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Comment Re:online games (Score 1) 291

First, they look at it differently: each second hand sale is a sale they earn no money from. They consider that a lost sale. This is debatable.

Second, you make the assumption that you payed for unlimited service for an unlimited time. In practice, however you have a limited amount of time you can play games and a limited amount of time you are willing to spend on this particular game. This is calculated into the price of the game. Each second hand gamer increases this particular amount of time per original sale of the game and thus increases service costs.

In the end, a second hand sale is not only a sale that does not bring in money, it actually costs them money.

Comment Re:Good, but there is always an issue (Score 1) 529

We can not really store power at the levels we consume. One of the best ways we have to store power is to pump water uphill to some storage basin and then later generate power from having it flowing downhill again... not very efficient, limited in capacity depending on location and not feasible in all locations.

Comment Re:Good, but there is always an issue (Score 3, Informative) 529

Routing power is a bit more complex than routing a packet.

For one, a packet is a discrete amount of information, while power is a complex analog phenomenon. You can put a packet on a link and hope it gets there, you can't just put a kilowatt on a power line...

A more conceptual difference is how demand is distributed. A network client talks to a few distributed servers on the Internet. A power client just demands power and does not care where it comes from or if the server cannot deliver it. When a server gets overloaded, the clients just have to wait. If a power plant gets overloaded and the power cannot be gotten elsewhere, the service of the whole network goes down (voltage drops) unless some of the load is cut. If a certain network link is overloaded, packets get dropped. If a power line is overloaded, (hopefully) circuit breakers pop and ALL power transfer is interrupted.

Some practical problems you will run into with power switching:

  • power conversion - the power grid is not uniform. There are several types of high-voltage lines and power needs to be converted to route power between them. Those conversions introduce losses and have capacity limits.
  • transport losses - each length of power cable introduces loss.
  • power plant characteristics - each power source has its own characteristics. For example, the output of a nuclear power plant is more or less constant and cannot adjusted to changing demand.
  • changing demand - power demand changes drastically over the course of a day, both in level and geographically. During office hours, power is needed in office buildings, during the evening in households, ...
  • load characteristics - inductive load vs capacitive load. In ideal situations, you would combine them to get a resistive load as much as possible as this leads to optimum power efficiency.
  • politics - which, I have read on the Internet, is one of the major sources of blackouts in the US.

As an aside to the last point, I wonder why blackouts happen so regularly in the US while the are exceedingly rare in Europe. I am in Belgium and I get a "blackout" once every decade or something. I do sometimes experience glitches where you see the lights dim and computers with lousy power supplies reboot... once every few years or so. It suggests to me, whatever the problem is, it isn't technical...


Submission + - Pirate Party of Canada Starts VPN for Freedom (

An anonymous reader writes: The Pirate Party of Canada has announced that it will extend a VPN originally set up to allow people in Tunisia to browse freely while internet censorship was imposed there. Canada may soon be added to that list since the ruling Conservative Party has vowed to introduce a bill hat would provide unprecedented systematic interception and monitoring of Canadians’ personal communications. So the Pirate Party of Canada has announced it will extend that service to Canadians.

Submission + - WikiLeaks: Bradley Manning faces 22 new charges (

An anonymous reader writes: Bradley Manning, the US Army private accused of passing military secrets to WikiLeaks, faces 22 new charges including the capital offence of 'aiding the enemy'.

The charge of 'aiding the enemy' carries a potential death sentence under military law, although prosecutors maintain they will 'only' seek life imprisonment for 23-year-old pfc Manning.


Submission + - Punk Rock Programming Languages (

andrea.sartori writes: Chris Adamson posted a very interesting article on, defining C a "punk rock language". The musical analogy is developed and used to compare different types of programming languages. Pickup line: 'One of the defining traits of punk is the do-it-yourself (DIY) ethic, a rejection of the need to buy products or use existing systems, and instead to attend to your own needs. This attitude clearly suits C programming as well.' And: 'Any idiot with a Slashdot handle can talk crap about anything. It’s when you piss off the smart developers that you know you’re working with something interesting.'
Open Source

Submission + - Tomcat 7 finalized (

alphadogg writes: The volunteer developers behind Apache Tomcat have released version 7.0.6 of the open-source Java servlet container.

"This is the first stable release of the Tomcat 7 branch," developer Mark Thomas wrote in an e-mail announcing the release on various Tomcat developer mailing lists.

While not a full application server, Tomcat implements the functionality described in the Java Enterprise Edition Web profile specifications. Most notably, it supports version 3.0 of the Servlet API (application programming interface) and version 2.2 of JavaServer Pages, both part of the recently ratified JEE 6. A servlet container manages Java-based applications that can be accessed from a Web browser.

One big area of improvement is in configuration management for Web applications. Previous versions required all Web app configuration changes to be entered in a central file called web.xml, a process that led to unwieldy web.xml files as well as security risks.


Submission + - Wikileaks loses DNS

An anonymous reader writes: EveryDNS has terminated Wikileaks' DNS access, citing multiple massive DDOS attacks that interfere with their other customers. Wikileaks is still available via IP address for the moment, although that could get hairy if they lose another hosting provider. You will remember that Amazon terminated Wikileaks' account after pressure from Congress, denying "post hoc, ergo proctor hoc" by pointing to their terms of service.

Submission + - What kind of content is acceptable in the cloud?

An anonymous reader writes: Amazon's censure of Wikileaks not only raises significant First Amendment issues, but also raises questions of what kind of content is and isn't acceptable in the cloud, as PC World discusses. Businesses migrating to the cloud need to think long and hard about this. From the article: "For example, law firms frequently have to deal with extremely unpleasant materials as part of their work. Could they store horrific images and videos on a cloud service? Could they store potentially libellous materials? Are cloud companies going to start making a distinction between storing materials that have a genuine business need (OK), and those that are stored solely for enjoyment (not OK)?"

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