* Posts by TkH11

450 posts • joined 15 Apr 2010

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Civil rights warriors get green light to challenge UK mass surveillance

TkH11

Re: Lose Lose

Yes, I did stump up money! I was also there in the House of Commons that day to talk to my MP.

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TkH11

Re: Lose Lose

I am not saying it should not be challenged, I believe it should be. If you don't challenge it, you don't win.

What I'm saying is, and illustrating by real past example of how easy it is for the government to defeat the challenge.

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TkH11

Re: Lose Lose

You obviously did not read my post properly. I WAS involved in the judicial review of IR35 legislation many years ago. I simply stated what actually happened in that review, what the lead counsel for the government said. One of their arguments was quite simply that that primary legislation is created by parliament, and that parliament (in theory) represents the people. Courts, judges are unelected.

They have no mandate, no authority to strike down legislation created by parliament, unless said legislation is in contravention with other law and is considered to be unconstitutional.

It was an argument which was successfully used before years ago, it was effective then, and I'm sure it would be effective again today, if it were to be used.

Don't be fooled by the illusion of democracy we live in. If Tony Blair can start a war on a false illegal pretext, and a large number of people die, and then hold multiple inquiries which clear him, then I am pretty sure strings can be pulled, particularly in the area of the secret intelligence services, that will ensure this challenge is not successful.

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TkH11

Re: IPA Could Work ???

It's not about crime, it's about keeping tabs on the people, being able to control people and silence them if anything that might be embarrassing to the government and its agencies is discovered. In other communist countries they make them 'dissappear', which you can't really do here.

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TkH11

Re: It's not often I agree with the folks at Liberty

The government could have put in place, parliament could have tabled amendments for a better system of oversight and control, using courts and judges to give permission to issue warrants to authorise the interception of targets and collection of data, in a similar way to the USA. So why didn't it? We are supposed to be one of the free-ist and most fair and democratic countries in the world, yet we have probably the most intrusive and pervasive secret surveillance systems of any country.

Are we really free or is it just an illusion by the state controlled, manipulated media?

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TkH11

Lose Lose

The Liberty challenge will achieve nothing. I was involved in the judicial review of IR35 many years ago. All the government's lead counsel has to say is "It is not for a Court to overturn primary legislation which has been created by Parliament". Game over.

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Oh snap! Election's made Brexit uncertainty worse for biz, says BT CEO

TkH11

Re: The gargoyle’s mouth is a loudspeaker

I really don't think it's a case of knowing what to ask for from the EU, it's a question of what they will give us! They are going to do everything in their power to not give us what we want (in order to discourage other countries from voting to leave the EU).

If you tell them what you want in advance, and give an indication of how important it is to you, then you're negotiating hand is automatically weakened.

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Hundreds stranded at Manchester Airport due to IT 'glitch'

TkH11

Re: Bah!

I have worked on too many systems where the test environment is missing key applications (licensing costs) and does not represent the live system closely enough, hence there is greater risk.

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BA CEO blames messaging and networks for grounding

TkH11

Re: Hardware vs software

Smoke and mirrors and politician double talk. To be a CEO you have to be good at that.

Hardware failed, was restored by local staff, but application and system support, done remotely from India, I bet.

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TkH11

Encrypted traffic

F. Me! I think I've just seen a UFO. Anybody else got any entirely random and made up theories?

Let me offer this one: a cat found a small hole in the side of the building, jumped up on to the circuit breakers and urinated. Bang! circuit breakers blew, crashing the databases whilst they were in the process of writing records.

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TkH11

Re: Where was the "power surge"

At the start of the incident, all references were to a power failure. It's only Cruz that introduced 'power surge'. Power surges are generally caused by the national grid power in to the site supplied by the electricity company, power failures can be anything, including external to the site, or within the internal power distribution network in the data centre, UPS, generators, circuit breaks tripping..

Either an attempt by Cruz to deflect blame on to the power company, or just a poor choice of words.

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TkH11

messaging

I doubt they are that modern to be using SOA architecture.

I read a transcript of what he said the other day and he was eluding to network switches going down. So I think he's trying to dumb down his words for a non technical audience, messaging - aka packets being switched or routed across the network between servers and apps.

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BA's 'global IT system failure' was due to 'power surge'

TkH11

Re: "Tirelessly"?

Doesn't explain how the network switches and equipment lost power. Were the UPS's properly maintained?

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TkH11

Re: Access from India

That will be the case if they haven't got ILOM connectivity to the servers sorted out.

ILOM allows remote users to come in over IP and start the servers up. Once started up, remote users can switch to ssh over the main interface.

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TkH11

Re: Penny wise pound foolish

There isn't an infinite number of things that can go wrong, it's finite, but just very large in number.

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TkH11

Re: Penny wise pound foolish

What you are suggesting is that BA is lying to the public about the cause of the failure. Too much chance of being found it, I don't honestly think they would so blatantly lie to hide what happened.

I believe what is likely is that there actually was a power failure, which may or may not have been BA's fault (if its BAs responsibility to maintain the UPS, and they failed to do it, then it is their fault).

Having experienced a genuine power failure to the site, and some kind of failure in the UPS and generator system, I bet BA's remote off-shore India IT support team struggled to bring the systems and applications back.

So they're only telling 1/10th of the real story, enough to make everyone think they are not to blame, when in fact they probably are.

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TkH11

Re: Is it because BA waived Tata

It comes down to who has responsibility for the power services of the data centre. Generally that is not IT staff. Sometimes the data centre is operated by a third party and they should be testing power distribution systems, UPS periodically.

The power failure may not even be BA's fault, but

i) their failure to instantiate DR sufficiently quickly

and

ii) their failure to recover the primary site's applications quickly enough

will be down to BA's IT, which looks as if it's now based in India.

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TkH11

Re: Back-up, folks?

Agreed. I have worked on a number of large-ish systems over the years. All claim to have DR and high availability. The reality is different. The customer are BS'ed and believe the hype.

I recall there being a big mobile phone network failure a few years back, you'd have thought that DR systems would have been entirely automatic and instantiated within minutes. So why did it take most of the day to instantiate the DR?

There's DR and there's DR. There are all manner of options to be chosen at specification and design time.

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TkH11

Re: Six machines

It is not childs play. Disaster Recovery is not the same as backup.

You need replication mechanisms that can transfer data between primary and DR sites. A key question is how much manual work is required by technical staff to activate the DR applications.

Some systems can failed over automatically within seconds, others require manual intervention, restoration of databases, which can take hours.

It all comes down to cost. If you want a lower recovery time objective, then it's going to cost more.

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TkH11

Re: Back-up, folks?

That's exactly what is is, it's reputation damage limitation exercise. BA never goes into detail of what's gong on when it has these repeated widespread IT failures.

Say it's a power failure and everybody thinks it's not BA's fault.

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TkH11

Re: Really a power failure?

Clearly not as much redundancy as you think, otherwise it wouldn't have happened!

I have spent the last 10 years working on IT solutions in data centres, you would be surprised at how many major companies and critical infrastructure do not have an adequate disaster recovery solution.

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TkH11

Re: Smells funny.

You work in a bank, where they do it right. They have the money to do it right and they will have calculated the cost of down time and decided to do it right.

I bet for BA's data centres, they only have a single power feed in from the national grid, UPS containing lead acid or gel batteries with a diesel generator. The UPS providing temporary power for a few minutes until the diesel generator kicks in. Probably weren't maintaining the batteries. Mains power to the site fails, batteries kick in and immediately fail, causing all servers to lose power and crash. Two minutes later the generator starts up, brings power back to the servers. Databases are in a hell of a state because data files were being written to at the time, so you need to start bringing in DBAs to recover them.

Remote support team in India, is quite useless, they probably resolve issues by restarting apps and lack the level of expertise to debug all the problems and recover the system.

I bet that's what has happened.

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The revolution will not be televised: How Lucas modernised audio in film

TkH11

Re: 2 Items

HP or AP ?

I remember the Audio Precision One analyser from the 1990's.

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TkH11

Re: Also Sound / Video tests.

It was long felt that the only reason Dolby but Dolby in to Dolby Stereo was so that the intellectual property was protected, and royalties... Dolby A, B, C was certainly needed on cassette tapes.

All trademarks, patents, copyrights recognised...

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TkH11

THX

Lucas's determination to introduce the THX specification for cinemas was admirable, just a real shame that in the UK the number of THX certified screens has fallen greatly in number.

The average UK cinema goer isn't clued up in technology and simply doesn't care about the quality of the audio, cinema's don't see any extra revenue from being THX certified. So they've abandoned it.

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BA check-in system checks out: Staff flung back to cruel '90s world of paper

TkH11

It is quite simple. BA offshored/outsourced to India. It's cheaper than having the systems supported from the UK, the downside is they will experience longer downtime on the systems. BA will not bring the support back on shore until the cost to the business of lost customers is greater than the savings made by putting the support offshore. BA's reputation is in tatters, but has that reduced reputation resulted in a big enough reduction in customers? Probably not.

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TkH11

Re: "British" Airways

Agreed. My own experience is when operational support is off-shored to India, it goes down the pan. There are a number of reasons for this including: level of ability of Indian staff, their culture of not admitting they don't know something, their national culture of refusing to send people on training courses preferring to rely on "on-the-job" training, bone idleness, a lack of proactiveness in ensuring they are skilled up and have everything they need to do the job. As a people they are followers with very fee leaders. They are reactive and when a major incident occurs, then they realise they are unable to even log in to the servers and applications because they never bothered to get organised and get the IPs, user IDs and passwords together. I am confident this is what has happens to BA.

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Super-secure Pi-stuffed nomx email server box given a good probing

TkH11

Re: "Everything else is insecure"

I think in Court if a claim were to be brought for making a false claim about the product, they'll say it's a marketing strap-line, it isn't intended to be a claim relating to the product.

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TkH11

I love the bit about the "handshake" the nomx performs when wanting to establish a secure connection to another nomx device. I say scam!

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TkH11

Re: The NOMX site

Agreed there is nothing intrinsically wrong with using a Raspberry PI in a product....except its use gives access to the code and packages installed through the SD card!

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UK.gov will appeal against DRIPA-busting verdict, says minister

TkH11

When the DRIPA was on the table being billed as "just an update to the legislation because the existing legislation is running out" I took the liberty of reading part of the European directives on Privacy (which EU member states create their own legislation to implement the requirements of the EU directives). One central tenet of the EU directive was that member states legislation must be proportionate and give the default position that the individual has a right to privacy.

It seemed to me (with my limited legal knowledge) that DRIPA was wider in scope than the then current legislation and more disproportionate too.

I felt at the time that May and Cameron were deliberately being dishonest with the public and MP's and intentionally not stating the truth about changing the scope of the legislation.

I felt at the time the DRIPA legislation was incompatible with the EU directives on Privacy and Data Protection.

I think the MPs failed in their duty to the public because in my opinion they didn't read the text of the proposed legislation fully, properly.

I haven't read the full text of this High Court judgment but on the face of the article here on The Register, this court case isn't about disproportionality in the context of the relevant EU directives but seems to be focussing on metadata and its use and whether constituency-MP comms should be intetcepted or not. So I'm still not sure this judgment addresses other fundamental problems with the legislation.

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TkH11

Re: Hmmm....

Don't think you understand what contempt of court is. There are two variations: contempt of court and contempt in the face of the court. Neither apply in this case.

Contempt of court is to do with a party failing to comply with a court order.

Contempt in the face of court is typically associated with bad behaviour of someone in court in front of the judge.

So no, no action can be taken against May.

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Brit plods' post-TETRA radio omnishambles comes home to roost

TkH11

Flexible

More flexible?

Oh dear, that will mean poorly written requirements, and new complex functionality developing from scratch, which is almost certain not to work and result in cost and time overruns.

I can see another disaster coming.

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Never trust a developer who says 'I can fix this in a few minutes'

TkH11

Re: What a surprise

My experience is that most developers are actually pretty good, unless they come from certain countries. Project managers generally I have found are quite poor.

One PM said to me "Being technical is a disadvantage" and I've heard others say that too. I say BS. The problem with a number of PM's I've come across is that they don't understand what the heck it is they are working on, not being technical enough is the cause of much of the problem. One PM with no less than three university degrees didn't understand what system integration is!

Sure, it doesn't mean to say that everyone that is strong in a technical capacity can become a good PM, but having good technical skills has got to be good to have to be a PM.

I've seen over the years a small number of people who were in the technical role, and who were not very good at it, move into a PM role.

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TkH11

Trust

"Never trust a developer who says he can fix it in a few minutes". Developers probably can fix it in a few minutess, but the developer is giving a time estimate of their work only and not thinking about the rest of the activities that need to be completed in order to make a release.

I'd still trust the developer, but it's my job as the project manager to give a realistic timescale and know all the other activities that need to be undertaken.

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TkH11

Sales people

It puzzles me as to why in this day and age sales people are such a nightmare at promising the impossible to customers, I've seen it repeatedly throughout my entire 20+ year career to-date.

It p*sses off the customer, (and thereby reduces the chances of repeat business), it p*sses of the development team.

I suspect sales people are more interested in hitting their targets and getting their nice fat bonus.

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Go for a spin on Record Store Day: Lifting the lid on vinyl, CD and tape

TkH11

Doh!

"CDs have the great advantage over vinyl, of course, that they can be quickly and easily converted to digital." That's because they ARE digital. Who writes this nonsense?

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Police radios will be KILLED soon – yet no one dares say 'Huawei'

TkH11

PC pleb doesn't need data calls. All he wants to do is make a voice call to a central Police Force Control Station and be able to have calls routed to colleagues for one-on-one chats.

They can use whatever technology they want for that voice call, GSM, 3G - WCDMA, or 4G using IP over LTE.. I'd suggest 4G approach is inherently risky, it's new, coverage across the country isn't complete and anywhere near as complete as older technologies such as 3G.

Secondly, don't have a private company with shareholders run it! That's public money, our money down the drain. The only time you want to do that is when there's free market competition and you can select your supplier and get the cheapest deal. When there is only one supplier, Airwave, there is no competition.

So either you go for a government funded, developed run system in a not-for-profit kind of way, or you go for open market competition and let the suppliers (more than one) fight over each other to give the cheapest deal.

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TkH11

This article ix bollox. The idea of long latency posultated within is caused by an appliaction starting up and taking a while to establish a connection. Have the application alL ready up and running. Have the connection already established! Have hand-offs from cell to cell (from BTS to BTS because hand-offs can happen within a cell) happen automatically, ok there might be battery life issues here, but I'm sure some approach can be adopted.

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Erik Meijer: AGILE must be destroyed, once and for all

TkH11

Nonsense. You've forgotten to say what one of the fundamental principles of agile is: iterative and incremental development. Agile aims to be an alternative to the traditional waterfall life and it has many things going for it.

The issue is that there are several agile methodologies with varying levels of rigour, of control, of process, including: XP, Scrum, DSDM Atern.

Before slagging off agile, I suggest you go do some formal study of the methodologies, understand what they are first. Then you can slag them off knowing you have the knowledge to criticise them accurately.

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NHS refused to pull 'unfit for purpose' Care.data leaflet

TkH11

Re: Same old arrogance

This is complete rubbish. I asked questions to a government minister about the data being stored on the database. Your name, NI, NHS numbers are not being stored but there is sufficient information, including your date of birth and postcode to enable you to be identified.

How many people live within your postcode that have the exact same date of birth as you? Probably none! And in most cases it will be none.

For example, if years later you went to take out motor insurance, you have to provide your name, address, date of birth to your would be insurance provider, and let's assume that the government changes the rules (they do that all the time without asking us) and sell the data on, and the insurance company can access the medical record database, and link our insurance application or claim to the medical records database using the post code and date of birth, and then charge us a higher premium based on our medical history. This is wrong.

Anonymised data? They want us to believe it is anonymised, and you fell for it.

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Don't assume public trusts you, MI5. 'Make a case' for surveillance – Former security chief

TkH11

Re: given a choice between the three...

Is it Wikipedia that's changing its articles or its users? It is a wiki.

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TkH11

Re: I "trust" ISIS the most

How can one trust an organisation that we don't who what they do or who they are, the claim to operate within the laws of the land, but where former operatives claim they don't.

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Most convincing PHISHING pages hoodwink nearly half of you – Google

TkH11

Re: Hardly surprising

Don't we think it's about time the banks started using digital signatures?

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Spies would need SUPER POWERS to tap undersea cables

TkH11

Re: Power

DC step down difficult? Potential divider..two resistors..might have to be physically large to handle the high voltage. Not difficult.

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TkH11

keeping quiet

If the security services wanted to keep anything quiet, they can. I know of an underground city in the UK which was kept quiet for 50 years, think how many people it took to dig it out, to build everything, yet they kept it quiet? How so? By classifying it at a high level and making people sign the official secrets acts with a 10 year prison sentence hanging over their heads if they discussed it with people that didn't need to know.

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TkH11

Re: I doubt they splice

Forget any alarms reported by an OTDR system, the cable's been cut entirely in order to put in joints to run feeds off down new cables. If the loss of signal doesn't raise any alarms, or the loss of data transmission doesn't raise any alarms, I'd be very, very surpised.

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TkH11

nonsense

This article is nonsense: it's objective is to rubbish the theory that sumarine cables can't be intercepted when in situ. But the fact is, fibre cables do get broken and do get repaired by specialist repair ships! It might not be easy but it is certainly done. You have to have a way to do it, you can't re-lay a 500KM cable just because of one tiny break in it.

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Nvidia blasts sueballs at Qualcomm, Samsung – wants Galaxy kit banned

TkH11

Integration is banned

The integration of 3D graphics processing functions, something which used to take a large circuit board, into a single chip was something that was going to happen, whether NVidia or some other company. It's a natural evolution of technology. The idea that they can patent it and stop other manufacturers from reducing their designs from say a 100 chip solution to a one chip solution is farcical. Might as well tell the entire world wide electronics industry "You can't integrate your logic onto a single chip, you have to stick with your existing architecture comprising multiple chips".

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Need a US visa, passport? Prepare for misery: Database crash strands thousands

TkH11

It's an unspecified glitch because they don't want to embarass themselves by describing the human cockup that was made.

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