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Comment: Re:Another terrible article courtesy of samzenpus (Score 1) 385

by AcidPenguin9873 (#47986835) Attached to: Seattle Passes Laws To Keep Residents From Wasting Food
For everyone other than people trying to argue semantics on Slashdot, "wasting food" means discarding it uneaten. The fact that uneaten food that is discarded into a compost bin will be turned into fertilizer does not mean it was not wasted.

Comment: Re:Another terrible article courtesy of samzenpus (Score 4, Interesting) 385

by AcidPenguin9873 (#47986545) Attached to: Seattle Passes Laws To Keep Residents From Wasting Food

Seattle has not made it a fine-worthy offense to discard uneaten eat food, which is what the headline implies. Seattle residents are instead supposed to throw both uneaten food and the remnants of mostly-eaten food - as much of it as they want - into their composting bin, not the "regular" trash. The goal was to get people to compost compostable items (like food) instead of throw them into the trash. Not to prevent discarding uneaten food.

I suppose since compost is later turned into fertilizer, composting is a bit less truly wasteful than throwing uneaten food into the "regular" trash, but I doubt that distinction is meaningful since in either case the food is no longer edible.


Old Doesn't Have To Mean Ugly: Squeezing Better Graphics From Classic Consoles 167

Posted by samzenpus
from the what's-old-is-new dept.
MojoKid writes If you're a classic gamer, you've probably had the unhappy experience of firing up a beloved older title you haven't played in a decade or two, squinting at the screen, and thinking: "Wow. I didn't realize it looked this bad." The reasons why games can wind up looking dramatically worse than you remember isn't just the influence of rose-colored glasses — everything from subtle differences in third-party hardware to poor ports to bad integrated TV upscalers can ruin the experience. One solution is an expensive upscaling unit called the Framemeister but while its cost may make you blanch, this sucker delivers. Unfortunately, taking full advantage of a Framemeister also may mean modding your console for RGB output. That's the second part of the upscaler equation. Most every old-school console could technically use RGB, which has one cable for the Red, Green, and Blue signals, but many of them weren't wired for it externally unless you used a rare SCART cable (SCART was more common in other parts of the world). Modding kits or consoles cost money, but if you're willing to pay it, you can experience classic games with much better fidelity.
The Internet

CenturyLink: Comcast Is Trying To Prevent Competition In Its Territories 110

Posted by Soulskill
from the my-kingdom-for-a-non-monopoly dept.
mpicpp sends word that CenturyLink has accused Comcast of restricting competition in the development of internet infrastructure. CenturyLink asked the FCC to block the acquisition of Time Warner Cable to prevent Comcast from further abusing its size and power. For example, Comcast is urging local authorities to deny CenturyLink permission to build out new infrastructure if they can't reach all of a city's residents during the initial buildout. Of course, a full buildout into a brand new market is much more expensive than installing connections a bit at a time. Comcast argues that CenturyLink shouldn't be able to cherry-pick the wealthy neighborhoods and avoid the poor ones. CenturyLink points out that no other ISP complains about this, and says allowing the merger would let Comcast extend these tactics to regions currently operated by Time Warner Cable.

Comment: Re:which turns transport into a monopoly... (Score 5, Insightful) 276

by AcidPenguin9873 (#47714437) Attached to: Helsinki Aims To Obviate Private Cars
Many times, the economics of "fun" things that people enjoy only work out if there are enough people in a small geographic area. You can't have a football team without enough people to fill a stadium every week, and you don't get that many people without them living in a large-ish city where that football team plays. Any one person going to a football game certainly knows almost none of the other people going, but they're necessary to make the game happen at all. Same for music. Bands aren't going to play a show out in the sticks where they can't fill a medium-size venue. These cultural things are what draw people to live in a city instead of in the sticks, even if their job could be done from anywhere. Ditto for art galleries, parks, recreational sports leagues. Even though one of those faces could die tomorrow and you wouldn't notice, if most of them died, you certainly would because you wouldn't have enough people to do those things.

Comment: Re:cretinous because (Score 1) 316

by AcidPenguin9873 (#47611967) Attached to: Verizon Throttles Data To "Provide Incentive To Limit Usage"

Three things:

  1. These unlimited contracts came into being at a time when 3G radios had just come out, so the amount of traffic any one device could produce on their network was an order of magnitude less than what they can today with LTE. It would be reasonable for Verizon to say that the plan is unlimited at 2008 bandwidths.
  2. I don't recall these unlimited plans as even having a bandwidth number attached to them. Do you?
  3. Speaking strictly about wireline ISPs, no wireline ISP sells a consumer grade plan as 20Mbps for 24/7 usage. They sell it as 20Mbps peak bandwidth, with "peak" being purposefully vaguely defined. Besides this artificial throttling, there really are network congestion issues that come into play on consumer links at peak hours. They will sell you a business grade plan where it's guaranteed bandwidth for 24/7 usage, for about double the price of the consumer grade plan. Yet most people haven't opted for that type of a plan.

+ - SpaceX Chooses Texas Site For Private Spaceport

Submitted by AcidPenguin9873
AcidPenguin9873 (911493) writes "Today, Texas Gov. Rick Perry and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk announced that SpaceX has chosen a site at Boca Chica Beach, Texas, as the location where SpaceX will build its rocket launch facility. The Boca Chica site, at the southern tip of Texas near Brownsville and South Padre Island, had been competing with sites in Florida, Georgia, and Puerto Rico, but had been named the frontrunner to land the site by Musk when he testified to the Texas state legislature in 2013. The spaceport will be the first privately-owned vertical rocket launch facility in the world, and will target commercial customers. State and local governments have pledged to provide a total of about $20 million in incentives to attract SpaceX to the site."

Comment: Re:name and location tweeted... (Score 5, Informative) 928

Also, what type of asshole employee would separate a man from his two young children?

The employee suggested no such thing. She said that the man would have to wait until his children were able to board, and then they could board together.

Comment: Re:Yep, how the music industry was killed... (Score 2) 192

by AcidPenguin9873 (#47490995) Attached to: Amazon Isn't Killing Writing, the Market Is
You're right. But most of the rest of them got big-enough advances from record labels though so that they could try making music for a living for a couple years. The money for those advances came from record sales of the few acts that did make it. Now, there's little money coming in from record sales from the acts that made it - only peasly subscription revenue and $0.99 tracks. Less money coming into the labels, less money going out as advances to artists.

Comment: Re:Blog post gone? (Score 1) 390

by AcidPenguin9873 (#47483153) Attached to: Verizon's Accidental Mea Culpa

Speaking only to the example in the L3 blog post: the utilization on L3's network before hitting the L3/Verizon connection point is about the same as it is in Verizon's network downstream of that connection point. That suggests that each company's network can handle about the same bandwidth. Any additional traffic on Verizon's network coming from L3 would obviously also be on L3's network. Why is L3 willing to take on this additional traffic, but Verizon isn't?

Comment: Re:Zediva all over again. (Score 1) 484

by AcidPenguin9873 (#47321411) Attached to: Supreme Court Rules Against Aereo Streaming Service

If you own the equipment, it's legal.

Replying to myself, this is obviously an incorrect statement. You could rent a VCR or DVR or whatever and an antenna from someone, bring it back to your house, and record stuff there, and that would be legal. It's the combination of the entire service together, with the equipment rental and delivery system over the internet, that makes it "substantially like a cable company" which makes it subject to Breyer's standard. I'm sorry that this doesn't agree with how Slashdotters like to interpret the letter of the law, but that's precisely what the courts are there to do - consider intent, consider grey areas, draw arbitrary lines.

Comment: Re:Zediva all over again. (Score 1) 484

by AcidPenguin9873 (#47321377) Attached to: Supreme Court Rules Against Aereo Streaming Service

How is that not re-transmission?

Oh my god, please stop. No, you haven't won.

That's a private performance.

Absolutely, I agree with you 100%.

the Supreme Court's job isn't to prop up obsolete business models.

How is their business model obsolete? Producing desirable content and charging for it? The thing that's obsolete is providing free OTA transmission of this content, because the content costs more to produce than the networks recoup from advertising alone.

I mean you can already get this exact same content for free by setting up your own antenna. People aren't doing it enough to make a difference.

If Aereo becomes legal, a whole shitload of people (or, rather, their cable/telco/satellite provider) will do it and that business model (free OTA transmission) will indeed become obsolete very, very quickly.

If cable companies implement Aereo-like technology so they could stop paying rebroadcast fees, then networks would have a problem. So let them go off-air and become cable-only like HBO or something. Good for them if they can make more money doing that. Then the airwaves will be freed up for people with fresh ideas and lower overhead. Or maybe not.. maybe we could reallocate the TV spectrum to enable more unlicensed Wifi. That would be an excellent trade in my opinion. Well worth the loss of quality ABC shows like "The Chew" and "General Hospital..."

This is absolutely the most likely scenario. I'm glad you at least acknowledged it. I feel terrible for you that your TV show preferences aren't matched by 100% of the shows that ABC airs.

Presumably this would work with OTA transmissions, which you legally received with an antenna.

Exactly, provided that you own the antenna and some sort of recording device. I'm glad we agree on this.

That's a big assumption, and it's pretty shitty considering you can legally record shows that you receive over the air and watch them later, and have been able to do that since the Supreme Court ruled that VCRs are legal.

On a VCR that you own.

This Supreme Court decision, and the hypothetical you're proposing, take away consumer rights that have been around for decades,

On equipment that they own.

Are you seeing the common theme? If you own the equipment, it's legal. (And this will only continue to work if the cost of owning the equipment makes it not worth bothering for most people.) If you rent this stuff from someone else, it's tantamount to a cable company and thus that company is required to pay the licensing fee. If you want it changed, go complain to your local politician that everyone deserves ad-supported TV for free. Maybe the laws will change and these companies will become taxpayer-subsidized like the BBC.

prevent innovative businesses

How is Aereo innovative? It provides exactly the same service as cable+DVR, which has been around for over a decade. The only innovative thing is the lack of content cost for Aereo, which is unsustainable.

that consumers want

Of course consumers want it, who wouldn't want something that's much cheaper by virtue of having almost none of the cost structure required to deliver the service because the cost is being borne by other companies?

Comment: Re:Zediva all over again. (Score 1) 484

by AcidPenguin9873 (#47319119) Attached to: Supreme Court Rules Against Aereo Streaming Service

If that's not retransmitting, then what is? It's jumping mediums (wire to air), it's transforming the signal (compressed ATSC stream to discrete RGB values to signals to the LCD or whatever).

You've got to be kidding, right? A TV decodes the transmission but doesn't re-encode it for subsequent retransmission. You would need a camera and a microphone for that. As for the "it's a performance" aspect, the TV itself doesn't consider where it is and who is watching it, i.e. the private home vs. bar example we have been discussing. The party responsible for considering the context in which the performance is happening would be the bar owner or homeowner/renter, not the TV rental company.

And yet, he doesn't give a satisfying justification about why Aereo is a public performance, despite their concerted effort to keep it private by having dedicated antennas per subscriber, and no sharing of stored data, and no multicast transmissions.

It's because while it's not that by the letter of the law, that's what it is in spirit. Aereo is providing cable TV service, just without having to pay for the content. The entire point of Aereo's microantenna setup is to use a technicality to get around the "public performance" wording of the law that made (multicast, retransmit) cable providers have to pay the networks. I think one of the justices asked this at the trial (although he said that even if it was, that may not mean it's illegal). I don't know what Aereo's response was.

Now let's go to the dissent:

That claim fails at the very outset because Aereo does not “perform” at all.

I agree completely.

The Court manages to reach the opposite conclusion only by disregarding widely accepted rules for service-provider liability and adopting in their place an improvised standard (“looks-like-cable-TV”) that will sow confusion for years to come.

I think something like this is necessary. Maybe it's improvised, but we need it. Someone has to pay for content to be produced, and it's no longer (completely) covered by advertisers alone. They let people watch for free via OTA because the percentage of people watching that way is low enough that their costs are still covered.

I totally agree with that and wonder how anybody could think like Breyer did unless they just don't understand that a point-to-point TCP/IP connection, even if it's going over a "public" network like the internet, isn't really public.

I don't think Breyer's opinion is what you think it is. Scalito said it explicitly - Breyer made up a new "looks like cable TV" standard and is judging Aereo by that standard. You don't have to like it, but don't misrepresent it.

And since Breyer goes through pains to say "Oh but don't worry, remote DVR and cloud storage are still fine" he obviously is talking out his ass, since those would operate in *the exact same way* when it comes to public vs private. Otherwise perhaps you can explain how sending a copy of a TV show from your remote DVR hosted on Amazon's cloud is private, whereas a copy of a TV show from Aereo's cloud is public? It doesn't make sense.

How did you acquire the TV show that is hosted on your private storage in Amazon's cloud? The cloud storage piece assumes you acquired that content some other legal way. For remote DVR, I don't think he's going to have to go back on what he said at all. He's using a "this looks like cable TV" standard. If it's just cloud storage for shows you already have, that doesn't look like cable TV. If it's remote DVR for cable TV service and you pay for the remote DVR service, that service will be subject to the same "must pay the networks" standard as Aereo and the cable TV networks. Or you could separately pay for just the remote DVR service and have that be linked to a cable/telco/satellite/Netflix subscription as well if you want to decouple DVR from service provider.

Comment: Re:Zediva all over again. (Score 1) 484

by AcidPenguin9873 (#47317519) Attached to: Supreme Court Rules Against Aereo Streaming Service

So if Aereo changes their model to "You buy the equipment and pay to store it here" (aka a signup fee) then it becomes legal? That seems too easy.

Yes, I think it might be that easy. SlingBox comes to mind, so if you wanted to buy a SlingBox and an antenna and rent space at Aereo's location, that would probably be legal. Practically though, that wouldn't be very profitable for Aereo because the equipment would be too big, and for the end customer it's probably cheaper to just pay the cable/telco company for basic cable and DVR service.

I don't know if you're right, but if that's the logic behind this decision it's even worse than I imagined. By your logic, if you rent a TV, then since the TV takes a signal and retransmits it as visible-spectrum light, the rental company is acting as a retransmission agent and you have to pay extra licensing fees. But of course that's ridiculous.. isn't it?

Simply displaying a picture on a TV isn't a retransmission, so the TV rental company is off the hook.

The other piece of this, which others have pointed out, is that it is being offered to the general public. If you rent a TV and show some content to the general public for a fee, I believe that constitutes a "public performance" or something like that and you would need some sort of license to show it. Bars, for example, subscribe to a different type of cable or satellite service that allows them to do this.

Cobol programmers are down in the dumps.