Broadband Speeds Over Cable and Telephone Lines

Posted by danblog on May 28, 2012 in Sponsored Posts |

The internet is now ubiquitous and for those lucky enough to have access to cable services the cheap cable and internet packages that are available on the market today mean that most people can easily afford fast broadband along with their favourite television channels. Of course there are still large numbers of people who can’t access cable and although their numbers are declining, it could be many years before cable is available to the whole population of the UK.

Fortunately for the majority of them, recent innovations in ADSL mean that, although they are unable to enjoy the superfast broadband services that are available on cable, they can still receive reasonably fast broadband. If you compare broadband speeds that are available on cable with those that are available over standard telephone lines, some of the lower priced cable broadband packages offer the same sort of speeds as the higher end ADSL packages.  Typically cable broadband speeds start at around 30 Mbps (megabits per second) and the higher end ADSL speeds can be up to 25 Mbps.

However, for those looking for the higher end cable broadband packages, speeds of up to 100 Mbps are currently available and speeds up to 200 Mbps will be rolled out in the not too distant future. This is well above the maximum currently available over ADSL, but new innovations in that field could mean that in the future it may not be left quite so far behind as it is today.

The problem in supplying fast broadband over telephone lines relates to the amount of interference that occurs between telephone lines. The higher the frequency that is used to transmit the signal, the greater is the interference. The current ADSL technology is ADSL2+, and its broadband speed limit is around 25 Mbps, but there is a more advanced technology called VHDSL, which stands for Very-high-bit-rate digital subscriber line. In its second generation VHDSL2, this technology is capable of broadband speeds of 100 Mbps, roughly the same as cable. However the maximum distance over which the data can be transmitted at this speed is 300 meters, though already 40 Mbps VDSL services are being made available in certain areas. The technology is mostly used in conjunction for cable. Cable provides broadband to terminals and VHSDL2 provides the final link between the terminal and the user; this is called the final mile.

The latest development in VHDSL2 is called vectoring and is essentially a noise cancellation technique. It is still fairly experimental but it can potentially achieve 100 Mbps and maybe even faster speeds; already 300 Mbps has been demonstrated over short distances.

It will always be expensive and commercially uneconomic to supply users in the more rural locations with cable; however this does not mean that a two speed internet economy is inevitable. Telephone lines are already in place and technologies are being developed that can boost data speeds far beyond those that are available currently. Perhaps in the future rural dwellers will be served by a hybrid service which is partially cable and partially copper.


For further information of Virgin Media’s products and services, visit http://www.virginmedia.com.


Can’t install Logwatch on cPanel server

Posted by danblog on May 3, 2012 in How Tos & Tutorials |

I recently ran into an issue installing Logwatch on a cPanel server using yum.

The yum reported that it was unable to install logwatch because required dependency “perl(Date:Manip)” couldn’t install.

Error: Package: logwatch-7.3.6-49.el6.noarch (base)
Requires: perl(Date::Manip)

This is a very simple issue, but one which it seems many people online are having problems with.

cPanel & CPAN like to manage a selection of software, because of this some are excluded in the yum configuration, meaning yum is unable to install them.

In /etc/yum.conf you can simply edit the line using your favourite text editor:

exclude=apache* bind-chroot courier* dovecot* exim* filesystem httpd* mod_ssl* mysql* nsd* perl* php* proftpd* pure-ftpd* ruby* spamassassin* squirrelmail*

And remove “perl*” which is preventing yum from installing the required perl module.

The line should now read:

exclude=apache* bind-chroot courier* dovecot* exim* filesystem httpd* mod_ssl* mysql* nsd* php* proftpd* pure-ftpd* ruby* spamassassin* squirrelmail*

Save the file.

Now you can happily install logwatch using “yum install logwatch” and it will install without a problem.

I would STRONGLY recommend you go back and re-add perl* to the exceptions list after you have installed logwatch to avoid potential issues in the future.

Hope this helps, I’m happy to answer any Q’s in the comments below.


Help! cPanel Login won’t autofil my password!

Posted by danblog on April 13, 2012 in How Tos & Tutorials |

So for most people cPanel updated to 11.32 and there’s now a shiny new login form. Annoyingly cPanel in all their wisdom added autocomplete=”off” so the forms are no longer pre-filled which as someone who runs a numerous web servers running cPanel and has to login to them 20 times a day this is a BIG pain in the ass.

Thankfully there is a very simple solution, and it comes in the form of a plugin!


Install the “autocomplete = on” plugin which changes all autocomplete=”off”‘s to on


Dead simple. Problem solved 🙂



Hotmail Conquers Greymail

Posted by danblog on April 2, 2012 in Infographics, Microsoft, Tech Events |

On 22nd March I was lucky enough to be invited along to an exclusive event in London hosted by the Hotmail team to show off some of the cool features of Hotmail.

It’s been a while since I’ve used Hotmail as my mail solution as a site owner I tend to stick exclusively to my own hosted mail solution in combination with Office365, but wow was I impressed. Hotmail has certainly improved since I last used it!

Hotmail have a cool site – www.conquergreymail.co.uk – where you can learn about how you can better tackle greymail, they also have a cool little quiz to see what kind of inbox you have – I’m a piler! 🙂

I was also lucky enough to win 2 Nokia Lumia 800’s thanks to my Twitter followers helping me answer some quiz questions! (One of the phones went to Tim Rogers as he answered all the questions and was a great help!).

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Lynx new Spray App

Posted by danblog on April 1, 2012 in Cool Tech, Humor and funny crap!, Sponsored Posts |

Lynx have just released a very cool new app which enables you to tuirn your smart phone into a lynx spray can! Never again be caught short without your favourite deodorant!

Sponsored Video

Check it out and leave a comment on what you think below!



Do Apps lose out to Mobile Enabled Sites?

Posted by danblog on March 24, 2012 in General stuff |

A report from Nielson, one of the world’s leading market research companies into consumer habits, has found that mobile apps are losing out to mobile enabled websites. Smartphone users are consistently choosing to use their mobile browser rather than a dedicated app for browsing retailers.


The number of internet enabled smartphones is on the increase worldwide. Nielson found that on average 51% of smartphone accessed a retailer’s website either via an app or a mobile enabled website. During the Christmas period in 2011, this rate peaked at 60%. Consumers used their phones to search for the best deals to ensure they were getting a competitive price for a product or to search for discount codes or money-off tokens.


Although apps are popular, only 24% of smartphone users choose them as their preferred means of accessing retailers, compared to 45% for mobile enabled sites. Anecdotal feedback suggests that consumers do not feel apps always return the best search results. For example, one user posted:


“As an experiment, I pulled out my iPad as I wrote this and searched Amazon for Numb3rs Season 1 on DVD. The mobile website returned a list of options with photos and details, one of which was the item I was looking for (Numb3rs The Complete First Season). The app pushed me to choose from a text drop down. I chose Season One and the only thing I was given was a streaming episode I could download for £1.99.”


The Nielson survey was carried out in the USA, however, similar results have been replicated in the UK. The UK saw a 163% increase in online retailer stores being accessed by smartphones during 2011. The research agency ComScore discovered that in line with the Nielson study, UK smart phone users preferred mobile enabled websites over apps.


The vice president of ComScore Jeremy Copp concurred with the USA study, agreeing that the increased use of smartphones has altered the way consumers browse and purchase online:


“This trend represents both an opportunity and a threat for retailers. While mobile access offers retailers incremental occasions to engage with customers, it also provides customers the ability to easily compare prices at competing retailers while inside a particular retailer’s store. Retailers must get a firm handle on mobile shopping behaviour if they are to effectively navigate this changing environment.”


For marketing managers, there is increasing importance on ensuring that websites are optimized for smartphone use. Consumers want to navigate around the site on their smartphone with ease and find the products they are looking for quickly. This increased focus on mobile shopping behavior has led to several big-name retailers making renewed searches for the best employees to fill vacancies for their web design jobs.

Recruitment websites in the UK have also found similar patterns of smartphone browsing of retail sites. Retail Choice, a website dedicated to IT recruitment, finance and procurement roles for retailers, saw a 54% increase in the number of visits from mobiles last year. Neil Brodie, commercial director of RetailChoice.com said: “It’s not about where we are, it’s where we are going. Job seekers are changing their behavior and expect websites, including jobs boards to be fully mobile compatible and easy to navigate on their handheld device.”

“Whilst many organisations are developing apps to support their recruitment strategies, we believe that jobseekers would rather be able to access a mobile optimised jobs board directly through their device rather than having to go through the additional step of signing up, downloading and updating an application.”

Image Source: http://www.morpurgo.nl/weblog/archives/archive_2010-m09.php




The iPad 3

Posted by danblog on March 23, 2012 in General stuff |

John Lewis have posed a few interesting questions to me to address regarding the iPad 3 which I thought may prove interesting for my readers too.

Why do you think the iPad has become an everyday essential?

The iPad bridges the gap between 2 key devices which many use everyday – their mobiles & laptops – and provides a great device which can be even more portable than a laptop with a much larger screen than a phone for things like gaming and videos as well as general web surfing.

The iPad has also shown a huge amount of potential in the education market for learning, particularly among young children due to the interactive nature of touch screen devices as a learning tool.

Which sources of iPad rumours have you found to be most accurate?

As a techie I’ve heard a lot of people taking about the new iPad 3 release, particularly on social networking sites like Twitter which is often a handy tool for monitoring the rumour mill in real-time – It’s always worth doing a search on things like this to throw up some great links to rumours and tips! (and of course follow me @dansgalaxy)

What noteworthy changes are there in the new iPad 3 release?

There are some key differences between the iPad 2 and iPad 3, one of the first things you’ll notice when comparing the devices is double the screen resolution which should significantly improve the experience for HD video.

Thankfully apple have also improved the connectivity with 4G capabilities enabling those with 4G data can easily stream HD video on the go.

What are you most looking forward to trying out?

I’ve yet to own an iPad, or any other slate for that matter and I’d love to get my hands on it as it will provide a great tool for interacting and browsing on the go without the limitations of a small phone screen or a slightly luggish laptop, a nice light weight, large screen device is ideal in many situations.

What functionality would be on your future wish list for the iPad?

While the iPad 3 looks like a fantastic device one of the things it is lacking in comparison with Windows 8 slates which will be coming out are things like USB ports which would make it easier to move files on and off the device on the go.

Questions posed by www.johnlewis.com, who stock the iPad and offer packages such as the new iPad with Wi-Fi. This post signifies entrance into an exclusive blogger prize draw. 

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Oldest Troll? – Trolling since 1887

Posted by danblog on February 29, 2012 in Humor and funny crap! |

A friend told me about this today and found it amusing, is this the oldest Troll?


Stop Skype Hi-jacking callto:// links on your website

Posted by danblog on February 22, 2012 in How Tos & Tutorials |

Skype by default installs plugins to users browsers which can often be a right pain in the arse for web developers, as they will usually disrupt the design and can cause some beautifully designed pages look horrible.

Thankfully there is an easy way to disable skype from hijacking callto:// links on your website.

Simply add the following to your head:

This should stop Skype hi-jacking call links on your pages!

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Top 5 Reasons to get a SIM Free Phone

Posted by danblog on February 16, 2012 in Top Ten... |

SIM Phones are growing ever more popular, particularly with tech-minded geeks who are always on the look out for a better deal, more minutes, and the freedom to change their phone & plan without hesitation. He’s my top 5 reasons why you should choose a SIM free phone.

1. Provider Flexibility – SIM free mobile phones gives you complete flexibility as you are not bound to a particular network provider, don’t need to deal with long restrictive contracts and provide total control and freedom to switch providers without needing to buy a new phone.

2. Cheaper in the Long run – SIM Free phones are generally slightly more expensive to buy than handsets which are locked to a specific network. This is because they don’t benefit from the networks subsidising the cost, however it’s now easier than ever to pick up cheap SIM free phones and in the long-term it’s usually possible to easily save this small additional cost over the period of the phones life because you can always be on the cheapest PAYG or SIM-only tariff regardless of network.

3. Higher resell value – We want to have the latest and greatest, and a strong 2nd hand phone market continues to grow in the UK with companies such as CEX.co.uk making it easier than ever before. It’s important to consider what resell value your phone will have when this time comes, a great benefit of unlocked (sim free) phones is the noticeably higher resell value. This is because it’s available to a much wider potential market meaning you can happily sell your phone to anyone regardless of if they already have a contract or preferred network. This higher resell value will help you save ££ overall as you can recover a sizable portion of the initial phone cost at the end of use.

4. Using your phone abroad – For many who travel regularly a separate phone and/or SIM for the local country has become a necessity in combating extortionate roaming & call charges, with a SIM free phone you will have no problem in simply swapping your SIMs and away you go – no need to buy another handset & not use the phone you know and love just because you’re abroad!

5. Unbranded – Often the biggest annoyance with any new phone is discovering that the network provider has lovingly filled it with crap. Lots of network specific apps, ring tones and themes cluttering up your virtual life on the go. This is one of the great things about SIM Free handsets and one which I particularly enjoyed with my Nokia Lumia 800 I could just pick up and go without having to delete / hide / remove 10 pointless apps I’ll never use!

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