* Posts by Iain

357 publicly visible posts • joined 29 May 2007


Apple pulls Tank apps after Cartier complaint


Boringly sensible story, actually

The two apps, "Fake Watch" and "Fake Watch, Gold Edition" appear to be simulated copies of actual Cartier watches. Which is the sort of IP thievery which would be an open-and-shut case if it got as far as court; they've got all sorts of design Trade Mark law on their side for this. It's not just a case of them thinking they've a general right to the word 'Tank' or anything. So Apple took the infringing apps down.

Sony loses $1bn in 2008


Re: Consumer backlash?

If you can point me to a £75 Blu-ray player, so I can avoid buying a £150 Sony BDP-S350, I'll be very happy to do so.

Or was the claim that competitors offer equivalent products at half the price a load of rubbish?

Coyote Systems Mini Coyote



"Unless you fancy surfing the web while steering with your knees."

Umm, you download the free update at home onto your satnav. Obviously.

Flying-rifle robocopter: Hovering sniper backup for US troops


@Andus McCoatover

The computer may be running Linux, but the soldier holds a 360 pad in his hands when using it. They're comfortable, half the US Army are such Halo addicts that they know the controls almost instinctively, incredibly cheap to buy and replace in comparison to whatever solution the Army developed on its own would be, and the standard USB wiring (or wireless if you'd rather) means the interface is a doddle, too.

PETA pitches for Pet Shop Animal Shelter Boys


Well, it was never likely.

Not just due to the strength of the PSB's name, but also because they official story (despite the eternal jokes about Richard Gere) is that some of their friends ran a Pet Shop. Which, being friends, they're hardly going to denounce in the international media.

Russian schoolgirl invents inertioid-driven Venus rover



they "have come here to help change the vibrations of our lives". Well, mine insists on listening to the Charlie & Lola theme all the time, so that means he's one of these purple kids, right?

Killzone 2 to drive XBox 360 owners to PS3, claims Sony


Wow, the fanboys are busy

"If you are too stupid to see that a £250 console is actually cheaper than a £179 Xbox"

Jesus Christ, people. It's simple maths.

As for Killzone 2, it's not worth the 7/10 Edge gave it. Not that Gears of War was worth its Edge score either, mind you, so that's not terribly relevant in a format wars argument.

Nintendo unveils 'Pro' Wii controller


@ Yorkshirepudding

Actual Gamecube controllers are compatible with the Wii. Why not plug one of those (or a Wavebird) in, rather than spending money on something new?

PlayStation Network members top 20m


Multiple accounts?

Since every PS3 I know has three accounts (necessary in order to access all of the free content on UK, US and JPN servers) I can believe there are still a fair few PS3s not connected to online.

Trimble touts tough Vista UMPC


Trimble, eh?

Gah. Nothing about Gail here at all.

Virgin Media boosts bottom tier broadband

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On the bright side...

If they're upping the standard package to reflect their current 10Mbps one, then even once you get throttled you're at 2.5Mbps - faster than the current unthrottled speed. So I'm not particularly upset by that.

2008 a top year for UK games sales


"Shift to consoles"

"Over here, there was a big shift to consoles, with console-oriented software sale up 38 per cent year on year."

It's worth remembering that these numbers only measure sales of physical product in shops. When they miss everything sold over Steam and competitors, along with all those World of Warcraft subscription fees, any statement on the health of the PC game market seems somewhat less than rigorously researched.

Sony plans movie+game dual-media Blu-ray Discs


Yes, great idea, Sony.

Or would you actually like me, as someone who doesn't own a PS3, to buy your Blu-ray film releases? Because I'm not paying a fortune for content I can't use. I'm not even paying the same I previously did if the quality of the film transfer has to go down to make room for that unusable content.

Veteran F1 designer readies 'affordable' sportster


@Pete James

Funny you should mention Gordon Murray. The T25 is sounding an awful lot more important in the real world than this thing. Looks like an old (i.e. REAL) Mini, apparently handles that well, too.

Rockstar prices up GTA download



Umm, if your XBox was genuinely away for repair, rather than you merely being a wind-up merchant, you would still have the hard drive from it to plug into your other machine. You'd also have the repaired one back before LatD launches, so even that point was moot.

But hey, never let the facts get in the way of a PS3 owner with time on their hands (which most of them do).



Seems a bit harsh to call the expansion that, given that, at 10 hours, the story is still longer than Prince of Persia or Mirror's Edge (to name but two rather brief titles of the Christmas glut).

Sony and Microsoft clash over consoles


@David Paul Morgan

Coincidentally enough, my new £250 PC does all that too. And I've not got around to playing any games on it either.

Sony shows 'flexi OLED' curvacious concept kit



OLEDs are more energy efficient than your average LED. But significantly less so than an un-lit LCD.

Raid yields 2800 'illegal' DS games copying kits


It's true, you know...

You really can measure the value of something by the amount of space it takes up on disc. That's why 50Gb Blu-ray films cost 70 times as much as a CD of music. Oh, wait, they don't.

Microsoft knew about Xbox 360 disc-scratch problem, employee claims


Re: PS2

My PS2 is the only device I've had scratch a disc - my cat knocked it over when it was in a vertical position, and sure enough, big scratches ensued. So that can do it as well.

Ever since, I keep all my consoles horizontal. Particularly that PS2, though that's more to do with it now having a hard drive in it, which leaves the machine quite absurdly top-heavy.

Couple to get hitched in Halo wedding


Poor Mark.

Just because no-one has got married dressed as a Sackboy yet.

PS3 Home is '2005 tech', says Xbox exec


Re: "Is that 2005 tech like.."

Yes, in a shocking revelation, the AC has spotted that Microsoft's 2005-launched console contains 2005-era hardware. Wow, I'm impressed.

As for comparing this to the NXE, it's rather pointless. Microsoft's update is a prettier GUI for swiftly organising an online party of mates to go play an actual videogame. Home is an end to itself; basically Habbo Hotel with better graphics.

Microsoft's attack really translates (once you look past the spin) to "we don't think console owners want to play Second Life without the building capabilities". Which may be true, and may turn out to be catastrophically incorrect. Time will tell. Personally, I think the £130 price difference between the two is a bigger factor than how pretty the front-end is.

Cryptic formula hints at Metal Gear Solid 4 on Xbox 360



No need to resort to assertions that I'm an idiot who doesn't 'get it'. I just don't like epic nonsense in my videogames, whether that be cutscenes that go on for over an hour in MGS (or over 30 seconds in anything else), level grinding in RPGs or whatever. You're quite welcome to enjoy that sort of thing, but I play games to complete skill-based challenges with a joypad, not watch bits of films in-between levels.

I absolutely 'get' that plenty of other people do like games for their story as much, if not more than, ludic elements. I'm not those other people.


Look to the Apple

iPhone + MGS AC!D = Go

Is just a teensy bit more plausible. The 360's DVD format plain doesn't have room for the 4 hours of pre-rendered HD video in MGS4. Since I don't have time for 4 hours of pre-rendered video either, I can't say I'm bothered, but someone obviously is.

Blu-ray backers highlight rising demand

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@Gary F

"A bare BluRay drive at trade costs just £50 so manufacturers probably make them for £40 or less. Shove it in a consumer case with about £25 of electronics and it could be on the shelves of retailers for £99. So why are they being sold for double and tripple that price?"

Because the hardware necessary to take a 30Mb/s 1080p AVCHD video with DTS-HDMA audio stream, along with the secondary video and audio streams required to support Profile 1.1, decode them all and output them to the TV over HDMI with HDCP costs more than £25. That's why. I'd have thought that was fairly obvious, myself.

MS claims US weekend sales victory in console war


@Ian McNee

El Reg is perfectly reasonable with the balance of their console coverage. Mark and sundry ACs that feel the need to rant about how wonderful their PS3 is, and that all the 360 owners will rue the day they bought such an evil machine every opportunity they get is the issue worth highlighting.

PS3 prices slashed by Sony SonyStyle


Good news

They desperately need to do something to get them out the door; sales are well below the expectations Sony gave to the stock market.

'Jasper' Xbox 360 hardware rejig spied online


re: power rating

That doesn't work yet - these new 'Jasper' machines still say 175W on the outside of the box at the moment, because this is only just starting to come out the door. If you do find one that says 150W soon you know you're sorted, though.

Sony said to be planning Spring PS3 price cut


@Already great value for money

Hi Mark.

Assuming you actually want all that stuff it's not totally unreasonable, although I'd point out that the £180 going rate for a Sony BDP-S350 makes it rather pointless now if Blu-ray is your primary concern, instead of being merely one aspect of your interest.

However, they're getting hammered by the gap that has opened back up between the other consoles and it; we're back to the situation at PS3 launch where you could have both the other consoles together for the same price. In the current market, £300 for what's primarily a games console isn't viable.

Reviewers, spin crews tussle over Tomb Raider: Underworld write-ups


Uncharted is the poor man's Tomb Raider Legend...

At least that was how I found it. But then, I had already developed an aversion to Uncharted's cover system from a couple of painfully rubbish hours of Gears Of War.

Mind you, since I seem to be the only 360 owner on the planet who didn't fall in love with that game, you can probably disregard my Uncharted opinion as well.

MacBook buyers bite Apple over copy protection cock-up


Or they could have been more sensible in the first place

Whatever caused them to set the HDCP flag on these files when they put them on the iTunes store, anyway? If Apple don't want them "protecting" from being played over a VGA cable, they shouldn't have explicitly specified that in the files.

Fix the problem, rather than spend good hardware costs on engineering a workaround.

Google tells the world how to talk



What, the tedious ripoff of Robot Wars? Which was admittedly also designed by an American, but let's get our accusations right.

NXE fans tempted with refurb Xbox HDD offer


@AC number 3...

How is Home, by the way? What, you've not played it? Well, in that case you're perfectly positioned to tell all the 360 owners why it's utterly marvellous, just as your fellow fanboys did with Lair and Heavenly Sword, until facts made that slightly embarrassing.

Home is Second Life without the building (or, to be generous, the furries). Pretty blimmin' pointless. Which is also something I'd say about a lot of NXE, but there are enough useful features to make it worth the free download; I mainly want the faster Live Arcade menus.

Christmas NXE comes early


@ACs, both of them

Both World of Warcraft and Counterstrike have more players online than Halo 3 or Gears, I believe.

As for the 'broken' 360, does it do that if you take the hard drive off first? You're the first bricked 360 I've heard of from the NXE, and quite a lot of people have it, so it makes me suspect the problem is data related.

Toshiba launches Cell-derived HD TV

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That depends, Chris

When handed a DVD source of 720x576 rectangular pixels, what would you rather your 1920x1080 screen do? Intelligently scale it up as the specs indicate you should do, or put it in a tiny box in the middle of the screen with the wrong aspect ratio?

Intel names 'Nehalem' launch date



with a bit of luck, when this launches the price of current Intel CPUs will stop climbing. This is getting ridiculous.

Sony pitches blue-laser Compact Disc revival

Paris Hilton

Umm, why more?

Sure, burning them with blue lasers costs more. But the return on that is at the manufacturing level - being able to use the same pressing hardware for both CD and Blu-ray.

A CD player doesn't care how beautiful the pits are if it can still read the same 1s and 0s as ever, so these are musically identical to their regular friends. So why pay more for them?

Paris, because my brain hurts.

Microsoft sticks to its Xbox 360 prices


Hardly surprising

Given that, contrary to the usual Rip Off Britain stories, the recent collapse of the pound has left our 360s costing rather less than the Americans' ones, I'm not exactly surprised by this. You can practically buy a 360 AND a Wii for the price of a PS3 again.

El Reg launches Bletchley fundraising t-shirt

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£25 to Bletchley

in exchange for a "Does my Bombe look big in this?" T sounds like a fair deal.

Gamers cash in on LittleBigPlanet delay


Somewhere on the internet...

Not all Muslims find it offensive, no. But not all readers of The Register (a decidedly smaller population itself) were planning on buying this game in the first couple of weeks of release. There's almost certainly somewhere on the Internet where a load of Muslims who don't particularly care about PS3 platformers are accusing teenagers of blowing their whining out of all proportion because they have to wait a few days before they can start playing.


@Dan Wilkinson

The offending track is Toumani Diabate's "Tapha Niang". Some Muslims find quoting scripture in a secular music context offensive. This seems a perfectly reasonable reaction to me; it wasn't Media Molecule's intention to offend, and unlike redesigning an entire level of an FPS from scratch is fairly simple to fix. I'd suggest that it's the people who can't wait a couple of weeks to play a game who are over-reacting here, not those whose religious sensitivities are being courted for extra sales.

Ofcom confirms three Freeview HD channels 'by end of next year'


@Red Bren

"what benefits have we seen from all these extra channels?"

That entirely depends on who you mean by "we". OFCOM have seen revenues increase from all those additional licenses being sold. Since they exist purely to generate revenue, with no regard for consumers, they're doing their job well.


Sorry, Gary.

In order to get more channels into less bandwidth, they are switching to MPEG4 instead of MPEG2. Which requires vastly more CPU to decode. Which means your current hardware can't cope. New boxes all round, and lots of people bullied into paying money to Murdoch. Which is OFCOM's primary goal, not doing anything for the consumer.

PS3 must stay focused on games, says Sony


No, they probably shouldn't...

When you focus purely on the core ability to play games, the 360 and PS3 are roughly equal. Sure, you can make arguments about "teh power of CELL!!!oenone" vs. "Gears of War isn't a testosterone loaded pile of tedium, honest", but they're both about the same for most things.

But Sony want you to hand over £130 extra (assuming you're looking at the 360 Premium, instead of the basic Arcade model) for their machine. That value almost entirely consists of their non-game abilities like the Blu-ray player.

Now, as a Development focus games are obviously where it's at; Blu-ray is quite capably in the hands of the studios, and yet more messing about with Profiles and standards changes is hurting the format, not helping. But as far as marketing goes, it's that "you can't watch Wall-E at 1080p on a 360" message they need to push.

Hands on with SanDisk's SlotMusic SD-not-CD player


iPod Shuffle, anyone?

A few weeks ago I'd have agreed with Anonymous John about how impractical it would be to work through 1Gb of tracks with no display. Then I was given an iPod Shuffle, and I'm fine with it. You just have to give up on the idea of listening to a particular track you're after, and go with the (either random, or carefully constructed) flow. 'Next' works for skipping anything you decide you don't want at that moment.

Blu-ray Disc a 'bag of hurt', says Jobs


Oh dear LORD...

Read Jobs's comments again. He quite clearly states that it's the complexity of obeying the licensing that is causing the current problem, not that he wants to sell you Apple TV files. Blu-ray continues to be a mess of different video and audio codecs, and the DRM requires all sorts of obfuscation on both the memory and outputs. Sounds to me that isn't playing nicely with OSX at the moment, and until they can make it 'just work', they don't want to go there. The current state of Blu-ray playback on the PC is an utter mess, if you doubt it.

Oh, and Mark is at the kool-aid again, I see:

"LOL, 99.9% of Blu-ray players ARE upgradable, and already are, at the final Profile 2.0"

The PS3 is. Now, I admit that it equates to 95%+ of the market all on its own. But standalone players, while upgradeable in the sense that they can have their bugs patched, don't have the ability to upgrade Profile. 1.0 players simply don't have the second video decoder hardware, and 1.1 players don't have enough memory to meet the 2.0 spec, or they would out of the box.

Sony exec pours cold water on PS3 price-cut hopes


Wow, AC, that's amazing!

You had a PS1 that allowed you to save games without purchasing a seperate memory card? Where did you get it?

Oh, wait, you were just being a lying idiot. Never mind.



Do check the latest press release, Anonymous Cowtards.

The Arcade comes with a memory card big enough to install the NXE, unless you've already filled it with saves. If it's just Arcade games filling it, you can delete them and re-download without additional cost at any time.

If you're a Core owner with a mere 64Mb card, Microsoft will offer to give you the bigger card for free, or you can have a discount on a hard drive instead if that's what you'd prefer.


Crazy Japanese earthquake game makes shaky debut



You might as well ask why people spend money on driving games when they can just get into their cars. ZZT is really an adventure game in which the environment is a city being devastated by a natural disaster. The vibration thing in the video is just a tacked on gimmick to a pretty sound game.

MS: Xbox will not go Blu

IT Angle

@Andy Barber, re LD

Which Oxfam? I still love my LaserDisc player, even though it sits underneath a just-as-dead-format HD-DVD standalone.

Which was bought because the 360 is too noisy to watch films on for my liking. As is the PS3 - while older 360s sounded like jet engines, the current batch of fans is no louder than the ones in Sony's console. So I don't really care whether Microsoft put on in there or not; I'll be buying a Sony BDP-S350 when I get my Blu-ray fix, I suspect. That it's £100 cheaper than a PS3 and can be modded multi-region rather helps sway things, too.