Archive for July, 2010

Books just not what they once were

Published by calhoun on July 30th, 2010 - in News

Amazon ebook reader Say Hello to Amazon’s Kindel.

Kindel is an ebook reader which looks much like any others. Its cheaper than the iPad, it has a long life, and it has access to, well, ebooks much like all the others that are on the market. But what is so special about this that puts it above other ones on the market.

The truth is, not really much when you strip ebook readers down to the core, they all are fundamentally the same. They have a screen to display text on, and usually some primitive interface to change pages or books. Theres nothing really beyond that.

Amazon have recently brought it to the UK market from the US where it had been performing tremendously well – outselling traditional books 3 to 1. This is grievous news for those of us whom prefer to have our book wherever we are and not require to be near a power outlet. Undoubtedly publishers will be watching this one closely being cheaper and a flagship product of a major book seller could see people start using it.

References
The Independant

Army grinds to a halt.

Published by calhoun on July 28th, 2010 - in News

British Army Personnel With enough medals on his chest to open up a musume, General Sir Richard Dannatt declared at an enqiury into the Iraq conflict that the deployment of troops between Afganistan and Iraq has stretched the British Army to breaking points.

The general had written to the Defense Minister, Des Browne to object to plans to deploy a task force to Helmand provice over his fears that morale in the Army was at an all time low and that it could lead to a resignation of personnel from the force.

He also points to a lack of helicopters to support operations on a multi-front war. Seems like once again it is a time to withdraw from operations of war and return to a neutral state. When we cannot afford to expand the army and cannot put the resources in place that they need to sufficiently carry out the opperations commited to, it leaves withdraw as the only practical option.

References
The Press Association

And the award for slow internet goes to Britain!

Published by calhoun on July 28th, 2010 - in Technology

Akamai has released its first quarter state of the internet report. The results are not encouraging for the UK. We have once again, came in extremely slow.With the South Koreans comming in at the top, our speeds are quite truely diabolical. Ofcom recently reported the average speed to be around 5Mbps , in the study by Akamai they rate our average speed as 3.8Mbps.

Given that their figures are from a much larger data sample I think it is safe to assume their figures are much more trustworthy than Ofcom.

To ensure that the UK stays in the dark ages, the goverment has dropped its plans to tax phone lines to fund high speed broadband roll out to the rural areas. Whilst dropping the plans for the tax is indeed a good idea, the plan to drop the plan is not such a good idea. The goverment needs to come up with other means of funding to support rolling out high speed internet. The plans by the Coelition to use the BBC License fee to fund the roll out would bring at last a benefit to the exhtortionet tax.

The report also shows that hostile activity on the internet predominately is still targeting Microsoft services: 74% hit the Microsoft -DS (Port 445) service.

References
TechWatch
The Inquirer
The Inquirer
BBC News

Ultra-Fast Silicon Optical Network

Published by calhoun on July 27th, 2010 - in News, Technology

Optical Fiber I was recently observing that Fiber to the Home trials are under way – its a good step albeit many years late. Today Intel have decided to show off their new toy for the networking sector.

Silicon Optical Fiber its a system that uses the advantages of silicon production: cost and speed of production most notably with the speed and power of fiber.

This prototype network can run at 50Gbps and they have successfully been using it at 40Gbps with theoretical speeds of 1Tbps achievable.

Previously in optical networks, dedicated components were needed for the detection and initiation of the optical signal.

“Because silicon is translucent at infrared wavelengths, portions of a chip can be used to create waveguides, mirrors, prisms and other optical components, with Intel’s design of indium phosphide/silicon laser producing light that can be tuned by setting up different patterns of gratings on-chip.”

Intel Explains

The new technology is integrated at the silicon level which upon reaching mass production should prove to bring extremely fast Intel Fiber Optic Chipnetworking down to very low costs. Likely this technology will become mainstream for wired networks in the near future. Future expansion could see this technology kick start moores law which has been seen to be failing lately, integrating high speed communications far in excess of current silicon is capable of at processor and circuit board levels.

Intel do have other Optical Based research projects on going this may be the first of many significant advancements in optical computer networks.

References
ZDNetUK
Intel

Mad Major and Mad bike Prices

Published by calhoun on July 27th, 2010 - in News, Politics

Boris Johnson

In this day and age one wonders where the major learned to count. In his latest plot, londoners will have the right to rent a bike for slightly more than renting a VW Polo. Prices based on a 24 hour period.

At least the idea behind it is just. The price structure is intended for short term use to encourage people to use the bike rental scheme: 30 minutes free for all journies so with good timing it is possible to ride all day with no charge.

Down side is when the costs do start mounting up, it’ll quickly become cheaper to buy your own bike, or perhaps thats what they are trying todo.

This is not the first time a public bike system has been implemented in the UK, usually however given the culture of crime in the UK, the majority of the bikes were stolen and the trial was abandoned.

References
The Sunday Times
London Evening Standard

Copper Theifs in for Sticky surprise…

Published by calhoun on July 26th, 2010 - in News, Technology

BT Cable uses markings to identifiy criminals BT’s network is a copper one for the most part although they are trialing upgraded areas with Fiber.  However the modern burglar has been watching the prices of metal apparently. According to British Transport Police, theft of cable has dramatically increased.

The damage caused by thiefs going after raw copper cable is in the millions Railway authorities estimate damage costs for the cable is worth £5 Million in 2009. The electrical sector estimate damages in the region of £4 Million.

With BT having their network effected too, they have taken actions to attempt to prevent future losses. They are utilising a marking technology, a liquid that coats the cable and under UV inspection remains visible. It also marks anyone interfering with the equipment. Therefore, can link a thief to the copper stolen which would allow a conviction. Like the railway sector whom have also introduced a tagging system called CabelTag by Tag Gaurd to prevent their losses.

Its called SmartWater, and is invisible to the naked eye. BT Said in April they started taking cable theft seriously, after the theft of 3KM worth of copper, leaving 1,400 customers of BT without service.

References
CisionWire
WebUser

UK Ministers summoned to US Senate committe to answer charges

Published by calhoun on July 24th, 2010 - in Politics

The US Senators have in essence been trying to summon a duly democratically elected member of both the Scottish Parliament, and the Westminster Parliament to face charges of: Releaseing a Prisoner from a UK jail whom was found guilty in a UK Court, and banished from the UK by a UK Justice Minister. In what world does the United States think it has that level of authority over anyone? We are a democracy, we will not change from that. Justly so, each of the summoned ministers have rejected the plea of the United States.

A US senator has asked the Scottish government to reconsider its decision not to send officials to a hearing into the release of the Lockerbie bomber.

The United States is not politely requesting if a Member of the Scottish Goverment would kindly attend, they are asking that the Member of the Scottish Goverment be Sent Across the atlantic! It is outrageous, country to what they belive the United States border ends somewhere outside of washington Not mainland europe!

They have no authority here to Demand anything we have a legitimate goverment democratically elected.

References
BBC News

No tea with the Queen for Mr Griffin

Published by calhoun on July 22nd, 2010 - in Politics

Many of you by now have likely heard that as a Member of the European Parliament, Mr Griffin, head of the barbaric fascist, racist  organization known as the BNP had been invited to the Queens Tea Party today. Many including myself thought that this should never have happened.

I am pleased that reports are comming in now saying that Buckingham Palace has indicated that Mr Griffin will be Denied Entry.


“Nick Griffin MEP will be denied entry to today’s Garden Party at Buckingham Palace due to the fact he has overtly used his personal invitation for Party political purposes through the media,”

-Palace Spokeswoman

Stonehenge meet Woodhenge

Published by calhoun on July 22nd, 2010 - in News

Stonehenge It is likely that everyone, everyone in Britain at least knows of Stonehenge. Archaeologists have for a long time been comming up with suggestions of what it was for. Conspiricy theorists have also came up with their own ideas but truely no one left alive  can truely know. Weather it was a burial site, a meeting point, a town hall or ufo landing platform I dont know.

However, what is now known, is the big empty feild next to it, has had the Archaeologists in it, and they have unearthed something new: woodhenge. It is very similar to stonehenge, except, as my coined name suggests, it is made of well, wood.

Surprisingly, the area around Stonehenge has been left untouched by archaeologists all this time and Professor Gaffney of the site has said there is a likelyhood of more discoveries as they continue their work. I wonder if there will be a ring of woodhenges around stonehenge making stonehenge a kind of focus?

References
BBc.co.uk

Council spends £36,000 worth of tax money on games.

Published by calhoun on July 21st, 2010 - in Politics

Tameside Council decided that in order to encourage people to access services, they would buy property in the online gaming world in Second Life. The property which would be worth about 10Million in game was intended to help people in the whole world access council services in Tameside.

In addition to the island and town hall, they forked out on a musume and horse statute. The virtual town hall may have been a unique and innovative way to get the public to interact with the council but certainly not worth the cost! The most surely dont need a statue to do it either.

With very little intrest (not surprisingly) being shown amongst the global population of Second Life (which according to figures rate it as including duplicate accounts by the same person as of 2007 to be around 10 million worldwide. What percentage of that comes from the Tameside council area?

References
The Register
How Stuff Works

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