* Posts by Peter Galbavy

345 posts • joined 12 Feb 2010

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Girls Who Code books 'banned' in some US classrooms

Peter Galbavy

Re: Politics on mailing lists...

You mean how "Smart" cars are never driven by smart people?

Smart thermostat swarms are straining the US grid

Peter Galbavy

I think Economy 7 "solved" this problem decades ago. Surely they can't be that dumb... no, wait, yes they can.

Emma Sleep Company admits checkout cyber attack

Peter Galbavy

They are also very much into sharp practices themselves; A friend ordered one of thier products which was not delivered "next day" as promised, but weeks later. In the meantime the credit company they farm this stuff out to - if you choose that way to pay - refused to acknowledge the late delivery and the rejection of the goods and threatened (in very bad faith) a bad credit rating if she didn't pay the due installments. Since then the unopend product was eventually picked up but Emma washed their hands of the credit issues and now the whole thing is detined for the Ombudsman as Emma blames the credit company, credit company blames Emma and meanwhile my friend is both out of pocket and has "bad creditor" ticked for refusing to pay further installments for a product never accepted.

Yes, GDPR and other legislation is *supposed* to help here, but it hasn't yet.

Simple advice: avoid this lot like the plague that they are.

UK internet pioneer Cliff Stanford has died

Peter Galbavy

Re: Thanks for everything

Yeah, I looked. Some of mine are there but many of the more details / entertaining ones I recall are not. I must have a look in my email archives to see if I saved any,

Peter Galbavy

Re: Thanks for everything

I am assuming this is the sinking floor in Hendon Lane.

The original Demon offices where a converted church hall (42 Hendon Lane) and the large space at the back of the building was slowly transformed into a machine room with aircon etc.

What no-one bothered taking into consideration was the effect that the weight of literal tons of rack mount equipment would have on the old suspended timber floor. It slowly, and then not-so slowly sank. We first noticed when someone asked if the skirting board was badly fitted and was it supposed to be so high off the floor?

Hmm.

I had by then moved on from cable-monkey work (these hand almost single-handedly wired all the rack-mount modems and pop serial cables up to and including the 640 Energis lines) to more esoteric desk bound labour and only was involved in the recovery at second hand. It was a fun time - everything about it was a fun time.

There are many stories. I wonder if my demon.announce posts are still around - we were quite honest about failures in those days.

Peter Galbavy
Pint

Thanks for everything

As someone who was one of the initial tenner-a-month group and went to work for Demon Systems in 1994 - Demon Internet didn't have the budget quite yet - I moved into a world of crazyness and long hours and fun. I am not sure any other organisation, in any business sector, had the net growth rate that Demon did for those first few years - 15% *net* new subscribers per month was typical. This meant innovation, expansion, and a stubborness that explempified Cliff in so many ways. He knew how to get the most out of his staff and make us feel it was a privilege, which did wear this something but with hindsight was a wonderful time.

I ended up thinking about UUCP in the shower this morning, probably because of this sad news milling around my mind over the weekend, and thinking that the kids today never had it this good :-)

On a personal level he helped me buy my house and pretty much forced me to pass my driving test and I will be eternally grateful to him for both and so much more.

CompSci boffins claim they can recreate missing lines in log files

Peter Galbavy

Use an AI guessing to train another AI and lie about "evidence". Nice. Just what some politicians need.

Event logs are very often used as evidence - not necessarily the legal kind - to establish the sequence and timing of events, who/what was involved and responsible. Tampering with those event logs is just like any other record tampering, even if it's tied up in a nice red bow and a gift tag that says "With Love from your favourite AI".

THen the side note about logs being used to train AIs is in itself suspicious. If you use fake records to train an AI then all you are doing is reinforcing whatever bias you decided was important to you.

Is there a rotting fish icon?

UK privacy watchdog may fine selfie-hoarding Clearview AI £17m... eventually, perhaps

Peter Galbavy

£17m is a small drop in the ocean, unless I've misread it and this is a daily fine until the images are removed, and proveably so, from their trough. This level of fine makes it a viable business model still for them.

Google denies Gmail users an early start to the weekend after problems accessing service

Peter Galbavy

Ah! And I thought my automated SMTP sending from home devices was getting IP blocked today - well, it is, but not for the reason I thought!

IT god exposed as false idol by quirks of Java – until he laid his hands on the server

Peter Galbavy

Re: Not a fan of this one

More often somebody who should be an ingedient in the fast-food industry, but yeah same same...

Research finds consumer-grade IoT devices showing up... on corporate networks

Peter Galbavy

Because a "corporate lightbulb" has to have a different specification to a "consumer" one. Right. Oh, and at least 20x the price, obviously.

Air gaps have been 'shattered’, says new Indian policy on power sector security

Peter Galbavy

Sounds, based purely on the article, like yet more "cargo cult science" (based on Feynman's description) as IT security.

RIP Sir Clive Sinclair: British home computer trailblazer dies aged 81

Peter Galbavy
Pint

Thanks for everything

Like many others have said, I almost certainly owe my career and many of my life choices to the influences of Sir Clive - and thank you for those. RIP.

Council culture: Software test leads to absurd local planning SNAFU

Peter Galbavy

What might be interesting is how many approvals would have got through without due process and will not be reversed because they didn't have odd comments on them? Can they link - remember these are demonstrably incompetents - updates back to the junior fallguy/girl?

A bit like burying bad news.

Think you can solve the UK's electric vehicle charging point puzzle? The Ordnance Survey wants to hear about it

Peter Galbavy

"I fail to understand the fucketty fuck why any outfit running charge points uses anything else than a simple contactless debit/credit card for the primary means of payment."

It's simples. All the charging network operators are focusing entirely on market valuation and floatation and M&A and not on providing a service anyone wants to use. Apps allow customer acquisitions and the MBAs know that numbers of customers downloading your app is a great metric for the prospectus.

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.

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