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Comment: Re:Police sponsoring piracy now? (Score 1) 101

by 91degrees (#47556925) Attached to: London Police Placing Anti-Piracy Warning Ads On Illegal Sites
I get the impression that this is a voluntary agreement with the advertisers. They don't want to sponsor anything that might arnish their valuable brands. It's not all that clear though. Seems there are 5 parties here including the police (the advertisers, the website, the banner ad wholesaler and "sunblock") but I don't know exactly who's in the group making this agreement and who gets paid.

Comment: Re:Might fine police work there, Lou! (Score 1) 101

by pla (#47556857) Attached to: London Police Placing Anti-Piracy Warning Ads On Illegal Sites
But the article makes it clear that "Neither the police or Project Sunblock are paying the website in question to display the police message". They're just suppressing the banner display, and displaying a police message instead.

Yep, I made a mistake. I presumed that the police would know better than to enter into a conspiracy to commit outright theft of service and libel in their efforts to appease the recording industry. One crime doesn't justify another. Mea culpa.

Except, in your zeal to find something in my post to go all "princess of vitriol" over, you seem to have failed to notice my key point - No one visiting piracy sites mistakes them for legit. Would you care to respond to that, or would you prefer to latch on to a typo somewhere in this post?

Pathetic is deciding you know how the system works without R'ing TFA

"The system" has rules we can know a priori. The police can't just choose to ignore them out of expediency. "Pathetic is" accepting criminal behavior just because it carries a thin veneer of official approval.

Comment: Re:When going into business with Friends (Score 3, Interesting) 84

by pla (#47556705) Attached to: How Gygax Lost Control of TSR and D&D
This should serve as a cautionary tail of what can happen when you go into business with friends and or relatives. As soon as big money starts being made...unfortunately the greedy side of human nature tends to rear it's ugly head.

The arrangement made sense right up until TSR actually started making real money. When you and your friends bust your asses to build a business, and have no substantial income or assets to fight over, running it as a labor-of-love makes perfect sense. But once they started bulk-hiring new staff and pulled off 5000% growth over five years - Why the hell didn't they hire a competent CFO???

No one in the inner circle had a clue about how to run a business, because they all wanted control to remain in the hands of gamers - Hey, cool, most of us can appreciate that concept. But they could have avoided all the acrimony and eventually selling out to Wizards-of-the-CCG simply by bringing in someone with a clue in a non-shareholding executive capacity.

Sad, really.

Comment: Might fine police work there, Lou! (Score 2, Interesting) 101

by pla (#47556475) Attached to: London Police Placing Anti-Piracy Warning Ads On Illegal Sites
Police said the ads would make it harder for piracy site owners to make their pages look authentic

No one confuses Rapidshare for BMG's official site. People go there specifically to download pirated content, full stop. Seeing police ads might scare a few people with the paranoia of thinking "the man" has caught them, but the other 99% of visitors will just thank the police for subsidizing their favorite warez sites.

Truly pathetic, Boys in Blue (Hmm, do Bobbies wear blue?)

The move comes as part of a continuing effort to stop piracy sites from earning money through advertising.

By... Um... Buying banner ads on piracy sites? BRILLIANT!

Comment: Don't repeat yourself in a multilingual project (Score 1) 138

If a developer is scared to cross to any platform because they don't want to be multi-lingual, they're doing it wrong.

An application can be separated into logic and presentation, or model and view, however your framework prefers to describe them. A program may require separate presentation for each platform, but versions of a program for multiple platforms should ideally share the logic. But some platforms strongly recommend or even require use of certain languages. How can a programmer follow the rule of not repeating yourself to share logic across languages? Say I developed a game in Java or Objective-C but I want to port it to a Microsoft platform that allows only C#. (In theory it allows any language that compiles to verifiably type-safe .NET Compact Framework bytecode, but in practice that means C#.) How would I go about making and maintaining that port so that fixes to defects in the logic of the version on the original platform propagate to the version on the Microsoft platform ?

Comment: Re:The larger screen is part of the problem (Score 1) 453

by tepples (#47556309) Attached to: Lots Of People Really Want Slideout-Keyboard Phones: Where Are They?

So you need to look beyond Intel and Microsoft. [Try an ARM-powered Android laptop]

I currently run Xubuntu on my 10" laptop. But I use Intel for two reasons. One is that operating systems that ship on popular ARM devices tend to have window management policies that are all maximized all the time. The Android CDD explicitly has no provision for resizable windows. Though 1024x600 is small, it is still wide enough for a source code window and an output window side by side in IDLE, the code editor that ships with Python. The other is that three applications that I use regularly are not ported to GNU/Linux (FamiTracker, Modplug Tracker, and FCEUX debugger version), and I run them through Wine. Or have I just painted myself into a "too niche for hardware makers to bother" corner?

If you don't find it in the US, probably buy from China

How would one go about returning something that one finds unsuitable? One time I bought a mail order Bluetooth keyboard, so much had been crammed to the right of the space bar that my right thumb had to stretch uncomfortably to reach it. Fortunately, because I had bought it from a U.S.-based seller, I was able to ship it back. I do see that Newegg has the IdeaPad A10 though.

Comment: Re:The larger screen is part of the problem (Score 1) 453

by tepples (#47556271) Attached to: Lots Of People Really Want Slideout-Keyboard Phones: Where Are They?

It's all marketing, don't be such a sucker! In fact, I just call 'em al laptops, in the case net/utlra/bollocks-books, I just call 'em small laptops.

I too refer to this machine as a "10 inch laptop". It's just that someone else used "netbook", and I tried to head off useless debate by defining words in advance because the popular conception of a "netbook" is a laptop whose hardware qualifies or would have qualified under Microsoft's Windows XP-era ULCPC licensing program.

games-consoles (as they are usually hacked enough to have pretty much the same functionality as any other computer in the house)

Which country do you live in that allows that? I thought the United States had the DMCA, the European Union had national versions of the EUCD, and Canada had the digital lock bill.

Comment: On GNU/Linux, root is still the rule (Score 1) 143

And if obtaining root access trivially is important to an Android user, they will choose their device accordingly.

So how does one who has been given a hand-me-down device, such as my cousin, go about that? Sell the device on Craigslist and buy another?

Nexus devices don't require some exploit to be found to achieve root... it's a very straightforward process.

Root on a Nexus requires unlocking the bootloader, which in turn requires wiping the device. This means you lose all your data if you want to gain root at any time other than the day you buy a new device.

You can buy Linux devices setup as kiosks that lock the user out of root.

The difference is still that GNU/Linux PC owners are expected to have root. All major distros either ask for a root password or put the first created user into a "wheel" group (which has sudo rights) during installation or the first boot. So there is root by default on the "typical" GNU/Linux PC. Reminding the machine's owner to establish and keep root access is the rule, not the exception as it is on Android. Besides, there are plenty of things that don't require root on GNU/Linux but do on Android, such as installing fonts to a single user account.

Comment: Re: So... (Score 2, Insightful) 58

by pla (#47556089) Attached to: UK Team Claims Breakthrough In Universal Cancer Test
Don't do it! Everyone will be diagnosed.

Bizarre trolling aside, You have the right idea - Virtually everyone over the age of 50 has dozens of "cancerous" cell clusters scattered around their bodies, all more-or-less harmless unless juuust the right combination of environmental conditions triggers a few to start growing (and spreading) uncontrollably.

I find it easy to believe that a universal test for "cancer" would have a near-perfect success rate, because nearly everyone has it, to some degree. I find the negative side much harder to believe, because it means differentiating between cancer-but-harmless and cancer-gonna-kill-you.

Or looked at another way, consider recent changes in attitude regarding breast and prostate cancers. 20 years ago, detecting either meant immediately scheduling a radical mastectomy/prostatectomy. Today, unless you have a family history of aggressive cancers, your oncologist will likely suggest watching and waiting for at least a few months to see if it actually does anything more that sit there harmlessly. Yet, even if it does - still cancer. Much like we don't universally vaccinate people against TB because it makes TB antibody tests diagnostically useless, I see this test as having the same issue, accurate but useless.

Comment: Are there any flip-cover cases? (Score 1) 453

A slide-out keyboard case, like the ones sold for iPhones and a couple of non-Apple phones, has to be just the right size to snap on the back of the phone. But you should be able to make a flip-cover case where, when it's closed, the keyboard is facing the touchscreen, and either it's made to open in portrait mode (if you're doing a 12-button keyboard for T9), or it's made for landscape mode, if you want better keyboard shape but not as good Android UI coordination, and that would let you have something that doesn't have to be the exact size of the phone in all three dimensions, just close enough to clamp on.

Computers will not be perfected until they can compute how much more than the estimate the job will cost.