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David Cameron Says Brits Should Be Taught Imperial Measures

Alarash Re:FP? (942 comments)

Also, get on board with the rest of the world and use the same electrical sockets. It's annoying having to carry adapters (most of which are electrical hazards on their own) when traveling.

about 2 months ago
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Native Netflix Support Is Coming To Linux

Alarash Re:Finally! (178 comments)

Microsoft video streaming technology over HTTP works just fine and is still fully supported and improved upon, last I checked. It's one of the 4 major implementation of Adaptive Bitrate Streaming (Apple HLS, MPEG DASH, Adobe Zeri and Microsoft Smooth/HDS). The Silverlight requirement was there because the client needs logic to switch up (or down) in bitrate depending on network conditions - instead of buffering, hence the "adaptive" part. The specification is open and anybody can implement it. The DRM part is optional, it's not Microsoft (or Apple or MPEG or Adobe or Netflix) fault it exists, it's the movie/show producers.

To make it "HTML5" somebody just needs to make a ABR client that will replace a browser's interpretation of the "video" or whatever tag Netflix uses on web pages. A set-top box doesn't need that, it can just connect over HTTP through a REST service to request the video manifest (the file that contains the URI of video fragments).

about 2 months ago
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U2 and Apple Collaborate On 'Non-Piratable, Interactive Format For Music'

Alarash It already works (358 comments)

These guys have their head so deep up their asses they don't even understand the problem. The problem is that an album shouldn't cost $15 (or a $20 CD) with only a small amount (say, $1) actually going to the band while the rest is pocketed by the label. I realize labels need to market and produce albums, and that's how they justify their huge share of a sell. But when you look at their annual profits, clearly most of the money isn't spent.

The small bands are doing just fine self-producing albums in a home studio and sell them online DRM-free for $5 (while pocketing most of that amount). Sure, the big bands will want an overpriced producer, record in an overpriced studio, and market their albums on huge billboards. But small bands don't need that. I LOVE spending $5 on a small band's album, as an incentive to them. I rarely buy big band albums, except when there are on sale or that there's a huge production and added value (like a making-of or some sort of documentary for instance).

The problem is not pirating. The problem is that music is overpriced, so people pirate it. Or, like me, people don't like, as a principle, spending money when I know that most of it will NOT go to the band. And they also need to remember that every single DRM to date has been defeated. Stop pissing against the wind.

about 2 months ago
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Tim Cook Says Apple Can't Read Users' Emails, That iCloud Wasn't Hacked

Alarash Re:Is this technically impossible - no. (191 comments)

There is a way that you can read the email but Apple can't : encrypting using a private key generated on your user account (much like what the TextSecure Android and iOS application does). If Apple does this, that would be an interesting undocumented feature. (spoiler: they don't do this).

about 2 months ago
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What To Expect With Windows 9

Alarash Re:The real test? (545 comments)

I never got the reaction of the start screen. It's basically a full screen Start Menu. The Metro App are way more confusing than the start screen.

about 2 months ago
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Comcast Allegedly Asking Customers to Stop Using Tor

Alarash Guilty until proven innocent? (418 comments)

Isn't this exactly what guilty until proven innocent is?

about 2 months ago
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Report: Microsoft To Buy Minecraft Studio For $2bn+

Alarash Re:Umm... WHY??? (368 comments)

Shhhh. A nerd's going to make 2 billions, keep it quiet lest Microsoft backs off.

about 3 months ago
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US Rust Belt Manufacturing Rebounds Via Fracking Boom

Alarash Re:Excellent Question (191 comments)

Not doing fracking won't get us the data we need

But what if doing the fracking causes irreversible damage? Maybe we need to make the mistake to realize it's one, but then it might be too late. Some countries apply the "Principle of precaution", that is, "if you're not sure of the effects of what you're doing, don't fucking do it."

about 3 months ago
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3 Recent Flights Make Unscheduled Landings, After Disputes Over Knee Room

Alarash Re:Anthropometrics (819 comments)

Air France now bills extra (10-100€) for "good" seats, like near the exits.

about 3 months ago
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Yahoo To Add PGP Encryption For Email

Alarash Re:Awesome!! (175 comments)

Feel free to keep them unsecured. They probably don't care that the government read their email so they probably deserve it, and they'll never put up with the hassle that extra security brings. Unless the keys will be decrypted by using fingerprints or something, but then these users will complain that they need to buy a fingerprint reader.

about 4 months ago
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Yahoo To Add PGP Encryption For Email

Alarash Re:Where is the private key stored? (175 comments)

The private key could still be stored on their servers but password protected by you. It's not as good as you having a local copy, and they should allow that, but for ease of management it could work. Cracking a RSA or DSA key's going to take a long time even to the NSA or CGHQ.

about 4 months ago
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Putin Government Moves To Take Control of Russia's largest space company Energia

Alarash Re:Not a bad idea (252 comments)

I won't have escaped you that the market is less and less regulated because, as the means of growth grow thin, you need to be more "open." Sure, let's make house loans a financial product - then you get the subprimes crisis and people lose their homes AND their retirement money. Pharmaceuticals don't do research on diseases that are not, literally, worth it. The meat sector you mention? Sure, let's shoot the cows with antibiotics and GMO crops. That'll make more meat per cow, better margins. Etc.

The problem with the free market isn't the free market. It's that it makes money the one and only goal, safety, health and logic be damned. I keep trying to make my electrical bill lower, and that's good for the environment, and I actually use less power now than 5 years ago. But I pay more to my electricity provider because they've got to keep that growth up, and by that I mean dividends. It's completely schizophrenic and it's driving me mad.

about 4 months ago
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Putin Government Moves To Take Control of Russia's largest space company Energia

Alarash Not a bad idea (252 comments)

Sure, the way Russians go about nationalizing companies is not very nice or even subtle. But I wish my government did the same. Services that people need in order to live - energy, water, medical - shouldn't be on the free market. All that stuff should be publicly owned and the goal shouldn't to be to make money but to provide critical services to the people for the cheapest amount possible.

about 4 months ago
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Suddenly Visible: Illicit Drugs As Part of Silicon Valley Culture

Alarash Not suprised (511 comments)

When I see the kind of shit my colleagues from Sunnyvale, who are on 80+ hours/week schedules, tend to release, I'm not surprised one bit. Of course I'm a lazy European socialist who only work 40-50 hours a week so what do I know.

about 3 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Choosing a Web Language That's Long-Lived, and Not Too Buzzy?

Alarash C# (536 comments)

Use C# and .NET. It's an ISO language, the framework is fully compatible with Linux thanks to the amazing work done by the Mono team, it's a powerful language, Microsoft open sourced a ton of the .NET components this year, MonoDevelop (or Xamarin Studio if you need support) is a good IDE, or alternatively Visual Studio Express (which is free) is even better. Haters gonna hate and all that, but objectively this ecosystem is one of the best for web development.

about 5 months ago
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Court Allowed NSA To Spy On All But 4 Countries

Alarash Re:Uh... Yeah? (242 comments)

I like that a bit north of 300 years after their Independence the Americans decide not to spy on Commonwealth countries. Nice irony.

about 5 months ago
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Mozilla Working On a New Website Comment System

Alarash So... Disqus? (142 comments)

Such systems already exist. There is one from Facebook, another one from Disqus, and many more. They always use this to track users across websites (since it's usually some sort of iFrame, if you stay logged on, you can track users over different websites) and sell the information to third parties. I wonder if Mozilla wants to get into that system or not. I'd be surprised (and disappointed) if they did.

about 5 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Are You Apocalypse-Useful?

Alarash Wrong postulate (737 comments)

The story is rather dumb. The more educated you are, and the more used to learning you are, the better you can lean new things or adapt to new situations. And anybody who wrote enough code, or deployed enough network equipment, or just was just very technical overall is probably better suited than most for problem solving. I'm not saying they'd replace the other ones, but that they are certainly not useless.

about 7 months ago
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New French Law Prohibits After-Hours Work Emails

Alarash Not A Law (477 comments)

It's not a law, it's an agreement between the managers' union and the enterprises' union. Only managers with a specific kind of contract (~250,000 people) are affected by this. I know that contract because it's the one I have had for 10 years. This contracts provides no maximum daily work hours, only a minimum about of rest hours : 11. Ergo, you can't work more than 13 hours a day, which I don't think anyone will claim is not a fucking lot.

With this contract, I have to work 218 days a year. This means that if there are many bank holidays on week days on any given year, I will have less PTO that year (since they're replaced by the bank holidays). These contracts are the exception not the rule, and they exist because people like me who pull very long hours would cost way to much if we were paid overtime. I regularly take planes on week ends, or come back late from a customer (meeting ending at 6pm in Germany, plane at 8pm in Munich, I'm home at midnight).

Last but not least, the agreement doesn't prohibits after-hour emails or calls, but make it so the employer cannot expect from us to pick up the phone after work hours. Since most of the time we're working anyway (I'm on the road or in an airport terminal) I will pick up the phone or do emails if only because I might be bored - but if I had a rough and long day and decide to read a book instead, the employer cannot call me out for doing this. It was already the case of my employer who understands my complicated schedule and the stress and fatigue that goes with it, but the fact that it's now a rule make it so that less understanding employers can't do that any more. This agreement is nicknamed "Anti-burnout" around here.

about 8 months ago
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Why Movie Streaming Services Are Unsatisfying — and Will Stay That Way

Alarash Possible in France (sort of) (323 comments)

In France, a service called CanalPlay allows you to do just that for 6.99€/month. Once you're subscribed, you can watch TV shows and movies on your Set-Top Box, tablet/phone, Xbox, AppleTV or computer. I'm hoping for more openness to allow external applications (like XBMC) but for now it seems pretty satisfactory (I'm not using the service, myself, as I don't really watch movies, but I'm aware of it). The catalogue is not 100% complete though, and some movies (usually the best sellers) are not part of the subscription and are available only through VOD.

about 8 months ago

Submissions

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French Deputy Aims to Block Porn At ISP Level

Alarash Alarash writes  |  more than 3 years ago

Alarash (746254) writes "French Deputy Christian Vanneste wants to submit a law (Google translation) where French Internet users would have to explicitly ask their ISP not to block pornographic websites. He claims it's to protect the children because parental control software "doesn't work" and is "easy to disable." He also says that pornography is a "form of terrorism." Mr Vanneste has been condemned to a 3000€ fine in 2006 for claiming during a Parliament session that "homosexuality is a threat to humanity" and is "morally inferior to heterosexuality." His official blog cannot be reached at the moment."
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