* Posts by xpz393

101 posts • joined 25 Apr 2013

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The bigger they are, the harder they fall: Peak smartphone hits Apple, Samsung the worst

xpz393

Re: Profit Share & Invention

I was 100% going to upvote the OP's comment, right up until the end of "(B)".

I was still kinda onboard up to the "invented elsewhere." point.

Then it all got a bit Trump, and it takes a special kind of person to thumb that. <sigh>

xpz393

"But a stronger retail presence and brand has swung the market towards the challengers"

No, a p*ss-take RRP set by the market leaders for their flagship products has swung the market towards the challengers.

Go, go, Gadgets Boy! 'Influencer' testing 5G for Vodafone finds it to be slower than 4G

xpz393

Re: 5G are the burger chain?

That sounds “familiarly Three” :-(

Amid polar vortex... Honeywell gets frosty reception after remote smart thermostat tech freezes up for a week

xpz393

Local cache FTW!

I still have an early device from Honeywell's Total Comfort Connect range, which in addition to the thermostat on the wall, also has a "gateway" box which is connected to my LAN, communicates with the wall thermostat via a proprietary wireless link, and holds a local cache of the app-programmed schedule.

This level of built-in resilience to keep the system working as normally as possible in the event of a connectivity or cloud-based failure is the very reason I opted for this system over others available at the time.

So, whenever the inevitable <1% (annually) downtime for the “connected” features of the system occurs, it’s nothing more than a minor irritation. I still wake up to a suitably heated house, and I still have a system in place which will at least work as well as my old non-connected 7-day programmable thermostat did.

Bootnote: Obviously, the gateway box sits on a dedicated IoT VLAN with some firewally-goodness going on for good measure :-)

Mobile networks are killing Wi-Fi for speed around the world

xpz393

Re: Fixed operators to... "shape up to 5G or face sliding into irrelevance"

"I think you will find the default configuration used by Virgin Media is to link the TV box to the Internet via the WiFi." - Roland6

Considering that a substantial part of Virgin Media's offering is traditional fixed broadband, the conspiracy theorist may argue that they do have a vested interest in making their TV offering rely upon it in some way by default.

However, I think the conspiracy theorist would be giving VM too much credit for lateral thinking on that one :-D

It'll take time, but I can see it coming. Perhaps I was slightly off the mark, and what we'll see in the standard home market is a 5G version of the current xDSL home WiFi routers, eg same WiFi to the devices around the home, mains powered, with the WAN link being 5G instead of xDSL. This could also feature an external aerial socket to overcome indoor 5G coverage issues.

D'ya know what, I think I've just landed on Version 2 of my vision already!

xpz393

Fixed operators to... "shape up to 5G or face sliding into irrelevance"

Give it around another 10yrs, and I can absolutely see this quote coming true. If 5G truly delivers consistently high speeds and low latency.

A typical (non Reg-reading) household connects every single one of their Internet devices to their ISP supplied WiFi-router by default. Yes, even the 4K Smart TV which is less than a metre away from the bl**dy router!

With virtual SIMs now in play, it wouldn’t be an unimaginable leap for all of these consumer devices to be able to connect to a 5G network instead of just WiFi.

Inter-device connectivity within the home is already being tackled by vendors such as Sky Q and some premium home audio systems who simply use their own “mesh” network transparently in the background rather than using your WiFi or Bluetooth.

The final piece in the puzzle is for the 5G providers to do their bit, by providing adequate in-home coverage, and competitive pricing options for unlimited data packages.

Right now, us 30-somethings are amused by our retired-age parents who balk at the very idea of giving up their landline altogether. However, I suspect that in another 20-30 years, the young’uns will find my wired Internet connection & distributed WiFi AP setup a source of great amusement.

It shall be my time to balk.

iPhone XR guts reveal sizzle of the XS without the excessive price tag

xpz393

Re: Is it just me?

#MeToo

While everyone coos at the promise of 5G, UK network Three asks if it can tempt you with 4G+

xpz393

You share my thoughts on the subject entirely.

Sadly, it's one of many examples I've experienced over the years where the solution that makes the most sense from an engineering perspective is often not the solution implemented.

C'est la vie.

xpz393

Interesting. Though, it's good to know that at least one of them got it (almost) right.

I guess this is why Three seem to have been particularly vocal about "Spectrum Fairness" when it comes to 4G.

I wonder how it could've been if Ofcom had allowed the O2/Three merger when it was proposed a year or so ago. I guess we'll never know now :(

xpz393

So, did Three get closer to "upgrading 3G to the max 3GPP release" than the other networks, and if so, is that why I find their 4G s*cks b*lls compared to their 3G?

xpz393
WTF?

Three's 4G significantly slower than their 3G

I frequently experience unbearably slow 4G speeds with Three, despite having a decent signal strength, and a device which can support all of Three’s 4G spectrum frequencies, and carrier aggregation.

My work-around is to switch 4G off, forcing the device back to 3G. Hey-presto, problem solved.

Where I am right now, on Three:

4G : 3 Mb down, 50ms latency

3G : 22 Mb down. 25ms latency

This is the complete opposite to what I experienced previously with EE on the same device. That said, EE were charging me 3x more per month :-/

Let's hope this new strategy fixes the problem nationally.

If you have inner peace, it's probably 'cos your broadband works: Zen Internet least whinged-about Brit ISP – survey

xpz393

Re: I'm not a fan of Virgin...

Virgin Media use their own exclusive network, which is how they deliver the 200Mb to you. You're quite right that the DNS lock-down in their router is rubbish, so you might want to do some Googling on how to use your own router with VM's hub in 'modem mode', which would then allow you to use an alternative such as OpenDNS.

As it stands, ZEN, like pretty much all of the others, are limited to using Opernreach's infrastructure, which in most cases will only deliver around 50-80Mb down.

xpz393

Re: Virgin works like a charm

In-line with my own post, I agree 100% with each and every point you've made there AC. My own experience and understanding confirms it.

xpz393

ISPs' biggest mistake - Including Wi-Fi routers

I do wonder how these complaints statistics would look if ISPs still provided a basic DSL modem only, transferring the problem of crap routers and poorly positioned Wi-Fi to the end user.

Here's how I think those support calls would go:

Customer : My internet is sh*t.

ISP : Try again from your PC/laptop directly connected through the DSL modem. How is that?

Customer : Yes, that works fine.

ISP : Great! It's not an ISP issue. Goodbye.

Case in point, I've been with the apparently much bemoaned Virgin Media for 10+ years at three different addresses and have never been without service (that I've noticed). However, I've always used VM's cable modem, or hub in "modem mode", with my own firewall, router, DNS, and wireless deployment in use.

UK Home Office admits £200m Emergency Services Network savings 'delayed'

xpz393

Re: Not unexpected

"My worst fear (OK it isn't really as I am retired) is that the emergency services will be forced to adopt a shoddy system that doesn't really meet their requirements"

If I was past retirement age, I would be fearful of the ambulance service having to rely on a shoddy comms system.

Keep yer plastic, says analyst: eSIMs aren't all they're cracked up to be

xpz393

Re: "number portability"

Ah, Orange "Boxed & Ready" - I remember flogging those... £150-£200 one-off for 12 months line rental, and 15min per month included. Back in the days when companies were more interested in capital (consumer buys) than revenue (consumer leases) approach of today.

The first inception included a Motorola MR20 handset, which had key features such as caller ID, and the ability to receive SMS. This was later replaced by the MR30, which had a slightly longer battery life, and could also send SMS. The MR20 and MR30 batteries were indeed interchangeable. Orange eventually upped the monthly allowance from 15 to 30 minutes.

If I recall correctly, the package was eventually killed off with its third and final handset, the Motorola c520, though by that point, pre-paid had become a cheaper proposition for light users.

Mastercard goes TITSUP in US, UK: There are some things money can't buy – like uptime

xpz393

Re: Backups and redundancy, FFS

Considering the majority of Reg readers are supposedly from a technical/systems background, I’m surprised that downvotes outweigh the upvotes on this one...

We know that 100% uptime is BS, so if you can’t be ars*d to implement a simple fallback solution, stop whinging.

Similar to the OP, my primary bank issues Visa only cards. So, I also have a MasterCard from another provider as a fallback for *when* the Visa or my bank’s own systems fail. Costs me nothing (no annual fee), and is a simple solution to avoid the drama.

Avoid the drama, folks xx

O2 UK wafts 4G coverage over 1,000 new Brit sites

xpz393

Re: 3G coverage would be nice

I agree with yourI fully support your sentiment regarding more cell sites, but not expanding 3G.

For those who give a feck, they’ll likely have a device which can support VoLTE and all of the 4G frequencies in use in the UK. Most of the folks in this category will feel aggrieved whenever they see anything less than 4G displayed on their screen. They simply don’t need the legacy frequencies.

For the basic and/or legacy devices, the vast majority of these will support 2G, but a large proportion will not support 3G or 4G/VoLTE. Think granny-phones, cheap work-phones for manual workers, and the large number of M2M devices such as smart meters, card machines, parking meters etc for which 2G GPRS is a low power and sufficient carrier.

So, 3G is now a largely redundant ‘middle’ ground, no good for a majority of legacy devices, and reviled by users of Smartphones, tablets, MiFi devices etc who just 4G.

Switch 3G off, and repurpose the spectrum & bandwidth for 2G/4G.

sentiment about more

Remember the 'budget' iPhone SE? Apple plans an update – reports

xpz393

"because almost nobody in China wants anything under 5.5 inches"

Giggedy.

Release the KRACKen patches: The good, the bad, and the ugly on this WPA2 Wi-Fi drama

xpz393

Re: MAC Filtering

Oooh, have an upvote for the "Security Onion", my friend :-)

Oh UK. You won't switch mobile providers. And now look at you! £5.8bn you've lost

xpz393

What hassle?

At the end of your contract:

1. Shop around for what should be the best deal

2. Call your existing mobile provider and ask for your PAC as you've seen a better deal

3. If your existing provider offers you something better, take it and forget about it for another 1-2 years. If not, request your PAC.

4. If 'super-retentions' don't call you after a couple of weeks to offer an even better deal than offered at step 3, use the PAC to take your number to the better deal you've seen.

Simples.

xpz393

Re: Does it take into account

A tariff which only includes calls to the same network? Wow, that's a blast from the past! It must be 10+ years since I last saw an 'own network calls only' tariff advertised. The only current exception I know of is giffgaff whose minutes do include calls to any UK landline/other network, but also gives unlimited free calls to other giffgaff numbers.

Double check what you're on, and compare the market. I suspect that either the minutes you have already include calls to all UK landline and mobile numbers, or that you're on a VERY old legacy tariff, which might be poor value for money - for example, £15-£20 per month would now get you UNLIMITED minutes to any UK landline or mobile network.

Though, I guess this is kinda the point of the article ;-)

If only our British 4G were as good as, um, Albania's... UK.gov's telco tech report

xpz393

NIMBYs & draconian rules

I agree with a USO, but the government needs to make this achievable.

In a deadspot (for all networks) village near where I work, O2/Voda have been trying for the last couple of years to get a fairly minimalist-looking transmitter installed, but the locals keep stalling it, by protesting "think of the children" and "it's not pretty enough" b*ll*cks. I suspect that the networks either have or are close to walking away.

There are also overarching rules on mast heights which probably don't exist in places like Albania, so it's little wonder they have better coverage.

Virgin Media is so rustic and artisan you get to hand-sort your own spam

xpz393

Re: Well bugger me...

OK, but only if you're pretty :-)

Vodafone UK hails results of Massive MIMO trial with TD-LTE

xpz393

Fishy...

Finding Mimo?

(sorry)

'Power equipment failure' borks EE's data services across England

xpz393

"Voice and 4G data services are unaffected"

Meh. I guess that's why I didn't notice, then.

Australia should be the 'Switzerland of data', Cisco head hacker says

xpz393

PUE anyone?

Wouldn't want to be the one paying for the leccy bill for the data centre cooling ;-)

Hapless Virgin Media customers face ongoing email block woes

xpz393

Who the hell uses ISP-provided email anymore?

Anyone? Really?

Virgin Media hikes broadband, phone prices by five per cent

xpz393

AGAIN?!?

3yrs ago, I was paying under £50 per month for my VM bundle.

After this latest price rise, I'll be paying £79 per month for that same bundle.

£350 per year MORE for a gradual speed increase from 120Mb to 200Mb is NOT good value for money in my opinion.

Hutchison will float O2 … as soon as the Three merger is done

xpz393

Re: So

Yes. This.

EE aint too bad on their 4G, but 2G/3G is horribly iffy when moving between transmitters as hidden in the background, your poor phone is trying to flit between Orange and T-Mobile transmitters effectively roaming. I suspect the outcome of the Three/O2 merger will have the same result.

This will result in the UK having two mongrel networks + one thoroughbred, Vodafone. Sadly, that thoroughbred only barks to the tune of 2G outside cities and large towns at the moment, so we're f*cked.

Three VoLTEs to victory as it jumps into UK 4G voice offering

xpz393

Stupid continues...

For a truly seamless experience, we need VoLTE AND VoWiFi, but what we currently have is two half-efforts (EE & Three), a clusterfuck (Vodafone), and a 'no comment' from O2:

EE: VoWiFi, but no clear commitment to VoLTE

Three: VoLTE, but no clear commitment to VoWiFi beyond "something we're looking into"

Vodafone: Supposedly launched VoWiFi this week, yet their telephone and Twitter support staff don't even seem to know what it is, let alone 'activate' it. VoLTE was supposed to launch at the same time, but apparently this hasn't happened, nor do any of their staff know anything about it - contrary to statements made by Vodafone in Q1.

O2: Seemingly aren't bothered about launching either (though as they're going through the process of being acquired by Three, this can be forgiven IMO).

Gotta love the UK mobile industry...

Scrapheap challenge: How Amazon and Google are dumbing down the gogglebox

xpz393

Re: It's shit

Totally agree. Why on earth the legal services don't cache ahead is beyond me.

xpz393

It's shit

I've tried each of the streaming services, and they're all a bag of wank, because even with my 150mb broadband connection:

None offer HD which even comes close to that offered by Sky/Virgin Media

An entire series (boxset) can be pulled before you've finished watching it

All of them occasionally buffer

All of them frequently cock-up/crash

Pausing for more than 30sec and then resuming is seemingly a technical challenge too far

Choice is limited to out of date films or the specific selection of TV series one particular provider has

No/faulty Internet connection = no TV/films

Someone with a combination of a Virgin Media TiVo or Sky sub + knowledge of torrent downloading suffers from NONE of the above issues.

Until legal streaming services become as high quality, reliable and content-rich as using traditional broadcast methods and torrenting, I will continue to give not one fuck about whether the built-in streaming capabilities of my TV continue to work.

Ofcom coverage map: 7/10 – must try harder next time

xpz393

Re: You cannot be serious...

but... but... Uncle Kevin has fixed this for you WiFi calling, has he not?

xpz393

Re: You cannot be serious...

"no data (well, GPRS doesn't count)"

Hear hear. Have an upvote, that man!

Ofcom wants to ease the pain of switching mobile networks. Good luck

xpz393

Ofcom already know the answer

"Ofcom suggests a system where you can send a text, or log into a website to request a PAC code."

And, we're done.

xpz393

Re: RAS Syndrome

Twice in the past, I've phoned my provider to ask for a PA Code, and their response, to my amusement, was "Do you mean a PAC Code".

Of course, this response leaves you with a quandary... Answer "yes" for an easy life, or "no" to begin a world of painful explanation, only for the operator to conclude that you are actually in the wrong.

Ho-hum.

I often suffer this same issue when I refer to PA Testing.

Smile and nod. Smile and nod.....

A dual-SIM smartphone in your hand beats two in the bush

xpz393

Re: They will send SMS

"3G coverage far outstrips 2G coverage by a 3:1 ratio at least"

Not so in the UK, where you can turn that ratio right-around. I see that f*cking useless "E" symbol on my phone MUCH too often, sadly :-(

'I am so TIRED of your bullsh*t...' Sprint boss flips lid at T-Mobile US CEO

xpz393

I'm in the UK, but...

This T-Mobile chap seems like a right twat.

Vodafone hikes prices to 37.5p/min – and lets angry customers flee

xpz393

Re: Whooooosh!

The thought had crossed my mind...

Vodafone are still old school in that they just charge a fixed monthly amount which doesn't specify 'service provision' and 'phone repayment' parts separately. Indeed, once your contract end date has passed, Voda will happily continue to charge you the same amount unless you contact them to renegotiate.

This is unlike o2's "refresh" which does indeed specify which part of your monthly fee is the phone-repayment, and which part is the service-provision. I suspect this would indeed give them a nasty little wriggle-out of this part of your contract if they raised charges above RPI and you wanted to leave.

I shall await Voda's response with great curiosity...

Also, if you happen to be an iPhone-wielder, don't forget to call customer services to have it officially unlocked for you before you post that letter off to big-red.

xpz393

Whooooosh!

That's the sound of my letter to Vodafone having been posted.

Everyone loves an early-exit clause :-D

Using leather in 'leccy cars is 'unTesla', rages vegan shareholder

xpz393

“We and the future occupants of lifeboat Earth"

STFU.

Brit plods' post-TETRA radio omnishambles comes home to roost

xpz393

Not fit for purpose

The mobile phone networks are a bag of bollocks for us mere mortals, so expecting the emergency services to rely on them as their only means of communication is fucking terrifying!

I base this on my frequent experiences of seeing "No Service" or an unusable 1-or-2 unusable 'blobs' of 2G on my phone whilst inside many-a-building, worryingly even in or near large city centres where mobile network operators' coverage maps confidently claim excellent coverage inside and out.

TETRA may cost more to run, but if it works better than this piss-poor effort EE/O2/Three/Voda have managed up to now, then stop wasting £100000s (more?) talking about changing it, and use the money instead for refreshing TETRA.

Your mobile, your car, and you – three become one

xpz393

I like knobs (big ones)

Last time I changed my car, I deliberately avoided the top-of-the-range model due to the fact everything was controlled by a large touch screen which is near-impossible to operate precisely whilst simultaneously keeping your eyes on the road.

The next model down (which I went for) had the exact same features, but controlled by a concise and simply array of buttons and knobs, meaning I can adjust the temperature, volume, and switch between FM/bluetooth etc without being distracted.

I know that self-driving cars will eventually render this a moot point, but the interim of having to dodge the plethora of already incompetent drivers who are not looking where they're going as they "need" to look at the screen just to stop Greg James or Chris Evans coming in their ears (a fair point, many might argue) does fill me with dread.

Knobs. Big ones. I love 'em.

O2 craps itself on national Blighty holiday as cabinet minister moans: 'Oi, sort it out!'

xpz393

Makes a change from EE

"When quizzed about whether EE could avoid such an embarrassing network collapse"

That was Reg sarcasm, right?

VOTERS! This Election: Vote #Smart, Vote #Digital

xpz393

"Property empires like The Trampery and Second Home were unimaginable five years ago. Lulu is now a verb" -

Are these London things?

Junk in your trunk is Amazon Germany's new delivery plan

xpz393

Re: Its a BOOT.

Whilst I whole-heartedly agree with you, chap, what alternative rhyming-headline would you suggest?

Nokia will be the mobile comeback kid in 2016 – wishful-thinking sources

xpz393

Dust-off the archives

Nokia could be the "come back kid" so easily, and without spending a penny on development:

3310 and 6310i.

There is NOTHING on the market to rival the simplicity and build quality of these handsets, therefore completely ignoring the needs of those who do not want a smartphone, but similarly do not want the buggy, flimsy & cheap crap which is the only non-smartphone option available now.

Businesses would order 6310i s by the bucket-load, and I reckon the 3310 would fly too.

Nesting falcons interrupt £200m Vodafone 4G mast upgrades

xpz393

Re: C'mon, el Reg

Too many vultures already nesting in Westminster.

Online retail giant Amazon GOES TITSUP ACROSS EUROPE

xpz393

Meh. Our in-house data centre services are fine.

Stick your cloud up your arse.

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