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Comment: Re:Hmmm ... (Score 1) 105

by quantaman (#48685457) Attached to: Sony Accused of Pirating Music In "The Interview"

So, once again, if we do this we get crushed under the heel of a team of lawyers.

But a multinational like Sony does it and I bet they'll just dicker and claim some bullshit like fair use they routinely deny exists.

I sincerely hope Sony has to pay a massive fine for this ... something on par with what we'd get beat down with.

They should get decently hammered though I don't think it should be crazy. The summary suggests Sony wilfully used the song despite knowing they didn't have a license, but that's a stretch based on the quote from the label

“There were initial discussions for using ‘Pay Day‘ in the movie, but at some point, the discussions ceased and we assumed that it would not follow through,” Feel Ghood Music says.

Almost certainly this was just some production screwup. Someone at Sony thought the the license was taken care, because of that they stopped calling back and the music never got licensed.

Comment: Re:Millions used this... one complained. (Score 1) 189

by quantaman (#48682925) Attached to: Facebook Apologizes For 'Year In Review' Photos

I didn't complain but I found some of the pictures it unearthed to be painful reminders, the early part of the year was lousy for me individually which evolved to be generally fantastic. Nevertheless, I think it's legit to complain and remind them that we upload pictures for a number of reasons, and the emotions attached to them change a lot over a year. Complaining in the form of feedback is perfectly acceptable. It's the incessant lawsuits and mass media editorials that wear on our nerves.

I think the reasonable solution is to make this an optional feature that they advertise for instead of just dump on your page. Even allow you to choose the photos to show and save for posterity.

I agree. The photo on mine was completely innocuous but I'd still rather it never showed up.

Facebook seems to have forgotten the fact that they're a social network, people tend to care about the social signals they send out, and the year in review sends out a message on their behalf that they may not like.

I have my own standard for things I like to post, some random photo from my feed surrounded by tacky dancing figures isn't the kind of message I'd send out or want associated with myself. It's not a big deal, but then again not using Facebook isn't much of a big deal either. Between things like this and the feed ads I don't use Facebook as much more than an instant messaging service.

+ - The Interview bombs in US, kills in China, threatens N. Korea->

Submitted by twitnutttt
twitnutttt (2958183) writes "While it has been broadly panned in the U.S. as not very funny, The Interview is surprisingly getting good reviews in China. And the North Korean government's fears of the threat posed by this movie are apparently merited:

It is powerful because it depicts Kim Jong-un as a vain, buffoonish despot, alternating between threats and weeping that he's been misunderstood. The people around him have all the signs of fear you might expect with a despot — they second-guess his likes and dislikes.

Maybe he — and they — were right to fear the film. North Korean defectors sometimes smuggle USB sticks with films and soaps into the closed-off country, and there is a view in the south that these are a particularly powerful means of undermining the regime in Pyongyang. If that's so, The Interview might be a good candidate for inclusion.


Link to Original Source

+ - Linux Lockup Bug Continues To Be Investigated

Submitted by jones_supa
jones_supa (887896) writes "For the past month there's been Linux kernel developers investigating a regression which causes a handful machines to freeze. As of the middle of December, the issue was still being investigated while Linux 3.18 was already shipped with the bug. Now it looks like the investigation is coming to an end. Either the latest cues are found to be correct, or time runs out as Dave Jones of Red Hat has to return his system this coming Monday as he's leaving Red Hat. The latest belief is the issue might be related to HPET, the High Precision Event Timer. Yesterday Linus Torvalds posted that he agrees it could be HPET related, some SMM/BIOS power management feature causing the problem, a bug in the kernel's clock-source handling, or "gremlins" — something freakish happening. Here's the last post at the time of writing. It looks like Dave will still be running some kernel tests this weekend though after that he has to turn in the system."
User Journal

Journal: Windows 8.1 is a great tablet operating system and is better than Android 6

Journal by squiggleslash

Unfortunately third party support for it sucks. It's the AmigaOS of tablet operating systems, kinda sorta. Hey, Microsoft, have you heard of this new, 30 year old, technology called MVC? Developers love it, and it makes it relatively easy to produce frameworks that allow completely different user interfaces that use entirely different paradigms to be targeted by the same application. There's another company that makes both desktop and tablet operating systems (ironically, currently not merge

+ - High Speed DIY M&M Sorting Machine Uses iPhone Brain

Submitted by (3830033) writes "Canoe Tech reports that M&M sorting machines are a popular project for people who like combining electronics, programming and machine building. Most of them send a single M&M down a chute to a simple color sensor where the color sensor will then take a second or two to figure out the color. A servo motor will then rotate a chute that will direct the M&M into the correct pot. But a new project created by the nameless blogger behind the reviewmylife blog, that uses an iPhone 5s as its brain is capable of sensing different colors and so can "sort" the M&Ms as they fall past. The iPhone communicates the information via Bluetooth to an Arduino board, which in turn fires off the correct electro magnet controlled gate. One practical application of the sorter could be creating a bowl of M&Ms — with all the brown ones removed. According to Dan and Chip Heath, that's just what rock band Van Halen demand in one of the riders to their standard contract. The band’s “M&M clause” was written into its contract to serve a very specic purpose. It was called Article 126, and it read as follows: “There will be no brown M&M’s in the backstage area, upon pain of forfeiture of the show, with full compensation.” The article was buried in the middle of countless technical specications. When David Lee Roth would arrive at a new venue, he’d immediately walk backstage and glance at the M&M bowl. If he saw a brown M&M, he’d demand a line check of the entire production. “Guaranteed you’re going to arrive at a technical error,” said Roth.. “They didn’t read the contract Sometimes it would threaten to just destroy the whole show.”"

Comment: Re:Patriotic to NOT watch it instead? (Score 1) 225

by quantaman (#48671475) Attached to: Sony To Release the Interview Online Today; Apple Won't Play Ball

South Korea has already mentioned plans to take this film, put it on dvd, and float balloons across the border to incite rebellion in the population. By trying to prevent the movie from being distributed at all, North Korea is essentially trying to avoid anarchy caused by external propaganda.

If a bad movie can incite rebellion in your country then your country is in a terrible, terrible place.

Why are we so eager to overthrow their regime?

Why do you think making a movie was an attempt to overthrow their regime?

Is democracy so sacred that we must ~force~ it on every country around the world? What business is it of the US (and Hollywood) to decide what is the best system? What they have there is what developed in that region. It is a system that won out over the infighting to unite their country. It might not fit our definition of "fair" for the population, but that's only our definition. It's our own view that we're extending upon them, a culture that has had to isolate itself just to keep together.

If there ever was an argument for pushing democracy on a foreign country North Korea would be it. North Koreans aren't citizens, they're prisoners, they'd actually be better off living in Orwell's 1984.

Comment: Re:Cut Down On Olympic Bloat (Score 1) 232

by quantaman (#48668913) Attached to: Should Video Games Be In the Olympics?

Get rid of the sports that cannot measure the success of the competitors using the Olympic motto: higher, faster, stronger. That means no figure skating, no synchronized swimming, and, especially, no more rhythmic gymnastics. Essentially, nothing that requires assigning a number to a performance via a panel of judges. (I'm a little torn about any sport that chooses winners based on the points that they score on a particular day but when I think about the excessive coverage given to beach volleyball in the last few Summer Games I lean hard to the "drop them, too" side.)

Just think how much less expensive it would be to hold an Olympics would be if all those judged "sports" were taken out. The potential sites for the games would mushroom without a need for all the additional venues for the judged events. Cities that hold the Games can rarely afford to and the citizens wind up footing the bill for facilities that will rarely see use after the closing ceremonies. Plus, if it would get Bob Costas' interviews with prepubescent gymnasts off the air, we all win.

Considering the TV coverage those are probably some of the sports that are actually profitable (assuming you don't build a custom venue).

The events costing money are the ones you don't hear about.

Comment: Re:I never have understood (Score 1) 263

by quantaman (#48665477) Attached to: Serious Economic Crisis Looms In Russia, China May Help

China also has regularly peacefully voluntary power transfers between the conservative and liberal branches of the party every 8 years and probably quicker if a loser gets appointed.

As autocracies go they're surprisingly stable, but the average citizen doesn't have much of a voice.

Even Democracies where public opinion is critical politicians have trouble gauging what the public really wants, in an autocracy they're just guessing. China, just like every country, has a lot of widespread discontent. The difference in China is that's it's hidden because people are afraid to speak out. If something ever happens that people feel empowered to speak out then things could turn very chaotic very quickly. In healthy democracies people aren't afraid to speak out so the discontent never gets bad enough to seriously jeopardize the system.

they've slowly changed to Capitalist (Fascist).

I'm not sure what you're trying to say but I disagree regardless.

Fascist has an actual definition, it doesn't apply to capitalism and I don't think it applies to China.

And in both systems if someone is too radical such as Ron Paul, well they're shut out of the process, eg the media announce 1st, 2nd, and 4th places.

Ron Paul was shut out because his support is deep, but very narrow. The party never took him seriously because they knew his policies were too extreme to survive a general election, and the media didn't take him seriously for the same reason.

+ - Stupid Costly Patent Nuclear War By Microsoft & Apple Against Android Averte->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "We've written a few times about Rockstar Consortium, a giant patent troll that was created when Microsoft and Apple (and a few others) teamed up to outbid Google, Intel (and a few others) in buying thousands of Nortel patents. Nortel admitted that it had bulked up on many of these patents for defensive measures, but once Nortel went bankrupt they went to the highest bidder (and the bidding went pretty damn high).

The winners of the bidding kept a few of the patents for themselves, but then dumped them all into "Rockstar Consortium" which was a new giant patent troll and which, importantly, was not subject to promises that Apple and Microsoft initially made (to avoid antitrust problems) to license the patents under reasonable terms."

Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:i'm not going to see this (Score 1) 348

by UnknownSoldier (#48664935) Attached to: Ars: Final Hobbit Movie Is 'Soulless End' To 'Flawed' Trilogy

I'm not sure why The Hobbit is so bad. One was OK, Two was more meh. It was like all the heart, soul, and magic of LOTR vanished in a poof of smoke for The Hobbit. I mean, come on, one of -the- best parts in one was the dwarves singing "Misty Mountains" and the song is not even 2 minutes long! It is like they don't have any faith in their ability to please the non-ADD crowd ...

Speaking of foreign films ...

Wheat (2009) was a great foreign film .. IF you can find it !

It opened at the Shanghai International Film Festival, but I guess it is not dumb action like Prometheus so it got panned ...

Comment: Re:I never have understood (Score 1) 263

by quantaman (#48664869) Attached to: Serious Economic Crisis Looms In Russia, China May Help

The US on the other hand is a large healthy democracy

For certain values of "healthy" that include "largely dysfunctional".

Every country has is fucked up in its own way.

But the US is part of a group of countries that have regular peaceful and voluntary power transfers.

Countries that have established that pattern tend to keep it.

Comment: Re:I never have understood (Score 1) 263

by quantaman (#48663571) Attached to: Serious Economic Crisis Looms In Russia, China May Help

I never have understood the world's fetish with the US dollar. Every nation has a currency. The US economy is just as prone to stagnation, deficit, over, and under valuing as any other currency.

I'd like nothing better than to see the Rothschild's hold on international markets broken. If it takes China to do that, then all power to China in the endeavour.

Really? In under a year the ruble recently dropped in value by over half, do you really want to tie your economy to that?

As for China I think it's been fairly stable, but China is still an autocratic regime and those aren't typically stable. The US on the other hand is a large healthy democracy and I'm not aware of a single case of a country starting out as a healthy democracy and ending up as something else. Maybe the euro can eventually rival it for stability but for now you'd be a fool to bet on something else.

After any salary raise, you will have less money at the end of the month than you did before.