Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Chrome OS to mimic OS X Yosemite with smartphone continuity features

This might actually be the first feature to make me want to try Chrome OS.

NASA scientists have created 460GHz vacuum tubes

Won't be replacing those 4GHz Intel / AMD CPU's anytime soon though..

Two Days in the life of Football - Plusnet

Check out the link below on Plusnets analysis of the football, streamed on their network.

Slingshot - If you won't let Facebook buy you then they'll destroy you!

Looks like Facebook liked Snapchat so much so that when Snapchat rejected the 3 billion $ bid they went ahead and made their own very similar app.

iOS or Android

Monday, 23 June 2014

Google Glass now in the UK.

Google Glass is now available in the UK. It's £1000 so I'll be waiting a long while for that to get to a more reasonable £500-600 before I'd even consider it.

It's a strange one because I don't like wearing my glasses (slightly short sighted so I'm fine without them) but with these I don't think I'd like wearing them without the addition frames as they do look a bit ridiculous.

You can currently have one set of frames or shades free.I personally like the bold frames:

and if you don't like the idea of Google Glass but do like the idea of wearables, then maybe a Ruffus Cuff is more up your street:

Android and Windows to get 'kill switch' as well.

This should have been done years ago! Hopefully it won't be circumvented anytime soon. 

"Google and Microsoft will add a "kill-switch" feature to their Android and Windows phone operating systems.

The feature is a method of making a handset completely useless if it is stolen, rendering a theft pointless.

Authorities have been urging tech firms to take steps to help curb phone theft and argued that a kill-switch feature can help resolve the problem."

Friday, 20 June 2014

Ofcom proposes new rules to ensure competition exists in fibre market

The central pillar of UK telecom regulation for some thirty years has been to increase competition and regulate the pricing that BT charges, either at the wholesale or retail level. A large degree of freedom was afforded to the BT Group and Openreach when the fibre based broadband roll-outs started in 2009 and the price of the FTTC services or equivalent products in the areas where FTTP is the native option has pretty much remained static, while the retail pricing has slowly crept down, offset in part by the increases in voice line rental.

Now that fibre based services are popular to the extent of some 2.7 million connections on the Openreach network Ofcom is making moves to ensure that the BT Group does not manipulate pricing so that competitors cannot compete. Effectively what we will see is the price of BT Retail fibre based services kept high so that TalkTalk and Sky can undercut them.

Today’s proposals preserve that pricing flexibility, while seeking to ensure that BT does not set prices in such a way that prevents other operators from competing profitably for superfast broadband customers. In May, Ofcom announced its intention to set out proposals on this issue.

Ofcom is proposing to put in place a regulatory condition requiring BT to ensure that the margin between its wholesale VULA charges and its retail superfast broadband prices is sufficient for rival operators to compete and make a profit.
Extract from Ofcom announcement

GeoIP lookup from the CLI in Ubuntu

rich@rich:~$ sudo apt-get install geoip-bin

rich@rich:~$ geoiplookup
GeoIP Country Edition: GB, United Kingdom


Thursday, 19 June 2014

You can preload all your new PS4 games starting next week

I wonder if we'll see video services start doing this for major VOD released (i,.e. Netflix or new BoxSets on Sky Go).

Still, for the time being it should keep gamers happy as there is nothing more frustrating that having to wait for something you've purchased to come down when you just want to jump straight into the action.

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Unicode 7.0 introduces 2,834 new characters, including 250 emoji

The Unicode Consortium has just announced the release of version 7.0 of the Unicode Standard, the list of characters "which specifies the representation of text in all modern software products and standards." Unicode 7.0 adds 2,834 new characters to the existing list of 110,187 characters defined by Unicode 6.3, including new symbols for currency, new "lesser-used and historic scripts," and extended support "for written languages of North America, China, India, other Asian countries, and Africa."

US lifts restrictions on more detailed satellite images

Sites like Google and Bing Maps will be able to use higher-quality satellite images, thanks to US government restrictions being lifted.

Companies had not been allowed to make use of images where features smaller than 50cm were visible.

But one imaging firm, Digital Globe, said it would be able to sell images that showed features as small as 31cm.

Friday, 13 June 2014

With the Americas running out of IPv4, it’s official: The Internet is full - Ars

The march towards IPv6 continues with Ars reporting that ARIN is started to exhaust its stock of IPv4 as well with only 17 millions unique public IP addresses left in reserve. 

Story here:

Which new wireless earphones to purchase?

So my beloved Nokia Purity Pro's had a ill fated break (cup broke away from the headband) and although I love them I think they are a bit too pricey to reward Nokia / Monster with another purchase considering the lack of help neither would give me for such a flimsy structural design. Instead I'm considering earphones again as opposed to headphones. Bluetooth being the key driver hear for convenience.

As far as I can see these are the best options on the market within reasonable price ranges:

Plantronics Backbeat Go 2 product page
Amazon link to purchase - £55.95 without charging case
Amazon link to pruchase - £71.75 with charging case

POWERBEATS² Wireless press release - unrealeased yet website states £169.95. 

Thursday, 12 June 2014

4G home broadband in London - Was only a matter of time.

As I predicted before 4G had even hit the ground. If 4G delivered on its promises (bandwidth, latency) then it would mount a serious challenge on the fixed line market.

Enter: Relish, offering unlimited data with multiple service offerings.

Surprisingly what looks to have given them this ability might be that they are not wholesaling from the big 4 cellular networks and are using UKBroadband's network for 4G instead.

Considering there is no line rental to pay. £20 for unlimited data providing isn't that bad and 1 month contracts are available! At the moment its limited to central London but as UKBroadband's network expands, i'm sure they will as well.

Not to mention that we might start seeing other providers popping up who Wholesale off them. Lets just hope that contention doesn't become a big problem later on down the line when/if their network gets busy.

Google quality report is out now in the USA

Released in Canada first, it's now hitting the US and will be expanding further shortly.

It's rather like Netflix's ISP speed index. Thay want to show up internet service providers (ISP's) where they have bottle necks either through limited peering and transit off / on their network or where they restrict third party services.  Also it will give a good indication of which ISP's networks contain their caches (CDN's like Googles GGC or Netflix's OpenConnect) which keep the content closer to the customer to it doesn't have to traverse the wider internet.

The idea being that if the ISP's don't provide good access to the third party video content (more data = more cost loosely speaking) then their customers can be made aware and vote with their feet if they want.

Thursday, 5 June 2014

Report: Apple defines specs for Lightning headphones with 48kHz output

I'm all for better sound quality but I think if Apple was to remove the 3.5mm audio jack and opt for a lighting only connection it was cause outrage.

It would be nice if they could push for USB3 compatibility with the connector first.

As Netflix pushes the video on demand market forward with 4K HTML5 DRM enabled browsers, are apple looking to do similar with audio while locking customers into their ecosystem with the promise of definition?

Xbox One controllers now work with your PC

Now we just need the wireless adapter so we don't need cables!

Summery: The drivers will be baked into a Windows update shortly.

If you can't wait, go here:

Google releases its first 64-bit Chrome web browser candidate

We're starting to get somewhere! I've been on various mailing lists keep an eye on this for a while, wondering when this was going to happen! See here for further details.