* Posts by Peter Galbavy

272 posts • joined 12 Feb 2010


I am just a mapper: Solar drones take to the skies above Blighty

Peter Galbavy

How did you know my weight? Are you using a solar powered drone to spy on me? And I've not been a (professional) sysadmin for years either.

HMRC: We 'rigorously tested' IR35 tax-check tool... but have almost nothing to show for it

Peter Galbavy

Betcha they still allocated a few million to the testing project. Odd that, eh?

Housing biz made to pay £1.5k for sticking fingers in its ears when served a subject access request

Peter Galbavy

Whoever the data subject was, they must have been friends with someone. The ICO is a complete waste of time for normal members of the public seeking help and asking for the regulator to regulate.

Things that make you go .hm... Has a piece of the internet just sunk into the ocean? It appears so

Peter Galbavy

Re: .UK or .GB??

.gb was delegated to the bloke - name escapes me, sorry - who was involved with JANET and ISO protocol stuff at UCL and he was too much of an academic to understand why others might want to register domains who were not academics involved in JANET, so (again, as I recall) Jon Postel unilaterally created and delegated .uk to those who actually wanted to do stuff.

No UK / GB "real" politics involved. just academic ones.

I may on the other hand just be completely misremembering.

Boffin suggests Trappist monk approach for Spectre-Meltdown-grade processor flaws, other security holes: Don't say anything public – zip it

Peter Galbavy

He's obviously a tenured academic who has never had to work for a living.

Protestors beg Google not to build censored Project Dragonfly search engine

Peter Galbavy

Because, of course, Google searches are not already censored in the "free world".

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

Peter Galbavy

Ofcom "did it right" for once

Not sure how many here came across it or installed it, but a few years ago Ofcom published an app that collected just this kind of data from real users.

The results, for the UK, are interesting: https://www.ofcom.org.uk/research-and-data/telecoms-research/mobile-smartphones/consumer-mobile-experience

If others, like the FCC, were not in the pockets of those they are theoretically supposed to be regulating then this kind of thing would work in the US too.

To save click though, the reports key finding are pasted below:

Key findings 2018

* Three-quarters of the time, data connections were made to a wifi rather than to a cellular network, a six percentage point increase since 2016. There were no significant differences in this measure by rurality or nation.

* When consumers with access to 4G technologies connected to a cellular network, a 4G network was available for data use for 81% of the time (up from 65% in 2016), with consumers in urban areas spending significantly more time than those in rural areas on 4G networks. Consumers in Wales spent significantly less time connected to a 4G network than those in other nations.

* Consumers initiating a data connection to a 4G network were successful on 98.7% of occasions, compared to 93.1% of attempt to connect to a 3G network. Data connections were more likely to fail in peak periods for both 3G and 4G networks.

* The average download speed delivered varied significantly by application (less than 1Mbit/s for apps such as Chrome, Facebook, Gmail, Twitter and WhatsApp on all network types vs. between 2.7 Mbit/s and 3.0 Mbit/s for YouTube and Google Play Store, over wifi and 4G).

* There was a strong correlation between the number of tests and the average download speeds for Chrome and YouTube on 4G networks, with speeds slowing down in peak hours.

* Once initiated, less than 1% of all voice calls were dropped due to loss of service, with no significant differences when comparing rurality, nations or network technologies.

* More than eight in ten Android smartphone users (84%) were satisfied with the overall network performance of their mobile provider, with satisfaction levels higher in urban areas and in England.

* Web browsing was rated as the most important activity that people used their phone for, followed by voice calls.

Nissan EV app password reset prompts user panic

Peter Galbavy

Re: To give the benefit of doubt

I would agree except that the app stopped working with no notice and it took two weeks or more for them to issues a phishing-looking e-mail saying "click on this link to reset your password". If they knew they and were doing a controlled migration they would have sent out a notice saying "as of Nth Jan you will need to login to the web site and change your password" or similar.

Peter Galbavy

... or cover-up?

Cock-up or conspiracy... yes, I'll also go with cock-up every-time, but in this case it's more likely cover-up. Nissan has a history of sticking fingers in corporate ears and singing "la la la" lots. There may not have been a data breach per se, but I suspect some white-hat or internal programmer told them of a hole and they went ape to close it and fix, but telling customers is the last thing on their minds.

Until they make a non-weasel worded public statement that is clear enough to not be able to offer wriggle room later, then it's still a typical Nissan cover-up.

Begone, Demon Internet: Vodafone to shutter old-school pioneer ISP

Peter Galbavy

Re: Good article.

But the network didn't "Peter out" on a regular basis until a few years later once I had formally joined full time and started fiddle with the cables :)

Peter Galbavy

Re: Wild West Days

I have full length shots, mostly in the Catcher, of Cliff somebody :)

Peter Galbavy

Re: Historical accuracy

The major difference, in terms of consumer facing dial-up internet was Demon was the first (and only for a while) company that didn't charge a usage fee, just a subscription. I'm not including the phone charges as Demon didn't get any income from that until much later when the 0345/0845 market was opened up much to the annoyance of BT.

Peter Galbavy

Static IPs were standard, you didn't need to ask for one. We argued with RIPE over and over again because they thought it was wasteful to give basic consumers real IPs. NAT was in it's infancy and we needed fixed IPs to push SMTP delivery when users dialled in and real-time DNS updates were not really feasible either.

Peter Galbavy


Ah, yea olde dayes... it's not the same anymore.

UK white hats blacklisted by Cisco Talos after smart security code stumbles

Peter Galbavy

So, considering they imply an option to charge a fee, how is this different from ransomware?

If you ever felt like you needed to carry 4TB of data around, Toshiba's got you covered

Peter Galbavy

How is this news?

Others have been shipping 4TB and 5TB for years. Literally. I use a bunch of WD 4TB drives (with spin down) as my cheap and cheerful Plex media farm at home. Works well, cheap and nothing new.

So, just to ask again, how is this news?

FYI: Drone maker DJI's 'Get it on Google Play' website button definitely does not get the app from Google Play...

Peter Galbavy

Erm, this is news? Been pointing this out for years - literally - as it's the only way to officially get the .apk file for non google ecosystems. But that then broke a while back as they now have dependencies on play store infrastructure.

HMRC contractor scores IR35 payout after yet another taxman blunder

Peter Galbavy

Re: No, it's probably HR so malicious twattery throughout

You give me visions of "Evan" - Simon Pegg's character in Black Books.

Why waste away in a cubicle when you could be a goddamn infosec neuromancer on £50k*?

Peter Galbavy

What about for the other days of the week?

Apple hands €14.3bn in back taxes to reluctant Ireland

Peter Galbavy

How deep in Apple's pockets must these politicians be to be refusing this tax being forced onto their country and the benefits it could have for their constituents?

Euro bureaucrats tie up .eu in red tape to stop Brexit Brits snatching back their web domains

Peter Galbavy

Fundamentally bureaucrats are small and narrow minded and cannot understand how things work outside their domains (pun intended).

Many years ago as RIPE meetings, mid-90s in Amsterdam, we (UK ISP people) had to repeatedly and loudly point out to the small minded academic bureaucrats that ran RIPE that in the UK anyone could start a business without registering with the town hall or some central department - which was important at the time because you couldn't apply for an AS or IP block (of the right type and size) without showing you were acting as either an individual (with extra checks) or trading as a business. They would not accept that individuals in the UK could just "trade as" as this was unheard of in their small world.


Nope, the NSA isn't sitting in front of a supercomputer hooked up to a terrorist’s hard drive

Peter Galbavy

Re: How are they going to make sure the "enemy" buys back door kit?

In these scenarios the targets are citizens and residents of the five eyes nations - extra-territorial spying is a different game entirely.

None too chuffed with your A levels? Hey, why not bludgeon the exam boards with GDPR?

Peter Galbavy

Re: FOI...

What AC said above... if public bodies simply published, in an accessible form, all the data/information that they would be expected to provide to FOI requests then the faux outrage at the workload and costs would go away. It's all about process and public bodies love process - just add the steps required to publish as part of every process and project and voila!

Not publishing should in itself be published, with validated references to exemptions.

Winner, Winner, prison dinner: Five years in the clink for NSA leaker

Peter Galbavy

Good point, my bad.

Peter Galbavy
Big Brother

She did wrong, correct. Given the potential harm in the information disclosed most sane observers would have expected her being fired ('natch), barred from government jobs for life and maybe a "time served" sentence. Instead there is very much some behind-the-scenes flexing of influence going on to make an example of her and to ensure that others with access to similar evidence of state-actor level interference stay down behind their cubicles.

UK.gov agrees to narrow 'serious crime' definition for slurping comms data

Peter Galbavy

Then there is always the old favourite of the police for random arrests, "Criminal Damage", which carries (AFAICR) a max sentence of 5 years but can be applied to bursting the neighbors football once it lands on your conservatory one time too many...

GDPR forgive us, it's been one month since you were enforced…

Peter Galbavy

There is an implicit assumption that these sites are actually worried about GDPR and are somehow rushing to implement changes. I would however contend that many of them are quite happy to continue abusing the PII of their other readers and have no intention of giving their readership any control over their own data.

National ID cards might not mean much when up against incompetence of the UK Home Office

Peter Galbavy

I have ILR (Indefinite Leave to Remain) and historically when I renewed my passport I would carry the old one with me next time I had a trip out of the country. On my return the border official would inpect both passports, question me politely (I'm a white male, maybe that helps) and then stamp my new passport with the same stamp as the old one.

Now, since biometric visas are required, I would have to spend £600 having one added to my new passport. Yes, there is a £60 service too (which is still too much) but that involves being without travel documents for 6 months. There is also a £6000 service where they bring the kit and people to you to do it same same - the "Saudi prince service".

So, I don't. I carry my documents including the precious letter from 1980 giving me the status and, for now my EU passport, and so far no issues.

They are supposed to do cost neutral services at the Home Office. Not sure how £60 for a 6 month service and £600 for a three day service quite justifies that. I also understand that the real cost of naturalisation is about £250 but they still charge £1,000+ for an application. I can't be bothered, especially when seeing the laughable "Life in the UK" test questions.

More Brits have access to 1Gbps speeds than those failing to muster 10Mbps – Ofcom report

Peter Galbavy

Every time the government find money to help the deployment or better broadband it basically ends up in BT's account and then does nothing. Until an audit shows it hasn't been spent, some of it is recovered and then the cycle starts all over again.

Sci-tech wants skilled worker cap on PhD and shortage jobs scrapped

Peter Galbavy

Who defined what a "PhD level role" is? I can see some wonderful loopholes coming with minimum wage but paper qualified jobs becoming common... How much does a PhD cost in come of the less regulated educational establishments around the world?

UK watchdog Ofcom tells broadband firms: '30 days to sort your speeds'

Peter Galbavy

Local loop is all very well, but if your ISP is too stingy to buy decent transit then having 100Mb/s+ FTTP is pointless. If these measurements are against well known speed test sites then all they have to do is host one of the test servers and voila!

Home taping revisited: A mic in each hand, pointing at speakers

Peter Galbavy

Re: So CDs...

Been down the same route. Went with http://slappa.co.uk/cd-cases/ - but they are mostly out of stock now. Still only about 1/3rd through moving the CDs (and DVDs and BluRays) over to slightly more compact storage - only 1/2rd to 2/3rd volume saving at most - but I'll get there.

Peter Galbavy

Re: Vinyl to Digital

I bought Vinyl Studio and have recorded exactly two records so far, mostly through a lack of time. The first was really fiddly and I was very careful with the bit depth, sampling rate etc. The second (Monyaka, who remembers them?) was much quicker and spent most of the time setting the track start and end points carefully - I let the automation do the rest. Sound absolutely fine in the car and over headphones.

NASA's zombie IMAGE satellite is powered up and working quite nicely

Peter Galbavy

Perhaps it's really called the Event Horizon?

Facebook invents new unit of time to measure modern attention spans: 1/705,600,000 of a sec

Peter Galbavy

... and it's not even 24 fps either. It's 23.957 or whatever (too lazy to go confirm) and is the result of history :)

Thou shalt use our drone app, UK.gov to tell quadcopter pilots

Peter Galbavy

The last consultation was laughing called something like "The Benefits to the UK ecomony" - while in fact it was just another Yes, Minister! style exercise in knowing the results before the inquiry starts. Rather than address any real problem the government - in actual fact in this case faceless uncivil servants - just kick out and say Regulate! without much thought to the actualy effectiveness of any regulation.

Like others above have said, this just kills the legitimate marketplace and those who are either criminal or stupid will continue as the enforcement or the penalties for their existing malfeasence are already not much of a deterrent. New fliers who would form the part of any future profession are just going to move on to other things.

To my mind there is no problem with a licensing scheme per se, but as usual it will be slow, expensive, restrictive and ultimately pointless.

Finally, I did ask in my response to the consultation who or what gets registered (i.e. licensed) but they still have no clue. Do *I* register and then fly anything I like in my weight class or is each aircraft registered and then can be flown by anyone and/or what is an aircraft? Is it the body, the ESCs, the CPU? What happens to self-build and modular designs? What does this do for any nascent innovation in the UK?

Dead Jim, it's dead.

Mythical broadband speeds to plummet in crackdown on ISP ads

Peter Galbavy

the law of unintended consequences ...

Just like schools who either refuse to take on or later exclude poorly performing pupils to keep their grade averages up this may well result in a similar impact on those who test as having lower performance; "Sorry, we are unable to provide you a service as we cannot guarantee performance" or similar weasel words.

So, unless this is tied to a kind of universal service obligation then it will actually result in less (but on average faster) broadband. Sigh.

Universal basic income is a great idea, which is also why it won't happen

Peter Galbavy

Re: fast forward.

It was tried. They were the centrally planned economies that they tried in Eastern Europe, the USSR and others. About the only one left now is Cuba. With no personal incentive to advance there is little advancement.

Peter Galbavy

This point is sooooo hard to get into people's heads. I try with some of my more "right on" friends and they just don't get it...

UK Land Registry opens books on corporate owners

Peter Galbavy

Re: The interesting one will be how much land around the UK is owned by the big builders.*

Each "project" will have it's own limited company or other vehicle - it makes it easier to sell as a single thing too. So, unless you link the Land Registry to an ownership / controlling interest database then it will appear rather like there are thousands of companies who all own a few dozen plots of land waiting for the fat profits to mature.

Facebook's send-us-your-nudes service is coming to UK, America

Peter Galbavy

Now upload non smut trademarked stuff etc...

Erm, what stops someone uploading pics (or rather hashes of pics) of famous landmarks, London buses, brand like coke cans?

I see nothing that could go wrong. Nope.

Openreach offers duct-off providers 'OSA Filter' instead of Dark Fibre Access

Peter Galbavy

How to stifle innovation: Ensure, through working with your ex-colleagues at the regulator, that your competitors are limited by your technology. Nice.

From the Dept of the Bleedin' Obvious... yes, drones hurt when they hit you in the head

Peter Galbavy

It may seem obvious that heavier things cause more hurt, but unless these studies are done using independent and rigorous methods and published for peer review we end up with glaring pre-determined and farcical reports like the recent one made to order for the UK government, and excellent critique of which of here: Drone Collision Study

Atomic bonds: Gigabyte, Supermicro fire out boosted Atom CPU range

Peter Galbavy

These are the chips where the RTC dies after a period of time, right?

UAV maker swipes at sponsor of opaque Qinetiq drone study

Peter Galbavy

Re: I'm torn...

Did you read the blog post from clearvisionsecurity? Let me quote the first two paragraphs of the conclusion (but the whole thing is worth reading):

"Rather than being a damning study showing a clearly “proven drone collision threat”, to airliners this report does the opposite. It shows that there is no threat to airliners from drones on approach and landing and that any threat would only occur in the most extreme and, by definition, rare of circumstances, if ever.

It shows that there is a threat posed by drones to the general aviation (GA) community, but that is the same threat that birds also pose to them. So it tells the GA community what they already knew – avoid drones and birds."

Now here's a novel idea: Digitising Victorian-era stamp duty machines

Peter Galbavy

Checking the date...

Sorry, is it April 1st already?

His Muskiness wheels out the Tesla Model 3

Peter Galbavy

I happily charge my Outlander on my drive. Mostly from my solar PV. Not an issue.

Ad watchdog bites Plusnet over 'unintelligible' radio ads

Peter Galbavy

... I think there are far more deceptive things going on with Plusnet. Many outside the industry have no clue that they are just a cuddly marketing vision of BT, pushing instead the whole "we love customers and customers (who we filtered out in surveys) say they love us" nonsense.

America's drone owner database grounded: FAA rules blown out of sky

Peter Galbavy

To add some research to conjecture, see http://www.assureuas.org/newsStory.php?d=667 - around actual injuries likely from a small (<2kg) UAS/RPA/drone.

MP3 'died' and nobody noticed: Key patents expire on golden oldie tech

Peter Galbavy

Many audiophools who complain about (high bit rate) MP3 are idiots. Most are older males (like me) who's hearing has already deteriorated to the point that they would be lucky to hear above 12kHz.

I rip all my CDs using FLAC not specifically for the audio quality but for the lossless nature - just in case I want to reproduce a bit-rotted CD or some such in the future - and storage is cheap. Many of those I know in the electronic music making scene deliver 320kbps MP3s (rarely AACs) as the masters to their labels.

If you ever want to have a great baiting session with a less knowledgeable audiofool start asking about FM vs DAB and how "analogue" FM is so superior. The point them at http://www.bbceng.info/Technical%20Reviews/pcm-nicam/digits-fm.html and see if they get it.


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