* Posts by Ed Cooper

51 publicly visible posts • joined 21 Feb 2008


Apple drops dongle prices to make USB-C upgrade affordable

Ed Cooper

I'm not going to defend Apple's huge price rises and failure to provide what a lot of professionals actually desire at this time, neither its embarassing failure to update its Pro desktop machine.

However credit is due for providing four, full bandwidth Thunderbolt 3 ports (on the 15" machines), for those professionals working with high-definition video this is important, just because you cant perceive why this would be useful to your work flow doesn't mean for some it won't be significant. Being able to hook up two 4K monitors (maybe 5k too!?) with USB 3 pass through and then also have ports available for full bandwidth transfer/management is possibly quite revolutionary for a few true pros.

For those of us who want to ingest some video/photo from SD cards, I guess it's a pain.

It's not like Apple invented a new connector here, it's clearly the future standard, if I was spending that sort of money on a new machine I'd probably accept a little bit of short term pain for long term benefit.

I'd like to see a model with six USB-Cs in the not too distant future.

Retired Philae lander slouches on Comet 67P

Ed Cooper

With so little gravity once the landing went wrong it was fairly inevitable that it would skate/tumble across the surface until something stopped it.

Ireland looks like it's outpacing Britain in the superfast broadband rollout stakes

Ed Cooper

It remains to be seen

That spending thousands paying a farmer to dig up his fellow farmers land to run a fibre to another farmers property really provides any significant boost to the economy. Those people who need fast broadband to be productive have generally put themselves somewhere where they have access to it.

If we want to subsidise something let's make it core infrastructure that affects everyone.

Zoinks! Is that Mystery Machine Apple's SELF-DRIVING FAMILY WAGON? You decide

Ed Cooper

Self driving

Seems unlikely that you would lease a car, then drill dozens of holes in it to allow you to add the equipment to make it self driving....

Buying memory in an iPhone 6: Like wiping your bottom with dollar bills

Ed Cooper

A tenner?

There is no way you found an actual* 128GB microSD for a tenner.

* excluding 1GB cards thats have "128GB" printed on them and have been formatted to appear as 128GB.

MacBook Air 13-inch: If you squint hard enough, you'll see a lesser-spotted Apple Price Cut

Ed Cooper

Seems Apple aren't willing to sacrifice the 12 hour battery life for a higher resolution display. Personally for this machine I feel it may be the right choice.

No double the next model will have it though.

'Only nuclear power can save humanity', say Global Warming high priests

Ed Cooper

Re: controllable?

I'm not really sure how to respond to the concept of a sudden volcano erupting under Hinkley Point. Maybe we should also consider a direct hit from a meteor I mean that seems equally likely.

Moving back into the realms of reality and not Armageddon. Suppose we did have a total failure of all the safety systems and became reliant on the inherent safety of that fact that it is essentially an awful lot of concrete then we'd end up with an incident considerably less severe than Fukushima or Chernobyl. Probably something similar to the Windscale clean up thats been going on for decades. In the scheme of decades of secure energy, not being dragged into conflicts and generally having a decent standard of living it's probably not a big deal.

I'm up for the government switching the power off for two days over Christmas just to remind everyone that electricity is actually a necessity.

Cyber-terrorists? Pah! Superhero protesters were a bigger threat to London Olympics

Ed Cooper

Re: Can he even identify cyber targets?

Not putting the infrastructure on a public network does not make it safe. That might stop a kid in his bedroom, but a foreign state bent on causing your trouble is not going to be put off. Iran's centrifuges weren't anywhere near a public network. I can imagine it's not hard to find ways to physically compromise a closed network as vast as the one controlling power distribution.

I've seen this misconception before with other bit utility style systems.

Can't get enough of flashy upstarts, can you, WD? Firm pays $685m for Virident

Ed Cooper

What's so difficult about putting flash memory on a PCIe card?

Review: Infiniti M35h hybrid sports saloon

Ed Cooper

what's the point

Of all that complexity and weight for 1.4kWh of stored energy, pathetic.

Mighty 4 Terabyte whopper crashes down on the desktop

Ed Cooper

Hopeless maths and confusion of GBs and TBs by the Reg.

However I just got the calculator out, is it really 5p/GB now, wow.

Google hires top US traffic fed for driverless cars project

Ed Cooper

Re: The real obstacle

They'll need to be a LOT safer than people, we expect a much geeater degree of safety from air and rail, these will be the same.

Power to the people - if you can find a spare socket

Ed Cooper

Re: Adaptors.


I'll admit I've done that a couple of times, just don't ever leave something connected like that it's a really nasty fire hazard. 32A of MCB coupled up to 0.5mm flex cable, is going to burn if you get a fault in the appliance!

Ed Cooper

Re: Rond hole sockets?

The plug itself isn't vastly over engineered, it's designed to do its job. If you run a full 13A load off of one they do heat up. Electric car manufacturers have been discovering there are a lot of cheap 13A sockets which can't take the load continuously and crack and otherwise fail from the thermal effects.

You could argue that the system of high current ring mains, plugs in fuses, etc is over engineered, but I like having a good 3kW available wherever it's needed, and 7kW+ on a circuit.

Euro/ret of world plugs do come out of the wall a lot easier, which can be a pro, and are also a lot less likely to give you a nasty foot injury!

Ed Cooper

Not really had this problem, keyed sockets are common in places with business critical UPS supported loads, stops someone plugging a fan heater in! Most offices I've been in have had at least two of those 3A fused sockets above the desks for gadgets.

If you want to rant, rant about the make work scheme that is PAT testing, and most office managers die hard belief it's a legal requirement. Peoples unquestionable acceptance of employing someone to ludicrously stick passed stickers all over sealed plastic devices every 12 months never fails to amaze me.

Almost as much as some chap telling me that sticking a cardboard box on top of a trailing flex was a fire hazard, because they all just spontaneously combust all the time don't they!?

Hmm, I think I'll order an iPad Mini on Amazon ... Oh no I won't

Ed Cooper

Re: Build Quality??

Because Apple makes theirs out of a solid billet of aluminium and no-one else does?

George Osborne accused of derailing UK.gov's green dream

Ed Cooper

Energy policy is in dire need of some sanity

Poor old Maggie lives in a modest flat in a tower block in a central urban area with a carbon footprint of practically nothing, she's struggling to pay her heating bills and have a reasonable standard of living because the tarriffs have gone up again. Of course Maggie does have some savigns but the 0.1% the banks paying her means their eroding quicker than ever these days. Maybe some of the tarriff increase is due to wholesale gas prices, however a serious chunk of it is because of the insane feed in tarriff the nation has been guilted into accepting.

Meanwhile 2 jags with his electrically heated hot tub and fifteen thousand 50W downlighters, is having a jolly good laugh about what a great return on his £20k investment these PV cells, I'm getting almost 7% he exlaims with his other PV toting neighbours. Of course he's doing his bit for the environment too, definitely praiseworthy.

Of course Kev who installed them is also having a good laugh, loving that FIT income which has allowed him to seriously rake in a fortune of government subsidised dollar. He's off now to buy a nice new X5. Problem is just how well did Kev install them, I mean he's been rushing around like a nutter putting these solar arrays up. How well did he seal all those mounting joints, did he employ a structural engineer to make sure the 19th century roof timbers were up to it. What's happened to the life expectancy of that roof - his problem?

I'm all for green technologies, but I'm sick to death of insanely subsidised ridiculous schemes which are just making a few richer at the cost of the most of us.

Sensible practical solutions - energy efficiency. Sensible policy - build some new nuke's.

Could we possibly employ some engineers to set engergy policy, you know people who actually understand energy, who wouldn't go "oh really" if I told them I'd invented a PV powered kettle...

You could save this nation dozens of times what PV panels are going to do for us. My solution, ban landlords from installing shitty electric shower and shittier electric heating. Cost to tax payer £0.

Google Nexus 7 Android tablet

Ed Cooper

25W Speaker!?

I doubt it's even 2.5W

Google Drive IOS or Dropbox

Ed Cooper

a tip

Press the power button and the home button briefly at the sametime. Magic.

Eugene Kaspersky frustrated by Apple’s iOS AV ban

Ed Cooper

Surely Apple should do all the virus scanning at app store level, and remotely disable any evil app that gets through. This will save bazillions of CPU cycles on portable devices and hence battery.

If I need to run AV on my phone - I've brought the wrong phone.

Opening the whole phone route structure up to a virus scanning app sounds like a huge step backwards to me!


Apple tightens grip on tablet market with iPad 2 and 3 pincer move

Ed Cooper

Re: If

a) Don't use free apps (and the internet if you're that serious...)

b) Say no to the appropriate prompts and relax knowing that Apple will inevitably get caught out for monitoring what you do without asking, while "generic brilliant linux build for phones" will have goodness know what code buried in their somewhere (and in the apps for that platform).

c) Make up some credentials and use it on PAYG then you can be happily continue anonomously with your plan to overthrow the government/Monarchy/Apple/Google/Capitalism/Humanity/etc.

Ed Cooper

Re: I would NEVER buy a product that is so massively produced in quantity and of ONE

What decade are you in? It's been years since the style of a phone mattered, even Jonny Ive would admit that his job is now to provide the best platform for the consumption of content. That means simple clean lines and a vibrant display. Of course he still wants to get a bit of design in so you end up with a glass back - I guess it at least differentiates it from any other android clone.

Look at modern LCD monitors for a slightly more established example where the style of the device is basically dictated by the product. The most stylish of monitors are the ones where there's the least opportunity for "style" i.e. bezel and plastic - that's the point!

Sony Xperia converts flash motors into fancy remotes

Ed Cooper

Yeah, death rate on our roads sky rocketed from the moment servo-assisted brakes became common place. Goodness knows what these advanced stability programmes and forward looking radar technologies are going to do to death rates in the future!?

Apple will not kill iPad 2 at iPad 3 debut

Ed Cooper


they're still selling the iPhone 3GS after what seems like decades, I doubt they're going to stop flogging the iPad 2 all that soon, it'll just be a bit cheaper.

Toshiba Satellite P775 17.3in Core i7 laptop

Ed Cooper

Poor MacBooks

Why on the comparison chart are you comparing the CPU with a 15 in. MacBook Pro, and then the 3D graphics a 13in. MacBook Pro (which only has integrated graphics) what's the point in that!?

Can we compare 17in. machines with 17in. machines, not with 13in portables (of non-stated vintage).

Australia, give up your fixed broadband!

Ed Cooper

45gbp a month?

We pay £35/month for 50/5mbps which sustains 6MB/sec nearly 24/7 with no caps or throttling at all. We've shifted >2TB in a month before over it (multi-occupancy flat)

I was really surprised when we visited Australia 18 months ago and managed to demolish the cap at the house we were staying at in about three days - despite the fact we were hardly in much!

Oz network hits serious speed bump

Ed Cooper

I was in Australia last year

I was in Australia last year and the ADSL connection at the house we were staying at, had a cap of something like 10GB, which was apparently pretty normal!? As someone who has got used to downloading that amount of stuff in an hour I was a little surprised!

Fukushima situation as of Wednesday

Ed Cooper

I'd like to believe Lewis

However this spent fuel pond problem sounds like a total disaster, no containment, super heated fuel rods, radioactive steam bath if you do manage to cool it. Surely there is a serious possibility now that as soon as they do manage to quench it somewhat the site becomes dangerously radioactive.

What are we then left with, five other spent fuel pools to also slowly boil away and burn?

That sounds like a total mess. Though on the upside they're getting a grid connection soon though looking at the state of the facilities you have to think it's a bit late.

Criticality in the fuel pond!?

Ford Focus 2011

Ed Cooper


"The 150PS 1.6 EcoBoost will do 0-62mph in 8.6s and 31-62mph in the same time. "

Well, presumably that means it will do 0-31mph in 0.0s, which is quite an astonishing rate of acceleration for a Ford. No wonder you need those low speed safety features!

Court orders seizure of PS3 hacker's computers

Ed Cooper

The title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits.

"I love screwing/tinkering around with my PC. That's why I have a PC and not a MAC. You can't screw with a MAC or a PS3 so they are of little interest to me"

Nah it just requires more thought to screw with a Mac. I used to enjoy attacking ROM chips and and multipliers with soldering irons on my Macs in the good old PPC days.

Of course these days its cheaper just to run a Hackintosh.

By the way MAC is Media Access Control, a Mac is a Macintosh.

WTF is... wireless HDMI?

Ed Cooper

An apartment

Can't wait to see how brilliant these things are in a high density environment. In an apartment block, if this ever took off, it would be a nightmare. It's bad enough with WiFi, and that's not transmitting all the time!

Also as previously pointed out it's dumb as hell to be re-encoding content and then transmitting it, just shuffle the encoded content over the air so quality isn't compromised.

I can see these things working if they join the WiFi fabric, and stop trying to be an HDMI replacement, just make them a tranport for encoded content! Could work well for laptop/projector use as well.

Intel soups up Wireless Display tech

Ed Cooper

are you sure?

Surely the point of this is really for powerpoints and collaborative working in the office, where it sounds like a great idea if it needs no new hardware at the PC end. Not as sexy as the home market and takes time to get manufacturers integrating the right chips.

Your description as to how it works isn't really all that insightful, does it really just gab and encode everything that's on your screen in MPEG4 (not h.264 I guess as the latency wouldn't be fun) and then shuffle that over a wifi-esque network. That implementation sounds pretty dumb, at least Airplay basically just streams the encoded content to the device rather than displaying then re-encoding it (badly) and transmitting it.

20mbps at 1080p with a baseline MPEG4 compressor (i.e. low latency) isn't going to be terribly 'Full HD' IMO.

Arcam Solo rDac wireless digital-to-analogue converter

Ed Cooper

For wireless

Buy an Airport Express and spend the £300 balance on a nice high end Optical DAC if you must. You get bit perfect 48_44.1/16 which is all this offers over wireless anyway, plus you don't have to buy that USB thing, plus you share printers, plus you can expand your wired network plus you can play to multiple rooms synchronously, plus...

Oh and if you can't stand iTunes Airfoil for £20 is your friend.

Apple refuses frozen iPhone repair

Ed Cooper

Moisture damage

The poor thing died form excessive condensation build up which I'm pretty sure is going to be a problem with any phone, though I guess more so ones made out of alu and glass. The problem is Apple's attitude to water damage, but it's hard to suggest they should toe the opposite line and fix every phone that's water damaged for free.

Storage pros: Big or small, you still have to hit the sweet spot

Ed Cooper

Desktop market

I've started recommending 2.5" drives for backup purposes (Time Machine, retrospect, etc) to friends. Often they have plenty of capacity for their needs and the benefit of a pocketable enclosure (tidier, might actually hide it away or rotate them) and no need for a power supply (tidier, cheaper to run) outweight the cost/capacity disadvantage.

Wireless HD video sticks demoed

Ed Cooper

No compression

This thing must actually do some sort compression or image processing, as the article says it prioritises areas of the video stream, that sounds like compression to me. Maybe under ideal conditions at short range and low video entropy you will get bit perfect transmission?

Secondly I guess the transmission process is tranmsit and forget, the receiver won't have a chance to request lost data it'll have to fill in the blanks on the fly, if it even notices what data is lost, which leads to suggest the encryption/security process will be rudimentry at best.

Looks great if copper is really not convenient or not possible, otherwise if it is successful, I'm guessing it will soon be its own victim. Can't imagine how its going to work in an appartment block with dozens of devices all within radio earshot of each other.

Though looking forward to kids forcing pr0n broadcasts on the demo sets in your local branch of dsg.comet.dixons.pcworld.currys.digital

iOS upgrade cocks up iPad USB connections

Ed Cooper

If that's the case....

Yes Apple should of provided a cable for every conceivable variation of camera USB/interface connector now and in the future. I thought Apple already included an SD card adapter as part of the kit anyway.

Dual-dock iPad design gets official EU thumbs-up

Ed Cooper


Is this article suggesting that Apple can patent the concept of putting two dock connectors on a product? Surely there is no innovation here to patent!?

Scosche Solbat2 solar charger

Ed Cooper


..if it charged in six hours, the idea that a lump of plastic with a solar cell and a lithium ion battery shipped for the far east is going to be less environmentally damaging or more economic than taking 5Wh from the grid/car/plane is just stupid.

As a reserve battery I guess it works ok, I bet however if someone did the maths the 1KWh or so of energy this thing is going to provide in its lifetime, won't offset the carbon used to manufacture, integrate and ship that solar panel.

London Transport plans Oyster bypass

Ed Cooper


You do realise how many people live and/or work inside the M25 right?

Youth of today demand mobile payments

Ed Cooper


Paying for public transport definitely does need NFC!

Apple sued over hot iPad shutdowns

Ed Cooper

Oh for lord sakes

Do you really expect any manufacturer of a consumer goods item to post operating temperatures of, what, -20C to +50C ambient. Absolutely no chance, wide temp spec kit costs serious money, batterys, lcds, digitisers are all majorly affected by temperature.

That's why silicon companies make special lines of their chips for the automative market, and charge a hefty premium for them.

Apple: we've sold a lot of iPhone 4s

Ed Cooper

Signal Issue

The signal issue does exist, but I believe it's more down to how phones are rigged to report signal strength.

It seems you'll get four or five bars across a huge spectrum of signal strengths, it's been rigged this way for years as that's what the networks want. As soon as you get down to three or two bars things are getting pretty sketchy anyway.

I'm sure when the Apple engineers were testing it the found;

With no physical contact, or a case, antenna performance was better then iPhone 3.

With typical physical contact antenna performance was on a par with iPhone 3.

With full interference contact antenna performance is marginally* less than iPhone 3.

Their conclusion, on balance, probably was to go with this design - typically it out performs iphone 3 and offers an innovative form-factor. Of course their conclusion did perhaps not allow consideration for mass hysteria relating to Apple products and every dweeb in the world with a twitter/blog deciding that they are an RF engineer.

Anyone know why they didn't laminate the aluminium, would of thought you could make the problem go away - guess not very durable. Anyway I'm sure someone will be selling $3 kits which allow you to apply a laminate to the antenna soon.

*marginally to be defined.

I'm looking forward to the class action lawsuits by lefties.

Brighton goes Green

Ed Cooper

Re: The title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits.

I work in engineering, a traditionally male dominated industry (*), if such a regulation was brought in then female employees would be fast-tracked to board level for the only reason there are far less of them in the business. Quite how that can be considered fair and not sexist I do not know.

Secondly more men than women choose to take significant periods of away from the work place to bring up kids. Experience is often key to working in more senior positions and no way how you look at it, on average, you are going to have more men than women with a greater level of experience of the business. I expect this will change slowly with time as we get a bit more flexible as to how we manage child care and more men take up the role.

(*) I would love to see a 50./50 split in engineering but I don't see that happening any time soon!

OCZ prods Z-Drive to go faster

Ed Cooper


Agreed its a bit beyond the engineering competence of most IT Managers. I think you'll find your chances of getting electrocuted are rather greater doing the ironing than changing a component in a PC, most of the voltages are extremely low.

Steve Jobs dubs Google's 'don't be evil' motto 'bulls**t'

Ed Cooper

Snow Leopard with Safari

Under Snow Leopard with Safari, flash crashing doesn't even affecty the browser, it just dies and all your tabs with flash content get replaced with a blue cubed question mark. Refresh the page and it reloads.

It really is a pig though and desperately needs graphics hardware support to be able to play HD video, which is sorely lacking under the existing Mac release and beta versions.

Gov confirms plans for Sky box in charge of your house

Ed Cooper

A remote cut off?

That seems incredibly risky, what if there is some sort of software fault, or the system becomes compromised. It would be intresting to see what happens if for some reason half the country was commanded to switch off and then switch back on again, I don't think we'd be left with much functioning infrastructure!

Though I agree that load balancing should be part of future smart meters, but implemented in such a way that only compatibe appliances respond to its requests. So you'd buy a modern fridge with a chip in it and it would adjust its compressor run times depending on the available energy, in return you's get a slight reduction in £/kwh. This sort of technology can make wind power feasible for more than a small percentage of installed capacity without having to build dozens of Dinorwig type stored energy plants.

All of this can be implemented without any sort of snooping of your usage patterns.

IBM smacks rivals with 5.0GHz Power6 beast

Ed Cooper

I can't help but think

In these days of high energy costs, and growing environmental concerns, that water will win. You can dump heat from a water system by pumping it through a pipe in the ground. You could easily heat exchange it into an existing HW system. With a bit of forethought even the worst plumbing failures could be manageable - with reduced capacity.

Fixing the UK's DAB disaster

Ed Cooper

DAB has issues

mainly the quality, bring back the bit rate and it would help things. I Think it would be better waiting for DAB++ which should integrate 'podcasting' i'd like to see portable devices with storage capture radio programmes seamlessly, that would be worth investing money into. Could even be useful in the car.

That graph is outrageous. The register should be ashamed.

You can't really tell what its showing but if you decipher it its something like

100 000 units 2003

200 000 units 2004

360 000 units 2005

470 000 units 2006

Thats units sold in that year not the number purchased accumulative. You can't expect to sell an every increasing number every year, there are only so many people.

This guy should get a job with the government, i'm pretty sure you could make the ipod look like a failed product with that graphing technique.

Samsung laptop battery burns

Ed Cooper

You know

surprisingly the engineers who build notebooks have actually thought of all your brilliant safety 'innovations'

The problem is not to do with simply overheating, its due to the li-ion battery getting into a situation where it dramatically overheats and then burns. These type of incidents are generally chain of event incidents, where multiple things need to occur along with multiple failings of safety measures.

Hence this is very rare, likely something around one in a million, but with maybe 500 million laptops in the world (?), it happens.