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Comment Re:How about if we OWN our personal information? (Score 1) 79

Imagine if we owned our personal information as a form of intellectual property

Ok, try doing that. Next time you're about to transmit your information to someone else, stop. Either don't send it at all, or send them cyphertext instead.

If Amazon wants to know how to descramble your zip code, they're going to have to make some kind of deal with you, wereby they become bound to the terms and conditions that you specify. I just hope that prior to making that deal, you don't get too impatient waiting for your packages.

Comment Any DRM exceptions? (Score 5, Funny) 114

Waitaminute. If an Indian watches a DRMed movie, he'll be required by law to have cracked it and ripped it? If I sell DRMed media to Indians, am I going to automatically be a conspirator, if my customer doesn't crack it?

There needs to be a DRM exception.

And I'd rather not discuss the consequences of such an exception. ;-)

Comment Re:I really don't see the big fuss (Score 1) 351

Even if ads are hosted by the site, there are a few other heuristics other than external requests, which makes filtering usually remain easy:

1) The web people generally don't even try to obscure the ad urls. e.g. Block urls containing "/ads/" and you'll get a lot of ads blocked while getting virtually no false positive blocks. Look at the top of easylist to get some idea of how incredibly easy it is to do, with simple matching.

2) Web ad image sizes tend to come in standard sizes that are rarely used for anything else. e.g. If something is 728x90, then it's an ad. While this might require a little more sophistication and expense than the above approach (e.g. the blocker has to actually be aware of the CSS that applies to an element, or might have to actually download an image in order to measure it), it's doable these days (though the oldschool proxy-based blockers from the 1990s, tended to usually not be smart enough).

Both of these could be countered, but AFAIK most webmasters don't bother. No serious conflict has really started yet, so blockers have kept their advantage. Maybe the reason people are getting their panties in a bunch about iOS9 is that they think things are about to change, and webmasters are going to start to fight back?

Comment What am I missing about this story? (Score 1) 351

Someone please explain why iOS ad blocking is such big news. Ad blockers have been around since the 1990s and AFAIK it's been available on almost all other platforms for many years, and iOS was a lone exception, no? (And I'd be shocked if ad blocking through HTTP proxies weren't already a reasonably-easy option for iOS users before version 9, at least when they're at home or at work (though probably not "on the go").)

How is "iOS joins the rest of the world" a big story? I feel like I'm missing something important here.

Is it all just about the wider "oh, it's on!" Google-vs-Apple context?

Or are a disproportionate number of iOS users actually using it? (whereas up to now, most people haven't bothered.)

Comment What a perverted "solution" (Score 1) 280

You are trying to solve the wrong problem. Just because your connection is too slow to realtime stream HD, does that mean you have a SD screen? If, in fact, your screen is low res, ok, then you have solved it correctly. But I don't think that's the case.

If you're watching your video on 1990s-or-later monitor (or a 200x-or-later "television"), then you still want high definition, and poor connectivity isn't really a barrier to that. Just let it download however long it takes to download. No matter how bad your Internet connection is, local storage and extremely-fast connections between that storage and your monitor is possible. So just let the hour of 1080p video take 4 hours to download, if that's how long it takes. Then watch it. Everyone wins.

Everyone wins, except those who insist that you stream in real time. Well, maybe they have an unrealistic and technologically backwards attitude. Tech is for solving problems, not creating them.

Realtime is usually an unnecessary burden. Sure: maybe not always unnecessary. Perhaps people in slow-Internet areas will have to pay a shitload of money for connectivity for, say, spoiler-proof sports streams. I am not discounting those people -- I'm just happy I'm not one of them. ;-) But for the other 95% of video uses cases, realtime is nearly worthless. Not that it's bad, but it's not something you need or is worth going to a lot of trouble to keep. And it's definitely not worth sacrificing resolution!

Comment Re:Emby is vastly better. (Score 2) 89

The distasteful thing with transcoding is that it's a hack you shouldn't need, and therefore probably don't need. It's always going to be associated with some other problem: either a crappy player or maybe some network limitation (e.g. 2.4GHz wifi too slow (or too shared!) for your bitrate, and 5GHz can't reach).

The hack works around the problem, but necessarily reduces quality. So you get something that works (and that's good!) but the original problem remains, staring you in the face day after day, a constant reminder that you are missing out on modern technology.

So eventually you'll fix it, and then you won't need transcoding anymore. It should usually end with 1) "Hey, maybe my game console or tablet isn't well-suited to playing movies, because its ridiculous software limitations are deliberately-added defects intended to manipulate me into paying for some particular vendor's service instead of letting me take advantage of the wider market." or 2) "it's time for that part of the house to join the 21st century, so I'm going to get some Cat6 over there no matter how many crawlspace black widows do their 'you shall not pass' Gandalf impression."

Comment Major problem with TFA (Score 2) 528

I think I'd rather dodge this $4T bill by pointing out something in TFA that pissed me off.

At the top of the article is a picture of some godforsaken hellhole. My first thought was "holy shit, where is that horrible place? Is that somewhere on Venus?" Hovering over the image, told me the answer.

It says "Smog in New Mexico."

Yes, Albuquerque sometimes has a winter "inversion layer", bu there is no place anywhere in New Mexico that looks anything like that. On the worst day of the year during the worst forest fire ever, the sky doesn't look that bad, and hell no does any place in this state have a hundredth of that many tall buildings.

Click through the image credit to the wikipedia page, and they'll tell you it's Mexico City. But the TFA calls it "New Mexico," because some asshat retard who flunked first grade geography and got a job as an editorial intern at, doesn't know the difference. Oh, fuck YOU!

Comment It was a good experiment, right? (Score 1) 210

I suppose that if you get to send stuff up into space for experiments like this, everyone involved makes sure that you have your ducks in a row when it comes to basic science. Nevertheless, I have to ask: they kept both samples at exactly the same temperature, right?

And the microgravity one didn't have the whiskey frequently coming into contact with a stopper or cap, with the Earth gravity one having a constant layer of gas (air or CO2 or something) in between, right?

Right? I ass/u/me so.

(I do think think it's plausible they would taste different from gravity alone, but for some reason, it's hard for me to ignore fears of a botched experiment. There's something about the photo of two different containers, that makes me wonder if they were really stored the same way. I have to be wrong, though. Please, someone tell me I'm wrong.)

Comment Re:No (Score 5, Insightful) 115

Communication is too basic to not be a commodity. If you have a software "vendor" then you're doing it wrong.

What is really getting fucked up here, is that we are using the names of these three companies in our discussion, rather than the names of standard protocols. Because the public isn't using standard protocols. That's intolerable.

Comment Should finally be more authentic (Score 1) 230

I think it's good that they're moving toward digital. Analog downloads didn't seem to have enough fidelity. Sure, it was nice that if someone picked up the phone in the middle of your download, it'd still work and you would just have a noisy blur in the texture on some wall, but video games these days are more about art, so we need to protect the artists' vision.

When you make your mark in the world, watch out for guys with erasers. -- The Wall Street Journal