Michael Watterson's blog

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White Space Radio Again!

UPDATE 10th November 2010

UK Ofcom consulting on similar scheme to US. Read more Via El Reg<

The FCC is to permit White Space Radio.

This is two way communication (or multiway), personal Ad Hoc Networks like WiFi, except outdoors and using TV channels outside the area they are notionally used in.

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LTE: Not just Modem Dongles

LTE is already rolling out in Germany and Sweden, but the Emphasis is on Data service as unlike the US, Europe has near universal GSM/EDGE/3G/HSPA. USA has a mix of two incompatible 3G networks, 2 CDMA with no moving phone-set, EVDO, Mobile Wimax and LTE


Metro PCS only has an LTE feature* phone (about $300 contract free) for their $60 p.m. service.

The fall back in non-LTE areas is to CDMA-1. The Samsung Craft includes 2G SD card with Star Trek Film

LTE in Germany is quite expensive.

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Buy an Intel Pentium G6951 system in Installments.

Intel are running a pilot program< where you buy the computer and later you pay extra $50  to enable Hyperthreading or L3 Cache.


IBM of course was famous for this approach during 1960s and later with its Mainframes. Upgrades simply turned on features already built in.

This might be argued to be taking advantage of Manufacturing Scale.

Intel and others argue that with the original PC or Laptop you will be getting exactly the features you pay for.

However I think it lacks transparency. Comments? 

Update: Comments on El Reg<.

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BAI blames RTE for failure of Pay TV on DTT

BAI blames RTE for failure of Pay TV on DTT, some people as a result are calling for the privatisation of RTE NL. Look how well that worked for eircom.

The extra Debt incurred by Vultures doing leveraged buyouts and not result of any investment  would have paid for Universal 100Mbps fibre to home TWICE for everyone. Even the meanest mountain top hovel. Negative investment (asset stripping, debt from leveraged buyouts etc) has been over €4Billion since privatisation.


Some people claim RTE NL should not have been looking for a Bond.

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HDMI content Protection Broken

The fox has left the chickhouse with the key.

Intel has confirmed Blu-ray HDCP encryption is cracked after admitting rumours of a leaked master key is true.

This means with suitable equipment (not cheap though) the "perfect" HDMI digital stream on any player's rear connector could in theory be perfectly recorded and re-encoded. The raw data rate is about 2.5Gbps.

We are not sure if this applies to ALL HDCP protected content via DVI and HDMI  (i.e. Satellite Receivers) or just standalone players or BD in PC also.

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Canvas Becomes YouView

A new free-to-air, web-connected TV service
combining Freeview digital channels with on-demand content such as
iPlayer will launch in the UK in 2011.

YouView - formerly known as Project Canvas - is a partnership between BT, the BBC, ITV, Five, Channel 4, Arqiva and TalkTalk.

Users will access it via a set-top box, which will go on sale next year.

YouView's chief executive, Richard Halton, claimed it would "change the way we watch TV for ever".

Continue reading the main story at the BBC website<

The set-top boxes will be sold either on a stand-alone basis, or as part of a package provided by internet service providers.

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RTÉ prepare children's TV for DTT launch?

RTE  today (13th September)  unveiled plans for two new programmes strands. RTÉjr will be broadcast for under sixes and TRTÉ for children aged seven to 15 on RTÉ2 from the 20th September 2010.

The new station strands will also have digital radio equivalents in RTÉjr< and TRTÉ, Digital Radio is available on Saorview (DTT), DAB in Limerick and South East and online.

RTÉ Young Peoples Programme commissioning editor Sheila de Courcy said the new programme strands were "quintessential public service broadcasting for 21st century audiences".

She said RTÉjr would be a "safe, fun, magical place for children" while TRTÉ would reflect the demands of thje older cohort.

See also Irish Times<

Saorview (Irish Digital Television) soft launches 31st October 2010 and full public launch between Q2 2011 and end Q4 2011.

RTE has committed to a daytime Children's Channel on Saorview.

RTE TV Autumn Season 2010<

RTE Radio Autumn Season 2010<

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Amateur Radio Meetings

Mayo Rally, November 21st ,2010

21st November Mayo Radio Experimenters Network Annual Rally is being held at the Welcome Inn,
Castlebar, Co. Mayo

Doors open at 11:00 a.m. for more information on the MRE Rally please contact the Rally Director: Padraic Baynes, EI9JA website www.ei7mre.org<

For further details on Rallies please see www.irts.ie/rallies<

Foyle Rally: November 7th, 2010

7th November Foyle and District ARC Rally is being held at the White
Horse Hotel, 68 Clooney Road, Derry for anyone with GPS / SATNAV the
post code is BT47 3PA

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Finally no more retail XP after nearly 9 years?

Dell stop shipping Windows XP on 22th October 2010

For the average consumer, that means you've got just over a month to get
whatever XP-equipped systems you want from Dell. Some "qualified
customers" will still be able to get Windows XP pre-installed via Dell's Custom Factory Integration service.

MS Support may continue till at least 2012.

Certain Windows 7 Licence versions allow users to install any source of XP media as alternate to Windows 7.  Windows XP is probably still on twice as many PCs as Vista or Windows 7.

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Fighting the Botnets

Operation B49 is a Microsoft-led initiative to take down a known botnet - Waledac<
- through industry collaboration and legal process. Operation B49 is
just one action in a long term effort by Microsoft to combat cyber
threats and advance the security of the Internet for everyone. from support.microsoft.com/contactus/cu_sc_virsec_b49<

Microsoft has removed 277 domains used by Waledac leaving about 90,000 infected computers without a Bot Master. This has been more successful so far than the attempt by Computer Security Experts to take down Zeus.

See also www.theregister.co.uk waledac takedown success

Other Resources

Gmer is  useful utility to detect rootkits. Read up on it before use. www.gmer.net< "all your rootkits are belong to us"

Read about Rootkits< here 

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Nokia Home Music

It's a good 10W Mono FM radio, with AUX input for your iPod/iTouch or PMP. It has Internet Radio, Podcast streaming and can play your home media server/PC (or Mac content too) via DNLA or uPnP.

It has WiFi and ethernet. Also strangely Digital Audio output (SPDIF optical and RCA cable). No indication if it does RDS. No DAB. £135



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Special offer on Solar panel?

12V charger Solar panel. 2W peak. Typically 0.25W to 1W. Shower proof.

Currently (5th September 2010) under €12 in Irish Maplin Stores. Reduced from about €33,

Suitable for rechargeable radio or charging Netbook. I have one for my FT817ND radio and it does still trickle charge it in dull evening light. (no need to activate Timed charger mode to trickle charge.)

Online link: http://www.maplin.co.uk/Module.aspx...<

On promotion until 07/09/2010

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USA Radio Royalties and Mandatory FM Radio in Phones

The USA has long history of conflict with the rest of the World over Intellictual Property. It's not just really stupid patents that should never have been granted or the widespread "piracy" of European books in the past by republishing in USA without paying royalty and also gratuitious changes to text. In English speaking countries out side USA, the "American" spelling and grammer is not changed.

There is a big problem with music royalties on Radio, despite the RIAA and DMCA.

The parties calculated that the “business exemption” had nullified 1,219,900 Euro per year.

The United States treatment of mechanical royalties is in sharp contrast to international practice.
In the United States, while the right to use copyrighted music for making records for public distribution (for private use) is an exclusive right of the composer, the Copyright Act provides that once the music is so recorded, anyone else can record the composition/song without a negotiated license but on the payment of the statutory compulsory royalty. Thus, its use by different artists could lead to several separately-owned copyrighted 'sound recordings'.

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Kerry TV on Soarview, Saorsat

Though there is some new content planned for Irish Digital TV<,  really there is nothing new. So far it's really just a replacement of Analogue with very basic repeat of RTE news and possibly the addition of TV3's "3e"


Tralee entrepreneur Carla Horan is planning to form a new commercial TV station dedicated to Kerry.

The ambitious project would see the channel broadcasting 24 hours a day and include news and sports bulletins from across the county, along with Irish language content, a chat show, cookery, arts, gardening, fashion and holiday programmes -- and even a Kerry-based soap opera and a Kerry version of Big Brother. Live gigs at the INEC in Killarney will also be targeted for coverage by the channel; while there have been early discussions about launching a Kerry Lotto, with live TV draws.

Ms Horan (37) said plans were only at the "inception stage", but she has already brought the concept before the Broadcast Authority of Ireland and is in the process of applying for a contract to provide free-to-air TV on a digital platform. It is hoped the newstation will be broadcasting by 2013.

via http://www.independent.ie/national-...<

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Saorview logo and first setbox?

Seen on a Retail mag for TV in Ireland and scanned by Byte 20th August 2010


(From IER , Irish Electrical Review, a Trade magazine for Electrical Retailers)

Walker Technology Products Ltd., was founded in July 2005 to supply a range of televisions especially designed for the Irish market. The two directors who set the business up were previously senior executives with Mitsubishi Electric involved in the sales and marketing of the very successful market leading range of Black Diamond televisions. The Walker branded range of LCD televisions are sourced from the same factory that manufactured for Mitsubishi Electric and other major Japanese brands for distribution in Europe. Therefore insuring that Walker LCD's offer the latest features, excellent quality and terrific value for money.