* Posts by Ron1

60 publicly visible posts • joined 19 Nov 2009


Ban on Apple watches with blood oxygen sensors confirmed after failed appeal


Apple Watch Series 9 and Ultra 2 no longer include the blood oxygen feature.

"The ability to measure blood oxygen is no longer available on Apple Watch units sold by Apple in the United States after January 18, 2024. These are indicated with part numbers ending in LW/A."

The above is posted on Apple Watch Ultra 2 US site.

So there will be 2 versions of Ultra 2? The old ones oxygen sensor will still work? Did Apple reduce price due to advertised feature no longer working?

Will they have to disable it for older watches also?

Issue refunds to buyers?

This will be interesting to watch - no pun intended :-)

Windows keyboards to get a Copilot key – but how quickly will users jump?


Please return PgUp, PgDn, Home, End first

Most laptops today lack dedicated PgUp, PgDn, Home, End keys - copying Apple, no doubt. ThinkPads are among the rare keyboards to still have these keys.

Before adding new keys, please return the standard keys!

Getting my coat with the missing keys in the pocket...

UK silicon startups to share £1.3M chump change as part of chip strategy


Re: £108k

Actually, it's 0.3 m per startup.


Improving defense of US space assets isn't rocket science. Oh wait


Booze Allen Hamilton?

Am I the only one who thought Allen Hamilton is some guy who had a drinking affair and his nickname was changed to Booz(e)?

Getting my coat with a flask in the pocket...

Japan unleashes regulation Kaiju on Apple's and Google's app store monopolies


Wishful thinking, not gonna happen

Both Apple & Google generally take a 30% cut from their marketplaces (15% for subscriptions and special cases).

App Store generated $1.1 TRILLION revenue in 2022, so that's roughly $300 billion for Apple...

How much of this do you think they are willing to spend on legal and other costs to fight this? I bet it's a lot.

OTOH, Play store only had $43.2 billion revenue in 2022, so less than 4% of App store.

Another proof we Android users are stingy :-)

Of course Apple and Google will never admit it's about money... They will claim security, privacy, etc. issues.

RIP Gordon Moore: Intel co-founder dies, aged 94


Re: And I had just bought some more Xeons, too…

Official inflation rate from 1980-2023 is about 170% or a factor of 2.68 (don't know where you got the 2.0 factor).


Real numbers are usually even higher - comparing bread price and car price (VW golf in 1980 to VW Polo in 2023 since Golf is arguably a much bigger car now) you get a factor of about 3.9, so your 6.000 DEM in 1980 would be almost 12.000€ today.


Basic VW Golf in 1980: 12,000 DEM, basic Polo today: 20,800€



Maybe checking the real inflation (i.e. price of bread) will open everybody's eyes about "low" inflation...

Hive ransomware crooks extort $100m from 1,300 global victims


Costruzioni Italiane Serrature e Affini

CISA is an Italian company making (mechanical) locks, founded in 1926. CISA the govt. agency was founded in 2018 - they could have chosen a different acronym...

Mine is the one with CISA keys in the pocket...


Costruzioni Italiane Serrature e Affini

CISA is an Italian company making (mechanical) locks, founded in 1926. CISA the govt. agency was founded in 2018 - they could have chosen a different acronym...

Mine is the one with CISA keys in the pocket...

Tesla Megapack battery ignites at substation after less than 6 months


Any engineers here?

You are all Golgafrinchan middle managers and you've been ousted :-)

cray74 made a 3 orders of magnitude mistake and still managed to get 15 upvotes... Did nobody notice that cost of Li-Ion storage is roughly $400 per kWh, which makes it $400,000.00 per megawatt-hour, not $400...?

Also, Li-Ion storage density of ~300 Wh/l or 300 kWh/m3 means you can pack roughly 10 MWh of batteries in a 20 ft shipping container (33 m3 volume).

Regardless of cost, with water storage, you'd need to lift 33 m3 of water 109 km high to store 10 MWh of potential energy!

In reality, pumped storage takes up HUGE amount of space. Even it you lift water a more realistic 109 m high, you still need 33,000 m3 to store 10 MWh. Water energy storage destroys whole valleys for the accumulation lakes.

Li-Ion or some future chemistry battery storage is the

$350m! shaved! off! sale! price! as! Verizon! swallows! Yahoo!


Is this supposed to be a good deal for Yahoo! stockholders?

Back in 2008 Microsoft offered roughly $45B to buy Yahoo, 62% over market value. Half in cash, half in MS shares. Since MS shares rose roughly 3 times in 9 years since, the offer if taken would be worth more than $80B today.

Yahoo share price in 2008 was $20, today it's $45.

Yahoo market cap today is $43B.

So, how come the sale to Verizon for 10% of market cap is a good deal?

What am I missing here?

The value of the deal to shareholders is twenty times less than the deal from MS they declined in 2008...

Hope the shareholders are happy for declining to sell to MS back then :-)

Electrician cuts wrong wire and downs 25,000 square foot data centre


Re: 220KvA UPS

Nope^2, it's 220 kVA (note the space between number & unit) </pedantic mode>

Force Touch tweak: Apple 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display


Battery capacity was also increased

From 95 Wh to 99.5 Wh - first upgrade since release in 2012.

LA air traffic meltdown: System simply 'RAN OUT OF MEMORY'


All made by Lockheed

A computer, made by Lockheed Martin went berserk when overflown by a plane, also made by Lockheed Martin (hey, U-2 is one of the iconic Kelly Johnson's planes).

Nobody noticed this "coincidence"?

Sun-seeking NASA boffins steer FLEETS of satellites... BY HAND


"The same calculations that took two weeks on their traditional systems now take 20 minutes on dual NVIDIA K20s. That’s about a 1,000 per cent improvement by my calculations, which isn’t bad at all."

Ahem, 2 weeks = 20,160 min; this yields ~1,000 fold performance improvement or 100,000 per cent, not 1,000 per cent.

Google offers $3.14159 MILLION in prizes for hacking Chrome OS


Re: I had to read that 2.71828 times

Good find! Should be:

<pedantic mode>

$3,141,592.65 then (or USD 3.141.592,65 for those on the continent)

</pedantic mode>

Tesla drops veil on top secret solar Superchargers


Some laptops do have this

At least my Thinkpad X301 does have options to prolong battery life. Battery is not fully charged & discharged unless needed, charge does not start above 95% reported capacity, etc. Full juice is provided when needed - 44Wh battery only reports 35Wh capacity, but can run the laptop for an hour at 0% (about 9Wh more).

WD touts slimline external HDDs

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2.5" HDDs today are at 500GB per platter:

7mm 1 platter

9.5mm 2 platter - standard laptop drive, 1TB

12.5mm 3 platter

15mm 4 platter, 2TB

Retina Display detachment


Re: Apple took out the Ethernet port

Agree about the Ethernet port. The internals image of the retina mac shows the motherboard is not so small as to net being able to squeeze in an Ethernet port on one side and a mic input on the other, so the omission of those ports is clearly a conscious decision not a design / space constraint...

Also the proprietary SSD looks to be different form factor than MB Air & RAM is soldered, non-upgradeable - a big no-no on a supposedly workhorse machine in my eyes...

Apple 15in MacBook Pro with Retina Display


Re: No Thanks...

The SSD, though custom, will at least be offered by 3rd parties & can be upgraded later, but completely agree on the RAM issue. In days of rapidly falling RAM prices (you can get 2x 4GB SODIMM modules for other MBPs for below £30 and 2x8GB of 1600MHz SODIMM for £90 or so) Apple wants £160 for upgrade from 8 to 16GB.

Also, when will Apple drop the aluminum laptop bodies in favor of true high end laptop materials like carbon fiber & magnesium alloys like other manufactures (Sony, Lenovo,...) use on high end & light laptops.

Unibody Alu housing was used by Bang & Olufsen as early as 1996 (Beosound 9000). Alu body (although only 3 pieces are needed for a laptop and can be machined rather than moulded) is thicker & heavier than carbon fiber and I do not understand why Apple is not using it at least for the more exclusive high end Air & Pro models...

Also the Mac Air being the first ultrabook is arguable...

Sony Vaio X505 in 2003 had a 10.4" 1024x768 screen, 1.1GHz Pentium M ULV, 512MB RAM... All that at a mass below 2 pounds (825g for the carbon fiber model). Beat thet Apple ;-)

Vauxhall Ampera hybrid e-car


Ripoff price?

The price of Volt/Ampera in US (after $7.5K tax rebate) is $32.000, in UK it is $50.000 (after £5000 e-car grant)! 60% mor for the same car?!?!?

Why? Because GM can! In US, they calculated the payback time for the hybrid (compared to standard GM Cruze) is 14 years.

With much higher fuel prices in UK, they can mark up the price 60% and the payback period is still about the same...

That £12,000 premium over a diesel Focus gets you enough diesel for about 90.000 miles!

And even if Volt was only driven in the e-mode for 90k miles, it would consume about 25MWh of leccy, costing about £2-3k. Not to mention the petrol price in a more realistic scenario, where you do not drive the 90k miles on electricity alone...

If the Ampera cost the same as in US ( about £20K), they'd quickly outsell all other car models combined!

Similar calculation is also true for Renault Zoe - marketed as costing EUR 15k on the continent (after 5k rebate), but they fail to mention the battery lease price of EUR 10k over 10 year period (+ leccy cost)...

Total cost, again, is higher than a comparable diesel Clio IV will be.

I'd been dreaming of owning an e-car for more than 10 years, but not at that clearly ripoff prices, thank you manufacturers!

Bang & Olufsen Beolit 12

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Hommage to vintage B&O Beolit portable radios

Article failed to mention

- naming: 12 for 2012 - homage to Beolit 39, 40, 41, 42,..

- Beolit stands for B&O Bakelite

- design: homage to Beolit 500, 600,... series

Not a fan boi of either, but what's fair is fair:

Apple mimics B&O not the other way around - they've done this since the Steves were in diapers.

Only they have remained vastly more exclusive than apple...

B&O used "unibody" aluminum housing on their Beosound 9000 back in 1996 (they even offer their machining expertize to other companies)

Cameron's F-35 U-turn: BAE Systems still calls the shots at No 10


Re: about

Ahem, UK gets 40% LESS ship, US on the other hand gets 66.7% MORE ship...

Damn those complicated percentage calculations :-)

Man FLIES with Android-powered homemade bird wings


Bettery - They use 74Wh of Li-po batteries

Don't know if the flight is real or not, but batteries are adequate.

Their 3d sketch lists 4x5000mAh batteries

This battery has same specs:


Has a mass of 571g, 4x 5000mAh cells, can output up to 6 kW (12V x 500A) of power (for 30s or so) - quite adequate methinks

What were you expecting el reg? Several car batteries? As any RC modeller knows Li-pos are quite powerful...

iPad 3 benchmarked


They did increase the battery capacity 70%

According to Apple they increased the battery from 25Wh (iPad2) to 42.5Wh on iPad3, which is a 70% increase just to get the same quoted battery life

As I mentioned earlier - heat issues anyone?


Nanocapacitor slab to boost car batteries


Total stored energy is the same as a low cost cell phone's battery

Some numbers from the video:

Voltage at beginning: Vb = 14V, Voltage at the end: Ve = 5.9V, Capacity: C = 150F

A little calculation gives this:

Stored charge: C*(Vb-Ve) = 150As/V * 8.1V = 1215As

Stored energy: Q = C * Vavg = C * (Vb+Ve)/2 = 1215As * 9.95V = 12089Ws = 3.36Wh

The total stored energy in that huge (& expensive) capacitor bank is comparable to energy stored in a 900mAh Li-PO (or Li-Ion) cell of a low end cell phone:

For comparison energy stored in batteries:

Samsung Galaxy S2: 6.1Wh

iPad2: 25Wh

new iPad: 42.5Wh

small car battery (55Ah): ~550Wh

large car battery (100Ah): ~1kWh

New iPad: Crack open your wallets, fanbois, here's what it'll cost


New iPad heat issues

How come no one is commenting on the new iPad increased battery & increased heat dissipation?

Battery capacity increased from 25Wh in iPad2 to 42.5Wh in new iPad - that's a 17.5Wh or 70% increase.

With today's Li-po technology the weight of extra 17.5Wh is ~100g, so they must have shaved off 50g elsewhere. I bet the new screen is thinner & lighter (using thinner glass?) than old one, since the thickness increase of 0.6mm is alone not enough to cram in the 70% larger battery (even if the battery technology is maybe 5% better than last year's).

Perhaps the housing is thinner too? Cant wait for a tear down...

The real problem, however will be heat. At claimed 9h battery life of 3G (4G) surfing, the iPad2 has an average power consumption of 2.8W, the new iPad 4.7W.

And trust me, those extra almost 2W of heat will be noticeable. Almost 5W of heat to dissipate passively is quite a lot. Not to mention the heat generated when running some CPU / GPU intensive tasks...

Court rejects Tesla’s latest libel spat with Top Gear


Tesla did several major fails

Suing BBC? Typical US way! Rather invest $$$ in improvement!

@JeffyPooh: spot on!

Tesla did some major fails over the years (some facts may be different, but I am sure I'm pretty close)

1. Battery cost: for cost & dependability they use ~5600 standard laptop cells (18650 type), produced in billions per year. Those cells cost from ~$3 for state of the art cells (currently >3Ah per cell) down to ~$2 for older designs with ~2-2.4Ah per cell. Tesla said several years ago they use 2Ah cells (when state of the art was 2.6Ah) due to their maturity & resilience (to extreme temps, currents, etc.). At $2, the cells cost Tesla ~$12,000. Let's say total battery pack cost $15,000 with protection circuits & packaging (they have several patents for this). Charging $40,000 for the battery is absurd! And even in worst case, only the cells need replacement, not the box & electronics! As for battery protection: At 5% charge remaining battery should go in "deep sleep" as JeffyPooh suggested, with additional primary battery charge backup if needed. Also Tesla could monitor all cars & contact users if such condition is registered.

2. They took a lovely compact & light Lotus chassis & turned it into a fat guys car: it took them (&Lotus) several years to do structural mods (like lowering door sills) so fatter Americans can cram themselves in (hint for "big" guys: buy a Continental GT instead).

3. Instead of using 2 direct drive motors (one for each rear wheel), they used a single motor + transmission + differential... Mayor fail, which adds complexity & mass and reduces efficiency due to transmission losses

4. They should not sell a car made for US in EU: Cars are not pushed to the limits in US while in EU they are and top Gear simply did legally on a race track what a lot of owners would do. Considering all, I think the Tesla did not do so bad... Most US production cars would fail when driven flat out - and that's gasoline cars, produced in billions with 100+years of development

Dell Latitude E6220 12.5in Core i7 notebook


You forgot to mention SmartCard Reader

You mentioned all other ports & options, but not the Smart Card Reader.

AFAIK ALL Dell Latitude machines since at least the D series (from 2003 onwards) have Smart Card Readers and this machine is no exception...

True, not everybody needs this but for those of us who do, this is important, since almost no other company puts SmartCard Readers on their laptops. True, Lenovo does, but on 15"+ machines (I think HP also on some models).

I do not use the Smart Card for login, but for banking.

Currently, I use 4 personal & business bank accounts with 3 different banks and - surprise! All of them use SmartCard based security certificates for access. Only one of those banks allows the certificate to be exported to the computer, but only for personal accounts, not for business accounts.

I've been using an external Smart Card reader for the last year and it's a pain compared to an embedded reader...

When Dell adds at least 1440x900 resolution on their 12-13" models I'll consider buying one again...

GM offers Volt drivers battery upgrade


Typical FUD startegy

This fire thing is old news.

Apparently, after the crash test(s) the car was left "as is" in some corner & caught fire months later...

NHTSA did not follow the GM procedures = the battery should be inspected after severe crash (& removed/neutralized if needed)...

I bet they do not leave the other test cars just sitting there after the crash with tanks full of petrol and possibly damaged...

Laptop display pixel counts to quadruple in 2012


Current MacBook Pro 15 screen res goes up to 1680x1050

"Current MacBook screen resolutions max out at 1440 x 900 on the 15in model and 1920 x 1200 on the 17-incher. Both have non-glossy alternatives, BTW."

Unless it's been discontinued, the last time I checked (a minute ago) MacBook Pro 15 had an option for

1680x1050 (gloss or non gloss) screen (and has had this option since 2010).

So your MacBook list should read :-)

11in 1366x768

13in 1440x900

15in 1680x1050

17in 1920x1200

This is from Apple:


15.4-inch LED-backlit glossy or optional antiglare widescreen display

1440 by 900 pixels

High-resolution 1680-by-1050 glossy or antiglare option available

Samsung strokes big bulb that'll keep going for decades


LEDs still 4 times less efficient than CCFL

A 15,000h lifetime 20W Osram Dulux EL CCFL gives out 1200 lumens of light, a 75W LED only 1100, so the CCFL is still 4 times more efficient than LED.

15,000h lifetime translates to ~15 years at 3h a day...

Nothing (significantly) new on the LED front...

And the Dulux EL costs only ~$10.

Vacuum cleaner set Swedish nuke plant on fire


A history of incidents since 2005?

According to Wiki, they were already under increased surveillance due to history of incidents... And still this happened?

Google translate:

"Radiation Safety Authority decides to impose Ringhals AB on specificvarious investigative procedures and conditions for the operation of the reactors at Ringhals 1-4. Agency and its predecessors have since 2005 complained of shortcomings that can be linked to the safety culture at nuclear power plant. But despite the Ringhals made efforts remain problems."

£170m in 7 months is about £800k per day in lost revenue alone! And I took them SEVEN MONTHS to repair? I assume the cost of repair is several times the £170m. Why is this number not published? Too huge and too embarrassing?

Dear Swedes, please, please decommission all your nuclear plants before you nuke us all - you obviously do not know how to use them safely...

Samsung demands iPhone 4S source code in Aussie row


Samsung - Apple contract due for renewal?

I think this legal battle is a charade. They will officially finish it with an "agreement".

Doesn't Apple have a contract to buy "all" of Samsung's Flash chip production for several years? And isn't Apple also using Samsung as a foundry to build their SoC's (A4, A5, etc?). Buying flash elsewhere is possible but not without issues and moving chip production to another foundry's process is costly to say the least.

I think Apple is either trying to bully Samsung into negotiating a better deal for the future or they are both in this together - lots and lots of free publicity anyone?

Besides, if something is "banned", people get the urge to try to get it at any price. I didn't even know Galaxy Tab 10.1 existed before I read it was banned in Germany. The news made me want to buy a couple before they are banned across EU...

Apple gets patent for ‘unlock gesture’


Patent business = an insult to all inventive minds

This patent business has become a total sh*t and disgrace. The ones with loads of money can patent literally ANYTHING.

I always say the penultimate patent is the one for letter "E". When someone succeeds in patenting the most common English letter (only a matter of time it seems, with all the "one click shopping" and "unlock gesture" and similarly obvious patents granted) and then we'll have to stop using "E" and delete it from all books (or better yet - burn them all), remove from keyboards, alphabet, etc.

The ultimate patent is the one for "procedure for inhaling & exhaling" (=breathing). Then Homo Sapiens becomes extinct and there will be no more such stupid & embarrassing patent grants.

Just seven solar cars reach Adelaide alive


Actually, steam was (is?) allowed at WSC

Not sure about 2011, but in the early WSC races there was no rule about using solar electric (photovoltaic) power - any solar power could be used, including Stirling engine or steam engine/turbine (with steam generated by solar power, of course).

In fact, I am pretty sure at least one team used a Stirling engine in the early 90s. It's efficiency was obviously no match for the then emerging GaAs PV cells...

Need to find my "Speed of Light: The 1996 World Solar Challenge" book and check this.

Yes, yes, I know I'm a (WSC) geek, no need to remind me :-)

Solar Challenge leaders whizz towards Adelaide

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Crosswinds for Nuna

Looks like the Nuna 6 crosswind optimization (a feature of all Nunas - 1-6) is paying off - they are now less than 20km behind Tokai.

"Barring a miracle or something equally spectacular the final results will be a repeat of 2009"

With such a small difference the race might be a bit early to call... After all, it ain't over till the sun sets down...

HP's beloved 12c calculator turns 30

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What about HP28C and HP48S/SX?

Being El Reg is supposed to be a tech journal, I am surprised there is no mention of HP28C and HP48S/SX calculators with graphs and solver, turning 25 this year...

SpaceX unveils new Falcon Heavy rocket - WORLD'S BIGGEST



The title of world's biggest still goes to von Braun's Saturn V with 119t payload capacity to lower Earth orbit.

Saturn V has had the title for almost 45 years...

BOFH: There's no 'I' in team, but there's a 'u' in suck

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Should not this be Episode 1?

Again, a great one!

But, sadly, we had to wait 1.5 months...

In line with previous seasons numbering, I think this should not be episode 20 but rather episode 1 of 2011.

Tosh intros largest smallest disk


Largest Single Platter 1.8" HDD

Yes. Chris did not research this well enough. With Tosh, xxxxxxL are single platter 5 mm high drives while xxxxxxH are dual platter 8 mm high drives. Article failed to mention this is the largest single platter drive. This implies a 440 GB dual platter xxxxxxH device might be aroumd the corner. Now THAT would indeed be the largest 1.8" HDD.

Mozilla lands fresh Firefox 4 beta on Android, Maemo


FAIL - Still no iFrame scrolling

Several years, Android 2.x, Firefox 4.x and still

No in frame scrolling possible!

Even Google's own pages use iFrames that need to be scrolled, but you can not do that on (Google) Android device (you can on iPhone using two fingers)...

This is a defect known for a long time (2 years or so) and nobody fixed it yet - why is beyond me.

They keep on adding (mostly useless) bells & whistles, but can not solve a simple issue of scrolling through embedded frames.

All Android browsers (including Opera) to my knowledge fail on this one and Firefox 4.x is no exception...

Opera Mobile for Android: Nearly there!


iFrame scrolling? Not!

Yes, a shiny "new" Android browser (Beta versions have been out long ago), but still can't scroll frames within the main browser frame (iframe).

WebKit (default browser), Firefox (Fennec), Opera, Dolphin, Skyfire,... none of those browsers can scroll frames within main frame.

Lots of pages can not be used due to this issue - even Google's own: for instance, in AdSense reports, you can not scroll through channels list.

iPhone scrolls frames using two fingers - why the multitouch Android phones can not do the same is beyond me.

Even more so for Opera Mini - since it works through page-recoding proxy, this could be dealt with...

And this is a well known defect (yes, defect, not bug) but still has not been dealt with.

Please give us a browser that scrolls frames!

Hitachi shows 1600 x 1200 panel for 7in tablets



Actually, if you do the math, the display density is 303ppi, not 302ppi :)

Reseller touts cheap-as-chips 7in Android tablet

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Impressive for 85 quid!

Actually 84.95 or 72.30 without VAT. Assuming a 20% reseller commission, what's left is 60 quid to pay for all the parts, manufacturing, shipping, engineering,...

True, components are a bit aged (almost nobody uses 400MHz ARM for new products; 16Gb Flash chips must be quite cheap too), but there's still the Wifi chip (without 802.11n but nevertheless), 7" LCD (no OLED for this price), touchscreen + controller, 1Gb DRAM, battery, camera, speaker, etc.

Would like to see the innards of this baby. For this price, must be a generic reference design from VIA with relatively simple & large PCB (in contrast to that fruit company's high density designs with multiple silicon dies in single package). If that's the case, expect more of the same design under different branding / slightly different case design - similar to consumer SSDs, where at least 5 companies are using exactly the same PCB (=reference design from Indilinx).

In fact, those designs are similarly specced; might even share the innards with this product (except for the touchscreen instead of keyboard):


BOFH: Robot wars

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Jippee-a-eh, another BOFH!

Eagerly awaiting next episode about robot wars...

Please, please get back to at least 2 episodes per month schedule; we want more BOFH!

The last storage array you will buy


Fair comparison?

Comparison to Violin Memory 3200 is fair since it is a Flash/SSD based storage, but comparison to TMS RamSan 440 is a bit unfair, since this is basically a SDRAM storage (and thus very fast) with on-the-fly backup to Flash. And only goes to 512GB per box.

Intel Sandy Bridge many-core secret sauce


RE: Token Ring

> a very tiny one.

Yes, but with >1000 wires :)

BOFH: Risky business

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Ah, the Friday BOFH fix...

...sadly not every Friday...

Apple's iPad resellers are revolting

Jobs Halo

Free economy?

Lets see:

1. the resellers do not mind getting a (fat?) commission from selling Apple products

2. they do mind being unsatisfied with Apple's policies

Well, they can stop bitching and stop selling Apple products. Oh wait, this is against point 1above. Bummer.

iFan - I am not an Apple fan (quite the contrary, mostly due to their closed platforms and tight grip on users), but Steve does have the right to sell his products the way he wants...

After all, he is not forcing anybody to be a reseller, or is he?

US iPhone ready to be tied down?


"Unlimited" data plans

"Unlimited" data plans are the culprit (smart) phones nowadays lack DUN (Dial Up Networking - I wonder who invented the term "Tethering" - it is stupid!).

The reason is unlimited plans are not really unlimited and a small percentage of DUN users will abuse their data plans to download movies, Linux distros, run p2p, etc on their PCs.

The problem lies with operators - who lie when calling their plans unlimited. This is a matter for FTC, EU Comission & other regulators - operators need to put a monthly cap on their plans (and make it clear to their customers), then DUN will be no more a problem - the 1% who abuse their plans will simply hit the limit and face the consequences as they should (=pay more). The other 99% will happily be able to use DUN.

No DUN is mostly the case with phones "originating" from US or with US based operators (I use "originating", because virtually ALL phones are designed in Taiwan and built in China by companies like HTC, Foxconn, Quanta, Compal,...). To list a few:

Handspring/Palm Treo: Out of the box DUN only works from (Unlocked) Treo 650 onward; older Treos "officially" could not do it - it was however possible to do DUN on Treo180/270/600 wia IR and 650 via BT (Bluetooth) with SW like PdaNet and WModem. I'we got through a lot of pains to make DUN work on Treos 180s, 270, 600 and 650s I we had.

iPhone: no DUN (either USB or Bluetooth)

Android: no "real" DUN (=modem over USB or BT) - only USB DUN works with SW on PC on Unlocked phones

PdaNet (www.junefabrics.com) enables BT DUN profile (no SW needed on PC side )& USB DUN (again with SW on PC side) - I think also for locked phones

But PdaNet is annoying: it costs $20 to enable a basic feature all "normal" GSM phones have had since dawn of time (=DUN profile) and the annoying part is you need to run the PdaNet application on Android phone (I tested on HTC Desire) for the BT DUN profile to work.

AFAIK, all "non US" based phones (SE, Nokia, LG, Samsung) with Bluetooth support the BT DUN profile by default.

I was quite shocked to learn that Android platform, not even in it's latest incarnation (2.1) supports one of the most basic Bluetooth profiles - the BT DUN. This is simply inexcusable!

Lack of out-of-the-box BT DUN was a showstopper for me buying the HTC Desire (which after testing it I, well, desire)!

And to think I used to dream Android (being open) will also support the BT FAX profile (not many phones do, AFAIK) so I could (finally) send faxes from my PC via GSM through BT connection...

I simply hate when progress is not only stopped but goes backwards.

I remember my first GSM (Ericsson GA628 - "the brick" in 1998 - a simple, cheap and wonderful phone) - it had a modem feature by simply connecting it to a PC (or other terminal device) via RS232 and could dial data (or voice) calls through AT commands.