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Chit-Chat / Re: The weather
« Last post by Den1 on 23 March 2017, 20:22:23 »
Good day today wife managed to dry washing outdoors   :D  currently 7c and dry.
Chit-Chat / The weather
« Last post by fudgietheoriginal on 23 March 2017, 20:17:54 »
Evening :)
The sun was out here this afternoon, it was nice here in the midlands today. :)
 Clear skies ATM current temp 4.9c/40.9c
Chit-Chat / Re: RAM for FREE
« Last post by fudgietheoriginal on 23 March 2017, 20:00:42 »
Your only young then, when I got HTD in computer technology I had a Dragon 32 with a massive thirty two kilobytes (32,768 bits) (0.032mb) of memory and a cassette recorder to store data/programs. And the Commodore PETs at college had 8k, 16k or 32k (only had a few of these)

We were using Micro bee PC's at school and learning basic.
In the mid 80's I had an Amstrad, but didn't want to mention that as it makes me sound old.
8k wow!  ;) I  really wanted a commodore, because the games were better.
So I fell into the amstrad camp and then went on to AMD and now Intel.
Still I know very little :)
Enough babbling from me
Broadband / Re: Internet drop out
« Last post by fudgietheoriginal on 23 March 2017, 19:46:55 »
Hi philpow and welcome.
Have you checked/changed the ethernet lead that runs from your PC/lan to the router, just to rule out a faulty lead. I would definiftely do as Roco suggests, plug up a laptop to the router before you consider replacing your PC.

Hope this helps :)
Phones / Re: How to access old text messages-iPhone5c
« Last post by shellbell on 23 March 2017, 15:18:03 »
Hi there,

Thank you for your answer and condolences.

As for my old phone, it took a trip down the toilet so it got wiped...when i restored my replacement phone it didn't save old texts from the old phone.

Like I said in my message, my mum always had to keep deleting her texts, so there are no/extremely few on her phone.

It's so frustrating! :( Luckily I have some emails (from years back) but such a shame that texts are so difficult to access!

Many thanks for your response  thankyou:1

ARM is today touting a new way of organizing processor chips – one that will squeeze accelerators designed for AI and such tasks into phones, PCs, cars, and so on.

This layout, dubbed DynamIQ, builds on the Brit processor designer's big.LITTLE architecture that's been around since 2011. Big.LITTLE works by hooking a set of lightweight ARM cores to a set of beefier and more energy-sucking cores, so that when not much processing power is needed, the collection of fatter cores can be powered down to save battery life. When an app or game needs some extra oomph, it can spin up the meaty CPUs for a while. The key thing here is that you have a bunch of cores that are one size, and another bunch that are another. Hence the name, big and little.

DynamIQ expands on that approach by letting chip architects bung all sorts of cores into the same system-on-chip, along with an upgraded internal memory bus to cope with the data flowing between the processing units. These cores can be big, medium, curvy, and little. Alongside these, on the same chip die, you can place accelerators that perform machine-learning tasks in silicon – most likely inference work from trained models. This is, essentially, plugging hardware acceleration right into the internal highway between the general ARM compute cores, allowing them to share information and memory directly.

It's up to the individual system-on-chip designers to pick and choose the cores they want, and then fit them together using DynamIQ; these designers license the architecture from ARM as per usual, configure it as needed, and lay it on their silicon. DynamIQ can juggle up to eight heterogenous cores at once in a single on-chip cluster, and each core can have different power requirements and performance output. TrustZone is still supported by DynamIQ.

Blueprints for new ARM Cortex-A family cores will emerge later this year that are DynamIQ-compatible, we're told, and we guess we'll see these in devices in 2018. ARM tells us some of its licensees already have their hands on the DynamIQ designs. Existing Cortex cores are not DynamIQ-ready, by the way: if you're a system-on-chip designer and you want to use DynamIQ, you'll have to license one of the new CPUs.

Along with DynamIQ, ARM will later this year reveal new CPU instructions and software libraries to speed up artificial intelligence software on its next-generation cores. It may sound as though ARM is getting into the AI accelerator business: what's really happening here is that it will tout DynamIQ-enabled cores that have instruction set extensions to perform machine-learning operations in hardware. Separately, system-on-chip designers can provide their own specialized accelerator cores that plug into DynamIQ.

We just hope people have learned from the Samsung Exynos 8890 debacle, which mixed different cache line lengths in its multicore ARM-compatible processor design, causing applications to crash. It's all well and good having a bunch of different CPUs in your system-on-chip; just don't make complex software even more complex as a result of a more complex architecture. Complex software is buggy software, and normal folk don't care about fancy memory subsystem enhancements and CPU networking – they care about apps not working. ®

Tech News & Reviews / Google unveils Android O, promising better battery life
« Last post by snadge on 22 March 2017, 23:53:46 »

Google has released the developer preview for the next version of its operating system (OS), Android O (which will eventually get a sweet-themed name to follow Lollipop, Marshmallow and Nougat). The new OS includes a suite of small improvements – and a few large ones – that will make life easier for Android users everywhere.

The most significant is a new approach to dealing with apps running in the background, which Google says should markedly improve the battery life of phones, tablets and other devices. Now, apps are automatically limited in what they can do when they’re running in the background, in three specific areas: background services, location updates and implicit broadcasts.

Those three areas are often at fault when it comes to battery-draining apps, since they can result in a moderately large power draw on an ongoing basis. In the future, developers will be limited in how much they can do in the background. Location, for instance, will only be updated a few times each hour, while background services – programmes which run continuously doing things like checking inboxes while the user is in another app – will now be closed automatically after a short period.

If the changes sound familiar, it might be because they’re similar to how iOS handles background applications. The two operating systems have been converging on this ground from opposite ends since their inception: Android once had no limits at all on what apps could do in the background, while Apple once banned every single background process that it didn’t create.

Elsewhere, the new OS has some more obvious user-facing updates. Most noticeably, a new notification system should come as welcome news to users who are used to getting a significant chunk of their daily information through app alerts.

Starting with O, Android developers can group their notifications into categories called “Channels”, allowing apps to offer more fine-grained control over how users receive their notifications. For instance, a news app might offer notifications for breaking news, and for replies to comments; now, the user can explicitly tell Android to let the former play a sound, vibrate and show on the lockscreen, while quietly sliding the latter into the notification menu.

Smaller, but no less transformative, is the introduction of a “snooze” button to notifications. If you’re the sort who needs an empty inbox, but can’t deal with that one text quite yet, Android will now simply resend it a bit later.

The rest of the changes are a grab bag, with some only mattering to developers, but a few which will be noticed by end-users:

New autofill APIs allow users to store personal data in specific apps, just like they do with password managers, and autofill them across the whole platform, in a similar way to how keyboards can be swapped out in current Android.
Picture-in-picture display is now available for phones and tablets, letting users watch video while using other apps.
New Bluetooth audio codecs are supported, enabling higher audio fidelity when using headphones like Sony’s MDR-1000x (Google specifically thanks Sony for the amount of help it gave to developing this new version of Android).
Users who pair Android with a keyboard will find it’s easier to navigate around most apps using the arrow and tab keys.
And finally, developers can now make adaptive icons, which will always match the icon style of the particular flavour of Android, whatever type of rounded rectangle it uses.


Over 1,000 people who had been Plusnet customers were overcharged by the broadband provider Ofcom has determined after a lengthy investigation with the 1,000 customers affected covering a four year period from May 2011 to September 2015.

Ofcom has now levied a fine after closing the investigation, and this means the Treasury gains £880,000 as a result of the fine Ofcom has imposed, assuming Plusnet pay it within 20 days. In addition Plusnet did make efforts to track down those owed money (over £500,000) and some 356 customers were refunded £212,140 (figure includes 4% interest), in the case where contact was not made with old customers the balance has been donated to a dozen local charities.

The fine would have been another 20% higher but apparently Plusnet was willing to enter into a formal settlement which reduced the fine, as by playing ball it saved time and money on the side of Ofcom.

The investigation started by Ofcom on 27th May 2016 and while the Ofcom investigation talks of 'the telecoms company broke a fundamental billing rule by continuing to charge a group of customers for landline or broadband, after they had cancelled their service' it is not totally clear if they mean people left via the preferred migration route or this just affected people ceasing their broadband due to moving out of a property.

We feel we should highlight one aspect of changing provider, the Ofcom mandated migration process means you do not need to contact your old provider when switching provider (and the switch is to a provider that runs over the Openreach local loop), and in cases where people have done this some providers actually interpret the contact as the consumer trying to cancel the service. Why is this distinction important? Because a migration is cheaper than a cancellation and provision due to the cease fees that a cancellation can trigger, additionally cease and provide can mean you are without broadband for an extended period compared to the 30 minutes to 1 hour for a migration. For those worried about billing, the solution is to allow your migration to go through and double check the leaving letter you will have received from your old provider to make sure any amounts owed are correct and then once the switch has completed check that any payments taken are correct.


VIRGIN MEDIA has announced that it will now offer 100Mbps broadband as standard, scrapping its previous 50Mbps entry-level plan.

This means that Virgin's 100Mbps package is now the firm's entry-level offering, eclipsing top packages offered by rivals BT, Sky and TalkTalk, all of which max out at speeds of 76Mbps. 

The firm has opened up its top-tier 300Mbps service to all customers in areas capable of receiving those speeds. Virgin Meda first made up to 300Mbps fibre available this time last year, but only as a special upgrade aimed at home workers.

As noted by Engadget, Virgin's prices are cheaper now too. The 100Mbps Vivid 100Mbps plan is now a fiver cheaper at £32.25 per month, while the firm's 200Mbps Vivid 200 tier is almost a tenner cheaper at £37.25 per month. Virgin's gamer-focused 200Mbps package, which offers 20Mbps upload speeds, is down to £42.25 per month, down from £50.25. 

The new 300Mbps Vivid 300 plan is the most expensive, obviously, at £47.25 per month.

Tom Mockridge, CEO of Virgin Media, said: "By beefing up our bundles we're leaving our competitors in the rear view mirror, starting where they finish. Eye-watering speeds, a better box and top-notch TV is a winning combination.

"More and more switchers tell us they are joining Virgin Media for our faster speeds and we understand why - whether it's 4K Netflix, box sets in multiple rooms or online gaming, the best entertainment requires the best broadband and we're making sure our customers are covered with these bundles at incredible value."

Virgin Media has also announced that its new Virgin TV V6 box is now available to all customers on a wider selection of monthly bundles, and is now included on the Mix, Fun and Full House bundles as standard. µ

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