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* Posts by andy 49

16 posts • joined 13 Oct 2009

Apple iPhone 5 hands-on review

andy 49

Nano or micro

I gather that this phone will use the new nano size SIM

I've seen a photo which suggests this fits in a little tray for insertion into the phone

That little tray looks to be coincidentally very close to 15 x 12 mm, the size of a micro SIM

Why didn't they ditch all the rigmarole about a new size, all the time lobbying, the tooling, the networks having to order them, and just design a system in which just the SIM is pushed in without a tray holding it, like various other phone manufacturers have?

I don't see how they've saved any volume inside the phone compared to using that alternative and simpler approach with a micro SIM.

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GiffGaff gaffe charity spaff to quell miffed riffraff

andy 49

According to some of the critics, giffgaff and its suppliers don't have enough brains to design a data centre properly.

Why are water and electricity so close to each other, some even ask, as if it's so rare for buildings to have both at once.

How about the racks are not on the ground floor or in the basement, like you knowalls are guessing, but intentionally a bit higher up, but then some workmen on other plant on the roof accidentally puncture the water supplies or the reservoirs for the emergency sprinkler systems adjacent to where they come down through the roof, or something like that? Quick, bring back that Dutch lad with his finger in the dyke.

A lot of houses have a water tank in the roof space, and the owners assume that the roof keeps the rain out, so the house isn't going to get wet. But if you insulate the ceiling perfectly, so the roof space is cold, you might also have to make sure the water doesn't freeze and burst the pipes. You could heat it gently. What if you have a power cut in the middle of winter? I was reading that one data centre had something quite like this while it was mostly shut down in the Christmas holidays.

The thing is to have the backups, and restore from there. Giffgaff did so.

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GiffGaff goes titsup again in 'leccy cable gaffe

andy 49

I've been reading a bit of the giffgaff forum about this

It's very noticeable that the self-appointed experts in system redundancy keep asking questions like doesn't the firm know anyhing about redundancy, without bothering to notice that the question has already been asked and patiently answered plenty of times already.

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andy 49

There seem to be a remarkable number of multi-millionaires on giffgaff, earning between £2000 and £50,000 per day and about to lose so much of it through people not being able to reach them for such a short while.

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andy 49

How can a power cut take it out?

Very easily, as I already said

if there is a fire, maybe a sprinkler or extinguisher system has operated after the power being deliberately shut off, and it will take time to clean stuff up, replace some of the equipment on the racks, cables with burned insulation, and so on.

Or in the case of a flood, the power has to be off while the water is being pumped out, and while there might be people standing in the water, possibly water or electricity company employees as well as the contractors to the site itself

While this is happening, there may be diversion of load to other centres if available, if the load is usually distributed across a number of sites, but that might cause capacity issues

And it seems to be that risk and that availability that people are winding themselves up about at the moment. But some people do have service and some do not, so it isn't all in the same place.

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andy 49

There seem to be loads of pompous twats suddenly nominating themselves to be experts on system redundancy and backup, but how realistic are they being?

A few years ago, the Betamax and Finarea cheap phone brands suffered an outage due to a fire in one of their servers. They said they might not be able to restore service until tomorrow, but they actually managed it the same afternoon, with call records initially backed up to a day or two earlier then brought up to date later.

I'd say that's fair enough, a reasonable time, it's ridiculous to expect recovery to be absolutely instant in what is not designed as an emergency system. I expect giffgaff's supplier's systems are on the way back at a similar rate, with pumps and generators probably in the picture somewhere.

I think it's also ridiculous to talk about backup without any consideration of the importance of he system and the likelihood and consequences of failure. Losing phone service for some ordinary mobile customers isn't the same as the police and ambulance losing communication service, and their systems will be more hardened.

What annoys me about these experts on nothing at all, pontificating about designing in redundancy, is the imaginary answer to the rhetorical question - how many of them are carrying 2 phones, or SIM cards from 3 different networks?

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T-Mobile backtracks on retrospective mobe data caps

andy 49

go home

I haven't checked yet - have they removed the brilliantly stupid advice that one of the ways to continue one's enjoyment of their mobile internet is to go home and use one's wi-fi and home broadband instead?

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Ofcom proposes UK phone numbers prefix re-org

andy 49

same old guff

Outwardly, it sounds like a good idea.

However, Ofcom has had several such processes in the past.

Publish consultation documents, wait for trade responses, with just a few customers thrown in, prevaricate, another consultation to resolve some of the details, more drafts, more feedback, and so on ...

... and that is exactly how they got from using 0845 and 0870 numbers for revenue generating call centre numbers to using 0844 and 0871, at higher tariffs on the replacements.

You know that old road you've driven along for years, perfectly ok being the same forever, then suddenly the council get manic about altering the road markings, install speed bumps, cross hatching, lane divisions, chicanes, back to a previous version, remove speed bumps, change it every 18 months?

That's what this looks like to me.

By the way, does anyone know the meaning of 4 continuous white lines in the middle of a single carriageway road? I've never seen that in the Highway Code.

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Giffgaff shudders to a halt

andy 49

paradox

It's a bit odd to whinge about the lack of information due to wrongly alleged non-availablity of the forum.

My observation would be that there was a surfeit of threads about this throughout the whole time it was happening.

Plenty of the contributors have evidently been users of the service itself for some time, but were making their first appearance in the forums. I don't say this to point at the outage as bringing the unforeseen benefit of making their acquaintance, but merely to suggest it was easy to access the place even for people who hadn't been there before.

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Ofcom sides with mobile operators on 0845

andy 49

Terminate the rate

This morning I found 2 new threads on a certain forum. One linked to here, and another to BT's Terminate the Rate campaign, about lowering wholesale rates to mobiles

BT seems to be lying to its customers about this campaign, pretending and trying to claim credit that it is the one having the influence, when in fact it is Ofcom here, and the other regulators all over the EU, who are driving these rates down. And there are ERG and BEREC documents which prove this.

But having read today that although other providers can get rates of 2 or 3 pence to 0845 numbers, that BT still charges these extortionate rates to the mobile networks, at rates which are several times higher that mobile wholesale rates, I can only see BT's position as massive hypocrisy, and the Terminate the Rate campaign as a mouthpiece for corporate mendacity.

The Ofcom document is about 180 pages too long

What it should say is: we have driven through previous cuts in wholesale and retail rates for calling 0845 and 0870 numbers. BT has continued charging mobile providers much higher rates, and this practice has now been ended.

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Operators' EU roaming challenge sent home

andy 49

VAT

quite often journalists forget to include a mention that the mandated rates are before VAT is added

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Vodafone Ireland admits pocketing dormant PAYG cash

andy 49

not quite never again

I had Vodafone UK disconnect the same SIM 3 times in 2 months, the last time only 3 or 4 days after they reconnected it. Then I just gave up.

Last summer, with Vodafone's free roaming promotion, I lent my mum a phone and SIM so my sister could call her when they were all meeting up in France. Never been topped up, never will be.

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Nexus One in trigger-happy 999-dialling bother

andy 49

sorry ...

Perhaps as some contrition, Google might actually make Google Voice available in the UK, so that advice to use it instead for voicemail didn't make them look like a load of pillocks

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Virgin offers cut-price data roaming in Europe

andy 49

not as good as ...

I suppose they had to do something, after their unpublished blunder last year

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OFT requests T-Orange investigation

andy 49

T and Orange back to front

I call it Pekoe

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Orange says now everyone can be their own MVNO

andy 49

other Transatel products?

Why didn't The Reg say anything about Transatel's existing products, like SIM cards with multi-IDs in Benelux and France?

Will it be possible for UK users to get something for cheaper roaming in those countries? Not a clue.

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