* Posts by Shinku

67 posts • joined 27 Mar 2008

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Here's why Whittingdale kicked a subscription BBC into the future

Shinku

Re: Subscription version of iPlayer for non-UK customers

There's a new BBC Store to soon be launched (unsure exactly when) which I presume will act as a replacement for the previous BBC iPlayer Global. No sign of what might be available on it yet, or what the cost of content might be, but I'm looking forward to it. Might be worth using if they can shovel up some nice archive content.

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Shinku

Re: Flawed comparison

I'm fine with the licence as it stands, and I can even understand closing up the old on-demand-is-exempt-for-some-reason loophole, but anybody who tries to tell me that a tax on PCs or smartphones can sod off.

The TV licence funds essential services which enable us, the viewing public, to receive content - and that's fine, we're funding the content we consume (and the upkeep of the transmission network?) - it makes sense. But if I've paid my internet bill, and my phone bill, and bought my PC and smartphone, and consume (for example) YouTube, Netflix, Amazon and Twitch content... well, what would I be paying a licence for? At no point does that money contribute to the content I'm viewing or the infrastructure over which it travels, that's what I pay my ISP/mobile phone carrier/content providers for. Even if you consider content created by the BBC, not only has that already been paid for by the TV licence, the rights fees are being paid by Netflix/Amazon/etc for streaming online, which are in turn being paid for by me, the consumer. This argument also applies to the BBC Store, whenever that goes public sometime later this year. I see no justification for arbitrarily deciding that just because I own a thing with a screen and speaker I must be doing something which requires a TV licence. Put a TV licence check on iPlayer if you suspect I'm a freeloading licence-dodger, that'll be fair enough by me.

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Shinku

I'm not enthusiastic about a subscription-based BBC, I feel it (and thus we) would be worse off if it happened, I would expect no more of it as a subscription offering than I would any other commercial broadcaster. That is to say it would have to cater primarily, or entirely, to the types of content people are willing to pay directly for and I believe that would weaken or even completely remove what little of its factual and otherwise well-made content remains. This, I think, would cause it to fall rapidly from its place as a world-respected broadcaster with fans all around the globe whether they can reach the content legally or not.

Having said that, I also feel that a lack of foresight, planning and perhaps long term technical awareness has caused our national broadcast networks to be restricted and retarded. We could be using DVB-T2/MPEG-4 for everything now and we wouldn't be stuck trying to cram dozens of mediocre quality channels into a few strained multiplexes, we could be using the bandwidth much more efficiently. Except we can't, because when the digital switchover happened everybody rushed out and bought receivers which aren't capable of anything other than a strict definition of DVB-T/MPEG-2. See also DAB vs DAB+.

It's not the 20th century any more, technology moves quickly, why do we continue to use these rigid devices which are designed to be unable to cope with updated standards or entirely new ones? Worse, why are these devices built with no option to be upgraded? Could we not have had receivers designed from the start to all have CAM slots and codec upgrade modules? How much landfill is comprised of old gear which can no longer be used? Most (all?) of the OnDigital/ITV Digital era stuff is pretty much useless today, and I think even some of the early Freeview stuff is unusable now too.

When you can buy a Raspberry Pi for £20 or thereabouts, it seems entirely reasonable to me that we should have equipment which is reconfigurable, basically a dumb tuner connected to an ADC (because there's no real reason to change those) and a multipurpose computer. Then you'd have some combination of built in software and hardware codecs (as per the Pi example, MPEG-2, VC-1, H.264) and some external interface to shovel a bitstream to in case of a more modern codec which can't be handled by the hardware because of aged hardware. Better yet, make it USB so we can use the same modules on PCs for maximum compatibility. I'm not suggesting manufacturers just flog some sort of Pi + tuner dongle + Kodi HTPC package, of course not, but can't we have some sort of expandable standard which won't get left in the dust before it's even launched?

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AMD looks at sinking sales, gulps: It's worse than we thought

Shinku

Re: Try to stop relying on Microsoft

Also forgot to add that regarding Microsoft, for general purpose everyday computing who needs x86 if not for Windows? Sure, that badass i7 rig with the tri-SLI GPUs and 2TB worth of SSDs is great and all, whatever OS you choose to put on it, but for everyone who doesn't need that class of hardware there's really nothing wrong with a half-decent ARM SoC as long as you have a suitably usable OS and app selection. So with that in mind I think if the trend is towards embedded/low end "just let me do stuff" type devices then x86 has a very, very grim outlook without Microsoft. AMD's recent work with ARM stuff seems like a very smart addition to its stable of tech and I hope it serves them well if x86 does eventually start circling the plughole, I'd like to think it could provide them something of a life raft to jump on whilst Intel continues to try and shrink x86 to compete.

I was hoping for more from WinRT, because the idea of a low power ARM laptop which retained source compatibility with Windows was an attractive one, but alas, t'was not to be, not in terms of desktop apps anyway. There's universal apps and whatnot, but Android already fills my need for big fullscreen poke-friendly apps and there's more choice, so if Microsoft want to continue to offer something non-x86y then they'll have to step it up.

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Shinku

Re: Try to stop relying on Microsoft

I think you make a good point, how many people are left who a) want a full Wintel machine, and b) don't already have one which meets their performance requirements? It's difficult to find a truly crap PC these days, even a £50 Intel-powered Windows tablet is arguably "good enough" for your average YouTube-and-Facebooker and even for some beyond that, but so is an ARM Android tablet or phone if you don't need legacy compatibility. Even in the case of gaming there are plenty of people content with consoles, machines which by design are out of date before they even hit the shelves and lag further and further behind gaming PCs by the second. There's clearly more to buying decisions than "I want all all the MHz!" and some companies (Apple, for example) don't even bother to list half the specs because they don't expect their users to care how many googleflops or petathingies are inside the box.

There will always be those of us who want expandability, raw power and "because I can" functionality, but I'd have to grudgingly admit that there's an awful lot more people who just want "I don't care, just give me something that works". I'd rather not admit that, because the idea of "post-PC"/"mobile-first"/"nobody gives a damn if it's all glued together" makes me want to do bad things to the people who vomit forth those words without consideration for the power users and the people who's jobs it is to create the media and apps consumed by owners of content-slurping devices. Trouble is, there's some truth to it, and most people don't need a full ATX tower with upgradeable everything and top whack parts.

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Shinku

AMD still offer some pretty good chips if you're on a tight budget, you can pick up a half-decent AMD chip with 8 cores for less than a low end quad core i5. Sure, it runs a little hotter and single-threaded performance is a tad weaker, but you get twice as many cores and it's cheaper, so it's not all bad. That says to me that unless you're bothered about power consumption or having the best rig money can buy, AMD's still got something for you.

I may be a bit biased, I currently have a Phenom II X4 965 in an AM3+ motherboard and I'm looking to upgrade to the 8320E, one of the aforementioned octocores (because yay more cores for less power, the 125W 965 is a bit on the warm side). I considered switching back to Intel, but I can't justify the cost, which is what caused me to choose AMD when I originally built this machine.

Having said all that, when it comes to mobile I haven't got a clue what AMD has to offer in the low end space, my mind automatically jumps to Atom/Celeron/Pentium. I keep hearing about AMD APUs and whatnot, but where's all the tablets? I've yet to stumble across a rock bottom AMD tablet anywhere, nor have I seen an AMD "compute stick" or smartphone*. Intel seems to have those all sewn up pretty tightly.

In the end it comes down to the right tool for the job, but I do hope that AMD can keep pace and shed some of that "eh, it's nice that you suck less vs Intel than you maybe did before, but you're still second rate" image. I like choice. Choice is good.

* Ok, so Intel don't exactly have the smartphone market, but they're at least in a few phones, I've never heard of an AMD-powered phone.

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Google's Cardboard cutout VR headgear given away GRATIS by OnePlus ... SELLS OUT

Shinku

Re: Would like a couple

Having tried the plastic route I'm not convinced I'd pay £xxx for what seems likely to be a relatively minor upgrade. From reviews and discussions I've come to the conclusion that although the Rift is nice and comfortable, it's all integrated, much less messing about, probably going to last longer, etc, the tech probably isn't worth £200 more than sticking the phone I already have in a plastic frame with some lenses in it. Latency seems to be more of an issue with the phone versions (when being fed imagery from a PC), but it's not awful via USB rather than wifi.

I might be well off the mark with my conclusion having not had my hands on a Rift, but I don't think it has much more to offer than a current high end smartphone, considering the displays in phones now and the array of internal sensors, plus you can pop the phone out after and use it as, er, a phone. Might ruin the immersion a bit though if your game of Half Life 2 is interrupted by a call and suddenly you're staring at a (virtual) 4ft caller ID display which being in 2D will confuse your eyeballs.

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Shinku

Re: As if by magic

I picked up a ColorCross plastic version today and I've just finished playing with it, it's a bit uncomfortable and doesn't even begin to consider anybody who wears glasses, but it's worth the tenner I paid for a bit of a mess about. If you choose this particular model, I'd suggest tacking on a few extra quid to get some foam to stick around the bit you shove on your face.

I stuffed a Galaxy SIII in it, so not exactly a super duper display by any means (4.8" 1280x720 SAMOLED), but for playing around with it's not half bad (though I suspect a 5" 1080p display would improve it). Certainly cheaper than an Oculus Rift if you already have a phone to put in it and while some types of content seems to work better than others it's nice to finally get a taste of the sort of virtual reality we were promised decades ago.

So yes, it's a cheap gimmick, but I reckon it's worth the 2-3 pints worth of pocket change.

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Windows 10 Mobile is shaping up nicely – now Cortana can send emails

Shinku

Yes, vocal and judgemental, because Windows Phone 7.x and 8.x couldn't do those things either, and there's been no word from Microsoft that the situation is going to change.

Do I expect an IRC client to use so much RAM that it can't run side by side with a web browser? Absolutely not. IRC clients have been run on computers for decades and I don't see why a modern phone client should be any more heavy than a modern desktop client. Given that my desktop IRC client uses at most a couple of 10s of MBs of RAM (including days and days worth of scrollback text) and next to no CPU time, even on a very low end device you couldn't expect that to impact greatly on the performance of the system as a whole, or any other lightweight apps which happen to be running at the same time. Even a browser should be able to coexist with that, be it IE, Edge or any other.

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Shinku

It's improving, but still rough around the edges, apps still randomly don't open or close immediately after, things still occasionally crash or take forever to load, but hey, it's a preview build, that's all fine.

What isn't fine is the fact that I still can't run an IRC client and click a link in it without disconnecting from IRC and having the app close for the duration of the time I'm looking at the link I clicked. It's 2015, my phone is a dual core and yes, it "only" has 512MB of RAM, but it's unacceptable that such a simple task should be beyond such a complex operating system.

I want to give it credit, I really do, but stuff like that is a showstopper for me - ok, it's a mere inconvenience, but why would I put up with all those "mere inconveniences" which seem to stack ever higher when Android offers me what I need?

It's enough of a show of hope that even after my experience with Windows Phone 7 and throughout Windows Phone 8 saying I wouldn't buy another Windows Phone until they proved they could bring it up to scratch, I still bought a phone to try out Windows 10 Mobile on. It's vastly improved from my experiences with WP7 and I only hope it gets better, it would be unfair to say it's the same old crap, but I've been tired of saying "I wish it could..." or "Why can't it...?" for so long. Just make it work, would you? Please? To a standard that's acceptable in 2015? It's been 5 years since you shot Windows Mobile (a mobile OS which could multitask) in the face, 5 years of "we're working on it", "hang in there", "it's coming soon" and "we know people want xyz", 5 years of struggling to give you the benefit of the doubt and hoping that Windows Phone reaches its potential. It's even been 3 years (give or take) since NT took over as the guts, why so slow? Why the constant dragging out of improvements like it's a 20 year old product you no longer want to support? You're behind, and when you're behind you can't act like you're the market leader, you have to sprint, not dawdle, you have to be gunning for the top spot and working your balls off to make it the very best damn choice there is.

Look, I applaud the addition of the developer options, that's a start, I'm grateful that Zune is no longer required, I appreciate that Windows CE is no longer considered viable and that its much more powerful bigger brother has taken over. I'm even somewhat optimistic that universal apps are a thing now, and that there are opportunities for porting iOS and Android apps. Still I'm left with the feeling that I cannot be a power user with this operating system. Let me do that and I'll buy something more than a second hand test handset.

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There's a new build of Windows 10 Mobile, but you can't upgrade to it

Shinku

Re: Uh huh...

You have to go out of your way to actually get into the preview programme, you have to sign up, then go get the app, then go and choose a "ring" (release frequency) and then there are very explicit warnings when you say you want in, see images:

Clicky

Clicky

See also warnings on the instructions page:

Clicky

It's made very, very clear that this is not a regular update and that it could all go tits up, you can't get much more explicit than "this might brick your phone beyond repair, are you absolutely sure?"

I only hope that complaints from people who don't appear to be able to read don't convince Microsoft to abandon offering previews like this.

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Microsoft just saved Windows Phone... Now stop whining

Shinku

I'll grant you that this is a very obscure thing that next to zero people want to use their phones for, but SDR. Those little DVB-T dongles which can double as a passable software-defined radio receiver with the use of a custom driver. All it needs on Android is an application to control it and the appropriate open source driver, plus the obvious USB OtG port to plug the dongle into. Tada! One handheld multi-band ham radio receiver and rudimentary spectrum analyser!

Again, I appreciate that such a use for a phone is incredibly niche and alone isn't worth going to the effort to make it a prime must-have feature, but I appreciate that Android and the hardware it runs on is flexible enough to do things like that. It doesn't have to be that specific use alone, it's more the fact that it's so flexible that even a weird and unusual task like that can be performed if you need it to be, the necessary parts are all there just waiting to be used for any number of things most people never even considered a phone could do.

What bugs me is that we all know that Windows NT is much more than capable of this sort of thing if they would only expose the ability to use it. Such flexibility means that the OS vendor doesn't need to be the gateway through which all innovation is filtered, like Windows Phone or iOS, instead it's a blank canvas, waiting to be an all-powerful device which can be or do anything at a moment's notice, should the software be written to support it.

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Shinku

That's a fair point, but I have no equipment capable of acting as a wireless video receiver at the moment, so what might be considered legacy connectivity is still quite important to me, for TVs, projectors, etc.

Perhaps the solution is to simply buy such a gadget and get with the times, but Android offers me such flexibility that I don't have to make that choice. I guess that's more a result of more OEMs building more models of phone, but presumably if nobody has yet offered a Windows Phone with a wired video output then it's simply it's not supported, because you'd think one model somewhere would include it.

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Shinku

I want to like Windows Phone. Scratch that, I want to love it. The UI is right up my alley, it feels slick, integrated, consistent and very pleasant to use. My problem, however, is that I bought in early.

I was an original Windows Phone 7 user, and although it was early days, I'd come from Windows Mobile 6.1 attracted by the lure of a [M|m]odern interface and an altogether more up to date experience. I really liked my Samsung Omnia 7, it looked great, felt good and the SAMOLED display popped with eye-searing colour, provided by Windows Phone's Metro interface.

However, Windows Phone 7 was merely a flashy front end on top of a CE back end, not something I had an issue with given I'd come from, and enjoyed, Windows Mobile, but Microsoft clearly had other ideas. It was more or less a UI beta for what would become Windows Phone 8

It would never receive native apps or super in-depth development because the core of the OS was soon to be ripped out and replaced by NT, and they knew it, there are Microsoft photos of NT running on handsets prior to Windows Phone 7's release. I believe it suffered greatly as a result of the split effort. WP7 also lacked many large apps and others it got long after other platforms, some of which it never got but WP8 since has, which also didn't help. It supported a limited number of chipsets, indeed the entire launch lineup were more or less identical in spec, and it didn't even support removable SD cards. Then the day came that Microsoft said that Windows Phone 7 devices could not be upgraded to Windows Phone 8. Call me naive for investing in the platform as early as I did, but I didn't expect them to just dump it for the next new shiny thing. I expected a solid development effort racing to put Windows Phone on par with the other platforms, but it never came. A little update here, the addition of copy/paste there, dribbling out bit by bit, but never quite satisfying. That left me feeling a little sour, believing I'd be missing out on what Windows Phone *should* have been from day one.

However, I've since often attempted to overlook that and give Windows Phone 8 the shot it likely deserves as a standalone product, aside from my feelings of Microsoft's behaviour and my mistake in showing my support. The problem I have with this, though, is not just that my trust has been damaged, but Windows Phone 8 hasn't had those headline features I expect it to have already. No USB OtG, no video out connectors, many software features absent or late to the party, and still some apps simply not there.

Perhaps I expect too much from my phone, I use Android very much like I would use a computer, I expect it to be flexible enough to serve any purpose I require it for, a digital multi-tool if you will. Given Android's massive app pool, connectivity options and ability to run applications which require deeper integration with the hardware, it's perfectly capable of doing this, but Windows Phone, despite being based on Windows NT and replacing its considerably more powerful grandfather, Windows Mobile, still can't offer me that power.

I do, genuinely, desperately, want Windows Phone to be that platform which provides me everything I need, everything I want, I know they can do it, they have the tools, they have the base to work from, they have the money, they're Microsoft! So why aren't they? Why is Windows Phone still lagging? Why are they not pushing it like a soon-to-be proud new mother pushing out a fat git of a child which will soon be paraded around and gleefully thrust in the face of anybody with eyeballs? These are the answers I need answering before I adopt Windows Phone again. I need to see it doing what I need now, not next month, not next year, not "it's maybe coming at some point perhaps if we can be arsed".

My eyes will be firmly on Windows Phone 10, an operating system which I fully expect to address these and other issues and show us all why Windows Phone 7 and Windows Phone 8 were worthwhile stepping stones. Because if it doesn't, I'll be questioning why I ever bothered in the first place - if they haven't got it right in all this time, I'm not convinced they ever will.

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Want a cheap Office-er-riffic tablet? Microsoft Windows takes on Android

Shinku

Re: An "add on" to a Windows phone?

The problem with that for the time being is that apps on Windows Phone don't necessarily appear on Windows proper and vice-versa. That may change with Windows 10, what with the rumours that it'll be the same thing on all the platforms, and I hope it does - Windows Phone *does* have an iPlayer app, for example, but Windows 8 does not.

It would certainly be nice to see some sort of iPhone/iPad or Android phone/Android tablet style coherence between the two so that apps you purchase on one device become available on all, regardless of form factor. Perhaps the more mature app store of Windows Phone could give Windows 8, or Windows 10 as it'll soon be, something of a leg-up.

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Shinku

You mention the on-screen keyboard, but that's one complaint I have about touchy Windows - the OSK works great under Metro, but point blank refuses to appear automatically under desktop Windows. Tap that text box all you like, but it won't do anything, you have to press the OSK button on the taskbar. I'm going to assume that this is by design for some reason since it works just fine under Metro, but I really wish they'd correct it.

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Shinku

There's also http://tvplayer.com/ if you want to watch live telly, and it's officially supported by the broadcasters involved and has no ads (other than the ads aired on the channels themselves), but neither TVPlayer or TV Catchup offer the on-demand parts of the respective channels. All three services, iPlayer/TVPlayer/TV Catchup work perfectly well in a desktop browser though, and I've just tested them all with success in the Metro version of IE too if that's your flavour.

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Shinku

Re: Granny gadget?

Fire up Skype and iPlayer remotely for them? Boy, that sounds like a full-time job I'd love to be on-call for!

I do see your logic, but yikes, I'd just stick some big shortcuts on the Start Screen and remove everything else or something.

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Shinku

I have a Linx 7 and I quite like it. My old NC10's LCD ribbon failed again (thanks Samsung) and being in need of something to replace it for bedside viewing I debated where to go for the solution. Given that the machine's hardly essential price was a major factor, and although I swore I'd never buy a tablet because they were pointless gimmicks, for the £60 I paid for the 7" model I couldn't resist.

On the Linx 7: Looks good, visually featureless, flat and black, I like this look. The casing does seem to flex a bit more than I'd like, I don't think it would stand up to being sat on terribly well if that's the sort of misfortune you commonly encounter. Specs-wise it's "good enough", some would consider the 1GB of RAM to be insufficient but in my experience it copes admirably, and in general the machine responds promptly. Battery life is a bit on the weak side, but full x86 tablet, little room for a battery, £60, I'm not going to complain, it's good enough for a movie or two. It can be charged via USB as you'd expect, so you could also stick a battery bank in your pocket if you had to. I'd like a way to use USB peripherals whilst charging, and with some combination of BIOS settings and a particular cable configuration it might be possible, but a second USB port would have been nice.

Side note: Given that the Intel Compute Stick has a very similar spec, including an extra 1GB of RAM, I'm quite optimistic that it'll be a really useful general purpose stickputer, as long as the price in the UK isn't the usual "let's just swap the $ for a £ sign".

On Windows 8.x: I'm not fond, I didn't like it on the desktop, and assumed after my good experience with the UI in Windows Phone that Windows 8 would excel on a tablet. I was partially right in that Metro is smooth and finger-friendly, but it lacks apps. Seriously, no YouTube? No iPlayer? This is a tablet, right? No problem, I'll just use the desktop, I wanted the flexibility of x86 Windows anyway just in case the tablet should be required for more complex tasks, but as you'd expect it's nigh impossible to touch some of the smaller UI elements. You can scale the UI, which works to an extent, making controls much larger and easier to hit, but it can mess with some less well behaved applications, making them too large to fit on the screen.

Also, if you buy from certain retailers you can get trade-in prices, so even cheaper!

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E-cigarettes help you quit – but may not keep you alive

Shinku

Re: Lovely flavours

There is of course also the concern that ecigs are a gateway product to smoking, and that these flavours are actually an insidious plot by the tobacco companies to lure children into eventually smoking tobacco.

Because we all know that the consumption of a burning roll of paper and leaves, the taste and smell of which is akin to licking the contents of an ashtray out of a dog's arse, is far more attractive than sweet fruit flavours which taste and smell like something a person might voluntarily consume for enjoyment.

How silly of me to not consider that fact. I suppose that's why I'm not a politician.

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Shinku

Re: e-Cigs are not for quitting

"surprised you can't get an e-cig shaped like a pipe"

You can actually, quite a number in fact, in many different styles of pipe. Something the smoker with a more traditional taste in nicotine delivery devices. Some of them look pretty good in my opinion, too.

As for the "is it a quit aid?" question, it's tricky. Some would say that yes, ecigs do help people to stop smoking tobacco and therefore are a quit aid, and it's not unreasonable to state that ecigs do in fact help many people to stop using traditional tobacco. However, there's a game of semantics being played within the political discussion.

If a product is advertised as a quitting aid then it is a medical product, it is accepted to be a product designed, marketed and sold for the express purpose of helping those who are medically considered to be addicted to nicotine and therefore tobacco. This would include nicotine gum, patches, sprays, inhalators, pills, etc.

If a product is designed to perform this task, it becomes a medical product, a drug which attempts to remedy what is perceived to be an illness (which in my opinion is untrue, smoking is not an illness, it's a personal choice, albeit arguably ill-advised). If a product is deemed to be medical, it requires medical authorisation, it must be subjected to many expensive tests and clinical trials. Each product or variation of a product must undergo this testing, at huge expense each time.

In ecig terms, this would stifle innovation and cripple the ecig market. 99.9% of ecig products aren't medicinal in nature, they don't intend to be and don't claim to be. If they were, each flavour, strength and device combination would require extremely expensive medical authorisation.

This means that 18mg tobacco, 24mg tobacco, 30mg tobacco, 18mg menthol, 24mg menthol and 30mg menthol would require SIX different approvals. This is not viable for the ecig market at this time. The only companies which could afford to do this are big pharmaceutical companies and big tobacco companies. The smaller manufacturers and vendors which comprise a large section of the current market, would be wiped off the face of the planet with zero hope of competing.

It's problematic because the choice of flavours, strengths and methods of atomising the liquid are what make ecigs so successful. If I only had the option of an ecig shaped like a cigarette marketed by Nicorette or an ecig shaped like a cigarette marketed by [some other nicotine replacement therapy company], I'd be a lot less enthralled with the concept. I would have little to no flavours or strengths to choose from, which is likely to mean that I don't enjoy the few very specific flavours they provide, and the nicotine contents they choose to sell may not be to my taste either.

Each delivery device may also require authorisation too, this would result in only "first generation" (cigarette-shaped) devices being available. In practical terms, this means poor battery life, poor liquid capacity and poor vapour production. Each cartridge would be subject to further restrictions, requiring dosage control, and almost certainly would prevent consumer refilling, thereby further raising the cost to the user.

So that long winded waffling ultimately means this - ecigs are not, and cannot be, medical products. If they were, they would essentially become near useless, overpriced, crippled, unpleasant and more difficult to purchase. This CANNOT happen if ecigs are to be successful in reducing the number of people who use traditional tobacco.

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Shinku

Re: 'vaping' == drug paraphernalia

I take it you don't drink coffee, then? It's beginning to be said that nicotine is more or less equivalent to caffeine, it's a mild stimulant which in itself does no real harm. Where''s the problem in a non-problematic "addiction"?

Besides, what's wrong with just ENJOYING it? It tastes nice, it's a pleasant sensation, I'm not climbing the walls if I can't have a vape right here, right now, but as long as I'm able why would I do myself out of something I find I like doing? What of people who use nicotine-free liquid?

Nobody has to drink coffee. (Why doesn't everybody switch to decaf? Are they addicts too?)

Nobody has to drink alcohol. (Why doesn't everybody switch to Kaliber or Panda Shandy? Addicts?)

Nobody has to drink [Coke|Pepsi]. (Why doesn't everybody switch to water? Must be addicted.)

If you choose to do none of those things then that's entirely up to you, I'm not going to tell you what you should/shouldn't/can/can't put in your body, and I would wager that smokers, vapers, coffee drinkers, beer drinkers and those who enjoy carbonated bottles of liquid sugar would prefer that you take the same approach.

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Wacky 'baccy making a hash of FBI infosec recruitment efforts

Shinku

Re: Clean?

Alternatively, people with an insight like to unwind and take the load off for a while. It could go either way.

I'm not sure I necessarily subscribe to the thinking that weed automagically makes you some kind of super creator with a mind blown so wide open that you can see beyond the normal range of human perception, but if there is some kind of correlation then that could be just as valid an explanation as wanting to get off your tits because you're of an alternative mindset in the first place.

Either works as far as I'm concerned, much like alcohol it doesn't have to be some specific set of people who use it more than any other, or for any specific higher-minded purpose, but who am I to decide what you put into your body? A little bit of what you fancy, I reckon.

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Shinku

Re: Call me a no-good hippy sympathiser, but...

Easy peasy - take confiscated weed hauls, provide them to infosec staff as a perk of the job. Sorted!

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Shinku

Call me a no-good hippy sympathiser, but...

If you're good at what you do and you can get the job done right, I don't see why it matters what you may or may not indulge in during downtime.

If you show up for work when you're paid to, accomplish the necessary tasks with the required (or an overabundance of) talent and adeptness and don't become an obstruction to the rest of the workforce, everything is golden.

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Julie Larson-Green: Yes, MICROSOFT is going to KILL WINDOWS

Shinku

Re: Full circle.

Most of the nitty gritty involved with this stuff is beyond my knowledge, but take a look at:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hardware_abstraction#Microsoft_Windows

Essentially the HAL sits between the hardware and the rest of the OS and the software running on it, and in theory should be capable of translating between Windows' API and whatever the underlying architecture is. I don't know exactly how far this goes however, and I'm guessing you still need to recompile applications (and some of the rest of the OS itself?) using native code because it'll use architecture-specific instructions, much like ARM apps on Linux for example. Having said that, .net may render many of the concerns less important or entirely moot, but I'm not certain on that. Of course, .net didn't exist before the early 2000s, so it would've thought everything would've been native code on all of the NT versions with support for more than 2 architectures.

The more I think about it, the more I think I really have no idea how this works, but that's a good place to start looking if you're interested.

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Shinku

Re: Full circle.

It was processor independent for a long time, from NT 3.1 which ran on Alpha and MIPS besides x86, via NT4 which added PowerPC support, right up to Windows 2000 which supported Alpha (at least up until RC1 where it was then abandoned) and reportedly existed for Itanium too. Then XP/Server 2003 supported Itanium, as did Server 2008 (and so by extension it should be possible to run Vista on Itanium too). Windows 7 had ARM builds, albeit only internally available, and now Windows 8 exists on ARM publically.

So really, when you look at it, Windows has almost never been confined to a single architecture. I don't have the experience necessary to talk about the compatibility of binaries between those platforms, however.

5
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Shinku

As an owner of a first gen Windows Phone 7 Series Phone... phone...? it would've been nice if they'd worked this out before they spaffed a bucket of platforms up the wall. Since Microsoft figured out it needed to do something (which was long before WP7, they were running ARM ports of desktop Windows on phone hardware long before it, and there are official pictures to prove it), they've released Windows Phone 7 and Windows Phone 8 (which are incompatible with each other) Windows RT (which is incompatible with the previous two) and Windows 8 (which is compatible with RT but not necessarily welcomed on a desktop).

That's FOUR different essentially incompatible OSs, several of which look the same but aren't, and several of which share attributes but can't run each others' software. In THREE YEARS.

Fair enough, Windows 7 doesn't really do tablets very well compared to your Androids and iOSs, and Windows CE and its derivatives (Handheld PC, Windows Mobile, etc) were long in the tooth, but christ, how do you screw up a grand unification strategy THAT badly? I realise it takes time, but they could've at least been less batshit with the ground work. They knew Windows Phone 7 would be rendered incompatible and obsolete before they even started it, for example. The whole strategy seems ill-considered, slow to bear fruit and simply confusing to the people who are important: those who don't know what a kernel is or why this tablet can't run that app. What's worse, Microsoft's stance on telling people what's going on over the last few years seems to have been "go away, we don't know yet, don't tell anybody anything, it might be different tomorrow, panic panic, help!", which is unnerving at best.

I'm rambling, but Microsoft, you might wanna step up the pace and stop dallying with this half-arsed time-wasting and get your ducks in order.

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Reg man inhales the smooth, non-cancerous, taste of USB nicotine

Shinku

Most recent EU developments:

The most recent proposals for the future of electronic cigarettes within the EU are outlined in this article, with links to the relevant documentation:

http://www.clivebates.com/?p=1655

From the article:

"The main troubling features include:

Allows only single-use cartridges. No refillable units or tanks will be permitted and so the most effective devices will be removed from the market.

Allows only flavours already approved for use in NRT. Hands control to pharma companies and against the view of the Parliament that recognised the importance of flavours.

Limits nicotine density to 20mg/ml maximum with no justification, cutting out the stronger liquids that appeal more to heavily addicted smokers and those just switching

Limits nicotine content of any container to just 10mg/unit – this is extremely low and arbitrary (see new paper on lethal doses for nicotine) and makes no sense

Allows only devices that “deliver nicotine doses consistently and uniformly” – a completely unnecessary, severe and limiting technical challenge derived from medicines regulation – unlike with medicines, e-cigarette users control the dose.

Bans advertising in press or printed publications (except trade), on radio, TV and other audiovisual services and the internet (through “information society services“) – this just protects incumbents (tobacco industry) and those who can rely on established distribution channels (tobacco industry)

Bans e-cigarette sponsorships that have cross border impact (e.g. anything that might be shown on TV) – reduces competitiveness of disruptive technology

Applies onerous and unnecessary warning, labelling and leaflet requirements that may be impractical and are disproportionate to risk deterring smokers who may wish to switch

Bans cross border distance sales (internet etc) in clear contravention of the aims of the internal market

Requires manufacturers to track so-called ‘adverse effects’ even though nicotine is widely used and understood

Requires the submission of large quantities of seemingly irrelevant technical and commercial data despite recent high level commitments to reduce red tape

Asserts (against the evidence) that e-cigarettes “simulate smoking behaviour and are increasingly used and marketed to young people and non-smokers” continuing the European tradition of smearing valuable harm-reduction option, notably snus, to the detriment of health in Europe."

0
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Shinku

Re: Isn't Nicotine itself harmful?

Actually the LD50 of nicotine has recently been called into question, see this article by Professor Bernd Mayer from Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Karl-Franzens University Graz, Austria:

http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs00204-013-1127-0/fulltext.html

I'm not going to pretend I have any real insight into the toxicology of nicotine, or indeed any substance, but I'd rather we get the figures right. I'm sure that nicotine is probably toxic in a large enough quantity, but if the currently accepted figure is incorrect, I'd rather it be debunked. After all, that's what science is for, no?

1
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Shinku

Re: Regulation?

There has been no ruling either way by either the UK or the EU at this point, however the discussion is currently in progress both here in the UK and in Europe. The UK govt's stance currently appears to be that ecigs should be regulated as medicinal products. The EU recently voted in favour of some restrictions, but not medicinalisation. This has faced opposition and is still up in the air, the decision has not yet been made.

See this document for more info (page 2 onwards):

http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?pubRef=-//EP//NONSGML+AMD+A7-2013-0276+169-170+DOC+PDF+V0//EN

Part of the attraction to ecigs is that they replicate (approximately) the hand to mouth action of a cigarette, the inhalation action and the expulsion of a visible product upon exhaling. This, along with the nicotine, fulfills the habitual and chemical requirements of a former tobacco smoker. In addition, the flavourings and the differently configured devices allow customisation to taste.

This would not happen with a medical device, which would be considerably less effective due to inflexibility and a considerable lack of options due to regulatory expense and licensing requirements. For example, I am currently vaping a fruit flavoured eliquid with a 2.5% concentration of nicotine which is stored in a large tank and is being turned into vapour by a coil consuming 10 watts of power. None of this is likely to be possible with a medical product, which would almost certainly be restricted to tobacco and menthol flavours, at a specific strength, on a specific device capable of delivering considerably less power. Each variation on this theme would require a new medicinal licence, every strength of every flavour in every new type of device. This would render a medicinal device ineffective for me. I would not enjoy it as much, I would consider it inferior, it would not satisfy my requirements, I would most probably end up nipping down the shop for half an ounce of Golden Virginia and a packet of papers. Does this concern me? Not as long as I have electronic cigarettes the way I use them, no. Why should I be denied this option?

Several final points: there is no petroleum jelly in my, or hopefully anybody else's ecigs, and much like alcohol there is some expectation of reasonable responsibility regarding the use of nicotine, I have yet to hear of once single instance of death due to proper or improper use of electronic cigarette nicotine solutions. Finally, regarding the use of it, consider it analogous to caffeine, it is a mild stimulant.

4
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Shinku

Re: Aren't e-cigs the same as...

I've never used one of those "Inhalaters", but as I understand it those don't produce any visible product in the way that an ecig (or indeed a cigarette) does, it's also not electronic.

But leaving aside potential lobbying from various groups, there are a few points to consider: it doesn't look like a cigarette, it looks like a medical device, it has a stigma to it, people know it's a medical device, it's a statement that you're quitting cigarettes, a statement that smoking (and nicotine, if we're to believe the anti-nicotine zealots) is bad and a public demonstration that you, for whatever reason, endorse that statement. This reinforces the message to other people who see you using it that cigarettes and nicotine are bad, a disease which requires medicine.

Compare with e-cigs, some of which look like cigarettes (but by no means all, very far from it - however this isn't necessarily widely known to some circles). They emit something which looks, to the untrained eye, like smoke. Yet they are enjoyable, lack the downsides of smoking and are usually pleasantly flavoured. Responsible vendors make no claims that they help you quit smoking or nicotine so there's no reinforcement that nicotine is something to be eradicated. They have no association with either a) evil dirty filthy cigarettes with fatty deposits dripping off the end and horrendously blackened lungs, nor b) a clinical device which screams "I am quitting smoking, smoking is bad, you should not do it, this is my medicine to make sure that I don't do it".

This, to many anti-tobacco, anti-smoking and anti-nicotine campaigners is a very bad thing. They do not consider that a less harmful alternative (which isn't also a medicine) is a good thing, they perceive it as perpetuating a belief that smoking or consuming nicotine is an OK thing to do and as providing a gateway for current non-smokers (including children) to find themselves addicted to nicotine and to progress onto cigarettes.

1
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Shinku

Re: Oh Christ, not another one...

Well, quite.

Here is another response to that study, response by Dr Michael Siegel:

http://tobaccoanalysis.blogspot.co.uk/2013/04/new-study-sounds-alarm-about-metals.html

I absolutely agree though, I want *good* research, I don't want either side to be making things up, implying things which aren't true or are overblown or using numbers to prove a point, I simply want to know that what I am inhaling is considerably safer than cigarettes. At this point in time, however, I have no reason to believe that there is a significant risk based on my own judgement of the information I've read/seen/heard thus far.

0
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Shinku

Re: Not the same as the real thing

Oh yeah, don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that cigalike ecigs are useless, they're obviously not for me and I might've come across a bit biased, as far as I'm concerned if it works for one person then it's a viable choice. It's not untrue to say that cigarette sized ecigs are necessarily lesser-performing though, there's just no way to cram a huge amount of battery power and eliquid into a space that small. No reason to disregard them as an option though, it's just something to bear in mind if they aren't quite floating your boat.

0
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Shinku

Re: Not the same as the real thing

Haha, sadly I'm not sure such a thing is commercially available in a pre-made form, but DIYers build their own in rebuildable atomisers, there are many videos on the youtubes showing them off and explaining how to do it. The Innokin iClear 30 is a dual coil clearomiser though, in case you fancy a gander. Apparently there were (are?) triple coil cartomisers too, but I've never run into one myself.

0
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Shinku

Re: Oh Christ, not another one...

I'm not going to claim to be an expert in such fields, but that cartomiser is either of incredibly poor quality (and yes, I agree that quality control is important in such a device), has been overheated to the point of destruction (which couldn't happen during actual use, it would begin to taste unusably foul long before that) or both. I would also question whether the numbers involved are of unacceptable levels, we inhale all sorts of horrific crap every day but the presence of a chemical isn't the important bit - the quantity is. There are traces of all sorts of nasty stuff all over the place. Consider alcohol, it's a poison, in significant quantities it can lead to death, in lesser quantities we consider it within a sensible risk envelope, enough to use it recreationally. Is ethanol dangerous? Yes. Is it dangerous in small quantities? Not really, no.

The point I'm trying to get at here is that I want to know the actual numbers which would put a user at risk. Is a miniscule trace of nickel more damaging or more harmful in the short or long term than a cigarette? What are the chances that there are significant enough quantities to render electronic cigarettes *more* dangerous than cigarettes? If the chances are lower, as far as I'm concerned, we're on to a winner. I'm not qualified to answer these questions, but I don't believe that dismissing this technology on the strength of a single study which may or may not be consequential is a very good idea.

Here is said study, by the way: http://www.plosone.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pone.0057987

2
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Shinku

Re: Not the same as the real thing

18mg/ml is actually 1.8%, not 18%.

I personally use 24-36mg depending on the liquid in question (many don't come in concentrations higher than 24mg) and that works nicely for me, but it's a bit of trial and error if you're new to vaping. It's really impossible to recommend a specific strength for a new vaper, but I usually suggest starting no lower than 18mg. The reason for this is that if it's too strong you can always dilute it with a weaker liquid and it's not wasted, but if you try a liquid which is too weak, say 8mg for example, you may consider the whole concept to be kaput because it's not doing the job.

Something else to note is that if the device in question is a dinky fag-alike then it's not going to have the gumption to provide bags and bags of vapour, so you're effectively getting less nicotine per puff, so I suggest a higher strength in something that small. The coil takes a little while to warm up, and the battery is so small that it simply can't deliver the amount of power required to really get the thing cooking. Then it'll promptly die because you've sucked all the charge out of it by driving it so hard. On the other hand, if you have an 18650 (that's a size of battery, commonly found in laptops, large laser pens and heavy duty flashlights, many "mod" style ecigs use them, or similar) driven drainpipe with a 20 watt setting and a huge quad coil atomiser on the top, you'll probably need less concentrated liquid, it'll be chucking vapour out like a steam train.

1
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Shinku

Re: It won't last

Elements of the UK govt and the European parliament are still trying to regulate ecigs as medicinal products, they haven't given up, if you have an interest in ecigs whether for yourself, family members, friends or the public in general it's a good idea to contact your local MP to have them do something about it.

Analysis of the situation is available here: http://www.clivebates.com/

As for who wins or loses, cigarette companies are already busy investing in and buying up e-cig companies, they win whatever happens. If e-cigs are medicinal, tobacco companies can afford the licenses, the little guys can't. Medical companies stand to gain with strict regulation, since if e-cigs are freely available they can't have the market all to themselves and it's competition to NRT, as you say. You also mention the anti-smoking brigade, who will rally against anything which "normalises" (ie: looks even remotely like) smoking, even if it reduces the harm done through less clean methods of nicotine consumption.

The whole thing makes my head hurt, quite frankly. Seems only logical to me that a less harmful product should be able to freely usurp a long-standing and more harmful method of consuming nicotine, as long as sensible quality standards are upheld (which doesn't require medical regulation).

10
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Shinku

Re: @jake One point that is often conveniently forgotten ...

Entirely possible, you can buy or even mix your own nicotine-free eliquid. You can also get flavourless nicotine (and nic-free) liquid if you want to eliminate flavours from such an experiment. Two identical ecigs, one with VG+PG+nic and one with just VG+PG, indistinguishable by eye, the vaper may notice the difference in taste or "throat hit" but bystanders would be none the wiser. Seems like a simple test to perform to me.

2
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Shinku

Re: Isn't Nicotine itself harmful?

http://www.mdpi.com/1660-4601/10/10/5146

"Comparison of the Cytotoxic Potential of Cigarette Smoke and Electronic Cigarette Vapour Extract on Cultured Myocardial Cells" - Dr Konstantinos Farsalinos + team.

See also: http://www.ecigarette-research.com/web/index.php/research/127-no-adverse-effects

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Shinku

Re: Good to see coverage, but a few notes:

Thanks.

Just to be clear, what I mean by eGo-T is the original kit which bears that name - a kit with an eGo style battery, an atomiser (a larger version of the 510 style, except with a spike inside instead of an exposed bridge) and a transluscent plastic hollow tank cartridge with a sealed hole in the end which you had to puncture to fill/use.

If you still use that type of ecig then that's great, the beauty of ecigs is that everyone can build one to their own taste, and I'm not one to be telling anybody they must upgrade to Uber-Vape v5 or whatever, but I would consider them obsolete by this point, they've been outclassed and left in the dust of the eternal evolution of eciggery. All for the better, too, I owned a 510-T and I could taste nowt but plastic, very muted flavour... :P

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Shinku

Good to see coverage, but a few notes:

Few points to note and correct, I'll start at the top:

1: The vapour is not water vapour, it's VG/PG vapour.

2: The term most often used during discussion is "harm reduction" rather than minimisation, but that's a little pedantic.

3: eGo actually refers to the battery form factor, the thicker battery used in the article is one, but eGo-T is the name for a now obsolete kit which included an atomiser with a removable plastic capsule-like tank, usually a semi-transparent frosted tank with a moulded mouthpiece integrated into the end. I can understand this mistake because the batteries are often still branded as eGo-T, but for the sake of completeness I thought it noteworthy. The top half of the eGo-T kit in this case appears to be a Vision eGo (also known as a Stardust in the USA).

4: The kit which looks like an immitation cigarette (#2) is neither eGo nor eGo-T, this is known as a "cigalike". The battery itself appears to be an automatic 510 battery, and the filter-coloured piece with the liquid in is called a cartomiser, a 510 cartomiser (to match the threading on the 510 battery). As this uses a cartomiser (a "cartridge with a built in atomiser", as opposed to the earlier types where the two were separate pieces), it isn't a "-T", as the -T stands for Tank. Unlike a tank, a cartomiser is filled with a wadding which absorbs the liquid to store it.

5: Device #3 is also misnamed, depending on how you look at it. 510 is several things, it's the name for the thread type which connects an atomiser to a battery (specifically the thin type, the type which is on the end of that cigarette sized ecig's filter end), but it's also used to describe the size and shape of battery included in kit #2. However, kit #3 wouldn't really be considered a 510 kit, since it uses an eGo battery with what's called eGo threading - that is, whilst it's compatible with 510 threading atomisers, it also has an external thread which accommodates aesthetic improvements and larger atomisers, like tanks which are threaded on the widest part of the base, not the centre. Also, there is no foam in the type of "clearomiser" (clear cartomiser - usually has a transparent tank and no filler wadding) used here, just a set of silica wicks leading to the atomiser coil.

6: #4 is in fact a Kanger (the manufacturer) ProTank, not "Kanga".

7: A "mod" is usually the term for the battery tube, with or without electronics inside it. Pretty much anything larger or more complex than an eGo battery could be considered a mod. Without electronic is called a "mechanical mod", it relies purely on a mechanical switch to connect the battery when you want to use it, and has no regulation or safety circuitry. With electronics is an electronic mod, and it usually contains regulation circuitry, safety protection and often has functions for increasing and decreasing the amount of power delivered to the atomiser coil (which is known as Variable Voltage or Variable Wattage). Although a tank could be considered a mod, it's not a common usage of the term. Of course, the term itself refers to a time during which people would "mod" their own ecigs, by modifying existing ecigs or creating their own custom ecig power supplies out of flashlights and the like.

8: Flavours are, as the article suggests, entirely subjective, but tobacco flavours very rarely taste anything like you expect them to taste. They generally don't taste how you remember a real cigarette to taste, so don't expect an absolute replica of the experience of smoking a cigarette. On the plus side, there are thousands of flavours, and there's bound to be something you like amongst them, pick a few and see what you like, it's a process of experimentation.

Source: Me, I've been vaping exclusively for 3+ years and I'm involved in ecig communities.

Having said all that, I'm very glad to see coverage of ecigs on ElReg, and I can't recommend ecigs highly enough, I have a handful of large mods (a VAMO, a Joyetech eVic and an Innokin iTaste MVP in case anyone's interested, with iClear 30s and a ProTank 2 on top, plus various other bits and bobs for emergencies) and I love vaping.

4
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Boffinry breakthrough OF THE DECADE: Teens 'influenced' by friends

Shinku
Pint

Breaking News:

*BONG!* Child breaks rule set by adults, performs forbidden act.

*BONG!* "Internet is extension of the real world" claims online forum member.

*BONG!* Young people discovered to perform unwise acts in order to establish themselves in the social order.

*BONG!* Redundant study deemed "utter waste of money".

Exhibit A: 1980s American high school movies. Take your pick, any will do. As much money as he might happen to have, I'm fairly certain El Zucko doesn't have a time machine.

Who do they think they're informing with this "news"?

Studies, my arse.

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Private UK torrent site closes, citing 'hostile climate'

Shinku

Re: Unfortunate

I don't personally like reality and talent shows, but it would be unfair for me to say that I want Robot Wars, Tomorrow's World, It'll Never Work or whatever else I wish still existed to be made available but not Big Brother or Pop Idol.

My gut feeling on those shows is that they're exploitative, cynical, brainless trash designed specifically to extract every last penny from hopes and dreams, embarrassment and failure, but they are part of our modern culture whatever their purpose or function.

So yes, make those available too, if people want to see them. I won't be watching, but someone will, and if Britain's Got Talent isn't worthy of making available then what's sitting in my favourites list which most other people deem absolute drivel?

0
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Shinku

Re: Stupid Big Media

I can't disagree with that, it should be our content to consume. Having said that, as I understand it, it's not quite that simple, because there are rights holders other than the BBC involved, anything from writers to performers, production companies to other broadcasters, and even if the BBC wanted to upload that content for all to see, they couldn't necessarily legally do so. IANAL, of course, nor am I involved in the media industry, but I have been told during various conversations that this is the case, to what extent it's true I couldn't honestly say.

But if that is a significant reason why certain content isn't online, that's precisely why the whole system needs an overhaul, copyright terms aren't short, so if we want to see any of this content before 2040 or whenever the copyrights on your particular favourites happen to end, there needs to be a better way to cut through the legal spaghetti, otherwise we'll continue to be in the exact same position. It'd be advantageous for those making content too, because it means content is more widely available, more widely viewed, and easier to claw back some currently non-existent fees from.

1
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Shinku

Re: Unfortunate

That's not to even mention the advantages of being able to watch or listen to your favourite show at any time without having to worry about whether the DRM server will become unavailable/shut down/be replaced by some other DRM scheme, or whether the licence will lapse on the content, or indeed you licence to view it will cease to apply to your particular account or file...

2
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Shinku

Re: Stupid Big Media

Absolutely, there are various Radio 4/4 Extra/Radio 7 sci-fi dramas which I missed the first time round because I simply didn't know they existed, and I've really enjoyed them... but unless they show up as repeats on iPlayer, I have no way to listen to them. Worse still, there are some which I find on iPlayer, even new ones, which I've stumbled across when it's on its third episode, so at best I can only go back to episode 2, I can't listen to the first episode. The show might be incredible, but without the first episode I'm missing a likely significant chunk of the series. It's really quite annoying.

2
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Shinku

Re: Stupid Big Media

Even if think about it from their end of things, consider for a moment what people are doing here. They're trading often barely watchable copies of 3rd generation VHS duplicates, just to get a vague glimpse of a show which obviously means something to them. There's money in that. Yet countless hundreds, thousands of shows even, are gone without a trace. They're likely sitting in a tape vault somewhere, ready to be "monetised".

On the other hand, Given that those tapes are apparently not worth bothering to do anything with, what's it to them if a few people want to share some old episodes of some forgotten kids show from the 90s or a failed sitcom from the 80s? They weren't trying to make money off them anyway, so what are they losing? Any potential loss they think they're making is their own fault for not having attempted to sell it to people in the first place. It wouldn't even be as bad if the copyright terms on this stuff weren't so ridiculously long.

I don't want to come across as "entitled" here, but these shows were made to be consumed, so we should let them be consumed. They have made impressions on millions of peoples' lives, however insignificant a dodgy telly programme from some distant recess of a failing memory might seem. We have the technology to make this stuff available, as is evident by the fact that TheBoz exists, and the many services which do offer legitimately licensed content. Please, content owners, throw us a bone here, either do it and charge us, or leave us be to do the digital equivalent of swapping video tapes.

3
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Shinku
Stop

Unfortunate

I've lamented on this point for some years, but there's a lot of stuff that after airing on the old-school goggle box is seemingly gone forever. Whatever the reason, be it lack of interest, legal issues, money or licensing, it's an incredible shame that so much of our TV/radio content - including stuff we've paid for with the licence fee - spends most of its life locked up in some big content vault never to be seen again.

"Piracy" is often the only way to get to see, for example, the TV shows from the day you were born, or from some specific day in history, or childhood memories, or more or less anything which isn't lucky enough to have made it to DVD. I was rather a huge fan of Robot Wars, for example, yet there simply is no DVD box set, nor is it available on Netflix or LoveFilm or iTunes or Amazon or whatever service you care to name. Unless you taped it off the TV, it is, for all intents and purposes, gone. Likewise shows such as Tomorrow's World, decades of interesting programming marking the course of progress, correctly or otherwise, and yet we can't use it as a historical reference.

This is our culture, for better or worse, and it's disgusting that we don't have access to so much of it. TheBox.bz was an impressively stocked counter to this unfortunate situation. Even when shows are sometimes available "legitimately", it's not unusual to only have access to a certain amount of episodes. Then there's the issue of content being available through online services, but licenses expiring, so then they disappear. Yes, I appreciate that people paid for these shows to be made, I understand that there are rights involved, I realise that it's not always as simple as "let's just upload it to YouTube", but that really aught to change, it's very frustrating and results in so much content falling into neglect and obscurity.

Well, here's hoping the BBC finally get off their arses regarding their archives, that'd be a start.

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