* Posts by Alex Tomkins

12 posts • joined 13 Aug 2007

Samsung's Galaxy stuck in history

Alex Tomkins

Who is going to buy any Samsung Android phone now?

According to the O2 forums:

"Samsung UK continue to push for this but confidence on the change is low as Samsung HQ will be launching new devices on Android 2.0 in Q1."

With the reputation Samsung is going to get for refusing to update the Galaxy, what customers would actually buy a brand new Samsung Android phone next year? They shouldn't bother releasing another handset, the Android faithful users will not touch a phone which is unlikely to receive any updates.

ARIN heads off IP address land grab

Alex Tomkins
IT Angle

RE: It's nonsense

Trying to get back class A blocks from companies which still have them will only buy a few months at best. You'll be delaying the inevitable, we'll run out eventually anyway.

High-end Eee Box to gain HDMI, standalone GPU

Alex Tomkins

Still waiting on the Linux version of the original!

I've been waiting patiently for the Linux version of the Eee Box, even though it's been released in the US it's still unavailable here in the UK.

Looks like I'll be waiting for a Linux version of the new updated product instead - if they ever get around to releasing it that is.

MSI releases £235 desktop Eee PC rival ahead of Asus

Alex Tomkins

Little bit expensive?

Whilst it looks like a decent product, you can get desktop systems from places such as Dell for less than that with Windows included (yes I know it's only Home Basic, but at least you'd get it included!). Alternatively for an extra £60 or so you could also get a low end Celeron laptop.

One of the great points of the EeePC is that it's cheap, small and even more portable than a regular laptop, this particular low end system doesn't really compare.

I know this has the advantage of being a small system and probably uses less power, but is it value for money?

Skype comes to mobile (almost)

Alex Tomkins
Thumb Down

Will many people bother with this?

I suppose it isn't that bad if you want to call another Skype user, as you'll just be paying for the call as usual - which might be fairly cheap or even included with free calling minutes (assuming they don't stop it).

Once you take a look at the call rates for SkypeOut (available at <http://www.skype.com/prices/callrates/#listing-U>) you might think twice. It'll cost yourself around 15p/minute for someone to phone you! Anyone important enough will already have my mobile phone number anyway, they can pay for it instead.

BBC to launch iPlayer for Wii

Alex Tomkins

Quality seems too low

I've quickly tried it and there are two main problems:

- Quality is too low, I know the iPlayer quality isn't perfect but if they don't improve it then I seriously doubt many people would bother with it. Very blocky and the FPS was far too low.

- No quick or easy way of going full screen.

It's nice to see that they're actually trying to go for Wii users. If the quality isn't improved though I'd either continue to watch it on the computer or connect the laptop to the TV. I'm not sure if it's a Wii limitation or if the BBC have lowered the quality for the sake of it.

How the BBC plans to save your ISP

Alex Tomkins

Is this really that useful?

How does all of this save the ISP? Each ISP tends to have their own set of problems regarding high bandwidth usage, they're not the same!

ISPs which resell the BT product (IPStream) aren't going to see much benefits. Having servers on the ISPs network won't help, sure it'll save them some external bandwidth - but the big cost for them is transferring the data over the BT network to the end customer. Plusnet calculated this at about £126.86/Mbps, where as the external bandwidth was about £20/Mbps.

Yes it's going to be a saving for an ISP to cache BBC iPlayer content on their network, they could save some of the external bandwidth usage. But given the nature of how BT ADSL works it isn't going to save them on their most expensive part - transferring data over the BT network.

BBC mulls dropping Flash as iPlayer meets iPhone

Alex Tomkins

Yes please!

The headline for this article is a bit deceiving as Flash can play H.264 files anyway (as mentioned in the article itself!).

This is starting to look more like the sort of service which people expected in the first place. Something which can operate on a variety of systems, instead of being restricted to the awful first version which restricted you to IE only.

Home Sec: Tasers could become standard police kit

Alex Tomkins

Tasers are an alternative to guns, not a baton

The police is here to protect the public, not to stun them to death. Any death which is caused by a Taser is unacceptable.

I fear the day when our police force turns into a US style Taser wielding bullying squad. Tasers are not to stun people to keep quiet for a bit, they should be a last resort and an alternative to the gun. The government should realise this and severely restrict Taser use instead of potentially considering it as standard equipment.

New taskforce to discuss why more people aren't turning to digital

Alex Tomkins

The old favourites are on analogue anyway

Why would I want to switch to digital radio to listen to the exact same thing?

I typically listen to 2-3 stations at most and they're all on analogue radio. I might get some extra stations with digital radio, but the benefits aren't as obvious (like a 24 hour news channel).

There's also the issue of DAB and DAB+, which most regular users probably won't realise. So we've got the prospect of all existing DAB radios being obsolete to upgrade to the newer standard. Compare this to say Freeview and an HD Freeview coming along in a few years time, the difference between the two is obvious - the HD viewers will get a higher quality picture. With DAB+ people won't see much benefit apart from slightly higher quality, the main benefit will be the government who can reclaim old frequencies yet again.

TV's can be upgraded to digital with a simple set top box, a radio needs to be replaced. Why would anyone want to remove a perfectly working radio?

Google serves up surprise password cracking function

Alex Tomkins

MD5 is for hashing!

When will software developers realise that a simple MD5 on a password is insecure and pointless? Anyone can obtain a database of MD5 results to quickly get a working password to an application, which in turn might lead to the same username and password being used on other sites.

Wordpress, phpBB and various other applications stick with a pointless hash without a salt. Surely the developers should've realised this by now?

ISPs hijack BBC in tiered services push

Alex Tomkins

Time for ISPs to be realistic

If you're going to offer a 2mbit "unlimited" connection (fair usage policy applies - as always!) for £15 and you can't actually cope with a user downloading with it, then be more realistic instead of offering something you can't provide.

I realise that BT Central bandwidth can be expensive for the ISP, but if you're expecting the average Joe Bloggs to only view the occasional website on their unlimited 8mbit broadband (which really isn't unlimited) then the pricing of the product is flawed. Peer to peer wasn't exactly commonplace for the average user so these ISPs could get away with just kicking users who download too much. They can't get away with dumping more and more users just because they decide to use BBC iPlayer.

Put realistic usage caps on each product. If the cheapest package only allows 2GB then that's fine, just don't even bother advertising it as unlimited.


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