* Posts by tangerine Sedge

35 publicly visible posts • joined 30 Aug 2007

Forget 5G, UK.gov is making 2G fit for the 21st century!

tangerine Sedge

Re: Underlying assumption

>>There is an underlying assumption here that there is a right for a mobile user to be able to use their device wherever and whenever they want.

Outrageous, isn't it. People are paying £30-£100 a month, and they actually expect to be able to use their phones in most of the UK?

Imagine if your electricity contract was run on the same basis. 'Sorry for the blackouts, but we just can't get it together to supply the service you're paying for. Your call is important to us, but tough shit.'

You can use your phone in most of the UK, apart from a few areas where it is either impractical or expensive to do so. Incidentally, that 30-100 per month is to rent a handset, the actuality is that you are paying £5-£20 to be able to call/text/internet from *most* of the UK whenever you want day or night.

Your analogy to the electric contract is silly. They will be comparable when I can walk into a field in the middle of nowhere and plug my laptop into a 3 pin plug socket.

tangerine Sedge

Re: Underlying assumption

>I suspect the operators have drunk their own Kool Aid and believe their own marketing gumpf. If you believe their marketing coverage maps, then they probably are hitting 95%. But if you come into the real world, I can't believe it's even near 90%

It *is* a marketing tool, and the operators know this. In my opinion, OFCOM should be challenging the operators, but the game-keeper appears to drinking in the same pub as the poachers...

tangerine Sedge

Re: Underlying assumption

>Problem with that is I doubt they hit the 95% coverage. It must fall well wide of that mark although I’m sure the big 4 believe otherwise either through ignorance of deceit.

This is 95% based on *predicted* coverage, based on a specific signal level(*). This does not include such nasties as trees and buildings which might impact the signal. This 95% is partly through deceit as the signal level threshold is designed to be bare 2g outside coverage. I suggest that you blame OFCOM for not managing the operators properly.

The simple answer, is that if you want excellent coverage then the operators would have to build more masts and the consumers would have to pay for it.

Incidentally, there is nothing to stop people from roaming between networks, other than commercial agreements. The billing is in place to charge foreign roamers so it's not rocket science to create a few more for the local MNOS and MVNOs.

(*)In my experience.

How iPad’s soft SIM lets Apple pit carriers AGAINST each other

tangerine Sedge

Re: let me get my crystal ball out..

>>>>>If Apple uses soft sims in it's phones, then the MNOs wlil stop subsidising them (why subsidise a product which might not use your network and you can't guarantee will bring you profit).

>>Not necessarily. If the soft-sim still allows for the device to be network locked, as current iOS software does, there is no change to the operators experience.

Fair point, but defeats the point of a soft-sim. What happens if you can unlock the sim via software?

>>>>If the MNOs stop subsidising Apple phones, then customers will have to buy them at full price (£600+), probably direct from Apple.

>>Devices in the Apple store are already unsubsidised, and they have the highest sales per square footage of anyone.

Some punters currently buy unlocked at Apple stores, but I suggest (with no stats to back it up) that many more are bought subsidised on contracts. I think there are lots of buyers out there that can afford £30 a month contracts, but can't afford to splash out £600 in one go.

P.S. I never said my Crystal ball was infallible...

Apple's new iPADS have begun the WAR that will OVERTURN the NETWORK WORLD

tangerine Sedge

Race to the bottom...

Interesting analysis, and one that I broadly agree with.

It's an interesting choice for networks to make. Do they jump in with Apple and see their profits eroded, or do they resist and see their customers go elsewhere?

Considering how expensive it is to roll out a network, and reduced roaming/sms/data charges, I can't see how a network can justify investing in next generation networks. Apple are intent in doing as little as possible whilst taking as big a cut as possible, whlist the people doing the investment are getting less and less.

It's a difficult choice and probably depends upon each network chairmans bonus schedule and plans for retirement more than any technical or commercial decision.

I'd like to think that the networks will unilaterally tell Apple to Foxtrot Oscar, but fully expect them to bend over and take the rogering for the short term market gains. So the question is - who will be investing in the next gen networks?

Read IBM's note to staff announcing mandatory training and 10% pay cut

tangerine Sedge

Re: ahhhh its the old

There seems to be 2 types of IBMer. Those that live and breathe IBM and are willing to give up their entire life to IBM. And those that have been acquired by IBM and are then used and abused to be thrown away.

The few long term IBMers I knew thought it was perfectly acceptable to spend only 1 night a week at home with their partner and children, and rarely took all their holiday. It seemed to be more important to slowly move up the IBM ladder than actually have a life outside of work. What was laughable was that these long-term IBMers were not even that well paid, and put up with all the shit.

In my brief stint with them ( I had to do 12 months ), they openly stated that I would be receiving an "under-performing" review not based on my ability to do my existing job, but because I refused to be pushed into taking a job on the other side of the country. One which would have meant me being away from home for 5 nights of the week, and only seeing my wife and children at weekends.

Well "fuck you" IBM, thanks for the money (it'll pay for my kids to go to university), the summer at home and a new job with a company which cares about it's staff. Incidentally, I'm also now in the position to influence contracts with 3rd parties. Guess which company is not going to win any contracts on my watch :)

Dolby Atmos is coming home and it sounds amazing

tangerine Sedge

I dont want all this crap....

Just allow me to turn up the volume of the dialogue without turning up the background music.

UK mobile coverage is BETTER than EVER, networks tell Ofcom

tangerine Sedge

Re: Grab the tinfoil hats!

Hmm, it definitely was true a few years ago, and possibly still is, i.e. as a belt and braces DR for Tetra going titsup.

tangerine Sedge

Grab the tinfoil hats!

There is cetainly provision in the GSM standards for levels of service, but this is only used by EE to differentiate between the public and the emergency services.

Any differences you see between the phones are probably (i) subjective, (ii) due to config differences betwen the SIMs/accounts, i.e. different APNs, (iii) due to the size of test subjects, i.e. 2 handsets and 2 sims do not scientific testing make. (iv) due to some other technical reason, i.e. taking a differnent route through the EE core network.

I will agree though that subjectively, the EE network has progressively got worse over the last 5 years (both data and voice).

Finally, I think it's more likely that EE won't go to to court with you because they simply can't be bothered.

Virgin Media goes titsup AGAIN. The cause? Yet MORE DNS strife

tangerine Sedge

Anyone recommend suitable router?

Can anyone recommend a suitable router to pair with my virgin box? looking for (i) good wifi range and (ii) easy to configure so that I can control when my kids can access the internet and (iii) cheap!

Reg reader fires up Pi-powered anti-cat garden sprinkler system

tangerine Sedge

Re: Prevention or cure

My property is surrounded by cat owners, and being the only garden in the area with no cat or dog presence, means that mine is the one they all come to. Let me get this clear, I love cats, but I don't like cat shit, especially the unpleasant smell whenever the sun shines and I decide to eat al fresco.

I have suitably high fences, which the little sods use as motorways between the various properties. They even venture into my house if I leave the back door open in an evening. I've tried pretty much every method for keeping them out of my garden, and have decided just to lob the cat poo I find onto my neighbours garden whenever possible. It doesn't stop the cats, but makes me feel happier...

US escalates Stingray mobe-snooping secrecy battle as judge unseals evidence

tangerine Sedge

Re: I would have thought a normal wiretap warrant would suffice?

You are possibly right - I can't see any difference between Stingray and normal wiretapping, so if they are using it as an excuse to circumvent the warrant process, then they deserve to be strung up. I agree with you, the ability to monitor 'persons-of-interest' is vital, but it must be a transparent formal process with the usual checks and measures.

Google's driverless car: It'll just block our roads. It's the worst

tangerine Sedge

Re: Of course it won't fly

1754 people were killed on the roads in 2012, and 23,039 people were seriously injured. We don't have a 100% safe solution now. Self-driving cars just need to be better than that.

I disagree! Society currently has a very low risk threshold, so anything above a handful of deaths in these things will be a disaster.

If 1754 people died every year in aeroplanes or trains, would that be acceptable? Trains and planes are highly regulated to ensure safety, and I believe that google cars would be in the same category.

Imagine the Daily Wail headline : "Robocar kills 10 in high speed joy ride!", with the tagline "PM Farage demands action now!".

I assume human nature categorises risk appetite depending upon how much control they have over the situation. If someone feels in control (i.e. a driver) they'll accept more risk, if they are not in control (i.e. a passenger) they will accept less risk.

Therefore, these vehicles would have to reduce deaths to just a handful every year to be considered succesful. I'm not saying it's logical, or rational, but I truly believe that will be the case. Combine that with the costs of infrastructure and these things will never be accepted.

Perhaps some aspect of these vehicles will be incorporated into future cars though? Improved cruise control for motorways which control speed and distance according to other traffic around you. Perhaps they will communicate with other cars and become fuel efficient automated convoys? Like cruise control now, as soon as the driver takes control then the auto-pilot switches off. But then, this is all stuff that the major manufacturers are investigating now.

The whole thing is a puff-piece for Google to demonstrate how cutting edge they are (even though every man and his dog in the auto industry can do driverless cars).

tangerine Sedge

Of course it won't fly

As DaggerChild stated, this will be explored then quietly dropped when the issues, cost and reluctance to adopt make it unviable.

These autonomous cars will never work in a mixed environment, it's just too complex and there are too many variables to consider for a 100% safe solution(*).

Therefore, the only option is to separate these cars from other road users, i.e. build very expensive exclusive infrastructure. This is never going to happen, as this is exactly the same problems that Buses and trains have, i.e. fixed routes and timetables ( if you think that there will be enough google cars to cope with rush hour traffic then you will be mistaken. You'll be in a queue waiting for your car with everyone else, apart from those people that have paid google for priority).

What Google has failed to understand, is that cars have given people a massive amount of freedom. The freedom to go where you want, when you want. You don't have to book anything, you just jump in your car/bike and go. People are not going to give that up without a massive fight.

(*) variable weather conditions, pot-holes, closed roads, other road users, pedestrians, random cats/dogs/drunkards, fallen branches, escaped sheep. And to keep 100% safe, they'll probably travel much slower than other traffic too.

Minecraft players can now download Denmark – all of it – in 1:1 scale

tangerine Sedge

Re: As a 29 year old who doesn't quite 'get' MC...

To be honest, if your map data contains height data (as it should), then it's a fairly trivial piece of software to convert the map data to Minecraft data. It might take a few days to generate (depending on hardware used), but hosting the data is probably the most complex part of this.

Anti-snoop Blackphone hits shelves in June: NOW we'll see how much you value privacy

tangerine Sedge

who is this aimed at?

I assume that this is aimed at business/government users, not the man in the street?

There must be millions of government workers in the US/Canada/UK/Australia(*) that would potentially need these phones, and that's before you include their 'delivery partners' who would need them to ensure safe communications with the government entities...

I don't think this phone is intended to replace Apple, but it's there to ensure an alternative when Blackberry goes bust...

(*) who probably don't mind that the NSA is listening in, as long as other foreign powers can't!!

FIGHT! BlackBerry,T-Mobile US CEOs clash in 'inappropriate' ad spat

tangerine Sedge

too little too late

No-one cares about BB10! It doesn't matter how good it is in terms of H/W or S/W, it doesn't have a unique selling point anymore (BBM) and it certainly doesn't have an application store to match IOS or Android in terms of quantity or quality.

Unless they can bring something unque and useful to the game then they are destined to fail. What we are seeing at the moment is a company dying in front of our eyes, the vultures are circling for the the IPR.

Story gone

tangerine Sedge

I didnt know this App existed...

Seems basic but functional, and allows commentards too!

Beers for the dev!

UK mobile broadband carriers compared

tangerine Sedge

Re: waste of money, price and allotment far to high for real use in 2012.

So, you want to use mobile internet for streaming TV? I suggest that you are using the wrong tool for the job. Akin to using a knife to unscrew a plug - it can be done but not ideal, especially if you want to keep your fingers...

Server, disc glitches mar Battlefield 3 launch

tangerine Sedge

It wouldn't be Battlefield without problems.

Yay EA!

Stagger the release across the world to annoy your UK fans who have had to wait whilst others have played.

Continue to use Punkbuster even though it's rubbish (still kicking valid players, whilst the leader boards are stuffed full of AA hackers)

Use Origin to deliver the SW, when you could have just used Steam.

CTD bugs, sound bugs, graphics bugs, game hanging.

Glitches in the maps that were highlighted during Alpha AND Beta testing (Operation Metro rocks near B m-com I'm referring to you)

Tiny infantry only maps instead of the huge Battlefields that we all love.

Online activation and game credentials checking which go FUBAR on release.

A laughable single player campaign.

My only hope is that all the retards go and play COD once it's released and leave BF3 for the long term players.

regards a BF veteran (BF1942, BF vietnam, BF2, BF2142, BF Heroes, BP4F, BFBC2 & BF3)

Modern Warfare 3 teaser trailer reveals terror on the tube

tangerine Sedge

hmmm longevity

COD looks good in the trailers, but as seen previously has no longevity. Where should I spend my £40? 15 hours single player gameplay on COD or 50days + multiplayer gamesplay (based on previous BF games) on BF3?

See you on the Battlefield soldier!

German prangs dad's £275k supercar

tangerine Sedge

All is right in the world....

Boy steals dads car, shows off and has accident. This is the nature of boys (whether Gumpert Appollo or Ford Model T) since cars were invented. This just demonstrates that all is right with the world!

P.S. Shame the Gumpert got written off, of all the 'super cars' this is the one I would have....

Winfrasoft touts pattern-based password alternative

tangerine Sedge

Is this new?

Back in the stone age (the late '80s), my colleagues used to create passwords based on pattterns on the number pad. It's amazing how many people chose a simple guessable pattern - pretty much all start at top left (7) and ending at bottom right (3). Never took me more than 3 guesses to find their patterns and get access to their Systime accounts.....

'You don't even know what change management is'

tangerine Sedge

AO shows his real colours

And with this statement you illustrate why your opinion does not matter : 'So I neither know what "change management" is, nor do I care.'

If you are supposed to be an IT journo, then (a) you should know, and (b) you should care. You have done yourself and El Reg a great disservice with this single statement....

Orange blames switch for data problems

tangerine Sedge


University town - Check

Freetard students (are there any other type?) - Check

Rich mummies and daddies who have bought them iphones on unlimited tariffs? - Check

OK Service out of term time? - Check

The sooner that these unlimited tariffs disappear and people start paying per 1Mb they download the sooner these problems will go away. Data usage is rising almost exponentially and mobile phone tariffs are stagnant - that's the problem. The networks cannot just keep throwing Millions of pounds at this problem, it needs the customers to understand that streaming iplayer to their phone is not free but costs money.

As usual, it's the people who abuse the service who push up costs and push down quality for the rest of us.

iTunes gifting scam plunges Reg reader into the red

tangerine Sedge

No choice?

I'm pretty certain that when I created an itunes account last year, it forced me to enter a valid credit/debit card before it would allow me to download anything.

Why should I need to give Apple my card details when I just want to download a free app?

the WTF? icon, as this doesn't appear to be one of an apple with a crossbow bolt through it...

EU telecoms to Apple, Google: 'Pay up!"

tangerine Sedge

@quick questions

1) Why are the mobile operators not charging the customers enough to cover the cost of operating their businesses?

They were, right up until the iphone came along and made all those web sites available to the man in the street. Youtube/google/iplayer/spotify/facebook etc right there on your handset whenever you needed it. Unfortunately the networks eager to drive up data usage, launched unlimited plans and got caught out by the massive explosion in data hungry services when the iphone lanuched. It's hard to believe now, but 5 years ago (pre iphone), mobile networks were desperate for customers to use their data networks.

Now they are in the position whereby they need to start charging customers for what was once free. This is going to hurt the first network to do this, so it's a brave decision for the networks to take.

2) If the marketing departments are to blame as you say, is the answer really then charge *non-customers* to subsidize their bad business decisions?

If the networks don't charge somebody, then they will go out of business.

If they charge the customer for bandwidth, then the internet businesses will cry that their innovation is being stifled and the customers will revert to basic mobile internet usage (no youtube down the pub).

If the mobile operators charge the internet companies, then this will force them to either create more efficient internet applications OR start charging subscription costs themselves OR accept throttling by the mobile provider.

Unfortunately, customers have never had it so good, but that is going to have to change.

We havn't even started talking about how a single iphone application could through poor resource reservation cause a massive bottleneck on a mobile operators network....

tangerine Sedge

Freetards have come out of their holes

Do any of you freetards know how much it costs to run a mobile telephone network in the UK? Do you have any idea how much it costs to build just a single new basestation? The mobile operators in the UK are investing Billions of pounds every year just to maintain their networks, never mind building more capacity.

In the meantime, we have businesses throwing out ever more resource hungry applications (spotify on mobile!) which contribute zero towards this infrastructure, but take their profits all the same. We have users that seem to think that streaming a radio station across a 3G connection is a sensible thing to do (hey it doesn't cost me anything - so I don't care!). A recent stat I heard, was that 1% of customers uses ~95% of bandwidth... there are plenty of users who P2P using a 3G dongle...

Sure, the Mobile operators are to blame - pushing unlimited plans was a marketing lead strategy which technical teams said would lead to chaos (but the marketing dept with their made-up profit projections always trumps the cautious techie guys). The freetard users are also to blame, demanding full access to unlimited content! The freetard corporations are the real greedy bastards though - using the internet as massive free shop window (hey why invest in bricks and mortar, when we can piggy back on somebody elses infrastructure). Why should a TV company invest in transmitters or content or licenses, when it can use the internet and get people to provide free content (copyrighted or not) - see youtube for more details.

The whole point is, that the current model is broken. The customer pays peanuts (relative to the cost of building the infrastructure) to access the services, the content providers pay peanuts to get a global shop window, and the poor old networks are left trying to keep up with exponential demand. So what options are available?

(i) continue as we are - mobile operators will continue to merge, until there is a virtual monopoly. The user will continue to be pissed off by the network. Innovation will be stifled by bandwidth restrictions. Google and Apple will rule the world.

(ii) Networks charge the content providers for access to their networks. Providers don't play ball, and just stop working with the mobile operators. Those that continue to provide access will steal customers but face massive network issues. Massive industry destabilisation - who will win the Mexican standoff? The networks with fast access and no content, or the poor network with youtube et al?

(iii) Networks remove all the unlimited tariffs and start charging customers for the bandwidth they consume. The first provider to do this will lose customers, so it has to be done across the whole industry. I'm not sure that this would be legal....

So, in the short term enjoy this golden age of free access to everything. The times, they are a changin'!

Gamers demand CoD: Black Ops money back

tangerine Sedge

@JBH - I disagree old chap.

> The PC games scene is dying on its arse, and has been for years.

I can't disagreee with that - but that's probably down to cheap and easily available consoles and games rather than any failing in PCs.

>Not hard to see why when the price of a top-end graphics card will bag you a 360 AND

> a PS3. You keep your mouse and your wsad. I'll use the controller that's designed FOR

> games rather than spreadsheets thanks.

So , my graphics card cost my £90 and outperforms both consoles.....

> A real 'gamer' (whoever that is...) just wants to pop the disc in and start playing, not

> piss around with hardware, drivers and patches. I've wasted a good chunk of my life

> maintaining PCs when I could have been having fun. Sod. That.

No, a teenager with no money and little interest in computers just want to pop a disc. Sure play fifa20xx, or Grand theft whatever with a gamepad, but a fps without WASD and keyboard is just silly (a little like attempting to play a flight sim without a joystick). Incidentally, I've never had to 'piss' around with drivers and patches to make my system work either.

>/ Having said all that, Minecraft is f*#king awesome! :D

Can' t comment on Minecraft - but anyone who thinks that auto-aim gamepads on online games with 8 players is awesome, has obviously never played on 64 player servers where aiming skill counts :) (Smiley, not to mean friendliness, but to imply you're an idiot).

O2 outs liars and philanderers with live status feed

tangerine Sedge
Paris Hilton

@Harry et al

>Almost nothing on a network should involve *any* effort,

>once the appropriate software has been put in place.

Ah! The powerpoint school of design. Anything is easy if you put it on a powerpoint slide. The real trick is doing it in the concrete world where software licenses cost many millions of pounds a year(!)

It might suprise you to know that all the network operators already have very detailed monitoring in place. It might also suprise you, that most (probably all) already collect this data and plug it onto a map for their call centre staff to use, including outages and planned works.

The coverage map is only an estimate based on predicted coverage. This coverage is impacted by many different factors, i.e. time of year, type of building, weather conditions, height of trees, amount of traffic etc.

A network might receive many *Millions* of alarms from it's thousands of network elements every day, so which ones impact the customer and which ones are irrelevant? Alarm correlation and impact assessment is not always correct, so high priority/customer impacting alarms can get lost amongst all the other millions of tedious alarms.

So, in principle, all that you need to do is plug a rough guess of coverage into a web application which uses a not complete view of network impacting faults, in such a way that the customer thinks they have a perfect view of such a complex environment. We've all seen the Hollywood movies whereby the good guys can can track a mobile to a specific GPS co-ordinate all in 20 seconds from anywhere in the world haven't we? :)

The question is : "Why do they not make this information visible to the public?"

The answer to that question is evident in the 9 out of 10 responses to this story : "the checker says I have good coverage, but I only get a signal if I hang out of my bathroom window..." I suggest that the Marketing Dept won this argument with technical...

It's so much easier in powerpoint isn't it? :)

Oh, and Paris, because it looks simple on the outside, but is much more complicated on the inside.....

Moms stand firm against antenna madness

tangerine Sedge


Bah! Let all the operators remove all coverage for the town. 2 weeks of no coverage and they'll be begging for masts...

Pentax K-7

tangerine Sedge

It's still about the lenses.

So you have an image stabilised auto-focus 300mm f2.8 then?

How about ultra wide angles, soft focus, macro etc etc Nikon/Canon have a multitude of different lenses aimed at different price points, and that's before we start considering the 3rd party lense manufacturers.

Canon probably has more versions of it's 50mm lense than Pentax has different lenses in its entire current line-up!

I was going to compare the results from a well known high-street & online shop, i.e. Pentax vs Canon, but they didn't even have a category for Pentax lenses ;)

If you need to justify why you bought Pentax, fine, but I suggest it wasn't for the wide availability of lenses...

tangerine Sedge

it's all about the lenses...

Unfortunately, Pentax have been pretty absent from the keen amateur scene for several years, so it's unlikely to be a popular choice.

Why choose Pentax, when theres a wide range of new and secondhand Canon & Nikon lenses available? They may pick up some sales to new amateurs, but anyone intending to spend some serious cash will choose a better supported system. I still use EOS lenses on my 5D that I bought over 20 years ago!

However good this is & however it compares with it's peers, it will always be 3rd choice at best - possibly even 5th or 6th choice after Bridge cameras.

Doctor Who fans name best episode ever

tangerine Sedge

2 good reasons for 'caves' topping poll.

And it just happens to have Peri bending over caring for the 'sick' Dr, revealing plenty of cleavage. Who says that all Dr Who Fans are 40 year old virgins ?


Cells 'react' to GSM signals claims research

tangerine Sedge

oh dear....

Expect an innacurate, scare-mongering story to appear in an 'upmarket' tabloid near you!

Mobiles have been in significant use for 15 years or so now, with no verified links to cancer yet. *IF* they were so dangerous, then all those '90s yuppies should be dead by now or at least suffering from some sort of nasty cancer (what an amusing thought).