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* Posts by Tom 38

2317 posts • joined 21 Jul 2009

MP 'shocked' at failures 'at the top' of the BBC over epic DMI tech fail

Tom 38
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Re: An MP was shocked

"Hodge's stock position" is tiny, tiny, tiny (and if you mention it, she'll threaten to sue).

Awesome

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Tom 38
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Re: So how did the BBC pull off the iPlayer?

BBC (Technology) used to be staffed by underpaid hard working techies who invented bloody brilliant things as and when they could. In ~ 2001-2002, BBC (Technology) was outsourced to Siemens, in house tech was then done by consultants who say they will be cheaper but inevitably are not.

iplayer has some impressive technological underpinnings, but it is essentially a well understood problem with a bunch of well understood solutions, that was implemented by a small team that knew precisely what they were doing.

So, hiring consultants to define the project, check, poorly understood requirements leading to constantly redefining the requirements, check, poorly defined deliverables and success criteria, check.

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Tom 38
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Re: An MP was shocked

Hodge's stock position on everything these days is to be shocked or appalled. If you're looking for a good sound bite about something that is shocking, Margaret Hodge is your go-to girl.

Companies paying all tax they owe, but not more than they have to? HMRC are "appalling"

Not getting enough restitution from convicted organized crime bosses? "Pathetic and appalling"

Queen's roof falling down? "Shocked by complacency of palace staff"

MoJ fines capita for poor quality of interpreters? "Appalling"

Public sector gagging clauses? "Shocking"

Frankly I'm amazed that there is anything left on this good earth that can even mildly surprise the woman.

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ZX Spectrum game devs allege Elite Systems Ltd didn't pay their royalties

Tom 38
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Headmaster

Kickstarter campaigns don't sell anything, they allow you to invest in the company in return for potential rewards. The difference is that investors are contributing money in the hope that the companies business plans will succeed and they will be rewarded - there is no contractual obligation to provide whatever is listed at any pledge level.

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BSkyB sees first half pre-tax profit tumble as sales climb

Tom 38
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FAIL

Re: They screw up FTA broadcasters

I am surprised you know the dates, also no way was I going to sign up for a year for one programme.

I had never even heard of the programme, wikipedia listed all the dates, when it aired in US, when it aired on Sky, when it aired on UK FTA..

C5 as well has that moronic 5 in the corner.

Well, they did pay for it..

And I saw it before Murdoch vision showed it.

So before Murdoch bought it, you had already seen it, and this is Murdoch's fault that you couldn't watch it on FTA?

And I had the DVD before C5 showed it.

Impressive - UK DVD release was after 5 aired it.

Basically, you love the show, but there is no way you'd pay anything to watch it, including just waiting for a FTA broadcaster showing it and then watching it (which increases viewers for the channel, increases the value of their ad slots, increases revenue and allows new shows to be commissioned or bought.)

Fucking Murdoch ruining your shows though, amirite?

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Tom 38
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Re: They screw up FTA broadcasters

My first ever torrent was Farscape Peace Keeper Wars, after watching 4 series on BBC2. This introduced me to torrents.

Farscape (the TV series) was cancelled because not enough people watched it, and they couldn't make enough money selling it to foreign networks to make a 5th series.

When they realised there was some latent interest in it, a subscription TV channel, Syfy, commissioned a mini-series. They could afford to produce this by selling it to interested networks around the world.

So, you complain about Sky "screwing up the FTA broadcaster", but your example is shitty - the show was cancelled before it went on to Sky, and the follow up mini series that you "had" to torrent could only come into being because of the existence of commercial channels like Sky which could buy it.

PS: You didn't "have to" torrent it. You could have subscribed to Sky if you absolutely had to watch it the very day it was broadcast. You could have not watched it all. You could have waited the 51 days between Sky broadcasting it, and 5 broadcasting it on FTA.

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Tom 38
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Current Sky Sports subscriber

But probably for not much longer - I get it for cricket, rugby and F1. Rugby is all going to BT - the clubs are refusing to play in the tournament Sky have rights to, and will set up a new competition televised by BT, F1 has been going steadily down hill since they banned refueling thus eliminating most of the tactics and strategy, and the less that is said about the cricket at the minute the better.

I'm really not keen on continuing to spaff £60+ a month, particularly when the vast majority of that cash is ending up subsidizing the Sky-BT football rights fight.

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Google Glassholes, GET OFF our ROADS, thunder lawmakers in seven US states

Tom 38
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Re: "I don't see the problem..."

If your eyes are not looking at the road, you will crash.

Utter, utter bollocks. You should be constantly checking various bits of information when driving, your eyes should go from road to mirrors to dash to road regularly.

In short, you should be always aware of all information that is pertinent to you being aware of what is coming up ahead and behind you, where you are and what speed you are going.

If some of that information was moved from a physical dash to a heads-up dash, looking at the heads-up dash would not be negligent, it would be good driving.

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Alcatel-Lucent and BT unveil super fat pipe, splurt out 1.4Tb per second across London

Tom 38
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Re: 410KM

There can't possibly be enough traffic between London and Ipswich to warrant building a direct and exclusive cable route.

Funnily enough, there are actually several direct trunks to BT's main research facility. Almost like they would push all their daily traffic up there to test stuff. Crazy.

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Tom 38
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Re: Great

This has nothing to do with "making your broadband faster". This is about increasing the speed of pre-existing links by upgrading the bits at the end, so they get network upgrades without having to actually upgrade (much of) the physical network.

The point is to ease congestion on POPs/exchanges that have reached capacity and yet have no commercial incentive to upgrade. Its not to make your ADSL go fast in a little village somewhere.

Plus, if you ever did want your little village to have fast internet, then the backbone within the UK would have to be much much faster. Hence working on things like this, rather than trying to lay 50x as much fibre on trunk links.

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Mobe industry quails as Ofcom floats idea of QUADRUPLING 2G spectrum prices

Tom 38
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Ultimately this just leads to less and less money in your own pockets, you would be better off asking the government not to promise anything and in return keep more of your money.

This argument plays very well to people who have some money in their pocket and are aggrieved they don't get to keep more of it. It doesn't play well to people who have no money in their pocket and need some help.

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Tom 38
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We shouldn't give away spectrum in the first place, we should instead offer spectrum in leases, cost varying in proportion to how much spectrum you already lease.

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Globe grabbin,’ sphere slammin’, orb-tossin’, pill poppin’... Speedball

Tom 38
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Best. Game. Ever.

This game destroyed more joysticks than any other game in existence.

Scoring goals wasn't initially too crucial to my style of play, I preferred to fight non-stop for control of the score multipliers, and then gang up on on CM, CD and the goalie - get the ball, throw it to the other team and then beat the crap out of the guy that catches it until you get the ball back.

Once each of those three positions has been subbed off (money + points), spend the rest of your time scoring as many goals as possible (more money) and grabbing every little coin that appears (even more money). Spend your money on aggression, speed and power upgrades for your team, so you can hurt them quicker next time.

One of the best things about it was that although your initial squad was full of low skilled no-hopers in division 2, you couldn't improve the players you bought as much as the initial squad, so in order to compete in division 1 you needed to completely own division 2 without buying useless division 2 "star players" that would be passengers when promoted. You also need to make enough money over division 2 in order to get your players to a good enough level - crazy hard.

Brutal Deluxe!

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A BBC-by-subscription 'would be richer', MPs told

Tom 38
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If Sky is £30 a month now, and the BBC would be £11, then Sky then would be £41 a month, assuming you didn't opt out of BBC channels.

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Tom 38
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What would be nice would be to get to the situation they are in in Germany _most of the EU (I think) where the CAM Common Interface is well defined, and decoder cards can be easily used in any solution.

They could even legislate to force the dirty digger to provide an interoperable CAM/CI card for his services.

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Apple plans to waggle iNormous 4½-incher in fanbois' faces

Tom 38
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XL always makes people feel more significant

Except when it's on your t-shirt.

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Tom 38
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Re: VPL or VLP

I like Ethernet VPLs.

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Tom 38
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Joke

the average length of a British man's most valuable possession is 14cm to 16cm (5.5 to 6.3 inches) during moments of excitement, with a girth of between 12 and 13cm (4.7 and 5.1 inches).

What are you talking about, my TV remote control is much smaller than that.

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US govt watchdog slams NSA snooping as illegal, useless against terrorism

Tom 38
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Re: Martin Gregorie Anon Cluetard Boston Marathon Bombing

That explains the collection of Chancellor Angela Merkel's phone data, doesn't it? By collecting her data they aimed at disrupting and tracking groups such as Al Qaeda?

No, that is just just straightforward old fashioned espionage - countries want to know as much as they can about other countries and usually have agencies to do espionage.

Not exactly a new thing, and even if they stopped mass surveillance the same agencies would still be interested in that data.

I'm not saying it is right, just that it has always happened. If you think the BND don't monitor people like Bronislaw Komorowski you are naive.

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The internet is 'a gift from God' says Pope Francis

Tom 38
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This is something truly good, a gift from God

No, it isn't. It was invented by human beings.

Are you talking about God or the internet?

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'Netflix bitch': CEO of vid-streaming site taunts HBO chief over results

Tom 38
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Joke

As an example fIlm #1 and #3 of the Matrix trilogy are available, but not #2 weirdly.

See? Netflix even get that right - the casual viewer will just watch the "Matrix", and since they cant watch "Reloaded" they will never have to watch "Revolutions". Kids who just have Netflix must think the Wachowskis are geniuses.

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Chrome lets websites secretly record you?! Google says no, but...

Tom 38
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I agree, that's why I use chromium.

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Our Milky Way galaxy is INSIDE OUT. Just as we suspected, mutter boffins

Tom 38
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Re: Just a simple question.

I've tried to answer this a couple of times, it's best to go to an expert:

http://www.hawking.org.uk/the-beginning-of-time.html

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And the winner of the most reliable disk drive award is ...

Tom 38
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Re: Seagate

My little home ZFS server (16TB and counting) uses these drives:

1 Hitachi HDS5C3020ALA632 ML6OA580

10 SAMSUNG HD154UI 1AG01118

1 SAMSUNG HD204UI 1AQ10001

1 ST31500341AS CC1H (Seagate)

Currently, the only drive with any issue at all is the seagate...

The 2GB Samsung was to replace an identical failed Seagate ST31500341AS...

Shame you can't get Samsung anymore - no great speed, but very quiet and very reliable in my experience.

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Look out, Earth! Here comes China Operating System (aka Linux)

Tom 38
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Re: If Baidu and Renren are any indicator...

No, he is commenting on the fact that in the 18th and 19th Century, America ignored all international conventions on copyright and patents in order to advance their economy.

100 years later, you all bridle with fury at China doing it to you.

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Tom 38
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Re: Under the GPL

If you start with the original work, and replace every single line of it, it is still a derivative work of the original.

If you start with one guy in a room somewhere reading the original work and telling you in his own words what the module should do, whilst you sit in another room without the original work reimplementing it, it is not a derivative work.

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Do cops need a warrant to search your phone? US Supreme Court will rule

Tom 38
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Re: broad implications

The constitution applies to citizens; foreigners have less rights.

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FreeBSD 10.0 lands, targets VMs and laptops

Tom 38
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Re: Many a debt?

No it isn't. Some parts of FreeBSD's userland are imported, the kernel and most of its interfaces come from MACH.

There is plenty in FreeBSD that comes from Darwin too - libdispatch comes directly, llvm and clang (FreeBSD 10's default compiler, no more GCC) are heavily worked on by Apple, all of the auditing from TrustedBSD...

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Tom 38
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FAIL

In true community style the software has emerged before the software's plan called for its announcement to be made public.

In true journo style, you make this sound bad. What way round would you prefer it, make the announcement and then put the files in to place?

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Indian minister's wife found dead after Twitter rampage

Tom 38
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TBH, I thought his political career would have been done once he got caught bunging free shares as bribes to his missus - apparently in India such wrong-doing means you have to sit on the naughty step for a year or two before sitting down to play at the top table again.

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Romanian Bitcoin baron 'stumps up $20k to keep OpenBSD's lights on'

Tom 38
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WTF?

OpenBSD is important […]. It’s also included in a number of popular third-party packages that include SQL Lite, BIND, Sendmail and the Lynx web browser.

WTF? "SQL Lite" "includes" OpenBSD?

a) "sqlite". You've misspelt it and added a space.

b) Seriously, wtf.

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Facebook gets a 'trending topics' box (just what its cluttered pages need)

Tom 38
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Headmaster

Re: Attention all English-speaking humans

"Trending" is a horrific verb in my opinion. It is much better to be explicit - "The trend in unemployment is to grow" - especially with the recent trend to omit the direction of the trend, with an implicit understanding that it is growing.

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Riverbed: We don't want your steenkin' $3.1 BEELLION

Tom 38
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Analyst Jason Ader of William Blair pointed out that "management appeared to leave the door open for a higher take-out offer, noting it will 'carefully review any credible offer'."

What board would not carefully review any credible offer? The purpose of the board is to maximise shareholder value; if they ignored a credible offer they would not be doing their job.

@Nick Ryan: That shows that if the business was to keep a static market share in a statically sized market then the value is good. The company are saying two things: 1. we can increase our share of the market, 2. the size of the market will grow. Depending on which side you believe determines whether you think the offer is reasonable or not.

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Canada says Google broke law by snooping health info to serve ads

Tom 38
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Re: Wanna really contaminate the med ad dbs...

Google show you ads based upon who wants to pay the most out of all the people interested in advertising to people like you, so searching for "knitting" a lot is unlikely to result in lots and lots of knit based ads.

There will be some "knitting" ads, but the ad spend of Big Knitting is not particularly large, you'll mainly be shown other ads.

Now, instead search for something that is extremely high value (so only requiring a small number of leads converted to make money) - "laser eye surgery" for instance. Search a few times for that on google, and the ads will follow you for months and months - the advertiser is so desperate for leads and conversions that they outbid most other ads in google, and so you see mainly eye surgery ads.

Other common "high value search terms" that can skew your ads: flights, computers, phones.

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Latest Chrome adds Chrome OS flavor to Windows 8 'Metro' mode

Tom 38
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Guinness is Irish not British

Technically, Irish is British, Ireland being one of the 6,000+ islands that make up the British Isles.

Although I'm sure anyone who considers themselves Irish would vehemently disagree.

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Tom 38
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Re: Chrome is now unstable and unusable

Furthermore, now I'm seeing Chrome crash while editing Google Drive. Does anybody at Google actually test Chrome on Windows anymore?

Probably not that much. They have a "developer" track of chrome that lots of IT types voluntarily use in order to be alpha testers, and Google have always treated regular users as beta users - and by and large, the users are happy to go along with this.

In general, you get the polish you pay for. Google software is free*, so don't expect much polish.

* allegedly free - their may be stains on the soul that do not appear until later

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Army spaffed MILLIONS up the wall on flawed Capita online recruiting system - report

Tom 38
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Re: How much?

So each contractor costs the project ~£20,000 per month, or ~£120,000 per year.

Always double check the maths if you get a contractor to do it.

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Tom 38
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Re: Blunders

Capita may preside over a succession of shit-storm projects, but the truth is that Capita frequently deliver in the private sector projects they undertake.

So, why does it go wrong with public projects? No ownership is my bet. Every elected person involved in the project will think that they are the boss, and continually add minor tweaks and changes to the specs. Civil servants ignore the politicos mainly, and will supply their own requirements.

Add enough of these people to any project, and you'll very quickly have scope creep and fail to make any deadline.

It's all cool to rag on Capita and their ilk (lol, "Crapita"), but the contractor actually working on this project is likely underpaid*, couldn't give a fuck whether the requirements are sane or germane, and so just does as he is told. After all, if it goes wrong, they can show the broken requirements, say "not us guv", and do another £50m in fixup work.

Successful projects usually have strong product ownership - someone who knows exactly where to take this thing, and has final say over everything. Unsuccessful projects rarely have strong ownership.

* Yes - even though the company makes a mint out of government work, the contractors they are supplying are probably not - well, not compared to typical consultants.

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Oh those crazy Frenchies! Parisian cabbies smash up Uber-booked rival ride

Tom 38
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Re: circumventing the heavily regulated systems

They are only circumventing the heavily regulated system of taxis, they are not escaping the heavily regulated system of private hire vehicles. These are not unlicensed cabbies, they are fully licensed to pick up passengers at point a and transport them to point b for a charge.

The taxi drivers are upset because modern technology has meant that a person walking down a street can reliably and simply arrange for a private hire vehicle to come collect him, where he is. If the average joe can do that, then he no longer requires the expensive taxi service.

PS: Licensed cabbies are no guarantee of a safe ride - see Worboys.

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Meta search engines may infringe database rights: EU Court of Justice

Tom 38
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So, for instance, Google Image Search?

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Tom 38
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I like the thumbs down without the explanation - I'm not saying "Search engines are evil and wrong", I'm saying "Doesn't this ruling mean that what all search engines do is infringing, and if not, why not".

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Tom 38
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Operators of websites […] that allow users to search for content on other sites and then display the information on their own site may be in breach of intellectual property laws

Explain to me how this is not precisely how all web search works. You type in something to search for, google searches other people's websites for matching content, and then displays the results on their own website, alongside some ads.

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Microsoft to RIP THE SHEETS off Windows 9 aka 'Threshold' in April

Tom 38
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XP was hated when it came out too but it went on to be a great success. I think most of the public are starting to come around to Windows 8 too.

No it wasn't. XP was massively desired, it added some glitz and features that windows 2000 didn't have, it didn't crash like 98/ME and had a newer version of DirectX. It was so popular that they literally had to invent Bittorrent in order for enough people to download it from the scene (this is not true).

User satisfaction (yes, I hate that too) with IT has risen more than 8% in a year since the rollout.

You gave everyone new machines with bags of RAM and user satisfaction rose? Must be down to Windows 8!

13% is not a huge market share, but it continues to grow, even in these times where many companies don't need to run the latest and greatest, and that is no disgrace.

It continues to grow due to obsolescence of existing PCs and not being able to purchase a windows PC that does not come with windows 8.

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Tom 38
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I want to say I'll never buy Windows 9, but I probably will, once MS have obsoleted Windows 7 with embrace and extend.

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Windows Phone app devs, this is for you

Tom 38
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Amusing

If just for the round of CVs coming in with "Level 60 MCSE/MCP (Ravenscrest)"

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BT 118 phone number fee howler lands telco giant with £225k fine

Tom 38
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Quite. We used to have one number, easy to remember, which was free.

Directory Services was never free, and whilst we had one number (two actually, 153 for international inquiries), each operator had their own system with different levels of quality and cost.

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Tom 38
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Yes please, can we go back to one information source, who would charge you whatever they fancied, allow you one inquiry per phone call, and often not have the right information anyway.

The 118 prices (all of them) seem overpriced to me, but then everything phone related has gone up massively since then, eg 5 minute local payphone call was 10p, now minimum charge is 50p. Directory service used to be about 50p, its now around £2.

The biggest rip is if the 118 service asks if you want to be connected to the number, you could be looking at almost £2/minute.

PS: 192.com

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Amazon, Hollywood, Samsung: PLEASE get excited about 4K telly

Tom 38
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Re: 4K is possible.

Look,

A lot of your points are completely batshit-insane and/or wrong.

You can reasonably steam 4k over broadband. I can stream it over my current broadband..

Multi layer bluray is stop gap measure that doesn't make any sense? Must be why it has been here since bluray launched, bluray being a dual layer disc in the original spec.

Lets go back to the 80s, and pretend we all want to pop along to Gumby Videos to pick one of your videos to watch. The problem with video stores was clearly that no-one liked the small, plastic, inexpensive to produce disc you could rent, what the people REALLY REALLY WANT is a ROM cartridge to rent.

We can build the cartridge out of a tech that doesn't exist yet (hint: when companies "come out of stealth" and still do nothing, it's because they have nothing). Plus, the cost for this new tech will be comparable with that of a pressed BD per unit, and have 40 times the capacity.

Sounds AWESOME and REALLY QUITE LIKELY

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Tom 38
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Re: hold 25% of a film.

Generally, you have a choice of options with scene releases, from raw unedited BD rips, 1080p "HQ" releases, 1080p regular releases, 720p releases, MacGuffin HD releases and 480p releases.

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Intel ditches McAfee brand: 'THANK GOD' shouts McAfee the man

Tom 38
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Re: Riding the internet, bareback

Sasser's vector seems to be through vulnerable MS network services. If you don't expose those services externally, or to other windows machines, I don't see how you could catch that.

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