All entries for December 2006

December 19, 2006

Has digital radio come too late?

I’ve recently started listening to Radio 4 a lot more than I ever previously did. Why?

Because it is now streamed over the Internet. I don’t need to tune my FM radio to the right bandwidth, I just click on a link and, a few seconds of buffering later, I’m listening to Britain’s premier speech radio channel (or somesuch).

Radio 4 is not a big deal, I could tune my FM radio. But what about the BBC channels that are only available on DAB. Just about everyone has a PC so don’t need to spend the money for a digital radio system, they already have one.

What happens when all radio stations are being broadcast over the Internet? What happens when you can get a tiny computer which can fit in the corner of your kitchen and function as a digital radio amongst a myriad of other things?

Is digital radio too late for widespread adoption?


December 14, 2006

How Not To Decorate A Christmas Tree

I just saw on the Breakfast Show Anthea Turner showing some ‘hapless housewives’ how not to decorate a Christmas tree. I switched over before she did so but I bet the segment was nothing like what I am hoping it was.

I imagine a Christmas tree in the middle of a room. Anthea Turner walks in with said ‘hapless housewives’ and gestures towards the Christmas tree.

“This is how not to decorate your Christmas tree.”

At this point she leaps onto it and starts ripping at it with her teeth. Or she draws a flamethrower and torches the tree…

That’s what I call Christmas programming.


December 07, 2006

Wireless Networking

I was just pondering upon the possibilities of creating a widespread wireless network without the need for a great deal of wireless routers.

My thinking is that if a laptop were to have two wireless cards installed, it would be possible to configure one of the devices (Device A) to connect to a network and the other device (Device B) to act as a wireless router for another network. Any traffic coming in on B would be routed through A.

This would effectively extend the area of effectiveness of any given network that Device A is connected to.

If all laptops were equipped as such, then wireless connectivity would extend much further than it currently does and would allow, for example, someone in Maths to extend the Maths wireless network into DCS, where it could be further extended.

There are, of course, a number of problems with this idea:

  • Security – if I’m serving a wireless network that requires authentication, do I have to ensure that Device B is also requiring the same level of authentication?
  • Download speed – wireless is not incredibly fast to begin with, let alone if a number of people are sharing my connection
  • Processor overhead – the routing between devices may be a concern, I am unsure

There is something related to this going on in Brighton, where they have a number of self-contained wireless routers buried under the beach, allowing people to access the Internet from the beach through a number of wireless routers.

Perhaps this would be more practical in a hardware form, with wireless ‘booster boxes’ which, when turned on, act as normal wireless routers, though with no wired ports. They can then be accessed (as with all routers) to be configured to connect to, and relay, any wireless networks within range.


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