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* Posts by TheFirstChoice

15 posts • joined 24 Jun 2010

Crikey! Three can buy O2, EU regulator says

TheFirstChoice

If Vodafone's management of their Irish network is anything like the glacial speed they operate at when attempting to repair faulty cells in the UK (and not actually visiting site to verify that it actually works, just relying on "it should work now, can you test it for us?"), then a wider presences of *anyone else* could only be a good thing.

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4K-ing hell! Will your shiny new Ultra HD TV actually display HD telly?

TheFirstChoice

Broadcast HD resolutions

Broadcast HD in the UK is 1080i50 - though the BBC use some 'smart' systems to automatically switch between 50i and 25p (e.g. when they play out movies).

I think 3D broadcasts (certainly the ones on the BBC HD channel as was or the BBC Red Button service more recently) are side by side 3D which meant chopping the horizontal resolution in half - two 960x1080 images next to each other.

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Apple Store staff outnumber queues as new iPad goes on sale

TheFirstChoice

Re: Come on...

No, but you do need more money than sense...

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Farewell then, Sony Ericsson

TheFirstChoice
FAIL

One thing that struck me about Sony Ericsson phones when the companies originally got together was that they appeared to have their design by Ericsson and their software by Sony (i.e. fugly and crashing all the time).

By the time I bought one (the Xperia X1) things had improved somewhat, but then they made the amazing decision to not allow Windows Mobile 6.5 onto the X1 (not officially, anyway) - effectively telling existing customers they could either get stuffed, or buy the X2.

There was then a much more favourable option of waiting a few months for the Desire Z from HTC (if you hadn't guessed, I like phones with real QWERTY keyboards!), with me in the meantime telling my friends to not bother with a company that never released even a minor update for a (at the time I got it) £500 handset.

A company that treated its customers with that much disdain frankly doesn't deserve to exist in the market today.

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Attention metal thieves: Buy BT, get 75 MILLION miles of copper

TheFirstChoice
FAIL

Timing of the sale

Not to mention that the boneheaded chancellor will announce the date when he (or she) will dump the copper on the market, allowing the price to get artificially deflated in the meantime.

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TheFirstChoice
Facepalm

I'm sure all the trunks *have* been replaced

As bad as BT is as a company, I'm pretty sure they will have replaced all the *trunk* connections with fibre by now. They did offer to lay fibre to the consumer throughout the country (well, except Kingston) back in the late 80s, but were refused permission by the government as that would give BT too much power (over telephony, and other services such as TV) that could be delivered over the fibre... since of course once they'd invested the multiple billions of pounds into replacing the copper cables, they wanted to be able to recoup that investment by selling services using them.

Remarkably good thinking by BT, in hindsight remarkably poor thinking by the government, but back then BT really did want to try to take over the world.

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Amazon refuses Touchpad refunds after price slash frenzy

TheFirstChoice
Facepalm

Doesn't matter what the retailer's terms and conditions are...

...if you've bought something online then you are entitled to inspect the goods before you decide whether you want them, and it is held that you can't inspect them unless you open the box.

If the retailers states "goods must be returned sealed in a saleable condition" they are infringing your consumer rights - though you must take "reasonable care" of the goods while they're in your possession.

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New UK 'leccy meters remotely run via Voda 2G

TheFirstChoice

2 Way Comms

So how does the meter know the reading has been received correctly? It'd be like the old pagers where if it was turned off or out of coverage when a message was sent to you, you'd never receive it. Far better to have to receive a verification (checksum?) of the data back from who you're sending it to or to retry if no response or the data didn't get through properly...

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dabs.com says sorry for delivery debacle

TheFirstChoice

Sounds like...

... it's time for a chargeback. If you paid with Visa (Debit or Credit) then the Visa Chargeback scheme protects you. Tell the issuing bank that your refund has been delayed unreasonably and they have to refund you and then it's up to Dabs to say why it shoudln't be refunded. If you paid with a Mastercard credit card then you're protected under UK legislation assuming you paid more than £100 (though many issuers protect you for any amount), if you paid by Maestro then you have no protection...

On the subject of a systems upgrade, I would never expect BT to get one right. If I said any more I'd have to be an AC :-P

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WTF is... 4K x 2K?

TheFirstChoice
Thumb Down

Vue may be installing 4K...

...but they're installing Sony's 4K D-Cinema projectors. The ones that, unlike the rest of the Digital Cinema world who use DLP (which works and has a nice contrast ratio and decent colour reproduction), are using LCOS - effectively a giant LCD projector.

There have been many negative review of Sony's system, not least stemming from the imaging panels failing very quickly in day to day use. And if you want to show a 3D film on a Sony projector you can't show it in 4K... you have to run it with a weird double lens that produces 2 less-than-2K images stacked on top of each other, because it can't switch quickly enough between left- and right-eye images for the conventional polarisation or shuttering processes to work.

Until Sony decided the world needed 4K, hardly anyone knew they "needed" it!

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Samsung UE55D8000 55in net-connected LED TV

TheFirstChoice

@deshepherd

Maybe they should take a leaf out of LG's book (though hopefully not their Standard Def scaling book) and have it that pressing "input" brings up the input menu, but pressing it repeatedly moves the highlight on the menu down by one selection each time, and then not pressing anything for a few seconds activates that selection. Or you can use the up/down arrows and enter button on the remote for faster selection.

And also LG seem to be the only manufacturer of consumer-level kit that still have an RS232 control port on the back, and still allow consumers to send commands to the set (the control codes are handily printed at the back of the manual) - which is amazing for automation systems that can use RS232 control.

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TheFirstChoice

I would consider another Samsung, but...

...my current one has an annoying user interface where to go between sources I press "input" and it just cycles round, rather than bringing up a menu. The (slightly newer) one I recommended to my parents brings up a menu for this, and when I emailed Samsung to ask if they'd do a firmware update they emailed back and said they couldn't be arsed (in not quite the same words).

I have no time for companies who just abandon customers with kit that isn't the very newest model. Hence why I'll also never get another Sony Ericsson phone. There are plenty of other manufacturers for me to work my way through!

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Standard smartphone charger to dominate in two years

TheFirstChoice

Except mini usb is crap

The mini USB connection is designed for 5000 plug/unplug cycles, whereas micro USB is designed for 10,000. The phone I have with mini USB has a slightly dodgy connection after under 2 years' use such that it doesn't work with all mini USB plugs any more.

Micro USB has also been designed such that the bits that will wear out quickest are on the plug connector rather than the socket - meaning you can replace a £3 charger rather than shelling out to get your phone's socket repaired.

I'm also not sure why Apple insists on sticking with their huge dock connection that at the end of the day also isn't very good - can you imagine a small device trying to shoehorn that monstrosity onto it? HTC have managed to get a perfectly good number of connections onto a Micro USB form factor socket that happens to also be compatible with a standard Micro USB cable/connection!

No point sticking with a standard that's just not very good.

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Ten... Wireless Headphones

TheFirstChoice
Coat

Oakley sunglasses headphones

But then you'll just look like a twat wearing them on the train or bus (or even outside in the weather we currently have)! In Britain you could wear them and not look a twat for about 3 weeks of the year.

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Dixons renames itself Dixons

TheFirstChoice
Happy

I've had good experiences with them

Their online operation is pretty good at boxshifting, even if the stores are still painfully bad...

The fridge I got from Dixons online was as low-priced as anyone else, and they let me pick a delivery slot on a Saturday for free - and fulfilled their promise of texting me the night before to let me know the time of the delivery, and then the driver phoned when he was on his way.

And the LCD TVs we just bought were cheaper than anyone else for the spec we wanted, and again their delivery service was second to none (even with the driver having to find his way round a big university campus for the delivery this time).

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