* Posts by Chris

12 posts • joined 24 May 2007

European manned spaceflight plan proposed


Re: "(NB: The space station is big, but not that big."

Err, Anonymous John, time to tune those humour circuits - Lewis is referring to the astronauts wearing 'just t-shirts' inside the module.. :-)

Intel puts another foot into 10GbE

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Hooray for Cat6

I am SO glad I ignored ALL unsolicited advice to just install Cat5e instead of Cat6 in our new offices ("Why the hell do you need cat6?!"). We have a gigabit setup currently, moving around lots of large video files, and we can never have a fast enough network... fibre is too expensive and tricky for us - at least I won't have to disruptively rip out our copper when the day comes to upgrade networking equipment..

Green data center threat level: Not green

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Come to sunny South Africa! Cheap!

Why not bring all your datacentres to Sunny South Africa! Even with looming rate hikes we still have the cheapest electricity* around, and IT skills to boot!

*eletcricity may not actually be available at all times of day please check your local Eskom subsidiary for dates and times of scheduled power cuts

Apple ignores Jesus Phone life raft


Complaining for the sake of it

Ummm, chaps? Any device that needs that sort of take-over support is either too complicated on the first place, or badly documented, or both. It won't surprise many that remote-control support is needed on a Windows Mobile device, perhaps other companies can mostly escape the mess that led to this being some sort of requisite capability.

That you're still whining about background processes not being allowed shows that like many tech enthusiasts you don't know what you want, only what you DON'T want. Many, if not most, people agree that the reasoning is based on performance - be that for CPU usage or memory constraints. This is still a device of significantly lower cpu power than an average PC, though obviously the gap will narrow somewhat in the future. If Apple, or any company feels that a certain kind of third-party software behaviour is detrimental to their products' performance, it's their prerogative to outlaw it. Apple originally brought out a great phone and multimedia device - they didn't announce a platform. That 3rd-party developers can NOW also develop for it is fantastic: that Apple chooses to limit behaviour for the greater good of usage performance is really up to Apple (and not that mysterious or EVIL).

For a publication that has taken almost every opportunity to ridicule the device, you spend an awful amount of pixels on moaning that you can't play with it every way you want to.

Gollum to play Haddock in Tintin


Motion Capture: the impatient Director's Snake Oil

If this film is all 3D, presumably in the Tintin style (else what's the point?), as the story suggests, Motion Capture is a BAD idea. When will directors realise that, unless you're doing a digital character inserted into live-action, motion-capture is the lazy man's solution to animation.

Hergé's style, as accurate to detail and mechanical realism as it was, was still located very much in the comics world. Animated characters should NOT move and interact exactly as real-world humans do. It's a mis-led fusion of two worlds that don't coexist well. One of the reason's for Pixar's success is a strict rule that characters are 'hand-animated' (or puppeteered as it were).

An (fully) animated movie must be less about technology and how clever you were in making it than in how it entertains and creates fantasy - chuck out the giant motion-tracking setups and capture pipeline software and invest rather in gifted animators.

The Romantics sue Guitar Hero for sound-alike imitation


Really now - Artists are people too.

There seems to be a general attitude that no one can defend their rights to their own recordings - they're all just greedy artists. We're entitled to everyone's creative output.

This case isn't black and white no matter whose side you're on. It doesn't matter if you think the band sucks or rules. It's only fair for people to get some compensation for their work - though OBVIOUSLY not to ridiculous extremes.

It's true however that a lot of people, products, companies very often make a lot of money off the back of other people's work.

Companies often get cover bands to do a person's work simply 'cos they're too cheap to pay for the original. Fine - there's provision for that.

Sometimes it's cos the band (understandably) doesn't want their original song/performance used for a coffee/life-insurance/erectile dysunction ad. Fine - that's their right. Often they have very little control over their own work.

You, as something other than a non-professional musician who makes a living doing something impersonal may not understand their frustration. But maybe try?

Try understand the outrage at not wanting your creation used to promote or enhance someone else's product (or at least not wanting to do it for nothing) and then finding that they simply made a cover that sounds EXACTLY the same. As in: so close that no one doubts that it IS you.

It's easy to copy when you have a reference point someone else has made for you. If someone clones your song, such that it isn't practically discernable from the original, surely that's not just a cover version anymore? Who's to say they didn't just use your recording and claim it was a cover? Who can tell? Who can prove it?

If you can't do it with some stylistic difference, then PAY for the original, PAY for a sound-alike or get another song!

Apple lobs $100 credit at iPhone buyers


I'm so glad more people are moaning

I commented on this general sentiment a couple months ago, and I'm just happy to see that more people are getting irritated as well. It really does seem like the writing staff are made up more and more of 18 yr old's with an axe to grind rather than common sense or some journalistic sense of moderation or maturity.

I hate to state the cliché, but I really have been reading the Reg for seven or eight years now. I'm not a moron, I DO understand the humour. I DO appreciate irreverence and I've learnt a lot from some great written pieces here, both on technology and on social and legal issues. But, you guys are reminding me more and more of The Inquirer (yes, I know there's a shared history).

A couple years back, when Sun refused invitations to Inquirer writers and did some things that the Inquirer didn't like, the stung Inquirer staff openly and childishly declared Sun a has-been company and stated that they wouldn't write about them anymore. The nicknames for Sun and it's staff became less about humour and more about playground nastiness and tantrum bitchiness. Then quietly when Sun came out with some good stuff again, the coverage was back. The Inquirer insists on writing the iPod as 'Ipod' - you see, they think it proves that they've got their own minds, they're not sheep oh no...

For years, when Apple was the under-dog and commanded less attention, they were just another company amongst others that had intelligent Register pieces written about them as news came along. Achievments were lauded, fouls were called (the G4 and G5 MHz stalls and "myths") and there was some even-handed criticism. Now that they're doing well, now that they sell millions of products and seem to be on a roll, they're just not cool enough for you guys are they? You're even using the tired 'Kool-Aid' reference in your stories. That's the most common unimaginative teenager troll there is.

You spend more time throwing somehow-smug attacks at something (and the people who bought it) that you obviously hate than covering normal stories. The hype around the iPhone, it's features and price, it's users and activation was created mostly by dozens of web journalists and bloggers. It was created by YOU. YOU guys turned it into a religious issue - not Apple.

Nowhere has anyone panned the iPhone. Nowhere has anyone said it just doesn't do what it claims to do. But you've spent more time and words on griping about every tiny little thing you can find to sneer at... because.. well I don't know... It's expensive? Get over it. Don't buy one.

It's a transparent attempt to distance yourselves from seeming like you 'follow a trend'. You and others throw around words like 'fashionista' and 'cachet' like it's really as big a factor here in people's purchasing than it really is. Plenty of people buy phones that are coloured or have diamante glued on the front without knowing how or how well they work - plenty of cell-phone manufacturers sell their products by endorsements, how swish you'll look in your business meeting or literal slogans like 'Have a better life'. Somehow this form of advertising and the weak products escapes the indignant wrath of Reg writers. Somehow this is all fine, because they're not doing quite as well as Apple.

For some reason, I think if Apple had quietly releases a crap product and spent years slowly making it better, you would all have been happier. If they'd licensed a Linux-based OS and used bits of Opera and fudged a reasonable interface and sold it cheap you would all have smiled - especially if it hadn't sold well.

Sometimes something genuinely good comes along and lots of people buy it. Sometimes it's expensive and sometimes it's cheap. Not everyone that bought it is a genius or an idiot. How about reporting on the facts and leaving YOUR ego's out of it for a change?

You know what? People got an unexpected refund for queuing up to buy an expensive product that works well and works AS ADVERTISED. They knew that when they bought it and should be happy a refund-voucher happened at all. Well done to them for getting a result to their complaints.

This is a news site, with a good helping of humour and some healthy irreverence - it's not a social experiment to see how you can prove your own cool-factor by making your own readers tired of you.

NASA weather error sparks global warming debate


instruments and sampling

I think casting doubt on accuracy of weather records from the 1930's is a disservice to scientists and climatologists of the time. We didn't only start to get fine-grained accuracy from the beginning of the digital age - analaogue and digital instruments approach problems from the same direction usually, they just process and display them differently. Scientists have been obsessed with accuracy for as long as science has been a discipline.

NASA examining Shuttle's dings, extending mission


About the close up

The close-up is shot from the International Space Station. If they could shoot such clear shots from the ground, military satellites would just become orbiting mirrors with various ground camera's being periodically updated at a cheaper rate than firing them into space ;-)

..and yes, regarding the foam - I also wish NASA would at least try to publicly explain how foam rips holes in ceramic tile. I don't doubt them, just would be nice to know WHY. I know ceramic is hard but brittle, and perhaps this only happens with usually soft foam coming off at Ludicrous Speed or foam covered in a layer of ice, but it always sounds like some pink bubbly cushions floated off the main fuel tank at lift-off and savagely cut into the shuttle...

CIOs pooh-pooh the iPhone


Funny, I seem to have missed the iPhone Business ad..

..you know, the ad where a suave suit-clad business man signs an oil deal while simultaneously retrieving his email and selling some stock, his Jaguar sedan and hot secretary reflected in the touch-screen of his Apple iPhone.

(though plenty of other cell companies HAVE used fantasy advertising hyperbole to sell a lifestyle rather than an actual device).

That's because Apple have never called this a business phone. They really haven't been telling everyone that the iPhone will be the solution for all mobile everything - there's no story here. Proprietary email protocol lock-ins and technical arguments aside, there's no reason to snicker at how the iPhone isn't a BlackBerry - in the same way that there's no reason to snicker that a Sony Ericsson W880i isn't better than a BlackBerry or that a BlackBerry isn't better than an iPod.

Yes, Apple need to bring the price down - but that's a completely different discussion...

Malware scammers target iPhone


Worse than the scammers

Please cut this sensationalist crap. These headlines are borderline tabloid-material. You're starting to get as childish as The Inquirer of late.

No one targeted the iPhone, they targeted people with juicy iPhone promises. Scanning your front page would give completely the wrong impression however, much like the popular press has done with the 'terrorist car bombs' stories you guys rightly sneer at.

Apple moans over sex toy ad


It's plagiarism - quite simple

Whether you love or hate Apple or Ann Summers or both, the simple fact is that Ann Summers has ripped off a very well-known campaign from Apple to gain an unfair advantage when promoting their own product. This isn't funny or particularly clever. This isn't a parody, it's not making a philosphical statement, it's for commercial gain. It's just unimaginative and despicable.

I sincerely doubt this is about the "i" moniker - it's about the look+feel of a branding campaign that has been flat-out copied.

The point isn't whether Apple should be 'happy' that they're getting free press or extra attention. It's not David versus Goliath and no amount of trying to turn this into an issue of free speech or corporate greed can take away the fact that Ann Summers or their ad agency are trying to get away with laziness..


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