* Posts by Andy Pellew

38 publicly visible posts • joined 17 Jul 2007

Four illegal ways to sort out the Euro finance crisis

Andy Pellew
IT Angle

Why should the Euro be any different?

What I have never understood is why people thing the Euro should be any different to the Pound of the Dollar?

There are parts of the UK for which 0.5% interest rates are too low (south, south east, etc) and parts for which it's about right (north west, scotland, etc). The same with parts of the US.

Why should the Euro area be any different?

Apple, Google, Microsoft – are you a Brand Taliban or Brand Evangelist?

Andy Pellew

Blu-Ray vs HD-DVD

It would be interesting to re-visit this flame war and contact people who commented and see what they're using now.

Me? I was fervently pro Blu-ray (which won, Yeah me) but now my Blu-Ray player is gathering dust - I haven't purchased a disk in at least 8 months and haven't switched the player on to play a Blu-Ray in at least 4 months. In fact I've sold more disks on e-Bay than I've purchased in total - leaving me with around 10 disks in total

I now get my HD fix via AppleTV/iTunes (turns out 720p is "good enough for me").

Go figure?

Students get deep Windows 7 price break

Andy Pellew

Conversion rate ...

It's that pesky $1 = £1 conversion rate popping up again ...

I will never understand why big companies do this stuff, don't they realise the massive negative publicity it gives them??!!

Windfarm Britain means (very) expensive electricity

Andy Pellew

Closed System ...

You see where this all falls down is the "Closed System" model they have used to look at the UK's Energy Needs ... We buy in electricity from France. Why not use their spare capacity at time of "slow" wind? They'd happily sell it to us ...

Oh but wait, that won't get the generators the massive government subsidy they are clearly gunning for will it?!

Top British boffin: Time to ditch the climate consensus

Andy Pellew
IT Angle

Interesting article ...

The one issue I would say is that these "cross party" groups are there because if party X declares they will spend Y amount on renewable investment then if party A declares it will scrap the money and claw back the investment nothing changes ... much better that both parties agree that 1/2 Y is the "right" amount and that gets spent and the investment happens.

Similarly if we don't co-orginate environmental policy internationally companies will just manufacture goods in the cheapest place they possibly can and despite, Germany say, having very high environmental standards the same goods will be manufactured somewhere else.

This article makes some very good points, the majority of which I agree with but I think concensus "politics" is still a better way forward.

Google disguises capitalism as civil rights

Andy Pellew

Slightly misses the point ...

Isn't the point that without network neutrality that "large" companies will be able to do what the Motor Industry did in the US and, in effect, close down the competition?

For example let's assume that when Virgin, Carphone Warehouse, and Tiscali etc go to chat with Microsoft about how much they think they are going to charge the software giant for use of their networks the software giant turns round and offers "exclusive" access to those ISP's willing to pay, and blocks access to XBox live to anyone using an ISP that won't pay.


Already happens with TV channels via Sky or Cable, already happens with Films and TV shows feeding into the TV Channels ... Are entertainment services like X-Box live really that different?

Let's not even get into that fact that unless there is something in place to prevent them Network Neutrality is the only thing preventing large companies from paying an ISP to "block" their rivals. Do you have a new idea for a startup? Well if any of the multi-billion dollar companies out there don't like it then forget it ... In fact what investor will be interested in giving you money when there is even the risk that you could just be "denied access" to the market?!

Network Neutrality is a can of worms ... I think we need to settle for the "lease worst" system and for me that's the status quo.

My jacket? It's the one with the tinfoil lining ...

COBOL thwarts California's Governator

Andy Pellew

A Tad Simplistic ...

Think of it this way ... if COBOL were running your life support machine would you really want to just chuck it out and starting again? No. Of course not. So why should people whose paycheck depends on it be any different?

It's not just a switch you can flick and anyone who thinks it is is obviously sitting in front of their PC writing software for themselves and no-one else. "Managed change", it's what keeps business running. A few years out in industry and that would be painfully clear to you.

"Get rid of that legacy crap" - reminds me of when I was young and stupid. Now I'm just ... Hang on. That's not worked ...

Japan kicks off electric car format war

Andy Pellew


... you know since they sorted that whole HD DVD vs Blu-Ray thing out these comment sections had become really quite dull with people offering their opinions without even the slightest trace of blood-curdling bile.

Good to see we'll have something new to fight about now ... the only thing that would make this story any better would be if Microsoft picked a format that was going to be the only one supported by Windows 7.


Sometimes you just can't have everything.

Brits won't get PS3 movie, TV downloads until 2009

Andy Pellew

RE: Sony's fault of the studios ...

If you check out;


Which shows a list of Blu-Ray films that have region encoding you'll notice that 21, All The Kings Men, and Casino Royale (ok, yes, I'm lazy ... I got to "C") all Sony titles are fully region encoded.

Ok, it's a minority of Sony films but they definately are using region encoding for some of them.

I think the water is a lot muddier than you think ...

My coat? It's the one with a witty slogan on the back. Any one will do.

Blu-ray ramp beats DVD up-take in Europe

Andy Pellew

Market Size ...

Of course numbers are meaningless, it's market penetration that counts. Assuming the market now is larger than the market then if each sold 50,000 then Blu-Ray would still be behind ...

Interesting but irrelevant statistics ... much better one would be to look at the number of retail locations for each. Wonder if anyone will do that?

Blu-ray Xbox 360 to be sold at a loss?

Andy Pellew
Gates Halo

Why add Blu-Ray to the console?

It's not like game developers will want to worry about whether or not the XBox they'll be running on will be Blu-Ray or not ... they'll just stick to DVD because that way ALL XBoxes can play it ...

Makes no sense, make it an add-on for people who want it. Just cast your mind back to all the reasons Microsoft gave for making HD DVD external ... they're all stil valid. Even more so now.

My money is on a separate drive ... not even Microsoft are this stupid.

Blu-ray 'to bloom', now HD DVD's dead

Andy Pellew

RE: Greedy Manufacturers?

So what account have you taken of the "normal" ending of Christmas/ New Year Sales?

Or could this post be more accurately titled "Things are cheaper in Sales Shocker!".

Sorry, didn't mean to insert a bit of reality into your argument there. My coat is the one with "HD DVD, Betamax, and 8-track Tapes Rock!" written on the back.

Bag tax recycled into eco-PR slush

Andy Pellew
IT Angle

Truth is probably somewhere in the middle ...

Between Greenpeace and the (clear) views of this writer.

To suggest that all Greepeace research is "scare stories" is exactly the same as claiming that it's not clear that man is causing global warming.

Truth is somewhere in the middle.

Ok. Can we all hug now?

PS. How do I nominate the writer for the "most tenuous link to IT" award? Clearly the writer had a point to make and an IT publication to make it in! Very nicely done ...

Dungeons and Dragons co-creator Gary Gygax dies

Andy Pellew

Shame ...

I met my closest friends thanks to Dungeons and Dragons, and I met my wife thanks to the game.

He may have created a fantasy world, but it's all the people he brought together in the real world that is probably the best tribute anyone could ever want.

Baidu sued by Chinese copyright group

Andy Pellew

Different country different laws ...

Let's remember this country has the great "Firewall" of China ... who says you can't block illegal music content as easily as you block porn or free speech?

Paramount, DreamWorks rip up HD DVD release list

Andy Pellew


"Anonymous Coward" - God save me from the 'reckoning' of fools ... i could sit here and write a long comment on why that's such a foolish thing to hope for but suffice to say this;

You gambled on a HD DVD player. You lost. Toshiba gambled on HD DVD and they lost. They let it go after spending billions, now it's your turn.

BBC commercial tentacle confirms iTunes store push

Andy Pellew

Best news in ages ...

Life on Mars ... £14 for a complete season.

Hope they put some classic series up there, like vintage Doctor Who, any of the wildlife documentaries, anything with Michael Palin going somewhere, etc etc etc.

People will whine about the price for buying "as they come" episodes. But these are the same people who would whine if they were 50p each; the "something for nothing" crowd.

No-one is forcing anyone to buy them.

Official: Toshiba discontinues HD DVD

Andy Pellew
Thumb Up

At last!

Whilst I'm sure Toshiba has learnt lessons from this let's hope that the companies looking to start the NEXT format war look back on the huge losses Toshiba has made and pause for thought ...

Goes to show though; content is king.

Mole claims Toshiba to terminate HD DVD

Andy Pellew

Excellent ...

One format for Christmas 2008 ... Then it will really take off.

End of DVD by 2020 ... Sorted.

US scientists puncture the ethanol biofuel bubble

Andy Pellew

If you didn't use Corn ...

... then you'd probably be a lot better off. It's actually the insistance of US Biofuel makers in using Corn (which is horredously hard to convert into Ethanol) rather than, say, Sugar (which is easier, not easy, but easier).

But that's what you get when you have a massive farming lobby that insists people buy their corn.

As always you can "fix" figures by specifying what you measure ... for example how come Brazil has managed to go solve this problem and the US has not?


Of Particular interest is the section "Comparison with the United States" which contains the real jem;

"The fundamental issue is that the energy balance of ethanol produced from Corn is negative. It is necessary approximately 1 joule of source energy (Fossil Fuel, Electricity, etc...) to produce 0,7 joules worth of Ethanol energy, given current technology. In other words, Corn ethanol is not viable as a source of energy as it wastes more than it generates. Sugar Cane ethanol, on the other hand, after 3 decades of reasearch, have reached 1 to 8 joules of energy production balance, that is, 1 joule is spent to produce 8 joules worth of ethanol energy."

Netflix falls in behind Blu-ray

Andy Pellew
Thumb Up

When you're not even being stocked ...

... by people who don't have to worry about shelf space you know you've lost.

The sonner I can get Battlestar Galactica and Star Trek on Blu-Ray the better ;-)

Toshiba HD-EP30 HD DVD player

Andy Pellew

Kevin ...

Now don't get cross, but if we're not going to be arguing "shoulda / coulda / woulda" then you'd have to accept HD DVD has lost wouldn't you?

I seem to recall agreeing that the spec is much more complete. I (for one) won't be able to enjoy any internet connected feature that a future Blu Ray disk may include. I'm cut up about it. Really. There could be tears.

Regarding Region Encoding for HD DVD. I'll accept that it's not there at the moment. The question is will you accept that *If* (back to "shoulda / coulda / woulda"!) HD DVD won the format war studios like Fox who *insist* on region encoding would force the DVD Forum to add it (making all existing HD DVD players obsolete - just like the first "Region Free" DVD players)?

Follow my link, the Forum has already shown it's planning on it ...

Andy Pellew

Kevin ...

Check out:


At the 34th DVD Forum Steering Committee they called for "development of a spec and region map, and the enforcement of region codes for HD DVD video discs".

Remember the original region "free" DVD players? And how they were rendered obsolete once region encoding came in? Well lit looks like your friends in the DVD Forum are following the same play with HD DVD.

Just because HD DVD is region free now, doesn't mean it will stay that way ... in fact with reports like this from the committee it suggests it won't.

And equally just because Blu Ray supports region encoding doesn't mean all the studios are using it;


Step back Kevin, take a breath, and realise that there is a bigger picture here - if you really believe HD DVD can win the format war *AND* remain region free then you're just dreaming.

Andy Pellew

Kevin ...

... Now that's just spooky.

Fair point on the BD profiles though. The one thing HD DVD does have going for it is the "fixed" nature of the HD DVD specification.

Andy Pellew

"it includes most of the features the average consumer will need"

Except of course for 75% of Films from Hollywood Studios ...

And only a single "decline of the format" comment in a 90% review.

At least there was no repetition of the oft-quoted "Region Free" nature of HD DVD (it's not), or the fact that it has the "advantage" of being able to upscale standard DVD's (so can all Blu Ray players, and all other HD DVD players come to that).

I hope no-one is conned by this review into actually buying this machine. Just remember if you really want one; it's bound to be cheaper next month.

HD DVD fights back in the US

Andy Pellew

RE: Why not PS3?

Because counting the PS3 wouldn't be a fair comparrison. *most* people buy it to play games and not watch movies ... the fact that people who own PS3's do buy movies is probably how Woolies is able to report Blu Ray outselling HD DVD 10:1 over Christmas.

Sales of individual titles are where PS3 makes the difference.

But still, even at an a minimum of 30% more expensive Blu-Ray is outselling HD DVD. If that's not the writing on the wall nothing is ...

HD DVD player sales share slumps

Andy Pellew

You have to be kidding ...

"Universal was planning to release its entire catalogue on HDDVD combo disks, 2000 titles, which would swamp the number of Blu-Ray titles available"

Yeah. Right. And bearing in mind it takes 2/3 months to remaster a single title for HD and there hasn't been a thousand-fold increase in mastering companies in the US the quality on these combo disks will be fantastic won't it?! Seriously.

Oh, and regarding price. If HD DVD are so much cheaper to produce why do they cost the same on Amazon? For example Superman - The Movie $19.95 whichever format. This is about the stage where I would accuse the HD DVD side of "blatant profiteering" if it wasn't for the fact that the HD DVD version is 6,591 in the Amazon sales rank and the Blu Ray is 4,436. Not bad for a 30 year old title!

Anyone who believes HD DVD can come back from this is just plain dreaming.

Warner Bros gives all its hi-def loving to Blu-ray

Andy Pellew

Region Encoding ...

Check out:


It shows you which Blu-Ray disks from other regions are being released "Region Free" (and which are locked).

HD DVD has region encoding in the specification ... the studios supporting it just haven't turned it on yet. If you think they'd win the format war and leave it off ... well HD-DVD players are about $99 now if you run you'll be able to get one!

Transformers director blames MS for HD DVD/Blu-ray format war

Andy Pellew
Gates Horns

Kind of misses the point ...

I thought the point he was making was that "someone" in the HD DVD camp paid Paramount/ Dream Works $150 million to switch from making disks in both formats to going HD DVD exclusive?

That's the whole *point*.

So it's not about storage capacity, disk durability, even hardware support. The story is about someone pumping $150 million into the format that was being outsold 3:1 (and still is), and is only backed by a single hardware manufacturer (Toshiba) who is practically giving players away for free (which of course means any other manufacturer who enters the market is just insane).

Everything else is just an irrelevance.

W1NNT number plate vendor mocks L1NUX

Andy Pellew

Ah, but does the V1STA number plate ...

... Require you to turbo-charge your car in order to fit it and then stop working when you make a small change like replacing the air-freshener?

Only Sky can save digital TV

Andy Pellew
Thumb Down

What a waste of a good point ...

Your excellent point on the "wasting" of Freeview spectrum by companies like Channel 4 and ITV broadcasting "+1" services and the inequalities of companies like the BBC and Channel 4 just being "gifted" spectrum is completely wasted in an article the sole point of which seems to be praising Sky (with a few breaks from the Sky-love for BBC/Channel 4-kicking)?!

What a waste!

Cheap PS3 won't help Blu-ray, claim HD DVD backers

Andy Pellew

How about this ...

HD DVD would be certain to win if every home in Europe was given a free Blu-Ray player ... That way the number of disks purchased per player would be absolutely fractional ... HD players would be flying off the shelves!

Oh. Wait.

Maybe the people in the publicity group should start sniffing the drinks other people are handing them ...

(And a big "Thank You" for the Joke Alert icon ... just in case it's not clear. How about a "Fe" Icon for Irony? :-p)

DVD Forum gives three-layer, 51GB HD DVD the thumbs up

Andy Pellew

So .... 17GB per layer

Assuming the same technology is available we can look forward to 75GB (or maybe 80? 85?) triple layer Blu-Ray disks within 6-8 months (assuming HD DVD has a 6-8 month lead to the market and Blu-Ray hasn't narrowed it at all).

Is it just me or are both camps saying; "Don't buy a player yet, wait 6 months and then you'll get more on a disk!"

Sorry, I'm just basing that on the fairly simple fact that if an existing player could use the triple layer disks they would probably be crowing about people "not having to upgrade their players" - they're not, so you clearly do have to.

I'm still betting on Blu-Ray but I'm beginning to suspect that the "winner" will be irrelevant in an era of downloading content.

Orange mounts sneaky Freeserve accounts purge

Andy Pellew

ISP e-mail accounts ...

Why do people still use these?! It's been years since the likes of Yahoo!, Microsoft, Google, etc. have offered a "free" service not tied to your ISP.

Goggle box content comes to iTunes UK

Andy Pellew


Ugly Betty S1, 32.99 (Amazon 29.98), Desperate Housewives S3 32.99 (Amazon 33.74) S1 32.99 (Amazon 25.48) ... etc.

Generally it's not a good deal, if it's cheaper then it's by PENCE. How can this possibly be described as a good deal?!

Oh and previous seasons are available for some series like Desperate Housewives, Greys Anatomy, etc. quite correct about season 1 and 2 of that not being there ... guess I'll just have to miss out on not-buying those seasons at the same time as I don't buy the 3rd.

Not much for Sci-Fi fans at the moment though ... Can't wait until Stargate and Battlestar Galactica arrive!

Interestingly in the US they have just added Season 2 of Jeremiah (it was written by the same guy as Babylon 5), curiously it's not available on DVD yet (despite airing 5/6 years ago). Maybe the studios trying something new?!

Think again, FSF tells Microsoft on GPL3

Andy Pellew

Ironic ...

Isn't it ironic that the company that states that you've agreed to it's licensing terms, despite not having signed anything, as soon as you've opened the software box doesn't want anyone else to have similar "rights"?

Behind the Apple vs Universal breakup

Andy Pellew

That's crazy ...

Are we really going to pay a music flat tax on everything?

Already the labels have learnt that if they about 80% of the tracks on the average album would never get sold on their own ... are we really going to tell them that it doesn't matter how bad the artist/ album is they'll get something anyway?


Norton labels Nasa app as adware

Andy Pellew

Not quite as bit a problem ...

... as GriSoft AVG identifying a virus in the fmod.dll file (part of World of Warcraft) that happened last week.

Not that I want to knock Filezilla (use it myself), or NASA but I suspect WoW will have them both pretty much beaten when it comes to users.