* Posts by Barleyman

7 publicly visible posts • joined 1 May 2018

If you're appy and you know it: The Huawei P40 Pro conclusively proves that top-notch specs aren't everything


The power of Geek to rescue

Anything stopping the journo from side-loading Google play store and the associated services? This was pretty standard operation while I was messing with mystery Chinese tablets. You have to download some APK files and run them on your phone. Easy enough if a bit of a hassle and you have to allow side-loading first. No rooting or other tricks needed.

First the Google account manager:


Then the Google Services framework, just pick correct android version (10):


You also need the services package. This is more problematic because there are about a million versions.

kirin SOC uses ARM64 core so you need to pick that variant for Android 10


And finally the play store itself:


Use your favourite file browser and run the apk files in order downloaded. Reboot phone and Google services should work just like the "real" thing, keeping themselves up to date etc.

Fiddly? Yes. Worth it? Definitely if you don't like avoiding Google stuff to show you're different and/or bought new Huawei phone without knowing what you signed up for. This same process works with Kindle Fire but you need to pick different versions of the files (no ARM64).

Medical device vuln allows hackers to falsify patients' vitals


Re: Not as big a problem as suggested.

"It is impossible to asses the ipact of this without an understanding of the intended use of the device but it is almost certainly the case that if it is being used as a vital signs monitor it will have a local audible alarm and alert feature. These must be there because the network/wireless communications cannot be relied upon."

Not true. The main motivator for remote monitoring is to cut down on the individual devices with displays going "BEEP". Those cost money, have to be certified and then maintained for a decade or more and nobody's looking at them 99% of the time. So a remote device wouldn't have much in the way of displays or so on, having those would defeat the remote monitoring benefit to start with.

Meet the LPWAN clan: The Internet of Things' low power contenders


Available versus predicted

Many / Most people commenting on IoT seem to be hobbyist of some sort or perhaps working on a single fixed installation. If you're designing something that needs to go out there and work in not-predefined locations reliably, LoRa is right out. SigFox actually has decent coverage depending on region but the data amounts are simply far too small for anything doing regular monitoring.

LTE CAT-NB1 and LTE CAT-M1 are not here (in UK), period. No amount of handwaving gets around it, you design a device with either and you just made an expensive paperweight which might start working sometime in the future, or not. CAT M1 was "supposed" to work on existing basestations with just firmware updates but this didn't happen, surprise. In reality, you need hardware changes which means there's nonzero cost involved and operators don't wanna since there will not be that much business for some time. And since the network isn't there, business won't come.

So for UK, for something with real coverage and reliable service, you've got two choices really. There's LTE CAT-1 which is a slightly cheaper-to-implement low speed (around 10Mbit/s) version of common garden 4G technology. It works with zero modifications on 4G networks, which is nice. What's not so nice is that you've now got a bona-fide cellular module that will do around £20-30 worth of damage when bought in volumes. Ouch. If you're deploying in US, you may very well get a reasonable M1 coverage which slashes module prices to one half or less.

The fallback is the good old GSM GPRS. It's everywhere and it works. It's slow but the ~8kbit/s speed is a far cry above what you can achieve on SigFox and you can push data all day if you want unlike LoRaWAN. If you can get EDGE, you're in with roaring data rates.

3G is on it's way out in intermediate term, better not bet on it for something that needs to be around for 5-10 years.

So the sad truth is that if you need a serious IoT device deployed right now in UK, you've got to reach for a 20 year old cellular technology. Where's my flying car?

Bad news, mobile operators: Unlicensed IoT tech rocketing ahead of NB-IoT and LTE-M – report


Re: Your IOT device

Buzz is all fine and good, too bad you cannot run wind turbines on it.

A quick glance at LoRaWan reveals it's hobbyist based for infra and "business" cases. Let's deploy that for a medical monitoring device for home care that needs to work anywhere in UK (within reason), shall we? How about no?

I'm sure it's great for IoT hobbyists but for something that actually needs any kind of reliability or ability to take "out there" and expect it to work, not really.

SigFox is a bit more reasonable but it's non-existent in Wales and whole of the northern UK except for narrow band between Glasgow to Edinburgh.

LTE-M(1) requires software update to the basestations so there's no real reason why networks couldn't roll it out easily, except I'm sure Huawei and Ericsson want about a billion for the firmware update.

That leaves us with LTE CAT-1 which works, is a bit cheaper than regular 4G and has a bit better reception. 2G is fine and good but if you need something that's expected to still work in 5 years time, betting on 2G networks seems a bit iffy.

Press F to pay respects to the Windows 10 April Update casualties



That was actually kind of useful if you have more than one PC. In my case work laptop, desktop and HTPC. At least they apparently keep printer shares ..


Re: Windows

Is 2018 the Year of the Linux Desktop?

NetHack to drop support for floppy disks, Amiga, 16-bit DOS and OS/2



After years (and years) of playing on and off, I had an epiphany. Instead of usual amulet of reflection + gray dragon scale mail, I started using amulet of life saving, cloak of magic and silver dragon scale mail.

That "extra life" just made all the difference. No more suddenly dying because you didn't realize there was a Mumak in that blob and just *how much* damage you were taking per turn.

The second boost was statuscolors patch. It's surprisingly effective when HP changes color at specified thresholds. re: Mumak situation. It's now included in Nethack 3.6.x (as status hilites) so no need to get a patched binary.