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Comment Why is Slashdot advertising for Arduino SRL? (Score 5, Informative) 67

This article completely brushes over the Trademark dispute, where if the facts were published it would become clear that ArduinoSRL (formerly Smart Projects) has been attempting to hijack the Arduino brand. ArduinoSRL/Smart Projects produced boards under license from In 2008 they sneakily registered the trademark in Italy just before pursued registering the trademark internationally. found out and tried to negotiate for the trademark that was rightfully theirs. Subsequently, Smart Projects stopped paying royalties to, changed their name to ArduinoSRL, and have declared themselves the real Arduino. Funny thing is that the code they distribute to run their hardware is still from

Comment This isn't a normal KVM solution (Score 1) 128

Are the point you want to separate displays between two machines, you deviate from what KVMs are designed for. It comes down to what you want to spend. I'd suggest you get an HDMI matrix with at least 5 inputs (PC1 1&2, PC2 1&2 and Laptop) and 2 outputs (screen 1 & 2), and then get a separate USB switch. Finally you need control to link them together (unless you really want to switch them manually). If you get IR controllable HDMI matrix and USB switch, something like a Logitech Harmony should easily control both. Then you just customise whatever modes you want.

Comment "Nobody wants a stylus..." - Steve Jobs (Score 0) 508

Well, I guess he was wrong. *gasp*

I feel a great disturbance in the Reality Distortion Field, as if millions of fanboys suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced. They probably all want one now. But it isn't a stylus, its a pencil, right?

Seriously, I'm looking at the iPad Pro, and all I see is a slavish copy of what Microsoft are already doing with the Surface line.

Steve Jobs also said "if you see a stylus, they blew it" and "as soon as you have a stylus, you’re dead." Perhaps this is a sign that Apple have hit peak Apple, and are now on the decline.

Comment No microSD slot, no replaceable battery? NO SALE. (Score 4, Insightful) 77

I have enjoyed previous Galaxy Notes, but my current will probably be my last. The upgradeable storage and removable battery were (for me and many others) key points of difference over the iPhone, but Samsung have decided that they don't want to be different.

I don't want Cloud storage. Why would I waste my phone plan's data allowance when I should just have expandable local storage? Oh, I should pay for model with the largest capacity? No, not for the price per GB that they're selling.

Sure, I may be able to charge in 90 minutes (with Samsung's charger only, of course), but what happens when my battery gets end of life? Planned obsolescence sucks.

I also liked that the previous flip covers and smart covers, that clipped on instead of the battery cover, more or less became part of the phone. That was much more useful to me than a back plate of glass that will just be a crack magnet.

Yes, this release was the standard fare of a processor/RAM bump and screen resolution bump, but for me this release is far more notable for the features that have been removed....

Comment Re:Is a false DMCA claim an act of Perjury? (Score 1) 224

From Vimeo's website, amongst other things the notice must contain:

"A statement by you UNDER PENALTY OF PERJURY that the information in your notice is accurate and that you are the copyright owner or authorized to act on the copyright owner's behalf."

Good faith shouldn't be had to disprove in this instance: as a company who specialises in anti-piracy they should know the law and should be held to a higher standard than a member of the general public. An automated search for anything containing the word 'Pixels' is going to contain a high number of false hits. Using those as a basis alone for a DMCA claim is negligent at the least. They have stated UNDER THE PENALTY OF PERJURY that the information is accurate, when they cannot reasonably believe that every claim is accurate. They should have had someone verify the automated claims, but instead they are relying on the DMCA system to do that for them. That is bad faith.

Comment Is a false DMCA claim an act of Perjury? (Score 5, Interesting) 224

I wonder if it is possible to bring a Class action lawsuit against Entura (and Columbia Pictures)? IANAL but there seems to be a class here. By filing DMCA claims, Entura have committed themselves to a legal document (even if that is an electronic document). Surely, if the claims in the document are clearly false, then Entura have committed multiple acts of perjury (as each claim is a legal statement invoking the DMCA). As Vimeo counts the DMCA claim against the user, even if that claim is proved invalid, then the users can show that they have suffered harm to their reputations.

Comment Interesting timing (Score 2) 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

"...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

...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

"... 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

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

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

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

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.

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