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Comment: Re:Because of the Limited Lifespan? (Score 2) 202

by mkettler (#45294161) Attached to: Panasonic Announces an End To Plasma TVs In March

Interesting. My cable company puts up the same guide-box on the bottom of the screen every time I change channels, with the same, static header bar. I've had a Panasonic TH-42PX80U Plasma for 4 years (almost 5), with no burn-in issues. I play video games on it too.

I have the pixel-orbiter on, and I do use the screen wiper once a year or so, so that may be some help. Regardless, I find it strange that the box is up long enough to result in image retention. AFAIK, displaying the black box in the same spot frequently shouldn't matter unless it's up there a very large percentage of the time the set is used (i.e.: way more than 10% of the time.).

I know older sets are more vulnerable, but it doesn't sound like yours should be old enough to lack things like a pixel orbiter.

Comment: Re:Standard Naval Exclusion Zone - 100 yd or 300 f (Score 2, Interesting) 435

by mkettler (#32821698) Attached to: Ban On Photographing Near Gulf Oil Booms

I couldn't agree more.. 65 feet seems really close, probably a bit on the unsafe side, and closer than needed for photography of the spill.

And let's face it, if you can't get a fantastic shot of something large (i.e.: a giant oil spill, not a flea) from 100 feet away, you're either badly equipped or lacking in talent. Getting closer will not help you much.

Of course, we're quick to assume this is impinging on freedom of the press, but the last thing we need is some idiot reporter getting his boat hung up in the boom and damaging it because he was 5' away and a big wave pushed his boat into it.

Comment: Re:Sounds like a light pipe (Score 1) 182

by mkettler (#31734202) Attached to: Pumping Sunlight Into Homes

Agreed, light-pipe type skylights are not new, I have 2 solatubes in my home.

It looks like the big difference with this device is the collection head. Rather than a fixed dome with prism ridges in ti acting as reflector, this new device has an moving sun-tracking parabolic reflector. Looking at it, there's a small photovoltaic cell on the center of the reflector, which presumably powers the motors that make the reflector move to track the sun.

Of course, sun-tracking systems aren't new either, but they're mostly used in power generation systems. I've not seen a sun-tracker applied to a light pipe before.

The parabolic reflector is also not new, but also I've not seen it applied to a light pipe before. It has a much larger solar collection area than your standard dome, so it should bring a lot more light into the tube, at least as long as it stays aimed at the sun. Without a tracking system, this head would produce a lot of light at its peak, and very little light the rest of the day. Domes provide mediocre peak collection, but sustain that mediocre performance across most of the day without any kind of re-aiming, making them effective enough to be useful and cheap.

It would be interesting to see how the extra cost of the sun-tracking head compares to the cost of just installing enough additional dome-head collectors to get the same light output.

Image

Aussie Gamers Dress As Zombies To Raise R18+ Awareness 85

Posted by samzenpus
from the know-we'll-get-to-common-ground-somehow dept.
swandives writes "Australian gamers will dress as zombies to raise awareness about the lack of an R18+ rating for video games in the country. The protest will begin at Hyde Park Fountain on March 27 and lumber through Sydney, raising awareness of the need for a higher classification rating and hopefully causing a bit of havoc at the same time! Computerworld Australia has pictures of previous zombie protests in the lead-up to the event. Australia has a long history of lobbying for an R18+ games classification but, even after a decade, video games are banned from sale if they exceed the maximum M15+ classification. So far, the list of banned titles includes 7 Sins, Risen, Left 4 Dead 2 and Dark Sector. Others, like Alien vs. Predator, were initially banned but appealed the rating and are now MA15+."

Comment: Re:examples fail (Score 1) 447

by mkettler (#31381636) Attached to: Why Paying For Code Doesn't Mean You Own It

True the architect has no rights over the building, but he didn't create that, he created a design and drawings used to create the building from. The question is does he have rights over the drawings? (i.e.: can he use them again, selling to another client because he retained ownership and licensed you a copy, or can he not, because he transferred the ownership of the design to you?). Most don't transfer the copyright of the design to you (ie: you can't make more copies of the drawings and sell them, but he can).

Another common example that exists in the real world is professional photography. You hire a photographer to take pictures at a wedding, paying him for his time to do so. However, you don't own the rights to the photographs he's taken. You can buy copies from him, but he still owns the copyright. As a result, you cannot legally make more copies of those photographs. Photographers generally want additional fees to transfer the copyright of a photo, because it means: 1) you can get copies made elsewhere cutting them out of that profit stream and 2) they can't use it in their portfolio of existing work they show to potential new customers.

Most software consulting is done on a "non-exclusive, unlimited royalty-free license" basis. You have unlimited use of the source code created for you, and the programmer generally retains rights to use that code again in other projects. Most programmers have a lot of "stock code" they've already written, and grab chunks of it to throw into their projects so they're not constantly reinventing the wheel for simple stuff. Some of the new code they write for you is likely to end up as snippets added to that collection. Take a snippet, leave a snippet.

You can set up contracts that transfer 100% ownership, but that's going to increase their billed hours and your cost (because they won't be able to use any of their existing snippets and must create everything from scratch). But if that's what you want, most are willing to set that up. However, most customers want a lower cost so the typical consult is not written up that way.

The moral of the story is, if you want specific terms, make sure they're in the contract you sign.

Comment: Re:Not statistically significant (Score 1) 262

by mkettler (#30923958) Attached to: Political Affiliation Can Be Differentiated By Appearance

Well, statisical significance depends a lot on sample size. You can't just say 60% isn't significant relative to the 50% chance of random guessing without knowing how many tests they did.

A 1% deviation from random can be significant if the number of data points measured are absurdly large. ie: if 10 million coin flips come up 51% heads, you have a statistically significant difference, because that 1% still represents a LOT of extra tests that came up heads. However, getting 51% heads in 100 tests isn't significant, because it's only 1 extra head. For that matter, 100% of 2 tests is also insignificant, despite the huge deviation from the norm, the sample size is too small to mean anything.

Looking at the study they do appear to have p values in the statistics in the study.

For "study 2" they quote:
[M = .62, SD = .12; t(23) = 4.91, p.001, r = .72] a

With that p, it seems pretty significant. (unless they fudged the p.. I couldn't find their sample size.).

Do you see anything in those numbers to suggest otherwise?

Apple

+ - Apple Makes Life Easier for iPhone App Developers->

Submitted by waderoush
waderoush (1271548) writes "While the iPhone ecosystem, with its 100,000+ apps, has been a huge boon for mobile application developers, third-party app builders have complained from the beginning about Apple's seemingly arbitrary rejection policies and long waits for app approval (weeks and in some cases months), making iteration difficult or impossible. Now that may be changing. After a post-holiday reboot, iTunes App Store reviewers are approving some apps in as little as 1 to 2 days, according to developers. Whether Apple is reacting to potential competition from Google's Android platform, rationalizing its process in advance of the expected debut of an Apple tablet device, or just trying to repair relations with developers, the change is generating great relief among many programmers."
Link to Original Source
Privacy

+ - Group Says TSA Scanners Can Store, Send Images

Submitted by
Hugh Pickens
Hugh Pickens writes "CNN reports that the Washington-based Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) says that the TSA is misleading the public with claims that full-body scanners at airports cannot store or send their graphic images. In documents obtained by EPIC, the TSA specifies that the body scanners it purchases must have the ability to store and send images when in "test mode" leaving open the possibility the machines — which can see beneath people's clothing — can be abused by TSA insiders and hacked by outsiders. "I don't think the TSA has been forthcoming with the American public about the true capability of these devices," says EPIC Executive Director Marc Rotenberg. "They've done a bunch of very slick promotions where they show people — including journalists — going through the devices. And then they reassure people, based on the images that have been produced, that there's not any privacy concerns." A TSA official who spoke on condition of anonymity says all full-body scanners have "strong privacy protections in place" and are delivered to airports "without the capability to store, print or transmit images." "There is no way for someone in the airport environment to put the machine into the test mode," the official says, adding that test mode can be enabled only in TSA test facilities. But the official declined to say whether activating test mode requires additional hardware, software or simply additional knowledge of how the machines operate."
Security

+ - Firm to Drop 0day in Database, Web Server Apps->

Submitted by krebsonsecurity
krebsonsecurity (1714228) writes "January promises to be a busy month for Web server and database administrators alike: A security research firm in Russia says it plans to release information about a slew of previously undocumented vulnerabilities in several widely-used commercial software products, including Mysql, Tivoli, IBM DB2, Sun Directory, and a host of others, writes krebsonsecurity.com. From the blog: “After working with the vendors long enough, we’ve come to conclusion that, to put it simply, it is a waste of time. Now, we do not contact with vendors and do not support so-called ‘responsible disclosure’ policy,” Legerov said."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Question. (Score 1) 572

by mkettler (#30463286) Attached to: Angry AT&T Customers May Disrupt Service

The issue is that the network is oversold to the point of instability, and it seems to be affecting their entire network.

I've had Cingular/AT&T for 5 years now, and I never had any noticeable calling problems up until this year. Over the past 3 months I've had numerous dropped calls and bad reception problems while talking on the phone (handfree, yes this is legal in my state) on the way home from work. This is the same route I've been driving for all 5 years.

I wouldn't be too surprised to have problems in places I've never tried before, but in the same places I've always used my phone in? There's only a few possible causes there.. Overload, hardware failure, and botched reconfiguration are what pop to my mind. Given that we know bandwidth use is rising, and AT&T is cutting back on large equipment purchases, I strongly suspect overload.

Comment: Re:AT&T self-created their own problems (Score 1) 572

by mkettler (#30462798) Attached to: Angry AT&T Customers May Disrupt Service

Verizon will send you a SIM for your jail-broken iPhone??? Really? Do you know anyone that has done this?

All US versions of the iPhone are GSM / HSDPA based devices, and Verizon's network is CDMA / EVDO. These are fundamentally *VERY* different technologies, and the radio for one can't be re-used on the other. The iPhone can't be used on the Verizon network, regardless of what you do with the SIM, because it has the wrong radio.

There is a CDMA based iPhone out there, but it is designed to work in China and uses differet frequencies than Verizon does (and it doesn't have the right hardware to support the US frequencies, so this can't used either).

Now, t-mobile is another story, their network is GSM based... but Verizon is a no-go without a completely different radio system in the phone. (ie: a new, different model of iPhone is required.)

Games

+ - Wiimote finding new use as sensors for scientists->

Submitted by garg0yle
garg0yle (208225) writes "Scientists are repurposing Wiimotes (the controllers for the Nintendo Wii console) as scientific sensors to help measure wind speed or evaporation from lakes, among other things. At about $40 per unit, the controller is much cheaper than specialized sensors. The scientists are still considering how to add storage and extend the battery life."
Link to Original Source

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