* Posts by Paul Rhodes

22 publicly visible posts • joined 15 Sep 2007

T-Mobile intros 'Pay Once' BlackBerry deal

Paul Rhodes
Black Helicopters

@ Arnold Lieberman

Not quite the same thing.You had to take a risk on getting a phone that may not have been described, and you have a post-pay contract tor data and voice.

The pay-once model was popular a good 10 years back, and I'm surprised it has not re-appeared in a wider format. I got an Ericsson EH237 and 'pre-paid' 12 months (30 mins/month!) for £100 which was a much better deal than paying the full line-rental and getting x months back by redemption. If I'd lost my job or anything, I'd know I could still use the phone.

On the other hand, with HSUPA starting to appear on handsets, and most mid-price handsets having HSDPA for a decent mobile internet experience, this EDGE-powered 8110 is going to be pretty lousy in comparison.

Lights out, Britons told - we're running out of power

Paul Rhodes
Thumb Up

@AC - There Are Alternatives

NIMBYism rules KO.

Anyone think the US would shut down power stations and leave themselves at a disadvantage, or the French put a Euro rule above national interests?

National Safety Council seeks total* cell-phone driving ban

Paul Rhodes
Black Helicopters

....normally the passengers will shut up .......

...Second, if the driving conditions become more hazardous, normally the passengers will shut up - or tell you to pay attention to the road! ......

You've clearly never had young kids in the car. The more to tell them to stop bickering, the more they argue to get you to take one side or another. They certainly don't give 2 hoots what's going on outside the vehicle.

Amongst the rest of the list that pay no attention to other road-users to moderate volume:



RDS Traffic Bulletins

The Kids DVD players

Ban the lot-of-them or just practise common sense.

Intel, Lenovo to foil laptop thieves

Paul Rhodes
Black Helicopters

@Jeremy, it's DATA Thieves Your Stopping

The physical laptop is not what being protected here, it is the data that's on it. The ability to stop that data getting into the wrong hands far outweighs the prospect of putting a minor annoyance on the thief that s/he can't use their ill-gotten gains without a bit of admin work.

If the thief wants to replace the HDD before eBay'ing it, all the better.

BT threatens to pull plug on better broadband

Paul Rhodes
Black Helicopters

@ Who costs these projects?

How much do you think it cost to trench even 10% of the 1/4 Million miles of roads we have?????? It's the civils that kills this buniness case, not the telecoms kit or fibre costs:

""In January 2001 Ordnance Survey calculated that the following kilometres (miles) of road existed in Great Britain: motorways - 4 353 km (2 705.41 miles). A Roads - 48 164 km (29 934.12 miles). B Roads - 30 216 km (18 779.37 miles). minor public roads - 314 392 km (195 395.89 miles). pedestrianised streets - 278 km (172.78 miles).""

Royal Society of Chemistry defines perfect Yorkshire pud

Paul Rhodes
Black Helicopters

Plain Food for Colourful Folks!

Friends of mine who were married on the Shores of Georgian Bay (she's Canadian, he's Welsh) served then them at their wedding, no-one asked what they were so they're pretty well known.

Never had a problem with opening the oven door (just did it to put the Chicken back into warm).

Now where in the GTA can I get proper (not streaky) bacon and decent sausages?

Paul Rhodes
Black Helicopters

Too Thick == RSC == Not Risen

West Yorkshire recipe works fine on the shores of Lake Ontario - no altitude adjustment needed here. I find that Canadian oven doors are too big and the house fills with smoke too easily, if the Smoke Alarm doesn't go off, the oven's not hot enough!

Put a fork in the mixture, remove it and hold level, and the mixture should run smoothly down the tines if it's thin enough.

BMW readies 7-series hybrid

Paul Rhodes
Black Helicopters

Hybrid is not the Only Green

Over here in Toronto this would sell. One of the 'Moms' at my daughter's school drops off her youngest in a GMC Yukon Hybrid, which only has a 6.0L V8............

Samsung sneaks out snazzy 3G iPhone rival

Paul Rhodes


So Apple got everything right first time did they, like cut&paste and bringing a phone to Europe that could send SMS in an instant?

Just as SE, Nokia and Samsung users compromised functionality over user interface, iPhone users put the usability first and functionality second. I know I can get google maps pretty much anywhere in the country, view e-mails and Web (under the table) on customer premises anytime I want without resorting to WiFi, and snap 5MP pictures and send them quickly.

Tell me the iPhone's perfect? I say it's just a different compromise.

MIT plans to roll out 'folding' car

Paul Rhodes
Black Helicopters

It's not Just Shared Cars, it's Shared Electric Cars!

Can anyone point to any stats that claim that car-sharing schemes actually work, and if they do work does this take cars off the road, or just add more occasional users to the road who would otherwise take a bus or cab?

"""Pollution free electricity". Where does that come from?"" Presumably when dropped into the canal with the other shopping trolleys the wheels will act like turbines to produce Hydro power?

Ofcom stands up to Information Commissioner

Paul Rhodes
Black Helicopters


AC, don't forget that the 2.6GHz auction will be Mobile WiMAX, for which live deployments have not happened, unlike the 1/2 million people using HSPA for mobile broadband in Sweden.

The UK operators might have been hesitant in the past for full downloadable site lists to be in the public domain (it would have been obvious that O2 were 1000 sites or so short of meeting their coverage targets) but WiMAX operators will also fear comparing their 100s of sites with the 10,000s of HSPA ones. Tetra (Airwave) is already published on sitefinder.

Ofcom auctions off high frequencies

Paul Rhodes
Black Helicopters


A consortium of Sony BD, Mick Hucknall and Richard of York anticipate negotiating SURs for a couple of 1000K or more. "We have a Vision for the Future" said a spokesman.

iPhone-friendly mobile digital telly tuner demo'd

Paul Rhodes
Black Helicopters

@Neil Hoskins

Ah, but you're missing the point.

Next it will be an iPhone HSPA add-on.

- an iPhone 5MP digital Camera Add-on

- an iPhone GPS Add-on

- an iPhone MMS Add-on

- an iPhone SMS for Groups Add-on

Then some bright spark will re-package it as an N96........

French government decides mobiles 'may not be safe'

Paul Rhodes
Black Helicopters

Re:.....and the Risk Indeed: Some Perspective

Consider that the average car emits around 200g CO2 per KM (UK current new-builds average 167g and the existing fleet is worse) and drives a nominal 15,000 KM, that's 3000 Kg of CO2 per car (in service only). Traffic kills about 1.2 Million people globally per annum. Someone's been killed on the roads while I've typed this.

The average mobile phone user generates 25Kg (full life-cycle) per annum and only has to avoid driving 125Km in a car to offset this. NO-ONE has yet been proven to have been killed by mobile phone use.

The common flu kills around 20,000 americans each year, Even H5N1 Bird Flu kills around 40 people globally per year.

By the way, the 'scientific' research into Bees-Nest Aversion used a DECT phone, so you'd best avoid any RF if you give this research specific credibility.

Ofcom and EU face off for high speed broadband row

Paul Rhodes
Black Helicopters

Re: Mrs Doyle

""Fibre to the home would cost a fiver per house""

Since industry estimates are £15 Billion cost, I guess there must be 3 Billion Homes in the UK.....

Actually since we have in the region of 25 Million homes in the UK, taking FTTx as a consumer-only offering means someone ponying up around £600 per household to install (IF, and that's a big IF, every household fibred-up were to subscribe). If only 60% take up high-speed services, you're talking about £1000 per subscriber.

Those of you who urge the operators to do something: What return on investment are you proposing to give BT/Virgin/AOC on this? Are you prepated to commit to paying them a fair tarrif to both recoup this investment and the cost of running it, say £30 per month on a 2 year contract?

If not - and you want them to immediately unbundle their fibre access to the ISP of your choice for £10 per month - why would you expect them to invest?

BBC HD channel gets green light

Paul Rhodes


I've put off taking SkyHD because of the cost, and Sky Freesat, because they pillage the HD content, so will be buying the BBC Freesat system next year.

A fair portion of the population own HD-Ready TVs, and all this does for most people is to show the poor performance of DTT, with smears in groups of 4 times as many pixels. OfCom chief Ed Richards appears to be the one who's Technology Agnostic, as he appears not to realise that compression only works effectively on bland, slow-moving images. If every pixel has a different RGB and brightness to it's neighbour, what's to compress? Perhaps Ofcom's tests are performed on an OfCom logo on a black background?

I'm sure this debate played out 6 years or so ago when Widescreens came out - now who in their right mind buys a 4:3 and who isn't annoyed when European football matches appear with black bars down the side!

Restored Vulcan takes to the skies

Paul Rhodes


Been a long time coming and well worth the wait. Saw one back in the early 80s at Duxford, and can vouch for the noise.

I live under the outer circuit for Farnborough and am looking forward to seeing this next year. Usually we can only hear planes like the Mig-29 burning AvTur as they do their 'static' aerobatics over the airfield. I've a feeling we won't miss the arrival of XH558!!

Orange offers extended network coverage

Paul Rhodes

Femtos as a direct competitor to home Wi-Fi??

Come on Reg, do you see Femtos/Picos as a coverage solution (you start off talking about GSM, meaning Voice) or as some god-box home networking solution?

Surely a Femto is all about getting low-power coverage into the dark spots in buildings,. That means voice, unless you boost the Femto power in the house to get good data rates all around, and miraculously attenuate the signal in you external walls so as not to interfere with your neighbours Femto or the Macro network - a cinch in modern flats, where your neighbour places his the other side of the plasterboard wall to yours, in the mirror-image layout.

According to OfCom's consultation, they suggest they will see the Femtos (broadcasting on the operator's frequency) as part of the network. IF I get a HS phone, and IF all my PCs and devices have HS cards in, then maybe I'll want to use HS between those devices.

So how does the operator let me use his spectrum for my internal comms, and how does Qualcomm expect all the Femto manufacturers to put local switching into the boxes (femto will simply pass on data over the broadband line into the operators network, like any good Base Station should!) when Qualcomm's 3G IPR already threatens to kill the 3G Femto business?

French court says non to pre-loaded Windows on Acer laptop

Paul Rhodes

@Dave Cumming

"Someone else used a car as an example.. would this guy go and buy an Astra VXR, then sue and say actually I didn't want alloys, air con, power steering etc etc.. what I really wanted was the basic model, so its Vauxhalls fault."

No, the difference is that if it was a car the guy could buy the basic model. He can spec an entry level car with no frills and basic cloth. The fancy alloys, Air-Con and 500W sound system would be on the options list.

Sure you can spec a different engine (processor) but if every car dealer/manufacturer insisted on you buying a £2K integrated Sat-Nav - on a £7K car you planned to daily drive the same route 5 miles to work and back - you'd think that was a bit rich, cos you could buy one for £120 from Tescos if you wanted one.

Ofcom moots the 900MHz boot for O2 and Vodafone

Paul Rhodes


Surely some confusion here people - this is something that Vodafone and O2 have been asking for - the ability to re-farm their 2G spectrum onto 3G adding 3G capacity without purchasing additional capacity.

Admittedly they have been lobbying to lose less spectrum, and to receive some recompense for the efforts in clearing out the spectrum (£0.3Billion) and for the loss of the spectrum that they currently own.

Vodafone currently use ~20MHz of GSM spectrum for ~80% customers, and 10 of their 15MHz of 3G for the remianing 20% or so of their customers including mobile broadband. By 2009 these ratios will have reversed, with only around 20% of their customers using the 2G network, so they can afford in broad terms to lose the spectrum.

O2 takes it to the EDGE

Paul Rhodes

@Claire Rand

With the 3 Data deals available from £10 for 1 gig, X-Series add-on for £5 a month and Voda's 'premium' service at £25 to >3GB, I think O2 will react to the market and price appropriately with proper data volumes.

Personally, give the choice would I pick:

A) iPod Touch + e.g N95 + Any tariff, any operator, giving 8-16GB of iTunes + 8-16GB of DRM-free storage, GPS and HSDPA.

B) iPhone giving 8-16GB of music restricted to iTunes on a £40+ tariff restricted to O2 for £100 more.

Paul Rhodes

@ Chad H.

Nope, it was 1.8 Mbps last June on Vodafone. Time has moved on and we're now talking 3.6 on Vodafone and 3, with Vodafone about to launch 7.2 and 1.46 EUL.

Either way, its Broadband alright!