Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook


Forgot your password?

Comment 6 of 1, half a dozen of the other... (Score 1) 716

If the app developed by Microsoft enables Youlube users to violate the Google ToS, then I can see an argument in Google's favour, especially if the app behaviour is not something the user can control.
Having said that, it also sounds as though the Youlube apps on "other platforms" (I am assuming this is a reference to both iOS and Android) are more functional than the version for WP8. If that is a function of the way that WP8 works compared to iOS and Android, then MS are again out of luck, but if Google are purposely denying MS access to features that are available to iOS and Android, then I can see Google getting a slap as well.

Basically, I think that MS will be getting told off, and Google might also be in hot water over this, if the disagreement ends up in court in front of a judge who has some understanding of technology*cough*.

Comment Judgement calls and research by the examiners (Score 4, Informative) 215

As a clarification and reminder for the patent examiners, this is a good thing. However, the USPTO has guidelines and rules as well, with odd little things like "Prior art" and descriptions of things that should not be patentable.
However, there is also a policy (not sure if it is written, or just written about) that if the patent examiner cannot understand the patent application but cannot specifically see that it definitely contravenes any of the guidelines for things that should not be patentable, the patent should be granted and then the court system should be used to test the validity of the patent.

Comment 2 people in my building with the same name (Score 1) 217

We have a lovely old lady living on the top floor, Mrs. Lundqvist. On the 2nd floor, we have a younger couple, Mr. & Mrs. Lundqvist... as I help the old Mrs. Lundqvist with managing her personal finances, I quite often end up acting as a local postman delivering letters to the correct Lundqvist.
It got problematic a couple of years ago - the Lundqvists downstairs got into debt, and ended up with debt collectors coming around to serve collection orders, yet they consistently ended up banging on the wrong door - a stressful thing she could do without, but one that I was well-placed to deal with as my apartment is adjascent to hers, but that is another story :)
So if she was on /., she would definitely be in the 150+ category for mail that is sent to her for which she is not the intended recipient.

The interesting thing for me would be if anyone else receives mail that is meant for her but that goes to the wrong address - if there is, nobody bothers to deliver or repost it... also to know what percentage of mail is mis-delivered. 1 mis-delivered item per month is not too bad unless you are only receiving one item per week...

Comment Don't you just love Government? (Score 4, Informative) 292

In 2000, the DoE and Bechtel National, Inc. (the contractor retained to build the Vitrification plant at Hanford) began construction of the plant before the design of the critical elements of the plant had been completed - in fact, before the design of many of those elements had even been started. The goal, to save time and money.
Trying to build a house? No problem... our construction team have built a few of those so they know what to do based on early architectural sketches and teamwork. But this is not a house, it is a vitrification plant for 50+ million gallons of the worst nuclear waste in the world with a total radioactive potential of around 170-180 million curies (Cernobyl released about half that). Oh, and that shit is not only hot radioactively, it is hot temperature-wise too.
Today, 60 of 177 storage tanks are leaking with the rest at a high risk of leaking, and if all goes well the complex to house the worst of the waste after vitrification will be built by 2048, with the whole vitrification process completed by 2062. Unless there are delays... after all, this is a government project, they are good at hitting project deadlines, right?
Each tank is layered, with a relatively solid layer at the bottom, a salt cake above that, then sludge followed by liquid and a gas layer. Sounds a bit like my toilet after a bad Chinese meal... only more of it. Most of the radioactivity is in the solids and sludge whereas most of the volume is in the liquids and the salt cake - you need the liquid to transfer the rest through the crappy piping and filters from the storage tanks to the vitrification plant, and it all has to flow fast enough to keep the solids moving without causing any blockages or radioactive buildups.
To top it all off, the glass mixture used in the vitrification process has to be tailoered to the mixture in the tank, and given the diversity of radioactive processes, materials and production methods in use on site, there will be at least 10 compounts required, with no way of knowing what is in what tank short of analysing the contents and getting a representative sample of everything in the tank.

Simple :-S

To my layman's mind, two things come to mind - 1. The whole thing is a complete clusterfuck, and it will be a miracle if the whole lot does not end very badly. 2, Top priority is to contain the leak in the immediate vicinity, but short of digging some massive trenches and excavating a huge foundation then filling the whole lot with some kind of radioactive-resistant concrete, and doing it in such a way that you can inspect the result for leaks, I cannot see how they are going to manage that.
Time to call in Bruce Willis and get him to start drilling, I guess.

Comment Re:To be fair (Score 4, Insightful) 124

it's not that hard. just go by the german definition.

But that means that leaving your towel on a sun lounger before breakfast to reserve that sun lounger for your sole use is perfectly acceptable!

As with any other internationalized business, though... either you tailor your offering to match the requirements or lack thereof of local laws in each case, or you put together a "one size fits all" policy that incorporates the strictest interpretation of each element of local legislation in individual countries.
Apple and other international businesses might complain about the complexity of either approach, but that is part of the cost of doing business in an international environment. Suck it up.

Comment Re:Glitches (Score 4, Insightful) 144

To me, this is exactly like charging a person who uses a buggy phone that gives them free calls every other call with fraud. They bought the phone as is, made no changes to it and they are being charged. These guys didn't change the code in the poker machine, they just knew what buttons to press after putting money in. If anything, they should be celebrated as the folks that beat the gaming industry.

While I agree that using CFAA to prosecute these guys was prosecutorial overreach of the abusive kind, the cellphone analogy does not quite work (close though :-) ) - if the "normal" operating process for the poker machine is "put money in", "play", "complete game", "cash out/play again/insert more money and repeat", and the guys were doing this, then the analogy would work.
But the actual process was one that was so illogical that the only statistically likely way to discover it would be with inside information or via hacking. Probably the prosecutors originally assumed this was the case and were looking at using CFAA, and decided to be lazy and press on with abusive over-reach instead of re-adjusting to use more appropriate legislation when their initial investigations. Alternatively, the prosecutors could actually have, SHOCK AND HORROR, actually done their job properly, and looked at all of the available evidence and THEN decided what statutes they were going to try and run the prosecution under to aim for a conviction based on the actual discovered evidence rather than their own assumptions or that one of them really wanted to try a CFAA case.

Having said that it is statistically likely to have been uncovered with inside information or hacking, the number of times people have played these machines means that there was still a slim but significant possibility of it being discovered by accident as seems to have happened here, and in those cases (as far as I am aware) there is no legal requirement for him to report the "malfunctioning" equipment to either the casino or the manufacturer so the worst thing that could be done to him legally is for the casino to ban him from their establishments and for the casino to take the matter up with the manufacturer, using a civil law suit to recover the lost money from the manufacturer, who then makes a claim on some liability insurance or other (and if I am wrong about him not having a duty to report the problem, then it is a civil problem between the casino and the patron).

Comment Re:The fact that.. (Score 1) 134

Actually, quite the opposite. Not for the lack of moral turpitude, but for the presence of it. Turpitude = depraved or wicked behaviour or character.

Quite true... I was so taken with the idea of moral turpitude that I ended up in two minds about how to phrase it, and ended up doing both, shooting myself in the grammatical foot in the process... that'll teach me to get excited about turpitude :)

Comment Re:Dreamspark etc. (Score 1) 435

As a university student, my uni grants access to MS products like Windows, Visual Studio etc. It really was a matter of entering a serial and that was all that had to be done. I take it off the shelf windows activates more obtusely?

Basically, yes. For Enterprise/Volume/Educational institution licences, there is a fairly basic serial number activation process to allow the mass-rollout of desktops from a central publishing server like SCCM. That means your IT department will not mutiny over having activation problems on 15% of your workstations after rolling out a new installation to 10,000 desks.
For the one-off retail items, either in terms of OEM or boxed product, the activation hassles lie with the end user (i.e. one individual... not much direct revenue to M$) even though the OEMs probably roll out the same installation image to a similar number of workstations as the mass-rollout IT crowd. Of course, the end user can call the OEM's support line to bitch about it, but unless the OEM's support line is a premium rate number that is generating revenue just by having know-nothing users being guided through activation by know-almost-nothing Tier 1 support, then the OEM will say "Activation problems... sorry, go talk to Microsoft. Our contract states that we provide hardware support only..."

Comment Re:The fact that.. (Score 3, Insightful) 134

From which ditch they will run their congressional campaigns.

I am not sure it would go quite that far... after all, they may be liars, cheats, bullies, shysters, conmen, and to cap it all... lawyers. But there is a long way to go from that to suggest they can make the leap to the next level of unconscionable evil and become Congressional Politicians.
Oh, damn, showing my jaundiced and cynical side there, making the overly broad generalization that all politicians are scum of the earth whose sole purpose in running for office seems to be to hop on the gravy train of lobbyists' "Campaign Contributions" and line their own pockets at the expense of the electorate and citizenry of the country they are elected to serve :)

An interesting side-question would be to ask how many competent and genuinely honest people would get into politics to do some real good, but are put off or corrupted in the face of the Gravy Train on one side, and world-weary cynics like me, seeing the worst in all politicians and condemning them without personal knowledge, on the other. Not too many, I guess... (but if you think that YOUR congressman/woman is doing a good job, don't just post about it here, send them a letter praising their performance - if enough people do that, so that they get some positivity once in a while, it might help them to make the right choice next time, too.

Oooo look, a Unicorn!!

Comment Re:The fact that.. (Score 4, Interesting) 134

It took this ONE judge basically collecting 5-10 other Fedral cases after putting out an order to consolidate Prenda's cases to fewer jurisdictions. It was only after getting a half dozen other circuit courts to agree, he could even read that they had been using different names and such in different courts. He broke down a lot of the corporate veil judges normally don't get to do.

It took special permissions from other courts and over a year of sorting paperwork to get ONE SET of troll lawyers. Effectively all this does its chase the trolls out of HIS court, and into courts where the judges won't catch them.

Actually, the Judge has gone a bit further than that - he has referred all of the individuals identified as actively culpable to the Bar Associations for the districts where they are legally allowed to practice due to their lack of "moral turpitude". Given that judges have no direct control (albeit with considerable influence, but no official ability to directly rule on such matters), he is effectively telling the American Bar association to strike these guys off, take them to a quiet spot, order them to dig a ditch and climb in, ready for the ditch to be filled in.

Comment Re:Why avoid it? (Score 2) 47

Nuke it from orbit, it's the only way to be sure. Not to mention that it's already in orbit.

Nice idea... simple solution... but if we take this seriously (sorry, too early in the morning for my sense of humour to have woken up yet) the only problem with it is that any explosive method of dealing with orbiting debris just creates lots of small and tiny pieces of shrapnel, and traveling through a field of that crap at orbital velocities is not going to be the highlight of your day. Not a problem if you are in an M1 Abrams battle tank, but satellites do not have armour, except for shielding against the sun's radiation, and things like solar panels do not work very well after being hit a few times by orbital debris.
What we REALLY need is a small version of Mega Maid ( to go up there and hoover up all the junk, preferably while leaving all the viable stuff alone.

Comment Re:Damn (Score 1) 347

Where are all the machines they threw away?

The traditional art of Dumpster diving plus a Windows or a Linux install would have saved these machines from their fate. If they were scheduled for replacement, then I'm sure some charity or educational establishment could have benefited.

There are many establishments which could have benefited here, but there are two issues with that - first, the machines would have to be sanitized so there is a guarantee that no confidential information is stored on them (90% of government IT disposals ignore that rule, but the Germans are actually among the best at following it); and second, I am pretty sure that the majority of recipient organisations would say "no thanks, we cannot handle the clean-up" if an organisation said "here you go, have 170 PCs that are infected with a virus, all you have to do is clean the virus off the system", either because the recipient organisation is lazy or because they are a charity/educational institution with little or no available IT expertise.

Comment Re:Playing back a recording (Score 2) 107

Private. All of them.

An unpublicized reading or performance is a private performance (unpublicized meaning by definition not made known to the public). If the nursing home had advertised the performance using the title of the performed work in any way, as opposed to having "reading time" or "music time" on a schedule, then they would fall uner public performance guidelines.

If you don't make the performance of the specific work known to the public then it is a private performance.

Personally, I would love to come and live in the country you are writing the laws for...
However according to US law,
To perform or display a work “publicly” means—
(1) to perform or display it at a place open to the public or at any place where a substantial number of persons outside of a normal circle of a family and its social acquaintances is gathered; or
(2) to transmit or otherwise communicate a performance or display of the work to a place specified by clause (1) or to the public, by means of any device or process, whether the members of the public capable of receiving the performance or display receive it in the same place or in separate places and at the same time or at different times.

So the fact that you are not advertising the "performance" is irrelevant. What makes it a public performance is whether it is in a place where members of the public might have a reasonable expectation of being able to go, or whether you are broadcasting it in a way that someone in such a "public" place might reasonably be able to receive that transmission.
Interestingly enough, one of the edge cases in this instance is a party. You sitting with your daughter to watch a Disney film is a private performance. You sitting with your octuplets (8 children born at the same time) is a private performance. You and your sister sitting watching the Disney film, with both your octuplets and her octuplets (2 adults, 16 children) is a private performance. Add a journalist and cameraman from the local newspaper who are there to cover the party, because both sets of octuplets were born on the same day and are now enjoying their second birthday, and where the journo and cameraman happen to be in the room when the film is playing, that is a public performance according to the current interpretation of the rules, even though it is a private party in a private residence, because they happen to be outside the normal circle of social acquaintances of the people at the party.
(I do not have a site link to a case for that, but it happened to my ex-wife and her new husband, just with not quite so many octuplets)

Comment Re:OpenDNS (Score 1, Troll) 390

Aren't you just creating an atmosphere where a child interested in the opposite sex (or the same sex for that matter) has to be ashamed of that, and subsequently have to go around you to satisfy said interest? How is your "solution" even solving a problem? The kid sheltered like that is just going to have a much harder landing when they actually do have interact with the rest of the World.

Not at all. If you look objectively at most of the porn on the internet (I can think of a few people who would apply for a job, if that was in the description...), and consider that any children looking at the same material probably have much less sexual experience than you do (I say "probably", because I am sure there are one or two 40-year old virgin geeks on this site), that porn will come to form the majority of their "sexual experience" until they start to have such encounters themselves. So things like deep-throating, anal sex, DP, multiple partners, and guys (or women) treating women (or other guys) as a collection of holes that need to be penetrated while swearing and physically abusing the victim become normal.
For sure, parents have a duty of care to their children and should actually, you know... "talk" to them to explain about sex. Will teenagers find another way to get access to all that porn? Definitely, but denying them access to it at home is not going to engender shame in them. Your attitude as a parent when talking to (or not talking to) your children about the finer points of their relationships with other human beings will take care of that.

Slashdot Top Deals

"For the man who has everything... Penicillin." -- F. Borquin