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Comment: Re:DVD patents expiring (Score 2) 68

by evilviper (#49363805) Attached to: Another Patent Pool Forms For HEVC

At least the patents on DVDs are expiring if not already expired. The first DVD player was sold in 1996, and patents can be good for up to 20 years from the filing date, so it would seem that by late next year, all necessary patents should have expired.

This is HORRIBLE legal advice. Patent laws were different before 1996, that's why MP3 patents are still around (and will be until 2017) despite the fact that specifications were published back in 1991!

In the United States, "patents filed prior to 8 June 1995 expire 17 years after the publication date of the patent, but application extensions make it possible for a patent to issue" quite a few years after initial filing.

MP3 patents have mostly expired, though one US patent expires later this year.

I wish that was true, but it's certainly not:

Comment: Re:this is a mountain out of a mole hill. (Score 1) 375

by evilviper (#48929211) Attached to: Why Screen Lockers On X11 Cannot Be Secure

I use i3lock, which would mean attackers would have to find a way to get into /usr/bin to usurp my locker

Umm... No. Changing your PATH, setting LD_PRELOAD= or one of many other envs, changing Xsesson scripts or your WM's menu entries... Any of those would do just fine.

You also missed the entire point of the article, that an X11 screen-locker is just a normal user application like any other, a black image over top and only just TRIES to steal focus and input.

Comment: Re:The pendulum swings too far... (Score 1) 441

by evilviper (#48841189) Attached to: Why We Have To Kiss Off Big Carbon Now

However, internal combustion engined vehicles require fossil fuel to run

Internal combustion engines can run quite well on hydrogen, ethanol, methane, and any number of other non-fossil sourced flammable gases.

In addition, plug-in hybrid vehicles offer a possible path for oil demand to drop drastically, without requiring any more improvements to battery technology. The vast majority of trips can be powered by electricity, while only longer trips need consume any oil. They need only drop in price.

Comment: Re:Adblock Plus selling advertising access to user (Score 1) 699

by evilviper (#48552005) Attached to: French Publishers Prepare Lawsuit Against Adblock Plus

has decided to take money in exchange for allowing "non-intrusive" advertising through its lists, pretty much against the interests of it's users who don't want any ads.

On the contrary. Allowing non-intrusive ads (by default--you can disable this feature in: Preferences) is the best thing any Adblock type program has ever done.

It's actually offering content producers a significant incentive for using ads which are less objectionable to users. The alternative is advertisers benefit by doing worse and worse things, and those who choose to block ads are silent and uncounted. This could help reverse the trend, and keep sites and advertisers honest and decent, and offer counter-incentive to irritation.

Comment: Slashdot LOVES cell phone tracking (Score 1) 168

by evilviper (#48215365) Attached to: Austin Airport Tracks Cell Phones To Measure Security Line Wait

I don't know what it is, but slashdot editors just LOVE the hell out of cell phone tracking. I mean, there has probably been a story or two on the subject before now:

Everyone go out and find all the cell phone tracking stories you can, and submit every one to /. They love it when you do that!

Comment: Re:backup for 911 (Score 1) 115

by evilviper (#48215259) Attached to: Software Glitch Caused 911 Outage For 11 Million People

What are the odds your family isn't all on a single cellular carrier, making you unable to take advantage of such redundancy?

Verizon and Sprint are compatible, while AT&T and T-Mobile are compatible. And with them all switching to LTE, it's likely they will all be mutually compatible in a few more years, when manufacturers start selling multi-band LTE phones.

Most every post-paid cellular plan includes voice roaming. Even if you're not paying for roaming normally, when you dial 911, all restrictions are dropped, and your cell will connect to any available tower from any provider that it can.

Comment: Re:backup for 911 (Score 1) 115

by evilviper (#48210307) Attached to: Software Glitch Caused 911 Outage For 11 Million People

In FIOS areas, it's no longer possible to get a POTS landline. You can get a phone service over FIOS, but it's subject to wall-power being available, and you're using the same E-911 system as normal VoIP or cell phone services, anyhow. It's the FCC that's to blame for me not having a landline.

Also, there's no reason cellular 911 service shouldn't be ultra-reliable. There are 4 different nationwide carriers in the US. What are the odds that all 4 of them will have ALL their overlapping cell towers in an area knocked-out? That does happen, today, but ONLY because the FCC pussied-out on requiring them to have backup generators in each cell tower, and lets them just keep a few backup batteries in there for short power outages.

And if some event damages the fiber-optic line to my house, there's no chance I'm fixing it... At least with a cell phone I have the option of climbing onto higher-ground and trying to get a signal from a more remote tower, or even just SMS texting emergency services (coming real-soon-now) and hoping.

With ad-hoc WiFi in cell phones, people may soon be able to self-assemble into their own wireless network that spans whole cities, after a disaster knocks-out all other local service. Try that with your land-line.

Comment: Re:The end for me (Score 1) 937

by evilviper (#47930673) Attached to: Why Atheists Need Captain Kirk

...scratch that. SoylentNews turns out to be just as bad as /. in this regard. They posted this same damn story, too, and the head of the site has stated they don't want to be a tech site at all.

Instead, my last hope rests with pipedot, which is much more like an old-fashioned /. with a focus on sci/tech instead of flamebait crap. Hell, the sci/tech stories even get more comments on pipedot than they do on SoylentNews, which says a lot about the community.

Comment: Re:Multi-family units (Score 1) 80

by evilviper (#47898859) Attached to: L.A. TV Stations Free Up Some Spectrum For Wireless Broadband

an apartment where she does share the building with up to 15 other families.

That doesn't preclude installing an antenna, it just reduces your options. Multi-floor apartment balconies and/or windows usually get pretty good TV reception. If previous occupants had DBS dishes mounted, you can stick an antenna on that J-channel. And landlords are usually reasonable. You can always ask for permission to install an antenna, explaining the non-destructive mounting option (chimney straps, non-penetrating root mount, etc.) you'd like to use, and promise it'll be less unsightly than what you'll do if they refuse.

Comment: Re:Of course they don't need the full spectrum (Score 1) 80

by evilviper (#47897537) Attached to: L.A. TV Stations Free Up Some Spectrum For Wireless Broadband

Speaking of technical, it was only recently you can easily find actual frequencies used by TV stations (needed if you are using UHF wireless mics). After the DTV transition, I could not find actual frequencies used which drove me nuts because those that say it is same as NTSC are wrong

Umm, has had that info forever.

I linked to the FCC's DTV transition plan in my journal about OTA TV in 2007:

"FCC DTV tentative frequency assigments"

If you're talking about the center frequency, that's a very simple conversion. The Linux DVB package contains two text files listing center frequencies:


ATSC eg.:
A 57028615 8VSB
A 63028615 8VSB
A 69028615 8VSB
A 79028615 8VSB
A 85028615 8VSB

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