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* Posts by Tom 38

2332 posts • joined 21 Jul 2009

British spooks seize tech from Snowden journo's boyfriend at airport

Tom 38
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Joke

Re: Cue the terror alert

…Reuters is reporting imminent al Qaeda attacks on European high-speed trains…

Phew, at least we'll be safe in the UK then, no chance of high speed trains here.

Oh look, it's home-o-clock.

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Fanbois taught to use Apple's new killer app: Microsoft Windows

Tom 38
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Re: Wow

I run FreeBSD on a box with uEFI, I didn't even know it had uEFI until I came to flash a device's firmware to the latest version, at which point it failed, because the machine has no fucking BIOS.

3 days of swearing later, I had the firmware updated, via a loaner mobo that had the required slots and still had a BIOS. I'm so glad they took away that nasty slow simple BIOS and replaced it with that nasty slow complicated uEFI.

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Microsoft warns of post-April zero day hack bonanza on Windows XP

Tom 38
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Re: They don't want to give away extended support

Do you know how many times you've posted on this single thread? We get it, you <3 Microsoft, you want us to read your blog (I'm sorry, Microsoft's blog).

El Reg has this wonderful feature where by I can click on your name and see a history of your posts. You only talk on MS topics and you are only (overwhelmingly) pro MS. You're determined and professional in your comment carpet bombing campaign. I think it is about time those nice guys at Redmond sent you a Surface Pro to "review".

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Tom 38
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Re: Is there a basic flaw in this reasoning?

You've not understood how bugs arise on a closed codebase. These aren't new bugs MS are scaring us about, they are bugs in 12 year old piece of software (as they keep shouting) that they haven't yet discovered.

In effect, MS is saying "Watch out, this software is so full of holes, we haven't even come close to finding all the major bugs in 12 years and billions of installations. Bugs in our new versions will probably apply to the old software too, since our "new versions" are really just the old software tarted up a bit."

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Tom 38
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Re: MS is getting desperate on Windows 8x

How much of a computer must be upgraded with new parts before it can be declared a new computer? And so on...

Pretty much anything - new mobo, new CPU, new GFX. You can stick more RAM or hard drives in without re-triggering activation.

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Tom 38
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Re: Wait, hear that?

Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows XP share such a large code base that I'd imagine that if you have a bug that applies to a feature in Windows 7, and that same feature exists in XP, there is a strong chance the same bug exists as well in XP. In a way, you can see MS' position, but you can easily see the counter point as well - these are bugs which you have then fixed, but can no longer be arsed to merge the fix back.

In an open source project, removing support from a release with this number of active users would be shouted about on the mailing lists, with two inevitable conclusions - firstly, support would be re-enabled, probably with some new members of the security team who are interested in that release and will do release management for it, and secondly, that the project would have some navel gazing as to why so many people are still using the version from 2 releases ago.

Apple get around this issue by having a strong commercial relationship with their customers, and by regularly updating the OS for nominal fees. An OS X upgrade is less likely to leave your OS half working, as I have seen numerable times from XP->Vista and XP->7 migrations (so much so that now, if I'm asked if I can "quickly help out" and upgrade from XP to anything, I'll refuse and insist on a re-install),

Apple can do this because they don't make money from the OS, they make it from the hardware and ecosystem - someone buying a Mac is in the market for an iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, special mice, ridiculously expensive monitors and so on. MS only make their money from people upgrading or buying new machines.

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Google Glass is HIGH FASHION in September Vogue magazine

Tom 38
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Re: Distracted driving

And I took a taxi about 8 years ago, and the driver READ A PAPERBACK pretty much the entire time she was driving. No tip for her.

Would you have preferred a hardback?

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Apple big-screen TV rumor zombie RISES FROM THE DEAD

Tom 38
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WTF?

Re: Well, they are predictable

Essentially it'll be yet another walled garden, perverting the idea of television as a borderless medium.

Assuming it has at least one HDMI socket on this, how would an Apple TV be walling you off from any services? If you want to suck content from Apple, I'd imagine an Apple TV would be quite useful, and if you don't want to - well don't buy one?

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'But we like 1 Direction!' Rock gods The Who fend off teen Twitter hate mob

Tom 38
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WTF?

Re: I assume the plod are looking into this...

So, if someone threatens to rape you, then its a real threat, but if they threaten to rape your deceased mother, its just japes?

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Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid: Eco, economy and diesel power

Tom 38
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People like to diss Volvo because the cars look a little boxy and easily go for 200k+ miles (family record, 344k miles, after which it was sold as a taxi, still running). Much better to look cool and be scrapyard material before 100k miles.

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'Database failure ate my data' – Salesforce customer

Tom 38
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Phew!

Thankfully we're on eu1 here, that could have been a real clusterfuck. We pull the most important data out of salesforce every 15 minutes anyway (don't ask), but that would just mean that someone would expect us to restore it to salesforce.

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Virgin Media signs 3-year telly deal with BT Sport

Tom 38
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Re: Not just football

CPL is also on BT Sports too, meaning I cant watch The Mighty¹ (St Lucia) Zouks on "We <3 Cricket" Sky.

¹ They totally missed a trick there - I'm sure Disney wouldn't have sued them much.

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OWN GOAL! 100s of websites blocked after UK Premier League drops ball

Tom 38
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Re: Grounds for prosecution of the Premier League

Ah yes, but this would be "Not in the Public Interest", so no suey-suey.

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Osama Bin Pwned: Al Qaeda mocked in Twitter counter-jihad

Tom 38
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Re: @Richard Jones 1 (was: Whatever. Show me the fucking "terrorists" already.)

I also asked on the next obvious problem of knives. At what age do we teach kids about these things? Or do we take the children for their own protection again? At what point do we teach them the right way to use any tools?

The right way to use a gun is to ask a policeman or soldier to do it for you. Welcome to civilization.

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Tom 38
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Re: @Richard Jones 1 (was: Whatever. Show me the fucking "terrorists" already.)

Instead they should be on the playstation with the latest shoot em up or playing cowboys and indians with plastic imitation guns. And watching TV with fire, explosions and guns.

As long as they don't see any boobs tho, right? This is still America after all.

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Tom 38
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WTF?

Re: @Richard Jones 1 (was: Whatever. Show me the fucking "terrorists" already.)

When you have guns at home, even safely locked away, you teach your kids on how to safely use them

Yes, and kids that spend their childhood killing small animals live such fulfilled lives. Giving a 6 yr old license to shoot small animals as they see fit would probably have your child taken in to protective care in any civilized country.

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Starwing: Nintendo, Argonaut's Brit boffinry and the Super FX chip

Tom 38
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Re: Sir

I think, but am not 100% certain, that feature came in Star Fox 64, the version for the N64, which incidentally introduced the (hated) rumble pack to the world.

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Torvalds frustrated at missing simultaneous release

Tom 38
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Re: Microkernels

I thought microkernel architecture was largely discredited, due to poor performance.

Yes, microkernels are essentially daft, and result in too much inefficiency. However, almost every Linux distribution now uses pulseaudio, a user space audio daemon, which is essentially performing the function of an audio subsystem in a hybrid or microkernel.

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Tom 38
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Re: Er, look...

As for a micro kernel, that needs other things around it to work. Not much different from today's modular kernel where the modules are only loaded when they are needed, perhaps because a new piece of hardware has been plugged in.

Well this is patently not true. A monolithic modular kernel with loadable modules would still load more drivers in to kernel space than a micro or hybrid kernel doing only the most necessary operations in kernel space and offloading to user space less critical operations.

As a concrete example, look at the USB device drivers in v4l-dvb. Under linux, the entire driver runs in the kernel space. Any driver bug, and you have an oops. FreeBSD re-uses the same linux drivers, using a user space daemon talking to a special kernel component, cuse4bsd, which allows user space daemons to communicate with character devices. The only kernel component is cuse4bsd, which is simple, small and easily tested.

The other code, less well tested and more buggy (usually due to cheap hardware and reverse engineered drivers) all runs in user space - any crashes there, and you simply need to restart the user space daemon.

Obviously, this has a cost - it's much more efficient just to run everything in the kernel - but that doesn't change the fact that a micro/hybrid kernel can be vastly more resilient than a monolithic design.

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Elon Musk unveils Hyperloop – the subsonic tube of tomorrow

Tom 38
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Re: Yeah, good luck.

I rode it last year. IIRC it did 450kph (there's a digital speed display inside) and what surprised me most : it was dam noisy, it rattled like an old style tube train! It didn't seem that fast from the inside, until the other train passes at the hallway point : blink and you'll miss it.

I didn't like the sections where the maglev banked quite viciously to the right. There is something disconcerting travelling above 400 kph, at an angle, looking down at the dismantled shanty town below.

Well worth a ride though. I wouldn't go to Shanghai just to ride the maglev, but if you are in the area it is a damn good experience. Interestingly, maglev is too expensive for China, I don't think they intend to build more maglev lines.

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Bloke straps shed to Ford Zephyr and chases it on bike

Tom 38
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Re: @ Gilgamoth

Bayliss got fucked over for almost every single one of his inventions, can hardly blame the guy for wanting to get some protection.

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'Look, give us Snowden' - this Friday's top US-Russia talks revealed

Tom 38
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Headmaster

Rightly or wrongly, that is how it is :-)

Get your memes in order, this isn't TDWTF. Definitely no Vice President's daughter here pal.

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Can't agree on a coding style? Maybe the NEW YORK TIMES can help

Tom 38
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Allman vs Whitesmiths

FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT

Pretty much most people these days are taught 1TBS, but I still do Allman, and I maintain a bunch of code in Whitesmiths, and I do a bit of BSD kernel hacking, which obviously has to be in BSD KNF.

The NYT scheme looks a lot like 1TBS with added extra rules.

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Leaked docs: SOD squad feeds NSA intelligence to drug enforcement plods

Tom 38
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Re: Game of Thrones....

When you could buy smack and coke at the chemist without prescription, no-one was selling it in the street, and the purity was guaranteed by Parke-Davis/Pfizer rather than being cut with glass.

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Child porn hidden in legit hacked websites: 100s redirected to sick images

Tom 38
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Re: Gosh could someone have been hoarding a stack of nasty CP and a zero day exploit

In the mind of Claire Perry, there are no legal porn sites.

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Jimbo Wales: ISP smut blocking systems simply 'ridiculous'

Tom 38
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Re: Content Filters Help Me

OK. But why does protecting your family involve me divulging to either my ISP or the government what legal 'adult' topics I am interested in?

Can you, as a parent, not see the downsides in asking the general populace to classify and enumerate the things they are interested in which the government thinks are morally objectionable? For instance, can you see that having a "Gay/Bi-sexual" tickbox on the 1936 German Census, in hindsight, wasn't such a great thing for LGBT rights in Nazi Germany?

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Upgraded 3D printed rifle shoots 14 times before breaking

Tom 38
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So boring

Wake me up when they can print bullets.

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Qualcomm exec on eight-core mobile chips: They're 'dumb'

Tom 38
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Re: AC Zola I agree. 8 core phones are pretty dumb.

Why on earth would I want to concentrate all my computing power into something that can be dropped in the toilet?

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Chubby-chasing SEX TROLLS ran me offline, says fashion blogger

Tom 38
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Only because every time it happens they jump up and down and shout about how evil men and Twitter are, instead of ignoring the troll. Trolls be trollin, don't bite. Do you think the guy who registered @rapecreasy was trying to wind her up, or planning on raping her?

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Latvian foreign minister speaks out against giving up alleged Gozi writer to US

Tom 38
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Re: Sorry America

Nationalistic? Check

Extremely right wing? Check

Economy on the down? Check

Huge spending on military? Check

Wants to expand it's sphere of influence over the whole world? Check

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You're doing WHAT with friends? Zynga sues Bang With Friends maker

Tom 38
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They own ... with Friends

The reason they think they own it is because they wanted to rip off scrabble, and came up with "word with friends". Good to see the pirates being boarded.

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Google SELLS OUT the INTERNET HIPPIES! AGAIN!

Tom 38
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Re: Standard Terms and Conditions

The "big deal" is that ISPs sell internet connections, not WWW connections. I use my internet connection for all kinds of things, if I'm abroad I use it as a 'home' proxy, it's a VPN server, it allows me to contact my home servers and do things like turn the heat on, watch video feeds of my front yard, all kinds of things.

None of these have any commercial bearing, so why should I pay commercial rates to use my personal internet connection?

More to the point, why should my entirely reasonable behaviour be something that is explicitly excluded by T&C? Why should my internet connection have the sword of Damocles hanging over it?

BTW, these aren't typical T&C. My ISP makes no limitations on how I use my internet connection, save that I cannot use it for commercial purposes, I cannot use it for illegal purposes, and they reserve the right to terminate my connection if I abuse the network.

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Tom 38
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You don't get it do you, if you get Google Fibre, the idea is that you have faster internet so can suck more from Google's teats, and view more ads.

The idea that you would use your unlimited bandwidth to stream content from your home to wherever you are is abhorrent - where would the ads come from?

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So, who here LURVES Windows Phone? Put your hands up, Brits

Tom 38
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Re: Windows Phone

Windows Phone doesn't crash. It's faster and more reliable than Android and iOS. It also doesn't slow down over time…

Unbiased truths here from the guy named after the OS running on his phone.

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Tom 38
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Re: @GarethPN

If MS had spent their WinPho marketing budget on giving free apps to users, they might have been on to something. I was thinking more like $50 than $5.

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Tom 38
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WTF?

Re: My hand's not up.

TBF - Talking about windows phone 7.5 when 8 is out is like complaining about Gingerbread when Ice cream Sandwich is out.

Most active android devices are still Gingerbread, according to Google.

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Egad! Could Samsung be CHEATING in Galaxy benchmark tests?

Tom 38
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FAIL

Re: Analogy

That is a shitty analogy. At any point the F1 team can choose to turn up the wick and use the full power of their engines. With the phone, Samsung decide that you can only use the full power of the GPU if you are running benchmarks.

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UK economy to lose £198m if BBC and pals lose EPG slots - Ministry of Fun

Tom 38
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FAIL

Re: popularity

Yep, there is an HD tab on the Sky EPG. BBC 1 HD is on the third page of results…

Mine was for the cricket, then they got the F1 and I have to keep up the subs all year round :(

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Tom 38
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Re: no-one uses the LCN anyway

One of my decoders puts them in the order it finds muxes while tuning, ignoring the LCN completely

Presumably that doesn't have a Freeview sticker on it then.

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Tom 38
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Re: popularity

It's got fuck all to do with popularity. My old man forked out for a HD TV, a Freesat HD box, but he never ever watches HD content. He mainly watches BBC 1 and 2, which are channels 101 and 102 on Freesat. He never goes beyond the first page to find BBC 1 HD (108) or BBC 2 HD (109). The popular channels are popular because they are on the first page of the EPG, even when better quality equivalents of those channels exist elsewhere in the EPG.

It's even worse for me on Sky. The first channels are 101 and 102, BBC 1 and 2. The HD versions are at 141 and 142, which is blessedly a relief - they used to be 141 and 169 IIRC.

Either way, if you're just paging through the channels, you have to go past 40-50 channels of shite to find it. OK, its not all shite, but it is all add filled till you reach 141.

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Lingering fingerprint fingering fingered in iOS 7 for NEW iPHONE

Tom 38
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Re: Nothing to see here...

It will be an innovation if the damn thing works seamlessly, and doesn't require you to 'scan' your finger along it and fail if you either go too fast, or too slow, or finger too greasy....

I too have had finger print enabled security kit for some time - it's all been shit. If this works, it would be pretty neat.

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Texas students hijack superyacht with GPS-spoofing luggage

Tom 38
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Re: This is an issue for incompetent crew only IMO.

If you pootering about in the med, there's not much that can go seriously wrong - "Oh look, there's Africa, this aint right". At most you're going to be slightly off course.

However, if you're sailing from Med to Caribbean, not an awful lot of scenery. One degree here or there, and you're in Boston or Rio.

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PEAK APPLE: iPad market share hits the skids

Tom 38
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Re: No suprises here. Move along please...

I agree to a point - I'm still very happily using the ipad I bought when they first came out - the new ones aren't magically different. It's a little slow in some things, but not so slow I want to spend £300-700 on a new one.

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Typical! Google's wonder-dongle is a solution looking for a problem

Tom 38
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Re: Selective pricing quotes?

I suggest you pop over to the Sky Go On Android forum....

Sky Go on Android suffers from the one problem that this never will - too many devices, too many configurations, too many problems. This is one device, with no UI. You push a URL to it, it consumes it. This means the interface to do so can be a simple web interface, no need for a custom app, or even for anything resembling playback.

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Tom 38
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WTF?

Re: Dongles all round

Why should the Premier League have to go through broadcasters to get to users?

Because the Premier League sold the exclusive rights to those broadcasters for £3bn?

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Tom 38
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Re: Selective pricing quotes?

On the other hand, there is no way to watch the Ashes using Chromecast, so the cost is irrelevant, or only to be compared against the 'standard' way of getting Sky Sports. It's still a little pricey; if you want to watch every second of every Test, get a Sky box, if you want to just watch the final afternoon of each Test, get a dongle.

This is what this article is trying to get across, Google can be as "disruptive" as they like, unless they've got the content people want it is irrelevant. I'm not sure he's right though.

A lot of commenters on Chromecast have been saying things like "Woohoo, now I can get Netflix without Xbox Live", so maybe they are banking on enough people giving them content. There is every chance that Sky will happily provide a chromecast interface for everything on their catch up service - they only care that you are paying, not how you are watching.

It seems to me that chromecast offers everything that a broadcaster would want from a service - they control the user interface for selecting content, they control what items are made available to you to choose, they get all the analytics about what you are watching, and someone else is responsible for ensuring the playback quality, interface issues and so on.

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Google Chromecast: Here's why it's the most important smart TV tech ever

Tom 38
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Re: Games?

It doesn't have even close to the power to run games. It's a purely streaming SoC.

So it has the power to stream games then.

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Tom 38
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Re: El Reg is starting to understand

H264 is unequivocally better quality at a specified bitrate than WebM. H264 is practically free to use for anything; its free for non-commercial use, and if your commercial use is not going to be profitable due to the pennies paid to MPEG-LA, its unlikely it would be under WebM either.

This device supports WebM, but much much more importantly it supports H264 at High@L4.1, High@L4.2 and High@L5 - High@L5 is so much better than WebM, you'd have to be smoking crack to think WebM is better. WebM works well at "low quality, low bitrate, fast encoding" scenarios, but only marginally.

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Tom 38
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Re: It's just a really bad equivalent of AirPlay / DLNA; what's the big deal?

Not a $60 one, how about £28?

http://www.scan.co.uk/products/nurvo-mini-google-tv-stick-wireless-android-40-ics-full-hd-1080p-coretex-a5-cpu-wifi

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Tom 38
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Re: Damn

HDCP can be broken by buying the right $10 cable from China...

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