* Posts by Nigel Whitfield.

915 posts • joined 12 Jun 2009

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Euro telly bods say 'non' to spectrum sharing with mobiles

Nigel Whitfield.
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Re: What Mage said.

The US and 7 other region admins are pressing for an allocation at WRC-15, between 618 and 698MHz - that's enough votes to prevent the adoption of a common 'No Change' position, which is what we have in Region 1.

If there were to be a co-primary allocation in even part of the UHF band, and pressure to make that global in the interests of harmonisation, then it would be very damaging for DTT in Region 1, and in particular in Europe where it's a well established distribution method.

I'm not quite sure what's unreasonable about the way things are being done in the EU (I presume you mean Region 1, really, since it's handled at a rather broader level than the EU). Many people do rely on terrestrial broadcasting, which has already given up a huge amount of space to the shysters of the mobile industry. They're after even more, despite not having used up all they've been given so far.

Long term, of course, the LTE gang have desires to supplant technologies like DTT for broadcast, Bluetooth for short range and WiFi as well, all of which have been mentioned in various articles here before. Personally, I don't think that's a brilliant idea (and people in broadcasting really don't think LTE is going to be as efficient as DTT either).

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ICO probes NHS clinic's data blunder that exposed HIV+ status of 800 patients

Nigel Whitfield.
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Re: easy enough to fix

@Mahatma Coat

While there might be merit in changing the presentation, in reality that's all you'd do, as you'd be mapping something non-standard onto the underlying email system, because you have to remain compatible with older systems that work on those header field.

Sure, the actual headers in a message are (mostly) informational rather than directional, but not exclusively so. If you designed fields like Cc and so on out of an email client to make the interface clearer - and I'm not quite sure how you could do that - you'd confuse plenty of people who wouldn't be quite sure what's going on.

At worst, you might accidentally re-invent X400 ;)

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Nigel Whitfield.
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Re: easy enough to fix

History. They have them because that's what used to be on inter-office memo forms when everything was done by typewriter and the internal mail.

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Nigel Whitfield.
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Re: Simple solution

Wouldn't it be lovely if there were admins around to help out with this sort of stuff, or at least enough of them?

One of the problems with that, of course, is the utterly simplistic way in which we look at NHS funding. The instant someone says "X% of staff are non-clinical" then someone starts wailing about too much management, when money should be being spent on patient care instead. And, hounded by tabloid dogs, administrators at the top of the tree decide not to replace people lower down. Then, you end up with clinical staff wasting time filling in forms to order drugs, or people who don't have the right skills looking after things like sending out email newsletters or departmental email servers.

(And, I daresay, once lots of money from an IT budget has been squandered on a big "joined up" project that ultimately goes nowhere and gets cancelled, there's probably not as much left around to sort out things like this, either).

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Nigel Whitfield.
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I remember when we first got company wide email at a publishing company in the 90s, the utterly trivial stuff we'd get, like "has anyone seen my tea tray," and the subsequent moans.

Aaargh. So glad I work at home.

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Nigel Whitfield.
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Horrifying

I can well imagine the person who made the mistake must be feeling mortified; if they're in a role that involves them having contact with clinic users, they're going to have some very awkward conversations.

You would hope that many of the people who receive the email will delete it and treat anything they learn from it with the same respect that they would hope others will have with regard to their own status.

Things could get very messy, however, if people see names or addresses that they recognise and jump to conclusions, like assuming that a name they recognise might be the person that passed the virus on to them.

And, as the linked blog post mentions, this could cause trust issues not just for current clinic users, but for people who don't yet know their status, and may be reluctant to be tested. Some random tests (mouth swabs in bars) have suggested that as many as a third of people who are HIV+ don't actually know their status. That's a key area for improvement in fighting HIV, as modern treatments can reduce viral load to make transmission much less likely. So I hope that, amongst all the talk that will undoubtedly come from this, people remember that it's still important to get tested.

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Scrapheap challenge: How Amazon and Google are dumbing down the gogglebox

Nigel Whitfield.
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Re: Its not smart to buy a smart TV

I did think of touching on security, but the main focus of this piece was driven by that latest crop of kit to have services withdrawn, and IoT security has been covered in some other articles on here lately.

But yes, I agree, there is often sod all thought put into some of these things, and they can be surprisingly simple to hack. By setting up a Squid proxy on your own network, for instance, you could grab the pages used by the original VieraCast sets, and ultimately serve alternative ones, as described here.

While there are certainly insecurities, and it may be possible to exploit them in interesting ways, I suspect that a lot of the time it's going to be relatively speculative for now, because of the number of different platforms out there. Where this may become ripe for exploitation is if a single platform comes to dominate the world of 'smart tv', allowing mass exploitation much more easily. (Or, in other words, if Android TV takes all, we're probably all screwed)

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Nigel Whitfield.
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Re: 4K support

One of the reasons for my choice of AV Amp (a modest Yamaha) was that it will take composite (from the laserdisc player) and component (from my Toppy pvr) and upscale those to 1080p for delivery via HDMI.

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Nigel Whitfield.
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Re: And stop serving ads!

Sadly the TV doesn't even need to be that smart for that... remember some of the Panasonic sets that used the Guide+ EPG for Freeview, which included adverts. Horrid idea.

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Nigel Whitfield.
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Re: When most people are happy...

I don't know anyone who gets a new phone every year these days, and certainly not at that sort of price.

The point is, we're being sold TVs that have particular functionality built in. That functionality is often pretty poor, badly supported, and in some cases withdrawn after as little as two years.

As aspects of that functionality become more central to people's viewing, don't you think they should expect something better than being told "You've got to spend another £50 to carry on with what you had?"

If you want to watch House of Cards, or Unbreakable, or the forthcoming car show from Amazon, no you're not going to get that at your local library any time soon. Just because we are fortunate enough to live in a developed country does not mean we should simply shrug off planned obsolescence - especially when the companies behind it could quite easily use some of their massive cash piles to avoid the situation.

You may be happy being bent over the barrel of shareholder value and firmly rogered by a sneering corporate, but I'm not.

I'll get my rogering somewhere else, of my own choosing.

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Nigel Whitfield.
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Re: *Facepalm* You don't invest in proprietary standards

*snort*

I think that's the first time I've ever seen "DLNA" and "moderately well defined" in the same sentence. Even they admit, interoperability isn't what it should be, because of the lack of mandatory codec support. It pretty much just guarantees two things can see each other.

(Though, with later revisions to the standard and VidiPath, about which more after next month's IBC show, they are making strides towards actually doing what you suggest).

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Nigel Whitfield.
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Re: HiFi separates equivalent

The first DVB-T2 broadcast demo was at IBC in 2008; that's a decade after the launch of DVB-T in the UK, and it was a couple of years before there was actually a service launch, so it was hardly straight after.

And there's no special HDR version of DVB-T2; it's a transmission system, and you can stuff any sort of picture you like down it, whether using MPEG2, H.264 or HEVC. So, you could quite easily use it for a profile of HEVC that includes HDR or an extended gamut.

As for the 2008 Mac, as I said, updates are available for it. The only reason I've not installed them is because while free, I will probably then have to spend money on updating other software to newer versions.

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Nigel Whitfield.
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Re: Now you need a TV license, a SKY sub, Amazon Prime, Netflix, BT, etc ad-bleedin-nauseum

@dotdavid

Well, of course I was being a touch sarcastic, but in regulatory circles there has been at times the free market idea that competition is always a good, and should therefore be promoted.

The Communications Act 2003 gives Ofcom certain statutory duties, one of which is

"to further the interests of consumers in relevant markets, where appropriate by promoting competition”

At times - as with things like sports rights - it's seemed that the competition that's promoted is most definitely not in the interests of consumers. Sure, you have a choice of where to get some of your football matches from, but that's not much help if you end up having to buy more packages.

Likewise, the idea of competition on the railways may not further the interests of consumers, if it really means that you just have the chance of being fined because the ticket you hold is for the wrong train company.

Back with Ofcom, I continue to struggle to understand why a directory enquiries service with dozens of companies, all with their unique pricing structure that ensures it can be almost impossible to know what a call with cost, is any better for the consumer than a single number that's easy to remember. But the single number was a monopoly (and once upon a time, free), whereas the proliferation of numbers is competition and so apparently good for us.

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Nigel Whitfield.
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Re: Now you need a TV license, a SKY sub, Amazon Prime, Netflix, BT, etc ad-bleedin-nauseum

@Vehlin

in the name of competition I end up paying more

That's because competition always works in the best interest of the consumer, apparently.

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Nigel Whitfield.
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Re: Yes ,

That's what Sony tried in the 80s with their Profeel range.

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The Ashley Madison files – are people really this stupid?

Nigel Whitfield.
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A few thoughts come to mind

Firstly, if you're of the view that says "it wasn't the hack that's causing problems, it was thinking about adultery in the first place", isn't that a bit like saying "it's not outing someone that wrecks their life, it's being gay in the first place" ?

Judging other people's private lives really doesn't make anyone a better person. Sure, the site could have done things better, but pretending that the damage caused is nothing to do with the hackers? That seems a very narrow view, frankly.

Secondly, this is the sort of thing that happens when you have lists of people. They get abused. And sooner or later, this is very likely to happen with all those lists of "porn users" that the ISPs are being forced to create by our government.

Yes, you might argue you're on the list because you simply don't like censorship, or some other reason. But when it's leaked - as it almost certainly will be - the same people who are busy judging anyone whose email address appears on the AM list, regardless of whether it's decades old, or faked, or anything else, will be judging you in just the same way.

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Would YOU make 400 people homeless for an extra $16m? Decision time in Silicon Valley

Nigel Whitfield.
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Re: Best way of achieving this?

In London, certainly, the percentages are often not enforced properly, or the builders are allowed to fudge things by saying "Well, we'll certainly build some affordable housing, but we'd quite like this to be an exclusive development, so how about we put the affordable homes in Ilford or Barking?"

The result, of course, is that the social mix doesn't happen, as all the less well off are shoved out to the suburbs and expected to endure long commutes. Even where they do include affordable housing in a development, it's often now done with 'poor doors' where the social tenants have a separate entrance, separate lifts, and so on. The argument is usually that it means the 'nice' people can have a concierge and marble lifts without the social tenants having to contribute large amounts to the maintenance, but that seems specious to me - it should be quite possible to draw up agreements that have different maintenance charges based on tenure. It's really all about the segregation, imv.

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Nigel Whitfield.
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We see this sort of argument in London too, where somehow "not being treated as badly as I am" gets turned into "they're being unfairly subsidised", followed by demands to either a) punish people for not being ripped off (like the 'spare room subsidy' that was invented by the DWP) or b) force people out, so they can be replaced by a new set of people who'll be treated equally as badly.

The logic often seems to be "I can't afford to live in area X, so I don't see why poor people who've been there for years and built up a community shouldn't be tossed out and replaced with wealthier people"

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Still safe as houses: More CCTV for the masses

Nigel Whitfield.
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Perhaps some of them will find it a thrill :-)

Now, if only there was a camera with built in support for Pay Per View...

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Budget UHD TVs arrive – but were the 4Kasts worth listening to?

Nigel Whitfield.
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Re: Sky and UHD

@Lamont Cranston

Most Freeview HD compliant kit that I've played with prompts if the same programme is available in HD.

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Nigel Whitfield.
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Re: Wot not FreeSat tuner?

Freesat itself is a package, albeit one of FTA channels with no subscription, in that it's provided as a complete proposition, with a list of participating channels, their numbers, and a unified programme guide.

That is what both BSB and Sky did too, and is the model of the current BSkyB and of operations like Sky Italia.

It's at odds with the view of satellite on the continent, which is much more of satellite as a distribution method. You'd point your dish in the right direction, and get Pro Seiben, Sat 1 and so on, and set your box up how you wanted, and the amount of EPG data you get will vary, depending on what you're watching.

In the UK, thanks to the early introduction of packaged systems, that way of using satellite is very much an enthusiast approach. Our broadcasters like the idea of a packaged platform, because it gives them things like a fixed and known EPG position that they can include in adverts.

But to make that work, the TVs need the right sotware. The Sony ones linked to here have, as far as I can see, the requisite DVB-S/S2 tuners to pick up the channels, but not the software to provide the EPG services that make up the rest of the platform. So, for instance, while you will get the channels you want, the numbers will be all over the place, and it's unlikely you'll get much more than 'now/next' info on any particular channel.

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Nigel Whitfield.
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Re: Wot not FreeSat tuner?

It's not that the DVB-S/S2 is different, it's the EPG data that's the problem. In most countries, where satellite has simply been a matter of pointing your dish at the sky and tuning in, EPG data is something that's picked up from the tables on each transponder, and you don't have things like specific channel numbers.

In the UK, other than for enthusiasts, satellite has always been sold as a package, with an operator (like Sky or Freesat) bundling up channels, providing platform services like an EPG, and subscription management.

That requires specific things to be done, especially if the operator wants to have 'advanced' functions like series link. As a consequence, the software for a platform-based receiver is a lot more complex than for a more open one. Perhaps if things like Sky Italia and Sky Deutschland spread their iron tentacles across the continent, and open satellite becomes less common, we'll see satellite sets with modular software that can be adapted to lots of platforms easily, but at the moment, I expect the makers simple don't see much return for the effort of creating special software for one country.

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Nigel Whitfield.
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Re: I'd still wait

Well, any labelling system needs to be clear about what exactly it means, for both consumers and others.

The biggest issue with HD Ready was that, unless people did their research beforehand, they often assumed it meant one thing (ready and capable of receiving HD broadcasts) when it really meant another (capable of displaying stuff from an HD source plugged into it). The (separate, and later) HDTV spec meant there was a receiver/decoder inside.

The original spec didn't mention resolution (not such an issue with 4k), and was a bit vague on connectivity, too.

Given that there are likely to be both Phase 1 and Phase 2 specs for UHD, and that some of those may include HDR, and higher frame rates, and that older versions of HDMI won't support 4K, let alone those extra things, it would be good to have some clear marking so that consumers aren't confused.

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Nigel Whitfield.
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I'd still wait

It's great that you can get something so cheap, even if you do have to put on your slippers and go to Asda. But the limitations are going to be the things that niggle. Perhaps not now, but a couple of years down the line.

When you decide you really do want Netflix in 4k for their latest new series, for instance, and the built-in app not only doesn't do it now, but likely won't have an upgrade. And you realise that there's only the one 4k capable HDMI port, which might be fine right now when you just want to plug in the BT box, but become rather limiting once there are more sources. Just like early flat panels had the composite, and SCART and S-Video connectors which were great when they first came out, but before long the single DVI or HDMI was no longer sufficient.

I really hope that, if we do get some sort of UHD labelling that it's a bit clearer than the old 'HD Ready' stuff, and much more future-proof.

It would be great, for example, if people like Netflix, as well as letting their software be built into sets like this, would come up with a clear and simple branding so that you can see at a glance if it has a 'Netflix' logo or a 'Netflix4k' logo, which will tell you if it's going to give you 4K, regardless of the screen resolution.

And a spec for UHD should probably also include things like a minimum number of 4K sockets (or a standard way of highlighting how many), and clarity on whether or not, for example, the HDMI-ARC port that most people will use to link to their AV gear is 4K compatible or not.

So, sure, you can buy one right now. But in my view, it's still sensible to wait.

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Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+: 4K-positive fun for ... vloggers?!

Nigel Whitfield.
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Re: “Next is now has just got bigger”

What with that, and bonkers colour descriptions such as "Black Sapphire" and "Gold Platinum" it's a wonder my eyes have actually stopped rolling. At least the bit were we were talked at was mercifully brief.

Honestly, you don't realise the suffering we have to endure when we attend these events...

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Nigel Whitfield.
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Re: We're losing market what are we going to do?

At those prices, I do wonder how many people will buy them up front, and I should imagine the contracts will be pretty hefty if you want a free one.

They had some 'vloggers' at the event. I think they must have been the ones that looked about twelve to me. Perhaps running your own YouTube channel is so lucrative these days that it'll pay for one of these.

But, sleek and nice though it is, for most of what ordinary people want to do, something like the Moto G or X will be sufficient, and hundreds of pounds cheaper.

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Apple's AirDrop abused by 'cyber-flashing' London train perv

Nigel Whitfield.
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Perfect pitch

"It's like Uber. But for penises"

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Safe as houses: CCTV for the masses

Nigel Whitfield.
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This is a Reg weekend piece; slightly softer tech than the weekdays. I'll think about a more DIY solution, which would be something for the week.

But first, short break calls. Y'all don't want me going bonkers and losing my touch, I'm sure :)

*crosses fingers*

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Nigel Whitfield.
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Re: Nice photo framing...

Giant kittens are watching your every move.

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Nigel Whitfield.
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We've planned the two parts for this, but the Synology is definitely worth a look, so I'll sweet talk the man who holds the Reg purse-strings, and see what we can do after the short break I'm taking

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Nigel Whitfield.
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Re: Battery life?

Good question, and one it's hard to answer given the scope of reviews like this (PRs have a tendency to want their shiny things back; editors have a tendency to want their words on time).

The camera settings explicitly mention on the quality setting that higher quality may shorten battery life.

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Nigel Whitfield.
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Re: Netatmo's Welcome costs €199, which is presently about £140.

I "fucking know" that when you go to their web shop, and put it in your basket from a browser in the UK, the price is €199.

When you click the checkout option with PayPal, it remains, astonishingly, at €199, and offers to take that amount from my balance. The same happens when I work through the process using a credit card. The total amount shown, right up until the point where I would click to place an order, is still €199.

Honestly, if I thought they were selling it at a different price in the UK, I would have found out that price, rather than simply quoting the price in their web shop. Shipping, incidentally, is free, so the price remains €199. That's another thing I fucking know.

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Nigel Whitfield.
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Re: Only got as far as the second page but I do have a comment...

Normally, when someone asks you to allow connections on port 4500, they mean to allow traffic from elsewhere to reach that port on your system. I had a firewall rule doing just that (UDP anything -> UDP 4500 on the LAN) for VPN. It's not sufficient.

What made Welcome work was, essentially, reversing that to UDP 4500 -> UDP anything on the LAN. It took a bit of wading through syslogs from the firewall to figure that out. It may be possible to narrow it down, as all the destination ports on the LAN were fairly high up, and the source address was a Netatmo server.

But nevertheless, when someone says "Open port 4500" you tend to assume that is the port on which they want to reach you. Not that it is the source port on their system, and that you actually need to open up a wider range on your firewall, based on the source.

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Nigel Whitfield.
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Re: Well I'm shocked

Well, in the absence of clear labelling, it could equally well be asking what percentage change is needed to trigger a detection, making a lower number more sensitive.

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Moronic Time cover sets back virtual reality another 12 months

Nigel Whitfield.
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Re: The only way to not be ridiculed...

A uniform, you say?

Paging Mr Mosley...

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Think beyond the Beeb: Gov consultation is crucial for free telly

Nigel Whitfield.
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Re: 4k

@handle

Last year, there was some great work on HDR and wide gamut on show at IBC, and I'm expecting to see even more of that this year. I'll be over there reporting on it for The Reg, so keep an eye out in September for lots of info

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Nigel Whitfield.
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Re: The rest of the licence fee

While a public corporation, Channel 4 does not (and never has) receive licence fee funding.

S4C does, however, receive support for Welsh language programming.

Of course, whether Channel 4 will remain a public corporation is another matter; there are repeated murmurings about privatisation.

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Nigel Whitfield.
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Re: Flockstars

Blimey! How un-sporting of ITV to disable commenting on that video...

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Nigel Whitfield.
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Re: The simplest solution would be abolish license fee monopoly

@Dan 55

Most audience surveys show that a massive majority of the population access at least one BBC service each week. Possibly not in great numbers, but I think there really are vanishingly few people who fall into the "only watch Sky" category.

Radio is something often left out of that sort of discussion - and of course things like programming for schools.

It's also notable that some research* suggests people aren't always aware of what broadcaster they're watching. Surveys in the past have reported comments like "Yes, I watch Eastenders, but I watch it on Sky, not the BBC."

* Yes, I should supply a link. I'll see if I can dig it out.

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Nigel Whitfield.
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Re: 4k

Given the constraints on bandwidth, I think 4k will be problematic. Yes, in theory you could opffer it as a subscription service - since people will need new boxes for 4k anyway, they could be specified to have Conditional Access.

However, there are various potential problems with that. Firstly, I think the BBC would be pretty resistant to any introduction of CA, because it might be seen as the start of an overall shift to subscription.

Secondly, while it might be possible to find space for one HEVC 4K stream, I imagine that it will be hard to find more than that, especially without lots of people having to replace kit and shifting existing services to newer technology.

So, for anything other than a test service where you could justify the BBC's being the ones to do it, given their in-house research efforts, you will likely face the problem of which of the established broadcasters should have the opportunity to broadcast a subscription service in 4k. Should that necessarily be the BBC? I think there would be plenty of people making a case that commercial broadcasters are just as entitled to a 4k channel.

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Nigel Whitfield.
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Re: Yikes is the final photo on page 3 really a from auntie?

I did actually dig out all the images for this one myself (and I usually do), but I honestly can't remember if that's the original caption. If it is, then mea culpa. C = noun, S = verb, as any fule know. In my defence (it it was me), it's been a bit of a grim week.

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Nigel Whitfield.
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Re: happy to pay the license fee

The problem is that of universality, in the sense of appealing to everyone.

There are people who like soap operas, or dancing contests, and other things that some of us consider low-brow. Some might also say the same about Doctor Who.

But if those programmes aren't there, and what the BBC has is the "worthy" content found on BBC Four, and the ad-free kids material, isn't there a risk that there will be people who feel that there is nothing for them?

If that becomes the case, then you can't really argue for a universal licence fee, can you? If there is to be a fee paid by everyone, then I think there has to be programming for everyone too. For everyone that thinks East Enders is rubbish, there will be others who feel the same about The Sky At Night, or this week's Canal Trip.

There are, certainly, questions about whether formats should be acquired in the quest for ratings, rather than developed in house (The Voice vs Strictly). In the latter case, selling the format to others makes quite a lot of money.

The same question, though, might equally apply to other acquisitions, though. Should they pay to acquire the rights to show a decent film on Christmas Day, which might get ratings, or should they trot out Morecambe and Wise again, because it saves us money?

There aren't, I think, really simple answers to questions like this. I made some suggestions in the article - but I think the most important thing readers can do is think about it, and respond to the consultation.

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Nigel Whitfield.
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Re: Yikes is the final photo on page 3 really a from auntie?

It's plundered from the Reg pic library, and as far as I know, is a screengrab from the opening ceremony of the 2012 Olympics.

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Moto fires BROADSIDE into the flagship phone's waterline with X Play and Style

Nigel Whitfield.
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Re: Interesting..

I bought a Moto X 2014 around November last year, and it's had a couple of updates since then. It's now on 5.1, and I think the most recent update (which added some extra gestures - "chop" to turn on the torch) was within the last month or so. Can't remember exactly when, but I see from the info screen that the kernel version is dated May 8th 2015.

So, at least two major updates since launch. The release notes I can find from the site for 5.0 and 5.1

So, I'd be fairly confident that they will roll out updates.

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Acer Revo One RL85: A pint-sized PC for the snug

Nigel Whitfield.
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Re: Max RAM...

Detailed spec sheet says 8GB, I'm afraid. That said, the original spec for my old MacBook Pro said 4GB, and it'll actually cope with 6.

If I can find an SD card with something suitably esoteric and bootable on it, I'll give that a go for you.

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Nigel Whitfield.
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Re: What about the apple angle?

Well, if you take the 2.4GHz i5 Mac Mini, that's £569 with 1TB of disk; that's the closest to the 2.2GHz of the Acer I5. But if you configure on the Apple site for a 1TB Fusion Drive, which is probably the way to get the same compromise of system on SSD and other storage on HD that the Acer has, then that's another £160, taking it up to £729. OK, it's still got a faster chip, and a smaller case, but less storage.

If you pick the 1.4GHz Mac Mini as the base instead (£399), and then boost the memory to 8GB, and the hard drive from the 500GB to a 1TB Fusion drive, you come out at £679, for which you have a slightly slower chip, and less storage.

2TB of internal storage isn't, presently, an option for build to order on the Mac Mini.

Some people might prefer OS X and the look of the Mini. Other people might prefer the possibilities opened up by those two extra drive bays in the Acer.

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Nigel Whitfield.
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Re: Fugly

At the launch, there was talk of some black ones, and I'm sure I've seen photos on the Acer site at some stage too. However, all that appears to be on offer now is the white.

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Nigel Whitfield.
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I tried it both ways, not because it didn't occur to me to fix it on the TV, but because there may well be quite a lot of ordinary punters who will assume that it's something on the PC end. In my view, it's these little things that computers should be making easier these days - and if not with explicit controls, then at least with some information that will point users in the right direction.

There are other bits of kit I've set up that have a helpful part of the install wizard that will let you adjust the screen very easily. Given that the Start button is tucked right in the bottom left corner, if you have overscan turned on, it could be impossible for a punter to see it at all.

"Hi there. Welcome to your new PC. We see you've connected it to a TV or similar display. If you can see a button like this in the bottom left corner, just click OK to continue. If you can't, click the help button for tips on how adjust your display"

Not difficult, really, is it? Yes, perhaps I'm picky. But sometimes - see the stuff about user files below - I despair at how things that could help users, and surely aren't hard to do, are missed out, while we get plenty of other things thrown in, or changed around, for reasons that are at best unclear.

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Nigel Whitfield.
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Re: Moving "users" folder

What would be really nice - and surely not beyond the wit of Microsoft - is for a brand new PC, during initial setup, to say something like "Hey, you've got a massive empty disk drive. Would you like all your user data to be stored there automatically (this makes it easier to backup and recover your PC)?"

Yes, you can redirect the libraries. But long experience of other people's PCs has taught me two things:

a) an awful lot of 'ordinary' people don't do this, and then wonder why they've run out of space

b) I should be a lot more vague about what I do when people ask, so that I don't get invited to solve the problem in a)

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Nigel Whitfield.
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Re: Moving "users" folder

Indeed; it's a bit insane, isn't it? Of course, you can still point some of the 'special' folders like 'Photos' to another drive, without, as far as I can see, breaking the ability to update Windows.

But the underlying restriction is bonkers. Frankly, I find it mystifying that Windows still expects users to know which physical device or partition something is stored on, and it's particularly silly when, as with the i5 here, you have a relatively small system SSD.

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