* Posts by SloppyJesse

65 posts • joined 27 Apr 2017


Switzerland 'first' country to roll out contact-tracing app using Apple-Google APIs to track coronavirus spread


Re: Why do they keep repeating that ?

As others have said, having location and other details is necessary to trace/contact those that do not have the app, and it's useful to look at probable infection locations to improve behavioural guidance and policy.

But... Neither needs to be mandatory for the automated contact notifications to work. In fact, making these additional features mandatory damages the basic tracing goal by reducing uptake.

EU General Court tears up ban on Three slurping O2. Good thing the latter's not set to merge with Virgin Media, eh?


Re: doesn't matter anymore

UK might be out of the EU, but the EU still exists. It's not about the merger that was blocked, it's about the precedent it set, which has now been overturned. The reason was signposted very clearly in the last paragraph.

... "CK Hutchison will inevitably be emboldened when it comes to future mergers in mainland Europe, where it owns networks in Austria, Denmark, Ireland, Sweden, and Italy."

Easyjet hacked: 9 million people's data accessed plus 2,200 folks' credit card details grabbed


Re: Never store CC details

Or those that only accept *some* symbols.

Plenty don't accept £, presumably because it isn't easily typeable on a US keyboard.

NHS contact tracing app isn't really anonymous, is riddled with bugs, and is open to abuse. Good thing we're not in the middle of a pandemic, eh?


"for the app to work, information that identifies a phone/person needs to be retained and exchanged with other identifiable phones/persons. All solutions require the information to be shared via a 'trusted' broker..."

Trusted broker, yes

Identifiable information exchanged, no

If I've understood the google/apple solution correctly, my phone comes into contact with your phone. It gives your phone a one time code. If you get the virus your phone uploads all the onetime codes it has received in the last 14 days to a server. Every phone downloads the list of all codes. When my phone sees one of its codes it looks at it's own data to identify what the contact was (how close, how long etc).

The server only ever has a bunch of random codes. The server is just message passing.

Watch out, everyone, here come the Coronavirus Cops, enjoying their little slice of power way too much


Re: Reality check

"Nothing has changed the burden of proof. "

No, but the act is written in the negative. You cannot go out, unless for one of the specified reasons. So if a copper asks it's on you to provide a reason. If you say "none of your business, do one", they may well reply " here's a nice fine for you to pay".

It's similar to the "going equipped" offence. If you're spotted wandering through an industrial estate at night with a crowbar the onus is on you to demonstrate you're not about to force your way into that factory.

Alternatively you could say you're homeless. Then the rule does not apply.

Borklays soz for the ailing ATMs but won't say if fix involved a Microsoft invoice

Big Brother

They're not alone

It's not just banks, or even UK that suffer these issues.

Travelling through Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris recently a number of the automated passport control gates were displaying a windows error dialog over the top of their normal UI.

I would have taken a photo but didn't fancy extending my stay. Big brother icon because, well, passport control.

In case you want to flee this wretched Earth, 139 minor planets were spotted at the outer reaches of our Solar System. Just an FYI...


"bidding their time"

That could explain some of the entries on ebay...

Larry Tesler cut and pasted from this mortal coil: That thing you just did? He probably invented it


action should have a consistent effect

"Tesler's vision was that a user's action should have a consistent effect"

Now wouldn't that be nice?


Re: The AI Effect

"... the only thing that relies on quantum processing in the biological world..."

What about birds navigation? https://www.wired.com/2011/01/quantum-birds/

Don't Xiaomi pics of other people's places! Chinese kitmaker fingers dodgy Boxing Day cache update after Google banishes it from Home


Re: My apologies for stating the obvious:

Sounds like an app bug that revealed an architectural flaw feature.

I'm still not that Gary, says US email mixup bloke who hasn't even seen Dartford Crossing


Re: Can I get you to do Morrisons as well?

A GP near London has registered my mobile for a patient, so I get helpful reminders of their physio appointments.

Cannot reply to the number, no details of the GP and the 3rd party system provider doesn't respond to emails.

Amazing that an NHS provider doesn't do basic verification.

I'm waiting for a message to include PII so I can report to the ICO - maybe they will care.

IT contractor has £240k bill torn up after IR35 win against UK taxman


"Listen there are so many of us contractors/locums/agency workers. Why aren't we forming some body to tackle these HMRC morons!??"

Ever heard of IPSE?

The mod firing squad: Stack Exchange embroiled in 'he said, she said, they said' row


Re: Surely it's just a bit of civility

"You work at that bench. The person who works at that bench always gets called Alec. That kid works at that bench, so he gets called Brian"...

Let me guess, you worked at the first bench? After Brian came Carl , Dave, Eric, Frank...

UK.gov's smart meter cost-benefit analysis for 2019 goes big on cost, easy on the benefits


What's a meter reader?

"I mean, it would have enabled them to get rid of huge swathes of staffing costs, like meter readers"

Really? Do they still employ meter readers?

Haven't heard them mentioned since I was with British Gas (for my electric, obviously). And even they haven't actually read the meter since being outsourced. Every 12 months or so, BG would insist the outsourced reader needed to come round despite me providing regular readings (to guard against fraud apparently). The outsourced reader would leave a card, I'd write the reading I'd previously provided online and leave it stuck to the porch window.

I don't think anyone other than me has actually read the meter in 12 years.

Tesla Autopilot crash driver may have been eating a bagel at the time, was lucky not to get schmeared on road


Re: Did he get a ticket?

Emergency lights on the back of police and traffic officers in the UK are highly directional. If you're behind them they're really bright but move off the centre line and they fade quickly.

Presumably this is by design to limit distraction to other lanes - unfortunately are highway wombles seem to like skewing their cars at an angle behind broken down vehicles. On a couple of occasions I've come round a slow left bend and it's like there are no lights on the back, move over to the next lane and it's like Blackpool illuminations.


Re: Did he get a ticket?

Human memory of events is highly flexible.

I had an accident on a roundabout where the vehicle to my left decided they wanted to turn right and drove straight into the side of me. Dashcam showed they'd joined alongside me, gone very wide and then turned in so when they hit me their car was almost 90 degrees to me. I'd have sworn blind they had come from the second entry not from the same one as me without video proof.

SpaceX didn't move sat out of impending smash doom because it 'didn't see ESA's messages'


"Languages let you do stupid shit like this, " ... "This is the main problem with formal verification."

Isn't that the point of having languages like Ada that is strict about what you can write, allowing formal verification to take place? In other words, if you need formal verification, don't use a language that allows you to do stupid shit.

Bus pass or bus ass? Hackers peeved about public transport claim to have reverse engineered ticket app for free rides


Re: Still too expensive

"The two fecking buses could coordinate to switch passengers and stabilise the timetable,"

I used to travel out of Swindon (unfortunately I had to go back the next day) on a service which always got bunched up by the time it got to the edge of town. The drivers would regularly swap passengers while queuing a cross the motorway junction to allow the first bus to 'go direct'. But that was in the days before CCTV and GPS monitoring - I bet they'd not be allowed to do it now.

In my current city they tried an intelligent bus stop system that shows time to the next bus. They bought it cheap second hand from another council. The bus companies refused to use it saying it was too expensive to integrate with their vehicles. Even on then trial routes it never gave accurate information anyway. One wonders why the original council never used it... Council. Booze up. Brewery.

The only way our bus services will get better and be comprehensive is if they can be run properly on an area basis, rather than this crazy route by route basis where private companies can take profit from busy routes but expect subsidy to run others. Even our dear leader(*) has said public transport would be better if everyone followed TfL's approach - unfortunately he failed to point out that would be illegal under the current transport acts.

* or "Babbling fatberg of dishonesty" as Ratbiter in Private Eye has decided to refer to him

Stalking cheap Chinese GPS child trackers is as easy as 123... 456 – because that's the default password on 600k+ of these gizmos


White hat botnet

Unfortunately the people buying these are unlikely to be reading articles like this. And if they are they may well justify that it's all too technical for Pete the Paedo to use to target little Jimmy.

The only way this is likely to be taken seriously is a very visual demonstration of how much data is available - anyone got a bot net to hijack and track them all for 7 days and publish it all on a map? That's the kinda thing that might get some attention. Of course we'd also have to contend with the big data slurpers and usual TLAs that actively play down any data privacy issues in case it results in rules that impact their own activities.

Oops, wait, yeah, we did hand over photos for King's Cross facial-recog CCTV, cops admit


Re: Your face, your ass

Have a pint while I wipe the breakfast off my screen...

In Hemel Hempstead, cycling is as bad as taking a leak in the middle of the street


Re: Banning Cyclists

Dismounting is sensible on a busy pedestrian zone, but this ruling makes it illegal at all times. There's unlikely to be a safety issue in an average town center at 7am.

Seems to me these kinds of blanket ban are brought in because councils have no confidence staff on the ground can exercise good judgement between a sensible cyclist pootling along a half empty street and an a#$*h@le pulling wheelies on a Saturday afternoon.

Mozilla says Firefox won't defang ad blockers – unlike a certain ad-giant browser


Re: Ads

"There's no specific ad in the film, but you see the Product, you become aware of it, and maybe then next time you think, oh I could use a new product, maybe i should get the Product that was in that film. Job done."

That's why I've never bought an Apple laptop - I'm not a spy, drug dealer, criminal mastermind...

Heathrow Airport drops £50m on CT scanners to help smooth passage through security checks


Re: Interpretation?

"I wonder what sort of training the staff will get to interpret the scans"

They're training the AI already.

What? You thought there would be actual staff?!


Re: if the tech will mean an end to the daft liquids rule – only 100ml per container

"It's not 100ml of liquid, it's a container with liquid that has a capacity over 100ml."

The with is important. I can take an empty 1l bottle and a separate 100ml bottle of Kia-ora and then mix airside at the water fountain.

And inflation is slowly making the "travel" products pointless. many toothpastes are only 100ml now.

British ISPs throw in the towel, give up sending out toothless copyright infringement warnings


Re: In the real world

I used to get them regularly when I was with Zen. The details on what was being downloaded were never remotely accurate - normally some recently released movie. They seemed to just send them to anyone accessing torrents.

BT staffers fear new mums could be hit disproportionately by car allowance change


Equalities Act

Not really.

Before this change everyone receiving a car allowance is getting a better deal when statutory maternity pay kicks in than those that only get basic pay.

After this change it is exactly the same situation, except some people that were in group A are now in group B.

They're not changing how they treat people, just which ones are in which situation.

Seems to me the underlying unfairness is that those on basic pay move to a statutory amount whilst those on pay+perks get statutory+perks.

Metropolitan Police's facial recognition tech not only crap, but also of dubious legality – report


Re: Help with "Innovative Solutions"

" If the system scanned 10,000 face at Notting Hill and made 42 suggestions of which 8 were correct thats pretty fucking good going I dont think a copper stood watching the crowd on his own would get 8 results."

And there is the exact reason this is not the way to test the effectiveness of this technology.

We do not know how many valid targets there were in the population checked.

What they should be doing is recruiting a bunch of volunteers, putting them (and only them) into the system and then sending them into a crowd. Then we'd be getting sensible information to judge effectiveness.

The Eldritch Horror of Date Formatting is visited upon Tesco


Re: I hate to be a spoilsport but…

... "Though not quite as worrying as that the supplier maybe running a computer system so old that it needs to save the odd byte!"

Printing less digits saves ink. You've seen the price of ink, right?

Boeing big cheese repeats pledge of 737 Max software updates following fatal crashes


Re: As an aside, one thing that annoys me about my car

My Peugeot forgets the position of the rear wiper switch. If it is on when the ignition is turned on they do not function. Have to turn the switch off and on again.

Guess someone forgot to call the 'check the physical switch position' routine...

And if you turn the fog lights on with headlight on auto guess what? Yup, if it gets lighter the auto headlights turn off and also cut the fog lights off. Because no one ever started driving on a foggy dark morning and it got lighter...

Don't get me started on the sound system...

UK spy overseer: Snooper's Charter cockups are still getting innocents arrested


Re: Wrong IP? Pah - Try Plusnet!

> So somewhere in Plusnet land they had

> screwed up the MAC<> credentials list

Clearly they should be using blockchain to store this kind of information.

Terribly Sorry Bank reports 165% drop in profits to a pre-tax loss of £105.4m


Re: Who decided such massive change all at once?

Having been involved in a number of banking system migrations albeit with credit cards the idea of a multi-stage migration creates far more problems than it solves.

The big bang approach is far more straight forward - but you have to get the destination system in order and test, test, test before committing to the live migration.

This sounds a lot like the project was told to move, or simply ran out of time to prepare before an immovable deadline. Believe they were moving off the Lloyd's platform - bet there were ridiculous financial penalties kicking in for not leaving on time and someone senior made the call to go with the migration and then firefight the issues on the other side.

Say what?! An AI system can decode brain signals into speech


Re: Er, didn't "House" [M.D.] have this a few years back ?

The Russians developed it in the 80s, even built a fighter jet controlled using it. You had to think in Russian mind.

'course those pesky Americans didn't like not having the best toys and sent a bloke called Gant who looked remarkably like Clint Eastwood to steal it. All went horribly wrong, the bird was dumped in a lake and the whole debarkle was hushed up.

Who's watching you from an unmarked van while you shop in London? Cops with facial recog tech


It's not about accuracy

They're not testing the system for accuracy, they're testing if they can get away with using this kind of system.

Canuck couple returns home after night on tiles to gaggle of randomers hanging out in their flat


Re: It always pays to carry a Micro-Uzi in a shoulder holster

"It's not the tool, it's the user. If you allow the bad guy to take your pointy stick, the bad guy might use it against you or your family. Solution: Don't allow the bad guy to take your pointy stick."

Alternatively, only carry if you can guarantee 100% that no one could possibly take your stick. Can you do that? Can anyone?

"Or you could allow your government to ban the private use of pointy sticks ... and thus ensure little B1ff and Buffy never need to learn to write with pencil on paper. I'm sure your nanny state would approve heartily."

OK, you can keep pointy sticks that are clearly designed for uses that are socially acceptable, such as pencils. But you can't have pointy sticks that are purely designed to penetrate other humans against their will. While we're on the subject you can have items that fire projectiles such as nail guns and tennis practice machines, but not guns, on the same basis.

"As a side note, does anybody important use the Uzi anymore? I haven't seen one in over a decade, and I can't remember hearing the name mentioned in about as long."

Every time I watch my Arnie back catalogue. "Uzi 9mm, ar-sooo-lee". Icon : Arnie in his prime...

Oh my chord! Sennheiser hits bum note with major HTTPS certificate cock-up


Maybe they had been drinking the same kool-aid as the IOT tat merchants - everything must connect back to the manufacturers site.

Think of the data slurping opportunities...

UK data watchdog fines Facebook 17 minutes of net profit for Cambridge Analytica brouhaha


Re: The fine is way too low...

Not likely to get a per person shared, but maybe per 3rd party they allowed to harvest data? There seemed to be plenty of allegations of other apps that were hoovering up personal data without informing the individuals

Yale Weds: Just some system maintenance, nothing to worry about. Yale Thurs: Nobody's smart alarm app works


Re: Not Surprised

@Lee D

I agree. With most IOT devices it's the architectural decision to include a 3rd party server in the mix that makes me twitch. An app could be designed to contact the iot device directly, no need for the manufacturer to put their server in the middle. But then how would they slurp data on usage to improve their product sell more tat?


> What was his plan to "enter his property" if his

> phone was lost, stolen, broken or out of battery?

Backup phone fully charged with the app installed underneath the dustbin, obviously. The guy's not a complete idiot...

Dixons Carphone: Yeah, so, about that hack we said hit 1.2m records? Multiply that by 8.3


"What we need is auto-generated card numbers, so we can have a different card number to us to use at different online retailers, surely it wouldn't be that hard to do?"

Cahoot tried this many years ago. You could 'create' a card with a specific limit and limited valid date. Worked, but I think the problem is volume of numbers needed.

What is really required is a better authentication scheme. Chip and pin and secure code/verified by visa are better, but as long as people can fall back to simply entering a few non changing values there will be a huge hole that ne'er do wells will exploit.

Brit IT contractor wins appeal against HMRC to pay £26k in back taxes


Re: Hopefully they can make fairer rules and less of a crap-shoot

"That will reduce any corporation tax your company might be liable for but it is an expected expense for boy you (pre Income Tax) and for your company to show that you are operating your business properly."

If your contract is within IR35 your pension contribution will still be after tax. Just one of the many issues with IR35.

Hacking train Wi-Fi may expose passenger data and control systems


Re: Routers, Routers, Routers

>Would it be any good for Gov enforcing a new design for routers utilised in any infrastructure project.

Doubt it - because, um, government

>Hardened routers, No-Wifi-admin and No-remote-admin.

No remote admin? So you want any changes to be made by the train assistant? Or require a trip to the depot?

>Separate routers for public access that only connect to public networks.

At some point the 'private' stuff on the train is going to need to reach out across t'Internet. Unless you're suggesting the railways build a private wireless infrastructure for their trains? (which might not always have been as mad as it sounds - I recall stories of proposals in the early days of mobile for just that since they had a huge wired commas network for trackside)

>Encryption needs to be stronger than the time the

>longest trip takes How long are passengers (potential hackers) on the train for ? Perhaps length of a >Chunnel trip France-England.

Is that a joke? Takes me longer to get to London from the Midlands than the Eurostar. Maybe London -> Scotland. There's a reason you can get a bed!

UK's Department of Fun seeks data strategy head – experience not needed


Re: a salary of up to £65,535

The intern gets 0.

Cryptocoin investors sue Chase Bank for sky-high credit card charges


MasterCard 'clarification' of MCC/SIC code?

Sounds to me like the change in charges was linked to the MCC code Coinbase was using. There were articles earlier in the year about MasterCard 'clarifying' to crypto currency exchanges what code they should use.

If coinbase changed from a code not considered a cash advance to one that is then most (if not all) card providers would automatically classify the new transactions as cash.

That would make Chase's statement entirely correct. The people affected can probably see this as the code is often on the card statement.

Maybe they should go after coinbase? But Chase probably has deeper pockets...

What's silent but violent and costs $250m? Yes, it's Lockheed Martin's super-quiet, supersonic X-plane for NASA


Re: Others Already In The Works

I'd rather they concentrated on efficiency and pollution reduction, like these guys http://silentaircraft.org/design

But that's not as sexy as going supersonic I s'pose.

Politicos whining about folks' data rights ought to start closer to home


Re: Voting is a public duty

"withholding it is the clearest signal I can give"

So having taken the time to carefully consider your options you decide to lump yourself in with those that cannot be arsed? Hardly a 'clear' signal.

Better to turn up and write your opinion on the ballot paper - at least then you get included in the turnout figure.

Bitcoin heist with a twist: This time it's servers that were stolen


That's not how blockchain mining works. The 'value' of a generated block is allocated to the public key of the miner that generated it. You'd need the private key to spend it and the miner has no need for that. A sensibly configured miner would not have access to private keys.

Equifax peeks under couch, finds 2.4 million more folk hit by breach


Will GDPR prevent companies using 3rd parties with such a bad history?

GDPR article 28

"Where processing is to be carried out on behalf of a controller, the controller shall use only processors providing sufficient guarantees to implement appropriate technical and organisational measures in such a manner that processing will meet the requirements of this Regulation and ensure the protection of the rights of the data subject. " [http://www.privacy-regulation.eu/en/index.htm]

Think Equifax may struggle to provide such guarantees based on recent behaviour. Assuming the regulations expect guarantees to be worth more than the paper they are written on.

Google gives mobile operators a reason to love it, and opens rich chat up for business


"Let's all use a messaging system which charges you by the message!"

Don't think I've paid 'per message' in a decade. SMS just come bundled, I've had unlimited on my last few contracts and ludicrously high limits before that.

Multimedia messaging on the other hand costs and if nice cuddly google starts trying to push messages over the data channel they could send me over my data cap.

SpaceX's internet satellites to beam down 'Hello world' from orbit


Re: One wonders ...

Good article on these constellations over at IET


They claim latencies of around 30 ms versus 700 for geostationary satellites. Presumably that is just signal transit time.

Interestingly they suggest spacex will start launching in 2019 and the article was only published last month. Wonder if they've stepped up the pace to try and catch up with other proposed networks?

And lo! Crypto-coins came unto the holy land. And the wise decreed they must all be taxed


Re: What is it?

"The Blockchain Bitcoin isn't scaleable."


"The cost of creating extra coins is too high and dependant on electricity & computer costs, not economic indicators."

From the systems perspective the mining is all about maintaining the integrity of the transactions rather than generating new coin.

If anything the block rewards didn't drop quickly enough as the system took off driving the miners 'arms race' to the crazy level we see these days.



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