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Comment: Re:Old tech (Score 1) 81

by Gobelet (#47637461) Attached to: Add a TV Tuner To Your Xbox (In Europe)

In Germany (and probably other countries) maybe. In France, none of the OTA channels are free-to-air on DVB-S.

The OTA channels ARE on satellite, they just need a cheap, no subscription CAM to unscramble them. I believe it is to block reception by other countries than France. You can probably just get the CAM in France though, there is no check or subscription; just a €39 box to hook up.

Comment: Re:Broadcast standards in Europe (Score 1) 81

by Gobelet (#47637433) Attached to: Add a TV Tuner To Your Xbox (In Europe)

With my cable provider, Numericable (and I believe they are the only one in France nowadays), the only channels I get unscrambled are the free over-the-air channels. And they are sent as DVB-T/COFDM over the wire, as the must-carry law requires.

So DVB-C would not be too useful there, except if I want to watch that promo trailer channel they have which is unscrambled. Unless Microsoft has planned for it and allows adding a CAM card for my particular provider!

Comment: Re:This might just be bad news. (Score 1) 111

by Gobelet (#47580791) Attached to: French Provider Free Could Buy US Branch of T-Mobile

Free does offer LTE, actually. Their speed is among the highest among all carriers - at least on speed tests, but you would have to find one of their antennas, they are very sparse. My point still holds: Free cannot deploy their LTE network any faster due to their lack of investment power. They DID snatch 11% of the marketshare but it is also dwindling, since pretty much all French mobile plans are no contract, now. I jumped through all 4 carriers myself, porting my number on each of them. Free cannot hold a candle to Orange or even Bouygues (who used to be the underdog, but their network is top-notch now. The best two are Orange and Bouygues).

SFR is deploying their LTE network at a snail-like pace, because their pockets are empty. Bouygues kind of had to if they wanted to still be relevant on the market. Look where it brought them - to near-bankruptcy.

Plus I don't really understand Iliad's strategy. Buying Monaco Telecom, and now T-Mo USA?

Comment: This might just be bad news. (Score 2) 111

by Gobelet (#47580223) Attached to: French Provider Free Could Buy US Branch of T-Mobile

French here. Iliad's strategy might be good in the short term for consumers, but in the long run, this might just have catastrophic consequences. Let me explain.

They have the same strategy as Easyjet when they entered the air travel market - low prices and agressive marketing. Indeed, people sometimes didn't need all the "options" other airlines made them get, like assigned seats, meals. It makes sense on short trips : Nice-Geneva is a 45 minute flight, and you sure don't need food, beverages, or a specific seat on the plane for short-haul flights.

This worked well, too - many local airlines crashed and burn when they couldn't compete with their prices. The perverse effect, now, is that Easyjet is the only option for many routes, and they hiked up the prices when they didn't have anybody left as concurrence.

The telecom market in France is currently tanking - you need a license to operate on GSM airwaves. The government opened up for a fourth carrier, Free took the shot and announced their aggressive pricing. The others had to follow suit, and that was before deploying 4G, a huge infrastructure cost for carriers. They signed a roaming deal with Orange in order to provide service everywhere, but terms were not really well set, and Orange's network was sometimes overloaded by Free's subscribers.

Now all the carriers in France offer the same deal as Free. Sure, the customer is happy with that, but carriers now have less and less cash to improve infrastructure, and it has desastrous effect on quality of service. Recently SFR, once the second biggest carrier, got sold to a Dutch company. Bouygues Telecom, the third biggest carrier, is for sale. Free is breathing in their neck, offering to buy it for less than what it's worth. Orange offered to buy them but withdrew their offer.

SFR's network is dwindling fast, Bouygues no longer has the economic power to improve, Orange is still afloat because it's the spin-off of France Telecom, the old public phone company, and Free is still there, working on their network at the slowest pace ever because they don't have the cash to build up,

Everyone is slowly crashing. As soon as Bouygues is out of the picture and SFR will no longer be competitive, Free will be able to hike the prices, just like they did on their ADSL offer.

Low prices is not always good for the customer.

Comment: Re:Triple Play? (Score 1) 195

by Gobelet (#40730943) Attached to: If You Lived In Riga, You Wouldn't Bother To Cut the Cord
You might want to add for the US readership that those 60 minutes you have on your mobile plan are outgoing; incoming calls and texts are free. I just subcscribed to Bouygues' "Bbox Sensation Fibre": 37.90 EUR/month for a FTTLA bundle with TV, unlimited international & mobile phone, 30 (effective in my case) Mbps down and 1 Mbps up. I have catch-up TV, a media center with USB and SD inputs, DVR, modem, Wi-Fi router and video games all in one box. It's not the cheapest but I didn't have a landline (and no will to get one), and cable works beautifully where I live.
Science

Making Saltwater Drinkable With Graphene 303

Posted by samzenpus
from the water-water-everywhere dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Graphene once again proves that it is quite possibly the most miraculous material known to man, this time by making saltwater drinkable. The process was developed by a group of MIT researchers who realized that graphene allowed for the creation of an incredibly precise sieve. Basically, the regular atomic structure of graphene means that you can create holes of any size, for example the size of a single molecule of water. Using this process scientist can desalinate saltwater 1,000 times faster than the Reverse Osmosis technique."

Comment: Re:Good news for AAPL investors (Score 2) 310

by Gobelet (#40308509) Attached to: Windows RT Will Cost OEMs Over Twice As Much as Windows 7

since Windows for x86 is apparently cheaper, simply cut a bloody swath through ARM devices and lead Intel to sell a bunch of Atoms...

Especially considering Intel now has their Medfield Atom processor going head-to-head with ARM smartphones. This single-core chip is faster than a lot of dual-core ARM SoCs, if not most, and sips just as much juice.

Intel's Medfield & Atom Z2460 Arrive for Smartphones: It's Finally Here
Lava Xolo X900 Review - The First Intel Medfield Phone - Performance

+ - Shortcuts to a High Tech House

Submitted by phaedrus9779
phaedrus9779 (773475) writes "I'm a recently married man about to take on the next big adventure: home ownership! I came across a great house in a great community but I need a little bit extra: a high tech house. The problem: money, I'm on a budget. I'd love to have home theaters, super high tech weather stations and iPads seamlessly installed in all the walls — but this just isn't possible. So my question to the Slashdot community is: how can I build a high tech house that will be the envy of my friends, provide lots of useful gadgets, and not break the bank?

Also, as always, the cooler the better!"

IF I HAD A MINE SHAFT, I don't think I would just abandon it. There's got to be a better way. -- Jack Handley, The New Mexican, 1988.

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