Archive

Archive for March, 2008

FCC redefines broadband

March 21, 2008 1 comment

The American Federal Communications Commission is in the process of redefining what it considers to be ‘broadband’ speeds, to aid tracking the availability of internet access across the USA. Data rates are to be divide into five categories:

  1. 200Kbps to 768Kbps – first generation data
  2. 768Kbps to 1.5Mbps – basic broadband
  3. 1.5Mbps to 3Mbps
  4. 3Mbps to 6Mbps
  5. 6Mbps and above

The first of these categories is the interesting one, as anything under 768Kbps will no longer be classed as broadband. Would this mean someone paying for a 2Mbit ADSL connection but getting less than 768Kbit would not be getting what they paid for? I can only hope we get some similar classification in the UK, even if current 50Mbit trials would make the categories already redundant.

Read the full story at Cnet news.com 

Categories: internet Tags: , ,

Safari 3.1 released

March 18, 2008 Leave a comment

Apple has today released Safari 3.1, a far more impressive update than the .1 suggests. Apple promise  huge speed increases for this latest version for both page rendering times and javascript execution. Support for the latest web standards such as the new video and audio tags in HTML 5, CSS Animations and CSS Web Fonts has been added. I’ve been playing with the recent Webkit builds and can definitely see a speed improvement, so if Foxmarks can make a plugin to sync Safari to their service I might just have to switch back from Firefox,

Categories: apple, internet Tags: , , , , ,

Wallpapers of the week

March 17, 2008 Leave a comment

PianoLast weeks wallpaper series was English countryside, again taken on my travels. Something different this week, musical instruments starting with the Piano keyboard. One a day for the rest of the week.

New Articles page

March 16, 2008 1 comment

To make it easier to separate the useful articles from the rants and general news I’ve added an Articles tab at the top of the page. This will allow fast access to the ongoing series such as Hackintosh. Leave a comment if you have any suggestions on how to structure this better.

Categories: site Tags: , ,

Virgin Media: How to really annoy your customers

March 15, 2008 6 comments

I struggled to decide what title to use for this article, since it covers several aspects of a company that doesn’t seem to know its arse from its elbow. The important bit first is some advice for any existing customer of Virgin media, especially those with the £37 a month ‘Broadband XL’ package and a Virgin Media phone line.

Have a look at this page, then call Virgin Media’s customer services on 150 from your Virgin Media phone line, or 0845 454 1111 from any other phone line. Select option 2 to change your package, and tell the customer services person you want the same deal as new customers. They will say they can’t offer you that deal as it’s only for new customers (I was offered a package for £55), so tell them you want to cancel all your Virgin Media services. You will be transferred to the ‘retentions’ department, who should agree to move you to the new prices if you take a new 12 month contract. Read more…

Hackintosh part 9

March 13, 2008 4 comments

I’ve been using my DIY Mac for about a month so it’s time for an update on how well everything is working. I haven’t had any major show stoppers so far, more minor irritations and puzzling behaviours. It’s a pleasure to use the hackintosh and having run Mac OS on several machines in the past the huge performance improvement makes the OS more responsive than ever. I’ve read reviews in the past that say you haven’t experienced Mac OS at it’s best until you try a Mac Pro, and they’re not exagerating. Read more…

OS wars: which is the best?

March 11, 2008 Leave a comment

PCmagThe ‘my OS is better than yours’ arguments have been a bit quiet lately, so PCmag have done their bit to restart the flames. The article compares Mac OS Leopard, Windows XP, Windows Vista and Ubuntu 7.10 across a number of aspects to pick which is the best for a range of different user types, as well as the best overall. I won’t spoil the surprise here so have a read to see who they rate the highest.

Online banking security problems

March 11, 2008 Leave a comment

There’s a scary article at Tech.co.uk concerning the safety of online banking systems and new trojans. It appears the crooks are getting sneakier than ever to get their hands on your money. I’ve been fortunate so far having not been the victim of online fraud (and I buy a lot online), the only credit card fraud I suffered was after using my card to reserve a hotel room. When I reported the crime to my local Police station I was told I was the 21st person in my town to suffer credit card fraud in 20 days. It’s not a big town so this gives an idea of the massive scale of the problem. I never received any further information from the police so have no way of knowing if the perpetrator was caught. We in the UK can’t even report credit card fraud to the Police anymore, it’s now a problem for the Banks to deal with. If you’re worried about online security there’s some good advice at fraud.org.

Categories: internet Tags: , ,

Apple and Microsoft to adopt Blu-Ray?

March 10, 2008 Leave a comment

Blu-Ray LogoFT.com reports that both Apple and Microsoft are in talks with Sony to add Blu-Ray drives to their hardware. Does this mean we may finally have an easy method of storing and transporting the High Definition video we’ve been shooting for the past couple of years? Apple’s iMovie HD was released in 2006, and only allowed burning to Medium Definition™ DVD. Now the latest format war is over can we have an industry standard High Def disk? Just to keep us going until we all have super fast internet and modern media delivery systems so disks aren’t needed.

Samsung 500Gb 2.5 inch hard drive

March 10, 2008 2 comments

Some things,  mainly the ones we don’t have to physically handle, benefit from being made smaller. The Samsung Spinpoint M6 is a 500Gb 5400rpm hard drive in a 9.5mm high 2.5 inch case. That means if I wanted I could have a 500Gb hard drive in my Macbook for $299, if I lived in the US. Not sure when these are hitting the UK or how they will be priced (am I being cynical thinking it won’t be £150?)

Categories: computer, storage Tags: , ,