* Posts by AlbertH

437 posts • joined 18 Jul 2012


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


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......


Re: Sigh...

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


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!


Re: He used the wrong excuse

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


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


Re: To my shame ..

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


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


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


Re: What will insurance premiums be ?

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


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.....


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


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


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!


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.


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.....


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.


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.


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


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


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!


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


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


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.

Vodafone chief speaks out after 5G conspiracy nuts torch phone mast serving Nightingale Hospital in Brum


Re: Possibly OTT on my part but..

The WHO?

All you need to know about them is that they spend more each year on First Class plane tickets for their staff than they do on drugs or medical equipment.


From Brit telly presenter Eamonn Holmes to burning 5G towers in the Netherlands: Stupid week turns into stupid fortnight for radio standard

Black Helicopters

Re: Don't follow the link I'm posting!

Weird thing is that Miles used to be a very responsible senior engineer for a major broadcaster. I don't know what he's been drinking - mind bleach, possibly - but I certainly don't want any of it.


Re: The RF nutters

As part of a re-cabling job in a school, we were asked to install wi-fi throughout. Within days of starting work, we were confronted by all the teachers, complaining that they had headaches and tiredness, and even the milk in the Staff Room had been curdled by the "dangerous radiation". I took them down the main corridor to the equipment cupboard at the end, and opened it to reveal that all that had been installed at that point were the access points in each room and the cabling back to the cupboard.

Nothing had been powered up yet....

These "educators" persisted in complaining that the "aerials" were upsetting them.....

Loons. Every last one of them. I pity the children that they were supposed to teach!

From Amanda Holden to petrol-filled water guns: It has been a weird week for 5G


Re: Consequeneces

And, more to the point, knobs who voted Tory but fail to make the connection between that and an under-resourced NHS

Not quite. From 2001 - 2003 Bliar and McDoom came up with the wheeze of "employing" people from the extensive dole queues to "administrative" posts in the NHS. They employed over a million of them to do nothing useful. They're still "employed" at the NHS, doing nothing useful.

Bose shouts down claims that it borked noise cancellation firmware to sell more headphones


Re: Er ...

Why the hell does something that should be as analogue as "Noise Cancelling Headphones" require firmware anyway? That sounds like ridiculous over-engineering.


Re: Home visits

In fact Bose only ever had one slightly good product - the 401 speaker. The rest of their stuff was wildly over-priced garbage, sold to gullible idiots. I'm related to a couple of these gullible fools and got quite sick of being told how wonderful their Bose rubbish was.

When I moved into my present house, I installed a couple of LS3/5A on brackets on the wall in the Living Room. The gullible Bose buyers were astonished by how good "those little speakers" could sound, and one of them has sought "proper" replacements for their Bose gear.

In the sound engineering world, Bose always stood for:

Buy Other Sound Equipment.

Minister slams 5G coronavirus conspiracy theories as 'dangerous nonsense' after phone towers torched in UK


They are also the first to howl when their children aren't allowed into kindergarten or infant school because they haven't been immunised.

Who's going to pay for Britain's Aunty Beeb to carry on? Broadband users, broadcaster suggests to government

Black Helicopters

Re: April Fool

The BBC that I knew (back in the 1970s, when I worked there) died in the late 80s. It was replaced with a Politically Correct, socially manipulative, Common Purpose-riddled organisation that would routinely advertise jobs for "non-male, non-white" applicants. They have not been "fit for purpose" for the last 30 years. We now - finally - have a government who are prepared to do something about this.

The broadband levy is a joke. If they were to add a "BBC Fee" to broadband charges, it would be no time at all until they decided to add an "Email Tariff", or a "Download Charge"..... It would be just another Tax - like Road Tax - that just ends up in the general pot of taxation. We're already taxed an aggregate of around 70% (if you're a "higher rate" taxpayer) - one of the highest rates in the world. Compared to some countries, we get precious little back for our hard-earned!

Borky shark: A deserted airport and a Raspberry Pi feeling poorly at baggage claim. Welcome to 2020


Re: But...but...but...Linux!

A quick and relatively cheap fix has been provided by a couple of the makers of peripherals for the R-Pi. It is a "UPS" that uses NiMH cells and a simple monitoring circuit to charge the battery from the Pi PSU. My improvised version has allowed a "mission critical" Pi (actually just an Office Directory for a big office building I work in) to continue to run continuously for over three years despite brief power outages and dirty mains. It has a little, irritating beeper that sounds if the power is unplugged, and a sign that illuminates requesting that the power is reconnected! This overcomes the "cleaner unplugged it" problem!

Apollo astronaut Al Worden – once named most isolated human being of all time – dies aged 88


Re: The most isolated human

...or Lewis


Captain Caveman rides to the rescue, solves a prickly PowerPoint problem with a magical solution


Re: My word...

My favourite - ever - service call was from a well-known band's manager. They were on a world tour, and had reached California. I was flown London to LAX First Class on American Airlines (as pleasant as flying can be made). I was chauffeured the the hotel in Beverley Hills where the band were staying.

I was handed the two problem laptops - one used for the band's set lists, and the other for on-line Amazon ordering of "incidentals". Both had succumbed to moisture from condensation in an aircraft hold.... Open, wipe with tissues, wipe with isopropyl alcohol, leave open in the warm air of a hotel room for a couple of hours.... Reboot, and away they both went!

I got two days in LA, got to see the band's gig in LA, complete with backstage pass, got well fed and watered, and then sent back to London the same way I'd come over. I also received ~$3500 for my "prompt attention to their problems"!

There isn't a "smug" icon, is there?

BT's Wi-Fi Disc ads banned because there's no evidence the things work


Re: Use a second wifi hotspot

Unfortunately, the "powerline" wi-fi setups cause horrendous amounts of interference - practically from DC to daylight.

Whilst in London, I had a neighbour with a powerline setup which wiped out any long wave, medium wave and shortwave reception for quite an area around his house. After suffering this for a few days, I invited him 'round and showed what data was being sent over his powerline system and received in my house and decrypted (trivially) through the spill into the street mains. I showed him the supposedly secure communications he'd had with his bank.....

He's in litigation with both the suppliers and the manufacturers of the powerline rubbish, and there's no cloud of broadband interference around his house any more.

Research suggests UK consumers find 'fibre' advertising misleading


In my Singapore flat I get 1Gb /250 Mb and it comes free with the lease. It's like trying to drink from a fire hose! The flat rental is about £1480/m.


Re: OMG!!! Colour me shocked

It's quite amusing:

The Salesdroid in the local Virgin Media Shoppe insisted that the fat, black cable that was coming into my house was "fibre". I explained politely that it was actually a ratty piece of the cheapest RG59 coax they could get, and he persisted in insisting that it contained "fibre".

I wrote to the local area manager, explaining the "misunderstanding" of the clown in the shop, and received a letter in reply insisting that it was "fibre".

I invited the area manager to come to my house with one of his "engineers" installers and cut into the black cable to show exactly what was inside. He obviously thought better of this after he did some asking around.... A few days later, I got a very muted apology, an upgrade to the next tier of service, and my Bill cancelled for 6 months.

If you have the misfortune to be on VM, go into your local shop and ask when they're going to provide "fibre" connections - as I did - and you'll be told derisively that "You already have fibre. What do you think that black thing coming in through your wall is?". It's worth persisting and calling their bluff. Eventually they'll get the message and stop lying about their rather poor services.

Remember when Europe’s entire Galileo satellite system fell over last summer? No you don’t. The official stats reveal it never happened


Re: WTF?

Wouldn't it be lovely to have Droitwich back at its rated power and 2 kHz higher? A wonderfully accurate, utterly reliable frequency reference!

Take DOS, stir in some Netware, add a bit of Windows and... it's ALIIIIVE!


Re: That said

Yes - don't use Windoze 10. DOSBox is a brilliant emulator, but is Linux-only

Remember that Sonos speaker you bought a few years back that works perfectly? It's about to be screwed for... reasons


Re: Seriously Cheesed Off !

A fool and his money.....

Anyone with an iota of sense could see this sort of thing coming. Built-in obsolescence is a fact of life for many technological devices (any Windows-based or Apple computer, for example). It is just a matter of time until any closed-source product is declared "out of date", necessitating purchase of (at least) new software to keep the gear going.

The Sonos products were just like Bose (Buy Other Sound Equipment) or Apple - over-priced generic rubbish, packaged in a pretty box.

Moral: Always buy generic gear with open-source firmware / software. It will cost you much less and is easily upgraded / updated when necessary!


Re: Sonos equals convienience

What is convenient about paying Amazon money to record everything you say in your home?

Do you have any idea of the quantity of data that would be generated by just one household? Multiply that by the number of devices sold, and you'll quickly realise that the notion of "recording everything you say" is complete nonsense.


Re: Suggestions please...

Raspberry Pi with soundcard and "Kodi" or "Volumio" software - feeding a small stereo FM transmitter. Controllable from your phone, full house (and garden) coverage, costs next to nothing!


Re: Alternatives

Yes - a Raspberry Pi with "Kodi" on board can be controlled by any mobile phone within the home network. The bolt-on ES 9023 sound card feeds a small stereo PLL FM transmitter (about 50 mW into a ¼-wave vertical) via a homebrew audio limiter up in the loft. There's enough FM to cover the house and garden (and next door!), and there's a nice gap in the band around here from 88.5 MHz downwards. Each room with sound gear (living room, kitchen, conservatory, three bedrooms, shower room, bathroom) includes an FM receiver module permanently tuned to the "Home FM" service. It's cheap (all the parts came from Banggood) and sounds fine - a fully noise-quietening stereo signal throughout the house.


Re: ACL Guarantee

That ACL Guarantee really suggests that you should be able to get a full refund if you've paid for Windows......


Re: "Remember that Sonos speaker you bought a few years back that works perfectly?"

Well - two pairs of Quad ESLs (stacked pairs) and Dynaco transmission line bass units (as the ESLs are somewhat bass-light), bi-amped with homebrew amps - 60 Watts a side for the mid and top, and 200 Watts each side for the bass. They sound great, but the ideal listening spot is quite small, as the ESLs are quite directional. I've worked in professional recording and broadcasting studios for over 40 years, and haven't heard anything quite as good.


Re: Why indeed...

"Bose" stands for "Buy Other Sound Equipment". Dr Bose produced one reasonably good product in the early 70s (the 701 speaker) and then sold the company. They've just turned out cheap crap ever since and charged exorbitant prices for it based on the brand name.

The Sonos stuff just sounds like any other cheap and nasty reproduction system, but is overpriced by a factor of ten or twelve. It's truly nasty rubbish.

B&O was always grossly overpriced (and I designed some of their 70s and 80s products). They were all made down to a price, with moulded plastic speaker cabinets with wood veneer glued on to make them look "expensive". They mostly used slider pots, since that was their "style" and they invariably began to crackle - even inside the warranty period. The component costs were cut as far as they could be and retain some measure of functionality, then the retail prices were massively marked up to fleece the gullible. Dreadful crap.

"Faszination" needs to admit that he's been taken for an expensive ride! Idiot!


Re: Why indeed...

Back in the early 80s, a friend of mine (we'll call him "Trevor" to protect the gullible innocent) worked for a well-known hi-fi emporium. One night in the pub, he told us about this "wonderful" speaker cable that they were selling for ~£30/yard!

A blind testing was arranged, putting this marvellous cable up against the cable that was widely used at the Big Broadcasting Concern where we worked.

Trevor actually cried after the tests (during which none of us was able to identify which cable was in use) when we revealed that the "amazing" speaker cable we were using was Woolworths lighting twin flex or lawnmower orange-sheathed twin! At the time, the Woolies cable was 25p / yard.

Windows 7 back in black as holdouts report wallpaper-stripping shenanigans


Re: Just one more thing...

It was time to go Linux about 15 years ago!

You're not Boeing to believe this: Yet another show-stopping software bug found in ill-fated 737 Max airplanes


Re: Those moneychangers...

"Dieselgate" was an accountant-led cock-up: "Fiddle the figures in any way you can so that we comply with the new rules that the French have imposed on the whole EU".

Blackout Bug: Boeing 737 cockpit screens go blank if pilots land on specific runways


Re: Why is the company still alive?

Buy some Benylin for god's sake!

Why? It's just sugar syrup these days! They took any actual active constituent out of the stuff years ago.

Just like the "decongestant" with no actual decongestant content whatsoever.



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