* Posts by Chris Redpath

39 posts • joined 20 Jun 2007

Termination charges drop smacks Vodafone and EE in the WALLET

Chris Redpath

Re: EE Lost me as a customer

I find if you use one of the many-network shops (phones4u, carphone warehouse) you get a regular old phone which doesn't contain the network cack. It still contains the manufacturer cack though.

As a bonus, all the ones I've bought don't come sim or network locked either.

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Major problems beset UK ISP filth filters: But it's OK, nobody uses them

Chris Redpath

Re: BT

Lucky you, I get to choose whenever I put the router password into a new device.

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Top tip, power users – upgrading Ubuntu may knacker your Linux PC

Chris Redpath

same here too

Me too, grub complained about fonts and dropped me into a nonfunctional recovery prompt.

I happen to have a boot repair disk from

https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Boot-Repair

around, it was able to repair grub automatically so I didn't have to do anything except click apply and reboot.

Its very handy.

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EU sets ball rolling on ominous telly spectrum review

Chris Redpath

If terrestrial broadcast goes, so does my TV. No line of sight to the astra location, and I can't be the only one.

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Living with a 41-megapixel 808 PureView: Symbian's heroic last stand

Chris Redpath

Re: "BBC’s iPlayer arrived on Symbian first"

I'm pretty sure that the Symbian iPlayer app shipped preinstalled on the n96 supported downloading in around 2006, and most of them after that did while the windows media DRM was in use.

Haven't used a Symbian in a couple of years so I don't know the current situation.

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Microsoft notices Xbox gamers actually slack-jawed TV fans, adds 43 new apps

Chris Redpath

Copycat? Not likely.

I think MS had TV services in mind a long time before Apple launched the Apple TV.

Back at the turn of the century they were busy striking deals with all sorts of cable companies for VoD services, and if I remember rightly they even launched some VoD services in 2001. AppleTV didn't ship until March 2007.

As well as that, with steady (slow) progress in the intervening years, it was one of the cornerstone features of the 360 launch. Not that there was much visible progress in the UK but the plans were out there in plain sight.

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Boffins: Our memory film is like your girlfriend - transparent and cheap

Chris Redpath

Re: Life span too short

Not necessarily, MLC NAND flash blocks have erase counts (PE Cycles) from 1200 upwards. The less PE cycles you have, the better your wear levelling algorithms and cell overprovision need to be.

Commercial viability depends mostly on speed and density.

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Mobile net filters block legit content too – campaign group

Chris Redpath

Vodafone also blocks daft sites

I turned mine off on holiday a couple of years ago when it wouldn't let me look up the menu for a restaurant on my phone. Highly frustrating!

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Google Drive stalls on LAUNCH DAY

Chris Redpath

Re: Windows

Domain Settings => General => New User Features => Rapid Release

You're welcome.

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Chris Redpath

Re: Windows

I had this too, but there is a setting about rolling out new features immediately or not. When I changed it to roll out immediately, then Drive was available to use.

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India's new Atom-powered Xolo X900 ISN'T Intel's first smartphone

Chris Redpath

I might be incorrect but I thought that the first two Communicators were GEOS-based, with a 386 processor.

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Compulsory coding in schools: The new Nerd Tourism

Chris Redpath

Re: So how do you teach coding?

I did GCSE CS back in the early 90s, and it certainly involved spreadsheets and databases but there was also some coding. I do also remember that there was lots of old-fashioned diagrams to learn and be able to waffle about. Truth be told, I don't think I learned a lot but by then I was almost 10 years into coding so it wasn't a surprise for me. I liked my teacher though, and we had fun in the lessons as well.

We used to have coding lessons in my primary school too :)

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Regulator reckons telly advert caps are just peachy

Chris Redpath
WTF?

That little? Seems like more

Hang on a mo, only 7 or 9 ad-minutes-per-hour? I'm going to start counting this. I have noticed lately that programmes I record take a lot less time to watch than they did to broadcast when you skip through the non-programme parts.

Perhaps ads for the channel itself and adverts for upcoming shows are excluded? That would explain why a 1-hour show only takes 30 minutes to watch from a PVR.

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Strictly Come Dancing in 3D: the facts

Chris Redpath

Unfortunately, the 3D used on the BBC HD test card is in side-by-side rather than crosseye format (L & R images are on the wrong side for crosseye viewing). You can still free view it, but you need to aim your eyes out rather than in which takes more practise :)

I find that if the TV image is small enough in your field of view, then I can lock focus on these images and see the 3D but I have to try really hard to avoid cross-eye viewing, in which case the 3D field is inverted and it all looks very odd indeed.

If only the side-by-side TV format had been the opposite way around, you'd have been able to watch it on any old TV easily.

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Ofcom asks Arqiva to stick price on 600MHz spectrum

Chris Redpath

The problem with putting wifi or other data uses in this spectrum space is (as mentioned in the article) that we will be one of very few countries where such spectrum is available, so devices will probably be rare and more expensive than alternatives. Such usage really needs to be coordinated on at least an EU-wide basis, and ideally more.

If it's used for TV you could also put MPEG4-encoded SD channels on it with DVB-T2 broadcasting and squeeze more channels in. If each mux is able to give about 25Mbps, you could have 10 or more SD channels each. A mix of 4-8HD channels and an additional 10-20 SD channels sounds pretty good to me. Stick all the +1s on there, so people without T2 equipment can get more real channels.

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Unlikely contender tops rankings in Nokia ringtone quest

Chris Redpath

Even if it gets nowhere in the competition, I bet people will still download it and put it on their phones.

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Why modern music sounds rubbish

Chris Redpath

Yep

Doesn't your Home Cinema have a night mode? It reduces the dynamic range so you can set the volume to something appropriate and still hear everything. Useful for watching at night, funnily enough :)

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Chris Redpath

It's unlikely to be digital artefacts

Since they don't exist for all practial purposes - and I am not an audiophile or have expensive equipment. I don't believe any of my equipment is capable of producing much above 20KHz and I probably can't hear anything above about 16 anyway.

I can't believe that anyone can listen to the CD version of something like Death Magnetic, then the Guitar Hero version and tell me there is nothing wrong with the CD. It's mashed.

I love dubstep too, so it's not just loudness. It's something wrong with the mix.

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Chris Redpath

FM

I can happily accept that FM radio is compressed to buggery, after all most of the time it's piped to crappy speakers and in cars where the background noise levels are high. I do wish CDs sounded better though.

That SOS article linked above is certainly worth a read - it shows that there is a similar misconception around the consequences of the loudness wars and that it's not as simple as you might expect.

Whatever the actual cause is (dynamic range, RMS curve ratio etc.) the result is that a lot of music is not suitable for sustained listening any more. Music industry, please fix it!

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Chris Redpath

I've noticed it too

Now I cannot listen to music for long periods like I used to, it's too grating on the ears. I'm not sure though if it's just me getting old or recordings being massaged into square waves.

It'd be interesting to see what this loudness crap does with lossy encoding, since it must be generating some interesting additional noise with all the clipping.

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£4.4m gov wad to get all Northern Ireland up to 2 Mbit/s

Chris Redpath

BB Speed would work for me too

We were thinking about moving last year, and the BB speeds were at least as important as other factors when considering areas.

You can't get any concrete indication, but you can at least check out the exchange that the house is likely to be connected to on Sam Knows and see what services are available there.

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BBC explains 'All your Twitter pics are belong to us' gaffe

Chris Redpath
WTF?

oh yeah, I need a title

I don't think you do upload images to *twitter*. You generally put them online somewhere and link to them in a tweet.

I wonder if one of the more restrictive image hosting companies might like to talk to the news companies? A couple of months ago, TwitPic seemed to have TOS which would allow them to do so, at least according to Glenn Fleishman..

http://boingboing.net/2011/05/12/all-your-pics-are-be.html

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Vodafone revs up UK femtocell program

Chris Redpath

I've mellowed somewhat on this

I have really poor vodafone reception at home, and actually I'd rather like to have one of these. I would even be prepared to pay £50 to have one. What I'm not prepared to do is to pay twice for the same data transfer.

I see two options - either femtocell usage is excluded from the mobile contract, or it's excluded from the broadband contract. Both ways are fairly easy technically, although might take quite some time to integrate into the various billing systems.

Actually, there is a 3rd even more unlikely way: If my vodafone contract were upgraded to include unlimited usage, that would also suffice.

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Judge blames RealNetworks for DVD-ripping ban

Chris Redpath
Unhappy

No right to backup in the UK

I think I'm right in saying that there is no right to backup anything in the UK, only a gentleman's agreement prevents us being prosecuted for copyright infringement when ripping CDs and DVDs actually *have* copy prevention technology.

I reckon you're completely illegal but then I'm in the same boat and I don't care either. In my house, kids DVDs are backed up or I don't buy them at all. I can't afford to replace them every couple of months when they're invariably scratched to sh1t getting them in or out of the case, or worse left lying on top of the machine in a stack.

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Tories oppose charges and speed cameras

Chris Redpath
Thumb Up

About time too

I'm all for increased road safety, but cameras have a reputation for being located in prime cash generating spots. I believe this is largely because of the lack of published effectiveness data - if they really are so great then show us all the data and we will maybe start to support them.

Publishing data about effectiveness and encouraging the most effective strategies for road safety sounds eminently sensible, so I'm skeptical that it'll ever happen but let's see.

I support driver education and traffic police personally, you only have to drive ten miles to see numerous examples of bad driving which cameras cannot prevent. Perhaps if drivers thought that a policeman may stop them for a little chat, they might take more care when driving a 2 ton lump of metal through busy streets.

I'm not a saint in the car, but I do try to drive responsibly. A policeman has the opportunity to apply some judgement in any action to be taken, at least in theory this should allow them to encourage good driving habits rather than blind avoidance of cameras.

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Nation's parents prepare to be vetted

Chris Redpath
FAIL

Registered non-related Childminders

This is quite an interesting development. Assuming you can become registered then there's a nice tax avoidance scheme in this.

You can claim childcare costs for a registered childminder from your pre-tax salary. If you have a reciprocal arrangement with another childminder, this would mean each of you avoiding tax on the portion of your salary that you 'pay' the other.

You can also add childcare costs onto any child tax credits you claim, further increasing the amount of your money that you get out of the chancellor's greedy mitts.

For that reason alone, I expect the government to get themselves out of this as soon as practically possible.

I wouldn't be surprised if they further amend the law such that reciprocal childcare payments are counted as tax fraud. To be frank though not much would surprise me with this bunch.

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Warning: Showers can seriously damage your health

Chris Redpath

indeed

What I'd like to know is how dangerous the flow is after you've let it run long enough to get warm? Not much, I'd bet. I expect the slippy floor is more dangerous.

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Martha Lane-Fox: No broadband, no citizenship

Chris Redpath
Black Helicopters

Nice one Andrew!

I don't always agree with your pieces but I do this one, internet access won't reach everyone until all the old codgers die out.

Government may see us all as their customers but they'd do well to realise that they are mere servants, whose position exists at the will of the people (oh if only it worked like that!). Businesses may decide that it's uneconomical to serve some small percentage of clients (witness Linux support from lots of companies, for example) however governments should not have this luxury.

In a way I'm glad this shower is likely to get kicked out shortly, but I'm rather afraid that we might end up with something even worse. Ho hum what to do.

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Digital Vision GiGo DV-DTR1 USB PVR

Chris Redpath

no digitiser

@EddieD : Generally these kind of devices do little more than save the MPEG stream as it comes out from the tuners, they don't have any way to encode MPEG.

This keeps the cost down, but limits the functionality in ways that seem distinctly arbitrary compared with the VCRs of old.

Am I the only person in the world who wishes there were a sufficient market to justify creating a 'premium' Freeview+ PVR with a nice box, great UI and some decent hardware in it these days? The race to £20 freeview boxes has left us with a load of old tosh on the shelves and my Sony STB isn't going to last forever.

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BBC vs ISPs: Bandwidth row escalates as Tiscali wades in

Chris Redpath
Go

It's a good thing if you want decent connections

When the dust settles, this will probably mean that ISPs start having to be transparent about exactly what you get for your money. This is a good thing for everyone - there will be cheap packages available with less data allowances and there will be more expensive packages available with higher data allowances. However, you will *know* what you're buying when you sign up for it.

This will allow ISPs with a decent service to sell more connections at a higher rate - something which currently is limited to the market of customers who have a clue about what they want from a network.

If you want to see ISP transparency in action, take a look at entanet and their resellers.

Hopefully we'll see the available options blossom - no longer will the only comparison point be headline price.

I'm looking forward to it.

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Equifax asks customer to email debit card photocopies

Chris Redpath
Linux

It's so frustrating with free and open public key encryption available.

There is no reason for *anyone* to send you sensitive information or request it without using encryption. It's very easy to use, free to get hold of, and plenty secure enough for this kind of thing.

You can also verify that the email you received was the one sent, that the person who sent it is who they say they are and they can verify that they are in fact talking to the correct person.

All it needs is a secure key exchange.

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Line up for full-windscreen satnav

Chris Redpath

better off just indicating direction

Drawing a line like the illustration is bound to distract drivers. It would be far better to just display an indication of what action is required at the next junction and an estimated distance. It doesn't even need to be textual information - just a shrinking line or something.

Much like a TomTom does when you've got it set not to display the maps (for safety reasons - does anyone ever use that setting?)

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Save the BBC - by setting it free

Chris Redpath
Alert

Stupid and Dangerous

The BBC only has it's position because of it's history. If you sell it off, you will gradually lose everything that makes it the BBC and then you'll be in the same position as ITV and other commercial operators.

I don't want to pay upwards of £30 a month to watch TV occasionally, £11.61 is much more reasonable. The only reason it's so cheap is because we all pay it. I'm happy to know that my licence fee pays for all that - all without advertising subsidy. I think it's a fantastic deal - there is a broad range of TV, some of the best radio stations in the world and one of the world's favourite websites. You couldn't get all that commercially *without advertising in programmes* for any money.

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PC superstore refuses to take sack in hand

Chris Redpath

I know they are mostly idiots, but really it's not all bad

Unless it's changed, I've bought a few things at the Cambridge PC World in the last few years and had problems with them. Not once have I had a problem returning any of it for a refund and in fact it's that which has meant I've bought other items there since.

If you check their website (a bit hit and miss sometimes), then just occasionally the item you're after or a decent alternative will be available on their reserve and collect type thing. If the price is within a few pounds of other internet prices, then more often than not I'll just reserve it and go to the store. At least you get it today and not in a week.

Mind you, I'd never expect to get actual proper advice from someone that works there. They are the argos of computing.

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The BBC iPlayer 'launch' that wasn't

Chris Redpath

DRM, what DRM?

Check out Wikipedia to find out all about Windows Media DRM, there's some interesting links that iPlayer users might find useful.

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Chris Redpath

Top gear downloaded to me in about 12 minutes.

I guess this demonstrates the quality of the service. I registered the other day, and downloaded the top gear special (being the only thing on there I would ever watch). It was done in about 12 minutes, possibly a little sooner.

When you get it, the picture's crap but the show is as good as ever ;-)

I'm thinking about removing it actually. There's nothing worth watching anyway and I hate watching TV at my computer.

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Stripogram councillor rocks Devon Lib Dems

Chris Redpath

How about these?

"Lib Dems lose Two Inches to Stripogram"

"Phone sex not popular in Church"

"Two Inches out, Stripogram stays"

etc. etc.

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Linux media centre integrates YouTube

Chris Redpath

Shame about the hardware

This device would be perfect if it had the grunt to handle HD media playback and a decent HD output - component probably takes too much space, but DVI or HDMI would fit. Amusing that their website tries to sell the lack of this as a plus point against the Apple TV :-)

Personally speaking, I'd also like it to have built in DVB-T tuners, but we're probably getting into HTPC territory.

And, no MKV support? How odd.

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Sony debuts dual-box HD-editing PC

Chris Redpath

This fits my HTPC idea too!

I have a unit for my screen which has a fair bit of well ventilated space inside it, where I could hide a larger main box for a system, and for a while now I've been looking for an external enclosure which could take the optical drives and an IR sensor so that the lovely sleek externals aren't spoiled by a massive great PC.

The price is not in line with my purposes, but the form factor certainly is.

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