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* Posts by Shinku

42 posts • joined 27 Mar 2008

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.

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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."

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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).

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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...

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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.

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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.

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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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So long then, Windows 2000

Shinku
Heart

RIP Win2k...

...who will be sorely missed, having made Windows NT user-friendly and lead the crusade against that icky old Windows 9x line.

Speaking of said icky 9x line, the codename Memphis was that of Windows 98, not Windows 2000. The latter didn't really have a codename, unless you include simply "NT5" which if I recall was its prerelease name for a few betas.

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Visual Studio gets Linux dose with Mono

Shinku
Stop

Convince me...

Fair enough if you're a big business and such, maybe a couple of grand isn't terrible, but as a skint hobbyist coder I think $99 is too much for me to port the few apps a month/year I write to Linux or whatever else when I can never be quite sure it'll work.

It's a nice idea, but I'm looking for incentives to use (and in this case develop for) alternative platforms more, and paying for those incentives really doesn't encourage me. Developing for Windows (which I can do for free) allows me to distribute my apps to anyone running any semi-recent version of the OS, and that's an awful lot of people. Why would I pay extra to allow another couple of % of the computing world to run them too? What kind of package do I stuff them in? deb? rpm? What type of rpm? Will it run on Fedora or Mandriva? Regular download or repository? On Windows I just release a zip with an exe and a text file inside (or even just a single install exe), I know that exe will work on pretty much any Windows machine which has the appropriate version of .net Framework on it.

Not to mention the fact that VS05 was a notch below awful and that VS10 is already ploughing its way out of Redmond as we speak, they're only now looking to support VS08? Too little, too late, sorry Novell.

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Game designers deconstruct their 'art'

Shinku
Heart

Power Rangers

"There's the sequence with the giant robot, Liberty Prime, that acts as the game's climax. The original pie-in-the-sky idea was that he was about five times the size he ended up, and you rode in his head"

That sounds like an awesome start to a Power Rangers game... You could play as a Power Ranger in a Zord, then you have to combine with the other Zords and you'd get to control Megazord and you'd have a view across the city and...

...alright, alright, I'm going! Mine's the one with the Green Ranger in the pocket.

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Mobile broadband or WiFi? You betcha

Shinku
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Mobile Broadband Rules

Having bought an eee some time ago I decided it made sense to accompany such a portable device with an equally portable connection of some kind so I bought me a 3 (UK) PAYG dongle (Huawei E220) for a pretty reasonable 40 quid. I'd read reviews and I'd heard the service was abysmal but never one to take reviews as gospel truth I figured I'd give it a go. At £10/1GB, £15/3GB or £25/7GB it's pricey to say the least (not to mention the fact that topups expire after 30 days). However, the convenience of being able to connect pretty much anywhere made me overlook the costs because I knew I'd only use it occasionally and I wouldn't be doing anything particularly heavy with it, that's what ADSL is for.

Now I'm glad I did, but right out of the box I wasn't quite as pleased. Trying to make the dongle install properly was a right pain in the ass despite the dongle having a U3-style flash based optical drive simulator with the drivers on it. The drivers are awful, the connection to the laptop would often just flat out die or it would seem to be connected yet would not be recognised. Terrible, pathetic, nasty, cheap... just plain crap. When I eventually got the thing installed, the device itself seemed stable but the connection it provided wasn't so much.

Now I've taken the SIM from the dongle and put it into an HTC Tytn II and it's absolutely brilliant. I don't get 3G at home but why would I need to when I have ADSL already? In an emergency though I can get GPRS which makes it a nice backup even if it's not particularly quick. Out and about, however, I do get HSDPA, and when I have that HSDPA it really is like having broadband in your pocket, it far surpassed my expectations. As an added bonus, with every topup I get 90 days of Skype traffic for free outside of my regular usage.

So in summary, if you have a decent device to connect with and you have a half decent signal, HSDPA rocks. If you have a cheaply made dongle with drivers that could've easily been written by a 5 year old and a mediocre signal then you'll probably be less lucky. It's extremely convenient but it's also extremely expensive. On the other hand, WIFI is faster and more consistent if you're not going anywhere. Most access points these days seem to be secured (so no "borrowing" WIFI) and I'm not sure I'd want to pay for a connection I could only use at (for example) Starbucks which is insecure and only works in one location when I could drop the same cash on a top up for my HSDPA and go anywhere with it.

Oh yeah, one final point, make sure you bring a portable nuclear power station, those HSDPA radios suck juice like a class full of preschoolers at cookie time.

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Red Dwarf finally returns to Earth

Shinku
Unhappy

[spoiler]

Damnit, now I have to go and get catastrophically drunk to forget you said they're going to return to earth!

Also, old news for hardcore Dwarfers :D

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Child porn in the age of teenage 'sexting'

Shinku
Paris Hilton

Part of growing up, surely?

So how is this any different to the old way of doing things, the innocent "I'll show you mine if you show me yours"? I mean sure, go after the 40 year old bloke harvesting images and all, that's just fine (as the article mentions) but if both parties are that young, the age difference is negligible and the source of the messages sent them on purpose, what's the problem?

Paris, because if monitors worked both ways, she'd have seen almost as many as have seen her...

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LG prices up HSDPA-equipped mini laptop

Shinku
Thumb Down

Giveth with one hand...

I've got an eee 701, I love it, it was cheap and the battery's fairly reasonable for its size. It'd be nice if it had integrated HSDPA though...

...which is where this LG would come in. In theory. There's always something horrendously wrong with the portability of these things when you compare features of one with another. Yes, we did want HSDPA, we really did, but what's the point if I can only use it for an hour*?

* I might be underestimating the Atom and ElReg's battery estimation could be wrong...

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Acorn alumni to toast tech pioneer's 30th anniversary

Shinku
Heart

Another vote for Archimedes...

...because those Archimedes machines could be credited for my interest in computing as an early 90s school kid. Here's to 30 years of Acorn/ARM! Don't own any Acorn machines any more but hey, there's always emulation (though you don't get the feel of the old keyboard or the smell of the computer room after school or the big old Cub monitors or the... *sniffs and wipes a tear*)...

Now, if only kids these days had the same kit to play with... I guess they'd just laugh at you if you presented them with it. Shame.

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Leeds thieves target Ford Focus chips

Shinku
Stop

Thieves-cum-Electrical-Engineers?

Wait, so even if this happened to be true, where are people gonna stick these chips and how? I can't imagine seeing Bob down the pub one night and him telling me he'd just modchipped his Sky box with the guts from a standard issue Focus radio...

Either there's some really slow people out there or this is a cover-up... >_>

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Rare Mac Trojan exploits Apple vuln

Shinku
Alert

Not real, eh?

I'm seeing people trying to describe this as something other than the article did, I can only imagine in some vain attempt to save face after years of laughing at Windows users. Let me just fix that for you...

Firstly, if this isn't a real trojan then a very large amount of the malware you constantly poke fun at on the Windows platform isn't real either. Of course, at the end of the day, malicious software really is just software that does things you'd rather it didn't while the guy who wrote it is sitting there rubbing his hands together with glee. Works the same on every platform, and if it gains root/admin/system privileges without asking you then it's a problem, regardless of what you wanna call it.

Secondly, I see people mentioning easy fixes. There are easy fixes for holes on other platforms too but that's sod all use to Joe Bloggs at No. 91 who just got his first computer 3 months ago and has abolutely no clue that computer security even exists, let alone that he has to worry about it himself. It's all very well knowing that if you turn off ARD then you're probably fine but that doesn't help all the other Apple users...

Finally, it doesn't really matter whether this is "real" or not, or whether you're in denial about using an OS that's a lot more vulnerable than you like to believe. At the end of the day, this is a security risk. It doesn't matter whether you want to believe it, which other platforms have more malware, how intelligent users supposedly are or how much you claim to know about your precious li'l Mac. If you wanna sit there cuddling your Jobs dolls that's fine by me, but when something comes along that you should be paying attention to, get your heads out of the god damn sandbox!

Yeah, I'm a Windows users. Oh, I use Linux too. OSX too, occasionally. OS8/9 once or twice, AmigaOS, RISCOS, FreeBSD... Well, you get the idea, I'm about as OS agnostic as you can possibly be, so no calling me a fanboy (that'd be somewhat hypocritical). Eep... Uberpost, I'm done here I think...

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Flirty texting could land Scots in jail for 10 years

Shinku
Gates Horns

I reckon they're just not getting any...

But seriously,

"Causing a person to see or hear an indecent communication is also an offence. It can be committed by reading "a passage in a book or magazine" or by communicating the sounds of actual or simulated sexual activity or by communicating in sign language." ?!

So any book that contains sexual description, any song that contains orgasm-like noises, any innocent I'm-not-sex-deprived-honest pen flicking between thumb and forefinger can be cause for arrest? Are they trying to become the deep south of Americaland? Perhaps we should all just never learn about anything sexual?

Ok, so sexual harassment is and should be a crime, if someone's targeting someone and the feeling ain't mutual then fair enough, but under that wording, simply writing a mildly sexually suggestive book (or even your own diary, for that matter) could land you in the nick.

Oversensitive gits.

Oh, and Evil Bill, just to give you all nightmares after thinking about sex and seeing that picture in the same moment.

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Firefox 3 downloads hit 7m despite server FAIL

Shinku

What I don't get is...

...why people were so desperate for the official launch. Look at it this way - it's a browser, that's all, and it won't kill you to wait a few more minutes to get it. Sure, you might really wanna support Mozilla, but taking down their servers isn't a good way to go about that. Oh, and if you had RC2 then you pretty much had the real deal anyway, so it was even more pointless (though that's not to say you shouldn't have bothered supporting the record). Still, they succeeded regardless and kudos to 'em for it, I just didn't quite understand the "omfg eye needz mi feyerfocks n ur usles coderz r stopin mi!!" vibe going around.

Ho-hum, there's fanboys and trolls for you I guess.

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OpenSUSE 11 a redemptive OS with a Mactastic shine

Shinku
Stop

Re: Fonts

That's one complaint I have about most Linux distros I've tried - if only they used better fonts it'd look so much better. I dislike Ubuntu's default brown theme but if you just change the fonts it looks a million times less... err... amateurish. It's simple things like that which put me off of Linux, it could so easily be fixed... even some of the fonts provided (but not used in the UI) would be a ton better.

Come on guys, you want Linux desktops, you gotta put some effort into making them look usable.

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Thief swipes cabinet minister's laptop from Salford office

Shinku
Joke

Take a cue from Akon...

You'd have thought they'd have heard of Kensington locks by now, they're not that fecking far away from the place...

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CherryPal out sweetens Apple with 2W, ultra-cheap PC

Shinku
Dead Vulture

PearPC

The name reminds me of that CherryOS, the ripoff PearPC PPC emulator clone. I guess they share nothing in common other than the apparent ability to run iTunes but it just seemed interesting.

Me? I'll just keep my ol' dual-floppied Apricot with the glowing green monochrome monitor for when I'm feeling fruity.

Dead birdy 'cos it looks like he's just dribbling cherry hooch.

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Revealed! The new face of the Eee PC

Shinku
Happy

Y'know...

...I think I prefer the new one. She seems like quite the fun hostess, and judging by the bags under her eyes, she does it quite often.

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Asus Eee PC 900 flips one at MacBook Air with multi-touch input

Shinku

Typo?

That'll be a resolution of 1024x600, right?

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