Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Phones and email tapped 1,381 times a day

"Phones and email tapped 1,381 times a day | UK news | guardian.co.uk
Police and other officials tapped phone calls and emails an average of 1,381 times a day last year, according to a report released today by the interception of communications commissioner, Sir Paul Kennedy.

A total of 504,073 surveillance requests to phone and internet companies were made in 2008, the equivalent of one in 78 adults being targeted. The figure was slightly lower than in 2007, but 60% higher than in 2006, the year covered by Kennedy's first report.

I particularly like this quote:
"'The government forgets that George Orwell's [novel] 1984 was a warning and not a blueprint. We are still a long way from living under the Stasi but it beggars belief that it is necessary to spy on one in every 78 adults.'"

Phones and email tapped 1,381 times a day | UK news | guardian.co.uk

Friday, 7 August 2009

ERA2: with Students near Howick

Students near Howick
Students near Howick,
originally uploaded by hockeyshooter.
Our one and only day with real SXR369 students, at the two bays near Howick. Slight variation from the setup we had tested earlier in the week, but essentially the same: cabled link from switch to omni for one site, then a long panel-to-panel hop to the omni for the second. Nearly everything worked to plan, although only half of the students opted to make use of the system.

Thursday, 6 August 2009

ERA2: Collingwood College again

Another day of testing, due to the need to demonstrate the setup to the two geologists who would be tutoring the Additional Requirements students tomorrow. Set up the two 17" monitors for the first time, but still problems being able to see the screens in sunlight, so Trevor and Mark went into Durham to buy a small tent and two picnic tables.

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

ERA2: Whitby

Base of operations
Base of operations,
originally uploaded by hockeyshooter.
A very much tide-dependant site for the students since everything they need to look at is either covered or inaccessible at high tide. Due to the timing, we had to start work after the morning low tide, with the tide coming in, which was a bit worrying and eventually forced us to pack up and scarper. Re-visited the location in the afternoon for some different tests. Weather with a mix of light rain in the morning and hot sun - and thousands of thunder flies - in the afternoon.

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

ERA2: Scremerston

originally uploaded by hockeyshooter.
Extensive testing at the most northern site that the students visit - Scremerston, just south of Berwick Upon Tweed, which is less than 70 miles from Edinburgh. Ran two very long cables, via the switch, from the BGAN down to the beach. Added extra wireless hops to create the longest link we'd ever done - started to have problems hearing end-to-end with the PMR walkie-talkies. Equipment mostly worked very well.

Monday, 3 August 2009

ERA2: testing at Collingwood College

We stayed at Collingwood College today to do some testing of VoIP and bandwidth uing iPerf. Also tried some backhaul tests with both 3G and the BGAN terminal. Managed to FTP files up to the off-site server. Lewis could see into our machine via the 3 (Three) dongle but not via Vodafone or BGAN.

Sunday, 2 August 2009

ERA2: Cullernose Point

near Seaton Sluice
near Seaton Sluice,
originally uploaded by hockeyshooter.
More examination of possible sites for future visits, accompanied by a proper geologist. Tried a single omni aerial on the beach on a cable from the switch at the top of the cliff, but couldn't get a proper signal to the Asus. Two locations actually used by students this year: Rumbling Kern and Howick Haven. Tested wireless link to extremes - geologist and laptop moving around rocky outcrops out of site of the omni, yet video and VoIP still working.

Saturday, 1 August 2009

ERA2: Seaton Sluice &Hartley Bay

Seaton Sluice
Seaton Sluice,
originally uploaded by hockeyshooter.
First day of in-the-field recon at three possible sites, accompanied by a real geologist, at Seaton Sluice and Hartley Bay. Two very handy pubs nearby!