Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Google Pixel opinion

I want to like this, the screen sounds beautiful but they've clearly priced this too high!

Google Docs is tablet territory and thats essentially what you'll be using on this. Its focused on web-apps. $1300 is performance computer grounds. This has a bigger battery offset but a hungry display so its unlikely to be setting any performance / battery test records....

Still its a nice try. Keep on trying Google..

Kick Starter backing - LiveCode

I'm backing this:

Monday, 25 February 2013

Saturday, 23 February 2013

Reducing noise on cisco equipment.

Running a home CCNA lab is NOISY to say the least! These aren't routers your generally going to be using under heavy loads for long periods, so if your like me and can't deal with the noise then the guide linked below maybe for you. It seems to cover all the basics such as the voltage and the pin layout although I would recommend testing with a multimeter and not the trial by error method used.

Friday, 22 February 2013

Apple MacBook Pro design flaws

You'd think with them knowing a lot of people use the device in clamshell mode they'd have put the speaker output on the edges as well as the keyboard so that the sound wasn't muffled when the lid was closed.

Ah well... Headphones it is..

Thursday, 21 February 2013

AAISP UK Slaps Fluidata and O2 Wholesale for Backhaul Network Congestion

If I didn't have access to free broadband then I'd almost certainly be with AAISP, being fully IPv6 capable a bit more geared towards the tech savy audience they appeal to me. They have recently been very vocal on a few issues wuch as OpenReach engineers (rightly so).

So it's interesting that the once prized services of O2 / Be There have come under fire from them:

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Swiftkey update

Since moving away from Android the one thing I do greatly miss is the 'top end' keyboards such as Swype and Swiftkey. The Windows Phone keyboard is still good, better than IOS's but it's not as good as I found Swype.

So to hear about some of the new features in Swiftkey is making me rather envious. There is some clever stuff in there such as the bi-lingual suggestions...

Ofcom UK Reveal 5 Winners of Superfast 4G Mobile Broadband Spectrum

Looks like Vodafone went and spent a fair bit to get as much bandwidth as possible.

Interesting that 3 and O2 pretty much ignored the 2.6GHz spectrum also. You'd think they want some of that for better coverage.

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Apple Macbook Pro and Air price cuts.

A few minimal upgrades in there for the 13" MacBook Pro and Air. I still think the 13" MacBook Pro should be a fair amount cheaper as it doesn't include Nvidia graphics like the 15" model.

Still its nice to see any sort of price cut when Apple is concerned.

Thursday, 7 February 2013

Ways to connect your Sky Set top box to your Sky Router

With the additional on demand content ramping up recently on Sky it's worth while making sure your set-up is correct to get the most out of your service!

Your Sky Set top box (STB) generally has a fair few connections coming out of the back.

The green Ethernet one is the one we're interested in for on demand content coming in via broadband. First of all make sure the telephone connector / cable hasn't been shoved in this socket by accident. (I've seen this done before!) If so put it in the right socket which is the orange telephone line one. To my understanding that's important also for pin services like renting a movie on box office.

If you have nothing in the green Ethernet port then we are going to need something in there connecting back to the router to get our broadband across to the unit.

There are a number of ways to do this:

The best in my opinion is to run a Ethernet (CAT5e or CAT6) to between the two units. This can be upto about 95m-100m !!!

Another way is to get a wireless adapter for the STB and link the units wirelessly. These can be bought direct from Sky:
I only recommend these where there isn't too much in the way off the router and the STB. A good test it to use a wireless device like a laptop / iPad where the STB is and run something like BBC iPlayer to test. If the distance is too far or there are too many think walls / too much noise from other wireless devices, then this may not be the best option for you.

For further info regarding the wireless connector: PDF

The last option is to use your electricity sockets in the home as a network to get a cabled link back to the router. For this you will need adapters in power sockets by the Sky router an STB. These can be had for around £30 and I have linked to some in the Amazon widget at the bottom of this page. See this wiki-page for a better description of the technology.

On a completely unrelated note. If you want 5.1 Surround sound from your STB remember use a  optical sound cable as Sky still don't send the surround sound down the HDMI which is disappointing!

Update: You can now get STB's with built in wifi and also as mentioned in the comments, Surround sound now can go via the HDMI.

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EE might be bought by a consortium.


Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Ofcom Broadband services data

Hopefully we're due Nov 12's data shortly.

TalkTalk returns to growth.

A small growth but with all the past issues (buying Tiscali and merging them into the fold) it's a positive sign for them.

Liberty who? Virgin Media just got bought!

Liberty Global will acquire Virgin Media to create a cable giant. Sounds like a nice investment injection for Virgin as OpenReach start to rival products that are competitive for their providers (FTTC / FTTP) against Virgin (DOCSIS 3.0) in terms of speeds. 

From the Inquirer:

US CABLE TV COMPANY Liberty Global has picked up Virgin Media for around £14bn.
Combining the two firms is subject to shareholder approval and will build a powerhouse firm with 25 million customers in 14 countries, Liberty claims.The Inquirer (

Friday, 1 February 2013

Sky's broadband share growing!

Good to see. There is also an increase in customers taking stand alone phone and broadband which shows strength in the product on its own.

TCP? - Fujitsu can do better

Awwww MinDisc format goes off to die quietly..

I LOVED the miniDisc format.
It was small. Had decent audio quality and had a protective casing. Everything I wanted.

I never felt like Sony pushed the media enough. Being the empire that they were at the time. They could have  killed off the CD if they were daring enough.

It has slight comparisons with Blu-ray in some respects. Obviously Sony has had better luck here with market penetration as their PlayStation 3's come with built in. They were very slow with movie industry support like they were with MiniDisc with the music industry.

Who remembers SACD ? Again, failed by their developers (although Phillips were part to blame there) even though its a much superior format to current CD's. Even worse so is Hybrid SACD which has a level of backwards compatibility with conventional CD players.

First Xbox live browser game with achievements

It's Wordament, which seems to be being thrown onto any platform Microsoft catches sight of. Probably BB OS10 and Android next...