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Comment: Re:Only sort of DRM free? (Score 1) 196

by Hortensia Patel (#39501177) Attached to: What Book Publishers Should Learn From <em>Harry Potter</em>

I thought about going that route, but had a horrible suspicion that the installed base is what publishers look at when deciding how and where to release ebooks. From that perspective, the fact that you're keeping your Kindle clean is irrelevant. It's another Kindle, and as such is another argument for them to release with DRM since that's "obviously" what customers are happy with.

Comment: Re:Good riddance (Score 0) 324

by Hortensia Patel (#38006588) Attached to: Microsoft Killing Silverlight?

You referred to video with DRM as being "encumbered", and yet this post now says such a scheme is "sensible". Way to backpedal on that vitriol

What on earth are you wittering about? DRMed video *is* encumbered. Occasionally that encumbrance is justifiable. My beef with DRM is that you don't own the things you "buy". With rentals there's no pretence that you're buying anything, hence no problem. What's your point?

And Silverlight is used for far, far more than video, just as Flash was.

*Could* be used for more, sure. *Is* used for more - no, not for anything significant.

The view of Silverlight that you present is myopic and highlights the fact that you do not understand it.

The view that you present suggests that you've sunk a fair amount of time and effort into something that was clearly a pointless, dead-end technology from the start, and you're really really REALLY pissed off about it. I might sympathize if you weren't being quite so obnoxious.

Making the browser do everything that Silverlight does increases the browser's attack surface just as much as adding the Silverlight plugin does.

I see absolutely no need to make the browser do everything that Silverlight does. I don't object to plugins in absolute terms. I object to one honking huge plugin that sets itself up as a platform-within-a-platform.

The rest of your post seems to be arguing against the voices in your head, so I'll leave it there.

Comment: Re:Good riddance (Score 1) 324

by Hortensia Patel (#38005064) Attached to: Microsoft Killing Silverlight?

DId I say it was? I don't have anything against DRM for video rental; in that context I'd even call it sensible. My point is that if (as seems to be the case) the only traction Silverlight has got is in playing video, that niche would be much better served by a smaller and far less general plugin.

Do you not understand the concept of "attack surface"? Do you not think that a general-purpose platform maybe has a larger one than, say, a dedicated video player? Or are you just trolling, as your tone suggests?

Comment: Re:Make your own eBook (Score 1) 204

by Hortensia Patel (#35832662) Attached to: E-Book Sales Have Tripled In the Last Year

I'm pretty sure you're forgetting something important, and I'm pretty sure it's proofreading. Which should take a lot longer than 20 minutes, unless you want your readers to hate you.

Also, PDF is completely unsuitable for ebooks. Ebooks are mostly about text. PDF is a graphics format. About the only place where it ever made any sense was portable printing; otherwise, it's like those sad "websites" you saw in the late 90s where each page was just a big GIF.

And I've yet to see an automatic PDF-to-EPUB conversion that didn't blow goats.

Comment: Re:Inflammatory headline (Score 1) 519

by Hortensia Patel (#35703994) Attached to: Pirated Android App Shames Freeloaders

Not the same thing at all. Suppose you've never heard of Fred Bloggs; "Fred Bloggs is a nigger" is still offensive, whereas "Fred Bloggs is a thief" is not. "Freeloader", like "thief", is only derogatory because freeloading, like theft, is generally accepted to be a bad thing. So whether or not it's appropriate depends very much on whether it's accurate.

In the case of the headline, barring some truly embarrassing bug in the app in question, the term is accurate: the only people who are going to be "shamed" by it are indeed freeloaders. If I told a random person on the street that I believed they were a thief, then yes, I'd expect them to be insulted, because they probably aren't. If on the other hand I told a convicted thief that I believed they were a thief, they don't really have a leg to stand on.

Comment: Re:Inflammatory headline (Score 1) 519

by Hortensia Patel (#35703258) Attached to: Pirated Android App Shames Freeloaders

I'm not denying that intent matters, but I absolutely disagree that "accuracy is irrelevant".

Presumably neither you nor the GP has any special insight into the intent of the submitter here. Since you're not disputing that pirates are freeloaders, why couldn't they have chosen that word just to avoid a clunky repetition of "Pirates"? How is this headline any different from, for example, "Burgled Laptop Reports Thieves"? Would you really claim that "Thieves" there is a purposeful insult, as inappropriate as any offensive racial epithet could have been?

I honestly don't understand your argument. "Freeloaders" is a perfectly good descriptive term; it's not a word that only exists to be offensive. To the extent that it's derogatory, it's derogatory because the activity it describes is, well, kinda douchey. I'm sure a lot of pirates like to think of themselves as cool Jack Sparrow types sticking it to The Man, but if they get upset when someone uses a different term which, and I'm sorry to have to repeat this, describes exactly what they do, then they're in some serious denial.

Comment: Re:Inflammatory headline (Score 4, Insightful) 519

by Hortensia Patel (#35700908) Attached to: Pirated Android App Shames Freeloaders

Oh, come on. This is just silly.

There are perfectly reasonable arguments to be made against the use of "theft" or "stealing" in this context, because acquiring a digital good without paying for it doesn't normally deprive anybody else of that good.

But "freeloaders"? Granted, that term has various shades of meaning, but the dominant usage is equivalent to "free rider": someone who obtains a benefit without paying any of the costs involved in providing that benefit. Which describes pirates exactly. It's no more hyperbolic than describing sharks as "predators" or tapeworms as "parasites"; it's just saying what they do.

Comment: Re:Just use the hardware you have (Score 1) 898

by Hortensia Patel (#35634410) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Do You Choose a Windows Laptop?

Amen. Here in the UK it's even worse, especially for coders; various important punctuation keys have been randomly moved around compared to normal UK keyboards, and there's no sodding # key. But we do have that oh-so-useful subsection mark key, thank goodness. A key so useful it doesn't even show up in my post preview.

When you use a normal keyboard all day at work, switching to this braindead abomination of a layout in the evenings is a real pain in the posterior. My MBP is coming to the end of its lifespan, and the keyboard is the #1 reason I'm strongly considering going back to Windows for my next machine.

Memory fault -- brain fried

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