3052 posts • joined 25 Mar 2008
What the hell does this have to do with home automation (which is how it is linked on the front page)?
Re: Vested interests feeling "threatened"
Also look at the revelations coming out from the USA over their scanners and cack-handed "security theatre".
More and more it seems like the main objective is to instil a sense of fear in the public. And if anyone dares questions it, well by-golly-gosh they must be a terrorist!
Why would automation be favoured by the workers?
"Dear Border Check Underlings,
It has come to our attention that some of you think the automation of your jobs is a bad thing. Nothing could be further from the truth. Automating your job means that my pals make many millions from selling us crap...err...hi-tech machinery.
With these machines we can then fire...err...engage in personnel efficiencies and thus my pals who own the airports can make many more millions.
There is no need to worry about public safety, I certainly don't, and there is no profit in public contentment for my pals. They need the public in a state of fear so we can justify buying more stuff.
So please support this programme of making my pals loads of money so I can get a nice fat directorship and maybe the odd bungs.
Yours in aloofness,
A. N. Other (MP)"
Was interested until I saw the OS. Epic fail is epic.
Re: I hope they have good lawyers
To respond to @John in seriousness
"First they have to demonstrate loss of earnings. As someone already mentioned, lego may "lose" some sale to Lego users but may gain sale to other toy user."
You simply apply MPAA/RIAA maths. You only count the losses, assume that you are only counting a fraction of the losses and that all drops in sales are caused by copyright infringement. You are claiming that (say) sharing season 1 of a series is a promotion for season 2 and that the increase in sales of 2 make up for the loses in 1. The MPAA/RIAA does not see it that way (despite, time and again, reports showing that sharing has no impact on sales).
I actually think this project is a great idea and show what we in IT face day-in day-out. I was trying to apply the logic in reverse; what if we applied IT practices in reverse with the draconian copyright/patent laws? Hopefully to highlight just how stupid most of the stuff in copyright/patent law is (when applied to IT at any rate).
If the companies have any sense (which the probably don't) they should run a competition; who can make the maddest thing by combining specific sets/features?
Maybe I am wrong, but I would expect the companies to lawyer-up and "protect their IP for the good of the stakeholders".
Re: I hope they have good lawyers
Err...I would have thought my prose would have been been vitriolic enough.
I hope they have good lawyers
All the affected companies would have every right in the world to take them to the cleaners. And that includes suing for loss of earnings.
Where the MAFIAA showed the way, the toy-makers will follow. It hurts industry, their shareholders and thus you, if there is a free alternative to their products (or in this case, free interoperability).
And that's the levy? US$5,000 per infringement or something? Just how many lost sales can Lego calculate because kids can now use their K'nex with it? Make that good lawyers and deep pockets.
Really. I find this outbreak of socialist multi-toyism repugnant and disgusting. Teaching children that things from different vendors should work together is disingenuous to modern business. I really don't understand why a pro-MS site like El Reg has mentioned such a cancerous little project. I bet these sandal-wearing beardies even used a copyleft license.
Get Andrew O. on the case - he'll soon tell them why their attempt to express a free culture for the benefit of mankind rather than the bottom line is an affront to all that is wholesome and worthy.
This project is a prime example of why all the plans to have standards that are not protected and validated by patents are fundamentally wrong.
Think of the children! Do you want them to grow up penniless? You can't eat toys!
...how many kidneys an iPhone 5 will cost?
Eh? How is this law in anyway reasonable? Oh wait, it's to "Protect the children". Perhaps the Sun et al should be moved to the top shelf and proof of age required?
Those page 3 fun-bags will obviously ruin many childhoods.
THINK OF THE CHILDREN!!!!
Re: A few things on this
@Gareth. I thought was the whole point of them using a Flash player (it provides the DRM).
Not looked into Couchpotato or Sickbeard yet, but it is retarded in the extreme that I pay for a service and then have to go pirate to actually use the service. I wonder if that is a good defence in court?
Re: A few things on this
@Robert Ramsay: Dunno about PS3s as I don't own one, I just know that I can't use their catch-up or on-demand services because I am not on Windows or OS X. I've read in the forums that Android is barred too.
I am no web expert, but I can't see any reason for blocking; all the other catch-up sites work fine and dandy.
I am paying for legal access to content, but the pirates provide a better service to a better price. Irony.
Re: A few things on this
If you qualitf (i.e. are paying for) Virgin Media Player I suggest you try and use it.
You are in for a very nasty surprise.
Re: A few things on this
6) They can't even do a simple null check in the OS detection code.
(I have been trying to get around their moronic OS block so I can use the site I am paying them for).
A few things on this
1) I use VMedia for home-working. I am always in one shell or another (usually RDP) so probably do use a fair bit of bandwidth.
2) Their router is, frankly, shit. Not only is the firmware crap, but the hardware itself was clearly designed by a moron. Just a shame you can't connect your won router (yes, I know about modem mode).
3) To continue with how shit the router is, it provides no method of traffic shaping or monitoring. Guess I'll have to learn how to do my own.
4) It was very nice of VMedia to send me a letter/email telling me about this change and showing me how I can check my usage against their measures. Oh wait, there was no letter and they provide no way of checking!
5) Add to that the fact they block non-Windows/OS X users from their services (and that includes Android!) despite VMedia selling Android phones, being an Ubuntu mirror AND shipping set top boxes that run a Linux. MORONS! They are no offering executable downloads (or something like that) they have no reason to block based on OS.
Think of the children?
I do think of the children. I want the children to grow up in a society that respects freedom, where the public are free to question their the government and hold it to account, where it is hard (nay, impossible) for the state to prevent corruption being brought to the fore, where freedom of speech (by any means), and movement are sacrosanct.
And instead of this we are allowing a world to be created where every aspect of a child's life is indexed, monitored, controlled and a request for privacy taken as an admission of guilt.
A corrupt, secretive and snooping government is of more threat to children than all the paedos and terrorists in the world multiplied together.
And, as others have said, all this will do is cause those of us with some level of technical prowess to engage in active encryption/blocking, educate others on how to do so and create the tools to make it even easier so that everyone can protect their privacy. Tools which, unfortunately, could be used by others with less noble goals.
This law will CREATE even more of the problems it seeks to solve.
This law is wrong.
Theresa May is wrong.
The ConDems are wrong, Labour was wrong.
Our entire government and the EU are wrong; they are no longer fit-for-purpose.
Kick the people hard and often enough, they will kick back in time; it is never a clean fight, regardless of who triumphs. Read some history.
...and in every way, I come to fear my own "elected" government than the terrorists.
I say "elected" as almost all the MPs come from the same morally bankrupt, public-school educated, elitist, holier-than-thou social class. They have no concept of the real world.
Freedom is a weapon. A weapon of the people against a corrupt regime. This is why our government wished to remove it from our grasp.
Very believable too as I think some Oz chappie managed to patent the wheel (or was it the circle)?
Re: Prior art?
Never mind those, there has been ways to create "you" all the way back to basic GIF.
Just because it is "3D" does not make any more "new" or "innovative".
FFS - things like "Fuzzy Felt" have been doing this since the 1970s!
Apple - take your patent and ram it!
Savings or no...
...it does prove that a GNU/Linux system can compete with MS on the desktop, this means some level of competition and competition is good for the consumer.
Whether or not GNU/Linux is better is beside the point, reducing the near Communist-style stranglehold MS holds on the desktop can only make things better for the purchasers of such systems.
Furthermore, the promotion of Open Standards (and by my definition, that means patent-free) such as ODF can only be a good thing for interoperability.
Really, whether or not you are a Penguin-lover or a freedom-hater; there is no downside to this that I can see. Unless you are an MS shareholder because your monopoly fuelled gravy-train may just be beginning to run out of steam.
Three minor points
1) MS will not permit OEMs to ship ARM mobos that can run anything other than Windows. How far they can push OEMs is a question, but one would imagine that certain...advice may be offered "We have varied the terms of your OEM agreement, pray we do not vary them further."
MS has more than enough of a desktop monopoly to restrict the availability of the other devices, which is why the regulators need to stamp on the "Win8-only" clause.
2) MS rakes it in from Android over various patent claims. You can question the validity of those claims, but the "loss" of market to Android devices might actually improve MS's bottom line.
3) MS is, and has always been, utterly hostile to F/OSS and has only released stuff into the F/OSS ecosystem after threat of suit or to entrench it's non-F/OSS stack. I am sure they will concoct further plans to try and keep F/OSS in check.
The year of the Linux-a-like desktop!
Re: Quite innocuous, everyday items can be used.
You know what I am waiting for next?
"Are you now, or have you at any time in the past, taken martial arts training attaining a rank equal to or greater than first black?"
"I am sorry, you are too dangerous to fly. Kindly step into the bin."
Re: Will someone please tell me...
This simply means that Heathrow does not trust the security at all feed-in airports. Quite sensible really. If a nutter wanted to get air-side with a real naughty, they would pick a soft-target to begin from and then get to the real one via a transfer.
The scanners are useless
One does not need metal objects to carry a weapon. Quite innocuous, everyday items can be used (or combined with others to make) weapons. Whilst these would not be ballistic or explosive in nature, with enough of them on board (and trained nutters to wield them) it would be quite possible to compromise the aircraft (i.e. take, and potentially execute, hostages).
If the security agency does not already know who the terrorists are whilst they are on their way to the airport in a taxi, then that agency has failed. A simple scanner is not going to save you.
Then we have the other risks. Let's say the scanners do work - how many lives does that save (Na)? How many lives do they ruin from cancer (Nb)? Unless Na >>> Nb then the scanners are more dangerous than what they try to prevent.
This also brings the whole ID thing into question. If the agency is doing its job, it already knows which Joe Schmoe is a plumber and which one is a terrorist. They don't need biometrics, ID cards, RFID passports or any other crap. All those do is instil fear in the populace and allow the state to exercise more control.
I for one am glad that I do not have to travel to the USA, although more and more places are using these useless devices.
How long before the lawsuits start?
"My client passed away at 55. Being in IT they were required to sit long hours in front of a screen attempting to meet impossible deadlines. The stress of this, and the threats of outsourcing hanging over their head, brought on heart arrhythmia; the only late-night food the company would order was pizza or curry, leading to my client's obesity; and it was the blood clot from sitting for 12 hours straight they finally killed them, robbing their children of a loving parent. We are seeking £10 million in lost pay, compensation for stress/suffering and expenses."
What about a tax break for companies that hire trainers/subsidise gyms or something? Or organise pre-work callisthenics? Although given the condition of some of my colleagues, seeing them mince around in gym-shorts is likely to induce nausea.
The call centre will be UK, but the engines will be dispatched from the Dehil depot for tax reasons.
And you will have to pay their road toll bill when they arrive.
How this will go
"999 Emergency, which service please?"
"This is the fire service, your call may be recorded to help improve our service to you. Please listen to the following options: Press 1 if you are a member of out Conflagration Super-Savers Club, Press 2 if you wish to friend us on Facebook, Press 3 to hear our latest offers, Press 4 for billing information, Press 5 if you or a family member are currently burning to death"
"So you are burning to death. Press 1 if you can pay by credit card, Press 2 to speak to a colleague"
"Hello, I will be your advisor today. What is your problem?"
"Oh dear god help us! The house is on fire and the babies are stuck on the top floor. HELP US!"
"Please do not shout at me, or I will cancel this call and report you to the police for verbal abuse. What is your problem?"
"Our house is on fire."
"OK, you house is on fire. Have you tried turning the house on and off?"
"No...I can't turn the fire off. If I could, I wouldn't need to call. My babies are burning!"
"I've warned you before, do not shout at me. We are following a specially design script that has been proven to increase our sales. Now, what version of fire do you have?"
"That question makes no sense. Just send a fire engine already."
"Ok, you cannot turn the fire off and do not know what version. How do you intend to pay for the call out?"
"Yes, we don't have your phone number as a registered account. How you wish to pay for the home visit from our engineers?"
"What? Look, this is an emergency. People are dying."
"I appreciate that this is a stressful time for you, but our engineers are highly trained and will resolve your issue as quickly as they can. Can you pay by credit card."
"Ok, debit, 123456789, expires 01/2014"
"Thank you, I have entered your support request into the system. An engineer will be with you within 48 hours. Is there anything else I can help you with today?"
Re: License fee vs transfer costs
"You do realise that it's not necessarily the same AC posting don't you?"
Quite possible, which is why AC comments have to treated with some distrust.
Even if it was the same AC, they clearly don't believe in what they are saying to put their El Reg username against it, something that a shill is likely to do.
Re: License fee vs transfer costs
@AC "They both have their place and both are not perfect, however both are held up by some people as perfect, which they clearly are not."
This from the person who claimed there was no risk with making the wrong choice of commercial software! So not only are you deluded, but you are hypocritical too.
" Commercial software doesn't suffer from [fork risk] as, while sometimes unpopular decisions are made, it carries on in the same direction and your company doesn't end up risking making the wrong choice."
Of course there are risks; companies can drop support forcing a migration or go bust. No real difference from a fork drying up, except that with F/OSS you already have the code, specs etc and at least have a small chance of saving things and a much greater chance of an easier transition.
Give it up already, or would you like a bigger spade to go with that hole?
Luckily Iceland is not in the EU
Otherwise their plans would have been opposed in the EU courts by MS as being "anti-competitive" or similar, just like they managed to get the requirement for open standards crushed in the UK and and keep them off the statutes within the EU.
MS as an entity utterly opposes F/OSS and does everything within its power to undermine the efforts of the community to help itself.
Re: License fee vs transfer costs
@AC "The examples you cite are all of a product ceasing, not forking."
And you were talking about the faults of picking the "wrong" fork. To quote you:
"you can end up choosing the wrong fork and ending up in a dead end, possibly even with abandonware, which you have to extricate yourself from"
This is not different that choosing a commercial product from a supplier that eventually goes to the wall. And now that you have been caught with your pants down you are trying to change the argument.
You are wrong - man up and admit it.
Re: License fee vs transfer costs
@AC Your "fork" argument is such utter FUD it is incredible.
Let's say you pick the "wrong" fork, so what? You have the code base, you have the file specs, you have another (probably compatible) code branch. At worst you and your fellow community members pay a few devs to transfer your files over. Heck, if there's enough of you it might be worth your while to keep the "dead" fork going, at least until such times as there is a better transition point.
What happens when your "COTS" software provider dies? If you did not have an escrow agreement, you are screwed. If that escrow agreement did not include the file specs, you are screwed. If those files specs are not complete, you are screwed. If you don't have a list of other customers who you can band together with to build migration tools, you are screwed. And by "screwed" I mean "looking at a very large bill, for a one time job that may not work properly".
So if I had to pick a hole to find myself in, I'd pick the fork hole as I would be in it with a bunch of other people and the tools would have been lying around to get ourselves out.
You, AC, are nothing but an anti-F/OSS shill; what's that pay by the hour?
If only he ran a bank, then the government would have been falling over itself to protect him.
Re: Er, iPads?
Not going to disagree on the utility of the iPad, but in the "Age of Austerity" can we afford to spunk this wad over Cupertino? Other (cheaper, more configurable and open) touch devices are available.
Re: Who ate all the pis
MS lobbies* the government to push MS in schools, MS basically gives away software to schools, employers get people who only know MS software (thus nothing about computers) and so employers buy MS, as do their employees as this is all they know. It's a great little marketing scam.
In a true democracy the government would enact whatever was in the best interest of the people, not who supplied the most recent perk.
It also must be remembered that MS opposes F/OSS and any attempt to use open standards.
*The polite word for "bribes".
Re: Unity and Gnome Shell should have been a warning to them
I have used (or tried to) Windows 8 (Dev and Consumer previews). Metro is an abomination on a PC as it is not a desktop UI and what remains of an actual desktop UI is so castrated as to be useless.
In fact, Win 8 was so abhorrently dreadful that Unity felt almost intuitive afterwards!
Unity and Gnome Shell should have been a warning to them
A tablet UI works as a desktop UI in the exact same way as a Ferrari super-car works for crossing the Sahara.
You can do it, but it is a frustrating, time consuming and ultimately very expensive exercise.
@James Howat Re: Go get a grip, Mr Braben
It's not about being parasitic, it's basic market forces. If you produce something that people want, but not at that price-point; either the market adjusts the price-point (e.g. via a second-hand market), they simply don't consume or they go outside the market (e.g. illegal).
Just because you make a thing, does not mean people HAVE to buy it. The parasites are the jumped up games publishers who think they are OWED £40, £50, £60 a game. Sod that. Buy indy games (or music, or movies or...)
And as for simply "owning a license", I can sell that license on (just as I can with music/film discs). Restricting MY freedom to do as I see fit with MY stuff is simply not on.
If your business relies on perverting the market, then your business is wrong. End of discussion.
Re: How about some interesting games?
If you want innovation - go indy. There's some great/quirky indy games.
Trine, Gratuitous Space Battles, Aquaria, NightSky to name but four.
Go get a grip, Mr Braben
"Second hand cars sales are ruining new cars! Manufacturers demand a cut!"
"Second hand book sales are ruining new books! Publishers demand a cut!"
"Second hand clothes sales are ruining new clothes! Tailors demand a cut!"
"Second hand DVDs sales are ruining new DVDs! Distributors demand a cut!"
Once I buy a thing, it is *MINE*. Doctrine of first sale (or whatever the Yanks call it).
I will agree - the second hand market is ruining the market for vastly over-hyped, over-budget AAA titles. But just because the market decides that you product is a bit crap is not excuse to try and curtail the market - change the product! Trying to destroy the free-market is the tactic of the RIAA, BPI, MPAA etc.
Why the hell should I pay £40+ for a game when I can get totally ace games from the likes of the Humble Bundle?
Braben and Bell started something amazing with the original "Elite"...how the mighty have fallen.
Why not leave it as it is now?
The "catch-up" Window is perfect and is very handy when a programme is missed or the PVR had a freak. I'd pay to watch older archives, but after a while I'd consider even them to be public domain (although I totally understand that infrastructure is not a free and a notional charge may be still needed). Of course, that leads us into the modern mess that is copyright and related muck (e.g. 113%).
Would I pay the BBC though? Probably not.
Because I have something against the BBC or the idea in general? No. Simply because in a digital economy it is much easier to by-pass the middle man and go straight to the source. And as what I prefer to watch is hard to get in the UK (due to the artificial barriers on free-trade) then that is the route I would probably follow.
Re: So what /should/ have been done?
XBMC hangs, that is true. But the OS? The OS keeps on trucking and you just need to shoot XBMC.
I have (after some extreme fiddling) managed to get X to vomit everywhere and lock totally. So no desktop, now keyboard response, nada. But the OS? The OS kept on trucking and I was able to restart X from another PC.
Just because an application has choked, do not assume the OS itself is dead.
Why is this even news? I've been watching iPlayer on my xBox (not a 360) for years. A simple soft-mod and XBMC install does the trick. Not need for an MS Live account or any other crap.
Just one more example of how far behind the curve MS is and why hardware platforms should be opened up - the tinkerers will get the functionality that you want out well before the corporates.
Re: Metro on TV?
Win8 will not succeed. Unity will have cornered the TV OS market.
Stop sniggering at the back!
No need. Royal Mail with do this auto-magically and then scalp you for the "service".
Top tip - phone up HRMC, get the codes and DIY. The people on the phones actually seem like a decent lot.
Re: Ridiculous nonsense
So "New Holland" will be the 52nd state? The UK is the 51st, which is why we do whatever the USA ask us without question, even if that is surrendering our own citizens.
Ah, but the police are doing their job. Geohotz upset the rulers of the USA (the big corporates) and so must be repeatedly punished for this offence. The next time he is in California and lets one rip, he'll be done for air pollution.
USA citizens need to learn to obey their corporate overlords.
Only through consuming, can they know freedom.
@Michael Dunn Re: I'm all for...
Copyright in the UK lasts for life+70. I totally agree that this is a ridiculous length of time, but I don't make the rules.
What's the answer? Not sure. Reducing the term is one (but Disney would never agree to it) or some kind of "cultural use" clause? The asset here was a book. So maybe after a certain time (lets say 10 years) society can do what it like with the asset (e.g. brand a pub) but can't reproduce the original asset for another 20 years? I realise that is open to exploitation, but the current situation is so ludicrous that it's a bad joke.
@Gupie Re: Fuck Saul Zentz
One can copyright genes found in nature, so why not folklaw?
I am not saying I agree with it at all!
Re: In the 1960s
Whilst I agree completely with the sentiment, this is not how the world works. Companies want to privatise our culture so they can profit from it in perpetuity. I could start a MAFIAA rant...but there'd be little point (mostly preaching to the choir).
- Product round-up Ten excellent FREE PC apps to brighten your Windows
- Review Tough Banana Pi: a Raspberry Pi for colour-blind diehards
- Product round-up Ten Mac freeware apps for your new Apple baby
- Analysis Pity the poor Windows developer: The tools for desktop development are in disarray
- Chromecast video on UK, Euro TVs hertz so badly it makes us judder – but Google 'won't fix'