News in brief: Conax exclusivity deal row, stopping nuisance calls

Pay attention, this is complicated. Conax and Evolution Broadband announced an exclusive partnership for the North American cable market earlier this week, as reported at length in Light Reading Europe.

This means if Blankom USA LLC wants to sell integrated digital video systems to North American cable operators using the Conax AS conditional access (CA) system, it has to go through Evolution Broadband LLC .

However, parent company Blankom Antennentechnik, which has its HQ in Germany, is not best pleased: it already had a deal with Conax to buy kit direct from it. Conax's HQ is in Oslo, Norway.

Conax has insisted however that Blankom must go through Evolution for all North American activities.

Some 1.5 million people in the UK receive silent and malicious calls every year. Now two British inventors are marketing a device to foil cold callers, according to the BBC.

The TrueCall device acts as a buffer between the phone and the outside world and learns to distinguish between welcome and unwelcome callers.

The most common phone scam tries to get the person who answers the phone to call a premium rate phone line. Phishing is also common, whereby unsolicited callers attempt to extract personal information from individuals.

Both rely on getting through to speak to a person, which gave inventors and ex-telemarketers Steve Smith and John Price the idea for a blocking device.