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Saturday, 29 December 2012

Steam sale!

Its that time again!

I've picked up some great cheap games as well as some Mac compatible games! I'm not going to list prices as they are constantly changing but be sure to keep an eye out. I don't even think i've spent over £30 yet!

http://store.steampowered.com

Games i've bought for Mac:
FTL: Faster than light
Counter Strike: Global Offensive
Civ 5 (Deluxe)
Avseq
Legend of Grimlock
RollerCoast Tycoon 3: Platinum edition
Limbo

Games for Windows:
Sniper: Ghost Warrior (It was like £1.75, don't judge me..)
Sim city 4 deluxe

If i didn't already own ARMA:CO I would have got that as well as it has an awesome mod call Day Z that i'm yet to try but have read some hilarious articles on.

Friday, 28 December 2012

How to Identify Slow Speed as a Fault on FTTC Superfast Broadband Lines

ISP review:
http://www.ispreview.co.uk/index.php/2012/12/when-slow-speeds-become-a-fault-on-bts-fttc-superfast-broadband.html

A great bit in there is that they know of one example where the customer was about 2000m from the green box (PCP) and getting 16 Mbps. If that's the distance to the PCP it makes you wonder what they would have got on ADSL2+ with the copper going all the way back to the exchange.  Probably barely anything if the downstream attenuation was above 70dB.

Monday, 24 December 2012

Ofcom Fines BT UK £95m for Overcharging on Wholesale Ethernet Services

From ISP review:
A two year legal battle between BT and several major ISPs has finally ended with Ofcom forcing the national UK telecoms operator to pay a fine of £94,823,000 after it was found to have overcharged the broadband providers for Backhaul Extension Services (BES) between 2004/6 and 2011.

http://www.ispreview.co.uk/index.php/2012/12/ofcom-fines-bt-uk-94m-for-overcharging-on-wholesale-ethernet-services.html

Ofcom announce the 4G auctions bidders

Interesting not to see Virgin in there as they were running some 4G trials.

BT are in the mix via Niche Spectrum Ventures Limited.

I was kinda hoping for a surprise from a a big name fixed line ISPs but it seems they aren't interested.

B Sky B have The Cloud.

TalkTalk operate an MVNO

So I guess they consider the fix line market a core technology for another generation at least.

Going forward with fibre, the speeds will certainly beat 4G but 4G does bring down the latency on mobile connections. It'll be interesting when there is a mature 4G network in place, we might see more and more people willing to forgo a fixed line to save costs.

Thinkbroadband:
http://www.thinkbroadband.com/news/5637-ofcom-announce-the-4g-auctions-bidders.html

Sunday, 23 December 2012

More good news on the world not ending...

Looks like an asteroid is going to miss us in 2040...Its a good week for news on the world not ending..Time to re-instate that pension plan...

http://edition.cnn.com/2012/12/21/us/space-asteroid-threat/index.html?hpt=hp_c1

Saturday, 22 December 2012

Wordament on iOS with XBOX achievements!

A great game thats been exclusive to MS products for a while, but is now heading over to iOS. The big deal is that it'll be the first game to include xbox live achievements on a non microsoft system.

MS are still trying to encourage users to go with a MS ecosystem as the game will only have 50 points  as opposed to the 200 on Windows phone 8 & Windows 8

http://www.wpcentral.com/wordament-heads-ios-achievements-and-what-means-windows-phone

People just don't like Apple's Maps service...

Google Maps for IOS sees 10 million downloads in two days -The Inquirer.
Link:http://www.theinquirer.net/inquirer/news/2232708/google-maps-for-ios-sees-10-million-downloads-in-two-days

I've also been branching out and using Nokia maps alot recently: http://m.maps.nokia.com
Nokia have control over their own data unlike Apple so can make adjustments quicker. 

Friday, 21 December 2012

Crucial firmware upgrade for SSD

From the email I got today:

"New firmware available for your Crucial® SSD!
Crucial SSDs are designed to support periodic firmware upgrades that provide enhancements to optimize how our drives perform. We're happy to announce that the latest firmware upgrade (040H/04MH) is now available for your Crucial m4, Adrenaline, or mSATA SSD on our SSD support page. This is an optional firmware update, but by upgrading you can benefit from the following improvements:
Faster boot up – we improved the time between when you press the power button on your computer and when the drive is ready to accept commands
Faster TRIM – we improved how our drives clean up files to make them more efficient
Better power management – we improved some power consumption elements so that our drives can draw less power

At Crucial.com, we're proud to deliver first-rate support to our SSD customers and that includes firsthand upgrade news. While you're on Crucial.com downloading the latest firmware, why not see if you can further improve your system's performance with a DRAM upgrade? Our innovative Crucial System Scanner accurately identifies the memory in your system and provides a list of guaranteed-compatible upgrades. Just another great service we can offer – thank you for being a valued customer!

-The team at Crucial.com"

At least its not a bug fix this time. Nice to see they are continually improving the product to keep it competitive. 

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Cinema tech to look out for: IMAX, HFR, 3D, Dolby Atmos


Going to see 'The Hobbit: An unexpected Journey' today in IMAX 3D. I had hoped to also see it with HFR and Dolby Atmos but Kingston Odeon doesn't have all of those technologies combined as of yet. In fact there aren't many cinemas that do just yet!

2013 looks set to add something to cinemas which your home cinema can't reasonable offer with a surround sound systems far beyond what you'd have (or want) in your living room.

Now if only cinema prices would come down a bit.. £28 for two tickets! ( $45.63 USD!!)

http://www.dolby.com/us/en/professional/technology/cinema/dolby-atmos.html

http://www.slashfilm.com/what-is-high-frame-rate-anyway-the-hobbit-themed-faq-attempts-to-educate-audiences/

UK cinemas with IMAX HFR 3D are:

ODEON Manchester & IMAX – Manchester, UK
Cineworld Nottingham & IMAX – Nottingham, UK
Cineworld Sheffield & IMAX - Sheffield, UK

ODEON Swiss Cottage & IMAX - London, UK

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Nokia reiterates: Windows Phone 7.8 update not arriving on Lumia devices until 2013

http://www.engadget.com/2012/12/18/nokia-reiterates-windows-phone-7-8-updates-2013/

Nokia share price rising.

They are moving in the right direction but they need to make big changes to smooth out their products and faults... Having experienced such annoying problems like owning my own personal domain linked to a MS account which prevented me from syncing contacts, calendar, tasks to dust getting in through the ear piece and messing up the proximity sensor.

I love the device but it pushes my limits sometimes...

http://www.wpcentral.com/nokia-rising-stock-breaks-through-4-share-upon-news-strong-demand

Saturday, 15 December 2012

Christmas gadget buying suggestions

I was going to do a Christmas buying guide but I haven't really got around to it.

Instead, see below for some gadgets I would happily like to receive / that would go down well with a gadget enthusiast:

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Free ebook: Introducing Windows 8: An Overview for IT Professionals (Final Edition)

http://blogs.msdn.com/b/microsoft_press/archive/2012/11/13/free-ebook-introducing-windows-8-an-overview-for-it-professionals-final-edition.aspx?loc=zatf_zTS3&prod=zWin8&tech=zOTtech&prog=zPress&type=zOTtype&media=zBK

TFL Buses first to siphon cash from NFC bank cards & mobiles

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/12/13/tfl_nfc/

Google maps for iOS is back!

Google maps is back for iPhone.

"Android's advantage

Features Google has introduced that were not available in its earlier iPhone app include:
Voice guided turn-by-turn directions, with estimated travel times.
Indoor panoramic images of buildings that have signed up to its Street View Business Photos service
3D representations of the outlines of buildings that can be viewed from different angles
Vector-based graphics based on mathematical lines and points rather than pre-created bitmap graphics, making it quicker to zoom in and out of an area.

Among the facilities Google's iPhone app lacks that are present in its Android equivalent are indoor maps, the ability to download maps for offline viewing, and voice search."



http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-20694028

O2 is increasing its contract prices - The Inquirer

Not a good time for O2 really. They've been bleeding subscribers on the broadband side due to playing catchup with products and now they'll be shedding a few more here unless the other providers follow.

O2 is increasing its contract prices- The Inquirer

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Sky go comes to more devices.

Compatibility is expanding to more devices. Note that if you root your device you will no longer be able to use it.

• HTC: Desire X, One X, One XL, One S and One V
• Google: Nexus 4 and Nexus 7
• Samsung: Galaxy S3 LTE, Galaxy S3 Mini, Galaxy Ace 2 and Galaxy Note 2
• Sony: Sony Xperia S, Sony Xperia T
• LG: LG 4X HD

This is in addition to the phones already supported:

• HTC: HTC Desire, HTC Desire S, HTC Desire HD, HTC Incredible S, HTC Sensation, HTC Sensation XE
• Samsung: Samsung Galaxy S, Samsung Galaxy S2, Samsung Galaxy S3, Samsung Galaxy Nexus, Samsung Galaxy Note

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Graphics upgrade?

OK so I have some fairly hefty constraints on what I can upgrade my ageing Shuttle PC with.

First and foremost is power constraints with only a 450W PSU in the case ...
Then comes dimensions...With a precarious motherboard power connected in the lower left. I barely got my GTX 275 in there!

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/geforce-gtx-275,2266-14.html

http://www.nvidia.co.uk/object/graphics_cards_buy_now_uk.html

I'm thinking this Zotac will fit the bill in terms of size and power draw.

http://www.ebuyer.com/393783-zotac-gtx-660-ti-2gb-gddr5-dual-dvi-hdmi-displayport-pci-e-graphics-zt-60801-10p



Monday, 10 December 2012

Huawei eyeing Nokia talent?

"The group aims to employ over 14,000 in Europe within three to five years, doubling the current workforce of around 7,000, and also plans to spend 70 million euros ($91 million) over five years on the new R&D center in Finland." - Reuters

Reuters: http://uk.reuters.com/article/2012/12/10/us-huawei-europe-idUKBRE8B90DF20121210
Engadet: http://www.engadget.com/2012/12/10/huawei-finland/

What I'm reading...

Just picked up JAM by Yahtzee Croshaw and only a few pages in but it looks like a fun read. Still need to read his previous endeavour called Mogworld as well. Looking forward to finding the time to read it.


First official indications of Fibre on Demand pricing from Openreach

Thinkbroadband mentions wholesale prices for next year. Looks like the installation costs are going to be high which will deter a lot of people. Then again its understandable given the massive cost to rolling out infrastructure.

I can see fixed line providers looking to lock customers into lengthy contracts in order to cover any subsidising of the initial installation costs, which'll be look news for them given that 4G services are going to bring faster mobile data rates with lower latency causing increased competition..

Thinkbroadband: http://www.thinkbroadband.com/news/5614-first-official-indications-of-fibre-on-demand-pricing-from-openreach.html

6UK Scrapped After Failing to Encourage IPv6 Adoption Among UK ISPs

Not a great thing to see. There are a few IPv6 ISP's out there but most of the top ones are not rolling it out right down to the end user.

http://www.ispreview.co.uk/index.php/2012/12/6uk-to-be-scrapped-after-failing-to-encourage-uk-ipv6-adoption.html

More info ok the UK government and requirements for new network equipment:
https://update.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/sites/default/files/resources/psn_common_req_0.pdf

Friday, 7 December 2012

Apple snaps up UK White hat hacker.

Reading the article gives quite a portfolio of feats there. GSM hacking to causing Microsoft delays in the release of Vista...

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/12/06/apple_hires_kristen_paget

Why i'm starting to hate loving my Nokia Lumia 920


There seems to be an issue with the proximity sensor where on calls the screen will go dark straight away as if you have the phone pressed to your ear. The only way to get the screen on for a fraction of a second is to the hit power button and then try and tap the hang up button before the screen goes off. As you can imagine, using IVR menu systems is a pain and i've left countless voice-mails.

Google revealed that I wasn't alone in this issue and it looks like when dust gets in the ear piece it can easily travel across to the front facing camera and the proximity sensor... What a design flaw!!

So so the phone is less than 28 days old so I give Phones4u a ring (Mines a offline Lumia 920 red) and they ask me the usual questions:

Have you got a screen protector on?
Have you tried resetting the phone?
Are there any other issues?

I hadn't done a factory reset but agreed to do this. I had to call back after 40 minutes as the spinning cogs logo hadn't progressed and they advised me it was bricked. I'd already googled and wp central suggested its bricked, although there was an unofficial workaround I didn't want to void the warranty if the device had any flash counters.

I got a replacement code but nearly every damn Phones4u in the SW London area didn't seem to have stock of this particular model so I now have to wait to send my device back and then they will send me a new one. Awful customer service on Phones4u's part. Pretty poor QA testing on Nokia's part... I was seriously considering jacking it in for the HTC or Samsung WP8 devices... We'll see how the replacement goes...

But can it run Crisis?

Maximum PC: You Built a New PC, But Can It Run Crysis 3?

Wow, my Nvidia GTX 275 simply doesn't cut it with just under 1Gb of ram and no dx 11...That's just for the minimum specs!

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Doom 3 BFG gets its source code released

There are a few exceptions in there but this is probably a rather nice insight for any game dev

https://github.com/id-Software/DOOM-3-BFG

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Opinion on USB 3 micro connector...

Who the hell thought this form factor was a good idea... Thats ridiculous and mobile phone manufactures will hate it! The whole point of them pain painstakingly designing normal sized USB 3 ports into the same form factor was for compatibility. Why they couldn't have miniaturised and split the extra contacts around the edge of the current form factor I don't know... 


Picture source: Wikipedia

Update: I wonder if Apple can fit USB3 down the lightening connector. If they pull it off I think other manufactures will be up in arms wanting a smaller form factor for their devices. Circuit board space matters to them! 

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Windows phone 8 Lumia owners get mirrors edge free!

As the title suggests. This game now appears to be free when you go to the product page although in the listings amongst other apps it still shows the price. Nokia Lumia owners only.

Source: http://www.wpcentral.com/mirrors-edge-gets-update-free-lumia-owners

EE launches its 4G SIM-only plans- The Inquirer


Its like buying a sports car and being told your only allowed to go 40mph and for only 100 miles....

EE launches its 4G SIM-only plans- The Inquirer

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Amazon kindle for windows phone 8

It looks like a few apps are playing catch up. One of my favourites for when I forget my iPad is Kindle. Thankfully Amazon have updated the WP7 app and its now showing in the WP8 listings.

Having a quick test, it works nicely just as before with the added improvement of the higher dpi on WP8 devices making the text look very nice and crisp.

Saturday, 17 November 2012

iOS gets a pokedex from Nintendo!

Well thats a bit of a shocker. Nintendo release something for another platform! I guess it was becoming inevitable as iOS gained more and more ground in the mobile gaming market. Microsoft did it was Smartglass and a few games. I guess they decided It's better to profit from it that be stubbornly averse to it.

http://www.t3.com/news/nintendo-testing-the-water-with-first-official-ios-app

Saturday, 10 November 2012

I've bought a Lumia 920 Red

OK so I got it and its pretty awesome!

There are a few apps which need to be ported from windows phone 7 such as  The harvest and Endomondo sports tracker which I miss but apart from that most stuff is there!

Virgin (on the T mobile network in the UK) gave me a bit of trouble as their sim only rolling contracts don't have micro-sims yet so I had to get creative with a pair of scissors. It all turned out fine.

Virign Mobiles customer services could do with a bit of improving compared to Tesco mobile though. They had a system crash the first time I called which wasn't a good impression for someone porting in. Luckily the port went fine.

The only thing I haven't figured out yet is the NFC payments. I think this is more down to my card than the phone.

Here is a review: http://www.wpcentral.com/nokia-lumia-920-review

If you buy a new Lumia and didn't get a free wireless charger

check this URL on the 16th: www.nokiafreecharger.com

Thursday, 8 November 2012

ebay - buyer requirements

To anyone who sells stuff which is likely to get scammed (phones)


You really must set these settings under buyer requirements under your account section!

Buyer requirements


Block buyers who:
Don't have a PayPal account
Have a primary delivery address in a location I don't post to
Have 4 policy breaches reported within 1 month(s)
Have a Feedback score of -3 or lower

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

UK lumia 920 12 month pricing vs sim only.

EE (4G) have some rather strange pricing on the 12 months plans for the Nokia Lumia 920


Contract  Monthly Price Handset Price   calls sms data Total
12 46  129.99  Unlimited Unlimited 500MB £681.99
12 51 49.99  Unlimited Unlimited 1Gb £661.99
12 56 19.99  Unlimited Unlimited 3Gb £691.99


So you can treble your data for £5 more a month...

It'll be a close call between this and some of the great sim only 3G (1 month) contracts from the likes of Tesco mobile and Virgin...If the phone comes in at the £500 sim only they it'll look very good comparatively .. If it comes in higher then it starts to eek away its edge...

With the Nexus 4 setting a new standard for low entry to market price points, here's hoping the price will come in low.

http://shop.ee.co.uk/nokia-lumia-920-black/pay-monthly/mobile-tariffs/

Update: If  the US news today is anything to go by then we could be in-store for some competitive pricing as AT&T have put the 920 on sale offline for a VERY low price ($449.99):
http://www.engadget.com/2012/11/07/att-selling-unlocked-lumia-920-449-99/

Update 2: It looks like EE have put the price up in what looks to be even more of a ridiculous move on what was already going to be a slight disadvantage for them. Price wise for people not concerned with fast speeds on low capped usage it now makes even less sense.... I'm hotly looking out for Lumia 920 sim only / pay and go deals with a low monthly sim only 1 month contract.

Here is a good one for the Lumia 820:
http://www.hotukdeals.com/deals/nokia-lumia-820-windows-phone-8-4-3-screen-1080p-video-8mp-camera-super-sensitive-1349007

Europe to Open the 2GHz Band for Superfast 4G LTE Mobile Broadband

http://www.ispreview.co.uk/index.php/2012/11/europe-to-open-the-2ghz-band-for-superfast-4g-lte-mobile-broadband.html

Monday, 29 October 2012

Dell S2340T - Why no reviews?

I can't find any detailed reviews of this! I really want one though!


Windows 8 and Avast won't play nice.

So so I really like Window 8. I started by trying an upgrade of my windows 7 install but was marred by blue screens of death. Not fun.... So I though it would be best to do a clean install (I wanted to anyway, I was just being lazy) but the BSODs continued....

ndis.sys and aswnet.sys were the culprits... This problem proved to be my Avast security suite... One uninstall and hey presto the system was fully functional again.

Avast say that program version 7.0.1473
 (announcement: http://forum.avast.com/index.php?topic=107531.0 ) is fully compatible but it looks like a fair few people are seeing the same issue:
http://forum.avast.com/index.php?topic=107811.0

I think I'll wait for a few more updates before installing it again. Overall I'm really liking the UI of windows 8. It takes a bit of getting used to but once you realise you can just start typing from the start screen to search for what you want its dead quick to navigate!

Friday, 26 October 2012

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Windows, reimagined: A review of Windows 8, Ars

I've got my retail copy in the post. Been using the release candidate and at first I didn't like it but its started to grow on me.

I think this would be perfect with a Dell S2340T touch screen LCD in front of you and then a larger LCD just behind slightly raised!

http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2012/10/windows-reimagined-a-review-of-windows-8/

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Huawei offers access to source code and equipment


This really does need the US to come out and reveal the 'smoking gun' that was the base of their ruling.

Yes it looks like Huawei have previously copied source code and been naughty on a few occasions but unless someone can prove they are breaching security then its a bit of a brand demanding exercises and nothing more in my opinion.. Huawei certainly seem keen to open up their source code to particular parties, thats not to say its the same across their products but it certain is a positive move.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-20053511

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Christmas trains for TFL and south west trains around London




http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/service_disruptions/seasonal/Christmas_2011/sw.html

Openreach blog: Killer RABIT let loose by Openreach

Openreach blog: Killer RABIT let loose by Openreach: We’re now three months into a customer trial of RABIT, known officially as the slightly less catchy 'Major Service Outage (MSO) proactive CP...

EE shoots it's self in the foot with pricing?

Personally I think 4G is a great technology. Providing you have good coverage it has the ability to massively increase your upstream and downstream while keeping latency low compared to 3G. People have banded around that you could even do your online gaming via it.

So why EE would hike the price up massively I don't know! It's not going to help their early chance at market penetration.

It's not something you can hype easily... when people will barely notice others who have it on their phones.
I think they should have just hiked the business prices and went in low with the consumer ones, then increase over time if required.... Other theory is they don't have the capacity just yet for a large scale migration onto it.

http://www.wpcentral.com/ee-announces-first-uk-4g-mobile-phone-plans-not-what-was-expected

Monday, 22 October 2012

Macheist.com software bundle (Charity donation included)

Worth it if you see something on this list you like. If it unlocks BioShock 2 then it's definitely worth it if you haven't played that! A lot of the games are steam codes which makes re-downloading in future dead simple too.

Bundle Contents

Scrivener
DiskTools Pro
Bejeweled 3
Radium
Artboard
Jurassic Park
PDF Signer
Sam and Max
Courier
HDRtist
Strong Bad
Evernote
Printopia
MacGourmet Deluxe 3
Firetask
BioShock 2
Corel Painter Lite




http://macheist.com/





Friday, 19 October 2012

Sky Broadband Sky Hub pictures and hands-on

I was part of the trial for this and find it a really good (free when you sign up) consumer product. The WiFi is definately better compared to the previous Sagem models.

So far I've changed the subnet, Secured the interface, Allowed remote connections (make sure you change the default password if you do!!!), forwarded a few services and reserved DHCP IP's. All of which are working fine.

No issues with any devices including an Onkyo Amp, Xbox, Wii, Macbook, Panasonic Blu-ray, Sky STB's and various switches (cheap and expensive).

It's a shame they didn't go for a gigabit Ethernet ports as more and more integrated devices in the home evolve but its not a massive deal. I just use one port into a gigabit Linksys cisco switch as home as I move a lot of files about between SSD's.

Review: http://www.pocket-lint.com/news/48017/sky-broadband-sky-hub-preview

Review: http://www.thinkbroadband.com/news/5504-new-sky-broadband-router-reviewed.html

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

O2 dumps network partner Ericsson after major outages- The Inquirer

O2 dumps network partner Ericsson after major outages- The Inquirer

A look inside a Google data centre



FTTH Ultrafast Fibre Optic Broadband Connections Pass 175000 UK Homes

ISPreview: http://www.ispreview.co.uk/index.php/2012/10/ftth-ultrafast-fibre-optic-broadband-connections-pass-175000-uk-homes.html

Virgin extends free London tube WiFi coverage till 2013

I've enjoyed using this at Waterloo / Aldgate East but I would never pay for it unless it covered the tunnels as well as it's only for quick travel checks / updating new articles / pulling e-mails, all of which I can do on my way into the station....

Would have loved for The Cloud to extend into the Underground as I really like their service top side in Waterloo. Helps me catch football matches on my way home from work in the evenings.

http://www.engadget.com/2012/10/17/virgin-media-tube-wifi-extension/

Monday, 8 October 2012

EE coverage maps (Orange + T Mobile) UK

http://ee.co.uk/coverage

Also:

Brits who don't live in Swindon, Southwark or Reading (4G went live for them today) will be able to get their mitts on 4G LTE from 30 October, when EE launches its 4G LTE network. µ

(Take from The Inquirer here)

Saturday, 6 October 2012

Apple Mac, Wheres the hash (#) key!

I can't believe that in the age of Twitter Apple hasn't got round to printing the hash # symbol on the number '3' key. At least for the UK rMBP (retina Macbook Pro) keyboard i'm using anyway! They've done it with the euro € symbol...

It's Alt + 3 for anyone wanting to know what it is! 

The register gives PureView tech a look

http://www.reghardware.com/2012/10/05/review_nokia_pureview_808_phone_camera_tech/

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Monday, 17 September 2012

BT gets postcode knickers in twist, plants Shoreditch on Mount Everest

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/09/14/bt_postcode_mix_up/

Got $1000 to spare? want your name in a game?

I've had my name in the credits of a game but I think this might even be cooler! Obsidian is offering people to name a character in their next game which they have gone to kicker starter for due to the pains of publishers.

Check it out:
http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/obsidian/project-eternity

Update: I also like how they have structured their project with certain goals meaning they will match various criteria ($1.6m for a OS X version and $2.2m for a Linux version). The only thing I have an issue with is that the'd likely be building the game engine from the ground up with the expectation of being multi-platform already. Still its unique and I praise them for it.

Friday, 14 September 2012

New tech roundup.

God September has been busy. Here is a roundup of some of the major announcements:

Mobiles:
Iphone5:
http://www.apple.com/uk/iphone/
http://www.theverge.com/2012/9/14/3328436/iphone-5-apple-secrecy
http://www.engadget.com/2012/09/12/iphone-5-hands-on-video-details/
http://www.engadget.com/2012/09/14/iphone-5-contract-prices-UK-networks-vodafone-ee-three-orange-tmobile/
http://www.theinquirer.net/inquirer/review/2205420/apple-iphone-5-interactive-guide

Nokia:
http://www.techradar.com/news/phone-and-communications/mobile-phones/nokia-lumia-920-what-you-need-to-know-1095066
http://www.phonearena.com/phones/Nokia-Lumia-920_id7471
http://www.pocket-lint.com/news/47333/nokia-windows-phone-8-devices

Samsung:
http://www.samsung.com/global/ativ/ativ_s.html

Sony:
http://www.t3.com/news/sony-xperia-t-uk-price-announced

Nintendo:
http://www.engadget.com/2012/09/14/nintendo-wii-u-pre-order-amazon-uk/

Nvidia:
http://www.engadget.com/2012/09/13/nvidia-geforce-gtx-660-650/


RIPE NCC Begins to Allocate IPv4 Address Space From the Last /8

End end is nigh!

http://www.ripe.net/internet-coordination/news/ripe-ncc-begins-to-allocate-ipv4-address-space-from-the-last-8

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Mobiles...

So much choice!

iPhone 5, Nokia Lumia 920, and the Galaxy S3 are all really nice phones but even the 'tier 2' runners arn't looking so bad. Sony's Xperia T looks pretty nice and the Samsung Note got a refresh for those who like their phones in the XL fashion.

I feel like I should repent for getting a retina Macbook Pro and get the Lumia:
http://www.wpcentral.com/iphone5-versus-lumia-920

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Apple Vs Blu-ray

It still really annoys me Apple haven't given hardware support for Blu-ray in their product lines. Although saying that my Macbook Pro doesn't even have a optical drive.

On the flip side you can get third party drives and software from http://www.macblurayplayer.com/. I'd really like to see a thunderbolt blu-ray super drive though!

Saturday, 1 September 2012

MacBook Pro retina.

Wow, that was a bit of hassel but i'm finally there.

MacBook Pro retina with boot camp windows 8 RC fully working!

I've got Guild Wars 2 working nicely as well.

The reason it took a while... The laptop came with lion, not mountain lion... I had to go off to Apple, apply for mountain lion with my serial to get the free copy (that was quick) and then wait for it to download the whole OS.

Next I had to download Windows 8 RC and boot camp assistant took an ages as well download windows content for the install. Once into Windows 8, the boot camp install took a while and me being me, took a while to realise i needed to hold 'alt' when booting the machine to get the boot choices (I'm used to GRUB just appearing with Ubuntu)...

[edit] Here is a quick screen grab one week in:

Monday, 20 August 2012

Intel Brings TRIM to RAID-0 SSD Arrays on 7-Series Motherboards, We Test It

The CPU and the motherboard might cost a bomb at the moment but you can get some impressive results for the SSD's with Intel's TRIM for RAID-0!! (latest gen only )

http://www.anandtech.com/show/6161/intel-brings-trim-to-raid0-ssd-arrays-on-7series-motherboards-we-test-it

Asia's fastest data cable links Japan to Singapore.

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/asias-fastest-data-cable-links-japan-to-singapore.aspx?pageID=238&nID=28171&NewsCatID=374

New blog: www.bbhelp.co.uk

I've moved some of the DSL related stuff from this site to a new dedicated blog: http://ukbroadbandblog.blogspot.co.uk/ which will eventually end up on a nice short domain:  http://www.bbhelp.co.uk (give the domain 24hrs as some DNS servers are being slow to update).

Saturday, 11 August 2012

Saturday, 4 August 2012

US plans to block any plan to give UN more control of the internet

Apart from the stupid opening up of the domain name system (I quite liked it with a finite amount of possibilities) I can't think of much ICANN have done wrong. I kind of agree with the bit that the UN might bog the system down with taking too long to make decisions.

The Verge: http://www.theverge.com/2012/8/4/3218629/us-terry-kramer-wcit-block-icann

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Steam claim Faster Zombies under Ubuntu linux...

Doesn't really sound like a fair comparisona dn there are way too many variables for a fair test but it's interesting to see they are working with hardware manufactures to improve their drivers overall for the platform. It'll be interesting to see how OpenGL keep up with a AAA grade developer on their back for new feature sets to be included in the API (OpenGL's last release was Aug 2011)... Then again Valve might even end up writing some in!

Blog post here: http://blogs.valvesoftware.com/linux/faster-zombies/

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Microsoft confirms Windows 8 has been released to manufacturing, OEM partners now have final code

http://www.engadget.com/2012/08/01/microsoft-windows-8-rtm/

Another interesting bit is:
Microsoft showed off its answer to Linux 'Live CD' distributions - entire operating systems which run off a CD, DVD or USB stick with no installation required - with Windows To Go. Sold as a 32GB USB drive, Windows To Go allows any Windows 7 computer to boot into Windows 8 and retains the user's installed applications, files and settings. Pricing for Windows To Go has not yet been confirmed.


Friday, 27 July 2012

A New Dawn for NVIDIA graphics

Hexus: http://hexus.net/tech/news/graphics/42865-a-new-dawn-nvidia-graphics/

Woo hoo, I've got it

I finally got my Raspberry Pi:



Hmmm... It's not liking my Logitech g510 keyboard much. Wouldn't boot at first until I fed it with a main connected micro-USB connector. Now I have issues where it types too many of the character I press or doesn't print at all.. It might be to do with my initial configuration of the keyboard though and I didn't have much time to test. 

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Broadcom promises triple-speed 5G WiFi for mobiles in early 2013

http://www.engadget.com/2012/07/25/broadcom-5g-wifi-for-mobiles/

Google Fiber launches in Kansas City, promises 1000 Mbps up and down

The Verge: http://www.theverge.com/2012/7/26/3187990/google-fiber-kansas-city

Moto's Xooms still got it...

The Motorola Xoom still see's support! http://www.androidcentral.com/android-411-finally-pushed-motorola-xoom-wifi-testers

Alcatel Lucent to slash 5,000 jobs after reporting loss

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-18995788

Roku picks up financing from BSkyB, News Corp and more, keeps eye on the premium streaming crown

Engadget: http://www.engadget.com/2012/07/26/roku-picks-up-financing-from-bskyb-news-corp-and-more-keeps-ey/

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

INFINITE LOOP / THE APPLE ECOSYSTEM OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion: the Ars Technica review

Sounds like a hell of a lot went into this release!
http://arstechnica.com/apple/2012/07/os-x-10-8/

ARM sees profits rise by 23 per cent to £66.5m - The Inquirer

ARM sees profits rise by 23 per cent to £66.5m - The Inquirer

Press release: http://www.arm.com/about/newsroom/arm-holdings-plc-reports-results-for-the-second-quarter-and-half-year-ended-30-june-2012.php

O2 brings free WiFi to London in time for the Olympics - The Inquirer

Les hope it's better than Virgin Media's patchy coverage on the TFL underground.

O2 brings free WiFi to London in time for the Olympics - The Inquirer

3 UK ISPs Snub BSG Launch of New UK Net Neutrality Code of Practice

I think the interesting thing here is Three are happy to be part of the code and the other mobile operators aren't (They have been well known to restrict VoIP traffic)...

http://www.ispreview.co.uk/index.php/2012/07/bsg-launch-of-new-uk-net-neutrality-code-of-practice-snubbed-by-isps.html

Ofcom telecoms-complaints-bulletin page.

Ofcom: http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/enforcement/telecoms-complaints-bulletin/

Just posted here for reference really.

Monday, 23 July 2012

AAISP UK Boss Slams BT Engineers over HomeHub3 Router Bias

http://revk.www.me.uk/2012/07/get-home-hub-3-from-bt.html

He has a fair point. The problems are on both sides though. Biased engineers and ISP's who don't help their consumers understand the difference between BT group's BT Retail and BT OpenReach.... Make it easy, just call them OpenReach!

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Valve brings steam to Ubuntu Linux

Well the rumours have been going around for months so now we have an official confirmation and blog:

http://blogs.valvesoftware.com/linux/steamd-penguins/

There were also rumours about them going into hardware development so a linux derivative in a custom made console maybe coming our way in years to come. They sure as hell have the right platform for it in steam.

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Visit to a BT telephone exchange (CO)

These pictures are of the MDF (Main distribution frame) in a telephone exchange. This is basically where all the wiring from the telephony and data equipment eventually ends up before going out on your line to your home / business. 

These are the modern connectors: 

To give a scale of the size (varies in each exchange):

Old style connectors:


 Top of the frame:


I didn't include pictures of the DSLAM and MSAN's as these belonged to various providers. Essentially they will have cabinets with a HDF at the side.

MS Windows has some hidden gems: PSR

Type PSR into your Windows search bar after you click start and you'll be presented with a small record button type icon. I'm not sure why Microsoft didn't just call it by its full name but PSR stands for 'Problem steps recorder' and its bloody useful!

If you've got someone on the other end of the phone or your writing a guide. Get this program open on the computer in question and hit 'start 'record' and it will basically log and print screen everything you do until you hit stop!!!


The future of flash memory: tiny (and extremely tough to build)

Ars Technica: http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2012/07/the-future-of-ssds/

Monday, 9 July 2012

Emulex coughs up $58m in Broadcom fibre optic patents clash

The Register: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/07/09/broadcom_emulex_part_settlement/

Rumours B Sky B might bid on TalkTalk

My personal opinion is:

What a nightmare, but if done right could mean some major pressure for BT Retail / Business.

What a nightmare for B Sky B:
Implementation.Interoperability.
Consolidation
Support
Sky lock down their routers. TalkTalk let you use your own.

Why it could be good for B Sky B:
Increased network capacity
New subscriber up sell potential.
Traffic management experience
Parental controls
IPv4 allocation
Static IP's
IPTV experience (Tiscali TV was a true implementation).

    http://www.standard.co.uk/business/business-news/market-round-up-bskybs-mooted-bid-for-talktalk-gets-city-tongues-wagging-7917310.html

    I've worked at Tiscali (Freedom2Surf, Nildram, Pipex Business), V Networks (TalkTalk Business) and B Sky B.

    Friday, 29 June 2012

    Android 4.1 Jelly Bean vs Windows Phone 8 Apollo - The Inquirer

    Android 4.1 Jelly Bean vs Windows Phone 8 Apollo - The Inquirer

    Google Chrome for iPhone hands-on

    Better than Safari in terms of actually having all the settings within the app!
    http://www.engadget.com/2012/06/28/chrome-for-ios-hands-on/

    Google Drive for iOS hands-on

    Talk about good timing having just come from a XOOM tablet to an iPad...

    Engadget: http://www.engadget.com/2012/06/28/google-drive-for-ios-hands-on/

    Griffin Wins Best UK ISP at Comms Business Awards 2012

    Hmmm I always found their support to be decent but they didn't have much competition from the looks of the other contenders (Not a fan of Daisy). Zen are brilliant and would have edged it in my opinion if they were a bit more price competitive.

    http://www.ispreview.co.uk/index.php/2012/06/griffin-wins-best-uk-isp-comms-business-awards-2012.html

    BT Preps New UK Superfast Broadband Cabinets for Exchange Only Lines

    ISPreview: http://www.ispreview.co.uk/index.php/2012/06/bt-preps-new-uk-superfast-broadband-cabinets-for-exchange-only-lines.html

    Tuesday, 26 June 2012

    Measuring IPv6 - Country by Country

    CircleID: http://www.circleid.com/posts/20120625_measuring_ipv6_country_by_country/

    Facebook changing your displayed E-mail

    Beware that a recent change on Facebook is putting your @facebook.com e-mail address as the displayed default instead of your original one.

    There is reason for this in that if they keep traffic within the Facebook ecosystem and more people use the @facebook.com e-mail addresses then Facebook increase their marketing value even further.

    For people like me with their own custom domain (alpagot.co.uk among lots of others), i'm sure they won't be happy that there was not a more 'in your face' warning. It's easy to go into your settings and 'reveal' your current normal email address again.

    It seems the media outlets have picked this up as well and comparing it to what Google did with their Buzz service which failed horribly.

    Check out this Kindle book.

    Bit of promotion for my computer games lecturer from what I was studying at Essex Uni. 

    He has a Kindle book out (well it's been out a while) which I just finished, it's a really good short read and cheap at 77p! It's called Lizzie Lot's Sovereign.


    Here is the blurb:
    Set in Victorian England on the eve of the Franco-Prussian war, 14-year-old Lizzie Lott is rescued from a life of grinding poverty by a stranger with unbelievably fast reactions who spins a story about a shadowy group of individuals with equally unusual gifts -- the Knights of Saint Judas. He drops Lizzie out of her depth into a world of espionage, excitement and intrigue -- all because she possesses an unnatural physical strength. Can she unravel a dastardly French plot before it destroys the monarchy?

    Join Lizzie in her opening adventure, as she strives to become a Knight of Saint Judas herself.

    'Twisted light' carries 2.5 terabits of data per second

    BBC: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-18551284

    Tuesday, 19 June 2012

    Microsoft Unveils Touchscreen Tablet



    Source (Sky News): http://news.sky.com/home/technology/article/16249251

    Spotify brings radio feature to iOS, offers streaming to non-premium users

    Engadget:

    http://www.engadget.com/2012/06/19/spotify-brings-radio-feature-to-ios-offers-streaming-to-non-pre/

    Finally...

    After a lot of hassle I now have my 64Gb 4G iPad thanks to UPS. As far as I can guess it was city link who 'lost' it. Still .....doesn't top the time Parcel Force managed to lose a set of speakers I ordered (the box was MASSIVE).

    Anyway i'm on holiday this week so my collating of internet news is a bit behind....
    Also, I have made a few minor adjustments to the site. Namely I've removed the twitter feed as mine is restricted to followers (@alpagot) and added some affiliate logos down the side.

    Thursday, 14 June 2012

    Skype drops its BETA, Goes straight to version 4

    Highlights from the Skype blog post released yesterday:
    • Four major changes in this release:
    • We have a new Conversations View where users can easily track all of their chats in a unified window.
    • Those users who prefer the old view can disable this in the Chat options;
    • We have a brand new Call View.
    • Call quality has never been better thanks to several investments we made in improving audio quality.
    • We've worked on improving video call quality and have also extended support for more cameras.

    • Improved chat synchronization.
    • New presence and emoticon icons.
    • The ability to store and view phone numbers in a Skype contact's profile.
    • Much lower chance Skype for Linux will crash or freeze.
    • Chat history loading is now much faster.
    • Support for two new languages: Czech (flag:cz) and Norwegian (flag:no).

     
    http://blogs.skype.com/linux/2012/06/skype_40_for_linux.html

    Ubuntu Alpha1 - Quantal Quetzal is out! 12.10

    What a crazy name!

    Well it's out for the curious and experimental, I've started waiting for the beta's more recently and I think with this, that'll be no different as I don't really contribute.

    The big changes are:
    Linux kernel 3.4
    GCC 4.7
    Python 3.0
    Link: https://wiki.ubuntu.com/QuantalQuetzal/TechnicalOverview/Alpha1

    Sophos - Revealed! The top five Android malware detected in the wild

    With mobile devices rivalling desktop PC's from only a few years gone by it's a wonder that they haven't started shipping with 30 day AV trials like desktops often do!

    With that said, Sophos has a great blog article over at the link below regarding malware on the Android platform.

    http://nakedsecurity.sophos.com/2012/06/14/top-five-android-malware/

    Apple MacBook Pro - opinion

    I really like the look of the new Mac book pro, especially the cooling system, the display and the SSD design.

    Although an optical drive is not included I'm still baffled that Apple refuse to throw in some major Blu-ray support anywhere, it'd be a dream in conjunction with the Thunderbold I/O

    I would actually spend that amount on one as well (see pricing, expect it to be over £2k) because the design is truly intuitive and the specs are impressive. I would love to give the battery a run for it's money as well, 7 hours seems quite optimistic even with a lot of power saving involved at those specs. The graphics core would be working hard at those 'retina' resolutions!

    See below for the video:

    http://www.apple.com/uk/macbook-pro/#macbookpro


    New improvements for Kindle on Android tablets today.

    Now able to view two pages side by side with a few other tweaks.

    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.amazon.kindle

    Ripe link added to my broadband support page.

    Bit surprised I left this one out to be honest!

    Link: https://www.ripe.net/data-tools/db

    Now on my support page: http://www.alpagot.co.uk/p/broadband-support.html