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Comment: Re:Isn't hard drive access desirable? (Score 1) 361

by DreamMaster (#47002519) Attached to: How Firefox Will Handle DRM In HTML

That's what I don't understand about this whole DRM-in-the-browsers thing. It's all well and good to have the data sent as an encrypted stream, but when it hits the browser, even if it the decryption is run in a sandbox, as per TFA, eventually it needs to render the data on the browser window. And since since the browser source is open, what's to stop someone very easily building their own executable with extra code to intercept video and sound output and saving it as a video file? As far as I can see, in-browser DRM doesn't seem to make all that much difference as to whether people could steal content.

Comment: Re:Only $24,999? (Score 1) 199

by DreamMaster (#42247995) Attached to: Own Every SNES Game Ever Made For $24,999

I think it's funny how this is listed at $24,999, as if someone is going to say "Well, $25,000 is simply too much, take a dollar off and I'll consider it". :-)

Why not? It works. There's a reason why prices everywhere are always ending in '.95', or '.99' in countries that still have cents. Even if only subconsciously, it makes a difference to people's perception of the cost. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychological_pricing

Comment: Re:Why solitary? (Score 4, Insightful) 150

by DreamMaster (#42239277) Attached to: Pirate Bay Founder Released From Solitary Confinement

According to previous articles, it was to prevent him either directly using his 'leet' computer skills to destroy evidence relevant to the case, or co-ordinating with others to do so. Which I thought was a bit of a croc. After all, they could always monitor any computer use to ensure that he didn't, and if he was going to conspire with any others to destroy any purported evidence, he could do so just as easily through his mother as in person.

I can't help but feel that it seems like, more and more, we're seeing cases around the world where prosecutors abusing pre-trial incarceration to make it a de-facto sentence irrespective of a person's eventual guilt or innocence. But I also recognise that I don't know the full details of the case, so it's always possible that the prosecutor fears were legitimate.

Comment: Re:Let me know when it's open to homebrew (Score 2) 276

by DreamMaster (#42022755) Attached to: Nintendo Wii U Teardown Reveals Simple Design

I agree. I know it's just being released, but I'm eager to hear if the communications with the controller are encrypted or not, and whether it uses 'off the shelf' parts/protocols that would be easy to duplicate. Just as lots of homebrew coolness has come out of the Wii controller, it'd be interesting to find out if something similar can be done for the Wii U controller. Not just for being a portable media player, but other cool things. Maybe even implement a PC display driver so people could use it as a cheap extra screen for their home computer.

Comment: Simplicity of design is an important factor (Score 4, Interesting) 276

by DreamMaster (#42022383) Attached to: Nintendo Wii U Teardown Reveals Simple Design

Of course, part of the problem is just how you define 'Just ahead of'. Part of the problem in the last cycle with the PS3 particularly, from what I undestand, was the complexity of developing the software for the multi-core Cell processor architecture. Even if the speed of the Wii U overall isn't much better overall, the fact that the architecture is simpler may make it easier for developers to wring better performance out of their games. The fastest system in the world isn't going to matter if it's so hard to develop for that you end up writing poorly performant code.

We'll have to wait and see how well newly released titles post-launch are able to do with the new hardware.

Comment: This came up in the ScummVM group recently (Score 4, Informative) 228

by DreamMaster (#38278532) Attached to: Download.com Bundling Adware With Free Software

I'm part of the ScummVM group, a cross platform software for playing various classic adventure games, and the question of Download.com came up when we released the next version of our software. There were some arguments for including it on such sites, such as giving greater visibility to the project. However, the issue of the bundled 'crapware' was considered too big a downside. We weren't that desperate for wider coverage of our software, and we certainly didn't want people to adversely associate our software with malware.

These days I wouldn't touch download.com even if you paid me.

Education

Ask Slashdot: What To Tell High-Schoolers About Computer Science? 315

Posted by timothy
from the like-whatever-you-want-man dept.
First time accepted submitter lsllll writes "I got drawn (without my intention) into three 20 minute sessions, talking to high school students about computer science and programming, and am wondering what are some of the things I should talk to them about. I have previously done the same thing for a forty minute period, and all the students wanted to talk about game programming. My only game programming experience dates back to the late '80s and programming a few games (some which ran on top of Novell's network) in Turbo Pascal. Since then I have done lots of database design, web interface programming, and systems configuration and integration. I am pretty fluent with Windows and Linux, but my contemporary programming skills are somewhat limited to Coldfusion, PHP, Javascript, SQL and bash scripts. Should I talk to them about different aspects of computer science, what it's like to work full-time in the computer industry, or do I make the sessions just question and answer, since 20 minutes might not allow me to talk and do question and answer?"

Comment: Re:Darn kids these days (Score 1) 247

by DreamMaster (#36943368) Attached to: UK Police Charge Suspected Anonymous Spokesman

It really depends on the data. Remember that a large part of the protests against the Wikileaks release of Afghanistan info was the potential to endanger the lives of civilian informants. Such computer crimes as we see these days can have the potential to hurt a lot of people. Not that a terrorist couldn't also hurt a lot of people using a stolen car. It just depends on what's actually done.

Comment: I absolutely agree with them (Score 2) 642

by DreamMaster (#35788706) Attached to: DRM Drives Gamers To Piracy, Says Good Old Games

I absolutely agree with them. With the big budget games I've bought previously, I've also tended to download and apply cracks to be on the safe side - not just in case their DRM screws up my system, but also to get rid of needing the disc in all the time. There has always been temptation, though, to simply screw them over like they've screwed me over in the past, and get a pirate copy of the game.

I personally have re-bought over a dozen games I previously owned from GOG.com - they've made an effort to create automatic installers for all the older games, and it's a lot easier than breaking out the discs again. Particularly for some of the larger games, like Pandora Directive, which came on 6 CDs.

Comment: Re:My question is (Score 4, Interesting) 179

by DreamMaster (#34428070) Attached to: Xbox Modding Trial Dismissed

Don't they have bigger issues/bad guys to take care of than some college student POSSIBLY playing PIRATED VIDEO GAMES?
Drugs, gangs, violence, terrorism, rape, murders...need I go on?
  last time I checked the courts and jails were rather full...

Reminds me of the Simpsons X-Files episode:
Mulder: There's been another unsubstantiated UFO sighting in the Heartland of America. We've gotta get there right away.
Scully: Well... gee, Mulder, there's also this report of a shipment of drugs and illegal weapons coming into New Jersey tonight.
Mulder: [scoffs] I hardly think the FBI is concerned with matters like that.

---
DreamMaster.

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