1964 posts • joined Sunday 20th December 2009 13:24 GMT
Re: They are clueless
I get loads of "Yahoo!" phish mails. The obvious giveaway is there is no purple "!" icon beside it so I know it is a fake. Then there's the level of English used - you'd have thought a big scam targetting thousands/millions of users might stretch to finding a native English speaker to write the message...
Icon, however, for the utter stupidity of Yahoo! allowing into its system a message claiming to be from "Yahoo!" (indeed "Yahoo!" anywhere in the sender's name) - such messages should be auto-nuked (from space, it's the only way to be sure).
"have a spare USB port to charge my phones" - problem is, the power taken to charge a phone is less power for you to use. Could you not plug 'em in overnight?
"Office packages for Android are embarrassingly terrible." - it is hard enough to find a text editor worth a damn. I think it speaks volumes that an ancient Psion 3a outperforms Android in nearly every office-like application. Useful word processor, useful spreadsheet, workable (if a bit crappy) database....why is something like this not available for Android out of the box? I need a rudimentary word processor that understands basic formatting a hell of a lot more than I need a Facebook "share my music" app. I guess I'm just not the usual target demographic.
"Bad for us because it cripples the OS in order to achieve this goal." - which is one of the reasons I will never touch it. Living out in the country, you get used to eccentric broadband. Plus travelling etc. A good OS will use connectivity to supplement itself, not be reliant on it in order to do anything. Before anybody replies to this point - contemplate using an EDGE network running at ~12Kb/sec flat out. Wait, ADSL you say? Well that kills portability then doesn't it? Not everywhere has 3G/4G...
"I hope that by the time this netbook of mine is ready to give up the ghost, the answer is yes." - I also do not understand why the netbook is hated. I'm writing this on an eeePC. It is my "main" computer. On my lap in bed, on a table, in the living room, out in the garden on a sunny day, even in the car - it is there and ready and does what I ask. I don't need a 21" monitor, I just hold the ~9" one a little closer (being short-sighted helps blur the picture so you can consider it to be biological anti-aliasing). For its age it is quite a capable machine. If I was in the looking for a replacement, I would want something similar but more modern. Running Windows would be preferable (most of my software...) however I could be tempted. I also don't want something big, or a dopey tablet. I write stuff, I code, I "play" with a MIDI sequencer, I watch videos, I do internety stuff. I want a small friendly device with good battery life, respectable connectivity (one lame USB port doesn't cut it, even a Raspberry Pi offers better), a usable keyboard, and most of all something I can take with me and just put it down and start using it. My eeePC fits the bill. I will cry buckets when it is time to retire it and replace it with something that isn't a netbook 'cos they won't exist by then...
"Rectangular tables arranged in a line in the middle of the store parallel to the walls and extending from the storefront to the back of the store." and "There is multi-tiered shelving along the side walls, and a oblong table with stools located at the back of the store, set below video screens flush mounted on the back wall."
In order to infringe upon a patent, don't you sort of have to need to infringe upon it "globally"? I mean, having a bunch of tables in a row from the storefront to the back with shelves on the sides describes a computer shop in Guildford back in the '80s, and probably thousands around the world.
What they most likely don't have, however, is stools and video screens at the back.
So if you have a shop with tables and side-wall-shelves, but not stools/screens, that's not infringing, right?
"<i>Ask Galaxy owners if they would definitely buy a Samsung device next time</i>"
I'd like to try a Samsung, but out of my price range. I looked for the cheapest Android phone that could handle 720p video. I found on. A Sony Xperia U. I didn't want to buy another Sony as I was not thrilled at how in-your-face Facebook was on the Xperia Mini Pro, plus I didn't like some of the firmware stupidity (alarm won't ring if sound disabled) and that "you consent to blah blah" message every time you turn on GPS, not to mention an email client that was easy to confuse (would flag all messages as unread) and didn't have a select-all to make tidying the trash mailbox a flippin' nightmare.
Well... Lovely display, does HD, boots dead quick. Still on Android 2.3.something but is this the fault of Sony or Orange? It's an all-round nice phone. There is still Facebook integration but it doesn't go out of its way to get in the way. Stupid GPS message still there (maybe this is Android?) but the alarm now sounds iwhen the sound is disabled. Nicely too, soft and relaxing to help you wake. Email seems better, and you can select all now. The camera isn't bad given it's an imager stuck in a phone. It is surprisingly good at low-light/night photos where it will give a bright (but noisy) image. Which is better than the two other phones which will barely give any image at all. Minus points for the damn weird shutter button that almost enforces phone shake. The only downside is the hardwired 4Gb memory which seems a little cheap when I can get a 16Gb SD card for €12. But never mind, that and the strange glowing bar aside, I am quite impressed by this phone given the price of it. Especially the really nice display - did I mention that yet? ;-) It's a pleasure to lie in bed watching animé on those nights when I can't seem to get to sleep...
In case you hadn't guessed, I don't really have a brand loyalty so much as a platform loyalty. My next phone (in two years) may or may not be a Sony. It depends on what is available. It will be Android. I have a set of core apps, including the important apks on my computer so I can transfer them over and install them right away. Plus there is the familiarity aspect - I know Android.
So your headline might be better if it read "Ask Android owners if they would definitely buy an Android device next time".
Yes - I would.
Re: Why ...
"I'm sure the Twits (Is that what you call posts made on Twitter?)" - long 'iiii', "tweets". It's a play on words of that blue bird. I wouldn't be suprised if group postings (if it can even be done) wasn't known as "chirping".
"However, I find that giving the average person a medium in which he or she will have something to say often translates into that person having NOTHING to say, and saying it anyways." - you mean like
BBS messageboards FidoNet Usenet chatrooms forums news/blog article comment sections? People have a tendency to spew drivel given half an opportunity, myself included. Perhaps the biggest wonder is why people think that somebody is reading. Perhaps the biggest wonder is why somebody is reading.
If you've read this, congratulations, that's thirty seconds of your life (and about 25 heartbeats) you'll have wasted. Waste another few seconds - click on green if you think this message has at least been mildly amusing if not exactly enriching...or click on red if the only response you have now is "screw you dumbass". Your call!
Re: NO problems with old Samsungs
@ Eponymous Cowherd: All the faults you describe pretty much match issues I had with a Sky Digibox back circa 2004ish. I couldn't believe the times when looking at the EPG caused the thing to freeze. Eventually I gave up on it and got myself a cheap generic satellite receiver and a DiSEqC switch. Haven't looked back since / Good riddance.
I've uploaded cat videos...
Where's my cheque?
Cat murder algorithm???
Hey, what exactly do you think happens in "the wild"? For sure, cats don't sit around bonfires popping the tops of cans of Felix.
Evidence? Well, look at any Attenborough documentary - beautiful slow motion footage of something slaughtering something else. It is only us humans that devised the microwave oven...
"It's got a nicer feel than anything Acorn put out at the time."
A keyboard with actual switches was best back then, rather than the limp calculator-key style of some machines; and god help the Oric keyboard that did a pre-Apple putting style over function - seriously, here's a picture - can you imagine writing anything of length (your homework, perhaps?) on that keyboard?
At least Acorn's keyboard was usable for long durations, and it stood up to a lot of abuse (I'm not talking about schoolchildren, this is personal, this is me vs Chuckie Egg...).
Got one on the shelf
Unfortunately the built in BASIC was rather less than the BBC BASIC I was used to, the video display was eccentric, and the keyboard horrid - but comparing it with the Spectrum (and not the Beeb), it held up well. A fun thing for paying with.
Incredible, the things the DMCA is being twisted into use for
Here in France you can get your operator-locked mobile unlocked, for free, after three months of owning the phone. It's the law. [ http://www.senat.fr/rap/l10-139/l10-1399.html ]
Of course, this doesn't necessarily mean you can jump ship. If you signed a contract for 12 or 24 months, you are assumed to maintain this contract. You can leave early, but you will pay a penalty for doing so.
I habitually unlock my phones when I can so that other people in my family (who may use other networks) can use my phone if necessary simply by swapping the SIM. Also it is an annoyance, I'm contractually obligated to be with the provider so why lock the hardware as well? It can't be for phone calls to landlines, they're free. It can't be for SMS/MMS, they're free. It can't be for calls to one of my three selected mobiles (network agnostic), they're free. I pay for calls to other mobiles and anything international... but since international to most places is free from the landline phone, I can just wait. So, tell me, what exactly is the point of SIMlock in this situation?
Re: Can we bring this discussion into the real world?
"This thread sounds like it is populated entirely by people who have never heard of back-ups or encryption." - What good is encryption when you can be compelled to provide encryption keys? [remember: the law applying to your data in the cloud may be very different to the law in the country in which you are currently standing]
Backups are irrelevant. If you have important sensitive information in a "cloud" and it leaks or is otherwise appropriated (with or without your knowledge), then, cool, you have backups. Good practice. But said sensitive data is still on the loose.
"Obviously, none of them have ever used anything as terribly risky as proper hosting for their web site" - The primary difference being that my website is intended for public consumption, the things I put there are things I am happy to share. My MP3s, my bank statement PDFs, other private/confidential information...that stays on my local system and doesn't get shared. So, please explain the "terribly risky" part as I don't think I understand your point...
Pile of crap!
"Personal information of millions of Brits - including their names, addresses, email addresses, dates of birth and account passwords"
...given what was lost, it wouldn't even be a viable fine at a fiver per person. But 250k? What a joke.
"Keep your data to yourself and don't let any 3th, 4th, 5th etc party have access to it." - this makes sense.
"Don't use the same alias on more than one site." - ummm... how is this relevant to SMEs on the European side not embracing the cloud?
"Do regular google, bing searches for yourelf." - no, dumbass, that will give away your identity! ;-)
Also, be sure to use only Google to look for yourself, for Bing's SSL uses an invalid certificate (akamai), and when you get there you are redirected back to plain non-SSL Bing. Google, on the other hand, does SSL correctly so your looking for yourself is known only to you and the search engine.
"Keep safe, it is a war out there." - why stop there? Where's the advice to use a battery powered acoustic modem hanging off a payphone? [Rule Of Cool here guys, it just looks better - why d'you think TheMatrix used old-style telephones? In reality, it is a lot faster/simpler to cruise around until you find an open WAP and then piggyback (but never the same WAP twice)]
"There are people/comanies fighing to get to know everything there it to know about you." - two people with markedly different interests use the same IP address. It has made Amazon's auto-suggest come up with some interesting stuff in the past. Right now it seems stuck on punting that goddamn Fifty Shades rubbish, how many times can a person say "NO!"?
"It is up to you to stop them." - you can't. When we, the users, sign up for a service there are pages and pages of Ts&Cs. I skip the lot (don't know any of the YouTube Ts&Cs, I never bothered to read it though I imagine it is mostly common sense expressed in legalese) as I note that advertising companies (some owned by YouTube's parent company) feel free to attempt to track, to profile, and to collect information without: identifying themselves fully, providing terms of service outlining what they do and do not do, provide the right of access to the collected and extrapolated information about you, decide to ignore your local law (DPA, anybody), and to bitch&piss&moan when somebody comes up with an idea like a "do not track" request. Which is now to be willfully ignored since a helpful browser wanted it turned ON by default. And, last but not least, OBTAINING OUR CONSENT TO DO THIS IN THE FIRST PLACE. Oh, wait, they didn't. And they could care less...
With a mindset and attitude like that, do you really think we can "stop" them? A better approach is to randomise and/or randomly delete related cookies and LSOs, plus actively block adverts and blacklist domains related to advertising or analytics. There are clearly no morals in on-line advertising, so don't get upset if I say STFUAD and actively disable advertising. I don't want to hear any SEO whinge, things could have been consensual - most people will tolerate small subtle advertisements (which is why those Google text adverts are not blocked - they don't annoy). But it was not to be, for some saw it as a GetRickQuick and it just went downhill from there.
"Searching Google for info on me reveals nothing. I aim to keep it that way thank you very much." - searching Google says some rather unpleasant things about Anonymous Coward. You might want to consider suing for libel...
Googling me shows some chick with a fancy bonnet. I'm in the list, but most of the links are not me. If you should find the correct me (hint: I'm a geek that like cute Japanese
girlsthings) you might notice certain specific things are missing from my blog. This is because the best way not to worry about your secrets being public knowledge is simply not to put them on-line in the first place. If anybody reading happens to know my real name (or gets it from my site), don't bother looking for it on Google. I'm not in the first page of results, and I didn't bother looking any further because page 2+ is like the void at the end of the universe where useless things accumulate... Maybe my ego matches my perception of self-importance? I don't check for myself on Google because I don't expect to see anything worth looking at.
Dear Pinset Masons,
You may talk about EU regulations and rules, however what it comes down to is that companies in these parts are much less willing to store important (perhaps mission critical/trade secret) data on server in a country where data is available for examination on the most tenuous of grounds, a country that has repeatedly demonstrated favouritism, and all bound by a legal system that seems to increasingly defy logic.
American companies aren't so worried as this is their own way, perhaps they just don't know any better? International companies will do something called a trust assessment. Do you trust the provider? And do you trust the country in which your data will be held?
The results speak for themselves.
I'm writing this on my NEW Android phone
Why Android? I know how it works and feels. I have an app that automatically saves install packages to these card (useful to revert when devs decide to take out all the good stuff to justify a paid version), and it also means purring my core apps on to another phone is draggy-droppy and then just working my way down the list.
The phone? Sony Xperia U with a freaky coloured bar thing. Not perfect, but pretty impressive for €39, and I have a form to fill in to get €30 refunded. So on a basic contract a dual-core HD capable phone with a, frankly, lovely display will have cost me €9 with a fairly basic contract. Need I say more?
"Most of the rest of our readers are in Australia, Canada and northern Europe."
Don't forget, those using OperaMini or Opera in super-zippy-whoohoo mode will appear to be from...where is it, Finland?
Plus, I have two mobiles (between contracts; one phone has a very nice display, the other has a keyboard) and home broadband. Do you see me as two people or three?
I do hope, of course, that your advertising revenue adequately reflects this trend.
Is this a real "official" app?
Calling the brand "Macca", a "Meh" button... hard to believe this is a real app. I thought McDo were rather more particular about their "brand image" (down the specifying fonts, sizes, placements, and pantone colours) than to put out something quite that informal.
Certainly, the French app doesn't refer to the brand as "McDo" despite that being what everybody seems to call it.
Re: To be honest...
"Now where can I get a horse-steak ?"
My local supermarket has 'em. Never tried horse, but it *looks* like an okay piece of meat, once you get over the fact that the French seem to colour it a shocking red, and then proceed to show it what fire is and then tell you it is cooked...
"Guns don’t kill people. Video games, [...] kill people. […] violence against its own people, through vicious, violent video games with names like Bulletstorm, Grand Theft Auto, Mortal Kombat and Splatterhouse."
I have GTA3 on my PS2. It is fun stress relief to whip out the samurai sword and slice people's heads off, or run 'em over. The best bit is if you engage the "follow you" cheat, they'll all come a running toward you. It is quite comic when you murder/death/kill a striking docker, the others run over alternating between rage and wanting to +1 you for life. Hehe, you can even flatten 'em with the tank, and god knows that's the most cumbersome vehicle ever.
This perhaps points to a slightly sick sense of humour; but it in no way implies that I have any intention of harming a person in real life; any more than watching torture-porn (SAW and its many sequels for instance) would make me a psycho-slasher. I'm quite capable of distinguishing between what is real and what is not. Unlike, perhaps, the NRA spokesperson. "violence against its own people"? He does realise, I hope, that said people are just data constructions in a game, collections of pixels. They aren't American citizens, that isn't real blood, and they aren't real people.
tl;dr: Before you complain about those of us with fake weapons (computer games), why don't you sort out the fucktards with real weapons? If I was totally delusional and wanted to take out a class of six year olds, I tell you, I would NOT get very far if I ran into a school, waved my controller all around, and kept pressing the Square button... The kiddies just won't die like that, unless they die of laughter, but that's a difference sense of the word. The people with real actual weapons. They're the ones I'd be worried about. But, wait, that's kinda the raison d'être of the NRA so........
Re: why is line-rental mandatory?
"An even worse scam by BT is enforcing the full line-rental even when customers only need ADSL." - I'm with Orange France for internet [*] and this is how it works for me. The phone line just beeps and won't work, the phone (with a normal local code number) is plugged into the Livebox. I pay slightly more for my service than if I had a phone rental, but the total is less than rental+cheapersub. I could, if I wished [**], jack in the Livebox and go with somebody else like SFR or Free... but see [*].
* - I am paying more for the Orange service because I know personally somebody who had a faulty internet, they payed over six months subscriptions while neither the phone nor the internet box worked correctly; both companies blaming the other. Sadly I said right at the start it sounded like a faulty filter. I say sadly because I was correct, only the person wanted an official engineer to say that. Six months of denied service and subs (trust me, we're looking at upwards of three HUNDRED euros) all for the want of a five euro part. So I am with Orange because I live in the back of beyond so would rather if something happened then there's nobody for Orange to blame as they deal with both bits.
** - actually, I lie. I am stuck with Orange for the next 24 months as I've just signed a contract for internet plus mobile phone. Running to about €55 a month, it offers a better deal than my previous options of ADSL (€40/month) plus Origami Zen mobile contract (€35/month). You can pick yourself up off the floor, while there are better options with relative unknowns, there are about the going prices here in France. I did a comparison with SFR last weekend and they worked out to be slightly more expensive. I wanted a new phone, which rules out Sosh. If you can read French, it is Open Style - http://open.orange.fr/forfaits/forfaits-internet-plus-mobile.aspx?rdt=o but feel free to look around the site. Then some of you might stop complaining about the prices for packages in the UK. I can't think why telecoms in France is so damned expensive, it just seems to be...
*** - additional footnote just to annoy the anti-footnote crowd, and to cause a segmentation violation due to unreferenced article. ;-)
Re: Another day, another "Let's bash BT" article
Well, AC (at 12:24), it isn't hard. BT advertised something is "free". Look up "free" (in the monetary sense) in your dictionary if you are having difficulties, suffice to say that six months where the customer needs to fork out cash is not free. It's really quite simple. They say it is free, it is not.
Whether or not Virgin do/did/may do the same sort of thing is neither here nor there. Let ASA threaten to show them a picture of the naughty step in that case. We're talking about BT today...
"I've nothing against CGI (District 9 used it very well) but I don't like it when I spot it, or rather 'sense' it."
The thing that annoys me most with CGI is the tendency to fail to obey basic laws of physics. Motion just seems "wrong" and rendered fire/explosions are often so poor it is almost as if it has been done on purpose.
However, I suspect quite often the budget plays a large part in this - "Avatar" might have had a somewhat crappy plot with a giant deus ex machina and grey morality, but it was fun to look at. On the other hand, "Snakes On A Train" (no, not the Samuel L Jackson one) was horrid. As bad as you think the script could be, the visual effects were a magnitude worse [hint: IMDb rating is 2.5]. Avatar probably had the sort of VFX budget that would make my head spin. SOAT, on the other hand, looks as if the VFX budget was about equal to feeding a family of four in McDonalds on a rainy Saturday evening in midwinter...
Please, please, film-makers everywhere - if your budget isn't up to rendering realistic fire, then don't even attempt it. It is so fake it actually hurts to look at it. Thank you.
Re: Being "insulting" should not be illegal in its own right
"I will only agree with you if the 'victim' is diagnosed officially with depression. Otherwise, some people need to grow up and learn to handle insults." - Makes me wonder how such people survived the school playground. My God, I learned some stuff there that even Channel4 hasn't yet touched upon (although "The Mary Whitehouse Experience" got close on a few occasions). And yes, I've been insulted in about a dozen languages (there's one African language where "dickhead" is quite a nice sounding word, but it was twenty years ago so I don't remember).
"This means the amount of rubbish out there is tremendous." - hehe, such as the "LIKE" button. With no option to DISlike, nor a count of how many people visited and did not choose to LIKE, it is a completely rubbish statistic. 4,458 people "LIKE" The Register. If that is four and a half out of five thousand, it's impressive. If that's four and a half out of fifty thousand, it's less so.
"Which means, people are already being forced to learn to distinguish fact from fiction, trolls from debate." - yet the banks keep on and on pointing out on their home page, in letters, and even in one case a sticker attached to the front of the bank card "YOUR BANK WILL NEVER ASK FOR YOUR PASSWORD OR PIN OVER THE PHONE OR BY EMAIL" yet people still fall for the old scams.
<snide aside>If you want a good demonstration of fiction, look up the weather forecast for the rest of the week - you will find as many different forecasts as there are forecast sites, and when Saturday rolls around you'll see they were generally wrong.</>
"those who're proposing such internet laws only just managed to learn how to get online and now they already think they know enough to force everyone to use it their way." - or maybe "WTF d'you mean I can't silence my critics?" and "who the hell is this 'anonymous' guy?" and so on. I can only imagine that to a control freak always-must-have-his-own-way pocket-lining politician, exposure to what the internet offers beyond the usual sanctioned gov websites much be a shock bordering on unmitigated horror. People can, like, TALK. Freely. Openly. And "butthurt" is one of the politer expressions. Hey Mr. Politician: yes, they're talking about YOU and planning your downfall...feel free to read and chip in when you figure out how. ;-)
"This is why we're against government trying to control the net."
I'm against it basically because they just can't. A while back I received an offer for a free ebook about how to beat your wife so it won't show. No, I didn't report it to the police, the mail headers point to the message originating in Russia. So I might get the police asking me a lot of questions about how I came to receive such material (it was sent to the address I use for usenet posting on comp.sys.acorn.* !) and given it is out of the country and out of Europe, that's about as far as it will go. So I deleted the message with all of the rest punting viagara and prescription medicines. Governments have been largely powerless to do much about that junk, so I figure it'd just be another item to add to the FAIL pile. Of course, I do get a tickle when some twit politician comes on South Today to talk about regulating/enforcing/controlling The Internet and I'm thinking short of baking NetNanny into all connections into the UK, does this guy even have a clue what he is on about?
Re: Being "insulting" should not be illegal in its own right
"Being insulted is a matter of personal beliefs, interpretation and state of mind" - this is exactly it. There should be some common ground where the only sane solution is to shrug and say "shit happens"...
It should not be an offence to call somebody a moron in the heat of the moment, any more than it should be an offence to tweet something akin to "if they don't get the goddamned airport running soon I'm gonna blow the whole place up!". The person has made a regrettable faux pas, but they are letting off steam, not directly insulting me or making a bona fide terrorist threat.
The law, and the resources of such, should be left for cases where messages can demonstrate harm ("john is a useless plumber, I wouldn't trust him to fix a leaky tap" - could cause loss of earnings [note: doesn't need to PROVE such loss, just demonstrate that it may affect his business/reputation [subnote: unless can be shown to be true!]]) or make accusations ("my sicko pervert neighbour is a kiddie-fiddler") which, likewise, are more directly intended to be damaging and harmful.
Here's the question, I guess. Was said message intended to cause harm and damage, or is somebody just being a twat and shooting off a string of insults because they are annoyed? It happens. Today I had to make a special journey (40 miles round trip) to sign a piece of paper because the sales rep when I changed my phone contract omitted to verify that all the paperwork was all in order. I thought of quite a number of choice insults to throw at him, but I kept them in my head. If I have a grievance about his lack of competence, it is that that I would be on about, not him as a person. Justified? I would say possibly. Insulting? Possibly. Illegal? Don't be ridiculous.
Re: Get your terminology right!
You WOULD say that if you had an idea that you came up with on your own and invested your life savings in, only to be clobbered so far into bankruptcy that you'll spend the rest of your life stacking shelves...thanks to a company you've never heard of who makes nothing and owns patents so broad they could apply to a mobile phone or pushchair equally.
""DeFazio, I don't know what this goddamn organic stuff is, but if these people will stop bothering me, I'll vote for your amendment."
Words fail me. Surely as an elected representative, your DUTY is to find out what your constituents are on about, not to say " I'll vote for it if they stop bothering me"...
Copyright or sales?
"Think users don't care about copyright? Time to think again. The spectacular fallout from Instagram's photo landgrab continues."
It seems to me that it isn't so much a matter of copyright so much as 1, somebody else profiting from your work (I wonder how many would stay if they were offered a slice of the action), and 2, the work may be used in a way or for a cause that the creator disagrees with. Thankfully the creators have copyright on their side, but I can't help feel that it might have gone a lot better if Instagram had set up an opt-in scheme where they act as image brokers and everybody gets a cut of the pie...instead of a big ol land grab.
Re: I just created this account to say this...
Sweet gods - it's <insert food here>!
Any fool can cook stuff badly. You can do a prime steak in a microwave. However, those who appreciate our meat, rice, food will want to do it properly. This isn't being ped pedantic or anal, it's just not being willing to put up with rubbish.
Re: Reg hack uses site to raise beef with BT?
"BTW, arse end of nowhere = 70km from London, 4Km from a town of 60,000 and 10Km from a town of 80,000."
No, no, no... Arse end of nowhere is 1km from a "town" of 250, 7km from a town of 1000 and about 20km from a town coming close to 10k; with 4.7km of ancient overhead (1960s) line between you and the exchange, surrounded by nothing but muddy fields.
Orange France used to offer me 2mbit down and 256kbit up. A couple of months ago this was (artificially?) limited to 1.8mbit down, but the upload now runs closer to 700kbit.
So, considering this, it sounds like BT should be ashamed of themselves...is the UK a third-world country or something?
American law fail
How to stop this dead in its tracks...
I have two cards with (different) French banks.
CARD #1 - For *most* online purchases (notably not Amazon.fr), the transaction pauses with a verification screen. In the little box, I need to type not a password, but a code sent to my phone by SMS. This code also tells me what the transaction was for (in case it wasn't me). I can only change my registered phone number by logging in to the bank (and responding to the SMS it sends to the old number), or talking to the bank in person if my phone is stolen or damaged.
CARD #2 - Will not work, online, at all. I have some software that generates "virtual" cards which are authorised for a specific amount and a specific length of time.
I think a bank that permits you to use an insecure card for on-line purchases globally is a bank to avoid like the plague...
I dunno why I'm wasting my time replying to somebody that isn't even up to putting their name beside what they say, but...hey, I guess I'm bored.
"Firstly, how do you know how much the creator receives? I suspect you in fact don't, but are relying on "common knowledge". So the whole thing is based on supposition." - that's right. People sign contracts, but don't tend to want to discuss said contracts.
I can name you a bunch of well paid movie stars. I can even name some bit players in B-movies. But with notable exceptions of scriptwriters who got famous in their own right (the Joss Whedons of the world) and directors who tend to write their own stories (the James Camerons of the world), I can't name you one single scriptwriter.
"It's also worth pointing out we're talking about the movie industry today, which is a completely different kettle of fish to the music industry, but hey." - it is easier to talk about the music industry for two reasons; the first is simplicity as in many cases the composer and the performer are the same person (at least, for the stuff I listen to) and it is simpler to find information on how much a person would receive based upon a standard contract. Let me ask you - if you are watching a film based upon a Japanese film based upon an animé (or manga) based upon a light novel, who the hell is the "creator"? There are so many fingers in the pie that it is going to be difficult to determine who to call "creator". Logically it would be the author of the light novel, but maybe a lot of the character designs were devised by the manga/animé team? The Japanese movie would then jiggle the story to better fit the duration/constraints of a film; and the Hollywood remake would ditch all the stuff that wouldn't make so much sense to an American audience and stick in things they think would be better. Who's the "creator" now? Who has the most influence on the final product - the scriptwriter, the directory, or the editor? That is why I referred to music. It's simpler to discuss.
"Secondly, what is a few pennies divided by zero? The creator goes from receiving something to receiving nothing. It isn't right, as OP said, so why argue the point on this basis? If you don't pay, you are rejecting the principle that people should be paid for their work." - I'm tempted to call you penny wise and pound foolish. You have rather missed the point, so let me outline it for you. If I buy an album, at full price, and the actual creator receives a few pennies, in which screwed up version of reality is this right? The difference for them between a ripped off download of an entire album and a legal purchase is around 50p (if they wrote) and a quid (if they wrote and performed). Per song, we're looking at 5-10p apiece assuming ten songs on an album. Now think about how much you pay for a song download, and for an album. You seem to believe it is sufficient to say that people should be paid for their work. The point I was getting at was that people should be paid fairly for their work. Important difference - without them there would be no product, so why does the credit card company receive more than the songwriter? [go read the Guardian article linked on the second page of comments]
"Thirdly, year after year, people still voluntarily enter into such contracts with the recording industry, without coercion. It may be a shitty deal, but presumably it's better than no deal, which is why people sign." - you might find this interesting: http://www.negativland.com/news/?page_id=17
"Someone with neither the talent nor the opportunity to make that choice, and with no particular insight into the costs involved in promoting an artist, seems ill-qualified to determine what is or is not a shitty deal anyway." - if you are referring to me here, then you are right that I have neither the talent nor opportunity to look to accepting or rejecting a recording deal. I can, however, read. Allow me to quote from the Guardian article: "Regardless of what royalty rate he's on, Skinner will still have to cover all recording and promotional costs from his share of the income.", and if that isn't enough to convince you that the musicians/band cough up for a lot of the stuff out of their share (just what is the purpose of the label if they don't take on some of these costs!?), the negativland article lays it out quite clearly. It is depressing.
"The people making the most noise on this are in fact the pirates," - the pirates are the ones that lobbied congress in the US for the fee per stolen song to be $150K? The pirates are the ones that confiscated a child's laptop for a failed attempt at an illegal download, with the thing in question subsequently purchased legally before said confiscation? The pirates aren't the ones claiming that $58 billion per year is lost to the US economy (and this $58-lots-of-zeroes applies only to the US, scale it up for global damage) - though as Rob Reid points out, the claimed losses due to piracy - this $58b per year, is on par with the entire maize crop failing, plus all of the fruit crops, plus, well, pretty much all of the crops failing. [ http://www.ted.com/talks/rob_reid_the_8_billion_ipod.html and http://blog.ted.com/2012/03/20/the-numbers-behind-the-copyright-math/ ]
"who have an endless barrage of crappy self-serving excuses for behaviour which they know damned well is immoral," - funny, it's the same whatever side of the fence you look. Either way, the creator gets shafted.
"of which "well we're not depriving the artists of *much*" is perhaps the shittiest. If recording artists really are on the bread-line, as you imply,". Lesson one: understand the concept of "irony". Lesson two: understand the concept of "sarcasm". Then try again.
The point, as it obviously needs to be stated again and again to you is how little the artists receive from our purchase.
I dream, and hope, of a time and place in the future where digital downloading will be simple, affordable, and not tied up with licence bullshit [you have a song, I have money, who gives a damn what countries either of us are in]. A track will cost, say, 50p. 10p will go to the hosting service provider. 10p will go to the transaction handler. About 30p (how much would the VAT be?) will go to the band/artist. That is per track. They'll be looking at around £2.50-3 per album sale, which is surely better than the current standard arrangement. You'll notice that the record companies are not even mentioned. This probably explains all the screaming, wailing, and gnashing of teeth from them at the moment. They'll want to resist the option of musicians selling directly to their fans with every fibre of their being. It's just a shame they are so shamelessly fucking up "copyright" in the process of rescusitating their dying business model.
"If you get a pirated copy of a movie or scrape the MP3 sound off a YouTube clip for your music collection you know full well you have done something that isn't right because the creator doesn't get a penny for this."
Your post was doing well until this point.
If I scrape a song from YouTube, the creator misses out on a few pennies from me. However, if I buy the album legitimately - the creator receives a scant few pennies from me, which is a pretty shitty deal on a fifteen-twenty euro purchase.
The people making the most noise are invariably not the "creators".
So many little bits of this article I read just the other day...
Re: I'm waiting for the black LED
Dammit, it's the runny nose that's the deal-breaker for me...
Re: Bored of Blue LED now!
"A neighbour has what appears to be a matrix of powerful blue LEDs (or lasers) in his back garden. Presumably an intruder detection system."
Um... FAIL? Surely the point of sensors is that they see you before you see them - hence the bank heists in movies using special vision goggles and spray-can smoke, etc... I mean, what good is pointing out the security system? That'll just tell potential burglars where to avoid - like land mines with little pink flags on top...
BTW, FWIW, I like blue LEDs.
@ Doug S: "Perhaps I'm missing something, but I fail to see how having the red signal on the bottom makes any difference whatsoever to whether it can be obscured by snow."
Fow what it is worth... here's why red comes at the bottom (as previously noted by a commentor, I'm just giving you a pretty picture to look at <g>):
Re: ...spend “is not proportional to its effectiveness”
"and if you want any evidence of shoddy coding I suggest you watch what happens when you power up your Windows work machine after a week's break."
Go on, tell me, what happens. Because I'm pretty sure I went in, pushed the power button, and waited for the usual startup stuff to complete... nothing extraordinary, nothing blew up, the time was even correct. Wow.
I've had my old XP machine come out of hiberate after EIGHT MONTHS with no unexpected effects. The only quirk was it fiddled the time zone for summer time, and a tooltip popped up to tell me of this.
So, your point is?
Those sites that require you to create a profile before they'll tell you how much they're going to hit you for postage. That's the point where I close the tab and instruct Firefox to "forget about this site". All they need to know is the postage method (SAL, EMS, courier, etc) and the country...
Re: Every one already?
"no waste heat means no ability to melt snow**" and "** Something that has to be considered here."
This problem was solved eons ago on the railways. Red, being the most important signal, goes at the bottom. Cannot be obscured by a heap of snow, unless the snow rises to the level of the signal in which case it is unlikely the line will still be in use.
Example photo: http://s3.freefoto.com/images/23/30/23_30_91_web.jpg
Re: Second Life?
"Go through all your pretty female friends and actually ask them if they ever play games, from Angry Birds through to MMOs. You may be surprised at some of the answers :)"
My Facebook feed (not that I ever read it more than once a fortnight) is frequently polluted with status updates from my manager and their scores on some marble bouncing game. I read that, then I see her at work and try to suppress a smile. "You're, like, mid-40s, married, with kids, why the hell are you wasting time on Facebook's games?!". That said, it seems to be the females more than the males in my "friends" list that play these things, sometimes getting quite competitive about it. And the older women kick the younger ones asses regularly.
The demographic of who uses and enjoys this sort of stuff might surprise people...
I like my eeePC 901!
Runs Windows. And a bunch of development stuff. And a RISC OS emulator with full dev kit for that. Plus plenty of songs/animé on a 32Gb SD card. It didn't cost a lot, it is small enough I can pop it into a backpack. It runs for ages on its battery. And I can use it in the car on rough country roads without worrying about trashing the harddisc going over potholes and the like (BTW, I'm not the driver, before anybody wonders...). Although, to be honest, it's main use is to sit on my stomach while I'm in bed so I can watch movies and generally be a lazy lump. (^_^)
I know its specification is not the best. I had to up the memory to 2Gb to get Firefox and Thunderbird running side by side without stuff falling over. It isn't up to H.264 HD (but can cope with HD XviD okay). I can't say about games as I'm not really a games person. It runs VisualBasic and various other compilers without too much struggle. I figure it might take the machine a little longer to do things (like transcoding to XviD for recordings from my Android phone) but, you know, it is older slower hardware. I live with it.
One of the very best features, by far, was the adaptive WiFi when my older Livebox only offered the b/g types. The eeePC 1001 I got my mother, and both of my Android phones, would lock in at 54mbit and stay there. Given this is a rural property with metre-thick stone walls, it is quite feasible that I can be in my bedroom approximately eight metres away from the Livebox, and struggle to get any sort of connection. The 901, however, would adapt, dropping the speed as low as 2mbit and raising it as conditions require. This is less of a problem now that my newer Livebox offers b/g/n and the other hardware seems to realise that it too can adapt, but even so my phones don't live to go below 65mbit. My eeePC, side by side with the phone, is running at 13mbit. Guess which one can stream reliably and which one cannot.
All in all, I have been very happy with my netbook; and when its is time for an update to newer hardware, I will have to search around for something that offers a reasonable specification in a form factor as close as possible to that of the netbook range. I accept that netbooks were not for everybody, however for those who took to them, they will be missed.
Re: Petraeus now makes sense
Surely work-related email would be more sanitised than that, like not available outside the CIA buildings and/or logins tracked (with the possibility of rejection if logged into by an unknown device - hell *Facebook* can do that much!).
Or is the reality that your average spook has POP3 with a cleartext passwords...god help 'em if a spook loses their smartphone down the back of somebody's sofa!
Re: To Cloud or not to Cloud, that is the question
""Limiting yourself and avoiding cloud will put you at a disadvantage in terms of flexibility and adaptability and in business potentially lose your competitive edge." - possible, but is moving your data handling to the "cloud" a contributor to competitive edge?
"The customers are choosing with their feet and purses as many major historic bricks and mortar brand approaches have already found out to their peril. Take Blockbuster video, once the darling and now the gone or surviving against Netflix and lovefilm serving up online movies. Take Tower Records gone against the online music world, books stores, Kodak photography and many more join this throw." - , specifically one that puts these failures down to not being in the cloud rather than just a general failure to modernise (ie Kodak - sticking with chemical film in the face of digital offerings and then thinking "uh-oh"), or mismanagement. Unrelated points don't make another point, y'know!
"AFAIK, you cannot allocate objects on the stack in Pascal, which is a major deficiency, performance-wise."
Errr... Wouldn't this depend upon the ins and outs of the architecture upon which the language was running as to whether it preferred registers or stacking stuff?
That said, if we burn a hundred cycles, say, retrieving something that another language might have stacked for a cost of, say, 20 cycles... That's 80 cycles. On a 2+GHz processor. I'm just making up these numbers as I'm an ARM guy and I know very little about x86, suffice to say at today's clock speeds, I would imagine the choice of a good algorithm would make more impact than whether or not stuff can be stacked...
Re: I Call Bullshit
"I don't know where to start on this.." - I do. What he said (points at article author).
"Your Macbook HD with its 2-3 warranty is more reliable than multiple server farms spread across continents? Are. You. Fucking. Kidding. Me." - it doesn't matter dick if the server farms have quintuple redundancy and zero-fail processor platforms and [insert buzzwords here]... if the service is down, it is down, and there's nothing you can do to get at your data.
Both of the big players have had downtime this year. The author's Mac hasn't. And, for what it is worth, my little ol' three year old eeePC 901 hasn't let me down either. I have a stack of Japanese horror films pulled from YouTube to watch over Christmas, and I intend to.
But... wait... this isn't the sole issue here. If my eeePC died, or the guy's Mac died; chances are we'll have backups, copies of core important stuff on SD cards, Bluray, and tape, or whatever. The downtime than will be in getting a new system set up. In my case, I walk into the room beside me and purloin the computer I got my mother as a short-term measure. On the other hand, if you entrusted your precious data to the cloud, then what's your rescue plan? You own offline backups? Do you have any? If so, why are you even bothering with the cloud?
"Techies will steal your music? You understand what you're talking about is not the same thing as a Best Buy employee ripping off your iTunes content right?" - I'm not sure if a techie would be interested in the greatest hits of Abba, but I bet if something rare turned up, copies would be floating around before too long. The temptation is there, the traceability is weak, it's only a matter of time...
Having said that, I think the point of the article was in turning your collections and preferences into money. You know, like Facebook is "monetizing" (I hate that word!) all the blather going on between people. Or how Instagram tried (and failed) to sneak a change into their Ts&Cs allowing them to make money off of user uploads. What's to say a cloud service wouldn't - when it feels it needs cash - try their own modifications of contract. Your choice? Take your gigabytes elsewhere, if you can find somewhere suitable.
"That explaining you lost your job because you were definitely caught stealing client data is not a great way to open a job interview" - assuming of course the issue isn't buried. The admin who does will probably lose his job but it will happen amically, for what service wants to be slagged off in the media for allowing this sort of thing to happen?
"And I guess you chose your residence wisely, because a year with no super storms causing power outtages for weeks on end" - what, are you in a third-world country or something? Even following hurricanes, the power has been back up within a few days... in those unfortunate times when it goes down at all (we rode out last Christmas' hurricane that felled the pine in front of the house without anything more than a few brownouts).
"But are you 100% certain you can rely on your local substation next year or the year after that?" - don't see why not. But nobody can be 100% sure of anything. Apparently you stand a better chance of being hit by a meteorite than winning the EuroMillions. Funny, people regularly win the lottery, but you'd think all these people getting struck down by space junk might, you know, make the news. Knowing my luck, tomorrows draw will be won by somebody else (not me) and instead the gloopy Birds' Custard between my ears will be splatted by a rock from a galaxy far far away.
The local substation, however, will continue unaffected.
"Delete your data? What fantasy land do you come from? [...snip...] Cloud server administrators cannot and absolutely will not deliberately delete your files." - yeah, actually, they could deliberately/accidentally delete it. Accounting says "get rid of user ID 128489348" only one of those eights was a 3. Bang, your stuff has gone. It could be restored from a backup, but that takes time and effort and you'd first need to argue with the droids that your stuff got wiped while they all look for plausible deniability. Didn't somebody's Flickr account get nuked and it wasn't until a public media roasting that they actually dug out the backups? [yes: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/02/04/flickr_lesson_for_cloud_customers/ ] Well, makes one wonder what would have happened if this hasn't gone public/viral. Would they have just said "oh well, (y)our bad"?
"and then just as quickly restore them again because, like I just mentioned, they have more than one server. Spread out across fucking continents." - bollocks, bollocks, and even huger hairier testicles... Do you really think all these servers across fucking continents are all storing multiple copies of your data? Oh, yeah, if you pay tens of thousands a month for the service then I'm sure that is true. To use a lower end (or free) service to store a collection of LPs, the most you can hope for is a RAID array at your specific server and backups that you pray are kept off-site. There are no multiple copies on servers on other fucking continents because those servers are full of other people's shit.
"No hackers want one of two things." ... somehow you've grabbed entirely the wrong end of the stick. We're talking about security and reliability. I know that the Chihiro Onisuka collection on my computer and phone is mine. To get to it, to alter or delete it, will be either my cluelessness (but I have multiple copies), hardware failure (ditto), or physical intrusion/theft (and, to be honest, I doubt a Japanese singer is going to appeal to the typical thief).
As soon as my data goes into "the cloud", I can no longer say for certain that I know exactly where it is or what copies may exist. If there is a file that is dubious in amongst the collection, be it a ripped movie or a copy of something like the terrorists handbook, I cannot even say for certain what legal jurisdiction this would fall under. If I have some "how to make a bomb" file because in bad taste I thought it was amusingly bad and I upload it to a server and that server is located in the US, could this be enough to get me extradited as a suspect terrorist? Can you guarantee to me that such a thing would be impossible? At least when files are kept local to me, I only need to concern myself with the laws of my own country, not the caprices of... you say there are data centres around the world. Do you know where? Do you know how their jurisdictions operate?
Another thing to consider. I don't know if it is true or not (never looked) but apparently Amazon MP3 downloads are tagged with an ID embedded into the audio itself. This ID refers back to your user account. This is their nod to letting out unprotected music. A sort of "be responsible". I'm okay with that. Now let's say you upload some songs to MegaMegaCloud and there is a leak (bad admin, security flaw, hack, the reasons don't matter). Your MP3 turns up on SmokinHotMP3Rips.com and, hey, guess what, this ID points to YOU. It is YOU people will come to. After all, YOU are the one who took the music given to you for your private use and uploaded it god-only-knows-where. You can point your finger at whoever you want, but the scary child-laptop-stealing goons will be pointing their fingers at YOU.
I see, I really see the attraction of digital music. Both of my phones and my computer are loaded up with the things I like. I can listen to them all, or by theme (via playlist), I can listen in sequential order or "random". And if I'm besotted with a song (<cough>Yuki Kajiura</cough>), I can listen to it lots of times over and over without wearing out tape or stylus or running batteries flat in an hour like with portable CD players. I can pause, rewind, set loop points, all the sort of fluff you'd expect in a modern audio player. Heck, I can even apparently stick album images into MP3s though I've not quite figured out how.
What I don't see is the overriding attraction of The Cloud. All it seems to me is to be way out if you're too cheap or lacking in competence to set up and manage your own private data system. Hell, mine is a reject 1GHz box running XP. It acts as a NAS with Windows shares and VNC server. Drop the files onto the harddisc, and burn off a DVD or two. Copies on line if I need 'em, plus backups. Depending on your data needs, it can be so simple as to be funny. For the author's LPs, it'll require something a little more complicated. But, you know, you start small, you scale, and you keep control. Both of the data, and how it is accessed. You cannot 100% guarantee (home incursion, fire, flood, EMP weapon) but then you could say the same for the data centre...
Re: Does anyone use the Amazon App (sic) Store
I tried to install an app as a test for my blog. I got charged €0.00 which I find bizarre. The app downloaded, failed to install with a message that didn't even think to suggest a reason. No obvious way to reinstall (other, I guess, than to try "buying" it again). It's still on my account that I installed this app. Lots of redraw bugs, things that were confused or unclear, an a market app that ran like treacle. [SonyEricsson Xperia Mini Pro; Android 2.3.something]
And that's what they considered suitable for first release.
I duly deleted it, haven't been back. Life's too short...
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