* Posts by David Pottage

17 publicly visible posts • joined 1 Apr 2007

Nokia C1-01 budget voicephone

David Pottage

Looks like a downgrade compared with a Nokia 2730 (That costs the same)

I have a Nokia 2730 classic, that I brought SIM free for £50 from my Local Carphone Warehouse.

Compared with the 2730, the Nokia C1 looks like a downgrade. There is no 3G support, and a lower resolution camera and screen.

The Nokia C1 is a fraction smaller and about 10g lighter, but other than that I can see no benefit,

Why would anyone buy this phone, when there is a better Nokia available for less money?

Roundabouts and swings at Everything Everywhere

David Pottage

How many PAYG customers only keep it for Orange Wednesdays

I wonder how many of their PAYG customers are only staying with the network for Orange Wednesdays, or the equivalent T-Mobile deal with Blockbuster Video?

I Stopped using Orange for calls around a year ago. (Poor coverage, outrageous charges for data), but I kept the SIM in an old phone with a small amount of credit on it for Orange Wednesdays. Every now and again I make a call so that the account stays active on their system and they don't cut me off, but other than that, the account gets no use at all. I dare say there are plenty of other "customers" like that.

If Orange subtracted those from their count of customers, then they would probably have to report an even sharper decline in the number of PAYG customers. They won't though because if they did it would hurt the share price.

Ubuntu demotes Gnome for Unity netbook look

David Pottage

Eclipse is a first class citizen?

Shuttleworth said that Eclipse is a first class citizen on Ubuntu.

Relay? If so, then why is Eclipse at version 3.5 in Ubuntu, when version 3.6 has been out for FIVE MONTHS?

Ubuntu have become two tied to their release schedule. There is a small window just after a release ships, when new software, (or new versions of existing) software can be incorporated into the next release, but after that hardy anything goes in, which means that that if you are running Ubuntu and need the latest version of anything, then you will end up downloading and compiling it from source, or getting packages from a non official source.

Ubuntu really need to put in a mechanism for adding important new packages at any time in the release cycle, including new major versions of existing software. I realise that for libraries the situation is much more complex due to the forest of dependencies, but for user programs, on which no other programs depend, it should be possible to release them into Ubuntu out of band.

NHS Online consult service to live on: Calls go to 111

David Pottage

You don't need nurses to deal with time wasters

Firstly, I have a todler in the house, and a baby who will be one soon. The todler has allready caused me to call NHS direct several times in his life sofar, so I am gratefull for the service, and I would not want it to become less effective.

However, I suspect that NHS direct get called by a lot of time wasters, so it is probably a waste of manpower to have every call answerd by a Nurse, just so long as there are enough of them to give advice when they are needed.

I also wonder if there was a bit of Union back scratching when the service was setup. Nurses are all Union members, in the UK, and anything that increases employment by union members would be a good thing in the eyes of a labour politicion.

What about employing indian nurses in Mumbi? Best of both worlds?

Sagem DTR94500S HD Freesat+ DVR

David Pottage
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So in conclusion, it is more expensive than the Humax, unglier, and has fewer features.

65% looks generous

Are there any good reasons to buy one?

Sony Bravia KDL-46W5810 46in LCD TV

David Pottage

Freeview HD ?

Why buy freesat kit when freeview HD is just around the corner ?

Because there will only ever be a few channels on freeview HD due to limited bandwidth. Freesat has hundreads of SD channels and room for dozens of HD ones.

Also Freesat HD kit is much more mature than the initial freeview HD stuff will be.

Telco offers 911 by txt

David Pottage
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Similar plans in the UK

There is a planned trial for a similar system in the UK See:


The main target market is deaf people who cannot converse with a normal 999 operator, and don't have a text phone handy. For them it will probably save lives. Like the Iowa system getting locations will be hard, so the distressed person will be expected to provide some sort of address.

The main down side of the planned UK system is that users have to pre-register (I think this is to discorage abuse). If the system goes ahead, then hopefully all deaf people in the will lean about it and will pre-register their phones, but there will still be tragedies if people fail to register a new phone or borrow one.

Then there are the action movie plots where the hero is hiding is a cupboard under the nose of the evil hostage taker, and can't txt to 999 because he did not pre-register his phone, and when he makes a voice call he is heard and captured.

Inside USB 3.0

David Pottage

@Eddy Ito: connector standards

I think the reason for the backwards compatible connector is not for devices but for hosts.

Suppose USB3 has different connectors and suppose you are an OEM designing a netbook. There is only room for three ports. What combination do you choose? On one end of the spectrum will be power users who want to plug in loads of USB3 devices, and have hubs and adapters for any legacy USB2 devices, at the other end is the road warrior who has left his USB2 to 3 adapters at home and wants to plug in a USB2 mouse, thumb drive and printer.

With backward compatible connectors you don't have that dilemma. All the ports can be USB3 compatible (if the chipset allows it) and everyone is happy.

Mercedes reveals plug-in, fuel-cell concept cars

David Pottage
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Workplace recharging

Workplace recharging is perfectly possible is the employer is motivated to do it.

I work for Nokia and a while back I was on the intranet and I stumbled across some information and rules about the use of the electrical power points in a company car park at a site in the north of Finland. These power points are used to keep cars warm enough to start on minus 30 winter days. There is one power point for every parking space on that site, so clearly given a good enough reason, employers will install power in car parks.

I think the ideal way to do recharging would be for each car to have a power connector that has both high current connectors for power, and a set of 8 contacts that lead to a smart card slot and keypad inside the car. The smart card would be used to identify who is paying for the recharge. For communal car parks in blocks of flats or company car parks any dumb smart card with a serial number would do. For public car parks on the street or in motorway service stations the driver would insert a bank card and pay with chip and pin. This system would also protect the charging point on your driveway from passing motorists recharging their cars while you are at work.

Now all we need it for a standards body (Europe?) to standardize the connector, some motor manufacturers to produce cars, and some forward thinking employers or towns to install the charing points.

Mandriva Linux 2009 threesome outed

David Pottage

Intrepid is nearly ready and looks good.

I have been testing intrepid on an old laptop for the last 2 months of so and it has been running very nicely. Wireless worked out of the box first time, as did Accelerated 3D graphics using open source ATI drivers, allowing Compiz fusion to work. If you like Gnome then it has a lot to recommend it. It is also due for final release in less than a month's time, compared with Mandriva that is not due for a while.

Revealed: USB 3.0 jacks and sockets

David Pottage


@Michael Attenborough

See www.poweredusb.org

Interesting, up to 6A, 24V.

IMHO, the EU should be pushing this hard, and banning wall warts. As I said in my last post, PC power supplies are much more efficient than wall warts, and they go off when the PC is turned off. The EU should mandate powered usb sockets on new desktop PCs, and forbid any USB PC peripheral, from taking power from a wall wart.

Low powered devices would use normal USB power, medium powered devices would be powered via this poweredusb standard, possibly via a powered hub to supply the power, for backward compatabllity with older PCs, and the highest powered devices (laser printers, huge monitors etc), would draw AC power from the mains and have an internal PSU. (With a legaly mandated minimum efficiency, and auto standby when the host PC powers down).

David Pottage

Better support for power over USB

Considering the number of bus powered USB devices, the fact that PC power supplies are much more efficcent than those ugly wall warts, and that there would be many more bus powered USB devices if more power was avalable that way, I think they should enhance the spec to provide more power.

How about a seccond power connector, and when a device connects it would be able to request any voltage up to 12V on each of the two connectors, up to a maximum of say 3A. That way most periferals could be powered by the Host PC, including most printers, smaller LCD screens network hubs modems, access points etc, and we could banish most wall warts, and save loads of electricity in the process because the power would come from 80% efficent PSUs in PCs or large monitors, and would go off automaticaly when the PC is switched off.

Skype violates open source licence

David Pottage

A URL may become invalid

Internet distribution was thought of when the GPL 2 was written, the reason that it is only allowed when the product is distributed via the internet is because there is no guarantee that the URL will allways be valid, and that the data at the end will always be the same. The latest GPL licence that was finalised last month contains the same provisions. Both version of GPL has been very carefully thought out, and all the clauses in it are there for a reason. If Skype did not intend to follow the rules they where free to use other technology.

If Skype wanted to save the cost of pressing a CD, they could have put an offer on that flyer for a free CD to be posted to anyone who asked for one. As hardly anyone will ask for one the cost to them would have been negligible.

How to fix your kids' education for $200m

David Pottage


> BBC Jam was free to the cost of £150 million pounds of licence payers' money.

That works out at about £3 per UK resident. Sound very cheap to me compared with other education costs.

Vodafone explains N95 crippling

David Pottage

So we can have the Nokia firmware if we prefer.

If the modified Vodaphone firmware, is all to improve the customer experience, then presumably anyone who would prefer the "confusing" Nokia experience can switch to the Nokia firmware on request, and without charge?

If they refuse, then it just proves they are lying profiteers as we all suspected. In any case, I would always prefer the Nokia firmware, as it is the most tested and the most up to date. Operator firmwares tend to be buggy, and don't have the latest bug fixes.

Personally I prefer open standards to walled gardens, and that is one thing the mobile operators should have learnt over the past five years with the failure of their WAP systems.

Microsoft calls on UK public to raise the Office standard

David Pottage

Blatant Astroturfing

Where do I sign a counter petition?

There is a perfectly good _OPEN_ document standard, why should I want a Microsoft inspired bit of patent encumbered vendor lock in instead?

In any case, seeing as Microsoft are hosting the petition, why should we believe what ever numbers they come up with?

Show me the way to go home: GPS on test

David Pottage

IPX 4 is only splash proof

You say that the Magellan CrossoverGPS is waterproof to IPX 4. That rating is only splash proof (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ingress_protection_rating ). Normal outdoor use GPS units are waterproof to IPX 7 (full immersion).

I would not consider IPX 4 to be acceptable for outdoor use. If you are taking a GPS unit into the wilderness (even on a country hike), and using it as your only method of navigation, you must be able to rely on it completely, not just in fair weather. The last thing you want is for your navigation to fail just when you are soaked and cold after an unexpected thunderstorm.

When you consider that the people most likely to buy this unit for outdoor use, are those who are inexperienced, and do not know how to navigate in the wilderness with a map and compass, and are unlikely to bring one as a backup, so when their GPS fails, they will be completely stuck, I think it is irresponsible to sell a unit that is only splash proof, as waterproof, and a good choice for outdoor navigation.

As for boating use, it would be foolhardy in the extreme to rely on a non waterproof unit. If you mount this on the deck of a small powerboat or dingy, then it will get a salt water soaking almost every time you use it. Again if stuff goes wrong and you capsize, the last think you want is to be lost as well.