* Posts by Peter Galbavy

299 posts • joined 12 Feb 2010


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

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) ?

Psst. Hey. Hey you. We have to whisper this in case the cool kidz hear, but... it's OK to pull your data back from the cloud

Peter Galbavy

Let's be realistic here... most "cloud" migration outside of core-IT companies was done because bean-counters and senior management were sold the idea of a single monthly charge (that was amazingly lower than depreciation of having their own hardware plus recurring costs like networking and maintenance) and of course savings on not having their own specialist IT staff. A few years down the line they have saved nothing in staff and that "fixed" monthly fee has attracted amazing unexpected and unbudgeted extras, as well as growing magically as usage is well above what was forecast.

You can easily secure America's e-voting systems tomorrow. Use paper – Bruce Schneier

Peter Galbavy

But surely there are environmental benefits? Imagine how many trees could be saved if dictators in notionally democratic banana republics - like, say the USA - didn't have to stuff ballot boxes with pre-filled paper ballots all the time and instead just changed the totals online?

1Gbps, 4K streaming, buffering a thing of the past – but do Brits really even want full fibre?

Peter Galbavy

94% availablity? Not quite. There may be coverage for 94% counted by BT (sorry, the puppet OpenRetch's) exchanges, but in many areas high density (urban, suburban) areas there is still a wait list as the street cabinets are full and BT are still dragging heels adding more, using every excuse possible to avoid capital investment. In those same areas there is still too much low quality, badly routed local loop to provide the line quality required to get more than the minimal signal.

Get ready for a literal waiting list for European IPv4 addresses. And no jumping the line

Peter Galbavy

Re: IPv6 was designed by theorists

Yup. I remember the early RIPE meeting presentations and the non-academic attendees (I was there on behalf of Demon at the time) watched with open mouths as they - the tenured masses - simply didn't get it, couldn't understand why it would never work. My favourite still: Multi-homing with BGP? Not needed, surely!

It's happening, tech contractors: UK.gov is pushing IR35 off-payroll rules to private sector in Finance Bill

Peter Galbavy

This is effectively the same as a company asking for voluntary redundancies... anyone with saleable and transferable skills and the ability to move (overseas) will take up the chance and leave the less able behind. Great short term for tax and NI income to the treasury, terrible for the country in the long term.

Hot desk hell: Staff spend two weeks a year looking for seats in open-plan offices

Peter Galbavy

Hot-desking has zero to do with costs and flexibility and is solely there for upper management to remind the drones that you are interchangeable, expendable and no one would notice much if you were not there tomorrow.

Obviously the same upper management have to have private offices because of confidentiality and all that stuff.

Nvidia pulls sheets off EGX, an edgy machine learning platform based on Kubernetes

Peter Galbavy

Re: Confused


No Widevine DRM for you! Developer left with two years of work stymied by Google snub

Peter Galbavy

DRM and cartels... shocked?

DRM being used to raise the barrier the new entrants? I'm shocked! I'm socked to find gambling in the café!

I am just a mapper: Solar drones take to the skies above Blighty

Peter Galbavy

How did you know my weight? Are you using a solar powered drone to spy on me? And I've not been a (professional) sysadmin for years either.

HMRC: We 'rigorously tested' IR35 tax-check tool... but have almost nothing to show for it

Peter Galbavy

Betcha they still allocated a few million to the testing project. Odd that, eh?

Housing biz made to pay £1.5k for sticking fingers in its ears when served a subject access request

Peter Galbavy

Whoever the data subject was, they must have been friends with someone. The ICO is a complete waste of time for normal members of the public seeking help and asking for the regulator to regulate.

Things that make you go .hm... Has a piece of the internet just sunk into the ocean? It appears so

Peter Galbavy

Re: .UK or .GB??

.gb was delegated to the bloke - name escapes me, sorry - who was involved with JANET and ISO protocol stuff at UCL and he was too much of an academic to understand why others might want to register domains who were not academics involved in JANET, so (again, as I recall) Jon Postel unilaterally created and delegated .uk to those who actually wanted to do stuff.

No UK / GB "real" politics involved. just academic ones.

I may on the other hand just be completely misremembering.

Boffin suggests Trappist monk approach for Spectre-Meltdown-grade processor flaws, other security holes: Don't say anything public – zip it

Peter Galbavy

He's obviously a tenured academic who has never had to work for a living.

Protestors beg Google not to build censored Project Dragonfly search engine

Peter Galbavy

Because, of course, Google searches are not already censored in the "free world".

Man drives 6,000 miles to prove Uncle Sam's cellphone coverage maps are wrong – and, boy, did he manage it

Peter Galbavy

Ofcom "did it right" for once

Not sure how many here came across it or installed it, but a few years ago Ofcom published an app that collected just this kind of data from real users.

The results, for the UK, are interesting: https://www.ofcom.org.uk/research-and-data/telecoms-research/mobile-smartphones/consumer-mobile-experience

If others, like the FCC, were not in the pockets of those they are theoretically supposed to be regulating then this kind of thing would work in the US too.

To save click though, the reports key finding are pasted below:

Key findings 2018

* Three-quarters of the time, data connections were made to a wifi rather than to a cellular network, a six percentage point increase since 2016. There were no significant differences in this measure by rurality or nation.

* When consumers with access to 4G technologies connected to a cellular network, a 4G network was available for data use for 81% of the time (up from 65% in 2016), with consumers in urban areas spending significantly more time than those in rural areas on 4G networks. Consumers in Wales spent significantly less time connected to a 4G network than those in other nations.

* Consumers initiating a data connection to a 4G network were successful on 98.7% of occasions, compared to 93.1% of attempt to connect to a 3G network. Data connections were more likely to fail in peak periods for both 3G and 4G networks.

* The average download speed delivered varied significantly by application (less than 1Mbit/s for apps such as Chrome, Facebook, Gmail, Twitter and WhatsApp on all network types vs. between 2.7 Mbit/s and 3.0 Mbit/s for YouTube and Google Play Store, over wifi and 4G).

* There was a strong correlation between the number of tests and the average download speeds for Chrome and YouTube on 4G networks, with speeds slowing down in peak hours.

* Once initiated, less than 1% of all voice calls were dropped due to loss of service, with no significant differences when comparing rurality, nations or network technologies.

* More than eight in ten Android smartphone users (84%) were satisfied with the overall network performance of their mobile provider, with satisfaction levels higher in urban areas and in England.

* Web browsing was rated as the most important activity that people used their phone for, followed by voice calls.

Nissan EV app password reset prompts user panic

Peter Galbavy

Re: To give the benefit of doubt

I would agree except that the app stopped working with no notice and it took two weeks or more for them to issues a phishing-looking e-mail saying "click on this link to reset your password". If they knew they and were doing a controlled migration they would have sent out a notice saying "as of Nth Jan you will need to login to the web site and change your password" or similar.

Peter Galbavy

... or cover-up?

Cock-up or conspiracy... yes, I'll also go with cock-up every-time, but in this case it's more likely cover-up. Nissan has a history of sticking fingers in corporate ears and singing "la la la" lots. There may not have been a data breach per se, but I suspect some white-hat or internal programmer told them of a hole and they went ape to close it and fix, but telling customers is the last thing on their minds.

Until they make a non-weasel worded public statement that is clear enough to not be able to offer wriggle room later, then it's still a typical Nissan cover-up.

Begone, Demon Internet: Vodafone to shutter old-school pioneer ISP

Peter Galbavy

Re: Good article.

But the network didn't "Peter out" on a regular basis until a few years later once I had formally joined full time and started fiddle with the cables :)

Peter Galbavy

Re: Wild West Days

I have full length shots, mostly in the Catcher, of Cliff somebody :)

Peter Galbavy

Re: Historical accuracy

The major difference, in terms of consumer facing dial-up internet was Demon was the first (and only for a while) company that didn't charge a usage fee, just a subscription. I'm not including the phone charges as Demon didn't get any income from that until much later when the 0345/0845 market was opened up much to the annoyance of BT.

Peter Galbavy

Static IPs were standard, you didn't need to ask for one. We argued with RIPE over and over again because they thought it was wasteful to give basic consumers real IPs. NAT was in it's infancy and we needed fixed IPs to push SMTP delivery when users dialled in and real-time DNS updates were not really feasible either.

Peter Galbavy


Ah, yea olde dayes... it's not the same anymore.

UK white hats blacklisted by Cisco Talos after smart security code stumbles

Peter Galbavy

So, considering they imply an option to charge a fee, how is this different from ransomware?

If you ever felt like you needed to carry 4TB of data around, Toshiba's got you covered

Peter Galbavy

How is this news?

Others have been shipping 4TB and 5TB for years. Literally. I use a bunch of WD 4TB drives (with spin down) as my cheap and cheerful Plex media farm at home. Works well, cheap and nothing new.

So, just to ask again, how is this news?

FYI: Drone maker DJI's 'Get it on Google Play' website button definitely does not get the app from Google Play...

Peter Galbavy

Erm, this is news? Been pointing this out for years - literally - as it's the only way to officially get the .apk file for non google ecosystems. But that then broke a while back as they now have dependencies on play store infrastructure.

HMRC contractor scores IR35 payout after yet another taxman blunder

Peter Galbavy

Re: No, it's probably HR so malicious twattery throughout

You give me visions of "Evan" - Simon Pegg's character in Black Books.

Why waste away in a cubicle when you could be a goddamn infosec neuromancer on £50k*?

Peter Galbavy

What about for the other days of the week?

Apple hands €14.3bn in back taxes to reluctant Ireland

Peter Galbavy

How deep in Apple's pockets must these politicians be to be refusing this tax being forced onto their country and the benefits it could have for their constituents?

Euro bureaucrats tie up .eu in red tape to stop Brexit Brits snatching back their web domains

Peter Galbavy

Fundamentally bureaucrats are small and narrow minded and cannot understand how things work outside their domains (pun intended).

Many years ago as RIPE meetings, mid-90s in Amsterdam, we (UK ISP people) had to repeatedly and loudly point out to the small minded academic bureaucrats that ran RIPE that in the UK anyone could start a business without registering with the town hall or some central department - which was important at the time because you couldn't apply for an AS or IP block (of the right type and size) without showing you were acting as either an individual (with extra checks) or trading as a business. They would not accept that individuals in the UK could just "trade as" as this was unheard of in their small world.


Nope, the NSA isn't sitting in front of a supercomputer hooked up to a terrorist’s hard drive

Peter Galbavy

Re: How are they going to make sure the "enemy" buys back door kit?

In these scenarios the targets are citizens and residents of the five eyes nations - extra-territorial spying is a different game entirely.

None too chuffed with your A levels? Hey, why not bludgeon the exam boards with GDPR?

Peter Galbavy

Re: FOI...

What AC said above... if public bodies simply published, in an accessible form, all the data/information that they would be expected to provide to FOI requests then the faux outrage at the workload and costs would go away. It's all about process and public bodies love process - just add the steps required to publish as part of every process and project and voila!

Not publishing should in itself be published, with validated references to exemptions.



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