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Comment: Re:Actually, I liked it. (Score 1) 315

by geoff2 (#31059770) Attached to: Google Airs Super Bowl Ad

"so far three friends have called me to tell me to watch this ad"

Perhaps they know you're the type to post on Slashdot and therefore think that you might be interested in Google's first-ever Super Bowl advertisement.

As for your other points, I think most people in this world have an inkling that Google has some kind of search service. In fact, it's the most popular search service in the world. Makes me wonder what the point of the ad is. "Gosh, I think I'm going to use Google to search on the internet from now on, instead of Alta Vista!"

Comment: Re:Hmm (Score 1) 265

by geoff2 (#30855756) Attached to: YouTube Offers Experimental Opt-In HTML5 Video

" In fact there are Theora hardware decoders in the market already [xiph.org]."

That link you provided doesn't show that. It says there are players out there which support Theora; however, "there is a hardware decoder implementation being developed." That means there isn't currently a hardware decoder.

Meanwhile, there are numerous h.264 decoders available in hardware from multiple vendors. See Macej Stachowiak from Apple's post here, and search "h.264 asic" on your favorite search engine for more.

Comment: Re:Apple?? (Score 1) 292

by geoff2 (#30732616) Attached to: Here We Go Again — Video Standards War 2010

Apple owns no part of Disney. Jobs does, thanks to his former ownership of Pixar and its purchase by Disney.

Apple will do, no doubt, what's best for Apple. But I don't particularly see how it benefits much from DRM on video, especially in light of the fact that I have no doubt that the existence of DRM (and high prices relative to DVDs and Blu-Ray discs) makes video sales (and thus the use of video on Apple's products) significantly lower than they would be without DRM. A $9.99 online music purchase is a good deal as it includes the same music at potentially a lower price as a CD, and can be played in the same places as a CD. A $9.99 movie purchase is not a good deal, when the equivalently priced DVD has many more features and can be played in many more places.

Not that I travel in such wide circles, but I know many people who purchase music digitally, but very few who purchase video digitally. I have no interest in purchasing a movie on my PS3, which can't play on my computer or iPhone or DVD player; likewise, I have no interest in purchasing a movie on my computer, which can't play on my PS3 or DVD player or TV, as I don't own an Apple TV. I don't think my approaches towards the media are very different. If Apple could sell video without DRM, and at more reasonably prices, I expect sales would jump. And with increased sales comes increased demand for Apple products.

(Of course Apple would still want DRM on rentals, for obvious reasons...)

Comment: Re:Mossberg is an Apple fanboi, valid point though (Score 2, Insightful) 568

by geoff2 (#30660008) Attached to: Google's Nexus One Phone Launches

"the 16 GB of storage on the iPhone is typically filled with music".

Ummmm, do users of other smartphones not play music? Is there something special about the iPhone that requires users to fill up the space with music, or videos? Is it just too darned easy to load your iPhone with music? I really have no idea what this means.

FWIW, I'm currently using 1.57 GB of storage for apps on my iPhone. Of course, I don't think that's *all* due to the apps -- some of it is user file storage, which is handled app-by-app and which I assume is counted in the "app" section of the iPhone capacity meter in iTunes.

Comment: Re:One thing that's incorrect (Score 1) 276

by geoff2 (#29330847) Attached to: A Different Perspective On Snow Leopard's Exchange Support

The Exchange support for Snow Leopard was built using Exchange Web Services, just like the next version of Microsoft's client, Entourage.

Entourage is the current Mac analogue of Outlook. It will be phased out next year when Office for Mac come with an actual version of Outlook.

Incorrect. The "Outlook for Mac" is just a rebranded Entourage, so you're still getting the same thing.

Outlook for Mac is promised to be a complete rewrite, so it's the "same thing" as Entourage only in that it's the mail/calendar/contact app component of Microsoft Office. The program itself could be quite different.

Games

Unusual Physics Engine Game Ported To Linux 117

Posted by Soulskill
from the three-cheers dept.
christian.einfeldt writes "Halloween has come early for Linux-loving gamers in the form of the scary Penumbra game trilogy, which has just recently been ported natively to GNU-Linux by the manufacturer, Frictional Games. The Penumbra games, named Overture, Black Plague and Requiem, are first-person survival horror and physics puzzle games which challenge the player to survive in a mine in Greenland which has been taken over by a monstrous infection/demon/cthulhu-esque thing. The graphics, sounds, and plot are all admirable in a scary sort of way. The protagonist is an ordinary human with no particular powers at all, who fumbles around in the dark mine fighting zombified dogs or fleeing from infected humans. But the game is remarkable for its physics engine — rather than just bump and acquire, the player must use the mouse to physically turn knobs and open doors; and the player can grab and throw pretty much anything in the environment. The physics engine drives objects to fly and fall exactly as one would expect. The porting of a game with such a deft physics engine natively to Linux might be one of the most noteworthy events for GNU-Linux gamers since the World of Goo Linux port."
Education

HTML Tags For Academic Printing? 338

Posted by timothy
from the gedankenexperiment-draws-cries-of-use-ps-or-pdf dept.
meketrefi writes "It's been quite a while since I got interested in the idea of using html (instead of .doc. or .odf) as a standard for saving documents — including the more official ones like academic papers. The problem is using HTML to create pages with a stable size that would deal with bibliographical references, page breaks, different printers, etc. Does anyone think it is possible to develop a decent tag like 'div,' but called 'page,' specially for this? Something that would make no use of CSS? Maybe something with attributes as follows: {page size="A4" borders="2.5cm,2.5cm,2cm,2cm" page_numbering="bottomleft,startfrom0"} — You get the idea... { /page} I guess you would not be able to tell when the page would be full, so the browser would have to be in charge of breaking the content into multiple pages when needed. Bibliographical references would probably need a special tag as well, positioned inside the tag ..." Is this such a crazy idea? What would you advise?

Comment: Re:Suspect?.... (Score 3, Insightful) 403

by geoff2 (#28503977) Attached to: Investigators Suspect Computers Doomed Air France Jet

Except there's no good evidence here to show that the NTSB is in any way being political; the statement isn't political in and of itself, and there's no evidence that there was any political pressure anywhere being applied.

Here's the facts: other organizations investigating the Air France crash have pointed to possible airspeed malfunctions as a contributing cause. Meanwhile, the NTSB has looked into similar matters and has announced it's looking into two completely separate cases in which it appears that the same kind of aircraft may have had airspeed indicator malfunctions. It has nothing directly to do with the Air France case.

And re: MACC's observation below, the NTSB reported that due to a flaw in the Boeing 777's engines there was an urgent need for a component redesign. I don't see how that's shifting blame away from Boeing at all. (And the British AAIB announced that the incident was probably caused by an accumulation of ice in the fuel system and also caused for a system redesign; that's not wildly different from the NTSB's statement.)

Comment: Re:Every time I see an article about Apple... (Score 5, Insightful) 230

by geoff2 (#27369747) Attached to: iPhone App Refund Policies Could Cost Devs

Every time I see an article about Apple which gets basic facts about the company's policies wrong, I get just a little more annoyed.

Seriously. There is no "90-day" refund policy. Read the iTunes Store terms and conditions -- no mention of a 90-day period. In fact, the only mention of refunds is that you can get a refund if they can't deliver the purchase to you; otherwise, as it clearly states, "no refunds are available."

Moreover, there are thousands of app store applications and developers. Is there a single one who has complained about this refund policy screwing them over?

Methinks overheated rhetoric like the one in this post and tomhudson's below about how developing for the iPhone used to be fun but is now "about money and control and refunds and chargebacks" is farcical.

Comment: Re:What? (Score 1) 404

by geoff2 (#26949201) Attached to: Walter Bright Ports D To the Mac

A Mac is a genuine Unix workstation that is much easier to administer, and has much better software and hardware support than Linux.

Apart from if you want to run the most popular scripting language.

The lesson, which any Mac developer with a clue has known for years, is that if you want to work with your own customized perl installation, install your own Perl, don't extent the preinstalled version which Apple might change in a future update. Since installing perl on a Mac involves, basically a) downloading the software; b) typing "sh Configure -de"; c) typing "make"; d) typing "make install." Not too tough, really.

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