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Comment I wonder if apple have ever heard of SWR (Score 2, Informative) 534

Standing Wave Ratio is a measure of how much of the signal that you trying to fire out of an antenna is being reflected back.
A low SWR is an indication that most of your transmitting power is actually being delivered to your antenna.
I find it so hard to believe that anyone would have designed a hand held radio that lets the antenna come in contact with the human that's holding it.
Its bad enough to have capacitive coupling (Where the plastic casing is thin enough to allow the signal to be transfered to the user).
If you think about it most hand held radios (walky-talkies) have their antenna's in the end of a stick. Its only as phones have become small that this stick has become small too and as such produces concentrated RF emissions right next to your head. As a result manufacturers mostly place the gsm antenna at the bottom of the phone.

Most antennas have a hot end (usually the tip) its high voltage low current and a cold end (usually the base) low voltage high current.

Is it purely down to detuning or just a plane short circuit?

I've seen demo's on youtube that show an actual call being dropped, no amount of s-meter recalibration is going to fix that.

It would be interesting to see if the part of the side antenna that is (so say) shorting is the hot end or the cold end. If its the hot end then the problem may well be caused by the bluetooth or wifi radio actually swamping the gsm radio receiver. This could be fixed in software by detecting that the phone is being held (somehow) and turning off the wifi or bluetooth whilst in a call. This could be made to come into play only in a poor signal area.
(sorry to those of you in the know. Being a HTC user I'm not sure which side the wifi / bluetooth is on)

If its the cold end that is shorting then the best answer is a bumper. I'm sure it won't take long for these to be appearing very cheaply in ebay.

Comment Its all bogas anyway (Score 1) 325

As a UK resident and IT specialist I've seen the this silly browser ballot thing rather allot.
I've found that it just confuses users.
Its a great way to install other browsers, but it doesn't uninstall IE if you choose a different one.
Whats really stupid is the way that if you choose IE from the list it tries to download and install IE even if its already on your system.
I just tell folks who are happy with IE to delete it. If most people are doing this it would account for the low IE results.

Apple Orders 10 Million Tablets? 221

Arvisp writes "According to a blog post by former Google China president Kai-Fu Lee, Apple plans to produce nearly 10 million tablets in the still-unannounced product's first year. If Lee's blog post is to be believed, Apple plans to sell nearly twice as many tablets as it did iPhones in the product's first year."
PlayStation (Games)

US Air Force Buying Another 2,200 PS3s 144

bleedingpegasus sends word that the US Air Force will be grabbing up 2,200 new PlayStation 3 consoles for research into supercomputing. They already have a cluster made from 336 of the old-style (non-Slim) consoles, which they've used for a variety of purposes, including "processing multiple radar images into higher resolution composite images (known as synthetic aperture radar image formation), high-def video processing, and 'neuromorphic computing.'" According to the Justification Review Document (DOC), "Once the hardware configuration is implemented, software code will be developed in-house for cluster implementation utilizing a Linux-based operating software."
Games

How APB's Persistent World Will Work 33

Edge Magazine recently sat down with David Jones, creative director for Realtime Worlds, the studio behind upcoming action MMO APB. He spends some time talking about their thinking behind the game, and he also gets into how their persistent online worlds will work. Quoting: "... you absolutely want 'moments' in the game. Even if it's just for thirty minutes, you want people to become celebrities — OJ Simpson on TV with the police chasing after him: you want those kind of moments in the game. We can't create them, so it's about what mission can ultimately lead to those kinds of experiences. We have what we call heat mechanics in the game, so if a criminal has just been on a complete rampage, recklessly blowing stuff up and killing people, heat builds up until eventually we unlock him to every single enforcer on the server. It's not part of their missions, it's just that this guy has become number one wanted and everyone has the authority to take him down. That's a fun mechanic from both sides; everybody who's a criminal is going to want to reach that and if you're on a mission for the enforcers you'll see that guy and wonder whether you should break away to get him. You get a lot of compound stuff which we never planned for, because it's a hundred real players interacting in ways we don't expect."
Patents

Touchpad Patent Holder Tsera Sues Just About Everyone 168

eldavojohn writes "Okay, well, maybe not everyone but more than twenty companies (including Apple, Qualcomm, Motorola and Microsoft) are being sued for a generic patent that reads: 'Apparatus and methods for controlling a portable electronic device, such as an MP3 player; portable radio, voice recorder, or portable CD player are disclosed. A touchpad is mounted on the housing of the device, and a user enters commands by tracing patterns with his finger on a surface of the touchpad. No immediate visual feedback is provided as a command pattern is traced, and the user does not need to view the device to enter commands.' Sounds like their may be a few companies using that technology. The suit was filed on July 15th in the favoritest place ever to file patent claim lawsuits: Texas Eastern District Court. It's a pretty classic patent troll; they've been holding this patent since 2003 and they just noticed now that everyone and his dog are using touchpads to control portable electronic devices."
Windows

Submission + - Windows 7 faceoff with Vista (pcauthority.com.au)

gollygee writes: "I thought it time for someone to faceoff Windows 7 agains Vista, offering the good, the bad, and the ugly of both systems; after all, not everyone may like Windows 7, and one is supposed to have Vista installed to get Windows 7 (damn, I have XP)! Not everyone is savvy with platforms and rely on such as PC Authority to inform them of the benefits, costs, as well as if they can instal them or not if they have a certain platform; so, why has this not been done may I ask? I for one have XP on my machine, and if Windows 7 only upgrades from Vista, that would mean that I would have to go out and buy Vista, load that, and then for heavens sake, go out again and buy Windows 7; not on in my books! So, how about it, can you, will you, are you going to advise your readers?"
Graphics

Submission + - ATI 9.3 drivers are released :)

Oryn writes: Looks like The ATI Catalist 9.3 drivers are released http://support.amd.com/us/gpudownload/Pages/index.aspx Though rumors suggested that owners of cards less than 2xxx would not be supported I see support for X18xx and X19xx cards. Looks like they have finaly added support for opengl inside compositing managers such as kde4 and compiz
NASA

Submission + - Take out asteroid soon, UN urged

stevedmc writes: http://www.news.com.au/story/0,23599,21247126-2,00 .html

THE United Nations has been urged to launch a space mission designed to take out an asteroid threatening to smash into the Earth in 2036.

In scenes straight out of Hollywood action movie Armageddon, a group of astronauts, engineers and scientists say they are monitoring an asteroid named Apophis, which has a one in 45,000 chance of striking Earth on April 13, 2036.

A recent congressional mandate for NASA to upgrade its tracking of near-Earth asteroids is expected to uncover a host of threatening space rocks in the near future, former astronaut Rusty Schweickart said.

"It's not just Apophis we're looking at. Every country is at risk. We need a set of general principles to deal with this issue," Mr Schweickart, a member of the Apollo 9 crew that orbited the moon in March 1969, told an American Association for the Advancement of Science conference.

Mr Schweickart plans to present an update this week to the UN Committee on Peaceful Uses of Outer Space on plans to develop a blueprint for a global response to an asteroid threat.

The Association of Space Explorers, a group of former astronauts and cosmonauts, intends to host a series of high-level workshops this year to flesh out the plan and will make a formal proposal to the UN in 2009, he said.

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