19/10/2006

UK Skype users get free calls

Well almost, Skype's Talk for Britain campaign offers free calls to UK landlines (geographic numbers) for 6 months. However UK users have to purchase £10 worth of Skype credit in order to get the offer.

That credit can then be used for other services (like SMS, calls to mobiles etc).

When most companies are charging £10 per month for unlimited UK calls, it's a reasonable price.

Orange's UK network falls over due to human error

It seems Orange's network outage was due to network upgrade that went wrong, someone put an acl on the wrong system or interface which triggered a routing update that locked out a load of devices and the network fell over.

Maybe that person doesn't have such a bright future?

BT going to bid for 2.5GHz UK spectrum?

BT is expected to be a front runner in the bidding for the 2.5GHz license that Ofcom expects to make available next year, though it wont actually be available until 2008.

That is almost perfect timing as BT will be mid 21CN roll-out and it will fit in with being able to offer high speed broadband services to rural areas where ADSL2+ wont reach using WiMAX.

They could just cut to the chase and just buy Pipex which would give them an extra 600K users and a wireless license.

Bryce for $6

DAZ 3D have announced the next version of Bryce (v6) and Platinum club members can purchase it for the pricely sum of $6.

Bryce has a dedicated set of followers and can produce reasonably realistic landscapes, but it has a slightly weird interface.

But for $6 who cares?

16/10/2006

Ofcom issue new guidelines for radio test licenses

Ofcom have published guidelines for radio test licenses. These can be for equipment that is used to demonstrate new radio technology and such like or for tempory use in exhibitions or research and development.

The licenses cost: -

Non-Operational Temporary Use (GBP) £50 for each channel per location each month

Non-Operational Development Use (GBP) £50 for each station or apparatus per location pa.

However there are strict conditions under which test licenses will be issued, so they don't interfere with licensed users.

Sony fights back at Apple

Sony is to include noise cancelling technology in it's Walkman music players. They contain a microphone which reduce noise in the 100Hz to 1KHz range (which tends to be mechanical noise such as from aircraft, trains etc).

They will also contain technology to better seperate stereo and boost base.

Whether that's enough to dent Apple domination is another matter completely.

Intel debuts Core 2 Quad in November

Intel is releasing it's new Core 2 Quad CPU in November at an HP event. HP are aiming at high end users (CAD, analysis etc) but the mainstream CPU's wont actually be in major production until next year.

Meanwhile will ship Core 2 Extreme's this year aimed at gaming enthusiasts to test the quad core market. Intel has lined up 13 gaming machine manufacturers to supply systems with the new chips.

AMD is aso launching quad core CPUs, but not until the middle of next year. AMD is saying they are better designs and will outperform Intel, but Intel will soon have working chips in the market.

E-Frontier announces Poser 7

Poser is a 3D character animation program that's been around for a long time. The new version contains two new models, but apart from that details are scarce.

If the product is pre-ordered users get a High Stakes pack too which contains clothing and props for the new figures.

Upgrades cost $129 (from certain previous versions).

Flapjax - not eddible

A new language called Flapjax is now available which should make programming with AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript and XML) much easier.

It was designed by people at Brown University and they host a Flapjax server which allows users to upload and test code, they've also released the code under a BSD license allowing others to implement it.

It looks quite cool if you're into flashy dynamic websites.

Fry's - get a bargain

Fry's is an amazing store, it's got lots of stuff and some at amazing pricing.

This wekend they had a special offer on Seagate 400GB disks, PATA (IDE) were $119 and SATA $129.

750GB disks were $339 which is a pretty good price.

They were also selling a Pentium D950 for $139 which is a silly price (in the UK they average about £200).

They now have an on-line store too (which is really Outpost.com, but now with Fry's branding).

Apple Wireless Mighty Mouse

It's a great mouse. The wired version does everything you could want, the wireless one makes life so much easier - especially with a laptop.

It's got two front-buttons (though you just push the shell of the mouse) a scroll wheel that works both horizontally and vertically - it also works as a button and a rear button.

If you use a Mac get one.

Arqiva Limited wins 412MHz spectrum

Arqiva Limited one the UK spectrum award for all 4 UK areas of 412.0 MHz-414.0 MHz and 422.0 MHz-424.0 MHz, they paid £1,500,025.

Other companies in the bidding were

AirRadio Limited offered £200,037 for any of the licenses (i.e. 1 to 4 or all licenses).

Motorola Ltd offered £205,000

T-Mobile (UK) Ltd offered £250,239 for all of the licenses.

The Joint Radio Company Limited offered £113,146 for some licenses.

Ventura Team Spectrum One Limited offered £387,700 for all for various combinations of the 4 licenses.