* Posts by handle

746 posts • joined 11 Jun 2009

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Think beyond the Beeb: Gov consultation is crucial for free telly

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I don't see why not. It's the same thing anyway - just a load of bits. It won't be free to air any more though, as you'll need to subscribe to some sort of distribution mechanism to receive it.

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Re: it's time for a change

Sorry, you didn't help, but instead appear to be terribly confused.

Of course Sky doesn't force you to subscribe to it. I never said it does. I was talking about its other income stream - the adverts which it carries - and who pays for those. Yes, believe it or not, Sky is such good value for money that it requires funding from both hefty subscriptions AND advertising.

Oh look - you do appear to have realised that - so why erect straw men to demolish? What was that you were saying earlier about moving goal posts? ;)

When you buy a product which is advertised on Sky (or substitute any other commercial broadcaster), you're forced to pay Sky a "tax" incorporated into the price of that product. You are paying Sky for programmes, whether you are watching them or not. Sound familiar? Sure, you can choose not to buy that product, but that restricts your freedom of choice and who's to say there's an alternative, especially as the free market will tend to equalise the prices of competing products?

Just watch any commercial TV for a while to see how advertising works without benefiting the consumer. A company will start to advertise a product. A competing company will panic and start to advertise their product too. These advertising wars happen again and again. Result: trebles all round for the broadcaster; prices go up for the consumer.

There are hundreds of things you have to pay for in your taxes which you don't consume. It just requires a bit more intelligence to be applied to realise this, rather than just kicking off at the licence fee all the time because it's so obvious what it funds.

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Re: happy to pay the license fee

codejunky, when talking about bias earlier, you criticised me for defending the BBC by comparing it to an "extreme" example, Fox News.

I assume, therefore, that as you yourself are now comparing the BBC with Fox News on the subject of dumbing down, that you believe that the BBC has dumbed down British TV news to a similar extent to Fox in the US.

Fair's fair, after all.

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Re: The simplest solution would be abolish license fee monopoly

Pretty thinly disguised "I'm not going to answer the question", codejunky. ;)

Perhaps an easier one for you then - back up your claim that the BBC is "well known to be biased". As that repeated claim is the basis of your complaint I trust you will be happy to do so.

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Re: 4k

There is not yet, but should be, so much more to 4k than the extra pixels, which, let's face it, are redundant to a lot of people a lot of the time. Much more noticeable benefits could be achieved by tacking on higher frame rates (less juddery/smeary motion), higher contrast (brighter whites/deeper blacks) and a wider range of colours. The BBC is able to look at this sort of thing from the point of view of the broadcasters, e.g. by developing systems which are not radically incompatible with how programmes are made at the moment (reducing production/infrastructure costs) and promoting universal standards (opening up the broadcast equipment market and hence also reducing costs).

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Re: it's time for a change

If I elect to watch programmes from the BBC only, why do I still pay for Sky's production? Advertising isn't paid for by magic fairy dust, you know.

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True, but eventually multicast ought to ameliorate that.

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Re: happy to pay the license fee

"And they charge you a Fox tax if you wan to watch any other channel... oh wait, no that's the BBC."

As opposed to the ITV/Sky/Ch4/Ch5 etc tax you are charged here if you watch any other channel, whenever you buy a product or service advertised on any of them, you mean?

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Re: The simplest solution would be abolish license fee monopoly

codejunky, please tell me about these unbiased news sources that are not funded or influenced by the licence fee then. See tombo's posting below if you don't understand the relevance of that.

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Re: The simplest solution would be abolish license fee monopoly

Oh yes I know about the BBC's "well-known biases" - it's criticised by everyone from all directions. Go figure! Or go and watch that well-known bastion of impartiality, Fox News, instead.

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"For the life of me I can't figure out why our license fee is paying for that rubbish."

Edit: Nigel responded to the point above much more eloquently than I could have done, so I've removed my comment.

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Re: The simplest solution would be abolish license fee monopoly

The licence fee (note spelling) is "a breach of human rights"? And I really thought I'd heard it all! Surely a far worse breach of human rights is the inability to access information free from the influence of either government or big business?

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Re: Yikes is the final photo on page 3 really a from auntie?

The inability to spell "licence" in the caption to the picture on page 2 shows that it's some Reg sub-ed who sticks in the pictures afterwards to make it look interesting, rather than Nigel.

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Want longer battery life? Avoid the New York Times and The Grauniad

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Re: Try this page

FF on Linux is happy with this site and it "only" uses 200M, but then I'm running Adblock Plus and Ghostery.

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Ghostery

No-one's (edit: one person has while reading the thread) mentioned Ghostery yet. Blocks these things without you having to spend 5 minutes on every page making decisions about what you want to enable. It blocks DataPoint Media, DoubleClick and Google Analytics on this page.

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We forget NOTHING, the Beeb thunders at Europe

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Re: Massive coincidence & How

"Also how do the BBC know which pages google omits from searches?"

Google tells them.

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Re: BBC - "We forget nothing"

"My little brother had some pyjamas just that colour."

You're just showing off that you had a colour TV in 1973.

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Re: Shocking

"Rather weird to have pro-EU BBC putting up links that EU forced Google to take down..."

Shocking indeed, how it undermines your simplistic blinkered view of the world.

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Three's 'Home Signal' femtocells fail, restore mobile black spots

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Re: Maybe I'm missing something

What are you missing? Well for a start, the fact that no-one can contact you on your mobile number, and that you can't use your included mobile minutes to make calls. You can also neither send nor receive text messages. Online banking and other services often uses text messages to provide 2FA.

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Relax, it's just Ubuntu 15.04. AARGH! IT'S FULL OF SYSTEMD!!!

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@Neil Barnes: adverts

"The Amazon connection doesn't strike me as The Way Things Should Be[tm] and seeing adverts for paid software in the software centre was something of a surprise, too..."

While I don't like the intrusive Amazon search, I have no problems with the Software Centre listing or advertising paid-for software (and other things such as magazines). It's both heartening to see how many vendors consider it's worth porting/building for the platform, and if it earns Canonical commission then why not? Someone has to pay for the software development and I'm sure Mark Shuttleworth's is not infinitely wealthy. I see it as a welcome step towards the mainstream.

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Smile! Brit transport plods turn bodycams on travelling public

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Re: Who is Kidding Who?@ Hairy Fairey

@AC: And how much is the cost of road collisions? £40bn? How many avoidable deaths are caused by air pollution due to motor traffic? The problems with obesity due to people not knowing how to walk any more? Don't be so naive.

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Re: Falling at the last fence

As the ICO's website talks about "your personal information", haven't they got the perfect excuse to dismiss all complaints unless they've come from someone who's actually been filmed by one of these devices?

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Re: Who is Kidding Who?

Don't forget the bright spark who decided that performance would be measured by how many trains are on time, without putting in a safeguard to stop the inevitable wheeze by the train companies of simply building in extra slack so that they're less likely to be "late". This is why Virgin trains always come into Euston early, resulting in delighted passengers... trebles all round!

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Twitter's share price crashed 18% thanks to ONE LONE TWEET

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I love the way

"microblabber-content advertising website Twitter." is just below a retweet button...

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Radio 4 and Dr K on programming languages: Full of Java Kool-Aid

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Re: "soi-disant"?

But would they have been as likey to get their picture in the article?

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Steely wonder? It's blind to 4G and needs armour: Samsung Galaxy S6

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Re: I read...

It won't do, as batteries no longer need topping up with distilled water at regular intervals any more. I too had an irrational hatred of non-removable batteries until I got one. They last long enough for the phone to be completely out of date/scratched to pieces, and the world is full of neat portable battery packs if you need to recharge them on the move.

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Facepalm

Screen burn

"Does it suffer the same serious screen burn in that my Note 3 has after less than a year? I first noticed it after two months and now the display looks awful."

Are you going to offer the reviewer a time machine in order to answer that question?

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Re: Never mind the bars

I too started rolling my eyes at the mention of bars, but there is convincing evidence that the thing has a problem:

"At various spots near Hampstead Tube station, the Galaxy S6 had dropped back to 3G, while an iPhone 6 (also on EE) registered one to three bars of 4G. This was on EE’s network, and I had two other EE SIMs running at the same time showing three bars – so it wasn’t the network."

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Dot-com intimidation forces Indiana to undo hated anti-gay law

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False analogy, Anonymous Coward - you might as well say go to a butchers and ask for a pound of potatoes, then sue him.

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This tool detects then ATTACKS evil twin access points

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Virgin Media takes its time on website crypto upgrade

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Re: And they have a ludicrous mandatory weak password policy too

@Badvok - when in a hole, I suggest you note the thumbs and stop digging. You've been proved comprehensively wrong that the only thing a VM password allows you to do is pay someone else's bill, and now you're trying to cloud the issue by chucking in the irrelevance of VM employees.

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Re: And they have a ludicrous mandatory weak password policy too

@VinceH - thanks - I tried doing that but didn't spot a PDF or anything. Maybe I'm just unobservant, or maybe it's something to do with paperless billing?

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Re: And they have a ludicrous mandatory weak password policy too

@badvok "the only real issue* if someone hacks the account is that they could pay your bill for you!"

Really? Let's see.

- They can get your landline number and your name (don't think the postal address is available)

- They can see every telephone number you called, with its time, duration and cost.

- They can see every PPV thing you ordered, and when (I presume - I don't have their TV)

- They can muck about with up to 9 other accounts you can set up for people.

- They can change your subscription, such as broadband speed and TV bundles - imagine the hoops you'd have to jump through to rectify that

- They can see your security question and answer (Yep - another Virgin Media fail - it's there in plain sight on the web page)

Hmm - your complacency seems somewhat naive, especially as you are keen to give the impression you know all about security.

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Re: And they have a ludicrous mandatory weak password policy too

Badvok, why would you not be in your right mind if you used Virgin email services, apart from these password issues? (I don't use it by the way - I'm just curious.)

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Re: And they have a ludicrous mandatory weak password policy too

"When you are dealing with a service that has millions of customers accessing it, no change (however trivial it might seem) is trivial."

It's trivial. They've had months if not years to fix it, and they're a big bad company with dozens of experts to test it to destruction.

I repeat - it's trivial.

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Re: And they have a ludicrous mandatory weak password policy too

Yes - El Reg, you should be pursuing them about this too - trivial to lift those restrictions.

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Force your hand: Apple 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display

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Re: Displays not being updated?

I'm not getting you I'm afraid. Of course if you display a 1280 width image on a 1920-width screen then pixel mapping is not 1:1, but if the pixels are too small to see, and the scaling is done properly to avoid aliasing, then how can you see any "fuzziness"? It shouldn't be up to the application - the display driver should scale.

Why not use a higher resolution than is necessary? Because it costs more to manufacture, and takes more processing and electrical power.

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Displays not being updated?

You don't say? As the whole point of a *Retina* display, we are told, is that the resolution is more than the eye can perceive, there's no point in making it any greater.

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Re: Right click..

@Jes.E: "Apple's insistence of the single button mouse was to force the Software manufactures to make their software 100% functional with the single button."

Or because Jony Ive/predecessors thought two buttons weren't pretty enough.

"This one button mouse meme is old, pervasive with windows enthusiasts to point out how stupid Macintosh users are, and simply false."

Windows was always usable without a pointing device at all, with things like tabbing.

Your argument may have some basis in fact, but, especially given your attempts to conflate multiple finger gestures with one vs two button mice, I simply don't buy it as the only explanation.

PS I'm not a Windows enthusiast.

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"most Android users are replacing at every contract renewal"

That might have something to do with the fact that they can afford to.

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Helium-filled drive tech floats to top of HGST heap

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Re: Yeah helium, great

How much helium does balloon gas contain though? Just enough to make a balloon buoyant at the pressure required to inflate it may not be very much.

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Re: Low flying heads

Not sure quite what you're asking, but HDs must have gas in to make the heads fly, and if you wanted to make an evacuated one you'd need an enormously strong container, negating any advantages.

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Are you clever enough, and brave enough, to give a Register lecture

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Hmm

"The Register is looking for speakers who are as fascinating and knowledgeable as our audience and as good at story-telling as our writers."

Gosh, you do set the bar low.

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Netflix: Look folks, it's net neutrality... HA, fooled you

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But where does the money come from to pay the ISPs? The VoD constomers, of course, via their subscriptions!

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Ford to save you from BIKE FITNESS HORROR

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Re: Weak article

@ Kevin McMurtrie - you're right, Ah is pointless on its own, but the whole article just smacks of regurgitated press release - you can't expect the author to go to the trouble of actually finding out the answer to that question...

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Re: "there is no derailleur....so the prototypes are fixies"

@Tom 7 no you wouldn't - a car has plenty of spare power; a bike does not. Ever tried pushing a car? Then you'll realise how little difference the energy absorbed by a timing belt makes.

By the way, I thought a "fixie" was a bike with no freewheel (so the pedals turn whenever it is moving) - isn't this one a "single speed"?

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Tim Cook slurped our brains, snarl fat battery bods A123

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A123?

I hope it's not related to 123A cos that's a rather small battery.

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Euro broadcast industry still in a fug over that 4K-ing UHD telly

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Re: HD, schmaydsdee

That's one reason why broadcasters are trying to encourge the industry to improve in other areas - colour space, dynamic range and frame rate. But hey, a bigger number must be better, mustn't it?

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Re: "Satellite is the ideal way to distribute 4K. We will drive it just as we did with HD"

@jaywin - you're incorrect that in your assertion about 1080i being much better than 720p. Those letters are important, not just the headline numbers. An interlaced signal has reduced vertical resolution compared with a progressive one, so 1080i does not have 1.5 times the vertical resolution of 720p. Moreover, interlaced signals are harder to code than progressive, leading to more artifacts for a given compression ratio. Even worse, flat-panel displays cannot display interlaced pictures natively, unlike a CRT, with the result that you get de-interlacing artifacts, only mitigated by complicated processing which has other side-effects.

Interlace was a clever 1930s idea to reduce large-area flicker on CRTs displaying a low frame rate, and has no place in the digital era. It was commercial pressures that favoured 1080i in a VHS/Betacam-type scenario.

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Google Translate MEAT GRINDER turns gay into 'faggot', 'poof', 'queen'

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Re: Err misplaced ire!

But that's Google's getout clause to a tee - "we're only the conduit".

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