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Comment: Re:I'm happy about it (Score 1) 19

by tlhIngan (#47977513) Attached to: Blizzard Has Canceled Titan, Its Next-gen MMO

Everything blizzard has done that's been online only has just completely disinterested me. I miss their games that were designed to be games, rather than continuous profit centers.

Thank Activision for that - Kottick is all about profit and milking. Even SC2 had milk opportunities linked to the online DRM.

Destiny right now is surprising in how little is being milked - you'd expect it to have tons of day 1 DLC to milk more money out of you, but so far not yet. (I'm guessing the smart move is wait for it to be established first and then start milking gamers? May make sense since it's possible to put off a lot of people if they feel they need to pay $10 more after buying their shiny new $70 game).

Comment: Re:They will never learn (Score 1) 64

by tlhIngan (#47975845) Attached to: Compromised To Serve Malware

Plus most people don't use as a CDN. Instead jQuery recommends you use Google's CDN if you want to use a CDN for jQuery.

While the recommendation may be there, I can tell you that is NOT the case. Far too often if you use NoScript, "" is listed right there as a necessary script for the website to work.

Comment: Re:Funny how this works ... (Score 3, Informative) 139

by tlhIngan (#47974889) Attached to: Netflix Rejects Canadian Regulator Jurisdiction Over Online Video

But this whole thing is really about Rogers and Shaw lobbying the CRTC to block foreign competition for their new Shome project. CRTC is probably quite happy to be flexing their "muscle" in this situation after continually taking a beating from US lobbying interests on allowing US content onto Canadian networks.

That's the real reason.

You may not realize it, but about 5 years ago (it was illegal since 2002, but many companies appealed), the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that it was illegal for Canadians to view US TV via US "grey market" satellite receivers.

No, these were not people hacking DirecTV or Dish receivers to receive content for free. They were normal Canadians who were paying DirecTV and Dish their normal rates to get US TV. It was ruled illegal for companies to provide any sort of service to enable them to do this. (It's called grey market because to Dish or DirecTV, it's a normal subscriber paying full freight on their subscription, except they were receiving it in Canada).

The culprit? Bell.

So yeah, it's a bit bull-headed of Netflix - all the CRTC wants is to have numbers behind Netflix's claim that they provide tons of Canadian support. (That's what Netflix was claiming - that they already fulfil the rules they don't have to follow, and the CRTC basically says "prove it - show me the numbers").

In the end, it's going to be one big nasty fight. Sure, Netflix is worried because those numbers that prove its point are highly sensitive competitive information, but you'd think they could compromise in that Netflix could find a way to give the CRTC what they want without giving it to competitors. But it's better than the alternative which forced an entire industry to shut down.

A remarkably neutral document was compiled out of this -

Comment: Re:The traditional response (Score 1) 230

by tlhIngan (#47974159) Attached to: Phablet Reviews: Before and After the iPhone 6

Well, I remember everyone saying in 2012 that the Note was too large. Today, there are several people who have Note phones and went from a Note 2 to a Note 3.

It's basically public acceptance - large phones were novel and not particularly easy to hold.

Hell, I see people use their 7" tablets as phones! They have this huge monstrosity on their ear with the bottom sticking far out in front of their face and barely bale to hold onto their "phone".

And yes, pocketability is a problem. It's why to counter having to put the phone in their pocket, people put it elsewhere. But that's a pain to hear if ring or dig it out if you get a text, so they invent smartwatches to serve as a small screen to your phone so you can have part of it on you to catch that IM or SMS or whatever.

Now, one thing I see Apple doing (and Android finally copying) is "one handed mode" - Apple realizes there are situations where you may need to use your phone and your other hand is otherwise ... occupied (let's say it's holding the strap on public transit, or you're carrying shopping, other reasons are left as an exercise for the reader). So you double-tap the home button (tap, not press) and the top half slides down to let you reach. It's a decent implementation as well since you can pull down the notification drawer without repositioning.

It is slightly clunky and you do lose the bottom half of the application that was displayed , but it works in the demos they have in the store and is somewhat usable. Better than moving your hands and repositioning the phone (which leads to inevitable dropping eventually).

Comment: Re:Depends on the specs. (Score 1) 223

by tlhIngan (#47973975) Attached to: Do Specs Matter Anymore For the Average Smartphone User?

Oh phones it is really all about the screen and battery life for most people.
CPUs right now are fast enough for majority of people. Of course there are users that need the fastest CPU, GPU and so on and others that need the lowest possible power draw.

On phones it's even more ridiculous. Your fancy "octacore" processor isn't (it's 4 big beefy powerful cores and 4 lower power cores).

Even if you could power all 8 cores, you won't do it for more than a couple of minutes because the heat output of those cores would cause thermal limiting once they hit max junction temperature (approx. 125C, after that, the P-N junctions on the semiconductors break down).

In the end, after doing all the calculations, in free air, a quad core is basically maxed out with two cores going full tilt and the other two at half load. In free air. In an enclosed environment like a phone where you have PoP memory (memory is attached on top of the CPU to save space and get better reliability by not having high-speed lines routed on PCB), your max speed is limited to dual core or less.

ARMs have a typical power consumption of 1mW/MHz - it can change, but in general that's the relation. A quad core 2.5GHz chip means roughly 10W (octacore roughly 20W), not counting GPU or other cores on the chip. Thermal resistance is generally high so you limit fast.

Heck, on a Snapdragon board, we need 4 core processing without thermal limiters which meant instead of running the CPUs at 2.2GHz, we fixed their frequencies at... 1GHz. This is with open-air cooling and thermal pads to conduct heat away and it still gets mighty toasty.

It's one reason why Apple pretty much sticks with dual core - dual core processors don't need to thermally limit even going full tilt, and when your quadcore or octacore is going to thermally limit to dual core anyways, it doesn't make sense.

Specs may matter, but a lot of them are really just BS numbers in the end because you can get that performance in theory only.

Comment: Re:So in the future ... (Score 1) 142

by tlhIngan (#47971405) Attached to: The UPS Store Will 3-D Print Stuff For You

It's already being used for items like old tail-lights, that cost too much from suppliers because of scarcity.

As with everything, economies of scale and increases in technology will bring the per-unit cost down.

When a body shop has the choice between ordering a whole assembly for $250, or printing up just the cracked lens that the dealer won't sell them separately for $50, they'll print to order.

Replacement parts, where the OEM won't sell just the tiny plastic gear (you need to buy the whole fuser unit) are a good example. Switch housing got cracked? Sorry, we don't sell just that ... No, we only sell that in mininum quantities of 4. New knob? Sorry, you have to buy the whole timer.

This will allow for a lot of "unbundling", and could result in a revival of do-it-yourself repairs. And less waste.

No, it's not scarcity. It's low demand. The car is old, and parts are long depleted. Few people want to carry the parts because they don't move. Even if you're Alibaba or, having a part sit int he warehouse for years until one customer buys one costs a lot of money - most of it is in just costs used to hold it in the warehouse.

So yeah, 3D printing is great for niche items that few people will actually ever need is an ideal use case. Because it's uneconomical to store and hold products that few people will actually buy.

So yeah, printing a part for your pinball machine that was custom made back in 2003? Perfect use. 3D printing say a standard triangular lens cover for same? Less so because it's a standard part used in many machines and which sell in decent quantity every month.

Yes, it's great for do-it-yourself repairs if the items are long discontinued, especially consumer items where parts are deprecated weeks after the product is manufactured. But if you're trying to buy say a set of wheel covers for your steel rims, 3D printing is unlikely to enter that discussion - it's less economical.

Comment: Re:Well, that's how they faked them to begin with (Score 1) 262

by tlhIngan (#47968665) Attached to: Nvidia Sinks Moon Landing Hoax Using Virtual Light

Problem is, technology fast enough to talk to a PCI-Express card wasn't generally available in the 60's. Or 70's. Or probably even 80's. Even with supercomputers of the age.

More likely, nVidia has a wormhole through which they took orders for images to fake, then sent them back into the past.

Had to be that - didn't you see the comparison between the real and the generated? That looked a bit TOO close, and we know the second image was faked, so the first one must be too.

Comment: Re:Playlists and MTP (Score 2) 71

by tlhIngan (#47968607) Attached to: Google Partners With HTC For Latest Nexus Tablet

Don't people just drag MP3's from their computer to their phone in Windows Explorer? I don't understand the need for music transferring software.

If you want to transfer only the subset of your MP3 collection contained in a specific set of playlists, then you may need software to construct the copy job, even if it's just a shell script that parses the m3u files. And until very recently, you needed to install software to connect an Android 4.x phone to a PC because some operating systems didn't come with MTP automounting.

Actually, it's more like to get around Android's broken MTP implementation. Yes, MTP on Android is horrendous, as in "it barely works" Look at it funny on a Windows machine (to which it appears to be coded for) and it breaks, requiring a unplug-plug to get it working again.

Unfortunately, it was coded pretty much to work just for Windows and how the Windows MTP driver and Explorer operate. Try other OSes and they can do funny things that'll wedge the Android MTP gadget driver.

OS X supports MTP just fine, provided it's a proper implementation. A half-hearted implementation like Android gets both ends into interesting states. And Linux a couple of years back required patches to the MTP host side to work with Android.

As for Explorer to copy music - well, that's fine and all, but having a program that syncs everything is far more convenient. It's why people do use iTunes to manage their music collections.

Comment: Re:Only cost them 25 percent of customer bills? (Score 2) 238

by tlhIngan (#47965335) Attached to: Small Restaurant Out-Maneuvers Yelp In Reviews War

Yelp is fighting back by removing hundreds of the one star reviews.

It's actually a lot harder to do this as it requires a human to actually read and understand the review.

They can't get rid of all the 1-star reviews like they can with 5-stars (because getting rid of 1-stars makes the business look better).

if they automate it by removing new 1-star reviews, they run the risk of getting rid of legitimate 1-star bad reviews that got filtered into the mess.

The only way is to have a human manually go through all the 1-star reviews and get rid of the ones that seem fake. Which is expensive ,and you can bet more restaurants will be doing it in the future so now Yelp will have to hire people to filter reviews.

Either way, Yelp loses

Comment: Re:Which is why you shouldn't be on such systems (Score 1) 184

by tlhIngan (#47964941) Attached to: NY Magistrate: Legal Papers Can Be Served Via Facebook

God forbid the courts rule you can serve someone via a Slashdot reply, if that happens I'll never be able to communicate with anyone again.

If the other party sees you posting to /. and you're not reachable by other means, it is acceptable to try.

People seem to forget that a lot of "serving" doesn't actually lead to positive receipt - given the types of cases courts handle, doing so in person is reserved for the largest of cases criminal defendants typically.

After all, if you're suing someone in small claims, you still have to serve them, but using a process server's services can be expensive.

Yes, you can contest the method of serving, if you can show that the other party didn't use reasonable efforts to serve you (but moving without a forwarding address, etc., and purposely trying to hide from the courts is generally frowned upon).

And this would be after multiple attempts too - eventually the judge got sufficiently annoyed at not being able to serve notice, couldn't issue any orders to obtain details for service and was willing to try alternate forms. Remember that final notice of serving happens as a classified ad in the newspaper. (Hell, given how classifieds are these days, Craigslist and Kijiji might be a better option).

Comment: Re:Who cares about MicroSD on a phone? (Score 1) 252

by tlhIngan (#47964587) Attached to: Why the iPhone 6 Has the Same Base Memory As the iPhone 5

Also " It adds to the cost, adds to the bulk, adds to the complexity, is one more layer of unnecessary complexity and in most cases wouldn't get used much if at all"? C'mon now. Adds to the cost? Most droids have one and practically every one is cheaper than an iphones, Adds to bulk? Seriously? unnecessary complexity? Now your just trying to make it sound like they're doing you a favour locking down your storage, but don't forget you need to keep double what you need free to do anything.

Yes, it adds to cost - a slot is a mechanical device prone to failure and users are not the most gentle of handlers for those things. It's generally why most devices limit access to the SD slot by making it damn inconvenient to get at, rather than the convenience of being able to swap them in and out as desired.

In fact, the reason for this is obvious - the complexity of managing that SD card! If you put apps on an SD card and then swap them, things get confusing, fast.

And then you need file managers to ensure that you can move stuff between cards and internal storage, and apps that generate data also have to have options to select storage. All that just adds to complexity for the user who probably wants to take a photo, and now has to deal with the reality that they picked the wrong storage media and now has to manage that problem.

A single storage device simplifies things a lot - the user just does what they do.

It also adds to bulk because you have to engineer the case around it - there are many design rules and limits to what you can do - how close the slot can be to an edge, material interference issues, etc. Even though an microSD card is barely 1mm high, the footprint around it adds at least another millimeter due to material constraints and tolerance issues. Add in rubber covers for them and it's another assembly step, more bulk as the cover needs to be recessed, etc. (and if you wonder why some phones just have piss-poor covers, it's not an easy job).

Comment: Re:Who are the proposed customers? (Score 2) 42

by tlhIngan (#47962427) Attached to: Wanxiang May Give 2012's Fisker Karma a Relaunch

Anyone who could afford a Karma and wanted electric would have already bought a Tesla S or Roadster.

And given the Karma's perchant for catching on fire if you stare at it funny, going with the Tesla is probably a better idea. At least those only catch fire in accidents and generally in ways that don't consume the entire car.

Seriously, Hurricane Sandy destroyed a fleet of brand new Karmas when they shorted out. Sure, it destroyed a LOT of brand new cars when it flooded the port (about 15,000 cars in total), but the Fiskers were most notable for being the ones that burned completely out.

No, the high voltage EV system isn't at fault. The cause was a short in the 12V system. Something ALL the destroyed cars had in common, and they couldn't get that right.

Hey, the only thing that stopped the flood of Fisker fire news was them going bankrupt. And it's obvious why this Chinese car company has to make changes. Or are we going to have Ford Pinto 2.0? Except instead of just having a bump from the back, just blinking would set them off.

Comment: Re:Google's storage (Score 1) 394

by tlhIngan (#47957659) Attached to: Why You Can't Manufacture Like Apple

There are more than two companies left, they just share the same parent owners. In the west you have Seagate and Western Digital. In the east you have Hitachi, Toshiba and Samsung. Hitachi may be owned by WD, but they still do their own R&D and models.

This helps WD avoid putting all its eggs in one basket, and also gives them access to the Japanese market. Designed/Made in Japan counts for a lot here.

And expect the departments to be consolidated. Hard drives are a commodity - there is VERY little profit to be made in drives and because the products are basically fungible, competition has driven the prices to the absolute bottom.

They are, however, also precision made mechanical devices where clearances and tolerances are tight. And they are also mass-produced which means having to account for variations in the pieces both in the mechanical design and in the software design.

To do this requires a lot of experience and it's something that's actually quite expensive to purchase because it's specialized.

It's why there are dozens of SSD manufacturers out there - compared to an SSD, a hard drive is like a car with thousands of pieces that have to work together. An SSD is quite simple - just a circuit board, flash memory, controller and ancillary parts that can be put together in any contract manufacturer. But a hard drive requires a manufacturing facility dedicated to making the stuff.

Comment: Re:Memory doesn't cost that much. (Score 1) 252

by tlhIngan (#47957567) Attached to: Why the iPhone 6 Has the Same Base Memory As the iPhone 5

You are missing the point. All of my Android phones include the ability to add a MicroSD card. I don't care how much memory is on the phone, my data (pictures etc) doesn't reside there. Apple's continued refusal to add a MicroSD slot is just more of their way of ripping off their customers.

You're absolute correct. Google is ripping off users as well with their Android phone too!.

Oh wait, Google only offers 16 and 32GB Nexus phones and tablets with NO SD SLOT. Perhaps the owner of the Android OS is also guilty of ripping people off!

Oh wait, you said Apple, not Google.

Anyhow, managing multiple SD cards is a pain - did you put the app on this one, or that one, or where is that damn music file? Oh wait, why am I getting this error, did I not insert the right SD card? It's fine if you start with a 32GB now, then upgrade to 64GB later and then move on up, but since few Android phones have more than 32GB of internal storage (WHY?!) it means you're limited to 96GB of storage without entering the whole card-swap madness. Hell, I think the SD slot is just an excuse for manufacturers because they know 99% of the time, it'll either be empty, or they'll toss in a 16GB card and it'll live in there for the rest of its life. (Which is probably why they put it so you often have to remove the battery to eject them or other such madness rather than a slot on the outside).

Comment: Re:Why is Alibaba selling IPO in USA? (Score 1) 190

by tlhIngan (#47952567) Attached to: Why a Chinese Company Is the Biggest IPO Ever In the US

It's a Chinese company located in China, and most of its business and customers are in China. So why is it doing its IPO on the US stock market?

Shouldn't NYSE/Nazdaq disallow this? SEC and FTC have no jurisdiction in China or anywhere else outside the USA. If a chinese company listed on NYSE did fraudulent accounting or whatever, SEC can't do jack shit about it.

The whole thing seems like a clever scheme by Chinese companies and Goldman Sachs to sucker money out of U.S. investors.

Well first off, it should ring major alarm bells to any investor that Alibaba isn't doing it in their native country. I mean, either the Chinese government has rules against it, or the founders are basically trying to skirt Chinese law for whatever reason. That's a major red flag without even looking at the details of the arrangement.

Sorry, I don't buy any arguments about whether or not the Chinese government allows IPOs like that - Alibaba is the largest e-commerce site in the world doing practically Chinese-only business, and you can't figure out Chinese investment law? I don't think so.

Yes, I'm willing to call it "shady" from the get go. Either that or it's a house of cards in China that's about to collapse. I'm sorry, but if you're so business savvy to basically be the #1 marketplace in the world, out-doing Amazon, eBay and other sites combined, and you're doing the IPO in the US, there's something majority shady going on, perhaps even criminal (hiding from the Chinese government? Forget to hire the standard Communist party official?).

And oh, the SEC does have some power still - they can effectively suspend trading or even force delisting. Yes, it means current shareholders get screwed, but it prevents future shareholders from being screwed more. Hell, they can still levy fines to be paid by company owners (i.e., shareholders). It's the shareholders that are taking on a lot of risk because they can't bring the executives to bear.

How often I found where I should be going only by setting out for somewhere else. -- R. Buckminster Fuller