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Comment: Re:Local monopolies (Score 1) 392

by tepples (#47538209) Attached to: Dealing With 'Advertising Pollution'

Where I live the power and water company is required by law to give me a paper bill

Is it also required by law not to offer a credit on your bill for switching to electronic statements?

not the whole world is backwards as the US.

So how should a U.S. resident reasonably act on this fact?

Electronic interbank-transfers are so cheap ( 1 cent per) that you usually do not pay for them at all.

How would one go about including an "interbank-transfer" with a mailed greeting card?

Comment: Crime scene photos (Score 1) 187

by tepples (#47538197) Attached to: Firefox 33 Integrates Cisco's OpenH264

screenshot from uTorrent was dismissed since uTorrent is not certified as an evidence gathering tool - like, say, a police radar

Common cameras aren't "certified as an evidence gathering tool" either. Do courts likewise reject all photos of a violent crime scene that aren't taken with a "certified" camera? The commodity home movie camera Abraham Zapruder was using wasn't "certified", but his and other films provided evidence of how Lee Harvey Oswald murdered John F. Kennedy. And did any copyright owner decide to follow up on this dismissal by modifying one of the free software BitTorrent clients to get it "certified as an evidence gathering tool"?

Comment: Pilot signal and FEC (Score 1) 63

by tepples (#47538091) Attached to: How Stanford Engineers Created a Fictitious Compression For HBO
Any digital broadcast will include two things that are recognizable as a broadcast. One is a pilot signal, used to communicate the existence of a signal to the receiver. Another is forward error correction, used to reconstruct a signal partially obscured by noise. Analog television included both: the pilot signal was the sync pulses during horizontal and vertical blanking, and the error correction was the presence of a double sideband in the bottom 1 MHz of the video.

Comment: Recompress the coefficients (Score 2) 63

by tepples (#47538021) Attached to: How Stanford Engineers Created a Fictitious Compression For HBO

JPEG is a lossy compression and it's impossible for an archiving utility using a lossless compression to best that.

Of course it's possible. JPEG encoding has three steps: cosine transform of each block (DCT), then quantization (where the loss happens), then coding. In JPEG, the coding involves a zig-zag order and a Huffman/RLE structure, and this isn't necessarily optimal. A lossless compressor specially tuned for JPEG files could decode the quantized coefficients and losslessly encode them in a more efficient manner, producing a file that saves a few percent compared to the equivalent JPEG bitstream. Then on decompression, it would decode these coefficients and reencode them back into a JPEG file.

Comment: Let's Play takedowns (Score 1) 109

by tepples (#47537991) Attached to: eSports Starting To Go Mainstream

Actiblizzard [has the option of] DMCAing them for infringement of the copyright in Starcraft

I have no idea why they would do it.

For the same reason as the Let's Play takedowns. Sega DMCA'd videos containing footage of the Shining Force games (but later issued a non-apology). Some publishers, such as Nintendo, might instead choose to put a Content ID* claim on videos containing "images or audio of a certain length" (such as a game's title screen or cut scenes), diverting ad revenue away from partners.*

* YouTube terminology used. Feel free to substitute.

Comment: They'd just have to copy T-Mobile's business model (Score 2) 72

by tepples (#47535727) Attached to: Compromise Struck On Cellphone Unlocking Bill

The carriers now will say that they have to raise prices or even completely do away with contract subsidies in order to be competitive.

Then they'd have to compete with their MVNOs and T-Mobile USA, all of which have been itemizing the hardware and the service for years. Prepaid MVNOs have always sold the phone up front, and even before T-Mobile branded itself "the un-carrier", it had the SIM-only "Even More Plus" plan that offered a discount for bringing a compatible phone or buying one up front.

Comment: Re:I don't see what good unlocking does (Score 1) 72

by tepples (#47535631) Attached to: Compromise Struck On Cellphone Unlocking Bill

Having the opportunity to handle a phone before buying it varies on a case-by-case basis so much that I'm not quite sure why you mentioned it.

Because of this comment. I asked about being able to try an AOSP phone before I buy it, and someone replied that I sounded like an entitled whiner.

Comment: Compartmentalization (Score 1) 82

by tepples (#47535153) Attached to: New SSL Server Rules Go Into Effect Nov. 1

But if it is only accessible within the private network, do you really need it wrapped up in SSL at all?

Yes, for reasons of privacy from people in other departments who don't deserve access to particular pieces of information. For example, a hospital regulated under HIPAA wouldn't want a surgeon snooPING AS usual on the health information of patients who aren't hers.

"If truth is beauty, how come no one has their hair done in the library?" -- Lily Tomlin