* Posts by Ally

10 publicly visible posts • joined 18 Jul 2007

French court says non to pre-loaded Windows on Acer laptop


Good, yet bad

As others have said, this judgment makes perfect sense to/for us. For the average consumer it could result in utter hell, though. Best case scenario is that you get to choose what OS to have put on your machine when you buy it, and have someone in-store handle it.

As an aside, I don't know why everyone here is cheering- we've known how to reformat all along, and could quite easily take the discount manufacturers like Dell get for bundling software without dealing with the pain of actually using it. Now we're just going to have to pay more instead.

MusicStation arrives, but will we pay for digital music?


"Not if it has DRM!" Blah blah blah

"No DRM, so that I can play them where I like, when I like, on what equipment I choose and without my right to listen to them "expiring" once I stop paying a subscription."

Yes, I can see that as a business model that'll work brilliantly. People subscribe for one week, spending 24 hours downloading the entire track catalogue, cancel their subscription and walk away having spent 1.99.

Get real. We all hate DRM, but when you're looking at a music rental model there's no other way to do it. This service is, on paper, excellent, but I'm not sure that downloading over the air is going to be enough to get it going...

What we need (and I don't know why no big-wigs understand this): One DRM system. Though I dislike DRM, I could and would tolerate one that works with the vast majority of systems out there, and would let me listen to my music on my PC, iPod, Walkman phone, etc, etc. without problems. Then we need a rental model like the one proposed here (and 1.99 a week is a fair price, IMO), with reliable companies offering them.

The last one is pretty important- there's been all kinds of hoo-hah about Napster going under- in a case like that anyone renting their music would basically be left musicless in an instant. So, iTunes music rental, then?

Light sabre on cargo manifest for next Shuttle mission


Well, no

John, I'm pretty sure your tax dollars are safe, as is suggested at the end of the article.

After years of under-investment, NASA has all sorts of schemes to make some money on the side- a photo op of a light saber in space is just another way of doing so, and allowing them to be less dependent on tax dollars earmarked for quagmire creation.

Google will carpet YouTube with 'overlay' ads


Re: one rule (you're.. er, wrong?)

Your analogy is all wrong. It is illegal for someone to flypost your property, but it isn't illegal for them to place advertising on their own property.

Your browser is not being "flyposted" by Google and web page you're seeing isn't your "property"- Google doing the online equivalent of putting up biillboards on people's property and then paying them for it. Your browser is the equivalent of the car you're driving in when you see the billboard.

Yes, it's irritating but unfortunately there isn't much of a way around it.

"How about un adulterated pure content!! wouldn't that be great!"

Who's paying for it, then?

Free Software Foundation plans protests at 'corrupt' BBC


Argh, can we stop comments on these stories?

First off, becuse I can't stop myself:

"Why cant the BBC take notice of what the public actually want, a reliable DRM free, not MS reliant player"

'The public' couldn't care less if the player is MS-reliant- that's why the vast majority run Windows. When you said "The public" you meant what you said at the end of the sentence- "us LUG (Linux User Group) shouters and the FSF". Don't make the mistake of thinking the public cares.

And, perhaps the best message so far:

"Great. If 9 million households in Britain are on broadband, and only 90% of PCs are FOB with windows, that's a million of us who can't access the stuff. Imagine that, a large number of people can't access TVOD because.... they're black? Stupid? Need a good arse kicking?"

Comparing people who CHOOSE to use Linux and can't use the iPlayer to the mass oppression of black people throughout the ages is quite mind-bogglingly insensitive and extremely thick.

Any, back to the title of my post... can we just stop comments on these stories? We get at least 20 posts saying "why are the BBC using DRM anyway?" when we know full well that the production companies insist on it, another 10 saying "The production companies don't get to choose" when in fact they do, and the rest of the posts are just full of stupid analogies that don't hold up to any examination ("What if the BBC said they'd only broadcast to Sony sets?!??!?!?"- what, are they turning off the existing signal? Oh, thought not).

Please, people. Shut the hell up.

BBC iPlayer launches, but with limited viewer reach


A few people missing the point...

The Beeb don't actually have a choice with all this DRM malarky. The outside production companies demand it, so there's no point the BBC even debating the point internally.

Also, as someone pointed out earlier, they've been forced to add the 7-day thing under the guise of ensuring they're not doing anything anti-competitive. This all adds up to make DRM a necessary evil in the market they've been given.

Though I never thought I'd say this, it's a shame they didn't opt for something like RealPlayer- at least that works on Macs.

Motorola discovers cheaper phones lead to lower profits


Just don't trust 'em

I've never owned a Motorola phone, though plenty of my friends have, and they've said stuff very similar to those above me- the software is just crap.

I saw a review in the Reg recently for a multi-media type phone Motorola are releasing, which I'd be interested in, but I'm just so wary. There are so many phones out there (such as a number of semi-recent Nokia phones) that say they have an "MP3 Player" but actually have the most appaling player interfaces known to man. I want a replacement for my (brilliantly put together) Walkman phone, but I can't trust Motorola to come up with an interface that just, well, works.

Tesco beefs up under 20 quid software offering


Not everyone is an IT pro...

I think it's safe to say that the Tesco 20 quid software offerings aren't actually aimed at the average Register reader.

As it stands, most users don't have a clue what OpenOffice is, or where they'd get it from. And as for photo-editing with Gimp? Don't make me laugh- no-one would make head nor tail of it.

What I would have preferred to have seen, though, was Tesco perhaps packaging OpenOffice in boxes and selling it, instead of an office suite made by labelling firm. I'm sure they could have struck a deal, giving some more cash to the OO project.

Oh, and you jest, but there's a lot to be said for providing the average consumer with a cardboard box and manual. A lot of people would assume OO is crap precisely because it's free and can't be bought in stores.

Burned by a MacBook


To the 'First Generation' apologists

There was a comment somewhere back up there from an Apple fan saying something along the lines of "Everyone knows you shouldn't buy a first-gen product!"

Why is this acceptable? Why do all the (Apple, especially) fanboys gleefully tell everyone that only idiots buy a product when it first comes out? Apple have been making laptops for years- just because they changed from "iBook" to "MacBook" doesn't mean they have carte blanche to roll out a buggy, unfinished product to the public- and it definitely doesn't mean that I should expect my shiny new laptop to fail just because it's new.

All I want is a system that I can buy, and have work. Apple seem incredibly bad at providing this.


UK service seems to be especially bad

I bought my Macbook in July of last year. A month later the top started to discolour and it'd shut down at random intervals suitable to itself. I took it into my local Apple repair centre, who said they'd replace the top and the logic board.

Except they weren't in stock, so I'd have to wait. For a month, without my laptop. I couldn't have it back, no siree- otherwise they'd have to wait for me to bring it in! With no other service options within at least an hour's drive, I had to accept it, and be without my laptop for an entire chuffing month.

A few months ago I moved out to Canada, and about a month ago my trackpad button stopped working- whether it was a mechanical fault of a rejection of a maple-tainted lifestyle I couldn't say. Took it into the service centre- new top (again!) and keyboard needed. Even taking into account the special order of a UK keyboard it took 3 days for the parts to arrive. I brought my laptop in (they didn't insist on keeping it) and it was repaired within 30 minutes. Ta-da!

So maybe they just don't give a crap about the UK.