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Comment Re:Filed: October 9, 2008 (Score 5, Informative) 202

According to the history of podcasting article on wikipedia the system of using RSS for podcasts and the ability to get them onto an iPod was mature and in use by the time this patent was filed, so it would appear that prior art will indeed shut any efforts from VoloMedia to get money from this patent down.

Comment Re:Net Neutrality (Score 1) 342

I really hope you're right, if anon responds in a mostly civil manner we could see the govt forced to take a stand on net neutrality. On the other hand if anon goes revenge happy on AT&T we could see this sort of block considered a "justifiable act".

Comment Re:Unreliable...Probably not (Score 5, Insightful) 132

Remember that even on hot days not all of the traffic through the datacenter needs to be rerouted, and I'd imagine that a location selected for a datacenter like this was chosen for the infrequency of days that will require rerouting. Do you know how much it costs to cool a datacenter, and how much this will save? I don't, but Google probably does, and they probably wouldn't make a decision to do something like this without comparing the savings with the potential cost from decreased lifespan of computers running hot and losses due to downtime. I would also imagine that Google will be working to greatly increase stability during rerouting, given the comments from the end of TFA about other power saving uses, such as routing traffic to datacenters where it's night, meaning "free cooling" can be used since it's colder outside, and off-peak electricity rates are in effect.

I think the concept is interesting, and it makes me wonder if we'll see more datacenters built in areas of the world more conducive to projects like this in the future.

Comment How much of this is relavent to generic hybrids? (Score 3, Interesting) 307

Given that Honda seems convinced that their tech doesn't conflict with any Toyota patents I'm curious as to how specific these patents are. If they're general enough for any automaker to run afoul of them just by making any sort of hybrid system then I'd imagine they could be invalidated through prior art. If they're much more specific to the Prius drivetrain then there are other questions, like how many patents deal directly with the drivetrain, vs control software, or other elements like battery tech? If it does get to that point then it can be debated if the public good of having more hybrids from different automakers outweighs the legitimate issue of rewarding Toyota for spending years and what was probably a fair sum of money in the development of their hybrid tech. I imagine that these patents cover a combination of the 2, and ford (and others) have decided that paying Toyota is cheaper than bringing a legitimate challange.
I'd guess that at least a few of these patents deal with the weird new "cvt" that only uses planetary gears instead of belts or chains, which is a pretty significant and original idea for a car. A simulation of the gear system can be found here:

Comment Does this really save that much money? (Score 4, Insightful) 398

In all reality, how is this all that different from a student buying a textbook at the start of a semester and selling it back at the end? I also think that the endless cycle of "new" editions of the book can put a crimp in the plans for this service, since schools will require the latest edition of a book, which will be impossible for this company to find cheaply online, meaning that they'll need to price to rental to pay for the full cost of the book in just a few semesters (before the new one comes out).

Interesting idea, but I'm skeptical as to how well they can keep costs low enough to be a truly economical alternative to buying.

Comment Re:I'm surprised (Score 1) 288

I think it is supposed to come from which side of the brain the ear is primarily connected to, with the right ear being connected to the "logical" side of the brain, while the left ear is connected to the "Creative" side of the brain, so the right ear is better for conversational audio, and the left ear is better for musical type audio.

Comment Actually makes some sense but the headline is bad (Score 1) 288

This does line up with a topic in a similar vein I heard about a few years ago, essentially saying that the right ear is better for processing vocal type audio and the left ear is better for processing music type audio, because each ear is primarily connected to either the logical or creative side of the brain respectively. Really the headline should say "Want someone to understand what you're saying? Talk in their right ear"

I don't know how accurate this theory really is, but it doesn't sound as implausible to me as some others seem to think

Comment Re:Not just a deliberate untruth, possibly illegal (Score 1) 305

I think a more direct argument would come from the hit Apple stock took when rumors of Jobs' death began circulating well before his leave of absence, given the reaction to that how well could Apple expect the price to react to them saying "Steve will be taking a leave of absence because he needs a liver transplant"? There was speculation on Buzz Out Loud that the first WSJ article (with "anonymous source") was actually the result of a strategic leak by Apple, as it came after the close of the market on friday, and after the launch day for the iPhone 3GS. On a later episode they actually said that the source was later confirmed to be Apple, which pretty much confirms that theory, which in turn implies that Apple knew what kind of hit their stock would take of Jobs' condition was announced from the start.

Comment Re:It's a funny kind of ship that leaks from the t (Score 1) 305

There was actually speculation on Buzz Out Loud that the leak about Jobs' transplant was a very strategic and deliberate leak. What it boiled down to is the fact that the WSJ got a report from an unnamed source that Jobs had a transplant, and broke the story after the markets had closed on friday and iPhone 3GS sales had gone well on release day. Thus Apple stock didn't take the large hit it would have taken had this story hit during the week, instead of giving everybody a full weekend to calm down. According to a later episode of BOL the unnamed source was in fact confirmed to be Apple, meaning that it was very likely a strategic press release.

Comment A few fun implications (Score 1) 461

One thing that worries me about this is the fact that ASCAP requires the entity paying for the public performance to collect data on what songs are played, and the number of times that they are played, so that the artists can be compensated in proportion to how often their songs are played (which does actually happen, believe it or not). This would mean that AT&T would be required to set up a system where every time an individual's phone rings the ringtone used on the phone would be reported back to AT&T. After all, how are they to know which of the 10 mangled song clips a user paid for are being used as a ringtone, or what if they're in a movie and actually set their phone on vibrate? And what about user created ringtones? Do they just assume that the filename accurately describes the song being played?

Of course there's also the fact that AT&T will need to raise prices to cover the added cost, and since the royalty is not a one-time fee users will need to pay a subscription cost for each ringtone. And if AT&T ends up with an arrangement where they are charged each time a phone rings, then users will need to pay something like $.01 every time their phone rings.

Comment Can this really work? (Score 1) 336

I'm somewhat skeptical that this could even work for a few reasons:
1) How can they alter the sound so that a camera with a cheap mic can pick up the sound accurately enough for this to work without making it sound worse for the audience?

2) Even if they do somehow make the seat location ID work how will they know who sat there? Unless they assign seats and get the name of each person in the theater this is pretty useless

3) How will they know which theater the movie was filmed at, or which screen in the theater, or which time on that screen? Will every single individual screening have a different audio watermark?

Comment Re:It's pretty standard these days (Score 1) 329

Actually they do use a click track in the studio, though it is a pretty complex setup. A few years ago before the release of Train of Thought Mike (The drummer) had a contest on his forum where he posted the MIDI click track config they were using along with the key signature for each section of the instrumental song, with the goal being similar to the DT song without hearing it. The closest entry was played at the intro of every concert on the Train of Thought tour.

Comment Re:*sigh* (Score 1) 674

How is playing an instrument or doing any other activities associated with a band for 40 hours a week not work? I'll grant that *some* artists today do very little work, but what about the bands that spend hours every week practicing their own instruments, writing new music, dealing with the business side of the band (contracts, recording issues, etc...), and touring? Just because musicians are largely spending their days doing something they enjoy doesn't mean it doesn't qualify as work. Developing high technical skills on an instruments, learning music theory, and learning to apply that theory to writing good songs can take years of practice, and can be just as difficult as something like software development if you choose to make it so.

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