Tag Archives: Internet

Q2 Internet radio

The article will provide a reader with information on Q2 internet radio. It is easy to use and sound quality’s pretty good, but it’s an expensive internet radio.

Q2 Internet Radio is one of the most refreshingly different and interesting internet radios that has ever been seen. Beyond its cool cube design (available in five colours), this radio is the only model we’ve ever seen not to have a single button on it, bar a power switch on the rear.

The Q2 Internet Radio is designed to be used entirely with its accelerometer. A user can tip it back to turn up volume, forwards to turn volume down and place it speaker down to mute it and put it in standby mode. It can be programmed with a users four favourite stations or podcasts, and a user can simply place the Q2 on the correct side to get the assigned station. Each side is marked with lines from one to four, so it’s easy to see which preset a user is using.

Programming the radio is simple. All a user has to do is download the software from the Q2 website and plug the radio in via USB. The software’s first tab lets a user drag and drop radio stations or podcasts into the four available preset slots. A user can search for radio stations or browse by country or genre, where genres are further divided into country to make finding the one  that a user wants.

Next, a user can click the Networks tab where a user can select up to five wireless networks to use, stored in order of preference. If the network that a user is using is connecting to is protected then a user will be asked for the password when a user selects it. Please note that a user can’t use a wireless network that requires authentication through a hotspot, such as in a hotel or other hotspot.

In order to get  Q2 working a user has to change his/her router’s wireless channel to one in the US range of 1 to 11, although a firmware update coming soon should fix this. The only minor problem is that a user can’t manually add networks, so if a user has turned off SSID broadcast on the router then a user will need to turn it back on in order to see and connect to the network. Finally, a user can use the Settings tab to select an initial listening volume, update firmware and undo recent changes.

Once configured the radio connects to the network: a red light flashes to show it’s trying to connect and turns green when it connects before turning off. The radio then starts playing on the station that a user has selected. Audio quality is very good and the Q2 Internet Radio produces a balanced mix sound. The sound is clear and detailed. While there’s not much bass, neither are the speakers too tinny. The hiss and fizz of internet radio is dealt with well; however, sound quality is dependent on the quality of the stream: the best stations gives the user 128Kbit/s streaming, which is around FM stereo quality; talk radio stations typically gives a user 32Kbit/s, which is fine for voice but music sounds a bit robotic. Volume is loud enough to fill a big room, and it’s good to see that there’s no distortion even at maximum.

Internet Set for Language Revolution

The internet is all set for the onset of what is seen by many to be the “biggest change” since its invention 40 years ago, according to regulator Icann.

Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (Icann) announced that coming to the conclusion of plans to allow non-Latin characters to be used in website addresses as Internationalised Domain Names (IDNs).

Initially accepted in 2008 , the change will see domain names written in Arabic and other Asian scripts.

The regulatory body revealed that applications would begin to be considered for approval by 16th of November if granted for approval on 30 October.

The president of Icann, Rod Beckstrom, believes that the first IDNs could be in use by “mid 2010.”

Beckstrom continued, “Of the 1.6 billion internet users today worldwide, more than half use languages that have scripts that are not Latin-based.”

“So this change is very much necessary for not only half the world’s internet users today but more than half, probably, of the future users as the internet continues to spread.”

According to Peter Dengate Thrush, chairman of the board which has been set the duty of reviewing the change, IDN plans were approved in June 2008 but the system has been undergoing rigorous testing for much longer.

Dengate Thrush is pleased with the developments, stating that “you have to appreciate what a fantastically complicated technical feature this is.”

“What we have created is a different translation system.”

The alterations will be applied to the internet’s Domain Name System, which works in a similar way to a phone book, translating web domains names such as google.com into a series of numbers, more commonly known as IP addresses.

The modifications are due to allow this current system to understand and translate non-Latin characters.

Dengate Thrush added, “we are confident that it works because we have been testing it for a couple of years.”

“We’re really ready to start rolling it out.”

In China and Thailand, internet users can already access websites using their own language, as the website owners have used special work around techniques. However, these website addresses don’t work on all computers and are not internationally approved.

The meeting will take place in South Korea and include talks on the introduction of generic Top Level Domains (TLDs), such as .uk or .com.

The organisation allowed a relaxation on the rules regarding TLDs last year so that businesses could use their brand as a website address and individuals could use their names.

The US government founded Icann in 1998 in a big to control regulations on the internet, but has undergone years of criticism, leading to the relaxing of its control over the non-profit body.

Autonomy was provided to Icann when the US government signed an agreement on 1 October.

P2P file sharing to be targeted by new Government body – time to stop content piracy?

The government are planning on bringing out a new organisation that will be in place to tackle the on-going Internet piracy issues that have been disregarding the copyright laws for years.  The new organisation will be called the Rights Agency and will be aimed at those Internet users who use peer-to-peer networks to illegally download copyright content, such as movies, games and music.

The move comes after an attempt was made to voluntarily bring together the ISPs and those holding the rights to the content with a solution to suit each party.  However, this attempt was deemed a failure and so the Government has decided to take the matter into their own hands.

Along with the introduction of the new body, the Government will also be bringing in new codes of practice which will be coordinated with the Ofcom regulating organisation.

If the plans, drafted by Lord Carter, the UK communications minister, do come into effect, the effect will be that the ISPs  will be forced to regulate the use of illegal downloading and sharing by taking a deeper look at the activities and behaviours of their users.

However, ISPs are clearly not thrilled about the possibility of having to bear down on their customers, more than likely spending countless pounds in the process, with the possibility of alienating innocent users.

Orange have spoken out about how they do not feel as though it should be their responsibility to take action for such matters, saying that Orange as an Internet provider “does not accept that it has any existing legal obligation … to assist in the enforcement of private legal rights.”

“A fundamental flaw in the preferred regulatory option is that it seeks to cut the court – or any other independent review – out of the process and install the ISP as the arbiter of private rights as between the rights holders and users,” continued the spokesperson for Orange regarding the Internet piracy issues.

“Orange fails to see how a proper regulatory regime could even contemplate the imposition of the costs of enforcing private rights on innocent third parties – namely ISPs and consumers – which would be a courageous political move.”

However, the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR) has said that the reaction to the announcement has been very mixed, some for the solution and some opposing it.

The new body must, however, be able to judge between those breaking the law and those innocent users out there as the BBC programme, Watchdog, has recently uncovered how innocent users have been wrongfully accused of Internet piracy.  A new regulating body could aggravate this issue even further.

Chrome is Beta no more – it’s only been 100 days…

Google have brought their browser, Chrome, out of Beta status.  But wait a minute, the browser was only launched 100 days ago…doesn’t that seem a little fast to be pulling the software out of Beta labelling?

Take a look at Gmail.  That is still a Beta project and it’s been with us for four years.  Picasa, the photo editing software, another Google endeavour, only got rid of its Beta label close to four years after the company purchased it.  It’s pretty clear that Google likes to take their time over their software testing to make sure everything is perfect.

So what has happened with Chrome?  Google is so hell-bent on testing their products to the max, yet Chrome has only been on public release for three months.  Google claim that they are “excited” about removing the Beta tag from Chrome.

But why?  The company are claiming that the time is right, although there is still more that can be done, saying, “We have removed the beta label as our goals for stability and performance have been met but our work is far from done.”

But, if it is not finished yet, then it still doesn’t make any sense to release the software from its Beta ties.  The company went on to claim that the Chrome browser was going to feature more utilities along the way, saying, “We are working to add some common browser features such as form autofill and RSS support in the near future. We are also developing an extensions platform along with support for Mac and Linux.”

Maybe the pressure has gotten too much for them over at Google.  With the success of Firefox and Internet Explorer, Chrome is still trying to win over browser users worldwide.  However, they claim that 10 million users have downloaded the software and are actively using it.

Critics are also slamming Google for lifting the Beta tag in an attempt to boost market shares.  According to Net Applications, the Chrome browser holds a mere 0.83 per cent of the browser market as of November, and it is not hard to believe when the competition is so fierce among browsers.  And not many people are eager to switch browsers when they are so comfortable with the ones they currently use.

However, Google are sure that by removing the Beta tag, more companies will be interested in installing the software on their computers and Google are even planning on paying PC makers to install the Chrome browser onto the computers before being shipped out.

Google are still, however, claiming that the browser is ready to be of non-Beta stature as they claim that the performance has significantly been improved since its launch three months ago.  The company claimed that, “since the first beta, the V8 JavaScript engine runs 1.4 times faster on the SunSpider benchmark and 1.5 times faster on the V8 benchmark – and there is more speed to come.”

Google has released a huge amount of updates for the browser – 14 in total.