* Posts by Walter McCann

34 posts • joined 17 Jul 2007

Google snags patent on price discrimination

Walter McCann

Another stupid patent - when will America learn...

Not another stupid patent.....

Ryanair and others all ready do this, as the previous poster says, you look up a flight, shop around and come back - the price goes up just enough to "frighten" you.

Now delete your cookies, change you ip address and look again - oh its a miracle, the price is back down at the original price - weird eh....

The guy who put in my gutters has used this for years, on the same day he got between €650 and €2,000 per house from about 5 houses on my road (houses identical) - I got the €650 as I was not interested - so maybe he should get the patent,sue google and retire rich :)


Patent flame storm: Reg hack biteback in reader-pack sack attack

Walter McCann

Prove the patent deserves patent protection in the first place

Why not solve this once and for all:

If a company/person brings a patent case against another, let the first step be to have a jury examine the patent to make sure it is a legitimate bona fide patent. Evidence could be presented at this point by "others" who believe that they can prove that the patent should never have been given (and the holder proves why it should have been).

If the case gets past this hurdle then continue on and the patent holder can go through the normal process of proving that the opposing party actually infringed the now "legitimised" patent.

This would reduce the number of patent cases being taken as the person suing would have to bear the cost/time of proving their patent was legitimate, and would free up the courts for "true" patent infringement cases.

The patent system is broken, we have a few (unelected) bureaucrats who have little clue deciding whether something is a new idea or not - this is ridiculous (remember Amazon's one click purchase patent - what a joke).

Only when the integrity of the patent system is restored can true innovation and progress continue, until that time it is just open day for lawyers.


It's Lego's 80th birthday party, but only the boys are invited

Walter McCann

BTW, for anyone who does not like the special pieces, you can do what I did as a child, if I needed a 6er and only had an 8er well out came the hack saw (I was only 6 at the time). I can still remember the smell - it was fairly awful..... (this technique also works with the "poop" pieces

Walter McCann

I have 3 girls, oldest 9, youngest 4. The eldest has/had no real interest in Lego - though she did get a large traditional "house" set a few years back.

To my surprise, the 4 year old is mad on.... (wait for it).... Lego friends. She builds it according to the pack and then builds other things as well.

So while the article is correct about the pieces being more "set" than in the past, the fact that they are has shown my daughter what she can do and now she is pushing the bounderies - is that not what lego is all about?

BTW, Lego has never really been gender neutral - All my life they were very much "boy" oriented and you would always find it in the boy section of the toy shop. The advent of Lego space in the early 80's strenghtened this idea but it was always there (and I have never heard of a girl playing with meccano)


Burnt Samsung Galaxy S III singed by external source, probe reveals

Walter McCann

Re: Rule 2

Question for Jim,

If floating in mid air while holding a 240v cable will give you an electric shock, how do birds get away when sitting on electrical pylons with thousands of volts????

Should they not be fried?


A Blu-ray Christmas? Don't bank on it

Walter McCann
Black Helicopters

Blu-ray - what about the competition

Blu-ray unfortunately does not really stand much of a chance. The competition is fierce - With the likes of SKY HD etc you can get a large selection (8 channels at last count) of movies and you don't have to leave your front door.

Also, Microsoft are doing HD video on demand. and this is only going to increase.

I still have loads of DVD's I got in 1999 for my first DVD player that are still in their packaging - I won't make that mistake again. Also the number of rental movies on Blu-ray is limited.

I have 2 Xbox 360's and 1 playstation 3 and 2 games :) Why, well when I buy kids movies (they watch them over and over again so I feel I get value for money) I rip them to my home server and then play them through media center. Works great. The PS3 is purely to stream the AVCHD home videos I make as I was getting frustrated trying to get HD video to stream (WMV-HD files are HUGE!!!).

So all in all, since I can't rip blu-ray I wont' be buying them. (Though I did get the xbox HD-DVD addon for planet earth {and a few other nature films} which is amazing!!!)

So my prognosis is HD dvd will never really take off in the same way DVD did - it is an old format (disc I mean) in a new online world.

Just my 2c worth.

Does an imported PS3 need power conversion kit?

Walter McCann

Check it

Open it up and look on the powersuppy (or the PS3 if it is built in) - It will say what voltage it cn take - if it is 110-120 then you need a converter, if it says 110-240 then you will just need to change the plug.

If you need a converter - look again at the label and see what the wattage required is (probably 70W but could be more) then go to your local electronics store (Maplin in the UK) and buy a step-up converter that is considerably (50%) greater power rating than required.

Better still, if the powersupply is external just buy a new powersupply on Ebay/local games shop). Step-up converters are very noisy - create a buzz like a fly killer in a butchers.

Hope this helps.

MS DNS patch snuffs net connection for ZoneAlarm users

Walter McCann
Black Helicopters

Not Just zonealarm

Had to remove the patch from a machine that DID NOT have zone alarm installed!!!

Anyway software firewalls are a really bad idea - they run on the machine so allow the hacker got to the machine, Far better and easier to use an external firewall (netgear etc) which stops them getting to your machine in the firstplace.

Also, most people screw them up opening this port and that port or allowing software to do it for them having no idea what they are doing so all they end up is a fiewall with loads of unnecessary holes.

Save your money and buy a hardware firewall.

JVC punts dual-format camcorders

Walter McCann


Does this make any sense? MPEG2 is not HD so you have HD camcorder but you record in SD? Why not just get a SD camera and be done with it.

Also, they say for superior editing using MPEG2 - everyone with half a brain knows that one of the big problems with recording in MPEG2 is that it is not superior (DV was/is superior) as it is a lossy format and you have to be careful where you splice your scene otherwise it can look a mess.

Anyway this is typical marketing, make something that is worse and then on the next generation say "oh we have now made it so terrible that the previous encarnation is better!!!". What a load of Crap.

Now if only I could get my Xbox 360 to stream AVCHD then I would be happy (ish)


Reding would OK charges to receive mobile calls

Walter McCann

Learn from the Yanks

Are we incapable of learning from the stupidity of the Americans????

This is the model that they followed and as a result they are way behind the rest of the world in mobile phone technology. It took at least 10 years longer than in Europe to get decent coverage in the cities let alone in the country. They have a huge resistance to mobile phones as a result of this charge.

I would not stay nor move to an operator that charged me for receiving a call - what is the EU thinking - I would then have to pay for something I did not initiate, potentially did not want - (I suppose they could do some kind of chargeback scheme whereby you could charge it back if you don't like the person :)


If this is the rubbish the EU are coming up with then it is no surprise that we (Ireland though not myself) voted NO, NEIN, NON etc........


Apple to charge iPod Touch owners for new OS - again

Walter McCann
Jobs Horns

It is all a scam

Apple are hiding behind this "Accounting" reason to charge touch owners for the upgrade.

Note, if they have to charge for the updates then:

1) Why do Iphone users get them for free????

2) Why do NO other company that I have come across charge either (Microsoft adds new features the whole time e.g. IE7 tabbed browsing etc but don't charge)

This is a money making racket, I for one did not upgrade the last time and probably won't this time.


DisplayPort to do DVI to death, analyst claims

Walter McCann

Only if it overcomes hdmi's problem

Why can't they create a small connector that doesn't fall out!!! if I move my sky box, even a few cm's out comes the HDMI lead.

now if they could put those clips like on SATA I would be happier :)

Brennan JB7 Micro Jukebox

Walter McCann

Why not go for a soundbridge

As an owner of 3 Roku M1001B units and 2 Soundbridge radios And 2 XBox 360's I can tell you this is the only way to go for streaming.

Server is a Dell 8 core Poweredge 1900 running 64bit Vista ultimate plus a few virtual machines including Server 2003, Server 2008 and XP pro!!

anyway the Roku/Pinnacle units are great and I can not recommend them enough - I can have different music playing in 7 rooms from the same source!

Welcome to the 21st centuary.

Son of 419 victim contacts El Reg

Walter McCann

Gullible Reg Readers

Sorry Sarah,

Greed should never ever deserves pity. (it is one of the seven deadly sins you know!!!!)

As for the email, it is rather amusing - I loved the bit about being a preacher (they always are - men of God etc). He did forget to mention that his Dad wanted the money to help the little orphans that he feeds every day!!!!!!

So, you can all send me €10 euros and I will help him out :) - that would be at least €800 already......

Advice to Scammer:

1) India is a big place with 1,000,000,000 people - why not move or hide???

2) Rob a bank

3) raid the church collection plate?

4) Declare divine inspiration and tell all parishioners that God is telling them to raise atleast $50,000 "for the poor Orphans" (which would be partially true of his Dad topped himself!!)

5) Sell the computer he used to send the email to El reg.

:-) Bank details for all donations to follow....

Brits vote for useless gadgets

Walter McCann

Has to be the Autotape

When I saw the advertisements I thought - That looks useful. I then got one and realised that it is the most useless invention of all time. It is big, heavy, cubersome and actually makes using a tape measure more difficult than a normal one.

Someone went to the effort of taking a design that had worked for many many years and screwing it up. "The better mousetrap!!!"

Anyway it most definetly gets my prize (along with cheap sat navs that use maps from 2003!!!)

Music biz proposes 'iPod tax' in return for format-shift freedom

Walter McCann

Not the point

The music industry has got it all wrong, the problem is a lack of decent material - the stuff that is being produced today has little to no artistic merit - it is all about hype (as a result Xfactor type program, Louis Walsh type bands etc), It is all manufactured music (and they would make it in china if they could get away with it).

As a result, people buy fewer CD's (I have a collection of 500+ CD's bought over the years, but I have probably bought only 10 disks in the last 8 years!!!!!)

So we have what is called in Ireland "Dublin Bus Economics" - Dublin Bus used to put up the prices everytime it's passenger numbers fell, thus causing it's passenger numbers to fall further etc etc..... In this case we have a worsening product being sold to fewer people for a higher price..

Rhetorical question: How many bands that formed in the last 5 years will be around in 30 year???? - I suspect probably 0 but maybe 1 at most.

I lived in Germany in the mid 1990's and there the music industry anounced that they were going to raise the price of CD's to 50DM (approx 25 euro) as they felt the market could support that. They never got over 30 as surprise surprise sales started dropping.....

Another issue is the amount they pay big bands - the invest a huge amount of capital upfront into bands that might or might not pay off - REM went through years of producing rubbish until Accelerate!!!

So over priced junk, and paying too much to artists is the music industry's fundamental problem, they can complain about mp3 players etc etc but until they sort these things out "the only way is down baby"

My 2 cents worth...

Microsoft updates Xbox 360 HD DVD add-on

Walter McCann

What's the point?? - Plenty

I find it odd that we are quick to give out about companies who produce products with bugs then make them obsolete so as not to have to repair the bugs.

This is a case of a company improving things for those of us who have a collection (granted small) of HD DVD's and have no intention of sending them to landfill.

Please give Kudos where it is deserved - and I know that Microsoft does normally not deserve it but in this case I feel it is justified.

BTW, planet Earth on HD DVD 1080p (US edition) makes purchase of the HD-DVD add on well worth it - and even more so now.....


Rambus wins big in monopoly ding-dong

Walter McCann
Gates Horns

Oh, how did they mess up so bad

I remember the days when Intel chose Rambus to be the supplier of memory to their next generation of chipsets.

Rambus share price shot up, imagine you had to use Rambus Technology to power your machine.

But Rambus got greedy, wanted the whole market to themselves and wouldn't share. Charged too much for memory (in relation to CPU prices at the time that is) and got stung. The industry created an Alternative (DDR1), Intel dumped Rambus as soon as they realised the VD that they were and the share price went down the toilet.

Today all they have left is to sue people to keep the company alive, how sad but that is the American way...... Remember Pride or in this case Greed, always comes before a fall....

Google enters underwater cable business

Walter McCann

All about distance

KT et al,

Don't forget a Geo stationary satelite orbits at 36,000km, so a sat link would mean the data would travel 72,000km - at the speed of light (not much that we know about goes faster than this) that takes 240ms assuming no delay from routers etc, a cable under the pacific is 5,000km so delay is 10ms - quite a difference.

The latency can really slow down your network (Just compare the difference in surfing over 3g vs DSL) - your system has to wait longer to decide if a packet is lost or not causing all sorts of issues.

Anyway 2 questions:

1) What happened to all the "Dark" cable left over from the dot com bust (or was that just under the atlantic - I remember hearing you could buy a fibre link from Europe to the US for $1 plus a bit of debt)?

2) I know Google has loads of money but $300mln plus anciliary costs for a link does not seem to make economic sense (considering they would require a backup link should the gremlins attack again)

Anyway sorry for the ramble...


Sun will swallow Earth: Official

Walter McCann


So long and thanks for all the fish, I'm outta here......


Microsoft splits Server 2008 for SMB

Walter McCann
Black Helicopters

Common myths with SBS

Actually SBS limits you to one domain and only one copy of SBS in the domain (you can use standard addition for the other domain controllers). You can't even have a second domain with a second copy of SBS on the same network even if you don't want trusts between the domains - SBS will just shut down - good 'ol Microsoft.....


Samsung i70 memory mishap

Walter McCann

Camera memory

1) Is there a memory card in it?

2) Is the memory card working ok in a pc?

3) Is the memory card formated as Fat or Fat32?

4) Is the memory card a HC version - some cameras can't take them?

5) Can you format the memory card through the camera?

Otherwise bring it back.


OnlineTV recorder TVCatchup.com shut down

Walter McCann


All you need is the following:

1) Sky+ box

2) Sling Box

3) laptop or 3g phone with sling player

Sky+ is now free, slingbox is free, use sky's remote record system to record your program (on you phone or from their website). Watch when at home or anywhere via Slingbox (works great on a toshiba g900).

You have control, no violations and works great.

Mole claims Toshiba to terminate HD DVD

Walter McCann

Firesale on Now

got an email last night from Amazon saying that HD-DVD's are now half price (could Amazon be about to pull out).

Anyway, what everyone seems to have missed is that the consumer is getting by far the worst deal.

1) blu-ray is controlled by Sony who does not have a good track record with open standards.

2) blu-ray spec is not dreadfully robust - reports of artefacts etc

3) blu-ray are considerably more expensive than HD-DVD disks.

4) For those that are interested - no HD Porn as Sony have said they won't license Blu-ray to the porn industry

Anyway I think this is all inconsequential. for most people the standard DVD is enough and anyway with all the different HD sources available (e.g. sky movies etc) the rental/purchase market is going to go into terminal decline. (I stopped buying DVD's in 2000 as €25 euros is a lot to pay for a disk that one is only ever going to watch once (some are still in their shrinkwrap)).

So, what is a thing of the past in my opinion is discs - so in 2020 there will be no DVD AND no discs (will go the way of the tape). So let's not get too upset.

My 2 pence worth,


Blue-laser alternative to Blu-ray, HD DVD launched

Walter McCann
Black Helicopters


Solid state chips are now so cheap, why would anyone want this with all the asscociated downsides and no upside?

Whoever gave the goahead for this must have been asleep for the the last 5 years.


What's the best handheld computer?

Walter McCann


a few questions need to be answered first:

Do you need Vista/XP? (would not recommend vista on low powered machines). If so then go with either a UMPC or one of the minute Sony's (they also have a built in keyboard)

If Linux is ok, then Asus EEE pc looks great and is very cheap.

If you need mobile broadband then go for the Toshiba G900 as it has a good keyboard for occasional use plus it also has a 800*480 screen for surfing. it is also not much bigger than a phone.

800*480 would be minimum screen size for surfing.


Best way to stream Sky HD content to multiple TVs?

Walter McCann

An expensive solution to your problem


2 Options:

first costs $2000 but you can get it on Ebay for less:

This lets you display the same source on 4 screens. (allows you to switch between 4 sources).


The other one is a matrix solution and costs $4000, allows you to watch a different source on each screen (and control the source). Note you need 2 cat5 cables per screen (one for Audio/video and one for the HDCP signal if the source is using this).


as for PC - just get a graphics card with a DVI output, connect it with a DVI to HDMI cable. Should work fine.

The final option is sky multiroom (£200 per sky box plus £120 per year) which is considerably cheaper.

Have fun,


Bloke finds missus working in brothel

Walter McCann

Urban legends

1) Cat in microwave - true - US idiot in the 1980's thought it was a good way to dry cat after it got wet - cat cooked, he sued the microwave manufacturer (think it was DAEWOO but not sure) and won. hence warning not to dry pets in microwave

2) Diver in tree - almost 100% false since they do not use salted water for putting out fires - kills the soil - only fresh water.

3) guy who worked out he could take the door off his micrwave and it would still work (stuffed paper into the catch to engage the switch). Cooked his liver.... now what would Antony Hopkins say to that.......


How can I get better browsing with a smartphone?

Walter McCann


I have a Panasonic G900 (800*480 screen) 3G and works great, love the phone.... (most issues have been resolved)

Tosh promises March '08 launch for super batteries

Walter McCann

50 Amps

Hmmmm, so no more taking a quick shower while I charge the laptop...

I can hear it now:

"switch off the lights/tv honey, I need to charge my computer"...


Researcher: 'Second wave' HD adopters favour HD DVD

Walter McCann

The problem with HD-DVD/Blu Ray

Why do we need HD-TV's? Because standard definition pics look crap on LCD/Plasma displays. the picture from the old CRT is far far superior - from a contrast and a quality point of view. To get a decent picture you need a HD source (although some manufacturers are better at upscaling than others)

As for HD-DVD/Blu-ray, I don't think either will "take off". Video on demand is here or just about here (Sky box office HD for example is the only source of HD movies in Ireland) and I don't see going into the future that people will want to buy loads of discs that they will only watch at most once (I did when I got a DVD first in 1999 - most are still in their shrink wrap...) The only ones that are used regularly are the kids movies but I have ripped them to my PC as the discs were being destroyed.

So the rental stores won't carry HD disks, the only current source is via Sky etc and people are getting used to this so come 2 years, the rental stores will start boarding up (In Ireland most of the smaller stores have already gone...) Disc based movies are gone, just like the video tape and this is all due to the industry not providing a united front (and over charging for the disks).


Blu-ray widens US disc sales lead

Walter McCann
Black Helicopters

What is included in the figures


I thought that HD DVD was backed by the porn industry? Since world wide porn sales far eclipse the movie and music businesses combined I think that this should not be ignored.

The Porn industry do not want to have to pay the hefty fees the Bluray camp charge so once they start producing hd media who knows, the game may be over (or we could end up with 2 systems, one for family viewing and the other well......

Just my 2 pence worth.


Clarins' electromagnetic-blocking cream ad blocked

Walter McCann

What about the food industry

Anyone for Biffidus Digestivum - which could make your digestive system "work better" if you are 300 miles of the martian surface, hanging upside down with a banana sticking out of one ear and an anti-gravity device in the other.......

Belkin unveils Wireless USB hub

Walter McCann

Silex SX-2000WG !!!

This has been onsale for quite some time (see expansys) Works really well and does not need special dongle - just software which works even within VMWARE!!!!

Very useful device - I have a weather station in the conservatory and the PC collecting the data in the attic. You can also add most peripherals to it (apart from cameras). You can add multiple usb devices via a usb hub as well as having multiple SX-2000WG on your network. Note for printers, scanners etc multiple users can connect to a device (though not at the same time) but you can say have 2 printers on the one SX-2000WG and 2 different computers accessing them.

I would recommend this as it does not have the limitations of the Belkin. It also has a network port which is important as Wireless can be very flakey some times. (note they also do servers without the wireless aspect - only wired)


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