* Posts by paul481

19 publicly visible posts • joined 4 Feb 2010

Wileyfox Swift: Brit startup budget 'droid is the mutt's nuts


Re: Absolutely brilliant, except the screen size

I was tempted when the 1st Moto G dual-sim came out - liked its feel in my hand; its screen, FM radio makers so love to disable, but was put off mainly by its lack of TV-out, to lesser extent by lack of WiFi-AC, & poor camera. So I went for a Nexus 5 even though 5" is TOO BIG for my jeans and Google don't like FM-RDSradio (because not their ads) or memory expansion (means less need for downloads, i.e less ads again). I only discovered later, its ringtone & volume are way too low, so I cannot use the Alarm feature, and often miss incoming calls unless in quiet room.

This 'Swift' improves on 2 of the above deficiencies (Camera & FMradio) but will not easily fit into my jeans or shorts pocket, and so is an encumberance. My ideal phone screen is 720p in 4.5 to 4.8". (where have all the complainers about huge phones gone?) It surely is not that hard to incorporate TV-out (MHL or the Google Slimport version). Also, surely the difference in cost between a WiFi-AC radio chip and the previous N standard isnt so big 3 years down the line ? All my other WiFi devices are AC, so rather not hobble their speed with 1 slow device.

I like your subjective review style but it makes no mention of ringtone or call volume - important specs for a phone. I appreciate, unlike El Reg, gmsarena specialises in mobile phones, so like their reviews for their comprehensive measurement of all audio parameters. However, we may have to wait some time before they might consider reviewing a British phone.

I was intrigued by your reference to the improvements in privacy confered by cyanogen. Can anyone point me to a review of the security situation of say vanilla Android 5, to Cyanogen ?

Storage boosters: Six mSATA format SSDs on test



Your last table showing power consumption does not show units. Just says about '93' for idle - is the scale in milliwatts ?

I agree, a table of £/GB is a useful metric.

Good if you can do a review of popular non-SATA M.2 cards - again, the 256GB capacity towards beginning of next year when there are more to choose from.

Windows 10: A sysadmin speaks his brains – and says MEH


Re: overall I prefered the UI of XP

Thank you for your comment. I have seriously considered moving to some flavour of Linux at least since XP. The perceptons that have put me off actuallyare as follows:

a) Linux still appears focused and packaged for techies, where the help forums I looked at, assume every user must have knowledge how to compile their 'App' from a list of resources, rather than what for MSDOS or later Windows, was very simply, copy an executable, click Run, follow the prompts - a quick simple procedure for the many, who just use a computer as a tool.

b) From the Linux forums, I gather that a lot of Linux users spend a huge amount of time arguing merits of various tools, procedures, scant or no mention of end use, generally have little time for 'linux newbies' and relatively disdainful, relative to posts in Windows Help forums.

c) A mixed blessing are the many flavours of Linux, and again, I get the impression of impassioned arguments as to which is best choice to meet the choosen objective, and not only that, one then has to decide which 'desktop' is most appropriate, KDE, Gnome 2 or 3 or should it be Unity ? Unlike the stock Windows many complain about, one is almost spoilt for choice in Linux.

d) Although I have consciously sought out 'open-source' OS independant software for many years, there are so many I use that have no Linux versions, eg 'BitMeter2', a widget taking a tiny screen area, shows numerically and graphically, download & upload activity at all times, also dynamic CPU & other resource use.

e) Last 10 years been too mobile to use desktops. I am always looking for latest, energy efficient, compact hardware to fit in a travel bag. A regular complaint I still read now, is there is a serious lack of software drivers for laptop hardware. Favourite complaint on cnx & similar sites, when trying to run Linux on a laptop or NUC sized computer, you have to forget WiFi, BT, and GPU HW Acceleration. For me thats unusable.

I realise Linux is reliant on much unpaid contribution of software often superior to that of MS with its vast budgets, but for those who use computers only as a tool to get a job done, the 'convenience' of MS Windows weighs in its favour.

I would like to be enlightened if I have gained wrong perceptions, eg. where to get objective help on using Linux as a tool to get specific jobs done, how serious is the problem of no linux drivers for products marketed for Windows.


overall I prefered the UI of XP

I remember when moving from XP to 7 overall I prefered the UI of XP.

What I wanted, and still do, is the XP UI, with improvements in security, a vastly improved and more robust File-System with more attributes to support database like search/retrieval (which I thought MS said would come with 'Cairo') a far better File Manager incorporating best features of all the 3rd party File Managers that grew round Win3.1, including dual-pane option, a reliable verification of bulk file copy operations, and support for newer peripheral types and standards, eg. WiFi, Bluetooth, Threads etc.

A once common MS method of 'Updating' I liked are timely release of Service Packs which users could choose to download at a time of their choosing. Why are MS forcing users into force-fed (like forcefeeding animals for veal) indiscriminate 'updates' by discontinuing a popular SP service ? MS seem to have forgotten a significant number of customers are very mobile without wired internet, and reliant on a sometimes flaky 3G service, often with low datacap, horrendous costs if exceeded. I remember once having to turn off Win 7 updates in that situation as between MS and Google, updates failing to install & repeating, and just a little browsing and email, the whole months cap was consumed.

It is as if MS assume the whole computer world lives in USA with always-on unlimited internet. Not everyone wants their computer connected to the internet. I can well understand why reviewers are voting W10 down purely on the issue of MS forcing users into accepting whatever control over the computer MS cares to impose, eg the invasive Orwellian world of big brother spying on your every action with "your" computer.

Why can MS not give customers what they want ?

El Reg Redesign - leave your comment here.


Re: Print article

Then WHY have you removed the Print View button, and WHY did you post 1 hour earlier you are removing it. As I pointed out earlier, I also used to follow what was a very similar site called 'The Inquirer' (McGee ran it) but about 4 years back they completely cocked up the presentation, requiring readers to lose far more time to scan articles, so it became too annoying to visit anymore. Another site, think 'Pocket Lint' also made their site slower to find useful articles, so ditched that.

El Reg has always been one of my top 5 tech sites, so visit most days. I hope you too dont lose your tech credentials and go all marketing, as you'l lose an old reader. The site was ok as it was, little to criticise as evidenced by my first complaint on your presentation in 10+ years. I have a 5" smartphone, but stick to my 24" FHD Windows desktop for reading articles


Why have you removed the Print view ?

I followed El Reg most days for well over 10 years; used to follow the once similar 'The Inquirer' until about 4 years back they had an awful makeover, slowing my access to news of interest, so I stopped visiting.

I like to archive articles of interest - but want to save just the article, not the irrelevance surrounding it, hence the need for Print View.

Radiohead(ache): BBC wants dead duck tech in sexy new mobes


Re: Ofcom .. concluding that it would be unfair to make the UK’s then 4.6 million receivers obsolete

I agree. I think the problem pointed out in the press before 2007 was the unaccountable BBC labs spent many many millions of pounds from 'The Licence Fee' over many years playing around with MP2 technology, and although obsoleted by more efficient codecs before bring it to market, the BBC were faced with the decision to either admit failure and write off the taxpayers millions, or lobby the government into imposing the unfit DAB on the public by turning off the far more useful and cheap FM system. Of course, like most civil servants they choose the latter in attempt to cover-up to an assumed gullible public, much as they hoped to over massive payments to bent celebs. Fairness to taxpayers or 4.6 million conned into buying a pup ? - don't think that was in forefront of their thinking. The BBC should stick to making what they rightly earned a good reputation for: Quality Programs, sadly not in much supply in recent years due to siphoning the tax into hopeless technology ventures - more recently yet another 'duck' trying to impose the 'BBCs idea of a smart TV - as if the world market would accept a BBC designed "smart" tv. That should be left to marketplace makers.


I agree wholeheartedly. It is clear there was a drive by the 'moneymen' to deceive the public into switching to this obsolete mp2 technology, and when that failed, to get the government to force the populace by killing FM service.

It is also sad that 'do no evil' Google make a point of disabling the FM functionality built-in to the vast majority of the Radio -front-end chips, in their otherwise good-value Nexus line of smartphones. I assume their motivation is, to prevent Nexus users from listening to analog radio as it would stop the consumption of their advert revenue - prob same reasoning for their prohibition of expandable memory, forcing users to download (pay for same) music more frequently.

The haves are always seeking ways to deprive the havenots.

BBC Trust candidate defends licence fee, says evaders are CRIMINALS


Once can expect a fat cat (tory) candidate (got over £1million payoff from Pearsons this year acc. to wikipedia) to defend an inequitable regressive FLAT TV TAX, used to rob the poor to pay indefensibly gross salaries to 'celbrities', who as we have seen, given full "licence" to abuse their power over the vulnerable. One look at the balance of views expressed in replies to this article shows her claim is false. She should be ashamed at peddling such lies to parliament about the population being happy with a FLAT fee. Just look at the riots caused by Maggies attempts to force a FLAT FEE Poll Tax on everyone, to effectively rob the poor to pay the rich.

Best budget Android smartphone there is? Must be the Moto G


Re: Has it got USB TV-out, or at least Miracast ?

Thanks for that info. I am curious as to why they left it out, as unlike mSD, mirroring to a big screen does not negate their advertising revenue, probably would increase it due to better UX. When I first read about Chromecast as a replacement for other TV-boxes for $35 I was very interested, but it doesnt have a separate Audio-out 3.5mm socket, which I would like to use at least at home so I could benefit from a separate H-Fi system that has analog ip only. Secondly, the initial reviews of Cromecast said the initial firmware was limited to streaming just TouTube & a couple of US commercial sites, but could be easily expanded to stream your own local offline media by installing 3rd party Apps, as indeed it shortly did; but within a week or so I read Google did a automatic OTA 'update' to kill off, what for I suspect for many, was the most useful functionality of all. After the uproar, I read Google 'may' allow 3rd party installs sometime in the future, but that is now over 2 months ago and Chromecast news seems to have since gone quiet.


Has it got USB TV-out, or at least Miracast ?

@Alun You wrote: "I’ve spent the last week trying to find something that the Moto G can’t do as well as the Sony Xperia Z1 or LG G2 handsets that I also currently have on my desk.... But I’ve yet to find anything."

Did you not think of TV-out ? I want a top-spec not overpriced phone small enough to easily fit in a pants pocket, between 4.3 and4.5" with THIN side-bezel (the N5 is too big for that), but when at my or another home, can easily connect to a big screen for watching films etc. Like microSD, wired TV-out has become a standard feature in most SMARTphones.

Moto G spec and reviews, so far do not cover this. Did you try it ?

Also, remembering its a phone, is the Ring and Speech volume upto the excellent Ring 78dB, Voice 71dB of the N4 ? (the N5 is 13dB down on the N4 so not a reliable alarm-clock)

Everthing else, especially the FM Radio for information when there is no mobile signal, suits me well, which leads me to:

Another aspect to reviews is Customer Support. I twice emailed Moto Customer Support to ask if it has USB TV-out or at least Miracast. The first time, the reply said will contact you when we have the answer, but a day later I got automated email saying as I have not got back to them, they have marked the issue solved ! I then replied to the previous reply pointing out there is a flaw in their customer support system in that unanswered customer questions not are automatically marked 'solved', so can they answer my pre-sale enquiry ? I then get a reply to that asking me to remind them of my question, despite my question being in the email Subject line ! I reply. That is followed by receipt of an apology email saying they will get back to me shortly, followed by another of the automated "as I have not got back to them, they have marked the issue as solved ! What a way to run a pre-sale enquiry service !


Do you reckon the user can replace it ? Any thoughts as to whether it will accept a 32GB or larger mSD ?

WTF is the Internet of Things and how insurers will use it against you


Where can I buy such cheap Bluetooth sensors, in my case a mains energy monitor ?

@trevor. A lot of your article mentions cheap low power sources of sensors. Can you list some data on where to get them ? Do you know where I can buy a low-cost Bluetooth version of a 13 Amp adapter I bought from Robert Dyas shop in the High Street for £10, that measures the power, current, voltage taken by the appliance plugged in ? I would like a similar power consumption monitor, that, unlike the simple Robert Dyas 'adapter', can also log consumption over days/months, either in its own memory (preferred, to buffer at least a weeks data with smart granularity ideally to a few minutes of step changes in consumption) or by sending the data over Bluetooth to my smartphone or laptop.

I have been long interested in IoT but each article I have read does not describe any practical low-cost system. Many articles talk about Zigbee or similar, but when I inquire from makers, am told they cost a lot of money, and can only be 'afforded' by our Energy Companies in their smartmeters, which I doubt the end payer will have any control over.

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


Re: BT should be structured on same level basis as the other public utilities

Just seen your reply. It was 5 years ago when I last explored fixed-line alternatives to BT, and I remember TalkTalk was one option but forget the others. At that time I was told a BT line, and BT's T&C was a condition of using their service. Called TalkTalk sales just now and was surprised to be told BT line no longer required, as they will install their own independantly from BT !!. I said that was surprising as cost of installing underground cable is notoriously expensive, which was the reason I still had only heard of a duopoly of telephone wire providers, BT and the current cable owner Virgin. However, the salesperson said TalkTalk currently insist on a minimum 1 year contract, whereas 5 years ago, a provider (might have been TT) told me I can have their service for just the months I need it, but I would have to pay 12 months line rental to BT. So without researching all the fixed-line retailers afresh, you may be right. But as some of the subsequent posts on this thread state, BT has effectively hung on to most of what was a state monopoly, which with cheaper to maintain overhead lines compared to the competition gives it an uncompetitive advantage.


BT should be structured on same level basis as the other public utilities: strictly wholesale/retail

When all the publicly owned utilities, gas, electric, water, fixed-line phone were privatised, I think the fixed-line phone utility and water, should have been structured on similar lines to gas & electric, where for each utility there was a strict separation of , the original monopoly supplier became a wholesaler of the underlying infrastructure only, and the consumer had a choice from several retail providers of each utility. With Gas & Electric, (although the original monopoly was also allowed to offer a retail service) the customer is no longer forced to deal with the now monoploy wholesaler, and thus benefits from freer retail competition unfettered by monopoly.

That is not to say supply of the Gas & Electric utilities is a totally competitive market: In run up to privatisation the goverment promised strong regulation to prevent private utility prividers exploiting customers. But as is reported, the cartel of 6 colluded to defraud the public in favour of themselves and their shareholders.

However, for reasons not apparent, the government chose not to sell Water & fixed-line phone with the same wholesale/retail protections. Water remains a privatised monopoly where the regulator does not prevent regional suppliers from abusing their monopoly power; eg Southern Water demand a prohibitive fee for 'disconnecting' unoccupied premises, yet adjacent Portsmouth Water charge nothing, provided the customer uses that service no more than 2 times PA.

In case of the original fixed-line phone monopoly, unlike with gas & electric, the government gave BT an unfair advantage over 'other' retail providers. A clear advantage given to BT was no matter which retailer the customer chooses, unlike with gas & electric where you deal only with the retailer, with phone you still have to deal with BT for provision of the line, and thus subject to BT's T&C in addition to the retailers. Although many retailers do not require a minimum of a 1 year contract, the BT 'wholesaler' does, so overiding the retailers T&C. BT have consistently abused this advantage the government gave them; eg. as reported in this journal a few years ago, BT 'wholesale' made use of the address list of all fixed-line phones in attempt to poach customers from 'other' fixed-line retailers, where the 'other' retailers had no access to their competitors addresses. A further example was the 'phnom' wire-tapping of 'BT' lines to sell on customers data to marketing companies. The press have reported many more abuses by BT of their still effective monopoly still leveraging their position over 'other' retailers, yet the government refuses to stamp out this abuse by putting BT on the same basis as wholesalers of the other utilities. Having to deal with 2 companies for 1 utility is onerous.

Monopoly power is a notorious breeder of corruption. Unless the government puts the remaining utility monopolies BT and Water on the same wholesaler/retailer basis as Gas and Electric where the public contracts only with a wide choice of retail providers, the monopolists will continue to abuse their power as shown throughout history.

How I learned to stop worrying and love SSDs


Question re. size of SSD to hold OS+Apps ONLY ?

While SSD cost >>> HDD, like others, only want to add small internal SSD to laptop - to hold OS+Apps ONLY, keeping data on the 2.5" HDD.

The author suggests 64GB; - I was thinking 32GB may be more than enough to run Windows 7 + Average mix of typical user Apps. Would appreciate any advice on the minimum SSD size requirement to hold OS+Apps, and what changes to Windows settings, eg Swapfile, Defrag, to avoid uneccessary wear. Also, any links to ny indepth articles on this topic much appreciated.

Seven... SSD sizzlers


Need review article on smaller form-factor SSDs -mSATA etc to boot just OS+Apps

Can you also publish a review article on smaller form-factor SSDs - to fit mSATA, PCIe minicard, and Expresscard slots, of capacity sufficient to boot just the OS + Apps ?

I read that although using same physical slot and connector as PCIe minicard, the mSATA spec allows more speed compared to SSDs using the PCIe spec. It would help if the article discussed what space Windows 7 required, including any 'swap file', hibernate file space requirements, plus space for typical Apps, so readers can judge what capacity to buy. It would also help to test SSDs of the size your recommend ro run OS+Apps, as tests on large capacities will mislead. I know there are currently few laptops with mSATA slots, eg Lenovo Y560, so helpful if you state which laptop, CPU, RAM, used as testbed.

HTC Smart: A smartphone for the rest of us?


where can the "less web-savvy" get timely news telcos don't want you to know ?

For example, if visitors to UK already have an unlocked 3G phone+Wifi or modem, where can they buy a data SIM on monthly PAYG ? You walk into any high street shop, eg Vodaphone, and you are told you MUST buy their USB modem just to get their SIM - and if you don't return to UK within 3 months, you must buy another Modem+SIM, as they will disable the one you 'bought' [in order to fatten their profits and do their bit for landfill and global warming].

Where is there a non-telco controlled website that points to hardware-free low-cost Data SIM PAYG and similar intelligence on actually using your modems/handsets to the full ?

Huawei E5 Wi-Fi/3G modem

Thumb Up

cheaper, better alternative to the 'MiFi approach ?

@Simon Edwards:

You say can use any form of 3G WiFi Router: I want a fully WiFi-N compliant 'hotspot'- i.e a full 300Mbps and 90m range of 'N', or at least the 150Mbps of 'nLite' for use 24/7. I looked at the original Novatel 'MiFi' and the Huawei E5, but they both fall far short of this, very poor range (acc to other reviews), not even meeting the old 54Mbps spec, many issues related to being battery powered, and not giving the user the full hardware firewall protection that was a key feature of older DSL/Router products. Also need the 3G-Hotspot to work in whichever HSPA country I visit, simply by, as you say, slipping a local SIM in, so unlocked ownership needed.

Heard one may achieve 'MiFi' functionality, by combining a 3.5G USB Modem (already bought, but told need to unlock it), and a cheap '3G WiFi-N Router', eg the £40 Edmimax 3G-6200N - i.e £60 contract-free, as opposed to £180 or £50 for a E5 MiFi.

This solution using existing dongle, unlocked, plugged into USB socket of a '3G WiFi Router' if by being unlocked from a carriers 'lockdown', is now compatible with all HSDPA ISP's globally, then a) its performance is FULL WiFi-N 24/7, not restricted by battery or carrier, and b) it is much cheaper than a current 'integrated MiFi'http://www.reghardware.co.uk/Design/graphics/icons/comment/thumb_up_32.png

Doe you know where I can get confirmation of this ?

Does anyone know of any website/forum specialising in these issues and discovering the UMTS frequencies/modem/router user settings used by ISPs in foreign countries ?