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Comment Interesting timing (Score 2) 66 66

This call for patents comes just after HEVC Advance announce a HEVC patent pool to compete with MPEG LA. DASH is a complimentary technology to HEVC (h.265), and MPEG LA know it. By offering both DASH and HEVC patent licensing portfolios, they probably believe they are making themselves more attractive to deal with than HEVC Advance.

Nevermind that this patent licensing competition is actually likely to impede the uptake of both technologies.

Comment Wait... this rhetoric sounds familiar (Score 1) 83 83

"...Iran and other countries were already using lasers to target ships and commercial airliners..."

This sounds an awful lot like the scaremongering that was put out surrounding Iraq and its WMDs. We all know how that turned out.

Laser targeting and guidance systems have been about for decades. These days a simple laser pointer can be considered a laser targeting system. It is a massive technological leap to go from milliwatt laser pointers to 150kW directed energy weapons: a technical leap that Iran, and countries like it, simply are not capable of.

The Navy are clearly banking on the fact that Politicians simply will not know the difference and will just allocate more money to Defence Budgets out of misguided fear. Nevermind that the Navy's own Laser Weapon System's performance has actually been rather lacklustre.

Maybe the Directed Energy Weapons program is yet another area of US Military spending that is deemed 'too big to fail'... just like the F35.

Comment Re:Ask other retro communities (Score 1) 66 66

...replace them with modern power supplies before they fail.

That's fine if you just want to keep the machines functional, but this is a Museum and restoring this as close to original condition as possible is the goal.

I do not believe that modern power supplies are any more reliable in the longer term, given the number I have seen fail. These machines have lasted 30 years on the original PSUs. The goal is to keep them going another 30 years and beyond, not just get them up and running for now.

It sounds like they know at least some of the key problems. What they need is not necessarily someone who knows the 30 year old machines, but someone who is going to institute a regular maintenance schedule and replace the parts before they fail. I know what is inside them and any halfway decent electronics technician will have no problem working on them (no surface mount components in there).

Comment A Judge with any sense should see though this. (Score 1) 190 190

"... Office Space previously tried to purchase the domain name from him..."

If Mr Kneen can prove this in court then Office Space Solutions' case won't last long. It proves they are the ones guilty of bad faith.

Furthermore, if the claim that Office Space Solutions tried to perform an unauthorized transfer of the domain is true and can be proven in court, then surely that would be criminal fraud.

It sounds as if Office Space Solutions are hoping that Mr Kneen would see the lawsuit filing and just hand over the domain instead of fighting this. I hope that he doesn't, and I hope this is something that the EFF would care to involve themselves with.

Comment Re:Future parent company already calling the shots (Score 1) 50 50

it doesn't seem at all clear that 'geoblocking' qualifies.

What else is geoblocking other than geographic market separation? There is no other use for geoblocking other than to control access so that different regions can be charged differently to maximise profits. The way that section of the Copyright Act is worded does not make Technological Protection Measures absolutely the same as DRM; it covers DRM, but can be applied to other things too.

Comment Future parent company already calling the shots? (Score 3, Informative) 50 50

What the article doesn't state is that CallPlus is in the midst of being acquired by Australian company M2, and there has been speculation that M2 is behind the sudden settlement. Up until now, CallPlus were quite proudly sticking up for Global Mode.

It is a shame that this is not being tested in court. I do believe that the Section 226(b) of the New Zealand Copyright Act would have applied here:
"for the avoidance of doubt, [a Technological Protection Measure] does not include a process, treatment, mechanism, device, or system to the extent that, in the normal course of operation, it only controls any access to a work for non-infringing purposes (for example, it does not include a process, treatment, mechanism, device, or system to the extent that it controls geographic market segmentation by preventing the playback in New Zealand of a non-infringing copy of a work)"
It is the one reason that region free DVD and BluRay players are legal here. New Zealanders were using Global Mode to view legitimate content that they paid for; content that was otherwise unavailable to them due to geographic market separations.

The ones to lose out here are the various studios that are content producers. At least with Global Mode, people were still paying for the content. Now, with the demise of Global Mode, and the hassle of having to sort out a separate VPN provider, the number of people turning back to torrenting is just going to explode. Of course this is all because the local Media Distributors want their cut, as if the millions they already get weren't enough. These are the same Media Distributors who delay releases by months or even years to try to capitalize on popularity while paying the lowest possible price for broadcast rights (the reason many NZers flocked to Global Mode in the first place).

Given their talk in about this being so illegal, the fact that NZ Media Distributors are not proceeding with testing this in court means they have probably realised that a conclusive victory in their favour is simply not possible. Of course this does not stop them from trumpeting this as a win for them, which it really isn't.

Comment Piracy claims just a ruse to remove competition (Score 4, Interesting) 122 122

Amazon have Fire TV, a media hub for you TV. That is exactly what Kodi is, but its free. Sure Kodi is just software, and Fire TV is a hardware and software package, but it is very easy to use Kodi (and Kodi based Linux distro, OpenElec) to turn cheap hardware (like a Raspberry Pi) into a powerful media hub.

It is likely the marketing bods at Amazon have been seeing slow Fire TV sales and also noticed that their own app store is serving up a free alternative. As an app Kodi does add key functionality to Fire TV, but if Fire TV users get used to Kodi then sooner or later they wouldn't need the Fire TV.

They can't just outright state that they are pulling it to promote their own competing product; there would be public outcry. However, a 'facilitating piracy' claim does accomplish this and also damages Kodi's reputation as a result. Look to see Amazon pumping the Fire TV as a piracy free alternative in the very near future.

Comment DC means heavier cabling and switchgear. (Score 1) 597 597

This article completely ignores the fact that the DC wiring, for any decent distance, will need to be far thicker than AC wiring. More copper means more expense. Far cheaper to have a SMPS or transformer and rectifier at the points you need DC (which happens to be the present system).

When you're talking about 12Vdc then voltage drop is going to be a massive hit on any distance that needs to be run. Sure you can run higher DC voltages, but this article is focused on low voltage DC. If you do end up using higher voltage DC, then you will have to use a flyback converter to step the voltage down. You will get the same kind of losses in this case as if you had inverted to mains AC in the beginning.

On top of that DC switchgear will be far heavier to stop arcing and as the current will be higher. AC doesn't need as heavy switchgear as twice during a cycle the current is zero, making an interruption much easier to perform and with less chance of arcing. If you find a switch rated for both AC and DC, take a look at it: the rated DC voltage will be far lower than the rated AC voltage.

Sure HVDC is used in some places, but that is typically long distance transmission, especially underwater. Under water, the EMF causes the water surrounding the cables to ionise. If they used AC, the water ionisation would cause significant impedance when the current flows in the opposite direction. Over long runs, these losses are massive, hence they rectify to HVDC. DC doesn't have that impedance issue. Anyway, that is rather irrelevant to a residential situation.

Submission + - Sourceforge staff takes over a user's account and wraps their software installer-> 11 11

An anonymous reader writes: Sourceforge staff took over the account of the GIMP-for-Windows maintainer claiming it was abandoned and used this opportunity to wrap the installer in crapware. Quoting Ars:

SourceForge, the code repository site owned by Slashdot Media, has apparently seized control of the account hosting GIMP for Windows on the service, according to e-mails and discussions amongst members of the GIMP community—locking out GIMP's lead Windows developer. And now anyone downloading the Windows version of the open source image editing tool from SourceForge gets the software wrapped in an installer replete with advertisements.

Link to Original Source

Comment Re:This will get thrown out... (Score 1) 122 122

The point here isn't whether Palmer Luckey started development of the rift before being involved with Total Recall Technologies, it is whether any of the information that Palmer Luckey acquired from TRT or any of the ideas/improvements he came up with working for TRT (Source: 5 seconds with google for the term 'work for hire') found their way into the Oculus Rift. If TRT can prove anything like that, and they can prove NDA agreements, they may indeed have a case.

The timing here is interesting, but not surprising since Oculus have finally announced a commercial product. The potential for TRT to gain an injunction on teh eve of their release would be more than enough reason for Oculus to settle out of court. If TRT really do have a case I wonder how long it will be before we hear the settlement announcement.

I'm still keen to find out what is happening with the Zenimax vs Oculus case. That has gone awfully quiet on both sides.

Comment Re:Anyone else familiar with Linino? (Score 2) 42 42

Sure they can use the code and for it, if they comply with the license. But by only being able to run the code, even if they forked it, they severely weaken their legal claims over the Arduino trademark and strengthen the claims of They claim because they made the physical product, they have the rights over it, but that claim can only hold water if the hardware isn't tied solely to the codebase.

Comment Re:Not an product (Score 4, Informative) 42 42

Arduino LLC, which is the company all the co-creators founded to handle trademarks and licensing filed for and received the US trademark for Arduino. They tried to file for the international trademarks as well, and that is when they found out Smart Projects (later named Arduino SRL) had registered the trademark in Italy. Since then Smart Projects/Arduino SRL have tried to hijack the brand. They have also tried to argue that since they made the hardware, they should have the US trademark as well. Nevermind that they paid licensing fees to use the brand for many years.

Comment Anyone else familiar with Linino? (Score 3, Interesting) 42 42

I had never heard of Linino before, so I did a quick look. The github is maintained by Dog Hunter. Both the and the domains are registered to Dog Hunter, with Frederico Musto listed as its CEO. The same Mr Musto who also happens to be the CEO for Arduino SRL. I wonder if Linino was thrown together because Arduino SRL cannot legally use code. Someone feel free to correct me if I am wrong....

Comment Not an product (Score 5, Interesting) 42 42

Arduino SRL, formerly Smart Products, was created by one of the five original creators of Arduino. For years they produced hardware and paid royalties to, helping to keep the project alive. Yet at the same time they sneakily registered the Arduino trademark in Italy without the knowledge or permission of the other co-creators. Suddenly, now that Arduino is successful and widely used, they rebranded themselves as Arduino SRL, registered the domain, and are promoting themselves as the creators of Arduino. They also stopped paying any royalties to and have ceased supporting that project altogether.

Why is Slashdot promoting this company trying to falsely cash in on the Arduino name? I know I won't be giving them a cent. Go to the original project instead:

Comment Is this all one big legal bluff? (Score 1) 106 106

This is going to be an interesting battle, and undoubtedly the Media companies are going to claim that Global Mode is breaking copyright protections. New Zealand Law does have protections for TPMs, but it also contains very specific language about what those TPMs cannot do, specifically:
"[TPMs must] not include a process, treatment, mechanism, device, or system to the extent that it controls geographic market segmentation by preventing the playback in New Zealand of a non-infringing copy of a work"

Global Mode is merely providing a tool to get around that geographic market separation. It is no different than a company selling region-free DVD and Blu-Ray players (which are perfectly legal in NZ).

The Media companies will argue that does not apply because the content will be infringing if it plays here. The simple counter to that is that Global Mode are not providing the content. Furthermore, if clients are using legit services like Netflix or Hulu then the content has been paid for and is technically non-infringing under the law. Clients providing false details to access that content is a Terms of Service violation that is a matter between Netflix/Hulu/et al. and their clients. NZ Media companies simply have no standing in that situation.

I'd say that the media companies are well aware of this, but have to be seen to be doing something. I'd say that this letter is a bluff, and that the Media companies will not want to create legal precedent when there is not much hope of them actually winning. I think they are just hoping that smaller ISPs rolling over on this will send a message to others. It won't.

"And do you think (fop that I am) that I could be the Scarlet Pumpernickel?" -- Looney Tunes, The Scarlet Pumpernickel (1950, Chuck Jones)