ColinCowpat’s Techdirt Profile


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  • Mar 10th, 2014 @ 2:37am

    Re: We need a Minister for Hypocrisy

    You can probably add:

    The Minister for Work and Pensions is persecuting people on benefits who have too many bedrooms in their house, while trousering 150,000 per year from the public purse for leaving farmland around the mansion he lives in Fallow. And please don't mention the validity of his University Degree either...

  • Mar 5th, 2014 @ 2:45am

    Plumpergeddon II

    S/phone call/film crew

    Damn autocorrect !

  • Mar 5th, 2014 @ 2:43am

    Better example over here

    That of Plumpergeddon - a guy mugged at a cashpoint in London, losing his wallet and MacBook. Then a long example of police imcompetence, closing the case for "lack of evidence" despite 6,000 photos and screenshots from the "hidden" app on the MacBook.

    I think he's had a phone call do a sting, and the police are back - and now interested in persuing things. But a shocking read if you follow the story as it unfolds. See:

  • Feb 14th, 2014 @ 3:21am

    Come in Susan Crawford

    Her book "Captive Audience" is a good read. I guess the FCC and DOJ need to apply a number of preconditions without end dates to cover the potential areas ripe for abuse, namely:

    * Net Neutrality both in the network and to its edges
    * investment in increasing speeds of the core infrastructure
    * Separating out the current vertical integration between content & wires
    * putting catastrophic penalties in place for violations of the above, or in support of legislation to undermine competitors and municipal alternatives

    Somehow, I don't think the FCC or DOJ are smart enough to go close. About the best result is to decline to merger, or put a precondition to spin out the infrastructure and content sides to separate trading entities...

  • Feb 14th, 2014 @ 2:54am

    Content companies would need to bill customers to pay ISPs

    In the final analysis, the consumer pays. This whole scam is a magnesium flare to divert attention away from net neutrality.

    The funny thing I head this morning was that Comcast, at the request of the FCC, had a precondition from their NBC acquisition to obey net neutrality rules until 2018. Stupid or not? Why end date anything like that. It's like telling the Taliban the date they won't be confronted with any US troops in Afghanistan. I mean, what do you expect to happen if you're given a date beyond which you can gouge customers to your hearts content?

  • Jan 31st, 2014 @ 1:12pm

    Oh dear

    This on the same day that it was announced that IBM had successfully executed their patent related shakedown on Twitter, having pounced on them the day before their IPO.

    Don't IBM realise they are bringing their widely respected brand into disrepute by doing this?

  • Aug 21st, 2013 @ 3:21am

    Junior Minister

    The News this morning mentioned that a specific junior minister had requested the destruction of storage media at the Guardian. If so, we're getting closer to the top. A Junior Minister is normally a bag carrier for the Ministers instructions, but who can be thrown under a bus as an escape route for their boss if things go pear shaped. So, I don't think it will take Brain of Britain to work out the definitive source of the command...

  • Aug 1st, 2013 @ 3:12am

    Set up an office in the USA... (as Ian Waring)

    You're in good shape if you're a multinational, at least with Microsoft. I had one bank that asked about differential pricing between the UK and USA, and at the time, it was circa 30%. Said Bank told the local MS sub that it was going to administer all its corporate licenses out of the USA, so they set the price at SELECT Level D minus 30%.

    After a year of trading, the bank asked the same question again. US HSBC asked for their pricing, and the USA pricing was quoted back on Microsofts own systems at SELECT Level D (USA pricing), discounted by 30%.

    Microsofts response was to tell LARs that they couldn't buy from each other across continental borders unless you were a LAR in both, so only 1-2 resellers could broker these sort of International deals for multinational clients.

    Adobe refuse point blank to license across Continental borders; as an end user, they split the user populations accordingly and discount each continent separately.

    As far as Microsofts own internal accounting is concerned, they attribute 20% of the financials they land to the country of order, and 80% to the Microsoft subsidiary where the end users actually reside. Resellers only get rebates where the licenses are present in the geography they are authorised to sell into... hence their margins are extremely small on these deals (routinely less than 1% GM).

  • Apr 13th, 2013 @ 3:43am

    Gates learnt a lot from DEC also (as Ian Waring)

    While at Harvard, Gates learnt a lot from source code listings from the DECsystem-10s there.

    I was also shown a prerelease version of Windows by Bill Gates himself in May 1983, on the Compaq Plus he was carrying around to vendors at the time. I asked him at the time why the Apple Lisa had one mouse button, Visi-On had three but his mouse had two. He rolled off all the design tradeoffs for 20 minutes or so. Very impressive, knew all the competitors thoroughly.

    Opening words whenever he shook hands with any senior exec were "When are you going to drop CP/M?".

    I still agonise on why MS get licensing fees for FAT-32 when it is almost a direct copy of Files-11 ODS-1 and ODS-2, which both were live inside DEC at the time Microsoft were first incorporated (in 1976). Or indeed how they get to play Playground Bully with Android licensees. Microsoft are great at a number if things, but innovating genuiinely new work is not a core competence there.

  • Mar 15th, 2013 @ 10:29am

    Written to my MP on this (as Ian Waring)

    I live in the constituency that includes some major RCUK funded labs (Rutherford Appleton, Diamond,, etc) and where my local MP is Ed Vaizey - Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries.

    I've dropped an email to him to ask why such things are being allowed to happen when research was paid for by the public purse in the first place, and whether RCUK can return to their original proposal. I've cited the TechDirt article in my email.

    Lets see what he comes back with...

    Ian W.

  • Jan 31st, 2013 @ 9:02am

    So, is VLC coming back to the iPad?

    Or is that Nokia-employed contributor still denying it?

  • Jan 12th, 2013 @ 9:55am

    Given the theory that the EU is supposed to serve me... (as Ian Waring)

    ... please listen to consumers like us, not the shills of Google competitors. You're doing little else than undoing the great work that some of your colleagues like Neelie KROES, who is more representative of public opinion than our own government. Don't be a prat.

  • Jan 11th, 2013 @ 3:08am

    Breath of Fresh Air

    Must admit, I've bought "Gutenberg the Geek" - for free - and also the spoof "50 Sheds of Grey" - the male parody of the book series, for 20p. It's refreshing that you can buy a book that's concise, cost effective and not full of superfluous "filler" like most books you find in physical form.

    The 50 Sheds of Grey book got my order after seeing a two sentence sampler of the work: Hurt me!' she begged, raising her skirt as she bent over the workbench. 'Very well,' I replied, 'You've got fat ankles and no dress sense.'

  • Nov 22nd, 2012 @ 3:41am

    Waste of time

    This sort of sabre rattling by the FTC or those in politics is bollocks (excuse my French). Cost to move to a competitor - one mouse click. Nothing is stopping the consumer.

    The whole shebang is a proxy for competitors to try trip Google up by any means they can. That in itself should be the clue stick of which companies really need their business practices examined...

  • Nov 17th, 2012 @ 6:20am

    Been there, done that (as Ian Waring)

    I worked 17 years for Digital Equipment Corporation, who didn't pay commission to salespeople until the dying days under Bob Palmer. They were about the only company out there where the sales folks would routinely so no to an opportunity if our products didn't fit, compared to most whose products did everything the customer asked for (and didn't), a fact unknown until the customer had wasted their money.

    It bred trust and customer loyalty like nothing else.

    We were also instructed to look after our existing customers before trying to look for new ones.

    Dead company now, but for different reasons...

    Ian W.

  • Sep 18th, 2012 @ 12:57pm


    It probably doesn't help that an anagram of Kate Middleton is "Naked Tit Model"

  • Aug 4th, 2012 @ 4:39am

    Don't blame the IOC

    The Olympic Broadcasting Service is feeding all the worlds Broadcasters, including the BBC in the UK. Here, we have 24 free Digital channels of Olympic coverage around the clock. Sounds like NBC and their life in the scarce past should be the sole target of the criticism here...

  • Jul 18th, 2012 @ 4:34am


    Been following this on Groklaw. Pretty radical that the jury was 11:1 in favour of Novell, but then the judge decided to pass a verdict in Microsofts favour on the grounds of no case to answer. Quite a slur to the jury. Not surprised Novell have appealed...

  • May 16th, 2012 @ 3:23am


    I'd like to thank Twitter but can't as my UK postcode isn't a recognised ZIP code on that vote site. There are actually appreciative users beyond the US coastline you know...

  • May 10th, 2012 @ 12:41pm

    Massing all around us...

    Worrying thing is that networks of trolls are even buying up US Military and University patents. Patent DDOS's anyone?