* Posts by Fat Freddie's Cat

10 publicly visible posts • joined 19 Nov 2009

Nominet drains mug of tea, leans back, calmly explains how to make Whois GDPR-compliant

Fat Freddie's Cat

Whois going away and IP lawyers is an interesting diversion. And anyone who thinks that safety online largely is due to the efforts of LEAs is deluded.

In an online world, indicators as to identity are few and far between. That John Smith I think I’m talking to could well be Jane Doe. For obvious reasons, this can be important.

One indicator as to identity is Whois. A whole slew of companies use this data to identify bad actors and/or bad properties online. Identifying IPs and domains associted with phishing, banking fraud, man in the middle attacks, botnet infrastructure, etc, etc.

As a private person, I have used Whois to check on a company with whom I wish to enter into an online transaction.

This tool is being taken away from us and it’ll make the online world that little bit less safe.

The domain name registration business is a multi-million (billion?) dollar business. Whois is a nuisance for that business. Registries have to maintain the database but it’s of little direct benefit to them. Indeed, quite the converse. Security minded organisations using Whois can reduce the number of (bad) registrations thus impacting a registry’s income.

GDPR is an ideal excuse to get rid of Whois — so away it goes. Make no mistake, this is not a proportional response to GDPR, nor will it help you or I. However, it does benefit the domain name registration business.

Oh no, EE! More UK mobile customers face sluggish roaming abroad

Fat Freddie's Cat

Three customers without roaming at all...

...if you're in France or Portugal. So what's worse, crap data speeds or no data speeds (and bonus, no phone calls either)!?


Trickle-down economics works: SpaceShipTwo is a prime example

Fat Freddie's Cat

Can we just agree...

...that the Grauniad shouldn't do economics and the BBC shouldn't do science?

Reg hack battles Margaret Thatcher's ghost to bring broadband to the Highlands

Fat Freddie's Cat

+1 for Ubiquiti products

My office has line of sight to home but no wired phone (in fact total wiring to the office is one 13 amp circuit). The office phone has long been a VOIP affair so all the office really needs is decent internet access. One Ubiquiti UniFi AP-Outdoor unit high on the back of the house and another on a mast on the office roof and we're in business. Wired access for the phone and Sonos box with wireless repeater for the laptop. Easy to set up and invisible in use.

For outdoor units, PoE is an eye opener – it makes life much easier.

Only downside was a dead spot in our basement. To resolve this, I dropped in a standard UniFi AP unit.

All three UniFi units present themselves as the same wireless network (same network name and password) with the web based admin tool simple to use. I log in occasionally to check the stats. Really these units are designed for large campuses / office buildings but they're not too expensive and replaced a mixed bag of wireless access and powerline kit. Life is much simpler now.

Smartphone owners demand bigger screens

Fat Freddie's Cat

I'd really like a small phone which can act as a WiFi hotspot and preferably, can cope with two SIMs. I'm very happy to use other devices for the smarts.

I doubt I'm unique here. Experience suggests I'm pretty average / normal.

Spammers hit mobes with QR code junkmail jump pads

Fat Freddie's Cat

If you're using a BIND resolver, you can use Response Policy Zones (RPZs) so that malicious domains are not resolved. Ultimately, it doesn't matter where the URL comes from - a link in a spam email, from a "friend" or a QR code, by catching at the DNS level, the problem is somewhat mitigated.

More at:


Of course there will be those who complain about loss of freedom - but as a last resort, they can use their own recursive resolvers if they so wish. For the 99.8% of average users, this seems to be a viable mitigation strategy.

Phishing email used in serious RSA attack surfaces

Fat Freddie's Cat


Is this really an Advanced Persistent Threat <http://blogs.rsa.com/rivner/anatomy-of-an-attack/>?

If so, what's a Dumb Ongoing Relentless Knocking-at-the-door?

O2 extends iPhone 4 return-for-refund window

Fat Freddie's Cat

I owned an iPhone for less than 24 hours

I purchased an iPhone 4 directly off Apple for use with my existing O2 contract. After the required two weeks wait, the phone turned up. Direct from Shenzhen. It didn't take 30 days, or even 14 days, to decide the thing was going back.

The screen? A thing of beauty.

The OS? Snappy and intuitive.

Generally a great phone.

Yes. A couple of niggles. I found the thing somewhat heavy and uncomfortable when held to the ear. I saw some signal attenuation - but no worse than that I see on mobile phones in general.

But overall a great phone.

So what was the problem?

It comes in two parts.

Firstly, O2 recognised that I was using an iPhone and remotely disabled tethering.

If we get into the nitty gritty of my contract with O2, I'm not allowed to tether my computer to my mobile phone. I understand why this is in the contract but, by and large, it's not enforceable.

Except Apple has given some magic sauce to O2 so now it is enforceable. Talking with O2, they want another £10 per month to enable tethering. I'm expected to pay twice for my data because I have an iPhone?

For me, tethering is something I rarely need to do (I work from home in range of a good WiFi network when I'm not wired into my desk) but when I do need tethering, it's really quite important. What's more, when I need to use tethering, generally I'm abroad. At £3.00 per MB (or more), the phone company is generating enough revenue thank you very much.

More to the point, my new, expensive phone is being hobbled such that it offers less than the old Nokia E71 it's replacing.

Not acceptable.

Which brings me on to part 2.

In any other ecosystem, I'd install some third part app and be back in business.

Not in Apple World. The App Store Police Don't Allow Applications Like That.

Which made me realise that while I want to be kept moderately safe, I don't want to be molly coddled.

The iPhone's gone back.

Now I've got a Samsung Galaxy S (an Android phone). The OS isn't as polished as that in the iPhone.

But it's not Apple's Phone.

It's not O2's phone.

It's my phone.

Dongles pricey and pointless, says Bluetooth SIG

Fat Freddie's Cat

What a load of tosh...

...it'll never catch on.

(Sent from an iPod touch using a Nokia E71 with Joikuspot for a portable WiFi hotspot)

No Freeview HD kit in time for launch, warns telly exec

Fat Freddie's Cat

Which EyeTV products support HDTV?

Any DVB-T product that supports EyeTV. I have EyeTV Diversity which is specifically mentioned as being OK.


I look forward to seeing what HDTV looks like on our TV.