04.18.21

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Proprietary Software (BT Hub) Has Ruined My Whole Day

Posted in Site News at 6:20 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Video download link

Summary: While we did have some plans to publish long articles, those plans were curtailed or at least delayed due to the fact our sole device at home not to be controlled by us (a so-called ‘Smart’ Hub from BT) decided to break itself and by doing so bring productivity to a standstill (that firmware update, silently installed without notice or any form of consent, managed to screw with the local network)

TODAY was the least productive day of the year and once again it is BT’s fault. They already compensated us for those previous incidents (January-February this year), but a net total of at least 6 hours was spent today trying to restore the state/health of our LAN. Instead, we found some workarounds. BT has no plan or timetable for a fix, as I note in the above video (we need to figure out how to overcome the terrible video/audio sync).

It would be no fun discussing all the technical stuff; basically, on the grand scheme of things, their silent automatic update (remotely imposed) for the firmware clearly broke something. Each time their routers (or hubs) are rebooted they first fetch the latest image and they probably need to roll back some changes. I didn’t get to reject becoming part of their latest experiment; nor did many users of Vista 10, whose machines have once again been vandalised by Microsoft.

“Let’s hope tomorrow will be more productive than today’s utter chaos — a problem engineered by broken updates imposed by proprietary software vendors.”The video speaks in passing about the latest Microsoft attack pattern (on Free software). The good news from Debian is also mentioned in passing [1, 2, 3]. Well done, Debian Project. Not another ‘Open’ SUSE or ‘Open’ Red Hat (IBM), a.k.a. Fedora. Incidentally, Robbi Nespu has just said: “After a while using and involve (contribute) with Fedora for fews years, I sometimes get a feel that Fedora and Red Hat moving so fast on everything and feel it not community oriented it more like leader oriented…”

Leader or master? IBM is the master of the project, and it really shows.

Let’s hope tomorrow will be more productive than today’s utter chaos — a problem engineered by broken updates imposed by proprietary software vendors.

A senior BT engineer (a distinguished person who came over to fix a rather mysterious problem back when we only started exposing EPO leaks) once explained to me in very clear terms that each time the BT Hub is rebooted it will forcibly update itself (akin to network boot), which in itself is an optimal sort of ‘back door’. You never really know and cannot even figure out what software powers up this device in your home (and they can tailor the OS just to you, depending on how you are classified); it’s remotely controlled by somebody else, not you, and there’s no way to stop it other than swapping everything with your own hardware and an operating system like OpenWRT.

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A Single Comment

  1. Shades72 said,

    April 20, 2021 at 11:19 pm

    Gravatar

    OPNSense and/or pfSense are pretty capable. OPNSense is a fork from pfSense and appears to be more actively developed/updated than pfSense.

    Both are pretty capable firewalls, but can do a lot more, if you install those packages yourself. And yes, your personal configuration setting can be stored and re-applied. Haven’t had a hitch doing this and I’m using OPNSense for several years now.

    Using the default settings will already take you quite far already in managing your LAN. Still, there are so many more options to tweak whatever you wish to tweak. All through rather responsive web-interfaces.

    VPN (Wireguard, OpenVPN, ZeroTier), DNS, captive portal, bandwidth management and lots more stuff are already directly available (but not enabled by default). Both come with a extensive list of extra packages you could install at your behest. Logging, anti-virus, snort, ntp and lots more.

    Both are FreeBSD based. And better yet, they are under your control. Well, under a lot more control than your current setup apparently.

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