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Comment: Re:Maybe it's because the music industry has adapt (Score 1) 196

by Xelios (#48960163) Attached to: Music Doesn't Feature In the Pirate Bay's Top 100 Biggest Torrents
I stopped downloading music and picked up a sub to Spotify instead simply because it's more convenient. I share the same music library on my home PC, work PC and smartphone without having to fiddle with anything. When I'm in the car I plug the smartphone into the deck and listen to the playlists that I've downloaded. Even my AV receiver at home can stream from Spotify. It all just works and I'm always stumbling across new music that I end up liking a lot.

I've even set up a few collaborative playlists with friends. When one of us finds something new we add it to the list, then the others can have a listen and add it to their own private playlists if they like it.

Only two things bother me: not everything is available and some things that were available will simply disappear one day. Same old licensing BS that just doesn't work in a digitally connected world.

One thing is clear though. Previously the music industry made no money at all off me, now they do. Not because of some anti-piracy campaign but because someone was finally able to provide an acceptably priced product that's more convenient than pirating. Funny how that works.

Comment: Re:Secret Ballot? (Score 3, Insightful) 480

by Xelios (#48795083) Attached to: How Bitcoin Could Be Key To Online Voting
That's possible yes. I guess you could already snap a photo of your completed election ballot to show to those thugs, but you're right that it'd be easier for them to verify votes if they can coerce you into giving up your ID.

If you ask me having those kinds of thugs around in the first place is a pretty good sign of a broken system, but it's a fair point anyway.

Comment: Re:Secret Ballot? (Score 4, Interesting) 480

by Xelios (#48794545) Attached to: How Bitcoin Could Be Key To Online Voting
Voter shows ID to election worker. Worker checks a box. Voter reaches into a giant lottery box full of generated IDs and uses that ID to vote. Later the voter can inspect the blockchain, find his ID and verify that his vote went to the right candidates.

I'm not saying it's a better system but I think there are ways to keep voter anonymity while also allowing the public to audit the result.

Comment: #JeSuisCharlie? (Score 5, Insightful) 1350

by Xelios (#48754849) Attached to: Gunmen Kill 12, Wound 7 At French Magazine HQ
Maybe instead of representing solidarity with a silly hashtag it'd better for us all to exercise free speech by posting a picture of Muhammad. Not an overly offensive picture either, a simple stick man would do.

This craziness isn't going to stop until the media and us people in general start standing up for the things that we're always claiming to hold dear.

Comment: Wrong threat maybe? (Score 1) 580

by Xelios (#48625767) Attached to: Reaction To the Sony Hack Is 'Beyond the Realm of Stupid'
Maybe this has more to do with the threat of releasing more information "if their demands aren't met" than it does the threat of physical attacks? Maybe there really was some backroom discussion between Sony and the big theater chains to scrap the release because of this?

Or maybe not. It's probably just stupidity.

Comment: Different kind of risk (Score 1) 151

by Xelios (#48458647) Attached to: Kim Dotcom Regrets Not Taking Copyright Law and MPAA "More Seriously"
Maybe there wasn't a legal risk that would have held up in court. What all that legal council evidently failed to mention is the very real threat of crippling litigation that, while ultimately unsuccessful, could still wipe you out in the process.

I guess that's one thing separating the 'good' legal council from the 'best'. The former will stop at examining the laws, the latter will also examine all the ways the laws could be abused to achieve the same result.

Comment: Re:Am I missing something? (Score 2) 358

by Xelios (#47163493) Attached to: The Disappearing Universe
It's not that the thing itself is flying away from us at c, it's that all the space in between us and that thing is expanding. Naturally the further away it gets, the more expanding space there is between us and the thing, the faster the thing appears to be receding from us.

In this system nothing is moving faster than the speed of light but the effect is the same: a spacecraft trying to reach that galaxy would need to overcome all the expanding space between, and that would require a speed greater than c. In fact, at that point even light from that galaxy would not reach us anymore, putting it outside our cosmological horizon.

Disclaimer: I may not know what I'm talking about. This should really be in my sig.

Comment: Re:BSG? (Score 1) 669

by Xelios (#46283919) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Games Are You Playing?
Might be the Diaspora mod for Freespace Open, which is really good.

Some back story for those that don't know, Volition (the developer behind Freespace 2) released the source code to the game about 10 years ago when it became apparent that they weren't going to be able to make a third installment. Since then the FS2 community has enhanced the game engine, fixed bugs, overhauled the graphics, added support for all kinds of new peripherals and created several new games, like Diaspora and a Babylon 5 conversion.

If you're a fan of space combat sims you really should check out Freespace Open. Besides playing through the original campaigns I'd recommend Blue Planet (included in the installer) and the subsequent War in Heaven campaigns.

Comment: Re:Familiarity counts? (Score 1) 59

by Xelios (#46113539) Attached to: 30 Minutes Inside Valve's Prototype Virtual Reality Headset
On the other hand I can see this becoming very useful for overcoming fears or certain types of neurological disorders. We recently put together a training program for a clinical trial with Parkinson's patients who experience "freeze of gait". Certain situations (like walking through a narrow doorway) can cause them to become locked in place in a sort of trance until some external stimulus snaps them out of it again. The idea was to train these situations from the safety of their own home in order to better deal with them in public. The clinical trial hasn't started yet, but I'd guess a VR headset would provide a much more realistic experience than a monitor.

Comment: Re:Worst Company? Seriously? (Score 1) 346

by Xelios (#43405621) Attached to: EA Repeats As 'Worst Company In America'

More importantly BoA has been branded "too big to fail" and owns so many subsidiaries by now that they don't need to worry themselves with what ordinary consumers think of the Bank of America brand.

EA, on the other hand, was bothered enough to dish out pre-emptive damage control, so maybe some good will come of this.

Well, probably not.

Comment: Awesome! (Score 5, Informative) 121

by Xelios (#41232635) Attached to: Battlestar Galactica Community Game <em>Diaspora</em> Has Arrived
Anyone who hasn't seen the wonderful things the Freespace 2 Open Source team has done over the years should really check it out. The game itself is $6 on GoG, and since Volition released the source code it's seen a complete overhaul for everything from AI to graphics. The classic campaigns are still there (and are well worth playing through), and there's been some really great fan campaigns released over the years too.

I'd highly recommend the Blue Planet campaign. Part 2 (War in Heaven) is especially noteworthy for really giving you the feeling of being on the losing side of a war, something you don't see very often in games. Part 1 has full voice acting, with voice acting for part 2 still in progress.

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