315 posts • joined Wednesday 31st October 2007 00:58 GMT
Re: What sort of cretin buys a Amazon Swindle anyway?
Not true. I'm a techie. I have a Kindle Touch and I love it.
A lot of fellow techie look at me a bit funny when they see me with it and ask questions like "don't you have a tablet ?" and "why would you want something so slow and only black and grey ?". Those who know a bit more (but don't have an e-reader) might also ask: "why would you get an e-reader that is locked to the Amazon store?"
(Those same techies usuall also have non-"jailbroken" iPads, iPhones or other smart devices, similarly tied to their respective storefronts, but don't seem to appreciate the irony)
For me, I looked at the Amazon Store, I looked at what books were available. I also looked at alternative sources for books and the process involved in getting books sourced from other than Amazon onto my device.
The Store Experience (as "sampled" via using the Kindle reader app) was friction free.
Adding additional books purchased elsewhere into my Kindle library was friction free.
The Kindle Touch was, at the time, the best e-reader on the market.
The Kindle jacket case with built in reading light was the best looking and feeling jacket/case solution at the time.
So, being the sort of sensible chap who adds up the pros and cons and then makes a decision based on relevant factors, rather than being a techno-ideolog who seeks every opportunity to flagellate themselves on the altar of inconvenience just for the sake of being able to flaunt their technocract geek credentials, I bought one.
And once I explain how all this stuff "just works", and how the display technology is actually far better suited to the function for which the device is specifically intended, as opposed to the gaudy, retina scorching displays of tablets designed to do everything and yet also nothing.... other people quickly "get it" too.
Especially those who don't initially understand how it is that I am able to sit in the sunshine, enjoying the view with my (polarised) sunnies still on AND still be reading on my device without squinting, constantly twisting and turning the device or shading the screen in a desperate attempt to try to make the display readable, and how I am able to keep pulling this device from my bag or pocket for days on end without having to scrounge a charging cable or swearing cos the battery just died.
Sometimes being a techie means we are best placed to choose the best, fuss-free solution.
"bets" ? Not "investments" ?
When your CEO seems to regard your business as a giant roulette wheel, one might ask if he's the right guy to be at the helm.
Re: What gives ANY company the right...
You write as if Google's lawyers aren't entirely aware that their customers won't - in the main - be able or willing to afford to hire a lawyer to ascertain the validity of the non-negotiable contract they put in front of them.
Those Google lawyers will also almost certainly have included a severability clause in the contract. Why ? Because they will also know that some of the other clauses in that contract are not actually enforceable (such as trying to constrain the rights of an individual w.r.t their own private property) and without a severability clause such clauses would render the entire contract void, at Google's fault. Severability ensures that where a clause is deemed invalid or unenforceable, the remaining contract survives.
Re: What gives ANY company the right...
Not true. At least not in all countries. Here in NZ, manufacturer's warranty is transferable upon resale as long as you have the original sale receipt to establish the date of purchase . But then, we have one of the strongest consumer protection regimes that I am aware of, with goods and services held against far higher standards than is the norm.
For example, goods must last for a reasonable time. That is over and above any warranty - manufacturer or 3rd party (most retailers won't even bother pestering you about taking out 3rd party insurance because of this, which is another benefit!).
A colleague of mine had a 3 year old Dell 30" LCD monitor (2 yr warranty) replaced when it's power supply blew up. Power supplies reasonably should last more than 3 years (there are some general guidelines for "reasonableness" in relation to certain products, but ultimately it is taken on a case by case basis and considers things like how an appliance or device has been cared for etc). Dell, to their credit, not only replaced the unit without quibble and free of charge (they are entitled to charge to cover reasonable costs if they wish), but also arranged next-day courier delivery and collection of the expired monitor, also at their own expense !
I myself had a Logitech Harmony remote (1 yr warranty) replaced after 2 years when the recharging contacts on the docking station failed (due to a flaw in the design/implementation of spring mechanism intended to sustain the contact with the remote). Again, entirely free of charge.
In my case, unfortunately, the design flaw remains in the replacement unit and after 2 years this one has now started exhibiting the same fault. This time around for the sake of $100 I can't be bothered and don't want another unit which is going to do the same thing in another 2 years, so it's time to get a new remote entirely.
Re: What gives ANY company the right...
Sensible it may be, but it's still illegal. The only way they could legitimately implement such a thing would be to retain ownership of the glasses themselves. Since they aren't - apparently - doing that, then they are on a hiding to nothing with this.
Product Selection Fail
1 remote to rule them all is possible. I've had a Logitech Harmony for the past 4+ years. For a while it wasn't a complete solution as I still needed to keep a PS3 blu-ray remote handy. I eventually added the Logitech PS3 "Eye" and now we really do have 1 remote that does everything.
Rather than trying to keep all device codes on the remote memory which you then select by identifying the required device, Logitech keep all their codes online - you configure your device on their web site and it downloads just the codes needed. No issues with memory on it, and the "Activity Based" approach works brilliantly. But it wasn't cheap. All up, it cost around NZ$300 - or about 150 of your UK pounds.
Universal Remote controls that work aren't cheap. But when consumers try to save pennies by buying cheap remotes .... ;)
Re: @Jolyon Smith, Slightly off topic
Having said that [reply], you got me. I read the review, went away, read some more reviews, then came back and read the comments. For some reason I thought the "behind the scenes" insight was part of a different review. Not this one. My mistake. :)
The FAIL is all mine. :)
Re: @Jolyon Smith, Slightly off topic
I think you'd be surprised how many people jump straight in to making comments without reading the articles. Especially for a movie review where many people form their opinions based on biases about the actors or film makers involved. Not that that happened in these comments though, right ? ;)
Re: Meanwhile, in the antipodes...
Kiwi's *WISH* that TradeMe was the local equivalent of ebay. It is the dominant auction listings site, if that's what you mean. But other than that TradeMe is a piece of sh*t. They stitched up the market very quickly and have since simply sat back and coined it, without improving or building on their success.
Some more statistics for the statistics grinder...
"Chrome is the default browser on Android"
Not entirely accurate.
Chrome is the default browser on Android 4.x. Chrome isn't even supported on pre 4.0 Android. 4.x Android accounts - as of Feb 2013 - for about 14% of Android devices.
That's hardly the same as "doing a Microsoft". Not least because even new Android devices continue to be introduced without having been forced to pre-install Android 4.0 or Chrome, quite unlike the situation with Microsoft.
Not defending Google or attacking Microsoft. Just setting the record a little straighter. :)
Re: Slightly off topic
This is perhaps more On Topic than you realise. :)
I think you might not be aware that to film the "house in the clouds", Kosinsky took a 3 camera rig to the top of a mountain and filmed "plates" of skyscapes. These were then rear projected onto screens built around a practical set of the Harper Sky House.
This is what was responsible for the highly natural feel of that location in the movie. The set and the actors were "lit" primarily by those projected sky-scapes, and the reflections on all that glass were real (albeit at one remove from the original sky that was filmed and then projected).
Re: Nothing puts me off a film more
I call BS on this. All the previews featured Cruise far more prominently than Freeman. The idea that you were all stoked for a Freeman movie and THEN put off by the revelation that Cruise was involved is plainly a load of horse crap. You just want to feel good joining in the Cruise hate.
Which is a shame because you're gonna miss a good movie as a result of your shallow and transparent posturing.
Re: Comparisons with electricity are inappropriate
But not ALL games, unless you have a UPS on your ADSL router and/or wi-fi access point as well. :D
"200KW of solar panels .. about the same as .. the panels around the ISS"
Sounds easy when you put it like that, eh ?
But how about this instead:
To achieve this, we will need a solar array of just over 3300m2 in area.
Of course, that's in Earth orbit, and as long as your engine only needs to pootle around in Earth Orbit, that's fine.
But if you want to go to Mars (or even further out), then as you increase the distance from the sun, the power output from your solar array diminishes exponentially. So you will need much, MUCH bigger solar arrays if you are to derive your electrical power solely from solar (assuming that you are not generating an initial exces of electrical energy which can be stored for use on the return trip - but batteries are heavy, so.... ).
I love how his first two solutions to the problem were lawyers then politicians: ONLY when those two options failed did he resort to a business solution for his business problem.
That kind of thinking has much to do with how screwed up our business leaders are.
There. I fixed it for ya.
Re: Building and dividends...
Automan could. :)
Re: Building and dividends...
But of course, what you need to take into account is that they bought Apple stock not for dividend returns, but for capital growth. Now that it looks like they have lost that bet, they are clamouring for the divvies. They want their cake and to eat it too.
Thing is, a lot of them already had their cake and missed their chance to eat it because they were greedily waiting for it to grow even bigger on the plate. Tough titties to them I say.
Re: One can only presume...
Avoidance is only legal whilst the law permits that particular flavour of avoidance. Once such loopholes are closed, HEY PRESTO - it's evasion. And if there is sufficient concern (and there increasingly seems to be) to change the laws to make former avoidance now evasion then it can only be concluded that it was evasion to start with. Simply a form of evasion that was not previously caught by the laws.
In these cases, what we have are complex interactions between disparate tax systems, some of which were intended to reflect complications inherent in the tax affairs of multinational companies. But these were NOT deliberately created mechanisms specifically intended to allow corporations to legally avoid tax.
Which brings us back to the original question: Why are these companies not being brought to book ?
Arguing that "what they are doing is legal" is dodging and fudging the issue.
Once upon a time there were no speed limits on the road. Then ideas changed and so did the law, but good luck arguing your way out of a speeding ticket now by falling back on the position that what you did used to be legal and so should continue to be so.
Also, try arguing with a straight face that speed limits are not themselves legal for the same reason.
One can only presume...
... that this means that the specific commercial arrangements contrived by the specific companies involved will be laid out, since the mechanics of the Double Irish Dutch Sandwich (and other variants) are readily available already from numerous sources.
As such, I'm not entirely sure what "transparency" this will add that could not be achieved by simply affirming that "Yes, indeed, <identified> companies are using <identified> mechanisms to reduce/lower/evade tax".
The real question is, that being the case, why are they not being pursued more vigorously for tax evasion ?
Where-as "<any modifier> + J" is glaringly obvious ? Just asking.
Re: Why so slow to go with this technology.
I am no electronics engineer, but I guess the problems are related to the fact that an electric toothbrush spends hours on it's base and just minutes in use, so it has plenty of time to accumulate charge for very short bursts of use. A toothbrush also has a comparatively bulky handle in which to accomodate the charging electronics.
A phone on the other hand typically spends more time off the charger than on it in any 24 hour period and has to fit those charging electronics inside a case which the market demands be super-slim, alongside all the other electronics that a phone has to pack.
It's not the technology that is taking time, it's finding a way to successfully apply it to the smart-phone form and usage factors.
Re: NZ Has No TV Tax
"How about if you lived here"
You saw the part where I *DID* live there, for 34 years. I have the benefit of being able to compare those years with living in a very similar country but where the public broadcaster is funded from general taxation.
I've seen and lived the difference. For you, you are just looking at the greener grass and I can tell you, it aint so green up close.
Re: NZ Has No TV Tax
Missing the point entirely that if you eradicate the TV License Fee you will STILL be paying for the BBC, the only difference is that it will come out of your general TAX bill. You still won't have any choice but to pay it, but without direct accountability for the funding, you will lose the right entirely to complain about what you are getting for your money and the BBC - still being paid for by you - will drift even further down the quality ladder.
The BBC is regarded worldwide as the Gold Standard of public broadcasters. It is a uniquely British phenomenon to want to destroy the things that others think we should be most proud of.
NZ Has No TV Tax
Instead, the public broadcaster is funded from general taxation.
In NZ we also do not get to choose whether we pay those taxes or what it get's spent on generally.
I am a Brit, born and bred, who moved to NZ aged 34. The BBC is one of the very few things I miss terribly. I don't miss paying the TV license fee because to get decent TV here you HAVE to pay for Sky (more than twice as expensive as the license fee, even on a straight dollar-to-pounds exchange rate basis, never mind the lower wages here), where-as in the UK Sky truly was optional because the BBC was such a good service.
And the TV LIcense fee also paid for commercial free, quality radio. And seriously, you don't know how valuable that is until you come to a country where the very idea is alien.
In NZ we also have a public broadcaster that is indistinguishable from the non-publicly owned commercial TV. They both show the same irritating commercials and the standard of output is lamentably poor (with even more lamentably rare exceptions), apart from the shows imported from overseas.
Ironically, the only channels on which you can enjoy commercial free, quality television... are the pay TV subscription services on Sky (SoHo etc).
Hmmm... I wonder if there's a link between what you pay for something directly, the accountability this creates, and the quality you get as a result.
Now there's a thought.
Quit bitching and moaning. You don't know how lucky you are.
afaict the problem breaks down as:
1. Contrive a mechanism to fool someone into clicking a link which will automatically run some program.
2. Contrive that this mechanism will run a program with an attack vector (Crysis 3).
1 doesn't need Origin to achieve, just an idiot user (in contrast to the impression given in the piece "reporting" this, it is not possible to contrive a link that if clicked on one machine will result in code running on some OTHER machine so you still need that perfect storm of Idiot User and Machine Not Treated With Care and Respect by Said Idiot User. And as I say, there are plenty of those around).
2 relies on a vulnerability in Crysis 3, not Origin.
Smells like people desperate for attention, contriving a FUD and scare story leveraging something that they think will gain enough attention that at least some of it will reflect enough onto them in which to bathe.
Hiding behind the license...
Nobody is buying SimCity... all they are buying is a license to USE the software. As such, the software publisher can put out whatever turd they like because you, the customer, are not buying the software, merely a license to use it, severely limiting the applicability of various consumer protection measures such as "merchantable quality", "fitness for purpose", "warranty" etc etc.
It beggars belief that the industry still get's away with this. It was perhaps understandable when the industry was in it's infancy, much like the fact that they regulations around car manufacture and advertising (not t mention countless other products) used to be far more relaxed but got tighter and tighter as the need for allowances that the fledgling industries involved needed in order to be able to deliver anything at all became less and less as the industries matured and the consumers became more experienced with the products.
The same sort of change is LONG overdue in the software business. It would not be tolerated - by consumers or the regulatory bodies - in any other consumer product market.
DRM Encourages Piracy
I really like the look of SimCity and really want to play it. But I don't want my solo gaming sessions to have to coincide with when my internet access is humming along nicely and be at the whim and behest of some server infrastructure that may or may not be maintained in years to come.
So unless EA release a patch that provides offline solo play, I shall not be buying this game. If a version with an offline capability becomes available by (cough) some other means then I might take advantage of that. Whether I then choose to pay EA for their product which is not "fit for purpose" in which they supply it is a decision I shall wrestle with if/when the situation arises.
But if they released an official "offline capable" version, I would be all over this.
Yet another example of a so called "anti-piracy" measure that does not actually prevent piracy but actively ENCOURAGES it !
Re: Just to start a shitstorm
I for one am not "down" on T2, but just because I can enjoy it as a piece of entertainment doesn't mean I have to elevate it to genre-defining greatness or ignore those aspects of it which reveal it's weaknesses.
It's a great film, but it's not intelligent sci-fi, no matter how much it might appear to pass itself off as such at a superficial level. Don't mistake a sense of self-importance with actual importance. ;)
Re: What about The Abyss?
THE ABYSS is effectively already represented on the list ... by 2001, given that THE ABYSS is little more than a re-make of 2010.
That hack Cameron doesn't need any more encouragement to believe he is anything more than a hack who made a pile of cash from a couple of at best very ordinary but surprisingly popular movies. One dreary, sentimental pap-fest in particular. Looking at you, TITANIC.
Re: Just to start a shitstorm
That's not how you start a shit storm. THIS is how to start a shitstorm:
TERMINATOR has no grounding or basis in science fiction.
It has a fantastical, superficially sci-fi premise - a time travelling robot and good guy - but that exists only as a device to kick-start the narrative which is a simple chase-and-flight action piece. Even the "fate is what we make it" theme is secondary to the main narrative, to the extent that you can utterly ignore it without any material impact on the movie as a whole.
Add to that a "sequel" which was in practice merely a re-make/re-tread with updated CGI FX, further revealing that any intelligent theme was so shallow that no more than wading in up to the ankles was possible before something else had to be done to create and maintain the entertainment and interest levels required to support the movie (T1 is an action/gore piece, bordering on tech-horror, whilst T2 is a CGI FX show-reel - in both cases the implications or exploration of "fate", is a tacked on footnote).
And I say that as someone who actually loves both movies. But it's like STAR WARS : a great movie and a great story (so great they made it twice), but TERMINATOR isn't "hard sci-fi".
Nothing Solaris'y about MOON
Solaris is about loss and communication.
Moon is about identity.
The only thing they have in common is that they each favour intelligent contemplation of their respective themes through their characters and situations, rather than distract the audience with ... oooh, that's shiny ... now, where was I ?
Um, were the US PTO asleep when this went across their desk ?
My 2 year old phone already has this "situational awareness". In dim lighting the screen is dimmed, in bright light the screen brightens. And it wasn't a new or unusual feature even 2 years ago.
If that's not "Prior Art" then I don't know what is! (and I don't discount the latter)
Re: probably closer to the actual public's view of the commercial film scene
More to the point, with no "Money back satisfaction guarantee", bums on seats is just a measure of the number of people willing to part with their money and is in NO WAY a measure of what they thought of the film having done so.
To use an example from many years ago, I paid to see THE PHANTOM MENACE - TWICE. Not because I liked it, but because after the shocking disappointment of the first time I couldn't be sure that my misgivings were simply the result of my own inflated expectations, so I gave it the benefit of the doubt and watched it again, this time knowing exactly what to expect.
2 tickets sold but no reflection at all of the fact that I (still) thought the movie sucked.
In more recent years I can rattle off a whole littany of movies that - had I known what I was in for - would not have sucked the money from my pocket. Alice in Wonderland, Battleship, A Good Day to Die Hard, The Risible Planet of the Apes - are just 4 that leap to mind.
On a point of accuracy...
The law in NZ makes file sharing illegal, not downloading. When you download a file you are obtaining it from someone who is sharing - *they* are the ones breaking the law, not the downloader.
BitTorrent could be construed as indicative of an intent to share since it incorporates file sharing as a feature. If you were using a torrent client that had no seeding/sharing capabilities and could ONLY be used to download then there would be no such prima face "evidence".
Please note, I am NOT supporting the RIANZ, just explaining their logic in the context of the actual law (which is reported as "file downloading laws" when it is not).
The law is still stupid of course. It's like saying "Robbing a bank is OK, as long as you don't then go around giving the money away to other people."
Re: Let me get this straight
It costs the tax payer because (afaik) the fees charged do not cover 100% of the cost of administering the tribunal, which are otherwise born by the tax payer.
Re: Braindead idiots trying to store their digital world on their device.
So living in a country where 3G coverage is less than 100%, most especially in the areas where you are most likely to go on vacation makes me a "Brainded Idiot" ?
"The cloud" is great for backup, but it's lousy as portable storage. I once thought the same as you... who needs a player with lots of storage - just sync the stuff I want to listen to at any given time and leave the rest on the PC (these days: in the cloud). But that really doesn't work. You (or at least I) can never predict what I'm going to be in the mood to listen to at any/all times. Or maybe you don't have as broad/eclectic tastes as some.
Hmmmm, how about that... could it be that, possibly, your individual experience/preference is NOT universally relevant to all of mankind who are thus "braindead idiots" simply for having different needs or preferences ... ?
I know, it's a wild possibility, but it just might be true.
"the extra storage is ideal for customers who use 3D design tools, CAD and other such packages"
Unlike the device into which the extra storage is being fitted.
Move along please, nothing to see here (except perhaps more mobile HD porn - the REAL reason that such devices are called "fondleslabs").
Re: So what?
The difference between DVD and BR is like chalk and cheese, even on a relatively modest 40" size screen.
The improvements are not just in resolution but in colour gamut (no colour stepping), contrast (blacks are truly black, not just dark grey) not to mention the different codecs which now allow for "native" frame rates - 24 fps movies are 24 fps on your screen, so no 4% runtime speedup for PAL or 3:2 pull down artefacts for NTSC, as you get with DVD.
If you honestly cannot tell the difference then you are either in denial or in desperate need of a visit to your optician.
Re: So what?
True, but then again unless you are still the proud owner of a 24" 4:3 ratio black and white CRT tube TV with mono sound, you really cannot complain. And only one in the household, thank you very much, and no multi-channel box either - satellite or terrestrial.
You are already in the game, don't moan just because you can't (yet) afford to play the next round.
You don't need OAuth to ask for someone credentials...
That's called PHISHING, and actually OAuth prevents that precisely because OAuth does NOT ask for those credentials. If you are asking for credentials whilst PRETENDING to use OAuth, that's not OAuth's fault.
What you might be saying is that by creating an environment where people begin to blindly trust sites because they have "connect with FaceBook/Twitter/etc" options, and so stop thinking about whether or not they SHOULD be entering their credentials when asked to do so when using such services, then sure - that is a problem I think.
Add a "Connect with <service name>" button. When clicked, throw up a sign-on page that looks like it belongs to that service, with some text along the lines of "<Service> is not signed in. Sign in now to complete the authorisation process for <Phishing Application Name Here>".
Most people aren't going to stop and think whether or not they ARE currently signed in with the service, they will just go ahead and "Sign in" using this oh-so-trustworthy form.
But that doesn't need OAuth to work.
WAY off the mark
A nice rant, but unfortunately a load of typing wasted.
Artistic license also allows you to have a character who is a bit of a Wide Boy, prone to making boastful claims some of which may be exaggerated or just plain bullsh*t, potentially from a place of ignorance.
Like the dick down the pub who says his car has over 200 torque when he means horsepower but is too stupid to a) know the difference or b) realise that the people he is talking to will know more than him and easily spot his bullsh*t.
That line establishes that Han Solo is boastful and for all you know it also deliberately identifies him as less well informed about units of measure than you might expect.
Does Luke know and internally peg this Solo character is a bit of a douche ?
Maybe he does, maybe he doesn't. Or maybe Luke doesn't know any better either and is quietly impressed.
But either way, it doesn't affect the story one bit - whether based on the "parsec" bullsh*t or simply the fact that this Solo dude is a swaggering boastful, smug S.O.B, Luke has his opinion of Han right from the start.
As for your other soapboxes...
The "techno babble" in Star Trek was not passed off to scientists (tho that may have been the idea originally), it was simply handled by script writers who had a knack for dreaming up credible SOUNDING psuedo-scientific lingo, allowing the scripts to be written with story and character as the primary focus without the writers getting bogged down in the "science bit". Science bits which - again - weren't relevant to the STORY, but just had to sound plausible.
Big Bang Theory - a show about science and knowledgeable scientists damned sure better get it right, obviously. But Star Wars isn't that show. Neither is Star Trek for that matter. The only thing Star Trek wasn't allowed to contradict was itself, not real science.
As for people doing incredibly stupid things in movies... they do it in real life all the time. Is real life made up too ?
Re: Politician's logic
Agreed, although for me the article hit a wall when they invoked Turing.
A young man driven to a desperate act as a result of the consequences of his political actions for which there have to be consequences even if you agree with his politics is one thing.
A man hounded to his death for his sexual preferences *DESPITE* what he did for his country is quite another.
Indeed - I have more "spatial freedom" using a cable to charge... instead of a cuboid charging space roughly 4 x 20 x 15 centimetres (guesstimating the size of the pad in the video), I get a potentially spheroidal cubing space with a radius of 1.5 METRES!
OK, so in practice I cannot actually use all of that space, but that's because the spatial freedom offered is so great, it actually impinges on other important spaces!! Like my bedside table. Even the small fraction of the potential charging sphere that I can use is significantly larger than the pitiful cuboid offered by A4WP.
Having said ALL that.... where I can see this working is in the workplace... at home my phone is either in use or charging overnight. But at work I am up and down from my desk all day and don't want to have to keep docking and undocking my phone if I take it with me, so it would be handy to have a charging pad on my desk.
But at home.... ? Nah.
In a nutshell - wireless charging may supplement wired charging, but it aint gonna replace it anytime soon.
When you only have one feature...
Be sure to demo it twice and add techno-babble to make it sound impressive/more than it is.
Re: Geometry fail
Or another way to look at it...
The river takes a 90 deg turn left, then another 90 deg turn, before striking out at another 90 deg right turn, resulting in a net right angle turn but involving 270 deg of actual turning.
I'm here all week.
Re: From the movies
Sorry for the downvote, but it had to be done because the UI in Jurassic Park was actually real. Experimental for sure, and never actually made it as a product as far as I know (though others have taken inspiration from it subsequently), but it wasn't some mocked up for the movie, imaginary UI.