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Comment Re:Fees (Score 1) 525

I don't know about how brazen the RIAA is, but as far as I can tell, the Court ruled them statutory damages--There was a table with each song on a row and a column titled "Statutory Damages Award," and written in each box was 22,500.00 (source). If they thought they were handing down a punishment, well, they picked the wrong box. While I agree with you that tens of thousands in compensation for each song is ridiculous, that's how the fools ruled.

Comment Re:Fees (Score 1) 525

Disclaimer: IANAL.

It's not being twisted around, honestly. Perhaps the intent was to prevent the injustices we're talking about now, but that isn't how it was written. The RIAA seeks what it sees as damages, at least ostensibly; this is compensation, not punishment. Even if this were a criminal trial, it would be foolhardy to use the eighth amendment to attack awards for statutory damages. Totally different story if we're talking about a fine.

And that's why they're talking about due process instead. I'm not sure how that works (certainly didn't read the brief), but it sounds logical to me.

Comment Re:Package management (Score 1) 162

One question... why? I bet your prejudices are based on very outdated information.

I've used yum, zypper, apt, and pacman based systems before, and I don't see any significant differences in the packaging format's power. Repositories are often set up a bit differently, but that's a policy issue. What is this major feature DEB has that RPM doesn't? Or even that apt has that yum doesn't?

Comment Re:I'll believe it when I can buy it. (Score 1) 220

I figured netbooks were positioned between handhelds and notebooks... but if you're going to include the DSi, perhaps the Pandora would be a better answer for that. They may actually start shipping sometime this year... ;)

They're working with their contractor to perfect the case moulds right now, and the rest of the components are supposedly together, ready for assembly. I'm not qualified to judge, but it sounds like they aren't far off. Too bad ordering is a snafu.

Comment Re:Depends on specialization and responsibilities (Score 1) 844

Get your EE or ME degree...

It's also important to know the entry-level requirements of the field you want to work in. I made a mistake when I graduated in May; I thought I could find a job in digital systems design/verification (centering at the RTL level). It turns out that only the government looks at someone without a Master's degree.

Comment Re:vote with your money (Score 1) 258

The appeal in CoD for me was very much gameplay-related. Thus far, MW (not MW2) struck the best balance between realism and the arcade for its niche. Though each of them had flaws, its standout points were reasonable recoil, map designs that usually provided ample cover, and a pace that wasn't ridiculously fast (Unreal Tournament) or slow (Ghost Recon). In short, it seemed like the beginning of a FPS series that would encourage squad-level tactics without taking you far from the shooting.

Sadly, that balance shifted immediately towards the arcade side with the very next game (CoD 5), making its gameplay just like every other.

Comment Re:Behind the scenes or not (Score 1) 187

It's really a silly argument. The BSD license does have fewer restrictions, but that doesn't make it better than the other. I think people need to understand that the two licenses have different goals in mind, and developers need to respect the wishes of the rights holder. Likewise, developers should take care in what license they use.

My guess is that the BSD license's intent was to simply give credit where credit was due and to allow researchers to develop code for anyone to use, in proprietary or open source projects, with limited liability. This is a good license to choose if you want to give your code away and only want recognition.

The GPL's intent should be obvious to everyone here: The FSF is after a system entirely composed of open source software, and the GPL is one of their tools to achieve it. If you do not want to be a part of this community, do not license your software as GPL and do not expect to be able to use someone else's GPL code (in your own code). If you don't like it, tough--you may as well be complaining to a car salesman about your car not being free.

But if you hate the GPL and FSF, you might not want to use the BSD license. They can use your code too. ;)

Comment Re:Still Important (Score 1) 571

Competent admins? You've got competent admins?! Lucky... It was a few weeks ago that we let ours know it's a bad idea to make home directories for class accounts world-readable...

I'm not a big fan of computer labs--I prefer the comforts and distractions of my apartment. Sometimes it's nice to hang out with your classmates, though, while you're waiting for that simulation or synthesis to finish. Or when the damn wireless chip doesn't follow the spec and you need to make sure you haven't gone insane...

But yeah, the expensive apps could be a problem. Using an app in the lab or buying your own copy aren't necessarily the only options, though. I wish for more floating license setups, where you run the program on your machine but tunnel through a login server to check out a license.

Comment Re:Aside from that... that isn't scientific litera (Score 1) 1038

Hm, I disagree. Science does not start from evidence. It begins from the irrational, from the formation of the models and language used to describe an observer's sensations. Evidence is used only in a model's falsification, made possible by science's crucial premise--the existence of a predictive, deterministic model. That is a belief, by the way, not something that can be proven (neglecting omniscience).

So it's not that she's discarding evidence or reason. She just may not share the same basic beliefs. Neither side is provably correct; moreover, that foundation confines both your knowledge and hers.

That said, without some of us believing in predictability, I wouldn't have a job! ;-)

Comment Re:Yes (Score 1) 261

Not all sites are like that, though. For example, HardOCP attempts to find the highest settings a card can handle while still achieving some minimum average frame rate. You still can't take the numbers as indicators for your particular system, though, unless all of your other components have comparable performance to their test rig.

Submission + - Comcast targets unlicensed anime torrents ( 3

SailorSpork writes: "According to the linked thread on the forums of AnimeSuki, a popular anime bittorent index site, Comcast has begun sending DCMA letters to customers downloading unlicensed (meaning that no english language company has the rights to) fan-subtitled anime shows via bittorrent. The letters are claiming that the copyright holder or an authorized agent are making the infringement claims, though usually these requests are also sent to the site itself rather that individual downloaders.

My question is have they really been in contact with Japanese anime companies, or is this another scare tactic by Comcast to try and reduce the bandwidth use of their heavier customers now that their previous tactics have come under legal fire?"


Submission + - AMD releases initial GPU specs (

mrcgran writes: "LWN.NET's corbet is reporting today: "As noted by David Airlie, AMD has made an initial set of specifications for ATI graphics processors available. These are 2D specifications, so they are not all that is needed to write a complete graphics driver, but they are a good start.""

Submission + - AMD Launches New ATI Linux Driver ( 1

Michael Larabel writes: "AMD has issued a press release announcing "significant graphics performance and compatibility enhancements" on Linux. AMD will be delivering new ATI Linux drivers this year that offer ATI Radeon HD 2000 series support, AIGLX support (Beryl and Compiz!), and major performance improvements. At Phoronix we have been testing these new drivers internally for the past few weeks and have a number of articles looking at this new driver. The ATI 8.41 Linux driver delivers Linux gaming improvements from the R300/400 series and the R500 series. The inaugural Radeon HD 2900XT series support also can be found in the new ATI Linux driver with "the best price/performance ratio of any high-end graphics card under Linux." While this new driver cannot be downloaded yet, AMD has also eluded to accelerating efforts with the open-source community. Will AMD's announcement be enough to rectify their troubled Linux past?"

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