Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter


Forgot your password?
Get HideMyAss! VPN, PC Mag's Top 10 VPNs of 2016 for 55% off for a Limited Time ×

Comment Re:Treason? (Score 1) 298

I agree with you 100%. Now, we need to exhume Reagan and the various people in his administration who provided weapons to extremist muslims in Iran. Or was that before you were born?

(For the history impaired, Bush pardoned the few who were convicted, though most of the conspirators were never even convicted thanks to massive destruction of evidence.)

Comment Re:The price hike is minimal... (Score 1) 450

And what does that have to do with a reseller's relationship with a content owner?

The post I was responding to made it sound like Netflix was wilfully leaving deals on the table because Amazon can supposedly negotiate better terms.

My point is simply that content owners have a vested interest in there being multiple resellers and that a large, established reseller is not always in a position to negotiate favorable terms -- particularly when a plausible competitor can be used as a stick. That is, the established reseller is likely to get worse terms than an upstart. Something that Amazon is familiar with after their challenge to Apple's dominance in the online music retail business.

Comment Re:The future of ownership. (Score 1) 637

ah, excellent way to ignore the point about context being important and stressing that farmers "make more" because they have a higher net percentage. I'm pretty sure you realize that most people mean "makes more" to be absolute dollars.

Obviously raw values are not the end all (and it is trivial to give examples where they are utterly misleading), but neither are just percentages. And when people are talking about "makes more money" they definitely mean either gross or net in dollars, not percents.

Comment Re:Not a suprise (Score 1) 251

I think you are right in that the hardware isn't *that* different. The real difference is in the operating environment and Apple's being closed makes no difference to an institution that doesn't even want users to be mucking about with random apps downloaded from dodgy sites.

As to the durability, you get that by using a case. An otterbox or something similar is going to be about as good as it gets.

As to "literally bulletproof" that makes no sense. The term "bulletproof" is commonplace and its meaning is "well understood" but you can't write a specification for it. Body armor is rated for the grade of ammunition it can "reliably" stop. Its been years so I'm probably a little off on the terms, but level 1 would stop light small arms (under powered rounds like .22, .32ACP, etc.), level 2 will stop most small arms (9mm, .45 ACP, etc.), and so on. A rifle bullet is going to go right through kevlar, but with the right inserts you can stop the lighter rounds (but not AP or even semi-AP on a reliable basis). But a .50 BMG is going to punch through anything someone can wear.

But stopping the bullet is only a partial solution. A tank's armor may stop a round, but result in spalling so that someone "safely" inside it is still injured or even killed. In the case of a "bullet proof" phone the shock of impact is going to shatter the glass even if the bullet is somehow stopped from penetrating to it.

Comment Re:The price hike is minimal... (Score 1) 450

What? Are suggesting that a purchaser should pay multiple resellers and receive a product from one? That seems needlessly complex.

Given the topic, are you suggesting a situation where a consumer paid both Netflix and Amazon in order to receive a video from one of them? Sorry, I just can't think of any scenario where your suggestion is comprehensible.

Comment Re:The future of ownership. (Score 1) 637

yeah, because I'd much rather have 10% net profit margin on a million annually than 5% net profit margin on 100 million annually.

I also think that a company with 30000% growth is obviously doing better than one with 1% growth (its irrelevant that one started with 10 clients while the other has millions of established accounts).

If a drug provides a 50% better outcome then it must be good, right? It doesn't matter if the improvement is from 2 in 10000 to 3 in 10000 and is just so much noise...

People love percentages because they hide facts.

Comment Re: This is Their Explanation?! (Score 1) 61

That hasn't always worked for me. But if I set an "album artist" for all tracks that does pull them back together.

While there are some quirks about iTunes it is actually a very flexible and capable tool for organizing music. Mostly I've used it for dynamic play lists, but in the last few months I started going through and actually taking advantage of some of its capability and was surprised. But with all of that flexibility there become pain points if you don't know what it can do. Albums can have their own rating which is used for tracks in the absence of a rating, but you can also set the rating for all tracks on an album while leaving the album unrated. Off the top of my head I don't recall how each is done, but they are both album operations and mixing the two unintentionally quick leads to confusion.

The periodic "face lift" where they re-invent the itunes interface is annoying, but unlike with iPhoto/Photos they haven't emasculated the application or introduced pervasive bugs or misbehaviors that remain unfixed. It still boggles me how they can break drag & drop for pictures and leave it broken.

What has been more annoying for me is the removing of capability from the iphone music player. You used to be able to rate tracks on the device, but now all you can do is "heart" it -- I'm guessing an attempt to emulate social media "like".

Comment Re:Anecdotal (Score 1) 450

And if you *did* actually watch and ship it back they introduced "smoothing" (that's the official netflix term for it). Apparently the introduction of smoothing also depends on what you watch. When I was going through a large backlog of old movies that weren't being watched by anyone they didn't care, but as soon as I moved from that to more popular content they started the "smoothing" process.

Before I ever became a customer they lost a class action lawsuit over the practice, but that was resolved not by ending it, but altering their terms of service. I hadn't heard of any of this until I started looking for what the problem was. Between the shrinking number of discs that were actually available, long delays in shipping, and wrong discs being shipped I cancelled the service a long time ago.

For those who aren't familiar with it, "smoothing" is when Netflix arbitrarily delays shipment of a disc or substitutes another disc. Because I messed with the queue a lot at first I assumed I'd accidentally pushed the wrong disc to the top, but when they started shipping series discs out of order (e.g., 5, 3, 4, 1, 2) I knew something was up.

Comment Re:The price hike is minimal... (Score 1) 450

Disclosure: I really dislike netflix because of their 1) "smoothing" policies, 2) price hikes, 3) unreliable content selection

That said, Netflix is the established company and "Hollywood" doesn't like their terms because they are convinced that they can do better. The problem has been the lack of competition. Any deals that Amazon is able to get may in fact be better than what Netflix can negotiate because what Amazon brings to the table is an option to Netflix. If Amazon ever becomes a real competitor then the copyright holders can use bidding wars to drive up costs, but they have to become a meaningful option first.

Despite being the entrenched player, Netflix is relatively powerless here and has no bargaining power.

This isn't anything new. Amazon already did this, horning into the music market. The labels were only too happy to give Amazon preferential deals because Apple -- using their position as the sole gateway to the masses -- would not give the labels an ever larger cut of the pie. Initially at least, they gave Amazon *better* pricing because they wanted to fund the existence of a competitor to Apple.

If you make widgets would you prefer them to be made available through a single reseller who then has complete control over your access to market, or would you prefer to have multiple resellers who you could then negotiate differential deals with?

Comment Re:Precisely placing atoms is not new. (Score 1) 68

...and what would be notable is if 30 years from now someone actually comes up with a way of reading & writing in a durable fashion.

It isn't that their work is useless, it just isn't notable. When IBM arrogantly wrote their name in atoms it was notable because no one had done anything like that before. What these guys have done is kinda neat, but it isn't even remotely near the usable stage.

Maybe you're too young to remember the excitement about "room temperature superconductors" that never transpired. There's no reason to expect this to ever get anywhere near room temperature, either. Using helium is more of a necessity in advancement and a relatively simple engineering problem. No one has even a plan for maintaining the required stability at room temperature, or alternatively how you would achieve supercooling in a consumer product.

"Oooo, look we've got 500 terabytes of storage per square inch on the medium, but when factoring in the support equipment we can achieve 500 kilobytes per square foot"

Comment Re:Who controls the data and access? (Score 2, Insightful) 56

If such a device is ever installed on vehicles in the US then, no matter what the rules/laws might be at the time of inception, they will in short order certainly:

1. require citizens comply with law enforcement request for a data dump
2. criminalize tampering/disabling logging
3. be considered infallible by those consulting them
4. be utilized by insurance companies to obtain discounts

In the interests of protecting privacy, the interface will be proprietary and secret, thus conveniently preventing owners from doing their own data dumps. A grey market in readers will develop.

It also would likely form an entry point for: putting GPS on all vehicles to enable ore accurate road taxes; a remote kill switch for public safety (think of Nice, France); and a transponder for emergency assistance/stolen vehicle recovery

I don't see how anything could go wrong with this

Comment Re:"Special" Agent needs remedial forensics traini (Score 3, Informative) 89

Sorry, I didn't read your whole post so my answer is incomplete. While collisions can be generated, for even semi-modern hashes they involve more than just data changes (e.g., the size of the data is changed as well). A digital chain of custody will record both the hash and the size in bytes. And that does not alter the fact that the burden of proof lies with the defense when making allegations of alteration. That is, the allegations must be specific -- not just a general hand waving that "something could have happened". There is a presumption that evidence has not been tampered with. Breaks in chain of custody are not uncommon and normally have no impact on proceedings other than some additional testimony.

Furthermore, hash collisions are not considered to be an issue by the courts. Fingerprints have a far far greater risk of collision (or simply misidentification) than say md5 and law enforcement has done an effective job of convincing the courts that *fingerprints* are unassailable evidence and now with hashing being vastly better it is considered completely irrefutable.

Again, the purpose of encryption is to protect confidentiality, not provide integrity. While it may have some impact in that regard it is a side effect. Integrity measures (such as documenting the chain of custody, hashing evidence on collection, etc.) are what provide that.

Slashdot Top Deals

Time-sharing is the junk-mail part of the computer business. -- H.R.J. Grosch (attributed)