Thursday, 28 March 2013

My new phone..

So the Nokia Lumia 920 is in for repair for what I imagine is going to be the first of many dust repairs.... I could have gone for a £10 Nokia but the Samsung was cheaper and likely wont brick if I have to factory reset it like the Nokia flagship 920 does....

Hello new friend...

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Cisco Evolves Associate-Level Certifications, Redesigns CCNA Routing and Switching Certification to Support Next-Generation Job Roles - The Network: Cisco's Technology News Site

Long over due if you ask me!

My guess is some CCNP has migrated downwards as well as some newer technologies which have become more mainstream have entered the syllabus. I'd like to think some redundant technologies have left but I bet they haven't.. 

Well worth checking out the topics (icnd2 v2 here, Cisco login required).

What looks new to me:
  • Recognize High availability (FHRP) 
  • VRRP 
  • HSRP 
  • GLBP 
  • Cellular 3G / 4G 
  • Discuss Multi area (OSPF) 
Not sure if Etherchannels is now more in-depth but it has its own bullet point. Feel free to correct me in the comments section.

As I recently started studying again and passed the ICND1 i'm in the curious position of wondering if I am able to take the ICND2 v2 and have that qualify for a full CCNA. I don't see why it shouldn't. The next big question then is should I bother with an unfamiliar exam format with additional content when the chances of an employer asking between the differences is minimal.
The only argument I have for that is that some fundamental knowledge might be missed on the track into the CCNP.

I think i'm going to keep going on the ICND2 v1 syllabus and hopefully will have an answer to the above question before I sit the exam. If I can find some decent resources I might go and sit version 2 for sheer curiosity (as well as knowing I have an updated qualifications).

So remember:
ICND1 v1.1 640-822 becomes ICND1 v2 100-101
ICND2 v1.1 640-816 becomes ICND2 v2 200-101

You'll be able to take the v1.1 exams up until October 1st 2013.

[Update] It looks like you can mix and match the exams. 

Official link:

Cisco Evolves Associate-Level Certifications, Redesigns CCNA Routing and Switching Certification to Support Next-Generation Job Roles - The Network: Cisco's Technology News Site

More reference:

Todd Lammle:

Researchers create hollow fiber optic cable, almost reach the speed of light


Friday, 15 March 2013

Samsung Galaxy S 4 vs. Galaxy S III: what's changed?

Well apart from the camera and the processor not a lot has changed. No doubt the software will have seen a fair few enhancements also. Interesting that they have brought back an IR LED, I haven't seen those since the old Nokia days. Must be a lack of faith in NFC or something....

At first I thought the screen size might be off putting and cause headaches for the Galaxy note but it appears they've fitted this into an almost identical sized unit to the SIII.  As it's not got wider, you shouldn't need to adapt if your used to Swiftkey / Swype which is a big plus.

From engadget :
Galaxy S 4Galaxy S III
OSAndroid 4.2.2 (Jelly Bean)Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean)
Processor1.6GHz Octa-core Exynos processor / 1.9GHz Quad-core Qualcomm processor (varies by market)Samsung Exynos 4 / Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 MSM8960 (varies by market)
Memory2GB1GB / 2GB (Variants)
Display5 inch Full HD Super AMOLED4.8-inch Super AMOLED
Resolution1,920 x 1,0801,280 x 720
GlassGorilla Glass 3Gorilla Glass 2
Pixel Density441 ppi306 ppi
Storage16 / 32 / 64 GB User memory + microSD slot (up to 64GB)16GB / 32GB
Primary Camera13-megapixel BSI AF8-megapixel BSI AF
Secondary Camera2-megapixel BSI1.9-megapixel BSI AF
CellularGSM/EDGE/UMTS/DC-HSPA+/LTE Cat 3 (bands vary by market)GSM/EDGE/UMTS/HSPA+/LTE (bands vary by market)
WiFiWiFi 802.11 a/ac/b/g/n, HT80802.11 a/b/g/n, HT40
Bluetooth4.0 LE4.0 LE
ConnectivityNFC / MHL 2.0 / IR LEDNFC / MHL
Dimensions136.6 x 69.8 x 7.9mm136.6 x 70.6 x 8.6mm
ColorsBlack Mist / White FrostPebble Blue / Marble White
Details accurate at launch. Variants relates to differences in regional handsets.

Thursday, 14 March 2013

Apple Releases OS X 10.8.3 With Mac App Store Gift Card Camera Redemption and Boot Camp Enhancements

Hmmm I don't see what the big deal is, I've been running Windows 8 on a boot camp partition for months.

Still some support and optimisations are always welcome.

Ofcom UK fixed-line broadband performance, November 2012 - The performance of fixed-line broadband delivered to UK residential consumers

It's out!

Bets SimCity News since launch

Check out the YouTube link in the article below:

Now my sims won't have spend 5 hours waiting on the highway to get into my cities...

SimCity Update 7

Details from EA of what they've been up to and patch 1.5 seeing to some of those trade transaction issues.

Monday, 11 March 2013

Vodafone UK Beat EE to Have the Most Valuable 3G and 4G Spectrum

This is kinda what I was thinking looking at who bought what spectrum in the auctions. The question is if Vodafone will capitalise on this and how.  BT don't have any 800MHz spectrum so maybe a future deal could be struck there if BT requires it.

I was surprised but how little O2 invested given that this is their core market.

A Look at ST-Ericsson's THOR M7450 Category 4 LTE Modem with Carrier Aggregation

Not too fussed about the product it's self apart from the fact that it supports AMR-WB : Orange UK has this. Not sure about the other operators as its been a while since I looked it up but I hope their is a big push towards this as the voice quality is so much nicer! 

Sunday, 10 March 2013


Some times I wonder why people bother with making need MMO's... There are already so many good ones out there.

I didn't play RuneScape too much, although I did start when I first got an interview for them (I declined in the end) but it certainly was fun.

Here's a cool infographic to show just how expansive the universe of it really is:

Saturday, 9 March 2013

SimCity 2013 - Impressions

I've been waiting for this game for ages! Even happy to look past all the faults (of which there are a fair few). I've put in 15+ hours and enjoyed all of it. I am however starting to see where the regional limitations are. It's a great idea in theory, having regional cities provide to each other but I can see how this matrix of interconnected cities could soon get out of hand. 

Sadly this is what I think they have 'fixed' in order to keep the service going. Kinda of annoying when you gear one city up to provide the others with water supply (It had a river so the water table wouldn't keep going dry) or when your mega police / fire station doesn't send units its volunteered to the neighbouring cities.  Still as a single city game it does work well with a constant challenge. I keep wanted to go back for more so it's still got that old SimCity feel! 

Here are some pics: 

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Sky dismisses network strain ahead of O2 and Be migration

The key bit in the CNET article is Sky don't traffic manage like most of the others with unlimited download usage.

Also I'm sure they've seen from other large buyouts such as the Tiscali / Talk Talk one that public opinion is a fragile thing, so they won't be wanting any large mistakes... They wouldn't chose to migrate them if they couldn't...

EA's Origin, Oh how I hate you.

So I got Sim City in the mail today, brilliant, it's a day early! Good old long in the tooth Game, thanks!

Then I put the disc in...

Up flashed Origin with:

So even though the content is sitting there on my disc I have to wait until midnight...  Boo EA, what's a day in distribution terms. If anything is spreads the load of activations for the game on the actual release day....  

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

TalkTalk offering better HomePlug AV adapters.

TalkTalk are offering re-branded Dlink HomePlug AV adapters to customers who struggle to get WiFi around the home. It's a nice move and if they can get a good wholesale price it might even be a bit of a money spinner.

I know Sky do the wireless adapters for the set top boxes and these are cheaper but sometimes aren't the best for streaming if you have a weak signal...

I've recently been given some Devolo dLAN AV Wireless HomePlug adapters (Even better was they were free when they cost >£50) so i'll have to give them a try sometime.

Mac Pro News

The Mac Pro is well over due a complete overhaul.

Media & VFX houses demand computational power and Apple has been losing market share for a while now. Yes they have a nice unix based OS vs but Microsoft has come a long way with Windows Server 2012 and software companies really driving their software to do more on PC!

It's good to see some rumours and developments on the Mac Pro front.

The Mac Pro is off the market in the EU at the moment and from the articles below it's going to be a while before we see a new one as Apple wait on Intel's new chips (a good call in my opinion).

I would love to see Apple experiment with some own brand Thunderbolt graphics solutions.

Nvidia with CUDA, SLI and some Thunderbolt arrays would be an interesting mix. Same goes for AMD and crossfire... You could turn a little Mac mini a rather dent little gaming machine and revive an ageing MacBook Pro.

Next-Generation iPads Due in April, iPhone 5S in August?

Since my iPad was stolen I've been getting rather frustrated without a tablet and having to resist a re-purchase. Part of me wanted to go for something else like a Surface but I have rather a lot of app purchases I want to use. Also I've already ditched the iPhone for a Windows phone and i'm happy with that.

Also on that note, Apple, you really need a iTunes blocking service based on device serial numbers if someone comes to you with a police crime reference number. Kinda appalling that manufactures don't do this, they make enough money on replacement damaged units let alone people being robbed.

Anyway Carphone Warehouse in the UK have had some pretty good deals recently such as the 32GB wifi and 3G iPad for £100 cheaper than Apple. So it's been getting harder to resist.

So it's good to see some rumours which will make me wait a bit longer! Still not sure if I want an iPad mini though. I do like that they have finally slimmed down the edging as it never needed to be that thick! It did annoy me that the late 2012 full sized iPad got a better chip than the mini also.

Sunday, 3 March 2013

Apple working for Microsoft? (not really)

Why does the MS employee look like an Apple staff member? I know Apple have patented their shop layouts so MS might wanna look out for that... 

Friday, 1 March 2013

Volar-e EV racer goes for a test drive, hopes to turn heads

May not sound cool but the performance is certainly impressive!

Engadget Link

Bing Maps updated with 13million sq km of new satellite imagery

See Hexus:

ARMA2 - Free 'cut down edition'

The full game is worth the money but if you have an under performing PC and won't miss the campaign then this is definitely worth getting.
I loved the original Operation Flashpoint and have recently started playing ARMA2 in advance of ARMA3. The only problem is my Nvidia GTX 275 is struggling on my ageing desktop and my MacBook Pro has barely any space on the bootcamp partition.

Nokia Lumia 520 and 720 UK prices tip up- The Inquirer

Windows Phone 8 for £169.99 sim free. Thats better Nokia. It's ALL about market penetration right now!

Nokia Lumia 520 and 720 UK prices tip up- The Inquirer

Ofcom UK Releases 4G Mobile Spectrum to the Five Winning Auction Bidders

Sky buys O2 and BE from Telefonica

Ah the fun and games of the broadband industry.

This does raise some interesting questions such as the more customised services BE provide.
Static IP blocks, bonded lines and I think they also do Annex M, all of which, sky don't offer.

Again, will Telefonica be handing over their RIPE assigned IPv4 blocks? Half a million subscribers isn't a huge amount comparatively (See Sky's growth rate) in terms of market share but it does raise network issues for any provider with IPv4 running out.

Plusnet has recently been looking at carrier grade NAT, BE recently had a BETA firmware suggesting IPv6 support. This will be interesting.

In my opinion Sky does a good job of keeping things simple and this has lead to their success. The majority of people just want a non strings attached simple services for a fixed price.

The problem won't be the migration it's self. These are pretty painless these days (i've been through enough to know). It'll be keeping the customers happy. That shouldn't be too bad as O2 and BE customers definitely want and unlimited service. In fact a lot of customers might actually make savings if they already have Sky TV. The main issue is going to be those static IP's... Lets hope Sky create a third package to suit them. It'll cost more but i'd definitely pay a little more for a static Address.

More detail: