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Comment Re:3GP == MP4 (Score 1) 331

Then please explain what "The 3GP and 3G2 file formats are both structurally based on the ISO base media file format defined in ISO/IEC 14496-12 - MPEG-4 Part 12" and "3GP and 3G2 are container formats similar to MPEG-4 Part 14 (MP4)" mean in this article.

Comment Scripting languages (Score 1) 160

In the software world, there is a very big difference between source code and executable binaries.

Authors of computer programs stored in files whose names end in .js, .py, or .pl might disagree with you. Glance up at the location bar to see "comments.pl", then look at this page's markup to see "engage.js".

Comment Non-nerds prefer convenience (Score 1) 166

Real nerds would build a HTPC.

Unfortunately, real nerds are vastly outnumbered by non-nerds who prefer a conveniently curated experience to an open one with more selection (and thus more 90% crap), and the resulting lack of economies of scale is why HTPC kits are hard to find in national chains.

Comment Ground loops (Score 1) 166

Or just run a HDMI cable across the hall from their real PC.

Which can be a pain when someone in the household wants to use PC while someone else wants to watch TV. Or when the PC and TV are separated by two or more doorways. Or when one fears ground loops, as in adolf's comment: "I'm not lugging my desktop between rooms or stringing destructive ground-loop-ridden HDMI cables around the house so I can [use] my PC on my BFT in my living room."

Comment Purse strings (Score 1) 166

In a lot of households, the geek/nerd doesn't control the entertainment purse strings. So the geek has to build what amounts to a business case as to how it would serve others in the household, even while the geek isn't present for training others in the use of the system (and inevitable retraining when the non-geek forgets how to operate a feature).

Comment TED talk explains how the OSS philosophy applies (Score 5, Informative) 160

Anonymous Coward wrote:

What does it mean for a molecule to have source?

It can refer to what Eric S. Raymond referred to as the "bazaar" model, or it can refer to a license that grants rights to the public analogous to those listed in the DFSG or FSF definition of free software. I see hints of bazaar in the transcript of the TED talk:

dissatisfied with the performance and quality of these medicines, I went back to school in chemistry with the idea that perhaps by learning the trade of discovery chemistry and approaching it in the context of this brave new world of the open-source, the crowd-source, the collaborative network that we have access to within academia, that we might more quickly bring powerful and targeted therapies to our patients.

And here I see the spirit of publishing a discovery instead of locking it up behind secrecy and exclusive rights:

We published a paper that described this finding at the earliest prototype stage. We gave the world the chemical identity of this molecule, typically a secret in our discipline. We told people exactly how to make it.

This leads up to the benefits of bazaar and publication:

the science that's coming back from all of these laboratories about the use of this molecule has provided us insights that we might not have had on our own. Leukemia cells treated with this compound turn into normal white blood cells.

And finally, a direct answer to your question as to what is the source code of a molecule:

This string of letters and numbers and symbols and parentheses that can be texted, I suppose, or [microblogged] worldwide, is the chemical identity of our pro compound.

Comment Carrier charges $2 for the first second (Score 1) 140

You still need to be online for the first second

I see how that would help people who already subscribe to cellular Internet for some other reason, but it doesn't appear to help the use case I described. In the United States, where YouTube and Slashdot are headquartered, some pay-as-you-go cellular Internet providers work on a "pay only on the days you use it" basis: $2 for the first second and $0 for the rest of the day.

Most buses in the UK seem to have free wifi anyway now.

It would cost even more to move to the UK than to get Internet on the bus in the US.

Comment Paid offline viewing (Score 1) 140

Whether something requires payment and whether it requires a continuous connection to the Internet are orthogonal. I want to be able to pay for a rental, download the encrypted video, and watch it offline sometime in the next 24 hours. How do these video publishers expect people to use their product on airplanes?

Comment Then Muzak and its competitors are coercion (Score 1) 140

Copyright enables the creators of content to enjoy the fruits of their labor.

Then why does copyright continue for 70 years after "the creators of content" have ceased to exist?

If you built a house, do you think someone whould be able to move in 20 years later just because it was twenty years ago you built it?

Someone who moves in 20 years later wouldn't have to pay the original builders again and certainly wouldn't have to pay a recurring royalty to the original builders.

If they are being assholes with their copyright, don't watch/listen/read

That's difficult if all grocery stores in the area have licensed the a-holes' music to play over the speaker system.

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