* Posts by Robin Weston

29 posts • joined 11 May 2007

Router creds admin/admin? Lizard Squad thanks you

Robin Weston

Re: randomly generated admin and wireless passwords

Of course a procedurally generated password can appear random to human eyes. I'm fairly certain that in the not so distant past one of the bigger ISPs "random" wifi password could be calculated from the "random" SSID. Of course this doesn't allow for the remote access discussed in the article, but I wonder if a similar password procedurally generated from the MAC address poses a risk?

Bruges Booze tubes to pump LOVELY BEER underneath city

Robin Weston

"this is unique" apart from the one example I'll give you which means it isn't.

Yet another reason to skip commercials: Microsoft ad TURNS ON your Xbox One

Robin Weston

Re: Something for the next firmware update

Very nearly what I came here to post, but I'd got a more user friendly solution of an ultrasound "tune" that could be broadcast at some point during the faux command. Inaudible to the human ear, but the machine takes it as a cartoon angel on its shoulder shaking it's head to ignore that one.

Of course this in turn leads to people identifying the sound and using it for nefarious purposes...

Facebook to debut auto-play video ads in 2013

Robin Weston

Re: Eh?

I'll wager that they still get granted a patent for the idea in spite of your prior art....

Virgin Media vid misery blamed on unnamed peering network

Robin Weston

Here's a variation

At peak time, VoD via the TiVo and V+ boxes is unwatchable, but fire up iPlayer etc over the broadband connection and all's well. This is in Preston.

Always seems to be some or other part of their network operating beyond capacity.

UK crime-busters knock hiphop site off the Internet

Robin Weston


I see the previous fire and brimstone warning has been updated.

Ofcom proposes UK phone numbers prefix re-org

Robin Weston

Almost there

While this is a massive step in the right direction for consumers... I'm a little wary of "Business Rate"... Unless as CM suggests call queueing is banned.

I've had many an arguement online where I've refused to accept the correction that 084x and 087x numbers aren't premium numbers. I have to pay a premium to dial those numbers, so they are premium numbers however they are officially designated.

Why not just have "Geographic", "Mobile", "Free", "Premium". We don't need more as consumers.

And +1 for TeeCee - I'd actually get part way to respecting the toothless quango if they legislated that the £££ symbol be mandatory.

US politician: 'homosexual agenda' behind TSA groin grope

Robin Weston

Ummm what?

"homosexual breeding ground"

How does that work then?

Virgin unwraps three-tuner über set-top

Robin Weston

I'll hold on

I've currently got a v+ box with 3 tuners, had it for a good while now, but with the recent arrival of a decent selection of hd channels (many years after I got the v+ precursor a tv-drive with its promise they were "coming soon"), the disc just isn't big enough for me. I'd love tivo, and I'm very keen on more storage, but given Virgin's past history of products turning up either *way* later than advertised, or being quietly abandoned I'll wait until the third tuner is actually switched on.

Still waiting for the wap by sms service on my nokia 3210.....

Android spanks Apple’s iOS 4 in JavaScript race

Robin Weston

looking another year down the line

What odds that there's actually a significant even if still small number of "obsolete" iphones running android? I've seen a hack to put it on a 3g somewhere I think - but in another year the 3gs is going to be sent to the fruity knackers yard, and it's still a fairly decent bit of hardware.

From a personal perspective, I've a nexus one, and I quite like being able to tinker. My wife has an iphone 3gs, and is getting ever more fed up with it, although mainly because of how diabolical itunes is on an older pc. She'd be over the moon to have it "androided up" if it meant simple drag and drop file management for her music.

Apple's US online store buckles under iPhone 4 preorders

Robin Weston

but wha....?

So major US tech company can't forecast demand for the sales of 4th gen product?

Or, and colour me in cynical, the outage wasn't accidental? I wonder if any of their servers needed "urgent" maintenance just about launch time?

iPhone 4.0: iAds, multitasking, and 98 tweaks

Robin Weston

A word to greenpeace?

The 3g "doesn't support" multitasking - I think not as previously pointed out.

But lets look at why you might not want to put the latest greatest features on it.... It will have been on the market for some 2 years when OS4.0 ships... just the right time for giving an extra nudge to upgrade and replace a perfectly functional handset to the latest and greatest model. I think it's actually quite clever - you put this extra little bit of pressure on those who can upgrade, but the 3gs users will only have had theirs for 12 months - which is halfway through a contract for most, and stiffing them would be bad news as they're still tied in.

The pattern seems to be set - the two year contract, the mid-life software upgrade that will give you a device "nearly" as good as the new hardware that's now out so you don't get too cheesed off, and once your 24months is up? Please bin your perfectly servicable phone and buy a new one to get the shiny new apple goodness.

I wonder how much this is influenced by the increasing number of "SIM-only-for-iphone" offerings available, as I don't see how Jobs' Mob can get a slice of that money.

BT blamed for Davina McCall spamcalls

Robin Weston


personally, I prefer to send my losing lottery tickets away in the reply paid envelopes on the premise that it's going to cost time in the post room - after all the poorly paid staff are bound to want to check the tickets... I would in that situation.

HTC Smart: A smartphone for the rest of us?

Robin Weston

Holiday Season

As we're talking O2, I'd be right to assume we're using the proper definition of holiday season, ie Summer, rather than the transatlantic November-Christmas one wouldn't I?

The answer would help me choose the appropriate icon!

UK.gov uses booze to lure London kids into ID scheme

Robin Weston


more alarming is you're implying that half the population is smarter than average... which I really struggle to accept!

Google tries to quietly trample on Apple's toes

Robin Weston

winter prediction

They've missed a trick, I predict this winter will contribute to the average.

Wheels come off O2's data network

Robin Weston

@me yesterday afternoon

Well i'm getting annoyed now. Outages do happen, and if it's a short while, i'm happy for it to just get fixed and nothing more be said. What's getting my goat is the poor communication from o2. Ironic isn't it.

As far as i can deduce there are two issues, which may or may not be related. The substation fire knocked out some cells in London, hence the first recorded announcement I got when I rang them- the problem was limited to London, so... I held as I'm in Lancashire to be told yes there's a problem with data, and no, we don't know when it'll be fixed. So I ring again late last night, and the message is now that they're suffering network congestion- which again doesn't explain my problem of one apn working and another not, no point holding as i don't have 24hr customer service. So more rooting about online to discover that o2 haven't commented since the end of office hours yesterday, now that's not good enough, i'm sure the network faults team work 24 hours, and even that they an eta for a fix now, shame we mere customers can't be told until el reg gets onto the press office again this morning!

Robin Weston

thank god...

No joy today in Bolton or Preston, on contract. As for all the doom sayers - this stuff happens once in a while. I'm calm about it all... mind you if it had stopped me checking on the cricket scores yesterday....

O2 Joggler family organiser

Robin Weston

Just ordered me one

@first comment - looks like a way into the "improved o2" firmware has been found:


this has inspired me to order one as it's the sort of portable device i've been hankering after for a while.

I was on a rolling 1 month contract at £20pm, and "the very best" deal they could do me was move me to £35pm on an 18 month contract if sending it out for nowt... told them to get bent, if they're tying me in, i want some sort of saving, and eventually... after lots of repeating my argument that i'm not being greedy, but if you want me to sign for another 18 months, I want something from you, and not to have to pay you almost twice as much, I got a deal.

One day though a company will realise that the fact I had to argue to not be ripped off has left me with a sour taste even though i've got a deal.

Vodafone pitches Comic Sans as the next Crazy Frog

Robin Weston

changing fonts

I had an n73 a while back, and I recall changing the font one day when I had little else to do- it wasn't tricky and didn't need overwriting the firmware.

ISTR that it was as easy as replacing the font file that was in a hidden folder in the file system. As I recall the tricky bit (which I sidestepped by poaching a font file from somewhere else) was getting a font file in the not-very-common format. There were half a dozen that were knocking about then. I'd imagine that this application would be fairly trivial for someone with a bit of experience writing for the platform.

Have a dig about online and I'm sure you'll find something. I also recall that when I had cause to do a factory reset on the phone sometime later the font changed back to the default less pretty font, but by then I'd got other things to take to bits and tinker with.

Russian conmen punt iPhoneys

Robin Weston
Jobs Horns

the upside

at least you won't be forced to use the latest version of itunes! the Mrs has just got a new 4gen nano and it made me "upgrade" to itunes 8. I thought that windows vista was bloatware, but my reasonable spec desktop pc running windows XP crawls painfully when itunes is open now.

the ipod's a nice bit of kit, but if i'd realised that it would force an "upgrade" to substandard pc software i'd have suggested she got something different... a brief chat with apple support suggests i should buy a mac as itunes runs dandy on that..... they can poke that one, i'm not one for blackmail.

T-Mobile launches price promise

Robin Weston
Thumb Down

More than minutes...

I'm quite a fan of the "flext" idea for a price plan - worked well for me, and saved me having to pay attention to quite what I'm using. I certainly send too many texts, too many MMS and use too much data to pick a tariff on inclusive minutes. I'd have made the odd video call if they were in the bundle too...

BUT - I hate with a passion any price match deals - they're a message to competitors that says "if you undercut us, we'll match you, so don't bother, just match us and we won't need to budge, and we can both shaft joe consumer on fatter margins". The OFT should outlaw them in favour of price beater deals.

mind you, with the price of 08x numbers having shot up, data being available on an unpredictable basis (and hence no mms or browsing or video calls) maybe T-mobile are going back to being a voice only operator?

If they do loads of minutes, they'll hoover up lots of low spending technophobes who wonder why a phone needs to do anything other than make a call.

T-Mobile doubles 0870 call costs

Robin Weston

OFCOM advice

I've just had a nice chat with an advisor at OFCOM, as T-Mobile seem set on not allowing me my contractual right to cancel.

In short, I have to register a formal complaint with T-Mobile in writing which they have 12 weeks to answer. But I can cancel now, and then formally complain about the early termination fee that they levy (If they follow through on their threat).

If the complaint is not resolved to my satisfaction I have to take it to CISAS.

The chap at OFCOM was also very interested to hear that I'd been advised by T-Mobile that OFCOM had "made us put our prices up".

Finally, can anyone comment on the legality of deliberately obstructing customers as T-M seem to be doing to more than just me? It's clearly immoral, but is it illegal?

Heaviest Virgin Media downloaders face new daytime go-slow

Robin Weston

All this talk of caps.....

....reminds me I've got the last couple of episodes of The Tripods to watch.... now that is a capping that I'd fear.

Mind you what with Phorm I jacked in Virgin which were getting a good whack of cash each month. I'm now paying a few pence less a month for a BT/O2/Sky set up.

The ace thing about the medium O2 package I'm on is that my up-speed is now fast enough to swamp my friend's 2meg Virgin line at peak times!!

BT's secret Phorm trials open door to corporate eavesdropping

Robin Weston

@VM exit strategy

You're safe - I had just cable at my abode and told them to phuck off sometime ago, called up BT, got them to put in a phone line.. once it was in I went to o2 for my broadband after first getting an assurance that they aren't going down the same road. (I'd advise it's important for everyone to ask this to make sure they know how many people feel strongly enough to leave if the shiny penny is too tempting).

Granted I have a 12 month tie in with BT for the phone, but paying by DD and managing bills online keeps this to a minimum. The phone's not being used until such time as I can move the calls to someone less nefarious.

BT: 'We did not let anyone down over Phorm... it was not illegal'

Robin Weston

Phorm improved my web browsing!!

No, really, it did.

It made me leave Virgin Media with it's crawly along speed evenings and go to O2 - a rock solid adsl 2+ connection that so far seems to deliver 12Mb downstream and 1Mb upstream at all times of night and day.

Oh and customer support is now a freephone call to a UK call centre that doesn't follow scripts that never seem to cover my problem and I'm taken aat my word that I've rebooted equipment instead of being asked to do it again "just to be sure"

Oh, and it's only £15pm (even less to o2 mobile users!)

Finally, no I don't work for them, but I do value my privacy.

Phorm launches data pimping fight back

Robin Weston
Paris Hilton

@ Random URL generators

My notice has gone in with Virgin already, and I'm happy to max out my connection until I get my ADSL up and running - just waiting for one or two more replies before I decide who to go with - I think asking for a categoric promise that my data will never be intercepted or processed such as is required as an inherent part of the service or by law enforcement agencies is a fair question for anyone to ask.

FWIW Demon, PlusNet, Zen and o2 have provided categoric assurances to me. Be offered an assurance but it was just an email reply that said something like "in repsonse to your question we would never do that"

As for the "you'll see less adverts" ok assuming I give them the benefit of the doubt on everything else the profile of me is still going to give a fairly good idea of what social group/age/sex I am. And I know for a fact I'm target audience for a lot of ad-men. So all the adverts that miss me (ad-block plus not withstanding) and hit others not so desirable to advertisers won't need to be sent. So they'll have more resources to hit me.

Paris because she stopped with Virgin a long time ago. Can we have Richard Branson with horns for us (ex)virgins?

Jobs hits London to announce O2 iPhone deal

Robin Weston

Economics 101

I remember an economics lesson many years ago about Scotch Whiskey in Japan - used to be very heavily taxed and cost a packet. The Scots lobbied to get the tax cut, and succeeded. Then sales slumped because there wasn't the "money to burn" cachet to be had from drinking a fine single malt. has someone told o2 and Apple about this? Go on - own up!!

Does anyone know what warranty it will be offered with - only once before I got stung by a phone going faulty in month 13 and had to fight almost until month 18 to get it sorted out.

Mind you having had "bleeding edge" handsets before has taught me a valuable lesson - don't bother, wait a while for rev2 or 3, it'll cost less, do more, and probably be more reliable.

iPods 'mess with pacemakers'

Robin Weston

does it explain this?

When I go to the gym and use machines with heart monitors, they always report back a steady figure that often changes when a new song comes on when I'm wearing my ipod. But... when I wear a proper sensor round my chest rather than use the metal plates on the handles the effect vanishes and I get a true report that does vary up and down with effort.

I suspect it's radiation so we should ban them from schools now just in case ;-)


Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2021