Call me Al’s Techdirt Profile


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  • May 3rd, 2011 @ 7:25am

    Re: Re:

    So if the boss of Sony committed ritual suicide then this would be forgiven?

    It would probably be cheaper for them in the long run.

  • Dec 20th, 2010 @ 3:02pm

    (untitled comment)

    Its the standard UK Nanny State rearing its ugly head again. I'd hoped we were past this.

    Essentially the state believes that all parents are feckless layabouts who can't be relied upon to bring their children up properly. For this most part this may actually be true but their methods of dealing with the problem only serve to alienate those who would do the job properly in the first place.

  • Dec 12th, 2010 @ 2:57am

    Re: Re:

    Or people like me who have signed up but rarely bother to login because they read Techdirt on several different computers during the course of the day.

  • Jan 30th, 2010 @ 2:48am

    (untitled comment)

    Tesco are an odd bunch, they are actually quite disruptive compared to other UK supermarkets and I think overall they've made that market better. They like to try new things and have the cash to back it up.

  • Jan 11th, 2010 @ 2:51pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Anti-Mike - where will the extra 10 or 20k a year come from for these schools to invest? Presumably this will come from other schools, who will in turn sell other lesson plans to other schools. This will most likely simply move money from school to school without any real benefit... other then whoever sits in the middle and takes a cut as it goes past.

  • Jan 8th, 2010 @ 2:55pm

    (untitled comment)

    This is frustrating. Everyone has embarrassing stories in their past and that is a good thing as it shows they are real people. The attempts by politicians to whitewash their past is terribly false and disconnects them completely from the people they are supposed to represent.

    We need minor skeletons in the closet of people to force society to be a bit more relaxed and tolerant about the little things.

  • Jan 7th, 2010 @ 2:09pm

    kind of typical

    It worries me that I am so rarely surprised by the stupid ideas coming out of some governments.

    France in particular has a long history of cutting off its nose to spite its face. They were terribly snobbish about the French language and created the Academy Francais to protect it and its place in French culture. They insisted on set rules, grammar etc. This made the language somewhat limited as it could not adapt and failure to adapt meant it was left behind.

    English by contrast stole words from everywhere which helped in its spread around the world. Which is why English has been the lingua franca for quite a while now ;-)

    At the end of the day France isn't that big a market and the precedent set if they get away with this would be enormously damaging. I hope the big Tech companies band together and block the whole silly country and see how long before the screams of rage erupt from the French people.

    Of course France would probably go running to the EU and force them to fine anyone who did this.

  • Jan 4th, 2010 @ 10:32am

    (untitled comment)

    This doesn't surprise me at all. Bono is the most self-righteous, sanctimonious prat in the music business. I used to really like U2's music (and bought it ;) ) but the rubbish he spouts means that I now get angry whenever I hear it. Its a shame because he has some decent songs.

    I wonder if there is a correlation between the decline in U2's music sales and the distance Bono's head is inserted up his own posterior.

    As an aside I read an amusing piece on him. He was in Glasgow and part way through the gig he stopped and started slowly clapping his hands together. He then proceeded to tell the crowd "Everytime I clap my hands, a child in Africa dies." To which one of the locals shouted "Well stopping clapping them then... you evil bastard."

    To the issue at hand, he's clearly a misinformed puppet spouting the company line. The problem is that due to his status many people actually listen to him and will think what he says is true.

  • Nov 19th, 2009 @ 2:15pm

    Re: Re: Tax Intelectual Property

    actually thats a pretty good idea. Every other kind of property gets taxed. You could even turn it round on them and say "You want your copyrights to be policed. Well we need to pay for that so pay up."

  • Nov 19th, 2009 @ 2:13pm

    Re: Wow

    Mandy was forced to resign twice in disgrace when he was an MP but each time he came back. However as a Lord we cannot vote him out. The only way to take him out of power is to ensure that the Labour party are not the Government.

    Fortunately we have an election in about six months and hopefully they'll get kicked out.

    I'm not wildly ecstatic about the Conservatives closeness to business but I have read articles by leading members which shows a lot of more sense on Copyright issues and on the Internet in particular. Whether they stick to it when elected is another matter.

  • Nov 2nd, 2009 @ 11:21am

    (untitled comment)

    Just has a quick look through the media I've bought this year, several hundred pounds worth.

    All of the music is for singers or bands that I discovered online, on occasion through dubious means. Several of them are not available in the High Street shops in the UK (I checked before downloading the albums as I wanted the cover art). Could probably have got an import copy but that would cost much more then I was willing to pay.

    I've bought a few TV boxsets, several of these were of shows I originally watched online because they were not available to me on my current TV package.

    Films, saw the films in the cinema and then bought the DVDs when they came out. Though for several of these I would not have known they even existed without various websites alerting me to them, some certainly with unlicensed trailers.

    Of course it is also true that I've bought no media generated by British creators at all this year. I think it is rubbish so refuse to spend my money on it. One could argue that I only think its rubbish because I've found media I prefer elsewhere and without the Internet I would not have developed such a taste for it. That'll be their next comment - "Globalisation has made people realise what we produce is crap. We should put a tax on imported media to protect our homegrown industry."

  • Oct 19th, 2009 @ 3:37pm

    (untitled comment)

    I was grinning when I first read about this report. I was just amazed to read something sensible and to the point from a group of MPs.

    Now watch as the government completely ignored them.

  • Oct 19th, 2009 @ 3:33pm

    (untitled comment)

    "It seems like we're going to go through an uncomfortable transition period as these Elections Commissions begin to understand how the web works"

    Sadly I expect it will be more a case of waiting till they die. In my, admittedly limited, experience of the elderly they either embrace technology or are luddites. If they are the latter then there isn't a hope they will adapt.

  • Sep 30th, 2009 @ 2:52pm

    Re: Changing passwds?

    Wouldn't have worked. The prison system is so luddite in the UK that they have all that kind of thing in hardcopy and in triplicate. Though considering they let the inmates loose on the computer system it no longer seems so stupid.

    From the six months I worked in a prison back in 2002 this doesn't surprise me. Most were utterly clueless about computers and I was often asked to print copies of documents which were freely available on the shiny new computer system and post them all round the offices. There was even one member of staff (a typist) who refused to let them replace her old computer which was no capable of using the updated system and so was not internet compatible. She ended up with two computers on her desk, one for typing documents and one purely so she could access the internet. She was, in short, a staggeringly stupid old bat.

  • Aug 25th, 2009 @ 11:36am

    (untitled comment) (as Alex Porteous)

    "We've been listening carefully to responses to the consultation this far, and it's become clear there are widespread concerns that the plans as they stand could delay action, impacting unfairly upon rights holders."

    I think this is the most telling part. The question is who they are consulting with? Is it a balanced group of consumers, ISPs and media companies or is it just the latter? Its the problem in the UK these days, they only consult with the group that agrees with what they want to legislate.

  • Aug 19th, 2009 @ 4:24pm

    (untitled comment) (as Alex Porteous)

    This looks like an interesting experiment. You'll get the die-hard fans who will pay a reasonable sum of money (maybe £20 or more) but you'll also get a load of people just curious to see what the game is like, they'll all pay a bit and it will add up.

  • Aug 1st, 2009 @ 3:35am

    (untitled comment) (as Alex Porteous)

    I've been to a couple of Amanda Palmer concerts in London. She was joined by a dance troupe called The Danger Ensemble who were apparently working for free, all they asked were that people chucked some money in a bucket for them at the end of the show. They were so entertaining that I felt it was impossible not to and, to be frank, I'm normally a bit of a cheapskate. If they can get me to cough up then they are on the right track.

    In the second of her concerts they also auctioned off a painting, though I can't remember how much for it was certainly a hefty amount and I think far beyond what was expected.

  • Jul 30th, 2009 @ 4:19am

    Re: Re: (as Alex Porteous)

    Well they did have a ritual form of suicide for hundreds of years so I'd say it is something that we won't understand.

  • Jul 29th, 2009 @ 6:33am

    Re: (as Alex Porteous)

    I think the professionals would disagree because they've all had "Journalist" printed on their business cards. Can't argue with that.

  • Jul 29th, 2009 @ 6:24am

    Re: (as Alex Porteous)

    "have arguments a plenty" instead. Wish I could edit these posts when I see my typos.

    I should also add that comments alone are not the answer. I've seen comment sections attached to many newspapers and there are often many posts of differing quality. The problem is that the originator of the post does not reply and that certainly makes me feel that the views of the commentators are being ignored and that no dialogue exists.

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