Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter


Forgot your password?
Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! No Flash necessary and runs on all devices. ×

Comment Price and Standards (Score 1) 207

If you'll recall, good HDTVs were over $10,000 while 4K sets can be obtained for under $2,000. Also, many of the cheaper original HDTVs offered HD only over VGA or Component cabling, and then only in 4:3 aspect on CRTs without an anamorphic setting so everything was taller and thinner than it should be.

Comment "Eligible PC" (Score 0) 126

Darn, there goes my plan to trade in an old PowerBook or Centris. "Eligible" likely means one that can run Windows 10, so it's a guarantee they'll get it done same-day by close of business. So get in just before closing, but make sure the replacement Dell is comparable in features to the machine you brought in.

Comment Re: I wonder why they resist this (Score 1) 83

There are many reasons for them to want to control the UI. One is that it is a platform where advertisements could be placed and they don't want to give that potential revenue up or let anyone else profit from placing ads there. Nevermind that consumers are revolting against the ads inserted into their television programs by their Samsung TVs; there's a potential that they could get it right.

Then there's the issue where they want to make sure that it is a human watching the cable and not a device. Time-Warner Cable pushed the "mystro" software to their cable boxes decades ago as an upgrade to their UI/UX. I was in a forced beta-test market. The way it displayed guide data interfered with the changing of channels by channel number. If you started changing the channel, the banner would pop up, the show information in the banner would be updated, and in the update the digits you'd entered would be thrown out. When raised as a serious bug, they discounted it because the workaround was just for the user to enter the channel number again and it wasn't that big of a nuisance to bother fixing. But the underlying issue was with DVRs attempting to change the channel on the cable box, which had no way to tell that the channel change failed or even that the channel change that occurred was the correct one, thus could not send a corrected channel change, and would proceed to record the wrong program off the incorrect channel. The only workaround for DVR users would be to not to change the channel on-time but skew it by a minute before. But as networks were starting to skew their own shows by a minute or two forward or back, even that could cause the channel you're *leaving* to trigger the bug. And that was conditioned on having a newer DVR that had that feature; older versions had to resort to timed manual recordings rather than ones driven by guide data, regularly titling recordings with the preceding program's information, made the guide data useless for its primary function, and network shift *still* affected them. They'd managed to design an effective captcha into their cable box to prevent usage of DVRs with their cable boxes until the CableCARD came out. So they rolled it out nationwide without a fix, because to them it *was* the fix.

No repercussions for the involuntary the beta test. Rumbles in the city government, but no effective change. They have a local monopoly.

Comment Re: Confirmed, not just hinted (Score 1) 65

Also, it seems one cannot download updates for these apps in iTunes anymore. They'll list as needing updating, but bring up a dialog saying they can only be downloaded to an iOS device. Or at least that's what my older iTunes what won't work with my iPad running iOS 9.x anymore (which won't run 10), but still works with my orphaned iPhone and iPods Touch and Nano.

Comment Re: Microsoft, like their Microsoft NBC... (Score 1) 260

No, because that was not the agreed-to price. Whether you gave a $50 bill for a $20 game or a $20 bill for a $50 game, the amount exchanged was not was represented as being the price.

When you have a person doing the checkout for the vendor, you have the safety of that checker to call a manager to question and verify the price before the sale is completed and final. When the vendor abdicates having such a gatekeeper on the sale, the vendor assumes the risk.

When servers trusted the client to accurately report back the price on a web form rather than checking the server's own database, that could be seen as the buyer making a counter-offer which the vendor's agent blindly accepted. Any consumer is empowered to attempt to barter for a lower price than the marking and the vendor is free to disallow it and enforce their fixed price before the sale is finalized. Nowadays, that's considered exploiting a weakness and considered fraud as the consumer is expected to know that a stupid automated process isn't empowered to barter. But if the vendor set the price and allowed it to go through, the purchaser has clean hands. Mitigating that would be if that vendor does not have a recognized pattern of giving similar product away for free (e.g. the twice-monthly Free With Gold offers or free games in response to service outages).

Have you ever seen a site or individual being sued for spreading information about "pricing errors" as such rather than as "surprise sales"? There should be some lawyers salivating over establishing that in case law on behalf of some big company like Microsoft. Or do some companies like too much the idea of driving other sales by having a deliberate temporary "pricing error"?

Comment Re: Microsoft, like their Microsoft NBC... (Score 1) 260

There'd be no backsies if it were physical goods. An offer was presented and accepted, agreed payment exchanged (even if free) and goods delivered. The consumer did not cause the pricing error. Voiding it post-sale undermines the equivalency of physical vs. on-line transactions whether it is a game mistakenly sold for free or an unauthorized e-book edition of George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four vs. a sale of two dozen eggs for -$0.02 after coupon. They're using the ongoing service relationship to renegotiate the price post-sale.

To maintain consumer confidence in the system, you swallow the loss and take steps to prevent it from happening again; something like preventing listing if the price is too low (say, under $10?), requiring special authorization for anything below some threshold, re-prompting for the price to be manually entered again twice (like we have to do for both concealed passwords and in-the-clear e-mail addresses), and never accepting a blank field for a price.

Another option: any free or discounted upgrades could require higher payment if the original sale was underpriced. Other app stores manage to track and enforce this (Apple).

That they are even giving a $10 store credit to purchasers is acknowledging it was their error, trying to limit their losses (total royalty payments per sale are more?), but that is not a negotiation. When they gave refunds to people who bought XBOX 360 HD DVD drives, they didn't require returns or documented destruction via firmware bricking of that hardware. (I have not tested whether they also removed support for HD DVD playback from the updated XBOX 360 UI.)

I have no dog in this hunt: I did not make the purchase at issue.

Comment Re: Ok, why? (Score 1) 311

Because it's civil forfeiture: you're not innocent or guilty, it is your video that is presumed guilty, and videos/property have no rights. They charge the video for being an illegal copy and take it away. Just like driving with a large amount of cash for purpose of attending an auction is presumed to be carrying drug money.

Comment Re: Ok, why? (Score 1) 311

How about for taking the people out of the loop? This is the WarGames hair-trigger scenario played out with copyright instead of nuclear missiles.

"YouTube, you're listening to a machine! Do the world a favor and don't act like one."

"I loved it when you issued a DMCA takedown for Los Angeles. Suitably ironic ending to the place, don't you think?"

Really, someone should just rewrite the whole script to that movie and make it about copyright out of control. Parody only serious.

"Oh Jesus! I really wanted to learn how to DRM! I swear to God I did."

Comment HTML filters (Score 1) 372

I tried registering a product on-line, but their software would delete any words found in HTML, including e-mail addresses. My address became something like "" because it had the word "table" in it. Both prompts for it were so filtered. It was also to be my login at the site. I couldn't receive the confirmation e-mail because they'd borked it. I got them on the phone and they made the correction in their database (their system was unfiltered) resulting in me still being locked out because the login prompt also stripped out "table"!

Comment Local revocation? (Score 1) 39

If Apple doesn't revoke it, shouldn't it be possible to configure individual machines to revoke such certificates once they're known? Or is that secured against lest someone start putting out malware that installs local revocations of others' certificates, such as one's competitors or anti-malware developers' certificates?

Slashdot Top Deals

The trouble with computers is that they do what you tell them, not what you want. -- D. Cohen