* Posts by JetSetJim

1881 posts • joined 4 Jul 2009

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

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.

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?

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!

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)

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).

Play stupid games, win stupid prizes: UK man gets 3 years for torching 4G phone mast over 5G fears

JetSetJim Silver badge

Re: That may be true

> The architcture of mobile communications is built on the idea that you don't need to rely on any one mast.

True up to a point, however if you were out in the boonies, it's probably not true. What would be the point in having two masts covering every single location in the country(*). For sure you need overlap to provide continuity of service, but having call-holiding levels of coverage from multiple cells everywhere is rather wasteful.

The architecture of a mobile network is to ensure that as you move, you can maintain contact with the network to hold a call. Knock one out (and burning a site down will knock out several, in general, as they usually host 3 cells each pointing in different directions) and you risk continuity of coverage in that area.

(*) where required to by regulator coverage requirements

JetSetJim Silver badge

Re: That may be true

Incorrect. LTE dongles embedded in routers are quite a popular choice. Coverage limitations and data allowances may apply, but you can get all you can eat contacts, and I've done 90mbps on my phone speed tests.

JetSetJim Silver badge

As with all sentencing - longer durations do not necessarily imply deterrence against the crime.

GSMA suggests mobile carriers bake contact-tracing into their own apps – if governments ask for it

JetSetJim Silver badge

Re: Half baked

So far the best proposal has been from Google & Apple, and I don't trust them. This scheme won't catch phones bought from non-operator sources, and will end up with many different implementations, each with their own bugs and exploits.

Trump issues toothless exec order to show donors, fans he's doing something about those Twitter twerps

JetSetJim Silver badge
Headmaster

Re: Worst American president ever

The amount of effort in proofreading the post was disproportionate, I have to admit

JetSetJim Silver badge

Re: Simple Response.

> Mind bleach isn't enough...

Just don't invoke Rule 34

JetSetJim Silver badge
Coat

Re: Worst American president ever

Smart people also show they are smart through their grammar

Nokia's reboot of the 5310 is a blissfully dumb phone that will lug some mp3s about just fine

JetSetJim Silver badge

Re: Would this be a good 'phone to have ...

Given that most operators are looking to refarm their 2G spectrum to be a higher G, I would expect this phone to cease to be functional in the moderately near future

Surprise! That £339 world's first 'anti-5G' protection device is just a £5 USB drive with a nice sticker on it

JetSetJim Silver badge

Shirley if 128MB protects you from 5G, 256MB will protect you to up to 10G? You're future-proofed

JetSetJim Silver badge

Re: What 5G ?

Their town coucil seems to be actively trying to ban it from their locale, even though it was (temporarily) deployed for the festival last year (presumably in the form of 5G backhaul for open access wifi)

Pablo Escobar's big bro and former accountant sues Apple for $2.6bn over FaceTime bug

JetSetJim Silver badge

Re: "Apple failed to provide a phone free of exploits"

IMEI is the hardware address of the phone, and it's not often used in the network, but the SIM address is the IMSI and that's what you'd want to track. Both are known in the network and with Legal Intercept I'm sure you can put a trace on either and find out where they are.

Might be harder to track via applications - sure could fingerprint the device apps, but that doesn't get you the device location unless they click the "allow access to location" button on a website (how dumb could they be?)

BoJo buckles: UK govt to cut Huawei 5G kit use 'to zero by 2023' after pressure from Tory MPs, Uncle Sam

JetSetJim Silver badge

OK, so you have a s/w platform. You have no s/w to host the applications - from the OTP wiki page, it seems you still have to write your applications...

There are some open source variants of the core network out there (e.g. Eurecom do OpenAirCN which includes all the bits for a CN, but I'm not sure if it scales that well - I've only played with it with single digit numbers of users), and you could buy a reliable server-based hardware platform to sit them on, but you have no USP, so will lose pretty much any RFx activity to the bigger players.

Feel free to give it a go - I'll sit and cheer from the sidelines, but won't risk my money

JetSetJim Silver badge

So you're proposing to start a new company to provide 5G infrastructure to the UK?

In theory possible, but in practice very difficult. Build from scratch high availability platforms to host a myriad of s/w that will scale up to millions of subscribers without falling over? Good luck with that...

JetSetJim Silver badge

> I hope we invest and create our own infrastructure

That ship has long sailed. There's little infrastructure presence in the UK from *any* major telco manufacturer, let alone a homegrown one

UK's Ministry of Defence: We'll harvest and anonymise private COVID-19 apps' tracing data by handing it to 'behavioural science' arm

JetSetJim Silver badge

Re: Quelle Surprise!

If you have a database of people who should not see eachothers emails, a regular email client is not what you should be using

JetSetJim Silver badge
Windows

Re: Quelle Surprise!

In times yore, I wrote a VBA macro on a contacts spreadsheet to do just that. Yet another abuse of Excel

JetSetJim Silver badge
FAIL

Re: Quelle Surprise!

> - apparently the people they've recruited haven't had proper training, haven't been told what questions they need to ask, haven't got the equipment (no, not sure what they need) to do the job

yes, but they've been recruited, so they've made good on their promise of 21k contact tracers in place in May. Just like they made their 100k test promise by mailing out 50k tests and counting that. Never mind the lack of knowledge of how to contact trace, lack of infrastructure to record the tracings, and all sorts of other "lack of"s

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

JetSetJim Silver badge

Re: Podcast Addict is back

Aye - briefly thought "why can I still see it in the Play store?", so also tried with an incognito tab. Found in search, able to install. An excellent app.

Users of Will.i.am's Wink IoT hub ask 'Where is the love?' as they're asked to pay for a new subscription service

JetSetJim Silver badge
Coat

Re: Let's start a new fad

> My cloud-free, disconnected and decidedly unsmart light switch has controlled my room lighting perfectly for decades. With no subscription fees or ToS

You obviously need an "upgrade"...

Behold: The ghastly, preening, lesser-spotted Incredible Bullsh*tting Customer

JetSetJim Silver badge

Re: There should be an IT Driving Test

There is. Unfortunately it's not mandatory

Find your wallet, Apple: Ex-engineer adds eight more patents to lawsuit seeking credit for his developer work

JetSetJim Silver badge

Re: Obviously

Tell that to Alexander Graham Bell

JetSetJim Silver badge

Re: Patents are worthless

Unless you were a contractor with specific clauses in your contact, anything you invented at work whilst employed by them was theirs to do with as they please, not yours. You would have a right to stick your name on any patent, but you would not own it, or have any rights to monetize it

JetSetJim Silver badge

Re: Prior art

I suspect Apple are not claiming that they are not invalid patents, merely that the ideas had been had internally to Apple prior to his claim - potentially hence the VPs response of "it's already on our todo list".

JetSetJim Silver badge
Pint

Re: He was an employee

Ta - possibly had a passing awareness of this but it hadn't ocurred to me.

JetSetJim Silver badge

Re: He was an employee

Well, would be interesting to know the numbers behind that "pretty big bonus". In the firms I've worked, there's been bonuses, but for individual patents the most you'd see is $3000 overall, from rewards for idea submission, patent filing and patent grant - typically the numbers would be shared by co-inventors, not multiplied up. Get a lot of patents and it adds up, and there may be milestone awards (10/15/25 patents granted), and these can be larger numbers.

IIRC a company has to give you something in return for ownership of the patent, even though your name has to be on it as an inventor.

Eastman will be on to a tough task proving he invented these (or co-invented) - especially if he had no interactions with the team whose names are on the patents. It's entirely possible a team may have come up with an idea/solution independently of him that happened to have the same solution and got it to patent, notwithstanding his email to a VP about the idea (which muddies the water a bit if the VP then gave the problem statement to another engineering team to solve).

I very much doubt there'd be no "Find my iPhone" now if Eastman hadn't thought of it back then. SWMBO is always asking me to find hers, for starters. Not helped by it always being switched to silent mode, so have to roam the house listening for the vibrate-noise while ringing it.

Proof-of-concept open-source app can cut'n'paste from reality straight into Photoshop using a neural network

JetSetJim Silver badge

Re: Unintended consequences

If you can get your hands on a document (s)he has signed (eg employment contract?), you can just crop it out from a scan anyways and use it however you please. Apparently. So I'm told

JetSetJim Silver badge

Re: OK, I'll bite.

You could always exit it to save to a Google/One drive location with appropriate authentication controls added to the server

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