* Posts by SImon Hobson

1166 posts • joined 9 Sep 2006

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Sysadmin sticks finger in pipe, saves data centre from flood

SImon Hobson
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Best generator tale I've heard was this.

At a previous employer, we had our own substation, and when they needed to do tree clearing work, the sent someone to our site to isolate our end and be sure that we couldn't backfeed the line. I got talking to the guy and he told me this tale ...

They were doing some work on the lines ito a nearby town, and had brought in a couple of portable generators. These were hooked up and running, but under no load.

A manager was walking past, in his clean hi-vis just as the load went onto the generators. As the power went on, anyone who knows about diesels will realise that all sorts of oily sh*t comes out the exhaust - and this manager was head to toe in black oily smuts from the diesel exhaust.

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SImon Hobson
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Re: A few years ago . .

Ah, the old generator trick.

Starts fine when there's mains, but doesn't when it needs to because the batteries aren't very good.

Or the diesel is many years old and full of biological sludge - there's a bug that lives in diesel tanks.

Or it's just simply clogged up from all those "start, run with no load, stop" cycles because there's no way to put it under load without a short power drop.

Or, the diesel tank is in the basement and the fuel pump is mains powered.

(in the UK) There are outfits you can sign up with who will manage your generator and get you STOR payments from the grid. It will need some switchgear changes for many customers (to allow the generator to parallel with the grid), but once that's done you can fire up the genny and run it at full load for a proper test. Further, when it gets called on for short term grid supply, you get paid for it and get to turn over your fuel - you get paid a small amount just for having it available.

STOR = Short Term Operating Reserve. This is the "oh sh*t" reserves the grid can call on when (for example) a large generator goes offline without warning.

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SImon Hobson
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Re: Speaking of boarding up things.

the girls would turn off the AC and turn on the heating, rather than say wear something longer than a belt of a skirt, or a cardigan over the strappy sleeveless top

Ah, you've had that too.

The ones who turn up when there's snow on the ground wearing some very summery outfit and complain that they are cold - at the same time that some of the women "of a certain age" are complaining that they are hot. Any suggestion that they wear something more fitting for the conditions is met in the same sort of way as if you'd been proposing a dirty weekend away with them.

Of course, you're expected to keep the office warm enough, and cool enough, and all without any sound or moving air.

To top it off, the way to the canteen was through the factory - and although they tried to keep the walkway clear, a natural consequence of what the factory did meant that it was always a little on the slippery side. Again, suggestions that the office girls wear some more sensible shoes was also met with "a certain level of disdain".

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US Treasury to launch pre-emptive strike on EU's Ireland tax probe

SImon Hobson
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The other side of that is that everybody is bound, both by duty and by law, to give a certain moderate part of their earnings and/or wealth to maintain the civilisation which sustains them

And the key point is that the governments get to set the laws that determine what part of your wealth they are entitled to take. As long as you comply with those laws then you have discharged your duty<period>. Now if those laws have loopholes big enough to sail a supertanker through, then that's a problem with the laws, not with the people working within them.

Our own HMRC in UK are very fond of declaring what they think you should owe according to how they want the law to be. Apparently they quite often lose when people stand up to them and tell them to get their shovel out of the pile.*

* That's a reference to a historic judgement by Lord Clyde in 1929 :

"No man in the country is under the smallest obligation, moral or other, so to arrange his legal relations to his business or property as to enable the Inland Revenue to put the largest possible shovel in his stores. The Inland Revenue is not slow, and quite rightly, to take every advantage which is open to it under the Taxing Statutes for the purposes of depleting the taxpayer's pocket. And the taxpayer is in like manner entitled to be astute to prevent, so far as he honestly can, the depletion of his means by the Inland Revenue"

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Avon_Clyde,_Lord_Clyde

Key is the basic principle that tax avoidance (ie arranging your affairs, within the constraints of the law, so as to minimise your tax) is completely legal. There is no legal or moral issue with avoiding as much tax as you are allowed to.

Tax avoidance (not paying that tax which you are legally required to pay) is a different matter.

Unfortunately, much of the press is illiterate and incapable of understanding the distinction, and "the masses" lap up the accusations that "X isn't paying their tax" - when usually, X is in fact paying all the tax they are legally required to.

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Corbyn lied, Virgin Trains lied, Harambe died

SImon Hobson
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Even if, for a moment we suspend reason and accept that everything Corbyn said is true, if he thinks that is "ram packed" then he really is a stranger to rail travel on popular routes. He could sit on the floor, he could walk around, that really isn't ram packed !

Ram packed is when you daren't drop anything as there's not enough room to bend down to pick it up.

As for nationalisation, I can remember what things were like under BR - I'll take Virgin or Trans-Pennine any day over that thank you.

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SImon Hobson
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Re: OK Jeremy--renationalization--what then?

And if the lines are nationalized, how is Labor going to assure that neither ...

What would happen is like in the past (under all colours of government), they'd use it as a cash cow, suck all the money out and do no investment or maintenance. For a few years it would work, because there's been so much work done since the end of the last nationalised period - so it would be a while before it started to show.

Then after a few years it would start to show, and people would realise that we were back to the bad old days. It's notable that when you see people on the news complaining about the state of the railways and calling for nationalisation - they are typically relatively young, ie too young to remember what it used to be like !

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£11bn later: Smart meters project delayed again for Crapita tests

SImon Hobson
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Re: communicate with the grid... mmmmm

I will add that on a large scale, loads doing their own thing based on frequency is a bad thing. For fairly small amounts it'll work out fine - just like one user switching on the kettle doesn't make the lights change in the next street. But if really large amounts of loads were self controlled like that, then there is the risk of instability.

Eg, frequency drops, lots of load sheds just as supply is being ramped up, frequency recovers and overshoots, loads go back on just as the supply is being ramped back down - rinse and repeat.

As I say, for small amount this isn't a problem - the small loads won't all switch at the same thresholds or at the same time. Get enough loads operating autonomously and it would make the grid somewhat harder to control.

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SImon Hobson
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Re: communicate with the grid... mmmmm

I am talking from the point of view that I worked in the power industry for a number of years with direct experience of the issues.

Ah the "resort to authority" approach. Pity you don't seem to have learned all that much in that 40 years then.

The assertion 'frequency has to be, give or take near-unmeasurable differences' the same across the grid is just nonsense, for a start it defies the laws of physics!

It defies the laws of physics for the whole grid (talking UK, all AC connected, grid here) to not be at the same frequency. There may be phase differences, but over a few cycles these cannot be more than an imperceptible difference in frequency. Lets face it, if the phase different across the grid exceeded some "not very large" fraction of a cycle, then things would be tripping or going bang due to the excess currents caused.

Just see what happens if you try over-driving a generator. It'll change phase (become more leading as the power goes up) - but it will not change frequency as it's locked to the grid. Only if you drive it so hard that it electrically "cannae do no more" then it will slip - yes it'll now be running at a different frequency, but not for long before either all the breakers trip or something goes bang in a big and spectacular way !

So some small fraction of a cycle, averaged over (at least) a few tens of cycles is going to be "fook all" in terms of frequency deviation. At very most you could get a small deviation to register if (for example) you suddenly opened the taps on a big generator and significantly changed the current flows in part of the network. In the long term (where long is measured in seconds), phase differences across the network due to power flows etc simply cannot show up as a frequency difference.

The US, with their larger grid, for precisely this frequency control problem, section their grid using Direct Current inter-connectors, but I digress.

You are confusing the terms here. The US grid is decoupled for stability control, not frequency control - though the two are fairly closely linked. It's due to the increased difficulty of the problem of balancing supply and demand across the much larger number of organisations involved.

Simple example, of a large generator in (say) New York trips, then that will have an effect across the whole network - reduced voltage and reduced frequency. If the whole network were AC coupled then you could then find generators in California opening the taps to compensate - when what you really need is generators local to New York to open the taps. The result could be significant changes in power flows, and if load is high then the risk is that you exceed capacity on some line somewhere with the risk of that tripping and causing a cascade failure (cf Niagara Falls incident).

Yes, the phase across the network will change, but the relative frequency (once you average ofer a few seconds) will still be exactly the same.

And this is why we have A (note the singular) central control room orchestrating our grid. We don't leave it to all and sundry to try doing their own thing, the control room orchestrates it - just like an orchestra would make a horrible cacophony if all the musicians tried to do their own thing rather than have the conductor organise them.

Splitting the US network with DC interconnects allows frequency control to be done in several smaller regions - thus simplifying the task somewhat. In addition, over long distances (which they have in the US), HVDC can have lower losses than AC.

It's also the same reason all our inter-country interconnects are DC - it avoids all the problems that would be caused if we had to co-ordinate our frequency control with the rest of Europe. Not to mention, the AC-DC and DC-AC converters offer very easy power control, much easier and quicker than tap changing on a transformer.

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SImon Hobson
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Re: Agree

it would usually mean running at night, which for washing machines, dryers, dish washers etc in terms of safety isn't recommended

Not only that, consider the number of people for whom running appliances like washing machines and dryers means they and their neighbours get a load of noise and vibration. Do you really want that 'thunk, thunk, thunk, ...." at 3am when you are trying to sleep. If my neighbours were running anything like that in the early hours then I'd be complaining to the council as it's a statutory nuisance.

When then, one gov department is basically telling people to be antisocial b'stards, while another will be trying to deal with the nuisances caused.

but because there is huge swathes of the population that have expensive pre-pay meters that they cant afford to move away from - but they can afford to move to standard tariffs!

But the point people have been making is that this does not need smart meters. No really, smart meters as they are being done here really really REALLY are not needed. It's just one of those things being pushed to try and hide the true purpose - which is energy rationing in all but name.

A meter capable of remote switching between pre-pay and post-pay does not need the intrusive and insecure data slurping - nor does it need the remote disconnect feature. A meter capable of recording usage at different rates does not need the intrusive and insecure 1/2 hourly data slurping.

It would be entirely possible to switch from pre-pay to post-pay via a message passed via the credit key system IF that had been built in. OK, it would be a lot harder to switch from post-pay to pre-pay and that might mean a premises visit - but that premises visit wouldn't need tools, wouldn't need someone (supposedly) qualified to change the meter - just insert a key with an instruction to switch modes.

The problem is that they've gone down this route of "the data is available, we must slurp it" without ever stopping to ask "should we slurp it" and "what use is it" - the answers being NO and "not a lot". We've had multi-register meters for many decades - they just tot up usage for each charging rate. The same could be done with the dumb so-called "smart" meters - just tot up usage for each charging rate (the majority will be just 2 or 3 rates tops) and report the totals each month. THAT is all the information needed for billing purposes - the rest is just hacker bait and marketing departments wet dreams.

It will leak sooner or later. This is UK Gov and Crapita, a network with 30 million nodes on it, devices that won't (in practical terms) be patchable when the inevitable vulnerabilities are found, and a database that has to be a juicy target.

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Your wget is broken and should DIE, dev tells Microsoft

SImon Hobson
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Isn't it rather quaint that MS says it can't change something without consulting users. What f****ing hypocrites. They go out of their way to change sh*t all the time regardless of how much users complain.

People were mostly happy with the XP UI - so they changed it to something else. People were mostly happy with the Win7 UI so they changed that. OK< people really loath the Win8 UI and they did change that - just not for anything much better.

Then there's the ribbon bar in Office. And just don't get me started on that pile of steaming manure that is their online Sharepoint offering where they keep fooking about with the UI - usually for the worse.

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BT best provider for 10Mbps USO, says former digi minister Ed Vaizey

SImon Hobson
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Bloke on cloud nine talks rubbish

He is correct to suggest BT should be sweating it's copper - it's right that any company should attempt to make as good a return on it's existing assets as it can. But that's as far as it goes.

He is talking bollocks when he suggests they shouldn't be pushing FTTP. Not pushing the sensible option for decades is what got us to the mess of needing to sweat copper now.

The thing is, it's a huge task - yes, converting the country to fibre would be a massive massive MASSIVE task. But that's only if you look at it in terms of converting what's already there. If we started by putting fibre in where new investment is needed then we'd be making a start. If they started that a decade ago, then we'd have (picking WAGs from the air) perhaps 5% of connections now on fibre. Not a lot perhaps, but it's a chunk into that massive task.

There's a saying that you can eat an elephant if you do it a small piece at a time - the problem is that we're concentrating on how hard it is to eat a whole one, and not even starting on the task of trying a bit at a time.

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Running a DNSSec responder? Make sure it doesn't help the black hats

SImon Hobson
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Force TCP all the time ?

Just sort of throwing ideas out there ...

What about setting the server up to allow only very small responses before setting the TCP flag ?

Yes it'll increase load and packet count for legitimate clients - but it would stop amplification attacks, or at least reduce them to simple reflection attacks in volume.

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VeraCrypt security audit: Four PGP-encoded emails VANISH

SImon Hobson
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There's nothing fundamentally wrong with using public email systems - provided that the information you are including is suitably protected. So if the infomation is properly encrypted and attached as a file, then who cares if Google can read the "Hi Jim, here's the information you asked for" in plain text ?

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Thieves can wirelessly unlock up to 100 million Volkswagens, each at the press of a button

SImon Hobson
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Re: As the owner of a vulnerable Audi

Pretty sure a Slim Jim will still be the tool of choice for the typical thief

I think you'll find that modern designs cater for that.

Maybe if I had something really expensive like the R8 I'd be worried

So you never have to leave anything of any value in the car then ? This isn't about stealing the car (it's already been mentioned that you'd still have the immobiliser system to get around), but about unlocking it. In principle, you could have left the (for example) Christmas shopping in the car while you take a break/do more shopping/have a meal/whatever - and meanwhile someone can come along, unlock the car, take the shopping, and lock the car before they leave. Or you might need to leave the laptop in the boot while you go out for a meal with mates after work. Or ...

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SImon Hobson
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Re: develop detachable steering wheels

... and the "removable front panel" was invented

And not long afterwards, there came a new market down the pub selling "replacement" front panels ...

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Investors to be allowed to sue Volkswagen over emission row

SImon Hobson
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Re: While no other manufacturer was using a similar system to Volkswagen's ...

Though to be pedantic, others have been caught doing the same thing in different ways - such as using the GPS to determine if they are in a test facility !

The thing that needs to be remembered though is that these cars passed the legally mandated tests<period>. I would argue that they didn't actually break any laws, because I doubt they actually claimed anything other than having passed the tests (and using the official consumption figures that also come out from the tests).

The law (AIUI) is clear - the cars have to be put through a specific cycle under specific conditions, and under those tightly specified conditions, they have to meet certain limits.

So this is very much like all those "international company isn't paying enough tax" complaints - just that, a complaint but without foundation. If the results are wrong, then look at the process that leads to them - don't complain about people complying with the laws as written down.

This is different to (say) someone putting legal tyres on a car before it's MOT and then putting bald ones back on afterwards. There is nothing wrong with this in terms of the MoT test - but there is a law against driving with bald tyres. In this case, there isn't actually a law against emitting much more on the road than in the tests.

But this is just yet another example of unintended consequences. You define the tests, people will work to passing those tests. I fail to see what's so hard to understand about this.

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Linux security backfires: Flaw lets hackers inject malware into downloads, disrupt Tor users, etc

SImon Hobson
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Re: Just Linux?

Aren't the other operating systems effectively even weaker against this because they haven't implemented RFC5961 at all?

Yes !

In effect, this isn't a new attack, it's just a way of disabling the mitigation for a very old attack - which as far as I can tell is a CVE from 2004. While I can see that a determined and well informed attacker could use the old attack against some types of traffic, in the general case I can't see it being that much use. You need to know that two IP addresses are communicating, and what ports they are using, and the sequence numbers they are using - AND exactly when they are doing it. Armed with all that knowledge, you can then inject packets - but if the traffic being passed is in any way checked (either explicitly or as a side effect of encryption such as SSL) then there's not much you can do other than terminate the connection.

So I think you can forget about attacks such as "changing the contents of an email or web page" simply because the requirements in terms of knowing exactly who is talking to who, using what ports, and when, are such as to make it impractical without the sort of access to information that would in reality make other ways of doing the same thing far more useful !

SSH sessions ? Tend to be quite long lived - but all you could do is terminate the session.

Torrent downloads ? Don't the clients checksum all the pieces anyway ?

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Italian MP threatens parents forcing veggie diets on kids with jail

SImon Hobson
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Let your children make their own decisions

That's all well and good - when they are old enough to make such decisions. There's a biiiiiig gap between when the damage is done to infants and toddlers and when those children are old enough to make their own minds up.

I'm a bit split on this issue though. One the one hand it does smack of nanny state - but on the other hand there are serious concerns for the health of children who are too young to make their own decisions. Yes, when the child is old enough to stand up to his/her parents and tell them "enough of this rubbish, I'm off down the pizzeria for some proper food" - then they are old enough. Until then I'd say they are deserving of protection.

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Black Hats control Jeep's steering, kill brakes

SImon Hobson
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Re: Why? @chris miller

Nope. ABS units are required to fail safe; that means that any failure that would lead to such a situation - including being taken over - would lead to the watchdog being triggered and the ABS unit disabled.

Yes, the hardware is perfectly capable of completely draining the brake lines - hold the dump valves open = no brakes. Note that I did specifically add the proviso that it depends on how well the developers did their job - and yes, I would hope that they did make it fail-safe.

But as we've seen, there are already safety critical flaws being found - so I think it's a bit too much of an over-statement to say that it "is impossible". I strongly suspect that an ABS system doesn't get quite the same level of (say) a nuclear reactor control system or an aircraft fly-by-wire system. Incidentally, there have been aircraft crashed by the very expensively engineered and supposedly fail-safe flight control systems.

But you are correct to say I haven't studied ABS systems in depth. One interesting avenue to look at might be the purge/bleed cycle. I know (some) ABS systems have a mode entered via diagnostics to do the bleeding in (at least) the valve block and pump. That probably takes the system out of it's normal road-safe envelope so there's the first avenue I'd be looking at.

Not ever embedded devloper is a completely clueless numpty

Indeed. Unfortunately, it seems that that plenty are, and car (or systems) manufacturers are employing them - otherwise we wouldn't be reading about Jeeps that can have the steering turned 'remotely' while driving.

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SImon Hobson
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Re: Why? @chris miller

The brakes are also physically linked to the mastercylinder as a matter of primary safety.

Well yes, sort of ...

Pretty well all cars these days have ABS, and that ABS system has the ability to let pressure out of each brake line - that's how it "unbrakes" a wheel that locks up. In normal operation, the system will then re-pressurise the line using pressure from an electric pump.

Take over the system, and it's perfectly capable (in principle) of holding all the dump valves open and letting all the pressure out of the brake lines - leaving you with the brake pedal on the floor and absolutely no braking whatsoever. Whether the system will ever allow that would be down to how well the developers catered for all possible situations - including malicious attack.

Conversely, it is most likely possible for the system to apply the brakes fully using pump pressure - thus locking up the wheels and leaving you sliding to a stop in a cloud of tyre smoke, and hoping there's nothing too close behind you.

And add in that many modern cars now have electronically controlled handbrakes, many of which (as I read some stuff I've come across) will use the service brakes (as above, but not full pressure !) if you apply the handbrake while moving.

As to steering, given the ever increasing over-servoing that seems to go into modern cars, I think if the steering decided to go to full lock, few drivers could a) work out WTF is going on, and b) over-ride it before you are well into the scenery ! I'm guessing that the steering takes inputs from other systems (road speed, angular acceleration) and is part of stability control - thus if you fake inputs saying the car is going into a serious upset, then it will apply "corrective" measures to (as it thinks) keep you on the road.

Even the throttle is a killer. So many cars no longer have any physical link between a key and the fuel system having power. So you could be going down the road, no brakes, full power and unable to "switch it off" and with someone else in control of the steering.

I think this leads to a questionnaire for next time I'm looking for a new car :

Is there a physical connections such that removing the key will remove power (without the involvement of electronics) to at least part of the fuel system ? Please show me the schematics and show the path that proves this ? (Yes, I can read schematics/wiring diagrams)

Is the ABS system physically capable of removing all braking effort ? Supplementary questions : When you said no, why were you lying to me ? When you said yes, what measures are in place to avoid "interference" on (eg) the CAN bus from triggering this ?

(If an auto) Is there a way to force the system (not involving any electronics) into neutral ?

And lastly ... Please get a senior director of <manufacturer> to sign to say that these are true and correct answers.

I think that should get me thrown out of the showroom :-)

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Internet of Car...rikey what the hell just happened to my car?

SImon Hobson
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Re: They're not making the 'same security mistakes' as each other

Trouble is, the few of us here who actually understand and give a damn are in a tiny, tiny, TINY minority. The vast majority these days don't understand and don't care - the sort of people who are so concerned about privacy that they splurge all their (and others who'd rather not be on there) activities on FarceBork.

People are buying the likes of Hive and Nest and ... because ... well, "ooh shiny". They don't know about the security and privacy implications, and (in general) they don't care.

Suggesting that the answer to any of these problems is to "not buy the crap" is forgetting that the 0.000<something> % of us who would actually boycott (if given the chance*) don't even make up a rounding error on the vendors' balance sheets.

* I say that because it's increasingly hard to actually not buy into this sort of crap. Take mobiles - well Apple will take your soul while you thank them for "allowing you" to use some iTat in a manner approved by Apple, Google will take your soul and sell you to advertisers, Microsoft will take your soul and sell you to advertisers, and the rest .... err who ?

Same for cars - all cars these days need all the sorts of electronics that are causing the problems, just to meet things like EU emissions and safety requirements. The rest is driven by demand from the "ooh shiny" brigade for useless crap. The pool cars at work even have touch screens for such fundamentals as demister controls - how ****ing stupid is it to make the driver look at a computer screen to work basic functions ?

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Forget card skimmers, chip-card shimmers will be your next nightmare

SImon Hobson
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Re: Liability?

The true aim of chip cards was to move the liability for fraudulent transactions away from the banks ...

This.

And what's more, I see that the security has been shown to be "not 100%" since at least NINE years ago ! There's some very good depressing reading over in the Light Blue Touchpaper blog.

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HMRC's IR35 tweaks have 90% of UK's IT contractors up in arms

SImon Hobson
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Re: Interesting...

I would sincerely hope that those protesting they are paying their tax are not the same on here who then turn around lambasting Amazon et al for employing aggressive tax accountants to minimise their tax exposure?

Actually I think you'll find there's a negative correlation between these two.

The ones paying the proper tax will also (in general) be the same people who understand that however much we may feel it is in some way "unfair" - what those companies are doing is working within the rules laid down by the various governments.

If people don't like what these companies are doing, then the aggression should be aimed at those responsible for the rules which allow it.

And for the record, I employ a tax avoidance scheme - in fact I have several. And it's all legal, and even promoted by the UK government and HMRC. In fact, most people use tax avoidance schemes - it's now even a legal requirement for employers to provide a scheme and sign people up to it unless they opt out.

And what is a tax avoidance scheme ? It's simply an arrangement, within the rules as laid down by the authorities concerned designed to minimise as far as is permitted by those rules the amount HMRC may shovel from your pocket.

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This is the think that the Daily Wail and Stun readers just don't understand. It is not illegal to arrange your affairs within the rules laid down so as to minimise how much tax you pay.

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For the hard of thinking, the avoidance schemes I refer to are things like pensions, ISAs, and so on.

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Windows 10 grabs 22 per cent desktop market share in a year

SImon Hobson
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Re: Other headlines:

That's what I was thinking.

Given how hard MS have pushed, cajoled, and even downright forced these "upgrades" on people, that's a rather poor showing. As you say, I could understand Win8 users "upgrading" (from what I've seen, Win10 isn't as bad to use as 8) - but there's a heck of a lot of Win7 users managed to avoid it.

Given the background to the rollout, this would seem to be an epic fail on MS's part.

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Windows 10 Pro Anniversary Update tweaked to stop you disabling app promos

SImon Hobson
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Re: "PROfessional" or "PROsumer"?

It looks someone at MS fails to understand the needs of many PROfessionals who uses their computer for true work ...

I suspect they fully understand - hence why they are deliberately pushing them to a paid version. As someone has already commented, it was predicted long ago that MS would start pushing sh*t, crippling features, etc on an ongoing basis so as to force everyone but the basic home user onto a paid subscription. Win10 was never "free", it was only "free" as in the "free samples" drug dealers anecdotally give prospective users to get them hooked. Once hooked in, the costs start to become apparent.

So no, there's no lack of understanding - they know exactly what they are doing. What they don't seem to realise is just how "unpopular" they are making themselves. But, as has been pointed out again and again - they can make themselves unpopular, push sh*t on users, screw users over, but people still go back and keep buying their sh*t !

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Ofcom should push for fibre – Ex BT CTO

SImon Hobson
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Re: Cui Bono?

Talk Talk say it's costing about £500 per property passed in York.

As I wrote above, part of that is because it's a niche, done in low volume, and it's being retrofitted. It's the same reason there are only "pockets" of cable TV - it's 'kin expensive retrofitting services around an already built environment.

Done as new provision to new developments the cost would be "very substantially less". OK, that only helps new developments, but it also means the economy of scale starts kicking in and bringing down some of the retrofit costs.

But if you do the costing on the basis of "we have to pull a 'kin big multipair cable out to 'Shoeboxville' anyway", then the cost of pulling a multifibre cable vs the cost of pulling a multipair copper cable is not that much different. The costs of putting the ducting into Shoeboxville* as the estate is being built is the same. Yes there'll be some incremental costs, but the equipment to terminate and manage all those analogue phones lines is not cheap - it's just amortised over long times. Before I moved, we'd had the same phone line in use for 30 years (and we weren't the first to be using that bit of copper) - so that bit of copper's been sat there earning rental for 40+ years. Apply that sort of timescale, and that £500/premises doesn't seem that expensive - as low as £1/month depending on how you do the calculation.

But BT don't want that sort of calculation. It suits them to keep the scarcity and keep the costs high - because that's their cash cow.

* Shoe boxes seems to be about all they build these days !

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SImon Hobson
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Re: "leave Europe, that needs everything in its favour"

Seriously, FTTP and ultrafast broadband isn't going to make a shit of difference to the vast majority of people.

Well that is true to a point. But, the cost of something tends to follow supply - as in, if everyone is getting FTTP whether they need it or not, then costs fall due to economies of scale. Thus for those who do want FTTP, the costs are high because it's a "niche" product, with a different set of teams to install and maintain it, etc, etc.

Had there been a policy set up "some time in the past" to make any network expansions done with fibre then instead of FTTP being an expensive niche product - it would be the default product and actually cheaper since IIRC I've read comments from BT that an all fibre network would be cheaper to run long term. And they have done trials converting entire villages to fibre only - "we have the technology" to do it, we don't have the commercial impetus to do it while they can sweat assets and charge a premium (aka fleece the customer) for what they consider to be premium services.

I've seen all this before - when ISDN2 came along, other countries adopted it with gusto. BT crippled it (refused to support some features) and made it very expensive so it wouldn't eat into their cash-cow leased lines business. Then when ADSL came along, same thing as BT deliberately adopted it as slowly as they could get away with to avoid eating into their cash-cow leased lines business. Now, with ADSL, VDSL, and even FTTP, they impose asymmetric speeds (sensible for ADSL, less so for VDSL, and not at all a technical issue for FTTP) so as to make the service less useful for hosting stuff (I run my own server at home and better outbound speed would be quite nice) - again (partly), you've guessed it, to force people to higher priced offerings. Pretty well everything BT of old, and OpenRetch now, have done is strategically what's best for BT - if that also happens to be best for the country and for individuals than that's just coincidence. But that's the problem with allowing national economy affecting policies to be set by a commercial operator with their own bottom line as the primary driver.

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SImon Hobson
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Re: Cui Bono?

It's obvious from the relatively low take-up of top tier services that there is limited demand for speed. People want something better than 'crap speed' but that's all.

Indeed. But ... there are economies in scale from having everyone on the same system. So while many users have no need of FTTP - going "all FTTP" would create economies of scale meaning that it would be cheaper for them to have that than copper. AIUI, BT have even gone so far as to run trials where they've converted entire villages to FTTP and removed all the copper. True, it would cost money and take time, leading on to ... Also, AIUI they claim that an all copper network would be cheaper to run as many of the faults that occur on the copper network just wouldn't happen (no corrosion in a properly made fused fibre splice !)

I published a link last year to a Thinkbroadband article that pointed out that it would take more telecoms engineers than currently exist and a couple of decades to complete such a project. If BT had actually gone that route then most of the population would only now be moving from analogue modem to FTTP.

And the same argument will still hold in a couple of decades ! I'f we'd been putting in FTTP as a matter of policy for all new developments*, then there'd be a lot of FTTP already in, economies of scale would have got the costs down (like they did for ADSL and are now doing for VDSL), and the task would be getting smaller rather than larger. Just think, if all new housing estates built over the last decade or two had FTTP as policy then that would be all those houses now already on FTTP and not part of the "too big to tackle" process of retrofitting it.

* When I write developments, as well as new estates etc, I also include wherever BT/OR has had to extent it's network - eg where it's run out of copper and had to run new bulk distribution cables from the exchange to service rising demand for lines.

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IPv6 now faster than IPv4 when visiting 20% of top websites – and just as fast for the rest

SImon Hobson
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Re: Not entirely on topic, but...

who tell me that there is no way they can do static addresses on domestic broadband

Of course there is, what they would say if they weren't a bunch of ****ing ****ing ****s is that they won't do because they want to force you to pay extra (double). They figure that if you want a static address then you'll pay for it - even their business broadband has dynamic addresses unless you pay extra (last time I heard it was £5/month extra !).

So no there is no "can't" about this, it is all about "we won't because we want to screw you over".

Same with Sly and StalkStalk - they won't do fixed addresses on "consumer" broadband either.

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SImon Hobson
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Re: I'm sure many of the punters here

It is an abomination.

And so is IPv4. I assume you've also never setup IPv4 stuff from scratch either - and I don't mean the "from scratch" available today with largely auto-provisioned routers, LAN settings already there and DHCP enabled, etc. Having done it when manual config was still common, SLIP lines were the norm, etc - IPv4 was no piece of cake back then either.

But, IPv6 really isn't any harder - it's just that people are "comfortable" with IPv4 and so it seems harder. The biggest obstacle is getting away from the "it's the same with longer addresses" mindset since some things are different - not necessarily better or worse, but different. Part of this is also getting away from the "networks start and end with Ethernet" thinking some people have because they've never dealt with anything else.

E.g. The concept of "on-link" neighbour is very different - but once you get to grips with what is different and WHY then actually I do think it's much better. But if you can't escape from what you know about IPv4 then you will find it hard - but that's you making it hard when it isn't.

PS - I've been IPv6 enabled both at work and home for several years (via a HE tunnels) , and pretty well "it just works" and I seldom notice it.

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SImon Hobson
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Re: 20% is not noticable

Downvoted for this :

I don't see a pressing need

That's the point, you don't SEE a neede, that doesn't mean it's not there.

What you don't see is all the wasted work, wasted cost, etc involved in making many things work with IPv4 and NAT. You fire up a program is "it works", you don't see the effort the dev had to put in to make it work.

As someone who's dealt with installing and troubleshooting various stuff for many years, I've seen the problems NAT causes, and the hacks needed to work around it - or in some cases, not work around it (thanks Zyxel and your crap-by-design NAT). Not even FTP works through NAT without help - but people don't see that because pretty well every NAT gateway also includes an FTP helper to fiddle a few bits and work around the breakage.

Noticed how almost all these "control your ${something} from your phone" systems all use a hosted server ? It's only partly so the vendor can slurp your data and sell you to advertisers - it's also to work around the problems caused by NAT (and to an extent, dynamic IPs).

VoIP - yup, problems with NAT.

Peer-peer stuff like torrents - yup, problems with NAT.

Yes, these are all surmountable problems (for example, the voip provider we use at work has large proxy servers - the cost of which goes into the product) - but the point is that most people don't generally see them because other people have wasted effort in working around the problems. All this effort is largely a waste when IPv6 simply removes those problems.

So anytime I read a tirade like yours about how "it's not needed", I know it's someone who hasn't got a clue and really has no idea how much borkage NAT causes and the effort needed to work around it.

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SImon Hobson
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Re: Time to learn

I.e. you have your internal network on a private /64 subnet then NAT bidirectionally to your external /64 subnet.

That would actually be Prefix Translation rather than address translation, but unfortunately (AIUI) that got kicked out as "not needed" quite early one. I can see many reasons why prefix translation would be useful (especially if standardised and with a standard way of devices getting the translation info from the device doing the translation).

This means changing IP is easy but you can still get the advantages of uniquely addressable machines.

Not just prefix changes, but also multihoming would be easier. Without it, it's easy to multihome a device (just give it an address in each prefix) - but you then have to put the routing decisions (which address they use for outbound connections) on each device instead of being able to manage it in one place.

This impacts on load balancing (each individual host doesn't know what the combined traffic looks like at the router), and also on failover time in the event of service loss.

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Openreach to split from BT... so they'll be 'Legally Separate'

SImon Hobson
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Re: What a joke

> does this mean that we now have to pay 17 quid a month "line rental" to Openreach instead of BT, ragardless of which ISP we use?

No, it means that whatever service provider you use will still pay OpenRetch as they do now. The difference is that at the moment, BT and BTOR are not separate - so BT can make a real buffet out of the books and hide real figures.

As above, the allegation is that BT sucks money out of OR, thus making OR look unprofitable and just justifying what it charges. In principle, when this legal separation is complete then it will be visible where the money comes in and goes out.

But the thing is, providing the wires to your home is a natural monopoly - and that's not going to change. You'll find plenty of providers who will sell you a "complete package" for an inclusive monthly fee - but also you are free to get your phone service from one provider, your broadband from another, ...

What hopefully will change is the end of the preferential treatment that BT group companies allegedly get from OR. What is supposed to happen is that (for example) BT (for the phone) and BT Internet (for the broadband) both get the same access and service from OR that all other providers do, no more and no less - yes, and I'm watching the porcine aerobatics team practicing outside my window right now !

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MPs tell BT: Lay more fibre or face split with Openreach

SImon Hobson
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Re: If you REALLY want change...

Replying a bit late - the effective and natural monopoly isn't for the fibre or copper cable, its' for the infrastructure (ducts, manholes, poles, ...) they run in.

But even then, there is also a huge cost advantage to the incumbent (BT OR) who already has the cable in place.

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SImon Hobson
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Re: If you REALLY want change...

> Make it clear that monopolies will not be supported with taxpayer funds

The problem is that telecoms (at least the "last mile" is a natural monopoly - just like roads, water, gas , drainage, ...

Our house has just one road in front of it, not several competing roads. It has one water main down it, not competing water mains. It has one gas main down it, not competing water mains. And the natural state of affairs is to have one infrastructure for getting telecoms/broadband to us.

There simply is no business case for multiple competing sets of infrastructure - as all those cable companies found out when they borrowed huge amounts of money to lay competing services, and then went bust. The main reason Virgin has the size of cable network it has now is because it let all those other companies build it and then bought them for a pittance in the liquidation sale. It's notable to read all the complaints about how Virgin doesn't expand it much - except perhaps when a developer pays for it to cable a new estate.

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So the sensible way to do it is to have one outfit that manages the local delivery infrastructure - like the DNOs for lecky, water companies (water and drainage), National Grid for gas, and OpenRetch for phone & broadband. But what it does need is proper regulation, but that cannot come as long as that monopoly provider is in a position where the books can be suitably cooked to hide the true financial position, and where it is owned by it's biggest customer - leading to the obvious situation that the company is going to do what is strategically best for that owner rather than what is best for all it's customers and/or the end users.

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What's Brexit? How Tech UK tore up its plans after June 23

SImon Hobson
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Re: I hear you

> and actually took part in european democracy, sending candidates to the EU parliament with an agender other than causing problems

That would be the EU parliament that actually has naff all powers ? It really really is nothing like the UK parliament where the elected government actually has a say in things. In teh EU, direction is set by the non-elected commissioners (in fact, a required attribute seems to be that your own country rejected you - cf Neil Kinnock). Then the various committees (all staffed by non-elected career committee members) get to work on implementation for the high-level policies - and bear in mind that these are people who's jobs depend on coming to the conclusion that "new regulations are needed". When all this non-elected bureaucracy has finalised things, only then does it go to the EU parliament for rubber stamping.

And rubber stamping it is. There are only 2 options available - rubber stamp it or reject it in it's entirety. Usually (for various political reasons), outright rejection si not an option - so it gets rubber stamped regardless of how badly it smells.

About the worst the EU parliament can do is write a "strongly worded letter" which the recipients can ignore - or more likely, wipe their backsides with.

We have been trying to fix the EU from the inside for several decades. Those in a position to fix things have made it really really really clear that they are not going to fix it - instead they intend taking it further and further down the road to total political and financial integration - ie a "United States of Europe" with one currency, one set of laws, one set of tax rules, ... We've seen with Greece (amongst other things) just how well that's working out when you deliberately ignore the rules on joining the club and then carry on as if nothing was wrong.

So, you are on a boat, the iceberg is clear to see dead ahead. You've pleaded with the captain to change course, but he is adamant that not only is he not changing course - he is going to increase speed. There comes a point where you realise that he is going to crash as hard as he can into that iceberg - so do you stay on board and keep trying to change his mind, or do you decide that the best place is to be on another boat when the crash happens ?

I voted for us to be on that other boat. It might not be as big or as well fitted out, but after the crash, it'll sure as hell seem much better than the carnage that'll be left. Perhaps there'll be a mutiny and others will realise the seriousness of the situation - especially when they realise we're not sinking as everyone had said we would. Perhaps when the captain has been kicked off and sane people are in charge, we can talk about working with what the EU should have been (and was when we joined).

If you look at nothing else, watch this video>.

And see this for a view on how well the Euro is working for Greece.

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Guess who gets hit hard by IR35 tax clampdown? Yep, IT contractors

SImon Hobson
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Re: Who pays employer's NI?

If you hadn't already heard, if "hit by IR35" you get to pay the extra taxes but aren't expected to get any of the benefits. I vaguely recall reading about cases where one branch of gov (the taxman) says "employed - pay more tax" while another branch said "not employed - not entitled to <something>".

Put another way, TPTB see no problem whatsoever in someone being neither an employee nor not an employee - getting the worst of both and none of the benefits of either.

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Internet exchange Linx cuts peering prices by 40% after rip-off claims

SImon Hobson
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Re: per month per Mbps to 28 euro cents

> I assume it covers the cost of routing data to the rest of the world ...

Then you assume wrong.

Think of a room with a big ethernet switch in it. Various ISPs, transit providers, etc get their own connections to that room and plug into the big switch. All these outfits can then make arrangements to "peer" with each other - effectively "I'll take your traffic if you'll take mine" or "I'll pay you to take my traffic across the Atlantic" arrangements.

The advantage over peer-peer connections is the scalability. If you have 3 providers that want to peer, that's three links (A-B, B-C, and A-C), for 4 providers you need 6 links (A-B, A-C, A-D, B-C, B-D, C-D), and when you get to the dozens or hundreds of outfits in the market these days, the number of provider to provider links would be huge - and very expensive.

Alternatively, the ISPs would have to send their traffic "up" to a transit provider who would then route it back "down" to the peer - at a cost.

So they all get one connection to a single exchange - one link for provider A, one link for B, and so on. They can all talk to each other via this "big switch".

As an analogy, suppose you are one of hundreds of companies in big office block. And lets suppose that you do a certain amount of business with other companies - you might be doing IT for them, others are doing HR or secretarial or accounting for you, and so on. You can have someone walk round the building to deliver post to others you deal with (roughly analogous to peer to peer connections), or you can stick stamps on the envelopes and get BT to route them via the nearest sorting office (roughly analogous to sending the traffic up to transit networks), or you can all send someone down to the post room and drop the letters in the post boxes for the other companies - this is roughly equivalent to an IXP, a "Post room for the internet".

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_exchange_point

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BT customers hit by broadband outage ... again

SImon Hobson
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Re: Some sympathy -but not a lot

> BT is not the same as a small One-man-and-a-cat rural welsh IT company

Indeed.

Us small fish just have to accept what conditions are on offer. BT are big enough that they should be able tocan dictate to suppliers how things are done. It may be a supplier's problem, but BT can't hide behind that because either they've audited the setup and were happy with it (oops), or they didn't audit it in which case they can't be said to have done due diligence (oops).

Either way, from a PR PoV it's BT's name in the headlines.

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UK's climate change dept abolished, but 'smart meters and all our policies strong as ever'

SImon Hobson
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Re: I want one!

Read this carefully ...

You do not need a smart meter to get that information. Really, it just doesn't need it, and all the outright lies (which is what most of the publicity stuff is) won't change that.

A clip-on meter will give you a good idea, though a better quality one will work all the time and take into account power factor.

Your inverter on the solar panels will tell you what it's generating - that's a standard function, but may not have been explained to you, or perhaps the f***tards stuck it somewhere stupid (like the attic) where you can't get at it - ask the installers to make it possible for you to read this information, it may need a remote display.

Besides, even if none of this covered it, none of what you ask for actually needs what the meters being talked about can do. Few are worried about the accurate and real time usage information - yes that's useful. The variable rate tariffs are perhaps a bit controversial given that they are intended to be price rationing - ie hike the price until the poor cut back on usage.

But, the smart metering is about huge data collection - knowing your consumption by the half hour for every day of every year can tell a lot about your habits, and would be "quite valuable" to certain types (think what advertisers could do with it, or criminals). Yes we're assured it will be secure - but we don't trust that (the law can be changed, and it's too juicy a target) and collecting it isn't needed as all that is needed is (say) monthly totals for each register* (ie how much you used at each rate).

* Register is the industry term for the "totaliser" bit - the numbers you can read. We've have multi-register metering (think economy seven) for many decades - but that didn't need the intrusive and security risk data slurping these smart meters have built in.

There is one actual benefit - though that is in itself also a downside. These meters can be remotely switched between pre-pay and credit modes. This means it's quicker and cheaper to switch someone from pre-pay to credit mode. The downside is that it's also quicker and easier to switch from credit mode to pre-pay - so find yourself struggling with the bills, hey presto you find you're suddenly part of the pre-pay crowd with all that entails. Of course we all believe the "strong safeguards" will be properly applied don't we ?

And on that last one, we all believe the "strong safeguards" will never fail to prevent an incorrect remote supply disconnection when someone clicks the wrong button on some system somewhere and "click" - that's your power off and it's now down to you to persuade them that they've made a mistake.

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SImon Hobson
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Re: smart meter

> Citation needed. As far as I know there is no such EU mandate.

I have no citation, but you are correct that there isn't a mandate as such. However, AIUI, the energy rating system is weighted such that hot-fill machines suffer a severe penalty such that while they may be using completely free hot water (think of those with solar thermal panels who don't use the boiler at all in weather like today) they get weighted a lot worse than those that use poor efficiency coal-fired* electricity.

* Yes, coal fired because until we have enough of everything else, we'll still be burning coal to make lecky. So it really is a comparison between "burn gas locally" and "burn coal, convert heat to steam (with losses), convert steam to motion (with losses), convert motion to lecky (with losses), transmit lecky (with losses),a nd finally convert lecky to heat (fairly efficient).

PS - in our house it's a combi (yeah, I hate it), and there's about 4 foot of pipe between boiler and washing machine take off - but it's cold fill only. There is an argument, valid for many houses, that with the reduced water consumption of modern machines, you'll seldom dray enough hot water to even flush the pipes.

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SImon Hobson
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Re: Consumer benefits are not falling!

> Consumer and contract law might have to be changed if the consumer has no idea how much the bill is going to be until it comes in.

Ah, but they will - that's what the in-home display is for.

> You can't treat to sell without disclosing the price, and if the price is going to be variable, possibly minute by minute, then the consumer is totally fscked.

I think you'll find that variable pricing is OK - provided it is very clear up-front AND the consumer has a means of knowing what they will be paying before they use it. AIUI, it's not so much "your lecky now costs 50p/unit" as "starting at <next half hour point> the lecky will be 50p/unit".

> Even more legally dubious would be to vary the price tariffs on a pre-pay meter. If you've already paid for your energy, the supplier can't just change the price of the already paid for goods.

But you haven't pre-paid for the goods. You have paid for credit which is then used to pay for the goods as you use them.

All that said, the current design of the smart metering thing is a complete and utter fail-magnet.

Contrary to what someone has said before, part of the spec is for remote disconnection (and remote re-connection) - though in theory that is a last resort when "pricing demand management" has failed. Eg, if making the lecky 10 times more expensive hasn't reduced demand enough when the wind isn't blowing (and hence all the windmills in the country are doing SFA useful), then they can impose rolling blackouts - like in the 70s but more fine grained.

There is zero need to report back the detailed usage by 1/2 hour periods. All that needs reporting back is a tally of usage at each charging rate. FFS we've been able to handle multi-rate metering for at least 4 decades now - don't the f***tards in charge not understand that ?

And I take all the "guarantees" about security and privacy as being worthless. When was the last time we had a big project like this that didn't leak like a sieve ?

.

The last point is that will cause real problems - some of them fatal. All the bullsh*t seems to be about shifting usage to when the windmills are actually working - so running the washing machine and tumble drier at night. What an insanely stupid idea.

Firstly, when manufacturers are saying to never run tumble driers when you are asleep in case it catches fire and burns your house down - how on earth can it be a good idea to encourage just that.

And given the number of people who don't live in nice detached properties, just how would you like it if you are nicely asleep* when the washing machine in the flat above you goes onto spin cycle ?

* Actually you won't be asleep, the cycles leading up to the spin cycle will have woken you up.

If I ever found myself in that position, I'd be complaining about the statutory nuisance, and I;d be doing the best I could to get the weasels responsible to be dragged in for conspiracy by encouraging the anti-social behaviour.

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Brit Science Minister to probe Brexit bias against UK-based scientists

SImon Hobson
Silver badge

Re: "EU rules still apply until we've actually left."

>> Don't just vote to run away. That's what cowards do.

> No, it's what pragmatists do.

Indeed. We've been trying to fix things, but the likes of Junker have made it very very clear that this ship is carrying on, full steam ahead. Ignore the warning of the iceberg ahead (without reform, the whole thing is going to collapse in a horrible mess sooner or later), keep keep full steam ahead on the same course to doom.

The EU parliament is nothing more than a rubber stamp department. The MEPs have f**k all power - by the time anything gets to them it's set in stone and the only thing they can do is throw the whole thing out, and it has to be really really bad for that to happen. They can issue rebukes, but really all they can do is announce that they don't like something - no-one responsible for whatever mess has any need to actually listen.

One area I do know a bit about is aviation. "The EU" decided we needed our own regulations and regulator, so EASA was created, and of course they aren't going to sit back and say "well actually lads, we don't need to do much as the current regs (eg JAR and ICAO rules) are near enough. No, they set to with a clean sheet - re-invent not just the wheel, but everything as though the industrial revolution never happened. As a result they created a huge bureaucratic mess - and while the parliament really hated it, the only choice was pass the mess presented, or create a bigger mess with a big hole where aviation regulation should have been. They even went so far as to use quite undiplomatic language in criticising things - but still had little option but to rubber stamp.

.

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The EU is run by the commissioners - those unelected leaders whose primary qualification seems to be that the electorate in their own country rejected them ! And piles of committees who are similarly unelected and effectively have very little constraint put on them other than ... the obvious one that deciding new regulations aren't actually needed is like turkeys voting for Christmas.

AIUI, Junkers was made a commissioner after getting kicked out in his own country. Ditto Neil Kinnock.

Watch this video, it's "quite interesting" !

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Pimp your ride with new Linux for cars and an rPi under the hood

SImon Hobson
Silver badge

Nah, it'll (almost) always start ...

But you will never know whether it'll let you get in before it drives off. That, and if you don't wear the same clothes every day, you'll find all the devices like steering wheel and gearstick keep moving around - wear the wrong jacket and your passenger will have to steer from the back seat.

Problem wil be stopping it, every time you stop the engine the supervisor will think it's stalled and helpfully restart it for you.

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Nukeware: New malware deletes files and zaps system settings

SImon Hobson
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The "can restore files from elsewhere" option should always be number 1 on the list. "I can pay the ransom" is only for those idiots who didn't have number 1 in place.

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Tesla whacks guardrail in Montana, driver blames autopilot

SImon Hobson
Silver badge

Re: No cell phone reception??

> Even the worst coder on Earth wouldn't rely on real-time / live map data.

There must be some worse that the worst coders around then - because a few navigation systems do do exactly that. Some will pre-cache data for the planned route, but there are navigation systems (mostly for mobile phones) that rely on real-time map data downloads.

It's something I tend to note in product reviews, given that mobile coverage round here is so much coverage as fig leafs.

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Facebook deleted my post and made me confirm pics of my kids weren't sexually explicit

SImon Hobson
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Mushroom

Re: I dumped Facebook

I wish I could. I don't have a FarceBork account, I don't go there, I don't use it - but "friends" and relatives keep posting stuff about me even when I've asked them not to.

I'm really tempted to get a copy of their file, but I'm afraid it'll just lead to a "rant of the century" causing long term discord in the family (see icon).

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Google slammed over its 'free' school service

SImon Hobson
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Re: The strangest bit

> If you do not want Google to spy on you, use a different search engine.

You missed the point entirely here.

The article is nothing at all to do with using Google's search engine - it's about schools forcing their pupils and staff to use Google's education management offering. There's nothing inherently wrong with using a cloud based management system - but in this case it's one of those "what's the cost" things you need to look at. Google has, it appears, gone out of it's way to give a false impression of how it uses users' information - effectively (as pointed out above) they won't mine the contents of Johnny's essay, but they sure as hell are going to record his online activities, build a profile on him, and sell services to others based on that profile.

THAT'S WHAT GOOGLE DOES

Even this isn't all that much of a problem IF it's done with understanding of the consequences - AND parents have the opportunity to understand the ramifications and opt out. But it isn't. It's being mis-sold to educators by lying about what Google actually do, and forced on children without their or their parents consent - I'm sure I recall reading about US schools threatening to throw out children if their parents don't consent to the data slurping.

It's also worth remembering that not using Google's search engine doesn't stop them profiling you. Like FarceBork (see Max Shrems and the destruction of Safe Harbour), Google are good at getting web site owners to embed code on sites that will track & profile users regardless of whether those site users have, or would if they knew, consented to it.

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White hat banned for revealing vulns in news sites used by London councillors

SImon Hobson
Silver badge

To extend the analogy ...

Yesh ocifer, it's completely OK to drive while pished - I've driven home pished many times and never had an accident yet.

Leading to ... Insurance ocifer, don't need that, I've never had an accident.

What a complete and utter numpty to suggest that a security problem doesn't exist if it's never been triggered yet.

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WIPO chief trying to 'fix the composition of the Staff Council' – lawyer

SImon Hobson
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Pint

Re: How does he still have a job?

Sorry about your keyboard, but I claim no originality for the name - someone at work told me that one. Here, have a virtual one on me.

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