16/11/2006

Starbucks Card

Though I hate to say it, it's an impressive system. You get a card (any card) and then top it up with cash. You can then use the card in stores in the UK and abroad and use them to buy stuff from Starbucks.

You can also register the card on the Starbucks website (and it then becomes a loyalty card and they're meant to offer freebies etc - though as it has just launched, yet to be seen). When you register the card, the card balance and what you've spent show up on the site. What's amazing is how quickly. Having bought a coffee the transaction showed up on the site within 10 minutes (the time taken walking from the store home).

Another way for Big Brother to track you, but as long as they give free coffee you can stay awake thinking about everyone spying on you.

Review of General Condition 18 – Number portability | Ofcom

Review of General Condition 18 – Number portability | Ofcom

Ofcom is holding a consultation to allow rapid porting of numbers across networks, both in the fixed and mobile arenas. Fixed networks will be expected to port numbers within 1 working day and mobile networks within 3.

There will be an all-call query of a common database of numbers (“ACQ/CDB”) solution both for fixed and mobile networks (mobile networks already utilise something similar) which will aid in routing calls.

Currently fixed networks use completely static routes that are preprogrammed into each telephone exchange which makes tasks like porting extremely complex and time consuming.

As fixed networks move to Next Generation Networks, this will also fit in well with NGN topologies.

Unfortunately it's a slow process and will not be implemented until 2009.

Digit news - Apple boosts RAW support for digital cameras

Digit news - Apple boosts RAW support for digital cameras

The new update supports the Canon EOS400 and Nikon D80 amongst other and fixes problems with large Canon RAW (.crw) and Adobe Digital Negative format (.DNG).

The update is on Apple's site.

Apple have also issued an update to their X11 software 2006 1.1.3.

14/11/2006

Digit news - The 300GB DVD debuts

Digit news - The 300GB DVD debuts

Hitachi Maxell is producing a 300GB holographic DVD. It will be initially available to the entertainment industry, but a consumer variant can be expected within 2 years. Disks currently cost about $100.

In 2008 they will develop a read/write version with a capacity of 800GB and by 2010 this will increase to 1.6TB.

Very soon consumers will be able to put their current complete DVD and audio collections on a single disk.

Digit news - Intel bids for rebound with quad-core chips

Digit news - Intel bids for rebound with quad-core chips

Intel is launching various Quad Core CPU's. The Xeon 5300 range are designed for high-end workstations and servers, while the Core 2 Duo Extreme is a plug-in replacement for the Core 2 Duo and is more suited to gamers.

The Xeon's use less power (from 80W at 1.66GHz to 120W at 2.66GHz) while the Core 2 Due Extreme (2.66GHz) uses 130W.

Pricing for the Core 2 Duo Extreme is $999 while the highest spec Xeon is $1,172 (both in 1,000 quantity).

AMD will launch quad cores next year.

Apple does iPods on planes

Apple has announced plans with Air France, Continental, Delta, Emirates, KLM and United to put iPod docks into plane seats. They will connect into the audio and seat-back video display to display any stored videos on the display. Service is expected to start in 2007.

They have also announced a deal with Panasonic Avionics Corporation (who are also looking at offering a replacement for the Boing Connexion service), so maybe it will be possible to buy movies and audio from iTunes while on a flight.

This could be a major plus for Apple and continue their iPod dominance.

Ofcom silent on VoIP regulation - Telecoms - Breaking Business and Technology News at silicon.com

Ofcom silent on VoIP regulation - Telecoms - Breaking Business and Technology News at silicon.com

Ofcom was meant to publish regulation on VoIP in August, but it's been delayed. It seems they will now publish by the end of November, but there's no mention of it on any Ofcom publications or their site.

Traditional voice has been regulated for a long time, but Ofcom has taken a light-handed approach to VoIP, which should allow for competition in next generation networks. However it may also give BT (the encumbant) the flexibility they are not allowed under the current regulatory environment.