* Posts by AndrueC

2453 posts • joined 6 Aug 2009

ICANN HACKED: Intruders poke around global DNS innards

AndrueC
Silver badge
Joke

Re: Come on - TheReg should know better

I'd say it was then about time that a lot of people grew up. It appears that anyone with enough time on their hands will eventually find a term, a word or a phrase which offends them.

In my book, if you decide to behave like a c**t then you have to accept to be treated like a c**t.

That's apparently why the Honda Fit is called the Honda Jazz in EMEA :)

0
0

Ofcom mulls selling UK govt's IPv4 cache amid IPv6 rollout flak

AndrueC
Silver badge
Boffin

'Infinity' is not another name for 21CN. It's sad how successful BT have been in making people think that it is - a bit like a lot of people still talk about using their Hoover when in fact most of us have vacuum cleaners made by other manufacturers.

Anyway to set the record straight: No, BT Infinity does not currently support IPv6. However Infinity is just a BT Retail product built using the BT Openreach FTTC infrastructure. The FTTC stuff is perfectly capable of carrying IPv6 traffic as it's basically just an Ethernet link(*). Several other ISPs offer IPv6 over FTTC (and indeed, over ADSL).

AAISP, IDNet are two and I think there are a couple of others. Even Plusnet (a part of BT these days) has had a trial running for a couple of years now. There are also rumours that some of PN's newer gateways support IPv6 so a roll-out could be imminent.

(*)Ignoring some fancy tunnelling behind the scenes.

1
0
AndrueC
Silver badge

Re: Does anyone actually use IPv6

Hmm. Looking at the manual for the D-Link it looks like it can be configured to block traffic if you want but might be disabled by default.

There's also an interesting article here.

1
0
AndrueC
Silver badge
Meh

Re: IPv6

Separate out the costs of physical line, POTS and ADSL and let users choose which of them they want

That seems a very reasonable idea. Just so long as you know that not taking a POTS will prolly only save a pound a month and won't improve your xDSL service significantly (if it all - the ANFP might prevent BT from using voice frequencies for data).

A pound saved is of course a pound saved..but I don't personally think it's worth getting all het up over. I have a corded phone plugged into one of my extensions because I know that if there's ever a power cut, if my mobile phone can't be charged or if my mobile mast/provider craps out I will always have a telephone that works.

1
0
AndrueC
Silver badge
Happy

Re: IPV6 - adoption

Why I don't know since you can simply have a non-routed block inside your /64- you don't get an address from the routed portion of the /64 until your ruleset has been tested functionally...

Assuming you are using a suitably configurable router and/or know how to do that of course :)

Trouble is a lot of SMEs are probably using domestic routers or have cheat sheets for their Cisco box rather than a Cisco trained staffer on the payroll. With IPv6 (at least for the various domestic routers I've tried) as soon as you enable IPv6 your machines all appear on the public side of the router and a good firewall becomes essential. Mind you I'd hope that it's impossible to buy an IPv6 capable router that doesn't have a reasonable firewall. Although mine (Billion 7800 I think) disables part of the firewall functionality if you use port forwarding.

0
0
AndrueC
Silver badge
Thumb Up

Re: Does anyone actually use IPv6

it's incredibly rare to hear of anyone using it internally inside businesses.

I can understand their reluctance. There's a lot of new knowledge to learn in order to ensure adequate security and correct configuration. I set mine up at home for the fun of it but if was doing that for a company I'd have struggled to get past the risk/cost assessment.

For all that some people moan about NAT it's obvious that it works for most people most of the time and is largely invisible. I've never known it interfere with anything (I know it can but I've personally never encountered it) and port forwarding is simple enough to understand for the few of us that have to set up a server. You even get implicit protection from random external attacks since machines inside the network can't be targeted unless forwarded ports point to them.

IPv6 is a brave (and welcome) new world but I for one would be very cautious about allowing IPv6 traffic to pass through a corporate router to/from the outside world.

8
0
AndrueC
Silver badge
Joke

Re: IPv6

Or will tbe bits arrive by magic through the ether?

Well - you've heard of Ethernet haven't you?

:)

3
1
AndrueC
Silver badge
Unhappy

ISPs need to take some blame. My previous ISP - IDNet - already had dual stack IPv6 deployed when I joined them in 2012(*). My current ISP - Plusnet - ran a beta programme over two years ago and have gone quiet about it.

Router manufacturers also need a slap because I went through five domestic routers while on IDNet before I found one that supported dual-stack and was stable. A particular ding-bat to TP-Link for their amazing 'IPv6 Ready' WDR3600. It's ready in the sense that it supports the protocol but not in dual-stack mode. So sure, if you're happy that you never need to access IPv4 sites you're good to go :-/

(*)I even had my mail server talking SMTP over IPv6 to Google once I'd faught through some odd(ish) technical issues. I still don't know what finally fixed it as I had rDNS set up and everything. I gave up with it at first after a late night with my domain provider's support. Then a month later I was bored so thought I'd investigate it again and lo! it just worked.

2
0

Chrome 38's new HTML tag support makes fatties FIT and SKINNIER

AndrueC
Silver badge
Unhappy

Re: Seems pointless.

there is a huge difference in usability between that resolution on an 8 inch screen and the same resolution on a 23 inch screen.

Especially when you're the wrong side of 40.

0
0

Plusnet could face DATA BREACH probe over SPAM HELL gripes

AndrueC
Silver badge
Unhappy

Re: Don't use <companyname>@yourdomain...

Spammers have some odd name generation strategies. Here's two entries from today's server log:

15/12/2014 12:32:42.539 - Client:85.155.129.122 State:RcptTo Action:Reject Rule:Reject general crap Size:0 MAILFROM:Do_Not_Reply@vitacress.co.uk Recipients:(ce5dd7553@xxxxx)

15/12/2014 12:32:43.054 - Client:188.51.24.147 State:RcptTo Action:Reject Rule:Reject general crap Size:0 MAILFROM:Do_Not_Reply@vitacress.co.uk Recipients:(ed780a549@xxxxx)

Clearly some spammers have way too much CPU time available to them.

0
0
AndrueC
Silver badge
Happy

I complained, nothing much was done. Nothing much CAN be done. Once your address is out there, it's out there.

That's very true. Many years ago (eight or nine at least) I was a member of Borland's TeamB and that address became compromised. I immediately switched to a new address and blacklisted the old one but I've just checked and this morning alone I've had four messages sent to that address. So perhaps a dozen messages sent every day for the last eight years with my server rejecting every single one and yet still spam comes in.

It looks like that and other addresses will be my lasting legacy to the world when I die.

1
0
AndrueC
Silver badge
Childcatcher

I get about four or five of these incidents a month.

That's why I ended up only doing business only with Tesco and Amazon. Pretty much every other retailer ended up leaking the email address I'd given them(*). It seems (strange/sad to say perhaps) that only the really big boys can keep personal information safe.

Hmmm.

(*)The worst offender is LinkedIn. I've configured four addresses for them now and have given up completely. Seems like it only take a month for spam to start coming in to any address I give them.

3
0
AndrueC
Silver badge
Boffin

Re: How big a problem and why?

Not happened to me either as far as I can tell. I did use my Gmail address rather than one hosted by my own server but almost no-one else knows that address so the account is quiet as the grave apart from the monthly billing invoice from PN.

Unfortunately trying to investigate spam by looking at mail headers is not really reliable as they are easy to fake. It'd be better if someone getting spam to their own server could take a look at the logs and see exactly which remote machines are issuing the RCPT.

2
0

El Reg Redesign - leave your comment here.

AndrueC
Silver badge
Meh

Too much space taken up by the 'age' field.

Possibly just too much whitespace overall. Don't like the lead headline - it's the only article I can see on my laptop screen when I first land on the site.

6
0

DeathRing: Cheapo Androids pre-pwned with mobile malware

AndrueC
Silver badge
WTF?

Out of idle/morbid curiosity - what does a 'ring tone app' actually do?

0
0

Brits conned out of nearly £24m in phone scams IN ONE YEAR

AndrueC
Silver badge
Thumb Up

Re: Wrong tree

OK, I'm at a loss. Why the hell is that? I'd think if I was going to discuss my healthcare, I'd want confirmation I was talking to my doctor's office.

A discussion about it here..

Please note - I'm not condoning this practice, merely pointing it out. As I live alone most of the time I don't really care. Ironically I got a call a month back from my surgery for someone else (a wrong number basically). They left a message on the machine saying that they were the surgery so withholding CLID was rather pointless I feel :)

0
0
AndrueC
Silver badge
Joke

Re: Wrong tree

Granny will just have to get in touch with the consulate, I'm afraid.

Oh dear.

:)

2
0
AndrueC
Silver badge
Meh

Re: Wrong tree

I agree with most of what you say (I have a TrueCall unit and wouldn't be without it) but there are a couple of wrinkles where anonymous callers are concerned.

Our CPs can't force anyone in Mumbai to send an ID signal. So if there is no caller ID what are CPs to do? They can't arbitrarily block anonymous incoming international calls as that would be interfering with your service. Okay so perhaps they will allow you to 'opt out' of anonymous calls. But then what happens if your granny is on holiday in Mumbai and needs help and she just happens to be using a phone that doesn't transmit caller ID information?

Which leads on to the second part of the problem which is that quite a few organisations that deal with sensitive personal information like to withhold their number. GP surgeries often do for example.

2
2
AndrueC
Silver badge
Thumb Up

Re: line open

That still works?????

Thats amazing! I'd have thought with the leaps and bounds in digtisation , cpu power , exchanges and god knows what the telcos would at least be able to tell when you've hung up! Its one of the basics surely?

It's a feature, actually. It dates back to when cordless phones weren't as common. The idea is that you can put down the phone you answered with then walk to another room and pick up the phone there without losing the call. There is usually a timer so that after a while the line is dropped anyway. BT reduced the timer duration a while back.

Ah here we are.

4
0

Wireless Power standards are like Highlanders: There can be only ONE

AndrueC
Silver badge
Meh

Re: Qi burger

Just how much useful charge will one of these pads give your phone in the 15 mins or so you are in a coffee shop?

If someone nicks your phone because you left it lying in the open on a charging pad that becomes a moot point ;)

0
0

Google Chrome on Windows 'completely unusable', gripe users

AndrueC
Silver badge
Meh

Re: Interesting; and that explains a lot

I know.. and what is it with people's obsessions on defragging? Isn't the filesystem for Windows fixed yet?

It wasn't broken in that respect anyway. It just didn't choose to be as anal about fragmentation as, say, HFS or HFS+. Applications can reserve space ahead of time if they want contiguous room to grow but in most cases it isn't needed. HDD performance and capacity has helped make it less of an issue at the hardware level but most of all Windows itself has a dynamic cache that on most versions grows to occupy all available RAM. When you can have a 1GB or more of cache disk fragmentation isn't really a problem.

So the simple answer is: Defragging is mostly just a user amuser on a modern desktop. On a server it might be more important but I doubt it really makes much difference.

0
0
AndrueC
Silver badge

It also seems like every update makes the omnibar less and less useful. I still don't know how to remove unwanted entries from its suggestion list. Time was when typing 'th' would bring up 'theregister'. Now I have to type 'ther' before it offers that as the default. I've seen articles saying that some combination of shift keys with delete will remove items but it's never worked for me.

And yes, I've had multi-core CPU machines jam up while Chrome fannies around doing who knows what. It's still mostly okay but over the past year or two it does seem to have gone down hill.

2
0

Pity the poor Windows developer: The tools for desktop development are in disarray

AndrueC
Silver badge

Since 1998? Pfft I was using RAD in 1995 with Delphi 1! ;)

Me too now I think about it. D2 supported Win32 and my first Delphi experience only targeted Win16. But anyway that was Pascal. What I meant by the second footnote was that I was using RAD from C++. The vast majority of Windows C++ developers have only ever used MFC.

0
1
AndrueC
Silver badge
Meh

Until a year ago I'd only ever worked with Winforms. And I moved to Winforms from Borland's VCL so arguably I've got over 17(*) years experience with it. I had a chance to experience WPF earlier this year and ouch the learning curve is steep. I'm still unconvinced about the benefits of WPF over Winforms. I don't deny that there are advantages but I have yet to find a need for them and I don't appreciate the extra time it takes to produce a WPF application. Or the clunky nature of the form designer. Frankly it was like going back to an early version of Borland's tools.

As for MVVM - meh. You can do MVC with Winforms and that's most of the battle fought.

(*)Started using it with Delphi 2, then Borland Builder(**) then C#

(**)Yeah that's right, fellow C++ers. I've been using RAD for my GUIs since 1998 ;)

11
0

I'll be back (and forward): Hollywood's time travel tribulations

AndrueC
Silver badge
Thumb Up

I've always liked Robert Heinlein's novel The Door Into Summer. I'm a bit surprised no-one has ever made a film out of that. Not that I'd want to encourage it though given how lousy most adaptations end up.

0
0

BT said to have pulled patent-infringing boxes from DSL network

AndrueC
Silver badge

Re: Bye bye then

There's another discussion here.

0
0
AndrueC
Silver badge
Thumb Up

Re: Bye bye then

It didn't just affect BT customers, but other ISPs too

Everyone on FTTC goes through the BTor DLM so yes, it will affect us all.

I've noticed my fibre to cabinet speed increase noticeable recently!

There have been modem firmware updates that changed the frequency plans which helped a lot of people. Hopefully that isn't related to this issue. It should only impact those with unstable lines and thankfully the nature of FTTC means they are less common than with ADSL.

0
0
AndrueC
Silver badge
Boffin

Re: Bye bye then

It seems forums are full of problems caused by BT's rate adaption

Most of the fuss is (was, really due to gradual improvements) about the BTw implementation of DLM for ADSL though. The BTor implementation for FTTC has generated relatively few complaints as it actually seems to do a reasonable job(*).

Unfortunately this could mean that they have to go down the route that BTw did. I think part of the problem with that system was the lack of line information which resulted in a rather crude response and wide banding.

There's an interesting discussion here.

(*)Better granularity, variable interleaving rates (including reverting to none at all if things improve) faster response times.

1
1

BEST EVER broadband? Oh no you DIDN'T, Sky – ad watchdog

AndrueC
Silver badge
Thumb Up

Though you don't have to use the hubs internal wifi. You can connect any wifi router you like to it.

Or if you want to stay within the spirit of their T&Cs you could just buy a WAP and stick that on your network. Probably cheaper than an entirely new router.

0
0

Useless 'computer engineer' Barbie FIRED in three-way fsck row

AndrueC
Silver badge
Joke

I think it's offensive to men for suggesting they are so weak minded that they will do anything for a pretty girl.

Er...

28
0

HUMAN DNA 'will be FOUND ON MOON' – rockin' boffin Brian Cox

AndrueC
Silver badge
Joke

Re: Helium-3

horsehockey about cold fusion and people building fusion reactors in their garages.

Yeah it's mad isn't it? My reactor is in the garden shed. In the corner behind the lawn mower.

0
0

Ofcom tackles complaint over Premier League footie TV rights

AndrueC
Silver badge
Thumb Up

Re: No option?

Luckily for us, we already had a basic Sky package, and could just pay a fiver a month extra for HD to get the channel. If it moves to the sports package, I'll be dropping it.

It has actually moved into the sports package, that happened last year. It's just that Sky are continuing to honour the old HD package which includes F1 HD. I actually got caught out a couple of weeks ago with the Austin GP. I got careless and marked the Sky Sports F1 HD version for recording and didn't realise my mistake until about lap 16 when I decided to start watching.

Eventually they will probably rationalise the packages but on the two or three occasions they've done that before I have always ended up with more channels for the same price so I'm fairly sure that if you currently have access to F1 on Sky you will continue to have it for the forseable future.

As for who to blame for this (and quite probably other sports as well) I'd blame the greedy promoters and to a lesser extent the broadcasters for playing along. It'd be interesting to know what the promoters would do if the broadcasters got together and refused to pay. I can't see that happening but maybe a blind auction with an agreed cap. Whoever bids highest wins and if there's a tie the broadcasters split the coverage.

Oink, oink, flap, flap.

0
0

Broadband sellers in the UK are UP TO no good, says Which?

AndrueC
Silver badge
Boffin

Re: What counts as the reference number for "customers"

I understand perfectly well what "up to" means - it's just that what's being "sold" as the "up to" is a complete miss-representation of the lines speeds that can be achieved for any of the properties in the area

But that shows you don't understand it. Advertisements for ISPs don't give out any location specific information. When they say 'up to' they are referring to the technological limits. It's simply a statement of what the technology can do in ideal conditions. I have never heard of anyone modifying their adverts so that they are specific to every group of houses or streets. What normally happens is that you get the same standardised blurb that I get and a note in the small print saying that the actual speed will depend on the quality of our phone lines.

The only location specific information that's given out is what availability checkers give you (the ones where you enter your phone number). That isn't advertising and isn't an 'up to' figure. It's an estimate of your connection speed. Now if the figure you were initially given based on your phone number was far higher than what you got it indicates a possible problem. But that's not what this article is talking about.

0
2
AndrueC
Silver badge
Boffin

Re: What counts as the reference number for "customers"

I live in the city centre of Manchester and even I only achieve half the quoted "up to" speed. And that's at off-peak times, without throttling.

If you're on DSL..

What are your modem stats? Most speed problems on DSL are the result of telephone line length or internal wiring. No-one can do anything about your line length but internal wiring issues can be fixed.

A lot of these problems come about because people misunderstand the phrase 'up to'. There are two uses:

'I've seen you walking at up to 4mph' - implies that if you can no longer go faster than 3mph you should see your GP.

'Human beings can walk at up to 4mph' - implies nothing whatsoever if you can only walk at 3mph.

The latter is what was meant with DSL. The technology had an upper limit of ??Mb/s under ideal conditions. The fact you only get half that just means your particular conditions are not ideal.

0
4
AndrueC
Silver badge
Thumb Down

Oh gawd, not again! There was nothing much wrong with the original method. All it needed was a bit more emphasis on 'you will need a personal estimate'. All DSL ISPs forced the user to go through an estimator before you could sign up. There is no point trying to accurately predict connection speed for DSL at the national level. Your connection speed is a characteristic of your line and your line only. And even knowing the connection speed - so what? It's not like it will be any different if you change ISP. Most problems are close to home and will affect all DSL based ISPs equally.

What might be useful would be some kind of measure of consistency. Something that can indicate contention levels at peak times. That can be a genuine differentiator.

Anyway I also think it's sad if people are basing buying decisions solely off adverts. I agree that they shouldn't mislead but anyone that takes what an advertisement says at face value needs taking to one side for a quiet chat. Never trust anything any advert says. Even better - never even read the damn' things.

2
1

It’s PAYBACK time as HUMANS send a PROBE up ALIEN body

AndrueC
Silver badge
Joke

Re: It was outrageous!

That the poor scientists had to make do with only a 26Kbps connection.

Indeed. Even Ofcom insists on a minimum of 28.8kb - this is the 21st century after all!

1
0

Shuddit, Obama! Here in Blighty, we ISPs have net neutrality nailed

AndrueC
Silver badge
Thumb Up

Re: UK isn't so brilliant

Isn't the main issue that most UK customers are on ADSL whereas in the US the vast majority of customers are on cable

Just over 50% of the UK population has access to a cable service but nowhere near that number have actually subscribed to it. Telephone lines are a standard feature of pretty much all UK homes. Cable access on the other hand is seen as an optional extra that some areas happen to have.

I suspect the cable operators never recovered from the blow dealt by satellite TV. I think the cable offering has always been a subset of the satellite offering and that has kept cable internet depressed as well. BT for their part have done a good(*) job of keeping pace with consumer demand so the case for cable has always been a bit poor over here.

(*)From a business perspective. From a customer perspective it varies :)

1
0
AndrueC
Silver badge

Re: You (should) get what you pay for

Fair enough, provided the ISPs are required to tell you when you sign up what contention you will get

That's not practical any longer. The old fixed contention rates ceased to be valid once the concept of 'up to whatever you can get' was adopted. 50:1, 20:1 don't exist. Contention is whatever the bandwidth operator thinks it should be. It could be quite dynamic these days, possibly changing by the month as users come and go from the various parts of the network and as tastes change. So during a major streaming period (ie; London Olympics) the contention ratio might have increased.

0
0
AndrueC
Silver badge
Meh

Re: UK isn't so brilliant

but you don't have to pay BT - I pay Aquiss for line rental and for Fibre for example.

Sorta. Aquiss will be paying BT on your behalf ;)

1
0
AndrueC
Silver badge
Meh

Re: UK isn't so brilliant

Furthermore some ISPs will buy the whole broadband service from BT and sell it on, differentiating by customer support, additional services or cost

Actually by number I think it's correct to say that most are using BT's wholesale service. But anyway some ISPs buy enough bandwidth from BT. Some don't. Some rely on BT to carry traffic all the way to them - others pick their traffic up from various collection nodes around the country and use their own carrier. Either of these choices will affect latency and throughput depending on time of day. So there's another differentiator.

UK ISPs are therefore differentiated by customer support, additional services and service quality. The only thing they aren't differentiated much by is connection speed. But even then there are differences. Only PlusNet offers 40/20 for instance.

So..what other differentiation are you asking for?

0
1

Mastercard and Visa to ERADICATE password authentication

AndrueC
Silver badge
Coat

Re: Biometrics

Covered by a very early Mythbusters episode. Also of note - the manufacturer offered some kind of guarantee that it couldn't be beaten. So that's two lessons in one ;)

Mine's the one with the hands in the pockets to stop someone cutting them off and using the fingerprints.

3
0

Why can't a mobile be more like a cordless kettle?

AndrueC
Silver badge

Yeah - but we measure phone batteries in terms of milliamps, so it's sort of not worth caring about...

You can measure any current in milliamps but it's also true to say that most phone batteries are multiples of a thousand milliamps, otherwise known as multiples of an amp. My phone battery is 4300mAh - also known as 4Ah.

How many wireless phones do we expect to see being charged? A million? Ten million? Even one milliamp becomes one thousand amps if a million devices are drawing that current.

0
0
AndrueC
Silver badge

What's the power transfer efficiency like? I vaguely recall seeing figures of 40%. If true that would more than double the amount of power needed to charge your phone.

Ideally, I would have taken the small charging plate in the car but the system needs 1700mAh

Ah, so prolly about 60% efficiency then.

0
0

My HOUSE used to be a PUB: How to save the UK high street

AndrueC
Silver badge

Or perhaps bring in the bulldozers and create a park/piazza. Give residents somewhere nice to go and socialise and that encourages exercise and helps foster community spirit. Many town centres are just shopping centres so have limited appeal. Turning the shops into houses doesn't add much appeal (or at least only to a handful). I've been saying for a while now that bricks and mortar shopping should be allowed to die back but I think there's an opportunity in a lot of cases for a complete re-think of what a town centre should be.

6
1

The last PC replacement cycle is about to start turning

AndrueC
Silver badge
Meh

Visual Studio on a mobile phone? That would be..interesting. And you know what the Chinese say about interesting times. Still - I do accept that as a software developer I must be something of a corner case.

Remoting into a VM hosted on some server cluster would be feasible with the phone as the client. But it needs a good network to ensure that the experience isn't sluggish and a pretty meaty host to run the VM. That's a lot of expensive infrastructure to set up and maintain.

Oh and..whose mobile phone am I supposed to be running this stuff on? I know a lot of people are happy to use company equipment or get into that whole BYOD thing but I'm not really. My phone is my phone - I haven't even set it up to pull company emails.

All in all I think we're a couple of years off yet. Time for another cycle maybe two yet. Enough time to get me to retirement probably :D

3
0

Bullish Vodafone barges back into UK consumer broadband market

AndrueC
Silver badge

Lines. DSLAMs/MSANs, cabinets. If you can touch it it's owned by openreach

..unless someone else owns it :)

To clarify - CPs can install their own MSANs in the exchange and that's LLU. The customer's line is plugged into the MSAN and data (maybe voice as well) is handled by the MSAN.

0
0
AndrueC
Silver badge
Thumb Up

Re: LLU

I'd like LLU to be widened so BT can take advantage of other networks.

I can't see Ofcom allowing that. At the moment you only have to let other CPs use your network if you are considered to have market dominance. So far only BT qualifies. Even VM doesn't meet the criteria - although some people think that's part of why they stopped their roll-out. It's also supposedly a major reason why BDUK contracts all went to BT. Whoever won them was required to make them open and the profit margins when you do that are so tight only BT can find backers who will wait long enough for the RoI (rumoured to be 15 years on average).

Sometimes I think that Ofcom has driven us down a blind alley. But now and again I read stories of what things are like on the other side of the pond and maybe they did the right thing. Ironically in the so-called land of the free they have telecoms monopolies which lead to high prices and poor service. Over here we have very tight and tough regulation and that's led to choice and low prices.

Frankly my interest in this stuff stems at least in part from the 'soap opera' nature of it :)

1
0

Forums