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* Posts by The BigYin

3030 posts • joined 25 Mar 2008

TSA bars security guru from perv scanner testimony

The BigYin
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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.

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The BigYin
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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.

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Sitting down all day is killing you

The BigYin
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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.

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London fire brigade outsources 999 control centre to Capita

The BigYin
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Re: Offshore'd?

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.

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The BigYin
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How this will go

"999 Emergency, which service please?"

"Fire"

"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"

"5"

"So you are burning to death. Press 1 if you can pay by credit card, Press 2 to speak to a colleague"

"2"

"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?"

"Pay?"

"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?"

"...."

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Hard-up Iceland plumps for cheaper open source

The BigYin
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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.

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The BigYin
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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?

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The BigYin
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Mushroom

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.

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The BigYin
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FAIL

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.

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The BigYin
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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?

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Investor sues Oracle over $200m whistleblower payout

The BigYin
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Poor Larry

If only he ran a bank, then the government would have been falling over itself to protect him.

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Council to chuck £28m wad at schools' ICT supplier

The BigYin
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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.

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The BigYin
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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".

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Windows 8 on ARM vs iPad: Has Microsoft lost already?

The BigYin
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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!

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The BigYin
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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.

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Braben sticks knife into secondhand games market

The BigYin
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@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.

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The BigYin
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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.

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The BigYin
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FAIL

Go get a grip, Mr Braben

What next?

"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.

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WTF... should I pay to download BBC shows?

The BigYin
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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.

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Windows 8 tablet freezes in Microsoft keynote demo

The BigYin
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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.

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BBC iPlayer added to Xbox

The BigYin
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XBMC?

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.

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Windows 8 for Kindle-like gear hinted by Microsoft bigwig

The BigYin
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Re: Metro on TV?

Win8 will not succeed. Unity will have cornered the TV OS market.

Stop sniggering at the back!

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High Court confirms 'cheap DVD' tax loophole will close

The BigYin
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Re: err...

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.

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iPhone/PS3 hacker Hotz arrested in pot bust

The BigYin
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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.

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The BigYin
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Re: Wrong.

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.

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Lawyers of Mordor menace Hobbit boozer

The BigYin
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@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.

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The BigYin
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@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!

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The BigYin
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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).

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The BigYin
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Re: I'm all for...

Thanks - did not know about the memorial angle, that does slant things slightly.

I guess if they concocted their own likenesses of the characters then they could just jam two fingers up to the lawyers (which is always a nice thing to see).

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The BigYin
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Re: Why a film studio

SZC bought the rights.

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The BigYin
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Re: Fuck Saul Zentz

"The Hobbit" was published in 1937

The pub has been called "The Hobbit" since around 1982.

Now I agree that 85 years is excessive for copyright based on Tolkein's works, but that is the law as it stands AIUI (life+70 years).

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The BigYin
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I'm all for...

...giving Big Meeja a kick in the conkers (if you've read my previous comments, you'll know this) but the pub is clearly using Tolkein's inventions and (one assumes) without license. I really do not see what possible defence the landlady can have beyond "We've done it for 20 years, and now you complain?" This is not a fan-based, not-for-profit enterprise.

If I was to open "Bar Jedi" or something; would things be any different?

That all said, a suit in this case seems to be a bit OTT. One would have thought SZC would have politely asked them to license the inventions first.

Or am I missing something?

(For the avoidance of doubt, I do think copyright is too long, but thems the rules for now)

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BBC boss confirms iTunes alternative in store

The BigYin
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Re: DRM, and Virual PVR

This was going to be my first question.

I want to be able to play it on any device the knows the codec, stream it over my home network and even transcode it for my portable players. Just as I can with DVDs (despite being fair use to any reasonable person, this still remains illegal in the UK).

As for the PVR thing - are the recordings meant to be notionally time limited? i.e. they expect you to watch&delete in around 2 weeks. I may be wrong in that.

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Why Windows 8 server is a game-changer

The BigYin
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Mushroom

@Trevor_Pott Re: PowerShell

"Don’t assume malice here; Microsoft have a strong business case for openness."

Now I know you have been at the "Kool Aid".

MS has been anti-open since the get go. They are threatening to sue open OSs. The had the UK government remove the requirement for open standards. They oppose open standards in Europe. It took the EU commissioner to force MS to cooperate with the Samba team. MS railroaded the ISO body into ratifying patent-encumbered standards. MS is forcing OEMs to make hardware to Windows-only. MS changed the EULA to the Windows tax is even harder (if not impossible) to claw back.

What part of "a strong business case for openness" does all that (and more) apply to?

Please stop with the MS propaganda.

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UK kids' art project is 'biggest copyright blag ever' – photographer

The BigYin
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CC by attr?

I agree, I have no idea why they need full rights. AIUI Creative Commons by attribution would let them do everything they need.

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Walmart offers $2 digital copies of your DVDs

The BigYin
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FAIL

@AC Re: At last!

So just because they have put in a technological barrier to fair use, you are now happy to pay again? You are an idiot.

The only "feature" of note here is the upgrade option but if I cannot retain a local copy of the upgraded media and have to always stream it, then it is not much of an option.

Just like games, this is an attempt to kill the second-hand market, restrict fair use and get the moronic consumer to pay again-and-again-and-again for the same thing.

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Microsoft warns of RDP attack within next 30 days

The BigYin
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Re: Public IPs only?

That's what I was thinking. If the firewall blocks RDP traffic and one needs a VPN to get access - surely the risk is low? If the network is so compromised as to allow this attack, then the compnay in question has much, much bigger problems.

I guess laptops outside the office with RDP enabled could be a risk.

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Pub landlady's footie sat-TV battle moves law's goal posts

The BigYin
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Blurring stickers

Most logos appear on the same place. So simply place some (screen safe) blurring plastic/stickers at strategic points, and change screen to another channel at strategic points.

That all said, the artificial barriers to free-trade put in place by the media companies are ludicrous and should be stamped out. DVD region encoding all need to go (keep the language sets though, that's sensible).

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iPlayer repeat fees threaten BBC earthquake

The BigYin
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Thinking about this...

...I find myself in the depressing position of some agreement with Andrew. Two things worry me about the pay-as-you-go model, and they are strongly coupled:

1) Pursuing popular (and thus revenue) replaces quality. Just because something is popular does not make it any good (for example, Budweiser is popular). This would be the end of various public service and minor language. broadcasts

2) Continued dumbing-down. Horizon (which one other commentard mentions) is now so lacklustre is barely takes any effort to watch. Would pay-as-you-go lead to an improvement? Hardly. Just look at the likes of National Geographic, this once hard-hitting and thought provoking organisation is now reduced to showing clap-trap about ghosts and other fictions just to bring in the eyeballs.

So how does one get a fair pay model and yet keep the public service requirement. Preferably without having to watch bloody adverts! Hmm...maybe that's the reason I appear to have around 300 DVDs....

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The BigYin
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Re: Roll on PVRs

PVRs that permit streaming (including HD) to any content consumer in the house.

Unfortunately I don't think such beasts exist unless you build it yourself.

Certainly the V+ and Tivo boxes do not permit streaming. Which is stupid as it means the content infringers provide a better service.

A note to broadcasters: I have a multitude of screens and content consumers. I pay you for the content - let me consume it.

A note to Virgin: Telling me your "Catch-up TV" service does not support my OS is cretinous in the extreme. All you do is link to iPlayer etc that work perfectly. And why (even on Windows) does your catch-up service not let me stream the other channels I have paid for?

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The BigYin
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Re: Auntie is hardly giving it away

"I have absolutely no qualms about freeloading a previously aired tv program as there is no loss to the broadcaster in me doing so."

And what about the original content creator?

Rather than commit copyright infringement, why no get behind other models of delivery. Ones that respect you as a consumer and not treat you like a cash cow/criminal. vo.do is one example (they are probably others).

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Council spunks '£100k on how to wash your hands' vid

The BigYin
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@AC Re: What's sad is...

British website, British council, so why not?

If I had said "Yanks" would you have been so righteous?

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The BigYin
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Re: As ridicilous as it may sound...

He got to age 50 and no one told him he was tying a granny knot?

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The BigYin
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What's sad is...

...that Brits do actually need these videos. Most never wash their hands after using the lav*, and when they do they often fail to wash thoroughly enough.

*Now go wash your hands

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Mozilla to drop Windows 8 Firefox bomb on IE 10

The BigYin
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Re: This is easy

"Because upsetting potential users is SUCH a great way to gain market share."

Hasn't stopped MS!

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The BigYin
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@AC Re: Dear Mozilla

No. But all it takes is an errant plugin and FF memory usage can go mental.

It's seen FF draw down a lot of memory - but I have a lot of plugins. Even so, the resource usage is not enough for me to be overly worried.

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The BigYin
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Re: Dear Mozilla

If you can reproduce it, file a bug (or check on the existing one).

If it annoys you so much, fix it and offer a patch.

It you lack the skills, pay/sponsor someone to fix it for you.

Or wait for someone else to fix it.

If none of the above are acceptable, use something else.

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The BigYin
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This is easy

All Moz need to do is have a very simple app that displays a static message like the one below

"Go get a proper OS"

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Apple resellers left to pick bones of dwindling iPad stocks

The BigYin
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One born every minute

"Apple has run out of iPads stocks worldwide, before the third-generation slab of fondling loveliness has even hit store shelves."

Should read

"Apple has under produced initial iPads to create an artificial shortage and thus get lots of free advertising in from various press outlets. It also makes people think that everyone want one so they must be good, which leads the clueless drones into demanding something that they don't need, don't understand and that ties them into buying Apple products and services for ever more."

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