Feeds

* Posts by Captain Underpants

714 posts • joined 24 Jul 2009

Page:

New Mac fake-defenders similar to Windows scareware

Captain Underpants
Badgers

@ AC 17:54

Apple's prices aren't actually too bad compared to equivalent-spec rival machines. Eg a 13" Toshiba with equivalent spec to a 13" MBP is more expensive by almost 20% at the hardware level.

That being said, few vendors take the piss as much as Apple in terms of support or accessories - eg I've yet to see a non-Apple laptop where I need a £30 dongle to connect the machine to a fscking VGA display. Or, in the case of the MBA, a dongle for ethernet access. And a custom non-USB-standard-compliant optical drive that freaks out if you use it on a USB hub (which you need 'cos the first generation only had one fscking USB port). And that's before we mention things like their move away from letting users replace or upgrade components like RAM, hard drives or batteries.

From personal experience, Toshiba will usually sell a 3-year NBD onsite support contract for a laptop for between £120 & £150. Apple *don't* offer this. If you want 3-year service you need to buy AppleCare (which, for consumers, is ~£200 on the MBP range) and you *still* have to take it into the fscking shop. Even if you're a large customer you don't get onsite service, you get something along the lines of a 5-day-turnaround CAR support (though at least for the educational sector they've started bundling a 3-year hardware warranty with the machines regardless of AppleCare coverage).

0
0

Your PC, our problem

Captain Underpants
Badgers

@Silver

OK, that makes a lot more sense, though I would expect^W*hope* that any half-decent company in the last 3-4 years bothering with laptops would get something decent enough that it'll last for 3-5 years without the last 2 years being unending misery. No point in spending £500 on laptops every 2 years when you can spend £1k every ~4 years, though if you're pushing yourself as *that* type of tech company you'll have to take the hit and probably buy new Macbook Pros/Macbook Airs for your sales/account management types every year. (There again, nobody forces anyone to be *that* type of tech company, so fuck 'em).

0
0
Captain Underpants
FAIL

Here's a hint - the problem isn't with all those company laptops...

So according to Point 4 it must be new and shiny because "You're a technology company", yet according to 2 and 8 you still want to be running a two-major-releases-out-of-date OS. With a three-major-releases-out-of-date browser.

Perhaps this post isn't an accurate representation of how you conduct yourself generally (plaintext being crap at conveying mood etc), but if you come across as being this self-important and inconsistent when dealing with your IT department, it's hardly a surprise that they've not gone out of their way to sort you out.

If you want to be taken in any way seriously, you should know by now that what you're asking for is available (and has been for several years) from all the major vendors (any decent core i5/i7-powered lappie can handle Win 7 + XP Mode without even blinking, and even before that you could manually set up a VM to achieve the same thing). Whether or not your position is deemed to be important enough to merit the company spending a grand or more on a laptop for you at ex-VAT corporate pricing is another matter, and one you may be overlooking.

On a separate note, what kind of technology company employee are you that you're insisting on needing IE6 and/or Media Player 9 to see videos in particular? Have you never heard of VLC?

0
0

Mumsnet founder: Our members are 'very keen' on PORN ...

Captain Underpants

@James Hughes 1: What if that's the appropriate response?

Heh, unpleasant commentards are the only suitable response to someone acting on the basis of unearned authority staking a claim to an informed opinion in an area where she is utterly unqualified.

Given its scope, I have to assume that Mumsnet has a range of poster types, from the hand-wringing numpties who want everyone else to be responsible for making the world kiddie friendly through to practical parents who take upon themselves the responsibility for educating and raising their children.

"Official" Mumsnet spokespeople (ie the founder of the site, who isn't actually a professional in the fields of either internet content dissemination, childcare or child psychology) are no different to anyone else, but by virtue of the volume of the site's users their own personal views are given an undeserved weight (ie the assumption is "Oh, so and so is from Mumsnet, therefore everyone on mumsnet must agree with what she's saying, so millions of people think the same thing....wow, that's a compelling reason to do what she's suggesting"). When actually, what she's saying boils down to "Yes, regulation might be passing the buck, but ISPs should still be liable so that if My Jimmy sees wangs on the internet I can blame someone else."

She's also saying, in effect, "Neither I nor anyone who agrees with me have read the contracts that we signed with our service provider when we signed up for the service, specifically the parts concerning responsibility for granting access to the service", and "I haven't bothered contacting my service provider to ask what tools are available to help me ensure my children only see suitable content, nor have I read through any of the emails or documentation they have provided" and "I know that if I let my kids watch TV before the watershed it's unlikely they'll see anything that I consider particularly shocking, and may well have wrongly assumed that internet access works the same way".

None of these things are compatible with the idea of responsible parenting, and so the response that has materialised here takes form.

8
0

Student accused of posting bogus coupons to 4chan

Captain Underpants
Badgers

@AC 09:03

There are still numerous shops that don't use *any* form of POS. It may be against the shopkeeper's best interest long-term to do so (because POS can automate or at least accelerate an awful lot of stock management tasks) but the cost of implementation is often such that smaller businesses can't afford to bring in the system (or are not aware of suitable affordable options, or are not offered credit schemes to suit their financial circumstances).

0
0

Official: phones sting bees

Captain Underpants
Boffin

I know this might sound a bit paranoid....

...but given the general negative focus that certain pesticides have received as CCD has become a more apparent problem, couldn't this be a deliberate attempt at obfuscation? Consider Big Pharma (who presumably produce pesticides) throwing some research money at alternative hypotheses which do the traditional scientist-in-funding-request-mode thing of presenting their findings as being CLEARLY LINKED TO A SERIOUS CURRENT PROBLEM - See ref. 1, 2, 5 and 7, (where reading refs 1, 2, 5 and 7 together reveals that actually their findings have no bearing whatsoever to the SERIOUS CURRENT PROBLEM in question).

Nah, I'm being paranoid, right?

1
1

Microsoft resuscitates 'I'm a PC' ads to fight Apple

Captain Underpants
Stop

Clarification needed, please

Before we assume that the problem is just Microsoft - does your kid have UAC turned on? And was he using a standard user account rather than an administrator account?

If the answer to either question is "no", you can't blame Windows or Microsoft for the problem. And that, of course, is before we get to the question of why he followed the instructions provided in a pop-up.

Now, if you want to talk about how MS managed to reintroduce the ping of death into Vista and 7 at one point, that's a different issue...

0
0

Apple reportedly plans ARM shift for laptops

Captain Underpants
Thumb Down

@ AC 07:58

I understand you're trying to suggest that OS X and FruitMachines are popular with those who know of which they speak, and those who act as tastemakers.

I agree to some extent (I'm a sysadmin in a university and it's astonishing how many post-docs and professors want to buy Macs for work usage, as long as they're not paying) but there are two crucial problems with your argument:

1) The "taskemakers" you're talking about don't necessarily know anything about the computers they use, and are just as vulnerable as the rest of the plebeian masses to marketing. Believe me, there are some exceptionally intelligent minds conducting pioneering research where I work, and yet they have all the knowledge/interest in computing of a bored ten-year-old.

2) For the influence of the tastemakers to filter down throughout the userbase, Apple would have to offer computing options for all wallet sizes, and it's evident they have no interest in doing this. Want to know why service centres use Dell or HP or even DNUK boxes rather than FruitMachines? Because Apple machines cost more, without providing a specific advantage to justify the expenditure. Hell, even with the academic discount in place Apple hardware tends to be at least a bit more expensive than similarly-spec'd equipment from rival vendors.

3) As for "posers in Starbucks tend to use Apple hardware", so what? Am I supposed to extrapolate that because they've got shit taste in coffee alongside a willingness to pay over the odds for it, their opinion is important?

1
0

White House warns El Reg over kitten-killing content

Captain Underpants
Pint

*groan*

No, seriously, I did in fact groan upon discovering Obama's terrifying black chopper appearing out of nowhere. Fnar fnar.

2
0

Nintendo blames puzzled public for 3DS sales shortfall

Captain Underpants
FAIL

*sigh*

Oh dear.

It couldn't be anything to do with the launch game lineup, could it? (Hint: http://www.vgcats.com/comics/?strip_id=301)

Why do I get the feeling this is Nintendo going back to the operating model that gave us those unparalleled gaming success stories known to the history books as the Virtual Boy and the N64?

0
0

O2 loses lock stock in Palm Pre precedent

Captain Underpants

Well done Mr Jonson...

...but it's a ludicrous situation that the law in this country allows phone operators to refuse the provision of unlocking codes for the handsets in the first place.

Ireland's not a model nation in many areas, but when it comes to mobile telecomms it leaves the UK standing in the dust. Seriously, compare the stress & time & money involved in getting a handset unlocked and a number ported from one network to another in the UK, then do the same thing in Ireland....it's ludicrous how easy it is in Ireland and how unnecessarily complicated and time-consuming it is here...

3
0

Ofcom calls on BT Openreach price cuts for ISPs

Captain Underpants
Badgers

@Big_Ted

I'll be honest, I've never gotten the impression BT want to invest in their network *anyway*, so telling them to stop trying to fuck over smaller competitors probably isn't a bad idea.

I can't help but notice that when I switched from BT to Virgin (due to a house move where BT wanted to charge me the same price as a brand new install to transfer my line) I ended up with a wider range of better services for slightly less per month; I also noticed that it was only after Virgin had made a big fuss about their 50MBit fibre service rollout that BT even tried to get in on the game with their hilariously-badly-named 20MBit Infinity service.

TL;DR version - F*** BT! F*** 'em right in the ear! It's about damn time they got their act together.

1
0

Middle England chokes on Nice Baps

Captain Underpants
Badgers

Nicely played, Mr O'Toole...

...frankly it's just a shame his name's not Timmy, for the full-on comedy double-whammy.

I wonder whether the people objecting to the name realise that they've essentially given the business free marketing by complaining to the council? Probably not the effect they were hoping for, unless the whole thing's a stunt...

2
0

Tesla Motors sues BBC for defamation

Captain Underpants
Badgers

@AC 14:149

"Clarkson's hatred of everything 'green'" is right - there's an interview with him somewhere where he was asked, point blank, whether he believed in the idea of human-caused climate change, and his answer was pretty much "well, if I said yes, I'd be doing myself out of a job, so no".

There again, the man has somehow managed to make a successful career out of being an overbearing twat, so why should we expect anything else from him?

4
6

Download data versus piracy claims: the figures don’t add up

Captain Underpants

@Oddlegs

I take your point, but when the content industry insists that all unlawful downloads are directly equatable to lost sales, the logical drive is thus to focus on targeting those who are consuming the most without paying for it.

I mean, if we're going to talk about flawed logic, the more worrying examples are the "all unlawful downloads=lost sales" and "high download volume = high unlicensed download volume" ones, since they don't take into account factors like material not available for sale (things like content being out of print, not released on your local region optical media, or being a limited edition that can only be found at stupid prices in secondary markets that don't benefit the publishers anyway) or legitimate high-consumption download services (Steam, iPlayer/4OD/FiveTVPlayer/ITVPlayer streaming, Youtube, emusic subscriptions, ad-hoc Amazon download purchases, and so on).

The thing about pirates who download a handful of mp3s is that, at this point, it's a pricing issue. If it's affordably available from Amazon or iTunes or whoever, it's more hassle (ie only an incentive for the truly skint) to pirate (and wait for it to be seeded/uploaded, and hope the quality's not shite, and that you're not actually getting Mongolian dogporn instead of the latest album by Whoever And The Bad Examples) than it is to throw a few quid at one of the legitimate retailers and buy the damn thing. And, well, if someone's truly skint you're not getting money out of them anyway. At which point there's no real benefit of haranguing them to the courts and back over pirating a half a dozen mp3s, because all you'll do that way is guarantee they never give you any money in future...

3
0

'iPad cads' dash fanboi fondleslab hopes

Captain Underpants
Thumb Down

Is that the scent of lingerie aflame wafting gently from your nether regions?

As per other posters, I can't help suspect you're telling porkies. I'm prepared to believe that Apple have less of a rabid fanbase in Japan, but you'd make yourself more credible if you were to cite some examples of the wonderful alternatives you mention. Bonus points if you can also cite sales figures with verifiable sources.

2
1
Captain Underpants
Thumb Down

@AC 07:38 - Joust by your own Picard much?

In fairness, the article itself quotes a top-end tablet costing $829. If you're thinking in dollars (which you'd expect, when commenting on a story describing an incident taking place in a country using dollars as their currency...), that is in fact the best part of a grand. Given that the cheapest option without any shinies whatsoever is $500, it's not unreasonable to think of the iPad as a box that will, per sale, bring in a sizeable chunk of a grand, especially if you're dealing with sales droids who know how to sell the upgrades and accessories.

1
0

EA dubs Nintendo Wii a 'legacy platform'

Captain Underpants
Thumb Down

Methinks you don't get it, sir

The short form of my response is to ask whether you played the damn thing (you can't have tried it for any amount of time if you're complaining about the nunchuk), but anyway:

We've got about 15 'Cube games (which still see some intermittent action), and 20-odd Wii games at home. Most of these are not kiddy-oriented guff - Blazing Angels, Mad World, No More Heroes 1 & 2, Red Steel 2, House Of The Dead: Overkill, Dead Space: Extraction, Dead Rising. Even the kiddie stuff includes the likes of Punch Out!!, New Super Mario Bros Wii, Super Mario Galaxy, Super Paper Mario, and Link's Crossbow Training, most of which are pretty damn good. And that's before you get to the downloadable games - finally, a legit, supported and easy-to-get-running way of playing old games. (Yes, I had most of the games I wanted running via MAME or some other emulator, but frankly being able to pay a few quid and get them on the Wii is worth it, especially if it means that people who can't be arsed getting MAME to work can also play those games in an equivalently simple way).

I don't get the hate for the Wii from "dedicated" gamers. Yes, there's a lot of cruft out there. I seem to remember that always having been the case though, and in a funny return to the article's topic it's stunning just how many of the crufty games have been published by EA ("Challenge everything" - except convention).

1
0

Hadron Collider 'could act as telephone for talking to the past'

Captain Underpants
Headmaster

*groan*

So basically, a while back when FlashForward was perceived to be a going concern as a television show (never mind that not only was the show a load of bollocks, but the book it was based on was also a load of bollocks), someone either as a joke or in deadly seriousness put through a research proposal concerning the chances of the events depicted in the show (or events somewhat like them) actually happening in reality. This proposal somehow got approved, possibly by an idiot who thought that it was relevant. The proposer promptly spent whatever money s/he'd asked for on beer, and spent quite a while having a jolly good laugh.

Presumably this press release came about when s/he realised s/he would have to do *something* to justify actually having received the money...

0
1

Prepping the great Windows 7 migration

Captain Underpants
Thumb Down

@N2

Based on what I've see at my workplace (around 400 windows desktops and laptops of various vintages, mostly Dells, but also other random stuff including experimental control equipment that ends up being kept running for up to 20 years in some cases), I'm unwilling to believe that anything which can properly run XP (ie XP Pro SP3 with IE8 and all .NET Frameworks installed) can't at least run Win7 acceptably with Aero turned off.

If you're running machines with XP that only meet MS' recommended spec, of course you'll have grief. A current XP install needs at least a 1.5GHz proc, 1GB RAM, and about a 40GB partition to be usable. Anything less and you need to dick about with turning off/removing services. And once you've got that, well, Win7 will run roughly equivalently in terms of performance.

Of course, something like Fedora will probably run rings around either option, but that's beside the point.

0
0

'Wrong amount of snow' caused Heathrow chaos

Captain Underpants
Flame

This article was more polite than the goat-molesters deserved, tbh

I was going to say - as someone who got the joy of second-order weather-induced Travel Bollocks (ie flights cancelled due to inclement weather at an airport that was neither my origin nor destination, but at which the plane I was supposed to be boarding was apparently stuck), the tone of this item seemed entirely appropriate. It's frankly a bit silly that BAA seem continually fucking surprised that England has shit weather, and their inability to acknowledge that they've made a total balls of things without at least a 3-month runup to said admission is even more galling.

Bitter? Who, me? Naaah.

11
2

O2 tries to explain its new prudish nature

Captain Underpants

They can go and choke on a bag of hairy over-18-only cocks

I don't have any objection to operators providing a content-lock function. I do expect it to be opt-in, and I do expect to be given advance warning if the system is changed (or a new one implemented) and I don't expect to have to hand over any more information/money than I already did when setting up the damn account.

How is it that I can be legally adult enough to enter into a contract, and set up a direct debit for automated payment as per the terms of the contract, but need to provide *separate* proof of adulthood in the event that I want to look at something their arbitrary bullshit-laden filter decides is "adult" content?

11
0

THQ brings the uDraw GameTablet to Blighty

Captain Underpants

Sounds interesting

Could be very interesting indeed, and it's not like this type of gameplay device is unpopular, judging by the performance of the DS. The two things I find surprising about this are:

1) that it took this long after the release of the DS for this thing to come to the Wii, and

2) that it's a third-party accessory rather than a homegrown Nintendo part.

I'd say it's a bit late in the Wii's lifecycle to release something like this, but on the other hand I'm still getting loads of use out of mine and won't be getting rid of it any time soon so presumably THQ are satisfied that the platform will be the current Nintendo home console for at least another 12-24 months...

0
0

Government flies kite for VAT changes

Captain Underpants
Thumb Down

@AC 12:15

Yes, but that substantial slab of the country appears to have missed the entire point of taxation, doesn't it? In that taxation is used to pay for infrastructure for the common good. Given that the median gross annual income for full-time staff is £25900 (as per http://www.statistics.gov.uk/pdfdir/ashe1210.pdf), quite a lot of people can't afford to have everything on a privatised basis.

Of course, this all falls down a bit when tax-raised money gets spunked on paying hundreds of thousands of pounds to "retain" senior public sector staff who would otherwise be poached by the private sector (except the private sector has no interest in poaching them whatsoever because the professionalism and salary expectations of some of the staff in question are not in line with corporate expectations). Or when it gets spunked on over-priced and terminally-late government arms contracts. But on the other hand, we get the government we deserve, by and large...

1
1

Apple under siege: Antitrust probes and product delays ...

Captain Underpants
FAIL

Methinks you don't get it

The entire point, that you have missed, is not that Apple are gouging application developers/publishers 30% of final cost for listing applications (either standalone or ones that act as portals for content access) on their store.

The point is that a condition of being listed on the store is that you can't offer cheaper prices for the same application/content elsewhere. Another condition is that any subscription-based content access must also be available for purchase through Apple's system. One condition or the other would be tolerable (because a dev could simply differentiate their iApp from their other offerings, maintaining the Special Sheen of Specialness that Fruitmachines are sold on), but both together means that an awful lot of publishers/developers won't be able to make any money through the App Store without also being forced to make a loss on selling the same content elsewhere.

0
0

Apple to Microsoft: 'App Store name is not generic'

Captain Underpants
Unhappy

Oh for the love of god

I mean, it's not like App could be short for "application" and therefore App Store could be a generic term made up of two generic terms, is it?

1
0

Council loses USB of patient records

Captain Underpants
Boffin

Here's a fool-proof system

It's simple: harness people's inertia.

Sounds like bullshit wordflappery, you say? Well, that may be, but consider:

Given the choice between "learn how to use fiddly & complicated new encryption software for the Com-Puh-Tarr Majick Bocks that I use at work" and "ignore fiddly & complicated new software and continue using the Com-Puh-Tarr Majick Bocks in the same way I always have done because I can't be arsed learning new skills", the path of least resistance suggests the latter option.

However, given the choice between "learn how to use fiddly & complicated new encryption software for the Com-Puh-Tarr Majick Bocks that I use at work" and "ignore fiddly & complicated new software, get sacked for gross misconduct, and then have numerous adventures exploring the fun world that is The Current Jobs Market", the path of least resistance suggests the former option.

Being the public sector, it's not going to happen without the ICO also harnessing the inertia of those higher up the chain, by making them choose between "Enforce new standards with adequate disciplinary procedures" and "Get hit with massive punitive fines, including personal liability for those at the top of the management chain, for allowing non-compliance with new standards".

But, you know, I say all this as though I expect the people involved to actually give a shit, when the truth is they barely manage to pay lipservice to the ideas...

2
0
Captain Underpants
FAIL

Yay ICO, once again doing...err...nothing to change the source of the problem

*sigh*

As long as the ICO doesn't do anything more than grumble at people, stupid data losses will keep happening.

Yes, it's tedious when complex security mechanisms fail. It's still retarded for this to happen, not least in the context that the user who reverted to using unencrypted storage was aware enough of the reasons for needing encryption that they only went back to unencrypted storage after "having problems" with the encryption system - and yet then managed to be sloppy enough to lose the unencrypted storage!

FFS! If you've had training sessions saying things like "DON'T stick data on a USB drive without using TrueCrypt/SomeOtherCryptoSoftware, otherwise if you lose it the data gets out and we're all in the shit", it takes being a bit thick to then go "Aw, but I don't like/understand TrueCrypt/SomeOtherCryptoSoftware, I'll just go on doing the same thing I always did. Oh, bum - where's my USB stick?"

Is it too much to hope for organisations including mishandling of sensitive data as a disciplinary issue? (ie. do it once and you get a verbal warning, twice written warning etc). Seems like an approach that might actually stimulate a change in attitude.

7
0

Roundabouts and swings at Everything Everywhere

Captain Underpants
Thumb Down

@ the AC defending Blue Coat

The availability of Blue Coat's service is fine; it's having it turned on for all customers (including those who have a contract and pay by credit card, both of which require you to be an adult) that's stupid.

Yes, parents should have the option of requesting this for the phone they buy little Johnny. If the parent buys a phone for their kid, doesn't bother familiarising themselves with what it can do, then gives it to the kid who promptly manages to find smut with it, how is that the tech provider's fault? It's the fault of the parent who didn't pay attention to what they gave their kid, and is in that sense no different than giving a ten-year-old the car keys, then trying to blame the car manufacturer when the kid prangs the car into the nearest tree.

Opting in to something like this is fine, but why do all of us* have to be opted in by default just in case someone's a moron and hasn't paid attention to the functionalities of the New Shiny they bought their kids?

* by "us" I mean in this case Vodafone customers, but the principle applies on a general basis.

1
0
Captain Underpants

@William Gallafent

Yes yes, for sim-only contracts they offer 30-day rolling contracts - if you want to get a handset through them the last several times I looked you were either paying at least £100 up front (at which point why not just buy it sim-free and be done with it) or an 18-month or longer contract. And this was at a time when the norm with other providers was to offer 12-month or 18-month contracts, with the longer contracts having an incentive in terms of monthly price.

I'm not arguing against having a data cap, I am however arguing against the retarded doublethink of having a data package for Android phones that they explicitly called "unlimited" and then suffixed with a Fair Use Policy that lets them charge you if they decide you've gone significantly over your 3GB allowance. Why not just say you get 3GB per month, anything extra is chargeable? Sure, they're not unique in this, but that doesn't make it any less stupid.

1
0
Captain Underpants
Badgers

A certain phrase involving turkeys and eagles comes to mind...

EE sound like they've inherited at least part of T-mobile's rubbish service (though I've been told that Orange have similarly rubbish service). As such, I expect they'll continue to rely on silly minimum contract lengths, silly contract structures (not that long ago if you wanted to get an Android phone you had to also get one of the silly contracts with something like a bajillion bundled minutes, even though you're clearly buying an android phone for the data capabilities). And then there's the retarded approach they've taken to data allowances.

Like many UK telcos, it's almost like they don't *want* to make money by offering a good product at a fair price, instead preferring to rely on a never-ending stream of gimmicky bullshit like MMS or videocalling or unlimited-except-for-all-the-ways-it-isn't data packages.

1
0

Judge guts suit against Sony for killing Linux in PS3

Captain Underpants
Joke

Off-topic but what the hell

A judicial president, you say? But lawyers are shifty and politicians are shifty, so surely the combination would mean doom for us all!

On topic, though, I'm seriously intrigued about the impact that Sony's own "The games are just the beginning" ads will have on their claim that it's primarily a games console whenever this whole mess finally gets to court.

2
0

Exhibition to applaud videogames as art

Captain Underpants
Badgers

By the "modern art" standard, someone saying so is enough to make it so

At least, that seems to be the basis on which the likes of Hirst, Emin & co get so much acclaim.

Personally I favour art that is about a combination of craft and ideas - ie prompts the audience to consider ideas, with nuances of those ideas examined or alluded to through the craft that has gone into creating the games themselves.

Now, given that an awful lot of games are made to be fun to play, this means they don't hold up very well to this kind of analysis. Then again, neither does a Michael Bay film. There are enough games like Silent Hill 2 or Dear Esther (a fabulous HL2 mod) that are about atmosphere and character development as much as they are pointy-clicky action that the medium should be recognized for its potential.

If a series of information-laded visual signals (either delivered statically or dynamically in chronological sequence) or a series of auditory signals can be considered art, why not an interactive system of audiovisual signals as art?

1
0

Rhapsody bristles at Apple subscription grab

Captain Underpants
Badgers

Surely the easiest way is to differentiate the iApp from your other services and then charge more

From what I can tell, the issue here is that Apple is:

a) Mandating that any publisher who distributes a content-access app provide an in-app purchase mechanism, and

b) Mandating that any publisher who distributes a content-access app provide equal or cheaper pricing through the in-app purchase mechanism when compared to all other purchase options.

Apple are also mandating that they take a non-negotiable 3%0 of any fees charge through in-app purchasing.

Now, I see what Lewis and others are getting at - if you're a publisher offering a weekly publication and you've got an iApp, you now have to have an integrated purchase mechanism in the iApp on which you make 70% of what you make through your own mechanism on your website. So even if this 30% overhead is higher than the equivalent overhead from any other platform provider, you can't adjust pricing accordingly.

The counter-argument is, obviously, that publishers offering their own platform will have costs that eat into the 100% of the money they get. But those costs probably aren't of the order of 30%, and those costs have other benefits such as getting more raw data on their customer base, etc.

Which has me thinking that the easiest way around this, for publishers, is to differentiate between their web-based subscription content and their iApp subscription content. Make the iApp a bit fancier, maybe have a couple of functions that you can't get through the web-based service...and bump the price by 30%. As an alternative, offer a free iApp that's just a skinned browser conveniently optimised to load the web-based version.

Now of course, the iStore Guardians will be vigilant against any such brazen attempts to Steal Their Rightful 30% Cut From Them....but, well...it's worth a try, right? Especially if the worst-case scenario is that you junk your free iApp and just offer a subscription-interface mobile page that's 30% cheaper than the paid iApp version. I mean, Apple will like it as they can even crow that there's an iOS-exclusive app from $PUBLISHer - they'll just quietly fail to mention that it costs you more than a similar method to access similar content through a mobile web interface...

1
0

IT grad claims £5m for crap degree

Captain Underpants
Badgers

I don't exactly disagree but I think we're talking at cross-purposes

I know that teaching at universities is not uniformly good, but that doesn't mean that the original argument ("If the guy's argument was incoherent it proves the university's training was crap") holds merit. For all we know the guy in question is an idiot savant but did the wrong subject. For all we know he's an absolute cretin and the finest educators in the world will never change this. For all we know he had a shitty time of it during his exams.

The thing is, though, if he went through three years of crappy equipment and shoddy teaching and only brought it up after having gotten his perceived-to-be-substandard degree, he's not done himself any favours because he's implicitly accepted them as adequate.

He may well have had the potential to do better, but that doesn't mean that his university/department/teachers/goldfish is to blame. And I say this as one who got a Richard in my first time around at uni for various reasons including my casual attitude to the workload (biggest single reason), going a year early, and choosing the wrong subject.

Getting a poor degree is disheartening and a challenge, but it's also a great learning opportunity. Nowt like a challenge to show you what you're really made of. Sadly for this chap it seems unsuccessful & incoherent bullshit lawsuits are what he's made of, which isn't a highly employable quality...

0
0
Captain Underpants
Thumb Down

Err, that's not how it works, mate

That's not how it works, chap. You attend a university and will have lectures on your subject, along with classes/tutorials and practical sessions where relevant. You'll be examined periodically throughout the course which allows both the student and the teacher to identify strengths and weaknesses. It's not as simple as "pay money, get degree of choice" - that only happens with those highly reputable online universities.

If this guy made it all the way through Finals with no idea he wasn't on track to get a First, he must've been ignoring an awful lot of feedback along the way. Attempting to blame the university and sue them for massive compensation to boot (what the fuck was that £5M claim for?) just makes him look like a tool, and will likely count against his future prospects. Not to mention putting him further in debt with the costs of the case.

6
0

Sex offenders will get a review – after 15 years

Captain Underpants
Thumb Down

You can't generalise the behaviours involved in a range of crimes as wide as this, though

You do realise that "sex offender" isn't limited to "child molester", yes? Indecent exposure is one thing that can get you on the register if you're unlucky, which means that (for example) having One Dring Too Many, then arguing with the policeman who bollocks you for weeing in an alley can end up with you being on the register.

Still sound like a good idea?

And that's before we get to "the majority of murders are simply one-off crimes" - do we have a valid statistical analysis comparing the instances of murder and previous/subsequent violent crimes with instances of sexual offences and previous/subsequent sexual crimes? Because, well, without such a statistical analysis, trying to make a generalised comparison between the two is an exercise in futility.

It'd be nice if the legal system worked on a basis of rehabilitating and reforming criminals to reintroduce them to society or permanently remove them in cases where they can't be safely reintroduced. Bullshit grandstanding like Theresa Mays "ZOMG THINK OF THE PUBLIC" comment, predicated on a notion that All Sex Offenders Are The Same, does nothing to promote that. It'll go down well with people who want a Simple Solution and See Things In Black And White, though, because You're Either With Us Or Against Us.

9
0
Captain Underpants
Thumb Down

Oh excellent, more pseudo-moralising from twats who are not lawyers.

So....the government's stance is basically that you can't reform a sex offender, but you can release them into the community after they've served the sentence attached to their criminal conviction. Or am I missing something?

I mean, let's try and be internally consistent here - there's no Murderer's Register, but murder is one of The Big Ones when it comes to The List Of Shit You're Not Supposed To Do, right alongside things like rape.

So why is it, exactly, that the legal system considers it believable for someone to say "I was a murderer but I got better" but not if a rapist says the same sort of thing?

21
1

Amazon threatens Texas exit over tax bill

Captain Underpants

Amazon + Jersey, sitting in a (metaphorical) tree...s-e-l-l-i-n-g?

Amazon have a partnership with IndigoStarfish for a bunch of things for exactly this reason, as far as I know. So you pay Amazon, but the item is dispatched by IndigoStarfish (registered in Jersey) on their behalf.

0
0

Facebook causes eating disorders in teenage girls

Captain Underpants
Thumb Down

Evidently today is Confuse Correlation With Causation Day

Between this load of nonsense and the "ZOMG! FAST FOOD MAKES KIDS STUPID AND THERE COULDN'T POSSIBLY BE OTHER FACTORS INVOLVED" guff published by Bristol University recently (see http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-12381041 and http://www.bristol.ac.uk/alspac/documents/pr-junk-food-and-iq-jan-11.pdf) it's evidently "Confuse Correlation With Causation Day".

*sigh*

0
0

Punters 'pooh-pooh video on demand'

Captain Underpants
Boffin

It depends what you want out of TV, I suspect

If you want there to be *something* on (who cares what, I'm tired, it's been a long day, etc) then On-Demand is never going to compete with broadcast TV serving up the likes of C4, C4+1, E4, E4+1, Dave, Dave+ and however many other channels are out there which don't offer you any risk of seeing content less than 5 years old.

I do wonder why On-Demand service providers don't have a random or "channel" function, that lines up between 1 and 3 hours worth of content for you based on some loose criteria (eg comedy, drama, documentary, etc). I mean, it's all just another approach to accessing the same content. (I'm trying to work out how to get XBMC to pick a random TV series episode/film on command in anticipation of finishing the Extended DVD Rip Project of 2011 in the next couple of months, because I can imagine this being an issue...)

0
0

Big stink over Malawi farting ban

Captain Underpants
Badgers

Hmmm

The wording seems geared towards punishing pollution alright, but it wouldn't surprise me (given the reported comments) to see at least some folks try to implement it as a "public decency" bill.

Which will no doubt lead, eventually, to an interesting day in court for someone to try and prove that Aroma of Trouser Cough is intrinsically dangerous to the public health, rather than merely an unpleasant indicator of an individual's recent dietary input.

Of course, the creepier thing would be for officials to try and claim that it wasn't a medical/biological health issue, but a "psychological" health issue....

0
0

'You don't even know what change management is'

Captain Underpants

Glad I'm not the only one who thought the article was a bit off-target

The first thing I think when I hear "Change management" is ITIL - as in, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ITIL#Change_Management. It's not "just" traditional management, or "just" technical/implementation work.

Given that ITIL is a UK.gov invention (and a pretty good one at that, at least IMO) I'm surprised it didn't even merit being dismissed in this piece...

2
0

Mexico demands apology for Top Gear outrage

Captain Underpants
Badgers

Yeah, but check what other shows share that dubious honour with it

Well, I take your point to a certain extent, but then you pop along to http://www.nationaltvawards.com/past-winners and see that recent award-winning "Factual shows" have included Loose Women, GMTV, Big Brother and Wife Swap. At which point I conclude that someone organising the awards has confused "factual" with "non-scripted".

0
0
Captain Underpants
Badgers

Hmmm

Part of me thinks that the lads have once again been numpties in their estimation of how funny those remarks are, but a greater part of me suspects that even complaining about them is to mistake them as mattering. I mean, the only way those comments could be a serious issue would be if someone watching the program took them seriously as a statement of fact about Mexico - and if you have a viewing population treating everything they see on Top Gear as fact, there are bigger issues than the specifics of what Clarkson & co actually say...

8
2

PSP 2 'as powerful as PS3'

Captain Underpants
Boffin

Not necessarily

That battery life doesn't sound great for a portable, which makes me wonder whether Sony will then play the usual game of silly buggers with replacement battery pricing.

In terms of pricing, I wouldn't rely on "selling at a loss" meaning "reasonable price". Hell, the PS3 has always been sold at a loss and still spent several years costing a frankly stupid amount of money.

The tech in it is fabulous, but it's useless without a decent library of games - the PS3 before it also had fabulous tech, and yet Sony managed to fumble the software library side of things so badly they now have to use "It's not just a games console" as the sales pitch.

It could be nice, but with Sony's handling of the PS3 I wouldn't take it for granted.

0
1

Amazon buys Lovefilm

Captain Underpants

re:Silverlight

Oops, that's my mistake - I'd been looking at the new Film4OD service and that's lumbered with Silverlight (silly buggers), and I evidently got that confused with LoveFilm.

Lovefilm's pay-per-view streaming might actually work better for me than the Film4OD service, in that case (Silverlight requirement means a VM running cut-down XP + NATing, which is tedious). I'll have to spend some time comparing their catalogue and pricing...

0
0
Captain Underpants
Thumb Down

Yeah, the name is a sad joke really

I'll consider giving Lovefilm some money when they consider a streaming service that supports either my Wii or my Fedora+XBMC media centre (ie no fscking Silverlight, tosspots!). While they expect me to wait for them to post me DVDs, I'll simply laugh and note that it's probably equivalently cheap (not to mention less tedious in terms of both wait time and number of scratched discs to deal with) to just buy the bloody films from Amazon about 3 months after they're released.

I know NetFlix are constrained by Silverlight too, but at least they support things like a whole bunch of mediacentre boxes and more consoles than just the PS3.

1
1

Dixons warns on crap Christmas

Captain Underpants
Badgers

Neh, feck 'em anyway

Let's face it, most of us here will generally consider the Dixons/Currys/PC World experience to be the sort that involves a salesperson who doesn't really know much about what they're selling you, prices that are frankly ridiculous, and a selection of wares that's so random it may as well be the outcome of a consumer electronics raffle.

But there's still a place for brick & mortar consumer electronics shops.

The way for them to survive long-term is to have at least one or two in-house staff who know what they're talking about and not rely on having poorly-trained twits selling overpriced crap to uninformed idiots. But then, that'd completely change their business to the point that they would, in fact, have ceased to exist.

2
0

Brits blow millions on over-priced ink

Captain Underpants

Tool of lucifer? Well, I can see the name's half right, at least...

Yes yes, well done, I'm an idiot for wanting my printer's warranty to be easily enforceable and not involve arguments over breach of warranty through using crap consumables. Not only that, I'm also an idiot for not wanting to manually refill toner cartridges for a laserjet printer. Oh, and I extrapolate this perspective to the large laserjet printers whose maintenance and upkeep falls to me at work as well? By god, I must be some sort of living embodiment of idiocy or some such.

Next time try not being a condescending prick and reading the whole post first. Unless you're going to claim I'm still an idiot for not wanting to fuck around refilling toner cartridges...in which case, well, there's not much point continuing the conversation, is there?

0
0

Page: