existence was revealed, access to it was suddenly restricted for many Facebook employees, Buzzfeed writes — on a new web page republishing the whole report in its entirety.
Businesses

Is SpaceX's Starlink Becoming the World's Dominant ISP? (cringely.com) 162

Technology/space pundit Robert Cringely writes that SpaceX's winning bid on NASA's Artemis lunar lander contract was helped by its flexibility in how it would be paid — made possibly by SpaceX's cushy financial position.

But he believes that's part of a larger story about SpaceX's "steadily crushing its competitors by building a hyper-efficient space ecosystem where the other guys are just building rockets," arguing that SpaceX has already won the global war of ISPs "at a net cost of ZERO dollars," if not a negative net cost, while realizing a dream of a satellite internet service that for 30 years has eluded investors like Bill Gates:

SpaceX making a profit where one would not normally exist comes thanks to U.S. residents who pay telephone and Internet bills. The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has been socking-away for a decade about $1.8 billion per year from you and me, saving-up to pay for expansions of rural telephony and broadband. There is now about $16 billion in this federal kitty and the FCC is starting to spend it with telephone and internet service providers, paying them to extend broadband and voice services to remote rural users who are presently underserved or unserved completely. All of this is both perfectly legal and even a good idea. Everybody wins. But circumstances are turning out to indicate that SpaceX is probably winning more than anyone else... So far SpaceX has won auctions for service in parts of 35 states for a total of $885 million... SpaceX just bid for potential customers in places where other companies typically didn't even bother to bid. They took the obvious remote customers and apparently won't be over-charging them or the government, either...

There is no FCC rule saying Comcast couldn't sub-contract...difficult customers to Starlink... Instead of earning $885 million of those FCC subsidies, Starlink is more likely to gain half of the full $9.2 billion — money that can be used for any purpose including financing that Artemis lander. But remember that satellites are a global resource. If SpaceX launches 4000 or 12,000 Starlink satellites to serve the USA, they'll also serve anywhere else the satellites overfly, even North Korea. The same level of service Starlink offers in Omaha will be available in Vietnam or on tankers in the Pacific ocean.

Once Starlink becomes effectively the dominant ISP in America, it will also become the dominant ISP in the world. And all at no cost to SpaceX since the expansion will have been financed from our phone bills.

Cringely cites estimates that 40,000 satellites would be enough to serve every Internet user on Earth, as well as IoT devices and even future as-yet-uninvented network services.

He also asks whether this might ultimately make it harder for China to censor the internet — and whether Apple might attempt a competing satellite-to-phone network, possibly using technology from Samsung.
The Internet

Millions of the Pentagon's Dormant IP Addresses Have Mysteriously Sprung to Life (msn.com) 81

"Just before the end of the Trump administration, an obscure Florida company began announcing routes to IP addresses owned by the Pentagon," writes long-time slashdot reader whoever57. The Washington Post calls it "a huge unused swath of the Internet that, for several decades, had been owned by the U.S. military." What happened next was stranger still. The company, Global Resource Systems LLC, kept adding to its zone of control. Soon it had claimed 56 million IP addresses owned by the Pentagon. Three months later, the total was nearly 175 million. That's almost 6 percent of a coveted traditional section of Internet real estate — called IPv4 — where such large chunks are worth billions of dollars on the open market... "They are now announcing more address space than anything ever in the history of the Internet," said Doug Madory, director of Internet analysis for Kentik, a network monitoring company, who was among those trying to figure out what was happening...

The change is the handiwork of an elite Pentagon unit known as the Defense Digital Service, which reports directly to the secretary of defense. The DDS bills itself as a "SWAT team of nerds" tasked with solving emergency problems for the department and conducting experimental work to make big technological leaps for the military... Brett Goldstein, the DDS's director, said in a statement that his unit had authorized a "pilot effort" publicizing the IP space owned by the Pentagon. "This pilot will assess, evaluate and prevent unauthorized use of DoD IP address space," Goldstein said. "Additionally, this pilot may identify potential vulnerabilities...."

The specifics of what the effort is trying to achieve remain unclear... What is clear, however, is the Global Resource Systems announcements directed a fire hose of Internet traffic toward the Defense Department addresses...

Russell Goemaere, a spokesman for the Defense Department, confirmed in a statement to The Washington Post that the Pentagon still owns all the IP address space and hadn't sold any of it to a private party.

Cloud

Dish To Use AWS For 5G Network (cnbc.com) 20

"Dish Network is partnering with Amazon to roll out 5G service in Las Vegas," writes slashdot reader fermion. "They will evidently not only be the first cloud-based 5G service, but also will allow Amazon to test its network in a large telecommunication situation." CNBC reports: Dish will start operating "the first standalone, cloud-based 5G Open Radio Access Network in the United States, beginning with Las Vegas later this year," the company said in a statement Wednesday. The statement said Amazon and Dish will work together to see how organizations including Amazon and AWS use 5G or build their own networks. Terms of the deal weren't disclosed.

Dave Brown, vice president of AWS' core Elastic Compute Cloud service, told CNBC's "TechCheck" on Wednesday that the collaboration with Dish will "absolutely" serve as a sort of case study Amazon can take to other telecommunications providers to show that 5G networks can run in clouds, rather than in data centers with special-purpose infrastructure.

Network

One Step Closer To Getting 10 Gigabit At Home 69

An anonymous reader quotes a report from ZDNet: Now, thanks to Comcast and Broadcom, we're seeing the first tests of full-duplex (FDX) DOCSIS 4 system-on-chip (SoC) devices. Comcast's tests, done between Philadelphia and Denver, show that FDX can work with DOCSIS 4. FDX enables cable internet providers to run a high-speed internet connection both upstream and downstream simultaneously. In other words, while you won't see symmetric speeds, you will someday see 10 Gbps downstream and 6 Gbps upstream over Comcast's hybrid-fiber coaxial (HFC) network. Comcast has been working towards this for years. The company has been working to bring DOCSIS 4 FDX to market pretty much since CableLabs' set the specification in 2017.

There is another way to deliver DOCSIS 4 speeds: Extended Spectrum DOCSIS (ESD). This is easier to deploy since it "only" raises to 1.8Gbps while keeping downstream and upstream traffic separate as has been the case with previous DOCSIS versions. Comcast, though, is investing heavily in chasing the top price of 10Gbps. It's possible that a single chipset could support both FDX and ESD, but we're still years away from that silicon being forged. [...] In the tests, which use experimental Broadcom SoCs, in a simulated network environment, they hit speeds of over 4Gbps both up and downstream simultaneously. This was done using DOCSIS 4's echo cancellation and overlapping spectrum techniques. The businesses expect future optimization to push the throughput even faster. We still don't know when these speeds will arrive in our small offices/home offices (SOHO). CableLabs doesn't even expect to test hardware for DOCSIS 4 certification until 2022. Nor, has Comcast announced any kind of deployment roadmap.

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