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* Posts by Roland6

4540 posts • joined 23 Apr 2010

Brit ISPs get their marker pens out: Speed advertising's about to change

Roland6
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Re: WiFi

>"Ethernet over Homeplug"

"has the same problems as wifi when it comes to contention. It's ok if you only have 2 homeplugs and rapidly turns to mush if you have more than that."

Agree it has contention issues, however, not seen it - I use 4 in a single network and have yet to upset son's on-line gaming whilst at the same time downloading ISO's etc. But then I suspect the limiting factor is the broadband as the FTTC is only 38Mbps and the homeplugs are 600Mbps... :)

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Roland6
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>"the UK's most powerful Wi-Fi signal"

Signal power is totally unrelated to data carrying capacity ie. speed...

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Roland6
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Re: And next?

>Unlimited broadband*

We apply throttling if you use more than 1mb a day and disconnect you if you go over 10mb

I seem to remember in following up a comment on El Reg that some European ISP's (France?) already do this, although the thresholds aren't quite as low as your example.

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Roland6
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Re: WiFi

>Depends how many devices you've got all individually requesting WiFi-sized chunks of your external bandwidth...

No it depends on how many WiFi AP's you have plugged into your router that are requesting WiFi-sized chunks of bandwidth.

Whilst 'N' sounds good, the vast majority of WiFi devices will quite happily use a A/B/G channel, a few will use 2-channel N and even fewer multi-channel N. So to make any real impact on a 1Gb FTTP connection, you'll need quite a few WiFi AP's at which point you are probably better to simply admit defeat and hard cable the bandwidth heavy appliances: Amazon Prime via Xbox over Ethernet over Homeplug is consistently better than the same set up using WiFi...

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The great wearables myth busted: Apps never, ever mattered

Roland6
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Re: Almost no one

>More importantly, it is to be able to tell time with a glance not likely to be noted

This is the reason why an analogue watch display out-performs a digital (pure-numeric) display - you can glance at it (have it in the corner of the eye) and the muscle memory translates the image into a good-enough time! something I've not been able to do with the pure-numeric display many cars have on their dashboards...

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International Maritime Organisation turns salty gaze on regulating robotic shipping

Roland6
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Re: Tortuga bound

>stopping an autonomous ship is probably not hard.

Just press the big red emergency engine cut off button?

Can't see these ships having zero local manual override: ship's computer believes the charts are 100% accurate and so tries to steer the ship straight-through a sandbank that the last tide moved...

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Three-hour outage renders Nest-equipped smart homes very dumb

Roland6
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>Can anyone point me in the direction of a product line similar to Nest that:

There isn't one!

Fundamentally this is down to Standards, until such time as Standards exist and are adhered to by all vendors, you are locked into a proprietary walled garden and hence all will fail your "cannot be bricked by the vendor if they decide to stop supporting it", plus you are limited to only automating those elements of your home your chosen vendor deems to support, in the way they envisage people will want to use it.

Personally, I just apply the KISS principle.

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Roland6
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Re: This story should be mandatory reading

>some insurance companies are au fair with smartlocks...

However, if you want more favourable premiums and easier claim payout, you do need to inform the insurance company of the grade of locks you are using and be able to show that at the time of the unfortunate event such locks were being used.

It is for these reasons, that I've taken a premium hit with my burglar alarm, as I cannot be sure that partner and teenagers would always set the alarm on leaving the house - most insurance companies would happily insure Fort Knox as if it had the security of a greenhouse, just don't expect the premiums to be reasonable.

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Roland6
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Re: Unnecessary points of failure

>There is no fundamental reason why the logic needs to be hosted in the "cloud" or that you should need to pay any kind of subscription for this.

Not a business thinker then?

Also, given what else has been recently covered on El Reg, your solution does sound a lot like a home server, which if it were to be adopted for high street solutions, would most probably require the use of UPnP to create that "secure connection through your router"; which as we know everyone is telling us to turn off as it is a security risk...

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Roland6
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>Edit: the roll up garage door no longer has an opening latch. It broke decades ago and there are no spares available. Nor is there a new garage door as sturdy as the current one.

If the garage door is that old, I expect it is sufficiently sturdy to support the modifications necessary to have a new lock installed... But then I'm happy to get the tools out and through a combination of Meccano and odd bits of metal fashion the necessary custom linkages...

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Roland6
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>"Stop texting me and put your phone on standby!" is apparently considered an emotionally insensitive response in this situation.

Well given "he is expecting an important call regarding a law school interview in an hour", I suspect a response that would of gone down better and enhanced your standing would have been: Go to MacDonalds, buy yourself something to eat and use their charging stations.

Okay, I know not all UK McD's have been upgraded yet, but actually if all else fails he could practise talking to people as often strangers will lend you their charger and provided you give it back both parties feel better for the experience! You never know he might meet a girl!!! :)

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Roland6
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Re: "manually adjust thermostats"

>His solution is a phone call

"Pop round and turn the heating on again, will you?"

But you and those who think IoT in the home is a good idea, are missing the uncommunicated message: you dad by asking you to go round is also asking you to check that the house hasn't burnt down, been burgled, the freezer hasn't thawed out, open the windows if the place smells a bit, plus can you make sure there is a pint of fresh milk (so he can have a cup of tea on his return) and a fresh loaf of bread in the cupboard and finally if any of the above has occurred can you sort it out, so that he (and your mum) can walk into their home and encounter no nasty surprises that would ruin their holiday.

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Roland6
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Re: Did I read that right...

Insurance is very simple.

No forced entry, no cover.

Won't stop the sheep from bleating when they come face-to-face with this reality when they try and claim that someone broke in via their insecure IoT setup...

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Boffins bash out bonkers boost for batteries

Roland6
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>Perfectly possible with TODAY'S technology, if they put a decent size battery in there.

And turned off Location reporting...

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

Roland6
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Re: BT Plus

>I'm with Three (not my first choice).

Is that because it is the only one with coverage for your home?

Hence ruling out the EE offerings (100GB pm for £45 and 200GB pm for £60).

Whats your backup ifwhen the Three network disappears, as it does from time-to-time - as does the EE network. Aside: I primarily use EE, but use Three as my backup, so for the last two years not been without Internet, just that some days things perform slightly differently...

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Brit prosecutors fined £325k after losing unencrypted vids of police interviews

Roland6
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Re: Why do the ICO bother?

Suspect the 'fine' would need to be taken from the bonuses in a fashion similar to your car insurance no claims discount. So they only get the full bonus if they have had several years of no 'claims', thus an incident like this will impact several years worth of bonuses.

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America's forgotten space station and a mission tinged with urine, we salute you

Roland6
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Re: Nice work, El Reg

>These articles really are worth the price of subscription.

Mind you, perhaps it is a good thing Skylab fell from orbit as otherwise it would mean gypsythief's Geek's Map of Britain would be having problems.

Perhaps this is a warning that soon we will need a Geeks Guide to the Galaxy...

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Roland6
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Re: I hope..

@AC

In 1970 the world population was circa 3.7B, hence 28% is circa 1B.

In 2015 the world population was circa 7.2B (it is now circa 7.6B), hence 11% is circa 836M

So in practical terms, the real number of "under-nourished" people has hardly changed, just that we seem to have been successful (so far) in not creating more under-nourished people.

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Wanna break Microsoft's Edge browser? Google's explained how

Roland6
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> I had to give consent to slurping or I could not access my computer to perform the downgrade!

Potential GDPR failure?

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Roland6
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Too much money?

Whilst we should be pleased about this, it does seem that if you have a big cash flow which you need to reduce your tax bill on then getting a team to pick over the competitors products is a worthy undertaking...

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UPnP joins the 'just turn it off on consumer devices, already' club

Roland6
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Re: Knocking on my firewall door

>Luckily then I had Kerio/Tiny Personal Fire Wall.

?

The most recent entry on FileHippo for the Sunbelt (previously Kerio PF) is 2008, but the website is defunct.

As for Tiny PF (not to be confused with TinyWall)...

And I thought running Agnitum Outpost PFW, last updated December 2016 was risky...

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Surface Hub 2: Microsoft's pricey whiteboard gets a sequel

Roland6
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Re: They're good... but...

>However, I would suggest the use case is fairly narrow - if you're doing truly collaborative whiteboarding across different sites, and you need an excellent hand drawing capability, then they're bang on the money.

The problem is that many of those doing this are small companies who can't justify the large expense. Now if all this functionality was within a normal 'tablet' (I'm thinking of a 19~24" device such as the Dell XPS-18 - no successor product spotted as yet) then things might be different.

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Roland6
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Re: Microsoft hopes users will leap from their seats and prod the screens with excited fingers

>What was presented is far too simplistic

Agree, from what I read elsewhere, I suspect it was simplistic because the new features are in typical MS fashion largely unusable.

For example, that wall of four screens is supposed to be four Surface Hub 2's tiled together. I expect, that much effort is needed to get the Surface Hub 2's to co-ordinate their displays and processing; as no one at MS would have played with Cube World.

Which brings us to another point, if this is Win10 then why isn;t this functionality in the mainstream Win10 build: I have a Win10 tablet, just touch it to my laptop/desktop/tablet screen and it's automatically shared.

Another example, see that 'flipchart' spun from portrait to landscape, note the camera, not only did it spin, but it was also not integrated into the bezel. For the amount of money MS want, I would expect two cameras in the bezel, with automatic switching based on auto-sensed orientation. But then once again, whilst I like the way they rotated the screen contents, why is this not part of mainstream Win10.

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Roland6
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Re: Inevitably...

http://dilbert.com/strip/1995-04-03

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OpenWrt forums lost as hardware failure again crocks open Wi-Fi router

Roland6
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Re: That's bad

>Volunteer projects can't afford to have one person in charge of something with the rest unable to get to it if it goes wrong

Trouble is that is probably the case for the majority of projects and business IT 'departments'; business continuity is more than fully redundant hardware...

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Decades-old data reveals shows Jupiter’s moon sprayed alien juice over Galileo probe

Roland6
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"Decades old data"

So is it safe to assume that NASA has learnt the lessons about the long-term storage of data: both retaining the metadata about just what is in the dataset and keeping the data in an accessible format on an accessible device.

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PGP and S/MIME decryptors can leak plaintext from emails, says infosec professor

Roland6
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Re: how bad is it?

>It's not too clear. Is the encryption the problem or is it the software?

Website with reasonable level of tech detail, that explains the issues and mitigations here: https://efail.de/

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So when can you get in the first self-driving car? GM says 2019. Mobileye says 2021. Waymo says 2018 – yes, this year

Roland6
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Re: Not surprised at all.

>Sorry Bob, but that just doesn't work for a lot of people. Like, anyone with children, or people like myself, who have dogs.

I expect these new rental cars will simply pick up the same T&Cs as in current usage. Which will introduce several limitations. I've not found a UK car rental company that doesn't prohibit dogs due to valeting problems. You will also find that no rental car has a towbar or roof rack due to insurance liabilities; if you need either of these (eg. to take a couple bikes with you) then you need to rent a van...

[Aside: interesting how quickly we've accepted that no smoking in shared vehicles is a given - it's been years since I've seen a recently built car with ash trays.]

As to interior condition, I suspect like you that there will be some surcharge if the vehicle can't be immediately sent to the next client. However, the one good thing [slight sarcasm here], is that there will be thousands of people, previously employed as taxi drivers who will be able to man valeting services on many street corners...

> There's a freedom angle, and not owning your own slice of freedom is going to be a hard sell.

This is the big challenge we are going to have to face up to in the coming years. TPTB (ie. government & police) seem to believe that self-driving cars will mean that the increasing numbers of older drivers can be encouraged to switch vehicles rather than be compelled to surrender their license and change their way of life. From conversations with TPTB, I suspect their expectations are as usual over-optimistic of when the technology will be "good enough"; so I expect Bob Dole (tm) to be partialy right, just that part of the change will be decades of transport problems and - by modern standards - high levels of accidents, congestion etc. plus unforeseen (well couldn't be bothered to do the research) social problems.

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Roland6
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Re: Shared Vehicles waste energy and clog roads...

>Is there some magic to bring the Road Distance Efficiency Factor (RDEF) of such shared vehicles back up from its inherent starting point near 50%?

Anticipating one possible answer, put several passengers into one shared vehicle. Yeah, that's called a "bus".

Well, although I did not down vote, I suspect if we assume a significantly large switchover and usage patterns not too dissimilar to today ie. morning evening rush hours, theatre/pub closing etc. then we will get to a point where at times there are too many vehicles touting for non-existent business...

Currently one of the bus companies serving a local school, after dropping off kids in the morning, simply parks their buses around the corner in a convenient layby, the drivers share a car back to wherever, returning in the evening to collect the kids. So I anticipate we will see a similar level of logistical planning with shared self-drive cars: having dropped serval thousand people off in the morning at a business park, most of the cars will remain on the business park until the evening exodus, likewise overnight why go to a parking lot only to return the following morning, why not simply park outside in readiness for the morning's rush hour trade...So whilst ownership and financials change, very little will change with respect to vehicle movement and utilisation...

Although, we could see some branching out and vehicles having 'beds' installed to encourage greater occupancy...

So basically, can't see any real cost savings if you are going to improve the RDEF.

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Roland6
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Re: Too soon

>"In an *extremely* well signed and lane-marked environment, sure, okay, I can see a car working next year. In the real world, we are nowhere near. "

Which effectively says that given the lead time on making roads up to that standard, we won't be seeing self-driving cars on UK roads within the next few decades, unless those who wish to sell self-driving cars make the investment and take on the upgrade. However, we can be sure that this will cause problems as some operators will want to use their own corporate branded road markings eg. RAL 4010 magenta lines (tm) instead of white lines...

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Roland6
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.>oh yeah I forgot cyclists!

and the tourists!

I note both pictures are either out-of-season or very early morning.

Bet ferries are an oversight in the current generation of navigation systems and self-driving cars. from your picture of the Torpoint ferry, expect self-driving car to hanger left but not check that the ferry is docked before it parks on the deck...

However, I do note that your roads (and roads in Cornwall in general), whilst narrow, are well maintained. My area the roads, are wider but not so well maintained. The main road to my village, last year allowed two cars to pass each other at speed, as a result of this winter the road is now effectively single track with passing places, unless you want to risk your suspension in all the pot holes. As a (bloody) cyclist, I have to ride 3~4 feet out into the road as the edges are that badly degraded. I doubt any of the current generation self-driving systems take any real account of road surface and thus will be guided by the white line...

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Roland6
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Re: I have a 2018 Nissan Leaf with ProPilot...

...and it's pretty impressive when it works.

And this is the crux of the matter, self-driving cars have to work 100% of the time, with no human supervision not 1% with human supervision...

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'Alexa, find me a good patent lawyer' – Amazon sued for allegedly lifting tech of home assistant

Roland6
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>It's actually pretty specific

But also very generic in its claims - the natural language assistant I worked on in 2001 potentially falls foul of claim 1!

To me the acid test would be whether Nuance holds a licence for this patent or not and what the royalty's Nuance pays, if any...

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Roland6
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Interesting, whilst the agreement was out of court, it would seem the court had a part to play in the final agreement.

Rensselaer, in this complaint, notes:

"47. The Apple action was filed on June 3, 2013, and was resolved through a

settlement that was approved by this Court on May 2, 2016. "

Thus a quick search returns several articles along the lines of this one:

https://www.bizjournals.com/albany/news/2016/04/19/apple-settles-siri-lawsuit-with-rensselaer-dallas.html

The published terms and the amount involved (25m USD) would seem to indicate that Apple chose not to fight and settle - probably because the case had several other strands to it. Interestingly, this case would also seem to set the upper limit on payments from Amazon, particularly as Alexa currently has a smaller market than Siri...

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Roland6
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Or it could have gone the other way - remember the 'settlement' was out of court, so no public statement on just what exactly was the settlement.

So the '798 patent could be totally worthless, just that Apple were happy for Rensselaer to simply back down and agrre that Apple didn't infringe a worthless patent...

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Password re-use is dangerous, right? So what about stopping it with password-sharing?

Roland6
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Is the underlying assumption 100% valid?

>Password re-use is dangerous, right?

As a long time user of a password manager that flags where I have used the same username/password across websites, one of the things I've come across is how many 'websites' are actually amalgams of several websites ie. component parts/services are delivered by third-parties using websites on different domains, giving me the choice of whether I log in directly to a specific sub-website or go via the main portal website - in both cases my username/password are identical. Whilst this situation would seem to an be ideal candidate for a single-sign-on security solution, companies are clearly using the standard toolset.

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Roland6
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Re: Published leaked passwords

>1Password now checks your new passwords against the leaked passwords at https://haveibeenpwned.com/Passwords

Only really of value if it gives a common usage rating, hence just because a 16-character password hash is on Troy's list against another (unrelated) user account, doesn't mean it is insecure, whereas if the password is in the top 100 or has had its hash cracked...

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Roland6
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Re: A site might know if two visitors to that site have the same password

A site might know if two visitors to that site have the same password

Is this really a problem?

I fully get - from the analysis of previously released passwords that having too many accounts with the same password isn't good for security, but just what is "too many" - I suggest 2 users on Facebook say, having the same password isn't a big issue, you probably could have a few thousand with a sub 8-character password before security is degraded...

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Roland6
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Re: Open doors for madness

I agree this hasn't been thought through. Firstly, it assumes there is a trust relationship between unrelated websites and secondly, I suspect it will be difficult to protect this backdoor API from dictionary & password cracker attacks - I suspect this could be more remunerative than BitCoin mining...

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Roland6
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Re: Sites sharing passwords with each other?

So obviously passwords aren't as secure as these guys think they are.

I think you meant to say "password storage and handling by websites isn't as secure as these guys think they are".

Which is the conclusion they should have reached, given all the password lists on Troy's site originate from the very websites he is proposing should implement this fancy scheme...

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Brit data centre pioneer BladeRoom prevails in trade secrets theft case

Roland6
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Can Emerson appeal this judgement?

Until the appeals path is closed down then I would wait a bit before claiming a success...

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Southend Airport tests drone detection system

Roland6
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Re: A relatively quiet hub ..

>and no-one seems to have an issue calling them 'London' airports.

That's probably why HS2 doesn't really connect with Birmingham International Airport, as if it did the journey time would probably be much shorter than the time to some other 'London' airports and we can't possibly have Birmingham airport describe itself as "London Birmingham International Airport"...

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Microsoft programming chief to devs: Tell us where Windows hurt you

Roland6
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Re: Whats the pain points?

>Take notes. Take LOTS of notes.

Then commit to getting a knowledgeable developer to respond to each and every point made.

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T-Mobile owner sends in legal heavies to lean on small Brit biz over use of 'trademarked' magenta

Roland6
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> England, Wales and Northern Ireland use common law.

Overlooking the facts of the case, DT is a German HQ'd company, trying to invoke EU law. So what isn't clear is whether DT will (if ignored) apply to the UK courts or apply to the German courts to get an EU wide decision...

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Roland6
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Re: Do they still own the claimed trademark?

>That was just the UK instance of T-Mobile.

This is going to be interesting, as DT are playing the 'EU' single market card on this and given T-Mobile UK effectively ceased trading in 2010 and EE stopped using the branding in 2015, there are questions over whether DT have done enough subsequently to protect their brand in the UK.

I also find it amusing that DT are wanting DataJar to write to the UKIPO etc. when in fact this is something that DT should be doing - perhaps if they did this they would understand why the UKIPO -operating under EU law - allowed the DataJar application to proceed to publication... I suspect they know full well that they don't really have a case and are just trying to bully DataJar...

Personally, I would pluck a figure out-of-the-air and send that back as the price of undertaking the requested work. I'm sure as a reflection of their "high value on the integrity of a fair market and the business contributions of every market participant" and the avoidance of bad publicity and the legal costs, DT would happily write out a cheque for a few million...

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IT systems still in limbo as UK.gov departments await Brexit policy - MPs

Roland6
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Re: Shock

@Codejunky

"The desire is leave the EU"

Leave is an action/journey, not a destination...

Although to be fair Farage did have a little to say about the sort of Britain he wanted, just that this wasn't more fully developed into a delivery roadmap. However, May et al clearly think that by repeatedly spouting nonsense will somehow make things true; let us hope the Brexit Snark isn't a Boojum...

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Roland6
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Re: Shock

@Codejunky

There was a plan for leave, by the party lead by Farage who actually did all the leg work and finally got us the vote.

Yes, it did read well, until you took into consideration reality, like step one, how to actually leave the EU - we forget that "article 50" wasn't widely known about until quite late in the day, hence why everyone grasped at it rather than ask what is our desired end state and what is the best way to get there...

"Far too short sighted. Return sovereignty to the country where the electorate vote for their government. Even if this gov is a screw up the only thing we really need them to achieve is brexit."

Disagree, as I pointed out in another comment, Westminster has a rather long track record of screwing things up. The trouble is that whilst I agree with Farage that as Westminster signed various EU treaties without the backing of the UK public, the Leave result is a nice mess of Westminster's making and now has to clear up, I don't see any evidence that Westminster has learnt anything and thus do things differently in future - Brexit or 'fudged' Brexit...

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Roland6
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Re: Shock

"Remember it is the EU 'rules' as interpreted and applied by HM government that means..."

@Dave 15 - Sorry to shatter your tirade against the EU, but once again, we have people pointing their finger at the wrong culprit; the real problem hasn't been with the EU but with Westminster. The problem the UK has had is that successive governments have failed to properly engage with and understand the rules of the club they joined. Going off at a slight tangent, the inaction of Westminster over traditional British weights and measures is a very public demonstration of Westminster inaction.

It wasn't the EU who forced the UK to sell off its gold reserves at a ill-advised time, it wasn't the EU who forced the UK government to sell off it's nuclear know-how and then contract with the Chinese - although it was the EU club rules that at least required the UK government to structure the deal differently, hence why they (once again) went for a French company (EDF) rather than encourage UK industry...

The problem the UK has - regardless of Brexit, is that Westminster's track record in both protecting UK interests and delivering business to UK HQ'd companies is appalling...

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Roland6
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Re: Shock

Is anyone surprised? What is the brexit policy?

Good questions Codejunky!

Why haven't May and her three monkeys published a hard Brexit execution plan, given what was known when they took office?

I suspect as others have pointed out they believed their own slogans and thought that the EU would simply let them have the cake and eat it and that actually preparing for a hard Brexit might actually be seen, by Brexiteers, as a lack of faith...

Additionally, I doubt any of the hard Brexiteers have a plan other than stick two fingers up and walk away to the nearest pub to down another pint of courage.

The reasons why there is no "Brexit policy" are wholly down to those currently in office - those to whom Brexiteers want to return sovereignty to...

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Microsoft vows to bridge phones to PCs, and this time it means it. Honest.

Roland6
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>Past attempts to bridge the gap have included huge redesigns

?Win8 was an attempt to have a single OS across all devices, it didn't attempt to bridge the gap and actually link all your devices together.

It's funny how way back in 2001 there was much talk of multi-modal interaction, but very little was actually delivered...

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