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Comment: Re:Trolling (Score 2) 349

by DewDude (#47385337) Attached to: Qualcomm Takes Down 100+ GitHub Repositories With DMCA Notice
Sorry; the original lawsuit against Beta were brought by Universal Pictures, Walt Disney, and a few other picture companies. These original lawsuits dated back to 1976. Sony did not have a film/tv entertainment industry till the late 80's.

The lawsuit didn't include anything about disabling the copy of tapes. The argument was the devices themselves were capable of infringement and wanted Sony held responsible. Copying tapes wasn't a concern; as most people couldn't afford a VCR, let alone two; but TV networks were also making the claim that people recording content was infringing copyright.

The Supreme Court wound up making a decision on this case in '84; ruling just because the devices could be used for that purpose, they had a larger number of legitimate purposes; since they also ruled that time-shifting programs for one's own use was legal.

Comment: Re:They where acting like the cable co / CATV (Score 1) 93

by DewDude (#47341703) Attached to: Bye Bye Aereo, For Now
Why did congress set it up? Think about this?

The 1992 Cable Act set up the must-carry; and it's intention was to help get smaller ignored broadcasters on to cable systems with the must-carry provision. The retramission consent was probably foresight. ATSC was working on HDTV standards at that time (which, if you ask me were at least 10 years too early); 8VSB and COFDM were modulation methods looked at. For some odd reason, the FCC adopted 8VSB even though it's technically inferior to COFDM. 8VSB does not handle multi-path very well, if at all. This is a problem just about everywhere, signals bounce. You live in the city, you get signals bouncing off buildings. You live in a rural area; you got signal bouncing off the ground, trees, etc. Why would you use a system that breaks down at the first little reflection?

Retramission fees.

Those in power knew that 8VSB modulation, in the long run; would cause OTA TV to fail. You'd get a small percentage of people who got signal; but people who used to get marginal reception don't get it at all. I used to get locals with an antenna; but with all the trees around my house it's no point. I get great signal levels, sure; the problem is the amount of multipath and signal degradation is so severe it's not usable.

Maybe that's not true...but the fact is; we're using a modulation system that's outright garbage. Majority of people can't get quality reception without expensive antennas or shelling out a lot of money; the day of putting rabbit ears on the TV are largely over. Create a system where people have to switch to a provider, then double-dip on the profits.

The fact is, no one was sure whether it was legal or not...till the networks got involved. Plain and simple..

Up next on the chopping block are going to be multi-room DVRs, Slingbox technology, and probably anything that delivers video to your computer. The judgement was not very clear on an even less clear law; and "past-precedent" will be used to get all kinds of new technology illegal.

Comment: Re:This doesn't necessarly shut it down (Score 1) 484

by DewDude (#47315111) Attached to: Supreme Court Rules Against Aereo Streaming Service
No. In order to do it now, Aereo will have to pay retransmission fees to the broadcasters. Broadcasters can either a) make this an insane amount they can't afford or b) refuse to negotiate. If they wanted to, as of right now; they could effectively force Aereo to turn the service off and to never return.

Comment: Re:Wrong decision (Score 1) 484

by DewDude (#47315007) Attached to: Supreme Court Rules Against Aereo Streaming Service
A judge ruled...over a year ago, that it wasn't. However, the TV networks didn't agree with that; they didn't want it to exist AT ALL. So, they used their clout to get it declared illegal. This wasn't a "decision" by the Supreme Court....there was no reason for this. The networks didn't want it; they got it stopped; so they did.

Comment: Re:Awesome! (Score 1) 100

by DewDude (#47186529) Attached to: id Software's Original 'Softdisk' Games Open Sourced
Softdisk had a very long history of publishing their monthly Apple II "magazette". While the guys did work on the PC side of that; they also developed A LOT of stuff for the Apple II side. Even after they left, some of the properties kept getting used and credited to the original guys. I never had the PC edition of Softdisk. But some of these games did in fact start on Apple II, or were ported to the Apple II or PC later.

Comment: Awesome! (Score 2) 100

by DewDude (#47186439) Attached to: id Software's Original 'Softdisk' Games Open Sourced
Till now I've been limited to playing them in an Apple II emulator; which some of these were the reason I bought the old Softdisk collection in the first place. These are the true roots of id Software; and some of the games they'd make later clearly had their roots here. Dangerous Dave? I first encountered him on Softdisk! Glad id could acquire whatever rights they needed to.

Comment: Close, but no cigar (Score 1) 164

by DewDude (#46842347) Attached to: Facebook Data Miner Will Shock You
It got a few things...ok..the only thing it got right was my average was a reasonably close guess for the average it ran the last 10 years.

Other than doesn't know me at all. It called me volitile, "You display unstable temperament and threaten to react with violence when provoked."

Yup, that's about all it got right.

I think the issue is most of the information I put on facebook is true, but it's only maybe 11% of the truth. Most of what's online about myself is only around 10% of the full truth anyway. It's a lot easier to keep most of your information secure when you just don't reveal it...or obfuscate it to the nth degree.

Comment: Re:It does work (Score 1) 219

by DewDude (#46632093) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Experiences With Free To Air Satellite TV?
The thing about BUD back then with TVRO is there were countless configurations of hardware. You generally needed three or four things; first you needed a motor controller that would aim the dish for you; then you needed a descrambler to descramble channels you had paid for; depending on the generation of your hardware, you may have needed a power injector to send the voltages to the LNB to trigger horizontal/vertical switching for C-Band or the circular polarizations for Ku. I don't remember how that all hooked up; my uncle upgraded in the early 90s and had a brand new single unit IRD that integrated motor control, power injection, and the latest descrambler in to one box. As far as the feeds, those were quite popular...and my uncle used to get not only master network feeds (which generally had a black screen during commercials) as well as the occasional uplink feed. Yes, it was possible to watch Letterman at 5pm when it was uplinked to the west coast...if it wasn't scrambled. Whenever I went down on vacation, my uncle would record about 3 hours of Simpsons a day since they were uplinked at around 4am from the west coast for the syndicated airings. It was interesting watching them without commercials and the lovely color bars with episode info other technical details. What people don't realize is the cost of transponder time is outrageous; back in the 90s I think it was around $145,000/month for a full-time lease on a C-Band transponder. A friend of mine that used to work in TV said the cost of the guys out in the field was anywhere from $500 for a 5 minute window to sometimes an inflated $5,000 for a 5 minute window. That's largely because remote broadcasts tend to take the entire transponder, it has to be downlinked and muxed on the ground from a single source...i.e...two people running digital can't point at the bird and send two digital streams at once...unless they're premuxed on the ground.

Comment: Re:It does work (Score 1) 219

by DewDude (#46631977) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Experiences With Free To Air Satellite TV?
Yeah, see...for a period of time the BUD's supported both C-Band and the Ku/Ka band systems. You generally saw more "classic" providers using C-Band becuase they had long term agreements for those transponders. The ability to encrypt didn't kill FTA; they've *always* had scrambling systems and had gotten quite good at them. Going digital did allow them the extra security, but it also allowed them to cram more channels in to a single transponder. You have to remember that in order to get an analog video source to even work on satellites, they had to go wideband-FM and use a LOT of bandwidth; I believe around 20mhz or something per transponder vs the 6mhz we get for terrestrial NTSC. But, due to the extremely low SNR involved (C-Band sats only pumped out a whopping 5 watts per transponder), it was required. Digital changed things; they didn't need to go overkill on bandwidth to carry a clear analog signal; and they could cram more feeds in an already expensive transponder lease. What really killed FTA is capitalism and greed. Think about this; US cable providers have to *pay* the channel to carry them on the system even though they're already funded by advertising. DTH (directv/dish) systems went with the small dishes because the Ku band sats allowed them to get enough gain with a smaller dish; which was more attractive to customers. Also, I believe the actual joke was the BUD was the state flower of West Virginia.

Comment: Re:Are you in the USA? (Score 1) 219

by DewDude (#46630789) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Experiences With Free To Air Satellite TV?
That list constantly shows satellites you cannot get in the US. I see European birds showing up, last I knew you couldn't get any of the birds on the other side of the prime meridian very well, if at all. I mean, from DC the birds at .8 W come in at an elevation of 1.8 degrees. At that point you'd need something bigger than a 1m dish to even get the signal. I also have to question the inclusion of OTA channels in that list; as they have pretty tight distribution per FCC rules.

Comment: You need to consult Lyngsat (Score 2) 219

by DewDude (#46630735) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Experiences With Free To Air Satellite TV?
Years ago I used to be infatuated with the BUD, so much so that when I visited my uncle, he'd save me the program guides and channel lists he used to get in the mail. Then along came Lyngsat, which tells you all of that.

But more importantly for you, they will tell you if a channel is encrypted or not on whatever satellite. So the *best* way to tell if FTA TV is going to be worth it to you. It's largely a joke in the US, but a slightly more serious deal in other countries. Lyngsat also has a precompiled list of Free TV in the "US", although it still shows satellites you can't see over here. Still, it's a good way of having some idea of what you'd get. TL;DR: if you're not an immigrant that speaks a foreign language or a very religious person, there's next to nothing worth watching on FTA satellite in the US; I do not know for sure if the "local" channels that are uplinked to satellites are actually FTA or not; since they control the distribution of them I'd have to say the list is incorrect. Maybe it's not.

Refreshed by a brief blackout, I got to my feet and went next door. -- Martin Amis, _Money_