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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!