* Posts by Strangelove

14 posts • joined 4 Feb 2015

Qualcomm demos sub-700MHz 5G data calls via Chinese telco upstart


Not sub 700MHz really, more like sub 800MHz

The international designator N28 refers to

703 – 748 MHz Uplink (phone transmitter) 758 – 803 MHz (Downlink - base-station transmitter)

In the UK that sits over the top end of the TV allocation and nudging an ISM band and above that we have the GSM 900 kit. Other countries may well have other things in that spectrum too. Larger antennas at both ends of the link of course, but also to scale with the waventh larger range, and that makes for larger rural cell sizes, fewer sites and power supplies needed. Like TV won't really go over the horizon but is less worried by buildings, trees rain, and all the things that scatter shorter wavelengths.

What a good eye-dea: Battery-less, grain-of-sand-sized 2.4GHz transmitter to help save your eyesight


Translating. The voltage controlled oscillator (VCO) has a cleaner spectrum (lower phase noise) than previously published efforts (an osc nominally produces a single frequency, but has an intrinsic width to the 'skirts' on either side of the spectrum ). The Authors of the paper made good use of the complementary nature of the 180nm CMOS foundry process to achieve this (perhaps some cunning symmetry allows a degree of noise cancellation ? That is just a guess) . Similar cunning has got the power consumption down (or DC to RF conversion efficiency up ) Even so -33dBm is only 500 nano-watts of transmitter power, and that rather weedy signal plus the small antenna conspire to explain the short range between implant and reader. Which in a clinic full of eye patients may actually be an advantage, rather than a drawback.

WannaCry ransomware attack on NHS could have triggered NATO reaction, says German cybergeneral


There is an assumption here by many that all military action is large, missile and shooting stuff.

It is not, and the range of military responses should be expanded to include both electromagnetic and cyber counterstrike capabilities as well. This in effect permits actions that would otherwise be illegal.

77 Brigade may be well known, but other countries will have their more or less well advertised equivalent, and much as Russia can take itself off the internet before doing something very nasty, I am pretty sure at a push we can do similar too, though it may need more signatures.

More nodding dogs green-light terrible UK.gov pr0n age verification plans


End of the "wild west"?

There seem to be a very high incidence of users and defenders of extreme pronogrpahy in the El Reg readership. Maybe something to do with working with computers affects the way the brain handles and judges sex, as it is a very different position to that I see from people who are my neighbours and co-workers.

Actually there is a far wider problem to be addressed, and that is the control of all kinds of inappropriate content, content that incites violent or anti-social behaviour is a similar problem. And access is as 'flat' as it has ever been. In four clicks from opening browser, I can look at some Arabs beheading a European in the name of some sort of freedom of expression, and as it makes me feel ill, and wakes me up at night, I suspect there will be others more or less susceptible and impressionable who would also benefit from not seeing it, thank you very much. Similarly all sorts of sexual acts of greater or lesser risk to health are also visible. I also wonder if this leads to other folk being pressured to produce ever more extreme content.

I agree that the current proposal is about as much use as a wet paper bag, but in the longer term some sort of control is needed. As an internet user myself, and a parent of two teenagers, both of whom have had the sense to tell me about what they have been shown online by friends, I can see immediately that the "wild west" era of an unregulated internet needs to (and will sooner or later) draw to a close.

To demand otherwise is tilting at windmills.

A few reasons why cops haven't immediately shot down London Gatwick airport drone menace


Kit exists off the shelf to track radio transmitters on the move and to jam them,


A UK company, by the look of it advertising on the web to sell stuff abroad.

Someone needs to write out a requisition order.

Pirate radio = drug dealing and municipal broadband is anti-competitive censorship


Well it suggests there needs to be a legitimate way to allow these sort of operations, and at the same time keep a register of who is running them, as in the wrong hands they have some small scope to cause trouble. There are pastors and pastors - look at the trouble we have had in the UK with 'hate preachers' for comparison.

Arguably the internet would be a far better place if it was policed somewhat as the radio spectrum is already, so there was clear responsibility for who did what, rather than the other way about, and I suspect that if folk keep buggering about as they are now, that day may well come sooner rather than later.

Registry to ban Cyrillic .eu addresses even if you've paid for them


Re Printf() - but not all programming languages are English based

BASICOIS has French keywords for example (and is quite like basic) and there are several cyrillic languages that I know not what they do.

UK.gov: We're not regulating driverless vehicles until others do


Ban only on new models after 2040

Under the current plans, it is not that existing cars, even ones from 1923, will suddenly be illegal on the road, but that all new cars from that date cannot be internal combustion engined.

As regards charging, I think there is a big under-estimation of the energy needed, its not the cost of the charge point at the motorway services, though that will be bad - I went through a large one the other day and in a moment of boredom, counted, 12 pumps, all busy and a change of car on each average every 4 minutes, so 15 cars per hour, per pump, so 180 cars per hour. Not very scientific, but lets say each of those would take equivalent to half a tank on average - your Tesla has a 60kWh battery, so say each car needed 30kWh of charge, that's 5400 kilo-watts of additional supply.

( that is five to ten times the transformer at the end of the cul-de sac supplying a typical housing estate in the UK.) Certainly possible, but expensive. But how many motorway services and similar fuelling stations would we need ? perhaps some hundreds to cover the country ? So we need a few gigawatts of extra generation and transmission. Possible, certainly, but not without co-ordinated effort, and investment, both so far conspicuously absent.

Gmail is secure. Netflix is secure. Together they're a phishing threat


Well as a happy user of the dots and the plus signs, I must say I like gmail the way it is, but then I have long name with a hyphen in it that makes it quite rare.

Surname-mine+me Surname-mine+wife Surname-mine+child all land one one place for easy onward sorting.

Moving the dots when signing up for spam-like things makes it easy enough to auto-filter on the dots to put it in the junk mail pile.

But I came to Gmail from using freeserve that did the extension into may names even more uniquely, and was pleased to find that it was at least possible.

Less pleased to see that despite

"+" and "-" signs being legitimate characters in Email addresses a number of organisations seem unable to handle them, including my bank.


Mynet@ freeserve.co.uk

would pick up




or I could log in with one of those and see just the filtered view. If only something like that had become an agreed standard.

BBC's micro:bit retail shipments near


Re: Well done BBC making this available to buy

Nice to see them, and the one my youngster brought home was great fun, making a wearable "happy birthday" scrolling badge within about 10 minutes, though the fun of adding the "happy birthday" tune was was rather marred by the fact we managed to blow it up within an hour, as far as I can tell by having it running on battery and plugged in to USB host at the same time - now the KL26 USB interface chip just gets painfully hot and the PC does not recognise it.

More generally I think the coding side is pretty slick, and impressive, - and I do quite a lot of embedded coding for work ,and I know how hard it is to explain to non-techie types- this is a good introduction, so long as you don't mind it being all on-line.

However, the support for users is thin.

Key hardware detail is missing, what is the acceptable range of battery voltages, or speaker resistances one can connect to it, or the maximum load one can put on the IO pins - simple stuff, that might have saved us from disappointment.. I'm sure there is no need to keep the circuit and the whereabouts of the chip datasets secret either.


High-speed powerline: Home connectivity without the cables


Re: A tip if your Powerline is next to router but inexplicably slow

"Presumably some sort of inductive interference."

more likely coupling direct via the wiring I'm afraid - most of the plug in power supplies are very much designed down to a cost, and the maximum permitted levels of conducted interference into the mains required for CE marking are not anything like strigent enough to guarantee reliable co-existance, they are more set at a level that means you should not annoy next door. Anything more than that is a bonus. As noted, above by others, by declaring the mains plug is not used for power, but solely for communications, the PLT folk allow themselves to inject a much higher level into the mains than everyone else- about 40dB more, or typically a couple of watts of RF- comparable in power to a mobile phone.

This is a silly regulatory loophole, originally intended to permit high signal levels in properly shielded communication cabling but not in power leads, and needs to be shut. Right now there is too much big money in it however.

Scouts take down database due to 'security vulnerabilities'


Probably a good job we didn't actually follow instructions (again)

We were actually instructed by TSA (The Scout Association) to destroy all paper copies of youngsters records, such as addresses, medical detail like allergies, religion etc, once we had it all typed into the Compass system (which would have been a mammoth task if it wasn't already in OSM and therefore reduced to a bit of cut/paste and a few hand edits for things like telephone area codes which it needed in its own funny format.)

Luckily, perhaps, I don't think anyone in our group at least actually did so, which is as well, as it looks like we will need to go back to what we did before, at least for a while.

Not to mention the fiasco that is the loss and confusion of leader training records ;-)


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