* Posts by Nigel Rook

15 publicly visible posts • joined 11 May 2007

Why teachers fear Callum, Chelsea, Connor and Crystal

Nigel Rook

Lexicographical trend?

I'm noticing a startling tendency for those names appearing on the naughty list also cropping up early in the earlier half of the alphabet. I present the hypothesis that there's a correlation between not being able to raise good kids and not being able to make it more than half way through the big book of baby names.

Saying that, there's also an early-alphabet trend amongst the good kid name list too, maybe it's the people who compiled the list who can't be bothered to finish reading things about names...

- Nigel, an ex-(spectacled, unpopular maths-kid)

Research: Wind power pricier, emits more CO2 than thought

Nigel Rook

On the plug-in car storage concept

I'd love to see some estimates on how much this will shorten the life of your battery, since they are lumbered with a limited number of charge cycles, as well as how toxic (I genuinely don't know, as opposed to inferring that the answer is very) disposing of / recycling a dead Lithium Ion battery is.

And while I do pretty much agree with the concept that wind is a rubbish way to meet national energy demands (and fully support it for microgeneration), I can't help feeling the report isn't entirely balanced. For example, gas turbines may be one of the few ways to handle sudden dips in wind generation, but surely you can cover most of a 5-day lull with coal or nuclear...

MS bashes Gay(wood) Xbox Live gamer

Nigel Rook

Re. Hmmm Re. Discrimination...

"I wonder how Richard Blackwood gets on with his Xbox live account"

I'd imagine he has a larger than average... err... gamerscore

You'll learn to love mobile TV

Nigel Rook

I'm with Stu

Mobile TV, it's not exactly a new concept. Heck I had a little portable television, a little 3" screen jobby, something like 10 years ago. It functioned perfectly well even living out in the sticks like I did, the technology existed, it worked, and yet I never met anyone else who had one.

OK, so an iPod Touch has a bigger screen meaning slightly less intense squinting is required, but it's still painfully small. It's a device for use on the move, except you can't actually use it if you're moving under your own power, and if you do, I call first in line to dip my shoulder as you walk into me.

How many people do you know who actually watch video on their iPods? Plenty of people may have some on there, just so they can go "wow, cool, loook at this", but very few people actually use it as a proper function. It's a gadget, a fancy thing for technophiles to show off, something to wow your less technically literate friends... actually, where do I get one?

Minister: Waste wood is 'huge potential resource'

Nigel Rook

2600GWh! Why that's enough...

... to power a time-travelling De Lorean for almost three months!

Blu-ray 0, SDHC card 1, THX Chief Scientist predicts

Nigel Rook

Flash drives for movies? Crazy talk

Well, If i'm generous and assume that someone provides a nice little set-top box into which i can plug a 64Gb flash drive with a movie on it and just watch the thing, buying a HD movie on a flash stick goes something like:

1)Choose Movie

2)Go to download station, select movie again, plug in drive, pay

3)Scratch my arse for 15 minutes* while it transfers, since i'm not leaving my £100 flash stick unguarded

4)Once home, scratch my arse for 15 minutes* while movie transfers to some other medium so I can use my £100 flash stick again

5)Watch movie \o/

* 15 minutes assumes remarkable advances in getting flash drive write speeds as high as USB 2.0 transport speeds. As things stand, it's more like an hour.

As opposed to the blu-ray option, which is basically the same, except without the half an hour of arse scratching. Oh, and i can grab a blu-ray disc from a bargain bin in a petrol station on the spur of the moment, and I can buy more than one at once...

Flash is expensive, optical media isn't. By the time this nonsense becomes practical, the HD movie downloads of the (distant) future will be a reality.

OnlineTV recorder TVCatchup.com shut down

Nigel Rook

Cheeky? Really?

"TVCatchup's operators aimed to fund the site through advertising, and said it had approached ITV, Sky and Channel Five to offer to sell them slots on the site. The cheek is admirable, really."


OK, so this doesn't apply to sky, who manage to put out at least some decent content, but who in their right mind would want to record anything that airs on either ITV or Channel Five?

Microsoft backpedals on Blu-ray for Xbox 360 comments

Nigel Rook

@Joe K, Not bollocks

Carefully spun, yes, but then your comment clearly isn't an unbiased view either.

"Microsoft today said that HD DVD remains the only format to deliver quality experiences at affordable prices."

That says good quality at an affordable price, there's no assertion that Blu-ray doesn't deliver quality, only an assertion that if it does then it's not affordable.

Blu-ray is, of course, capable of delivering better quality than HD-DVD, the spec gives it more bandwidth, and discs have higher capacity. It's also got a lot of additional costs though. HD-DVDs can be manufactured at current DVD-manufacturing plants with minimal expenditure, which is not true of Blu-ray. The HD-DVD player spec was actually finished before people started manufacturing the players, so even cheap HD-DVD players support next-gen features, which are only matched by a small number of recently released premium blu-ray players. And HD-DVD is inherently cheaper and simpler to produce, lacking silly things like extra layers of copy protection which only last a week, and having a simpler virtual machine (insert reasons for hating java here) for the interactivity features.

Of course the statement is an exercise in spin, if one of the primary backers is seen to be eyeing up the opposing format that's hardly good PR, but it's no myth that HD-DVD is cheaper for the consumer.

YouTube biker clocked at 189mph

Nigel Rook

According to the Sun "We've been eating the mushrooms we found in the garden"

According to the Sun, the "speed freak forces other drivers to change lanes as he heads in the direction of the A417 Swindon to Gloucester road", while his machine is "also seen weaving dangerously in and out of traffic on a single carriageway in an urban area".


Sorry, where? I'm thinking the first quote relates to someone moving out of the fast lane having passed a slow moving vehicle, but that's not really being forced to change lanes by the rider. The second quote... i'm guessing it's referencing the single lane dual carriageway section at the end, though weaving seems like something of an exaggeration, his road position is fairly constant. "Filtering at what one might argue is a slightly excessive speed" seems more appropriate.

Was he going too fast? probably. I know i'd have browned my pants at 190 and based on what I've done on my SV650, i'm pretty sure I'd be feeling too edgy to ride safely at 140 either (which happens to be its top speed), but then again, that's me with my awful eyesight and nervous disposition. On this occaision at least, this guy doesn't present a hazard to anyone, except maybe any jumped-up speed fascists who fly into a blind rage when he goes past them

Lord Triesman on P2P, pop-ups and the Klaxons

Nigel Rook


The Oxfort english dictionary defines the verb to steal (in this contextt) as:

to "take (something) without permission or legal right and without intending to return it"

So downloading a tune is stealing :(

"steal verb [...] to take away (another person's property) without permission or legal right, especially secretly" - Chambers Reference Online

or not...

Regarding the comment that by downloading something you're refusing to pay for something you desire, you have to remember that desire decreases as cost increases, which is why "I wouldn't have bought it if i hadn't have downloaded it" still stands. The ludicrous prices that record companies enforce for reduced quality (flac ftw \o/), drm-encumbered rubbish mean that more often than not, someone downloading a song for free doesn't mean that a purchase has been lost.

Paramount poised to drop HD DVD

Nigel Rook

Blu-ray is technically superior, but...

...a good chunk of that superiority, from the content provider's perspective, lies in the extra layer of content protection, which lasted about a week. They've also had to release two new revisions of the player specification since the first blu-ray players came out, meaning features you'll find on the $200 HD-DVD players you can sometines find in the states, are only available in brand new, premium priced blu-ray players.

A blu-ray win represents increased costs for consumers more than it represents an increase in quality.

I've been expecting Blu-ray to win for a while, but i'll still be disapointed if it does.

UK fast food peppered with salt

Nigel Rook

Blasted salt nazis!

It's because of them that now, whenever i go to a Maccy Ds's, I have to ask the pipsquesk behind the counter for half a dozen sachets of salt spread unevenly over my fries in an attempt to make them resemble the salty golden wonder-sticks i remember from my youth.

Oh uncle Thaddius, what jolly times we had...

Mr and Mrs Renault cannot name daughter Megane

Nigel Rook

It could've been worse...

...Espace Renault is clearly a fat-girl name

* hides

Cat senses impending death

Nigel Rook

As any Pratchett fan will tell you...

...cats can see the big hooded chap with the scythe. Clearly Oscar is just following a friend around.

New, New Labour gets new logo and website

Nigel Rook

More colour play...

Interesting to see that everyone's made the purple = red + blue link. But just think, if my memory of primary school serves me correctly, tossing a little Liberal Democrat yellow into the mix gives... brown. An omen?