57 posts • joined 17 Aug 2011
Slightly misleading headline
Let me adjust that rather click-bait headline for you. "Police robot looks for man in house after he'd left"
I was expecting to hear the (slightly heroic) tale of how a man with a knife defeated a gun-wielding robot like the script of some bad action movie. That wasn't really what happened.
I prefer it this way
Personally, I feel this is a feature rather than a security defect. I like the fact that the hardware is yours to own and hack if you want to. Devices need to be firmware upgradable and to be honest if someone has got into your house and has time to attach a USB stick to your Nest then you've vulnerable anyway. I can easily hack your PC if given time with it and a bootable DVD or USB stick.
What would improve things is making sure the end user is aware of this feature and perhaps having a way to disable it - or perhaps enable it if disabled by default.
I'm not a Nest owner by the way, I'm very happy with my Tado. Incidentally they can be upgraded remotely as I discovered when they fixed a bug I found that stopped it working with Sky Broadband.
Re: "he installed a chip in his arm"
Opening the garage door is exactly what I do with mine. (See video part way down the page.) More stuff to come, but I've only had it a couple of weeks.
Well the .NET Micro Framework started out on those SPOT watches many years ago. It would seem likely that this would be what they'd use as there seems to be renewed effort heading that way recently. It'd be nice to see it come full circle.
The .NET Micro Framework was open sourced by the way, once the watches were abandoned. Isn't is strange how Apple is now the locked down corporate monster and Microsoft is (relatively) open these days?
Re: I see that TFL's boundary has grown...
Don't forget that quaint little tennis playing town of Wimbleton.
Re: EE and Vodafone?
It should be possible to have an Oyster app for any NFC enabled phone. However I believe that the PAYG Oyster balance is stored on the card for speed of retrieval (despite what this article suggests). It's pure speculation on my part, but I suspect that an app on the phone might be more susceptible to reverse engineering or hacking than when embedded on an Oyster card.
@WonkTheSane - You're right that this requires NFC and excludes Apple, but so does this payment system. NFC underpins how both Oyster and contactless bank payments work. It'll all be OK in a year's time when the innovative geniuses at Apple "invent" NFC.
You know the graphic mock up will have been done by an iPhone toting hipster in the marketing department on his Mac.
Re: Are they running on XP Embedded ?
My thoughts exactly. Surely a device with restricted functionality and a very basic UI shouldn't be running a desktop OS, or even something like XP Embedded. I'd have though something like an ARM microcontroller coded directly in C be up to the job? It'd be far less vulnerable to attack and probably cheaper too.
My surprise disconnection
I recently switched from Sky to BT and whilst it's a definite improvement I've also had an unexpected disconnection. Rather than send me my first bill (or any warning that they were due a payment) BT very helpfully just cut off my broadband. Nice.
Also the "engineer" who installed it left with the broadband partially working and no phone. "Not my area of expertise. Maybe it'll work better tomorrow."
I can thoroughly recommend the Tado. It was a easy to install and works very well. They're currently offering a free visit for installation but you probably won't need it.
The beta version I got had issues with Sky broadband (and of course Sky won't let you change their awful router or DNS servers). Once we'd identified the problem a Tado engineer and new firmware written and remotely deployed within a day. Great service.
Thanks. That clarification was what the article was missing.
Top Googling top
Here's my top tip for getting the most out of Google's search algorithms:
1. Use Bing for a whole day
2. Go back to Google
3. Realise you have very little to complain about
I really did have that
You may not believe Jake, but I did have that about 20 years ago - initially misdiagnosed as ME. It's nowhere nears as nice as it sounds. It wasn't like being drunk all the time but more like permanently coping with a hangover. An anti yeast treatment sorted me out and I was so happy that it did.
Re: Headline excellence...
"If you really can't see why .... then I'm not going to explain it to you."
@Ledswinger If anyone had any doubts that you were a genuine female Reg reader (rather than just a guy trolling) then you squashed that right there.
Re: First ever social networking site?
Friend Reunited was indeed before 2001, but wasn't social networking. In fact I had a meeting with Friends Reunited to discuss collaborating on them developing the social networking side of things.
Re: Local shop, for local people
I think Bebo was an excellent example of how the UK is not the place for social networking. I'll give you a short history lesson of social networking...
Many years ago (early 2001) some friends and I started the first ever social networking site - the long forgotten EveryonesConnected.com - well before MySpace, Friendster, Bebo, etc. Being based in the UK we found that UK venture capital was too sensible and cautious to invest. The term social networking wasn't even being used and they couldn't see any exit strategy. [Sidenote: Is there one?] Anyone in the US couldn't see past their shores and weren't interested in anything that wasn't physically US-based.
Shortly afterwards the Birches (who ran Birthday Alarm) started Ringo, which I also believe was UK-based. I can't find anything to confirm this so I'm relying on my memory, but I remember that the Birches shut up Ringo, moved to the US and started Bebo. They seemed to immediately get investment and interest. That kind of supported my suspicion that being US-based was essential if you were going to make a financial success of it.
That reminds me of the time that my stepfather's WiFi was playing up and I told him the internet was closed as it was Christmas Day.
A busy market - but the Agent looks the most interesting
I've been a fan of smart watches for a while - had one of the Sony MBW-150s and a TI Chronos (true geek dev watch rather than smart watch). I've been following many of the ones you mentioned with interest. I'm really keen on being able to create apps ON the watch rather than just sending alerts to it. The MSP430-based Metawatch had promise but was really buggy early on. The Pebble is definitely interesting but not what I wanted.
I have to say the Agent ticked all the boxes for me so I backed it straight away. I've just switch to WP8 (previously very happy on Android) so support for that is a big plus, as is wireless charging. Being able to dev (and even debug I believe) on the watch using Visual Studio is huge. I'm familiar with the Netduino so am confident the guys will deliver what they promised. I know Eadon will troll away, but the .NET microframework should be able to deliver a high quality dev environment for writing phone apps. It should the first really good smart watch - as opposed to just a notification system on your wrist.
Hipster detection complete
My hipster twat detector used to require both a Vespa and a helmet with Momo Designs written on it. Now it just needs an iBeetle. (I wonder what team of geniuses spent hours in a design workshop to come up with that name.)
Re: Why not go get it?
Ah - ok. I didn't read the website because it's tagged NSFW and I'm AW. As someone else pointed out though - he's eBaying stuff so it should be easy enough to catch him.
Why not go get it?
If he's got "accurate geolocation data" then why not go get his laptop back?
I stopped reading when I got the the phrase "End Of." because:
a) It's the most annoying phrase in the world. (And fondleslab comes pretty close.)
b) It was the end, wasn't it?
Batteries OR flywheel
All this talk of whether batteries are better. Just use a load of batteries for the mass of the flywheel and you've doubled your storage. Hybrid storage FTW.
What could possibly go wrong? I'm off to patent it now...
A late convert to the M
I'd read a few of his fiction books but only got into the Culture series as a result of the "best SF films never made" on here. Thoroughly enjoying them.
It's inspiring to see someone deal with such a tough situation so well. Another example was Steve Evans from Wolverhampton on BBC News this morning.
Is there a GOOD broadband provider?
Can anyone actually recommend a broadband provider. I want to move from Sky becuase the router you're forced to use is rubbish. Every other provider I consider turns out to be "the worst ever".
Re: @John Smith 19 (was: Carlsberg? Eww! (was: Quite frankly.....))
Isn't glass opaque to UV? Hence no suntan in a greenhouse and the fact that you can engrave glass with a UV laser.
Wow. I'd take one of these with the "XYZ positioning accessory that plugs into a computer" over a 3D printer any day.
and what's really annoying is that many of them won't accept a + in your email address. (For those who don't know, adding a "+company" to the first part of a gmail address is a good way to identify and block when your address gets passed on to third parties.)
Apple to patent "imparting spin – the angular momentum possessed by an electron – to a storage medium *in a mobile device*" in 3... 2... 1...
"Working at our company is tough. It calls for someone who can take the pain and suffering."
I'd be annoyed too if I'd missed a great job like that.
Anyone else want to know more about the "rather more gruesome tests"?
(Troll face because I've seen what people look like in one of those centrifuges.)
I once interview someone for a job programming in a language that he called "C hash". Needless to say he didn't get it.
Very poor article for the Reg
Not the best researched article on The Register. As Richard12 points out, passive NFC is powered in exactly the same way as RFID because it *is* high frequency (13.56MHz) RFID - with comms happening in both directions. More basic RFID is 125kHz but works in much the same way.
There are plenty of NFC enabled phones - my Galaxy Nexus being one obvious example. It worked fine with Google Wallet using the free pre-paid card but there was no way to associate a UK credit card with it.
Also, a HUGE unnecessary chunk of the article talking about Apple when there's not really anything to say about Apple and NFC.
I'd be happy to give this a try on my Orange Galaxy Nexus, but strangely it appears to be GS3 only. Why?
I hacked Google Wallet on there a while ago, but after the $10 sign-up cash there's no way to use it in the UK.
The irrelevent Apple mention
I've got to agree with the other comments about the pointless inclusion of Apple in the title. Yes - it's clear from the text that Apple had nothing to do with Curiosity but it's lazy fanboi journalism. The most recent one that irked me was on the BBC News site - "Apple chip designer Arm Holdings in 23% profits boost" - where the first word of the headline has to be Apple even though they're just one of many ARM customers.
Re: Is this the same Rapport...
Yes. I was at a security conference last year where there was a session on it. Avoid Rapport like the plague. I'd change banks rather than install it.
Re: Still US Only ....
Exactly. A bit amiss of a UK site not mentioning that it's unavailable here. (Although I've successfully spent Google's free $10 on coffee.)
Re: Ooooo Really.
'"But I am not a dog!" said Zippity, looking rather alarmed.'
"I'm also not called Zippity", said Zebedee, looking rather irritated.
"Hot on the heels of Apple's release" - What's this got to do with Apple?
Google have a prototype. Olympus have a prototype. As far as I know Apple only have a vague patent on peripheral vision that they'll use for trolling and lining some lawyers' pockets in the future.
" In my experience good techies are really uncomfortable with actually lying"
In my experience of RBS staff in India, they have absolutely no problem at all with lying. Lying and not getting caught seemed to be the complete moral equivalent of telling the truth,
There's a photo if you follow the link to the original article.
Been there, done it
Having seen first-hand what happened to bits of RBS as they were outsourced to India, this comes as no surprise at all. Incompetent doesn't even come close.
Could be worse
At least you can make phone calls. Down in Reigate my local MP (who doesn't live in the area) proudly announced how he'd stopped the installation of an "unsightly" mobile phone mast. Screw the fact that some people might like to make a phone call once in a while.
Some obvious flaws
How come the article avoids mentioning the obvious flaws? (Or the solutions if I'm wrong.)
* As a few commenters have already said - you need the lights on.
* Strong sunlight will probably swamp the signal.
* What sort of light source will the return channel need? A tiny LED will probably not get though. Do you need a USB-connected desklamp aimed at back your MiFi router?
I do seem to have better Orange reception today that I usually do. Not exactly a definitive test though.
> getting a message to tell her she's had missed calls but her phone hasn't rung or text messages taking up to 4 hours to come through
That sounds like a strangely familiar scenario!
Let's wait and see
I was tempted to jump in on this (not that they need any more) but decided against it. The watch looks great but there have been many before it that have looked good and had me salivating at their potential but then failed to deliver when reviewed. I'll wait until they're available for general sale and I know if I'm getting what I thought I was getting.
The same thing happened at RBS after it was rescued and hence mostly government owned. Work moved to India. Lots of IT redundancies.
Everyone who's seen Indian outsourcing in action can guess what happened next. Quality went down the pan. Costs actually went up after initially looking like they were lower. Total screw up.
This will be a monumental disaster. And that's BEFORE considering any privacy issues.
I'm just amazed that the Acid Rain hasn't killed us off already.
I know it's often voted one of the best film ever made so I watched it. At least I tried. I gave up waiting for something to happen after the first hour.
You're holding it wrong
Apple would obviously consider this user error. You're holding it about 5000 miles east of where you're supposed to.
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