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Comment: Re:Why? (Score 2) 223

by Kjella (#49548305) Attached to: Microsoft, Chip Makers Working On Hardware DRM For Windows 10 PCs

And why would anyone willingly submit themselves to this abuse? I absolutely will not be adding hardware that only serves the purpose of limiting what I can do with my PC.

Does your computer have a HDMI/DisplayPort or DVI port made in the last 10+ years? You got DRM. Nothing keeps you from running the RMS-approved distro of choice and play all the creative commons content you like though, you won't notice it's there until you try to play protected content. And that's why boycotts won't work, the only reason to buy a DRM-incompatible version of the same hardware is so you can try to play protected content and bitch about it not working, kinda like buying a Mac and complaining it won't play PC games.

You must understand that the entire movie industry is in a "now or never" mode, DVDs was broken, BluRay was broken and these 4K discs will rival the cinema master (DCI 4K) in quality. If the standard is established enough they can't just ditch it and the DRM is broken, they won't be able to do one better. So they're trying to make this the most unholy DRM abomination ever, because if it fails it's game over. It's really that simple.

Comment: Re:This never works (Score 1) 223

by Kjella (#49548115) Attached to: Microsoft, Chip Makers Working On Hardware DRM For Windows 10 PCs

He shouldn't have said in the home - probably more the school yard and campus. We used to pirate stuff on floppy discs and later burned CD-Rs with MP3s. Before online activation was possible as a requirement you could just install as many times on as many PCs as you wanted. And it wasn't like we hoarded it, here's my collections of MP3s for your collection of MP3s just pick anything you like and if you don't want the rest just delete it. But I think that's a bit 80s and 90s thinking, then you had Napster and the 00s. If there's "casual copying" like we did today, it's a secondary effect of a torrent download, one downloads and spreads it around to friends and extended family. That seems quite likely to still be going on.

Comment: Re:Someone contact Chris Hadfield! (Score 3, Funny) 127

by Kjella (#49542557) Attached to: I spend most of my time ...

I averaged my location (frame of reference, Earth) and find my average location to be the Center of the Earth.

Lucky you, I averaged with the sun as my frame of reference and over a year my average location is the center of the sun*.

* Assuming a spherical and not elliptical orbit, if you don't get the desired results tweak the model.

Comment: Re:"Full responsibilty?" (Score 1) 328

by Kjella (#49542517) Attached to: Drone Killed Hostages From U.S. and Italy, Drawing Obama Apology

Careful what you wish for, the flip side of war being declared is that all the war-time powers of the president, FEMA etc. are invoked. If you don't want that to happen, you have to somehow define it as non-war military action and then it wouldn't be in violation of the Constitution, you can't have it both ways. And the amendment says only Congress can declare war, but the President is commander-in-chief of the military and there's really nowhere that explicitly states he can't commit acts of war without approval by Congress. It seems implied, but technicalities might matter.

By the way, if you're arguing the person at the top is violating the law then that naturally flows down the chain of command and as we learned in the post-WWII trials, following orders is no excuse. So if the President should go on trial for violating the constitution, the soldier shooting should go on trial for manslaughter. Possibly even murder, because you clearly meant to kill and that you happened to kill a few that weren't the target is like an assassin's collateral. I doubt that goes under manslaughter, really.

Comment: Re:Dell, HP, Panasonic (Score 1) 400

by Kjella (#49542285) Attached to: We'll Be the Last PC Company Standing, Acer CEO Says

For wired machines, sell iSCSI, 10gigE, and the ability to boot from the NAS (well, used as a SAN in this case.) One drive array then handles all the home files, and is easily backed up and managed.

Your understanding of "easily" may differ from most people, besides you're thinking too limited. People want access to their data on the go, visiting friends and family, at the cabin or on vacation or business trips or whatever. Sharing movies between the upstairs and downstairs TV isn't exactly the biggest problem. Even though you might hate the buzzword "cloud" they certainly want cloud-like functionality. And then you're talking an Internet-facing service with all the fun that entails.

It might be wise for EMC/VMWare to get with hardware makers and put ESXi into BIOS of computers

Almost all desktops computers are able to do decent software virtualization already, at least for a single user case. Who is really waiting for ESXi outside of enterprise servers?

SAN functionality like snapshots, copying backups on the array level, deduplication, and other tools would be useful on PCs. Malware can't touch previous backups if done on the snapshot level.

Only if it's done by another process they don't have access to, just like backup files they can't alter. They steal your credentials, so if you can delete your own snapshot so can they.

Time to bite the bullet and move to SSD wholesale, at least for the OS. HDD bays are still useful, but the machine should at least boot, if not run its apps and data from SSD.

They'll stop providing HDDs when the market stops buying them. Lack of choice isn't going to sell a lot through extortion, because unlike Apple buying their hardware isn't the only way to run the same software (Hackintoshes excluded).

Consumer level backup media. Malware isn't going away anytime soon, and there is nothing out there that actually gives resistance from malware overwriting backup media, except for CD/DVD/BD-R drives. What would be ideal would be some form of inexpensive tape drive with the media able to be write-protected, maybe even WORM media available

Except it doesn't exist. Except consumers often treat their media like shit. Except it's that manual process users never bother to do. Most can't even be arsed to copy-paste it to a thumbdrive/second HDD/NAS/whatever as backup. If you got one online backup (anywhere but at home) and a disconnected USB HDD next to your PC you're better off than 99% of the population. The chance of a fire/theft destroying your offline backup and a virus/trojan destroying your online backups at the same time are pretty slim.

You can't backup a 4TB drive to DVD-R. Or I guess you can, but it'd take forever both to do and restore. Same with tape backups, you're not going to swap ten tapes to back up/restore one drive and the kind that could back up large parts of a drive is $$$.

Comment: Re:Much Ado About Nothing (Score 1) 195

by Kjella (#49523371) Attached to: Concerns of an Artificial Intelligence Pioneer

All these guys like this Stuart Russell, Stephen Hawkings and Elon Musk are talking about AI that we are not even remotely close to building, and if we do manage to build one anytime soon, it will be so primitive that we can just pull the plug out the wall if it becomes a real concern.

Unless it's too useful for some, like say an investment robot that has figured out the ROI on dirty business beats clean business, ethics be damned. Or that they don't want to look a human in the eye and say no money, no food for you but a sales droid won't be bothered by it. Or that it provides too much control, like a despot using AI to weed out dissenters and eliminate political opposition. And if the killer bots have a bit of civilian collateral, they're just too powerful not to have. There's plenty of reasons why "bad AI" might be allowed to grow, they're the perfect opportunity to let out the worst of humanity without getting your own hands dirty.

Comment: Re:Idiotic (Score 1) 590

And if no one ever determines that the innocent person is innocent, then their life is completely wasted in prison, in my opinion.

New technology like DNA, deathbed confessions, evidence found or witness statements withdrawn years or decades later can show a ruling, no matter how correct it seemed at the time to be wrong and without there being any active investigation. Sure if I've been ensnared by unfortunate circumstances or framed I'd rather you find the truth straight away, but I'd rather be wrongfully imprisoned than wrongfully executed. As long as there's life there's hope that I'll be a free man again and you can't conclusively say it won't happen until I'm dead.

Sure, it almost certainly won't happen but proponents of the death sentence is using the likely outcome to justify the means. It's like basing a warrant on the assumption that you'll find something to justify the search. Yes you've lost the presumption of innocence, but when humans make decisions on worldly evidence and testimony there'll always be a smidgen of doubt left. Posthumously clearing a name might not matter much to the dead, but it matters to friends and family and helps prove the system isn't perfect. And though it can't get better it won't be perfect and we can't turn back time, but we can give the innocent every chance they can get. And that ought to be enough.

Comment: Re:Still works, just not the way people thought (Score 1) 96

by Kjella (#49507375) Attached to: How Uber Surge Pricing Really Works

It both increases the number of drivers dealing with a surge when a surge is happening and also decreases the people asking for rides. No, it won't increase the number of drivers total, but so what? It increases the drivers working the surge, which is the point.

The point is that you work the surge by making the service worse everywhere else. You're not able to deliver more passenger miles, you just charge more for the same fixed-ish supply. It's good business but it's questionable if the users in aggregate are better off. Then again, it does create a flash mob which may eliminate the outliers which depends on how you value waiting time. If you wait 3x5, 1x60 minutes it's less than 4x20 minutes but the latter is often preferable, since you often have to make room for a "worst case" travel time in order to be there on time.

Comment: Re:The Search for Life (Score 2) 62

by Kjella (#49506487) Attached to: If Earth Never Had Life, Continents Would Be Smaller

Seems like this could have drastic effects on how we search for life. Not only are we looking for planets in the Goldilocks zone, but we now know that if we see too much water it could be a sign that there an absence of life.

I don't think we'd have any clue how much water there "should be" since that depends on the stellar material that created the planet, asteroid impacts and so many other factors we wouldn't know. So practically no, I don't expect this to affect how we search for planets with life and we don't have nearly enough information to consider probabilities. For all we know ocean worlds might be the norm, no life as we know it survives without water so the most obvious place to find life might be in water. Land seems a lot less essential, really.

Comment: Re:Searching (Score 1) 271

by Kjella (#49502441) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Features Would You Like In a Search Engine?

and nothing else.

Stop adding 'features' to things that don't need them!

YMMV, but that's one of the reasons I really like google. For example converting units, what's 53F in C again? I could get a thousand hits that could give me the formula or a conversion table or whatnot but just "searching" for it saves me a step or two. I often use it instead of the built-in calculator just because it's already up. I suppose it could go overboard with Clippy-isms but I haven't felt that has been the case.

Comment: Re:So much for long distance Listening (Score 4, Insightful) 293

by Kjella (#49502397) Attached to: Norway Will Switch Off FM Radio In 2017

TETRA or P25 on a power for power basis with older analogue equipment works well over 3 times the distance where analogue becomes unintelligible.

Outside. I know particularly the firefighters have complained about poorer coverage inside buildings, which is usually where their life-saving work is done. Details...

Comment: Re:Scientific American begs to differ (Score 1) 385

by Kjella (#49502287) Attached to: Can High Intelligence Be a Burden Rather Than a Boon?

Some ten or fifteen years ago, Scientific American published an article about the positive correlation of "general intelligence" with virtually every measure of success in life. Like earning enough money to be comfortable, having the emotional intelligence to have a successful marriage, etc.

It's rare to find an objective measure where being stupid is a good thing, unless you're the cop who figured out the criminal mastermind's plan and got assassinated or similar corner cases. Even if you're not in a position to excel you're not going fail and I'd argue it's just as much your objective successes like a steady job and organized life that puts you ahead of the deadbeat drifters when it comes to finding a mate, tests show your EQ can suck despite a high IQ.

Obviously the lack of material goods can cause unhappiness, but most of us have the basic needs covered. The rest is pretty much a state of mind, are you happy? I'd be happier eating junk food if I didn't know all the crap it does to my body. I'd enjoy T&A more if I knew it wasn't a biological preference to easy child birth and ample breast feeding. And it certainly doesn't get better if you end up where it doesn't matter because you and everyone you knew will be dead and building a pyramid for a tomb is just stroking your ego.

I generally find my happiest moments are when I'm too preoccupied or suitably intoxicated not to think too much. Just existing in the moment, feeling good, having fun, enjoying the ride, savoring the taste. If you "pierce the veil" more or less and realize you're playing an RPG to get level+1, skills+1, armor+1, weapons+1 to fight monsters+1 or lather, rinse, repeat what used to be fun just loses all interest. I guess you can call it a more general form of suspension of disbelief, the suspension of further intellectual inquiry. If you're happy, stop thinking. You're only going to ruin it.

Comment: Re:About half (Score 5, Informative) 293

by Kjella (#49502115) Attached to: Norway Will Switch Off FM Radio In 2017

Ooh, found my answer, "20 % of private cars are equipped with DAB radio." So 80% aren't. I think 80% of people are going to not like this once it happens.

That doesn't even begin to cover it, many people have an FM radio that they occasionally use for example at cabins or whatever, more than 80% will probably have to replace some radio. And note that they asked for "digital listeners" not "DAB listeners" meaning if you use your smartphone or tablet or PC to listen to radio, you get counted in favor of DAB even though you don't use DAB.

Actually this (Norwegian) is the truth, in 2014 about 64% of the population listened to radio daily and only 19% on DAB. There's no numbers for it but even less exclusively used DAB. I don't have a DAB radio. It sucks for any kind of battery-driven device, meaning just the kind of remote places and mobile appliances where you'd want radio. We'd do better just upgrading so we'd get 3G/4G coverage everywhere rather than DAB.

Nobody else is phasing out FM or even planning to phase out FM. This is just Norway going off on its own crusade urged on by commercial interests of 10+ new channels, fuck whether it makes sense to throw out millions of radios. On the bright side, I expect this to lead to a massive interest in building out 3G/4G coverage as ex-FMers give DAB the middle finger. Streaming with Spotify + offline playlists is likely to be the new "radio".

We declare the names of all variables and functions. Yet the Tao has no type specifier.

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