* Posts by JaitcH

3730 posts • joined 12 Oct 2009

Manchester plod still running 1,500 Windows XP machines

JaitcH
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Meh

Count VietNam, ATMs and Nuclear Subs In

VietNam's Cong An (Peoples Police), CGST (Traffic Cops) all run on XP, proudly standing next to low resolution 8-bit Epson dot-matrix printers.

Both some of the UK and US nuclear submarines also run on XP, as do older generations of ATMs.

But since most of these act simply as 'dumb' terminals, with the heavy lifting done by main frames, does it matter?

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US government sued by 11 pissed-off travellers over computer searches

JaitcH
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FAIL

Carry Two Cell Handsets and a Concealed SD Card

Naturally, the SD Card will have your goodies on it whilst the two cell handsets can be used to confuse the Border Plod / TSA / ICE.

Make one a basic cell handset - often called a burner - and the other a smart cell. When the aforementioned nosy pigs request your goods - just hand them the burner which will be promptly handed with a derisory look on the officials face.

If they ask for 'anything else' just carry on ignoring their request. Please remember outright lying (a la Trump) is a Federal felony in the USA. Loading a soft (non-extreme) porn movie distracts them.

Also, never travel with SIMs installed - No SIM = No Good Data.

Given the number of people who seem to reading others screens these days, you can now purchase polarised plastic overlays which will stop this practice.

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Homeland Security drops the hammer on Kaspersky Lab with preemptive ban

JaitcH
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Meh

None Too Smart - But that's the US 'Intelligence' Lot

There are programs used by the US Government departments that have thousands of lines of code written by subcontractors in other countries. And I am thinking China and Russia, as well as India, etc. And these reams of code aren't identified as "Written by Russians" either. One of the few ways to identify such code is to check them for comments buried in the code.

The DPRK is smarter, it will allow NO ONE other than North Koreans to touch the code for either rocket or any other military projects. In fact, Foreign Guest Workers aren't allowed anywhere near any military hardware or software production!

Some of the Russian security services have reverted to using TYPEWRITERS which are very hard to 'hack'.

Obviously this an attempt to persuade US corporations to 'buy American' so the NSA, et al, can deploy THEIR backdoors without having to struggle with decoding the foreign code! Obama went around the word bad-mouthing HuaWei products, whilst the British ALLOWED HuaWei to set up development labs in Banbury, with oversight/cooperation from the GCHQ.

Meanwhile, back in the US of A, things still are akin to Harry Belafonte's "There's a Hole in my Bucket" with all and sundry saving a fortune on R&D stolen from military contractors as the systems remain little changed. Seen the latest Chinese fighter planes?

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London Tube tracking trial may make commuting less miserable

JaitcH
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Happy

Re: One thing I always failed to understand....

I don't even have a SIM in my smartphone.

Leaving your Bluetooth active can be very entertaining - friendly self-employed young ladies use it for intro's instead of leaving little notes in telephone booths!

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JaitcH
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Meh

And not even . . .

Camden Town (Mornington Crescent is situated at the southern end of Camden High Street, where it meets Hampstead Road and Eversholt Street.).

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Smart cities? Tell it like it is, they're surveillance cities

JaitcH
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Unhappy

Garbage In - Gospel Out

Here in dear old Ho Chi Minh City (aka SaiGon) (9,123 Square Miles) they have mounted tens of thousands of CCTV cameras for:

1. Collecting tolls from vehicles with 4 or more wheels;

2. A video App that let's you watch thousands of vehicles going no where;

3. Traffic modification (often using temporary barriers that are wheeled into position at rush hours).

The only problem is that the humble Infra-Red LED renders vehicle identification / charging useless.

Additionally, 99.99% of VNese drivers could give a damn about red lights, one-way streets and other generally accepted road practices. Motorcycles are supposed to have exclusive use of the kerb lanes and the heavier vehicles the centre and fast lanes.

It's easy to frustrate these cheats - by going very slow in front of them. The cacophony of horns and flashing lights from the slowed cheats is truly wondrous.

We even have pedestrian area cameras - they look good but do little to improve things.

Technology - wonderful stuff!

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Dude who claimed he invented email is told by judge: It's safe to say you didn't invent email

JaitcH
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FAIL

Where did this Troll get his . . .

'doctorate' from (and which post office)?

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Sub plot subplot thickens: Madsen claims hatch fumble killed Swede journo Kim Wall

JaitcH
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Unhappy

What a Sad Death for a Talented Woman

Even if she met her death by accident, why abuse her remains?

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Best Korea fingered for hacks against Bitcoin exchanges in South

JaitcH
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Happy

Re: Going after bitcoins is probably the result of the increased sanctions

Obviously the DPRK has little difficulty in acquiring / spending hard currencies.

Foreign Guest Workers are paid with Korean People's Won when in the country and a choice of the Euro or US Dollar when exit account balance is paid.

I also carry electronic components in when I visit and I am promptly compensated against the invoice prices. What is amusing, there is a forgery detector light for recipients to use!

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How the CIA, Comcast can snoop on your sleep patterns, sex toy usage

JaitcH
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Meh

Re: Not Surprised

The Plod, an other 'intelligence agencies', love those smartmeters since they can be, in demand, provide a constant trail of real time data.

When you go to bed, when you have a midnight 'tinkle', when you raid the fridge, when you make tea/coffee, etc.

And none is IoT - just reading the electricity and water consumption.

But at least the technically knowledgeable can block the RF signals, and insert juicy ferrite RF filters in the power feed into the house, etc.

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JaitcH
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Happy

Re: Lazy or smart

Some married men would prefer an IoT to a live, chatting, wife - they don't argue back, don't argue and you can choose your own TV programs.

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DJI strips out code badness, reveals some GPL odds 'n sods

JaitcH
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WTF?

Re: Wondering ...

GPS is used for far more than navigation these days from trains, ATMs, rime standard, etc.

Hardly practical.

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JaitcH
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WTF?

Re: Wondering ...

If you jam drones 'in the wrong place' you will have a whole crowd of smartphone users complaining about loosing their WiFi.

Not too practical

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JaitcH
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My property, my business

I, for one, am fed up with the Job's/Apple attitude that YOUR property is subject to Apple's control which means our company doesn't use anything from them.

Likewise with DJI although their software is more accessible for customisation. Funny how over-priced equipment shares similarly arrogance from their respective manufacturers. Windows proved that Apple is wrong.

DJI owners have a similar attitude as iPhone owners. DJI is overrated, there are many better featured drones, for the experienced operator. And there are better cameras than those promoted by DJI available at lower cost.

In the meantime, register your DJI product in Mongolia, they have open skies and you can fly wherever you want to elsewhere.

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Kiwi prankster 'oinks' down cops' radio and sings Old MacDonald

JaitcH
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Megaphone

Re: They should mobilize their amateur radio people

If the songster has a any technical prowess, it is likely going to be difficult to make him change his tune.

TETRA (Terrestrial Trunked Radio specification) or any radio system is vulnerable, especially with leading edge SDR (software defined radio) and other technologies available on the retail market. Nothing will really withstand penetration by dedicated amateur 'hackers' who get great satisfaction at breaking systems just for the technical challenge.

Trunked or digital systems often use 'control channels' - jam those and you 'own' the system.

DF (direction finding) can be thwarted, too. When I was constructing a hotel for my wife there was no cell service. I made a multi-element Yagi antenna to access a cell tower that was some 15-20 kilometres away, which was further than a 'local' cell tower whose signal was reduced to intermittentcy because of the 'luscious' jungle greenery. Using cell base data would obviously provide false information.

Using a cell handset in the immediate vicinity of a cell base only illuminates a single base as the handset signal level is cranked way down by the tower, depriving any other towers of a signal.

Even the US P25 system (multi-agency, trans-US) is regularly attacked with success.

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Private sub captain changes story, now says reporter died, was 'buried at sea' – torso found

JaitcH
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Unhappy

What Sailor Has Ever Heard of ...

burying a person at sea on what is essentially a day cruise?

Were there even sleeping quarters on this rustbucket? Was the 'submarine' in international waters?

Likely she had discovered something untoward with the 'financials' and had asked too many of the wrong questions.

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Judge yanks plug out of AT&T's latest attack on Google Fiber

JaitcH
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Happy

This Reminds me of the Early Days of Interconnect in ...

Canada when the telco's proclaimed landlines were beyond the capability of the lay public. The excuses that followed were equally humourous.

One late (deceased) Soady-Eastern, of Bell Canada Security, and I became quite close over the years as I fitted additional handsets to my home line. Additional sets were detected by the voltage decay time of the ringer series capacitor.

In the end I just fitted additional capacitors across the line, the tester would notify Soady-Eastern and I would get another visit! It kept him very busy.

In actual fact, aficionados of The Blue Box (and other Boxes)(the Blue Box that financed the beginning of Apple) knew more about the telephone system than Bell as we could establish a number of calls, in series, so we could actually call a telephone sitting next to us!

Today such people are called Hackers. I wonder where Captain Crunch is today?

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US cops point at cell towers and say: Give us every phone number that's touched that mast

JaitcH
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Happy

The Answer Is ...

to respond with printouts from a crappy 9-pin dot matrix printer.

Impossible to scan and too long to retype!

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What weighs 800kg and runs Windows XP? How to buy an ATM for fun and profit

JaitcH
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WTF?

Me? Not Surprised at All!

Way, way, back I worked for a Canadian company who manufactured ATM sub-assemblies and accessories.

As the production supervisor I had a Master Key that would unlock all manner of these ATMs. In fact I ended up with several Master Keys (as they were emphasised in paperwork). I found a bunch of them a while back, when I was unpacking my imported personal goods.

When I returned to Canada for a brief visit, I took these Master Keys with me. Believe it or not, decades after they were first installed THEY STILL WORKED! (Opening the locked panel door is a No-No as there is an alarm microswitch attached to detect door opening.)

So not only is the software ancient, so is the hardware!

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Apple bag-search class action sueball moves to Cali supreme court

JaitcH
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Stop

The REAL APPLE EXPOSED

It might be better to spend more money doing background checks than searching employees.

Given some of the voluminous orifices on bodies, one large enough to give birth, it is a challenge doomed to failure.

Better to have occasional spot checks on the inside of the time clock than harass ALL employees.

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PayPal, accused of facilitating neo-Nazi rally, promises to deny hate groups service

JaitcH
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PayPal - registered as a US bank but plays by it's own rules.

PayPal is notorious for doing things regular bankers don't do - like holding funds off an account for months, even to the point where the financial wherewithal of the account holder, or even the payee (depositor) is put in danger.

AVOID AT ALL COSTS! Especially when it involves out of country / trans-border transactions.

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UK industry mouthpiece wants 'near-universal' broadband speeds of 30Mbps by 2020

JaitcH
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Unhappy

30Mbps? By 2020! Sad! Nay, Pathetic!

One country that didn't even have toilet paper until 1950 now boasts 1,000Mpbs domestic service. That's South Korea. TODAY!

Another developing country that was ravaged by the Americans offers 100MBPS domestic service. That's VietNam. TODAY! (I have two 100 Mbps feeds from separate ISPs over one fibre optic line in my condominium.)

Fingers out, BT, et al.

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Tech billionaire Khosla loses battle over public beach again – and still grants no access

JaitcH
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WTF?

Ontario, Canada and VietNam have at least one thing in common . . .

and that is the highest tide (yes the Great Lakes have impressive wind generated tides - even ice 'tides') govern the extent of privately owned beachfront land.

In VietNam it's actually the highest tide plus one metre.

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Good Lord: Former UK spy boss backs crypto

JaitcH
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WTF?

Britain: A Bunch of Sheep-like Mice. What happened to the Bulldog?

There was a time, not long ago, when the utterances of a Rudd would have created a furor over the suggestion that the government, of any stripe, was entitled to access any communications or peer into any computer to strip a citizen naked, metaphorically speaking, as if it were treating citizens as serfs not entitled to secrets.

Privacy is a right and the UK signed up to this UN Treaty but they totally ignore it.

The only privacy between people these days can be effected by two people, lieing in a field of grass, hands cupped around their mouths whispering to each other.

Britain is effectively a police state. And yet few cry foul and call the government to task. It's what WW2 was all about. And the sheep-like MPs swallow the whole deal and carry on collecting bribes, etc.

The encryption genie is out of the bottle and neither RUDD nor MAY will ever get it back in. They can put as many back doors in as they like, but will that stop encrypted communications? NO! Smart people use add-on devices, not subject to communications back doors, to encrypt messages.

I live in an 'authoritarian' society, by choice, yet I have more freedom than the average Brit. No one tracks my number plates, no one does facial recognition, there is no blanket coverage CCTV, and my InterNet rights and access, bar a few anti-government fruit cake web sites in California, is wide open. Access to BitTorrent, porn and other dubious sites is completely unfettered.

The only time I know someone has accessed my cell system information is when an acquaintance in the Internal Police (sounds so ominous) sends me a SMS message that usually says: "See you are in HCM - How about dinner".

The UK, US and Australian governments use 'terrorism' as an excuse for any trampling on rights - time that voters stood up and challenged MPs on their lackadaisical ways or vote them out.(What we need is a modern day Guy Fawkes to complete the job)

Terrorists don't need high-tech anything, that is why they are largely unaffected by the billions of any currency wasted on them. I can transmit almost any amount of money from the UK to many destinations in the world without leaving any trace. I do it regularly - and more quickly and more economically than any bank can.

So much for security!

P.S. I hold a UK passport, so I am entitled to comment on MPs.

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Revealed: The naughty tricks used by web ads to bypass blockers

JaitcH
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WTF?

The Final Decision Still Lies with the Recipient

Unwanted advertising that breaks through any defences can be defeated by simply not buying the product / service.

<ake sure you tell the manufacturer / supplier why you are NOT buying their products.

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Parents claim Disney gobbled up kids' info through mobile games

JaitcH
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WTF?

They all need a couple of more Apps.

1. The App that allows Android users to change their IMSI (this one REALLY winds GCHQ up!)

2. The App that allows you to change GPS readings - and insert (Form Latatitude Longitude) (h ddd.ddddd°) N 42.79515° E 105.03236° OR (h ddd° mm.mmm′) N 42° 47.709' E 105° 1.942' OR (h dd° mm′ ss.s″) N 42° 47' 42.6'' E 105° 1' 56.5''.

These coordinates are for the Gobi Desert. I usually insert them in equipment that gets nosy and inquires of my whereabouts.

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DJI drones: 'Cyber vulnerabilities' prompt blanket US Army ban

JaitcH
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Unhappy

Obviously, the Bribetakers in the Pentagon have been Knobbled

Guess that idiot Trump's Buy America and America First policies have been triggered so the industrial-military complex can 'invent' their own version for millions (billions?) of dollars and start up a whole new Army/Air Force/Navy competition for who will fly these things.

One question: How, given the limitations of WiFi, does a drone backchat to it's manufacturers server when being used in the back of beyond to chase down the Freedom Fighters?

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Ofcom lifts sword, eyes up BT's duct and pole rental costs

JaitcH
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WTF?

DUCTS? Who the hell uses ducts?

Many moons ago I lived on Burtons Lane in Little Chalfont, Buckinghamshire when the GPO put underground vitreous china ducts in the ground, each having four separate 'pipes'.

I well remember well when the GPO inspector came to check and pass the work, he threaded a thin rope, sequentially, down each pipe. To the rope was attached a wooden dowel, about 12" long, which had to be able to pass from one end of the duct to the other without obstruction.

Just over five years ago, when visiting Toronto, Telus - a Western Canada telco - was wiring the city up with fibre for InterNet.

They simply sliced the concrete - usually the centre of the road - and ran a plough down it which dragged in the large diameter cables. Every mile, or so, they would deviate to the edge of a road and leave a loop of 20 or 30 metres exposed above ground and continue their ploughing.

Later, usually the next day, a truck would appear and a large concrete chamber would be buried in the ground and the exposed cables fed into it.

Today, in VietNam, they have small ploughs, much the size of an ATCO lawn mower, which perform the same operation under sidewalks for small diameter cables suitable for a few houses or an office building.

When I built my office / home out in the wilds, I did use plastic pipes for the fibre lines but only because I have a substantially thick concrete driveway. And because I have a dislike for above ground cables spoiling the view.

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UAV maker swipes at sponsor of opaque Qinetiq drone study

JaitcH
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Meh

If a Jet Engine can . . .

Swallow, whole, frozen chickens, liquefy and airport worker who was sucked into an engine WHY CAN'T ENGINES GOBBLE UP PLASTIC and SMALL METALLIC PARTS?

Only in the UK . . .

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Ohm-em-gee: US nuke plant project goes dark after money meltdown

JaitcH
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FAIL

Tell me, who is going to . . .

pay to clean up the construction site?

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

JaitcH
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WTF?

Where do the Tories find these Idiots?

Way back there was the short, bald Hague who was followed by a real dummy called Mad May of Hurst and now the Tories have outdone her by this total brain dead woman Rudd.

She can spy on my cell handset for as long as she likes - out company uses external encryption units that can't hacked by GCHQ or the NSA as there are only five connections between the units: ground (earth), received data and transmitted data. Both units have isolated, batteries and the the data connections are through opto isolators.

P.S. I am a real, feet on the ground person, too, Rudd.

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Reminder: Spies, cops don't need to crack WhatsApp. They'll just hack your smartphone

JaitcH
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Good Encryption Equipment is Physically and Electrically Isolated

I am a consumer of encrypted communications, mainly text and occasionally verbal. Our commercial encryption-decryption equipment is deliberately separated physically from the communications equipment, the only interconnection between the units are through opto-isolators, and the encryption-decryption equipment is powered from separate batteries (when portable) and separate power units when mains powered.

More importantly, the encryption-decryption equipment can only be programmed locally (i.e. physically, hands-on) using a key - which makes the programming more challenging.

Working for a provider of military equipment, we ensure that there is isolation in the data chain (again opto) and that the power supplies are from using ferrite filters and many individual power regulators powering different circuits in the encoder.

The military, and others have a preference for remote programming for encryption equipment, which might be understandable. If you analyse the the GPS military transmissions you will see that there is way more non-GPS traffic than enhanced location data. Daily and per-operation encryption codes are transmitted embedded in the GPS signal for air and ground assets - worldwide.

There is one area where clear voice transmissions occur - in passing drone~bomber infra-red signalling codes. The drone operator passes data to the bomb carrier, who dials the 4-digit code into the guided munition. Another example is where ground-based troops 'mark' or 'paint' a target with hand-carried equipment and pass the same 4-digit code to the bomb dispatcher.

This number is of interest to us since we make infra-red repeaters that capture the paint signature which can then be re-transmitted against another target - or empty terrain.

Interestingly most civilian encryption devices are integral in portable equipment including Fraunhofer as well as Secusmart (turns the BlackBerry Z10 into a self-contained secure communications device) support the German government made establishing universal and easy-to-use encryption part of its Digital Agenda. Rohde & Schwarz SIT GmbH ships 'bug-proof' cell handsets.

The much vaunted US <b<P25 universal radio system</b> has easy-to-use encryption and is equally susceptible to people who have an interest in gaining access to clear voice.

Easy-to-use encryption is adverse to good encryption techniques, excluding simple plug-in units.

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Revealed: 779 cases of data misuse across 34 British police forces

JaitcH
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WTF?

Happens Everywhere and for All Manner of Data

The worst offences are where government databases are linked to other resources, as in the UK and the USA. Some countries deliberately isolate databases so cross inquiries are individually approved.

Travel databases are some of the most abused as they link not only to airline sources but all manner of associated travel databases. Police and border security have open access to all of them.

And travel databases also access country passport information.

Question: Why does the USA require to know MEAL PREFERENCES from PNRs (Passenger Name Records)?

Best way to cross a border is still by ground transportation paid for in cash! And the British Passport Agency gets really wound up if you remove / obliterate visas in dated passports sent in for renewal.

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China's censorship cyber-missiles shoot down pics flying through WhatsApp, chat apps

JaitcH
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Unhappy

This is the difference between the East and the West

In the East they practically tell you it has happened; in the West they use more covert strategies.

Almost same-same!

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It's A-OK for FBI agents to silence web giants, says appeals court

JaitcH
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Stop

The REAL word to use is CENSORSHIP

The UK Government regularly censors the news. They call it 'DSMA-Notice', earlier known as DA-Notice (Defence Advisory Notice), and earlier called a Defence Notice (D-Notice).

All operate on the 'be a decent chap principle' (D-Notices or DA-notices are only advisory requests, and so are not legally enforceable).

A web site I moderated frequently received them - until it was recognised that we simply posted them, There are some 'standing' (permanent) DSMA Notices:

DA-Notice 01: Military Operations, Plans & Capabilities

DA-Notice 02: Nuclear and Non-Nuclear Weapons and Equipment

DA-Notice 03: Ciphers and Secure Communications

DA-Notice 04: Sensitive Installations and Home Addresses

DA-Notice 05: United Kingdom Security & Intelligence Special Services.

So much for 'freedom of the Press'.

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Iranian duo charged with hacking US missile simulation software biz

JaitcH
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WTF?

International Traffic in Arms Regulations? Another US Government joke!

Every nuclear weapon has a high voltage switch (think relay) in it and they are, understandably, subject to the International Traffic in Arms Regulations. I have used / handled these beauties - they look like early Darleks with a glass top and a very fetching blue-coloured bottom.

Imagine my surprise when I found these for sale, quite openly, in a country clearly intended to be the target of the Regulations. Not believing the advertisements, I visited the vendor, armed with an electronic micrometer and a small camera to see if they would be suited for our 'project'.

Damn me, there was the real, live sample, of the device we had (when we used them legitimately) complete with part number and manufacturer data! And to think we religiously signed these out of stores using serial numbers.

This would have made Kim Jun Il's eyes water with glee.

The older readers will no doubt remember how T-shirts were used to distribute PGP, written by Phil Zimmermann, to circumvent the US Arms Export Control Act - an activity that continues to this day. See: http://www.cypherspace.org/adam/shirt/media.html)

Governments seem to forget that males, just as much as females, 'gossip' by publishing learned papers to preen in front of their peers.

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US border cops search cloud accounts? Ha ha, nope, negative, no way, siree – Homeland Sec

JaitcH
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WTF?

Just pull the SIM and the memory chip!

Pulling the SIM out, along with the memory chip, and securing in some personal space should fix these nosy characters.

Carrying two cell handsets - a smart one less the above plus a 'burner' - and handing over the burner usually gets you past them with ease.

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Russia, China vow to kill off VPNs, Tor browser

JaitcH
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WTF?

Sad to see that allegedly 'free' countries such as France and the UK are no better than . . .

China or Russia.

The good news is that they tried many strategies before and most failed. The Great Firewall of China is a joke to most school-aged children.

I visited a friend in NanNing last year and immediately bumped in to The Wall. My friend's 11-year old son, with a derisory smirk on his face, had me connected with the free-er part of the world in less than two minutes.

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Uncle Sam says 'nyet' to Kaspersky amid fresh claims of Russian ties

JaitcH
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Happy

Guess Kaspersky Wouldn't Fit NSA/GCHQ Accessories Such As . . .

backdoors, harddrive scanning etc.

Almost guarantees that Kaspersky sales will increase.

Or perhaps they want you to use the software named after that nutter who is wanted for murder in the Caribbean?

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Hackers able to turbo-charge DJI drones way beyond what's legal

JaitcH
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Unhappy

Whose Bloody Drone Is It Anyway?

I get very tired of having to ask one of my techs to remove restrictions placed in equipment by manufacturers.

Just as the earth isn't flat, neither are the laws appertaining to many classes of equipment.

My company has just settled on a remote radio control system for a military customer and it's amazing what features were unfolded before our eyes upon visiting the manufacturers and arguing over the contract. We can now, in house, change frequency bands, power outputs, etc., without reference to the manufacturers which helps us keep our customer lists confidential.

There are tens of thousands of cars travelling around countries where there is a paucity of cell coverage, all busily pinging non-existent cell towers - because the damn manufacturers are too lazy to program their electronics properly.

And the self-same companies seen to forget just who the hell their customers are - car owners or speed-trap cops/Plods!

My first job when I bought both my new motorcycle and bare frame truck chassis (later fitted with a stainless steel body) was to disconnect the cell transmitters and other 'convenience' items. Then the motorcycle manufacturer had the audacity to 'recall' my machine as it was malfunctioning which is when I discovered what they considered a malfunction No calling home.

And many of these wondrous electronics packages are the path the ne'er-do-wells choose to steal you wheels, or worse.

Radio receivers intended for the US market have the cell bands muted, and some cheap / lazy manufacturers impose these restrictions on other country users.

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Former GCHQ boss backs end-to-end encryption

JaitcH
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Meh

"End-To-End" Encryption Isn't as Secure as Some Would Wish

As world hero Edward Snowden explained GCHQ and NSA have the wherewithal to re-arrange the furniture in a typical smartphone, which is why I treasure my Mitsubishi Trium featureless cell handset, means that any plain voice or data can be intercepted and redirected.

Really, really, secure systems I have seen/used separate the encryption devices from the communications devices so that no raw information ever enters the communications device which renders all the prowess of GCHQ and NSA some what mute.

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Extreme trainspotting on Britain's highest (and windiest) railway

JaitcH
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Happy

Greece and VietNam, Too

There is a funicular railway in downtown Athens - the Mount Lycabettus Funicular Railway with the cars at exceptional angles.

Another is located further west, near Patras, that connects to one of the best known monasteries in the Northern Peloponnese is the Moni Megalou Spileou (Monastery of the Great Cavern). It is reached by a 3 km hike from Zahlorou, the mid point on the Diakofto-Kalavrita railway.

This funicular terminates at Kalavrita (Greek: Καλάβρυτα) Elevation: (883m / 2897feet) where, tourists will observe, a church with two clocks, one giving the real time and the other the time when there was a massacre of all the males on 1943 December 08. (See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Massacre_of_Kalavryta)

VietNam had a funicular railway from Da Lat down to Phan Rang/Thap Cham on the coast, Unfortunately, when times were tight after defeating the Americans, the rolling stock and engines were sold off for hard currency.

But we have a new funicular in Ba Na Hills, Vietnam, also well known for its Ba Na Hills cable car. Cable cars are the latest fad in VietNam with almost any mountain tempting cable car builders.

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Kaspersky Lab US staff grilled by Feds in nighttime swoop

JaitcH
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Thumb Up

The US Government is - apparently - dumb. Obama went around the world bad-mouthing Huawei Technologies and Australia (Wanna Be Americans) swallowed the bait.

The British government set up a joint lab with Huawei.

Of course we all know that Cisco, et al have back-doors and now the Trump idiots want to get everyone to use dubious American software.

Who, in a right state of mind, would buy McAfee, given their founders apparent mental state? And MS is an American government stooge and Symantec is little better.

I trust the Russians more than I do the NSA or GCHQ so we use Kaspersky (and others) but NO US PRODUCTS.

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Met Police laggards still have 18,000 Windows XP machines in use

JaitcH
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VN Has the UK Plod (and UK Nuclear Subs) Beat! The WHOLE Government Runs On . . .

XP in the public facing offices. There are some better systems in higher offices of the government bureaucracy. 486 computers are popular, too.

AND we have the corner on certain output devices - ancient Epson Dot Matrix printers. But at least they can handle handle invasive bugs looking for a new home. C-R-U-S-H!

Our government also uses Google Translate when dealing with non-Vietnamese speaking people - the only problem is Google's Vietnamese is not perfect!

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Amadeus airline booking system TITSUP and it's not ransomware

JaitcH
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Could It Be The NSA? The ONLY GDS Not US-Based.

Of the plethora of international travel reservation systems, ONLY Amadeus has it's database outside the USA and the many privacy-breaking Acts such as PATRIOT. This upsets the USA government historically.

This means the whole operation is subject to the EU privacy rules which are far better than the essentially non-existent US domain.

The US-based GDS systems provide the FBI, et al, with very unlimited access to data.

If you are crossing adjacent borders, and want to limit your 'visibility', use ground transportation.

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Hot news! Combustible Galaxy Note 7 to return as 'Galaxy Note FE'

JaitcH
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Meh

Unique Design - Burying Battery Deep Under the Electronics

This is the first electronic device I have seen where the battery is deeply buried in the electronics.

To access the battery it is necessary to remove the back of the device; then remove the rearmost PCB and, there, buried deep in the bowels of the device, is the exploding battery.

Pity the designers didn't try repairing the cell handsets themselves but service seems to be the last thing they think of.

VietNam has several Samsung plants, some of which built these portable bombs, and their employees part time working for cell handset repair Third Party stores. It is truly a remarkable sight to watch these moonlighting Samsung employees work - their skills are truly amazing. But they are fussy. They require that their work areas are almost identical to those in the factories - bright and spacious.

Still, if I can't change the battery without tools I will not be buying anything Samsung.

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Report estimates cost of disruption to GPS in UK would be £1bn per day

JaitcH
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Back-Up? Have you never heard of GLONASS or BEIDOU

Many consumer GPS systems come equipped with the Russian GLONASS system these days, In my part of the world we also enjoy BEIDOU - both free.

And, somewhere, there is Galileo.

And what of Dodderhill, just outside the village of Wychbold, near Droitwich in Worcestershire where the BBC Long Wave service is transmitted? It already carries radio data encoded using phase modulation.

They might be short of valves / tubes but they could chat with engineers who worked at the late Decca Navigator and get copies of the circuits of their solid state RF amplifiers. The present carrier frequency is controlled by a rubidium atomic frequency standard.

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You can't take the pervs off Facebook, says US Supreme Court

JaitcH
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Go

Highlighting the BIG difference between Britain and the USA (and Canada)

The Constitution of the USA makes such a difference to living in that regime,

Compare that to the UK, where the Queen's SUBJECTS reside, where MAY can have a wet dream and wake up and pass legislation that affects everyone's daily life.

Canada even has a Constitution AND a Bill of Rights!

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Mexican government accused of illegal phone hacking of citizens

JaitcH
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So Mexico joins most of the rest of the world.

So Mexico has joined the ranks of the G20 ... and a whole bunch of countries whose people live in poverty.

The United Nations even has a hand in this. The UN financed several 'suites' of high tech communications gear for Kampuchea / Cambodia. They have one extremely well equipped central 'lab', with three or four regional labs with less equipment. The UN financing included two mobiles with a lot of high-end gear.

Imagine the shock of my friend, who works for an NGO in a more remote part of northern Cambodia, where there is no cell service and not even electricity, when some squaddy walks up and says the have NO LICENCE for the 5-watt VHF hand-helds they use for NGO members to keep in touch. (A $20 bribe fixed the problem)

To complete Cambodia's membership in the spy society they have a NSA monitoring outpost in Phnom Penh.

Makes me appreciate my aged featureless Mitsubishi Trium even more. My smartphone doesn't have a SIM - it uses a MESH radio App.

Ain't technology great?

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Swiss super pushes USA off podium in new Top500 Supers list

JaitcH
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And Trump says the USA is ahead of China?

The USA is going the UK way.

Plenty of smart ideas but lacking the skills to execute them commercially.

When you consider where China was 40-50 years ago, mainly agrarian, terrible electricity, water and transportation, they sure have come a long way, For this they deserve congratulations.

For this the citizenry suffered, though, big time. Hopefully today's generation, and those who follow, will reap the success of these technological achievements. I think of some of the residents I met in YunNan, located in the far southwest of the country, who to this day live in grass and mud huts without education or even basic infrastructure such as electricity, water or sewers.

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