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Slashback: P2P, OS X, Blinkenlights 251

Posted by timothy
from the happy-baby-richard-and-lynn dept.
Slashback tonight with more updates, responses and corrections on scalability in P2P networks, TV shows which may not actually be cancelled, tentative wireless service in the Mile High City, and what exactly OS X is. Read on below for these and more.

The difference between theory and practice ... Paul Harrison writes: "I see your theoretical discussion of a scalable gnutella, and raise you a working, open source implementaion! Details in this linux.conf.au talk."

I was in Berkeley at a party, and then things got hazy. In response to the recent story on fixing the UNIX configuration mess, jbloggs writes: "OS X is not on top of NetBSD, but rather is a BSD compatibility layer on top of a Mach kernel. Its closest BSD-lite would be FreeBSD, which is used as a reference platform."

The problem with unstated motivations. Reader app writes "Tim O'Reilly responds to the BountyQuest piece on Salon and featued here. Tim makes some interesting points and clarifications -- especially where he refers to theodp as a crank."

You can't watch, and neither can they. UberOogie writes: "Who didn't see this coming? The MPA shut down Movie 88 today. What should be noted by everyone is that they took no legal action: they just went to the ISP, HiNet, and got them to shut off the pipe. (Movie88 was legal through a loophole in Tiawan copyright law.) So much for process, even in Tiawan. Movie 88 vows to find another provider."

I hope they use the time to reconsider. Cynical_Dude writes: "David Cohen, one of the producers of Futurama, was interviewed on Cinescape. He says that Futurama is not really cancelled, but will run for another year or so ... at least that's how many episodes they've got more or less ready now. FOX hasn't ordered any additional episodes, but Cohen asks fans to "write those letters [...] in physical form, not email" to the FOX executives."

And in other TV News, Glitch Tybalt writes: "Working for Hot Topic has its benefits. We recieved an e-mail saying that Invader Zim will not be cancelled after all. It seems that it was getting no ratings whatsoever, because they kept changing the time slot for it. Once they had decided to cancell it, they left it in one slot to finish playing the remaining episodes out. Then, since everyone could figure out when it was on, it got great reviews. (plus, the Schweet Schwag has started selling like crazy)the Invader Zim petition must have been pretty convincing as well. I guess one of them stopped to read it before wiping his ass. Maybe there's hope for a megaconglomo like Nikelodeon after all..."

Won't someone start making money with unmetered wireless? tabbser writes: "According to Aerie networks, the folks that bought bankrupt Ricochet (www.richochet.com) tests are being conducted in Denver, CO with the support of the City and county of Denver's Office of information technology. Ricochet will test and evaluate the network as part of an initial step to reactivating the service. The full story can be found on Ricochet's web site news room at http://www.ricochet.com. Go Aerie!" Aerie announced this a while ago, but in these uncertain times it's nice to see it actually happening.

Ashes to ashes, little blinking lights likewise. spike666 writes: "Blinkenlights.de is coming to an end! The Blinkenlights project by the Chaos Computer Club will be ending its run February 23, 2002. It was exposed to /. back here They are having a big party, and we're all invited. One last chance for Taco to embarrass Kathleen ..."

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Slashback: P2P, OS X, Blinkenlights

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  • All the porn and perl a man could ever want. Plus, I know that futurama will be alive for many many years after fox has cancelled it.
  • In Asia, money talks (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Ryu2 (89645) on Tuesday February 19, 2002 @08:04PM (#3035327) Homepage Journal
    I'm from Taiwan, and have been to many Asian countries. Corruption is rampant -- Taiwan is relatively good compared to places like China, Thailand and Vietnam, but even so, if you pay the right authorities the right amount of money, you can pretty much skirt nearly any sort of law.

    I wouldn't be surprised if the MPAA paid the ISP some "money" to do so...
    • by CDWert (450988) on Tuesday February 19, 2002 @08:11PM (#3035376) Homepage
      In ASIA ???????

      You smoking crak or wearing blinder....its rampant EVERYWHERE , here in the states more so than ANYWHERE, we just put, civilized names on it , like 'soft-money' , Lobbying, etc.

      You wanna talk about Sheer volumes of money sxchanged in pursuit of a single commercial goal, thats right the good ole' USA will win hands down every time.

      I have a hope that the next major war wont be fought between countries with differing ideologies, but rather between the people and the corporations. But alas I am just an old crank....

      I hope they do find another ISP soon, I have often wondered what ever happened to the Alternet idea ?
      • Corruption in America is institutionalized is the best way of putting it. The best thieves are the men who do nothing all day except own a large corporation and soak up profit from their thousands of workers. The best crooks throughout history have always been 'legit'.
        • by JabberWokky (19442) <slashdot.com@timewarp.org> on Wednesday February 20, 2002 @12:05AM (#3036279) Homepage Journal
          The best crooks throughout history have always been 'legit'.

          If they are legit, then they are not criminals.

          Saying that crime in first world countries is like that in the rest of the world is a very skewed view. The police beating of a Brit or American is front page news, and the details are dragged through - the cops go to jail. Yes, they do, I worked at the Public Defender's office for years, and they do go to jail. Even if they aren't convicted, they often are pressured out of their job.

          However, the police force in China and Russia routinely beat people, even to death - without even having a reason for making an arrest. The stories go by word of mouth, and no public outcry is made - the people who would have spoken up have been killed. Russia is a morbid place to visit now, and friends who have moved to America universally use the term "escaped". China is nasty as well - I had a business partnership be reduced by one member when he didn't return from a visit home.

          People like you are often "indy media" fans - consider the fact that just the concept of "media" has not spread to many parts of the world. Travel a bit, spend some time getting to know people, and ask quiet questions to yourself. You'll be surprised how nice your first world country seems with its "corruption for money" and "people going broke from Enron". In many places, people can't *go* broke - sustinence is the daily effort... and "corruption" involves dead bodies in doorways or dumped in a garbage heap.

          --
          Evan

          • Travel a bit, spend some time getting to know people, and ask quiet questions to yourself. You'll be surprised how nice your first world country seems with its "corruption for money" and "people going broke from Enron". In many places, people can't *go* broke - sustinence is the daily effort... and "corruption" involves dead bodies in doorways or dumped in a garbage heap.

            Just because other countries have worse crimes doesn't mean that what many American/Western corporations are doing isn't wrong. Murder is a higher crime than theft, but that does not make theft right, nor does it make it excusable. We should not excuse criminal or unfortunately legal, but highly immoral actions by corporations just because corporations in China and Russia are worse. Should we excuse murderers in America because there are guerrilla soldiers in the Congo and the Middle East that have twenty or thirty civilian kills on their belt? Of course we shouldn't. Stealing from several thousand people and bribing the US government into changing copyright and labor laws may not compare in magnitude to crimes like bribing police into beating people to death, but they're still wrong, and the culprits should still be held accountable.

          • Years ago, I saw a documentary on TV about the way Russia handles stuff we tend to deal with reasonably.

            I saw this big strong Russian cop grab this guy by the hair at the back of his head, and then smash his face into a wall twice, the man then fell to the ground unconscious and bleeding baddly.

            I saw a woman giving birth in a Russian hospital with NO doctor present, just two nurses, one of who was yelling at the mother something to the effect of "hurry up, stupid bitch".

            Also in this docco, was footage of a jetliner landing in Russia, off course due to terrorist hijackers. The hijackers demanded a helicopter, to escape once they were off the plane. The heli was provided, the terrorists got into it with some hostages for some protection and what did the Russian "elites" do next?... Fired an AA missile at the heli once it was in the air. The result? All occupants dead, including hostages.

            Throughout the cold war, they only announced amazing feats they have acheived once they acheived them. They rarely stated they would attempt something, for fear of failure. How many manned rockets did they loose!?

            A polish friend of mine told me that in all published books in Russia, there is a page near the front with propaganda about how superior Russia is and how weak the West is. Pretty hilarious considering.

        • by Bob Uhl (30977)
          The best thieves are the men who do nothing all day except own a large corporation and soak up profit from their thousands of workers.

          You are so ignorant that I am afraid the English language has no words for fools such as you. I shudder even at quoting your foul lie. Owners do not `soak up profit'; they provide the means without which there would be no product, no profit, no jobs and no workers. Here's how it works: you have $1,000; I need $1,000 to finance my idea. You give me the money, and in return I give you a stake in my idea.

          You do realise that ownership is within the reach of all, don't you? That's the whole purpose of stock splits: keeping the price low enough that the individual investor can get into the action. If you want to own a share in your company, go out and buy one. It's not that expensive--and a few thousand now, invested wisely, can mean a comfortable retirement later on life.

          • by _ph1ux_ (216706) on Wednesday February 20, 2002 @04:02AM (#3036749)
            BS.

            Why don't you tell us then, how Ken Lay is providing a direct means for a product and profit.

            It's nice to see that you have faith in the ideals of a capitalistic society - but reality is not quite so easy.

            The people out there that should be able to get in on companies can't really get in on a really meaningful level as easily as you would have us to believe. The fact is that big money, old money and corrupt money are what run the world today. Even though a small percentage of new money is being made so as to help the previously "common folk" become a part of the classes that run the world via finances.

            It is sickly apparent in every new scandal that comes about. The Bush and Kennedy families of the world have a strangle-hold on power through money - and these types of people will do anything to maintain that power and wealth.

            However - from an outside and naive perspective we can say that the way to the top is through perseverance and hard work, and entreprenerialship (sp?) but the truth is more a factor of who you know - who you can pay, and how lucky you can be at making a killing off the expense of people, countries or corporations without getting caught (or at least not having to give up more than 30% of that profit in bribery etc)

            The world of money and power is not ruled by the angles of PC-ness and good ol' pullin' yerself up by yer bootstraps to make an honest buck - rather it is a dark corrupt and sinister world of dog-eat-dog. You kill or be killed.
            .
            • Why don?t you tell us then, how Ken Lay is providing a direct means for a product and profit.

              Ken Lay was an employee whose actions appear to have destroyed the company--thereby causing massive pain to the shareholders. He was also a shareholder--but apparently used his knowledge as an employee to cheat his fellow shareholders.

              The people out there that should be able to get in on companies can?t really get in on a really meaningful level as easily as you would have us to believe.

              Wrong again. You can buy shares of most companies for under $200. Voila--you're now in on a company, on a meaningful level (e.g. you'll be paid dividends, you'll receive the annual report, and hopefully your investment will appreciate). Granted--it would take decades to build up any sort of significant share. But nowadays it's quite common for there to be no--or very few--significant shareholders.

              It does take quite a long time to turn $100 into $1,000,000. TANSTAAFL. But anyone can put his capital to work for him. That is, essentially, what work is: putting your labour capital to work. It is also what investment is: putting your money to work.

          • The owners rob the workers. Why does an owner of a large company deserve to make 50-1000 times the amount of money their workers earn? I would think 50 workers would be working harder than one man driving around in a limo, who does not even cook his own food.
            • Are you aware that a CEO is not in most cases the owner? He is an employee of the owners: the shareholders. Oftentimes he is also a shareholder--but so are many other employees. I'm a shareholder in my employer, albeit a very minor one indeed.

              The CEO makes what he makes because the shareholders have decided to give him that much money in return for what he does. The job of CEO is different from that of, say, factory worker or system administrator. And, I believe, it merits quite a bit more pay than most positions.

      • Goddamn those corporations. How dare they create the kind of wealth that would let the average income be $36,000 a year, in a country where you have to actively refuse any help to starve.
        • by CDWert (450988) on Tuesday February 19, 2002 @11:20PM (#3036087) Homepage
          Yeah, and health care costs are fucking unreal, some people have children dying because they cant buy patented medications that are the ONLY ones for their ill, my sons is $2000 a month, just for him to stay alive. Im lucky I have insurance, admittedley thaey hate me and would do anything to dump me, or how about all the adults dying of something like aids globally and the not being able to save them because US companies hold the patents and wont let go even to save fucking lives. How about all the corporations eroding the rights of citizens for their own profit ? How about a goverment that caters now to the corporations more than its citizens ?

          Oh wait, im responding to a complete fucking moron with no grasp in the real world and who lives only in the census statistics !

          Spend a day, or an hour if you can stomach it at a world class childrens hospital, Cincinatti , Boston, etc. Talk to the parents of the kids dying in the cancer wards, ask the parents that cant afford the cure for their childs ills, when they are available, ask a parent willing to do anything to save a child that needs an organ transplant, I have experience with my son in both of the above, visit a field hospital in Africa. When youve done those thing and are content that the corporations grace us with a 36,000 average income, you tell me all is roses.......

          Idiot.....
          • "or how about all the adults dying of something like aids globally and the not being able to save them because US companies hold the patents and wont let go even to save fucking lives. "

            Remember when slashdot posted the story about Brazil deciding to ignore American companies patents on AIDS drugs and produce it themselves and pay the patent owners a reduced price? Alot of virulent conservatives were producing justifications for why Brazil's act of humanism was wrong. The United States forced Bayer to produce pills to treat anthrax for a very reduced price. I wonder what those conservative idiots who think money is worth more than Brazilian lives have to say about this. I bet they would rather remain silent.
          • by MrZaius (321037)
            All may not be roses, but do you honestly believe that we're no better off because of the corporations? What more than capital and stable economy keeps the African field hospital you mention from doing its job? Education, public health programs, etc, etc can be funded only through taxation or private enterprise. These rely, of course on creation of that capital.

            While I certainly feel for you and your son, it is necessary to remember that, even with all its flaws, western society's focus on entrepeneurship and the creation of wealth is what gives your son any chance, at all.

            You say that the only cure is a patented drug, that you can (not/barely) afford w/o insurance?
            You say that the drugs are completely out of reach for those without insurance?

            I say this:
            The drug would likely not exist without the patent.
            ~20 years from now, that patent will not exist.

            I say this:
            We benefit more than we suffer from corporations and the current structure of our society.
            You may not even have been able to afford insurance if it weren't for your employer's help/government regulation.

            At least be a lil teeny bit grateful that you don't have to go to the African field hospital you mention.
            • >>All may not be roses, but do you honestly believe that we're no better off because of the corporations? Somebody please mod this parent post up. It's a very clear summary of why patent law (in general) and corporations are necessary and often good. The original poster complains about the high cost of a patented medication to keep his son alive. Without corporate-level research encouraged by patent law that medicine would likely never have existed, with the obvious result. Americans have to pay a lot of patented medications, but at least we have access to them. And don't anybody tell me I don't have a heart for the underprivileged. In my profession I recently estimated I provide over $100,000 of free medical care a year for those who can't pay.
            • Actually its not, the procedures, BOTH of which saved hi, the first extending his time to transplant, and the second the LRD liver transplant, were perfected and invented in JAPAN !

              It was their singular abhorrence for cadaver donors that lead to his survival, the company I complain about brug patents ? FUJISAWA , a Japanees company.

              I sincerley disagree, Cyclosporin, the first major anti rejection drug, was not researched under patent condition, it is a substance found in an artic ergot, by a botanist quite by accident actually some years after the initial samples of permafrost were taken. and is still used to some extent albiet side effects are less than desirable, FK506 was a synthetic replacement So that dosent fly either.
        • the only meaningful statistic (for your point) is median wages, not average income.

          Income includes govt. payments to the poor, and stock dividends to the rich. If you are concerned about the middle class, then you should measure wages, not income {ASIDE: yes, though 50% own some stock, 1% still own 50% of all stock, and most stocks owned are a replacement for pensions, and so should not be counted as wages for a realistic trendline analysis, since in previous years future pension benefits (for working adults) were not counted as wages either}

          Another point in the smoke and mirrors: don't count household income, since over the past four decades women have gone to work increasing #'s, thereby inflating the figures. Certainly we should not be thankful to the corps you admire so much for making it more difficult for single income households to survive.

          The reason why statisticians prefer to use median over average is because median income figures are a more measure of how the "average" person is doing. i.e. -- you care about what the "average" american earns as opposed to what the sum of all income of all americans/#of americans is. Bill Gates and a few other outliers tend to skew the distribution.

          Median wages have fallen fairly steadily since about 1973 (in fixed dollars), and then began to increase in the second part of the 90's. we are now almost back up to 1973 levels at around 29,000 per year.

          That's pretty damn good for the planet as a whole, but rather mediocre for a first world nation. Note that, around 1800, the U.S. was by far the richest nation on earth, in terms of life expectancy, infant mortality, calories per capita, death rates, etc. This was before the age of corporate power, so it may be hard for you to believe. Until around the 1970's we were still at the top of the pack, although europe had wwII to deal with. Since then we;ve slipped to the bottom half of the top 15 or so industrialized nations in terms of the figures cited above (except possibly the calories/person) as well as more modern measures such as literacy, availability of health care, divorce rates, etc.

          Are you, uh, satisfied with 30 years of stagnating wages? I'm not. Plot those figures against a chart of the Dow to see how thankful we should be to the corporations for almost keeping up with our parents' standard of living.

          • That's pretty damn good for the planet as a whole, but rather mediocre for a first world nation. Note that, around 1800, the U.S. was by far the richest nation on earth, in terms of life expectancy, infant mortality, calories per capita, death rates, etc. This was before the age of corporate power, so it may be hard for you to believe. Until around the 1970's we were still at the top of the pack, although europe had wwII to deal with. Since then we;ve slipped to the bottom half of the top 15 or so industrialized nations in terms of the figures cited above (except possibly the calories/person) as well as more modern measures such as literacy, availability of health care, divorce rates, etc.

            Yes, and in all of those nations that are ahead of us, all THEIR wealth was generated by corporations, as well.
            • Huh ?????

              The countries you speak of , the US included, many were able to accumulate wealth through exploitation of their natural resources, the corporations have nothing to do with it, In the US over 50% of the income generated is from SMALL BUSINESS !, so much for the corporations, you speak of these corporations as living entities, that are all benevolent and responsible for all that is good,

              The truth is, PEOPLE do the WORK that MAKE thos corporations what they are, and then , as of late, they turn ever more on the very people that man their factories, manage their business and are the very customers that keep them in existance.
              • In the US over 50% of the income generated is from SMALL BUSINESS

                Small businesses have exploded into the tremendous wealth generators they are today for primarily two reasons:

                1) The cheapness of modern office appliances, especially computers, which comes from the economies of scale of the corporations that make them.

                2) Doing business servicing big corporations.

                The truth is, PEOPLE do the WORK that MAKE thos corporations what they are

                Yes; and it's those people you're insulting you say corporations are a bad thing.
    • You are hilarious! I assure you corruption is rampant in every country. If you have enough money you can buy the law anywhere. Under capitalism everything can be bought, everything.

      "you can pretty much skirt nearly any sort of law."

      Same thing in America. In America OJ Simpson the famous murderer, was lucky to be rich enough to get away with murder. Apparently men cannot skirt paying alimony no matter how rich, but if you kill the harlet you can get off! America sure is a twisted country.
    • by renard (94190)
      Interesting idea; if you can show a payment was made to the Taiwanese ISP then the bribe would be a violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (1977, amended 1988) by the MPAA and indictable under US law.

      Of course IANAL but see the code itself [usdoj.gov] if you're interested in details.

      -Renard

  • by Ryu2 (89645) on Tuesday February 19, 2002 @08:07PM (#3035356) Homepage Journal
    In case you didn't know, FOX is planning to pull the plug in it. Futurama is pretty good, but nothing compares to Family Guy!

    http://www.damnyouall.net/savefamilyguy/ [damnyouall.net]
    • I'd watch it more if it wasn't on at the same time as Friends. At least TiVO is smart enough to record Family Guy when Friends is a re-run, otherwise I would never see it.
    • by svferris (519966) on Tuesday February 19, 2002 @08:19PM (#3035416)
      What I want to know is why we haven't seen Family Guy on DVD here in the U.S.? The U.K. has a Season 1 DVD [amazon.co.uk], as well as a Futurama DVD [amazon.co.uk]. They even have an announcement for the Simpsons, Season 2 DVD [amazon.co.uk].

      Looks like I'm going to have to invest in a region-free DVD player.
      • What I want to know is why we haven't seen Family Guy on DVD here in the U.S.? The U.K. has a Season 1 DVD, as well as a Futurama DVD. They even have an announcement for the Simpsons, Season 2 DVD.

        The same reason you can buy Enterprise on VHS and whole seasons of DS9, B5, Voyager, Buffy etc. The UK market is different from the US. For one thing they don't have syndication. In the US it's thought that allowing TV shows to be sold in on VHS or DVD would hurt syndication ratings.



        Also in the UK the sale of VHS episodes is high because it usually takes a few months for the TV shows to be shown on regular TV over there. For example I first saw ST:TNG on VHS about a year before I saw it on TV (in the UK).

      • A lot of people seem to be confused about this.

        Just because you have a region-free DVD player doesn't mean you can actually watch the movies you buy. If it's sold in the UK, chances are it's in PAL format. You can't watch that format on your NTSC TV, sorry.

        You either have to get a TV that can play both or you get a converter. Take your pick, and neither are cheap.

        If I'm wrong about this, feel free to tell me. But from the research I've done, this is true.

        I wish it weren't.. then I could get Neverwhere on DVD and be able to watch it...

        • by Ryu2 (89645)
          My APEX DVD player is region free, and can play both NTSC and PAL discs, even if you have a TV that doesn't support that standard; it autoconverts the output as necessary.
        • Pretty much every worthwhile TV produced since about 1994 can do both NTSC and PAL. Even crappy 15" things are doing this now. People don't realise that this is a problem because for most people, it isn't.
      • What I want to know is why we haven't seen Family Guy on DVD here in the U.S.?

        Your local monopolies giving your trouble? I suggest you explore alternatives such as Morpheus, Kazaa, Gnutella, and Freenet. Although not as convenient as consuming pre-fabricated materials, the same material is often provided at the cost of bandwidth.

        Although they are without the arbitrary and arcane and draconian restrictions found in the essentially naive government sponsored owners, there is no guarantee that you will be able to find the material you need - however keep in mind that supply will rise to meet demand, in spite of the efforts of the draconians.
    • So what? Family Guy is not funny, not original, not creative, not visually elegant or well-done, and not entertaining in any way. There are probably worse programs on TV (Voyager, TNG, and the CowboyNeal Smile Time Variety Hour come to mind) but not by much. I won't miss Family Guy at all. Futurama, I would miss, except that Fox never really showed it after the first few episodes. It was always baseball, or some movie they would start early, or whatever. I would happily pay $100 for a DVD set containing every episode ever made, however.
      • Oh, I dunno about that. The CowboyMeal Buffet Luncheon hour is pretty entertaining. That foodfight that broke out between him and CmdrTaco was an uproar!

        What I want to see is the excellent Clerks! cartoon continued. I have the 2 dvd set, it's all classic, and another victim of corporate 'policy'. The Tick (live action) can rot in hell, it was a stupid idea to begin with. Some things just aren't meant to be live action. Could you imagine the horror of Speed Racer live action? Or Garfield?
    • Family Guy? What about Downtown???

      That show NEVER had a chance. MTV YOU SUCK!!!!
  • Hate that! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Aknaton (528294) on Tuesday February 19, 2002 @08:09PM (#3035365)
    Even though they may have a case, I just don't like the fact that some major corporation can shut down your website based solely on their word.

    In my opinion, this is something only a court should be able to order.
    • Re:Hate that! (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Agreed, though we're rapidly progressing toward a world where you won't be allowed to have a web site unless you're a major corporation. Don't you get it? You're a consumer. Your role is to pay for information and services; perhaps if you're lucky you'll even derive some benefit from them. But that's optional.

      We'll talk fondly someday of the time when we had citizens as well as consumers. But face it: at this point, unless you've got money to pass around, your opinion is completely worthless. So just sit back, watch your television, pay your ISP bill, listen to some manufactured pop music (from physical media, of course), and for heaven's sake, don't use too much bandwidth or express an unpopular opinion!
    • Even though they may have a case, I just don't like the fact that some major corporation can shut down your website based solely on their word.

      You know, I agree, and I don't like that fact either, but at the end of the day, it was the site's actions that caused them to be shut down.

      Some may call it intimidation, but the site WAS in the wrong (or at least a VERY shady area), and it wasn't the ISP's fight. And it speaks volumes that the site didn't pursue it legally, but rather just went looking for another ISP.

      In some wierd way, I have a bit of respect for a company that doesn't just sick the lawyers on someone and get an injunction, but calls them up and says "hey, this isn't right, and if it doesn't stop, we'll have to do something about it".
  • Possible antitrust? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Ryu2 (89645) on Tuesday February 19, 2002 @08:12PM (#3035381) Homepage Journal
    Movie88 had posed an unexpected threat to studios' own video-on-demand services such as Movielink and Movies.com, which are still months away from commercial service.

    The Taiwanese site was run on a video-store model, allowing people to "rent" access to movies for three days in return for a payment of just $1. The movies, which were streamed to a computer in RealNetworks' video format, could not easily be saved to a hard drive or downloaded.


    So how is Movie88 a pirate site if it attempts to prevent downloading of the videos? (Yes, I know Real Video can be downloaded with some utilities, but then again, you could copy rental video tapes/DVDs with the right hardware too)

    How is it different in concept from any video store for that matter?

    And most importantly, how is it different than the movie studios getting into the act, except for where the money goes? (Do video stores like Blockbuster have to pay royalties to movie studios? Curious...)
    • "Do video stores like Blockbuster have to pay royalties to movie studios? Curious..."
      They pay royaltiesin the form of highly expensive physical media which then gets rented out over and over until it wears out.
      Movie88 wouldn't have to worry about the wearing out, and I'm guessing that since this happened they probably didn't pay jack to the movie houses.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      They pay royalties for both the sales and rentals. There was an article in the NY Times regarding the fact that they make more money renting than selling (specifically DVDs) because of the way the royalties are dished out.

      I've become pretty sick of the whole digital media thing and have just abandoned both buying CDs and renting movies froom Blockbuster. I do use my DirecTivo and pay-per-view since between the two I can always find soomething I want to watch. I currently dole out approximately $100 a month for TV/Cable entertainment and hope as little as possible go to the big studios.
    • by ncc74656 (45571)
      So how is Movie88 a pirate site if it attempts to prevent downloading of the videos? (Yes, I know Real Video can be downloaded with some utilities, but then again, you could copy rental video tapes/DVDs with the right hardware too)

      Movie88 served up movies with Apache, not RealServer. This made downloading/saving almost trivial. I used FlashGet, with Muffin in front of it to rewrite the user-agent string to make FlashGet appear to the server as RealPlayer 8 instead.

      Everything they had that was (probably) ripped from DVD had captions, though...stuff like American History X or eXistenZ, not just foreign-language stuff where subtitles would be useful. Given that adding captions back into the video involves extra work when you're transcoding from DVD (the captions are stored as overlay graphics in the MPEG program stream), you have to wonder why they did this.

      • It's useful (at least for me) for learning foreign languages to listen to the spoken words while having the written text on the bottom.

        I assume that most Movie88 customers were in Taiwan, and do not speak English as their native language.
    • How is it different from a video store? Video stores have permission.
    • > So how is Movie88 a pirate site if it attempts to prevent downloading of the videos?

      Because they hadn't paid for the videos they were streaming. They weren't a site for pirates to copy videos, but they were using pirate videos as the base of their business. That's the MPA's story anyway.
      Depends what you feel about the "loophole in Taiwan copyright law" (presumably related to Taiwan only relatively recently adopting laws acceptable to WTO - http://www.ladas.com/BULLETINS/1999/0399Bulletin/T aiwan_CopyrightLawRev.html)
  • by Esgaroth (515377) on Tuesday February 19, 2002 @08:13PM (#3035385) Homepage
    If they "took no legal action", does that mean everything they did was illegal?

    Sorry, it had to be said.
  • by sulli (195030) on Tuesday February 19, 2002 @08:24PM (#3035443) Journal
    Bestill my beating heart!
  • by mengel (13619) <mengelNO@SPAMusers.sourceforge.net> on Tuesday February 19, 2002 @08:27PM (#3035465) Homepage Journal
    ...to someone else to shut you down than it is to you to be online, a for-profit ISP is motivated to take a payment to turn you off.

    I wonder if we'll start seeing ISPs advertising rates to shut down customers:

    • Turn off a Normal Account $2000
    • Turn off a Priority Account $4000
    • Turn off High Bandwith Account $50000
    You will be informed in 10 days whether the account has outbid you to re-enable service...

    Sounds kind of like something out of a Gibson novel.

    • Shit, go ahead an do it I say. I will strike a deal with the ISP, become a huge, offensive, obnoxious, black mark thorn in the side to some deep pockets and BAM!!!! Photoshop + RIAA press release + random porn star with similiar skin tone to Hilary Rosen + SPAM claiming nude pics of the pop flavor of the month . . . . . . instant money.
  • by scotpurl (28825) on Tuesday February 19, 2002 @08:29PM (#3035473)
    Quite seriously. HBO needs something animated to balance all that real-life action stuff, :-), and Futurama isn't a bad choice. Could give the show a little more edge, and supply many more comedy possibilities (and likely a little cartoon nudity), plus HBO won't get hysterical at episodes like "Kwanzabot" and prevent their airing.

    David Cohen, you out there? Shop that show around.
    • This could be the best idea I've heard all year. Most importantly, we could have a new character: Tony Soprano thought to have been 'iced' by a mob hit wakes up in the year 3000 and moves in on the professor's delivery business!
    • Maybe not *many* more comedy possibilities... I mean South Park was great in movie form so they could discuss swearing and the such, but I'm sure hearing Cartman say PigFucker would get old after a few seasons... but then again people said the simpsons would get old after a few seasons...

      I've always wondered why there aren't more "adult cartoons" on more mainstream stations. Not even pr0nt00ns, just anime or even serious animation aimed at 14-40 year olds on one of the HBO's. There's certainly a market for it.
      • I don't know what you mean by mainstream stations, but there were attempts by the other major networks to imitate the Simpsons, after their large success. You had that thing with the muppet dinosaurs, which wasn't animated, but supposedly aiming for Simpson-ness.

        You had things like the Critic, and a couple other attempts. Nothing stuck.
      • The attentive viewer will notice that The Simpsons did get a little stale as the Bart-centeredness progressed. They had to make the show about Homer for it to really take off. There are only so many Bartman and "eat my shorts" jokes you can make without the show getting stale. So you are correct =)
  • They haven't aired a new episode of Zim since October. I haven't heard of any plans to air new episodes yet. Therefore, I kindof doubt that the above reasons for not cancelling Zim are valid...nor do I think that Zim has been saved.
    -Tim Skirvin (tskirvin@killfile.org)
    • The audience is building because they are airing the old episodes more regularly. And there are a few new episodes in the pipe.
    • very true Episode 114b was the last regular one before the Holloween special. and nothing exists after that (at least where people can view it that dont work at nickelodeon)

      If you do a search on google for invader zim episodes you can download all publically existing ones.. inclusing the 2 that never aired in the US.
  • OS X (Score:5, Informative)

    by Stenpas (513317) on Tuesday February 19, 2002 @08:58PM (#3035598)
    Since OS X is one of the topics of slashback, it might be worth mentioning that a new update to MacOS X was released. 10.1.3. Here's what it offers:

    1.CD Disc Recording Peripherals: Expanded support for QPS, EZQuest, LaCie, Yamaha, MCE Technologies and Sony devices
    2.Image Capture and iPhoto: Improved support for several digital camera models from Canon, Kodak and Sony
    3.DVD Playback on external VGA displays on PowerBook G4
    4.PowerBook video mirroring will be on by default when connecting to a new display
    5.Improvements for iTunes when the full screen visualizer is used
    6.Login authentication support for LDAP and Active Directory services
    7.OpenSSH version 3.0.2p1
    8.WebDAV support for Digest authentication
    9.Mail includes support for SSL encryption

    Get it via Software Update. If you're a bit hesistant, might want to wait for what xlr8yourmac.com [xlr8yourmac.com] says. And MacsOnly [macsonly.com] does a variety of speed tests for every version released. I'm sure they'll put up new benchmarks shortly.

    • Re:OS X (Score:1, Interesting)

      by syzxys (557810)

      8.WebDAV support for Digest authentication

      That's interesting, because AFAIK MSIE still doesn't support Digest authentication for WebDAV shares (a.k.a. "Web Folders"). (At least, IE5.5 doesn't, and IIRC neither does IE6). It seems to get confused and try to access the site using FrontPage extensions instead, which of course doesn't work because it's running Apache 2.0 [apache.org]. That makes it hard to interoperate MSIE with other WebDAV products (like Subversion [tigris.org]), at least if you're using Digest auth. I'm glad to see at least someone [apple.com] is actually trying to implement web standards, instead of mixing them together with proprietary stuff. Anyway, just my $0.02.
      ---
      Windows 2000/XP stable? safe? secure? 5 lines of simple C code say otherwise! [zappadoodle.com]

  • by Anonymous Coward
    The Google cache of The Circle: one ring, no rulers [google.com] for scalable cooperative file system and P2P networking.
  • giFT [sf.net] (which is now GNU Internet File Transfer) has implemented OpenFT and its now working quite well in a good "alpha" state. It still needs work, but it is getting better every day. Check it out, it's definitely headed places.
    • by Trepidity (597)
      and there might actually be people on its network if it had a windows version available.
  • Prior art (Score:3, Funny)

    by salmo (224137) <mikesalmo@NospaM.hotmail.com> on Tuesday February 19, 2002 @09:22PM (#3035701) Homepage Journal
    I think it's really funny that in an article about intellectual property and prior art Tim O'Reilly cites Morgan's Tarot as the origination of the quote "Do not meddle in the affairs of wizards, for they are subtle and quick to anger." All good geeks know that's from J.R.R. Tolkein's The Lord of the Rings. Woops!
    • by Pope (17780)
      "Do not meddle in the affairs of wizards, for they are subtle and quick to anger."

      I thought that was from the Windows XP readme files...

  • There used to be a mock Tarot deck called Morgan's Tarot, which had a card that said, "Do not meddle in the affairs of wizards, for they are subtle and quick to anger." Dealing with lawyers is like that. -- Tim O'Reilly's patent article [oreillynet.com]

    Morgan's Tarot [sleepbot.com], copyright 1970. Lord of the Rings, completed in 1948.

    Geez, you'd think he'd know better. Or maybe O'Reilly only deals with Unix wizards? (Who, from my experience may be subtle but are generally nice ....)
  • by Seth Finkelstein (90154) on Tuesday February 19, 2002 @09:29PM (#3035732) Homepage Journal
    My ears always perk up when a journalist with the ability to be heard dismisses a critic by slinging mud at them. I have a lot of sympathy for the underdogs in that situation, in part because of What Happened To The Censorware Project (censorware.org) [sethf.com]

    And I've learned some great things by being willing to listen to the target.

    TheoDP briefly laid out his complaint in his own words in a Usenet Posting [google.com]

    At the very least, this makes me dubious about the claim by O'Reilly that TheoDP wouldn't explain the relevance of his material.

    Hmm, let's compare, O'Reilly claims, regarding TheoDP:

    He sent in hundreds of pages of material without any explanation of why he believed any particular part of it invalidated the patent, and all of those who looked at it couldn't see the remotest relevance. Requests for clarification about just what in this material represented prior art were met with avoidance and hostility. His continued harrassment of both me and BountyQuest has convinced me that he's some kind of a crank.
    Now let's look at a news report published at the time [archive.org] : (I've added emphasis below)
    The story gets weirder still. Another contestant in the Amazon sweepstakes has stepped forward, complaining that his entry was one of four BountyQuest cited as a ``Terrific Submission'' but that, unlike the other three, he didn't get any money.

    Ted Conway, a freelance programmer in Chicago, submitted details of a system used by IBM in the 1970s to order and ship printed reports. ``The parallels to Amazon's system are very similar,'' Conway tells me. (He notes that Bezos worked at IBM's San Jose research labs in college and likely would have used the IBM system.)

    BountyQuest didn't agree and offered Conway a T-shirt as a consolation prize. Conway now accuses BountyQuest of pulling a whitewash to protect Amazon's legal case.

    In a Q&A posted today on SiliconValley.com (www.siliconvalley.com/opinion/gmsv/), an online partner of the Mercury News, O'Reilly says Conway's submission isn't relevant to the Amazon patent. But he admits he's not clear how BountyQuest officials researched and judged the entries. Cella declined to answer any questions about the contest.

    Matthew Powers, managing partner of the Silicon Valley office of Weil, Gotshal & Manges, says it's unlikely the site would try to cover for Amazon.

    The Menlo Park patent attorney says the publicity ``would be so valuable for BountyQuest that there's no way in the world they would not have accepted a submission that killed the patent

    How interesting. I assume TheoDP is Ted Conway.

    Pending further evidence. I'm inclined to side with TheoDP. It looks like the power of journalism again. Throw the mud, make the smear, virtually no-one will ever check the evidence, and the target can't fight back. Yes, my experiences [sethf.com] do color my view here.

    • I managed to find what seems to be the critical exchange [archive.org], back in April 2001 :

      Q: What degree of diligence did BountyQuest exert in trying to understand the very high profile 1-Click submissions? Were people contacted who had actually used or were at least familiar with the prior art described in the submissions? (Submitted by Edie)

      TOR: Again, I can't really answer for BountyQuest. However, I imagine that they used the same criteria a court would use, namely to read the documents and to do "pattern matching" on them.


      Q: Of the four entries cited specifically by number as "Terrific Submissions" [bountyquest.com] by BountyQuest, Tim O'Reilly chose to exclude only one - #25, which referred to anIBM mainframe system [ibm.com] -- from receiving a portion of the $10,000 "unofficial" award, even though it's arguably the most similar to the Amazon patent and represents prior art that Jeff Bezos could have personally used or seen earlier in his mainframe days. Why? (Submitted by Ted)

      TOR: Well, I actually thought the Doonesbury cartoon was the best example - it made it pretty clear to me that 1-click shopping was an "obvious" idea. But as programmers say on the net, IANAL (I am not a lawyer), and the lawyers at BountyQuest obviously didn't think that it would pass muster in a court of law as evidence of prior art.

      But as to the specific entry you mention - # 25 - it isn't at all clear to me how it's relevant. I didn't read every page, but in scanning through it, I didn't see much evidence of relevance in it. Perhaps if whomever had submitted it had pointed specifically to the passages they thought were relevant, we might have been able to see it as well. But frankly, based on what I did see there, it's hard to see why it was submitted at all!

      And I even was able to make sense of it all.

      The three selected entries were patents. The other one (#25) was not. So while it might have been closer in a conceptual sense, it arguably wasn't as close in a patent-law sense.

      Though the statement on the BountyQuest 1-Click prior art page [bountyquest.com] gives me pause:

      What's also interesting, though, is the number of submissions that talk about simplifying the buying process on the Web without actually inventing 1-Click shopping. Look at submission #25 to see how much work some IBM engineers did on the subject of digital shopping without actually inventing 1-Click.
      That's disturbingly PR-ish for me, as if they are saying in a twisted way that this prior art actually proves that their patent was a valid innovation (i.e., look at all this relevant earlier work, and they didn't actually invent "1-Click", so Amazon must have innovated!).

      Anyway, I've probably spent more time on this than I should have. Chalk it up to my extreme sympathy for those subject to journalist attack, because of What Happened To The Censorware Project (censorware.org) [sethf.com]

  • by Salamander (33735) <jeff@@@pl...atyp...us> on Tuesday February 19, 2002 @09:29PM (#3035733) Homepage Journal

    The previous Slashdot article was about n-dimensional cube or torus topologies. Paul Harrison's "Circle" network (slashdotted - Google cache [google.com]) is...wait for it...a simple circle. Sort of like Chord, it seems, but less sophisticated. It's not at all clear why a reasonable person would expect Circle to scale particularly well, especially in an environment with high node turnover (lots of potentially circle-breaking join/leave operations).

    There's nothing wrong with Circle. It just doesn't seem to meet the promise of being a fully functional network that scales better than Gnutella.

    • There's nothing wrong with Circle... But there is a lot wrong with proposing it as an "implementation" of a highly-scalable P2P network. I mean... this thing takes O(N) hops! That's ridiculous! Maybe if this was Step 1 of the process of turning it into a multi-dimensional torus network...

      Which, now that I think about it, should become the goal. You could probably use the circle network as the basis for a torus. To get a d-dimensional torus, just hack up the 128-bit keyspace into d sections, and each of the sections serves as a coordinate in that dimension much like the entire key does in the current 1-dimensional implementation...

      Heh. Maybe I should email the guy? Or not...

  • the whole issue with movie88 getting shut down by their isp should not really revolve aruond the copyright issue. we can be pretty sure that movie88 signed some sort of contract when they signed up with their isp. if the isp violated this contract, movie88 just has to sue the crap out of 'em. if the contract wasn't violated by the isp, then they should have been smarter about their choice of isps. i really don't see any other issues in this circumstance.
  • Zim.. sniff.. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by napa1m (154836) on Tuesday February 19, 2002 @09:57PM (#3035837) Homepage
    Zim is in fact, still cancelled. I work at nick, I've seen the ratings from last month, the above statements are, unfortunately, untrue :(

    There are still some episodes left to air that are being finished up, including a possible xmas episode, there will be a total of about 27 episodes when all is said and done, but there are no "new" shows nor a "next season" after this lot. Sorry.
    • Bah.

      27 episodes as in 27 half hour blocks, each consisting of two 12 minute stories or 27 12 minute episodes?

      Any word on whether it might be sold to, say, Cartoon Network? It'd look nice during Adult Swim.

  • The most interesting thing about the ressurect Ricochet is its relationship with local governments. The service is dependent on these entities, 'cause all those fixed transceivers are housed in lampposts and other municipal fixtures. Metricom would go to appropriate official and negotiate a kind of rental aggreement. Probably the main reason they ran through so much money so quickly -- they had to pay enough money to convince the locals that it was all worth the trouble.

    Now Aerie is going back to these same local authorities and saying, "We can't afford to pay you, but if you help us, we'll give you wireless communication services for free." Not only does this save a lot of money, it creates a local vested interest in making the network work.

    Still, $40/month is a lot to pay for something this slow.

  • by PureFiction (10256) on Tuesday February 19, 2002 @10:13PM (#3035881)
    Circle is cool, but it is really a subset of Chord, with searching kind of hacked on top of a hashing index system (i.e. search is implemented by tying keywords to hashes and distributing this hash space.)

    This means that high peer churn rates, hot spots in popular keywords, spamming keywords, etc, all make this a rather vulnerable and fragile implementation of searching. It probably is better than gnutella, but that isnt saying much, and it certainly does not mean it is 'infinitely scalable'. The real world is a harsh place...

    If you want a scalable, distributed search/discovery mechanism for large peer networks here is your recipe:

    1. Build on a base of juicy lightweight UDP messaging. This allows you to send messages directly to peers, circumvent NAT's, and handle many thousands of virtual connections.

    2. Sending queries to many thousands of peers is still a large task, even if only small packets are sent directly. Must optimize this.

    3. Optimize by using a social discovery mechanism to keep track of which peers are good at answering your queries. Query them first and more often than other peers. Call this peer ranking the 'relative quality' of the peer.

    4. Optimize further by halting the query once a sufficient number of matches are found. This way you only need to query a handfull of peers (maybe 10, maybe 200) to complete a query.

    5. Finally, perform transitive introduction using the high quality peers in your group. This way you use peers with a high quality to find new peers, and it is highly likely that they will be high quality peers as well.

    This is how the ALPINE Network [cubicmetercrystal.com] works, and it scales. The number of connections any peer may have is solely up to their discretion, based on bandwidth and memory resources. All communication is direct, and every peer is in direct control over his own resources, which makes for a very robust environment.

    There are a number of details, the above simply a 30,000ft description. If you are interested you can read more in the ALPINE Overview [cubicmetercrystal.com] and the ALPINE FAQ [cubicmetercrystal.com].

    One last comment, this stuff is no longer vaporware [cubicmetercrystal.com] :-)
    • 2. Sending queries to many thousands of peers is still a large task, even if only small packets are sent directly. Must optimize this.

      Yeah, like by using distributed multicast instead of sending to every peer directly. Quite an optimization there. ;-)

      Sorry, coder, couldn't resist. You know I love ya, and the rest of what you said was golden. I'm just never gonna buy the bit about sending the same message through the nearest router a thousand times being better than sending it once to a neighbor on the other side.

      • I know :-) I wish we had true multicast. When that day comes, alpine will no longer be needed, and all these other cool projects that are confined to the realm of educational networks (where multicast is supported) can be brought out into the open.

        IPv6 might be the answer. Although perhaps ISP's will cut multicast out of v6 as well.

        *sigh*

        At any rate, distributed multicast is unappealing to me, if only for the reason that there is trust implied. How do I know that peer X is really going to forward those packets? If I could answer that question, then I would be much more amenable to it. I am working under the assumption that I can trust no peer, which may be one of those bad design goals where you pay a high price for something that is of little or no value in return (i.e. malicious non forwarding peers will be rare/non existant)

        And the amount of code to add distributed multicast support is hurting my head just thinking about it... *grin*
  • by Reknamorken (526925) on Tuesday February 19, 2002 @10:52PM (#3036001) Homepage Journal
    As in many countries in Asia, it's not only the largest ISP in-country, but also either majority owned or at least a significant chunk, by the incumbent telco, Chunghwa Telecom.

    Should Chungwa decide that Movie88 has no need for ISP service it should be a relatively simple matter to drag their feet in bringing up a new circuit.

    Regarding the overt use of bribery in Asia, yes it's quite rampant and with the exception of only a few countries in Asia, quite a normal modus operandi.
  • and I just finished downloading all existing and lost InvaderZim episodes in Divx (the good open one not the lame closed one) and burned to 3 cd's.

    Invader zim is great, and you can tell it was never written for children... It was written for demented adults.

    Nickelodeon has been the birthplace of the truely innovative cartoons.. Ren and Stimpy is what started their network, Rocko's modern life, and now Samauri Jack and Invader Zim are carrying them on.

    Maybe, just maybe Nickelodeon will get a clue and return the heavy innovation and remind everyone that cartoons are not only kids stuff.
    • Invader zim is great, and you can tell it was never written for children... It was written for demented adults.

      Duh. This is a series by Jhonen Vasquez, the same Vasquez behind (possibly the best comic book series, ever) Johhny The Homicidal Maniac and Squee. That's probably the show got any word-of-mouth publicity at all: the deranged people such as myself who read JTHM religiously (and perhaps even take a liking to Happy Noodle Boy).

      I'm in the process of getting all the episodes on DivX. Once they are done, I shall eat some soul toast (though I have no kiwis) and go on a Vasquez marathon. *BWHAHAHAHAHAHAHA* (quiet; you... you...WALL)!
  • The proposal story [slashdot.org] only needs 27ish more comments to be #3 on the Hall of Fame [slashdot.org] (which seems to be broken ATM, but the story in #3 position had 2087 comments). I know it's kind of pointless to be rooting for that story to get as high as possible, but I happen to think that a story about love and happiness deserves to be higher among all those stories about hate and terror. So go post some comments!

    Stuart.
  • by Brat Food (9397) on Wednesday February 20, 2002 @12:33AM (#3036370) Homepage
    Well, in talking to the guys responsible for the creative side of Zim, it seems that the biggest thing going against it is the age group that likes it the most. Apparently, Nick doesnt give a poop about anyone over 11. This is a crying shame. All us gen-x'ers grew up on You can do that on television, turcky TV, all the way up to ren and stimpy.... Nick should get rid of crap-at-night, and pander to the generation of people who have name recognition and affinity to the network since its inception. Zim, ren and stimpy, think "adult-swim". Its a shame nick has seemingly lost the collective brain cell running the show there. The other thing i gleened is that Zim is a Viacom property, and the creators have no control over it whatsoever (the show was created at the behest of nick, coming to Jhonen apparently). Chances of ever seeing a new zim episode? Pretty close to 0. Put that one in the f***ed up by viacom marketing trashbin.

    And BTW, when they say the ratings were poor, keep in mind a few things:

    1. People over 11 dont count apparently in Nick ratings
    2. It was on at the END of regular nick programming
    3. It had no consistant time slot (i STILL managed to find it whenever it was on)

    I personally loved it, and if you want to see more, go buy the comics by the guys who created and wrote zim. Off the top of my head:

    Johnny the homicidal maniac
    Squee
    Lenore
    Filler Bunny

    Characters like Happy noodel boy are priceless =)
    GIVE ME MENTOS! I DEMAND TO BE FRESH! DO YOU DENY ME FRESHMAKER???!!

"And do you think (fop that I am) that I could be the Scarlet Pumpernickel?" -- Looney Tunes, The Scarlet Pumpernickel (1950, Chuck Jones)

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