* Posts by StooMonster

275 publicly visible posts • joined 8 Dec 2006


Are Samsung TVs doing a Volkswagen in energy tests? Koreans hit back


Re: Unsurprising. This *is* Samsung after all

to;dr = Samsung caught cheating benchmarks before, they've got form thus no surprise.

I would bet that it's not just their televisions that act differently when being tested for power consumption.

Imagine if Samsung made cars!

Virgin Media struck dumb by NATIONWIDE packet loss balls-up


Yep, many sites like The Register are fine ... but sites like BBC iPlayer have been troublesome today (Sunday).

What’s the KEYBOARD SHORTCUT for Delete?! Look in a contextual menu, fool!


Re: The Cult of the vi Eloi/Moorlock

the commonest keyboard in use still has its keys laid out in order to constrain the users speed lest the mechanical parts of almost forgotten typewriters get jammed

According to the QI elves and Wikipedia that is incorrect, QWERTY was designed to increase speed not decrease it (albeit by reducing jams).

Plus has happy coincidence of design of encouraging two handed multi-finger typing which is more efficient than alternatives.


Old dogs, new tricks

There's an older fella on my commuting train who works on his laptop every morning. It's not that he's a classic two finger typist that is the problem but rather he hits the keys so hard that each punch can be heard down the other end of the carriage. What impresses me is that his generic windows laptop with MacBook Pro like keys can survive the bashing and continue to work.

iPhone 6: The final straw for Android makers eaten alive by the data parasite?


Re: Emerging markets

Good has got that market nicely sewn up.

Stick a 4K in them: Super high-res TVs are DONE


Re: aware of the benefits of 4K

There's no advantage as the extra colour bit depth is not there.

You are correct that broadcast television and Blu-ray's codecs only support 8-bit per channel colour, i.e. 24-bit colour

Where extra colour bit depth is useful is if your screen is upscaling material, such as SD up to native HD resolution as extra colours on 30-bit or 32-bit mean smoother scaling (can tween colours) and thus less banding and such artefacts.

This obviously doesn't work if say you use your Sky HD box to upscale SD channels to 1080i in 24-bit before it send them to display, which is why picture quality fans have Sky HD set to AUTO output so screens can better scale (with more colours) SD to HD.


Re: Quantity not quality

Or early BBC HD on Freesat to BBC1 HD and BBC2 HD now on Freesat.

IIRC they've dropped the resolution from 1920x1080 square pixels to 1440x1080 rectangular pixels, plus dropped the bit-rate from north of 20Mb/s down to about half that.

The excuse was parity with Freeview HD and saying BBC was not going to favour quality on one particular platform.

Microsoft leaks reveal 'Threshold' projects looming in 2015


So now there's a timetable…

…of the final switch to Metro and depreciation of Desktop Windows: 2015

I imagine they'll keep some elements in there for legacy, bit like DOS in non-NT Windows in the past; but Desktop's days are clearly numbered.

Mystery object falls from sky, area sealed off by military: 'Weather balloon', say officials


Re: Hey need better copywriters...

Ignited by ball lightning?

Leap Motion Controller: Hands up for PC air gestures. That's the spirit


In the 80s you would have had to wrestle a Koala Pad out of my cold dead hands, for creating graphics it was by far the best (cost effective) tool and second to none.

Isn't the modern equivalent the Walcom tablet? So it is an interface that stood the test of time after all, at least with graphic designers and other creatives.

Reports: New Xbox could DOOM second-hand games market


Re: silly argument

Follow Vavle's @Steam_Games or look at the hash tag #SteamSales on Twitter and you'll be right up to date with new games' availability and also Steam Sales and discounts.

Apple asked me for my BANK statements, says outraged reader


Re: Recruitment agencies also ask for scans of passports

RE: "UK birth certificate isn't necessarily proof of citizenship"

That's right, I have friends who are married where one is American and the other an EU citizen, their children were all born here in UK — and thus have British birth certificates — and grown up and gone to school here but they cannot get British passports.

So the kids have got dual citizenships of their parents homelands, but they always think it's a bit weird (you'd think they were British if you talked to them).

Oi, Microsoft, where's my effin' toolbar gone?


Best version of Word

Word 5.1a on Mac FTW, been downhill with every subsequent version.

Ready or not: Microsoft preps early delivery of IE10 for Windows 7


Re: The other other reason

Seeing as you mention DirectX, on Windows 8 IE10 uses DX 11.1 for rendering. Which is why Microsoft had to port IE10 back for Windows 7. The reason being that for marketing purposes DX11.1 is not coming to Win7 and is Win8 exclusive.

So if instead they had "allowed" DX11.1 for Win7 they would've had an easier time making a version of IE10 work on this popular flavour of Windows.

Also might've encourage game developers to use DX11.1 features, which is plainly not happening ATM due to tiny markets share of Win8.

Have Brits fallen for Netflix, or do they still LoveFilm?


Re: Netflix for me

The BBC, Sky, etc say they have more than a quarter of their customers using GingerBread, so they cannot offer advanced features like HD streaming ... unless they want to cut off their service for a chunk of their customers.

(Last time I looked on Google Android analytics, couple of weeks ago, GingerBread was more than 50% of devices accessing Google Play in the prior two weeks.)

Of course they could develop different clients for different versions of Anroid, which is exactly the Android fragmentation issue in a nutshell.

Whereas their Apple iOS clients are shiny and packed with cutting edge features, such as programme downloads (so one can watch iPlayer on the train and not worry about tunnels).


Breaking Bad

For those who haven't tasted the delights of Mr White and his story, Netflix has the UK exclusive distribution of Breaking Bad at the moment.

Thumb Up

High Definition

I signed up with Netflix because they had High Definition support, when LoveFilm were low resolution streaming only at them time. Do LoveFilm have better HD support these days?

Another thing, was easy to roll out Netflix around the house, just used those Apple TV things: plugged them into power and HDMI and done.

Coincidentally had a conversation the other day with friend, where I realised that most of our current household viewing is Netflix — rather than Sky or optical discs — and it's because (a) there's not much we fancy to record on Sky at the moment and (b) there's loads of series on Netflix that we kind-of-fancied in the past but never got round to watching but can now watch the entire things in HD (mostly).


Re: Don't have a Tv Licence... Love Netflix

Yep, I have friends and family who gave up on the TV license and just use streaming stuff over the internet on their living room TVs and DVD box-sets from LoveFilm.

They checked and are perfectly fine.

Microsoft's ARM blunder: 7 reasons why Windows RT was DOA


It's all about the long term strategy

Microsoft only make money with Windows and Office, everything else they do bleeds cash, and they know this isn't going to last forever. So what can they do? Copy Apple! Take a fee for every app / program sold on their OS, that's how.

So, they have developed Metro as the successor OS to Windows desktop, where commercial apps are only available from the Microsoft Store (Enterprise apps can be distributed directly, as per iOS) and a large proportion of the revenue goes to Microsoft.

Windows 8 is the first step in this direction with the addition of Metro to desktop, but as Windows Blue arrives and we get annual updates to the desktop OS with relentless promotion of Metro apps we will see depreciation of desktop by stealth (like we did the transition from DOS to Windows in the past). They've given up on backwards compatibility, as few care (those that do can run VMs) and it doesn't help the cash flow.

Windows RT was obviously perceived as a driver of Metro apps, but really it's the timing that is wrong. It may be DOA but it will be like a zombie and come back from the dead because eventually Metro will be the mainstream Windows OS and desktop will be as relevant as DOS is today.

Smarm-bot Siri seeks side-splitting script-writer for charm transplant


Voice of the balls

I wish we could change the voice in the UK, I don't want the male lottery voice talking to me, I want that American girl (even though I am a Brit).

Why can't we choose which voice Siri uses?

Actually, why can't we choose Siri's personality? I'd set mine to "Sarcastic"

Samsung, LG 'lose confidence' in OLED TV tech


Re: Great. More technology without content.

Like ITV here in UK they use 1440x1080 anamorphic, rather than 1920x1080, and also use low-bandwidth high-compression. Not good.

In UK I find one of the worst offenders to be the channel previous called FX but rebranding to Fox, sometimes they use such little bandwidth that there's no detail at all and it's like watching your programmes smeared with vacaline.


Re: The real competition isn't TVs

Also those 4K projectors out there now tend not to be native 4K, at least not the cheaper ones, they simulate 4K by offsetting pixels. There are real 4K physical pixel projectors, but they cannot accept a 4K signal as an input and only upscale 1080p to quad-HD.

If you want a real 4K projector you are still going to have to wait for one that has both 4K resolution (really, not pseudo) plus 4K over HDMI. But we should see them in 2013, same is true of 4K / quad-HD HDTVs as you'll have to watch out for early models that do not accept signal and only upscale 1080p.

For optimal viewing you'll also need a 4K source, but luckily the 4K format for Blu-ray is imminent (as is 4K support in HDMI).

APPLE: SCREW YOU, BRITS, everyone else says Samsung copied us


Re: Called it

"UK court"

The most contemptuous part is referring to a UK court, when this was a court of "England & Wales"; there's a different legal system in Scotland (and I don't know where NI fits in).

Their lawyers would know this, so perhaps the repost was written by marketeers?

Graun Aid: Don't They Know It's Christmas 2.0?


Feed The Scott Trust

Surely the rhyme for "Toynbee" in this case is "subsidy"?

Hold the chips: Apple axes Samsung RAM order for iPhone 5


Re: Innovation

Didn't Microsoft buy Kinect from an Israeli startup who'd been flogging it around? (IIRC but am happy to be corrected, didn't both Nintendo and Sony turn them down before Microsoft jumped in?)

Guess it depends on your definition of "innovation" fella.

'$199' Surface tablets: So crazy it might work, or just crazy?


Re: Secure boot would not last long at $199

No DRM has survived determined attention from hackers.

Isn't PlayStation 3 secure these days, after Sony's security wobble with Geohot?


Re: doubtful

The only problem I see is that MS don't make content but I could see them following Apple and demanding a 30% cut of everyone who has their content signed so it can be sold inside the walls.

Already happening, Windows RT is the first walled-garden version of Windows.

Specifically, with Windows RT the only source of software is the Microsoft Store. As per iOS, you cannot install software from anywhere else (until the device is jail-broken) and Microsoft runs the store on the same agency model as everyone else so get their 30% take of everyone's paid apps.

BBC mulls seizing the wheel of Local TV

Thumb Down

Peartree Productions

Alan Partridge a-likes will be delighted, North Norfolk Digital of the television world abound.

Personally I am no fan of local television or radio or newspapers, meaningful or useful content is too thin on the ground IMO.

KIT drives off with memory win: 1-bit-per-MOLECULE storage


Re: 200Pb Drive

That's easy, it would take an eighth of the time the 200PB drive referred to in the article would take.

Facebook replaces non-Facebook mail addresses on Timeline


Re: Fixed it!

I don't use Facebook.

Pegatron named as Microsoft Surface fondleslab foundry


Re: cash cow

Android and Amazon are not "real competition" for iPad, but Microsoft Surface is?

At least these two offer cheaper alternatives if nothing else, what does Surface bring? The x86 version looks to me like an ultra book but with the mobo behind the screen rather than underneath the keyboard.

Microsoft takes on tablets with keyboard-equipped Surface


Re: BAU for MS then?

Oh, last I heard Office came with RT. If now you only get "Office Preview" then it looks like one will have to download Office Metro edition from the Microsoft Store.

I am sure that's a commercial decision, Office division could not have RT tablets cannibalising their margins.


Re: BAU for MS then?

They didn't announce the price and they didn't announce the battery life either.

Cynical El Reg readers may wonder why.

Also, RT includes Office pre-installed (i.e. "for free") whereas the Pro version does not and one has to purchase an Office licence in addition -- not a surprise but adds to the cost of "full version".

Windows 8: Not even Microsoft thinks businesses will use it


Re: Windows 9

> It may even be the case that both versions are locked down to an app store so people cannot install apps except via the store.

Windows RT is locked down this way, you can only buy software from the Microsoft Store on the ARM tablets.

Similarly you can only buy Metro apps from the Microsoft Store in the x86/64 Windows 8.

Only "classic desktop" allows running of program's not purchased from Microsoft Store.


It's all about the money, money, money

Metro apps (read programs) are only available from the Microsoft Store.

Microsoft take 30% of the revenue of third-party apps sold from the Microsoft Store, ergo they earn at least 30% of the revenue of all Metro apps.

That is why they will not allow you to turn off Metro, it is a revenue stream.

Windows XP update fails in infinite .NET patch loop


Had this on Windows 7 too

Ages ago I had exactly the same thing happen on Windows 7 64-bit and 32-bit editions too — two updates of .NET got into infinite update loops.

Wasted best part of a day trying to fix it myself and finally spent ages on phone to Microsoft Support — via MSDN subscription — and their conclusion in the end (after more than an hour on phone) was "Back up your data. Format drive. Re-install."

I was staggered that a 21st century 64-bit OS could be completely shagged by an update from its author, and require such radical fix.

Hated Visual Studio 11 beta in HIGH-ENERGY colour blast



Wish Apple would put the colour back in OS X too, it's all very grey these days.

Microsoft ejects DVD playback from Windows 8


Re: By the way...

A relative of an ATM machine, RAM memory, DOS system, etc.

CD: The indestructible music format that REFUSES TO DIE


What will kill CD for me...

...is easy access to and easy to use loss-less or loss-less compression codec downloads, without paying a premium price; the current mass-market solution of 'good enough' quality isn't good enough for my tastes.

Until that day CD it is, and ripping to whatever format takes my fancy.

BT fibre-to-the-cabinet rollout penetrates 73 more exchanges


Re: Anyone actually have Infinity

Few friends have got Infinity and really pleased with it.

I use Virgin 100Mb package and get a rock solid 10Mb upstream, but keenly waiting to see what the speed bump does.

As to direct download speeds, I downloaded Dota2 from Steam in three minutes a couple of weeks ago and Mass Effect 3 from Origin in about eight minutes last week. Streaming any HD video service is usually a dream but can occasionally have buffering problems in the early evenings.


Re: As with many

I get a phone call at least once a month from BT trying to sell me Infinity, the latest went like this:

BT: "Hello, this is BT. I'd like to talk to you about our super fast broadband,"

Me: "Sorry but..."

BT: "We are offering broadband that is four times faster than any of our competitors."

Me: "Really? Four times faster than any of your competitors?"

BT: "Yes!"

Me: "I have Virgin Media's 100Mb service, so what I hear you saying is that you can provide me with a 400Mb connection. Wow."

BT: "You know I mean broadband over BT's phone lines, not anything else."

Me: "That is not what you said."


I've got friends in Narrow Street with BT Infinity, they're at the CW end, so it is available to some in the area.

Windows 8 tablet freezes in Microsoft keynote demo


Re: So what /should/ have been done?

I run two Windows 7 64-bit computers, and both of them have had the OS destroyed by Microsoft Updates. i.e. got into infinite loops that won't break and cannot be reversed. Both times called MSDN support and eventual 'official' problem resolution was format hard drive and reinstall OS.

What happens on a Windows 8 tablet when the OS gets shagged by Microsoft Updates, which is inevitable as far as I am concerned?

I can make Win7 64-bit BSoD on demand, if I uninstall AMD's CAP application support it always BSoD and the only way I can remove it to update to latest version is go through the Registry and do it manually -- I am not alone, there are plenty of people with same issue on support forums. There's also a couple of programs that BSoD Win7 when they crash too.

Adobe can't penetrate punters' tight wallets: Users holding out for CS6


Waiting for CS6, maybe

I'm still on CS3 suite, which (mostly) works without issue.

There's a few things I'd like in later versions, but it's just not worth the price of the upgrade to me (not my core business, but I do use it heavily every so often).

Definitely not going subscription route either, nor pay-as-you-go.

Guess I'll stick with CS3 until it stops working due to OS changes or Adobe have a more reasonable upgrade policy.

New iPad sales hit 3 million in first 4 days


Re: How is this measured?

Apple are a publicly quoted company therefore have many laws to comply with in regards to publishing data such as this.

If they said they'd sold 3-million and they hadn't the shareholders could sue the management and the SEC would want to put them in jail.

Cook & Co. boost Apple TV to 1080p, update interface


Re: I don't trust those figures

I know several people with Apple TV and none of them are IT professionals; rather they are doctors, dentists, managers, musicians, and entrepreneurs ... ordinary ABs in demographics terms.

They don't have them flashed for XBMC, rather they use them for Netflix and renting movies from iTunes -- one thing they have in common is they hate BSkyB (or at least the fees).

Metro breakdown! Windows 8 UI is little gain for lots of pain


Metro UI, why? It's the money money money

Why is Metro UI forced in Win8? For a similar reason it is the new interface on Xbox 360.

On 360 it's all about the advertising, and an additional revenue stream from all those Xbox gamers' eyeballs. It's the money.

On Win8 Metro programs can only be purchased from Microsoft's app store, and Microsoft take 30% of price. This doesn't affect "desktop" programs (yet), but certainly does affect tablets that are Metro only and those users who will buy things like 'Cut the Rope'. Again, it's the money.

I am amazed that El Reg readers aren't more vocal about Metro apps only being available from Microsoft's store.

Death to Office or to Windows - choose wisely, Microsoft


Re: nonsense

You know that a lot of modern apartments / flats have only a microwave for heating stuff up, no oven and hob, there's no call for kitchens these days -- as dining rooms before them -- with particular demographics (young, urban, professionals) who eat out or buy ready meals.

My kids love an American tv show called 'The Middle' where the protagonist family use their cooker for bedding storage, as they eat take-away and warm popcorn in the microwave. I imagine there's plenty of households in the UK where cooker and hob are never turned on.

Similarly I already know people who've gone from desktop to laptop to netbook to iPad tablet exclusivity, not for me as I have proper work to do on workstation / desktop but I can see quite a lot of people going that way too.

Dumb salesmen are hurting us – Nokia CEO


It's all about the margins

Nokia might make more phones than anyone else, but with wafer thin margins it means their earnings (profits are tiny).

Apple have 6% market share but take 60% of profits of all handset manufacturers, whereas Nokia make 60% of handsets (not really, it's less) but take 6% of the profits of handset manufacturers (probably less, I don't have Nokia's figures to hand but you get the point).


In the wild

I saw a guy with a Nokia Windows Phone 7 -- Lumia 800? -- on the escalator in the tube once. Really, I did!

Do I win a prize?