Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Updating the tomu bootloader on the tomu.im EFM32HG


I got a tomu tiny EFM32 that fits in a USB port at lca 2018. More information on Tomu.

Mine came with the serial bootloader (it presents a USB CDC ACM device). I didn't manage to get to the update booth to reflash it at LCA.

I had some difficulty getting the new bootloader on it when I pulled out recently to try to play with it, but since I got it working, here's a short runthrough of how I got it updated.

I use Fedora 28 but this info should apply for any Linux really.

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Childcare management service provider Hubworks! shows us how not to deliver SaaS platform

Late this year, the Department of Education and Training required daycare services including Family Daycare services to transition to a fully-eletronic "Child Care Subsidy System" (CCSS). They supply a list of vetted and approved third party software providers to mediate between DET's CCSS and the FDC provider.

Which brings me to "Hubworks!" This company produces a hosted SaaS that amongst other things caters to family daycare services. You will be shocked to hear that this blog is not a ringing endorsement of their wonderful platform.

They managed to:

  • Produce the worst online enrolment form I have ever seen, and I've seen some truly bad web forms;
  • Have their support service ask my partner to send them her password;
  • Write me off as a parent, because there's only one "Primary Parent";
  • Trumpet on their website about all their amazing Web Based Web 2.0 with Bank Level Security while doing all this.

I reached out to Hubworks via support and internal channels months ago to raise some of these issues. I have been ignored and dismissed. My ticket has been marked "Fixed". So it's time to see if their marketing department cares more.

They've been very happy to direct me to seek support via the educator and the family daycare scheme, as "[t]his is policy of HubWorks! that we always direct parents back to the service as we do not provide assistance to families." From my experience so far, they also do not provide any assistance to the service or educators.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Discriminate against me, please!

I have all the advantages - I'm a healthy able straight young-to-middle-aged white man from an educated 1st world background, etc.

I strongly support "affirmative action" including quota systems to address workplace employment balance and diversity. It's important for all of us, including the highly advantaged and privileged. The recent Google memo kerfuffle has prompted me to explain why I would support things that are seemingly contrary to my own interests. But before you read further, please read this brilliant rebuttal of the above memo. (Tolerance is not a moral precept discusses the philosophy in more depth).

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Gross overconfidence with public data

The Australian Buerau of Statistics is showing all the signs of being grossly overconfident with every aspect of the 2016 Census, bordering on incompetent.

You've heard all about the data retention in broad terms, but what exactly does it mean? And why could it be bad? After all the data is "anonymized" such that personally identifiable data is removed before being shared, right? Their original non-anonymized versions are encrypted and safe in the hands of ABS administration, so there's nothing to worry about.

Well, it's not that simple.

Lets talk about anonymization vs aggregation, how de-anonymization works, and why the "statistical linkage key" is appallingly flawed.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

ACMA submission on wholesaler data usage

I've just made a submission to the Australian Communications and Media Authority regarding the 48 hour data usage reporting delay that mobile service wholesalers like Optus impose on their wholesale customers. This can lead to incredibly huge bills with no warning and no way to prevent the bill as part of the service.

The TCP ACMA bill shock provisions that came out of the RTC enquiry were supposed to prevent this, but left a huge loophole by permitting "up to" 48 hours delay in usage alerts and reporting. Optus, at least, appears to treat this as "at least 48 hours", failing to report usage until the 48 hour time. It was a limit, not a target, Optus.

The spend management alerts were supposed to be implemented by small providers by September 2014, but they have the same 48 hour exception:

Spend management
  • Suppliers to send notification alerts of data, voice calls and SMS usage within included value plans no later than 48 hours after the customer has reached data usage and expenditure thresholds of 50, 85 and 100 per cent.
  • Suppliers to include additional notification information about charges applying to included value plans when the customer has exceeded 100 per cent of data or expenditure usage

Industry players are seem to be using this to bypass the intent of the code, which was to provide "access to timely, accurate and comprehensible information about their service"

.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Active missile defense is NOT the answer for airliners

ABC News (AU) just ran an article about active missile defense on airliners in response to the MH17 incident. It discusses the use of active missile defenses on civilian airliners, but seems to muddle different types of threat and different counter-measure, making it seem like countermeasures might've had some utility for the MH17 incident when that's unlikely to be the case.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Jenkins/Stapler: @DataBoundConstructor being ignored, parameter values not passed or null

If you're developing a plugin or patch for Jenkins, which uses the Stapler framework, you might run into issues where you define a new @DataBoundConstructor with an additional parameter, but it just seems to be ignored by the framework.

If so, look for an overridden newInstance method. It's probably being used instead of the constructor annotation.