* Posts by Nigel

35 publicly visible posts • joined 17 May 2007

Wrong kind of winter brings England to a halt



I'd agree with Sarah. The UK would be about 10% down on CLINTS if London went it alone! Snarl up's ain't caused by the snow, they're caused by suvvern softies who ain't got a ruddy clue how to drive in it!


Virgin Media opens bandwidth choke for 50Mb launch


Upload Speeds

What's the upload speed - still something stupid like 256K


RIM Vodafone BlackBerry Storm


Voda 3G


The lack of WiFi might be OK when using the device on a network with decent 3G network coverage, but Voda UK does not have this! I switched to Voda from T-Mobile - The 3G coverage on Voda is ruddy awful in comparison.

I also thing that Voda's coverage is seriously exaggerated on their maps compared with T-mob. I'll switch back to t-mob soon. I only went with voda (on 30 day rolling contract) because they have superior 2G coverage in remote parts of Scotland.


Powerline Ethernet and ring mains


Way better than wifi, just dont expect 200Mbit!


I just bought 2 packs (4 units) of the Xytel 401's from Amazon for £50 ea (they are now back up to 69, but More computers has em for 50).

As long as upstairs and downstairs are supplied through the same mains meter, and are on the same phase (only likely to be an issue in business premises), then they should work fine.

In a crude test transferring a Gbyte file while watching the network utilisation meter in windows' task manager, I was seeing 35Mbit throughput from downstairs to a bedroom upstairs. Way Way better than any wifi kit will give you (even N), and it does not turn to mince when you turn your microwave or the bloke next door goes wireless on an adjacent channel.


T-Mobile leaves 300,000 disconnected


Their Ex Customers Migrating Out Are Having Issues Too


I moved to Voda, the vodafone went live last Friday, and both phones remained working until yesterday after which the t-mobile phone went offline.

Unfortunately, I can only call out from the Voda and cannot receive calls or send/receive texts. This is due to a cock-up at t-mobile in the porting process - which they have admitted to.

I have asked vodafone to forward me the evidence that they have on t-mobile over this so that I can forward it to ofcom - t-mobile are well outside their 5 day remit for completing a port.

T-mobile will not give Vodafone a resolution date for this. They keep saying 'by 4PM' - its been 'by 4PM' for 5 days now. T-mobile have called on the services of a third party to get this fixed.

I'll forward any evidence I should get to the reg in case they want to publish it.


Alan Sugar leaves Amstrad



The Amstrad CPC series were the best 8 bit machines around at the time of their introduction.

Fair enough, the games were often not as good as on the C64, but the CPC series was not just a games machine. Its 'mode 2' 640x200 resolution made for readable 80 column text which allowed for serious apps like the protext word processor.

The CPC series could also run one of the startard OS's of the era: CP/M

While my C64 touting mates were wasting their time playing games, I learnt to code, first with locomotive basic, then C on CP/M, finally learning Z80 assembler - skills that were handy to have into the future...

I started with a CPC464 before moving onto a 6128 which actually served me through uni writing up assignments etc.

Great machines... fond memories - cheers Mr Sugar!


Ruckus kicks off over directional Wi-Fi




I have just applied for a patent for 'walking from point A to point B by the most direct route possible'. Given the above, I'm pretty sure that it will be awarded without question and you will all be obliged to take a pointless detour while walking to ensure you dont infringe my patient!

I do so wish that the people in these patent offices actually lived in the real world!


O2 PR calls Reg readers 'techie nerds'



Well, anyone who uses data seriously, and yet remains with O2 is, indeed a 'muppet' Both T-Mobile and 3 offer far better data deals and speeds when compared to O2. I live in Scotland t-mob works fine up here -for the odd occasion when I can't get a signal with t-mob, i pull out a voda P&G phone and use that instead.


HMRC pays criminal for 'tax dodger' discs


No Wonder There's So Much Tax Evasion In The UK...

...When the average UK citizen gives over 50% of their earnings away in various taxes: Income Tax, NI, VAT, Fuel, Alcohol tax, stamp duty, council tax, insurance tax, holiday tax, car tax etc etc.

Its gotten bloody ridiculous


BBC mulls dropping Flash as iPlayer meets iPhone


Why The iPhone !!??

Talk about spending tax payers money to support a minority platform! The iphone has not taken off in the UK, and nor is it likely to until it supports features that UK users are used to having (3G, HSDPA, MMS, Video !!).

Why not pick a platforn thats actually *used* and support that i.e. Symbian/WM


UK.gov New Year resolution: must build nuke powerplants


Use Less Juice

As an alternative to new power stations, we could of course all use less juice...

Such an initiative would need to be lead by the government. Legislation could *ban* the sale of energy inefficient kit. For instance why is it still possible to buy old style lamps, why is it possible to buy non 'A' rated appliances? Why do street lamps run all night. Why is the excess energy generated at night not sold to us (All) cheap to heat our homes/water ready for the morning, or used to drive water uphill in more storage hydro systems?

Why does the UK not have a high speed, cheap rail network of the sort that would make it rediculious to use a car for longer journeys? All those so-called green taxes should be used to subsidise rail transport. How come anyone can buy a 4wd rather than only those who actually need one?

blah blah!


90mph police chief cops 42-day ban


Points Are Cleared After A Ban


From what I can gather, your slate is cleaned after a ban.

An aquaintance was banned for drink-driving (the pr1ck), his previous 6 points had gone when he got his licence back.

43 days ban was perhaps a price worth paying for the copper to get his slate wiped clean.

Speed does not kill, innapropriate speed kills. I got done recently for doing 79MPH on a deserted M9, dry as a bone, perfect visability. IMHO thats just cash generation!


Nigerian keyboard firm sues One Laptop per Child


Bl00dy Nigerians

Best thing we could do with that whole country is to disconnect it from the global internet. This must be their latest thing... perhaps they are now bored of all the following:

- Ruining ebay auctions by bidding for items not available to them using hijacked UK ebay accounts, then specifying a nigerian mailing address

- Sending hoards and hoards of spam regarding some geezer who I have never met who's left me millions

- Spamming me with viagra adverts every 5 mins

- Informing me time and time again of the lottery that i've won which I never entered

- Spamming forum sites with messages full of links

- Spamming any 'comment' areas they can find with hoards of spam

- Sending out bots to create loads of false registrations that they then use to spam

You cant even escape the f**kers wen on holiday cause they are trying to flog you fake watches and sunglasses all the time.

Basically, the country is not fit to be a part of the global internet. Cut them off, I say!


Skype faces 020 7870 cut-off


GCI Telecom Has Obviously Asked For £££ That Skype Don't Want To Pay

Looks to me that GCI Telecom may have asked skype for a wad of cash in return for allowing them continued use of GCI's 020 block.

Skype's not willing to cough up so the customer looses out (again).

All speculation of course...

123-Reg takes weekend off


My Domains Are Still Offline


I have 4 domains with reg-123. I use their domain reg services for one main reason --> they offer me a DNS server for nowt such that I can point my domain names at any server I choose.

I have been with them for 5 years and up-to now, I have not had any serious issues. This time however, the outage has been so long that the TTL of the domains in question has expired, thus the copies of my domains' info has expired from the caches of other DNS servers. They then do a look-up on the authorative DNS server (in my case ns0 and ns1,reg-123.co.uk), for the domain requested, and are getting back nothing.

Reg-123 claims to have sorted the issue, but in fact, a lookup on the authorative server (ns0.reg-123.co.uk) is currently returning incorrect IP addresses. Thus all my traffic is being redirected to a reg-123 holding page. Additional, only 'A' records are resolving at all, 'C-NAME' fail to resolve to anything.

Until the authorative server starts to push out the correct IPs, and the C-NAME records start to resolve again, I dont stand a chance of getting things back online. Even once that issue is sorted, up to 48Hrs is required for the correct info to propigate around the planet.

This issue has effected both autorative servers NS1 and NS2 which have both suffered failures. The whole reason for having two servers is so that their is no possibility of both authorative servers going down at the same time. They are supposed to be hosted on different networks...

If you are with reg-123 try 'nslookup ns1.reg-123.co.uk' and enter your (sub)domains --> check that they resolve how they should do rather than resolving to the reg-123 holding page. The holding page IP is: The only time that they should resolve to this IP is if you are using their web forwarding services (I am not!)

I think i'll run A DNS server on my own network and be authorative for my own domains... least I get to control it if it goes pear shaped...!

Pretty poor show really. I guess I will have to find another DNS provider. You get what you pay for I guess.


Microsoft hawks Home Server

Thumb Down

MS Missed A Huge Trick

Believe it or not, Home Server does not operate as an MCE server!! IMHO MS has missed a huge trick by not including this. To have a home server box under the stairs with a few TV tuners connected, able to stream live/recorded TV around the house to other PC's running an (as yet non existant) software-extender, or to a MCE Extender would be killer app.

I was at WinHEC back in May and questioned the devs about this. Its a planned feature for MS Home Server Version 2 - why the heck it was not in version 1 is anyone's guess - all the required code to implement it already exists...


VoIP is Dead. It's just another feature, now


T-Mobile Data

T-Mobile has been offering a flat rate 3G/GPRS data rate for the past 2+ years. Unfortunately, this did not manage to kill hotspots despite the fact that decent speeds are available via t-mobile at many 'hotspots'. I use it on the train daily between Stirling and Edinburgh with no real issues. Get a 3G signal most of the way.

If only the fleecing gits would do reasonable-priced mobile data while roaming, I would never need to use a hotspot again.


Microsoft shouts 'Long Live XP'


MS Left It Too Late

The error that MS made is to leave the release of their next OS for 6 ruddy years. People got used to XP to such an extent that they dont want to change. Additionally, those 6 years allowed MS to change the OS just a little too much, and in the process introduce too many new bugs.

A release every 2 years would have been a better bet

I think that the market is actually right for Jobs to release OS X for PC hardware. Of course, if OS X had to run on such disparate hardware as windows does then it would probably fall over all the time, and offer plenty of quirks too.

My main issue with Vista is the dual screen and media centre functionality. I want to use a single pc as both desktop and media centre at the same time. XP has its oddities here (like locking the cursor to the media centre window!!!), but vista cant even remember which freeking screen to start media centre up on and the video experience is far worse than XP - jerky playback due to immature video drivers!

I run vista on my laptop cause it has some nice mobility features, but I have XP on my desktop/media centre box.

I will likely try again in 1 year to see if the annoying bugs have ben fixed.


The iPhone arrives, but is O2 being taken for a ride?


Pile o' sh1te

The iphone is an over-hyped pile of sh1te, thats low on features and technology. It does look nice though so plenty of numpty fashion over function people will buy it, and apple will do well.

Anyone willing to shell out min £900 over 18months to own an iphone is a ruddy nutter tho!


AMD passes the collection plate again


Flog ATI to clear the debt and focus on the processor market

Create another Intel beater like the Athlon 64 once was...


Miserable Brits declare War on Comfort


Rename them to 'Numpty Heaters'

They are only bought by numptys, usually for reasons of self-heating. They are therefore 'Numpty Heaters'.

Non numpties will of course realise that they are entirely unessesary in the same way that no one but a numpty *requires* a dishwasher or a tumble drier at home.

Comparing it to cars in China is daft. We all have a car each (practically) over here - its unreasonable to expect any less for our Chinese friends. Per head of population China is a low poluter - and thats the only sensible way to do the measurements.

We i the west should he helping China with its industrial design to ensure that they dont create the same poluting monsters that we have done over here. This help will come in the form of subsidies offered on the promise that they build their plants 'right' rather than 'cheaply'.

Irrespective of whether climate change is, or is not a myth, fossil fuels are a finite resource, and p1ssing them up the wall on numpty heaters is not a sensible use of that resource.


Microsoft grows despite Windows Vista


Windows Vista Bugs


I put windows Vista onto my main machine one weekend, only to go back to windows XP on the Sunday! Way too many usability issues. I have a single machine with 4GB mem that I use as both media centre PC with a Plasma connected and also as a desktop with a keyboard/mouse/monitor on the end of long cables in an adjacent room. It also runs a linux server in a VM. Its a top-end core2duo box. I do this because I dont want a huge electricity bill!

- Media Centre does not remember which screen it should start on

- Mpeg2 video in media centre stutters

- TV card drivers are immature, and wont scan for all channels

- Media centre finds 3 copies of each channel and the old XP hack to restrict it to scan only certain Mux's does not appear to work

- Media centre, when it gets focus, *still* locks the mouse cursor on the second monitor - this is an old XP bug that MS should have fixed

- Vista performed significantly worse than XP

- Vista was less stable than XP

- Switching between media centre and any other app meant the video going wild for 10 secs before settling down

- Nvidia's video drivers for vista were very immature - performance was on the verge of not being usable

The only thing I miss about Vista is the nice, new Media centre interface. I shall keep hold of my copy of Vista (free upgrade), and try again in about a year by which time MS, and other vendors might have fixed the issues.


iPhones grease eBay's quarter


Ebay Needs Competition

Given how much it now costs in ebay and paypal fees to sell on ebay, I am not surprised that they made a huige profit. They essentially operate a monopoly and thus can charge what they like.

I would love to see the likes of google set up an auction site. My feeling is that google is one of very few internet companies that would be able to take on ebay


T-Mobile forced to connect Truphone numbers


Sounds Like Truphone are in the wrong


From what I can gather, they are the only VOIP operator that wants to charge mobile operator termination rates.

If they were to do this properly, they would charge VOIP rates where they were forwarding the call via VOIP and Mobile rates where they were forwarding the call to a mobile network.

The whole 'any network mins' thing operated by mobile manufacturers ceases to work (make them a profit) if everyone were to start charging mobile termination rates. It works currently due to the volume of calls that the networks connect at VOIP and landline rates which helps to ballance the books.

Truephone are being cheeky - and are peeved that someone has worked this out, We can watch the other networks follow suit and connect to them at VOIP rates shortly I suspect.

I dont think that truephone will have any success in court since t-mobile has not refused to connect to them as such, its just said that it will pay VOIP termination fees for what is a VOIP operator!


ISPs accuse TalkTalk of hijacking customers



I have been with plusnet for 5 years. I've had a couple of minor outages, but on the whole I am a happy customer. I use a fair amount of bandwidth, but an willing to pay for this by coughing up for a business package rather than a consumer package.

Simple fact is that bandwidth aint free, and ADSL was never designed to have everyone saturating their connections at the same time. I agree with the throttling that plusnet performs at peak times - their network runs better as a result.

Plusnet is in the right when it seeks to redress issues where another ISP is stealing its customers without their consent!


UK mulls drink-drive limit cut


@ By Matt Taylor (zero Drink Drive Limit)

I assume then that you never go out on a Thurs night and have a few beers, then wish to drive to work the following morning??

Reducing the drink drive limit to 50mg would make most people leaving home at 8Am after a few beers on Thurs eve into drink-drivers. Reducing it to 0mg would turn them all into criminals and make it such that a drink after work on thurs means calling in a sickie, risking it, or not going into work until mid-day.

In short, its fine like it is, 50mg would do the licenced trade a fair amount of damage, 0mg would put some of them out of business, and increase the number of hours that employers loose due to sickies etc.

Personally, if I am driving back from a day out (in the hills, mountain biking, whatever) and stopping at a pub means a coke for me (rather than a single pint) then I wont bother stopping - cost to the pub: about £20 taking into account the 3 passengers I have who would have a couple of pints.


Google cancels anti-eBay bash


Why Dont Google Set Up Their Own Auction Site

They are perhaps the only gang to seriously be able to take on ebay - and ebay needs some serious competition - its getting damned expensive to sell on ebay.

All they'd need to do it have it use google checkout, and make it free to use for a year, then keep the prices lower than ebay after that. Sellers (and therefore buyers) would flock to google from ebay if google ran it as a loss-leader initially.

Such a threat would likely have ebay allow people to checkout through google checkout just to prevent it from happening...


Jobs chucks Leopard titbits to Apple masses


Apple is charging $129 for a point release?!


What people dont get when they talk about windows vs apple pricing is that point releases (call service packs in windows terminology) are free for windows while Apple charges $129 for theirs.

Apple releases a new point release every 12-18 months for $129. Microsoft releases a new version of windows every 3-4 years @ $300-400. In other words, neither one is more expensive.

I consider this to be a valid comparison since Service Packs on windows add new features and fix bugs in the same way that point releases of MacOS do. It seems that the latest $129 that MacOS users have been asked to fork out does not get them a whole lot!

We get seriously ripped off in the UK when it comes to most software (not just Vista). I have no idea whether apple also rips off UK users when converting the $129 into £ - I suspect however that they do. It should only be around £70 for the update at current exchange rates.


Skype goes out to mobile phones


No pin.... thats madness!


Aye, but the mobile operators buy the bandwidth for next to nowt then rob us blind when they flog it onto us.

How skype ever expects people to use such a service when there is no security I dont know. Surley having the user enter a pin before dialing the international number is the best way. Additionally, it would not then be nessesary to pre-register any numbers...


HTC jumps on touch-screen phone bandwagon


Touch Screen

You lot may be missing the point...

The 'touch' term comes from the fact that the phone does not have hardware buttons.

Silly name, and unless they have added some appleesque interface tweaks then I think a WM phone with no hardware buttons will be a pain in the @rse to operate!

The only phones these days without 3g should be the cheapie P&G jobbies - no excuse for no 3G (indeed, no excuse for no HSDPA) on a phone thats likely to be sold to higher volume, contract customers.

And... that processor... talk about weedy. The 400MHz samsung jobbie in my vario-II just about does the job, I would not want is any slower!


Orange simplifies data by capping at 30MB


Switch To T-Mobile!

Thats really stretching the term 'Unlimited' way beyond its remit. What does the ASA think of the use of this term for a mere 30MB. I am with T-mobile on their Flext+WebnWalk Plus accout. For £38/mnth I get 300 mins (or equiv in txts), and 3GB/mnth with no restrictions bar no voip (need their WebNWalk Pro for that).

I use it every day on the train between stirling and edinbugh with a laptop via bluetooth, enjoy 3G HSDPA coverage for 80% of the trip and GPRS for the rest.

I transfer approx 2GB/mnth in total. The same would cost me £1000/mnth or something stupid with voda/O2/Orange etc.

Why cant the other operators do something similar - T-mobile has mopped up all the serious data users.

3's idea of mobile data is 1GB/mnth, with an AUP that says you cant use it with a laptop via bluetooth etc.

I have a friend, also with t-mobile thats on their 10GB/mnth WebnWalk pro account. He's ditched his home broadband, and his landline and just uses the phone for everything, seeing downloads of around 1.4Mbits and uploads of around 300Kbit. No good if you are into games though since the ping is high at 200-300mS.


Fancy a nuclear power station in your backyard?



That 20% exported by scotland is set to grow I suspect. There are plans for some huge wind installations. The western isles project in its most abitious form is likely to exceed 2GW. Huge local objections to it tho (or rather to the cheapskate method they will use to connect it to the grid - overland cables). The original plan was to run a subsea interconnect right down to liverpool where the existing grid is beefy enough to accept the juice. Scotland should flog it to england for top dollar, using the profits to fund an 'environmentally friendly' interconnect.

EU approves roaming tariffs



The operators have been ripping us off for eons. They are not interested in self regulation (or they would have implemented lower rates already in order to have headed off this legislation). I say 'hurray' for the EU who frankly do very little to help the man/woman on the street.

They should indeed also sort out data charges. I have 10GB/mnth from T-mobile built into my £45/mnth account. They charge me £6/MB while roaming (yep, MB). So.. pulling down a linux ISO would cost me £3900!!!

My mobille phone over HDSPA IS my broadand so downloading an ISO is no longer an oddity!

A fair price for data when roaming would be £10 for 100MB


Fujitsu LifeBook FMV-U8240 ultra-mobile PC


Fujitzu Siemens UMPC @ WinHEC


I have been at WinHEC this week. They had this wee Fuj on display. Looks like a nice piece of kit. Gates' keynote referred to UMPC's quite a bit, he used a number of them incl the Fuj in his speech.

If the £ price quoted turns out to be true, i'll be having one. I love my Fuj P1610 tablet jobbie.

I took so photies of the fuj umpc and for the specs PDF, but I think the register has everything anyway. Maybe they were also at WinHEC??




US Keyboard on the WinHEC sample


There was a US keyboard, and english langugage win on the WinHEC unit. (have pics if required). Unit is no longer in its display cabenit since this is the last day and exhibitors have packed up!

I never got to play with it unfortunately.

If the register wants em send me an email and i'll send em back.