back to article I used to be a dull John Doe. Thanks to Huawei, I'm now James Bond!

The name's McLeod. Alessandro McLeod. I am a spy for the secret services. You must now be assuming I must be pretty rubbish at this secret agent thing if I'm telling you this here, rather like the way Kelvedon Hatch isn't terribly adept at being a secret nuclear bunker. Kelvedon Hatch secret nuclear bunker signpost Not to …

  1. chivo243 Silver badge
    Happy

    national security but without explaining what

    You seem to have grasped the whole nat'l security concept just like a double naught spy...

    I once had a colleague that submitted his FB profile as a 102yr old woman. That's gotta make her at least 115 now!

    1. Omgwtfbbqtime Silver badge

      Re: national security but without explaining what

      For the last 18 years I have been a 12 year old girl from Uzbekistan called Asdf Qwer.

      That's the true secret to immortality, I will remain 12 years old for ever!

    2. Michael Strorm

      Re: national security but without explaining what

      > I once had a colleague that submitted his FB profile as a 102yr old woman.

      Since this sort of thing was far from new even when Facebook started (#), I have to guess they figured out long ago how to spot and flag accounts with probably fake information then determine as much as possible about the real identities of the people behind them.

      Facebook's defining characteristics are their desire to find out as much about you as possible and a pathological disregard for your privacy, alongside the clear ability to tie together disparate pieces of information (including that collected via your "shadow profile"), so I suspect that would-be-clever tricks like supplying bogus information do nothing more than giving a false sense of security if you use Facebook enough.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: national security but without explaining what

        "...I have to guess they figured out long ago how to spot and flag accounts with probably fake information ..."

        Don't bet on it. I have had to send Farcebook a scan of my driver's license twice because apparently their algorithms think I'm "less real" than the zillions of fake Russian & Chinese propaganda accounts on their site. I only have the damn account because my daft relatives use it too much.

    3. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Re: national security but without explaining what

      FB don't care who you are. They only care that you are the same person that you were when they hoovered up all your personal data and browsing habits.

      1. Mark 85 Silver badge

        Re: national security but without explaining what

        They only care that you are the same person that you were when they hoovered up all your personal data and browsing habits.

        "you were when they hovered up"???? I thought that was a neverending thing, not a one time hoover.

    4. Quinch

      Re: national security but without explaining what

      re: the title

      Obligatory SMBC.

      https://www.smbc-comics.com/comic/2013-04-28

  2. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge
    Coat

    Agreed wrt Sagsmug.

    Weaned my wife off Sagsmug with a Wa-hey device, she likes it a lot.

    My next device will NOT be a Sagsmug device.

    And as for being an ersatz Bond, the feeling's good.

    Excuse me, I need to go and take some photos of various military installations (aka shebeens and shantytowns) to aid the Red Army in their victorious conquest of Africa.

    1. big_D Silver badge
      Black Helicopters

      Both my wife and youngest daughter have Wha-Heys. And I have 2.

      Ooh, Matron!

    2. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

      Conquest of Africa?

      The Red Army is a bit late. The Chinese have bought just about everything worth buying on the continent already.

      Children in Keyna are learning Mandarin in primary school now. Russian is nowhere to be seen Comrade.

      1. Rich 11 Silver badge

        Re: Conquest of Africa?

        Just as Russia once had a Red Army, so once did China. They're now the People's Liberation Army, a charmingly appealing name which must have taken several days of patchouli smoke and whalesong to imagineer in the deepest torture dungeon of the Ministry of Public Harmony.

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: Conquest of Africa?

          The US has a dept of defence - I'm sure the people of Iraq appreciate the irony

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Conquest of Africa?

            DoD ....... defence? ....... so it's not Department of Death?

          2. Antron Argaiv Silver badge
            Happy

            Re: Conquest of Africa?

            The US has a dept of defence

            Uhhh..no.

            The USA has a Department of Defense.

            // USAian who is conflicted

            // did 3 yrs of primary school in Australia

            // pounds, shillings and pence Australia

          3. Martin Summers Silver badge

            Re: Conquest of Africa?

            "The US has a dept of defence"

            I wonder, is it appropriate to have a department of attack?

            1. Mark 85 Silver badge

              Re: Conquest of Africa?

              Maybe it should be named in the Orwellian tradition: Department of Love, Peace, and Happiness???

            2. John Miles

              Re: is it appropriate to have a department of attack?

              Ministry of Defence used to be Ministry of War

              1. Joe Gurman

                Re: is it appropriate to have a department of attack?

                And the US DOD used to be a War Department plus a Navy Department. I guess the US Navy only waged peace.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: is it appropriate to have a department of attack?

                  oy, leave our slogan alone! Peace is OUR profession!

                  Regards,

                  SAC

              2. Ken 16 Silver badge
                Trollface

                Re: is it appropriate to have a department of attack?

                And DEFRA used to be the Ministry of Food but you don't want to raise false expectations these days

            3. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Conquest of Africa?

              some countries used to have a Ministry of War, you know... Do you what to know what they're called, eh?

          4. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Conquest of Africa?

            well, they surely defended them against all those, you know, evil-doers and such, hell-bent on wreaking ours... their preferred ways... evil-doers ways... or something.

          5. Waseem Alkurdi

            Re: Conquest of Africa?

            @Yet Another Anonymous Coward

            The US has a dept of defence - I'm sure the people of Iraq appreciate the irony

            Thanks for the hearty laugh!

      2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Conquest of Africa?

        >Children in Kenya are learning Mandarin in primary school now.

        But surely Keenyah (pronounced like that) is British ?

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Conquest of Africa?

          "But surely Keenyah (pronounced like that) is British ?"

          I suppose JR-M, BoJo etc think that.

          1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

            Re: Conquest of Africa?

            >I suppose JR-M, BoJo etc think that.

            No, they think China is British

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Conquest of Africa?

          Not yet, after a no deal Brexit, it will again be incorporated into British Empire 2.0

  3. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge
    Devil

    While we're on the topic of cellphones, WTF is it with Faceboob insisting on preinstalling their slurpware on our pristine and virgin handsets?

    1. big_D Silver badge

      I just go into the settings and deinstall it or deactivate it.

    2. Nick Ryan Silver badge

      It's not Facebook, it's the phone manufacturer deciding to add unwanted bloatware as "system" applications. Samsung do this with all kinds of unwanted rubbish, Sony aren't much better either.

      1. Captain Hogwash Silver badge

        Re: It's not Facebook

        Surely the manufacturers only do this because they are paid to by Facebook?

    3. IsJustabloke Silver badge
      Megaphone

      WTF is it with Faceboob insisting on preinstalling their slurpware

      Hasn't been pre-installed on either of the Huawei phones I've owned.

      1. D@v3

        Re: WTF is it with Faceboob insisting on preinstalling their slurpware

        Its pre-installed on the Honor 9 Lite that we have started issuing as company phones. (other than that, they are very nice)

        1. Gordon 10 Silver badge

          Re: WTF is it with Faceboob insisting on preinstalling their slurpware

          Ditto my Honor 10. Just one of the reasons the Honors are *much* cheaper than the same spec Way-Hey's in spite of coming from the same factories.

          That and my suspicion the software QA is a little more scrimped upon. The Honor 10 bluetooth stack requires a reboot every coupla days otherwise my headphones start breaking up.

          Fortunately its also the fastest rebooting Android phone I have ever seen - but that might just be Pie.

          1. Nattrash
            Paris Hilton

            Re: WTF is it with Faceboob insisting on preinstalling their slurpware

            Hold on, I'm getting confused here...

            [[]] So the Huawei phone is a spying device, after all, some people who know what they are talking about in the US says so. So who am I to doubt...

            [[]] You people here tell me there is Facebook pre-installed on those handsets you have...

            [[]] Facebook does a lot of slurping...

            >>> So that means that that the Zuck is (at least) a double agent!

            I suppose the same thing goes for Gargoogle. After all, their spying work is already confirmed, as is their work for China (DragonFly)...

            Waiting know for the US to ban Facebook and Google. Would save me the need to root new handsets...

  4. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge
    Coat

    Nice one!

    I have recently found I too am a Chinese spy, with my Wha-Hey P9, named Kyrilo Sidorovitch Razumov.

    I'll be going. The one with Conrad's "Under Western Eyes" in the pocket, please

  5. Spanners Silver badge
    Black Helicopters

    It's a matter of relevance

    Dabbsy is much more of interest to spooks (Chinese, US or our own) than I am and they have all got more interesting things than him anyway.

    Apple and Google are both US corporates with all the privacy invasion that this means. I doubt the Chinese equivalent of James Bond (?Wai Lin/Michelle Yeoh?) really cares about me.

    I suppose that if you were being shown round somewhere secret, or even HMS Enterprise, it would be best not to have any phone on you - Hwa-Way or anyone else's unless they had been checked over.. "They" are just as able to hack them after you got them as before.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It's a matter of relevance

      I suppose that if you were being shown round somewhere secret, or even HMS Enterprise, it would be best not to have any phone on you - Hwa-Way or anyone else's unless they had been checked over.. "They" are just as able to hack them after you got them as before.

      Oh, the really interesting places will be on you before you're properly through the door. I worked on a few sites like that, and you quickly learn to kill the laptop's WiFi in the hotel before you even get into the taxi, because booting up with it switched on will have security standing next to your desk in at most 30 seconds later - and not in a friendly way.

      Mobiles were the easy part.

      As for security, the major benefit of an iPhone is that you don't have to agree upfront to hand over every erg of data in your device to Google (by setting up a Google account, and thus agreeing to their onerous conditions) before anything works, and Apple seems to make enough money (still) with hardware not be need flogging personal information as well.

      1. Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese Silver badge

        Re: It's a matter of relevance

        Apple seems to make enough money (still) with hardware not be need flogging personal information as well.

        Are you seriously telling me that you believe that Apple aren't exploiting data in their possession for financial gain?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: It's a matter of relevance

          Are you seriously telling me that you believe that Apple aren't exploiting data in their possession for financial gain?

          Not in a way that conflicts with the laws of the countries they operate in, no, because they don't have to: their revenue isn't based or even focused on personal data theft without permission of the owner, and they have gotten more open about the data they do collect automatically (admittedly not willingly at first, but Apple has returned to making privacy a sales argument).

          Now a fun exercise for you: have you actually READ the Google Terms you signed up to, and by that I mean all of it? I have. If you understood what they ask you to sign up to you would never agree to it, and European companies using Gmail are effectively already in breach of GDPR as a consequence..

          1. zekepliskin

            Re: It's a matter of relevance

            That's true, they don't need to thieve your data because they've already thieved a huge profit margin from you buying the device before you even first switch it on.

            1. kartstar

              Re: You can read my SMSs but you can take my WhatsApps from my cold dead hands

              It depends on how much you value your personal data and privacy, as to which you believe is costing you more.

    2. Hollerithevo Silver badge

      Re: It's a matter of relevance

      Please PLEASE let's have Michelle Yeoh as the next Bond.

      1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

        Re: It's a matter of relevance

        Please PLEASE let's have Michelle YeohDabbsy as the next Bond.

        Let him get this fantasy of playing Bond out of his system

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: It's a matter of relevance

        The tension between her and Moneypenny might finally get resolved

  6. Semtex451 Silver badge

    "A return to iOS is equally unlikely, at least at current prices "

    Yes but there is an outside possibility that by September it will dawn on Apple that 4 figure prices for a phone is just STUPID

    1. Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese Silver badge

      Yes but there is an outside possibility that by September it will dawn on Apple that 4 figure prices for a phone is just STUPID

      I actually think that they've already realised the stupidity of it...however, they've also realised that there are sufficient punters out there who are stupid enough to pay that much

  7. big_D Silver badge

    Living in Europe, I don't see a difference if the phone is slurping data and sending it to the USA or to China...

    That said, I have disabled as much Google & Hauwei slurpage on my phone as possible (all Google services, with the exception of Play Store are deactivated and all non-essential Hauwei apps as well).

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      it may not be important to you, just fyi; so long as you have any google apps, it is constantly sending your location to google. Best way to see this is to connect to a wireless device that has a firewall you can monitor.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      google playstore

      why NOT de-activate playstore?

      1. big_D Silver badge

        Re: google playstore

        Because I still need to install third party apps and get updates for them.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Pussy Galore ?

    I can't believe all those double entendres and double oh seven references, but no mention of Pussy Galore?

    You disappoint me Mr Dabbs.

    1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Pussy Galore ?

      He's probably not old enough to have seen her in all her glory on the big screen (As in 35mm projection at the Flea Pit down the road)...

      Coat... Grey Raincoat with a turned up collar naturally.

    2. MiguelC Silver badge
      Alien

      Re: Pussy Galore ?

      What about Octopussy? (on retrospect, that one really sounds like it's about a strange alien able to satisfy 8 earthlings at once)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Pussy Galore ?

        > [Octopussy] really sounds like it's about a strange alien able to satisfy 8 earthlings at once

        That was the plot of Fleming's original story, but- like a lot of the movies- the film version bore only vague similarities to the book and did not include the sexy eldritch abomination.

        However, it *did* later appear as minor villain ("Eight Fannied Porn Cthulhu") in the Pierce Brosnan film "The World is Not Enough".

        1. Mark 85 Silver badge

          Re: Pussy Galore ?

          As I recall, he sold the rights to the title of his books and the rights to character names. The studios couldn't do a movie of the actual book.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Pussy Galore ?

            This certainly *isn't* true across the board. "Dr. No" and "Goldfinger"- amongst several other films- have major parts of the plot in common with the original novels (albeit also with parts changed).

            If many of the later films had only a little- or nothing- in common with Fleming's work beyond the title, it's most likely because they were short stories with insufficient content for a film and/or because they weren't the type of material that would have made sense as a Bond film at all (e.g. Quantum of Solace).

            However, what you say does appear to apply to the *specific* case of The Spy Who Loved Me. Fleming apparently reacted badly to the public response to the original novel and attempted to suppress it, allowing only the title to be used for a film.

    3. PhilipN Silver badge

      Honor Blackman

      Probably the UK's best ever sex symbol. She and Patrick Macnee once had a record out called "Kinky Boots". One of Kenny Everett's Top 30 Worst Ever, but if memory serves it got into the Top 20, maybe even the Top 10 real Hit Parade.

      Are we even allowed to say "sex symbol" or "kinky" these days? I guess nobody today understands the resonance of "Carry On Up The Khyber" either. On the other hand, Kenneth Williams' "fakir off" would most likely raise no eyebrows, even Matron's, who would probably use it daily.

    4. Ken 16 Silver badge
      Windows

      Re: Pussy Galore ?

      at my age I'll settle for Whisky Galore

  9. 0laf Silver badge
    Big Brother

    It's a Hugh-Weeee in my house. I've a P20 Pro spying device.

    I figured that since Google, Facebook, the USA and GCHQ would slurp everything anyway I might as well give it to the Chinese too, only fair.

    I get a decent phone / camera device for a reasonable price out of it too.

  10. gcla72
    Black Helicopters

    I pronounce it...

    Who are we.

  11. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken Silver badge

    Alessandro McLeod really sounds like a character in an Ian Fleming novel.

    Well played, Mr Dabbs, well played.

  12. Mage Silver badge

    Brilliant

    Excellent.

    I wonder who TCL spy for? They have quite a few badges, though seem to always have done Alcatel Handsets. The Alcatel Infrastructure and brand may belong to Nokia, who don't make phones.

    Obviously Huawei didn't realise why Sony became Sony in the mid 1950s or why so many Asian companies and chain stores have bought defunct US and European brands.

  13. Potemkine! Silver badge
    Black Helicopters

    Ouaf-ouaf

    Mr. Dabbs, how do you dare to suppose the US could be dishonest and try to kill a challenger through a smear campaign? Expect a free vacation in Guantanamo next time you try to infiltrate Pinocchio's land!

    Does anyone know how to say "Echelon" in Chinese?

    1. Rich 11 Silver badge

      Does anyone know how to say "Echelon" in Chinese?

      Tīduì.

      1. mhenriday
        Pint

        Re: Does anyone know how to say "Echelon" in Chinese?

        Actually, in this case, it would be tīduìxìtǒng (梯队系统).... ;-)

        Henri

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's difficult to pick a national side in the Huawei confrontation when you're neither American nor Chinese.

    Rubbish. The past four years have clearly demonstrated that if a Republican is in the White House, pick whichever side is in opposition to America. If a Democrat is in the White House, pay minimal lip service and oppose America anyway.

    These are clean and easy rules to follow that unburden one from actually having to actually think about messy and complex concepts like macroeconomics and geopolitics.

  15. Franco Silver badge

    Huawei pronunciation is always fun, my stepdad is a Geordie so it tends to be Howay as in "Howay the lads" around him.

    Anyway for well priced and well featured midrange Android I'll continue to recommend the HMD Nokias. I've got the 6.1 and it's a great device, although I'm unaware if I'm James Bond, Austion Powers or Johnny English with one of them.

    Seeing as Dabbsy left out the usual obscure musical reference this week, cue Johnny Rivers.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6iaR3WO71j4

  16. Aodhhan Bronze badge

    All Brit's and EU citizens should purchase a WhaHey phone.

    If China is using it to spy on you and the CIA knows about it. This then means, the CIA has tapped into it and is spying on you too.

    If the CIA knows, then they are sharing it with both Canada and Australia. UK has to totally Brexit before they get the info! ;) Because Brussels cannot be trusted.

    Eventually, someone will leak the information and you'll see some strange charges on your tap and go VISA... but who cares? It's the price of technology.

    ..and the sweetness of the WhaHey phone is worth every bit of risk!

    It doesn't even bother you when you find out the Chinese stole proprietary information and put the company you worked for out of business. Ditch diggers will always be needed, so you can still do this, and maintain the sweet WhaHey phone!

    This is the "me" generation, and it's the "me" time.

    Who cares about anyone else? Who cares about anything you don't understand?

    Staying ignorant, allows you to have an easier life in the "me" moment. Right!?

    Besides, a phone app which will provide you an abundance of food is coming out soon, I'm sure.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: All Brit's and EU citizens should purchase a WhaHey phone.

      I will caveat the first part of your post by declaring it a load of AUSCANNZUKUS

      1. d2

        Re: All Brit's and EU citizens should purchase a WhaHey phone.

        FYI

        https://counterinformation.wordpress.com/2018/12/14/five-eyes-intelligence-agencies-behind-drive-against-chinese-telecom-giant-huawei/

        Dec. 17, 2018

        “Five Eyes” Intelligence Agencies

        Behind

        Drive Against Chinese Telecom Giant Huawei.

        to “co-ordinate

        banning” Huawei from 5G mobile phone networks

        By Nick Beams

        Global Research, December 14, 2018

        Evidence has come to light that US operations against the Chinese telecommunications giant HuaWei (华为) and the arrest and detention of one of its top executives, Meng Wanzhou, to face criminal charges of fraud brought by the US Justice Department are the outcome of a coordinated campaign by the intelligence agencies of the so-called “Five Eyes” network.

        According to a major report published in the Australian Financial Review (AFR) yesterday, the annual meeting of top intelligence officials from countries in the network—the US, Britain, Australia, New Zealand and Canada

        —held last July

        decided to “co-ordinate banning” Huawei from 5G mobile phone networks.

        The two-day meeting,

        held in the Canadian capital, Ottawa,

        decided

        that the intelligence chiefs should spend time publicly explaining “their concerns” about China.

        In the months that followed “an unprecedented campaign” has been waged by the five members of the network “to block the tech giant Huawei from supplying equipment for their next-generation wireless networks” which has now led to the arrest of Meng in Canada.

        ...Other evidence

        of the way in which the US intelligence and military apparatus

        is driving

        the attack on Huawei and Chinese technology companies more broadly

        has been revealed

        in an article published in the Financial Times yesterday.

        It cited a leaked memo, “apparently written by a senior National Security Council official” warning about the implications of the rise of Huawei to become the world’s biggest supplier of telecommunications equipment and that it was leading the field in the development of 5G.

        “We are losing it,” the memo said. “Whoever leads in technology and market share for 5G deployment will have a tremendous advantage towards … commanding the heights of the information domain.”

        The memo said 5G was “by no means simply a ‘faster 4G’” but was “a change more like the invention of the Gutenberg press” as it would bring faster speeds, lower lead times between the network and the device and had a much larger capacity to transfer data.

        These developments, the article said, will underpin self-driving cars, artificial intelligence and machine-to-machine communications, and will “transform the way everything from hospitals to factories operate.”

        China was far ahead in preparing for 5G which requires more base stations than existing networks and had almost 2 million cell sites in early 2018, ten times the number in the US. According to the Deloitte consultancy there are 5.3 sites for every 10 square miles in China compared to 0.4 in the US.

        These figures make clear the reason for the ferocity of the US economic war against China. It fears that its economic and military supremacy is under direct threat and is determined to take all measures considered necessary to counter China’s rise.

        [more...]

        ====

        http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/50749.htm

        'The US has increasingly been wielding

        its

        legal definitions and measures

        as if

        it is the world’s judge and jury.'

        'The arbitrariness of US “justice” has got to the febrile point

        where

        Washington is threatening all nations,

        including

        its supposed European allies,

        with

        legal punishment if they don’t toe the line on its designated policy.'

  17. vtcodger Silver badge

    Homebrew?

    As I understand it, all you need to get into the spying game on behalf of everyone's favourite inscrutable superpower is to own something with a Huawei logo on it.

    Cash is a bit tight at the moment. And I've never been able to figure out anything a smart phone might actually be useful for. But spying sounds like fun. Can I maybe use a felt tip pen to convert my old Nokia Trakfone into a surrogate Huawei device?

  18. keith_w

    Radio Commercials

    According to radio commercials in Canada, it is pronounced Wah-Way.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Radio Commercials

      Sounds like California, where Hyundai is pronounced "Hun-die"

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Radio Commercials

        Sounds like California, where Hyundai is pronounced "Hun-die"

        Not forgetting "Poo-jho", even in the parts of the US with a French speaking heritage.

  19. Toilet Duk

    So who's done the most damage in the world - China or the US/UK? Yeah, I'll spy for the Chinese, thanks.

  20. DarioXDario

    An incredible article. Bravo! Critical, honest and satyrical at the same time. Illustrates the madness surrounding the Huawei "security threat" today.

  21. Rol Silver badge

    China rhymes with...

    The China remix had me thinking of The Bloodhound Gang track Mama's Boy, from their album Hooray for Boobies, where the song writer phoned his mum asking for her help in trying to find lyrics for his next track, that rhymed with virgina.

    Or was it from watching that c**t for 4 minutes longer than my doctor recommends.

    You decide!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R0Dv5XdBsb8

  22. the Jim bloke Bronze badge

    If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery

    Then Ozzie-land is definitely sucking up to China - in its typical incompetent bungling style.

    Sure we dont have the advantage of manufacturing the hardware, but will just legislate for suppliers to give us backdoors anyway. What could go wrong ?

  23. Chronos Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Wha-hey!

    Er… hang on, isn't that what Google, Facebook et al have been doing for years already? Ah, but these companies are American! They would never misuse the personal information of citizens. They would steadfastly refuse to bow to the political demands and censorial whims of despotic governments and vested financial interests.

    You cynical bastard! I love it.

    I'm not convinced, though. This rhetoric about embedded spyware only tells me one thing: That, despite clamouring for de-encryption, despite bulk surveillance, despite billions down the crapper on decryption kit and exploits with uppercase names these people still have exactly zero idea what's travelling over the networks. I find that strangely comforting, especially as I personally fire up iftop every time my router seems to be working harder than I think it should be, only to find I've accidentally left a tab in a minimised browser window running some bloody marketer's idea of non-intrusive advertising.

    As for hwa-way, who-are-we or wha-hey, I only learnt how to pronounce it when they started putting silly ads in the middle of Corrie and I lingered longer than is customary when t' missus was watching the damned thing. It was always hue-away before that.

  24. Baudwalk

    Have you seen a doctor...

    ...about that buzzing in your Wha-Hey?

  25. Teiwaz Silver badge

    while sitting on a beanbag in the middle of an art installation at Tate Modern

    Surely the Tate's a bit of a potential 'poseurs palace' - I can think of no better place to run into someone looking to harvest an apple or two from the unwary.

    Time to update the Winslow apple.

  26. bombastic bob Silver badge
    Devil

    Shoe Phone

    Shoe Phone - that was Maxwell Smart's phone, from 'Get Smart'. And that show was created by Mel Brooks and Buck Henry as an obvious spoof on James Bond.

    "Sorry about that, Chief!"

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Get_Smart.

  27. hairydog

    Interesting that Huawei phones have better RF performance than all the others.

    Must be something suspicious. After all, how could foreigners be better at making things?

    Build a wall!*

    *and wall up all xenophobic, moronic heads of state in a single pen.

  28. Martin an gof Silver badge

    Roll your own?

    Is there any reason why I couldn't bolt a GSM module on to a Raspberry Pi with small touchscreen attached, glue it into a box with a battery and create my own phone which runs a halfway decent OS? Bit more money buys a 3G version of the modem.

    It should work out cheaper than most "high end" mobile phones, particularly Apple ones...

    In the early Pi days I recall someone did this, but I'm surprised I can't find anyone selling a DIY kit of parts. What's the catch?

    M.

    1. dajames Silver badge

      Re: Roll your own?

      Is there any reason why I couldn't bolt a GSM module on to a Raspberry Pi with small touchscreen attached, glue it into a box with a battery and create my own phone which runs a halfway decent OS?

      It might turn out to need quite a BIG box, compared with today's smartphones ... though most of those do have rather large screens they are very thin (too large, and too thin, for my taste, but that's another matter).

      In the early Pi days I recall someone did this, but I'm surprised I can't find anyone selling a DIY kit of parts. What's the catch?

      You mean this guy? He didn't bother with the box, but did make a Pi-based phone. I shouldn't think he was the only one.

      As he says in that blog post: "As you can see from the cost of the components, you’d be FAR better off going into your local phone store and picking up a normal smartphone". I doubt there's a big enough market for it to be worth anyone's while to put a kit together.

      Neat project, though.

      1. Martin an gof Silver badge

        Re: Roll your own?

        Yes, that's the one I remember.

        As you can see from the cost of the components, you’d be FAR better off going into your local phone store and picking up a normal smartphone

        Not sure that stands up. He costed it at $158 which, even allowing for the fact that the article was written in 2014, isn't half bad. Yes, you could get a modern smartphone on contract for a lower upfront cost, but you'd be buying landfill android if you wanted SIM free very much cheaper, though I suppose if you wanted to 3D print a case you would add to the cost. The current Pi3B+ has WiFi and Bluetooth, too, which the original Pi didn't, all for essentially the same cost. If you wanted something simpler there are several Arduino-types that might work out cheaper and could run directly from the battery without needing boost circuitry.

        But the idea of a phone-shaped device running Raspbian does appeal :-)

        M.

        1. Adrian 4 Silver badge

          Re: Roll your own?

          You could get one of these.

          https://hiconsumption.com/2018/10/makerphone-diy-mobile-phone-kit/

          I realise they couldn't make a DIY phone as slim as a Wha-Hey but green terminal blocks instead of even JST connectors do seem a bit extreme.

  29. martinusher Silver badge

    Is it spying or is it problems with competition

    I thought the whole Huiwei thing was just generic Cold War BS until I read that this company is ready to deploy 5G equipment -- not just phones but the infrastructure. If this is true then the penny has indeed dropped -- this isn't about spying, its about manipulating politicians to slow down or eliminate a formidable competitor. There's huge amounts of money to be made from net generation wireless, the sort of money that we normally associate with oil, so given that quite a few wars, coups and what have you have been started over oil that something as lucrative -- and important -- could trigger a similar reaction. (Wars don't need to be fought over actual resources; just the threat of trading outside the dollar hegemony was enough to get Iraq clobbered.)

    As for spying itself, some wag has pointed out that its really a choice between potential spying by China versus actual spying by the US and its followers. Most spying is traffic analysis anyway and that's carried out wholesale by our friends in the Internet biz -- Facebook, Google, mobile providers, ISPs, just about anyone who can see your traffic. I'm resigned to that but then I don't have anything of interest to anyone, in fact I delight in finding obscure things to search for that prompts popup adverts for bizarre things such as processor families and development systems. It oils the wheels.....

    1. Chronos Silver badge

      Re: Is it spying or is it problems with competition

      Now, Martin, we're not supposed to figure this out. This is why cryptocurrency is being much maligned by various people with vested interests in state backed currency. If you decentralise the trust in a currency you remove control of it and, more importantly, the people using it which is what a certain Mr Guppy keeps saying. While he's not my favourite person in the whole world, he certainly has some insightful things to say on the subjects of monetary policy, cashless society and banks.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Pronunciation...

    My Russian speaking friend told me that my attempt at pronouncing huawei sounded distressingly similar to a Russian slang word for a gentleman's "little gentleman".

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Pronunciation...

      Tovarich-ski?

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