* Posts by AndrueC

3255 posts • joined 6 Aug 2009

All the cool kids are doing it – BT hikes broadband and TV bills

AndrueC
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Re: Where are Offcom?

Sky provision over BT lines, how long before they raise prices?

That's a different part of BT and different pricing structure.There is nothing in this announcement that has any bearing on the charges LLUOs like Sky have to pay.

Of course if one division of BT is raising its prices it's likely because of board pressure and another division of BT is probably also getting that pressure and therefore it too might decide to raise its prices. BT isn't just a bunch of monkeys. It's actually several bunches of monkeys :)

Another possibility is that Sky (or insert-your-CP-here) might decide to jump on the price rise bandwagon anyway. Birds of a feather flock together and all that.. :-/

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Stanford boffins find 'correlation between caffeine consumption and longevity'

AndrueC
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Only if you are a mouse

How dare you Sir! He is a rat, and proud of it.

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AndrueC
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Customer: BT admitted it had 'mis-sold' me fibre broadband

AndrueC
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Meh

Re: Erm...

our village's one-and-only FTTC box a mile out of the village,

Presumably because that's where the original PCP is.

Installing an FTTC cabinet next to an existing PCP is relatively simple. You might only need a concrete plinth laying and a hole drilling down into existing ducting. Then you just run the patch cables from the old PCP to the new cabinet and back again. Worst case scenario is a short trench and new ducting (a few yards at most).

But installing an FTTC cabinet where there isn't an existing PCP could be very expensive. You would probably have to reroute most of the lines in the village. That could involve major roadworks or at least a couple of weeks installing poles or new cable runs.

As for why the original PCP is out there that's probably because at the time the network was built that was the last place where all the cables were together. From that point on some cables go to your village, others go to farms or isolated properties or maybe another village.

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AndrueC
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Re: IT'S NOT BLOODY FIBRE!!!

Blame the ASA. VM were the first to make the claim (and yes they do install some true FTTP but the vast majority is co-ax). BT appealed to the ASA and the claim was denied. So BT shrugged and followed suit.

The ASA argument is supposed to be 'most of the connection is over fibre'. But that argument applies to ADSL as well (heck even an analogue modem). It's only copper to the exchange and after that is fibre all the way.

So in all forms of broadband 99% of the cable length that the data traverses is fibre :D

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AndrueC
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Boffin

Re: Self check

I wonder what the hell that means. I thought FTTP was symmetrical. Shows how much I know.

FTTP can be symmetrical but BT have chosen to limit the upload, probably to try and protect their leased line business.

Most flavours of DSL can also be symmetric but are rarely implemented as such. Most use cases don't call for it and mixing frequency plans can cause crosstalk issues. So most xDSL implementations stick to the common use case of asymmetric bandwidth.

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AndrueC
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Re: Erm...

The problem is that if you're more than about 800m from the cabinet then VDSL slows down to similar speeds to ADSL2+

Actually it slows down to worse speeds. I'm not sure why this is (split frequency ranges for up and down perhaps?). But beyond a certain point you're better off on ADSL than VDSL. BT are trialling something called 'Long Reach VDSL' which might address this.

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Now that's a Blue Screen of Death: Windows 10 told me to jump off a cliff

AndrueC
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Joke

Re: Methinks MSFT (and some here) are taking this too seriously.

Friday obligatory Dilbert cartoon.

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Maps and alarm clocks best thing about mobes, say normies

AndrueC
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I have perfectly good alarm clock of my own but otherwise my list would be:

Music player, Camera, Online Banking, Satnav, Mail on the move, Texting (one or two per week).

I almost never use my phone for calls. In fact yesterday it rang while I was at work and at first I didn't even know what it was. I then had to go to my coat and dig it out of a pocket. I've long said that if all it did was make phone calls I wouldn't bother with it. For me it's the sum of the parts that makes it into a thing worth having.

I'd like to use it more often to browse the web but the small screen just makes the experience too irritating.

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Florida Man sues Verizon for $72m – for letting him commit identity theft

AndrueC
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Re: Nice to see...

This is six months later. Doesn't inspire too much confidence.

But, to be strictly fair, nothing any government has done has inspired me with confidence. Domestic or foreign.

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Hackers could turn your smart meter into a bomb and blow your family to smithereens – new claim

AndrueC
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Facepalm

Re: Smart Water Meter

I got a new water meter a few years ago. It was an improvement because the one it replaced was under my kitchen sink and was hardly ever officially read. The new one has two parts to it with one being an outside reader so no-one has to enter my property to read it.

The installer placed it outside my kitchen window. In the back garden. Behind a locked gate.

Still, at least it's easier to read because I don't have to move stuff around in a cupboard to get to it.

He installed it upside down.

I sometimes think the world is populated almost entirely by idiots.

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AndrueC
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Re: Alarmist nonsense?

Hint: they didn't send an engineer out to your home.

The only thing they can do without sending someone to my home is to switch off the local substation. Possibly inside there are a bank of switches that could just isolate my circuit..except that I'm on the same cable as my neighbour. I know that because when they converted their garage into a room they had to have the cable rerouted. I had a brief outage while they patched the old cable out and the new cable in.

I can also see where two socking great cables come out of the floor and go up to the consumer unit. I assume that one is feeding me and the other is then continuing on to my neighbour. I can see enough of them (thanks Wilcon) to tell that they head off in different directions. And above ground power cables are very unusual in the UK. In fact seeing any cables above ground is uncommon. Most houses built in that last half century have telephone lines underground as well.

But even if they send someone out..they will still need access to my garage since that's where the consumer unit and main switch are.

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AndrueC
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Re: "Smart meters are 'dangerously insecure'"

I think most post victorian built buildings have the meter outside, so the electricity man can check/repair/alter the meter without needing entry into the house.

Not my experience. Every house I've owned or lived in was built during the 60s or later. They've all had internal electricity meters (usually under the stairs). My current 1985 property has the meter(*) in the garage, two metres up the wall. Perfectly positioned to give you a crick in the neck while you try and decipher the quaint dials. In the sixteen years I've lived there I think it's only been 'officially' read twice and one of those was a specially arranged Saturday reading so I'm getting quite good at reading it myself. Apart from the neck ache :(

But all the properties I've lived in have had a gas meter outside along with the shut-off valve.

(*)and a fuse wire distribution panel. If someone wants to upgrade something then upgrading that to RCD would be more useful than a smart meter.

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Programmer finds way to liberate ransomware'd Google Smart TVs

AndrueC
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Unhappy

Re: Get off my lawn!

Since common sense has gone the way of the dodo, there should be a law : powered OFF means NO CURRENT APPLIED.

Agreed. Will put it on the list right below 'fibre broadband'.

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Networks in 2016: A full fibre diet for UK.gov

AndrueC
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Megaphone

The not-spots definitely need to be sorted out - and they aren't all in rural areas. The main problem with these has always been cost. Unfortunately all too often the not-spot debate descends into bashing BT and claims that rural residents are being treated like 'second class citizens'.

What's needed is a debate that acknowledges that:

* Every property in the UK ought to have a decent connection. I'd currently define that as A minimum of 20Mb/s usable bandwidth during peak hours.

* It's difficult and very expensive to provide these locations with such a connection.

And here's a New Year's resolution: Before anyone engages in BT-bashing they should first ask themselves what have the other CPs done to help.

That's not so much a defence for BT as it is an attack against the entire industry of Communication Providers. Because 5% of the country is not being adequately provided with communication services.

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Government calls for ideas on how to splash £400m on fibre

AndrueC
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Re: Not all of London has 'superfast' Broadband

Do you ever stop pushing the well worn BT biased line 'FTTP is expensive, FTTC is cheap', bullshit?

Maybe you should have read the article (or even just the headline) more carefully.

You (my highlghting): FTTC rollout is only headline 'superficially cheaper', when you specifically select 'easy' rollout locations where there are existing cabinets

And from the article:He said the measures are "part of a package aimed at keeping businesses in the UK" and are not really intended to improve connectivity outside of major cities.

Your points about cost and location are valid. Unfortunately they are not relevant to this news article. Nor, consequently, as a criticism of my response. In the areas this funding is going to target FTTC is considerably cheaper than FTTP.

Mind you they have been talking about 'gold standard fibre' and if they are targeting businesses FTTP makes more sense than FTTC so you may well get your wish.

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AndrueC
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Stop

How about, uh, hire companies that dig cable trenches and put fiber in them?

Sure, but such things need careful planning and execution in order to avoid fucking up other important infrastructure wot might be buried in the ground. Based on your spelling I will point out that even the mighty Google has had to rein back its plans due to the cost and difficulty in your own country.

Seriously dear Britons, sometimes your government seems a bit weird.

A bit weird? I think most Britons could come up with some far more offensive and derogatory descriptions than that. Ignorant, self-serving, arse-holes would be my contribution.

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AndrueC
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Meh

Re: Not all of London has 'superfast' Broadband

Make sure that it is FTTP, none of this FTTC cop out.

That's fine as long as you accept that it will mean upgrading significantly fewer properties.

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AndrueC
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Joke

Re: Digital minister Matt Hancock

So he's program?

Yup. Malware probably.

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BT and Plusnet most moaned about broadband providers. Again

AndrueC
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Plusnet are good when it's working. Cheap and rarely slows down.

But if things go wrong and you have to rely on their customer service they are horrible. The new user experience seems to be particularly fraught. Even when nothing actually goes wrong they send out misleading letters that make new users think the connection is live before it is. They even send out emails to new subscribers advising them of engineer visits (which haven't been needed or requested for a year now).

So far I've been lucky and had no serious issues. I'm over a year out of contract and happy to stay with them. But that's also partly because finding any other provider that doesn't have a lengthy initial contract is nigh-on impossible. It'd be nice if Ofcom could take a look at that. Back when a long contract gave you a discount it wasn't so bad. But now it just seems to be standard.

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Stupid law of the week: South Carolina wants anti-porno chips in PCs that cost $20 to disable

AndrueC
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Facepalm

So..it's a $20 tax on pornography?

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View from a Reg reader: My take on the Basic Income

AndrueC
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Unhappy

For! Against! All with very little middle ground to be found.

Black and white thinking - a curse of human brains. Not helped by its close cousin 'pigeon hole thinking' (I don't like you therefore nothing you say can be correct).

Nuanced thinking appears to be too difficult for great swathes of the population.

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Don't panic, friends, but the Chinese navy just nicked one of America's underwater drones

AndrueC
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Joke

Maybe it was just due for a service under the warranty and the manufacturer does collect and return?

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Bluetooth-enabled safe lock popped after attackers win PINs

AndrueC
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Joke

Maybe you can 'like' the robbery?

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Amazon's first live drone delivery flew last week in Cambridge, UK

AndrueC
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Re: It might just fly

In the end though I doubt this whole drones for deliveries is ever going to get anywhere.

You don't think the idea will fly?

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Apple ordered to cough up $2m to store workers after denying rest breaks

AndrueC
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Happy

Re: Should the courts hold an entire huge company...

The Mote in God's Eye is my favourite novel of his

I think it'd have to be The Legacy of Heorot for me although I also have fond memories of Lucifer's Hammer. Death and destruction on a global scale with the bonus of a tribe of cannibals - what's not to like about that?

:)

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AndrueC
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Re: Should the courts hold an entire huge company...

Jerry Pournelle of Byte fame

Jerry Pournelle is also a science-fction writer of some fame.

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Reschedule the holiday party, Patch Tuesday is here and it's a big one

AndrueC
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Itunes on a PC ?

It used to be the only way to get stuff to/from an iPod. I don't know if it still is. I vaguely recall some third-party solution several years ago. iTunes is not a very pleasant experience. It has that 'Mummy knows best' feel about it that leaves you feeling vaguely uneasy that it's not actually doing what you want it to.

Updating your library is particularly fraught. I buy music and copy it to my main library (accessed by Logitech Music Server or whatever it is they call it these days). But as I have a couple of iPods(*) I periodically have to sync the two libraries. Now in any other such application you'd just drag a folder into the application and it would figure out the difference and just copy those files. Or there'd be an import option which did the same. iTunes has one or the other (can't remember which) but it just duplicates existing albums. Actually even worse - it duplicates the tracks but keeps them in the same folder. So instead I have to work out how up to date the iTunes library is then manually select the newer albums folders and copy them across. It's a lot of hassle and something I try not to do too often.

(*)Because I wanted a music player that:

* Could hold all my music.

* Had an album shuffle option.

* Automatically started playing when connected to my car and I started the engine.

Connectivity options for my car are many: USB, Apple Connector, HDMI, Aux. I'd be mildly interested if anyone here knew of another music player that fit the bill :-/

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Well, well. Auditors say UK govt procurement body hasn't saved your tax cash

AndrueC
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Joke

Well, well, well..

..three holes in the ground.

Which pretty nicely describes government procurement.

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Botched Microsoft update knocks Windows 8, 10 PCs offline – regardless of ISP

AndrueC
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Boffin

Re: Oh goody

I knew there was another reason for paying a fiver a month for a static IP.

That would be a WAN IP address. This issue appears to relate to DHCP which manages LAN IP addresses.

In more detailed terms: The issue seems to relate to the way people's routers are handing out addresses to Windows 10 machines on their LAN (or the way those machines respond to that advisement). Your static IP address relates to the way the world communicates with your router over the public internet.

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AndrueC
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Facepalm

Re: Plusnet are a bit pushed right now

Still think it is IPv6 related

Can't be otherwise Plusnet customers would be immune due to it's inability/lack of interest in rolling it out.

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Busted Windows 8, 10 update blamed for breaking Brits' DHCP

AndrueC
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The original forum post was from 2015. I installed mine last month - so over a year and Logitech have still not fixed it. Mine worked but would periodically go into a fugue state for ten minutes. Giving it a static IP address fixed that. I still wish they had redesigned the remote but it's working well now.

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AndrueC
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Facepalm

Seriously though - DHCP - how hard can it be ??

Too difficult for Logitech apparently.

I had to give my Harmony Hub a static IP address as well. This was last month so they've apparently not fixed it yet.

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Oi, you, no flirting, no touching in the back of our rides, sniffs Uber

AndrueC
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Meh

Odd. I thought people used 'X' because they were abbreviating the name.

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Sysadmin told to spend 20+ hours changing user names, for no reason

AndrueC
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Boffin

Re: compuserve anyone

Amazingly I'm pretty sure I can remember my ID:

100237,2643

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AndrueC
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Joke

Harold tells us that the institution has a simple scheme to allocate user names for staff: someone called John Brian Smith gets the user name “JBS”. Someone called John Smith, but with no middle name, is “JSM” - the first letter from their first name and the first two from the surname.

Obligatory Dilbert.

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Huawei Nova: A pleasant surprise in a 5-inch phone

AndrueC
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Re: Price

what my wife is looking for and (rather sensibly) thinks anything large than 5" is bulky

Dabbs, is that you?

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Brits think broadband more important than mobes, cars or savings

AndrueC
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WTF?

Broadband is more essential than owning a mobile phone, running a car or having savings, according to a survey by consumer watchdog organisation Which?

Sounds like an odd target demographic. I would agree on it being more important than a mobile phone but it's not even in the same category as the other two. A car is essential if you live outside of a large town and savings are essential (often in order to fix the car).

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Body cams too fragile for Canadian Mounties – so they won't be used

AndrueC
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Joke

You'll be telling us that hardly anyone gets defenestrated next.

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Ofcom fleshes out plans to open up BT's ducts and poles

AndrueC
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Boffin

Re: Alternatives

Nah, shouldn't be that bad. The reason Mr Musk needs several thousand satellites is because they will be orbiting in LEO - about 800 miles high. The latency on that shouldn't be noticeable.

No it's that '2GB/s' I'd take issue with. Firstly it's more likely to be '2Gb/s' but either way that's a lot of radio bandwidth to find. Spot beaming might help a bit but I can't see that being per-user. I don't think you could even have a service that allowed bursting to 2Gb/s.

It might possibly be the total bandwidth available at ground level but that will then be shared amongst who knows how many users. 2Gb/s (even 2GB/s) shared by 22 million households in the UK ain't so clever.

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AndrueC
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Meh

Don't every body rush...

It'd be nice to think this will result in a massive FTTP roll-out but I doubt it.

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What's in Hammond's box? Autumn fallout for Britain's tech SMBs

AndrueC
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Meh

Good ideas apart from the publicly owned bit. Governments have a proven track record of cocking those up big style.

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LeEco Le Pro 3: Low-cost, high-spec Droid takes on the big boys with a big fat batt

AndrueC
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Unhappy

Re: Battery Life

My S7 Edge isn't too bad. Admittedly I don't use it very much. The occasional SMS, streaming audio over bluetooth for an hour or so most days. Occasional incoming emails. I'm currently getting five days out of a charge. It seems to lose about 4% overnight when my WAP (and if the events run so is the phone's wifi(*)) is off and I live in a low-signal area (one or two bars). Then another 9% during the day typically.

But one thing annoys me (a lot). When I first got the phone email response was patchy to non-existent and it couldn't sync my contacts. I eventually discovered it was caused by the new Doze feature. Despite whitelisting my mail client it still failed. Eventually I found app called 'Disable Doze' and now my mail client maintains its IMAP connection.

What irks me (aside from the hassle of figuring this stuff out) is that despite disabling Doze my battery consumption is the same. So it seems the Android developers have gone to all that trouble and all they achieved is nearly destroying functionality I've been relying on for several years. Absolutely no battery savings from it for me at all. And now I hear that Nougat has an even more aggressive version of Doze. I might be about to end up with a phone that can't notify of new emails when they arrive.

(*)The event timer seems to still be a vicitim of Doze somehow.

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Jersey sore: Anchor rips into island's undersea cables, sinks net access

AndrueC
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Re: "on the UK island of Jersey"

Honestly, we kinda just wanted to see what reaction we'd get.

Causing outrage amongst us commentards? Where's the sport in that?

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Vegans furious as Bank of England admits ‘trace’ of animal fat in £5 notes

AndrueC
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Ofcom to force a legal separation of Openreach

AndrueC
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Meh

Re: Explanation please...

other ISPs' criteria

Except that historically the other CP's criteria (leaving aside Altnets for now) has been more restrictive than BT's. The original LLU roll-out shows us that as does the size of VM's network. Has your exchange been unbundled yet? Have VM offered to cable your street yet?

Alnets have shown great willingness and ability to go where few others (even BT) dare to go but they are relying on exclusive access to their network and in some cases free local labour, friendly wayleave agreements and not caring about making money. That doesn't scale very well and it's hard to see how openreach could get involved there in any shape or form.

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