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* Posts by JeffyPoooh

527 posts • joined 28 Jun 2013

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Stick a 4K in them: Super high-res TVs are DONE

JeffyPoooh
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Re: aware of the benefits of 4K

This is exactly the same argument that happened when SD was being supplanted by HD.

At the time, we had a really nice 53-inch SD TV capable of awesome picture quality (within the limits of 480i). Our satellite receiver would receive SD and HD signals, and down convert the HD to 480i for viewing on our big SD TV.

Here's the thing. The HD transmissions, even when down-converted to 480i SD, *always* looked better than the SD transmissions. Even on a 480i SD TV.

Same thing with 4K. We now have an Apple TV gadget connected to our 50-inch 1080p TV. We can go onto YouTube and search on "4K" videos. They always look better than the normal HD videos, even when down-converted (presumably at YouTube) to 1080p.

Conclusions: You don't need to have a 4K TV to reap the benefits of videos made in 4K. There's more to video quality than just the pixel count at the display. I wonder if the people making 4K videos are simply going to more beautiful locations?

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JeffyPoooh
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Pssst!! The Chinese are here

I bought a couple of 50-inch 1080p LCD TVs for Cdn$386 [!!!] each (US$360 equivalent, plus some taxes to fund our 'free' health care), including shipping [!!!]. Brand name is Changhong, or Chonghang, or something. Actually what happened is that I bought one, nervously, and when it arrived it was diverted by Her of the Indoors to a place of pride above the mantel. We thought that the picture was good enough, that I immediately ordered another one for the original destination. The picture has poor black levels, and it's only an 8-bit panel. Otherwise - LOL - picture quality is fine. But seriously, one can watch the usual HD helicopter-landscape shows and the images are drop-dead gorgeous. I've seen $1000+ TV that were not as good. And the power consumption of this TV is extremely low, off the bottom end of the Energuide/EnergyStar scale. And it has speakers that are loud for day to day use.

Anyway - on to the subject at hand: 4K TVs.

The same website via auction site had a similar 4K 50-inch TV, brand name Seiki, on (at times) for $600 with (at times) trivially cheap shipping (like $5). They're back up to $780 right now, but the message is clear...

The Chinese are here. TVs are going to get cheap-as-chips. And they'll have the Black Levels sorted out by next year.

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Google's Canadian 'memory hole' to continue

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What if any results related to "Equustek" were 'disappeared'?

One can't be too careful.

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BEST BATTERY EVER: All lithium, all the time, plus a dash of carbon nano-stuff

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"...if the anode could be made of lithium, it would make batteries lighter..."

Anode surface = chemistry.

Anode center = conductor.

The anode structure should be made of something that is a good conductor and light (and might even be hollow if applicable), and then it should be plated with whatever the heck they want to make the chemistry work. It matters not if the plating 'weighs the Moon' per unit volume since it could be a thin layer.

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'Blow it up': Plods pop round for chat with Commonwealth Games tweeter

JeffyPoooh
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Re: Expect nothing less

Over-reaction? As compares to "...they gave me a 1 hour warning of their arrival by phoning me to find where I was."

I think it's so sweet the way they called ahead. Lovely. Have some tea ready.

In many other countries that are not actually free, they'd have kicked the door in without warning, and shot everyone. Years of pre-trial detention, and then a 550-year sentence.

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DAYS from end of life as we know it: Boffins tell of solar storm near-miss

JeffyPoooh
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Re: Water supplies?

Some of us are on wells. We already know what to do. We'll be fine.

Drop by if you need a glass of water.

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JeffyPoooh
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Long things, and things connected to long things

Your household goods should be fine, assuming that the pole mounted transformer near your house is all up-to-date. Our is, since the last one got hit by lightning and exploded. Our electricity went OFF during the hit, and nothing was damaged in that particular strike.

The grid wiring will survive, but perhaps not the gear in the switching yards.

[edited to add the beer.]

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Put down that Oracle database patch: It could cost $23,000 per CPU

JeffyPoooh
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Re: Ah. The 'license audit'.

Wait until you discover that the "patch" also included the Ask toolbar !!

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Indie ISP to Netflix: Give it a rest about 'net neutrality' – and get your checkbook out

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Re: Amen

"…. don't put any investment back into the system to improve service."

We live in the forest, low density multiacre lots. A few weeks ago our ISP rolled out fiber optic to the area including going literally the extra mile to our neighbourhood. They've invested tens of millions here and tens of millions there and so on.

I'll acknowledge that YMMV.

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JeffyPoooh
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Re: Even the story doesn't seem to make sense.

If it's a Netflix server, then Netflix should pay for it. And for the traffic between Netflix servers, and for the power, and perhaps even for the floor space. Ideally the Netflix server would be on the other side of a demarcation barrier, and shove their Cat 6 through a glory hole to the ISP. The only requirement on the ISP should be to efficiently accept all the Cat 6 offered. Netflix pays for their side of the wall.

Even the Pr0n CDNs pay their own bills. So Netflix is a step down from pornographers. Trying to be Netflix without standing up a CDN.

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JeffyPoooh
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Re: @vince

"...Netflix tries to bully their way in for free co-location *AND* make the ISP pay to haul the traffic."

Agreed. My working assumption is that Netflix are being manipulative. I'll grant that the USA and elsewhere are plagued with subpar ISPs, but that doesn't really change the apparent fact that Netflix is manipulting the anger of the unwashed masses through a campaign of misinformation.

Thankfully my ISP is recently stellar (fiber, 175 Mbps), and I've no use for the brain Pablum on offer from Netflix. So I'm not directly involved in this mud slinging festival of deception.

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JeffyPoooh
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Amen

This is (one of) the exact same point(s) I've been making for weeks.

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Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid: The plug-in for plutocrats

JeffyPoooh
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Re: MY EYES!!

The Porsche Panamera looks better in white, a la Top Gear.

In white, and twenty-six miles away.

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FRIKKIN' LASERS could REPLACE fibre-optic comms cables

JeffyPoooh
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Re: Why?

AC makes a good point.

If they use this technique in practice, then some technician will eventually discover that if he switches some wires around he can use the high power, air-heating laser to send the data even further.

At least this report is better than CBC which stated that this technique would allow data transmission "anywhere in the world", neglecting the curvature of the Earth, and "into space", neglecting that it would be difficult to heat air in a hard vacuum.

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All those new '5G standards'? Here's the science they rely on

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Re: re. small antennas

I'm not sure that I qualify as an expert, but...

A long time ago, there was an April 1st article about bouncing radio signals off the Moon (Earth-Moon-Earth, EME), a sub-hobby (seriously) filed under Ham radio. EME is normally done at UHF and above, using large antennas and high power. The author of the article noted that pathloss went down with lowering the frequency and he thus concluded that Moonbounce should be attempted at the lowest possible Ham frequency, 160m or 1.8 MHz. The punchline was "Fewer wavelengths to the Moon." Funny. Sort-of.

Same sort of thing really. Yes, there's an element of truth in your point; but there are other factors at work.

The pathloss equation is informative. Path Loss (dB) = 32.45 + 20log(km) + 20log(MHz).

LNA Noise also tends to go up with frequency. So, using the upper end of the radio spectrum *is* very challenging in the SNR department, but there's plenty of space for wide signals and Coding gain. Etc.

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JeffyPoooh
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Software Defined Radios will be part of all this...

SDR technology provides some useful flexibility, but beware. The processing requirements of each new generation of advanced waveform swamp out the hardware capabilities of the previous generation of SDR hardware.

If someone marketing SDR products promises that your hardware is SDR and "will therefore be future-proof", then just punch them square in the face.

SDR is no more future-proof than your PC or smartphone.

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The Sun took a day off last week and made NO sunspots

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Re: It's the beginning of the next Maunder Minimum.

"Just because the sun temporarily reduces it's output does not mean that man-made global warming doesn't exist."

Depends. If the man-made global warming was swamped out and the Earth actually cooled because of the Sun, then it ain't 'warming'. You'd have to call it "man-made global less-cooling-than-expected'; but it wouldn't be "...warming" as such. Semantics. :-)

Jake's point *is* valid. If the Sun is settling down then it *will* impact climate. Probably more than man. This might be perfect timing. Maybe we would have time to build windmills and solar panels in a way that doesn't involved burning lots of Mongolian dirty brown coal.

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JeffyPoooh
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Re: It's the beginning of the next Maunder Minimum.

@GM: Ad hominem attack + Appeal to authority = major fail.

Jake's *point* is valid. Unless, perhaps, you think that the Sun has no influence over the Earth's climate.

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Banning handheld phone use by drivers had NO effect on accident rate - study

JeffyPoooh
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Coppers!

Police use their mobile phones for a higher percentage of their time than their radios.

They have an exemption (at least here, YMMV).

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GoTenna: How does this 'magic' work?

JeffyPoooh
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Re: WTF?

Then settle for UHF, specifically 'Family Service Radios'. They can also achieve 50+ km range *.

(* No they can't. Not without aircraft or mountains being involved.)

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Chrome browser has been DRAINING PC batteries for YEARS

JeffyPoooh
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CS = 'C' Students

Chrome under Android on a Nexus tablet crashes all the time. 100% Google.

Even their Gmail spam filter is failing lately, eating non-spam messages.

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JeffyPoooh
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Re: Bug?

"The bug was to not change it back..."

It's too bad the Windows OS doesn't have access to this setting.

/sarcasm

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New leaked 'Windows 8 screenshot': The Start Menu strikes back

JeffyPoooh
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Too bad that it's apparently impossible to have Start Button/Menu options

TC: "I don't want the bloody start menu..."

Too bad that it's apparently impossible to have Start Button/Menu options. You know: like the 327,485 other options available under Windows Settings, Options, Registry Hacks, etc.

Microsoft has successfully modified my behaviour. Here's how: I ain't buying Windows 8, or any PC that comes with it, until they back-off and provide the good old Start menu. This one with tiles is fine.

Obviously they should provide settings so people can have whatever they want.

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LightSquared backer sues FCC over spectrum shindy

JeffyPoooh
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Hmmm...

Many GPS Receivers are designed to work with external active antennas, antennas that have LNAs built-in. If there's going to be any overload from adjacent channels, then it would as likely as not happen within the LNA. Point being, there's not much that you can do to the "receiver" if the LNA is already gone all square wave on you. Any filtering would have to be within the antenna assembly, between the antenna element and the built-in LNA (i.e. *before* the LNA).

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NEW Raspberry Pi B+, NOW with - count them - FOUR USB ports

JeffyPoooh
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I wonder if the new Pi-B powers up via the USB ports?

Using a powered hub, and the hub (lacking a diode) provided +5v on the USB cable back to the Pi. The Pi wasn't particular about where the +5v showed up, so it would refuse to turn OFF when its power supply was turned off; happily continuing to run with the power unintentionally provided by the powered hub. Eventually I opened up the powered hub and cut a trace. That sorted it.

Do you think that they'll eventually release a Pi 'R' version? If they did, then I'd buy two. ...

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10Gbps over crumbling COPPER: Boffins cram bits down telco wire

JeffyPoooh
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Re: Dumb concept - stop being lazy and just run the fiber to the home

The poles (wooden telephone poles, not the sort of Poles from Poland found in the UK) are already in place all over much of Canada. They carry the power, telephone, Cable TV and now FibreOP.

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JeffyPoooh
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Re: Bell Labs GaAs modem from 1960s

@Bad-lywrong-vok

An AC has explained the bit about Atlantic Cables that you'd missed in school: repeaters.

Also, I must point out that the old Atlantic Cables using copper utterly failed to achieve 10 Gbps. Which is one reason why they switched to fiber optics.

Some your point is wrong on several levels all at once.

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JeffyPoooh
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Re: why not take it all the way in.

In Canada, the Cable TV companies make out like bandits.

Cable operators were the last big rollout in Canada (not including natural gas, lol), right up until Bell Aliant started rolling out FibreOP. They'll be stealing customers from the local Cable Co.s.

I've seen some of the technical background to their FibreOP system. There are some extremely clever efficiencies in the fiber bundling and related equipment. They also outsourced the installation of the main runs.

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JeffyPoooh
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Re: why not take it all the way in.

" The phrase 'wayleave' springs to mind. "

It must be difficult to live where there's no water, sewer, power, telephone, nor Cable TV services because of this insurmountable legal obstacle.

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JeffyPoooh
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Re: why not take it all the way in.

LZ: "...high density urban areas have conduits in place..."

Excellent point. So what's all the whinging about?

The basic problem seems to be that many of the ISPs or telcos haven't figured out that they could offer 'Cable TV' service once they have fiber installed. Another $100 per month from every customer by offering the Triple Play (phone, net, TV). That'll finance a lot of digging and climbing.

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JeffyPoooh
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"...can't I pay a regular ADSL type service charge?"

Yes. Move to Canada within the service boundaries of Bell Aliant.

Our previous boring old POTS (plain old telephone service) and 1.4 Mbps ADSL was right about $100 per month. 1.4 Mbps is pretty useless these days. That was as high as they could go over 4km of copper.

Same company, Bell Aliant FibreOP has now rolled out fiber, even to our neighbourhood in the forest, and thus offers a vastly better telephone (over fiber) service, with tonnes of features including emailed voice mails, and basic 50 / 30 Mbps Internet in a bundle for ... right about $100 per month.

Essentially zero difference in the price. You read that right. Better, faster, and no more expensive. Installation fee was $49. No contract. You pay another $15 to get 80 / 30 Mbps and yet another $15 to get 175 / 30 Mbps (which is nice). So about $130 a month for phone and 175 Mbps, but that's their top offering. Most people are happy with 50 Mbps.

The financial secret sauce is that they're now able to offer 'Cable TV' (fiber optic) service. Imagine that; a telephone company offering TV, thus chasing down their competition, the local Cable company. It also potentially roughly doubles the cash flow of their company (another $100 a month per customer). This is the duh-obvious secret that finances the whole system.

It will take many more years to get fiber run out to the distant corners. But since each run can reportedly span 40 km, it's pretty easy to roll trucks. They're so fast that they disappear down the road in an hour.

Sorry to be ranting on about this, but it important to announce that FTTH is indeed a cracked nut. Technically and financially. Problem solved. Just needs time to permeate.

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JeffyPoooh
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Learn the lessons from Bell Aliant FibreOP

They're just doing it - Bell ALiant FiberOP is FTTH. Urban, suburban and (slowly) even rural. It's a solved problem. Technical and financial. Many of the arguments against FTTH become hollow shells once you realize that FTTH is actually being done in other distant lands.

Another rebuttal to the 'Last Mile' (or last 30m) whining is that natural gas distribution networks also require digging. They're also being installed locally through solid bedrock and they don't stop at the curb. Their resultant cashflow isn't all that much different to the cashflow resulting from FTTH - each about $100 to $200 per month.

It's simply a management failure. Stop the whining and start digging.

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JeffyPoooh
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Re: why not take it all the way in.

So getting fiber to the home is actually more of an urban problem, not a suburban nor a rural problem. The suburbs and rural areas being far more likely to have overhead wiring. So, ironically, people in the urban jungles might need to move to the countryside to get FTTH.

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JeffyPoooh
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Re: why not take it all the way in.

Ah, underground wiring may take longer than an hour. I have to acknowledge that.

Of course, they might just use direct burial fiber cable, slit the ground and run the cable 6-inches deep and have it to the house in 20 minutes.

YMMV.

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JeffyPoooh
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Re: Bell Labs GaAs modem from 1960s

"...over several hundred miles and maintained well in excess of 600Mps..."

Let's examine this story. YOU PICK a reasonable number of dB loss per mile. I'll let you pick the number, but it would be insane to say a number less than 10 dB per mile, and that's being incredibly generous.

Multiply *your* 'per mile' loss per mile by 600 miles. You should have a total loss budget of at least 6000 dB.

6000 dB would protect you from The Big Bang. Seriously. The Universe could be being created 600 miles away, and you could just cower behind a cable, and you'd be fine.

6000 dB is a big number. Bigger than you can image.

.: Fake story.

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JeffyPoooh
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why not take it all the way in.

Exactly. Say FTTC is a given. It then takes a technician maybe an hour or so to run a new fibre from the curb to the house (*). To be explicit, the installation of new indoor kit is going to cost about the same with any new technology, fiber or ultra fast copper. Another hour or two, YMMV.

(* His Outdoors technician might spend more time friggen around with the new fiber to copper box of tricks.)

Decision makers ain't thinking straight.

FTTC + 2% (if that) = FTTH. Get over it.

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JeffyPoooh
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Re: It's due to cost

FibreOP installed a wee feisty ONT, a battery backup because the service includes telephone and that needs to work during outages, and a router. So yes, three boxes.

Of course with 175 Mbps to enjoy, I then I added my own 16-port GB switch, several NAS, two additional wifi routers (to make full use of the entire 2.4 GHz band, plus one on 5 GHz too), and a four foot power strip that is already full. So I've swamped out their hardware. The 4x2 foot panel is crammed full of network gear.

By the way, the old DSL installation was two boxes, modem and router (these can be combined these days, sometimes poorly). Plus a box for the POTS. Three becomes three, plus my 17 more.

YMMV.

I think that other telcos and ISPs had better study Bell Aliant FibreOP. They cracked the nut. They're doing it, FTTH. At about the same price as DSL. The secret sauce is that they can now sell Cable TV (over fiber). They have arranged financing and are rolling it out, even into rural areas. It's a solved problem.

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JeffyPoooh
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Dumb concept - stop being lazy and just run the fiber to the home

Our neighbourhood (in the forest, multi-acre lots) was recently wired up with FibreOP branded fiber optic cable. Getting the fiber to the end of the driveway was a pretty big deal. Involved dozens and dozen of people working for days, maybe weeks.

Then it required one technician about an hour to string a fiber down my 400-foot driveway to the house. Probably took him a bit longer than normal, what with getting the cable through the thick trees.

Then another indoor tech dropped in for a couple hours to install the ONT, battery pack, and Wifi Router (a duration that would be unchanged if he were installing a new copper based terminal). Now we have fantastic Internet service, presently 175 Mbps. And telephone. TV available, but not good enough for us yet.

So the delta on offer from this 'Save The Copper' offering is "one technician about an hour", the time it takes to string a fiber from the pole to the house. Whippity doo duh.

A whole bunch of effort to save a tiny fraction of the total cost. Dumb. Just run the damn fiber.

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Say goodbye to the noughties: Yesterday’s hi-fi biz is BUSTED, bro

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It's wonderful...

It's wonderful that speakers and headphones are now utterly and absolutely perfect. Engineering attention can now be turned to addressing the other major flaws in the system, such as nanoseconds of 'Jitter' in the D/A's clock.

;-)

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Man FOUND ON MOON denies lunar alien interface

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Re: "The offending footage of Buzz bopping Bart in the chops is on YouTube."

Bart4Brains never took any legal action against Buzz, in spite of the video of the arguable assault. You know why?

CAUSE THAT VIDEO OF THE PUNCH IS FAKE!!! IT NEVER HAPPENED. IT'S ALL A CONSPIRACY BY BART SIBREL!!

At least that's how the trial would turn into a recursive circus.

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Standby consumes MORE POWER THAN CANADA: IEA

JeffyPoooh
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Re: It comes down to power supply efficiency

Chas: "...a house full of 8W LED bulbs each chomping 0.5W 24/7 in standby mode..."

Huh? 8 watt LED light bulbs are *universally* installed into fixture with a hard power switch. When you turn off a light bulb, LED or otherwise, it's flippin' OFF.

There's NO SUCH THING as standby mode for a light bulb. At least not at this juncture in history.

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JeffyPoooh
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Speaking of Canada...

One version of this story, on CBC.ca, made special mention of "tablets" as being an example of a type of gadget where they burn too much power in Standby mode. {Rolls-eyes}... Yeah, standby mode, where the relatively tiny battery lasts for days.

Anyway, most the appliances I've bought recently are already off the scale (low end) in terms of their energy consumption including standby. Their EnergyStar/Energuide labels shows a range (e.g. 50" TV, $21-$67 per year), and my selected 50" TV is rated at $14 (setting a new record for next year's labels). Standby "<0.5w". My fridge and freezer are similarily off the scale.

It's a solved problem. Thus it's time to be extremely specific in the Name & Shame approach. Not just "game consoles", but specific models.

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USA to insist on pre-flight mobe power probe

JeffyPoooh
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Re: And what about electronic items WITHOUT batteries?

"...(...PS2...) ..."

Stuck at Heathrow Security without an NTSC TV, ...that also just happens to work on 240V/50Hz.

Just to be extra safe, they should force you to get 24,000 points on Donkey Kong before letting the Wii pass through.

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JeffyPoooh
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Re: New???

"...demonstrate that I could take a photo with my camera at NRW..."

Take a picture of the "PHOTOGRAPHY IS NOT PERMITTED IN THE SCREENING AREA" sign.

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Fibre to YOUR premises NBN still on table pending telco talks

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Re: 100MB

175 Mbps. As promised. Reliable and confirmed with Speedtest. Yes, passive fibre shared with up to 16 homes. Dedicated bandwidth using some sort of TDMA.

One crew fibred-up the neighbourhood, three workers and about 12 traffic controllers / safety folks. Another tech dropped by and strung the fibre from the pole, through the trees, to our house. The last guy dropped by to screw the ONT etc. to the panel and turn it on.

Slick and efficient. Full marks.

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JeffyPoooh
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Many good examples of FTTH

Bell Aliant FibreOP being strung all over Atlantic Canada.

Technology, finance, and outsourcing much of the installation.

It's even being run to low density neighbourhoods in the forest.

Study examples such as this; they've figured it out.

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Journal that published Facebook emoto-furtle study: Proper boffins get CONSENT

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Re: "We never meant to upset you."

I was emotionally traumatised by what was put on my FB feed during this experiment. I'm considering a multibillion dollar lawsuit, because a cheque with at least 8 digits would make me feel much better.

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Judge says there's no such thing as a 'Patent Troll'

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If someone invented a device to extract kilowatts of electricity from the vacuum...

They might get all the applicable patents, set up a licensing company, hire a legal team to enforce the rights, and then sit back to become the world's first trillionaire.

This is the sort of baby that shouldn't be tossed out with the Patent Troll bathwater.

--

That said, perhaps I'd be in favour of captial punishment for the losing side of any patent case. It would certainly cool off the frivolous lawsuits.

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Royal Navy parks 470 double-decker buses on Queen Elizabeth

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You think aircraft carriers are expensive...

Wait until you see the final bill for the F-35x!!

Is it possible that the fighters aboard might be more expensive than the ship that carries them?

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NSA man says agency can track you through POWER LINES

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Re: 50Hz hum randomiser

"...notch-filter, to remove everything from 20Hz to 100Hz..."

I'm not sure that a 5:1 band-stop filter qualifies as a "notch".

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