* Posts by Cambrasa

28 publicly visible posts • joined 30 Aug 2007

Of laptops and US border searches


This will only catch the small fish. And a whole bunch of innocents too.

Real criminals are not stupid enough to go through customs with an unencrypted hard drive.

This will do very little to fight crime while eroding the right to privacy.

False posities (eg naturists who have harmless family photos on their laptop) will be main ones to suffer from this, not criminals.

Yahoo! leaves! London!


Quality of Life

I suspect that quality of life also plays a role, not just taxes. Swiss cities rank as the best in the world in studies by Mercer and The Economist. And London, despite its vibrancy, is a dump in comparison.

Police raid CeBIT stands



As far as mutinationals go, Philips is still one of the nicer ones. It doesn't pay its board members 6-figure salaries. Its employees get generous benefits all the way down to factory workers. Its corporate culture tolerates alternative lifestyles (such as gays) in high positions and it doesn't test its employees for drugs. It doesn't lobby the government to make stupid laws. Its business is focussed on creating real value with R+D and not on zero-sum games. It has a history of funding high-risk, long term research.

As for enforcing its patents, you can't really blame them. Philips no longer makes very much stuff in Europe. Their patents are their most important asset these days, and if Philips didn't grab patents, their competitors would. Blame overly permissive patent law.

Why you should care that Jimmy Wales ignores reality


Here we go again...

More Wikipedia-bashing. How dull. How predictable of The Register. Yes, we all know that Wikipedia has its flaws. But it also has its uses. Why not just leave it at that?

As for compulsory identification, it simply wouldn't work. Because of privacy issues alone. I mean, who wants a prospective employer who googles their name knowing that they've edited articles on Marxism, BDSM, and Star Trek at 1:22am on the 23rd of January?

Endemol tech chief to be released from Dubai slammer


own fault

Anyone who is ingnorant enough to travel to a hell hole like UAE (and to not care that they are subsidising a rotten regime) _deserves_ to get a good lashing. Especially if they are too stupid not to take drugs on a plane.

Filesharers petition Downing Street on 'three strikes'


@What's the New Business Model?

This business model is to _compete_ with the pirates rather than trying to fight them.

This means changing music and film from a high-margin, low-sales, into a low-margin, high-sales product.

One way of achieving this would be to lower the price for online dowloads. If listeners could buy a song for 30p instead of 99p, 90 % of them would no longer bother with the hassle of p2p, which suffers from quality control issues, viruses, and slow download speeds when compared to the legal product. Yes, the music industry would make less money from their existing customers but they would win millions of new customers who used the pirate product in the past.

Another way would be to offer unlimited downloads from a large catalouge on a subscription basis, say, for £10-20/month. Some cable companies are already offering this, even if the catalogue is limited.

Yes, the music and film industry might make less money with this new paradigm (or it might not), but in that case it will just need to adapt to the 21 century and accept the fact that 6-figure wages are a thing of the past.

Tiscali and BPI go to war over 'three strikes' payments


@Who Pays For Content?

As for alternative business models. There are several possibilities.

a) Flat-rate model. You pay a monthly subscription fee, of say, £10, and are free to download as much as you want from a large catalogue.

b) Advertising. Product placement. Put a small logo of the advertiser (eg. Nike) in the corner of the film, and distribute it for free.

c) Buy directly from the artists. If each song would cost only 20 p nobody would bother with the hassle of file sharing and the artists would still get more than they do now.

d) Reduce costs. Great potential here. Get rid of outdated institutions such as "Studios" and "TV channels" that often add 90% markup to the cost of making a film. Get rid of big-budget $200m productions. Many independent films that cost $1-10m to make are orders of magnitude better than the big budget hollywood crap anyhow. I personally wouldn't care if there is no more transformers and spider man 4 in future. Use digital cameras instead of 35 mm. Stop paying inflated wages to "star" actors. The industry is teeming with highly talented actors that are prepared to work for a normal wage, say, 80k a year, instead of earning millions. Hell, most actors are even prepared to work for free. I have a friend who made a no-budget student film in London and 200 candidates turned up for the casting!


@Who Pays For Content?

Oh, I'd be more than happy to pay for content if

a) it wasn't crippled with layer upon layer of DRM shite. I want to be able to back up my DVDs in case they scratch. I want to be able to watch them on my laptop's hard drive when I'm travelling.

b) I wasn't sujected to patronising FBI-warnings and dim-witted adverts, 1984-style, that cannot be fastforwarded or muted in the privacy of my own home.

c) I could watch it when I want, where I want.

d) it was more reasonably priced and I wasn't forced to pay twice as much as an American just because I live in the UK.

e) the newest releases were available on-demand, online, in full hd definition, drm-free, using a fast and efficient download client. And not the 20 year old junk that is offered now.

f) it was actually on sale on the UK. many american and european releses never make it here.

g) if the bbfc, a self-appointed moral police, without any democratic mandate and accountable to nobody, did not have the audacity to decide for me what is good for me and what isn't, based purely on their personal tastes.

So as long as the content distributors think they caN offer a second rate servide, take me for a fool and treat me like a child, I will continue to use the pirate product, which caters for all my needs listed above.

What, it is not my right to demand those things? On the contrary, I think it is my moral duty as it will bring competition and innovation into the content distribution industry that has too long stagnated because of cartel practices.

ISPs demand record biz pays up if cut-off P2P users sue


I hope they pass this law soon

Not that it will prevent people from filesharing. Of course it won't. No law could ever turn back the clock. But it will speed up the mass-take up of encrypted, anonymised p2p networks such as Stealthnet, i2phex, etc. 90% of p2p users don't feel threatened by lawsuits. So they stick to their old trusted p2p network. But if their ISP cuts their connection just once, they will feel annoyed and turn to a next generation p2p network that ... does not reveal their activities to the ISP. Once these encrypted p2p networks reach a critical mass of usefulness I will finally be able to download content again without the fear of frivolous lawsuits. I can't wait...

Hollywood writers abandon Hollywood for web


Collectivism != Socialism

Many readers of this article seem to confuse collectivism with socialism. The two may seem similar on the surface, but there is a crucial difference: Collectivism is voluntary, socialism is not. The writer's union is no more socialist than the corporations its members work for (but both are collectivist). No writer is forced to be a member of the union; every writer is free to leave the union and negotiate on his/her own terms. However, most writers reckon they have more bargaining power if they bargain collectively. Compulsury union membership, now that would be socialist...

Truth, anonymity and the Wikipedia Way


You can't prevent anonymous editing

If someone wants to edit anonymously, they will find a way to do it, even on knol. There are a thousand ways of faking an IP address. There is nothing to prevent editors from using a fictional name and email address. Unless draconian methods such as credit card authentication were used. But this would put off 99% of people from editing wikipedia or a similar project and effectively kill it. In any case, what is so bad about anonymity? I, for instance, don't want my boss to know that my interests are BDSM and anarcho-capitalism...

PS. I don't get The Register's hatred of wikipedia. Sure it has a lot of flaws, and I would never use it as an authoritative source. But what it does, it does well.

Germans debut kitesurf-powered autonomous windjammer


Foil technology does not equal sail technology

This is revolutionary insofar as it doesn't need a mast and it utilises high winds which are stronger and more reliable.

And no, it doesn't only work downwind. Just like a sail, the foil can make use of the Bernoulli effect.

Intel roadmaps next-gen Extreme 'Nehalem' chips



Couldn't they have chosen a better name? Whenever I try to pronounce this it sounds like I'm clearing my throat.

California teen offers GPS challenge to speeding rap


GPS is no proof

It is a well know fact that GPS is not a reliable and accurate way of measuring speed. Especially when it's cloudy.

Can't believe the courts are even considering this...

Proposed blogging law outrages Italian netizens


And who said that i2p had no practical uses?

An anonymizing overlay network easily accessible to the masses is long overdue. Shame i2p isn't ready yet and Freenet is a pain to use.

EU plans ban on bomb-making info on websites



If I want to find out how to make a bomb I can find that information in any university library. Or on any subscription-based academic database such as sciencedirect.

And even if I'm too stupid for that, I can probably find it on a p2p network. How is banning websites going to make ANY difference? Yet another useless populist policy. Yet more red tape to stifle the free nature of the internet.

Met used 'dum-dum' ammo on de Menezes


Brazilians are hypocrites

Remember the big public outcry in Brazil after this case? Remember how the Brazilian government demanded that the police officers be convicted? This coming from a country who's police shoots street children. For fun. They've got some nerve...

If a tourist in Rio De Janeiro disobeyed orders from the Policia Militar and tried to escape, he could consider himself lucky if they pumped him full of dum dums and spared him a slow death.

Plan for 20mph urban speed-cam zones touted


Shared Space

20mph in narrow residential streets is a no-brainer.

But we don't need speed limits/cameras for this. We need to get rid of the asshole drivers. More policing and a heavy-handed "three strikes and you're out" policy would do the job. It only takes a few rogues to make the roads unsafe.

Removing them is better than draconian rules for the ordinary driver.

A much better way of reducing road deaths is the "shared space" concept successfully used in Holland. By deliberately blurring the transition form road to pavement, drivers voluntarily go much slower and are more alert. The problem with British roads is that they are designed purely for maximum vehicle throughput, while completely neglecting the fact that they are used for other things (shopping, recreation, cycling, etc.). This is fine for trunk roads, but for the majority of narrow city streets, railings and large radiuses are just plain stupid. They are an invitation to speed.

PS. Why do bigots on web forums always forget to use question marks. Or use too many???

AOL axes another 2,000 jobs


Serves them right

I have no sympathy for people who choose to work for morally corrupt companies.

The Pirate Bay absconds with domain name of its nemesis


re: sovereign law

"if they think they can hide under the cover of soverign law whilst allowing people to break the law in other countries they're dead wrong."

So according to your logic, anyone who brews beer in America should be prosecuted whenever their beer is smuggled to Saudi Arabia?

ISP bosses told to get real on broadband speeds


Re: 500 GB/month

There are many possible ways of reaching 500 GB/month

* Dowloading HD films (20-50 GB each)

* HD videoconferencing with your girlfriend on the other side of the globe

* Being altruistic, eg. by running a Tor node.

* Working from home as a film editor / graphic designer / animator

Florida man faces trial for feeding homeless


Homeless people may look cute...

..but they are vermin. They lay eggs up to 8 times a year, carry many diseases, and crap all over the place. If you feed them their number doubles in a matter of weeks.

RIAA hits paydirt: wins first music-sharing jury trial


Totally disproportionate

A drunk driver who causes bodily harm to a pedestrian gets fined $2000 and 30 hours community service.

A woman who uploads 24 songs each worth $1 gets fined $200,000.

The legal system in America has gone nuts. It's no longer about justice. It's about protecting the interests of the powerful.

Music industry cripples eDonkey network


I haven't noticed any difference

I can still find plenty of sources of obscure files and emule can still detect 3 million users. I assume that the most prolific uploaders use the Kad network anyhow.

Crippled? More like a minor inconvenience.

Facebook was my idea, says yet another ex-Harvard student


Facebook is to obvious to be called an original idea.

I am sure tens of thousands of it students on universities spanning this planet had this very same "idea". But only one guy had the funding and skill to develop it into a product with *good user experience*. And to market it successfully. It takes a lot more than an non-so-original idea to be successful. So stop moaning. And besides, social networking sites have been around long before facebook.

The Return of iTuneski


Dear steev,

A free market is exactly what this is. If you choose to create a "free good" (look up the economic definition) then you should not be surprised that it's being sold for nothing or next to nothing. This is what happens to a free good in a free market. The reason you could charge £1 per song in the pre-globalisation era was only because the music market was everything but free. It was heavily monopolised by the state and by record companies.

Movie pirate forced to ditch Linux


How Pointless

Easy solution: 1) Buy a new laptop. 2) Sign up with a mobile broadband plan using a friend's name. 3) Sign up with a VPN provider located outside of your country (and therefore outside your jurisdiction).

And you're back in business. The police will never even know about it. Fools.

IPTV/VoD: The tortoise and the hare


How very true

I have been downloading movies illegally for years, because I neither have the time nor patience to a) waste 30 minutes driving all the way to a video rental shop on a Friday evening b) only to find out the movie I wanted to watch has already been taken c) end up renting a crap movie which I stop watching half way through d) wake up on Saturday with that terrible feeling of "oh no, I haven't returned that DVD yet" e) waste yet another 30 minutes (and petrol) to finally return the movie.

If the content owners don't realise how archaic the above model is compared to the convenience of watching a movie after 3 clicks on the PC, then they must be bloody stupid.

I can't believe that this is 2007 and there STILL isn't a website where you can rent and download movies from major studios online (at least not in the UK). This kind of service should have been launched 2002 at the latest. If it had, I for one, would already have spent hundreds of pounds on it. I even would have put up with DRM and slightly lower picture qualities. I rarely watch a movie more than once, and after all, waiting 3 days for a bittorrent download can be inconvenient too.

These are hundreds of pounds that I ended up not spending. Multiply this by people like me and think of the lost revenue.