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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!