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UK Copyright Reforms Legalize Back-Ups, Protect Parody

OliWarner Re:Also interesting for what they missed out (68 comments)

What would you have? Just make DRM illegal on purchase-model sales? It won't change a thing. That whole model is being killed off.

The problem is that all content providers (even software) are moving to a model where you're not buying your license, you're just renting it. These sorts of arrangements are the sole good commercial reason for DRM but as we're seeing, it's ushering in a new wave of anti-interoperability. Yesterday's DRM-ripping problems won't be the problem tomorrow, it's the good old favourites of vendor lock-in, price gouging and tariff manipulation.

Perhaps all content provision needs to be regulated like a utility. Unbundled so the services that get it to you aren't competing for different content.

about 2 months ago

Wave Power Fails To Live Up To Promise

OliWarner Hold the front page... I have a new headline... (198 comments)


But seriously, this has always been the case. It costs you ten to a thousand times the amount to build something in the sea than it does on land (depending on depth) and then there's the human cost of maintaining it.

I'm certainly not saying it's impossible or undesirable, it just hasn't reached the point where technology and our abilities make it worth doing yet. And this isn't a chicken vs egg issue. Even without building tidal turbine systems, people are still doing underwater engineering. Progress is still being made.

about 2 months ago

Whole Foods: America's Temple of Pseudoscience

OliWarner Because somebody thought of the Children (794 comments)

I think most people would be happy for creationists to go on believing whatever the hell they want to believe. Or at least we would be except they're trying to insert The Bible as a data point in the science classroom. They're actually trying to undermine the teaching of science which will undermine tomorrow's teaching of science and before we know it we don't have science, we just have a Bible.

Whole Foods is marketing BS. They deserve the same fight and to come up against regulation (in the EU/UK they'd be forced to withdraw health claims they can't prove) but on the whole, a consumer being conned is not as important as the next generation of scientists not knowing scientific rationale.

about 9 months ago

OpenPhoenux Neo900 Bills Itself As Successor To Nokia's N900

OliWarner The keyboard is fine! However, the screen... (111 comments)

A lot of people complain about the keyboard but frankly, it's a lot nicer than no keyboard and it's compact. It's enough for quick script writing and SSH. I speak from experience. On the other hand, the screen is dire by modern standards. The resistive touch sensor is great for stylus use but bad for fingers. The battery is awful.

To resurrect the N900, it needs more than just new innards.

1 year,25 days

20-Somethings Think It's OK To Text and Answer Calls In Business Meetings

OliWarner Re:Wtf? (453 comments)

I don't know how you work but if somebody took a call *in* a meeting and made the whole room wait while they dealt with their problem, I'd have words with them. If they did it more than a couple of times, they'd be looking for a new job. Answering a phone call in a meeting is both disruptive and rude, regardless of its importance. If you need to answer it, you quietly make your excuses, step out and then you answer it. If you're in the middle of talking, you yield to somebody else to take over. Anything else is wasting multiple people's time.

The the only exceptions I can think of are if the call is integral to the meeting (live results, conference call, etc) or it's the boss and they know you're *in* a meeting. It's their cash. They can spunk it up the wall if they want to, but I'll still step out to take it. Erm. So to speak.

Tapping around on your phone is slightly more excusable but that does really depend on how much your engagement is required and it can still be considered disruptive. I would mind if people were writing emails. Assuming the person holding the meeting isn't a complete attention-seeking nutbag, there's probably a reason you're in the meeting otherwise it would have been an email.

1 year,26 days

Talking On the Phone While Driving Not So Dangerous After All

OliWarner Re:Explain This (418 comments)

It's your responsibility to have told her to shut up and let you drive. Yeah it's not always a palatable option but most people get it when you explain you're sitting in a 1-2 ton missile on wheels controlled by you and you're finding it hard concentrate on the road because of their incessant whittering.

about a year ago

Talking On the Phone While Driving Not So Dangerous After All

OliWarner To the talented drivers replying to this... (418 comments)

You might have iron concentration, others do not. You might be a super stunt rally driver, others are not. It really doesn't matter how good a driver you are, there's invariably somebody out there who's worse; somebody who can't walk and chew gum. That's who these laws

Do you really want your doddery old neighbours taking their eyes off the road or using what few brain cycles they have remaining to think about a phone conversation? I wonder if your answer would change after they mow you and your kids over.

And say you and your doddery neighbour are both on the road in the same place and are both on the phone. Are you still focussed enough on the road to avoid an accident? Are you really that good? What if the office has just rung you up and they're asking you a difficult question? There's a swerve up ahead. Still focussing on the road?

I don't understand why people are trying to apply "I'm the best driver, so this shouldn't apply to me" logic to this. Driving is a fucking miracle. We hurtle around the world in these massive wheeled machines that we control with mere twitches. One wrong twitch and we're dead. One wrong twitch and we can very easily kill many other people. How much concentration are you really going to split out so you can have a conversation?

I can't believe common sense is going to take a back seat to shitbag studies like this based on data like free minutes, when every other study worth reading (including those based on actual call data, eye tracking, brain activity metering and hazard avoidance) points that having a conversation (even one handsfree) is making you a significantly poorer driver. You might not cause a crash but you might not be able to avoid a collision that you would have otherwise.

And what about people sitting in the car? Yeah, they're a distraction too but they're also another pair of eyes. If you've got kids flipping out in the back, get off the road and sort it out. It's not as easy to legislate against these but if you have an accident and it can be proven that you were driving an unsafe vehicle, they should throw the book at you. As a driver, your car is your responsibility. If you can't swallow that, get off the road. Some of us are trying to drive safely.

about a year ago

New Technique For Optical Storage Claims 1 Petabyte On a Single DVD

OliWarner Optical density, schmoptical schmensity! (182 comments)

Supersnore. It's another year and another story about 1000-sublayer thick DVDs using multispectral lasers to fit ALL the DVDs on it. But how many of those make it to market? How robust is it? How much does that media cost?

I've been reading stories like this for 20 years and I still get little-girl-meets-Bieber excited when I think about being able to back up to just one disk... But it never happens. Spinning rust remains the cheapest and most convenient mass-storage device.

about a year and a half ago

CIA Director David Petraeus Resigns, Citing Affair

OliWarner Re:care less (401 comments)

You mean it means the exact opposite of what it says?

Even though Great-Great-Great-Grandfather Coward was too stupid to work out he was saying, we don't have to parrot it. We could say "oh, that's a silly thing to say", and use the language with a modicum of respect.

about 2 years ago

Team Fortress 2 Beta Patch Adds Files Referring To Linux Support

OliWarner Re:Are we going to get this worked up every time? (58 comments)

Yes but once. Maybe twice.

We've been wetting ourselves every few months for the past 18 months as dribs and drabs about this have leaked out.

more than 2 years ago

Team Fortress 2 Beta Patch Adds Files Referring To Linux Support

OliWarner Re:Are we going to get this worked up every time? (58 comments)

Or we look like a bunch of hyperactive, incontinent children. I'm happy leaving that stereotype for the Apple superfans.

more than 2 years ago

Team Fortress 2 Beta Patch Adds Files Referring To Linux Support

OliWarner Are we going to get this worked up every time? (58 comments)

Valve are going to be pushing a lot of these changes in the coming months because they can. Now they have L4D2 working on Linux, making the other Source engine based games Linux-compatible is likely only going to be a case of changing a few variables and hitting the magical Build button. And why wouldn't they push everything they could and sell a load more Orange Box bundles?

Anyway, my point is as Linux users we shouldn't wet ourselves every time we grep the latest binaries for instances of "linux" and find something new. It's happening.

more than 2 years ago

Apple and Samsung Both Get South Korea Bans

OliWarner This does seem a little one-sided... (216 comments)

I'm certainly no Apple fan and this might be deliberate by way of judicial finding but Samsung definitely has the better deal coming out of this spate of bans:

  - Samsung has their old-generation stuff banned from sale.
  - Apple has their current-generation stuff banned.

To me it seems like Apple are the only people walking away from this with a ban that means anything.

more than 2 years ago

Fathers Pass Along More Mutations As They Age

OliWarner Or maybe... (131 comments)

... They'll pass on super-powers!

But seriously, who thought that leaving something like fathering a child would lead to fewer or the same number of mutations? Everybody who's everybody knows age and telomere shortening leads to a higher rate of mutation... That's why if we didn't otherwise get killed, wear out or otherwise malfunction, we'd eventually die from all the cancer.

more than 2 years ago

Watchdog "Not Ready" To Probe Cookie Complaints

OliWarner Re:A Solution ... (166 comments)

That's certainly an idea but consider it from the website owner's point of view. They're already making their website less competitive (globally) with annoying pop-over nonsense. Some websites actually don't work until you've explicitly agreed to have cookies (a poor interpretation of the law, IMO).

What do you think a user is going to do if they have to sit through a five minute, hell, even a 30 second political complaint before they can even use the site? Well, if that site, like many sites, has a billion competitors - the user can go back and click the next site on the Google listings. That's what I do when a site isn't doing what I explicitly asked for, or doesn't load fast enough.

No, most websites in the EU are doing as little as possible to draw clients attention away from the product; inferring "implied consent" with a cookies link somewhere on the page is a common design metaphor, maybe a position:fixed link-image in a corner. Otherwise it's business as usual, thankyouverymuch.

What surprises me most about this story is that there are actually complaints in the first place for the ICO to investigate. Why don't people have better things to do with their time?

more than 2 years ago

Game of Thrones The Most Pirated TV Show of the Season

OliWarner Re:Seems to me that's at least 35 mil in lost reve (312 comments)

Completely agree but to extend this, you have to make it available to everybody, at the same time, at the same price, anywhere in the world.

A lot of piracy stems from people not waiting to wait days while US fans are backflipping in ecstasy about the latest episode. Or they just can't get it. Personally, I'd have to subscribe to Sky and then Sky Atlantic and then buy the HD upgrade. All so I can receive 900 channels I don't give a flying toss about and one where there's 10 hours a year worth of programming I'd like to pay for. I'd be paying £360 a year, just for a season of GoT. Something isn't right with that.

If you ignore the problem and stagger international releases (or don't provide them), people are going to turn to what's easiest: torrents. The faster media companies recognise that the internet, its netziens and their commercial demands are all international, the quicker they'll make a superbuttshitload of money.

$1 for mobile/SD. $1.50 for 720p. $2 for 1080p. Even if you say only 50% buy a copy, that's still tens of millions of dollars you wouldn't neccessarily be getting otherwise.

more than 2 years ago

New Firefox For Android Beta Released

OliWarner Didn't you get the memo? Maemo is dead. (107 comments)

As much as I hate to say it (as a N900 pre-orderer), the N900 is dead. The community is split between fourteen different forks and forks of forks and most of its users seem to have moved on to more popular devices (Android and iOS - I doubt too many bought another Nokia/WP7 after what Nokia did with the N900).

Anyway all these together make for a rather unwelcoming development platform. You can't blame people for dropping it.

more than 2 years ago

HP Shows Off Power Over Ethernet Thin Client

OliWarner Re:But... (202 comments)

Probably could play it over Onlive (et al).

more than 2 years ago


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