Re: No dialtone required
I'm quite surprised it did carry on working; everyone I've spoken to assures me that cancelling a landline will terminate all the associated services on it.
677 posts • joined 12 Jun 2009
I'm quite surprised it did carry on working; everyone I've spoken to assures me that cancelling a landline will terminate all the associated services on it.
I'm sure some of them try; I did have the fond idea of publishing my SIP info in the DNS so people could use my main work email address to reach me via SIP, if they had a suitable setup. But I quickly realised that allowing just anyone to talk to my SIP server was a recipe for disaster - even if they don't crack a password, the sheer number of attempts would bring it to its knees.
So now, I restrict incoming call notifications so they have to come from the provider of my SIP trunks. It means people can't call me free via SIP, but at least I'm safer from script kiddies and very likely spammers too.
(Of course, for VoIP spammers, even if they do manage to find a SIP system to call into, they still need to know more; it's not like the phone book where you know there are always a certain number of digits. Connecting to someone via SIP, and you don't know if they're using 2, 3 or 4 digit extensions, for instance, or even names rather than numbers on the handsets. Without a list of actual confirmed SIP addresses, you'd be doing a lot more brute force than simply working through a traditional list of phone numbers).
Some companies do apparently consider it.
This is the comment from Experian:
In my experience, which has involved horrific amounts of overcharging from BT, I wouldn't dream of letting them anywhere near my bank account.
I've had them apply a call package to my business line without my asking for it, which required a minimum spend. That resulted in a huge bill a year later to make up the minimum spend, hundreds of pounds.
I've also had them screw up after a fault, removing caller ID from the ISDN line, then reapplying it, and suddenly charging for each of the MSNs instead of for the line.
If you can't trust the phone company to bill you correctly, you'd be mad to let them help themselves to your bank account. Yes, I know there's a direct debit guarantee, but I'd rather not have to fight to get my own money back. I'd prefer it if they actually billed correctly in the first place.
As far as I'm concerned, BT have lost that trust. That they then decide I should pay extra because they're untrustworthy is more than a little annoying
Yep; I can easily spot the sequential diallers, as my SIP numbers are the old ISDN MSNs, so ten in a sequence.
Before I put in the aggressive filtering, it was not at all uncommon for me to get a call on two of the lower numbers that I currently use, and find it silent, before finally, when it rang on one higher up in the sequence, to have some useless telesales wonk on the end of the line.
You can fondly imagine that not giving anyone your number will help, but it doesn't. There are a huge number of companies out there that just don't give a damn about the TPS. Yes, some of them are abroad, but many are in the UK too. As them the name of the company, and they'll hang up damn quickly if they think you're about to complain.
The TPS and ICO really don't seem to give a shit about this, their blather about how it's hard to stop overseas calls merely helps to disguise the fact that they do sod all about the ones in the UK as well. Given that the TPS is run by people who actually think 'Direct Marketing' is a good idea, it's not that much of a surprise.
Certainly, you won't be £2.50 broadband without some sort of rental. But it's the slow creep that is so objectionable and the piling on of things like that compulsory weekend calls bundle that is objectionable - and dishonest, to a degree.
Of course many firms do this. My mother's phone is on Orange on what used to be a 'Virgin Equivalent' price plan. In the name of 'simplification' that now bills not by the second but by the minute or half minute.
Bundling things together can be a good idea and save people money. But in not allowing unbundling, firms like BT are just using it to hike their margins while they cling to old business models
Back before the merger, when I enquired about broadband and TV (just after OnDigital had packed up), I stressed that I didn't want a phone line, as I was perfectly happy with the ISDN. At that point, I was told that if I didn't have the phone line, I'd have to have the most expensive TV package.
In the end, it was pointless anyway - they claimed they didn't have the budget to cable all five flats in the house, so I couldn't have service. No one else actually wanted it, but they said it was their policy to do the whole building, and they couldn't afford that, so I couldn't get service.
That dates back to when they cabled the street, and we didn't sign the papers for wayleave, so they just left the little flap at the end of the garden, and that's it. Even now, if I check the coverage on the website, selecting my house number says I'm not in a Virgin Media area, while the houses on either side are able to get everything.
There isn't necessarily a monthly fee for a phone number in the UK, though most VoIP providers would doubtless like you to believe that's not the case.
Typically, they'll charge you a few quid a month for a geographic phone number, including on you've ported from another phone company (such as BT).
On of the reasons I went with the VoIP service that I have now (which is Gamma telecom, resold by my ISP) is that while there was an initial fee for the number port, there wasn't an ongoing charge per number. Since I was porting my ten number block from the ISDN line, at some providers charge £2 or more per number, per month, that was a fairly important consideration.
Indeed; we used to use an analogue pair like that at university to link the radio station to some of the halls of residence.
However, I suspect they're going to cost rather more than the wholesale line rental, because BT has always used dedicated circuits as a cash cow. And they're probably not set up to have a line that has an A end (premises to local exchange) and then just a link to a DSLAM inside the exchange.
Yep; it used to be a lot less if the line was already there, but that seems to be one of the ways they're making up for losing business elsewhere these days.
One way round that is to filter to an IVR, which is what I do.
If a number's withheld or unavailable, it can go straight to voicemail, which is what I do on my business number.
But on the number in the phone book, people get a message telling them to go away if they're a cold caller/survey, to press one number to reach me, and another to leave a message.
On the ex-directory number, they get told to enter the results of a bit of maths. I don't see why I should have to speak to stupid people :)
And, numbers for the elderly and/or technologically bewildered members of the family are whitelisted.
Bonkers. Completely and utterly bonkers.
Who's going to decide which apps are required to be ported? Will it only apply to the ones he really wants? Will organisations be fined if they don't port an app?
Who will cover the cost of this? Will Blackberry provide lots of lovely free tools, and education material?
Will they be setting up re-education camps, to ensure that wayward developers recognise the folly of their discrimination in platforms?
You might think, but right now, that's not quite so simple, at least in the UK, for the BBC.
BBC HD is not yet fully regionalised, while the SD channels are. There would need to be a fair bit of rejigging to be done to make that work, and in the meantime people would lose their (in some cases, much loved) regional news programmes.
This, incidentally, is one of the reasons why the forthcoming BBC 1+1 will be accompanied by an extra hour of kids programmes. Those currently finish at 7pm. So if, when BBC 3 vacates the stream it's handed over to BBC 1+1, if it were to start at the same time, what would be the first programme of the day on the timeshift channel?
The six o'clock news sequence. Which contains the lengthy regional opt-outs, which aren't provided for on that stream. So if the kids programmes continued to stop at 7, for a bit chunk of the first hour on the +1 channel, you'd have swimming hippos and the "we can't show you regional programmes" message appearing.
The solution that requires the least re-engineering, then, is to extend the cut-off time for the kids' programming to 8pm. The Corporation gets to look like its being fluffy to the kids, and the timeshifted BBC 1 + 1 doesn't suffer the embarassment of kicking off the day with huge gaps in its content.
Nice in theory. Just how well in practise remains to be seen.
I have my old Nexus 7/2012 and a Moto X 2014; the latter is on Lollipop, and the former was but the experience sucked so much I've gone to the CM version of 4.4.4.
Blinkbox works on the phone, but entirely arbitrarily, doesn't support downloading of movies onto phones.
It works on the tablet too, but even though the most recent update was flagged as fixing downloads to tablet, it still doesn't actually support tablet downloads on 4.4.4 or 4.4.3. It apparently would if I went back to Lollipop, but then it's so sluggish I almost killed it with my hammer.
So yes, while on the face of it Android should make everything happy and charming and lovely, I'd say there's still going to be a good chance that you'll still suffer from that kind of issue, unless Google is really working hard to ensure that everyone a) has a decent hardware spec in their TVs to cope with future updates and b) makes an effort to port those updates to whatever their TV built on, asap.
Android on TV could turn out to be a great idea. But it's way too early to say so yet.
Some continental operators, like Belgium's Telenet, have dropped support for older receivers using MPEG2 - and it caused a fair bit of angst among some of their customers. And that's an inevitable side-effect of making HD the default, at least for distribution, which I presume is what you mean.
To drop SD distribution means everyone's going to need an HD receiver; and while 75% of sets may well have HD in the US, that still leaves 25% that don't. Those will be second sets, portables, perhaps things like hotel rooms, and of course the poor and elderly will likely be quite widely represented amongst them as well.
You would potentially be imposing costs on a lot of people who may not be able to afford the move - even if you do provide low cost adaptors; 25% is still a lot in a country so large.
Such a move will come - or if not a move to all-HD, certainly to HD technologies, like H.264 and (outside the US) DVB-T2 - in order to save bandwidth, but it will be slower than you think.
Telenet's pissed off a lot of their customers; I doubt other operators are in a rush to follow suit, and governments won't be keen to tell people - espeically the old ones who vote - that the box they bought for switchover just a few years ago is going to be useless very soon, and they'll have to buy another one.
Operators that supply equipment with their subscription services are best placed to do this; the could upscale all SD material and use HEVC or H.264 to save bandwidth, and many are only dishing out HD-capable kit anyway. I suspect even those will wait a while, gradually swapping out SD-only receivers as they fail, before embarking on anything as radical as a mass replacement scheme.
Well, it is theoretically possible to broadcast 4K over terrestrial, using DVB-T2 and the HEVC codec; the BBC have run tests of that. But longterm, it's extremely unlikely to happen because of the bandwidth squeeze. It's going to be hard enough to maintain the current level of service as the mobile providers snaffle up more of the space as it is...
On satellite, all the major platforms have plans for 4K and there are already some test streams on Astra. Of course, you're going to need 4K receivers for that too, which I expect we'll see more of over the coming year or so - especially once the DVB group has firmed up specs.
Astra for has quite a few new satellites coming on stream, so there should be a reasonable amount of capacity for 4K transmissions.
As ever, you can probably expect that the majority of these will be premium services from subscription companies like Sky, with maybe the odd "Oh wow look at the Olympics in 4K" type of thing from some PSBs.
The 1987 RSC London production managed the same B&W->colour trick too, through clever use of lighting and costume, which was pretty striking. Imelda Staunton was pretty good as Dorothy, too.
... but the Wizard of Oz did come out in 1939, so was around 75 years old at the time of the story.
I would venture that sheer age (as with Casablanca and Gone With The Wind) is a pretty significant factor. Those films have had at least three times as long to embed themselves in the collective consciousness as those at the start of the 25 year period suggested in the paper.
I wonder if quantity of releases in any given time frame makes a difference, or other factors - for example, It's a Wonderful Life wasn't immediately a massive success, but a subsequent copyright lapse made it a TV staple, and probably resulted in more people knowing of it, and so citing it.
The Wizard of Oz, which is way ahead in the number of citations has, as far as I know, been pretty successful for most of its time. It's been a pretty constant presence on TV for a lot of my life, it seems.
Were the majority of films in technicolour at the time of its release? Were there as many films being made in 1939 as there are now?
Certainly, you might hypothesise that with no TV around at the time of its release, films could perhaps make a bigger impact on their viewers than they do now, when visual entertainment is available at the click of a button.
Also, I see King Kong is in the list at number six. I wonder if the citations for that include Twinkle.
I was one of the founder subscribers to Demon. It grew out of a conference on Cix called "tenner_a_month"
From memory (and it was a long night last night in Dublin, so forgive any errors)
Essentially Cliff Stanford of Demon realised that if a group of people each contributed a tenner a month, it would be possible to afford TCP/IP connectivity to the Demon office, and then provide access to it using SLIP or PPP.
The original plan may have called for a direct link to the US; however, Pipex announced the launch of the commercial TCP/IP service, and so Demon ended up with a leased line from them.
For people who've been around Demon for that long, you might remember there was originally a limit of 8 characters for your Demon host name. All except one, which was nine characters long, and caused no end of trouble with special exceptions in scripts. Because I pestered Cliff and asked nicely, he let me have stonewall.demon.co.uk
That was, pretty much, the start of domestic internet access as we know it today; there had been other things, like CompuServe, and the IBM PC User Group's service, whose name escapes me. But it was essentially a UUCP-based email system wrapped up in some Windows software.
(In the past, I've done odd bits of work for Demon and the IBMPCUG; perhaps I should plunder my memories of some of that for more Reg pieces).
Lots of reasons. Some can certainly be laid at the door of the left's favourite bogeywoman, but not all, I think.
Housing density does have an impact; those figures in the article for Seoul show not only a massive rate of building, but a big change in the type of tenure. The English, historically, tend to deisre houses far more than flats/apartments. So, to provide fibre to the 250 or so houses in the street where I live, for example, means a lot of bits of fibre, and a lot of work
If all those dwellings were in a block (or even a substantial chunk of them), putting fibre into the block would provide high speed residential service to everyone. Yes, if they wanted a direct fibre connection, there would still be 250 outlets, but more alternatively - as companies like Ask4 do - you would provide Ethernet in each dwelling, and it would still be faster.
As well as housing density, tenure has an impact, too. Most apartment buildings in England are leasehold, rather than commonhold. When I looked at this back on PCW, one of the points made to me (may have been by Ask4; I'd have to dig out the notes) was that to provide service to a whole building, once it's been built, you have to conclude a separate legal agreement with every single person. That's why it's much easier to put this sort of stuff in with new build, when you can just deal with the developer. Even in social housing, you have to do that, because of the council house sales (see, there's Maggie again), so a block is no longer owned just by one organisation.
Putting stuff into new build would, on the face of it, be one of the easiest ways of moving stuff along. But we just aren't building homes at anything like the rate we need them. And the ones we do build are all too often designed more as investment vehicles than anything else. Much as people who work in our big cities might long for genuinely affordable flats with great connectivity built in, they're not going to get them when it's easier for housing companies to make swanky pads that can be used by wealth investors to make a killing or launder their ill-gotten cash.
As others have mentioned, there are issues with the regulation in the UK, which is constantly struggling to enforce competition because that's apparently a universal good, even if it means that the major operator is disadvantaged and may be less likely to invest (the consumers, it seems, don't actually come into it, beyond some policy wonk saying "but competition always works in the best interest of consumers"
Sorting out the broadband in the UK isn't, in my view, simply a technical matter, or one of investment in the right technology. It is bound up with our dysfunctional housing system, rampant short-termism in the markets, and a regulatory regime that concerns itself more with dogma than with outcomes for the consumer.
I used ISDN myself for telephony until just a few years ago. I had the a range of 10 MSNs, which made working from home much easier - numbers for work, personal, really personal, and so on. It all ran through a Euracom 141 ISDN PBX, which allowed me to use analogue phones in some rooms, and I had a few ISDN ones as well.
But, of course, BT's pricing - as ever - was annoying. And when anything went wrong, their engineers seemed utterly flummoxed by the presence of ISDN2e in a residential building; one time they cut it off themselves, because they were doing a different job (which hadn't actually been ordered) and since there was no dial tone in their cans for the ISDN pair, they assumed it was free for reuse.
In the end, the Euracom died after a power cut, and by that time it was feasible to port the MSNs across to a SIP service, so now I have them all coming in via two SIP trunk channels on my ADSL, and pay a fraction of what I used to pay BT.
The Fritz boxes are handy; I use one of them as a VoIP/Analogue gateway to my entry phone (wrote about that in Breaking Fad a while back), and for a while also used it to drive some of the old ISDN phones following my switch to SIP, while I hunted around for decent VoIP handsets.
Nice idea, however they seldom manage to put their foot down when it comes to existing rules on affordable housing, so don't go holding your breath.
The glacial pace of housebuilding in the UK, and our relatively low housing density are both holding back deployment, I think.
Metella in atrio sedet
Even if you pay by BACS with BT, you still have to pay the surcharge - it's about screwing the customer, not about covering the costs of their payments. And given the horrific overcharging I've suffered from BT in the past, I refused to let them dive into my bank account at will.
In the end, fed up with the extra fees for a line I never even use, which slowly edged the price up towards the £20 a month level, I had the phone service unbundled and taken over by my ISP as well.
Incidentally, my understanding is that - originally at least - payment services companies were a super duper VAT wheeze (certainly in the way supermarkets used to use them). I'm not sure if hole's plugged now.
Freeview itself is, essentially, just a marketing operation for free to air TV. For the vast majority of receivers, they have no way of monitoring what people are watching, because there is no return channel available, or if available actually connected.
The main purpose of Freeview initially was to ease the transition to digital (and, to a degree, to ensure that the primary channels maintained their pre-eminence in a digital landscape).
It's now, especially after some of the escapades of the past, also involved more in helping set standards, to ensure that kit marked with their logo performs in the way expected, and gives a consistent experience for users (channels in the same place, trailer booking works, audio description supported, and so on). But the end game is the same - to ensure there is a free to air TV service built around the PSBs.
The only sense in which Freeview gets money from advertisers is in that it is part-funded by the broadcasters, who themselves get money from advertising, in most cases. In terms of the service they offer to you, the consumer, there is no fee.
You could argue that then that makes you the product, but unlike people who data mine, that's only in the sense that they are delivering your eyeballs to the programmes made by people on the platform.
If Freeview kit was reporting home about what people are watching, I rather think someone would have noticed by now.
Exactly; the Pebble is the one that has caught my interest so far, and if it was £50, I'd pick one up in a flash just to play around with.
A lot of people round these parts would much prefer a dumb display.
However, when it comes to consumers, and the way in which they are marketed to, the whole sorry saga of "HD Ready" proves just how confusing people find these things.
It's possible to use HEVC with 4K over DVB-T2; there have been some tests doing that. Realistically, I think it's pretty unlikely to happen in the UK, given our forthcoming bandwidth squeeze, but nevertheless, "does it have a decoder" is an issue ordinary punters need to be aware of when they're shopping for these things, just as "does it have HDMI 2" ought to be.
Otherwise, people will buy kit, especially at the 'bargain' end of the market that's either not able to do what they expect of it, or is underperforming (eg not supporting higher frame rates). And, just as some of us found when patiently explaining what the technical definition of "HD Ready" may be, casual consumers make assumptions - often perfectly reasonable ones - and end up shafted.
Well, more or less; but the casting system tends to involve your device not streaming directly to the receiver, but simply sending commands that say "play this stream, from this URL"
That means there are fewer hops, and even if the battery on the phone, for instance goes flat, the casting device carries on playing
In theory, you can do more smart things - I don't see why a few devices on the same home network couldn't sync playback between themselves, for instance. So, potentially it can offer a lot more flexibility than simply sending an audio stream over bluetooth.
Yes; that sort of thing is ideal for people who are always moving AV gear between round houses and square ones.
It's the first week back after the break. PR people are horribly enthused with the delights of new year and a free ticket to Vegas.
Everyone's convinced they really do have the most *a-ma-zing* things to show us, and their particular gizmo is obviously way better than any other smart watch or iPhone controlled lightbulb ever before in the whole history of stupidly-named gadgetry.
Sometimes, the only sane thing to do is to crawl out from under the duvet, scowl, pen three pages of bitterness and sarcasm, and then try to sleep again until spring.
I think perhaps one of those new domestic beer coolers, mounted on top of an old Roomba, so you can have it trundle into the room when it's beer time?
I've got an Arcam miniBlink in the living room, which is great with a phone that has aptX. But at £90 it's probably not the sort of thing I'd go out and buy myself.
But, something that sort of size must surely be possible - or even a matchbox size, with external wall-wart PSU - for audio. Roll them out for £20 each, and I'd have one in every room, especially if they could sync network playback.
I would guess they just get used to it; it doesn't take long to adapt.
My car is a left hand drive DS23; on that, you apply the parking brake by pressing a pedal with your left foot, and release it with a lever in your left hand. The clutch is hydraulically controlled, as it's a semi-auto.
And, after the first few times you just get used to the way of doing it. I found it fairly easy to adapt last time I used a Zipcar which had one of the fancy modern electric handbrakes (a VW Golf).
I don't think I'm particularly faster to adapt to things than other people, though perhaps having a DS I'm more open to the quirky.
Yes, I did.
We talked about Big Track in a piece last xmas
I suppose you're right; I didn't explicitly set out to create a list like that, but yes, lots of these things are a fair it less structured than modern equivalents. When I was looking at the Meccano web site, I saw that even their kits have fairly specific aims.
Sure, you can build 25 different models, according to the blurb on the box, but it's nevertheless adorned with pictures of specific things for you to build, which seems a slightly different approach to the older packs, like the one we pictured.
I wonder if that's partly because as a society we've tended to embrace the ready made much more in recent years - in all aspects, even food, clothing, furniture - and so with less direct experience of making things, more direction has to be given.
And, as other people have commented, there used to be many more people around - it seemed to me as a kid, anyway - who could help. For example, a neighbour used to work at Mullard, and helped me with electronics projects when I was a kid.
Exactly; for whatever reason, Apple has gone well beyond the requirements of the Consumer Contracts Regulations, which include a specific exemption for digital content where download has started - just as they do for media which has had the packaging opened.
Whether you view this as a sop to people who believe in intellectual property of not, it's there and is intended presumably to counter exactly this scenario - of people obtaining something that can be (like a CD) or is already in digital format, requesting a refund and keeping their copy.
It's clear from reading elsewhere on the net that some developers are pretty annoyed about this, and in some cases with good reason. Even if there aren't a huge number of people doing it, it could make a big difference to small developers. As far as I can see, the way Apple is doing this means that you could spend £47.99 on the TomTom Europe app for your week's driving holiday, then return it afterwards, which is surely not the intention.
I suspect perhaps it's laziness; yes, the T&Cs do apparently make clear that downloads remove the right to cancel, but that's not sufficient under the CCRs. You need to make sure that it's clear that once the download starts you have the right to cancel, and the new rules seem to be much more about making things clear than burying them in a document most people never read.
I think all they really need to do is to add a pop up before download that says something like "One this download commences, you lose the automatic right to cancel your order within 14 days"
Perhaps they simply decided that rather than tweak the store apps to add an extra popup for people in certain territories, it was just easier to rewrite the rules. They may even have imagined that it would make them sound even more fluffy and consumer friendly.
But in doing so, they run the risk of upsetting quite a lot of developers; far better to actually implement the rules properly - with a pop-up in-app, and perhaps a global setting for auto-downloads that defaults to off across all devices, as well.
I think some people use "discreet" to mean "straight acting" because they have a tiny inkling that the latter is a bit of a questionable term and they think writing "I'm not one of those flappy flouncy types that gives us all a bad name" will take too long.
I think "straight acting" really means "may throw up behind the sofa at parties"
"Rugged" is one of those wonderfully flexible terms people love to use online, I find.
"Swimmers body" is another. Based on some guys who use that description, I think they omitted "... in the chest freezer"
"If a nice fella pulled his pants down in a different environment, say while queuing at a Lidl checkout, "
I'm shocked. Lidl?
Or were you just there for the rough trade?
If that happened to me, I'd be tempted to reply along the lines of "that's quite nice, but our bull's got a bigger one"
Only one gimp mask? I always take two into the shower!
Listening to recordings of them with my mother (we also went to see the 'Revisited' show in the west end when it was on) she's amazed at what they got away with back then. For most of the show's run, homosexuality was still criminalised, too, which makes it even more surprising - it must have sailed completely over the heads of management.
Unless ... (poses with little finger to corner of mouth) ... it was a Massive Homosexual Conspiracy.
dah dah dah!
Nah; you're avin a larf!
Ooh, ello Bloakey. Bona to vada your dolly old eek!
I'd write more, but I've got a criminal practise that's taking up a lot of my time
London here too; perhaps it's an age thing... or perhaps it's related to sexual taste. If you just want a quick game of hide the sausage, I suppose there's some merit in checking the merchandise. If your tastes are more exotic, there may often be other considerations that are more important.