* Posts by JohnG

1349 posts • joined 27 May 2007

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

JohnG

Residency registration and national identity cards

There are two issues: identity cards and registration of residency - the UK has neither. In many other countries, in Europe and elsewhere, citizens and other residents are required to register their address with local authorities, within some period since moving in (usually, within three months). Not registering is seen as tax avoidance.

Similarly, national identity cards are often mandated in many countries, often with a requirement to produce ID on demand. ID is typically also required when signing up for a mobile phone, opening a bank account, registering a car, renting or buying a property, etc. When done without the sort of draconian nonsense attempted by UK government, ID cards can be quite useful.

Whilst not having residency registration in the UK seems like freedom, it can be a problem if you ever need to prove your residency in the UK for tax/pension purposes, entitlement to free non-emergency NHS treatment, etc. For immigrants, trying to prove the duration of their residency to establish their right to permanent residence or to British citizenship, it is a mess: The Home Office don't have a definitive way of proving residency and historically, they have rejected documentation that courts have subsequently declared as being conclusive.

Personally, I would quite like to see the UK introduce simple national identity cards (without all the draconian nonsense of previous attempts). I think registration of residency for everyone is essential, regardles of the ID card debate.

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Um, excuse me. Do you have clearance to patch that MRI scanner?

JohnG

Re: obvious solution ...

Some of a hospital's systems may need access to the Internet but certain pieces of equipment then need to be isolated, perhaps even standalone. However, as Stuxnet demonstrated, isolation is not a panacea for all security issues.

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Meet the Frenchman masterminding a Google-free Android

JohnG

LineageOS

Probably best to start with LineageOS (forked from Cyanogen) and talk with the folk developing it. Then there's XDA Developers.

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Russia appears to be 'live testing' cyber attacks – Former UK spy boss Robert Hannigan

JohnG

Is there much in the way of concrete evidence against the Russian govrnment and agencies? We hear a lot of rhetoric but we rarely get to see much in the way of evidence. On the other hand, we do have evidence that the NSA has been creating malware and that GCHQ were reading teenagers' encrypted sexting.

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Oddly enough, when a Tesla accelerates at a barrier, someone dies: Autopilot report lands

JohnG

Re: It's all rubbish

I have had a few taxi rides in and around Slough where I would have felt safer in an autonomous vehicle in beta.

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JohnG

Re: NOT autopilot

Most of that is what it does (or attempts to do), aside from disabling autopilot at junctions.

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JohnG

Re: When will people learn

"Force them to hold the wheel, monitor their face, reaction times, issue activities to perform, keep them engaged with drive. And start bleeping and slow down if they don't react.

The problem is Tesla didn't bother with any of that in the first instance and has only begrudgingly implemented it now."

This is incorrect - the Tesla Autopilot does (and did at the time of the accisent) monitor if the driver is holding the steeering wheel and will first warn the driver but will ultimattely disengage. If it believes the driver is still not responding, it will engage hazard flashers, pull the car over and stop.

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JohnG

Re: Everything makes mistakes

"A human driver would have no problem with leaving the 101 for the 85 yet should not have allowed the car to attempt this."

The fact that the crash barrier had not been repaired since being damaged in a previous accident indicates that at least one human driver had a problem leaving the 101 for the 85.

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JohnG

Re: Non tesla driver here

"It's not fully autonomous, and I wouldn't be happy to leave it trying to drive without my guidance/overwatch if I were to get one."

Which is exactly what the user manual says you should do. The autopilot systems are in beta and full self driving is not yet available (FSD probably won't be available for a long time, probably eons or elons)

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JohnG

Re: Nothing is right first time

"They can have their teething problems OFF THE PUBLIC ROADS!"

Then the systems will never be ready for public roads, because they will not have been tested in the real world and will have insufficient data/"experience" of the variations in real world road markings, signage and driver behaviour.

"Or did I miss it and those early jets were taking passengers and crashing into airports killing people while they worked the bugs out?"

That is precisly what happened with the Comet and numerous other aircraft types. Of course, manufacturers and safety regulators attempt to address all the bugs before the aircraft enter service but numerous accidents have resulted in recalls and retrospective changes. This is pretty much the story of every accident investigation programme on TV.

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JohnG

Re: When will we learn? It's all about the money again.

"We need at least 10 years of solid off road, test track testing of these autonomous vehicles, tested to full destruction in as many situations as can be created."

Simulations and track testing really don't give adequate data, notably of variations in road signs and markings, the behaviour of other road users, etc.

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JohnG

Re: The sad reality...

"The sad reality...

...of rushed to market, not ready for prime time products."

The snag is, these systems need to learn through data gathered in the real world. The nuances of driving in the real world are not all available through the use of simulations and test tracks. The Tesla Autopilot systems are in beta and Tesla cars collect and send driving data back to Tesla (Tesla cars are always online to mothership.tesla.com).

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JohnG

Re: In America, the driver is ALWAYS responsible

"You're missing a point here, the guy was not the driver. Tesla was driving the car."

No, These things are driver assistance aids and Autopilot is in beta - the driver must be aware and in control at all times. Every time a driver enables Autosteer in a Tesla, there is a warning to this effect.

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JohnG

Re: In America, the driver is ALWAYS responsible

Also in the UK. It is similiar with the daft errors people make when using in-car navigation systems - the driver is the one with the driving license, not the nav system or autopilot.

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JohnG

Re: Playing Elon's advocate here..

Statistics apparently show less accidents/fatalities when using Autopilot on a Tesla, which is why DirectLine give a 5% discount on insurance premiums for Autopilot equipped Teslas.

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JohnG

Re: @JustWondering - 5 seconds is not enough

"When was the last time you saw airline pilots faking flying the plane with their hands on the commands while AP is on ?"

Pilots trying an autopilot system that is in beta might do somehing along those lines. The Tesla Autopilot systems are in beta.

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JohnG

Actually, Teslas run Linux.

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JohnG

Re: Not an "autopilot"

"It was too easy to lose concentration when the CC was doing the work - not a good idea on a 70 MPH motorway."

True - and this effect can be increased with Atutosteer. The best approach is to consider yourself like the captain of a ship and that Autopilot is a really inexperienced and stupid trainee at the helm, requiring supervision at all times.

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JohnG

Correct. Automatic Energency Braking is an option which by default, is enabled at all times.

There are two levels of Autopilot: Traffic Aware Cruise Control and Autosteer. Automated Lane Changing is an option, which is disabled by default. All of the Autopilot features are in Beta and every time they enable Autosteer, drivers get a warning of this, telling them that they shoud keep their hands on the wheel at all times

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JohnG

Re: OlaM

Tesla repeatedly tells owners that Autopilot is in Beta, that they need to keep their hands on the steering wheel at all times and that they do not yet have "Full Self Driving". In the vehicle, there are two modes available: Traffic Aware Cruise Control and Automated Lane Keeping - but that doesn't sound as sexy as Autopilot or Full Self Driving - and some apparently intelligent drivers seem to ignore all the warnings and fixate on the marketing terminology.

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JohnG

"So Tesla has follow-distance control but no emergency stop?"

Teslas do have Automatic Emergency Braking - but, as with other vehicle makes, the cars brake for objects that they detect. Like people, cars may drive into things that they don't "see".

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UK Home Office hands Sopra Steria £91m digital visa contract

JohnG

Re: Its just not right

"...the contract was awarded to Gemalto because, under EU law, there has to be an open and public procurement process for government contracts. The best 'value for money' / most adequate provider wins.

It may surprise you that the UK is still actually in the EU and therefore must obey its laws."

We should have copied the EC. After the Brexit vote and many months before Article 50 was invoked, the EC quietly introduced a "Brexit clause" into the contracts of their new procurements. These clauses state something to the effect that contractors and their sub-contractors must demonstrate that they would be allowed to operate/supply goods and services within the single market after Brexit. The next part of these clauses states that if a contractor becomes non-compliant, the contract will be terminated and the contractor must reimburse the EC for the costs of a new procurement.

We could simply apply UK versions of the EC's Brexit clauses to scare off EU27 companies who do not have a presence in the UK, just as the EC has done e.g. with their last Galileo procurement.

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Blood spilled from another US high school shooting has yet to dry – and video games are already being blamed

JohnG

I find it interesting to compare guns and cars. I haven't of any significant number of Americans who would argue against the requirements to drive e.g. pass a driving test, have an eye test, hold a driving licence, have their car(s) registered. As I understand it, the limitations of public transport in the USA make car ownership a necessity for most. The same cannot be said for guns - few Americans could legitimately claim that gun ownership is vital to their everyday life. Despite this, the same people who agree with driving tests, licenses and vehicle regisatrations will argue that unlicensed and unregistered gun ownership is essential. I have even heard this argument from Americans who have subsequently acknowledged that they didn't actually own any guns.

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JohnG

Re: Early information

"Hasn't stopped London from having more murders than New York."

In a one month snapshot. When looking at annual figures for 2017, New York had 3.4 homicides per 100,000 people, whereas London only had 1.2 homicides per 100,000 people.

"I know the constant propaganda tells you we have very little gun violence here because of it, but the actual fact of the matter is that we have never really had a problem with gun violence to start with, even when guns were widely available to the public."

Gun control in the UK started in 1903 and became succesively tighter over the last 100 years. Guns have not been readily available in the UK in living memory.

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JohnG

Re: Early information

"Having laws against these things did not STOP them from happening."

True but statistics show that countries with laws limiting access to guns by means of licensing have gun crimes/deaths/homicide rates orders of magnitude lower than the USA. In this respect, the USA is an anomaly among developed wealthy countries, having gun crime/death/homicde rates on par with poor developing countries in Africa and South America.

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Watchdog growls at Tesla for spilling death crash details: 'Autopilot on, hands off wheel'

JohnG

Re: Crash (almost) re-created by another driver

"f the autopilot detects and warns for hands-off the wheel after 6 seconds, why doesn't it take further action if the situation isn't then rectified, e.g. by progressively reducing the speed by a safe rate?"

It does - but it first issues a couple of visual warnings,followed by an audible warning. After that, it slows, looks to pull off the road and stop.

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Cloudflare touts privacy-friendly 1.1.1.1 public DNS service. Hmm, let's take a closer look at that

JohnG

Not only snoop... Some ISPs even answer your DNS queries from their own DNS server, instead of the DNS server you chose, "because it is faster and more efficient". This is revealed if you try to resolve something bad and then see who has actually responded.

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Europe dumps 300,000 UK-owned .EU domains into the Brexit bin

JohnG

Pro-EU impact

Whilst there are a few Leave supporting websites using .eu domains, it seems likely that many of those affected will be Remain supporting, pro-EU organisations.

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Brexit in spaaaace! At T-1 year and counting: UK politicos ponder impact

JohnG

NAVISP

On the subject of ESA and UK funding, it is interesting to note that the UK has by far the largest chunk of funding available for NAVISP. NAVISP is a programme under which ESA member states can fund research and development in navigation and timing, oriented towards Galileo and EGNOS. Applications for NAVISP funding can be made for opportunities announced by ESA or companies can approach ESA with ideas, for which they would like funding. Details here: https://navisp.esa.int

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Auto manufacturers are asleep at the wheel when it comes to security

JohnG

Re: "...can pick up the signal from keys..."

"Keyless Car Starting is probably using RFID. That's much shorter range. The hackers need to get within a meter or two of your keys, so their can 'illuminate' it with enough RF to power it up. The system designers should include some handshaking, not just an easily copied serial number."

Thieves use two way repeaters to steal cars. Increasing the size of the antenna increases the range of RFID devices.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hig7sTLAB5Y

https://hackaday.com/2013/11/03/rfid-reader-snoops-cards-from-3-feet-away/

Some guy used a hacked Vtech toy with a large antenna to read RFID tags from 10m away.

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A dog DNA database? You must be barking

JohnG

Re: Laws only stop dogs who follow the law.

It might be accurate to sugest that dog owners who routinely let their dogs run free (and to attack livestock), may have not bothered to have them microchipped (despite this becoming a legal requirement since 2016) and they might also not bother to have their dog's DNA recorded on a police database.

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Batteries are so heavy, said user. If I take it out, will this thing work?

JohnG

Re: Compliment slip stapled to 5.25" floppy

5.25" floppy:

or the back-up copy - was a photocopy.

"Can you send us a copy of that floppy disk?"

"Sure"

5 minutes later - a fax arrives, with a B&W copy of the floppy disk.

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JohnG

"Probably edlin...

...which I don't miss -->"

But better than:

COPY CON: CONFIG.SYS

type without any mistakes

Ctrl-Z

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Yes, Assange, we'll still nick you for skipping bail, rules court

JohnG

"I wonder if his lawyer will argue that his time in the embassy should be considered as "on remand", and therefore his client should walk free immediately?"

His lawyers already made such a suggestion and the judge ripped this idea to pieces.

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JohnG

Re: Schrödinger's Embassy

It isn't clear that Assange has broken any US law and the US authorities have not levelled any charges or submitted any request for his extradition, here or in Sweden. The previous US government showed absolutely no interest in Assange and the case in Sweden seemed fairly weak. The current US government has shown some interest in Assange but haven't actually done anything yet. He has definitely jumped bail in the UK and courts typically take a dim view of people ignoring them. He might be better off facng the music in the UK - then getting free treatment for his tooth and his shoulder whilst serving time. As he is only likely to get a couple of weeks for jumping bail, his time might be up before he has finished his treatment.

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CPU bug patch saga: Antivirus tools caught with their hands in the Windows cookie jar

JohnG

On this issue, I'm with Microsoft: it isn't Microsoft's responsibility to check if every third party AV product has not done silly things to the OS that would make systems fail when the Meltdown patch is applied. MS have simply said to the AV companies "This is what the Meltdown patch does. You know what you products do, so you are the ones to decide whether your products are compatible with the Meltdown patch". Short of not issuing any patch, I don't see what other choice MS have.

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WikiLeave? Assange tipped for Ecuadorian eviction

JohnG

Re: Time for a chat ...

"they'll decide that, since charges are no longer pending, the original arrest warrant is no longer valid thus the 'jumping bail' condition is equally invalid"

No, they won't because he did actually jump bail - effectively, treating the court with contempt. It is a bit like saying, I shouldn't have to pay a parking fine because the car concerned has since been scrapped. It isn't how the law works.

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JohnG

"Have him plead guilty to bail jumping via letter from the Ecuador Embassy."

The justice system doesn't work like that. The court dictates to the accused, not the other way around.

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JohnG

Re: hang on a moment...

Well, that is the case now Donald's in charge. Had he just faced the Swedish investigators in the first place, he would most likely have had no conviction. If he had been convicted, the sentence would probably have been less than two years - in a comfy Swedish prison. He could have been out when Obama was still in charge - and that administration really wasn't interested in him.

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JohnG

Re: Whats so inhumane

He might have had better facilities and more space in a Swedish prison.

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JohnG

Re: He may regret waiting

"He's played his part, so throw him to the wolves, might well be their opinion."

...and, Assange is a ferriner, not from Murica - and therefore, fair game.

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JohnG

Re: Here's a question

"can't they remove him in a "diplomatic pouch"?"

Diplomatic bags are only for documents and "articles for diplomatic use" - not people. If the police work out that there is a person in a diplomatic bag, it ceases to be a diplomatic bag.

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JohnG

Yes - which is likely longer than any prison sentence he might have served in a relatively comfy Swedish prison - if the Swedes had ever actually charged him, gone to trial and won. He still has to answer for jumping bail in the UK though. Had he left the Ecuadorian embassy (or never entered it) when Obama was in power, he could have been long gone by now - Obama's administration never showed any interest in him. Trump's administration may be a different matter.

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Russia claims it repelled home-grown drone swarm in Syria

JohnG

Then there was the comment about a lack of landing gear. Why would such a device need to land in a controlled manner?

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JohnG

Re: The shape of things to come

"You can strap a much heavier bomb to yourself, than you can fit on a drone."

Yes, but a drone can go places where you can't. A drone could carry some nasty chemical or biological agents, that might be more devastating than a bomb.

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Google lets Android devs see nanosecond-level GNSS data

JohnG

Re: Excellent! Android DIY ICBM

Note that this involves a test app which logs GPS data on an Android device. Once the logged data is transferred to another system (Windows, Linux or Mac), it can be analysed by the software described in the article. None of this stuff provides any navigation/guidance functionality.

All this stuff has been posted by someone called Mohammed Khider - I cannot see any problem (unless his middle name is "Al").

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How to hack Wi-Fi for fun and imprisonment with crypto-mining inject

JohnG

Re: VPN use

I typically connect my VPN using port 443 to avoid this issue. I have found that some services block name resolution of popular VPN services but this can be mitigated by using IP addresses in the VPN client.

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JohnG

Re: Mmmm, JavaScript.

All true - but the snag is, a number of public WiFi services require the use of Javascript for their "collect your details for marketing" page that has to be completed, in order to get connected.

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Russia could chop vital undersea web cables, warns Brit military chief

JohnG

Re: Does sound like the perfect theme for the next Bond movie

"Submarine with massive set of bolt cutters strapped to the bow..."

Like when HMS Conqueror stole that towed array sonar from the Soviets in the Barents Sea, back in 1982?

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Ex-cop who 'kept private copies of data' fingers Cabinet Office minister in pr0nz at work claims

JohnG

Assuming the policeman concerned has not added the porn to his illegally retained copies of the data on Green's computer.... The implication is that it is possible to download and/or stream porn via parliament's network i.e. they don't filter porn/malicious/dodgy websites. No doubt, their systems are protected with security software that receives quarterly updates of security threats.

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