back to article Connect at mine free Wi-Fi! I would knew what I is do! I is cafe boss!

Stop the digital presses, hold the home page – I have breaking news for you! An organisation somewhere in the world has NOT been hacked into today! Of course when I say "been hacked into", I mean "allowed anyone with a computer and the slightest inclination to take an unauthorised copy of confidential customer records with the …

  1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge
    Joke

    Lightbulb moment?

    It's not just smart, this lightbulb, oh no: it's apparently "the world's most intelligent bulb".

    So if an intelligent lightbulb has an idea, what appears in the air above it?

    1. Ben Bonsall

      Re: Lightbulb moment?

      Surely it just lights up. So potentially, heat-haze.

      1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Re: Lightbulb moment?

        heat-haze

        One of the better songs on "Duke"..

        1. BoldMan

          Re: Lightbulb moment?

          > One of the better songs on "Duke"..

          That is not much of a compliment!

    2. BoldMan

      Re: Lightbulb moment?

      A human brain?

    3. smudge Silver badge

      Re: Lightbulb moment?

      It's lightbulbs all the way up.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Lightbulb moment?

      What colour is it? ... I'm assuming a super-inteliigent shade of the colour blue

      1. Teiwaz Silver badge

        Re: Lightbulb moment?

        What colour is it? ... I'm assuming a super-intelligent* shade of the colour blue

        * Hope the super-intelligent shade of blue is intelligent enough to spell intelligent correctly.

      2. Chris Evans

        Re: Lightbulb moment? Blue = Intelligence!

        I wonder why is Blue is associated with Intelligence?

        Any ideas?

        https://www.colorpsychology.org/blue/ tells me:

        "Dark blue is the shade that is associated with intelligence and lack of emotion. Blue is an almost universally liked color. It's positive aspects are that it is a calming and safe color. It can lower the heart rate, improve mental clarity and inspire creativity."

        For me an Intelligent blue would be bright, mid to light (Electric blue?)

        Welcome back Alistair you were missed!

        1. B*stardTintedGlasses

          Re: Lightbulb moment? Blue = Intelligence!

          Think you missed the reference. :)

          Hitch-hiker's Guide to the Galaxy:

          "The hooloovoo is a super-intelligent shade of the colour blue. One was seen as a prism for Zaphod Beeblebrox's address upon stealing the Heart of Gold. On certain special occasions, such as the aforementioned Beeblebrox address, they will be refracted into a free-standing prism.

          The hooloovoo demonstrate their dissatisfaction with the Universe by holding their breath until they turn a deep purple"

        2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Lightbulb moment? Blue = Intelligence!

          "I wonder why is Blue is associated with Intelligence?"

          It's the colour associated with the Universities. Both of them, as Sir Humphrey tells us.

          1. jake Silver badge

            Re: Lightbulb moment? Blue = Intelligence!

            Both Universities? I don't think so. Cal is blue, true ... but Stanford is red.

            1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

              Re: Lightbulb moment? Blue = Intelligence!

              "Cal is blue, true ... but Stanford is red."

              Sir Humphrey would recognise neither. Maybe TCD at a stretch but nothing further afield.

              1. jake Silver badge

                Re: Lightbulb moment? Blue = Intelligence!

                Sir Humphrey was hardly the most progressive character, though. I'm not all that certain that citing his opinion is an exceptional paradigm of intellectual brinkmanship.

                I'm quite amused that my obviously TIC comment attracted as many down votes as it did. One wonders how many of the otherwise silent down-voters actually attended either Oxford or Cambridge[0] ... and if the answer is "none" (as I suspect is the case) why they felt the need to "defend" the institutions in question? Does lèse-majesté still extend to the old established universities in the minds of Blighty's GreatUnwashed? If so, grow up already; this is the 21st century, not the 19th! Even Scotland decriminalized sedition, albeit as late as 2010 ...

                [0] Disclaimer: My first couple years at Uni were spent slumming it at Kings College. Seemed like a good idea at the time.

          2. Tom 7 Silver badge

            Re: Lightbulb moment? Blue = Intelligence!

            "It's the colour associated with the Universities." well their sports teams anyway.

        3. Dan McIntyre

          Re: Lightbulb moment? Blue = Intelligence!

          Blue is an almost universally liked color.

          Nope. Can't stand blue. Or green. They are harsh, hard and sharp, cold colours.

      3. Scroticus Canis
        Angel

        Re: Lightbulb moment? - What colour is it?

        Octarine!

      4. wayne 8

        Re: Lightbulb moment?

        The frequency that will cause migraines.

        "White" is not that specific. Warm white or Migraine white?

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This is the reality of life

    I cannot find it at the moment - I had it recorded during the IETF this summer.

    In one week mostly on public IP addresses, my laptop had clocked ~300MB legit traffic by doing the daily chores - email, chores, etc. In the same amount of time it has clocked > 2.4GB (yes GB) of incoming attack traffic which was dropped.

    The current "security pressure" is relentless. If it took < 8 minutes for an unprotected system to be whacked on the Internet 10 years ago, it isn ow probably like < 15 seconds.

    So the fact that you came to a "tower" of security breaches when you came back home from hols does not surprise me in the slightest.

    This will get even more "interesting" if v6 is finally deployed and the holy end-to-end principle is adhered to. Time to run for the hills...

    1. Tim 11

      Re: This is the reality of life

      But it's a really interesting observation that a lot of people (e.g. Athenian cafe owners and presumably a significant proportion of their customers) aren't concerned about cyber security at all and just see the internet as somewhere to gawp at porn and pictures of other people's dinners.

      Are they all ignorant/deluded about the dangers, or are they living a lifestyle that doesn't really depend on the internet in the way ours does?

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Re: This is the reality of life

        Most people aren't aware of the pitfalls of open WiFi and other stuff and a virus or malware is something that the fates bring. If it goes wrong, it was destined to. If they know someone who can get it fixed, that's destiny too. Very Athenian, but it's spread all around the world.

      2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Re: This is the reality of life

        or are they living a lifestyle that doesn't really depend on the internet in the way ours does?

        I suspect that they were morte worried about Persians/Spartans/Other misc. Greek City-states than Internet device security.

        Yes, I know. Simply shocking.

      3. Kiwi Silver badge
        Flame

        Re: This is the reality of life

        Are they all ignorant/deluded about the dangers, or are they living a lifestyle that doesn't really depend on the internet in the way ours does?

        I think it's the Y2k.2 problem. Lots of people running around screaming about how the sky was falling and the world was gonna end. financial disaster, nuclear wars, yadda yadda yadda, and it didn't happen (probably more because of the great many great people who spent long hours over long months fixing things before it happened).

        Now we're trying to tell them there's other big risks out there and they think it's the same thing. Their life goes on unchanged and unchallenged. At least until their fancy smart home alarm system gets cracked by someone with a $20 RFID cloning tool or a $120 NFC cloning tool (buy one on ebay, hide it in something your target will pick up, the ring that unlocks their "smart" door and disarms the alarm system has just been cloned (probably easier ways to do this as well) - or buy a cheap wifi jammer and knock the individual parts offline, couple that with a cheap cell jammer and their system can't call out to let you know it's lost connection to it's sensors). Well, people here know what I mean anyway.

        I've tried education. Doesn't work. I'd demonstrate to some but, well, if they get hit then I'll be the one looked at most because I clearly know how stupidly simple it is have advanced hacking skills and lead a large ring of paedoterrists who fund isis, Mint and other organisations by using our Russian/Nork/[add-baddie-here]-taught skills to build highly specialised equipment just to break into homes with security systems that can be defeated with a smartphone app1 that are so advanced the NSA would take years to get in.2

        1 Haven't heard of such an app, but would not be surprised if it exists (or at least has been worked on).

        2 Sorry, can't have slept too well last night, or should at least wait till my second coffee before posting. Speaking of which... (that or the stupidity in these "smart" things is catching...)

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Obession with (free) Wi-Fi

      I've never understood this obsession people have with expecting and connecting with (free) Wi-Fi everywhere they go. Maybe 15-20 years ago it was a useful selling point for hotels and coffee shops for business travellers, before we all had phones with data packages. But nowadays? The number of times I have tried (usually in vain) to explain to someone that just because you have "wireless security", it doesn't mean that there is any security or prevention of eaves-dropping at the other end of the wireless connection when it hits wires again. In a hotel, shop, or anywhere else, you have no trust whatsoever about any network that appears on your list. But my explanations are usually met with incredulation........

      1. John Robson Silver badge

        Re: Obession with (free) Wi-Fi

        Free WiFi + VPN.

        I wish you could add a flag to a WiFi connection to say 'connect to this, but don't allow any traffic out until the VPN is up'

        1. Bronek Kozicki Silver badge

          Re: Obession with (free) Wi-Fi

          ... or, if you do not like VPN, you can run zerotier on your laptop, and then another machine with IP routing enabled on the other end, in a nice controlled environment. Like your home. Or at least someone's cloud which you feel is more trustworthy than the environment your laptop is currently attached to.

          1. David Nash Silver badge

            ZeroTier

            I hadn't heard of this so found their page. The window filled with the following explanation:

            "ZeroTier delivers VPN, SDN, and SD-WAN capabilities with a single system. Network almost any kind of device or application as if the entire planet is a single cloud region."

            Followed by a couple of buttons to download and/or sign-up.

            What? Do they think that is sufficient information for me to decide to sign-up or download and presumably run their as-yet mysterious software?

            OK I could scroll down or click to other pages to get more info but why not give me a bit more info up front before assuming I want it.

            Too many web pages do this now. The home page assumes you know what it is, not appearing to consider the possibility that I visited their home page to find out that very information.

        2. TRT Silver badge

          Re: Obession with (free) Wi-Fi

          If you do that... how do you establish your VPN?

          1. macjules Silver badge

            Re: Obession with (free) Wi-Fi

            VyprVPN does it all for you for under $50 per annum.

        3. Lee D Silver badge

          Re: Obession with (free) Wi-Fi

          "I wish you could add a flag to a WiFi connection to say 'connect to this, but don't allow any traffic out until the VPN is up'"

          You can.

          You install a proper software firewall.

          You set it to treat all Wifi networks except your home as "untrusted".

          Then you allow VPN out on untrusted networks.

          Granted, Windows Firewall can probably do it but I haven't used that since it was implemented. Back in the day I used to use ZoneAlarm to do this, nowadays, it's more likely Comodo Internet Suite (like hell am I going to pay for a firewall).

          That this ISN'T bog-standard to anyone working in IT is the real problem. I don't even care if the Wifi is encrypted - I KNOW that the VPN is encrypted, that the endpoint can only ever be my chosen endpoint, and that no compromised machines on that encrypted network can hurt me.

          That people DO NOT install a software firewall on their laptop really worries me. The Wifi card is basically "plugged in" to whatever you connect to by default and you have NO hardware defence against that. I'm waiting for the day someone makes a Wifi card with built in hardware firewall on it.

          1. Kiwi Silver badge
            Boffin

            Re: Obession with (free) Wi-Fi

            You install a proper software firewall.

            For people with tablets/phones etc - not so easy. Sure, for a lot of work you want to use a laptop but for a lot of people phone or tablet is much more suited. From what I know (which is limited, I agree) even though things like OpenVPN are easy to set up client and server ends, the issue is making it work always. I'll have to play around to see if there are auto-start functions with Android that can be relied on.

            Had a quick look at "VyprVPN" suggested by Tom 38 - unfortunately while they claim "no third parties" on their site, it is a client for their own servers (which is fine by me if they can be trusted) - I'd rather stick with my own system at least until I can find out how to trust them (for things other than getting past geoblocking that is).

        4. Tom 38 Silver badge
          Black Helicopters

          Re: Obession with (free) Wi-Fi

          I wish you could add a flag to a WiFi connection to say 'connect to this, but don't allow any traffic out until the VPN is up'

          On my phone, I use VyprVPN client, it has a setting with a list of "trusted" wifi networks. If I connect to a wifi network not on the list, or over wireless data, it fires up the VPN. Choice of 10s of countries around the world to terminate in.

          Just because I'm paranoid, doesn't mean they aren't out to get me.

          1. John Robson Silver badge

            Re: Obession with (free) Wi-Fi

            " If I connect to a wifi network not on the list, or over wireless data, it fires up the VPN. "

            But what happens to traffic generated before the VPN is established? Does it get routed insecurely, or is it blocked until the VPN is up?

            That's the key.

            I only want the VPN establishing traffic to leave my phone/tablet/laptop, unless I'm at home/work.

            1. Tom 38 Silver badge

              Re: Obession with (free) Wi-Fi

              But what happens to traffic generated before the VPN is established? Does it get routed insecurely, or is it blocked until the VPN is up?

              Yes, insecurely, unfortunately. Same as if the VPN happens to disconnect temporarily, or you lose coverage, etc etc.

              1. Kiwi Silver badge

                Re: Obession with (free) Wi-Fi

                Yes, insecurely, unfortunately. Same as if the VPN happens to disconnect temporarily, or you lose coverage, etc etc.

                The OpenVPN client has a setting to stop all traffic at such times. I do not know if it is reliable as I haven't got round to actually testing it (I know with that setting turned off that OpenVPN uses whatever route the data wants to take when there is no connection). I'd hope other VPN apps (esp any paid-for ones) can be set to do the same.

            2. Kiwi Silver badge
              Boffin

              Re: Obession with (free) Wi-Fi

              But what happens to traffic generated before the VPN is established? Does it get routed insecurely, or is it blocked until the VPN is up?

              That's the key.

              I only want the VPN establishing traffic to leave my phone/tablet/laptop, unless I'm at home/work.

              Have been using OpenVPN on my older (4.03!) tablet for a while, with the server on a Linux box. Quite easy to set up, appears to be fine security wise (and I hope someone can point out any issues). I have it doing cert-based authentication, and create a new cert for any new device. Couple with Pihole to help keep the nasties out.

              I've just found and installed the "Automate" app (which is a free automation app for Android, makes it do things based on where it is and other stuff) and also a ".FLO" that automates the openvpn connection (brain not functioning enough this morning for me to create my own settings, but now I have a template I could do it for others). You will need to tell Automate to turn on at boot (under settings) and you still have to tell OpenVPN to connect (OpenVPN also has a checkbox for restarting on boot). But in my limited testing thus far, Automate may start automatically but if your WiFi is up before Automate then it may not bring up OpenVPN automatically.

              This is all based on a few minutes of quick testing because I am yet to finish my 3rd coffee for the morning, thus my brain is only running at 3% capicity.

              1. Kiwi Silver badge
                Big Brother

                Re: Obession with (free) Wi-Fi

                But in my limited testing thus far, Automate may start automatically but if your WiFi is up before Automate then it may not bring up OpenVPN automatically.

                Ok, just modified the script under Automate so that it will reset the WiFi on startup, which then makes it connect to the VPN. Then you just need tell OpenVPN to connect (the "I trust this application" which you annoyingly can't do an "remember this forever" on) and you're away.

                Got some bugs to work out though (it brings up OpenVPN even if the WiFi is off but doesn't turn the wifi on if I turned it off manually) but is an interesting thing to explore.

                I just hope they're more trustworthy than Google is with personal data (the "verified by google" thingy (whatever it is) on the play store tells me that google isn't letting someone else slurp my data - they however may still be getting stuff from it!)

      2. Jedit

        Re: Obession with (free) Wi-Fi

        You can at least rely on Wi-Fi to provide data, especially when abroad. The number of times I've stayed in a hotel that was a data blackspot outweigh the times when I haven't.

        This trend to connect everything to the internet is disturbing, though. I think the lowlight was the internet-connected refrigerator that would log its contents and power consumption using an app and send handy notes to your phone that you hadn't bought milk since Tuesday or that you'd spent £6.75 operating it this month. "Well, we programmed the smart lighting system and the smart TV to turn on and off on a variable timer to simulate us being home. Unfortunately someone hacked the smart fridge and the log told them that nobody had opened the door in five days."

      3. Stevie Silver badge
        Pint

        Re: Obession with (free) Wi-Fi

        Incredulation? Is that anything like incredulity?

        Have an e-beer for unnecessary word coinageationment.

        1. Fink-Nottle

          Re: Obession with (free) Wi-Fi

          > Incredulation? Is that anything like incredulity?

          Incredulation (which has the same linguistic roots as ululation) is the correct name for the involuntary 'tut-tut' noise made when someone says something particularly stupid.

          It is the characteristic background noise heard in the Visitors Gallery of the House of Commons and White House press briefings.

    3. Mike Pellatt
      Mushroom

      Re: This is the reality of life

      If it took < 8 minutes for an unprotected system to be whacked on the Internet 10 years ago...

      It took <8 seconds on unpatched Windows 2000.

      You had to have an offline copy of the SP and install it first, otherwise you were SOL.

      I sooooo remember that :-)

  3. frank ly

    re. Heelight

    According to the linked promo-video, it has "16 kilowatts of available colour". I'm impressed!

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge
      Coat

      Allo Allo

      You vill answer our qvestions o ve vill blind you!

      Helga, shine ze IoT spotlight! Make it a nice blue colour.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: re. Heelight

      16 kilowatts - now that's what I call a lightbulb.

      1. Nifty

        Re: re. Heelight

        and not so far fetched at all:

        20,000 Watt Light Bulb Test

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LT5_-A0m8_U

    3. tfewster Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: re. Heelight

      And of the 16M colours, one will be black so you don't need light switches - the bulb can be on all the time, emitting 16KW of black light during the day (according to your preferences).

      Welcome back, Dabbsy!

      1. TRT Silver badge

        Re: a powerful black bulb lighting up black against a black background...

        Sounds like a Disaster Area.

        1. 's water music Silver badge

          Re: a powerful black bulb lighting up black against a black background...

          Sounds like a Disaster Area.

          Smells like a glove to me

        2. Fred Dibnah Silver badge

          Re: a powerful black bulb lighting up black against a black background...

          Sounds like a control panel to me.

  4. Andrew Moore

    Yep...

    "having finally acknowledged that its data roaming surcharges were unwarranted and trying to spin its admission of guilt into "added value"."

    Yep, I love how companies try to spin that something that they are now legally required to do was something that only they thought up and are now offering to their customers out of the goodness of their hearts...

  5. Shadow Systems Silver badge

    Welcome back! We missed you!

    Nothing brightens my day like an official Dabbsy rant!

    *Happy sigh*

    Dabbs is back, all is right in the world again.

    =-)p.

    1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: Welcome back! We missed you!

      Well we've got Dabbs and On-Call, so we just need a BOfH from Simon to round out the holy trinity nicely. But as they say, 2 out of 3 ain't bad, and will certainly do until beer o'clock...

  6. Potemkine! Silver badge

    "This is baffling, given that I only ever mention such crowdfunding projects here in order to ridicule them. "

    "Say good things or bad things but talk about my product" - Rule of acquisition 234

    smart doorbell

    Fascinating! I'm launching right now a crow(d)funding project for a smart doormat which will be able to connect to your smartphone to warn you if the guy at your door walked into dog shit. Once I have collected €1,000,000, expect first delivery as soon as 2037.

    1. theN8

      "Fascinating! I'm launching right now a crow(d)funding project for a smart doormat which will be able to connect to your smartphone to warn you if the guy at your door walked into dog shit. Once I have collected €1,000,000, expect first delivery as soon as 2037."

      Shut up and take my money!

    2. Stork Silver badge

      Smartbel

      The smart doorbell has existed for years: http://doorchimesuk.co.uk/catalog/Smartbel.php

      We have one: We have a property of about 1.3 microwales and renting out cottages to tourist; our gate is about 9 Brontosauri from our house. We then put the contraption there as opposed to running cables; it also means we can hear the bell anywhere in the property. So there...

      BTW, it is just a mobile phone ringing one particular number.

  7. Ol'Peculier
    FAIL

    One of the hotels I stayed in whilst travelling around Vietnam had the default username and password on the router, I kept logging in as admin and rebooting it when things got clogged up.

    I was going to tell them when I checked out, but had second thoughts due to a surprisingly well built Vietnamese gentleman working reception that morning...

    1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

      You could have saved yourself some grief by setting QoS for VPN traffic and then only connecting a VPN to the wi-fi. No need to constantly re-boot.

  8. Korev Silver badge
    FAIL

    Dialling time

    Normally it takes a few seconds to connect a call over a mobile phone network; I suspect that in this time the person at the door will get bored and sod off (or "helpfully" pop your parcel into the dustbin to "keep it dry").

  9. Franco Silver badge

    I saw an advert on the TV for the smart doorbell the other day and though what kind of idiot thinks that's a good idea? It's not like the woman walking down the street wasn't surrounded by noise that would make it obvious she wasn't at home.

    My utilities provider is also utterly determined that I must have a smart meter, and think it's very odd that I have concerns about devices being externally accessible from my house. They keep sending me emails with pictures of 80s telephones telling me that I don't use one of them anymore so why would I use anything else from then.

    1. Bronek Kozicki Silver badge
      Coat

      You can tell them than you head predates 1980 (hey I'm making an assumption here, ok?) and you are still using it and in fact, you consider it better than some newer models of human heads.

      1. TRT Silver badge

        I'm sure you can get an upgrade. Like Arnie did.

    2. Alister Silver badge

      They keep sending me emails with pictures of 80s telephones telling me that I don't use one of them anymore so why would I use anything else from then.

      Ooh, I wish they'd do that to me, I could send them back a photo of my Tele8746 in the hallway, with a message saying "wrong!"

      1. J.G.Harston Silver badge

        I have a 1926 neophone in the office. :)

    3. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

      Smart doorbell has potential

      If only they hadn't advertised it on TV (this is "Ring") and shown everybody how it works.

      You can pretend to be in, that's the main idea. You also can photograph people, and this works BEFORE they ring the bell because it can be motion sensitive. (Yes, this means if a cat does a whoopsie on the doorstep. Yes, there are repeats on of "Some Mothers Do Have 'Em".)

      Delay in answering is normal for door phones as well as bells.

      Rubbish sound quality is also normal for door phone. If it's bad enough then your visitor won't know where you are or what you're saying. For that matter, the app could be written to play pre recorded messages such as "Can you tell the man next door, I'm just getting into the bath" etc. Or a big barking dog would be a great sound effect to use.

      Also if it is a burglar by the look of it then you can call the police straight away. It seems unlikely that the naughty boy or girl will win that battle of wits.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Re: Just another attempt

    I don't the problem with an unsecured wifi hotspot - perhaps you can enlighten me?

    A secure connection only gets you as far as the wifi router - that could have any kind of software running to intercept your traffic, so if you care about security, you need to be using some other security layer anyway.

    That might be a VPN, or it might be plain old https

    please enlighten me. I understand that if I connect to an unsecured router, then anyone around me can see my http traffic, and they can also see the domain for my https requests. Is that really a problem?

    If it is - then I'm pretty paranoid; How do I know I can trust the owner of the secure hotspot not to look at the same stuff?

    1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

      Re: Just another attempt

      I agree. Its similar to when you walk down one of those unsecured pavements. People can see which cake shops you go in!

      1. Teiwaz Silver badge
        Windows

        Re: Just another attempt

        People can see which cake shops you go in!

        Which is just a gauge on taste and sophistication - It's people knowing how many cake shops you go in, though...

    2. muddysteve

      Re: Just another attempt

      I agree, as well. I thought the main point of password-protecting wifi was to prevent unauthorised people jumping on your bandwidth. I am willing to be enlightened.

    3. Tim #3

      Re: Just another attempt

      Absolutely. It's also much more preferable than the type that requires you to create an account first, then they forever email you with the latest offers from that chain & all its partners.

      1. Simon Harris Silver badge
        Pint

        Re: Just another attempt

        "type that requires you to create an account first"

        Whenever I see that page (usually at airports), it reminds me that I don't really need the internet so much after all, and should just head for the nearest bar instead.

        1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

          Re: Just another attempt

          "Unsecured routers expose you machine to everyone else on it by default."

          Perhaps we should have some kind of protection at the device level then? firewall , AV, encryption etc?

          Teach your phone not to take sweets from strangers?

        2. Mark York 3 Silver badge
          Flame

          Re: Just another attempt

          In CanadaLand places usually offer free WiFi Access, which basically turns out to be "Hi are you a Shaw customer, No! FOAD or see about moving to us". Telus free WiFi its more a case of a simple account creation.

        3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Just another attempt

          Whenever I see that page ... it reminds me that I should have found the email address of the company's marketing dept so they can eat their own spam.

        4. Terry 6 Silver badge

          Re: Just another attempt

          As for creating an account to use free wifi. So far typing a fake email addy and Robert's your mum's brother. I've never had to verify it, and can't think of a way it would work - not everyone has access to their email account, So it's something like wdfdwfdwf@gmail.com everytime. (My apologies to Mr. wdfdwfdw by the way. Sorry about all the spam).

          And why I would want it? Mostly boredom - checking the news etc.

          1. Wensleydale Cheese
            Happy

            Re: Just another attempt

            "And why I would want it? Mostly boredom - checking the news etc."\

            The last time I was in Greece I was accompanied by a couple of cracking attractive Scandinavian ladies.

            I can assure you that the lack of internet didn't bother me in least.

      2. cosymart
        Devil

        Re: Just another attempt

        Just use the email address of the CEO of the chain or the manager of the hotel :-)

    4. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: Just another attempt

      Unsecured routers expose you machine to everyone else on it by default.

      1. verno

        Re: Just another attempt

        Isn't that the same for secured APs as well though? Once people are connected then there's not much difference unless the router has some firewall policies blocking inter device connections (which isn't what we're talking about here I don't think?).

        Plus if it's a public WiFi then the Password isn't going to be hard to get hold of (on a notice by the cash register etc...) so not really much of a security gain...

        As someone said above though I'm more than willing to be proved wrong.

        Matt

      2. Down not across Silver badge

        Re: Just another attempt

        Unsecured routers expose you machine to everyone else on it by default.

        So do secured ones. Whether you're running open, unencrypted or WEP/WPA secured one has nothing to do with whether wireless devices see each other.

        Of course any half decent AP has an option for running in isolated mode but that is a completely different matter and usually needs to be specifically switched on.

    5. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      Re: Just another attempt

      I connect to an unsecured router, then anyone around me can see my http traffic, and they can also see the domain for my https requests. Is that really a problem?

      1. Who are they using for DNS? How do you know it's a legit DNS and not one that sends you to dodgy.macdodgyface.com instead of farcebook.com?

      2. Are they doing MITM attacks and presenting fake https certs?

      3. There are a lot of attacks that can be done against local, wifi-attached devices. Are you willing to trust that someone isn't doing that to you on a cheap public wifi? Very few of them offer device segregation.

      Admittedly, the last one can be done against your device even if it's using VPN but the first two get excluded by using a VPN (especially if you use a IP address as the end-point and not a DNS name)

    6. usbac

      Re: Just another attempt

      I agree, I don't understand the fuss. When you send any data out onto "The Internet", it is by definition insecure. I don't see why using public Wi-Fi, secured or not, is less secure than using the internet from home.

      Once the packet leaves your house, it can be intercepted. Period. Whether you send that packet from your own router/access point doesn't really matter.

      If you are connecting to a server or share on your own private network with your own Wi-Fi, then of course you want the Wi-Fi to be secured. Otherwise, outside of your network, it really doesn't matter if the Wi-Fi is encrypted. As others have pointed out the hotel owner could be packet sniffing.

    7. Wensleydale Cheese

      The BOFH's absence explained

      "A secure connection only gets you as far as the wifi router - that could have any kind of software running to intercept your traffic, so if you care about security, you need to be using some other security layer anyway."

      Simon is in fact on a "working holiday" Greece...

    8. Martin-73 Silver badge

      Re: Just another attempt

      My less than expert understanding is that HTTPS sometimes still uses plain old DNS, so they can't see what you're accessing, but they know where from. Which is still info leakage. Unless you have DNSSEC enabled somehow?

  11. jake Silver badge
    Pint

    Don't worry, Dabbsy.

    They've formed a Cyber Police Academy! The graduates are going to form a Cyber Patrol to protect us! (Why am suddenly I glad that E. E. Smith missed the computer era?)

    Welcome back to the mad house. This round's on me.

  12. Chronos Silver badge

    Please to be using our free WiFimabob.

    Probably not applicable to greasy spoons, or whatever the equivalent Greek purveyor of e-coli is, but the majority of this free WiFi is simply another method of tracking. Since it's free, you have no expectation of level of service so if they fling an ad or two you're not going to ask for your money back.

    Of course, we all have a VPN service to connect to, don't we? RSN with AES doesn't really matter when you have an encrypted pipe to the Internet, does it? And we'd never accept their DNS as canonical, would we? Think again. They're collecting MACs, linking them with customer data and they have a globally unique ID for you from one hotel stay, regardless of the pipe to the Internet. The AP has to be able to see your dirty MAC, Mr Columbo. You may as well have an LED sign, in 16M glorious colours, advertising your presence to every smug-faced marketer on the planet until your next device upgrade when the MAC changes again.

    As always, follow the money.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Please to be using our free WiFimabob.

      The MAC of your device is usually only to distinguish it from other "local" devices. So for a free wi-fi there's probably no reason why it can't be a carefully chosen different value every time you connect. IPv6 may make that a bit more tricky.

      In the early days of Ethernet it was not unusual for the MAC address to be configurable by software. That may or may not be the case nowadays.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Please to be using our free WiFimabob.

        MAC addreses can be changed in software.

        If (say) you wanted to play fast and loose with certain types ofsoftware licensing. Which is illegal.

    2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      Re: Please to be using our free WiFimabob.

      The AP has to be able to see your dirty MAC

      Fortunately, advanced devices[1] using MAC address randomisation when connecting to public wifi..

      [1] iOS devices and some Androids..

      1. Midnight

        Re: Please to be using our free WiFimabob.

        Fortunately, advanced devices[1] using MAC address randomisation when connecting to public wifi..

        [1] iOS devices and some Androids..

        Or Windows 10 and Windows Phone devices, which technically qualify as advanced.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Hopefully it's intelligent enough to take note that my preferences for lightbulbs is that they should produce white light when switched on, [...]"

    Certainly sir. Now would you like incandescent, CFL, or LED? ES, BC, or SES? 2700K, 3000K, or 5000K? Soft, warm, or cool light? UV free?

    There are other options of course...

    1. willi0000000

      @AC

      i don't have to pick my "white" . . . i just use NTSC.

      1. Juan Inamillion

        Re: @AC

        Never The Same Colour...

        Right?

  14. MrXavia

    Smart intercoms/bells are a good idea, that are usually badly implemented

    Current intercoms are expensive and are clunky or wired.

    Current smart intercoms are crappy and expensive, most don't even have the basic physical security of having the main guts on the inside and the speaker on the outside that the normal intercoms do, AND they require internet to work, so they are useless for anywhere with a poor internet conection..

    Now if your like me, and have large garden (i.e. an old house in the UK, not a new build) then you need an intercom to be able to get back to the house when a delivery comes... So it makes sense to have a network connected intercom, and having video is a bonus as you can see who is at your door/gate and not even have to answer it if your not sure who it is.

    I am making my own at the moment, because no one actually makes anything good in this market right now and I need one.

    1. Nifty

      Re: Smart intercoms/bells are a good idea, that are usually badly implemented

      A discreetly placed IP camera pointing at the door that can be seen on your phone, and a standard wired doorbell?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Smart intercoms/bells are a good idea, that are usually badly implemented

        "[...] and a standard wired doorbell?"

        How do you hear the doorbell? You could have an old GPO style external bell or klaxon - but that would be antisocial for any neighbours.

        I use a portable 433MHz Byron bell with sufficient range to use at the bottom of the garden. To be really sure I hear it - the house wired bell circuit has a Hall effect current transducer input to an Arduino. The program generates the 433MHz ring signal up to three times - spaced by a few seconds. An "alarm" magnetic switch on the front door inhibits the repeats once the door is opened.

        The Byron TX6/7 has two chimes that are dependent on the encoding of the "ring" signal. I use a Westminster chime if someone presses the door bell. The other chime is a "ding-dong" - which is sent by the arduino when an infrared beam across the drive is broken.

        So a "ding dong" is a warning signal of visitor, post, or circular. If followed by a Westminster chime then it means someone is ringing the bell.

        1. Midnight

          Re: Smart intercoms/bells are a good idea, that are usually badly implemented

          "So a "ding dong" is a warning signal of visitor, post, or circular. If followed by a Westminster chime then it means someone is ringing the bell."

          And if it is followed closely by the sound of barking dogs and screaming then the bell has been rung by a door-to-door soul saver, utilities fraud team or a salesperson from Citrix.

        2. Juan Inamillion

          Re: Smart intercoms/bells are a good idea, that are usually badly implemented

          Shirley, 'ding dong' has been copyrighted by Leslie Philips...

          /Doctors gown....

          1. Martin-73 Silver badge

            Re: Smart intercoms/bells are a good idea, that are usually badly implemented

            @Juan Inamillion

            Anyone having a smart doorbell linked to their phone, is now LEGALLY required to have Mr Philips going "oh, ding DONG!" as the ringtone for it.

    2. Chris G Silver badge

      Re: Smart intercoms/bells are a good idea, that are usually badly implemented

      Exactly! The implementation I am thinking of would be a bell that can for example, recognise, mormons, jehovah's witnesses, bailiffs and sales people, it would wait until they are in exactly the right spot and then release a trap door into a crocodile pit.

      For added value it could record and post their demise on a monetised you tube account that has no links to me but will put the revenue into a bit coin account that I can access. Now that would be really smart.

      Aside from that the IoT can piss off.

    3. brotherelf
      Headmaster

      Re: Smart intercoms/bells are a good idea, that are usually badly implemented

      I remember that about twenty years ago, I worked in a rather large estate, and the doorbell/intercom was connected to DECT handsets. Fairly useful, that. Even moreso once the answering machine doesn't answer the intercom after the fifth ring.

      (Icon because it seems to be the closest to "old fart" there is, well, or the "flammable" one?)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Smart intercoms/bells are a good idea, that are usually badly implemented

        "Icon because it seems to be the closest to "old fart" there is, [...]"

        The penultimate icon in the selection panel - before the "IT" one - is a bewhiskered old gent that usually represents an old fogey. Its tip title is "Windows User".

    4. 2+2=5 Silver badge
      IT Angle

      Re: Smart intercoms/bells are a good idea, that are usually badly implemented

      Now if your like me, and have large garden (i.e. an old house in the UK, not a new build) then you need an intercom to be able to get back to the house when a delivery comes... So it makes sense to have a network connected intercom, and having video is a bonus as you can see who is at your door/gate and not even have to answer it if your not sure who it is.

      I am making my own at the moment, because no one actually makes anything good in this market right now and I need one.

      https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/22/84/69/22846936bf4b2804d78694dfd016cec9--rustic-signs-wood-signs.jpg

    5. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Smart intercoms/bells are a good idea, that are usually badly implemented

      All this smart doorbell stuff is mildly interesting but what I really want is a smart letter box that scan incoming mail and ejects junk right back at whoever's posting it.

    6. Wensleydale Cheese

      Re: Smart intercoms/bells are a good idea, that are usually badly implemented

      "Now if your like me, and have large garden (i.e. an old house in the UK, not a new build) then you need an intercom to be able to get back to the house when a delivery comes... "

      My parents had a portable doorbell device which they bought circa 1990. They could take it into the conservatory or back garden, or bedroom for that matter. It was an entirely simple radio device, no need for internet connectivity.

      That said, I have no idea how fast it got through batteries; it was seen in a junk pile a year or two later.

      1. Terry 6 Silver badge

        Re: Smart intercoms/bells are a good idea, that are usually badly implemented

        Well yes. Simple wireless door bells are common. Ideal if you have a sprawling house, small kids, long gardens etc. Since you can have multiple, portable, bells - and so carry one with you down to the shed, up in the loft, or whatever. Getting back to the front door in time is another matter. But these new-fangled smart door bells are there so that you can see who is at your door, even when you aren't at home. Maybe the smartphone generation will take to them. (?). But the same problem is still there, just worse. Not only would you have to rush to the front door if it rings while you are out doing the weeding, but if you were further afield you'd be powerless to deal with a delivery, unexpected visit from the aged aunty etc. while helplessly viewing them on your phone. I suppose you could call the police if there is some dodgy character hanging round the front door.

    7. druck Silver badge
      FAIL

      Re: Smart intercoms/bells are a good idea, that are usually badly implemented

      They've had these "smart doorbells" for years on flats. When we first moved to Cambridgeshire it took weeks to get the management company to put my phone number in the system, so we could get deliveries. I was then plagued with doorbell calls for months after moving out, as the company refused to remove the number without an admin payment. I refused and blocked it until the next tenant was suckered in to signing up.

  15. Charlie Clark Silver badge

    The networks could help out…

    I remember reading something about doing authentication on routers using SIM cards. This would allow for "password-free" WiFi without sacrificing some of the security.

    Otherwise VPN all the way. Some VPNs (Tunnelbear at least) can detect shitty WiFi routers and will block most traffic until the tunnel has been established.

    1. ARGO

      Re: The networks could help out…

      That's EAP-SIM

      Most phones support it these days, but it only works for trusted WiFi networks - usually ones owned by the network your SIM came from

      London Underground WiFi is an exception - most UK networks have the relevant authentication links in place

  16. Charlie Clark Silver badge
    Coat

    Charges

    having finally acknowledged that its data roaming surcharges were unwarranted and trying to spin its admission of guilt into "added value".

    Don't worry: in another couple of years they'll been only too happy to reintroduce those charges…

    Mine's the one with the "Proud to be European" badge on the lapel.

  17. Neil Barnes Silver badge

    they should produce white light when switched on, and not produce light when switched off.

    Bravo. Somebody gets it.

  18. scrubber
    FAIL

    Light Bulb

    Unless it does Octarine I'm out.

  19. Stevie Silver badge

    Bah!

    There's only one way to sort this out: Lightbulb v Doorbell Thunderdome.

    Two stupidly web-enabled devices enter, one stupidly web-enabled device leaves.

    And then is smashed flat with a lump hammer.

    1. Alistair Silver badge
      Windows

      Re: Bah!

      @ stevie:

      But .... what if they MATE while in there? One never knows what may crawl out of that morass.

      1. Stevie Silver badge

        Re: Bah!

        Unless it's lump hammer-proof we are still good.

        I've got a proper sledgehammer if sterner measures are called for.

  20. Stevie Silver badge

    Bah!

    Just dawned on me that playing a stereo under one of these daft lightbulbs could induce vomiting in no short order.

    Playlist:

    Donovan, "Colours"

    Dawn, "Tie a Yellow Ribbon". (Max Vom-Factor without the light bulb)

    I Forget, "Love is Blue"

    I Forget Again, "Black is Black"

    Bing Crosby "White Christmas"

    Roxy Music "Grey Lagoons"

    Tom Jones, "The Green, Green Grass of Home" ( see comments for Dawn above)

    Rolling Stones, "Paint it Black"

    Rolf Harris, "Six White Boomers"

    I Forget Once Again, "I Can Sing a Rainbow"

    Lindisfarne, "Clear White Light"

    And so forth.

    Most important: anything with "white" in the lyric should ideally follow some idiot singing about something black, someveryone in the room is periodically Blinded by the Light.k

    1. Roger Varley

      Re: Bah!

      Aaarrgggh! Thank you very much for the assorted earworms. Thank $DEITY it's almost pub o'clock here.

      (+1 for the Lindisfarne reference though ... happier times at the City Hall)

      1. Stevie Silver badge

        Re: Bah!

        My work is done. Sorry about typos. Train and iPad auto-correct at work.

  21. John Gamble
    Unhappy

    Why? Why?

    "They could even call it the Guttenberg Project."

    Haaaaaaate you....

  22. Jonathan 27 Bronze badge

    It seems like Alistair Dabbs is slowly becoming Simon Travaglia by becoming one shade more disillusioned every year. Keep up the good work.

    P.S. Is it weird that I both think Ding is the stupidest thing ever and that I wish I'd thought of it first?

    1. Alistair Dabbs

      >> It seems like Alistair Dabbs is slowly becoming Simon Travaglia

      This is not possible. Simon writes from experience. I make it all up.

  23. MachDiamond Silver badge

    The Malcolm Principle

    Along with K.I.S.S., engineers should also remember the famous line by Dr Ian Malcolm in Jurassic Park, "Just because you can doesn't mean you should".

  24. Dave Bell

    Lightbulbs

    Control by voice seems a bit daft, and I really don't believe the colour space claimed, but the"white" colour needed can depend on several local details. Did the decorator use "white" paint or "magnolia"? A slight change might make the TV look better. I know some people don't even bother setting up their computer screen properly.

    I can recommend http://www.lagom.nl/lcd-test/ as a check.

    Just getting screen brightness and contrast as near to right as you can makes a huge different, and ambient light is a factor in that. I still have a cache of photographic filters marked up in Mireds.

  25. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    "my preferences for lightbulbs is that they should produce white light when switched on, and not produce light when switched off."

    Odd phenomenon seen the other day that I've still not got to the bottom of.

    We have 3 light fittings each of which take 3 bulbs or, as sparky BiL insists, lamps.* These have been are SES golf-ball types. Incandescents last fairly well but go out in spectacular style, invariably tripping the consumer unit & sometimes ejecting the glass bit & leaving the bit of screw-threaded tin in place to be extracted with the aid of a cut finger or two. QIs fail undramatically but more frequently. I'm attempting to replace them with LEDs.

    LEDs are a problem of their own. The good-quality golf-ball format jobbies have a large opaque chunk occupying the bottom of the globular bit and just don't work with the shades on these fittings so I've resorted to the stick types. These are inevitably cheap (not necessarily to buy) and nasty and (a) often fail to achieve the claimed equivalence in brightness to incandescents and (b) come in a range of strange colours only vaguely matching an incandescent of the alleged colour temperature. So over the past few months I've bought a considerable selection trying to find something acceptable.

    On the last pass of this I'd removed one of the bulbs from one of the fittings to change with a newly bought one and noticed that, despite the fitting being switched off, one of the other bulbs was glowing very dimly! I removed that & the third bulb started to glow. I've no reason to think that the switch is faulty or that there's anything strange in the wiring. I suspect that the switch-mode power supplies in the bulbs are able to harvest energy from some form of coupling in the wiring, either induced or capacitively coupled and that whichever of them was the more efficient grabbed whatever was going until I unscrewed it and the other took over. But is this capacitively coupled mains? Or is it coming from the local VHF transmitter churning out over 1 MW ERP a couple of miles away? Whatever it is I've got at least two LED units capable of producing allegedly white light when switched off.

    *"Bulbs grow, lamps glow." Until we catch him out saying "bulbs" like the rest of us.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "despite the fitting being switched off, one of the other bulbs was glowing very dimly!"

      I had that problem because the light switch was solid state and not mechanical.

      1. Martin-73 Silver badge

        Tell me about it. Bloody electronic light switches, mixed with extremely low power LED lights, can result in almost full brightness when off.

        Some manufacturers come up with the solution "Put a resistor in parallel with the lamp"

        Me: can I use a 100w bayonet resistor?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "The good-quality golf-ball format jobbies have a large opaque chunk occupying the bottom of the globular bit and just don't work with the shades on these fittings so I've resorted to the stick types."

      Wilko do SES "filament" LED bulbs.

      The "filament" LED range look like a standard equivalent tungsten bulb in clear or opal glass - in BC, ES, SES and various powers. The light is nice and even - about tungsten colour temperature and apparently with no UV output.

      I thought they were just a retro-style gimmick - but then discovered they are very good. Apparently the "filament" design means there is no need for a built-in psu. This improves the efficiency and theoretically reduces the number of components that can fail. They used to be about GBP10 a throw - but recently they have repackaged them at about GBP5.

      The whole house has been refitted with them for several months with no problems. My only complaint is that the don't do a 100w equivalent - the max is 7w=60w.

      1. Martin-73 Silver badge

        Re: Filament style LED lamps

        They do include a power supply, but because the filaments are a large number of LEDs in series, the forward voltage approaches the rectified voltage of the mains (340 or 170 volts depending on side of the atlantic) so only a very small dropper cap and a FULL BRIDGE RECTIFIER (heh) are required. See bigclivedotcom on youtube for dissections of them

      2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Wilko do SES "filament" LED bulbs.

        Filament types are the only thing I've not tried, mostly because I've not seen any that have an adequate light output - I've become very suspicious of "= X Watts" equivalences & tend to look at the actual stated light output. The other problem is that when I've seen these in use in pubs they seem to have a very low colour temperature, in fact, they seem to be imitating carbon filaments. But maybe I should look again.

    3. jake Silver badge

      @ Doctor Syntax

      "leaving the bit of screw-threaded tin in place to be extracted with the aid of a cut finger or two."

      I use a piece of potato to extract the busted off threads. Simply cut to the appropriate size, insert firmly & twist. Never seen it fail. NOTE! MAKE BLOODY CERTAIN THE POWER IS OFF TO THAT FIXTURE! Spuds are conductive. If necessary, kill power to the entire building to make sure, or you'll likely kill yourself.

      The glowing bulbs sounds like a serious ground issue. Suggest you have a real electrician look at it. My brother had a similar problem, turned out there was corrosion in the ground connection between the breaker panel and the meter. I measured enough current between the stove top (house ground, unconnected to anything) and the kitchen tap (water pipe, real ground) to kill a man (it doesn't take much). Suggest you get it sorted before someone gets hurt. Or worse.

      1. Mystic Megabyte Silver badge

        Re: @ Doctor Syntax

        We had a nesting crow put a piece of shire-wire on top of the transformer up the pole out by the gate. It caused about 120V to appear between the house earth and the actual earth. Also a section of the fence wire near the gate was arcing with a nice orange glow.

      2. Martin-73 Silver badge

        @jake (was @dr syntax)

        The glowing bulbs is quite usual these days, caused by lamp and light switch manufacturers making assumptions and not talking to each other.

        But your call for an electrician is good advice. A decent one won't charge you to come out and set your mind at ease if it's just a matter of a quick test. (it drums up future business due to word of mouth)

      3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: @ Doctor Syntax

        "Spuds are conductive."

        So is the human finger ;) Don't worry, I'm careful about that.

        "The glowing bulbs sounds like a serious ground issue."

        That was my first thought. However, it doesn't trip the RCB which makes it seem less likely and it's only those two bulbs that show that characteristic. I will, however, be getting BiL to take a look.

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: @ Doctor Syntax

          People tend to think any old implement will protect them from teh evul leccy. Was a general disclaimer, not necessarily directed at you.

          It didn't trip my brother's GFI, either. Are yours single or dual pole? The single pole variation doesn't switch the ground side which contributed to his problem. Also note that the light circuit might not be connected to the RCB "for safety reasons".

    4. willi0000000

      @Doctor Syntax

      you might want to check to see if someone has wired something backwards . . . that type of half-bright (or less) behavior of CFLs can be caused by switching the neutral instead of the phase wire . . . it's not a problem (unless you consider possible electrocution a problem) . . . the glow is caused by leakage between the ballast and ground (probably capacitive coupling with an electronic ballast and inductive with a really old CFL lamp ballast)

      i've found that most people who work on lamps (<pedant> actually fixtures </pedant>) almost never connect the phase and neutral consistently . . . they don't care which wire goes where on the plug end and can't be bothered to keep the wiring properly phased (to match the plug) at the socket.

      this is a problem here on the left side of the pond as lots of plugs aren't polarized (and often don't have a ground), nobody pays attention to which side of the all-brown cord goes where (the striated side is phase and the smooth side is neutral) and they haven't a clue why one screw on the socket is brass-colored (coloured) and the other silvery.

      [ i swear, it's like all of them are trying to be Witchfinder Private Newton Pulsifer - h/t Mr. Gaiman & Sir Pterry ]

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: @Doctor Syntax

        "that type of half-bright (or less) behavior of CFLs can be caused by switching the neutral instead of the phase wire"

        Not CFLs. They're LEDs

        "the glow is caused by leakage between the ballast and ground (probably capacitive coupling with an electronic ballast and inductive with a really old CFL lamp ballast)"

        My suspicion is that it's some sort of leakage, perhaps a capacitive coupling, into the phase wire between the switch and the fitting.

    5. Wensleydale Cheese

      "Whatever it is I've got at least two LED units capable of producing allegedly white light when switched off."

      As a teenager I had a fluorescent light mounted vertically at the side of my bedroom desk, and reachable from my bed.

      If I touched it after it had been on for any length of time, it would emit a glow. Not enough light to read by at night, but certainly enough to see where the desk, chair, bookshelves, wardrobe etc were.

      Never found a satisfactory explanation for that. Given the dodgy electrics elsewhere in that house, there might have been a poor earth, but I honestly don't know.

    6. A K Stiles

      RE:Glowing when off @Doctor Syntax

      Is this fitting switchable from 2 places by any chance? (e.g. landing lights with switches top and bottom of stairs) I encountered this issue and it appears to be because the 2-way switching on the 3-core wire means that the AC is constantly altering in one conductor, inducing current in the parallel conductors when they aren't directly connected. Sufficient to illuminate an LED lamp in fact.

      Changing to different LED bulbs stopped the faint glow issue.

  26. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

    Not obligatory as such, but here's what you can do with your IoT lightbulbs as far as I am concerned.

  27. thomas k
    Thumb Up

    Mmm, cake.

    Pie is good, too.

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