* Posts by Microchip

39 posts • joined 12 Mar 2010

College student with 'visions of writing super-cool scripts' almost wipes out faculty's entire system


chmod was what got me, same problem. Cue a good few hours long past midnight manually chmodding enough back to get the system to function, so I could do a proper restore off a known good set of ACLs... never made that particular mistake again!

Big cable trolls big mobile with '10G' trademark application


Intel's key role here is the silicon supporting 10Gbps full duplex DOCSIS networking

Let's hope it goes a little better than the existing Puma-based kit that many poor sods are saddled with in their cable modems.

Sneaky phone apps just about obey the law, still have no trouble guzzling your data, says Which?


Re: Nothing new, nothing will ever change

I remember using EULAlyzer for the purpose years ago. Looks like it's still around.


Open-source alt-droid wants to know if it's still leaking data to Google


Duplicated effort?

Pretty sure this is what the Replicant (replicant.us) project was trying to do as well. I'm guessing they've made much quicker leaps by going off Lineage and stripping stuff out than rebuilding from scratch though.

Tech bribes: What's the WORST one you've ever been offered?


I always end up with socks from the Sophos booth. They're usually pretty comical to be fair.

Farewell, Android Pay. We hardly tapped you


Limit - or lack thereof

I paid about £280-odd the other week on my car servicing. Don't think there's a contactless limit nowadays on the Android payments, though you may be limited by the bank or merchant. Phone has to be unlocked for the purpose of payment though, obviously.

UK.gov pushes ahead with legal right to 10Mbps


Re: Wet String,...

There were trials years ago for running broadband over the power lines ( http://www.silicon.co.uk/workspace/liverpool-to-trial-200-mbps-powerline-broadband-17089?inf_by=5a3a4b1f671db8d9668b4913 ), in a similar vein to how powerline ethernet works, with kit at the substations for sending it over the last mile. They could possibly revive the tech and put a bid in that way, though I'm not sure how viable it became in the end, though other countries have deployed it successfully. It's all about which is cheaper and causes less interference in the end I suppose.

Pickaxe chops cable, KOs UKFast data centre


According to the emails they've been sending out, the incoming supply was unstable, and the gennies failed to sync up properly, and the UPSs ran out of power before the generators could kick in safely.

Phone fatigue takes hold: SIM-onlys now top UK market


Re: The most annoying thing about having a non-contract phone...

It is just a voice call, but routing it over 4G or wifi, then via the network's own call handling setup. It's what phones normally do when we call/get called over 3G or 2G at the moment. To be honest, it's mainly for receiving calls that I use it, as outbound I often use said whatsapp/hangout/telegram etc myself, but unfortunately most non-techs people out there in the real world seem to want to call me on my actual phone number. Yeah, I could mess about with SIP and all that jazz, but my point was that it comes as standard being able to call over 4G and wifi with carrier based phones (or phones with the carrier ROM), but not if you get them independently (or are running the global ROM).


The most annoying thing about having a non-contract phone...

is that without the carrier bloatware, you often don't get access to the better features (e.g. VoLTE, VoWiFi (wifi calling) without seperate apps that may or may not work, access to certain LTE bands (Band 20 800MHz, I'm looking at you Three). And worse, if you've got a phone they don't officially support, you're not going to get them either. I've got a OnePlus 3 that I'm still really happy with, but I'm basically told I'm SOL when it comes to VoLTE. It's supposed to work via their app, but naturally doesn't.

Course, you take the carrier crap, and you end up with lagging updates, apps and services you don't want ("value added"), if it's an option for your phone.

IIRC Three were using "4G Super Voice" as a marketing tool/gimmick that they were using to sell more handsets. I'm hoping the shift towards SIM only will push towards having some sort of standard operating setup with VoLTE/VoWiFi. And maybe all the networks could try testing the generic firmware models on their network and enable the features if they're supported. In their defense, apparently EE do support VoLTE and VoWiFi on the OP3, but I'm not willing to pay a 50-100% premium on my SIM only contract in order to access them.

UK not as keen on mobile wallets as mainland Europe and US


Re: Define "regularly"

"If I am going shopping shopping then I'll grab the wallet - but that's mostly to be allowed to spend over the £30 limit. It's also a good way to limit expenditure, because I can't buy 'big' things without deliberately going out to do so..."

Varies by provider and acceptance, but as far as I'm aware there's no limit on Android Pay transactions with my bank, as opposed to the £30 on the contactless card, according to their T&Cs. A lot of the terminals seem to have £30 as a set limit though.

I initially found this out by paying a food and drink bill for £36 at a pub using my phone without realising, went through without an issue, then went and checked the T&Cs to see if this was normal.

Brace yourselves, Virgin Media prices are going up AGAIN, people


Re: Is this to fund upgrades so they can fix the horrific congestion?

Yeah, I'm currently with a little ISP called Aquiss for the same reasons, costs me more than your mass market providers, but it's pretty solid, and I don't get fobbed off with "turn it off and on again". Mind you, they're also more than happy to tell me when it's my own kit that's the problem, but they're not averse to providing me with all the info I need to fix it myself.

I think it's just the shiny "oooh, 300mbit" that appeals, but the label doesn't match the service, sadly.


Is this to fund upgrades so they can fix the horrific congestion?

Most of my friends in my local area on VM have serious issues with lack of bandwidth every evening, and they're not exactly hammering it, and they continually seem to "review" the issue without fixing it.

Maybe this is to fund the replacement of all those Puma 6 SuperHub 3 boxes that suffer major latency spikes.

Looking at moving home shortly, and was seriously tempted by their 300mbit offering, until I read that it dropped to about 2mbit to 8mbit between 3PM and 11PM and is utterly useless for online gaming. Guess it's VDSL again then...

Ronan Dunne jumps O2 ship


Re: No more interference

Our competitions and mergers authority didn't want it to happen anyway.


EU commish: We smacked down O2/Three but we didn't take it 'lightly'


I'd far rather have seen the BT/EE deal blocked than O2/Three, or have BT forced to dump OpenReach before approving the go-ahead. Surely BT/EE is a much bigger threat. Mind you, if 3 had got their arse in gear and bought up O2 before the BT/EE deal had gone down, it might have been BT crying about it.

(I was also kinda hoping for a 2G backup that actually had data included, unlike the current Orange-based 2G backup. So much for dumping the old Tesco Mobile backup SIM... *mutters*)

Data-thirsty mobile owners burn through 5GB a month


Re: Poor Web Development

Related, sent from my boss recently

http://idlewords.com/talks/website_obesity.htm - The Website Obesity Crisis.

We're intentionally trying to minimise the amount of data and complexity of it now, to [a] make sure it loads fast on mobile as well as desktops, and [b] stop websites eating phone batteries for fun.

It's shocking how much these frameworks that make life easier for the creative types eat CPU, therefore battery power, on mobile devices. Or sending huge pictures and letting the device resize them, nicely serving 500K instead of the 25K image that would do if it was resized server side, handily eating 0.5-1% of many people's data plans (it's surprising how many people have to get by with 500MB or 1GB now) in one fell swoop.

Also related: Advertising scripts that eat CPU/battery/data just by existing, hence so many people blocking the things on mobile.

(I'm also slightly bitter about 3 kicking me off the £15 One Plan - but like one of the posters above, I'm now on AYCE data, 12GB tether, 200 mins and AYCE texts for £20. Can't complain too much, was bound to happen in the end, I just hate bills going up. At least we know exactly what we're paying for, and it's quite reasonable for what it is with the AYCE mobile data. I rarely used over 12GB of tethering in a month, but it was just nice to know it was there if I needed it.)

Apple finally publishes El Capitan Darwin source


Re: Most closed walled garden company

I'd agree that Google opened a lot of their stuff up from the early days, but unfortunately the likes of Android are getting more and more closed into a binary blob of "Google Play Services", and the Google apps that go with them only officially run on "authorized" platforms. They're pulling the noose a bit tighter nowadays, for commercial/control reasons no doubt - there's a lot of crappy Android platforms (from a user's point of view) out there as a result of the openness of the core OS.

Does Linux need a new file system? Ex-Google engineer thinks so


Re: @ Martijn Otto - You mean btrfs, surely

zfsonlinux.org has a kernel module, but as mentioned in other comments, non-GPL compatible. Fast though, seemed to work well when I was testing as an alternative to FreeNAS with ZFS. I've zero issue throwing a non-GPL module in, but purist may be unhappy with the idea.

Should spectrum hog TV give up its seat for broadband? You tell us – EU


Re: Whoops

Apparently this is happening to "some people (not everyone)" and tech support is on it...



I clicked on the link to Respond Online, and ended up pulling up someone else's details - a Rui Lopes Campos from Portugal. Nice work, EU website...

BT slapped down by BSkyB over O2 broadband 'switch off' porkies



Been looking at Zen myself since my service went to hell when I got dumped into Sky, although I was going to wait until I moved house, the pain is just getting a little too much. Are they worth the money? I was looking at quite a few providers, but my issue is that sometimes I go through serious bandwidth - a couple of months ago I hit 400GB in a month with various software images, and most of the "pro" ISPs have caps on ADSL2.

(Can't currently get FTTC as I'm on an EO line, although they're working on it. Half the reason I picked my flat was because I was within 100m of the exchange - now it's come back to bite me in the backside! Losing my 2.5mbit upload because Sky don't support it stung quite badly.)


They're mostly full LLU, taking over the line and piping over their own backhaul, so while their kit sits in BT exchanges, about the only interaction with the BT "network" is being powered by it, and connecting to the BT last-mile copper.* Related: it's a pig to escape Sky's broadband+phone provision, as I discovered to my horror after I was automatically transferred from Be and didn't shift quick enough.

* There is sometimes exceptions of course, where Sky haven't deployed LLU, but they seem to have their kit in most exchanges.

Recommendations for NAS-based home media set-up


Re: Recommendations for NAS-based home media set-up

I picked up a pair of the N40L Microservers, nothing too powerful, but they set me back about 130 quid a pop at the time after cashback redemptions. Threw 4x3TB WD Red NAS drives at it (£140 each or so at the time, as they'd just come out, but a whole lot cheaper than the enterprise class drives I'd been looking at for the 24/7 usage) and 8GB of ECC RAM (not hugely expensive), throw a copy of FreeNAS on a 4GB USB stick which can be stuck in the internal USB port, and run the lot on raidz1, including torrent clients and the like (see http://www.freenas.org/ for full details of what it can do). Bit of tweaking and I can easily max the gigabit link out. Took the 2GB of RAM and the 250GB drive that it shipped with and put it in the other server giving it 4GB and 2x250GB, slapped a cheap fanless Radeon 5450 in it, and used it as a HTPC and Plex server/client on a basic Win7 setup, pretty much just works. Coupled it with a 3 quid Cyberlink infrared USB remote and a couple of USB extension cables so the remote sensor is somewhere reachable. Not all the buttons work, but the volume, play, pause, arrows and OK do, which suits me to a tee.

One thing to note - while you can run Plex (one of the best media server/clients I've had the pleasure of using, the client forked from XBMC a while ago) on the FreeNAS box, if it's a basic CPU unit like the microservers, it's going to struggle doing the transcoding to UPnP hosts such as consoles or TVs. My setup manages with one box doing the file serving and one box doing the transcoding, but it's borderline at times with 1080p content, but if you run the Plex server on the NAS and a Plex client on a box of some sort, no transcoding is necessary, so you can get away with fairly low CPU requirements on the server and client end. But if you want to transcode you'll want something with a reasonable processor in it. Same goes of course for most of the lower powered NAS boxes, many can run the Plex server, as long as you run a Plex client on the other side that doesn't require the NAS to do anything fancy to the video on the fly. Sending to Plex on an Android device etc usually means it needs to transcode, so it won't work too well on the lower powered CPUs, although you might get away with it for SD video.

Of course, if you can stick a client on the other end, the likes of XBMC are also an option, without messing about with the likes of Plex. I just really like the interface on the big TV, the media management, and smart transcoding to my tablet.

Three-yaarrgh! Major UK mobile network's data goes down


Worth looking at SIM-free if you're happy with what you've got.

They're doing the one plan for £15 a month on SIM only. Can't beat it for the cash really.


Back here too.

Mystery 'doughnut' materializes in front of Mars rover: 'OH MY GOD! It wasn't there before!'


Re: Shivers...

I was waiting for that. That comic always makes me a little bit sad. Poor Spirit...

EE turns up speed knob EVEN FASTER on 4G spectrum

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Re: Brilliant.

That brilliant moment where you realise afterwards, and the lack of an edit button. ;-)



So you can burn through the paltry allowances (or very expensive ones) even faster!

Seriously, aside from mobile broadband usage with a dongle and PC, what's the point? The 3 SIM in my Nexus 4 has happily churned out 22mbit down and 4mbit up recently, and gets a solid 10mbit most of the time even indoors, and has a nice unlimited data package. How fast do you want your mobiles? And does this suitably eat battery life to compensate for the speed too?

Barnes & Noble bungs Raspberry Pi-priced Nook on shelves

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Re: Knowing little about these things

Lifehacker has a post on it. http://lifehacker.com/5889158/turn-a-99-nook-into-a-fully-fledged-android-tablet-in-four-easy-steps

I suspect it'll need a bit more updating (see XDA forum, http://forum.xda-developers.com/forumdisplay.php?f=1199 ) from the guide, but the basic premise stands no doubt.

Security firm in Tor Project 'mass surveillance' row responds


This doesn't look like news. We use something similar on our network routing our data through a SaaS cloud which does our URL filtering and virus scanning, and I've installed suitable certificates on the network to make sure all HTTPS as well as HTTP traffic gets scanned, because a virus can just as easily come in through HTTPS. Am I missing something? Unless they're just talking about the fact they're hardware devices with shared certs... suppose a company could issue one cert across multiple devices for their kit, but it still seems to be being blown out of all proportion...

Steelie Neelie calls for copper price cuts to drive fibre


With copper prices so high...

... why don't they lay down fibre replacements, take out the copper, and flog it to offset the costs?

Cloud startup's business model defies laws of physics



So, these duplicate file hashes... will the MPAA/RIAA be able to get hold of said hashes / create them, then request Bitcasa to hand over everyone who has an MP3/video matching that hash? Possible instant mass lawsuit ensues?

Other than that, it sounds a great plan, but I suspect a lot of freetards would get potentially nailed.

OnLive streams towards Blighty



According the US video, unless they've advanced it somewhat, that you can only view on the ipad/android tablets. It's a shame if it's true, would be pretty impressive to have that sort of cross platform compatibility.

PM promises change as police interview ex-spokesman

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"which prompted News International to reach the bold and ruthless decision not to sack Rebekah Brooks but instead to close the 168-year-old paper."

... Yeah, and replace it with the "Sun on Sunday".

Thought that was pretty much what it was already...

Sega celebrates two decades of Sonic the Hedgehog



I did have the original Sonic on the Master System too... and Sonic Chaos, later on. Didn't realise the level select worked for that too... would have saved a good few hours replaying the game to get back to where I was after the parental units turned it off on me!

Ahh, back when games were harsh, and they took months to complete, because there were no saves, and there was no nice easy continues... when you were dead, you were dead, and completing a game was a real achievement...


The level select code...

... wasn't it up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, ABC+start?

Well, that's how I always did it anyway...

Points for anyone who can remember the sound test codes on Sonic 2... I seem to remember the beginning was 19, 65...

BT rolls out new, 'competitive' consumer deals


Beware of just looking at your synced line speed...

A lot of people are still on standard ADSL MAX, which is only ever going to show a maximum speed of 8mbit down/842(ish) up, whereas your line may support quite a bit more than that.

It's not guaranteed though, of course.

If you want a realistic(ish) idea, the calculator at http://www.kitz.co.uk/adsl/max_speed_calc.php can help, following the instructions on how to get your line stats.

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