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Comment Re:Weird Nation (Score 1) 114

It's kind of interesting to see such a large and relatively modern society lose it's collective mind over gay people.

It's just another incident which maintains my faith in humanity... poor faith, perhaps, but faith nonetheless. I have faith that when things get difficult, people will look for anywhere to point a finger except at themselves.

Submission + - Chinese Bitcoin Exchange Vanishes Taking £2.5m of Coins With It (ibtimes.co.uk)

An anonymous reader writes: A Chinese Bitcoin exchange has vanished without trace, taking more than $4 million of the virtual currency with it and leaving profit-hungry investors out of pocket.
GBL, the Chinese Bitcoin exchange was launched in May 2013 and putatively based in Hong Kong, despite its servers being registered in Beijing.

However GBL's Hong Kong offices do not exist. GBL mysteriously disappeared in early November taking an estimated $4.1m (£2.6m) of Bitcoins with it.

Comment Re:Enjoy it while you can (Score 2) 249

As a long-time Comcast customer it seems to me things are going in the other direction - better! They had a 250GB cap for a while and then gave up on it.

They had a 90GB cap for a while, and then gave up on it! Guess I was a Comcast customer before you. This was before they had a page that would tell you when you went over the cap, and before you could get a front-line employee to tell you what the cap was. The third guy I talked to finally spilled the beans, and I finally stopped getting letters from Comcast when I stopped going over 90. This was probably a decade ago now, my god we've had cable internet a long time and yet where I live now I'm still on a shitty WISP with a 1-1.5Mbps connection.

Comment Re:Still too small of a 'pipe' (Score 4, Insightful) 68

Why do humans need real-time video communication on Mars? It won't be real-time. Mars is 3 light-minutes away from Earth. The best we can hope for is a 6 minute lag between you asking a question and getting an answer.

And if you're going to have a six-minute lag, pretty much the bandwidth is irrelevant. It might as well be by the cheapest way possible, i.e. audio only with the occasional static picture for the "What the hell is this in the microscope?" questions.

The sheer bandwidth is also the problem. At 6 minute latencies, you're basically introducing more and more "buffers" to ensure correct data transmission. You won't know if what you sent was received properly until six minutes later. So you have to store AT LEAST six minutes of data (more likely lots more as you will have to retransmit).

The more bandwidth you wish to buffer, the larger storage that six minutes costs you. Six minutes of audio is nothing. A few hundred Kb. Six minutes of video is more. Six minutes of HD video is more again. And so on. And everything that you store / forward costs BIG money over interplanetary scales - from the broadcasting station itself (which can't reasonably ever be upgraded) to the DSN satellies around Mars to the receiving stations on Earth, and the more you send and the more you store and the faster you want to do it, the more it costs EVERYWHERE.

And, as you state, there is NO scientific value in this. So until humans are on the planet, it's really moot. But once they are there, HD video is the least of their concerns.

This is probably why you're not Director of Planetary Exploration at NASA, by the way.

Submission + - Music industry seeks a refrain from unlicensed lyrics sites (networkworld.com)

alphadogg writes: A music industry group is warning some 50 websites that post song lyrics that they need to be licensed or face the music, possibly in the form of a lawsuit. The National Music Publishers Association said Monday that it sent take-down notices to what it claims are 50 websites that post lyrics to songs and generate ad revenue but may not be licensed to do so. The allegedly infringing sites were identified based on a complicated algorithm developed by a researcher at the University of Georgia.

Comment Re:British Intelligence Responds? (Score 2) 256

Er... it hasn't.

It's responded with "No Comment" like it has for just about every media outlet that has ever asked it.

It might even be legally bound to reply to "press enquiries", in whatever form. I'm pretty sure if I wrote them a letter, they would reply. Most likely with a similar response.

Just because they're spies does not mean they don't have a press office and/or a secretary who just fobs off anyone who asks. Hell, you can get replies from Santa if you post them in a Royal Mail postbox (even if you don't address the letter, but just put "To Santa" and have a return address!).

A response means nothing. The response given means nothing (it literally means "I have received your letter. I have no response").

Call me back when there's a story.

Comment Re:Really? British intelligence went after slashdo (Score 5, Interesting) 256

I have a hard time believing that someone convinced them this site was worthwhile.

That's because you're letting your ego get in the way. This isn't about you. This is about one or more specific targets that they believed or suspected were slashdot users.

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