* Posts by wyatt

472 posts • joined 26 Oct 2010


Manchester, UK seeks IT-slinger: £235m for number-plate-and-fines system to clean up vehicle emissions


Interesting point about decommissioning. Once all the vehicles are compliant (or most..) entering the zone there's no income so the zone will start costing to run. Or they'll just change the standard and charge more people.

Analogue radio given 10-year stay of execution as the UK U-turns on DAB digital future


Re: The future is behind you ....

Are TMC updates being broadcast via DAB or only FM?


Cool IT support drones never look at explosions: Time to resolution for misbehaving mouse? Three seconds


I use to have to visit a customer who had a number of servers in an old kitchen with a small extractor and a desk fan for cooling. They kept the door closed as it was so noisy with all the server fans running on full.

Frequently our server would overheat, it'd also log all the internal temperatures. We showed the customer how hot it was running, their response was to find the data sheet for the mother board and show that it was within it's operating parameters. Fortunately my manager agreed with me that we should exclude heat related faults from our maintenance agreement.

Windows 10 Insider wondering where Notepad has gone? Fear not, Microsoft found it down the back of Dev Channel


Re: Better alternative, skip MS

Yep, it wasn’t fun but Vi was always there! Especially if you’ve loads of servers,not having to wait for an editor was essential.

Working from home on Virgin Media's broadband? Too bad. Outage hits English capital


We've lost our customer service team who are working from home in the London area, fortunately we can re-route calls to different users. However, if this had been wider then we'd have lost our office connectivity and PBX access which would make it more interesting. We have some redundancy but if it'd be enough I'm not sure.

Faxing hell: The cops say they would very much like us to stop calling them all the time


Re: I called the cops

Are you sure? The UK country code is 44..

BT and Serco among bidders competing to run Britain's unfortunately named Skynet military satellite system


Interesting you mention the cleaner, he was also at uni doing a fashion degree and then quit his job. He re-appeared a few months later as a network designer, in the office he use to clean..


Chuckle, I worked at Oakhanger when Paradigm Serco started to manage Skynet 4/5. The same people were in charge that were there when the RAF ran it. They just left and went to work for Serco. I imagine the same still happens, they get Tupe'd between companies.

Many who pick up government contracts couldn't tie their own shoelaces but there must be some that do a reasonable job, we just never hear about them.

Zero-click, zero-day flaws in iOS Mail 'exploited to hijack' VIP smartphones. Apple rushes out beta patch

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Much as I'm not a fan of Apple, the list of devices they still support is very encouraging.

Something a bit phishy in your inbox? You can now email suspected frauds straight to Blighty's web takedown cops


How long until the NCSC are receiving spam!?

Capita hops on UK's years-late, billions-over-budget Emergency Services Network to keep legacy system alive


They're now more doomed at the HO with Capita on board than they were before, you'd think someone would read El Reg there?

Interesting that you say UKESN is run over 4G, it's a VoLTE system so 'should' be able to go over which ever flavour 'G' is available at the time. With 5 becoming more prevalent, I hope the handsets are compatible but I doubt it at this stage. They're also locked to EE as this is the SIM card that they're using, EE having bid for the specific lot to provide the network. Nothing to stop them sticking in a different SIM and jumping on a different network, however correct routing of the data into the ESN network would be needed.

The self-disconnecting switch: Ghost in the machine or just a desire to save some cash?


Slightly different to saving cash but I've failed to secure equipment only to have it fall off its mount. We had an enclosure in the back of the vehicle containing a Nortel ATM passport, switches and various other bits of expensive kit. I'd not secured it correctly having been working inside it and drove off, only to hear a loud 'thud' as it moved as I went round a corner.

Fortunately all the armoured fibres that were connected stopped it from falling too far and I managed to put it back with only a small dent in the side. It still worked..

Android owners – you'll want to get these latest security patches, especially for this nasty Bluetooth hijack flaw


Re: "you'll want to get these latest security patches"

The last update I had available to me was December and who knows what that actually contained. Sony Xperia.

BOFH: When was the last time someone said these exact words to you: You are the sunshine of my life?


Ah yes, ISO90001 certification gets you to manage customer feedback to improve the service you're delivering. It's rare we get many responses to our surveys, when we do I'm not sure we can trust the results as everyones comments on the thread have proved!

Beware the Friday afternoon 'Could you just..?' from the muppet who wants to come between you and your beer


Re: I must be lucky then or have better friends.....

That's my experience with Apple as well, always problems with laptops but never with ipads. Fortunately they're enough for both my parents.

Step away from that Windows 7 machine, order UK cyber-cops: It's not safe for managing your cash digitally


Re: Awkward

I work with the police, there's loads of XP still.

Whirlybird-driving infosec boss fined after ranty Blackpool Airport air traffic control antics

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What a knob.

This page is currency unavailable... Travelex scrubs UK homepage, kills services, knackers other sites amid 'software virus' infection


Re: Compliance....

The company I work for use to maintain asystem that worked within the PC-DSS 'area', from what I saw that side of things worked quite well. Old, but contained. Requirements from moving around in there were pretty stringent, I suspect this is separate from this issue (at the moment).

We've found it... the last shred of human decency in an IT director – all for a poxy Unix engineer


Re: Beer...

We've a few PMs who will come to site to allow us to work whilst managing the customer, especially if stuff is going wrong. Not many though, most manage from afar.

'Big three' 5G kit maker Nokia downgrades profits as returns from next-gen networks fail to show up


"Damm, Huawei hasn't been banned by everyone so we won't sell so much kit."

Behold the perils of trying to turn the family and friends support line into a sideline


My wife asked me to call a 70 yo with their Surface laptop. They'd passworded the bios and needed to reinstall but couldn't due to said password.

It'd already been sent away to a IT company to try to resolve and they'd been told it wasn't possible but I of course, was to try. I didn't, I wasn't going to try to unglue it to get the battery out.

The time a Commodore CDTV disc proved its worth as something other than a coaster


I failed to ask a pertinent question once. As a helldesk op on a weekend a call came in for a common issue. Process was to power off the PC, power off the UPS and then power it all back on again. Talking through the user to power off the PC I then said to open the locked box so they could access the UPS, and base unit, they of course didn't have a key. Fortunately for me there were units dotted all around the county and they were able to send someone to get a key from another site.

Cortana makes your PC's heart beat faster: Windows 10 update leaves some processors hot under the cooler


I tried installing 1903 on my work laptop yesterday, it failed. Think I'll avoid it for a bit longer and ignore the almost out of support messages.

Yes, TfL asked people to write down their Oyster passwords – but don't worry, they didn't inhale


Definitely! I don't know most my passwords and certainly couldn't access them on demand like this. Plus you'd be wondering what sort of scam the TFL people were running to be asking for this info straight away..

WeWork filed its IPO homework. So we had a look at its small print and... yowser. What has El Reg got itself into?


Wow, not sure what else to say.

All roads in US cable biz GTT's Brit network seem to lead to Menwith Hill


That might be this:


OK, it's fair to say UK's botched Emergency Services Network is an emergency now, right?


Re: Wrong in so many ways....

Yes. The project is based on achieving MCVOICE (mission critical voice) via VoLTE. The 3/4/5/etc G part of it isn't that important, just that there is a network available that can support it. Because the standards for MCVOICE hadn't been agreed on, there was no standard to work to and therefore the functionallity hasn't/hadn't been implemented.

The UK is now in the position that it has committed to a system which does not yet fully exist outside of a lab (compared with Airwave). Other countries have invested in their Tetra systems for MCVOICE leaving data running over the mobile phone networks as they are, something we probably wish we had done. Vodaphone have changed the Airwave backhaul from TDM to cater for the extension but this won't remain up for ever/come without a cost.

It is all quite interesting, but then you consider that lives depend on ESN working correctly and it's a bit scary how bad a job is being done.


The Home Office promise that users can continue using Airwave until UKESN is as good as it is but have only negotiated the extension of Airwave until 2022. I hope that they've started discussing this further and arranged a cost as so far this hasn't gone well for them and negotiating when under pressure tends to on favour the supplier.

As also mentioned in the comments, so many locations don't have a 4G signal still, I wonder if they have an Airwave signal as there are still dead spots in it's coverage.

Internet imbeciles, aka British ISP lobbyists, backtrack on dubbing Mozilla a villain for DNS-over-HTTPS support


Interesting piece from Cisco about DoH:

https :// support.umbrella.com/hc/en-us/articles/360001371526-Firefox-and-DNS-over-HTTPS-default

UK's Openreach admits 50k premises on 'gigabit-capable' FTTP network can't get gigabit speeds


I've recently had Fibre run to my house by Openreach via Zen. I didn't got for the 330Mb package due to cost, I wonder what the maximum speed is that I could get out of my circuit? Uptake looks to be low looking at the poles near me, not many connections but then there is VM in the area to chose from.

UK police want to Airwave hello to some more mobile devices – survey


Re: "shifts where officers could choose when, and when not, to switch on the cameras"

Here's the Met Polices BWV page:


Other forces may have different policies.


Re: "shifts where officers could choose when, and when not, to switch on the cameras"

The cameras only have a finite amount of storage, cameras are only activated (should be..) as per the force policy. Once they're full then they need to be docked and the footage downloaded, if it is to be kept.

Hello Moto! UK Home Office shoves comms giant another £82m to stay on Emergency Services Network gig


Re: I think the phrase is...

I spoke to someone within EE at BAPCO and they were fairly confident they were in a good position to go ahead. All this talk of the contract period being increased, shouldn't they be going out for tender for the next 5/10 years after this contract has finished by now? Now that will be interesting..

Could you just pop into the network room and check- hello? The Away Team. They're... gone


Re: Watch this!

Like wise, I learnt this in primary school when we were told not to hang off the fence with rings on as our fingers may get de-gloved. Anything that may get caught will and it's it or you that's getting damaged.

Lightning speed – how fast is that again? Virgin plugs in another 102k to superfast broadband


One of the reasons I've just had 'full fibre' installed by BT/Zen. Once it's in, it's an (fairly) unlimited pipe.

Sky customers moan: Our broadband hubs are bricking it

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Re: It's been years since . . . .

I had 3 home hubs and a 220v modem when I left BT, they did ask for 1 back, not sure what they'd have thought when they got all the bits!

Now here's a Galaxy far, far away: Samsung stalls Fold rollout after fold-able screens break in hands of reviewers


For some reason I keep reading it as 'Galaxy Ford' not fold.

Cisco whispers the three little words to really get an ASR 9000 net admin's blood pumping: Remote unauthenticated access


I wonder if any other vendors are suddenly going to have to offer a patch for this as well!?

BOFH: Tick tick BOOM. It's B-day! No we're not eating Brussels flouts...


How did they not managed to end up in the pub?

You have the right to remain on-prem, but you should really head for the cloud, UK plod told


Interesting times with the police, there's a lot of companies offering hosted software, advertising it as a saving the force as it can be scaled up and down as required. My major issue with this is that whilst the software/licensing may be scalable, the people who have to operate it aren't and so you're generally working to fixed figures taking away any advantage. Couple this with adding an internet link which could be lost (yep, I know about redundancy) you add a layer of risk.

1 large police force hosted their ICCs in a a manufacturers data centre. They suffered an outage and decided to bring it back on prem, literally having the servers moved to their own data centre in the back of peoples cars to get functionality back.

Hosted systems/data have their benefits and pitfalls, you need to weigh up each and ensure have business continuity to carry out your job.

Europe-style 5G standards testing? Consistent definitions? Who the fsck wants that, asks US mobe industry


Re: Who cares?

Great point and one I make out to many who want the latest and greatest. You can have the best technology in the world but if you've a pinch point in the supply pipeline/circuit you'll only ever work at the slowest speed.

3G can be quicker than 4G which can be quicker than Broadband Internet sometimes. IoT is a buzzword, it'll be a good 5/10 years before things are more connected, if ever. Until there's a benefit to the user of it being connected it'll only be early adopters/force on tech that we see in use.

Crash, bang, wallop: What a power-down. But what hit the kill switch?


When Cormorant came to be tested by the Army there was 2 emergency stop buttons. 1 by the PDUs where the operator would sit and 1 by the door. The one by the door was perfectly located so that when you reached the top of the steps and steadied yourself to go through the door you could quite easily hit the button. Most didn't, but some did. A modification was soon built from a Pringles tube and black nasty.

Fun fact: GPS uses 10 bits to store the week. That means it runs out... oh heck – April 6, 2019


I wonder how many car (built in) satnavs this will affect?

German cybersecurity chief: Anyone have any evidence of Huawei naughtiness?


Re: Maybe banned because there are no back-doors

I made this comment as well, people thought I was bonkers but now they're starting to question the motives behind what's happening.

Time for a cracker joke: What's got one ball and buttons in the wrong place?


Only yesterday it was pointed out to me and a colleague that we were racking a server upside down.

Id personally have allowed us to rack it and get a pic.

It was one of those days where nothing went right and eventually I decided it was DOA and replacement parts have been ordered.

Dine crime: Chippy sells deep fried Xmas dinner


Re: battered?

You're doing it all wrong, the lid should be as tight as you can get it.. keeps the moisture in..


Re: festive fried food

I may have to take some bacon down and see what they say!

Why millions of Brits' mobile phones were knackered on Thursday: An expired Ericsson software certificate


Humm, the reg reader that commented about ESN needs to clarify things. ESN is going to be run on EE/BT so wouldn't have been effected by an O2 outage. ESN also has a separate system to EE's normal users so I'd 'expect' it to be isolated from an issue like this.

Not to say that this won't effect EE some day, I'm sure there have been outages of Airwave at times.

Also to add that 999 calls via a mobile device can be made via other providers networks. Has it been confirmed that 999 was unavailable to handsets with O2 Sims? I've made calls with an EE sim and no signal into the 999 network, I've no idea which provider routed it though.

BOFH: State of a job, eh? Roll the Endless Requests for Further Information protocol

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Re: WooHoo BOFH is back

AHahaha, I'd never do any of those things, would I?!

Marriott's Starwood hotels mega-hack: Half a BILLION guests' deets exposed over 4 years


Re: Card numbers

I've done the opposite before, flag that the card is going out of the UK. It'd be useful to put blocks in place as well.



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