* Posts by Chris Hills

170 posts • joined 17 Jul 2008

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Ofcom unveils broadband switching plans, but providers claim it's not so easy

Chris Hills

Multiple services?

If I have cable, and I want to get an additional fibre service, I hope this will not mean my cable service is automatically disconnected.

UK.gov is launching an anti-Facebook encryption push. Don't think of the children: Think of the nuances and edge cases instead

Chris Hills

Re: One time pads

Sending the OTP electronically defeats the point of using a OTP. You might as well just use encryption to begin with.

Chris Hills

One time pads

Our mobile phones are now powerful enough that is entirely feasible to use one time pads. All it needs is an app that makes it simple. Unless the phone itself is compromised (avoid android or iOS), it is unbreakable. The downside is you have to exchange them in person which could be difficult if you need to converse with someone a long way away.

We're going deeper underground: New digital project to map UK's sub-surface 'assets'

Chris Hills

Re: Prior art

Something that can complicate asset location is when one utility locates their assets relative to another. For example, 5m from kerb, but the road layout has subsequently change so there is no longer a point of reference. In some cases, roads have been laid over the top of an asset (likely something that was a contributing factor in the speed with which the Grenfell Tower fire was fought.

https://www.insidehousing.co.uk/news/news/emergency-valves-to-turn-off-gas-at-grenfell-tower-may-have-been-buried-by-refurbishment-71562

Chris Hills

Prior art

There is already a service called LSBUD ("Line Search Before U Dig"). When I heard of this, I tweeted Ordnance Survey and apparently they did not do their homework. Perhaps a case of "not invented here"?

https://twitter.com/chaz_6/status/1323618449621483520

https://twitter.com/chaz_6/status/1323643179493695491

At the end of the day, if you are digging into the ground, you should never rely on anything but your own investigation (e.g. ground-penetrating radar or other techniques) because there is no guarantee they are up to date. I guarantee that even the owners of some assets do not know where they are.

Apple is about to start scanning iPhone users' devices for banned content, professor warns

Chris Hills
Holmes

Question

How can you make a model to differentiate between children and little people? I have a hard time believing it is possible, and the ramifications could be severe for innocent people.

When free and open source actually means £6k-£8k per package: Atos's £136m contract with NHS England

Chris Hills

Missed out

If I had known that i could have earned my yearly salary by packaging 3 applications I would have taken a lot more holiday time!

UK's Computer Misuse Act to be reviewed, says Home Secretary as she condemns ransomware payoffs

Chris Hills

Not so sure

It seems like favoring corporations. If ransomware payouts are banned, then criminals will be inclined to hold individuals to ransom with the data they scraped. There was a big scandal in Canada where a healthcare company that stored therapists' notes was hacked and had its database stolen. Their clients subsequently received demands for payment otherwise their information would be published.

UK Telecoms Diversification Taskforce says Ofcom should take lead to ensure telcos don't rely on too few suppliers

Chris Hills

Good luck with that

As soon as a small/medium company gets successful they just get bought by one of the big players in the market. To stop that you would have to legislate and that will never happen because that's how the rich stay rich/get richer.

Half of Q1's malware traffic observed by Sophos was TLS encrypted, hiding inside legit requests to legit services

Chris Hills

Re: IPv6 isn't exactly helping.

100% agree. I am a massive IPv6 proponent, but extensible headers and fragmentation are terrible ideas.

KPMG wins Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council's £18m everything-and-the-kitchen-sink IT deal

Chris Hills
Unhappy

Disappointing

As a taxpayer it is disappointing that our money is being used for a private company to decide how to operate a public organization. Surely the civil service are far better placed for this, not least because a private company will no doubt engineer a structure that maximise the amount of fat they can cream off in contracts down the line.

Communication Workers Union to hold national ballot for members at BT, Openreach and EE over strike action

Chris Hills

Re: Public utility should be provided by public entity.

It seems likely that this will happen as the government has already made plans to get rid of the existing failing franchisees.

https://morningstaronline.co.uk/article/b/get-it-says-rmt-it-uncovers-oven-ready-blueprint-public-rail

It's wild the lengths Facebook engineers will go to find new ways to show you inane ads about tat: This time, AR...

Chris Hills
Alert

Be warned about Oculus

Oculus devices have to be linked to a Facebook account, and if your account is blocked you will lose access to your headset!

Brit cybercops issue tender to rip and replace their formerly flaw-ridden CyberAlarm tool

Chris Hills

My response

If facts are damaging to your brand then I suggest you consider your actions.

Microsoft's Extensible Storage Engine (JET Blue) source code arrives on GitHub – sadly comments not included

Chris Hills

Re: Usage ?

I wonder, is it possible to use Jet Blue instead of Jet Red within Microsoft Access to give you access to a much more scalable database?

Fedora's Chromium maintainer suggests switching to Firefox as Google yanks features in favour of Chrome

Chris Hills

Another reason to use Firefox, run your own sync server

Firefox makes it easy to use your own sync server (https://github.com/mozilla-services/syncserver) so you are not reliant on a third party. Simply change the config item identity.sync.tokenserver.uri to https://example.com/token/1.0/sync/1.5. OK it might not be *easy* easy but it's a lot easier than doing so for Chrome for which AFAIK there is no public sync server implementation available, nor can you easily change the sync service in Chrome.

Laptops given to British schools came preloaded with remote-access worm

Chris Hills

Need more info

When the government supplies the laptops, they should be providing a list of hosts and ports that they expect the device to communicate with so that administrators can assign the appropriate firewall rules.

AWS has been doing things that are 'just NOT OK since 2015,' says Elastic as firm yanks Apache 2.0 licence

Chris Hills

It makes me wonder why so many tech companies are successful in the USA where they have software patents. If Amazon had its HQ elsewhere, perhaps they would gain an even bigger advantage without having to worry about paying royalties. It also makes me wonder why Elastic have not patented their USP.

Software contractor accused of favoring foreigners on work visas over Americans agrees to cough up $42,000

Chris Hills

I hope they had to pay costs as well, otherwise it's just another business expense.

Microsoft will release a web browser for Linux next month. Repeat, Microsoft will release a browser for Linux – and it uses Google's technology

Chris Hills

Just a reminder

Chrome is based on Blink, which is a fork of Apple's WebKit, which is a fork of KDE's KHTML. Credit where credit is due.

'Mindset reset' contributes to £1bn extra costs and another delay – 2 years this time – for Emergency Services Network

Chris Hills

Extensive use of euphamisms

Call it what it is: project failure. Maybe if people used the appropriate words to describe things in the first place we would see fewer messes like this.

Hey, want to make a few bucks? Let Google sell your store's Wi-Fi network capacity

Chris Hills

Seems pointless

Any half decent mobile provider will let you roam onto any WiFi network, so it seems like a waste of time. I do not want to have to worry about finding specific networks that I can use. Besides, I'm not even bothered about voice or sms, all I need is data, which a public WiFi network can provide independently of a mobile network.

FYI: Chromium's network probing accounts for about half DNS root server traffic, says APNIC

Chris Hills

Who cares about domain hijacking any more?

Websites should use TLS by default now, and if an ISP has been able to get hold of a cert-issuing-cert signed by a CA in the default CTL, this just goes to show that the whole CA ecosystem is broken.

University of Cambridge to decommission its homegrown email service Hermes in favour of Microsoft Exchange Online

Chris Hills

If only

If only there was some kind of institution that could teach people how to operate computer systems. Ah well.

Microsoft wants to show enterprises that Edge means business, rather than the thing you use to download Chrome

Chris Hills

Wrong foot

If they want that, then they really made a mistake by forgetting what happened in the 90's when they lost a big anti-trust for abusing their position to disadvantage Netscape. They should have offered it as an optional download, but instead they have forcibly installed it on every computer they can, which in my books make it malware.

GCHQ's cyber arm report on Huawei said to be burning hole through UK.gov desks

Chris Hills
Black Helicopters

If only

If only we had some sort of committee that could be convened to handle matters like this.. an Intelligence and Security Committee if you will.

One map to rule them all: UK's Ordnance Survey rolls out its Data Hub and the juicy API goodness that lies therein

Chris Hills

Re: Could this become the official UK postcode and address database?

It is unsuitable for addresses as it does not work with vertical addresses (such as in a block of flats).

Here's a headline we never thought we'd write 20 years ago: Microsoft readies antivirus for Linux, Android

Chris Hills

Telemetry

It was likely quite easy to port to Linux, and they realized there is plenty of data they could slurp up as a result.

ServiceNow slammed for 'tone deaf' letter telling customers contracts can't be tweaked as COVID-19 batters businesses

Chris Hills

Re: We use Service Now where I work...

I think it is like SAP, it is a brilliant product if you do things their way, but if you drift too far into customization, you would have been better creating something bespoke.

Chris Hills

Are you telling me

Your company legal team did not read the fine print?

UK council dodges £100k hosting bill, opts for £6.5 million ERP migration

Chris Hills

A new one will not help

I have seen it time and time again, companies changing back and forth between systems over time. If only they maintained the system they had properly, they would not need to keep procuring a new one. Whilst in this case they claim the cost is the reason, I expect the cost is down to all the bodges they have put in place rather than having competent people working on it who understand the data and processes properly. Switching your ERP is a massive undertaking, costly and prone to unforeseen problems. If they actually save any money over the first 10 years I will eat my hat.

The software bots are coming, the software bots are coming: Microsoft swallows UK automation minnow while dreaming of low-code apps

Chris Hills
Mushroom

RPA is a scam

Software on top of other software is a recipe for disaster. Instead of using RPA you should fix the underlying software.

Podcast Addict banned from Google Play Store because heaven forbid app somehow references COVID-19

Chris Hills

Re: Well there's the problem

If the target was in the UK then it is probably breaking some law. It would have been fun to prosecute Google for computer misuse.

'Non-commercial use only'? Oopsie. You can't get much more commercial than a huge digital billboard over Piccadilly

Chris Hills

Reminds me

I was once in a meeting where a paid consultant was presenting some rubbish Excel spreadsheet they made and was later ditched, and at the top of their screen - "Non-Commercial User".

We're number two! Microsoft's Edge browser slips past Firefox in latest set of NetMarketShare figures

Chris Hills

Oh really...

Would it really be number 2 if users had to consciously download and install it themselves rather than having it forced upon them? It seems like antitrust all over again.

Cisco rations VPNs for staff as strain of 100,000+ home workers hits its network

Chris Hills

Follow the moon

Sounds like an opportunity for a new product, anycasted vpn endpoints.

ISP Monkeybrains cries foul over coronavirus fees after requesting more bandwidth. Zayo says it was all a mistake

Chris Hills

The ideals of the powerful are socialism for the rich, capitalism for the poor.

Line-of-business folk will have bigger role in growing robotic process automation revolution

Chris Hills

RPA is a sham

Robotic process automation is not necessary if you put in place the right systems to start with. Unfortunately we are simply not training our population well enough and the clowns are running the show, so people have to resort to hacks like RPA to do their jobs.

FYI: When Virgin Media said it leaked 'limited contact info', it meant p0rno filter requests, IP addresses, IMEIs as well as names, addresses and more

Chris Hills

Join the class litigation

If you got an email from Virgin Media, Irgvings Law are setting up a class action. https://www.irvingslaw.com/gdpr-data-breach/

Our 'solution is killing us in a number of areas' IBM said about doomed £175m Co-Op Insurance project

Chris Hills

Re: Oh look, another failed megaproject

It is a shame they were allowed to buy the successful Red Hat company. I hope they do not destroy it like Microsoft did Nokia.

It's Terpin time: Bloke who was SIM jacked twice by Bitcoin thieves gets green light to sue telco for millions

Chris Hills

Telegram allows you to set a password for your account so it is not quite as trivial as just getting access to your phone number.

What do a Lenovo touch pad, an HP camera and Dell Wi-Fi have in common? They'll swallow any old firmware, legit or saddled with malware

Chris Hills

So what?

I own the device, I should be able to flash my own firmware onto it. At the very least, the manufacturer should be required to provide the signing certificate upon request, but this needs a change in the law. Prohibiting consumers to flash new software encourages planned obsolescence and waste, which is bad for the environment.

Post Office faces potential criminal probe over Fujitsu IT system's accounting failures

Chris Hills

Re: IT - we have heard of it

I wish my industry would standardise on using UPRN for referencing properties. It would make many things more efficient and accurate.

Former Autonomy boss Mike Lynch 'submits himself' for arrest in central London

Chris Hills

Fair Trade

Mike Lynch for Anne Sacoolas.

Microsoft's on Edge and you could be, too: Chromium-based browser exits beta – with teething problems

Chris Hills

Let us not forget

Chromium traces its roots to KHTML which is free software built by the KDE community, which Edge now shares.

Problems at Oracle's DynDNS: Domain registration customers transferred at short notice, nameserver records changed

Chris Hills

Re: Why is Oracle still a company?

Oracle is a law firm with a software business on the side.

The Six Million Dollar Scam: London cops probe Travelex cyber-ransacking amid reports of £m ransomware demand, wide-open VPN server holes

Chris Hills

Head in the sand again

They were told of the insecure Pulse VPN servers and ignored the warning. But I'm sure the execs will get off scot-free.

Cloudflare buys browser isolation biz S2 Systems in bid to realize Sun's network computing vision at long last

Chris Hills

XPRA

I use XPRA (xpra.org) to run linux apps, including browsers, from a web browser (e.g. behing a restrictive proxy).

What's that? Encryption's OK now? UK politicos Brexit from Whatsapp to Signal

Chris Hills

No, silly

It's one rule for them and one rule for us!

IT consultant who deleted every account on UK company Jet2's domain cops 5 months in jail

Chris Hills

Negligence

It sounds like the company were negligent in not using two-factor authentication for privileged accounts, as well as allowing interactive sessions for service accounts.

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