3G for iPAD

So you’re an Apple enthusiast, you probably already have an iPhone – and now you’re considering the iPAD – but which version? Do you go for the WIFI only or get the 3G version and land yourself with ANOTHER contract?

Well, there may be another way. As it happens I have a Vodafone 3G dongle allowing (fair use) unlimited access to 3G signals to supply broadband to the laptop.

That won’t work, I hear you say, it’s a USB dongle and  the iPAD won’t handle a USB dongle! True, but, as I found out this morning, the SIM in the Vodafone dongle works in a phone – at least, for data anyway. I just happen to have a Nokia e65, but any old phone with WIFI will do… head on over to Joiku where they have software for most phones to turn the phone into a WIFI access point. You run the software, it makes the call – and supplies a WIFI signal for your laptop. Which means of course – your iPAD. I’ve yet to try using this to provide a signal for the iPHONE so that I can use SKYPE (which refuses to work on 3G or even 3G with a VPN) – but that’s because I went out to do my testing with a flat phone battery and just managed to knock off a couple of emails to prove that it all works.

More on the SKYPE episode later but if you can lay your hands on a suitable phone, the only downside to using this as against the dongle – is that you end up with something else to keep charged… but rather than adding another contract that surely has to be a worthwhile compromise?

Peter Scargill

How will you get WIFI for your iPAD?

With the launch of the iPAD just around the corner in the UK, you might think that there are plenty of WIFI access points to use it with, bearing in mind that the basic unit will NOT allow tethering to your iPhone…..

Well, that’s a worry because the government is doing it’s best to screw up WIFI access in the UK

On the other hand there are signs of common sense when it comes to the IMPLEMENTATION of the Digital Economy Bill (DEB) – but only very thin on the ground at the moment..

Of interest, what of those who buy one of those 3G access points, I refer to the likes of the Solwise 3GWIFIMRW wall server unit. You plug in your 3G dongle and it serves up IP addresses you can use yourself or share with others for a small meeting. Technically that makes you an ISP!!! When the iPAD takes off you can be sure that gadgets like this and the even simpler ones offered by others will take off – or will they – it all depends on how the press plays the DEB.

Digital Economy Act

The Digital Economy Act, or the “big boys browbeating government into supporting them and to hell with everyone else” act… is a novel piece of new legislation which states that an ISP (or Internet Service Provider) is someone who provides an electronic communication service that is provided to a subscriber and consists entirely or mainly of the provision of access to the internet and includes the allocation of an IP address or addresses to the subscriber to enable that access.

Let me translate that into English for you. The act therefore affects ANYONE offering free or paid WIFI to anyone else.

That includes but is by NO means limited to:

Parents

FON users

SMEs (ie almost ALL businesses statistically)

The above might include your local shopping area, cafe, hotel, B&B, airport, TRAIN you name it. Everything from the private individual upwards who installs a WIFI router for whatever purpose, from keeping the kids happy to providing a service for customers.

The above people with marked exceptions are no more likely to understand what an IP address is, than I could be expected to know how to operate on a brain tumour.

But it gets worse…. said potential criminals are supposed to notify subscribers (like a FON user would know who his “subscribers” are!) of allegations made by copyright owners that their accounts have been used for unlawful file sharing… and must maintain lists… WHOAH just hold on there, lists?? What, of complete strangers?

This misguided piece of legislation appears to have come into place, being signed by a tiny number of MPs while everyone else had other things to worry about (ie elections) and seems to me to have gone something like this. Big business pressures government to secure protection for the music and related industries to try to stop people ripping off their products.

At this point a little history lesson might be in order… In 56 now and back in the dark ages when I was a teenager, we used to go to record shops and buy records.  I can’t remember the date but Philips brought out something called the musicassette or simply cassette player. It became known as the musicassette because they did a competition asking people what this new mini tape player should be called – and people like me filled in the competition. I still remember receiving the first Philips player and a TON of cassettes as a prize. I’ve no idea if I was the only one – probably not. Any way, I digress.

 

One of the first things that was asked was.. what on earth would you use a cassette player for.  The response was – well, you’d want to record your friends and family singing, or maybe record a meeting or something.

Bollocks- there is a reason the 90 minute tape was the most popular, offering 45 minutes per side. It’s because they knew FINE WELL you’d record one album on one side and another album on the other side.  Is it also I wonder a coincidence that DYMO labels just happened to fit 2 on the end sleeve of the cassette cover.

Anyway, we all know the history – every single person I went to school with had one of these and we all copied each other’s albums and put them on tape – so we could listen to them in the car.

So then the music industry brought out the CD… and NERO brought out the burning software so presumably you could record your friends singing.

Then Sony (who produce records I may add) brought out the Walkman. It must have been obvious at the time that this would produce a very simple way for everyone to record from their CDs to their PC and copy the material to the Walkman… indeed not only was it obvious it was BLINDINGLY successful and so before long we had the file sharers on the web making millions of tracks available to share with others and millions of people started downloading music.

So now it seems the record companies and their friends have decided this is not good enough and somehow got together with the government who then passed a law that makes just about everyone a bona-fide criminal.

Let me be clear, I don’t download lots of music, indeed I mainly listen to Internet radio which once mastered means you’d never listen to the BBC again – but my lack of inclination to download is not because it’s against the law, it’s because I’m now dead old at 56 and most, but not all of the material out there sounds like poo to me apart from Alicia Keys who’s wonderful.

Mobile phones that handle WIFI are now coming out in numbers…. the Microsoft Smartphones, the iPhone, Blackberry and others.. and because the mobile operators are lying gits, offering unlimited access but then in the small print changing their minds – and because 3G in many parts of the UK is entirely PANTS, WIFI is UTTERLY important to this new generation of information seekers. We like to get our news in cafes and the pub, we do more and more and more things via the internet – and when tablets take off we’ll be doing that EVEN MORE…

And what do we find, an act that is guaranteed if anyone ever gets around to TELLING THE PEOPLE, to turn folk OFF from offering free or inexpensive WIFI…

It is therefore VITAL that individuals and companies GET OFF THEIR BOTTOMS and COMPLAIN about this bill and get it CHANGED. Write to OFCOM and explain why this is completely unmanageable – why it will DAMAGE our country and RESTRICT access to WIFI for completely the WRONG REASONS.

As if Nick Clegg needed any more bolstering after his world-class battering of the other two leaders on TV, he was recently asked THIS question

 

"Will you reconsider the Digital Economy Bill considering the manner it was pushed through, without proper scrutiny, the lack of MPs in attendance at the Bill’s hearing and also taking into account that some ministers have demonstrated considerable lack of technical knowledge on the consequences of the proposed legislation?"

His answer..

"We did our best to prevent the Digital Economy Bill being rushed through at the last moment. It badly needed more debate and amendment, and we are extremely worried that it will now lead to completely innocent people having their internet connections cut off. It was far too heavily weighted in favour of the big corporations and those who are worried about too much information becoming available. It badly needs to be repealed, and the issues revisited."

Ok, so get onto your liberal candidate and find out what HE OR SHE is doing about this.. in fact, get onto your MP and ask why he or she (as is likely) did not even bother to VOTE on this issue – I’ll save you guessing – they probably didn’t have a CLUE what it was about – but don’t let that stop you asking!

The Lib Dems later apparently qualified the comment saying that they supported most of the bill – so clearly THEY have some friends in big business also.

I don’t know if you’ve thought of this – but regarding the many thousands of people the government now classes as ISPs – part of the deal is that they all LOG what we’re doing. So just as in the McCarthy era or the peak of the CCCP, the government will have succeeded in turning thousands of ordinary people into SPIES – but this time not for the government, but for BIG BUSINESS….. yes, that means that you ISP will know you are READING THIS be it your REAL ISP, your cafe owner, or your friend who’s letting you use their WIFI!

The Digital Economy Bill – or how to screw up free WiFi

The bill is an attempt by the government to crack down on internet copyright infringement, not a bad idea in itself, but as usual with this government, it is the implementation that’s totally screwed. By attempting to place the burden on the provider, the bill, which went through the house of Lords this week and looks set to fly unless someone DOES something,  is likely to affect, Internet Cafe, Hotels, service providers, trains and the PUBLIC.

Anyone offering WIFI access – how about the COUNTLESS FON USERS !!???!!

The bill could also affect any small business that allows for home working… the list goes on and on and on…  apart from anything else, why on EARTH should any hotel, faced with the possibility of having to police the use of their WIFI – which is WAY beyond the technical or managerial skills of your average hotel, why should they BOTHER to continue to offer free WIFI.

We’re still living in the DARK ages in the UK and this bill is about to make it a LOT WORSE. What about the free WIFI on TRAINS??!!??

If ever there was an example of the government trying to turn us all into willing participants in a POLICE STATE you are now looking at it!!!  

You may find these links useful…

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2010/apr/08/internet-piracy-bill

http://www.fsb.org.uk/policy/assets/0310%20digital%20economy%20bill%20briefing.pdf

http://www.openrightsgroup.org/

http://computingblogs.typepad.com/peter_scargill/

and to gripe to your MP

http://www.38degrees.org.uk/page/speakout/extremeinternetl

And it won’t solve a THING because anyone who gets stopped by their provider will just create a VPN from the many overseas available VPNs and get the movies or music or whatever they are after THAT way instead!

BAD IDEA!!!!

HTML5 and Microsoft Internet Explorer 9 IE9

Ok, someone tell me where I’m going wrong! Why on EARTH would Microsoft want to show a preview of HTML5 on IE, demonstrating the code needed to get border radii … when the Microsoft forthcoming product doesn’t appear to be as good as Firefox is NOW?

Here’s the deal – go to Internet Explorer 9 Platform Preview

Load it up… preferably in a VM somewhere as I have – just in case… and run the demo…

http://ie.microsoft.com/testdrive/HTML5/01BorderRadius/Default.html

I reset then animated the border radius.  Internet Explorer 8 is the ONLY one of my test browsers that could not animate the border.

Here is the IE8 image and code needed.

 

IE8

and the new all-singing IE9 version…

IE9

And now SAFARI

SAFARI

Now Chrome

Chrome

And finally FIREFOX

Firefox

 

I’m not sure which one(s) is(are) correct, clearly IE8 is wrong – but it looks to me like Firefox is doing the job in half the coding space of anything else?? I should add all these tests are using up to date browsers on Windows 7 64-bit. The IE8 is the 64-bit version.

Am I missing something?