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Comment If the data is that critical... (Score 1) 228

... don't leave it in a place where a random disaster (or random disgruntled third-party employee) can wipe it from the face of the Earth. Terabyte-size drives are cheap nowadays. Buy them. Buy many of them. Back up elements to them on a regular basis. Don't destroy raw material until the editing is done and the master has been copied at least twice purely for long-term storage, never mind how many copies need to be made available for distribution. Don't even rely on just hard disks - dump masters to tape if you can afford it. HDCAM's not completely overpriced; hell, even standard-definition Digital Betacam is better than, quite literally, nothing.

If they're lucky, the animated contributions and sound elements may be retrievable should the individuals responsible for those be more scrupulous about their material retention than the studio (the story didn't quite make clear what, if anything, they've been able to recover), but any location shooting lost is going to be a pain to redo.

This should be a very expensive lesson for their technically-inclined production crew and, if they have any, actual IT staff.

Comment Re:Comments from Canada (Score 2) 748

As a Canadian, I think we are in no position to pity or criticize our neighbours. Our media and telecom industries are in some ways even more integrated and oligopolistic than our neighbours' equvialents. Most of the private terrestrial broadcasters happen to be owned, in whole or in part, by the same companies that own what are known as "broadcast distribution undertakings" - basically, the cable, satellite, and IPTV providers. Several also own digital pay TV channels, cellular and landline telecom providers, and probably backbone services as well.

Comment "real 4G"? (Score 1) 199

"Real 4G" is clearly whatever the cell service providers want it to be. Between the meaningless buzzwords in ads and promotional literature, and the alphabet soup of acronyms used to name specific data transmission schemes, it's no wonder so much confusion reigns about which service is "the best".

Comment Re:We already pay a royalty on CDs for this. (Score 1) 407

I think this was actually floated here in Canuckistan early last decade. It never made it into a piece of legislation; it's effectively a tax on any computer with storage that plays music, whether it's a little $50 flash-memory player with cheap plastic buttons to $3500 laptop gaming rigs. There's no hope of equal enforcement, and either the loopholes would be massive or the entire industry would smash it down before it could ever be legislated.

Comment Re:Fucked by cable TV? Who could have predicted? (Score 1) 286

Hear, hear.

My partner and I dumped cable TV when it was clear we were only watching a few shows on the hundred-or-so channels we had access to. 95% of the content was repetitious junk, with the same amount of annoying ads and infomercials as terrestrial broadcast. At least we don't have to pay to pull in HD OTA content, aside from the $45 for the secondhand indoor antenna I bought[0]. Between that and Netflix, we're set. I've thought about slapping together a MythTV box from time to time for recording purposes.

There's some neat stuff happening in OTA broadcasting post-analog shutdown. Some NBC affiliates carry Universal Sports on a subchannel, and some other stations carry things like Retro Television Network (cheesy old TV!), music video channels, and in the case of my area an extra news/educational channel on the PBS feed. Once Canada switches off the analog TV spectrum[1], I expect to see a few more neato things on the air.

[0] We have an unusually good view in the direction of signal sources around here, so costs would probably run into the low hundreds for a proper roof/mast antenna, rotor, preamp, and coax for most suburbanites. It's still worth it, IMHO.

[1] This assumes the telecom/media cartel up here doesn't cook up an excuse to delay the digital switch even farther into the future. The switchover was supposed to be August of this year, though I half-remember rumours that they may push it back to 2013 or beyond. Part of the problem is that most private OTA stations are owned by media conglomerates that also own cable/satellite/IPTV operations, and they're much more interested in squeezing money out of subscribers. Go ahead, ask me about the kabuki fee-for-carriage "debate" that took place here last year. I'm still brassed off at how everyone in this country fell for it.

Comment Non-story, clueless writer (Score 5, Informative) 204

Visit spaceweather.com daily for a month or two, and keep an eye on the various Sun images on the left side. One is used to point out coronal holes, and you'll quickly realize how common they are. This may be related to the approaching solar maximum, though don't quote me on that.

I'm much more concerned about flare and mass ejection frequency. With all the satellites and poorly-shielded electrical circuits we rely upon, one or two wicked ejections aimed at Earth could turn a lot of gear into expensive junk.

Comment Re:It's been done (and exposed) in Canada recently (Score 1) 371

It's not obvious in the video, but a photographer captured a shot of the provocateurs on the ground... wearing the same standard-issue boots as the riot police. Oops.

Incidentally, Montebello's a nice little town. I think I was at the media centre dumping audio at the time this happened.

Comment Re:MS behind everyone else again? (Score 1) 401

As for your comment on the interface, I'm curious what computer graphics knowledge you have that makes you think "solid colors, simple text" with advanced animations (such as the ones that happen when you enter or leave the Start screen) are easier to do than the iOS or Android "grid of static icons" with simple translation animation

I didn't realize simple rectangle rotations and transforms with one or two mapped textures/images was "advanced". It looked neat, but it also looked optimized for the available hardware, and the loading speed made me wonder how much of it relies on simply dumping everyhing into RAM on startup and hoping no one runs too much else at any given time.

Comment MS behind everyone else again? (Score 4, Interesting) 401

I noticed the line at the end of the BBC article and couldn't believe what I was reading - does WP7 actually lack copy-n-paste capabilities? Apple took some justified shit for waiting years to include that capability in iPhoneOS. If that's for real, then WP7 deserves its unpopularity.

I had a chance to play with a WP7 device at a big box tech retailer on NYE (oddly, mere moments before getting an iPhone after a spontaneous discussion with my partner about my former piece-o-junk phone[0]). The interface was snappy, but it was pretty obvious why - solid colours, simple text. I have to wonder how well a WP7 device would operate under load with some third-party software installed.

[0] An LG Neon TE365F. Go ahead and laugh, I deserve it for purchasing such a turd.

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