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Comment: Re:Not a problem (Score 1) 22

by Kjella (#48901289) Attached to: SpaceX, US Air Force Settle Spy Sat Dispute

SpaceX will sell the Air Farce the rockets. The AF launches their gear into orbit. SpaceX has nothing to do with it more than to get paid for the hardware and some support personnel who will have to have security clearances.

These aren't just slightly confidential, state of the art spy satellites is top secret business. They'll be worrying that a SpaceX employee can plant something to steal technology, reveal capabilities, damage or compromise the satellite once the payload is installed. I'm guessing you need just a microscopic amount of C4 if it can hook into the antenna and wait for a self-destruct signal so that when you need them the most they go boom and the screens go dark.

+ - Verizon, Cable Lobby Oppose Higher Broadband Definition

Submitted by WheezyJoe
WheezyJoe (1168567) writes "Responding to the FCC's proposal to raise the definition of broadband from 4Mbps downstream and 1Mbps upstream to 25Mbps down and 3Mbps up, the lobby group known as the National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA) wrote in an FCC filing Thursday that 25Mbps/3Mbps isn't necessary for ordinary people. The lobby alleges that hypothetical use cases offered for showing the need for 25Mbps/3Mbps "dramatically exaggerate the amount of bandwidth needed by the typical broadband user", referring to parties in favor of the increase like Netflix and Public Knowledge.

Verizon, for its part, is also lobbying against a faster broadband definition. Much of its territory is still stuck on DSL which is far less capable of 25Mbps/3Mbps speeds than cable technology.

The FCC presently defines broadband as 4Mbps down and 1Mbps up, a definition that hasn't changed since 2010. By comparison, people in Sweden can pay about $40 a month for 100/100 mbps, choosing between more than a dozen competing providers. The FCC is under mandate to determine whether broadband is being deployed to Americans in a reasonable and timely way, and the commission must take action to accelerate deployment if the answer is negative. Raising the definition's speeds provides more impetus to take actions that promote competition and remove barriers to investment, such as a potential move to preempt state laws that restrict municipal broadband projects."

Comment: Re:I won't notice (Score 1) 293

by Kjella (#48900015) Attached to: UHD Spec Stomps on Current Blu-ray Spec, But Will Consumers Notice?

Put a reminder in your calendar to reply to this post in 10 years. If I was wrong I'll send you a beer.

Just a technical nitpick, old articles eventually get archived - I'm assuming to prevent spambots making replies and modding them up to get into Google results since there's no real moderators around anymore - so he won't be able to.

Comment: Re:What's unclear? (Score 1) 65

by Kjella (#48899949) Attached to: Why We Still Can't Really Put Anything In the Public Domain

Depends on the nature of the relationship between the one who released it and the owner. Most likely it would go under "agency by estoppel" which means that the principal is bound by the actions of their agent as long as a reasonable person would believe it is within the agent's authority. There would be no reason for anyone to believe that the original release was unauthorized, so nobody is liable for copyright infringement even though Nullsoft lacked actual authority. Whether you can stretch this into using it as if it were properly licensed in perpetuity despite notices to the contrary is more questionable, besides not all jurisdictions may have the same estoppel laws as the US. But it wouldn't be an unreasonable claim that you found a code snippet apparently under the GPL and used it in good faith that it was authorized by Nullsoft.

This would not apply if some random employee decided to post the source code though since it's clearly outside his scope of authority, nor would it apply if hackers released the code with a fraudulent license since there's no principal-agent relationship, so in practice you might still become liable through no fault of your own. Making a process to declare something public domain won't change that, since it would be just as false as licensing it under the GPL. Or like buying stolen property, even though you had no reason to believe it was stolen it won't matter if the owner shows up and proves it's his. But not if you went to his store and bought it by a clerk who didn't have the authority to make that kind of sale.

Comment: Re:The fuzzy line between hobby and job (Score 2) 153

Your hypotheses that road damage is caused solely by the pressure on the top few millimeters of the road is highly questionable. The Prius is not going to be pounding down through the structure of the concrete nearly as much as your super-duty pickup hauling a huge boat.

I do agree that big rigs should be paying drastically more in fees than they do. However, industry lobbyists will always trump common sense.

Comment: Ozane (Score 1) 273

by MillionthMonkey (#48899095) Attached to: Americans Support Mandatory Labeling of Food That Contains DNA

Nobody uses these names, but technically the IUPAC systematic name for ammonia is "azane", and water is "ozane". (Google says they're a Star Refrigeration subsidiary in the US and an exterminator business in New Jersey.)

I'm imagining Slashdot stories like "Fracking Fluid Contains Significant Amounts of Ozane", "Ozane Responsible For Rising Sea Levels", "Guantanamo Prisoners Tortured Using Ozane", "Oncoming Ozane Crisis Threatens Civilization", "Weak Beer Found To Contain Excess Amounts of Ozane", "Linus Torvalds: Ozane Has No Role In Linux", "Ozane Layer Disappearing Along East Coast", "Tesla Motors Introducing Ozane-Based Fuel Cells", etc.

Comment: Re:X-Files vs. Bab-5 - ouch! (Score 1) 244

by Kjella (#48898523) Attached to: Best 1990s Sci-fi show?

ST:TNG worked better specifically because it was not serialized for the most part, and individual episodes were not building toward some specific thing that had to be modified and rewritten and adjusted every time the network messed with the show or cancelled it. It was also generally possible to enjoy episodes after having missed several, as for the most part there wasn't a lot of long-term backstory to need to be acquainted with just to follow the plot.

Yeah, Babylon 5 just didn't give a shit about casual viewers - there was only a very few episodes that had a recap of past event. The first time I was tipped about the series I saw an episode in the middle of the series and was just wondering who, what, why since there was absolutely no way to get into the series. It really wouldn't have hurt them to have a 30 second "Previously on Babylon 5" to give you the essentials.

Comment: Re:you can't boil this down to one variable (Score 1) 182

by Kjella (#48898075) Attached to: Doomsday Clock Moved Two Minutes Forward, To 23:57

Why? There's a hundred ways I could die in the next year, but there's no problem aggregating it so I don't see why the clock can't represent total risk. Besides, it's probably going to cascade anyway. If Russia pulls the trigger in Eastern Europe then NATO will get involved, China probably don't want NATO forces on their borders and at least somewhat back Russia and might decide the time is right to take back Taiwan and those Japanese islands and it all goes down hill from there. IS has openly stated their goal is to wage war on everyone until it's one caliphate. If shit hits the fan in the Middle East you know the US will back Israel which will drag NATO into it and the oil would bring everyone else. Same with North Korea, it could easily become a proxy war between China and the US that turns into a true war. I'm not exactly sure how an India-Pakistan war would escalate but an all-out war there already has 1.5 billion people involved. And that's just where it sparks, if you could guess that the rise of Hitler would lead to the attack on Pearl Harbor your crystal ball is good.

Remember, the world is a lot more connected than it used to be, with floods in Thailand the price of hard drives worldwide doubled. No matter where war breaks out it's going to have a lot of impact on US companies and US markets and there will be a lot more incentive to protect US economic interests around the globe than there used to be in the 1940s. Even when it's not cold war power plays it's going to be a lot harder to dismiss as not our problem.

Comment: Re:It also doesn't really matter (Score 2) 135

by Kjella (#48897631) Attached to: NVIDIA Responds To GTX 970 Memory Bug

Whether the GTX 970 has 3.5 or 4 GB effective it's still more than a standard GTX 780 Ti with 3 GB, so I'm guessing you have to run some rather extreme resolutions and AA modes to see a practical difference. In fact the latter will generally beat a 970 whether single vs single or SLI vs SLI at UHD (3840x2160) resolutions.

What I do know is that my 2x970 totally trashes a single GTX 980 at a 20% price premium as they do have 2x13/16 = 26/16 the shaders, both cards shut down the fans at idle so it's extremely quiet and even at full tilt both cards together pull just 2x145W = 290W. I'm kinda surprised nobody's done a single card version yet since it's still under the 300W ATX limit.

It runs games at 3840x2160 on a Samsung UD590 beautifully, even though it's a 1ms TN panel it's not for twitch gaming as it's 60 Hz on DisplayPort with no fancy sync options and 25ms input lag but it looks extremely good. And at monitor distances you can definitively see the upgrade over 1080p while the TV benefits are more dubious. There are better setups, but for being such a high-end system the price/performance was extremely good.

+ - Is Pascal an Underrated Programming Language? 6

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "In the recent Slashdot discussion on the D programming language, I was surprised to see criticisms of Pascal that were based on old information and outdated implementations. While I’m sure that, for example, Brian Kernighan’s criticisms of Pascal were valid in 1981, things have moved on since then. Current Object Pascal largely addresses Kernighan’s critique and also includes language features such as anonymous methods, reflection and attributes, class helpers, generics and more (see also Marco Cantu’s recent Object Pascal presentation). Cross-platform development is fairly straightforward with Pascal. Delphi targets Windows, OS X, iOS and Android. Free Pascal targets many operating systems and architectures and Lazarus provides a Delphi-like IDE for Free Pascal. So what do you think? Is Pascal underrated?"

Comment: Re:Internet Explorer (Score 4, Informative) 95

Kinda. It wasn't impossible to write cross platform browser stuff in the late 1990s, when most corporations started this whole "We'll standardize on browser X" policy making, but it required a discipline that had most developers throwing their hands up in the air in disgust.

Unfortunately the situation in the late 1990s was:

- The major browsers were incompatible.
- IE4+ was the most standard. Yes, really. Those versions had a relatively complete implementation of CSS.
- IE came preinstalled with the standard operating system of that time.

That was it. That was why corporations went with it. It's why they adopted the monoculture in the first place. If Netscape had been a little quicker with Mozilla, or been more enthusiastic about CSS in Netscape 4.x, and if CSS had been a little more complete, things might have been different.

Comment: Re:Internet Explorer (Score 1) 95

by Kjella (#48896123) Attached to: In Addition To Project Spartan, Windows 10 Will Include Internet Explorer

Having been dredged into that market by no choice of my own, I can tell you this.: Picking a solution that works well in every browser is damn hard, even if you try. IE6 was the worst, but it did't look right in Safari either. I'm pretty sure Firefox and Opera was correct, but it doesn't really matter to th end user. You use an obscure client, it's your problem. It's only quite recently it's become their problem.

"The trouble with doing something right the first time is that nobody appreciates how difficult it was." -- Walt West

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