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Comment Re:Your move, Assange.... (Score 1) 450

I think everyone's missing the major loophole here. I'm not sure there even is an extradition request from the US for Assange, but even if there is one, the laws an Australian citizen can be prosecuted for regarding US secrets are dubious.

The actual extradition request that actually matters, the one the UK has agreed to, is to Sweden. Assange doesn't mention that one.

As you point out, it's not offer for a some future negotiation of a treaty. And as others have pointed out, "Clemency" somehow only meaning "pardoning" isn't Assange's escape route either. But it'd be interesting if he was extradited to the US, and then promptly extradited to Sweden.


Netflix is 'Killing' DVD Sales, Research Finds (torrentfreak.com) 232

Netflix has become the go-to destination for many movie and TV fans. The service is bringing in billions for copyright holders, but it also has a downside. New research shows that the availability of content on Netflix can severely hurt physical disc sales, which traditionally have been the industry's largest revenue source. From a report: A new study published by researchers from Hong Kong universities provides some empirical evidence on this issue. Through a natural experiment, they looked at the interplay between Netflix availability and DVD sales in the United States. The experiment took place when the Epix entertainment network, which distributes movies and TV-shows from major studios including Paramount and Lionsgate, left Netflix for Hulu in 2015. Since Hulu has a much smaller market share, these videos no longer reached a large part of the audience. At least not by default. The researchers used difference to examine the effect on DVD sales, while controlling for various other variables. The results, published in a paper this week, show that DVD sales increased significantly after the content was taken off Netflix, almost by a quarter. "Our difference-in-difference analyses show that the decline in the streaming availability of Epix's content leads to a 24.7% increase in their DVD sales in the three months after the event," the paper reads.

Comment Re:I don't get it... but maybe I'm not supposed to (Score 2) 112

As a game developer, I'll tell you honestly that in theory, Nintendo is right. Powerful consoles need huge pipelines. Games for XBox 1 and PS4 take hundreds of people to make, and every time the power goes up, our team sizes scale up accordingly. Game engines don't magically provide content on their own. Marshalling data into memory takes a non-zero amount of time. We need more animations, bigger textures, and more people working on AI, trying to make it seem better. (Spoiler: all AI in games is mainly smoke and mirrors; there's very little 'AI' going on there because it's wholly impractical.)

So making smaller games that play better on more limited consoles is a perfectly reasonable way to go. Indeed, we can see that when it comes to mobile platforms--platforms that are inherently more limited--Nintendo does very well. They've managed to keep that business going even in the face of the smartphone revolution that everyone thought would wipe Nintendo out.

The problem is that for the last couple generations, Nintendo hasn't provided a very compelling experience for developers OR gamers when it comes to their home consoles. A less powerful console is fine, Mario games can be great, Zelda is an excellent IP, etc. But you have to sell enough consoles to make it worth the while of 3rd party devs to come on board, and you have to make good tools for them to make games. I haven't personally worked on the Wii or Wii U, but I haven't heard anything good about those dev environments. (By comparison, I loved working on the PS4 and the XBox 360 before that. The PS3 was a complicated mess, and the XBone had terrible dev tools at the beginning.)

Anyway, the premise itself isn't incorrect, but Nintendo's execution of it hasn't been great. Nintendo should be leveraging its nostalgia value as hard as it can to get consoles out the door. Bundle Mario or Zelda in the box, make old Virtual Console games cheaper, whatever. Just get the consoles out the door. I *personally* think that the Switch looks ideal for me; I want to be able to play on the TV sometimes and in the bedroom sometimes. But if you want to attract the bulk of gamers, you'll need a solid 3rd party effort, and the only way to solve the chicken and egg problem of no games means no sales means no devs means no games is to bootstrap it yourself with your own great IP and marketing power.

Comment Re:Illegal product? (Score 1) 175

Well, you missed those key words from my previous post, so I had to try something more drastic if I was going to repeat them, and unfortunately the blink tag is no longer supported...

Plus, it seemed like you expected me to be impressed with the specific caps you used in your comment, so I figured you'd find them impressive! ;)

Comment Re:False premise (Score 1) 480

Well, it hasn't happened yet. That said, why would you cancel your cable Internet for this? Yes, cellular Internet will be useful for your Chromebook when you're away from home, but in the same way it is today - a useful supplementary service that fills in the gaps, not as your primary system.

As for how you'd connect to a server at home, there are two options: VPN, or IPv6. The latter tends to get forgotten, but I connect to machines at home directly via IPv6 from my (T-Mobile) cellular connection without any problems. This sounds horrifying in terms of security, but if you imagine the development server being as locked down as a Chromebook or iDevice, without the back doors associated with too many modern IoT devices, it should be fine.

I'm more bothered about having to develop using a web interface, especially in an era in which leaving Firefox open for a day with 20 or so tabs open seems to result in it eating 4+Gb of memory, not the connectivity part. The connectivity part is actually the nice part.

Comment Re:Think of it as evolution in action. (Score 1) 293

And, former treatments that cost next-to-nothing are, mainly, relegated to the pages of history... that very few read... like HCl (hydrochloric acid) therapy.

It blew my mind, the things that some people will think will work and end up performing better than they ever thought. Case histories, here:


I also saw that high-doses of vitamin C brought a man back from the brink of death --he was in a coma and it woke him almost immediately after the first dose was administered, IIRC. From 60 Minutes, New Zealand edition:


Many accounts of this non-toxic vitamin can be found regarding it curing almost any ailment or disease... it's amazing to think, now that I know from some research, that the US RDA for vitamin C is just enough to keep the average person at a pre-scurvy state of health.

Comment Re:Potential use of CRISPR/CAS (Score 1) 293

The problem is while you might be able to edit the gene on a local culture/colony in a lab, there's no way to spread it. In the end it's spreading via natural selection because it selects bacteria that live (due to being antibiotic resistant).

Since bacteria reproduce through binary fission, the bacteria with the knocked out/altered gene won't have a good way of spreading the change. And even if they did, it probably wouldn't replace the active gene.

Comment Re:Illegal product? (Score 1) 175

Apply to the FBI, CIA, NSA

We are not talking about government agencies with security clearance. Did you where I said COMPANY?

Fifteen years later you're applying for a TSC or above, and they ask you the question, usually while hooked to a polygraph.

See above, plus, did you see where I said WRITTEN APPLICATION?

Sure, but that's not the point of the question; the point is to ask if you have knowingly broken the law, and most people know whether they have or not. That's what the question is designed to get at.

And hence, the WHOLE ORIGINAL POINT - you called him a crook who hadn't been caught, but you have no idea whether HE thought what he did was illegal, and neither does anyone else. Since what he thinks is entirely up to him, it would be totally unenforceable in a job application in his case.

Comment Re:False premise (Score 1) 480


I bought a consumer NAS a year or so ago, which is a collection of servers (software, from Samba to various video streaming DLNA type things) running over GNU/Linux, connected to a big hard drive. It's still a little bit of a nerds thing, but I can totally see people wanting to use things like this to ensure they have control over their own content.

And after I got a Chromebook, I started to wonder how far off we are having similar devices that host IDEs (don't laugh, there are quite a few web based IDEs out there, Eclipse has two such projects, though in my view they're not ready for prime time.) You could, in theory, use your Chromebook as-is in the future, with a third party, locked down, server that has an IDE on it, to develop Android apps. Hell (and I mean hell), if Google gets involved, that might become the recommended development environment.

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