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Comment Well, I for one am hyped... (Score 1) 106

Got me a cheap plastic Archos VR viewer with headband (â26 tax&shipping included), loaded some apps on my 2-year old Note3 and came away pretty impressed. There definitely is some nice stuff floating around on Cardboard (Lanterns, Seaworld VR2, Titans of Space, Deep Space VR and so on) . Then Samsung launched their consumer Gear VR for a measely â100 at about the same time my company phone came up for renewal. My interests having been raised, I immediately opted for the Samsung S6 even though the LG G4 seemed a better phone. So now I'm a blown away Gear VR user. I never was a real Gamer. Todays games just take too long for me so the type of games on the Gear (small, short and simple) being closer to mobile games really got to me. Marine Rift, Bravo Six, Gunjack are just awsome, even without positional tracking. And that is just on a memory constrained, mobile device! So yes, the moment Oculus Rift comes out, I'll be getting one. (Ok, I just might wait to see what the Vive brings to the table...) Luckily I should already have a suitable PC (i7, Nvidia 980) So there, one happy and impressed VR user right here. (we seem to be in the minority...) As for the future of VR, with everything that is coming out in the near future (like the Gear look-alike from China which will take any phone, not just Samsung), I have a pretty optimistical view for VR as an entirely new gaming/experience/documentary environment (although the article's one year prognosis should better be spread out over 5 years...)

Comment VR - prices and apps (Score 1) 174

Ok. So it's going to be more than $350. Personally, I found it a pretty low price to start with. Now the question is how much more? $400? $500? $750? Everything up to $500 would be ok, I guess. If you are willing to spend $350, then $500 isn't a real dealbreaker. Anything more than that and it's a different ball game. Of course, there is always the HTC Vive ( Playstation VR as well, but I'm not a console person.) so we can always see what those will cost. As for games, enough people have said that sims will be very nice with this ( Space, car, plane,...) it's a best fit were games are concerned. Some immersive horror games à la Alien: Isolation will work as well. But nothing with harsh, sudden movement like the FPSes we know today. I'm sure they'll come up with some variation of it though... For me, immersive landscapes would be nice as well. Something like the aquarium simulators, but you're sitting right in them. Oceans, lakes, great Barrier Reef, but also a pleasing meadow. You're sitting by the tree line, there are rabbits playing around your feet, squirels coming up to you, some deer pass a couple of dozen feet from where you are, a bear lumbers towards you, has a sniff and crashes in the underbrush behind you etc. Old peoples homes would be ideal for those experiences. Same with guided tours of famous places. More Grand Canyon than the Louvre because detail will be less then current crop of games at the start. And that is just the first version. Once we get a kinect-like camera on it so our hands/arms/bodies will be imported in the game at the same time enabling a form of AR, once we go wireless, higher resolution, eye-tracking for better detail i'm pretty confident ( well, ok, I hope....) that in 5 years we won't be able to imagine entertainment/ infotainment/edutainment without it.

Comment Re: CHDK=much better quality for same or slightly (Score 1) 88

Last remark of Eben is very important, I think. When you're finished playing with the matrix effect ( and yes, they should really think of photographing something more dynamic - people jumping, water splashing, fireworks, etc) you simply store that wooden frame and build the 3d people scanner (I would love to have a 3d print of my daughter, my wife,...). Finished with that? Store the wooden frame next to the first one and come up with something else to do with your 48 Raspberry Pies. After all, each of them is a full-fledged, if somewhat underpowered, PC.

Comment Re:Misleading to call it "non-copied" (Score 2) 657

Yes, Disney was the artist of both characters, but That is immaterial. (I mean, who gives a f*ck about the artist when money is involved) The point is that Oswald's copyright did not belong to Disney when he created Mickey, an Oswald look-alike with round ears. So according to this, Mickey is clearly a rip-off of the copyrighted Oswald image and Disney should have been sued into the ground for STEALING SOMEONE ELSE'S PROPERTY!!

Comment Re:BASIC is a horrible language. (Score 1) 783

Indeed, the CODEA app which is LUA based is very, very nice.
Even I (BASIC programmer because I'm too lazy to learn something new), was able to make a program in that environment. The community is great as well.
However, Apple being Apple, it is restricting Codea to only let the user enter his programs manually (ok, cut-n-paste is allowed too). Codea is being forced to revert some functionality that let it load external programs based on the .codea suffix.
Pretty retarded by Apple if you ask me. I realize they do this to gain/maintain control over the applications the user can install, but their actions really rub me the wrong way.

Comment Re:Thieves and dope peddlers aren't serious enough (Score 1) 58

Let's revisit that statement when one of your kids or family members get hooked on hard-drugs or when you or someone close to you comes home to a ransacked house...
That has a habit of changing one's mind toward crime. It's never really bad AS LONG AS IT HAPPENS TO OTHERS!
I guess I'm a right-wing bastard because I can only applaud the use cases quoted in the article.
Now, if they install this on journalist's PC or on the PCs of opposition groups (anti-nuclear, greens, etc) THEN you might have a serious beef with the nazis who put it on there.

Comment So, next step Honk-Kong, no? (Score 1) 312

With all this hunting-for-al-qaida's-money going on, why is it not simply a question of going to the HongKong account and find out who witdrew the money? Surely the bank there can't say "Oh, we have no idea, we hand out half a million dollars cash to anyone without verification of their identity?" I mean, bank secrecy is dead no? ...and if the bank doesn't want to play ball, how come the whole finanial community doen't stomp it 6 foor under ground for aiding and abetting financial crimes?? ...or is it only a serious crime when it hits rich people or goverments and f*ck the little guy?

Comment Re:GPL (Score 1) 973

The standalone, blanket statement that copyright infringement is OK for music and films paints things a bit too black & white, I'm afraid.
I'm sure the majority here will indeed have no issue with the infringement of an incredibly one-sided copyright regime as long as it is for personnal use.
I'm equally sure most of us WOULD see an issue if this were done for commercial/for profit reasons (Selling Bootleg DVDs & CD's or cracked SW out of the boot of one's car at one end, bulk duplication of DVD masters by organized criminal gangs with webshops or even complicit retail outlets at the other end)
To infringe GPL on the other hand, one has to go quite a bit further than downloading it for personal use. Coorporations/people are free to download it and use it. They can even hack the hell out of it and use it througout their organisation. No infringement there....
The issue only arrises when a CHANGED copy of a GPLed SW is offered for sale with the changes NOT being available (even a small fee for processing and postage would still render it OK)
So the reason for these seemingly contradictory positions is simply that both 'infringements' are of a different level.

Comment They did it again!! (Score 1) 1184

Read it and weep, puny feature^^^^^^smartphone makers!!

1. This baby has 2 cameras, one of which is a whopping 5Mpel! This wipes the floor with everything that came before!
2. It can now even do sci-fi like video calls (ok, Wifi only, but still...) Bet you never though of that one!
3. The ebook reader can even read PDF! Ha!! In your faces!
4. It even runs more than 1 program at the time! Emulate this, suckers!

Yes sir, visionary Steve (all blessings be upon him) did it again!

PS Just kidding. Look like real nice kit, but a tad too expesive for me.

Comment A new way for IP (Score 1) 386

Copright was from the time that multi-media was limited to books. So for books, the idea is still valid. One should have to pay the creator/writer for the right to print ('copy') his work for larger diffusion.

So, one could revise current copyright to say that copyright on books should be something like the livespan of the author or 40 year, whichever lasts longest.

Voila, author and family protected without going overboard.

The same could be extended to music, although this becomes difficult as you have the music and the performance(s). For the music itself, no problem. Music notation is almost like a book. That could get the same rights. Performance is a different thing. One could of course argue that the performer is already paid for his/her performance (certainly the case with live shows, they will have been paid for the music video etc) and thus no copytright needed whatsoever on the performance, just on the music itself. Music video's would be treated more like film. So, write music and get copyright protection lasting 40 years or lifespan.

In both cases, this copright protection would extend only to commercial copying (books, sheet-music) of the articles. No legal shenannigans like music in a Taxi, elevator music etc. Some negotiation could of course be done to see where non-commercial and commercial meet.

Note that I extend this copyright to the original author! Transfer of ownership of a copyrighted work to another entity (a company or maybe a benefactor wanting to help the author) would automatically lead to a copyright period of 10 years, not to exceed the copyight period that would have been the case were the item would remain property of the author. Same as for work done as a service, which is how I beliieve the music inustry works. The music creators 'create' for the company and are paid by the company for this. So no need for additioanl protection, they are already paid. Since however ownership of the copyrighted work does not reside with the creator but with the company, copyright would be limited to 10 years (and lets be fair, todays Lady Gaga song will have limite value in 2020...)

Now, films are a different matter. There is no single 'creator'. Usually, the rights will belong to a company. I would buy the argument that the film roll containing all the frames of the film is the same as a book and thus should get the same treatment, but in the absence of a single 'creator' and allowing fo the enormous cost of such a project, I would limit this to 30 years fix with a stipulation that a non-DRM encumbered verion needs to be deposited in a central 'storage' à la Library of Congress or so.

However, films can have 'additional' value. Take Star Wars... The initial film should already be public domain, free for anyone to copy, use excepts from, change the soundtrack etc. Public domain of the film and all its frames. This however would not extend to the characters. The StarWars 'franchise' is worth a lot more than the first movie itself. To a lesser extent the same is true for 'serial' books (Harry Potter, Hercule Poirot, Jack Ryan ...) Just because a film/book they star in is PD does not mean everyone can use the characters to their liking or make their own commercial follow-ups. (non-commercial fan-movies are somewhat different but here again, some give and take would be required). Just the reproduction would be allowed. This would mean all the 'old' Mickey movies would be PD but the mickey character would still be protected. This protection would NOT be based on copyright but on a new kind of IP, maybe a 'renewable' 5-year license. So as long as the character 'owner' (human or company)is interested in it, he/she/it would pay the fee to be allowed to commercialize it practically indefinitely. If he no longer pay for the protection, the character becomes 'public domain', free for everyone to do with as he pleases.


No More Fair-Price Refund For Declining XP EULA 339

mark0 writes "Getting a fair-price refund from Amazon or Asus after declining the Windows XP EULA appears to be a thing of the past. In contrast to reports from the US and the UK from earlier in the year, Amazon simply refuses and provides information to contact Microsoft. Asus is offering US$6. Despite being confronted with publicly available information about the real OEM price of Windows XP Home Edition being $US25-US$30, Asus replies, 'The refund price for the decline of the EULA is correct in it being US$6. This price unfortunately is not negotiable. I do apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused. Please be assured that it is not ASUS intentions to steer you away in any which way.'"

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