* Posts by Kevin Kenny

24 posts • joined 1 Mar 2007

Shrek studio looks to Toshiba to untie HD DVD bond

Kevin Kenny
Alien

Payola by another name

Isn't it?

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Apple posts iPhone 1.1.4 update

Kevin Kenny
Paris Hilton

re: "Please add a pair of Steve Jobs icons"

Funny, I aways thought they were Steve "the barmer" Balmer icons. Twins? Maybe it's the balding pate and grey hair or something or maybe I need to get new glasses.

Liv Tyler cos I love them ears.

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EU data ruling slaps filesharers with red herring

Kevin Kenny
Happy

@Dr Mouse & AC

Dr Mouse: "Firstly, the reason I dont buy music is because what they produce today is MINDLESS PAP."

AC: "Wrong, MOST of what is produced, or agreeably, all of what THEY produce is..."

AC, you're bang on.

Dr Mouse, you're clearly listening to the wrong stations. You should check out Radio 6 and shows like Stuart Maconies Freakzone, or Tom Robinsons evening shows, or Craig Charles' funk show on a sat night. Radio 6 seems to be the last bastion of good tunes.

I still buy CD's because like AC I still play 'em in a decent CD player with a decent amp and speakers. I also grab certain albums via p2p either because I don't want to risk blowing 15-20 quid on something that might be a load of crap or it's no longer available but I'm more than happy to part with my cash to get the actual physical media.

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Microsoft preempts Hyper-V release with virtualization vision

Kevin Kenny
Paris Hilton

@colin: Even as a virtualised OS...

Colin,

At the risk of sounding fanboyish....

I've been running Vista for a year now on a Dell Precision box (picked up from Europc for 300 quid) with a Pentium 2.8 HT processor, 2gb of memory, a sata 7200 100gb disk and an Nvidia 7900 GT gfx card (ok...that was an extra 100 quid off ebay). Hardly the cutting edge of todays dual core all singing and dancing fancy pants systems you can buy today. I've got office 2007 running, three visual studio 2008 sessions (largish multi project solutions), two SQL 2005 std instances running and umpteen other things on the go, the aero ui is slick and fast and I hardly feel 'crippled'.

How about qualifying your bandwagonesque bash-vista slashdot type rumours with some actual facts?

Reminiscing about amiga is all lovely and fine (I had a 500, loved it to bits) but lets face and be realistic it the UI/experience was a far cry from rich experience of XP/Vista/Gnome/KDE GUI's.

Peace and love though.

Kev

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Fertility watchdogs approve first human-animal hybrids

Kevin Kenny
Happy

@Matty

I dunno Matty, I can see distinct advantages to being a human/dog hybrid, for example. You'd never be bored again - endless pleasures chewing/chasing sticks, running after cars combined with the ability to read and go to the pub etc. And imagine being able to lick your own balls.

Kev

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Toshiba pitches HD DVD players as... DVD machines

Kevin Kenny
Coat

@BD+ no thanks, I'll stick with SD a little while longer

I dunno what all the fuss and consternation is about the DRM on BluRay. Ultimately the HD consortium will do their level best to cripple HD-DVD with stronger DRM as time passes. And as that time passes by and if BluRay takes off as the leading content delivery platform then there will be more players out there (in pc's) such that attention will turn to breaking BluRay DRM.

Truth be told, the DRM infection on movie disks doesn't amount to much more than a hill of beans to me (i get more pissed off not being able to skip through the usual DO NOT STEAL crap at the front of a movie). As long as I look after my disks then I see no need to have a 'backup'. If the media 'degrades' after say 5-7 years of regular use then by the time it comes to replace (hopefully not) I'll find that same film on ebay or play or wherever for under a fiver (stuff does wear out just like hoovers and bits in your car).

Yeah DRM sucks, but ultimately its the price of a disk and whether the movie is any good that sways whether I'll buy or not.

Kev

ps: I'll get my coat and fire extinguisher.

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Kevin Kenny
Happy

@ why indeed/@HD worthwhile

Upscaling whilst good is still nowhere near as good as HD-DVD/BluRay player tied to a decent 1080p display.

I've got a PS3 and a Tosh EP-30 and whilst the upscaling kinda works, on a 40" panel you still see all sorts of artifacts. A movie that has been transferred to HD format and done well (even old/scratched film stock that has been cleaned up and processed properly) is still way better than any upscaled DVD. But of course it does all depend on the source material.

I'm well impressed by it all. 2001 for example really gets a new lease of life and looks so fresh on Bluray compared to my DVD copy.

But...unless you spend the readies for HD kit at both ends then you may as well not bother. My only gripe is the delay between DVD releases of films and the release of the HD version, as HD seems lag behind by about a month.

Kev

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California to snatch control of citizens' air-con

Kevin Kenny
Alert

Enron

Wasn't the 2000/2001 'energy crisis' blamed partly on Enron and other energy trading companies for telling power stations to shut down so the traders could hike the prices during peak demands? I seem to remember this from watching The Smartest Guys In The Room movie.

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Samsung ML-1630 laser printer

Kevin Kenny
Thumb Down

RE: Another video review?

Agreed. Not all workplace PC's have sound cards believe it or not (try working for some banks). Also some of us like to print stuff out to read on the bus or train.

Also my ADSL at home is a poxy 512k (at the end of the line) which seems to be able to stream absolutely bugger all.

Or, at least provide a written transcript?

Kev

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Sony exec confirms PS3 will get Blu-ray Profile 1.1 this month

Kevin Kenny
Stop

@tim - PiP big deal

I own players for both formats and to be honest I really can't get that excited about PiP. I'd hardly call Blu-Ray an incomplete format just because Profile 1.0 doesn't support it. As far as I'm concerned I just want to watch the feature and that probably applies to 90% of folk.

As far as DRM restrictions are concerned, the sponsors for both formats will try to get away with as much DRM as is humanly possible so I'd hardly go choosing a format based on how much DRM is implemented.

Having now owned both a PS3 and now a Tosh EP30, for a while and watched films on both formats, in reality there isn't really any perceivable difference between the two formats for the majority of folks.

Kev

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eBay glitch wipes out 11 year-old account without a trace

Kevin Kenny
Boffin

@Martin H Watson

I agree completely. Sellers should be made to leave feedback about how reliable/trustworthy a buyer you are (i.e. did you pay, that's the whole point about allowing sellers to leave feedback?) before they receive feedback from the buyer. It's a shit system and as a buyer you effectively become a feedback hostage every time.

It's a broken system and the quality of the data in the feedback scores is low/untrustworthy because of this.

Kev

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BitTorrent site Demonoid.com downed by Canadian record industry

Kevin Kenny
Thumb Up

@Dale Richards

Good list....Canadian bands are some of the best kept secrets of the music industry. Add to the list cool stuff on the DripAudio label like Inhabitants. My current foobar2000 playlist is 30% canadian artists.

There was also a 70's new wave band called Payola$.

Kev

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Blu-ray outsells HD DVD 2:1 in US

Kevin Kenny
Flame

Comparing HD-DVD and Blu-Ray - apples/oranges

Unless you actually sit down and watch the same film on each media you can't really make authoratitive sounding assertions like 'oh I saw Bullet on BD and it quality was rubbish but The Matrix on HD-DVD was way better'. It all depends on the quality of the original prints or masters/audio tracks and how much time and effort is spent cleaning them up for HD transfer. Older films may not have been as well looked after in their cans (or whatever they get stored in). A good example is the reports of the Mission Impossible franchise. The MI-1 (11 year old film, pre-DVD) is reported as being not much better than watching on DVD , MI-2 (7 year old film, DVD era) not bad and MI-3 (HD era) rather good.

At the times these films were made they were filmed using the prevelant technology of the day.

Comparing watching Bullet on BD and then The Matrix on HD is as useful as comparing oranges with apples, you have to see the same film on both formats to make that judgement.

Personally I bought into the BD format because they're in Blockbuster and the PS3 is a pretty good player (and I wanted a new console) and excellent value for money to boot. The first BD film I watched was Pearl Harbour and it was pretty mind blowing in terms of visual and aural experience compared to DVD. And...unless you have a 1080p telly and a decent surround amp and speaker combo then how can anyone possibly begin to offer an subjective opinion about which standard is better than the other. All I can say is I'm pretty bloody amazed so far with BD. I'm sure HD-DVD is the same.

There's some comments around here and elsewhere about how the current media format, i.e. a round 5.25" disk is an obsolete format, and folk moaning about not being able to download HD content instead. Well sorry folks, there's still plenty of us in the UK stuck on 512k -> 1mb ADSL connections due to line or exchange limitations. Downloading a 30-50Gb HD movie to watch on a whim just isn't practical! I find nothing wrong with disks and provided you treat them nicely like vinyl or CD's and put them away after use then there's no reason they should get damaged. Jeez.

Just 2c from someone that actually does own the gear.

Kev

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Palm offers free Treo 750 Windows Mobile 6 upgrade

Kevin Kenny

One chance download

Just be careful. The site asks you to enter your device serial number then after accepting their license terms you are shown a page with a download link.

I started to download then realised my download manager wasn't started. I cancelled the download and went to try again, but this time with the download manager, and the site says -

"We are sorry! Our records indicate this device has already received its copy of this download. If you believe you are receiving this message in error, please contact Palm's customer support in your region.

For Support, click here"

How f*cking stupid is that. They might at least warn you in big red letters of this daft one-shot download.

I called support which was an utterly futile task and littered with all sorts of blind alley options to discourage you from getting to speak to an actual human. Support raised a trouble ticket and escalated, but my confidence in them actually doing anything about it is rather low given that the bod on the other end of the phone suggested I would have a better chance sending an email directly to their escalations email addy.

Kev

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Kingston Comms loses BT connection

Kevin Kenny

Wrong type of....

...leaves on the cables?

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Free software campaigners stonewalled at BBC

Kevin Kenny

Freeloaders

"The BBC says its content partners will not allow it to distribute shows over the internet without Microsoft DRM."

So why don't these freeloaders go and picket the production companies instead. Hell, the damn i-thingy is only a beta.

DRM sucks, but the beeb are damned if they do and damned if they don't.

Kev

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Merchants remain angry over Protx outage

Kevin Kenny

Barclays FUD

We don't use Protx but we were also told by our payment processor (SecPay - they're pretty good and solid and very crossplatform and dev friendly) that the deadline for 3D secure for Maestro cards was the end of June 2007. So after rushing around and implementing the change we find out that Barclays aren't actually finishing off their end until early 2008 - grrr.

Protx probably shoulda done better with their upgrade, but Barclays should've come clean about the 'actual' schedule they were running with.

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BBC iPlayer launches, but with limited viewer reach

Kevin Kenny

Don't moan at the beeb, moan at the content providers

Blimey, give the beeb a break. If you took the time to look at the credits at the end of lots of BBC content on yer telly, you'll find that it's come from outside production companies.

It's not the BBC that's forcing DRM down our necks but the content owners and the whole repeat fee thing that actors (rightly or wrong) demand for each rendering of their mugs on the box.

So go moan at Kudos who do Spooks for example.

As someone mentioned earlier, the BBC are damned if they do and damned if they don't. Personally I still think the license fee is still great value for money when you consider the rich variety of TV and Radio broadcasting the BBC do. Look at BBC 4 this week and can you imagine C4 or ITV or Sky commissioning programmes such as Absolute Zero or Atom. Three whole hours worth of excellent viewing and not a single bloody advert. Then go look around the amount of commercial free radio content that's archived on the BBC radio sites.

Quit yer moaning, go and protest at the independant production companies who are the real bad guys.

And to the folks who doth protest about paying a license fee and want to see the BBC funded by commercials, then go tune into Fox or CNN or Sky 1/2/3 and take a look at the sh*te being shovelled to the lowest common denominator, it's scary.

And one more thing, yeah ok the BBC have announced iPlayer, and yeah it's a beta, big deal. Hell after nearly 15 years, that Linux bollocks still feels like a rolling Beta.

Kev

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McLaren suspends top F1 engineer

Kevin Kenny

As techies we all know that...

...low level technical information woulda been far more interesting.

High Level sounds like a brochure and power point slide:

-- Formula One Car Executive Summary --

1. Colour - Red

2. Wheels - Four

3. Engine - One

4. Stickers - lots

5. Speed - woo fast!

6. Uses Petrol

Any questions?

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UK Gov boots intelligent design back into 'religious' margins

Kevin Kenny

It kinda took a while, actually...

Karl,

"I do subscribe to the belief that the universe is too complex to have just happened, ..."

Not that I'm accusing you of being a theist or deist but this is one of the most common misrepresentations about how our (present - but let's leave that for another fun discussion) universe got here today. The whole 'just happened' thing is where people really don't have any concept of how much time the universe actually had to get to it's present state.

The universe didn't 'just happen', it took somewhere around 14 billion years which is a bloody long time and way too much for most of our million year old evolved monkey brains to comprehend. Even just two minutes of thinking about it gives me the Total Perspective Vortex willies.

Kev

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Orange and Littlewoods breach Data Protection Act, says ICO

Kevin Kenny

Sharing logins

When I worked at Intelligent Finance (part of HBoS) their IT team took 5 weeks to assign me a login and so to get anything done I had use my managers login!.

In the meantime I'd had my security and anti fraud awareness training which specifically forbade login sharing.

Funnily enough I quit IF on the 6th week when they finally pulled their finger out and went to work for a company that actually got stuff done.

A mate who's started on a contract at HBoS IT centre in Edinburgh has been there for a month now, still no further forward with getting a login or any relevant development tools and is having use someone else's credentials.

It's endemic is these big organisations.

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CD WOW! vows to take £35m High Court defeat to Europe

Kevin Kenny

Record industry shoots self in foot again but still doesn't notice

Yet another reason why I've stopped buying CD's and TV series DVD's for that matter. I used to spend roughly 60-100 quid a month on music, and feel quite ripped off when you get home to find out that most of that product is maybe two or three decent tunes per CD padded out with cruft knocked up in the studio over tea break.

It's plainly clear that the 'global market place' is only global if you're the corporates. No wonder these G7/8 type summits attract violent protests, the ballot box is no use when trying to get politicians, who are already in the pockets of the companies, to protect worker and consumer rights.

Recently I wrote an email to Sonos pointing out that even after import duty and VAT and carriage, their UK product still far exceeded the equivalent dollar price. This was their excuse:

Dear Kevin,

First of all thank you for your interest in our product.

As you state correctly there is a price difference between the US and

Europe.

This however is our price policy and is mostly due to the cost of doing

business in Europe. Of course we will always try to improve our product

and its price.

Hope this answers your question, if there is anything else you want to

know please don't hesitate to contact us.

Kind regards,

Mark Vellinga

Sonos Europe B.V.

What a load of bollocks, why not let me order their product from their US site, pay in dollars and ship it on a 7-15 day air freight, but no and as is usual with many US companies, you gotta have a US address to complete the order form.

It's all just one big rip off to protect the already fat and greasy corporate bottom line.

Kev

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Kevin Kenny

Record industry shoots self in foot again but still doesn't notice

Yet another reason why I've stopped buying CD's and TV series DVD's for that matter. I used to spend roughly 60-100 quid a month on music, and feel quite ripped off when you get home to find out that most of that product is maybe two or three decent tunes per CD padded out with cruft knocked up in the studio over tea break.

It's plainly clear that the 'global market place' is only global if you're the corporates. No wonder these G7/8 type summits attract violent protests, the ballot box is no use when trying to get politicians, who are already in the pockets of the companies, to protect worker and consumer rights.

Recently I wrote an email to Sonos pointing out that even after import duty and VAT and carriage, their UK product still far exceeded the equivalent dollar price. This was their excuse:

Dear Kevin,

First of all thank you for your interest in our product.

As you state correctly there is a price difference between the US and

Europe.

This however is our price policy and is mostly due to the cost of doing

business in Europe. Of course we will always try to improve our product

and its price.

Hope this answers your question, if there is anything else you want to

know please don't hesitate to contact us.

Kind regards,

Mark Vellinga

Sonos Europe B.V.

What a load of bollocks, why not let me order their product from their US site, pay in dollars and ship it on a 7-15 day air freight, but no and as is usual with many US companies, you gotta have a US address to complete the order form.

It's all just one big rip off to protect the already fat and greasy corporate bottom line.

Kev

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Sky goes dark for Virgin Media

Kevin Kenny

One less pile of brain rotting crap to wait your life on

I have Sky unfortunately because there's no freeview or cable alternative and I like my news channels and BBC4.

Oddly though, not a single Sky offering is on my favourites filter because it's just brain rotting twaddle.

Good on Virgin taking on these tossers. I also find it galling that I have to pay Sky a small fortune to get Freesat just so I can get free to air channels but the b*stards still withhold More 4.

To add insult to injury, when Sky get their paws on all these so called hit TV series', the 20 minutes of ad padding makes them unbearable to watch (can't say E4 are much better). No wonder folk hit the torrents.

Sky have become an unhealthy monopoly and it's time this is scrutinised a bit more by Ofcom and the government. In fact the so called 'choice' that is we're supposed to have frankly doesn't exist if you live in areas without Freeview or cable, or if cable is available then often the choice to have a dish isn't there because of planning restrictions. Isn't it about time that satellite broadcast access is brought into line with that of telephony and the other utilities where we can actually choose who we want to buy channels from over a third party managed access media.

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