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Comment: Re:It's only fair (Score 1) 147

If those folks could just pick up a cheap Areo subscription

There won't be any such thing as a cheap Aereo subscription though.

Once Aereo starts paying broadcasters their requested fees their product will cost as much as any basic cable subscription, because the bulk of the cost of the service is the content, and Aereo needs to cover service costs and make a profit on top of that. Aereo's entire business plan (from a revenue standpoint) was based on using OTA provisions to cut out the content costs, making their only cost the service itself. The SCOTUS ruling has put an end to that.

Aereo can "win" in as much as they may be able to force the networks to negotiate with them, but that's it. And TFS got something very wrong here: the 1996 cable reforms mean that the rates are de facto set by the networks and not the government. The older statutory royalties provisions will not apply here; for various reasons this is not how business is done today, and every last cable company is now paying rates set by negotiations.

Consequently Aereo's backup plan of simply paying less than the cable companies for the same content will also fall flat on its face. They are going to pay full price, the same as anyone else, and they're going to need to find a way to structure their business around it to make it viable. Otherwise, to invoke XKCD, this is the copyright equivalent of thinking you can protect a laptop from the government with encryption. Aereo will simply get wrenched; this isn't a battle that can be won with legal tricks, as evidenced by the SCOTUS ruling.

Comment: Firefox + 60fps = No Go (Score 5, Interesting) 157

by rsmith-mac (#47338545) Attached to: YouTube Introduces 60fps Video Support

Unfortunately YouTube's 60fps support pokes a pretty big hole in the current state of Firefox.

To play back 60fps videos you need to be using the HTML5 player and stream the 1080p version. The Flash player will not work here.

The problem? Firefox doesn't support Media Source Extensions, which is what YouTube uses for DASH adaptive streaming. Mozilla's developers are working on the matter, but only for WebM for now. H.264/MP4 MSE support will have to wait.

The end result is that 1080p60 playback works great on Chrome, Safari, and even IE11, but is all but useless on Firefox.

I don't want to slag the Firefox devs too badly (hey, it's a free browser), but once again FOSS orthodoxy is getting in the way of practical feature development. H.264 support took an embarrassingly long time to come, and now Firefox is the only browser that that can't play back 1080p60 on YouTube.

Between this and their constant attempts to turn Firefox into a Chrome-alike, it's getting harder and harder to justify using Firefox.

Comment: Re:A more contemporary example (Score 1) 105

by rsmith-mac (#47279569) Attached to: After 47 Years, Computerworld Ceases Print Publication

I remember watching cnet on television back in the mid 1990's. When it went off the air in in favor of an all web media outlet, I thought it was the end and was actually kind of depressed. It turned out television was limiting and now cnet probably makes more money from me browsing their site then they ever did with television advertising.

Yes. But technology has never been the same without Desmond Crisis, Richard Hart, Sofie Formica, and especially John C. Dvorak's silly little "Try It, Buy It, Skip It" reviews.

Though we could have done with less Ryan Seacrest. He was annoying, even in the 90s...

Comment: Re:Some questions (Score 2) 465

by rsmith-mac (#47260237) Attached to: IRS Lost Emails of 6 More Employees Under Investigation

Please provide a list summarizing what other data was irretrievably lost in the computer crash. If the loss involved any personal data, was the loss disclosed to those impacted? If not, why?

The data was obliterated, not taken. Any personal data is gone, and disclosure implies a scenario that didn't happen. In other words no one would be impacted. Keep in mind that this was a personal laptop and not a server.

Comment: Re:screw that (Score 1) 110

by rsmith-mac (#47105991) Attached to: Nintendo To Split Ad Revenue With Streaming Gamers

It's not as reasonable as it gets. Plenty of other companies are ecstatic with the free publicity of gameplay videos and do not attempt to take any of the ad revenue. That's why it was seen as ridiculous that Nintendo took the stance that it did.

By modern standards Nintendo is an odd duck. Some of the things they do is outright antiquated (and I don't mean just videos) and some of the other things they do are weird. With that said, Nintendo markets differently and their customer base is wider than just "core gamers", so what works for the latter isn't necessarily the right move for Nintendo.

Since starting with Nintendo Directs, Nintendo has started doing a lot of low-key publicity on their own. The Directs are chock-full of gameplay footage (especially near launch time) and Nintendo frequently posts additional gameplay videos. Furthermore Nintendo seeds the press with review copies of games weeks in advance, and lets those reviews be published well before a game actually launches. This means that those reviewers have also put out their gameplay videos well in advance, and have had plenty of time to put them together.

This is massively different from how many other publishers handle promotions, as Nintendo is far more "open" than most publishers. Take the just-launched Watch Dogs for example: not only did Ubisoft primarily focus on cinematic trailers, but they gave reviewers a relatively short amount of time to work on their reviews and didn't allow reviews to be published until after the game shipped. I'd prefer not to be cynical, but when Ubisoft says that it's their most pre-ordered game yet, it's not a big leap to suspect that they are withholding information because it would hurt sales. Which makes reviews and gameplay videos all the more important, as this information isn't otherwise being volunteered in a timely manner.

The point of this being that while the "free publicity" angle can definitely help companies and buyers, the games that benefit the most are the games where the publisher is "closed" and withhold information, followed by indie games where they just outright lack promotion. Nintendo doesn't fall in to either of these categories; they have plenty of promotion and they demonstrate gameplay in a relatively transparent and open manner. Which is not to say that Nintendo should discourage these videos, but it's hard to imagine they gain much from them.

Comment: Compared To What? (Score 5, Insightful) 68

I don't doubt that the researchers have hit on something interesting, but it's hard to make heads or tails of this article without knowing what algorithms they're comparing it to. The major SSD manufacturers - Intel, Sandforce/LSI, and Samsung - all already use some incredibly complex scheduling algorithms to collate writes and handle garbage collection. At first glance this does not sound significantly different than what is already being done. So it would be useful to know just how the researchers' algorithm compares to modern SSD algorithms in both design and performance. TFA as it stands is incredibly vague.

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