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Comment: Incidentally... (Score 2) 49

by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (#48921447) Attached to: FCC Prohibits Blocking of Personal Wi-Fi Hotspots
What I find most baffling about the whole affair is how something that one would ordinarily think of as a fairly overtly malicious exploit, spoofing the appropriate management frames to break a network you don't have authenticated access to the configuration interface for, became a 'respectable' tool for 'management', even included out of the box in fancy commercial products from vendors with risk averse legal teams and so on.

This seems like the place where somebody who has been dealing with enterprise wireless gear long enough to have observed the change might be found. Did this 'feature' cross over from what was initially a proof of concept by a security researcher? Was it recognized as a possibility before the standards had even been hammered out and was available from day one? Do we know what vendor adopted it first? Were there any who specifically didn't offer it for legal, rather than technical, reasons?

At this point, it is certainly the case that at least some wireless management consoles adopt a very...possessive...tone, detecting 'rogue' APs, despite those APs being no more or less legitimate than any others, in terms of spectrum use, and offering 'containment' or various similarly clinical euphemisms for dealing with them. How, historically, did it come to be that this nasty DoS trick went all legitimate, even as generalized hacker hysteria can get you a stiff dose of CFAA charges for almost anything that involves a CLI and confuses the DA?

I'd love to have my hands on all the versions of various vendors' wireless management and administration packages, to see how this feature evolved over time. I can certainly see its appeal; but I find it hard to believe that nobody had serious doubts about its legality from time to time.

Comment: Re:grandmother reference (Score 1) 432

by vux984 (#48921331) Attached to: Ubisoft Revokes Digital Keys For Games Purchased Via Unauthorised Retailers

No. A refund is a return payment made from a merchant to a customer. Refunds are not made to third parties that were never part of the original business transaction.

Ok. Agreed. Ubi shouldn't owe them a 'refund'. But they are the party that owes restitution here.

The customer should seek restitution from the middleman that made the fraudulent charge.

"fraudulent charge" is a pretty strong charge to make. The keys were sold legally in Eastern Europe by buyers who then exported them legally elsewhere.

The only "contradiction" would be to what Ubi -wants-. That doesn't amount to fraud. It is not fraud to buy something in a price discriminated market, and legally export the product.

Europe is very economically diverse. Germany has nearly 4x the per-capita GDP as Poland, which happens to be right next door. What's affordable to someone in Germany is not necessarily affordable to someone in Poland.

My city is very economically diverse. Less than a mile away are people making a fraction of what is typical in my neighborhood. Yet we both pay the same price for milk, cars, and movie rentals.

I hear your argument, but I'm not sure what makes the line between germany and poland a magical line the free market dare not cross.

That bike rack that you mentioned above is purchased outright, whereas Ubisoft's games are licensed.

Semantics. I *purchased* a license. I don't pretend I have any special exceptional copyright ownership of the underlying intellectual property any more than when I purchase a copy of a book... but I did *purchase* a license. The store had a "buy" button, I pressed it. A one time transaction was completed. I know own a license. Its listed as one of my games. And I can click a link to my "purchase history".

  There's a principle in law... if it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then its a duck. (You see this principle applied in other areas too like when corporations dress up their employees as "independent contractors" and the law sees right through it.)

Many leasing companies will not allow the lessee to take the vehicle out of the country without permission.

A lease agreement is a negotiated several page document that both parties sign multiple times over. Pretty sure that's not a better analogy for buying a video game.

Region locked game consoles are a good example of this. Outright revoking access to the service is crude, which is why many publishers are switching to language-locked editions. A high-priced English-French-German-Spanish-Italian edition on one side, and a cheap Polish edition on the other. This can negatively affected ex-pats that don't speak the native language, but that's a very small group.

Yup. I agree they can do stuff like this. But you can take a region locked game console to North America and play games purchased in that region for it. They don't get to show up your house with a hammer and smash your console.

or you agreed to the ToS and accept the consequences of breaking them.

Which terms of service did I any one agree to before buying the key that indicated UBI could revoke the game if they weren't from the country the key originated from?

I don't deny they exist... but I'd like to see them.

Comment: Re:Good (Score 2) 49

by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (#48921261) Attached to: FCC Prohibits Blocking of Personal Wi-Fi Hotspots
Less likely. The FCC is pretty clearly within their powers in saying that you aren't allowed to intentionally interfere with other people's Part 15 devices by using your own to generate disruptive RF.

There is no obvious coverage for forbidding the sale of devices having a Part 15 radio component; but lacking a software configuration for providing network access to other devices with that device. They might be able to shove it into the conditions of a spectrum auction, and make it binding on the buyer; but it's more of an FTC problem.

Comment: Re:What's the difference between China and EU? (Score 1) 209

by Luckyo (#48921209) Attached to: China Cuts Off Some VPNs

Then basically what you have is a chicken or egg problem. No powers to EU until it's even more democratic. And EU will stay powerful and less democratic as a result with no real motivation to democratize because they will never be democratic enough for naysayers.

And mind you, in most European countries, laws that have any real chance to go through are proposed by Governments. In many cases any MP can propose laws, but their chance of going to through is typically extremely slim to none. Europe needs practical solutions, not hypothetical possibilities that will never have any real meaning.

At the same time, smaller states are far easier to pressure in undemocratic ways from outside and in the age of superpowers, no single European state can survive pressure from US or China and would have serious issues handling pressure from Russia. You would basically be sawing the branch you're sitting on.

I suspect that your point of view is "common" mainly in UK, which is a notable outlier in EU when it comes to this issue. Most people I've met across Europe are certainly wary of EU's undemocratic tendencies, but generally don't even know how their own country's political system actually works, much less EU. The only practical difference to these people is that EU seems more remote.

Comment: Re:There's a whole industry based around Elite Pan (Score 1) 320

by Luckyo (#48921183) Attached to: Davos 2015: Less Innovation, More Regulation, More Unrest. Run Away!

You two really don't understand what I was talking about, do you?

Laws work retroactively, promising consequences for actions. They provide little to no proactive protection, and in general require for the target criminal action to be less valuable to criminal than cumulative risk of getting caught and punishment.

And after you get beyond certain level of wealth, potential gains go high enough that consequences become largely irrelevant. As a result, super-rich are forced to get private protection because law is no longer protecting them.

Then there's the issue of becoming attractive target for other crime such as complex fraud that would not be cost effective against average person due to much lower potential gains.

What you two are talking about is rich pushing the law to help them get richer. That is a completely separate issue from issues I mention.

Comment: Re: I won't notice (Score 1) 330

by Luckyo (#48921165) Attached to: UHD Spec Stomps on Current Blu-ray Spec, But Will Consumers Notice?

This is not "theoretically possible" but a reality. I've actually conducted tests about ten years ago on early MPEG-4 compression (specifically divx and xvid compression artefacts in relation to usability) as a part of lab excercise. We brought in around 50 volunteers for screenings iirc. Basically random students we grabbed from hallways and promised them a free lunch if they gave us a few hours of their time. They were told that we were testing something else, I think it was something about "acting quality in relation to your general interest" or some similar bullshit.

We had them watch three short movies. All three were either original MPEG-2 DVD, DIVX at high quality and original resolution (notable artefacts, DIVX was in early stage back then and generally pretty good and churning out macroblocking and other artefacts even on high bandwish) and DIVX at low quality and half resolution (massive compression artefacts around edges, heavy "washout" loss of detail).

Around 2/3 couldn't tell the difference between massively artefacted XVID re-encoded to half the original resolution and original MPEG-2 DVD on a large TV. Almost no one could tell the difference between original and high quality XVID. And that's young people from technical university with much better eyesight and interest in technology than average public.

Our conclusion was pretty much in line with similar blind tests. Overwhelming majority of people will not spot a difference unless they're specifically looking for it. That is why broadcasters get away with massive overcompression of streams and a lot of content HD broadcasters show is upscaled. Most people never notice. You need a trained eye and to know to look for problems to spot those things.

Comment: God, what drivel ... (Score 5, Insightful) 101

by gstoddart (#48920969) Attached to: Latest Windows 10 Preview Build Brings Slew of Enhancements

We were told that it'd give us Cortana, Microsoft's AI assistant

OK, I'll preface this with a "get off my lawn" to get it out of the way.

But I have to say, I have precisely zero interest in this. The more I read TFA, the more I cringe.

After setting Cortana up, which involves telling her your name, and adjusting some other minor settings, sheâ(TM)ll be good to go. If the respective option is enabled, sheâ(TM)ll always listen out for âoeHey, Cortanaâ, at which point your question can be asked. In the example below, I asked, âoeHey, Cortana. Could you please show me the weather?â, at which point she queried the Internet and spit back the accurate info â" without me having to state a specific location.

Talking to Cortana is finicky at best. After stating âoeHey, Cortanaâ, Iâ(TM)ve found that Iâ(TM)ve either had to keep talking right away to be heard, or have her say, âoeHey, Robâ and then me have to click the microphone icon again to speak. It seems some thresholds need to be adjusted, because in the current implementation, itâ(TM)s easier to avoid potential hassle and just go find such information online.

I don't want my fucking computer to feel like it's on a first name basis with me. I don't want to talk to it. I don't want my computer constantly listening to and parsing everything I say. I sure as shit don't want that crap integrated with an ad platform.

If I want to see the weather, I'll go to the tab I keep open with the weather.

This is a bunch of dreck I can't see myself wanting to use, which is mostly a "make pretend" version of AI which is at best a shortcut to search. I don't see the value in voice commands -- in fact, I see great nuisance in it (like in Offices, or just everywhere).

This sounds like an OS which is heavily focused on "teh social" integration with XBox, with the new lame-ass crayon interfaces Microsoft seems partial to, and a bunch of dorky features which seem like they're trying too damned hard.

I don't see any of these features being useful, I see them as being pointless eye candy, which is full of gimmicks I don't see myself using in the long run -- in fact, I see me disabling as many as possible.

I'm afraid Microsoft's "vision of the future" is a glimpse into hell. At least half of those features sound like shit which will slow down the machine and add zero benefit.

Now, seriously, get the fuck off my damned lawn.

Comment: Re:Not really. (Score 2) 129

by ultranova (#48920775) Attached to: Gamma-ray Bursts May Explain Fermi's Paradox

First, us humans prefer killing each other to science. This is a proven fact.

Really? How did the arrangements for that experience go? Subject gets to choose between a test tube or a bound assistant and a (hopefully fake) knife?

Second, humanity did not go from Horses to Nukes, a very very small percent of the population did it, those geniuses have everyone else standing on their coat-tails.

A small part of the population did experiments on uranium, while the rest mined that uranium, enriched it, built the roads that carried it from the mine to the lab, etc. Accusing a tailor of riding on the coattails he made is rather absurd.

The next leap will be by a very small group that is significantly more enlightened than the rest of the 99.95% of the population. If those people are benevolent, then everyone enjoys the fruits. If they are not....... Well, things can go very differently.

The invention to trigger the next leap will be by some group that is supported by others, allowing them to focus on something besides where their next meal will come from. After it has been made, it will be turned into something actually usable by other people, manufactured by yet others, distributed by yet other people along communication and transfer infrastructure built by, you guessed it, other people...

Heroic fantasies are just that: fantasies.

WE do not glorify learning, but instead glorify morons that can carry a ball, or can sing a tune. And we Vilify in society those that do love learning and are very smart.

People respect people who can provide something useful, be it entertainment, a focus for a cultural bonding event, or a cure for cancer. If you aren't respected as much as you think you deserve, it's usually because you aren't doing anything to earn it. Merely being smart and learned is no more worthy of respect than being richr; it's what you're doing with it that earns - or doesn't - the respect.

Honestly Humanity is a joke, almost a cancer. And if an advanced civilization stumbled across us, they would probably wipe us out to make the rest of the universe safer. We as a species love to hate others, we love murder, war, and control. WE thrive on hating those that are different or think or worship different.

Humans, in general, love thinking they're better than someone else, since that's easier than self-improvement. Sometimes that manifests as merely dismissing the entire species as "riding on the coattails" of a special few ubermenschen, and sometimes the delusion reaches the point of wanting to get rid of some specific group of perceived parasites. Either way, it's bullshit.

Comment: Why use a cable? (Score 2) 143

by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (#48920541) Attached to: Engineers Develop 'Ultrarope' For World's Highest Elevator
Does anyone know why they wouldn't sidestep the infeasibility of particularly long cable runs by having the elevator climb the walls of the shaft directly, rather than being raised and lowered on a cable? I imagine that a cable and counterweight arrangement is more energy efficient for shorter runs; but if that isn't an option wouldn't a cog railway style mechanism, with 'track' on one or more walls of the elevator shaft, result in a system where the weight that has to be moved doesn't change at all with the height of the building? There would be some additional weight per unit height from the track structure; but that would be static and connected to the building's frame rather than being forced to support its own weight.

Too energy intensive? Wears too quickly? Safety breaks infeasible leading to risk of sickening plummet to doom?

Comment: Huh? (Score 1) 129

by Black Parrot (#48920405) Attached to: Gamma-ray Bursts May Explain Fermi's Paradox

GRBs clearly haven't prevented life in *our* galaxy, so the Fermi Paradox still stands.

The caluculations probably rule out life in the core of our galaxy, but systems further out would be exposed even less often than ours is. And even though GRBs can periodically sterilize a planet, their directionality means that one burst would not likely sterilize all the planets in an intercellar civilization simultaneously.

So, to modify what someone said above, we can add another term to the Drake equation, but this doesn't do much to answer Fermi.

Comment: Adobe has been prepping for this (Score 1) 165

by nehumanuscrede (#48920337) Attached to: YouTube Ditches Flash For HTML5 Video By Default
The 2014 versions of Creative Cloud removed Flash export from Premiere, After Effects and Media Converter. If you wanted to retain that functionality, you needed to install a previous version that supported it.

They're concentrating on the other web formats it seems. Someone even created a .webm plugin for Premiere and Media Converter. I doubt Adobe is worried about Flash, they have plenty of other applications that are heavily used.

Photoshop, Lightroom, Premiere, After Effects and Audition being the ones I am most familiar with.

Comment: I think you're America-culture centric (Score 3, Interesting) 129

by PeterM from Berkeley (#48920269) Attached to: Gamma-ray Bursts May Explain Fermi's Paradox

Some of the Asian countries do have cultures that love learning and the very smart. However, they have various other cultural problems.

There's this old joke, heaven is English policemen, German scientists/engineers, Italian lovers, Swiss bankers, and French cooks. Hell is English cooks, German policemen, Italian bankers, Swiss lovers, and, well, I don't suppose French make bad scientists/engineers, but I'm botching the joke some. But the point is that if we could take the very best of all our cultures and fuse them, humanity would advance far faster.

The Chinese have admirable work ethic and love of learning, however, their government needs improvement in inclusiveness and combating corruption. Some of the European governments are far superior in these respects (or so it seems from the outside.) The anti-intellectualism of the USA is rapidly degrading the US political system, its economy, its worldwide power, and its future prospect for maintaining dominance in science/tech/economy/military. However, again, not everywhere in the world does humanity glorify sports or singing and hate learning and intelligence.

Perhaps we can hope that the negative aspect of humanity will cause their own self-destruction without destroying the best aspects of humanity.

New York... when civilization falls apart, remember, we were way ahead of you. - David Letterman