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Comment Re:Other People's Playlists (Score 1) 64

I'm surprised so many people want to listen to playlists that somebody else made.

It's the new radio. Even when I used to make mixtapes and mix CDs in school, I'd eventually get tired of listening to the same things and turn to the radio to get some variety.

I love the idea of a radio station -- a curated playlist that fits within a general theme and evolves over time. That's what I'm very often looking for in music, and it's why I still listen to the radio in my car. I get tired of single albums or trying to manually create large and diverse playlists. It's also why I use still Pandora. I have a few stations which seem to work fairly well, although it does seem to get pretty repetitive, and I'm wary of adding new seed artists due to fears of ruining what I've got currently.

That said, I abhor advertising and don't tolerate it in any quantity. I can subscribe to Pandora but when a radio station starts playing ads I change stations. If all of my usual stations are on commercials, I mute the volume and enjoy the silence for a while. At least mixtapes never had that problem (well, unless you forgot to hit the Stop button while recording! :)

Comment Re:Too little too late (Score 1) 64

So, serious question: What do other people hear? Are there lots of ads? Is this a regional thing?

Ad-blockers like Adblock Plus usually block all visual and auditory ads on Pandora's free version. I used to listen to it all the time and see or hear an ad, but after a couple of months I decided to subscribe because I want to support companies which offer a service that isn't subsidized by advertising. I've paid for Pandora for about 3 years now.

My question is what this means for existing customers. I pay $4 per month now, since I was an existing subscriber when they moved to $5. Will we be included in this move to the new system at our current price, or will it increase?

Comment Re: As the US surrenders control of DNS (Score 2) 237

Except, from TFA, "The data I see suggests China, an assessment shared by the people I spoke with."

But that's impossible in your mind...it has to be the US. It could never be a US adversary with principles that run decided counter to internet freedom, human rights, and so on. Clearly this is a US effort to leave itself a capability to "take down the internet", when we are the ones ceding control of ICANN and IANA.

Comment TFS leaves out most important piece ignoring info (Score 5, Insightful) 237

"The data I see suggests China, an assessment shared by the people I spoke with."

Of course, that will be buried in these comments that it's a US false flag, that obviously it's the US that's responsible, etc.

It couldn't possibly be someone like China.

Comment Re:Propose 'A' Technology? (Score 3, Insightful) 199

The path from a neutral Internet to the one Comcast execs dream of at night is a slippery slope. Even embracing partial steps towards that end will lead to yet more, as the specific cases are generalized down to something so vague and weak that any ISP can use it to assign whatever priorities they want to whatever traffic. It will go from "user controlled fast lanes" to "dynamic fast lanes" to "ISP curated fast lanes" to "ISP controlled fast lanes for the sake of general network health".

No one will care that their netflix packets are prioritized lower than their voice packets, since netflix streams and voice needs to be near real-time.

Latency and throughput are very different things. NetFlix does not need to be "real-time" -- it only requires enough throughput to build up a buffer big enough to smoothly play content and handle network variations. Voice calls are very different. They require very low latency and cannot be buffered.

No application bandwidth limiting, just prioritization.

I agree, but we already have that and you even named it. Quality of Service and Class of Service have already largely solved this problem. The only people saying that this kind of prioritization is the same thing as provider or application level throttling (fast and slow lanes), or that QoS will be illegal under Net Neutrality laws are the big telecos and their paid shills.

Once you open the door to "fast lanes" even a little bit, that's it. The level of neutrality will fall over time until it's another fondly distant Internet memory -- kind of like anonymity and the Fourth Amendment.

Comment Re:Mostly... (Score 1) 178

Vinyl, on the other hand is analogue and as such requires a stylus contact to read the grooves which will eventually wear out the media.

Not true, in the latter days of vinyl, they developed a laser stylus now commercially available which doesn't touch the media

I was skeptical, assuming that this would largely negate the claimed advantage of analog vinyl over digital CDs, even with an absurd sampling rate, but following the link farm page to the real article suggests otherwise:

One of its biggest appeals for audiophiles is the fact that its electronics are entirely analogue – the signal is not digitised as part of the signalling and playback process.
[...]
The LT player's five lasers – one on each channel to track the sides of the groove, one on each channel to pick up the sound (just below the tracking beams), and a fifth to track the surface of the record and keep the pickup at a constant height

Sounds fancy. Whether that's worth $20,000, well, YMMV.

Comment No...just, no. (Score 5, Interesting) 163

No one actually has to "hack" anything -- just get the thought out there. No matter who wins, stories like this will be cited by the losing side as "proof" the election was "rigged" or "hacked", and that the winner didn't win legitimately. I can think of few things more damaging to the democratic institution.

See also:

A Powerful Russian Weapon: The Spread of False Stories

Comment Re:How dare they hack NY Times reporters! (Score -1, Troll) 61

So...it's NSA's fault when foreign intelligence services conduct espionage against US political parties, media organizations, etc., and actively try to influence the outcomes of US elections, and manipulate the opinions of US citizens? You realize that no matter who wins in November, possibly millions of Americans will believe the election was stolen or rigged, and possibly by foreign influence?

I know, I know -- in this crowd, the US is the enemy, here, and we don't actually need to have any kind of foreign intelligence capability; NSA's sole purpose for being is to figure out ways to illegally spy on Americans so it can solidify the power base of shadowy elites. Or something. Whenever I need to be reminded of just how out of touch many people are with history, reality, or both, I read Slashdot comments.

Comment Re: Worse and worse (Score 5, Interesting) 440

Or, you know, it's to prevent viruses and other such garbage that has plagued windows for years and years, to be able to boot up with windows by masquerading as a driver?

Actually the GP is right, and Microsoft calls it out themselves:

To play back certain types of next-generation premium content, all kernel-mode components in Windows Vista and later versions of Windows must be signed. In addition, all the user-mode and kernel-mode components in the Protected Media Path (PMP) must comply with PMP signing policy.

Besides, the only way to install kernel mode drivers is to be running as administrator. If malicious code is allowed to run on your computer with administrative credentials, you're already screwed in any number of ways. Installation of a kernel driver is just one avenue.

I see nothing wrong with this.

I see everything wrong with this. Microsoft is now dictating what software can be run on my computer. That alone is enough of a reason to vehemently reject this, but think also of the F/OSS software impacted. There are plenty of software tools out there which run a driver as part of their operation and not all of these will want to or be able to get their drivers signed.

I have been trying to decide lately if I'll ever bite the bullet and move from Windows 7 to Windows 10, or if I'll start looking migrating to Linux. The decision just got a lot easier.

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