* Posts by The Electron

108 posts • joined 30 Dec 2010

Page:

Blighty's buying another 17 F-35s, confirms the American government

The Electron
Facepalm

Re: Handcarved?

Don't forget the yanks are still arsing around with imperial measurements and nothing lines up!

4
2

FTP becoming Forgotten Transfer Protocol as Debian turns it off

The Electron
Happy

Extensively used in my company.

Our testing people use FTP as a way of testing the throughput of a device. The bitstream transfer is a handy way of testing things without the crappy protocol overheads (e.g. SMB); plus mobile phones don't support SMB, and iperf is not always practical.

My PXE/kickstart/preseed configurations use FTP from our in-house mirror to install Linux on servers and desktops. FTP is quicker than HTTP for multiple anonymous file downloads.

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DTMF replay phreaked out the Dallas tornado alarm, say researchers

The Electron
Facepalm

SDR

Anyone with a cheap USB SDR stick and a decent VHF/UHF Amateur Radio aerial could have picked up these in-the-clear DTMF transmissions and decoded them. Just leave the computer recording the data, note the time of the test, then replay the IQ data to find the DTMF transmissions. Many UHF capable Amateur transceivers can be pushed to 450MHz and used to transmit DTMF. A home-made lead to connect the sound-card to the radio could be used to Tx the tones if the radio does not have it built in All to easy!

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Javapocalypse soon! Oracle warns devs to bin plugins, fast

The Electron

Re: Switches with embeded Java

"Those switches are fully managed via CLI."

Not all of them!

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The Electron
Mushroom

Switches with embeded Java

So we are supposed to bin all of our HP life-time warranty switches that rely on embedded Java and require JRE to manage them? Or do we end up maintaining another VM of an older system barred from updating itself?

4
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AT&T ready to trial latest attempt at pumping internet over power lines

The Electron
Mushroom

Re: I sensed a disturbance in the force

ARRL lawsuit in 5, 4, 3...

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FM now stands for 'fleeting mortality' in Norway

The Electron
Facepalm

Lose your audience.

I rarely listen to FM broadcasts in the UK - the content is not to my liking. My favourite "radio" stations, Planet Rock and Absolute 80s, are stuck on Mono on DAB - despite being moved to a shiny new Mux. The spokesdroid at Bauer Media failing to grasp how annoyed the listeners are with low bit-rate and mono! I am forced to stream them - which only works if I have access to the Internet, so no use in the car when I'm driving around the lanes of Bedfordshire/Cambridgeshire as many places struggle to get GSM! I am having to install a FreeSat system at home so I can pick up those stations without all of the drop-outs and hang-ups I see with streaming. If the UK gov. mandates to turn off FM, I think the radio stations will simply lose their audience. For many in the not-spots, the only way to receive will be via Satellite; and like Internet access, only any good if you are standing still!

7
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The Electron
Boffin

Re: Considering that most digital radio is utter crap in quality...

"FM = Full audio bandwidth with no compression (except as found on the source media)."

Sorry, that is wrong. The 3dB audio bandwidth of Wide FM transmissions is typically limited from 100Hz to 15kHz, with sharp roll-offs either side; the upper frequency making space for the 19kHz 'stereo' beacon tone. Radio stations also use pre-emphasis to improve the upper audio frequency responses. By using a digital codec, you can potentially offer 20Hz to 20kHz audio - if you use the right one, and have the broadcast bandwidth to carry it.

4
0

Europe to launch legal action against countries over diesel emissions cheating

The Electron
Flame

Meanwhile, pollution of the radio spectrum is encouraged!

Rather ironic that the EU wants to tackle cheating and pollution when the very same organisation has been promoting the pollution of the radio spectrum for years. Instead of stopping Power Line Networking (aka PLT) when it first reared its ugly head, they actively encouraged the manufacturers to cheat and make up their own "standards" (CENELEC EN50561) that completely contravene their own EMC Directive. Their Market Surveillance Authorities continue to turn a blind-eye to the tonnes of non-compliant junk electronics pouring into the Single Market; and they would have ignored VW if it was not for the USA spotting the emissions cheating. The air pollution resulting from Diesels is going to take a long time to resolve. Radio pollution can be very quickly cured by turning the junk off!

8
7

UK.gov has outsourced tech policy to Ofcom because it is clueless – SNP techie

The Electron
Flame

Re: Will go badly

Power line Ethernet should never have left the lab. It was a seriously flawed idea that should have been killed at birth, not pushed through by a corrupt EU and inept regulators. Now we have the case that CENELEC have been brought into disrepute by allowing the PLT manufacturers to establish their own "standard", thus ensuring they get their own way - to the detriment of all HF and VHF radio users.

See http://www.ban-plt.org.uk/ for the full horror!

5
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Freeze on refrigerants heats up search for replacements

The Electron

Re: Ongoing maintenance

Mine is a 2001 Accord 2.0i SE-VTEC. Worthless to most - worth my annual wages as it is my primary means of reaching work, and whilst it's not in the best of shape, I detest the crap being churned out by the car companies at present, so it is not likely to be replaced ... unless some idiot crashes in to it! So I continue to fix it...

I had to replace the condenser (after-market part available via ebay) and the "suction hose" (Honda only), which is a daft term, as it's still under pressure. I also replaced all of the seals myself (Honda or after market parts specifically designed for air-con), oiling them with a little Ester oil prior to installation (need to wear nitrile gloves). It was a worthwhile exercise to enjoy year-round digital climate control; but I appreciate not everyone has the tools, skills, or physical abilities to pull their car apart to fix things themselves.

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The Electron
Boffin

Re: Ongoing maintenance

No, the seals will not re-seal - the garage is talking bollocks! On cars over ~8 years old, you need to strip all of the air-con components that have O-rings and replace them. The O-rings deform over time, and whilst they may pass the vacuum test, will blow-out once they are under pressure. It's a lot of work as you will need to drop the evaporator unit out from inside the car and pull the regulator valve apart to check and replace seals. You will need the service manual / electronic parts guide for your vehicle to assist in identifying all of the seals.

When the system is re-filled, ensure the garage uses the fluorescent dye so you can see (with a UV torch) where a leak has occurred. Also check the amount of gas and oil they put in - their charts are not always accurate!

4
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'Inherent risk' to untried and untested 4G emergency services network – NAO

The Electron

Re: Radio Amateurs to embed with Emergency services...

That's the good thing about VHF: From 12-14 miles away, I can easily operate GB3BF (the Bedford VHF repeater) with a small 5W hand-held. It is a one-to-many type approach, however, watching various police shows, that appears to be the case with TETRA. To stop the casual scanner enthusiast from eavesdropping, there are digital modes available, such as D Star, DMR, and C4FM; the latter offering data up to 9600bps. It will be funny if yet again, the amateur system proves more reliable than the "professional" multi-million pound system!

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The Electron
Alert

Radio Amateurs to embed with Emergency services...

Many moons ago, when I was just a Citizens' Band radio user, I got involved with providing radio coverage for the local carnival. One of our group sat in the police car at the back of the convoy with a hand-held relaying any police-related info to me. I drove in front with a standard in-car CB and roof mounted aerial relaying information to the other hand-held stations positioned along various parts of the route. The local police were impressed that a crappy 27MHz system could punch across the entire town, yet their UHF radios struggled with dead zones, and of course the issues of repeater priority on an analogue system. Sometimes simplex is better.

So if/when this great idea of using the mobile network gets rolled out to the sticks, will the police have to drive around with a Radio Amateur in the back relaying information around the local area? Local police have told me there are lots of dead-spots with Airwave/TETRA, and being digital, there is no gradual fade where the brain could fill in the gaps. It will be even worse when they are trying to rely on frequencies above 800MHz!

2
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Brexit makes life harder for an Internet of Things startup

The Electron
Mushroom

Tosh!

"The CE mark is still a valid indication of adherence to valid useful standards. Indeed, plenty of non-EU countries can accept the CE mark as is, or at least the test results that supported it, to get a local equivalent."

The CE mark is meaningless. Take Plasma Televisions and Power Line Networking for example. Plasma televisions cannot meet the Class B requirements for emissions, so they should never have been placed on the market for consumers to purchase. Power Line Networking/Power Line Technology failed EN55022 by such a level, it qualified for its own broadcasting licence. PLN/PLT should never have made it out of the factory. Instead, the big businesses behind it, with corrupt collusion from the EU, made up their own "standard" and rail-roaded it through CENELEC after all of the other standards bodies told them to f*ck-off! Prior to that, PLN/PLT manufacturers simply placed lots of xxxxx's on their Declarations of Conformity. With no Market Surveillance or enforcement, you can stick a CE label on anything, and no-one will bother to check!

Post Brexit? One can only hope that Ofcom loses its excuse that the EU regulations prevent them from acting, and we in the UK can start banning and scrapping this crap!

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Really – 80% FTTP in UK by 2026? Woah, ambitious!

The Electron
Boffin

Building regs need to be changed as well!

The government are fools if they think market forces will provide fibre, so it should be a legal requirement for all new-build, all re-build, all redevelopment, and buy-to-let, to be flood-wired with Cat5/6/7; and Copper Clad Aluminium should be banned!

It should also be a legal requirement to provide ducting to new-build (for easy deployment of new systems), and for the "architects" to provide space in the home for 19" cabinet, etc., and have that area wired with power as well! I say "architects" as I could design a better house layout in Lego!

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Hey, turn down that radio, it's alien season and we're hunting aliens

The Electron

Re: I for one take 2

"I am not very good with radio propagation but very long wavelength (on the order of KHz) bounces off the ionoshere so I presume that just as SW radio can travel round the world any incoming SW would bounce back out into space."

That depends on the MUF (stop sniggering at the back!) - or Maximum Usable Frequency. See:

http://www.spacew.com/www/realtime.php

The MUF changes over the course of the day, and over the course of the seasons. It is governed by the plasma levels in the ionosphere. A lot of energy, as we see during sun-spot maxima, creates a lot of plasma, and the ionosphere can become refractive right up to 30MHz. During minima, the MUF is quite low, and you'll find all us Radio Amateurs hanging out below 14MHz. Most of the time, the MUF allows frequencies at the higher end of the HF spectrum (and at VHF, and above) to radiate into space. That is why NASA/JPL powered-up Juno's 28MHz receivers and asked volunteers to blast as much man-made radio energy at the probe as we could - all timed to transmit at the same time.

It will be interesting to see if SETI can come up with anything at those VHF frequencies - other than noise and Pulsars...

5
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£1m military drone crashed in Wales after crew disabled anti-crash systems – report

The Electron
WTF?

GPS ASL

You would have thought the software would feature a mechanism to record the GPS 'Above Sea Level' reading on take-off? If the drone is landing at the same aerodrome, the chances of the runways sinking would be pretty slim. And what about ILS? Most mid-sized aerodromes have ILS, so why not build that function in to the drone?

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Ed Vaizey booted to backbench, Hancock booted to DCMS

The Electron

Digital Switchover

I wonder if the new guy will still be swayed by the DAB lobby and push for Band II VHF to be removed - all whilst many DAB stations are broadcasting in Mono (may as well be on AM), and Ofcom are busy handing out community FM licenses (if you have lots of cash to burn!). Or is the secret plan to migrate everything to the Internet? Absolute Radio stations streaming with FLAC suggests they think the future is not via radio...

3
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Maplin Electronics demands cash with menaces

The Electron
FAIL

Have not used them since finding CPC.

I was one of those teenagers in the 80s who spent hours pouring over every page of the latest Maplin catalogue. I still have a working Helium Neon laser, bought from them in kit form for £99.99 circa 1989; and a frequency counter kit purchased circa 1992 that I modified with a 10MHz OCXO from work. Brought it into my current job a few months ago and attached it to the GPS/NTP 10MHz output. Still spot on!

Sometime in the 90s, someone showed me a CPC catalogue. A fraction of the price of Maplin, and as I was such a good customer, they gave me a trade account. I have not shopped in Maplin since. OK, CPC sell some tat, and as they are owned by Farnell, I wonder for their future; but as I can order loads of stuff and pay for it 30 days later, I will keep using them!

5
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Juno yields to Jupiter's gravitational embrace

The Electron
Boffin

HI JUNO

I have my QSL card from NASA from when JUNO flew past Earth and Radio Amateurs (bearded and non-bearded) took great pleasure in blasting as much radio energy at 28MHz* into space as we could. I have the 'HI JUNO' Morse message NASA pulled out of the 28MHz noise as an alert tone on my phone. I am glad it will soon be in orbit and look forward to the science.

* Jupiter is particularly noisy at 28MHz. Its signals can be picked up on Earth as the Ionosphere is only refractive to the high end of the HF radio spectrum when the sun is very spotty and very active.

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Beleaguered 123-reg customers spot price hike

The Electron
Happy

Domain Monster

I moved my domains away from 123-Reg when they suggested they would start charging £10 for IPS tag changes. I found a way around their control panel, changed my tags, and waved goodbye. I have found Domain Monster very reasonable on price and their tech-support to be very helpful (I moved my company's domains to them and needed their help to migrate a .in gTLD).

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Police create mega crime database to rule them all. Is your numberplate in it? Could be

The Electron
FAIL

Re: Show Me My Minority Report

A person is innocent UNLESS proven guilty beyond all reasonable doubt. Get it right. Your appearance in court could depend on correct grammar and legal arguments!

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10 Gbps fibre-to-the-home signed off, ITU eyes 100 Gbps future

The Electron
Mushroom

Router throughput...

Most domestic routers can barely handle 100Mb/s throughput. How the hell are they going to handle 10Gb/s? (Flames, for the fires it will start!) Have you seen the current price of 40km 10Gb/s SFPs? (http://www.gbics.com/j9153a/) £585, plus the switch/router to handle that speed is going to be a pricey Internet connection!

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Government hails superfast broadband deal for new homes

The Electron
FAIL

Still building mud and sticks.

That is all well and good, but they are still building houses without Cat6 flood wiring, and when you do see a fibre/copper connection, it is usually in the daftest place possible and no-where near a power socket! Building regs need to be updated to ensure all new-build (and properties placed on the rental market) are flood-wired with Cat6 and co-ax for TV, Satellite, and VHF radio. Oh, and they need to ban Copper Clad Aluminium whilst they are at it!

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BT and Openreach: Splitsville or not? We'll not find out till Feb – at the earliest

The Electron
WTF?

Re: The important question...

"Virgin's network reaches most UK homes and London has competing local networks from outfits like Colt. In a competitive market giving state backing to the biggest player will kill the others."

You must be living in a different country to me! The new-build homes destroying high-grade farm land around my town are not seeing anything more than the Universal Service Obligation of a basic POTS line with basic-rate ADSL - if they can get it. BT Openreach are not bothering to roll-out FTTH or FTTC, and VM are no-where to be seen. The local paper is full of people complaining they cannot get more than 1Mb/s - and that's providing their new shiny stupidly expensive fake copy of a Victorian town-house (complete with fake chimney - in keeping with an area that was farm land 6 months ago!) has not been wired with fake Copper-clad-Aluminium! Serves them right for buying crap, IMHO!!

Drive out a short distance to the villages and you have a choice of BT or nothing. Some of those villages are quite large, and growing. Head out into south Cambridgeshire and you will find some of those villages are still on dial-up!

There are parts of central London where you cannot get more than ADSL2+ as there is no-where for the FTTC cabinets, and no-one wants to dig up cobbled mews.

Openreach needs to be split off and BT made to stand on its own feet, or die. Companies and people will invest in a Plc if it's nothing to do with a former state monopoly - especially if they see their village offered fibre and a choice of suppliers that will not lock them into 24-month contracts!

The Universal Service Obligation needs to legally mandate Fibre to the Premises and stop pissing around with bits of copper (same for VM and their leaky co-ax)!

Building Regulations need to mandate Cat6 flood wiring in all build/re-build and rental, and FTTP for all new-build, whether that be housing, municipal, or business premises.

The government needs to ban Copper-clad-Aluminium and actually regulate the building industry instead of rubber-stamping the cash cow!

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EU reforms could pave way for smells and noises to be trade-mark protected – expert

The Electron
Mushroom

Trade marking my farts!

I hereby give notice of a trade mark on my farts. They will be stored in a jar for future comparison. Any infringing farts will be required to pay me the sum of £100 per fart.

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Ofcom spins out Wi-Fi checker app just in time for Christmas

The Electron
FAIL

Ignore our failings on EMC protection - it's all the fairy light's fault!

"The regulator was keen to keep its advice seasonal, too, by reminding Brits that fairy lights can also interfere with Wi-Fi gear." - is of course complete bollocks!

The problem is a not-fit-for-purpose regulator that cannot be bothered to do its Market Surveillance Authority job or enforce the EMC Directive. So they leave on the market and in homes & businesses:

Switched-Mode Power-Supplies with no filter components...

Plasma TVs that cannot meet Part B testing requirements...

LED lighting that wipes out everything from 1MHz to 300MHz...

And they have been positively encouraging of Powerline Networking (aka PLT) by supporting the new "standards", even though those "standards" simply legalise an increase in pollution levels and brings CENELEC in to disrepute.

All of this junk electronics (SMPSU, Plasma, LED, PLT) causes problems to your xDSL connection and wipes out the legal and legitimate usage of the radio spectrum for the rest of us. By contrast, Wi-Fi is positively clean!

1
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What should we do with this chunk of dead air? Ofcom wants to know

The Electron
Facepalm

Round two!

This is the second time Ofcom have consulted on the use of the "spare" VHF spectrum. Spare, as it was once occupied by the emergency services - prior to being dumped on TETRA. Some of us in the radio community offered suggestions* during the first round, but as they required Ofcom to give the spectrum away for free, they were ignored. Businesses are savvy to the auction fiascos and the huge amounts the telcos paid for their spectrum. They are not about to start bidding for VHF spectrum that can only be used in the UK, especially when they will have to purchase specialised radios!

* I suggested a VHF Citizens' Band service (although a UHF solution as used in Australia would be better - and no, PMR 446 is not CB!) with FSK digimodes available to those who cannot use their voice, but may find it easy to use a cheap computer or braille system to 'talk' to people. It fell on deaf ears!

0
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French woman gets €800 a month for electromagnetic-field 'disability'

The Electron
Boffin

Crystal Palace, Sandy Heath, Sutton Coldfield.

Until the digital fail-over, all of these UK TV transmitters:

Crystal Palace in London

Sandy Heath in Bedfordshire

Sutton Coldfield near Birmingham

...transmitted analogue television with 1 million watts of Effective Radiated Power (ERP). If there was an issue with electro-sensitivity, the millions of people around these transmitters would be showing some serious issues. I grew-up in the shadow of Sandy Heath (with the 400kV National Grid also running through the area) and I am not aware of anyone claiming issues with the transmitter.

Suggest the installation of a mobile-phone tower and it's another issue. Just don't tell them I am licensed to transmit with 400Wpep in a residential neighbourhood!

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0

UK.gov wants to stop teenagers looking at tits online. No, really

The Electron
Go

Re: Job Vacancy - queue here

Has to be the Office of Fapping - Offap

1
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BT circles wagons round Openreach as Ofcom mulls forced split-up

The Electron
Go

Do it!

And do it now!!!

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Chair legs it from UK govt smart meter installation programme

The Electron
Megaphone

No estimated bills in my house.

My current 'leccy provider has an app. They helpfully send me a reminder email once a month and I womble outside with my tablet to read the meter. Total effort required: 30 seconds. So I still fail to see why I need a "smart meter" - especially when I am running dumb appliances that are over 20 years old. Is everyone going to rush out and replace their fridge, freezer, water heating system, et al? No, of course not. Time to scrap this silly idea and get on with new nuclear build-out!

4
0

High-speed powerline: Home connectivity without the cables

The Electron
Flame

Stop polluting the Electromagnetic Spectrum!

PLT is junk electronics that should never made it on to the market. It wastes power and helpfully obliterates the radio spectrum up to and beyond 300MHz. See: http://ban-plt.org.uk/ and http://www.ukqrm.org.uk/ on the mess these devices and other junk electronics create.

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2

The coming of DAB+: Stereo eluded the radio star

The Electron
FAIL

Frikkin' MONO!

I used to enjoy DAB for Planet Rock. Then the rot, facilitated by Ofcom, started. The bit rates started to fall because "it doesn't sound any different", then to cram more "choice" onto the D1 mux, most of the stations switched to glorious mono. The justification? Most people only buy radios with one speaker. Seriously? You are going to ignore those of us with 2 or even 5.1 speaker systems?! If DAB is aimed at replacing Band II VHF, it is a spectacular failure!

Streaming has become the fall-back at home, but it's far from perfect. The streams for Planet Rock and Absolute 80s can be extremely flaky at times - even on a 40/10Mbps VDSL circuit. I will be forced to put a Freesat system up if I want better playback.

Ironically, my ancient Yaesu FT-757GX amateur radio transceiver can produce better quality sound than DAB - even when tuned to short-wave radio stations broadcasting from China!

4
0

Hated smart meters likely to be 'a costly failure' – MPs

The Electron
Mushroom

It will tell me how much power an appliance is using...

In the BBC's coverage of this story, the DECC claimed smart meters would tell the consumer how much energy their appliances were using. I know how much the 3kW heater is using. 3kW. And when it's been running for a hour, it has used 3kWh. I do not need a fecking smart meter to tell me that! I do not need a smart meter to tell me how much power the fridge and freezer are using. I know, and I don't give a crap! Get on with building new nuclear and stop this nonsense!!

There is still no definition of how this "smart" crap will communicate with said appliances. They can feck off if they think they are using PLT! As soon as Ofcom have the nuts to publish their SI amendment to the Wireless Telegraphy Act, every radio user in the country will be going after PLT, Plasma TVs, and SMPSUs!

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Ofcom can prise my telly spectrum from my COLD, DEAD... er, aerial

The Electron

Commercial reality suggests...

...that the cellcos will roll-out their kit in areas where they can make the most return and continue to ignore the rural areas. Those rich-picking areas are usually well served by DTT and have high-speed Internet access available, making 800MHz Internet access completely pointless - at least for the home-user on cable or VDSL.

1
0

‘Whatever happened to Vladimir Putin?’ and other crap New Year prophesies

The Electron
Mushroom

Fell off the sofa!

I remember watching CNN - I was enjoying the fireworks displays whilst I was "on standby" for my company in case the Y2k bug bit. At one point in the evening, but not midnight here in the UK yet, they thought they had a major scoop. They had tracked down an American aircraft carrier in the Pacific and were on the phone to the captain. They wanted to know if they had experienced any issues as they were past the International Date Line, and so their clocks and systems might be showing the bugs. The captain promptly informed her that all vessels at sea synchronise their clocks to Greenwich Mean Time. I laughed so hard, I fell of the sofa! The lesson here: do your research!!

There was, of course, a bug that bit. The sister site to the one I looked after thought it would be best to power down their AS/400 system - in case it went screwy. The IT Manager on my site asked if we should power our kit down. "Hell no!", was my response. Coming from an Electronic Engineering background, I knew what was coming. The sister site returned to work in January and flipped the switch to power-up their AS/400. BANG! The capacitors in the power supply promptly exploded and they were out of action for 3 days. Oh how I laughed!!!

1
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UK.gov pushes for SWIFT ACTION against nuisance calls, threatens £500k fines

The Electron
Pirate

The government could ban the practice...

...but it is too beholden to the whims of big-business to add such a law to the statute books.

And only using mobiles is not the answer. I have a new mobile for work and the number is only known to staff, yet many of us have been receiving PPI calls from a Manchester company. They are either using auto-dialer tech to see whose phone they can hit, or EE are selling the numbers!

The Bedford number has also tried calling me. I am a mere 12 miles from Bedford. I might become annoyed enough to track them down...

4
0

Anonymous develops secure data over ham radio scheme

The Electron
Thumb Up

Re: Oh Goodie... More 'Foxhunt' targets

Many a Saturday night was spent in the 90s 'fox-hunting' on CB in my local area. If you are transmitting, you can be found - even if you are mobile. Something the script-kiddies over at Anon seem to have missed. Their text talks about transmitting anywhere [on the radio spectrum] - more so in countries with repressive regimes. They have overlooked the fact that the military have radio kit that covers everywhere. You start putting out signals in a country that is typically radio-quiet, and you might as well shoot yourself!

Something else I noticed in the text: They used the correct English spelling for "neighbour", yet bashed the FCC. Too chicken to take on Ofcom?!

3
0

Audio fans, prepare yourself for the Second Coming ... of Blu-ray

The Electron
Thumb Up

Re: No thanks, I'm fine with SACD

I have to agree. I only have a few titles on SACD, but I am not about to throw the player away in favour of BluRay and DRM locked content - especially when I cannot extract a PCM copy for my iTunes library and hard-drive based iPod. You can shove your MP3 versions where the sun does not shine! I will stick with CD and SACD as both can be played in any CD player.

3
0

Psssst. Don't tell the Bride, but BBC Three is about to be jilted

The Electron

It started on BBC2

Shows like "Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps" started their tenure on BBC2 before being shoved to the new shiny BBC3. As already said, why not push the content for BBC3 and BBC4 back to BBC1 and BBC2. Most of the shows that are shiny and new on 3 and 4 end up repeated on 1 and 2 anyway. Cut out the endless repeats and show the new content on 1 and 2 at sensible times; then leave the endless re-runs to Dave, Drama, Yesterday, and Really (have I missed any?).

Of course, the question is then what to do with the dead air-time on the multiplexes. BBC3 and 4 take over when CBBC and CBeebies go off air. Are they to go 24-hour, or be scrapped as well?

5
0

Save Ofcom! Telcos and consumer groups call for end to legal disputes

The Electron

Re: A stitch in time

Ofcom are judge, jury, and gaoler for many aspects of policy in the UK. They are only too keen to cry that the EU told them to do something (PLT), but drag their feet over other EU recommendations (SSB on CB), whilst ignoring laws on statute (EMC). Scrapping them and splitting off their functions to other bodies should be a priority for the government!

0
1

California high school hackers expelled for grade tampering, test thievery

The Electron
FAIL

Employ some decent in-house staff with security knowledge.

I am surprised there are not more cases of this going on in schools. Whilst they [schools] continue to employ a gaggle of low-paid, under-qualified people, or farm it out to the cheapest contract, this sort of thing is always a risk. It really is not that hard to implement vlans, locked MAC address DHCP, and smart-card login - with auditing against the smart card for recording of grades. Of course, that would also require decent ICT* training for the teachers, as I can wager with considerable certainty, that none of them have been exposed to corporate-level IT controls. The kids in this case should be rewarded for demonstrating such glaring short-falls in their [former] school's security procedures.

* Note to schools: No-one in the IT industry calls it that!

0
0

Andrew Fentem: Why I went to quango to fund pre-iPhone touch tech

The Electron

Sounds familiar...

"DCMS, the National Audit Office, and the Parliamentary Ombudsman all declined to get involved."

In battling another failure of a QUANGO, no-one has the mettle to tackle Ofcom, bring them to heal, and actually force them to do their job correctly. I thought President Cameron said we the people were in charge?! If that is the case, who does Ofcom, OfGem, OfWat, and all the other useless "Office of ..." answer to?

0
0

Analogue radio will CONTINUE in Blighty as Minister of Fun dodges D-Day death sentence

The Electron
Boffin

Re: 97% of the population

"After switchover, the DTV signal doesn't broadcast across The Wash" - yes it does. My mother lives in Dersingham, and I pointed the main high-gain aerial at Belmont - which is straight across The Wash - and it works just fine. They are lucky in that part of North Norfolk as local TV (BBC1 East and ITV Anglia) is provided by the Sandringham transmitter. Got to keep the royals sweet!

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Windows 7 outstrips Windows 8.x with small November growth

The Electron

AutoDesk

Many of the reasons for only moving to Windows 7 are coming from the big software houses. I have worked with architect and theatre design companies who have only recently started to kill off the last of their XP machines. They are only moving to 7 as software houses, like AutoDesk, have said they have no immediate plans to support 8 (although that may have changed...), and many of these companies have a large install-base of CAD-type applications, so they want compatibility and support. Having now standardised on one version, and remembering the hassle of an XP/7 mix, they are not interested in a 7/8 mix and all the problems with a touchy interface.

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Digital radio may replace FM altogether - even though nobody wants it

The Electron
Boffin

Re: Digital One

Yes, they will be scrap, unless 'Pure' (and other manufacturers of other brands) offer replacement boards for the insides of the radios. If the government does move to DAB+, all of the older DAB-only radios will become WEEE junk as many have their functions embedded in silicon. A chip change will be required for them to work with DAB+; and that's not in the manufacturer's interest when they can force you to spend another ~£100 on the "latest and greatest". That will put people off, with many just giving up on broadcast radio!

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The Electron
FAIL

Digital One

Perhaps the drop in listener numbers is down to the farce that is Digital One. Dropping my favourite radio stations, Planet Rock and Absolute Radio 80s, to MONO and a stupidly low bit-rate has resulted in me ripping my digital radio out of my Hi-Fi stack. I have no interest in listening to the BBC, so for me, DAB is dead. And that is quite annoying and costly. I was a fan - although not of the bubbling or crap MP2 codec. I have a self-fitted DAB unit in the car that will be removed soon, plus a number of "collectors edition" 'Marshall - Planet Rock' branded DAB radios that are technically scrap (they do not do FM). I am forced to stream Planet Rock and Absolute Radio 80s over the Internet, which only works for the Hi-Fi system. It's useless in the bedroom, or when one is out mobile.

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Brace yourselves, telcos: Ofcom triples cost of 2G spectrum holdings

The Electron
Boffin

Dates mixed up!

Quite! I worked in a small company from 1990 to 1995 and we were producing ETACS and AMPS test kit for the two international standards of the time. GSM had only just started to appear in 1995.

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