* Posts by Neil Docherty

36 posts • joined 8 Jun 2007

More doubt tossed onto iPad numbers

Neil Docherty
Jobs Horns

Excellent marketing!

It's good to see that stories of delays are doing the rounds. One very effective way to bump the already big demand for the new Apple toy. How much do you reckon one will be on eBay for a day after launch???

First lady of Star Trek dead at 76

Neil Docherty


Now that Knight Rider has been (almost certainly) cancelled, perhaps they can get Val Kilmer to do the voice of the Enterprise in Star Trek XII!

Sony powerless to fix PSP screen problem

Neil Docherty
Thumb Down

Sony don't seem to test things these days!

I own Sony Vegas Pro 8.1 and the thing hangs when I import about 40 MP4 clips (about 1GB in total) from my HD camcorder in one go. Sony's advice - import in batches of 10 (which doesn't really solve the problem anyway) or convert all the clips to DV first! I can't believe no one at Sony thought to test this scenario. My PC's a new Intel Core2 Quad 2.83 and 4 GB RAM before anyone says get a faster machine. It is Vista crippled but that's only because I needed Vista for Vegas 64-bit!

Xbox 360 owners tougher than PS3 fans - survey

Neil Docherty

Bill has two!

I like how even Bill Gates doesn't trust the Xbox 360 not to break so he keeps a spare to hand!

Blu-ray movie sales gathering momentum

Neil Docherty

@David Wiernicki & @Mark

I concede that the linked screenshots do look better than the live action stuff I've seen however the two titles I mentioned (Spider-Man and Superman Returns) weren't offering that level of quality - they look fine from a distance but getting up close and you can see the lack of sharpness/detail.

As for my screen, it is a 1080p LCD which, when being used for games on the PS3 or viewing things such as Ratatouille on Blu-Ray looks amazing. I downloaded the 1080p trailer for Indiana Jones 4 from PSN and the opening shot of the valley looked amazing so I know the TV is capable of rendering the images well, the problem lies with some Blu-Ray movies. I think the same was true for early DVDs where a lack of care was taken with the compression, simply being happy with a tick box in the is 1080p image.

Neil Docherty

Quality issues

I think part of the problem is that Blu-Ray is pretty but it's only on CG stuff like Ratatouille that the HD is noticable. On things like Superman Returns or Spider-Man, there is not a massive difference when compared to decent upscaling (yes, I am using a 1080p display). The pin point clarity that HD (especially FullHD) is meant to offer just isn't there for some reason.

MS bashes Gay(wood) Xbox Live gamer

Neil Docherty


Surely Microsoft classing the word 'gay' is offensive is against the law on the ground of discrimination. It's not an offensive term for homosexuality (especially in this case where it's in the blokes name) like queer or faggot but Microsoft seems to be saying it is. Would a username mentioning race or ethnicity be banned (e.g. Indian or black)? If not, surely this shouldn't be.

Also, do they filter the letters 'ass' from usernames which most people would agree is swearing (admittedly very mild swearing)?

Stem cell researchers claim victory in battle with Church

Neil Docherty

@AC about IVF

I don't see a problem with IVF however, as it's not life saving and doesn't improve the quality of life (like a hearing aid for example) then I say let the parents foot the bill themselves or adopt one of the many hundreds of children needing a good home. The cases where the NHS has foot the bill for this are beyond belief given you can't get certain cancer or Altzeimer's treatments on the NHS!

Neil Docherty

Sibling Saviors

If a kid is born for a bit of blood (especially from the placenta) then I don't see a problem with it as they have no impact on the child and/or would be done anyway.

If it's for more invassive procedures then I would say that it should only be done if the child is consenting (not necessarily 18 but at least old enough to have some idea what will happen and why) and the kid's opinion should be independently verified by an expert as geniune willingness to help rather than parental 'bullying'. How practical all this is is another matter!

I suppose this also raises the question if a kid up for adoption, would it be OK to adopt them and then put them through a bone marrow extraction procedure or similar?

Wii controller lawsuit costs Nintendo $21m

Neil Docherty

What about the other consoles?

Surely Sony and Microsoft can also be sued...? The PS3 has pressure sensitive buttons all over the thing!

Freesat launches in UK

Neil Docherty

PVR/Sky+ equivalent

The question is, when is a PVR/Sky+ equivalent set top box coming? Once that comes out, I can see myself switching my Sky+ box for a Freesat HD box so I don't have to give any more money to Sky!

HD media future may be Blu, but it's not rosy

Neil Docherty

Three problems...

I think there's three problems with BluRay - price, availability and quality!

I have a 1080p screen and PS3. I own two BluRay discs (Ratatouille and Superman Returns) and whilst Ratatouille looks stunning (it is CG so should do), Superman Returns looks good but not amazing and 300 (borrowed from a friend) looked good but, like Superman Returns, didn't quite seem to have that sharpness that I was expecting from 1080p.

The somewhat limited choice of titles available isn't helping my purchasing either and, if it's an older movie, it appears £18 per disc only gets the movie and no significant extras, even if they already exist on special edition DVD's and, from what I've read in reviews, many of the titles available are no better than upscaled DVDs!

Whilst I've cut back on my DVD purchasing (only buying things like Family Guy which don't really benefit from HD), I haven't started buying BluRay as the price needs to get on a par with DVD so approximately £15 - £18 for a fully featured (not movie only) new DVD and £10 or less for older titles (which is all I paid for Superman Returns). They also need to get out a few of the classics out such as The Matrix, Star Wars and The Lord Of The Rings.

eBay slams UK.gov touting ban

Neil Docherty

Kinda agree/kinda disagree...

I think the event organisers should employ a similar approach to Glastonbury to prevent the touts as ultimately the people who lose out are the fans and the event host (half empty stadium/field/arena = less beverages sold, atmosphere not as good, poor PR for people who couldn't go).

I do, however, agree with eBay regarding the official refund option. I've always felt the 'no refund unless we say so' clause was very one sided (unfair contract term even). If they had a policy which said you can return a ticket for a full refund up to n (maybe 7, 14 or 28) days in advance and possibly even fewer days in advance if they can resell your ticket (the reasons above mean this is a good idea) then everyone would benefit.

Of course, either proposal shafts eBay but then it may give them a bit more time to help out that poor bloke who keeps trying to get people to ship their items to a relative in Nigeria!

PS3 to get movie downloads this summer?

Neil Docherty

It'll be interesting...

As Corin says, the unlimited plans are about to get one hell of a legal hammering. It won't be as bad if Sony builds in scheduling to their downloading so you can schedule stuff to download overnight and ideally have the PS3 turn itself off (and even on) to save on the power (both green and money reasons).

I hope they get the iPlayer properly integrated as well as the workaround method, whilst useful, isn't exactly ideal.

BBC to launch iPlayer for Wii

Neil Docherty


Anyone know when iPlayer will work from a PS3? Admittedly the streamed version could look slightly pixelated when scaled up to larger screens but it's better than nothing if you've missed something.

Also, anyone know if HD content on it's way (even at 720p)?

Sony bullish on Blu-ray dominance

Neil Docherty

PS3 is the way to go

Given the cost of the PS3 (£260 is what I paid for a new one from shopto.com) when compared to the price of a standalone Blu-Ray player, the PS3 is a good choice, especially as it's constantly being updated, offers good 'other formats' support and, apparently, you can even play games on it ;-)

Vote now for your fave sci-fi movie quote

Neil Docherty

Missing quotes...

ST: First Contact - The Borg - "Resistance Is Futile"

Serenity - Mal Reynolds - "This is the captain. We have a little problem with our entry sequence, so we may experience some slight turbulence and then - explode."

Star Wars II: AotC - Senator Amidala - "So this is how democracy ends, in thunderous applause..."

New York subpoenas Comcast 'reasonable network management' records

Neil Docherty

SMTP interception

Companies messing around with packets is nothing new...

Has anyone ever stayed in a US hotel run by Marriott or similar and sent mail via SMTP. They intercept SMTP traffic and send it via their own servers. I know this because I checked if a particular mail was sent through our company's mail server as it was told to and it didn't.

This sounds very much like an illegal wire tap to me but seems a very widespread practice. I can't think what justification there is for doing it and it's caused some of our messages to be bounced due to the server in question being blacklisted!

Consumer group slams 'unfair' software licenses

Neil Docherty
Thumb Up

About bloody time is all I can say!

I bought a PDA/TomTom bundle several years back and went to sell it on eBay but TomTom told them to take it down! Assuming I'm not illegally copying the software or anything like that, I don't see why I can't resell it like I can resell a CD.

Automated crack for Windows Live captcha goes wild

Neil Docherty

@John Sims

Facebook actually do something similar to this already by adding a +somecode to the sender's address so you can validate it. For example, notification+myc0de@facebook.com.

IT problems force HMRC to extend tax deadline

Neil Docherty


Us poor souls in the UK have to pay 17.5% VAT (sales tax) on everything but fresh food or energy bills (the former is VAT free, the latter is 5%) and 2/3 of the pump price of fuel is tax (currently around £1.05 per litre) so I wouldn't be complaining at 8.25% sales tax!

eBay: 'We will lower listing fees'

Neil Docherty

@ Shipping Costs AC

"Also since its clearly advertised the seller is breaking no laws nor defrauding anyone"

Actually, they are on three counts.

Firstly, if the item is coming in from abroad then a false customs declaration is illegal and potentially HMRC lose out on tax. Secondly, eBay don't charge fees on the postage price so eBay is losing money (at least that was the case the last time I read the relevant part of their T&Cs). I'll admit, probably not many tears shed so far...

Finally, the buyers rights are affected if the seller is a business as they are bound by the distant selling regulations (if UK based of course) and if you get an item and decide to return it under these rights, the company has to refund the original purchase price but not postage. If the postage is subsidising the item, they are still making a profit and you don't get as much money back as you should be entitled to.

Neil Docherty

eBay's problem isn't the fees it's the ratings

I've bought and sold things on eBay and I wouldn't mind the fees being lower (obviously!) but my main problem with eBay is the feedback system. If I do everything quickly and correct but the other party cocks something up badly and I wish to leave neutral or negative feedback, I risk getting it back even though I've done nothing wrong. How often are people leaving positive just so they get it back??? The only thing I read in a user's feedback comments are the neutral and negative comments - I only wish there was an easy way to filter out all the positive ones.

I've even seen some listings say things like feedback will only be left once feedback is received to protect my business which basically says, give me positive feedback otherwise I'll leave you negative feedback! Once payment is received a seller should leave feedback (I always do) and once the goods are received in satisfactory condition, the buyer should leave feedback. I accept problems can arise but 9/10 times the above would work.

'Wii workout' for overweight pupils plan slammed

Neil Docherty

The problem with PE...

From what I remember of school PE lessons, they were a joke. The PE teachers always favoured the kids who could play anyway. They never explained the point of sport (i.e. how running helped keep your heart and lungs healthy) and if the weather was a bit crap they would have us running round the school field 3 bloody times whilst they sat in a van 'supervising' us.

As a kid, PE was nothing more than a waste of time most of the year. All this was 13 years ago now. Since leaving school (and uni for that matter) I have taken up various sports including squash and 5-a-side and have already participated in 2 half marathons. I doubt the useless PE teachers I had could have done that when I was at school or can claim a scrap of credit for it as they were largely preoccupied with doing as little as possible! My other teachers (such as maths and IT) can definitely take some credit from where I am now.

My point relating to this topic (kids playing on Wii's) is that kids need to be encouraged to do sport/exercise (fat or thin) and taught the benefits of why they should be doing sport and shown why it can be fun. If the Wii at school improves their fitness by 5%, it encourage more use/exercise at home which could encourage them to take up 'proper' sport/exercise.

By the way, I was always slim at school (and still am) so the notion of doing exercise to keep slim was pretty irrelevant to me and makes it more of a chor rather than fun (which is how I view it now).

Software pirates put sizeable dent in UK economy

Neil Docherty

Majority is MS, Adobe and the like anyway

They are saying that it could create thousands of jobs but that's not true. Most pirated software is probably Microsoft's Windows and Office products with Adobe and the like picking up the slack.

I suspect smaller companies don't have a major problem with piracy as they either sell specialised software or low value software which people are happy to pay for. I own about 15 small applications costing between £5 and £25 and have been exceedingly happy with all of them at doing the job I bought for them.

In case you're wondering, I have legitimate copies of MS Windows and Office but I do have a big problem with the high prices of the retail versions compared to the OEM versions and companies like Sony not shipping the install (rather than recovery) disc for Windows with their £1,400 laptops!

Video game ad banned for 'realistic' violence

Neil Docherty

@Gus Robinson + others

I see your point but surely a kid seeing Animal Rescue or something on NatGeo Wild (both on early evening) is going to be more traumatised as the starved dog tries to walk across the room or the tiger has a nice chunk of Bambi's leg rather than seeing some CGI bloke firing a gun into the air?

Also, I'd imagine the adverts would be targetted to certain shows so an advert wouldn't appear in an episode for Heartbeat, for example, because the audience isn't going to form a likely user base of a violent video game. Therefore, the kid (or easily offended person) is only likely to see the advert if they are watching a show with a reasonable level of adult content anyway.

As for sex and nudity appearing in TV shows, who cares as long as it's mentioned before the show starts? Channel 4 seems to have tits on show from 8pm these days and pretty much anything after 9pm!

Neil Docherty

Absolute bollocks!

Pre 9pm ban is fair enough but a complete ban seems stupid considering what is broadcast after 9pm anyway.

I don't see why the ASA won't allow this sort of thing, at all, but a company blatently lying about an 'unlimited' product is perfectly OK by them!

Clash of the compacts: Eee vs Air

Neil Docherty

eeePC too small for me

I have a Vaio T1XP and for a small 'proper' laptop, it's ideal. I wish I'd got the memory upgrade for it whilst it was still available but otherwise it suits my needs nicely.

If I was going for a 13" screen (the T1XP has a 10.6" screen/1.38kg) I'd go for a slimline Vaio or HP (having seen my mates) as they cost around £700 ~ £800, have a built in optical drive and various other things and are much easier to upgrade and still only way around 2kg.

Head banker leaves job over Muslim gaffe

Neil Docherty

If he had made a scientology joke...

...do you think anyone would have gave a crap?!?

China celebrates first lunar pictures

Neil Docherty
Black Helicopters

Flag hunting...

Now if only they can take a picture of that pesky US flag and really piss off a load of conspiracy theorists...

Mr and Mrs Renault cannot name daughter Megane

Neil Docherty

Stupid names / child abuse

A Star Wars fan with the surname of Walker called his kid, yep you guessed it, Luke Sky Walker.

That really should be classed as child abuse!

PaddyPower pays out for Gore's Prius joyride

Neil Docherty

Bit of a pointless car...

If you want to reduce carbon emissions, buy a small diesel and you'll save money on the initiial purchase and fuel costs (currently diesel is cheaper than unleaded!) and be more enviromentally friendly to boot...

As for the driving around city centres argument; the Prius is a Focus or Golf size car which, given most cars in city centres only have 1 person in them, makes it pretty inefficient. Surely a hybrid Smart car, VW Lupo or similar would make much more sense.

Bush kills stem cell research bill

Neil Docherty

The irony is at a level never seen before...

You would think that the man saying "Destroying human life in the hopes of saving human life is not ethical." would be anti-war.

Perhaps he should have said "Destroying American human life in the hopes of saving human life is not ethical."

Apart from anything else, an embryo (especially at the development stage involved in this kind of research) is about as much human life as an egg is a chicken!

ISPs accuse TalkTalk of hijacking customers

Neil Docherty

I can believe that TalkTalk are playing dirty...

I had a sales rep from TalkTalk knocking at the door a couple of weeks ago saying how brilliant they were and I asked specifically do you have a usage limit or fair use policy and the guy responded with no. I checked on TalkTalk's site and, unsurprisingly, they do have a limit. More to the point, it's 40GB so it's not even ambiguous!

I'm on Plus.Net and have had next to no problems in 4.5 years of use (admittedly I don't use their e-mail server!) and have always been happy with their customer service. The only problem I had was a very slow VNC connection during peak hours however they investigated this and resolved the problem.

Things can slow down in the early evening but only for non HTTP/POP3/SMTP traffic. I don't have a problem with this as the majority of my heavy use is either during the day time or overnight (which is when I schedule any large downloading).

140mph YouTube boy racer facing jail

Neil Docherty

It's not the speed...

Speed alone doesn't kill (assuming the car, tyres, etc... can handle it), it all depends on the road conditions such as weather and traffic. Is this case, the guy was driving like a tit (and most likely couldn't safely handle a car at 140MPH under any circumstances, like most people).

Almost all drivers on a motorway have done over 70 at some point but if the traffic volume is not too great, the weather is good and you keep a safe distance from any other traffic, you shouldn't run into problems.

One other thing, did you notice when he was doing 100 (I assume a lot less given most speedo accuracies at speeds over 70) there was a car in front of him which was staying at the same distance (i.e. was likely doing 100 too). Surely they should do him for speeding too!

Five things Sony needs to do save the PS3

Neil Docherty

Price and video support...

The two things stopping me buying a PS3 are the price (a rip off given the US/Japan price - £300 is the price when I'm likely to part with my cash) and the video format support. A lack of DivX or XviD support (without transcoding) is a severe limitation for using the thing as a media centre, which is part of the reason I want one. Oddly they include support for Microsoft's WMV format, which I still haven't quite figured out the logic of!

The inclusion of Blu-Ray is a good thing for me but I definitely understand why most people aren't fussed.


Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022