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Nokia bring out Linux Cellphone/TV/Browser

Hemos posted more than 15 years ago | from the fun-with-new-technology dept.

Hardware 164

Matt Booth writes "New Scientist has an article about a new cellphone from Nokia which is also a digital TV and web browser. It runs linux, and apparently it won't be available in the States because of the poor Digital TV standard there. " Cursed am I!

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Re:Oldish News (1)

rmitz (1182) | more than 15 years ago | (#1685815)

Some people don't use slashboxes...they take up valuable space.

Re:The US chose a GOOD standard! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1685816)

To watch digital signals on an analog tv wont you have to add some sort of reciever/dac no matter what?

Re:This reminds me of railroads (offtopic) (1)

mce (509) | more than 15 years ago | (#1685827)

Maybe I'm mistaken in my terminology (sorry, I'm a railway fan, but English is not my mother tongue), but as far as I know, Britain and France (as well as the rest of Europe, except for Spain and Russia) all use the same gauge for a large majority of their railway lines: 1.435 meter.

This is, however not to mean that they use the same rules when other measurements are concerned, such as how close to the tracks a signal is allowed to be etc. These things are indeed different in the UK.


Its not that bad (1)

airfabio (6375) | more than 15 years ago | (#1685828)

Imagine a soccer mom driving her van/tank while watching oprah and talking to her friends over cell phone at the same time. Forget NRA, LA ghetto looks like heaven compared to that.

long history of non standards (1)

avdp (22065) | more than 15 years ago | (#1685829)

The US has a long history of going their own way as far as telecom is concerned. TV signal (analog and digital) is one of them, but probably the most amazing of these difference is cellular communications. Europe and Asia (I don't know anything about Africa or Australia) uses GSM. So what does the US have to do? Use their own system (TDMA, etc.). Actually, what am I thinking! They use several digital systems, since an AT&T digital cell won't work on the Bell Atlantic network, etc... It's silly, it's annoying, and it's inconvienient for the user and for themselves (they could share a lot more of their towers if they could just agree on one standard - GSM).

Although, aside from the cell phones, Europe is not necessarily a whole lot better. For analog TV, France uses PAL, Belgium (and most of Europe - methinks) uses Secam... But at least I don't think Europeans makes any new mistakes like that (could be wrong - i am belgian but i live in the us, my european info may be a bit stale).

Re:... (1)

Signal 11 (7608) | more than 15 years ago | (#1685830)

Sigh. I haven't had much luck with the moderators the past few days. That was meant as a tongue-in-cheek joke - it seems the ACs invariably post a question like that to any list announcing Product X running linux. I was just trying to mock them - rather like saying "d00d u r s0 l335!" to a script kiddie.



i think it's a volkswagen commercial... (1)

jhoffmann (42839) | more than 15 years ago | (#1685831)

there's a commercial for some car company where the people do just this (hop in their car to drive down the driveway to get their mail). maybe some people just take things a little more seriously than others.

either way, you may want to have your blood pressure checked. if you get worked up over this, you may have bigger problems to deal with.

Centium[tm] (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1685832)

After buying up all available antique and old works of art and science, Monsieur Gateaux will buy the old standard we knew from Celsius, re-christens it Centium[tm] and impos..., eh, introduces a brand new system of thermal measurement to the world. Since it comes bundled with Windeux it'll inevitably become the New Standard.

But dear Americans, relax. It'll be, as can be expected from Mr Gateaux' innovations, based on the totally screwed-up and obsolete Fahrenheit system you'll all be familiar with...

Re:Compatible with Nokia 9110 series? (1)

starling (26204) | more than 15 years ago | (#1685833)

>[snip] the Nokia 9110 has a special operating system

It runs an incarnation of GEOS, from Geoworks. GEOS is/was one of the early contenders for the PC GUI back in the '80s. The 9110 is basically a tiny PC linked to a mobile phone in the same box.

Obligatory /. request : I wonder if anyone's ported Linux to the 9110?

Re:Let's criticize US today. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1685834)

Its usually the person in the SUV, it is actually a sad sight that I have seen. Americans drive so much because everything is spread out, I can't walk to the local store because its miles away. This is because country suburbanized (actually word?) after WWII. Its much different than in Europe where everything is centralized.

Re:Let's criticize US today. (2)

EmilEifrem (11066) | more than 15 years ago | (#1685835)

I think it was meant as a fine way of critizing the so called "American way of life," which many Europeans (including myself) believe is a deadly serious threat to mankind's future on earth. As my old American gov't teacher used to say, the citizens of United States constitute about 5% of the total world population (?) while consuming *one third* of the world's resources. The "American way of life" would maybe be more appropriately be called the "American way to death."

Re:The US chose a GOOD standard! (2)

Master-of-Sloth (82756) | more than 15 years ago | (#1685836)

The MILLIONS of UK tellys arn't useless. You get a FREE dig-decoder box, plug it into your telly (via the scart) and bobs your uncle one digital telly.

Sometimes it's good to make a leap and leave the old standards behind, you just have to provide a stop-gap to give people time to change.

... (0)

Signal 11 (7608) | more than 15 years ago | (#1685839)

Fine, fine, but will it run linux, and can you network these into a beowulf?

Sorry.. had to be said. ;)


Open-Source enables crypto cellphones? (2)

CocaCola (30016) | more than 15 years ago | (#1685840)

If the source code (and development kit) will be available as well, then it wont be long until someone implements strong-crypto point-to-point voice connections between two such cellphones - and this with widely available commodity hardware.

the questions we are all asking... (1)

god_of_the_machine (90151) | more than 15 years ago | (#1685843)

1) How much will it cost? 2) When can I get one? 3) Can we tweak our digital TV standards to make this work? ARG!

hypocrites (2)

ratman (6987) | more than 15 years ago | (#1685845)

They use linux in their own cell-phone project and let the gnokii project [] go begging.

built in nic? (2)

grimmy (75458) | more than 15 years ago | (#1685847)

Anyone know if this thing has a built-in nic?
Would make a great portable net connection if you could run ipmasq on it.

Thats the problem with the US (2)

Judg3 (88435) | more than 15 years ago | (#1685849)

We always take the hard way into things. The metric system is a good example, here laid out in front of us was this wonderful system of measurement based on the number 10. Us? Bahhh, screw it, we will just make it more difficult. Then theres that whoel Celsiuis/Fahrenheit thing. I get Celsius, 0 is when water freezes, but Fahrenheit? Whats that? water freezes at 32 degrees ABOVE 0? huh? Oh well, enough ranting. I know I wouldnt be too keen bout switching now as it is, been using the good ole US system for to many years. But that article has a point, it appears out digital signals really ARENT as hardy as the european ones. But it does look like we might be switching, so Ill be looking for that first handheld all in one in my local over-priced CompUSA soon I hope. Well, enough complaining form me. Judg3

This is just what the US needs... (1)

smoondog (85133) | more than 15 years ago | (#1685850)

A cellphone web browser. Now I can have the web on the subway, on the job, at a restaurant. Just click in and I'm there.

(That slurping sound is productivity going down the drain)

-- Moondog

Re:... (1)

Szoup (61508) | more than 15 years ago | (#1685853)

Read the article!!!!

"The set, based on the open source Linux operating system..."

This reminds me of railroads (3)

konstant (63560) | more than 15 years ago | (#1685854)

I don't pretend to understand the relative merits of DSB and 8-VSB, but the fuss over selecting a standard reminds me of the difficulties people in the 19th century had with railroad gauges.

During the last century (well, I suppose it was nearly two centuries ago now...) when railroad was the primary means of transporting goods, Russia pulled a similar egotistical maneuver and selected a railroad "gauge" or width (12?) that was inconsistent with the gauge gaining acceptance in neigboring Europe (8?). As a consequence, when trains passed the Western Russian boarder, all the passengers and contents had to be humped out, placed in another train, and sent on their way. Needless to say this retarded commerce between Russia and Europe.

Now information, not gold or even dollars, is becoming the crucial international currency and nations are building their information infrastructure. If nationalism entices us or any other country down the same path as the Russians, they will quickly learn their mistake. Devices built in adherence to the de facto standard will suddenly cease to function the moment they enter the rogue country. This will be far more inconvenient - and costly - than converting between Standard and Metric.

Let's not forget when advocating standards that common usage is an important factor, and that the world isn't limited by the San Andreas and the Potomac!


Not quite.. (2)

Fastolfe (1470) | more than 15 years ago | (#1685856)

1 Kelvin = -272 degrees Celsius
273 Kelvins = 0 degrees Celsius

I'm not sure if this was just an "oops" in your message, but you're basically right: 0 K = absolute zero, 0 degrees C = freezing point of water. Aside from those starting points, the scales are the same.

Hmm.. (2)

Henrik Abelsson (90604) | more than 15 years ago | (#1685857)

I know i could use mobile TV.. Just for all those long bus rides back and forth to school. And it even runs linux *drool* :)

But why do people whine so much about an unfortunate joke about americans? :)
I get the feeling that if this product would have been developed by an american company, people would have been talking about how cool it is for linux to be used in yet another product..

Yet another standards war, as if we didnt have enough of them already.. The Europeans decide on one thing, and then the Americans go off and develop yet another standard.. But in the end the japaneese wins the game with something thats 3x as smart and cost half of the othe solutions. (Or turn it around all if you like, that's not my point) The world needs everybody to agree on a standard, and not have half a dozen incompatible standards that only work in their own region.

I thought the coming of the internet would signal an end to nationalism.. oh well, maybe in time.


Re:Not quite.. (1)

Henrik Abelsson (90604) | more than 15 years ago | (#1685858)

oops :)
What i was trying to say is that the unit of measurment are the same. They both use the same basic unit, although with different starting points as you point out.

Digital TV available today in UK (1)

Jon Peterson (1443) | more than 15 years ago | (#1685859)

Digital TV is available now in the UK - but only
via satellite, and possibly some cable. Not on terrestrial _quite_ yet, but it will be very soon.

Sky has just started broadcasting some sprots events in digital format, so that users with the right set top box can select camera angles blah blah blah.

I'm not convinced any of that is all that useful, but I'm sure they;ll find a use for it all one day.

Shame about the way HDTV died though - that was, in some ways, miles ahead of the new digital t.v.

Re:Typical Euro-Centric waste of time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1685860)

US is abig cellphone market but at least some time ago China was a bigger cellphone market. Also the usage of cellphones in the US is minimal compared to Europe. In finland the Cellphone penetration in the whole population is 60%. Also in the analog market the NMT was in use few years before AMPS systems and covered at first 3 countries (sweden,finland and norway).

Mobile Phone Browser (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1685861)

The new Nokia 7110 has a browser in it. Check it out at : []

I'm getting mine in the next few weeks. :-)

Non-US morons with their picturephones (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1685862)

In a few years' time, lot of people will use a single handheld unit to make face-to-face "photo-phone" calls, to watch TV, surf the 'net and organize their personal data etc.

Why not have it all in one, convenient package if that's possible? Because you think it's moronic? Would it be okay for you if it ran Redmondian WinCE instead of that (originally) "Euro-Trash" Linux?

Re:No Mobile Reception = good idea!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1685863)

You are missing some points here: watching TV is ILLEGAL when you are driving. I agree that mobile phone thing. But imagine that you are showing your new gadget to your buddies and have to say "maybe we must move about 200m that way. That skyscraper is blocking my station badly". Nokia mentioned echoes, that`s like a shadow between you and your receiver. If you have multiple channels, no broblem there.

Re:Vauge.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1685864) ml

Re: Thats the problem with the US (1)

jilles (20976) | more than 15 years ago | (#1685865)

Well blood is a more complex fluid than water. I think that the freezing point of water under controled circomstances (pressure and purity) is much more precise than the freezing point of blood.

You forgot... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1685872)

* Shoulder strap to carry the car battery this will need to power it :^)

Open-source cryptographically enabled phones (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1685873)

Such phones have some use but only if everybody uses them AND we can convice the cell network providers to use the same (secure) protocols.

Re:Digital TV available today in UK (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1685874)

Digital TV is available now in the UK - but only via satellite, and possibly some cable. Not on terrestrial _quite_ yet, but it will be very soon.

You haven't heard of OnDigital [] then? DTV over terrestrial broadcast? It was there around the same time as Sky Digital arrived and works quite well thankyou.

You can get the box for free and only pay for the channel packages. Check out Dixons or Radio Rentals or Granada for the Philips or Pace set top boxes.

Re: Thats the problem with the US (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1685875)

Zero degrees Fahrenheit was the lowest temperature mr Fahrenheit could create in his lab, using a mixture of salt and ice.

Re:Compatible with Nokia 9110 series? (1)

altman (2944) | more than 15 years ago | (#1685876)

The 9110 is the end-of-the-line as far as that model of phone goes: Nokia have said that future devices are going to use EPOC (32-bit, multitasking, etc) as opposed to GeOS (DOS with twiddles). Ok, this project uses Linux, but I can see why - EPOC is great for getting a lot out of small hardware, but isn't as easy to develop for as Linux.

(a longtime 9000i user)

Re:The US chose a GOOD standard! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1685877)

>The US went thru a fairly long, involved, >somewhat politically charged That explains it all, and nothing but the all. Bureocratic things are always killed all good technological breakthroughs. "We have all the time in the world".

Nokia 9110 series = GEOS (1)

SvenH (81983) | more than 15 years ago | (#1685878)

Nokia 9xxx phones are running GEOS.

Go here s/geossdk/geossdk.html

I have been on a project where a GPSGSMServer program was made for C9000. European Space Agency will start using it soon (I hope).

Re: Thats the problem with the US (2)

jpc (33615) | more than 15 years ago | (#1685879)

The reason that America and the UK never switched to the metric system

Er, the UK pretty much has except for the minor areas of beer (we like it in pints thank you, exceot if it is served in bottles), milk, and the legacy roadsigns because they would be very confusing unless all changed at once. We certainly dont use that funny Fahrenheit stuff.

Re: Thats the problem with the US (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1685880)

uuh, digital tv has been available in sweden for a long time now. i bought my digital-tv reciever in december 1998.

Backasswards Compatibility (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1685881)

is the self-sufficient origin of 90% of what sucks about PCs.

Nuff said indeed!

Why DTB is better: the transport, not the data (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1685882)

The data may be the data, but choosing the right transport system for a particular noisy environment can make a lot of difference to how much of that data actually arrives.

The US standard basically assumes any error is equally possible, so you might as well use the first set of basis functions you think of. The European standard (CODFM) takes account of the fact that the most important signal degradation mechanisms are interference from reflections, and doppler distortions, and chooses basis functions accordingly to minimise the crosstalk between symbols. This pushes the total error rate right down.

You also get different error properties for the different carrier basis channels this creates, so you can use the most reliable channels for the outline of the picture, then the more vulnerable channels only for higher and levels of detail. As a result when the signal does degrade, you only lose a little detail to start with, rather than getting a massive glitch to the whole picture.

The technology isn't that new. GSM mobile telephones have used CDMA for years, and the military have had spread spectrum for a long time before that.

But the mobile telephone companies with the CDMA patents were kept off the US committee (not invented there). Instead the committee wasted most of its time listening to lobbying for 1001 different standards for content, and finally in a completely useless cop-out mandated all of them. Meanwhile the vital issue of the low-level transport standard was hardly considered.

wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1685883)

france and russia (?) uses secam while rest of the europe uses pal. i think that most tv's nowadays can recieve both pal and secam

har-har, nice try (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1685884)

I guess some1 had to try defend a stupid decision.

So by your thinking, its right to continue to use incompatable technologies, just so your old incompatible technologies are still supported easily.
In any case all old tv's could be supported for both standards its just a matter of how difficult it is to do it.

One day the US will haveto take the plunge and get with the rest of the world.

Oh, but maybe not, you could bully some other littler coutries into using your standards as well, that way you wont look as stupid.

Base 10 (even more off-topic) (1)

syates21 (78378) | more than 15 years ago | (#1685885)

Is there any real reason why we process base ten numbers better, other than the fact that we historically only have 10 written digits. Also, I guess that's what people are taught.
I've always thought it would be an interesting experiment to teach a kid octal or hex or something first, and see how they adapt to "weird" bases that aren't powers of two. :)

Re:This is just what the US needs... (1)

Captain Nitpick (16515) | more than 15 years ago | (#1685886)

A cellphone web browser. Now I can have the web on the subway, on the job, at a restaurant. Just click in and I'm there.

(That slurping sound is productivity going down the drain)
And in the car.
(That crunching sound is your car being hit by someone trying to drive and browse at the same time)

Re:Wanted: Linux datasuite for Nokia cellphones (1)

Kerg (71582) | more than 15 years ago | (#1685887)

Nokia Mobile Phones

Re:the questions we are all asking... (1)

jlettice (91005) | more than 15 years ago | (#1685888)

I suspect the 'it won't work in the US' claim is based on some kind of misunderstanding. The gig for this beast is that it uses broadcast to deliver the Web content and wireless to request it. So there's no obvious technical reason why it couldn't work in the US, as far as I can see. It's just a neat packaging of an approach that's being used elsewhere.

Re:Base 10 (even more off-topic) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1685889)

I think the reason is that (most) humans are equipped with 10 fingers. /Magnus

Re:long history of non standards (1)

Shinobi (19308) | more than 15 years ago | (#1685890)

Now to correct some errors: Part of Africa uses GSM, South Africa among them. France uses Secam, PAL is the big standard in Europe(With the best quality, I might add). I think GSM is starting to spread in Asia too, especially after Ericsson selling large amounts of cell-phone systems. Darth Shinobi, Champion of Lady weeanna, Inquisitor of CoJ "May the dark side of the force be with you"

Re:The US chose a GOOD standard! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1685891)

Currently DTB is being used to broadcast 625 line standard resolution pictures... so no coversion artifacts. Australia is probably going to be first off the blocks to use it for higher definitions.

Re: Thats the problem with the US (1)

Rob Kaper (5960) | more than 15 years ago | (#1685892)

Actually, 0 Fahrenheit is when mercury freezes and 100 Fahrenheit is the temperature of your blood. So it's based on two different things, one of them not even really precise.

Like all good stuff this will be totally over-prized for a long time. And I still doubt the usability. Nobody ever liked watching TV on one of those small LCD screens. And Internet? It might be handy for e-mail, instant messaging and perhaps a stripped down version of Lynx ;-) but it's useless for any other purpose. And don't tell me that you can hook up a laptop to it because that's not exactly something new.

Looks to me this thing is just a smaller version of Nokia's Communicator or the Philips Velo.

Re:This reminds me of railroads (1)

EasyTarget (43516) | more than 15 years ago | (#1685894)

I once saw a program about standards evolution that talked about track gauges. They reconed that you can trace the standard European gauge back to the roman standard for chariots(enforced by roman law).
Basically it worked, so nobody ever changed it, and every new technology simply inherited it to ensure some compatibility. Sounds like ASCII to me.. if it aint broke, don't fix it. Unless you're M$oft.

Re:The US chose a GOOD standard! (1)

Late (8213) | more than 15 years ago | (#1685902)

The European DVB standard is completely backwards compatible. All you need is a converter box, just like you'll need one in the states. If I'm not mistaken DVB is actually MPEG2 (like on DVD disks), it's just a question of how one transmits it. Actually this reminds me of how the US demand to have their own standard for the next generation of mobile phones, even though the rest of the world has agreed on one standard.

Re:... (1)

Szoup (61508) | more than 15 years ago | (#1685903)

Ah, OK, gotcha. You certainly did well impersonating the AC standard. Just a little too well, that's all.

Re:This reminds me of railroads (1)

Why2K (29813) | more than 15 years ago | (#1685904)

methinks there is only one contintent not using this one....


265 Million Americans can't all be wrong (1)

t0rg0 (68346) | more than 15 years ago | (#1685905)

My feeling is that the market is big enough in the US that a minor setback that the standard isn't "robust" enough isn't going to hold back some brilliant engineer to get around a poor signal.

I mean, we still deal with 7-bit transmissions and that hasn't slowed anyone down. With 265 million people with money burning a hole in their pocket, standards won't matter that much. The tech will come to the US, it'll just take a while.

Re: Thats the problem with the US (1)

Yarn (75) | more than 15 years ago | (#1685906)

Its something to do with mineral oil. Not certain what grade etc.

Re:long history of non standards (1)

Xenu (21845) | more than 15 years ago | (#1685907)

It works the other way too. There have been many perfectly good US standards that were ignored in favor of European/International standards that were similar but different enough to be incompatible. I suspect that this was a reaction to a fear of US dominance and a desire to protect European manufacturers. The same thing has happened with Europe and Japan.

Re:long history of non standards (1)

avdp (22065) | more than 15 years ago | (#1685908)

thanks for straightening me out on the Pal vs Secam issue - I guess I had the two mixed up :)

examples would help... (1)

avdp (22065) | more than 15 years ago | (#1685910)

... support your argument.

Cellphone web browsing already available (1)

RedX (71326) | more than 15 years ago | (#1685913)

Ironically, Sprint PCS just launched their data network today that allows several cell-phone models that they support to browse with a mini-browser, including a model from Nokia. I know most of the other digital PCS carriers have similar plans ready to roll in the next few months.

Re:The US chose a GOOD standard! (1)

rwh (89653) | more than 15 years ago | (#1685915)

I don't know how well the conversion works for DVB, but having seen the artifacts generated by a converter mapping a 1080i HDTV signal onto a 480i display here in the State, I don't plan to use a converter to keep my old sets going when the final switch happens in 2006.

I wasn't aware that the US was demanding a different cell phone standard. I thought that GSM-3 and Wide-CDMA were still on track. AT&T was clinging to their current system, but it is easy enough to change to another provider; afterall, I have 7 different providers to choose from.


Re:This is just what the US needs... (1)

Szoup (61508) | more than 15 years ago | (#1685922)

We already have cell phone Web browsers (they just don't do TV). They're filling up the Smart Phone market right now. Take a look at Qualcomm's pdQ phone, just for starters. ducts/pdq_phone/ []

Drive to the corner postbox? (1)

Figec (20690) | more than 15 years ago | (#1685923)

I usually just place my outgoing mail in my
mail slot for the postman to pickup. We don't have a corner mailbox, so when I need something deliveried timely, I'll stick in the mailbox at our local post-office on my way to work (I drive 7 minutes to the train station, so you got me there). That box is picked up earlier than when my postman shows up.

Has anyone noticed that there are less and less corner mailboxes these days in the States?


Oldish News (1)

scrutty (24640) | more than 15 years ago | (#1685924)

Funnily enough , this, or something frighteningly similar popped up on the BBC Sci/Tech News a few days ago . I considered submitting it but then thought why bother as It was prominently displayed on the appropriate Slashbox

Article was nearly as skimpy as this one , something along the lines of it's just a prototype piece and initial rollout is only being considered for Germany , as its a joint venture with a German television company

Don't seem to be able to find the link now , maybe it was a different site


Re: Thats the problem with the US (1)

schporto (20516) | more than 15 years ago | (#1685925)

Why should we use celsius? Its based on water. What good is that? Why not Kelvins? There's something based on molecules. That makes sense. And Fahrenheit is based on something - salt water I think - not real sure.
All measurment scales are based on something. No one scale really is better than the other. They just all have their uses. I mean common if we all used the same measuring scale then a light bulb would produce X hp, or cars producing Y watts. It sounds silly off hand.
Oh well like this was just meant as an opposing view and not meant to be taken too seriously.

Re:This reminds me of railroads (1)

SimonK (7722) | more than 15 years ago | (#1685926)

Not only Russia I'm afraid. Britain has a different railway guage to France, which is different again to Spain (which uses several gauges internally). Italy uses several gauges again, though I think the trains that cross the border from France run on the French guage. Switzerland has its own gauge, but trains crossing the country run on a different one ...

The problem is dealt with using "Talgo" trains that can swizzle their wheels around to change guages at the border (or by humping all the passengers out of the train). It can be lived with.

Lessons for mobile phones: They'll never manage to agree on a standard. People with continue with the existing trend of using multi-standard handsets. This won't upset anyone much except those who cross international borders a lot. Once the different regional standards are locked in, they are near-impossible to change.

Re:Open-Source enables crypto cellphones? (1)

sporty (27564) | more than 15 years ago | (#1685927)

What happens when you make a long distance phone call with a 'crypto-phone'?

Would you have any grey poupon? Oh poupon this.

Re:This reminds me of railroads (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1685928)

The US tends to go its own way in the telecoms industry in particular (or rather, that is the particular sphere of experience I have of the US going its own way). This interoperability issue has forced a vast increase in the complexity of signalling protocols, which is a real pest.

synaesthesia (i'm posting anonymously to see what it looks like)

americans... (1)

fractality (448) | more than 15 years ago | (#1685929)

"I am amazed that a country where people drive to the corner postbox has chosen a digital TV system that does not allow mobile reception," says Helmut Stein, Nokia's vice-president.
-From New Scientist, 11 September 1999

About the ' to the corner postbox...' bit; technology is nothing without common sense of which America/Americans lack.

Let's criticize US today. (0)

drivers (45076) | more than 15 years ago | (#1685930)

From the article:
I am amazed that a country where people drive to the corner postbox has chosen a digital TV system that does not allow mobile reception

What the f is that supposed to mean? Is he trying to say that US mail delivery people don't pick up the mail from mailboxes? Does he expect people to watch TV while driving to the post office? Or is the passenger going to watch TV while accompanying the driver going on an unnecessary trip to the postoffice instead of leaving a letter in the mail? I don't have to drive anywhere to send a letter, and I live in the US. And I thought they already solved the echo problem. Great way to sell phones. Insult the customer.

TV's in mobile phones. What is this world coming to?

Cell phone & web browser (1)

Artie FM (87445) | more than 15 years ago | (#1685931)

Web browsing technology will be standard in the next generation of cell phones. Want more info? check out this press release [] What it really means is that [] basically has this whole thing locked up.

more info please (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1685932)

Where can I get more info? I want one NOW. I hope there is a way to get a shell on that thing - it would be fun :) real geeky :) / iocc (login doesn't work.. for me)

Re:No Mobile Reception = good idea!!! (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 15 years ago | (#1685933)

So if watching TV is illegal while driving, what is the point of a comment like the chairman of Nokia made about the standard being stupid because Americans drive everywhere? Not to mention that the range of a TV broadcast is rather limited (line of sight and all). So you aren't going to get good reception in most cases anyway. No different from the problems associated with mobile reception of FM radio which is crap too. More than 10 miles from the station you don't even get enough signal strength to get stereo.

Seems like the Chairman of Nokia should be moderated down (flamebait) for his comment.

Personally I think the whole concept of a DTV handheld is questionable. I mean, what is the point of delivering 5000 lines of resolution to a 3" screen? Hasn't anybody seen what a Watchman looks like? Even with a good clear signal the tiny screen makes the whole experience laughable.

I also have to wonder about the practicality of multiple DTV channels? Aren't you going to chew up a HELL of a lot of precious broadcast bandwidth with that? In a big city with a lot of stations it seems to me that this would be VERY impractical. Myself, I'd MUCH rather devote that bandwidth to wireless networks than a broadcast media like DTV. Just think - high resolution DTV crowding out wireless networks, giving you 57 channels of High-Res Married With Children Reruns!!! I can't wait to expeerience the thrill of watching I Dream of Genie on my portable phone!!!!! Just imagine catching Jerry Springer on your cross town Taxi ride during Lunch!!!!!!! Or better yet, Melrose Place!!! What next, DTV with a tiny TiVo built in to a handset so you don't have to miss General Hospital on your 2" screen?????????

To me this sounds like a technology whose time has NOT come.

Re: Thats the problem with the US (1)

fiori (45848) | more than 15 years ago | (#1685934)

Ice with salt was the coldest substance (with a constant controlable temperature) that was available to Fahrenheit. His temperature scale was/is based on two very reproducible extremes: the boiling point of water and the freezing point of water with the addition of salt.

Re:americans... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1685935)

I beg to differ. There are a number of us who actually do have common sense. However I do agree that many do not. Therefore many of those who educate do not, which contributes to the problem. But I think it shows a bit of a lack of common sense to assume all Americans lack common sense.

Re:The US chose a GOOD standard! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1685936)

>If I'm not mistaken DVB is actually MPEG2 (like >on DVD disks) Yepp! right! And with a digital TV-Card (e.g. by Hauppauge) you can save it right to harddisc! No further compression needed (hardw nor softw), no bandwith problem, no quality loss ... Poor americans ;-(

Re:har-har, nice try (1)

stevew (4845) | more than 15 years ago | (#1685937)

Oddly enough - you're answer ignores reality.

The US is a large enough market to go it's
own way pretty much anytime it wants too. As
it has countless times. See the cell phone
situation as an example.

This isn't the US being a bully either. We
didn't mandate that anyone else follow the
standard, only US broadcasters are required
too(FCC doesn't have extra-territorial
authority last time I looked..) I don't see
what's wrong with the US looking after it's
own interests in it's own way? What nation
state doesn't do that? There was both a
political and economic arguement to maintain
backwards compatibility since EVERYONE will
have to be broadcasting digitally fairly soon.

Tell me - which makes more sense. Designing
for compatibility or causing the 250 million
people in this country who own NTSC TV's to
junk their hardware? Boy- now that WOULD be
a boon to the industry, and do the consumer
no good at all.


Re:The US chose a GOOD standard! NOT! (1)

inburito (89603) | more than 15 years ago | (#1685939)

I don't claim to know the standards and their implementations but to me it seems absurd that an analog tv could as such receive digital signal thus making the standard backwards compatible. analog != digital. Maybe they left some room for old frequencies but who in usa uses airwave reception anymore anyway?

Basic cable service is really cheap and available almost anywhere whereas picture quality and the number of channels available without cable or satellite is pathetic. Where I live they're introducing digital cable right now and digital satellite's been around for many years. These are all compatible with the existing tv's through the use of set top boxes. Why not get one of those for your old analog tv if you so dearly whish to stick to it.

And why is it that everytime when europe(or rest of the world) creates something technically or practically superior americans can't accept it. This is what happened with digital mobile phones and now its happening with digital tv. I mean look at yourselves, there are more digital mobile phones in china than in usa.

The only reasonable application of airwave reception in such a cable oriented country as usa is mobile reception. If your standard doesn't allow it then what good is it?

Re:No Mobile Reception = good idea!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1685941)

1. that was response to: "watch when you are not driving, drive when you are not watching". 2. It is most annoying to watch TV when you have to tweak your antennas to get best picture. And those bypassing cars when you`re located on street level. Damn van. 3. I did mean that the program channel is divided in thousand subchannels for better receiving so that the receiver can select most echo free ones to retrieve original signal (sorry about bad explaining in the first Re). 4. It`s seems that you have never heard about standing wave. That can ruin ANY signal on the earth. No matter how digital or not it is.

265 Million Americans can't all be wrong? (1)

locoluis (69948) | more than 15 years ago | (#1685942)

...but nearly three trillion fleas eat trash. (sorry, I can't resist it... :-)

Re:i think it's a volkswagen commercial... (1)

drivers (45076) | more than 15 years ago | (#1685945)

I see. I don't have a TV, but I remember seeing that commercial now at my friends' house. It's amazing that people in other countries believe that real Americans are like those fake people on TV.

Re:hypocrites (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1685952)


Hypocrites, yes, but I did notice that the gnokii project (which is for Linux) is hosted on a FreeBSD server? That's sort of the same thing :)

nokia != nokia != nokia (2)

pp (4753) | more than 15 years ago | (#1685953)

The thing to remember about Nokia is that it's really a pile of smaller units
(cell phones, monitors, phone exchanges, misc r&d etc.) and the different units do things very differently.

Some use VMS as a development platform (or did atleast a few years ago), some think NT is the solution to everything including world hunger
and others (generally the ones that don't do
end-user products) use whatever does the job best. Linux has increasingly been just that thing for quite a lot of stuff.

If I understood correctly this was done by the
multimedia terminal people whereas the information the gnokii people want is from the cell phone
people and they seem to want to keep their stuff pretty secret.

No Mobile Reception = good idea!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1685954)

Boy, it seems to me that having no digital TV mobile reception for a device like this is a damn good idea, despite the Nokia poor-mouthing. It's bad enough to have crazy drivers yakking on the cell phone while driving (a Canadian study showed the accident rate for cell phone users was HIGHER than for drunk drivers!!). I can just imagine the carnage on European roads from people trying to watch these things while driving!! Make 'em pull over to use a video phone, I say!

Compatible with Nokia 9110 series? (2)

JoeShmoe (90109) | more than 15 years ago | (#1685955)

Nokia already has a cellular phone available in Europe that can do web browsing..the Nokia 9110 series. In fact, Europeans have a way cool version with Indiglo-style backlighting that (as far as I know) will not work in the US.

But if I understand correctly, the Nokia 9110 has a special operating system that allows third-party companies to write wireless applications that use the cellular connection (sorta like the PalmVII in the states but billed by minute per your cell phone contrct and not by KB).

So if they now have this thing...does that mean they are scrapping plans for continuation of 9110 or can the new device also run the programs developed for the 9110?

I doubt anyone here can answer but I thought I would ask. =) reference to this "smug superiority" of Europeans for having a better system than US, it is my belief that if you check the dates you'll probably find that development of the digital TV standard in the US began before the EU started investigating their own. So of course whoever is later is going to have the technical advantage. I doubt that anyone working on the digital TV standard back when it was created could have anticipated the boom in wireless activity.

Personally, I think the EU approach is pointless. We are quickly moving to a point where ALL audio and video traffic happens over TCP/IP (like Voice over IP for phone traffic and video conferencing for video traffic). Making a specialized wireless system for JUST digital TV is a waste. Spend the money on improving wireless bandwidths and then you can just broadcast the MPEG-2 video streams from your DVD directly to the wireless devices.

Data is data and I think if that you get broadbast wireless up and running (like the lucky folks in Tuscon, AZ have wireless T1s) the rest of the broadcast of digital TV... will be simple.

My $0.02 and not necessarily yours...

- JoeShmoe

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

Re:This reminds me of railroads (2)

Confused (34234) | more than 15 years ago | (#1685956)

> ... when railroad was the primary means of transporting goods,
> Russia pulled a similar egotistical maneuver and selected a railroad "gauge"

There were some reasons behind this. When lots of space is available and building is cheap, a wider track means wider cars means more cargo on the train means cheaper transport. This was an important consideration in Russia.

On the other hand lot of railroads in the alps (Austria and Switzerland mainly) use narrow to ultra-narrow tracks. Every inch that had to be carved out of a mountain, mostly by hand, was expensive. Doubling the with of the bed for the tracks quadruples the amount of rock they had to move. Ergo: They build single track narrow gauge railroads there.



Re:Let's criticize US today. (1)

Fizgig (16368) | more than 15 years ago | (#1685957)

It's a subtle way of saying that Americans like to drive a lot, which compared to Europeans, we do. I don't think many people would disagree with that.

Vauge.. (1)

Thomas Charron (1485) | more than 15 years ago | (#1685958)

Seems rather vague on the specs etc.. I'll believe it all when I see it on a Nokia web site..

Re: Thats the problem with the US (1)

SerpentMage (13390) | more than 15 years ago | (#1685959)

Why use a temperature system based on water? Simple because it is life to all living entities. Below 0 you die. Above zero you life, but may get hypo-thermia

The metric system is one scale yes, but at least I can do math with it. With a system based on miles, yards, feet, etc math is that much more complicated...

The US has many great things, but on this one they screwed up!!

The US chose a GOOD standard! (1)

stevew (4845) | more than 15 years ago | (#1685960)

The US went thru a fairly long, involved,
somewhat politically charged, but also
technically motivated selection process
for digital TV. The bottom line is that
the format was chosen so that the MILLIONS
of existing TV's didn't become instantly

Now some of you will think that backward's
compatibility is a BAD thing. From a
marketing and sales position - it's mandatory.

My Dad was in Finland last year (the home
base of Nokia) and he had exactly this
same arguement with several guys - my Dad
made the compatibility arguement with them -
they had no retort.

Nuff said.


Wanted: Linux datasuite for Nokia cellphones (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1685961)

Which Nokia should we bug for that one?

I've been waiting for this for years (3)

Paul Crowley (837) | more than 15 years ago | (#1685972)

I've been waiting for at least two years for the Linux cellphone/PDA to become available. Here's the device I want:
  • Personal organiser sofware a la my Pilot
  • Cellphone (preferably dual band)
  • Internet comms over the cellphone
  • Real hard drive, perh. StrongArm processor
  • IRDA port, maybe Bluetooth
  • Runs Linux and 100% open source software (of course!

And there's my PDA, phone, watch, and many other things I need. If I had such a thing, I might even leave the house from time to time!

Re:This reminds me of railroads (1)

SerpentMage (13390) | more than 15 years ago | (#1685973)

There are standards for mobile. It is called GSM. Hmmm, methinks there is only one contintent not using this one....

Re:Open-Source enables crypto cellphones? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1685974)

Apart from being able to talk securely with someone far away? The other party already has crypto in their phone, so there wouldn't be export problems (unless you gave them the phone yourself).

Re: Thats the problem with the US (1)

jilles (20976) | more than 15 years ago | (#1685975)

At least Kelvin is nearly the same as celsius.
x Kelvin == x - 273 Celsius. They only differ the point of zero degrees. For daily use celsius is kind of nice: water freezes at 0 degrees, water boils at 100 degrees. I've no idea what that is in Fahrenheit (I'm too lazy to look up the formulas).
The problem with the anglosaxon system measuring stuff is that you always have these strange formulas to remember when you have to convert to the metric system. If you doing any serious calculations for instance in physics you don't want those messy formulas around.

It's funny that this discussion shows up here. The reason that America and the UK never switched to the metric system was that it was invented by the french (i.e. "not invented here" syndrome). I see the same happening here again with digital TV. You've got a standard that's known to be inferior to the european standard yet still it is pushed. My guess is that america won't drop it and that it either never really becomes a succes or it you will be stuck with it for the next thirty or so years

BTW. I think the european standard only exists on paper. At least I haven't seen digital tvs in the shop yet and I'm not aware of any digital broadcastings either.

Ultimately both standards will fail I think. It will be just a few years before most of us have fast enough internet connection to allow for streamed video. On the long term this will be the only option. If I take holland as an example, 9x% of our country has cable TV. Most cable companies are in the process of starting up cable internet services (available in the larger cities already). It will be just a few years before most dutch people have access to high speed internet connections. When that happens. Companies will start offering video on demand. From there its just a small step to abandon conventional TV all together.

Re: Thats the problem with the US (2)

Master-of-Sloth (82756) | more than 15 years ago | (#1685976)

Fahrenheit is based on blood. When it was first devised 100f was the temperature of human blood, but when better thermometers were invented they scale was found to be wrong (hence blood temp is around 98.5deg f). I think this is correct. Not sure what o deg.f is, mabey the freezing point of blood. Any medical students out there?

Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong but it is something like that.

The Imperial system is useful. Before the decimal point was generally understood and when times tables were more readily taught,maths was done in fractions. The imperial system was designed so that you could do the sums in your head. Though for some reason the Yanks don't seem to use stone, everyone quotes weight in pounds (?)

Re: Thats the problem with the US (1)

Henrik Abelsson (90604) | more than 15 years ago | (#1685977)

The kelvin scale is acctually the same thing as the celcius temprature scale, ie, one degree kelvin = one degree celcius. The only difference is the starting point.kelvin start out on absolute zero, the celcius scale on the freezing point of water

But the advantage of the celcius scale is that it uses easy figures.. humans are exceptionally good at thinking with powers of 10. (atleast compared to other bases) :)

BTW, this is getting way off topic.. :)

Re: Thats the problem with the US (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 15 years ago | (#1685978)

IIRC 0 and 100 Fahrenheit are where blood freezes and boils, respectively, with water at 32 and 212 on that scale. c = (9/5)f + 32. I have to wonder if the Kelvin scale should have used some more fundamental unit than 1/100 of the difference between freezing and boiling water.
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