Questions about O2 Wireless Box III / BeBox equivalent

Anyone know why WiFi on these boxes stops transmitting Bonjour data, thus breaking Time Machine, Remote Desktop Sharing, AFP file sharing among others? It seems to correlate with signal quality and/or interference from neighbouring networks. It seems that once every week or so the quality goes down enough that network traffic grinds to a halt over WiFi. Changing the WiFi channel frequency to one that is less congested seems to help for another week.

The issue affects our G4 iMac (OS X 10.4), 2007 MacBook Black (OS X 10.6) and 2009 MacBook Pro 13″ (OS X 10.6) uniformly. Don’t have any Windows or Linux boxen to compare service. Our iPhones don’t use Bonjour for anything I can think of, so I don’t know whether the issue would affect them too.

Connecting to the same router/network using a cable seems to always work, so it is something specific to the WiFi section of the modem.

I’m confused and would like the nonsense to stop… Can anyone help?

TV Licensing and address confusion

I live in a flat whose name has changed some years ago, but the name change has yet to be successfully acknowledged by the local council despite best efforts made by the landlords up until the time I moved here. Since then I’ve received several letters from TV Licensing (TVL) addressed to old property name, despite my having transferred my licence to what I knew to be the correct address for my property, and despite TVL having confirmed that they had linked the addresses on their database so that future mailing list imports will start the sorry correspondence trail again for no sane reason.

The helpful representative at the time also told me to ignore any future mailings I might receive of this nature provided that I keep up payments and keep a copy of the correct licence to show to an enforcement officer if they ever choose to show up. Having worked for TVL myself many years ago I can confirm from memory that this was the advice we were told to give to callers in similar situations to mine, for whatever reason.

So you can imagine my surprise when I received a written warning today of a pending court summons for the lack of a licence at the incorrect address, because I’ve not responded to their previous letters. Well DU-UUH! I’ve written to them this evening explaining the situation as it currently stands, enclosing a printed copy of my current valid licence asking them to honour their advice given to me when I last contacted them on this matter. Here’s hoping that common sense prevails and that their current database system is sane enough to understand that property addresses change from time to time, without the councils having had time to update their address lists. I await their response.

Believe it or not, it seems that according to this help page on their website, Royal Mail are not themselves the official registrar of postal addresses in the UK. Instead they get their data from the local councils who maintain their own lists, presumably for the purposes of tax collection and service provision. Their advice is that I now need to start chasing my local council to see if they can indeed update their records with what is now my correct address, which should hopefully stop this happening in the future.

More as it happens, as usual.

Recession puzzle

I’m puzzled. We’re being told all the time about how we’re in a recession, that jobs are being lost in droves, and that we must make massive austerity cuts for the sake of the nation.

And yet… People are moving around in vast numbers, and spending a small fortune for the right to do so. It seems that road traffic numbers have never been higher, London Underground has claimed highest ever usage figures earlier this week, and whenever I take a train out of London I’m amazed at increasing numbers and the sheer money on display – the nice suits, nice new laptops and fabulous watches are all around. Conversations between friends and colleagues swirl around their worldwide travels, gains made in investments and making sure everyone around them knows how important they are as they shout managementspeak over each other into their snazzy new Blackberries.

And yet, we’re cutting back. Amazing.

Even more interesting is that I make these observations sitting on a train to Bristol, typing them into my iPhone 4 while supping a station-bought coffee.

Daylight Savings Time – Why?

This weekend saw the UK rolling back from BST to GMT. The Wikipedia article here can tell you more than you’ll ever need to know about what “Daylight Savings Time” is and why it’s put in place.  My question is simple:  Why do we bother any more?

With so many pressures on our time, anything that screws up our calendars can be a pretty Bad Thing™, not least when software such as iOS4.1 gets it wrong and sends recurring alarms an hour behind schedule, as happened to me this morning.  (More on The Register here).  The justifications I heard on the radio this morning don’t seem to ring true.  Sure, driving in daylight seems safer than at night, but surely all we’re doing is moving the problem to other areas of the day?  With shift-working and obscure working/living patterns made more possible by things such as air travel and even the availability of mains electricity, it seems to this simple-minded geek that the benefits of keeping this system far outweigh the disadvantages in these modern times.  Wanna Skype with relatives in the US?  Sure… now what time?  Uh… well we’ve skipped back an hour but they haven’t yet, so uh… 8 hours for another week.

Can’t we just stick with our alotted timezone according to where our countries physically happen to be on this blue marble and just live with it?