* Posts by Tyson Key

36 posts • joined 29 Oct 2010

Forget 5G, UK.gov is making 2G fit for the 21st century!

Tyson Key

There's places without EDGE, let alone multi-operator 3G!

This is interesting, living in a small-ish town on the outskirts of York (Boroughbridge), where there's only a single choice for 3G coverage (3), no 4G coverage, and no networks (save for Vodafone, near the motorway in some hotspots) offer even EDGE coverage. (And unless you've got a decent phone, GSM calls tend to sound like bubbling mud on some networks (O2), since reception's horrid).

I'll believe these improvements when I see them...

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You've got Mail! But someone else is reading it in Outlook for Android

Tyson Key
FAIL

A tempest in a teapot

To be honest, I don't see why this is now suddenly such a major deal, given that Symbian OS/S60-based phones used to let you save all of your messages (SMS, MMS, e-mail, etc.) on a removable memory card, as did a bunch of NEC, and Sony Ericsson feature phones - and unless (in the case of selected Symbian devices), you opted to enable block-level FS encryption, they were all stored in clear text, along with attachments, and a metadata database...

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Will Yelp help 'Yahoo!' compete with Google? Search us...

Tyson Key

Searchception

Hmm, so Bing-flavoured Yahoo! powers the search tech behind Ask, in some sort of unholy three-way tryst?

Why don't they just become an Open Source foundation/consortium that produces third-rate search technology, and licenses it out to anyone who cares? Or sell out to someone like Lycos?

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Optical Express 'ruined my life' attack site wins Nominet takedown battle

Tyson Key

Re: Diamond knife, laser, finger nail..

Hmm, interesting. After looking into it some more, it's apparently a hoax - and their order form bails out with an SQL server "table not found" error...

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Tyson Key

Re: Diamond knife, laser, finger nail..

It gets worse - now you can buy a rather pricey, one-shot "LASIK @ Home" kit from a probably-dodgy company that hasn't been approved by the US FDA (from what I can tell).

Interesting to see the (fake?) testimonials saying stuff like, "Now I don't need to buy contact lenses!", and "My partner helped me do it in one night!"...

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Tube be or not tube be: Apple’s CYLINDRICAL Mac Pro is out tomorrow

Tyson Key

The Photoshop Opened Early...

So it appears that folks have already started parodying the design at places like http://togetter.com/li/516991, and http://fstoppers.com/new-mac-pro-design-gets-the-photoshop-treatment...

Sadly, most of the better ones such as a plant pot, ashtray, fondue set, and tissue holder have already been done... :(

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Vodafone dodges UK corporation tax bill - AGAIN

Tyson Key

Unless things have changed, "3" are already owned by Hutchison Whampoa of Hong Kong - which is why their corporate name is Hutchison 3G UK Ltd...

Also, if memory serves correctly, NTT DoCoMo were also a minority shareholder - but they ended up selling their stake, after they refused to adopt i-mode. (Which O2 briefly tinkered with, before unceremoniously discontinuing provision).

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Boffins devise world's HARDEST tongue-twister

Tyson Key

Re: Dr Seuss said it best...

I didn't have a problem with the one from the article - but that Seuss one was a pain in the arse to read, as an English/Japanese bilingual who has a weird "mostly-Received Pronunciation" accent in English, but has difficulty in pronouncing certain words beginning with the consonant cluster "thr" (especially "three").

"Thoroughly" is also one of those weird words that trips me up.

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KRAKOOM! iPad Air EXPLODES in FIREBALL, terrified fanbois FLEE Apple store

Tyson Key

Did anyone learn from science classes?

Remember kids - Lithium combusts in (an iPad) Air!

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Microsoft's $7.1bn Nokia gobble: Why you should expect the unexpected

Tyson Key

Re: How the heck?

I'm guessing they've amassed those from their decades of work on materials, earlier UI/X design work (e.g. the NaviKey, menu structures, and fancy hinges - even if they never used them in Lumias/Ashas); baseband technology (e.g. ISI, antenna design, and power management) - even if some of it was hived off onto Renesas, who eventually flushed it away; core telephony standards; cameras/imaging tech (especially after they absorbed Scalado), and probably whatever they acquired from Symbian, SmarterPhone, and a bunch of other companies, or otherwise developed themselves.

I'm assuming that a ton of patents went to MS, and some troll/"licensing" firms, though.

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MS brandishes 'Katana' HTTP/2.0 server

Tyson Key

I can't imagine them deciding to explicitly name SCTP in the spec - but I don't see a reason why HTTP/2.0 servers couldn't function using the "withsctp" wrapper script available for various Linux distributions.

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Google Chromecast: Here's why it's the most important smart TV tech ever

Tyson Key
Thumb Up

Re: Damn

It shouldn't do. After all, a certain Andrew Huang (AKA "Bunnie") developed/discovered a technique for injecting content overlays into HDMI streams, without decrypting them for his NeTV box project.

I'm assuming that other CE manufacturers are just using a variant of that.

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Stock dips as fanbois complain of dodgy Wi-Fi on MacBook Air

Tyson Key
Mushroom

Re: I have always found "BigCorp's" paranoia when dealing with customer complaints very.......

Meh, don't forget the "iScratch Nano" fiasco.

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Clearwire board to shareholders: Go on, grab that Dish cash

Tyson Key
Angel

Let your sister have a go...

Meh, just let SoftBank digest as much of Sprint as they want to (70%?), and then Dish can either oust the rest of Sprint's shareholders, cleave off 5-10%, or form a consortium with Sprint to own roughly half of ClearWire each.

Or failing that, they could announce a separate partnership to cross-sell each other's services, with a healthy margin either way...

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4G LTE: Good for tweets and watching Dr Who. Crap at saving lives

Tyson Key
Boffin

TETRA works somewhere around 390-395MHz (with 10MHz/channel gaps for uplink/downlink), within the EU.

Besides, given that it's a digital, trunked radio technology, you shouldn't be able to hear anything in terms of audio as interference. (Same deal with GSM, modulo trunking; and UMTS/W-CDMA has its own high-pitched whine - although you can't hear it, unless you tune into a UMTS frequency using an SDR).

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Review: Renault Zoe electric car

Tyson Key
Joke

It's a modern miracle!

A French all-electric car? I wonder how reliable it'll be, in the long term? (And whether or not it comes "pre-possessed", and Satanic-joyriding-inclined from the factory)...

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Muso scrapbook Soundcloud gets $50m, corporatespeak makeover

Tyson Key
Go

Long-awaited, but...

I wonder if Yahoo!, or CBS would be likely to acquire the "Flickr for audio" (which I was sort-of hoping that someone would create, prior to discovering SoundCloud), and let it fester for eons, before killing it off?

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Meet قلب, the programming language that uses Arabic script

Tyson Key
Thumb Up

Yet another Japanese-based programming language...

There's always Puroderu/プロデル (http://rdr.utopiat.net/) - which seems to pack a nice collection of methods/features into its standard library - including a "Guguru"/ググる method for doing Web searches (according to http://rdr.utopiat.net/docs/reference/core/core.htm).

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O2 looses legal torpedo at Everything Everywhere 4G monopoly

Tyson Key
Meh

Re: Stupid Luddites

Good point.

I've found that one also has to disable the use of their insufferable proxies that break mobile sites using complex JavaScript, or cookies, in order to do anything useful on their pre-paid data APNs. Using Opera Mini also sometimes helps, as a workaround.

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Tyson Key
FAIL

Stupid Luddites

It's 2012, and O2 still haven't deployed damn *EDGE*, or figured out how to carry voice calls reliably in some parts of the country. (I'm in a small town near York). I have little faith in their ability to deliver an LTE network before the heat death of the universe.

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Nokia and Symbian still number one in China

Tyson Key
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Re: Accenture won't do the job properly.

You've got some great ideas - but I'd just thought that I'd point out that Symbian has supported SMP for ages; although it seems that few OEMs have actually decided to implement it in their handsets. I remember seeing an early video demonstration of it on prototype hardware, eons ago - where it seemingly outperformed Linux's SMP implementation.

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Grab your L-plates, flying cars of sci-fi dreams have landed

Tyson Key
FAIL

Annoyingly, the forum system won't let me edit my prior post, but <a href="http://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/スカイカー">Wikipedia</a> also mentions the TerraFugia Transition, a "Flying Maruti", and the ParaJet as prior attempts...

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Tyson Key
Meh

Hmm, weren't Moller and a bunch of other companies attempting to implement this for years, with minimal return on investments, and no products (other than vapourware)?

That aside, I assume that it's extremely expensive (like all flying machines, in comparison to cars), but I'll admit that the HondaJet looks like a fairly promising option, in the interim - and it's already in production, along with being approved for flight in at least the USA.

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Larry vs Larry: Oracle and Google in courtroom smackdown

Tyson Key
Mushroom

I've often wondered what would happen if Oracle won, and ended up requesting the recall and destruction of all "infringing" Android-based products.

I doubt that would work in reality, though - since it's likely that many handsets have been lost, stolen, damaged, or privately resold; lots of people have copies of various versions of the Android SDK; and the source code has globally spread like kudzu. Not to mention that "real" people (i.e. consumers) will be unwilling to relinquish their devices.

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ALL Visa cards blab punters' names - not just Barclaycards

Tyson Key
Go

Re: App details

If you've got a PCSC-compliant smartcard reader (you can obtain contactless-only ones for ~£30 - and contact-only ones are even cheaper), and access to a (virtual) machine running Linux, then you can easily read data from EMV cards using extremely easy to find Open Source tools.

Obviously, the EMV specifications are freely-available to the public; and all EMV-based cards will happily provide at least some plain-text data related to what's embossed or printed on the face of the card.

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Mobe hackathon contest spits out Wi-Fi-by-bonk app wonder

Tyson Key
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Re: I read here once

Nokia have already commercialised a line of Bluetooth-enabled audio devices (a headset and a desktop speaker) that utilise NFC for pairing - and I think that the appropriate data structures have either been documented at the NFC Forum, or are in the process of being so.

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Court rejects Tesla’s latest libel spat with Top Gear

Tyson Key
Facepalm

To be fair to Top Gear, they did say something along the lines of "If the batteries run out, this is what *might* happen" when they were pushing the car back into the garage, during the first "controversial" episode, if I remember correctly.

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Hands off our brand, Wi-Fi body warns 'white space' tech firms

Tyson Key
FAIL

Blame the marketing people for such ridiculous conflation. They're the same folks who're lazily trying to make people think that SIM (Subscriber Identity Module) isn't an acronym, too...

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O2 3G stops giving punters' mobile numbers to websites

Tyson Key
Thumb Down

Re: The "Unlimited" Limit

If I vaguely remember correctly, that was changed from either 100MB or 200MB (according to their verbal T&Cs on the "Bolt Ons info" IVR section) to something ridiculously low (either 10MB or 50MB) , a few months ago - presumably as a result of people abusing it for streaming media.

(I'll admit that I used to use Mobbler quite heavily over UMTS, whilst commuting to university, after I figured out how to tune its bitrate settings, so that tracks didn't play at twice their proper speed).

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A simple HTML tag will crash 64-bit Windows 7

Tyson Key

HP's other, other UNIX-esque OS...

Would that be Tru64? (Which came from Compaq (née DEC), if I remember correctly).

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Acer to announce ultrabook at IFA

Tyson Key
FAIL

So....

Exactly. They're just putting old wine ("thinner-than-usual/average" laptops) into a similar bottle with a different label on it.

We've been through this before with "netbooks", "subcompact laptops", and "ultra-portable notebooks".

Fail icon - Because you can't pull the wool over my eyes *that* easily.

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The New C++: Lay down your guns, knives, and clubs

Tyson Key
Thumb Up

Re: Accolades/Curly Braces

Just use a text editor/IDE that colour codes each pair - that way you won't get lost in a sea of them. :)

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Microsoft gets five bucks for every HTC Android phone

Tyson Key
Stop

There *is* a FAT-free alternative...

It's called the Universal Disk Format (UDF), and it's supported by Mac OS X, modern Linux distributions *and* Windows Vista/7.

It happens to nicely solve the problems of storing incompatible forms of metadata (e.g. NTFS streams, Mac OS X's extended attributes/forks/other trinkets, and a baseline version of POSIX semantics); in addition to adding some nice features such as "streaming files", too.

It's just a shame that Microsoft decided to sabotage efforts by others to adopt it for years, by delaying a full, read-write implementation for all media types (optical, magnetic and Flash) until Windows Vista - so that they could coast off collecting patent royalties for FAT variants; ensure that proprietary software developers managed to produce incompatible, half-baked implementations; and generally retard progress for everyone.

Now if only consumer electronics companies would implement it in their products; and older versions of Windows would die quietly...

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Google slips open source JPEG killer into Gmail, Picasa

Tyson Key

Re: Microsoft's file format (was JPEG2000)

That would be "HD Photo" or "Windows Media Photo", which was standardised as JPEG XR, if memory serves correct.

I haven't seen any example files floating around, though - so I can't easily compare it to other formats, or otherwise dissect a sample in the name of curiosity/science...

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Tyson Key
Go

Re: Apache Support

An educated guess as to why an Apache module would be necessary/a vaguely good idea: It's probably so that image files in "legacy" formats (i.e. those that people actually use in real life) can be automatically transcoded to WebP upon request from the client.

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Opera Mini 5.1 goes native on Nokia S60

Tyson Key
Thumb Up

I'll be the 5th S60 user then, by your count

Oh, and I'm under the age of 70, too.

I use my S60, erm Symbian Platform devices (I currently have a Nokia N73 that's still going strong) heavily for Web browsing, listening to music - and Scrobbling it to my last.fm profile, reading PDFs, taking photos, and as an alarm clock (with an older version of Alarm Manager to resolve the "can't have multiple alarms, or recurring alarms" issue). I also sometimes play games, plus I've dabbled with Python for S60 and the Mobile Web Server tech demo.

Did I mention that they're also really great phones in terms of audio quality (for both calls and multimedia), and have sane antenna designs so that they're capable of actually maintaining network connectivity - even if you hold them in an unusual manner (unlike one of Apple's recent toys).

As someone who's owned a Sony Ericsson dumbphone, I can say that although they have some nice gimmicks (e.g. support for geotagging photos via A-GPS, a Bluetooth remote control feature, and USB Ethernet emulation/bridging), and last for weeks on two charges, their UI makes me want to throw them against a wall occasionally.

As for this Opera Mini beta, it feels significantly faster than the J2ME version, and being able to use the native input mechanism for entering non-alphanumeric characters is a nice bonus.

Disclaimer: I happen to be a Symbian Platform developer and SF community member in my spare time (when I'm not studying at university), although this is entirely my own opinion.

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