* Posts by Blacklight

136 posts • joined 6 May 2008

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Boffins blast beats to bury secret sonar in your 'smart' home

Blacklight

Re: yet another reason...

Depends on a variety of things :)

Your phone mobile is permanently wired, it can't be disconnected. As to wether it's "active" is down to software, listening to the input channel.

The various assistants (Siri etc) can be configured to either "listen all the time" (keyword activation) or after a button press (Siri). But do you trust that's what they're actually doing? :)

If you've got a Smartphone, and you can't take the battery out, you can't be 100% certain that it's not listening, That's the basic fact. Assuming you haven't run some third party apps with access to microphones, or granted access to those apps, then you should be "as safe as your assistant settings" are configured.

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Virgin Media router security flap follows weak password expose

Blacklight
Mushroom

Erm....

I may be wrong (probably am!) but is the other issue resolved?

i.e the one whereby when the router powers up, for 7 seconds or so, there is no encryption set on the WiFi? o_O

Thus, if you are quick enough, you can get onto the WLAN - and then (again, if quick enough) - either use the default web admin password to find a WLAN password (even if it's been changed), so you can then reconnect shortly after, or do a quick network probe? Granted that's a tight window of opportunity, but still!

[EDIT] Ah yes - a powershell to reboot a SuperHub - if you know the password. Assume it's default, and a bit of cross site jiggery-pokery with a form post/social engineering - and away you go, router reboots, WLAN available briefly...[/EDIT]

Personally, opt for "SACM" (standalone cable modem) mode and use my own WiFi. I'd still be using 802.1x EAP too if the firmware I use was updated to not break RADIUS :( (choice of stick with RADIUS but keep other vulns active, or upgrade and lose RADIUS)

If you don't have your own router, change the WiFi AND admin passwords - which should be standard OpSec anyway. It wouldn't be that hard for device manufacturers to trap all web traffic when the thing is in "default" mode and force passwords to change, before letting it go fully operational....

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Blacklight

Re: Where are the instructions?

https://help.virginmedia.com/system/templates/selfservice/vm/help/customer/locale/en-GB/portal/200300000001000/article/HELP-2395/Changing-your-Virgin-Media-Hub%27s-wireless-password

Also search a bit and you can see where to change the admin password....

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Faking incontinence and other ways to scare off tech support scammers

Blacklight
Megaphone

Lenny

I've just installed Lenny onto our PABX as a handy extension. Now I'll probably get no calls...

I also love that other default message (with the correct English pack) that says "All members of the household are currently assisting other telemarkers. Your call will be answered in the order it was received"...(and then dumps them on permanent hold music)

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Leaked: The UK's secret blueprint with telcos for mass spying on internet, phones – and backdoors

Blacklight

Re: Encryption is not made "illegal"

Again, it's the over the top services that will be the "fun".

MPLS/BGP/TCP et al can be inspected, as it's a known protocol. If the packet's going up/down said wires turn out to contain encrypted stuff, that's WAY beyond the OpCo's wires, and the Telco's will simply go "meh" as it's not in their domain to control, unless they start doing DPI and being ordered to block anything they can't decode.

In which case we'll see digital steganography of another kind. Stuff will look like/be valid traffic, and just be nonsense, with anything relevant buried in some way that'll be harder to spot.

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Blacklight

Re: So where is the problem here ?

"Are end users going to be forced to install ISP root certificates ( to allow HTTPS MITM attacks ) before they are allowed to use an ISP's services ? I can't see this. That would require touching every endpoint connected to the ISP, it would be a nightmare for the ISP's, and pinning complicates even this."

Erm, not quite. A nice nudge to Google & MS and hey-presto, your next s/w or OS update contains new certs.

Chrome already overrides machine level certs, as I found out when I was using a CA it opted to distrust (warnings ahoy, even though the root CA was trusted).

Unless you keep tabs on EVERY cert in your machine, with fingerprints, something could merrily install and opt to use one.

Pinning also only works if the apps respect it (or are allowed to)...

I'm sure someone will be along shortly to insert an obvious comment about not using Windows, or Google, or <other large well known app> - but for the masses, it's not going to be that hard to do...

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Nielsen, eat your heart out: TiVo woos admen with prediction engine

Blacklight
Devil

You clearly missed the "experiments"

A while back, if you paused on VM TiVo, an ad popped up on the pause bar (for Tetley, IIRC) - so you may have something foisted on the screen even if you ignore it. It got slammed and went away (for a bit).

Also - do you not find it very suspicious that 99% of the channels on VM TiVo (other than terrestrial) seem to have magically sync'd their advert breaks? Get bored and channel hop? More ads...

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Google mass logout riddle deepens: OAuth token fumble blamed

Blacklight
FAIL

WTF?

I saw all of my G devices logout, and this was timed when one of my 5X handsets had died, and I was in the process of recovering data and then RMA'ing it.

Mostly this was an inconvenience, and did initially raise an alarm as I was the account section checking if I'd gained another login elsewhere (I'd hope not, I use 2FA).

What worries me more is the OnHub resets! I don't have one, and personally this just adds to why I won't get one. "Key" infrastructure devices, ala routers should not be subject to the whim of an external 3rd party at all, error or otherwise. At worst I'd expect them to sever connections with the Cloud and request you log back in again, but NOT reset and take all the config with it....

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The Register's guide to protecting your data when visiting the US

Blacklight

Re: @2460 Something

Use multi-factor.

SSH can be set to use pubkey, OTP and user/password (in any order), if not more. It can also be set to act differently depending on connecting IP. At home? Simple password. Not at home? All of the above.

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Soz fanbois, Apple DIDN'T invent the smartphone after all

Blacklight
FAIL

Sendo X did e-mail, and let you lug around your own music (on a card, or via USB no less!). We were even looking at cloud services. The X2 even had a nice VR game, but never got off the blocks, as Sendo went "phoom", cue Moto entering stage left. Moto had already tried to lure fanbois with the (ahem) MotoRokr back in 2005 - but that wasn't a smart phone. But who cared? Fun glowy LEDs! But then, out of Brum, came the (ring ring ring ring ring ring ring) Banaphone Z8.

The Z8 did do some very nice things, was nicely specced, had that fun form factor (although WTF marketing managed to do with that "horse" advert I have no idea) - although it was a potentially risk dalliance with UIQ over S60.

But then "Oh hai, iPhone" with it's large screen" and "touchscreen" and "bai bai" everything....but seriously, ignore the fact it happened to have "Apple" on it, the larger touch enabled screens are pretty much what won it...

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Samsung SmartCam: Yes, those eyes really are following you around the room

Blacklight
Thumb Up

They have their places...

We've got a PTZ ethernet (or optionally, WiFi) camera with microphone (but no speakers), which we have dual purposed - in the night as a baby monitor (using a now aging Nexus 7 as the monitor) and in the daytime, it can be used to keep an eye on outdoors (via a window).

It's "LAN only", doesn't connect to t'internet - or allow connections from t'internet - if we're "off LAN" we access it via a VPN - but we're probably not the target market Samsung are addressing here...

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Google may just have silently snuffed the tablet computer

Blacklight

Already said above, but the Pixel-C is a lovely bit of kit (although I can recommend NOT dropping it, as whilst the screen survived, trying to 'undent' the metal case is challenging!)

I've got a Nexus 7 (2013), which won't go beyond Android 6, and is a bit slow, but it's used for some games, and principally a baby monitor (IP Cam viewer) at night.

The Pixel-C is just a joy to use when you CBA with a phone. A bit heavy, but sometimes heft is good.

I was considering a Pixel Phone to replace the 5X, but £599 or £820? They're having a giraffe.

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NASA starts countdown for Cassini probe's Saturn death dive

Blacklight

Ah, the braided rings: perhaps THIS time a probe will send back a decent photo of 'Message Bearer' ... ;-)

I for one welcome the Chtaptisk Fithp...

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Delete Google Maps? Go ahead, says Google, we'll still track you

Blacklight

Nexus 5X here with Android 7.0 on.

Location for the Store is "off" and I didn't' turn it off, it's just "off". I didn't see any request to enable it either....

The only thing I did note was that I had Developer mode "uncovered" before the 6.0-7.0 upgrade, but it was disabled. Post upgrade, it was ENABLED and "Automatic system updates" were enabled...

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Google swats Nexus 5X vulnerable fastboot memory dump flaw

Blacklight

A link to other materials here would be useful :)

The 5X has an encrypted file system, however other sources on this vuln show the password is left sitting "unguarded" in the extracted image, so someone with the image could unlock the device, or clone it.

Hopefully Google have either salted this passphrase now, rather than just stopping the panic enabling extraction.....

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'I'm sorry, your lift has had a problem and had to shut down'

Blacklight

One of the offices I work at has three lifts. Above each one, on each floor, is a 4"x2" ish panel, showing the floor the lift is on, and a directional arrow.

Except one day the left most one was showing a teeny tiny Windows 2000 screen.....(not a BSOD, just the desktop...)

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YouTube breaks Sony Bravias

Blacklight
Windows

Meh.

I decided I'd never have a Smart TV, until the only way I could get a larger panel with 3D support was a Smart TV.

So I had a play, and while the interface isn't super whizzy, it works - although the unit has the most stupid design flaw - I can turn if OFF via Ethernet, once it's OFF, it doesn't respond to WoL, so you have to resort to a pinky interface, or good old IR. Well done there, that manufacturer.

But still, as it the box supports YouTube, Google Play Movies, Talk Talk TV/BlinkBox & NowTV. If any of those fail, those apps all support Chromecast, and I've got one of those too. £25 isn't a lot to shell out. Or, as mentioned, I could resurrect the Pi2 I have lying around...

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'Nigerian scammer' busted after he infected himself with malware

Blacklight

Re: Amazingly

I've got one of these (and scanned it for posterity) if El Reg would like to run an expose on it...

It ticked all the boxes:

1) Shiny company name

2) Shiny company address (Geneva) - which, if Streetviewed, is a cinema and hairdressers....(presumably a unit above it)

3) Webmail email address

4) "Phone" number that points to a REGUS FAX number

5) Offer of lots of good investments

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Windows 10 Anniversary Update is borking boxen everywhere

Blacklight

The upgrade has had some fun with my machine.

a) Restart after updating - well, no, it powered the machine off

b) ICMP (inbound) ping/response was disabled, after I'd explicitly enabled it

c) Jumbo Frame support magically got disabled

d) System Restore - also magically turned off - I created a Restore Point FIRST, and when I ran some diags/checks afterwards, System Restore on C: was disabled.

I'd advise you to check all your settings, just in case...

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Windows 10 Anniversary Update: This design needs a dictator

Blacklight
FAIL

It landed on my PC.

"Restart to install updates" - except it shutdown and powered off. Nice.

It also disabled incoming ICMP (which I'd explicitly turned ON before). Nice. That upset my elementary monitoring.

It turned off my Jumbo Frame support, which upset my file transfer speeds, and me.

I'm also using a local account, but it said it required access to my MS account "for something". It then showed up under Account again (since removed and logged out and it's not come back. Yet).

It enabled Windows Ink without asking. It got turned off.

Cortana is absent, as I'm using a local account. Good.

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Facebook to kill native chat, bring opt-in crypto to Messenger

Blacklight

Re: Article short on details

^^ This. Use the mobile app, get requested to install Messenger. Use the mobile website, get diverted to install Messenger. Cancel, and you can use the mobile website. If you use a mobile with "desktop view" it kind of works (but Android & Facebooks auto scrolldown/refresh keeps confusing it).

Important messages still go via SMS, and some friends have already migrated to Signal.

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'Windows 10 nagware: You can't click X. Make a date OR ELSE'

Blacklight
Stop

IANAL, but doesn't that constitute Misuse of Computers somewhere along the line?

Or do the terms of Win7 (et al) basically state you absolve your self of any/all choice? Or (worse) that the wording regarding "updates" is that they are offered without warranty, and WinX gets labeled as an "update" to get them around it?

Disclaimer : I have WinX (Home & Pro) on two machines, and don't hate it. Only gripe is the "Oh hai, buy Office 365 plz" self installing appvertisement...

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A UK digital driving licence: What could possibly go wrong?

Blacklight
Devil

Elementary...

Well, combine it with ANPR/speed camera and facial recognition...

"You have....FIVE...points remaining on your licence...."

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Official: Microsoft's 'Get Windows 10' nagware to vanish from PCs in July

Blacklight
Mushroom

Replace one with another...

It may well stop nagging you, but I've just fired up my W10 box, to have a notification that my version of Office (2007, paid for, working nicely still) is not the latest one, and would I like to upgrade? (50% off! Buy now! Every year!)

Erm, no thanks!

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Half of people plug in USB drives they find in the parking lot

Blacklight
Stop

Well...

"George found it. George was curious.

Now George is an Unemployed Silly Bugger.

Don't be like George - hand it in, don't plug it in".

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Nest bricks Revolv home automation hubs, because evolution

Blacklight

Re: Firmware

"I doubt that's as simple as people may want it to be. Even if the cloud-dependency is limited to the user interface (i.e. telling the home control unit how you want it to react to specific events, which it then continues to do autonomously) it needs to have that user interface added somehow, either on the control unit, or by adding that functionality to the control app on your phone/tablet/laptop."

It's not simple, but it's an option. There are other solutions to call commands - or they could expose REST type interfaces. OpenRemote (that I use) ties multiple IoT things together, and whilst OR does use a cloud designer, once it's synced to your controller device (in this case, my NAS), it no longer needs the cloud. If their servers die, I can't extend it easily, but I'm not entirely hamstrung. There are bound to be other similar things out there.

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Blacklight
Terminator

Is there a WiKi of IoT makers and wether they do/don't need cloud? There probably is, I'm just lazy and confident someone will be along with a LMGTFY link shortly :)

I have a blend of things, most of which have 'net connectivity in some form, but not all are cloud dependent. Philips Hue can be cloud linked, but doesn't need to be. LightwaveRF is the same (but by default is cloud linked). My biggest issue has been vendors (i.e. LightwaveRF) constantly developing the firmware and not publically releasing any API - so when you figure something out, it often breaks without warning - although their helpdesk has gotten much better at providing info post breakage!

I hadn't heard of Revolv, but would at least hope that they (or any other bought out team) would be able to provide a last firmware update that decouples the unit from the cloud and operate locally.

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Google emits Android N developer preview early to smoke out bugs

Blacklight
Stop

:(

"The Google Store Promotional Codes Terms apply. Offer (one redemption per person) only available in the United States while supplies last."

Well sheeeeeet.

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Stray electronic-magnetic leaks used to harvest PC crypto keys

Blacklight

Random?

Soooo, if they (currently) require multiple runs to capture/identify the signals - presumably any machine running "other code" at the same time (as most machines do?) might well create obfuscation? Also, why not simply build in random calls during the decrypt, for optional "secure decryption" - every X operations, head -Y /dev/random into /dev/null (or /tmp/file), and use a decent RNG to generate X & Y. It'd slow the process down, but theoretically create enough chaff to hide things, and wouldn't be the same on any replay?

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Microsoft encrypts explanation of borked Windows 10 encryption

Blacklight
Mushroom

Whut?

"I'm sorry Dave, you want to add encryption to a self encrypting drive? I'm afraid we (and various agencies of choice) can't decrypt that (so we don't like it)".

Well, probably.

I was mortified to see the default is to save BitLocker keys "into the (MS) cloud" for you(r safety). Unless you have Win 10 Pro, in which case you are allegedly deemed capable of not losing your keys.

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No boxy Volvo: Chilling in the S60 D3 Manual R-Design Lux Nav

Blacklight

Re: Lane keeping aid

"The adaptive cruise on the Volvo is easily the best of any car out there, far smoother than competing systems and able to follow the car in front at a range of distances from "miles away" to "Audi". "

Not on mine, although maybe that's as I have a '60 plate S60 D5 which was one of the early release "new look" ones.

The adaptive cruise is good, but the closest it lets you get is at least 2-3 car lengths, whereas the average Audi can get so close they may as well be in the back seat.

Also, mine is a bit naff at spotting people changing lanes into yours, between the car and the one it's following - you can watch them move over, until they are firmly in the lane with you and driving normally, THEN the car will go "ooh, a car" and promptly slow down/brake. If you have the distance set at 2-3 car lengths, that can be quite 'interesting'. I've learned how it behaves, but I suspect it REALLY annoys the car(s) behind....

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Hacking Team spyware rootkit: Even a new HARD DRIVE wouldn't get rid of it

Blacklight
Windows

So....

Does BitLocker assist here?

Assuming you've turned on the PCRs which check the BIOS and/or option ROMs haven't changed checksum, and you've got boot protection enabled (i.e. key/passphrase required) then the O/S should have a hissy fit on boot up, which should ring alarm bells?

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Drill, baby, drill: HIDDEN glaciers ON MARS hold 150bn cubic metres of precious frozen WATER

Blacklight
Alien

Quaid.....

"Start the reactor...."

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Ten things you always wanted to know about IP Voice

Blacklight
Angel

It's fun....

I saw SIP in use originally in a commercial arena, and wanted to play - so setup Asterisk, with an SPA3102 linked to my DECT handsets. VoIP + PSTN failback, all worked nicely - until you realise the some PSTN carriers don't play nicely (Virgin + Clear on Disconnect? Not without lots of emails).

I've used 'free' systems like Voxalot, and commercials (like SipGate, VoIP.co.uk etc) and never had bad quality on any. The hardest bit is generally sorting out why Asterisk will play nicely with Trunk Provider 1, and not Trunk Provider 2....typically down to some esoteric setting.

But it's nice wangling cheaper/lower cost calls. If Google Voice hurried up and came to the UK properly I'd be plugging that in too....

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FREAK show: Apple and Android SSL WIDE OPEN to snoopers

Blacklight

Nexus 5 / Android 5.0.1 / Chrome 40.0.2214.109 - oops

Mine comes up with a nice fat "Warning! Your client is vulnerable to CVE-2015-0204".

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Google crashes supposedly secure Aviator browser

Blacklight

Re: Own goal by Google...

It is indeed. Run with SandboxIE and Ghostery/Adblock (as mentioned) it is quite the speedy thing....

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Chromecast video on UK, Euro TVs hertz so badly it makes us judder – but Google 'won't fix'

Blacklight
Flame

Aaaaargh!

To be fair, I hadn't seen any juddery images, although I do have a nice TV which does iron out a lot of crap (24Hz compatible TV, AMP and BD player have removed any jerky BD videos for example).

However, since Android Lollipop landed, my previously working (on 4.4.4) "Cast Screen" functionality has gone walkies. YouTube and other apps work, but I (and others, judging by the forums) can't cast screen anymore...

Way to go backwards!

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Man brings knife to a gun fight and WINS

Blacklight
Facepalm

I demand....

Tom Selleck and a police unit in the style of "Runaway" immediately!

1
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A moment of brilliance? UPnP for Internet of Stuff lightbulbs

Blacklight

If you're willing to dabble....

OpenRemote (www.openremote.org) - it's a free (for home use) server you can clap on a box at home (if you don't mind a JVM) with Android and iPhone clients, which lets you talk to anything that has an IP.

My *nix based installation serves custom screens and talks to Philips Hue, LightwaveRF, Globalcache iTach (IP2IR), and an IP enabled A/V receiver. Others have much more! Now both mine and my wife's phones (and our tablet) can act as unified remotes. My server also has a VPN so (if needs be) I can run things remotely/securely (OpenSSL/BASH vulns aside!)

Personally, having found Hue to be the easiest to work with, I'd love everything to speak JSON and use REST APIs - but as long as it has an API, I can wrap it in :)

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OpenVPN open to pre-auth Bash Shellshock bug – researcher

Blacklight

I use OpenVPN and auth-user-pass-verify....

So read this and went "eep".

However I checked my script, and it's #!/bin/sh, so that's ok then (and bash has also been patched on my box).

But I'm also using client certs, tls-auth files, non-default ciper algorithms and of course the auth-user-pass-verify. But if you've managed to get my certs, tls file and password, I suspect that's the least of my worries :)

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Got your NUDE SELFIES in the cloud? Two-factor auth's your best bet for securing them

Blacklight

Re: So we'll all have

Amen to that.

Google provide 2FA for their entire suite of apps (behind the "Google Account") - they also provide printable one time codes in case you lose your phone/flat battery etc.

Google Authenticator also allows other codes to be added from other apps. My Joomla installation and a NAS box (with PAM 2FA based auth) are sitting looking at me, under my Google Account.

Facebook also provide 2FA, which pops up on your mobile if you try to login on a PC.

Using the above has in no way been complicated, and it's reassuring knowing it's there.

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Moto 360: Neat gizmo – if you're a rich nerd

Blacklight

Insert obligatory Dick Tracy reference here :)

If they made them chargeable from movement ala some 'normal' watches, and thinner I'd be interested - until then I have a very nice traditional swiss affair which shall continue to adorn my wrist :)

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Virgin Media hit by MORE YouTube buffering glitches

Blacklight

Not just YouTube. Some selective things seem to happen. I use OpenDNS, and performance to their servers (resolution time) went to hell recently. Use Google/VM DNS and all ok.

Diags from their end all showed ok, just "suspect routing" betwixt VM and OpenDNS...

Seems to have recovered more recently, but still...

0
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Boffins attempt to prove the UNIVERSE IS JUST A HOLOGRAM

Blacklight

Re: Reminds me of ...

...or Muad-dib?

We're about to "try to look inside that place you cannot look"....

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London cops cuff 20-year-old man for unblocking blocked websites

Blacklight
Alert

Well....

Given the current tactic seems be "Block the IP resulting from a DNS query", I can see them shortly resort to "just redirect the whole damn domain", followed by "just block access to DNS".

Because they are that stupid.

Incidentally, the court order to block a site (ala BitTorrent) - doesn't that just apply "to the ISP", rather than it's customers? As (IANAL) customers are not subject to the order - although they are impacted by the ISPs compliance with it, gaining access via other methods (another DNS/IP, or VPN) is not the fault of the ISP, or a breach of an order against it's customers, because one doesn't exist.....?

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UK WhatsApp duo convicted of possessing extreme porn

Blacklight

Re: Ridiculous

"Why is your phone encrypted? Please meet RIPA. Hand over the decryption keys".

28
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Fridge hacked. Car hacked. Next up, your LIGHT BULBS

Blacklight

Re: now lightbulbs need a firmware upgrade?

The Hue bulbs do have f/w and update - although Philips don't really tell you about this...

When I bought mine, when you turned them on, they went from 0% to 100% smoothly over about 1.5 seconds....then one day, one started turning on to 100% pretty much immediately.

I dig into the hub interface shows that the bulbs were being updated - the hub reports the bulb f/w to homebase and (I presume) proxies the s/w to the bulb over it's hybrid Zigbee interface. Works though, just a bit slow (the bulbs have to be powered on at the switch, even if you have them 'soft off').

The hub also does talk to the 'net and you can control lights remotely, although you can disable that and run them from LAN only - if you so desire/require.

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Blacklight
FAIL

Meh

I was really keen on LIFX, but every time I asked them about 802.1x capabilities (my WLAN runs TLS & cert auth) I never got a proper answer. Not even a "No, it doesn't do cert auth".

Philips Hue sidesteps this by having a wired controller using Zigbee - and was available, and has a nice REST API, so I went down that route....

0
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Home automation while it's hot: Winter warmth for lazy technophiles

Blacklight
Flame

Or....roll your own :)

Albeit only on/off control - but better than nothing :)

LightWaveRF controller, £60 (ish)

LightWaveRF relay (which can operate in volt free switching mode), £30.

Time taken to wire relay to my boilers volt free thermostat switch, about 5 mins. Time taken to mount relay in a box on the wall and spur power to it, about 10 mins.

LightWaveRF's app works remotely, so you can turn it on/off remotely, or set timers etc - or (as I also have) control it via other systems, in my case OpenRemote.

My boiler has usefully currently got a fault (suspect air pressure switch) and is 14 years old - so if I do upgrade the boiler, I may well go down the thermostat route however!

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Missiles-on-rooftops Brit spy Farr: UK gov can slurp your Facebook, Twitter ... What of it?

Blacklight
WTF?

Hang on a minute....

So, I'm in the UK and I place a call (on a landline) to someone in the US (or anywhere outside the UK and it's associated territories).

That call is routed over UK based equipment. Intercepting it (and "interception" is the word used in the article" requires a warrant. Why is the same not true of anything in transit to an internet site?

Granted once it's arrived at said destination, if said destination is outside the UK, and/or set to be public, then fine, look at it all you want....but snarfing it "in flight" still counts as interception within the UK.....doesn't it?

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