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Comment Re:TiVo (Score 1) 296

MythTV has also had this kind of fast forward feature for years and years. It never occured to me to even try it.

Try half speed. It's hilarious.

If you're itching to turn on some sort of fast-forward mode then you're clearly watching the wrong thing. There's really no need for anyone to subject themselves to something they don't really want to watch. Not in this day and age.

Not everything's entertainment. I watch the news at 125% of normal speed so I get through it faster and can get on to something else. Doesn't change the content one bit.

Comment Maybe not... (Score 1) 251

In my case, it showed that the company was storing my account information in cleartext to be able to e-mail it back to me.

You don't know that for sure. It's entirely possible that the password was generated, sent to you in the clear, stored hashed and the clear version discarded. They can only do that once. If they can do it more than once, it's not being hashed before storage.

The problem with passwords is that at some point, it has to flow in a form it can be read by a human. We're not to the point where everyone on the planet can do everything with key pairs that prevent it.

Comment Re:Force his hand..."Sue me! Sooner than later..." (Score 1) 379

If the students own the images, then how are the students compensated for the use of those images in the yearbook?

Compensation is being able to point at some of the pictures and say "I took those" and put "yearbook photographer" on your college applications. If you're in a school system where yearbook is a for-credit class, taking the pictures is classwork for a grade.

Other than a desire not to be a dick, there would be nothing to stop a student photographer from demanding compensation for his work before allowing it to be published. Of course, there's also nothing preventing the photo editor (a job I did for two years) from telling anyone who pulled a stunt like that to turn their school-owned equipment to someone who understood why we were all there and what we were trying to produce and go alphabetize student portraits instead.

There must be some sort of agreement.

Why must there be some sort of agreement? Back when common sense prevailed, it was implicit that taking a picture for the yearbook and providing it to the editors meant it might be published and you were okay with that. These days, I'd have to imagine that our overlawyered world would require a bodily fluid transfer agreement before it would be okay to take a leak in a school bathroom.

Comment Re:Force his hand..."Sue me! Sooner than later..." (Score 1) 379

Additionally, I have to imagine there is some sort of agreement when a student signs up for yearbook. Clearly some of the photos they take end up in the yearbook. Either they must give them away wholesale to the school and they are the schools property completely, or at least the student relinquishes license to the picture and may not demand compensation for the money which the school receives for publishing the picture.

Nope all the way around. The LISD's own IP policy says that students retain the rights to all works unless they were an employee of the school system. If the student wasn't being paid to do what he did, the district has no rights to the images.

The fact that the administrators shifted their reason from copyright to privacy says they're not looking for a reason to punish this kid, they're looking for an excuse.

Comment Re:Look at previous disasters (Score 1) 350

That may have been a matter of zoning, and Cisco may have put location over uptime if the Santa Cruz office being up and running wasn't critical to the business. Santa Cruz may have some sensitivity to fuel storage, either because of previous disasters (floods?) or because the city doesn't have the resources to ride herd over more than the gas stations.

Tall buildings in large markets tend to have tenants who require generator power and make good homes for radio and TV stations. The station where I worked was in a mid-sized, coastal market that didn't have tall buildings, so our transmitter was out in the boondocks 35 miles west of town. The location kept us from radiating signal out to the ocean where the fish wouldn't be listening and gave us access to two adjacent markets with their own ratings books. More importantly, it was far enough inland that the 1,000-foot tower was unlikely to be damaged by hurricanes and arrangements for backup power weren't a problem.

Comment Re:Also on /. today, "Norway switching off FM" (Score 1) 350

Norway is eliminating FM, but about 60% of listeners in the country are already getting the same content via DAB. Broadcast isn't going away, it's just a format change, same as the transition of TV from analog to digital in the U.S.

In-chipset DAB demodulation wouldn't be any more difficult than FM, and if the demand is there, it'll be added.

Comment Re:Look at previous disasters (Score 1) 350

Useless is a strong word, and "absolutely" is a strong modifier. Neither is warranted here.

Point taken. I've held an amateur license for 25 years, and the nature of the gear people own and operate has changed a lot. I question how useful a gaggle of people with low-powered VHF gear at low altitudes will be when information needs to be passed around a metropolitan area after the local repeaters have run out of juice. Thanks to HOAs, It's difficult for the average urbanite or suburbanite to operate a station that covers the HF bands that are most effective for local and regional communication (40m and below). It doesn't do any good if the nearest guy who can get away with the required antennas is 40 miles out of town.

Meanwhile, those people are likely to have disconnected power sources...

No more likely than the average person. I'm pretty sure I'm the only licensed amateur on my street, but looking out the window I count a few dozen pre-fueled, fully-mobile, disconnected power sources that can be pressed into service on a moment's notice. All of those sources have built-in AM and FM broadcast receivers (some have satellite receivers, too), internal and external lighting, weather-tight shelter, lockable storage and sources of heating and cooling. More on topic, they can be used to charge mobile devices which, even without the network available, stuff a fistful of things that can be useful in an emergency into a very small package that the average person knows how to operate. And most people already own the necessary cabling to do that charging and keep it handy.

...many radio stations are in urban areas and are legally prohibited from having inexpensive, functional backup power.

Can you cite a source for that kind of prohibition?

There's already a surprising amount of generator capacity in the average city and lots more that can be trucked in and functional in relatively little time. I used to work for a commercial FM in an urban area, and our building (downtown) had enough on-site backup to operate the studio and microwave link to the transmitter for several days. The transmitter (outside the city for coverage reasons) had a generator which could run it at full power as long as there was fuel available. I'm pretty sure the station had agreements in place to have fuel available at both sites within hours if needed.

Comment Re:Look at previous disasters (Score 2) 350

And how often do emergencies happen? In all my life I have NEVER been in a situation where my life depended om having an FM radio.

In all your life you've never encountered anything that's killed you, either, but that doesn't mean it won't happen.

U.S. carriers don't want FM enabled because it would deny them revenue from streaming services during normal circumstances and would also be an admission that their infrastructure could be vulnerable. Your mobile service is just as reliable as FM until the infrastructure takes a hit. Getting a single broadcast station capable of covering an entire metropolitan area back on the air after a disaster is a cakewalk compared to restoring enough mobile sites to do the same thing.

The Qualcomm Snapdragon chipset found in a very large fraction of major-brand handsets has had the FM receiver hardware built in for years. Even the current 801 has it. If you own a handset, you've already paid for the unit cost of it and a sliver the NRE. Versions of Android on the same handsets sold in other countries have it enabled and there are applications to use it, so it's not as if there's any kind of effort or expense needed to enable the feature.

People with amateur licenses are helpful for some things, but they're absolutely useless for disseminating information over a wide area that's otherwise disconnected and populated by people that don't have receivers covering the amateur bands and wouldn't know to look there anyway.

Comment Re:This should be the common case, though. (Score 2) 140

If you are running a program which costs money or time, you should be considering whether it is worth running periodically regardless of whether it's a program to collect phone data or bringing donuts to the office. If you aren't revisiting that decision, you're doing your job badly.

Govvies don't operate that way. They measure their worth by the dollar value of the programs they oversee. This makes the incentives completely bass-ackwards.

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