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Comment Re:Evil bit again? (Score 1) 105

I was suggesting a (somewhat) simplistic compromise. Consumer can record to a device to watch later - but if said device has an option to upload/share with friends - then those shows with the flag set couldn't be shared.

Which is pretty close to what ReplayTV DVRs did (and still do).

On the ReplayTV you can send a show to another ReplayTV, but it won't let you send a show that your machine received from another machine.

That didn't stop ReplayTV from being sued, but I think that was more about the automatic commercial skip feature, not the show sending.

(Speaking of commercial skip, ReplayTVs have a secret feature that will be useful on Sunday: you can set it to automatically skip over the show content and only show the commercials.)

Comment Re:All I want to know is... (Score 1) 119

As far as patents go, TiVo and ReplayTV introduced DVRs at the same time, so between them they held the fundamental DVR patents. TiVo and ReplayTV had an agreement that they wouldn't sue each other.

In 2007 DirectTV bought the assets of ReplayTV, presumably to get the patent portfolio, just so that they could offer a TVR without being sued by TiVo.

Comment Re:In other words... (Score 1) 503

Sir, your solution is well intended but is of limited effectiveness because it is a broad spectrum cure.

I have invented a more effective protocol, where first I test the subject by exposing them to small amounts of various types of electromagnetic signals. The basic Wi-Fi test discriminates between sensitivity to 802.11b, 802.11a, 802.11g, 802.11n and 802.11ac. The premium test will also test sensitivity to various forms of Wi-Fi encryption, channel numbers, jumbo frames, IPsec VPNs, hidden station ids, RADIUS authentication, Windows 10 Wi-Fi Sense, and captive portals.

Once the test is complete, I can expose the water bottles to the precise, tailored anti-rad treatment for the individual subject. All for the low price of only $500 for the initial basic test and then $50 per treatment. (A treatment course usually runs for 100 weeks, and then monthly maintenance doses for life.)

Comment Re:MenuChoice and HAM (1992) (Score 4, Insightful) 270

No, not the same thing (though similar in purpose). A shortcut is a file whose content is parsed by the software/OS to determine the location of the target, while a symbolic/soft link is a filesystem object that points to target.

Ah, so Windows 95 shortcuts weren't copying Unix, it was copying Mac OS aliases. Which were introduced in System 7, in 1991. Except that aliases still worked even if the target was renamed or moved to a different location, while shortcuts break.

Comment Re:Never consumer ready (Score 1) 229

As far as I can recall, tape backup systems have never been a consumer product. At least, I don't recall tape systems ever being marketed that way

QIC, Travan, Iomega Ditto, and DDS (DAT) tape drives were all marketed as consumer products in the 1990's.

In 2000 a DDS-2 tape cost $4.47, with a capacity of 8 GB (compressed): 56 cents per gigabyte. A 9.1 GB SCSI hard drive cost $385: $4.23 per gigabyte. Reusable optical media was not cost effective, and there wasn't anything else (that I can remember) with both high capacity and low cost.

(QIC and Travan drives were cheap, but the tapes were expensive; around $30 per tape IIRC. DDS tapes were cheap, but the drives were expensive; $700 for a DDS-2 drive in 1997.)

Comment Re:COBOL WHILE loops (Score 1) 729

Yeah, but remember that inline statements didn't come until the addition of explicit scope delimiters. The most common form actually is:

perform routine-name
  until condition

and in that case, the UNTIL really does come at the end. But it still is really a PERFORM ... WHILE.

The fact is that this trips up programmers. They forget that they need to init the condition before the PEFORM, lest it never execute.

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