* Posts by AlbertH

464 posts • joined 18 Jul 2012

Page:

'I'm telling you, I haven't got an iPad!' – Sent from my iPad

AlbertH

Re: How to spot a lie

This project is 3 days contractual, and it will have taken 3 months real time.

Bill them for ALL the time, including the waiting. That'll focus their minds!

AlbertH

Re: Which is why I always turn off email sigs...

Not strictly true. Forwarding an email in its entirity without permission could possibly be pursued as being a breach of copyright. (You own the copyright to any email you wrote yourself).

I had this very debate with our legal eagles. After several expensive bouts of fruitless litigation, they were forced to conceded that once the email has reached the recipient, it becomes the recipient's property to do with as (s)he wishes. In the same way that if you buy a record or CD then decide to use it as a discus, that's your business.

AlbertH

Re: Which is why I always turn off email sigs...

in some circumstances you could probably be sued for unauthorised forwarding of someone else's email on the same basis.

Err... nope. If you send me an email, it effectively becomes my property. You can request that I don't make the contents public, but that's as far as it goes when you've pressed "send". Megan Sparkles is going to be in for a lot of expense and a lot of frustration in court!

UK.gov admits it has not performed legally required data protection checks for COVID-19 tracing system

AlbertH
Mushroom

Re: what charges...

If you're stupid enough to believe the "figures" invented by the "woke" BBC, you really shouldn't post here.

It's interesting to note that there have been virtually zero recorded 'flu deaths since January. It's easier to tick the "Covid" box, rather than do the job properly. It's thought that there may have been around 7200 actual Covid deaths in the UK. Almost all of those are amongst obese asians. That's the unmentionable "elephant in the room"

AlbertH

Re: But of course

NHS funding has increased by almost 4% in real terms every year for the past 70 years.

Unfortunately, Brown and Blair invented the wheeze of "creating" bureaucratic "jobs" in the NHS to get people off the dole. The rate of increase in bureaucracy has eaten up every year's increase in NHS stipend.

There are three layers of unnecessary pen-pushing oxygen thieves in the NHS. If this waste of money was removed - it's easy to do: Just ask them to explain their "jobs", and when they can't, sack them. The huge amount of money saved could be put to clinical use and to pay for more medical staff. The "lockdown" has amply demonstrated that the NHS functions perfectly well without the useless bureaucrats.

AlbertH
WTF?

Re: But of course

Boris & Co can only be convicted of ignorance and stupidity. They made the mistake of listening to "Professor Doom" Ferguson again, and basing their policy decisions on the nonsense provided by him and Imperial.

As an aside: I've run Ferguson's "model" many times and it gives virtually random results. Imperial's suggested "fix" for this is to "average the results"!

"Track & Trace" is a nonsense - nobody will ever provide truly accurate details of their movements and contacts with other people. It's just a fact of data collection - try getting someone to describe what they did yesterday, minute by minute, and they (normally) just can't do it accurately!

Sick of AI engines scraping your pics for facial recognition? Here's a way to Fawkes them right up

AlbertH

Re: Randomized poisoning

Yes it can. It's going to be a nightmare for government agencies if its use becomes widespread - they'll end up having to store gigantic numbers of images if each of us registers (say) 10 images of "us" on line, and >90% of them will be worthless. Worse yet, they won't know which 90% will be defective, rendering their entire database completely useless. Another government IT project that will never work!

AlbertH
IT Angle

Nope....

It never worked properly (colour me surprised!)

Only EU can help us, pleads Slack as it slings competition complaint against Microsoft Teams

AlbertH
Facepalm

Perhaps we have....

What we need is a good open source and free version for anybody to use.

Google Duo is pretty good as a video telephone application, and handles poor internet connections (like from mobile phones) more gracefully than all the others. It also seems to manage to compress the video data very effectively, so that it uses about half the bandwidth of Skype whilst maintaining the same (or better) video quality.

Linus Torvalds banishes masters, slaves and blacklists from the Linux kernel, starting now

AlbertH

Re: Reply to Linus Torvalds

That's a comment that makes me wish I could give a hundred upticks!

GCHQ's cyber arm report on Huawei said to be burning hole through UK.gov desks

AlbertH

The reality is....

Nokia, Siemens, Cisco and several other European and American companies are perfectly capable of providing the infrastructure for the UK 5G network. The only reason that the telcos want to go with Huawei is that they're cheap - as in about 40% of the prices of the European gear.

The truth is that the telcos just want to maximise their profits by buying the cheapest gear. That's all there is to it. The fact that the Chinese will probably have embedded all sorts of digital nastiness into the firmware really doesn't bother them!

Analogue radio given 10-year stay of execution as the UK U-turns on DAB digital future

AlbertH

Re: Pips

Nope - they can't. The decoding time lags vary by receiver model / chipset. I generally find that DAB is around 3 seconds behind the analogue version of the same programme, but varies from receiver to receiver.

AlbertH

Re: Crazy UK idiots...

The problem with FM is that the BBC have multiple frequencies spaced apart by a few 00s of kHz for just 4 radio stations (1 through 4) as these are needed to prevent nearby transmitters "beating" interference

Not quite true. The BBC national services (with the exception of Radio 1 that was added some years later) were smeared across huge swathes of the band because when they started, domestic receivers had rather poor selectivity, and so the stations in each area were well spread in frequency. The clots planning the network forgot about FM "capture effect" (basically, the strongest signal wins, completely blotting out the weaker signal beneath it), and frequency re-use was considered to be a "bad thing".

Properly engineered, the four BBC nationals should occupy no more than 87.6 to about 90 MHz. This would really open the band up - as suggested by the "Wise Report" on FM broadcasting in the late 70s. Fred Wise suggested "classes" of station from nationals down to regional, city-wide, community of interest, then "parish pumps" broadcasting to a neighbourhood. With careful planning and a bit of intelligence, Band II could accommodate a huge number of stations.

There is no sane reason for the BBC nationals to occupy over half the band!

AlbertH

Re: dabshite

Digital Raddio Mondiale is used by some short wave stations and is capable of remarkably good results even over a restricted bandwidth channel. I've done lots of DRM pirate broadcasts from my site in the Irish Republic - the response from listeners used to be very good.

AlbertH

Re: dabshite

An FM stereo channel is 150kHz wide - 75kHz either side of the carrier. There are three principal components - sum (L+R - mono) received by mono receivers, difference (L-R) which is modulated on to a 38 kHz-centred double-sideband-suppressed-carrier sub-carrier, and a 19 kHz pilot tone to indicate the presence of stereo and to provide the 38 kHz to re-insert to demodulate the difference component. There is a fourth component these days, another DSSC signal centred on 57kHz which carries the RDS data stream.

For its day, Zenith-GE multiplex stereo (that's what it's called, folks) was a pretty nifty way of retaining compatibility with existing mono radios, and conveying two good quality audio channels (albeit with only 15kHz top end). It's pretty wasteful of bandwidth, but there's a hell of a lot of "plant" about and endless receivers for it in the hands of the public. When done properly, it can sound wonderful.

AlbertH
Megaphone

Re: Signal strength in the UK on DAB and DAB+

A single 1MW transmitter covering the country would be sufficient for each of these. I guess they have local radios for Traffic Info.

Sadly, no. Certainly not on VHF. The signals on the 3m band go to the horizon and no further. You extend the horizon by putting your aerial up a hill and a big mast. The power of the signal simply defines the signal to noise ratio at the receiver. A 1W station goes just as far as a 1kW station - it's just weaker when it gets to the horizon (and probably in the noise!).

Even the Netherlands requires regional transmitters to cover the whole country.

AlbertH

Re: What a surpirse. It's muppetry.

I use DAB all the time in my car. Never has a problem with reception.

Presumably you have the local DAB site within a few hundred metres of your home, and your car never leaves the driveway.

AlbertH
Headmaster

The Common Market was OK, but not the EU.

Nope, I don't understand that, either.

Simple. The Common Market allowed free trade across borders. That's all it did. The EU is trying to create a European Federation - a "United States Of Europe", with political and social alignment and homogenisation throughout. As a Dutch person, I have nothing whatsoever in common with a Greek (for example) - we have different values, desires, wishes and ideals. We're completely different.

The EU tries to remove that difference. It's a fascistic socialist super-state, and if you want to see just how badly that turns out, just look at the history of the USSR. Nobody knows where the incredible amounts of money paid into the EU have gone. Some people have become incredibly rich out of the EU scam.

The smarter countries - the UK first, then the Netherlands and Denmark next - are getting out of the EU before it collapses under the weight of fraud, thievery and dodgy politics. Now the UK isn't paying in insane amounts of money, the only countries "contributing" are Germany and (to a much lesser extent) France. They're not going to prop up the collapsing super-state for long! All the southern countries are fiscal basket-cases - can you really see the French baling out the Greeks as they sink beneath their ocean of debt?

Here endeth the lesson.....

AlbertH

Re: DAB Is dead in the water

These have been on the market for the last 15 years!

AlbertH

Re: DAB Is dead in the water

DAB has always stood for "Dead And Buried"!

AlbertH

Re: Actual sound quality

"Optimod" if used correctly can enhance the perceived quality of a broadcast signal - on AM. The FM version of it, however, is just a box of frequency-selective clippers, and sounds really horrible no matter how it's set up.

AlbertH

Re: Radio 4 LW?

One really useful function of the 198kHz signal is that it's a worldwide frequency standard, traceable to the National Physical Laboratory. I remember having to modify my 200kHz frequency standard receivers for the move to 198kHz. I've also used off-air 198kHz as the reference (when divided down to 9kHz) for the PLL synthesis in medium wave transmitters. It was funny when the OFCOM inspectors smugly told me that the rig they were inspecting was 105Hz high in frequency, and I demonstrated that their "officially calibrated" frequency counter actually was significantly wrong!

AlbertH

Re: Thank fuck for that

Is it the radio station - or the shite sample rates and codec in the DAB Spec?

A combination of both. DAB and DAB+ are abysmally designed. The radio stations consigned to use these media don't really care much about how they sound, because they know that DAB/+ has practically no listeners (the OFCOM figures are entirely bogus).

AlbertH
Happy

Re: The future is behind you ....

I've been known to put a reasonable signal into a fairly efficient medium wave aerial on occasions. I got a daytime signal that covered the south east of the UK and much of the Benelux with just 600W carrier / 2400W peak. If you want night-time coverage, you need about ten times that power unless you're fortunate enough to find a truly clear frequency.

AlbertH

Re: The future is behind you ....

We've got Radio Caroline (sort of) on 648kHz up here in East Anglia. They got licenced for 1 kW from the old BBC Orfordness site. It's true crap - their modulation sounds like it's coming through a sock, and the frequency is deliberately chosen by OFCOM to screw them over: They have zero coverage during the hours of darkness because of the two multi-kilowatt stations on the same frequency in Europe. They can't be heard right next to their site at night!

Finally, a wafer-thin server... Only a tiny little thin one. Oh all right. Just the one...

AlbertH

Unique Rules

Italian UPS machines have their own really idiosyncratic set of rules. They seldom work properly.

Play stupid games, win stupid prizes: UK man gets 3 years for torching 4G phone mast over 5G fears

AlbertH
Childcatcher

Re: nutters

My company - whilst installing some 4G infrastructure - were given the job of installing wi-fi into a school. The lads put the access points up in the appointed places, and ran the Ethernet cables into an equipment cupboard at the end of the main corridor. On their third day there, they were met by all the teachers (and a number of incensed parents) complaining that they were all suffering from various maladies including headaches, ingrowing toenails, hair loss and even curdled milk in the staff room....

They were all very embarrassed when they were shown that the Ethernet cables that ran along the walls to the cupboard weren't actually connected to anything......

AlbertH

Re: Sigh...

They should be dumped on Rockall, along with XR morons, and the BLM clowns who're making the cities statue-free

AlbertH

Re: That may be true

90mbps is just 1 / 400th of the REAL broadband speed I get in Singapore. I find it hard to believe that the poor saps in the UK who have to put up with 5 - 8 mbps call it "broadband". I suppose it's a bit quicker than their old 28k dial-up..... "Broadband" it's NOT!

AlbertH

Re: He used the wrong excuse

Not at all. Stupidity often has "capital" consequences (though not frequently enough).

AlbertH

Re: Gullibility is no excuse.

It's quite funny to point out to the numpties that they get much more irradiated by going outside on a sunny day.....

I kept my office / workshop entirely clear of interference by PHBs, HR muppets or anyone else I didn't want to see by putting up a "Radiation" sign on the door and a colourful warning about "Radiation Testing in Progress". I really can recommend this approach for all engineers who just want to quietly get on with their jobs!

So you really didn't touch the settings at all, huh? Well, this print-out from my secret backup says otherwise

AlbertH

Re: To my shame ..

Parkinson's Law demonstrates quite conclusively that the most "efficient" Navy has one sailor and no ships!

AlbertH

Re: To my shame ..

It's going to be interesting when the NHS "Managers" return to "work". Their 12-week absence hasn't affected the operation of the NHS at all. Every last one of them should have to re-apply for their job, and explain exactly why they weren't needed during the coronavirus debacle

AlbertH

Re: Ah, customers.

My reply to the PHB who claims to know how to do the job is to humbly ask "Could you show me your improved approach to the job, please?". This has resulted in the replacement of several PHBs in the big organisation I used to work for.

When asked by HR to "justify the job you do as if you're applying for the position", I tell them that they won't understand the answer, so it's a waste of time asking. This usually ties them up in knots and gets me marked down as "difficult but very competent". That suits me, because the PHBs stay away from my department!

Boeing brings back the 737 Max but also lays off thousands

AlbertH

Re: What will insurance premiums be ?

Dear Deity! That smug Salesdroid is a "chief project engineer"? Boeing are certainly doomed.

AlbertH

Re: "more than a dozen initiatives focused on enhancing workplace safety and product quality"

No it's not. The MAX is a lengthened 737 with new, "enhanced efficiency" engines fitted with a bizarre kludge so bad that the whole airframe becomes unstable in anything other than straight, level flight in calm air. The geniuses at Boeing decided to try to overcome the instability issues by manipulating the operation of the flight control surfaces by software - often cutting the pilots out of the loop altogether. The upshot was that the software often couldn't cope with situations that happen in real flight conditions (such as the momentary loss of a sensor signal or two) and so the doomed aircraft would do very bizarre, self-destructive things.....

AlbertH

It wouldn't matter if there was a "defeat switch". The airframe is fundamentally unbalanced, and the inappropriate engine choice just makes the situation worse! There is no way to "fix" this aircraft except by a complete re-design from the ground up.

It astonishes me that a company like Boeing could be so misguided as to believe that software could correct basic aerodynamic flaws.....

Linus Torvalds drops Intel and adopts 32-core AMD Ryzen Threadripper on personal PC

AlbertH

Re: mythical Year Of Linux On the Desktop comes

The final death of Windows will come when MS fully moved to a "leased" model - the end user doesn't own anything in the way of software (and probably not even their own data, either!). Businesses will finally realise that the buy software, upgrade equipment to cope, buy new OS, upgrade equipment.... rinse and repeat cycle.... is costing them a fortune. Even government departments are starting to realise this!

Ofcom waves DAB radio licences under local broadcasters' noses as FM switchoff debate smoulders again

AlbertH

Re: Complete the migration to DAB+ before faffing with FM

"DAB as with digitial music will never be better than an top analogue signal (due to sampling)"

Not true. A sampled signal is capable of perfect reproduction of the original analogue signal, provided it was encoded correctly and the sample rate is high enough.

That's largely true. Unfortunately DAB - and even CD - is hamstrung by their ancient heritage!

AlbertH

Re: Complete the migration to DAB+ before faffing with FM

Further - the enhancement to FM back in the 80s was FMX. This also retained compatibility with mono and stereo legacy receivers, but gave improved stereo reception - particularly when mobile - for people who invested in the improved FMX-capable receivers. A great, simple system enhancement killed off by apathy at the NAB.

AlbertH

Re: DAB is terrible quality due to low bitrates

I ran a DRM (Digitale Radio Mondiale) pirate on shortwave for a few years late last century and early this....

We were pleasantly surprised by the global reach of our 800W signal on ~6.4 MHz day time and ~13.6MHz night. We had almost zero listeners in the UK (we were coming from the Irish Republic), but plenty throughout the rest of Europe.....

AlbertH

Re: Great timing...

Worse than that - Heart and the other conglomerates are doing away with actual radio presenters. The majority of their shows are now automated and "voice tracked" - it just comes squirting out of a computer. This is contributing to the rapid death of music radio in the UK - much as it has done in huge swathes of the USA.

AlbertH

IBOC Calamity

I've had the misfortune to have to work with the NAB's IBOC (In Band On Channel) digital mess. It turns a nice, clean simple FM signal into a cluttered, over-wide distorted mess. There are digital artefacts clearly audible to analogue listeners, and the IBOC receivers available to the general public are generally of rather poor quality. The big-name manufacturers never took IBOC seriously, and as the analogue FM signals are now seriously degraded by the IBOC mush, they're tending to take less interest in hi-fi analogue FM receivers as well.

Everyone's moving to satellite (XM) or the interweb, and leaving the NAB to stew with their dreadful IBOC mess.

Back in the early 80s, when I was engineering a major LA radio station, we added a system called "FMX". This used an enhanced stereo encoder at the transmitter, and added an extra quadrature subcarrier to the difference signal, so on a suitably equipped receiver, the improvement in received quality was remarkable. It virtually eliminated the "picket-fencing" effects of mobile reception, and most importantly, it remained entirely compatible with ordinary FM stereo (if you hadn't yet bought one of the enhanced receivers). FMX worked really well, but was killed off by apathy at the NAB (the "not invented here" problem) and by stupid Patent Law practitioners.

AlbertH

DAB "Quality"

The appalling reduction in bit rates, due to the greediness of OFCOM wanting to sell as many broadcast licences as possible, is a scandal. The fact that DAB was antiquated before it even started broadcasting (MP2 FFS) and that they wildly miscalculated the problems that would be caused by weak or multipath signals, means that it has never been fit for purpose.

The early demonstration broadcasts of Radio 3 were reasonably good, and similar in quality to the FM service (though with more compression). Subsequent broadcasting on DAB has been a sad joke. The uptake of receivers for the first 18 years of the service was laughably small. The coverage around much of the UK is still abysmal.

It's only the huge advertising push over the last few years that have actually persuaded the hoi polloi to part with their readies for new receivers. Sadly, when they get their shiny new DAB box home, it mostly remains switched to FM mode or relegated to a cupboard, because the DAB side of it just doesn't work.

Since mobile data coverage on most networks is better than DAB coverage, and because 128kb/s MP3 sounds better in a car than the bubbling mud of DAB, that's where the listeners are going. Early last Autumn, I listened to the output of my on-line radio station all the way from Colchester to Turin (with a break in the Chunnel) using my mobile phone coupled to the car radio by bluetooth. There were a couple of dead spots in the wilds of rural France, but for the most part I got great reception.

If I was listening on DAB, that simply wouldn't have been possible....

UK finds itself almost alone with centralized virus contact-tracing app that probably won't work well, asks for your location, may be illegal

AlbertH

Re: Of course, being centrally controlled

Matt Hancock really understands Operating Systems and software for phones.....NOT!

The Great British anti-5G fruitcake Bakeoff: Group hugs, no guns, and David Icke

AlbertH

Re: I just get cruel to them.

I've been warning the credulous loons about the "terrible risks" from the Star Link satellites. It's been fun watching them run for cover!

AlbertH
Mushroom

Re: The higher the frequency, the greater the energy

The utter, wilful misunderstanding of basic physics in that post is staggering, unless it's meant to be sarcastic.

Britain has no idea how close it came to ATMs flooding the streets with free money thanks to some crap code, 1970s style

AlbertH

Re: Experienced tester.

We used to modify the BT indoor payphones - the wallphone and coin-box type. A simple bit of wiring, and the party-line button marked "press" on the wallphone became useful: Make your call, and when the insert coin "pips" began, just hold in the "press" button and dial the number of 10p coins you wanted it to register!

!

Nine million logs of Brits' road journeys spill onto the internet from password-less number-plate camera dashboard

AlbertH

Re: Massive invasion of privacy

Saddling our NHS with massive PFI debts to fiddle the balance of payments, selling off our gold reserves at the lowest market point in many years, plundering pensions, creating millions of non-jobs in NHS "management", spending like drunken sailors, then utterly crashing the economy......

That was the fiscal legacy left by the people who had power from 1997 - 2010. We're still paying for it, and will be for another generation. The societal damage wrought by their bizarre "politically correct" actions, their interference in Police and Armed Forces that was clearly designed to do as much damage as possible, their manipulation of media (pace the "Dodgy Dossier" used to take the UK into a war), and their inability to ever apologise for the disaster they wrought.....

Just remember: Socialism represents societal and state bankruptcy, which is exactly what it was designed to do; it is the sterile philosophy of those who wish to control the masses whilst pretending to have their best interests at heart.

Page:

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR WEEKLY TECH NEWSLETTER

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2020