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* Posts by Richard

5 posts • joined 11 Jun 2007

Microsoft sent FCC defective wireless prototype

Richard

No they are called guard bands...

James: the technology will basically work by listen before transmit, which will inevitably include guards bands...

There's a couple of fundamental flaws here of course. Where a device is listening (and subsequently transmitting) is not where other devices are listening. Add on that that people may have noticed TV aerials tend to be quite big, meaning they have quite a lot of gain, and that there is no real (from an electronics perspective) limit on the receiver size for a TV (OK I know DMB & DVB-H...) meaning you'd expect them to be a bit more sensitive than a mobile or portable device. Add to that that there is no incentive for device manufacturers to mass produce within spec...if one of two prototypes which must have been tested within an inch of its life (Microsoft aren't so dumb as to ship untested kit to the government) failed what can we expect to happen in future.

This is a horrible idea, as horrible as UWB.

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Get your Ultra Wide Band from Monday

Richard

And exactly why do we need UWB...

Voshkin: when your mobile phone and WiFi stops working well don't be surprised...

When the compatibility studies for UWB were done with mobile one of the lobbyists for the technology produced a study claiming only 9 devices would be operating simultaneously across the entire of London...it looks like we have at least one person with 9 possible devices within the space of 2 square metres...not exactly unpredictable. I could do with that too to clear up my cables...

Other studies from the same suspects to fix the power level set the minimum separation distance between transmitter and interferee to 50cm. Not sure about you guys but my mobile is about 10cm long, my laptop about 30cm long so I'm not quite sure how this is possible if these devices are going to have UWB attached to them, which is part of the plan. Guess what...I sometimes also put my mobile next to my laptop. Am I wacky or what? Of course the studies assumed an even statistical distribution across an office rather than clustering on a desk...

The problem with UWB is that it's a concept based on loony tunes left wing ideology that we can all share a resource fairly without people being selfish, pushed forward by major multinationals with an IPR stake in the technologies. You find lots of US lawyers talking about how great the "spectrum commons" are and "free spectrum"...these guys clearly just don't have the common sense to look at analogous sectors like for example land which illustrate the true selfish reality of human nature. How much common land is left in the UK or anywhere with an efficient agriculture sector? Virtually none because in practice it is a dumb idea because nobody has an incentive to look after it. Private ownership of land is actually really efficient because people look after it: they can develop technologies like rotating crops to improve the quality, can segment land so that sheep don't eat wheat etc etc. Spectrum is just the same (think frequency planning, segmenting safety critical radar from cellular, avoiding broadcast interference with GPS etc). And the worst thing is that Dillon is right, technology "enthusiasts" will subvert the regulation and increase the power, screwing over their neighbors...and what's the incentive for a device manufacturer to achieve sufficient quality control to comply with power regulation? None because it is the end user who is criminally liable in administrations like the UK, and there are no penalties applicable to manufacturers.

There are literally hundreds of MHz of licence exempt spectrum available for cable replacement: WiFi bands at 2.4GHz and 5GHz come to nearly 1GHz...and the 5GHz band is not very widely used. UWB enables precisely NO new applications. You wouldn't believe some of the lobbying for UWB a few years back claiming it would empower wireless mice, printers and video transmission...these applications are perfectly achievable with existing tech and spectrum bands without any risk to other technologies. However the UWB lobbyists probably don't own a patent portfolio to monopolise those techs...

So what's going to be the end result if the uptake is high? There's a risk of reduced capacity cellular networks...which means more towers and more people complaining of dead spots which just happen to be in their office near their desk...

Sorry for the rant. I'm just an engineer who gets angry when dumb stuff happens...particularly when there are technologists who argue for new whizz bang technology without any understanding of what will happen in the real world and without realising that their fantastic new technology is simply being driven by a multinational corporate IPR agenda and lobbying.

Grrr...

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Google ponies up $4.6bn for wireless spectrum

Richard

Regardless of past conduct...

Regardless of whether Google is generally a "good" company or a "bad" company ...this is effectively bribing the auctioneer by providing financial incentives to change the rule book. That is both arrogant and ethically questionable. If this is Google putting their money where their principles are it doesn't say much for the principles...

Google don't own the monopoly on ethical business or moral principles, they don't have every good idea about how best to serve "consumer citizens" and do what is right and they are an interested party in the auction. Do we want Google to have the exclusive say in how spectrum is auctioned? Or even a large say...lets face it Google really are unproven in wireless and will be until their municipal wireless operations have matured, while even if you don't like the cellular operators you have to admit there is more competition in that market than that in which Google operates, and several billion people value mobile phones enough to pay for them.

If you want to use the language of anti-trust this is Google seeking to manipulate the regulation in one market (wireless), in such a way to enable it to leverage it's near dominant position in another market (Internet advertising) to gain a position of market power in the wireless market. I don't dislike Google (or MS or Apple): they are just a company with shareholders and should be expected to act to profit maximise, as is their legal obligation. Regulators like the FCC should listen to inputs from everybody on auction design and regulation, and come up with an independently fair set of rules to maximise achievable value, and reject such blatant financial lobbying.

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Sick to death of the bloody iPhone? Click here

Richard

re design

Giles: are you trying to say that instead of being so dumb that they can't change a battery, Apple fans are instead soooo dumb as to think that not having the ability to change a battery "so dust doesn't get behind the screen" is a unique selling point??? I disagree...nobody could be that dumb surely? Apple may be fairly good at selling to their target demographic...but nobody is so good to make that one stick.

Blending/blowing up/axing/otherwise gratuitously destroying overhyped toys is fundamentally cool and always will be...good on Blendtec.

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Scotland ranked 'worst small country'

Richard

What about Wales or NI??? Portugal and Greece??? Czech and Slovak Republics?

I know Scotland sees itself as special but wouldn't it be sensible to compare itself with other similar nations within the UK like Wales and Northern Ireland? Or semi-autonomous regions in Spain and Germany? This comparisoson would be more valid.

And why on earth were Greece and Portugal removed from the list? Is the report's author trying to say that these countries aren't in the developing world? These are genuinely OECD countries in their own right, which Scotland isn't as it remains part of the UK, and both formed part of the EU15 so should be considered Western Europe, even if Greece is over eastwards geographically. Is this just spin...really proving how much Scotland has in common with the rest of the UK in thinking how terrible we are at everything when we really aren't all that bad...or is it an indirect (and slightly ignorant) insult to Greece and Portugal?

And what about the Slovak Republic and Czech Republic, both full OECD members as well? All this report seems to prove is that if you filter out everybody likely to be close to you or below you in a table then you are bound to be last...

In passing ... I'm actually English and living and working in Wales, so really couldn't care tuppence about how badly the FSB Scotland thinks its doing, other than they appear to be dragging the rest of the UK down. It does however seem somewhat unfair to tar those north of the border as living in the worst small country in Europe...even if they'd prefer that to be living in the best large country in Europe: the report seems to place the UK above France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Poland. I guess that's nationalist politics for you...

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