* Posts by Gareth 7

41 publicly visible posts • joined 9 Mar 2010

Not-so-paltry towers: Vodafone gears up to flog off massive masts business

Gareth 7

Re: Asset Stripping?

Not really. The roads are the electromagnetic spectrum which is shared so it's more like choosing the Megabus over National express.

What today links Gmail, Google Drive, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram – apart from being run by monopolistic personal data harvesters?

Gareth 7

Facebook still down

Unable to post anything and not seeing anything new for the last 5 hours. Keeps coming up with error and pop-up saying to try later.

Pong, anyone? How about Pong on a vintage oscilloscope?

Gareth 7

How about Quake ?


NHS IT bod sends test email to 850k users – and then responses are sent 'reply all'

Gareth 7

probably because the NHS.net distrubution list hid the recipients just like a BCC

So this wasn't at all like the problem reported.

The problem in this case was that there was an NHS.net distribution list with 1.2 million email addresses in it in the first place that anyone in the NHS could send an email to.

GoTenna: How does this 'magic' work?

Gareth 7

Text over PMR??

Garmin "Rino" walkie talkies can send txt between each other. They also have built in GPS

German spy agency staffer spied for NSA during gov probe into NSA spying – report

Gareth 7

Re: On the dropping of trousers

see also "Lifting the Kilt" and "Opening the Kimono"

Cheeky LOHAN chaps in gutsy snatch at El Reg's paper spaceplane crown

Gareth 7

Re: Authorisations?

Weather Balloons are excempt provided they use standard meterological balloons and the payload has a parachute. In the UK you just need to apply for a permit to launch - which is just to make sure what you are doing is excempt.


The radiosondes are wireless telegraphy act excempt too as long as they radiate less than 10mW. They usually are set to frequencies that are in the 70cm Amateur radio band to increase the number of recievers available for tracking - there is a pretty comphrensive amateur radio network covering most of europe/worldwide that will pick up tracking signals automatically and stick them on a variety of live websutes.

BT's new boss reports flat sales and pre-tax profit tumble

Gareth 7

You are right the figures are wrong

actually it's 4 million if you include those who can get BT sport on Virgin Cable.

TWELFTH-CENTURY TARDIS turns up in Ethiopia

Gareth 7

Re: Strange

I think it was meant as a Joke

EasyJet wanted to fling me off flight for diss tweet, warns cyber-law buff

Gareth 7

Re: "Get right into em!"

but I'm not pretending to be a lawyer so how should I know

Gareth 7

"Get right into em!"

Sounds pretty threatening to me.

LOHAN rocket motor igniter goes pop at 20,000m

Gareth 7

What about the otherway round?

Last time I was in china (using state run dial-up) the reason I couldn't access many websites sites I wanted to wasn't so much down to outbound firewall rules in China, it was inbound access from Chinese registered IP address being blocked on the sites I was trying to access that was the problem. After decades of malicious attacks, western administrators are pretty wary of Chinese registered IP address ranges.

Now we know why UK spooks simply shrugged at SSL encryption

Gareth 7

Re: Farkin' obvious

Quite right - NSA GCHQ MI6 and Special Branch are all in the business of asking people (either nicely or not) to hand over ther keys. The millions of dollars/pounds is not spent on impossible amounts of hardware to crack impossible codes but on the intelligence and manpower to finger the right people to give up the keys.

SSL is an easy one since the cert itself tells you exactly who you need to go to to get the key. Once you've got that you just drop it into wireshark and encrypted data turns into decoded payload - I've done this myself on a couple of occasions (whilst fault finding and with the persmission of the cert owner of course)

BT doles out measly 2GB to customers in Dropbox-alike BT Cloud

Gareth 7

I have 50GBytes Cloud Storage with BT

I think you may be telling half a story.

Getting worried, Assange? WikiLeaks spaffs out 'insurance' info

Gareth 7

Re: Julian should have been reading El Reg...

| So you can bet the NSA probably has already decrypted them |

??? why

they have the clear text already.

BILLION-TONNE BELCH emitted from Sun to hit Earth this weekend

Gareth 7

Glad I'm not on call this weekend

The last time I spent about 3 days trying to explain to some middle management type why there was absolutely nothing we could do about parity errors in some of our kit.


Should UK tear Wi-Fi a new one at 5GHz? Speak your brains, says Ofcom

Gareth 7

That already happens in fact it's pretty much inherent:-

Want to communicate with a submarine on the other side of the planet? No problem - use 16Khz and a missile range to rig up your 40 mile long antenna and you'll penetrate even the deepest ocean - trouble is with a usable bandwidth of less than 100 cycles/sec you'll be limited to about 5 words a minutes in morse code.

Want 10Gbps data transfer across the room? No problem - use a carrier freq of 50Ghz and you'll have oodles of spare bandwidth to give you that throughput and a simple gunn diode will easily give you the amount of power needed to progate 10 feet.

DWP denies major IT problems with One Dole To Rule Them All system

Gareth 7

Re: same old same old

National Lottery seems to work OK and has done since day one - oh hang on, no that's us giving money to prop up a government shortfalls isn't it? So I guess it doesn't count.

Wi-Fi hotspots, phone masts: Prepare to be assimilated by O2's Borg

Gareth 7

The problem is that wireless Ethernet is a bodge job of the highest order

Eh? Ethernet is carrier sense multiple access - it's roots lie in ALOHA net - a wireless protocol that linked up sites across the University of Hawaii in the 1970's.

Spanish city renames square in Clash frontman's honour

Gareth 7
IT Angle

IT Angle ?


Pentagon hacker McKinnon will NOT be prosecuted in the UK

Gareth 7

Re: Child's Play

It's more like some loon going up to the White House, knocking on the door and asking for a glass of milk and the guy on the door letting him in and directing him to the oval office. The guy sits around waiting for his milk for an hour or so and finally leaves but not before leaving a note on the president's blotter saying how pissed he was.

The guy on the door, in a lame attempt to keep his job, makes out that the idiot looking for the milk he stupidly let in was some kind of rogue navy seal out to kill the president.

Gareth 7

Child's Play

What the US DoD described as the most serious case of computer hacking ever perpetrated comprised of this:

Buying a commercial copy of PCAnywhere (used to remote control PC's) and entering a load of IP addresses allocated to NASA and the US DOD until he found a few boxes running PCAnywhere with no usernames and password's entered.

That's it.

NASA gate the police the serial number of the copy of PC Anywhere that he used who traced the number of his copy of PC anywhere to his local Dixons/Link shop and then traced it to his Barclay card and arrested him.

Worlds greatest hacker??? They wouldn't have been suspicious if he hadn't left notepad files on the PC's desktop saying stuff like "I've found all them files about aliens you know"

In 2002 it was pretty common to use PCAnywhere for remote support, not putting it behind a firewall or even sticking a basic username and password on should have been a sackable offence really. It would have been laughed out of court - that's why the brits never prosecuted him in the first place.

Internet shut-down easier, in more countries, than you think

Gareth 7

Re: Don't forget the radio HAMs

Sssshh, don't mention the fact that we've got 44.x.x.x all to ourselves.

or they'll all want a piece.

UK spectrum row: What we need is more national disasters

Gareth 7

Re: Why can't the emergency services move to GSM and use the commercial networks?

because radio nets work better in relaying information quickly to multiple endpoints. I'm told PTT over cellular is fairly well used in the States, but it never took off in the UK.

You know what Google needs? Another Street View data-slurp probe

Gareth 7

Re: Not this again

They were doing it on purpose to link MAC addresses (universally unique addresses of home and business wireless routers) to GPS co-ordinated. This is so they can guess where you are in the future by looking up the MAC addresses your mobile device can see and checking these against a world wide database - not a bad idea if your GPS coverage is a bit flacky.

Of course they picked up a lot of garbage as well as the MAC addresses they wanted in the spource data, and someone thinks that there's half a chance that the source data still exists (unlikely) and that someone would be arsed to search through it for anything other than the address data (verging on the paranoid delusional).

Canary Islands host long-distance quantum teleportation

Gareth 7


It's all about encryption, or rather making comms secure from evesdroppers. If someone intercepts the communication then the transmission is lost. It's the holy grail in secure comms.

WH Smiths tills insist shop sells The Queen's Knickers only

Gareth 7

Actually it was a hack

Some dick was hacking about with the code and fucked up.

Get's on my goat being an old foggy who actually remembers what these terms actually used to mean before the l33t generation got hold of them.

Solar storm arrives, nobody notices

Gareth 7

We had a Cisco ACE module reboot due to a SDRAM parity error

Cisco blamed it on space weather - a stray cosmic ray flipped one of the bits.

Catastophe was avoided, however, as we had a second ACE in standby and all the sessions flipped over while the primary one rebooted.

'Predictably random' public keys can be cracked - crypto boffins

Gareth 7

"Only one of the factorable SSL keys was signed by a trusted certificate authority"

that's your problem there.

Everything else is a non-story.

CSC confirms $1.5bn NHS IT write-off

Gareth 7

Anything that makes it hard for a el reg reader to access my medical records

the better ;-)

Gareth 7

But as well as SPINE and N3 BT is also delivering

PACS, Cerner Milleniom Acute and Rio Community and Mental Health applications to the majority of trusts in London and the South of England and I don't see them going to the wall.

Maybe it's just economies of scale - presumably BT has plenty of high capacity data centres piped in and ready to go.

Steerable bullet aims for mass army deployment

Gareth 7

Does your remote open every card door?

The light is encoded with an electronic signature.

Juror jailed for looking up rape defendant on Google

Gareth 7
Big Brother

I'm guessing

they have sligthly different legal system in Greece and looking people up on Google may figure quite importantly in it.

Amazon solves wait-at-home-for-deliveries problem

Gareth 7

My Postman just sticks my Amazon parcels in my green Wheelie bin

He puts a note through the letter box to tell me it's in there.

This did require me to actually talk to the guy and ask him to do it - something the on-line guys seem to have forgotton how to do.

Shell's London office UNDER WATER and besieged by GIANT EELS

Gareth 7

Not when I was there

Last time I worked there, the comms rooms were on the higher floors. There was a tunnel which lead between the two buildings where some of the cabling went, that was in the basement. Oh and the rifle range of course, oh and the olymic size (less 2 inches) swimming pool in the basement, that's all.

The data centre(s) now they were a different matter. Even the locals didn't know where they were or what they did. Same with most data centres I've worked in - well away from any threat of disaster and running in tandem with others just on the off chance. You don't see them on any maps.

Vulture 1 rolls out of fab bunker

Gareth 7
Thumb Up

Seems to be have been airborne today


Location: 40°20.12' N 5°31.90' W - locator IN70FI60EL - show map - static map

Last position: 2010-10-27 09:58:55 UTC (2h37m ago)

2010-10-27 11:58:55 CEST local time at El Barco de Ávila, Spain [?]

Altitude: 3471 ft

Course: 341°

Last telemetry: 2010-09-17 00:01:41 UTC (40d 12h34m ago) – show telemetry

Battery: 95 Percent, Charging/AC: 95 Charge/On/Off, GPS+Sat: 2 Sats/On/Off, A4: 0 N/A, A5: 0 N/A

A/C Charging GPS B4 B5 B6 B7 B8

Device: BigRedBee: BeeLine GPS version 10 (tracker)

Last path: G6UIM-12>APBL10 via qAS,G6UIM-9

Positions stored: 2097

Packet rate: 12 seconds between packets on average during 604 seconds.

This station is transmitting packets at a very high rate, which causes serious congestion in the APRS network. This could be considered an abuse of the network resources.


Americans demand Twitter-watching police

Gareth 7

how about

a Jobs (of Hipsters)

EU Parliament plans Google-powered paedo detector

Gareth 7

Cue jokes about

searching for pdf files.

Vulture 1 GPS test live at 2pm

Gareth 7
Black Helicopters

2pm - more like 10 to 3 and UTC at that

Looks like it's been lobbed on a roof next to the car park

2010-06-02 14:51:25 UTC: PARIS-6>APBL10,qAS,G6UIM-12:!5043.87N/00324.92W^232/000/A=000164-

Hasn't moved for 20 mins, maybe it's in the queue at the check-in desk.

Cisco promises to 'forever change the internet'

Gareth 7

What you think they are a Charity?

Why do that when you could upgrade to their new improved even bigger carrier class routers to grunt all that video at wirespeed.

Ooops cat out of bag