83 posts • joined Tuesday 9th October 2007 09:54 GMT
They missed again
The whole point of BlackBerry is it doesn't use ActiveSync which is a truly horrible synchronisation tool that's been plagued with problems since the dawn of time. It's total crap.
Apple don't have any BlackBerry Enterprise Server type product which is a key technology between Exchange and BlackBerry devices - as wireless sync goes I've never seen anything better. Apple has no killer-app to topple RIM, it just has a single phone with synchronisation capabilities it had to licence. Hardly the stuff to keep RIM awake at nights. May be Apple should stop believing its own hype.
How does HD help?
Given that the output of television generally is total crap, how does HD help? Like people have said would it improve the already dismal freeview channels that are mostly repeats and/or channels time-shifted by an hour? Will 15 year old repeats of Whose Line is it Anyway or Friends be improved? Will I suddenly realise that a ten year old repeat of Top Gear isn't actually a load of old toss and is actually a high quality programme about motoring? Fix the content first, reinstate the idea of public service broadcasting and then we can think of how we can deliver it. There are fundamentally only four channels in the UK, everything else is either a derivative of, or leeches from.
Re: Gerhard Zweimueller
Good point; however Google like all corporations don't have any responsibilities beyond looking after shareholders. I think the problem is broader than just the environmental issues as profound as they may be; in Malaysia power per kilowatt hour might be cheaper, staff are almost certainly cheaper and planning laws may be more relaxed to attract a high profile company. There may also be grants to attract companies in. We do the same thing in the UK and it's probably better known as carpetbagging. At the end of the day Google is just looking for somewhere cheap to host their servers, when you're cloud-computing on this scale the specifics of location and country are academic. It seems such a waste we use all this ingenuity to spew out adverts and let people search for porn.
Vigilantism is no defence
The Church of Scientology may be a bunch of litigious wankers but you can't defend your right of free speech by taking someone else's away. Tom Cruise is the best thing that ever happened to those aimed at stopping this plainly dangerous cult, it's probably better just to let the former Mr. Kidman just keep talking bollocks and he'll do the job for you. But we can't turn into vigilantes however tawdry our system of justice is, it's still better than lynchings.
There's no money in it
Given that the cheapskate British consumer wants all-you-can-eat broadband for £6.49 a month it's no surprise Tiscali is struggling and we're entering an end game of who can bleed the most for longest will win. Broadband has turned into a hopelessly loss-making proposition, whether you're Talk-Talk giving it away, AOL chucking in a free laptop or Sky offering almost unlimited packages for a nominal amount the best thing any telecoms company can do is get out of it ASAP. We all know the consumer will ultimately pay the price - once there are only a couple of providers their hegemonic status will allow them to ratchet up prices to towering figures like the satellite telly racket, but until then all companies like Tiscali will do is lose money. They've done this from the beginning, Tiscali's business grew from screaming.net to World Online and ultimately Tiscali and all they've ever done is lose money. Broadband is a mug's game.
MS can't win
Considering the endless criticism Microsoft has faced over VBA and its security, it seems that getting rid of it causes them as many criticisms. Personally I don't think the Mac market for Office is as valuable as people think. The development effort is probably disproportionate to the number of users it gets and I've often felt one of their motivations for keeping it going is to get regulators off their back. If Mac users switched to OpenOffice, Microsoft could justifiably ditch Office for Mac and say the market chose the other product.
However as a long time OpenOffice user I often find people are more in love with it for ideological rather than practical reasons. Lots of people say they love it but then don't actually use it, they'll use some knocked off/work-sourced version of MS Office instead. The reality of OpenOffice is far more mundane as it's really an ancient looking office suite that's years behind MS Office. I use it because I can't afford anything better. Imagining that it's a panacea for Microsoft Office is complete cobblers. I tend to find for writing serious documents I'll choose Lyx/LaTeX as OpenOffice Writer really is quite terrible (in terms of quality of typesetting/layout, MS Word is no better though...).
How mature is the market?
I think it's easy to get carried away with the iPhone but I think it's equally important to look at what people actually buy for phones. This isn't like the market for Palm applications of which there are thousands or for Windows Mobile of which there's a similar number. The situation for phones looks entirely different even for mature platforms like Symbian. All that people seem to buy for phones are ringtones and wallpapers and I think this is just as applicable to iPhone as it isn't a serious business device. Even BlackBerry doesn't seem to have many third-party applications as the native apps do what people want fairly well even if they aren't very polished or slick. At the minute I think trying to build apps written for a single model from one vendor is probably a very risky endeavour.
Seems a sure thing
Given that people are regularly deluged by fax spam and a 5 or 6 years ago there were a lot Windows messenger service spams going around it seems a certainty this will be done. Most network printers I've seen do not seem inherently secure; if you know their IP address they are surprisingly chatty and most will display a nice page that will tell you their model, firmware, serial number, how much paper they have -- you could mine this information to plan attacks as there is frequently no security set on this. Printers seem hugely lacking in security and most depend on security by obscurity, you need to know their IP address before attacking it.
MP3sparks.com = danger
Anyone handing over a credit card number to what looks like a bunch of crooks frankly needs their head examining. I fail to see any point in funding Russian crime - if we accept the urban legend that the "legitimate" record industry act in a criminal manner what difference is their in exchanging one set of criminals for another?
MS hedged their bets
It certainly reveals why Microsoft left HD or Blu-Ray out of the base-machine. Which ever way this goes MS can easily offer a suitable drive so users won't be stuck with a dying or obselete format.
Very poor taste
My father died from lung cancer and I'm 100% certain he never used IE or Firefox in his life. I'm sure the oncologist said it was something about "cigarettes" that killed him but what the hell did he know?
My mother survived breast cancer and she *did* use IE so I suppose she's a statistical anomaly?
Another asinine plan
I know it will matter to Reg readers that only the most ideologically correct provider should be doing this but it will never substitute for the far that the Internet is 99% total crap. It's child-poverty that leads to a lifetime of low achievement and has got sod all to do with the crap on the Internet.
Web adverts are very different
The thing about any non-linear medium is it's fairly easy to get around advertising; even the most intrusive web adverts can be mostly declawed fairly easily if required. The problem is with the linear media, there isn't any practical way to miss TV, film or radio commercials other than switching it off altogether.
There is no distinction in the qualitative nature of adverts that is reliant on the size of the company - all adverts have essentially the same purpose and arguing anything else is special pleading. Commercial advertising is intrusive by design, whether it's for Coke or Joe Bloggs' Laundry Express, I don't need to be informed that I have a need with a company being ready to fill it.
But people have conflicting needs; the same people who whinge about the intrusiveness of adverts are the same ones who complain about the cost of the BBC licence fee. You can either pay up front or suffer adverts but you can't have neither. Subscription based services are inherently unfair as they generally only lead to the better off getting access to them and they're commercially risky; if people have to pay for something they'll either take their business to somewhere cheaper or find out they didn't need it in the first place. Only captive markets or de facto monopolies make subscriptions work (see Sky telly, for instance).
If you think billboard and newspaper/magazine adverts only work in concert with TV you are missing the point that they're often designed to target specific demographics you can't reach with TV. TV isn't as pervasive as people think it is because it's very expensive and with so many channels very hard to target. I think anyone being complacent about the impact of advertising or thinking they're less susceptible to it because they don't watch TV is massively under-estimating how deeply entrenched it is.
What if you loose?
It looks to me this is the natural conclusion to the RIAA's anti-piracy policy. For years the RIAA has been provoked by the bootleggers and file sharers who have constructed endless arguments to give legal and moral legitimacy to their activities. It has come to the point where everyone now looks like a criminal as the anti-piracy drive has compeletely lost its way.
Sony and Apple are extremely unlikely to "take RIAA apart in court," not least that Sony BMG Music Group is a RIAA member and four of its executives are members of the RIAA Board. Also RIAA members can just as quickly cut off Apple's air supply as iTunes is almost entirely beholden to RIAA members.
Surely its obvious on one hand the RIAA uses copyright law against consumer interests but on the other hand consumers have been taking the piss thinking they can pirate material with impunity. We need a better strategy to fight against private monopolies which are no better than racketeering but the problem of them goes way beyond just the record industry. Most of the complaints in this thread can be distilled down to self-interest without any thought that private monopolies are part of a much broader problem causing far greater harm than just sticking up the prices of CDs and suing music pirates.
Has StarOffice succeeded?
According to Wikipedia Sun bought StarOffice because it was cheaper to buy StarDivision than pay for 42,000 Office licenses and Windows laptops - there is not a citation for this claim so it remains to be seen whether it's true. Quite why you wouldn't just buy StarOffice licenses in the first place remains unexplained. As an OpenOffice user myself I do quite like the product but there can be no doubt it's mass take-up has been a failure. It looks and feels old-fashioned and is years behind Office 2007 that I use at work. Other than removing the StarOffice "Start" button the package is substantially the same as it was - things like its Bibliograhy support and Gallery are just appallingly bad. Even the "Change Case" feature in Writer can only do upper or lower (not sentence or title) that MS Office has been able to for 8 years or so.
In my experience people use OpenOffice for only two reasons, either ideological (they won't use Microsoft) or financial (they can't afford Office, like me). After ten years everyone should be using OpenOffice but they aren't and probably never will. The innovation and quality just isn't there.
Natwest sent me one of these little doo-dats ages ago but they never seem to have used it. I'm hoping they implement it soon - the age of passwords and pin numbers for online banking is well and truly dead. We need single usage authentication ASAP.
Wikipedia is a cult
Given the cult of Wikipedia is closer to Scientology than anything else I suggest people avoid it at all costs. It's a conduit for arseholes, the worship of arseholes and terrible, unreliable information. We don't need another pseudo-religious/personality cult.
Moron in huge bill shocka
What is it with these chumps who think for $10 a month they can use any resource without limitation? There is no "hold on there" -- his plan clearly stated he had unlimited web browsing from his phone, that's totally distinct from using it as a peripheral device connected to a PC. The man is a cretin of the very highest order. Welcome to no sympathy night.
Opera should have complained about this years ago, at least as far back as Windows 98, did IE become part of the OS. You can't wait for umpteen generations of Windows to go by and the decide this is a problem. Really Microsoft's position is no different the it was ten years ago in terms of market share.
I think there other side of the coin is you can complain about most tools bundled with Windows as being the same abuse; look at all the DOS shells and Windows file managers that became irrelevant when Windows 95 introduced Windows Explorer. Makers of file editors, backup programs, bitmap editors, email clients can all complain the same way. Even Trumpet Windsock should have complained long and loudly when Windows 95 brought in Dial-up Networking.
I think their complaint is largely without merit and sounds like special pleading. I think Firefox has done Opera much more harm than Internet Explorer ever has as they're competing more or less on an equal footing.
Microsoft to blame!
Multimap has been crap for years - it's such a shame as they were a pioneer of free-mapping on the Internet. Perhaps Microsoft's investment might actually improve things. I tried following directions from a Google map, an absolute pile of bollocks that managed to get the map orientation complelely wrong. Get an AtoZ and avoid all this useless online bollocks - it only exists to sell you adverts anyway.
Microsoft to blame!
"I think that Microsoft cannot take down MSFirefox as the trademarks are being used for parody, which I believe is protected under law" - I believe in the US such a right was protected under a judgement made on a case involving Larry Flynt and Hustler magazine - precedents can be overturned.
You said it all: the drive is configured not to allow anonymous access outside the local LAN. What kind of chump allows unauthenticated access to files from outside their LAN anyway? Anyway this wasn't a technical decision by WD it's a legal decision. They don't want to be sued for supplying a device that can be so easily used for bootlegging.
Please stop the straw-man arguments -- your thinly disguised excuses for piracy are risible and an embarrassment.
Re:Worth a Commissioners Nose
Your naivety is truly staggering - are you really so silly to think that people selling counterfeit goods are actually going to pay tax on them? Their trade is not legitimate by default so they're hardly likely to be completing tax forms for HMRC. You can't hardly declare tax on counterfeit goods, can you or do you know some particularly stupid criminals?
But this is a Europe-wide problem, go to any holiday resort in the Mediterranean and the shops are over-flowing with fake football strips, sportswear, sunglasses and so on. It doesn't matter which way you slice it up it is all theft, whether fiddling the taxman or the copyright owners. Do you think all the markets, car boot sales, eBay and all that other outlets are actually paying VAT? Your tolerance for criminality is one of the most lame things I've read in a long time.
Italians are spot-on
There is a huge problem with counterfeit goods that needs to be tackled urgently. Relying on local Trading Standards officers is not enough any more and hasn't been for years. You get two massive problems: criminals are stealing from the taxpayer as you can bet your last dollar there'll be no tax revenue from counterfeit goods. The second problem is trickle-down criminality where more and more parts of society resort to criminal methods more easily. It doesn't take a genius to work out that reducing taxed income and spreading endemic criminality is fatal for any society and may put that society in jeopardy or indeed, in terminal decline. It would also help if the authorities stopped spreading scare stories about counterfeit Louis Vuitton handbags funding terrorists and instead framed it in terms of criminals stealing money directly from the public purse.
Microsoft to blame!
Is there any other comment around here? Some evidence suggests Linux is more power hungry:
People would take you seriously if you could substantiate any of the crap you're talking. Of course we want it to fail, that's the only proper response to a ludicrously hyped-up load of bollocks that's being sold like it's the second coming. We're all tired of this nauseating hyperbole that simply shines a light on conspicuous consumption. I'd rather be a chav than a yuppie piece of shit.
Dead in the water
Ancient technology combined with unpleasantly smug marketing in already mature markets was always a recipe for disaster. They're trying to sell in established markets where mobiles have become a commodity not a £300 commitment - we change them too rapidly to shell out that much money. They're also trying to compete with established players without having any knock-out blow to deliver. iPod and iTunes made MP3 players so simple and convenient to use there really isn't much point in considering anything else. The iPhone has none of that traction to make it so attractive. No company has a Midas touch, not even Apple. You don't bring coals to Newcastle.
Microsoft to blame!
Isn't that the normal line of cant around these parts?
Anyway she is a criminal, a particularly stupid criminal.
PS: Please stop it with the revisionist interpretation of law.
PPS: Please stop it with this obscene culture of entitlement. You're all just as bad as the RIAA.
Re: @smelly finger (also)
Have you ever been to a carboot sale recently? Do you really think everyone that wants a dodgy copy of Vista really downloads 2GB (and more) of it? You either spend hours downloading it or you pay a few quid for a DVD copy already cracked and ready to go.
Ever spoken to a trading standards officer who have thousands of counterfeit DVDs with Vista and Office all waiting to be destroyed?
Are you really such a prick you've never seen the true extent of piracy? More special pleading for pirates and crooks - please grow up.
Microsoft to blame!
Wey-hey - the same pointless arguments recur again. Without sounding like either a Microsoft or anti-piracy shill, there is still a basic argument for stopping piracy and it has nothing to do with protecting the already obscene amounts of money Microsoft rake-in.
Bootleggers who sell this stuff are taking money directly from your pocket. In fact you might as well throw £10 notes out the window. Bootleggers aren't paying tax, VAT, National Insurance - they're defrauding everyone. I couldn't give two shits about the money Microsoft is "losing" but I do care about criminals making off with untaxed income. This hurts us all, the more you steal from the taxpayer the more the legitimate earners have to stump up. Untaxed and undeclared income even steals from children, the easiest way not to pay child maintenance is not to show legitimate income - I know there's a lot of men who already do this (I know of one personally who thinks this is a great wheeze).
IIP - specialists in whitewash
Investors in People is complete bollocks, always was. At a company I worked at they cherry-picked the most obvious arselickers/company men to present to Investors in People who then almost immediately listed us as Investors in People organisation based on a self-selected survey. They didn't interview any staff randomly who might mention the company was a shit-house. Mind you the results are consistent with what everyone thinks of appraisals, pointless and arbitrary form-filling that results in sod-all.
Microsoft to blame!
Jesus H Christ -- the Microsoft straw-man appears again. If you added up all the crap on the Internet, all the crap wikis, blogs, forums, all the porn, all the warez, the millions of abandoned mail accounts and mail accounts that only collect spam it would make the 40 million or so Vista licenses look like a drop in the ocean. Just look at the size of Google's data centres and the amount of processing power required to find all that crap above - the massive technology employed just to find gossip on Paris Hilton FFS. If we're talking Apple just look at the environmental problems caused by the iPod from manufacturing to recharging to eventually disposal, a product superficially engineered to become obsolescent in 18 months. Blaming the carbon footprint of IT on Microsoft is absolutely sodding pathetic.
They have a point
The problem with IE - other than the fact it's a dull, uninteresting browser characterised by a lack of innovation is that it's reputation proceeds it. People still think it's as insecure as version 4 which it clearly isn't. Mostly Internet Explorer is used as a whipping-boy by dishonest computer evangelists that specialise in FUD regardless of the facts. It always amazes me though that if Microsoft wanted to attack Firefox it be easier just to examine its ridiculous memory consumption and the way it leaks memory like a bastard (http://kb.mozillazine.org/Memory_Leak) and seems to never get fixed...
Wikipedia = rubbish
Wikipedia is the very worst kind of self-important bollocks you find on the Internet where a select group try to cultivate a media career mostly from the work of other people. Lots of people on the Internet start web sites, forums or mailing lists in the forlorn hope it'll bring them some kind of career. It's become an Internet byword for rubbish.
Some of the articles I've read on Wikipedia on subjects I have some expertise in are laughably and deeply wrong. I mean not just slightly wrong but profoundly wrong and I'm not correcting this shite because (a) I can't be arsed (b) I have no interest in either their objectives and (c) I'm not correcting the fact they have no editorial control. In olden-day speak it's vanity publishing by any other name.
Happy Meal Web Sites
You're paying £3.99 a month for a web site. You're paying barely a pound more than a McDonald's Happy Meal. If you buy a decent broadsheet newspaper everyday that's £30 a month. Anyone paying so little for a business web site clearly isn't serious about business at all. Decent 1U servers start at £1200 and then you have to add data centre costs, power, networking, software, etc. This only makes sense through both box stuffing and absolutely penny-pinching on every expense. Web hosting at this price is simply not economically viable. Pay up or piss off.
You'll buy it anyway
One of the joys of monopoly capitalism is that you can defy all the shortcomings of your product through hegemony. The more monolithic you become the more traction you have to force this rubbish down peoples' throats. Capitalism doesn't work, it certainly doesn't innovate other than to think of cleverer and better ways to sell this unfettered mediocrity. If capitalism and market forces worked no one would be buying Vista -- all power is drawn toward the centre to the extent you really don't have any choice but to buy it. No serious capitalist company actually believes in market forces because then you'd be forced to actually compete; far better to exterminate the competition and have a stranglehold over people that would have embarrassed Stalin. I use Microsoft products everyday and my gripe isn't really with them specifically, they're just a symptom of a much larger phenomenon.
Nokia sent me an email...
I've loved Nokia phones for years and I won't use any other brand. However this turn of events is worrying as I am sure that I'm one of many absolutely fed up with have every bit of space I inhabit commercialised. I don't know why these companies don't realise how much people despise this intrusion. Most ads are 99% shit selling products that are 99% shit. Believe it or not I am capable of identifying my own needs and finding what I need to fill them. I don't need commercials rammed down my throat. Don't these chumps understand that this is my phone and not a conduit to sell me crap?
Sun's in it for the money?
I can't believe how many chumps don't understand the value of open source to companies like Sun: they get development done cheap, they get a huge community of zealots, sorry, evangelists and they get a big stick to beat Microsoft with. Anyone so stupid to work on open source for a corporation deserves all they get, though they aren't as stupid as the ones who work in their own time for the benefit of the likes of Sun. Open source and for-profit companies have got an irreconcilable conflict of interests - you just end up as an unpaid proxy working for The Man who makes a profit from your efforts.
They're all crap
Have you ever tried to find anything on a Government web site? They're all crap. They all follow different structures, styles; different naming conventions (what kind of moron describes a page as "output127.asp"?) with about half a dozen web sites covering the same thing. They don't have any consistant approach and finding stuff is almost impossible. Worse still, on many of them you can't actually do anything useful when you do find them. The only one that's genuinely good is the Office of National Statistics (www.statistics.gov.uk) as it does what it says on the tin.
The God Complex
It seems to me that Google believe their own hype. With what is no more than Google's loose change they hope to solve one of the most intractible problems of our era, our ruinous energy consumption which either will destroy our environment or our society will come to a crashing halt when we've consumed it all. It wouldn't be so bad but they frame this effort simply to produce cheaper power than coal rather than it being the most pressing issue of our generation.
The Man is an Arse
Clearly a man dealing in such absurd simplicities needs a seat in the Bush government urgently. I have never heard such an intelligent man talk such utter balls in my life. Nothing in his argument actually stands up to scrutiny; it certainly wouldn't take Noam Chomsky to refute every argument, point by point. The man is an Imperialist knob of the very highest order as he doesn't seem to think that the people of the Middle East have any point of view worth listening to, they're just a problem that needs curing with made up technology. The man is a bigot and a fool.
Get some facts
Argos is one of the biggest sellers of mobile phones in the UK. Of the 16 O2 phones they're selling the average price is £80.99. Given that PAYG makes up around half of all mobile phones the iPhone is about £200 too expensive for that market. People change their phones too quickly to be left with a £300 Apple brick-phone on an 18 month contract. The way phones depreciate and the rate at which they are replaced and become obselete means no one is going to spend £300 on a phone - quite apart from the fact the PAYG customers are completely screwed over for mobile data costs means about 50% of the market will never buy an iPhone. Apple will have to content itself with posers and yuppies.
Get what you pay for
When do people realise you only get what you pay for? At the end of the day Skype offers cheap international calls and for this there have to be some downsides. Any business relying on a Skype phone number or putting it on their literature needs their head examined.
Isn't it just another missile?
Since unmanned aircraft are clearly not suitable for air-to-air combat, wouldn't it be much cheaper to use either a combination of missiles and some sort of large bomber with targettable ordnance be a lot cheaper? Most of the people we attack can't actually shoot back.
It seems a very expensive method to deliver small payloads - besides which anything that is ultimately designed to replace the Tornado can't negate the fact the Tornado was designed to fight the Cold War as will any of its successors. The era that spawned the Tornado is dead and buried, I think the battlefield has completely changed.
Hope the memory leaks are fixed
Although I really like Firefox the memory leaks are cripplingly bad and this needs urgent attention. Web browsers really don't need any more features so I hope they focus as much attention on its resource usage as possible.
Milk of human kindness goes sour
My dad was an alcoholic from age 14 until the day he died at 61 (he actually died of lung cancer). Are you saying that a 14 year old boy deserves no kindness at all? Do you really think people should be left to live with the consequences of what happened to them as a child?
Have you any idea how absolutely imbecile the idea is that an alcoholic became one deliberately and then can chose to stop any day they like? Have you ever read any of the literature of addiction then you'd know that the idea of "choice" is extremely fragile and that most psychologists do regard addiction as a disease. The reason it is deliberately excluded from DDA is purely political and not medical; addicts were excluded because of political expediency because the authorities don't want to either pay for or clear up the mess created by the social conditions we live in. It's easy just to erase them from history in true Ministry of Truth style.
The wholesale theft of copyright with no money going back to the studios almost guarantees this will be the subject of legal action fairly quickly. Nobody can still answer the basic question though if you sell non-DRM'd material how far beyond the original purchaser will it be distributed? At the end of the day you can't distribute material without permission of the owner and profit from it, that's a level of crookedness that even exceeds the business practices of the legitimate owners.