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Comment Re:Is malware like this proof of economic stagnati (Score 2) 127

I get that we'd always have people at the margin who have above average intelligence but otherwise to fit into a worker mold and wind up as criminals of varying levels of success. Usually, though, they seem to suffer from various other pathologies -- substance abuse, psychological defects, the kind of panoply of sociological misintegration that limits not only their legitimate success but their ability to make even life below the line very successful.

Maybe there's just a correlation between high levels of computer skills and these same sociological maladjustments, and the medium provides an outlet previously unavailable which offers reduced risk and greater rates of success.

Comment Re: Yeah but... (Score 1) 127

That's why DVR users aren't thieves - in the end, the programming they like gets cancelled, so in the end they just hurt themselves in the long run.

That assumes they would have watched the same shows with ads. I can honestly say that I wouldn't, because in 2001 I canceled my cable completely because I found US TV unwatchable because of the ads. It wasn't until four or five years later that I "came back", and that was a combination of my soon-to-be wife wanting TV, and me requiring we have a DVR as part of the package.

What we're actually seeing now, as a result of the effect the DVR has had on the industry and the opportunities the Internet provides, is a massive, unprecedented, move to subscription TV. Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, are all producing their own TV programming, with quality as good as the broadcast networks, and networks like HBO are broadening the ways in which their content can be obtained. Meanwhile even the broadcast networks are finding people buy their shows if they put each episode up on Amazon, Vudu, iTunes, etc, immediately after broadcasting them.

Did we screw ourselves? Nah. I think we're getting what we asked for. And for the most part, we're getting what we wanted as a result.

Comment #1TermDonald (Score 1) 294

Though you appear to decry use of derogatory nicknames, it is among the rhetorical tactics of the apparent President-elect.* During his campaign, he used such a nickname for each of his opponents: Low-Energy Jeb, Little Marco, 1 for 38 Kasich, Lyin' Ted (which some of his supporters attempted to reclaim as Lion Ted), and Crooked Hillary. Now watch leftards turn the practice back at "One-Term Donald".

* Faithless electors could yet keep Mr. Trump from officially becoming President-elect on December 19. There are eight so far.

Comment Vector animation is smaller than video (Score 1) 127

If you can't communicate your ad with a static image, a video

A scripted vector animation has a smaller file size (and thus costs you less to view in overage fees payable to your ISP) than the equivalent H.264 or VP8 video. But I don't see how a scripted vector animation of considerable complexity can be done with CSS transitions alone. It's usually script writing to a canvas or script manipulating CSS element styles or SVG paths.

Comment The Alt+Right is stronger than the Back button (Score 4, Funny) 294

You underestimate the power of the Alt+Right. It can undo presses of the Back button in your web browser. If you end up on a Dimbart article, and you click the Back button to escape what you see as reactionary bullcrap, pressing Alt+Right will bring it right back.

Comment Re:Buy a t-shirt, not a CD! (Score 1) 65

You want to support the bands you love? Buy tickets to see them live

That works only if the band is touring anywhere near you, which is likely not true of foreign bands. It also works only if the band either plays at all-ages venues or is still together after you turn 21.*

* In Slashdot's home country, many smaller music show venues require all attendees to be at least 21 years of age because of state alcohol control laws.

Comment Re:Copy"right" does not believe in a democracy (Score 1) 65

We don't need regulation on the internet for instance

Yes you do, even if only to obtain easements to pull your last mile across non-subscribers' land.

we can get that by eliminating the regulations hindering start ups from rolling out new services/lines/infrastructure.

Regulations are needed to allow companies to "roll[] out new services/lines/infrastructure." Otherwise NIMBY holdouts can block anything by reporting a startup to the police for trespassing.

Communications

Weather Channel To Breitbart: Stop Citing Us To Spread Climate Skepticism (weather.com) 294

Breitbart.com published an article last week that erroneously claims global warming is coming to an end, claiming "global land temperatures have plummeted by 1 degree Celsius since the middle of the year -- the biggest and steepest fall on record." The Weather Channel finds this report especially upsetting as it's not only inaccurate but it features a video from weather.com at the top of the article. The Weather Channel reports: Breitbart had the legal right to use this clip as part of a content-sharing agreement with another company, but there should be no assumption that The Weather Company endorses the article associated with it. The Breitbart article -- a prime example of cherry picking, or pulling a single item out of context to build a misleading case -- includes this statement: "The last three years may eventually come to be seen as the final death rattle of the global warming scare." In fact, thousands of researchers and scientific societies are in agreement that greenhouse gases produced by human activity are warming the planet's climate and will keep doing so. Along with its presence on the high-profile Breitbart site, the article drew even more attention after a link to it was retweeted by the U.S. House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology. The Breitbart article heavily references a piece that first appeared on U.K. Daily Mail's site. The Weather Channel went on to refute the Breitbart article's hypothesis: This number comes from one satellite-based estimate of temperatures above land areas in the lower atmosphere. Data from the other two groups that regularly publish satellite-based temperature estimates show smaller drops, more typical of the decline one would expect after a strong El Nino event. Temperatures over land give an incomplete picture of global-scale temperature. Most of the planet -- about 70 percent -- is covered by water, and the land surface warms and cools more quickly than the ocean. Land-plus-ocean data from the other two satellite groups, released after the Breitbart article, show that Earth's lower atmosphere actually set a record high in November 2016.

Comment Is malware like this proof of economic stagnation? (Score 4, Insightful) 127

First of all, Jesus H. Chist, I'm continually amazed at the lengths people will go and the sheer brainpower employed in malware and hacking generally. I've gotten to the point where I go to hang a towel over the mirror in the bathroom because I'm worried someone has hacked the mirror and then figure, fuck it, they probably also hacked the towel.

Secondly, is this level of malware sophistication evidence that there's economic stagnation?

I'm assuming this is software designed to create botnets or measly bank account info or whatnot and the author(s) make some money but not griping about the lack of space for their megayacht next season at Monaco kinds of money.

Is the fact that people do this kind of really clever shit for more or less ordinary income, is it proof that the economy is in some way broken? I would think that people this smart, in a functional economy, would be in real demand to do productive economy kinds of things.

Comment Glitchless streaming. (Score 3, Interesting) 141

Can you name one thing that your customers actually want that is actually being prevented by network neutrality regulations?

Glitchless streaming.

Streaming (things like audio, video, phone calls) requires relatively small and constant bandwidth (though compression adds variability) but isn't good at tolerating dropouts or variations in transit time. When it does get dropouts it's better to NOT send a retry correction (and have the retry packet risk delaying and/or forcing the drop of another packet).

TCP connections (things like big file transfers) error check and retry, fixing dropouts and errors so the data arrives intact, though with no guarantee exactly when. But they achieve high bandwidth and evenly divide the bandwidth at a bottleneck by deliberately speeding up until they super-saturate the bottleneck and force dropouts. The dropouts tell them they've hit the limit, so they slow down and track the bleeding edge.

Put them both on a link and treat the packets equally and TCP causes streaming to break up, stutter, etc. Overbuilding the net helps, but if the data to be tranferred is big enough TCP will ALWAYS saturate a link somewhere along the way.

Identify the traffic type and treat their packets differently - giving higher priority to stream packets (up to a limit, so applications can't gain by cheating, claiming to be a stream when they're not) - and then they play together just fine. Stream packets zip through, up to an allocation limit at some fraction of the available bandwidth, and TCP transfers evenly divide what's left - including the unused part of the streams' allocation.

But the tools for doing this also enable the ISPs to do other, not so good for customers, things. Provided they chose to do so, of course.

IMHO the bad behavior can be dealt with best, not by attempting to enforce "Network Neutrality" as a technical hack at an FCC regulation level, but as a consumer protection issue, by an agency like the FTC. Some high points:
  - Break up the vertical integration of ISPs into "content provider" conglomerates, so there's no incentive to penalize the packets of competitors to the mother-ship's services.
  - Treat things like throttling high-volume users and high-bandwidth services as consumer fraud: "You sold 'internet service'". Internet service doesn't work that way. Ditto "pay for better treatment of your packets" (but not "pay to sublet a fixed fraction of the pipe").
  - Extra scrutiny for possible monopolistic behavior anywhere there are less than four viable broadband competitors, making it impractical for customers to "vote with their feet".

Comment Re:Would it be positive for your customers? (Score 3, Informative) 141

Yes, more sponsored free data transfer and optimization from content providers. It's a grey area now. But "Stream Game of Thrones now without using your data, exclusively on AT&T" is something that carriers and content providers really want to do.

Comment Re:Civic society implies civil rights (Score 1) 376

Well, depending on how much you believe the rhetoric, anyone who isn't a white male might feel safer in China. I'm hoping that almost all of it is just rhetoric, but I don't feel any certainty about it. In fact if you believe *some* of the rhetoric anyone who isn't a rich white male might feel safer in China. This strikes me as unlikely, but remembering how a prior German democracy fell it's not beyond the bounds of possibility.

OTOH, there are a lot of signs that Trump is not an actual racial bigot, but merely someone who feels right in taking advantage of any power he can get his hands on. I'd feel happier with this interpretation if his cabinet picks were different.

Comment Re:No Innovation in China (Score 1) 376

It NEVER made sense. Not ever. In the early days it took inventors and coerced them into chasing around the country looking for people who might be infringing on their patents. As companies took over it became more and more about getting patents so vague that nobody could tell for sure what what infringing, and getting the legal decisions that meant that was a case that would be found in favor of the patent holder.

The basic idea was reasonable, but the implementation was flawed from the beginning, and my guess is that the grant of a monopoly was the basic flaw. Perhaps instead it should have been a law that the government would only buy from the holder, or a licensee, of the patent.

Comment Re:Terrible decision, regardless of patent feeling (Score 1) 98

I never said that, and responded to your other post explaining that I never said that. If you want to insist I did say it, please copy-paste from my post.

OK, if you say so. That makes about 90% of your original post completely irrelevant to any point you were trying to make. You could have just said "Congress passed the latest law that applied to this in 1952, and this appears to be at odds with how I interpret it", but instead you wrote some enormous history of how SCOTUS totally misunderstood Congress's intent in 1885 and Congress stepped in and rewrote the law, even though that has nothing whatsoever to do with the case in hand.

My insults to them were an explanation of why they voted 8-0 and issued an opinion that only had 5 substantive pages and punted the creation of any test to the Federal Circuit: they really don't care much about patent law. This was to address your contention that, because they're "deeply divided" on Constitutional issues around, say, privacy or the federal-state divide, it's highly unusual for them ever to agree on something (that happens to entirely unrelated to those issues).

You're implying that this isn't normal. SCOTUS doesn't usually write long essays on all the possible things it wants to overturn, and nearly never prescribes how a lower court should resolve them. This is a fairly standard case of a trial participant appealing a ruling over a technical error, and SCOTUS agreeing with them, explaining why, and telling the lower court to rethink.

And it doesn't take more than five pages to explain "You're doing it wrong, you should be basing profits on the articles of manufacture, like the law says you should, rather than the entire finished product."

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