* Posts by Mage

7760 posts • joined 23 Nov 2007

Europeans turn backs on Ultrabooks

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Or only Apple fans prepared to buy overpriced shinyness?

FCC turns auction upside down for $300m rural 3G broadband

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3G Broadband?

Rural 3G extends voice coverage and Internet on the go. It doesn't provide broadband. None at all.

Fixed Wireless with directional outdoor aerials can provide broadband, but only if there are NO mobile/nomadic users.


see also http://www.techtir.ie/comms

Ten... Valentine's Day gifts for her

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Get Real

This is an insulting collection. Especially #1

I'm amazed you didn't make #10 a Barbie.

Ancient cave girl genome could crack Man's genetic puzzle

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Bible? 6000 years?

Says no such thing anywhere in the bible. That's just bad medieval guessing.

It involves people making assumptions.

Nokia axes 4,000, shifts smartphone manufacturing East

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Prior Art

Apple will sue for copying the Manufacturing Chain?

Spacemen urge NASA to build nuke ship for Mars trip

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Which was first?

Footfall or Project Orion?



I can't be sure the wikifiddlers are accurate.

High Street chains vow to play fair on warranties

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It's sickening

These are not Warranties.

They are insurance/gambling and many issues in reality covered by Sale of Goods.

They should just be banned from selling . so called "Warranties" or Insurance at all..

Conclusive proof of human activity causing glacier to vanish

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Joan Aiken


How do you steal a lake in the Andes?

Cut it up and cart it off when it's frozen :-)

An NT-powered Windows Phone? Not so fast...

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NT3.51 vs NT4.0

In high reliability situations the NT3.51 lived on quite a while after NT4.0. They blew stability for a measly 10% increase in video & game performance. Yet it wasn't until XP that most games really used NT rather than the Win9x platform.

Since Printer Drivers use GDI also and sort of emulate a graphics surface on NT4.0 a bad printer driver could "BSOD" your workstation or Server. Impossible on NT3.1 to NT3.51.

Ironically the WHOLE NT3.1 was release about the same time as ONLY the kernel of GNU/Linux, I think in 1993.

Why NT3.51? Well, MS "invented" largely fake APIs so Win95 Apps wouldn't run on WFWG3.11 (some only really 16bit). In reality WFWG3.11 had 32bit TCP/IP, 32bit Diskmanager option and Win32s to run NT applications (no named pipe creation was only significant lack).

So they had to add these to NT3.5 and give many a free upgrade to NT3.51. Oh, no version of win9x could create named Pipes either. Win95a little more than all the 32bit options for WFWG3.11 with the Explorer shell.

NT4.0 could use Program Manager and Filemanager and there was a "Technology preview" Explorer shell for NT3.51.

I think Win CE was more a cut down NT with very limited thread/process space (a fixed number) done for a Sega console, and not based on WFWG3.11/Win9x. It was designed for very limited memory with no paging, hence small fixed resource limits rather than dynamic structures. The main stupidity of WinCE PDAs and Phones was using a miniature version of the Windows interface instead of something designed for a small screen. 320 x 240 was a LARGE win CE screen for a long time!

ARM rains on x86 as smartphones outship PCs

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It came from Digital Equipment Corp as part payment in a patent spat.

After a little development they sold most of the ARM stuff to Marvel, though kept a comms SOC with ARM core.

So I wouldn't say they were ever very keen. Their own i960 RISC controller was popular once, but Intel failed to develop it sensibly and do good SOC.

Part of the success of ARM is that it's usually just a small part of an SOC. Even 4 or 5 years ago an ARM SoC might have had the equivalent I/O of an entire laptop motherboard. I used the Samsung 6400 SOC before iPhone and it has the Flash and RAM chips stacked on the ARM SoC all in a 3mm high package. So no Flash or RAM PCB traces or PCB footprint. Intel still don't have an SoC with all the I/O of that part (inc Graphics) low enough power to stack even one other chip on top.

BT Vision throws Microsoft Mediaroom under a bus for Linux

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The actual OS core of Win CE is fine, but the rest is rubbish.

Of course can it compete with Ethernet /IP services now integrated into so called "Smart TV" and the Freesat HD / Freeview HD boxes with Internet?

Cray shrinks XE6m supers down to a rack

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Anyone else?

Feel they could be sued by Coca-Cola or the Acme Vending Machine Co. ?

Ofcom needs you... to carve up 37GHz of spectrum

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Perhaps a mess

But guess who is responsible and will make it worse.

It's not just about the "price of kit"

1.4GHz to 2.5GHz is progressively poorer range and Indoor penetration.

2GHz to 5GHz is progressively no use for Indoor penetration

3GHz to 10GHz is progressively more line of sight (LOS).

8GHz to 86GHz is limited to LOS point to point links or very short range.

There are multiple bands from 1.4GHz upwards for Satellite, Astronomy or High Altitude Platforms, governed by International Treaty. Ofcom and FCC may think they can, but in reality they should not get "creative" on these.

S, L, C, Ku, Ka etc bands.

2.4GHz and 5.8GHz are pan European Licence Free. "Free for all"

1.8GHz., 2.1GHz, 2.3GHz 2.5GHz, 3.5/3.6GHz and 10.2GHz 10.5GHz are Pan-European Mobile phone, Mobile Data or Fixed Data.

1.9GHz Pan European DECT

Most of it Ofcom has to do the same as rest of Europe. They are too interested in minimising their work and maximising their revenue. Not enough interested in Spectrum protection or the Consumer or value of National Infrastructure. (PLT /Homeplug / CE mark enforcement on CFLs and SMPSUs ?)

Why Start at 1.4GHz rather than 790MHz?

Note: Staring into a live waveguide gives you Cataracts, but not cancer.

Apple lures Dixons boss Browett to run global retail biz

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Now I know why I'm not in charge of a major brand "something".

I'm not mediocre enough!

iPads propel Apple to PC market top slot

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An iPad is to PCs what a DVD player is to a Video Editing Suite.

You might as well include Internet enabled Set-boxes, TVs and BD players as call an iPad a PC.

Boffins make graphene micro-distillery

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I was disapointed

I thought they had a new way to distil graphene from unwanted vodka. Though I can appreciate that the actual discovery may be better.

Intel bags $120m patent hoard from RealNetworks

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Black Helicopters

The End

I doubt Real Networks has a decent Neg Gen Codec.

It's a final gasp of Real Networks, asset strip. Likely the cash will evaporate and Real Networks close. They have been fairly irrelevant for a few years now.

Intel just hoovering up some IP and engineers with loose change.

Top RIM jobs shake-up: Heads roll... but not very far

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QNX - Qtopia

RIM buying QNX is as good for it as Nokia buying Trolltech turned out to be (which would have been smart if left as a separate company). Or Morphing Me-goooy (Maemo Moblin meego fiasco). Or HP buying Palm-OS

Some people did use QNX as embedded OS (on things with no display). I'd guess they are all switching to VX/Works and real timer kernel versions of Linux.

Another burning platform?

Intel chieftain outlines broad tablet, smartphone blitz

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Very funny

Intel need a new architecture. Or else to develop ARM based solutions like Qualcomm and Texas do. They do still have an xscale comms processor (old) and ARM licence. They were arrogant selling the rest of xscale to Marvell.

They are still standing in the wet place in Egypt.

The x86 and x64 are stupid even on PC. The Itanium was obviously the wrong direction. They don't have to embrace ARM but clinging onto x86 and X64 is plain silly.

Alcohol DOUBLES LIFESPAN, helps resist stress

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Homoepathic Beer?

Not Homoeopathic beer. In Homoeopathy each dilution is diluted. There is small probability of there even being one atom left. Homoeopathic Beer is indistinguishable from water.

Use iBooks Author, only Apple can ever publish the result

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Open Office

and Libre Office

It's simple

Nothing from Apple is Free. You paid a premium for their HW. They want to lock you into their HW and Store.

They should be banned from Educational establishments due to the lifelong lock-in to proprietary HW, OS, tools and Store.

Kodak's moment: Camera biz files for bankruptcy

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They are dead

Too late

'Space Monkey' craze: Texan students 'get high' by choking each other

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People did this to other people

The one that fell on floor and got kicking didn't see the thrill value. The ones doing the kicking got the thrill.

NEC claims terabit-plus record with 10,000 km hop

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Given that a fibre cable in a duct is actually many of these 4Tbps fibres, that means one street cabinet with only a SINGLE cable could be equivalent to a Million Mobile phone masts.

Data centers to cut LAN cord?

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Wiring (fibre or copper) outperforms Wireless.

Either the reporting is bad or the people doing this are clueless.

Flog secondhand MP3s at your peril - law guru

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What you need is a USB Thumb drive that can load *multiple* Fingernails.

They exist already and just need to be cheaper and with less storage. Micro-SD card?

Be fairly easy to make/hack a USB "thumb drive" today that can take 32 x Micro SD cards. 4 layers, two rows of 8 x slots on each side. I might make one anyway just for fun.

Can MicroSD cards be cheap enough to be given away free with Albums, like the plastic and aluminium is "free" when you buy a CD or DVD?

Mine's the one with a pocket full of Fingernails.

Golden booty-shakin' bug named after pop diva Beyoncé

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Risque photo to Enrage Daily Mail

It seems to be pole dancing.

MS, Intel challenged over Windows 8 tablet prices

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To compete with Apple

You need to be better and cheaper.

Pirate Bay dropping torrents after magnetic attraction

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About Freedom and Censorship?

Probably a tiny fraction of "Pirate Bay" is about "Freedom and Censorship". Most of it is about people who are parasites and justify it because some big companies do bad stuff.

Well, people overcharging or not providing suitable downloads gives no-one the right to break International Conventions, deprive creators and basically be parasites. If a large majority did it all the time there would be no decent new content.

As it is, fortunately, less than 30% are parasites and maybe only 1% are dedicated 24x7 parasites (who are also responsible for about half the drop of your Internet speed).

SOPA is wrong and should be opposed. But a better Pirate Bay only plays into the court of the Lunatics that want SOPA.

10 years ago today: Bill Gates kicks arse over security

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The real problems

Are still unsafe strings and buffers and the users.

i.e. Social Engineering. You can't "program" a solution against it.

Microsoft carves up Wi-Fi into White Spaces

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It would be better for TV watching if there was none of them.

"White space" is a misnomer. These are not empty spaces between channels.

OnLive sneaks Windows 7 into the iPad

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Not new

So the iPad can run a Terminal session.

The important bit isn't the iPad, but how reliable and flexible Onlive's Cloudy Remote Windows will be. How does it compare with "designed for cloud" things like Azure and Google Docs.

Badly I imagine in terms of bandwidth needed.

Oz skeptic offers prize if Rossi’s E-cat works

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Oh noe

Someone has kidnapped the Hogfather and there is excess belief sloshing about,

E E "doc" Smith's original 1930s books more believable, and they were meant to be fun gobledegook

Ofcom sets out spectrum mega-auction, again

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Lindy wireless extender and projection server

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Your kidding right?

I'd give it 10% based on your review.

Billions of potentially populated planets in the galaxy

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That the only practical Star Ship designs are really "Generation Ships", We probably could build one or two.

No warp or hyper drive :(

Not even an Ansible yet.

Lenovo to ship first Intel smartphone – in China only

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Battery life?

How big is the battery and how hot does the phone get?

As well as how long does it run?

Powerline Ethernet group posts 1Gb/s spec

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I only see 1 neighbor's Wi-FI and that is weak signal.

Could be Video Sender, loads of Bluetooth, wireless keyboard/Mice (there are 2.4GHz ones that don't use BT or WiFi), baby alarm etc. All those make the WiFi look poorer and never show up on a WiFi scan as they are not WiFi. Video Senders and Baby monitors are not even digital, even if called "digisender" and on a "digital set box".

Without a real Spectrum analyser it's impossible to say.

Each added Bluetooth device makes WiFi signal poorer.

Mage Silver badge

"What the world actually needs (imho) is a "wall-wart" plug top Wi-Fi adaptor."

Actually they are called "Airpoints"

A thin cable connects the "wall-wart" to the part with the aerial so it can be off the floor and thus giver better range.

From £20 with a switch and Router included. You can turn of the Router, DNS Relay server + DHCP and just use them as Airpoints. With 4 ethernet ports. If you can put OpenWRT on it, you can reconfigure the 5th Ethernet post on the LAN and remove all the Router / Firewall modules.

Mage Silver badge

Oh no

Regular readers of my rants and anyone that knows anything about Communications engineers knows what I'm writing next.

Oh what is the point?

Why are the National regulators now only interested in Revenue and not in managing Spectrum and protecting Licensed Users?

I don't mean "Hams". Well not just hams. Aeronautical, AM Broadcast, Marine, Mobile are all licensed users and by international agreement entitled to protection.

People using the mains are only entitled to use it for power. Nothing else.

Sony goes inorganic for 'eye popping' OLED TV rival

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LCD are really monochrome.

The colour is dyed stripes, which can fade and far inferior to LED or CRT colour.

The quality and even backlight affects LCD a lot too.

Some OLED use stripe dye filters and phosphors. While better contrast than LCD, the colour of OLED is only a little better. Real LED is a lot better colour. Best CRT is somewhere between OLED and LED in contrast and colour.

LCOS and DLP are also monochrome technologies. The single "chip" projectors use stripe dye filters for LCOS and colour wheel dye filter for DLP. High end projectors can use triple colour LED or Laser light source to avoid colour wheel or stripe filters.

The triple chip projectors can use "dichroic" prism combiner for near perfect colour.

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OLED are not "real" LEDs and the blue wears badly. Overall OLED are more akin to Electroluminescent and similarly wear out, maybe under 5 or 6 years. Real LED have much better R, G and B, can last 40 years or more (but not White as they are violet/UV with phosphors).

This is good news. A real LED TV. Previously the problem was cost and size. Easy to make 6m screens, hard if not impossible to make 0.6m (60cm, 24") screens.

Nokia sheds light on latest Lumia

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It better have plain 3G, GSM and GSM's EDGE too for full coverage.

HD JuiceBox HDMI over Powerline kit

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can’t get past a fuse box


There is nothing in ordinary fuse boxes to block this or Ethernet over mains. But "next door" on both sides are usually on the other two phases.

What about EMI/RFI from this?

What power levels and bands does it use?

In reality anything that goes beyond about 0.25Mbps on mains is probably really a transmitter and will very likely work between adjacent rooms that are not even on the same mains. The mains wiring just extends the range.

Netgear debuts first next-gen powerline network kit

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How much EMI/RFI does it create and on what bands?

SEVENTY-FIVE wirelessly charged devices will demo at CES

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Marketing gimmicks.

The chargers still have a wire.

This is stupider than so called "cordless kettles", which are only a misnomer as they are underneath docking stations rather than sideways kettle plug.

A charging dock (around since 1980s for handheld radios) is more sensible.

Broadcom uncloaks zippy '5G WiFi' chippery

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Basically you are lucky if 5.8GHz can do more than one room. Certainly much worse than 2.4GHz to cover a household.

Any open plan Office I know only has a "guest" wifi point and all the laptops/Netbooks plug into wired ethernet.

Mage Silver badge



ha ha ha

you need a coax cable or twisted pair for more than a metre or so.

In the real world few people will see much more speed.

80MHz ... Is a bit unfriendly unless range is about 2m and you only have one ... Oh wait.

My coat is the one with Shannon and Nyquist papers in the pocket.


Kodak heading to Chapter 11

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They blew it long ago

Photo CDs were and are superior to Picture CDs: Priced out of the market by Kodak.


The Portfolio CD was a great Kodak Innovation. But no-one could afford the software to author them. Priced out of the market by Kodak.

1993? Wikipedia doesn't even know about them. I have a demo :(

"The page "Portfolio CD" does not exist."

Picture CD quality was poor. We bought our own consumer scanner and made better discs.

Kodak knew this was coming in 1985!

The DLP was invented in Texas Instruments in 1987

This was the last wake up call for making millions doing "prints" for each Cinema Release

"On February 2, 2000, Philippe Binant, technical manager of Digital Cinema Project at Gaumont in France, realized the first digital cinema projection in Europe[7] with the DLP CINEMA technology developed by Texas Instruments."

Next was dedicated Cinema HD satellites and GPS locked, registered Cinema HD satellite Receivers to drive the Cinema DLP

By 2005 it was obvious phones would kill standalone snapshot cameras, Film, Instant or Digital.

I have an OM10. I now use a small Fuji better than many camera phones and borrow a "Serious" digital camera for serious work.

Kodak even produced Digital Cameras. But that was really the wrong market as they where never a high end camera maker, and only those would eventually survive outside phone cameras.

So what should they have done? Maybe competed with Adobe undercutting them to get market with Photo editing and also Authoring tools for PhotoCD, Portfolio CD and later VCD, DVD, BD.

Produced Digital Projectors and video cameras (with still resolution good enough to beat camera phones), eventually HD, licensing DLP. etc.

Maybe Kodak were just doomed. Like Typewriter makers. Brother has managed to stay in Inkjet market. But Kodak inkjets had nothing to recommend them in a crowded market.

Anything they had that could have been the "answer" they either did it badly, too low end, or priced themselves out of it.


But "Kodak safety film" doesn't burn.

It's significant that in the bargain store the Kodak batteries are beside the inferior Polariod AA cells that are under weight due to two big empty plastic bungs in the case.

2012: The year when smartphones become smart?

Mage Silver badge

not smart.

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