Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook


Forgot your password?

Comment DRM Does Work (Score 2) 45

From TFS:

explains why cryptographers don't believe that DRM works

While I fully agree that DRM isn't foolproof, I disagree that DRM doesn't work. The reason DRM is being implemented is not to prevent all piracy ever - simply put, that's impossible - but rather to prevent common, casual piracy among low-skilled users. And to that end DRM works very well.

Any DRM system that's built half-way decently won't be possible to trivially bypass, and that's enough to deter casual infringement. You don't see people going Napster with iOS apps, you don't see everyone and their mother pirating DirecTV like they once did, and you can't pick up pirated PS4 games off of your local shady games shop. Why? Because the DRM systems that are in place are good enough that it's no longer easy and convenient to pirate this material. So casual piracy stops.

DRM shouldn't be implemented for a whole other host of reasons, least of all because it prevents users from fully controlling works they've purchased. But to argue that it doesn't work is disingenuous. It works to stop the most threatening form of piracy, casual piracy, and with every generation the underlying technology gets harder and harder to break.

Comment Re:"drones" eh? (Score 1) 57

VTOL changes things, so does cost of entry...

And the ability to receive real-time video so that you can fly beyond the line of sight.

Modern drones are not your old school RC planes, least of all because of how much more accessible these are to nimrods like the one in TFA.

Comment Re:Are these sponsored stories? (Score 1) 153

They keep saying submitted by "anonymous" and include a link in the title bar to the front page of the site that is hosting the article. Bullshit detector is going off full blast right now.

Not a Slashdot editor here, but I just assumed that they're finally going to improve how they're citing stories. Having the source for the story in the title bar is kind of nice.

Comment Re:Still have to pay RENT after you buy it (Score 4, Informative) 85

Whose lifetime?

The lifetime of the DVR. So until it breaks outside of the warranty period or becomes outmoded.

An All-In Plan (a) lasts for the lifetime of your TiVo device (not your lifetime), (b) is not transferrable to another TiVo device (except in certain warranty replacement/repair cases)

Comment Re:Still have to pay RENT after you buy it (Score 4, Informative) 85

One year is $150 that $360 is probably for the lifetime. Also the bolt comes with 1 year included.

Correct on the yearly plan. However for the lifetime plan it's worse than that. The lifetime (All-In) plan is $600:

The Bolt unit itself is another $300, so the total pricetag for a lifetime TiVo setup comes to $900.

Comment Re:This is why you call your bank before tourism (Score 1) 345

Chase really has wonderful service. Card declined? Call customer service, it immediately rings to an American call center with people who have the authority to fix your problem. Five minutes later, the transaction goes through.

Indeed. They even tell you to call them collect when you're traveling outside of the country (you need to know how to do it, but it means they eat the cost of the call).

Comment Re:How it works? (Score 1) 143

Problem: "We're losing money on every student, but we make up for it with volume". Unless that $14k after-grants payment is actually enough to cover the university's costs for that student, getting more of them won't help.

Indeed. I don't see how this works unless they increase the student-to-faculty ratio. Basically add more students but don't add more resources.

Comment Re:WTF? (Score 1, Interesting) 956

What the actual fuck? He didn't create a bomb, he didn't create a hoax bomb

The issue is that the police and school don't know whether to believe him. After all, if it had been meant to be a hoax bomb and he got caught, this is exactly what you'd expect him to claim. So they have the unenviable task of figuring out whether this kid really did just bring a clock as he claims, or if he meant to use it as a hoax and got caught early. And for that matter whether they need to be concerned with copycats intent on causing a ruckus (as juveniles are so want to do).

Unfortunately he'll have learned the hard way that this wasn't a good idea. You have to take into consideration all of the dumb things other people can do, and this is at the top of the list of possibilities. His engineering teacher was smart to tell him to keep it put away. Shame that the alarm is what screwed him.

On the plus side this gives him a reputation with the students as a rebel. As a 9th grader coming into a new high school, that's not a bad reputation to start with. Especially at that age, the rebels tend to be popular with the guys and the gals. So he may yet come out ahead...

Comment Re:5K resolution (Score 1) 54

Even if it was "kind of an ugly hack", wouldn't it appear like a tidy one-cable hookup to an end user?

Yes. The issue isn't so much how it appears to the user as it is how it appears to the OS. MST displays have an unfortunate habit of having a tile drop out now and then, if only for a second. The iMac gets around this by being a closed system, but Apple would have to address this head-on with a 5K Thunderbolt 3 display. It's one thing for 3rd party monitors to do this, but it's another thing for 1st party monitors to do it.

Comment Re:5K resolution (Score 3, Informative) 54

Will the 28W parts be able to drive a 5K display when used with Alpine Ridge (Thunderbolt 3)?

Yes and no. Yes, they can. No, not in the way you want them to.

Alpine Ridge only supports DisplayPort 1.2, which does not have enough bandwidth to drive 5K (you need DP 1.3). So instead Intel has it carry 2 complete connections (8 lanes).

On paper that's enough bandwidth, but now you have to build a 5K display that uses multi-stream tiling to bond 2 interfaces. MST is kind of an ugly hack, and while Apple uses it on the 5K iMac since it's a closed system, it would be a bigger can of worms to use it on an external display given their demand for perfection.

Comment Re:Study Flawed from the Start (Score 1) 207

Agreed. Pretty much everything about this test screams that it was either done in ignorance or that it was constructed specifically to get the desired results.

From a hardware standpoint they are essentially comparing a high performance 2013 system to a very unbalanced 2014 system. The 2013 system is something of a worst case scenario: the CPU (i7-4820K) and GPU (GTX 780) are lower tier binned products that typically have lower power efficiency than their more expensive siblings (e.g. 4960X and GTX 780 Ti) since they came out of the factor with defective units and/or worse power characteristics than a prime chip. Even the RAM is a poor choice, being a 1.65v kit rather than 1.5v as is standard for DDR3. To top it off they used a 550W PSU, which for a system with that kind of power consumption is undersized. This causes it to run closer to its limits, and PSU efficiency drops off after 80% or so.

Meanwhile the 2014 system is an odd hodge-podge of parts that seems to be picked precisely to minimize power consumption under very limited circumstances. That system combines a high-performance GTX 970 (a well-regarded card for efficiency) with a low-end Pentium G3258, and then goes with an even larger 760W PSU.

The problem with this whole test is that they're clearly using a extremely GPU limited test metric, which is why performance doesn't drop despite the significant downgrade in CPUs. A GTX 970 is going to be CPU-limited in most games when paired with that processor, which is why "balance" is a concern when building such a system.

But perhaps the most baffling part is the monitor choice. They ended up using an old (circa 2008) Apple HD Cinema Display for the 2013 system, which is a 23" CCFL-backlit IPS display. Meanwhile the 2014 system switches that out for a 24" LED-backlit TN display. Even ignoring the age difference for a moment (backlighting tech makes a difference here), you generally don't see users swap between IPS and TN. Either someone favors IPS for viewing angles, color space, and color stability (while eating the power costs intrinsic to making that happen), or they favor TN for the fast response times. They're not equivalent displays beyond the fact that they're both displays.

Overall I really can't shake the feeling that this was rigged from the start for promotional purposes. The only way these tests and configurations make sense is if you built these systems to get the desired outcome, all the while focusing exclusively on GPU performance to hide the downgrade of the other components.

"Stupidity, like virtue, is its own reward" -- William E. Davidsen