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* Posts by Len

95 posts • joined 26 Jan 2009

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Viv Reding quits justice commish role - heads for EU parliament

Len

Re: European justice commissioner Viviane Reding...

"You can vote against Cameron by voting for a UK party other than his. Your vote acts to remove him and his party from power."

Yep, and you can vote against Juncker by voting for an EU party other than his. Your vote acts to remove him and his party from power.

"Where is Cameron on a ballot ? He will be on the ballot paper in his constituency in the 2015 general election."

You are mistaken, Cameron was only on the ballot for MP, not for Prime Minister. There is no ballot for PM because PMs aren't elected by the British electorate. They are appointed in back room deals by a handful of people in a political party.

"I had a choice to vote for Juncker, I didn't, I voted for Schulz - unless you are an EU commissioner (also not elected!) this sentence makes no sense."

It makes perfect sense. He voted for a party that had Schulz as a candidate. That is what the EU electorate does. Just like the British people in 2010 voted for parties in Westminster, each with their own candidate. Had the majority of the EU electorate voted on a different party, Juncker would not be president of the EC.

They EU may have started undemocratic, is has undergone considerable moves towards more democracy in the last fifty years. The European Parliament, elected in elections open for every EU citizen over the age of 18, is becoming increasingly powerful against the type of shady back room deals David Cameron appears to favour. They have gained powers when it comes to approving people, policy and budgets. Most recently they have gained power in choosing the candidates for the EC president. Something Cameron doesn't seem to understand, his party lost the election, he should deal with it.

Just like the EU, Britain started undemocratic and has undergone moves towards more democracy. The UK's head of state is still appointed by birth, not by elections, not on merit. The people in the UK government aren't elected. People are still allowed to be minister and MP at the same time. The UK still doesn't have a secret ballot or basic measures against election fraud. Why? Because elections in Britain barely have any bearing on how the country is being run.

Now, don't get me wrong. I don't believe democracy is the solution to everything (If it was the first thing we'd do is voting for the members of the England football squad and its coach). The American situation where practically every position is an elected one appears to make matters worse, not better. But, to close your eyes for democratic progress at EU level and complain about its lack of democracy or mandate while Britain is at least as big a mess is stupidity. Something with the plank in your own eye...

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Len

Re: European justice commissioner Viviane Reding...

As already mentioned by myself and others, the British Prime Minister isn't elected, neither are the other ministers. The only say the British electorate get is which party should get the most votes (which doesn't mean they will be biggest 'thanks' to First Past The Post). If the Conservative party would decide tomorrow that Micheal Gove is to be the new Prime Minister from next week he is going to be the next PM. Just like the UK electorate never got a say in David Cameron being PM, they wouldn't get a say in Michael Gove being PM.

Add to this the strange situation that MPs, who are supposed to control the government on behalf of the voters, are actively bribed by that same government. In many countries it is not allowed to combine the function of MP and member of Government as it has an inherent conflict of interest. An MP checking on the government he or she is a part of is generally frowned upon. In Britain this is not only allowed, it is almost standard practice. Dozens of MPs are made toothless by giving them a job in government, junior minister here, secretary there.

Do you really think the people of South West Surrey can expect their MP to fight their case if they feel the government is mishandling the NHS? Of course not, their MP is also the Secretary of State for Health.

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Len

Re: European justice commissioner Viviane Reding...

Of course you can have criticism of the amount of democracy at certain parts of the EU. And some countries have a proper authority to do so. Making this argument from within the UK is ridiculous though.

We have just witnessed an unelected British Prime Minister -of a party that two-thirds of the voting electorate did not vote for- attempt to sideline the wishes of a democratically elected parliament and lobby for more back room deals because he didn't like the outcome of the EU elections. Fortunately he has the diplomacy skills of a fourteen year old so he failed again. Until the UK sorts out its undemocratic mess we are hardly in any position to criticise the EU.

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Len
Headmaster

Re: European justice commissioner Viviane Reding...

Not quite. Elected national governments nominate their candidates for commissioners, with approval of elected national parliaments and an elected European Parliament (remember the elections last month?) have to give their approval to the whole European Commission. In practice, if they don't like one specific candidate the candidate can be withdrawn and replaced by one that does get approval of the parliament.

Once in office the European Commission needs to maintain the confidence of the elected European Parliament. While an individual can't be voted out of office, if the EP doesn't have the confidence in the entire commission the commission has two options, replace the individual or step down altogether (as they did in 1999 after the EP lost confidence in commissioner Santer). This means that in practice they are accountable to the elected European Parliament.

I wouldn't say it is less democratic than the system we have in the UK where the electorate doesn't get a vote on the Prime Minister or any of the other ministers and can't vote individual ministers out of office. In the UK people only get to vote on one candidate MP (for wherever they happen to live) of a party, not the people who form the government.

Less than 11 million people voted Conservative at the last general elections, equivalent to only 36% of the electorate. That's one hell of a mandate, isn't it?

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Len
Thumb Up

Thank you!

Bringing down roaming charges is a great achievement! I never switch my data off anymore and last week I even emailed from a Eurostar in the Channel Tunnel (sadly only works from Fr -> UK because the Brit phone companies haven't got their act together).

Obviously all the phone companies are advertising that they slashed their rates as if they're the second coming without a mention that it's the EU we have to thank, not the phone companies.

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GAME ON: Top 10 tellies for a World Cup kicking

Len

Why? Who?

I have to say I personally would never spend more than 300 quid on a TV. Then again, I probably watch 20 minutes of TV once every two weeks or so and haven't owned a TV for the last eight years. If it weren't for moving in with my GF I still wouldn't have a TV now.

Clearly I am not the target audience for these kind of devices. However, I wonder who is specifically at these moments. Either you are a big football fan which means any time is a good time to spend this much money on a TV, or you only care about football when there's a World Cup on. In the latter case, why not just watch those handful of games at a special venue with special screens etc. The pub comes to mind.

I understand that this is an attempt by device manufacturers in an ultra-thin margin sector to latch on to events to drive sales. I believe the sales figures typically prove it works too. I am just a bit puzzled about the demographics of these buyers.

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Mozilla agrees to add DRM support to Firefox – under protest

Len

Of course you can remove, but why?

Of course you could remove the EME module, the standard is open (https://dvcs.w3.org/hg/html-media/raw-file/tip/encrypted-media/encrypted-media.html), module is open source and the browser that the EME module sits in is open source.

The question is why you'd do it. It won't suddenly allow you to view protected files, quite the contrary, files you may have been able to view with the EME suddenly become unviewable.

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Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?

Len

Re: What? Dates and times still a problem?

You're right that they don't change clocks. However, considering other states do change clocks they consider themselves to be on Pacific Time half of the year and on Mountain Time the other half.

All semantics of course, but very confusing for computers nonetheless...

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Len

Re: What? Dates and times still a problem?

The whole problem with dates and times is exactly that. Everyone thinks they understand how it works and it should therefore be easy to code.

In reality working with times and dates is extremely complex but, because few people appreciate this complexity, things go wrong all the time. Every year there are at least one or two major stories of companies screwing up timezone offset calculations, daylight savings time switches or other unexpected date/time behaviour in their products inconveniencing millions of customers.

I have a weekly conference call with someone in Phoenix, Arizona. Phoenix is a tough one because half the year Phoenix is in Mountain Time, the other half it's in Pacific Time. Because European and US daylight savings time switches are not aligned we have a window of a few weeks twice a year where we know the meetings in our calendars are incorrect because Exchange and Lotus Notes can't agree on what time it is where.

Then there are places with a half timezone offset (i.e. +07:30), places that switch from one side of the dateline to the other, Israel where DST dates are a political instrument so they can change with just a few months notice, UTC and GMT not being the same although many people believe they are etc. etc.

It's a recipe for disaster, precisely because people mistakenly think it's straightforward.

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Len

I wouldn't be surprised if Excel had anything to do with it. It has at least one date (infamous leap year issue) bug that MS refuses to fix for over two decades now.

It wouldn't be the first time that someone relying on Excel for serious calculations got bitten by it. http://www.eusprig.org/horror-stories.htm

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Apple says iOS, OS X is immune to Heartbleed SSL bug

Len

iOS and OS X don't use OpenSSL. In fact, Apple even recommends developers not to use OpenSSL as they consider the API to be unstable.

I assume the only reason they ship a (not vulnerable) version of OpenSSL is because some ports from Unix or Linux that users like to play around with themselves depend on it. This is why you can come across newer (vulnerable) versions of OpenSSL if you have updated Mac Ports some time between the creation of this bug and this week. Most normal users don't install Mac Ports so won't be vulnerable.

The risk of this bug exists mainly server side anyway, OpenSSL clients are unlikely to suffer from this. That means that this security audit will not have focused on consumer iOS or OS X devices but on Apple's own cloud services. Apparently they haven't been using OpenSSL on their servers either.

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NSA spies recorded an entire COUNTRY'S phone calls for a MONTH: Report

Len

Re: Bet it's Belgium

That would be a good hit. Home to the European Commission, the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) and NATO among many other institutions of global importance.

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Station to station: Ten DAB-Bluetooth combo radios

Len
Headmaster

Who needs presets on a DAB radio?

Maybe it's me but since I moved from FM to DAB I never use presets anymore. In the FM era they made sense as it's a hassle to remember frequencies and some stations would come through on one strong and one or two weaker frequencies from transmitters further away.

Since moving to DAB, despite having a staggering 100 presets (!), I have never used them because scrolling through the alphabetical list is just as easy.

Are presets on a digital radio a remnant from the analogue age that is still inexplicably hanging on or do people really use them?

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NSA-proof Euro cloud gang: Cool idea, bro... until it turns into MARKET-EATING beast

Len
Go

What's the problem?

I don't see the problem if a European Airbus-like consortium would emerge.

It doesn't mean that European internet is "closed off", interconnection will still exist. Most or all US firms would still do business in Europe, European companies could still do business in the US, traffic could still flow between the US and Europe.

All it would do is provide an additional option for companies and individuals who like their data and local traffic to remain in Europe, within European legislation, controlled by European parliaments and with European oversight. For an increasing amount of organisations it was already becoming a legal problem to store their data on American servers, the NSA whistleblowing revelations have only intensified this.

It also wouldn't stifle competition. It is very hard to build a competing wide body aircraft manufacturer, it is not hard to build a competing webmail solution. If anything it would increase competition and choice by not making US companies the only viable solution providers.

For the same reason I see no issue with the German idea to route all traffic that has a German starting point and endpoint to remain within Germany. It won't mean Germans can't connect to servers outside Germany, it won't mean that people outside Germany can't connect to German servers. It is not closed off, just locally routed. Similar with the Brazilian desire to not route all their traffic through the US any more but create direct connections with other continents. It doesn't close anything off, if anything it increases connectivity and resilience.

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Mass Effect: Ten lightweight laptops that won’t bust your back

Len
Linux

Re: MoBo Blues

You might find this review helpful:

Macbook Air 11.6 (mid-2013) for Linux users. http://netrunner-mag.com/?p=3385

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HUMANITY STUNNED - Apple Retina iPad Mini arrives. A solemn moment

Len

Re: Retina?

Of course it is becoming meaningless. The whole idea is that above a certain density the human eye, at normal usage distance for that device (hence why phone differs from TV), can not distinguish individual pixels.

Anything above that number is just nonsense for marketers who like to put higher numbers in spec sheets to suggest they are relevant.

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Digital radio may replace FM altogether - even though nobody wants it

Len

Re: I'm Curious

The UK has no plans to switch off or stop using FM so the spectrum will not be sold off (even if it could).

What will happen is that no new nationwide FM licenses will be given out/extended and the nationwide FM infrastructure will be switched off instead of being replaced/contracts extended (much of it is due for renewal/upgrade). From that moment the only FM licenses handed out will be for regional and local stations who have their own transmitters, all nationwide public and commercial stations will be digital-only (via DAB, Virgin, Sky, BT, Freeview, satellite, internet, mobile apps etc.).

The financial benefit is that there is no need to maintain and invest in ageing FM infrastructure where fewer and fewer people are listening to. FM is very inefficient as it costs a lot to run but provides only capacity for a small number of stations. Compare that to potentially 100+ DAB stations and millions of internet radio stations and FM just becomes a financial burden.

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Len

Re: They'd be better shifting to DAB+

I don't know where you got that idea. The DAB+ standard was finalised in 2007 and the first broadcast and receiver hardware didn't appear until 2008.

The DAB transmissions in the UK were officially started in 1995. There is no way (unfortunately) that the UK government could have chosen DAB+ twelve years before the standard was ready.

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Len

Re: Crazy theory...

You can probably rule out the economy. Analogue radio sales have dropped 21% in twelve months while DAB radio sales have remained stable at 1.9 million sets sold in the same period.

Besides, the figures the article quotes are not for receiver sales but for listening. In other words, people who have already bought sets, were listening to them previously but listened to them less this summer. It is not very likely that people have reduced listening to the radio due to the recession. If anything it probably went up with unemployment.

A typical seasonal effect like this is more likely down to things such as weather and major sports events which influence media consumption.

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Len

Re: Chicken and Egg

The 40% mark for all new cars sold coming with DAB as standard was reached this spring. That is mostly down to Vauxhall, Ford and VW. Since then brands such as Audi and Volvo have started offering DAB as standard and at the current rate the 50% will be reached before the end of this year.

Obviously, with the majority coming with DAB as standard it will still take years to replace all British cars...

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Len

Digital is not the same as DAB

Funny how many people seem to think that DAB is the only digital option. DAB is the most popular version of digital radio but certainly not the only one as a considerable amount of people in the UK use Freeview or Satellite to listen to the radio and internet radio is on the rise as well.

That nobody wants digital radio is nonsense of course. That close to 40% of all radio listening is digital and that with the current trend it will be become the dominant form of radio listening in two years suggests that people do seem to like it. This summer digital became the dominant form of radio listening in the home, breaking the 50% barrier. The majority of new cars (from big brands such as Ford, VW, BMW, Volvo, Mini, Audi, Mercedes and Toyota) now comes with DAB as standard and the first internet-enabled car radios are making an appearance so expect digital radio listening in the car to grow sharply.

There is just too little capacity on analogue radio with its limited (and generally fairly bland mainstream) offer to appease the British public which is why analogue listening is on a steady decline. Things like BBC 6 Music, Radio 4 Extra, Radio 5 Live Sports Extra, or thousands of quality stations from abroad are nowhere to be found on FM.

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USB 3.1 demo shows new spec well on its way towards 1.2GB/sec goal

Len

Re: Thundercats

You don't seem to remember well.

Apple dumped all legacy serial and parallel ports in 1998 in favour of USB, long before many others dumped those old ports. Remember that awful Apple puck mouse? That atrocity existed for the sole reason that no manufacturer made USB mice yet when Apple moved exclusively to USB.

In other words, Apple has always provided USB alongside Firewire. USB for the cheap and cheerful slow connections like mice, printers, scanners etc. and Firewire for high-bandwidth, low latency and low overhead usage. And even today millions of professional users use FIrewire for their video and audio editing purposes because even USB 3.0 doesn't deliver a low-latency, low-overhead connection. Furthermore, USB doesn't show any serious ambitions to ever cater to that crowd, it's a cheap consumer standard that is just 'good enough' for many purposes. Thunderbolt is a professional standard that just like Firewire will work just fine alongside USB. Nobody gives a f*ck about $30 cables to connect a $4K audio device, the cost of cables is negligible.

The next decade will be USB3 for consumers, USB3 + Thunderbolt for power users.

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ISPs set to install network-level smut filters despite Lib Dem opposition

Len

Compensation for correctly filtered

You are only talking about incorrectly filtered. I still don't know why porn sites who are correctly filtered would not be entitled to compensation, either from the ISP that block their legitimate business or from the government. I hope a smut monger sues they state for missed income.

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Apple’s iOS 64-bit iUpgrade: Don't expect a 2x performance leap

Len

64 bit Firefox for OS X meant considerable improvement

Yep, that was at least the case in X86 land. When Firefox for OS X moved to 64 bit, the performance increase was spectacular at some points:

* Cold startup: x86_64 is ~26% faster

* Warm startup: x86_64 is ~5% faster

* MS Psychadelic Browsing Demo: x86_64 is ~540% faster

* MS Speed Reading Demo: x86_64 is ~35% faster

https://boomswaggerboom.wordpress.com/2010/11/10/firefox-4-for-mac-os-x-under-the-hood/

Most of these improvements from moving to 64bit were not because of the 'extra bits', it were those additional registers and instructions that were part of X86-64.That might be the same on the ARM architecture.

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Len
Pint

It's not about addressable memory

That 4GB memory limit is a red herring. Its bigger cousin OS X was in its 32bit days limited to 64GB addressable RAM because it used Physical Address Extension (PAE). That 4GB limit was mostly a Windows issue because Microsoft never fully implemented PAE. Considering iOS and OS X share large parts under the hood I assume the iOS 32bit limit could easily be 64GB too.

My take is that it just made development a lot easier (for Apple at least). OS X has dropped 32bit support years ago and large parts of OS X are never compiled for 32bit. I suspect that some of the bigger low-level overhauls to OS X (ASLR and OpenGL among others) we have seen in the last years are because they waited until 32bit was dropped. That will have significantly reduced coding, testing and bug fixing complexity as they only needed to focus on the 64bit binary.

The only parts that still needed be be developed for both 32bit and 64bit were those that were shared between OS X and iOS. They still have to be developed, maintained, tested, bug fixed in both 32 and 64 versions. With their mobile hardware going 64bits, they can now start phasing out 32bit on their mobile platform too.

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400 million Chinese people can't speak Chinese: Official

Len
Headmaster

Re: French?

That's true. If you go the South West of France you can tell that these people didn't speak French a century ago. Their great grandparents spoke Occitan, not entirely dead but most young people speak French with a pronunciation reminiscent of Occitan.

That said, no language is entirely uniform. As we know, English can be very different between various countries and most other widely dispersed languages have strong variations. It is not a given that a Moroccan Arabic speaker can understand an Iraqi Arabic speaker. In Latin America you can get dictionaries to help you translate Colombian Spanish to Chilean Spanish etc. The structure is the same but nouns can vary quite a lot with a couple of tricky pitfalls!

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Len

Re: No wonder

I tried Polish, talk about complexity! They even apply grammar to names of cities (easily four ways of spelling a city depending on whether you are from that city, are going to it, use it to describe an institution of that city etc.) and surnames (Magda Polanska is the wife of Tomasz Polanski etc.).

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Len
Headmaster

Simplify!

While it is popular to believe that one day everyone will speak Chinese, most language experts doubt that will ever happen.

The barrier to entry for Mandarin is relatively high, it takes an unusually large lexicon (necessary, not optional like English), minor pronunciation differences can change a meaning dramatically, and then there is the very large character set one needs to learn just to reach the level of a ten year old. Even the Chinese are very prone to making mistakes in their own language and take a relatively long time to master it.

The future is more likely to be a dominated by languages with a low barrier to entry. This could be something akin to Spanish or combination of a number of languages which have become less complex than their original forms. If you compare modern Dutch to modern German for instance (two languages with a common ancestor) you'll see that Dutch has lost most of the complex grammar without losing the power or subtlety to express all important information. Not that anyone would be learning Dutch of course, it just shows that removing complexity doesn't have to negatively affect the usefulness. It might lose some beauty however...

The future is to simpler languages.

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Len

Re: French?

That is not a very scientific list obviously. With over 200 million speakers French is more widely spoken than Javanese or Portuguese. Similarly, Malay and Arabic should be in this list. But then, I don't think the author intended to provide an authoritative list, he just wanted to make a point.

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MYSTERY of Guardian mobos and graphics cards which 'held Snowden files'

Len
WTF?

Symbolism

Isn't it obvious? It is clearly symbolism on both sides.

The spooks know all too well that they would have had backups so it is a case of intimidation and nothing else. They smash something up to symbolise data destruction.

The Guardian just chose a few remaining pieces to symbolise the smashed up machines. Is it relevant whether all the pieces are there, exactly which pieces are shown and which aren't? Of course not. Sure, some geek will say that some part is obviously the THX1137.34 and not, as reported, a THX 1138.32 but that is not important to anyone else or for the overall story.

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Screw you, Brits, says Google: We are ABOVE UK privacy law

Len
Stop

Don't like EU laws? Don't do business in the EU then...

Obviously Google's response is legal nonsense. The country where a company does business is the jurisdiction, not wherever their headquarters are based. If Google doesn't want to abide by EU data protection or privacy laws they shouldn't offer their products in the European Union.

Having a server in California doesn't mean they are not doing business in the EU. If they want to prevent being subject to EU laws they should actively ban all 500+ million people in the EU to access their services, not sell any ads to EU businesses and not have any offices on EU soil.

Obviously, many EU technology businesses would love Google to leave (either voluntarily or by law) as it would create a very interesting market of alternatives. European businesses are already reporting an uptick in businesses as a result of the PRISM scandal (http://www.cloudpro.co.uk/cloud-essentials/cloud-security/5911/cloud-society-could-europe-gain-post-prism-cloud-landscape). Seeing Google leave would have a much larger effect.

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Len

Re: Options?

I am researching getting a paid email service for the whole family with an EU-based host exactly to get rid this of this kind of nonsense. It's only going to get worse...

As for free alternatives, you could look at GMX.net (http://www.gmx.net/produkte/mail?). They are one of those German providers who got a bit of PR on the back of their announcement to use STMP-SSL exclusively to prevent interception. (http://www.zdnet.com/deutsche-telekom-and-united-internet-launch-made-in-germany-email-in-response-to-prism-7000019266/)

It's not the 100% safe solution from prying eyes they make it out to be but it's better than nothing.

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Moneybags pour shower of gold on new mega-precise GPS system

Len
Boffin

Re: But you need two of them to get that accuracy

Yep, and Galileo is accurate to 1 CM...

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Bloke in shed starts own DAB radio station - with Ofcom's blessing

Len
Angel

Re: matchmaking for raspberry pi's.

Interesting. Have you ever looked into OpenDigitalRadio.org? http://www.opendigitalradio.org

It would, of course, technically make you a radio pirate which could never be the intention...

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Len

Re: Sorry, but no.

There you go, this is for the UK. I expect them to do the same in Germany, the Scandinavian countries, Switzerland, Italy, Belgium and soon the Netherlands too.

A3 - http://www.audi.co.uk/new-cars/a3/new-a3/audio-and-communication/dab-digital-radio.html

A4 - http://www.audi.co.uk/new-cars/a4/a4-saloon/specifications.html

A5 - http://www.audi.co.uk/new-cars/a5/s5-coupe/specifications.html

A6 - http://www.audi.co.uk/new-cars/a6/a6-saloon/specifications/se-equipment.html

A7 - http://www.audi.co.uk/new-cars/a7/a7-sportback/specifications.html

A8 - http://www.audi.co.uk/new-cars/a8/a8/technology-as-standard/dab-digital-radio.html

Q5 - http://www.audi.co.uk/new-cars/q5/q5/specifications.html

Q7 - http://www.audi.co.uk/new-cars/q7/q7/specifications.html

Although Audi announced to have DAB standard per April on all models (http://www.dealerupdate.co.uk/dab-radio-for-all-audis/) they apparently have supply issues which delayed DAB on the A1 and Q3: http://www.a1-forum.co.uk/a1forum/viewtopic.php?t=17262&p=106732

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Len

Re: Chicken / egg

I'm not sure the mux owners would care that much.

The solution presented in this report to prevent having to install expensive filters is using a very low power transmitter. This solution is useful for stations that just want to cover one town. I doubt the big mux owners are interested in anything smaller than an entire county.

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Len
Unhappy

Re: Does seem odd

Very strange indeed. Ford's announcement was widely reported back then in a variety of media, from IT and consumer electronics to broadcast and motoring media.

I'm almost tempted to believe your local car dealer is trying to charge you for something that comes standard. They would never do that, would they?

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Len
Meh

Re: Community radio - who needs it?

I get the feeling that most Europeans' experience is based on renting a car in the US. A rental car where you usually don't notice the cost of the receiver and the monthly subscription fees. Sirius XM is an encrypted AAC+ stream, not Free to Air, unlocked by paying a fee. I seriously doubt Europeans, used to FTA radio, would pay subscription fees to listen to Heart.

Besides, Sirius XM uses relatively low bitrates. 32 Kbps is fairly common and high bitrates such as 64 Kbps are rare. (Sirius Satellite Radio still sounds awful after all these years - http://news.cnet.com/8301-13645_3-57471903-47/sirius-satellite-radio-still-sounds-awful-after-all-these-years/) Compare that to DAB+ bitrates on the continent which are usually in the 48 - 96 Kbps AAC+ range, making DAB+ sound better than Sirius XM.

All we now need is DAB+ in the UK.

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Len
Happy

Re: Embarrass the broadcasters with proper quality

A pirate could also easily decide to use DAB+. All the kit described here can be used for DAB+ (it needs to be useful for the rest of Europe too, obviously) and it is just a setting in the software.

The only thing that might hold DAB+ back for community stations (apart from the sizeable number of DAB-only radios in the UK) is that licensing fees for DAB+ haven't been paid for with an open source solution (http://www.opendigitalradio.org). As the last DAB patents have now expired, it is slightly cheaper.

Of course, a pirate wouldn't be bothered by additional licensing fees for DAB+...

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Len
Paris Hilton

Re: Sorry, but no.

That's odd, Ford's announcement to add it to all models was widely publicised:

Ford to set DAB standard from 2012 (http://www.autoexpress.co.uk/ford/mondeo/34622/ford-set-dab-standard-2012)

Ford to offer DAB radios as standard by the end of 2012 (http://www.t3.com/news/ford-to-offer-dab-radios-as-standard-by-the-end-of-2012)

Ford to Standardize DAB Radios Throughout UK Product Line by Late 2012 (http://radiomagonline.com/digital_radio/ford-dab-radio-standard-uk-2012-0406/)

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Len
Headmaster

Re: DAB? I'll just get out of my car first...

Quite a lot has changed in the last twelve months. DAB is now standard in all Minis, BMWs, Fords, Volvos and Audis. Most other brands have it as standard on some models and as option on others: http://www.getdigitalradio.com/digital-radios/in-car/manufacturers

Last quarter 35.4% of all new cars changing hands have a DAB radio standard and at the current rate it will be 50% by the end of the year. At the same time car sales are have increased quite a lot recently after years of slump (UK car industry raises annual sales forecast, www.ft.com/cms/s/0/14a401e4-fe6f-11e2-97dc-00144feabdc0.html) so by this time next year DAB usage in cars will look fairly different.

Of course, it will take some time before 50% of all Britain's cars have DAB but there is a fair bit of momentum, finally.

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'Fat Wallet Bob' leaves Apple tech chief spot for Special Projects Bureau

Len
Boffin

Re: "special projects"

He is a tech-guy. Why would he want all that management hassle if he can now work on exciting tech in Apple-style secret development? Chances are he is happier working on wearable technology, creating the long-rumoured Apple TV or work on the car integration project Apple is said to work on.

0
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Acer silences Thunderbolt

Len
Meh

Re: Scanner

It is definitely possible. There are adapters such as TB to gigabit ethernet and TB to Firewire 800 so a TB to USB3 should technically be possible.

The obstacle is likely not a technological but an economical one. Considering most (or all?) computers with Thunderbolt ports will also feature USB3 ports the market for these devices would be very small. Probably too small for manufacturers to consider.

The only solution would be to get one of those Thunderbolt docking stations which just throw in USB 3 as one of the ports they replicate. Not worth it if you only want if for USB as you'd be paying for heaps of ports you don't use...

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Len
Stop

Makes sense

It makes perfect sense. Thunderbolt's qualities lie in low-latency, high-bandwidth and low-overhead data transfer. This matters to professionals for whom a tenner for a TB controller is barely noticeable in the 900 hundred quid they spent on their video editing device. It is worth it for them, not worth it for basic consumers for whom USB is good enough.

Considering Acer does not target video editing pros, people who need a 6TB Raid storage or people who need to connect three 4K displays to their machine it was always a weird connector to add to their machines.

4
0

Virgin Media slides fat 10Gbps pipes into Murdoch's BSkyB

Len
Unhappy

Is that core IPv6 ready?

I do hope this new core network is IPv6 capable from day one.

The creeping IPv4 shortage (which everyone saw coming years ago but few were willing to prepare for) is starting to cause some nasty developments. After PlusNet decided to invest in Carrier Grade NAT (CGN) instead of IPv6 the first outrage became evident. (http://www.techweekeurope.co.uk/news/plusnet-ipv4-ipv6-nap-networking-104349).

Then, earlier this month, BT started to put some of its Broadband customers behind CGN (http://www.pcpro.co.uk/news/broadband/381646/customers-fume-as-bt-introduces-ip-sharing), causing more people to become upset.

The issue is that NAT at home is a lot more flexible than CGN. If you own your own NAT router you can use UPNP or manually open ports to get things working. With CGN you can't.

These BT and PlusNet customers are now finding out the hard way which things stop working. The DHT feature of the Torrent protocol is one, but worse for average customers is the loss of things such as XBOX Live. No more multiplayer games on the XBOX after your ISP has taken away your IPv4 address.

My own ISP is BeBroadband who were making progress with their IPv6 preparations. However, as they have just been sold to Sky, I am getting worried they may put it on ice if Sky's infrastructure isn't IPv6 ready.

I want the real Internet, not some crippled version behind CGN.

4
0

BT Tower is just a relic? Wrong: It relays 18,000hrs of telly daily

Len
Holmes

Telly, and the wireless

As of April 2012 the BT Tower is also a major transmitter for five of the UK's DAB muxes.

BBC National DAB 12B at 800W

D1 National 11D at 800W

London 1 12C at 800W

London 2 12A at 710W

London 3 11B at 800W

http://www.ukfree.tv/dabtx.php?tx=TQ292819

http://www.radiocentre.org/latest-industry-news/london-gets-dab-signal-boost

1
0

'Untidy' Shoreditch just CONFUSES American techies - Olympic hub team

Len
Thumb Up

Good news

I think it's perfect that finally at least SOMEONE is interested in iCITY. Let the Americans populate the former Olympic grounds while the rest of the world just keeps on basing their UK activity around Shoreditch.

It will be a few years before the Americans realise they willingly chose the short straw. At least iCITY won't be empty for a while.

0
1

Another blow for Flash as Unity gaming engine kills support

Len
Happy

Shrug

It is telling that less than two years ago an announcement such as this would have sparked massive for and against Flash flamewars. Now the general response is either good riddance or a collective shrugging of shoulders.

The death by a thousand cuts.

14
1

HGST straps Intel Thunderbolt onto uber-pricey drives, docks

Len
Headmaster

Not the first TB drive

The opening sentence is a bit confusing. This is HGST's first external Thunderbolt drive, not the first ever external TB drive. Other manufacturers such as Seagate have been making external TB drives for a while now and LaCie even has a whole line of Thunderbolt drives. http://www.lacie.com/uk/more/?id=10149

1
0

A lightbulb that does IPv6: You know you want it

Len
Go

IPv6 supported by many consumer routers now

It must have been some time since you last looked into consumer routers. Many or all of the devices made by Apple, Asus, AVM, Buffalo, Cisco, D-Link, Draytek, Linksys, Motorola, Netgear, Technicolor, TP-Link, Linksys and Zyxel among others support IPv6 out of the box now. If it doesn't come pre-installed, IPv6 compatible firmware upgrades can often be found on their websites.

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