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Comment Re:In Canada it is legal to download and rip movie (Score 1) 172

Then there is the question, what is considered "hacking of a digital lock"?

The term "hacking" that the government's summary webpage used was clearly chosen as a bit of confusion/propaganda; the actual bill uses the term "circumvention" and defines it thusly:

circumvent” means,

(a) in respect of a technological protection measure within the meaning of paragraph (a) of the definition “technological protection measure”, to descramble a scrambled work or decrypt an encrypted work or to otherwise avoid, bypass, remove, deactivate or impair the technological protection measure, unless it is done with the authority of the copyright owner; and

(b) in respect of a technological protection measure within the meaning of paragraph (b) of the definition “technological protection measure”, to avoid, bypass, remove, deactivate or impair the technological protection measure.
“technological protection measure”
  mesure technique de protection

“technological protection measure” means any effective technology, device or component that, in the ordinary course of its operation,

(a) controls access to a work, to a perform- er’s performance fixed in a sound recording or to a sound recording and whose use is authorized by the copyright owner; or

(b) restricts the doing — with respect to a work, to a performer’s performance fixed in a sound recording or to a sound recording — of any act referred to in section 3, 15 or 18 and any act for which remuneration is payable under section 19.

Whether you know that the tool you're using is stripping DRM is immaterial.

Comment Re:In Canada it is legal to download and rip movie (Score 4, Informative) 172

Recent copyright law renders it illegal to break any digital "lock" mechanism, regardless of whether it's for the sake of format shifting or not. There are exceptions, but you'll note that platform shifting is not one of them:

Digital locks can be hacked for the following purposes:

  • law enforcement and national security activities;
  • reverse engineering for software compatibility;
  • security testing of systems;
  • encryption research;
  • personal information protection;
  • temporary recordings made by broadcast undertakings;
  • access for persons with perceptual disabilities; and
  • unlocking a wireless device.


Platform shifting is still legal, but not of, for instance, Blu-rays or DVDs

Comment Re:Nigh unplayable? (Score 1) 86

The "unplayable" comment is a comment on the matchmaking system, yes. If your son solely played the Master Chief Collection offline or in custom matches with friends, he would have had no issues at all. However, if he had tried to play matchmade games (the only way to play with strangers, or to play "ranked" games) he wouldn't have had much luck at all on release day, or several days after that. I saw it take more than an hour to find a single match on release day; a week or so later it was still taking upwards of 30 minutes to find matches.

This is in the most and least popular unranked matchmaking modes, where previous Halo titles typically took 5 minutes or less to find a match. Online response -- including that from Microsoft itself -- seems to indicate this was the norm, or at least extremely common; if your son actually was successful in these modes, he was lucky, that doesn't invalidate the experiences everyone else had.

Comment In the style of SpaceX, building a moon base (Score 1) 81

In the style of SpaceX? So I suppose they're undercutting other traditional space launch companies and are on track to developing a a heavy lifter and other technologies they hope could get them to Mars?

Wait, you're telling me they don't even have one rocket yet, never mind having actually achieved orbit, any sort of revenue, or even the beginnings of the capability of building, launching, landing, and assembling a moon base? Slashdot, why?

Comment Re:It isn't just UI (Score 1) 681

doesn't support changing the volume by simply hovering the mouse and using the scrollwheel.

I just did that. You do have to click the icon first. Is that a bad thing? I hate it unfocused elements decide to unexpectedly handle inputs...

Slow to come up when you're suffering some over loud thing bursting on the crap speakers on someone else's computer

It comes up faster than I can click and then maneuver my mouse up to the slider.

icon too small and faint and hidden in the tray

It isn't faint (it's 100% opaque white) or any smaller than any other tray icon. Tray icons have been roughly the same size since the tray was introduced in Windows 95. Icons are auto-hidden in Vista and above if you're not using them, but you can choose to pin icons so they always show; you just click the tray arrow button, then click the very prominent "Customize" button.

Comment Re:Slashdot BETA Sucks. (Score 1) 2219

It has. Maybe they should have looked for new ways to foster user-generated discussions. What else Slashdot have to offer, exactly? The stories are old, the summaries are often wrong, and the unique content is mediocre. Those three things can be changed without needing to change the layout, but the new management hasn't made any noticeable inroads at all.

Comment Re:Is there a single thing arguably better in the (Score 1) 2219

If you want to become yet another mainstream gossip page, that is the way to go.

Maybe they do. Maybe they see that a lot of sites that make a lot of money are mainstream gossip sites. Of course, that would be missing the fact that thousands of other people saw those sites and are also trying to imitate them.

Anyways, I'll entertain that: how would Slashdot make that transition?

If they switch on the Beta, the ruination of the comments will cause the complete loss of their current user base, so they're off to a weak start. What's going to replace the comments? They've been trying recently to generate more unique content, and for the most part it's been okay-to-poor. That's not going to draw anyone in at all. How about as a Buzzfeed-like link farm? Well no, Slashdot is still just as slow and unreliable as always, there hasn't been any transition happening there either. Just what is their plan exactly and when are they going to actually start it? And how is ruining Slashdot going to accomplish that plan any better than just registering an altogether new domain and starting it off ruined?

Comment Re:Fuck BEta (Score 1) 252

Hate it. It's a big jumble. I don't like jumbles. The summaries are also much too short, and it suffers from the 'big, meaningless pictures' thing that Beta does.

That said, it's still one of the better sites out there. Every article isn't a gem, but it's much more consistently well-written than most any other major site.

Comment Re:Fuck BEta (Score 3, Insightful) 252

I don't know. Ars' current layout is busy and nigh unreadable. Reddit is fucking Reddit. Hacker News has been brought up and is okay I guess, but glancing at it the front page layout is a pain, and I care about almost none of the news on it (while Slashdot's focus seems to gel with me). Any other frequent suggestions?

Comment Re:You're all* fucking idiots. (Score 1) 767

I can barely discern the difference between my current CFLs and blackbody light (not sure if I can at all or if I'm imagining it), and in any case the difference doesn't bother me -- plus, I quite like that I can buy lights brighter than an incandescent, or with different perceived colors, as I see fit. The newer generation of LEDs and CFLs have even better white phosphors than the ones I already like.

Comment Re:You're all* fucking idiots. (Score 1) 767

Looks as though they are. The reflective coating apparently increases the efficiency by reflecting the infrared, not for cosmetic reasons, but they are halogens inside.

Well, there's some sort of high efficiency incandescent out there according to several of the news articles. Like I said, I've never seen one. I use a combination of the halogen bulbs and CFLs myself, though I plan to gradually switch to LEDs as they're beginning to be competitive. There are some manufacturers who claim 90+ CRI LED lights.

Comment Re:The good, the bad, and the ugly... (Score 1) 227


0) If a game is running on a multiplatform engine, chances are the studio is already selling a PC version, rendering this whole thing moot. Otherwise they're likely on an in-house or licensed single-platform engine.
1) "Popular game engines" are highly customized by the studios using them (with the large studios, often substantially). Though they may share commonalities, you'd nevertheless need to tailor your modifications to each and every game.
2) Even in a game engine that has bundled asset packages, scripting languages, etc., much of the core functionality that makes a game different from another game, including some of the gameplay code, will be in the C++ or other compiled code.
3) You don't have source code to the engines in question. Major console games aren't made on open source engines.
4) If you modify and redistribute engine code without permission, you're very much on the wrong side of the law. Your development will have to be in secrecy and you'll have to distribute anonymously, while very aware that someone will subpoena anyone you distribute through to find the source. Good luck finding recruits.
5) If instead you try to create your own black box recreation of the engine, well, uh, again, good luck. Modern game engines are beasts.

"Everybody is talking about the weather but nobody does anything about it." -- Mark Twain