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Slashback: GSM, Buffy, Wobble 330

Slashback tonight brings you updates on the future of Iraq's cellular infrastructure, the real reason Buffy is departing, Intuit and Macrovision, and more. Read on below for the details.

Macrovision, everyone's favorite killjoy. byteCoder writes "Apparently Macrovision marketing is trying to put a good spin on Intuit's plan to eliminate the use of Macrovision's DRM software for pre-paid copies of TurboTax (as discussed last week here). This reminds me of the classic Monty Python line: "I'm not dead yet!""

That's got to be some spin -- An anonymous reader points to Eric Hellweg's Tech Investor on CNN, which suggests that the backlash which triggered Intuit's copy-protection reversal may have cost the company $100 million.

Can I use my Go Phone there? An anonymous reader writes ""In a follow-up to the Slashdot article 'CDMA vs GSM in Post-war Iraq,' The Reg has a story about how MCI has won the contract to rebuild the mobile phone system with GSM. This is a good thing for the people of Iraq that GSM is being used, GSM is the world standard and several U.S. companies (AT&T for one) are switching to GSM."

Adding Money to Insult. Neophytus writes "Remember the 'Star Wars Kid' that found a couple of weeks ago? Well after over a million downloads the guy has been found. His name is Ghyslain, a 15-year-old tenth grader living in Quebec. Jish contacted him and got a brief, but interesting, interview."

No unlimited copy privileges in jail. the-dude-man writes "As reported here A 19-year-old pleaded guilty to costing DirectTV for leaking information about the secrets of DirectTV's most advanced anti-piracy technology to hacker websites. As part of the plea deal, Serebryany admitted to copying and distributing 800 megabytes of scanned documents from DirecTV, costing the company $68,000 in investigatory costs. Both sides stipulated to sentencing factors that carry six months to a year in prison under federal guidelines -- assuming no prior convictions. The sentencing court can depart from the guidelines only if the judge finds that the proposed sentence doesn't adequately reflect the facts of the case. According to court records affidavit, Serebryany's adventures began when he found himself with access to some of DirecTV's most coveted technological secrets while working for his uncle at a document imaging company at the office of a Los Angeles law firm, Jones, Day, Reavis and Pogue. The firm was representing the satellite TV company in a lawsuit against NDS, the makers of the smart cards DirecTV uses to control access to its signal."

For every 11 discontented customers, there's one of these happy oddballs! RedWingsSuck writes "A few weeks ago, I asked /. users what they thought about the wobble my 12" Power Book has developed. Last week Apple Care told me that I could send my laptop off for repairs. I decided to drive to the local Apple Store, about 15 minutes away, and drop it off. They had my laptop for less than 3 days. When I went in to pick it up, they told me that it was sent in and the BC (bottom cover) was repaired. It doesn't wobble anymore, so I am happy. I was really surprised with how fast it was fixed. I didn't mean to sound like I regretted my AiBook purchase in the last post, and now I even happier."

Relax, it's a television show. HardcoreGamer writes "Buffy creator Joss Whedon responds to questions from New York Times readers on Buffy the Vampire Slayer as it comes to the end of its 7 season run. He also discusses the now-canceled Firefly and concludes with one of the key reasons why the show is ending: 'I'm simply too tired.'"

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Slashback: GSM, Buffy, Wobble

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  • I'm sure the fact (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 20, 2003 @08:00PM (#6002969)
    That Sarah Michelle Gellar wants out, that the ratings are declining, and that no one wants Dawn the Vampire Slayer all contributed to Buffy leaving the air, too.
    • by Scoria ( 264473 ) * <> on Tuesday May 20, 2003 @08:04PM (#6002988) Homepage
      Dawn the Vampire Slayer

      Witness vampires and miscellaneous other creatures of the night defeated as Dawn petulantly screams. For instance: "Get out, get out, get out!"
    • I actually came up with two lame puns for this and couldn't decide which one to use, so here's both.

      Dawn the Vampire Slayer... So each week we just watch a sunrise? Boring.

      Dawn the Vampire Slayer... So *that's* what the blue liquid was in Blade.
    • Dawn is a hottie :)
    • Re:I'm sure the fact (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Chasing Amy ( 450778 ) <> on Tuesday May 20, 2003 @11:46PM (#6004458) Homepage
      As for the ratings, I have to say that I'm in the happy minority who *LOVED* Season 6. I think it was great for Joss and co. to put Buffy through that very dark and disillusioning period that many early twentysomethings fall into for a while after school is over and real life sets in. I think so many long-time fans were just too dedicated to the more lighthearted highschoolish years to really approve of the direction of Season 6, so the show's ratings dipped too far for comfort.

      However, Season 6 contains some of the best writing and dialogue, and while not everyone likes the plot arcs used (too dark for so many tastes) they actually touched on some really interesting stuff that's true to life. You could really see Joss and Marti's early-20's angst just pouring onto the screen, darker and more disturbing than *Buffy* had been before. The lighthearted edge that fans loved through the highschool and early college show really *couldn't* be there as much when Buffy herself was to disillusioned and depressed. The writing and dialogue was as good as ever, but with the harder edge and lack of as much softening lighthearted stuff too many longtime fans were put off.

      But think of all the great things that happened in Season 6. The finale episodes, with the death of Tara and Willow's evilification, were some of the most riveting of the series--even if Tara's death *was* hard for a lot of fans, particularly in the lesbian community. The musical episode, obviously, stands on its own and is so highly acclaimed by critics and most fans that it's high on the list of Best Episodes Ever. Even if the Doublemeat Palace episode was mindnumbing on many levels, it accurately captured the awful experience of being an underling at the menial jobs so many people work. Buffy and Spike had one of the most intense and incredible love scenes in the whole series, and we got to watch their relationship decline into the degradation that really does happen in abusive or unhealthy relationships. There was so much great stuff there--great, but often too dark for most *Buffy* fans.

      As for "Dawn the Vampire Slayer"--God, I was so hoping that the big "show you the world" speech Buffy gave Dawn at the end of Season 6's finale would turn into more screentime with the maturing Dawn, but it really didn't go very far. The Potentials ended up with the instruction that Dawn was seemingly going to get, based on Buffy's remarks at the end of the past season. Mmmm, little Dawnie really butters my toast! Hey, Michelle Trachtenberg *does* turn 18 and legal this year. ;-) Yummy. I was tempted to go to and bid on the outfit she wore when she was seducing that jock in Season 7, but that would just be too creepy--plus my girlfriend wouldn't quite fit into it anyway. :-o
      • by cquark ( 246669 ) on Wednesday May 21, 2003 @09:06AM (#6006513)
        I don't think that season 6 was much darker than its predecessors, though it did hurt that they tried to carry off the humor element of the season with the season antagonist, the Trio, who could have worked well as a monster of the week but who were grating rather than amusing when their antics were repeated week after week.

        Continuity with prior seasons was abandoned, both in terms of character and in setting. The most egregrious example was magic becoming addictive. Wouldn't Tara or Giles have ever mentioned that magic is the equivalent of crack to Willow, especially since there are "dealers" and magic crack houses? The magic addiction arc is especially frustrating as it not only hijacked the promising power corrupts arc for Willow, but it was completely useless as part of the dark Willow arc since it was Tara's death, not magic crack, that made Willow the nemesis in the final episodes.

        The writing has many other flaws such as Buffy coming to an epiphany every week about her depression then ignoring it the following week and Spike going to get his chip out (which not only the dialog implies but the actor was told was to happen) but ends up with a soul. Let's take a quick look at the dialog. Some of the worst dialog ever on the show again comes from the addiction arc, especially in the final episodes when Willow's saying things like "I'm so juiced," and at the very end, Xander saving the world with his yellow crayon speech was just embarrassing.

        There were many ideas with great potential in season six like the dark Willow arc we almost saw, but the execution was so poor that it's almost impossible to enjoy them. It's not the issues they brought up, such as depression, bad boyfriends, or even addiction that were the problem, but how they handled them compared to earlier seasons.

        Look at how they handled the deaths of Joyce or Miss Calendar compared to Tara. Both of the prior deaths carried so much more meaning and emotion for the characters. The ending also lacks originality. We just saw Willow go off for revenge after Tara was hurt at the end of last season, and we saw Giles do the same when Miss Calendar died before that. The "dead lesbian/evil lesbian (saved by the good man)" ending has been done dozens of time in other books and movies, with Alyson Hannigan not only playing that ending in Buffy that year, but she also played that in the movie Rip It Off just before that. And of course, Willow has to destroy the world; we're not quite sure how that comes out of her character, but Buffy villains do that so she has to do that too. Why couldn't they have done something remotely original?
  • Slain (Score:5, Funny)

    by Scoria ( 264473 ) * <> on Tuesday May 20, 2003 @08:01PM (#6002971) Homepage
    'I'm simply too tired.'

    Yes, seasons six and seven are certainly evidence that somebody was "asleep at the wheel." In fact, they were quite reminiscient of an enormous vehicular accident...
    • by fm6 ( 162816 ) on Tuesday May 20, 2003 @08:46PM (#6003227) Homepage Journal
      I'm forced to agree. Except that Whedon's basic problem isn't fatigue -- that's just a symptom. It's that he keeps overreaching himself.

      Consider the "First Evil" arc. They started that one over four years ago []!!! Yeah, I know we you like the way he plants clues and goes for a slow buildup. So do I. But that buildup looks like the workers were drunk and AWOL half the time!

      The whole series is full of stuff like that. My favorite villain in all of genre fiction is Glorificus, The Fashion Queen from Another Dimension. But I was only able to enjoy her arc by nodding at the plot inconsistencies you could drive a truck through. A willing fan can do that for a while (hence Star Trek), but Buffy fans have less patience.

      I think if Joss Whedon is going to remain a major player (and I do hope he manages to revive Firefly) he's gonna have to rethink his working style. TV and movies are collaborative media, yet he insists that all the big insights be his and his alone. That prevents people from hijacking his vehicles (as happened with the Buffy movie) but also prevents people from telling him when his clothes are no invisible, but missing. No wonder Buffy got so far off track.

      • he's gonna have to rethink his working style. TV and movies are collaborative media, yet he insists that all the big insights be his and his alone.

        I disagree. The best TV series ever (Babylon 5) was mostly a gigantic effort from one man: JMS. He had collaborators, just like Joss has, but the bulk of the work was his, and it showed. I say power to Joss all the way.

      • by spoco2 ( 322835 ) on Tuesday May 20, 2003 @10:45PM (#6004126)
        yet he insists that all the big insights be his and his alone

        Yet in the Article, he states:

        "It would have been impossible for me to predict where Buffy's character would go by the end of the series because the character is informed by so many things. You have to find out what people respond to, you have to find out what works on the show, what aspects make sense, what your meaning is. "

        So, that would seem to suggest that there's a fairly substantial feedback loop going on there between himself, the viewers and others...

        I don't think he goes it entirely alone... And for the most part the real issues with the last couple of seasons have been with the actual dialogue or more specfic things with episodes, which come about from the actual writer of the script, and Joss doesn't seem to have written many of the later episodes at all.

        Having said that the final season (I don't know what episode you're up to in the states, but we're only part way through in Aus) has been by and large painful to watch... It's really being that bad. I've been watching the last season of Angel, as I had stopped watching that, and I'm finding it FAR more enjoyable than the current Buffy.
      • TV and movies are collaborative media, yet he insists that all the big insights be his and his alone. That prevents people from hijacking his vehicles (as happened with the Buffy movie) but also prevents people from telling him when his clothes are no invisible, but missing. No wonder Buffy got so far off track.

        Didn't seem to hurt Straczynski on Babylon 5.

      • No wonder Buffy got so far off track.

        You know, I hear people dis season 6 all the time and I just don't get it. Season 6 was beyond brilliant -- it was utterly sublime. Was it painful? Hell yeah, but so is life. It was supposed to be painful and disjointed and hearbreaking. If they'd just made season [insert number here] over and over again it would have been dead boring, I think. Season 6 made the characters grow and it made the audience grow as well.

      • Yeah, so who would he listen to? Firefly was on Fox so perhaps he'd listen to those network execs? The ones who cancelled Futurama, Family Guy, Firefly, and every other great show that started with an F? No, you see, his efforts are great because they are his. Neal Stephenson works like that too. You didn't see Shakespeare or Van Gogh making their art in ways that marketers wanted to.

        Didn't you learn anything from Dilbert? The lesson is that marketing departments suck.
  • She wants to devote full time to being a pr0n star? *looks hopefull*
    • by dghcasp ( 459766 ) on Tuesday May 20, 2003 @10:43PM (#6004116)
      Buffy the Vampire Layer?

      It's not like it'd be so far off where the show is now...

      Buffy: I'm going out to hunt vampires. I need a big stake.

      Dawn: Don't let Spike rape you again!

      Willow: Oh, and while you're gone, I'm going to have a lesbian tryst!

      Faith: Ever notice how slaying makes you hungry and horny?

      Anya: Everyone's having sex but me! I need to get laid!

      Wait a minute... Did I just think that, or did I post it to slashdot? D'oh!

  • Firefly (Score:5, Informative)

    by Ignorant Aardvark ( 632408 ) * <> on Tuesday May 20, 2003 @08:07PM (#6003009) Homepage Journal
    Perhaps Buffy was getting tired, but Firefly was just starting to shine! I hope Joss Whedon doesn't mean that he was tired in general, just tired in regards to BTVS. I'm still hopeful that Firefly will make a comeback someday. In any event, two of its actors have played villains on Joss Whedon's other shows, Angel and BTVS. I thought that was nice of him, helping the actors of his cancelled show by giving them parts on his still-running shows.
    • Re:Firefly (Score:4, Informative)

      by satanami69 ( 209636 ) on Tuesday May 20, 2003 @08:27PM (#6003135) Homepage
      "two of its actors have played villains on Joss Whedon's other shows"

      I also saw that Gina Torress [], from Firefly, was in the Matrix Reloaded. It creeped me out because she's in every one of my favorite shows that gets canceled. I felt a bad vibe about the Matrix, but was delighted to see her.

      • And Morena Baccharin [] is sexy in that exotic Asian kind of way. Maybe that, or it's because she played a whore. Mmmmm ... Morena ...

        And yeah, Gina Torres [] is the sexy woman who played Jasime, the Devourer (a decidedly un-nasty, disgusting freak of a beast in Angel).

        Let's not forget Jewel Staite [] ... her character Kaylee was sexy in that innocent, home-girl kind of way, though it was revealed in one of the episodes how she got her position as mechanic wasn't exactly innocent! (Screwing the previous mecha

      • Hey, Angel got renewed :)
    • by fm6 ( 162816 ) on Wednesday May 21, 2003 @03:46AM (#6005447) Homepage Journal
      From what I've heard, Whedon is trying very, very hard to revive Firefly in some form. Most people in his position would have given up by now. I think this particular show is very important to him.

      Possibly he thinks he could have saved the series if he hadn't been so overcommitted (three active series, and development work on two more). Probably not true: I think a lot of Fox people either didn't understand Firefly or just didn't think such a high-budget series could be profitable. (Reality shows are so much cheaper to produce!) Still, it would have had a better chance if Whedon had been able to fight the network's creative meddling and idiotic scheduling.

      I once read an interview with him, where's he's standing on the bridge of Serenity (the set is a complete mockup of the ship) and proclaiming that he's in "Geek Heaven". Ever since Fox pulled the series, I've been watching the news for reports that the set has been broken up. Unless I missed that report, he's keeping that set around, which must be costing him a mint. If he gives up and gets rid of the set, then we'll know that Firefly is dead, no mouth-to-mouth, no resurrection spell!

  • by Squidgee ( 565373 ) <squidgeeOO1@hotmail . c om> on Tuesday May 20, 2003 @08:09PM (#6003028)
    Since this article contains an Apple refrence (Which, btw, I've had good luck with Apple's repair services, even though my iBook had to go out of the country), inevitably we'll have to see the Father O'day troll. So, in order to route this, and give the mods the power to mod down based upon "redundant" (Muhahaha), here we go:

    I'm gay. Blah blah blah.
    --Some Priest

    Good for you!
    --Mister Apple-Impersonator.

    And there ya have it! Go back under the bridge trolls.

    • Apple service is simply phenomenal. I called them at about 2PM central to get my PowerBook 5300 repaired and the box came 10 AM the next day. When I had it packed, I called the delivery company, the guy to pick it up was here within 15 minutes. Apple had it for two days, and then they shipped it back to me.

      Due to a rather unusual mix-up with my apartment complex's main office, I didn't get the package until a few weeks later, but that's hardly Apple's fault.

      Keep in mind, that was a PowerBook 5300. The
  • Guess what -- our beloved USA-homegrown CDMA didn't win out in Iraq after all. So you all can take your allegations of US self-bias and shove it.
  • by Qinopio ( 602437 ) on Tuesday May 20, 2003 @08:14PM (#6003058) Homepage
    They tried to use illusions on Trogdor, but he burninated [] [spoilers] them all!

    ANDREW: Illusions? Against a burninator? (chuckles)
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 20, 2003 @08:14PM (#6003059) why is it such a great thing that MCI is building it in Iraq?

    Eventually all carriers will have to move from whatever they're using to either WCDMA or cdma2000. The transition to WCDMA is not simple, and there are doubts that WCDMA will deliver on its promised performance. On the other hand, cdma2000 is much simpler to adopt, and has been proven to work (in Korea, for example.)

    GSM is dead. R.I.P.
    • by Zebbers ( 134389 ) on Tuesday May 20, 2003 @08:48PM (#6003238)
      yea, sure. gsm is dead. yup. go build your own wcdma or cdma2000 network. go ahead. gsm is the standard, like it or not. there will be little consumer pressure for cmda as opposed to gsm. everyone wants gsm because its been the standard in europe/world and will now be the standard in the us as well.

      being technically superior does not automagically grant you standard status. christ, by youre logic one should never deploy anything because there is always something almost ready thats almost better.
      • Read some radio manuals, and get back to us.

        Just because GSM is mandated to exist in most parts of the world does not mean it is either superior or will be in existance forever (or maybe it can if you want 2.5G forever).

        All future 3g standards are based on CDMA (UTMS,WCDMA, CDMA2K, etc.), if not direct decendents. Qualcomm owns most if not all patents on those technologies. Not only that, but a terrain as sparse as Iraq, should not use GSM, but CDMA.

        I live in the countryside of North Carolina, and I can
        • Can't agree (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Dusabre ( 176445 ) on Wednesday May 21, 2003 @03:56AM (#6005486) Homepage
          GSM is cheap because its old. Cheap GSM stations and cheap GSM phones. I might be able to pay $1000 for a PDA CDMA phone but an Iraqi might only have $50 for his basic GSM (I'm sure he'd love to have the phone I threw away 4 years ago because it was getting tacky)

          GSM is implemented throughout the Middle East - allowing roaming and phone exports/transfers over the border.

          GSM is well known to technicians.

          GSM works well in environments like Iraq. You might live in some isolated part of the huge US of A where GSM sucks but Iraq is an urban and concentrated country. Most people live near the cities or the river valleys.

          GSM does not suck. It allows clear voice transmissions and gives an acceptable data transfer rate (not for internet browsing but for email okay).

          Iraq does not need an expensive data network with bells on it. It needs one that works. And GSM works excellently - as Europe can testify.

          GSM is not the future. But its the working present.
  • GSM/GPRS (Score:4, Interesting)

    by yet another coward ( 510 ) <yacoward@yah[ ]com ['oo.' in gap]> on Tuesday May 20, 2003 @08:14PM (#6003060)
    How much sooner than the United States will Iraq get a GSM/GPRS network? AT&T, T-Mobile and Cingular are taking their time. Maybe the Iraqi people will get affordable data plans, too.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 20, 2003 @08:15PM (#6003070)
    Is that so many other geeks find him pitiful. If his self-esteem wasn't low already...
  • by z4ce ( 67861 ) on Tuesday May 20, 2003 @08:15PM (#6003071)
    It's not a good thing for Iraq for GSM to be implemented. GSM is really aging. The only way to get even moderately high-speeds is using the piggy-back GPRS. Reconstructing GSM to be 3G is very difficult transition path. If it weren't for Quallcom's patents on CDMA, nobody would be using GSM which is based on TDMA.

    I really like some of the stuff GSM has done with respect to the phones themselves, such as the use SIMM card for storing the phones information. But CDMA is by far the technically superior solution, however patent incumbered. Building an infrastructure from the ground up on TDMA technology is just brain-dead politics.
    • Good point; maybe they should be building a 3G EDGE network instead. IIRC, EDGE is GSM, but it uses CDMA instead of TDMA for better spectrum efficiency.
      • by Cato ( 8296 )
        EDGE isn't CDMA based, it's still TDMA but with better radio technology allowing more capacity in existing GSM/GPRS cells, and higher speeds.

        W-CDMA is the 'true 3G' step after GPRS/EDGE, which is CDMA based.
    • by GlassHeart ( 579618 ) on Tuesday May 20, 2003 @09:26PM (#6003567) Journal
      If it weren't for Quallcom's patents on CDMA, nobody would be using GSM which is based on TDMA.

      This is not wholly accurate. TDMA is old, obvious, and proven technology, requiring nothing more complicated than a uniform source of timing, and is possibly less demanding on the handset hardware than CDMA. Telecommunications carriers tend to be conservative, because the upfront investments are astronomical.

      Secondly, according to Qualcomm's own information, CDMA by 1995 offered only 10x improvement (over analog cellular) of the bandwidth utilization. By contrast, TDMA offers somewhere from 3x to 8x, so the case for ripping out all your expensive network hardware is not as compelling back then.

      Today in Iraq, starting from scratch, the equation is obviously different. When GSM's time comes, however, it should be remembered as a reliable workhorse, not something that was always inferior to CDMA except for patents. GSM was the first mobile phone system that offered global roaming, a feature taken for granted today, but causing so many problems back then that several horribly expensive satellite based solutions were built.

      SIMM card

      Only one "M". It stands for "Subscriber Identity Module".

    • If it weren't for Quallcom's patents on CDMA, nobody would be using GSM
      Building an infrastructure from the ground up on TDMA technology is just brain-dead politics.

      Leaving aside any technical arguments, grasping your ankles for Qualcomm would be even more brain-dead.

      At least this way their phones will work in most of the free world.


    • you morons are rambling about rebuilding wireless networks for iraqis who are still starving packed small caves w/ their families trying to survive most likely

      and we still dont' have bin laden or hussein and no one seems to notice or care

      but we like the terrorism alert colours, they're alwyas fun...

  • GSM vs CDMA (Score:4, Interesting)

    by jbf ( 30261 ) on Tuesday May 20, 2003 @08:15PM (#6003074)
    Yes, GSM is more widely supported than CDMA, but note that the GSM folks are having a heck of a time providing 3G support, whereas the two big CDMA providers in the states (Verizon and Sprint) have both rolled out huge 3G networks. The reason for this is that 1xRTT is a better standard for data. By contrast, DoCoMo is losing money hand over fist deploying WCDMA.

    GSM is everywhere largely because of European licensing agencies requiring GSM, and those same restrictions are built into the licenses for 3G spectrum (with UMTS). NOT because GSM is a better technology. CDMA gets better efficiency (more users per channel per cell) than GSM, especially in lightly loaded areas.

    I don't see why GSM-everywhere is so desirable. The conveinences everyone claims that GSM has (eg SIM cards) are already being standardized in cdma2000, and will be here soon. GSM is a beast from the past, pushed only by government regulations. For those who say AT&T's switch shows that GSM is the future, remember that AT&T is switching from a TDMA network that's technologically equivalent to GSM (and hence inferior to CDMA), and that AT&T is having all sorts of network problems as a result, since they have to hard-block their frequencies, effectively creating a huge fragmentation problem.
    • Re:GSM vs CDMA (Score:5, Interesting)

      by rasteri ( 634956 ) on Tuesday May 20, 2003 @08:41PM (#6003203) Journal
      You're forgetting one thing (and it's possibly the most important)... implementing CDMA in Iraq would effectively kill roaming between it and nearby countries. I think that's a significant enough reason to warrant a GSM mobile network. Besides, the so called "advantages" of CDMA are useless to Iraqis (High data rates? Most people in Iraq don't even have a computer, let alone a portable one). GSM offers some unique features (such as SIM cards) which almost certainly would be useful. Just because a technology is technically better in the US doesn't neccesarily mean it's well suited for a completely different country.
      • You're forgetting one thing (and it's possibly the most important)... implementing CDMA in Iraq would effectively kill roaming between it and nearby countries.

        Yep, that's right. And that's the reason they're going with GSM there. But the parent is merely pointing out that while it might be the correct solution to use here, GSM is not technologically superior to CDMA in any way.

        Most people in Iraq don't even have a computer, let alone a portable one).

        But I believe the point is that they will soon have
      • "CDMA are useless to Iraqis"
        For now, but wouldn't it be better to prepare for the future?
    • Re:GSM vs CDMA (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Inoshiro ( 71693 )
      "The conveinences everyone claims that GSM has (eg SIM cards) are already being standardized in cdma2000, and will be here soon. "

      Yea, because consumers have always waited for the perfect technology, rather than adopting a marginally worse technology that exists today.

      Oh, wait, VHS was before Betamax and was worse. Oh, wait, the PC was before the Macintosh and had less usability. Oh, wait ..

      I can go on and on. If CDMA was truly better enough today, it would've been standardized in every aspect like GS
    • The main reason ATT switched from TDMA to GSM is because GSM has more timeslots per frequency compared to TDMA. It's a lot cheaper to buy a base station than can cram more calls per freqency than actually putting up new towers.

      CDMA2000 networks are also a heck of a lot easier to deploy than WCDMA ones, since CDMA2000 base stations are backward compatable with CDMA(IS-95) phones, and vice versa. To deploy WCMA, which is not backward compatibale with GSM, an operator has to either use new frequencies (not

    • Re:GSM vs CDMA (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Oscar_Wilde ( 170568 )
      I'll try to keep this brief.

      Even if CDMA is technically a better system its still not the one in use by the majority of the worlds population.

      And while you might get better data rates using CDMA but GSM users still get all the cool phones to make use of it. Well ok, not all of the cool phones are GSM but if you've even been to Japan, Europe, Australia, etc you'd have to have seen the equipment everyone was using.

      My family in the US think its odd that everyone in my family here (in Oz) has a mobile phone.
    • Re:GSM vs CDMA (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Cato ( 8296 )
      GSM has something like 80% market share world-wide, and is heavily used in the Middle East as well as Africa, Europe, Asia and has some market share in North and South America. So the real reason it's desirable is that it's the standard, just like VHS, not that it has the best possible technology. CDMA2000 should be compared with W-CDMA, where it looks like the former is much more mature and currently deployable.
  • I didn't mean to sound like I regretted my AiBook purchase in the last post, and now I even happier Sweet! Can't wait to get my hands on one... Wonder how much they are...
  • by MoThugz ( 560556 ) on Tuesday May 20, 2003 @08:18PM (#6003090) Homepage
    a video of myself doing some Neo-esque bullet-dodging kunf-fu moves... maybe I'll get an iPod too.

    All joking aside, from the interview, Ghyslain (the starwars kid) acted quite mature for someone his age... aware that his not-meant-for-public-viewing is now world famous he chose not to be bitter or overly proud of this. He seems to just let it pass as a page in his life story.

    Anyway, he did make me laugh, and what a way to start what is anticipated to be a loooong busy day.

    Thanks Ghyslain!
  • Star Wars Kid (Score:2, Interesting)

    by R33MSpec ( 631206 )
    Come on guys, pitch in [] and buy this kid an iPod and other stuff for his efforts! What a star!
  • by tcc ( 140386 ) on Tuesday May 20, 2003 @08:21PM (#6003101) Homepage Journal
    Am I the only one who was completely detached of that last buffy episode? well actually from the last 2 seasons? She could have died and I don't think it would have cared less... I was almost worried that she would die and Faith replace her for another stagnating 5 seasons....

    I'm sure I am not the only one who was continuing to watch it because he "invested time into watching the 5 previous seasons that were really cool and I need to know how it will all end"... the ending of season 5 when she closes the portal by jumping into it was least 10x better than yesterday's serie ending.... Its a good thing that this show finally ends eventho I was a big fan the 5 first seasons. When I see shows like family guy, B5 crusade and firefly being cancelled and see crap like this season's of buffy still on, it makes me wonder.

    Now I just hope the Angel show doesn't go the same way.

    One show that I really enjoyed this year was John Doe, is there a second season of this? this is probably one of the good findings this year, new actors good story, just enough "fiction" to keep it "real", I like the balance and the general concept.

    • by Anonymous Coward
      Oh christ you can't be serious. John Doe??! That is the most god-awful bastardization of a science fiction show ever conceived by the likes of man. I'd rather watch CleoPatra 2525 with thumbscrews attached to my genetalia tightened every time a bare midriff is shown. John Doe. Even the thought of it makes me want to retch. I don't know where to start: bad acting, ridiculous plots, laughable science, dues ex machina, I could go on. I was absolutely astounded when FireFly got cancelled and the absolute mind-r
  • by Samir Gupta ( 623651 ) on Tuesday May 20, 2003 @08:32PM (#6003157) Homepage
    If their encryption algorithm is really so secure and uncompromisable as they claim, they should have no qualms about letting the details out in public (where they could be presumably subject to peer review), just as is standard practice with other crypto algorithms and the crypto community.
    • by shird ( 566377 ) on Tuesday May 20, 2003 @08:45PM (#6003226) Homepage Journal
      In theory. However, similar to DVDs, the decoder needs to be able to decode the signal. This means there must be a 'key' (be it an RSA key, secret algorithm, or whatever) in the device somewhere. Basically they are trying to achieve client-side security, which is just a myth. The only way to partially achieve this is to hide the key in silicon and hope the attackers don't find it, and when/if they do, change it. So as far as security is concerned, DirecTV is relying on secrecy - which is the only security possible in their situation. So it is fair enough they wouldnt want the details out in public.
  • Reading the SecurityFocus article and the PDF affidavit, one wonders why did DirecTV have to print out in hard copy documents to give to the law firm when they would have just been OCRed again back into digital form. Why not just give encrypted files on CD-ROM directly to the law firm?

    Insert dumb lawyer joke here...
    • INAL, but I have been involved in court cases. You don't go out of your way to make life easy on the opposition. In fact you go out of your way (within legal limits) to make like difficult for them. Drowning your opponent in paper is the most fun response to a fishing, I mean discovery, request that there is. Often there will be damning information down in there, but they never bother to actually go thru it all to find it.
  • by SamMichaels ( 213605 ) on Tuesday May 20, 2003 @08:45PM (#6003223)
    Since the last posting about Buffy, I've had to look no further than my own computer area to figure out how it's relevent to Slashdot.

    Doesn't every nerd have a huge poster of Sarah Michelle Gellar next to their Matrix poster? :)
    • Ah, that would that be the Anarexics Anonymous poster, SMG being thier poster child (along with Callista Flockhart). Who needs a poster of Sarah Michelle Stickgirl when you've got Alyson Hannigan to drool over? Plus, somehow I think that SMG would never take a role that required her to utter the line "And one time, at band camp, I stuck a flute up my pussy."
    • Doesn't every nerd have a huge poster of Sarah Michelle Gellar next to their Matrix poster? :)

      I don't think so...

      I bet you're still living in your parents' cellar
      Downloading pictures of Sarah Michelle Gellar
      Posting "me too" like some brain-dead AOLer
      I should do the world a favor and cap you like Old Yeller
      You're about as useless as JPEGs to Helen Keller

  • by Transient0 ( 175617 ) on Tuesday May 20, 2003 @08:57PM (#6003284) Homepage
    Slashback tonight brings you updates on the future

    That's a pretty good trick... care to tell me how you do it?
    • Simple, when they dupe one of these items, they will simply clame that the first was merely an edition from the future. Quite clever really. Whoever did this has real management potential!
  • what about GSM vs. SMG [] *grin*
  • It's amazing how much transfer that stupid video has used up. I wonder what being slashdotted will do to it... I can't believe there's been $3,519 in donations to buy that kid stuff! Amazing! I'm gonna go do something stupid and film it so people will buy me stuff! For the record, I'd like a shiny new power mac with dual processors and one of those huge screens.
  • Interview (Score:4, Funny)

    by The Bungi ( 221687 ) <> on Tuesday May 20, 2003 @09:15PM (#6003461) Homepage
    Perhaps Slashdot should do an interview with the Star Wars kid. To further the emotional scarring =)
  • Cowboyneal? (Score:4, Funny)

    by moosesocks ( 264553 ) on Tuesday May 20, 2003 @09:16PM (#6003464) Homepage
    Bah. We all know that Lucas is going to surprise us in the next SW film with a 15-minute lightsaber sequence featuring Cowboyneal.
  • It was pretty clear, even during the last episode in, admittedly, one of the weaker story arcs why this show has such a devoted following: the writing is incredible. Thanks to Joss and everybody involved for creating characters, plots, and dialog that were immensely entertaining (the D&D scene alone had me laughing hysterically). I'm going to miss this show and these characters. Why can't shows with potential like, say, Enterprise figure out the tricks Buffy managed to pull year after year? Note to
  • CDMA sucks. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Crappy codec that sounds no where near as good as EFR on GSM. Crappy phones with short battery life. Wot ? No bluetooth ? Most have no infrared even.

    These phones are lightyears behind GSM phones.

    Also, saying that the US is "CDMA territory" is simply wrong. Cingular, AT&T and T-Mobile (VoiceStream) are 3 of the top providers in the US, Sprint and Verizon being the other two.

    Hate to break it to the CDMA biggots here, but there are more GSM subscribers in the US than CDMA.

    I've used both over many y
  • by Anonymous Coward

    "...I could lose control. And I don't mean like 'my girl-friend's got a tongue-ring losing control'"

    Dawn, a few minutes later:

    "OH! Tongue-ring..."

    :-) Why couldn't Xander's dream have included the tongue-ring, Kennedy, Willow, AND Dawn?! Now THAT would have been a series climax!
  • Did anyone notice the reference to Trogdor the Burninator [] in Buffy? It was rad!

  • I almost lost my tax information because those idiots messed with my boot sector...which happened to be holding a custom boot loader. All of a sudden my boot loader didn't work... I reloaded it... Then my tax information was gone. Jackasses. At least I had already sent the taxes in! I just wanted to look at them again. Not buying that crap next year. Maybe the year after that, but I must punish them this next year.
  • Apple has probably the best repair center of any computer company out there. I actually dropped my iBook and somehow managed to crack the motherboard, but they had it back to me *the next day.* True, this is because I live in the same town as their major repair facility, but when I called they were nice enough to send a courier to bring me a box, wait while I put the computer in it, then take it right back to them. All on their dime. And then had another courier bring it back to me the next day. True, the r
  • by dghcasp ( 459766 ) on Wednesday May 21, 2003 @03:01AM (#6005278)
    Angel to Buffy: Here's a magic amulet. The writers didn't bother to come up with a backstory for it. And now that I've spoken, union rules say I have to be paid for the whole episode. (Angel Leaves.)

    Buffy to Spike: Here's a magic amulet. Let's shag.

    Buffy to Willow: I need a spell.
    Willow: I'm scared.
    Buffy: Don't worry. The writers didn't bother to look up the latin. All you have to do is sit and look constipated.
    Willow: I can do that; I had bran today!

    Wood to Faith: I'm better looking than you, skank.

    Andrew: I'm a geek. Wheeeee!

    (Inside the Hellmouth)

    Kennedy: Look at all the vampires.
    Buffy: Don't worry. Willow's spell made you all slayers.
    Kennedy: Why didn't we do this in episode 3 this season? Then we could have had time for some good episodes.
    Buffy: Shut up ho, and kill uber-vamps.

    Kennedy: Hey, how come one of these uber-vamps kicked Buffy's arse six ways to sunday for two episodes, yet now we're killing thousands of them.
    Faith. Shut up and kill uber-vamps.

    The First: Neener neener neener
    Buffy: Beat it, bitch.

    Spike: Woo hoo, me necklace is killing all the uber-vamps.
    Kennedy: Shame angel couldn't have brought it in episode 3, then we could have...
    Spike: stuff it, wanker.

    Anya: Hey, how come I have to be the only one to die?

    (Above ground)

    Dawn: Hey look, the whole town's gone, fallen into a pit.
    Cordelia: I always said Sunnydale was a pit.
    Xander: Beat it, slut, you're not in this show anymore.
    Cordelia: oops.

    Willow: So, what do we do now?
    Buffy: fuckifiknow.

    (Fade to black)

    • You forgot a scene:

      Xander: Where's Anya?
      Andrew: She's dead.
      Xander: Oh, just wanted to know.

      Am I the only one bothered by the fact that no one, not even Xander seems to care that Anya's dead?

      He was a lot more upset about the death of Tara, Joyce, and even Jenny Calendar that he was about Anya. He barely showed any reaction to Anya's death.

  • Quit yer whinin' (Score:3, Interesting)

    by EmagGeek ( 574360 ) <gterich@a o l . c om> on Wednesday May 21, 2003 @05:30AM (#6005728) Journal
    Ok, so MCI gets to build a GSM network in Iraq. Get over it - the reason that Sprint isn't doing it is because a) CDMA sucks monkey member and b) the US is more or less the only country on the planet that does NOT use GSM. It wouldn't make any sense to drop a CDMA network in Iraq when all of the surrounding countries use GSM. Also, there is already a lot of equipment for GSM in Iraq that can be reused (of course MCI will probably bill for new equipment even though they use the old stuff).

    The U.S. has a horrible track record of going with non-standards in order to try to lock out foreign competition - or at least make them build a different widget just to sell in the U.S.

    Here are some examples:

    U.S - TV uses NTSC, the rest of the world uses PAL, so TV and VCR makers have to make a completely different product to sell here.

    U.S. - HDTV over the air uses 8VSB (because of political lobbying), an inferior modulation method to COFDM, which the rest of the world uses because of its technical merit.

    U.S. - uses the English system of measure whereas the rest of the world uses the more intuitive metric system

    U.S. - drives on the wrong damn side of the road

    I'm sure there are hundreds, if not thousands of other examples..

    What I'd like to know is - how the *F* did the U.S. make such a logical and sound conclusion as to what network to use in Iraq?

How come everyone's going so slow if it's called rush hour?