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Nigel Whitfield

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Hunter, image via Shutterstock

Broadband's frequency hunters denied Freeview patch – for now

Freeview is safe. For now. Mobile operators with broadband services were denied the 470-694MHz frequency used by the terrestrial TV service. The decision was taken at a World Radio Conference (WRC) in Geneva, Switzerland with a review of the whole UHF band planned 2023. Essentially, the future of Freeview is now assured, …
Nigel Whitfield, 26 Nov 2015
Early 1970s Dynatron Sandringham TV and Philips N1500 VCR

Pimp your TV: Goggle box gadgets and gizmos

FEATURE The TV has been the centre of most living rooms for over half a century now, and it's been through various incarnations. Disguised as a sideboard, proudly displayed as a piece of shining high tech, and now slimmed down to look almost like a piece of art. Early 1970s Dynatron Sandringham TV and Philips N1500 VCR There's more …
Nigel Whitfield, 17 Oct 2015
Myo armband waving

Meaningful gesture: Thalmic Labs Myo motion sensing armband

Review For years, the way we interact with computers hasn't much changed. Keyboards and mice have been the mainstay of computing for decades. Of course, there have been experiments, like clunky VR gloves, and more successful gizmos like Kinect. Leap Motion, for example, tried to bring gesture control to your PC in 2013, where it …
Nigel Whitfield, 12 Oct 2015
No junk mail. Pic: gajman, Flickr

The last post: Building your own mail server, Part 3

FEATURE The story so far: Over the last two weeks, I've explained how you can set up a mail server to provide you with POP3 and IMAP services, for your own email, with some basic filtering of inbound connections, and the ability to connect to it and send emails from just about anywhere. This week, it's time to add more serious mail …
Nigel Whitfield, 26 Sep 2015
Groucho Marx in Duck Soup

If you got Netflix for Miss Marple, you're out of luck (and a bit odd)

Breaking Fad It's not every day that I'm torn between the physical and the digital. Usually, I manage to make a firm choice one way or the other, or at least rationalise my equivocation. For instance, when it comes to books, I buy the majority of them electronically now, but there are still authors for whom I'll buy a new title in physical …
Nigel Whitfield, 25 Sep 2015
No junk mail. Pic: gajman, Flickr

The last post: Building your own mail server, part 2

Feature Last week, I explained the reasoning behind setting up your own mailserver, and the choice of software that I'll be using for it. This week, it's time to get hands on and show you how to do it. One word of advice, though: this is my configuration, and there are lots of options for tweaking, not to mention different ways to do it …
Nigel Whitfield, 19 Sep 2015
IBC2015 Entrance

UHD everywhere ... but it's not quite ready to drink, yet

IBC 2015 The annual gathering of the broadcast clans takes place in Amsterdam each September. At this year's International Broadcasting Convention, just as at IFA a week before there was UHD everywhere. But here, the focus is on production and distribution, not watching. While 4K – and the HEVC codec – are undoubtedly everywhere, there …
Nigel Whitfield, 16 Sep 2015
No junk mail. Pic: gajman, Flickr

The last post: Building your own mail server, part 1

Feature Email is one of those internet services that, like it or not, we all have to use. Yet the underlying protocols have been around since before the invention of spam (the electronic sort, of course), and have little in the way of protection. No junk mail. Pic: gajman, Flickr Internet email is far from perfect, but unless you …
Nigel Whitfield, 12 Sep 2015
EBU Satellite Dish at HQ

Euro telly bods say 'non' to spectrum sharing with mobiles

With WRC–15 only a few months away, the battle to protect terrestrial television isn't over yet. Last week the European Broadcasting Union released a fact sheet (PDF) that summarises the key issue – can LTE share spectrum with digital terrestrial television? The brief answer is “No, it can't.” The fact sheet explains some of …
Nigel Whitfield, 02 Sep 2015
Philips G8 range 1971

Scrapheap challenge: How Amazon and Google are dumbing down the gogglebox

Breaking Fad Online video content is becoming increasingly popular, thanks to the likes of iPlayer, Netflix and Amazon. For many of us, those services make it possible to find something to watch whenever we want. With Netflix and Amazon throwing huge amounts of money at their own original productions, it's likely that more and more people …
Nigel Whitfield, 27 Aug 2015
One Nation Under CCTV

Still safe as houses: More CCTV for the masses

Feature Last week, I looked at two home camera systems: Arlo from Netgear and Welcome from Netatmo. To recap, Arlo is pretty much a straightforward cloud-based CCTV system, offering you cameras with motion sensors and notification, together with an app to view things on your phone. Netatmo's Welcome is a stand-alone camera – again …
Nigel Whitfield, 15 Aug 2015
S6 edge and edge+

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+: 4K-positive fun for ... vloggers?!

First Look It's only a few months since Samsung unveiled the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge, its latest attempts to make some money out of Android. They're pretty decent phones, as we concluded in our in-depth review. S6 edge and edge+ It seems barely larger than the S6 Edge (left), but the Edge+ (right) packs in a 5.7 inch screen On Thursday …
Nigel Whitfield, 14 Aug 2015
One Nation Under CCTV

Safe as houses: CCTV for the masses

Feature The technology to keep our homes safe has been remarkably static over the years. Most alarms still rely on the same tried and trusted techniques to work out if there's someone in your home when there shouldn't be. Typically they rely on motion detectors, door and window sensors, or pressure mats. Oh and you can have fancy light …
Nigel Whitfield, 08 Aug 2015
Doctor Who in Listen

Think beyond the Beeb: Gov consultation is crucial for free telly

Breaking Fad Do you like your free-to-air TV? It looks like a reasonable chunk of spectrum will be saved for terrestrial broadcasting at the WRC–15 meeting later this year, but the battle for Freeview is far from over. Doctor Who in Listen Listen up: it's time to have your say on the BBC A couple of months back, the BBC Trust gave the …
Nigel Whitfield, 31 Jul 2015
Acer Revo One RL85 System

Acer Revo One RL85: A pint-sized PC for the snug

Review Acer has produced a number of small form factor systems over recent years, and the Revo One RL85 is the latest incarnation. It's designed very much as a home PC, and comes in an upright enclosure that's about two thirds the size of a shoebox – 106.6mm square and 155mm tall – but still manages to pack a fair bit inside. Not the …
Nigel Whitfield, 24 Jul 2015
Meta35 film camera accessory

Roll up, roll up, for the Meta35: The hybrid snapper's data dumpster

Review For many people, digital photography is a no-brainer. You can shoot as much as you like, there's no need to worry about running out of film, and you don't need to carry a notebook with you to record all the details of every shot. At the very least, your digital camera will record exposure details such as shutter speed and …
Nigel Whitfield, 19 Jul 2015
Kobo Glo HD and Amazon Kindle Paperwhite

Kobo Glo HD vs Amazon Kindle Paperwhite: Which one's best?

Review Over the last few years, the market for e-readers and books has managed to both consolidate and grow. Many more people have an e-reading device, or use tablets to read, while at the same time the number of players has shrunk. Kobo Glo HD and Amazon Kindle Paperwhite Bought to book: Kobo Glo HD (left) and Amazon Kindle …
Nigel Whitfield, 04 Jul 2015
Kobo Glo HD

Q: What's black and white and read all over? A: E-reader displays

Feature Reading on screen can be something of a chore. As computers have become smaller and more pocketable, so it's become more possible to carry around a device that not only has a reasonable quality display, but weighs little enough to be considered a replacement for a book. Kobo Glo HD Get Carta: Kobo's Glo HD has the latest e- …
Nigel Whitfield, 28 Jun 2015
View-Master vintage advertisement

Humongous headsets and virtual insanity

Breaking Fad I recently visited the David Attenborough First Life virtual reality exhibit at the Natural History Museum in London, and as I wrote at the time, it's very impressive. It's an astonishing way of bringing things to life, and well worth checking it out if you happen to be in London between now and the 24 September. This sort of …
Nigel Whitfield, 26 Jun 2015
Attenborough's First Life - Still image

Virtual reality below the prehistoric waves: David Attenborough's First Life

Review One way or another, Sir David Attenborough has been involved in the adoption of many key consumer technologies of recent decades, from the introduction of colour programming as BBC 2 controller, through landmark TV series such as Life on Earth, to the stunning HD of Planet Earth – and 3D nature programming for Sky. It's perhaps …
Nigel Whitfield, 20 Jun 2015
Dell Venue 8 7840 Android tablet

RealSense possibilities: Dell Venue 8 7000 8.4in Android tablet

Review These days, it seems like the world and his civil partner has a tablet to offer you, whether it's a bargain basement offering like the Tesco Hudl 2 or something more media-centric, like the Amazon Fire HDX 8. One of the sweet spots for tablet pricing seems to be around the £300–350 range, where you'll expect to get a decent- …
Nigel Whitfield, 10 Jun 2015
Crossness Beam Engine

Taming the Thames – The place that plugged London's Great Stink

Geek's Guide to Britain At various times in the history of the UK, there’s been a massive stink at Westminster, accompanied by demands that “something must be done”. We’ll be stumbling through the demands for PR after this year’s election for a while yet, but spare a thought for the politicians of 1858 who had to endure The Great Stink. With a river …
Nigel Whitfield, 30 May 2015
RelaxAcizor ad from 1968

Wearable fitness tech: Exercising your self-motivation skills

Breaking Fad Fitness trackers, sleep trackers and more are all the rage these days. How many of you have a Fitbit, Jawbone, or other device that’s intended to either incentivise or depress you by reminding you of how far you’ve walked, or how long you’ve been sat down? Apple’s Watch will even remind you to stand up from time to time, as long …
Nigel Whitfield, 29 May 2015
William Davies, The Happiness Industry: How the Government and Big Business Sold Us Well-Being

The Happiness Industry, Seveneves and Confessions of a Tinderella

Page File El Reg bookworm Mark Diston is joined by Vulture South's own Simon Sharwood and Vulture Central's Nigel Whitfield to pore through the latest from the publishing world. William Davies examines the current political and corporate obsession with wellbeing. Neal Stephenson's latest sci-fi tome adds a satirical spin to saving the …
Bubblecar Bond MkD

Messerschmitts, Sinclairs and a '50s living room: The Bubblecar Museum

Review Sir Alec Issigonis' Mini may, perhaps, be the most famous of British small cars, and the Fiat 500 one of the most well known continental ones, but before either of those appeared, came plenty of other tiny vehicles, aimed at providing transport on a budget to people across Europe. With engines as small as 122cc, often only three …
Nigel Whitfield, 16 May 2015