* Posts by Verne

9 posts • joined 14 Jan 2010

Kingston's aviation empire: From industry firsts to Airfix heroes

Verne

Re: Kingston Polytechnic

I recall concerts in that bar. All the equipment had to go in the small service lift. Getting a stage up there was a nightmare!

Is living with Dolby Atmos worth the faff?

Verne

Re: Call me a Luddite but...

Not so much lazy sound engineers, rather those who have a job pandering to the marketing department, an element of take the money and run....

Well engineered material, and the Pink Floyd track is a good example, is still available. Indeed, there are many fine programs and films with standard 5.1 surround that are brilliant. However Dolby Atmos is never going to be for the average punter any more than a new wall size 4K screen will be.

However, this is not to say they won't be in the future but, like 3-D, it will never get off the ground when the only content is whizz-bang films or football. Sad really.

AG

Apple, Beats and fools with money who trust celeb endorsements

Verne

One size does not fit all....

One thing Apple have not sorted is their earbuds. One size does not fit all and I find it really annoying whilst commuting having to listen to several musical offerings all emanating from Apple buds. Proper fitting buds will require less level, should provide a better listening experience (marketing speak, sorry) and not p**s off those of us that prefer not to listen to music all the time in public.

Verne

One size does not fit all....

One thing Apple have not sorted is their earbuds. One size does not fit all and I find it really annoying whilst commuting having to listen to several musical offerings all emanating from Apple buds. Proper fitting buds will require less level, should provide a better listening experience (marketing speak, sorry) and not piss off those of us that prefer not to listen to music all the time in public.

Midnight theft left Vodafone users bereft

Verne
Pint

Well... → #42

The use of POTS as a back-up is indeed a good plan, however there seems to be a move away from providing a simple piece of "wet string" in new buildings. As the IT guys seem to be responsible more and more for cable infrastructure they like Cat5, hubs and switchers. At a recent job in Turkey seven new sporting venues had been built without any from of POTS infrastructure.

Back to Vodafone, I hope they learn the lessons from this incident. They have provided me with a good service for over ten years now and, in my book, still have the best coverage.

Save DAB! Send FM radios to Africa

Verne
Pint

Why I want to keep my FM radios, a personal view...

There are certainly a lot more negatives, in my view, for DAB than FM. Reception, power consumption and sound quality being the main things. Here is the reasoning why my FM radios will be staying in this country.

Reception can be down to a variety of things, distance from the transmitter, structures and buildings can affect both analoge and digital transmissions. I seem to recall that when Freeview came along we were told that a new larger outdoor aerial would been needed and, for most people, this was the case. The slightly all or nothing nature of the digits means that a higher level of signal is required to prevent drop-outs which, in the analogue world, would just have resulted in an increase in back-ground noise. Unfortunatley, DAB set makers seem to have omitted this requirement from their designs and provided us with aerial systems not up to the job. I have yet to see a portable Freeview TV with a rod aerial.

Anyone who says there is no power problem with DAB is living on another planet. Just walk through John Lewis and look at the consumption figures of their fine range of radios to see what I mean. If FM were abolished there would be no incentive to improve on this either. I must be one of the few who feel that some sort of local and national emergency broadcasting by radio is important (though not well implemented I grant you) but, if resorting to batteries, you would stand little chance of hearing any message with DAB.

And then there is the sound quality. CD quality (44.1kHz sampling at 16-bits) does quite a good job and if DAB worked at this resolution most people would be happy with the quality. Sadly this uses a lot of the spectrum up so broadcasters have to reduce the data rates using lossy compression. Some of the sound is taken away to get the bit rate down therefore more channels fit in a given block of spectrum and generate more revenue. The effect of taking some of the sound away is usually loss of ambience in recordings making them seem very 2 dimensional, or on voice a harder attack to the speach which makes it quite tiring to listen to for long periods. Last year I did a test by taking a recording of a piano and encoding it with various bit rates in mp3. The original sounded best by a long way (and that was recorded onto a compact cassette from Radio 3 in the late 1980s - you can't beat TDK-SA tapes). The same exercise can be done comparing FM, Freeview and DAB broadcasts of the same station and' I'm sure' most listeners will detect a difference, maybe a little more hiss on FM, but not a lot on good quality radios.

DAB is good if you want a wide choice of channels, most of us can survive with what is on FM.

Ramble over, back to pint. Have a good day!

Exeter Uni goes offline to fight mystery malware

Verne
Pint

Well, there you go....

I suppose full marks are due to those who shut down the system to limit the damage but when everything seems to rely on a big interconnected network the phrase "putting your eggs in one basket" spings to mind. Why does everything have to be so network based when it is a prime target for those who are not adept to living in a civilised society?

I would have thought that some form of back-up (yes, I konw it's old fashioned, but it works) network in a limited form could at least have kept the VoIP working. Good job the mobile phone network wasn't taken out as well!

Have a nice day.

Church of England takes on Ofcom

Verne
Pint

Capital Depreciation Periods are the problem?

Ofcom have been told over and over again that radio mics are usually depreciated over a lot longer periods than 5 years given the initial outlay and high quality equipment. I am sure that many were stung by Ofcom who had originally had said Channel 69 would stay only to go back on this and shift everyone to Channel 38.

Whilst one hopes there will be some benefit for the country by moving things around the lack of clarity with what, where and when has been appalling to say the least.

What does not get mentioned a lot these days is that the sale of the cleared spectrum has come about by the switch over to digital television which, in case you haven't noticed, we are paying for by charge on our TV licence. Win - win situation for Ofcom whilst a lot of other people will have to pay for it.

If you are replacing your car every year I think you must be buying the wrong car!

US faces critical lack of (mad) computer scientists

Verne
Pint

If it's happening in the US......

.....then there must be a similar problem in the UK. It's just that we don't talk about it, at least not in public.

I would venture that geeks and mad scientists don't always look good in modern business terms, especially when private companies rather than the state or educational establishments provide much of the R&D effort and funding, so that their positions in such organisations fall foul of the accountants axe.

I agree with Nigel 11 in that you must be better employing a hacker who has come clean rather than chasing him/her through the courts.

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