FS Fives: Tuesday, August 9

First up, we bring you news of Edinburgh’s march to become the UK’s largest ‘gigabit city’ after CityFibre‘s project in association with Commsworld nears completion.

Under the joint venture 150km of ‘pure fibre’ is set to be installed by next month, giving around 7,000 businesses access to some of the fastest internet speeds in the land.  It will also reach over 300 public sector sites including schools, libraries and office buildings.

James McClafferty, CityFibre’s Head of Regional Development in Scotland, said: “Reaching 100km is a significant milestone for the project, which has been a truly collaborative process, working with our partners, Commsworld.

“Spanning 150km, which stretched out would take you from Edinburgh to Aberdeen, the completed network will establish Edinburgh as the UK’s largest Gigabit City which is a real coup for its businesses and services.”

Blazing the fibre trail…to Inverness

As if not to be outdone by the capital, an MP has launched a campaign to make Inverness the next gigabit city.

SNP MP Drew Hendry, who chairs the all-party group on the digital economy at Westminster, said that the capital of the Highlands was often “at the back of the queue” for internet and mobile connections.

“Having world class digital infrastructure is just as important,” he explained, adding that it would make Inverness a much more attractive place to do business and create jobs in the digital economy.

“Becoming a gigabit city could give the opportunity to redirect other funding into broadband projects in surrounding towns and villages,” he said.

Another day, another new type of hack

A lack of security in the firmware of computer monitors may leave them vulnerable to being taken over by hackers, researchers have shown.

Hackers can potentially break into a small computer that controls displays without hacking into the computer itself, two security experts demonstrated.

It means hackers could control PC screens – changing pixel configurations and monitor settings – to perpetrate a new type of cyber attack.

Ang Cui, the lead researcher who came up with the hack, and Jatin Kataria, were able to demonstrate how by making the user visit a malicious website or click on a phishing link, they could hack the monitor and apparently make changes to the details on a web page, specially the firmware.

The key issue lies in the monitors’ software or the firmware implanted inside. “There’s no security in the way they update their firmware, and it’s very open,” said Cui.

Don’t forget your digital entertainment

British holidaymakers now spend more time sorting out the digital downloads for their holidays than they do actually packing (the Herald reports).

According to a new survey the average person spends four hours and 16 minutes “digitally packing” for a week-long break compared to two-and-a-half hours packing their case.

The digital packing list includes sorting out music playlists, downloading TV shows and books – according to the survey commissioned by Audible.

More than two in five (42%) of Brits actively start organising the digital entertainment they will be taking on their week-long holiday before even thinking about packing their physical bags.


And finally…Ceefax is making a comeback. No, really. A small band of geeks have managed to resurrect the old teletext format, and have called it Teefax.


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