* Posts by Gareth Davies

17 posts • joined 5 Sep 2007

Steve Jobs death-grips iPhone 4 reality

Gareth Davies

SAR vs. Design

I guess my view as an antenna designer doesn't count for much in the media world, but here goes:

Can you have a design like the iPhone 4 with a good antenna?

Yes

Can you have a design like the iPhone 4 with a low SAR (Specific Absorption Rate) value?

Again, Yes.

Can you have both?

No.

Antennas are placed at the bottom of modern phones in order to keep the SAR Value down. This is simply due to the fact that a SAR test is from a particular point in a simulated human head. The easiest way to lower a SAR value is to move the antenna as far from the point of measurement as possible, which means the bottom of the handset.

If the antenna was at the top of the phone, the reception issue wouldn't happen, but the SAR value would be unacceptably high.

The Nokia E71 was the WORST phone for this phenomenon, of course Nokia are not going to accept this either.

http://www.boygeniusreport.com/2008/08/04/nokia-e71-2-reception-issues-mmm/

Not just Apple after all........

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O2 grovels for London network failure

Gareth Davies
Jobs Horns

They don't need more Base-stations......

There are plenty of GSM BTS's and UMTS NodeB's out there.

O2's issue is the state of their backhaul infrastructure. They have not got the bandwidth to the Cell Sites for the traffic.

They know it and are slowly trying to move forward, but they have changed strategy 3 times in 2 years to my knowledge. (Self Provide/Managed Service/Leased Backhaul).

On top of this, there is the issue of individual cell congestion, which those 200 or so sites will help with........

Devil Jobs........cos it's obviously the iPhones fault!

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Pitchfork-wielding mobs encircle smart meters

Gareth Davies
WTF?

Smart Meters are a coming.....

Not long now until these emerge in the UK....... BG and E.ON are already running field trials and starting to expand the service.

Smart meters will eventually give the option to allow you to save money by running certain appliances outside peak hours. The aim is that the meter signals via Power Line Carrier that an 'economy' tariff is now available and that devices wishing to take advantage of this can now operate.

It would work as follows:

1) Load Dishwasher/Washing Machine etc.

2) Program dishwasher with a must finish by time and select 'Economy Tariff' option.

3) Go to bed/work whatever.

4) Smart Meter signals economy Tariff availability.

5) Appliance starts.

or

4a) No tariff available and Appliance starts to end cycle by 'must finish by' time.

This is just a modern variant of the old 'Economy 7' Peak/Off peak metering system, but with modern logic and more control for the consumer.

This is not about the power company telling you when you can do things, it's about letting you control how much you spend on your energy and allowing the grid baseline generation to be used more efficiently.

Agree with other comments too. If any meters were faulty, it was the old ones.

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Fibreless fibre optics developed by US Air Force

Gareth Davies

So it's Free Space Optics Redux?

Free space optics have been around for years and have failed to capture any significant market share from P2P Microwave for the simple reason tat the links fail in fog and I can't see what the Air force version will be able to do differently. Fog attenuates light and the only way to overcome attenuation is to either increase receiver sensitivity or transmitted power. If it's powerful enough, the beam could literally 'burn' through the fog, but the power levels required over a 35km link would be astronomical.

I think the key though is Mobile. The link could be a beacon type system that could be used to communicate point to multipoint across a battlefield, with variable throughput/range determined by the prevailing conditions.

The answer to AC's question regarding this being the technology that gets high speed broadband to rural areas is no. Standard MW links can already offer an uncontended bandwidth of approximately 1GBPS to a single user over up to 25km these days, so when you factor in the fact that most people can't tell the difference between 24Meg BB and 100Meg BB, that bandwidth is more than enough to satisfy a rural community (20:1 Contention at 24Meg with 1GBPS backhaul gives true high speed internet to over 800 homes! Even at 100Meg it would serve 200 Homes). The reason it isn't being done is that the investment in the kit isn't warranted on the basis of the Customer take up and the price they'd pay. The core couldn't cope, let alone the access network!

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€25k for an old Nokia handset?

Gareth Davies

@AJ Stiles

Not quite.....the BTS is simply an RF Front End in many deployed networks, with the BSC handling all encryption exchanges and switching functions.

If the Phone is asociated with the same BSC and in some cases even the same MSC, the SMS can get sent out on a broadcast basis, rather than a host-client basis. This is to ensure delivery without multiple attempts from an individual BSC, i.e. it sends to all/several BTS's connected to the BSC simultaneously, however this is not the method I expect the black hats to use as it is rarely implemented other than on small networks such as private GSM PBX's.

I believe the way to do it would be to force the handset to re-register continually with the Network, forcing updates to the HLR and ensuring that the SMS is directed to the fraudulent handset as the SMSC requests the current status of the recipient handset and the HLR informs the SMSC which MSC/BSC the handset currently resides on. Since the encryption key is generated as a function of the IMSI and IMEI.............well you can see the rest.

Also, @ Mark think GSM encryption is that good do you?

http://blogs.techrepublic.com.com/wireless/?p=206

These encryption methods can and are broken on a regular basis, 3GPP has made it more secure, but not unbreakable.

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Gareth Davies

On the other hand......

The only way I can think this could work is if the hackers managed to scam the Bank Account holders IMEI and IMSI (SIM Card Number).

It wouldn't surprise me if the 1100 can be reprogrammed to accept a spoofed IMSI without a clone of the SIM card and can have it's IMEI changed to duplicate the holders phone. It may well be that the 1100 only requests the IMSI once on startup and stores it in RAM. If the hackers probe the ram and rewrite......well, you can guess the rest.

When the GSM network sends the SMS out, the duplicate phone would also be in receipt of the message, as it's encryption status would show the correct IMEI and IMSI registered on the HLR and as long as the handset was on a BTS/BSC registered to the same MSC, it 'May' get through. The only networks that would be vulnerable though are likely to be those that support multiple sim cards, i.e. for Car Phones etc.

If there is any truth to this, expect any existing Nokia 1100's to stop working soon (Then can do this via IMEI for non-changed ones) and for the networks to free issue a new mobile to any Customer who complained.

Having said all this, I can't see it happening tbh.

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Sky mulls PVR software rollback

Gareth Davies
Go

AV Drives or not.....I Fixed mine

All I did was replace the original 40GB Drive, force a software update (Hold Backup when switching mains supply on), wait for the software to reflash and hey presto.......backie workie.

I then went one step further and swapped the 250GB drive back in and, yep, you guessed it, it worked too.

So, Sky broke it, I fixed it. I'm happy.

The more interesting thing was that after Sky did their worst, I did a full system reset, which theoretically wipes the hard drive of recordings. When I recovered the system using the 40GB drive, I put the 25GB back in and they were all still there.

I personally believe that Sky knew what they were doing and did this as a way of finding out the penetration of hacked boxes in the wild. They probably picked up a few legit boxes due to shite quality control at their manufactrers.

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3G Americas warns against text warning systems

Gareth Davies
Paris Hilton

I thought............

I thought there were already GSM protocols in place that could deal with this in a better way, such as Cell info/Area info. This is based on the SMS cell broadcst system.....see this:

http://www.gsm-modem.de/sms-cell-broadcast.html

I hope they haven't missed the implications of this and tried to use the standard SMS system when a major notification system already exists.

Sounds like they sent in the consultant.................should have sent Paris.

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Glasgow tube gets phone coverage

Gareth Davies
Flame

Well, thats another fine mess, Glasgow first, then London.

Just when you thought it was safe to travel on the tube without having to put up with some snotty wanker bigging up his latest business deal on his mobile phone, they plan stuff like this. Just hope they bring in Silent carriages on the tube, but fat chance of that. (Hell, a clean carriage would be nice!)

Having said that, I can see one benefit to our disruptive elements. It will make it a lot easier for Martyrdom shy terrorists to do their thing............or for their handlers to make sure their Martyrs do go pop!

Interesting how Glasgow and London have both experienced terrorist attacks (Alright, Glasgow was more Amateur Hour I know).

Not impressed.

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Apple's 3G iPhone to launch 11 July

Gareth Davies
Alert

Nobody's telling anything about the distribution channels......

$199/$299 is a great price, but you can bet it will come with an 18 month contract and will be hard to get hold of without one.........

Bet you won't be able to take a 3G iPhone home without signing the contract before you leave the shop............looking at the Apple Uk Store, the only outlets are O2 and CPW, not Apple's own stores. This is likely due to the fact that Apple Stores aren't geared up for Contract sales.

Itunes activation will be to associate your profile rather than take your card details methinks.

Either that or the plan is to make it so cheap it puts everyone else out of business.

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Japan's Softbank signs up for iPhone

Gareth Davies
Paris Hilton

AC is Correct

There is absolutely no 'real' GSM coverage in Japan outside some handset manufacturers test beds and some Pico-cell usage for some international offices I believe.

Most 2G/2.5G networks out there use a Japanese standard system called PDC or the slightly more popular globally, CDMA. Any 3G network uses a variant of W-CDMA )sometimes referred to as FOMA I believe).

Softbank operate a PDC (1.5GHz) and W-CDMA (2GHz) network, yet the majority of handsets they offer are Dual Mode GSM/W-CDMA for the international roamers.

If Softbank are offering the IPhone, they will therefore be offering a Dual Mode, GSM/W-CDMA model, which essentially confirms what every man and his dog already knows.

Roll on Monday........

Paris, cos She's something else i'd love o get my dirty mitts on.

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NASA researching 'nanosats' for orbiting 5G space network

Gareth Davies

Ummm, his isn't all that new.......

Sounds like Iridium Mk2 to me!

Iridium was killed of by GSM, so this will have to go toe to toe with whatever land based system comes after WIMAX and LTE.

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Sony and Sky plan summer release for video download scheme

Gareth Davies
Paris Hilton

@ AC

Don't really understand the background to the case you referenced do you?

NDS paid a guy to try to crack an NDS protection system. Problem was, the best guy to do this worked for the competition at the time......hence the squirrelled away cash. i.e. The guy was paid to security test a Company's product.

What are dish pissed about? The fact that their system was insecure, or that one of their employees has worked on the side for a competitor. Either way, they are doing it for the shareholders in order to show them they are safeguarding their revenue streams.

Having said that, he could have subsequently let the flaws of his own Company's products be known to NDS and they may have 'accidentally' released this into the public domain in order to undermine their competitors. hmm, now if i'd been fired for doing a foreigner for a competitor......I might think of hitting back in some small way, especially if I didn't feel i'd done much wrong.........

However, these systems are only for the protection of the transmitter really. If Sky had a competing offering to DISH in the US, it would be a concern, but they don't.

Alternatively, it could be argued that they are just exploiting a weakness in the system as a technical exercise to see how robust the competitions systems are.

honest guv.

And absolutely nothing to do with generating more viewers FOC for the NI/Sky owned channels..... These guys make most of their money from advertising remember.

Paris, because it doesn't take much more to crack her than to get free DISH channels.......

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T-Mobile slashes iPhone cost

Gareth Davies

Ok.................

3G iphone on the horizon then, retailing at the same price as the old one?????

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Belkin wireless HDMI box spied at CES

Gareth Davies
Alert

@ Richard Gadsen

So long as the system is a single HDMI being transmitted point to point, not point to multipoint, I can't see a problem.

It is effecctively a wire simulator.

More concerned about whether we will actually be allowed to use this in the UK. All depends on the channel bandwidth employed.............Apple had this problem on the Airport Extreme, having to limit the performance due to restrictions on channel bandwidth. Wonder if Ofcom ever sorted it out?????????

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Hey car thief! Gonna shut you down

Gareth Davies
Jobs Horns

Nice Idea

Nice idea, already implemented by some third party alarm/immobiliser manufacturers.

One problem from GM's point of view is that every car with Onstar has an Antenna on the outside of the vehicle. Whether or not the system is built into the ECU, it must tx/rx to the outside world.

2 minute job to rip the antenna off and short out the cable. Communications gone!

Stop me now copper!!!!!!

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O2 starts charging for calls to non-places

Gareth Davies

It isn't only the mobile operators that make money from 0870/0845

If you ring an 0845/0870 number, you are effecctively paying whoever you are calling.

0845 and 0870 numbers mean revenue actually ends up in Tesco/Whoever's pockets. If the calls were included in the bundled allowances, the Operator would be paying a portion of their guaranteed revenues (£30 per month for example) to a third party, effectively losing money due to the higher interconnect costs of these services.

It does make sense why they are doing this, but it also means I am cancelling my contracts immediately, because I can!!!!

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