* Posts by Phil Endecott

542 posts • joined 29 Nov 2006

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Falling apart at the seamless: Inside Apple's LTE Watch fiasco

Phil Endecott

Re: Question:

> GSM devices must be able to contact emergency services - even without a SIM.

Not true in the U.K.

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ICO whacks Welsh biz with £350k fine for 150 MEEELLION nuisance calls

Phil Endecott

> Thats no good if the company can just wind up to avoid the fine.

They should pay the fine in advance.

Seriously. If you want to send bulk text messages or make automated phone calls you should pay a deposit before you can send them, which is returned to you in the unlikely event that the recipients actually did opt in to receive them.

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UK Data Protection Bill lands: Oh dear, security researchers – where's your exemption?

Phil Endecott

> “Terms used in Chapter 2 and in the GDPR have the same

> meaning in Chapter 2 as they have in the GDPR” - are fairly

> Kafka-esque.

Huh? That's not Kafka-esque, that's just English. What's the confusion?

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London Tube tracking trial may make commuting less miserable

Phil Endecott

Since Waterloo - Kings Cross is the only tube journey I do anything like regularly:

- Via Oxford Circus is undoubtedly the best option. The Victoria Line was specifically routed to allow quick step-free connections to the Bakerloo line there.

- The slowest bit of the journey is due to the signage at Kings Cross, which directs you down a newish feels-like-half-a-mile tunnel to the "Northern Ticket Hall". If instead you get off the Victoria Line train and follow the signs for the circle line you'll end up in the old ticket hall, and and you'll be out much faster.

I don't often travel at rush hour, so best options may be different then due to congestion.

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Everyone loves programming in Python! You disagree? But it's the fastest growing, says Stack Overflow

Phil Endecott

More people asking questions on Stackoverlfow is not necessarily a good thing; perhaps that means that it's too complicated for people to use in practice,

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As Hurricane Irma grows, Earth now lashed by SOLAR storms

Phil Endecott

Is there a version of that video that doesn;t require me to agree to Twitter's terms and conditions?

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It's official: Users navigate flat UI designs 22 per cent slower

Phil Endecott

Looking at the example in the article, I'd say that the one on the LEFT is flat. The one on the right is just completely borked.

Have a look. On the left, the "shop" buttons are blue, caps, underlined. No 3d shading or even 2d box around the border of the button. That, to me, is "flat". On the right, the "shop" buttons are in the same style as the body text - grey, mixed case. You could only find them by guessing from the words that it is clickable, or by trial and error (unless there is a mouseover).

This does not appear to be an argument in favour of the pre-iOS 7, and equivalent Windows, button styles. It's just an argument for not completely borking your UI.

It's worth looking at all their tests. Some are better than others:

https://www.nngroup.com/articles/heatmap-visualizations-signifiers/

Approximately the bottom third of the page is tests where they didn't find any difference between the two versions.

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That virtually impossible classic compsci P vs NP problem is virtually impossible, say boffins

Phil Endecott

> .... NP‑complete if the answer is also easy to check.

Not quite. NP means, yes, it's (relatively) easy to check. But the "complete" part is also important. An NP-Complete problem is one which can be shown to be at least as hard as every other NP problem - so, if one can find a P solution to *any one* NP-complete problem, then there are also P solutions to every NP problem, and hence P = NP. On the other hand there are problems that are NP but not NP-complete, so finding P solutions to those problems doesn't prove as much; finding prime factors is (probably) an example of that.

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Mozilla ponders making telemetry opt-out, 'cos hardly anyone opted in

Phil Endecott

Re: This user has visited one or more of these sites today

> For most people probably pretty reasonable that real-world

> problems are reported back to the developers automatically.

Less than 20% of the users of my iOS app opt in to sending anonymous crash reports.

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Headless body found near topless beach: Missing private sub journalist identified

Phil Endecott

"Headless body found near topless beach"

Not funny.

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Identity fraud in the UK at 'epidemic' levels as cases rise 5% – report

Phil Endecott

Re: Hmmmm

> The Police aren't interested when you report it because YOU ARE NOT THE VICTIM

Right, so if I see someone breaking in to a neighbour's house, I shouldn't bother phoning 999 because I'm not the victim.

Sounds ridiculous, but it's actually true. I once witnessed some kids trying to burn down the bin store at the back of the building where I lived. Police wouldn't take a statement from me because I was a tennant, and only the owner could report it.

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Berkeley boffins build better spear-phishing black-box bruiser

Phil Endecott

Re: "our detector extracts the feature vector for that URL "

> You mean the parameters of the URL?

No, they mean a feature vector. Try Wikipedia.

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FTC wants AT&T to kick in $4bn to help balance US budget. Why? Some dodgy ads or something

Phil Endecott

They could give the $billions to Foxconn....

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FYI: Web ad fraud looks really bad. Like, really, really bad. Bigly bad

Phil Endecott

Pants

Last month I bought some pants. Enough to last a couple of years, I think.

Now, EVERY SINGLE FUCKING WEBSITE I VISIT is covered with adverts for pants - and bras.

It's madness, really it is.

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I say, BING DONG! Microsoft's search engine literally cocks up on front page for hours

Phil Endecott

I think that beach is Zlatni Rat, or "Golden Horn", in Croatia.

The photos make it look incredible but it's actually pretty tiny and not sandy. It's only really good in comparison with the rubbish stony beaches on most of that coast.

At some point in the past it was supposed to be naturist on one side and "textile" on the other, but by the time I visited the naturists had been moved to a tiny cove further along the coast; fashions change, I guess.

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Comp sci world shock: Bonn boffin proposes P≠NP proof, preps for prestige, plump prize

Phil Endecott

> what am I missing?

The concept of intractability.

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

Phil Endecott

> First we have to define what "X proof" really means.

In the context of designing a nuclear power station, that is not particularly difficult in the grand scheme of things.

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Greek police arrest chap accused of laundering $4bn of Bitcoin

Phil Endecott

> If I'm gay and in Greece, can I be extradited to Saudi Arabia?

No, because extradition treaties require that the alledged crime is a crime in both countries.

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The Reg chats to Ordnance Survey's chief data wrangler

Phil Endecott

Re: Disagree - GPS is the future

> Plus, the GPS can't tell you what all the other mountains and

> features you're looking at actially are if you are lucky enough

> to walk on a fine clear day - only the paper map lets you do

> that easily.

Not if they are off your map they can't. "Is that the Isle of Man over there?". A map on your phone can be zoomed out to,identify things in thr distance. Or there are things like https://www.peakfinder.org/

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Ten new tech terms I learnt this summer: Do you know them all?

Phil Endecott

Re: "weaved"

> Friday, sacred to Freya

No, Friday is Frig's day.

Frig is the wife of Odin, whose day is Wednesday.

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Alphabay shutdown: Bad boys, bad boys, what you gonna do? Not use your Hotmail...

Phil Endecott

If he was so easy to identify, why wasn't he stopped long before he'd made $23 million from it?

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Set your alarms for 2.40am UTC – so you can watch Unix time hit 1,500,000,000

Phil Endecott

Wow that makes me feel old.

I recommend anyone aged about 31 to work out when their own billionth birthday will be and have a party.

2
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CityFibre snaps up Entanet for £29m and plans to raise £185m

Phil Endecott

Re: Are Cityfibre any good?

> If it's *really* important to you, register a company

Unfortunately it's too late now; they dug a trench under the road and only put "branches" to business premises. I.e. shops and offices. (And council premises.)

As it happens I am self employed so in that sense I am a business, but it doesn't really make my home a business premises.

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Phil Endecott

Re: Are Cityfibre any good?

They also ran right past my door, but apparently they are only interested in "business" customers.

This is a shame, because I'm in a localised not-spot; the cable TV network somehow missed us and BT decided our cabinet was not worthwhile for FTTC.

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AES-256 keys sniffed in seconds using €200 of kit a few inches away

Phil Endecott

Re: How well was the PC prepared?

> How well was the PC prepared?

It's not a PC. Look at the picture. It's a little board with a microcontroller on it, It's not in a box.

It has an ARM coretex m3 processor and a load of FPGA logic. Google "SmartFusion2".

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Phil Endecott

"AMD" is a typo, right? Should be "ARM" coretex m3 I think.

If it actually is an AMD (i.e. x86) chip that they've managed to observe in this way I am very impressed.

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Boffins find evidence of strange uranium-producing bacteria lurking underground

Phil Endecott

Re: The usual baloney

> you cannot 'form' or 'produce' uranium

Well you can of course produce uranium from other elements by means of nuclear reactions,

So some will get the impression from this story that there are some newly-discovered "biological nuclear" reactions that produce uranium.

Of course that is false. (It's just too improbable. Beyond "cold fusion".)

What's probably been discovered is that some uranium ores are the result of biological action, in the same way that limestone is a "calcium ore" produced by living organisms.

This definitely shouln't have got past the sub-editor. But it's Friday evening, so they are probably in the pub.

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Google wants to track your phone and credit card through meatspace

Phil Endecott

Screwfix

A few people above have said that they refuse to give their email address (or postcode, whatever) when asked for it in a shop. Me too. But has anyone ever witnessed someone else refusing? The place where I'm asked most often is Screwfix, and I've literally never seen anyone else decline to disclose who they are. This despite Screfix, unlike "Tesco Clubcard", not offering any vouchers / discounts etc. in exchange for your data.

4
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UK hospital meltdown after ransomware worm uses NSA vuln to raid IT

Phil Endecott

Re: Неверная цель, выключите ее

> I'd suspect if they are found it will be a bunch of guys far more

> serious than a GCHQ code breaker knocking on the door.

"If they are found" - no, the real danger is that the actaul perpetrators don't need to be found; they will be tempted to just drop a bomb on some random people in some unpopular country somewhere and claim they were responsible, with some dodgy dossier to prove it. But then, if they actually did bomb the right people, we'll still consider that the dossier was dodgy and not believe them. (Like the Sony hack.). They can't win.

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O (n^2) Canada! Code bugs knacker buses, TV, broadband, phone lines

Phil Endecott

What's the O(n^2) connection?

1
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'I feel violated': Engineer who pointed out traffic signals flaw fined for 'unlicensed engineering'

Phil Endecott

I thought that in America an "egnineer" was a train driver.

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NASA's Cassini snaps pic inside Saturn's ring – peace among the stars

Phil Endecott

Can we please not have "artists impressions" as the headline images in stories like this?

They distract from the actual science.

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That CIA exploit list in full: The good, the bad, and the very ugly

Phil Endecott

Re: Slightly off topic...

> can anyone point me to a guide as to how to Wireshark other

> devices on my LAN via wi-fi.

Your switch needs "port morroring".

I.e. you need an ethernet switch connected to (a) broadband router, (b) wifi acces point, (c) PC, configuured so that port (b) is mirrored to port (c).

This isn't easy if you have a combined wifi+boradband box, as most people do, unless that has a mirroring feature itself (which it probably doesn't). And the cheapest ethernet switches don't have port mirroring.

The alternative is to have two network interfaces on your PC, and to make the PC itself a bridge that the data must traverse between the broadband internet connection and the device of interest.

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Watt the f... Dim smart meters caught simply making up readings

Phil Endecott

> As a Rogowski coil results in a time-derivative of the measured

> current, the measured voltage has to be integrated

That's completely doomed if there is any significant DC component in the load, e.g. if there are devices with half-wave rectifiers, or full-wave rectifiers that are asymetric in some way.

To be fair they do have significant advantages over current transformers, i.e. linearity. And a good electronic meter should be more accurate than a mechanical one. But a cost-reduced electronic meter can clearly be crap.

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Florida Man jailed for 4 years after raking in a million bucks from spam

Phil Endecott

Re: @Phil Endecott

> (Do you even know what USENET is/was?)

Very much so, I was there.

> The point is that its not that easy to catch and shut down.

These guys were selling their services to legitimate businesses. You catch them by asking the businesses that are promoted in the emails who they paid to send them. Much easier to prove in court if you have a witness who says "we paid them to do it", rather than evidence involving IP addresses.

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Phil Endecott

The aspect that I find disappointing is that he was in business for long enough to make a million dollars before he got stopped.

Ideally, I'd get one spam email and forward it to the authorities who would act immediately to shut down whoever sent it. In practice, the reaction to such reports is "you probably signed up for their spam but forgot".

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Global IPv4 address drought: Seriously, we're done now. We're done

Phil Endecott

Re: IPv6 usage soaring?

> ISPs which have enabled ipv6 like Sky and BT.

Well, BT have recently enabled it for users who have their newest router. Mine is 5 years old, and is unlikely to be replaced any time soo; it says: "IPv6 will be disabled on your BT Home Hub and BT Broadband Network until supported by future services"

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NHS reply-all meltdown swamped system with half a billion emails

Phil Endecott

I'm quite impressed that only 1 in 10,000 of the recipients replied.

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Final 25G/50G Ethernet spec finally lands

Phil Endecott

I'm more interested in 2.5G / 5G. Any news on that?

0
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Meet Hyper.is – the terminal written in HTML, JS and CSS

Phil Endecott

Re: Anyterm

Right now the bastet and adventure demos are working for me but nano is down.

They have deliberately low max-session limits...

I did consider doing persistent sessions, but on reflection I decided that it's better to do that at the next layer down i.e. using screen. Then configure Anyterm to invoke screen, rather than "ssh localhost". I should probably mention that in the docs.

There is no sensible way to do key-based auth. One-time passwords of some sort might be the best alternative. TBH it's fundamentally not well suited to situations needing more than modest security.

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Phil Endecott

Anyterm

It's now 11 years since I wrote Anyterm, the first terminal-on-a-web-page:

http://anyterm.org/

There are some demos there, but you'll probably crash it if you all try at once.

It's open-source (GPL) and still maintained - I just added IPv6 support a few days ago.

For those of you asking "why", the main answer is so that people who find themselves behind an http-only firewall can still do command-line stuff on external machines.

My implementation was largely constrained by the technology available at the time (and the code still has lots of work-arounds for hopefully long-since-fixed browser bugs). It should be much easier to do today if you start from scratch.

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If your smart home gear hasn't updated recently, throw it in the trash

Phil Endecott

Realistically, few people are going to follow this sort of advice and throw away products that, as far as they are concerned, are still working correctly.

So what is the real-world solution, that allows the net to function smoothly despite billions of vulnerable devices being attached to it?

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UK cops spot webcam 'sextortion' plots: How vics can hit stop

Phil Endecott

Re: Quote from the video

"I am curious. How many foreign sextortionists have been convicted targeting for UK citizens?"

Maybe some; according to http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-38150313 :

"Last year more than 40 arrests were made in the Philippines in relation to sextortion and there is one ongoing international prosecution connected to one of the suicides reported this year."

1
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Power cut interrupts UK.gov cloud service supplier

Phil Endecott

Anyone else read that as Mumsnet?

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World's shortest international flight: now just 21km in 7 minutes

Phil Endecott

I was hoping it would be a sea plane, or better still an airship!

(Friedrichshafen was the base of the Zeppelin operation.)

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VW Dieselgate engineer sings like a canary: Entire design team was in on it – not just a few bad apples, allegedly

Phil Endecott

Re: It seem to me

I think the point is that a *petrol* engine could meet the standards.

Or possibly they were setting the standard based on what would be acceptable healthwise.

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Meet Deliveroo's ‘bold and impactful’ new logo. No, really

Phil Endecott

Isn't that the playboy logo, in greenand without the bow tie?

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Deep inside Nantero's non-volatile carbon nanotube RAM tech

Phil Endecott

It's using the CNTs to form a coherer, isn't it!

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coherer

Does anyone understand the bit about using "phonons" to docohere? Old coherers needed some sort of vibrator to do that.

1
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African Ring of Fire to show up at annular solar eclipse

Phil Endecott

Rubbish diagram.

It seems to show sun, moon and earth with spacings that correspond to an annular eclipse - but then bends the lines so that it shows a total eclipse.

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French submarine builder DCNS springs leak: India investigates

Phil Endecott

Re: A big mistakes in this article...

No, not fixed; you start talking about "the australian contract`' in para 6, but don't say what it is until the penultimate paragraph.

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