* Posts by Barrie Shepherd

158 posts • joined 6 Feb 2008

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Ofcom proposes ways to stop BT undercutting broadband rivals

Barrie Shepherd

Re: If BT can lower their prices........

Australia is in the process of this single nationalized network folly with their NBN.

One result is that a private company TPG, who were rolling out fibre infrastructure, were prevented from expanding their reach because the NBN' "equal for all" aspirations may be "threatened" by TPG's "cherry picking" of "areas of high return".

NBN was a political solution based on "high speed connections for all" but it's not turning out that way and is horrendously over budget and behind time (and over regulated). Many communities who were expecting fibre connections are ending up with under performing fixed wireless and satellite connections.

NBN legislation dictates that ADSL has to be switched off once NBN is in an area - and as NBN is only a wholesaler the retailers then have to sell new NBN connections at, surprisingly, higher cost than your old ADSl. While the connection speed may be higher the actual thru put is in many cases lower because of the complicated deals and contention issues at peak times. There is no point in having a 100Mbit connection to a network if the network can only serve you dribs and drabs while it also serves your neighbors (just like VirginMedia??).

I don't know what business model would deliver fair affordable high speed services for all but having another nationalized industry may not be the way to go - and anyway once all our tax pounds were sunk in it the government would no doubt sell it and we would be back to where were are.

It seems however that a modified quote, attributed to Churchill, " “Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others.” applies along the lines of " A nationalized backbone solution is the worst method for delivering equal Internet access for all, except for all the others.”

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Smartphone SatNavs to get centimetre-perfect GNSS receivers in 2018

Barrie Shepherd

Re: Very exciting for the railways

With the "status quo protecting, ultra cautious" signal engineers of the railway companies, the "lets not share technology" supply industry and the "retirement homes" that are the committees of the UIC (with each successive meeting in another country) I suspect that your 40 years is a conservative estimate :-) And when a solution is agreed it will be so complex, over engineered and expensive that it will take another 40 years to implement by which time something else will be in the 'Committee stage".. :-)

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¡Dios mío! Spain blocks DNS to hush Catalonian independence vote sites

Barrie Shepherd

Survey not Referendum?

Perhaps the mistake is calling it a Referendum, which attaches all the legal and constitutional matters.

Take a page out of Australia's book, where a referendum on Same Sex Marriage would most likely embarrassed both sides of government (as neither really wanted to upset their funding sources by having to adopt SSM as policy) so they are having a "Non mandatory, Non binding 'Survey'" [in formal voting Australia applies a mandatory or be fined for not voting policy]. Whatever the result spin will be applied to ensure that the status quo is maintained.

In Catalonia's case a positive survey result would have been a strong piece of evidence to progress their desires through more formal, and legal, channels. If the survey was against then everyone can go back to being Spanish.

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Re-identifying folks from anonymised data will be a crime in the UK

Barrie Shepherd

So the fines have been increased - window dressing! no corporation ever gets fined anything approaching the max - and to many the maximum fine is petty cash.

I advocate legislating for damages, if they collect, share or associate data in breach then, apart from fines, the individual is entitled to damages say 25k per data 'bit'?

We also need stronger (than proposed) law around what data companies are allowed to insist on. I recently had to give my date of birth to buy some theatre tickets! Totally unnecessary data collection irrelevant to the activity of selling theatre tickets.

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Commonwealth Bank: Buggy software made us miss money laundering

Barrie Shepherd

"The news was not a good look for the Bank (CBA), because most of the cash was deposited into accounts established with fake drivers licences."

Software glitches aside what went on with the identity checking?

Given the Australian addiction to identity checking for almost everything (even worse, IMHO, than the UK - I was asked for proof of ID and address when buying a $750 camera lens with cash "to prevent guarantee fraud") the CB should be taken for task for not complying with ID requirements.

It begs the question as to how many other CB accounts are based on fake identity and are operating under the radar by just moving chunks $9000 around.

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'Real' people want govts to spy on them, argues UK Home Secretary

Barrie Shepherd

Re: The idiocy of this runs even deeper.

I'm coming round to the view that all this politicking and "pressure on the tech companies" is more about "legalising" what the security services can already do, albeit somewhat clumsily, than actually being able to do the snooping they want.

The Home Office are the pawns in the arguments between the Cheltenham and the Tech companies and are allowed to be "clueless" so that they can extricate themselves from future damage when the activities in Cheltenham extend beyond the "terrorist" searching, as they will (or have), inevitably do.

Snooping on legal protesters "They are plotting industrial/social/investment terrorism", snooping on elected representatives "They are plotting overthrow of (our view of) democratic (sic) society", snooping on each other "You know where you are with the enemy but you can never trust your friends", snooping on my neighbour "Because I can".

Time travel is real welcome to the 1960's and the Stasi soon to be replaced by 1984 and the all seeing eye.

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UK spookhaus GCHQ can crack end-to-end encryption, claims Australian A-G

Barrie Shepherd

A similar case where the Ministry of Defence may have tapped, en mass, UK telephone conversations to Ireland in the early 1990s.

http://www.lamont.me.uk/capenhurst/original.html

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Barrie Shepherd

"Methinks the pollies, Asio, GCHQ, dost protest too much"

I'm coning to the conclusion that the rank stupidity coming out of Australian (and other) politicians mouths could be part of a cover-up.

For all we know GCHQ/ASIO/NSA are already able to read the WhatsApp and similar messages (probably because of flaws in the apps/phone OS) but don't want us mortals to know - so best cover story, and distraction, is to shout and scream from their various Mount Olympuses,about the need to have the capability and how naughty people are for not giving them it.

If they could why would they publicly announce that they can read the messages? - that would only push the criminal to other alternative communication means.

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Virgin Trains dodges smack from ICO: CCTV pics of Corbyn were OK

Barrie Shepherd

The train is essentially a public place - and the presence of CCTV is well advertised. Have we now got to seek agreement or pixilate every face in a photograph taken in a public place? I see no harm in what Virgin did on this occasion unless of course someone in the picture has something to hide :-)

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Want to come to the US? Be prepared to hand over your passwords if you're on Trump's hit list

Barrie Shepherd

"Already USA knows more personal stuff about me than my home country i.e. UK doesn’t have my finger prints, but USA does"

Are you sure? If the US has data on you it a good bet its being shared with UK.

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Barrie Shepherd

"Same with internet banking and email all use 2fa"

They probably don't know what 2FA is - they still sign cheques and credit card slips.

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Australia to review effectiveness of ISPs' copyright-defending website blocks

Barrie Shepherd

Re: Build a wall round the country - it'll be even more effective.

....and when the wall is complete fill with water and make a nice swimming pool for New Zealand.

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NSW bus Wi-Fi privacy, regulation: 'Move along, nothing to see here'

Barrie Shepherd

Re: The name of the operator says it all...

More than 22 :-) https://catchoz.com/privacy - among others why they need DOB (age would do for targeted advertising) or Drivers License Number is beyond belief.

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BAE Systems' autonomous research aircraft flies itself to Scotland

Barrie Shepherd

Accident Investigation?

If, in the unlikely event the plane does crash, will the computer system be cross examined by the accident investigators and dragged before the courts? :-)

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Researchers crack Oz Govt medical data in 'easy' attack with PCs

Barrie Shepherd

"So this is basically having a car, and leaving it unlocked, with the key in.'

In Australia (NSW) you don't even need to leave the key in! Leaving a car unlocked and unattended is already a crime in NSW and Victoria. There have been reports of police ticketing commuters at some station car parks because they don't want their windows broken so leave the car unlocked.

The mandarins just don't get it that those who are intent on doing naughty things will continue to do so irrespective of the presence of a law.

http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/has-the-world-gone-mad-man-fined-in-nsw-for-leaving-his-car-unlocked-20151128-glaenr.html

http://www.heraldsun.com.au/leader/east/possible-144-fine-for-leaving-car-unlocked-at-westfield-knox/news-story/9f98b8b7f4e5ea4b96b65cda12f1c3f4

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Skype shuts down London office, hangs up on hundreds of devs

Barrie Shepherd

Is the disappearance of the peer to peer encrypted (i.e. not snooperable) Skype more to do with Security Services requirements than product development?

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Photographer hassled by Port of Tyne for filming a sign on a wall

Barrie Shepherd
Joke

How about a Crowd Flash Photo session - all turn up around 12:00 (when the security clowns will be thinking of lunch) and walk up and down the road taking photographs :-)

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European human rights court rules mass surveillance illegal

Barrie Shepherd

GCHQ would not conduct mass surveillance - they would just get the US NSA to do for them.so no ECHR oversight.

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Microsoft pitches lobotomized Cortana for iOS, Android handsets

Barrie Shepherd

I've yet to ask Cortana a question (windows phone) and get a spoken answer - all she delivers is a Web search so why bother porting her to anything. Currently I consider her a gimmick.

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Fingerprints, facial scans, EU border data slurp too tasty for French to resist

Barrie Shepherd

Re: And YOU thought...

Don't know about the other airports but if you enter the US through LAX, on a passport you have previously entered on (and gone though the photo finger print process), you are allowed to use the automatic gates which are signed for Americans.

I discovered this by accident on my last visit in August - it saved me a 60 odd minute wait in the queue for "first time" processing.

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Barrie Shepherd

Re: And YOU thought...

Visit (or just transit at the airport) the US and that is exactly what they get - you are photographed and fingerprinted by the "very welcoming" (sic) Immigration officer. As a return visit (on the same passport) does not require that process it's reasonable to assume that that is because your statistics have been kept on record from the previous visit.

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Angry Austrian could turn Europe against the US - thanks to data

Barrie Shepherd

"He added that Schrems was not required to prove that his own data had been spied upon in order to make a complaint."

Maybe not when the game started but I'm sure Schrems data will be spewing out of NSA printers at a great rate now.

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Welsh council rapped for covert spying on sick leave worker

Barrie Shepherd

Re: @Barrie: A Morons perspective

My bad then - I'm in Australia so have not kept up to date on all aspects of the Data Protection laws/scope.

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Barrie Shepherd

A Morons perspective

Councils are expected to protect public money - thus there is a presumption by the rate payers that Councils will investigate if there is a belief that someone is rorting the system. As said in a later comment the misuse of sick leave in the public service is perceived as high by many people.

As for the "data" - I'm no lawyer but I was under the impression that it used to be that information in written records was outside the purview of the Data Protection Act until it became "held in electronic systems". Of course if a digital camera was used by the PI then I guess the photography is captured by the Act. (If there is another "Privacy" Act that the ICO is responsible for then there may be infringement but the report said Data Protection Act.)

And Yes I would authorise investigation if I believed an act of fraud was taking place. If that makes me a moron then I'm happy to be one.

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Barrie Shepherd

I'm having difficulty understanding how the covert "spying" breached the Data Protection Act.

Despicable as some may think it is has an employer not the right to determine if an employee is rorting the system? It may be an invasion of privacy but I really don't see where data is involved.

Seems to me like the ICO extending it's sphere of influence and assumed power. Or has the report been under-reported and other matters were involved?

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Review mass-snoop laws regularly, says RIPA daddy Blunkett

Barrie Shepherd

Odd how when they get their gong and transit from the Lower to the Upper house they tend to start making the occasional "common sense" statements.

Perhaps Laws should be formulated in the Upper House and sent to the Lower House for approval?

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FTC tells 'scan to email' patent troll: Every breath you take, every lie you make, I'll be fining you

Barrie Shepherd

Re: Bogus

....... but it's the law.

It may be the law but what idiotic Patent Office granted a Patent on a obvious process.

What prey is "innovative" in taking a picture of a document and adding an address to it and dropping it in the Interweb ether for delivery. It's just an electronic mailing machine.

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Japan tells operators: Put a SIM lock in a new mobe? You'd better UNLOCK it for FREE

Barrie Shepherd

We need to ban handset subsidising

It's hi time handset subsidies were outlawed.

All they do is create drawers full of perfectly good handsets and a waste of world resources and increased usage costs for all. The 1/2 year contract imprints the need for a new phone to users who would, if they had to pay the going rate for a handset, think twice about such a regular "upgrade".

Handsets subsidies were fine to kick start the industry when handset costs were high, All they do now is force operators to keep usage costs high, to offset the subsidy to "new" handset owners at the expense of those happy to retain their older handset.

Why should I pay the same usage costs as someone who has just got a new subsidised handset? If operators want to subsidise handsets then they should also be forced to offer SIM only service at appropriately reduced usage costs.

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GCHQ staff 'would sooner walk' than do anything 'resembling mass surveillance’

Barrie Shepherd

Re: So where the f*** is this coming from?

Could they be from those who trawl the internet looking for VoIP system to hack into? I see similar IPs attempting to access my VoIP box.

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Want a customer's call records Mr Plod? No probs

Barrie Shepherd

Since everyone else seems able to get my metadata why can't I get a copy? Maybe I could try a request under FoI as is being attempted in Australia.

http://www.smh.com.au/digital-life/consumer-security/spies-can-access-my-metadata-so-why-cant-i-my-15month-legal-battle-with-telstra-20141010-1146qo.html

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Oz metadata retention won't include URLs: report

Barrie Shepherd

As I see it they are trying to hose down the public outrage.

They don't need to know from your ISP that you visited www.naughtysite.com IF they have a warrant to monitor the traffic of www.naughtysite.com.

They know from the legal monitoring of www.naughtysite.com what IP addresses accessed it, so it's simple to trawl their ISP stored "free access" metadata to find out who that naughty person was.

In other words so long as they monitor the IPs of connections made to a site for which they have a legal interception warrant they will know who accessed it. Sort of reverse engineering!

No amount of hosing down will change this.

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New Snowden leak: How NSA shared 850-billion-plus metadata records

Barrie Shepherd

Re: Curious?

They don't trust anyone who doesn't speak American as a native language.

Fixed it!

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British Lords: Euro 'right to be forgotten' ruling 'unreasonable and unworkable'

Barrie Shepherd

Re: so..

Equally (currently) you could just type his name into Google-dot-another country or just com.

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Barrie Shepherd

More common sense than the other House

+1 to the un-elected house.

Not tarred with the need to garner votes or bend to influence from corporations and other world governments they have made a very common sense statement. Lets hope the lot at the other end of the corridor take heed.

Lord Denning, and his friend on the Clapham Omnibus, would be impressed.

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Report: American tech firms charge Britons a thumping nationality tax

Barrie Shepherd

BIgMac comparison

When comparing product cost between countries it may be better to compare in BigMacs i.e. the local price of the product divided by the local price of a BigMac. :-)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Mac_Index

Problem is easily getting the daily cost of a BigMac (without visiting an outlet) is not easy as they have not yet got onto the financial commodity market lists.

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Facebook goes TITSUP across WORLD! Who will look at your cousin's baby NOW?

Barrie Shepherd

They had to replace their routers as the old ones did not have a wide enough NSA back door.

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'Good job, NSA! You turned Yahoo! into an encryption beast'

Barrie Shepherd

ha Ha Ha

All the naughty boys are now using Yahoo to avoid the NSA Hahaha - the NSA are already there waiting with the decrypt keys.

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Three's money man reveals UK mobe firms' DARK PRICING dealings

Barrie Shepherd

Seperate contracts

I seem to remember that the handset subsidy was allowed by the the Regulator at the start up of mobile phone Networks. Handsets were so expensive, as portion of average monthly earnings, that there would be very slow uptake and carriers would effectively have no business model.

That has now changed and handsets are far less expensive but carriers have held onto the subsidy model so they can capture punters with contracts for the "latest and greatest" - effectively distracting punters from assessing the best airtime deals around.

This is now distorting the business as those who don't bother to upgrade to the latest iThingy are still paying for the privilege (through airtime costs) of others who do upgrade through the inflated call costs under pinning the subsidy. Carriers are not charities they just off set the cost of subsidy over the airtime costs to all. Ask yourself why if you go for a SIM only deal do you still pay the same per minute as others who have a new iThingy subsidised handset?

In my view carriers should offer airtime contracts not tied to handset purchase (after all that's all the current arrangements are) then we will see competition in the airtime costs as opposed to the current "I give you the latest and greatest" selling rather than the cost of operating the phone.

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Mens sana in fibro sano: Virgin Media network-level smut filters are ON

Barrie Shepherd

"But you already have an account with them, therefore you won't be subject to having a filter pre-configured to 'On'. And even if you did, the answer is as simple as clicking 'Off'."

Not what their email says - I have to go and manager the B thing. While to you it might be as simple as "turning it off" to me it's an unnecessary imposition on me because of other people failings. People should be free to opt in NOT have to opt out.

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Barrie Shepherd

Absolutely correct!

I want Sky to know that a policy of applying the filter in a preconfigured "On" state and then expecting me to "manage" it is absolutely abhorrent. I'm an adult and should not have to be inconvenienced by others bad parenting skills.

More importantly I am totally opposed to government censorship or censorship by any other "well meaning" groups as none of these organisations can be trusted and scope creep is inevitable.

Increasingly the only avenue left to us is to vote with our pound and leave.

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Barrie Shepherd

How do I find an ISP that does not impose this unwanted filter? I want to move away from Sky ASAP

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Scotland to test mobe signals slammer jammer

Barrie Shepherd

Re: Microcell

All Networks would have a presence on the box.

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Barrie Shepherd

....configurer one or more base stations as needed, which one controls, so that they provide good coverage of the protected area.

This would require the operator to hold a license for the spectrum - which is owned by the carriers who would not be keen on releasing spectrum for the purpose of a company blocking their signals.

If there was suitable spectrum then a GSM in a box installation like http://openbsc.osmocom.org/trac/ would suffice.

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Barrie Shepherd

I would have thought that a credible solution would be for the mobile carriers to install a base station in the prison (with Tx's serving each carrier) and for the carriers equipment to advise the prison authorities when a phone within the cell coverage was in use. This would allow more phones to be detected.

Carriers should also be able to arrange for calls from mobiles via the cell to be blocked from connection to the PSTN or just rerouted to the NAS/GCHQ :-)

A white list would allow official Warders phone through.

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Coca Cola slurps millions of MAC addresses

Barrie Shepherd

Re: More than just monitoring machines

Sure they still do AND some serve WiFi out if you buy a drink from them. The one on North Sydney station platform would serve free movie clips and I think WiFi access (for a short period). Not sure if it's still doing it at present

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Telstra tries to hose down “network management snooping” story

Barrie Shepherd

Corrections to the Telstra Statement (i.e. Guilt by omission)

“Telstra does not routinely collect or store our customers’ telecommunications data to undertake mass surveillance on behalf of Australian national security agencies." - we leave that to the Security Agencies that we permit to access our equipment.

"Telstra does not use any traffic monitoring system to conduct mass surveillance on behalf of Australian national security agencies." - We let them collect the data themselves using the equipment we have installed.

"We comply with the law and only collect and disclose information to these agencies only when we are legally required or permitted to do so." - which enables the Agency to present the information they have previously harvested as legally obtained evidence

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Amazon wants in on single-credit-card biz

Barrie Shepherd

A little late

The magnetic strip is very much on the way out - replaced by the chip - I doubt that the financial institutions will "facilitate" transfer of the chip coding to a multi vendor card arrangement.

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Digital radio may replace FM altogether - even though nobody wants it

Barrie Shepherd

I'm in the DAB+ world of Sydney and while the paper comparison says DAB+ is better than DAB it's still worse than FM and even MW!! On a clear day I could see the top of the DAB transmission tower for Sydney yet the DAB+ signal is far from error free. It drops out and error distorts if I have the receiver anywhere but by the window.

Sydney Talkback stations are on MW (and AM Stereo - but I've never seen a receiver!) which at least is a stable signal even when the set is in the bathroom for the morning swill - something the DAB set cannot deliver.

As for portable use waste of time - batteries give up sooner than the next advert break - maybe the real advocates of DAB are Duracell / EverReady?.

As others have said the use of FM is probably more in cars than homes and the UK's excellent RDS Traffic service should not be lost - on the rare occasions I drive in the Sydney rush hour I wish we had it here!!!

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Oz government knew about PRISM BEFORE Snowden leaks

Barrie Shepherd

"Documents obtained by the ABC also reveal that the Attorney-General at the time, Mark Dreyfus, was advised that the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD) does not have backdoor access to the National Broadband Network."

"I see pigs flying overhead - no wait - they don't need backdoor access if the NSA and China already have it.

Ground the pigs!

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Screw you, Brits, says Google: We are ABOVE UK privacy law

Barrie Shepherd

That's correct -- everyone in the World is subject to American Laws, and the UK Authorities are happy to oblige with enforcement.

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