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Comment Re:Decent interview. (Score 1) 53 53

He disagrees with current copyright law and how it's used, but also indicates that copyright is necessary and needs to live harmoniously with copyright. He even indicates that he's good with the monetization of new technologies under copyright. What he seems to have a beef with is how current copyright is used. He doesn't specifically say what's bad, but based on his answer I'd imagine that the resistance of the entrenched hollywood/music industry to new distribution and pay models is probably part of that.
IMHO Copyright would still only be part of the problem though. The current situation with ISPs in the US and throttling traffic is another issue, and the issue between DRM+copyright another (especially when you look at "circumvention for personal use")

Comment Some mods worth paying for (Score 0) 37 37

One thing that comes to mind would be back in the old "Battlefield 1942" days, the "Desert Combat" mod was kick-ass, and the devs who made it put in a lot of work to make it happen. Similarly, things like DOTA actually derive from mods to Starcraft/Warcraft etc.

Some of the mods to Doom also replaced almost everything except the engine.

It would be great if such things are free, but allowing professional modders to gain a little coin isn't. One thing that's sad is the lack of mod-support in many popular games (partly because - I believe - the publisher wants to re-use the engine for sequels will little change, and doesn't want competition).

Comment If you're... well actually anyone (Score 1) 555 555

"The truth is, if you are a woman, and someone threatens to murder you online, it's overwhelmingly likely that no help is coming, and you're on your own."

And as a woman, that's her view, but in reality if you're anyone (who isn't rich and famous, but even then) getting threatened online... it's going to take a *lot* before the police step in. There are many reasons for this, including
a) People say stupid shit online, there's lots of noise, and it's not easy to decipher intent. Similarly, if somebody threats you on the street it may not get much action, unless it's a public action with something backing it.
b) If your neighbour threatens you, the police can go over to his/her house and deal with it. When it's online, that person isn't likely using a real-name, and may not be anywhere in your jurisdiction or even country/continent
c) There's often a prevaling lack of understanding of technology in the justice system
d) Laziness or resourcing... due to (c) and (b)... it's work and resources to actually catch somebody and then sometimes even harder to convict. Again, hard to condone, but unless we want to wiretap everyone (well, they tried) or spend a month of work of three officers in order to track it down... sometimes things need a critical mass before they'll dedicate the effort.

None of the above are excusing the aholes that post terrible crap online, especially death threats, but saying that it's exclusively a problem of a certain group - whether it be based on gender, ethnicity, or other - is not particular accurate.

Of course, society is wonderfully unbalanced about such things. Sometimes nailing somebody for what is obviously a joke, particularly if the target is a rich scientologist like Tom Cruise

Comment Re:Ageism v sexism (Score 2) 634 634

I don't see anyone complaining that "we don't have enough grey-hairs in IT, so we need to create special educational programs and opportunities tailored to getting them in that job market".

Sexism exists, ageism exists, racism exists. They're all factors, but they're not factors in all situations, nor are they always significant. Often a lack of diversity is often portrayed as a shortage due to [topic]ism, when many other things such as lack-of-interest to a particular group. Then the topic switches to "how can we make X job more appealing to group Y".... but frankly the reason it's often not appealing is that Y is f*'ing smart enough not to get involved with job X. You can't make it that much more appealing without changing the function of the position.

Now I'm all for making disadvantaged groups more employable, equalizing pay for similar positions, and for getting rid of the "old boys club", but at some people we have to realize that representation is not going to be an equal mix across all industries or positions, mainly due to the nature of the position.

Comment FCC? What? (Score 1) 727 727

And the FCC has what to do with cameras? They might say you can't block the wireless signal used to copy pictures to the internet, but they have ZERO jurisdiction regarding the filming/photography itself.

And yeah, if the organizers were jamming they might have a leg in the game. That doesn't preclude the organizers kicking somebody out for a violating the rules. Not sure what kinda crack you're on but you might want to cut back a bit.

Comment Re:Crazy? (Score 1) 183 183

That would almost be enough to make me switch professions...
Actually in some cases, I wonder if it might not actually be functional. I don't know about gas-stations or convenience stores, but certainly a model based on this might be a fun and relatively quick way to create temporary shelters or structures.

Comment Geek coders VS formal coders (Score 1) 212 212

Indeed, I've seen issues with coders on either end.

A lot of people who are very book-savvy (CS degree etc) are terrible at creative thinking or at dealing with a "server on fire" issue. What they're good at is formal coding that follows fairly established principals, and - and people often understate this - formatting. In most cases one predominant advantage to somebody who is formally taught is that their code is fairly readable to somebody who is knowledgeable in the field (depending on where they studied, it may even be a bit verbose).

Now the self-taught guys/gals... they're good at thinking on-the-fly and learning stuff for themselves, because that's how they learned in the first place. They tend to be more driven by curiosity and willing to experiment as well (which can be good or bad). These are often great people to have when it comes to unusual issues which require out-of-the-box solutions, unfortunately it also tends to give you code with shit variables like
    $a = $z += ($x * $b)

or in other cases... well, no cases (a lot of IF/ELSE statements instead of a case/switch).

Comment Re:Go ahead (Score 1) 446 446

When my wife was out-of-country for 2 months, she asked a friend to keep an eye on me. The response was
    "What, make sure he's not seeing other women"

My wife's answer
    "No, I'm not worried about that. I'm more worried that he'll be up late every night playing video games!"

So I guess I'm trusted... at least with women if not the gaming! :-)

Submission + - Poor quality A2DP audio on Android devices, is it fixed yet->

phorm writes: Can anybody offer an informed opinion on the Bluetooth sound quality for the newer Android devices (Galaxy S5/S6, Asus Zenfone etc).

I currently have a Galaxy S4, and noticed quite some time ago that Bluetooth audio quality on my car stereo was rather poor, which I attributed to the stereo rather than my mobile. I more recently got a set of BT headphones and notice that the high end is similarly tinny/distorted on my mobile, but was fine with my laptop. I looked into it and read that iDevices do better at this (better compression CODEC support?) and so then tried out an iPod 4th generation. The sound is DEFINITELY better on the iPod with Bluetooth.

Phone-wise, I don't think I'm an iDevice person, but I was wondering if there are Android devices/phones with better BT audio than my current device. Does anyone have suggestions of better devices (or ways to improve BT quality, such as a mod or newer OS)? Current I'm using Android 4.2.2

Link to Original Source

Comment Belt-clip (Score 1) 184 184

Honestly, if I could *find* a decent belt-clip for my phone (currently a galaxy S4) I would be in heaven. However, most of what I find are things that look nice but are fumbly as hell, or easily broken. Cheap plastic clips that tend to snag and snap also abound.
So the phone's in my pocket, where it mingles with my keys, often gets snagged inconveniently when I've got an important call, and may slightly affecting my fertility (not necessarily due to radiation, but heat generation is also a factor).
If anyone can recommend a decent, durable case for Samsung phones I'd be happy. Hell, I might consider upgrading if it's for a decent phone other than the one I currently have (no iDevices though, please).

Comment Not about the price (Score 1) 654 654

Honestly, it's not really about the price. The problem is mainly one of schedule. Where I used to live, it was actually pretty decent. My wife took the bus regularly, and I was within walking distance to work (or driving when the weather sucked). Unfortunately we were also in a Strata with ever-increasing rules, fees, and a number of council members suffering from cranial-rectal inversion (I was on the council, and some members were often just plain hostile).

So I moved to a house. It's bigger, the neighbourhood is peaceful with less crime, and it's still not that far from downtown/work. It is up a hill that makes biking a lesser alternative to driving though. The bus service, however, is shyte. Once hourly, plus transfers to get uptown where the shopping is, and it ends at hours that aren't particularly helpful for anyone who doesn't work regular hours between 8am and 7pm.
Additionally for myself, I have on-call after-hours shifts where I need to be able to get to the office if there's an emergency, be it 3pm or 3am. Waiting on the hourly bus (plus transfer) isn't so helpful, and there's no late service.

It doesn't really matter how much the bus costs, if it doesn't work on the hours I do, it's not useful. Many people I know *would* prefer the bus over the costs of the car they can barely afford (the one that needs regular repairs, leaks oil, and isn't all that reliable in itself), but when they're working split/random shifts, need to pick up the kids within 15 minutes of finishing work, need to get bags full of groceries home, etc... well that doesn't work so well either.

Now, if we move on from busses and talk about (reliable) high-speed transport like LRT or subways, I'm game. When I lived in a bigger city, I *loved* the LRT. Even if it took me a bit longer to get to work, I could usually get on a bit earlier and rest/nap while enroute. I did still have a car for my forays out-of-city or for when I was picking up a trunkload of groceries/building-materials, but I didn't tend to drive it overly regularly (so still paying for insurance, but the lesser "not for work" amount as well as reduced emissions etc). I often wonder what the pay-off might be for a simple system in the smaller cities: something that runs straight from one end of town to another, and - even if it doesn't replace cars - at least swaps part of the drive for a group-parking lot and a quick rail trip.

Even better, here (Canada) they have often discussed - and dismissed - something like a high-speed-rail route between major western cities. Something like a bullet train from Calgary to Vancouver (10h by car). Yes, it would be expensive, and the usual objection are the amount of work, time and cost involved. Yes, they would have to burrow through or around mountains.
However, I was in Korea and Japan and the rail system was great (better in Korea). The trip is quick, fairly comfortable, as well as affordable and convenient. Again, I do recognise that the populations in Korea or Japan squeeze a lot more into a small area, but consider this: one of the bigger programs in Canada (and I believe N America in general) is that there's a lot of "space" but not so many people in the less-urban areas. Domestic populations are dropping, and immigration is basically keeping things afloat, but immigrants don't generally *WANT* to live in the smaller cities. Also, many professionals (doctors, lawyers, and yes even politicians) prefer the larger centres.

But what if all those people could get to the "big city" in 25% or less of the time it takes by car. What if it took about the same time to travel there that it currently does to do a grocery run? Suddenly, you can live in the smaller city in a decent-sized house/yard, with less smog, less crowding, and a nice view. You've got a 2000sqft house instead of a 500sqft shoebox to live in. If you want to go shopping, you can hit some of the local shops for your basic stuff, or take a train-trip and grab those electronics/clothes/food that aren't even available in your hometown, and still be back by bedtime. The end-result, all those little in-between places would experience growth. The big cities would be less over-stressed. It would easier to find a doctor or a specialist in your hometown (or, if not, at least one would be a fairly short train trip away). Strain on highways goes down, decreased traffic, less need for big bridges, etc etc. On the flip side, if the "big city" family wants to go out camping or take a trip to the lake, white-water rafting etc, that's all available too.

The problem with that is: politicians have 4-year terms, and a project like that takes a *lot* more than four years, and likely involves multiple levels of politicians (provincial, federal, even municipal). So nobody is likely going to touch a big-budget item that they can't show completion on in their term, even though the overall benefit to society might be quite large.

If money can't buy happiness, I guess you'll just have to rent it.