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Comment Re:Handbrake Plug (Score 1) 371

Just wanted to add on this clarification based on my experience just now:

The latest version of HandBrake in Windows 64-bit uses LibDVDNav. You can disable it in the options menu and it will use libdvdread instead. I have not yet tested if placing the latest libdvdcss dll file in the same directory will work or not.

Comment Re:I call bull shit on this (Score 1) 379

I apologize for not being clearer in my post. I was not making a comment one way or another on sChatwin's rebuttal, but was instead noting that the term "average" was incorrectly defined. My aim was not to discredit the post, and I hope it did not come across that way, but rather to point out and correct an inaccurate statement, in a similar manner of that which sChatwin's post employed.

(Also, just FYI, your post came across rather self-righteous -- you might want to tone that down. :))

Comment Re:I call bull shit on this (Score 1) 379

Actually, average can mean many things. What you are describing in called the mean. It could also be referring to the mode, which is the most commonly occurring value in a data set. Or perhaps the median, which is the middle value of a data set: half of the population uses less and half uses more. Or any of the numerous ways you can compute an "average." Wikipedia's article provides a good starting point to familiarizing yourself with this topic.

In summary, never assume that you know which method was used to compute an average unless it is explicitly defined. I didn't take the time to examine the original paper to see how wrong the newspaper restatement was, so it is possible that it was better defined there.

Comment Re:Use Less Water, Do "Meatless Mondays" (Score 1) 379

to reduce pollution and other environmental problems . . . for one day a week have cereal for breakfast, A PB & J and Banana sandwich for lunch and a plate of pasta for dinner

Let me get this straight. To be eco-friendly, forego natural sources of energy and use factory-produced ones?

Comment Re:Something is wrong (Score 1) 379

That really doesn't seem that much for a whole year. A person can't live more than 4 or 5 days without water, and health professionals recommend people drink 2-3 liters of water per day.

You might want to rethink that. Let's be generous and assume 4 L a day for a year:

4 L * 365.25 days = 1461 L/yr

At 2,500,000 L in an Olympic-sized pool, that only accounts for about 0.058% of the pool's volume.

And that's just drinking water - people also need to bath and use water for cooking.

Indeed, and I don't have a good method for approximating this, though the quantity used in drinking water is such a small fraction of the pool's volume that I wouldn't anticipate these additional activities using a reasonable percentage of the volume. Use your water bills to determine your annual consumption and see for yourself. (Be sure to divide by the number of people in your household!)

Comment Re:I call bull shit on this (Score 1) 379

I wanted to second your call. My water bill each month averages at 2,000 gallons for three people. Based on Wikipedia's value of a minimum of 660,000 gallons in such a pool, that would be 55,000 gallons a month per person. I don't want to think about what the bill would be for 165,000 gallons a month!
Data Storage

New Technique Promises Much Faster Hard Drive Write Speeds 148

MrSeb writes "Hold onto your hats: Scientists at the University of York, England have completely rewritten the rules of magnetic storage (abstract; full paper paywalled). Instead of switching a magnetic region using a magnetic field (like a hard drive head), the researchers have managed to switch a ferrimagnetic nanoisland using a 60-femtosecond laser. Storing magnetic data using lasers is up to 1,000 times faster than writing to a conventional hard drive (we're talking about gigabytes or terabytes per second) — and the ferrimagnetic nanoislands that store the data are capable of storage densities that are some 15 times greater than existing hard drive platters. Unfortunately the York scientists only detailed writing data with lasers; there's no word on how to read it."

Comment Re:What about shipping directly from China? (Score 2) 181

That would involve setting up distribution channels in China. This is pure conjecture, but I would imagine that it would cost more in the end. Think about the consumer electronic devices you own. How many were made in China? How many were shipped to you directly from China?

Comment Re:Hot damn, it's about time (Score 4, Informative) 181

Read up on it for more information. This is my understanding of it:

  • The Model A (128 MB RAM, no ethernet port) is $25
  • The Model B (256 MB RAM, ethernet port) is $35

The first run is of the Model B, as they anticipate more people are interested in that set of hardware. Their FAQ likely provides more in-depth information that what I have provided here.

Security

DHS Sends Tourists Home Over Twitter Jokes 709

itwbennett writes "In a classic case of 'we say destroy, you say party hard,' the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security detained a pair of British twenty-somethings for 12 hours and then sent them packing back to the land of the cheeky retort. At issue is a Tweet sent by Leigh Van Bryan about plans to 'destroy America,' starting with LA, which, really, isn't that bad an idea."

Comment Re:You know why they call it Xbox 720 (Score 4, Insightful) 543

Because the stores don't pay very much for used games.

Indeed, but you're forgetting that you can bypass used game stores and sell directly with sites such as Amazon, half.com, ebay, etc.

So, for example, when I buy a used game for $30 -- because I never buy brand new games, and I don't care to play online anyways, I can sell it again in a few weeks for approximately the same price, minus the cost of shipping.

The used games stores are bad for the industry.

I disagree. If buying new were the only option I had, I would simply do without. It's the same argument for pirates -- if they had to pay full price, they'd simply do without. This isn't something that I personally lose any sleep over. It's very easy to stop consuming (overpriced) entertainment, and there are many alternatives in the world to occupy one's time with.

Fair disclosure: I'm a software developer in the video games industry. (And I'm supposed to be writing some code right now. :-X)

News

Christmas Always On Sunday? Researchers Propose New Calendar 725

An anonymous reader writes "Researchers at Johns Hopkins University have discovered a way to make time stand still — at least when it comes to the yearly calendar. Using computer programs and mathematical formulas, an astrophysicist and an economist have created a new calendar in which each new 12-month period is identical to the one which came before, and remains that way from one year to the next in perpetuity."

Comment Advantage over PDF? (Score 2) 76

I really don't follow ebook formats because pdfs have always been my portable format of choice, and I have no ebook reader. I skimmed the article, but I could not find any points on what makes this superior to a pdf file. What advantages does the Kindle format or epub format offer which a pdf cannot do?

I saw some mention of audio and video and javascript, but pdfs can support that. Why recreate the wheel? From reading the article (where perhaps the author doesn't know what he is talking about?), it sounds like it's trying to do everything HTML can, but not be HTML.

Can anyone please clarify this for me?

[A computer is] like an Old Testament god, with a lot of rules and no mercy. -- Joseph Campbell

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