* Posts by JetSetJim

1396 posts • joined 4 Jul 2009


Northern UK smart meter rollout is too slow, snarls MPs' committee

JetSetJim Silver badge

Re: The answer is in the data

I would question why personal info would be needed to address the claim that the installation of a smart meter would reduce energy consumption. I don't doubt that someone might be able to find some value in knowing the change in energy consumption habits when correlated against personal information (if there are any), but you don't need it to actually quantify the change

JetSetJim Silver badge

The answer is in the data

As a cursory dekstop analysis might indicate, installing these smart meters seems to be a pointless waste of time and money. In practice, can one request a data set for the smart meters currently installed for:

Column 1 (& 1a): energy usage in the property in the year prior to installation of a smart meter (separated between gas and electricity)

Column 2 (& 2a): energy usage in the property in the year subsequent to the installation of the smart meter (again, separated by gas & electricity)

No need to add any personalised information like property address.

Coarsely, dividing one column by the other can give a rough estimation as to the energy savings of these devices (notwithstanding the possible uncorrelated effects of measures that may influence energy usage in a household, e.g. installing insulation, although it could be argued that some of these may be triggered by the awareness of energy usage).

The rollout figures are available here:


They would indicate that up to Q4 2017 there were over 9 million of the blighters, so we should be able to do this sort of thing (even with the added complexity when properties change supplier - could probably discard those and still get a reasonable picture of events)

Go, go, Gadgets Boy! 'Influencer' testing 5G for Vodafone finds it to be slower than 4G

JetSetJim Silver badge

The phone was connected to a wfi router, presumably one connected to some magic 5G dongle compatible with the deployed 5G radios in VF's network. It's not clear whether this was open-access for VF punters, or reserved for GamerBoy in this instance.

The phone looks reasonably modern, so I would hope that 802.11ac was used, or, at the very least 802.11n, in which case the connection limit would be 1.3Gbps for ac, or 450Mbps for n (and I'd hope that the router wasn't busy at the time of the test), so the over-the-air wifi wouldn't be the bottleneck.

Saying that, initial LTE speeds were not what they currently are - carrier aggregation, MIMO and other features have injected speed boosts into the network. Also, how much bandwidth was being used for the 5G radio, too, as this isn't documented in the article - not sure spectrum is yet deployed to it's fullest extent, so it's entirely possible that different fruit are being compared in all these comments as 4G carriers are typically 20MHz per carrier nowadays, and multiple carriers are used to achieve their headline speeds.

Poorly thought out PR stunt on VF's part, though, not expecting the obvious comparisons to different fruit

Amazon triples profit to $11.2bn, pays ZERO DOLLARS in corp tax – instead we pay it $129m

JetSetJim Silver badge

What do you do? Set up a transnational tax rate collected by a separate body (e.g something like the WTO) and then disbursed among countries by some (hopefully fair) arbitrary rules (e.g by percent of revenue in that country).

Obvs it will never happen...

One click and you're out: UK makes it an offence to view terrorist propaganda even once

JetSetJim Silver badge

Re: Likely to be useful

Win some, lose some

JetSetJim Silver badge

Re: "Likely to be useful"

So they are, it happened last June, apparently. A sound idea as I vaguely recall being a bit nervy the first time I merged into a motorway 30 years ago.

JetSetJim Silver badge

Re: "Likely to be useful"

> As far as I am aware, the motorway and how one behaves on it is actually not part of the driving test in the UK.

Indeed, cos you're not allowed to drive on a motorway as a learner. Suspect a good idea would be to implement a 2-tier license and make currently-newly-passed learners go on a second course to learn to drive on a motorway (there are organisations doing this, the PassPlus or equivalent, but it's entirely volountary).

Fun fact: GPS uses 10 bits to store the week. That means it runs out... oh heck – April 6, 2019

JetSetJim Silver badge

Yeah, but they're gettign the snazzy new ESN with funky smartphone like new handsets.

Oh, wait

Huawei pens open letter to UK Parliament: Spying? Nope, we've done nothing wrong

JetSetJim Silver badge

So, all it says is "Chinese law will not punish you if you don't do what we ask", unwritten, it seems therefore feasible that Chinese equipment makers *will* be asked...

JetSetJim Silver badge

Re: Don't confuse politics with engineering

That just means the yanks knew how to access Huawei kit behind the scenes while they were using Cisco code

European Commission orders mass recall of creepy, leaky child-tracking smartwatch

JetSetJim Silver badge

"the guy" who wrote the spec presumably worked for the same company as "the guy" who made it (and presumably can equally blame "the guy" who wrote the list of features for the device that the specs would have been written from). "these guys" did not implement standard application and server security protocols and should be slapped around with laws to get it fixed

JetSetJim Silver badge

Re: But adults have the same crap

> Find My Phone app that anyone can tap into (if they know who to ask)

err - if you know The Right Person (TM) you can trace any phone (assuming that person is happy to break the law) - there's a call trace function in the network used for legal intercept and also for network optimisation - if you know the right person in the Network Operations Centre, you can give them an IMSI or IMEI and it can be traced to a resonably high degree of accuracy. If you know The Right Person (TM), you could place a legal Intercept tap on the calls, but that person would probably pretty swiftly get sacked and arrested as these things are rigorously documented in logs. Regarding the Find My Phone feature, presumably you need to know The Right Person (TM) in Apple, or conceivable some naughty hacker who can get into the Apple account.

IMSI catchers? Well, they are about, and nefarious deeds can be done with them I'm sure, but they'll cost $1-2k to make at a minimum, and are localised in effect. Not sure they can access any data on the phone, as they operate lower down the protocol stack only, and the higher layers are all encrypted. The only way to get higher layer access is to also impersonate the core network (conceivable, as there are open-source implementations - it may be simply a case of setting the MNC/MCC correctly, but I suspect the phone might reject it due to different APN settings which would need provisioning - suspect you'd need cooperation from the network, which is why law enforcement can use them easily, and perhaps not so easy for tech-hacker-types)

Windows Defender update: So secure, it wouldn't let Secure-Boot Windows PCs, er, boot

JetSetJim Silver badge

Seems like a good feature that other ISPs should consider implementing...

You got a smart speaker but you're worried about privacy. First off, why'd you buy one? Secondly, check out Project Alias

JetSetJim Silver badge

Re: I'd quite like one for doing cooking related tasks

you can make a multi-timer with the "ok google" commands, so an old (waterproof) android phone, a throwaway google account, and you have your device

JetSetJim Silver badge

I like that I can "ok google navigate to X" in the car and get directions pretty reliably, rather than trying to type and not crash while driving. Admittedly feeling a bit of a plonker if someone else is in the car (although my kids enjoy it)

But Alexa et al are not my cup of tea

Techie finds himself telling caller there is no safe depth of water for operating computers

JetSetJim Silver badge

Re: Design deficiencies

and no-one wants to work in a basement with no windows, so it's a location that offers no conflict. Try competing with office space with windows for your server room...

Bringing the Houzz down: Home design website tells users to reset passwords after copping to breach

JetSetJim Silver badge

Re: 2019 v 2018

I got the email today, fortunately no personal info in the account, and I registered it with "hows@mydomain.com" as the email (rather oddly, it wouldn't let you use "houzz" in the email), so it shouldn't be of any use to anyone (not even entirely sure why I registered it!)

iPhone price cuts are coming, teases Apple CEO. *Bring-bring* Hello, Apple UK? It's El Reg. You free to chat?

JetSetJim Silver badge

Will be nicking the Muppets Ode to Joy ringtone, cheers

Apple: You can't sue us for slowing down your iPhones because you, er, invited us into, uh, your home... we can explain

JetSetJim Silver badge

Re: As a non Apple owner, all I can ask is

YMMV - for quite a few it is good enough.

Some of the things seem to be implemented very nicely, but you have to commit yourself to stay in the Apple ecosystem to reap the benefits, and this is not what everyone wants.

JetSetJim Silver badge

Re: Yah, Yah, Yah.

> There wouldn't be Android if Apple hadn't invented the smartphone.

Apple had timing on their side with the release of smartphones and probably wouldn't exist without their pre-cursors like Palm, Nokia, Motorola and probably others. In the GSM days, when GPRS was created to allow phones to do data, a whole lot of phones were created with "apps" on them to do non-phone things. Hell, you could even write your own if you could get to grips with writing them and pushing your app to the SIM card (still possible now, and it's a horrid way of doing things). Also, apps were on the phone. Form-factors were evolving, andApple weren't the first with touch screens either (see the IBM Simon from 1992). Also, multi-touch screens were purchased by Apple, not invented by it. I would agree, however, that Apple put all of these things they didn't invent into a very attractive package

> Apple are one of the few companied who do ALL the research and Development. Hardware and Software

That would be the company that didn't show up or contribute to any of the 3GPP meetings to help out with the specs, and then attempted to bully all the companies that did into accepting FRAND payments much lower than normal?

> Buy cheap and nasty get a cheap and nasty experience. Your data and photo's splashed everywhere

Err - if anything Android is more guilty of the data splashing than Apple with all the app data slurping that goes on

> Forever sending sms all day (instead of working), use a lot of battery while the phone talks to the network.

SMS uses a trivial amount of power as the data in the SMS is transmitted over a signalling packet - no need to establish data bearers over the radio. It would be all the background apps that suck the life out of your battery - any non-SMS app with notifications from a server requires a data bearer.

> turn off fetch on emails

A remarkably good way of not accomplishing anything in the day if you need to receive emails to do work

> Choice of a slower phone and longer battery life?

you *can* choose a phone for longer battery life, and that's your choice. Why don't you still use a non-smartphone then? My old Nokia had a battery that lasted weeks. I, however, choose to have some functionality on my phone - I use the GPS on each commute, I communicate with people in different ways during the day, ...

What people object to is Apple crippling the phone (behind the scenes) to preserve the illusion of a battery that lasts X days (whatever that X is), which is effectively removing functionality from the phone. Personally I think there's still some iffy bits in the Apple battery management system as my wifes 6+ (with a new battery that's less than 3 months old) still craps out the second the phone gets a bit cold - also seen this on friends iPhone X and 7/8 versions.

Facebook didn't care if your kids ran up gigantic credit card bills – lawsuit

JetSetJim Silver badge

Re: Is there a scammier corporation

> Whatsapp is a great solution for multi OS mobile communication for groups of people

but when it starts to require the install of the FB app, or permission to view FB contacts, it shall be binned in favour of a different one. Am not giving FB unfettered access to my phone

Clone your own Prince Phil, says eBay seller hawking debris left over from royal car crash

JetSetJim Silver badge

Re: Caught by surprise

He was pulling out at a T junction, and the Kia was barelling down the A road. I suspect it whacked into the rear half of the Land Rover, which would be the lighter end of the vehicle. That probably spun it 180 degrees, maybe the rear wheels sliding to a stop in a soft grass verge on the other side of the road, perhaps digging in and starting the roll at this point in the collision.

IANACrash Investigator, and not entirely sure it explains the photo used here, but which seems to be the best overview of the crash site around.

Man drives 6,000 miles to prove Uncle Sam's cellphone coverage maps are wrong – and, boy, did he manage it

JetSetJim Silver badge

Re: Speed.

Well, we know how much information is in an atom, multiply up by "atoms per car", and that's the total Mbits. The rest is an exercise for the student.

JetSetJim Silver badge

Re: A good pro-bono opportunity for Google

Google don't need to do that, they could just publish the data they already collect - your Android phone periodically/sporadically connects to "mobilenetworkscoring-pa.googleapis.com". I wonder for what purpose?

JetSetJim Silver badge

> My biggest thought with the idea of using a drone is that it would not be sampling where the phones are used, but 100yards in the air. Not exactly where I often am lol

Yup - networks are designed to give coverage on the ground, not in the air - even if some signal can bleed upwards, it will not be representative quality.

Huawei’s elusive Mr Ren: We’re just a 'sesame seed' in a superpower spat

JetSetJim Silver badge

Re: Luddites = Non Sequitur

Well, I'm sure there are plenty of companies in the world are happy if trade secrets fall into their lap - Huawei may have been a bit more blatant about it (certainly in the past), but equally they have been very canny with their relationships with other companies and their customers in establishing their market position.

In terms of your chain that China isn't very innovative, I think several thousand years of history might disagree. But in the modern day era, specifically, I've been to the Huawei campuses in Shanghai and Shenzhen and they're huge. They have thousands of engineers to throw at problems, and a lot of them are very well educated. The ones I dealt with had to cope with not being allowed to bring materials to meetings (company policy to prevent secrets from leading!) But could still keep in their heads detailed review items for a 600+ page technical requirements document. The added bonus for China is that their labour force is/was so cheap, even for highly qualified staff, so it's not difficult to compete against a Western business which usually has a much higher cost base due to higher employment costs - even if starting from behind the curve.

Most munificent Apple killed itself with kindness. Oh. Really?

JetSetJim Silver badge

Re: New Stuff

> Things I would be interested in? Longer battery life, more rugged device, better security, small enough to fit in shirt pocket, removeable storage, removeable battery, USB connectivity, ..... to name just a few.

Not all of these are compatible, longer battery life plus smaller form factor? That means less functionality.

I agree with the sentiment, though.

RIP 2019-2019: The first plant to grow on the Moon? Yeah, it's dead already, Chinese admit

JetSetJim Silver badge

Re: Didn't Fred Hoyle and Asimov write about this?

Send Matt Damon up then, perhaps he can do something with that

Q. How exactly do you test car seats? A. With this sweaty 'robutt' that twerks for days and days

JetSetJim Silver badge

yes, although I don't think those sweated into the seats

What's the fate of our Solar System? Boffins peer into giant crystal ball – ah, no, wait, that's our Sun in 10bn years

JetSetJim Silver badge
Paris Hilton

Re: Boom!

I'm curious as to what form the crystalline lattice of carbon forms once the oxygen has sunk out - is it diamond or Buckyballs? Or a new form?

Asking for a friend -->

If I could turn back time, I'd tell you to keep that old Radarange at home

JetSetJim Silver badge

Re: Pesky microwaves

Have heard of similar things in early mobile phone systems - one story in particular claimed that under certain conditions phones would connect to towers in different cities/towns/rural areas (not sure which propagation environment it was, suspect rural) and play havoc due to the timing offsets required to hit the framing of the phone signals over those distances (100's of km)

Amazon Mime: We train (badly) an AI love bot using divorce bombshell Bezos' alleged sexts to his new girlfriend

JetSetJim Silver badge

Re: Markov rules

I woud hope that in the spirit of things, the article author built and trained the AI models on the AWS ML platform.

Wanted – have you seen this MAC address: f8:e0:79:af:57:eb? German cops appeal for logs in bomb probe

JetSetJim Silver badge

Re: Am i being thick...

Perhaps the IP used for the email (and visible in the headers) was traceable (via the ISP) to a router/hub/access point that kept a record of sessions - e.g. commercial Cisco wifi APs will keep records for each device containing MAC address, authentication method, #packets/bytes shipped in each direction, start time and duration (pinch of salt on that one as there's no explicit disconnect in wifi), so all they need to do is get a judge to sign off on a legal "search" of the router to get the logs from it, which are available through a standard API with the appropriate credentials (which no doubt the operator holds).

JetSetJim Silver badge

*if* the manufacturer retained this mapping (and presumably it would be the chipset manufacturer, and not the phone manufacturer as all this stuff is on a single system-on-a-chip like Snapdragons or MediaTek chips), then you can get an IMEI.

IEMI *is* used to authenticate a device when it attaches to the network, and certainly in the EU it is checked against a list of stolen devices so that in theory these are blocked from making calls, and so makes a stolen phone less valuable. I'm not sure how often this check is performed.

However, while IMEI is used to authenticate, it may not actually be stored anywhere - this may be implementation specific, although functionality should be present to do this in a standard EIR. Operators used to forbid non-locked-in phones on their networks, and so they'd need to use IMEI for that, however that's no longer the case, so it may well be that IMEI is no longer reliably stored at the operator for a subscriber. But you may well be able to set a watch for the IMEI so that when it is next used some lights flash, or whatnot, and that would get you the IMSI, and then, if it's not an anonymous pre-pay SIM, subscriber info follows, and call trace/legal intercept/geolocation can be activated for that device, and SWAT teams can swoop on locations...

JetSetJim Silver badge

Re: I guess plod IQ problems are universal...

Probably want to be firing off a request for information (suitably couched in legalese) to MediaTek or Qualcomm as those are the chipsets Moto uses.

MAC OUI lookup returns:

"F8:E0:79 Motorola Motorola Mobility LLC, a Lenovo Company"

Hubble 'scope camera breaks down amid US govt shutdown, forcing boffins to fix it for free

JetSetJim Silver badge

Re: Crazy

I'm not sure Nancy was a huge lot better than Ronald - she was super keen on astrology. Have a shufty at the Behind the Bastards podcast episodes on the Reagans

Episode 1 and episode 2

Cannot recommend this podcast enough!

Huawei's 5G security scrutiny pain could be Cisco's gain – analysts

JetSetJim Silver badge

Re: Summary

> No-one has ever proved Huawei is doing backdoors.

And it's impossible to prove that they aren't...

JetSetJim Silver badge
Black Helicopters


"Cisco have the backdoors we can live with. Huawei, less so"

Excuse me, sir. You can't store your things there. Those 7 gigabytes are reserved for Windows 10

JetSetJim Silver badge

pfft, that would mean starting to think in the direction of doing something properly. can't see that happening

Attention all British .eu owners: Buy dotcom domains and prepare to sue, says UK govt

JetSetJim Silver badge

Re: Does anybody actually use a .eu ?

> Let's see the EU unpick that one.

Perhaps there should be a hard internet border - all packets exiting/entering the UK & NI need to be opened and inspected for contraband.

No doubt the govmt will organise a feasibility study involving sending 100 packets to Cork, but offload them onto a USB stick for 5 mins before sending them across the border and then pronounce the proposed solution (which is?) perfectly fit for purpose after a local greengrocer wins a £xbn contract to supply extra cross border traffic with a pair of grey-market Netgear routers he's bidding for on eBay

JetSetJim Silver badge

Re: Wow, it's almost...

>The big "issue" with P.R. that is that you can end up with either No government because they cannot get a majority or no decisions being made because no-one can get anything passed in Parliment.

Good, that means no-one can fuck things up, just let the country bumble along - no-one gets to try and implement massive projects that are either doomed to fail from the outset (ID cards) or just plain not needed (HS2) until they can actually get a good concensus from everyone as to the cost/benefit of those projects means for the country.

London Gatwick Airport reopens but drone chaos perps still not found

JetSetJim Silver badge

Re: How hard is the approximate localization of a 2.4GHz sender operating in or near an airport?

> Yeah it's actually not. As an emt I've had to use such information as part of my job on the regular(comes over mapped on an MDT), and I've seen the magic software at work in dispatch centres.

Sorry, but that's not the software I'm talking about (that the company I work for sells). Real time geolocation is harder, but getting better, and can still be better than "it's somewhere in this cell". Near real time (15-20 mins) can be scarily accurate. EMT stuff will be behind the times, no doubt, and is limited by the interface back to the network operator.

JetSetJim Silver badge

Re: How hard is the approximate localization of a 2.4GHz sender operating in or near an airport?

It's actually quite easy to do good geolocation based only on the SIM, a variety of companies sell such software to the networks.

JetSetJim Silver badge

Re: How hard is the approximate localization of a 2.4GHz sender operating in or near an airport?

LTE SIMs, while usable and easy to source in an untraceable way, would be geolocateable. Wouldn't be hard to use that to find where the miscreants are by first detecting a SIM in an odd area of the airport and then backtracking to the controlling mobile. Dispatch black van with heavily armed officials to have a chat....

'Year-long' delay to UK 5G if we spike Huawei deals, say telcos

JetSetJim Silver badge

Re: What could possibly go wrong?

Having back doors discovered in your code doesn't seem to have hindered Cisco all that much. I think the key is who benefits from the back door. I'm guessing Western govs are happier with the US potentially having access, but the Chinese having access? Less so

Sticking with one mobile provider gets you... Oh. Price rises, big exit fees, and lovely, lovely lock-in

JetSetJim Silver badge

Re: Hmm...

There is a more sensible solution, but the operators won't like it. All that has to be done is separate the effiectively-an-HP-agreement for a new shiny from the phone/data subscription, so that at the end of the HP aspect of the contract, the subscriber drops down onto the pre-agreed contract rate, rather than the current default of keeping the extra payment for the phone going in perpetuity. Mandate that the repayment of the phone subsidy portion of any contract for supply terminates after a fixed period of time. It still allows for the balloon payment if you leave before you've repaid (and then some) the phone subsidy, and makes it quite clear just where your money is going.


When it comes to AI research the West is winning, the East is rising and women are being left behind

JetSetJim Silver badge

They should put the data into an ai to predict where skynet will rise up from

Waymo presents ChauffeurNet, a neural net designed to copy human driving

JetSetJim Silver badge

Re: Simple questions

> UK law is unfortunately an ass

True, but some members of those that police the law are more pragmatic. I've run a red to get out the way quite a few times, but never had any trouble.

JetSetJim Silver badge

Re: How many billions of dollars are being spent chasing this?

In shock news, AI doesn't adequately map a solution space without being given sufficient training data representative of that solution space.

More at 9...

JetSetJim Silver badge

Re: Simple questions

In the UK, at least from a legal perspective, the red light overrules the desire of the emergency services to get past you. There have been cases of people getting nicked for running a red to allow this.

Obvs it's ok for them to run a red, but not you.


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