* Posts by Bob H

394 posts • joined 20 Sep 2007

Page:

Apple threw its TV out the window after years of research: report

Bob H

Apple have probably realised it is really, really difficult to build a TV and that American TV is nothing like the rest of the world. The consumer market and pricing model has killed many players and is a loss-leader for most big brands.

0
0

Next-gen Freeview telly won't be another disruptive 4Ker

Bob H

Re: uhd? i dont want hd!

@Test Man,

The Freeview specification (DTG D-Book) does have a system called Network Change Notification Descriptor and it has been around for a few years, any decent product should support it.

1
0
Bob H

Re: Why not a unified catch-up service?

If you don't have players then how do you know you're watching the BBC and how do they cross-promote shows. The brand managers of the channels won't let us watch anything if they can't control the outcome.

2
0

Mobe network Three is the magic number for FreedomPop

Bob H

Seems okay for my mother, she currently is on PAYG and has data turned off (using wifi at home).

0
0

Boffins set to reveal state of play on fully duplex comms - on the same FREQ

Bob H

Re: This concept is not new.

Comtech has their Double Talk technology:

http://www.comtechefdata.com/technologies/doubletalk

I'm always disappointed when someone says something is impossible when its already been done.

0
0

Tesla's battery put in the shade by current and cheaper kit

Bob H

Re: Back of an envelope calculations

I can't find the site, but this week I read a fantastic analysis of the Tesla solution which included life, cost and carbon impact. It compared existing battery techniques vs some other solutions. The most notable thing was that they said the cycling of Lead Acid vs Lithium effectively gave you double the life. The carbon impact was less but it wasn't ground breaking. The basic thing is that Lithium batteries can be cycled more deeply than Lead Acid, that depth of charge means you need fewer of them for a given demand, because of the better cycling performance you can also make them last longer. So, Lithium ion gives you twice the life, a fair bit more expensive, but a good carbon footprint.

I further did my research and found I could build the Tesla system for the same or less. I might build it because I have an off-grid project, but it isn't a trivial build.

0
0

Great, we all want 5G mobile broadband. Now just how are we gonna wire it all up?

Bob H

Re: Oh yeah...?

Even in London you get crap 3G, so I think the OP's comment is very valid. The network operators are spending billions on licenses and deployments of 4G but they can't even give us URBAN coverage that meets the potential of 3G let alone any future technologies.

2
0
Bob H

Re: Sticks head above parapet...

Having experienced real 3G in Korea before 4G launched I can say we aren't even getting close to using the spectrum effectively. The coverage in the UK is sh*t, they seem to measure coverage by if you can make a phone call, but where I live you can just about do that and little more, it might as well be EDGE.

I wish networks would stop spending money on licenses for new technology and actually spend it on improving their existing networks.

0
0

Low price, big power: Virtual Private Server picks for power nerds

Bob H

Yep, I've been using Bytemark on and off for years now. Their BigV.io system is quite impressive.

0
0

Tesla Powerwall: not much cheaper and also a bit wimpier than existing batteries

Bob H

Re: Inverter?

The announcement spurred me to look at off-grid for a house I am building in a region with good sun and poor electrical supply. I calculated that 10kWh would probably be enough and with 6.5h of sun per day on average I calculated I'll need about 1.6kW of solar panels (obviously you should get more to deal with winter but other provisions can be made).

I also looked at the output from my spreadsheet that I use to track my home energy usage in the UK. It seems I use 12-14kWh per day on average. Now according to my energy company that isn't bad for a three bed house but I know it could be better because I'm not that careful. But 10kWh is within reach and if we made more concessions it would be even better.

Now I just need to figure out if Tesla will sell one for DIY install!

1
1

Industry infighting means mobile users face long delays on UK trains

Bob H

This is doubly twisted because National Rail has their own mobile phone spectrum for GSM-R.

Perhaps they should coordinate with the Police and their TETRA replacement issue. Bring the two budgets together and make a national, high availability, secondary LTE infrastructure.

1
0

Hi, Fi: Google JOWL-SLAPS mobile bigguns with $20/mo wireless service

Bob H

If they come to the UK as the rumours suggest then I'll take it. I'm bored of all the roaming issues and coverage issues I get. The Nexus 6 is a bit big, so I hope they add support for my Nexus 5.

0
0

El Reg offers you the chance to become a Master Investor – for free

Bob H

I was interested, then I read the mention of Farage. That man doesn't deserve the oxygen of publicity, in fact he doesn't deserve oxygen.

I'm out.

0
1
Bob H

Re: @ dogged

@codejunky

Inviting Farage to anything more than his own demise doesn't make sense. A vile man from a vile party intent on manipulating people through fear and deception.

0
0

Are you sure there are servers in this cold, dark basement?

Bob H

Re: The funniest I've seen...

I did a placement at a local TV station, they had failure on a piece of kit and a bike courier was ordered with a replacement card for a "support within x hours" delivery. They were cursing when he didn't turn up because it made doing the news difficult and they stopped cursing when they were called to say the motorbike courier had been in an accident.

0
0

AMD opens kimono on chip futures a little more

Bob H

There is already a rumour going around about Samsung and AMD sittin' in a tree...

0
0

Gigabit web streaming in 2016? Live tests say yes

Bob H

Re: History

I've noticed that when you do a Speedtest.net on Virgin in the UK it does the test against Virgin servers if you let it automatically pick the server. It picks a server just a 30min drive away from my house on the Virgin network.

0
0
Bob H

As a former colleague once said when we were told our site was getting Gbit internet:

"I can't w*nk that fast."

2
0
Bob H

Re: What about muh upstream?

When Comcast decides (and Liberty Global would also likely make such a move) to put 10/40Gbit/sec into production they'll probably change the economies of scale by market forces alone. Their agreements with Broadcom could mean that they build a 40G SDN without much concern and they could do it on the back of the RDK software development arrangement that they have with Cisco and Arris already.

0
0

MOVE IT! 10 top tips for shifting your data centre

Bob H

This was quite a good article from the people behind Stack Exchange:

http://blog.serverfault.com/2015/03/05/how-we-upgrade-a-live-data-center/

2
0

Lost WHITE CITY of the MONKEY GOD found after 500 years

Bob H

It's just up the road from what was Television Centre in London isn't it? Where they held the old London Olympics?

0
0

Game of Moans: Sky coughs to BORKED set top box BALLS-UP

Bob H

One of the problems is that broadcasters, when they enter information into the schedule might not always have their system track that what is on one channel is the same event that is on another channel. Sometimes they don't match the Series CRID but sometimes they also put in a unique Programme CRID, there is also alternate instance and HD/SD linkage which I have also noticed some channels don't always provide.

We'd like to think that the broadcasters were joined up in their approach to metadata but experience tells me that humans keep making mistakes and the systems they have aren't sophisticated enough to keep from that happening. But then again they have to share data with Sky, Virgin, DigitalUK, Freesat, Rovi and the various news agencies/data companies, and everyone wants it in a slightly different format.

1
0

G.Fast sand-slinger says it's slung bits at 500 Mbps over 200 metres

Bob H

Usain Bolt

Usain would have significant latency compared to G.fast?

0
0

Boffin finds formula for four-year-five-nines disk arrays

Bob H

There was I thinking, "that seems like a lot of disks, but what is the minimum number?" So, after a bit of simple head maths I came to 5/1/4, which is interesting because it adds up to a simple 2:1. Now obviously the requirements of RAID-6 mean that you would probably do 5/2/3 but still I think the 2:1 principle holds.

0
0

HMRC fails to plan for £10.4bn contract exit... because it's 'too risky'

Bob H

Hanlon's Razor:

"Never assume malice when stupidity is an equally viable explanation."

0
0

Dark Fibre: Reg man plunges into London's sewers to see how pipe is laid

Bob H

Re: Security?

I used to work for a company that leased hundreds of fibres around London and so I regularly saw the maps. I realised that outside the KFC where I lived was a series of green cabinets which if someone had a truck/JCB it would do some serious damage.

Fortunately sensible companies traversing London tend to order dual, diverse routes with diverse points of entry, so there is no single point of failure. However if someone knew what they were doing they could do massive damage, luckily none of the advanced knowledge is public but if someone were determined they could try some espionage to get that information.

0
0

Reg Oz chaps plot deep desert comms upgrade

Bob H

This might help you, it is a compressing proxy with pre-rendering and image compression. Not ideal for security but working on plain HTTP it should offer optimisations, especially if combined with Squid.

http://ziproxy.sourceforge.net/dia/

I don't think it is too risky to use a small server at the remote location. Squid will do transparent proxying and you can always set up a fail-over without much expense. There are lots of embedded machines that don't have the foibles of a full PC and if the OS is on a separate disk from the cache you won't have much risk.

1
0

It's 4K-ing big right now, but it's NOT going to save TV

Bob H

It is worth noting that increased frame rates do not notably increase distribution bandwidth/size, the difference between each frame is smaller as you increase bandwidth so the impact of compression is much more substantial. If I remember correctly a notable someone told me that doubling the progressive frame rate increases the compressed bandwidth by 10%?

I hate "filmic" frame rates, people claim it is artistic but if you just watch any action film with a good eye you will know how blurred the sequences get. Any good cinematographer should know how to adjust their shooting to create an atmosphere irrespective of the frame rate and you can always adjust the look in grading. (I'm a broadcast engineer trained in both TV and film).

6
0

NASA closing on fix for Opportunity rover's 'amnesia'

Bob H

Re: Lovely

I didn't think Vista would install on 256MB of flash?

(I'll get my coat)

4
0

BT takes broadband to NEW PLACES. That's right: CITIES

Bob H

The City has long been poorly represented for basic broadband, so this is good news but I have long been suspicious that BT neglects areas with larger business buildings because it wants to sustain the BT Net fibre business.

In TW8 9HH all the surrounding streets have high-speed broadband but the main business block has none and BT have neglected only the cabinet that serves that building. Perhaps with this news BT might actually one-day extend their reach to such neglected buildings.

2
1

Cold? Cuddle these HOT GERMAN RACKS, yours for only 12,000 euro – we swear there's an IT angle

Bob H

Re: Computer-powered Aga

I think the question here is can someone demonstrate effective heat transfer? If it is possible to do more than just create warm water and actually turn the water hot then there might be some money in this. I'm uncertain about the value of €12k but I've been wondering for a while now if this business model could work and someone is actually trying it out.

0
0

UK superfast broadband? Not in my backyard – MP

Bob H

The problem is they laud themselves for getting a statistically successful level of roll outs which makes a good headline but they classically neglect the minority because they aren't making headlines. We need their KPI to focus on the unconnected not those who are getting upgraded. My village got FTTC quite quickly which is pretty pointless because we already have much faster Virgin cable, they should concentrate their more FTTC efforts in areas where they have low penetration of broadband from *any* provider rather than just giving me more choice of where I get high speed broadband.

0
0

Google Nest, ARM, Samsung pull out Thread to strangle ZigBee

Bob H

Re: Just In Case

I've also seen vendors turn up to said meetings just to say 'no' to everything. The fun of spending a fortune to stand in the way of things, works well for those companies.

0
0

UK.gov warned: Small biz bods 'blunted' by broadband bumbling

Bob H

Re: Obvious reason is obvious...

I've also seen this in London, I used to work in an office in TW8 on the way out of London, on a junction surrounded by office buildings and where there are lots of residential properties around, the entire exchange was upgraded to FTTC except our cabinet. It was clearly because every customer on that cabinet is business and every other cabinet was residential.

But I don't think it is just BT, I wanted service from Virgin Media Business, I tried very hard because their cabinet was within meters of our office and their ducts passed our building on two sides. But no, they didn't have coverage for our address!!

I ended up getting an EFM by bonding four lines together, cheaper than BTNet fibre but it was only 13Mbit/sec in London!

I would love to see someone like El Reg doing a closer investigation in to this, I knew I couldn't be the only one to suffer from this. Artificially keeping prices high with legacy products by not enabling VDSL or low cost FTTP at business cabinets.

4
0

New Bluetooth tech lets you control 4 BILLION lightbulbs at once

Bob H

Re: I dont kwow why

There are lots of wireless light switches using either RF or IR, I have one from HomeEasy which works fine but is a proprietary protocol. Sounds like this technology could be applied to light switches as well as light bulbs.

1
0
Bob H

the problem is that there isn't a good solution for low energy conversion of mains to low voltage without waste. Putting a battery in the solution reduces the bill of materials, complexity and energy consumption. You might need to replace a battery in 5+ years but that will cost you less than the energy usage from a mains converter.

1
0

Boob Tube BOFFINS finger Red Button, trigger TELLY MAYHEM

Bob H

These TVs haven't been hacked, some researches have created an unlikely amplification attack which relies on a series of unlikely events.

1) TVs don't retune to signals which aren't signalled by the existing broadcast data tables. 'New channels available' is usually when the TV notices a change in the BAT.

2) If they swamped out an existing multiplex they would have to do a MitM attack involving receiving the existing signal, altering and rebroadcasting it (without creating a feedback loop).

3) The transmissions would have to be powerful and virtually undistorted without saturating the receiver. This is very difficult and I am told by a reliable party that the '$200' modulator they talk about has poor noise and distortion (amplification of it sucks).

4) The only result is that you can send traffic to known targets, you might use it for amplification in a DDoS but the impact will be minimal

5) The viewer would have to tolerate the disruption and wrong time/event or black screen.

A vulnerability perhaps, a serious issue requiring every news agency in the world to proclaim a vast hole in every hybrid TV? No. Wish I had the time to show why this is impractical, but paid work prevails.

1
2

No spinning rust here: Supermicro's cold data fridge is FROZEN

Bob H

Re: DVD? ( I have mixed views)

Even DVD is considered fleeting in archive terms, yes lots of them were made but how robust are the discs and how robust are the drives. You don't want to be scratching around in 10 years looking for one which still has a good laser diode or motor drive that hasn't gummed up. The beauty of photographic substrate archiving is that if you can keep the plastic stable you can knock up the apparatus to 'read' it with things you find in a hardware store. If someone invents an industrial archive grade disk drive that can read CD, all DVD formats and WORM discs then we only have to worry about the discs themselves failing!

0
0

BT and Neul ink gov-funded deal: Milton Keynes to be test bed for Internet of Stuff

Bob H

It is worth noting that IoT isn't about providing internet access to devices, it is about connecting intelligent devices to networks for telemetry and control purposes.

I have seen presentations by Neul and I am impressed with what is possible with 'Weightless', very low power data collection without the overheads of mobile networks.

The saddest thing is that it will get caught up in the BT management processes, burdened with consultants and their interesting project management.

0
0

EE boffin: 5G will be the LAST WORD in mobe tech – literally

Bob H

Re: Re Also, your math is wrong...

One could probably use powerline and connect to the nearest FTTC cabinet, this gets round your transformer problem and gives up to 500Mbit/sec to each street? Besides if the base stations used a 60-70GHz mesh between themselves they wouldn't need fibre for km's.

As for calling groups the Mission Critical 4G system is based on SIP, all the complex calling groups could easily be implemented as software functions. An application on the phone could easily allow an officer to see a directory, add people to custom groups for raids etc., and probably easily roam between forces transparently.

Spend less time looking for problems and more time looking for solutions.

0
0
Bob H

Re: Who is this guy?

Yes there is a system proposed for 4G to prioritise certain groups of callers in the event of congestion which is why they are talking about it:

http://mobile.research.southwales.ac.uk/mission-critical-voice/

The advantage for these mission critical customers is that when engaged with a network provider they can do it cheaper than with the separate infrastructure cost paid for now. The hardware cost would only be on modifying the existing control room areas to support the new interfaces. For those on the ground the upgrade would be substantial but perhaps the old equipment can be sold to cover the costs? There must be a good market for used TETRA in other countries?

0
0
Bob H

Re: The future...

I think the main reason he might say that there is no 6G is the fact that the spectrum is already reaching the Shannon information limit for the modulation and spectrum occupation. So in terms of the air interface there is little progress to be made towards increasing bandwidth. The next steps are about how you build the network and how the phones interact with the environment. With increasingly flexible modems in phones and base stations increasingly being software defined radios hopefully we won't need much more new hardware.

The biggest challenge as everyone seems to recognise is getting them to actually put the infrastructure in. The fact that most of the networks haven't given consumers easy access to femtocells just shows how backwards we are. My village has very limited Orange/EE coverage and yet the network provider refuses to acknowledge anything is wrong. Some parts of London are difficult to make calls in because the networks are congested and yet after years nothing gets done. Investment in infrastructure seems to have a broad-brush, national focus rather than responding to demand and feedback.

0
0

Welcome to Heathrow Terminal, er, Samsung Galaxy S5

Bob H

#fail

I'm thinking of my poor wife's family that don't speak English, getting through airports is hard enough without Samsung confusing them!

16
0

Game of Thrones written on brutal medieval word processor and OS

Bob H

Re: If he's into self-flagellation

I was sitting next to a young lady on an airplane who was writing an academic paper in Latex, it certainly didn't seem comfortable!

3
0

'We don't use UPS. If we did we'd have huge UPSs and tiny computers'

Bob H

I once worked in a facility where there was only enough UPS capacity for little more than half the heavy load systems but there was generator capacity for everything. That was fine operationally because as long as half the system worked all the time resilience was maintained. However it did cause secondary problems that when the systems were shut-down improperly, the abrupt lack of cooling could impact their lifespan. Fortunately it didn't happen enough to make it a real problem for us, so we accepted the rare uncontrolled shut-down and recovered later. The cost of adding sufficient additional UPS capacity would have been significant.

0
0

Mozilla CTO Eich: If your browser isn't open source (ahem, ahem, IE, Chrome, Safari), DON'T TRUST IT

Bob H

I too was thinking, "how do we know Mozilla doesn't modify the source before compiling?"

2
1

Justice Ministry to spaff £70k finding out how prisoners like to use ILLEGAL mobes

Bob H

Jamming mobile signals is actually illegal, I prefer my government agencies to obey the law of the land.

0
0

Samsung sees RDK as route to DOMINATION of US set top market

Bob H

The thing that most people don't distinguish or realise is that Samsung is a conglomerate and that as part of that one division doesn't generally work with the other. Samsung isn't a minor player in PayTV STBs but they aren't among the top vendors, their retail consumer products are a separate division from their Pay TV business. The adoption of RDK by Samsung is a late play but I am unsure if they can really leverage it well with their customers.

1
0

Oz couple get jiggy in pharmacy in 'banned' condom ad

Bob H

Re: "Come again!...."

I did have a titter at that line.

3
0

I'm Feeling LUCKY OR LAZY™? Chrome gets hands-free voice search

Bob H

Re: Be nice if it worked

Agreed it is a bit of a fail that it doesn't work outside of Google.com

0
0

Page:

Forums