23 posts • joined 9 Jul 2007
I appreciate this is massively off topic, but I'm a freelancer for Retro Gamer magazine (http://www.retrogamer.net/back_issues.php) and I was wondering if you got my email asking about your early coding days on the PET 2001? I sent it to a googlemail address which I suspect you may no longer use, but if you did get my message and don't have the time or inclination to reply then I totally understand. I thought I might as well ask here though since you seem to be a regular, cheers, Rory.
For what it's worth...
As a Scot I used to get annoyed by the "All Scots are mean" stereotype as I am personally anything but. Not that I'm perfect by any stretch of the imagination but I'm not mean.
I've also never understood how our generally accepted reputation for hospitality fits in with being mean either.
Over time though it became apparent that the stereotype is one of those that is never, never, never going to change so these days my opinion is "f**k it".
RE: Mostly drivel and poor analogies.
> What basically comes out of this article is that the author doesn't like PHP. That's about it.
To be fair, his parting shot does make it clear that he doesn't like MySQL either. Mind you, not sure if it's MySQL users he doesn't like, MySQL itself or both.
Wow, think this is the first article I've read on the Reg that could pass for a post from a troll.
RE: On the other hand.
"Self-righteous BS about how piracy doesn't "cost" anything."
Piracy is a form of robbery. Robbery is forcefully stealing something from someone. Stealing is taking property belonging to someone else with the intention of permanently depriving them of it. Therefore file sharing isn't piracy -it's copyright infringement which is a civil offence not a criminal one. More importantly it's a civil offence that's technically very hard to prove someone has actually committed as has been made clear in previous comments.
"The obvious thing to point out is that games cost money to develop and the business model for developing those games relies on the system of copyright"
The business model relies on the fact that a certain number of people have enough disposable income to buy the games that are produced. As long as the games are good and are well marketed then they sell well enough to make a profit.
Obviously the business model does not rely on people with very little disposable income. This tends to be the type of person who heavily file shares. If file sharing disappeared tomorrow it's not like this part of society would suddenly start buying games by the barrow load instead of sharing them: they couldn't afford to.
"As for the solidity of the case, I can't comment, but I suspect that if your machine really has never had Kazaa etc. running on it then you're not going to have a problem, are you?"
Of course you are going to have a problem. Never having "Kazaa etc." on your machine doesn't mean a thing. That's why comments above cover the inherent insecurity of wireless networks as well as multiple machines sharing the same IP address. I won't even go into the legal implications of a company snooping on someone's online activity, never mind using the end result of that snooping as evidence in a court. Even if it is a civil case.
"I don't think you've got anything to complain about when you get your ass sued by copyright holders."
I'm old enough to remember when it would have been unthinkable for the average person in the street to be sued or indeed for them to sue someone else. Now even if someone's stupid enough to slip on something in the super market they sue them. In short, suing has just become a clever way for lawyers to make more money despite the fact no criminal law has been broken. That's a pretty sick way to make a living in my opinion.
But what about the story on Zdnet.co.uk in April?!?
I'm now very confused having read this article as a story on Zdnet.co.uk seemed to suggest that the EU had already voted against disconnecting file-sharers in April?!?
The piece is titled "EU votes against disconnecting file-sharers" which I would have said is pretty definitive, here's a link to it in case anyone missed it.
Can the EU really just vote to do one thing one month then decide to do the exact opposite a few months later?
Fibre to the premises.
I stopped using BT for telephone calls some time ago for all the reasons others have given above, poor service, couldn't-give-a-s**t-attitude, etc.
If I got five minutes alone with Ian Livingston and could give him one piece of advice before he starts his new job it's that if he wants to keep myself and many others using BT (either retail, wholesale or both) for broadband then he really needs to start making the right noises as regards fibre to the home and office.
Time was BT was the only affordable broadband option for those not in cabled areas or connected to a LLU exchange but now that the major mobile phone companies are offering broadband services with half decent speeds at competitive prices BT could really see their monopoly crumble.
I know everyone is by now sick of the whole "who will pay for upgrading the last mile from copper to fibre" argument, I know I am. We'll just have to see how that one plays itself out, but that's not what I'd discuss with Mr Livingston.
What I'd discuss is a new policy for fibre and a new approach altogether. What I'd suggest is that as soon as it's technically and financially possible that all new connections to an exchange be made using fibre optic cable rather than copper. I know it used to be the case that copper was cheaper that fibre but since that isn't the case any more then that particular argument is gone. Ok, I'm sure there would be costs at each exchange where this was done but BT are a big company that make big profits year on year. Put it this way, I'm sure it wouldn't bankrupt them. It would certainly cost a fraction of the amount that upgrading all the old copper to fibre would cost.
My other advice would be that BT finally admit publicly that copper has had it's day, even if some of us are going to be stuck with it for years to come, just say what every tech savvy BT customer has known for years: fibre to the premises is far, far superior to copper. Then I might actually have some respect for the guy. I might even consider remaining a BT customer.
RE: BT break-up
"But wouldn't BT Wholesale still be monopoly, a la Network Rail."
Well, no. They would be in competition with Virgin and various mobile broadband providers as they are now. But they wouldn't have BT Retail pulling the strings as they have now.
"I wouldn't expect the railway track to improve if we paid a 'line rental' to Network Rail, so why shoul a spun off BT Wholesale be different."
If we paid a 'line rental' to Network Rail we would automatically have all sorts of consumer rights under the law that we don't have at the moment. Wouldn't this constitute an improvement of sorts?
"would the public prefer mobile broadband(initially slower than fibre, but due to improve over time)?"
Unfortunately the laws of physics bugger that theory up. Sure mobile / wireless broadband will improve over time but the speed of light (the medium fibre optics use) will always be faster than the speed of radio waves / microwaves. In short fibre optic broadband will always win out over mobile / wireless in terms of speed.
"will we all realise that, for the moment, youtube capable home bradband pipes are fat enough for most non El Reg types?"
Youtube capable pretty much translates as first generation broadband (512k and upwards). Given the move towards higher quality, longer length video that has been gathering momentem throughout the year I don't honestly don't think first gen broadband is enough for most non El Reg types.
RE: Trains and Railways
"Yup, The Trains and Railways business model is ideal for a national service.</sarcasm>."
But splitting up BT wouldn't be anything like splitting up British Rail. Why? Because we pay one charge for network upgrades / maintenance (i.e. line rental) and a second separate charge for phone calls. A train fare is now and always has been a single charge which is spent by whom ever collects it in whatever manner they like. Post split anyone with a phone line connected to the BT network would still pay line rental to BT Wholesale ensuring that consumers as well as ISPs would be treated as paying customers.
So it's not really the "Trains and Railways" business model at all.
A re-nationalised BT is an interesting idea though. How about it's re-nationalised, upgraded to fibre then retail and wholesale get sold off seperately by the government. Legislation could be passed stating that any prospective buyer of the resultant wholesale company would not be allowed to provide services over their newly aquired network thus avoiding any kind of new monopoly.
RE: BT is not the problem.
"BT offered to make all local calls free - Ofcom said no that would be monopolistic (because no-one else could do it)"
"BT offered to Fibre everyone in the UK but only if they could become a TV provider (like Virgin/SKy all the cable companies) but no that would be a monopoly ..."
You hit the nail on the head there. BT only offer to improve things if it's on the understanding that they will hold a monopoly over said improvements. God forbid that they might have to compete on open playing field, after all they have share holders to think of!
BT needs to be split up. Properly. Not one company with two divisions but two separate companies. One that owns the network. One that offers services over the network. Until then they will always have a monopoly and things will only improve at a snails pace.
"I would be happy to pay a LITTLE bit extra on my bb subscription to make the music indstry SHUT THE HELL UP"
Me too. While we're at it how much to get the film industry to stop bloody whining? And if we throw a little something in the games industry's direction is it at all possible that at very least they might stop denying distribution of games they produced in the 70's, 80's and 90's?
Did anyone else read this and think the date the price hikes kick in was a little suspicious? Don't people sometimes behave a little "fool"ishly on this date? Is it possible BT actually have a previously unknown sense of humour? Is my full spot button broken meaning that I have to end every sentence with question marks instead???
RE: arguments over consoles
Yeah I've never got arguments over consoles either. I guarantee in 5 or 10 years time gamers will be quite happily playing 360, PS3 and Wii games on their PCs via emulators and judging each game they play on it's own merits regardless of which system it was originally designed for.
"I like to see high standards, but not pious wankership."
Can you get a t-shirt with that on? Made me laugh anyway...
Bit of a shame...
I wouldn't mind so much if the digital equivalent of a polaroid camera (digital camera + printer dock) came as an all in one job and didn't cost so much more to buy than it's analogue counterpart. Call me a luddite if you must but every now and then I happily trade mega pixels and crystal clarity (my expensive digital cam) for cheap and cheerful, effortless portability (my battered but still much loved polaroid cam). Let the old fart comments commence...
I always thought piracy was defined as "stealing for profit".
If you copy something but leave it in the possession of the rightful owner - say you photocopy a mate's book then give it back to them - then you haven't stolen the book, your mate still has it. If you then read what you've photocopied but don't sell it to anyone then you haven't make a profit.
Copying and installing software on to your PC is exactly the same deal: nothing is stolen, no profit is made, therefore it's NOT piracy.
Is it copyright infringement? Is copyright infringement illegal?
Is copyright infringement law fair? Is it realistically enforceable in the dot com age?
Open to debate.
"woudn't have bought it anyway"
To be fair to Liam if he downloads a movie, game or song that he would never consider paying money for under any circumstance then technically the film, game or music industries haven't lost out financially in any way.
If he downloads something that he would otherwise get his wallet out for then obviously that affects various peoples earnings up and down the supply chain but if as he says he only downloads stuff he wouldn't pay for then I can't see what financial loss there would be.
To put forward an often suggested solution to the whole downloading argument stalemate why don't ISPs charge each of their customers just a little bit extra every year and pass the funds raised to a central organisation for fair distribution to the various creative industries as payment for all the copyrighted files downloaded. This would be similar to the system used to pay musicians whose music is played on radio stations around the world. It's been in operation for decades, seems to work perfectly well and keeps those who make the music as well as those who listen to it pretty happy.
Of course lawyers have to pay for their sports cars somehow so I don't expect this to happen anytime soon.
RE: Sir Ben as a baddie?
Slightly off topic but he was pretty much signed up to be one of the villians in Spider-Man 3 before the character he was going to play was effectively removed by an executive producer.
Dr Who's gain is Spider-Man 3's loss I say.
Did anyone see that film incidently? If not I'll just say it was a little short of being one of Hollywood's masterpieces. Spider-Man vs. Ben Kingsley though, that would have been worth watching!
FAO: David Corbett
"It was a fucking typo - I was too quick on the 'Post Comment' button after changing "What nationality does it say on your passport?" to "What nationality is stated on your passport?".
Don't be so sensitive, have a sense of humour, you just made yourself any easy target for me to poke fun at.
"Jeeezus, I'm starting to hate the 'moaning Scot' types almost as much as I hate the 'little England' types..."
I suppose I'm just not the type to shut up and put up with things.
"Oh, and for the record I'm Scottish. But guess what, I'm also British (just like it states on my passport). Is that alright with you, Rory-boy?"
I'm fine with you or anyone else being Scottish and British, none of my posts have suggested otherwise. I myself consider my nationality to be Scottish, I base this on the fact that Scotland is the nation I was born in. If an argument is made that Britain is a nation rather than an island housing 3 nations then by definition Scotland, England and Wales must be something less than nations. That's not an opinion I hold or will ever hold. If someone calls me British or puts British on my passport in reference to the fact that Britain is the island I live on or calls me European or puts European on my passport because geographically I live in Europe then I can live with that, I wouldn't have a huge smile on my face but I've been called worse names. Just as long as they realise that I will always consider my nationality to be Scottish and nothing else but Scottish.
Re: This English / British issue..
"Though i think it's mostly a pointless conversation, because those English living there are British, just as the scottish, Welsh and Northen Irish are - regardless of which part of Britain they live / were born / have some vague claim to belonging."
The rest of your comment makes perfect sense but the above paragraph misses my point. It goes without saying that the English "incomers" living in Brittany can be described as British - but since they are exclusively English then the article can be more specific by describing them as such. If for example we were talking about a group of exclusively Italian "incomers" would the article describe them as Europeans or Italians? If we were talking about a group of exclusively Argentine "incomers" would the article describe them as South Americans or Argentine? The answer to both questions is obvious and takes no thinking about. Of course all articles could be no more specific than describe groups of people in relation to which island, continent or land mass they originate from rather than which country but it would be both ridiculous and confusing. Who could make sense of something like "today the leader of a country somewhere in Europe said they strongly disagreed with the fishing policies of another country somewhere in Europe" or "a statue was unveiled today celebrating the world famous 1966 world cup victory of a country located somewhere in Britain". If a certain percentage of people within the British Isles, Northern Ireland, the Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, etc. all describe their nationality as British then that's absolutely fine by me. If a certain percentage of people in France, Germany, Spain, Italy, etc. describe their nationality as European then that's fine by me too. But for the sake of clarification news regardless of which medium it's published in really needs to differentiate between a group that's exclusively English and a group who could all reasonably be called British but not English. The occasions when a differentiation isn't made is exactly why there is a recognised English / British issue.
"This wasn't even a Scottish/English issue... its a Breton/British issue... so why ask a stupid question then wonder why nobody gives you a sensible answer!!"
I didn't say it was a Scottish/English issue, read my posts properly. The article quotes someone as saying the "incomers" are English but has a headline that suggests they are Britons and quotes the Telegraph as saying they are Brits. English is NOT the same as British. England is one just one part of Britain. If the "incomers" are English as the woman who was interviewed suggests then that is one situation, if she made a mistake and in fact the "incomers" are a range of English, Scottish and Welsh people as the article's headline would tend to imply then that is a second situation. All I asked for was clarification. It's a perfectly reasonable question to ask and it's perfectly reasonable to expect a sensible answer. Incidently I don't expect perfect grammer but above b-movie zombie level would be nice. "What nationality does stated on your passport?" isn't even primary school level.
"don't expect your children to be able to afford the house next door without some sacrifice"
Something to bare in mind would be that (in general) areas with "cascading waterfalls, rolling countrysides or snow-capped mountains" will have a far lower average wage than that in built up, densely populated urban areas. In other words when large population migrations of well off inhabitants of major urban areas to smaller scenic areas occur this leads to local inhabitants offspring having to leave the area they have been brought up in as they can't afford to get on the property ladder. This isn't an introduction of diversity it's population displacement.
Re: Britons, English or Brits?
"It wasen't the English who did that, it was a Scotish King."
Learn to spell and I might consider addressing your "point".
"What nationality does stated on your passport?"
Learn a little grammar and I might consider addressing your "point".
Meanwhile from the lack of intelligent response to my question I suppose I'll have to live without knowing if the "incomers" in the article are English as the article quotes Linsey Widd from Scarborough as saying, Britons as the Article's headline suggests or Brits as the article quotes the Telegraph as reporting.
Britons, English or Brits?
So just to clarify, are the "incomers" in the article a) Britons, b) "a large population of English" or c) Brits? As a Scot I personaly wouldn't describe myself as any of the above but I realise us lot and the Welsh are often times seen as Britons or Brits by other nations. Just wondered what the facts behind the article are. Anyone know?