345 posts • joined Thursday 20th September 2007 05:53 GMT
Re: Be nice if it worked
Agreed it is a bit of a fail that it doesn't work outside of Google.com
Erm? Most of Europe isn't T2, most of Europe is either DVB-T or DVB-C (yes, many countries don't have dominant terrestrial TV). Germany also has a skew towards DVB-S2 for historical reasons. Many countries do have plans to migrate to T2 or have launched a mix towards migration.
Re: DAB Bashing
If it wasn't for the fact that DAB is bad technology I would imagine that El Reg might consider standing behind it.
Re: I'd definitely go used.
£1000 for 80GB of RAM, 40 Xeon cores at 3GHz
Cisco Catalyst Gigabit switch.
Re: I'd definitely go used.
Agreed, when I saw that budget I immediately thought of the number of used blade chassis that you see on ebay.
I am impressed that you have one that big running at home, I thought about it and then I thought about my electricity bill.
Re: Buy and Large
Portable render farm on an extreme scale would be useful for productions that have to spend time in different parts of the world. Presently quite a few films need satellite links from field bases where the director is back to editing/effects companies to transfer the days recordings (rushes) for post production. However, for dailies you probably wouldn't need something *that* big.
My more immediate though was Google's balloon adventure, those masts on top could be used to create a tent to shield directional antennas from winds?
Here's another kooky idea, Google could buy out St Helena, float a data centre there and pay for the connectivity the island desperately wants. No one on St Helena would give a fig what Google wants to do if it was to bring money/jobs/internet and they are an independent nation under British protection.
Agreed and also I would hazard that there was a monitoring fail as well, because how long did it take them to notice the server was missing? Were the hands on support not able to notice the missing/melted asset and route round the problem?
All these 'enterprise' tools for network management and asset management always seem to be based on proprietary technologies and so badly designed that they are either just accounting tools or don't provide 100% coverage. Frankly I don't even think SDN is up to much because these boys are too busy protecting their proprietary tools.
How is this for torment: my in-laws (abroad) have fibre passing through the village, their mini-exchange has been upgraded to provide VDSL, but the phone company won't fit the line cards....
Oh for the sake of the FSM!
So, we have someone getting all nostalgic for a bygone era and using an inferior format? Will he also be recording the audio on to tape? But my biggest hang up with film is that it artificially constrains the motion because at 24fps the temporal resolution is carp (sic). It shouldn't matter what the medium as long as you are originating at the best quality possible and for an action movie, especially a science fiction action movie, you need temporal resolution! Our eyes are not designed to have things change resolution when they shoot with such a legacy frame rate (the only reason it exists is because of the logistics & expense of film media).
If they go ahead they will originate the film chemically, but as soon as it leaves the bath it will probably be scanned to digital, then it will be edited digitally and mixed with digital effects, colour corrected digitally and then rendered out. It will then be sent to cinemas digitally (in many cases) or converted back to plastic for legacy cinemas. Back when I did my studies we were told to originate at the highest dynamic range and resolution as possible and have as few processing steps as possible to preserve the quality. Plastic seems like a fail in this context.
If he shot it at 70mm with 48fps then I would be impressed, but he isn't and I am not.
Re: Google falls foul of most modern businesses big error.
I think MHL is interesting but it still has something of a dependency on human interaction which might be awkward, if the TV supports CEC remote pass through correctly then your remote might work to control your phone, but how many apps work with that logic?
The Chrome stick is cheap enough that it is fit + forget, I could buy one (if they were sold in the UK!) and know that whenever I want I can send content from my phone or laptop to the TV.
I don't think it is a game changer, but I do think it is a low cost way of showing the way forward to the market. It addresses the millions of non-connected/smart HD TVs there are in the world. It is a simple proposition but also it might boost Google's sales on their Play Store. People are more inclined to pay for content on screens of 7in or larger (inc TVs) than on phones, this device bridges the gap between phone store and TV.
I wish them luck, it certainly isn't a folly.
Budget, I worked in a 20 person office we didn't have budget for such luxuries, I tried several APs and ended up with a Draytek AP800, no complaints now.
On my desk I have a small Wacom tablet, a mouse and a trackball, they all play their roles well.
So today the Fedex man arrived with my Leap Motion controller saying "what is it? we've got thousands of them!", I quickly ran the install and then plugged it in. After plugging it in a few times more it worked... I think?
It complained about the lighting, damn you summer's (very indirect) sunlight and LED strip lighting. I tried the diagnostics view to see my hand, it kind of worked, but it was Google Earth that freaked me out. I had to old my hand perfectly still otherwise it went f*king nuts, after several minutes I finally got myself to England but by that point I think I was motion sick. I had to give it up. Cut The Rope? No, more like cut the throat.
I unplugged it after less than an hour and now I don't quite know what to do... Looks like some other people have had the same idea on eBay... and it says something that I checked.
Re: bad EPG data from Sky
The specifications say you should ignore invalid data, the manufacturers should handle edge cases but accounting for everything isn't always easy so there is a tacit agreement that the broadcasters will keep the data within spec. Some broadcasters do fix problems when they are raised, some drag their feet or deny they are doing anything wrong "the spec says you should ignore it so we aren't wrong". Over the years the broadcast suppliers have found many creative ways to break the specs and manufacturers have found many ways to misinterpret the specification.
When conventional plants aren't operating at their peak they aren't as efficient as they could be and when you have to constantly cycle them between peak and idle you waste massive amounts of energy. The most efficient way to supplement the wildly irregular supply from most renewables is to store excess energy, but this poses its own challenges. If the country is big enough you can also share generation between regions/countries but that requires significant heavy infrastructure to transmit energy efficiently.
Remember that domestic only forms part of base load, that scary thing called 'industry' which provides so much real value to economies often operates on a 24h basis and doesn't shift much. Domestic supply is the most peak intensive because of things like cookers and kettles.
Re: So slow
I worked for an Asian company in Europe until recently and I must say the connectivity from Europe to Asia sucks the big one. I struggled to get a consistent 3Mbit/sec to Korea at any time of the day. This kind of news is probably quite good for companies like my former employer.
It is probably an xDSL intermediate step for those telcos who don't want to deploy FTTH, especially in areas where there is a requirement to bury cables because that makes things expensive. In the UK for example they aren't allowed to put up new telephone poles and all new cabling should be buried/ducted. However for the millions of homes which don't have poles the incumbent telco doesn't always want to have the expense of installing new ducts when they can easily just extend FTTC. Most users don't need 200Mbit/sec anyway to look at cat pictures on the interwebs.
Re: RTT Time
I suspect that they would use a low bandwidth RF link for monitoring & control, something with less directionality but lower gain. That way the two units could share location information for initial synchronisation then just let it run. I don't know how much risk there is of dust from the limited atmosphere on the moon, but that would be one of my biggest concerns given the mechanical components inherent in laser communications.
Re: when's BT going to fix my phone then?
If you really are at the end of a bit of wet string which BT don't find economical to service then the fact that you have a phone box might be an advantage to you, you need to complain to Ofcom that the phone box has poor availability because BT has an obligation to provide a good service to them. I was also told that phone boxes also have a dual function in that they have switching priority in case of a national emergency (just in-case Tom Cruise needs to call the English President at the last minute to save the world).
But also two words: community broadband, if you have a community which is poorly served you could club together and get satellite broadband from the likes of Avanti. A lot more expensive than BT, but if you club together you would at least get a wider range of services. Perhaps you could even use VoIP between the locals and save some money. You would need some emergency provision though and I don't know what the licensing is like for operating a small scale telco. But there are plenty of rural broadband initiatives who would be willing to offer help, 'social enterprise' I think the BBC called it on a recent report.
Sometimes it is better to stop bitching about what other people aren't doing for you and do it yourself.
Re: Great, but will BT prioritise those areas that need this?
I worked at an office in London which was surrounded by other business premises, BT didn't convert the cabinet to FTTC because there weren't any residential users. BT needs to preserve its existing expensive fibre business so I suspect this is why they are avoiding upgrading business cabinets.
Re: I'm curious: ground station cost?
A quick look around shows me what General Dynamics are offering as an O3b earth station: http://www.gdsatcom.com/Antennas/Data_Sheets/2.4M_GDST-O3b.pdf
I should suspect that the primary back-haul nodes which connect to Tier-1 internet fibre would probably cost a fair bit because you are going to want at least a 5.6m Ka-band, but the field earth stations shouldn't be so expensive.
Perhaps you should read the article authors Amazon listing?
Re: I'm curious: ground station cost?
Millions of dollars? Really? Because I would be surprised if the entire rig cost more than $500,000?
A few thousands for the modem? call it $100k for the antenna? $15k for the amps?
It's been too long since I priced these things, but earth stations aren't *that* expensive!
Most large antennas (+3m) generally have tracking motors on them anyway and those motors tend to do nudge movements which are relatively high torque. I have yet to see an in-service motor fail on a commercial antenna, but I've only worked with a dozen or so large motorised dishes.
The counter argument is that the antennas I used are expensive and thus the motors are made of tougher stuff, but I would hope that someone building the kit for O3b would be planning a decent MTBF. Plus these dishes would be moving on a 50% duty cycle, so they only need to work every 6h (360min) or 4.8h (288min) when they increase capacity. Plus you have a short but sweet maintenance window of some hours if you need to swap out a motor/gearbox. You can always have a spare gearbox and if you can accept a small downtime you can use one antenna to give you a full working day with just one break of service. Being pragmatic fundamentally this kit won't be domestic because it is about back-haul for entire islands, cities, states, however if it is all you can get then you'll be grateful for it.
I still remember when I noticed my office had more peering connectivity than the whole of Pakistan, it was a revelation. I like O3b, seems like a good step forward for the developing world.
I've been trying to bring up the subject of 300Hz in the industry for years (I work in CE), but few people seem to want to standardise beyond what the marketing department want to sell. UHDTV is a total research c*ck waving exercise that has gotten out of hand because the IDTV manufacturers have released that 3D was a washout and they need to fill the gap in their order books. Most of the 4k TVs that will be sold in the next two years will be useless because they have insufficient frame-rate and/or poor frame-rate-conversion.
I saw one of those fantastically cheap UHDTVs that are being sold in the US just recently, the motion reproduction looks terrible compared to more expensive models which are just needlessly expensive.
One thing more I must say: More John Watkinson! I still have his books on my shelf and I consider him the A/V equivalent to Andrew S. Tannenbaum.
Didn't I once hear that the alcohol in vodka prevents the absorption of the nutrients in any accompanying liquid? I thought I was getting a decent dose of Vit-C until I heard that 12 years ago.
Malnutrition isn't always about the third world, to quote the Time article:
"On a trip home to Atlanta, Rhinehart says he came across an elderly neighbor, who had become gaunt with age as he grew too old to continue properly cooking. He realized Soylent might have benefits for other people too."
"“It seemed ridiculous that things have gotten so efficient and streamlined and we have come so far, but we haven’t figure out how to get healthy food to everyone,” says Rhinehart. “In San Francisco, the food and health differences between the poorer and more affluent areas are so clear. It’s not that people don’t know what things are healthy and unhealthy. They don’t have the means.”"
Read more: http://healthland.time.com/2013/06/10/soylent-is-the-food-of-the-future-really-a-nutrition-solution/#ixzz2WCdThNUM
I like eating as much as the next guy, but this really appeals to me. In true hipster fashion: I have been following this guy's exploits for a while before he went commercial and it really seems he has a point. His plan is to solve malnutrition in one product and it looks like he has it. But it doesn't replace all eating, he says he likes to have A couple of meals a week and enjoy them rather than being slaves to eating three times a day.
Once he launches in Europe I will be going for it!
I also remember when the 'special' tower video facilities switch decided to go haywire and 20% of the routes remapped themselves randomly, all sorts of chaos ensued and they took an absolute age to 'reboot' the control systems. I think it happened more than once in my 5 years using them.
Re: tall buildings
Despite being scared of heights I've been on top of Millbank Tower, BBC East Tower (next to TVC), Barbican Tower, Swiss RE (Gherkin) and The Shard (*cough* didn't pay *cough*). But I've never made it all the way up BT Tower despite having visited the broadcast facilities more times than I dare to count.
The Shard is very impressive, more so for looking down than for looking across.
BBC East Tower was (at the time) more isolated than most and intriguing to see the vista.
The Gherkin might be architecturally special but the view is modest in the context of the surroundings.
Millbank Tower is most interesting for its neighbours
Barbican: the roof layout doesn't help those of us who are scared of heights.
I agree, although this is mainly a problem with the operators of the spectrum. I have been in countries where you get fantastic, high-speed, 3G coverage. I was even in the basement of a shopping centre with excellent coverage. Mini-cells, microcells, femtocells, etc are the key and UK operators really need to step up.
I think 4G has a big advantage here, I realised that because 4G doesn't do voice by default you could just exclude the extensions. For London Underground or even planes we could have 4G hotspots which don't support voice capability and that way we can choose access or not!
One small question... how does a politician know what is moral and what isn't?
That they are doing these tests is very good and they seem to be running them well, they are suitably funded so that consumers won't be adversely impacted, but what confuses me more is how do they know the impact when hundreds/thousands of handsets are operating in the area as well. Do they test with 100% channel occupation?
I travel a great deal and I rarely encounter free WiFi, I don't think the UK lags much and sometimes I think free WiFi offers are more common here. Starbucks is now free, McDonald's, City of London, many other cities are also offering free local WiFi. Hotels and airports around the world remain a pain though.
As I understand it Huawei offered to tfl that they would supply and fit an entire system on generous financial terms but it was never made clear why tfl rejected the offer. Could have been concerns over the nature of the funding or just that a significant number of people don't want mobile coverage on the underground, the WiFi install paid for by virgin was a nice touch for 2012 but without significant further investment it remains a curiosity.
In Korea the trains themselves carry the WiFi AP.
But with respect to the logistics of connectivity... I would imagine a leaky feeder* is the best solution.
*Not a septic fetishist.
Re: Windpower is the answer
I did a couple of months with a company and one of their clients insisted that they switch one of their facilities from grid to back-up generator for a couple of days to prove it worked. They did the maths and found out that it didn't cost them notably more to run on generator than grid now, the only risk was long-term maintenance of self-supply for which they could just switch back to grid. Environmentally however I don't know how sustainable a diesel generator is over the grid (when including distribution and conversion losses).
... and we did it without building some magical new device, we found something we already had in the lab could do the job.
Re: Ancient news.
As you say, this is a well known thing, my fathers Vodafone analogue breeze block carphone would regularly lock on to France on a clear day back in the distant past.
In this case I surmise that a DFL* from the media was having a pint down the cliffs at St Margaret's and called one of their friends (specifically to annoy everyone else in the pub), then they realised they were roaming and how much it was costing them.
On a more important point, why were the French operators able to reach a mutual carriage agreement for The Tunnel but the British operators not?
* DFL = 'Down From' London as they are known
I'd love to get my hands on this for a little project I have, but I don't see which of the many Novec versions this is.
Differing opinion about what constitutes a small business obviously...
Re: Ha, ha!
I think O2/Telefonica is getting its existing spectrum liberalised.
Re: @ Bob H
@AC "BT is putting free Wi-Fi into 1,500 branches of Barclays Bank"
Re: Sympathy for him but
Agreed, Baylis put together some parts, made a product which filled a niche and a few others followed. But frankly the market for expensive wind-up radios was small. Some might say that £30 isn't expensive, especially when factoring in the lifespan of Alkaline batteries. But this is still a product which is useful either for camping or third world countries, anyone else uses battery devices. The rise of the MP3 player and improved life on smart phones has taken its toll on radio listening in the past decade. You can't ride the wave on one modest invention, you need to keep innovating or make something so special that someone buys you out. Dyson has kept innovating and has built a sustainable business. I would have hoped Baylis would have had a retirement plan and wouldn't have risked his house after his initial success.
I wouldn't say 1500 is small potatoes compared to 16,000, a coverage increase of +9% is significant in any business.
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