back to article I paid for it, that makes it mine. Doesn’t it? No – and it never did

I have misplaced Britain. A wicked entity has made off with an entire group of islands and all its inhabitants. "Try to remember where you last saw it," suggests Mme D helpfully. I think hard and it comes back to me: the last time I saw the ancient islands of my Celtic ancestry was a week ago, on Replay. I had found Britannia …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This is called "Goblin Ownership" the original maker (goblin) is the owner and anyone purchasing is only ever borrowing it.

    Streaming services are the worst though, You have to suffer because mum and dad are having a licensing argument again as part of their on going abusive relationship which you have to pay for the privilege of being part of, down with the streaming services and the douche bags whom run them. It pleasing that as money becomes a problem for most people these subscriptions are the first for the chopping block.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      You know you're old when...

      ...you see the phrase "Goblin Ownership" and think of the Goblin Teasmade. Whatever happened to Teasmades? Lovely idea. You could wake up to a nice cuppa to start the day. It'd all be cloud-controlled and subscription-based these days of course. Probably with pods...

      <Dodders off to put the kettle on, while mumbling about the good old days. I think there are some biscuits in the jar, too>

      1. brotherelf

        Re: You know you're old when...

        There's probably a dozen "maker" projects to build your own with an Arduino of some sorts, but to be quite honest, I'd never give anything that has been touched by my soldering iron control over more than 5W or so, and USB cup warmers notwithstanding, that won't brew you tea.

      2. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

        Re: You know you're old when...

        If you look at the wiring on some of those old Teasmaids, you will inevitably find yourself wondering how many people they have killed in their beds, before they came to be in front of you.

        1. Alistair Dabbs Silver badge

          Re: You know you're old when...

          Who wouldn't want to be awoken by a goblin teasmaid?

          1. Dr_N Silver badge

            Re: You know you're old when...

            The resort charge on those is outrageous though.

            1. Great Bu

              Re: You know you're old when...

              If you have never had a gobble off the maid in the morning you haven't really lived....

              1. Pascal Monett Silver badge
                Thumb Up

                Oooh, kinky !

                1. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
                  Paris Hilton

                  Sinderella - Pissed

                  Are you a goblin?

                  Well I was last night, but what I do in my own time is my business.

                  *Ex Mrs Oncoming Scorn was related to the diminutive one in the NSFW video.

                  1. TimMaher Silver badge
                    Coat

                    Re: “Are you a goblin?”

                    Man in little green suit:- “No. I’ve just got a headache.”

                2. TRT Silver badge

                  Some kind of joke about putting the lukewarm teabags on your partner's face.

          2. TRT Silver badge

            Re: You know you're old when...

            Ha. Reminds me of the old D&D joke...

            "Can anyone in the party speak Goblin?"

        2. Anonymous Custard Silver badge
          Boffin

          Re: You know you're old when...

          Personally I never really got past the concept of wanting stale 12-hour old water boiling (and spitting, steaming and generally making a racket if I remember the one my parents briefly owned) in close proximity to your sleeping head every morning...

          1. Kubla Cant Silver badge

            Re: You know you're old when...

            stale 12-hour old water

            I've got bad news for you. That water was probably delivered to Earth by a comet millions of years ago. It was probably zooming around on the comet for a while before that. I don't think an extra eight hours by your bed will make it much staler.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: You know you're old when...

              Hmm, add how many kidneys that water has been through and you'll never drink water again.

              1. Muscleguy Silver badge
                Boffin

                Re: You know you're old when...

                Kidneys are very efficient purifiers I will have you know.

                Yours a Physiology PhD

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: You know you're old when...

              that water is seriously quite OLD but typically quite potable... whether it is palatable depends on your region... should the areas that used to be cooler continue to warm as they are you may not like that sitting water as much... aside from the warm water not cooling you off the warmer climate offers a greater number of flying critters that like to spawn in your still water... mmm chewy protein infused water...

            3. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: You know you're old when...

              Well god knows a few years made everything else in my bed pretty stale.

        3. H in The Hague Silver badge

          Re: You know you're old when...

          "If you look at the wiring on some of those old Teasmaids, .."

          Yup, a friend of mine had one decades ago. One morning, half-asleep he reached for the teapot (metal) and the 240 V through his fingers woke him up very quickly. Luckily no permanent harm done.

          1. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge

            Re: You know you're old when...

            ....to the teasmaid?

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: You know you're old when...

        I've never heard of that expression, but a quick google search seems to imply that it's Harry Potter related. Didn't bother looking further

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: You know you're old when...

          I'm not a Harry Potter either, we had a manager that insisted on using Harry Potter references in emails and emails. Not exactly what you call clear communications!

        2. doublelayer Silver badge

          Re: You know you're old when...

          Yes, it is. The short version: a goblin made a sword, a person bought the sword, the person gave the sword to another person on his death, the goblins think it's their sword after the original buyer died and want it back. That's basically all the information provided on the disagreement, but it's implied it's caused other problems before.

      4. J.G.Harston Silver badge

        Re: You know you're old when...

        Yeah, a nice cup of tea made with milk that had been standing on your bedside table overnight. Wonderful.

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: You know you're old when...

          Milk in tea is optional undesirable.

      5. Totally not a Cylon Silver badge
        IT Angle

        Re: You know you're old when...

        I have 2 in the attic, don't know if they still work but should do.

        Very simple actually; alarm closes circuit to element in kettle, when water boils it starts to siphon out of kettle into teapot, when kettle is below a certain weight it tilts opening circuit to element, then wait for tea to brew (ideal time to nip downstairs to kitchen for milk to put in tea.....)

        Not usable in US due to not enough voltage from normal wall socker to boil water, (would need an appliance circuit run)

        1. Andy the ex-Brit

          Re: You know you're old when...

          "Not usable in US due to not enough voltage from normal wall socker to boil water, (would need an appliance circuit run)"

          We have plug-in kettles in the US, they just take twice as long as they would on UK mains. Wouldn't be a big deal for a Teasmade, the element could just come on five minutes sooner.

          A Teasmade wouldn't have been popular in the US because hardly anyone drinks tea in the morning.

          1. This post has been deleted by its author

          2. Stoneshop Silver badge
            Boffin

            Re: You know you're old when...

            We have plug-in kettles in the US,

            Yes, but the already feeble heating element in a Teasmade's kettle would only run at a quarter of its rated wattage when driven with 120V AC. Ohm's Law and such. The appliance circuit is to feed 240V to the kettle giving it a fighting chance to actually get the water boiling, which is essential to its functioning.

            Wouldn't be a big deal for a Teasmade, the element could just come on five minutes sooner.

            And with its synchronous-motor driven clock, the 60Hz mains frequency will provide for that.

            You just have to calculate how much you have to set the clock back every time you set it, to have it be 5, or rather 50 or 500 minutes fast (see above) for the cuppa to start brewing on time.

            A Teasmade wouldn't have been popular in the US because hardly anyone drinks tea in the morning.

            Still they saw fit to start a war of sedition over tea.

            1. Bebu

              Re: You know you're old when...

              >Still they saw fit to start a war of sedition over tea.

              More likely over the imperial tax on said tea.

              It never seems very clear in the various american "creation stories" that the war of independence was very much a rather nasty civil war.

              So one might assume the loyalists were content to drink their tea and pay the requisite taxes.

              1. midgepad Bronze badge

                Since it is about ownership and ephemera ...

                I recall a suggestion that the American revolt was also driven by people with a desire to keep breaching copyright.

                Their descendants have changed their view.

            2. Andy the ex-Brit

              Re: You know you're old when...

              What an odd take. Of course if they sold it over here they would adapt the design with an element made for 15 A @ 120 VAC so it would only take twice as long, and a clock made for 60 Hz. You may as well have said we couldn't use it because it would have the wrong plug on it!

              1. jake Silver badge
                Pint

                Re: You know you're old when...

                They are sold over here, but "supply chain issues" seem to have put a temporary halt on it. Yes, they are 120V@60Hz (Duh!). And yes, they take a trifle longer to boil, but considering what they are, all that really means is you set 'em to start making tea a minute or so earlier. To the end user, there is no real difference. Not recommended. They make awful tea, on either side of the pond.

                This is one of those tempest-in-a-teacups that the Brits invent to denigrate the Yanks. It would seem that this is all they have left. Just smile sadly, nod, and walk away.

                Or offer 'em a pint. Poor blighters could use one, and they are hardly the enemy.

          3. J.G.Harston Silver badge

            Re: You know you're old when...

            A Teasmade wouldn't have been popular in the US because hardly anyone drinks tea in the morning.

            Ok, a coffeemaid.

        2. Stoneshop Silver badge

          Re: You know you're old when...

          I have 2 in the attic, don't know if they still work but should do.

          Just two? That's the number of Teasmades out the open here (kitchen/living room, and guest room). There are another three still in a moving box or other.

        3. Bill 21

          Re: You know you're old when...

          Maybe send one of them to Big Clive to investigate the insides? Should be entertaining.

      6. G R Goslin

        Re: You know you're old when...

        The Goblin "Teasmade", was really a terrible product. There was so much mass and losses in the system, that the end result was a lukewarm, weak, cuppa with little strength, due to the lack of sufficient heat in the system. In addition to that, it did not need a 'wake up' alarm, since the thuds, hisses and various noises of pre-boiling water, woke you well before the alarm time. In addition to that the various sounds of the machine hawking up the last dregs of the hot water, would wake up all save the long dead. I still have mine, tucked away somewhere, not having found a use for it past the few weeks of it's use.

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: You know you're old when...

          All you need is the person sleeping next to you have to leave for work an hour earlier. Have them get up quietly, and make a cup of tea in a travel mug so it stays hot, and put it next to your side of the bed.

          This is the morning service my wife receives.

          Quite why she needs it to be Sven who sleeps with her and makes her tea isn't clear, perhaps he's better at putting the milk in.

          1. Nifty Silver badge

            Re: You know you're old when...

            "This is the morning service my wife receives"

            For some weird reason that phrase brought a smile...

          2. spireite Silver badge

            Re: You know you're old when...

            So, your wife also gets serviced in a morning then... but that's just the milk.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: You know you're old when...

          a use perhaps as a home defense cudgel?

        3. David 132 Silver badge
          Thumb Up

          Re: You know you're old when...

          So what you're saying is that it produced a liquid that was almost, but not quite, entirely unlike tea?

          You're sure it said GOBLIN TEASMADE on the side and not NUTRI-MATIC?

      7. martinusher Silver badge

        Re: You know you're old when...

        They're still around. I even have a 110 volt model. There's nothing like the sound of boiling water hissing and bubbling near your ear to pull you into full awareness.

        The idea falls flat when your missus decides she wants to only drink weak tea with lemon. Really weak tea.

        As for the other stuff, note that it isn't the 'creator' that owns the material, that's usually passed to some holding company. These companies play with leasing rights to such-and-such a reseller for a limited period, then the get retired or re-leased to another. IP musical chairs. Its a good reason for piracy except that its taking the crumbs from the widow's and orphans' mouths etc.

        1. hplasm
          Mushroom

          Re: You know you're old when...

          "There's nothing like the sound of boiling water hissing and bubbling near your ear to pull you into full awareness."

          And if you sleep though that.... BUZZZZZZZZZ!!!!!!!!!!!!

      8. Roland6 Silver badge

        Re: You know you're old when...

        >You could wake up to a nice cuppa to start the day.

        You can probably achieve similar with a regular Deliveroo delivery from Starbucks et all.

        Shame, the delivery won't be as consistent or your cuppa will actually be hot, and you'll have to actually go to the front door, but that's progress.

        1. AnotherName
          Facepalm

          Re: You know you're old when...

          Well it might have been progress until you suggested drinking Starbucks coffee - I hate the stuff. I understand that they spend huge sums to ensure a consistent taste all around the world. I just wish they would spend part of that cash to make it drinkable.

          1. Roland6 Silver badge

            Re: You know you're old when...

            >Well it might have been progress until you suggested drinking Starbucks coffee

            Well, I thought a big part of cloud (ie. off-premises) was to bring everything down to a common global denominator...

            Although, from my memories of working in the US, Starbucks is a big step up from the filter coffee that was so ubiquitous.

            1. MJI Silver badge

              Re: You know you're old when...

              What happens if you simply want a mug of tea?

    2. Gene Cash Silver badge

      I have a Breville Tea Maker here in the US. It heats the water to the specified temperature, then dunks the basket for a specified time. Quite nice. Much better than my shite attempts at making tea.

      It's also good for just heating water for oatmeal, grits, hot chocolate or whatever, as it's a lot faster than a kettle on the stove.

      1. Neil Barnes Silver badge
        Paris Hilton

        If you put an egg in the water, does it come out cooked?

        Inquiring minds want to know!

        1. jdiebdhidbsusbvwbsidnsoskebid Bronze badge

          "If you put an egg in the water, does it come out cooked?"

          If you get the water temperature just right, then yes. Apparently the white of an egg cooks at a slightly lower temperature than the yolk does. So get the water at a temperature in between and you can leave the egg in as long as you like and it will be perfectly soft boiled. Tricky to do in practice as the difference is only about 5degrees C, or something.

          1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

            Somebody in Silicon Valley/Roundabout is now working in a Kickstarter for the eggPod - a wifi enabled system that makes you a boiled egg to your personal preferences, for an outrageous monthly subscription and something-something-blockchain.

            1. Neil Barnes Silver badge
              Coat

              Here in Germany they'd have to sell it as the EiPod...

              1. Sam not the Viking Silver badge
                Coat

                I think that would be the Yorkshire version.

      2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        "a kettle on the stove."

        I don't think I've seen one of those since I was a nipper some 50 years ago. And they were pretty rare even then. Whistling kettles used on a gas hob. You'll occasionally see them around now, sold as nostalgia items along with "stove top" coffee makers. The US, being the "home of the labo[u]r saving gadget", it still amazes me that an electric kettle is so rare in the US considering the many uses there are for boiled water over and above making tea. They even tend to call them "tea kettles", with "tea" commonly pronounced in a slightly higher pitched voice in an attempt to sound "English" :-)

        1. parperback parper

          Presumably this distinguishes them from fish kettles, which every US kitchen doubtless possesses.

  2. Dr_N Silver badge

    Dubbed Content

    At least most platforms these days give you the option to choose which language and/or subtitles you want.

    Even broadcast TV in France was doing this for many UK/US shows after the digital switchover.

    .

    Mr Dabbs> It's bad enough that nobody owns software they paid for;

    They're going to befoul themselves when they see what the car industry has in store.

    1. Little Mouse Silver badge

      Re: Dubbed Content

      Dubbing has certainly improved in recent years.

      In the bad old days, as well as the lip-sync and clumsy translation issues, hardly anyone ever spoke "normally". The voice acting seemed to be done by the same people who did kids' cartoons.

      1. Dr_N Silver badge

        Re: Dubbed Content

        "The Flashing Blade" comes to mind every time "dubbing" comes up as a topic.

        1. msknight

          Re: Dubbed Content

          Don't... please... I bought the DVDs.

        2. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
          Pirate

          Re: Dubbed Content

          I was thinking The Adventures of Robinson Crusoe actually (& not that much dubbing really required, except for the flashback scenes). I can hear the music now.

          Robert Hoffman sadly passed 2 days ago.

          https://www.telegraph.co.uk/obituaries/2022/07/27/robert-hoffmann-actor-who-starred-classic-tv-series-adventures/

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Dubbed Content

            My main memory of that programme was that the series was timed for the English school holidays, so the last episode was always shown the week that N.Irish schools restarted their term. It was years before I actually saw how it ended, when I was luckily at home sick for the day.

            1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

              Re: Dubbed Content

              Scotland must have been worse off. We usually timed holidays to miss the 12th and travelling through Scotland, at least on the return, the shops would already have been full of "Back to School" promotions.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Dubbed Content

        My wife is heard of hearing, so we have subtitles on most of the time.*

        Looking through Netflix, saw the trailer for Squid Games that was dubbed - but it didn't match what was being said with the subtitles! Admittingly, it was just odd words here and there, but it was a tad annoying.

        * Apart from live TV, the delay with what they were saying and the text appearing is rather disconcerting

        1. Rusty Nutts

          Re: Dubbed Content

          For the best ever sendup of dubbed translation, see Al Murray talking about the global financial system on youtube - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0HcB6ZrCLEY

          NSFW or SFW depending on your job!

        2. Stork Silver badge

          Re: Dubbed Content

          There are a couple of factors here:

          - there is often not enough space to write every word that was said

          - translating can be very difficult even without a space restraint

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Dubbed Content

            Dubbing and subtitles are often done by different companies, which means potentially using different translators. But there is also the issue of dubbing having to follow lip sync (translated content needs to fit over the original speech), while subtitles need to fit into a given, limited screen time, while still remaining readable by slower readers.

            Dubbing and subtitles are always a bad compromise, they prevent you from really enjoying the movie as the director intended. They just allow you to claim "you've seen that one".

        3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: Dubbed Content

          "Looking through Netflix, saw the trailer for Squid Games that was dubbed - but it didn't match what was being said with the subtitles!"

          ISTR reports that the dubbing and subtitles were so badly done on that show in particular, that native speakers were pointing out that anyone not a native speaker was getting, in effect, a different story from the dubbed or sub-titled "mistakes".

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Dubbed Content

        I know someone who used to do TV show dubbing for French TV. She said that they only got 2 viewings of each episode, the first one was for a heads-up of the episode, and they did the dubbing on the second run through. No third chance.

        1. J.G.Harston Silver badge

          Re: Dubbed Content

          They should use Eric Thompson's method for the Magic Roundabout: don't even bother with the original script, just make it up!

          1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            Re: Dubbed Content

            That still falls short of the Clangers approach - don't speak it, just play it on a Swanee whistle.

    2. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Dubbed Content

      They're going to befoul themselves when they see what the car industry has in store.

      Who wouldn't want to pay $18 a month to enable the "heated seats" button?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Dubbed Content

        They could just drop a McDo coffee in their lap, hot seats and McDo will pay them

      2. FlippingGerman

        Re: Dubbed Content

        You’re not nearly ambitious enough.

        Subscription cars are coming. Subscription *everything* is coming, whether you like it or not. I suspect not.

        1. NotBob

          Re: Dubbed Content

          You mean a lease?

          Maybe something shorter term. Like a rental?

          Nah, it'll never catch on...

          1. ThatOne Silver badge

            Re: Dubbed Content

            > You mean a lease?

            Well, this is right now just an option among several. It might make sense for some people in specific situations, but for the average Joe (and myself), buying is much more advantageous.

            I spent a large wad of cash a dozen years ago and got a nice car I've been using since as I please, and it only costs me gas, insurance and maintenance. If I divide the money I've spent so far by the number of years I have it, it's way cheaper than a lease. Temporary rentals could potentially have been cheaper since I don't use it all the time, but then again I pay for the privilege of having it ready waiting in my garage 24/7 (meaning I'm not losing an hour going to a car rental to get a car. Also when coming back, I don't have to drop off the car, I simply park it and take the elevator to my apartment: Home sweet home).

            (Didn't downvote you.)

            1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

              Re: Dubbed Content

              "It might make sense for some people in specific situations, but for the average Joe (and myself), buying is much more advantageous."

              The "some people" are the vendors. They matter Average Joes don't.

      3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Dubbed Content

        It does make a sort of sense, so long as when you buy a bottom of the range car, you still pay the bottom of the range price for it. And if you pay for some of the extras at purchase time with a "lifetime" outright purchase, not a subscription (still currently an option), those items remain enabled when you sell it and therefore are part of the resale value.

        On the other hand, if you buy outright with all the extras and then find you have a bottom of the range car, no extras to sell when time to change cars, then you've been ripped off!

        1. Dan 55 Silver badge

          Re: Dubbed Content

          It's for BMWs so they are being ripped off...

          BMW is now charging $18 per month for heated seats in some countries

          It seems there were problems selling subscriptions on with the car not too long ago:

          Connected car data handover headache: There's no quick fix... and it's NOT just Land Rovers

      4. Andy A Bronze badge

        Re: Dubbed Content

        You want brakes? They are obviously more important than heated seats, so $200 a month. That also implies that you want the car to move. Now we are talking SERIOUS money!

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Dubbed Content

      The choice to have the dubbed in translation is nice unless... you don't know it is an option until after you have viewed several seasons of a series without it. While watching "Dark" a German series on netflix I became familiar with the actors and actresses voices.

      Season 3 is released and I realize I can listen to the English language dub instead of reading the subtitles. I watched half of the first episode accepting most of the dubbed voices until a specific character was speaking. The deeper gravely voice I was familiar with was replaced by a higher pitched voice over. This is not a complaint about the persons voice so much as an observation of my own bias to realism. It was too different for me to accept from that character and I switched back to German language and reading the subtitles.

    4. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Dubbed Content

      "They're going to befoul themselves when they see what the car industry has in store."

      I've been considering a new car, maybe for next year, and so looking at what is available and it's quite hard to find a purchase price. They all seem to be pushing leasing deals, which get into silly prices for high mileage drivers :-(

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    re: streaming services and content

    Do what I do. When a movie that I want to watch becomes available to me (you figure out what that means,) I'll watch it every evening* until its gone from the platform, then I'll find another movie and repeat the process. My partner hates my viewing choices, but to be fair, I feel the same way about theirs.

    * - and if I'm lucky, will actually watch it from opening to closing credits before it leaves the platform.

    1. Dr_N Silver badge

      Re: re: streaming services and content

      What happens if there are 2 or more you want to watch?

      Are there enough hours in the evening to be watching them each every evening ?!?

    2. Barry Rueger

      Re: re: streaming services and content

      I'll never complain about paying a reasonable price to view something. My problem is that the great, vast majority of movies, TV, and other content is simply not available on the big streaming services.

      I can still remember our local video store, with thousands upon thousands of movies, many of them incredibly niche or obscure. Searching the shelves was a joy and an adventure, and none of the choices was being made by algorithms or advertising bots.

      I find these days when I want to watch something specific that's more than a few years old I generally wind up back at the Pirate Bay.

      I will though say one positive thing about the likes of Amazon, NetFlix and the other outfits: Those of us who live in "foreign" countries no longer have to look at idiotic FBI anti-piracy warnings....

      1. Michael Strorm

        Re: re: streaming services and content

        No idea where you are, but while prerecorded videotapes or DVDs sold on the UK market definitely featured similar copyright warnings, those were localised (or IIRC didn't include anything that would obviously reference the US) and I've never seen one that mentioned the FBI.

        1. Dr_N Silver badge

          Re: re: streaming services and content

          NTSC VHS and Region-1 DVD & BluRays definitely feature the, "The FBI are coming for you !!!!!" opening splash screens.

          1. Inkey
            Pint

            Re: re: streaming services and content

            Haha ..my dear mum won a big prize and i was given my first blue ray player(great big sony it was ) ... but there was a few live music dvd's that i had that would not play on it ..

            After taking it in and complaning ... i was informed that i could not play disks from the us ...

            And they proved it by going into the firmware and changing the region setting (first id heard of it) and the disk played ...they also wrote down the code sequince and timings, so i could play my disks when i wanted to.

            Haven 't thought about in decades ... so icon cheers for the memory brought a smile to my chops

            1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

              Re: re: streaming services and content

              You were lucky. DVD players, even before BD came out, were already trying to restrict how many times you could region switch, often to as few as five times, the last one becoming permanent. Most of us here would be aware enough (especially after being bitten once) to chose one with either unlimited region changes or which could be "hacked" for either unlimited switched or just made "region 0" once and for all :-)

              1. Andy A Bronze badge

                Re: re: streaming services and content

                The drives fitted in HP laptops definitely had the "several times" restriction.

                However I had access to MANY such machines, and they could be changed in seconds.

          2. Michael Strorm

            Re: re: streaming services and content

            But I'm assuming the ones with the warning would have been imports originally intended for sale in the US, so the "foreign" FBI message would be understandable in that case.

        2. Barry Rueger

          Re: re: streaming services and content

          Canada, needless to say.

          1. Michael Strorm

            Re: re: streaming services and content

            Ah, fair enough then.

        3. Martin-73 Silver badge

          Re: re: streaming services and content

          There were definitely some UK VHS(PAL) releases that had the FBI warning on them. I remember being amused by it.

      2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: re: streaming services and content

        "and none of the choices was being made by algorithms or advertising bots."

        Local, independents, yes. But if you ever went Blockbuster or similar, then they were constantly moving stuff around, getting rid of less popular title and "nudging" you towards to "popular" titles which they had 50 copies of.

        1. Martin-73 Silver badge

          Re: re: streaming services and content

          blockbuster was too far away ... our local independent was in walking distance

          1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            Re: re: streaming services and content

            Belfast had a dental supplier who branched out into video rental. It seemed an odd pairing. He said there was far more money tied up in the video side.

            In case you're curious I used to buy plaster of Paris there.

      3. Boo Radley

        Re: re: streaming services and content

        I have both Netflix and Hulu, but at least a couple of times a week I find myself downloading otherwise unavailable movies and TV shows from Pirate Bay. Since my PC easily streams to my TV, it's not like the old days when I had to watch my downloaded content on my PC. Co-workers always want to know where I find such good content but they're not technically savvy enough to download safely.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: re: streaming services and content

      Or do what normal people do: torrent it and watch it whenever you want.

      1. Stoneshop Silver badge
        Holmes

        Re: re: streaming services and content

        And only on the umpteenth attempt do you get to have a file that is

        - not from a DV camcorder (as if. Portrait mode smartphone, then cropped to roughly the landscape size the movie would have been in) sneaked into the cinema and having half the hairdo of the person in front obscuring the lower left of the view. Plus the sound of them eating pop corn.

        - not having "Property of the Weinstink Company" all over the image

        - not having Punjabi, Thai or Urdu subtitles hardcoded (of course it'd be Viet or something if you can actually read Punjabi, or every other such mutually incompatible combo).

        - a regional cut that has had some locally-offensive scenes excised, dubbed in that local language and with no fitting subtitle file for that cut to be found.

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: re: streaming services and content

          Well, if you insist on "having it now" when it's only just come out in the cinema, that is all you tend to find. Have a little patience and learn to understand the abbreviations in the filename and you'll get what you want.

          1. Martin-73 Silver badge

            Re: re: streaming services and content

            Indeed, i went through that with 'moonfall'. Which turned out to be utter dross

          2. Stoneshop Silver badge
            FAIL

            Re: re: streaming services and content

            These were not movies that I wanted *now*, something I don't think I've ever done anyway. Just 5-to-10 year old, pretty mainstream but not blockbusters.

            And in at least two cases the torrent name was just the movie name, so those seeders weren't following the convention.

            I'll stick to buying DVDs, TYVM. They're dirt cheap, and at my current rate of movie consumption I'm already covered for the next decade roughly.

    4. CuChulainn Silver badge

      Re: re: streaming services and content

      Or do what I do, and find out how to rip it so I can watch it whenever I want. Christ, I paid for it.

      Apparently, Avigilon's player for AVE files can export to AVI. That's the first thing I look for before I subscribe to proprietary media - can it be saved and exported. And usually, someone somewhere - who is much more tech savvy than me - has asked the same questions and made it so if it isn't already. And even if they haven't, someone soon does.

      There's even an online converter for AVE files which can export to SWF (not sure why, these days), TS, VOB, WEBM, WMV, or WTV, and then any number of other converters which can change those to whatever you want.

      In a worst case scenario, if I really want to rip something and there's no immediate solution, I just screen-record at 4K (or whatever to keep the pixellation down). It's a time-consuming method, but it always works.

      1. RegGuy1 Silver badge

        Re: re: streaming services and content

        They should give the guy that invented ffmpeg a medal.

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge
          Headmaster

          Re: re: streaming services and content

          The "g" stands for "group", not "guy".

    5. AndrueC Silver badge
      Meh

      Re: re: streaming services and content

      I can't think of anything I'd want to watch more than once anyway. I record everything on my Sky box but only to time shift. Once I've seen something I just delete it.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: re: streaming services and content

        It depends on your storage method. Sometimes I want to watch a film or TV series again, but usually year later. So I make sure I have and keep it in a form where I'm not worried about running out of storage space, so not on a PVR, especially not provided and controlled by my cable/sat company. (I found out to my cost a few years back, recordings made from channels on a higher package all become unavailable if you switch down to a lower package that doesn't include those channels)

        1. Terry 6 Silver badge

          Re: re: streaming services and content

          I also found that a "recording" that I'd "saved "on my Virgin Media box's HDD became unavailable after the series in question became unavailable - and which I'd forgotten to finish watching. It was there in the list, but, no. "No longer available." Bastards.

          1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            Re: re: streaming services and content

            Mythbox FTW.

      2. ThatOne Silver badge

        Re: re: streaming services and content

        > I can't think of anything I'd want to watch more than once anyway

        It depends on the person I guess, but also on the content. There are things (books, movies) I love to read/watch again from time to time, after a couple years. There are others I definitely don't feel any need to watch again, some I definitely do not want to ever see again (as in "that was 90' of my life I'm not getting back")...

        1. AndrueC Silver badge
          Happy

          Re: re: streaming services and content

          I don't think there's ever been anything I particularly want to watch again. There are a few films that if I happen to see on the EPG I will record on the off chance I feel like watching again but not many. Curiously the ones I sometimes want to watch again are the more trashy ones(*). Probably I'm looking for something mind numbing rather than something engaging. One thing I don't like are long, drawn out sagas. I avoided Game of Thrones for that reason. I don't want to become engaged in a show - I just want to be able to watch it then forget it.

          I do watch a lot of TV (several hours most evenings) but there's just so much new stuff on Sky that repeats of anything are often left unwatched and ultimately deleted.

          (*)You'd be amazed how many times I've watched Deep Rising. I think it's a shame they never made a sequel..

      3. Potty Professor Bronze badge
        Unhappy

        Re: re: streaming services and content

        I did that with my BT Youview box. I had a lot of old movies, such as The Trollenberg Terror, Day of the Triffids, and similar, but there is no way of backing them up because the file system is proprietory. Since the HDD died, I've lost the lot and will have to redownload them from torrents.

  4. bofh1961

    Physical media is still the best

    LPs, CDs, cassettes, whatever. Personally I prefer files on an SSD backed up to spinning rust but it's all the same thing really. I avoid streaming and subscriptions except... EMAIL. That most basic of digital services. Perhaps I should download everything in Hotmail before Microsoft decide I didn't really want it anyway.

    Glad to hear you found a real copy of Britannia, Ali.

    1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

      Re: Physical media is still the best

      I have Thunderbird on my home PC, set to download my web mail (when I want to read it via the browser, I read it from the deleted folder). I should probably back up the last 20 years worth of email at some point, but if it suddenly all disappears with no way of getting it back, at least I know it's my fault.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Physical media is still the best

        Couldn't get on with Thunderbird - emClient for me!

      2. Kubla Cant Silver badge

        Re: Physical media is still the best

        There's a Thunderbird setting to leave downloaded messages on the server.

        1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

          Re: Physical media is still the best

          There is, but my reasons for downloading and deleting are historic, back in the olden days, I used to use Outlook Express for the same purpose, and it had a habit of downloading messages multiple times if they weren't deleted on the server as well.

          I don't wholly trust my web mail provider with my (nominally) private emails, so once I have hold of them, I see no need for them to have a copy as well, upon which to do all sorts of advertising profiling, assuming they have not already done so at the point of receipt. I'm working on the principle here, that they will not be caching a second copy somewhere else, because of storage costs, but the principle here is one of ownership. I own those emails, not $web_mail_operator.

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Physical media is still the best

      "except... EMAIL. That most basic of digital services."

      Your ISP is even more basic of course.

      But I download all email. I might then delete it (the deleted folder is set up to really delete stuff after 6 months) but otherwise it's cheaper than having extensive storage on the paid for service and safer than a free service.

    3. jmch Silver badge

      Re: Physical media is still the best

      "Physical media is still the best " ( I guess the "that is in my personal possession and control" is implied )

      Yes it is. The trick is keeping track of what is actually important to me that I want to download, secure and back up, and all the other digital gunk that just happens to be there.

    4. Sudosu

      Re: Physical media is still the best

      Spinning rust with ZFS to prevent bitrot...and in read only mode until you want to SFTP up your latest and greatest acquisitions for backup to reduce the attack surface slightly.

      Oh and at least 2 offline backups stored at the inlaws place.

      I'm not paranoid. I'm experienced.

      All the original media is in boxes in the storage space decaying at its own pace...other than the vinyl, but that's another story.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Physical media is still the best

        "I'm not paranoid. I'm experienced."

        They really are out to get you so it's the only wa to be.

    5. LDS Silver badge

      Re: Physical media is still the best

      Well, I have to thank those who decided to believe LPs are still cool - at least I could buy a turntable to replace my old one when the it broke and still enjoy music spanning three generations - my oldest disks are shellac 78 rpms once belonging to my grandparents - and 78rpm turntables and styluses are still available.

    6. FlippingGerman

      Re: Physical media is still the best

      I just discovered Google offers something called “Takeout” - lets you download all the data they have in you (yeah, right…). I haven’t looked through it yet, but it’s ~150GB, which is a hell of a lot more than my Gmail and Drive.

      1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

        Re: Physical media is still the best

        I had to use that to download all my photos off "google drive" when they decided that I'd used up all my "free storage" that I didn't even know I was using, and wanted to start charging me to store the pictures I was taking on my phone. Downloaded them all, and set my phone to NOT "back up" my photos to google. IIRC, their "free" limit is something paltry like 20GB. I can get a hard disk with 100x that capacity for less than £50, which is also less than google were trying to charge me in a year. Okay, so that isn't backed up, but if I really wanted to, I could buy two (or even 4) and RAID them.

  5. Jason Bloomberg
    Flame

    Tune in, turn on, then say goodbye

    I hate this "no longer supported so we are going to stop it working" malarkey.

    If purchasers were allowed to grab a jerry can of petrol, a box of matches, return the favour to any company who has done that, they might stop doing it.

    1. Alistair Dabbs Silver badge

      Re: Tune in, turn on, then say goodbye

      I'm not sure you can say this without freaking out the moderators.

      1. MiguelC Silver badge
        Flame

        Re: Tune in, turn on, then say goodbye

        Doubt it, it's probable the moderators will, at some point, also have been burned by Hive or Nest or Sonos or TomTom or any other 'smart' devices support ending without recourse.

        I uphold the user's right to march wielding stakes and torches. All hail the uprising of the users!

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Tune in, turn on, then say goodbye

          Pitchforks! Don't forget pitchforks. Ans tar and feathers.

          1. Outski Silver badge

            Re: Tune in, turn on, then say goodbye

            And stakes & honey for the ant-hill

          2. Stoneshop Silver badge
            Flame

            Re: Tune in, turn on, then say goodbye

            Torches, get yer torches here! Buy three, free box of matches!

            And ten yards of railroad track plus a pair of gloves with every five barrels of tar! Get it while it's hot!

          3. A.P. Veening Silver badge

            Re: Tune in, turn on, then say goodbye

            Please be careful with the combination of torches (when lit) and tar. And please be aware the combination of lit torches and feathers gives olfactory pollution.

    2. ThatOne Silver badge
      Unhappy

      Re: Tune in, turn on, then say goodbye

      > they might stop doing it

      The only way companies will stop doing this is if potential customers stop buying subscription-based stuff, be it "aaS" or hardware depending on some unnecessary-but-cool cloud service.

      Unfortunately, consumers love "connected" junk, and would buy it over any "dumb" unconnected equivalent. People are stupid, and "shiny" trumps any other consideration.

      This is why almost everything is rushing towards an "as a service" paradigm and this won't stop anytime soon. People want to be ripped off, if there is some temporary gratification to be had, after all they will forget about it in a couple days.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Tune in, turn on, then say goodbye

        "if potential customers stop buying subscription-based stuff"

        Marketing have put in an awful lot of work to ensure they don't.

        1. ThatOne Silver badge

          Re: Tune in, turn on, then say goodbye

          While that's true, I don't think it was too hard a task. Taking my friends and family as examples, subscription is just "convenient". They don't mind not owning anything, their attention is easily distracted by something else anyway.

  6. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

    freestanding!

    Well, perhaps, but only if Hubble itself keeps supporting the kit.

    Why does everything have to be "supported" in the digital world? Before computers we used to make stuff that worked until its bearings or capacitors wore out.

    Would it be that crazy to make something that didnt drop dead if it couldnt say hello to its creator daily?

    like a baby monitor??

    I still have the corpse of a Nazbagtag in the meter cupboard ...

    1. Greybearded old scrote Silver badge

      Re: freestanding!

      It would be crazy to the bean counters. Once they've sold their product to nearly everybody (see MS Windows and Office) how are they to get more money from you? Even upgrade fees are a problem when you've added all the new features you can imagine and the mugs customers have realised that they are hardly using any of them.

      Let's be honest though. If you could find a device that kept its brain at home few of us would pay the premium for it.

      1. ThatOne Silver badge
        Unhappy

        Re: freestanding!

        > few of us would pay the premium for it.

        Too few. Bean counters rather cater for the brainless crowd which would gladly follow the trail of "shiny" right off the financial cliff... "Connected" makes more money for way less effort than any one-time "premium" might ever earn you.

        Think about it, the world's population and thus your potential customer base being finite, what would make you the most profit:

        a. Sell one item with unlimited lifetime for an one-time fee (quaint old method)

        b. Sell one item with limited lifetime for an one-time fee (so people have to buy it again every x years. Think smartphones)

        c. Sell one item with limited lifetime for a recurring fee (so people not only have to buy it again, but also keep paying it over and over again in the meantime)

        As you see, option c. is the best one, the one which earns you the most profit from the same product expenses. Now tell me why on earth bean counters and shareholders would renounce this additional profit.

        1. doublelayer Silver badge

          Re: freestanding!

          "a. Sell one item with unlimited lifetime for an one-time fee (quaint old method)"

          How many things can you think of that did that? I've seen many claims for unlimited things, and not one has really been unlimited. Some of them are limited at a level above what I'm going to do, so for me they end up working well, but they always have some restriction or expire. For example, you list smartphones as having a limited lifetime, which they do. How would a company be able to make that unlimited? They could make it longer by supporting updates and repairs, but eventually, the phone will get broken or the software will expand to use more resources than are available. Nothing lasts forever.

          1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

            Re: freestanding!

            How many things can you think of that did that?

            I've got a copy of Photoshop 4 that does that.

            Also a toaster.

          2. ThatOne Silver badge

            Re: freestanding!

            > How many things can you think of that did that?

            Don't nitpick, you understand what I mean. "Unlimited" as in "no artificial limit". Examples of "artificial limits" are planned obsolescence or active bricking of your already sold products through the Internet.

            Concerning smartphones, I compare them to their bigger siblings, computers. Computers get potential updates way beyond a couple years, and you can freely install another OS if you feel like it*.

            * Yes, Microsoft pulled a fast one with Win11, but till now you usually could install the newest Windows on old hardware, even if it was suboptimal.

    2. Howard Sway Silver badge

      Re: Before computers we used to make stuff that worked

      This comment is quite funny if you grew up in 1970s Britain.

      From cars whose engines overheated when the sun came out, to regular visits from a man who used to have to do strange repairs to the telly with just a soldering iron (never with any new parts, or seemingly any solder, just applying the iron and making fizzing noises and making bits of smoke emerge from the circuitry).

      There was quite a popular subscription model for hardware too, called "Radio Rentals". But that was weekly or monthly, definitely not "lifetime", although they could have got away with that, as the lifetime of the electrical goods was often able to be measured in weeks or months.

      1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge
        Trollface

        Re: Before computers we used to make stuff that worked

        Ah yes, dear old hire-purchase (aka "the tick" or "the never-never"), where you rented it long enough that you then owned it after the given period of time.

        Said period of time of course being slightly less (by a matter of nanoseconds) than it took for it was either become redundant, broken or in such a general state of repair that the vendor wouldn't want it back anyway.

        1. Greybearded old scrote Silver badge

          Re: Before computers we used to make stuff that worked

          Not even hire purchase. We deliberately rented the things because they were so close to the bleeding edge that frequent repairs were inevitable. Plus they were damn bloody expensive things.

          We got to know our local repair man pretty well, he was a fun guy. Then came the transistors, and then the integrated circuits and we could own and rely on the TVs.

          I hope that guy found a good new job.

          1. Terry 6 Silver badge

            Re: Before computers we used to make stuff that worked

            My cousin was one such guy. Since those days, though close to retirement now, he's lectured in electronics.

            1. J.G.Harston Silver badge

              Re: Before computers we used to make stuff that worked

              We had a pair down the road, Young Mr Oates in his 50s and his father Old Mr Oats.

        2. Outski Silver badge

          Re: Before computers we used to make stuff that worked

          All our dining room furniture when I was growing up (70s) was bought on hp, solid stuff, still going strong at my mum's house. Such a shame that we don't have room for it, come the inevitable, it's got at least another 50 years in it

      2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Before computers we used to make stuff that worked

        "This comment is quite funny if you grew up in 1970s Britain."

        Not so funny if you were already an adult and were paying for it.

        The engineering involved a great deal of precision. It had to do to ensure it lasted exactly long enough to get to the other side of the factory gate.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Before computers we used to make stuff that worked

          > The engineering involved a great deal of precision. It had to do to ensure it lasted exactly long enough to get to the other side of the factory gate.

          And the paint colour needed to be exactly the shade that the chief shop steward's wife wanted for their living room.

      3. juliansh

        Re: Before computers we used to make stuff that worked

        "...regular visits from a man who used to have to do strange repairs to the telly with just a soldering iron (never with any new parts, or seemingly any solder, just applying the iron and making fizzing noises and making bits of smoke emerge from the circuitry)."

        Yes indeed. The man from DER in the brown overalls and soldering iron!

      4. vtcodger Silver badge

        Re: Before computers we used to make stuff that worked

        If by "We" one means the US and Britain, you're not wrong. 1960s or so joke: "Why do the British drink warm beer? Punch line: Lucas refrigerators For the young folks out there, Lucas Electronics were widely used in British cars and were know worldwide for their dubious reliability.

        However, the Japanese -- who for some odd reason actually care about quality -- came along and started shipping cheap, reliable vehicles around the world. Ironically, the Nihonjin adopted the quality control notions espoused by one C. Edwards Deming under the mistaken impression that American manufacturers followed those practices. Actually American manufacturers had no idea who Deming was. However some of them figured it out and actually started to produce decent vehicles in the mid-1980s before the East Asians could put them all into bankruptcy court.

        I'm hoping something similar will happen with digital stuff.

        1. Gene Cash Silver badge

          Re: Before computers we used to make stuff that worked

          "Tesla invented the AC motor and transformer. Edison invented the phonograph and the light bulb. Lucas invented the short and the intermittent open."

          "If God had intended for gentlemen to go motoring about at night, He wouldn't have created Lucas."

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Before computers we used to make stuff that worked

            Edison did not invent the light bulb!

            That's as bad as claiming Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone!

          2. David 132 Silver badge
            Happy

            Re: Before computers we used to make stuff that worked

            You've reminded me of this delightful Punch cartoon from February 1940.

          3. Stoneshop Silver badge
            FAIL

            Edison

            claimed inventing the phonograph and the light bulb.

            And made it stick through court cases.

            1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

              Re: Edison

              But Swans lightbulb patent was register a year earlier.

              1. Stoneshop Silver badge

                But Swans lightbulb patent was register a year earlier.

                I doubt that the USPTO (or however they were called back then) cared about that any more than they do now.

            2. that one in the corner Bronze badge

              Re: Edison

              Invention is for schmucks, just get a lawyer.

              1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

                Re: Edison

                Invention is for schmucks, just get be a lawyer.

                FTFY

        2. midgepad Bronze badge

          Re: Before computers we used to make stuff that worked

          American manufacturers knew who Deming was and wanted nothing to do with him.

          Obviously if you drop a ball and it lands right of centre you move the dropper left, best cars in the world, etc.

        3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Before computers we used to make stuff that worked

          "I'm hoping something similar will happen with digital stuff."

          It won't Making cheap expensive stuff that wears out is far more profitable.

          My dad worked for David Brown Tractors. The farmers couldn't wear them out. DBT were taken over and closed down years ago.

          1. Boothy Silver badge

            Re: Before computers we used to make stuff that worked

            Small world, I had an uncle who work at DB tractors, my Dad worked at David Brown Gears from the 70s till the early 90s.

            My Dad started of on the shop floor, later becoming a draftsman, having a hand in designing many of their products through the 80s, into the early 90s.

            I can remember as a teenager going on a tour, and part of the tour was a large stress test room, basically a concrete bunker with a large bench in the middle. It had what I was told at the time, a new gearbox for the military, although they wouldn't confirm which branch, being set up ready for testing (it had a large tarpaulin thrown over it for security!). The rumour was it was a Tank gearbox, but Brown's also did gearboxes for the Navy.

            We were told they did both longevity testing in that room, i.e. running continuously for days and weeks at a time, then checking the wear afterwards. Plus also destructive testing. You could see shrapnel damage in the walls!

            Back on the tractors, I had a relative that had a small farm, and they had a DB tractor that was already many decades old back in the 80s and still ran perfectly fine. It was the first vehicles I ever drove!

      5. GloriousVictoryForThePeople

        Re: Before computers we used to make stuff that worked

        From cars whose engines overheated when the sun came out,

        I still remember shock at British Leyland when they discovered that in some parts of the world, water fell from the sky unexpectedly fouling the ignition system that was right behind the front grille. Luckily they were able to put a piece of cardboard in to stop water.

        1. David 132 Silver badge

          Re: Before computers we used to make stuff that worked

          Well yes, cardboard was the OEM factory solution.

          The better solution for the Mini enthusiast was to take a Marigold rubber glove, cut the fingertips off, feed an HT lead through each finger-hole and ziptie the glove around each lead and the distributor. Total waterproofing.

          1. midgepad Bronze badge

            When did we get zip-

            -ties?

            1. jake Silver badge

              Re: When did we get zip-

              The Ty-Rap, invented by one Maurus C. Logan (while working for Thomas & Betts) was first offered for sale in 1958.

        2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Before computers we used to make stuff that worked

          "the ignition system that was right behind the front grille"

          I believe the car was designed with the ignition facing inwards. Late in development the engine was turned round, hence the grille-facing ignition and the noisy gearbox. I suppose the original version had problems routing the exhaust. It would also have had problems with frozen carburettors in winter.

          1. Missing Semicolon Silver badge

            Re: Before computers we used to make stuff that worked

            I think they realised the engine rotated in the wrong direction. So the whole thing was mounted the other way about.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Before computers we used to make stuff that worked

              Alec Issigonis was tasked with bettering the Isetta and VW Beetle.

              He copied the flat Isetta front, and used a VW style rear mounted engine.

              Unfortunately due to the above mentioned rotation snafu, they had to turn the seats around at the last minute, and call it front wheel drive. Unfortunately that left the ignition facing the rain.

              So you see that was not caused by incompetence at all.

              1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

                Re: Before computers we used to make stuff that worked

                All these posts about rotating the engine and driving the car backwards etc , seem like a lot of trouble to go to keep the distributor dry - and having it on the "lee" side of the engine is hardly a guarantee of that anyway!

    3. rfrazier

      Re: freestanding!

      I had something like the same thought when I was writing my dissertation (Philosophy) in the late 1980s. I was worried that it wouldn't be available to future generations. (Not so worried about that now.) So I spent weeks worrying about the format, mostly looking at SGML. In the end, since I was using it for everything anyway, I just went for TeX/LaTex. Last time I tried, 2010, it formatted the same as it did in 1990. So, that worked out okay.

      Best wishes,

      Bob

      1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

        Re: freestanding!

        That's because Donald Knuth came up with the idea, when he needed something for laying out the content of The Art of Computer Programming. If you can work your way through the original three volumes (let alone the later ones), and take in all the content, then you'll appreciate the work it had to do, and why it was pretty much job done at that point.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: freestanding!

        What happened to the CAPS, Bob? !!

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: freestanding!

          Other Bobs are available.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: freestanding!

            Indeed they are, but CAPS BOB is "Bob Frazier" too...

      3. doublelayer Silver badge

        Re: freestanding!

        And the beauty of our computing system is that, had you used SGML, or many of the alternative formats available, we could still read it. Not as conveniently as with TeX where the same software's still in active use, but many of the formats can still be converted. That doesn't mean someone will do it to all the files that ever came out, but if it's worth doing, the tools are available and someone with a little skill can do it without having to reverse-engineer the format.

        1. that one in the corner Bronze badge

          Re: freestanding!

          That is the beauty of any format based on plain text and markup.

          I'd even suggest sticking with 7-bit ASCII, to avoid any of the problems with it-looks-to-me-like-a-letter-l-but-it-is-really-three-overlaid-codepoints from Unicode. You can even have clarity with emojis, no more guessing when the file says \emoji{flag-malaysia}.

          1. doublelayer Silver badge

            Re: freestanding!

            Very good idea if you never use any symbols or language other than English. There's a reason we use Unicode now. Parsing the bytes and figuring out what they mean is a problem competent programmers have dealt with for a long time.

            1. Binraider Silver badge

              Re: freestanding!

              Unicode is great, apart from when the same character appears repeatedly in the Unicode table, with different potential meanings. OK, yes it's hard to exploit; but there are documented cases of it.

              For writing anything that needs to be compiled (or even interpreted) in the way of code; I am nominally a fan of a limited characterset like ASCII. Obviously the the problems of dealing with strings in other languages are a thing as soon as you try and do that.

              Similar character sets like US/UK English could more readily cause grief : the similarity makes it potentially harder to spot problems. Similar story for EBCDIC/ASCII. The problems (and need to know about them) has long outlived the standards themselves; because 70's code still persists and unlikely to be eliminated in certain domains.

  7. Patched Out
    Windows

    Physical media

    I still purchase music on CDs and movies on DVD or Blu-ray. People think I'm a luddite, but I rip them to a harddrive and have the disks for backup. I don't trust that even Amazon wouldn't turn around and disappear a movie I paid for on their streaming service.

    And I own no products that require constant connection to somebody else's server or cloud service in order to operate ... except my cellphone ... and I suppose my Windows based computers, though there are ways around the computer issue ...

    1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

      Re: Physical media

      I have some CDs from the '90s that suffer from the infamous "bronzing", so even then I'm eventually going to have to buy new copies. Annoyingly, if you want to sell old CDs, you'll probably get about 1p each for them, but if you want to buy that one, specific album from 1993, then the odds are it's going to set you back £25...

      1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge
        Headmaster

        Re: Physical media

        Annoyingly, if you want to sell old CDs, you'll probably get about 1p each for them, but if you want to buy that one, specific album from 1993, then the odds are it's going to set you back £25...

        The trick is to be the one who buys for the former and resells for the latter...

        1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

          Re: Physical media

          As long as you have the warehouse space available for free, to store them all for the period between picking them up for 1p and finding someone who wants to buy them.

        2. Stoneshop Silver badge

          The trick is to be the one who buys for the former and resells for the latter...

          You'd have better luck with vinyl. Which isn't susceptible to bit rot as well.

          1. Ozumo

            Re: The trick is to be the one who buys for the former and resells for the latter...

            But which does deteriorate a little, every time you play it.

            1. ThatOne Silver badge
              Devil

              Re: The trick is to be the one who buys for the former and resells for the latter...

              Why, you don't play them, they are collector's items! You look at them and show them off, that's all.

              1. David 132 Silver badge

                Re: The trick is to be the one who buys for the former and resells for the latter...

                I'm reminded of the exchange between Michael Caine and Steve Martin in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels on the subject of the former's wine cellar.. something along the lines of

                "At least you can drink the wine!"

                "No, I couldn't drink them, they're far too valuable."

                "Fine! Well sell them!"

                "Oh no, I couldn't possibly do that, they mean far too much to me..."

    2. Stephen Wilkinson

      Re: Physical media

      I've had Amazon pull music from my Amazon collection that they added at when I purchased the CD from them.

      Thankfully I still have the CD.

      1. Greybearded old scrote Silver badge

        Re: Physical media

        I always download them, DRM free on The Big River. Just as well, for a short while the idiots moved their streaming service to Flash even though the rest of the industry was abandoning it.

        Sometimes I never get around to unwrapping the CD.

    3. cookieMonster
      Big Brother

      Re: Physical media

      “don't trust that even Amazon wouldn't turn around and disappear a movie I paid for ….”

      I seem to remember that they did that to a book, 1984 of all titles

    4. cornetman Silver badge

      Re: Physical media

      This is me almost completely. I do watch a lot of stuff via streaming services, much of it stuff that I would only be interested to watch once so it works out quite well. However, some of it I would appreciate having backups of because I watch them over and over.

      The one thing that worries me is that in many cases now, there are never releases onto DVD, Blu-ray or CD so pirating becomes the only option for fairly guaranteed future viewing.

      I'm big into k-drama and to a lesser extent c-drama, having been largely introduced to it via Netflix. In South Korea, they are almost completely media-free: everyone streams, and Blu-rays/DVDs/CDs are only ever produced for the most popular programs and if there is enough declared demand.

      It does worry me. A lot of our culture is in danger of rapidly becoming inaccessible (or worse, lost) unless something radical is done with copyright.

    5. cornetman Silver badge

      Re: Physical media

      When we used to get cable (in Canada where we live now), we eventually realised that it was a terrible waste of money. Not only was it expensive, but there wasn't very much worth watching that we couldn't stream for a lot less and you *still* had to watch a load of ads every 5 minutes (yes, really every 5 minutes). In reality, the only person using it was our youngest kid watching The Simpsons.

      So I made a deal with him: if I cancel the cable, with the money we save I will buy you the DVD sets of The Simpsons so you can watch whatever you want, whenever you want (and we would end up having all the bonus material, such as the commentary soundtracks in addition). It was a great deal: we saved a ton of moolah.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Physical media

        "and you *still* had to watch a load of ads every 5 minutes (yes, really every 5 minutes)."

        And this is why streaming took off in the first place, especially in the US. It was less of an issue here in the UK, but since we do as we are told by our US "big brother", it's been catching on more and more over recent years such that a few years back, advertising breaks and lengths were "adjusted" to allow for more. OFCOM are currently discussing relaxing the ad break rules even further because the streaming has affect uses of and advertising revenues for broadcast TV.

        In other words, where in the US streaming was seen as a solution by consumers to too much broadcast advertising, on this side of the pond it's the cause of more broadcast advertising. And to top it off, the steamers are now looking at "cheaper" packages subsidised by...adverts. The reality, of course, won't be cheaper packages. It will more expensive packages without adverts, the existing lower tier ones getting adverts. And thus the cycle of video "piracy" will rise again.

    6. Martin-73 Silver badge

      Re: Physical media

      there are reasons that ned ludd was correct... :)

    7. Herring`

      Re: Physical media

      I buy CDs (then rip them) partly because the artist actually gets some money. Unlike on the streaming services.

  8. OhForF'

    Intellectual property

    With all those shenanigans that are pointed out in the article going on the content industry still tries to make us feel guilty if we copy something without their explicit consent.

    When i buy any storage medium here i have to pay a percentage for artists and content creators because i might be using the media for storing a copy of their works.

    If i tried to use it for that purpose the content industry comes along and tells me i can't do that because i don't have the copyright and if i try to pay again to own my personal copy they tell me they don't sell me a perpetual copy but only a time limited one.

    I earn my money as a software developer, can i claim money for every storage medium sold as well as it might be used to store a copy of my software?

    1. Alistair Dabbs Silver badge

      Re: Intellectual property

      >> can i claim money for every storage medium sold as well as it might be used to store a copy of my software?

      You could do unless...

      1. You were employed when you wrote the code, in which case your employer owns the copyright.

      2.You invoiced under a 'work for hire' arrangement, accepting a fixed fee that precludes any royalties.

      1. OhForF'

        Re: Intellectual property

        That "disk royalty" is to pay for the right to create "private copies" of copyright protected content you legally acquired (including streaming!) for private use.

        I am not aware of anyone getting any money for a program out of that though - not sure why as software is copyright protected content. It might be because there is no software collecting society in place that is fighting for their part of that money.

        I actually don't want one of those societies to start and toss around statistic how often which program is copied and how much percentage of space those copies take up on the average storage medium and start fighting for their share of money on media purchases and then invent some system of how much to pay

        for every copyright holder registered with them.

        It would increase storage media prices and create more work for our courts (that are already quite stressed) and most of the money would end up with lawyers and clerks in the collecting society. Individual programmers would not really benefit - it would only make sense to someone owning copyrights for a significant part of the market.

        Now why is the same system useful to have for text and music and videos?

        And why is it ok to put in copyright protection if it deprives me of the right to create a private copy that i have to pay for?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Intellectual property

          "That "disk royalty" is to pay for the right to create "private copies" of copyright protected content you legally acquired (including streaming!) for private use."

          Quite a few countries introduced levys[1] on recordable CD, disks, flash storage in the past to "compensate" content owners for pirated/shared content.

          The country I find most interesting in this regard is Canada as, due to the existance of the levy, apparently it is therefore perfectly lawful for individuals to borrow their family members'/friend's CDs, DVDs etc and rip them (as the levy has effectively "in advance" compensated the content owners for any such ripping), it is however unlawful for someone to share their own rips with someone else.

          [1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Private_copying_levy

          1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

            Re: Intellectual property

            Neighbour was in a small band.

            They had to pay the levy on the blank CDs they made of their own music. But the royalties were distributed based on total sales, ie all went to Celine Dion, - although in practice the levy never brought in enough to cover the costs of the industry group distributing it so none ever went to any artists

            It's a good topic to start if you want to see a Canadian get mad

  9. Ian Entwistle

    TomTom Lifetime Maps

    Bought the missus a TT device a number of years ago, it came badged with Lifetime Maps, that's great me thinks, as long as device works and I can connect it to the PC it will always have the latest version, only it doesn't because they decided that that device is no longer supported and cant possibly take the new maps they are producing. They of course offer me an amazing offer of 30% off a new device with you guessed, Lifetime Maps...

    Waze/Gmaps and android auto it is then...

    1. terry 1

      Re: TomTom Lifetime Maps

      In fairness to TT and Gamin etc, they do say on the box in small print that the lifetime updates is only the lifetime of the product

      1. Greybearded old scrote Silver badge

        Re: TomTom Lifetime Maps

        Where's the fun in fairness?

        1. Greybearded old scrote Silver badge

          Re: TomTom Lifetime Maps

          Joking aside, if they hide such a disingenuous definition of 'lifetime' in the (literal) small print they don't deserve fairness. Unless you define a fair response as a severe (metaphorical) gonad-kicking.

      2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: TomTom Lifetime Maps

        "only the lifetime of the product"

        If the product is still functional (give or take the updated maps) it's still alive.

        1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

          Re: only the lifetime of the product

          No, it is the lifetime of new updates in the required format.

          “When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.’

        2. Stoneshop Silver badge

          Re: TomTom Lifetime Maps

          If the product is still functional (give or take the updated maps) it's still alive.

          And there are tools to convert OSM to a format that Garmins accept, so I consider the Nüvi 1490's to be perfectly functional still, even without Garmin's Lifeless updates.

      3. fidodogbreath Silver badge

        Re: TomTom Lifetime Maps

        The big print giveth, and the small print taketh away.

      4. Wade Burchette

        Re: TomTom Lifetime Maps

        Teamviewer pulled that "lifetime" bait and switch on me. That was over a year ago, and my anger over it still hasn't calmed down. Recently they called me and asked why I don't want to switch to their subscription. Well, I made it clear how angry I am. I didn't direct my anger at the person who called me, because that was not their decision. But I did make it quite clear that because of what they did to me, they would never get any more of my money. I told them I did not want to reward greed. They said 'we can help you get the best price.' I said that I had the best price of $0.00 per month!

      5. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: TomTom Lifetime Maps

        "In fairness to TT and Gamin etc, they do say on the box in small print that the lifetime updates is only the lifetime of the product"

        My long EOLed Garmin with Lifetime Map Updates, still gets map updates. I just did it last week. It does need an SD card nowadays because the map data will no longer fit in the internal storage. I'm quite happy with it. I think it's about 10 years old now. If and when it breaks, I'll probably buy another Garmin.

    2. Terry 6 Silver badge

      Re: TomTom Lifetime Maps

      Been there, (but not withTomTom's help anymore)-Done that.

    3. jmch Silver badge

      Re: TomTom Lifetime Maps

      My first TomTom, which came with a vehicle I had just bought, came with map upgrades. Pity that the device came with 2GB memory, so the upgrades, while theoretically still available, stopped working when the map size became bigger than 2GB.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: TomTom Lifetime Maps

        Parachutes with a lifetime warranty ?

    4. John Sager

      Re: TomTom Lifetime Maps

      My wife recently bought a s/h Kia with built-in satnav. Kia have a nice app (Windoze or Mac only☹️) that will download new maps for a large range of their vehicles, going back quite a way. So with the investment of a few Gb of my bb allowance and a bigger SD card, the car now has the latest maps (May 2022). Not sure how long they will support that particular model but I'm hopeful it'll be a while.

      In stark contrast Audi demand £200 to update the maps on my car, and the satnav itself probably got made when Noah was alive!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: TomTom Lifetime Maps

        BMW were (possibly still are) the same as Audi.

        I've never been one for buying new cars, and back in 2014 I bought a then just gone 3 year old 3 series BMW. This had, amongst other options, a business pack, which included Satnav, and it came with 'free' updates for the first 3 years.

        The car was bought from a main dealer, and even though the car was eligible for free updates while they had it, and the main dealer did give it a service and MOT, they hadn't bothered to do the SatNav update, or even update the infotainment system itself.

        Of course I found out too late, and even though I could download for free a system update, map updates were around £200!

        I decided not to bother, especially considering Google Maps/Navigate was already much much better than the built in BMW SatNav, even back then. So I just bought a phone mount instead!

    5. yetanotheraoc Silver badge

      Fitness Center Lifetime Memberships

      About 40 years ago, in the part of the USA where I then lived, there existed a fashionable business model:

      * open a new non-chain fitness center

      * at grand opening have a limited-time (hurry!) lifetime (sic) membership for "only" about 4 or 5x the monthly membership

      * sometime within the first year of operations the fitness center would declare bankruptcy

      * shortly thereafter the fitness center would resume operations "under new ownership"

      * notably the 2nd owners did not honor the original lifetime memberships, nor did they offer any such lifetime plan for their new members

      Clearly the lifetime memberships and indeed the entire first "ownership" were just a scam to pay off the fixed cost of the equipment. The second "ownership" bought the almost-new equipment for pennies on the dollar and only had to pay operating costs. Needless to say that business model made me deeply suspicious of anything advertised as _lifetime_.

    6. Gene Cash Silver badge

      Re: TomTom Lifetime Maps

      Yup, I had a TomTom until updates became too big for the device. I think I got a sum total of 3 updates over the "lifetime" of the device.

      I've dissuaded at least half a dozen friends/relatives from buying TomTom.

      Garmin is even worse. The large subdivision I lived in for 20 years east of Orlando STILL isn't mapped.

      1. Stoneshop Silver badge

        Re: TomTom Lifetime Maps

        Garmin is even worse. The large subdivision I lived in for 20 years east of Orlando STILL isn't mapped.

        You'll likely find that OSM are much more up to date, and even if not you can correct what's wrong or missing.

  10. terry 1

    Too many years ago to remember I purchased a couple of music tracks to play in windows media player. Not long after I lost my freeserve email account and thus, lost the ability to play the purchased music. Damned DRM. Pretty much from that point I never purchased any more music online, always CD's and don't have a single software subscription.

    I'm a happy perpetual dinosaur

  11. Barry Rueger

    Ink on Paper

    After a couple of decades of trying to make Google calendar or Outlook calendar or Android Calendar reliably keep track of my life, sync between devices, and not lose stuff, dump it into unseen corners, or just plain fuck up, I've gone back to a nice bound paper calendar book.

    And it works. If I write something in it it's there forever, and doesn't change, and doesn't need WIFI to be available to me. If I also need to add a note, or an address, ar anything else I can just write it in the margin next door to the time and date. I don't need to figure out where the "Address" line is hidden, or try to make my information fit Google or Microsoft's defined fields.

    This book has rapidly become the one thing that I know I can rely on, and travels with me everywhere. And, as a bonus, I can stuff tickets and paper documents inside the cover and bring them along too.

    And of course the big bonus: Google, Facebook, and Twitter have no idea how I'm spending my time, who I'm meeting, or where I'm planning to visit.

    1. Terry 6 Silver badge

      Re: Ink on Paper

      Sore point. Thunderbird calendar on my desktop only syncs to my phone via the TBSync add-on and an EAS one . I'm buggered if I understand why it needs two or indeed why it isn't just built into TB.

      Either way, latest update broke the add-ons last month. Still waiting for a fix. No calendar updates in TB until it is. If it ever is. And if the Dev producing the add-on can't find time to fix it, moves on to pastures new or something I'll be forced back in to MS Outlook in September.

      1. Graham Cobb Silver badge

        Re: Ink on Paper

        This doesn't help with your specific problem but the best way to do calendar sync nowadays is definitely to use a CalDAV server. Most phones support CalDAV (built-in on Apple, DAVx5 works well for me on Android). Built-in on TB (I think - I am certainly using it on TB).

        The downside is that you need a CalDAV server to actually store the data. Owncloud/Nextcloud work well if you can host your own server. Otherwise, there are some commercial companies that provide them. I have heard people say that Google Calendar provides a free CalDAV server, but I don't use Google services so I don't know.

        Similarly, CardDAV is the best option for address book sync nowadays.

        1. Graham Cobb Silver badge

          Re: Ink on Paper

          I'm intrigued by the downvotes and would love to hear your reasons. I have worked on FOSS PIMsync projects for over 20 years and would love to learn about better alternatives to CalDAV/CardDav.

      2. Gene Cash Silver badge

        Re: Ink on Paper

        I believe the last Thunderbird update rolled Lightening (calendar) into TB as a new feature.

        I refuse to update TB so I don't know for sure.

        1. Terry 6 Silver badge

          Re: Ink on Paper

          It did. It's synchronisation across device that is the problem, with TBSync being broken.

    2. secondtimeuser

      Re: Ink on Paper

      Just this week I've finally got a mobile calendar solution running I'm happy with; Synology NAS (that I already had) with their Calendar app on it, then DAVx5 + Business Calendar on the mobile devices.

      5 calendars in parallel (one for whole-family activities, one each for the inhabitants); wife and I have admin rights over the kids calendars to keep track of where they need to be and when, and we can see each others calendars (but not add to them). Early days but seems to be working fine so far, and with nothing depending on Alphabet / MS etc.

    3. Jamie Jones Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: Ink on Paper

      What's the battery life on this new fangled "paper calendar book" you have?

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: Ink on Paper

        Approx. 1 hour :-)

      2. A.P. Veening Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: Ink on Paper

        What's the battery life on this new fangled "paper calendar book" you have?

        Lifetime ;)

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    One Ring to rule them all ...

    I don't mind paying, (Well I do, but I accept it's a necessary evil),

    I do mind paying a gazillion different services just to curate a decent watchlist.

    Especially when it's on top of what my (content-providing and charging) ISP is charging to access it in the first place.

    1. Terry 6 Silver badge

      Re: One Ring to rule them all ...

      Yes, I don't watch a lot. There are maybe half a dozen series I'd like to see. I might hate them once I start of course. They're all on different services. And that means paying and risking wasting an awful of of money.

      1. Fogcat

        Re: One Ring to rule them all ...

        Yes this! - Streaming service fragmentation. To start with there was Netflix, easy, why bother (a-hem) torrenting. Then Amazon Prime, ok a second won't hurt. then Netflix when big on "home developed shows" and every studio started looking enviously at the customers (Disney, Apple) and you get things like Paramount pulling all the old Star Trek off of Netflix so they can start their own service. Surely they can't all survive?

        1. Sudosu

          Re: One Ring to rule them all ...

          Binge and Burn.

          Streaming services rely on you never bothering to go through the process to cancel their product. This is similar to your local monthly recurring gym membership that you never use (admit it, you never go and never will). because the costs are "not thaaaat high" and your time is valuable.

          Essentially, with Binge and Burn, you use a prepaid credit card and a disposable email, watch your fill for a month (or two depnding how much you put on the card) and then walk away and do another service.

          Repeat as necessary when interesting content shows up on each platform

          This practice is becoming a big concern for these providers as they depend on customer laziness to keep the profits rolling in.

        2. cornetman Silver badge

          Re: One Ring to rule them all ...

          It could potentially turn into a form of the "tragedy of the commons" where everyone greedily dilutes the available markets, in turn making all streaming services lose. There has to be a limit to the number of services that people will subscribe to.

          1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Re: One Ring to rule them all ...

            Like with ISPs, mobile phones etc., the "smaller"[1] ones will eventually merge or be eaten by the "bigger"[1] ones and we'll end up with two or three behemeths.

            [1] In terms of library size and/or customer base. Amazon and Netflix are big studios, but Amazon can but $billions into becoming one. The big studios have the libraries and productions, but not yet the customer base. How it will end up is anyone's guess, but I suspect Netflix will be one of the losers in the long run.

        3. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

          Re: One Ring to rule them all ...

          Surely they can't all survive?

          Meh, give it 5 years and everything ends up on ITV3 anyway.

  13. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    "The consumer doesn't see it that way at all. "

    And sooner or later one of the consumers who doesn't see it that way is going to get mad and take it to a small claims court to get their money back - and win. What happens then?

    The new CFO is going to be in for a shock. Once other consumers get wind and start emulating that, then the original sales income starts bleeding away. There's no point in sending a fancy lawyer to defend each claim; it will cost more than the claim and, given the nature of the small claims route, they can't recoup the costs even if they win so it just bleeds money faster. If it was a class action they could afford to get the lawyers involved and limit the losses. It might be cheaper to back pedal and resume support or just liquidate the company.

  14. Red Ted
    Joke

    I bought all these Betamax titles and now I'm stuffed

    For that matter, what about all the LaserDisks titles I have here...?

    1. Will Godfrey Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: I bought all these Betamax titles and now I'm stuffed

      TNMOC would probably like to hear from you!

    2. Outski Silver badge

      Re: I bought all these Betamax titles and now I'm stuffed

      "What do I do with my old 78s"

      1. Mike 137 Silver badge

        Re: I bought all these Betamax titles and now I'm stuffed

        "What do I do with my old 78s"

        Or you could play them - most decent turntables can play 78s. I have some really amazing (and some actually irreplaceable) stuff on 78s - inherited from avid music loving ancestors. But of course that's 'legacy' so I suppose I'm expected to scrap it unless I want to be called a luddite (actually I don't care).

        1. Outski Silver badge

          Re: I bought all these Betamax titles and now I'm stuffed

          Have you got woofers and tweeters in that?

        2. Stoneshop Silver badge

          Re: I bought all these Betamax titles and now I'm stuffed

          Or you could play them - most decent turntables can play 78s.

          Note that you need a different stylus, and thus a different cartridge, for playing 78's.

          And while I consider my Thorens TD166 a pretty decent turntable, it can only play 33 and 45. The Lenco L75 does all four speeds, as well as every speed inbetween actually. I just don't have an extra headshell for it to mount a 78 cartridge in, but then I don't have any 78 discs either.

          1. Will Godfrey Silver badge

            Re: I bought all these Betamax titles and now I'm stuffed

            Indeed. 78s are up and down instead of side to side.

    3. MJI Silver badge

      Re: I bought all these Betamax titles and now I'm stuffed

      My Sony portable still works

      As does my top end Sanyo

      But my V** deck is broken

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Can I rip it?

    If it looks like a purchase, and I can't get at the bits and rip it, no sale.

    Oh, yes. Sonos. My old kit's still working, and receiving over-frequent and apparently purposeless updates. As and when it's murdered — a natural death seems unlikely — I'll replace it. But not with Sonos products.

  16. karlkarl Silver badge

    >> I paid for it, that makes it mine. Doesn’t it? No – and it never did

    It does. Those bits that I put on my hard disk from the ripped media stream, I do own. I may not own the trademark or the distribution rights but those 1's and 0's on my own hardware are mine and no-one else is allowed to access it (and encryption technically ensures that).

  17. Franco Silver badge

    It has even extended to cars, BMW are putting the hardware for optional features in to every model (E.g. heated seats) but charging you to unlock them. Absolutely fucking ridiculous.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-62142208

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      What's more, people will go along with it. How many potential BMW customers will tell the salesman it's a deal-breaker?

      1. Graham Cobb Silver badge

        And if they do, the salesman will just add in the "permanent heated seats" option and convince the customer they are getting a great deal when he discounts it to 0. It doesn't help the next customer who doesn't think of doing that.

        1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge
          Headmaster

          That will of course be the next trick - not the switch to turn them on, but the one to turn them off, especially in summer...

      2. veti Silver badge

        Since BMWs are only ever bought (new) by fleet buyers, they don't give a toss. The subscription will be budgeted for the three years of the vehicle's life, and after that who gives a shit anyway?

        (Secondhand market? Not my department, mate.)

    2. karlkarl Silver badge

      It is crazy. The first step is always the "persistent connection". That BMW ConnectedDrive stuff. Then the DRM bullsh*t creeps in quickly after.

      The question is, has the price of my BMW (pre-heated seat DRM) now actually increased?

      ... its a car so no ;)

    3. elaar

      Not just BMW. Our VW Golf came as "Android auto compatible", which naively I assumed meant it would work with it. Well it will, but you have to splash out £250 for them to connect their computer and tick a box somewhere.

  18. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    We're being very unfair to the media industry. After all, they sold us content on vinyl. Then they sold us the same content on cassette and then on CD. If we bought the same thing from them three times why should we refuse to keep buying it now?

  19. Big_Boomer

    Waste of money

    [RANT] I've looked at several subscription services and for me personally, the only one worth the money is Prime, but only because of the next day delivery. I couldn't give a crap about the movies they have, nor the series that all seem to have minor variations on a plot written back in 1969 and endlessly rehashed since then in the name of "Drama". I do enjoy The Grand Tour, but even that seems to have died a death.

    I was briefly tempted by Disney because of the Marvel stuff but then realised that I only watch maybe 2 movies per month, and I'm not interested in their series either.

    Since the advent of commercial TV in the UK, and more recently the subscription model, the quality of TV shows has declined massively to the point where I have hundreds of TV channels at my fingertips and I have no interest in watching 99.9% of them, especially since 90% of the channels are just showing endless repeats of crap that nobody wanted to watch when it was new.

    Whatever happened to Comedy series that actually made you laugh? These days it's all cringeworthy drivel and not a titter to be heard. Discovery started out well and was interesting and educational for quite a while, but they have now descended into mysticism, and "reality" shite.

    Now it seems that our dear government wants to increase the number of adverts per hour, sell Channel 4, and commercialise the BBC, so the last vestiges of vaguely decent TV will inevitably slide down the shitter. If it wasn't for the threat of the Mrs killing me, I cancel our TV package completely, get FreeSat or FreeView, and save myself a small fortune.[/RANT]

    1. Greybearded old scrote Silver badge

      Re: Waste of money

      The Boss said it all.

    2. usbac

      Re: Waste of money

      Exactly the same here, except that we canceled our satellite subscription a few years ago. It was actually my wife's idea to cancel it. We don't miss it at all.

      Someone on another forum said that Hollywood has finally implemented the ultimate DRM. For the last ten years, all of their movies and TV shows are so awful, that no one wants to pirate them anymore.

      We also have a Prime subscription for the free shipping, not because of the movies. And, like you, I'm a big fan of The Grand Tour, which has sadly ended.

      I buy a lot of used DVDs. I rip them to my media server, and put the discs away in boxes. Same thing with music CDs. If I can't break the DRM on a piece of media, I will not buy it.

      Same thing with software. We are slowly transitioning to entirely open source software and operating systems at my house. My wife's new laptop got loaded with Mint without ever booting up the pre-installed Windows 11.

      I will not buy anything that requires a cloud connection to operate. My security camera system runs locally, on a server that I control. The system will operate just fine with no internet connection. The only thing I would lose if the internet connection went down, is the ability to remote monitor it (obviously).

    3. tiggity Silver badge

      Re: Waste of money

      @Big_Boomer

      If you like Marvel, try "The Boys" on prime, the best show on prime by far (rather more gruesome & sexually graphic than Marvel though, lots of dark humour too)

      If you like comedy with a hint of superhero ness then try "The Tick" on Prime too.

      A housebound relative lives with us & we help her out / do various care activities, she has prime as she orders a lot of stuff online e.g. books (though we do her food & general supermarket style shopping for her at "bricks & mortar" shops).

      We can make use of her prime for streaming (covers the household) - otherwise I would never stream anything (so many channels on normal TV & I don't need to see whatever is the latest trending film / series) - but as its costing me nothing I make occasional use of it.

      1. Franco Silver badge

        Re: Waste of money

        The Boys is tremendous, however (haven't yet watched S2 of The Tick) but IMO the original live action version starring Patrick Warburton as The Tick was far superior. The sheer genius of Latina Batman being called Batmanuel still makes me laugh.

        1. J.G.Harston Silver badge

          Re: Waste of money

          Though I think Peter Serafinowicz is probably the only person who could have stepped into Patrick "Brock Sampson" Warburton's shoes.

        2. MJI Silver badge

          Re: Waste of money

          The Boys is funny, even to UK people.

          TGT will be back, but watch the James May travel series but NOT his cooking series.

    4. cornetman Silver badge

      Re: Waste of money

      > Since the advent of commercial TV in the UK, and more recently the subscription model, the quality of TV shows has declined massively to the point where I have hundreds of TV channels at my fingertips and I have no interest in watching 99.9% of them,

      This was predicted before the advent of digital TV in the UK. The rot really started well before then with Channel 5. I stopped watching pretty much all terrestrial TV in the UK. Multiply up the number of channels and divide down the quality of what is presented. It's all a load of b*llocks.

      1. Neil Barnes Silver badge

        Re: Waste of money

        When I worked for the Beeb it was already clear that there was enough talent in the UK to support no more than four TV channels...

        1. NATTtrash Silver badge
          Trollface

          Re: Waste of money

          When I worked for the Beeb it was already clear that there was enough talent in the UK to support no more than four TV channels...

          That was before the invention and implementation of "reality TV", right?

          1. Stoneshop Silver badge

            No talent required

            Not even in catching the right 'performers' to star in those shows.

          2. Terry 6 Silver badge

            Re: Waste of money

            And that's the true reality. Those programmes, along with game shows and compilations, fill the enormous gap that is created when we expand the number of suppliers, but can't increase the supply. Add in beancounters who'd rather remake/copy a successful film (Conan the Barbarian v2 ffs) or TV series, create stupid sequels/prequels (Police Academy 973) and add extensions to the existing ones than finance something truly new anyway, and you have the full explanation for the hundreds of hours of dross that is broadcast daily.

            1. Ozumo

              Re: Waste of money

              You forgot cooking shows...

            2. midgepad Bronze badge

              I've seen modern Shakespear

              on stage.

              It is not clear that a film cannot be remade.

              1. Terry 6 Silver badge

                Re: I've seen modern Shakespear

                Modern Shakespeare on stage as in live performance. So you can't just watch the original and best. Film remakes of something available- well you need a pretty good reason to do that if the actual original was any good. And it wouldn't be creativity- it'd be exploitation. Otherwise, make something new.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Waste of money

        Channel 5 did give us Lexx; but that is about it. I was interviewed on some obscure theme park documentary on the channel maybe 20 years ago too.

        The dilution of TV air time and advertising is also a major factor in revenues. Ironically, a few well crafted and curated channels rather than channel spam might be a practical future for broadcast.

        For everything else, the money is “in” streaming. I hear people talking about have you seen series X all the time. And quite frankly I simply cannot be arsed. Babylon 5 pioneered telling a story over 4 series; and did it in an entertaining manner.

        The new normal is to drip feed perhaps one line of plot every episode with 40 minutes of “what happened last week”. See Attack on Titan for possibly the worst example of that. But it’s very present on vanilla shows too. Hence I CBA!

    5. MJI Silver badge

      Re: Waste of money

      We pay for Prime.

      I hit break point to join when TGT started.

      Currently watching Our Man in Italy.

      Use a sons Netflix account occasionally

    6. Grunchy Bronze badge

      Re: Waste of money

      "...then realised that I only watch maybe 2 movies per month..."

      I know why you only watch maybe 2 movies a month, that is your diminished attention span. You can thank the internet for that!

      I also know how many books you're reading a month, I bet it's less than 2 !

      1. Big_Boomer

        Re: Waste of money

        Well you are quite wrong. I read 8-10 books per month although that is also suffering from a similar problem in as much as there seems to be little creativity out there. Plenty of authors now manage to stretch what would have been a single novel (or maybe a trilogy) into a 10+ book series that takes forever to get anywhere <yawn!>. I watch 2 movies per month because they are the only ones worth watching, and one of those will probably be an animated "kids" movie. The rest simply are not worth my time. The most recent movies I have watched and enjoyed were Dune(2021), Blade Runner 2049 (2017), Lucy(2014), and Pig (2021). Yes, I have a SciFi bias.

  20. Terry 6 Silver badge

    This very minute

    This just arrived in my inbox...

    Dear Amazon Drive Customer,

    Over the last 11 years, Amazon Drive has served as a secure cloud storage service for Amazon customers to back up their files. On December 31, 2023, we will no longer support Amazon Drive to more fully focus our efforts on photos and video storage with Amazon Photos. We will continue to provide customers the ability to safely back up, share, and organize photos and videos with Amazon Photos.

    What this means for you:

    You are receiving this email because you have files stored on Amazon Drive that are not supported by Amazon Photos. On December 31, 2023, you will no longer have access to Amazon Drive. Until then, you can continue to use Amazon Drive to manage your files.etc.

    As it happens, I didn't realise I did have this. Just off to South America to have a look at what treasure I may have buried there.

  21. Contrex

    If I wasn't the law-abiding type, I'd put Tor and Transmission and a DLNA server on my Raspberry Pi. Or LibrEElec on another Pi plugged into the telly. And subscribe to a Usenet service as well.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Every year I buy my TV licence. My over the air reception has long disappeared since the advent of digital TV - which seems sensitive to the height of local buildings - where the analogue signal was perfectly ok.

    So I watch possibly one BBC programme each month on iPlayer. Often that is one made several years ago when they didn't pad everything with a celebrity presenter drinking coffee. Some real-time programmes are not available to me even as a licence payer - unless I could watch them over-the-air.

    I do listen to a few programmes on BBC Radio 4 - usually on FM as the DAB often seems to go under water. The wireless receiving licence fee was abolished years ago as BBC radio was recognised as a public service. However - if I want to hear a BBC radio programme via the internet - apparently I have to use my iPlayer TV licence payer login.

    I keep my iPlayer viewing on a dedicated browser - to minimise any tracking of what interests me. A different browser is used to read the BBC news web site - which I regard as the same as listening to the same public service content on a radio.

    In the last few weeks when you navigate to a BBC news article - you are often required to login/register first. Exit the page - come back later - and this time there is possibly no login requirement.

    This is extremely annoying - which has marketeers' fingerprints all over it. Correlated data gathering abusing customer ignorance/inertia.

  23. navarac

    SCAM

    For simplicity - I just treat ALL streaming/digital content as a Scam. Safer that way.

  24. TheProf
    Joke

    Britannia

    If you like Britannia you'll absolutely love Chelsmford 123 on All4 (free) or BritBox (fee)

    1. Martin-73 Silver badge

      Re: Britannia

      Chelmsford 123 was awesome

  25. anthonyhegedus Silver badge

    The manufacturer couldn't give a fuck

    "lifetime" doesn't mean a human lifetime nor even the lifetime of whatever other kit you plug it into but "the lifetime of interest in which the manufacturer could give a fuck." - you've nailed it!

    1. Terry 6 Silver badge

      Re: The manufacturer couldn't give a fuck

      IOW "Lifetime" like "Up to......% off" is marketing speak for "We'll do what ever we like."

  26. RobThBay

    I bought Photoshop CS4 years ago and needed to reinstall it recently.

    It wouldn't register my serial number, so I called Adobe and asked what's going on?

    They said..... oh, the activation servers were old and we decided to scrap them.

    I asked... so now what do I do? The helpful idiot offered to sign me up for their new subscription based Photoshop.

    I later found an Adobe support site which had full unlocked copies of CS4 (with all updates) ready for downloading.

    What bunch of arse holes!

  27. spireite Silver badge

    Marriage = Subscription

    I find that if I don't pay enough out of my salary, that the missus stops working.

    Unfortunately it seems that subscription cannot be easily cancelled. without paying off the rest of the lifetime subscription.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Simple Diagnostic: "Am I free of subscriptions?"

    Dear Alistair:

    Quote: "I paid for it, that makes it mine"

    It seems that you have - what I call - "cloud thinking", or is it "cloudy thinking"? This is a mental illness which has been prevalent for maybe fifteen years, but was completely unknown before that. The illness is spread by contact with organisations like Adobe or BritBox.

    In order to determine whether a cure is possible, first you need to answer a few Yes/No questions:

    (1) When you want to watch a film (say "Minority Report"), can you locate the "Minority Report" DVD in a cupboard somewhere?

    (2) When you want to listen to some music (say Duran Duran "The Wedding Album"), can you locate the music CD in a cupboard somewhere?

    (3) Alternatively, have you already ripped all your music CDs (and all your movie DVDs) to a server on your LAN at home?

    (4) When you need some software (say GIMP or VLC), can you locate someone (say RedHat or Ubuntu) who will download the software to you (no charge)?

    (5) When you configure some new hardware (say a WiFi router), can the installation be completed without "the cloud"?

    If you have answered "Yes" to all these questions, you are pretty much free of "cloudy thinking".....and you have pretty much "made the technology your own".

    But "No" answers mean that you have a ways to go to shrug off "subscriptions".....sorry.....more work required!

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Let’s get physical, physical…

    How long until copyright owners start hunting down owners of their physical media?

    1. ecofeco Silver badge

      Re: Let’s get physical, physical…

      Fahrenheit 451?

      Not much longer at the current rate. We all have the big tellies and social programs now.

      1. Kurgan

        Re: Let’s get physical, physical…

        We have the big tellies with cameras and microphones and they send to their masters information about everything we watch on them. Even if these files are from a local storage, even if it's a "traditional" broadcast TV program. The masters of the TV now know everything. And it's more or less impossible to buy a "non smart" TV set, unless you buy a professional monitor that costs about 20 times the equivalent TV set.

  30. ecofeco Silver badge

    SUCKERS!

    See title.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Piracy is the way

    It seems that every legitimate service is trying hard to show people that PIRACY IS THE WAY.

  32. Grunchy Bronze badge

    I just steal whatever I want and forget about it, I've been doing this since the 1980s. Oh, come on. You can download every single game from PS1 through to PS3, and play in emulators. You can freely download every single NES and SNES game, too. Vectrex, C64, everything! I go to the library and borrow music CDs, and now you know why I keep a functioning "burner" drive: to dub that into MP3s. Listen, when Sony came out with Bluray one of the major innovations was that it could force you to watch a bunch of commercials, on the disc!, before you were permitted to watch the movie. Forget that noise, I'll just steal the Bluray movie copy and nuts to the commercials. There's one streaming service I might subscribe to again and that's MTOD ("motor trend on demand"). For Roadkill.

    (You can download complete DOS setups, Windows 3.1, Windows 95, Windows XP, you can get pretty much anything you want for nothing. I play SNES on my Android streaming box. Free.)

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