* Posts by Callum

65 publicly visible posts • joined 22 Aug 2008


UK govt says contractors should challenge IR35 status via self-assessment


boom for offshore consultancies

The big winner from the reduction in flexible contractors from the market place in FinTech has been the larger offshore (majority Indian) consultancies. Surely that's quite a loss in tax revenues.

Shedding the 'bleeding edge' label: If Fedora is only going to be for personal use, that doesn't work for Red Hat


Re: Gnome is shite

I have been using Fedora + KDE since Fedora Core first came out. I love it but do use evolution for email rather than kontact that seemed to break horribly 5 years ago.

AWS: We're gonna make mobile apps great again with Lambda functions


2 api's

The big problem is that whilst API Gateway/lambda is a great protective wrapper round services with downloadable Android and Ios libraries for your API; the back end services that fulfil this API still have to be internet facing and cannot be inside a non-internet facing Virtual Private Cloud, which is pretty frustrating.

What went wrong at Tesco Bank?


debit card key compromise

Having designed a few online banking solutions for uk retail banks; I reckon that this looks like a debit card key compromise. The fraudulent transactions seemed to originate abroad having been used for various online purchases which to me sounds like the actual ebanking system was not compromised. AFAIK Tesco didn't shut down their branch or online systems after the breach.

If a key has been compromised and someone is minting new cards; then that's bloody interesting. I've not heard of a type 4 issuer having a key compromise before.


Re: Santander must also not be hashing passwords

I wrote about 1/3 of the code for the original online banking system... expires tag (of old) was my birthday.

Renault Captur: Nobody who knows about cars will buy this


pushed one out of the glenshee car park last week

for all it's ruggedness, boy is it awful in snow. An owner, with an orange one similar to the pictures, got it stuck less than 6 ft into the glenshee snow covered car park last week. The combination of light weight front end, high ration first gear and wide useless eco tyres made it get stuck in less than 3 inches of snow!

No Santa, no Irish boozers and no regrets: life in Qatar


I went to Doha in 1994 - there used to be hundreds (if not thousands) of brand new cars parked in neat rows with the keys in the ignition in the desert towards Port Said. Apparently, because there is 0% moisture they are dumped there plus crime was extremely low.

Our house was on the ring road near Al Arabi football stadium and that was the edge of town then! (it's now pretty central since Doha has massively expanded). They used to allow spectators to watch people try to pass their driving tests in the stadium back then. not sure of they do that now. it was like a demolition derby.

Seriously hot though, I burnt my hand to the frame of the car door when it was 48'C one day.

Bright lights, affordable motor: Ford puts LED headlights onto Mondeo


headaches and snow

One of the problems with LED headlights is when you are are driving in snow conditions. Since the falling snow is highly reflective and that LEDs flash with a high intensity - your brain actually tracks falling/drifting snow as a sequence of flashing dots due to the velocity of the vehicle.

This doesn't happen with regular headlamps and can give drivers a bit of a headache after an hour or so of driving in drifting/falling snow.

This is also a problem in China where motorways are lit using LED streetlamps.

Torvalds: Linux devs may 'cry into our lonely beers' at Christmas


Re: And cry you might

I wish. i just bought a Dell Inspiron for the mother-in-law's christmas (it's OK, she doesn't read ElReg). Apparently, just pressing "Do updates" after installing it managed to complete fuck up Windows 8 and it would not allow me to upgrade to 8.1 because the Windows Update and the Dell update had a bit of a fisticuffs resulting in me losing.

So, I scrubbed Windows 8 entirely, put on Fedora 20, it went on like a breeze. Out of the poster above's list the only problem was her cheap shitty lexmark printer that has no Linux driver (but there is also no Windows 8 driver either). Everything *just works*. Fedora recognises the Secureboot stuff and the KDE interface is usable and looks close enough to her old Windows XP system that the difference can be explained as an improvement. Windows 8 would have taken a LOT of support for her.

French gov used fake Google certificate to read its workers' traffic


it's not that simple

your employer DOES NOT have the full right to view your http(s) traffic or emails , even in the workplace. (see data protection act). one of the big problems we had with our layer 7 FW was that around christmas employees shop online and we suddenly found ourself in possession of their card data including CCv numbers without adequate PCI/DSS processes around it.

There can also be a fallout if an employee is using their work email to talk to a counsellor/doctor etc and the company take action based on those conversations.

For us, the latest legal shambles is that we host our data centres in the USA and have implemented all of this without realising that the Federal Wiretap Act forbids it.

IT MELTDOWN ruins Cyber Monday for RBS, Natwest customers


are there any UK techs left who might want to mention what happened? obviously, anonymously. Having had previous at RBS, i just can't figure out what batch or online process could cause such a widespread problem and why the business continuity processes didn't kick in. Sounds horrific.

EasyJet wanted to fling me off flight for diss tweet, warns cyber-law buff


Re: I'm a Law Lecturer - FAIL

it's even worse than the worse view expressed by @Nicho: the UK doesn't have any laws AT ALL. However England/Wales do, and so does Scotland (two different legal systems). Can I have my money back from your post too?

"No comment" on Alex Salmond Seaside Shenanigans Ravings?


Lewis's article did come across like an attack on Scottish independence, with a subnote about some incorrect sums on energy production.

I wonder if it was the same department that got the sums wrong as those who continually, for over 30 years, misled the nation about the true value of Scottish Natural Gas and Oil deposits (google "McCrone report"),

or perhaps it was the same people that have misled the UK populace that Scotland is a "benefits Junkie" when in fact Scotland contributes more income tax per capita than every other region of the UK (exc London) for every one of the last 30 years.

or maybe even it was those who have done the sums whereby through an accounting slight of hand has Scotland (and other UK regions) paying for Crossrail, the new london sewer system - i.e. National assets with a very local benefit package,

or maybe it was the statisticians to worked out that moving Trident nuclear warheads to Devonport would be too risky due to proximity of a local population - forgetting or course, that the UK's 4th largest by population city, Glasgow is less than 25 miles away from Garelochhead and Faslane.

my point, is that the use of statistics and faked up reports are becoming business as usual for Scotland at the moment. The amount of BS being reported by the media here is in overdrive whereas on (frequent) trips to London there's not a pipsqueak about it all. The problem that the Better Together campaign (and a compliant media, incl The Reg) is that they are waging a very negative campaign that is putting off voters. I was once a "no"/Devo max but have moved to Yes due to the utter drivel that has come out of the Better Together campaign

NSA whistleblower to tech firms, Obama: 'Grow a pair!'


@David 14

it's not just Canadian companies. I know quite a few UK based financial companies that have in/out-sourced data centres in the USA - whilst they have got around the EEA data protection by introducing fair-collection-notices (that customers never understand the ramifications of) they still have not appreciated the problems of the Patriot act and indeed other legislation such as the US FoI act.

e.g. if you find out that a UK company that you are making a complaint to has a US data centre then you can simply hire a US Attorney and do a FoI request - which in the USA also applies to companies. You can typically get far more evidence than you could in the UK where no such legislation applies.

Three's mobile data goes titsup in mysterious spreading outage


ip config?

my 3G dongle on linux looks like it is successfully authenticating and then immediately dropping on ip config.

Jun 4 10:14:12 x pppd[3749]: CHAP authentication succeeded

Jun 4 10:14:12 x NetworkManager[873]: CHAP authentication succeeded

Jun 4 10:14:32 x NetworkManager[873]: <warn> pppd timed out or didn't initialize our dbus module

Jun 4 10:14:32 x NetworkManager[873]: <info> Activation (ttyUSB0) Stage 4 of 5 (IPv4 Configure Timeout) scheduled...

Jun 4 10:14:32 x NetworkManager[873]: <info> Activation (ttyUSB0) Stage 4 of 5 (IPv4 Configure Timeout) started...

Jun 4 10:14:32 x NetworkManager[873]: <info> (ttyUSB0): device state change: ip-config -> failed (reason 'ip-config-unavailable') [70 120 5]

Jun 4 10:14:32 x NetworkManager[873]: <info> Marking connection '3 - Internet' invalid.


Jun 4 10:14:32 x pppd[3749]: Connection terminated.

Software bug halts Curiosity: Nuke lab bot in safe mode


anyone know

How did Curiosity took the picture of itself? I'm imagining it stitched some pics together - but you can see the camera in the picture?

The amazing magical LED: Has it really been fifty years already?


mountain bike lamps

CREE XPG etc LEDs have revolutionised night mountain biking, with 1500+ lumen output and long burn times. One of the big problems though is that using them in a snow storm is headache inducing - possibly why they are not used for car main headlights.

Nazi Enigma encoding machine sells in London for over £80k

Big Brother

these are beautifully made machines and well worth the price this was sold for. The Kommander version that I was lucky enough to play with had 3 types of wood inset in the carrying box to make a nice pattern and had small details like slightly frosted bulbs so that wet hands could unscrew and replace. It even had a custom made oil bottle that set into the carrying case and all the parts worked smoothly. Perhaps they should have concentrated more on the code rather than aesthetics!!

'Kill switch' flaw found in top web weapon, victims sigh with relief


the last thing you'll do

... and the last configuration change to made to the C&C server is to instruct it's army of bots to attack itself

Santander's banking website craps out


it's not that old

me and 5 others wrote the original abbey national online banking code in 2000 - 2001, abbey was pretty late to online banking at the time. I've noticed it's been refreshed a few times since then but up until last year I still recognised the same underlying structure that had must have been in place for 10 years! It was a pretty cool system because, at launch, you could use it on Sky, web or cHTML website that only worked on those old LCD screen Nokias; i.e. a bit too far ahead of its time.

Half the team at the heart of the RBS disaster WERE in India


Is it legal?

I was wondering whether it was legal to make a role redundant and replace it with an offshore/recently onshore individual?

* I'm sure we've all seen it happen; but anyone know the legality of this and is this why RBS are being very careful in their wording of the events that took place?

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


Re: A copy of a very interesting CV

CV taken down to add the line:

+ created close to 75,000,000 hours extra work for the bank and it's customers

RBS collapse details revealed: Arrow points to defective part


Re: UK based

I saw Stephen Hester say it was "UK based" on the news last night - my immediate reaction was that they are already trying to dodge the resulting FSA fine. Especially since the largest fine ever levied was to Zurich regarding an out of control outsourcer to their outsourcer.

IT firms drown as rising tide buoys rest of UK plc


erm. entrepreneurial tax relief

or indeed, the HMRC closing the loophole where small IT service companies used to be able to close through a voluntary windup of their company and only pay tax at entrepreneurial relief on the assets of the company (usually a bank account chocked full of cash) - which was far cheaper than paying tax on the income/dividends.

The new rules state that companies can still do this; but have to become insolvement and therefore involve a solvency practioner.

April is significant because a lot of small IT service companies were getting it done and dusted before the new rules came into place.

I bet you'll find that a lot of new IT companies started up around the same time.

NDS says Beeb's Panorama emails were 'manipulated'


Re: "The BBC is obliged by its charter to be impartial"

speak to anyone in Scotland about the coverage BBC Scotland has of the independence referendum. There have been protests in Scotland outside Pacific Quay because key figures in the BBC Scotland News are, have been, or are married to key figures in the Labour party (which is fiercely anti-independence). See http://newsnetscotland.com/index.php/scottish-opinion/4263-so-think-you-can-trust-bbc-scotland-well-read-on- and the last sentence on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reporting_Scotland

TalkTalk loses 43,000 customers, chunk o' revenue in Q3


I was a nildram customer; which became Opal and then talktalkbusiness. The service with talktalk business is utterly awful. e.g. they have failed three times in a row to log an openreach call to replace a master socket. It's so bad that I have a draytek vigor router with a "3" 3G usb key plugged in permanently to switch when the contention rates rise in the evening (which bugs me because I'm meant to be a business customer and shielded from evening consumer usage)

Anyone got any recommendations for a ADSL broadband provider that works for techies. i.e. not the watered down crap service that seems to be the norm. I don't care about price.

Met Office cuts off Linux users with new weather widgets


adobe have been a bit vicious by actually removing the adobeair package from their yum repository. Frankly, I don't see what harm there was by just leaving it there ad infinitum. The binary install provided on their archive page is a bit of a nightmare to install on modern Linux OS's.

PayPal dispute ends in 'violin destruction'


PayPal is a bank in the EU and is called PayPal Europe SÃ rl & Cie, SCA (PayPal Luxembourg). Critically, though, it does not fall under FSA jurisdiction but are regulated under the Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier (CSSF), the Luxembourg equivalent of the FSA.

I don't think it has bank status in the USA though. Only European accounts were transferred to the above entity.

Brits turned off by Smart TVs


I have one of the LG smart Tv's. The apps within it's LG-only-app-market are largely crap; the DLNA simply won't work with my NAS (freenas 7.2), it's impossible to "type" a URL with the finicky controller, the Skype application needs an LG mic and camera ()that aren't for sale yet). I should have just bought a normal LED TV and bought a firebox'd apple tv or something.

OccupySF BOFH runs protest network on pedal power


a SIMPLER 3G hotspot

just use one of these fabby Chinese 3G/WiFi hotspots - battery backed and charges from 12V too! Solwise have them but also available on tatbay. i use them at mountain bike races. http://www.solwise.co.uk/3g-routers-3g-etr-9360.htm

Newsnight presenter pwned by snarky hack

Thumb Down

Mr Brewer is a well known unionist in Scotland and unashamedly pushes the union agenda quite hard in newsnight scotland (the programme after the main Newsnight, in scotland) to the point that at the last election he was beginning to sound like the Iraqi Information minister, "So, it's a bad night for the SNP then?" (whilst the SNP were winning seats hand over fist).

Samsung outs 5in Galaxy Note as new smartphone concept


just as...

just as Dell decided to drop the Dell Streak, a 5" too-small-tablet/too-big-phone!

Space shuttle Endeavour: 'An incredible ship'



anyone worked out the miles per gallon of endeavour yet? 122 million miles is not a lot more than some of the old VW's on ebay.

Sheila's Fails? The statistics of biological risk


IT contracts

with solvency regulation, retail distribution review and now gender based pricing legislation all due for implementation it is going to be happy days for anyone working at retail life & pensions providers.

>> that's me getting my wallet to add in an extra 50 quid a month into my pension because my life annuity will be worth less.

T-Mobile backtracks on retrospective mobe data caps


"Mobile Broadband plus" plan

I have the GBP25 / month tmobile "Mobile Broadband plus" plan that was originally designed for the little Huawei USB sticks (u220 and u170). It includes "downloading internet files and skype" and when used in a phone you can do VOIP. it comes with a FUP of 3Gb standard or 10Gb with some sort of booster package.

I checked with tmob yesterday and they are not changing the terms of this plan. Might be "upgrading" to get the little USB stick thing instead of a new phone.

Ofcom: T-Mobile probe? Er, not really


there's a way to get around this

switch your plan to a "Mobile Broadband plus" and it will retain either 3Gb or 10Gb per month fair usage. I switched to this for my Huawei USB sticks used as backups in our Draytek Vigor routers and for one of the laptops.

This FUP is only for the phone plans but the Mobile Broadband plus plan still allows unlimited texting and voice calls. For me, it costs GBP25 per month but that's on month 21 of a 24 month deal so it may be cheaper for you.

Fanbois howl as OS X update bricks PGPed Macs



hate to be a killjoy, but my Fedora linux install had a single check box "encrypt this partition" during installation - it has been through 3 major OS updates and a squidzillion minor updates without ever needing any maintenance.

boohoo. I feel like I'm missing out on something.

Asda prices up Elonex 7in Android tablet

Paris Hilton

licensed for android market?

many of the cheapo android tablets don't have "android market" and so will be unable to get hold of all the apps. Does this one have access to android market?

Paris is used to seeing men with a 9 inch bulge in their pocket

Vulcan bomber lives to fly another day


hang on lads, I've got an idea

if only we could charity fund a boat, lets call it the "Ark Royal". It would be a shame to have it without some deck ornaments - so we'll throw in Sea Harriers and to make sure it doesn't get torpedo'd by an errant submarine then we'll need 9 or so Nimrods.

paypal only. can you imagine the fees on £40bn in donations?

£180 7in Android tablet launched


android market?

not mentioned in the review is android market... has this tablet been officially sanctioned by google to run android market? many of the cheapo android tablets don't have it and are a bit useless.

Software re-sale restricted by US Court of Appeals

Thumb Down

same for audio CD sales

I seem to remember that the defence of "licenced, not owned" has been used in the UK by record companies attempting to prevent DVD and CD's from being sold second hand. However, I can't remember what the outcome was. anyone have a link?

O2 blamed for iPhone's data sucking


android too

not just the iPhone: my wife's Android phone with an o2 PAYG lost £90 in 3 weeks (very few calls and only 20 txts) due to "falling off" the free web tarriff. She only used Wifi but some of the OS and apps drip data onto the 2G network whilst out on the move and this burned up the credit at £3 a time before we realised that you have to opt in the Simplicity WEB N TEXT"

Dell cuddles Canonical for big Ubuntu fluffer love


Dell will drop it after the PR has died down

I'm typing this on my trusty Dell XPS M1330n (that came with Ubuntu). Now that the machine is 2 years old; I cannot find any replacement Dell laptops that don't come with "Dell recommends Windows..." Check out http://www.dell.co.uk/ubuntu and then click through to their "Linux laptops and Pc's" - all of them only have Windows 7 or XP for operating system choice including the Mini 10.

Russian spy ring bust uncovers tech toolkit


facebook makes intel a bit easy

you can't make this up, look at some of her facebook wall: if that's not a code then I've not being reading enough LeCarre thrillers.

"Anna Chapman The moon is amazing tonight in new york

29 April at 01:46 via Mobile Web"

Weak passwords stored in browsers make hackers happy


I'm alright

because my cat's name is "y£^%$d3D*m)"

oh bugger.

Times websites want £1 a day from June


done it before

I worked at the FT and WSJ (Dow Jones) newspapers when they tried online pricing models in the 90's. Both saw immense drops in readership. Both changed back to majority-free content.

Even though both papers were more niche than The Times, and both offered market data (which financial pro's are used to paying for) - there just wasn't enough volume of readership to make it work out.

I heard a scare story from another paper (not named) that spent millions for a paid content section only to have 30-odd people sign up.

Palm: revenues up, expectations down

Thumb Down

WebOs is clever - but lots of faults outstanding for uk users

I've been using a Palm Pre for the last few months and whilst I love the smooth multi-tasking it fails in one extremely important area. It keeps dropping off the network into a well known "Phone Offline" mode because of some bug sync'ing email to the phone. quite how that affects voice calls I do not know.

The multiple OS updates have improved the system considerably but are so US-focussed that EU 3G/GSM users often find strange bugs. UK users don't have access to the paid-for apps so all you get are the often useless free "fart-apps". the folks who has WebOS-doctored their phones are finding massive problems when updates are sent out by o2.

However, on the other hand, it syncs with my kontact (linux) calendar which few other phones have!

Ex-worker blamed for car immobilisation hack

Big Brother

k2 Bike did that in the 90's

@rainforestguppy: K2 Bike smartshock, a cpu controlled damping device using a piezo actuator to control damping rebound was on bikes in 1998!!! cannondale are only 12 years behind!

Dell bars Win 7 refunds from Linux lovers


N series, remember them?

I bought some Dell XPS M1330N for my business - remember them? they were the Linux laptops? brilliant, even a a few years on, it works brilliantly with the latest Fedora 12.

ahhh, now I understand.

1. sell Dell systems with windows

2. let clueless users clog them up with rubbish

3. clueless (l)users equate computers with Austin Allegro's - "it's old, it is getting slower"

4. Dell sells cluless lusers new systems

5. profit!

Blighty surrenders to Street View


not new

Heriot-Watt University did a project to photo every business premise like this in Scotland in 1993/1994. they used a modified transit van and encoded all the photos on huge dinner plate sized laser disks because they were the obvious future of storage.