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Comment Re:When I meet a copyright owner (Score 1) 70

Just to follow up on a couple of the points you mentioned:

Downloading some things from our library for use off-line is actually one of our most frequently asked questions, and again it's something where we generally take a pretty liberal approach and always have. We want people to enjoy the material. That's why we make it!

What I'm talking about is people who don't just download a few bits and pieces, but blatantly try to download everything right before the end of their subscription. These aren't people who are going on a trip and want something to listen to on the train. These are the people who would sign up to Spotify and then try to run scrapers on a mass of cloud-hosted machines to download literally every song on Spotify for their permanent use. Somehow, I would be rather surprised if the facility you mentioned for downloading content for offline use extended to providing a 100% DRM-free copy of Spotify's entire library, or if their ToS said that was OK, or if they would take no action if they caught someone doing it.

As for what is reasonable, I'm not sure I understand your position here. We're not offering (or in any way pretending to offer) a permanent copy of our works for someone to keep. We work on a subscription basis, and we offer subscriptions at a price that makes sense for that arrangement. I don't see how it's any different to saying you used to go rent a movie from the video hire store, but you paid a much lower price than buying your own copy and you had to return it. Offering the movie for rental didn't give customers any automatic right to buy a copy, at the same or any other price, nor did renting it out give customers the right to make their own copy to keep forever or share with their friends.

In the same way, I don't see how it is reasonable to expect us to provide access at a fraction of the per-user cost it would take just to produce the material, let people sign up for the minimum period, and then let them download as much as they can before it runs out even though it's clearly not being used on the terms we offered. Sure, you can just download the web pages or audio files or whatever from our site, and up to a point we'll be understanding about why you might want to even though that's not really part of the deal, but you basically seem to be implying the same as DRM guy: if we don't want people to abuse our openness, we should actively stop them, which brings us back to limitations and DRM of one kind or another.

Or maybe I've misunderstood and you were just saying you only like payment models where you get permanent ownership of your copy of the content? If so, that is fine and your choice, but it's not the deal we're offering and so joining our library wouldn't be a good option for you. Apparently it's also not a deal that would be economically viable in our case (we know, we did plenty of research to find out), which means if we were required to offer such terms if we were offering our material at all, then we simply wouldn't be producing and sharing that material, and again everyone who does currently enjoy it and find our current pricing plan acceptable would lose out.

Comment News flash: Average income is deceiving (Score 0, Flamebait) 148

The average income of 10th through 70th percentile - in other words, most citizens - is $32,245 / year (source, EPI Data Library - Wages by percentile.csv, 2015 [latest] row).

Over 40 million (out of 319 million, or about 12%) of US citizens are going hungry (feedingamerica.org).

The social safety net isn't safe, nor particularly social.

I'm sure we can expect relief from the Trump administration (cough... choke.)

But hey, let's worry about tech interns. My blinders need a workout anyway.

Comment Hey Slashdot: (Score 3, Insightful) 124

Slashdot Editors / owners / etc.:

o Please stop supporting paywalled sites.
o Please stop supporting sites with closed comment sections.

These things are bad for the web and the web's denizens -- of course not for the ethically crippled sites themselves, as we are their product, and both payment up and dissent down are multipliers to their bread and butter.

The paywalled sites are monetizing the news, and that almost always makes for biased reporting.

The closed comment sections make for echo chambers, and that creates an environment where fake news and agitprop flourish.

Same thing to my fellow slashdotters: if you support bad actors in bad behaviors, they will naturally persist. So think about that before you click through the next time someone thrusts a paywalled or comment-bereft site in your face.

Thanks for reading.

Comment Not quite dead yet (Score 1) 366

It means that we are now far more removed from access to the metal to even do a lot of the optimizations that we've done in the past.

Well... no, it means that you are, perhaps. Some of us still write in c or c++, and keep our attention on the details. You can tell you've run into one of us when the many-functioned app you get is a couple megabytes instead of 50, runs faster than the fat ones, and doesn't suffer from black-box bugs inherited from OPC.

I always thought that the user's CPU cycles and memory were things a developer was obligated to treat as the user's valued resource, and so not things to waste.

I know, totally out of date thinking. It's ok, I'm old, I'll die soon. :)

Comment machine code ate my neurons (Score 1) 366

But can you program in Z80 and 6502 machine code?

Yes. But more importantly, I can program in 6809 machine code. Including building all the index modes. Which, back in the day, is one of the things that saved me from having to design in, and then program, CPUs like the 6502 and z80, both of which are seriously anemic by comparison. But I prefer to program in assembler. Because I'm sane.

My affection for the 6809 ran so deep that I wrote the 6809 emulator you'll find here, which required me to implement the entire instruction set from the ground up.

But yeah, I can write machine code for about 10 microprocessors. And you know what? In the day... that was useful. I could read (E)(P)ROM dumps, I could cold-patch... but today, I just wish I could get the brain cells back. :)

Comment Re:Security is an illusion (Score 1) 153

There's just too much volume to track all the content everywhere.

There are 350 million people in the USA, more or less. Including kids not of age to use computers. One computer, just one, operates at billions of instructions per second (when the code is written in anything efficient, like c.) The NSA has a newish huge data center located on the main trunks.

You do the math. If you still think they can't sieve that amount of data effectively, why then, good on you for your optimism. :)

Comment Re:Trump Derangement Syndrome (Score 1) 586

Trump is assumed by some to have won based on (anticipated) EC votes. However, three facts:

1 - The EC hasn't voted yet.

2 - The EC does not have to vote for Trump.

3 - Clinton got (a lot) more votes from, you know, the people.

Trump may well end up to be president. But he isn't the president yet; he isn't even the president-elect yet.

Comment Re:As soon as we get a legitimate source like Netf (Score 1) 70

Right, but most people aren't students, and $10/month for access to a library the size of Netflix is still vastly cheaper than buying everything a typical subscriber might watch there the way you had to before the streaming library services were around.

I might also wonder what anyone who is watching enough stuff to need $60+/month of subscriptions to that many different services at once is actually doing with their lives, but that's a different question.

Comment Re:Define "fit for business" (Score 1) 119

If we were talking about updates to the Enterprise version of 7 or 8.1, which organisations might already have deployed widely, presumably it would be tougher for those organisations to justify the switch. Maybe only those who were concerned about serious legal/regulatory issues would do so. But then in that situation, the sysadmins could just block the other updates they didn't want, so concerns about updates introducing ads or removing features or whatever don't really apply.

The thing with Windows 10 is that it's a big upgrade anyway. Enterprise-scale IT departments are already going to need plans for a full migration if they want to go to Win 10 Enterprise. They're already going to have to check compatibility with all the software they rely on, maybe upgrade some of their hardware, and so on. So the cost of accepting Windows 10 if Microsoft were also to push stuff like telemetry and automatic updates in the Enterprise edition would just be that much higher.

Comment Re:Define "fit for business" (Score 1) 119

What large corporate IT department has their executives running any version of Windows Pro on their laptops, rather than Enterprise connected to their centralised update servers etc?

What corporate IT department has allowed any machines under their control, even running Windows 7/8/8.1 Pro if it's a smaller organisation, to deploy the telemetry updates?

Comment Re:Define "fit for business" (Score 1) 119

I don't disagree with you on the being run by humans and having inertia aspects. I just think you're underestimating how damaging trying to force known data leaks and uncontrolled software into a large organisation would be.

The data leak aspect is a concern for the lawyers, as well as the obvious underlying security implications. I'm only involved with smaller businesses, which previously used Pro versions of Windows, but even we don't seem to be able to move to Windows 10 without risking violating various data protection laws, NDAs, and so on. What happens to larger businesses, particularly those who work in regulated industries and who really do get audited from time to time, if Windows 10 Enterprise imposes the same vulnerability?

The forced upgrades also have obvious stability and reliability implications. Microsoft has long provided tools for corporate system administrators to manage large numbers of Windows desktops and deploy updates (or not) according to their own schedules and testing requirements. I have never encountered a large organisation using Windows whose administrators do not use these tools, and the answer to many problems with Windows updates for these organisations has essentially been "If it took out the 10 dummy PCs in the test lab, don't deploy it to the rest of the organisation". Again, if Windows 10 Enterprise took away that flexibility and allowed (or required) users to start upgrading their own systems, I can't imagine corporate IT tolerating that at all.

In short, it doesn't necessarily take an incredible amount of silly things to tip the balance. Even one or two things will still do it, if those things are silly enough.

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