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


Forgot your password?

Slashdot videos: Now with more Slashdot!

  • View

  • Discuss

  • Share

We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).


Comment: Re:Read the EULA... the lawsuit has no merit. (Score 1) 114

by Pinhedd (#49116761) Attached to: Lenovo Hit With Lawsuit Over Superfish Adware

Not necessarily.

Contracts do not shield parties from criminal liability resulting from recklessness (knowingly, and willingly placing someone at risk) or negligence (unknowingly, but unnecessarily placing someone at risk).

One might argue that installing a root certificate on customer computers, including the private key on that same computer, and using an easily guessed password to protect that key constitutes negligent behaviour by placing customers at risk cyber attacks. It may even be argued that such an act is reckless because anyone skilled enough in the cryptographic systems used should have been able to identify that risk from the surface of the moon.

What Lenovo did was so incredibly batshit stupid and irresponsible that it's hard to describe in better words.

Comment: Re:You sunk my battleship (Score 1) 439

by Pinhedd (#49058409) Attached to: Will Submarines Soon Become As Obsolete As the Battleship?

Why bother with a floating artillery garrison that can only attack targets within a dozen miles when we already have superiority with a Carrier Group consisting of a floating air base accompanied by floating missile platforms that can take out the major military targets of a small nation several hundred miles away all by themselves?

Cost effectiveness. Air sorties are expensive, cruise missiles are even more expensive. Slinging 16 inch 2,700 pound explosive filled shells at hardened defences is extremely effective both in terms of damage and cost, if one can safely navigate a battleship into range of course. USS Wisconsin and USS Missouri both royally fucked up Iraqi shore defences as well as Iraqi forces in Kuwait during the Gulf War.

While battleships are extremely cost effective at delivering ordnance, they are very expensive to keep operational, even during peace time.

Comment: Re:Despite the armchair admirals ... (Score 1) 439

by Pinhedd (#49058373) Attached to: Will Submarines Soon Become As Obsolete As the Battleship?

Um, no. The defining characteristics of a battleship are its high calibre naval artillery and heavy armour, guided missile frigates have neither of those.

A Ticonderoga class cruise carries an assortment of about 140 missiles of various design and purpose. An Iowa class battleship carried over 1,200 16 inch shells alone.

Comment: Re:You sunk my battleship (Score 2, Informative) 439

by Pinhedd (#49058069) Attached to: Will Submarines Soon Become As Obsolete As the Battleship?

No particular hate, they were never replaced after WWII. While no one is planning any new ones, modern destroyers are getting larger and larger with the Zumwalt class destroyer larger than many WWII cruisers. I suspect that a battleship-esque design will be proposed sometime in the next few decades to mount powerful railguns.

Anyway, there are several reasons why battleship fell out of favour.

1. Battleships were often used as a fleet-in-being. Battleships are highly impervious to surface fire, so a single battleship was often enough to deter any fleet that did not have an equivalently armoured and armed battleship of its own from attacking while simultaneously forcing that enemy to keep a nearby presence to deter the battleship from doing the same. As a result, many WWII Battleships spent their time sitting in port as nothing more than a highly glorified gatekeeper.

2. Nations that did not have extensive blue-water navies often used battleships on their own, with little to no support fleet. This made them easy targets for swarms of aircraft laden with bombs and torpedoes. The USA used this tactic extensively against Japan and sunk many of Japans heavy naval ships. The battleship Yamato (the heaviest battleship ever built) was sunk this way along with most of its accompanying fleet; the USA lost only 10 aircraft in the assault.
Anti-airacraft systems advanced heavily after the war, so it's doubtful that similar tactics would work against a modern battle group.

3. Battleships are extremely expensive to maintain and operate during both peace time and war time. Extensive automation and improvements have lowered this amount dramatically over time, but it's still high.

4. Logistics are a bitch. Modern nuclear powered craft can carry enough supplies to last several months, and require refueling only once ever couple of decades, but hydrocarbon powered battleships required regular refuelling by either an oiler or at a friendly port. Bigger ships require more supplies and don't necessarily extend any additional influence

Comment: Re:grandmother reference (Score 1) 468

by Pinhedd (#48923401) Attached to: Ubisoft Revokes Digital Keys For Games Purchased Via Unauthorised Retailers

Ok. Agreed. Ubi shouldn't owe them a 'refund'. But they are the party that owes restitution here.

"fraudulent charge" is a pretty strong charge to make. The keys were sold legally in Eastern Europe by buyers who then exported them legally elsewhere.

There's no indication that legally made grey-market purchases were revoked, only those that were made using fraudulent credit card transactions. Ubisoft doesn't owe anyone anything for those. The original discussion was on what constitutes grey-marketeering.

My city is very economically diverse. Less than a mile away are people making a fraction of what is typical in my neighborhood. Yet we both pay the same price for milk, cars, and movie rentals.

I hear your argument, but I'm not sure what makes the line between germany and poland a magical line the free market dare not cross.

Milk and cars have very high marginal costs. In fact, many grocery stores sell milk below cost. I used to work as a retail manager in my late teens and the store that I worked at lost about $1.50 on every bag of milk that we sold.

The line between the various divisions of your city is at best distinguished by city bylaws and zoning policy so there's no real reason for there to be a massive price difference across the border given that there's no real barrier to import. A national border on the other hand is subject to customs when importing physical goods. It gets really murky when digital goods are involved. Now, there have been several unsuccessful attempts to block the import of discounted physical goods such as textbooks but these have been mostly unsuccessful.

Semantics. I *purchased* a license. I don't pretend I have any special exceptional copyright ownership of the underlying intellectual property any more than when I purchase a copy of a book... but I did *purchase* a license. The store had a "buy" button, I pressed it. A one time transaction was completed. I know own a license. Its listed as one of my games. And I can click a link to my "purchase history".

    There's a principle in law... if it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then its a duck. (You see this principle applied in other areas too like when corporations dress up their employees as "independent contractors" and the law sees right through it.)

The comparison that you're looking for is the de-jure relationship versus the de-facto relationship. You're absolutely right about it being used to prevent employers from ducking their obligations under various employment laws. However, a shrinkwrap licence is still a licence. Courts are less likely to read deeply into it, but it's still enforceable to an extent. If the publisher claims in the licence that they have the right to refuse service if a product is used outside of its region then it's unlikely that a court will force them to provide that service. In the case of a physical copy, they're not going to come to your house and take that physical copy away; in the case of a digital copy, they usually won't erase it from your hard disk drive but they may refuse to authenticate your login credentials. Many modern video games are designed such that any tangible element is largely useless without a service element as well.

A lease agreement is a negotiated several page document that both parties sign multiple times over. Pretty sure that's not a better analogy for buying a video game.

Video games include a terms of service agreement that is dozens of pages in length, a bike rack does not. It may not be signed repeatedly, but it is still a contract and both parties are bound by it.

Yup. I agree they can do stuff like this. But you can take a region locked game console to North America and play games purchased in that region for it. They don't get to show up your house with a hammer and smash your console.

Correct. They can however make locally purchased games incompatible with it and even refuse service within that region. I'm not aware of any companies refusing to provide online connectivity for out-of-region consoles but I do know of companies that have redirected online connectivity for out-of-region products back into that region. Blocking it completely would be an extremely crude tactic and it would spark massive consumer backlash but I'm pretty sure that it would be legal.

Comment: Re:grandmother reference (Score 1) 468

That's an incredibly naive view of business operations. Additional consumers are nice but if word gets around that a grey-market exists the vendor may end up seeing a decrease in net revenue even if they see an increase in customers. Any profit driven company will try to combat that. For example, the grey-market for post-secondary textbooks is huge and there have been some high profile lawsuits and challenges in recent years.

Breadth-first search is the bulldozer of science. -- Randy Goebel