* Posts by trashbat

84 publicly visible posts • joined 1 Nov 2010


Mobe operators, need to check your network? There’s an app for that


Re: We already have...

Indeed - and a British startup at that. I met them at last year's MWC and they seem to have the right idea, though it was early days for them as a commercial concern.

Amazon floats 'Prime Air' drone delivery plan

Black Helicopters

You see a story about Amazon drones

And you think, "cool, Amazon drones", but I see a story about Amazon drones and I think, "the very minute they can lift a person, I'm going to get inside their mothership like in Independence Day", and that's why we can never be friends.

At last: EU slashes mobile roaming fees



I'm on O2 UK PAYG tariff, with bundled data and text but no minutes. It's now cheaper to make calls when roaming Europe than it is when at home.

A couple of years ago, they introduced a £2/day for 25MB plan in apparent response to EU rates. The previous week that same day's data would have cost £75.

Both are a win for consumers, at least as far I'm concerned. It almost, but not quite, means not worrying about the cost of usage whilst in the EU.

With that in mind, local breakout is surely an insane scheme - with massive complication, even just from a marketing PoV - to address something that isn't really a problem.

Charlie Miller to tell Vegas punters how to hack your car


Re: "Aren't in mainstream existence, yet"

I understood your post perfectly well, thank you. However I wouldn't be so sure about the timeline for pure drive-by-wire.

We're already happy with throttle-by-wire, with no override except gearbox neutral or engine off, themselves sometimes computer controlled. In circumstances that induce sufficient brake fade, failure could result in an unstoppable car.

We're happy with ABS, which if it desires will release the brakes, no matter how hard you push the pedal.

We're also quite happy with modern aviation.

NCAP responds to the state of the art as much as it dictates it, and the state of the art responds to manufacturing costs. If early implementations like Sensotronic in the Mercedes E class hadn't made a mess of confidence in it, we might be some way closer now. Let's just hope they sort the security by then.


RE: miniscule number of cars

Many if not most recent car models have EPAS, which is primarily there for fuel efficiency reasons rather than self-park.


Re: "Crash your car"

It's true that steer or brake by wire aren't in mainstream existence, yet. However, the attack isn't about taking away your input - it's about providing an extra one. Supposing an attacker could actuate an EPAS motor, I don't fancy my chances trying to fight or rather recover it. It might be physically easy to overcome in theory, but at any speed you'd better be quick about it.


Re: For that you need to look at some older papers

Stability control systems brake individual wheels, even uncommanded by the driver, and of course ABS releases them. Why those things wouldn't be a sole and closed responsibility of the system-specific control unit, I don't know, but from the sounds of the story the whole system is badly thought through.


Telematics companies don't seem to have much of a job hiding their kit away. Once hooked up, there's no other indication that a device is connected. How you get it there is an issue, but the recent BMW theft saga was a good example of how you can get to the OBD system without a lot of trouble (in that case, to program a new key)

That a standard production car can or ever should be steered, braked or accelerated by OBD commands is ridiculous.


Would you even notice if an OBD-2 Bluetooth dongle was fitted to your car?

IT mercenaries and buy-to-let landlords are my HEROES - here's why


Re: The Rental Market in the UK...

Germany is interesting in this context. As I understand it, which is poorly, German rent rates are regulated by the government, with even better tenant protections. Independently of that, many countries and cultures don't have the same aspirations to property ownership as the UK does, and therefore the rental model is seen as the norm. Not necessarily right or wrong, just how it is.

IT Angle

What's good for M&M Enterprises is good for the country

If the lack of an IT angle ever becomes too pressing, why not have these stories automatically generated? Take any arbitrary unpleasant conservative viewpoint, stir in some further right wing takes on economics, and bravely leap forth to present a logically-untroubled conclusion of some collective good. You can probably even use the whole idea to pay less tax.

Jaguar to open new car-making factory in Blighty (virtually)


"return car manufacturing to Britain"

Where do you think JLR build (plenty of) their cars now?

UK.gov's £530m bumpkin broadband rollout: 'Train crash waiting to happen'


No fibre in town here either

Our street has exchange-only lines, and unsurprisingly you can't have FTTC if there's no C. BDUK are also supposed to be funding some of that work, which again is apparently uneconomical for BT Openreach to do themselves. However it's clear as mud what they're actually going to aim for, never mind achieve.

Police 'stumped' by car thefts using electronic skeleton key


RF jamming?

The common method is to jam the key fob signal in the first place, so the car never locks. I haven't looked that hard into this case, but I couldn't see anything in the video that suggested they were disabling an active alarm whilst breaking in.

3D printed gun plans pulled after US State Department objects

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Plastic gun, paper battleship

You might be able to torrent your own My First Handgun, but the US has the fearsome power of ITAR, and I don't suppose you can shoot your way out of unilateral extradition to some Sep prison with your one-shot Duplo pistol.

Reg hack to starve on £1 a day for science

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Oh Lester

It's a true measure of your resilience and character that you are unafraid to make such personal sacrifices in raising awareness of poverty. I mean, larks tongues from a *tin*?

Hands up who wants 3D finger-controlled fridges? That's the spirit


It looks like you're trying to chill goods

What 3D gesture will I use to indicate that I want my refrigerator to inconspicuously maintain a steady temperature? Arms extended, palms out, slowly backing away?

Facebook struggling to find 'immersive' Home on Apple's iPhone


Re: Apple will have to play along

I do what I want! I don't sell any phones! I use up my cash reserves! I do what I want! </Cartman>


Re: Apple openness

No, it's more than showboating. Enough people are saying it, and I believe that they are having business level discussions. The operators are doing it in coalitions too. What comes out of the other side is another matter - NTT DoCoMo were battling Apple for years, just trying to ship iPhones with certain things preinstalled.


Apple openness

Anecdotal, but a few years ago at MWC et al, at the mention of iOS, everyone would shrug and say, 'no point discussing anything there'. Now those people are starting to say, 'well, we have contacts at Apple, and nothing yet, but we've started discussions'. Of course, try it for yourself and you get repeatedly pointed at some risible developer programme, but maybe things are slowly shifting away from pure Jobsian possessiveness.

Facebook Home though? Ha. I'm surprised that this is even allowed on Android, including the Chat Heads overlay thing from Messenger. I'm sure they've thought about it, but current API permissibility is different to being a long term acceptable characteristic of the platform.

... time machine. Iranian Dr Who claims he invented a ...

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Great news

This could take them as far forward as 1987.

Researcher hacks aircraft controls with Android smartphone

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Re: Platform of Doom

Steve Jobs PBUH once said to me, 'Trashbat my love, I'm dying now, but if I could leave just one gift to this world, it's that my overly restrictive platform limitations will one day prevent the exploitation of vulnerabilities in the Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System', and then - alas - he did die, but he was wrong wasn't he, because of horrible Android, Android, weeing on his grave.

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Platform of Doom

You'd not have any of this on Lovely iPhone, would you? On Lovely iPhone you would have a lovely picture of a plane flying along all wonderfully and everything would be great.

Pyongyang to unleash NUKULAR horsemen of the Norkocalypse?

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Re: Mutually assured dullness

Are you telling me that it's going to be SIX YEARS before anything good happens? I wasn't trained for this. It's bad enough having to wait to skip a YouTube advert.


Mutually assured dullness

This is literally the most boring nuclear standoff of all time. Can we at least club together and shoot down a plane? We could call ourselves 'Start the War Coalition'.

Microsoft's summer update will be called Windows 8.1


Re: 8.1?

Windows Crap for Workgroups, surely?

Experts agree: Your next car will be smarter than you


Poor old Mr Riches

"Generally it's the handsome guy driving on a mountainous, twisty road, the handsome guy phoning his gorgeous girlfriend, the stuff you see in the marketing videos. That's not what real life is like."

Maybe not for you, pal.

Why no one wants to Joyn GSMA's Skype-killing expedition



Joyn's not so bad. You can redeem the points in Sainsburys. Oh, hold on...

Astronaut yells FIRE ... from SPAAAACE


That second camera

Looks like a Nikon D4 or D3X.

New Year's resolution: Don't use Instagram, it'll sell YOUR photos


Re: First they came

Although later I did say, 'here they are, they're all shots I took of a T-Mobile advert anyway'


First they came

For my faux-ruined, light-leaked photos of the humdrum, and I did not speak out, for I was tweeting.

Microsoft's Steve Ballmer named 'most improved tech CEO'


Re: The Good, The Bad And The Ugly

I can think of another Steve. Too cruel?

OMG: RIM adds VoIP to its stealth social network


Re: Data Allowance?

DPI or pattern analysis combined with traffic shaping probably does the job. So does qualified limitation of the offered data allowances, not certifying or not retailing the devices, or indeed blocking BIS altogether. It just depends on the balance of revenue from BIS users in general versus the revenue lost by offering those services (e.g. voice) themselves. That BB VoIP apparently only works over Wi-Fi may (partly) represent such a stance having been taken.

In that case, the answer to the question of 'what does a mobile network actually offer?' is presumably 'a mobile network'.


The network operator

To point out the obvious: the network operator holds the keys to the kingdom, especially right now. The operator can knock BBTM VoIP on the head any time it likes, whereas BBTM can't circumvent the operator because they don't have any infrastructure at the edge. At least, that's how it is for now. It doesn't always work this way - sometimes the product (e.g. first generation iPhone) declares what the customer *will* have, but RIM aren't really in a position to dictate anything these days.

Chinese student fails job interview because of iPhone


Re: Really?

To repeat the tired old joke...

Q: How do you know if someone has an iPhone?

A: They tell you.

Nintendo Wii U Review


Re: Er

I still don't know what asymmetric gameplay is. I could guess, but I could guess whether it's any good or not and then guess a percentage to give it at the end.

APPLE reveals complete updated blueprints of SPACESHIP JOBS


Re: Why is it more secure

More secure than the Pentagon. Planes just bounce right off.

Apple pays up for stealing design from Swiss Railways


Infringement schmingefringement

The Apple one shows 07:22, whilst the Swiss one 10:08, so not only are they distinctly different, Cupertino's innovation clearly came first.

Fans rap Apple's 'crap' Map app


Re: Not all bad

You can choose alternative routes with Google Maps Navigation. It's just not particularly obvious, and I can't remember how you do it now.


Not all bad

I mean, with new Apple Maps, you have 28% more charge in your battery.

EU ponders £30bn BAE-EADS mega aerospace-military borg


Re: Which bit of BAE is British?

I don't think we should be ashamed of joint projects. Whatever you think of the often awful politics and economics, Jaguar, Tornado and Typhoon are - in engineering terms - endeavours we can be proud of, in that they are very good aircraft put together by talented engineers.

In the last few years both this and other areas like civil aviation have been cheaply sacrificed for ...I don't even really know what, some attempted political gain. JSF and the other recent projects of note carry very little forward for Britain's future; just some temporary jobs and cost savings.

It wasn't inevitable: the other side of the coin would have been greater involvement in Airbus/EADS, which is apparently not mutually exclusive to US sales, and would appear to have far greater long term returns.


Which bit of BAE is British?

Some years ago, not long after shedding its BAe moniker, BAES had to make a decision between pursuing American interests in partnership with Lockheed et al, or collaborating more closely with the Europeans, in particular EADS.

It chose the former. Since then it has made significant efforts to divest itself of at least two things: aerospace, and British manufacturing. Both have been relatively successful.

Whilst there are many things wrong with the supermerger, a negative impact on Britain is not necessarily one of them. BAES already does that itself.

Got a BMW? Thicko thieves can EASILY NICK IT with $30 box


Re: "ODB port"

It is actually you who is mistaken. The ODB port is used in this exploit to acquire all of one's money.

iPhone 5: skinny li'l fella with better display, camera, software


Comment 5S

It's got slightly clearer text and I posted it 12% faster.


Comment 5

It's got up to three more words than last year's Comment 4S.

Self-driving Volvos cover 200km of busy Spanish motorway


Re: Everyone is an expert...

By the way, the AA reckoned my 2005 car has a stopping distance of 26m at 50 mph, so hello twenty metres of Volvo parts. I'll be damned if I could even manage that though.


Re: Everyone is an expert...

IF this system manages to be safe at a mere six metre separation. What is the actual stopping distance from 50mph? Let's say that a load falls off another truck (like an MoD tank did a few years ago) and the lead lorry hits it, stopping almost dead. I'd bet that all cars in that convoy hit something. I don't imagine that six metres is the intended long term implementation, but who knows.

Inter-vehicle negotiation would be the best thing to solve what you discuss, i.e. automatic, destination-based lane changes that are calculated to keep traffic flowing without having to second guess what other people are going to do or let you do. Maybe some kind of retro-fittable protocol based on light signals would help...

Spy under your car bonnet 'worth billions by 2016'


Re: @Some Beggar

For obvious reasons, the party line is never, ever going to be, 'it's OK to break the law sometimes'. However, dogmatic fundamentalists amongst them aside, it preaches a methodology concerned with applying appropriate behaviour for the context. Sometimes, and hopefully only in an emergency rather than routinely, that appropriate behaviour may not be legal. This will not be shouted from any rooftops but if you privately discuss it with observers/assessors you may find some sensible concessions.

As any good driver knows, there's not much value in being legally and morally correct when you're in the hospital or the ground.


Re: Joining a little late on this one...

"Can you put that 200MPH SLK Black on the motorway and get anywhere faster than a Ford Fiesta?"

Yes: the speed limit.

Most anticipated videogames of 2012 revealed


No Duke Nukem 5Ever? Anyone?