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Michael Watterson's picture

Android: 2016

When reviewing a phone or tablet, it's important to understand the difference between faults and advantages of OS versions (Android) and the implementation, hardware, firmware, software, customisations, supplied apps etc.


We are abandoning the .ie domain as it's grossly overpriced.

We have migrated to .com

Some images and links may be be broken. We'll gradually fix them
For security reasons anyone that hasn't logged in for a long while has their account locked. Use the "Contact Us" form to get it unlocked if you want to add content.

UK Digital TVs sold in Ireland : Get your money back !

If you find yourself in the situation that you cannot receive digital TV due to your TV not having the correct decoder you could get your money back.

In 2009 [Last year form 3rd Nov 2010] I bought a TV from Aldis under the impression it was an Irish  "digital TV" . I never asked and they never told me it would not work . All I knew was there was  "digital TV" written on the box , the leaflets and even the TV itself.  In April of this year I tried to tune in my tv for digital channels following a conversation at work about digital. The channels appeared with sound, epg but no picture. So I immediately contacted Aldi.  I had bought the TV in 2009 so when I contacted Aldi about the problem it was well over 12 months old.

This is how I got a full refund and luckily I still had my old TV so I didn't have to rush out for a replacement . I now intend to wait a while longer before deciding what TV to get.

1.If the TV was advertised as a "digital TV" then if it does not work in Ireland the retail is in breach of the Sales of good act 1980 for false advertising.

Michael Watterson's picture

Kindle Oasis

Price is $289.99 Basic specifications:

Display 6" Paperwhite display technology with E Ink Carta™ and built-in light,
300 ppi, optimized font technology, 16-level gray scale
Size 5.6" x 4.8" x 0.13-0.33" (143 mm x 122 mm x 3.4-8.5 mm)
Cover: 5.7” x 4.9” x 0.07-0.18” (144 mm x 125 mm x 1.9-4.6 mm)
Weight Wi-Fi: 4.6 oz (131 g); Wi-Fi + 3G: 4.7 oz (133 g); Cover: 3.8 oz (107 g)
Actual size and weight may vary by configuration and manufacturing process

Thus including the cover, which is needed for good battery life:

Display 6" Paperwhite display technology with E Ink Carta™ and built-in light,
300 ppi, optimized font technology, 16-level gray scale
Size inc. cover 5.7" x 4.9" x 0.35" (144 mm x 125 mm x 9 mm)
Weight inc Cover Wi-Fi: 7.2 oz (238 g); Wi-Fi + 3G: 7.6 oz (240 g)
Actual size and weight may vary by configuration and manufacturing process

In comparison, the $119.99 PaperWhite has an IDENTICAL screen, but with fewer LED front lights:

Display 6" Paperwhite display technology with E Ink Carta™ and built-in light,
300 ppi, optimized font technology, 16-level gray scale
Size 6.7" x 4.6" x 0.36" (169 mm x 117 mm x 9.1 mm)
Weight Wi-Fi: 7.2 oz (205 g); Wi-Fi + 3G: 7.6 oz (217 g)
Actual size and weight may vary by configuration and manufacturing process

PaperWhite lacks the two handy page turn buttons, but without the
cover, the Oasis is much shorter battery life. So basically the Oasis
including cover is wider, thicker, heavier, about 2cm /  3/4" shorter.

Battery life might be 1/2 or 1/4 without cover.

$170 extra for less than $1 of buttons that should have been on Touch
and PaperWhite.  Identical screen apart from extra LEDs, even the LEDs
on the PaperWhite are only needed by candle light!

Michael Watterson's picture

Replacing Skype

Microsoft already converted Skype Data Centre based by migration of the Super Nodes. So now MS (or NSA) can snoop on everything. The process of Skype< becoming more buggy since the Vista version (before MS purchase) has continued with newer versions of Skype Client using 100% CPU on Windows 7 on fairly new computers!

Since June 2014 though, MS has been blocking the log in of more and more users still running older (often better such as 3.8) Skype Clients. Gadgets and TVs with manufacturer preloaded Skype can't be updated. They are doing this to move to a new prototcol, probably part of integration to Sharepoint. MS Messenger is also getting killed off. Read now about an alternative<. (Updated 30th August 2014)

Retiring of old versions:
On June 20, 2014, Microsoft announced plans to retire Skype for Windows Desktop running version 6.13 or below,
the move was completed on August 8, 2014 and all users running Skype
6.13 or earlier were signed out of Skype and could not sign back in.

Michael Watterson's picture

Licence Revenue from mobile to destroy TV services?

Already the "digital dividend" was nothing about TV, but LIMITING future TV services by a sell off of 790 MHz to 862MHz part of TV band to Mobile.


The EBU today expressed serious concern at a Swedish government decision to reallocate the 700 MHz spectrum band to "other forms of use" from 2017, since such a fast switchover will jeopardize the integrity of television services in Sweden.


Michael Watterson's picture

Ireland Offline Mapping

Today (March 2014) Ireland Offline has launched a new Map.

We are announcing a beta version of our new map much like the old map but very much different underneath, the main reason for the change is mostly for structural and maintainability reasons.<

There are a number of new features:
VDSL Cabinets

Find your town
find your phone number
A new demographics section
Constituencies (find your TD)
Urban areas
NBS Areas

The beta only works with modern browsers (IE9+)

Please give it a test drive and let us know what you think or if you have any ideas, thoughts,suggestions or indeed facilities you'd like to see in such a map.

And as ever if you spot any bugs do please let us know so we can fix them up.

Michael Watterson's picture

Roku and the TV that isn't.

Now you can get a Roku HDMI "stick".  It ships in April in the US for $49, $59.99 in Canada and £49.99 in the U.K. and in the Republic of Ireland. Much more functionality  than the Google Chromecast.

Michael Watterson's picture

BBC Three is to be dropped from TV

BBC Three is to be dropped from TV schedules and will move online, as part of the BBC's cost-cutting plans.

Michael Watterson's picture

Tandy/Radio Shack to close 1,100 shops.

US electronics retailer Radio Shack has said it plans to close 1,100
stores - nearly 20% of its total - in an attempt to turn around its

Michael Watterson's picture

Hosting: March 2014

We are now on new hosting and while there a few teething problems the change in performance to log on and edit content is dramatic.

Moved from Digiweb to (maybe 3rd largest hosting company with servers in Germany, UK and USA).

Michael Watterson's picture

Happy New Year 2014 and changes

We have had disastrous hosting in 2013. Hopefully this will be sorted soon and we will have a major revamp.

Give a 21st Century Gift this Christmas

For just €15, you can sponsor a computer with Camara to be sent to a school in Africa and have fun tracking its journey there.

Michael Watterson's picture

Analogue TV is gone

Late on 23rd October 2012 the last UK region, N.I. switched off Analogue BBC1 NI, UTV, C4 and C5. BBC2 had previously turned off.

About 10am 24th October 2012 the Irish Analogue TV was turned off (RTE1, RTE2, TV3 and TG4)


More on our sister site

Michael Watterson's picture

ASO Analogue Switch Off of TV


Analogue BBC Two was permanently switched off in the early hours of Wednesday 10 October. Freeview digital channels, including BBC Two, are available for the first time to thousands of viewers served by local relay transmitters.

Some relay sites in NI have never had Channel Five Analogue or Digital Terrestrial TV. Many people in Ireland on East Coast and South of Border are now getting Freeview for the first time or a more reliable signal. The BBC A mux. is now at full power from Divis & Brougher Mountain. This is particularly a big boost for Brougher Mountain reception.

(Pictured left is disused aerial Array on Keeper Hill, Tipperary used
to be used to pick up Brougher Mountain UK analogue TV from NI for
relay on MMDS and Cable in Limerick).