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Comment Re:He gets stuff done, making others look bad (Score 2) 84

At this stage, NASA should just funnel money to SpaceX as fast as they can, before the space programs of other countries make them an irrelevance.

Yes I know that's harsh, but how else can NASA sidestep the politicians that meddle with NASA's long-term plans every election cycle?

Well, nothing Musk has done so far is deep space-specific. In fact, the whole manned flight program comes from NASA money. Is he going to design the Mars lander, outpost, return vehicle and fund it all? I doubt it. So in practice it's going to be on the politicians' whim for quite some time still.

Comment Re:What 'meaning'? (Score 1) 125

Hey at least it's a holiday that's not all about me, me, me. Sure, the retailers want to exploit it like every other special day (Mother's Day, Father's Day, Valentine's Day, Halloween etc.) but I kinda like finding a nice gift for someone, when I can. And it's a pretty good excuse to enjoy the end of the year the same way Sunday is the end of the week. Don't let commercialism get in the way of Christmas, it's pretty hard to ruin Crazy Shopping Day though since that was all it meant.

Comment It's in the law (Score 4, Interesting) 194

USC 17512 Limitations on liability relating to material online

(i) Conditions for Eligibility.â"

(1) Accommodation of technology. â" The limitations on liability established by this section shall apply to a service provider only if the service provider â"

(A) has adopted and reasonably implemented, and informs subscribers and account holders of the service provider's system or network of, a policy that provides for the termination in appropriate circumstances of subscribers and account holders of the service provider's system or network who are repeat infringers; and

Nobody has dared poke this part of the law with a stick, what the heck does "reasonably implemented", "appropriate circumstances" and "repeat infringers" mean? None of it is defined any closer. I'd go for the simple two-pronged defense:

1) The policy is clearly spelled out in our terms of service, where we may terminate your contract:

By using the Service, you agree to abide by, and require others using the Service via your account to abide by the terms of this AUP. The AUP will be updated from time to time, so you should consult this document regularly to ensure that your activities conform to the most recent version. IF YOU DO NOT AGREE TO BE BOUND BY THESE TERMS, YOU SHOULD IMMEDIATELY STOP THE USE OF THE SERVICES AND NOTIFY THE COX CUSTOMER SERVICE DEPARTMENT SO THAT YOUR ACCOUNT MAY BE CLOSED.

1. Prohibited Activities. You may not use the Service in a manner that violates any applicable local, state, federal or international law, order or regulation. Additionally, you may not use the Service to:
Breach of Agreement: If You breach this Agreement, or any other agreement referenced herein, Cox has the right to terminate this Agreement and retrieve its equipment.

2) Our customers are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

Something tells me this is going to get overturned on appeal.

Comment Re: Don't evolve your business model (Score 1) 199

Precious little, in a while. There's more and more support to the idea that any device to be connected to the internet will have to be"audited" for "potentially harmful" software and "certified" by "authorities". I know it sounds unacceptable right now but give it time and everybody will simply shrug and say "it's for our own safety and besides, what can we do?"

I heard pretty much the exact same thing when the "I love you" virus was making the rounds, just saying...

Comment Re:Institutional Knowledge (Score 1) 162

If everyone is a contract worker doing works-for-hire, then nobody has extensive institutional knowledge. You are constantly explaining and re-explaining how your business works, and bugs are repeatedly entering codebases because the developer hasn't spent years understanding the business and its workflows. It doesn't matter how well documented your business is, developers will make mistakes when they are unfamiliar with your processes. When they can't look at a workflow or data structure and go 'that's not right' because they have spent years at the company learning how things work.

The question is in what time frame the difference becomes apparent. If you have a sane system built up over time with institutional knowledge then for a time the odd fix here and there in the wrong place in the wrong way won't bring the system down. Sure you're building technical debt but the interest is far less than the principal in the beginning. It's only as you accumulate debt and people make terrible fixes on top of bad fixes because nothing makes sense the system becomes what is professional known as a clusterf*ck and the interest burden is killing you. But who cares?

The stockholders are an impatient bunch who want to see quarter-to-quarter results. Management is often on the same page, motivated by performance metrics and quarterly bonuses. And if they're just looking to grind out work from the employees until they jump ship for something better, you're not really motivated to work for long term benefits either. And contractors are obviously just doing business for as long as you're willing to pay and then move on to someone else. Somebody must care about the long term future of the company and stop the destructive elements that'll screw it for short term gain. Otherwise simple individual rationality will ruin it because people do what's best for them, not the company.

Comment Re:Nor is HDCP 2.2 (Score 1) 112

I'm not confusing any terms, because it is not my decision to make. It is the publishers who make that decision.

Between money or more money. Not making money or losing money.

I also noticed that for the majority of people, the removal of DRM made little to no difference at all. That is because they made the protection as unobtrusive as possible. Yes, the protection did prevent you from moving your digital files around, but it didn't stop playing on the Apple devices or burning the tracks to an audio CD (up to 7 times).

But it made it impossible (or at least extremely inconvenient) to move away from an Apple device. The market effects were obvious and was a huge part of the iPod's success and cost the consumers millions through lack of competition. The consumer might not have really understood, but they knew it worked on Apple and didn't work anywhere else.

But we are in the minority. The majority of people in the world either don't notice DRM or they are accepting of it.

They don't notice it because what millions and millions of people download have DRM removed.

And DRM could stay as it is and the world won't come to an end.

True, but you were the one claiming that publishers wouldn't publish without DRM.

Comment Re:Mars isn't going anywhere. (Score 2) 168

Because... why? Mars is the furthest where it makes sense to send humans and we know from the ISS that artificial gravity and growing food is overkill for trips of that length. The next viable target would be an Earth-like exoplanet somewhere 4+ light years away that your "real ship" would take many thousands of years to reach.

Comment Re:Maine has been doing this since 1976 (Score 1) 34

I think you're right about the discovery phase, basically it's a niche where you have a registered nurse on the remote site that can do blood samples, blood pressure, stethoscope, "say aaaaaah" and all the other really basic examinations but not enough demand to warrant a local doctor. I mean you wouldn't ever treat a patient via telemedicine if the patient was in the next room, it's an inconvenience you do if it's overall easier than getting the patient to the doctor. I think there's far more potential in the monitor/treat phase though where you know what parameters to look for and if the progress is good you don't really need to do much at all, what you're looking for is complications or that the treatment isn't working. Or it's a chronic condition you can't really cure but is just doing surveillance on. Or where you're more giving physical care than medical care, the lines get a bit blurred sometimes. There's a lot of health in good hygiene to avoid infections, for example. Doctors do spend a lot of time following up on your progress and automating some of that could free up better use of their time.

Comment Re:We're almost at the end with current tech (Score 4, Interesting) 112

The real problem is that we're mostly redistributing the watts.

4 core @ 4GHz (i7-4790K) = 91W, 4*4/91 = 0.175 GHz/W
4 core @ 3.2GHz (i7-4790S) = 65W, 4*3.2/65 = 0.197 GHz/W
4 core @ 2.2GHz (i7-4790T) = 35W, 4.*2.2/35 = 0.251 GHz/W

So from top to bottom we're seeing 40% better perf/W with perfect linear scaling. Neat, buit not exactly revolutionary when you subtract overhead. We've already got so much scale out capability that power is clearly the limiting factor:

8 core @ 4GHz (doesn't exist) = ~185W
8 core @ 3.2GHz (1680v3) = 140W
8 core @ 2.2GHz (2618Lv3) = 75W
16 core @ 4GHz (doesn't exist) = ~370W
16 core @ 3.2GHz (doesn't exist) = ~280W
16 core @ 2.2GHz (E7-8860v3) = 165W

We can't go faster or wider unless we find a way to do it more efficiently, either that or we need extremely beefy PSUs and water cooling.

Comment Re:Nor is HDCP 2.2 (Score 3, Insightful) 112

No. People want to play media. They have no desire whatsoever to have it "protected" against them.

People also would rather not pay for their media, so if they have to choose between protected content and no content at all (because the content providers think that it is not economically viable enough for them to release it DRM-free) then the consumer will choose the former option. And if the protection is implemented well so that it doesn't adversely affect the consumer then they probably wouldn't give a damn.

I think you confused "not economically viable" with "profit maximizing". You think that famous artists, movie stars and authors that make tens of millions of dollars would say "Nah, I'd rather go work at McDonald's" if you cut their wage in half? And I'm sure you noticed how the music industry imploded after iTunes gave up the DRM. Oh wait, it didn't. And there's a whole lot of countries I'd live in if North Korea was the other option, we don't have to allow unreasonable terms if we don't want to. Just because it would be economically profitable to weld shut the hood of the car and control how you drive it after you've sold it, doesn't make it right. The doomsday scenarios are false. We could easily drop the DRM-protection, ban DRM and go back to plain old copyright infringement without the world coming to an end.

Comment Re:Sadly.. (Score 1) 348

You know what is odd? (...) Today no one wants to fork. Things are mature and stable. users fear change. Looking at FOSS in 2015 I hate to say this but Linux grew into the WIndows ecosystem. One app for graphics, gimp. . One app for a gui, gnome. One app for an ide Eclipse, etc. True with the gui part someone will say they use featureX. But for 85% of users things tied to stuff like gnome can't leave so easily. Just like some law firm probably runs Wordperfect somewhere today. But MS word is thee word processing app. What happened?

Primarily, the world went dynamic. We plug in and pull out all kinds of devices, accessories, monitors and whatnot, we pair up with Bluetooth and WiFi, we change power states, sleep states and so on. That kinda requires an IPC system and event loop, which is neither core C/C++ nor POSIX. The other part is that we want global settings for consistency. To be honest, I don't know how I could write an application that "plays nice" without using some kind of framework. If the framework shouldn't provide it, you need a much bigger global system API for applications to interact with. But then that'd probably be accused of trying to be the one ring to rule them all.

Comment Re:Fork (Score 1) 348

You'd think that a 2d image editor should be a fairly simple job, something handled mostly by standard libraries now. I mean compared to somehting like Blender it is not rocket science, but more an excercise in UI (which needs overhaul anyway) and optimization (which needs new fresh concepts also).

Depends, there are some really simple tools to do simple things. But there's a near infinite way of doing tools and filters with parameters, take for example a noise reduction or edge-detecting sharpening filter or airbrush tool. Of course in theory they all boil down to setting one and one pixel, but there'll always be room for workflow improvements to get you from A to B in the easiest, quickest way yielding the best results.

Comment And by implication... (Score 1) 137

Blackberry Offers 'Unlawful Device Interception Capabilities', since the capability is entirely orthogonal to the legality. Sounds like a great selling point to... who, exactly? Those who don't see it as problematic (insert Benjamin Franklin quote here) won't care and those who do care for sure won't buy a Blackberry. Then again, Blackberry was probably running out of ways to scare away customers and needed to add a few more. They're down to 0.3%, almost there...

Comment Re:Defendants screwed up (Score 1) 129

In any case, Bossland's claim of copyright infringement seems tenuous against Blizzard. If anyone, it was Apoc who infringed (and maybe broke non-disclosure) by distributing a copy of the code to Blizzard. But there's little point in Bossland suing its freelancer. Blizzard did probably make copies of their own, and so there's an interesting question as to whether Bossland could get them for infringement there.

If they made copies, then yes. Copyright is a strict liability offense in the US, even if you can prove you had good faith reason to believe you weren't infringing it only reduces damages, it's not a defense.

Comment Re:it was just too long (Score 1) 174

That's key, but they also failed because the tone was wrong (and inconsistent). The Hobbit was a kids book back when those were allow to get scary - a fun adventure story with some dark moments for our hero. Our hero was clearly Bilbo: it was his narrative, and his character arc. The places where the tone got dark were specifically the places where he needed to grow, and find to courage to overcome the new difficulty. The mix of fun adventure and dark moments made perfect sense. This was a very different tone than LOTR, which was fundamentally a war story for adults. The Hobbit film just didn't understand that, and rushed production is no excuse. The film never really felt like Bilbo's journey "there and back again." Almost all the filler was dark and dramatic, so much so that the original fun parts of the book were now jarring and inconsistent in the movie. The inclusion of a kooky Radagast could have worked with the original story, but felt completely out of place in the film.

The problem is that the audience from the first trilogy would be too old for such a movie and their children too young. They wanted a movie someone who watched and liked LotR would watch. They wanted as many tie-ins to the LotR story and as many of the same actors to appear as possible. And they wanted to throw a bone to all the ladies who got dragged along to LotR and stayed for the Aragon/Eowyn/Arwen romantic overtones. There's nothing like that in the story, it's a fairy tale that easily could have been written with an all-male cast for young boys with gremlins, grumpkins and a dragon like Narnia with less girls and queens. Don't get me wrong, it could have been a decent children's movie by itself but as LotR: The prequel it would have been a total flop. It would have been more painful to watch than Star Wars and Jar Jar Binks.

And the problem with pulling in those LotR bits is that it makes Bilbo's story seem more like a trivial side show. So they have to make his story darker, the conflicts more intense and the dangers bigger. No leisurely floating down the river, no sneaking past the dragon for some reason Bilbo goes on in a crazy quest to slay a dragon, claim the treasure and retake a lost city he's got no relationship barely escaping all kinds of monsters and an orc army giving chase. At least Frodo had good reason to be the reluctant hero and Sam couldn't possibly abandon him, why Bilbo doesn't say this is totally nuts I'm going home is beyond me. I guess the funny bits are still there as an attempt to show it's an adventure too, something he'd like to be part of. But they're not really convincingly selling it.

Federal grants are offered for... research into the recreation potential of interplanetary space travel for the culturally disadvantaged.