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Comment BBC / other state broadcasters? (Score 4, Insightful) 127 127

Although I'm more or less in favour of this (details around copyright 'compensation' nonsense from the EU to sort out), it does present a problem for state-funded broadcasters such as the BBC.

I'm a UK TV license payer, therefore I fund the BBC. Someone in France, for example, is not funding the Beeb and without geoblocking would be able to pick up for free all of the programming that I and other UK license payers are making possible. Now there seems a reasonably obvious way round it - introduce subscriptions, but this is more problematic than it seems at first glance. Would still need geoblocking + subscriptions for outside the geoblock, because otherwise the current practice in the UK of not caring where and what I'm streaming to will fall apart (you'd need to verify the subscription or similar - how would my kids do that when it's just me on the license, are we talking about having to name everyone covered by the license payment etc.). Worse, if the revenue from subscriptions starts becoming a significant part of the BBC's income, then it will start to produce more content geared towards those subscriptions and become less 'British'.

I'm using the BBC as an example I'm familiar with, but there are other state broadcasters in Europe. The BBC model of license to keep it independent of government editorial control is the only funding model of its kind I can think of, but I would imagine the same issues would apply to most of them.

Comment Deliberate 'overextraction'? (Score 1) 67 67

What if I had a machine that tried to extract, say, 4,000 calories worth? Would that lead eventually to automatic weight reduction?

Off the top of my head I would think no, because I would still need to generate that 4,000 calories in a consumable form in order to make them available for extraction. From reading though, I can't tell if the devices are pure extraction or whether they also stimulate the conversion process.

Comment Too many assumptions in the questions (Score 2) 173 173

A sample question: "Who do you think would benefit most from unconscious bias training at your school (or program)? ..."

There is an assumption there, which is as yet untested, that the respondant believes anyone would benefit from unconcious bias training at all.

Comment Re:Why does Jobs always steal the limelight? (Score 5, Interesting) 266 266

Thing is - there were a lot of talented hardware engineers at the time. Woz owed an awfully large amount to Chuck Peddle, for instance, and the role of MOS and Commodore is massively underplayed these days in a "history is written by the victors"-style approach. Most of the early pure engineering-led eight bit companies died a death, but Apple survived. Why is that? It wasn't due to Woz.

I really don't want to underplay Woz and I agree with the comments, but you can see from his ventures since that the involvement of Woz does not necessarily make for a sustainable company, and Woz alone could not have created Apple.

Comment Re:Virtulize it (Score 1) 66 66

IO ports. The Beeb had millions of them, and they were used in education too. At school I wrote programs for light-sensing diodes for instance, which were just plugged straight in.

I have a BBC emulator and it's good. It truly isn't the same thing as using the real hardware though - even simple stuff like the feel of the keyboard. I have vice64 and use it to emulator the C64, but I also have a real C64 sat in my retro-cupboard all set up and ready to go. That cupboard contains a monitor/TV, C64 with 1541 snaildrive; datasette and Commodore mouse; a Gamecube and then baby-of-the-bunch Wii. Of those the Gamecube and Wii are most easily replaceable in feel since they were operated entirely through controllers, and so long as you still use the controllers a full-screen emulator will give you pretty much the same experience. The C64 emulator will not, purely down to things like key layout, keyboard feel, SID bugs making each chip unique etc.. A BBC emulator won't give you the same feel either. Both will do well, but it's not the same.

Comment Re:This is not news that matters (Score 1) 66 66

So am I. I'm very sorry that a man who wrote the music for films of my childhood and made the sci-fi and fantasy come alive, has gone. Battle Beyond The Stars, Krull, Star Trek II - as a kid in the 80s these were all exciting and thrilling things to me. They helped create a love of music in me too, something I have continued to adulhood and now write my own music as well.

Yes, it is news that matters for nerds.

Comment Am I included? (Score 5, Interesting) 134 134

So here's an interesting one. I am a musician in my spare time, and I have an album up on iTunes. It's a good job my life's income doesn't depend on this - we are talking tiny sums of money made, but it is my album and it's an achievement for me to have an album out there and hey - there are people that like it.

I have no idea if this album is included in streaming or not. I'm not signed to a label, and nobody has asked me if I want to be included or excluded. I would have thought, given the talk of "pulling the album" etc. that there must be a separate agreement I should have to make but I haven't seen anything at all about it.

The music was published via an intermediary, Ditto Music, but they're just a publishing service and not a label. In fact, I own the label it was published under and that is the label's sole release to date. What's the situation for musicians like me? Included, excluded, paid, unpaid...?

Comment Re:Tron could be a very good series (Score 5, Insightful) 205 205

" However, if Disney would actually give it to a good director and writers and take it darker..."

No. No. No.

Enough with the silly darker trend. Have you actuallyseen the original Tron? You know with the talking silly Bit in it? It's adventure certainly, but it's not dark. Tron 2 went more philosophical and arguably darker as well, and I happen to really like the film, but I would argue that's also part of what killed it.

Everyone time I hear of a reboot it's "we'll take the original and make it grittier", or "we'll take the original and make it darker", or sometimes we're treated to both gritter and darker at the same time. Bah. Enough of this - it's an adolescant's version of what makes a grown-up film. Give me varied films with a mix of emotions in them please. Relentless dark and misery is not what I want to be offered all of the time.

Comment Re:What is the difference of these 2 positions? (Score 2) 147 147

There's some speculation here regarding the difference. True it's speculation so worth what you paid for it, but it is at least reasonably informed speculation. Seems it may well be about accomodating his desire to move back to the UK, or at least spend more time there.

Comment Y2K was -not- a small issue (Score 5, Insightful) 59 59

The reason so little went wrong is because people spent ages testing and upgrading/fixing beforehand. Had we left it all to 1st Jan 2000 there would have been issues,

It annoys me to see Y2K trotted out time and time again as a non-event. It was a very big event, and by the large part it was very successfully handled.

Comment This is good - think OS X Gatekeeper (Score 2) 190 190

This sounds a lot like Gatekeeper on the Mac, which works really well. It allows the user several levels of trust - "trust store apps only", "trust store apps plus recognised developers" (certificate signed), "allow everything".

I have mine set to "store apps plus recognised developers" and ask for the rest. If I run something else, I can right click and select Open..., it asks me if I'm sure and I say yes. This is a five second operation which gives me control over my options, whilst preventing unknown apps from running without my knowledge and explicit say so. This Windows one sounds pretty much the same, with the addition of your classic enterprise lock down features - it it's a corporately-owned machine, then yes the corporate should get say over what's running on it.

Imagine the kind of download-happy, click-on-everything user that we've all seen around. They would download cunningly-disguised-malware.exe and try to run it, and the OS would simply prevent them. Now true if they had admin rights they could go into preferences, set to allow everything etc. but it's all more effort and a quick realisation that something's unusual here.

Nope, I regard this as a good move. It already exists in OS X and works well - putting a similar system into Windows seems like a good idea to me.

If graphics hackers are so smart, why can't they get the bugs out of fresh paint?