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* Posts by Bill Ray

140 posts • joined 27 May 2008

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Ofcom: By 2017, even BUMPKINS will have superfast broadband

Bill Ray
(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Filling the colum inches with inanity?

You're assuming the video stream isn't a training session, so they can learn new skills, and that the shopping isn't to buy raw materials for their etsy business.

Broadband internet access isn't just about grumble flicks and Amazon, without it climbing from poverty is even harder and that's before we start to think about the benefits of children being able to see spacemen playing with yoyos.

Bill.

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Custom ringback tones: Coming to your next contract mobe?

Bill Ray
(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Re: who would want this?

My apologies for not being clear - the Ring Back Tone you set is heard by people who call you, so you can impress them with your style and choice.

Bill.

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Be prepared... to give heathens a badge: UK Scouts open doors to unbelievers

Bill Ray
(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Leader interview

I suspect that was down to the pack or troop, my interview consisted of being in the hall on the right day so it obviously varies.

I did have to promise to a god though, which almost put me off and is why I was so interested in reporting this story.

Bill.

aka Baloo, Balintore 1st (I wanted to be a wolf, I got comedy bear)

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ISPs scramble to explain mouse-sniffing tool

Bill Ray
(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Baffling

Path Intelligence is a very interesting company. They track phones by their TMSI, a random number temporarily allocated by the network operator to avoid using the (identifiable) IMEI.

The operator can match TMSI to IMEI, and IMEI to MSISDN, and MSISDN to customer, but Path Intelligence has none of that information:

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/05/20/tracking_phones/

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Reg hack battles Margaret Thatcher's ghost to bring broadband to the Highlands

Bill Ray
(Written by Reg staff)

Apologies for missing that, I think it got cut during one of the editing rounds.

The link to Claire's house is just over 5km, the link to Ronny's is just under 2km. Claire's link is much faster thank's to the uncluttered Fresnel zone.

I'm now looking for someone in Nairn with a sea view, for the next stage of the plan...

Bill.

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Telefonica and Arqiva set to mop up BILLIONS in smart meter cash

Bill Ray
(Written by Reg staff)

Re: 900 MHz ISM band?

Ofcom is planning to release that band for UK use later this year, something which Arqiva opposed.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/06/28/ofcom_commits_to_srd_release/

...sorry if that wasn't clear in the piece.

Bill.

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See a young Brit's mobe? 55% chance it has nekkid selfies on it, claims poll

Bill Ray
(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Generation X?

I don't think so, the survey questioned adults from 18-35, which looks bang in Gen.X to me, unless I've got my maths seriously wrong?

Bill.

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Sammy had Sweet Fanny Adams to do with Swiss Fanny madam's blast

Bill Ray
(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Bill Ray, you are wasted

That's very kind but I'm afraid I can't take the credit. Most of our headlines (and all of mine) are written by a specially-trained team of sub editors toiling in a basement without light, water or (in some cases) connectivity.

I'll take credit for the copy, but the poetry of the headlines is a skill beyond my own.

Bill.

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Ofcom set to release interesting spectrum chunk for unlicenced use

Bill Ray
(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Can't use U.S. Equipment

Agreed - not all US kit will be usable here.

You'll notice that the SparkFun link is to a tunable device which will fit within the proposed bands, and there's still questions over broadcast power and duty cycle which might not match, but we'll have to see how that pans out.

Some kit will be usable here, and some with minor modification (and thus relatively cheap), so I stand by the assertion that it will be fun.

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New Motorola Mobility badge: Too late for this pinball machine lover

Bill Ray
(Written by Reg staff)

I'm guessing it's like a flight simulator - it's never going to be as fun as the real thing, but it's a lot cheaper.

I can't play them though, they're close enough to remind me what I'm missing.

Bill.

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Want a fast, private Wi-Fi channel? Fine, go fight the regulators

Bill Ray
(Written by Reg staff)

That was the finding of the study, but its obviously thanks to the lack of interference in that band rather than any inherent advantage in frequency.

Sorry that wasn't clearer in the piece.

Bill.

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Microsoft waves white flag: We'll put Outlook on Windows RT slabs

Bill Ray
(Written by Reg staff)

All Windows RT devices will get the upgrade, including those from MS and OEMs, so everyone using RT gets the same experience for better or worse.

Bill.

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Bill Ray
(Written by Reg staff)

Re: When?

Microsoft is only saying "later this year", so that's all we know for the moment.

Bill.

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Yes! It's the NFC phone-bonk doorbell app AT LAST

Bill Ray
(Written by Reg staff)

Re: I have to laugh...

Oddly enough it used a proprietary protocol as it pre-dated Bluetooth (actually it was just a wireless doorbell with the buzzer replaced with a relay, polled from a PC), but I'd argue it was still more practical than this one.

Bill.

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Mobes' pay-by-bonk just isn't cool enough, sniffs Tesco bod

Bill Ray
(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Bonk Cards

No more than the cash it's intended to replace. Every few transactions you'll be asked for the PIN (depending on how dodgy the transactions look) and you'll be easy to find on CCTV as each transaction is time stamped, but you'll probably get away with a few tenners.

Bill.

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Android FOUND ON TABLETS inscribed with WORD OF GOD

Bill Ray
(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Technology and fathe

Just place your faith in the Internet, and it will provide.

Newton wi-fi drivers...

http://www.deleet.de/ray/newton/802.11b-FAQ.html

Newton web browser...

http://www.unna.org/unna/internet/web-browsers/NetHopper3.2/

Who needs an iPhone?

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Voda: Brit kids will drown in TIDAL WAVE of FILTH - it's all Ofcom's fault

Bill Ray
(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Children and contracts...

Children can have contracts, backed by a parent, but Vodafone's point is that it's not just changes to the price of a contract which will require notification.

Vodafone actually says its happy to let people know when a contract price, or any of its prices, change, but when a sex line ups its per-minute pricing the current wording from Ofcom could require the operator to tell every customer about the change.

Bill.

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Cop an eyeful of that: Moto bungs 5-megapixel cam into plod radio

Bill Ray
(Written by Reg staff)

Oddly enough I asked the same question, but (according to Motorola) a front-facing camera wouldn't be pointing the right way when clipped to the lapel (moving the radio was not an option, given operational use) and as its intended to record evidence being able to see the screen while taking a snap was considered more important.

I'm sure there would be technical reasons too, but that's the justification I was given.

Bill.

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'Wireless charging' in Galaxy S4 will betray Samsung's best pal

Bill Ray
(Written by Reg staff)

Re: When the S3 was anounced last year

The Miracast look-a-like, for replicating the screen, did eventually emerge:

http://www.clove.co.uk/samsung-allshare-cast-dongle-samsung-galaxy-s3

It's rather nice, though overpriced. Some have complained it drops connections, but I've been using it happily with a Note 10.1 without incident.

Wireless charging, on the other hand, still needs a hack.

Bill.

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Welcome to our Wi-Fi: Devicescape reinvents landing page

Bill Ray
(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Re: Crowd-sourced experience

The answer to that question is very interesting, and the key to DeviceScape's technology. The short version is that it uses a DNS request (which can pass through wi-fi before authentication), the longer version is here:

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/11/21/unlimited_mobile/

Bill.

P.S. Turns out Republic isn't using DeviceScape, but the technical details are still pertinent.

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EyeSight tries to please MWC crowd with touch-free fingering

Bill Ray
(Written by Reg staff)

Re: It's Kinect

Apologies for the spelling, but when it comes to the resolution I've spoken to several companies working on titles for the console who assure me that finger resolution is impossible - it's something they constantly get asked for, but can't do.

Kinect is impressive, and will evolve, but for the moment systems such as EyeSight are offering better resolution.

Bill.

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Barclays: So sorry about LIBOR... How about some free Wi-Fi?

Bill Ray
(Written by Reg staff)

BT's wi-fi is indeed a chargeable service, but this wi-fi will be branded Barclays and will be free.

BT is providing the infrastructure, Barclays is paying the bill.

Bill (the author of the piece, not the bill being paid).

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Mind out, Apple: Ericsson leads charge against the SIM

Bill Ray
(Written by Reg staff)

Oddly enough I saw that back in May last year, and took it up with the DVLA who responded (after some chasing):

DVLA has issued the Biometric Residence Permit on behalf of the UK Border Agency since November 2008. This is an excellent example of cross-government co-operation.

...so the UK Border Agency subcontracts the work to the DVLA.

Bill.

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Ofcom anoints broadcaster: Local TV is nearly here

Bill Ray
(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Why another London channel?

The reason London is interesting is that if London can't make money from Local TV then nowhere can.

The London franchise covers the largest number of people, and is the most contested, so its the business (if not the channel) to watch.

Bill.

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Top Gear isn't TV, not when it's on YouTube

Bill Ray
(Written by Reg staff)

ATVOD is appointed by Ofcom, at the request of parliament, and companies providing video-on-demand services are legally required to register with ATVOD and pay the fee.

ATVOD regularly gets into disputes with companies who claim they aren't providing VOD services, and Ofcom has the power to arbitrate in such instances, but if Ofcom says you're providing VOD then you have to pay ATVOD.

Local TV companies particularly hate ATVOD, as they're borderline viable anyway, and ARVOD's sliding scale of pricing was only introduced when loads of people complained (to Ofcom) that they were stifling innovation.

Hope that provides some clarity - it's a strange situation, and something we'll be watching closely.

Bill.

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FAVI smacks your dumb TV with £30 Android SmartStick

Bill Ray
(Written by Reg staff)

My understanding is that only the Siii supports any sound over USB, and there's a campaign to have it bundled in the stock Android release:

http://code.google.com/p/android/issues/detail?id=24614

I tried a couple of USB audio devices (just in case) and had no luck with them at all.

Bill.

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Bill Ray
(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Question whether this works with standalone computer monitors with HDMI

Yeah, works fine on a monitor as long as it has a digital in (DVI) and you have a suitable cable.

However: the monitor I tested it with isn't wide-screen, and the output is, so everything got a bit squashed and I couldn't find a setting to fix that.

There is also the question of audio. With no Bluetooth or audio jack you'd have to do without audio entirely (unless your monitor supports audio over HDMI, in which case it's hardly a monitor at all).

Hope that's of some use.

Bill.

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Satnav-murdering Google slips its Maps into car dashboards

Bill Ray
(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Bll Ray *must* be US based

The comparison was intended to remind people how much they're tracked already, but was perhaps too flippant.

UK Telcos do track, and store everything for two years with the RIPA removing any need for a warrant in the UK - I covered the subject in some depth back in 2007 and little has changed since then:

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/11/04/location_information/

For a really dramatic example there's:

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/03/30/cell_tracking/

The accumulation of tracking data is, or should be, a concern to all of us with insurance-by-mileage being the next likely battleground.

Bill.

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Hefty beauty GAGA gets voluptuous new undercarriage

Bill Ray
(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Re: Some glider pilots might get jealous...

You might be right, but it looks so much better with the caster at the fount.

I shall run some tests and see how it goes.

Bill.

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P-P-P-Pick up our PENGUIN-POWERED Pi PIPER of Python

Bill Ray
(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Carter...

The system is happily playing back from a NAS right now, in fact I keep the application there too so I can modify it without having to touch the 'Pi.

The server is mounted by a script executed during boot (sudo update-rc.d myScript defaults), which goes on to run the app itself.

Didn't make it to the gig, much as I'd have loved to.

Bill.

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Bill Ray
(Written by Reg staff)

That datastore shouldn't have been there, it got sucked up into the ZIP file and was only a handful of albums I was using for testing.

Not that I'm apologising for Carter, I'm just relieved that the rest of my collection wasn't shared.

Bill.

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Freeview to be nudged down to clear 5G bands in 2018

Bill Ray
(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Missing Context

I'll try to do that, thought the multiple ways people reference radio frequencies is one of my pet hates (referring to AWS, MW, UHF, et al just confused things).

In the UK the channel numbers start at 302MHz, and they're 8MHz wide, so Channel 22 starts at 478MHz (302 + 8*22).

Wikipedia adds four to that number, pointing to the middle of of the channel rather than the start, but the best list is on the JFMG site (https://www.jfmg.co.uk/Pages/freq/tvchannelfrequencies.htm).

The problem us some people who've bought new antennas to get digital signals, some of which won't go that low, but no-one knows how many or if it's going to be a big issue.

Bill.

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Bill Ray
(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Why this losing of TV

The temporary multiplexes will indeed by DVB-T2, and MPEG4, so should indeed push viewers in that direction.

Bill.

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Brits admit to using mobile phones during sex - and not in a good way

Bill Ray
(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Re: Inquiry

Children - well, the arrival of the first, and living 10 miles from the nearest shop, that helped too.

Bill.

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Bill Ray
(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Inquiry

Smoked for 20 years, stopped about 9 years ago, miss it every day.

Bill.

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Meet the photographer who brings Google Street View INDOORS

Bill Ray
(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Money

That is accurate - neither photographer nor business pay Google anything, ever.

Google gains by enhancing the local listing, and perhaps selling some ads to the business, and adding a Street View feature that Apple/Nokia will have a hard time aping.

Bill.

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Tremble, operators: UK gets ACCURATE mobile coverage guide

Bill Ray
(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Re: other apps

No, this article wasn't paid for.

I like OpenSignalMaps, but I do think the launch of Root Metrics was interesting both from the detail they're reporting (speed of connection as well as strength of signal) and the business model.

Bill.

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Femto fail: Vodafone's Sure Signal gets a bit shaky again

Bill Ray
(Written by Reg staff)

No pricing.

Thanks for the link, but you'll notice that the Three offering has no pricing information.

That's because Three don't sell it as such, just give it to those customers who might leave otherwise as mentioned in the article.

Bill.

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O2, Vodafone allowed to hop onto each other's towers

Bill Ray
(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Re: never really understood

Not banned by Ofcom, but not mandated either.

There was a call for intra-country roaming to be forced on the network operators, but Ofcom did indeed decide that this wasn't in the customers' interest (as operators would have less incentive to extend their coverage), so there has never been any restriction on operators doing this if they wanted to.

But they they didn't.

Bill.

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Virgin ramps 4G to a whopping 90Mbps - and switches it off

Bill Ray
(Written by Reg staff)

Orange and T-Mobile are indeed bits of EE, but customers currently with either brand will need to "upgrade" to an EE contract to get 4G connectivity.

As for the Computerworld report, I did see it, but don't believe EE will share its monopoly even if Virgin says it is "in discussions".

Bill.

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Mobile phones still failing to kill people – Nordic scientists

Bill Ray
(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Stupidity

The nice chaps at Nature posit something very similar:

http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v489/n7414/full/489170a.html

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Sparkfun punts bonkers banana-piano kit at hardware hackers

Bill Ray
(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Solving real-world 'problems' .....

Oddly enough I did, and higher too. Sadly I haven't the knowledge to know why it didn't work, but then if I did I'd be well outside the target demographic.

Bill.

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RIM begs devs: Build for BlackBerry 10, we'll bung you $10K

Bill Ray
(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Gossip column

I did. Well... I thought I did, yes... I did.

The link was in the text, so one would have to read the piece to find it, but here it is naked:

https://developer.blackberry.com/builtforblackberry/documentation/10kterms.html

I'm afraid I've no head for gossip, I can never remember who's supposed to have offended whom, but if it's gossip you're after I will try harder in future.

Bill.

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Mobe-maker flogs self-designed phones ... to your KIDS

Bill Ray
(Written by Reg staff)

Re: 999

To be fair to the designer one does have to press the "emergency call" button three times before a 999 call is made, but other pocket-dialling would seem inevitable.

Bill.

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BBC gives itself a gold in 700Gbit-a-second Olympic vid sprint

Bill Ray
(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Re: Freeview

Tyne Tees is, I think, the last region to go entirely digital, which will happen September 12.

http://www.digitaluk.co.uk/when_do_i_switch/tyne_tees

...but after London switched the media lost interest and while we'll probably note the last analogue signal in these pages most people are under the impression its a done deal.

On the plus side you should get an improved Freeview signal after the switch, but you'll need to retune your TV unless it can do that itself.

Bill.

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God-botherers burst onto IPTV Freeview: The End is Nigh

Bill Ray
(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Bill, have you come across TheSpace? Give it a plug please?

I've mentioned The Space a few times, in fact did a story when it launched. It's part of the Cultural Olympiad, and one of the bits worth having I think.

I would like to see some Shakespeare in English though, my kids aren't really up for subtitles but I'd like to bore them a Globe performance or two.

It also crosses the line between VOD and IPTV, making it the first Freeview channel to be regulated by ATVOD rather than Ofcom, which is interesting if you're following that debate.

Bill.

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Bill Ray
(Written by Reg staff)

Re: El Reg Guide

Have a chat with the nice chaps at Vision TV:

http://www.visiontvnetwork.co.uk/

...hand them some cash and they'll put you in the EPG, and point to your server when someone switches to that channel, which is how the God slots and China Central TV got there.

Bill.

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Minister of Fun bends Ofcom's ear on Freeview-4G knockout

Bill Ray
(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Funny you should say that

That would be entirely accurate, if we want the New iPad to use 4G in the UK then we'll have to move Freeview down the dial again replicating the problems (and probably even requiring new filters for all concerned).

But at least those touting the 2012 fondlepad will be able to use 4G networking, by 2020 if all goes well.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/04/02/700mhz_plan/

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Google Maps takes shelter from the British summer

Bill Ray
(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Re: Agreed

Thank you for being, apparently, the only person who understood (or was prepared to explain) my meaning here.

Bill.

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The touchscreens that push back, thanks to Brit hi-fi boffinry

Bill Ray
(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Does it handle multitouch?

I've touched both, and the HiWave stuff is better.

But HiWave were using a pressure-sensitive pad, introducing the click only when the pressure exceeded a threshold to replicate the experience of a physical button, so one has to imagine what Senseg could do with pressure sensitivity.

Overall I'd still say the HiWave kit is more subtle, and granular, and combined with sound makes for a very compelling experience - assuming one wants to recreate physical buttons.

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