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Comment Not going to happen anytime soon... (Score 1) 350

I could see this possibly becoming reality in some industries, especially those that are heavily oriental to working with documents/text (low bandwidth). But I think I can safely say that at least where I work in film editorial, this won't happen for a very long time. Online apps are just too slow for this kind of bandwidth intense medium. Even if a service was established, like I understand is already happening for games, where you would essentially connect to a VNC server where the 'real' computer was to do your work, there is just no possible way you could do 1080p and especially not RED 4K without massive bottlenecks and latency. Yes you could down convert, and/or compress, but then it would be much inferior to just using a 'real' computer in the first place wouldn't it? When I sit down and start cutting on the Avid, or with FCP, and I scrub the playhead through my timeline, I need to see (and hear) everything as it happens. I can only imagine how horrible and frusterating it would be to try to cut a show through VNC, there's no room for latency.

I could perhaps seeing this happen in 50 years where everybody's connection is 1000MB+/sec, but even then we'll be cutting uncompressed UHDV (4320p) video which roughly 20GB a SECOND. I don't think the "your computer is a browser" idea is going to happen here, maybe it will work for some people, but certainly not everyone.

Comment Re:UI Responsiveness vs Process Performance. (Score 2, Insightful) 821

Exactly, I think you've definitely struck the heart of the issue, normal benchmarks don't take these into consideration which is the problem. I've always felt that Windows Vista was considerably slower than XP, in my experience 7 is somewhat faster than Vista. But the thing all these benchmarks really show is that there really isn't much difference between XP/Vista/7. Sure when you copy a multi-gigabyte file (or what-have-you) it's a second or two different between each version. But I think this is all in the margin of error, I'd say it's safe to say they are all equivalent in these respects. At least in my opinion, the REAL performance is, for example, how long it takes for Explorer to open when I click My Computer. When I click the start menu, how long does it take to display and fully render? When I drag my mouse across a row of icons in Office 2007 do they all immediately highlight as I pass over them, or is there a delay as it tries to play catch-up with my cursor?

To me, "performance" isn't whether my computer takes 451 seconds or 449 seconds to copy a file, it's whether that copy dialog showed up instantly, and if I click "cancel" it IMMEDIATELY stops and closes the dialog. In this respect XP is vastly superior to both Vista and 7. And if you really want to see this GUI difference played out try going back and trying 2000, or better yet, NT 4.0, and then tell me that Vista or 7 is "just as fast".

Comment Re:Media is overpriced, pay-per-unit model is dyin (Score 2, Insightful) 429

Well let's say you have a 50GB MP3 collection, would you spend $12,000-$13,000 on it? Ten years ago, would you have even IMAGINED that you'd have a 50GB MP3 collection?! I mean, I remember when 4GB-8GB drives were "freakin' massive!" and that was well into the "Napster era".

Granted, people buy larger storage devices because they don't have much of a choice (I can't count the number of times I only *needed* a small drive but ended up getting something way overkill because it was the smallest drive I could find), but people still find ways to use them. Also, storage capacity and price-per-gigabyte has improved far faster than bandwidth and other technology. So we are hitting that point where people have more hard drive space then they intend to use. That doesn't mean people will never find a way to use it. Remember 640k is enough for anyone and all that jazz...

I mean, do you *really* think that the value of media PER UNIT is ever going to *increase*? My only point is that the value of an individual song or video continues to decrease as people consume more. And people consume more as technology progresses. Bigger hard drives, faster burning devices, more bandwidth, streaming flash videos etc. have all given people access to more material. And whether or not they were ever going to pay for that media and whether or not media companies are losing money because of it is irrelevant. The point is that the value to the consumer keep decreasing and it will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. The Internet is a content delivery platform and with that comes media delivery. The more media someone is exposed to the less value each individual "unit of media" has.

Comment Media is overpriced, pay-per-unit model is dying (Score 4, Interesting) 429

This is a bad move in my opinion and will only encourage piracy. If you do the math, you'll realize that for someone to legally acquire say, 20GB worth of music (3MB avg.) at $1.00 per song, it would cost nearly $7,000. The thing is that as time goes on, hard drives are only going to be getting bigger and cheaper. Additionally as fast broadband becomes even more widespread it will mean that illegal downloading will become easier and the price factor with eventually decrease to nothing.

How much do you think some TV show is worth to a typical viewer? How about a song? Even though it might be $1.00-$1.29 today, as people get more media with the same investment in space and time the value is only going to decline. Your iPod can hold more, so you want more media to fill it up. NOBODY is going to spend $6,000 on their music collection. Well I suppose SOME people might, but certainly nobody that I know would ever even think about paying that much for something they can get for free (and at the same, or near-same quality). Only a dollar per song sounds pretty reasonable, but if you have a 160GB iPod, filling it up will cost $48,000! $48,000?! Just think of what that kind of money can mean to somebody. Pay off the credit card debt. Get a new car. Remodeling. Any number of major things.

I'd say we are QUITE past the point of something "worth paying for". As soon as a person downloads a song "illegally" they cross an invisible line and are now "pirates". And of course once you do it once, it's so easy to do again. That makes it sound like a drug but it's true. If you can get something easily for free, what's the point in paying for it? The best reason I can think of is if you get a significant amount of value added by actually paying for it. When this happens people become significantly more selective about what they DO actually pay for verses what they download for free. And of course, the media itself is practically free.

Basically I think that if companies what to directly sell their media to consumers, it will have to cost fractions of a cent, and they're going to have to come up with some clever ideas on how to provide it to make it easier than simply downloading it for free. It'll probably have to offer other value as well.

For example with TV shows companies should experiment with broadcasts which actually "upgraded" for the web. The idea is that you put your show online with ads for people to see for free. In terms of music, I think bands should get "distributors" which distribute all their music in very large inexpensive packages. Then the band can offer their music for free download on their website for their casual fans, but while simultaneously selling media and merchandise to their more loyal fans (who don't mind spending a little bit to support the band) with added value. I think there are still many ways to make good money off of media, but the truth is that the pay per unit or copy model is dying and won't be around much longer.


Submission + - The energy problem, and what we can do to solve it

notyou2 writes: "Steve Chu, Nobel prize winner and Director of Lawrence Berkeley National Labs, recently presented a talk at Google. It's a balanced look at all aspects of the energy problem and its effects, from global warming to emerging technologies, and well worth viewing. 'Among America's most serious concerns are (i) national security, which is intimately tied to energy security, (ii) economic competitiveness, and (iii) the environment. These issues transcend our national boundaries and have serious implications for the world. At the core of these problems is need to secure clean, affordable and sustainable sources of energy. Solutions must come from a combination of improvements on both the demand and supply side, and science and technology will be an essential part of the solution. After briefly describing the energy problem, the remainder of the talk will describe areas of research that may lead to transforming technologies.'"
The Courts

Vonage Loses VoIP Case With Verizon 150

cdrudge writes "A federal jury on Thursday said Vonage Holdings Corp. violated 3 of 5 patents of Verizon Communications Inc. and ordered the upstart Internet-phone company to pay $58m in damages as well as 5.5% in royalty fees per month per customer. Verizon said it would seek an injunction to block Vonage from using its patented technology. The jury did reject Verizon's claim of $200m in damages and that Vonage deliberately violated Verizon's patents. As you might expect, Vonage said it would appeal the decision and seek a stay if an injunction is granted. Judge Claude Hilton set a hearing for March 23 on whether to grant an injunction."

Submission + - Windows Vista for free for portuguese students

macnet writes: "Microsoft is offering 100 thousand copies of their latest operative system to the Portuguese college students and teachers in technology related courses. This offer is part of the educational program signed between the Portuguese government and Microsoft. Microsoft Portugal as included Windows Vista on the Microsoft Development Network Academic Alliance (MSDN-AA) just one month after its release. More info can be found at gramas/univ_msdnaa.mspx."
The Courts

Submission + - Vonage Ordered to Pay Verizon $58M

An anonymous reader writes: A jury ordered Internet phone provider Vonage Holdings Corporation to pay $58 million for infringing on three patents owned by Verizon Communications Inc. Thursday. The eight-member federal jury also said Vonage must pay a 5.5 percent royalty rate on Vonage sales going forward. Jurors concluded that Vonage infringed on two patents covering technology to connect Internet calls to the traditional phone system and also infringed on a third patent involving wireless Internet phone calls.

U.S. Judge Claude Hilton set a March 23 hearing on whether he should issue an injunction barring Vonage's use of the technologies covered by the patents.

Submission + - How can I connect safely over the Internet?

crayiii writes: "Okay, so I've got computers with files and resources, I've got servers with files, PocketPC phones, work computers, laptops with EVDO... All of these connected to the Internet. Now, how do I safely get this all connected into some kind of usable resource pool? I run linux at home and would love to be able to map the space I have on to use as file storage and offsite backups. I would like to be able to use that same space from windows and my PocketPC phone (Sprint PPC-6700). I have Cisco VPN access for work through a terminal server and a RSA SecureID fob. The problem is I have to log on through a web browser and install an activeX cisco client. Is there something that will work on Linux? How about PocketPC? At work I run air dispersion modeling software and sometimes I need another box to (RE)run a portion or I need to run one for a coworker/counterpart. I have nice Linux boxes at home that I would love to be able to assign some of this work to. How can I safely remote control these machines? VNC? FreeNX? When I'm on the road with my laptop, how can I utilize the resources I have at home and at Dreamhost? I'm looking for a way to converge all of these resources into an easy to use, useful, pool."

Submission + - Vista Validation Totally Cracked

Brian Gordon writes: "The Inquirer reports that cracking group PARADOX has cracked Vista's activation model. The new crack results in an installation virtually identical to that of a legitimately activated license key, which means that cracked installs are eligible for Windows Updates and will pass WGA validation.

From the readme: Microsoft allows large hardware manufacturers (e.g. ASUS, HP, Dell) to ship their products containing a Windows Vista installation that does NOT require any kind of product activation as this might be considered an unnecessary inconvenience for the end-user. The basic concept of the tool at hand is to present any given BIOS ACPI_SLIC information to Windows Vista's licensing mechanism by means of a device driver. In combination with a matching product key and OEM certificate this allows for rendering any system practically indistinguishable from a legit pre-activated system shipped by the respective OEM."

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