UK ADSL Slowdown

Copied with permission from Dok's blog

Britain's Broadband internet revolution seems to be grinding to a halt, just a few short years after it began. The vast majority of internet access in the UK is now via broadband, with over half the homes here having access to a 4Mb line or better. Unfortunately it doesn't get much better than that.

Britain's creaking old copper-wire telephone system was never intended to carry such huge amounts of data and is now pretty much at capacity, at 8Mb. There is talk of further exchange upgrades being able to push this up to 16Mb, but that's the limit for copper wire.

Cable providers, such as Virgin and NTL, are able to utilise the far superior fiber-optic cables to provide speeds of up to 25Mb currently, with Virgin looking to introduce 50Mb services by the end of 2009. However, the access to cable is limited, and it's a bit of a lottery as to weather or not you can get access to it.

BT plan on spending £10bn on exchange upgrades and on converting some copper-wire systems to fiber-optic by 2011, giving access to speeds of up to 24Mb, but the area effected is going to be minimal. They say that to convert the whole system to fiber-optic would be so expensive it is literally an impossibility. When you consider that other countries are planning to implement 100Mb lines with huge percentages of coverage in the near future, it's quite easy to see just how far behind we are getting in this new technological race. The implications for UK businesses competing in the global market could be very serious, with Britain becoming the bottleneck of the global communications network and simply being unable to compete in the IT arena.

And more importantly, I want a 100Mb line to play PlanetSide! That would rock 🙂

Whats the date?

I rarely write moaning posts so this could be a first for welshtroll.

calendar.jpgWhat annoys me no end, is that website owners/managers seem to believe news/blog/article entries only exist for 12 months. It's unclear what exactly happens to them at that point in time, maybe they just fade into the background noise or perhaps some form of internet meme appears and devours them.

What ever the answer, the fact remains that all of this items have a time stamp that takes the following characteristics : 24th July 13:45.

Now correct me if I'm wrong but shouldn't there be a year in that date?

I find it highly annoying when i stumble blindly onto a website that has this year-lacking date format. It's not a large change to display a piece of data that is already stored on a database with the rest of the time stamp information, is it?

So when a user visits your website they can instantly see when the information was posted, in turn this give the user chance to judge the information and how relevant is it.

Statistics & Visits

I like statistics; they can prove every helpful finding bugs and errors, but also give some great information about general usage.So signed up to the Google Webmaster tools a few months back, to see how google views my site and to hopefully catch errors that I may have missed.
This proved very helpful on some items, plus it gives some decent information about searches that included your website and the related position of your site in the results.

I've never been the kind that attempts to gain Search engine positions nor do I care about Search Engine Optimisation when building my site or creating content.

So I was more than bewildered, for lack of a better word, when I accessed my websites search related information on Google for the last 7 days.
It appears that the post I made about a Phishing email I had received, was now appearing second on Google searches for the Halifax URL, the first of course being the official website.

Additional searches engine results have redirected visitors to my website for other items related to that same Phishing post.

I suppose that it's a good thing that people are searching information on suspected Phishing emails and I hope that their profile is raised among those people less knowledgeable about the attempts to gain information from internet users.

Bill Bailey

After ordering the tickets what feels like years ago, last night I finally got to see Bill Bailey with Rach, Dok, my sister, my brother and my Mum & Dad.

At least 15 seconds after the introduction voice started speaking, the audience was laughing loudly and it's at that point we knew the laughter wasn't really going to stop and we knew it was going to be a damn fine show.

There where too numerous musical references to mention here, plus I don't want to spoil it for others that plan on seeing the show, but the Peter Gabriel/trouser press moment had me absolutely crying with laughter, along with the Katie Melua – Nine Million Bicycles parody.

The encore comprised of more jokes and the 2 classic Bill songs “love song” and “Das Hokey Kokey”, with Kevin Eldon onstage along with Bill for the later song.

I was very please that the show wasn't just all music, there was quite a bit of stand-up and lots of crowd interaction sprinkled among the melodies.

As is the normal at the CIA in Cardiff, We were crammed in like sardines and it got very hot in the arena area, yet this fact couldn't detract from the greatest that is Bill Bailey.

Browser-woes and Firefox 3 beta

Excuse my lack of updates this week, I have been quite busy creating themes.

I must admit that I haven't had quite as many problems in the past as I'm experencing now with IE6. Only my laptop has IE6 running now which makes for fun testing, yet I managed to get VirtualPC installed and using a hardrive image I have IE6 working on my desktop.

In addtion to having that resource for testing available I've also being using which is a free open-source service that takes screenshots of the website you specify on various browsers on windows/Mac or Linux operating systems. It cant take a little bit of time the screen capture to be returned as each request is placed in a queue.

Here is an example I created for my website as you can see the results are interesting. I think you'll agree for those of use without access to a Mac or Linux operating systems it's interesting to see how a website renders for your non-microsoft visitors.

While on the topic of browsers I'll quickly mention the fact that Firefox version 3 is available for beta testing. I only managed to have a quick try of it last night and from what I've seen it's shaping up nicely.

Here is some of the functionality that you can expect to see : The ability to click the Favicon on the address bar and have infomration relating to the website pop up is a nice feature. That along side the warning for potential hazardous websites via a blacklist or google certainly brings security to the forefront again. 
The MIME system appears to be greatly improved, which wasn't that difficult as previous versions weren't user friendly or intuitive. 

A new feature that is quite far down the list but one of my favourites, is the save password functionality. New functionality aims to offer you the ability to save the username/password once you can see if you have logged on successfully. 

I'm not sure how hopefully starring and tagging URL's will be in the overall big picture, but you never know it could become a common feature.