* Posts by Terry Barnes

614 posts • joined 21 Jul 2008


Total Inability To Support User Phones: O2 fries, burning data for 32 million Brits

Terry Barnes

Cascade failure. What do you think the impact of suddenly having 33M devices roam onto your network might be? How much will it cost to size your network to be ready to take millions of extra users at a moment’s notice? Who would ever build our rural cells when you could just let your users roam onto the network of the mug who has?

EU wants one phone plug to rule them all. But we've got a better idea.

Terry Barnes

Re: To later

You think people will make phones for the U.K. market that don’t comply with EU standards? The market is too small to warrant the tooling and support costs. All that will actually happen is that we’ll lose any input to setting the standards.

UK taxman warned it's running out of time to deliver working customs IT system by Brexit

Terry Barnes

Re: why can't it be put to the vote?

No vote apart from all the General Elections where a UKIP government could have been elected? How many MPs did they have? At their absolute peak - what was that number again? It must have been significant for the government to shortcircuit democracy and offer a direct binary choice on UKIP’s manifesto.

Easiest path now is simply to cancel it and let the population elect a UKIP government if that is what they so wish.

User spent 20 minutes trying to move mouse cursor, without success

Terry Barnes

Mouse cursor?

It’s WIMP, not WIMC...

Openreach consults on shift of 16 MEEELLION phone lines to VoIP by 2025

Terry Barnes

Re: More compression, worse latency. More bandwidth, worse latency.

That Mbps per call efficiency doesn’t matter in this case though because the ISDN network costs more than an IP network per Mb of delivered traffic.

Seat occupancy efficiency is high on Concorde because I occupy the seat for less time than on a 747 making the same journey. It doesn’t make Concorde cheaper.

Terry Barnes

You only need 100Kbps for voice and that's for full encapsulation using G.703 with a SIP overhead. With more efficient codecs you can drop that to 10Kbps or lower.

The number of locations with a telephone service installed but no mains power must be vanishingly small.

TalkTalk to splash £1.5bn laying full fibre on 3 million doorsteps

Terry Barnes

Only a monopoly if you consider FTTP a unique product that can't be replicated.

I'm sure the competition authorities would consider the market definition to be broadband Internet access, of which a customer would have the choice of this FTTP from talktalk, four different mobile networks, fixed line access using BT's network, satellite broadband and maybe Virgin.

Ford don't have a monopoly based on being the only company that sells Fiestas.

Former ZX Spectrum reboot project man departs

Terry Barnes

It was sold as a Timex in North America.

Tesla launches electric truck it guarantees won't break for a million miles

Terry Barnes

Re: Tesla semi?

It won’t have a high horsepower engine so your comment about air con seems misplaced. It will have air con, just like the Tesla cars do. There’s no need for resistor banks as it will have a standard air brake system, just like a normal truck.

UK third worst in Europe for fibre-to-the-premises – report

Terry Barnes

Re: Why is Openreach like a Duck?

You're forgetting the other restriction which is that there has to be power near the termination to run the NTE - most phone master sockets in the UK are in hallways or by front doors, where there's no nearby power socket.

Once you start installing mains spurs or trying to run fibre unobtrusively and safely inside the home the costs soon start racking up I'd imagine.

how does Openreach get free power? Glass is a reasonably poor conductor. What would they be powering?

Microsoft and Facebook's transatlantic cable completed

Terry Barnes

In telecoms it's always bits.

There are several reasons, but one is that you can't be certain that 8 consecutive bits belong together to make a byte, or that the bits will be assembled into bytes at all - the concept of a byte of data transmitted across a system exists at a different layer to the transmission mechanisms of that system.

In computing 'B' is bytes, 'b' is bits.

UK.gov unveils six areas to pilot full-fat fibre, and London ain't on the list

Terry Barnes

Re: Scrap HS2

"We can't spend the money twice so I'd just suggesting we invest in 21st century capacity rather than 19th century capacity."

How much freight can you deliver down your broadband connection? Can it move an equivalent tonnage of steel and goods as a 200 metre train?

Terry Barnes

Re: Scrap HS2

Indeed. It's the cheapest, quickest and easiest way to add capacity to the existing north/south mainlines that are operating beyond capacity.

Nokia's comeback is on: The flagship 8 emerges

Terry Barnes

Re: Lumia

They were already dead. Elop was the paramedic sent to administer CPR, but it was too late. Nokia survived hooked up to a machine for a little longer but just like a brain can't survive without oxygen a tech company can't survive without productive, directed R&D.

There are parallels with the demise of Commodore. Hugely succesful tech company with best-selling products neglects to maintain a product pipeline and watches rivals bite its ankles, failing to appreciate that the ankle biting is a hobbling tactic to allow for easier consumption of the whole.

Jocks' USO block shock: BT's 10Mbps proposals risk 'rural monopoly'

Terry Barnes

It's BT's money (or their investors') - so why would they give the money to someone else to build their own network with?

I don't believe B4RN wholesale, so your choice of ISP for ever more would be B4RN or no-one.

Voyager 1 passes another milestone: It's now 138AU from home

Terry Barnes

Re: Not sure what they used...

I don't know that any off the shelf commercial CPUs of the time would be sufficiently hardened against radiation damage.

Soz telcos you're 'low priority' post-Brexit, says leaked gov doc

Terry Barnes

Re: "low-priority" for what?

I dunno - BT and Colt and Vodafone have big European operations that would be affected pretty badly by tariffs. It's much easier for EU based telcos to do business in Europe than it is for American or Asia Pac based ones.

Virgin is US owned and the effect of the falling pound will be that equipment costs will go up and revenue to the US parent will decline. I'd imagine the UK outfit has fallen down the investment priority list. The same is true I expect for 3 and O2 and others owned overseas - the UK businesses now generate less revenue for the owners.

If there's no workable deal on data privacy standards with the EU then a lot of UK datacentres are going to struggle as any app or service holding data on EU citizens will need to move.

Around 1.4 million people have sub-10Mbps speeds - Ofcom

Terry Barnes

Re: This is an ideal opportunity

"The perfect opportunity. They can break it up, then the government can buy all the parts and end the stupidity of all this fake so called competition that is allegedly making everything better."

And Virgin's shareholders will tie the government up in court for years, not unreasonably given that they would have just destroyed their business.

Terry Barnes

Re: This is an ideal opportunity

Then they'd just refuse the money and rural people would have no broadband. That's not an ideal solution.

HMS Illustrious sets sail for scrapyard after last-ditch bid fails

Terry Barnes

Re: I am enough of a naval history buff...

"We're a small country who has one of the longest coastlines in europe. You need a large navy to defend it."

Assuming we're under attack. The navy has reduced in size and we don't appear to have been invaded.

Why your gigabit broadband lags like hell – blame Intel's chipset

Terry Barnes

Re: 1Gbps with 250ms latency… LUXURY…

"Best speed I can do is 200Mbps with a 3 hour latency."

You have a 25MB external hard drive?

Terry Barnes

If they did 'no' testing it wouldn't work. It would ship as a non-functional device.

What they might have done is not tested adequately for this issue - but that's not 'no testing'. Precision is important when talking about technology.

Terry Barnes

Re: VM to gig BB in the UK

Anything running faster than 100Mbps will require a Gigabit Ethernet capable device.

UK.gov flings £400m at gold standard, ‘full-fibre' b*&%*%£$%. Yep. Broadband

Terry Barnes

Re: What are people doing that needs fibre?

"Basically 10Mbps, 100Mbps, 1Gbps, 10Gbps... It doesn't matter if the speed sold equals to the maximum - we have these speed jumps (at physical level) to work with."

You're confusing line speed with interface speed. Depending on the technology employed there are lots of line speeds available between your interface speed steps.

G.SHDSL and EFM have lots of speed options in the 10-100MBps range, especially where multiple copper pairs are used.

WDM on fibre offers a typical throughput of 2.5Gbps per channel.

Networking 101: Line speed is not interface speed is not throughput speed.

Tesla to charge for road trip 'leccy, promises it will cost less than petrol

Terry Barnes

Re: Number of charge points per service station

I'd imagine that as electric car use grows so too will the number of charging points.

There weren't very many places to buy petrol at the dawn of the car age.

Terry Barnes

"The model 3 replaces a hatchback for people with only 1 car - it needs to be able to do the annual holiday trip to grandparents"

How so? My car meets 95% of my needs and for the times it doesn't I hire one. It's cheaper than owning something more expensive and impractical for only 5% of the time.

Terry Barnes

Re: Tesla "400 kWh of free 'leccy credits"

"My problem with electric cars is simple. It takes 30 minutes at these superchargers to travel 170 miles"

You should be taking at least a 30 minute break after three hours of driving for your own safety and that of your fellow road users. Concentration and reaction are all affected badly by driving too long without a break.

What you're saying, in effect, is that this is an extra Tesla safety feature.

Terry Barnes

Eventually, probably, but right now governments are encouraging sales as each Tesla sold is a contribution to CO2 and air quality targets funded directly by a wealthy individual.

Terry Barnes

Re: hint to Tesla owners

"Better to have a Lead Acid battery system for your PV panels"

How so? They hate deep discharge cycles so for any kind of longevity you have to install twice the capacity you actually need. They weigh an absolute ton and I've certainly seen lead-acid arrays explode in the past. How much strength do I need to add to my utility room floor to take the weight of a giant lead acid array?

Lad cuffed after iOS call exploit knocks out Arizona 911 center

Terry Barnes

The problem here is that emergency call centres use 'backward holding', meaning that only the emergency operator can terminate a call. Most places around the world have a policy that requires positive confirmation that a misdial has occurred before they'll do that.

I had an ambulance arrive at my house once after a neighbour's kid, playing with my kids, called 999 for a laugh and told them someone was hurt. Even though the operators then spoke to my wife, she didn't do a good enough job of convincing them that every thing was fine.

20 years to get Amiga Workbench 3.1 update, and only a fortnight to get first patch

Terry Barnes

Re: A small glimmer of hope

I forgot to add;

You also run into the insurmountable problem of the machine having no memory management and letting individual co-processors run unsigned code and change the contents of any RAM. How could you let something like that anywhere near a network?

People have foolishly let emulators have access to their PC's real, physical drives instead of a virtual sandbox and have seen their systems wiped by thirty year old viruses.

Terry Barnes

Re: A small glimmer of hope

You always run into the problem of timing though - the Amiga's unique architecture is dependant on timing interplay between the CPU and the custom chips. If you go very much faster you break compatibility - and if you're going to do that, why not just move to a newer platform? If you don't do that, then what benefit is there to all the FPGA work?

Commodore literally blew a fortune trying to update and market the Amiga - a few diehard enthusiasts will not do better. All the new starts have been false dawns because the remaining market is absolutely minute - Natami, Tina, all have come and gone.

I loved my Amigas and learnt about comms, multitasking, sampling, networking and so on with them, but they're part of history now. Sometimes I lark about with an emulator, playing with software interpretations of machines I could never afford, but I will never buy new hardware and neither will anyone but a handful of people. Most people developing new hardware realise this sooner or later and give up.

Terry Barnes

Re: We should take bets...

Windows, Christian. It has kind of a larger user base.

Terry Barnes

The screenshot is of Workbench 1.3

There are newer versions of Amiga OS but they're not all compatible with original hardware.

The latest version for classic Amigas is 3.9, and the latest version for newer kit is 4.1

Confusingly, different versions are owned by different businesses - sometimes company 'x' owns one version, 'y' the next and then 'x' the one after. This is mostly down the the fairly chaotic management and dispersal of Commodore's IP after bankruptcy.

Microsoft: We're hiking UK cloud prices 22%. Stop whining – it's the Brexit

Terry Barnes

Re: £

"All empires have their day and the EU has passed it's peak. And who would invest in an organisation that has never published an audited set of accounts and it run by elected and unaccountable people who cannot even decide which headquarters to use? Madness, total madness.."

You know that none of that is true, right? You're just saying it for comedy effect surely?

The accounts are audited and the results of the audit are published on the website of the court of auditors. It's an established thing.

I think you made a typo in your second statement, but nevertheless, people are elected. We elect MEPs and the council is made up of the elected heads of each state.

As to the headquarters - changing that requires a treaty change, which thanks to the UK now requires referendums to be held to be allowed to pass.

There was also a plan to make the president electable. Guess which country vetoed it? Starts with 'United'.

I don't know what's scarier - that you either believe this stuff to be true despite it clearly not being so, or that you expect others to believe it. Which is it?

Terry Barnes

Re: definitely something to dump at the feet of the leave crowd.

"how many companies are going to restrict that rise to just that which is justified?"

For a global product it's in their interests to only do what's justified, else you create incentive for people to buy from the wrong market which causes all sorts of channel headaches.

Terry Barnes

Re: Work the problem?

"we just need our country(ies), its government and its people to stand up and make the decision work in the best interests of our country(ies)."

The best interest of our country is served by remaining in the EU.

Asking people to get on with this is like decorating while your house is on fire.

Terry Barnes

The price rise will be to maintain price equality across the EU market. If they don't do that all EU buyers will flood the UK channel trying to buy these things at a discount compared to Euro pricing. MS won't want that to happen.

The same will happen with all products and services sold EU wide - GBP pricing will increase to maintain market equality. This was all pointed out, at length, prior to the referendum.

Marmite's not the only national treasure hit by Brexit. Will someone think of the PCs?

Terry Barnes

Re: Ah, the year 1 school of thought

"no evidence that there is an upside to staying in a club that has consistently failed to deliver anything good for you."

Apart from the whole 70 years of peace and prosperity between nations that were previously in a state of almost perpetual war - ignoring that bit you mean?

"No they wont put the prices up... "

...because the freefalling pound has the same effect on British purchasers anyway?

Uncle Sam rules on self-driving cars

Terry Barnes

Re: "self-driving systems can be considered a driver"

"This is something the courts will agonize over for years"

No, the UN has formed a group to address these issues and then formalise global best practice.

Seminal adventure game The Hobbit finally ported to the Dragon 64

Terry Barnes

Platform War

Wow, a game that was available on my home computer (Oric-1) but not on one of the competing ones*. There's a turn up.

*Ignoring obviously the software houses that were focused on the Oric - Tansoft, IJK software, Loriciels, No Mans Land and so on. Companies like Ocean and PSS and Software Projects would usually only have one or two conversions available.

Blighty's EU science funding will remain unchanged until new PM triggers Article 50

Terry Barnes

Re: That is a load of bull

"We pay more than we take out of the EU, therefore the British government can decide to match what was lost by EU funding"

Don't be silly.

The loss to our economy of leaving means that we'll be poorer. We won't have an extra £350M to throw around, we'll be looking for things to cut just to get back to where we were.

TalkTalk CEO Dido Harding pockets £2.8m

Terry Barnes

£220K wouldn't buy very much of any of those things.

With about 4 million customers, that works out at about 5.5p each.

Microsoft cancels Remain speech after death of Labour MP

Terry Barnes

Re: That's settled then

"If microsoft vote for it, you know its a shit idea."

I'd imagine Microsoft are against human slavery and putting asbestos in food. Play the ball, not the man (or the corporation, in this case).

Terry Barnes

Re: That's settled then

How many minimum wage employees do you think Microsoft has in the UK? Or anywhere?

Mind you, if we leave and the pound tanks, those wages just got a lot lower anyway. If lowering wage costs was your prime concern, you'd vote to exit.

Nokia offers up 10 Gbps HFC demo

Terry Barnes

Re: The need for this

"Put the tech out there and people will find a use for it."

But will they pay for it?

Brexit campaign group fined £50k for sending half a million spam texts

Terry Barnes

Re: Why is "Call me Dave" Cameron telling me what to think?

"It is a bit concerning that those wanting to remain have no idea what is going on."

There's a significant difference between not knowing what is going on and people simply disagreeing with you.

"For example people claim the leave camp have to explain what will happen when we leave. No we dont unless people are so brain dead as to not understand voting for the party you want to do what you want."

It's significantly more complex than that. Many people's livelihoods and relationships are dependent on how this country interacts with others. If you want me to jump off a cliff you're going to need to do a better job of convincing me than telling me that once I've jumped I should vote for more parachutes. It's telling that no leave campaigner has managed to produce any evidence of positive discussions they've had with other countries about any post-exit deal. Magical thinking from the leave side isn't good enough.

Terry Barnes

Re: Why is "Call me Dave" Cameron telling me what to think?

"Surely as we elect the government they should follow the will of the people"

No, that's not how our system works.

Parties publish a manifesto and are elected to carry it out.

If they simply followed the majority (or most significant minority) view on every issue there'd be no point in electing different parties as they'd all have to do exactly the same things. The government is elected to govern.

SpaceX is go for US military GPS sat launch, smashes ULA monopoly

Terry Barnes

Re: Why didn't NASA do themselves?

A step change in cost from $400M to $80M tends to come only through having competing suppliers.

Govt: Citizens, we know you want 10Mbps. This is the last broadband scheme for that

Terry Barnes

Re: RE: subsidy

"BT Retail charge £18.99 a month, so that covers the majority of line rentals, though not sure of BT Retail's exact share of the consumer line rental market, "

Less than a third the last time I looked at an Ofcom report.


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