* Posts by David Shaw

94 posts • joined 23 May 2007

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Who is out there waiting to spy on you or steal your data?

David Shaw

Internet of Stuff coming soon - quick lets encrypt all comms!

Ooops....

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/267764308_Privacy_leakages_in_Smart_Home_Wireless_Technologies

(edited with a html link as the plain text link seemed to overflow...)

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Alarming tales: What goes on INSIDE Reg hack's hi-tech bedroom

David Shaw

there are a couple of sleep-cycle apps (SleepBot Android) (Sleepcycle.com iPhone) that claim to track your sleeping pattern through the accelerometer. I haven't tried them as it seems you have to currently leave your individual 'fragile feature phone' next to you on the pillow! Their operating theory in my opinion is good tho', as my "must take children to school-bus alarm" sometimes needs to shriek at me, sometimes I am just awake to catch the first tentative trill.

the idea is that if you wish to wake up at 6:59 (plus or minus a few minutes) e.g. on Monday the bio-sensing alarm might wake you at 6:47 - just as you're lightly dozing, with a 'ping' before you are about to plunge deeply into a REM phase where even BIG BEN wouldn't work, whilst Tuesday 7:01 would be the correct time for the gentlest 'ping'?

if these 'phone on pillow' apps are version 1 , then version 2 could stick in a vague neural network(*), bit of AI, type in each night your intoxication level as another seed to the algorithms & this might work...Looks like pillows need individual accelerometers/Nike+/FitBit/attachments - USB, firewire & SCSI interfaces, and your domotic systems could wake you non-aurally - as mentioned by a previous poster - just at the right moment, with a soothing 110V 500nanoamp leakage (psu floating at half-mains with a bit of EM filter leakage) as mentioned by another previous poster or by shining a focussed 4 watt LED into your eyes, or the rotating feather method. (*)Use of BeagleBoard, Arduino, RaspberryPI and crowdsourced funding of around $6M might get the perfect alarm system by next week?

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Apple: Now that you've updated to iOS 7... YOU CAN NEVER GO BACK

David Shaw

no you can't revert

because Apple have stopped signing the iOS 6.1.4 ipsw bundle, just a few days after releasing iOS7.0

you CAN download the old firmwares here http://www.ipswdownloader.com/download-iphone-ipsw-files.php

but at present you can't run it.

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UK micro pioneer Chris Shelton: The mind behind the Nascom 1

David Shaw
Pint

Marconi students

managed to persuade the nice guys & gals in the MRSL training department that we needed a Nascom-1 in 1978. We installed it in the wonderful 'haunted' Springfield Place Grade-2 listed hostel next to the G8FKI ham system & antique broadcast TV cameras. It was a decent machine, tho' we eventually burnt out a PIO port playing music - but before that it did space invaders and other relevant entertainments of the time.

the students who played on the Nascom - some are now professors, one student even started what is now Amazon.co.uk, some obviously can't be named for legal reasons - I like to think our Nascom was helpful in all this...

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The Reg puts Vulture inside the Large Hadron Collider

David Shaw
Coat

when you write 'held together by ... tinfoil' - wasn't that just the bakeout jackets? or bakeout-shielding? - to get the UHV in my time at cern we cleaned everything, then plasma cleaned it, then roughed it down, then turbo'ed/diffusion/getter'd it down - finally baking as much of the accelerator as we could at 400 degC for days - to reduce the adsorption problems. Still had the odd beam blow-up from a rogue ionised molecule or two...

as for holding things together - we often used sellotape/scotch - to hold the really important bits together...

then in 1985 we were given one of the first transatlantic BITNET 2 megabit/s data links - "hmm, that might come in useful oneday we started to think..."

visits are a great idea - register about a year before you want the tour - and don't forget to ask where the lead (Pb) for the detector shielding comes from!

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Crack Bombe squad dismantles Reg encryption in an hour

David Shaw

tech apprenticeships are quite a brilliant way to learn and contribute to society

If GCHQ took on a massive 500 apprentoids a year and trained them - slowly over three years or so - we'd reap the benefits of this bold move for forty years. That's if they were eventually allowed to migrate back to the private sector once the GWOT calms down a bit, whilst continuing to sign/uphold the OSA of course. Seriously it'd do wonders for the UK digital economy for decades.

Greetings to Simon by the way! (I suppose there are a few Simon's employed there)

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Apple to stop European shipments of Mac Pro on March 1?

David Shaw
Happy

I bought the MacPro hexacore with 512SSD last year after my admin turned down my request for a MacMini server!! (but said I could buy a 'pro with 27"ACD??) It's a dream machine.... I have a 'faster' HP workstation with 30" HP wall of text but it feels slower, even though the HP chugs thru' cinibenchmarks faster.

The argument leading to the EOL of the current MP seems to be over big fans and no finger-guards. Shirley you'd have to open up the side-case for this finger-snapping problem to be evident? on my machine that would involve cracking the 4 digit luggage lock on the jobsian arty flip-out lock-thing...

in the UK if you're desperate to have a big lump of aluminium that can't actually receive Wi-Fi you could do worse than snap-up one of the last refurb MP's at the usual site FC560B/A/refurbished-mac-pro-28ghz-quad-core-intel-xeon where Apple would graciously bestow upon you a whole three gigs of ECC RAM for £1489...

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Europe's cybercrime fighters get new digs... complete with Faraday room

David Shaw
Coat

Re: Faraday room - great name

if the door has radio frequency finger stock (wiping/grounding copper beryllium fingers) on all 4 closed sides then the attenuation *might* start to be enough. Double 'grounded doors' would, as you say, be better. I presume they additionally use <a href="http://goo.gl/KZ5Sd">Ramsey</a> systems like these inside the room. (link is to ham radio shop that I used 10 years ago)

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The Lord of the Rings saga lies hidden deep in your Mac

David Shaw

Re: I remember a time

that's in the days of Bitnet and UUCP..... all the LAN boxes at CERN were Gandalf...there was a day in the 80's when IBM gave us a transatlantic 2 megabits data-link - we didn't know what to do with it, but Tim had an idea!

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Microsoft's promises slow upgrade for loyal Phone 7 customers

David Shaw
Coat

when the price gets right then ppl will buy WP8

WP7.5 Nokia 601 lumias just hit £120 unsubsidised/unlocked here in italy, (I bought a HTC instead online from Germany for a similar price)

Windows phone 7.5 -> 7.8 is a great package for teenagers - nobody wants to nick them!

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WTF is... RF-MEMS?

David Shaw

software defined radio is already here

I bought an 'expensive transceiver' SDR radio from eBay(Hong Kong) which was around £30 including postage, I haven't yet taken the radio apart to look for any microelectricalmechanical stuff. The specs indicate that it is based on the SDR RDA1846 chipset and is a Chinese mainland Baoefeng clone of a Yaesu handset. Except it works in many ways better than the 'traditional' Japanese analogue radio, and costs but a fraction!

The SDR chip inside my radio is last-year's technology. The new Wouxun car-mobile HF/VHF transceiver is based on the Freescale SoC "MC13260 chipset with integrated 32-bit ARM-9™ processor" These radios are not being built to sell to us in the west but to satisfy the massive Chinese internal market for flexible terminals. SDR is here!

When these new SDR radios are hacked/properly marketed, as they inevitably will be (look at gnuRadio on DVB-T SDR Rx), then the traditional radio markets, EU/US/JPN businesses will be as dead as a Norwegian blue Dodo!

This might happen soon:-

You want a new Airwave terminal rollout - best offer will be SDR from TYT.

replacement for Bowman - Quansheng crypto SDR is the winner

Tetrapol repeater - why not use the SDR terminal market leader Puxing

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Flame was scout ahead of Stuxnet attack on Iran nukes - US spooks

David Shaw
Flame

I might have a Flame too

for my work I bought a Software Development platform which included a US Military licensed stack of JTRS softwares for Software Defined Radio. I bought it from a Canadian company, through a French distributor.

I was very surprised when the Hewlett Packard workstation was delivered, with the outer shipping box airwaybill indicating that the workstation's last physical address before getting to my lab was a software company in Tel Aviv. I googled the software company in Tel Aviv and was impressed by their claims of 'military that', 'security solution this'; just WTF were they doing with my workstation?! I put it in a cupboard and it is still there. I switched our humanitarian radar development to open-source GNUradio software & hardware.

"Iran was targeted", really, - my lab is in deepest EU!!!

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El Reg user forum opens to public, HTML for all (mostly)

David Shaw
Coat

one hundred

posts?

so I can start doing steganography with html font colour space encoding yet? Some random IEEE paper

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WTF... should I pay to download BBC shows?

David Shaw

Re: Two points

as a helpful guide, my newly invigorated AppleTV h/w version 2 , running Software 5.0 , which has on-device Apple ID sign up for 'content partners' , really surprised me with the breadth of partners available. The days of narrowcast internet-only TV are approaching!

I think having played with the ATV menu's that the series 7 of Mythbusters (through Discovery Channel partner) was £58 (fifty-eight quid). This was a 'whole series purchase' only. I think BBC and C4 were present on the partner list but I use FreeSat PVR with a humungous local archive instead so didn't look what Apple/BBC think is a 'reasonable' price. (just checked on iTunes and my reference Mythbusters S7 £58 is available at £1.89 per episode, interestingly Mythbusters S6 (2009) is £43 for the series , S5 (2008) £25, S4 (2007) £22, whilst S3 (also 2007) is down to £19 for the series) There's some long-tail in the pricing...

Of course Auntie will form a committee to report in a few years what they should charge - but I guess it'll be £1.49 per pop

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Nokia, Skype, ARM: Microsoft's big year in review

David Shaw
Happy

Merry trolling!

have a merry xmas!

I agree that a few years ago a BTS was a work of art, now, with the resources of a research centre (yes, including an idle anechoic chamber that we can fit a helicopter in) , with a cupboard filled with USRP software defined radios, 14 at the last count, the ones with the standard crappy 64MHz xtal - (we have the 52MHz better xtal on order )

Seriously, one of our USRP chassis ran OpenBTS on GNURadio perfectly with the stock 64MHz. The hardest part of the setup, funnily, was to find a connector for the US power supply.

DIY stuff here <http://gnuradio.org/redmine/projects/gnuradio/wiki/OpenBTS>

SOTA for GSM is now $1k h/w and 2 days typing.

The USRP presents a GSM air interface to standard GSM handsets and uses a software PBX (Asterisk) to connect calls. OpenBTS consists of a Universal Software Radio Peripheral (plus we used an RFX900 transceiver daughterboard) connected on a USB port of a Debian (BackTrack5) Linux box running Asterisk, GnuRadio and OpenBTS.

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David Shaw
Coat

er no.

I met the Nokia head of product security recently, the actual malware/bug/threats numbers from my post are exactly accurate (really!). Due to it's long and glorious history symbian has accrued nearly six hundred threats, and Apple/Android devices have a handful each - though I'm more suspicious of the Android market process. Windows Phone 7 has to-date around a 1% and declining marketshare, no criminals in their right mind would target such a wimpy cross-section. I admit that should there ever be any attempt to fuzz my device it would rapidly expire in a cloud of outrageous data loss.

Mr Nokia security said that all phones are more or less safe anyway 'till MS retire XP, the cash cow of the phishing internet, then all hell will break loose in the mobile sector. I do hope to be using something a trifle more hardened by then! if there is anything resilient on the market

(I just built a legally compliant DIY GSM basestation in 2 days last week for around $1000, it worked rather amazingly, so we're *all* screwed until GSMA deprecate A5 and move to 3G/UMTS @900MHz?)

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David Shaw
WTF?

well I bought a WinPhoSeven this year

so MS will definitely be having a great 2012? I bought the WinPhoSeven because it's immune to the 596 bugs/exploits in Symbian, to the handful of bugs/exploits in iOS and Android both, and I didn't know at the time about the killer SMS of dooom.... but anyway , as a 'failed' product my hTc Mozart WinPhoSeven is entirely average as a phone but was insanely cheap!

roll on WinPhoEight, I'll need a new cheap internet access device or two in 2012

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Software bug fingered as cause of Aussie A330 plunge

David Shaw
Coat

examples of 'cosmic ray particles'

Quoting from 'pedias: Among them was the <B>Oh-My-God</B> particle observed on the evening of 15 October 1991 over Dugway Proving Ground, Utah. Its observation was a shock to astrophysicists, who estimated its energy to be approximately 3×10^20 eV (50 J) —in other words, a subatomic particle with kinetic energy equal to that of a baseball (5 ounces or 142 grams) traveling at about 100 kilometers per hour (60 mph).

more at <http://www.cosmic-ray.org/reading/flyseye.html#SEC10> but since this observation there have been another fifteen or so 'baseballs' observed. There's a vague possibility of dark-matter particles having a higher real-world momentum when they transit via terra.

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Beeb rescues old Who episodes

David Shaw
Coat

when I was a marconi apprentice

in 1978, we managed to blag a Marconi broadcast video camera and a video recorder together the size of a Fiat cinquecento. I think the tapes - in the seventies - were well over twenty quid each, we certainly only had one tape at Springfield Place. Who have them now?

With tachyonic hindsight the Beeb *should* have filmed every DrWho, not wiped the tapes, true - but who could ever tell Auntie what to do!

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ITU heralds ultra-high def TV progress

David Shaw
Flame

predicted in the 60's

by amongst others, "The Walls" a 1963 short story by Kieth Laumer, where your whole living room becomes a TV. (four twenty foot TV's with a ceiling on it) (one TV would prob. need a door through it)

The TV content concept is UUGC (ultra high levels of user generated content) actually then becomes the online social network of looking at other people looking at you.

Ray Bradbury probably got there first (1953) . He had a wall TV based soap opera "The Family" in Farenheit451 which resonates with the UHDTV concept.

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Apple, Walmart, and you: Making money in mobile

David Shaw
Windows

Apps with hardware

I've been buying apps that link to hardware. Initially for research - just what is a Microsoft HealthVault? and how does Google Health work??

In search of data to create my own ePHR (electronic personal health record) , I bought a few input devices (typically €129 on the Apple Hardware Store from people like Withings), and I only bought this hardware because it came with iPod/iPhone/iPad Apps.

Research has started! (Google Health will soon be closing.....leaving an M$ monopoly?)

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World+dog yawn over NFC smartphone shopping

David Shaw
Coat

mcdo 's

In Milan has just installed NFC terminals, not seen anyone use them yet. There's a free expresso or 4 chicken nuggets available should anyone dare to try. MITM will probably also be quite rare. Yes I do happen to have a 13Mhz USRP and frame antenna in my pocket....

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Microsoft shows how to crowd-source spectrum management

David Shaw
Coat

I've just suggested to my team that we might contribute

Thanks Bill for finding this, we do have a few SpecAnals lying around, they're nearer €75k and are unused between lab tests. I'm a bit concerned about plugging & leaving them into a real antenna (I have a 25MHz to 2GHz discone outside the lab), as summer is thunder & lightning season!

I used to use an atomic clock controlled HP spectrum analyser attached to a long wire antenna to listen to international shortwave radio during the 1980's when I worked in a faraway desert where shortwave receivers were forbidden, HZ. I wrote to Swiss Radio International with a screen-shot informing them that their 17MHz transmitter was a whole 100Hz away from their published frequencies.

Always buy a spectrum analyser with (now digital waveform) demodulator and loudspeaker!

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Steve Jobs bends iPad price reality

David Shaw
Jobs Halo

I was so happy the iPad2 was released, price was irrelevant

as I immediately bought an iPad One - 32GB WiFi model which was retailing for €599, I chose the white boxed RFB Model bringing it to a decent €419 (around £361/$583) It's an entertaining beast, in my opinion well worth buying with the 180 euro discount! I probably will buy the RFB iPhondleslab Two the week that numero trois is available!!

I do my technologically neutral tethering from my Android HTC Google Nexus One running OTA 2.3.3 Googlebread with dark small icons, that seems to work as well. The kids have snappily mastered all of this tech!

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Hadron Collider switches to heavy ions, tinfoilers wet pants again

David Shaw
Coat

coffee

We got our coffee in the form of "Double Ristrette" when I slaved away at antimatter in the 80's.

No matter what late nite experiments, a couple of swiss ristrettes - similar to an italian expresso but with less liquid and higher density ions - would allow the cern brains to wake up and do fizziks. I never saw the synchrotrons actually make the stuff, but I admit they could have piped it in from the Prévessin site. probably

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Ten... bedside iPod docks

David Shaw
Coat

some docks don't work

I've got many docks around the house, one was the gadget show recommended 2009 iPod bed vibrator alarm clock - all buttons of which have stopped working, but it does still recharge the iPods. The nice pink cheap clock/radio/iPod dock is still a clock/radio but all iPods inform me that this accessory is not compatible with charging the iPod. (it was when I bought it - but that's apple-evolution) The sony (last years model) dock works well- time is off by a few minutes- whatever I set it to, and for Android I have the Nexus One desk-stand from HTC, which switches on the N1 built-in dimmable green clock function & bluetooth's the audio down a 3.5mm to a Sony DAB used as a line-in in case of music need. sometimes/often the N1 falls out of its dock as it's only held-in by a gnats' todger. Whilst on the subject the N1 HTC car-dock is pretty good, phone rarely falls out, and allows reasonable streaming 3G UK & NPR radio stations whilst driving around southern europe.

I'll probably get another dock for xmas...

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Google slaps malware warning on Radio 3 website

David Shaw
Coat

I'm in EU and google warns me!

Quote/ Google Reported Attack Diagnostic page for bbc.co.uk/radio3 at 15h33 BST on Thursday

What is the current listing status for bbc.co.uk/radio3?

Site is listed as suspicious - visiting this website may harm your computer.

Part of this site was listed for suspicious activity 2 time(s) over the past 90 days.

What happened when Google visited this site?

Of the 15 pages that we tested on the site over the past 90 days, 4 page(s) resulted in malicious software being downloaded and installed without user consent. The last time that Google visited this site was on 2010-09-09, and the last time that suspicious content was found on this site was on 2010-09-09.

/Unquote

My quick & dirty analysis of bbc.co.uk/radio3 is that content was aimed at me by BBC.co.uk and BBCimg.co.uk

and by REVSCI.net and by QUANTSERVE.com and by SCORECARDRESEARCH.com.

Now I wonder which of the 5 content servers is compromised?

REVSCI.net is "audience Science"

QUANTSERVE.com is "ad impressions" <------I guess BADverts come from here!???

SCORECARDRESEARCH.com is 'Market Research"

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Sagemcom RTI90-320 Freeview+ HD recorder

David Shaw
Grenade

Many people bought a Sagem French DTV/SAT system

activated the smart card - for which purpose you needed the Sagem TNT. Then 30 seconds later 'threw-away' the Sagem terminal , placing the now valid card in a generic Viaccess3 RX.

Sagem were *that-bad*, that their equipment had a life measured in minutes! The last one I tried to repair had an (unrepairable) 1.8/3.3/5/7/12&28volts psu inside . At least this HD PVR has an external 12V power block!

For personal viewing enjoytainment I voted Humax Freesat HD PVR as I found Freeview had quite poor bitrates from the overstuffed muxes, and that's before the HD started

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Apple iOS 4 update frustrates iPhone 3G owners

David Shaw
Thumb Up

iPod Touch 32GB OK

I rooted this ipod for Cydia sourced Apps (so I could demo the BT for controlling a Lego robot!) just on Sunday, I'd done hard resets and cleaning ready for the jailbreak, so the iOS4 went thru smoothly at 6am today.

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A Rumba with a Roomba

David Shaw
Thumb Up

My Roomba came 'free'

with supermarket points (Esselunga in Varese, Italy) similar robots are on the market at £400 - Samsung claims that theirs is more algorithmically intelligent than a Roomba, but is that £400 better?!

The difference with the normal vacuum/Dyson is that you have to be bothered to get it from under the stairs, then do a half-hearted job for 20 mins - whilst the Roomba will wander around for a whole hour, 60 minutes of quietly nearly vacuuming/sweeping everything many times. And you just have to press a button.

my Roomba 520 is going great after 2 years - but I think I have to buy some new rubber brushes.

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Windows Phone 7 compass mandatory but broken

David Shaw
Thumb Up

best augmented reality app

is "DishPointer Pro" on Android or iOS , uses the camera and the compass to work out exactly where in the sky is Express-AM1 or Skynet 4E or Intelsat 805. It allows an instant site survey , which way do I point the dish?, what elevation? - is there a big tree or building in the way? (YES, quite often!) = move dish.

NASA/NSA presumably have better systems but theirs will have cost a bit more than twelve quid!

more details at http://www.androidzoom.com/android_applications/productivity/dishpointer-pro_blgo.html

My 3yr old is always searching for Doctor Who on the "Google Sky Map" augmented reality App, so that will get some votes too.

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Inevitable Mac OS X 10.6.4 update problems surface

David Shaw
Go

I got the broken ff fonts

On my ff 3.6.3 homepage /newsnow.co.uk/ totally appeared in Korean? Some screwed codepage? Lots of boxes and other junk. Resolved by forcing ff to use a working font like lucida and ignore the HTML page fonts request. Only happened on my iMac, I had recently noticed some false font "duplicates" in 10.6.3. I did the 900meg combo update.

(Nexus.froyo fun next week??)

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HTC Desire

David Shaw
Pint

wifi woes

just had the nexus1 for a day , found that I'd overcomplicated my home & work WiFi by using channel 13 (purely as most ppl use channel 1). The google HTC being 'american' couldn't scan up to ch13, so I've had to drop every router down to ch9. Also having probs in that I can't access the airport_express wifi extender operating as a clone on the faraway airport_extreme basestation. The phone is ignoring the co-channel extender and is trying to connect only to the remote BTS. I've downloaded a heap of android wifi apps to try and troubleshoot. HTC h/w is great, I like the replaceable battery - bought a HD2 car charger (HTC Car Charger For HTC HD 2 / HD 2 / BlackBerry 9700 Bold / 8900 / Storm / Storm 2 / 8520) for 3.99 from Play so that I can top up the battery whilst driving. It's a s l o w phone to charge. My wife still prferes iPhone 3G over HTC Desire/Nexus1

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Greatest Living Briton gets £30m for 'web science'

David Shaw
Thumb Up

Timbl's semantic web will be ideal

for the (near) future policy based radio services. My nexus 1 has user replaceable firmware - in a telephone!, if the cognitive or local policy driven 'white space' can get around to updating part of that firmware over the air - today you're in Amsterdam so an LTE VOIP call on 900MHz will cost you 1euro whilst joining the fray on the open 2.4GHz 802.11n will be free - but have a bit-error-rate of 1x10^5. Choice, following local laws.

Tomorrow in NY the "phone" will have to reconfigure itself to CDMA, or download the new Apple widget which allows data transit on the AppleTube? Rules:Encryption is allowed and you should avoid all domains ending in .cx (could be a local policy update from the NY pilot channel hive)

Semantic is a label attached to the data, suggesting its relevance, authenticity, origin and other attributes. I'm sure that accurately OWL3 programmed spiders using post-Bayesian rules could categorize much of the existing data. labelling it 'mostly harmless', perhaps?. LOLCatz would be labelled/taxed & only available in short legal doses, in those countries that permit it.

The Web has a bit to go before it gives ubiquitous, always on, customer access. At the same time as critical virtual service delivery - mainly due to expensive real people being re-sized to server based. If today's cashpoint ATM's are switched off there may be food riots in some countries after 3 days; in 20yrs the WWW will be more important than that, I'd appreciate a LOT of research to get it to be a stable resilient semantic system for the mesh network radio topology, probably post IP protocols anyway. beta version in 2016???

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Light bulbs inspire boffins to find fast data transfer trick

David Shaw
Coat

flashing lights

that would be the same trick proposed by the universities of Boston <http://smartlighting.bu.edu/> & Pennsylvania paper at http://smartlighting.bu.edu/research/May808_slides_Little_FSO_Commun.pdf

could replace ALL streetlights in world with active LED's - save trillions in CO2 , dollars etc and have a nice comms channel that's 'better than wifi' - bit noisy during daylight due to the wideband noise source that is occasionally seen in summer.

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BBC protects 'unique' 1Xtra listeners from radio cull

David Shaw
Thumb Down

I gave up on 6Music

when Liz Kershaw was hosting a program, invited emails from the listeners discussing best Clash gig vs. best Oasis gig or some such nonsense. I wasted ten minutes of my life describing how Joe Strummer's trousers fell down at Leeds University in '77 and he came out with the quote "me B****ing trousers have fallen down, has any w*****r got a safety-pin?", which was hilarious in a Punk concert. (as was the number of ubiquitous pin devices subsequently hurled stageward) I didn't realise until the BluePeter Kittengate drama that Liz wasn't live - just pretending - and had presumably recorded all her years' 6Music shows one Tuesday in January and so never got my email. Close 6Music down!!!!

Radio 3 recently has been playing some good stuff

BBC should employ Steve Allen of LBC early breakfast show on Radio 2.

What UK radiostation has playlisted Gorillaz?

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Apple's App Store police relent on hardware images

David Shaw
Happy

Lofty

the app will help me work out what all the strange shaped boxes in my loft are. I have accidentally amassed a collection of fruit from '84 onwards. The fatmac 256 (expanded to 512 of course) actually has a working 5 megabyte hard-disk inside, must have cost $10000 extra when it was first bought..next to that..under the box of lego....we find a nesting group of LC2's.....

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Digital Vision GiGo DV-DTR1 USB PVR

David Shaw
Pint

just bought something similar

in a Alicante MediaWorld store. It was a no name (that I can remember) Generic Satellite Receiver, I have it DISEQC on Hotbird FTA + UK FreeSat, it includes a Digital Terrestrial Rx - whose channels (12 here in Italy) just get added to the Satellite list and a front USB socket for MPEG-2 Streamed recording. I dump to 16GB USB stick and 1 hour of VIVA music was around 1.2GB. My PC & Mac see the file as a Streamed Media, plays well with VLC. Cost 129 euro, around 110 quid.

I haven't played with the 'timed' recording modes, just pressed the basic PVR instant button on the remote - which takes about 5 secs to start. nice piece of kit!

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Billy Bragg: Three-strikes lobbying is 'shameful'

David Shaw
Go

Billy

Bragg - halcyon days of yore , concert in Manchester, "OK Guys & Gals," he spake, "Get your illegal recording devices ready as the next track is a new one", an ecstasy of fumbling as our myriad subtle Walkmen were primed.

>>>BANG<<< "Help save the youth of America" or some such entertainment, I've lost the tape now - but he was always forward looking! 20 years ago at least!!!!!

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BBC Trust moots new licence laws to cope with net

David Shaw
Coat

Don't mention the Germans

if I recall correctly , Germany was about to slap a TV license style tax on Smart Mobile Phones, partly on the basis that they could theoretically watch some form of streamed ARD or ZDF and partly on the basis that nearly everyone has a mobile phone. Don't mention this to.. oops

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British troops to wear smart earplugs in Afghan combat

David Shaw
Thumb Up

tested similar

a pair of yellow ear defenders looking like 1970's headphones. these were for a local gunclub. a microphone slightly amplified background conversations but when a firearm was discharged the "bose" style noise cancelling system muted the speakers. well it did when the gun went off on the right, as that's where the single ambient microphone was pointing. when a bang happened on the left side of the wearer these headphones AMPLIFIED it! I'm sure the MoD have done 360 degree tests with these shiny new variety, hope so.

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Freesat gets Five

David Shaw
Coat

C5 is FTA as of yesterday

it comes up on some systems as "service 6335"

but 'Channel' Five is now at 28.2 Astra 2D 10773 MHz Horizontal DVB-S 22MSPS 5/6FEC Transponder 45 S-ID 6335 VID 5400 AID 5401 (for those using generic FTA boxes) slightly ahead of the official launch.

.....the coat with the parabolic hood please

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The Hadron Collider: What's it all about, then?

David Shaw
Thumb Up

I helped build some of the earlier CERN high energy magic machines..

It was nice to hear the SPS getting a mention on radio4 this am, nobody reminded us how the LEP - large electron positron 27km biggest experiment since...yes, you've heard it, anyway how LEP couldn't circulate a beam at first try as some joker had stuffed an empty beer bottle up the vacuum tube! I presume LHC had an obstacle patrol!

I once dumped n x 10^9 antiprotons at 3.5GeV/c into the wrong place, wasn't no black holes that I noticed, but it did snow a lot that year!

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Belgian operator will sell iPhone simlock-free

David Shaw
Jobs Horns

iPhone PAYG in Italy

will also be simlock free and open, cost is €469 for 8GB from Vodafone.it and TIM.it. Preregistration is available on the afore sites, however you'll need a Codice Fiscale (Italian Tax financial traceability number issued by the dreaded Guardia di Finanzia). The Contract iPhone 3G's from the two ops will be authorised at home via iTunes 7.7 , as they can't work out how to do it in-store. Demand is huge. Lots of sheeple complaining about the typical two thousand four hundred US dollar cost over the 24 month contract time. network d/l limited to between .6 and 1GB/month, but the two ops haven't got much data experience. The third Italian operator, 3 (tre), is hopping mad at not being involved in fridays debacle/free-for-all and intends launching a 3 branded iPhone 3G for €90 euros , with a minimum top up of around €10/20 per month, to undercut the others. 3 actually knows about data networks!

last fascinating fact for those who wish to spend dosh, look up the Apple UK refurb store, go to iPod, and refresh the "refurb iPhone" tab every few days. Rumour has it that once world+dog has bought 3G , then they'll release the mountain of 'refurb' 2G and iPod touches which are mysteriously stockpiled in Milton Keynes? (I made the MK bit up)

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Force listeners onto DAB by killing FM

David Shaw
IT Angle

DAB isn't DAB+

Germany is rolling out the incompatible DAB+ as it sounds better than (UK) (ancient) DAB. UK (ancient) DAB will one day evolve to DAB+, with, as has been mentioned, the requirement that you throw away your current or soon to be purchased UK DAB. UK DAB is not future compatible with DAB+.

Did we mention yet that France, and other bits of the EU quite like the DVB-H (digital video broadcasting to a hand-held). Here in the research centre we test each week some US product for XM/Sirius Rock & Roll Satellites, but 'nowt clever for the EU.

SWITZERLAND is switching off soon their 558KHz Analogue Radio Canton Ticino Canale Uno (medium wave) transmitter. CH will use RDS FM until the digital EU wastelend has sorted itself out. In Italy RAI tried DAB 5 years ago , then stopped! Now there are a handful of DAB stations (Rome's "Radio Radio") and quite a few DAB+ that I'm unable to decode. I just bought a 70 Euro Audiola (cr@p) car-radio with a USB and an SD card slot and I drive around europe with 2 gigs (FAT16) of Radio4 podcasts and music per slot. Forget broadcast, go timeshift.

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Spinal Tap's Tufnel gets new Honda hydrogen car

David Shaw
Coat

cold fusion

hasn't been mentioned for a while. There was a US lab where they managed to interstitially adsorb and store more hydrogen inside a metallic or graphite nanostructure lattice than as cryogenic liquid hydrogen. The lab blew up one day, unfortunately. Did I tell you that I met Stanley Pons, nice chap, mine's the furry arctic coat with the excess of neutrons...

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Microsoft proposes gadget feature disabling tech

David Shaw
Paris Hilton

Cognitive Radio

when the LTE or WiMedia has (if/when) evolved to Cognitive Radio based on Software Radio technologies, then there will exist a set of local/metropolitan policies that will be inherited by devices from the Cognitive pilot channel or similar enforcement mechanism. As ALL devices will in future feature an SDR this Policy inheriting behaviour is needed to avoid unwanted emissions from the ever increasingly flexible hardware. M$ hasn't invented this, they're just talking about it?. Paris!

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New Microgeneration report - what it actually says

David Shaw
Flame

@I would like CHP at home, @Less glamour but...

My colleagues here in Italy just brought the engineers over from Germanland to install their solar winter-DHW / summer-swimming pool heating system (and another team from Austria to install the screw fed wood pellet backup system) C4 Granddesigns seems to feature many roving tuetons?, so maybe it's not (yet) common in the UK, but theoretically possible. (For ballpark comparisons they also got a team from Germany to drive over 1000kms with an entire Lawn in rolls, rotavate, lay and water to perfection, for less than the cost of local Italian gardencentre quotes)

As for superinsulation, at work we've started screw/glueing full facade 80mm polystyrene tiles, later rendered, to the outside of most of our buildings. I also haven't found a way to do it on a domestic scale yet, but in theory this might be nice! (gvnmts wouldn't like the missing consumption VAT I suppose) you might be able to heat the whole superinsulated house with a single Pentium 4?

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UK electricity crisis over - for now

David Shaw
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Home UPS

living in Italy , Europe's most power starved economy - no natural resources beyond a few wet alps, we each get maximum 3kW for our house. (You can pay a lot extra to get 4.5kW) My MCB in the power meter trips off after a few seconds of more than 3kW peak. *A home UPS is essential* , not to power the whole home, but to keep the small family infotainment server room going, ADSL WiFi Airdisk Apple TV etc. Having electronics connected directly to a wall socket, then losing 220V is a very unhappy experience for, in cost order of previous failures : Sony 17"LCD, Mac Mini HDD, LaCie 250GB external HDD, iMac DV. The UPS gives me a pleasant 15 minutes of beeping, time enough to reset the MCB or switch everything off safely if it is Enel's fault. (all eventually repaired except the Sony)

I see the need to cover my roof with PV, tenthousandpounds for a couple of kilowatts peak , with hopefully a 25 year lifetime if I use certified modules, I already have wood heating installed, with gas backup, I suppose I should go solar thermal for an extra 2 grand. Maybe I'll build the envirotard stuff instead of buying a new car?

Why , I ask myself, does Italy historically have hardly any investment in Solar , whilst it seems that every German village is covered in PV, plus many people I know in Germany have installed salt water under-garden thermal heat pumps. In Italy the 3kW available won't even drive the heat pump! <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ground-coupled_heat_exchanger>

is there a reason why everyone with a house in the UK can't install 80 metres of 35mm tubes, or a few hundred PV tiles, microgeneration could certainly lighten the drain to Sizewell during the winter? Currently the UK, and most other neighbours of France are importing as much juice as is possible.

Of course, reading the expert prediction from EC DG Transport and Energy(2003) document : "European Energy and Transport Trends to 2030" says "Oil prices decline from their high 2000 levels over the next few years, but they then gradually increase to reach a level in 2030 no higher than that in 2000 (and 1990)" (Oil was an average of U$D 28 per barrel in 2000) <http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/energy_transport/figures/trends_2030/1_pref_en.pdf>

so that's allright then!, for my amusing quip at the end I should ponder where I can get a PV powered ökologischesalzwasseruntergartenthermischewärmepumpen?

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