2973 posts • joined Monday 12th October 2009 20:43 GMT
Perhaps Google will want to database Smartmeter Mesh networks?
The new Smartmeters, which for some reason the UK wants YOU to pay for, use a mesh radio network - many of which operate in the 900 MHz band, conveniently close to cell frequencies.
They use burst transmissions and some have been clocked as transmitting 10,000 times a day. With meters in every house, location accuracy could be quite impressive.
At one watt ouitput, people who worry about cell/handset radiation will have a whole new concern!
The Antenna is as important as the Receiver
I would respectfully suggest that the antenna is the most important element in any GPS system, for no matter how good a receiver is, without a decent signal, no receive will work.
Antennae on any cell/handphone is a compromise at best, nothing works better than an optimised antenna dedicated to a single purpose.
And cells aren't always the greatest locators. government here has mandated that certain levels of service must be maintained as the Traffic Police, along with the Internal Security police, use certain networks for national communications.
As a result several cellco's have fleets of mobile cell base stations, over 200, that drive from one location to another to meet this government mandate. Recently there was another popular bull festival held in the north of he country and several cell base identifiers there were those I had seen in SaiGon for the Tet festival. These vehicles are also deployed during floods and other natural disasters or when there is a cell base failure or relocation.
Whilst it is great that Google now allows us to tag WiFi access points, why couldn't they use a simple 2-character designator?
It's similar to White Collar and Blue Collar crime
There are sentencing differences between White and Blue collar crime. Likewise between 'manual' crime and keyboard crime.
Of course, bankers not only have white collars but expensive suits and the don't get charged at all. Nor do, seemingly, all those cops running errands for NotW or accepting bribes.
It takes two, three or more to have a conspiracy
Depending on your jurisdiction, you can;t conspire until you have a given number of people. In Canada one would be fantasying, two would be chatting but three or more is conspiracy.
So now Logitech feels when companies abandon users
Logitech, on occasion, has some neat products and one we used with great success for some unusual applications.
We were happy to run it on old computers and old Windows OS but it required Logitech software. This software was, for years, available on their FTP server, then they pulled it and left us in the lurch.
Moral: Caveat Emptor with Logitech products, here today and gone tomorrow.
Thank you, Tim Worstall, and Register for publishing this
With this comment being in the two hundreds only one or two will read it but i want to say THANK YOU for explaining such a complex subject in such a a lucid manner.
Did you hear of the Plod who used the bonnet/hood of his car ....
instead of a bed?
It happened in a south western USA desert state, where there are a lot of remote areas. This particular highway state patrol-man met a woman way out in the middle of nowhere, in fact there was an empty house with a padlocked gate and, obviously in the interests of safety, they used the driveway entrance as a safe place to park.
Unfortunately, for the Plod and the woman, there were hidden, motion detector activated, cameras in place and every time the couple made a motion - of which there were several - another image was collected.
Subsequently the pictures were downloaded by a security company and they went public.
The Plod was suspended without pay for idling on duty.
In some overseas markets the word for cell phone was spelt N-O-K-I-A
When Nokia ruled the handset market, everyone had a Nokia, and when the lost one they simply went back and bought another Nokia. Their outlets were everywhere.
Then the cell manufacturers started using our market as a test market - small compact country, 7 carrier choices, 100% coverage, fashion concious and a unique language. Reduced chance of gray market exports.
These days you have to search for a Nokia dealer whereas all your usual suspects have outlets all over, and very competitive pricing.
But we do get a look see at new models before most other countries.
But mobiles DO kill!
This new affliction of reaching for a mobile every time there is a break in traffic flow is unbelievable.
In VietNam, instead of using warning cones (which would likely be stolen and resold as plastic scrap) they use broken branches to signal a road obstruction. The other day I saw a guy busy texting as he drove his motorcycle, stopping and starting moving in sympathy with traffic seen from the corner of his eye.
The traffic started moving, he obviously missed seeing the static branches and crashed into the back of a truck and collected a very impressive gash across his forehead with blood gushing from it.
I have seen another motorcyclist, busy pushing buttons on his iThingy suddenly disappear! The road turned a corner and he didn't and he took a short cut over the embankment. (They only use guard rails on extreme corners)
Why has this taken so long?
Why is not possible to simply say flowers and other flora are exempt from tax rather than right across the spectrum?
It seems that taxes can be finitely applied or, in the case of Cameron's wealthy friends, not applied.
Amazon and tax are like insurance adjusters, if there's a way out (of paying a claim), they will find it!
Immigrants who have made millions
Britain has never been a traditional immigrant target country as Australia, Canada and the U.S.A. are - yet further demonstrated by this short-sighted Cameron plan. Singapore encourages immigrants and look at their standard of living.
I read in the last month where a poor immigrant worked for years in the automotive spares business, in the UK, and when he sold his company he made millions. These stories are common in immigrant countries.
Setting such a high threshold does nothing other than to stop immigration which, from what I read on-line, is the intent of the Tory party. If income levels are to be the determinant then it should be based on the median income of the country, Bankers incomes are the exception but I bet not too many, other than Fred the Shred, would make the threshold.
When Britain vacated HingKong it issued passports that effectively denied the right to immigrate to Britain, a scheme that prevented the most innovative people from immigrating and bringing benefits to Britain.
Remember when washing dishes was considered a starting job for immigrants? The joke is now on Westerners, for there are many Westerners, in HongKong, working as dish washers to earn enough to survive! Talk about poetic justice.
ASUS builds tough stuff
My daughter has an Eee Transformer and she treats it rough, but it is still functioning well. Every day she throws it in her backpack and subjects it to two daily bicycle rides and playground breaks to boot.
My wife has an Eee PC netbook and I know for a fact it has fallen from counter tops to a marble floor on at least 17 occasions (yes, I count) and all it takes is a squeeze around the outer edge, to reseat the plastic latches, and it is as good as new!
If the new transformer has similar construction it is recommended.
Memories of the UK Beagle project come to mind
It must be both frustrating and disappointing to have this happen, just as with Beagle, conceived by a group of British academics headed by Professor Colin Pillinger of the Open University.
Let's hope this type of rocket failure doesn't happen on a Space Station trip - everyone is depending on them.
At least the Beagle had a decent name, Beagle 2 was named after HMS Beagle, which twice carried Charles Darwin during expeditions - that was when Britain had a real Navy.
May is a a serial incompetent and needs to go
She was a complete wash out at the recent exhibitions of displeasure, described by Cameron as 'riots', where the Plod failed to react and now she is blaming staff for things she should take ministerial responsibility for.
Heathrow is one of the worlds most mismanaged airports, a total disgrace as a 'gateway' to Britain, and one of the bright spots was, in my experience, immigration. The only thing that functioned. If the UK wants to operate the 'brain dead' model they only have to look at the U.S. immigration model.
Far better that individual immigration officers exercise discretion such as with the under 5's and the elderly. I have three passports and using two of them subjects me to the full immigration treatment. The third passport is a UK issue. I find British immigration polite and efficient.
So out with May and put a bright spark in her seat.
Just as well they are not using Apple batteries ...
or the mission would have failed before it passed Mars.
Jimmy Carter was US president in the year of the launch in 1977, Pierre Elliot Trudeau was prime minister of Canada and James Callaghan, was UK prime minister. Clive Sinclair introduced his new two-inch screen television set, which retails at £175, and The Archers had been running 25 years.
This probe demonstrates that America did have the technical skills at one time. What happened since then?
With 19,000 kilometres of coastline how in hell do they think they can win?
"It's important to have intelligent border controls using technology, putting the right people in the right places, so we can keep our border secure."
Well, Cameron, you simply don;t have enough people to manage it. That's why smuggling was so successful in previous centuries.
Boaters are supposed to declare their intention of landing whilst way out at sea, which is useless if there is no one to meet them. And there is only ONE patrol ship - which spends a lot of time tied up at dockside to save fuel.
So much for Britannia ruling the waves!
They said that about phonograph/turntable records
Yet there is a booming, self-sustaining plastic stomping business in several countries.
Mind you, some of what passes for 'music' these days actually improves after it has been reduced to MP3 format.
Anything involving government and security is suspicious and government and passwords fatal
Given the government and civil servants penchant for destroying all privacy ANYTHING the government is involved in is suspicious.
I don't trust passwords to anyone and my Will contains my password, which can only be decrypted with some very private knowledge, so my wife can clean out the accounts before the banks freeze the accounts post my death.
Common passwords are a very weak security defence as almost anyone knows, other than gullible nanny politicians. Their 'plan' is like coercive phishing on an industrial scale.
What a (technically) great index page - keep it, please
I spend a lot of time viewing "Page Source" browser options, in fact tearing CNN pages apart years ago was how I started in to HTML, and I wonder if people just how much clutter is loaded in to some of the larger sights. If you combine them with the separate CSS and Script pages it is hardly surprising they take so so long to load.
So this new, lean BBC index page is a welcome change, as many have noted.
High speed InterNet connections seem to have become the answer to lazy coders.
The Independent, the UK newspaper, has recently undergone a 'revamp', and what a farce it has been. I am still wondering which browser can usefully handle the expression: "height: 69.00325000000001px".
One thing many sites screw up on is in their index pages. Countries that filter news often allow the whole of the Index page to be displayed. Unfortunately, the CSS and Script pages are blocked which severely degrades the presentation.
For sometime now, web pages authored by my employer have included full CSS and Scripts in the Index page so even in China they look as intended. It is also surprising how many web authors miss the SKIP link when the first page uses Flash. Even today, many companies do not allow Flash content to be displayed for security reasons.
HSBC web site has Apple attitude - problem, what problem?
I just checked the HSBC opening page which has a news box on it.
Latest news (HSBC title)
My Accounts updates
Global Investment Perspective
Online security at HSBC
Payment Protection Insurance
Nothing reveals that they had an outage or what effects were caused.by the problem. Hardly good enough.
I guess most places dead people lose their rights
Dead peoples estates can sue for libel/slander in Quebec, Canada.
I wonder what Apple would do if someoe decided to register some derogatory namme including the word JOBS.
My understanding was you can have near passing off names (to living entities) but only if they are used for commerce you then run the risk of losing them.
Lies and more lies: Fracking endangers water aquifers and land structures
QUOTE: "There's a certain level of seismic activity that can occur even with a truck going past a house" (Cuadrilla executive)
What a facetious remark, there are quantum differences between a truck/lorry causing vibration as it passes and fracking which causes underground seismic events that can be found over a wide area.
QUOTE; " A spokesman for the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) said: "The implications of this report will be reviewed very carefully before any decision on the resumption of these hydraulic fracture operations is made." "
This (pregnant) pause is doubtless to allow time for Cuadrilla to work the politicians, arrange political donations, etc. so when the Energy and Climate Change Select Committee, led by Tim Yeo - a fully obsequious member of the Tory we're all for business party, also notorious known for using his MP allowance to buy a pink laptop computer from John Lewis, is hardly an independent adjudicator of fracking.
On his return from a industry sponsored junket to the States earlier this year Yeo stated: "There appears to be nothing inherently dangerous about the process of fracking itself and as long as the integrity of the well is maintained shale gas extraction should be safe.
"The government's regulatory agencies must of course be vigilant and monitor drilling closely to ensure that air and water quality is not being affected."
In other words, there's a risk – but it's a risk that can be managed by regulation - and when it is, the positives outweigh the costs.
These junket exploiting MPs also said: "Any instances of methane contamination of groundwater were either blamed on poor well construction (an issue that applies to conventional as well as unconventional hydrocarbons) or were thought to pre-date any hydrofracking activity."
Register readers might be interested to know that an Oscar-nominated documentary called GASLANDS made much of a householder's flaming taps, where methane in the water could be ignited from the tap. It's downloadable from the InterNet as a .torrent file.
New York State is very concerned about the effects of fracking, as is Texas - the home of US oil.
Fracking also consumes inordinate amounts of water, where are UK frackers getting their water and are they even paying fair market value?
At one time, not long ago, problems simply faded when ...
He said they weren't defects in reality, just figments of users imaginations.
When is Tim being elevated to Saint Tim so he, too, can declare defects to be figments of peoples imaginations? It saves Apple a fortune.
Smuggle? Never had a problem cossing borders
I always carry at least one unit, and have never been hassled by customs.
Of course. if you are going on a buying spree just remember to mail the packaging, warranty cards and instructions home, to a friend.
Have they never heard of inductive loops?
A far better form of communication would be through inductive loop technology with a control loop needing to be placed on a patients skin.
The location could easily be defined by blood coloured tattooed dots.
Next we'll be hearing of MURDER BY RADIO! Or CELL PHONE?
Whatever the eventual outcome, Wikileaks and Assange scored big time
There are very few people who have managed to get the U.S. government knickers in a twist as Assange and company did.
Bin Laden and gang did, and definitely the several presidential assassins, along with Manley, but Assange managed to expose the stupid gossip of the State Department and to move the U.S. government to show just how vindictive it can be when it is really, really p*ssed off.
Good luck, Assange.
One or two systems beyond Plods reach.
One system Plod will find hard to hack - satellite phones and two way radio's. VHF CB units have a short range, but so do any attempts at jamming them due the limitations of frequencies used. Portable Marine radio's also can't easily be attacked and the costs are relatively low.
As i wrote yesterday, hacked TP Link WiFi base units, with high output RF, powered by batteries and carried around in backpacks would circumvent Datongs little box of tricks. This system has been used in the USA and Canada with success at G20 meetings.
London gets modern - almost as good as Far East cities
SaiGon, and most towns and cities in VietNam and major cities in Cambodia are bursting with free InterNet WiFi. In fact the only paid WiFi outlets are in our two airports and 5-star hotels.
I can 'see' about 17 free WiFi channels from my suburban Ho Chi Minh City house, 14 with 4/5 bars.
It always hurts when I travel to the West as so many systems are for profit. WiFi is good for business as KFC and another fast food chain are filled with food-buying school children using the free WiFi before setting off for home.
Why couldn't have some British company taken the initiative?
Only on Android, you say? What a pity.
Sounds like a useful technology as movement is an international language which will circumvent dialects as with Scots accents on the 4S phone.
If we could train the technology new movements, all manner of potential uses arise.
I totally agree with Hague and ...
he can make a start by freeing up the InterNet in the UK.
Adults should be made accountable for their actions as in real life.
If someone take a garden shovel and beats the brains out of his neighbour, he gets charged. The government doesn't ban shovels.
Likewise the InterNet should be wide open and should someone choose to access a kiddy porn site they do so at their own risk. If these damn do-gooders are leery of their little Johnies and Janes seeing things they can apply blocking software rather than making all of us be restricted. Damn Nanny state.
"was highly inappropriate and unprofessional, and TSA has zero tolerance for this type of behavior."
Sure, so is theft from baggage but there are still some TSA employees trying to upgrade their standard of living through theft.
I always use Pac Safe products, made in Australia but sold every where, as the TSA fondlers can examine the contents but not actually remove them from the Pac Safe which has a stainless mesh which is impervious to most everything other than torch cutters.
Loss elimination is simple - make employees buy smarphones
Ownership implies pride. If the government, and companies, paid an allowance to employees calculated on a useful life of three years, any employee losing the product is responsible for it's replacement.
A similar principle was used for salesmen. Instead of their employer leasing cars, with lease complications if an employee left, the company paid their lease payments wth the lease in the employees name.. The bottom line was there were fewer staff turnovers.
Apart from outright robbery, I find it difficult to understand how people are always losing cell phones. I have used two way radios and cells for decades and have never lost one. Mind you, I don't use those flimsy belt-mounted quick release holders, I use theft proof 'holsters' of my own design based upon a handgun holster. Miscreants have attempted snatch theft, but they withstood the attack.
I wonder how many Lemon 4's will get 'lost' now it has been replaced with an upgrade that actually works? Perhaps insurers will let us know.
VietNam #7? At least something is going well
Things have been pretty tough here for the average Vietnamese over past year: inflation 25%, food prices driven higher by Western speculators, tourism down because of the international eonomies.
If someone complained to the Ministry of Communications about spam, I am sure they would send out squads of olive green men (all government uniforms are olive green) to put the miscreants in place.
We only have 3 InterNet gateways but our new 5 gigabyte fibre optic cable does allow for massive traffic increases. How else to make 20 Mbyte feeds to residences available?
What's sauce for the goose ...
The police mess with cell systems, then someone might be tempted to mess with TETRA, a glorified trunked radio system.
Trunked systems use control channels and a jammed control channel sort of spoils their game. They could switch to DMO (Direct Mobile) mode but range and traffic capacity is limited.
Some protesters have resorted to having a few WiFi base stations (TP Link is best as you can reprogram their power output) working from batteries all carried in backpacks. These mobile WiFi carriers don't have to be in with the crowd, just nearby at a highish location.
Power to the people!
Bet you never paid for your 'dumb' meter
The gas.petrol metering is part of the cost of building a station, kind of hard to do business without some measurement device. You'll note they don't add a surcharge to your bill for using the meter.
Gas and electric companies have traditionally provided meters, part of the cost of running a pipe or mains feed into your house.
The power vendors gain from them as they can remote read, limit power consumed, even detect meter by-passing (fraud) or suspemd service. It's only since private utility companies have appeared on the scene have outstretched hands been begging from the government.
These are mandated changes that cut power companies overhead and I can almost guarantee you, as a consumer, will not receive penny one as a reduction in your bill.
Why is it that most of the profit oriented North America is not charging for these meters? Simple, because they know customers wouldn't stand for it and the power utilities are the winners - by sensitizing users to cost and reducing demand.
Funny how cost-cutting Cameron slashes away at citizens benefits whilst propping up industry. Something wrong there.
BTW, next time you fill up, tell the cashier to keep the change as your donation for paying for the meter. That look on his face, registering what he thinks of you, is exactly the same pricipal of you buying your own smart meter - NUTS!
Why should consumers pay for smart meter replacements?
Meters benefit utilities, they are there for utilities and they are sealed by utilities.
You don't pay for petrol meters, etc. so why can't the beneficiary pay for the meter as they have done in other jurisdictions.
If consumers pay for the meter, this infers ownership, as in you can take it with you when you move. I DON'T THINK SO!
This whole concept of bleeding the consumer dry is wrong. Let the utilities pay, they have plenty of ill gotten gains.
I am 'disturbed' by the levels of Government snooping
At one time a man's home was his castle. Now it seems that every Tom, Dick, Plod and TV licence crew can invade your privacy, often without a warrant or judges order.
Why can't citizens have secrets? Why do customs decide they want to check your hard drive?
Why does GCHQ, a member of Echelon, need to monitor everything electronic of citizens? What acceptable justification do they have for mass monitoring?
Why is ACPO recording every car number plate that passes road cameras, as well as many private CCTV cameras?
Why do I have to buy secure encryption software for my computers or encryption modules for my hand phones?
This is what disturbs me.
P.S. If the government creates 'security software' you can guarantee it has a back door in it, just like GSM, etc.
If Android stands on MS shoulders, MS stands on Toronto-based i4i Inc.?
Toronto-based technology company i4i Inc.had it's software stolen by MS, who had years earlier pinched the name Internet Explorer as well as some hardware utility.
I guess if Henry Ford had been like Jobs, we would be driving black cars.
Hopefully saner heads will prevail and patent law, like other international activities, will be governed by an internationally established common practice that will be adopted by all countries.
Go-Pro is good but there are some weak points
As a motorcycle and 4-wheel vehicle driver in a country with some of the worst drivers world-wide I have two Go-Prp's in the body of my two-wheeler plus a helmet mounted unit. My employer also a further 9 units on company wheels. I also switch them to my utility vehicle when I go on long trips.. They are used for continuous recording of driving events (crashes, police collecting bribes, etc.)
Go Pro is definitely up there in the leaders, I had a couple of Oregon Scientific but they don't repair their products. Go Pro has numerous accessories but I recommend you buy the HD HERO Naked Kit as it has a broad range of general accessories including a spare lens (that can easily get scratched as they project to the front). I also recommend a spare case (the camera itself has no mount and you need the lens built in the plastic protective case to achieve focus), and a spare battery or two - recharging from a USB jack takes overnight. The ONLY good thing about the Oregon Scientific unit was the fact it used AA cells.
Other things to note:
1. Only one specified SD chip will enable all functions;
2. The camera housing lens fogs up (industrial goggle cleaner eliminates effect);
3. The all-plastic mount is easily broken by snatch thieves;
4. Buy extra batter packs;
5. None of the GoPPro specialised housings such as Helmet HERO, Motorsports HERO, Surf HERO or the chest mount are sufficient to withstand theft (sharp twist and the base snaps), crashes involving a car (the camera flies off), violent waves can also crack the base and cause the camera to fall off, and when used on the chest there is no protection.
6. To prevent (5) I had several stainless wire cages fabricated in which the camera is located. I also had a compatible mounting base (the part that attaches to the helmet, car, bicycle) machined from aluminum/aluminium so the camera is secure under all circumstances.
7. Cords are provided but can only be used when the camera is not in the case - I made up right angle connectors which can be used with the non-waterproof case;
8. The base on which the camera is mounted in it's packaging is great as a spare base.
The Canadian Broadcasting Corp. has used the GoPro as a POV (Point Of View) camera mounted to Ski Dooers on the highest setting and used the recording for TV broadcast.
It handles all types of daylight, well lit indoor scenes and brightly lit streets - it is terrible on poorly lit streets - as found in UK villages and towns..
As long as you now GoPro limitations, you'll be happy with it. Use a demo in a store IN THE DARK CORNER and check it out.
Notwithstanding it's shortcomings, I would recommend it and will buy another unit or two when I am in a country with a distributor. Good luck!
Are you waiting for the video?
This strange display of worship continues with the Discovery Channel airing a video version of the life and times of whomever under their Mythbusters program.
So presumably it will be on PirateBay shortly thereafter and iPhans can play it, ad nauseum, to their hearts content.
Android batteries don't ...
catch fire inexplicably. Apple has the exclusive on that.
He shouldn't be scared, there is a big hairy guy waiting to protect him ...
from every threat, in return for certain favours. They like youth in the Big House.
Check out Chinese web sites
China, and several other countries require web sites be licenced, which I disagree with, but the owner and their address and contact info have to be shown
Countries internal laws are quite adequate to address these complaints which makes me think there is another reason for these privacy invading tupes to get steamed up.
Give me rivets and 4 engines every time
As a frequent long hail flyer I prefer rivets and metal until a few more millions of miles have been clocked up on these 'plastic' planes.
When flying the polar route between the Far East and North America, and looking out of the window at bare ice for thousands of miles or even more kilometres, it gives me a sense of comfort to have four, rather than two, engines.
Canadians suing for a good reason
In the past Canadians have watched as other country customers get freebies or credits whilst Canadians get nothing, as in squat. This is all to do with consumer legislation.
I personally have claimed for lost InterNet service as well as POTS (Plain Old Telephone Service) outages because there is little that racks up aggravation within Bell Canada between the Business Office and the operations side than a REFUND.
Years ago, whilst working night shifts on computer systems, we discovered that Bell was closing circuits off that were supposed to be 24/7. Another little case of telephone fraud was a private 'tie line' between Toronto and Vancouver that was also supposed to be a direct connection 24/7. Imagine the customers surprise when he learned from us that he had a regular dial-up line and he was paying big bucks for a full time service.
Telephone companies are old hands in the fraud business (read For Whom The Bell Tools Not) so Canadians, and people elsewhere should go for every single cent or penny. It's the only way they learn.
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