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Or better still, get the app to set up the wifi connection for you? (where possible)
On all the apps I have that do this (wemo, chromecast come to mind) it's insanely buggy and horrible. I'd rather chance it with poor mobile signal than have it half connected to wifi and refusing to pick up an IP address leaving me having to go fiddling in the settings to disable wifi.

Top tip incidentally, off topic but whatever - never set public wifi to automatically connect. Otherwise anyone with a hotspot anywhere could set their wifi name to EH_Chievely and password Ecotricity and next thing you know your phone is connected (presuming you notice) and they're sniffing your packets :eek:. Same goes for O2_wifi or Costa_Coffee etc.
 

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I think this is fantastic news. The cell coverage on GiffGaff is marginal at the two EH pumps I use most often.

I'd given up on taking our LEAF on long trips because it just wasn't worth the risk. Now I don't have to worry about the cellular network. I GG is down I can use WiFi. If the pump's data connection goes down, the pump is on free vend.

Of course it should have been like this from the start.


I've got a mid-range trip planned in a few weeks and will try using the WiFi. I'll be monitoring the twitter feed too. I'm sure there will be reports if it doesn't work.
 

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On all the apps I have that do this (wemo, chromecast come to mind) it's insanely buggy and horrible. I'd rather chance it with poor mobile signal than have it half connected to wifi and refusing to pick up an IP address leaving me having to go fiddling in the settings to disable wifi.

Top tip incidentally, off topic but whatever - never set public wifi to automatically connect. Otherwise anyone with a hotspot anywhere could set their wifi name to EH_Chievely and password Ecotricity and next thing you know your phone is connected (presuming you notice) and they're sniffing your packets :eek:. Same goes for O2_wifi or Costa_Coffee etc.
Well yes, but...

Any mobiles apps really must assume that all data connections are insecure, so any that don't use https to talk to servers ought to be banned from the relevant app stores. I know that the Play store policies for developers says that apps must "Handle the user data securely, including transmitting it using modern cryptography (for example, over HTTPS)" and I would assume that Apple do something similar. So that means the only data your phone should be sending that you might not want sniffed would be web page browsing, and again there are ways to protect yourself (on Android go to Chrome settings and turn on data saver: that ensures all non-https traffic is routed through a secure link to Google's servers where it is compressed and images and video are scaled for your device). Or just avoid putting personal data in any non-encrypted web pages.

So in short, yes there's a potential risk but in practice you should be safe on any public wifi provided you are sensible.

BTW, on of my favourite stories is the "Free Wifi" peer-to-peer network you see mostly at airports (though hopefully not so much now as a few years ago). It's reckoned to be the first computer virus that evolved spontaneously instead of being deliberately written by a human being and was due to a 'feature' in Microsoft Windows prior to Windows 7. In the affected versions of Windows after you had connected once to a peer-to-peer wifi network your machine would thereafter broadcast the SSID of the last used peer-to-peer network whenever it was looking for a wifi connection. Someone, somewhere in the world created a link called 'Free Wifi', lots of people who saw it would try connecting, realise there was no actual free wifi, disconnect, but thereafter everywhere they went and weren't connected to anything their machine would also be advertising the same network and so more people would try to connect and become 'infected'.

I guess it would have been too much to hope that the DBT units had (or could be fitted with) Bluetooth LE hardware. That's what they should really be using to control charging from a mobile phone app: there would be no need for any kind of pairing or setting up networks, the phone could just pick up the ids of all nearby chargers, get you to confirm which one and which connector you''re using, and off you go.
 

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I did notice an app update in the last few days. Perhaps that is what they have done.
Change Log for Android version 1.8:

WHAT'S NEW
Payment – improved support for credit card registration
Enhanced reconnection support when communication with chargepoint is inconsistent during a session
Improved back button behaviour
Fixed issue during registration journey affecting some customers
Now supports stopping a charge when app is switched off and on during a charge
Improved error reporting and added error codes
Fixed address display and postcode validation issue
Updated T&C’s pages
Security enhancements

I'm going to look at the updated T&C.
 

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Change Log for Android version 1.8:
I'm going to look at the updated T&C.
Update to version 1.0.7 was 24th August 2016. So far as I know they haven't updated the Android app since then.

Edited:
Sorry, I always get confused between the Electric Highway version number and the rating which *is* 1.8.

Regardless, the play store is still listing the August 2016 version,. and apkpure also has that as the latest version so if they have updated it recently they've not pushed it out to all users yet. (And what you quoted as 'whats new' is definitely the 'whats new' from August).
 

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................. the phone could just pick up the ids of all nearby chargers, get you to confirm which one and which connector you''re using, and off you go.
Why is it impossible for a charger to have its own keypad, linked to its own router access, permanently logged onto its own home base site ; just sat there waiting for someone to punch in their personal ID code ? No phone needed. No app. No RFID. No contactless card. No Credit Card to be read. No data needed. No signal required. No WiFi. No Bluetooth. No holding your mouth a certain way. No weird dancing.

Just pre-register and be allocated a personal ID code. Then key it in when you arrive and plug in.

Why not ?
 

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Why is it impossible for a charger to have its own keypad, linked to its own router access, permanently logged onto its own home base site ; just sat there waiting for someone to punch in their personal ID code ? No phone needed. No app. No RFID. No contactless card. No Credit Card to be read. No data needed. No signal required. No WiFi. No Bluetooth. No holding your mouth a certain way. No weird dancing.

Just pre-register and be allocated a personal ID code. Then key it in when you arrive and plug in.

Why not ?
Not impossible, but also not very friendly and has security implications.

Right now I just pick up my phone and use the app. I don't have to remember any passwords or personal id codes. Easy.

If everyone has to type in a code to identify themselves as a customer, and you have to make sure those codes are long enough that you cannot guess another users code (or use a shorter id code plus a pin code) you're asking everyone to remember something like a 10 digit number.
 

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No ios update either.
Android app history according to apkpure:

Electric Highway 1.0.7 for Android 4.0+
Version: 1.0.7 (107) for Android 4.0+ (Ice Cream Sandwich, API 14)
Update on: 2016-08-26
Signature: c82d86b015458c43bf7125a9759728edc26ec74c Electric Highway 1.0.7(107) apk safe verified
APK File SHA1: 374656310b2cb17542e948fa5e0aba05ae2f8e56
What's new:
Payment – improved support for credit card registration
Enhanced reconnection support when communication with chargepoint is inconsistent during a session
Improved back button behaviour
Fixed issue during registration journey affecting some customers
Now supports stopping a charge when app is switched off and on during a charge
Improved error reporting and added error codes
Fixed address display and postcode validation issue
Updated T&C’s pages
Security enhancements

Electric Highway 1.0.6 for Android 4.0+
Version: 1.0.6 (91) for Android 4.0+ (Ice Cream Sandwich, API 14)
Update on: 2016-07-15
Signature: c82d86b015458c43bf7125a9759728edc26ec74c Electric Highway 1.0.6(91) apk safe verified
APK File SHA1: 71d47153e8e1bb223573b385ca9c9ae33484ae01
What's new: Bug fixes

Electric Highway 1.0.4 for Android 4.0+
Version: 1.0.4 (81) for Android 4.0+ (Ice Cream Sandwich, API 14)
Update on: 2016-07-10
Signature: c82d86b015458c43bf7125a9759728edc26ec74c Electric Highway 1.0.4(81) apk safe verified
APK File SHA1: 6915e592fa95603e20ee8e3fc8365943e7aaffa3
What's new: Support for new charging scheme

Electric Highway 1.0.3 for Android 4.0+
Version: 1.0.3 (80) for Android 4.0+ (Ice Cream Sandwich, API 14)
Update on: 2016-07-09
Signature: c82d86b015458c43bf7125a9759728edc26ec74c Electric Highway 1.0.3(80) apk safe verified
APK File SHA1: 8b04c99b24f2e83b404a92b907d2fce6c676d99d

Electric Highway 1.0.1 for Android 4.0+
Version: 1.0.1 (78) for Android 4.0+ (Ice Cream Sandwich, API 14)
Update on: 2016-07-07
Signature: c82d86b015458c43bf7125a9759728edc26ec74c Electric Highway 1.0.1(78) apk safe verified
APK File SHA1: 1b7644c8b378158776f29b0810c3b6e99e3c6416
 

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.................. you're asking everyone to remember something like a 10 digit number.
Not really. A six digit code gives a million variations. It will be quite a while before we have that number of charger customers. Introduce an 'alpha' in there and the available numbers go off the scale. And anyway, there is no need to remember such a code as security is a minor problem. Even if that number was printed on an issued card to carry around it would be easy enough to delete a number centrally on a phone call if the card is lost, much like when a CC is lost/stolen.
 

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42k miles on public charging. Am I an expert yet?
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Why is it impossible for a charger to have its own keypad, linked to its own router access, permanently logged onto its own home base site ; just sat there waiting for someone to punch in their personal ID code ? No phone needed. No app. No RFID. No contactless card. No Credit Card to be read. No data needed. No signal required. No WiFi. No Bluetooth. No holding your mouth a certain way. No weird dancing.

Just pre-register and be allocated a personal ID code. Then key it in when you arrive and plug in.

Why not ?
I'd rather have an RFID card or an app than yet another damn passcode...
 
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Not really. A six digit code gives a million variations. It will be quite a while before we have that number of charger customers. Introduce an 'alpha' in there and the available numbers go off the scale. And anyway, there is no need to remember such a code as security is a minor problem. Even if that number was printed on an issued card to carry around it would be easy enough to delete a number centrally on a phone call if the card is lost, much like when a CC is lost/stolen.
In May 2016 there were 38,537 registered Electric Highway users. If you gave everyone a 5 digit number with a single check digit then a randomly guess low number needs 10 attempts to find the check digit. If you make the numbers completely random and distributed evenly across the 6 digits you still have a 1 in 25 chance of guessing a number to give yourself free charging which won't take long even with lockouts on pumps after some number of failed guesses as once you've guess it you can re-use the number you guessed or post it online.

Introducing a letter just makes for something even worse to remember.

If you're going to have an identifying number then stick it in an RFID card or (better) in a mobile phone app. Then it can be as long and random as you want.
 

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In May 2016 there were 38,537 registered Electric Highway users. If you gave everyone a 5 digit number with a single check digit then a randomly guess low number needs 10 attempts to find the check digit. If you make the numbers completely random and distributed evenly across the 6 digits you still have a 1 in 25 chance of guessing a number to give yourself free charging which won't take long even with lockouts on pumps after some number of failed guesses as once you've guess it you can re-use the number you guessed or post it online.

Introducing a letter just makes for something even worse to remember.

If you're going to have an identifying number then stick it in an RFID card or (better) in a mobile phone app. Then it can be as long and random as you want.
A randomly generated - perm any 6 digit from 10 - number would be almost impossible to recreate randomly by guesswork within a few tries. I realise that if there were 38,000 such random selections out there then happening to fall on one of those by chance is increased, but even then it would be like winning a lottery worth £6.

Introduce two 'alpha' selections and you would have to be a particularly diligent thief to input twenty thousand attempts before landing on one that worked. Security on this is yet another problem perceived rather than real. The will to introduce a robust and user friendly access system is what is wrong.

We have already discovered that for whatever reason makes sense to Ecot they have discarded the RFID that worked, and we have already discovered that any app based system is unreliable enough to cause many of the 38,000 to simply make alternative arrangements for longer trips.

This needs to be resolved and perhaps the proposed localised WiFi will be an answer. All that I was saying was that inputting a personal ID code at a keypad that has a built in link to the central site would be more robust than reliance on Wifi and a phone talking to each other.
 

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Wasn't the reason they couldn't use their existing RFID cards for paid charging because they weren't secure enough and changing pumps and issuing new cards was deemed too hard and expensive?

Do Chargemaster and others have the same issue or are they using different cards?
 

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Wasn't the reason they couldn't use their existing RFID cards for paid charging because they weren't secure enough and changing pumps and issuing new cards was deemed too hard and expensive?

Do Chargemaster and others have the same issue or are they using different cards?
There are different flavours of RFID card, some are secure, some not so secure, the secure ones are expensive so the EH ones are probably the cheaper insecure ones.
 

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Wasn't the reason they couldn't use their existing RFID cards for paid charging because they weren't secure enough and changing pumps and issuing new cards was deemed too hard and expensive?

Do Chargemaster and others have the same issue or are they using different cards?
No, I think they have many of the same issues. Chargemaster are also using the same MiFare Classic 1k chips, at least that's what my Polar Instant card has. That means if I can get my hands on another card then at least in theory it's easy to clone.

I think part of Ecotricity's problem though was simply that they don't know all the cards that were issued for use on their chargers: they enabled complete ranges from other providers while the chargers were free. Chargemaster may have had a similar problem to begin with, when they introduced Polar Instant they invalidated all the old cards and issued new ones until they decided not to issue any for Polar Instant. I'm sure Ecotricity could have decided to issue 36,000 new cards, but they decided that would be expensive ongoing, the app route is much cheaper (as also chosen for Polar Instant). Polar Plus' ongoing £7.50 a month subscription can pay for a lot of frills like RFID cards.
 

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I just don't get the objection to the charger itself having a built in 'smart phone' to use on its own built in WiFi instead of requiring people to rock up and try to log on using a variety of phones and an app. The only thing that might have been improved is a better data signal. The user still has to have data available to use the Wifi. And a working phone. Both could be avoided by using the charging unit, that is already on line, to complete the transaction.
 
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