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Comment Re:Netflix has a unique and obvious strategy. (Score 1) 172

The traditional stations are working for advertisers while netflix is working more for the viewer. The traditional media can produce crap and put it on Prime Time to make the advertisers happy (Which is in part of the story quality of the Netflix originals). But for the movies, traditional media wants people to buy BlueRays and DVDs not streaming if possible. Unless they get a good TV Deal, or Pay per view.
I expect Netflix licensing agreement is too risky for many of these companies, so if they are slightly interested they just push out their B Movies to judge the waters. Or they rotate their shows so they feel like they have a cable deal. I notice this with the Star Trek Movies where they have a couple available (Especially the Odd ones) for a month or so then they go away and replace them with an other one.

No, home movies are incidental. The movie industry produces movies to get asses in seats. That's it. Beyond theatrical release is considered "bonus" and not really counted for anything. In fact, purchasing movies for home viewing is a relatively new concept, having only come out in the 80s with the popularity of the VCR and the video rental store.

It's still traditionally for theatrical only - anything else is a bonus on top. It changes way too fast for them to plan on anything - video rentals now make up such a tiny proportion of the mix it's not separated out, and disc sales are way down. Digital sales are up (streaming and "purchase").

And in fact, movie studios push their own purchases first - Netflix pays peanuts compared to what they can get per digital rental. Then comes purchase from likes of iTunes which still pay more than Netflix.

Netflix gets it at the very end - around the same time it hits TV. By this time it's not expected ot make any revenue. so Netflix paying a few cents per stream is just cream.

Comment Re:Hard to fathom they would actually build cars (Score 1) 132

My guess is they're building one to try to understand them from the ground up to be suppliers of technology or to lure a major carmaker without an electric car into building it for them.

There's a bit of truth to that. I mean, Apple competing with the likes of Tesla and such seems unlikely, and Google's got a good head start with autonomous vehicles so it seems like an Apple car is nothing more than a research project. Plus, as Tesla found out, the dealership model isn't the greatest in the world to deal with, and there are a lot of dealer-only states.

The most likely explanation is that if you want to deal with car technology, building your own is a good way to learn what is and isn't possible.

Comment Re:Birds... (Score 5, Informative) 159

If a bird shaped / massed object presents a serious hazard to your aircraft, then your aircraft was never safe to begin with. Don't take me wrong, I'm all for responsible drone ownership and flying, however if you are seriously worried about the ability of a 2 lb drone to take down your aircraft, you should be much more worried about the 10lb canadian goose you are just as likely to hit.

First of all, aircraft fire fighting is EXTREMELY dangerous. Whether it's a helicopter long lining a Bambi bucket, or being in a water tanker dropping water on a fire, it requires extremely skilled pilots. And this is without the distraction that a fire causes - smoke, turbulence caused by the flames (they are nothing like what you get at 30,000 feet), flying low to the ground, etc.

Most aircraft are under 500' above the ground. You need to be extremely skillful when flying this low, and you feel the flames - the rising hot air are shoving your aircraft around, so it's already hard enough keeping blue side up. Then as you release your load, your aircraft's balance shifts and you have to compensate as well as try to fly your lines Oh yeah, did I mention it was smoky so you can't always see clearly out? And there's no map accurate enough so your only protection against flying into terrain is well, the Mk. 1 Eyeball?

In fact, ti's so dangerous there's an aircraft always hanging around overhead - acting as air traffic control so they control and manage aircraft timing, spacing and noting where to attack the fire as well as keeping a general eye on everything in cas something flares up. Everyone is under control in the immediate area.

The problem with a drone is it's not under positive control - who knows where the operator may fly. It's not just damaging the aircraft, but also distracting the pilots who are just trying to keep things under control. If it lands in an engine and takes it out, that aircraft and its crew may land right in the middle of the flames (there's no where to go at 500' AGL). Or it might break through the windshield and seriously distract the pilots.

Perhaps a good way to make conditions relatable to IT workers is imagine trying to write code in the middle of a call center. You have to write your code, but phones are ringing off the hook, people are chatting loudly, and then some idiot starts banging on your keyboard.

It's already a difficult and risky working environment. Drones simply add a risk element that could turn a rescuer into a victim, and that's the last thing anyone needs. It's why SAR often suspend activity when it gets too dangerous, too - because the last thing in the world you want is to make things worse and increase the number of people needing rescue.

Oh, and a crash during a wildfire can spawn more wildfires.

Comment Re:Non-sequitor (Score 1) 145

The recommendation doesn't make sense. Yes, your phone may not always be in your possession. That would rule out software authenticators too, since they reside on the same phone that may not always be in your possession. Even dedicated hardware tokens may not always be in your possession, they can be lost or stolen just like a phone. So if not being always in your possession is the criteria, then all of the NIST's recommended methods fail to meet it.

The summary is poorly worded. It's not YOU in possession of your phone, it's your PHONE in possession of the PHONE NUMBER. The idea is this - if you're going to do SMS as a verification, NIST recommends checking that the phone number you're sending the SMS to is actually the phone you intend to send it to.

There is another problem with SMS 2FA that isn't covered in this document, and is much easier to pull off: It is currently too easy to social engineer phone companies to move service to a new device. This has happened recently to several execs to allow script kiddies to take over social media accounts that are using SMS 2-factor.

No, that's what NIST is talking about. Your phone may not be in possession of the phone number.

Basically what NIST is saying is that phone numbers don't lead to a specific phone. They lead to A phone, but not necessarily the phone you think it goes to. This is especially as modern phone systems allow trivial movement of phone numbers to anything that can provide voice service.

Comment Re:should be ready when it's ready (Score 1) 96

It'll be ready when scaled up. Unlike flying cars, which have no current path to commercial viability. That's the point. It works, and would be commercially ready for small screens now, but that's not where the profit is.

It already is. Ultra-D technology offers glasses free 3D on screens 50" and 65" screens. It's been featured at CES and it's fairly impressive.

It's got a wide 3D viewing angle (120 degrees - 60 degrees off perpendicular each side), and from 120 through 178 degrees, it degrades into a 2D image, so no matter where you are, if you can see the screen, you can see an image. Unlike some other technologies (like the Nintendo 3DS), it never goes unviewable.

Comment Re:In other words, Moore's law will continue (Score 3, Interesting) 127

In actual reality, most of Moore's law has stopped 6-8 years ago. Just compare a midrange CPU from back then with one from today in actual performance. Not so much of a difference.

And Moore's law has never been about performance. Just transistor density.

General logic like what makes up the computation portion of a CPU don't need Moore's law at all - the transistor density is so low, they generally fab tons more transistors that sit around doing nothing. This way when a bug is found, they can revise the metal layers and put some of those spare transistors to use. This easily saves half of the masks they need to re-do, so at a $100K each per mask, it could mean spending under a million dollars over a couple of million dollars.

Instead, Moore's law is closely followed by memory manufacturers, because the denser the transistors, the more memory available. This applies for bot flash and RAM - 6-8 years ago you probably had a machine where 8GB of RAM is considered high end for a PC. Nowadays, 64GB is often the high end for a PC. As well, 120GB of SSD storage was considered luxury. Nowadays, you can get 480+GB for less money than that 120GB SSD, and it's not just SATA2, but SATA3. Or even PCIe.

There are two things in IC fabrication - you have "pin limited" and "silicon limited" designs. Similar to how in programs, you have "I/O bound" and "CPU bound". "Pin limited" ICs mean the overall functionality and design is limited by the number of pins your package supports. Even with 1000+ pins in modern packages, that still limits what you can do. Whereas in silicon limited designs, the limit is how much area your design takes up - more area means higher costs due to less dice per wafer, as well as higher chance of die defect. Memory devices are area limited - the pin counts of modern RAM and flash devices is low, but the area is high. Moore's law increases the storage density so you can have more storage in the same area.

It's why SSDs have a hard time catching up to HDDs (at least with raw storage) - SSDs improve with roughly Moore's law. HDDs have been improving (storage wise) faster.

In fact, most of the millions and billions of transistors in your CPU aren't used for logic processing - probably 90% of those transistors are memory related - caches, on board memory, etc. Because those are dense. SRAM cells are typically 6T (6 transistor) designs, so if your CPU has 16MB of cache, that's 96M transistors right there and then just in the storage array. Even more fascinating is that those 95M transistors will probably occupy less area than one of the major processing units on the same chip which may be only 1-2M transistors.

Comment Re:What's there to celebrate? (Score 1) 106

A franchise being milked dry by its IP holder, fans being sued for trying to create something, and mostly being sued for creating something that's better and closer to the core idea of the franchise than its IP holder creates...

What exactly is there to celebrate? Any "real" celebration would probably be snuffed instantly by the IP holders.

In the eternal words of Bones: "It's dead, Jim."

Huh, did you sleep a long time or something, because the same comment applies around 20 years ago, too.

In other words, nothing new - CBS/Paramount/Viacom has been milking Trek for decades, suing fans (they've shut down many fan sites over the years. Some of the biggest fan-run sites that were considered the canonical reference, too, got at least a C&D, if not completely shut down. Heck, there were fansite protests against the overly harsh crackdown. These were the early days of CGI and "Content Mangaement System" or "Blog" weren't even terms yet. (Basically all the perl scripts you got did was the ability to add and subtract links to a page in a semi-automated fashion).

And milked dry? Same. Heck, consider what a "uniform" is. And then consider why in the span of a few years, Starfleet would issue 3 different uniforms. No, it was never about the universe, but knowing that fans would flock to buy new uniforms. You can explain away TOS and TNG due to the time difference, but not TNG/DS9/VOY. Or even just TNG from the TV to the movies.Oh yeah, the movies have different uniforms as well.

Brannon/Braga were also well known for disappointing the fan base time and time again.

So it's not unusual to see it happen 20 years later. Funny thing is, Star Trek seems to be like oil. No matter how much the abuse, it just seems fans keep taking it and spending more $$$ on it.

Hell, I remember buying the TNG DVD sets. When the average price of a season DVD set goes for $30 to $40, "Star Trek" pumps it up to $120+ MSRP, or $80 on sale. These days complete series sets are around $100 for DVD and $150 for Blu-Ray remasters,

The abuse is the same and it's been going on for decades. The horse is not just dead, but it's decomposed into dust and the bones have been beaten into a fine powder, too.

Comment Re:includes $1 million worth of memorabilia.. plus (Score 1) 161

a lot of over priced electronics, custom furnishings, wood work, etc.. the essential (albeit high end) components to view hdtv/dvd/bd probably cost 75-100k, tops. not that impressive, just some rich fuck with money to burn. sorry.

Not really, high end components can easily top out at $100K each.

A Trinnov processor, for example, 32 channels can easily run $50K for the unit itself. They make 16 channel versions that average around $20K. This is the processor only, (This is measured in channels - your 7.1 audio is 8 channels, for example, so 32 channels give you standard 7.1 channels plus 24 additional environmental channels for Dolby Atmos or DTS:X processing.)

Then you need 32+ amps for all those channels, which can range from hundreds to thousands each. Let's say another $16K ($500/channel). Then there's the speakers, which can easily be thousands to several hundred dollars each.

And that's just audio, nothing fancy, just high end equipment, which if you estimate it out will probably be about $150K or so. A good screen and projector, can top $100K easily - using proper digital theatre projectors, not dinky little ones you find everywhere.

The players are cheap - trivially so - maybe $5K if you fully outfit yourself with a high end Blu-Ray player ($1K), dozens of other sources and a matrix switcher that goes every which way.

Then there's the huge labor cost - aligning and setting up, and even more importantly, integration. Creston and other integrators are expensive, so it's probably a quarter million for the equipment and installer to get it all hooked together and working as one cohesive unit.

Wonder if the IMAX personal home theatre ($400K) includes options for Atmos and DTS:X processing when you're not using IMAX...

Comment Re:ridiculous (Score 1) 79

For most "developers" it is cheaper than selling it themselves.

They don't need a web site, customer data, credit card processing, a sales rep, customer service, an accountant etc. p.p.

30% only sounds much if you never have run your own company and have no clue how much that costs.

Also: subscription based in app purchases got reduced to 10% fee half a year ago.

Not to mention having to maintain a customer database so customers can get their product over and over again or download updates, and maintaining that database against hordes of people trying to extract information from it.

And then also the whole business of users not having to make yet ANOTHER account for their product...

And all the necessary security updates - I'm sure most developers would love to spend 30% of their day just maintaining their website over say, developing code.

Comment Re:Can someone explain the appeal of this game? (Score 1) 79

Virtual geocaching.

That's what it really is - a game of virtual geocaching.

And geocaching has had steady performance for a long time now.

Pokemon has also had it out for a long time now. And let's not forget while it seems boring now, that's just because they don't have the server farm to handle it yet. Japan and China have yet to be connected, mostly because there just aren't enough servers out there yet.

Once Niantic has finally activated the game world wide, then you're going to see content improvements. And all sorts of other stuff - if it's a fad, Ingress shows it has staying power, and this is with a powerful brand. No doubt there will be special events with The Pokemon Company and Niantic for game launches and stuff as well.

Apple makes some money - perhaps that's why they're cutting rates. But the biggest winners would be companies like Dell who supply the backend infrastructure (or are busy doing so - Japan is being flooded with servers so when it opens it will hopefully be a lot less rough).

Comment Re:Slashdot should condone piracy (Score 4, Insightful) 66

Why not? Everyone should condone "piracy." Piracy enriches our lives and our culture. Copying brings us more of the things we love. The only thing that shouldn't be condoned is using smear words like "piracy" to refer to a basic decent act of human behavior.

So why not encourage GPL violators ("pirates" too)? Instead we seem to cheer whenever we find a GPL violator.

Yes, violating the GPL is copyright infringement, aka piracy. (You don't have to agree to the GPL, but if you don't, it falls back to the "All Rights Reserved" copyright. So if you're distributing binaries without source you're violating basic copyright law).

You really cannot have it both ways - if you want to encourage piracy, then you encourage people (and companies) to violate the GPL by extension.

Comment Re:What is the appeal of these things? (Score 1) 129

These always struck me as a fad waiting to die, but I'm not trying to be the usual Slashdot curmudgeon, so I'll ask: what are the killer features of a smart watch?

The best my buddy could come up with who bought an Android one was some mumbling about how its more socially acceptable to glance at texts on your wrist, than to take your phone out.

Easy, you don't need to use two hands to see your texts or make phone calls.

In certain markets, bigger is better, so people are buying gigantic phones that are impossible for them to use. It's too big for their hands. or more practically, they can't put it anywhere because it's also too big for their pockets, so they stuff them in purses and such. But putting your phone there makes it terribly inconvenient when you want to read your texts or send texts.

Hence a smart watch - they bought a phone they couldn't use so they now buy an accessory to make their phone usable.

And yes, for others, FOMO (fear of missing out) is also a big thing - every time their phone dings they get an anxiety attack wanting to know what they're missing out. Given many social gatherings are now of the "don't touch your phone" (where the person who reaches for their phone first has to pay), well...

Comment Re:Special Version (Score 4, Informative) 112

Could Microsoft make a special version of Windows 10 to comply with French or even EU regulators?

Of course they can.

There already are special versions of Windows available - there's the "K" ones, which are specially made for Korea (not sure what it entails), and there's the "N" ones which lack media player (earlier Europe ruling).

All Microsoft needs to do is modify the N build to exclude data collection or ask for user permission to collect data.

You can see these builds when you make a Windows 10 image and click Advanced.

Comment Re:And yet nothing of value was gained. (Score 0) 108

And a fuck load of them at that. Also it's good to see groups of kids out and about walking and riding places rather than just loitering around with "nothing to do".

It seems the same to me. Before they loitered about with their eyes glued to their phone screens. Today they're loitering about with their eyes glued to their phone screen. Granted, at pokestops it's usually much more loiterers, but they all are still glued to their phone screens, like a bunch of zombies.

Reminds me of the cartoons where everyone texts each other even though they're sitting down at the same table.

I guess the difference is some people are getting some fresh air and a few others are getting some exercise. But it looks a lot like a zombie scene, to be honest.

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