* Posts by Peter Galbavy

330 posts • joined 12 Feb 2010

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The UK is running on empty when it comes to electric vehicle charging points

Peter Galbavy

I thought I had stumbled into a BBC comments thread on electric cars for a minute. The rampant, deliberate and mischievous trolling by "gammons" is amazing.

I've been driving electric for about 6 1/2 years now, first an Outlander PHEV, then a Leaf (both on lease) and now a e-Niro (on PCP). Yes, they are expensive - but then all new cars are expensive and what is only just starting is a proper used car market. This is mostly old style Leafs and some others, but it is there. Given the number of "marque" cars in my part of the world, North London, a typical EV is not expensive at all.

The report in this article seems to be balanced, sensible and quite broad and align with my experiences overall. I am lucky enough to have my own driveway, yes, and I rarely use public chargers. There will have to be a shift in availability, pricing and capacity if electric is going to be widely and positively adpoted. At the moment the planning rules allow developers to install "passive" EV charging in new build houses and retail etc. (this basically means the ducting for someone to later actually install cabling and equipment) which is pretty useless as it's a pure tickbox exercise. More "active" installs, required for planning approval, still don't have any other conditions attached. They don't need to be made available, turned on or maintained after build - like a recent tennis club thing near me - a row of chargers for their members, but they are not turned on.

Currently (see what I did there?) EVs work for a portion of the driving population and this report does, very politely, stick the boot in to remind governement and local councils that they will actually have to take positive action if they want things to progress.

Pentagon grounds own report that said China's DJI drones are safe

Peter Galbavy
Mushroom

"So, what recently aroused your suspicions around spyware?"

"Well, they pulled their app, DJI Fly, from the curated Google Play Store (while leaving others there and updatng) ande failed to explain why - instead requiring users to side-load the app via their own website and then requiring updates from iside the app."

UK competition watchdog launches investigation into fake review epidemic across Google and Amazon

Peter Galbavy
FAIL

Hopefully the CMA will see through the nonsensical veneer, especially from Amazon, about "taking action when we are alerted" as it is effectively impossible to report both fake (or seemingly fake) reviews or sellers contacting reviewers who give honest but negative reviews and offering incentives to remove or edit them. Last time I tried I found a specific email address (for Amazon UK) that in itself was well hidden and then returned "this mailbox is not monitored".

Open standard but not open access: Schematron author complains about ISO paywall

Peter Galbavy

"The main reason for coming to this conclusion is that there is no longer a technically equivalent specification in the public domain, as it was the case originally,"

Uh huh. Embrace, extend, extinguish. "We invited the public standard in for dinner. We had the public standard FOR dinner. Chianti, anyone?"

Standards bodies are orders of magnitude more experienced at weasel words than humans and so what did we expect?

UK competition watchdog begins probe into Apple and Google's total domination of the mobile landscape

Peter Galbavy
Holmes

Let's check for ursine defectation in forested areas while we're at it, no?

Amazon says it destroyed two million knockoffs in 2020, a fraction of the amount it ships

Peter Galbavy
FAIL

Of course only 0.01% of things were reported as counterfeit. Amazon (UK in this case) make it close to impossible to report listings or sellers as "dodgy". Unless you buy something - fulfilled by Amazon or Prime - there is no active way to report anything. I have tried. I found obscure email addresses in notional policy and help pages that can only be found via external search engines and then the email bounces with a "the address you sent email to is not monitored".

I have one seller who I posted a 1 star review for contacting me via direct email offering me money to remove my review. I tried really hartd to report this. No dice.

Amazon is a world bestriding ostrich.

British gambling giant Betfred told to pay stiffed winner £1.7m jackpot after claiming 'software problem'

Peter Galbavy

Re: Minimal Viable Product

You may have a idilic view and definition of MVP but most meat headed PHBs focus on the middle initial "viable". This is translated in PM terms to "what can we get away with before ticking the box marked ready-to-ship" and it will always be thus.

Peter Galbavy

Slowly, far too slowly. is a responsibililty creeping up on the mainstream software industry to produce functional and error free products. It's only going to be with more legal precendents being set - and awards that have any significance - that attitudes will change and the "MVP" approach may start to wither and finally be consigned to the grave it doesn't even deserve.

PHP repository moved to GitHub after malicious code inserted under creator Rasmus Lerdorf's name

Peter Galbavy

"which powers nearly 80 per cent of the internet"

Hey! I've got a bridge that carries 80% of London's traffic to sell you!

Samsung spruiks Galaxy Buds Pro performance as comparable to hearing aids

Peter Galbavy

Nura have the tech, just waiting to see who buys them out

I love my Nuraphones - expensive but excellent tech - and I bought the less good Nuraloops just because they seemed a good idea - great audio, crap design, maintainability and controls sadly. Both measure your hearing and build a profile and paired with a good set of drivers and their haptic "immersion" bass they deliver. They have an ambient mode too and I have mentioned to folks before they would make a cute alternative to hearing aids for some, but...

No ports, no borders, no hope: Xiaomi's cool but impractical all-screen concept phone

Peter Galbavy

Have I missed the bit where someone explains how the mic and speaker / earpiece work?

Showering malware-laced laptops on UK schools is the wrong way to teach them about cybersecurity

Peter Galbavy

Betcha that every single one of those off-the-shelf, low-spec, consumer grade laptops - that would retails at maybe £249 - will have been billed at about the price of a top-end Lenovo X-series laptop without the slightest hint of irony.

Negative Trustpilot review of law firm Summerfield Browne cost aggrieved Briton £28k

Peter Galbavy

Oh! Look! The legal profession sided with the legal profession. I am shocked!

150,000 lost UK police records looking more like 400,000 as Home Office continues to blame 'human error'

Peter Galbavy

If they are able to recover records from backups then that sort of puts paid to the whole deleting-illegally-retained-personal-data stuff doesn't it? I mean, you sue the police to delete your records when you are cleared of a crime, order is granted but then even deleting the live record just removes the current version, no? Perhaps the background here is an effort to allow backups to be routinely restored in the future?

Dropbox basically decimates workforce, COO logs off: Cloud biz promises to be 'more efficient and nimble'

Peter Galbavy

I used to pay them money, but they kept offering a new tier of service about once a year and, silently, donwgrading the performance of the lower tiers - not just the extra storage or features of the new ones. Number of API calls per second / hour / day etc. and their support just pretended that there was no changes. I stopped paying them money and instead just use an S3 bucket (yes, protected) with rclone for out-of-home backup with another on Backblaze. The cost works out a little higher but both of those publish their performance commitments.

Whistleblowers have come to us alleging spy agency wrongdoing, says UK auditor IPCO

Peter Galbavy

How long until these shady organisations self-authorise themselves to surveil the ICPOs wistleblower gateway systems?

Cayman Islands investment fund left entire filestore viewable by world+dog in unsecured Azure blob

Peter Galbavy

Re: Stop calling it cloud

Except in this case the "lockup" hasn't actually got a padlock on it, so it's more an "unlockup"

For every disastrous rebrand, there is an IT person trying to steer away from the precipice

Peter Galbavy

Served my inter year at Unisys in Uxbridge a couple of years after the Sperry/Burroughs merger and they rebadged a variety of UNIX mini systems. One was originally called the Arete (accents optional) and as I didn't speak any French the staffers had to explain to me why the source company had to change the model name once they started selling internationally. Memory is a little hazy.

Ah, found a reference to "Arete Systems Corp" from that era: https://www.cbronline.com/news/unix_banns_plexus_arete_agree_a_merger/

Tech support scammer dialed random number and Australian Police’s cybercrime squad answered

Peter Galbavy

All my scam calls are recorded messages or digitised voices. I feel all left out.

Lift us up where we belong: UK's Network Rail puts elevators online

Peter Galbavy

I wonder what the JSON tags will be for "stink of piss" and "someone's thrown up in this one" ?

Excel is for amateurs. To properly screw things up, those same amateurs need a copy of Access

Peter Galbavy

Managers need to appear to have a purpose, especially when they don't.

NHS COVID-19 app's first weekend: With fundamental testing flaw ironed out, bugs remaining are relatively trivial

Peter Galbavy

Re: Picky but...

My understanding, and information is a little vague, is that Serco are involved the the NHS Trace and Trace *system* (the one with the virtual call centres that have people doing nothing) but that the app is NHSX and is wholly an internal project and doesn't involved either Serco or Deloitte or Crapita..

Would welcome reliable references either way.

FBI boasts of dark-web drug bust: 179 collared around the world, $6.5m in cash and 500kg of narcotics seized

Peter Galbavy

A lot of effort when you canjust let the idiots delivery themselves like they do down under: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-australia-49079926

Das Keyboard 4C TKL: Plucky mechanical contender strikes happy medium between typing feel and clackety-clack joy

Peter Galbavy

Wot, no numeric keypad? For how much? Thanks, but no thanks.

Don’t lump us in with Facebook, internet infrastructure companies warn European Union

Peter Galbavy
Joke

Surely if the Chinese can do it with the Great Firewall, then why shouldn't European network operators?

Google wants to listen in to whatever you get up to in hotel rooms

Peter Galbavy

"No, sorry, I didn't realise the devices cable had been cut when I entered the room that first night. Must have been a previous occupant."

SQLite maximum database size increased to 281TB – but will anyone need one that big?

Peter Galbavy

If you don't use SQLite is some project of your own, are you even programming?

Peer-to-peer takes on a whole new meaning when used to spy on 3.7 million or more cameras, other IoT gear

Peter Galbavy

There's an assumption in the article that these features are somehow undesirable (to the makers). Possible the only undesirable here is that the design of the system have been revealed to a wider world.

Rental electric scooters to clutter UK street scenes after Department of Transport gives year-long trial the thumbs-up

Peter Galbavy

In an open and transparent democracy you would set standards for new types of transport (that are considered in need of regulating) and then you would allow private and commercial interests to follow those standards.

Instead, as we don't live in an open and transparent democracy but one where funny handshakes and the old boy network hold sway, we hand over the public roads to special interest groups to set their own agendas, standards and ultimately enforcement. Can't you just see [whoever has shaken hands on this] going to propose their "operatives" are allowed to stop "unlicensed" riders on public roads - obviously the police are far too busy, so just like the Post Office and the BBC being allowed to be judge, jury and executioner so will these chinless wonders.

It could be 'five to ten years' before the world finally drags itself away from IPv4

Peter Galbavy
Joke

Q: What's an elephant?

A: A mouse, designed by committee.

Now, just change the subjects and you know whay IPv6 is still a bad solution to any problem.

Devuan Beowulf 3.0 release continues to resist the Debian fork's Grendel – systemd

Peter Galbavy

The old labrador's getting a bit old and his fur is falling out... so let's buy an elephant!

systemd - why would I want it to manage DNS, NTP and more? There are perfectly good, previously "out of the box", solutions for them that can be managed by experts in their field without wondering what cute security hole some weenie has dropped into the systemd elephant.

Google rolls out pro-privacy DNS-over-HTTPS support in Chrome 83... with a handy kill switch for corporate IT

Peter Galbavy

Well, just updated and the flag is still there to turn it off - not checked if it's a null op though

You overstepped and infringed British sovereignty, Court of Appeal tells US in software companies' copyright battle

Peter Galbavy
Black Helicopters

Re: Fifty-first state?

Hey there son! You look like you need a dose of FREEDOM!

UK Information Commissioner OKs use of phone data to track coronavirus spread

Peter Galbavy

Giving our glorious and enlightened authorities the benefit of the doubt for the moment, mobile operators already collect many metrics on cell hand-offs and transit times etc. Sharing just this data, on volumes of movement, could help with a view as to how well the - effectively - voluntary lockdown is operating and how it is changing over time-of-day and day-of-week and could also act as an alert if the behaviour starts drifting as the population starts getting bored and complacent and then if further measure, especially in certain geographies, are required.

Honeywell, I blew up the qubits: Thermostat maker to offer cloud access to 'world's most powerful quantum computer' within months

Peter Galbavy
WTF?

I know I'm getting old because no matter how much I read about Quantum Computing I feel much like my parents generation felt when the home computer started turning up. Lost, I'm lost I tell you.

Either that or I'm just too good at failing to see the Emperor's wonderful new outfit.

I suspect the former in this case though.

All that Samsung users found on UK website after weird Find my Mobile push notification was... other people's details

Peter Galbavy

GDPR may even be useful here...

So, is the 72 hour clock now ticking?

GlaxoSmithKline ditches IR35 contractors: Go PAYE or go home

Peter Galbavy

Once you change your viewpoint and look at this from the perspective of the big, expensive and incompetent consultancy firms (Crapita, et al.) then this is going perfectly to plan.

Stack the system to ensure all the fleet-of-foot and ocmpetative small players are forced out by regulation you have paid for, you will be rolling in the money.

This news article about the full public release of OpenAI's 'dangerous' GPT-2 model was part written by GPT-2

Peter Galbavy

This statement is false.

A stranger's TV went on spending spree with my Amazon account – and web giant did nothing about it for months

Peter Galbavy

This is odd, because "yes" if you look under "My Devices" you only see Amazon branded ones, but if you go to "Manage My Devices" under the Kindle page(s) you see all your connected/permissioned "apps", including those running on non-Amazon kit: https://www.amazon.co.uk/hz/mycd/myx#/home/devices/1

The UK's Civil Aviation Authority asked drone orgs to email fliers' data in an Excel spreadsheet

Peter Galbavy

The Australians, last time I renewed my optional "maybe commercial use" registration it was still free. Both getting an ARN (Airman's Ref Number?) and the commercial-drone under 2kg reg was simple and free.

This may have changed, I need to renew again shortly for a trip over in Jan.

Criminalise British drone fliers, snarl MPs amid crackdown demands

Peter Galbavy

Nice to see last year's Gatwick strawman exercise results are being put to good use...

Spin doctors: UPS gets permission to expand drone delivery fleet in the US

Peter Galbavy

So, instead of carrying some item - nothing too heavy or large - between buildings on a "campus", you now have to get it to a roof or an outdoor area, place it in a special sized carrier, submit a request for pickup and ... a solution looking for a problem, with a nice fat charge onto US medical insurance bills, I am sure.

Google: Read my lips. You cannot link up a G Suite account with Nest smart home gizmos

Peter Galbavy

Also, in a similar position with an old Google Apps account, at some point I stopped being able to leave reviews on Google Play Store. I can still see my old reviews submitted using the same account but no longer.

Service call centres to become wasteland and tumbleweed by 2024

Peter Galbavy

Who do the shiny new systems call when they have a problem handling the calls from their automated customers?

Recursion, n: See Recursion.

The NetCAT is out of the bag: Intel chipset exploited to sniff SSH passwords as they're typed over the network

Peter Galbavy

Sorry? What? Who uses SSH without an agent on their local machine? Why is SSH (as a protocol) singled out here? Any interactive session over the network is open to this form of "attack" and if you type SSH passwords into remote machines over the network (whether already SSH wrapped ot not) you are already broken.

In Hemel Hempstead, cycling is as bad as taking a leak in the middle of the street

Peter Galbavy

Re: Might a suggest a decent horn?

I was given an "Orp" as a present and it's normally enough, but I still have to use my shouty voice very very often. And believe me, I can shout quite loudly.

Peter Galbavy

Shame there isn't an equivalent anti-social order for zombie pedestrians. As a law abiding cyclist commuting in London (that means respecting lights, crossings, signage etc.) I am regularly, daily having to swerve and brake to avoid those idiots - most often younger women, 80/20, based solely on personal experience - with heads down looking at a mobile screen and just walking out into the road. Similarly when driving, but they do seem to pay attention to the horn on the car more than the weedy bike alert horn.

Divert the power to the shields. 'I'm givin' her all she's got, Captain!'

Peter Galbavy

Re: Testing is hard

For those older and with long memories, Demon Internet used to run out of Hendon Lane - a converted church hall type office. We eventually had a large UPS and noise insulated genny installed, after much gnashin and wailing of teeth (and Cliff was an accountant so he was both bean counter and MD). After a very very long all-hand weekend getting the downtime sequence done, wiring moved along with new component issues (three phase versus single phase contactors or something...) it was all back up and running at some point.

"So, it's all working and the batteries up to charge?" asked Cliff.

"Yep!" said the proud contractor

"OK then" says Cliff and proceeds to turn off the grid feed.

.... waiting, waiting ...

It worked, thankfully.

TfL inks £6.5m deal with Sopra Steria to build traffic data-munching and control system

Peter Galbavy

I was just thinking, in a gentle fume this weekend how more and more London junctions have what I would term a "no go" settings on their lights. I was stopped at at least two junctions where none of the roads or the pedestrian crossings were green, and I even accounted for the change periods you would expect. I assume this is udner the guise of "traffic management" and will be used to justify some change later on having gathered the right kinds of statistics for vehicle or pedestrian movement.

Biz forked out $115k to tout 'Time AI' crypto at Black Hat. Now it sues organizers because hackers heckled it

Peter Galbavy

Not sure about the Land of the Free (TM) but isn't "truth" a valid defence against defamation, or is that just in the written form (libel) ?

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