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Comment Re:Come to Verizon! (Score 2, Informative) 738

I've not seen any ads that advertise unlimited gigabytes.

Verizon has/had a plan simply called "Unlimited Access" that they sold in New York State. They didn't specifically use any terms denoting quantity ("gigabytes") or any other usage restrictions in their plan name or advertising; they left it wide open to the customer's imagination, in their advertising/marketing (although not in the actual contract), as to what "Unlimited" implied. And, they got spanked for it by New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo back in 2007 for "deceptive marketing." Verizon agreed to stop the "deceptive marketing" and reimburse Verizon customers in New York State $1 million.

Cuomo's action was most likely brought on by vocal consumer backlash in various forums:

Apparently, at least in New York State, the contract doesn't mean much if you are judged to have engaged in deceptive advertising while trying to sell that contract.

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All my life, I always wanted to be somebody. Now I see that I should have been more specific.
—Jane Wagner

Comment Re:Alternatives (Score 1) 356

"Vast sets of libraries..."

Seriously, stop and listen to yourself.

Funny, but my backup workstation, an elderly AMD Thunderbird (32-bit, dog-ass slow) with a crappily small hard drive and 1gig of RAM, can handle both Gnome and KDE libraries and not skip a beat, or beg me to run down to NewEgg for a new hard drive.

May I quote your post here on my website as an entry in the '100 Stupidest Comments of 2010'?

Submission + - Another major online video tech firm goes HTML5

hullabalucination writes: Brightcove, a major player in online video technologies, has announced its "Brightcove Experience for HTML5." Brightcove clients include the likes of Sky, 20th Century Fox, Condé Nast, Universal Music Group, Warner Music Group, Sony Pictures Television, Discovery Communications, ITV, Turner Broadcasting, Hearst Magazines and Fox International.

The Register's Rik Myslewski paints this as another blow to Adobe's Flash technology.

Submission + - Novell has UNIX copyrights, SCO does not (

RichMan writes: The Salt Lake Tribune is reporting that the jury has reached a verdict in SCO's slander of title case against Novell. Apparently SCO does not own the copyrights it accused Novell of slandering.
  A federal jury Tuesday found that Novell Inc., and not The SCO Group, owns the copyrights to the Unix computer operating systems used by many businesses.

The Internet

Submission + - Suddenlink Launches 107Mbps Internet in Texas (

An anonymous reader writes: "GEORGETOWN, Texas--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Suddenlink announced today that it has started offering residential customers in several, suburban-Austin communities (Georgetown, Pflugerville, and Leander) its new "High Speed Internet MAX 107.0" service, featuring a download speed up to 107 megabits per second (Mbps) and an upload speed up to 5 Mbps.

Georgetown and nearby communities are the first in the country to receive this new service.

"Based on our research, we believe this residential download speed to be the fastest available in the U.S. today," said Suddenlink CEO Jerry Kent. "We are pleased to bring cutting-edge technologies to our communities and we will continue our efforts to expand the availability of this and other advanced services."

The MAX 107.0 service is the result of "Project Imagine," a new Suddenlink program that calls for approximately $350 million of capital investments nationwide through 2012, above and beyond the company’s traditional capital spending levels. Through "Project Imagine," the company aims to expand to substantially all Suddenlink communities: video-on-demand service; the capability for up to 200 high-definition (HD) TV channels; and industry-leading DOCSIS 3.0 technology, which enables Internet download speeds of 20, 50, and more than 100 Mbps.

Suddenlink is preparing to launch either MAX 107.0 or MAX 50.0 Internet service in a number of other communities this year, with details to be announced later. (MAX 50.0 service will feature a download speed of up to 50 Mbps.)"

Submission + - Poll: Would you receive a cyborg implant? 1

oldspewey writes: .

If cranial implants could provide digital communication, enhance memory, afford "super vision" etc.:
a) I'd sign up as one of the earliest testers
b) I'd wait a few years until the bugs are worked out
c) I'd consider some modest enhancement as a "trial"
d) My decision would be based purely on cost/benefit
e) There's no way in hell I'd get one
f) I'll figure out how to hack the system and create my own army of zombies

Submission + - Hamsterdamcam: Comunity Operated Survailance (

An anonymous reader writes: Surveillance cameras are nothing new, and usually considered part of an overly intrusive "big brother" government. However, one community in Jacksonville, FL is now setting up a network of privately operated and funded surveillance cameras. Images from the cameras are streamed at set times (weekend nights). The experiment, which uses the tag-line "The Wire meets the Truman Show" is trying to document rampant crime in this part of Jacksonville and the ineffective actions of law enforcement. Each week "highlight reels" are posted to UStream and YouTube. So far the group captured a car jacking, a prostitute providing service right next to a busy road and more.

TI-Nspire Hack Enables User Programming 88

An anonymous reader writes "Texas Instruments' most recent, ARM-based series of graphing calculators, the TI-Nspire line, has long resisted users' efforts to run their own software. (Unlike other TI calculator models, which can be programmed either in BASIC, C, or assembly language, the Nspire only supports an extremely limited form of BASIC.) A bug in the Nspire's OS was recently discovered, however, which can be exploited to execute arbitrary machine code. Now the first version of a tool called Ndless has been released, enabling users, for the first time, to write and run their own C and assembly programs on the device. This opens up exciting new possibilities for these devices, which are extremely powerful compared to TI's other calculator offerings, but (thanks to the built-in software's limitations) have hitherto been largely ignored by the calculator programming community."

Comment Re:Set 32 sectors per track (Score 1) 258

All of the desktops in use at my local Chamber of Commerce (WinXP) can't show/mount a thumbdrive, apparently related to this issue:

I pointed them to a Microsoft knowledgebase entry which supposedly fixes it, but they reported that it didn't work for them. I don't use Windows much so the issue is puzzling to me; the Chamber has a system builder on retainer but apparently nobody there has seen fit to rectify the problem (or just can't).

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Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint.
—Mark Twain

Comment Re:h264 being "not open" confuses me... (Score 1) 265

OK, you make good points. Although I'm not sure that the x264 library qualifies as a complete "encoder" (stream output functions?) but it's close enough.

Furthermore, it is completely legal to encode video with a patent-encumbered encoder if you have a license to do so.

But this gets back to the whole point of the thread. In fact, the x264 team does not have a license (from MPEG-LA) to the h264 IP according to all accounts that I can find. They released under their own, separate (GPL) license. And, according to posts on the x264 developer's list, a practical, real-world usage in patent-honoring jurisdictions would require adherence to both licenses, according to Alex Izvorski:

However (and this is an extremely important and possibly confusing point) the patent license for H264 is *completely separate* from the copyright license for x264. You need both; you need to comply with the terms of both; if one says you can do something and the other says you can't, then you can't.

Comment Re:h264 being "not open" confuses me... (Score 1) 265

x264 is only an encoder for the H.264/MPEG-4 AVC standard. It does not handle decoding.

Doesn't make an iota of difference what decodes your video, if you're not legally allowed to encode it in your jurisdiction using a patent-encumbered codec in the first place.

Citation definitely needed. The project calls itself a H.264/AVC encoder [].

Being implemented through reverse-engineering doesn't matter. Anyway, it seems the specification is freely downloadable [].

The specs for FAT32 are available, too. Didn't seem to do TomTom much good, did it?

Comment Re:What about firefox (ogg video)? (Score 1) 265

Can't, sorry:

XML Parsing Error: not well-formed Location: Line Number 77, Column 184:

It appears you're using Microsoft's flavor of Javascript, which has notorious issues with my brower/platform of choice (Firefox/Linux).

There might be an apt analogy here to the situation between x264 and h264, but I'm too tired right now to explore the idea further.

By the way, I'm a professional videographer/photographer/editor/graphic designer. I personally have made use of x264 (in VLC), but I would be extremely hesitant to use it on a professional project, where I was prominent as the author, due to it's extremely shaky legal foundation in the US. I'm not a lawyer, but I have three decades of experience plowing through IP/copyright law (with the help of lawyers) as practiced in the US. Frankly speaking, I feel that the x264 implementation doesn't have a legal leg to stand on in the US and the EU, and if you'll do some basic research you'll find that there are many IP lawyers on both continents who concur with my view. You're exposing yourself to huge risks by using the x264 libraries, and distributing the works least where I live.

The recent FAT32 fiasco where Microsoft lowered the boom on TomTom is a direct compare. TomTom assumed they were in the clear since an open source reverse-engineer (dosftools) had been in use for quite a while by many vendors, until Microsoft's legal team educated them otherwise.

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