They had to get rid of Steelie Neelie first though...
Once she's out of the picture they can get on with watering it down to suit the telcos...
141 posts • joined 5 Jun 2010
They had to get rid of Steelie Neelie first though...
Once she's out of the picture they can get on with watering it down to suit the telcos...
As an added security feature you have to hold the phone just the right way to get a signal.
Also, remember that SS7 was developed in an era when there were highly controlled networks often run by a single monopoly provider, or a very select few telcos.
An era when there'd be tons of players and open competition wasn't really something that is likely to have crossed the minds of telecommunications engineers in the 70s/80s.
This is Ma Bell, Euro PTTs and Telecom companies stuff.
Security was all about having a good lock for the exchange building.
I wonder if we're forgetting to patch these old-school 'non-sexy' systems because so much focus is on more modern purely IP technology.
SS7 emerged in the 1970s and got standardised officially in 1980. It's very old-school in many ways and is designed for handling telephone calls and ISDN data on digital telephone exchange networks. It has umpteen different national versions and proprietary extensions for various purposes.
It underlies a big chunk of how GSM and UMTS work too. LTE (4G) is all-IP based, but your voice and text traffic is still falling back onto older SS7 based traditional telephony technologies in most cases as VoIP type systems for LTE haven't been widely rolled out.
It's easy to forget that a lot of voice calls and data still get processed by some rather dusty old digital technology that developed quite separately from the internet and IP.
Also, a lot of those systems were built with "legal interception" capabilities from day one too. So, I'm sure there are plenty of things that could be spoofed, intercepted, or otherwise hacked by someone who really knew their way around those old voice and data networks.
I just always get the impression that 'the industry' and the equipment vendors thought that all of these old networks would have been shut down and replaced by something more modern like SIP and VoIP for voice by now. However, there are still loads of old telephone switchs like Ericsson AXE, Alcatel-Lucent's 5ESS (Bell Labs), E10 (Alcatel) and S12 (ITT), Nokia/Siemens EWSD and DX200, Nortel/Genband DMS, Marconi System X (UK only) and so on all still chugging away providing ISDN and Dial tones all over the world, they've been adapted and tweaked to sit on more modern networks, but the old school stuff's often still there in the local exchange / central office along side cutting edge fibre to kerb and everything else.
These older systems and protocols are also firmly embedded in modern IP networks and SS7 is used for many call handling functions even in much later generation networks and you'll find telephone switching systems running on modern blade servers etc etc..
From what I can see, these systems will be with us for a lot longer than anticipated and we'd really want to ensure they're locked down against modern threats!
I assume the hotels will be able to install special laws of physics overriding devices that prevent their jamming signals disrupting services in neighbouring buildings and adjacent areas?
We all know how easy it is to tell radio waves to remain within a particular building.
Hmm... Correct EU response should be to launch an investigation into collusion.
So could China do the same with Chinese companies' US subsidiaries?
Also it's not as if the Irish legal system wouldn't facilitate a normal criminal investigation.
It's actually insulting that they feel the need to just ride roughshod over another country's legal system. Ireland's rated as one of the most democratic countries on the planet and has an extremely effective and fair system of justice.
If they can't argue a case in an Irish court, then it suggests that there's something wrong with their case.
Does this right also extend to deleting information from more traditional sources like libraries?
Google's a bit easier to search than a microfiche library, but the information's there if someone wants to find it.
I still find this law is a bit like attempting to erase and revise history.
I assume the banks, investment houses and hedge funds of the City of London will also be immediately brought into line and will immediately stop all complex tax avoidance systems too?
Or, is this only for sexy, well-known foreign companies with big consumer and tech brandnames like Google and Apple and maybe do a bit of bashing a few smaller EU countries along the way?
I think if the UK's going go hell for leather after Ireland and others, it seems only fair that we immediately push for a huge inquest into 'The City'.
If we're going to clean things up, let's clean everything up, not just do it selectively
They didn't nab Burberry's boss for nothing ya know!
Apple know they're a consumer product / fashion brand.
It's a bit of a ludicrous comparison.
A country's value is a lot more than its economic output. It's actually somewhere to live, somewhere to be from, it has priceless assets like scenery and cultural resources that are just not comparable to raw GDP figures.
Same applies to any country really. They're all pretty special.
Wow! Such paranoia. Do you work for UKIP or something?
No, I don't work for the EU, nor do I want to work for the EU!
I'd call myself "Eurocritical" rather than "Eurosceptic" though. I don't buy into this just supporting it mindlessly nor do I buy into knocking it mindlessly either, it's all about critical engagement. It can do some good stuff, and it can do some lousy stuff. I think it made an unbelievable mess of the whole economic situation over the last few years, but it has been pretty good on telecoms and areas like privacy. That European Court of Justice ruling throwing out the data retention directive was a huge move and shows how the EU can be good and bad simultaneously depending on who's making the decisions!
I actually genuinely thought she did some good work in the area - particularly taking on the mobile phone operators, which was no small task as they're enormous lobbyists and some are even tied to states' vested interests either as huge companies that are 'national champions' or, in the case of Belgium and a few others, actually state owned.
I believe in giving credit where it's due and I think she did a decent job while she was in the seat. Comedy value? As in she has a bit of a personality and was willing to get out on blogs and Twitter? Don't really see what's bad about that!
She showed a bit of an ability to actually tease out the issues and a serious determination to get stuff done, even if it ruffled very powerful feathers, which is a lot more than can be said for many a technology tzar at national level.
I miss Steelie Neelie - very few politicians have an understanding and passion for their brief. She seemed to be genuinely engaged with it and very much as a consumer and geek (and I mean that in a positive way).
Meanwhile over here in Ireland the state owned power distribution company ESB which owns the power lines overhead wires and ducts that connect to every building in the country got approval to enter a joint venture with Vodafone to build out FTTH mostly in smaller towns, villages and also outskirts of cities. They're avoiding areas with extensive cable broadband tho. They're also testing it in ribbon developments (Ireland has a lot of housing that's not in villages and is genuinely very low density and scattered)
The European Commission didn't take long to grant approval but it's just an interesting way of getting FTTH into non core areas at reasonable cost using existing and publically owned physical infrastructure to carry the fibres.
It's also going to be open to wholesale access for other telcos.
Fingers crossed we see more of this around Europe. I think we're obsessed with the notion that broadband needs to come from something built on top of PSTN infrastructure. There are lots of alternative ways of getting fibre into homes without ripping up roads and costing a fortune.
I'm also concerned when it comes to rural broadband that the European Commission understands that European patterns of housing development aren't remotely uniform across all EU countries.
Some have tightly planned, high density small towns and apartment type living others like Ireland, parts of the Nordic countries, parts of Britain and even rural France are much more scattered and tend to have individual homes that may not be in anything other than a vague cluster.
I think in the past the commission forgot that there are stark differences.
It's a shame it didn't have a small nuclear battery on board like the Mars rovers.
The ESA has a significant but small budget compared to NASA.
€4.28 billion (about $5.51 US)
NASA has budgets of around $18.4 billion or so.
Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK are all the current members.
Canada's had associate membership since 1979 and the European Union itself is also a member and contributes quite a bit of the cash (slightly less than France and Germany though)
Total cost to Europeans on average €3.50 each or 20 cents per year for the duration of the Rosetta programme.
Seems like value for money, considering I lost many times more than that down the back of the sofa this week alone.
It's very very much a product of European engineering.
Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Ireland, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Switzerland and the United Kingdom all contributed pretty serious technology to it.
Europe has shed loads of technology when you bring it all together. We should be doing more of this kind of stuff and less wrangling with unruly banks that cost us hundreds of billions !
Not quite true, Sky just broadcast from outside the UK in those days. They didn't need a license as it became a right to receive television from other countries via satellite.
BSB was overwhelmed with red-tape and over-regulation forcing it to actually own its own satellites and have duplicated satellites and use strange broadcast standards (DMAC). Meanwhile, Sky went on air with pretty straight forward PAL television and it rented space on satellites instead of owning them.
Sky's business model was FAR more successful.
I think the only reason they clung onto the BSkyB name for so long was because it's a legacy of keeping regulators happy in the early 1990s and pretending they were still nice, tame, sensible BSB.
It's easy to forget just how patriarchal the BBC was and how protectionistic the law was about broadcasting. Everything was about limiting competition and over regulating the industry which is why most European countries at the time had very limited choice on television.
Sky basically bypassed by making use of European Union regulations at the time and pulled the rug out from the old state monopoly setup.
Seems like a reasonable move as BSkyB comes from the "merger" between the original Sky and BSB which in reality seems to have been a complete take over by Sky.
Nobody actually calls Sky BSkyB other than business journalists anyway.
Sky Ireland (recently split off from being just a marketing division of Sky UK's operations and now has a significant office in Dublin to support Irish customers for TV and broadband).
There are localised versions of a lot of Sky's content with Irish adverts running on them, but other than that they're pretty much identical to the UK versions.
There are several other Sky televisions that have nothing to do with them though like Sky in NZ had a minority shareholding by News Corp, no longer the case.
Sky in Japan, Sky México and Brazil are nothing to do with News Corp either.
I'd still call this intercepting SMS messages as it's not transparent at all.
Many users don't realise they're sending iMessages and think they're SMS.
Who said anything about "losing" them?
They are basically just intercepting and capturing texts.
I am surprised the carriers have been so laid back about it to be honest. I would expect Apple would go completely mental if a carrier were to intercept traffic to some iService in a similar manner.
Siphoning off texts in a non-transparent manner isn't really something I think is very acceptable from a transparency or data protection point of view.
When you send an SMS you expect it to go by SMS unless you instruct the device to do otherwise.
iMesssge is handy and seamless but just very strangely implemented.
Also why do Apple still remove functionality like delivery reports (a feature available for over 20 years) from SMS. Every other handset except iPhone supports this very basic and fundamental GSM feature that has been around since the dawn of the GSM system.
It's just a pity that the UK (and also Ireland although the population density there excuses it somewhat) didn't put more investment into electrification of railways.
Seems daft that the governments are pushing sustainable energy policies while railways are operating significant numbers of trains on diesel instead of electricity.
Rail is the ideal platform for electric transportation and realistically all but the most underused rural lines should be electric.
Diesel Intercity shouldn't really have ever been necessary in Britain on busy lines.
In France and elsewhere that's the case because they've access to abundant locally generated power and they use it for ensuring they've alternatives to petrol, diesel and aviation fuel where possible.
I think though it could easily be an infrastructure test of some sort.
There's nothing conspiratorial about being prepared for possible sanctions that might mean routing through China instead of Europe.
There could be two politically motivated causes that I can think of.
1. Russian ISPs might be trialling alternative routing should trade sanctions ratchet up to a level that it impacts their international connectivity.
It would make sense to test other routing options with live traffic.
2. perhaps they're about to cooperate on the implementation of a "Great Firewall of Russia"?
Seems like the Russian state is moving towards increased censorship.
That being said plenty of other states seem to have those leanings towards censorship too. Russia certainly isn't in a small club. Even some western states like Australia dabble in network level content filtering.
And that's only the well administered servers...
It'll be a while before your could safely say it's been dealt with.
Until one of them ends up at the wrong altitude and gets sucked into an engine...
Aviation regulators are VERY conservative for a good reason.
Wouldn't 20,000+ balloons carrying chunky radio gear be an extremely serious hazard to aviation??
The problem is that the NSA and GCHQ through their spying programmes have now given a whole load of regimes all over the world a very valid excuse to do some very bad things both in terms of snooping on their own citizens and restricting the flow of data beyond their borders for allegedly altruistic purposes, but in reality in some cases, particularly the likes of China, Russia, Iran, Saudi Arabia etc etc, it will come down to a crack down on freedom of speech and spying on their own citizens.
The sad thing is that the big western intelligence agencies have basically given everyone else carte blanche by setting a precedent and then arrogantly pushing that notion that it's somehow OK to just override people's privacy and democratic rights on the basis of nanny-state protectionism.
These snooping organisations have also done the US IT industry a huge amount of damage by forcing it to be complicit in some of these spying systems through legislation.
Unfortunately, it's getting to the stage that you can't really trust IT equipment from anywhere anymore. If it's built in China, there's a risk, if it's using US designs/software or is from a US company, there's a risk, if your data's trafficking through the UK or even France there's a risk it's being tapped... the list is endless.
I can fully understand why you need to go after terrorists, pedophile rings, all sorts of organised crime and drug gangs and other terrible things, but there's an element of data-trawling just because we can and because the technology exists to do so.
The counter risk is that because there's no clear oversight over any of these agencies, you've no idea what's being read in terms of intellectual property, financial information, sensitive government communications that might give a state competitive advantage, personal emails that could be used to blackmail someone or sway political campaigns etc.
Also, where does national interest end? Many countries would see the success of their own businesses as in their national interest and legitimately so. Does that mean that it would be OK for a spy agency to provide information about competitor countries' commercial businesses for example? I'm not saying that the US necessarily does this, but there are many other countries where it's hard to know where the state begins and the corporate entities and businesses end and they run almost more like companies than countries, China in particular is a lot like this.
It's a total mess!
Apple actually have a pretty significant presence in Cork in Ireland. It's not a really what you'd call a 'brass plate' office, there are over 4000 staff there and it's been present there since 1982, before the Mac.
One thing that people forget too is that Apple's been present in Ireland through all sorts of phases of its business. It's been in Cork for 32 year and during periods when it was teetering on the brink of bankruptcy in the 1990s. It hasn't always been super-profitable.
Banks basically do two things:
1. Provide a range of savings and loans products that allow them to act as a source for capital investment in a prudent manner so as not to crash the institution into a brick wall requiring multi billion bailouts by the state.
2. Run a secure, stable, reliable transaction processing and financial information system that provides users with infrastructure to send and receive payments and that manages the bank's accounting systems.
This institution failed to do either of these core functions that basically define a bank. Yet, they carried on like as if they were doing a good job.
Can you imagine say a large retailer doing this?
They'd have to accidentally order in creates of manure instead of food products then accidentally set fire to most of their stores to even come close to the levels of incompetence.
Your local network's 'insanely fast' in that area because the network's priced the data so high that nobody's using it for anything significant.
Spain is weird like that. You've got to produce passports, proof address and have all that photocopied to get a prepay SIM.
It was easier to get one in China!
Where as here in Ireland getting a SIM works like this: Hello! Can I have a SIM please? ... Here you go... Would you like me to top that up for you?
Aspects of Spanish bureaucracy seem to still be a throwback to the dictatorship era. It's odd as they're really, really laid back and liberal about most other aspects of life.
You'd probably still have to do all that to activate your Apple virtual sim.
It's to do with not allowing you to be anonymous online or on the phone, nothing to do with the technology or the shops.
Subscribing to a domestic ISP requires your passport or Spanish National ID number too.
This sounds like Apple wanting to be able to curate a list of operators that can choose from.
I like the idea of a SIM card. It gives the end user total control over which carrier they want to use.
The SIM lock isn't anything to do with the SIM card. It's just a way of removing normal SIM functionality to reduce competition.
This seems like a move that will end up with Apple and their partnered carriers having absolute control over your device and it might potentially exclude disruptors like small MVNOs that aren't Apple Approved Carriers.
Spinning this as giving consumers more choice is utter nonsense.
The carrier's SIM card can be removed and replaced by any other carriers' card. It's the device's SIM lock that prevents that, not the technology behind the SIM card which was designed to allow ease of movement between carriers.
Nokia is very significant behind the scenes like Ericsson and Alcatel-Lucent.
Nokia handsets were just a consumer focused division and that's all Microsoft bought.
The Nokia Company is predominantly an infrastructure development company and R&D house.
They need to look more "super"
I want to see more LEDs and maybe clear tubes with circulating CO2
I would love a noise cancelling suit!
It would be absolute bliss on noisy flights or when my neighbour's 30+ old burglar alarm decides to ring incessantly all night because it's detected a slight breeze or a cat.
You should also provide the police with a copy of your house keys, your car keys, the combinations for your safe and regular copies of your diary just in case you're one of those child molesting terrorists.
That's perfectly reasonable.
Also maybe just have your post/mail photocopied and maybe just agree to provide information about your location at all times.
You'd never know! I mean anyone could suddenly turn into one of those child molesting terrorists at any moment. So we need to all rush and throw away every democratic freedom just to ensure that we're all safe.
Nothing at all unreasonable about that
(To be read with sarcastic tone)
The process in Ireland is very, very easy and nearly instantaneous.
Confirm its your mobile by sending a text to your phone with a verification code or, in a shop they'll just call you from their landline to confirm it's s you. Once that's done, your phone is ported.
For bill pay you simply give your new operator your mobile number and account number. Once that's done and they've done their credit check on you, your port is competed without any need to call or interact with your old network.
For landlines you just need the UAN number which is at the top of every bill, PSTN, cable, VoIP etc if it's providing a landline number it has a UAN. You give that & your phone number to the new operator, they do a 3rd party verification (if done on the phone) and once done, you're transferred to the new provider,
If you're still in contract your network can a) block the port or b) send you a bill including their early termination fee.
Whole process is automated and it's been like this since about 2001
I have a feeling that it's a combination of hipsters, skinny jeans and oversized phones....
If the iPhone 6plus rids the world of skinny jeans it will have done us all a huge favour !
Bring back Steelie Neelie !!! She was genuinely good at her job - a highly unusual trait in a politician!
Well if we're going to get the house in order, lets do it right!
City of London on the chopping board for a start.
The French car industry and aerospace industry.
Full audit of everyone's effective corporation tax, including Germany on its own businesses.
Very few countries can really be too heavily critical.
I think what Apple and others are doing is quite frankly taking the %%%% however Ireland's #actual# low corporation tax rate is fair enough.
It's still an attractive location : English speaking, full Euro member, similar business culture and legal structure to the US and UK, access to huge pool of talent via local graduates and business friendly visa system and one of the most flexible and productive workforces in the EU.
Let's face it, you'd want to be bonkers to locate in certain EU countries due to incredibly inflexible labour laws etc
Apple and others are exploiting a loophole in both Irish and US tax law and declaring income elsewhere entirely.
The EU really doesn't have a mandate to harmonise tax rates. If it does enter that territory it would need total restructuring to make it fully democratically accountable which would need the European Commission replaced with some kind of Euro Senate and the parliament given a lot more power.
Without that, they're really straying into areas outside the treaties.
Also to say the Irish or other small countries don't have power in the EU is really not true.
Many further treaties can only be passed with agreement of the Irish people by referendum. If they think Brussels has screwed them over, nothing will pass ever again. That's a VERY big stick
GDP per capita increased by 4.1 times over the same period (over 5 times in 2008).
Public expenditure as a % of GDP is what matters. Not the raw figures. Taking Ireland back to 1997 levels of public expenditure would cause social collapse like you saw in Greece.
That didn't happen and the economy's showing the strongest growth in Europe at the moment.
Australia is a relatively small market in the grand scheme of things. If they impose too many regulations and buredbsome requirements they will find services simply won't be available anymore.
I can't see companies prioritising spending a lot of money on comtoversial, precedent setting snooping infrastructure for a relatively high cost, remote market that isn't exactly core to their business.
They jump to comply with US and EU regulations because those markets are absolutely vast and fundamental to bottom line.
Australia is a little fish attempting to throw its weight around. It's just going to mean reduced choice for Australians
So they're just hoping that all potential terrorists pay attention to signage.
The guy didn't cause a security alert, the poorly designed system at the airport did and it's clearly not fit for purpose.
Passengers leave fights tired, dazed, may be distracted, may not understand signs, may be unable to see very well (partially sighted), may have lost a contact lens, may not hear or understand instructions, may have cognitive impairment or like this guy might just be lost in a world of his own.
This is ENTIRELY down to a poor design of security screeing systems.
It simply shouldn't be possible.
Correct headine is : Airport blunder causes chaos!
I think many of you don't realise that MS didn't get anything other than very limited rights to use the Nokia name on existing products. They can't continue using Nokia's trade mark.
Nokia still exists, it just ditched its loss making handset division and retained its profitable networks division.
Television in the 1970s ....
Fuzzy, often monochrome, poor sound quality, relatively few channels with many people only having maybe 4 to 10 at most. Some people only had 1 or 2 channels.
Many channels also only broadcast for a few hours a day.
The UI was electromechanical! You turned a knob.
The screens were small and possibly emitted x-rays
I'm not sure which 1970s he remembers...
Also the VCR didn't really exist.
I think he's confusing the 1970s with the early 2000s.
I'd just point out that Ireland's recent economic blip was down to an insane property bubble and banks that went completely bonkers on the international derivatives market and were being given way to much credit. It had very little to do with independence or the Irish non-speculative real economy.
The underlying Irish economy, once you scrape away all the bubble banking "industry" and construction sector excesses , is actually very strong. It's running a major trade surplus etc etc vs the UK and France etc running a huge trade deficit.
The problems arose due to a disproportionate construction sector that caused an economic shock when it collapsed, inflated asset prices and then socialising the banking sector's vast gambling losses.
However, the other aspects of the Irish economy are anything but weak!
Miele actual design their doors to take over 60kg and encourage you to slam it shut. It's more like a car door in terms of how it shuts.
They're built like a military tank! Weigh about 2 to 3 times more than most machines too due to all the stainless steel and cast iron weights!
I've a Samsung washing machine in my holiday home and it had plastic hinges!
Mobile phone companies discover and attempt to rebrand VoIP.
I'm not sure why I'm yawning.
Also EE is a UK-only network. It's parents Orange and T-Mobile may have a bigger Europe footprint but EE is only in one market.
Vodafone is the closest to a pan EU player but even they miss key markets like they've no presence in France having pulled out of a deal with SFR a good few years ago.
Vodafone (UK).Orange (F), T-Mobile (D), Telefonica (O2) (ES) and maybe Telia-Sonera (Sweden/Finland) and Hutchinson 3 (HK) all cover multiple countries. However they're behaving like little individual national companies with single brands and offering customers usually no or very few benefits by being pan EU.
So it's still very hard to generalise about European telcos. It's still 27+ markets with some common regulation.