31/08/2005

BBC NEWS | Technology | Sony PSP sets sights on UK gamers

BBC NEWS | Technology | Sony PSP sets sights on UK gamers

The PSP goes on sale tomorrow, UK stores have already sold their allocations.

There are a number of UK games and videos which will be launched with the consoles, but US and Japanese games should work too, though only Japanese films will work (both Japan and the UK are in Region 2).

Though positioned as a games console, it's really a media console which plays games. It's likely they'll be some integration with the PS3 after it launches.

There are also rumours of enhancements to the PSP such as disks, cameras etc.

FT.com / By industry / IT - Creative accuses Apple of iPod patent breach

FT.com / By industry / IT - Creative accuses Apple of iPod patent breach

Creative filed a patent in 2001 for "a user interface that enables users of portable media players to efficiently and intuitively navigate among and select tracks on the players" which was granted this month.

This effectively allows them to go after other MP3 player manufacturers, but they are targetting Apple (which would make sense as they are the largest supplier).

Apple are used to litigation (they regularly face action re their name from Apple Corp - the Beatles' company for license infringement as Apple Corp hold the worldwide trademarks etc) and are bound to counter claim.

DSL Max may save BT's broadband blushes - ZDNet UK News

DSL Max may save BT's broadband blushes - ZDNet UK News

MAX DSL is another form of DSL allowing download speeds of up to 8Mb/s and upload of up to 832Kb/s, BT's initial tests have shown it's more likely to achieve download speeds of 6Mb/s.

Though it's an asymetric service it's likely to be cheaper than SDSL and BT may utilise it in its place, hopefully reversing the woefull uptake.

There's also likely to be a consumer variant offering uploads at 448Kb/s.

If BT offer some kind of QoS or seperate voice service using part of the bandwidth, then it would be suitable for multiline VoIP, even assuming a 64Kb/s voice channel the consumer variant could support about 6 lines and the business version maybe 12 lines. Moving to a lower bandwidth codec would support more channels ore the same channels with some bandwidth left for other traffic.

BT may start trials in September with roll-out in 2006.

ADSLguide: Be seeks trial users in London area for ADSL2+ service

ADSLguide: News Archive

BE, a new LLU operator in London is hoping to attract trialists by offering free service in September and then £20 pm for the basic service (it costs £4 pm extra for static IP).

The trial included a free connection and a free Speedtouch router with 4 Ethernet ports, a Wireless (802.11g) port and 2 phone ports (currently not used directly with the service) and an analogue port (again unused, but can plug into the PSTN - in the future will allow a pass-through service).

The service will deliver 24Mb/s downstream and 1Mb/s upstream, but customers need to be 1Km or less from the exchange or the usable speeds decrease.

Be haven't released final pricing, but this is in-line with services in Europe where £20 or less pm will get basic Internet service, national phone-calls and basic TV services.

Latest Business News and Financial Information | Reuters.co.uk

Latest Business News and Financial Information | Reuters.co.uk

Orange the (current) mobile arm of France Telecom and Wanadoo (the ISP arm) are offering cut price broadband to Orange mobile customers. They'll get 2M ADSL for £9.99 per month.

Eventually the ISP and mobile arms will be combined and come under the Orange brand.

This is just the start of a trend and ISP's will offer mobile offerings, either via a MVNO or as a reseller as is already happening in the fixed line markets.

France Telecom has deep pockets and large subsciber bases and can make this happen quickly and get a good fotthold in the market.

Apple's announcement on the 5th

It seems likely that Apple are going to announce the new Motorola phone with iTunes built-in which recently achieved FCC approval.

It seems they've done a deal with a provider in the US and it will be available on their network. How the pricing model will work is as yet unknown.

Guardian Unlimited | Special reports | Microsoft throws down phone gauntlet to Google

Guardian Unlimited | Special reports | Microsoft throws down phone gauntlet to Google

Microsoft has just bought a telecoms company, another string to it's arsenal in the forthcoming VoIP wars.

Skype is undoubtably the current winner in IM/VoIP battles, but there's Gizmo from the Linspire lot, MSN Messenger, Yahoo Messgenger, AIM, and now GoogleTalk so the market is going to progress rapidly.

Microsoft has a huge established base of users and has released their web services framework which fundamentally support VoIP, though Google (currently) are considered user friendly and not the evil empire.

Google have also announced they will allow open server to server communications allowing other IM networks to join the GoogleTalk service (assuming the other networks want to join). It can be expected that existing Jabber (XMPP) networks will be the first to be in line.

By Google using an open protocol and allowing s2s connections they could rapidly expand and dominate the IM space.

30/08/2005

ADSLguide: Mailbox launches broadband availability and self diagnostics system

ADSLguide: News Archive

Mailbox have designed a tool that anyone can dial into and test the suitability of a line for ADSL. It will work from any line - even mobiles.

Mailbox customers also get the ability to do diagnostic tests if there seem to be ADSL problems, which Mailbox is thinking about licensing to other ISPs.

It would seem like someone at Mailbox has been playing with Asterisk, the open source Linux (and other platform) IP PBX/IVR and knocked up a set of scripts.

Apple hints at major iPod revamp - Network IT Week

Apple hints at major iPod revamp - Network IT Week

Apple are going to launch something new or an update to the existing iPod. It happens on the 7th.

Speculations are: -

* Music videos for current iPods.
* New iPod Shuffle type device.
* The Motorola iPod phone.
* Apple will become an MVNO and offer a phone service (mobile).

They could also launch a bigger video iPod to compete with the new Media systems being offered by Microsoft licensees.

DSL plugs into 70 per cent subscriber growth - Network IT Week

DSL plugs into 70 per cent subscriber growth - Network IT Week

70% subscriber growth, options of VDSL2 and ADSL2+, nice if you can get it. In the UK ADSL2+ is still not ANFP compliant (though the ANFP will be changed to allow it), however VDSL and derivatives are unlikely to ever be allowed since it causes interference between cable pairs in the telephony network.

VDSL works well where there's fiber to buildings or street cabinets and then VDSL within the building or from the street cab to the house.

Unfortunately the UK isn't fibered and installing VDSL in the exchanges wont give the performance (it's a very short haul service).

Digit Online news - Roxio launches Toast 7

Digit Online news - Roxio launches Toast 7

Toast the Roxio CD and DVD burning package for Macs is being upgraded.

The main features are slide shows, DivX (6) support and support for spanning multiple DVDs. The slide show features allows for producing multiple transition effects etc.

Toast 7 will also compress video content so that content from dual layer (9GB) DVD's will fit on to standard single layer disks. Presumably this will only work with unencrypted content, though there are programs that will rip the (encrypted) DVDs to standard (unecrypted) VOB files, which Toast will then handle.