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Comment: Re:One solution (Score 1) 130

by TropicalCoder (#48439087) Attached to: Aereo Files For Bankruptcy
"Do not feed their useless parasitism on our culture and public domain." That is exactly it - the copyright maximalists have hijacked our culture. While I entirely agree with your sentiment, this statement reveals exactly why your proposal is impractical. Refusing to participate in our own culture is something we cannot do any more than we can voluntarily stop breathing. Here's the thing... The moment a "work" is publicly performed, it becomes a part of our culture. I hear a tune on the radio and I can't stop it from going around in my head, or maybe even singing it in the shower. Once that tune entered my consciousness, it became a part of me. Not only that, but it has become a part of our language. I may find myself employing a phase from the lyrics that succinctly expresses a feeling for which I didn't have words before. Now we are in a serious conundrum. While we do want to incentivize our artists and performers and give them a reasonable return on their efforts, at the same time, they need to understand and be sensitive to this paradox. This is where all the friction is coming from. This is why we need a major overhaul of the copyright system - a whole new fresh, out-of-the-box reform. Because what we have now is not serving us.

Comment: Re:Inspections? (Score 1) 167

by TropicalCoder (#48417377) Attached to: City of Toronto Files Court Injunction Against Uber
"Uber is a bootleg taxi service, and the laws being applied have applied to all commercial car services for a very long time." Ahh... but Uber is NOT a taxi service. Uber facilitates a connection between people needing a ride and a driver. We could say Uber is like Facebook or Google+, or perhaps Craig's List in that they provide a platform for people to connect. Just like Aereo operated community antennas for people, rather than acting as a cable television provider. Unfortunately, in the case of Aereo, the powers that be arbitrarily declared that Aereo was something other than a community antenna. Next they will want to legislate a more rational value for Pi to simplify calculations for us.

Comment: Re:Where will Uber dig? (Score 1) 167

by TropicalCoder (#48415761) Attached to: City of Toronto Files Court Injunction Against Uber
Good one! I have heard Rob Ford accused of a lot of things, but not being THE Robert Ford who killed Jesse James (aka Mr. Howard). "Robert Ford, who killed Jesse, was James' gang member. Mr. Howard was the alias that James lived under in Saint Joseph, Missouri at the time of his killing." Of course I never knew anything about this until I Googled it just now.

Comment: Re:Fucking disaster (Score 2) 69

by TropicalCoder (#48408657) Attached to: Fascinating Rosetta Image Captures Philae's Comet Bounce
"The science data they set out to collect was still obtained." Do we really know yet if the probes and drills actually reached down below the surface? It appeared that lander was sticking up and I have my doubts. I think it would be wonderful if they actually got the samples they hoped they would get, but I am not convinced. There is an article behind a pay wall in the WSJ that says an instrument discovered an organic compound that was first detected in the comet’s atmosphere. Says the molecule was detected by an instrument on the lander "sniffing" the comet's atmosphere. Seems there is no more information than that. Hard to say if we can take that to mean they actually got their samples. Sniffing the comet's atmosphere != soil samples.

+ - Fuel-Less Gravity Powered Flight - Crackpot or Visionary?-> 1

Submitted by TropicalCoder
TropicalCoder (898500) writes "When I first read about this on, "Gravity powered aircraft flies with no fuel!", it was startling, but hard to make sense of it until I went to the web site of Robert D Hunt – Founder/Chairman of Hunt Aviation. I quickly grasped the concept and had a vision of a world filled with these aircraft.

The concept is simple — a glider that can be made buoyant like a helium balloon, then lose that buoyancy to dive like a swallow, gain acceleration, and glide for miles before once again repeating the cycle. At the same time it can gain energy from wind and temperature differences for onboard power.

As I considered it further, however, it began to strike me as too easy, like it was yet another perpetual motion machine. I couldn't put my finger on it though. I noted the extremely amateurish website, the lo-res Windows Media video with so much compression in the audio that it sounded like a radio station experiencing cross-talk from another nearby station. The narration sounded credible until it mentioned something about how it would be difficult for terrorists to sabotage this aircraft. What to think?

I knew one thing — the people at Slashdot are quick to suss-out things like this, so I present this to you. Is it a crackpot idea or the dawn of a revolution in aviation?"

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+ - Followup: Ultraviolet Vision after Cataract Surgery->

Submitted by
xmas2003 writes "Several months ago, I posted to /. about being able to see ultraviolet light after cataract surgery. While a lot of the discussion whimsically discussed the best way for "Captain UV" or "UltraMan" to use this "super-power", there were some people who were skeptical or (incorrectly) said this is Tetrachromatic vision. I've subsequently done more testing using an Oriel Instruments MS257 Monochromator and was able to see color down to 350nm — below the usual ~400nm limit of the visual spectrum. It's also easily demonstrable with a pair of 400nm and 365nm UV flashlights.

Some /.'ers who also have UV vision commented this can be quite annoying at black-lit Disney Rides, Halloween Haunted Houses, etc. Fortunately for me, it's just an interesting oddity so far. Along those lines, some interesting related stories about using UV vision during World War II and Star Gazing. Finally, many/most people end up getting vision debilitating cataracts, so my experience having a Crystalens implanted after cataract surgery may be informative."

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+ - ESA's Vega Launcher Has Successful Maiden Flight->

Submitted by Zothecula
Zothecula (1870348) writes "The European Space Agency's (ESA) new Vettore Europeo di Generazione Avanzata — or Vega — launch vehicle lifted off from Europe's Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana, at 10 a.m. GMT on February 13 on its maiden flight. Designed for launching small payloads, Vega is intended to complement Europe's existing family of launchers that includes the Ariane 5 heavy-lifter and Soyuz medium-class launchers. The qualification flight, designated VV01, saw the first Vega successfully carry nine satellites into orbit."
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+ - Amazon Blocks Video Streaming on BlackBerry Tablet, Blames Apple->

Submitted by
AZA43 writes " has blocked its Instant Video streaming service on BlackBerry PlayBook tablets, in an apparent effort to make its Kindle Fire device more attractive to tablet buyers. And it says Apple is the reason why it blocked the service. But the company hasn't blocked comparable Android tablets from streaming Instant Video, and Android tablets hold a much larger portion of the overall tablet market than PlayBooks. Amazon will likely succeed only in alienating customer with PlayBooks who have already purchased lots of streaming video content."
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XBox (Games)

+ - Xbox 360 Patching Costs $40,000->

Submitted by hypnosec
hypnosec (2231454) writes "It costs developers a total of $40,000 to release a single patch on Xbox live, making it a difficult platform for smaller developers to grow on. This revelation was made by Tim Shafer of Double Fine Studios — which recently drew a lot of charitable donations as part of a campaign to create a contemporary point and click game. He went on to say that this is just too high a fee for smaller developers to pay, making it hard for them to do well on the platform. This makes sense, since requiring just one patch could massively cut into the profits for a company. More than that and potentially a game could become a big cash drain for an indi developer."
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+ - Mozilla Plans Metro Firefox For Windows 8->

Submitted by mikejuk
mikejuk (1801200) writes "Mozilla is already working on a version of Firefox for Windows 8 Metro that will be focused on touch interaction. It hopes to have a proof-of-concept version available in the second quarter of this year. However, even as a Metro app, the new version of Firefox would be fighting with one hand tied behind its back against the "MetroTop" version of IE.
To quote Mozilla:
"On Windows 8, IE10 is both a metro app and a regular desktop application. When run as a metro app it does things that are known to be off-limits for metro applications."
So Mozilla is looking to Microsoft to provide it with the same privileges as Internet Explorer has. Put another way, Firefox needs to run as a Medium level integrity process with full use of the Win32 API.
Mozilla explains:
"In general, browser vendors would prefer access to the system similar to that of Internet Explorer 10. From all outward appearances IE is currently able to bypass security restrictions of the Metro sandbox by running as a medium integrity process, effectively running as a standard Windows desktop application with additional extensions which allow it to latch into the Metro interface.
Vendors feel changes should be made to the current restrictions which will facilitate the ability of 3rd parties to compete with Microsoft's products in this new environment."
Of course this is not just a problem for Mozilla — both Google and Opera are going to want equal treatment, as are the makers of any other type of app that Microsoft decided to include as a MetroTop app.
What if Microsoft says no?"

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+ - Data sharing aids the fight against malaria->

Submitted by ananyo
ananyo (2519492) writes "Two years ago, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) announced that it would release details of about 13,500 molecules that had already been shown to inhibit the malaria-causing Plasmodium falciparum parasite to some degree ( The molecular structures were published in May 2010, along with similar data from Novartis, based in Basel, Switzerland, and the St Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee. Researchers were encouraged to test the combined library of more than 20,000 compounds to pinpoint potential drugs, and then find out how they work so that the molecules could be tweaked to enhance their activity. Such 'open innovation' efforts have since been launched, including an effort unveiled last month which will see 11 companies sharing their intellectual property ( But are such efforts working? The answer, judging by the GSK effort, seems to be a cautious 'yes'."
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