* Posts by Dave Harvey

148 publicly visible posts • joined 6 Sep 2007


Outage outrage: TSB app offers users a TITSUP* encore

Dave Harvey

Re: Surprised they have any customers left...

Why not just post cheques to your bank? Why involve a 3rd party such as the PO counter?

I've only had a single batch of cheques get "lost" in the last 20 years (during which I've never paid a cheque into a branch) and that was when I DID make the mistake of using the PO counter service.

Tesla fingers former Gigafactory hand as alleged blueprint-leaking sabotage mastermind

Dave Harvey

Energy "storage" via existing hydro

Actually, there's an even better way of doing "storage" that I hear they're using in Norway (and via a power sharing arrangement with Denmark), which is to use the existing hydro capacity as the load balancer. When there is plenty of solar/wind etc. you "store" energy by NOT drawing from your hydro reservoirs and when there's a shortage, then you open the sluices. The only work required to optimise this would perhaps be to increase the generating capacity at existing hydro stations, so that they can generate the same total amount of energy, but in a more flexible manner and with a higher peak power.

Dave Harvey

Re: Batteries in cars

if it doesn't charge on a windless night, then you don't go to work in the morning

How to totally miss the point of a post!

Average UK commute is <10 miles each way (mine is about 15 and YMMV). Most EVs now have a range >100 miles, some 2-3x that, so a reasonably (90% optimal normal) charged car will do most/all of the week on one charge, so topping up as and when works fine.

I barely charge mine during the week and tend to "fill up" off the home solar at weekends - what's your EV experience?

Dave Harvey

Batteries in cars

Actually, if someone can get the meters and APIs properly organised (and I don't mean the mess that is the current "smart-meter" roll-out), then electric cars are JUST what's needed to help balance the grid when fed largely from intermittent sources. This is because 90% of the time, an electric car owner, charging at home, doesn't NEED to be charging it at specific times - (s)he simply needs it to average enough charge to handle the daily commute over the course of a week - if it happens not to get charge on a windless night, but then gets a charge instead the following windy/bright evening then that's fine. Yes, there are times (before a long trip) when the car MUST be charged, and this is not a panacea, but having a large number of plugged in cars, READY to charge but not demanding it is a great way to both reduce consumption at times of peak stress on the system, and also to provide a useful "sink" to take the energy when the other option would be curtailment of generation.

Blood spilled from another US high school shooting has yet to dry – and video games are already being blamed

Dave Harvey

Re: Guns in the hands of stupid people

The whole problem is summed up by the phrase "gun rights" - and anyone who uses it simply doesn't understand the scale and nature of the problem.

Citizens don't have a right own nuclear bomb, or a nerve gas, or even multiple psycho-active substances, so why should owning any sort of lethal weapon be regarded as a "right"? Just because a corrupt Supreme Court (voting along partisan lines, with the majority having been installed by NRA supported presidents) chooses to ignore the first half of the second amendment, doesn't mean that thousands of people per year should die as a resulting a stupid and unintended "right"!

Dave Harvey

Re: Early information


I actually agree with much of what you say - especially about the gangster in the White House, but there are a few things to take issue with:

1) War of independence: This was nearly 250 years ago, with different weapons, and I can assure you that we (the UK) have absolutely no wish to invade you again, and if anyone tried, then I'm sure that your military would manage perfectly well without assistance from the general population! So really, this is a crazy excuse for "exceptionalism" - you're now no different from any other country, and you need to "get over" what happened centuries ago.

2) NRA: I laugh when I see the NRA described as a "membership" organisation - the membership fees are tiny and barely cover the cost of the admin, and the vast majority of the money is sourced from the gun and ammunition manufacturers, and we all know that he who pays the piper calls the tune!

3) Lobbying: Here we can 100% agree, the lobbying system in the US is totally screwed, and when combined with a dumb, impressionable electorate (38% of whom are so stupid that they believe that the earth is < 10,000 old!), this does effectively allow votes simply to be bought through advertising. Of course, the fact that the Supreme Court effectively legalised political corruption recently via 2 rulings (Citizens United & McDonnell) makes that even easier!

4) I made no mention in my most of "assault weapons" or even of school shootings - the problem is ALL privately held guns, and as you rightly say, the school shootings are the tip of a huge iceberg of avoidable deaths.

5) Yes, of course the Dad should be charged - I'm not an expert on Texas law, but some variety of negligent homicide would seem most appropriate - if nothing else it might persuade a few more parents to take better control of their guns (who knows, it might even cut the crazy number of shootings of and by toddlers!).

Dave Harvey

Re: Early information

@bombastic bob

"These kinds of people have a name: criminals. And no law in the world will stop them (but in most cases, it probably deters them)."

Except that our laws in the UK do (contrary to myths from the NRA) massively reduce shootings, simply because they reduce the availability of guns to casual criminals. Sure, the drug gangs have a few, but the average kid like this one simply could get his hands on one, as his father wouldn't have any for him to steal.

Which of course is why you need PROPER gun rules, which simply, as in most civilised countries, would ban ANYONE outside the military/law enforcement from owning ANY gun which can fire more than one or two shots without a manual reload. As is often pointed by the NRA and their gun-selling friends, simply banning some people from getting guns is useless - a more comprehensive solution is needed.

Dave Harvey

Re: Early information

@Florida 1920:

Sorry to say this, but that pathetic combination of defeatism (nothing can be done) and American exceptionalism (nothing can be done because we're AMERICAN) is exactly where the problem lies.

Contrary to the mantra of the gun manufacturers (for whom the NRA is simply their mouthpiece), the USA does have a perfectly good mechanism to amend the constitution (e.g. the 21st amendment reversing the disastrous 18th), so perhaps it's time for do the same for the 2nd (or at least clarify it back to its obvious original purpose top allow State militias), and bring the USA back into the realms of civilised countries.

Those (like you) who argue against the possibility of fixing the gun problem aren't merely discussing the problem, you ARE the problem, and we can only hope that as/when your generation is replaced by your descendants, then perhaps sanity will eventually prevail.

Yes, I know this is close to a personal attack, and I dislike them in general as much as anyone else, but this is a much wider issue, affecting a significant number of your compatriots, and it's time that arrogant Americans were told just how stupid their ridiculous views are when viewed from any other perspective.

FBI raids home of spy sat techie over leak of secret comms source code on Facebook

Dave Harvey
Black Helicopters

Re: Idiot.

Dunning–Kruger effect as applied to security.

Crypto-gurus: Which idiots told the FBI that Feds-only backdoors in encryption are possible?

Dave Harvey
Black Helicopters

Exceptional access to WHICH governments?

Are governments of the US, UK etc. really stupid enough to think that Russia, China, the Mafia etc. would not insist (and succeed) in getting identical access?

NSA code backported, crims cuffed, leaky AWS S3 buckets, and more

Dave Harvey
Black Helicopters

Pentration testing vs "espionage"

So why aren't the US authorities pursuing Upguard with the same enthusiasm that they pursued McKinnon and Love?

Find weaknesses, get sample data to prove the point and embarrass the data owners into fixing things - without malice. Apart from the target (state vs. commercial), is there really any difference?

What did we say about Tesla's self-driving tech? SpaceX Roadster skips Mars, steers to asteroids

Dave Harvey

It was never going anywhere NEAR Mars

The comment in the article "The payload was supposed to get into an orbit around the Sun, and skim Mars" is simply WRONG - it was always going to be a heliocentric orbit which just happened to go out as far as Mars! Had they planned to go anywhere near Mars, with a risk of crashing, then they'd have had to spend months sterilising the car for planetary protection.

So the fact that it now happens to go a bit further is no problem, and not an error - in fact they actually said that they'd burn the fuel to exhaustion, and see how far/fast it would go.

Sky News made the same mistake, and it's not surprising from them, but I would have expected better from a space-faring publication

Accused Brit hacker Lauri Love will NOT be extradited to America

Dave Harvey

Re: The intersting question is...

There is actually, as I understand it, a problem with having an accredited diplomat presenting evidence in court. The argument goes that the ultimate defence against wrongful conviction on the basis of false testimony is that the person giving that testimony would put themselves at risk of being tried themselves for perjury. BUT - if the person giving evidence has diplomatic immunity, and couldn't be tried for perjury however much they lied, then should their evidence ever be trusted?

Dave Harvey

>> The US must have provided sufficient prima facie evidence for the extradition

This is where the whole UK/US extradition system fails the equivalence test.

If we're extraditing from the US, then yes, of course we need to present evidence of "probable cause" - as we should

If they're trying to extradite from here, then ALL they need to do is to SAY that they have evidence sufficient to generate "reasonable suspicion" (without presenting it), and in the absence of unusual circumstances (as, fortunately, in this case), that is enough for us to bend over, and take it from behind.

Every group/committee that has looked at this agrees that the asymmetry exists, except for the whitewash done by Theresa May's "helpful" judge Baker.

Shopper f-bombed PC shop staff, so they mocked her with too-polite tech tutorial

Dave Harvey

Re: The worst customers...

Going even further off-topic, I heard from a friendly PC once about the new Chief Constable turning up at a local police station, and trying to walk into the back areas without presenting ID, taking the "Don't you know who I am?" line to the desk Sergeant (followed of course by explanation of who he was) but refusing to provide ID. Eventually, the poor Sergeant let him through, at which point the Chief Constable turned round and roasted the guy for letting him through without ID - the whole thing was a test of how well the staff were prepared to stand up to such behaviour/social engineering.

NASA finds satellite, realises it has lost the software and kit that talk to it

Dave Harvey

Perhaps it's been "repaired" by aliens and is searching for its creator

The problem of communicating with obsolete space probes such as V'ger is well-known!

Worcestershire's airborne electronics warfare wonderland

Dave Harvey

I'd only heard of it via my father

They sponsored his MSc (at the then very new University of Bath) in the late 1960s doing some early work on composite (II-IV-V2) semiconductors. The ironic thing is that most of the papers referencing his publication were in Russian!

IT buyer? Had enough of pesky resellers cold calling? You aren't alone

Dave Harvey

TPS anyone?

All our company numbers are corporate TPS registered, and I find that (at least when called by otherwise vaguely reputable UK companies) asking for the details of the caller in exactly the form and order required for the TPS complaint page (when necessary augmented by an explanation of why I'm doing this), generally results in a very rapid hang-up, and no more calls from them.

If all else fails, we have a special "procurement" number which we put them through to - a particularly painful "your call is important to us" message with stretched tape effects, big volume jumps etc.

Rocky Ross 128 b might harbour aliens – and it's headed right for us

Dave Harvey

Planet classification required

The article properly mentions M-class stars but (disappointingly for el Reg) fails to categorise this as an M-class planet!

Brace yourselves, fanboys. Winter is coming. And the iPhone X can't handle the cold

Dave Harvey

Re: Diversity figures are meaningless without context

Just to be clear - I agree! When I wrote "population" I was really meaning "eligible, qualified, employable etc." population - rather than what's on the census! I hinted at this with the second half of my comment, but others have put it more clearly.

So yes, I agree with all those who added more precision to my concern.

Dave Harvey

Diversity figures are meaningless without context

Having looked at both the article and the report itself, I can see no sign anywhere of the proportions of the various racial groups amongst the population base from which they recruit. Without that, the figures have no bearing whatsoever on fairness. e.g. (for a simplified 2 race model) an employee ratio of 55% black, 45% white might look good until you realised that the local population was 80% black (or visa versa).

Yes, there are issues with defining the recruitment area, and that might even vary by job (senior management and technical staff recruited worldwide, and cleaners more locally), but without such figures, they might as well not bother with the figures they do provide.

Openreach boss says he'd take a burning effigy on the chin

Dave Harvey

Synchronous vs. Symmetric

All broadband connections are essentially synchronous - I presume that you are referring to the symmetry of the connection - i.e. whether upstream and downstream connections are the same speed.

BT are still very wedded to asymmetry - even my spanking new FTTP connection (when they've repaired the main cables - 3 weeks and counting) will be 330Mbps down with "only" 30 Mbps up. I presume that they're scared of eating their own "business" leased line market.

Equifax execs sold shares before mega-hack reveal. All above board – Equifax probe

Dave Harvey

About auditors being held responsible...

IF the SEC investigates (and I sure hope it does), and IF they find the directors guilty of insider trading (which they may or may not do), then that would raise the question of whether those who have compiled this whitewash report should face any punishment for either:

(1) knowing that that there was insider trading and explicitly covering it up


(2) being "deaf monkeys" who put out a report purporting to exonerate their friends without actually doing the required diligence to know whether or not their statements were true.

If they were prosecuted for doing this, then that might actually dissuade others from participating in such "private investigations" in the future, and that would be a good thing.

AI might outsmart ITIL, make MTBF moot, says ServiceNow strategist

Dave Harvey

I've just picked up a fault in the AE35 unit. It's going to go 100% failure in 72 hours

And it does turn out to be wrong....well we know what happens next!

Sniffing substations will solve 'leccy car charging woes, reckons upstart

Dave Harvey

Lee D:

"But, unfortunately, it would be bog useless for even standard charging of an electric car the way I use mine"

I'm intrigued - without giving away too many personal details, how far do you drive each day, and how long are you home for? I ask as 7.3kW x 10 hours (1 hour to go to bed, 8 hours sleeping and 1 hour to get up) would charge just about any car on the market from a sane figure to get home on (say 10%) to a sensible long-term charge (say 85%).

I'm speaking as a Tesla owner (admittedly 70kW) with a mixed pattern of driving, who in 15 months has never yet failed to have a charged car in the morning, from a 32A socket!

Dave Harvey

Re: Tesla is not typical

You're absolutely right - 11kW public access is useless, which of courses explain why Scottish/Welsh governments are paying a fortune to get them (or even worse, fancily-branded 13A sockets!) installed :-( TBH, even the 40kW "Chademo" chargers are not much better.

For home/overnight use, 32A (7kW) is perfectly adequate for almost all cases, and for "on the move", at least 100kW is needed. Anything in between these figures has very limited utility, except possibly workplaces, where an 8 hour (or perhaps 4 hour if swapping) charge time would work, making 10-22kW feasible.

Dave Harvey

Re: Tesla is not typical

in practice, in a Tesla, heating barely takes anything off the range after the first mile or two. Even that can be avoided by pre-heating whilst still plugged in, but after that, there is a reasonable amount of heat generated by the batteries in use (why efficiency is < 100%!), and that is available and used for space heating.

Dave Harvey

Ok - if you're happy to lose 2/3 of the energy

electricity => H2 => electricity has a maximum theoretical efficiency of about 35% and in practice lower, as opposed to battery charging/discharging which can manage about 80%. Demand-based charging of cars can be implemented as easily as demand-based splitting of water, so BOTH can reduce curtailment.

Hydrogen only works if either generated from methane (a fossil fuel of course) or if you have electricity so cheap and abundant that you're happy to sacrifice 2/3 of it along the way.

Et tu Accenture? Then fall S3er: Consultancy giant leaks private keys, emails and more online

Dave Harvey

Re: Insultants

Come on guys - be fair to them, just look at how well they managed the NHS's National Program for IT! </sarcasm>

Let's go live now to Magic Leap and... Ah, still making millions from made-up tech

Dave Harvey

Re: The biggest Theranos Red Flag was it's Board

Reminds he of Tom Lehrer's excuse for retirement:

"Political satire became obsolete when Henry Kissinger was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize."

European Commission refers Ireland to court over failure to collect €13bn in tax from Apple

Dave Harvey

Re: "The Register has asked Apple for a comment. ®"

Forget France & Germany, the real "write the rules and therefore get away with it" villain is the truly odious, vengeful and self-interested hack at the centre of the EU, who will do anything in his power to protect Luxembourg's right to "out-do" Ireland in this regard.

Shock: Brit capital strips Uber of its taxi licence

Dave Harvey

Re: 40,000 drivers out of work

Smooth Newt:

"Police are far too undermanned and busy to bother with non-violent crime these days"

Really? - it seems to me that they've effectively given up on ALL physical crime (including the violent sort) in order to concentrate on "thought offences" such as possibly causing mild annoyance to someone on the far side of the world who's never even heard of the social media on which you are considering posting.

Indian call centre scammers are targeting BT customers

Dave Harvey

Useful info for the scammers

Great, so Mr BT has just given the scammers the info that they need to impersonate BT by mis-representing their CLI :-(

Forget sexy zero-days. Siemens medical scanners can be pwned by two-year-old-days

Dave Harvey

Re: But why are they on the Internet anyway?

In fact, the biggest risk isn't the "internet" - that's pretty much fire-walled to death in most hospitals - it's the internal "trusted" network which is the problem - everything from administrative PCs to network points for patient kiosks in public areas and doctors' PCs which need to be able to access the imaging systems in examination rooms - any of these are at significant risk of being pwned or abused, which is why the devices need their own defences to be as good, with the smallest attack surface as possible.

Dave Harvey

Unplugging these scanners would be like putting your phone into Aeroplane mode

Sure - it can still be turned on, and take pictures, but that's not how you expect to use your phone, and now how radiology departments work.....the patient information is normally downloaded from the radiology information system (RIS) and incorporated into the images which are sent to the Picture Archiving Communication and Storage system (PACS) to enable use around the hospital, comparison with previous scans etc. All this uses the DICOM protocol, which whilst far from secure is sufficiently obscure that most hackers haven't bothered (yet!), and there is no need (probably) for complete unplugging. On the other hand, why anyone would want to introduce easily exploitable weaknesses by adding an unnecessary web server etc. to such primary imaging systems is beyond me......those ports need to be blocked (on all machines, not just the ones we know about) now and forever.....

Meg Whitman OUT at HP ...Inc

Dave Harvey

PayPal => Innovation

I can think of one guy who has managed that route pretty well!

But MW is no EM.....

Sweden leaked every car owners' details last year, then tried to hush it up

Dave Harvey

Re: "as much value as a truckload of dead rats in a tampon factory"

As no-one else seems to have noticed, I'll point out that it's actually a quote from the very aptly named film, "Top Secret"

BA's 'global IT system failure' was due to 'power surge'

Dave Harvey

Really a power failure?

I know that one is not supposed to attribute to malice anything which could equally be attributed to mere cock-up, BUT......the scale of the problem, presumably affecting systems which are supposed to be redundant, combined with the particularly bad timing, and the "off-shoring" does make we wonder whether a "time-bomb" set by a disgruntled ex-employee might be the real root cause.

Bloke charged under UK terror law for refusing to cough up passwords

Dave Harvey

Re: Device with multiple partitions

The difference with TrueCrypt was that the "hidden" partition was actually the same partition as the main one, just read in reverse and with a different key. The theory is that as all the "blank space" in a TrueCrypt volume is randomised, it should be impossible to tell whether such a reverse volume even exists. i.e. it provides at least plausible deniability.

Of course, it was up to the user to ensure that the total space used on both partitions was sufficiently small to ensure that they didn't collide, and that there was enough on the "declared" partition to justify its existence other than as a "cover" - I believe that a few (legal) porn videos that one might wish to hide from SWMBO was the most common content.

French fling fun-sized fine at Facebook for freakin' following folk

Dave Harvey

Seems fair compared to banking etc.

The US government makes an absolute fortune in foreign exchange/taxes by imposing gratuitously large fines on European banks, irrespective of where in the world they supposedly broke US law and whether or not they were actually subject to it, so whatever the actual rights and wrongs of these cases, there's some karma in seeing Europe looking to extract similar amounts from American companies.

74 countries hit by NSA-powered WannaCrypt ransomware backdoor: Emergency fixes emitted by Microsoft for WinXP+

Dave Harvey

Re: Risk Management

"If the piece of hardware is xp reliant than take it off the network. That way you only have to rely on removable media that can be checked by secured machines first thus reducing attack vectors."

Actually, scanners need to be able to get demographic and study details from the Radiology Information Systems over a networks using "DICOM modality work list" -otherwise the exam identifiers won't match up causing other problems. Of course, firewalling to outgoing port 104 only, is a no-brainer.....

Go, GoDaddy! Domain-slinger decapitates email patent troll in court

Dave Harvey

Troll loses on court.....

Great - but why is the The Register so afraid to use the obvious description of this bunch of ****s?

Fancy a relaxed boozy holiday? Keep well away from Great Britain

Dave Harvey

How about taxing other "sins"?

If they're going to include the taxation, availability etc. of some of the traditional sins, and in the interests of allowing comparisons with Nevada and other places known for "sin", shouldn't the legality and availability of other "leisure activities" be included on the list as well?

Brit behind Titanium Stresser DDoS malware sent to chokey

Dave Harvey

I can think of plenty of bankers who have pulled off "inside" bank jobs over the last decade much larger than this who have barely received a slap on the wrist!

Of course, if by "bank job" you mean a heist with threats or actual physical violence, then I think we'd all agree with you.

Dave Harvey

At least he has been properly and fairly convicted and sentenced under UK law

I wonder whether that would have happened if the good old US of A had pointed out that some of the targets were the other side of the pond, and had asked for him to be extradited to serve 2000 years or whatever other ridiculous figure they use to threaten foreigners into a guilty plea bargain.

'Tech troll' sues EFF to silence 'Stupid Patent of the Month' blog. Now the EFF sues back

Dave Harvey

Re: EFF Lawyers are EFF'n Stupid


From the EFF filing:

"Many of the “Stupid Patent of the Month” posts (including the one at issue here) are written by Daniel Nazer, an EFF staff attorney. Before joining EFF, Mr. Nazer was a patent litigator in the San Francisco law firm now known as Keker, Van Nest & Peters, and a Residential Fellow at Stanford Law School’s Center for Internet and Society."

BTW - Everyone here seems to presume that you work for GEMSA - would you care to confirm or deny?

BT's Openreach to hire 1,500 engineers

Dave Harvey

About turn?

But I always heard BT complaining that separation would STOP them investing in the network....funny that!

Intel swallows Tesla-hating self-driving car biz Mobileye for $15bn

Dave Harvey

And if you think that a robot is dangerous, then how could you possibly put a distraction-prone, unreliable HUMAN in charge of such a machine?

Smut-scamming copyright chaser 'fesses up, will do hard time

Dave Harvey

Great to see this

There's not normally a lot of good news coming out of the USA and it's justice system, but news that these scum are (eventually) getting their come-uppance does actually give me a rare feel-good moment.