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Comment: Re:Radio (Score 5, Informative) 304

For that matter, how much do artists get paid each time I listen to a track on a CD?

Hmmm, let's see: Artists get about 10% of retail
A CD costs $10, and say there are ten tracks on the CD.
Thus, each track costs $1, and the artists earns ten cents per track.
Most of my CDs were purchased at least ten years ago. I have no doubt I have listened to many of those tracks at least 100 times (those that were purchased more recently obviously don't have the same number of "listens", but - barring sudden death or deafness - I expect they will in time).
So the artist gets about $0.001 (1/10th of a cent) every time I listen to a track.

That's slightly less than Pandora pays and 6 times less than Spotify. Even assuming they get slightly better rates and I listen to the tracks far less frequently, the artists are still earning about as much money each time I listen to a track on CD (well, okay, ripped to MP3 but you know what I mean).

You could argue that the percent the artist is earning is far too low - that the middlemen are siphoning off too much into their own pockets - but that's a different issue. As it stands, it seems to me that online streaming services are paying them about the same (if not more) than they might get from more traditional sales, at least if you calculate based on the number of times a song is heard.

Maybe measuring "per listen" (stream) isn't the optimal way of calculating revenue.

Comment: Re:Only option for big tvs (Score 1) 370

by Somebody Is Using My (#49028701) Attached to: Samsung Smart TVs Injected Ads Into Streamed Video

Unfortunately above a certain screen size it's basically impossible to get a non-"smart" TV..... Personally all I want is a huge screen with excellent picture and sound features and lots of input ports. Basically just a big monitor. Good luck getting that in 60+ inch screen size though...

Couldn't you just not connect to the Internet? Sure you wouldn't get the "smart" aspects of your smartTV, but you have indicated you are not interested in those features anyway.

Or are these new TVs completely useless without an internet connection?

Somewhat interested in the answer as I too am eventually considering a new, larger TV.

Comment: Re:Hard To Imagine... (Score 2) 191

by Somebody Is Using My (#49019013) Attached to: Microsoft Trademarks "Windows 365"

Well if Windows becomes a rental system, then wouldn't that spell the immediate removal of the MS tax, and that the base OS can't essentially be pirated any longer? Meaning All hardware companies can freely put any OS or none on there without fear of reproach?

I don't think it would.

Instead of getting Windows for "free" from the OEMs, they will give you "one year for free". The OEMs will still have to pay Microsoft but - as ever - the OEMs will get a discounted rate for that "free year". I'm sure it will also work in a manner similar to the way it is arranged now: the more Windows PCs you sell, the steeper the discount. This will continue to discourage OEMs from pushing Linux because doing so might potentially increase the cost of production of the Windows machines.

If anything, this change might /increase/ the likelihood of OEMS installing Windows, if Win365 is significantly cheaper than the non-subscription version. If it only costs the OEM $25 to use Windows365, they will be able undercut their competitors who use Windows10.

Comment: Re:Bad comparaison (Score 1) 135

by Somebody Is Using My (#48927437) Attached to: The American App Economy Is Now "Bigger Than Hollywood"

Regardless of whether the "App-economy" alone is larger than the "Movie-economy", I think this is indicative of how strong and important the "software-economy" is in comparison to the MPAA-dominated industries. But it makes you wonder why - given the strength of the former - why are software publishers and hardware manufacturers still allowing the MPAA to dominate them with demands for ever-stronger DRM? My optical drive shouldn't have firmware made to obey the regional-restrictions of the movie industry, and my video-hardware shouldn't have to downgrade the signal if all the attached hardware hasn't been blessed by the MPAA. TFA is proof that the software industry can well survive without kowtowing to Hollywood's demands; I'm not sure the movie industry, on the other hand, would do so well if Microsoft or Apple told them to ditch the DRM requirements or take a hike.

Of course, the big difference is that all the major Hollywood players have united their voice under one banner (the MPAA) while the software industry remains fragmented. This gives the former an appearance of strength that the software industry doesn't - and may not even be aware they - have.

Comment: Hidden Implications (Score 1) 139

by Somebody Is Using My (#48886335) Attached to: Scientists Slow the Speed of Light

I don't think you are seeing the hidden implications of this report.

They are tracking individual photons, implying they know the location of those particles.

But at the same time, they are also keeping tabs on the SPEED of those photons at the same time.

Now the Uncertainty Principle argues against that ever happening, except that's what the researchers* claim. Obviously these guys have invented the Heisenberg Compensator which - as we all know - is a key component to Star Trek teleportation devices. It's just a matter of time now until we will be able to teleport to Alpha Centauri.

* well, that's what the summary of a science news article claims, anyway. I'm so sure it is 100% accurate I didn't even bother to RTFA.

Comment: Re:Application installers suck. (Score 1) 324

I rejected the Windows 8 app store because it required me to invest in Microsoft's online ecosystem; I would have to sign up for a Microsoft Live account, and then use that to log into Windows.

Had they made it so I could browse and download apps without requiring a log-in (only requiring an account for paid applications so it could be tied to one subscription) I would have been much more open to Microsoft's implementation. As it was, I just searched the web directly for the applications I was interested in and bypassed the entire Windows 8 app infrastructure.

Comment: Re:Before this gets even more overblown... (Score 1) 128

I'm not sure the physical security is that much of a deterrent (there was another article that I couldn't find which listed a host of similar issues, including allowing pizza delivery guys to the silo). The job of being a silo-jockey is not considered particularly prestigious in the USAF and we aren't getting the best of the best to guard our most powerful weapons.

On the other hand, finding a floppy disk these days to launch the damn things might be a bit harder to manage.

Comment: Re:Poor policy, as usual ... (Score 4, Insightful) 73

That seems to be the price of democracy; that politicians spend much of their time considering their re-election.

Arguably, in a representative democracy that might be all they SHOULD be doing.

After all, the whole idea in that sort of government is that the politicians represent the will of their constituents. Rather than have a small group of men making up the laws themselves (an oligarchy), the representatives are - supposedly - little more than conduits we use to enact the laws we want. These political agents vie for the job by proving how able they are in representing our goals. In other words, we don't send 'em to the capital to make laws for us, but to pass the laws we want.

Of course where it all breaks down is that this requires an informed and involved constituency. For a variety of reasons most democracies do not - and are not encouraged - to have this. This is not due only to voter apathy, but because the politicians have made the system so complex and difficult that most people have neither the time, the training nor the desire to become involved. We-the-people are not giving our agents the explicit instructions they require; at best, we manage a collective moan about how certain things may not be to our liking.

At the same time, large organizations (corporations) - who /do/ have the time and interest to engage in the political process - are able to more easily transmit their needs to those same representatives (usually in the form of legislature conveniently written up and passed to government to pass into law). So politicians remain conduits (just to the wrong people) but due to the electoral system still need to spend most of their time proving their worth.

Ultimately, the goal should be to be make it easier for individuals to become involved in their own governance. Smaller government, simpler laws and more local authority are all ideas that may work. Unfortunately, there is no easy solution to the problem and certainly those in power - who benefit from the current way things are - see no advantage in changing things.

Comment: Re:Distributed DNS (Score 1) 63

While a distributed DNS setup would be a point of failure, would it be one that is legally vulnerable? A distributed DNS setup would just be pointing to websites pointing to torrents pointing to servers offering maybe copyright-infringing.

How deep does that rabbit hole have to go before it can't be cited for violating copyright? If there are multiple DNS servers and a website has a bunch of links to them, is that site culpable? What if there are multiple such DNS aggregators, and Google points to those pages? Where is the line drawn?

Because the further down you drill, the more likely it becomes that merely talking about the issue can be ruled illegal, and that should never be permitted.

Comment: Re:Rubbish (Score 1) 336

More to the point, you can't just hack /any/ data. Stealing customer's personal information, credit card numbers, or similar doesn't phase the corporations either; sure it causes them a bit of bad PR, but ultimately the cost of the hack is paid by their customers, not by the corporation itself. In fact, seeing as how common the "we stole your entire customer database" sort of hacks are becoming, even the negative PR is becoming minimized; after all, as /everybody/ is seemingly getting hacked in that way, so why get upset with any one particular company?

No, if the hacker groups really want to make companies improve their security, then they need to grab proprietary information, like the GOP did to Sony. Emails and accounting information are particularly damning, since they often reveal poor practices and corporate malfeasance that might get the companies into legal hot-water. If you start showing corporation how easy those doors are to open, you can be sure they'll hire a proper locksmith PDQ.

So these Christmas DDOS's aren't going to provoke the affected companies into doing a damn thing (except maybe sic the legal system on the ones behind it). All it did was piss off a bunch of kids on Christmas morning. Way to go, grinches!

Comment: Brought it on ourselves (Score 4, Insightful) 229

by Somebody Is Using My (#48651613) Attached to: GCHQ Warns It Is Losing Track of Serious Criminals

Maybe if our police forces hasn't been so overbearing in their surveillance methods they wouldn't have had this problem.

It isn't so much that people are upset that police have the ability to listen in to phone calls or track us. Rather, they are upset that increasingly these powers are being used on everyone all the time, usually without needing a warrant or having any oversight. These powers have been, are and will continued to be abused by the authorities. The citizens - including whistle-blowers like Snowden - are making a fuss because they don't want everyone to be treated like a crook. Had the police and security apparat contented themselves with appropriate measures, there would have been much less impetus for Snowden and Assange to make the great revelations they did.

But no, we have cameras on every corner, our communications are bugged, our every movement and behavior tracked and analyzed. Don't try to shift the blame onto the people who helped make us aware of your overreach. Stop labeling everyone a criminal, stop depending on gadgets to do your work for you, and stop misusing the tools and powers we-the-people already gave you (and then demanding even more). Only then can you talk about how the bad whistle-blowers are making your job more difficult.

Comment: Re:Fire all the officers? (Score 4, Informative) 515

Considering your comments, would you too side with the cops who run people over in their cars while texting on their personal cell phones and then blame the victim for throwing themselves in front of their cars, all the while perjuring themselves as has also happened recently?

It's getting a bit off topic but examples of the above have actually happened.

Well, okay, not the blaming the victim bit, but "immediately before the incident, the Albemarle officer, Gregory C. Davis, was involved in "excessive texting." Furthermore, according to the document, Officer Davis may, under oath, have intentionally downplayed his texting."

Then there is this story. The officer in question was criminally charged this time, but still got away with a mere 30 months probation (and two years suspended from the job, with pay). The two girls he slammed into, on the other hand, got to remain dead. Anyone else who had committed the same crime would have lost their job (with no pay) and ended up in jail for a long time.

And this

Compared to the above, the fact that police illegally delete video from a phone without any repercussions is in no way surprising.

Comment: Coming Soon! (Score 2, Funny) 110

by Somebody Is Using My (#48505829) Attached to: Microsoft's Age-Old Image Library 'Clip Art' Is No More

Microsoft ClipArt365, a subscription-based online product where you can the entirety of MS's ClipArt library anywhere in the world*. Never worry about not having the right piece of ClipArt at your fingertips; just use our quick ClipSearch** feature and you'll have the right art at your fingerprints in moments! Then simply insert the art into your Word(tm) document, Excel(tm) spreadsheet or Powerpoint(tm) presentation with a single-click!***. All this for $12/mo or $120/year!

* Internet connection required.
** Internet Explorer 12.1 or higher required
*** Requires Office365 or higher. Art cannot be inserted into other documents. Internet connection required to view document with clipart.

Comment: Re:Don’t really get it (Score 1) 474

Especially since day-one reviews are notoriously untrustworthy. The reviewers either play the game in haste to make the release date (sometimes not even finishing the game) or in some cases the games are played under ideal conditions (sometimes actually in the developer's studios) not is not representative of the customer's experience. In either case, the accuracy - if not honesty - of the review is in doubt.

I'm far more trusting of a review that comes out a week or two after the game's release than any review released simultaneously with the game; at least it gives the reviewer time to properly play the game. Day-one reviews have no real advantage to the consumer; they are all about increasing sales for the game's developer (by increasing market awareness of their product) and the website/magazine's publisher (by attaching themselves to a popular product). Any consumer who is that eager for a day-one review of a game is probably going to buy the game regardless of what the review says anyway.

So in addition to waiting a week or so before buying the game, wait a week before seeing what other people think as well. You'll get more honest opinions less manipulated by pre-release hype, and will be better able to judge whether or not to spend your money on the product.

The longer the title, the less important the job.