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Comment Naive Question (Score 1) 484

There's a lot of Dell bashing in this thread. I guess most here build their own machines, I used to but now I use a laptop. Since I only buy machines for personal use, I don't have much experience of which suppliers are reliable etc.

Does the Dell aversion extend to laptops? If so, which manufacturers to /.ers recommend?

Comment Re:which is bullshit (Score 1) 347

None of that was ever free. You paid for the radio and television by listening to or watching the advertisements. You may not have noticed, but nearly as much effort is going into stripping ads out of content as is going into stripping DRM. Advertising as a revenue stream may not be dead, but it has proven to adapt poorly to digital media. In anything other than streams, it is trivially easy to remove, and people do so all the time. So that avenue is essentially dead.

Mozart made money by being sponsored by rich people. Of course this meant that his music was available nearly exclusively to the rich people that sponsored him. So if you like we can go back to a patronage system. Expect not to get to hear much music.

The biggest problem though, isn't related to either of these things. It's related to nature of much of what we consider "art" now. Let's take a movie. Let's make it a low budget movie. It costs, say, $5 million to make. So, someone, somewhere has to come up with $5 million dollars up front. That's not chump change even for a wealthy person, certainly not for a starving young director trying to get his movie made. The art of a movie is IN the movie. It's not a filmed play, you can't perform it live to make money that way. We've already determined that advertising is not a great way to make money these days. How are you going to make make money on your movie?

Movie theaters are the obvious answer, but most movies (with the exception of the Avatars and Iron Mans of the world) don't actually make money until they release to DVD. The upfront costs are too high, and the returns from theaters too low. The irony here is that the people most hurt by the loss of DVD sales would not be the huge blockbusters that rake in enough to pay for themselves in the first two weeks after release. It will be the small independent films that only really make money over time.

The problem is essentially this: Much of what we consider "art" now has a very high up front cost, but virtually no distribution cost. It exists in a digital realm. It cost a lot to make, but can be copied infinitely and perfectly. This is as opposed to the old system where up front cost were generally minimal (paints and canvas, a guitar and some sheet paper, whatever), and the value was in the single unreproducible product. Music and theater (plays and such, not movies) were similar, but the value was in the experience (which was again unreproducible, even with if you could reproduce the actual melody or recite lines of the play).

We have to figure out how things like movies, video games, and digital art or music can make money in a post copyright world. The problem is not musicians or painters (despite what the RIAA screams), we have a model for them. It worked in the past and continues to work for thousands, if not millions, of small time "gig" bands and gallery artists. The problem is these guys.

If copyright disappears, that kind of art will suffer. It may disappear. Not immediately, not entirely, but slowly and mostly in the middle tier where most of the best "art" is. The smallest, least professional guys will still do it for love (and we can have yet another game where penguins shoot things, or race things, or are shot by things. Yay.), and the biggest guys will still make gobs of money by surrounding their crap with so many layers of DRM that it won't matter whether they technically "own" the rights to the IP, because you're never going to get it to do anything they don't want it to. So you'll probably still have the crap and the soulless corporate shiny.

Note that I say "we". I've seen it posted many times here on /. that it's not our job to figure out how to replace the media company's failed business model. I say I'm not really all that worried about the big media companies. If copyright disappears, they'll wail and cry, then encrypt their stuff tighter than a spider wraps its dinner and continue to make gobs of money (sure it'll probably be breakable... eventually, but most people won't make the effort). I'm not worried about the true amateurs. They do it for love now, and will do it for love later. Most of them will continue to suck, because they are amateurs, but that's OK. They aren't asking for money, I won't judge them. I'm worried about the middle tier, the digital equivalent of the gig band. They work full time on doing what they do, and many of them do it very well. Their has to be a way for them to make money or we lose them, and that's where a lot of the true "art" is.

"We" have vested interest in helping these people make money in a copyright free world if "we" ever want to see such a world. Because the alternative is not something I think most of us really want to see.

Comment Re:iPhone Banker Trojan? (Score 2, Informative) 186

Even though I've already abandoned Apple, it's their belief that enough people won't do this that they can retain their clout. The industry as a whole is damaged as a result. Further it sets the precedent that a software company can dictate what other software you run on the same device for business reasons rather than for technical ones (i.e. we're not talking software incompatibility, we're talking rejection because they say so). Apple is the first, if they succeed, you can guarantee that other companies will be looking to shut out their competition simply by refusing to let you run the competition's software. The entire thing is creating an atmosphere of anti-competitiveness.

You're actually 2 decades late. Nintendo did this on the NES back in the 80's, with a lock-out chip. Only Nintendo approved (and licensed) software could be loaded and run, at least without 'jailbreaking' the cartridge to circumvent this. Note: the world of open environments has not collapsed yet.

That said, we're talking about a cell phone, which never had the ability to run user software before anyway. If they want to do the same thing on a PC, then I would begin to worry.

Comment Re:Rarity score (Score 1) 368

That's simply offensive to those of us who do have migraine headaches without blurring of vision. Had about one per week throughout my childhood, and had it diagnosed as migraine by a specialist, after which I responded to medication that mostly doesn't do anything unless you actually have migraine. I tried some pretty strong pain medication that didn't do much before that. You can't imagine the pain of a real migraine headache and playing it off based on your misconceptions is simply aggressive ignorance. I almost missed an important flight because I was incapable of standing up even after taking an overdose of various medications. So go fuck yourself.

Comment Re:US vs UK... (Score 1) 1174

Bottom line, I am seriously not worried one bit about grabbing live outlet lines. It hurts a little, so I don't do it for fun, but I'm really not worried about dying or anything.

Grabbing live outlet lines is dangerous and whether you have 110v or 230v actually makes little difference.

What matters is the current that goes through you, normally your body has a huge resistance and so not much current passes through you. However this varies hugely, moist hands will have orders of magnitude less resistance than dry ones and you'll easily get fatal currents from as low as 60 volts in such a situation.

Basically...stop touching those live wires!

Comment Re:Another Book (Score 0) 133

I bought this e-book just the other day. I got sick of trying to piece together various out-of-date tutorials and following the API docs online. Whilst you can't say the API docs aren't all there, I think it's probably too much. The hide inheritance members button at the top is a must!

However, the learning curve for Ext JS is HUGE and an approach such as "Learning Ext JS" is what's called for, even for competent programmers. I found the Apress "Practical Ext JS Projects With Gears" to be far too centred around the example scenarios, whereas, "Learning Ext JS" is perfect for somebody with a use in mind but just wants to know how all the widgets work. The Gears book would be ideal for somebody with no real idea in mind and plenty of time on their hands to "see what this Gears/Ext JS caper is all about" but if you want to just get to the point of how a grid works, or any other widget, then you're going to have to read through a lot of verbiage to answer your question.

I've also got no problem with the licensing. I use Ubuntu and prefer open source software, and if you're FOSS too, then there's no problem with Ext JS. If you're commercial, then the rather meagre licensing fee for Ext JS is hardly going to make you ditch it and piece together all that cross-browser-Ajaxy-goodness yourself! Whilst jQuery is nice and I prefer it's leaner syntax, its plugin repository is getting tad messy these days and jQuery UI only has six widgets. Can't beat Ext JS if you're not a FOSS license zealot and you just want something to take the pain out of RIA development. Life's too short to get hung up on things that don't matter.

Comment Game isn't out yet. (Score 1) 81

Problem you'll have here with 'reviews', is that this game isn't actually on the market yet. The only time when people have seen it, and some people have played it, has been at the Eve Fanfest this last weekend.

So all impressions and review points come from CCP's own presentations and the battles shown during the fanfest.

Comment Re:Whats the issue Apple have with Flash? (Score 2, Insightful) 154

Paranoia is an irrational fear.
Apple strongly controlling apps is a business decision.

There's a difference.

It's one of many business decisions that makes up the iPhone ecosystem. Something which has been phenomenally successful. Consumers like the end result, and vote with their dollars.

Whilst Apple employees do make mistakes with edge cases of their rules, the rules themselves are not irrational. And Flash isn't an edge case.

Comment Re:This is dumb. I can crack it in two seconds. (Score 5, Informative) 312

I know this is /. but I took the time to find the actual paper, they cover the typical attacks on the security mechanism quite thoroughly. Apparently its very difficult to scan a mask, especially at the small scales the industry deals in today - they suggest it would be cheaper to simply design the chip yourself.

(Off-topic: the anti-spam mechanism atm gives an interesting result for my email address..."'poo' in gap" oO)

Submission + - Writing CSS DVD's - without any special media!

An anonymous reader writes: These guys (link: have just released a new drive, currently DVD based, but with HD-DVD and BluRay versions coming soon, that allow consumers the same flexibility as if they had a mastering station at home.
Their drive has the ability to create fully CSS compliant discs, using existing media. Sort of makes Qflix pointless as it proves what many have said that we never needed any "new special media" to write CSS. It is USB based, so it plugs into almost anything, game consoles included (the Xbox 360, PS3 and Wii are mentioned by name.) They're placing it as an enabling technology for "Download-to-own" or "Download-to-rent" systems. Seems to be pretty flexible, reading between the lines, they also state that it can also write (therefore copy?) many of the current copy protection systems in use, as well.

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