* Posts by JMB

158 publicly visible posts • joined 27 Feb 2008


Police radios will be KILLED soon – yet no one dares say 'Huawei'


I remember talking to some police radio techs just before Airwave took over. They were quite looking forward to getting early retirement because, like so many other industries, the amount of hassle in the job had increased dramatically. But they thought their existing network could have been modernised for a fraction of the cost of Airwave to the police.

The difference was shown during major power outages when the previous radio network had 100% diesel backup and could run for weeks with no mains power.

BT at last coughs to 'major outage' after broadband went titsup across UK on Sat


A couple of years ago when we had a major network fault in this area, BT Internet did not seem to have system to recognise that they were getting lots of complaints and the complaints did not seem to be passed on by the Indian call centre. Whatever you say to the call centre they just put you through the standard series of tests to prove your router is faulty which can take an hour so many people do not bother calling them. In that case the network monitoring did not detect the fault and they seemed to have nothing to detect a drop in activity on the network.

What have FindMyPast done?


What have FindMyPast done?

Any database / software / etc have any idea what the FindMyPast site has done. They have 'improved' their system i.e. made it completely unusable. I hae not read a single comment anywhere saying that it is better and many are unsubscribing or threatening to do so.

The claim that they had reach capacity and had to change. I can understand having to change their database system but I cannot see how the user interface can exceeded its capacity.

Just wondering if anyone knows what they have done and what they use?


Morrisons supermarket hit by MASSIVE staff payroll data robbery


' "We are liaising with the police and highest level of cyber crime authorities."

That is reassuring.'

Translates as the boss is asking his son who has an XBox


Re: worried?


Not sure what details are there in the database, but why necessarily would the employees be worried about their bank accounts?

"will be anxiously worried about their bank accounts this morning, after the supermaket admitted that thieves had spaffed employee payroll details online."

Typically knowing someone's name and bank account details allows you to make a transfer TO them. If I want to TAKE money from the account, I need to have one of:

- a bank card link to the account + know the PIN (to make ATM withdrawal)

- some sort of one-time-key security dongle + knowledge of a PIN or password (online banking)

- a photo ID having my photo plus name on the account, plus many times also teh physical bank card (to make an in-person withdrawal at the bank)

Of course that's assuming the banks have good security procedures in place...'

Like the fuss someone will make about giving their bank account number online yet will send a cheque by mail to a complete stranger and what does the cheque have printed on it ............

Stephen Fry rewrites computer history again: This time it's serious


Fry seems to have zero technical knowledge, he has made some ridiculous mistakes reading the Qi script which is supposedly carefully researched by his 'elves'. The one that I always remember is that Sat Navs work by sending a signal up to the satellite which then sends back a signal with the position.

Gay hero super-boffin Turing 'may have been murdered by MI5'


Does anyone pay attention to the ramblings of Tatchell? He just likes to see his name in the news.

Posh potty owners flushed by dodgy Bluetooth password


'At $5,686 a pop, it seems unlikely someone will set up a whole public restroom full of these. It would be funnier to bidet like 5 people at once than one though wouldn't it? 8-)'

But it is possible they will have His and Her toilets side by side.

UK parliament presses for pardon for Alan Turing


Re: And the rest ?

Agreed, too many talk as if he single-handedly won the war.

He was a brilliant mathematician but so were many others at Bletchley Park. It was claimed yesterday that he built Colossus but that was the work of Tommy Flowers and others with Turing having nothing (or very little) to do it.

Turing has roads named after him, statues but the majority of the others have little recognition and their names are unknown to most people.

I always get the impression he has so much recognition because he was homosexual, not despite it, with a big lobby pushing for it. What will they want next?

Sky asks Ofcom to unlock BT cabinets


Re: Virgin

I would think much of the BT infrastructure went in after privatisation or at least has been replaced since privatisation. I agree though that if BT have to allow competitors to use their buildings, cabinets etc then those competitors should also make their buildings, cabinets etc open to BT and others.


'What we should do, is hand over responsibility for the last 5 miles to the local councils.

Then every time they dig up the roads for whatever arbitrary reason, they could lay fibres.

Let BT do the backhaul (or anyone else) and let the local not for profit organisation do the last '

The mind boggles at councils trying to organise that, they would probably just contract out to someone, probably end up in the hands of some foreign telecom company just like everything else. Would put the costs up with a few more layers all wanting to make a profit out of it.


We had other companies sharing our (small) buildings at my work and they were given unsupervised access. It was a real PITA with often things like junk left behind, the people who looked after the sharing would often not make sure they fulfilled their obligations so we had to sort out the problems ourselves. I hate to think what it would be like having other companies, especially Sky, sharing a small cabinet.

PRISM leaks: WTF, you don't spy on your friends, splutters EU


I am sure plenty of EU countries are also active in spying on supposed allies - the French are notorious for it.

I keep wondering whether the EU has its own spying operation, it would not surprise me if there was a secret operation spying on its own member states as well as other countries.

Cuba bound? Edward Snowden leaves Hong Kong


I thought Cuba was trying to improve relations with the USA this does not seem a good way to do so (if true).

Are there flights to Ecuador from Cuba?

BT! dumps! Yahoo! after! 10! long! years! together!


BT / Yahoo

The Yahoo Mail interface is rubbish but BT customers get Flickr Pro. Yahoo have completely ruined Flickr in the last few weeks but I have many images stored there so will have to look into what I lose without Pro and whether I will have to pay for it now.

'Catastrophic failure' of 3D-printed gun in Oz Police test


Just hack the design so there are copies out there with deliberate errors to make it fail like the one illustrated.

Unfortunately there are nuts out there prepared to take the risk.

Why UK slid £150m to tax-exempt phone-mast master Arqiva


I wonder if Arquiva is one of the wealthy telecom companies who are also being subsidised from the TV LIcence to increase broadband speeds in rural areas - I suspect mainly because of pressure from people with second homes or who have moved to the country to 'get away from it all'.

StreetView spots possible roadside nookie down under


It does look phoney, I reckon they have seen the Google car, overtaken it and got far enough ahead to park up and set up a pose.

Young model ruthlessly fingers upskirt iPad petshop pervert


There is a second CCTV still image of him at work.


and also the video from the CCTV



He seems a very incompetent voyeur, wearing an ID badge and an iPad is hardly the most discrete devices to use!

Google+ architect: What was so great about Reader anyway?


Pity that they did not ask before replacing PICASAWEB with GOOGLE+.

I hate the GOOGLE+ display of images.

You can sometimes get it into PICASAWEB mode but you can guarantee it.

Microsoft finally ships Internet Explorer 10 for Windows 7


Re: Can't wait, I'll download it now!

I was going to download but I was put off by this "I would also like Bing and MSN defaults Get Internet Explorer 10 ".

Pirate cops bust LITTLE GIRL, take her Winnie-the-Pooh laptop


It sounds reminiscent of the solicitors in the UK who were sending out false accusations of illegal downloading and offering to drop proceedings on payment of a large "administration" fee. At least the UK police did not seem to get involved in the scam and I don't think any cases ever went to court because they feared the precedent of a losing a case.

BT and Virgin sue over £10m state-funded Birmingham broadband


I can remember readinga letter in a paper some years ago from a BT engineer living and working on one of the small Scottish islands. BT had been serving the area for many years (probably at a loss) but money had been given to an outside telecom company to install an expensive wireless system on the island when he said for quite a modest sum it could have been upgraded to allow everyone to have ADSL.

State of Minnesota bans free online education


Re: Isn't Minnesota

Are Gideon Bibles left in hotel rooms classed as illegal free religious education and presumably churches will have to charge as well in the state.

New Oz road rules forbid touching mobes


Sounds similar to the UK legislation.

Before I retired the company wanted us to be contactable by mobile phone at all times but I refused to use when driving, I just diverted to voicemail when in the van. I would like to see a feature where the mobile phone automatically switched to divert to voicemail when placed in the mount in the car.

Number-plate spycams riddled with flaws, top cop admits


"Nevermind the gaps.

Please explain to me, why is storing the whereabouts of anybody in a car, anywhere in the country, for half a dozen years, acceptable to keep tabs on just a small fraction of bad apples in the populace?"

It was obvious during the debate on the police keeping DNA indefinitely (did they ever stop doing that?) that the police do not understand the concept of "innocence". Everyone is potentially guilty, just that they have not managed to find what you are guilty of yet.

I can remember one interview with a senior police officer and he could not understand someone being innocent.

Mobile phone health rules need update, warns US watchdog


I never wrote that a handheld mobile phone was "high power" RF, I said that I worked with high power RF where lots of monitoring was done to check exposure.

My colleague was investigating a complaint and had been sent some high quality labopratory standard fully calibrated equipment. He could not detect any radiation from the location where they had been complaints but with the antenna a similar distance from a mobile phone as someone's head whilst using it was measuring very high levels.

2 watts in close proximity will produce much a higher field strength than 100 watts or more when some distance away. The analogy I usually use is a 100 watt light bulb in an outside light across the road and a 0.3 watt torch bulb right by the eye, which hurts the eye most?


I worked around high power RF for the whole of my working life and safety precautions were taken to ensure that no one was exposed to dangerous levels. I have never been happy with excessive use of handheld mobile phone - a colleague did some tests with RF measuring equipment so I asked if he had a look at the RF level from his phone, he had and it was "off the end stop". I only use my handheld mobile phone when there is no alternative and leave it switched off most of the time.

Olympic Security cock-up was down to that DARN software


Is any bookmaking taking bets on G4S, be interested to see the odds.

1. Will G4S still exist in a year's time or will they have been sold.

2. What will the company be called? Presumably they will follow fashion and adopt a new completely meaningless names.


Re: ...and LOGOC putting all their eggs in one basket

"Why rely on one company to do it all when it would of made sense to contract two companies to split the responsibility over different sites outside olympic park and then share a 50/50 split on the olympic park?"

Not just reliance on one company one, many of the venues being used already had their own security staff who are familiar with the venue and having big events there. They could easily have continued and just recruited a few extra people themselves.

The dreaded "Just In Time", so loved by beancounters, also seems to be a major factor.


Has there been any hints about what the software was?

I know we had some scheduling software at my work and it was the biggest load of rubbish I have ever seen. It seems to be common for these systems to be manually driven so the senior management think their expensive software is wonderful but the people who always did the scheduling continue doing it themselves and just load their decisions into the computer system. Of course the senior management never actually get involved in day to day work like that so are oblivious to this.

'Inexperienced' RBS tech operative's blunder led to banking meltdown


Heston was on the radio this morning going on about what high quality the staff are in India.

I remember in the early days of outsourcing to India someone from BT said something similar, he was asked why they do not outsource management to India if the staff there are such high quality.

UK websites: No one bothers with cookie law, why should we?


What I find annoying is that a lot of sites are putting up banners saying that you must accept cookies to use the site with a button to accept them but most work perfectly OK without cookies. I just wonder if I am going to continue to get this annoying banner.

Man's car warns of AIR RAID OVER LONDON


Simplest explanation is finger trouble by the person entering the messages.

Any way we all know that if a nuclear bomb went off in the centre of London then all that we would be told was that "an incident is causing traffic congestion around Central London". All the traffic cameras would of course go offline "for maintenance".

AssangeTM TV broadcasts this week


New record set for lowest number of viewers of a TV programme?

Condom compartment hidden in iPhone case


Shouldn't the sizes use the technical terms said to have been used by NASA for their urine collection devices (male only at that time) - Huge, Enormous and Unbelievable.

Google to join Wednesday's anti-SOPA protest


I was just using Wikipedia as normal except that I cannot edit pages. It must depend on the URL that you have stored to access it.

Iran spy drone GPS hijack boasts: Rubbish, say experts


Drones seem to fly mainly in level flight so won't the GPS antenna be directional to pick up signals from above. They could even incorporate a simple test for stronger signals from below which would indicate jamming and interference.

I wonder if one crashed (presumably innards would self-destruct) and the iranians used the wreckage to make a replica?

Brits turned off by Smart TVs


I have a Viera which comes with VieraCast, I occasionally look to see if anything new but never find anything of interest. I would use it if I could access iPlayer but I understand that only works if you have a satellite connection which I don't have.

Strictly Come Dancing in 3D: the facts


"Shame you didn't answer my favourite question about BBC One HD, which is why the hell can't they show SD programs on the same channel where HD is unavailable, instead of making me switch back to BBC One (not HD)? Sky One HD manages this amazing technical feat quite well."

They have started putting regional news magazine programmes on BBC 1 HD which is good because it gives them a viewing outside their normal coverage area.

I quite like the lack of regional HD programmes, it means in Scotland (and probably other regions) we get an alternative choice when Scotland is carrying different programmes to the rest of the network.


Are there any 3D test transmissions beforehand so people can check their receiver is ready?

Penguin pulls its e-books off library shelves



The British libraries that I have seen loaning eBooks have the Kindle down as US Libraries only.

Naked vegans target Prince Harry over meaty 12-incher



"Naked vegans target Prince Harry over meaty 12-incher"

I see the The Register is following the example of the tabloid press and not understanding the meaning of "naked".

"Naked" means with no clothes on so not wearing a bikini or even topless.

Ofcom tarts up telco report with pretty coverage maps



I looked at the DAB coverage map, it is useless.

They have averaged out over the whole of the Highlands at 71%. You would be hard pushed to find anywhere in Fort William where you cannot receive DAB but it shows as 71% which is exactly the same as somewhere in the Highlands with no coverage at all.

Anonymous Twitter alternative developed for rioters


Anonymous ?

How can it be anonymous if it goes through the network?

The authorities just need to get the network to store all activity so it can be analysed kater. Each message will be linked to a particular phone or device, they will also be able to find out who read it so have information on who was present at the event.

Range Rover Evoque Si4

Thumb Down

RE: Range Rover Evoque Si4

Ugly looking thing but that seems policy for Land Rover now with Freelander, Discovery and Range Rover getting progressively uglier with each change of design.

The ground clearance could not be much worse than a Freelander, I had one at work and regularly grounded it on rough tracks. I got used to hearing bangs underneath.

BBC explains 'All your Twitter pics are belong to us' gaffe


BBC explains 'All your Twitter pics are belong to us' gaffe

I wonder if it would be possible to put a copyright notice in both the EXIF and IPTC data with a statement that there is a standard fee of £10,000 for any use without prior agreement.

Or send a letter to the head of each of the organisations most likely to breach copyright and tell them what you charge for use of any of your copyright images.

Heavily-looted mobile phone barns issue 'safety first' missives to staff


RE: Heavily-looted mobile phone barns issue 'safety first' missives to staff

Are the mobile phone companies able to lock out the phone stolen, presumably the retailers have records all the relevant ID numbers of the phones?

DIY aerial drone monitors Wi-Fi, GSM networks


DIY aerial drone monitors Wi-Fi, GSM networks

How is going to sort out the thousands of low level signals on the same frequencies that it will be receiving at 22,000 ft?

Just driving around in a car would be more effective, just put some big cameras on the roof to disguise it.