* Posts by The obvious

87 posts • joined 28 Sep 2011


Thomas the wank engine: London rail passengers hear pr0n grunts over PA system

The obvious

Re: Tube

Modern trains largely drive themselves. It's more just a responsibility thing of having a human to deal with the things it can't (and for that human to prove that it has not gone to sleep.)

The obvious

Re: Cockfosters

not Babe Station?

The obvious
Paris Hilton

TFL drivers

...change at Baker Street.

(Bootnote: for those outside the London bubble, it is the only station where you can switch from the pink to the brown line.)

Shocker: UK smart meter rollout is crap, late and £500m over budget

The obvious

The biggest security risk...

is risk to my supply when some fat-fingered Herbert at my supplier (or possibly another supplier) disconnects my supply for no good reason (or when they fuck up the billing, which wouldn't be the first time that's happened.)

The future of radio may well be digital, but it won't survive on DAB

The obvious

Re: There are plenty of reasons NOT to use IP

1) yes there are but that's not an unfixable problem and it should be sorted from a perspective of public safety

2) multicast is your friend

3) yes, fair point

4) pretty much all mobile handsets support IPv6 today, if the networks are still dragging their heels after over 2 decades then that's a very different problem and ultimately they aren't going to fix it without demand

So basically there aren't lots of reasons, there's one - the cost of internet access.

Cisco cancels all YouTube ads, then conceals cancellation

The obvious

Dear Cisco

That's a lot of traffic we send your way... it would be quite a shame if anything happened to it.


Even Microsoft's lost interest in Windows Phone: Skype and Yammer apps killed

The obvious

Re: win10

Because google and apple have never been caught illegally slurping da.... oh wait. Talk about from the frying pan into the fire.

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

The obvious

Walter had complained to his Tesla dealer...

"...about how his car swerved unexpectedly several times when passing the area where the accident eventually occurred."

It never at any time occurred to him that may it would be a good idea to drive manually through that area?

'A sledgehammer to crack a nut': Charities slam UK voter ID trials

The obvious

Labour *DID* bring in an ID Card system, it was scrapped by both the Tories (on financial grounds) and the Lib Dems (on the basis of civil liberty/privacy concerns).

Had it been merely an ID Card which establishes that the owner is who they say they are and a PKI cert so the owner could do the same for online transactions (exactly as they do in many other countries) then we'd probably still have it and there wouldn't have ever been a problem for most people. It would be quite useful for the homeless I'd have thought (once their ID was initially established, which is not always trivial).

Unfortunately that is not what we got... instead what we got was a vastly overreaching biometric database that logged every time it was accessed (forever) that could not be proved wrong in court (leading to an effective end-run around habeas corpus), that broke the web of trust based around other forms of ID, provided a single point of failure/weakness for identity theft and was really a multi-billion pound boondoggle for whoever got the backhander from Crapita.

Microsoft ends notifications for Win-Phone 7.5 and 8.0

The obvious

I loved my 930 too, there are still things you could do *really quickly* with it that you simply cannot do with the iShinyThing (which is what I moved to when the battery just died one day, and landfill android never really appealed.)

Many of the layouts were just intuitive, connecting to APs was a doddle, the built in social media integration from early on was just something else and I really liked live tiles.

Ultimately what killed it was politics, they could have got over the kernel pain eventually - but the phone guys weren't in Nadella's 'tribe' and anyone who knows about the inner workings of MS will know that the tribalism is fierce and the victors are rarely gracious.

Google asks browser rival Vivaldi to post uninstall instructions

The obvious

re: Sooner or later

I'm pretty sure that with the goo's AI plans that it won't be hugely long before they ARE the government (if they aren't already in all but name...)

The obvious
Black Helicopters

Re: Optional

In true pantomime style OH, YES YOU ARE!!!!

Because even when you're not logged in, the all seeing googly eye knows who you are and what you're doing (you dirty sod!)

Surveillance Capitalism thinks it won, but there's still time to unplug it

The obvious

"there's still time to unplug it" - are you sure about that?

I tried it once, blocking google and all their other insidious services (entirely) is utterly impossible.

Don't believe me? Try it for yourself. The products you directly use, search, mail, maps are easy switches. The products you don't see (like analytics) you can lose easily. What about the stuff another site uses? fonts, api's etc all of a sudden things get very complicated!

The obvious

Re: What now

What's the first thing that user does with that Linux (before they consider sacking you and going back to windows), they fire up a website that reports all their activity back to google's giant data hoover.. Sometimes choice is an illusion.

The obvious

Re: 'Surveillance capitalism, that’s on us'

Interestingly the whole debate you bring up centres around the products we choose to use, the bigger concern is surely the ones we don't and that we can't choose to avoid, try to decide you won't use any google services, blackhole their ASN at the gateway and see how long you last trying to get anything done online... it's a fun experiment if nothing else to determine how reliant you are on them.

OnePlus 5 x T + five short months = Some p*ssed off fanboys

The obvious

Looks for dustbin icon...

...or maybe a garbage truck for some more android based landfill-fodder!

Munich council: To hell with Linux, we're going full Windows in 2020

The obvious

Re: Keep LibreOffice even if you move to MSFT [Was: MS Office? Faster?]

TFM - It's hardly unknown that you saw the behaviour you did, that's how .doc works...

Rewriting big documents was very slow at the time .doc was conceived (think of users storing docs on floppy-disk) and both to make the saves quicker and to keep autosaves from interrupting the user the best way is to use a quick-save that just saves changes to the end of the file. Word would tidy up if you use 'Save As' instead of the normal 'Save' even if you use the same filename/type.

It has only been that way for as long as I can remember (right from my earliest PFY role back in the last century in the days when BOFH was in print.) Many pieces of juicy information could be had from documents back in the day - our government had to answer quite a few very awkward questions about the people who worked on "the dodgy dossier" as a direct result of metadata and edit histories found in the files...

Android at 10: How Google won the smartphone wars

The obvious

Re: Google is Evil

What you're forgetting is that it is not always you that is using google or giving your data to them.

Go to the widget maker online shop and they have a map to their store - from googlemaps.

That cool font - from googlefonts.

That javascript library that the site needs - googleapis.

That instruction video on how to use the widget - youtube.

...and so on. You think none of those are giving the goo your very useful marketing data in a way that you actually cannot opt out of if you want to actually get anything done?

There is far more to not using google than just not using their products and services directly. Block their ASN in your firewall then wait & see how long you last before you need to make an exception...

The obvious

"Android won the platform war fair and square"

I'm fairly sure with the level of monopoly abuse google get up to and speed they can achieve it, such an achievement from them was neither fair nor square. Android is still best prefixed with the term Landfill...

YouTube sin-bins account of KRACK WPA2 researcher

The obvious

Re: patches

I'm going to bet there are a lot of SoHopeless devices that will never get patched...

The obvious

Re: patches

Just for the avoidance of any doubt - BOTH NEED PATCHING.

"although an unpatched client can still connect to a patched AP, and vice versa, both the client and AP must be patched to defend against all attacks!" it says on krackattacks.com

WPA2 KRACK attack smacks Wi-Fi security: Fundamental crypto crapto

The obvious

Re: Mitigation

If I'm reading it right then it *CAN* be fixed.

Routers just have to check that the NONCE from a client hasn't been used recently, that's all.

Avast urges devs to secure toolchains after hacked build box led to CCleaner disaster

The obvious

Re: CC Cleaner is an enterprise tool?

I have always found the presence of CCleaner (and the like) a useful flag that the machine has been tampered with by someone who doesn't know what they're doing - and that it needs nuking as a result.

My name is Bill Gates and I am an Android user

The obvious

Re: Damn them to Hell

Have to agree with you there - I loved my 930 until the hardware gave out on me.

I trust Apple slightly more than Google when it comes to data slurping (though not much) and the use of the mach kernel rather than Torvalds hobby/experiment-turned-popular and I've now taken a dive into the walled-garden. It's amazing how intuitive the windows phone OS really was to do common tasks quickly - it was designed very much as a tool and not a toy. There are times when I try to do things on the iPhone and think "this is a ballache, my 930 would be done by now."

Microsoft were just starting to get it right when Nadella took over, at which point anyone who knows MS knows that the infighting and empire-building that goes on there is the stuff of legend and Nadella was never going to miss an opportunity to get rid of an opponent.

Bill Gates says he'd do CTRL-ALT-DEL with one key if given the chance to go back through time

The obvious

Re: Since <CTL><ALT><DEL> forced a reboot

True that - I have a single key shutdown button on my keyboard, to make matters worse it also happens to be mapped to F4 which requires an 'fn' button to access the actual F-key behaviours... that box has gone down more times by accident than on purpose.

Downloaded CCleaner lately? Oo, awks... it was stuffed with malware

The obvious

Re: Doesn't matter

You do have malware on your machine, malware called CCleaner...

The obvious

Hopefully el-reg readers are aware of...

this nugget of wisdom from el-reg itself.

"Our testing produced very little evidence that registry fixers and third-party defragmenters do any good at all, although other users with serious computer problems may experience otherwise."

As such if I ever see a machine with CCleaner on it, I assume it is borked and due for nuking. :)

Indian call centre scammers are targeting BT customers

The obvious

Re: I've drummed it into the friends and family for years ...

The issue is (and something that happened in the TalkTalk fraud attacks to a neighbour of mine) was that those scammed had initiated the call to the ISP and were then expecting a call back from a senior technician. They just got the call from a scammer instead; expecting a call from the ISP and without any technical knowledge they had no reason to doubt that's who was calling them until it was too late.

Largest advertising company in the world still wincing after NotPetya punch

The obvious

Re: There's more to the world than INTERNET advertising.

...only until google decide otherwise.

Give it a couple of years and google maps will be prioritising routes past google-owned hoardings, if they aren't already.

Google now mingles everything you've bought with everywhere you've been

The obvious

Re: privacy violations aside ...

It's incredibly useful. Just because you don't understand how doesn't change that.

The obvious

Re: Not so fast

You missed a hell of a lot. I really do sound like some kind of tinfoil-helmeted nutter when I get onto the subject but I have a simple test - google say if you don't like their services, don't use them.

Try it - blackhole all routes to Google's IP space (the info's available online) and to their DNS servers... and then try to go about your normal daily business. I give you a matter of minutes (at most) of trying to get something done online before you need to open an exception even if you claim not to use their services.

Only when you really disconnect from them and get yourself out of their direct sight will you get even a rough idea of how much you actually give up to googles services. But that only covers the half of the equation which is the data that YOU give them directly. That doesn't begin to touch the data that other people add to their services about you - which is where things get *really* tricky.

Forget Mirai – Brickerbot malware will kill your crap IoT devices

The obvious

Is it just me who is secretly applauding this...

just a little bit. It's an extreme, harsh and utterly illegal way to encourage vendors to deal with their security issues, but perhaps a shedload of support calls and returned 'faulty' items might get their attention.

...then again pigs might fly past satan skiing to work first!

Ubiquiti network gear can be 'hijacked by an evil URL' – thanks to its 20-year-old PHP build

The obvious

...for a given value of 'premium' they are what people claim them to be.

If, like many of those people, your only experience is the typical SOHO crap like the usual D-Link, Buffalo, and Netgear (not even mentioning the no-name crap) it is a vastly premium product set with some big-ticket features for a low price, and you can run the server end on a raspberry pi. Most of those people will never see a big wireless installation.

The obvious

Re: Pay peanuts

You say that as if Cisco etc have never had a stupid vulnerability or "feature" like being able to rewrite the firmware remotely without authentication...

Smart meter firm EDMI asked UK for £7m to change a single component

The obvious

Re: secure?

Hahahaha! You'd think wouldn't you. No independent testing. But about this time last year it turned out that a huge number of the devices had to have their encryption keys changed as they were using THE SAME KEY... That is the level of competence behind this little endeavour.

We had an engineer come out to change our meter who couldn't understand why we wouldn't have one. After I showed him a couple of articles I think he may not be so keen any more.

The obvious

Re: ...nope ...

"For what reason(s)?"

You must be new here. The exorbitant costs, poor implementation, and lack of independent security reviewing are just a selection of the many reasons. That's before we consider the non-existent benefits. All of them documented on el-reg, and obvious to anyone who has been in the IT industry for any length of time.

Munich may dump Linux for Windows

The obvious

Re: and this has nothing to do with

Nope, the HQ was in Munich for some time before that IIRC

London's Winter Wonderland URGENTLY seeks Windows 10 desk support

The obvious

The ad asks for 'best price'

I don't mind doing events which are often short bursts of long hours, but for 15 near-consecutive days of 12 hour shifts over the Christmas period firefighting something that's obviously been poorly implemented - that quote is going to involve numerous 0's...

Sh... IoT just got real: Mirai botnet attacks targeting multiple ISPs

The obvious

Re: A victim report

That's a good idea - if the reliability of my DD-WRT boxes (different devices different manufacturers) is anything to go by an ELF binary will only last about 6-8 hours before the box locks up and needs a reboot anyway...

YMMV of course.

Robots blamed for wiping 10 per cent off the value of sterling

The obvious

Gambling is based on the probability of both profit and loss. Loss was the only thing on the cards in a leave win, yet May and friends either haven't realised that yet or they are scared some racist dickheads might get violent.

Ordinary punters will get squat from smart meters, reckons report

The obvious

Re: Botnets

I was planning to give myself free electricity and play tetris or maybe snake using the tower block up the road from me as a low-res screen...

The obvious

Re: No, thank you.

"the meters can be read remotely and is always up to date with no estimated bills."

...and how long until we see a situation where someone's supply is shut off remotely after a numnuts callcentre-monkey cocks up, a supplier thinks you owe them money when you don't (which happened when we moved into this house), when someone in some crappy outsourced IT service on minimal training and a bowl of rice a day cocks up 1,000's of accounts, or when yet another security vuln is discovered in the kit.

Suspicious DNS activity runs rife

The obvious

set reporting_mode = '^c^v';

Pretty much covers it.

A USB stick as a file server? We've done it!

The obvious

Re: iMicroAgression

Round these parts Android is usually prefixed with the word Landfill, and such a designation is taken as read and doesn't require constant enumeration for the sake of iDiots.

£11bn later: Smart meters project delayed again for Crapita tests

The obvious

Re: Gaz and Leccy...?

I like the idea of balancing out usage away from peak times but equally I've had a handful of billing cockups, they've always been sorted but doing so has sometimes taken a while... making billing more complicated seems like a bad idea for consumers and the idea of some chimp in a call centre being able to nix my heat/power remotely doesn't fill me with confidence.

The obvious

Re: I'm glad they're optional.

Me too, given most energy companies well documented ability to fsck up billing, nobody in their right mind would trust them not to make a massive cock-up and cut off your supply remotely...

Microsoft buries the bad Windows Phone news: Mobile sales collapse

The obvious

I'm bloody annoyed

OK - it was me, I'm the one who liked it.

The devices I've had (625 & 930) have been rock solid and been good workhorses - pretty much the only times they've had a reboot were when they physically ran out of juice... and an excellent third choice when the first two are istyle over isubstance or landfill in waiting.

I'm in a genuine quandary over what to get when my 930 needs to be put out to pasture. I genuinely hate iOS and Android equally - to the point where I'm feeling the appeal for a brick-phone and a tethered tablet.

So you’d sod off to China to escape the EU, Google? Really?

The obvious

Re: Presumably we could all just switch to Yahoo! or Bing if Google goes...

I wouldn't be so sure about that, try blocking say... Googleapis.com and see how your web experience fares. I've been looking into it and basically the only way to completely avoid googly eyes is to implement a firewall with a pretty invasive content adaption filter on http.

I tried to setup firewall rules but it was just impossible, now I am building a pfsense/squid box and an icap server to actually find out how hard it I to not use google services at all... when i noticed even my OpenWRT based router talks to googly overlords when it establishes a connection - I have the wireshark trace to prove it.

Dear Santa: Can gov.UK please stop outsourcing?

The obvious

Re: The bizarre logic of outsourcing

Because if you've worked for an outsourcer you'll know that instead of hiring some skilled people on decent wages and have to give them pensions and things like that as is required by council policies and those pesky unions, outsourcers can usually hire people who are barely literate at minimum wage (or less if they're "apprentices"), cut a bunch of corners (apologising if they are unlucky enough to get caught out), treat them like excrement and sit back to cream the profit off the top.

If they really want to make some money then they can do the same in some 'low cost country' safe in the knowledge that the contract probably didn't say anything about where the people doing the work are based, only that it's done.

Not so fast on FM switch-off: DAB not so hot say small broadcasters

The obvious

Re: DAB is only useful for big stations.

"Bloke in shed starts own DAB radio station - with Ofcom's blessing"

Setup would work fine with a Raspberry Pi, he says...


Since local stations could still reasonably use similar transmission power and host their own mux using a raspberry pi or similar I'm not seeing a huge cost burden here. Am I missing something?


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