* Posts by Phil

26 publicly visible posts • joined 10 May 2007

Teens rate top tech brands


@Frank Bough

"Yeah, couldn't possibly have anything to do with the iPod being the best overall PMP, could it?"

Actually, it couldn't. PMPs are commodity components jammed into a plastic case in the far east with some software. Technically products from Sansa, Creative etc are as good, with marginal differences in the user interface. The big difference is that Apple did a first class job of branding the iPod/iTunes link and selling the package. Teenagers are particularly susceptible to that kind of marketing and do tend to follow the crowd, without evaluating boring factors like value for money. That's not a criticism of Apple - with next to no technical differentiation, they found a way to capture the market.

Second Life mounts assault on reality


Thank god for that

After a couple of posts from amanfromMars that made some sort of sense, it's good to see he's back on form.

Czech Olympic Committee annihilates English language



At least the "pouched marmoset" makes a better logo/mascot than the British one.


I wonder if they mean poached marmoset. Yum.

Maddy: TV torture for the ADD generation


How to make news out of thin air

Yesterday morning, according to the news sources I read, the Portugese police had their pajamas packed and were about to board a plane for England.

According to the evening news, the judge saw no need to interview the McCanns again.

hey presto, Two front page, top slots news stories out of nothing.


Ask the audience

I imagine being able to vote for who the police should arrest next would be very popular. They could get Chris Tarrant to do it.

"Well, Inspector Knacker, you still have three lines-of-enquiry left: 50-50, phone a friend or ask the audience."

Online car tax saves planet from carbon hell



"Andrew Rhodes, DVLA’s Head of Electronic Customer Services, is available for interview – please contact Fiona Anderson or Andrew Smith at MGB PR on 01792 460200, or andrews@mgbpr.com."

Go on, John, I dare you ...

Discovery of musician on YouTube triggers loss of faith in American Dream and interests


Meanwhile ...

Scientists have discovered that people may have hundreds of friends on Facebook and Myspace, but most of them aren't all that close.


There's real ground breaking stories out there, what are you doing???

I'm just off for tea with Eric Clapton.


Oh, come on

To be fair to Lefsetz, you are misrepresenting his argument in order to sustain yours. He says that the story around Digby - the thing that gets her slots on prime time chat shows - is that she was discovered on YouTube. Once that is exposed, she is just another pretty girl with a nice voice that a major label is trying to promote. So there is "nothing left" of Disney's marketing strategy for that artist, and all your nonsense about the American dream doesn't come into it.

Aussie bin Laden penetrates APEC security


@Dion R

Carrot is a brummie, not a geordie. He came up through the folk club circuit in the 1970s, the start of what became modern standup. If you get one of his early albums like "Rabbits on and on" you'll find he uses a lot of local references and regional stereotypes, which was very funny at the time if you lived in Solihull or Wolverhampton. When he got to TV, he had to broaden the targets to appeal to a wider audience, which he did successfully for a while, but the strain of writing topical gags in the volume required for TV nearly killed him. So, early Carrot: good in the context of its time, later Carrot: not so hot; and no real expectation that it would appeal to anyone outside the UK.

Why oh why do rock stars die young?


How about some research?

It would be (slightly) more interesting to know if the later generations are less likely to die young than those who hit their fame in the pre-1975 period. It might also be (slightly) more useful to discover if there's any common factor between the ones who did all the sex, drugs and R'n'R, but didn't die. Obviously not getting shot is a big help, but that still doesn't explain Keef.

But, I suppose that would require some academic level of enquiry, rather than a primary school project.

The Return of iTuneski


Commodity, Art?

>> First music, like any creative art, isn't a commodity.

Judging by the rate that undifferentiated electronic popular music is produced, and for the most part disappears without trace shortly afterwards, it is absolutely a commodity. The question is whether it is creative art.

Girls prefer pink: official


Everything has a reason

As all babies look identical to anyone except their parents, the pink/blue convention is vital to avoid embarrassing mistakes, or having to ask "what sex is it?".

Pirated Simpsons movie traced to phone



Some of us remember queuing in the rain outside the Odeon, the jobsworth with the peaked cap who wouldn't let anyone till they were ready to start the film, the 'B' feature, the broken seats, the fleas. If the film was really popular you could queue for 45 mins in the rain and then not get in. The modern multiplex is luxury ... luxury.

Miserable Brits declare War on Comfort



If she is lobbying loudly and persistently for shops and offices in London to switch their lights off when nobody is in the room/building, then it might also be reasonable for her to have a go at patio heaters. But I bet she isn't because a) no one gets any fun out of an empty office with lights blazing at 2am b) the CBI and various chambers of commerce would tell her to F*** off.

Suit blows £105k in London bar


The Reg angle

Possibly El Editore thinks it is a good idea to carry stuff Reg readers are interested in, regardless of IT content, and judging by the number of comments on this, it's working.

If you want the dry technical details, there's always that other site, the one with the guy in the bunny suit.

UK going to hell on hardware, eco group warns



The council installed two huge electronic sign boards on the A46, either side of Stratford on Avon. I have only ever seen 2 messages on them a) "Use the Park and Ride" b) "Not in use".

And how much electricity does it take to keep the lights on all night in our local supermarket?

Alltunes.com claims win in Russian copyright case


Business models

> "paying nothing to your suppliers"

There are good precedents for paying almost nothing to suppliers of commodity products in over-supply. Take coffee beans as an example. The difference there is the companies driving the price down are western and the suppliers are in Africa and S America. So that's OK, but if it's the Russians doing it to us, it's the end of civilisation.

And don't try to tell me pop music isn't a commodity. There's far more of it than anyone wants to buy, loads of people desperate to produce it and the costs of production and distribution are low and going ever lower.

> "selling at a price your competitors cannot match"

Better stop making stuff in China. It's cheating.

> "no investment in future product"

And Amazon's investment in future music production is what exactly?

> "zero marketing and advertising costs"

How did people find Allofmp3 then? They must have done something. But, if you can get customers without, I say go for it.

Ghostly plastic bathtoy flotilla nears Cornish coast


The IT angle

The IT angle is of course than the more enterprising of these ducks have already found their way onto the motivational-pep-talks-for-computer-salesmen circuit, and are charging $5000 for a 30 minute talk with slides.

New site marries Google, Yahoo!


Form, substance

It seems all the development effort is going into repackaging existing the search engines to make the results look pretty. Is anyone actually thinking about making a better engine, or is Google as good as it gets?

Google Maps aids terrorists, NY lawmaker warns


The real threat

I think I've worked it out. Google Earth shows my back garden as it was about 4 years ago, so that means the camera must be something like 2 light years away (allowing another 2 years for the picture to get back to earth), not in close orbit as we thought. The pictures on Google Earth are obviously being provided by the Lizard Alliance, and they have some pretty hot long distance surveillance technology. Be even more afraid.


Cut that lawn

How often do they take these pictures? Just I'm looking at my back garden in Google Earth and it still shows the lawn we had taken up 2 years ago. And I think I can see our old bath that was out in the garden for a while, but got taken away in a skip long before the lawn went. If terrorists are relying on this, they could make some serious mistakes.

So what's in a URL? The Reg URL?


Keep the empire

Definitely keep .co.uk. And we want articles by Ashlee Vance in Bognor.

Tiscali coughs to spam blacklisting after a week without email


Experience counts

I signed up with Demon a long time ago - something like 15 years. In the early days of Internet/email growth they did have some problems keeping up with increasing demand, but I guess they learned. I can't remember the last time there was a network related problem, or when I last had to phone support. Of course I have been tempted by cheaper offers, but then there's always a story like this to bring me back to the real world.

UK arrest gives AllofMP3 touts the fear


We need a lawyer

"The copyright in a work is infringed by a person who, without the licence of the copyright owner, imports into the United Kingdom, otherwise than for his private and domestic use, an article which is, and which he knows or has reason to believe is, an infringing copy of the work." UK Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 (c. 48)


So, if I import an mp3 - for my own private and domestic use - that does not infringe copyright? In which case, someone who sells me a voucher to buy that mp3 is not assisting me to infringe copyright either. And provided the voucher is honoured by the agent, in this case allofmp3.com, what possible grounds are there for a fraud charge?

Police raid ends allofmp3.com vouchers


Oh dear, where do I start?

There's no evidence that I'm aware of the allofmp3 is run/financed by Russian criminals, aren't they just businessmen who saw a demand and a loophole in local law that would enable them to supply it. If a similar loophole existed in UK or US law, respectable members of the business community would be all over it.

Sleezebags who run porn sites know how to conceal their identity from credit card companies, but Russian mp3-gangsters don't? Something adrift there.

I'm old enough to remember the days of "pirate" radio in the UK, when Radio Caroline and London broadcast from ships off the coast. There was no legal alternative to the service they provided and they thrived, with the support of advertisers from the upstanding UK business community. The government closed them down just because they didn't fit within the antiquated broadcast licensing regime. Instead we got BBC Radio 1 (give me strength) and licenced commercial radio, as a result of which the entire FM waveband in the UK is taken up with stations all broadcasting the same mindless drivel. That is what happens when you let the government and the music industry loose on entertainment. Give me Russian gansters any day.

Sun may never set on British Empire's pint


Is there a measure for government stupidity?

As some previous posts have hinted at, this has nothing to do with whether metric is somehow better or worse than imperial, it is about communication and appropriate levels of precision. If I ask the butcher for a pound of mince, he knows what I mean and near enough is fine, provided he only charges me for what I actually get, however he measures it. If I'm building a house, on the other hand, then the architect, the brick layer and the carpenter really do need to agree to use the same units and measure accurately.

Where this all goes wrong is when governments decide to legislate, having thought through half of the implications. So now we have to buy petrol in litres, but fuel consumption is generally reported in miles/gallon. And that's probably the least important consequence of letting the lunatics run the asylum.