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Tuesday, 31 December 2013

What we searched for on Google in 2013

Xbox One beat PS4...

The Grand National was more popular than Wimbledon...

http://www.google.com/trends/topcharts

Playing around with Hurricane electrics IPv6 tunnel on a Raspberry Pi..

Apparently I'm Newbie Certified... 0.o

IPv6 Certification Badge for alpagot

Lynx command line browser

sudo apt-get install lynx (Debian based systems)

Handy if you want to reference something quickly from the CLI. 


Sunday, 29 December 2013

ISP Sky Broadband Launch Wireless Booster and Offer Half Price Service

Well it's been a long time coming, other providers offer Homeplug products when their routers can't cut the mustard in larger home or homes with wifi unfriendly walls. Obviously nothing will beat a Ethernet connected up house but that involves a lot more work.



http://www.ispreview.co.uk/index.php/2013/12/isp-sky-broadband-uk-launches-free-wireless-booster-device.html


Windows Phone getting VPN support in 2014

So the Enterprise update will add some much needed features. The ecosystem still has a way to go but it's getting there. Custom keyboards please !

http://www.neowin.net/news/microsoft-to-beef-up-windows-phone-enterprise-features-in-2014

Saturday, 28 December 2013

Been on a bit of a gaming binge today so have been neglecting ukgamesdeals.co.uk and this blog a little. CS:GO, Rome 2: Total War and Bioshock: Infinite if your curious.

I can across a rather unusual bug in Bioshock: Infinite though. All keys in game would work apart from the WASD & arrow keys. As you can imagine this makes the game pretty much impossible to play.

The answer was found on the link below:

½pint:

I have solved this problem. It was being caused by the 'synergy' service that was running on my computer. Synergy itself wasn't running, but the service was (it starts automatically if you install synergy as a service). You can actually reproduce the bug live while the game is running - stop the synergy service and the keys start working immediately, start the service and the keys stop working immediately. Bizarre.

http://forums.2k.com/showthread.php?222941-Keyboard-Bug-some-keys-work-some-keys-don-t

I think I've've blogged about Synergy before, its a great tool but it can be buggy as well. Still, can't complain for a free application! 

Thursday, 26 December 2013

Saturday, 30 November 2013

samba has another double data weekend.

Samba is a mobile data sim provider which gives you free data in return for watching advertising. Typically about 3Mb per video. They often have double data adds and weekends where all ads are double data and this is usually when I stock up on data for my iPad sim (I had to cut the sim down to nano size though). 


Sim cards are £5 or £2.50 if someone sends you a referral email. Its great for a not often used device such as a tablet that's usually on wifi.

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Go home S4, Your drunk... (update problems)

Go home S4, Your drunk... 




Targus ACP71EU USB3 dual video docking station

Got given one of these at work. I must say that I'm very impressed with it's USB performance even over USB 2. It hands two decent resolution monitors with easy. I do need to update the firmware as the mouse can be a little stuttery at times but apart from that I would totally recommend it.

They are a bit pricey mind, even on eBay as I was looking at one for use at home.



For the time I'll have to stick to a thunderbolt to HMDI (second external monitor)  and a cheapo USB3 hub.

Sunday, 24 November 2013

F1 2013 comes to a close.

Vettel has blown everyone away this season but with the change to V6 turbos next season down from V8's it could be a very different challenge for all teams next year. 

MARUSSIA has had a winfall from not coming last financially. McLaren won't be happy with with Lotus coming ahead of them and have an interesting season ahead with them changing to Honda in 2015.



Well i'm going to continue my F1 antics with the brilliant F1 2013 game + the PC XBox receiver and XBox wireless wheel. 

Formula E's electric-powered race car takes its first test laps

It doesn't have the same roar to the engine and there are still a lot of technical barriers but I think its just want the electric car industry needs to push technologies further.





http://www.engadget.com/2013/11/24/formula-e-ev-test-track/

Saturday, 23 November 2013

I have a new blog: ukgamesdeals.co.uk

I'm running a new blog in parallel to this one. Its simply a games deals feed for the UK. Check it out if you want to save money on buying games covering all platforms!

Check it out over at www.ukgamesdeals.co.uk and please spread the word. Facebook, G+ and Twitter pages are also live for it.


Thursday, 21 November 2013

ISPreview: Ofcom Begins Consultation on Future Spectrum for UK Mobile Broadband

The interesting bit is:

The Identified Spectrum Bands
White Spaces (600MHz):
Around 20 organisations are currently participating in a 6 month pilot to road-test ‘white space’ technology, which harnesses the spare spectrum that exists between digital terrestrial TV channels for data and Internet communications (e.g. rural broadband provision). At present this is focused on the 700MHz (DTTV) band but after around 2018 if DTTV is moved into 600MHz then White Spaces would most likely follow.
700MHz:
While no decisions have yet been made, Ofcom is investigating the potential to rearrange the bands used for Digital Terrestrial TV (DTTV). This could release more of this prime spectrum for mobile broadband (possibly 5G) use sometime after 2018, while ensuring that consumers would continue to have the opportunity to benefit from digital terrestrial TV (the preliminary idea is that TV could be moved into the 600MHz band).
2.7GHz:
The 2.7GHz band is currently being used for radar but Ofcom believes that it could potentially release up to 100MHz of spectrum from here for other uses.
2.3GHz, 3.4 GHz:
Ofcom is working closely with the Ministry of Defence (here) to move this spectrum from the public sector into commercial use. This spectrum is suitable for mobile broadbandand could be released through an auction in 2015-16. The public sector has access to just over half of the UK spectrum, and Ofcom is working with Government to identify ways of increasing opportunities for commercial access in the future.
Note: similar spectrum between 3480 – 3500MHz and 3580 – 3600MHz (3.4-3.6GHz) is already under licence for civil use by UK Broadband (PCCW), which has since launched it its own fixed wireless 4G LTE network in places like Scunthorpe and Swindon
3.6GHz:
The 3.6GHz band is used for Satellite links but Ofcom believes that some of it could be shared with mobile users.

http://www.ispreview.co.uk/index.php/2013/11/ofcom-begin-consultation-future-spectrum-uk-mobile-broadband.html

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Npower sells 770,000 customer supply accounts.

Telecom Plus (Utility Warehouse) made the BBC news. Basically they are buying part of N Power so they can both have 4 separate tariffs instead of sharing 4 under new government / Ofgem legislation. 

Shares are up 16%, Shame the broadband offering is still pants though.


Where they stand in Energy. 

How many customers?

  • British Gas: 15.6m
  • SSE: 8.6m
  • Eon: 8m
  • Scottish Power: 5.6m
  • EDF: 5.4m
  • Npower: 4.7m
  • Telecom Plus: 1.2m

I'm fairly sure they are one of TalkTalk Businesses biggest PSTN and residential broadband resellers as well. 

Not sure how their MVNO business holds up. I don't think it'll hold a candle to Virgin, GiffGaff, Tesco mobile though. 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-25014316

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Samsung boasts 800,000 Galaxy Gear smartwatch sales in two months

I'd like to get my hands on one but unless it was thrown in with a phone deal I'd probably give it a pass due to the battery life which I've heard is bad. Still it's a good start! 




http://www.engadget.com/2013/11/19/samsung-800000-galaxy-gear-sales/

The best 4G sim only plan? 1month rolling - £25pm with 6GB plan

Tesco mobile which has great customer service and run off the back of the O2 network. Looking at new deals as my contract expires. 

I don't get all the other plans with with great 4G but heavily capped plans! 


Inquirer gives the Nokia 1520 a rave review

Seriously considering going back to the Windows Phone platform. Still annoyed that Google shuns the platform though. 



Monday, 18 November 2013

Microsoft 3D Builder printing app released for Windows 8.1

I've not had ago on a 3D printer since A levels but prices are really coming down in price now and with some great quality levels. Really thinking about getting one when I have what I consider 'enough' things to make with it!

http://hexus.net/tech/news/software/62545-microsoft-3d-builder-printing-app-released-windows-81/

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Which? in call to cut financial firms' phone charges..

I always just look on the back of my debit card and call the international number. 084 and 087 numbers won't work abroad so just request they either give you the geographical number or put you through... easy..

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-24977130

Monday, 11 November 2013

Virgin Media UK Boost Broadband Speeds and Add 152Mbps Package

With their new owner they really should make a big push with these increased speeds and some competitive prices. They can't really complete with a FTTH product but those areas that OpenReach have installed FTTH in are very niche markets.

Against FTTC, Virgin still has a speed advantage but as i've said before, their DLM restriction polices and their pricing really hold them back.

http://www.ispreview.co.uk/index.php/2013/11/virgin-media-uk-boost-broadband-speeds-launch-150mbps-package.html

Saturday, 9 November 2013

Raspberry Pi quick start guide

Setup

Once you've got your Raspberry Pi, SD card and Micro USB charger your nearly ready! 


Grab the Raspbian image from http://www.raspberrypi.org/downloads and follow the instruction on their site to install the dirstro on the SD card. Then insert the card into your Raspberry Pi and plug in the power. 

The only other cable I have connected to the Raspberry Pi is an Ethernet cable which goes into the Sky Hub (My ISPs router). 

Now without a keyboard and display attached we need a way to connect to the device. We will use a terminal (think DOS / CMD ) to do this. Personally I use SupperPutty which requires Putty . 

Next we are going to need to know where the Raspberry Pi sits on our network. The easiest way I find it to log into my router. 

If you need to know your routers IP then you can get this a variety of ways: ipconfig from Windows CMD, ifconfig in OSX and Linux or finding the default gateway via the adaptors status option (Windows again):



Most routers will display a list of attached devices. Now the Raspberry Pi won't have a hostname so you might have to just try and SSH to some of the listed IP's until you find the right one. A MAC starting with b8:27:eb belong to the Raspberry Pi Foundation so that's a good start if you see it. 

Your router might also give to you the option to assign one of your private IP's to the Raspberry Pi so it picks up that same address on your local network every time. I highly recommend this.  As shown in the table pic below:

Later on if you find you want access to your Raspberry Pi from elsewhere you can then setup a firewall setting on your router to allow SSH though and to a specific private IP on your home network. Obviously you will need to know your public IP that the router has to connect to the internet, this will either be dynamic requiring you to use a dynDNS service like no-ip.com , or a static IP which your ISP can inform you of. 

Once we know our IP we can now use that terminal client to connect. 


Notice that the host was 10.0.0.11 in my case. In yours it might be something like 192.168.0.x etc. Also the default username and password as mentioned on the download site are U: pi and P: raspberry .

Getting started with the command line interface CLI

First and formost you don't want others to access the Pi. With those default settings anyone could get on. 

To change the password of the login Pi with elevated privileges we use: 

sudo passwd


We will get prompted to input the new password twice and then it is set and confirmed with the output:
passwd: password updated successfully

Next up is some housekeeping. Run the following to check and make sure the software is fully up-to-date:
 
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade


The Pi does not comes with a battery and thus replies to NTP servers for getting to correct time. Using the command:

date

Will display the current time and date that the Pi has taken from NTP server set. 

Next up is a command that lets to change rather a lot of options to do with the Raspberry Pi:

sudo raspi-config



This guide is work in progress and not yet fully complete. Please leave comments if you would like to see more or if there is anything else I have missed that you think should be included. 


Friday, 8 November 2013

Fresh vs frozen

A fun informational vid:

EE and Huawei to switch on LTE Advanced network in London's Tech City

LTE Advanced makes such a big difference as it makes use of 2x2 MIMO technology to use multiple masts and can make more efficient use of the radio spectrum i.e. letting devices use 20 MHz down at 1800 MHz and also the 20 MHz at 2.6 GHz. While the headline speed is 300 Mbps, it is expected that speed tests in the region of 60 Mbps will be more the norm.
http://www.thinkbroadband.com/news/6141-ee-and-huawei-to-switch-on-lte-advanced-network-in-tech-city.html

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

The Verge: KitKat 4.4

Google continues its bizzare attitude towards Windows Phone.

I guess they are bitter than MS makes money out of each Android OS purchase (google android licensing issues). MetroTalk is being forced off the Windows phone market place as of May 2014 due to using 3rd party access to Google voice.

Google have a search app for the OS but that's literally all there is. For a platform gaining market share even without Googles services support it's an interesting move. It was recently announced that WP is doing better than iOS in Italy!

Microsoft have had a increasingly open mind when it comes to multi-platform releases as we see some xbox titles and apps coming to the other mobile platforms. Obviously they are holding back on a few of their key software products such as Office but I think they are going about things the right way. Demo the functionality to users and tempt them across..

They are also keeping up the media attention and get involved with companies who need further support / incentive when WP wants their apps on the platform!

The only problem is the OS's glacial pace for key updates. I think it's good to have such strict hardware requirements to give developers consistency but there are some major features that need implementing like a system rotation lock!

http://www.neowin.net/news/google-forces-metrotalk-to-be-pulled-from-windows-phone-store

Monday, 4 November 2013

Maingear Pulse 17

Maingear Pulse 17.  Check out the spec, the resolution is only 1080p but apart from that its an impressive package and until Apple consider making 17" laptops again it's as good as it gets for such a compact size. 



https://www.maingear.com/custom/notebooks/pulse17/index.php

Sunday, 3 November 2013

Tesco to use eye-scanning tech to target ads at you.

Ok so it won't be identifying you by name but it's one creepy step in the minority report direction... 

http://crave.cnet.co.uk/gadgets/tesco-to-use-eye-scanning-tech-to-target-ads-at-you-50012662/

AT&T could buy Europe's biggest mobile phone network (and Verizon's former owner)

That'd certainly shake things up. Also they'd gain some Cable and Wireless assets so it has wide spreading consequences!




http://www.engadget.com/2013/11/02/att-could-buy-vodafone-verizon-former-owner-european-expansion/

Xbox One can play CDs and is DLNA compatible


See link below. Good to hear. Would be nice is both supported the new Blu-ray Audio format which I'm assuming they do, just haven't seen in writing.


http://www.neowin.net/news/xbox-one-can-play-cds-and-is-dlna-compatible

Rather amusingly the PS4 won't as they are pitching their streaming services. I'm still trying to find out about Blu-ray Audio but that'll be shocking if the PS4 doesn't with Sony producing some!
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/11/01/playstation_4_faq/

60 days instead of 30 of Spotify premium for free.

You need to give card details / paypal details. Just set a reminder to quit before the 60 days are up and it will cost you nothing!

Also gives to access to using the service on mobile devices.

Offer ends today!

http://goo.gl/d10YhC

Saturday, 2 November 2013

Support these features suggestions on Windows Phone!

These really need implementing on the Windows Phone platform! Vote!

3rd party keyboard support:
http://windowsphone.uservoice.com/forums/101801-feature-suggestions/suggestions/2128113-support-swype-for-alternate-keyboard-entry

rotation lock:
http://windowsphone.uservoice.com/forums/101801-feature-suggestions/suggestions/4877486-rotation-lock-and-others-on-the-multi-task-screen-

Android for all and the new Nexus 5

Nexus 5 is available today, unlocked and without a contract, on Google Play in the U.S., Canada, U.K., Australia, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Japan and Korea (and coming soon to India), starting at $349. Just in the time for the holidays, Nexus 5 will be available soon at the following retailers: Sprint, T-Mobile, Amazon, Best Buy and RadioShack.

Android 4.4, KitKat, which comes on Nexus 5, will also soon be available on Nexus 4, 7, 10, the Samsung Galaxy S4 and HTC One Google Play edition devices in the coming weeks.

How an epic blunder by Adobe could strengthen hand of password crackers.

Adobe might have single handed handed the biggest boost to crackers since rockyou.txt.

http://arstechnica.com/security/2013/11/how-an-epic-blunder-by-adobe-could-strengthen-hand-of-password-crackers/

Friday, 1 November 2013

You might have noticed the URL...

I've changed things around a bit. The blog is now sat on http://blog.alpagot.net. The top level has changed to .net and the www. has been replaced with blog. .

This will give me a wider presences compared to alpagot.co.uk . The subdomain so for when I find something interesting to put up on www.alpagot.net .

As for alpagot.co.uk,  That will redirect to .net and all my old e-mails will be forwarded to the relevant corresponding addresses so I won't miss a thing.

Happy Halloween!

Here are the pumpkins me and the girlfriend made. I think we did rather well this year!


Thursday, 24 October 2013

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

I was wrong, you can upgrade the SSD on a Macbook Pro Retina mid 2012

I just wish it wasn't so costly. Comes with a 3 year warranty.



http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Other%20World%20Computing/SSDAP12K480/

Ars goes to town with a 24 page review of Apples Mavericks OS.

See link: http://arstechnica.com/apple/2013/10/os-x-10-9/

UK carriers will be forced to let customers ditch mobile contracts if they raise prices

Could news. ISPs will be inclined for a lot more pushback on Wholesalers such as BT Wholesale when price rises happen as it'll have a knock on for them. I think this will be a bigger issue for fixed line services over mobiles.

In the case of long mobile contracts that might increase the risk and thus they might even start higher on prices which is a shame... the flip side being short contracts if they don't want to be vulnerable to market changes.

http://www.engadget.com/2013/10/23/new-ofcom-ruling-lets-you-ditch-your-mobile-contract-if-the-pric/

http://www.ispreview.co.uk/index.php/2013/10/ofcom-protects-consumers-mid-contract-price-hikes-uk-isps.html

Samsung acquires 7.4 percent of Gorilla Glass maker Corning, signs long-term supply deal

Samsung certainly know how to not keep all their eggs in one basket.... Apple certainly knows this as they try to move away from fuelling Samsungs revenue lines... There are always sapphire displays as a alternative.. 

http://www.engadget.com/2013/10/23/samsung-acquires-7-4-percent-of-gorilla-glass-maker-corning/

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Mavericks is free!

Yep, Apple have released it for free and its in a App store waiting for download.


Live in the UK and want a Mac Pro, take a free holiday...

I could fly over there, pick one up and still have change to spare! 





I could see a fair few video editors / graphics designers etc taking a trip over to buy one, take it out the packaging and stuff it in their luggage (5kg) to bring home.... 

It really is a rip off considering America  is the home of UPS and FedEx even when you take taxes into consideration.

CDN / security reading list.

CDN URLs:

http://www.level3.com/en/products-and-services/data-and-internet/cdn-content-delivery-network/

http://www.akamai.com/html/solutions/aura_multiscreen_del.html

http://www.akamai.com/html/solutions/aura-solutions.html

http://aws.amazon.com/cloudfront/

https://www.cloudflare.com/features-cdn

http://www.highwinds.com/ Also talks about GDN's Game delivery networks: http://www.highwinds.com/gdn/

http://www.skytide.com/

http://www.bbc.co.uk/rd/projects/adaptive-bitrate-technology


Related / content:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HTTP_Live_Streaming

http://www.cisco.com/web/about/ac49/ac0/ac1/ac259/nds.html

http://www.f5.com/products/big-ip/


Security based:

https://www.cloudflare.com/

http://www.level3.com/en/products-and-services/cyber-security/ddos-attack-protection-mitigation/

http://googleblog.blogspot.co.uk/2013/10/new-free-expression-tools-from-google.html

http://www.arbornetworks.com/solutions/service-providers

http://www.cisco.com/en/US/prod/collateral/vpndevc/ps5879/ps6264/ps5888/prod_white_paper0900aecd8011e927.html

New Nokia handsets coming with RAW image support.

Nokia have a few new phones coming. The big thing though is that they weill have microSD slots and RAW image support!

http://www.engadget.com/2013/10/22/nokia-bringing-raw-imaging-lumia-1520-and-1020/

Google - Project Shield

Project Shield is an initiative to use Google's infrastructure to protect free expression online. The service currently combines Google's DDoS mitigation technologies and Page Speed Service (PSS), which allow websites to serve their content through Google to be better protected from DDoS attacks.
http://projectshield.withgoogle.com/

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Bought some gear for Cisco certs...

2x Cisco Unified IP Phone 7906G



2x Cisco Catalyst 2950


Cisco Catalyst 3550 PWR

Not bad for under £160 inc delivery.

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

8 Monitors on Windows 8.1 with USB 3.0

I've only used their (Pluggable's) USB to serial adapter for connecting to Cisco console ports but that worked flawlessly.

This also looks promising:



Now I just need 8 thin bezel monitors all lines up vertically... mwhahaha

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Third Windows Phone update supports 1080p screens, quad-core CPU

All they need to add is a 64bit OS, add a rotation lock and allow for customisable keyboards. I'd consider switching back then possibly... actually I'm not even that fussed about the 64 bit support...  I hope those dual booting options have some weight with Sammy and HTC...



http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2013/10/third-windows-phone-update-supports-1080p-screens-quad-core-cpus/

Researchers achieve 100 Gbps over sub-terahertz wireless

Engadget: Researchers achieve 100 Gbps over sub-terahertz wireless, set world record. http://google.com/producer/s/CBIwwNmFzAQ

Monday, 14 October 2013

A look at the PS4 and Xbox One hardware

A gadget p0rn video really.. but all the same it does make me take another look at the PS4 controller.

I'd still fairly set on the Xbox One but I think some really interesting stuff could come out of the PS4 controller with advance PC support (they have only announced basic PC support).

TalkTalk Launch Cheap GBP3.50 Mobile Tariff and Boosts Data Allowances

Seems competitive but its a tough market. Tesco mobile have won a few awards in this area for their great customer service (I don't use them at the moment but I did like the service).

http://www.ispreview.co.uk/index.php/2013/10/talktalk-launch-super-cheap-3-50-mobile-tariff-boosts-data-allowances.html

Xbox One: IPv6, Teredo, and IPsec

Friday, 11 October 2013

Samsung to unveil the S5 in January?

So Samsung, although selling well with the S4 has supposed not met internal sales targets. This could mean an early revision for the next release. To loosely tie that in with other rumours, could we see it dual booting with Windows Phone 8! 

I was very tempted by the Ativ S... a 5S with windows phone could be a real crowd pleaser... 



http://www.t3.com/news/samsung-to-unveil-the-s5-in-january

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Another failing HD audio format rears its head.

Welcome to universals High fidelity pure audio. A new music format for Blu-ray with surround surround and multiple encoding. Also you get a digital copy for the music. 

So why is the title so pessimistic? Because we've seen it all before with DVD-A, SACD and to some extent MinDisc. 

The formats never get as big a push as they should to rival CD sales let alone the uprise of digital downloads. Why is this more like a 'best of' collection and not aimed at chart releases and all new releases! The PS4 helped bring Blu-ray to the masses, the next generation of consoles with both have Blu-ray support so it makes sense to push now to keep physical media going. It also gives the producers more profitability as costs lower over time and gives them their grip on the artists which is something they've lost over time due to the digital age. I'm not saying that's a good thing... Just I'm surprised they've not been as keen because of this. 



The is surprising really. With digital downloads only being yours and not something someone can inherit from you I would have thought people would be more keep to jump on a high fidelity format and try to outright replace the ageing CD. I don't think you can do away with vinyl as some people love the analogue sound but for CD's... they're digital!



http://www.whathifi.com/news/high-fidelity-pure-audio-launch-titles-confirmed


BT has no love of the old BT Cellnet network or Vodafone. Jumps in bed with EE.


BT has today moved one step closer to expanding their mobile solutions after it signed an “exclusive” multi-year agreement with EE (Everything Everywhere), which will provide the predominantly fixed line telecoms firm with Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) services.
The deal, which is still subject to final contract, effectively means that BT has chosen to replace its existing 9-year MVNO agreement with Vodafone in favour ofEEBT said that the operator would work to “ensure a seamless transition for customers“.


http://www.ispreview.co.uk/index.php/2013/10/ee-sign-deal-provide-uk-mobile-virtual-network-operator-services-bt.html

Critical WhatsApp crypto flaw threatens user privacy, researchers warn

Not good for one of the worlds most popular instant messengers if its as true as the researchers say. WhatApp didn't seem too concerned in their response to Ars.

http://arstechnica.com/security/2013/10/critical-whatsapp-crypto-flaw-threatens-user-privacy-researchers-warn/

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

BBC plans to help get the nation coding

There seems to be a lot of undertones in UK education regarding computer skills and the growing gap. This generally focuses on the content but what about the teachers?

Anyway the BBC are jumping onboard for a programming push:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-24446046

I personally think the Raspberry pi is a more fun and interesting venture.

Thursday, 3 October 2013

Samsung Galaxy Note 3

Looks like the Samsung Galaxy note 3 has had a bumpy ride with rumours of benchmark cheating and a underperforming USB3 connector.

Its interesting to see them go with that awful looking USB3 connector. It was a long time coming but I still think there are a lot of unhappy manufactures having to work with less PCB space because of it.

I had the Note 3 but it was just a little too big for me in the end. I went to a Lumia 920 and then onto a Samsung S4.


Monday, 30 September 2013

Vectoring Trials Begin as BT Look to Boost UK FTTC Broadband ISP Speeds

BTOpenreach, which helps to maintain and upgrade BT’s national telecoms network, has confirmed that the first customer trials of VDSL2 Vectoring technology (ITU-T G.993.5) are live. The new technology could deliver a significant speed boost to users of the operators existing up to 80Mbps hybrid-fibre (FTTC) superfast broadband network.

http://www.ispreview.co.uk/index.php/2013/09/vectoring-trials-begin-as-bt-looks-to-improve-uk-fttc-broadband-isp-speeds.html

Saturday, 28 September 2013

A cheap data sim that gives you free data in exchange for watching adds.


So the idea is you buy the sim. login to the portal and watch ads (via wifi) and earn data credit which is instantly usable. You can also buy credit. It run off the 3 network in the UK. a bit like Tesco run off O2 and Utility Warehouse use T-Mobile (part of EE).

Sims are around £5 (£2.50 if your refered buy a refer so give me a shout if you want a referal). 

They are shooting themselves in the foot a bit with not having a nano sim out yet but I just cut my micro sim down to size.

http://www.sambamobile.com

A story of why you should keep your security software updated.

It's all too easy to fall prey to this sort of attack with a cheapo webcam and a lack of security software.

http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2013/09/miss-teen-usas-webcam-spy-called-himself-cutefuzzypuppy/

Friday, 27 September 2013

Samsung Galaxy Gear smart watch doesn't impress in full review

I think they nail it in this review really. Its still a concept but it's a decent effort. Battery is also rather shocking apparently.



http://crave.cnet.co.uk/mobiles/samsung-galaxy-gear-smart-watch-doesnt-impress-in-full-review-50012363/

ISPreview: Headache for Broadband ISPs as Netflix UK Add Super HD Movie Streams

The interesting bit is:

"Naturally the extra quality might give a headache to some providers and that’s one reason why Netflix are attempting to encourage ISPs to adopt Netflix Open Connect, which is their “highly optimized video content delivery network” that’s available at no cost to broadband providers."

I doubt any ISP's would struggle in their core of distribution layers of their network with this upgrade. The only problems will arise if there are access network capacity issues that beat forecasts in certain areas, otherwise this is a bit of a non-story really. 

I hope Now TV move to match this quality. Their standalone NowTV box (for people who don't want Sky or prefer a pay as you go model) is awesome for the price but let down by being only 720p. 

http://www.ispreview.co.uk/index.php/2013/09/headache-broadband-isps-netflix-uk-add-super-hd-movie-streams.html

Steam is coming to a new operating system

So Valve are going with their own OS. I think it's a interesting move but i'm not sure its the right one.

Still if they push it hard enough it might work. I'm guessing it's going to be a skinned Linux (probably based off Ubuntu).

It'll be interesting to see what they do about graphics driver support. Thats usually a bug bear of many linux gamers although the quality of them have come a lone way in recent years.

http://store.steampowered.com/livingroom/SteamOS/

Also they have released an image of their new controller design:


It looks weird to say the least! Again it's a bit of risk as PC gaming is designed around a keyboard mouse combo.

http://www.engadget.com/2013/09/27/valve-steambox-announcement-3/

Fibre on Demand footprint starts to grow

http://www.thinkbroadband.com/news/6058-fibre-on-demand-footprint-starts-to-grow.html

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

BT List 19 Final UK Exchanges for their GBP2.5bn Fibre Broadband Rollout

The Absolutely Final 19 Commercial Fibre Exchange Upgrades
ANFIELD – Merseyside
ASHFIELD – West Midlands
BEACON – West Midlands
BRADFORD – West Yorkshire
CANARY WHARF – Greater London
FARNWORTH – Greater Manchester
GOSCOTE – Leicestershire
HALESOWEN – West Midlands
HOLMEWOOD – Derbyshire
LEEDS – West Yorkshire
NETHERLEY – Merseyside
NEWCASTLE EAST – Tyne and Wear
NORTH SHIELDS – Tyne and Wear
OLD WHITTINGTON – Derbyshire
ORRELL – Greater Manchester
RIPPONDEN – West Yorkshire
RUBERY – West Midlands
STONE CROSS – West Midlands
WAKEFIELD – West Yorkshire

http://www.ispreview.co.uk/index.php/2013/09/bt-list-19-final-uk-exchanges-commercial-fibre-broadband-rollout.html

New iMacs are out!

Apple have refreshed the line up with new processors, better wireless & graphics. The Nvidia graphics are a particular nice boost. Hopefully these will come with a discount or free offer for OS X's next iteration coming out in a few months (Mavericks). 


Monday, 23 September 2013

Surface 2 release date, news and features

See link for details on the product launch.

USB3 is a nice addition. Better performance and a better design. With a full Office suite on Windows RT (the version for mobile chips inside tablets) it might now be more appealing for businesses instead of only considering the more expensive Pro version with full fat Windows.

http://www.techradar.com/news/computing/surface-2-what-microsoft-s-reddit-q-lls-us-about-the-next-surface-tablet-1129998

http://www.anandtech.com/show/7361/microsoft-surface-event-live-blog

http://www.microsoftstore.com/store/

Saturday, 21 September 2013

When wireless charging standards collide...

So Qualcomm has decided to Join the management board of it's rival standard Qi. interesting move.
I've only used Qi charging in the Nokia Lumia 920 and for what it's worth I liked it. It was a bit slow but it worked. It just needed cheaper chargers and integration in more convenient places!

http://www.engadget.com/2013/09/20/qualcomm-wireless-power-consortium-board-of-management/

BBM for iOS rollout underway, Android versions still taking it's sweet time.

Not really news worthy to me with the prominence of message apps like Whatsapp.

I'm not really sure what they are trying to achieve with diversifying their messaging system.

Blackberry (formally RIM) really needed a bigger marketing push and awareness with the news OS and phone refreshes. Maybe some new business focused ideas to push at the corporate market.



http://www.engadget.com/2013/09/21/psa-bbm-for-android-available-on-play-store-now-ios-incoming-t/

This could end fighting over a single TV!*

You know that time old tradition of fighting over the living room TV? The Xbox one might seen an end to that, buy a massive TV and do picture in picture with the PS4 via the HDMI input on the XBOX One!

http://kotaku.com/your-xbox-one-and-ps4-can-hook-up-1357855006?utm_campaign=Socialflow_Kotaku_Facebook&utm_source=Kotaku_Facebook&utm_medium=Socialflow

The Original Google Hardware Device Makes a Comeback

"A decade ago, when it was known for little more than web search, Google introduced a bright yellow box that let businesses use the company’s search technology to find stuff stored on their own internal networks. The Google Search Appliance was the company’s first venture into the business world,leading the way for a long list of other enterprise tools, including Gmail and Google Docs and Google Chromebooks.
The GSA — as Google calls it — is now overshadowed by so many other Google hardware and software tools. But the company still believes in its mission. On Tuesday, Google unveiled a new version of the tool — GSA 7.0 — boasting of a new interface, several new search tools, and the ability to handle much larger amounts of data. According to the company, a single rack of these appliances can now juggle the equivalent of the Google.com search index as it stood in the year 2000 — i.e. an index spanning one billion webpages."

http://www.wired.com/wiredenterprise/2012/10/google-search-appliance/

Friday, 20 September 2013

UK ISP EE Launch New BrightBox 2 Router Alongside its Fibre Broadband

Interesting that the article mentions a lack of info on IPv6 support. You would think that a mobile operator would be all over that in terms of implementation and marketing given that mobile operators tend to be more familiar with IPv6 in their cellular networks (I'm generalising here).

802.11ac and a gigabit Ethernet port are nice additions for a bundled router though!

http://www.ispreview.co.uk/index.php/2013/09/uk-isp-ee-launch-new-brightbox-2-router-alongside-fibre-broadband.html


Eurostar connectivity to get a lot better.

"Commuters travelling on the Channel Tunnel route could soon benefit from even faster wireless Internet access, alongside a seamless switchover at international borders, after Nomad Digital announced that its connectivity solutions would also be installed on 10 of their latest e320 trains.

The 320 series, which first surfaced at the end of 2010, can travel at speeds of up to 200mph (Miles per Hour) on parts of the track that support such performance and are also able to negotiate different signalling equipment and power supplies between countries (i.e. fewer changeover stops required)."

http://www.ispreview.co.uk/index.php/2013/09/new-eurostar-e320-train-fleet-get-faster-wifi-internet-access.html




Thursday, 12 September 2013

New Jurassic Park film gets name and 2015 release date

I loved this film so much as a kid. Its about time it had a proper follow up. I hope its as scary as it was back then when I was a kid... Those Velociraptors.... The water rippers as T-Rex drew closer! The Sound! I can't wait!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsbeat/24044783

Suggestion / ramble for Nokia & Microsoft


So Microsoft and Nokia have jumped into bed together. Its been a while coming but with Mr Elop being an ex-MS employee it was set in the stars. 

There is hope but it's still a fledgling platform in comparison to Android and iOS. The market share is growing but slowly.

Nokia have really carried the Windows Phone platform forward but I go get the feeling that HTC, Samsung and maybe even Dell seemed like they were left for dead a bit which is a shame. (I really liked how thin the HTX 8X was and the Ativ S really did no bad in my eyes either). i hope they continue with the OS and models. 

The platform has hardware restrictions... Thats a good thing in many respects. I means less variation which means more targeted software which in theory should mean less development time and better quality. 

Nokia have a  few headline features in their 41 megapixel camera and design. The iPhone 5c has clearly given a nod to the Lumia range. I think the ecosystem needs to keep current with hardware changes though against the competition. quad-cores, resolutions, AV format support are major features lacking here. 

Now here comes the kicker(s), they've struggled for developer support in a lot of areas. Namely Instagram being one of the biggies. At the moment the platform has some great alternatives but the average customer doesn't want or go exploring for alternative services that use the service they want via another app. 

So what can be done? Well MS and Nokia seem to like developing and maintaining apps for others (The Facebook app was an example of this). Thats good as it gives some assurance but surely getting a bigger market share will temp devs over when there is more to gain. 

Nokia are somewhat going in the right direction with their decently specced lower end devices targeting the younger, growing population. They have product placement in programs like HollyOaks and various others. I think this has been their main area of growth for the platform. Especially with the recent financial climate.

Then comes the release date: 25th September (UK)... The iPhone 5c and 5s come out on the 20th September. Thats going to gut Nokia's straight away... Next up... Specifications... generally more is better in peoples eyes... Stick a bloody quad-core chip in your phone, make it 64-bit... If not, make it a damn sight cheaper! 

Next, your competitors sell ecosystems..They combine into an experience but they all fair pretty well as stand alone separates. Now you may have seen on this blog that i'm a recent fan of the Xbox music service. In does well as a stand alone product on various platform and I like it because its like Spotify without the clutter. Push the ecosystem! Here maps is actually quite nice to use but I always think of google maps first when i go to type on my keyboard. 

Raise awareness of the product links as well as how well they work separately. I.e. I'll stick with your music service if I can still use it and change my phone! 

Next the bundles! Below is one you really need to get operators to subsidise and make. It'd be awesome. Hell, shove this on Vodafone in the UK with their 4G and Spotify deal and make a big deal of the headphones and that'd win a few customers. The camera is great but the specs sheet is lacking, you have a fight on your hands this time a round Nokia. Not sure your good looking but fat top ender will handle it without a helping hand. 

Also whats with the bloody red version being missing! That was the best one!   



I should point out I had a Lumia 920, I wanted to love it. It didn't love me. Dust kept getting in the earpiece and breaking the sensor so I couldn't get the screen back on during a call as the phone thought my ear was still pressed to the phone...I gave up after the 4th handset replacement and sold it. Also the OS need a bloody rotation lock! I now use a Samsung S4, it's not great and doesn't look as nice but it's big, thin and has swift key which I absolutely love! I do miss the Xbox live achievement games though!