* Posts by john loader

108 publicly visible posts • joined 29 Feb 2008


Rural mobile coverage: Tweeting twits to join chirping tits in UK's national parks

john loader


In the Yorkshire Dales National Park are vast no signal areas - dangerous for walkers and Park staff. In villages, where there is a signal, it is usually from only 1 network. Here Vodafone is king and is the only one to work indoors. A village away it is 3. Shared base stations between all networks to save cost essential

Soz, BT: All EE's 4G goodies still won't give you 'seamless voice'

john loader

Perhaps this is not what it seems

With BT talking about a trial on Leyburn exchange of Fibre to the Node (FTTN) with pole mounted boxes (old BT hands think pillars) could this be an alternative way for BT to hit targets under BDUK in rural areas. EE has proved it works in Cumbria

MPs slam bumpkin fibre rollout, demand halt to further £250m cash spaff

john loader

BT just didn't innovate enough

My cabinet should get fibre by December. But it is 3km from our village of 160 houses and businesses. Fibre to the cabinet in rural areas makes less sense than in cities/towns. We need alternatives and BT seems not to want to be bothered with wireless or point to point microwave. One reason for rural broadband was for farmers who find more and more must be done on line but in rural areas farms are not usually close to cabinets being at the end of long lanes. BT has been puting cables in ducts fr over 100 years - time they woke up.

Decks and plugs and rock and roll: Tascam CD-A750 cassette and CD combo

john loader

Cassettes still needed

Nobody ever invented an easy to use small CD player for the blind so my transcription service, whilst producing CDs and MP3s, still uses hundreds of cassettes annually which luckily I can still get. With 6 Teac W600R double decks, a Telex 1:1 and 1:7 high speed copier and a manual cassette eraser in my office nostalgia is a glance away

Spending watchdog SAVAGES rural broadband push

john loader

Rural is misleading

BT has done what it wants - targetting the bigger towns first which it would have got around to eventually without BDUK (remember how broadband rollout happened with BT drip feeding exchange by exchange, a few councils paying BT to install then suddenly every exchange done). So some vilages surrounding a town get better broadband but those of us in villages of under 300 residences don't stand an earthly of early deployment or possibly any. If only we could have had a contractor with imagination, using wi fi and microwave but all BT knows is stick a cable in a pipe.

BBC blueprint to make EVERY programme on TV a repeat revealed

john loader

shame iplayer is so rubbish on android. Seems daft that I can view live news 24 but not yesterdays news as iplayer is not a good android app.

Worst broadband notspots in the UK named and shamed

john loader

At that time of night I'm dreaming

Dreaming of 2 Mb/s plus. But I have a Panasonic intelligent HD Freeview PVR and it manages BBC iPlayer at 2Mb/s without degradation so you can squeeze a lot into relatively slow speeds provided only you are using the line.

BT to rent cheaper FTTP lines to ISPs - if they stump up £1k a go

john loader

may be worth it

But only if an ISP could link a cluster of customers. Put it into my house, serve 9 others wirelessly and at worst we'd have 30Meg if we all download together. Bet that's not allowed though!

Major Freeview EPG revamp to go ahead after appeals rejected

john loader

Just retuned twice

We've just lost analogue up here in the North East so 2 retunes. I had to do the work on several other households in the village where the elderly owners were't aware/tech savvy.

Leave it alone - we went for years on analogue without all this fuss. I have a TV, a Freeview PVR and an HD Freeview PVR so 3 things to retune each time at home as it is .

Virgin Media mauls UK.gov for pumping millions into BT

john loader

Hooray for Fujitsu

BT Openreach has perforemed well by NOT investing in local network. In this part of N Yorkshire we have 2 bits of damp string to link to the cabinet. Fujitsu is suggesting a wireless option for us in rural areas and even as a BT shareholder I congratulate them Openreach cares notr a toss for the broadband user unless they are bribed by the Government and even then FTTC won't solve the problem of aluminium cable or 0.5mm copper on long lines

UK.gov imposes broadband deadline for councils

john loader

About time

BDUK said in October 2010 that they hoped to place contracts in N Yorkshire in 2011. Yet 2012 beckons and no plan has been submitted yet.

There will always be places where broadband will be impossible even by satellite but most of us in rural areas want to retain our ISP and get the benefit of the packages on offer. There is a danger that the obvious but least competitively acceptable route of bribing BT to equip every exchange with FTTC which would give all properties within 3 miles of a cabinet OK broadband and many very fast will go down the pan and a plethora of one off solutions which the big ISPs will refuse to conect over will result.

The only alternative is a carrier with both a local network and a backhaul one and for those of us outside the big towns (they tell me they have buses and Post Offices and Libraries as well) that's pie in the sky

Ebooks must stay fat with VAT, blame the EU, MPs told

john loader

my petition

For what its worth I have an e petition on this. All Customs and Excise have to do is to define a book by content not medium. It seems our bureaucrats are stuck in the paper and red tape age.

Blighty's bumpkins bemoan bold broadband bluster

john loader


In rural areas - I'm in wensleydale - BT has all the aces. poles, ducts , cable (a lt of rubbish aluminium) and exchanges. Mobile operators don't want to know as they work on resident numbers not visitors - hey you get 2 million people a year, sorry says 3 can't give you 3G.

Th only ways are 4g via a new (nationalised?) company or bribing BT.

And BT only has to provide lines capble of 56k data, if data transmission existed 100 years ago they could achieve it then.

BT profits climb on brisk broadband sales

john loader

Not surprised

Took BT Wholesale a month to cure my broadband fault - but they sent BT Openreach engineers out 4 times before realising their own equipment was at fault.

Solar power boom 'unsustainable', says Gov

john loader

Seems bonkers

My neighbour has solar panels and gets 43p per unit. Her cable and mine share a connector so her excess is basically bought ny me at around 13p per unit. Somebosy has to pay the 30p difference. Also she uses high drain appliances after dark so she buys cheap power and sells expensive stuff.

BT superfast home fibre plans fall behind schedule. Again

john loader


I lose 80% of my broadband speed between the cabinet and home due to aluminium cable, FTTC would still make service poor

Steelie Neelie calls for copper price cuts to drive fibre

john loader

Copper would be nice

Just had BT remaking a joint between copper and aluminium to restore service. Aluminium was introduced late 70s/early 80s due to copper prices and by 1986 had proved to be a maintenance nightmare. Yet over 30 years on we still suffer lousy broadband in the Yorkshire Dales because BT has yet to catch up copper let alone fibre. Cables used to be depreciated financially over 20 years so they've had their wear out aluminum

Amazon intros $199 movie Kindle

john loader

Don't forget the EU insists on VAT on e-books. Sign the petition for abolition in the UK at http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/114

Ofcom begins crackdown on auto-renew telco contracts

john loader

First year fine, why further years?

If I have a mobile contract I'm locked in for a predetermined time then the contract ends and I'm free to stay or move at any time. BT is just greedy. I've been a BT customer for 36 years yet it still wants to lock me in for a whole year at a time. Can't be for my benefit I feel

Amazon paints the Kindle cloudy

john loader

But what about VAT

Once the e-petition site gets a new wick try signing my e-petiton to abolish VAT on e-books. If it's on a cloud or a download it isn't a book so pays VAT, on paper it's a book so no VAT - bomkers EU ruling

Malware from Google Market menaces Android users

john loader

But where's the program list

Great for telling is some of the programs but a comprehensice list would be useful

British e-reader readers still not stealing books

john loader

When is stealing stealing?

I can't (yet) lend a Kindle book to anyone and will never be able to give one away I guess. But I've loaned paper books and given them away. Did the people who received them "steal" them? No so the ebook is better for publishers as is really 1 buyer 1 reader. Just reflect that in your price fixing Penguin et al

EC parades common phone charger

john loader

HTC is there

My wife's HTC Desire has a micro USB but my Hero has a miniature USB though the socket is an odd shape. It will take standard leads but the HTC supplied lead won't fit any other miniature USB socket due to the non-standard profile. So I threw the lead way and used a stadard.

Kindle uses micro USB so there is wider standardisation - but how do we stop the chargers coming - I have 7 that will take a USB lead at the charger end

UK probes ebook pricing

john loader

What about the VAT?

The government has its snout in the trough - VAT on ebooks but not paper ones

Amazon to sell Kindle through Currys, PC World

john loader

Ebook rip offs

There are 2 rip off with ebooks (nothing to do with the hardware or retailer)

1. The government charges VAT despite the green credentials of something that needs no trees to die and no diesel to distribute. Bonkers

2. Publishers like Penguin seem to be able to insist on a minimum price often higher than the paper version - banned on paper books - even though the books can't (yet) be loaned or given away or sold secondhand so are truly 1 buyer 1 reader thus increasing sales and the zero cost of printing (well they have to convert the file to a different format), warehousing, distribution and then the remaindering of unsold stock.

So write to your MP and ask why the government charges VAT on ebooks but not paper ones and why publishers can flout the ruling on the abolition of the Net Book Agreement.

Skype boosts results for exclusive operators

john loader

But what about Android Skype?

I changed my 3 Sony Ericcson for an HTC Hero - Skype on the oldphone, no Skype on the new. As 3 churns customers onto smartphones they'll lose Skype customers. I use Skype in for my business, a pain now no mobile version

Tories declare students a burden on us all

john loader

Willetts correct

And as for primary school children, tax their pocket money and send them up chimneys if they can't pay! All those rich Oxbridge (free ) educated people in Government!

Campaign for Brian Blessed to do a voice over for my satnav

john loader

Mariella Frostrup for me

Fancy Smith would bully you to turn, men would go anywhere for Mariella's purr. Joanna Lumley would reason with you and you'd realise that by doing what she wanted you were doing the right thing. Silence guaranteed with Margaret Thatcher - she's not for turning!

Halting McKinnon extradition not in our power, says Clegg

john loader

But William Hague said..

I asked William Hague as my MP about the unfair extradition treaty wit the US and he said he would change it if he became Foreign Secretary (he cited Australia as another where the terms are not reciprocal). All William has to do is rescind the treaty and go back to the old rules.

Wake up William - I can probably find teh letter where you said this.

Identity & Passport Service in suicide bid?

john loader

Thank heavens

Sense at last - once the last Government got the ID card idea it couldn't lose face and change direction. Maggie did the same with poll tax. Seems governments have great difficulty saying Ooops we were wrong

UK competition authority probes Amazon

john loader

Amazon not as clever as thought

Amazon has decreed that Nationwide credit card holders are not welcome to buy big ticket items from it. For large purchases Nationwide require the 3 digit code on the back of teh card to be provided and preferably also use Verified by Visa. Amazon cannot and will not comply. So they are happy to ignore hundreds of thousands of potential big ticket buyers. I had to call Nationwide to get them to release money for a netbook - such a palaver I'll go elsewhere for the other gear I want

Outsource back office, Gershon tells Tories

john loader

So what did Peter Gershon manage himeself?

Why Standard Telephones and Cables? Not exactly a household name still. Even the compant that bought them, Nortel, is bust. So how about a successful business man telling the Government how to run things?

Lords: Analogue radio must die

john loader


What does anyone get out of this except the manufacturers of over priced sets - a bit of wavelength for teh government to sell whilst us poor saps have to fork out millions between us. Perhaps Lords don't listen to the radio in the car, too busy uncorking the champers

Council deforests beauty spot to combat dogging

john loader


I thought dogging was jogging with my Labrador until i discovered Smirnoff

BT ordered to share telegraph poles for fast broadband

john loader

Won't help us In National Parks

Whilst the drop wires are still allowed to be from pole to house, all main cables are underground in this National Park so pole use not an option. Electricity distribution is also generally underground so their poles not available either. Cabling ducts much more expensive than using poles and will lead to arguments if a duct is shared should damge occur to a BT cable whilst a competitor is installing their cable. Whither wireless?

Virgin signals start of telegraph pole broadband test

john loader

No history students then?

BT strung fibre from poles in Wales around 30 years ago and proved it worked. Virgin needs to catch up

UK pol touts canine chip implants

john loader

Suggest they ask DVLA

Cars have to be registered and insured - I believe something like 20% aren't. DVLA uses number

the number plate isn't false.So with dogs we'll have kerbside chip readers linked to a massive insurance database to ensure that the people most likely not to care a toss about the law, the people causing the problem at present, don't avoid it.

BT blamed for Davina McCall spamcalls

john loader

Recorded calls - an offence has been committed

As well as using TPS who will argue about whether it really is a marketing callit is an offence to make recorded calls to people who have not agreed to receive them. Formal complaints can be made to the Information Commissioner's Office.You would have thought BT would know the law affecting its own business

Vodafone Ireland admits pocketing dormant PAYG cash

john loader

They do it here

I asked Vodafomne for a refund to teh card that I had used to top up credit when they stopped my PAYG - they refused though they knew who I was. I now have a contract 3 mobile. When will these people learn that if you upset a customer you mat never see them again. They are thieves though it is perfectly legal

Chip and PIN security busted

john loader

Not the only bust bank security

After preventing me renewing my Skype in despite using "Verified by Visa" my bank tells me that it does not consider that system "foolproof" . In fact it says no system is foolproof - funny how banks usually say the opposite .

So Verified by Visa that uses a separate secure site with a passowrd only known to the user is rubbish according to a leading High Street Bank. Thought it was supposed to guarantee secure online transaction

BT rolls back the night

john loader

Cheapest time to phone your friends

is when they're out!

Mobile networks: It's a risky business, says 3

john loader

Network upgrade for Southerners only?

The 3 upgrade map shows the South getting all the attention. Few people live where I do but a million or so visit - with little or no 3 coverage

Samsung P2370HD TV-monitor

john loader

Why no Freesat

With HD easier on Freesat an integrated tuner would make it attractive to me.

Police Intelligence may be a thing of the past

john loader

Today's Guardian Photos prove it

They show City of London plain clothes intelligence officers at the recent punch up in London - wielding batons. Now that's intelligence gathering. And the boss of the policing was so intelligent he denied to MPs there were any plain clothes police there.

OFT to hammer online pricing, behavioural tracking

john loader

How about "In Stock" or "despatched" - the John Lewis way

Gets you to buy rather than find another supplier but Johnlewis.com have a new meaning - not on John Lewis premises. Indeed in my case not even on the supplier's premises or even capable of being manufactured as discontinued. Then there's "desptached". JL think that this means that is between 2 warehouses and not on its way to the customer but nobody really knows where it is so meaningless. It seems they have 2 ways of selling you a high price item (over £1,000 in my case) - if they have it in a nearby shiop you can have it in a couple of days, if not then somebody in Germany may or may not be making it and you can have it in a couple of weeks possibly. An interesting internet shopping experience!

The Twitter storm that saved freedom of speech

john loader

Lawyers' priorities

Wouldn't it be great if the lawyers concerned who have no doubt earned a lot of money from all this activity should use their expertise to get maximum recompense for the poor victims of the dumping of waste in an African country and who are being given probably less than any one of the lawyers earns in 10 minutes for their real pains. Whether the lawyers clients were involved in the illegal dumping or not is immaterial but it seems that poor people are not as worthy in the eyes of the law or lawyers rather as rich companies. The largest single category of MP is, I understand, ex lawyers - says a lot.

Telecoms reform tabled as EU plots spam clampdown

john loader

What about spam phone calls?

Not the ones the TPS can stop but those International ones selling shares or telling you you've won a cruise or worse the silent ones. I find answering them in German or French is fun. But this is a spin off of VoIP hwere it is impossible to stop the perpetrators who are now causing real grief to vulnerable people. Come on EU talk to the US and Indian governments and get a clamp down on them as most calls seem to originate from those places

Orange picks Milton Keynes for flagship store

john loader

Suicide risk inMK?

With the news about Orange's ownes, France Telecom. expect Milton Keynes residents to suicide. Having been there though can't blame Orange

Italian Job sat nav driver cops £900 fine

john loader

Tom Tom is often barmy but I still use it

I have a Tom Tom and feed back errors to the makers but still it tells me to go through the unmade car park of a heritage railway station or to use a farm track with gates on it rather than the B road that I should take near our village. Ofen i can't even see the track it claims I should take. But it doesn't take a Nobel prize winner to spot that Tom Tom just uses Ordnance Survey maps without checking whether a marked track is actually suitable for a car so you have to be aware that you can, literally, be led up the garden path.

Ofcom fails to sweep away power-line networking

john loader

Amateur radio under threat

On this issue many radio amateurs are either limited to under 10 watts or choose to work at low wattages or are trying to hear very faint signals from around the world. Having somebody's mains wiring acting as a giant aerial close by makes this tricky - bet if the amateur's transmissions interfered with their broadband the response would be different. I'll just warm up my morse key with some single sideband.

Also with the shortage of frequencies it seems that those allocated to amateurs over many years internationally may come under threat from new services where the regulator, Lord Mandy, operators and suppliers of wireless gizmos can't agree on what should use which part of the spectrum and the easy way would be to steal it from other less legal action prone users like amateurs.