* Posts by zenp

25 posts • joined 5 Oct 2009

UltraViolet: Hollywood's giant digital gamble is here


...a Hollywood tax...?

...more like a 'tax' everyone might pay for all the media they watch, regardless of where it was made (Iran, for instance).

And then, it's not even a tax if it's more like the BBC's licence fee, more of a one off annual charge based solely upon whether or not you opt in to the 'i wanna watch media' cloud.

Worth considering, and not dismissing out of hand shirley...


Ah, the small print...


A year indeed. Well that's just sunk the boat in the middle of the harbour!*

Additionally: doesn't say a word about cinema tickets in the rules, so one assumes that as per nowadays trips to the flicks are a luxury one off experience. It would be a bit daft to assume that one UV purchase would entitle one to multiple (infinite!) visits to multiple (infinite!) cinemas to see the same film; it may be a bit less daft to assume that a one off trip to the cinema could entitle you to a UV account at a later date, but clearly daft enough in terms of studio finances to rule it out of the equation. Nor does it mention some sort of backwards compatibility for those who already posses legal copies of a film (quite possibly more than one of the same film!). Again, a nightmare scenario to legislate, just think about it for more than ten seconds...

And: '...the number and type of devices to which downloads are permitted may vary by retailer and title...' which might prove confusing if certain studios intend to take their proprietary walls with them onto the UV cloud. ('...i believe sir is trying to play an Apple studios film on a Samsung player, Still no legal firmware update for that, i'm afraid, but they're due in court again next year. Will the licence still be valid in a year? I can't guarantee that, sir..')*

Though on the positive side: '...UltraViolet retailers may offer account members the chance to download files associated with UltraViolet rights they have purchased from other UltraViolet retailers...' which means not being tied to one retailer, horray! Oh, wait, it says 'may'. Damn, another caveat..*

*paranoia alert!!! Well, yes, possibly, though not without justifiable reason. The only possibility i can see of this succeeding at present (before being destroyed by a mass of backlash and outraged consumer confusion) is that individual retailers offer their own cast iron guarantees of streaming/ downloading/ and even clearly stated upgrade prices for future formats. As long as all the retailers can access the same level playing field (the UV backbone), they can compete fairly, and we the consumer should benefit from the ensuring price/ customer service war.

UV could work, but i'm gonna err on the side of pessimism, and assume the studios will bugger it up with the usual 'profits before common sense' approach. Which would be a shame...

Scientists probe Earth's core, make mystifying discovery


...just crusty...

Guardian super-blogger flames Reg boffinry desk



...it's been a YEAR since we BOMBED THE MOON, and have ANY of the other planetary bodies given us ANY trouble SINCE? I think NOT. We RULE this solar system. Bring it on Sol, you're SO ancient history...

(...grenade, cos we bring 'em to a gun fight...)

Kiss frontman gives file-sharers tongue-lashing


....but the true irony lies here, can't believe no ones mentioned it..!

...his son is a bit of a rapacious copyist himself, y'knows, for all daddy's claims to great parenting. Kid completely ripped the art from the Japanese manga series Bleach for his own comic. Not just once, but over and over again, so much so that the publishers had to halt production! Way to go Gene. "They're allowed to rebel once I kick them out of the house and they earn their own living.", yeah, by ripping off other artists! How exactly does that NOT count as a FAIL in your books Gene...?


Life on Earth gets wiped out every 27 million years, say boffins


...stupid food...

...Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn...

New leader, same old job for Martha Lane Fox


...the old lady/ boy network....

...not to mention the fact that she went to Westminster School, as did our humanoid overlord's bag boy. As so did i, and i didn't get no inheritable IT job out of it. Or any other sortta 'job'!

I'm just saying, it's a small world....

Sex offender downloads child pr0n to get back into prison


...a minor point, but with a chilling insinuation...

...so to pursue your point to the bitter end, wouldn't a paedophile roughing it in some hostel, and hankering for a window with bars on again actually find it more gratifying to really molest a child in order to get sent back to prison? Not to mention get a more secure conviction, etc.

Wonderful, that's really cheered my day up.


Web2.0rhea eclipses search in UK



...clearly illustrating the point that social networking is one big self-referential circle jerk!

NASA telescope gazes into heart and soul of universe


good or evil?

...yes, thank you, it does.

I do have one point to follow on this. You make an assumption, that because an atheist doesn't chose to believe in God per se, they can't tell the difference between good and evil. This is not the case. In an atheistic point of view, good and evil 'exist' just not as entities separate from ourselves, with for want of a better word, 'supernatural' origins.

For example, i saw an interview once with the psychologist into whose care had been placed the two children who notable tortured and murdered the child James Bulger. He was asked how he would define evil. He replied succinctly, 'lack of empathy'. I have tested this analogy against every example of what one classically defines as evil, and have still to find a single example where it fails.

So if you wish, regard the 'good' atheists as those who have empathy for their fellow man, and the 'evil' ones as those who don't. It then becomes easy to realise how some can wipe out a million lives without a care, and yet other will give their lives prevent it.

The idea that man can’t figure this out for himself seems a bit weird to me, especially if he’s a creation of god, and therefore already has the answers to the questions he seeks in his soul already, much like a snail carries it’s shell upon it’s back.

I can understand how a group of people can come to a similar understanding and produce a theosophy to support that and to bring them together.

Do you se that others can come to that same understanding without the need for that particular ideology, but through another ideology that is more fitting for their own place in space and time?

I’m sorry that I cannot offer more at this stage, but I’m on holiday, and subject to the whims of internet cafes…!

Love and respect,



...if it's about more than semantics, surely the names don't matter...

...maybe all society is a fabrication of God, as He did create everything after all. So by living an observed respectful life full of love, where you live within the parameters of a compassionate society, you are in fact giving yourself to God.You're certainly putting the wants of your fellow man above those of yourself. I feel this is something Islam does very well, in fact.

J1, can you answer me one question, please? If one lives a compassionate life, perhaps in a society such as the one i've exampled, why should it matter whether or not one's ever read a certain book (you know where i'm going with this) or have a specific terminology for the divine? Is the name of God as important as the way we live our lives? Okay, that's two questions, but it's basically the same inquiry, innit...


...i'm starting to rant a bit now, meself...

AC: I beleive that if there is a God then our own free will is his greatest gift to us. Do you share this view? If so, why would you give it up?

J1: Because He knows what is better for you, than you do.You put your trust in Him.


The irony of the patronising deity needs no further repetition. So am i correct in my assumption that you believe the only reason man was given such a jewel as free will, was so that he could relinquish it again to something? That point as it stands, may well have validity. But what gets me about your viewpoint, is the fact that after hundreds of thousands of years of cultural evolution and human development, some bright spark comes along and decides it's all down to a particular representation of the Real (i prefer the Sufi term for God, it avoids all those anthropomorphic representations that cloud the judgement of religiously minded folks like yourself) So NOW we ALL have to subscribe to that very specific set of imprints that this geezer realized many hundreds of years ago, and live our lives, worship, etc, in the manner he set forth, or the Real ain't gonna what, love us? Or we're gonna for ever be some sort of second class soul? Ouch!


J1: If you think about it, you do not have total free play to your will regardless. You only have limited free will, free range to do what you choose in small spheres. You are limited by society, by the weather, by gravity etc.

As an example. You do not get to decide if it right or wrong to steal, its imposed on you. God imposes the same thing, indeed did it first. Would you rather accept it from Him, or society?


Yeah, up to philosophical point. See, having physical constraints opposed to our free will may not mean we have a limited will, just that it's expression is defined by the physical universe around us.

For example, i would like to fly. Now i can strain my brain all day long, chances are i ain't gonna raise myself off the floor at all by sheer will power. But i could go and board an aeroplane, or buy a helicopter, or i could go live on the ISS, or get Craig Venter to splice me with an albatross. All these choices would require exertion of will to enable it to happen, some a hell of a lot more than others.

Now, the example you give is very different, is an example of morality, and maybe one where we have the greatest choice of all. So are you saying i never learnt the difference between right and wrong, someone just told me and i blindly went along? That's not the way i remember it, matey! I stole things in my yoof, despite my 'good' upbringing, and people stole from me, and i learnt about right and wrong, that they aren't just arbitrary appellation, but deep concepts that go far beyond life and death. Maybe in this way God taught me. And i've already made the sublimation that seek. And if that's the case, does that annoy you? If so, look to that place, and there you will find the head of a snake, a serpent of human desires and greed that doesn't want you to question the perspective that the egos of countless dead old men have imposed upon you. Beware....


J1: Who will you submit to?


Who are you?

What do you want?

Who do you serve?

Who do you trust?

I reckon this question's round about number three on the Straczynski scale of reality checker!

Religion is all about ego, as man implements his semantic definition upon the divine. Just as i'm doing now. Just as a bunch of dead dudes did many many generations ago, and upon whose schizoidic, 'I hear voices in my head, therefore i'm talking to an external agency (because obviously I'M not mad), so it MUST be God, so i'd better just do whatever the voice in my head tells me' gibber the people of faith place their trust in. Can't you see? Even if the human who channelled those thoughts is the most humble enlightened being, that's no guarantee that any other space monkey in his retinue isn't gonna be bringing their fallible monkey egos to the party. And as the importance of the thing grows, then so too does the influence and power of those who do. Any who really wanna get jiggy with the Real ain't gonna be running round organising massed ranks of humanity into obedient little herds. That's for the politically minded, ruling class members of the theocracy (sound familiar?).


J1: A little further thought, the only gift that you have to give Him, is your free choice. Everything else is already His. He is the creator the maker, the evolver of it all. Will you give Him this one most precious of gifts. Remember, He gave even that to you first.


That is the most beautiful definition of faith from the religious point of view. Thank you, i shall keep it in my heart. To me, faith is the point where you choose to believe in something even though you know there is no proof. As long as religious minded folks like yourselves remember that, then we'll all get along just peachy. It's when some try to find actually physical 'in your FACE, science!' proof, from the world of the logos, science, to support this faith, that it all gets messed up. It's as impossible to use science to prove faith, as it is to disprove it. You scientists had better remember that the next time you wanna tell all those religious people they're talking cock, just cos your giant space telescope can't see their God (though it did get a rather wonderful shot of his great balls of fire). You can't, they're in the world of mythos, get over it and whist you're at it, stop thinking that just because you ain't gotta God, you ain't preaching!

So in short, if we can all respect that some of us may have stumbled upon the same things as others of us, and that there's more than one way to approach this, and the concepts we enshrine it in are not as important as the actions and ultimately the compassion we show our fellow man, then do whatever turns you on!

As-salaamu ‘alaikum...


...i guess you're fishing, but i'll bite...

'...I do not support religion. I only support Islam....'

No shit...

'...I know to Atheists, its all the same, there is no distinction, one set of superstitions is the same as another...'

...this reasoning makes sense because it accuratly describes your own mind set. To you all atheists are the same(*), there are no distinctions between them, one set of non believers are the same as another. I wish you'd appreciate the irony in your statment. It would help you to come to a deeper, more complex, and hopefully less arrogant view of the universe....

(*in fact, i would posit that ALL 'people who don't think like J1' fall into this category within your universe. All religions fail you ultimatly because they do not subscribe to 'your' very personal view of how humanity should be 'organized'. In fact, as you state yourself, even 'most Muslims can't manage it.' You state that the will of each individual needs to be subsumed by a greater over aching will, yet you and the men you've followed have a very specific set of ideas as to exactly how that needs to be done! In effect, it would be the submission of oneself to these men, and the custodian of their ideas, namely yourself. That's an ego trip, buddy. I know, it looks sexy, and you feel plugged into this 'really important thing', and that empowers you to rant on and on and not need to actually really listen to what the rest of the space monkeys might think, but my friend, that's an ego trip! You're doin' it to yourself, cos it makes you feel good. If it wasn't for the fact that your 'way' is one of the ones that excludes all other 'ways', i wouldn't give a toss. But as you obviously like a good rant, you get one back. Submission of oneself to 'God' (your semantic anthropomorphic appellation, not mine) is something entirely different, far more personal, and ultimately something each individual has to choose for them self. Just like you did once.)

'...they said was that there was no external proof to any religion. In the case of Islam, that just is not the case...'

Don't stop there! You're just getting interesting...


...hypotheticals and sweeping generalisations abound...

'...we are just not in it {Paradise} yet...'


Wake the fuck up.

Where is YOUR ability to think for yourself...?

Apple picks death not compliance for open source iPhone game


..FSF go in too deep, group captured, whole game now in disarray, foolish FSF...

...agreed in full! Just distances me even further from the day i finally cave in a buy myself a bit of iTech. Though maybe a game as ancient and absorbing as Go will find a new platform on Apple devices...

Regent Street blocked by iPad fanboi swarm


...you went toRegent street? Moooooooo....

....oh dear, you poor fanbois! I just returned from Croydon, with an iPad, no queues, no hassle, easy parking, blah, blah, blah. Curry's, Trojan Way, have three hundred units, and by nine o'clock they'd sold no more than thirty! Result. Now i'm gonna subject this intuitive tech to it's most stringent test to date, my 94 year old father! If he can use it, it truly is the Jesus device of all time and space, i kid you not...

iPads in short supply as tablets take off

Thumb Up

...there can be only one. Button....

...well, i'm buying one for my 94 year old father on Friday. His failing eyesight requires an e.reader so's he can continue reading. But any more than a single button anywhere on the machine, and confusion reigns. Helps if the machine has some degree of telepathy, or at least empathy. If there's anything else on the market that even comes close, i'd be very surprised.

I'm not an Apple fanboi, though i don't hate them (anymore, long story), but if your iProduct does what it says on the tin, Mr Steve Jobs, you'll get a great big big hug from me...

Grow-lamps roast Yorkshire dope farmer in his sleep


...THC vs CBD and mental health...

...despite the usual 'flat earth news' style of reportage around this subject, there is still some sensible debate available, and even a few verifiable hypothesis. Best article i've read on the subject of psychosis vs the varying rates of THC and CBD in modern strains of cannabis and therefore the effect that weed, and the criminalization of weed, may have had on mental health, etc is here:


Don't worry, it's New Scientist, not High Times...

BBC protects 'unique' 1Xtra listeners from radio cull


...calling all Terrans...

"...without 6Music I see no need for a digital radio..."

BBC World Service! It's the only radio station i can bear to listen to, the main reason i bought into the retarded concept of DAB...

WD shipping consumer SSDs

Thumb Up

40gb becomes 30gb, still gves ninja abilities...

...check the new range, released from Kingston feb 15th 2010. There's a 30Gb version that's clearly aimed at the consumer market.

And you're right about the Zeppelin tickets! I bought a 40 Gb recently (they did get the best reviews!) from e.bay for a fraction MORE than it's new price. Most unusual in the component market, i know, BUT WORTH EVERY PENNY!! Best upgrade i've ever bought into, turns your machine into a ninja, incredibly fast, totally silent.


Apple's iPad - fat iPhone without the phone


Luckly for Apple...

...your peculiar ability, nominally referred to as 'common sense', is sadly lacking in this world...

Ringback tones outselling ring tones


Minimal tech level phone, maximum personal time....

@ Jake

...and i thought i was retro with my 6310!

I'll get the tin cans, you bring the string...

Disney kicks 'Ho White' out of bed


Doesn't that make them...

...Dom, Horny, Rumpy, Pumpy, Shameful, Randy and Stiffy?

Mine's the long trenchcoat...

Pirate Bay sinks again after Dutch ISP complies to cut off order


...if I had my way...

...here's a FAC'in answer for y'all I recently posted elsewhere, but share and share alike, as this argument seems to be positing:

....all music is held in a virtual cloud 'somewhere' (unimportant?). Access to the cloud is by subscription. Cloud guarantees top quality downloads, full format .flac/.ape/.whatever streamed at mega speeds, making it super easy to use. Why? Because spacemonkeys like us are by nature lazy, and like bright shiny things, and will go for the convenience of a live streaming feed over the inconvenience of searching the web/ mate's hard drives, and getting crap flat bitrates. If the subscription's low enough (and i don't mean astronomical 'build your own mega media murdoch style empire out of it' £50/ month bollocks, more like an affordable £5/10 or summint, 'cos den all da youf will pay up) then (virtually)everyone will be signed up.

Let those poor media whores get to work on marketing it, they're gonna need the work, but as a business model, it requires two precedent.

All the music must be available instantly, from any artist, at top quality, for a single monthly (say) rate. This the ONLY effective way to 'stamp out piracy'. Or rather the practice of downloading media without contributing in any meaningful way to the revenue stream. Any attempt to compromise on this position from the distribution companies would allow the formation of a two tier (paying vs non paying) system to reemerge.

The revenue generated is then split proportionally between the artists, (ATD was responsible for 0.0001% of global distribution this month, ATD gets 0.0001% of revenue stream less distribution costs etc). No more 'cheap bargain bins' for artists music to rot in. No more will the latest album cost more than the (usually better) first one. Instead a whole body of work will be responsible for the artists career. Appropriate weighting could perhaps be used for those whose sheer volume of material produced on an annual level (aphex twin?) might allow them to out gross those who spend a lot more time on things, and therefore don't have as many viable downloadable revenue points (tracks) for their music (Axl Rose?)(haha).

The artists material is all held by (effectively) ONE cloudbased server. Different distribution companies would compete within a predefined pricing structure, to ensure content is accessible by all, whist being able to maintain some health commercial competition amongst themselves for who gets the lions share of the subscribers. Different companies would offer different tiers of performance based on the usual customer service vs ease of use of product vs price that basically defines most commercial enterprises. But effectively it's 'all free', you just pay for how bright and shiny you want the packaging, cos' that's what spacemonkey's want, remember?

Funnily enough, this is the same model used by electricity generation/distribution now in practise in the uk/usa/ and any other Friedman based economy. Course music is much easier to generate than electricity, and much more fun, and there is literally an infinite supply, so I can't see the massive Enron style problems rearing their corporate heads here. If they do, we'll all be back to the auld P2P/etc, and everyone suffers.


How's that? Comments please...

Your phone is winding me up



...you could strap it to the side of your head, then it would free up at least one hand from the 'brace and crank' technique one would be forced to employ for long phone calls. In addition, one may actually be able to make the x4 speed that that continuous talk and crank seems to require. Or you could carry a large spring driven mechanism, like a massive pocket watch, which you've spent hours prewinding, just so you can attach it to the crank handle port to power your increasingly un mobile device with ease (presumably we're on a train powered by elastic bands stretched between opposing stations, by this stage).

Heath Robinson would have been so proud...


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