* Posts by Roger Garner

39 publicly visible posts • joined 21 Dec 2007

SpaceX wants to slap Starlink internet terminals on planes, trucks, and boats – but Tesla owners need not apply

Roger Garner

Re: 1 million users?

Starlink is already here in the UK, license granted back in November by Ofcom. Test users started receiving their kit back in January. Pretty much anyone in the south of England/Wales can sign up now I believe.

Your new car will dob you in to the cops if you crash, decrees EU

Roger Garner
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Been around since 2010 in BMWs...


Got this in mine, it contacts BMW first (112 direct if unable to reach them) with sensor data and establishes a voice call so its fleshy occupants can then tell the lovely person that you do/don't need the emergency services as required. Plus button to press up on the ceiling should you witness an accident and need assistance or be in something minor enough that it doesn't make the automatic call and you really do need someone.

As it screams at BMW, it means that the onus is on the car manufacturer to get good quality sensor data / provide a system that doesn't make a call to the boys in blue every time a fly hits the windscreen.

If you're the one unconscious you'd probably like to know that the emergency services are already being alerted before other witnesses/injured souls have probably even gotten their phones out of their pockets/figured out if they're still in one piece/which way is up. Hopefully I never have to use it of course but its something I hadn't even thought about since the dealer gave a quick blurb overview of it... until this article anyway :)

El Reg reanimates Cash'n'Carrion merchandising tentacle

Roger Garner
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Needs some sort of poster highlighting El Reg Units surely?

Nexus 7 fandroids tell of salty taste after sucking on Google's Lollipop

Roger Garner

My Nexus 5 ran like crap for about an hour after the update. Swiping between screens juddered, the lock screen would take a few seconds to respond to pin code input. I'm assuming it was just doing something silently in the background because the next morning it was back to buttery smooth.

Now to find a replacement for the gallery app - photos is a poor substitute due to mostly ignoring folders (I don't want to see my stuff in date order all the time.... I have work/project folders for a reason!). Except all the ones I've tried to install from Google Play end in an 'Unknown error code during application installation: "-505". Joy.

The Nexus 10 was pretty similar except it's still running a bit crap a day later. Lock screen takes a few seconds to respond even turning on/off, clicking an app can take 2-3 seconds before the OS acknowledges the touch. Chrome even runs like it was Firefox, even opening a new tab takes few seconds to respond. This is fast however compared to the 2-3 hours after the update finished when the tablet was sometimes taking 10 seconds to react to any input at all.

The N7 is not being touched. Leaving that on 4.4 for now!

I'm looking at this positively however: it's not Apple Maps at least ;-)

BT claims almost-gigabit connections over COPPER WIRE

Roger Garner

Distance from cabinet vs cable pathing...

The green cabinet for my house is the other side of the road. Except to get to my house the cable has to go into the pavement, right by about 6 meters, then up a pole (5...6m?), diagonally across the road (probably close to 10m), then another 15m or so as it travels over my garden and down the side of my house into my lounge.

Straight line I might only be 12-15m away from the cabinet but the route is probably closer to 40m...

So how many properties would REALLY be within 66m of a cabinet?


On the FTTP / newbuilds... my Dad lives in an estate built in the late 90s. They had fibre installed by the developer as a trial, alongside standard BT copper. The trial never happened however and BT have been using the copper ever since... you can still only get FTTC and not FTTP despite their being fibre to each house on the estate... its simply not connected to anything. *rolleyes*

Google's Nexus 5: Best smartphone bang for your buck. There, we said it

Roger Garner

Excellent phone

Mine arrived on Monday, slowly discovering the new things it can do over the "old" Nexus 4. In a nutshell, buy it. For the price you really can't go wrong, definitely a top end phone for not a top end price.

One thing to point out, the "OK Google" voice activation only works if the phone language is set to 'US English'. The feature disappears completely if you use any other language, you have to go back to the usual "tap the mic button" to get it to listen. That's why you found it helps to speak with an American drawl... switch the language to 'UK English' and the phone understands me word for word but Google have disabled it listening for the magic phrase 'OK Google' when you do that... *roll eyes*

Smooth to use, quick to do whatever I've needed so far, voice clarity is excellent, speakers are better than the 4 and being on the bottom they work when you put the phone down on its back, unlike the 4 which muffles everything.

The caller lookup is very nice, if you get a phone call (or even just randomly dial a company you've never even spoken to before) and the OS actually tells you who you're calling / receiving the call from. It shows the number only to begin with, about half a second or so later the company name appears as Google does its thing. Has worked 3/3 so far in telling me who the random callers I've had this week so far are.

O2 to raise broadband prices by up to 27%

Roger Garner

Be = O2

They are one and the same. O2 broadband customers are actually on Be infrastructure. Switching wont actually gain you very much ;)

Cutbacks strip speed cameras from Blighty's roads

Roger Garner

Good good...

Something I hate about speed cameras in general... people slow down for them for no legitimate reason.

We've all been there, doing 70mph on a dual carriageway behind someone else also doing 70mph and suddenly finding ourselves catching up on the cretin in front when they see a speed camera and slow/brake to 60-65mph.

Yet speed cameras apparently increase road safety. I consider them to be just another road hazzard along the same lines of a kid riding a bike at the side of the road. You don't know if the kid will fall off about the same as if the driver in front of you will brake for no reason at the sight of a camera. Just something else to worry about...

Windows 7 'genuine' nagware winging its way to OS

Roger Garner

Article missed the 'periodic (initially 90 day) revalidation'...

Last paragraph of the MS blog post... they intend to have WAT phone home every 90 days to ensure it still is valid.

Opens the door to having a legal copy, someone abusing the key and you (the legal owner) suddenly finding yourself being downgraded through no fault of your own. Rare but still going to happen to someone, somewhere...

I'm happy to have the key checked online when installing/activating for the first time, that doesn't bother me in the slightest. Sitting in the background and rechecking every 90 days when I know my copy is legal and the only "benefit" I'd gain is the (albeit extremely rare) possibility of MS deciding I'm now illegal and downgrading me... yeah I'm not installing this.

Microsoft tests show no Win 7 battery flaw

Roger Garner

Two Acer Laptops...

... one 3 years old - still has the same 1.5 hour battery life under 7 it had under Vista.

The other 1 year old oddly has an extra 30 mins life under 7 compared to Vista... considering this is the 8930G 18.4" beast that never had more than 2.5 hours when brand spanking new I'm naturally far happier under 7 than Vista from that point alone :p

O2 and Be Broadband speeds dip

Roger Garner

Another (generally) happy BE customer...

Modem connects at 21Mbit... usually get up to 2.2Mb downloads... peaks occasionally at 2.4Mb/sec. However in the last few months the number of random disconnects has been slowly rising... once a week I'll have a period of an hour or two where my net drops every 10-15 minutes or so. Different days and times during the day... was told by support its the modem needing firmware upgrade. Rollocks is it. Still does it.

Slow speed I can cope with, not working at all is infuriating! On the positive side it does reconnect immediately each time... sigh...

Shame about their website...

Apple kicks prolific developer out of iTunes shop

Roger Garner

The flip side...

Apple might have told Molinker what they were doing and why... if you were Molinker would you 'fess up and tell a news outlet the reason you've been given and confirm your company's possibly dodgy rep or say 'we know nuffin, move along... nothing to see here...'

Russia planning nuclear-powered manned spaceship

Roger Garner
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ignoring the technical stuff above...

... anyone else think Russia is several steps ahead of the rest of the world and where we should all be aiming at?

We (ESA) have got nothing truely to speak of besides our token part in the ISS. The US are about to take a giant leap (backwards) for mankind by ditching the shuttle and going back to a rocket which is soooo 1970s.

Revolting postmen force early Windows 7 launch

Roger Garner

Play.com as well...

... they charged my card 2 days ago so suspect they're on the way for most. Sadly my card was cloned recently so the payment was naturally declined. Joy.

Amazon eyes wander as Royal Mail strike looms

Roger Garner

Don't tar them all with the same brush...

Posties that deliver here to work are a friendly bunch who made it quite clear they wouldn't vote for or even support strike action. They knew it only harmed themselves!

Its very much a 'shoot yourself in the foot' reaction...

Small biz told to sort TV licences for PCs

Roger Garner

Didn't have a TV or license once...

First place, no TV. Kept binning the demands for money as they'd turn up every 3 months or so.

After a year someone actually came around to check if I had a TV, showed him the empty aerial socket on the wall, he thanked me for my time and left. Probably 20 seconds of my time... never received another demand again after that.

Apple seeks cure for iPhone battery woes

Roger Garner
Jobs Horns

One thing Nokia do well...

... is battery life.

Nokia N95 8Gb with 18 month old battery still goes a week inbetween charges with maybe 2 to 3 hours call usage in that time.

I have friends with iPhones who look at it with admiration and wonder on how such a phone manages such an amazing feat as if its technology from the future.

Because it was designed by someone who actually knows something about phones and not just how to make something look pretty might just have something to do with it...

Twitter-based mafia game irritates world+dog

Roger Garner

What did you expect...

... its on twitter. Anything actually useful to the human race on there at all?

Ford says new Taurus 'is fitted with stealth fighter radar'

Roger Garner

Nothing new...

I do believe you've been able to buy a Jaguar with radar on the wing mirrors for a year or two now. The idea is that the radar looks back into your blind spot and alerts you when something is there.

To be honest, nothing wrong with turning your head and leaning forward like everyone else but when thats downgraded to just looking at the wing mirror (check mirror... nothing... oh the light is on, some bastard is sitting in my blind spot) its a little easier... until it fails of course.

PayPal goes offline again

Roger Garner

@I use them for payments...

We used to offer our customers the choice of SagePay (Protx as it was known then) and PayPal but after several IPN related screwups from PayPal that effectively meant PayPal charged our members but then never informed us of the orders completing, we dumped them.

Using SagePay solely now and its a far nicer system to use. Its been a year since we dropped PayPal and not one of our 60k+ members have complained its not an option for them anymore...

Exposed activist accuses Tiscali of putting life in peril

Roger Garner

Another Be / ADSL+ happy customer...

I moved into my current home just over 2 years ago. I'm still getting a monthly bill from Tiscali for the previous occupants' Tiscali service... Despite them telling Tiscali they'd moved house, having their phone number (service provided by Tiscali) transferred to their new house, its still me that gets sent the bill.

How do they manage it?

Average UK broadband just over half advertised speed

Roger Garner

Another Be / ADSL+ happy customer...

Ignoring their hideous new website Be always stated the speed was an estimate and I happily connect at 20-21Mbit. Which is exactly what they estimated I'd get based on my distance from the exchange.

The biggest trouble I have is using that amount of bandwidth... I happily download games off Steam at 2Mb/sec but aside from the iPlayer I've yet to discover any (legal!) reason to have this sort of size pipe on a daily basis.

The average of ~4Mbit is probably more than the average customer needs...

Microsoft offers EU choice on Windows browsers

Roger Garner
Dead Vulture


"Windows 7 will still ship with Microsoft's own browser, IE."

I suggest you go take a look at Windows 7 E... the version that will be on sale over here and then rethink this sentance ;)

Office 2010 tech preview: Expect the expected

Roger Garner

Missed the biggest question...

... is there a reason to upgrade from Office 97 yet?

Acer Aspire Revo R3600

Roger Garner

Re: And how much pre-installed garbage was on the review unit?

A fair bit sadly...

About 15-20 random demo games from Oberon Media, gave one a go just to see how the box handled the game. Started by saying I had an hour of playtime of the demo to go and then promptly kicked me out after 5 minutes anyway. Box played it game very well tho even if it was just a top down shooter (Alien Shooter I think it was called) Infuriatingly you have to uninstall each of the games separately - each one taking 30 seconds or so, no global "destroy all this crap uninstall"

McAffee came preinstalled. I thought it wouldn't as the Vista setup said it was an optional install as a gift/trial from Acer or wording to that effect when you first boot it up. I chose "no thank you" and found it installed the damn thing anyway. Promptly got rid of the garbage but at least it wasn't Nortons...

Office 2007 trial, various other little bits n pieces... nothing too major. I think there was only one bit of rubbish actually from Acer themselves.

Oh and the drive is partitioned into two - split 50/50. Annoying!

Roger Garner
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Fantastic piece of kit...

I've had one of these for a few weeks now, same £250 model as reviewed.

Quiet is an understatement - you only hear it when you turn it on and it spins the fan at full blast for a second. Then you forget it even exists. When I first got it I kept having to go and put my hand over the exhaust to check to see if the fan was still working!

Its now hidden behind my stack of DVD's, no-one knows its there and nor will my leccy bill. The two 500Gb external drives I have plugged into it draw more power than this beauty - 25W compared to the 20W the Revo draws.

Yes the mouse is dinky (its actually made by Logitech, their logo is on the bottom anyway) but it and the keyboard (probably Logitech as well I guess but not checked) work nicely and do not feel cheap and nasty as you might have expected. Who cares though as they are hidden away behind the DVD's like the unit - probably never to be used again after the initial setup...

Excellent piece of kit overall.

Phorm phading phast

Roger Garner
Black Helicopters

Bets please...

Which to die totally first... SCO or Phorm?

Fun watching them squirm around anyway... I love hearing PR people try and dig themselves out of a hole, hilarious for those of us living in the real world. Already waiting with baited breath what they'll come up with after BT and TalkTalk have scampered off into the distance...

Fox terminates The Sarah Connor Chronicles

Roger Garner

Sadly to be expected...

Decent show, but it was on Fox... dead cert to be canceled before its time.

Play unveils AspireRevo launch date

Roger Garner

Simple Media Center

Simple really... its a cheap media server that looks better than most of the rubbish cases manufacturers churn out. You don't want a powerhouse CPU or GPU... something that'll sit there on but not single handedly eating half of your lecy bill.

Excellent to see the Linux version... does it really matter if they list what distro it is tho? Hardly a hassle if its not the flavour of the month... not like you paid for the one on there, just replace it :)

Ten of the Best... laptop stands

Roger Garner

Alternatively get a decently designed laptop...

Someone at Acer actually realised laptops tend to sit on stuff so came up with a masterful idea... why dont we put the fan exhaust on top of the laptop instead of on the bottom. You know... where the airflow is unobstructed and the fan doesn't ever need to kick up a notch because its got all the air it needs even when sitting in bed on a duvet? Better yet we'll make it nice and quiet so you can't even hear it...

Acer 8930, nothing better than a saturday morning Crysis killing spree from the comfort of your duvet. ;)

Toshiba wows crowds with sexy touch smartphone

Roger Garner

I cannot be the only one reading these comments...

...who is thinking who the feck cares what OS its running?

does it make phone calls? Yes!

What difference does it really make if there's a windows icon next to your ear when using it or an slightly chewed on apple?

Google fixes world's most stupid bug

Roger Garner


rm -rf would be worse? At least -r on its own would ask you before it committed user assisted suicide... ;)

BenQ W500 projector

Roger Garner
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Excellent projector...

Got mine last Xmas after the TV packed up (was £300 more back then but still worth it at that price). One of my friends with the 48" plasma TV he bought 3 years ago for close to £3k is still green with envy... it makes his monster of a TV look tiny and for a fraction of the price.

Biggest problem is the natural light, I had to get proper blackout blinds in order to use the projector when the sun is out fully during the day.

When all is said and done, invite the friends over, get the popcorn going and watch films wall sized.

Or for any gamers considering one... have you ever tried a 4 player console game on one TV? Found yourself squinting at a quarter of a TV screen from the sofa? Get one of these and then a quarter of your wall is probably bigger than the entire TV screen it replaced ;)

Oh and the free Xbox it comes bundled with is the Arcade version for anyone wondering.

Jeremy Clarkson tilts at windmills

Roger Garner

They do work...

...but the retard drivers that slow down to 60mph to go past the 70mph static Gatso ones now do 60mph the whole way through the stretch of the average cameras... and *STILL* brake to go past the cameras!

Seriously people... you're only in trouble if you going OVER 70mph the WHOLE way through the average check...

SCO ordered to pay Novell $2.5m Unix royalties

Roger Garner

@I'd just like to say thanks

Opera puts in the horizontal scroll on those mile long Hahahahha's... I see the standard page width worth and a scroll bar for the rest... it would imply that those so called 'lazy' el reg programmers actually did their job and its actually the lazy programmers of whatever browser you're using... may I suggest an upgrade to a real browser?

King Arthur was English 'propaganda', French claim

Roger Garner

Go watch Stargate...

... Arthur and Morgan Le Fay feature in the final series of SG1. Therefore they must be real.

Silly French... dont they watch TV? ;-)

Mines the one with the shoulder harness with P90 strapped to the front.

Verizon sends text messages to the big screen

Roger Garner


....arn't much better. The new ones tend to have trailers for random other movies and those rubbish 'pirating is a crime, you wouldn't steal candy from a baby' ads. I bought the damn DVD for crying out loud what more do you want from me? (besides my soul)

At least with a DVD you've got skip chapter/fast forward but its still a pain in the arse.

Haven't been to a cinema for years. £700 got me a HD (1080p) projector that fills my lounge wall. OK thats a lot of trips to the cinema but I know my lounge doesn't have annoying kids with IPods/phones/babies who insist on talking/crying over the movie. Invite the friends over, few bags of popcorn and voila.... a zillion times better than any cinema.

Mozilla plugs 10 security holes in Firefox

Roger Garner

Sings in a high pitched voice...

I switched to Opera back when it was either Netscrap or Internet Exploder. Easy choice, even having to pay for it then by far the superior browser.

Never looked back, its a fast efficient browser and whilst nothing is perfect, rarely has to issue security fixes. I hate Firefox... once you've used Opera you realise its just horribly slow but as with the masses that still use IE, you dont realise how good the alternatives are until you try them.

Vista sets 2007 land-speed record for copying and deleting

Roger Garner
Gates Horns

Its not *that* bad....

I've run Vista on my new laptop (dont shout at me, it came on it and figured I'd give it a shot) for about 3 months now. Well I've still got it installed so its not managed to annoy me enough to wipe it down and install something else at least...

I've had the 20k+ hours remaining displayed on the screen a few times but the copy always goes at around 22-23Mb/sec regardless. For me at least its just a display bug, the copy is always as quick as you can expect for to/from a slow ass laptop drive.