* Posts by Robert Steadman

12 posts • joined 23 Nov 2007

Cutting the cord: future mobile broadband tech

Robert Steadman

@Are you serious?


Colchester lacks what it takes to be an English city - a cathedral.


Still, with a population of ~100K (IIRC), it should be entitled to a decent mobile service, cathedral or not.

Westminster forced to switch off digital CCTV cameras

Robert Steadman

The obscure technical reasons..

..are, that old analogue video tends to be slightly out of sync in its frame, so displaced a bit left or right. 704 pels are needed to capture one scan line at 13.5MHz sampling. The standard allows for 720 pels, so the whole of a frame might be captured even if the kit it was recorded on was not set up as precisely as todays equipment is.

Analogue TV systems used to assume a 10% error in the placing of the frame on the consumer's TV. If you watch any of those shows from the 60s & 70s, notice that the titles are always placed towards the centre, and nothing important happens at the edges. Look up 'title safe' and 'action safe' on Wikipedia if you want to wear the same anorak as me.

The real pedant here is the person who insists that 704x576 is not good enough, without knowing what they are really talking about.

Google 'GDrive' revisits tech-pundit G-spot

Robert Steadman

But what happens if..

..they decide the service is no longer profitable and shut it down at a month's notice - like Lycos is doing to thier webmail service?

Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah set for top two spots in Christmas Day charts

Robert Steadman
IT Angle

Please, save our Christmas!

Everybody buy the Buckley version, or we'll keep hearing this one on every year's Christmas hits compilation from here on.

Glasgow tube gets phone coverage

Robert Steadman

Heathrow Express

I had a Cellnet (now 02) phone in 2000 that worked underground at Heathrow Central, and on the train all the way through the tunnel. I'm pretty sure Heathrow Express claimed then this was the first underground railway with mobile phone coverage; something Derek McManus may have overlooked.

Can some railway anorak confirm this for us?

NZ in 'Old Bo***ck Road' balls-up

Robert Steadman

So does that mean..

..we have to get rid of the Balls Pond Road in Hackney then?

Bagel brownin' Cylon toaster now frakkin' available

Robert Steadman

Really useful toaster/printer


Anybody know if they went into production?

The iPhone - yours for €1

Robert Steadman

@02 give them away for free

>the £45 tarriff gives you the iPhone 3g for nothing - so that's better than €1!

I make it the £45 tarriff gives you the iPhone 3g for £810 over 18 months. You can only consider it to cost you nothing if you use all the inclusive airtime, and don't get fleeced for anything else over that 18 months.

Ericsson CMO says Wi-Fi hotspots' days are numbered

Robert Steadman

My problem with mobile internet..

..is you have pay every month in case you need to use it. I rarely do, so I keep my money, and head for the nearst cafe/bar with a wifi hotspot on the occasions I can't wait until I get to work or back home.

Winners: cafes & bars that provide WiFi as well as nice bevvies.

Loosers: Mobile operators who expect a monthly tithe on the off chance I might use the service.

Dutch fire up petrol-pumping robot

Robert Steadman


..I've driven two cars (one a Ford, one a Honda) whose petrol filler hatches are opened by a lever under the driver's seat.

Secret Crush widget spreads adware on Facebook

Robert Steadman

@ Chris W

I have a Facebook friend invitation from some-one I see regularly, but who walks past me with her nose in the air; maybe she just imagines I'm her friend?

Powering the mobile experience

Robert Steadman

The Mobile Internet

I just changed my mobile provider, to get a phone I could actually use at home.

My old provider (Orange) provides casual GPRS access for £3/MB. By 'casual' I mean I don't want to hand over money every month for something I probably won't use. But if I am out and about, I run Opera on my Palm T3, and that's a much better internet experience than the matchbox sized screen on my Moto V3.

So now I'm on T-Mobile; their casual access is £1 per day for 'fair use' access, and the chap in Carphone Warehouse was sure that I could access the internet from my Palm on this. But no; the £1-per-day tariff only allows you to use the browser on the phone. And so does the first 'bundle', at £7.50 per month. You have to be willing to cough £12.50 and £22.50 per month if you want to connect a handheld or laptop to GPRS.

Now here's the real rant. Their website doesn't make this limitation clear, so any ex-Orange customer coming to T-Mobile could make the same mistake. Actually, none of the operators sites, say anything clearly about the 'walled garden' experience, or how much you need to pay to get the mobile internet off your phone and onto a device that you can actually read.

The moral of this rant, fellow vultures, is be careful to understand the Ts&Cs for yourself before you choose.



Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2020