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Comment: Re:Legacy Compatiblity (Score 1) 340

MP3 doesn't support DRM.
Link http://netforbeginners.about.c...

*As of this writing, MP3 files themselves do not have DRM padlocks on them, but getting access to MP3 files is getting more difficult every day as the MPAA and RIAA crack down on MP3 file sharing.

What is this MP3 DRM you speak of?

Comment: Re:Legacy Compatiblity (Score 3, Informative) 340

Thsi point is the ignored deal breaker that has killed all other formats that attempted this. If it won't play on any of the following, it's sales are already in decline.

Common MP3 Players
DVD players that play MP3 CD's
Computers Windows, Linux, Apple
Cell phones Android as well as Apple.

Only formats with compatability at a reasonable price will sell in volume.
Unique formats that require a specialised player will have very limited market penetration.

Do I need to list failed formats?
Sony Minidisc with serial copy protection
Microsoft Zune and protected WMA formats
Apple Itunes copy protected format

The Apple format had a reasonable market penetration because they were the first to market with a legal format, but had to drop the protection when other players entered the market at lower prices in more universally playable formats. Apple tried to market the unprotected verson at a higher price, but that was short lived too.

My questions are who is going to produce the compatible players that people will actually buy? Will the player play legacy formats that are not protected? This is important as a new player that won't play existing libraries won't sell much. Will the player import the legacy formats into a protected format? If so, this will cause a backup and archival issue. Will it be compatible with MOST in car infotainment systems?

Many cars have the ability to "Play" MP3's on a USB Thumb drive. How are you going to sell into this market?

Another incompatable format has a high barrier to market entry. Good luck.

Comment: Already regulated by free market forces (Score 3, Interesting) 70

by Technician (#47922407) Attached to: The Case For a Federal Robotics Commission

Adding a layer of overseers adds a layer of cost to a marketing decision. Areas with high levels of automation and effecient production include food processing such as making cheese, semiconductor manufacturing, automobile welding, painting, ammusement park rides, etc.

What can government oversight do besides drive up the cost for the remaining US manufactures? The decison to automate is a business decision.

Government regulation should only intrude in safety such a OSHA guidelines. Anything beyond that is wasted resources and a higher cost of doing business.

+ - Bing is adding street view->

Submitted by Technician
Technician (215283) writes "This story snuck by me. In August it was announced Bing is adding street view to it's maps. I became aware of it when I saw a car looking somewhat like a Google Streeet View car, but the camera package was cylindrical looking somewhat like R2D2 instead of the camera ball used by Google. This was spotted in Beaverton Oregon."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:What are the bounds of property? (Score 1) 166

by Technician (#47899463) Attached to: Justice Sotomayor Warns Against Tech-Enabled "Orwellian" World

One that I enjoyed reading a out is the ariel tram in Portland OR. Residents were concerend with the gondolas flying overhead and peeking into their private back yards. Residents were assured the view is out and not down. One resident then put offencive material in his "private back yard", and there was a stir on his choice of back yard decor. He reminded the tram operators that passangers can not see into his private back yard. Its your problem as it is my private back yard.

Link Warning profanity

Comment: Re:What did they expect? (Score 2) 182

by Technician (#47897447) Attached to: The MOOC Revolution That Wasn't

When it has free competition, failure to pay is common. I am learning more online than ever before. Much of it is outside an online classroom.

Examples include
DMX512 lighting control
Digital Photography and photo editing (formal training in the 70's limited to film SLR and darkroom processing)
Additional electronics including digital signal processing. Formal traiining ended in the 1980's.
Audio Engineering/Recording
HVAC & Refrigeration
Not all who learn are after a sheepskin, but the skills.

Certifications obtained includes Journeyman ISCET Certification
Certification is pending for the EPA Universal CFC Certification.

What I don't have - Student Loans

Comment: Re:Separate hardware from software (Score 1) 421

by Technician (#47890365) Attached to: Windows Tax Shot Down In Italy

Tektronics has done this with their test equipment for years. I found out the hard way the drivers to transfer screen prints to my PC did NOT come with the optional communications module. To get simple screen cap functionality, the software suite price is about 5X the cost of the communicatins module.

Are they sure they want to go this route? Fortunately for grey box PC's, alternative software is readily available. For Tektronics scopes, not so much.

It looks like more moden scope communicaitons modules now come bundled with the softare package.

Comment: (Score 2) 536

by Technician (#47881255) Attached to: Cuba Calculates Cost of 54yr US Embargo At $1.1 Trillion

An embargo is usually in place to encourage a country to change a practice hostile to the US. When the leadership changes positions and is no longer hostile to the US, the embargo is lifted, unless things don't change.

This started about the time of the Cuban Missle Crisis. Cuba has maintained unfriendly to the US ties. This has not changed. Thus the embargo status has remained. Lifing the embargo for Cuba to rebuild missle bases aimed at the US is not going to happen. They are too close to defend against missles launched from Cuba. Keeping missles out of cuba is the reson for the embargo. The US does not want the same relationship Isreal has with Gaza with bombs lobbed over the border to keep things stirred up.

At the moment there are no bombs and missles, unlike other close neighbors that don't get along. Screaming about economic impact of an embargo is not going to fix this.

Comment: Re:Two-Factor Authentication (Score 5, Informative) 107

by Technician (#47803621) Attached to: Hackers Behind Biggest-Ever Password Theft Begin Attacks

If you have a Gmail account, look for the Last Account Activity at the bottom right. Use the Details link to see your recent history. Set your preferences to alert you to unusual account activity. More accounts should notify you of unusual logins and login attempts.

Comment: Re:Google is your friend (Score 2) 107

by Technician (#47803609) Attached to: Hackers Behind Biggest-Ever Password Theft Begin Attacks

The good news is that Namecheap found the attack early and took measures to defeat the attempt to log into NameCheap accounts, the bad news is this is not just a security issue for Namecheap but seems to be along the lines of the groups of Russian Hackers which gained access to hundreds of thousands of email accounts and millions of user Id’s and passwords last month so its an issue for all Internet Users

Comment: Re:Placing all your eggs in one basket (Score 1) 62

by Technician (#47803503) Attached to: New Nigerian ID Card Includes Prepay MasterCard Wallet

Is that sarcasm? In reality, I don't generaly carry credit cards at all. I do have some, but they are used very sparingly.

Learn the credit card company's tricks. Have a high balance card? Get a great cash advance offer for 6 months? Beware. All your payments go toward the main balance and the great cash advance is untouched and then jumps to high interest after the introduction period. Buy a pair of socks or other purchases? Guess what your paymnets go towards while your cash advance at the higher rate continues to roll over month to month.

If you use a cash advance or other promotion, put the card in a safe and don't touch it. Pay it off. Don't carry the card. If I had only one card, and it was tied to everything, I could not take advantage of great offers when they come up without being taken to the cleaners. Rotate the cards. Use the perks, but know the game. Using them carelessly is very expensive.

Ever have a card company call you to find out why you are not using a card with a 0 balance? I have. Told them their interest rate was too high. I was using other cards instead. Got a much lower competitive rate. Now another card is in the lockbox unused. Can't do this with only one card. Use the leverage.

Profanity is the one language all programmers know best.