* Posts by ukaudiophile

62 posts • joined 5 Aug 2010


YouTube supremo says vid-streaming-slash-piracy giant can't afford EU's copyright overhaul


Re: So what?

The decimation of the high street will get much, much worse if councils and government don't realise that people have better things to do with their spare time than waste it waiting for uncomfortable, overpriced public transport to get them to shops, or keep treating the motorist like a cash cow to fleece every time they leave the house, get stuck in traffic jams, have speed cameras on every street, only to park in overpriced or heavily time limited free parking whilst predatory traffic wardens are ready to pounce if only a few minutes late.

Why should I be bothered with this? Why right has the high street to expect to survive with this attitude. Let the high street die, it's outlived it's use. I'll take click and deliver to the door by Amazon any day.

From toothbrushes to coffee makers to computers: Europe fines Asus, Pioneer, Philips for rigging prices of kit


Common practice in Hi-Fi & home theater

I am surprised it has taken this long to feel the collars of an audio company over this practice.

It was common practice to 'discourage' discounting for HI-Fi and home theater equipment. The more expensive equipment was either sold direct my the manufacturer or only by one, maybe two, distributors. No-one sold at discount, because they made big margins, and anyone caught advertising prices below retail might find 'supply' difficulties. Highly questionable, but it went on for years. One major US based speaker brand once boasted how they had huge number s of dealers supporting their products because of the high margins (over 40%) and that their advertised pricing was rigidly policed, anyone discounting would find themselves removed from their authorised dealer program, so either lost margin or lost access to parts of the product range. Always wondered if this activity was legal, but it certainly prevented competition to give the consumer a better deal. The high margins also killed the trade in value of anything you purchased, I quickly resorted to only buying used equipment.

ISP TalkTalk's Wi-Fi passwords Walk Walk thanks to Awks Awks router security hole


Yes, two which they've so far admitted, which impacted a mere 207,000 customers including their bank accounts.

In my books, that level of recklessness means the company should be closed down and I would certainly never trust that company with any of my data. The fact that they outsource to Wipro tells me all I need to know, and the fact Wipro staff used a 'rogue' portal to access customer information which they should have been nowhere near.

It's the same reason I don't use Facebook, I have zero confidence in my information being protected to a standard I deem adequate.


Are you not being somewhat optimistic there? I am sure if you looked back Talk Talk have not had a month where there's only been 1 security flaw found in their system, I'd expect them to get hit with 4% fines several times most months. That's, of course, when they're not hosing down the internet with subscribers personal details for their off shore service office.

Let's see, 4% fine per GDPR violation multiplied by 400,000 subscriber details being distributed over the internet = Talk Talk out of business.

Was approached in the street a couple of months ago by an individual representing Talk Talk, asked if I had an internet connection, said they could save me money. They were told I value my personal details such as my bank account details and credit card details too much to have anything to do with their company. Individual looked puzzled so I suggested the Googled Talk Talk data loss and see if they were happy to have their personal details with a company like that.

More power to UK, say 'leccy vehicle makers. Seriously, they need it


Re: A pragmatic view?

I'm a current EV owner (only had one for 5 months) and a massive petrol head, I always said I'd never buy an EV or hybrid. I drove 3, one was overpriced and uninspiring, another was plain awful, the final one was simply one of the finest handling and performing cars I've ever driven in 30 years of having a driving licence. Needless to say which one I went for!

30 mins to get 70% charge in at Sainsbury's is rather optimistic unless your local Sainsbury's has a much better charge rate than the two near me which can only put in 3.5Kw/h (around 10 miles of range / hr) or unless you have a very small battery. The motorway fast chargers can do that, and are superb. Basically I can half 'fill' my car in less time than it takes for me to have a large coffee & a pastry.

I hear a lot of complaints about not being able to charge at home, and I'm afraid that for many current apartment dwellers and terrace house owners with no off road parking at the back, this is an issue which I hope will be addressed in the future with charging at employers and at shopping centers. What we need to do is get planners to ensure that homes being built today have off road parking, there is precious little reason to give planning permission to a house builder who does not have off road parking for at least 1 if not 2 cars. All apartment developments should also have similar provision. If the Government is serious about trying to get people into EV's in the future, they have to start thinking about this now.

As for range anxiety, it's not on my radar. I can comfortably drive 200 miles on a single charge. I've known high performance cars that can't do that on a tank of fuel. I can commute for almost a full week on a single charge, and most places I go to have accessible charging facilities.

The infrastructure is still not perfect, but remember we're trying to make a fundamental change to a fuel station infrastructure that's built up over a century, and we've only been installing these charge points for a handful of years. We're doing pretty well. Ask yourself this, how many petrol stations were in the UK in 1911? That's ten years after the first Wolseley rolled out of the factory. EV's have only been widely available for 5 years in the UK, so we're doing pretty well. I agree that EV's aren't the answer for everyone, but they are an increasingly valid option and will only improve (at a far faster rate than petrol or diesel cars) over the next few years.

It's Pi day: Care to stuff a brand new Raspberry one in your wallet?


Re: All Pi's need USB3!

You can't just float things like 'you'll have to wait for Pi4' without giving us more details, that's just cruel.

Is the Pi4 under development? How far are we away from some sort of announcement regarding it's capabilities & price? When might we see this available to buy?

BTW, the Pi team are doing great work, currently have a 2B and a 3B, will probably get a 3B+ in next couple of weeks.

Dodgy parking firms to be denied access to Brit driver database


Usual lack of sincerity from DVLA when dealing with motorists

If there was any actual desire on their part to deal with these dodgy private parking companies (aka. all of them) then there would be a simple rule, no one gets access to the DVLA database who is not working in the employment of a government agency. There, private parking cowboys dealt with in a single change of legislation, and 33 million motorists made a tiny bit happier by showing them a tiny bit of respect for their personal information.

Of course the other option is they can go on as they are doing, and simply have motorists like me decide to not do business with retail shops and buy online.

Those are the choices.

Tesla reveals a less-long-legged truck, but a bigger reservation price


Re: The Cult of Tesla

"Many people may not want to pay the related premiums for that kind of performance - it will be interesting to see what the insurance group will be!"

The cost of Insuring a Tesla Model "S" is about the same as insuring an X5 or a Touareg, hardly in the bargain basement, but certainly not unreasonable given the value and performance of the car. Given that Model 3 is around half the value of a current S and has slightly lower performance, I suspect the price will be lower, though if the Autopilot features show a statistical decrease in Tesla's involved in accidents over the coming years (or the evidence from their onboard cameras prove it's not the owners fault) then expect those figures to reduce further as the evidence builds up.


Re: The Cult of Tesla

"I don't think Tesla is the only route to EV, but you cannot deny he has accelerated EV development. Do you think the Leaf would exist in the way it does if automotive companies weren't spurred by Tesla?"

I think this a very valid argument, prior to Tesla, electric car was another term for "milk float", and the Prius was just a bad joke on the motoring public. The fact is that the likes of the Tesla, and, to a lesser degree, the likes of the La Ferrari, the Porsche 918 and McLaren P1 have done more to make the EV and hybrid interesting to a large number of car enthusiasts than the Prius ever could. Now hybrid's and EV are actually exciting, interesting (Porsche Panamera turbo E-Hybrid) and are being made financially sound decisions for business users.

I know that people are sick to death of hearing about the Tesla Model 3, but this really does have the possibility of being a more affordable, luxury, high performance hatch back for the average motorist, but to make it truly viable, it's going to need to be made a clear financially advantageous decision which needs government undertakings to keep taxes away from EV's for a few years. The idea, though, of a car which can perform like an Audi RS4, have well over 200 miles range and be comfortable with AWD for the kind of price they're suggesting, that is a very interesting mix which seems to appeal to a lot of people - if Tesla can deliver on the build price and quality.


Re: Electricity vs Petrol/Diesel prices

@Timmy B

"For sure once we're all driving electric there will have to be tax in place of some sort - perhaps according to battery size and power output - a zoe pays less than a tesla."

I can see your thinking with this, but I cannot see this being even contemplated in the next 10 years. As far as the government is concerned, all EV's are the same, they all contribute to making the emissions figures and air quality figures look good. The last thing you want are potential Tesla drivers going and buying Porsche Panamera's because there's no tax advantages. The other issue is that Tesla are backed by US corporate lawyers, do we really want the government tied up in litigation for years for discriminatory practices against them? After 2019 do you really think this government is going to risk discriminating against a US company and favouring a French company like Renault given what a great job EU countries are doing at turning the UK population against them?

I think for the next 10 - 20 years all EV's are probably going to be judged alike, by which time I am sure that EV's will be so good compared with ICE vehicles that most people will buy them anyway as they're simply better. If you think about it a 400 mile range is more than enough for most people, and great strides have been made in fast charging over the last decade, I am sure the prospect of being able to hammer 200 miles of range into a battery pack in 10 - 15 minutes will not be beyond the realms of possibility by 2039.


Re: Electricity vs Petrol/Diesel prices

I have also recently purchased an EV on PCP simply because for a car which I wanted and liked, the taxation structure for a company means that the government hammers you for anything other than the slowest, boring most insipid box on the market. On the other hand the government is practically giving you money to buy an EV. My mistrust of this government, however, is limitless, so I really don't want to commit to buying one until I am very, very sure my investment is protected with long term promises to make running one cost effective for me.

It appears that people are just starting to wake up, however, to what the real cost of the war on motorists which has been waged for the last 25 years is really going to cost the government. Currently from VED & fuel duty motorists (and I include trucking companies in this) pay £77 billion into the government coffers. If the government get's it's way and persecutes the ICE driver off the road, then the government is going to need to replace that £77 billion somewhere, just to put that into context, Uk education spending in 2016 was £85.7 billion, and believe my that putting up basic rate taxation is not going to be on the cards, it would be far too toxic a plan, so somewhere we're going to need to make cut backs.

Looks like the government should really be promoting those Range Rover V8, Aston Martin and new TVR sales to protect it's revenue base!

London mayor: Self-driving cars? Not without jacked-up taxes, you don't!


Re: Khan being an idiot on this one

What would actually be more reasonable to say would be 'I will live within my means and use the money I have wisely and intelligently, not just hold my hand out and demand more at gunpoint when I've spent everything inefficiently and recklessly'.

His tax income is falling, you either get more efficient, or simply stop wasting money on fatuous projects with no ROI, but as a typical socialist he believes that everyone works to pay taxes for his pet projects.

If he actually cared about the air quality, he'd be spearheading a campaign to reduce the the density of people in offices in London, stopping further development within the M25, & accepting the loss of tax income as acceptable to achieve real reductions in pollution within the M25, but that is clearly not his agenda, his agenda is clearly to prioritise increasing his tax income over everything else. I hope people remember this when the next mayoral election is held.

Prosecute driverless car devs for software snafus, say Brit cyclists


"Cycling UK should be lobbying for drivers to pay for safety devices on bikes or helmets that driverless vehicles can easily detect."

Maybe Cycling UK should have the wit to put together a group buy of such devices after their design and structure have been defined by the car companies, and offer these to their members at a discount? Why should the motorist pay for these, such devices are for the cyclists benefit, so they should pay for them. Maybe if Cycling UK spent less time trying to blame everyone else for incidents involving cyclists and instead promoted responsible cycle ownership and use then maybe they would actually achieve results to benefit cyclists.


Re: First, find the problem

"From the cyclists' point of view, I would get worried. All these (truly) autonomous vehicles will have such a vast array of sensors that they will record every facet of an accident. Video from every direction, audio, weather conditions, positions of every object in the vicinity. All of that will be of "forensic" quality, It wold be very difficult for a cyclist, or pedestrian, who was faced with a weight of evidence that they were in the wrong, to defend against. No longer would there be an automatic presumption that every collision was always the car's fault."

I would have to ask why you would be worried from the cyclists point of view? Surely the fairer position is that you should be worried about the drivers who have been wrongly accused and probably wrongly convicted of being to blame for incident between cyclists and drivers where the driver has been taken as being at fault as a matter of course? Surely if their was any hint of sincerity and honesty in any investigation between a car and another mode of transport, then the liability and failures of both parties must be weighed. The cycling lobby, of course, loathe and hate this suggestion that they can do anything wrong and should have any liability for doing anything wrong under any circumstances, and quickly race to their statistics to show the number of drivers convicted of injuring cyclists and how few cyclists have been convicted to prove their case. The issue is how convincing are those numbers if the liability of the party other than the motorist was rigorously investigated in the same way the actions of the motorist are. It's easy to say the motorist is always wrong is the actions of the other party are not fully investigated.

As it stands, I sincerely hope that the forensic evidence available from these systems is accessible to the driver so to make it easy to prove his actions, but should we not really be asking ourselves why 'innocent until PROVEN guilty' and 'He who asserts must PROVE' seem increasingly alien when an accident occurs on the road, instead the focus being to find some tenuous way of placing blame solely on the motorist?

80-year-old cyclist killed in prang with Tesla Model S


It will be interesting to see if a full investigation of this incident is carried out looking at the actions of the cyclist in relation to other road traffic and conditions, rather than the usual action of the Police which seems to be find a way to completely blame the driver, no matter how tenuous, and end the investigation there.

Frankly you need cameras to record what's happening on the road now, not to protect against uninsured drives, but so you actually have evidence to protect yourself, because if you're a motorist you can't rely on the Police to be thorough & impartial.


The rear camera view can be displayed at any time, not just when the car is in reverse. This provides a rear view to augment that through the mirrors giving better rear coverage.

Panic of Panama Papers-style revelations follows Bermuda law firm hack


Re: Taxes are for little people...

"But don't worry, I'm sure the millennials will pay your pension when it's time to collect it. Surely they will be done working through their 6-figure college debt by serving coffee by the time you are due to retire."

Amusing Nolveys, you seem to assume the Millenials will actually work in a coffee shop. I'd doubt it, they'll probably be protesting that, because they have a media studies qualification, they're entitled to expect anyone with a pension to pay it all out in taxes and grants so they don't have to sully themselves with little issues such as 'earning a living' and 'capitalism' and instead spend their time debating the 'Sociological relevance of Hollyoaks episode 14,000'.

Humble civil servant: Name public electric car chargers after me


I can imagine an autonomous vehicle governed by Asimov's laws, but I'd have real issues, if the legislation and charging points were named after him, having to get into a car governed by Dipstick's law and plugging into a plonker's charging point.

Why did we let politicians get involved in this, it was going well until these idiots got involved, now it's going to be a complete farce.

Phab-u-lous, Mate: Huawei's business phabs go upmarket


I've found the Huawei phones to be solid workhorses, not too expensive, so if a user breaks one it's not the end of the World, but they don't look so cheap that users are embarrassed to use them.

The Huawei apps and UI are truly terrible, the hardware is good and reliable, but Huawei's software is dire.

Thankfully once you've replaced the launcher with Google Now Launcher and replaced Huawei's own app's for some replacements from the Android store, you have a good, cost effective work phone.

Still couldn't bring myself to pay out for a top of the line 10 or 10 Pro, but sooner or later the prices will descend to more sensible levels.

Europol cops lean on phone networks, ISPs to dump CGNAT walls that 'hide' cyber-crooks


I think it's also telling how trust between individuals and the Government has broken down to the point that I, and I'm sure many others, read your post and thought 'If only more people thought like this and were aware of the abuses of power by our Government and European bodies'.

Wish I could upvote your post more than once.

Samsung plans Galaxy Note 7 fire sale


Re: why oh why?

If the price was right (for Samsung right now, shipping these out at <£200 would be about right, better than zero) I would buy one (or two) without hesitation. I've used the original Note, Note 2 & Note 4, each one was excellent, so I'm sure the 7 would be superb now they have the battery issue resolved.

As for taking them on airlines, I don't care, I don't fly.

Uni of Manchester IT director resigns after chopping 68 people


You have my sympathies Archie.

How can a company be big enough to justify multiple levels of seniority in it's IT dept, yet be small enough to have a network which doesn't require VLAN's?

To have a manager who cannot understand their use is frightening, how many clots like him are there out there in IT management? I take it the company is now out of business? Did he move the corporate internet connection to TalkTalk to save money?

GCHQ starts hunt for tech-savvy apprentices


Re: Do you actually know anything about the course?

No, it's not a one off. GCHQ has an ongoing process to recruit apprentices, so whilst the number they hire might vary, the fact that they are hiring does not, so there will be positions available for the forseeable future. GCHQ are actually pretty open about the kind of people they're looking for, so it would do no harm to approach them directly even if the kids who you're thinking of are a year or two away from being the right age.

Good luck!


Re: Do you actually know anything about the course?

Must disagree with pretty much everything you've said here.

As for "politicized brain washing", then trust me, the caliber of students that they demand would not be susceptible to any kind of brain washing. You will encounter far more brain washing from the BBC and John Snow on Channel 4 news in a night than you would in a month here, but what you get from BBC and Channel 4 is rather unfairly targeted, those watching that garbage don't have the intellectual tools to realise they're being fed a load of biased garbage.

The technologies being taught are far from purely GCHQ centric, that's why it leads to a recognised degree which can be used anywhere. The degree qualification does not use any technologies which are covered by the official secrets act, hence it's fully transferable, and the course does cover general IT technologies, I would suggest in a far more thorough way than almost any university does in the UK.,

As for 'lefty lecturers' no having an agenda, I'm yet to meet one who is not whingeing about their employment contracts, wanting more money or who is simply cruising to a gold plated retirement.

They don't use 'anonymous suits', GCHQ uses specialists in their field to actually deliver the lectures, and I'd rather be taught by a suit who actually deals with the tech on a day to day basis rather than a lecturer who was trained 20 years ago when he wasn't hanging out at student bars, and has barely looked at state of the art systems since.


No, That's not how it would work at all.

The degree is recognised and the technology used to attain that degree is in transferable technologies. At some point I am sure that there will be exposure to the technology inside GCHQ which cannot be spoken of, but I am also sure that is not critical to the course. It would, therefore, be easy to use the skills gained here elsewhere without coming anywhere near a violation of the official secrets act which, let's not forget, is there for a very good reason.

I am sure that there are many IT companies in the security and networking field who would welcome, with open arms, someone from this course. So should you want to leave GCHQ in the future, you have a transferable skill set which can be deployed in the civilian world, but, as was previously mentioned, GCHQ has technological alliances with many other private contractors and I am sure they would be delighted to hire from that pool of talent coming out of GCHQ.


Do you actually know anything about the course?

I have more than a passing familiarity with this course, and I can say that those who attend it are given training to an exemplary level, and I would not hesitate in recommending this to anyone looking for an excellent degree course in IT, it's far better then spending three years being bored senseless by lefty lecturers who've never earned a decent salary in their lives whilst racking up massive debts. It should also be noted that GCHQ employs the vast majority of those who complete this course, so it'snot just a pointless vanity exercise, but has a real job at the end of it.

As for being employed elsewhere, with this on your CV can you show me an IT company who wouldn't employ someone with the kind of training they'll receive? I would suggest any graduate from this course would be in very high demand, especially in any IT company which dealt with networking or security.

Telly behemoths: Does size matter?


Re: Mini projectors

Please tell me the first movie you'll be screening outdoors will be Blade Runner? That movie just lends itself to being shown on a summer night on a white wall with a star lit sky overhead.


Re: @returnmyjedi

I am impressed. I remember a friend of mine having one of those, had the rear speakers hooked up to some Jamo 3 way speakers which looked like refugees from a disco, and sounded about the same. I was sufficiently impressed with the Akai VCR to buy it's smaller brother minus the surround sound processor which lasted until I upgraded to a Mitsubishi M1000 S-VHS deck. Good memories!

Why I'm sick of the new 'digital divide' between SMEs and the big boys

Thumb Up

Re: Fresh out of the Box smell

Excellent, valuable advice that should be taught and echoed at every opportunity.

Just because it's last year's (or 2 years old) doesn't mean it won't be fit for purpose and resolve the problem you have.

Likewise the idea of using lower or zero cost community versions of enterprise systems is a good one with, as is mentioned, the caveat that you need the technical people capable of implementing and supporting it.

It's sad that too many people with 'Director' and 'Manager' in their title don't realise that the product to fix their problem doesn't always come from someone wearing an expensive suit, a designer watch and who takes them for £100+ lunches.

Universities teach us a thing or two about BYOD


Re: Security deserves more attention. @Phil W

Intractable Potsherd:

You hit the nail right on the head, distance learning is a fact, it works, it's results are as good as any fixed university, and it's cost effective, so why are we paying for all of these university buildings and students accommodation when they could stay at home studying, have lectures delivered via webcasts and if they need to speak to the actual lecturer, they can speak via video conference applications like Skype. You could house the actual teaching staff in an anonymous office building on an estate and get rid of many of those costly university buildings and extra staff to run them. Big savings all round! Now the only university facilities you need are for those with highly specialised equipment in the fields of research (and even then much of that could probably be virtualised) whilst the purely academic courses such as maths don't really need any specialised equipment, so need no space on a university campus.

Meanwhile we could remove the high costs of the intangible courses (such as your humanities, arts and others which have no tangible return or use) and just have those vanity courses taught on line in an efficient manner, the reduction in building and staffing would make the whole cost of the vanity courses affordable to those who were interested and remove another burden from the tax payer.


"(Apologies if you don't work in a university. But if you don't, you are wrong to write misleading things. Ha, I win either way!)"

I don't work in a university, never have, never will! As for writing misleading things, another writer here commented on the expectations of students to fix their broken IT by the University IT dept. As for the cost to the tax payer, who do you think ultimately pays for all this? It comes from corporation tax and tax paid by people working in this country. Both entities are tax payers. All I ask is this, does my tax deliver acceptable ROI to me? I don't see what the money spent on Universities does for me, or for the companies which I work for. Given the higher education budget for the Uk, the return seems poor. BYOD seems an extravagance we cannot afford, students should be todl what to buy and what is supported, it's up to them to supply compliant equipment which are to IT policy of the Universities, this would be more efficient and economical. I really don't see the problem other than a bunch of spoilt students wanting to do what they want at my expense.


Re: Poor you

"Students have never paid more for the higher education than they do now. The tax payer is steadily reducing the available subsidies to higher education, and has been for decades."

So essentially students have been freeloading off the tax payer for years and now you're upset because you're asked to take resposibility for what you cost the country (which is made up of tax payers who fund it's continued operation). The tax payer subsidy does not need reducing, it needs removing completely, and students should take responsibility for their education, like companies and individuals have to in the private sector.

"Bandwidth? Yeah, the university pays for it through a combination of corporate R&D money and student fees, and the taxpayer benefits from the enormous pipes that university institutions have laid between them (and a few taxpayer subsidies implied - good use of money IMHO)."

No, we don't benefit, the pipes are part of JANET (again paid for by the tax payer), if you want a truly good use of tax payer subsidies, try superfast broadband for 100% of the UK, in case you've not noticed the roll out is being slowed down to consumers by the massive investment required by the private sector. I don't see the benefit to me from the high bandwidth JANET network.

"I wouldn't pass too much blame onto the media studies students either - they pay 9 grand same as I would if I was studying engineering. My labs and full week of lectures cost considerably more than their space in the library and their 5 hours contact time a week. I think if you look at the books, they're paying the subsidies to train engineers and doctors - you know, these people that you and society has come to take for granted."

Yes, and exactly what does a media studies graduate do for a living, I can't think of a valid use for one of them, and if they can't be found ause for, the loan doesn't get paid back and that costs the country. As far as taking engineers and doctors for granted..you're joking, I pay via tax and NI for the doctors in this country, and I work with 30+ engineers at one of the sites I look after and have respect for their field and their education, they actually do produce something valid - a profit for the company employing them!

"For the time being, executives in industry listen to their scare stories of viruses and pen drives being open gateways to the pirates in the East who will steal all IP they can get their hands on (i'm not arguing that these are false threats), but the world is changing, and corporations will have to start tackling this problem head on."

These are not scare stories as anone with 20+ years experience in running and securing systems will tell you. the recent PRISM scandal should tell you all you need to know, and if you don't see the relevance, then it proves you've never had to be accountable for IP and data protection in the real World.

" I've often heard that brand new graduates are often the cause of the most major security breaches at corporations. When that is happening, it's time to up your game."

Wrong, it's time for you to grow up and learn to follow corporate IT policy, you're paid to do a job according to company rules, learn how to do it or there is a P45 in your near future.

"Restrictions that work with your current employees do NOT work with my generation, we've had years in school to learn how to circumvent filters to do what we want, and to use our IT for our purposes efficiently. IT security is generally not something we take seriously, but that is your problem to solve"

No, you follow the restriction or you don't have a job, employees do not dictate policy, you learn to work within it or you're shown the door. If you don't like it, a job on the checkout a Morrisons beckons.

"It's getting to the point where I can either obey IT policy or I can do my job, but not both"

When you actually have had a few real jobs with resposibility, and you have experience, come back and start talking with some facts under your belt. I have 25 years under my belt and given the attitude of people like you, many more to come!


Basically this article explains where my tax money is going, into providing high bandwidth torrent access for a bunch of students who take out massive loans and cost me, the tax payer, the better part of £100K for their higher education each, who take out loans which are only paid back once they earn over a certain amount of money.

This mob then expect me to pay to maintain their broken IT crap, whinge incessantly when they can't stream the latest episode of Big Brother, and who have no real SLA demands other than cheap access to beer at the student union bar, yet this is still meant to be some example to business IT?

Add to this the fact that they're poncing around studying media studies or humanities, which no employer in the known world who has to actually make money is interested in, they spend 3 years passing around viruses (both computer and STD's), then leave to go work part time for a minimum wage in a supermarket, or if the likely grade is really bad, the girls get themselves pregnant and live off the state for the next 16 years.

Somehow, I really don't see the commercially relevant example here!

Tech is the biggest problem facing archiving


Proprietary backup format = No backup

You make a good point, storing ageing data in a proprietary format is fraught with problems.One site I worked at had a badly organised backup & storage system which eventually failed. Recovering the data involved building a Netbackup server from scratch to recover the data. If those files had been stored as a regular tar ball or a filesystem dump they could have been recovered far more rapidly.

Don't confuse the backup with the archive. When I backup archive data, I always use the original format and ensure an O/S install disk is kept with it. I tend to favour optical media now, I find it durable and readers are easy to come by (I can still read CD-ROM's from 20 years ago). This way, once the O/S is up and running, the data can be accessed easily.

Avoiding proprietary formats means there is one less problem between you and your data.

Daisy Group battles to keep 2e2 managed services user base



If Daisy Group have taken over this company, then I would be avoiding them like the plague. Every company I have dealt with that has been owned by or taken over by Daisy Group has turned into a disaster. I would say those people who are keeping their jobs should be sending out their CV's right about now, they won't keep their jobs. One client of mine had a mobile phone contract with a mobile phone provider which was taken over, mid contract, via Daisy Group. Under Daisy's leadership, none of the original staff stayed, the company broke the terms of it's original agreement and Daisy made it a nightmare for my client to leave their contract, eventually requiring the intervention of the mobile phone company itself.

If I were an 2e2 client, I'd be making plans today to leave, your contract won't be worth a thing now these clowns are in charge.

This is just my take given what clients of mine have been through.

PS...This will be the first of many cloud failures I predict.

Virgin launches TV Anywhere streaming


I wonder what has happened to the PC software which allows you to upload and download to a Tivo hard drive, and to watch Tivo programs on a PC.

I know this software is available in the USA, but Virgin have been very quiet about this functionality here in the UK.

Has anyone heard any further news about this software?

Bird of Prey: 1980s IT on on the small screen


Lovefilm to the rescue

£125 seems rather excessive - this is available via Lovefilm.

iPhone 5 imperilled by Sharp's 'huge' problems with tellies


I can't help but hope we'll see the headline that Apple has had to go crawling back to Samsung to ask if it will make it's iPhone 5 screens after Sharp crashes out of the business. It would be even funnier if Samsung said yes......at twice the price to cover it's escalating legal bills!

Blighty battles Oz for stratospheric supremacy

Thumb Up

Press miss out on Ashes coverage - Showing sport from London instead

How come the British press missed out on this superb tournament, instead focusing on a few people aimlessly running around in London's East End. I would have preferred to have has this televised instead.

How about a European tournament next year, with competitors bringing not only balloons and payloads, but also their own nations beer, that we can see three battles at the same venue, for altitude, payload functionality, and best beer.

I'm sure we can get a contingent of BBC reporters in for that one!

BTW, congratulations to all concerned, all these photos are of superb quality and something to be proud of.

Build a bonkers hi-fi


Re: The psychoacoustics of the saleman...

Actually the days of the dedicated Hi Fi salesman are long since over, now the best salesmen in these stores are almost invariably the stores owner. I remember a store local to me which I frequented as a teenager, and when the late 80's recession hit, the bank sent in management consultants, who decided that the owner could get down his operating costs and pay their vast interest rates and consultancy fees by firing the experienced sales people who had a relationship with the cusotmers, and replacing them all with students working part time at a fraction of the price (this was before minimum wage). This was basically inflicted on the poor store owner to reduce his costs in order to keep the 'support' of the bank. The store owner complied, and within 24 months was in receivership.

the other problem is the greed of both distributors and stores, with some distributors demanding 30 - 50% profit margins, and dealers wanting 25 - 35% on source components and amps, 30 - 50% on speakers depending on brand and marketing power, and 40 - 60% on 'accessories' like stands and cables. It's no wonder the actual cost price of this equipment has little bearing on the final retail price, a typical relationship in Hi Fi is of 7 - 8:1 relationship of cost to final selling price.

it's this kind of thing which makes Hi Fi equipment seem so expensive.

Now the staff in many of these stores are little better than Currys staff, thoughb I will say the staff in Richer Sounds are the exception to this rule, courteous, intelligent and genuinely helpful, if you are buying any lower to midrange component you can do a lot worse than speak to someone in Richer Sounds.


Re: Oh dear, not this again

You're spot on here.

I used to review Hi Fi equipment for a couple of magazines, and I would never review digital cables, because I could not credibly recommend anyone to buy them. I tested £1K super high end digital cables on S/PDIF (phono & BNC) against some cable I built from true 75 Ohm connectors and Belden video cable. I had a friend switch between inputs blind, and I could not tell the difference. My cable cost me around £10, and that was only because the connectors were from the USA as most RCA Phono connectors are not true 75 Ohm devices.

The truth is that most CD transports and DAC's do not have true 75 Ohm connectors on them, and if the loading is wrong, this can introduce measureable signal problems. So the claims that digital cables sound different are not wrong, it simply mean that they work better with an interface which is out of spec then another cable, and there is no guarantee that the cables are true 75 Ohm items either.

Thankfully USB to DAC has removed this nonsense, though the audio industry is now desperately trying to sell us high end USB cables which sound better. I await to be convinced!


I'm sorry, but Meridian is really taking the p**s with the Media Core 600. Can you imagine going to an IT supplier for stroage and them asking you for £6K for 2TB of storage? If a salesman came here quoting me those kinds of figures he'd be sent down the road in 30 seconds flat.

Let's be clear here, Meridian are asking £6K for a 2 bay NAS with a pair of 2TB Samsung HDD's. I can buy that kind of thing from PC world for under £400.

This kind of stupidity is really destroying the Hi Fi business today, I know they're struggling, as the CD player of yore are now irrelevant in a world of media streamers and NAS devices, but the industry does itself no favours by trying to sell storage at vastly inflated prices, and the damn dealers are still demanding 30%+ margins with minimum wage Saturday boys in the shops with questionable knowledge and skills.

The future for the whole business looks very bleak indeed.


Re: Remember the hard drives


You can already do this for a very low price. Mini ITX based computer with Windows 7, store the music on a NAS (you'd be amazed at just how much uncompressed music fits into 1TB, so much it's almost not worth worrying about compression anymore to save storage), Now install a 128GB Intel SSD and run the machine with 4GB RAM. Load it up with a piece of software called XXHighEnd, which copies the tracks to RAM for playback, and you have a silent computer which plays the music back lossless from RAM. Now supplement with USB DAC to your liking, sit back, and enjoy the music. The whole system can be built for around £400 + DAC, and for me this lossless playabck system betters a £6K CD player when used with a modest (sub £400) USB DAC.

I have a collection of over 700CD's, and I don't recall actually playing one of them in the last 3 years because I rely on a streaming system now, and yes, that entire collection fits in under 1TB of storage.

Students face off in Hamburg home-cooked cluster clash


Has an omission been made in the team listings, or is there no entrant from UK?

Sony KDL-55HX853 55in 3D LED TV


Re: Backlit - Edge or direct?


Joseph: Can't argue with anything you say, I think your anlysis of the marketplace is right on the money, people want the 'look' of the panel rather than the unadulterated 'performance' of the direct panel with the slight aesthetic downside of having a thicker panel, they go for the looks of the device rather than pure performance, though local dimming edge lit panels are better than they used to be, they still lag behind direct backlit displays. Likewise, the digital bling is there for the mass market and it does pull down the price of the finished product, I just mourn the mass market going towards digital widgets rather than demanding the best possible display quality.

Yes, the chipset choice was probably made a couple of years ago, but I still found ti odd that the review didn't chastise Sony for this oversight given the more technical audience reviews on here usually attract.

Whilst local dimming edge lit TV's are much better than they used to be, I can still see light traces at the edge of the screen on dark scenes with bright details. This is less of a problem for me as I am fortunate enough to use a video projector, but for many people they have to use panels, so they will have this slight but irritating side effect of edge lit screens vis a vis direct illuminated screens.

REgarding the broadcast option, yes, you're projections are pretty much spot on, broadcast reference panels are hideously expensive, but I just wish there was still a market niche big enough to justify Sony resurrecting the Profeel name from the late 80's. Probably just a hankering for the old Sony at it's best.


Backlit - Edge or direct?

I note it is not mentioned whether this TV's backlighting is via edge backlighting, or direct?

I am surprised that the review didn't highlight the folly of producing a supposedly 'smart' TV which cannot natively decode MKV's? Most of my video is now held either as ISO images or MKV files, so this TV's media playback facilities would be rendered useless to me, LG 'smart' TV's can natively decode MKV's, this would seem to be a major oversight.

Increasingly in our fashion led World, image and styling is everything, actual performance seems to matter very little apart from digital bling like making TV's 'smart' or supporting 3D. I've found that very few companies seem to make the direct backlit panels any longer, yet TV's featuring those panel are (were) often cited as having the best picture quality, without multiple post processing measures being required. Does this mean that the consumer is no longer interested in true performance, instead being placated with mediocre image quality with lots of digital bling?

If Sony really wanted to capture it's past glories, maybe resurrecting the Profeel name with a direct backlit panel would be the way to go, with the tuner and image processing hardware in (optional) remote modules. SIM2 do a very similar thing with their high end video projectors.

I am now being driven to buy high end TV's with a multitude of irrelevent 'features' just to get a good basic panel. It's almost like the manufacturers are deliberately keeping the direct backlit panel for their high end sets with their prices inflated due to unnecessary gadgetry.

ITU adopts two ultra-high def TV specs


Re: Supa-Dupa-Hi-Def-o-Vision (with smell-o-vision)

Whilst this can't be faulted on either technical or ease of execution grounds, I would have a major problem with content.

I live in Lancashire, do you know how often you see a woman who looks like Charlize Theron or Cameron Diaz around here?

Blackpool ICT boss: BYOD doesn't save money


Do you know the definition of Audiophile?

The definition of an audiophile according to the OED is 'a hi-fi enthusiast'.

That I am, guilty as charged, I love music, I love hearing music in my home that actually sounds like music, not some bass bloated thumping noise or something coming out of a mobile phone speaker.

A great audio system to me brings me closer to the sound of the artist in the studio, and I don't waste money on £50 + tickect to live events with sound so loud and so bad it should carry a health warning, with a stage which I can see clearly, as long as I have a pair of Swarovski binoculars. That way my system pays for itself many times over during a lifespan which, for a good component, can be 20 years or more.

And yes, I still consider the sending of a Blackpool ICT boss to London conference a waste of MY money!


Why is Blackpool council wasting it's money send delegates to Infosec?

I don't get why a representative from Blackpool Borough Council is burning through council tax payers money at Infosec in London and pontificating about BYOD practices when the council has presided over some of the most moronic wastes of money in the last 15 years which has systematically destroyed any sort of commercial future for the town?

This is the council which has spent 10's of millions of tax payers money rebuilding a tram infrastructure run by a private company which made so little money they couldn't afford to maintain it themselves. They should have just made it a dual carriageway right along the promenade, at least that would have had value for residents and those in the town that do work (a minority). They wrecked the promenade road and removed traffic capacity without thinking about how to increase it anywhere else to compensate. They ahve put buildings on the promenade which everyone believes are ugly and the butt of jokes locally, which no one seems to use. The deficit the council is running at means they are wrecking local services.

All this, whilst this idiot is pointlessly prattling on about BYOD to accomodate people wanting to carry vanity with them rather than learning how to use the employer supplied devices effectively.

In case you're wondering, yes I am unfortunate enough to live in Blackpool and keep harbouring this hope that the town realises that it is no longer a viable tourist destination, and realises it's future is in commerce and as a commuter belt town for Preston and Manchester with excellent road links.

I will be writing to my councillor asking why this fiasco is being paid for by me!

Commodore founder Jack Tramiel dies at 83


Re: Thank you

Well said Sir - a beer does seem somewhat an inadequate accolade, but I am sure many of us will raise a drink to Mr. Tramiel and remember the many house of enjoyment he brought to us, and for many of us the effect his company and his equipment had on our lives.



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