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Two Birmingham Men Are Arrested By UK's New Intellectual Property Crime Unit

Peet42 "thousands of jobs" (201 comments)

'Intellectual property crime is already costing our economy hundreds of millions of pounds a year and placing thousands of jobs under threat, and left unchecked and free to feed on new technology could destroy some of our most creative and productive industries.'

Technically speaking, as some of the people selling these DVDs at car boot sales etc. use that as their main or only source of income, enforcement puts thousands of jobs under threat. It all comes down to a value judgement of whose job you think is more important - the guy letting you get a cheap copy of "Game of Thrones" with Chinese subtitles, or the several layers of middle management in the "Entertainment industry" responsible for the enforcement of DRM.

about a year ago
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Barnes & Noble Won't Give Up On the Nook

Peet42 Re:nook Tale of woe (132 comments)

Because I needed the device to be "stock", so if she took it into her head to return it to B&N under warranty without consulting me first they wouldn't distress her by refusing to service it. (She lives a long way away from me, and I'm housebound with no transport of my own, so once it's in the post that's the last I'll see of it...)

1 year,6 days
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Barnes & Noble Won't Give Up On the Nook

Peet42 Re:nook Tale of woe (132 comments)

Next time, visit XDA-Developers before calling support.

If you read some of the other responses upthread before posting, you'll see that while I would be happy to do that if I was using it myself, as a gift for my 87-yesr old Mother I had to leave it unhacked in case she ever sent it back directly for servicing under warranty.

1 year,6 days
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Barnes & Noble Won't Give Up On the Nook

Peet42 Re:nook Tale of woe (132 comments)

it is enough to put a SD card in it to have all the space you want for your books and documents

True. Of course it would mean spending the cost of the machine again to get the extra space that was originally advertised. (Assuming around £30 for a 32GB micro-SD)

1 year,7 days
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Barnes & Noble Won't Give Up On the Nook

Peet42 Re:nook Tale of woe (132 comments)

Root it

Oh, if I was buying it for myself that would have been my fiorst option. But as it weas a gift for my Mother I had to allow for the fact she might return it directly under warranty.

( you can make B&N books that way with a PC...)

I probably can. My 87-year old Mother, however, is a tad less technical. I had to uninstall "NoScript" from her web browser because every time it gave you the "Donate" tab on startup (about once a month) she would write a panicked letter to me telling me her computer was "broken again".

Basically, if the device needs any configuration at all after it leaves my hands she won't even attempt to use it. From all the marketing twaddle the nook seemed to fit the bill, but reality fell short.

1 year,7 days
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Barnes & Noble Won't Give Up On the Nook

Peet42 Re:nook Tale of woe (132 comments)

HUH?!? I don't have any windows machines in my house, and I have no problems with any of our nooks. This doesn't match up with my experience at all. I connect the nook to my linux computer with the cable provided, and load whichever epub files I want.

I was specifically trying to download DRM-laden files from the B&N store that I couldn't find from alternative sources such as Gutenberg. (e.g. a book of all the names on the gravestones in Banff graveyard published sometime around 1860...) It was the promise of these files that led to my buying the thing in the first place, as they would not have been available on a Kindle. Except, of course, once I'd jumped through the hoops to "Authorise" the machine and tried to download them I found that I was geo-blocked from doing so.

And I'm not going to Root a device I'm giving to my Mother as a gift in case she ever has to return it under warranty.

1 year,7 days
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Barnes & Noble Won't Give Up On the Nook

Peet42 Re:nook Tale of woe (132 comments)

Not my experience. I tried it under several WINE versions using PlayOnWine.

1 year,7 days
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Barnes & Noble Won't Give Up On the Nook

Peet42 nook Tale of woe (132 comments)

I bought a nook Simple Touch for my Mother's birthday. It seemed like a good deal (reduced from £80 to £30 for "London Literacy Week") and there were numerous books listed in the "free content" from the 1800s that had been published right next to where she lived that would be of interest to her in her Genealogy hobby.

From the start I was annoyed by it - you couldn't activate it to use in any way without first associating it both with a working Credit Card and an active email address. As it was going to be a surprise I had to go to the trouble of setting up a separate email address just so she wouldn't be tipped off by the (non-optional) "purchase notifications" it sent to that address every time you added a book.

Then, there were the restrictions. 80% of the storage was reserved for DRM'd material - if you downloaded restriction-free files from Gutenberg or similar you could only fill 20% of the provided storage. Oh, and remember all those "free" books I researched before buying it? *Every one* on the US site refused to download saying that "For copyright reasons this content is restricted to US downloads only". Even though I was in Scotland, and the books were published in Scotland, *in the 1800s*...

Oh, and the clunky DRM support requires you to run a piece of third-party (Adobe) software to "authenticate" the device that's not available in any form under Linux. I ended up having to download and install a pirate copy of Windows just to be able to initialise the machine! (I feel so *dirty*...)

There turned out to be a much smaller selection available on the UK site. Of those, maybe one in six would fail to download and crash the machine. Barnes and Noble "fixed" this by deleting the files remotely, and proudly emailed to say the problem had been "resolved". Er, no. "Resolved" would have been for the books to be in a condition to be read on the device that was purchased to read them - anything else doesn't qualify as a "resolution".

The device itself died three weeks into setting it up, and it took the best part of *two months* to get a replacement. (From their factory in Poland...) Which was dead on arrival. At least the next replacement took less than a week. And then I had to set about loading all the books from scratch.

Oh, and the "local number" telephone support was a very faint woman with a Canadian-sounding accent over a bad VoIP link with a 2-3 second delay. But you don't need to worry about that any more, as since I had all these problems they've withdrawn the support number entirely and now you are forced to use "Live Chat" on the wensite during the hours of 9am-6pm. *Their* time zone. Which translates to 5pm-2am where I live.

So, now it works. Except that as my Mother doesn't have a Credit Card I've had to leave it registered with mine. And something like 80% of the "Front Page" you get when you turn it on is something that will lead to you spending money if you click on it. I've had to simply scramble the wi-fi settings so it can't communicate to purchase *anything*. If they'd been a bit more subtle about it I might have left her with the option of buying new books, but as things stand their money-grabbing philosophy has backfired.

Sorry this is such a long rant. The really annoying thing, above all else, is that when it works it works really well - the touch screen is extremely responsive, the battery life is good and if they didn't screw you with the hellishly intrusive DRM I would have been happy to pay two to three times as much for the hardware.

1 year,7 days
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Ask Slashdot: Best Way To Destroy Hard Drives?

Peet42 From past experience... (1016 comments)

...the best way to guarantee that a drive will immediately become permanently unreadable and unrecoverable is to put the only copy of some really important data on to it, and let nature do the rest. (What? Doesn't nature hate you too?)

more than 2 years ago
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HP TouchPad To Be Liquidated At Fire Sale Prices

Peet42 Damn Amazon (368 comments)

When the "fire sale" hit the UK I dashed around the web looking for somebody that would supply me with two. Amazon dropped their prices and at the same time set the status to "Temporarily out of stock, but place your order anyway and we'll fulfil it as soon as possible." (I paraphrase)

I ordered two and waited. Today they emailed me to say they had cancelled my order because "no stock was available". Except they are *in stock* on the very page I ordered from, just with the price bumped back up to £200+. And because I stopped looking when Amazon accepted my order, I missed out on getting them anywhere else.

Damn Amazon.

about 3 years ago
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Apple Sues Samsung Over Galaxy Phones and Tablets

Peet42 Re:Again? (465 comments)

Both of them stole their ideas from the Xerox PARC.

more than 3 years ago
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FBI Releases Document Confirming Roswell UFO

Peet42 Re:Great news! (481 comments)

I read it as the part that says "An investigator from the Air Force stated" having been part of what the "informant" said, assuming the redacted "By:" at the beginning was the name and address of the informant. Thus, we only have the informant's word that the person they are talking about was an official "investigator", and IIRC as the Roswell "incident" predates the final combining of the two services, shouldn't it have been the AAF (Army Air Force), not the Air Force who were investigating, as it happened almost on top of one of their bases?

more than 3 years ago
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FBI Releases Document Confirming Roswell UFO

Peet42 Re:Dwarf test pilots (481 comments)

The US Government could weather the storm of a few animal-testing protestors, but any government that was in office when they revealed that they had killed children to see if a plane would fly knows that, even though they didn't actually do it, they would be out of office in a flash and never allowed to return. It's the kind of secret that could never be revealed.

more than 3 years ago
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FBI Releases Document Confirming Roswell UFO

Peet42 Re:Suspicious timing (481 comments)

The story went away completely until the National Enquirer published a plea for people to submit their memories of "the incident" and be paid for any that were "Interesting" enough to publish. I think that was 1971 or 1972.

more than 3 years ago
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FBI Releases Document Confirming Roswell UFO

Peet42 Re:Dwarf test pilots (481 comments)

Actually, you're not so far off one of the more interesting "oddball" theories.

Lets assume that something happened. There was a communication blackout, the local undertaker was asked to provide three child-sized coffins and thereafter the Army Air Force claim that nothing happened.

The "oddball" theory is that a scaled-down test plane, manned by children crashed in the desert. Can you imagine the US Government ever admitting to that?

more than 3 years ago
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FBI Releases Document Confirming Roswell UFO

Peet42 Re:Great news! (481 comments)

Indeed. The fact they say that no further investigation happened tells you how reliable they considered the "informant" to be.

As an aside, I find the "style" a little too informal for an official 1950 government memo; it reads like it's been edited by a tabloid sub-editor, which sounds like just the sort of source that would have an interest in sending the FBI off on such an investigation.

more than 3 years ago
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Britain's Oldest Working Television For Sale

Peet42 Re:Do they still work? (108 comments)

I was just discussing this with a friend last night - apparently you can buy off-the-shelf Freeview (DTV) tuners that output 405 lines VHF, purely for keeping "vintage" televisions working. They're not easy to find, but they're out there.

more than 3 years ago
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Britain's Oldest Working Television For Sale

Peet42 Re:Doctor Who (108 comments)

And it was dreadful, as every close-up of the "vintage" TV sets showed the RGB shadowmask of the colour monitors they had stuck inside them.

more than 3 years ago
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Proposed Standard Would Address Video Buffering

Peet42 Re:Ahem. (118 comments)

Perhaps it's a UK/US thing. To me here (Aberdeen) you always download from a remote location, and upload to a remote location. Thus, when you have a person at each end, whoever you ask the same person is always "uploading" and the same person is always "downloading" - it depends on the direction of data flow, not the relative size of the machine. By your definition, there's no term for peer-to-peer data transfer when both machines are identical.

more than 3 years ago

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