* Posts by Joel

86 posts • joined 27 Mar 2007

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Ofcom sets out Olympic spectrum plan

Joel
Go

Free space optics

Free space optics can be installed without problems from sunlight. It is generally the same as fibre optic technology without the fibre to guide the light, hence "free space". The only time you are likely to have problems with sunlight is if the sun gets directly behind one of the lasers. With a proper installation, it is relatively straightforward to locate the ends where the sun don't shine! Since it *is* based on lasers, it should not be a problem with people walking across the transmission path, as there is a H&S risk with having lasers at levels where people commonly have eyes....

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Weary locals scratch Butt Hole Road

Joel
Coat

All too mild these days....

In the old days they knew how to do it....

Love Lane, off Fleet Street used to be called Gropecunt Lane. Apparently Citylink won't deliver there either.....

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Ocarina dedupes better than NetApp

Joel
Coat

And on an iPhone too!

This just goes to show what a platform the iPhone is! After all, Ocarina is one of the better known apps available. Obviously iPhone Apps beat NetApps.

(what's that you say? Not the iPhone Ocarina?)

Gentlemen, the cloakroom!

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El Reg spymobile snapper nailed on Street View

Joel

How irritating is that?

Caught a beauty of the google car in Saltaire. Streetview stops half a street away....

Presumably I'll have to wait for the next update of coverage....

http://regmedia.co.uk/2008/09/24/street_view_saltaire.jpg

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Sky calls for access to cable network

Joel

LLU anyone?

If Sky want to play that game, why not put an obligation on them to offer their LLU pricing to all exchanges. If they choose not to actually unbundle the exchange then fair enough, but they should have to offer the same pricing to all exchange areas.

The issue is not about cherry-picking the easy areas, but about how to get NGA to the 60% of areas that don't have Virgin coverage...

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Apple 24in iMac (March 2009)

Joel

Plunging pound?

Not that I particularly wish to support Apple, but don't you think that the increase in price might just have something to do with the fact that the exchange rate is no longer $2=£1? I seem to remember the last time this was discussed, the price increases were mostly equivalent to the currency movements. There *is* a trade off for the currency falling through the floor!

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'World's Worst Banker' joins Lads from Lagos

Joel
Coat

Where do you live?

I live in Scotland, England. That'll go down a storm....

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Amazon's Kindle goes soft with iPhone app

Joel

Gutenberg on the iPhone

I've read quite a few of the Gutenberg books on my iPhone, but don't need any app to do it. I simply go to the Gutenberg site, and load the html page of the book. Then, simply turn the phone on it's side, double click the text to zoom to the width of the display, and flick up as I read.

I was surprised at the quality and ease of reading.

Major advantage is that I can read in bed when the other half is asleep, without having to have the light on. Oh, and since they are Gutenberg texts, the content is free.....

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Ten of the best... noise-isolating earphones

Joel
Happy

Skullcandy?

I use the iPhone FMJ as I wanted headphones with a mic for use when the phone rings.... works on BB Curve as well as iPhone.... really impressed with them, plus they offer an "Aggressive Listening" warranty:

Aggressive Listening: Skullcandy products that fail or break due to a crazy crash on the mountain or a violent head-banging session... or any other reason that is not a product defect, we will still hook you up! Send in whatever remains of your product, and we will send you a coupon good for 50% off any product in our Online Shop.

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2009 - Thomas the Tank's journey to IT Hell

Joel
Alien

@amanfromMars

I see someone got an upgrade for Christmas!

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Nintendo in profit on each Wii sold

Joel
Gates Horns

If Microsoft break even.....

....then presumably they aren't counting the support/replacement costs for the Red Ring of Death on the XBox360. My son has had his returned 4 times under warranty, and the warranty period was extended on all 360s because of the number of problems.

That's got to bite into the bottom line.

Anyone know what proportion avoid this problem?

Have any?

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MPs lost for Word over creaking Microsoft packages

Joel
Linux

Of course....

...if they installed Open Office 3.0, then they would be able to open the Office 2007 documents.

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Net pedants dismantle Quantum of Solace

Joel
Coat

It was Bregenz Airport....

....as listed by Ryan Air!

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Parallels 4 users want their money back

Joel
Thumb Up

Works fine for me.....

There will be a million and one different configurations that people will be trying to run in their virtual machines. Many of them might well have underlying issues in the virtual machine they are trying to upgrade, which only become apparent when you try and do something different (as in upgrade to the new version).

Beta testing will only reveal so much. There might well be unforeseen issues when the release is rolled out to the myriad of configurations out there.

But then we know that. There is a reason why people suggest avoiding the .0 releases of anything.

Of course, the forums will be filled with the people who have had a problem. They log on to the forum because they have a problem. Sometimes the issue is from not reading the instructions - I ran into an issue regarding the conversion process, as my Windows image doesn't auto log in - the process requires 4 reboots of windows, so the automated install had to wait until I had logged in each time. No biggie - it was in the documentation. OK, I only read it when there was a problem, but it was easy enough to fix.

Overall, I am impressed and pleased with it. Works well for me....

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Roadpricing satnav spybox trials under way

Joel
Boffin

@Jonathan Richards

Turbulence. Although what you say is true assuming 100% efficient driving, at higher speeds, efficiency drops faster as numbers of cars increase. That is why you get the phantom jams where everything stops for no apparent reason. At higher speeds, you have less time to react to someone braking, so you brake more violently, causing the person behind to brake hard and so on.

Travelling slower with more efficiency can lead to a greater throughput of cars.

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York council gets sniffy with Street View

Joel

Yes you do!

Well, there are two York sightings on your map.....

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Century-old hydropower plant to run on fudge

Joel

A bit harsh...

The guardian article was referring to electricity generation, and so it is not unreasonable to expect the reader to read this as "produce enough [electrical] power for 100 homes." I would suggest that in this instance it is Lewis who is reading into the statement more than is there by taking the above statement to mean producing enough [total] energy for 100 homes, which is something else entirely.

Living not far from Grassington, there is also the added benefit to schemes such as these that they can provide an additional local power source for when the flaky grid electricity falls down yet again, as it does so extremely frequently.

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UK's top boffin: Renewables targets were 'a mistake'

Joel

What about tidal and wave?

The Severn Barrage, if implemented, would take up quite a chunk of that requirement. If tidal power was implemented around the country, then you could have a continuous, predictable power source (high tide happens at different times around the country).

There are also exciting developments happening around harnessing tidal streams - again, completely predictable.

Wind is just one part of the mix.

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Thus passes to C&W

Joel
Thumb Down

Still on tenner a month....

Don't use Demon for access, but am still using it for some legacy email (as is my extended family) as well as inbound fax to email.

Don't want to have to shift - been using the same email addresses since 1994, which is longer than I have been using the same mobile number.... and I've taken that through 3 companies and most networks....

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UK employers sharpen job axe

Joel
Boffin

Allow 2 single sciences instead of "Double Science"

Why on earth are the only two options to either do a double science award of all three sciences, or to do the Triple Science option.

Why not allow people to select from the sciences (as you used to be able to do) so that people could decide that they want to do maths and physics, but have no interest in doing biology. Or someone could keep up with biology, and chemistry, but decide that they want to drop the physics. Yet with all these options they study those sciences to the requisite depth as you would do with the Triple award.

http://xkcd.com/435/

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Boris boots Transys off Oyster contract

Joel

@Stephen Gazard

There is also that pesky factor that they have to use the ticket money to pay for, you know, actually running the trains and buses! Crikey!

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Cash'n'Carrion: A lean, mean, fighting machine

Joel

Bring back the NTK shirts....

http://www.ntkmart.co.uk/ntkmart.cgi

those are what we are after....

And the O'Really shirts....

And while you are at it, bring some xkcd ones over as well....

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NASA spies liquid in Titanic lake

Joel

Reuters reports:

NASA announced today that they had proven hydrocarbon reserves which far exceeded that of all of the oil majors combined. A spokesman said that although the reserves would be "challenging" to exploit, it was clear that with the increasing price of oil, the organisation's future was assured. OPEC declined to comment.

NASA shares closed up 30% on the announcement.

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Steve Fossett may be alive, investigator claims

Joel
Joke

Surely not!

Someone faking their own death for an insurance payout? I don't believe it! That would be like someone paddling off in a canoe and not coming back... Completely unlikely.... No chance....

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Divorce for shouty YouTube wife

Joel

@Sarah Bee

Typo alert:

s/defected/defective

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Upgrade drags Stealth Bomber IT systems into the 90s

Joel
Coat

Accuracy....

If they are using pentiums, I hope they don't have to do any calculations requiring high levels of accuracy - you know, like calculating where the bomb is going to land.....

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Prius hybrid to get rooftop solar panel

Joel

Plugged in to plug-in

"Toyota has thus far turned its face resolutely away from cars which can store enough electricity to make journeys solely on battery power"

Slightly unfair - the next model of the Prius will be a plugin, and they have already been road testing the development versions:

http://blogs.cars.com/kickingtires/2008/01/prius-plug-in.html

Might be interesting getting one then....

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BT and Siemens slammed over prisoner call rates

Joel
Coat

No surprise....

They have a captive market!

Mine's the one with the arrows on.....

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London hospital loses 20,000 unencrypted patient files

Joel
Coat

@Webster

Well, as they were physical machines that got stolen, you can't really blame Safari, unless it was one with porters, tents and bwana's toting elephant guns....

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3G iPhone not ready for the enterprise?

Joel

FFS

Of all the whining, complaining gits!

"By the time this 3G model launches next month he'll have paid £80 more than me over the space of 9 months in terms of PM charges yet I'll have to pay £99 if I want to upgrade whilst he'll get it free."

You're in exactly the same positition! If you wish to pay £45/month over the new contract, you can have it for free as well. The amount you have paid up until now is immaterial.

Honestly, complaining because someone who pays more gets more! Welcome to capitalism.

You'd be hard done by if they made you stick to your existing contract, in which case you'd have to pay the PAYG price if you wanted to upgrade....

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New Microgeneration report - what it actually says

Joel
Boffin

@Danny Roberts

"Of course there is the problem that twice each day it stops generating power and that does have to be covered by stations that can start and stop fairly quickly, but we have those already."

Although this is true for the Severn Barrage, this is not true for the UK as a whole. High tide comes at different times around the coast of Britain, and is completely predictable. To have a consistent supply just requires you to come up with tidal schemes spread appropriately around the coast of Britain.

You also have the options of tidal currents - there is investigation of such schemes off the north of Scotland - there are considerable currents generated through the tidal flow from the Atlantic into the North Sea. Material World on Radio 4 did a program on this topic.

If you have inconsistent demand, then you need to find mechanisms to store energy. The Dinorwen pumped storage station in Wales is one such mechanism. In Tasmania they have developed a pumped battery solution for evening out peaks and troughs from wind generation. When the battery is fully charged, you pump out the charged electrolyte, and replace it with uncharged electrolyte, storing the charged electrolyte in external tanks. When you need to draw the power off, you run the system in reverse, drawing off the discharged electrolyte and replacing with fresh.

This was described in the New Scientist:

http://environment.newscientist.com/channel/earth/mg19325861.400-a-bank-for-wind-power.html

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Ofcom mulls BT Openreach price hike

Joel

The only game in town....

The reason BT has a monopoly in rural areas is because the other players do not deem it worth their while to unbundle the exchange. It is precisely because BT was a monopoly that it had the Universal Service Obligation for providing phone lines.

Other providers prefer to cherry pick the most profitable areas, leaving the remainder to moulder away. Competition only tends to benefit the urban areas who get increased choice. Rural areas are left with the only provider who will provide a service, and it took a long time for that to arrive in the first place! There are still not-spots which are not able to get ADSL at all.

You see similar problems in poor urban areas which food retailers have abandoned which increases the costs of shopping for those who can least afford it.

The original point of monopolies (as awarded by governments) was to provide security to an investor to make them prepared to invest for something other than the short term. Why would BT spend millions installing fibre optic across the country if they immediately had to unbundle it to all comers?

Either offer them a monopoly for 10 or 20 years, to get the fibre installed, give all players in the market a universal service obligation (unbundle one, unbundle all) or, decide that the national infrastructure requires investment by the taxpayer, and create a national telecoms grid, owned by the state, and offering wholesale access to all players. That way, we might get the fibre that is needed.

The benefits of faster access to rural areas can also help on a national basis - teleworking becomes more practical if you can get 100Mbps to the office - this reduces congestion, carbon and many other things deemed to be to the public good, but not necessarily adding to the bottom line of BT or any other telecoms provider.

After the infrastructure is in, we have the potential to privatise another utility, but at least we have it.

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Sick of JavaOne? - You will be

Joel
Coat

I thought Java was....

...sandboxed to avoid precisely this kind of virus issue?

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Jacqui Smith un-downgrades cannabis

Joel
Black Helicopters

What a missed opportunity....

They have a scientific study which says that there is no link to the various problems people have been worried about. That would give them a window of opportunity to legalise it and tax it.

They could disapprove of it, which would allow them to up taxes each budget, and gain another source of revenue.

They then have a nice stick to beat the home growers with, namely trying to avoid the duty on marijuana. They can control the strength through the licensing, like they do with alcohol. And the Tory press won't be whinging about stealth taxes on dope....

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Apple gets into mine-sweeping, missiles and storage

Joel
Coat

@dave

Shurely that should read iCBM?

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BBC should not pay for fibre, Ofcom tells MPs

Joel

It isn't iPlayer....

The BBC providing iPlayer isn't causing the problem. If iPlayer sat there with no-one connecting to it, there would be no problem. The BBC is a content provider. They connect to the internet and bear the costs of that. They will also peer with providers directly (eg Virgin Media and I would guess the Cloud as well).

The bits of the network that are broken are the pipes from the exchanges to the ISPs - this runs over BT's network, and are the sections that are oversold. An ISP might have 100 subscribers with an 8Mbps theoretical connection. However, they will not be paying for an 800Mbps connection from BT's network to their network, but something much less.

The underlying problem is that most ISPs have to deal with two networks - their own infrastructure, plus the infrastructure required to reach the BT exchanges. That is where the costs arise, and where the economics is broken.

It isn't the BBC who has broken the network, but pesky consumers wanting what they have paid for. If users stream video from US sites, should the people providing the content pay for it? No, the users pay for a connection to be able to connect to that resource. If NASA provide access to satellite remote sensing data, would you expect NASA to pay ISPs for me taking that data feed? How about a usenet data feed? If you wanted to take a full news feed, who should pay for that data?

If you go to a Library, do you expect the Library to fund your bus fare to get there? No, it is your responsibility to get to the content you want.

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Influential tech pundit says iPhone 'will be 3G in 60 days'

Joel

@John

John, what network are you on? I've used EDGE round a lot of North Yorkshire, rural Cambridgeshire and beyond. There are areas where I have to drop down to GPRS, but then there isn't any 3G there either.

What does seem to be rarer than Hen's teeth is HSDPA - rarely find that anywhere....

So, EDGE is certainly widely available beyond London, and often in areas beyond 3G.

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Sprint and Samsung unveil Jesus Phone lookalike

Joel

Re: TeeCee

I suspect that rather than a syrup, it is instead an old photo - looks like it was from before his cancer episode a few years back... perhaps even dating back to when he regained control....

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Microsoft launches student Java and LAMP challenge

Joel

It's not what you learn....

...it's how you learn.

When I was a gap-year student working for IBM, they spent part of the initial training course teaching us APL. This was not because we were expected to have any need of it, but because they were pretty sure that none of us would know anything about it. They wanted to teach us to learn, not to give us knowledge, and wanted us to all start at the same level.

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Apple tells iPhone vendors not to reveal sales figures

Joel

3g has better coverage than Edge?

Not from my experience. And as for HSDPA access? I've heard tell that if you go to a particular street in Leeds, and stand on one leg, then you can get a 3.5g signal for a second or two.

In York, options are 3G normal (as well as Edge). Go outside of the city, then you will have Edge - head further afield and you might not get that. Get right up into the dales, you are lucky to get any signal at all.

"My car does 165mph!!! Your tractor is lucky to do 30mph"

"Lets race to the end of this farm track then....."

No point getting a phone that runs on a service that ain't there.....

Of course, all those community wifi broadband networks we were installing prior to ADSL rollout suddenly have a new lease of life.....

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School-dodging Mexican lad glues self to bed

Joel
Coat

What's hard about that?

I would have thought that Reg hacks would have been well used to one-handed typing....

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Facebook takes the Captcha rap

Joel
Joke

What's all the fuss about?

I thought that the campaign for more yellow flowering plants in agriculture was a minority pressure group, but their campaign slogan seems to be raising quite a stir.....

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Acer gives Dell notebook business a kicking

Joel

iphone redefined as laptop

so Apple shoots to #1 - no, wait, don't catch HP even if iphones redefined....

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Apple hit with another class action

Joel

Huh?

The iPod works with any MP3s - how is it tied to the iTunes store?

The iTunes store is tied to the iPod, but that's a different story.....

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Macs seized by porn Trojan

Joel

This is not a letter bomb....

In the post one day, you receive a parcel. You open the parcel. Inside is a gun, with a piece of paper reading:

This'll blow your mind!!!

1) Take gun out of box

2) Place gun to head

3) Pull trigger

This is not the same as a letter bomb. But if you are stupid enough to follow the instructions, you will end up just as dead.

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Google funds hold Firefox fate (for sure)

Joel

Et tu Reg

Speaking of annoying ads, what prompted me to install Adblock in the first place was the hugely annoying ads on El Reg which get out of their box and rampage all over the screen. You know who you are.

So, the question is, what effect does accepting ads like these have on overall revenue? Previously I was happy to have well behaved ads sitting there while I read the reg. Now they have irritated me enough to block them, which presumably has a negative effect on revenues...

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Windows update brings down TV newscast

Joel
Joke

Title

It was the windows box that controlled their cardswipe to get into the building! :-)

They broadcast from the parking lot because they couldn't get in....

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ISP bosses told to get real on broadband speeds

Joel

@Peter Redding

Your connection is 4Mbits/s, not Mbytes per second. Consequently downloading at 435KBytes per second is pretty close to 4Mbits/s - 4000bps/8 = 500KBytes/s.....

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BT says its Wi-Fi kibbutz isn't targeting 3G

Joel

@Misha Gale

The Fon network routers are based on OpenWRT, so you can utilise a Linksys WRT54g (versions 1-4) which support OpenWRT....

You don't have to have a BT box....

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BT prepares for superfast broadband investment chinwag

Joel

Mine the copper

Years ago, Peter Cochrane suggested that installing fibre could pay for itself through "mining" the copper and selling it on the commodity market. Since then, the price of copper has gone through the roof! BT could transform itself into a mining organisation! Certainly far cheaper than the costs of getting copper from the ore.

http://www.cochrane.org.uk/opinion/archive/articles/5-11-2001.php

Peter Cochrane also pulled his own fibre to connect up his house....

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