* Posts by Paul

40 posts • joined 22 Jan 2008

Boffins: Ordinary lightbulbs can be made efficient, cheaply

Paul

@The truth about CFLs

CFL's do indeed use more energy to manufacture - about 4Kw/h compared to 1Kw/h for an incandescent - not 1000x, 4x. What a pity for your argument that 1 CFL replaces an average 8 incandescents, 4Kw/h vs 8Kw/h. What an even bigger pity for you the lifetime energy use for *each* 100W incandescent is ~100Kw/h, arguing about the manufacturing cost is the sign of someone with no credible argument to make!

BTW: installing 125W Daylight CFL's nailed my Seasonal Affective Disorder where countless feeble incandescents failed. Buy cheap crap and you'll get crap light - so its nice of the CFL haters to keep sweeping the bad bulbs out of the market.

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BNP pleads for cash after reported DDoS assault

Paul

@Subtilior: decency my arse

Subtilior:"The BNP is the only political party left in the UK with even a modicum of decency, unfortunately."

They're just the latest incarnation of the right wing pirates that have dipped their snouts hardest and longest every time they've reached power. They've rarely been content picking their own citizens pockets either, warmongering scum.

Watching their election broadcast I couldn't understand why they'd shown WW2 footage from the wrong side...

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Inside USB 3.0

Paul

@calum - its the slave CPU power that counts

@calum; "USB3.0 is 5Gb/s that is a massive step in speed so a little CPU overhead still makes it faster than the proposed firewire S3200 3.2Gb/s"

Back on the planet I live on Full Speed USB2 rarely gets much above 60% of usable bandwidth and that's with a measurable hit on our 3GHz CPU's, low utilisation mostly caused by the much less powerful CPU at the slave end of USB. That's going to get worse with USB3 and Firewire will continue to be faster at 3.2Gb/s than USB3 at 5Gb/s.

Slave devices aren't often going to have the benefit of a $100 CPU or even $1 worth of hardware assist (like Firewire) and that 10x speed increase is going to be imaginary for most devices. A few percent at the PC end may be acceptable, 100%+ needed at the slave is clearly impossible and I'm already annoyed enough with my Humax PVR falling over trying and failing to keep up with 12Mb/s HiSpeed!

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Yorkshire boozer establishes 'smoking research centre'

Paul

@Richard: blame the right people folks

Before deploying the tired old 'nanny state' crap you should ask the pub industry why it so persistently avoided the many opportunities they were given to avoid any ban. The politicians really didn't want to annoy so many voters and prevaricated for 10+ years hoping they could sit on their expense cheating arses ignoring the growing clamour for action. It looks very like the pub trade relied on that reluctance and assumed no government would actually follow through on threats.

The last option offered included increasing the number of separate smoking/non-smoking rooms, signage for smoking policies and a general improvement in non-smokers ability to avoid smoke in pubs. The targets were pretty modest. The response was overwhelmingly to just put 'smoking allowed' signs up.

The pub trade played chicken with the government and lost. Blame the many landlords more interested in fighting change than improving their pubs.

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SCO threatened with Chapter 7 destruction

Paul

why BK?

Never forget SCOX entered BK protection without being bankrupt. In fact, after many years loudly proclaiming how eager they were to reach trial they filed for BK the day before reaching court, with the deliberate and only intent of provoking an automatic stay on all the lawsuits.

Like everything else in the whole sorry fiaSCO the BK was a lie, just a way to stave off retribution for 18months. The hammer is now falling and the very act of misusing BK this way likely to bring personal liability to Darl McBride and Ralph Yarro.

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Google sued for 'stealing' Android name

Paul

he should be paying Google...

Some might think getting confused with Google is amazingly valuable free publicity and an even more valuable boost to his product from association with Google.

...of course the absence of any product to sell off the back of that spurious association and the inevitable attention of a Google deathstar legal team if there was a product do spoil the opportunity a little ;)

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Videogame history project successfully emulates CRT on LCD

Paul

been there, coded it, don't remember it like this

I'm unconvinced these guys know what they're emulating, I've never used a TV RF out as badly artefacted as they show, hope they just wound up to 500% to hilight the effect, its not the memory I have as a user or what I did as a console programmer. Then again I always bought decent quality TV's and that's what developers tested on. Needs a pretty horrible TV to look as bad as they remember.

Their colour bleed emulation is really emulating (badly) the low pass filtering in the consoles TV encoder (meant to avoid ringing artefacts and generally over aggressive doing it). Yes, it looks like horizontal bleed but it never stretched as far as they've implemented - good for smoothing single pixel gratings and nothing more. A dangerous tool as well, try it with SCART RGB on later hardware and suddenly you discover CRT TV's are perfectly capable of showing crisp sharp edged pixels.

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Virgin Media switches to Gmail

Paul

usual Ntl bollox

Amazing, yet again I find out wtf Ntl are doing with my account from 'anyone but ntl' :(

The company that won't give me write permission to my own webspace and aren't interested in fixing it, couldn't give me a working login to their extra's package and weren't interested in even investigating and cant configure a transparent proxy to save their lives are trying another bold experiment in passing the buck.

On the plus side, I've not been able to access webmail for months (can you guess if they're interested in fixing that?) and been unable to create or change mailboxes for most of the last 5 years - this move will struggle to make things worse!

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IBM fingered over early Linux mistakes

Paul

where's the point to this story?

I can understand the idiots at Novell need to distract the community after their Microsoft collusion, but why the hell did anyone see anything more in this little outburst? No story here beyond IBM learning there's advantage in going beyond their own direct self interest. Something Microsoft's buddies over at Novell still don't understand.

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Pure Digital Evoke-2S DAB and FM radio

Paul
Unhappy

The audio quality really does surprise

The idea of quality and DAB in the same context beggars belief... I don't care how good the playback is, the source remains low bitrate crap.

And how many more identikit, retro look wooden boxes are the DAB manufacturers going to inflict on the market. The few DAB enthusiasts already own radios, all of them square bloody wooden boxes. If there's any scope for widening the market this ain't how to do it.

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Microsoft promises 'lessons learned' on IE 8 download day

Paul

IE 8's default standards mode - WTF?

On my planet if you need to insert a tag to enable it it ain't the default. If Microsoft gave a shit they'd simply make standard compliant mode the default but screwing over the competition matters more than having a working browser.

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Did TomTom test Microsoft's Linux patent lock-down?

Paul

ext3 and UDF not the answer

I hate FAT with a passion but ext2/3 or UDF aren't the answer.

I'm running ext2/3 drivers for WinXP and the best I can say is it works. Its slow, unpredictable (XP can't seem to workout how much free space is really available) and Linux needs to fsck it every time - its not fun and not ready for ordinary users and probably not going to get better till Microsoft improve their support for installable drivers. This isn't immature code, its the official source, the problem is the interface to Windows.

And UDF as a file format? On embedded devices with bugger all RAM for the file table let alone buffering? Total non-starter.

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Polish Spitfire shoots down BNP

Paul

@Steve - jobs

Steve:"The membership of the BNP are idiots, that is why they cant get jobs"

You should worry about the ones that did manage to get jobs, in the police, in government, in any position they can grab all that data our authoritarian government is determined to grab from us. They aren't all bumbling fools.

One of the most compelling arguments against the Orwellian world labour are building is who might get access. A timely reminder that its not just the nightmare of thugs like the BNP achieving power sometime in the future to worry about, its also their existing infestation of positions with the power to abuse.

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Silverlight for Linux hits with Microsoft punch

Paul

Microsoft simply has to permit sub0licencing if it wants this to work

...but Microsoft cant do that because Microsoft don't own all the IP involved! VC1 (AKA WMP) had at least 11 patent infringement claims against it.

...and it seems every time Microsoft release source without heavy NDA's more 'borrowing' is found. So no chance of open source Windoze either... they cant even just use the Mono open source versions because its unlikely they've worked round or could work round the patents involved.

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Palm unfazed by Apple patent threat

Paul

Apple in the dark

Prior art able to invalidate the core claims is piling up and its possible Palm will be found to only infringe on parts that get invalidated. Rushing into court could do little more than invalidate Apples patent. What would be left is a 'look and feel' case and they tend to lead nowhere.

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I'm a sceptic now, says ex-NASA climate boss

Paul

climate change/climate skepticism is a religion

@Wade Burchett: opposition to climate change is also a religion. I'm not going to debate how much of either religion is based in truth, how much pure ignorant BS - it doesn't much matter because the consequences of picking the wrong one are highly asymetric.

If the climate skeptics are wrong picking their side means global disaster.

If the climate changers are wrong we spend money now on things that needed doing before the fossil fuel runs outs in any case. Get it right and there's no downside to anyone but the oil industry. I'd quite like a world where desperate politicians have less excuse to start wars to grab the oil.

The people we should all be pillorying are the sharks proposing bizarre schemes that siphon money from technology we need to whatever makes them the fastest buck regardless of whether its effective.

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InPhase might ship holographic storage this year?

Paul

@Steven Jones

The 1st CD-R's I used cost £10 each (and they'd already dropped a lot by then), today they cost pennies, falling to about the cost of the plastic needed to make them. Media prices are on their own Moore like law - probably steeper because with a fixed physical format there's less need to invest in radical changes. Guessing how much inPhase discs will cost in the future is a fools game, they'll either succeed and drop to their marginal cost of production or they'll fail and remain expensive (like DVD-RAM).

If this starts off cheaper than flash there's a good chance it will remain cheaper than flash indefinitely, leaving the lower speed the main distinguishing feature - since capacity will inevitably rise for both formats.

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Take a hammer to your hard drive, shrieks Which?

Paul

Which has always talked bollocks...

Beaten to it :)

They manage to make the Gadget show look like experts presenting in depth reviews. Its frightening reading descriptions with only a passing similarity to tech toys I own and their inability to notice glaring bugs is unbelievable.

The only thing Which? get right is the reliability figures for long lived items. IT toys are obsolete long before Which? readers can submit enough reports so even that doesn't work. They're part of the decline in standards, so happy that anything works at all they ignore glaring faults and drag their readers along with them.

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Record industry refused Jammie Thomas appeal

Paul

more RIAA lies - still suing

The RIAA claimed they'd stopped suing individuals months back, yet carried right on. Since the most recent listed on http://recordingindustryvspeople.blogspot.com/2008_12_01_archive.html#1104859189661357526 is for 15 Dec 2008 its fair to conclude they're just lying, like they lie about everything else.

Useless parasites stealing artists income however they can.

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Native-Linux music player Amarok gets major overhaul

Paul
Unhappy

be nice if the bloody thing just played files

I'd just like it to simply play MP3's, not head off to search my drive, my network and god knows what else before doing a bloody thing with the one file I gave it. Sitting watching pretty moving green bars is no substitute for music coming from the speakers, a lesson the Amarok developers need to learn.

My media is already as organised as I need it, if I can manage hundreds of gigs of media in Windows without a database why the hell can't Amarok?

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Elgato EyeTV 310 HD satellite TV tuner

Paul

but what about the software?

The most useful aspect of FreeSat is full EPG support for all participating channels and the heart of a PVR is its programme guide. Would have been nice to see some comment on how well the software side works, with both FreeSat and the wider channel universe.

Meanwhile over here in PC land DVB-S tuners aren't rare or expensive, though S2 support is currently thin on the ground. Doesn't look like Apple will ever escape their pricey reputation :)

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Ofcom: Where's the broadband beef?

Paul

British Gas are the worst offenders

Calls twice a day for the last month, all silent despite repeated attempts to shout at the bastards. And this despite ordering them to put me on their do-not-call list earlier in the year.

Amazingly, after emailing their HQ with my offer of only charging £100 handling fee per call seemed to stop them instantly - the evening call didn't happen and nothing since.

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Hands on with SanDisk's SlotMusic SD-not-CD player

Paul

a memory-less mp3 player for twenty of your english quids ?

@Paul: which isn't so impressive if you know scan sells one for less than a tenner and regularly discounts it - I paid £3.75 for mine. And it has a usable file navigator on it ;)

Its nice to see the drift towards DRM free, disappointing they decided against loss free coding given the amount of space - could fit MP3 and WAV or ogg copies quite easily. So still not getting the same quality as a CD.

But really this is the record companies last ditch effort to maintain album sales, they're so damn frightened of individual track downloads we get this concession. For a lot of people being ripped off 99p a track will still work out better value.

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Agile development - can’t scale, won’t scale?

Paul

constant misuse by marketing idiots

A disturbing aspect of agile development is its apparent spread towards end users, with work-in-progress routinely being shipped to hapless buyers of everything hitech. Agile is something that should have been kept secret from the marketing depts and PHB's everywhere. Speaking as a consumer being able to get new toys sooner really doesn't make up for the bloody things not working on delivery and sitting through months (sometimes years) of broken iterations.

Its a dangerous tool in the wrong hands and the lack of scalability is a blessing if it slows down its misuse by making real customers part of the dev team.

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BT's Phorm small print: It's all your fault

Paul
Flame

flood 'em with blacklist demands

...let the flood to drown them in blacklist requests begin.

And don't forget to be extremely rude while doing it ;)

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Commodore launches little laptop

Paul

a decidedly C64-beating £325

My C64 cost more than £325! ...before adding a display and disc drive ;)

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Ryanair cancels aggregator-booked tickets in escalating scraping war

Paul

bare sales aren't worth having

If your business model is making no money on the core product but making plenty on selling ancillary services you sure as hell don't want sales that bypass the sales pitch. That's exactly what the screen scrapers are doing and however sleazy you think Ryanair's business is they'd be idiots not to take action, it directly skews the sell through on their real business.

Customers I make no profit from are customers I can afford to ignore.

The real danger to the bottom feeding airlines is genuine price comparisons, unskewed by aggregator margins or vested interests. Those are the ones Ryanair aren't going for *yet*, they just hope they can push through restrictions that 'accidentally' outlaw them as well. Not surprising when the latest real price check I saw had British Airlines come out cheaper than every budget airline in every trip checked.

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Nvidia denies chipset farewell

Paul

re: When are we going to see nVidia CPU's?

@Flocke Kroes

What on earth are you smoking? You want a CPU from people that couldn't get their sound,firewall,network and at one time even SATA disk support working? You know, the simple stuff? At least they could hide the flaws behind drivers (usually by switching to software mode and hoping no-one noticed the missing acceleration) - though I've not seen a properly working gfx driver for more than a year.

How they'd switch a broken CPU into software emulation would be entertaining to see ;)

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Jacqui Smith kick-starts yoof ID debate site, site kick stops

Paul

compulsion is inevitable

...and what the police don't currently have is a general right to stop you and ask for 'fail safe' proof of identity. The ID card plans inevitably lead there, none of the claimed benefits against terrorism and illegal immigration work without it.

Its also inevitable: if it can be abused government (and their tools) will abuse it. This is another repeat of the 'sus' laws of the 70's, persistently abused in a racist way that caused nothing but civil disorder.

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Nvidia throws itself under the bus with chip defect, delays and lost sales

Paul

this time they couldn't use Plan A

Nvidia have a long history of releasing broken hardware+driver combinations and a history of simply disabling broken features instead of fixing them. Over the years I've seen sound,firewall and basic network acceleration disappear, features that never worked well and seemed more about brand promotion than any real effort to deliver working hardware. Right now I've just ended 16 months without graphics driver updates waiting for them to restore even basic functionality to that went MIA.

Nvidia seem totally isolated from end-users, they just dont feel any need to fix problems those users have or really support old hardware when shiny new toys come along for the engineers to play with.

This time they can't just disable features for a quick 'screw the punters' fix - though I bet they tried.

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Beeb's online music stations get rewind button

Paul

Wii - don't bother

>>flashy blade:will it work on wii?

The Wii iPlayer is a lame duck, poor quality, unable to do true fullscreen and it's diabolically hard controlling it. All the signs of engineers wasting a coffee break on the project...

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Byron Review will create videogame delays, warns EA

Paul

free software

Why do I have the nagging feeling there's going to be no way to get compliant with age labelling without handing hefty chunks of cash to PEGI and/or BBFC? Even the obvious 'slap a 18+ rating on' will fall foul of their symbol copyrights.

Given the taxing nature of our government and the natural desire of fee charging leeches to feed it seems inevitable they'll plug any loop holes by making distribution illegal if you don't pay the tax. As usual the government find a new way to create criminals instead of fixing real problems.

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Google sneaks under standards radar

Paul

yeah, pretend we just hate MSFT

Its easy to pretend opposition to OOXML is just fanboys at play. The truth is the fanboys would love Microsoft to deliver a genuinely usable Office spec, destroying their own monopoly in the process. Even a 6000 page spec if it was accurate.

Unsurprisingly Microsoft declined to do that. OOXML doesn't help break the monopoly because Microsoft don't use it, don't intend to use it and made damn sure OOXML does not in fact document any existing or future Microsoft product formats well enough to be threaten anything.

The real opposition remains technical. Microsoft are pushing a 'standard' that's anything but, not open, not litigation free, not complete - not even accurate. The complaint about Google is 'the standard could be better'. Well sometimes a bad standard's better than no standard, especially when the creator won't be hanging around like a bad smell constantly derailing improvements.

Sometimes a standard is just a standard. And sometimes its a monopoly protecting its monopoly, by foul means.

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Nvidia drivers named as lead Vista crash cause in 2007

Paul

They f&*cked the XP drivers as well

I wouldn't care how bad Vista support is if the fuckwits at Nvidia hadn't backported all the stupid restrictions into the XP drivers. Video overlay support Vista apparently insists on restricting (ATI didn't seem to have a problem) has now spread restrictions into XP drivers - upgrading XP drivers removes existing features!

The working XP style control panel is no more, replacing by the Fisher Price Vista incarnation, along the way losing half its control options and what's left usually doesn't work. Want to save a colour setup, get some pen and paper, the drivers won't remember it for you.

I've been hit hard by the incredible decision that monitors will always be autodetected as the driver starts. Autodetected even if I try to override detection (the option just doesn't work). Even better, after failing to find my second monitor hiding behind its monitor switch all related options are removed from the fscking panel so I can't manually enable it.

Braindead engineers following braindead DRM orders from braindead Redmond monopolists. Is it any surprise they're responsible for so many crashes?

(And maybe some decade soon NVidia will admit their NIC hardware doesn't work and do what they did with all other mboard drivers - disable the hardware acceleration and fallback to software).

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Mozilla CEO blasts Apple for putting security of the internet at risk

Paul

FF autoupdate

I set FF to automatically check for updates but ask for permission to download and install them. In the YEARS since then that's exactly what its done and no more, no foreign installs tagging along for the ride, no surreptitious downloads and I could disabled even the version checks if I wanted to do the whole thing manually.

The Safari install will need unticking EVERY TIME you run the Qtime updater, until you make a mistake and install it, Apple remove the option to untick or you stop using the updater. There is no excuse for this at all, its just a cynical attempt to wear down resistance instead of obeying the users choices.

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Doctors back more tax on booze

Paul

linked to means nothing

Weasel words strike again: the drinker botherers have LINKED more deaths to alcohol, that does't mean there's been any increase at all, they're just adding up the stats differently to get the answer they want.

Its seriously hard to believe a declining drinks market can support the claims and I simply cant accept claims binge drinking is worse now than it was in my youth 25 years ago. Teetotal prohibitionists might believe this bullshit, those of us who actually drink remember it differently.

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Apple sets its sights on video consoles

Paul

anyone remember the Pippin? Didn't think so ;)

Can't do any worse than their last attempt - the Pippin - a machine that vanished without trace.

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SCO details bleak future

Paul

part of the blackmail plan

This isn't an accident, its part of a fallback plan to walk away from their bogus case without resolving the claims, leaving a cloud of doubt over Novell,IBM and Linux. The moment IBM didn't roll over and pay them to go away it was a choice between corporate or personal suicide, most of them chose corporate suicide... there's a good chance they'll fail at this the same way they failed at blackmail.

SCOX disappearing into BK doesn't automagically kill the cases, just changes who their victims chase for the money. McBride, Yarro and their posse seeing personal destitution will please a lot more people than SCOX vanishing up its own arse. This case was never about SCOX, it was about the bonuses Canopy and SCO officers could award themselves, they treated the company as disposable right from the start.

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Freeview lobby cries foul on Ofcom HDTV plans

Paul

HD sets flying off the shelfs?

HD panels may well be selling well. Its not much of an achievement, you can't buy anything else unless you want a 10" portable! Even then you have to accept the premise that a panel not matching ANY HD resolution (all those 768 line sets) is even really HD after rescaling everything thrown at it.

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Software pirates put sizeable dent in UK economy

Paul

marginal cost of production is near zero

Software costs almost nothing to churn out extra copies. So where exactly are those new jobs coming from? Sell twice as many copies and you don't magically need 2x as many programmers, just extra duplicators. You don't even need 2x the sales drones, PC World staff aren't exactly busy most of the day and there aren't usually queues to worry about.

More industry bullshit, any extra spending on IT will end up where it always has - snorted up some PHB's nose.

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