Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Moved mobile operators.

So I'm back with Vodafone. It's been a while. Not since my fault prone Nokia N95 8GB days (I sure do pick the troubled handsets)..

I must admit they have an amazing number porting system (linked below). I did have to give them a quick call to find out my new account number but that was trouble free. The IVR options need a bit of work but after a very short while I got through to someone who answered all my queries in one go!

I did previously like Tesco mobile (O2 network) but I couldn't see an offer to suit me for what I wanted at the time). Also O2 didn't do as well as the others in the 4G auctions in my opinion, so it'll be interesting to see how they do in the long run. Then again I think Vodafone want to re-contract everyone onto 4G contracts when their network goes live (with big early termination fee discounts for current customers in contracts).

Monday, 29 April 2013

O2 ropes in BT to help with its 4G rollout

Whats more interesting is the rumours that BT might be looking to get back into the mobile business. Having sold off Cellnet many years ago, its an interesting move but its probably worth some exploration with the low latency that 4G brings.

Sunday, 28 April 2013

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Microsoft signs up ZTE for its latest Android patent license deal

It still seems strange to me that Microsoft make more money on device sales for Android devices than Google does...  Still if it gives Microsoft the money to improve Windows Phone then i'm all for it. It still does have an OS level rotation lock!

Virgin Media UK Grows to Reach 4.49 Million Cable Broadband Users

Lots of interesting content in the link below.

VM were knocked of the No.2 spot for customer broadband by Sky when they bought O2.

I think they've probably gone in the right direction with backhaul services. It keeps OpenReach competitive and keeps them diverse. Sky probably makes money from selling channels to Virgin Media so those two seem very intertwined these days with that new about them buying VM's backhaul.

Say goodbye to power cords with USB 3.0 update

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

AMD diversifying

It had been a little while since I regrettably gave up on AMD until my recent graphics purchase. They do seem to have quite a wide portfolio at the moment which is hinted at in the read below.

It focuses more on AMD's look towards using the ARM architecture for processors.

Come on Nokia, play nice

Really should be pushing the OS and allow HTC to use the part on Windows Phones for a small cost... maybe even with a slightly higher cost for the part on other OSes..

INET Denver considers Internet life without IPv4 addresses

Monday, 22 April 2013

SimCity Update 2.0 Release

What’s New 
• Mayors Mansion: Mayors will now drive their fancy cars to work. Mayors will take their helicopter, limo, or sports car if the modules are present.

• HUD: Now color-corrects when in a colorblind mode.

• Data map: Data maps show the filtered color when a color filter is enabled (unless in a colorblind mode)

Fixes and Updates
• Cities not Processing: Mitigates some of the issues that were causing cities not to process. We are continuing to work on and improve this issue.

• Region Filters: Now sorts regions with available cities to the top

• Invitations: Invitations to join a region should be sent and received more quickly.

• Tourism: Fixes for unexplained fluctuation of tourists. Tourists more smartly counted on transit.
- Cruise ships are now more effective at bringing medium and high wealth tourists in coastal cities.
- New tourists will now decide to come into a city once leaving tourists reach train stations, bus depots, or cruise ship docs instead of waiting for those tourists to go out to the region first.
- This change will reduce the downtime of tourist buildings.

• Casinos: Casinos tuned so that Gambling will be a more profitable specialty. Players can bulldoze and replace existing casinos to see effects of tuning.
- The larger casinos now invite more tourists into the city which helps keep them full.
- Note that existing casinos will need to be replaced to take advantage of this change.

• More Casinos: Raised module limit on Sci-Fi and Sleek Casinos to 6 modules.

• Region Play: Cash gifts can now be received in a bankrupt city.

• Education: Fixed school buses getting stuck at the high school. Existing Schools will fix themselves.

• Education: Fixed school buses picking up students at neighboring cities that didn’t have school bus stops.

• Education: Fix to more accurately track regional student population.

• Education: Fix where kids leaving the school bus stop would teleport to the nearest pedestrian path instead of walking directly into the school.

• Education: University wings now give the proper bonus.

• Recycling: Fix for the Recycling Center where it would sometimes stop working, recycling services will visit other cities.

• Air pollution: Fixed issue where air pollution would appear to come from nowhere. Fix issues where your regional air pollution would be reflected back into your box for a double penalty.

• Fire Service: Fire Trucks don’t clump, dispatch to fires more efficiently.

• Water: Water pumps are now capable of pumping water from rivers at a larger radius so they can take better advantage of the water table in a city.

• Disasters: Cooldown for random disasters: Some players were getting hit too frequently with random disasters, this introduces a cooldown where no random disasters will occur.

• Trade: Fix for trade ports that suddenly stop shipping.

• Transit: Street Cars and Buses go to high volume stops first.

• Transit: A city with residents and public transit will now provide the accurate amount of workers and shoppers to its neighbors.

• Transit: A transit vehicle stuck in a pick-up or drop off loop will now go back to a garage instead of trying to pick up more people.
- Transit vehicles should recover automatically after the update. If players want to force the recovery, turn off the stops that are having looping issues, wait a few game hours, then turn them back on.

• Transit: Neighbors buses will now come in lower numbers into the city and do a better job at picking up local passengers first.

• Residential Tuning: Residential-only cities have failure state.
- Buildings are prevented from going up in density when they don’t have power or water.
- The amount of happiness gained from low taxes, police, fire, and health outreach has been lowered.
- Fixed some cases where buildings would not go abandoned when they should have.
- Higher density residential buildings are no longer blocked from going abandoned due to not having enough money.
- Happiness from low taxes does not double up every time it is given.
- Losing happiness due to not having a job is more impactful.

• Budgets: Fixed bug that prevented systems like fire, abandonment, garbage, and sewage from turning on when they were supposed to.

• Audio: Fixes issue where audio will stop working after creating a large city or where phantom audio sounds play in a city.

• Demolish: Fixes issue that occurred when players demolished buildings that had service vehicles, delivery vehicles, or agents out in the city or region. Previously, the agents would be in a state of limbo and would not recover when new buildings of that type were placed. This will no longer happen.

Sunday, 21 April 2013

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Ship just got real

Pun tastic trailer for Parado's new game

Sunday, 14 April 2013


I got a free 24 pass to try so I gave it a spin.

I didn't realise you can have two simultaneous streams which is nice. It doesn't allow for a third as you'll see below:

Needs a bit more app support but I tend to connect my PC / laptop into a TV via HDMI so its not really an issue for me.

If I didn't already have Sky I could see myself using it for the odd F1 race or football match when having friends over.


Over 10 million hits in under 24 hours....

He's a mother father gentleman....

Wednesday, 10 April 2013


So the Android only game I've been playing recently is starting to become strangely addictive.

At first I didn't get it, I couldn't see what the staying power was or what I was getting out of it but I gave it a chance.

Basically its a real world GPS capture the flag type game against other users. There are two factions, the enlightened and the resistance with a whole backstory to read through if you so wish. Each faction tries to outdo the other by attacking portals the enemy controls whilst protecting their own. These change hands frequently as various level players outdo each other or teams work against the other faction.

Portals can be anything of note in an area and are user submitted and verified. So you'll learn about an area at the same time with tombs, statues, buildings, parks etc.

This has lead to me go round parts of London I would never typically visit (even close to my normal travels).

This is what starts to make it fun, also the fact that it gets you out and about is nice when your stuck in the office all day. With a map it's not so easy to get lost as you plan your routes....

You start planning your lunch time walks on looking for places to plant resonator (the build the portals effective strength), or attacking the opposition. While in a stationary location you can also remotely recharge portals you've gained 'keys' to whilst you still have 'mana' / xmp.

To request an invite and join the fight:
(I'm with the resistance (Blue))

Skydog Kickstarter. Can't see B Sky B liking the name.

Oh Skydog, did you learn nothing from the Sky wifi pen... this is sniffing even closer to the Sky brand than Sky pen was in my opinion and will likely be forced to change their name in the UK.

This would actually be a good buy for B Sky B if the software aspect is patented.

Update: looking at their coperate website they have a few patents and a small history with the likes of Xerox

Shuttle SP35p2 and a AMD HD 7870 will work happily.

Everything went beautifully with the upgrade in physical terms.

UPDATE: Sadly after months of trying to diagnose the reboots I was getting I seem to have established that the cards cooler is pretty poor. I saw temps as high as 80oC in the case. I even modded a 120mm into the roof of the shuttle (looks so cool with blue LEDs) but I could not get it to stay cool.

I think it's only once ever got to the end of a run of 3D Mark and that was when I under clocked the card massively using the catalyst drivers sliders.It's pretty disapointing. You would have thought they would have designed the coolers to force the hot air out of the case and though the fins that way instead of having such as open design.

Even with the case off and all fans at 100% (it sounds like a jet engine) you still reboots.

The old GTX 275:

Without the GPU:

The new card (left) and the old (right):

Top down view:

The new card going in:

Everything back in the case:

PSU info (I doubt the Shuttle PC55 would make a difference as it not got the same efficiency rating):

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Skyrim for consoles gets updated to 1.9

Lots of bug fixes with some new features:

Legendary difficulty setting
Legendary Skills – Skills of 100 can be made Legendary. This will reset the skill to 15, return its Perks and allow the skill to affect levelling again. This effectively removes the overall level cap.

Nice to see its still getting support. Possibly in the run up to some new DLC as well hopefully.

Weird....My Stereo Sony hbh-is800's are working again!

Strange... they've been sitting in my draw for over a year without use as one side stopped outputting sound... Thought I'd give it a charge and test and low and behold it works again! Lets see for how long.... 

364 days until XP is no longer supported at all.

Sunday, 7 April 2013

Anandtech has detailed info on Nvidia's next mobile graphics family.

Usb to serial adapter

If you need a cheap USB to serial adapter then look no further. I went through a few eBay ones but it looks like a lot use knockoff chipsets and I found issues when using OSX and Windows 7 with them. Plugable are recommended by the chipset manufacturer and only use genuine chipsets. They are also cheap and I have tested them working on OSX and Windows 8!

For a full product break down and drivers see:

Please use my affiliate link below if purchasing to help me cover domain renewal costs if you found this helpful. Thanks!

Friday, 5 April 2013

Shuttle SP35P2 Vs VTX3D HD 7870 Black Edition 2 GB

Time to see if a VTX3D HD 7870 will fit in my Shuttle. It's in the post. It'll be replacing a Nvdia Asus GTX 275. It recommends a 500W power supply and the shuttle has a 450W gold PSU so it'll be an interesting combo. I just hope it fits! 

Replacing my old GTX 275:

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Ubuntu 13.04 beta touts search privacy - before it hooks in eBay, IMDb etc

Fair positive review of the beta from Th Register.

I haven't had much use / time for ubuntu since moving primarily to OS X. Most linux based stuff is experimented with on the Raspberry Pi and for anything windows based there is always Parallels.

Still I tend to give it a chance every once in a while. I seemed to get a lot of historic hits on this bog commenting on getting Cisco paket Tracer to work with Ubuntu. It'll probably be the same as usual, Cisco neglect to mention there are some dependancies required for 5.3.3 so you simply need to install something like WINE and packet traceer will start to work natively because the dependancies will then be installed.

I was quite interested with what Ubuntu were doing with their tablet specific features. Those did look impressive in a video a while back.