* Posts by Andrew Jones 2

650 posts • joined 27 Sep 2009

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Boffins freeze brains, then thaw them – and they're in perfect order

Andrew Jones 2

Hum..... maybe that guy who volunteered to have his head cut off, frozen, thawed and stuck on a different body - is now a little bit closer to surviving the experimental surgery! That having being said - just because the brain slices look "pristine" - that doesn't mean it would actually still perform it's functions.

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Japanese boffins fire up 100Gbps wireless broadband connection

Andrew Jones 2

Source article - a range of tens of metres...... that's a LOT of access points.........

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Roll up, roll up to the Malware Museum! Run classic DOS viruses in your web browser

Andrew Jones 2

I have often said that viruses used to be intelligent and sometimes quite fun, they existed to destroy hard drives and find new ways to spread. Nowadays they are all about stealing information and forcing you to pay. I don't think you even get polymorphic viruses these days do you? They are all written from toolkits and show very little innovation.

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Head transplant candidate sells souvenirs to fund operation

Andrew Jones 2

It's very likely that even if the surgery is a success and the young man survives and regains conciousness - his brain will be a tad unhappy about being exposed to a situation that it simply cannot process. Whether his brain is able to accept the new situation or has a freak out and says "that's it, it's too much, I'm done" remains to be seen. But I think we all know deep down - the likelihood is that deep freezing the head will result in the water in cells bursting the cell walls as it freezes - which has always been the problem with cryogenics.

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Disney World-area University admits massive data breach

Andrew Jones 2

Well..... I mean don't get a move on with informing people, it's not like it's a huge privacy or security risk - tell you what, just for fun why don't you post all the letters to Australia by boat and have someone at the other end post them all back by boat - you could even stick a Christmas card in there too - "Merry Christmas, sorry we got hacked" - it's not really that urgent or anything. Oh and whatever you do - don't bother to send the letters with any form of recorded delivery - it's not like it's important that you know that the letters actually got to the intended person. I just don't understand the completely laid back "oops, sorry about that, we'll have a chat to you about when we can be bothered" attitude.

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Virgin gives blessing to O2/Three merger

Andrew Jones 2

The thing that seems to be getting overlooked here - is - are O2 having financial troubles? Why are they looking to be acquired? Surely if they are at risk of going under then the landscape will drop to 3 providers anyway?

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BT blames 'faulty router' for mega outage. Did they try turning it off and on again?

Andrew Jones 2

Re: Anyone use a VPN?

It seems that the authentication server, DNS server and DHCP server all fell over - possibly caused by problems with whatever core router it was that failed. Anyway providing your connection stayed up - then the lack of the ISP DNS server would result in you only being able to load webpages for which your computer or home router already had cached DNS results for. Many users reported that changing their DNS settings to Google or OpenDNS fixed their browsing problems - which it would because their only browsing problems were that they could not reach the DNS server to translate domains into IP addresses. Using a VPN would result in pretty much the same behaviour as simply pointing your computer at a different (working) DNS server - except of course that all your traffic would be routed down the VPN pipe too. None of these things however made the slightest bit of difference to people who could not even get past the authentication stage or to the people who were being handed non routable IP addresses.

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Andrew Jones 2

Re: Horsefeathers -- was it a DDOS or a failed upgrade?

That was only for the people who could get connected in the first place though - the rest of us couldn't even make it past CHAP authentication - so yes - a DDOS against the authentication server is certainly a possibility.

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Internet idiots make hoax bomb threats to UK, Aus, French schools

Andrew Jones 2

Is no-one else even slightly concerned that they claim to have the ability to frame someone?

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BT broadband is down: Former state monopoly goes TITSUP UK-wide

Andrew Jones 2

The CHAP authentication was failing here - there was simply no response. Those who weren't kicked off - were provided with a private 172 address. Still no explanations as to why their sites were down, and more importantly - why pretty much all phone numbers for BT including - the operator were down. Surely there are backup systems in place?

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Andrew Jones 2

Re: It's ISIS isn't it?

Re Win10 upgrade - Oh I really really hope this is the reason!

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Andrew Jones 2

I have no doubt it will be blamed on a failed server upgrade and that will be it, they won't bother to explain how a failed server upgrade kills so many different systems or why no backup system spring into life. Something must be seriously wrong if you can't even dial 100. I haven't checked but I hope this hasn't also affected to ability to dial 999 or I can see BT being hit with some big fines.

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Andrew Jones 2

Probably no point asking them to comment, apparently the phones are dead, no reaching customer service, not a huge leap to think maybe they have no internet or email either. One might wonder if this is a denial of service attack, everything works right up to the CHAP authentication but the server never responds with either a success or failure message so after multiple tries a failure is assumed.

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Windows 10 will now automatically download and install on PCs

Andrew Jones 2

While it's devious - there is is at least one good thing about this -

it might encourage Microsoft to do something about the dreaded 32% / 6% drivers and features issues. But then...... as there are now 4 separate KB patches that all aim to deal with Windows Update and SVCHOST hogging the CPU, overheating laptops and Windows Update never actually finding updates - I won't hold my breath that they will be particularly bothered about tens of thousands of people who are forced to upgrade to Windows 10 only to find that half way through the process the upgrade hangs at 32% and rolls back to Windows 7 at which point Windows Update will refuse to find any updates and in some cases Windows 7 has been unbootable. I have spent 5 solid days trying to convince a Toshiba laptop to update to Windows 10 - and in the end I had to give up and install Windows 7 from a retail disc instead of the OEM disc and then immediately update to Windows 10 skipping all the usual 295 windows updates. A quick Google for "windows 10 upgrade stuck at 32" shows lots of people have this issue and all Microsoft can say is that it is a driver issue - one would think Windows 10 would just skip any problematic drivers and complain about them post install, but no - it just hangs with no errors and because the HDD light just flashes periodically - non technical people will probably still think it's doing something..... for about 4 hours until they finally give up.

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Ofcom's head is dead against Three and O2's merger

Andrew Jones 2

Re: Easy fix

While there are of course a number of reasons for mobile coverage blackspots - one of the biggest ones is because people say "you can't put a mast there - it will spoil the view" and "you can't put a mast too close to people because it will cause cancer" - and then of course these very same people complain bitterly that the mobile provider they are with has terrible coverage anywhere they want to use it.......

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Andrew Jones 2

One wonders how much she was paid off with during the EE/BT deal then - because she clearly wasn't bothered about shrinking the number of providers then was she.

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Ban internet anonymity – says US Homeland Security official

Andrew Jones 2

There is a tiny bit of difference though between being able to lookup someone's license plate and find out if there is anything dodgy about the car or the owner - and being able to type in a license plate and find out every vehicle ever linked to the owner, every location the owner has ever driven and every person the owner has ever had contact with (including a handy lookup to explore the entire history of these people too) - even though the owner doesn't have a criminal record or any involvement ever with law enforcement - what is being suggested is very much more like the latter situation than the former.

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Watchdog says yes to BT's EE takeover deal. Shrugs. No 'significant' harm in it

Andrew Jones 2

Re: Not an unexpected result

That's pretty much what I am expecting to happen - and then I fully expect some excuse about Brussels not being happy about it - you know - to shift the blame.

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Whatever Android-ChromeOS mashup looks like, it's gotta be better looking than this

Andrew Jones 2

Dear El Reg - maybe next time, instead of downloading a Chinese Alpha - which even has CN in the filename, maybe you should try downloading the official international version - which although dated the 11th of January instead of the 12th January, actually includes the Play Store. Of course the Chinese version is going to contain strict legal warnings, and lack of Google Play Store and Google Play Services - it's bloody China - the Jide founders would probably have their heads chopped off if they didn't comply. And in case you didn't see the link to the International version (and not the 630mb one - the 800mb one) - here it is: https://otacdn.jide.com/ota/Remix_OS_for_PC_64_B2016011102_Alpha.zip

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Confirmed: How to stop Windows 10 forcing itself onto PCs – your essential guide

Andrew Jones 2

I think Microsoft are probably intelligent enough to know that there is no way anyone will actually want to pay to upgrade to Windows 10 after the free year is up. The only way people will be getting Windows 10 after that is on a new machine.

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Wi-Fi standard could make Internet of Things things even easier ... for hackers

Andrew Jones 2

At least 2 mobile operators use the 900MHz band..... I doubt they will be terribly happy about a sudden influx of equipment that could cause interference to their signals.

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HaLow, is it me you're hacking for? Wi-Fi standard for IoT emitted

Andrew Jones 2

900MHz - This seems awfully close to GSM frequencies.......

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iOS 9 kludged our iPhones, now give us money, claims new lawsuit

Andrew Jones 2

But...... they have to push it out to old hardware - so they can claim that they release an iOS update and 99% of users receive it in days, and obviously the competition (Android) cannot claim that..... They never make claims that the updates are actually usable to all 99% of their users.

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Microsoft steps up Windows 10 nagging

Andrew Jones 2

And if you are already on Windows 10 - you get to cope with the wonderful joy of EVERY update mucking up settings! I have to reset my screensaver after every update, I've had to reset the power saving features on one laptop after the last round of updates because it is determined to hibernate of several hours of not being used and now - 3 laptops after the last update skip the screensaver entirely and after 15 minutes just revert to the lock screen. It's getting really really annoying - and considering all the laptops are supposed to be synced via the Microsoft cloud - it's entirely unreasonable that settings are being changed even though MY settings should be saved at Microsoft.

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France says 'non' to Wi-Fi and Tor restrictions after terror attack

Andrew Jones 2

I'm glad there is some sense here - yet again we learn that 3 of the terrorists were known and investigated by French security services - if they already knew they were terrorists without needing to access encrypted communications, read peoples emails, snoop peoples voice calls - then clearly they don't need access to those things now. I have yet to hear any country put forward a solid reason they should be allowed backdoor access to well - everything.

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Typo in case-sensitive variable name cooked Google's cloud

Andrew Jones 2

"Bootnote: Yes, we are aware El Reg is not always a paragon of purity, and that there is probably a pot-kettle-black mistake in this very story."

To my knowledge a) you aren't charging people to have access to your backend server(s) and associated hardware and b) this is either their 3rd or 4th major TITSUP event this year is it not?

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CloudFlare intros HTTP/2, so we can ‘spend holiday time with our family’

Andrew Jones 2

Re: It's the quiet bahstads you've got to watch....

You will have missed the announcement of SSL being activated for all the free tier customers a few months back then.

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Lights, power, action! Smartplugs with a twist

Andrew Jones 2

Re: Yes !!!

Already exists in Japan - runs on Bluetooth and a few years ago had a slight bug in that people could flush the toilet while you were on it. As reported by this very website in fact - http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/08/05/posh_potty_owners_left_flushed_by_poor_bluetooth_password/

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Andrew Jones 2

Re: Take a look at Domoticz

Not sure I understand the significance - B&Q is a home DIY shop. MQTT is a lightweight messaging protocol perfectly suited to controlling "The Internet of Things".

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Andrew Jones 2

Take a look at Domoticz

Or for anyone that has basic computer skills - hopefully everyone here. Get yourself a Raspberry, pop along to www.domoticz.com to download the free open source home automation system that supports a huge multitude of protocols from RFXComm through ZWave and even MQTT. Our system started with those Radio Controlled plugs you buy in a pack of 3 from B&Q at this time of the year in the Xmas lighting section, they are called Home Easy sockets made by Byron. There is a whole range of additional stuff you can get in the Home Easy product range and a Transmitter/Receiver USB dongle for the Pi (or any reasonable spec old machine you have lying around) will control them all. Want your Byron Doorbell to turn on a light and email you a picture of who is at the door from your CCTV system - easy peasy. The event system is powered by Blockly which enables you to snap devices and actions together to run easy or complex tasks when events happen. For example we have one room with a ZWave socket controlling a LED light, a Byron door contact switch and a Byron movement sensor. The Door contact or the Movement sensor being activated will turn on the light for 20 minutes, and that counter is reset each time one of those devices is activated. Now we can go in and out of the room and the light will stay on, but if we forget to turn the light off (Byron wall mounted wireless switch) the system will turn it off automatically after 20 minutes with no movement. Home Automation no longer costs what people think it does nor is it anywhere near as complicated as people think it is. As an added benefit the RFXtrx433 USB dongle we use for all the 433MHz stuff, also receives data from Oregon temperature sensors in various rooms and the OWL electricity monitor.

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Nest defends web CCTV Cam amid unstoppable 24/7 surveillance fears

Andrew Jones 2

Re: Just badly designed

As the Nest cam can be remotely upgraded and has to listen for "start recording" events, I'd fully expect the CPU and WiFi to remain powered up. Imagine turning the camera "off" and then discovering that you can't record the burglary in progress that you have been notified about by some other means, because the camera is off and not just in standby.

And as for remote automatic firmware upgrades - you obviously don't want those happening when the camera is powered up, connects to Google and starts downloading and installing new firmware when it is supposed to be recording video.

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Andrew Jones 2

Presumably you can remotely turn the camera on from an app or web interface, and presumably you can do this from outside the WiFi network. In which case the camera needs to remain connected to a server where it can be told to turn on. That would require both the WiFi to be active and the CPU to be powered up.

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Broadband's frequency hunters denied Freeview patch – for now

Andrew Jones 2

I had no idea that there were 14 HD channels, I've only seen BBC1, BBC2, ITV, CH4, BBC3 - what channels am I missing that are broadcasting in HD?

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Android's accessibility service grants god-mode p0wn power

Andrew Jones 2

Sigh, first you are warned when enabling an app that requires accessibility exactly what it could allow a malicious app to do and second - it's not just a case of accepting a permission on the Play Store or a runtime permission with Android 6 - you have to actually enable the specific app that wants access to the accessibility service - by ticking the box next to the name of the app. If an app can't legitimately justify why it wants access, you simply don't allow it - and let's not stop there, the same goes for any app that wants to be a "device administrator" without legitimate reason.

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How TV ads silently ping commands to phones: Sneaky SilverPush code reverse-engineered

Andrew Jones 2

Surely iOS devices will require Microphone permission and as of Android 6 (Marshmallow) apps would also require asking users if it's OK to use the Microphone. It'll be pretty obvious if an app you never expect to need to access the Microphone suddenly asks if it can.

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Google, didn't you get the memo? Stop trying to make Google+ happen

Andrew Jones 2

Not a big surprise.

Google+ pretty much as soon as it launched - very quickly became a place to connect with other people who had similar interests - that's what the Circles feature promoted - you add people into different circles so you can share for example stuff about Android with your Android circle and stuff about Space with your space circle. The communities grew up and organised themselves using the tools they had available. But the nice thing about Google+ has always been that Google engineers and staff are actively using the service and are "one of the people" and because of this Google+ has continually evolved in line with what the users have been requesting. Communities came about because people wanted to gather and discuss Android, Space, Photography, Recipes and Science. Collections came about because the Circle idea while a fantastic concept - largely meant that when someone circled you - and you went to their profile to see what sort of stuff they are into - their profile was empty - because everything they had ever shared - unless it was public - you didn't have permission to see. So people reverted to sharing stuff publicly again - which meant the circles idea became redundant. Collections fixes this problem and makes it easier to see what other interests you share with people. It is therefore no surprise to see the service has evolved again to put the 2 biggest use cases of the service front and centre.

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Child abuse image hash list shared with major web firms

Andrew Jones 2

If I were a highly cynical person - I might posture that since this prevents people from uploading ALREADY KNOWN images - there is more incentive to create new images that haven't been added to a database yet.

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UK govt sneaks citizen database aka 'request filters' into proposed internet super-spy law

Andrew Jones 2

Re: @Andrew Jones 2 Can someone explain this?

I believe there is already a law that requires commercial use to be recorded - eg you must have some form of identifying information about who is using the connection in case records need to be accessed in the future. For example - McDonalds wants postcode and email address (though it can be argued that's more for marketing), Tesco want Clubcard number. Internet Cafes usually require some form of indentification. Companies of course have your login details as do Universities, Schools, Libraries etc. I don't really remember much about it now - other than it was designed to tackle copyright and a lot of Internet Cafes and smaller commercial establishments complained it would effectively kill business. Anyway there is a Wikipedia page with more information or you can Google "Digital Economy Bill" https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_Economy_Act_2010

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Andrew Jones 2

Re: Can someone explain this?

Multiple people who live in your residence and therefore the bill seeks to be able to separate details of what sites they have visited from what sites you have visited. Likely using information from browser headers - but the only way I can see of them being able to do this - is to build up a profile of each user of that IP address - and I don't like the sound of that one bit.

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Freebooting: How Facebook's 8 billion views could be a mirage

Andrew Jones 2

The whole "look how many videos are watched on Facebook every day" claim is bogus anyway, a video starts playing when it comes into view in the timeline even if you scroll past it so it only plays for a few seconds, but this is still counted as a view when clearly that would be like saying that someone walking past someone else's house and happening to see Coronation Street playing on the TV in the house as they walked past the window had watched the whole programme.

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Brussels paws Android map apps to see if they displace Euro rivals – report

Andrew Jones 2

The latest update to Google Maps brings saving up to 2.5GB of map data (per area) for offline use which includes offline navigation and business listings.

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At Microsoft 'unlimited cloud storage' really means one terabyte

Andrew Jones 2

Re: Bait and switch

Three didn't remove the benefits from the existing users though - I still have Unlimited Data and Unlimited Tethering - and while I don't ever go really stupid with it - it's certainly been used to watch an entire season (or seasons) of a TV show on my Chromecast.

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TalkTalk hush-hush on compo for up to 4 million customers after mega cyber attack

Andrew Jones 2

What about ex-customers?

What I want to know - so far pretty much everything has focused on existing customers - but what details did TalkTalk hold on ex-customers? Do TalkTalk have bank account details in their databases for people who used to be customers? We only left them about 3 months ago - could El Reg possibly find out how long they retain details on ex customers? (We were a business customer, migrated via Pipex and Opal)

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New Nexus 5X, 6P smarties: Google draws a line in the sand

Andrew Jones 2

Re: If it aint broke

Nexus 4 user here - it's not getting the Marshmallow update - not from Google anyway, if we want it - we need to enter custom ROM territory now.

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Yahoo! launches! password-free! push! logins! for! mobes!

Andrew Jones 2

If you don't have to enter your password - then this isn't 2Factor auth - 2Factor auth requires 2 different forms of authentication, traditionally a password and some other form - usually OTP codes or like Twitter uses a push notification - which pretty much works the same way as Yahoo! are now using. As far as I can see - removing the password step makes this less secure - the whole point of a password with 2Factor is that it doesn't matter if some virus on your computer manages to capture your password - as the attacker still needs access to whatever the 2nd factor of authentication is.

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Google Chromecast 2015: Puck-on-a-string fun ... why not, for £30?

Andrew Jones 2

First of all it's possible to get an Ethernet adaptor for the Chromecast if you really need to go down that route. Second everyone always misses my absolute favourite feature of the Chromecast which is that it it doesn't have apps that require you to login (by the way El Reg, Google doesn't host the receiver apps - the app developers host them on their own servers). The benefit of not having apps that need to be logged in to - means for example - a friend might rent a movie on Google Play (or in fact they might have bought the movie) and can come to your house, hit cast (they don't even need to be connected to your WiFi if you have enabled guest mode on the Chromecast) and you can be watching a movie that you don't own. The same goes for things like Netflix you personally don't have to subscribe but someone can come to your house who does subscribe and send Netflix straight to the Chromecast, no-one ever has to bother logging in and therefore don't have to remember to log out when they leave.

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Bezos' BAN-HAMMER batters Chromecast, Apple TV

Andrew Jones 2

That's the point - it's not that Amazon won't allow others to show videos from the Prime subscription, it's that it's Amazons job to create the apps in the first place. Amazon could easily add Chromecast support to it's instant video app but have continuously refused to do so. And yet they keep sending me crap through the post with special offers to sign up to Prime and I keep replying to them and saying I'll give you my money when you support the only equipment I have to view your service on. Personally I see this move as showing that they have no faith in their own product and rather than letting it compete on its own merits - which any company will do when they believe their product is the best - they decide instead to remove the competition.

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Woman makes app that lets people rate and review you, Yelp-style. Now SHE'S upset people are 'reviewing' her

Andrew Jones 2

Re: Legality

I'm not a lawyer so I really don't know, but I'm not sure whether our EU/UK laws will be of much help while the company doesn't have a base of operations outside of America. Not really any different to France demanding the right to be forgotten rulings must apply globally and not just to Google searches on the French domain. As far as I can tell - unless it is a matter of copyright or illegal activity - we don't appear to have the power to do anything to a company that operates outside our geographical area.

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WIN a 6TB Western Digital Black hard drive with El Reg

Andrew Jones 2

Hold on Dad, someone is wrong on the internet and I must correct them.

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Confession: I was a teenage computer virus writer

Andrew Jones 2

Misspent youth -

I took a print screen of the College RM Ware login screen, made it the background of the main form in Visual Basic 5 and added text boxes and buttons where they should of been, it took the username and password entered and appended a text file (disguised as a .dll of course) on the public network share.

Logged in to a computer using one of the various guest accounts that I had become aware of, and left the program running all day - at some point, someone must have complained that they couldn't login to my fake screen and a network administrator tried logging in. Fun times. Though I admit I was a bit worried I might get kicked out of college.

Another fun one - compiled as "Porn 2000" which was run by students an unbelievable number of times, did nothing but create hidden empty directories in the users network drive, and because we had quotas - once you reached your quota the network would start deleting files from your network space - starting with the oldest files and leaving hundreds of thousands of empty folders that you couldn't see. During this fun "prank" I also learned that Windows 95 REALLY didn't like trying to delete hundreds of thousands of folders and would crash explorer.

Finally - for anyone wishing to cause mayhem in one single line of code - "attrib +H C:\*.* /S" would take a few minutes to run and would render the machine unbootable once restarted - it would set the hidden attribute to every file on the hard drive and Windows would attempt to boot and then complain it couldn't find some file - I don't remember which one now. It could be repaired from a DOS prompt by simply running "attrib -H C:\*.* /S"

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