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Comment: Re:Bogus patent... (Score 1) 128

by Bogtha (#49093155) Attached to: Apple Patent Could Have "Broad Ramifications" For VR Headsets

Simply put, VR headsets (displays mounted in such a way as to be placed in front of a person's eyes) have been visualized and built for decades.

Sure, but that's not what's being patented here. What's being patented here is a frame that you can slot an existing mobile device into to be used as a headset, where the headset detects the insertion and notifies the phone to switch to VR mode. That's not something that has been built for decades.

Lawnmower Man anyone?

Lawnmower Man didn't include a device like this. This is not a patent on any and all VR displays, it's a patent on a specific type of frame for mobile devices.

Comment: Re:Unsettling science (Score 5, Interesting) 180

by Chandon Seldon (#49028903) Attached to: US Gov't To Withdraw Food Warnings About Dietary Cholesterol

It's not clear that saturated fat is bad for you either. That leaves trans fats as bad, and Omega-6's as questionable.

The trick is that "the level of cholesterol in the blood" is not a meaningful health indicator. The ratio of LDL to HDL is much more useful. And saturated fat actually makes that ratio slightly better (while raising the values of both). Thus, the best evidence indicates that saturated fat is *good* for you.

Comment: Re:Already legal? (Score 1) 157

by Bogtha (#49027973) Attached to: DMCA Exemption Campaign Would Let Fans Run Abandoned Games

I thought reverse engineering the server protocol was perfectly legal.

In theory, yes. In practice, the DMCA can be used to squash interoperable implementations. Look at bnetd, for example. Despite it being a completely separate implementation of the protocol, Blizzard used the DMCA to successfully sue the project maintainers.

Comment: There's not much that's "as important" as GPG (Score 2) 51

by Chandon Seldon (#49002805) Attached to: GnuPG Gets Back On Track With Funding

The problem remains: it's very likely that other projects just as important as this one are probably facing the same kind of issues, but it would be nice to hear about them before they get in trouble, and not after.

Not really, because there aren't that many projects as important as GNUPG but without a foundation or something backing them up. OpenSSL is probably the next good example, but that's run by a consulting company.

Without GNUPG, no major GNU/Linux distros could security download updates. It's *the tool* that does digital signatures. It's at least as important as OpenSSL, but in that case there are viable alternatives (e.g. GNUTLS, NSS).

Really, the GNU project needs to spend some more money on maintaining the infrastructure that they sponsor. They'd get quite a bit more money if the had fundraisers directly for core GNU software (e.g. GNUPG / GCC / Bash / libc) development rather than generic funds that might get spent sending their mascott to protest at an Apple store or some nonsense. Activism is great and all, but it's a waste of time if the concrete infrastructure that the movement has built is allowed to rot.

Comment: What? (Score 0) 120

by Bogtha (#48945839) Attached to: Wi-Fi Issues Continue For OS X Users Despite Updates

Although Apple has never officially acknowledged issues surrounding Yosemite and Wi-Fi connectivity, the company is clearly aware of the problem: Leading off the improvements offered in the update 10.10.2 update released Tuesday was 'resolves an issue that might cause Wi-Fi to disconnect,' according to the release notes.

So basically, you said that Apple haven't acknowledged the problem, then quoted them acknowledging the problem?

Comment: Re:Liars figure and figures lie (Score 1) 135

by Bogtha (#48934339) Attached to: The American App Economy Is Now "Bigger Than Hollywood"

the functionality of the devices is about the same

It's very different. On Android, you have to decide whether to grant permission before you've ever run the application, and it's all or nothing. On iOS, you run the application before deciding whether or not to grant it permission. You have the ability to deny permission while still running the application. You can also allow permission for some things but not others.

This functionality is partially available to Android users who root their phones and install the right tools, but that's far from the common case.

Comment: Re:Liars figure and figures lie (Score 2) 135

by Bogtha (#48928287) Attached to: The American App Economy Is Now "Bigger Than Hollywood"

It's true that the majority of the profits in App Store sales is focused at the extreme top, but it's not true that 99.999% of the rest make "near 0". This analysis estimates that the top 3,175 applications earn at least the average annual income for a US household per year, and applications that rank about number 6000 still earn $25K/yr.

And that's only counting App Store revenue. I've earned a lot more than average since I started developing for iOS, and most of the applications I've worked on are free. You don't see things like banking applications earn revenue directly, but the developers responsible certainly profit from it. The Facebook application is free, but you don't think its developers are working on it for free do you? I've been paid to built plenty of enterprise applications that will never appear in the App Store.

There is a huge amount of profit in the "app economy" that will never be accounted for merely by looking at App Store profits. The "app economy" is much bigger than the App Store.

Comment: Re:jessh (Score 2) 397

by Chandon Seldon (#48916299) Attached to: "Mammoth Snow Storm" Underwhelms

Absoutely not.

Shutting a city down for a day *guarantees* huge damages. Let's look at Boston. There are 240,000 households, each with a median income of $70,000/yr. Let's use a really simplfied model, and say that there are 365 days in a year - so each day is about $200 per household in wages. That means that shutting down the city for a guarantees a loss of $48 millon.

For salaried workers, that's a loss for their employer. For hourly workers, that's a loss for the to the household.

Without a government intervention, people would have gotten to make their own judgement calls. And they could have made that judgement call based on the weather information this morning, not what we had yesterday afternoon. Based on the actual weather, lots of people would have said "lol, no - I'm not going into work today". And others would have made the completely reasonable decision that they could make it to work fine.

Comment: Re:Nope (Score 1) 332

It's physically impossible for the human eye to discern the difference between 720p and 1080p on an average-sized television, much less the difference between 1080p and 4k.

And in the 1970's, it would have been physically impossible for the human eye to distinguish between NTSC and 720p on an "average size television" at a "normal viewing distance", because people had 14" TVs that they watched at 20 ft.

Personally, I'm a fan of the 70" TV at 6 ft, or the 30" display at 18in. And for that, I can see the difference between 1080p and 4k clearly even without my glasses.

Comment: Re:Internet Explorer (Score 2) 99

It wasn't impossible to write cross platform browser stuff in the late 1990s, when most corporations started this whole "We'll standardize on browser X" policy making, but it required a discipline that had most developers throwing their hands up in the air in disgust.

I had these arguments many times back then. It was laziness more than anything else. We were writing cross-platform web applications without problems at that time. We were trying to convince other developers to follow the same route, but their attitude was mainly "IE has 90%+ market share, why bother?" They didn't believe a time would come when proprietary IE code wouldn't work - even if other browsers caught on, they were expecting them to copy the IEisms. They certainly didn't believe that even later versions of Internet Explorer wouldn't support their crappy code.

- IE4+ was the most standard. Yes, really. Those versions had a relatively complete implementation of CSS.

Let's not overstate things. Netscape bet on JSSS and when the W3C selected CSS as the standard instead, they scrambled to fix Netscape 4 to convert from CSS to JSSS on the fly. So Netscape 4 was exceptionally bad at CSS. Internet Explorer 4 was merely very bad at CSS. Opera was ahead at that time. I don't think you can call IE4 "relatively complete" unless you only compare it to Netscape 4, which was unusually bad.

Comment: Re:Better Link (Score 5, Insightful) 192

by Bogtha (#48893597) Attached to: WhatsApp vs. WhatsApp Plus Fight Gets Ugly For Users

reverse engineering is allowed, and could be opening themselves up to legal action.

Just because reverse engineering is legal, it doesn't mean WhatsApp are legally obligated to provide their services to third-party clients.

The legal matter here is the blatant trademark infringement by WhatsApp Plus.

It is not best to swap horses while crossing the river. -- Abraham Lincoln