* Posts by UberMunchkin

33 publicly visible posts • joined 22 Oct 2012

Delayed, over-budget smart meters will be helpful – when Blighty enters 'Star Trek phase'


We have consistently turned down the offer of smart meter installation at our place, not because of any opposition to the concept of a smart meter, but because I don't trust the security on it. Until they can provide a product that has it's security taken much more seriously I'm just not prepared to let them hook up my electricity supply to the internet.

Meet ELIoT – the EU project that wants to commercialize Internet-over-lightbulb


I expect the biggest roadblock for adoption is that a lot of us techies will see the 'Internet of Things' part of the statement and immediately file them under "Garbage ideas for garbage technology". The IoT is a mess of unsecured and poorly thought out rubbish that anyone with half a brain will avoid for a long time.

Cyber-IOU notes. Voucher hell on wheels. However you want to define Facebook's Libra, the most ridiculous part is its privacy promise


I don't trust Facebook to have my Phone Number, there is no way in hell I'm going to do any kind of banking through them.

Hey, those warrantless smartphone searches at the US border? Unconstitutional, yeah? Civil-rights warriors ask court to settle this


This has gotten to the point where the only viable solution seems to be wait until your plane has landed and then factory reset your mobile phone. After the reset don't log into it with any accounts. Let these assholes do whatever they want with it, then when you get it back, and I cannot stress this enough, wipe it again. Only after that should you consider logging back in and then setting up your accounts again.

Eventually we're going to end up with all our device configurations being something we can store in a safe virtual locker somewhere and then download to a device as a template or virtual machine at a later date.

What the idiots in charge of this farce don't seem to understand is that technology will always out pace them and people who are extremely serious about their privacy will always be able to outthink them.

On a related note. Do not use biometrics for security, it's not a password, it's a username and you can be forced to unlock a device without your consent as the agents in question can force your fingers onto the scanner and your face into the camera view, however with a password you either have to disclose it or they have to brute force it.

FYI: Yeah, the cops can force your finger onto a suspect's iPhone to see if it unlocks, says judge


Anybody who is up to anything shady and who relies on fingerprint security on the cellular phone deserves to be caught. Remember, fingerprint ID isn't a password, it's a username.

Brit spy chief: We need trust or we won't have a 'licence to operate in cyberspace'


Of course we don't trust them, they lie for a living. That is what spies do.

All of that is of course seperate to the fact that any sane person is going to completely reject backdooring of encryption by governments as any exploit at all is a total exploit.

Amazon throws toys out of pram, ditches plans for New York HQ2 after big trouble in Big Apple


Screw Amazon. Their business practices, especially around this HQ2 debacle would be illegal in most other countries.

It's not like they need a tax break to cover the cost of building a HQ anyway, didn't they just pay 0% Tax in the USA for the past year.

Using WhatsApp for your business comms? It's either that or reinstall Lotus Notes


Separation of Devices

I have a really simple reaction to this, if a company wants me to be available on some kind of chat program then they can provide me with a device to run it on, I don't run business apps on my personal device because it is my personal device, which I have paid for. I don't have a WhatsApp account and don't use Facebook Messenger, also I don't let work people connect with me on social networks.

If you want me to be on work chat then you get me a work device, one that I can turn off when I'm not at work. There is no way I'm giving my employer any access to my personal devices.

While US fires criminal charges at Huawei, UK tells legislators not to worry, everything's fine


Anyone who thinks that the Chinese government couldn't simply demand that Huawei give them total access to their entire system and that Huawei wouldn't immediately cave and give them everything they asked for is an idiot. China is not a place where you find checks and balances, it a place where the state has total control and if you disagree then you, at best, will likely end up in jail. Companies there don't appeal against invasions of privacy because the government doesn't recognise a right to privacy.

Of course there are government mandated backdoors into all their systems, either at the software or hardware level and perhaps both.

Error pop-up? Don't worry, let's just get this migration done... BTW it's my day off tomorrow


Re: took the day off

Of course the real problem here is that there is only one person in the business able to support/administer the software.

We have a similar issue where I work, I am the only Dynamics Admin for our company and also the only Dynamics developer. So when I take time off there is no support for the product, I don't take work related calls on my days off so if something goes wrong it has to wait until after I get back to work.

It's nowhere near ideal but also not my fault. The board have, time and again, refused to hire a junior Dynamics person that I can train up.

Also with projects like this where the date get often gets shifted you can't expect people to constantly cancel and re-book things that they have planned and possibly already paid for just because the delivery date has slipped again.

American bloke hauls US govt into court after border cops 'cuffed him, demanded he unlock his phone at airport'


Just another reason why I will never travel to America.

Privacy, security fears about ID cards? UK.gov's digital bod has one simple solution: 'Get over it'


The U.K. Government (regardless of which party is running it) has proven time and time again that they cannot run an I.T. project on any kind of scale without messing it up and leaking the data to literally everyone.

That isn't the only reason why national ID has to be opposed every time but it certainly is high up on the list. If you can't trust the identity provider then the whole thing is worthless anyway.

AMD's shares get in a plane, take off and soar to 12,000 ft – then throw open the door, and fall into the cool rushing air


I love AMDs new Chips, they are kicking butt all over the place now they have a great new CPU. However they seem to have forgotten to release an upgraded GPU in this cycle, the Vega64 can just about compete with the 1080 Cards but is completely blown out of the water by the new 20XX Series from NVIDIA.

If they could actually release a high end GPU that competes then I expect they'd start making ground in that area as well, after all freesync is a great technology and uses an open standard so you're stuck with the £200 Nvidia tax on a monitor that works with it.

Leaked memo: No internet until you clean your bathroom, Ecuador told Julian Assange


He is free to leave any time he wants, frankly I think the embassy staff have gotten more than a little fed up with him and his BS.

New Zealand border cops warn travelers that without handing over electronic passwords 'You shall not pass!'


If I ever intended to travel to a place that had a draconian policy like this I think I would just factory wipe my phone before getting off the plane, go through customs, factory wipe it again on the other side and then restore it from a secure cloud backup over wifi after I'm in country.

If you're not signed into the phone and its blank of all apps and data what is there that they can do?

Barclays and RBS on naughty step: Banks told to explain service meltdown to UK politicos


MPs are not Knowledgeable enough to ask these questions

So there are two problems here and both have the same route cause.

1. Banks suck at I.T. and try do anything they can to avoid modernising.

2. MP are not technical enough to ask the right questions or understand the answers.

The reason for this is that both groups are lead by old men who have not bothered to keep their skills up to do with the modern world.

Microsoft: You don't want to use Edge? Are you sure? Really sure?


I have not used a Microsoft Browser since the installation of IE6 destroyed my computer and required a complete reformat and re-install of the operating system. Nothing they say is going to convince me that I should be using their browser.

This is just another in a long line of dubious MS tactics to try and leverage their monopoly to trick people into using software that no one wants to use.

Brit armed forces still don't have enough techies, thunder MPs


It's almost like smart, technically capable people are not interested in being shouted at, demeaned and possibly killed at the whim of idiot politicians while being paid nowhere near enough money.

It's here! Qualcomm's new watch chip is finally here! Oh, uh, never mind


I do not know a single other technical person who has a smart watch, I don't have one and have no plans to buy one, none of my technical friends do either. In fact the only people I know who have a smart watch are my brother (a chef) and a couple of people who work in sales.

I stopped wearing a watch around about 1998 when I got my first mobile phone. Since then the number of things that have a clock on them has only gone up. Everything else I can do better on my phone.

Qualcomm's tardy chip upgrade leaves the Great Wearables Reveal to jokers and clowns


I stopped wearing watches shortly after I started working in I.T., having something on my wrist that regularly gets snagged on a keyboard and/or hits buttons when I don't want it to is a massive hinderance.

I still don't see what the point of the 'Smart' watch is, as far as I can tell they don't do anything that a smartphone can't already do but they do it less well and with a much more limited battery life.

Fast food, slow user – techie tears hair out over crashed drive-thru till


Trying to talk a user through a procedure over the phone, I asked them to double click on 'My Computer'...Silence....(I should mention at this point that the lady I was talking to was extremely Scottish so you can imagine the accent).

Her: "I Canne do that"

Me: "Why not, is the icon not there?"

Her: "Nae, cause I'm in f**king Scotland and youse in the South of England".

Had to put that one on hold for a while as I got my shit back to together. :)

Think tank calls for post-Brexit national ID cards: The kids have phones so what's the difference?


Our government simply cannot be trusted to safeguard identity information, they constantly lose data, they have no idea how to run a proper I.T. Project and they pride themselves on not listening to experts. There is no way they will not screw up a project like this.

The last time this came up the party that agreed to scrap ID cards won the election pretty much on that single issue, I don't see how it wouldn't simply go that way again.

Skype Classic headed for the chopping block on September 1


Yeah, I won't be using Skype v8, it's an utterly horrible user experience. I think I'll move everything onto Discord.

National ID cards might not mean much when up against incompetence of the UK Home Office


Re: ID isn't the problem


"That seems an odd attitude. Either the government already has that data on you, by being born in the UK. More so if you're on the electoral roll, have a passport, drivers licence, own property etc. Oh, and if you have a bank account or mail delivered to your house or are the chief tenant."

It's not that odd an idea. I don't trust the government to behave responsibly with my data therefore I'm not prepared to give it to them. I don't have a passport or driver's license, I don't own any property (rental costs are so high I abandoned the idea that I could afford to buy myself a place to live back in my early 30s), I rent a room privately from a friend and I give my bank the absolute minimum amount of information about myself (Name, Address, Phone Number).


A mandatory ID Card system will not (and should not) be accepted by the population. Beyond the privacy implications and the simple, there is no way I'm prepared to give the government that much data about myself and even ignoring the incredible cost (if it's going to be legally required then you can't charge for it, if you try it will just be a massive string of lawsuits) there is the simple fact that our government is completely and totally incompetent when it comes to anything that involves computers.

They have no concept of information security, they always, always, leak data and they always award these contracts to the cheapest, least reliable outsourcing company they can find. See the Tax Office and NHS IT infrastructures and systems for a great example of how poor they are at this.

BT bets farm on consumers: Announces one network to rule 'em all


The issue here is that BT suck pretty hard. Most people only begrudgingly pay them a line rental because we have no option, their service sucks and their customer services are famously terrible. Frankly the only reason we even have a phone line based ADSL service is because the only alternative is Virgin Media Cable and they are even worse than BT.

There is no way I would take a WiFi/4G switching service from them as they will screw it up, badly, and then blame the customer for it.

Typical cynical Brits: Broadband speeds up, satisfaction goes down


The most important thing for me when considering an ISP is that they are not Virgin Media, after that it is speed and then it is cost. All of them have awful customer service and that isn't going to change any time soon (same as mobile providers) so Speed & Cost are the factors too look at.

BYOD might be a hipster honeypot but it's rarely worth the extra hassle


Never saw the Attraction

I never saw the attraction of BYOD. If I give you access to my personal mobile device then you are going to have an expectation that you can contact me whenever you want. That's not going to happen, you want me to have a work mobile then you can give me one and I will turn it off when I'm not at work.

Same goes for a laptop, if you want to buy one and give it to me to use then cool, if you want me to buy one and then let you control what I do with it. Not a chance.

This Christmas, demand the right to a silent night


Here's the thing. To a certain degree we can control when and where we can be contacted. I have a work mobile, provided to me by my employer, that mobile is turned on when I'm at work and turned off at 18:00.

I have a personal mobile but that phone number is not available to my employer as I am not prepared to take work related calls when I am not at work.

I've been asked several times why I don't take calls from work in the evening or at the weekends and in each case my response has simply been that I'm busy and not available for work. Mostly this has been fine, some managers at a higher level who think they are entitled to constant assistance whenever they want have been extremely difficult about this but for the most part the response has just been 'fine'.

EE and Voda subscribers to get 2G and 3G INSIDE the Channel Tunnel


It would be awesome if Vodafone would pull their finger out RE: 4G. The 4G auction winners were announced in Feb 2013, it is now Jan 2014 and Vodafone have turned on 4G in 3 cities, which is pathetic. What is worse is that they refuse to provide a schedule of when they are going to roll out the new services.

They called me earlier this week and offered to upgrade my contract to a 4G contract for only an extra £10/month. When I asked them why I would upgrade to a 4G contract before the 4G signal was available I was told "But it'll be coming in the next 6-12 months".

E-reader demand slumps, slapped down by slates


My eReader Will Always Have a Place

It trumps any tablet out there on battery life and screen clarity, it's much more convenient to use on the train (especially if you're reading the latest 900 page epic from your favourite author) and it allows me to carry a huge library of fiction and reference works everywhere I go.

Why is 4G so expensive? Answer: The Post-Voice Era is coming


I think that 4G is a great idea, high speed universal wireless data is brilliant. However at the price points they are talking about I am just not interested in it at all, if they want to get me onto a 4G connection then the handset needs to be free and the cost per month needs to be around the same as I'm paying now with the same data limits. Otherwise I have no incentive to move away from 3G.

WiFi is so easy to find/access/use and is provided for free by so many places that these 4G prices are a bit of a joke really.

I just LOVE Server 2012, but count me out on Windows 8 for now


Having Thought About It

So yes, having given it significant thought and a lot of testing on VMs in the run up to release I've decided, from a user point of view, that Win8 doesn't offer any significant gains as a desktop/laptop user and in fact actively attempts to hamper and restrict my experience.

The only things I'd be interested in it for are Windows 8 Phones and the Surface tablet. But MS basically guaranteed that I won't be getting the surface with their price point and Win8 mobile just isn't enough of a improvement over Android to really interest me.

So I will be skipping Win 8 entirely and sticking with my Windows 7 system.