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* Posts by Mage

2301 posts • joined 23 Nov 2007

El Reg BuzzFelch: 10 Electrical Connectors You CAN'T LIVE WITHOUT!

Mage
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Re: Terminal blocks?

But that was because they were made of Brown Bakelite then. You must be as old as I am.

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Mage
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Boffin

Re: F-connectors and Phono AKA RCA

Both are American, Late 1940s early 1950 (F) and late 1930s (RCA coax).

Old UK TV connectors are "Belling Lee" (actually the original maker and not a real part name), of indeterminate RF impedance and designed for AM radio aerials in 1930s! The USA I think has used F-connectors for a long time for coax when not using 300 Ohm Ribbon.

A Phonograph uses cylinders and Gramophone uses disks. But USAians call a Gramophone a Phonograph, even though Gramophone was first called that in USA (Emile Berliner, Victor Talking Machine Co, who founded Japan's JVC and UK's HMV, Victor was taken over by RCA to become RCA Victor. This is why RCA, JVC (only in Japan as Victor) and HMV all have the "horn" and Nipper dog logo)

Abbreviated as P.U. (Pickup), Gram or Phono on the Radio. In the 1920s they first released Pickup adaptors for windup acoustic Gramophones, in 1930s standalone electric players for the Radio. Originally US used 2 x 1/8" wander plugs like UK did till 1960s. but in late 1930s or early 1940s RCA introduced the coax plug, which as it was most used in USA and for Gramophone plugged into a Radio, or for internal connections on a Radiogram.

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Amazon reports rare profit and is punished by Wall Street

Mage
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They are within 2%. The fact that it's 470Million isn't relevant.

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Mage
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Wide Margin?

earnings per share of $0.51 and net sales of $25.59bn for its fourth quarter of 2013 on Thursday, missing Wall Street estimates of $0.66 and $26.06bn by a wide margin.

Umm...

51 vs 66 = 72% or 28% margin

25.58 vs 26.06 = 98% or 2% margin

So guess are close to reality I would have said. Especially the Net Sales. What kind of strange mathematics does Wall St. use?

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Yahoo! Mail! users! change! your! passwords! NOW!

Mage
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Badly done

They STILL don't send a confirmation link to previous email address before changing it on password change or have you type it twice.

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We're on the same wavelength! TV stars cosy up to flog spare Hz

Mage
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Stupidity

Yes Stupidity.

It's not going to bring real broadband to the masses. Another step in crippling Terrestrial TV to benefit SIGs

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Radio boffins remember the future-ture-ture: From the Cold War to (White) SPAAAAACE

Mage
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Boffin

Wireless and Radio.

see the Radio Museum

Unfortunately Regulators like Ofcom & Comreg, Set makers and even the Broadcasters (esp. ones like BBC & RTE with DAB) are trying to kill Radio.

Digital TV is a good idea and reasonably implemented. Inherently ANY digital Radio system is a poorer User Interface than AM or FM. User Power consumption, Mobile/Portable coverage issues etc. DAB isn't the real problem, though not enough transmitters, only suits National Broadcasters and needs twice as many Mux to have decent bitrate.

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Altcoins will DESTROY the IT industry and spawn an infosec NIGHTMARE

Mage
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Come and get them

I have some lovely colours of Tulips.

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Icahn slurps another $500m in Apple shares, demands buyback AGAIN

Mage
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Childcatcher

I feel sorry for Apple.

http://forums.theregister.co.uk/forum/1/2014/01/23/ebay_rejects_paypal_spin_off/

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1.1 MILLION customers' credit card data was swiped in Neiman Marcus breach

Mage
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Black Helicopters

Chip & PIN

Simply hides fraud and allows the bank to claim the user was at fault.

Also the STUPID bank POS doesn't ask Bank if PIN is correct, but asks card! You can make a fake card that simply replies "yes" for ANY PIN.

Also in Chip & PIN countries the criminals are installing fake readers (in one case actually IN a bank!). As the article points out the issue isn't really Chip & PIN but compromised POS systems, vulnerable Web servers (In Ireland & UK, credit card numbers and rear code pinched from a "reward loyalty card" system that should never have had ANY such information). and even Back Office systems (The Remaindered Stock Retailer).

Fraud is endemic and the Banks admit as little as possible. It's mostly due to incompetently designed systems. People Errors. Computer Error? No Rubbish outsourced systems. Management Errors!

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A BBC-by-subscription 'would be richer', MPs told

Mage
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BBC's monopoly on FM Band.

Nonsense.

But DAB should be scrapped. That unfairly benefits National over local Broadcasters and INHERENTLY all Digital Radio is more user Power Consumption, worse coverage EXPERIENCE and worse radio use Experience. (Tuning / selecting / channel change delay).

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Mage
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Re: Oh?

Except those figures are fantasy.

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Mage
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Collection cost and access

Read what Greg Dyke said about viewing cards when BBC planned to leave Solus Card scheme and go FTA.

HOW do you have Subscription model? No FTA tuners. But DTT & Sat boxes and TVs and PVRs with a COMPATIBLE card reader (CAM). The Card company takes a big wack, the more secure from piracy the system is the more costly.

Ofcom of course want to have only Cable and Satellite and prefer purely commercial entitiies. It would suit Ofcom.

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Mage
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Stupidity

PSB isn't about money.

Sky makes most from Subscription TV, yet 92% of what Sky Subscribers watch is Free To Air.

Sky 1 and Sky Sport (all added) each had about 1.5% viewing each.

In reality most people wouldn't pay for an extra platforms. Surveys can be misleading. Sky & UPC (formerly Virgin) dominate pay TV. BBC would become the equivalent of Disney and Nickleodeon and content would deteriorate further to a lower common denominator.

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Thanks for suggesting eBay should flog PayPal. It's not happening, CEO tells Carl Icahn

Mage
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Childcatcher

Asset Stripper

Totally to character. He's not an Activist or Investor. But a Speculator and Asset Stripper.

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Chrome lets websites secretly record you?! Google says no, but...

Mage
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Spyware

IMO Chrome is despicable mis-marketed Google Spyware anyway. They are NOT a Tech company but a creepy Advertising Company that uses Tech.

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Sweet work, fellas: Boffins build high-density battery powered by sugar

Mage
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Rechargable ...

Now that would be worth even more as a food source!

Nuclear fuel (fusion?) Power Station input and synthetic Food out (Sugars)! I don't think a rechargeable one is possible until they figure photosynthesis and then it will only recharge on sunlight, not electricity.

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The future of storage: disk-based or just discombobulated?

Mage
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Black Helicopters

why not just use a vacuum?

The head "flies" using I think the Bernoulli effect. It's a very very small ground effect aircraft. You'll find that "aircraft" can't fly in a vacuum. It's more stable than any other method of having the head very close but never actually touching.

It puts the term "Head Crash" into perspective :)

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Mage
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Helium

You can't hermetically seal in helium. Or keep it out either. Anything with a vacuum gradually acquires helium.

So I wonder how long a Helium filled drive lasts?

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Mystery 'doughnut' materializes in front of Mars rover: 'OH MY GOD! It wasn't there before!'

Mage
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But, But

Who laid the lovely rustic stone pavement?

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Crippling server 'leccy bill risks sinking OpenBSD Foundation

Mage
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Re: How many picoseconds?

I think 15.5s a year of Apple Profits is $20K a year.

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Mage
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Joke

How many picoseconds?

How much of the Fruity Firm's profits is €20,000 pa.?

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EU eyes UHF spectrum: What do you think, biz bods... broadband?

Mage
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Re: All about the money

The Digital Dividend existed. The Regulators might not have got as much as they would have liked, but they DID get lots for auctioning the spectrum 790 MHz to 862 MHz formerly used by Analogue TV.

That was the real Digital Dividend. The consumer was lucky to get anything extra (HD, some more channels and real widescreen).

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Mage
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Re: It not about the Consumer. But Big Business and Regulator Income.

Satellite is for the 1 to 2% that can't get Terrestrial.

The fact some get poor reception is no reason to deprive everyone else.

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Mage
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Unhappy

It not about the Consumer. But Big Business and Regulator Income.

IPTV, Satellite or Cable can't replace Terrestrial, no matter what Ofcom and Comreg believe. They are complementary.

IPTV and Cable are essentially Pay TV (Broadband to support real IPTV is a lot more expensive).

People are watching more Discs and Internet because TV content is currently a lot poorer than it used to be. This partly because of the dilution of Multichannel TV and impact of PayTV. On Pay TV about 92% of viewing time is still the main free channels.

The people behind this want BBC, ITV, C4, RTE etc crippled, they want Terrestrial and ideally all FTA TV killed and the Regulators want to sell Spectrum Licences. Any service based on LTE Broadcast or some other Broadcast from Mobile Operators will be more expensive to consumer and give worse coverage than current DVB-T.

I supported the original Digital Dividend idea in late 1990s and early 2000s. But It was a mistake. More efficient use of 872 to 2600 Mobile bands would give consumers better service than tacking on 790 to 862MHz Digital Dividend (The only real dividend was Regulator Licence auctions). It has crippled expansion of Terrestrial Digital TV. The plan was originated before HD or growth of pay TV.

Satellite is a much much cheaper broadcast platform for a Broadcaster, especially Pay TV. But Foreign controlled, vulnerable to a "Burp" from the Sun and twice as expensive per TV for viewer to install. Not easily transportable or portable.

Cable TV is Pay TV, Not easily transportable or portable and only Urban/Suburban.

IPTV is 1000s of times more expensive than Broadcast if it was a mass viewing technology with true HD and able to support multiple TV sets.

We will soon have PVRs that can record ALL free channels on a 2 week rolling basis. Makes a nonsense of the running costs and national capital expenditure for Universal IPTV for mainstream viewing and "catch up" TV.

Comreg (Irish Regulator) already stated their aim is abolish all Broadcast. I'd bet Ofcom has the same aim.

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Pint-glass-flashing FISHNAPPERS strike at Firefox daddy Mozilla

Mage
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Re: Taken for a Ride?

Carp are a traditional if rather lacking in flavour fare for hundreds if not thousands of years. Some supermarkets have them live in the tank (though I only saw this in Foreign places). But I wouldn't eat anything that up and died on its own. I'm not a Rook*.

(*UK Rooks found to be as clever with Tools as famous Caledonian Crows. Boffins surmise that normally they don't bother showing off such technological skills due to prevalence of Road Kill and other free nosh).

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Boeing bent over for new probe as 787 batteries vent fluid, start to MELT

Mage
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Alternatives exist

The NiMH solution would be similar volume and overall not much weight. Actually the battery boxes would not need to be as strong and heavy Stainless Steel, so the weight increase is small.

Lithium is used in Laptops due to battery being a high proportion of weight, not run time. Lithium used in phones etc due to ability to have rectangular form factor and small size where NiMH become less efficient. I think the Airbus uses NiMH.

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Tales from an expert witness: Prior art and patent trolls

Mage
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Headmaster

Possibily till recently the World's Strongest Industrial Nation.

Generally excellent, but this is plain wrong:

"The world’s strongest industrial nation, the United States, has probably reached that position because its constitution separates the state from churches."

I think by 19th Century the Church wasn't holding anyone back in Europe. During that period the USA ignored copyright (even today there are issues with US Book & Magazine distributions in UK & Ireland in retaliation and still a problem with Music Industry royalties on Radio in USA vs Rest of World) and ignored patents. Right in to 20th Century.

They only strengthened USPO and US Copyright in 20th Century to protect their own alleged IP.

Nothing to do with the bizarre Religion vs Government in USA (In God We Trust). C.f. France since the Revolution. Also Northern Germany became Protestant in Luther's time to avoid Church interference in State.

Rest of article more reasoned opinion, but that statement is false.

Also China is or may soon outstrip USA. But again it's nothing to do with separation of Church and State.

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Microsoft to RIP THE SHEETS off Windows 9 aka 'Threshold' in April

Mage
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Re: Will anyone still care?

Exchange and Sharepoint are probably MS's worst Server Products.

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Cicada 3301: The web's toughest and most creepy crypto-puzzle is BACK

Mage
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Alien

Aliens recruiting

c.f. Last Starfighter.

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'BILLION-YEAR DISK' to help FUTURE LIFEFORMS study us

Mage
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Re: what to write

Everything.

As we can't know what might be interesting later.

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Bill Gates is once again the richest man on Earth

Mage
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Re: Facebook a tech company?

Or an Advertising agency with one Cyber Billboard disguised as a "Social Media" site.

Not a Tech company.

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El Reg's contraptions confessional no.5: The Sinclair Sovereign

Mage
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On Portable Devices: LED VFD then LCD

Though VFD type devices date from early 1950s and LEDs early 1960s. The VFD is about 1/10th of voltage of Neon/Plasma displays and much easier to drive / matrix. Can work as low as 15V.

VFD still used in Cars, Setboxes/Disc players, Ovens (Microwave or Resistive).

VFD (Matrixed Triodes) and Magnetrons (Diode) are really the only two valve devices left in Volume Production now that CRTs gone.

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Eggheads give two robots vodka and tell them to text each other FOR SCIENCE

Mage
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Like Animals

No, nothing like Animals scent marking.

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El Reg's contraptions confessional no.4: Yamaha retro synth, valve oscilloscope and more

Mage
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Re: Quite.

Except consumer 200MHz Digital Scope is poorer than most 10MHz Analogue ones. You need a £5,000+ 2GHz sampling scope to compete with decent S/H analogue 100MHz £50 scope.

Cheap digital scopes often only 8bit (which means less than 7 bits really), limited input ranges (not as sensitive nor high voltages) and totally rubbish triggering. Also useless for X -Y mode. Actually some quite expensive digital scopes are poor at X -Y.

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Mage
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You need to order needles

Each steel needle is only good for ONE side!

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DisARMed: Geeksphone's next high-end mobe to pack Intel x86 inside

Mage
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Surely Not

It's not the first x86 phone.

It won't be the last one.

It will be a failure.

A phone where you can pick your own OS is definitely niche. What percentage of laptops, notebooks, desktops are sold that way. Most people want to just switch it on and start using it.

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BlackBerry ends write-off of a year with $4.4 BEELLLION write-down

Mage
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Flame

Hmm ...

They sound like they have 6 months to 18 months left.

Definitely a burning platform.

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The Bong's NEXT-mas Message for 2012

Mage
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Devil

The scary bit?

So true.

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Lifesize, driveable AIR-POWERED LEGO CAR hits the road

Mage
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Re: Surely...

The British version

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Napier_Deltic

I'm told the Railway engine version was very distinctive sound. Very powerful too.

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Datawind's low cost Aakash tab comes to UK, US

Mage
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Alert

History

Going back I think to 2007 I think they have a track record of over ambitious hyped products that sank due to problems.

El Reg Preview pocketsurfer

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Tube be or not tube be: Apple’s CYLINDRICAL Mac Pro is out tomorrow

Mage
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Out Innovates WinTel?

That would be easy. ARM based Phone, set-box and TV makers do it all the time?

I just see a packaging & Style solution, not innovation.

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Mage
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Facepalm

maybe the last.

If you like OSX and a more powerful Mac, enjoy this. It might be the last. Where are the Apple Servers today? This is a very niche market for Apple.

Yes, it's striking and different, but a niche expensive product. Maybe there might be one more generation at most.

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

Mage
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Wintel

It's getting further from WinCE & Intel

(BT actually changed the EXISTING user's boxes from WinCE to Linux).

Intel inside on TVs and Setboxes was Intel's plan. But they are now collectors items.

Why are Apple allowed to call their Streaming Media box that has NO tuner and NO screen an "Apple TV"?

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Is Google prepping an ARMY of WALKING ROBOTS?

Mage
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Re: Obey the laws

Much later he added a very creepy Zeroth law.

I see what you did then. So what's the revisionist Zeroth law?

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Drawers full of different chargers? The IEC has a one-plug-to-rule-them-all

Mage
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Ewaste

You don't get a charger with a Kindle, at least not outside US.

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Mage
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Re: Forget Apple: Only 90W?

There are some laptops with 120W supplies.

I can't see this working. Also probably about 3 different DC voltages needed.

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Analogue radio will CONTINUE in Blighty as Minister of Fun dodges D-Day death sentence

Mage
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Car aerial

My old 2000 year car has a nice 75cm whip. The little bee stings and shark fins are poor for VHF-FM and useless for MW or LW.

Fantastic LW, MW & VHF-FM on it. Awkward to add weaker stations. The RDS and TA (BBC seems to switch from R4 to R. Ulster for Traffic Announcements) works great though so only one preset needed for each VHF station.

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Mage
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Boffin

Digital radio could be implemented well?

Actually after many years research I conclude that Digital Radio is always going to be inferior to FM. Don't forget AM either, it's useful too.

The Problem isn't DAB, DAB+ would be just used to deliver 64kbps and double number of stations. At 192kbps or even better 256k, the advantage of DAB+ becomes slight.

DAB should be 256K. MP2 on satellite used to be 256k. At higher bit rates such as 256K MP3 or AAC hasn't so much advantage over MP2. In some cases MP3 and AAC can sound worse if you have poor hearing as it's a psycho-acoustic model based on normal hearing and "throwing away" even more data..

Digital Radio of any needs x6 as many transmitters as there are today, though most are small, to "fill in " coverage due to digital cliff for Mobile/Portable users, unlike very gradual AM and quite gradual FM in fringe reception. The "bubbling mud" isn't purely a DAB thing, it's an artefact of not enough FEC data before you fall off the "digital cliff".

Comparing Digital TV vs Analogue and Digital Radio vs Analogue the Digital TV has almost no disadvantage and many advantages. Digital radio is usually better quality than AM, never better than FM but every other aspect it's inferior to AM or FM!

The user interface experience is rubbish. Preset stations only, large inter station delay, massive delay if you have to change Multiplex frequency (there is a limit to SFN size), typically x20 power consumption, hardly any DAB sets have RDS on the FM, current DAB features inferior to RDS + TA, virtually no sets with LW / MW (even FM isn't universal, also what about stations outside UK?).

DAB is about dominance by BBC (extra channels) or very large commercial outfits. It's not about real choice, quality, value or ease of use.

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Avago Technologies chomps up LSI for BEELLLIONS - in CASH

Mage
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Stupidity

This ultimately isn't investment but asset stripping.

Avago and LSI are both now doomed by a millstone of debt. The winners are the the people who got the money.

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