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* Posts by dotdavid

1100 posts • joined 28 Jul 2010

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A black box for your SUITCASE: Now your lost luggage can phone home – quite literally

dotdavid

Re: Happens to me

I can see your point; waiting around luggage carousels for luggage that never arrives does waste time. But this gadget might not even solve that problem if it is on the wrong flight and still in the air (and not transmitting) when you've landed.

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Italy has a clumsy new pirate-choker law. But can anyone do better?

dotdavid

Re: Legal vs Illegal

I see your point, but surely it would only be a monopoly if only one service had an all-encompassing selection? If they all had access to the same basic catalogue they'd have to compete on price and features rather than forcing you to use them regardless if you want to see a particular piece of content (or just pirate it, which is the bit they don't seem to understand).

Fair enough, exclusivity contracts do have their advantages for the rights holders - mainly as they can charge more for the rights - but there must be a better way of doing things than the way things are done today.

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dotdavid

Legal vs Illegal

The legal services really should be upping their game. I pay for LoveFilm Instant (sorry, Amazon Prime Instant Video or whatever it's called today). The only TV-related devices in my house that can play it are the newish Smart TV and my Wii connected to the older dumb TV as the app isn't available for my Roku or Android phones. When playing TV shows on my 30Mbps cable connection, especially on the Wii, the playback will often pause for no discernable reason and buffer. The choice of shows is limited, with some newer stuff unavailable as it is exclusive to rival channels/services, or not yet available in my country.

Compare that to the pirate sites - my 30Mbps cable connection could (I imagine) download the average TV episode in about ten minutes. I would have a choice of all the latest and pretty much all the oldest and most obscure TV shows. Playback could take place on any DVD/Blu-Ray player, STB, phone or Android dongle that could handle AVI or H264 video streams, which is a hell of a lot of them - no special app required. Playing a locally downloaded file means no network drop-outs.

The only benefit of going legal is, well, it's legal. The legal services should be increasing their catalogues massively (yeah I know, difficult), improving their service delivery (better caching, faster servers, or even letting apps download videos rather than stream them) and making sure they can be accessed by as many devices as possible. Obviously they can't compete 100% with free but if they would just provide a decent enough service I think many many people will be encouraged to pay regardless.

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SmartTV, dumb vuln: Philips hard-codes Miracast passwords

dotdavid

Seconded

Sloppy behaviour for a site read by many at work.

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Tokyo to TXT warning of incoming Norks nukes

dotdavid
Mushroom

Haiku?

Here comes a missile

Those Norks are batshit insane

Now duck and cover

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QUIDOCALYPSE: Blighty braces for £100 MILLION cost of new £1 coin

dotdavid

Re: Maybe this will incentivise operators

I don't mind the RingGo thing, it's probably a cheap way for parking operators to add card payments with the minimum of hassle. It also allows you to "top up" your parking if you're running late or whatever without having to return to the machine. The transaction fees are annoying though, as is the requirement to speak to someone over the phone or text your registration plate with a carpark identifier code whenever you want to park if you don't want to register with them (or use their app). Still, it beats Pay and Display.

Our local large town operates a kind of chip coin scheme which is probably the best way I've seen - take a small yellow plastic coin when you enter the car park, stay as long as you like, and insert it into a payment machine (which takes cards) when you return to pay for your parking. The coin's issued timestamp tells the machine how much you owe and you get a certain amount of time to leave the car park after paying. That sort of system means no faffing around with phone numbers, apps or codes and registration and you only pay for the time you use.

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Google wearables: A solution looking for a rich nerd

dotdavid

Re: What's the big deal with charging every day?

Personally I don't mind charging my smartphone every day - it goes to sleep, on charge, when I do and is ready for me when I wake up. I guess a similar logic could be applied to smart wearables.

The only downside is that it does make it annoying when you're away from a charger for more than a day which does happen now and then. A lot of the convenience of smart wearables would be lost if you had to carry around extra batteries just in case.

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We're being royalty screwed! Pandora blames price rise on musos wanting money

dotdavid

Re: grocery stores complaining

Indeed. Also grocery stores have a choice of suppliers, unlike Pandora - there is only one supplier of, for example, "Pink Floyd music" after all.

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BT scratches its head over MYSTERY Home Hub disconnections

dotdavid

Re: Virgin "Super" hub

"added a TP-Link router that everyone seemed to think was the bee's knees. It needs restarting every couple of days, and for some reason Samsung devices regularly refuse to connect to it even though other devices are happily using it."

I put DD-WRT on my two TP-Links (the official firmware is OpenWRT based anyway) and they've been rock-solid ever since. Maybe worth a shot?

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Virgin Media's 'little(ish)' book of deals contained BIG FIBS, rules ad watchdog

dotdavid

They even send it out to people who already pay for their service, which is a bit annoying (especially when these "amazing" deals aren't applicable to existing customers - "look how little we appreciate your business, sucker!") ;-)

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dotdavid

Re: Why no naked broadband in the UK?

@uksnapper - If you're talking to me, the £25 deal for just broadband isn't a special offer, it's on their site. Setting up a SIP phone is fiddly but fine if you're even vaguely capable of following an online guide (I got a Linksys VOIP box for my existing phone handset and a new router that did QoS for about £100 all in, and ported my Virgin number to SipGate, but if you just want to try it out most mobile phones can do SIP) and it brought down my phone bill from £15ish a month to £5 every three or four months, with added "premium" features like caller ID and an email-voicemail for nowt. Definitely worth a look.

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dotdavid

Re: They're all as bad as each other

Hah! Well, you're probably telling porkies anyway ;-)

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dotdavid

Re: Why no naked broadband in the UK?

I pay Virgin £25 a month for 30Mb broadband, no TV and phone thrown in (my TV is freesat and my phone is SIP). It works pretty well but it's not immediately obvious from their marketing that it is possible to do, presumably because doing the triple play thing is much more profitable.

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dotdavid
FAIL

They're all as bad as each other

IMHO no telecoms firm should be able to claim you "can get internet for just £12 a month", for example, if you need to pay £14.99 a month on top of that for the line rental that allows you to take advantage of the offer. In my example the cost to the customer is clearly £24.99 not £12, even if you do get a redundant landline thrown into the deal.

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If your telco or mobe provider hikes 'fixed' contract fees you can now ESCAPE - Ofcom

dotdavid

Re: Contract

"you can at least take them to ASA, and bugger them for false advertising... ;)"

If by "bugger" you mean stop them "running the ad again in its current form", then yeah ;-)

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Apple-aligned firm opens sapphire glass factory. iPhone 6 rumours, DEPLOY

dotdavid
Coat

How long before Amazon creates the...

*Puts on shades*

...Kindle Sapphire

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Vultures circle to feast on carcass of free remote desktop service LogMeIn

dotdavid

GotomyPC?

Surely the point of a remote-access app is you don't have to actually go to it.

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EE and Voda subscribers to get 2G and 3G INSIDE the Channel Tunnel

dotdavid

Re: How about on UK train lines?!

"No it wouldn't be any sort of economic boost, this is the sort of sh1te logic used to make up the comedy business case for HS2"

Actually the logic works against the business case for HS2, because it assumes that time on a train is unproductive time and therefore can be seen as a cost - making the train journey faster reduces the unproductive time and therefore the cost will supposedly be reduced by HS2.

Of course if you can work on the train it matters much less how fast it is, i.e. the unproductive time cost is lower and so the costs of HS2 begin to look more significant compared to the benefits.

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UNREAL, dude: Nvidia uncloaks Tegra K1 graphics monster for your mobile ... and CAR

dotdavid

Re: ooh!

D'oh!

I think my secret identity as an Nvidia CUDA core has been revealed.

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dotdavid

Re: ooh!

I'll be used to render adverts onto passing buildings - mark my words ;-)

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Chinese gamer plays on while BMW burns to the ground

dotdavid

"People who become engrossed in books may not notice something like a fire under their car but once alerted would take action to get out of the car."

Perhaps the guy was in a dodgy area and at first thought the passer by was simply trying to get him to exit the vehicle so he could steal the car?

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Barnes & Noble's Nook sales take a long walk off a very short pier

dotdavid

Re: Ebook Price Fixing

IMHO they are overpriced, but only by the 20% VAT that is charged on them (not applicable to dead tree books).

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Builder-in-a-hole outrage sparks Special Projects Bureau safety probe

dotdavid
Stop

Woah there

"The black plastic behind the fence is protecting the roof of the new dog house, pending tiling."

Forget about the health and safety issues... you can't leave animals in such an inadequate enclosure! What if PETA found out?!

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Brit adventurer all set to assault ex-Reg haunt Rockall

dotdavid
Thumb Up

Re: More Info Please

Seconded. His blog has some info but is a little lacking in techie detail for my liking ;-)

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Not cool, Adobe: Give the Ninite guys a job, not the middle finger

dotdavid
Thumb Up

Ninite is good...

...but the way it excretes shortcut icons to your updated programs all over your desktop is a little annoying. Anyone know how you can turn that off?

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Texan stitches stratosphere into stunning panoramas

dotdavid
Thumb Up

Next stop...

Google BalloonView?

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EE: Of course we're going to get 1m 4G users by the end of the year!

dotdavid
Go

Re: Good luck with that!

I'm exactly the same, except that having had experience of most of the mobile operators now I know they're all as bad as each other.

The only way to beat them is to go SIM-only on a rolling 1 month contract, and whenever they try to pull something take your business elsewhere. Alas I'm stuck on a magically-increasing-in-cost T-Mobile contract for another 18 months or so because my calculations on whether it was cheaper for an S3+contract or an S3-outright naiively didn't take into account the extra cost and annoyance factor of T-Mobile bumping up their prices whenever they feel like it. Still, I'll know for next time, and in the meantime get my revenge by helping friends and relatives escape EE's clutches onto better cheaper deals.

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dotdavid
Thumb Up

Re: Let's not get carried away here...

AC is being a bit too sarky, but AFAIK the coverage figures refer to coverage of population not area.

Of course the former is an easier figure to achieve...

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Ready for the car 2.0? Nvidia preps UPGRADABLE car system

dotdavid
Meh

Re: No

@Code Monkey - Yes this would be a big problem if the software developers somehow don't realise that the target system for their software is a car.

How likely is that, though?

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dotdavid
Unhappy

A shame but it won't work

1) Car manufacturers aren't interested in allowing users to upgrade their cars, they'd rather we just bought new ones.

2) If some miracle happened and a manufacturer did adopt this system, they'd want exclusivity so they could use it as a unique selling feature, which means that most of us wouldn't get to see it anyway.

3) Being automotive technology, upgrades will be expensive, mainly due to the lock-in - think of the difference in price between going into Halfords and buying a TomTom unit, and approaching your dealer to get an equivalent-spec satnav system installed. Or even just the price for getting the maps updated.

4) Information overload is a concern, and manufacturers will be very cautious of letting drivers have too many bells and whistles on the dash in case they get distracted and crash, and sue them.

I think a more feasible strategy would be a good set of standards to be developed that all the manufacturers would be mandated to implement, which means you can use a variety of smartphone platforms to do that smart stuff. But that probably won't happen.

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Euro states stick fingers in ears to Huawei, ZTE tech 'dump' claims

dotdavid

" but European hardware manufacturers such as Ericsson, Alcatel Lucent and Nokia Siemens Networks aren't interested in moaning about the firms for fear of retaliation in the potentially lucrative Chinese market, sources have whispered"

Or, you know, they might not actually believe the Chinese firms are dumping at all...

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Google's Page drops the A-bomb: Google Glass runs Android

dotdavid
WTF?

Android?! Really?!

My money was on IOS.

</sarcasm>

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Samsung vs Apple: which smartphone do Reg readers prefer?

dotdavid
Stop

Can't speak for anyone else

But despite owning a Samsung Galaxy S3 I'm not a "Samsung Fan"; more an Android Fan. My next handset is most likely to be another Android, but which manufacturer it comes from is TBD.

I suspect I'm not the only one in El Reg's readership that has that view, although perhaps less savvy users might be more attached to the brands.

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Sonic the Hedgehog

dotdavid
Thumb Up

Battery backup

I think the main problem I had with Sonic 1 was the lack of battery backup. From what I remember you needed to play it all in one sitting as the state couldn't be saved on power-off.

Also going back to Sonic 1 on emulators and whatnot I keep trying to do the "dash attack" (stand still, hold down and press A/B/C to rev up before releasing down and spinning off) which added a lot to the gameplay.

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Google asks Blighty to slave over its Maps for FREE

dotdavid

Re: Polishing

Sure it's free now, but how about the future?

Somehow I can't see Google allowing people to export all of their contributions to something more open like OpenStreetMap in the eventuality of Google Maps being discontinued, Google going out of business or whatever.

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P2P badboys The Pirate Bay kicked out of Greenland: Took under 48 hours

dotdavid

TPB should perhaps look to getting a memorable IP then, like Google's "8.8.8.8" for their DNS. Although I suspect they would have the same problems keeping it as they have had with their domain names...

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Operators look on in horror as Facebook takes mobe users Home

dotdavid
Unhappy

Re: Not for the likes of us

I agree. For example if anyone hated my mother enough to install it on her Android phone for her, I could see her quite liking a Facebook-centric interface.

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dotdavid
Black Helicopters

So that's what really happened to Concorde.

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dotdavid
Thumb Up

Re: Poor, poor operators

Hey at least Facebook and Google haven't sent me a letter recently increasing the price of my fixed-term contract due to rising costs "because inflation". Funny, my costs have similarly gone up "because inflation" yet I haven't demanded a discount from them...

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Virgin on London Underground Wi-Fi: O2's company, Three's a crowd

dotdavid
Black Helicopters

Re: Think of the children....

Anonymous huh? On one of the most CCTV'd transport systems in one of the most CCTV'd cities on the planet? Where you have to provide an email address to access the network, which links you to a subscriber ID from one of the mobile networks? Or have to pay using a credit or debit card, again linking you to a subscriber ID? On a wifi network that logs your device's MAC and most probably whatever attempts it makes to contact Facebook, Twitter, Gmail etc?

No I wouldn't bet on it being anonymous.

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dotdavid

In the UK it is provided by a private company, who seems to think that we will be more favourably disposed towards their brand if we have to click through an annoying splash screen to access the internet quickly while waiting for a train that arrives every five minutes...

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Facebook VOICE is what telco barons should fear - not a Zuckermobe

dotdavid

Re: Still get some income

@Spearchucker Jones - just curious, but what happens if you set your phone to 3G-only?

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dotdavid
Thumb Up

Re: Still get some income

Yup. They'll cripple VOIP (they're allowed to - no network neutrality here in Blighty) then allow bolt-on "VOIP" packages for an extra fiver or so a month (or better still service-specific packages like "Facebook", "Google" so they can charge twice people who use both).

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Pyongyang to unleash NUKULAR horsemen of the Norkocalypse?

dotdavid

Re: The idea

So what you're saying is Pearl Harbor Sucked, but Not As Much As North Korea's Chemical Rocket Guidance Systems

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dotdavid

Re: If they were going to target the UK

I would expect that to be the most likely vector. Why spend time faffing around with your unreliable chemical rockets when you could ship a load of nukes out of the country and have them on standby around the globe.

That said, presumably the powers that be check all shipping containers that leave the country, and while the odd bit of contraband might slip through I can't imagine an operational nuke would.

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Movie bosses demand Google take down takedown notices

dotdavid
Headmaster

Re: Teh Stupid

Morale. The companies doing the beatings don't know the meaning of the word moral.

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dotdavid
Pirate

"[Piracy is] something that comes along with having a wildly successful show on a subscription network"

Especially when that network isn't made available to most of the potential customers.

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BSkyB punters drown in MASSIVE MYSTERY Yahoo! mail! migration!

dotdavid

Re: People still use ISP mailboxes ?

My in-laws were briefly with Sky, having been internet newbies at the time.

They then moved and I set up a Gmail account for them, and set it up to download their Sky email for them via POP. From what I understand Sky will continue to let them check their old email accounts in the future, although I made sure the in-laws knew to tell their contacts of the change of email address just in case. It has worked quite well.

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Net neutrality? We've heard of it, says Ofcom

dotdavid
Unhappy

In the future

You'll need to pay two providers for internet access. One for the connection to the outside world, and another for the VPN that renders it usable.

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A lightbulb that does IPv6: You know you want it

dotdavid
Meh

Re: LiFx

I think the main problem with these smart bulbs is "$80 for a lightbulb?! Just so I can switch it on and off from my phone, or when I'm outside my house?!"

I like the idea, but not for $80 (£80 no doubt in the UK).

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