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Comment: Re:or don't trust the Internet (Score 5, Insightful) 191


If you don't pay your bills on the Internet, you are a fool. Why? Because your bills are being paid online anyway, even if you are idiot enough to send a check, which is the most dangerous thing you can do with your financial info.

You write a check, with all the info needed on it to completely wipe out your checking account (and savings, too, if you have overdraft "protection") on a piece of paper, put it in an envelope that couldn't more clearly scream "THERE IS A CHECK IN HERE" unless you literally wrote that on the outside, and it goes through many hands before getting to its destination which isn't even the company you are paying. If you look at most national account bills (credit cards, cell companies, cable providers, etc.) they all go to the same few places (usually somewhere in the middle of the country like IL) called "lock boxes" where a minimum wage worker opens your envelope, scans your check digitally, transmits the info to the respective banks, and completes the transaction electronically anyway. Oh, and they are supposed to shred it afterwards. You hope.

The real problem is attacks on back end systems, or assault on terminals, like what happened to Target. Most of the time (almost all) fraud that happens on indivdual online accounts is by someone they know - usually a spouse or child. So if you don't trust them, or can't outwit them with passwords on your system, you have a much larger personal issue than lack of security on the Internet.

Comment: Re:Physics on a stick (Score 2) 64

by AudioEfex (#47169201) Attached to: Ear Grown From Van Gogh DNA On Display
Yeah I thought they had a piece of hair or something so it really was his. It's not far fetched - locks of Lincoln's hair still exist (as do samples from a great many folks, like Marilyn Monroe, Michael Jackson, and Elvis). VH1 has some "memorabilia" program that had an episode going to the home of one of the big "hair collectors" - I'm sure there is some weird name for them if one wanted to look it up - who had authenticated samples of all of the above and many more displayed and the most valuable ones like Lincoln in a big fireproof safe. Looked like a bank vault. It was pretty creepy, but very cool at the same time. He has all the documents to back them up, as well.

+ - Popular shuttered torrent site Demonoid returns

Submitted by AudioEfex
AudioEfex (637163) writes "Demonoid has emailed all registered users that it is back online — at it's original site — in a new "cloud based" back-end. There have been various attempts in the past (including one accused of simply being malware,), but so far this appears to be the original site admins and a legitimate resurrection. User registrations are also open at this time, but as a semi-private tracker, it's unknown how long that will continue."

Comment: Why not ask for a Jet Engine on a Motorcycle? (Score 1) 321

by AudioEfex (#47109417) Attached to: I Want a Kindle Killer

First, I concur, I don't understand how something like this actually makes the news page.

Second, it sounds like they want an iPad, not a Kindle.

The poster misses the entire point of Kindle, and why it's done so well - it's for people that mainly want to read books. They added Fire to the lineup for folks that want to consume other media, as well. But there is no reason for it to have something like voice control - since it's mainly a book reading device, do you really need voice control to tell it to what, turn the page for you? Same with annotating - so few people would actually use a voice feature like that and the investment in development of one good enough, and system use overhead in implementation of, which all would end up being like putting a jet engine on a motorcycle.

It honestly does just sound like you want an iPad, or if you are anti-Apple then a Surface, etc. They already do the things you are looking for. They also have Kindle apps so you can have your cake and eat it, too. Kindle has great mark-up features, which you can export and manage in your app of choice.

Basically, the entire point of a Kindle is to bring e-book reading mainstream by giving a basic device at a low price point, which is just what it has done - and most mainstream users would never use these features. No need to make the round-peg Kindle fit into the square-peg, when there are plenty of other devices that will slide right into said peg.

Comment: Re:Amen, brother Amen! (Score 1) 522


Your problem is only that you don't know how to change the default search engine. I sympathize, but it's still not the devil.

The unified address / search bar is mostly a great improvement

It may not be the devil, but it is sure a pain in the ass.

I use the search box constantly, and often I go back to amend my original search (if the results are too wide, or I'm not seeing what I am looking for). Before, no matter what search engine I was using (Google, Amazon, etc.) I just clicked and added/removed a word from my original search.

With the "unified" thing, you can't do that, because it's changed into your URL. Depending on the implementation and the security of the website, you may be able to use the back button to get back, but usually that just brings up the original search page, and you have to go in and use a totally different field (the native search engine interface) and hope that they saved what you searched for (it's hit or miss depending on the site). Often you have to then retype the entire search.

Basically, one dedicated search box saves a lot of page jockeying for anything other than a one-shot basic search. I also like being able to quickly flip between, say Amazon and eBay looking for the same item, without having to use their individual search interfaces and go to their site directly (and retype/copy/paste - all I do is just flip the search engine and go).

I'm fine with the option to unify - so far, I have only been forced into it on my iPad, but this is one of those "outdated" things that really isn't outdated - it works just fine for a lot of us (and saves a lot of confusion for anyone mildly aware of how your browser works - nothing will ever help the total "I type google in google to search for google" folks). If folks want to unify them, more power to you - but leave my search box alone, LOL.

Comment: What's worse than uninformed bullshit? (Score 1) 210

What's worse than uninformed bullshit posted as an "article" on the Internet?

Uninformed bullshit that then gets picked up, summarized in a modern game of telephone via a retarded summary, compounding the uninformed bullshit to complete horseshit, and then posting it on /.

There are bits of truth in there, but since this is all speculation on everyone's part until Disney announces anything (or Lucas/Fox spills the beans, see below), It's easier to just lay it out instead of trying to refute/correct all the inaccuracies in both the summary and the "article":

There have been industry rumors (reported by sites such as Digital Bits) that Disney has been working on these since practically when the deal was signed, as it was the obvious first place to start the machine going as pre-pre-production on Episode VII was just starting and they needed to set to work on getting the franchise in order. They are stressed as "insiders are talking" - but since the post-production/restoration community is pretty small, usually where there is smoke, there is fire. When a group is sitting and working on a film day and night, it's difficult to hide.

It makes perfect sense; Disney is going out of their way to realign the direction of the franchise with the OT - toy and novelty manufacturers have been directed to wind down Prequel products, they are going out of their way to let folks know that they aren't shooting on digital. They are emphasizing the real-models are being built as opposed to overly relying on CGI, etc. Lucasfilm has been so focused on selling to kids for years, to dwindling merchandizing success, and Disney, who knows if they go after the adults and nostalgia, from their own business experience (theme parks, etc.) - the kids will come along for the ride (and just to make sure, Rebels is coming for them to explain). This is exactly the target audience that will gladly replace their 2011 Blu-ray sets with a big brand new one from Disney in Christmas 2015, just in time for Episode VII. So yes, still a rumor - but personally I have no doubt we will have the unaltered OT on Blu-ray next year. Oh, and let's not forget that virtually the entire surviving cast is hanging out in London together as we speak - they've never contributed anything signifigant in terms of "extras" before individually (Carrie and Anthony did a partial commentary on the OT, really only a few minutes - everyone else, nada), much less as a group. Sounds like an opportunity to me...

As to the rights issues - there have been a couple of semi-mainstream articles (which really have just been opinion/speculation pieces) about the "Fox thing" as this one does (likely they all are just referencing each other), but it's pretty much assumed by all evidence that those issues no longer exist.

To begin with, only Star Wars itself was ever affected in terms of ownership. You can read all about it in quite a few books, but long story short (too late!) Fox pretty much made the biggest studio blunder of all time - they insisted on heavier ownership of the original film, but as every good geek knows, Lucas negotiated the rights to both merchandising and sequels (which the studio gave up as there was no such thing as modern merchandising until Lucas invented it, and Hollywood had seen very few successful sequels, especially for low-budget "sci-fi" which is how they saw Star Wars). The rights demands went back and forth during financial troubles on both the original sequels as he worked to finance them himself (you can read the entire story, with memos from the Lucasfilm archives, in the Rinzler "Making of" books recently released), but in the end - Lucas came out on top. Way on top.

So at one point, Fox technically owned Star Wars, Lucas owned the sequels, and Fox had an ongoing agreement to distribute the films (which was fine with Lucasfilm as they weren't a distributor). Then, the special editions/prequels happened. It had long been rumored that somewhere in between the special editions and the prequels, with box office and the merchandising coming back bigger than ever, Lucas wrangled back the ownership of Star Wars itself.

Lucas had no obligation to Fox for the prequels, he could have shopped them around to any distributor he wanted - and since he financed the films himself, he held all the cards. No deal was ever made public, but even back then there were rumors that somewhere in the agreements that were made for the prequels, Lucas got Star Wars back - the studios stood to make much more money from the prequels than they would ever really make off that one film itself, especially since they couldn't do much with it without Lucasfilm and the power of the rest of the franchise content. Sometime between the SE's and the next home video release, the "fine print" credits on the film were adjusted, depending on which edition - Fox is now listed only as distributor which is what makes it generally accepted that in fact, the rumors were true. At the least there was a flat-rate "royalty" (probably something tiny like 1 or 5%) perpetually built in - but since they wanted the prequels so badly, and to not have to share profits with another distributor on any home video releases, it wouldn't be surprising if they just completely relinquished it as a sign of good will to get the larger pie.

TL;DR? - There is almost no chance the rights are an issue at this point, and it's doubtful Disney would have paid the price they did if they didn't get everything - lock, stock, and stormtrooper - these issues were settled long ago.

Finally, as to the technical issues with rescanning the OT, at least some commenters in the article are pointing folks to, and the extremely comprehensive/meticulously researched "The Special Edition Restoration Process and it's Changing Physicality" article. It's getting a little outdated at this point, but it basically explains the entire state of the film elements and what was done to them.

The original negative (the O-Neg, which is what ran through the camera during filming) was badly damaged (it even had "Tatooine" sand in it), but was restored - and then this perfectly restored film was cut to hell to make the SE's because digital scanning wasn't good enough at the time to do what Lucas was trying to do. They had to do it all physically, by hand (re-compositing shots with the SE stuff shat on film and processed over it). But...unless they tossed the original elements after (which has about zero chance of having occurred), between that and the no-fade Technicolor Dye Prints and other elements (IP's, etc.) there should be no problem restoring the film. Lucas even admitted in 2011 when questioned at a press conference for the Blu-ray releases why the unaltered OT wasn't included - he confirmed it was entirely possible, it just would cost a few million bucks and he didn't have any desire to do it.

There is really little doubt that Disney has their crack restoration team all over this. I wouldn't be surprised if they were done. This wasn't actually that big of a project - I mean, it's not like what CBS is doing with Star Trek: TNG and having to literally recreate every episode from the original dailies they randomly have stored in hundreds of boxes, pretty much scanning everything and piecing it together by digital "hand". Now that is a massive undertaking. Disney just paid 4 billion dollars for Star Wars - a few million to get the demanded versions of the films to offer in a package to get folks to buy the same films they just bought a few years ago will be worth it for them. The existing Blu-ray release is pretty light on extras, including the glaring omission of the Empire of Dreams documentary, which is the crown jewel of OT extras - it's clear now Lucas held them back so the new owners could put together the "box set to end all box sets" to sell next year before the new film comes out, and then in five more years (2020, once the new trilogy is completed) - hey, time for another "box set to end all box sets".

One thing is for certain, Disney is sure gonna give us a lot of options to spend our money and make that 4 Billion worth it for them. And unlike the misleading headline and the information provided, there is no reason Disney "can't" do whatever they damn well please with the films at this point. Even Iger has said in interviews that it was tough for George to give all control up - but Disney made it clear they wouldn't be paying this amount of money for anything but.

Comment: Re:Because they can. (Score 3, Insightful) 252

by AudioEfex (#46946293) Attached to: $200 For a Bound Textbook That You Can't Keep?

That actually leads to my question about this - what if you lose it? What if you get robbed, what if you are just forgetful and leave it somewhere, what if your dog eats it....

There are a million things that could happen. The article makes it clear that you can mark it up, highlight it, etc. do whatever you want to it - they don't care about the condition, just want it back after. So do they charge you a penalty for not returning this obviously used item that seems destined to be destroyed? Do you have to sign a contract to do so? It seems to me that there must be some penalty there, which they would have a really hard time justifying if challenged - I mean, how much is a used, beat-up book worth?

I also had to kind of giggle at the "lifetime access" to their digital version - I'd want that one in writing, with a refund policy, so in a few years after this doesn't work and they shut down the website, folks would have recourse.

The whole thing is just so shady. The whole textbook business is, really. Just an industry based around exploiting those already being exploited and signing away their possible future earnings to get an education and a chance at bettering themselves starting life in debt.

I was lucky - I went to a college that didn't really use textbooks. We had plenty of books, probably many more than the average class at most schools (8-10 books a class wasn't odd), but very few "textbooks" proper - I don't think any of my classes required one - the science or math kids may have used some workbooks, but I went to a private college that didn't believe in such things and I count myself lucky. It was also small enough that the professors and other students kind of knew who could and couldn't afford the required texts and were completely supportive of sharing, reserve shelves (in fact, just about everything was on a reserve shelf if someone really needed) and any other methods we had to use - because it's the learning that's important, stupid, LOL, not supporting various corporate profit interests.

Comment: Re:Mathematics (Score 0, Troll) 589

by AudioEfex (#46925835) Attached to: Microsoft Cheaper To Use Than Open Source Software, UK CIO Says

Oh, don't go using logic here when it comes to open source vs. Windows with this crowd. If you listen to some folks here, even your Grandma should be using Linux.

There is a good reason that Linux has what, a 2% install base? It's because to start you have to "pick" a distro, to begin with. Windows is Windows. There may be varying grades of the same product, but it's all...Windows. It all seems so simple and straight-forward to the "open source or die" crowd - hey, if one doesn't work for you, try another - and they completely miss the point that it's the very issue, to begin with.

Of course, it goes far beyond that - compatibility with devices, user friendliness, ability to get support (I guess Grandma can join the local Senior's Linux User Group?). When it comes to business, those concerns multiply - the fact that there are so far fewer Linux IT professionals than Windows IT professionals exist. And because Linux is inherently so customizable and requires so much tinkering, you lose the wrong employee and you have to bring someone new in, it may be a nearly impossible task for them to get up to speed on what already exists, much less fix issues, unless the employee that has gone has extensively documented what has been done before.

It's not like Linux is the little engine that could, just chugging along waiting for everyone to discover it. It's not a diamond in the rough. It is the rough. I certainly have a lot of issues with Windows, but for the vast majority of users and businesses it just works - and that's for very good reasons. As much as we criticize everything being run by MS, that's also why it works - it has one governing body, unlike Linux, where you are basically out there in the wilderness when it comes to getting support.

At this point, even after so long, it's a niche - and even the tiny gains it has here and there for certain applications is never going change that - and it's going to remain a niche, for folks who like to tinker. Most people use computers as a tool, and don't want to spend just as much tinkering with the tool as just using it. All Linux would change for the majority of users in a practical sense is less compatibility and more headaches. I get the principle of open-source software, and it's noble - but ask anyone, nobility really doesn't win in the end, most of the time - it's great for folks that want to use it, but to expect the rest of the world to do so is simply a fantasy because for how most folks use a computer, it's more trouble than it's worth.

Comment: Re:Recruiting policy (Score 1) 589

by AudioEfex (#46925779) Attached to: Microsoft Cheaper To Use Than Open Source Software, UK CIO Says

That would be great if Linux IT professionals existed in any number to make it useful. Can you find one? Or even a few? Yeah, but it's not sustainable. Most engineers with a pedigree required for that kind of work are not going to be in nearly the abundance of those trained in Windows. That's the entire point - it would cost a lot more to headhunt and find those with the specific skills needed for such, when you can throw a Wiffle ball and find a half dozen qualified Windows IT professionals. And when they leave, you have to start again - that's the sustainability issue.

Comment: Re:Forcing password changes is never a good idea (Score 1) 288

by AudioEfex (#46916967) Attached to: Applying Pavlovian Psychology to Password Management


Some of the replies to you say "well, that just forces people to make more complex passwords" so they last longer, but that's just the same-old. And anyone that deals with this from a business standpoint will tell you that the real problem with requiring customers/users to have more complex passwords is the more complex you make them, not only the more frustrated the customers get - but you also have to make it even easier for them to reset their passwords.

Just anecdotally, I know of one medium-sized financial company that increased their password complexity requirements, and they had to double their call center size practically overnight to compensate for all the extra phone calls from folks who needed to reset their password, and/or were just so upset that it was so much more difficult to use their site (and they even offered an email reset option). Financially, it would have been cheaper to just cover any potential losses that may or may not happen vs. the ongoing cost of maintaining that (temps are expensive) and the cost of customer satisfaction (yes, people really do cancel accounts because they find it too difficult to log in to the website).

In truth, this discussion largely academic in nature - because brute force is rarely used to gain access to a website, and rarely works anyway as most sites lock you out after a certain amount of attempts (see above, the costs of maintaining password resets).

If you really do want to fend off brute force, for whatever reason, using words at all is going to be susceptible. The best password method I have found is using the "first letter" phrase method. For example, if your favorite song is "Itsy Bitsy Spider", using "Ib8cutws" (since a spider has 8 legs, substituting 8 for spider, in this instance). A saying, phrase, or song that is easy to remember for you, but typically difficult to guess (even by someone who knows you - just like murder, it's most likely to be someone you know who can do real damage). Then append either as a prefix or a suffix whatever appropriate to the website that you can remember to make it unique to that site.

If you want to make a truly unique password for each site, you can keep a list - but using the above method you can easily code the list itself. For example, if your phrase is a quote from Shakespeare, you write down the name of the teacher who's class you first heard it in. Or if it's a song, the name of the person it reminds you of. That way, even if someone finds your paper or electronic list, there is little they can discern from it.

Again, though, in truth - most times someone is going to hack your account and try to do anything untoward, it's gong to be someone you know. And while even some financial accounts are sensitive (say, something like PayPal where you can transfer funds in and out of accounts and to third parties), in most cases - like your basic credit card - there is little incentive for a 3rd party to try to access your data. You can usually get your credit card number from your statement PDF, but your expiration date and CCN aren't going to be found. Same with basic bank accounts - unless it has the ability to transfer out. At most someone can request a new card/change of address - but that is so clumsy, traceable, and isn't going to gain a true criminal anything on a significant scale. Yet again, it's most likely going to be someone you know (a relative or employee), who can access these things other ways as well.

The real danger financially is merchant hacks (such as Target) and the like, very few people are just sitting around trying to get into random accounts because there is so little they can do.

All that said, and sort of a side note, but all the paranoia about electronic financial stuff is like folks feeling safer driving a car than being in an airplane. By far it is much safer to handle your transactions/payments online, because the most insecure thing you can do is write a check and mail it. That check has printed on it your full name, address, and all the information someone would need (routing number, acct number) to directly transfer funds out of your accounts rather instantly.

Today, when you mail a check to your insurance company, say, to pay a premium - it doesn't actually go to the company. It goes to a "lock box" - a company that processes checks for hundreds or even thousands of companies. So you put it through the mail, with God knows how many hands going through it before it actually gets there (and hopefully doesn't fly off a truck), once it gets there, it is opened by a minimum wage worker, who scans it - electronically - and then (hopefully) sticks it in a shredder. So your payment is already going electronically - it just goes through dozens or even hundreds of hands before it gets there, unlike just paying your bill online yourself. Try explaining that to Grandma, though, who insists that writing checks is the only way she feels safe.

Comment: It never ceases to amaze me... (Score 4, Insightful) 345

by AudioEfex (#46904065) Attached to: Why Microsoft Shouldn't Patch the XP Internet Explorer Flaw

It never ceases to amaze me how out-of-touch with the "real world" so many /. commenters are. Or, more precisely, how out-of-touch they come across as, because I don't think half of the folks who post some of this stuff actually believe what they say, they know better - the other half I do believe actually think what they are saying is accurate, because they don't associate with anyone who doesn't know the difference between SRAM and DRAM.

"Switch to another modern operating system, such as OS X and Linux" - yeah, that's gonna happen. To run OS X one needs to buy a new, overpriced machine that isn't going to be compatible with a lot of existing stuff and is way overkill for the needs of most average folks. And Linux? Seriously? Linux is so out of reach of most folks it's not even funny. I'm sure someone will come along and say "well X distro is easy to install!" and they miss the entire freaking point. Linux is not for "average" users, or even for well-versed computer users, it's for tinkerers and folks who want to spend as much time working on their OS as they do using the computer. It's a ridiculous notion.

The truth is, XP is not going away. Folks are saying "but they've been announcing this forever!" - not to middle America, they haven't. Those folks don't keep up on tech sites, and it's not like MS is sending them pop-ups to let them know. They just want to get on their computer and use Facebook and check their email, maybe play a few games. They also don't often have computers that even could run Windows 7 or better. Gone are the days when everyone had to replace their PC every 2-3 years, max - I know tons of folks who have PC's that are nearing a decade old and still in use and work just fine for them. Asking folks who have computers that to them seem working perfectly fine, and that meet their needs, to go out and buy a new one just to continue to do what they are already doing is never going to fly.

MS is going to relent and continue to release security patches - I have no doubt. They already are making them for the large companies/governments that are paying for them, and there are going to be some major battles which will probably end up in the legal system over what really is MS hanging a large portion of users out to dry. As someone else said, these security flaws are already there, they are just fixing what they didn't do correctly in the first place - we all know the limited understanding of the court system of computer technology, that's what it's going to look like to lawyers and judges. We might finally see some real legal tests of EULA's in general, as well - if I put a bumper sticker on my car that says "I am not liable for any accidents I may cause" that doesn't absolve me of liability, and I have a feeling that just may be how some judges will interpret this (correctly or not).

I know all of this is going to seem like bullshit to a lot of /.ers, but it's reality - XP was good enough that it will remain "good enough" for a lot of folks, and not issuing security patches isn't going to stop them from using it, because they never are going to know. It's in MS best interests to continue issuing these patches until these PC's finally die off and folks need to buy a new one, which is still going to be a few more years.

Rant all you wish about how stupid they are, or how they just should stop using MS to begin with and use Linux (the most absurd notion - because even if they did, if Linux actually had more than the less than 2% install base it has, they'd just start trying to exploit that - and with all the different distros, etc. - what a clusterfuck that would be - Linux users just fly under the radar, for now). It's not going to change the reality that these folks aren't going to upgrade their OS until they buy a new PC - and if MS doesn't issue these patches, then once the news finally filters down to these folks (via local newsbroadcasts, etc.) the suggestion will just be to use a different browser, since most security issues are IE related - which is the LAST thing MS wants to happen.

+ - First Post-Amazon Comixology Change Takes Bite Out of Apple->

Submitted by AudioEfex
AudioEfex (637163) writes "Comixology announced to customers via email early this morning the retirement of their iPhone/iPad app, and the immediate release of a replacement app — that does not feature in-app purchases. This was effective immediately, and although you can still access the original app, and your already purchased books, IAP has been disabled (even for "free" titles). Purchases must now be made at the main Comixology website via Safari. As a bonus, the email states there is a $5 credit on the account for those that transfer over.

This change was not unexpected (Audible, another Amazon company, does the same thing to avoid the Apple cut IAP requires), but it does seem to have happened with little fanfare. I know that's pretty much the only thing I use iTunes gift cards folks give me for, so I'll have little to spend them on now. I'll still use the app, but might not make so many "impulse" buys because of iTunes credits I may have. Will this change how you use Comixology?

Dear Comics Enthusiast,

We have introduced a new comiXology iPhone and iPad Comics app, and we are retiring the old one. All your purchased books will be readable in the new app once you've downloaded it and taken the following steps:

In the original Comics app, log into your comiXology account.

Sync your in-app purchases to your comiXology account by tapping the Restore button on the Purchases tab.

Download the new comiXology app. This will be your new home for downloading and reading comics.

Start shopping on New purchases will appear in the "In Cloud" tab in our new app.


Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Simple (Score 1) 92

by AudioEfex (#46846465) Attached to: Why Speed-Reading Apps Don't Work

And let me guess, you probably also learned to read by recognition and not phonics, right?

Your experience seems similar to mine, and that's what I have found the key difference is. I learned to read from being read to every night, and following along. When I was 2 I was reading the books back, and my family just assumed I had memorized them. Then somewhere around turning 3 they realized that I could already read - it started with picking out a sign or text and then finally someone shoved a newspaper in front of me, and while I couldn't read the entire thing I was able to read quite a bit. I was reading "chapter books" by 5. And I've been reading - a lot - ever since then, even if the format has changed (obviously a lot more online/tablet than print these days).

I think the folks saying "you are SKIMMING" may be on to something, but not what they think. Not the quality of reading, but the actual method. Looking at it (pun intended), I would assume that my "normal" reading is what some folks would refer to as "skimming". I don't sit and read every single word, I look at groups of words and see them as one. Now, I still go over all the text - skimming for me is when I'm only looking at a few sentences a paragraph.

I really started to understand this fundamental difference in how folks read when I got out into the professional workplace. Lots of very smart, clever folks (and many not so smart and clever), have very little ability to read anything longer than a few sentences and understand it. Everything has to be bullet points and brief, summary headers - this post would never work there, LOL. And a lot of these folks are a lot more traditionally educated than I am. Of course, this is a separate issue and has many factors, but just watching folks read something that is sent out and it takes them four times as long to read it and I still get more out of it than they do was actually the first time I realized that they simply read differently than I did.

Comment: Re:If Netflix is in Canada, why isn't Hulu? (Score 1) 259

by AudioEfex (#46845449) Attached to: Hulu Blocks VPN Users

Hulu could open Hulu Canada and license the rights for Canada from the copyright owners. Hulu could open Hulu Britain and license the rights for Ireland and Great Britain from the copyright owners. Hulu currently happens to choose not to do so.

Oh please. Or are you being obtuse on purpose?

Hulu is a company created to serve the US market. They have no responsibility to open up open up in every damn country worldwide. There are good reasons they don't - and why no one else really does, either. Netflix is just at snail speed in its addition of international support, even with all the cash and influence they have these days (and often movie licensing is easier with one clear owner than television where rights can be owned by all number of folks, many of whom have no collective bargaining, official or not).

The reason for this is two-fold. One, because licensing agreements are so complex and extremely territorial (one studio might handle US distribution, another studio, even a competitor, may have international rights), you would pretty much literally have to start from scratch for each country. Netflix isn't going one by one in Europe because it's fun, it's because it's like starting up a new licensing business each time. Screw the tech, it's the licensing agreements and making that profitable to purchase for that country to make a service that is the issue.

Two, and just as important, is the fact that the majority of the world who has commercial broadband have caps. Not all, but a good percentage. So while streaming services are all the rage in the US because of our mostly AYCE, one-flat-rate broadband, it's never going to be as popular in other markets, so streaming services have to somehow get licensing agreements for an entire library, and somehow do it cheap enough to make it worth doing business at all with what is always going to be a limited audience to begin with, in each new country.

In the US, we are in the middle of the Golden Age of Streaming - GAS - which, eventually, one runs out of - as we will our streaming fetish. ISP's are just waiting to pull the caps down in the US, they already have been testing it. Once they do, either streaming will die off, or, sweetheart deals get made with Netflix/Hulu/Amazon/etc. with the ISP's, keeping their content out of the caps, which means those services are going to get much much more expensive (no more $7.99 a month, think like ten times that...just like the cable bill you thought was so smart in getting rid of to become a streamer - they are gonna make you pay one way, or another).

As to the story itself, I'm sorry, if you are into "living off the grid" or whatever, and feel you can't view Hulu without a VPN, or you are in hiding and cannot use anything but a VPN, you probably have more important things to worry about than catching up with Bones on Hulu. To those mad about them being evil to non-US residents, blame Hollywood and the mess they have made of rights issues - even more accurately, all the unions and executives that conspire to make all that stuff cost so damn much to make in the first place which make the rights so valuable to control tightly. Does it really take 300 million dollars to make a film? No more than an aspirin costs the hospital $35 or a toilet seat costs the Army $575.

I can't say I applaud Hulu, but I can say I don't blame them. They are a good service and to stay that way, they have to stay within the boundaries of the legal agreements they have made in order to exist. All this "reasonable" vs "unreasonable" is irrelevant - it was a smart business move for them in many ways, even though some folks just won't get that because they are irritated their micro-hack no longer works.

Comment: Re:It's a start (Score 1) 294

I didn't claim to be a power user, but I would consider myself above average as far as normal computer using folks. I don't write programs, but it can write advanced Excel macros. I've never built a PC from scratch but I've torn down my laptop all the way and can upgrade anything. I'm an advanced user but no expert. And I'll be fully honest - never even knew alternate UI's existed until folks started posting about them here in regards to Win8. I never needed to know because I was always able to customize Windows to do what I wanted. So, if I have never heard of replacement UIs, chances are, most non-IT users don't, either.

"An organization dries up if you don't challenge it with growth." -- Mark Shepherd, former President and CEO of Texas Instruments