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* Posts by Timbo

127 posts • joined 6 Jun 2007

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Live in the middle of nowhere? CONGRATS. Some of you can pay EE for 4G

Timbo

<quote>*Middle of nowhere? No. 8 miles from the Cambridge Science Park.</quote>

I know the feeling - I used to live just up the A10, halfway between Cambridge and Ely......ok, so most of it is farmland.....BUT, signal reception on all major mobile networks was god-awful....and you were lucky on broadband to get 512k, sometimes reaching 1Meg.

I'm now just a few miles from Macc and with luck, 4G will get here soon.....but I'm not going to be holding my breath

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Ancient telly, check. Sonos sound system, check. OMG WOAH

Timbo

£600 is pretty steep...

...if all you want to do is to improve the sound of flat-panel screens.

Much simpler is to get a small, active centre channel speaker, that can accept the L/R analogue stereo outputs from the TV.

I had exactly this scenario to resolve for my parents who found it difficult to understand the speech of some characters/news readers on TV.

The solution I found was the small, compact ZVOX Mini speaker, which you can find for around £199 - the only downside is the small credit card sized remote control (for volume), though this isn't needed if the analogue TV output varies with it's own remote.

PS Anyone else notice while commenting that there's a "Sonos" Play3 advert directly underneath the comments box..... :(

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Computer expert and broadcaster Ian McNaught-Davis dies at 84

Timbo

RIP Mac

Mac was the reason why I got interested in PC's.....even though to begin with, I paid £49.99 for a 1k ZX81, (from WH Smiths), expanded that to 16k with the Rampak and after that I borrowed my brothers Spectrum and bought myself a VTX5000 modem - ah, those were the days.

Here's a snippet I well remember: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rirq-uFFKRc

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The other end of the telescope: Intel’s Galileo developer board

Timbo

connecting power BEFORE any other connection?

"“You must use the power supply or you will damage the board,” the firm warns, adding: “Always connect the 5V power before any other connection.” (Intel’s emphasis). "

BEFORE any connection ? I always thought it was wiser to connect everything you need, (esp Shields) before powering up - else you risk damaging components when they see the power line is already "on".

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A BBC-by-subscription 'would be richer', MPs told

Timbo

Re: They missed a trick

"If smartcard readers had been mandated for all digital TV receivers from the outset, then the BBC could have scrambled all their programmes and gone to a "no payment, no programmes" system -- all achieved without the need for the bully-boy enforcement tactics and poison-pen letters that turn people off the TV licence system."

I think the problem was that once it was announced that analogue TV was going to be switched off, there was already a few set top boxes available that had CAM slots - but these were quite expensive.

And at the time, CAM was going out of fashion, due to the failure of OnDigital/ITV Digital. So, it was simple for manufacturers to drop the CAM function and then the STB's were cheaper to buy, which then suited OFCOM as the move to get more people to switch to digital was easier.

(Of course in the meantime, TV technology improvements had meant we were going to replace all our old CRT's with flat-screens, some of which had CAM slots in them anyways).

Overall, I'm of the opinion that receiving TV broadcasts "OTA" will soon become a thing of the past as more and more TV's will have Ethernet and/or wifi built in, so watching LIVE TV will be replaced with time-shifted viewing, via PVR's or through the likes of iPlayer.

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Timbo

Re: Freeview (HD) was last chance to intro subs

"What I'd be *far* more interested in is a sub to the massive BBC archive that their employees have access to - now that is something worth subscribing to since much of it isn't available elsewhere (legally or not)."

Point 1) There's a lot of old BBC stuff on Dave

Point 2) Anything else worth watching from the BBC archive is probably available to buy on DVD - so Auntie gets extra income even though most of us paid the TV licence fee in the first place to get it made originally.

Speaking of which: It's a shame that £100m was spent on the DMI dept....I wonder what they actually did with all that money ?? Did they actually digitise ANY of the archive ?.....or did they just have power lunches with all the luvvies thinking about how good it would be ?

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LogMeIn: We're stopping our free offering from, errrm, NOW

Timbo

is this "new" news?

I installed LogMeIn on a friends PC a year or so ago and when they had a problem, I could do a remote log in and sort it out for them.

However, about 2-3 months ago, when in need of sorting out another problem for them, I found that the LogMeIn program I had installed (on both PC's) wouldn't work anymore and a new version had to be downloaded...which I duly installed, only to then be "advised" on-screen that it was a "subscriber only" release....and I had to pay to activate it.

So, was it "just me" that had this problem 2+ months ago... ?

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Fees shakeup: Freephone numbers will actually BE free – Ofcom

Timbo

"Or ask them for their ordinary number "as I will be out of the country and can't call 08whatever numbers" There is one - 08 are just redirector numbers."

I've tried that and found that in some cases, the landline number won't accept calls UNLESS you are calling from outside UK..... :-(

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Confessions of a porn site boss: How I got it up on the 'net

Timbo

Re: Sadly modern porn is crap

>>I prefer my porn from the 70s and 80s.

Too true....I recall working in London's West End at a particular hi-fi shop, just after VCR's became "all the rage". Due to their scarcity, video recorders kept their high prices and initially every machine we had delivered to us (from the likes of Sony, JVC, Panasonic, Akai, Sanyo, Hitachi etc) would have been pre-sold.

Within a short period of time, we got friendly with some customers who kept coming back to buy yet another machine.....plus the "cable kit" to link between them......either with PL259 or BNC video cables and a single phono/RCA cable for the sound (as early VCR's were mono). Hence a small "industry" started up, with people copying tapes and then selling them to people who had bought a VCR but wanted something different to what was on normal telly. :-)

And we had a "nice little earner" as quite a few people would ask us to copy non-copyright tapes for them (as initially there were few pre-recorded films available).....but it had to be done in real time, so with the large number of demonstration models on show, we'd link up as many machines are required (to do enough copies for the customer, plus one for "us") and this would then happen overnight.

They had to buy the blank tape the copy was recorded onto as well as pay a small service charge for the copying (which paid for our bacon sarnies).

In time, more films became available and we saw far fewer customer who wanted copy services, due to the wider availability of VCR from other outlets.....but it was fun checking over the copies we'd made to see exactly what sort of adventures some humans had got up to....

Just a shame that most of these films were from the US and had been poorly transcribed from NTSC to PAL and likewise the poor quality of any copies you made on VHS and Beta....but at the time it was quite "eye-opening".....

Eventually, there was "legal" softcore available such as Electric Blue, which sold quite well.....but not as well as the BBC Royal Wedding video's (of Chuck and Di) which we sold at full RRP of £50 each.....

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What the CUFF? Nokia shows how a smartwatch really OUGHT to work

Timbo
Big Brother

Great idea...

I was a bit sceptical on seeing this at first, but at the very end, it showed all the screens as separate items, which could then be "installed" into a bracelet "holder".

What struck me was that you could buy maybe one screen to begin with and then add others, depending on your needs and circumstances. Indeed, said screens could also be used in your car, at home/work or anywhere...and then clipped onto the bracelet, should you want to.

So, this could prove to be quite a winner, as long as it's not too expensive.....lest the "great unwashed" might find good reason to relieve you of various assorted (expensive) screens.....

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Blighty's great digital radio switchover targets missed AGAIN

Timbo

Re: re: Power usage

No. I don't know if this comes out of the Daily Mail Radio Design Handbook, but it is cobblers.

A 'cat's whisker' makes a simple diode detector, which extracts the _envelope_ or amplitude of the signal. For an AM broadcast, this is a simple way of recovering the audio.

correction accepted - I errored when I wrote the sentence as it should have mentioned both AM (for the cats whisker reference) and FM (where another reference was omitted whilst I wrote the reply via my mobile).

<...>

"the majority of radio's only have a single speaker"

...and you can have your apostrophe back and all.

So, now I take it you will be correcting everybody else when they make even the slightest typos....you're going to be busy......

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Timbo

Re: re: Power usage

"Prime suspect has to be the processing needed to extract a clean mux bitstream from the analogue domain, with all its distortions, reflected signals, strength fluctuations as surroundings change or the radio moves. That's never going to be cheap."

...except that DAB can utilise multipath broadcast signals and combine them in order to produce enough signal to be able to reproduce the signal without issues. See the section on Single Frequency Networks

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_Audio_Broadcasting#Protocol_stack

"It appears it's not particularly effective either. Exposed right there is why FM is a more appropriate technology for inherently difficult reception conditions, it doesn't need heroic efforts to receive and doesn't break catastrophically when those efforts fail. And doesn't eat batteries trying to do it."

FM fails in a number of ways - there is only a limited range of allocated frequencies for FM radio - 88-108 MHz. Within that, there have to be enough transmitters for the national broadcasters, plus enough for all the local area broadcasters - and frankly there isn't enough space....and bear in mind that in some area's you might have multiple transmissions for the same radio station.....if they were on the SAME frequency, you'd have no clear reception due to interference. Also, at the edge of reception, background noise on FM transmissions can be if-putting and likewise, listening to say some light classical music on Radio 3 can be less than ideal, if the background noise is too great.

Using Band 3, you can have many more stations all broadcasting at once. (There are 37 ensembles allocated in UK - with somewhere between 4 (at "best quality") and maybe 10 (at low quality) stations per ensemble - so lets say maybe a total choice of over 300 stations). DAB broadcasts don't suffer from random noise, and they have potentially a wider bandwidth, *IF* the broadcasters used say a 256k or 320k signal (with 320k being almost synonymous with CD quality). The issue with sound quality is simply down to transmission costs - if it was cheaper then DAB broadcast rates could be increased and sound would be better.

(However, there is also the possibility that if CD quality music was broadcast over the air, would a lot of people simply record said broadcasts, instead of buying the music ??)

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Timbo

Re: DAB pros and cons

" Why they chose DAB I will never fathom."

They chose DAB back in the late 1980's when things like MP2 were "the norm" for digitising analogue signals. MP3 and other codes just weren't available...and no-one knew that new codecs would be coming along.

The trouble with DAB was that most equipment at the time as far too expensive for most people (and manufacturers) and so from 1995 when the BBC launched DAB, until about 2001, the cheapest DAB radio was a tuner for around £500.

It was only after PURE released the Evoke-1 for £99 that it started to become more popular....however, nearly 10 years had passed and no-one had updated the specs...so we've been stuck with MP2 ever since.

Of course DAB+ is now available, but for Arqiva to re-equip to broadcast this is too expensive for them. As such UK have really been "guinea pigs" for the DAB system and now other countries have seen the pitfalls and are now introducing DAB+ which uses better codecs and it sounds better.

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Timbo

re: Power usage

A simple cat's whisker can pick up (analogue) FM signals hence why battery drain on a portable FM radio is pretty low....whereas a multiplexed digital signal needs to be "processed" in order to extract the radio signal of the station you want to hear - hence why the battery drain on a portable DAB set will be much higher. In time there'll be more efficient chipsets that will run off lower power, but don't hold your breath yet.

re: local reception

The biggest problem has been that OFCOM has not "opened up the airwaves" to all and sundry - local DAB licences are issued on a "per county" basis, with the proviso that at least one "slot" be set aside for the local BBC radio station. Unfortunately, some counties have not yet had licences awarded to them and hence some BBC local radio stations are not on DAB.

These local licences should have been made available at knock-down prices in order to stimulate commercial radio operators to get behind DAB and make it a success....but OFCOM haven't done that.

re: Quality vs quantity

Likewise Arqiva, who run the transmitter sites, charge a certain amount for the signal that is being transmitted....so, you pay less if you are transmitting in mono, compared to the same signal in stereo (as stereo uses twice the bandwidth of mono). Hence in these tough fiscal times, downgrading a station to mono can save the broadcaster some money....and if the majority of radio's only have a single speaker in them (such as many from Roberts and Pure) then most people won't notice the difference.

Ultimately, what needs to happen is for the number of transmitter sites to increase so as to "fill in" all the dead spots so that more people can get the best use out of DAB. Ultimately DAB (and DAB+) have potentially a lot of good going about them, (despite Orlowski's clear bias against it) although the MP2 format of DAB is clearly "old hat" - but a nice healthy broadcast rate of 256k (or even 320k) will show how good DAB CAN be....if given the bandwidth.

So, come on OFCOM and fingers crossed DAB can be made to work.

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Space truck Cygnus left idling outside ISS after data format snafu borks docking

Timbo
Coat

...The company said that the craft had received data from the space station that it didn't expect. Cygnus rejected the data which, according to Orbital Sciences, "mandated an interruption of the approach sequence."

Let me guess: NASA uses Windows and Cygnus uses a Mac?

Or maybe NASA sent their messages via Xmodem, 8N1@9600, while Cygnus uses 7E1 @1200/75 ??

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Facebook Frankenphoto morgue will store cold, dead selfies FOREVER

Timbo

So, they'll have a data centre comprising 11,520 servers (each with 30 HDD's installed).

How much power is that lot going to consume? Even if only 2 HDD's are active at any one time, the servers themselves must be powered up, the CPU's must be active as well as NIC's and SIMM's.

And then there's the closet full of network switches and other ancillary bits and pieces.....

Hope the advertisers and accountants will be happy with all of this.

PS How do you "back-up" 1.38 Exabytes of data ????

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Swiss space plane to launch robotic orbital debris destroyer

Timbo

It's not that simple, as one assumes that any "large-ish" piece of space junk, must be guided down, just in case it doesn't all burn up and some bits come through the atmosphere and land on somebody's head/car/building/nuclear power station etc.

So, it's not really a case of attaching some cheap rocket and keep one's fingers crossed that it all burns up.

Personally, I'd have thought it might be an idea to push the stuff to the moon - it could then just sit there until such time as we have the technology and the lunar outposts to recycle the stuff and use it for other space ventures - after all, all this satellite material cost a fortune to put up into space in the first instance....so, much better to keep it in a re-usable form.

This also is simple as little guidance is required, it's not going to hit anyone/anything and the Earth's atmosphere won't have to absorb any of the nasties that burn up on re-entry.

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Chromecast: You'll pop me in for HOT STREAMS of JOY, hopes Google

Timbo

"Available now" ???

Glad to see that these devices are shipping straight away - I'm in N. America at the moment, and seeing this press announcement, I looked on ebay.com to see if I could get one....cheapest is $46 and most are more than that...up to $90 even...so much for a $35 price tag :-(

(PS Amazon ARE dong them for $35 - and what is more strange is that "reviews" have appeared already :-(

What also surprises me is that the dongle needs an external PSU - HDMI can support self-powered devices so I'm wondering why they've not designed this so it can be powered off the HDMI socket... Maybe it draws too much current ?

(Note:One of the amazon reviews claims the device CAN be powered by the HDMI socket, if it is a v1.4 type)

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MSX: The Japanese are coming! The Japanese are coming!

Timbo
Coat

"Far Eastern firms like Sony, JVC, Sanyo and Pioneer had put paid to Britain’s mass-market hi-fi makers..."

I'd agree with three of those names....Sony, JVC and Pioneer...but SANYO???? They made a few pieces of kit that might be best called "audio" but they were never truly "hi-fi"....

Better choices might have been the likes of Rotel, Technics and Akai who ONLY made hi-fi kit :-)

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Quantum transistors at room temp

Timbo

"Or will we keep buying scrub ups of Windows, Linux, and various *nix derivatives with technological roots in the 1990's?"

I think the problem is one of "compatibility".....a new grounds up OS might not allow companies and individuals to easily transfer their data sets from the "old" platform to a new one.....and in the meantime, those companies that have made the transition will then find that their data isn't compatible with their suppliers and/or customers.

I'm sure provision can be made for this, but it'd be a huge upheaval.... :-(

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Glasgow subway's new smart tickets aren't, moan passengers

Timbo
Coat

"You say that a 20 carnet trip costs £22, and a week pass costs £12. So buying 2 week passes, costs £24."

20 trips is enough for 10 work days (home to work and then back again same day), so 20 trips costing £22 = £1.10 per trip.

Buying 2x 7 day tickets, costs £24.....but if you are only using it for the same 20 trips (over 10 workdays), that makes £1.20 per trip.

If one worked 7 days a week, making 28 trips in the 2 week period, it's cheaper than the 20 carnet ticket @ 85p per trip.

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Apple's next OS X said to be targeted at 'power users'

Timbo

Best file manager? Has to be XTree Gold (for DOS) :-)

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NASA-backed fusion engine could cut Mars trip down to 30 days

Timbo
Coat

Re: "200KW of solar panels .. about the same as .. the panels around the ISS"

A large solar array collecting sunlight and converting it to electrical energy sounds OK, as long as you can keep it directed towards the sun and it doesn't become damaged as you are accelerating along.

Maybe a better idea would be to have a very small nuclear reactor on hand to create the electrical energy ?

OK, so it would need a lot of shielding, but it could be packaged into it's own re-usable craft, and use it a bit like a railway shunter, moving "cargo" around the solar system.

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Maggie Thatcher: The Iron Lady who saved us from drab Post Office mobes

Timbo
Coat

Re: Sadly, the under 40s

<quote>......(phones were hardwired - no plugs and sockets)</quote>

I seem to recall in our house, on the end of the phone cable was a big 4-pole brown plug that was like a 1/4 inch (6.35mm) headphone jack, that pushed into a small brown box on the wall.....

Was this "non-standard" or maybe just used on those properties deemed suitable for such forward thinking connectivity ??

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The ten SEXIEST computers of ALL TIME

Timbo
Coat

obviously, we're talking about REAL computers, so the omission of the SGI Indigo and Cobalt Networks RAQ's is a shame......and I did have a soft spot for the Atari ST...

personally, I always thought the computers used in "Time Tunnel/Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea/Lost in Space" TV series were wonderful, full of flashing lights and whirling tape drives.... :)

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Happy birthday, LP: Can you believe it's only 65?

Timbo
Coat

Re: Introducing a new definition of "a few"

>>The cassette-based Walkman was introduced in 1979

I remember selling the first Sony version of the Walkman in 1979, when it was called a "Stowaway" and had the model number TPSL2.....

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walkman

Of note to Apple might be the fact that, in 1982, Sony made a product called a Watchman.....except that this was a portable TV, rather than something you wear on your wrist and listen to... :)

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Microsoft holds off on shooting Windows Live Messenger

Timbo
Coat

Mesenger (aka MSN, back in the days) works very well...

...it has a low bandwidth "overhead" (allowing it's use over a laptop and mobile tether connection via 3G), it allows you to block one or more contacts, (so you can stay "offline" to those you don't want to "appear to") and it has a nice range of options so you can save your chat history, add a few extra "emoticons" to your library (which are great to use when chatting)...

Skype on the other hand is a VOIP client with "chat" added on.....difficult to use and not worthy of serious consideration for "chat" - maybe dropping MSN is to appease the shareholders to justify M$ hefty $8bn investment....??

Either way, there's now room for an alternative to MSN...I wonder if Yahoo Messenger is still going?

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2012: an epoch-defining year for home entertainment

Timbo
Coat

El Reg is nearly as bad with typo's as The Grauniad

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Sharp chopper falls on early-retire plan as employees flee in droves

Timbo
Coat

Exchange rate error ?

"The under-fire Osaka-based firm, which predicted losses of ¥250bn (£1.92bn) for the year ending March 2013, has been looking to offload staff in a cost-cutting exercise.

.

.

Sharp will be forced to record the ¥25.3bn (£19.47m) expense as an “extraordinary loss” for the third quarter of its financial year ending March 2013."

So, I "get" that ¥250bn is £1.92bn - but how come ¥25.3bn (roughly a tenth of 250bn) only gets me £19.47m..... ??

I thought one billion is a thousand million....maybe it's been decimalised and devalued and you don't get as much back, for lower values :)

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Can't wait for Nvidia? Try these Italian baby ARM clusters with GPU options

Timbo
Coat

"But pairing an ARM processor with a GPU – essentially a modern-style, outboard math coprocessor like Intel used to offer in a special socket for x86 CPUs before they were brought on-chip with the 80486SX and Pentium chips......"

Errr.....not quite true - the 486DX has the FPU built-in.

For the 486SX, you had to buy the the 487SX, to get an FPU, (though by plugging in the 487, it then disabled the onboard 486SX.... :( )

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4GEE data marketing campaign accidentally gets Irishmen salivating

Timbo
Joke

mmmmmmmmmmmm

So, I guess it's a question of whether Irish men will be able to tell if they are in a 4 GEE "spot" - and whether the women of Ireland will be saying "a bit to the left, nope, you've gone past it, back a bit.....ahhhh.....THAT'S IT...just THERE".... :)

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Slideshow: A History of First-person Shooters in 20 Games

Timbo

I so enjoyed playing "Hexen" and "Heretic", way back when......and more recently "Assasins Creed" and the "Final Fantasy" series.....

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Naughty-step Apple buries court-ordered apology with JavaScript

Timbo
Coat

Seems to me.....

that Apple only do things that THEY like/want......and Apple will fight against anyone who argues that the Apple way is wrong/incorrect/unlawful etc

Personally, I think Apple (in it's legal dealings) has just grown too big for it's boots and is seeking to "boss" anyone it chooses, based on it's own interpretation of "events" - maybe it's time some high-flying big-wig Apple employee was held to account for the contempt they have shown (to the UK Court) and incarcerated somewhere under Her Majesty's Pleasure (sponsored by Samsung/iFone/Google/Viewsonic etc) ;)

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Virgin Media's blighted SuperHub NOW comes with extra squeal (oink)

Timbo
Pint

Won't a AMBIT or CISCO cable modem work?

I had a VM account until recently (when I moved). I had the Samsung V+ box (for TV) and for broadband, I was provided with an AMBIT cable modem and Netgear WNR2000 Wireless-N router.

(These worked well until the AMBIT failed and they sent me a CISCO 2100 as a replacement).

Can anyone confirm if the AMBIT or CISCO will work above 20Mbs ? If so, then these are available off ebay for around £10-£15 - then just connect up to any standard router (not an ADSL type).

OK - it doesn't resolve the SuperHub issues, but it's a work around until someone at VM or Netgear sort out these issues.....

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Online mutterings foretell iPad Mini on October 23

Timbo
Coat

Yet another trade mark case on the horizon ?

Given that BMW own the "Mini" trademark, how will Apple cope with loads of German lawyers itching to grab a share of the spotlight ?

Maybe they've already been to Cuportino hence why Apple didn't call the New iPad the "Series 3"..... ??

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Mars rover harangues empty landscape with loudhailer

Timbo
FAIL

So, who's wrong ?

To quote El Reg "A speaker on the car-sized robotic vehicle was used..."

To Quote CMF: "From what i can gather, it doenst have speakers...."

(OK so the pedants will say it has only ONE speaker, rather than "speakers")

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Curiosity preps for first Martian road trip

Timbo
Happy

Re: wind sensor fault

>>Yeah, you should send your own probe to Mars, show them how it's done.

Well, if I won consecutive Euromillions and National Lottery draws and had the income of Soros, Beckham, and Rooney I would.

Just because I can't send my own up, doesn't for one minute prevent me from having an opinion about the designers of Curiosity who appear to have misjudged the problems that their choice of landing the craft would have.....

I'll wait until the final report on what probably caused the sensor fault...

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Timbo
FAIL

wind sensor fault

quote: "One possibility is that pebbles lofted during the landing hit the delicate circuit boards on one of the two REMS booms," said Curiosity deputy project scientist Ashwin Vasavada.

When I saw one of the first pics showing the top of Curiosity, my first thought was "There's a load of unprotected wires on the top there".....and other reports of the sensor fault claim it might be down to "cut wires"....

Given the method of landing meant a lot of surface material was going to be thrown up the the Sky Crane, you'd have thought that someone would have ensured that these wires were protected. I also wonder if these exposed wires have good enough "outdoor" properties to protect them against heat/cold etc.

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Everything Everywhere activates top-secret erections

Timbo
Happy

No problems here...

...have had a T-Mobile business account for about 7 years now - except in the odd rural area, I've always had good signal coverage, so this news is welcome - coz now, I don't have to manually switch networks if I'm in an area where the signal is weaker than usual.

0
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'Asteroid mining company' makes classic hypegasm debut today

Timbo
Facepalm

errr....but what about the moon ??

I thought it was known that the moon has water on it - so why go to the bother of capturing asteroid(s) when the moon is just a short distance away, and we know where the water is....so its not a wild goose chase....

Once they have the infrastructure in place on the moon, then they can capture asteroids, and crashland them near to the moon-factories.

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Sony denies Netflix app to older Bravia smart TVs

Timbo
Coat

I'm not that surprised...

I think the issue here is that a lot of "branded" products (or just some of their component parts) are out-sourced from other suppliers. And given the lead time between design, prototyping, standards approval and production, it is very likely that the designers and engineers who worked on (say) an item that went on sale in 2010 are now working on the models for 2014, perhaps even for a different company.

So the chances are that the cost of re-employing engineers to tweak the firmware is too high for the brands - esp if they don't actually get any financial return for doing so (apart from customer loyalty).

Perhaps brands could offer firmware upgrades at a fair price just as the satnav brands do when they offer new maps for their devices....at least there'd have some clawback then :)

PS A friend of mine bought a Sanyo digital TV with built in Freeview just a few years ago....and guess what - it was only capable of receiving the 2k mode broadcasts so when Freeview went to 8k mode, the TV tuner stopped receiving broadcasts and there was no firmware upgrade path.

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Nokia on 'brink of failure', warns analyst

Timbo
Big Brother

Sounds like MS have a devious plan....

...which is to force an once successful company to rely on them to produce the software for the Nokia hardware - and once Nokia "fail", having been designed the hardware for WinMob, then MS come along and buy them up cheap - giving MS their own hardware platform.

Then MS can compete with the likes of Google (who have Motorola), Sony (after buying out Ericsson) and Apple.

My guess is that there'll be plenty more Android devices coming along soon, esp as processor improvements continue and the Chinese producers keep making them, and that within a short space of time, even the cheapest phones will be Android based.....and in that case, I can't see how MS will make any money from their phone software.

2
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American pies are cooling on the windowsill ahead of Pi Day

Timbo
Coat

Re: I am disappointed

A friend of mine told me the perfect food for Pi Day - it's a small round flat bread, with tomato paste spread upon it and then cheese melted on top, of radius "z" and height "a" and whose total volume was described by the formula V= pi x r squared x h = substituting in the above formula gives us "pizza"..... :(

(yup, I know it's lame - personally I prefer Pi day as 22nd July, which is more mathematically correct than 3.14)

1
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iPlayer repeat fees threaten BBC earthquake

Timbo
Coat

More income to help pay the celebs ?

example #1: I "pay upfront" to buy a CD or a film on DVD. I have no choice in this, unless I illegally download from the 'net - and I can watch them at any time I like - I don't have to have been to see the band play or go to the cinema.

example #2: I "pay upfront" to use my TV in the UK to receive broadcasts - whether they are from BBC, ITV or anyone else. I have no choice in this, if I want to watch ANY TV.

The licence fee funds the BBC and the programs it makes or commissions. As licence fee payers have "paid" for these programs already, then they should be available for free, unless one chooses to buy them on a different form of media.

If people outside UK want to use iPlayer then a charging model sounds reasonable. After all, overseas people didn't fund the creation of the programs. But charging UK residents for use of iPlayer is quite wrong and seems to be just another way for the BBC to earn extra revenue.

The question then is: would this extra income be used to subsidise the TV Licence fee - perhaps, even reduce it at some point - or is it just a case of the BBC accountants looking for additional income streams at relatively low cost (apart from a server farm and lots of HDD space to put all these programs on - but then they already have that and we've already paid for that too....).

And ultimately, do we get more quality programs (from this extra income) or just more dross - I'm so sick and tired of all these reality / talent programs featuring 3rd grade celebs....

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Starship Voyager dumped into skip

Timbo
Trollface

..and the designers website is still going...

Last updated: December 2011 - http://www.24thcid.com/Default.asp?xa=1

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0
Timbo

Hasn't he been trying to sell the place already?

I seem to recall seeing a TV news item about this place - it's certainly been featured on a few news programs in recent years - and IIRC, he had put the place up for sale (with it's Star Trek theme intact) some time back.....

Seems the ex-wife has given up being patient and wants her share of the money back.

Seems a shame to just "bin" it - eBay would seem to be a sensible option http://www.theregister.co.uk/Design/graphics/icons/comment/meh_32.png

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Sonos Play:3 network music player

Timbo
Happy

Still seems expensive...

So, for £259 you can get a mono active speaker? - and if you buy two, you can then have stereo ?

But for £399, you can get a Sonos ZP120 and still have change (from £518) to buy a half decent pair of "branded" bookshelf speakers...ie Wharfedale Diamond 9.0's for around £60/pair.....which is what I did....

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Cello C42T71DVB-3D 42in passive 3D TV

Timbo
Facepalm

typo?

I quote from the article:

The very first dialogue window cautions the user: ‘Please ensure the aerial cable is pluggeg into the tv.’ Pluggeg? Any thoughts I had that this TV has been had been built by erudite British boffins quickly vanished.

What's this "has been had been" bit about then.....??

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Stephen Fry's truly terrible mistake

Timbo
Coat

Yet another poor piece of journalism....

All we ever get from Mr Orlowski (on the subject of DAB) is complete and total "it's pants" opinion.....it's almost like the same old record being played over and over again....

IMHO, for most people DAB works very well - it's not strictly "hi-fi" on many stations (excepting Radio 3) but as most people aren't actually listening to it "intently", and simply have it on in the background, whilst doing something else, it's more than good enough....

And in time, if the techie bods want to improve the DAB radio broadcast standard, then fine.....after all, it's happened before on TV's - going from 405 to 625 and now to HD.....the only difference is that that took 40 years...

So, Mr O...give DAB a chance....and stop boring us with your completely over the top ridicule of it.....it's SO repetitive...and so predictable.....and it's hardly worth reading.....

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