* Posts by JetSetJim

1908 posts • joined 4 Jul 2009

NSA warns that mobile device location services constantly compromise snoops and soldiers

JetSetJim Silver badge

15 years ago, Huawei was the same. No camera phones allowed, all usb ports locked down on computers, no optical drives, and internal material never left the property. VIPs could grant exceptions, but that wasn't common.

The meetings I had with engineers showed they had developed very impressive recall of technical docs.

JetSetJim Silver badge
Black Helicopters

> it's virtually impossible to prevnt any tracking from happening at all.

Remove the word "virtually" and you'd be right. The network operator collects measurement reports from every mobile and analyses them to generate locations. These can then be used to help diagnose network quality issues. Equally, black-hats could, with access to the data, do all sorts of other shenanigans as you outline.

The only way to not be tracked is to take the battery out (rumour has it there is special firmware that can be pushed to individuals that make it look like the phone is off when it is instead doing some tracking, but I've never seen concrete evidence of it)

'I'm telling you, I haven't got an iPad!' – Sent from my iPad

JetSetJim Silver badge

Re: Which is why I always turn off email sigs...

Pffft. Bronze....

(I know a Goldie will be asking soon...)

JetSetJim Silver badge

Re: Which is why I always turn off email sigs...

Signatures with images are a right pain if you want to find an email from that person with an attachment in many a mail client

At historic Apple, Amazon, Facebook, Google CEOs hearing, congressmen ramble, congresswomen home in on tech market abuse

JetSetJim Silver badge

Re: Only Jeff bothered to find an interesting room for the video-chat hearing ...

Agreed, although the democrats have more women than the republicans do, too

JetSetJim Silver badge

Re: The biggest losers were the people putting the questions

equally, the questioner has 5 minutes that is reigidly enforced. If the respondent doesn't want to answer the question and comes up with nearly 5 mins of homespun-bs, are you ok with that? Once it's clear they won't answer the question, the questioner moves on. The same interview technique happens everywhere - ask a polititian a question, that ostensibly has a yes or no answer, even allowing for a little bit of background info to clarify, and they'll invariably try to answer a different question that they're happy to answer, using the pivot technique. Why should that be given airtime?

JetSetJim Silver badge

Re: Only Jeff bothered to find an interesting room for the video-chat hearing ...

As others have noted, the cleverness divide was credited to XX Vs XY genes. But, the Congress critters affiliation was also given and the examples given also clearly show a party divide. However, if you want to make a claim for bias in the article, it would be helpful if you could provide counter examples to back up your hypothesis instead of just ranting.

Saying that, both the party and sex divide stuck out to me, too. But equally this seems to be mirrored in all reporting by "mainstream media" of what Congress does right now. Perhaps it is also representative? I'm seeing a lot of very bright, opinionated and generally decent women members of Congress calling out a lot of BS spouted by the older white males in the room who generally lean to the right. I wholeheartedly applaud then, but would also hope that the media will call them out when they do a stupid (eg when the lady hoped that DJT had learned his lesson from the impeachment trial, rather than voting to impeach)

Modem life is rubbish: RootMetrics 5G stats show EE has widest UK coverage, but Three is the speed demon

JetSetJim Silver badge

Re: Someone forgot the one thing that actually needed fixing

Why? Because the standard allows for it and the kit is flexible enough to do it and it's probably cheaper for the operator to do it that way

JetSetJim Silver badge

Re: 5G coverage, eh?

Unfortunately for you, current deployments of 5g are in the lower frequencies so they can collocate masts with existing locations, and therefore not have increased site acquisition and rental costs

JetSetJim Silver badge

Re: What is it with '5G'?

> Can someone provide, preferably in words of one syllable, and as you would explain in plain English to a small child, a decent explanation of exactly exactly *why* people still try to sell mobile services on *SPEED* rather than sustained throughput? (* and **).

Because it's radio, not wires. It's easy to quantify peak throughout, harder to do sustained throughout as the sustained throughout will have to have a whole host of conditions attached to it. You can do an RF plan for it, but plans generally get chucked out the window when you get to the limitations of deployment (availability of locations, planning constraints on height of mast, multi path effects on coverage and interference, and a bunch of other factors). Peak throughput is easier as you just test it next to an antenna, or just use the theoretical numbers (as they did back in the UMTS days with their 2mbps numbers)

JetSetJim Silver badge

It won't last...

... both EE and Three use Huawei for their 5G infrastructure.

Spending on 5G to double despite the pandemic while legacy network infrastructure sector suffers – Gartner

JetSetJim Silver badge
Thumb Up

Yep, so that's twice the spending when they buy it again

After banning Chinese comms bogeyman, UK asks: Huawei in this mess? It was a failure of capitalism, MPs told

JetSetJim Silver badge

Re: ESN

You missed the point - all the costs of overruns will double, too

JetSetJim Silver badge

ESN

I have to also wonder what impact this will have on any support from Huawei in their build of the emergency services network with EE. While it's only 4g at the moment, at some point some bright spark in the home office is going to want to add 5g to police cars, and if this policy is still in place the cost to the tax payer has just doubled

JetSetJim Silver badge

Cisco was the last US RAN supplier?

You what? Apart from their acquisition of Ubiquisis, a small cell manufacturer, they were never in the business. Motorola was the last US vendor with any merit, and they were out manoeuvred by Huawei, playing second fiddle to them at the end when the remnants were picked up by NSN

My life as a criminal cookie clearer: Register vulture writes Chrome extension, realizes it probably breaks US law

JetSetJim Silver badge

This is better than sites like HuffPost whose "cookie choices" page is a link to about a hundred different ad-farms policy pages, each with options buried in different sub-pages, such that you can't actually realistically disable them within a working day

Nokia 5310: Retro feature phone shamelessly panders to nostalgia, but is charming enough to be forgiven

JetSetJim Silver badge

Re: There's also room for two SIM Cards

Unfortunately your doubts seem to be unfounded - the chipset (Mediatek6260A) is 2G (GSM/GPRS/EDGE) only, according to the various PDF spec sheets googleable (none on the MediaTek website, and I can't find any mention of the chipset there, but am not looking that hard!)

JetSetJim Silver badge

Re: cool

If it's only occasionally a table, what is it the rest of the time?

You call Verizon. A Google bot answers. You demand a human. The human is told what to say by the bot

JetSetJim Silver badge

sheesh - just noticed the rather tragic typo due to auto-correct! Still, it this was a popular website then service providers might feel a bit violated!

JetSetJim Silver badge
Facepalm

Re: I can hear the conversations already

Blasted auto correct "return to menu root"

JetSetJim Silver badge

I wonder if there's a website that violates service providers with a description of how to talk to a human, much like the old "say no to 0870" website that gave landline numbers of them instead of their money-making 0870 numbers (in the UK, at least)

JetSetJim Silver badge

Re: I can hear the conversations already

Mash the hash key instead, zero is all too often a 'start over' or 'return to menu for 5' command.

UK smacks Huawei with banhammer: Buying firm's 5G gear illegal from year's end, mobile networks ordered to rip out all next-gen kit by 2027

JetSetJim Silver badge
Facepalm

Re: Timetables matter

Particularly as they are the hardware behind the new emergency services network.

More delays, more cost.... Plus ca change, ....

You've think you've heard it all about automation in technology? Get a load of this robot that plugs in cables

JetSetJim Silver badge
Gimp

USB

The ultimate test. Does it try it one way with no success, rotate 180° and try again and fail, then rotate again and succeed?

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

JetSetJim Silver badge

Re: Time to take a step back.

Buying cheap foreign X always kills the domestic X industry.

JetSetJim Silver badge

Re: Can't have the Chinese take over from US spying, old chap

Minor correction, Cisco have attempted to buy their way into the cell phone tech market. Acquisitions I'm familiar with are:

a) Ubiquisys - a $400m failure to buy into the small cell market, attempting to piggy back their wifi into them

b) Starent - a core network equipment vendor - I'm not entirely sure of the status of that

At one time Cisco was a supplier of GGSN's (and possibly SGSNs too) for the packet data core network of a mobile network, which are basically carrier grade routers with some extras on top implemented in s/w. No idea if they have updated their offering into the LTE and 5G domains, and I've no idea how successful they were in the earlier G's.

True, though, that the "raw" mobile network kit are those companies, and they've swallowed or killed others such as Alcatel(-Lucent), Motorola & Siemens, and there are other minor players out there

JetSetJim Silver badge

> UK telco sources who spoke frankly to El Reg off the record have generally praised the Chinese company’s wares and general approach while shrugging their shoulders at the political war over its presence in Britain.

Indeed, they've come a long way and are a good example of what happens when you put 60,000 bright young things together to buld a networking business. There are probably ways and means to put backdoors in the kit, but GCHQ and others don't seem to have found any significant ones they're willing to publish (or at least ones that aren't "oh, that's a debug port that accidentally got left in. Soz").

Compare that to other companies under a lot less organised scrutiny who regularly emit security vulnerabilities in their s/w. Security vulns are regularly found in Cisco kit, Nokia kit, and many others, but politicians don't seem to care about those ones.

The good news: Vodafone switches on first full-fat, real-life 5G network in the UK. The bad news: it only got sent to Coventry

JetSetJim Silver badge

Re: News flash!

Bored enough to find it today - it was on a FB feed:

image

JetSetJim Silver badge

Re: News flash!

I do wonder what else they could be convinced by. There's a charming set of maps that correlates covid with all sorts, e.g dog ownership levels. Can't find it to link to it, though ☹️.

JetSetJim Silver badge

Re: Educate me please?

Yup, just like 4g. Although IIRC the Ericsson dot products hang off of Ethernet cables (but they are indoor products, at least)

Fast as a motorbike, subtle as a brick: Motorola pushes out new Moto G 5G Plus mid-ranger

JetSetJim Silver badge
Coat

Go study at Coventry?

Germany is helping the UK develop its COVID-19 contact-tracing app, says ambassador

JetSetJim Silver badge

Search & replace for +49 with +44? Perhaps a new server address for any central comms that are needed?

The irony might well be that because the same legal frameworks are probably in place regarding data security (GDPR and all that gubbins) it's probably been produced to standards acceptabe to UK legislation without any changes whatsoever.

I bet GCHQ want to piss in it, though

JetSetJim Silver badge

Re: £11.8M

Wait, and you might find out. Or the request might be denied for some spurious reason

Hey, Boeing. Don't celebrate your first post-grounding 737 Max test flight too hard. You just lost another big contract

JetSetJim Silver badge

Re: Learn from the smaller world...

> But the real answer is - don't build an airframe that can do that.

I seem to recall from my Control Systems days that (at least) one of the modern jet fighters was designed to be unstable (IIRC it was the Eurofighter) as it made it more agile. Control s/w was then used to keep it from unscheduled pit-stops on the ground

JetSetJim Silver badge

Re: One question

I'm pretty confident it will have a sterling safety record as no bugger will fly in it.

Maybe there is hope for 2020: AI that 'predicts criminality' from faces with '80% accuracy, no bias' gets in the sea

JetSetJim Silver badge

Re: Very dodgy subject

One of the many YT vids I've watched over the last few weeks was a flim-buff-lisicley piece which pointed out that Henry Fonda played his first villain in "Once Upon a TIme in the West" - up until then he'd only been cast as a good guy and Sergio Leone had to convince him that he could make the change. Didn't do too badly as I recall, so being a villain can certainly be "acted" (although I have no idea how well he acted as a good guy!).

Paging technology providers: £3m is on the table to replace archaic NHS comms network

JetSetJim Silver badge

Re: Hospital pagers

> I'd rather the crash team was called on a Multitone pager than some Android app written by the lowest bidder.

Lowest bidder? You must be new here. Not being the lowest bidder is no barrier to lucrative government contracts, as long as you went to the right school or married the right toff.

JetSetJim Silver badge

Re: Pager the next generation...

> Given the closing date is 6th July and the contract is expected to start on 27th July and run for two years, I expect they already have a shortlist of preferred suppliers and solution...

I suspect Dido Harding will float to the foreground again, after her amazing job of spaffing nearly £12m on the failed track and trace app.

JetSetJim Silver badge

Re: The NHS - uniquely the same

All of us suffer from the same long term fatal condition known as 'life'...

By emptying offices, coronavirus has hastened the paperless office

JetSetJim Silver badge

Paper consumption is up, and there's limited availability of domestic-grade inck cartidges on various online retail channels

Customers of Brit ISP Virgin Media have downloaded an extra 325GB since March, though we can't think why

JetSetJim Silver badge
Paris Hilton

There is plenty of resposible options. Google Image search on Coronasutra (relatively safe, but don't scroll down too far!)

Whose side you on, Nominet? Registry floods .co.uk owners with begging emails to renew unwanted .uk domains

JetSetJim Silver badge

Re: The various registries, world-wide ...

My registrar (1and1 / Ionos) seems to have been reasonably decent about this, thankfully - they sent me an email 10 days ago saying I'd get an email from Nominet but that, despite the confusing language (reading between the lines a bit), it would only be about the .uk address, and my .co.uk's were unaffected

Couple wrongly arrested over Gatwick Airport drone debacle score £200k payout from cops

JetSetJim Silver badge

They're starting to offer payments to the Windrush claimants - they're just an order of magnitude lower for a much more severe claim.

Oh crap: UK's digital overlords moot new rules to help telcos lay fibre in sewer pipes

JetSetJim Silver badge
Coat

Re: Fiber in sewer pipes

Is it streaming, or bursty?

JetSetJim Silver badge

Gigaclear just chop into the verge on the side of the road and drop in some presumably armoured fibre (which may be detectable with one of those metal detector dinguses that you see civil engineers swinging about before breaking ground). I don't think I saw any form of conduit when they laid their stuff in the village I Was living in, so I doubt it is ever upgradeable without replacing it.

While Huawei burns, Ericsson lands plush new O2 contract to help push 5G in Britain

JetSetJim Silver badge

"not-too-friendly"? The EU have been most open about their position from the start, whereas the UK side have been absolute drooling imbeciles

JetSetJim Silver badge

Re: I've yet to meet anyone who cares about 5G

I hate to break the news to you, but 5G has lots of layers, from link level up, that all inter operate to make 5G.

Equally, ludicrous mode on the Tesla's is a definite selling point

JetSetJim Silver badge

Re: I've yet to meet anyone who cares about 5G

5G isn't just in the higher frequencies. It works in 700MHz, too - perhaps not as high a data rate, but it still works. Also, with beam steering, range can readily be on a par with 4G as the signal is much more focussed to the end user (and either way, note that I did say to stick the antenna on a chimney for your domestic broadband replacement product).

WRT ethernet - that's link level, not application layer. If you have a DSL backhaul from your router, it doesn't matter a hoot whether you're on 10/100/1000 ethernet, you're choked. You could argue that this is the same thing, and 5G can also be similarly choked, but most internet hosts have a decent connection and there are a lot more services that can saturate a home DSL service nowadays.

Or you can make a comparison using cars - most production cars are 0-60 in the 6-10second range. Teslas are around 4 seconds. It's faster, so fecking what. There are a few technical improvements over ICE in the Teslas, apparently.

JetSetJim Silver badge

Re: I've yet to meet anyone who cares about 5G

I would care about it if I lived in a broadband not-spot - would be lovely to stick a small antenna on the chimney and get gigabit throughput (at peak, obvs, but 100mbps would be good anyway). One of the use-cases is rural broadband supply, where rolling out FTTP is a PITA, and existing copper is still in the 2-16mbps range. Stick in a single site with sufficient beam steering on the antenna and you get a decent internet pipe to every home within a mile or so.

Considering the general crapness of a lot of Openreach copper, and the limited availability of DOCSIS around the country, there's a large market for it.

With regards to "funademental new cell tech" - just what does that mean to you? A 10x improvement to throughput and greatly reduced latency is not enough of a "fundamental" improvement? There's also beam forming and massive-MIMO - effectively a step towards everyone having their own personal cell that the site actively steers towards you as you move about. Add in the network architecture changes that allow for a whole host of other benefits - even though the device may not ever see them, the operator will no doubt benefit from them.

A lot of work has gone into the different "G"s - have a read of the specs if you doubt that. The spec for the mobile to signal connectivity requests to the access network runs over a thousand pages, and that is merely one of the many protocols that makes the network work.

Remember that backdoor in Juniper gear? Congress sure does – even if networking biz wishes it would all go away

JetSetJim Silver badge

Re: Backdoor scorecard

Apparently there's a backdoor via the Lawful Intercept Gateway, if you believe the Americans. They claim to have shared detailed info with the UK and Germany.

FWIW, the Lawful Intercept Gateway is not supposed to be usable by the manufacturer, and is used for law enforcement personnel to trace individuals in the network as well as listen to their calls and see info about their data sessions. Assuming this is correct, it allows the manufacturer to initiate their own traces, bypassing law enforcement procedures.

Saying that, it seems a bit of a stretch. The network equipment from all manufacturers allow for blanket collection of all information from all calls which is then written to file and can be used to analyse the network for performance issues. At the same time, you can scrape it for IMSIs if you were naughty - but in a lot of networks there are protections in place for casual IMSI fishing (at least encrypting the IMSIs, plus restricting access and auditing IMSI filtered queries). If there's a backdoor ftp then these files would be accessible (although the operator might notice the surge in bandwidth when the files are transferred).

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