Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter


Forgot your password?

Comment HDCP, not HDMI (Score 1) 161

Even the summary gets this right.

This is about HDCP, which exists on both HDMI and DVI. I wouldn't be surprised to find something similar on DisplayPort.

This is not about HDMI, which can deliver an unencrypted video signal, just as DVI can.

Honestly, this makes about as much sense as saying "Reverse engineers crack ethernet copy protection" when talking about Ubisoft's DRM.

Comment I think it'd be depressing. (Score 1) 191

I mean, I'd love to be working on this stuff, but Microsoft so rarely does anything with it other than hold onto it in case they might someday do something with it.

I'd much rather work for a company which does less cool things which actually stand a chance of either making it to market or being released as open source.

Comment Re:Child? (Score 1) 948

it isn't child abuse unless it leaves a mark.

You know what doesn't leave a mark? Waterboarding.

If there are physical marks on your body, yeah, that's a sign of abuse of some sort -- though you still want to make sure it looks like actual abuse, and not some normal bumps and scrapes.

But if that's the metric, abusers will find a way to inflict maximum pain without leaving a mark.

My parents would beat the shit out of me if I ever stepped out of line and I still didn't turn into a sociopath.

I hope you're not implying that this makes your abuse ok. I mean, great, you've moved past it, but just because someone else was less abused than you doesn't mean it's not abuse.

It teaches the child that there are consequences to his actions.

There are ways to do this without laying a finger on them. "Grounding" is the traditional one. Or confiscating the stuff they care about -- I was a geek, so to discipline me, they'd take my computer.

If the child really has nothing they value that you can take, that says something about you as a parent -- why don't they value anything you have the authority to take away? Have you not given them things they'd be attached to?

And if you don't know what's going to work well, then you really ought to spend more time with your kid.

What's more, physical violence doesn't necessarily teach them that there are consequences to their actions -- after all, no one ever hurts you in their presence. No, maybe it teaches them that might makes right -- that when they're big enough, they can get their way by telling you what to do, and beating you if you don't do it. It may be that you're not in their life when they realize this, but someone else is...

Everyone needs to stop pushing their values on other people and telling them how to raise their kids.

That's not what this is about.

If you're right and this isn't abuse, then you're right, and that applies to everything I just said. I'll gladly tell people how I think they should raise their kids, but I won't try to enact legislation to enforce that.

But if it is abuse, that's a category of things we do interfere, and I hope you agree that this is a Good Thing.

Comment Re:Fundies just can't stand the heat (Score 1) 943

Given that everyone can see that the sun gives us light, and
if man were to invent a creation story it would be most natural to create the sun first.

Nope, everyone can see that the sun is very bright and exists in the day. It's not immediately obvious that it's the only source of light -- in fact, the entire sky is lit up by the sun. So if man were to invent a creation story, he might imagine first that there was a light sky and a dark sky, and that the sun and stars were added afterwards.

It is somewhat poetic that this lines up with our current understanding of the Big Bang. The first thing that emerges from the Big Bang is raw energy, which could be thought of as light (though I'm not sure whether it actually is), and that light is how we know it happened (cosmic background radiation -- EM waves, like light, but in a different spectrum). But this seems like blind luck, honestly. Had the story said that the Sun and the stars were created, and then light, this would be almost as consistent with how we understand the universe (though the Sun wasn't among the first stars created).

Given that it would require a deity to create light, then give it a direction, then give it a source, and
such an order of events would be necessary for stars to be visible in a young universe.

We currently know ways of creating light which do not require a deity -- just flip a light switch. Isn't it reasonable to suppose that, even in a young universe, light could be created in a way which we don't currently understand, but does not require a deity?

And all of this does nothing to explain the concepts of day and night existing before the Sun. It's not just light. It's God calling the light Day and dividing it from Night.

Comment Re:Fundies just can't stand the heat (Score 1) 943

The six thousand year number isn't really in there. People made it up by adding together ages of biblical figures. If you read a economics textbook in a similiar screwed way you could get the idea that ice on the beach is likely $100.

What, exactly, is screwed up about that? Are you suggesting that some of these biblical figures never existed, or that the lineage given is incorrect? These present similar problems.

But "Euclid's Elements" sucks as a math textbook, too. But that doesn't mean it is wrong.

Interesting you should mention that. Didn't Euclid have a ton of incorrect proofs of correct intuitions? But we know they are correct because we went back and actually proved them correct, which means there's now a body of literature which is superior to that of Euclid.

Various schools of theology give different answers to that question. You can hear their arguments and decide for yourself if they convince you or not.

I've heard several arguments, none convincing. The best is that we can examine the Biblical text carefully and find that there are things which are meant literally and things which are meant figuratively -- for example, if I talk about the sun rising tomorrow, of course we both know that I actually mean what appears to be the sun rising, but is actually the sun becoming visible as the earth rotates.

The problem is that there doesn't seem to be consensus about which parts are literal and which parts are allegorical.

Comment Re:Fundies just can't stand the heat (Score 1) 943

If you find a error in a textbook, would that cause you to loose all trust in its whole content?

Well, if the 'six thousand year' part is correct, then it's off by a factor of almost a million. If I found an economics textbook which claimed that the median annual income in the US was just under five cents, I'd get a new economics textbook, yeah. Kind of an important number to get right, and kind of a ludicrous amount to be off by.

Also: The hebrew word used for day in the genesis story can be translated to both "day" and "time span".

Night and day are made in one time span. The Sun is made in a later time span. The order is completely off, both in the multiple genesis stories, and with regard to what we know about the universe.

Is that even a error or isn't it just a completely wrong way to understand a biblical text? Most of time literal interpretation seems to completely miss the point.

If I can't interpret my economics textbook literally, it sucks as a textbook.

If it's not supposed to be a hard science textbook, but if it's meant to be read as poetry and metaphor, then how do I know what's true and what's not? Maybe Jesus didn't literally exist. Maybe he was a metaphor for generosity, self-sacrifice, death, and renewal. Though if he's supposed to be about sacrifice, sorry, Prometheus has him beat.

Comment Re:Answers actually quite revealing (Score -1, Flamebait) 920

That you have an Office for Faith-Based Partnerships is telling. Church and State are hardly separate when they are in a partnership.

There's more to it than that. This asshat is a minister. He got a fucking minister to respond from the fucking white house to a petition for increased separation of church and state.

Not every mention of God in public is a breach to the wall of separation - context matters.

He's quoting Obama here. Frankly, I would think Obama would agree that there is a difference between a mention in public and the mandatory pledge of allegiance requiring children to pledge allegiance to one nation under God.

Reading the rest of it is just getting creepier by the minute:

These phrases represent the important role religion plays in American public life...

The role religion plays in American life is that America is considered to be one nation under God? I mean, that pretty much directly contradicts the other Obama quote he mentions:

We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus, and non-believers.

Right. As such, why the fuck would you have us pledge allegiance to the Christian God (or, if you like, the Jewish God) while ignoring the rights of children of other faiths or of no faith to not pledge to a being they don't believe in?

We're proud of that heritage...

The heritage of the McCarthy era? Are you sure?

Holy shit. This guy -- either Joshua DuBois, or Obama if he agrees with this shit -- needs to be out on his ass tomorrow. Those are not the words of a free country. Those are the words of a theocracy, complete with this doublespeak:

Our nation's Bill of Rights guarantees not only that the government cannot establish an official religion, but also guarantees citizens' rights to practice the religion of their choosing or no religion at all.

Except, of course, when swearing in to testify, when paying with cash, or when going to school. Then, you're free to practice any monotheistic religion that happens to be compatible with "One nation under God," or "In God we trust."

If he actually believes the first part of his letter, he needs to read some history, and then he needs to go talk to Obama about how "E Pluribus Unum" would be a better and more traditional national motto to put on our currency, and how we really shouldn't have a pledge of allegiance in the first place.

Comment Re:Real SWF - HTML5 Converter (Score 1) 123

Macromedia/Adobe got/gets designers, and too many people don't realise that.

Even assuming this is entirely correct, Adobe is planning to produce authoring tools for HTML5 directly. As for existing content...

You may not be interested in it, but there are some gems buried in NewGrounds along with all the crap.

NewGrounds is hardly the reason Flash won't die. If it was just Newgrounds, well, hey, there are some gems buried in platform-specific native game binaries -- and not all of these are Windows, mind you, there are some real gems which ran on Mac OS 9. It's an issue, but it's not a point against moving forward to a viable replacement -- especially something like HTML, which is going to be a hello f a lot more future-proof than Flash.

Flash will die, and this kind of creative content will die with it until a new challenger appears; or more likely, Flash will just refuse to dies, and the geek elite just won't understand why.

So, of this, option one is a lot more likely. Flash refuses to die right now largely because of video, and it's being steadily replaced there. There are a few niche places where Flash can still do things HTML5 can't -- right now, audio strikes me as most likely, and even that is being addressed -- but it will eventually die.

In the mean time...

None of the other solutions are accessible to designer types the way Flash is.

If you're more than a one-man Newgrounds operation, it doesn't actually matter that much. You know what designers are good at? Designing. There's a reason Flash has a reputation for being slow and buggy as hell, a constant CPU drain, etc. Some of this is Flash's own fault, I'm sure, and I can back this up by comparing YouTube's performance with Flash versus any native player on the same video file. Most of it is enabling designers to attempt to program, with similar results to enabling executives to attempt to program in Excel.

The same tools will eventually come to HTML5, and I'm alright with that. Please don't take this as an elitist stance of, "Leave programming to the professionals." All I'm saying is that if the existing stuff isn't accessible to you, some of that is because it's overly complex, but a lot of it is because you aren't a programmer. There's no reason you couldn't be, and many designers do make that leap (or simply team up with a programmer). But you do have to invest some time in learning something about how computers actually think.

To put it another way, I don't think I would be taken seriously if I attempted to do serious design work with MS Paint. There are tools which let me easily throw together a comic, but I don't think this compares with this or this. These aren't the best examples of either, but honestly, if the ragecomics went up in smoke, I really couldn't care. That's kind of how I feel about Flash, especially when it's used by designers.

If you're neither willing to learn some real programming or work with a real programmer, then I'm not sure I will miss the loss of your content. If you are willing to do either, then I have to imagine that Flash vs HTML5 isn't a huge issue.

Comment Re:Stallman and FOSS (Score 1) 1452

And let's put emotions aside.


Well, not entirely. I've noticed your signature for awhile, and I agree wholeheartedly with that! Planning to do something like that the next time I build a website myself.

There are no absolutes when it comes to good and bad, it is all dependent on your point of view.

Maybe. I agree, but a moral objectivist would disagree.

However, a battered wife *is* a bad thing, and by this I mean that it is universally recognized as being a bad thing.

Well, not universally, but...

I am talking about western culture (say, north america and western Europe) which is the only culture I really know.

Mostly. There are certainly subcultures who disagree, but I would agree with your premise, and I'd even apply it beyond that -- while it is not recognized by most islamic countries as a bad thing, I would argue that it is still a bad thing there.

So, a battered wife could be made to believe she deserves what she gets. This is for me nothing else than a form of indoctrination, much like you can make people believe it's a good idea to hijack a plane and crash it into a tower. I don't know how it works...

As an armchair psychologist, I'd guess Stockholm syndrome at least, probably coupled with low self-esteem. Even when they get out of these relationships, these women will internalize the abuse to the point that they will subconsciously seek out abusers, and end up in another abusive relationship. At least, that's my best guess as to why battered wives tend to go from one abusive relationship to the next, while there are many women who will never be abused at all.

Note that I'm not trying to place the blame with the victim here. I'm only pointing out that this cycle exists, and that if she wants to break the cycle, it's not enough to divorce the abuser, or even to jail him. (Of course, the ideal solution is for the abuser to stop abusing...)

Buying a phone with a walled-garden type app store *is not* considered to be a bad thing by most people.

I think the point you continue to miss here is that the analogy is not that it is bad for a person to buy a phone. To stretch the analogy further, that would be blaming the victim. It is not the wife's fault she got hurt, even if she "should've known" that the husband was going to hurt her.

Your point is a good one, but you probably want to word it like this:

Selling a phone with a walled-garden type app store *is not* considered to be a bad thing by most people.

Still, that's a weaker point, because I do consider it to be a bad thing, and I'm not the only one. I can also offer an actual argument for this, and I think it's a good argument. I certainly wouldn't argue that it should be a legal matter -- Apple should be allowed to sell iPhones -- I just think they are morally wrong to do so.

One reason I think this is that it is Apple's goal -- they've made no secret of this -- to expand this model everywhere they can. Macs now include an App Store, though they also allow (for now) traditional apps to be installed by third parties. The iPad was an entry into the tablet space, which was previously occupied mostly by machines running a full desktop version of Windows.

And because they do so well with this model, others follow suit. The next version of desktop Windows will include a mode with an exclusive app store. It's really looking like, in the very near future, general-purpose computers on which I can download an app from anywhere (or program my own) will be expensive hobbyist items, and the computers everyone uses every day will only be able to run approved apps.

And even by explaining to people what exactly happens into the App Store (namely the approval process and the mandatory status of said process in order to get into the store), you'll realize that many people find that as being an *interesting* thing. Something of value.

Try also explaining to them that such apps are often heavily censored -- that there are legitimate apps and games that people have wanted to use, which Apple has blocked, or which phone manufacturers have blocked. That the approval process is fundamentally broken, even for apps that do meet approval. That an app may have a serious bug or security vulnerability, and you might bother the developer for months without a real response, and the poor developer patched it five minutes after you told them about it, but it has to get through Apple's approval process before it gets to you.

That a developer might spend months or years of their life developing an app, only to have it rejected because Apple changed the rules, and it's not an easy fix for them, because Apple has decided that they may not use the same programming language! They have no option but to rewrite it from the ground up in an approved language, assuming Apple doesn't change the approved list again.

I'm not making this up. All of these things have happened, though Apple has eased back on some of them.

Finally, explain to them that there exist devices which have an app store with an approval process, but which allow you to, occasionally, bypass that process. Devices which give them choice. Most people like that idea, though of course, they'll care more about whether it runs Angry Birds...

And I'm not making this up, either. I've actually explained all of the above to non-technical people, and very few of them have told me that they still think the App Store is a good thing. The most memorable one was, in fact, likely trolling me.

Indeed, I consider the walled-garden app store a service with added value over the Google app store where anyone with a PC and 30 minutes to waste can write a piece of crap and get it into the store.

That is a problem, but it's a solvable problem. Having an app store be properly curated is not a bad thing. Having it be mandatory, is.

So in my view, this is why you fail in your analogy, because you're trying to generalize the fact that Apple's walled garden is a bad thing - by comparing it to something universally bad -, when it is not.

I think the good point hiding in here is that the wife in question is someone we would pretty much universally classify as a victim, and the action as a personal harm. My objections to the App Store are less about what it does to individual people (such as developers) and more about what it does, or is attempting to do, to the software world as a whole.

So, I still maintain that the App Store is universally bad, but it is not that sort of direct, personal harm.

And you're right, it is disputed. If it wasn't disputed, we wouldn't be having this conversation. But when I describe an action as wrong, I don't think that whether it actually is or is not wrong is determined by what most people think.

The problem is that the relation to your phone is not abusive. At least, it's not perceived to be an abusive relationship by an overwhelming majority of the people out there.

This is where I suppose I was taking poetic license with the analogy. A phone restricts you, and an abusive husband causes real harm to you. I think the disconnect is less the difference between the restrictions and the real harm, but that most people don't even see the restrictions for what they are, in that they don't see what a phone could be. In that way, they strike me as similar to (warning: inappropriate analogy ahead) women in countries ruled by Shariah law, who don't see what a free life could look like.

But... whoops... now I've compared an oligarchy of cell phone manufacturers to a theocratic totalitarian government. Maybe I should be BadAnalogyGuy.

I think we understand each other a bit better now, and I think I'm probably done with this conversation (partly because, if we're keeping score, you won!) -- so, maybe we can find some common ground in the browser wars? I just launched this list because I couldn't find anything similar (and then immediately found something similar)...

Comment New name... (Score 2) 270


But yes, this is the appropriate response. There apparently is a community who is willing to continue distributing patches. Growl is also useless without applications which use it -- I can't exactly see anyone paying for a notification service without apps, nor can I see an app developer deliberately requiring a proprietary notification service if an open one is available.

Slashdot Top Deals

If you can count your money, you don't have a billion dollars. -- J. Paul Getty