Re: Still waiting...
DEX is pretty damn good actually. Still no substitute for a laptop, but pretty close with the MS Office suite loaded.
43 posts • joined 9 Jul 2009
I'd forgotten about HSCSD but yes, a few of those dial-up companies had a separate ISDN number you could call from mobiles way more efficiently and quicker than using a modem bridge. Those really were the days, although IIRC I think you could only combine enough time slots to get 28kb/s (ie. 2xTCH). Still pretty rapid for a device on the move!
If Google made the Play Store able to work irrespective of any other services, and offered a yearly subscription for Play Services (ie: Push) and didn't force any other tracking and advertising shite onto you I think they would be amazed at the volume of people who sign up. I would willingly pay £24 a year for this personally, and I know a few other SME's that would pay it too (and corporates with a volume discount).
I hate being advertised at, and thanks to Adblock, NoScript etc. don't suffer this on web pages. I am one of the types that would even subscribe to The Register for an annual few quid - I know this stuff isn't free, but web advertising is fundamentally broken. Maybe if you don't have the full fat Google package you can't download "free" apps (the ones laden with banner ads), but as I don't use any of those I really wouldn't suffer.
When we go back to having the carrier uploading the eSIM profile to the handset (so you can't buy second hand and simply swap the SIM) I can see all kinds of fun and games happening again. This last happened in the analogue markets, and has been a pretty standard feature of the US market which is pretty inflexible.
eSIM, in my opinion, is a massive backward step for consumer flexibility. It has it's place, but Apple are already baking it into handsets so the next five years could change everything.
I've got four of the "BT" Arcadyan WholeHome AP's - two wired, two wirelessly meshed, and they work a treat. I have Unify at one office, which works also well, and at the others some SonicPoints which work less well but still usable. I would struggle to differentiate between the WholeHome and the Unify kit as a user - the roaming is seamless.
I've got BT FTTH and scrapped the BT HH6 last month in favour of a DrayTek non-WiFi router as I didn't want BT's FON contaminating the airwaves. The ease with which BT let this happen was almost shocking, and I was totally unprepared for it having prepared for battle to retrieve my user creds!
I would love to knock BT, all the time - but recently they've ditched some of the old crappy hardware for something that's quite good. One of my WH disks has blue-lighted twice this month, the rest are all fine. My only real beef is how long it took for the HH6 to start-up, and now that's gone it isn't a problem any more. I do wonder though, why a premium ISP wouldn't just ship a premium router - like DrayTek make...
Back in the day (I am 50 this year), there was Maplin and for truly obscure components, Odeon Radio in Harrow. The trouble is that people actually built things back then - for my school project I wrote a home automation system for the ORIC1 which used it's parallel port, an A2D and some switching logic as well as FET's, relays, etc. to turn on the boiler. Basically apart from the remote control aspect, it was to all intents Hive with a bit of lighting control to keep the burglars at bay. The Maplin catalogue was anoraky reading for me - I dread to say that I actually enjoyed it and ideas flowed from its pages. Just having the information there in front of you was massively inspiring.
The last time I went to Maplin's in Croydon I was amazed that they did still have components, and it wasn't that long ago. Sadly there aren't really many hobbyists now to justify the high street store, and in particular specialist stores, so Maplin management thought they get smart and stock tat. It now looks like it has gone the way of Odeon Radio... RIP Maplin, you'll always have a place in my heart.
DrayTek - consistently better performance and a positive attitude towards patches and bug fixes. You pay for it, but they have been sat on my perimeter for several years now without issue and with updates (even the oldest unit in our network).
I honestly don't know why the likes of BT, vodafone, TalkTalk etc. don't use these guys for CPE instead of the crap that they do. I've swapped three systems for DrayTek in the past week and the only one that didn't show up a massive connections/second improvement was the BT Infinity6. Everything else, whilst not showing any noticeable difference on a Speedtest, elicited positive responses about how much snappier the internet experience was.
So, you *can* have a responsible modem/router manufacturer, with patches, and great performance.
I am a Brit out here for a few days and this morning saw an Equifax ad on TV. It basically said "Do you know if your details are on the dark web for sale? Use our free search to check...". At no point did it say "because of us your details are on the dark web" nor did it make any indication that they may actually BE THE REASON.
You can bet that most people have no clue this has happened, and Equifax have turned this into a bloody marketing/advertising campaign to recruit new customers. Unbelievable really. I guess there needs to be a body who can hold them accountable and fine them accordingly...
If you run any kind of internet facing business, then this is an unfortunate fact of life these days, however, how your VPS provider handles the customer side is critical. We have a few hundred dollars per month on Linode for a VPN product, and this was chosen specifically so that we would have better protection than a single node in a couple of data centres.
The fact this happened over Christmas has saved us a lot of trouble, as most of our customers are not using our VPN products, but the wholesale "taking down" of the entire Linode IP range for each data centre in various patterns has reduced our offering to ZERO at various times irrespective of any redundancy we may have built in.
A simple email, apologising and letting us know WTF is happening and to what extent, would have allowed us to take some form of alternative action - such as rebuilding at least one server on another VPS provider and giving us a bit of confidence that come January 4th we have a plan B if this continues. DNS propagation is often not instant so plan B's need some, well, planning. In this day and age we all rely on good communication from our suppliers if they are having difficulties, and I am afraid in this case Linode have catastrophically failed.
It seems the real way forward for us is VPS redundancy on multiple providers, and with some extra coding to keep everything synchronised until things go tits up. Oh well, it made the festive period a bit more interesting than the chestnuts roasting etc...
Your points are all valid - but what would you really expect for something that is genuinely innovative and quite possibly likely to cause either irreparable damage to the car, or the batteries? This isn't a simple design. I do have a few gripes as a P85+ owner but they are all pretty trivial...
1) Why oh why put a HSPA only modem in the unit, then limit it to O2's dreadful network which has next to no UMTS coverage outside major cities (even the M25 has swathes of GPRS only coverage). If they wanted to stick with O2 then at least put a 4G modem in as O2/vodafone's combined roll-out means that 4G O2 is significantly better than 3G.
2) Due to (1) above, I noticed a when driving a few days ago that the 17" monitor doing the mapping, internet radio, etc. became extremely sluggish often taking 5 seconds or so to react to a touch. Because this interface is also used for suspension control, heated seats, sunroof etc. it made changing some settings almost impossible - but in reality these are not things you'd be doing on the move generally in the first place.
3) I believe that that main "critical" functions of the car are controlled by a classic style "engine" management system because a) during (2) above the car performed impeccably, b) the main screen in-front of the steering wheel did not have any lag, and c) there *is* a CANBUS interface on-board.
Sometimes, the only way to make progress is to throw the classic design away and start again - that seems to be what Tesla have done. I for one, as an electronics engineer and software designer am impressed. It's not perfect, but it's close - and I would prefer (at least for now) a closed ecosystem that's reliable, than a tweakable one that's not!
I'm with you completely Mikey. I have had P85+ for three weeks now and drive it like it was meant to be driven, like an striking cobra :) I wanted something special, and this is the best car I have ever driven by far. For those who would like to be genuinely surprised and smile like you've not done in a long time, take a test drive. You will not be disappointed.
However, 300 miles range is total tosh, and I think you'd have to be driving Miss Daisy to get even 250. When I leave the house in the morning I typically have 220 miles range stated, and after an 80 mile combination drive round the M25 and then back via the South Circular I am down to around 100. That is driving in the real-world, with traffic jams, the odd blast for fun, heating on (it is winter!) and lights for the return journey. A quick dinner at Bluewater whilst supercharging takes it back to 100% in under an hour, and I'm back at 220 for the following day - or, I charge it at home at 20MPH and it's topped up overnight. Bottom line, it is far from inconvenient.
Am off to Cambridge and back on Thursday... now that will be an interesting journey for true motorway range assessment... you might see an edit on Friday :)
These are sad times we live in. I fear for the next generation, and the one after that. At some point, if there is any intelligence left someone will wake up and think that there is a big wide world if you look up from 'YO'ing your equally dopy friends. God I feel old.
UMA *is* excellent - you are correct, and it is sorely missed on the BlackBerry Z10 at the moment. When properly implemented it hands in and out seamlessly (which is an achievement in it's own right when you consider that no femtocell vendor can support hand-in at the moment) and vastly improves coverage where it is sparse for the cost of a WiFi access point. It's all in the customer's control, all voice/data/SMS/etc are carried over it, it is *truly* integrated into the cellular network (it's referred to as a Generic Access Network) and is easy to set-up.
Trouble is, that knowing the mobile community they won't take something that works and utilise it the way it should have been done in the first place, but instead will create some trite 'app' that works on non-UMA phones and have them working in a non-UMA haphazard manner. It won't support hand in and out (possibly unless it's VoIP based but that lends itself to some other interesting issues) and it will undoubtedly attract at least some negative publicity.
On the other hand, if UMA *is* used, it will pave the way to seamless coverage integration, something I am sure we'd all be happy to have.
Actually I should correct myself - If a cell has 64 DCH's and all of them are in use for AUTD email, there is no further room for ANY phones to make/receive voice calls or perform DCH related activity! On reflection some of the HS channels might be still usable but it is definitely going to be a poorly cell.
I very much doubt that there is any extra bandwidth involved. If I had to take a wild guess someone has disabled a channel in the modem firmware called CELL FACH, and due to the high amount of data to-ing and fro-ing from the AUTD MS Exchange Server the devices are using a more resource intensive CELL DCH channel. CELL FACH can be spread fairly well over hundreds of devices at a slower channel rate (perfect for email) but there are only a finite number of CELL DCH channels and they are dedicated to each specific user in a data/voice context. If a cell has 64 DCH's and all of them are in use for AUTD email, there is no further room for other iPhone 4S's, and no abilty to make/receive voice calls!
A colleague of mine has not been able to receive calls on Orange for most of the morning on his 6.1/4S, I suspect it's because his phone is too busy trying to hog a DCH for data! This certainly doesn't seem to be limited to vodafone though - their CN isn't *that* different to everyone elses, but they tend to have a shedload more corporate users.
vodafone are the only operator in the UK that *has* (in over 95% of the UK) dedicated an exclusive frequency to femtocells. O2 don't have any capacity to do this so their offering is colocated on one of their 2100 bearers, and EE will probably de-allocate one of their four bearers to do the same as vodafone (in time).
Suresignal is an excellent piece of kit but was a bit early to market and lazily implemented - for instance there's no hand-in. Also there should be a means to weight the point at which it hands-out to the macro network as in my house if I don't force the phone to UMTS only it hands-out to GSM where upon it goes all "boingy boingy" as an earlier reader commented!
These things are here to stay and will become even more prevalent in 4G!
I am in total agreement here myself. IRIS is/was brilliant - and was only let down by people who were either not registered or who simply didn't follow the instructions. I have had hours of queuing saved by IRIS and rate it far better than the biometric crap they replaced it with.
When you consider the alternative - a mardy immigration official who, by and large, has the same attitude as the US Department of Border control (ie; go away, you're not welcome) I vote for technology every time. Has anyone actually seen the statistics as to how many "illegal" immigrants get through our airports versus the ports?
I am trying to do a bespoke project for a group of customers that will guarantee RIM over 20,000 new handsets, along with infrastructure and continued similar growth for the next three years. To make this work I need access to a particular library that has been deprecated but I know is internally still in use at RIM. Despite repeated lobbying of their management and technical staff I just hit a wall - it is idiotic bureaucracy that could cost them dearly.
Someone needs to fire the top two tiers of management at RIM and make everyone else realise that if there isn't serious change and a willingness to embrace custom development then they are doomed. They will *never* be Apple or Google, and at this rate they won't be RIM for long. A truly sad tale of a successful company driven into the ground by it's board.
I am an avid BlackBerry user, and I have suffered considerably as a result of the last 72 hours worth of switch aggravation. However, I am also an engineer who designs routing protocols and hardware level circuits. It astounds me of the stupidity of many of the people who have been posting on these threads. Am I the only true technologist amongst you who really knows the USP of the BlackBerry network?
Let's get something straight; IPV4/IPV6 switching is pretty vanilla - there are many vendors who will provide equipment that will literally drop in when there is a failure, and provide failover at a millisecond's notice. However, this is not about IPV4/IPV6, this is about BlackBerry's proprietary PIN routing which is a layer 3+ tunnel that provides the peer-to-peer capability that BlackBerry has (and no one else does).
I agree that this should never have happened, and I am furious with the management at RIM for everything they are doing to ruin what was an excellent company with good business tools (including the "lets bury our heads in the sand" attitude for the first 48 hours). However, networks DO fail and if you think that this will never happen to Apple/Android/MS in the next five years then dream on. It has already happened many times - the difference is that you've not detected it yet because if your "push" email doesn't work instantly you forgive it because it's an Apple. If you looked carefully you'd see that you'd lost your reverse tunnel for five minutes. You can only plan for so much and occasionally something really does go so wrong that everything comes tumbling down like a stack of cards. What I am more amazed about is that BackBerry managed to de-queue millions of messages and emails in less than 6 hours when they finally caught and fixed the exact problem.
Cutting edge delivery technology comes at a cost. Personally, whilst I love my Galaxy S2 for controlling my home AV and looking at Google Skymaps, and my iPhone for flying my Parrot AR Drone, I absolutely refuse to run my business on anything else but a BlackBerry - the rest are sheer toys by comparison and those of you that carry two phones and are blatantly honest know just what i am talking about.
Cut BlackBerry some slack. Fire the management and put *real* enthusiasts in charge, make the development environment more open, halve the price of the Playbook and for God's sake get Android compatibility working quickly. RIM are not dead, yet... but things have to change.
Paris - because she's Queen of the Press Release and RIM need to learn from her!
...that by buying the Motorola IP portfolio Google may be able to support it's Android partners and prevent such shenanigans as Apple blocking Samsung from selling the 10.1" tab in Europe. Motorola have been around a long time and have excellence in radio design so maybe there is a quid pro-quo coming somewhere along the line.
You've got two omni-directional antennas on each end, therefore you have two circular patterns of radiation. To be honest I am amazed that it works at all - it's pretty miraculous! With the right antennas you'll get a phenomenal improvement.
I'd suggest a Compact High Gain Directional Corner Antenna of the sort you'd find at somewhere like Maplin. It'll be the best £40 you've spend in a long time as this will make the receiver performance better and focus the transmitted signal into a beam. Point the two antennas at each other and voila. Also, for a tip, if the link is still in anyway flaky switch to 802.11B mode (not G) - it is more immune to interference and your wireless physical layer will spend less time resyncing and more time transferring your data.
The year is 2010 and we have some seriously powerful handsets and networking technology that would provide for a seamless service without logging in and pay-per-use for most activity.
My vote would be for an independent 3G/HSPA network to be set up on the underground that had inbound free roaming from the overground carriers (they still make money from the termination costs) and all outbound calls/SMS's earn a small fee (1p/min/msg?) that is re-billed to the host network. GPRS could be built in for free for non-www traffic (ie. email), and if people wanted browsing/streaming on the underground they could opt-in via reverse paid SMS with deals for weekly/monthly purchasing. There's all kinds of potential safety benefits in having a real network on the underground in terms of emergencies and crowd control.
All this technology is here, today - and comparatively inexpensive (the hardware is less than £5k/station for 3G and you could even throw in a 2G cell for under a grand as well!). We make such devices and all this is possible with relative ease. The only obstruction is the way the incumbents make everything take so long, and the reluctance from the bureaucrats to actually make a decision of any kind. WiFi is a lousy choice because it excludes convenience and the majority of handsets.
There's something a little odd going on with this which I really don't get.
The significant difference between BlackBerry's and all other GPRS connected devices is that BlackBerry have their own dedicated APN's on the mobile networks which allows them to reach all devices via an IP address. Conventional APN's cannot offer a managed IP address, so the device relies on setting up an outbound tunnel that all the data is then reversed down.
So, once you've got your connection established, you need to establish security, exchange your credentials, and away you go. RIM uses all manner of fairly well established options here (3DES, RSA, etc.) and this is the "unbreakable" bit that's being complained of as it's from the device to the server (on a corporate device this lives at the company's IT HQ and generally connects to their Exchange Server). However, if I use my Apple or Android device and make an OMA/HTTPS connection to the same Exchange Server (ours is set up to do both BB and OMA/HTTPS), establish credentials and can then receive push email via a reverse push.
The bit I am confused about is that if my memory serves me correctly, properly certificated HTTPS is meant to be ultra-secure which is why it's used for credit card and banking transactions. This puts it in a similar league to RIM's security, so why hasn't HTTPS been disabled, or has it? If not, then all the bad people can simply change to iPhones and go about their business with impunity.
Then... there's always Skype!
Does anyone remember the fun and games to be had uninstalling AOL? In the Windows 95 days, I must have thrown away a good few weeks of my life "fixing" PC's that had slowed to the point of being fit for doorstops thanks to AOL's "low level drivers". What a great day it was when they finally decided that Dial Up Networking could work for them after all!
Good riddance (in advance) AOL. You took Compuserve (which wasn't half bad) and bastardised it into that mess you're still trying to tout today. Shame on you!
It used to be £25 per 250MB per day. If you went over, if I recall correctly it went up in £25 chunks. It also had to be on a partner network and was part of the initial great drive to get everyone on vodafone passport.
I also think it was fair, although they should have charged a monthly access fee for that then they could charge a lesser amount for people who casually browse (clearly the target of their latest plan). vodafone has been the network of choice for a lot of business, but I can see this changing as others are now as competitive...
The last I heard, the regulators were hammering the networks for their overly expensive roaming charges. This looks to me like a method of passing the buck from SMS/Voice to Data and thus maintaining their high revenues whilst screwing the customer and sticking two fingers up at OFCOM.
There is clearly something wrong with this. I use data a lot when roaming and have seen the charges escalate dramatically in the past two years from 250MB/day for £25 to this latest nonsense. I wouldn't even mind paying a bolt on fee which is charged per month whether I roam or not but this latest rise is going to make me move my £4k's a month of business elsewhere.
With all due respect, screw you Vodafone the way you think it's fair to screw us!
If you overlay the exchanges that are going FTTC in this latest spat over fibre cabled areas you'll find some big overlap. Seems BT are not interested in new customers, moreover seducing people fed up with Virgin.
I have 8MB to the exchange and it's rock solid, however, my rural exchange with it's 1500 school kids and lack of 21CN means it's all but useless in the evening. Would be nice to see up core upgrades!!!
Yes, but even the CDMA standard which Verizon uses has evolved to include a SIM slot for the simple reason it offers device portability. If your Verizon phone breaks, hard luck... if my 3G BlackBerry breaks at least I can use the basic phone functionality in one of several one phones I have kicking around (or steal the wife's!).
Paris, because she's never stuck without her phone (must be 3GSM!)
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