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* Posts by Murphy's Lawyer

25 posts • joined 16 Mar 2010

Amateurs find the 'HOLY GRAIL' supernova – right on our doorstep

Murphy's Lawyer
FAIL

Re: Sub-heading?

Too late! [Evil_grin]: https://twitter.com/murphyslawyer/status/426113205459382272/photo/1

Very glad it's 11.5 million LY off - a mere 12 LY would not only ruin everyone's day, it would reduce the Solar System to highly ionised particles of toast.

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Gay hero super-boffin Turing 'may have been murdered by MI5'

Murphy's Lawyer
Trollface

Right assassins, wrong motive

Alan Turing wasn't murdered for being homosexual, they thought he was about to publish a P=nP proof and thus open the door to eldritch horrors from beyond space-time, who find us crunchy and tasty with ketchup. (According to Charles Stross' 'The Atrocity Archives'...)

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YES, Xbox One DOES need internet, DOES restrict game trading

Murphy's Lawyer
Big Brother

Thank you, Microsoft

That's made me feel a lot better. I certainly won't be buying an Xbox One, with its HAL 9000 overtones; and haven't touched Sony since they infected PCs with rootkits on fake CDs (though I did waver because the PS3 was niiiiice, then they took away the opportunity to install Linux because OHMYGOD IT COULD BE USED FOR PIRACY).

Yup - I'm smug and happy with my Wii U for niche fun games, and my PC for the hardcore stuff. Cheers.

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Infinite loop: the Sinclair ZX Microdrive story

Murphy's Lawyer

Happy times with a Microdrive

I only picked up a Spectrum in 1984, but it was a bumper "sale pack" with an Interface 1 and two Microdrives

Two things made it incredibly useful: a piece of third party software "guaranteed" to format a cartridge to 96k, and Romantic Robot's Multiface 1, which dumped the Spectrum RAM to Microdrive and let you restore it later. For games with no save point, or awful copy protection like Elite's "Lenslok", or just going back a couple of days in "Doomdark's Revenge", it was almost indispensable.

When I finally got rid of the Spectrum, I had over 50 cartridges, and had only two die on me. For all that it was a kludge, the Microdrive served me well.

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Ebook price-fixing: Macmillan settles with DoJ, Apple fights on

Murphy's Lawyer

Re: Sod the lot of them

"People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices."

Adam Smith, the Wealth of Nations, 1776: and a quote you never, ever find the privatise everything government is evil libertarian fruit bats making.

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Coming soon to a theme park near you: Shocking ANTI-PIRACY NAG ADS

Murphy's Lawyer
Pirate

Re. "You wouldn't steal a car"...

Damn right I wouldn't. That's the Motion Picture Ass. of America's job, as Kim Dotcom and his missing Porsches will testify.

I can and will skip advertising at the front of a disc. On a PC [1], VLC is your friend. On the player in the living room, I "steal the movie" by making popcorn in the kitchen while the ads are running.

[1] Yes, and one of Apple's shiny, shiny beefed-up tablets with a keyboard but no way of upgrading even the RAM.

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Google's ethics, cosy UK.gov chats under Westminster scrutiny

Murphy's Lawyer
Flame

Potential investors believe the UK "government hates copyright", according to Heath

Government does not hate copyright. Government is very fond of copyright, ie a temporary, limited monopoly designed to promote science and the arts and benefit society as a whole.

What Government is rightly suspicious of is:

- people who claim that copyright is an inalienable/human right (it isn't)

- people who demand that copyright terms are extended indefinitely (which would damage human civilization)

- idiots who think copyright is a licence to print money (only sometimes, and only if you're smart enough)

Government also (surprise!) listens to people who actually pay [1] for music, films etc and then get told that it's illegal to make personal copies for when the disc starts to rot or gets scratched, and wonder what the point of paying for stuff in the first place was. It's not just about listening to big company bosses while week-ending on their expensive yachts, you know...

[1] That's right, pay - as in the "yours to own on DVD" campaign run by Very Large Entertainment Companies. Not: "licenced to run on equipment that we dictate, which we can withdraw at any time, and if we think you've broken our 98-page T&C we'll sue your sorry arse into oblivion".

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Metric versus imperial: Reg readers weigh in

Murphy's Lawyer
Pint

No, you must also include the International Standard for suckage: the Lovelace (1 Lovelace being of course, the force in dynes required to draw a sphere massing e Troy ounces along a perfectly fitting tube at a constant speed of pi attoparsecs per microfortnight).

I'm surprised that nobody remembers that one...

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SurfTheChannel Brit movie pirate gets 4 YEARS' PORRIDGE

Murphy's Lawyer
Pirate

Selling copies of the Mona Lisa would be legit...

Leonardo da Vinci died in 1519. Even if the Statute of Anne had been published prior to his death, rather than in 1710, the current "life +70" copyright would have expired the year after the Spanish Armada.

Taking pixel-perfect copies of Damien Hirst's work and selling them, on the other hand, would be more problematic; though it would probably be cheaper just to use a kids' spin art machine like Damien does. Allegedly.

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IP law probe MPs hunt for smoking gun, find plenty of smoke

Murphy's Lawyer
Pirate

“I feel there’s a chasm, a conceptual chasm, between the view of IP as a property right, which is recognised as such by UK, European and global law – it’s yours, you own it, you can trade off it – versus the other conception of copyright as a regulation, something that trips consumers up, and therefore the less of it there is the better,"

Then there are arseholes like this (http://www.wired.com/wiredenterprise/2012/05/rockstar/all/1)

"Called the Rockstar Consortium, the 32-person outfit has a single-minded mission: It examines successful products, like routers and smartphones, and it tries to find proof that these products infringe on a portfolio of over 4,000 technology patents once owned by one of the world’s largest telecommunications companies."

Or this (http://www.petapixel.com/2011/11/15/luma-loop-camera-strap-killed-off-after-patent-awarded-to-black-rapid/)

IP isn't just something to trade with, it's a weapon to be used against competitors when they infringe, frequently unwittingly because the process is so fracking obvious it should never have been patented, or there's prior art that invalidates the patent; but it's too expensive to defend yourself in court.

IP needs to be cut back to what it was originally created to be: a temporary, limited, government granted monopoly to allow creators and artists, if they are clever enough, to get financial rewards from their work. IP's fetishisation into a God-given/basic human right of absolute control which should be extended to the heat death of the universe will only harm creators and the public alike.

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Martha Lane Fox hits caps lock, yells at small biz websites

Murphy's Lawyer
Coat

Reg readers of a certain age will remember a radio programme featuring Michael Bentine, Spike Milligan, Peter Sellars and Harry Secombe, which was initially announced as the "Go On" show.

Mine's the coat with the batter pudding in the inside pocket...

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Warner Bros boss moots 'disc-to-digital' scheme

Murphy's Lawyer
WTF?

Media company doublespeak again

So Warners' definition of "rent" is physical media you purchase and can play in any machine that recognises it, while "buy" refers to bits and bytes controlled by them as to how and when you watch it (provided their servers aren't down or they decide the service isn't making enough money so they close them down leaving you with unusable files).

To quote the wabbit: "What a bunch of maroons!"

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Apple takes smartphone lead

Murphy's Lawyer
Flame

In other words...

One company (Apple) is still selling more smartphones in the US than all the companies selling Android smartphones put together.

That's sort of impressive.

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UltraViolet: Hollywood's giant digital gamble is here

Murphy's Lawyer

Sounds like it might pass the test...

...of letting me see the digital copy before my DVD ripper of choice has done the same job.

Every other "digital locker" system I've tried has failed this test up to now (yes, that's a whole integer greater than zero...)

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Ten... Blu-ray disc players

Murphy's Lawyer
Trollface

Why would I not buy a Sony PS3

Because I think Sony are evil:

1. They reserve the "right" to cripple the hardware you've bought (removing the ability to run Linux on the PS3).

2. They installed rootkits on PCs, opening them to hacker abuse (DRM on "music discs" falsely sold as CDs)

3. They don't care about their customers (Standard response to PSP owners whose screens start showing lines is "fix it yourself")

I won't say I'll never buy a Sony product again, because never is a very long time, but it's been five years and counting so far.

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Film studios thrash BT in Newzbin site-block test case

Murphy's Lawyer
Joke

"Things were so much better when people could only listen to what was played on the radio to them"

You evil advocate of piracy you! Don't you know that radio stations play valuable intellectual property lovingly crafted onto 78 shellac discs that have only been licenced to be played in the home to family members only? The record industry will perish, I tell you, perish...

Sorry, I've just been told by the Edison company that 78s are in violation of their patented wax cylinders which are obviously the right and proper way to listen to recorded music, so...

Ah, a telegram from the makers of player pianos pointing out that Edison's wax cylinders are killing their business and that hundreds of poor people paid 50 cents a day to punch out the piano rolls will be thrown onto the streets...

But what's this? It's eminent composer John Philip Souza proclaiming to all and sundry that the player piano will KILL OFF LIVE MUSIC and NOBODY WILL LISTEN TO AN ORCHESTRA EVER AGAIN!!!1!

And so the depressingly familiar pattern continues: the entertainment industry continues to prefer to throw more and more money at keeping their cosy little monopoly than they'd ever spend working out how to adapt to a changing world.

I shed no tears for NewzBin, but I fear for the original small film-makers and musicians who will be hit by big business who regard themselves as the One True Way to sell entertainment to the masses, and have just been handed a large, legal sledgehammer to do the hitting with.

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Spielberg flung Fox from Transformers 3

Murphy's Lawyer
Joke

You are Megan Fox...

...or her agent. Either way, I claim my £5.

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Brits won't get PSP price cut, says Sony

Murphy's Lawyer
Headmaster

It's Sony...

After flogging honest consumers "music discs" with rootkits, and arbitrarialy removing what PS3 owners can do with kit they've bought, they're on my "boycott for life" list.

(Goes back to infantile DS handheld...)

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Top Ten Retro PC Games

Murphy's Lawyer
Coat

Lords of Midnight

Yes, it was available on the PC - and there are genuine retro versions available with enhnaced graphics.

Same goes for "Doomdark's Revenge", which had me up until 3am on a regular basis (oo-er, missus: getting me coat now...)

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Christian group declares jct 9 on M25 cursed

Murphy's Lawyer
Jobs Horns

Good Omens (Neil Gaiman / Terry Pratchett)

Chapter 1 reveals the Dark Secret behind the M25. Looks like the evanjellybaby mob has been confusing this with Holy Writ, or possibly the "Left Behind" series.

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Gulf spill to annihilate all earthlings, says seer

Murphy's Lawyer
Jobs Horns

BLUE HADES want a word with you...

...and I don't think it's pronouncable in any language known to humankind.

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GCHQ imposes Whitehall iPhone ban

Murphy's Lawyer
Black Helicopters

Three reasons the spooks don't trust the iPhone

1. It runs as root, and anyone with a software kit can get access to that,

2. Until Apple released the 3GS, they programmed the iPhone to lie to servers that encryption and VPNs were switched on when they weren't, owing to power consumption problems,

3. You can fit a metric shedload of documents into 32GB.

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LaCie Rugged USB 3.0 portable hard drive

Murphy's Lawyer
Flame

No bloody good...

If it comes with the usual crap PSU that dies just after a year and costs about as much as the drive to replace.

Yes, I do have a LaCie drive I can't use at the moment. How did you know?

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2012 Olympic mascots cop a shoeing

Murphy's Lawyer
Gates Horns

Now that's original

Geek opinion on the Intertubes is divided as to whether the designers were "inspired" by the Binomes from the CGI TV show "ReBoot", or the Dingbots from Phil and Kaja Foglio's web-comic "Girl Genius".

I have a small bet that at some point either Mainframe (who produced the show) or the Foglios will be sued by the Olympic committee for retroactive plagiarism.

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LibDems drop net blocking, blame activists

Murphy's Lawyer
Pirate

Not that hysterical

"It is incumbent on those who are absolutely dead-set against this kind of measure to demonstrate just how these new models can be set up unless there is adequate protection against copyright infringement"

There is already adequate protection against copyright infringement. It's called copyright law, and it sets out dos and dont's, and penalties for infringement.

Copyright is a balance - an agreement - between creators and the public, monitored by elected representatives, whereby creators can get paid for their work for a limited time after which the work falls into the public domain and people can do what they like with it. That's how Uncle Walt made millions with his re-telling of Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, et al: he didn't have to negotiate with the Brothers Grimm or their descendants.

Some (not all) copyright holders feel this is unfair, and they or their legal successors should be the sole arbiters of how their work is used, and how much should be charged for it, in perpetuity. To that end, they are seeking to destroy copyright as it exists and replace it with a system of continuous nickel-and-dime licencing.

As part of that process, they are also seeking to kill any distribution channels they cannot fully control, so as to force creators to use their distribution channels.

I really don't think Lilian Edwards is all that hysterical. There are very few people in power who even know they are expected to balance the effects of copyright between creators and the commons.

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