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Comment: Re:Chrome and IE (Score 2) 151

by courtarro (#41229389) Attached to: Firefox, Opera Allow Phishing By Data URI Claims New Paper

To solve this latency problem, most well-designed websites use a single large GIF or PNG for all their tiny CSS images, then slice the image to indicate each independent icon, border, etc. This not only reduces the total image overhead but also greatly reduces the total number of 304s to receive.

Example: one of Facebook's icon resource files

Comment: Re:Didn't do the math (Score 2) 294

by courtarro (#34889630) Attached to: Amazon, Not Developers, Will Set New App Store's Prices
A similar rule applies to amateur rally races in Finland, covered on the BBC show Top Gear. In folk racing, every car is given a nominal and equal value, such as €1000. At the end of a race, if anyone asks to buy your car then you have you sell it to them, which keeps anyone from putting too much into a car.

Comment: Kids these days? (Score 4, Insightful) 510

by courtarro (#33735708) Attached to: Android Software Piracy Rampant

Android Market apps are mostly super cheap. Who can't afford $1 on a game they'll play for a few days non-stop? Or a few bucks on a ROM management app? Prices for most paid apps are so low that I imagine that the largest barrier to entry is not price, but the effort required to set up one or more credit cards. My hypothesis, for that reason, is that a large portion of the piracy comes from the age 15-20 crowd who have fancy phones and lots of free time to figure out piracy options, but no credit card(s).

Google can greatly reduce this kind of piracy by working out pricing deals with the carriers to allow charges to appear on phone bills. How else would the ringtone industry thrive as it has? Verizon certainly doesn't offer a direct-bill Android Market option. Maybe this is already the case on other carriers? How does piracy compare in those cases?

Another annoyance of the Market is currency conversion. I've bought apps for sale in both Yen and Euros, and for those purchases I had to set up a Visa card since my AMEX didn't support foreign purchases (on the Market, at least). Most users don't want to deal with that kind of crap ... again, piracy is easier. Can't Google Checkout handle currency conversion on the developer's end without hassling end-users?


Lego 'CubeDudes' By PIXAR Animator 34

Posted by samzenpus
from the toy-art dept.
An anonymous reader writes "PIXAR Animator Angus MacLane has created an incredible series of LEGO 'CubeDudes' modeled after beloved characters from sci-fi movies and comic books. From Star Wars heroes R2D2 and C-3PO to Toy Story's Buzz Lightyear and Jessie, the pixellated creations bear a remarkable likeness to their forebears. MacLane says, 'When I had a moment here and there I chip away at a few at a time. I'll have the body of one Dude and a head of another that I will be working on at the same time. It takes me about 10-15 minutes to make one CubeDude and I average about two a day.' The hardest part is the color palette — LEGO doesn't make purple bricks, so villains like Lex Luthor, The Joker, and Grimace are a challenge."

Comment: Re:For those complaining (Score 3, Insightful) 258

by courtarro (#32663520) Attached to: New Wii Menu Update Targets Homebrew Again

This is true until they release a first-party game with the update included as a requirement. For example, Super Mario Galaxy 2 includes the 4.2 system update and requires you to update your system before you can play the game ... unless you start the game with a homebrew tool that blocks the update. Funny how the very feature they're trying to remove is capable of blocking the removal.

Homebrew users know to avoid system updates at all costs, so the only people affected by them are people who have not yet hacked their Wii. Once updated, though, those people will have a harder time installing homebrew should they choose to try it.

Comment: MIT versus the world (Score 5, Informative) 68

by courtarro (#30331242) Attached to: MIT and the DARPA Network Challenge

MIT's strategy is very interesting. Several groups (like our team) have been forming their teams for weeks, but MIT appeared on the scene just today, and it's fascinating that they got a front-page Slashdot plug. I give them lots of credit for flooding the scene with mentions in such a short time. Whereas some teams give their winnings to charity (like ours), others entice balloon spotters with cash portions of the earnings, and MIT has decided to do a little of both.

DARPA is the sole decider of how difficult this competition will be. Will they place the balloons in dense urban areas, or will the launch them in small rural communities?

Best of luck to all the teams tomorrow, MIT included. I hope that the contest winner will write a paper describing their strategy, both in network-building and in launch-day data collection.

Comment: Re:If You Can Reflash It, It's Not Bricked (Score 0) 559

by courtarro (#26542119) Attached to: Seagate Firmware Update Bricks 500GB Barracudas

This comment appears regularly on /. articles that use the term "brick." May I suggest that the term "brick" is slang and has no official definition? If I plug a [poorly patched] HD into a computer and get no sign of life, I'd consider that a "brick" until it's been flashed back into proper function.

"If you can reflash it" is also subjective: does that mean via a normal IDE/SATA interface, or does it extend to a direct JTAG connection, or do you have to desolder the ROM to flash it? There's a broad spectrum of functionality, but it seems most useful to use the term "brick" to refer to any device that seems to have no useful function under normal circumstances. My point is that it's open to interpretation, so don't be so picky.

Comment: Re:Hopeful (Score 4, Informative) 171

by courtarro (#26387969) Attached to: Sony Teases 3D Playstation 3

For LCD HDTVs, most of the input lag comes from all the processing hardware, not the LCD panel itself. Many TVs now come with a "game mode" that disables certain processing features to decrease lag time at the expense of noise reduction, or upscaling quality, or whatever.

When I play Guitar Hero on my Sony LCD TV, I get about 60ms lag with the TV in its normal operating mode (as measured by GH's lag compensation feature). When I enable game mode on my TV, the lag effectively drops to zero. With game mode enable, many of the picture optimization features are not available, but that doesn't generally bother me since I usually disable them anyway.


+ - Astronauts flew missions drunk, panel finds->

Submitted by strawbo
strawbo (748739) writes "CNN is reporting an investigation of whether or not astronauts have flown shuttle missions while inebriated. "Interviews with both flight surgeons and astronauts identified some episodes of heavy use of alcohol by astronauts in the immediate preflight period," the panel said. NASA said it cannot determine the veracity of the claims until further investigation. I can't imagine that flying a space ship while drunk is a good idea..."
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Do you suffer painful hallucination? -- Don Juan, cited by Carlos Casteneda