* Posts by Chris Cartledge

79 posts • joined 31 May 2007

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Ten years in the clink, file-sharing monsters! (If UK govt gets its way)

Chris Cartledge

YouTube

Are they running scared?

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The web is DOOM'd: Average page now as big as id's DOS classic

Chris Cartledge
WTF?

The Good Old Days

Ten years ago on my RAZR flip phone I used to browse the web for cricket updates or the time of the next bus, and check my mail once or twice a day at a cost of £2.50 per megabyte, but no longer. My new phone has a battery life of minutes if internet is enabled. Flashy adverts, a pushy voice telling me I have new maill and so many other improvements mean that mobile internet is now so rebarbative, I no longer use it. If only I could configure it to be like a desktop Linux PC with no apps, no automagical voice input, no voice output, no news, no fantasy weather forecast and above all no creepy advertisements, then I might again be happy to try.

I was looking for a text only browser only earlier today but they no longer seem to exist. Neither Lynx nor Pine are available for Android. Even a simple thing like configuring Firefox not to play movies by default is only via an at your own risk page.

I like my new phone hardware apart from its fixed battery, with its fancy camera, FM radio, music store, ability to send texts and make calls, but I do not want what I get when a buy a new phone.

Where is the sense in it all? Is there a way back to a saner past?

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Brits rattle tin for 'revolutionary' hydrogen-powered car

Chris Cartledge
Pint

Ugly

Ugly, indeed. I'll wait for a better looking version before I replace my gas guzzling Smart Roadster.

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Teenage boy bailed until November over TalkTalk incident

Chris Cartledge
WTF?

Nothing important was stolen...

According to TalkTalk nothing important was stolen anyway acording to there customer letter, below, so there should be no charges...

our TalkTalk account number: nnnnnnnn

Dear xxx,

We know it’s been a worrying and frustrating time since Wednesday’s cyber attack on our website. We’re doing everything we can to get to the bottom of what happened as soon as possible and to keep you updated. Our investigations are currently showing the following:

• The number of customers affected and the amount of data potentially stolen is smaller than originally thought. Our website was attacked, but our core systems weren’t and remain secure.

• On its own, none of the data that may have been accessed could be used to leave you financially worse off.

• We don’t store unencrypted credit or debit card data on our site, so any card details which may have been accessed have the 6 middle digits blanked out. For example, it would appear as 012345XXXXXX6789. This means it can’t be used for financial transactions.

• No My Account passwords have been accessed.

• No banking details were taken that you won’t already be sharing with people when you write a cheque or give to someone so they can pay money into your account.

We will continue investigating and promise to keep you updated as we know more. In the meantime, we strongly encourage that you:

• Sign up to your free credit reporting service using this code: TT231. We have partnered with Noddle, one of the leading credit reference agencies, to offer 12 months of credit monitoring alerts for all customers. You can find out more at www.talktalk.co.uk/secure.

• Stay vigilant - TalkTalk will NEVER call customers and ask you to provide personal details or passwords. Please take all steps to check the true identity of any organisation that calls requesting personal information. If you have any doubts, please call us on 0800 083 2710 or 0141 230 0707.

We are sorry for the concern this week’s attack has caused, but want to reassure you that we are doing everything possible to keep your information safe.

For more information, please visit: www.talktalk.co.uk/secure.

Yours sincerely,

TAHanison

Tristia Harrison

Managing Director, Consumer

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Astroboffins snap BREATHTAKING, WISPY Veil Nebula supernova debris

Chris Cartledge
Happy

Get Out and Look

The Veil is very visible in a small telescope from a dark site. A nebula filter helps. It is now an early evening object fading to the west. With a star map it is easy to locate in Cygnus next to Vega high in the south West. However it is very very faint and the light from the moon will obscure it for the next fortnight or so. You will not see colour in it but it is a real thrill to see it live!.

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On its way: A Google-free, NSA-free IT infrastructure for Europe

Chris Cartledge
Meh

EU Hosting and Control

Hosting and control are surely the issues. M$ shows how it can be done and the other US suppliers will follow. I would be astonished if EU startups made a killing out of this, even more astonished if EU Telcos could get their act together and ecstatic if new more secure standards could become used across the EU. It would nice to be proved wrong, though...

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Faked NatWest, Halifax bank sites score REAL security certs

Chris Cartledge
Coat

Passing Off

This is such an old problem that it is a breach of Common Law. which is called passing off. It has to be enforced by the trademark owner who should be pursuing the owners of the fake domain *and* the organisation that aided them by granting it. Given the amount organisations are willing to spend on advertising their services, protecting patent and the like, I fail to understand why they generally do little or nothing to protect their name on the internet.

It should be easy to explain why the effort would be worthwhile, but I was incapable of getting our lawyers or PR people involved. I was however surprised at the success I had on a couple of occasions with a simple cease and desist email...

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'Nothing to see here', says ECJ as Safe Harbour opinion delayed

Chris Cartledge

I may be a pedant but...

"safe harbour" should be Safe Harbor, I think, see: www.export.gov/safeharbor/

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Festive streamers caught in Vulture's claws: Gadget-ogle for audiophiles, video geeks

Chris Cartledge

Magic!

For me, the QED uPlay Stream is as close to magic as it comes (ref: Arthur C. Clarke: Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic).

I have put off streaming for years because it looked too complicated, particularly if you want to preserve the sound quality of CDs, but the pile of of silver discs has now got too large. You should be able to go into a shop and just buy it, but it seems that people end up buying bits and doing it themselves.

The uPlay device itself looks too small to be real, just the size of a CD, and the Android app has a basic feel to it, but for to me it just worked with flac files off the tablet. I am listening via a Class D amplifier which is also infeasibly small with some old Kef bookshelf loudspeakers and it sounds wonderful!

The file server is on order and really ought to be a recycled Atom based PC or a PI but I bottle out of DIY so it is actually going to be a Synology and I am hoping that this also will just work...

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Behold the Lumia 535 NOTkia: Microsoft wipes Nokia brand from mobes

Chris Cartledge
Meh

Naming/Numbering

I find it difficult to engage with a range of goods named/numbered: 530, 535, 630 and 635. This is even less enticing than Windows itself.

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First pics: Comet-chaser Rosetta hurtles towards icy prey, camera in hand

Chris Cartledge
Facepalm

maneuvers?

I would have thought manoeuvres...

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Google erases G8 venue from Earth: Microsoft doesn't

Chris Cartledge
Pint

Hysterical data

Google did not do a very thorough job! You only have use Google Earth to View Historical Imagery to see that the complex was indeed here (in black and white) in the image data 3/7/2010 (7 March).

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BBC boffins ponder abstruse Ikea-style way of transmitting telly

Chris Cartledge
Unhappy

Not so good for real time...

Title says it all really. Already digital cannot get the pips right with satellite being worse than terrestrial...

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Look out! Peak wind is coming, warns top Harvard physicist

Chris Cartledge
Coat

Professor David Keith

This will be the same David Keith which leads the Carbon capture company Carbon Engineering...

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Red supergiant Betelgeuse heads for SMACKDOWN with 'dust bar'

Chris Cartledge
Boffin

Perhaps in front or behind

How do they know it will actually hit this this band of dust? Do they know the distances so precisely they know it can't go behind or in front of it?

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Gaia scientist Lovelock: 'I was wrong and alarmist on climate'

Chris Cartledge
Facepalm

Gaia

James Lovelock has a such history of grand extrapolation based on insufficient evidence, that one wonders why he is taken seriously. But look you at the piece of puff about Gaia in the Wikepedia...

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Brits trapped in confusing council website labyrinths - survey

Chris Cartledge
Unhappy

Re: Nostalgia ...

You are in a twisty maze of local government. It is dark.

There is a bin in front of you. It is emptied not well and not often enough. Whose is it?

It might be the County, District, Parish Council or National Park, but it is dark and you cannot tell. You ask a passer by but it is dark and she does not know. You ask a policemen but it is dark and he cannot tell. You go on a web site but it is dark and you cannot find bins.

Maybe the bin is nobody's? But it must be somebody's because a van comes and empties it, not well and not often enough. The van has a symbol on the side but it is dark so you cannot see where it is from. The cleaner works for MegaClean Co. but he just cleans the bin when he is told. It is dark.

You are in a twisty local government maze. It is dark.

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Ten... sub-£100 mono laser printers

Chris Cartledge
Boffin

Re: Re: Electricity Consumption - a Real Cost

The TEC on the SUST-IT site is that given by the manuafacturer when registering the product for ENERGY STAR. It does measure the electricity consumption under a standard workload. The formula for number of pages printed is complex but can be found here:

http://www.energystar.gov/ia/partners/prod_development/revisions/downloads/img_equip/TEC_Test_Procedure4-21-06.pdf?12bb-aac8

and it does work out as high load for personal printers, I think. Most personal printers spend most of their time doing nothing and it is interesting to see the consumption for idle mode:

Brother HL-2130 0.8W

Brother HL-2250DN 0.9W

Epson Aculaser M1200 8W

HP LaserJet Pro P1102w 2.7W

So the Epson is costing about £10 per year just to leave plugged into a live socket!

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Chris Cartledge
Boffin

Electricity Consumption - a Real Cost

It is a great pity that no information on electricity costs is given. These are significant, particuarly when compared to a low capital costs, as is shown by the Typical Energy Consumption (TEC) for the four printers that are listed on:

http://www.sust-it.net/

On a UK average electricity tariff for 2011, these costs are:

Brother HL-2130 £32.24

Brother HL-2250DN £35.83

Epson Aculaser M1200 £40.68

HP LaserJet Pro P1102w £16.05

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Chrome passes Firefox in global browser share

Chris Cartledge

Where are the phones?

Is this only about desktops? How are smart phone browsers (and apps) factored in? Is phone access not yet significant yet?

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Ubuntu republic riven by damaging civil wars

Chris Cartledge

Unity-2D

Unity is slow, but happily Unity-2D is much quicker, indeed almost lightweight. However I hope they do something about the usability which is very poor when you have multiple windows open for the same application. LibreOffice integrates particularly badly with some files appearing under a generic Office symbol instead of Writer, Calc or Impress as others do.

It might also be good if some fundamental issues with Linux were fixed, such as caching network information. It is a pain to have to delete Auto Ethernet and then reconnect to it when I have powered off broadband overnight (and there are similar occasional problems with Wireless Ethernet).

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Hubble detects new Plutonian moon

Chris Cartledge
Headmaster

Dwarf planet

Currently, I understand, the second largest dwarf planet in the Solar System (after Eris).

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Fukushima: Situation improving all the time

Chris Cartledge
Coat

Improving?

How can the situation be improving? According to Lewis there has never been a real problem...

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Intel outs 'Poulson' speeds and feeds

Chris Cartledge

ROI

But will they ever sell enough to get a return?

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Portsmouth redefines the Olympic-sized swimming pool

Chris Cartledge
Alert

It's Easy

It is easy to get things like this wrong. You only have to think of the mirror on the Hubble telescope ($2 billion repair mission) or wiring on on the Airbus A380 (cost €2.8 billion) to remember that it has happened before and it will happen again. Show tolerance to the anally retentive project manager who wants everything checked - it is the only way to ensure no slip ups. When doing carpentry I measure twice to cut once but I still get it wrong...

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Spanish whispers on Microsoft and Nokia

Chris Cartledge
Coat

In the meantime

Nokia must continue to release new hardware for its existing software platforms or it will be as dead as Motorola...

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Google open video codec faces second challenger

Chris Cartledge
Happy

@ D. M

Plenty of low end portable players support Ogg, from suppliers you may have head of: SanDisk, Cowon, Trekstor, HTC, Archos, Grundig, iRiver, Philips, Samsung. See: http://wiki.xiph.org/index.php/PortablePlayers.

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Nominet asks what you think of police domain grab

Chris Cartledge
Big Brother

Internet is the now the real world

So real world protections are needed and one would expect to see the courts and judges involved. Closing a web site wrongly might have far more serious implications than for example a search (Anton Pillar) order or an injunction against libel.

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Nokia C5-03 budget touchscreen smartphone

This post has been deleted by a moderator

How I built a zero energy cost, zero carbon home server

Chris Cartledge
Jobs Halo

Mac mini

For those like me who could not do all the techy stuff, a low power but expensive Intel solution is Mac mini. which uses less than 10w when idle.

In passing I can never understand why the idea of saving electricity seems to offend some commentators so much.

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Buyer's Guide: Budget Mono Laser Printers

Chris Cartledge
Boffin

Power consumption

Although costs are discussed, electricity consumption is not, and it can be very significant as shown below. Consumption is very dependent on how much the printer is used. The annual TEC (typical energy consumption) figures below are based on printing for 1 hour per day, five days per week for 52 weeks per year on a typical UK electricity tariff. Where possible, figures come directly from http://www.sust-it.net/ .

Brother HL-2035: £37.05

Canon i-Sensys LBP3010: £11.85

Dell 1130: £6.31 - £9.44? (No Dell devices listed on SUST-IT; first figure from Dell literature, 0.78kWh per week; second from US ENERGY STAR, 1.3kWh per week at 230V)

Epson Aculaser M1200: ?? (No figure in Epsom literature and no Epsom devices listed on SUST-IT, ENERGY STAR sites)

HP LaserJet P1102w: ?? (No figure in HP literature though ENERGY STAR compliance claimed; this device not listed on SUST-IT; US ENERGY STAR consumption figures blank)

Samsung ML-1665: £7.26 (No figure in Samsung literature; not listed on SUST-IT; this from US ENERGY STAR, 1.0kWh per week at 230V)

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Brother HL-2035

Chris Cartledge
Boffin

Power consumption

Although costs are discussed, electricity consumption is not, and it can be very significant as shown below. Consumption is very dependent on how much the printer is used and the annual TEC (typical energy consumption) figures below are based on printing for 1 hour per day, five days per week for 52 weeks per year on a typical UK electricity tariff. Where possible, figures come directly from http://www.sust-it.net/ .

Brother HL-2035: £37.05

Canon i-Sensys LBP3010: £11.85

Dell 1130: £6.31 - £9.44? (No Dell devices listed on SUST-IT; first figure from Dell literature, 0.78kWh per week; second from US ENERGY STAR, 1.3kWh per week at 230V)

Epson Aculaser M1200: ?? (No figure in Epsom literature and no Epsom devices listed on SUST-IT, ENERGY STAR sites)

HP LaserJet P1102w: ?? (No figure in HP literature though ENERGY STAR compliance claimed; this device not listed on SUST-IT; US ENERGY STAR consumption figures blank)

Samsung ML-1665: £7.26 (No figure in Samsung literature; not listed on SUST-IT; this from US ENERGY STAR, 1.0kWh per week at 230V)

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Paul Allen launches patent broadside on world+dog

Chris Cartledge
Gates Horns

Time limited

The good news is that patents are time limited. The bad news is that two of these are dated in 2000 so this nonsense could go on for a further 10 years...

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Apple Mac Mini 2010

Chris Cartledge
Boffin

Electricity Consumption

Apple claims it beats the ENERGY STAR 5.0 requirement for typical electricity consumption (TEC) by 80%. Machines from other supplier typically scrape by with a margin of less than 20% (so using around four times the electricity of the Mac Mini), which mitigates somewhat the higher capital cost of the Mac Mini.

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'Completely useless' Windows 3.1 hits Google's Android

Chris Cartledge
Gates Halo

Truetype

The killer feature of Windows 3.1 over 3.0 was Truetype WYSIWYG support. I loved it and later versions brought no killer improvements for me. When support for modern hardware became an issue, I moved on to Linux, never to return.

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US patent office gives i4i Word up in Microsoft snub

Chris Cartledge
Pint

A real good news story!

"there still remain important matters of patent law at stake, and we are considering our options to get them addressed", but presumably not by banning forbidding all software patents. Microsoft can comfort themselves that, as with other patents, this one will expire in around 20 years.

Live by the sword, die by the sword.

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Radio lobby 'hides' 2m analogue receiver sales

Chris Cartledge
Stop

Criteria wrong!

Living in a large village, 10miles (16km) from the centre of Sheffield, there is no DAB radio here and no date for its availability. Apparently BBC DAB currently reaches less than 85% of the UK population and the target is only 90%. Switching off analogues services should surely not be an option until DAB coverage at least matches analogue provision..

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Intel Labs unveils PC power plans

Chris Cartledge
Boffin

PCs could be better now

Electrically efficient desktop PCs can be made now, but are not. The most clear evidence for this is to look at the UK site for energy saving electrical goods:

http://www.sust-it.net/energy_saving.php?id=20

The top six machines costing about £7 per year to run are all Apple Mac Minis which are proper office PCs with a Intel Core duo processor and dedicated graphics. In competition, other major suppliers offer Atom based machines which still cost more to run than the Mac mini. It costs over £12 to run the nearest rival PC based on on a decent processor, the Fujitsu Siemens ESPRIMO Q5030. There is no rocket science in the Apple approach, simply the use of processors that Intel designates for laptops, a 2.5" disk, an efficient power supply and good mechanical design.

Manufacturers are keen to to publicise their green credentials, but they need to be doing more to give consumers the choice of more efficient PCs. Consumers need to stop buying PCs solely on the basis of the most GHz and cores for the money.

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Symbian shares the source

Chris Cartledge
Headmaster

Lack of clear design architecture

To me, on the basis of some months of experience with a touchscreen Nokia 5530 only, the problem with Symbian is its lack of a coherent consistent user interface. However good the underlying operating system, and nice the hardware, Symbian devices cannot hope to challenge the iPhone, unless the user interface is sorted. Do any Symbian designers actually use the products? A few of simple failings with the 5530 which are nothing to do with the underlying platform are as follows:

* touch screen user interface with finger drag, covers a few functions like lists and browser, but not email, for example;

* touch screen UI removes cut&paste so you cannot copy from a web page, so far as | can tell;

* on screen text input, for example for texting, has no vertical scroll;

* the rebarbative flashing green and red bars though which you handle alarms and incoming calls are difficult and I still miss about a quarter of calls (down from about 90% when I got the phone);

* has anybody actually installed an app from the various unfriendly sites available?

* the dullness of supplied profiles - a choice of black and while with grey or black and white with red;

* lists are a particular issue with bouncing at the ends which makes selection of the bottom item (always Exit) slow;

* the software writers may understand the difference between Back, Close and Exit, but this user does not;

There are many more, many more annoyances, but I do not have the enthusiasm for Symbian to document the awfulness in more detail.

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Why can't Google be more like Microsoft?

Chris Cartledge
Alien

Times of London

The Times is is not exactly a neutral commentator on Google anything, being part of the Murdoch empire...

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Europe welcomes Dell's Mac Mini Zino HD

Chris Cartledge
Gates Horns

No welcome from me

At t £249 for the Atom based unit, it is expensive compared with the similarly specified HP Compaq Cq2200uk, which is now £199.99 from Comet. The OS is Windows XP Home with no Ubuntu option in the UK despite it being listed in the technical spec.

I am happy with my Cq2200uk on which I use Ubuntu (9.04 currently) , but the Atom 230 is now long in the tooth, and it disappointing that the is no dual core Atom 330 option ( all to do with Microsoft distorting the market with cheap XP licences, I guess).

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Canon Pixma MP560

Chris Cartledge
Boffin

Enery Star Compliant

It is also Energy Star compliant and Canon claim approximate power consumption on standby: 1.9W, when off: 0.5W and when copying: 14W.

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Brother DCP-375CW wireless multifunction inkjet printer

Chris Cartledge
Boffin

Blue Angel and Energy Star Compliant

Brother claims power consumption in sleep: <2.5W, standby: <3.5W, printing: <18W. Despite the awards, 2.5W sounds a lot to me for sleep.

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Western Digital WD TV Live

Chris Cartledge
Boffin

@Gronda

Gronda asks "What about the temperature? " This is yet another device powered by a brick which will always be on. If the brick is hot, then it is consuming a significant amount of electricity. But how much? WD do not seem to list power use anywhere.

How can El Reg recommend a device with unknown running costs?

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Altec Lansing Expressionist Plus v. Edifier E3350

Chris Cartledge
Boffin

Electricity consumption?

Neither manufacturer gives any power consumption figure for standby or typical operating.conditions nor makes any claim for electrical efficiency. Both devices are externally powered which is often a sign that electricity use is not well managed. ..

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Philips BDP3000 Blu-ray disc player

Chris Cartledge
Boffin

Electricity consumption

And Philips says it uses 25W operating and 0.5W on standby, so it costs just 50p per year to have it plugged in, and no more than £25 even if you use it 24*7.

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Lexmark C736dn workgroup colour laser printer

Chris Cartledge
Boffin

Electricity Consumption

This printer is is Energy Star compliant which is good!

Lexmark gives an Energy Star Typical Electricity Consumption (TEC) of 4.69kWh (units) per week. At a typical UK price of 12p per unit this gives an electricity cost of about £29 per year.

As I understand it, for a printer of this speed (35ppm), the TEC is based on printing over 18,000 monochrome pages per month. This is on the high side because Lexmark specifies a recommended page volume of 2500 to 10000 per month. Even if colour printing uses more electricity, consumption should in practice remain below £29. Many many would consider to be negligible when compared with the capital, paper and consumables costs.

I am unable to give cost for plugging it into the mains, because Lexmark do not specify standby power consumption.

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HP 3015d mono laser

Chris Cartledge
Boffin

Electricity Consumption

According to HP, this printer goes into sleep mode when the product has been inactive for 30 minutes, so a typical printer will spend most of the time in this mode. Sadly HP specifies no sleep mode power consumption - only : 780 watts (active), 14.5 watts (standy), 8.5 watts (powersave), 0.6 watts (off). Taking sleep and powersave to be the same, the printer will cost £8.50 per year at typical UK prices, just to be plugged in without any printing.. HP specifies typical electricity consumption at 3.267 kWh/Week which costs £20 per year.

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Dell 2145cn colour laser

Chris Cartledge
Boffin

Electricity cost

The running costs quoted are incomplete. In Powersave mode, Dell says that it uses "18W or less" so it will cost up to £18 per year just to have it plugged in.

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Nokia 5530 XpressMusic

Chris Cartledge
Unhappy

Robust?

This is far too kind a review! Issues for me include:

Phone back flimsy and rattles. I have secured mine with blutack.

The touch screen is very flexible and seems vunerable to damage. The sensitivity seems to vary across the screen.

The menu and phone buttons are far too close to the bottom of the phone for comfy use by my thumbs.

The phone is slow to switch between landscape and portrait and sometimes needs a joggle to make it change.

You loose the wifi signal if you hold it in your left hand in landscape.

S60 interfaceis not ergonomic in all sorts of ways. A simple example is that there is no simple way that I can see of setting a reminder a week in advance in Calender: you have to input the date. I cannot scroll text in this comment easily.

The browser is impressive but crashes from time to time.

The less said about Carphone Warehouse, who currently sell it exclusively, the better...

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