* Posts by AndyFl

116 posts • joined 8 Nov 2013

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Schools email marketing company told us to go away when we told them of exposed database creds, say infoseccers

AndyFl

No need to compromise their systems

They had already misconfigured the server to expose all the details anyway.

This is one of the cases where the ICO should hang them out to dry. I'm not holding my breath though as the ICO always appears to be more than a little toothless.

RIP Sir Clive Sinclair: British home computer trailblazer dies aged 81

AndyFl

Brought back memories

He certainly was responsible for some interesting products. I have fond memories of my Sinclair QL.

I also still smirk at the memory of seeing a C5 vehicle being closely followed by a large truck on Elizabeth way roundabout in Cambridge. I'm pretty sure that the only thing the truck driver could see was the flag flying jauntily on the top of a pole attached to the rear of the C5.

Sorry to see him go.

Ex-US intel, military trio were cyber-mercenaries for UAE, say prosecutors

AndyFl

And the company is...

"Dark Matter" based in the UAE.

See the story below for more details

https://www.reuters.com/investigates/special-report/usa-spying-raven/

A few years ago I was working in the UAE and my company had to buy some wireless gear from Dark Matter. The guy who brought the stuff over was from the USA, completely full of himself and to be honest, an arsehole. We had to endure him boasting about being ex-intel before he actually handed over the goods.

The radio equipment wasn't anything that special either - just a SDR based spectrum analyser.

Wireless powersats promise clean, permanent, abundant energy. Sound familiar?

AndyFl

Incident solar power

A satellite about 1/2 way between Earth and Mars orbits would receive about 2/3 of the power per square m as one next to earth.

This works out at about 900w/sqm. Not too shabby.

Andy

AndyFl

Re: Lets do the maths

I considered doing that but excess power can be useful for other things than heating water which would not be an option if I used solar thermal panels. The heat pump has a COP of about 3 and can raise the water temperature to my desired temperature at any time when I've got enough solar across the entire array rather than being limited to a few solar thermal panels.

The numbers would stack up in a different way on other installations, what works for my situation isn't guaranteed to work for other installations.

AndyFl

Re: Casual reference to 5G sceptics as 'wingnuts': author already is on wrong side of history

Completely agree with you. People watch a few YouTube videos from dubious producers and claim they know about RF SAR limits, ICNIRP and all the rest.

Some of us have been designing RF stuff for 40 years and had to do real measurements and analysis to ensure it was safe to use. Multi-GHz stuff has been around for a long time. If there were any serious issues we would have pretty clear evidence by now.

I'm seeing anti-5G signs around Craven Arms at the moment because there is a proposal to put a site in the town to improve the crap cellular service. I've given up pointing out that a strong signal makes the handsets drop their power which is much more significant than that of the tower 100m away. I've been told I don't know what I'm talking about whilst they watch videos from the same people who do Free-Energy machines.

I swear we are all doomed!

AndyFl

Re: Lets do the maths

I did the maths and built my home off-grid in Shropshire. Yes, you can generate enough power from solar to run the home. In my case just under 10KWp and 10KWh LiFEPO4. I get all the required power for the home including water heating. End of December is a bit tight as I really need another 30KWh of batteries but I currently bridge that with a generator I pull out a couple of times a year.

I even run an EV off it with only occasional visits to local chargers.

Heating is a little more difficult at the moment and I use a small log burner (4KW) with locally sourced wood. I could mostly avoid that with better home insulation but I'm a little stuck there. Alternatively I could replace my solar panels with more efficient one and get an ASHP. Project for a couple of years time.

Before I agree to let your app track me everywhere, I want something 'special' in return (winks)…

AndyFl

Re: 21st century lamp columns ... incorporating sensors that can receive and transmit

Followed the link and read down to the bit where they say 5G kills babies before they are born, rolled my eyes and closed the page.

This grasp of science and engineering is exactly why they "seem to think a cotton protest T-shirt is an adequate defence against the harm they assert is being done by lamp posts".

Idiots, the lot of them.

HPE UK sales crash after infrastructure projects delayed, but PC-flinging HP Inc watches Brit biz rise

AndyFl

Re: " improving our service delivery for higher quality and lower cost"

Or more probably you can't have either!

UK's Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency signs £15m in cloud contracts

AndyFl

Re: Great

The service is currently so bad that even Crapita could do better!

/me wanders off to cry in a corner

Tech spec experts seek allies to tear down ISO standards paywall

AndyFl

Wiring regs

Part P of the UK wiring regulations, AKA "Approved documents" effectively mandates that all installations have to meet BS 7671. Almost uniquely this BS is not free to download and has to be purchased from the IET at about 100 quid a copy.

In other words the legally mandated UK requirements for any electrical installation are owned/published and maintained by a private organisation (IET) who restrict access to either their members or the public only on paying a lot of money for a frequently changing document.

Don't get me started on the Part P mafia (NICEIC and NAPIT) who act as gatekeepers to the electrical industry.

What was that comment about Regulatory Capture?

Andy

Malaysian Police crush crypto-mining kit to punish electricity thieves

AndyFl

Would have been nice to remove the PSUs and fans

Crush the ASIC boards etc - no problem but the fans and PSUs would be useful for a lot of other uses. I assume that wouldn't have made such a good bit of film though.

Robots still suck. It's all they can do to stand up – never mind rise up

AndyFl

All part of the plan

"Neither is a robot uprising. "I don't think that's going to happen any time soon," answers Kottege with a laugh."

That is what the robots want us to think whilst they prepare to take over the world.

ROTM

Just what is the poop capacity of an unladen sparrow? We ask because one got into the office and left quite a mess

AndyFl

Just what is the poop capacity of an unladen sparrow?

Not very much but the poop capacity of a fully laden sparrow appears to be considerable :)

(edit: corrected typo)

SpaceX's Starlink: Overhyped and underpowered to meet broadband needs of Rural America, say analysts

AndyFl

Re: What's the problem?

Only problem with Starlink in an off-grid scenario is that it needs an average of 100 watts (2.5KWh/day) which can be difficult to guarantee in winter without a large solar array.

Wi-Fi devices set to become object sensors by 2024 under planned 802.11bf standard

AndyFl

Authors of paper don't understand GDPR.

In the referenced paper the authors recommend that users are provided a mechanism to opt-out of the data collection. The whole point of the GDPR is that consent has to be willingly given without cohesion before data collection - in other words all systems have to be opt-In with the default that data is not retained.

The protocols in IEEE 802.11bf are being developed on the basis to maximise data collection without any mechanism relating to signalling the prior consent of the data subject being intrinsic to them. This will give problems in the future when it is eventually rolled out.

In the US personal data appears to be the property of the person collecting it not the data subject which is the opposite of the European approach. I'm aware of recent legislation in some US states which is starting to move the default towards opt-in but there is no fundamental right not to have your data collected.

Global tat supply line clogged as Suez Canal authorities come to aid of wedged 18-brontosaurus container ship

AndyFl

Ship has not been refloated

According to Lloyds List at 17:00 UTC the ship has NOT been refloated, partly or otherwise and the owners have just gone open form with the salvers.

https://lloydslist.maritimeintelligence.informa.com/LL1136229/Suez-Canal-remains-blocked-despite-efforts-to-refloat-grounded-Ever-Given

Thousands of taxpayers' personal details potentially exposed online through councils' debt-chasing texts

AndyFl

Proper redaction

Looks like ElReg should get good marks for properly redacting the images in this article rather than just publishing something containing an additional layer with black rectangles. I have to deduct a couple of points for the horrible webp file format :)

The only really secure method of redaction is to mark up the page, print it then take an image of the printout. This guarantees no metadata which might leak sensitive data.

Ministry of Defence tells contractors not to answer certain UK census questions over security fears

AndyFl

Re: Privacy

You are Archibald “Harry” Tuttle and I claim my 5 pounds.

I work therefore I ache: Logitech aims to ease WFH pains with Ergo M575 trackball mouse

AndyFl

Re: Where's the Lefty Version

I remember a few years ago having to get really insistent to the IT bods at a company that I was working at to get them to change a contoured mouse which you could only reach the buttons when you were using the right hand. The ridges in the plastic actually hurt if you tried to use it for any length of time with the left hand and assuming you could contort your fingers to reach the buttons.

They came out with the line that everyone else seemed OK with the damm thing at which point I let rip about discrimination against left handed people ranging from the way doors and cupboards open to the placement of the bog rolls in the company toilets. The whole thing seemed to be a revelation to them.

We have non-discrimination rules about everything except handiness, maybe it is time to add that to the list.

US finds new Huawei to hurt China with new sanctions at top chip maker SMIC

AndyFl

Re: It's Amazing How Petty The USA & Fearless Leader Trump Can Get

@amanfromMars 1

You must be slipping, that was the second posting in a row I managed to understand in one pass :)

Alternatively you are starting to work into my brain...

Help! My printer won't print no matter how much I shout at it!

AndyFl

Re: HP

I've one of those too. Completely indestructible and works well with postscript.

QR-code based contact-tracing app brings 'defining moment' for UK’s 'world beating' test and trace system

AndyFl

Paper is best

Paper based contact tracing is by far the best as it maintains anonymity as much as possible in that the details are only looked at and transcribed into a database if there is an outbreak in the venue. If nothing happens then they can be destroyed after a few weeks. It isn't a big job to transcribe a few handfuls of paper records if there is an incident.

A centralised system which captures user details directly into a database is open to abuse by lots of organisations at the click of a button or a demand under the 2000 RIP act or it's later amendments. Just how much do you trust the local authority or various "law enforcement" bodies not to abuse private data. There is also not an insignificant chance of the entire database leaking into the public domain with names, addresses and phone numbers!

Then there are issues about the apps themselves, their security, liability for data loss then phone data connectivity and the vague hope/expectation that everyone actually has a phone with a compatible version of OS and a functioning battery!

Lets just keep things simple please.

Shocking no one, not enough foreigners applied for H-1B visas this year so US govt ran a second lottery

AndyFl

Re: You'd have to be mad -- or desperate -- to come here on an H1B

A bit off-topic but I am strongly in favour of the UK sorting out its own mess rather than pulling UK nationality under dubious circumstances and expecting Bangladesh to pick up the bits even though she had never in her life had anything to do with the country.

It is like throwing your unwanted sofa over the fence to the neighbour to dispose of because you had kept it on the side of your living room nearest them and therefore they had therefore incurred some sort of an obligation.

China requires gamers to reveal real names and map them to frag-tastic IDs

AndyFl

Re: Is there no societal problem to be addressed?

They will be allowed if they are sold to a Chinese company and the state gets a "large percentage" of the sale price.

Can't imagine where I got that idea from!

Arm China brands itself a 'strategic asset', calls for Beijing's help in boardroom dispute with Brit HQ

AndyFl

Re: Well, that does it for Western companies investing in China

The parent company only has a 49% ownership in the Chinese subsidiary - they sold 51% as explained in the article. That means they cannot sack the head of the subsidiary without agreement of the consortium holding the 51% shareholding.

It is nothing to do with not obeying orders from the parent company - they are a minority shareholder. This sort of thing is common with Joint Ventures (JVs).

It's a Meow-nixed system, I know this: Purr-fect storm of 3,000+ insecure databases – and a data-wiping bot

AndyFl

Could be regarded as a public service

Whilst I don't condone vandalism this is definitely better than the alternative where the data is copied and mined for any "interesting" personal information.

UK government shakes magic money tree, finds $500m to buy a stake in struggling satellite firm OneWeb

AndyFl

OneWeb is probably for comms rather than location

OneWeb would make an excellent upgrade for the UK Skynet and other government VSAT services around the world. By spending $500M the UK will have priority access on a global, high bandwidth satellite network. Also having a partner to flog spare capacity to other users they might even make a profit on the deal! You would have difficulty shoving more than a couple geostationary satellites up for that money.

I don't think the location services figure high on the priority list for this project, it may be possible to upgrade some of the satellites in the future before launch to add high accuracy clocks etc, but that would just be "icing on the cake" if it could be made to work.

The only thing they really need to do at this stage is to move the command/control infrastructure to the UK and harden the network.

It all looks like a really good deal, I can't remember the last time I said that the UK govt did something good, but this is a tick in their favour.

Florida man might just stick it to HP for injecting sneaky DRM update into his printers that rejected non-HP ink

AndyFl

Re: What about non-HP Laser cartridges?

@Truthhurts

I've an old HP P2055DN laser which is close to indestructible and will probably outlive me. I feed it with no-name high capacity toner cartridges and never had a problem. Paid about 50 quid second hand and it does Ethernet, postscript and double sided. Printing from Windows and Linux simply works.

I used to have a duplex HP laserjet 4 a long time ago but got rid of it because it was too big and heavy to move without two people. Again completely indestructible and would probably survive a nuclear explosion.

I used a small HP colour laser printer on a project about 5 years ago and hated it, slow, kept wasting toner doing "something" and the HP only toner was in stupidly small cartridges which cost a fortune. If I go for a colour printer it won't be HP!

Play stupid games, win stupid prizes: UK man gets 3 years for torching 4G phone mast over 5G fears

AndyFl

Re: @andyFI

Resonance will not increase the energy of individual photons, it will just increase the number of them so they won't break chemical bonds directly other than as a result of heating.

The rest of your post is just insulting and I won't comment further.

AndyFl

Re: 3 years for a terrorist offence ?

I'm sorry but you don't understand the basics of wireless and energy. Radio signals are non-ionising in that the photons don't have enough energy to have any effect on chemical bonds, to do that you need around 2ev of energy which you get from ultra-violet light which can cause skin cancer.

Below the energy level of UV light the most that could happen is you get a bit of warming of tissue like standing in sunlight and being warmed by infra-red.

If you don't want to be laughed at then I suggest that you educate yourself on the topic with ***proper*** peer reviewed papers - try looking at Google Scholar to find them. If you want to understand the scientific process then go and watch the YouTube channel "potholer54". He has some very good explanations. Not all ideas are worth a lot of effort and consideration if they aren't backed up with any evidence to support them. One example is saying "the moon is made of cheese" - nobody will take you seriously unless you have some pretty good evidence! Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.

By the way, we have had a lot of experience with the long term effects of wireless signals, even in the multi GHz region. I've been involved in design and testing of wireless systems for 35 years and have seen lots of stuff pre-dating my entry into the industry. I've had to go through the ICNIRP guidelines many times when producing safety declarations.

On the other hand you could just listen to people like David Icke who have some strange ideas (to put it mildly) with no experimental evidence to support them.

Surprise! That £339 world's first 'anti-5G' protection device is just a £5 USB drive with a nice sticker on it

AndyFl

The product sheet is hilarious

They have a product description on their website:

https://5gbioshield.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/5gbioshield-description-en.pdf

It has gems like

"Current studies demonstrate service life as long as the unit is not damaged or defaced."

and

"No overdose or adverse effects are possible in the presence, even for a long period of time, of the USB Key".

No possible overdose because it bloody well doesn't do anything!

UK COVID-19 contact-tracing app data may be kept for 'research' after crisis ends, MPs told

AndyFl
Big Brother

Elliptic curve?

I wonder if they are basing the system on Dual_EC_DRBG which is generally known to have a backdoor (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dual_EC_DRBG). It could easily be GCHQ and their allies trying to convince everyone to use so called anonymous Ids to which they can reverse engineer the originator.

On the other hand if they know your postcode, location and movements it is pretty easy to match that to a person. Previous history doesn't encourage me about confidentiality - look at the range of organisations which can covertly snoop on you and access your Internet history.

Sorry, I don't trust them to manage sensitive data on a centralised system.

Andy

One for the super rich fanbois: Ultra-rare functional Apple-1 computer goes on auction

AndyFl

Re: Not bothered

NASCOM 1 !

Now I feel really old, IIRC that was from around 1978, mine lived in a cardboard box because I was too skint to get a real case. Great learning system which set me up for a career in embedded and wireless systems. I was kind of surprised that it worked after spending an eternity soldering sockets to the board. Many happy memories with the thing.

The keyboard was one of the best parts of it, really good action and better than most laptops these days.

Ofcom measured UK's 5G radiation and found that, no, it won't give you cancer

AndyFl

Re: 5G is 5 times more dangerous

The 5G signals are so powerful that they go back in time and affect people before the tower is even built, let alone switched on.

If we have enough they will cause everyone's grandfathers to become celibate and the problem will resolve itself and fix global warming at the same time. Unfortunately there will be nobody around to see the change.

AndyFl

Re: Dangerous levels of EMF

They won't be going anywhere if they are relying on Boeing getting them into space. The company appears to be having problems getting anything up these days

Instagram influencer fools followers into thinking Ikea photoshoot was Bali holiday

AndyFl

Re: Clearly a cover up

Amazing that the Illuminati knew what the character values of ASCII would be before it was even created. They have no end to their powers.

Not posted as AC cos they can't get me!

Ooh somebody at the door, I'd better go and see who they are...

Jeff Bezos bungs $10bn at climate change after chump change for Oz bush fires

AndyFl

Great news for the environment

What is with all the sour grapes around ElReg?

Guy puts up USD 10B for environmental causes and everyone starts to complain. I don't care where it comes from but a lump of cash that size is likely to make a difference in science and engineering. I say "thanks for putting up the money".

Rather than complaining let's have a discussion on how best it can be used and how we can get more money from any sources to add to the pot.

Anyone remember the comments when Bill Gates set up his foundation with his wife? That has changed the lives of more people than I can count.

He’s a pain in the ASCII to everybody. Now please acquit my sysadmin client over these CIA Vault 7 leaking charges

AndyFl

Dirty pics are not relevant

He may or may not have knowingly hosted child porn pics. It certainly wouldn't be the first time something was unknowingly embedded in a large archive of stuff.

However that is not relevant to the CIA charges which, on the face of it, appear to be somewhat contrived and if they are to be believed make him out to be some sort of super BoFH,able to remotely restore systems to previous configurations, exfiltrating all sorts of data, hacking files then restoring the systems to a previous state whilst nobody noticed and moving his fingers on he keyboard at several times the speed of light. They may have other evidence which they are unwilling to disclose at the trial and what is being described is the remainder left over from it but if they don't up their game then he is likely to get off whilst everyone is laughing at what they are presenting.

Why does it feel a little like what is going on between HPE and Lynch? They got upset with him having bought a pup then spent their time trying to find reasons to sue him and eventually managed to cook up something that the US DOJ could use to start extradition proceedings with whilst there was an ongoing civil trial ongoing.

I think both stories have a long way to run and look forward to watching them develop.

It's been one day since Blighty OK'd Huawei for parts of 5G – and US politicians haven't overreacted at all. Wait, what? Surveillance state commies?

AndyFl

Who to believe

It is a sad reflection on the current times that I believe things said by the USA White house occupants slightly less than the Chinese.

Back doors in Chinese Huawei equipment? Probably

Back doors in US routers (Cisco, Juniper etc)? Probably.

Loyalty used to be a two way street, not to be confused with grovelling to the current president. How on earth did we end up in this situation?

Star wreck: There's a 1 in 20 chance a NASA telescope and US military satellite will smash into each other today

AndyFl
Mushroom

Like a Windows file copy dialog

1 in 10,

1 in 100,

1 on 20,

Done (or should that be collided?)

Das Reboot: Uni forces 38,000 students, staff to queue, show their papers for password reset following 'cyber attack'

AndyFl

End of term

It is the end of term, half the students will be away from the university, foreign students will be home for the holidays. Anyone working on an assignment will be screwed until they go back after the Christmas holidays. I also wonder if there are any "distance learners" - they will not be happy travelling to the University from wherever they are just to reset a password. I *hate* 2FA but this is one of those cases where something like that would help things.

I'm doing a Masters at Brunel almost 35 years after I first graduated. The whole place is wedded to Micro$oft without a Linux machine in the place. I don't think the IT support department even know what one is. Really disappointing.

Den Automation raised millions to 'reinvent' the light switch. Now it's lights out for startup

AndyFl

What on earth did they do with the money?

It doesn't cost GBP4.5M to design and manufacture wireless light switches and the associated backend systems.

Off the top of my head I would say a team of 5 competent people (1xelectronic, 1xmechanical, 2xsoftware, 1xmanglement) could do it in a year without too many long days. Manufacturing setup and tooling for the plastics would be less than GBP200K plus GBP50K for testing. Say about GBP 500K for the lot. I'm not including marketing or production costs because they would be covered by the actual orders. If they have a backlog of orders then they don't need to spend a lot on marketing etc.

I'm sorry, but it sounds like they wasted the bulk of the money on things other than actually designing product.

I've had it with these motherflipping eggs on this motherflipping train

AndyFl
Coat

Why aren't fishmongers generous?

Their job makes them sell fish.

(I'll get me coat)

Sure, we made your Wi-Fi routers phone home with telemetry, says Ubiquiti. What of it?

AndyFl

Alternatives?

Mikrotik, about the same price or slightly cheaper and much more configurable. The management app Winbox runs under Windows or without problems on Wine with Linux.

IT protip: Never try to be too helpful lest someone puts your contact details next to unruly boxen

AndyFl

Re: On Call

I can beat that. The infamous "Indian Alphabet Song". Every letter wrong but done with evident glee!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xkEHzmBSqOU

Radio nerd who sipped NHS pager messages then streamed them via webcam may have committed a crime

AndyFl

Re: What other kind of pagers are there?

They could use TETRA pagers on the Airwave public safety network. The Airwave network has extremely good coverage and is encrypted. Ambulances and other emergency service vehicles are already using the Airwave system so there would be no problem getting permission to use it.

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

AndyFl

Re: And where will all this power come from?

I don't know where you got those figures from but they are completely out of date. The UK has dramatically reduced the CO2 content of power over the last few years and wind capacity factors are well over the "6%" you quoted. Nobody could get back their costs at 6% and the turbine would be decommissioned.

Have a look at https://electricinsights.co.uk to see the historical and current production figures for different generation sources. The quarterly reports on the site are a really good read too.

Yes, the UK energy policy has a long way to go but it is a damm site better than most of Europe and certainly the USA.

Are you who you say you are, sir? You are? That's all fine then

AndyFl

Extension 666

A reference to the TheReg story on music on hold is required.

"My ears are bleeding"

https://www.theregister.co.uk/2016/04/29/it_helpdesk_creates_oh_hold_hell/

Engineer found guilty of smuggling military-grade chips from the US to China

AndyFl

Everything is a risk when dealing with US products

It is beginning to become a risk to buy any semiconductor or tech product from the USA for delivery elsewhere. There are so many little gotchas it is very hard to be sure you are not violating some export or "security" regulation and that you won't end up being a trade bargaining chip whilst getting crap under the guise of "security". This is even more true if you are in places like the Middle East.

The rules and companies on the banned list seem vary from one day to the next based on what a certain person sees on "Fox and friends" or whatever the current trashy programme of choice is. If your company relies on the USA for critical components you are at risk. It has got to the point where I have started looking at suppliers in the following order: Local (rarely a practical option), EU,Turkey, China and then reluctantly USA. It doesn't help that USA products tend to be more expensive than elsewhere.

If things get much worse the USA won't need to worry about illegal exports as nobody will be buying anyway and they can simply ban all shipments everywhere.

Andy

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