Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Comment Re:Why?? (Score 1) 753 753

I will agree with a subset of your proposition.

A system of agreed upon contracts by two or more entities, enforceable through a civil legal system, is a normal state of affairs.

Such a contract implicitly agreed upon by a vast number of third parties, and also enforceable against said third parties, is not.

It may have been an acceptable state of affairs due to technical limitation, but no longer. This system has been taken to its logical extreme and appropriated not for its original purpose of furthering of the arts through limited legal monopoly, but rather as having the primary purpose of giving individuals what are in practice infinite duration personal rights of monopoly, similar rights having previously been a means to an end.

At minimum changes and additions to these laws should be reversed. Quite possibly the entirety of the idea is no longer desirable.

Comment Re:The very worst (Score 1) 1027 1027

To pirate in this case is to do the amoral thing.

By bypassing the maker's attempts at DRM you disincentivise (or at least do not incentivise) them to pull that sort of crap, whether you ignore it or play it.

nevermind ethics or morality, I enjoy paying for a product that is well made. I don't when it's chock full of invasive DRM. So then I pirate, and any gratitude felt will be towards the release group that went to the trouble of trimming off the worse than useless cruft.

The Internet

Are Ad Servers Bogging Down the Web? 387 387

blackbearnh writes "The work of making high-volume web sites perform well is an ongoing challenge, and one that continues to evolve as the nature of web content changes. According to Google Performance Guru Steve Souders, fat JavaScript libraries and rich content are creating new problems for web site tuning, but one of the biggest problems lies outside the control of web site administrators — ad servers. In an interview previewing the upcoming Velocity Online conference run by O'Reilly, Souders talks at length about the real causes of poor web performance today, and in particular, the effect that poorly performing ad servers are creating. 'We adopted a framework of inserting ads, of creating ads, that's pretty simple. And because it's pretty simple, it's not highly tuned. That's one reason why we shouldn't be too surprised that we see performance issues in third party ads. The other reason is that ad services are not focused on technology. Certainly companies like Yahoo and Google and Microsoft, we're technology companies. We focus on technology. So it's not surprising that our web developers are on the leading edge of adopting these performance best practices. And it's also not surprising that ad services might lag two, three or four years behind where these web technology companies are.'"

Comment Re:I use it (Score 1) 514 514

You just scroll down and more results are loaded. It's worth using Bing for that feature alone.

I use the Firefox plugin AutoPager for much the same purpose. It has the added benefit that it also does this for almost every single site I routinely visit, and a lot of the ones I just randomly stumble upon.

Comment Re:Wait, what? (Score 1) 859 859

I see that your approach to what to do with convicted killers would be to punish them to the point that others in their position would consider their options and opt out of these acts in order to avoid severe punishments. Or is it more about vindictiveness?

In the former case, I can't agree with that approach as from what I've seen it does not appear to actually work. In the latter, I won't object as the sense of justice is a fairly strong instinctual motivator and I won't downplay that.

The approach of reforming those guilty of criminal acts so as to produce individuals less likely to commit such acts again seems by its very definition like a much more results oriented approach, and as such seems to give decent results overall.

Comment Re:I say this with some knowledge on the matter (Score 1) 808 808

Wish it were just as easy as "turning it around" for me. Having a particular section of my frontal lobe not develop properly resulting in very low neuron density rather screws up my ability to stick to what I consider to be a very well developed sense of work ethic. Not to mention the psychological blowback of that discrepancy, which has only gotten better once I discovered the cause.

Comment Re:Where's the... (Score 1) 507 507

I suspect that what you're really asking is whether personal responsibility is compatible with materialism.

It can be, as a social construct it is a partly successful strategy for keeping people to whatever set of values is most pronounced in a society.

But since in materialism there is always a chain of cause and effect which can conceivably be understood and then systematically changed for better outcomes, materialists (and thus most atheists due to overlap) tend to look towards what has been shown to work in changing behavior rather than the universal approach of simply metering out punishment.

Comment Re:Naturally (Score 1) 223 223

While yes, we can push the amount of information displayed to high enough levels (e.g. resolution and bit depth) that fidelity shouldn't matter anymore, there are still colors that we can perceive which are yet not in the standard RGB color gamut, and similar issues regarding sound reproduction, e.g. the unnaturally consistent and repetitive reproduction of in game sounds.

Besides which rendering methods, A.I. programming and physics simulation are all far from having attained the fidelity required in order to be similarly complex to our senses as the real world is, even as reproduced on a monitor and sound system.

But yes, it is true that small refinements and occasional novelties will be the driving force behind game sales. That's not really a change.

Comment Steam flaws (Score 3, Informative) 286 286

I'm seeing a lot of comments discussing various flaws of Steam, but nothing which I recognize as anti-competitiveness. Now I'm not terribly well informed on what constitutes anti-competitive practices, so I did what any random Joe Slashdot on the street would do, which is look it up on WP.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-competitive_practices

Looking at the list of typical anti-competitive practices, I see none which I can imagine applying to Valve's Steam, so I'd imagine that their high popularity with publishers given their high cut of the price is simply due to a lack of good competition rather than Valve pushing all their competitors in online game distribution off the market.

If Steam wasn't ultimately providing a profitable service, I'm sure publishers would simply stick with the physical retail market.

Comment Re: saving grace (Score 1) 356 356

If your aim is to punish offenders for wrongdoings, you will not accept any statute of limitation on any crimes. There's just no reason to if that's your only goal. You'd rather have offenders realize that there will almost certainly be consequences for their actions and that there's no easy way of escaping them. This approach is not based just on the idea of justice, i.e. retribution, but that the punishment will produce a deterrent effect. I will leave it as an exercise for the reader to determine how well that works for individual categories of criminality.

If however your aim is rehabilitation of the offender's behavior, it will often make sense to have a statute of limitations. If there are no recent cases of misbehavior to prosecute then quite likely (or at least possibly) the behavior has not persisted.

I am however not going to pretend that I've formed a particularly well formed opinion on whether it applies in a case such as Roman Polanski's, so I won't moralize on that subject.

Comment Re:Get what you pay for? (Score 1) 465 465

Suppose I should've scrounged up the link and posted it to begin with.

http://www.pallab.net/2009/03/27/antivirus-shootout-feb-09/

AntiVir is barely edged out by a multi-engine antivirus program with a rather sluggish scan rate.

I remember hearing good things about NOD32 but as is it doesn't quite reach the 99%+ detection rates of the top performers.

Interestingly AntiVir separates itself from its competition in terms of detecting previously unknown viruses, with a higher detection rate at the cost of a false positive rate several times higher than anything else. YMMV.

Comment Get what you pay for? (Score 5, Interesting) 465 465

Last I checked some of the highest detection rate AV solutions also happen to be free.

I use Avira AntiVir, which came in #2 in the last comparative study I read. It's gratis, with the sole "cost" of a popup-ad every 24h, disabled in the paid version (or for free, if you know how to set up a local security policy under windows and don't mind breaking the EULA).

Transportation

New Motorcycle World Speed Record, 367.382 mph 253 253

An anonymous reader, apparently a member of the BUB racing team, wrote to let us know that on Thursday, their crew set the new ultimate motorcycle world speed record at 367.382 mph with the BUB Seven Streamliner at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah. The Seven is powered by a 3 Liter, turbocharged, 16-valve V4 engine that produces a claimed 500 hp and 400 lb-ft of torque at 8500 rpm. The pilot, Chris Carr, hit 380 mph during the run.

1 + 1 = 3, for large values of 1.

Working...