* Posts by Immenseness

99 publicly visible posts • joined 30 Oct 2013


Location tracking report: X-Mode SDK use much more widespread than first thought



"What is the technical justification for that ?"

My guess - there is no technical reason, but I could guess at the reason; Google would like you to always have fine location services, wifi and bluetooth always turned on and available so the OS can continuously monitor and report the location of the phone. Some people were turning off GPS/Wifi and Bluetooth when not needed, and so the OS didn't have access to that data, In the guise of security, things were changed so it was all but impossible to use your favourite apps without turning on and crucially, leaving on location services in the hope that people would just leave it all turned on all the time because it is easier. Just my guess.

Google wants to listen in to whatever you get up to in hotel rooms


Re: Weasel wording alarm

Voiceprints are pretty unique, so after using your phone and other home devices to work out which voiceprint ties with your identity, identifying who is in a hotel becomes fairly simple, even if you don't ultimately store the cloud data (but who believes that won't happen?). It also becomes easy to "hear" who else is there with you.

Of course you could mitigate this and maybe enhance your reputation somewhat by carefully selecting which film to watch loudly I guess!

Go on, hit Reply All. We dare you. We double dare you. Because Office 365 will defeat your server-slamming ways


Re: User education

OTOH, a pet hate of mine is the whole plethora of "modern" error messages along the lines of "Oops - Something went wrong", which removes the last bit of useful meaning from the end result of the conversation described!

Fancy some post-weekend reading? How's this for a potboiler: The source code for UK, Australia's coronavirus contact-tracing apps

Big Brother

Location permission

And of course in the later versions of Android, *allowing* location permission also *requires* you to turn on and keep turned on, GPS.

Bose shouts down claims that it borked noise cancellation firmware to sell more headphones


It was originally as described further up - you had to allow location permission to look for wifi APs, which seems reasonable to me.

However, it has been "improved" further in later Android versions by now also requiring that you have to turn on the GPS location services and keep them on in order to do so as well as allowing that permission. Land grab by Google in order to stop users turning off gps so they can't be located as precisely imho, and totally unreasonable, also imho. One explanation here https://www.davx5.com/faq/wifi-ssid-restriction-location-permission

I/O, I/O, new Android soon on show: What's coming up at Google's dev conference


Re: Privacy Optional

Yes we are talking about different things - I'm not talking about what you can see on the phone but the behaviour of apps.

Some apps DavX for example, used to look at the SSID and if it is not the home network, don't bother trying to connect to local servers. Now you can't use this feature unless you not only give the app the permission to use location (reasonable) but actually enable GPS for everything all the time as well (not reasonable).

For a better explanation see here https://www.davx5.com/faq/wifi-ssid-restriction-location-permission


Re: Privacy Optional

If you want to check which Wifi points are available, they introduced a new permission you have to allow first, because "nefarious apps" can use that info to get your location. So far so sensible.

Pie "improved" on that sensible measure by also requiring you to physically turn on GPS as well as allow the permission before you can look at the wifi, which imho is all about data gathering and not enhancing user security/privacy in any way, as it is claimed. In fact it is quite the reverse.

Big Brother

Privacy Optional

I suppose it is too much to hope that we will be able to scan wifi access points to see if we are on the home network without also being forced to enable GPS first so that big G can see exactly where where we (and whatever access points are within range) are?

Chrome devs tell world that DNS over HTTPS won't open the floodgates of hell


Re: Missing the point

MITM won't work when we get to the end game.

I already have an Internet of shite device that tries to phone home, no matter what I do. I even tried to MITM it, but it is hard coded to look for a specific certificate on the other end and if it can't connect to that server (port 443), or connects to a MITM certificate, it shuts up shop and won't play anymore.

Now imagine connections to ad servers behaving the same way when built into set top boxes etc, not just browsers. Pi hole won't help and setting up your own dummy service won't work. This is the end game for Google, I am convinced of it. Apart from this, I don't see what problem DOH is meant to fix.

Tesco parking app hauled offline after exposing 10s of millions of Automatic Number Plate Recognition images



Is it only me that is wondering why they need to keep 10 million images in the first place? Surely after you subtract time out and time in, if less than the permitted time you delete the images.

Or are they are they storing it long term for another purpose? If so, when did drivers consent to that? Just because they parked there and it was on a small notice in yellow text on a white background would seem to me to fly in the face of GDPR.

Facebook: Remember how we promised we weren’t tracking your location? Psych! Can't believe you fell for that


Re: It strikes me that the *only* application that requires my location

"The device has a bluetooth connection for data. So the app needs access to the bluetooth API. The bluetooth API also provides access to beacons etc. which might provide the app with location clues. So in order to be able to use the bluetooth API, the app requires permission to access location .."

Yes, I've seen this one too. Except the latest incarnation of Android on my phone takes it a step further, and in addition to having to give permission to access location, it then won't allow that access unless you also actually turn on the gps, which the app in question has not even requested, but that now all the other apps and the OS can use. No thanks.

Mozilla Firefox to begin slow rollout of DNS-over-HTTPS by default at the end of the month


Re: Dubious

"Sorry, when you're inside my network I decide what is allowed and what is not."

This. I still think this is a long term attempt being engineered by advertisers under the thin disguise of security to stop pi-hole like setups from preventing a lot of the phoning home and tracking.

I too have seen more and more hard coded in Internet of shite devices that think they have the right to connect to wherever they want, download and run whatever they want, and to send whatever data they want to about my network to whoever they like, whenever they like, and using my bandwidth to do so.

It wouldn't even be so bad if their code was not so badly written. For a recent example - a logitech harmony hub that if it can't get a response form it tries thousands of times a second to do so until it can, trashing the network in the meantime for everyone else. That is now disconnected in a drawer. It is the arrogance that "there must be a connection and therefore this device must have a right to use it however the manufacture thinks fit, including purposes outside of those which the device was bought for"

Is it beer o'clock yet? Have one on me!

Yet another reminder: When a tech giant says its AI listens to you, it means humans listen to you. Right, Facebook?


Re: "we paused human review of audio more than a week ago"

Is it only me that gets thoroughly wicked off at the weasel words that are so commonplace these days? "Paused" in a way that is supposed to mean we have done the right thing, but of course they haven't, and somehow think that is sufficient to appease the complaints until they just decide to carry on again when the fuss has died down.

And talking of not getting the message clearly, enough of the overly chatty and co-ercive buttons, particularly on Android apps where you get something like "Do you want to sign over the rights of your first born and all their offspring" with 2 possible replies - "Yes" (already selected and if you happen to hit return you're doomed) and "Not now" (or sometimes "Ask me later"), which just gives the illusion of choice, and really means we are going to keep bothering you with this question without giving you the option to just say no, until you either say yes, or we can trick you into saying yes". Is it beer time? (you can ask me that later!)

Please stop regulating the dumb tubes, says Internet Society boss


The cynic in me thinks that the motivation for DoH is really to stop Ad-avoiding systems like pihole which can currently be very effective.

Accenture sued over website redesign so bad it Hertz: Car hire biz demands $32m+ for 'defective' cyber-revamp



"The team working on the project was pulled off by Accenture"

Dear God, pass the mind bleach!

Android clampdown on calls and texts access trashes bunch of apps


Re: The trouble is...

My own gripe regarding this is that they pushed through recent changes to wifi on the back of complaints that if an application can view the available wifi networks it can use that to pinpoint the phone's location. This a Bad Thing. So how do they fix it? By mandating that it also prompts for location permission, with a warning perhaps? Nope. Instead, if you want an application to be able view available networks, you have to give the permission to use location, but also physically turn on GPS location for all applicatons. You can then go and individually disable location access for individual applications, but if you want to view wifi networks, say to do something only if you are on the home wifi, then you can't turn off GPS, or it prompts again and won't work until you turn GPS back on again - event though the application is not using GPS. At least on my phone anyway.

Maybe I'm a cynic, but it kind of seems to me to be engineered to get those users who have chosen to have GPS turned off, to turn it back on so Google can track them, whilst claiming that it is to stop rogue applications from doing so.

Strewth! Apoplectic Aussies threaten to blast noisy Google delivery drones out of the sky


Re: redefining words

Redefining "We can't stand the noise, it is making us sick, please stop" as "Residents in our most recent trial area have asked that we improve the sound of our drone".

This is what pisses people off. Big corporations not listening, pushing out weasel words to make it sound like they are "listening", and the added insult of assuming we are all too dim to realise this, while ignoring those affected and carrying on regardless.

USB4: Based on Thunderbolt 3. Two times the data rate, at 40Gbps. One fewer space. Zero confusing versions


which way it plugs in

What fascinates me is that for those USB sticks/plugs that can only go in one way round, there are 2 possible ways to try, so why is it when I try and plug them in they *always* seem to go in on the third attempt? Enquiring minds and all that.

Long phone is loooong: Sony swipes at flagship fatigue with 21:9 tall boy


Re: 21:9 ratio, you say

I have a sneaking suspicion that most of the faffing about with ratios is some perceived artistic benefit/director's vanity. TV drama is the most difficult to fathom. They create stuff for broadcast TV sets, which are mostly 16:9 receivers anyway, but they seem to make their dramas with just a half inch off top and bottom for "stylistic effect". In the same vein as "ooh, let's shoot into the light for every shot so that all the poor viewer can see is silhouettes", "make sure you get the lens flare though", "oh and make sure to have a really narrow depth of field so only a fraction of the screen is in focus, and be sure to switch the focus point suddenly while the viewer is trying to work out what's going on." and "make the actors whisper almost inaudibly, but hey, keep the background sounds nice and loud so it is hard to follow what they are saying, because it is 'edgy'", and "don't forget to map the colours to something that looks like a faulty TV from the 70s."

Sorry, but it wicks me off that I have to spend the first 10 minutes of a programme trying to find an aspect ratio that is neither a ridiculously narrow letterbox across the middle of the screen, that we all have to huddle round to see, nor a distorted mess, and then faff about with the colour/contrast/brightness/temperature to get it somewhere where I can enjoy the film and not be distracted from the story by stupidly wrong colours. I used to like to sit down and lose myself in a relaxing film. Now they are bloody hard work, both to set up, and to follow - "3 weeks earlier (weird colours, whispering dialogue while a brass band plays loudly in the background and someone shines a torch in my face), 4 days later... 2 weeks earlier (is that earlier than now, or from the beginning or end of the 4 days later than the 3 weeks earlier?)... 18 hours later (someone describing a key plot point in a hoarse whisper while using a vaccuum cleaner)"..." By the end, I'm exhausted! Beer helps, beers all round!

Google cracks down on dodgy tech support ads


"Ad experiences"

We don't have adverts anymore, just ad experiences? Sigh.

Drinking experience anyone? :-)

Southport: Come for a round of golf, stay for the flesh-eating STIs


Re: ???

With the Dorset horse fetishist fair in town?

In the week Uber blew up, Netflix restates 'No brilliant jerks' policy


Re: developing developers development

"I wonder if they would be willing to apply their non-jerk attitude to management and administrative roles, too?"

I'd settle for them applying it to a "screensaver" that actually saves the screen burning rather than displaying a dim static picture with searing static white bits that never move while on pause.

US copyright law shake-up: Days of flinging stuff on the web and waiting for a DMCA may be over


Re: *Sigh*

If they sold their wares at a resonable price it would help. Someone mentioned an old 1968 film in passing and I decided I'd like to pick it up and have a watch for old times sake. Went to order a dvd - 27GBP.

27GBP for a dvd of a film that is nearly 50 years old. They are taking the mick.

It was so tempting to just stream it and be done with it. I only wanted to watch it once.

However I didn't want to pirate and eventually found one on the bay with Spanish subtitles but English dialogue for 15GBP. Although I did enjoy watching it - 15GBP for a suboptimal viewing experience of a 50 year old film?

They really are their own worst enemies.

Mine's the one I bought 50 years ago that I have to pay a licence fee for every time I put it on in public.

Why do GUIs jump around like a demented terrier while starting up? Am I on my own?


Read more

Progress bars that are just an illusion are my pet hate. When it gets to 100% then just starts again. Worse than pointless.

Dabbsy, I feel your pain mate and I am in total agreement. The swapping buttons are a nightmare and I hate trying to read while the text is moving about.

Don't get me started on the click here to read more buttons. Why should I have to click because the developer has decided to show me 3 lines on my huge and otherwise blank screen and hide the rest behind a "read more" button? User interfaces? Bah!

Mine's the one in the corner, no it is further up now, a bit to the left, oh it has just been hidden behind that advertising hoarding...

Resistence is futile: HPE must face Oracle over Solaris IP


Resistence is futile:

It certainly is. Or at least the spelling of it is.

There is clearly insufficient beer for the readership to cope with this, so beers all round!

Google's crusade to make mobile web apps less, well, horrible


Re: The web is no fun.

On a (slightly) related rant, what is it with the the "read more" buttons that are popping up everywhere?

I have a large screen, and more and more sites when I go to them now show 3 lines of something and I have to click to see more, often several times, when the entire thing would easily fit on the page.

I have seen the same on mobile where the entire thing will fit on one mobile screen, but no, we want you to click twice more please. It seems to be another "because we can" solution with no problem to solve. Unless it counts to tell advertisers we got clicked x number of times or some such. Bah humbug, and sod off, I'll read it elsewhere.

Beer time - click here to drink more!

Uber drivers entitled to UK minimum wage, London tribunal rules



"Two Uber drivers who had took the taxi app to an employment tribunal "

Arrggh! It hurts!

But beer all round for the quick fix!

Wi-Fi baby heart monitor may have the worst IoT security of 2016

Thumb Up

Re: Prize winning security

The polished turd award?

Kaspersky to 1337 haxors: take down our power grid. We dare you


Re: Just checking

The cynic in me can't help wondering how much extra business Kaspersky think they will get if they can "prove" how vulnerable the grid is to hacking by scaring the powers that be with this demonstration - no matter how close the simulation is to actuality, then being the "experts" they can swoop in and save us with their costly "solution"

Bot-herders fire fake GPS co-ords at Niantic to collect Pokémon


Re: If you don't want to play...

I agree totally. Now, I must just go and program the recorder to record all the TV I don't like and play it back when I am not in.

This local council paid HOW MUCH for an SD card?!


Re: Procurement always works this wonder

"I haven't seen a Procurement Department yet that did not opt for the more expensive supplier. Perhaps they justify it on the basis of paying more for reliability."

Well if you haven't spent a huge amount on expensive IT this year, how on earth can you justify next year's massive budget request to maintain your empire? *

Mine is the one bought under a PFI agreement that I'll be making payments on for the next 35 years.

* Only half joking after years of working with government departments.

Vendors suspend tech orders as Brexit slaps Brit pound


Bah Humbug

I think it is less knee-jerk and more the guillible (including our pension funds) buying and selling by the bucketload as they are told to, like good little boys and girls (ooh look - uncertainty! Better sell that, here let me take it off your hands and sell you this instead), with the usual rich greedy gobshites playing the system and taking money out of our pension funds on each transaction.

When the market goes up - the rich greedy gobshites make a profit. When the market down the same rich greedy gobshites make a profit and guess who has to stand the loss? The rest of us in one way or another.

US Senate strikes down open-access FBI hacking warrant by just one honest vote

Big Brother

"We need to keep the pressure on & advocate for policies that advance security & liberty."

A finer example of Newspeak I have yet to see.

Dell tempts hordes with MASSIVE DISCOUNTS on PCs



"Dell tempts hoards with MASSIVE DISCOUNTS on PCs"

Tempts or hoards? Is there a comma missing, or did you mean hordes?

Maybe beer will help. It will certainly help me anyway, beers all round!

How to overcome objections that stop your enterprise from adopting DevOps


Re: Enough already!

"Netflix are practically the poster child of DevOps"

That would be the kids who wrote the netflix app for my Roku then. The Roku, with a great pause screensaver, that is suspended by the Netflix app and replaced with its own, which skillfully slowly fades the whole screen down after a couple of seconds on pause, EXCEPT for the film title and progress bar which are left in full on, brilliant white, at static locations to burn the screen. Nice one guys, way to miss the point! But I am sure it was developed quickly using DevOps. Shame they can't fix it as quickly, but despite all the complaints to them, they seem to think it is "cool" the way it is. Hint - screen savers are to save screen burn, not to practice cool fades and effects. My plasma is showing burn where the titles are displayed already and I now have to switch the damn thing off whenever Netflix is on pause now. That will be progress then.

Sorry, someone mentioned the keyword, rant off, beers all round. :-)

Neighbour sick of you parking in his driveway? You'd better hack-proof your car


Re: Sticking with classic cars...

Agree totally.

"designed to block attacks from ever infiltrating the car's controller area network (CAN Bus). The technology ensures that only explicitly allowed code and applications can be loaded and run on the controller,"

I can hardly bring myself to ask the question about who thought it was a good idea to allow any old code and applications to run there, or to allow commands from anything other than the other core safety components of the car design in the first place. Oh wait, I think I answered my own question.

Loved one just died? Pah, that's nothing


Re: Progress Bars

"Hurtling towards the 95% done mark then stalling for hours rather undoes the benefits."

As does moving uniformly to 100% then going back to the start! Again... and again...

Where's the beer?!

Retailers urged to create 'CCTV-like' symbol to inform customers of mobile tracking


Re: Not to defend the app-peddlars, but...

"if it shows that a lot of people keep going back and forth between different points, it could suggest that they could change the layout of items on shelves to make store navigation more efficient"

You have it backwards. If it shows you nipping in for 2 things next to each other and leaving straight away, they will move them to opposite sides of the store so you pass, and are tempted by, more of their goodies. They want you to wander around having to read and look at things, not be in and out in a flash with just what you went in for.

Fixing Windows 10: New build tweaks Edge, sucks in Skype


Re: Default definition @smudge

I'm waiting for some bright spark to think it is a good idea to have a second default printer, followed by another enhancement where you can have as many default printers as you choose (more is better, right?).

Lastly there will be an app to allow you to choose one of your default printers to use by default...

Microsoft, Tesla, build battery that knows how much (energy) you suck

Thumb Up

Current trade offs

"overcome current trade-offs"

Love it. :-)

Find shaving a chore? Why not BLAST your BEARD off with a RAYGUN


Re: @Tom 38

They might be like LED lamps which are supposed to last the same sort of time.

In lamps, they refer to the led, which may indeed last that long, but the cheap, deathtrap, underrated power supplies they throw in to drive the LED don't last that long. I bought 8 GU10 LED lamps and all bar one are dead after less than 12 months of normal use. Dreadful. They should have to state the lifetime of the whole thing, not just the longest lasting component.

At least the razor is battery operated and low voltage, so as long as the rest of the electronic driver circuitry is rated at 50,000 hours too, they may have a chance for that claim.

Controversial: The future is data integrity, not confidentiality


Re: @Pete H

" Total effort to sort it out - one 30 minute phone call, 30 minutes to write a letter, and 26p for a stamp. Hardly the end of the world ..."

Maybe not for an articulate, intelligent person, but not everyone is. For some that could have been very difficult and a huge worry because they don't have the capabilities that you have.

By the way, stamps have not been 26p for quite some time. 63p first class these days!

Let’s hear it for data scientists! Making our lives more and more frictionless


Re: Frictionless my - ooh look! A kitten! You like kittens don't you?

"You missed the point a little"

Not really, although thanks for the elaboration. My point was, that just because I have been looking for <whatever>, over however long a period of time, and across however many sites, or that I am a member of whatever society, or demographic, it doesn't necessarily follow that I am coming to your site to find that today. I could be browsing for something different, or nothing in particular. Drowning me in stuff relating to something I "normally" look for prevents me from broadening my horizons by seeing the breadth of other, unrelated and possibly interesting things you may have, which are unrelated, but which may also interest me.


Frictionless my - ooh look! A kitten! You like kittens don't you?

What the marketing dorks don't seem to realise is that the problem with all this targeted stuff is that it actually reduces the chances of me buying something from you. If I go to your site just to have a look around, to see what you sell, and to see if anything you do is in any way interesting to me, and all I see are adverts for irons or toasters, because that was what I searched for (and maybe bought) on the last site, then I will think you are just another site flogging irons and toasters and go away none the wiser as to what other interesting stuff you may have, and that I may wish to buy. I'll go to a site that doesn't pester me, and find it there. It feels like they have perfected "Just Too Late" advertising.

Hint: I know how to search for myself thank you, just make your website easy to navigate and quit with the animated crap floating down the screen or scrolling past in a carousel with simulated inertia.

11 MILLION VW cars used Dieselgate cheatware – what the clutch, Volkswagen?


Re: European testing - are petrol-fuelled cars are also affected?

"There is no evidence that manufacturers cheat the cycle,"

Whenever I hear that phrase "there is no evidence that blah blah" I hear weasels. They are not saying it is not true, just that there is no evidence (yet), so if and when the evidence is later found, they can claim they didn't lie about knowing earlier.

Right, opt out everybody! Hated Care.data paused again


Re: sold?

http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2014-02/07/a-simple-guide-to-care-data - it seems to depend on your definition of sold..

From that:

Is the data being sold?

Approved organisations that access the data will have to pay a fee (of between £800 and around £10,000 depending on which dataset is accessed). Critics say this means your data is being sold, but HSCIC insists this is a processing cost and that it won't be making any profit -- it's merely covering costs (which might seem quite high). The companies that extract the data will be able to use it for profit-making initiatives.


Re: Is it time to put down this terminally ill scheme?

"Gordon 10 care.data is for *secondary purposes* - not direct patient care."


Big trouble in big China: Crashing economy in Middle Kingdom body slams US tech stocks


Re: burn baby burn

Upvote for the best description ever of the interaction of modern economies!

What really bugs me though is that the super slick traders dumping the stock are effectively making the prices fall, and then they will buy it all back again at the bottom of the slump, bringing prices back up again and making a fortune in the process, for them and all the other bloodsuckers hanging onto their coat tails, who buy and sell in smaller amounts, but amounts much larger than anything any of us could afford of course, while the people running our pension funds try and second guess the well planned "crash" and whether to hold on or sell in order to not lose too much of our bloody penison pots to said bloodsuckers.

When it is all over, the world for normal people who trade in *actual* things and services, will, as usual, be much the same place as it was before, but their future pensions will be smaller, their savings if they have any will be worth a bit less, and the the rich guys will be even richer as the money once again moves from poor to rich. Marvellous.

Android faces SECOND patching crisis, on the same scale as Stagefright


Re: Wow - I'm worried!

Unfortunately, it follows the daily fail/BBC standard format for an article:

1. You should be scared because this is bad, really, really bad

2. It is even worse than this other bad thing.

3. It is about to get much worse than that.

So formulaic. It is almost as predictable as the format of just about any blog/supposedly informative article, for example, how do I turn my phone on:

You have come here asking the question "how do I turn my phone on"

In this article we will show you in easy steps how to turn on your phone.

Just follow our simple guided pictures or click on the link to view a video (where this all starts again but with someone with an annoying voice telling you the same things in a really patronising way over some loud and inapproriate music, with long, willy waving, intro titles and end titles)

When you have finished reading this article you will know how to turn on your phone.

Step 1: Press the button

That's it! You now know how to turn on your phone. Thanks for reading/ watching Don't forget to like us on farcebook and look at our many other helpful articles.

How are we doing? Do you mind completing a short survey before you go?

Bugger off already!!!!

Sorry, seem to have slipped off onto a rant there - beers all round to compensate? :-)

For fax's sake: Medic chaos as e-Referrals system goes offline


Re: Was never un-cocked before.

"It's no longer allowed. All referals have to come from a GP because it's their budget that pays for it."

I think it is worse than that, it is a side effect of the target culture. There are guarantees for minimum wait to see a specialist, say n weeks. Having the target is meant to improve service, but instead of making the wait shorter, it tends to make the wait to a see a specialist more uniformly just under n weeks for everyone. No one wants to bust their figures, so they insist on going back to the start (GP) each time, where, coincidentally, the clock gets reset.

That way, if you need to see 3 specialists, it magically takes 3 * n weeks, and hey presto, all targets are met, and the politicians can crow about success, yet the patient waits 3 times as long. The law of unintended consequences once again.