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Comment: Re:Hard to Do (Score 2, Insightful) 235

by tbradshaw (#31431738) Attached to: Digitizing and Geocoding Old Maps?

Well, that's certainly true if you apply a specific scale to the map, but another method would be to attach geo-coordinates to landmarks on the map and then use interpolation to determine location otherwise.

In this way, if you were "moving on the map" between two locations that are a different distance apart on the map than reality, your "dot" would just move faster. Positional accuracy would be a continuum that increases in accuracy the nearer one is to a particular point of interest.

Comment: Re:Scientist comments on story (Score 1) 277

by tbradshaw (#30843688) Attached to: Scientists To Breed the Auroch From Extinction

I'm under the impression that projects like this are generally taken on by cross-disciplinary teams, scientists is a general term that works nicely for a term that includes geneticists, biologists, experimental/rigorous breeders, etc.

I mean, it's clear that the people undertaking this project are "doing science", it's hard to say for sure (especially as an uninformed reporter) exactly what kind of scientists are doing the work.

Comment: Re:Is this a giant scam? (Score 1) 175

by tbradshaw (#30599028) Attached to: OnLive One Step Closer

Once again, you didn't pay enough attention...

The custom video codec accelerator board pricing was covered, it turns out to be about $25 a chip. Additionally, they only need high-end GPUs when people choose to play games that require them. They've had good success on less video intensive games just running them in software, without the GPUs. Additionally, as he mentioned, they lease the hardware, rather than purchasing the hardware, and have a venture capital arrangement for providing the initial start up funds.

As it turns out, it's extremely economically sensible (if there's adoption from customers, of course) because they have a substantial revenue sharing agreement for the sale/rent of the games, plus a monthly fee. Simply put, they'll make more money per game sale than any single entity currently makes on any sale. That puts them at a position of greater economic viability than the game developers themselves... and they seem to do fine.

Comment: Re:Is this a giant scam? (Score 4, Informative) 175

by tbradshaw (#30595246) Attached to: OnLive One Step Closer

You obviously didn't watch the video at all. While you're being an asshole about the idea, the guy presenting during the presentation covered all of your strawmen.

1) "fill instance of the most powerful PC you can throw at it" - Uh, no. When you move from workstation class hardware to server hardware, the "ceilings" change. But, for games like Crysis, they do, indeed, use a big GPU per instance.

2) "720p video in realtime that no codec today can deliver" - Too bad you didn't watch the video. Turns out, this is the same team that brought us QuickTime before video codecs were even discussed. He also describes exactly how they pulled it off, started with scrapping the stream-based design paradigm, using a feedback loop based design paradigm, and creating a new encoder that looks great in motion encoded and decoded in real time (as one of the weaknesses, you can't pause it or it looks like shit).

3) "Presumably happen on the same computing hardware..." - Actually, no. As the presenter describes, the codec taxed even the dual quad core xeons that it was developed on. Then they fabbed custom chips that do nothing but implement the encoding algorithm. It's entirely hardware accelerated encoding, two chips per user on custom boards.

I also thought the entire process sounded like a big stupid scam, but before I declared the mighty victory of common sense, talking out of my ass, I went ahead and watched the video.

Comment: Re:Some things never changed (Score 1) 673

by tbradshaw (#29205897) Attached to: Fear of Porn URL Exposure Discourages Firefox 3 Upgrade
Is the incorrect idiom in your signature ("For all intensive purposes" instead of "For all intents and purposes") intentional? Perhaps it's a reference to an internet meme or something? I've seen that typed wrong pretty often lately, and I was curious if perhaps there was a joke that I missed out on? (I'm not being sardonic or anything, just curious)

Comment: Re:and yet NYC still has traffic jams (Score 1) 882

by tbradshaw (#28877013) Attached to: Rude Drivers Reduce Traffic Jams

Your sense of entitlement to enforce the law on others is exactly what's getting the laws changed. In my state of Kansas, we've just passed a law (went into effect July 1) that makes your exact behavior illegal. You must move to the right hand lane for faster moving traffic (regardless of speed) or you get a ticket for obstructing the flow of traffic.

By the way, how do you know that the person behind you doesn't have a legitimate reason to be going faster than the speed limit when you're in the left lane blocking traffic? They could be a doctor traveling to an emergency, a family member trying to make it to an unexpected birth, or any number of time sensitive things that are completely out of control of the driver. There are things more important than trivial laws.

While you're busy being "holier than thou", you're really just the problem. It's not up to you to enforce the law, it is up to you, as a driver, to make every attempt to avoid an accident. This includes sometimes increasing or decreasing your speed in response to changing driving conditions. Rain, sleet, snow, and even other traffic and other drivers.

Comment: Re:With untrustworthy CA's, who cares? (Score 1) 432

by tbradshaw (#28836721) Attached to: Security Certificate Warnings Don't Work

I propose that we don't use for-profit corporations that have proven multiple times that they are willing to literally break the internet in order to make a buck.

http://www.icann.org/en/topics/wildcard-history.html

The problem with the current system isn't that it requires a web of trust in order to work, the problem is that when a corporation has participated in untrustworthy behavior, they don't get removed from the positions of trust. If participating in behaviors that are openly hostile to the proper function of the internet can't get your CA status revoked, then it's useless to me.

And while insulting me by claiming I live in my mother's basement might make the claim that manually verified certificates won't scale seem more emphatic, it's still invalid. Sure, actually verifying the identity of certificate owners won't scale to the level of profitability that Verisign currently enjoys. So what? Scalability is not a requirement of a trust system. TRUSTWORTHINESS is. If you scale to the point that the certs are no longer verified, then you've already failed. Then it's not about trust, it's just about the racket. I'm not responsible for insuring that the CA is a profitable business case.

But I can confidently state that security certificate warnings don't work, because they are just fear mongering for a system that's broken.

Comment: With untrustworthy CA's, who cares? (Score 5, Insightful) 432

by tbradshaw (#28832783) Attached to: Security Certificate Warnings Don't Work

Verisign is untrustworthy, so why should I care if a certificate is signed or not?

Signed certificates are a complete racket: If you don't pay us then when your users show up they will get a giant warning shown in their face, telling them not to trust you. You wouldn't want that would you? Nope, don't care who you are, what you do, or why. $100 bucks please.

Comment: Re:ip law (Score 1) 248

by tbradshaw (#28519619) Attached to: Licensing Issues Shut Down Pandora Outside US

You're very in-line in the conventional wisdom. Here's a starter article that shows the scholastic work being done to try and bring that conventional wisdom around to reality:

http://www.reason.com/news/show/28703.html

It's certainly not an end-all, be-all resource. But it's a nice starting point to broadening your discourse on intellectual property.

It's not all just "common sense", and some things are certainly prerequisites to others. It's notable that in repeating some of your core points, you chose to still consider IP law a foundational element while trivializing my notion that quality of life and general wealth are the actual foundation of career artists. But it is logically certain. IP law doesn't pay anyone, it merely provides limited time monopolies on creatives works. However, *most notably*, all creatives works were *extremely difficult to duplicate* until very recent times. The natural monopoly of of physical existence, in combination with additional wealth allocated by society to the arts, makes IP law irrelevant until very recent times. However, career artists have not existed only in very recent times...

I'll stop hammering the same conceptual points, but just because one can settle on conventional wisdom doesn't make it correct... it just makes it easy.

Comment: Re:ip law (Score 1) 248

by tbradshaw (#28514917) Attached to: Licensing Issues Shut Down Pandora Outside US
Art historians do not. Art as a career did not proliferate as a result of IP law. Art as a career proliferated as a response to rising quality of life allowing for disposable income to facilitate the social surplus necessary to afford artistry. Not only do a lion share of great works pre-date IP law, the explosion of artists directly correlates with the advent of printing technology making cheap study material available worldwide for would-be painters. No, absolutely not, IP law was not a significant prerequisite for the proliferation of career artists in human history. That analysis is hopelessly out of sync with the actual historical order of events.

Comment: Re:ip law (Score 1) 248

by tbradshaw (#28514065) Attached to: Licensing Issues Shut Down Pandora Outside US

"I'm just trying to make it clear that IP law is what allowed for the proliferation of art we have seen in our modern times."

This is the common assumption, but there is no evidence for this! It's just as empirically supported to say that the proliferation of art in modern times is what got us stuck with the IP law, not the other way around.

Comment: Re:Capitalist flight (Score 1) 1142

by tbradshaw (#28238035) Attached to: Ballmer Threatens To Pull Out of the US

No, I don't disagree that there is a great role for public libraries to fill. I was just disagreeing with the generalization that all private endeavors are necessarily driven by the profit motive, as your example alluded to. Non-profits and charities thrive and provide an important role in free societies and often suffer disproportionately from the economic "crowding out" effect of public spending. So while public libraries are essential, it's important not to forget the non-profits are a superior method whenever possible. (Public spending, no one gets to choose what to support, private spending offers more choice, more freedom.)

I guess I just responded the way I did to try and raise emphasis/awareness that it's not just a profit or public dichotomy. A lot of people forget about how important non-profits are. As I started last time, I agree with you, just thought I'd comment on some of the finer points. :)

Comment: Re:Capitalist flight (Score 1) 1142

by tbradshaw (#28234587) Attached to: Ballmer Threatens To Pull Out of the US

Other than provide the safety regulations to minimize the risk the product harms you, the advertising regulations to minimize the chance you are scammed, etc, etc. Your commercial transaction occurs in a complicated environment, much of which is government funded, much of which serves to protect you (nominally, obviously you can debate the efficacy).

So, I agree with your post, but I'd like to give you some better reasons than the two you decided to lead with. Those both have pretty compelling free market alternatives, including private safety certifications (like the American Dental Association seal on toothpaste, don't be toothpaste without it! seriously.) and advertising regulations could potentially just be covered under fraud laws.

The biggest is the rule of law that allows people to actually have ownership. Without the government, your trip to the store would 1) have your car stolen while you're shopping (or you must personally defend it), 2) sharply decrease the quantity and variety of goods at your store (due to less safe infrastructure), 3) increase the price of goods at your store due to increased transportation costs, etc, etc.

I mention these reasons, not because you don't understand them (I'm sure you do), but because these are reasons that every person with a vision of correct government (short of anarchists, which are generally either very rare, or just dumb) can agree, too. In a free society, we socialize self defense because it drastically lowers the cost and efficiency of everything we do. The most free societies still leave the individual with an option of self defense, but societies that require every individual to provide for their own self defense at all times are significantly less free.

Also, there are a lot of really fantastic private libraries out there. While those things with a natural monopoly (like Fire Departments and power generation) work well as government services, non-profits are very much alive and important in the private sector. From libraries and museums to charities to churches.

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