* Posts by Corin

45 publicly visible posts • joined 19 Dec 2007

What if everyone just said 'Nah' to tracking?


I use uMatrix, set to disable javascript everywhere but it allows me to express which domains can load javascript on which sites (so I can allow first-party JS on a particular domain)

I think that strikes a sensible balance; by default everything is blocked apart from what I specifically allow.

Bandwidth weirdness at TalkTalk has customers fuming at being denied on-demand I'm A Celeb


Re: Amazon link?

That could well explain the behaviour; if (for example) Talktalk have private peering to AWS and CloudFront then that link being at 100% might mean that Prime Video, Twitch and AWS-Hosted sites would be slow, while services hosted via other network links into TalkTalk would still be seemingly fine.

Boffins blow hot and cold over li-ion battery that can cut leccy car recharging to '10 mins'


Re: But...

Where's this 5-8 year figure keep coming from? Have a look at the following article:


It seems that total and utter battery failure is very rare, and the more common degradation due to use really isn't such a profound issue.

I'd imagine that your average 150k mile car will be getting worse MPG than its best, and might well have the looming bill-cloud of a new turbo / dpf / injectors hovering over it, poised to strike in much the same way.

Fortunately if the battery is degrading due to use, you've got the choice of whether to replace it or accept the lower range. If your was-250-now-200 mile range car is only used for commuting, you might not be so bothered. If your petrol car needs a new GPF and clutch, you've probably far less choice about whether or not to pay to repair it.

I'm not saying that electric cars will be without their flaws, but please let's not forget that petrol/diesel cars that are getting on a bit are also vulnerable to large bills.


Re: Power required

There's one gotcha in your analysis; you have assumed that the petroleum arrives pre-refined. Does the refining process not consume vast quantities of electricity - or, in other words, do our existing petrol/diesel cars place an indirect burden on the grid?

Or in other words, the step 'up' to charge an electric car is offset by a step down in power requirement for the reduced oil consumption, closing the gap somewhat. Fewer new power generators needed!

Gigabit? More like, you can gigabet the US will fall behind on super-fast broadband access


Re: "Gigabit class wifi"?

As a few others have alluded, it's not that people are in need of a sustained 1gbit for hours on end for $task, it's that some limited tasks become much smoother with a higher speed connection.

Take even streaming video now at 1080p. Might only need 20mbit; but if your player wants to buffer 10 seconds of video in RAM before it begins playback, the time it spends buffering will drop to almost near-zero with a gigabit connection.

I write this from the lucky position of having Hyperoptic* 1gbit internet. I've found that I've stopped really caring about 'the internet' in terms of speed, stuff just works. If I'm sending a multi-GB file to cloud storage, it's done in barely no time at all. If I want a 15GB patch to download, it's done in the time it takes to make a cup of tea. A friend of mine languishing on 10mbit ADSL has to leave his computer on most of the day to grab the same updates in time for a gaming session in the evening.

it isn't that I need to shift 50TB of data a month, but that the data I do transfer, I don't want to wait for. I now don't have to.

(*Granted, the speed is lovely. Pity they still haven't rolled out ipv6 to me, nor can they offer a date when it'll arrive....)

Guess who's still most moaned about UK ISP... Rhymes with BorkBork


Re: Talk rhymes with Bork?

Surely it's more a dialect of Swedish?

Shhh! DropBox 'quietly files' for IPO


Well, not strictly - I mean in the case of Dropbox where they merely used S3 for object storage, but metadata etc was on their own servers, they could have presumably moved an object and then updated the pointer to that particular object to its new home, be it a new S3 bucket, a new S3 region, a new S3-alike provider, or their own infrastructure. The delete from the original location could then take place later.

Then, once tested, you could migrate across in a number of ways - new files written to the new storage, older files moved across in the background.

Of course the migration will have a fee; the bandwidth egress charges from your old provider are going to be pretty high due to the migration!

Be our Guetzli, says Google, to make beastly JPEGs beautifully small


Giving it a try

Compiled very quickly on this i5 Macbook Pro.

I pointed it at a 5888x3912 8bit colour PNG source, with quality set to 95. It pegged one CPU core at 99%, with memory usage just shy of 5GB. 23 minutes later, I had myself a nice small JPEG. Looked perfect!

I concur with the researchers - this is worth doing where the bandwidth savings will be significant, or if your application demands a very small file size. But for general purpose use it's probably much easier not to bother. Focus the attention on the 2MB javascript file and all the work that spends doing instead!


Re: Research is good

Looking at the github page (https://github.com/google/guetzli) it is specifically an encoder for JPEGs. The decoding is trivial - if anything, it'll use less battery since there will be less data to transfer & thus the cell radio can power down sooner.

The real cost is the one-off computation to produce this smaller JPEG file. Potentially worth it for someone like the BBC to save bandwidth costs for images on their news site, less so for a low-traffic blog.

Small but perfectly formed: Dailymotion's object storage odyssey



"Scality put out a video about how it was dealing with the site's storage."

and hosted it on Youtube

Internet Archive preps Canadian safe haven to swerve Donald Trump



There's already another plan in place to help back up the internet archive. If you've some space going spare (or, if you've got the same kind of money as our Anonymous South African Coward, an entire SAN going begging) then you can volunteer.


Hi. Ofcom? My mobe's call quality is crap – but you said it was fine


What about the networks as well?

There was a lot of discussion a year or so ago when a survey found o2 used half-rate codecs a lot of the time.. will this also be considered somehow?

Wileyfox Swift: Brit startup budget 'droid is the mutt's nuts


Re: Absolutely brilliant, except the screen size

I've a Sony Z3 Compact for exactly the reasons you outline. I'm still looking for the same form factor as my HTC Desire - except with updated innards.

Pan Am Games: Link to our website without permission and we'll sue


Some slightly more subtle errors


Ah yes, the famous London 2010 Olympic Games...

Wi-Fi was MEANT to be this way: Antennas and standards, 802.11 style


But we weren't talking about Homeplug

David Cameron 'guarantees' action on mobe not-spots. Honest


Re: Maps

Except the plan is to improve coverage of landmass in general - I don't only want the phone to work at my home or workplace, but on the bits in between...

Sony Xperia Z3 compact battery - replacement?


Re: Sony Xperia Z3 compact battery - replacement?

I own this phone. I can't see any subtle method of disassembly (e.g. screw heads under covers and what have you). Not that I've tried: I suspect any effort would almost certainly damage the waterproofing.

Thanks a lot, Google, for snatching .dev for yourself. It's not like the rest of us wanted it



I'm guessing that even if they get .dev they wouldn't host Google Code anywhere near it.. so.. why would they want it?

iTunes snafu: DNS fail borked Apple's app & iTunes stores for 10 HOURS


I do appreciate that they state the "Service is unavailable for all users" rather than the usual cruft that usually gets trotted out - "a limited proportion of users may have experienced slight difficulty."

Euro ministers ditch plan to ban roaming charges


Re: single market?

AAISP Sip2Sim perhaps?

Apple forks out nearly $2bn for two ripe, green data centres


Re: Servicing that demand?

Perhaps they might be looking to set availability flags for each of their datacentres based on the local power / cooling requirements? Windy, cold day in Ireland? Get it doing all the work. A warm still evening with no solar, shift the load elsewhere.

While this might not solve all the problems it could certainly help out.

Hear that sound? It's the Windows XP PC bubble popping


Re: Huh?

I think it's more that the market expected there to be a gold-rush style sale of new gear (running Windows 7 / 8.1 or similar) to replace old unsupported XP kit, so they filled their warehouses with lots of lovely stock to try and push on businesses and customers that were upgrading.

The upgrade-rush didn't have the scale they apparently hoped for, and now the vendors are staring forlornly at all this gear they didn't sell.

EE 'best' of the UK mobile network bunch, but how good is that?


Dual Sim phones

Rather than dual-sim phones, would it not be better if the networks had an easy way to report bad coverage in areas & if they were seen to react to these reports.

Just think - how many people do you know who are on a particular network because that's the only network providing good coverage in a location the user frequents - but they'd be off to a competitor if they could.

Ah, I suppose that'll never happen, will it?

LG drops G3 quad HD Android mobe with FRIGGIN' LASER camera


Re: Why 3000mAh?

Why not 3A? Well the capacity is probably measured at a tremendously slow rate of discharge. Thanks to Peukert's Law (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peukert%27s_law) the relationship between joules delivered and rate of discharge is not linear.

Therefore a 3000mAh battery might only be able to sustain a current draw of 1 Amp for half an hour* rather than the 3 hours a linear relationship might suggest.

*I made this up, did no maths at all to provide that number.

No mobile signal? Blame hippies and their eco-friendly walls


Re: am I the only one

The trouble is that by attenuating the signal from the macro cell outside, your mobile phone will ramp up its TX power to overcome that same attenuation, therefore undoing your careful work.

For me it's also annoying - I live in a new build property near a city centre. Full five-bar signal outside, a flickering feeble bar indoors. A Three HomeSignal has fixed the issue there, but given the postcode they were certainly reluctant to give me one! What forced their hand was that the advisor asked to phone back on my landline midway through the call as the call was breaking up!

Mobe networks bag UK 4G for a steal - £1bn shy of Osborne's £3.5bn



Had another thought about O2's capacity.. perhaps with their coverage obligation they expect to have many more masts (perhaps to ensure no building is too far away from one). As it follows that each mast will cover fewer users, this allows them to go with less spectrum. They'll spend the same, just the spending scales are tipped in the direction of O2's infrastructure, away from the OFCOM auction.

Or they're just flat broke and hoping to cheap it out all the way.


Interesting that Three haven't gone near any 2.6Ghz.. I wonder whether they're thinking building penetration is bad enough at 2.1Ghz and therefore want no more troubles with building penetration?

Scottish Highlands get blanket 3G coverage


Three Homesignal user here

The arguments about paying double for the power and data don't really stack up in my eyes. The Three home signal in my house uses around 2-3 watts, roughly equivalent in electricity costs to one pint per year.

It uses around 2MB of data per day when idle, calls use around 0.75MB per minute (so around the same as a SIP call, give or take). SMS I can't really measure, but it'll be trivial.

I'll write off any usage due to data, but suffice it to say that any browsing I do on my phone while at home will backhaul via the ADSL, either directly via the wifi or via 3G to the homesignal and via the VPN back to Three.

So in terms of financial and bandwidth costs, it's trivial. In exchange, I get full 3G signal around the house, rather than a flickering 0-1 bar signal. The device was sent to me for no charge.. Colour me happy! Now if only my Three phone worked in other indoor areas...

Europe's broadband bird goes up tonight


Mobile connections?

I'm surprised that the lottery terminals don't use GPRS / 3G. Surely they should only dust off a satellite dish when mobile fails?

Apple voids warranties over cigarette smoke, users say



Well, the optical drive might well have nicotine all over the lens. However, I don't really blame the apple techs for this; you've seen the dusty computer pictures that were on this site not too long ago!

BlackBerry users left bereft of service


Fine on O2

...I came along tonight and learned about the outage only now. O2 has been solid for me all day! Their last data "outage" didn't get me either, I seem to be lucky.

BlackBerry Curve 8520


Trackball - bye!

Trackball is something I wouldn't miss! Not a huge fan of how gunky they can get, and they're impossible to clean without voiding the warranty!

Looks a neat little phone. Pity about the lack of 3G, but for email only it's not really that essential.

Microsoft offers EU choice on Windows browsers


Seems fair enough

Weighting it by current popularity should be fine. I suppose a comment on the software saying "You can use one of these browsers to merely search for and download any other browser you prefer" would maybe help too - after all, how many of you have "www.getfirefox.com" as the first and only link you visited using IE on a fresh windows install? Sure, Firefox will make it to the big 5 listed initially by the software, but, same concept.

iPhone security cracked, smacked and broken


@ Richard Hodgson

Sure, you'll need access - but that was the point. Consider an iPhone being stolen, with sensitive data (presumed to be) protected by the encryption.

With a stolen phone, you can bypass its encryption and view the data anyway. The Blackberry won't give up its secrets so easily, if the encryption is enabled!

Ice air con system aims for cool on the cheap



...Surely this system would therefore require nearly double the capacity on the air conditioner?

I assume that it will operate twice as hard during the night, thus eliminating the need for daytime operation of the compressors. But, surely overnight the system will be chilling for tomorrow, AND will be coping with the continued operation of the data centre. Ok, sure, loading on the centre might fall, and also the efficiency of the cooling cycle (they're far more efficient across small temperature differences) will make calculating this difficult, but it's a consideration!

To those offering that the off peak power might become on peak; surely the trick is to use smart metering and control, allowing excess power to be used whenever it's there; so that even if the night time becomes the new peak, the load could spread out a bit.

Bye bye BlackBerry mail


Dated idea?

Dated perhaps, but it still works.

If my phone polls every 15 minutes for new mails, then it will have to do so each and every 15 minutes. With a blackberry, the device can sit idle until informed that there's new mail, thus saving battery.

Gadget-laden travellers given free Heathrow juice


£300,000 spent?!

How did they spend that much?

Power consumption? Er, yeah, take a big gaming laptop, and measure the power it uses while charging its battery AND playing crysis on medium. That's the most that each socket would reasonably use.

Design? Hmm, I could knock up something graceful looking in CAD that'd do just that job.

Cost to implement? Few days labour I'd imagine.

... I'd love to see them explain where that cash went! Just out of curiosity.

BBC goes live... over Wi-Fi


Blackberry Bold

Works fine using the Blackberry Bold 9000. I'm connected to O2 LLU Broadband (4mbit sync speed) via wi-fi, and it's streaming nicely.

Sky network downed in London


Crowded round mobile broadband?

For a sales team, it might be worth investing in a dual-WAN router (these can be had for just over £100), and then a second broadband connection from a totally different provider.

That way if one provider goes down, you'll only notice a reduction in speed, rather than the complete absence of an effective sales team.

Heaviest Virgin Media downloaders face new daytime go-slow



Why do you enclose the "important points" with the quote marks? That just reminded me of the Lasers being described by Dr. Evil in an Austin Powers movie.

netstat -b simply lists all the open connections your computer has. As I browse El Reg, my computer must connect to its servers in order to download the web pages. Similarly, if I sign into MSN, Skype, connect to a Ventrilo server, you name it, the connection is made and is listed by the netstat command.

I don't have VM Broadband, nor do I have VIrgin Media's PC guard installed, yet this is still the case. It's expected behaviour and is not fishy. If you're thinking about Phorm analysing the websites you go to, there's no software on your PC which you can uninstall to remove that; Virgin Media watch the traffic flowing off their network further up in their network, for that.

If it weren't for Phorm, i'd like the Virgin Media method. As has been said, it's a consumer grade product; they state "unlimited" as, still, you get charged no more, no matter how much you download. Sure, it slows down at the peak times, and they do clearly define their traffic shaping policy, but fundamentally they won't cut you off altogether at a defined amount of usage.

PS3 to get movie downloads this summer?


UK ISP bandwidth...

I can see where this will go, most of the UK ISPs will start bricking it due to their lack of investment in bandwidth, just like with the iPlayer.

This is the time they've been dreading, the introduction of something legit, mass-market, legal and bandwidth intensive; just what they don't want their UNLIMITED!* subscribers to start using.

Samsung laptop battery burns


Some laptops...

I'm the proud owner of an IBM T40 laptop, which sucks air in from.. the side, and pushes it out from.. the side! I've got some software which shows me its own temperature readings from all over the laptop (including two sensors in the battery pack itself), and when left on a bed or sofa, they're all in the low/mid 30s (unless the CPU is working hard, when that on its own increases a little). Moving it to a desk merits a temperature drop of all but a couple of degrees.

Fine? I think so, especially since the battery's warning label lists 100°c as the maximum temperature; OK having the battery warmer will shorten its lifespan, but i'm already well aware of that and happy to tolerate it.

It seems to me that bad design is the culprit here.

O2 plans commercial femtocells for 2009


Just as well it's 3g...

O2's 3g coverage leaves a fair bit to be desired, so I guess they're hoping to pad it out by selling broadband connections and femtocells to people.

MP3sparks.com downed by links to Russian cybercrime gang


Got it here...

BT Broadband, loads fine (i haven't any plans to shop there mind..)

Ofcom urged to clamp down on broadband speed deceit


There's a fair difference here...

I thought there were two things upon which the speed of your connection hinged.

Firstly is the speed of the link between yourself and the exchange. The best "real-world" indicator of this is the line attenuation (which is often shown in your ADSL router's status page, if you've already a connection) - lower means better.

Secondly, is further up the rung - as has already been stated, many ISPs oversell the bandwidth; they assume that not everyone will be on at the same time - this is the contention ratio, often around 50:1. So they might put, say, 50 customers who've all been advised "up to 8 meg" onto a single 8mbit connection to the internet. If the ISP can't afford enough bandwidth, then things will start to slow down horribly at peak times.

The first issue is troublesome - BT are the only people likely to care, and so long as you can get around 0.4mbit (i think...) out of your line, they won't do a thing. Only possible solutions here are to move closer to an exchange (yeah, right..) or install a new line in the hope that you get a newer bit of wire! The ISP isn't able to do a thing, besides connect your wire to the equipment in the exchange and hope - no amount of shouting will make them change a thing really, nor will "I pay £20 a month i should at least get 20meg" - for ADSL, that's just not going to happen.

The second, the bandwidth issue, is however where the ISP has a shout. They've got to find the ideal trade-off between speed and cost. To give every user the full (for example) truly unlimited, 8mbit connection would cost much much more than the £24.99 a month that the "unlimited*" plans give. A very good website to check, incidentally, is: