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Comment Here's a graph. Meanwhile, BT Care suggested.... (Score 1) 68

Graph of outage.

It was pretty funny; downdetector.co.uk showed the problem very clearly, affecting large swathes of the country for about 3 hours. And on the same page, there was BT Care suggesting that people reset their routers and reboot their PCs :)

When it went down, a quick traceroute showed the problem to be at BT@Telehouse. Luckily, we retained connectivity to our hosted server (even though most of the rest of the net was unreachable) so a combination of 'ssh -D 1080' and twiddling proxy settings worked around it (note: must look into 'tsocks').

It was a very big outage (despite all the PR flackery seeking to minimise it). And shame on BT, for having a single point failure like that cause such disruption.

Comment Re:Where are the US politicians and businessman? (Score 4, Insightful) 364

This is a very good point;it's almost less what's there, than what's been left out.

As i understand the story so far, some southerm german paper gets this leak and enlists a *Washington DC* organisation (ICIJ) to ensure the relevant informatiion is appropriately publicised.

Comment A Death start-up (Score 1) 148

Here's a particularly fine example - a start-up for Death:-

The death you've been waiting for.

Satisfy your niche in the death ecosystem with online branding that’s built by active people for right consumers.

Quote: "Death was prompt, current, and current. Ten out of ten!" - Alexandra Sanders, San Gabriel, California

Comment Re:People are correctly annoyed by this (Score 4, Informative) 338

That'll be https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/organizations/all/.

Sadly, despite being a long-term FF user, it pains me to say it's far easier is to switch to Palemoon; it's a minimal effort and the result is firefox without all the BS (Palemoon being a firefox fork/tracker that values functionality over hipster cool)

Comment Lessons from using the same distro (since 1999) (Score 1) 716

Still running the same distro here, from 1999 (and am mercifully free of systemd, pulseaudio, etc). All upgrades have been done by downloading and compiling from source, with the exception of a small number of large programs/drivers (specifically Firefox, Palemoon, OpenOffice, Java, nvidia driver). This 'in-house' distro gets copied onto all new computers, so there's about 50 or 60 running it (including a few laptops). So what doesn't work?

In short, not a lot. Occasionally have to 'chmod a+rw' something in /dev (easier than running udevd), but that's about it. Written a couple of init scripts, fixed a few others (all very simple, maybe a day in total).

The best bit is, if anything breaks we can fix it - easily.

As to why modern distro's are so complex: "follow the money". If everything was so simple that no-one needed support, well, there goes the business model of all the major distros. So it's not unexpected they put developers in change who like 'elegant' (read complex, bloated, impenetrable and obscure) solutions - it means that end-users pretty much have to fork out for a support contract (or spend a *lot of time* on inhouse admin).

Comment An SS7 coder writes... (Score 2) 89

The comments above about SS7 being designed without security are spot-on. In the old days, access to the SS7 network was strictly for big players and salesmen with 'extremely customer-friendly' expense accounts. Basically, anyone with access was a big player (with all the baggage that entails).

Really, the issue here is with MAP (an add-on to SS7 to support mobiles). The explosion of mobile means SS7 is no longer just the playing field for national carriers - mobile-only operators came to the party (still all $xbillion players). Then, smaller countries with some interesting networks came on the scene, and rather naughty SS7 traffic started to appear on the network.

Smarter operators (or at least bigger ones who got their fingers burnt) spent money to install gateways that limit and control their exposure (wouldn't you?). The less clueful/more cash-strapped/networks in less-developed countries remain more exposed.

Anyone interested can search for 'SS7 mobility management' ; the <a href="http://www.informit.com/library/content.aspx?b=Signaling_System_No_7&seqNum=116">code is easy</a>, the issue is getting access to the network.

Oh, wait, these days SS7 is being routed over IP now (ever wondered what the <a href="http://lksctp.sourceforge.net/">linux SCTP module</a> is actually for?).

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