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Comment On units and their prefixes (Score 2, Insightful) 145

Editors, please do your job before you accept a story - that's an easy way to make Slashdot much better. In this particular story, it would have been easy - no research required. As I'm sure almost everyone here knows, m != M. Also, what is wrong with "b/s" instead of "bps"? (Also, how do I write non-ASCII characters here?)

Comment Re:Dumb Government Abuse of Power (Score 1) 819

Why is it your neighbor's responsibility to use their property in a way they dislike in order to bolster your property values?

Because exterior changes to your neighbor's home often have negative externalities. That is, they have costs not incurred by the person who pays for the changes. It's the same logic that underlies why we regulate things like water pollution and public dumping. The point of regulating these things is not to bolster property values, but to make sure that the true cost on society of such changes, rather than just the cost to the homeowner, is more accurately reflected, and therefore properly weighed against the benefits which are generally enjoyed only be the homeowner.

That being said, many people enforcing and making these kinds of laws often get carried away and forget the underlying reason for them, as seems to be the case here. So instead of properly weight the negative externalities, on property value, against the positive externalities of the Ha's reduced water usage (or, as was recently the case in my state, reduced electricity use when a couple decided to start hang drying their clothes in their backyard), we have some bureaucrat rubber stamping things to the letter of the law.

Comment Re:This is ridiculous (Score 1) 324

What do you mean "since" there have been alternatives?

Internet Explorer came in late to the party. There were browsers after IE, and there are browsers after IE.

Same with windows. There were OSs before, and there are OSs after.

Anyone calling a certain software "alternative" to a given microsoft solution is just showing that he has less than 15 years of experience in computing, and that he hasn't learn a thing in those 15 years anyway ...

Comment Re:Why is it illegal? (Score 1) 574

When talking about scalpers, I agree with you; however these guys allegedly committed fraud in order to get over 1 million tickets.

If something goes on the market, I see nor reason why someone should be prevented from reselling. If the venue doesn't like it, only allow for tickets to be sold at a time. If you are a fan, then get your ass down and camp for the tickets.

Comment Re:Nay, I am Moroni! (Score 0) 160

Oh, if only they believe what you imagine they do ... the world would be a much simpler place.

I won't bother going into too much detail here, but your comment started with a common misconception (that the followers of Christ in the Book of Mormon all had white skin, with dark skin being a curse for wickedness), ventured into the strange (using "Elohim," a name Mormons use for God, to make their beliefs all the more strange), and ended with complete nonsense (and designed to be flamebait, to boot!).

Yes, their beliefs can be strange when exaggerated and misunderstood, but please don't try to purposefully misrepresent them like that.

Comment Open to competition (Score 2, Insightful) 157

Ronald Katz, the lawyer representing Adderley and Brown, wrote in a filing Monday that allowing EA Sports to profit from the use of athletes' likenesses without their permission means "EA could use for free the identity of thousands of present and former collegiate and professional athletes, eliminating any legal reasons for EA to continue any licensing, and giving it a windfall worth hundreds of millions of dollars."

So if this stands, anyone else could produce their own sports titles to compete with EA? Sounds good. I suppose EA feels that the end of licensing fees will be more of a boon than any competition they face.

Comment Re:Microsoft is pure genius (Score 1) 830

I remember hearing this about Vista, pre-launch as well.

Well, not only was that true, but Vista was not (and is not) even 1/4 as bad as the anti-fanboys proclaim. I've been using it on my new computer I built around the time I came out, and while it definitely isn't worth upgrading to at all, there's nothing actually wrong with it. It works fine.

Comment novels. (Score 2, Informative) 247

I have one. It's great for novels. I've read ten sci-fi novels on it so far. Reading from the first page to the last is no problem, and having features like instant dictionary look-up is wonderful. But I'm not sure they would be so good for text books, where you're flipping back and forth a lot. To navigate any more than forward/back, you need to use a cumbersome, slow joystick thingy.

Perhaps future Kindles with touch-screens would be good enough. The search feature would be pretty useful for academic purposes compared to dead-tree. But he's right: having to use that joystick to navigate in "random" directions (rather than next/previous page) is a pain.

(oh and a bonus for the slashdot crowd: the Kindle is just Linux running some java reader app. you can actually install a full blown Ubuntu system via the USB port if you like.)

Comment Re:BIOS (Score 2, Informative) 437

It is just you. My Pentium 90 took something like 20-30 seconds to boot to the DOS prompt. Anecdotal, true, but it's nice to remind yourself that even booting into DOS was by no means instantaneous.

I don't think I have a point beyond that. Sorry, carry on about those days. Was it something about marching up hill in the snow?

Comment Re:Google has the answer. "buy music online" (Score 1) 600

You seem to think that it is Apples responsibility to invest in, design, test, and supply software that works with other vendors hardware when that hardware competes directly with Apple? I'm sorry, but what is your impression of 'compete'?

I apologize if this comes off sounding like an ass, because that is not my intent. I'm just flabbergasted that anyone is defending Palm on this issue. They violated a very basic standard. Normally folks on /. are all over any violation of standard because we all understand the need and importance of them. I have to think that the individuals dislike of Apple is clouding an otherwise very clear cut case.

The we have the 'anti-competitive' argument, except in this case, there is none. The only possible inconvenience to the end user in the worst possible scenario is that they have two windows open. One to purchase their music, and another to sync their device. That is not a huge burden on the consumer. You will simply have to launch a second app to sync your phone. The issue here is that Palm refuses to write their own software, or if they desire full integration into iTunes, license a plugin. Instead they chose to violate USB standards and take a very cheap and easy way out.

The XML file and it's use to sync music with iTunes is very well documented and understood, even by the open source community. There is absolutely nothing preventing Palm from syncing their data just like everyone else. There is no anti-competitive stance here. Palm doesn't deserve special treatment. Apple doesn't either. They don't demand that their music devices sync with Windows Media Player. It would be unreasonable to expect that. They can write their own solution and many have already done so. Palm should be treated no differently.

Microsoft was slapped with an anti-competitive label because they currently have market dominance, and they threatened to remove the license to distribute that OS if hardware vendors didn't also bundle Internet Explorer. This is a classic case of using market dominance to unfair advantage. It would have forced consumers to use a different OS if the vendor didn't capitulate to Microsoft's demands.

In this case, Apple is not forcing users to use iTunes. Don't like it? Dump it in the trash. There are numerous online music sources to buy from. They are not forcing users to use iPhones/iPods. There are numerous applications and hardware vendors that have written their own solutions. Alternately, license plugins to allow them to sync natively in iTunes. Last but not least, they are not locking Palm out of iTunes. Users can still access the iTunes store using the interface designed for it by Apple, and they can still sync those purchases with a Palm device should Palm choose to write one.

There is no anti-competitive behavior here. There is no undue burden placed on the consumer except for the burden placed there by Palm themselves.

Comment Re:Report on your neighbor! (Score 1) 238

You realize that the same sorts of campaigns have been running in major US cities for years, right?

New York's got "If you see something, say something" posters plastered all over its subway cars and buses. A similar campaign exists in Boston, and in New Jersey Transit stations, and (I'm guessing here) in airports country-wide.

England is bad for that stuff, sure, and lousy with CCTV and misinformed police, and and and. But really, it isn't the fact of the thing that gets to me as much as how preposterously heavy-handed their attempts at selling the populace on it are.

Comment Re:pirate repellents (Score 1) 830

There aren't too many reasons for which somebody would approach a merchant ship in international waters in a Zodiac or some related kind of cheap, fast and unmarked vessel. Also, no bum is gonna try and clean your bridge's windows. Doesn't happen in the open seas ;)
The coast guards have no business outside the 12 mi zone; leisure cruises (talking about small boats, not fully grown cruise ships) tend not to happen in piracy-endangered region (or international waters) and navies... well, even a drunk sailor ought to be able to recognize a destroyer if he sees one.

Having that cleared up, even though I usually disagree with any unnecessary kind of weapon use and/or violence: Stock a bunch of 5.56 mm assault rifles with some clips each on most merchant ships. Get the semi-automatic kind, they aren't as legally problematic (in some areas) as fully automated ones, easy to handle and easy on your joints (not that much recoil). Train them sailors in pointing-and-shooting and even if only 80% of all vessels have any arms, the high-seas kind of piracy will quickly die down.

Comment Re:Just installed ... (Score 1) 620

Splitting hairs over what to call a reference point in a virtual arrangement of bytes, are we?

You put paper files in a folder, you put data entries in a directory. Physically of symbolically, the analogy is perfect.

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