191 posts • joined Tuesday 15th May 2007 11:29 GMT
Re: glass phone, yeh...
You miss the point of patents in the US. You don't patent something because you want to build it. You patent it to stop anyone else building it. This smacks of preventing Samsung releasing something later after Apple got wind of one of their projects.
I was wondering where I'd left that...
Re: Games Workshop is a BRITISH company?
The irony is they failed to maximise their position in computer gaming allowing Blizzard to copy all their stuff and beat them to it with World of Warcraft. Even more ironic as the way copyright and trademark law is actually written everything Blizzard did was perfectly legal. Whereas everything GW is doing now is not.
Re: Don't do it for the money
No word of a lie, my previous employer did this to me:
Employed as the sole IT person within the company, combing the roles of sysadmin, data analyst, application support and hardware engineer all rolled into one, part of my job also to recommend suppliers and suggest solutions that could benefit the company. Remaining IT functions were outsourced to a cloud service provider holding platinum level certificates with pretty much every vendor out there.
Boss: We're having a meeting, please attend.
Walk into meeting room
Boss: This is the Joe Bloggs Cloud Based Computing Company (real name changed, but you get the drift).
Boss: We've just signed the contract to transfer all IT services to them as they're half the cost of our current provider. You have 2 weeks to complete the transition successfully or you lose your job for failing to work to an unfeasable target that has been agreed with no consultation with the only person who actually knows anything about our current IT setup.
Needless to say once it was made clear to the new supplier just how much was going to be transferred they backed off and the transfer was put back. By 2 more weeks. And people wondered why I was happy at losing my job...
Re: It wouldn't be so bad
One I suddenly remembered earlier (and almost head planted the desk that I didn't spot it earlier). Almost the entirety of the W40K universe is lifted en mass from 2000AD's Nemesis the Warlock series.
Re: IP Creep
Actually I read an interesting legal argument (ironically involving Games Workshop) that clearly states you cannot trademark or copyright an idea and that literary works are only protected in the first instance. So there's actually no legal obstacle to writing a new work of fiction based on Lord of the Rings, I just can't take the original book and copy it paragraph by paragraph. So "The adventures of Hobbits" would actually be allowed, so long as it's not directly ripping off parts of the original books. It would even be possible to write a new LOTR book set at the same time but based on events around the book. Interestingly though the only thing you couldn't do is have "Lord of the Rings:" as part of the title as that is covered by trademark. It's for the above reasons that you have multiple authors writing the Conan stories. The real reason it doesn't happen more in reality is nothing to do the legal position but the financial position of the derivative author. Most simply cannot afford to fight the publisher in court.
Re: More prior art
I missed that one, and it's on my bookshelf (as is Heinlen, E E Doc Smith, and quite a few others)
Re: 40K Shades of Warhammer
Worked for Buffy and Angel. Check out Cristopher Golden, wrote a lot of the Angel novels. Writes a really good alternative vampire story (Shadows series)
Re: Where do I donate
Not aware of one yet, waiting to hear back from the author.
Re: Precidence not necessary
Not trademarkable due to their generic use throughout fantasy literature, and not copyrightable due to the fact that Tolkein himself nicked them from mythology.
In all honesty they should never have been given the phrase as a trademark in the first place as it was already a generic term in PC games (Doom) and has prior art in board games.
Who do you think invited them to the party?
(Okay, I may not have been the only one, but I've certainly been one of them and I was pointed in the right direction by one of the authors friends that I know)
Full list of article related to this here:
(I'm currently about 2/3s of the way down)
Re: Not a new idea ...
Clearly the laser should be mounted on the back of a genetically modified shark?
FF7 was most definitely the finest game they ever made, just huge in scope.
That's what I've always loved about the FF games, right from when I started playing them on the old GB with their B&W graphics. I've now played every version, upto and including 13 (and even the online one) and to my mind 13 is definitely the worst. It's as if all the thought went into what you do *after* the end credits, and no thought was put into the actual storyline itself. Maybe what they ought to do is what they did with FF1-6, go right back to the beginning and redo them, bring out a FF7 redux for the PS3 with updated graphics and a game that I would be quite happy to spend months playing, instead of completing in just a few hours and being left wondering why on earth I spent so much for a game I would have been happy to wait for a second hand copy of.
More Star Wars movies?
Part of the problem is that there's a wealth of exciting and diverse material to choose from, from the books (Splinter of the Mind's Eye springs to mind), the games (there's some excellent story material in the earlier Jedi Knight PC games) and as far back even as the original Star Wars comics by Stan Lee. All that choice, and we still end up with Jar Jar Binks....
It's only a fake iPad in the same way the Galaxy Tab is a fake iPad. In look and feel the nearest you can get to calling it a fake iPad is that it has icons and apps, but that's because it's Android based. No different to every other tablet maker that's been sued by Apple.
9 billion light years is the equivalent of seeing something when the universe was a third of the age it is now. If the star was 2/3 of the age of the universe then it would be approximately 3 to 4 billion light years away. Distance is inverse to age in this case.
My main point is £45 upfront is just far too much, when there's so much else out there that you can dip into and then make your own choice as to whether to pay. They'd be better off going for £20 to £30 with a month free, because I'm damned if I'm going to spend £45 and then find out it's not for me. Not every MMO is for everyone, I really liked the look of Eve, appears to be much closer to my favourite gaming style, but when I actually played it I found it was just far too boring. So either they do a trial, or bring the price down. I'll give it a try when they start doing the 1 month free :)
In the case of most games it is really just upgrading the graphics, cutting the 1 player game down even further and then making the multiplayer experience even more difficult for the noobs to get a foot in (I'm looking at you COD:MW. I'm a veteran of Black Hawk Down, but it's so annoying when you die within seconds of spawning just because you're level 1 and everyone else is level 50, or more often the case because they're an annoying little brat using a glitch to shoot through the floor). For a franchise that's grown each game from one to the next try looking at Gears Of War.
Nearest you'll get to that nowadays is DDO. But they could so easily do a new Baldur's Gate using the Elder Scrolls engine. Dragon Age would just make the game seem far too restricted as an engine, it needs to be on a massive scale.
Maybe we'll yet hear those immortal words once more "Go for the eyes Boo!"
Write my own game?
I'd love to but as stated, you need a whole load of engineers and other techy people to help you do it. Look at the budgets for most modern games today, there's no longer the option of a solo programmer writing the next Elite or Jet Set Willy. The best anyone can hope for writing a game solo is the next Angry Birds, unfortunately nothing else beyond that is really an option.
Standard mmorpg classing.
You have your 3 standard Types and then your subclasses branched off that.
Generally you go Type >> Race >> Class. Type is usually Tank, Damager and Healer then you add your racial subtypes that give bonuses towards each type and then choose your class after that. Your choice of Type and Race restricts your choice of Class.
In this case you have Ranged (stand back and shoot from a distance. Often combined as a support role), Tank (go head first in and soak up the damage, while dealing pretty good damage. These are the long haul fighters built for stamina), Healer (keeps everyone else in the game) and Force Lightning Damager (the aim is to take down your opponent as quickly as possible so you don't get hit).
Usually you want at least one of each, so the tank takes all the aggro, the healer keeps the tank alive, the support guy buffs everyone elses stats while damager rips into the enemy as fast as possible.
If you still don't understand any of that then you've obviously only ever played COD:MW type FPSs online, as it's been standard in any role playing game since the days of Gary Gygax.
£45 upfront AND a monthly fee? That's me out then, if there's a monthly fee involved I'm not spending £45 upfront to find out it's not my style of game. One or the other, but not both. That's what I like about DC Universe on the PS3, it's free to download and then upto you if you want to pay for the extra bits. As a result they get a monthly subscription from me as the free version is just restricted enough to show what you're missing and get you hooked in.
I'm reliably informed by my Terran to Betelguisian translator that it stands for "For The Win". Although "From The W*nker" is usually more accurate
That's what you get when you employ Magratheans to build your star systems. You only have to look at the mess they made when they constructed Earth. And don't get me started on those floating turtle planets, they make a right mess of the hyperspace highways...
Actually there were quite a few people using the OtherOS feature to load Linux. IIRC the US defense dept were using a server farm of PS3s running Linux for nuclear testing. Were also very popular with a few academics for the same reason. Totally irrelevant here though as they can probably get theirs sent to them preloaded.
Saw it in the cinema and actually really enjoyed it. Okay the plot is totally insane but the whole point is that it's meant to be several short films mirroring what's happening in the real world. And the ending to the film really was unexpected. Watch it for what it's meant to be, a series of stunning visual and audio short stories loosely connected. And if it starts making any sense have yourself checked in at you nearest mental institute straight away.
The problem with copyright is who holds the rights, not how long they hold them for. In the words of Noddy Holder, "for you it's a Xmas song. For me, it's my pension". I've seen many people on here mention 14 years as acceptable, well I guess Noddy would disagree as that would mean that annual Slade classic would no longer be generating any income for him. So that gets us back to copyright for life. But then what about those copyrighted works that get published after the author's death? Is it right that someone writes a best selling book and then his family get no benefit from it because it's published after he dies? You only have to look at the success of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo to see that copyright must be transferable, or the publisher gains the right to appropraite orphaned works for themselves. So there has to be some transference of rights after the original creator's death. Also, many artists are more successful after they die than while they live, Michael Jackson, Buddy Holly, Elvis Presley to name just a few. Should every penny earned after their death go to the publisher? No, the rights must transfer to the estate of the artist. They wrote that music not just for themselves, but also as a source of income for their family. The real issue then is who holds the rights. In many cases the rights are not held by the artist, but by the publisher. Often the publisher will enforce draconian contracts on the artist, not to protect the artist, but to protect their income stream. It was Prince who famously wrote "slave" on his own face in protest of the contracts musicians were forced to sign in order to have their music produced. The singer songwriter Poe was restricted in what she could do for 7 years, not even allowed to perform her own music live, because she walked away from her record label when they refused to allow her music to be re-released. Aimee Allen wrote a hit album that was never released, because Electra Records kept putting off the release date, until it was too late, and Electra was bought by Atlantic and Aimee Allen was dropped by the record label. In the end the album was leaked onto the internet and became one of the most downloaded albums at the time, with Aimee's own blessing as the rights were now held by a company that would never release the album. We don't need changes to how long copyright is held for, we need changes to ensure that copyright belongs to the creator and not the publisher.
It's a bit unfair to bring Exocet into the argument. The only reason the Exocet was able to do so much damage during the Falklands was the fact that no one had the common sense to reprogram the air defense to recognise the Exocet as a hostile target. This resulted in missiles not being intercepted mid flight as the systems thought they were friendlies. Something my uncle had to see the results of first hand (he was on the Uganda).
End of the day, current military engagements are not Harrier friendly, agreed. Makes no sense sending Harriers to Afghanistan. But then that's not why we had them. They made perfect sense in the Falklands, as they were short range multi-purpose aircraft. The whole point was we could get them there quickly and they took off and landed on a dime. They also had combat capability that a regular aircraft doesn't, which was put to good effect against the Argentinians. But even that role was not the reason the Harrier was invented. It was invented to fight in a European theatre, a theatre that disappeared during 1989. The whole point of the Harrier was the ability to create makeshift bases in the middle of German forests, away from the airfields that would inevitably be bombed back to farmland. The real question then is not whether we need Harriers for today's wars, but whether we believe we could need them for a future European war.
Actually providing the music has been ripped using iTunes no bandwidth whatsoever, it will match your existing tracks with tracks it already has on the Cloud and use them. It will only upload tracks from your PC if it can't recognise them. The issue is whether the tracks on your phone or iPod are recognised as the same tracks on the Cloud, if they are, then fine. If not, it will delete them as it doesn't recognise them as being legitimate. No different really to what happens if you try syncing your phone to another PC, it first wipes your phone and then restores from your new PC's backup.
To be fair, the majority of Lewis Page's rants are just that, rants. But this one actually has some semblance of a point. The real question is, does the RAF or RN have anything to replace the Harrier's role for which it was actually designed for? The answer is no, the whole point of the Harrier was to have a plane that could take off with little or no runway, able to take off from within the clearing of a forest if need be. We have nothing that fills that role now except for our helicopter fleet, which lets face it are not designed for bombing your average dictatorship into the dirt. Certainly we don't expect to go to war in Eastern Europe any time soon, but just because we don't expect to doesn't mean we shouldn't be able to.
Who else immediately thought of "The Men Who Stare At Goats"?
We had a kid at school who was muslim make a big fuss about the Satanic Verses so I went out and borrowed it from the library. Don't think I even got past the first page, only book I think I've ever read that was written worse than the first Harry Potter book.
Not really, it's pattern recognition more than anything else. When I look on google maps I may not be able to tell which car is which, but it's pretty obvious that they're cars. Same here, sand looks like sand and any regular shapes are invariably archeological features. Wasn't that long ago an entire roman villa was found in England using google maps that no one knew anything about. Turned out to be a huge palace in an area that shouldn't have even been settled by romans. It's amazing how much archeology is actually visible from above, even centuries after it's been covered by dirt and grass. How else am I supposed to know where to park the spaceship :)
Fanbois of another colour
Amazing how the hatred and bile fills up with some people.
Okay, the last 4 phones I've owned, current one at the top with reasons for changing:
Currently using an iPhone4. Phone calls? Check. Texts? Check. Browser? Check. Email? Check. Decent camera? Check. Music? Check. Reliable? Check. Ticks all the boxes I require and also has angry birds on it for when I'm bored.
Previous phone, SE Xperia X10i. Phone calls? Check. Texts? Check. Browser? Check. Email? Check. Decent camera? Check. Music? Check. Reliable? Heck no. Constant freezing, issue with charging (now has to be charged using an external battery charger), and lasts about half a day with full charge.
iPhone 3G. Phone calls? Check. Texts? Check. Browser? Check. Email? Check. Decent camera? Nope, worst camera of all the phones I've had. Music? Check. Reliable? Check. Actually upgraded to the Xperia because of the camera.
SE K800i. Phone calls? Check. Texts? Check. Browser? Nope. Email? Nope. Decent camera? Check. Music? Limited. Reliable? Check. Actually of all the phones I've owned this is the one I miss most. Couldn't browse the internet or check my work email on it but the camera has to be one of the best cameras on any phone I've ever owned. Even better than the higher res camera on the Xperia.
Might try Samsung next, but to be brutally honest the iPhone 4S pretty much has everything I require already covered. And I've never had an issue with running the iPhone, whereas I've had lots of issues with Android on the Xperia (even having the phone brick itself while trying to accept a call once, had to remove the battery to reset it)
At the end of the day, I don't care who makes it, I just want my phone to work and to have at least a semblance of build quality (seriously SE, plugging in the charger should NOT break the phone. It's a known fault, so make the bloody socket more robust instead of blaming the user)
Back in 1941 Churchill was told the best thing Britain could do was surrender to Germany. This was based on the fact at the time we'd had our butts kicked back across the Channel and were losing everywhere we fought except in the air. At the time the USA was firmly entrenched in a neutral stance and we were staring down the barrel of defeat at the hands of Hitler. Instead Churchill told Hitler to sod off and and vowed to go down fighting. Luckily Japan scored an own goal by attacking Pearl Harbour which forced the USA into the war.
Still doesn't make the original advice wrong, but as in war and business, 6 months is a very long time.
No surprise when we live in a world that means you can trademark a wavelength of light (Barbie pink is a trademarked colour and you're not allowed to sell anything in that particular shade of pink unless you pay the makers of Barbie).
Yesterday's Dilbert cartoon was so ironic, a real case of comedy mirroring fact.
According to carphonewarehouse any damage to the USB charging socket is "out of warranty". It's a known fault and they're using the excuse of it being damaged by inserting the USB cable to get out of replacing the phone.
I'll hold fire on buying one until they've proven that they've fixed the design issue with the USB charger. At the end of the day I want a phone that's going to last at least 2 years, and not just several months before hitting an "out of warrenty" issue.
SE need to start fixing their build quality before they'll start seeing real profits. I was a long term SE user but now I won't touch them with a barge pole due to a major design flaw that they insist is caused by users pushing the charging cables into the phone too vigorously. As a result I now have a phone which can only be charged using an external charger. Which is a shame as historically they've always had the best cameraphones available (my old K800i is still the best camera I've ever had, picture quality was as good if not better than most stand alone cameras, never mind camera phones when it came out).
By your logic if it's in society's "best interest" that a large corporation should steal someone else's idea then that person's rights mean squat and they should stfu and put up with the fact that they've had their idea stolen. Not that far fetched, say I invent a new technology that can be used to save lives. As I'm not a massive corporation I have to sell it for a lot of money in order to break even and invest more money in development. A big corporation could steal my idea and sell it at a much lower cost as they have the resources to plough into development and mass produce and mas market it. Clearly there's a benefit to society that my idea is stolen from me, and by your own admission you're happy that my ideas should be stolen from me.
Not any real surprise given that Facebook annoyed pretty much all it's users last week with changes to it's newsfeeds. I know several people who setup Google + accounts because of Facebook. Also no surprise that even with those changes they're still using Facebook.
Read Kevin Mitnick's Defensive Thinking. There's a story in there of a guy who was working on a Swiss bank's systems. He persuaded the bank that he needed root access and immediately transferred millions into his own account. And don't forget that one of the biggest fraud's in banking history was perpetrated by a bank's IT dept forging the bank's customer's credit cards.
Do a Blade Runner
That will sort out all the versiontards. Next box set do a special edition containing every conceivable version including the original theatrical versions, original SE versions, updated SE versions, 3D versions and maybe even a complete update version fixing the inconsistencies with some of the SE versions. Want to watch Han shoot first? There's a version for that...
I know what you mean. Working in IT people get surprised that I'm not rabidly pro/anti MS/Linux. I remember the IT manager at a previous place was so rabidly pro MS that he actually had a visible look of hatred on his face if you ever mentioned the fact that we had a single Linux machine at one of the sites that couldn't be disposed of as it ran the site's entire document management system. I personally started as an engineer, so I don't care about the OS or the manufacturer, my concern is usability and cost of ownership. Personally I now have an iPhone4. Reason? My old Sony Ericsson has a major design flaw that the Carphone Warehouse insists is my fault. I refuse to use Sony Ericsson again for that reason (the fault is present in all of their USB charged phones) and the iPhone just does what I need it to do with no issues.
I've seen 2 variants of this email go through our mail server so far (we handle student accommodation) and there's several things to note:
1. These are highly targetted emails, not your usual phishing spam. Somehow they are getting the email addresses for the students. As we're a student service provider we're also seeing them.
2. With the exception of a couple minor errors these are quite believable, more so given the complete cockups of the last few years by the student loans company.
It's interesting to see that the Government email asks you to download a file, it suggests more than one phishing group invloved as the previous emails I've seen ask the student to click a link. The link looks like a genuine student loans company link until you click on it.
Joking aside about the intelligence of the people falling for this scam, but these are mainly 18 year olds without the years of experience dealing with scams that we have. They need this money in order to live and pay rent. They fall for this scam and it can result in the student having to drop out of University, owing not only the student loan company for the money that has been stolen from them but also their rent for the accommodation they were staying in. That's a hell of a lot of money for someone who now has no chance of paying it back. If they're UK based the chances are their parents signed as guarantor for them as well, that means their parents will also be chased for money. This isn't as simple as someone being a little stupid and losing a few quid, this is a crime that potentially destroys an entire family's financial security.
@ The Brave Sir Robin
No need to fear. I ate the lizard men.
Now for pudding...
Apple is now DRM free. More to the point iTunes comes complete with an option to convert from AAC to MP3 so that you can play music on any MP3 compatible machine.
Reading into the story it's not clear that all format shifting will be legalised, it may just be shifting from physical to digital. I've not had a chance to read the full proposals yet, but I'm hoping that they will be legalising format shifting between digital formats as well as physical to digital. However the proposal does make it clear that the shifted copy must be made from a legally sourced original. No downloading a dodgy MP3 copy and then shifting it to a nice, legal AAC copy.