* Posts by gothicform

28 posts • joined 4 Mar 2008

UK small firms better get used to Dell's 65-day payment terms


But It's Against The Law

Isn't this a breach of European Directive 2000/35/EC and the Late Payment of Commercial Debts (Interest) Act 1998? People don't have to suck it up because it's against the law.

If Dell are doing it deliberately and openly I suppose the real question is why the European authorities don't take action against them.

If Dell terminated a contract or refused to renew one on the basis that a supplier took them to court, that too would be a breach of the law.

Seems to me they are simply operating with impunity.

Sons of Macintosh - shaking the Apple family tree

Jobs Horns

You don't get what you pay for

"You get what you pay for?" So 4x1gb of 800MHz DDR2 fully buffered ECC memory instead of 2x1gb costs £320. Let's see what sort of 2gb memory I can get for £320? Well Overclockers has NOTHING on sale that's 2gb and costs £320. The closest would be Corsair 2GB DDR3 Dominator 1800C7DF Twin3X (2x1GB) (TWIN3X2048-1800C7DF) but with Apple you get what you pay for!

How about the additional hard drive? Apple will charge you for a 1TB 7200-rpm Serial ATA 3Gb/s £270. This is £115 more than the most expensive 1TB drive with that specification I can find but you get what you pay for!

I could go on through their entire spec with this ill informed article claiming you get what you pay for when if you buy the exact same components in an Apple yourself and build it it costs less than half what Apple charge. That's a fact. Stop the fawning commentary that suggests Apple are in any way like Aston Martin. Those cars have bodies which are individually panel beaten, they even have plaques in them saying who made them.

Apple simply use standard components you can buy anywhere and are put together in mass production facilities. The mark up is for the name, the brand, and the case (which is a rip off compared to everything else too).

Ofcom slaps down Phones4U


Not So Expensive

Not so sure contract phones are more expensive. Mine is £15 a month for 300 texts and 75 minutes of voice calls. Do any PAYG places give you a free phone every 18 months you'd have to pay 200 quid for, 5p texts and that amount of voice calls? They don't. What *is* expensive is if you use more than your allowance because then it becomes poor value.

What else adds to the expense is misselling of phone packages which stop the consumer getting a good deal, make millions illegally for the misseller and help cement the views people like Andy have that PAYG is more expensive.

Burned by Chrome - Fire put out



Well Google just guaranteed I won't be using it and no one I employ will. As if we are going to give rights to Google for everything uploaded over the web. The value of what they'd be getting would be millions a year.

Erotic artist urges spanking for Jacqui Smith


Bans amateur film-makers

My biggest problem with the act is the inequitability of it.

As a poster mentions already it says something along the lines of -

(a) an act which threatens a person’s life,

(b) an act which results, or is likely to result, in serious injury to a person’s anus, breasts or genitals,

(c) an act which involves or appears to involve sexual interference with a human corpse,

(d) a person performing or appearing to perform an act of intercourse or oral sex with an animal (whether dead or alive).

Hold on... wouldn't that ban almost every single movie ever? No it won't. The act has exemptions written into it so a Hollywood film studio could film necrophilia or a woman getting her breasts sliced off and that would be legal. If you or I made such a film that didn't actually result in physical harm but simply "appeared to" as amateur film-makers we would get arrested. Not only does it ban sex videos, it also bans amateur film-making. For example, are vampires corpses? They appear to be dead, or are they undead and therefore exempt?

MS beefs up WinXP Pro's anti-piracy nagware

Gates Horns

Can I have some refunds?

I was under the impression that when you got an O/S you had a license for it that could be refunded? I have bought from MS and have copies of to this day, DOS5, Windows 3, Windows 95 (x2 copies as I lost the key for one and had to rebuy it), Windows 98SE, Windows 2000 and now Windows XP Professional.

There's only one flaw... it seems MS won't actually refund your license on an old operating system because it doesn't have a retail value any more. Despite this though, they seem eager to apply an ever increasing amount of restrictions to users of XP which they can no longer buy.

If it now has no marketable value why are they introducing this? If XP still has such a value, surely my old O/Ss do as well. I'd like my money back for all of them please.

The logic of MS thus goes -

1) You buy a license from us for using that O/S

2) You can refund the license, except if we don't sell the O/S

3) We will introduce systems that will stop you pirating an O/S we no longer sell

4) But if you want to buy a legal version... you can't.

ASA rules against citing 'hits' in ads

Paris Hilton

Hit and miss

Thank god we finally have some sanity. Time and time again I try to explain to potential advertisers that the 3 million hits of a rival website does NOT mean they get 3 million viewers. Most websites use the hits figures it seems, they also count robots and so on in their figures too thus massively inflating them. We need a reality check where people realise a hit does not mean a visit but until then the simple minded and stupid will continue to be misled about the relative popularity of websites.

Paris because she gets more hits than anyone.

Ex-Googlers reinvent web search


Dodgy results

Well that's definitely a crap search engine. I searched for my own website and it returns first a site set up by a spammer hoping to trade off the success of the site that simply has the same domain name but different domain extension and then page content NOTHING to do with what you're searching for and instead being a spammy link farm. Oh dear.

UK ISPs agree to menace their filesharing users


How libel works

If you have been libelled, it is up to the person making the allegations to prove it. If you have definitely not been downloading stuff, and no one in your household has either sue them - with the amount of cloned cable modems floating around on Virgin's network for example, it's a disaster waiting to happen.

Dangerous mobe chargers flood UK


Of course this will happen

Recently my laptop charger for my Thinkpad stopped working, or rather the cable on it snapped off. Buying a branded and boxed but second-hand one on Ebay would cost me £24.99 including postage. Buying a new one from the manufacturer would cost £60.00 and buying a cheap Chinese knock off, also on Ebay, would cost £10.00.

It's clear the manufacturers are massively overcharging, how can a charger possibly cost £60.00? That is the basic root of the problem in having accessories that bare no resemblance to the actual cost of them. Another example is why mobile phone batteries cost so much - it's actually possible to get a second battery that costs more than the phone!

Court slaps UK BitTorrenters with landmark damages award


More case law

"I imagine you charge a different price for one print of your photo as compared to the right to use it on a public website..."


If someone takes a photo and sticks it on a website they are then distributing it to numerous different people, each of which is an individual infringement according to this judgement. This judgement indicates that with the internet, because you cannot tell how much something has been distributed, you should get a multiple of the typical fee.

My own experiences though in court from suing people for doing precisely this is that this is not solid case law. The judge who decided these damages has made a huge huge mistake as a result.

Thumb Down

Whatever happened to established case law?

Irvine vs Talksport established this supposedly once and for all. The judgement in the case says that "It is clear from Lord Wilberforce�s speech in General Tire that a reasonable endorsement fee in the context of the instant case must represent the fee which, on a balance of probabilities, TSL would have had to pay in order to obtain lawfully that which it in fact obtained unlawfully (see in particular the passage from the judgment of Fletcher Moulton J in the Aluminium case, quoted by Lord Wilberforce). It is not the fee which TSL could have afforded to pay: hence the judge was correct to conclude (in paragraph 16 of the second judgment) that TSL�s financial situation is irrelevant. "


"The level of damages indicates UK judges are sympathetic to the view that copyright infringment via peer to peer networks can cause greater damage to rights holders than the retail cost of their product, because the number of times it has been shared by an individual is unknown."

The article says that it costs £8.99 which tells us that the average has been distributed a whole 55 times in its entirety???? Are we honestly expected to believe that the average bittorrent user could have uploaded a total of 37.5 gigabytes of this game, particularly with upload speeds in the UK being less than the download speeds?

I should make this argument every time a company nicks one of my photographs and then sticks it on the internet. After-all, there's no way of telling how many thousand people download it then from the website without permission and then reuse it elsewhere but courts would never agree to that so I can only claim the license fee even though it's a commercial, not non commercial copyright infringement.

Can someone please fix our legal system so that either commercial copyright infringement is treated worse than file sharing, or file sharing is treated better. I don't care which as long as they are proportionate.

Google's Street View spycar clocked in London

Black Helicopters

One law for Google?

So they are going past schools taking pictures? Past police stations taking pictures? I hope police keep stopping them for being suspected paedo-terrorists or is it ok for Google to go around the streets taking pictures of everywhere when we can't.

AVG disguises fake traffic as IE6


I object and am right

"Those who object to AVG prescanning are completely in the wrong. "

Not at all Alan. It's my system and I can do with it what I like. I can choose to reject any traffic I like. It is my legal right. I see no reason why my bandwidth bill should go up by 15%... do you have any idea how much extra that will add to what we already transfer? I reckon AVG has added 280gb a month to our traffic! We'll need 15% more webservers to provide for this traffic so that means we will have to buy a new webserver to cope too. Imagine if your operating costs went up by 15% just because.

Making things even worse, AVG actually pretends to be something else. It acts like malware by masquerading as a virus. Because we are unable to specifically block it I wonder what the legal options are. I don't think a court would be very impressed for a start with a virus checker that pretends to be something else, or indeed any piece of software.

Japan to tax MP3 players


Collective Punishment

Classy stuff. Well done music industry. Every single one of the almost 10,000 mp3s I have on my mp3 player has been legally bought and ripped from a cd. As I have been buying music for perhaps 15 years I have a rather big collection although these days I barely do because I am one of those ethical consumers. Just as I won't buy shares in a defence company I won't buy cds from a company that sues people who have never owned a computer.

I totally utterly resent that the music industry now wants to tax because I should compensate them for someone else downloading. If they want me to stop buying music altogether they are going about it the right way.

Phorm in phormulaic logo phorm storm


All in the Overlays

If you can overlay one over the other and they match up then you have copyright infringement regardless of whether there's also trademark infringement.

Sony Ericsson K660i internet phone


And the big deal is?

So actually this phone does everything my K850i does except it has internet specific keys and comes with Google Maps already installed plus the landscape mode for internet set as default. Wow, saves a whole 10 seconds of changing the settings there!

Still, I wish Sony would have phones that do everything, Walkman phones with flash, or Kamera phones with a standard headphone socket instead of forking the devices the way they have for marketing purposes. Do they expect us to run three different mobiles or something?

Music biz proposes 'iPod tax' in return for format-shift freedom


Format Shifting and the Law

It *is* unlawful to rip your cds to mp3s however only in a civil sense of the matter. Damages are determined during copyright infringement cases based on the harm done by them... in this case the harm is zero pence so they could get a judgement against you but no damages which makes the whole process rather pointless.

The law did work fine the way it was because people never worried about things that had no harm, but now they seem to understand the letter of the law rather than the spirit of it. As record companies have become so utterly stupid perhaps the law needs to be changed (it's already bad because the damages for commercial copyright infringement are the same as non commercial copyright infringement).

Virgin Media mops up CEO's 'boll*cks' outburst


lies, damned lies and...

"Actually, taking the comparison literally, the reason for the congestion is often the very existence of the bus lane; there's less room for the other traffic, so everything gets jammed."

Not exactly. You're looking at vehicle count, not passenger count. In central London the loading of buses is such that the number of passengers on them, even in off-peak hours, is still greater than those in cars.

Microsoft gives XP an extra two years to live (kinda)


Sale of Goods Act

As software is classed as goods and services and the Sale of Goods Act applies, why is it legal for Microsoft to wash their hands of support for Windows XP. It sounds to me like there is something of a gulf between their own terms and conditions and what the law requires them to do. Should be interesting to see what XP users do when they no longer have support. It's true they cannot produce a product indefinitely but they are legally required to support it, no matter what their own impossible to enforce EULA says.

LiveLeak pulls anti-Koran documentary



Is this the same liveleak that has endless suicide bombing videos with celebratory Arabic speeches from the bombers on it? You either show both extremes, or neither. Cowards.

Virgin Media in talks to trial three strikes regime against P2P


Double Standards

So does this mean I can have VM cut off every single person who visits a website that has breached my copyright and downloaded material from it... eg photographs? Oh wait, they only care about copyright infringement if it is music or movies!

Google's riches rely on ads, algorithms, and worldwide confusion

Dead Vulture

smartpricing is dumb

One nice example of smartpricing from the webmaster's side is to monitor what that ads on each page take and then remove the poorest ones. Your overall take goes up despite you having the same traffic as before hitting your sites and the ads being showed LESS times but because its better quality ad displays they pay you more!

So for example,

100,000 good ad views + 100,000 bad ad views = $300.00

100,000 good ad views + 0 bad ad views = $400.00

It seems smartpricing actually awards bad ad views with a negative overall for webmasters, but you can bet they are charging for those bad ad views to advertisers. At the same time, it's impossible for them to have a value of less than zero but they somehow manage to do that!

Of course, as we can't see the system we cannot see it for certain but this is how it seems to work. Adsense used to be great but at the end of last year my CPM which had been rocksteady suddenly halved and only went up again when I removed the bad ads (I now sell that space privately).

Phorm agrees to independent inspection of data pimping code


Messenger Shot?

If the BT guy who leaked the documents has been fired and Phorm turns out to be unlawful doesn't that mean said whistleblower can actually sue BT as whistleblowers who inform on unlawful action have legal protection and cannot be sacked?

Still, I'm sure they gave him a nice big payoff and ace reference just to cover their backs cos BT aren't completely stupid... right?

Ten years old: the world's first MP3 player


Kudos on the cd mp3 players

I got one of these Sony discmen that could read mp3s too back in 2001 I think it was. At the time it could hold 700mb of mp3s on a rewriteable disc which was impressive for the day AND have a battery life of 35 hours. You could write a blank cd faster than usb 1 went too so it was quicker to sync up. Given the first generation of i-pods could barely manage six which wasn't enough to even listen to a cd of mp3s they were rather pointless. The remote could read id3 tags properly too but it was bigger. It also read the crappy ATRAC but I never ever used that and avoided the attempts by Sony to foist their rubbish on me. I never understood though why they spent so long not having proper mp3 players when you could get diskmen so long ago that did support mp3.

Phorm launches data pimping fight back


Phorm Are Pirates

So let me get this straight? They copy my website as the user visits it and then stores the data. Copyright design and patents act specifically legislates against this. Thankfully, we already have rulings that just because you deleted the mp3s after the downloads you don't get off the hook. Looks like they can be tripped up on this matter alone.

BT targets 10,000 data pimping guinea pigs


Europe can help sort them out

There's a nice Europeran Directive from 2003 on telecommunications that specifically covers this. It says that if the telco does something that breaks the law with regards to the directive (such as BTs actions here) then all the contracts with their customers they are doing that action with are automatically voided so contract length becomes irrelevant. Furthermore the customers may sue the telco for damages, things like the cost of moving to another ISP.


Data pimping: surveillance expert raises illegal wiretap worries

Thumb Up

What about the data being sent by websites to the customer?

One thing however that isn't mentioned in the article is that data is being sent both way. Whilst the ISP might have permission of the customer to look at their data do they have the permission of the website sending them the data too? Once they have the data do they have the permission to store it from the website that owns the data or are they going to modify that data, violate the copyright etc?

I can't see them getting away with this for long before the whole thing collapses in lawsuits and the sharks start to circle as the banks are now discovering.


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