* Posts by dave 76

61 posts • joined 26 Jan 2010


Academics: We hate to ask, but could governments kindly refrain from building giant data-slurping, contact-tracing coronavirus monsters?

dave 76

Re: haven't heard a good reason why this isn't simply GPS based

GPS can be wildly innacurate - up to 100 meters error

And yet a GPS track of my morning run is almost 100% accurate, so its evidently possible to work out from the data where someone has walked or ran in most instances.

Doesn't work well in dense urban environments with lots of tall buildings

And yet it works perfectly in London which is the densest built city with the highest buildings in the country.

GPS doesn't tell you *where* in the building you are though. I don't need an alert that I have been in close contact with someone on level 20 when I live on level 5.

Bluetooth LE gives you close accuracy, it's not perfect but it is a lot better than GPS.

No backdoors needed: Apple ditched plans to fully encrypt iCloud backups after heavy pressure from FBI – claim

dave 76

seems like a reasonable compromise

if you want secure backups that cannot be accessed, backup to iTunes locally.

If you want the convenience of cloud backups, you take the risk that it can be accessed by law enforcement.

At least the options are clear and it is easy to make a choice as to which one you want to use.

Squirrel away a little IT budget for likely Brexit uncertainty, CIOs warned

dave 76

Re: I blame Borris

"If you are referring to Jacob Rees Mogg, he is the Right Honourable Member for the eighteenth century - so he'll have nothing to do with this modernist 19th century rubbish."

I was very depressed the day that I found out the Jacob Rees Mogg was actually *younger* than me :-(

Wham, bam, thank you scram button: Now we have to go all MacGyver on the server room

dave 76

Re: Not his fault really

"I am amazed when I hear all these stories about unprotected master shut down buttons. I think I've only ever seen one such button without a cover, in dozen of datacenters I've been in."

In one building where I worked (back in the 80's), the computer room isolate was just *outside* the Ops room and was triggered at least twice by people thinking it was the button to get our attention. It certainly did that!

The silence of the racks is deafening, production gear has gone dark – so which wire do we cut?

dave 76

Re: Spanner in the works


and when he went to throw the main breaker somehow he managed to short the main power leads with the spanner. There was a huge bang and the flash lit up the room brighter than the brightest welding arc I have seen; then the room fell into a deathly silence. The sparky was thrown across the room

The hospital reported that he had received flash burns to his retinas. He did recover his sight eventually. The spanner was found later that day and was missing a full half inch of metal from one of the lugs.


I had an almost identical situation working for a Visa Data Processing Centre in NZ - those antipodean sparkies! We had a couple of massive generators outside for weeks while the power distribution room was being completely gutted and rebuilt but at least no one died

Thanks for all those data-flow warnings, UK.gov. Now let's talk about your own Brexit prep. Yep, just as we thought

dave 76

Re: Brexit updates ...

> So your saying the remainer PM with the remainer civil service is making a mess of negotiating after not listening to the leavers who were doing a fair job? Shocked I tell you!

If that is truely believed that May is a remainer by Brexit MP's then why was vote to kick her out so badly organised?

Worried about Brexit food shortages? North Korean haute couture has just the thing

dave 76

"Meh, fine with me. Just mandate that any food gets a big sticker stuck on it with the food standards applied to it, and who certifies those standards are being met."

You can bet that won't happen. They will lobby hard to avoid anything that could enable people to identify the product negatively.

It's 2019, the year Blade Runner takes place: I can has flying cars?

dave 76

Re: Try

so whatever Google says is reality?

Other search engines (eg duckduckgo) are available.

Dixons Carphone 'fesses to mega-breach: Probes 'attempt to compromise' 5.9m payment cards

dave 76

Re: Perhaps I need a forwarding email address for every shop

"yourname+anythingyoulike@yourdomain.com will be delivered to yourname@yourdomain; but you can still see the originally used recipient name, so when you get spam/phishing to, for instance, yourname+CW@yourdomain you know who leaked it."

Except that is so well known that I would expect any malicious spam merchants to sanitise the email address by removing the +anythingyoulike so that your sorting/spam rules don't work.

Go park yourself: Brit firm flashes self-parking car tech

dave 76

Re: Don't worry folks, the CAAS thing will be along soon

"A couple of years back I considered joining a car club. Which is ,in effect, CaaS. But the penalties for any kind of spill etc. put me straight off the idea. I don't usually spill stuff, but I might. And the idea of having to be so specially carefully precious was too stressful, it put me right off."

Honestly, how much of a problem is that really? Modern car mats are pretty easy to clean off and if I was transporting anything potentially seriously messy (paint maybe), then I put it on a spillsheet or in a cardboard box.

I've been a member of car clubs for over 10 years and have never made a serious mess or seen a car in that state. It's not something I stress about.

"The main car has a boot full of supermarket bags and anything I might need for the day, including lunch, stationary and notes, even an umbrella at times, and a glove box with routine essentials ( including headache tablets spare leads etc.). In my youth I used to carry a shaver in the car. My daughter has pretty much an entire set of therapy resources stored in hers. A car isn't just a way to get oneself from A to B, like a personal taxi service. It's an extension of our lives. At the very least it has to contain what you need for the day, if you are away from home for your 8 hours or so."

If you use your car as a mobile cupboard I can see why CaaS is not for you, but there are enough people who don't need to carry their entire life with them at all times that CaaS works.

Like anything, this is horses for courses. Not everyone will adopt CaaS but for a significant proportion of people, it is a perfectly viable option.

All your base are belong to us: Strava exercise app maps military sites, reveals where spies jog

dave 76

Re: Fail!

"In defence, as someone who uses said app and has bought a watch specifically for the task of GPS tracking running & cycling (and swimming, but, it transpires GPS doesn't penetrate water that well, a mere seconds thought beforehand would've made the counter assumption obvious I guess)."

Put the watch under your swim cap and it should work while swimming.

These diabetes pumps obey unencrypted radio commands – which is, frankly, f*%king stupid

dave 76

Re: Has anyone here actually dealt with the FDA?

in the newer Medtronic pumps they have disabled some of the remote features for security but although I have one, I am planning to move back to the less secure model which does allow remote control of dosing levels.

Why? Because there are open source projects like openAPS to enable smarter control of the pump and to create an almost closed loop insulin delivery system. I consider that to be much more important to me than if someone wants to play silly buggers with my pump.

Tim Cook's answer to crashing iPhone sales: More iPhones

dave 76


maybe Apple has looked at the sales numbers and decided that sufficient people are using Bluetooth headphones now that dumping the 3.5 jack is possible.

It seems from most of the commentators that the expectation is that people must have wired connections, I use both wired and bluetooth earphones and in most mobile environments the bluetooth is clear enough that I don't miss the wired and the battery life is longer than a day.

Bah humbug. It's Andrew's Phones of the Year

dave 76

Re: Since Xiaomi have lost their way, Huawei is "it"

"SWMBO is Chinese, so it is very difficult to sort out her phone problems when the phone is displaying Chinese text, ESPECIALLY if I am not familiar with the Apple OS."

My son runs his iPhone in Japanese and if he needs help with it, he switches the language to English and hands it to me. It's one setting to switch the iPhone fully from one language to another.

That happens to be the reason my wife brought an iPhone instead of an android. We looked at a number of phones but the switching languages and keyboards was a bit of a pain on android. We even went to the Samsung flagship store to ask if there was an easier way that we were missing. That was a couple of years ago now so probably much better not, but at the time it was a deal killer.

BlackBerry to bug out of Pakistan by end of year

dave 76

BB Messenger vs BES

I believe that the difference is between BB Messenger and Blackberry Enterprise Service.

With BB Messenger, the keys are held by BB so they can decrypt messages.

With BES, the keys are held on the Enterprise server which is in the customer's possession so BB can't decrypt.

Two different services.

Apple 5S still best-selling smartphone 8 months after launch

dave 76

Re: As Winston (reputedly) once said...

"(for example the upper case keys representing lower case is plain retarded)."

You may consider it retarded but anyone who has a PC or a featurephone or a typewriter is well use to keys being only represented in uppercase.

Yes it would be nice for it to change but I think it will take a while yet.

Apple ebook price-fix settlement: Readers get $400m, lawyers $50m

dave 76

and the result is...

Amazon can now agressively shaft the publishers and their authors.

These days I am only buying ebooks through publishers websites (TOR etc) or through collections such as Humble Bundle - I'm not supporting Amazon, Apple or Google on this. I'm buying more physical books (from an actual bookshop) than I am ebooks.

Handing a monopoly to any one reseller is a bad idea so I am doing my part to support the smaller parties.

Tell us about your first time ... on the internet

dave 76

Re: @ Simon Sharwood

Are you confusing "internet" with "world wide web"? It sounds very much like you connected to the Club Mac bulletin board via the internet itself.

It's most likely Simon knows the difference quite well and was connecting to a BBS which then provided access to the internet. Things were different in the early days.

1989 was when I got on the Internet also - via Victoria University (NZ) and also via my job at Data General. I remember that due to that mail was only delivered by batch, I could send an email from my work account to my university account and walk the 1.5 km between the two faster than my email could get there.

Now we're cookin' on gas: Google crafts sugar-alert contact lens for diabetics

dave 76
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CGM and fingerprick tests

CGM and fingerprick tests are currently complementary. Finger prick tests give you an instant, accurate (+-20%) reading but has the limitation that you rarely have more than 10-12 data points per day. CGM is testing every 5 mins but the reading is roughly 20 minutes behind the blood test.

So both are useful - the CGM gives you trending information which helps with determining how your BG is affected by food, exercise etc.

If they had 1-2 week continuous wear contacts with this technology I would be very interested. Even more so if it was powered by blinking or glucose.

EU move to standardise phone chargers is bad news for Apple

dave 76
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don't see a big problem with the current standard

now that all the phone take 5V, I don't have a problem with the current situation.

I have a number of chargers, all which have a USB outlet. And I have 2-3 cables for my various devices which are USB on one end and micro-usb/lightning/old-apple on the other. When travelling I just take one charger and a couple of cables and all my devices can charge. Out of the various manufacturers, the wall chargers from Apple are some of the best ones in terms of size and lack of heat produced.

Any wall-wart that doesn't have a USB connection gets tossed.

Beam me up? Not in the life of this universe

dave 76
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Re: Compression / healing

"Reminds me of a European short film I saw as a child, where a similar solution was used to solve the problem of a man trapped in a phone booth... gave me nightmares."

It's called La Cabina and was released in 1972 and still makes me nervous too - I always used to keep the door propped open with my foot after that, even though the bottom of the phone booth was open!

Senator: Surveillance state based on secret law 'has no place in America'

dave 76


"current law bars even members of Congress from publicly disclosing details of those programs."

If he had had the balls to stand up in the Senate and publicly announce it, do you really think they would have arrested and prosecuted him? This is just a convenient excuse for why he has done very little until Snowdon blew the whistle.

NBN study: we didn't make it, but may have made a point

dave 76

NBN study?

I don't know whether it is my fault or not, but I live in Sydney and read El Reg everyday, and this article is the first that I had heard of this effort. I would have dropped some coin on it.

Possibly more people are in the same situation, simply unaware that it was going on.

Yahoo!: We! tried! to! protect! your! info! ... secret! court! case! will! prove! it!

dave 76

love him or loathe him

At least Snowden has enabled the secret court veil to be lifted, now it remains to be seen if this is a temporary reveal or if some lasting change can be made.

Are driverless cars the death knell of the motor biz?

dave 76
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reducing congestion

This is a good solution for some and a non-starter for others. that's ok, doesn't have to be for everyone, just for sufficient people to make the service viable.

I've got drivers licenses for 4 countries and am a member of car sharing schemes in 2 of them. I have no need for personally owning a car - public transport, taxis, car share and car hire fill my needs very nicely and I don't need to worry about maintenance, wear and tear, parking, vandalism etc. But you if you want to keep a car, no problem to me.

Car share schemes are estimated to remove the need for 7-10 cars from the road. Even if it at the lower end, surely all you people who must own their car should be keen on the idea as it removes some of the congestion and allows you to have a better drive?

Marks & Sparks accused of silently bonking punters over the tills

dave 76
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in Australia...

the transaction limit on my paypass card without requiring a pin is $100 - not sure what the daily limit is. This is the default limit.

For those wanting to disable the NFC - here is a pic from Wikipedia showing where the antenna is: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Australia_Bank_Paypass_Card.png

Maybe don't install that groovy pirated Android keyboard

dave 76

Re: Pretty damn obvious what's going to happen

"Root and use lbe or pdroid combined with avast and adaway and all permission and snooping related issues are gone."

Sure, the average person is going to know that they need to do that and also how to do it.

I think it is fair to say that most people with a smartphone are not that technically orientated.

so what's the best way to have fine permission control on your phone that doesn't require rooting it?

BlackBerry Q10: This quirky QWERTY will keep loyalists perky

dave 76
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this is the one I want

I spend more time on my phone doing emails and SMS than talking and really appreciate the physical keyboard. This one looks like the closest to a perfect combination that I have seen.

Review: Dell XPS 12 Windows 8 tablet-cum-Ultrabook

dave 76

remember the pcmcia ethernet cards

all those PCMCIA ethernet cards had dongles for connection but there was a couple that had popout connectors. You had to be careful not to snap it off but it shouldn't be beyond the skill of the manufacturers to bring the concept up to date. I guess they feel that there isn't enough demand for it.

Apple: Thanks for the iPhone 5s, China, now get to the BACK of the queue

dave 76

Re: " ... register online the day before with their residence ID"

was too expensive to buy an iPhone 4S in Sydney so I brought one online from Apple HK and got it delivered to my company office in Hong Kong and one of my collegues sent it on. Got it the next day, no need to queue at the Apple Store and no need to have Resident ID.

China and Japan stick it to floods, quakes and tsunamis

dave 76

Re: Is it just me...

"But on a more serious note, any online service that purports to be useful after a major natural disaster needs one thing more than any other. It needs to be accessible to the people in the affected area or otherwise it's pretty much just disaster porn for the rest of the world. If you're sitting in the remains of your house after a tsunami or typhoon clutching a soggy mobile and no means of recharging it for a few weeks then a pretty govt site is fuck all use."

Mobile towers are easy to erect to provide signals across the affected area. Portable generators provide places that people can go to charge phones (as was provided after the tsunami). People need to go to a central point to collect water and food, they charge their phones at the same time.

All phones in Japan have email addresses and internet access. Also a significant proportion of internet traffic in Japan is via mobile already so people are used to it.

It may not be a good solution for every country at the moment, but for Japan it is a good solution.

Greens launch anti-TPP Internationale

dave 76
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Re: Who listens to the Greens?

The Carbon Tax is responsible for some of the rise to be sure, but a big chunk of the rise in NSW at least is State Government dividends, Network improvement and Electricity company profits.

RIP Harry Harrison: Stainless Steel Rat scurries no more

dave 76
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Re: Amazon is my friend

The first Deathworld, along with several other Harry Harrison books, is available for free on the excellent Project Gutenberg.

Coincidencely I had downloaded and started reading it a week ago.

Tesco exec brands UltraViolet 'too complicated' for Brits

dave 76

Re: Personally i'm happy

Why bother replying to them - let them do the work to chase you not the other way around.

I was getting the standard letter every couple of months, and then the appointment card and then eventually they just stopped. I'm not wasting my time telling them that I don't owe them anything.

Lard-busting specs trick snack-happy Japanese

dave 76

In Japan the artificial crab meat are so close to the real thing that comparing 3 real samples and one fake one took an expert 10 minutes to tell them apart (based on look, texture, smell, taste). He got them all right in the end but an amateur would not have been able to do it.

Smartphones finally outsell featurephones ... in Japan

dave 76

Re: Japan is clearly still streets ahead....

Japan featurephones have had email addresses for years, which is a bit more useful than SMS, though I agree, SMS still doesn't work well.

Every Japanese featurephone I have had and seen has had a + button and I've had no issue dialling international so not sure where you got that from.

Japanese bank palms off customers with biometric ATMs

dave 76

Palm scanners on Japan ATM's have been around for a while

I've used ATM's in Tokyo that allow palm scan as access at least 3-4 years ago. I was just doing a transfer so my palm wasn't registered with the card so I couldn't actually test it but my wife assured me it works.

At least on the models I saw you didn't actually put your hand directly on a scan pad - it had two rests which kept your hand about 2 cm above the pad. And there was a box of tissues right next to the atm for you to be as clean as you like.

You are very unlikely to be mugged at an ATM in Japan!

Virgin Media to push out nimble new broadband speeds

dave 76

fixing an airgap

"But when NationalGrid's digger crew introduced an 18inch air-gap into my cable connection VM couldn't manage a repair even after 6 months of dealing with their piss-poor call centre. "

I had the same problem. after months of them scheduling a crew to relay the cable I gave up and cancelled the service (and actually got a refund!).

A few months after I moved overseas I got an email from them that the cable had finally been repaired - well done but a little too late!

Amazon goes south with São Paulo data center

dave 76

Hope they have spent lots on redundancy

our company has an office in San Paulo and between power cuts and connectivity issues it seems to have problems every week.

Amazon can probably afford to pay more keep their DC running than we do though.

Panasonic DMR-PWT500 3D BD Freeview HD DVR

dave 76

The sign on the Panasonic building down here in Sydney has a few lights out so at night it is proudly displaying PAN---NIC - seems appropriate!

Cops cuff London Apple Store 'scooter raiders'

dave 76
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not keen on the publishing of details

Seems to me that this goes against the principle of "Innocent until proven Guilty" and moves into the "If the Police have arrested you, you must have done something wrong".

that attitude worked for the police in the old days but since we no longer automatically expect our police to be infailable and leave it to the courts to determine guilt or innocence, shouldn't the details be supressed until the court case?

This weekend: First ever iPADS IN SPAAAACE

dave 76

entertainment only?

I imagine it is for entertainment only while they access how it performs on the ISS. Once they are satisfied it performs without unexpected errors they can look at making it a piece of support equipment.

NASA doesn't use anything just off the shelf - needs proper testing first.

Insulin pump hack delivers fatal dosage over the air

dave 76

Why wireless

There are three purposes for the wireless functionality:

- enable a glucose sensor to communicate levels to the pump

- enable details to be uploaded to a PC for analysis of trends

- enable the use of a remote control so that parents can lock their children's pumps so they cannot adjust them.

Most diabetics manage their own levels and do not rely on someone else adjusting the settings. However pumps are also used by young chiildren and it is not appropriate for they to make their own adjustments. So there is a remote control option to allow the pump controls to be locked and the parent deliver the bolus using the remote.

NHS diabetic gizmo will text for help if wearer is in danger

dave 76

I already have a GCMS....

But all in favour of more research and improved sensors. The current crop of sensors all require implanting under then skin so if they could develop a non-invasive one I would be happy. Not too concerned about the txt messaging. That part doesn't/shouldn't be built into the sensor anyway, the sensor just needs to communicate with its controller, if you want to message, get the controller to do it.

I'll be even happier if the price comes down. The CGMS makes a significant difference in glucose management but now that I am self funding rather than on the NHS the cost is too high for me to use it all the time so I typically use it for 2 weeks every three months to make sure I have everything trending ok.

Insulin pump maker ignores diabetic's hack warnings

dave 76

speaking as a medtronic pump user...

Am I bothered? Nah. I'm regularly checking my blood glucose levels using an meter (which is not part of the pump) and are well aware of the physical symptoms in myself if I have too much or too little insulin.

Yes it should be addressed and resolved, but it is not an OMG the sky is falling issue. Upgrade the microcode and then as people replace their pumps (which they need to do every 4 years anyway) they get the fix.

Insulin pump attack prompts call for federal probe

dave 76

diabetes control is in the hands of the patient, not the doctor

"So, as i said, the DOCTOR decides how much should be given. NOT the patient. The need for this device to be remotly controlled is utterly pointless and is there because someone decided it could. Not should, or must but because it could....An appliance waiting for an application..."

Fairly safe to say that cornz 1 has no experience with Type 1 diabetes at all (Type 2 is a completely different kettle of fish).

My doctor has NO say in what my dosages are. He/she can advise or recommend but seeing as I live with this 24/7 and I see them for 5 minutes every 3 months to get my prescription renewed, I have a much better idea of how to manage my diabetes that they do. I will never take instruction from them, only advice.

dave 76

of course it could be hacked but not all pumps

pumps that link to a Continuous Glucose Meter or use the remote control need to have wireless communication enabled to allow the devices to talk together. This gives an opportunity for someone to remote attack the pump - I doubt the authenication and encryption is strong enough to keep someone determined out. If you are not using one of these functions you can switch it off. Course if you are using an Omnipod you are out of luck - all the controls are on the remote so you must use it.

If you are using a non-integrated pump - ie the CGMS does not talk directly to the pump - then you don't need the wireless on.

Given that my pump and CGMS have difficulty talking with each other when they are more than about 30cm apart and you can't turn off the bloody beeping sound when you do anything I would probably notice someone attempting to adjust it, but you never know.

Sony S1 and S2 screenshots leaked

dave 76

really? is that your only complaint?

I hope you are similarly outraged at every laptop manufacturer on the planet who all ship their laptops with proprietary power connections. USB would be nice but if the proprietary connection allows rapid charging I am all for it.

If that is all you have to complain about then Sony are onto a winner.

Sony goes slim with the Vaio Z laptop

dave 76
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love my TZ

had my TZ for about 6 years now and is still my everyday home machine. The 11" screen, SSD and lightweight design effectively means that there is no need for a tablet in my household, the TZ is doing the same role.

Recently purchased an HP laptop for my wife and regret the decision every time I go and use it. The trackpad is one of the worst I have ever used.

Your NFC tap-pay phone: Soon a movie or train ticket too

dave 76

a great solution

If you have ever used Felica in Japan or Octopus in Hong Kong you will appreciate the benefits. In HK especially you can use it for payment virtually anywhere and many buildings use it for ground floor door access also.

I admit, I feel nervous about having my octopus automatically set to reload from my bank account so I don't do that, but you can set a maximum amount per transaction and a maximum amount per day on the card to provide some safeguards.

there probably is a minimum transaction level but I haven't found that yet, everything I have wanted to purchase has worked.

But I am sure the UK mobile operators can bugger this up and provide a more expensive, less capable system.



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