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Microsoft Reveals Windows 10 Will Be a Free Upgrade

Bomarc Re:Only for the first year (570 comments)

Why wait that long?
Request: Linux developers -- please provide us with a smooth migration path!
Let me get rid of my various Windows OS's.

about a week ago
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Star Trek Continues Kickstarter 2.0

Bomarc Re:Kirk on Fan Films (106 comments)

It's not the fans that are dying ... it's the competent executives (and writers). STC has them, and I they will continue.

about a week ago
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Ask Slashdot: High-Performance Laptop That Doesn't Overheat?

Bomarc Re:Seems obvious but... (325 comments)

The premium for servers (lack of) performance is not that great, for a given level of technology. Proper configuration is much more important. Also - what are the "conditions". A few years go -- we needed to improve out SQL servers. I installed and tested multiple configurations (including top of the line processors). The single biggest improvement - was the size of the RAID cache (and this was on process intensive code, not data intensive). The number of processors, the speed of the processor -- all of these had little impact. But using systems with significant RAID cache .. and one with a larger (larges available at the time) even when put on systems with slow speed -- out performed even the fastest CPU's (again.. keep in mind this was process intensive). I've found over the years that many people don't understand what they are testing. The jump to and make false claims with investigating the story behind the story.

about two weeks ago
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Would You Rent Out Your Unused Drive Space?

Bomarc Re:Nope (331 comments)

Are storage spaces (such as Megaupload) responsible for their users files?

about two weeks ago
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Step 1: Rent Your Unused Disk Space, Step 2: ? Step 3: Profit!

Bomarc As someone that has over 100TB.... (3 comments)

As I have over 100TB, sounds intriguing. But will it pay for the electrical bills?

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: High-Performance Laptop That Doesn't Overheat?

Bomarc Re:Seems obvious but... (325 comments)

As the systems I use become - outdated, I'm looking to replace the PEx950 systems. The point of my post was that for many years they have been reliable workhorses. I don't expect that anyone would run out and purchase "new" PE x950 systems. Besides, I don't believe they will support the "new" 6 + core cpu's. If they wanted Dell, and if they wanted a new 1U server, the R620 would be a better selection.

Degrading the topic only slightly more:
o As the PE1950 was available from 1.6 to 3.0 GHZ (in single or dual cpu ... with dual or quad core); stating "it went faster" has no meaning. If you were to post some system stats -- & CPU speeds.
o You don't indicate if your application(s) were single or multi-threaded enabled.
o The initial release (system I) date for the PE x950 is not the same as the latest release date (system III).
Also, having older can be better: the software has had a chance to stabilize out, any (both software and hardware) issues can be researched BEFORE you buy it - the buyer is not just depended on the seller glossy advertisement. A system that is "significantly" faster - isn't any faster if it isn't running (or running properly).

about three weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: High-Performance Laptop That Doesn't Overheat?

Bomarc Re:Seems obvious but... (325 comments)

I use server class systems for most of / as my desktops - especially for development. I remote to them where necessary. After having a significant number of hard drive and power supply failures, the server class systems have lasted significantly longer. (My preference leans to the PE1950 & PE2950 - I can get them in dual CPU quad core @ 3GHZ speed). In over two years - with 6 systems running (most of them continually) I've had two hard drive failures - both RAID 1 (no loss of data/downtime) and not power supply failures (yet). By placing most of them in a remote location in house -- the fan noise is tolerable. I'm starting to convert some of the systems to VM's (But conversion to VM's is not as easy as the companies would imply).

I would also like to know: How many other companies have a similar problem with their laptops? Is this a "dirty secret" of the industry?

about three weeks ago
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SpaceX Falcon 9 Launch and Historic Landing Aborted

Bomarc Re:29 seconds? 1 minute 21 seconds is official tim (70 comments)

... and in case you were wondering:
Actuator drift occurs when a valve is out of null, resulting in a piston moving slowly or drifting when there is no control signal (e.g. when the electrical power is off).

Now to research what is "out of null"....

about three weeks ago
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Laws for thee but not for me....

Bomarc In case after case... (1 comments)

... by the same officer: I *didn't know* that it was *NOT* against the law...
... this is SOOOOOO ripe for abuse.

about a month ago
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Cyberattack On German Steel Factory Causes 'Massive Damage'

Bomarc Re: Why are critical systems connected to the int (212 comments)

Yeah, I agree. My management asked me after one incident how we could truly lock down one of our systems. I sent them a picture of a power strip with all the cords unplugged. They weren't amused. .

Ah... should have sent them a picture of a generator!

The truth is any system with users is never 100% secure, but that's not a popular answer.

Yes, agreed. BUT they can be a lot more secure than what is going on right now.

about a month ago
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Cyberattack On German Steel Factory Causes 'Massive Damage'

Bomarc Re:Why are critical systems connected to the inter (212 comments)

Because IT workers lack trade unions.

We don't have the authority to say "This is dangerous and violates acceptable practice" without getting fired.

Irony: I was fired for refusing to use using live customer data (and reported the practice to upper management). I advised that customer data (test) might be mixed with customer data (live) .. and was over-ruled -- the development team said that it could never happen. Just before I was fired, customers were calling and complaining - their (on-line) bills were not right - development had mixed the data connections - and the customers were looking at the "test" database. About six months later - the company was being investigated by the state AG.

about a month ago
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Cyberattack On German Steel Factory Causes 'Massive Damage'

Bomarc Re: Why are critical systems connected to the inte (212 comments)

Actually... I believe there is a right answer: Currently (as noted) management prefers to cut costs - without considering or being held responsible for the consequences. When "my" (personal) information is leaked over the internet, who pays? ME. Solution: crack down on such incidents - the person responsible for holding the information. In short: Improve security. WHEN it happens, pay the person who's information is leaked for potential damages from the company that holds the information -- and allow the door to be further open for (more) actual damages. In short: Put management’s feet to the fire. Wake up to the reality of the so-called savings. If you can't "secure" your data or equipment, you disconnect it from the internet. Pull the (internet) plug - a hacker can't gain access to and download terabytes of data from a physically isolated system.

about a month ago
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Is your email servers blacklisted?

Bomarc The problem is worse than described here. (1 comments)

Microsoft, Yahoo and others actually "black list" almost everyone. To get white-listed, you need to purchase more authentication from them (SPF record).

about a month ago
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Cyberattack On German Steel Factory Causes 'Massive Damage'

Bomarc Why are critical systems connected to the internet (212 comments)

I read this type of issue time after time.
Why are such critical systems connected to the internet... and further why are they (these critical systems) allowed to see "foreign" websites?
Start with this story: Why is there critical systems allowed to be in the same network as email? They should be physically separated - and never see the light of the www, Degrade the subject to Target, Home Depot et al, and why do their critical systems see anything (everything) on the www? At BEST the only equipment these computers should be seeing is the ONE system they need to communicate with to transfer their business.
Take it one step further: Why do banks - or email (Yahoo, Hotmail, Gmail) NOT allow me to block access from other countries (and/or identify which country I'm visiting)?
Yes, I know that they can use 'other systems' to attack (right now: someone from IP 185.14.30.79 has been using such an attack against my web server for a couple weeks: It's getting really annoying) however such attacks can also be viewed and guarded against.
Leaving the barn door open (by connecting critical systems to the www) for such attacks seems very short sighted.

about a month ago
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Massive Volcanic Eruptions Accompanied Dinosaur Extinction

Bomarc Re:So - an impact of an asteroid.... (78 comments)

Continuing the idea even more: Is it possible that the western India eruptions could have been caused by another asteroid? The size of the eruptions (3 x larger than France) to me seems quite odd ... at the time of 'only' 66 million years ago.

The show that I watched had the theory that the extension event may have been a 'worst of two storms' ... the volcano (I have problem using the term 'volcano' with an event that big) followed by the asteroid impact.

about a month ago
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Massive Volcanic Eruptions Accompanied Dinosaur Extinction

Bomarc So - an impact of an asteroid.... (78 comments)

I've heard this theory before & is not new news. The asteroid that struck (the Yucatan Peninsula) ~ 65 million years ago - was the size of Mt. Everest. The are proposing that this strike didn't have any secondary effects - such as volcanoes, earthquakes and the like? IMO ... such a LARGE impact would have ramifications for MANY years to come.

about a month ago

Submissions

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N Korea clam hack is 'attempt to frame us'; demand to work with US investigators

Bomarc Bomarc writes  |  about a month ago

Bomarc (306716) writes "CNN reports that "N. Korea blasts 'childish attempt to frame us' where N. Korea "Asks U.S. for joint investigation".

[T]he North Korean regime said both countries should work together. "While America has been criticized by its own public and continues to point the finger at us, we suggest mutual investigation with America on this case," KCNA said.
"If America refuses our proposal of mutual investigation, continues to link us to this case, and talk about actions in response, they (America) will be met with serious consequences."

"

Link to Original Source
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16th-century manual shows 'rocket cat' weaponry

Bomarc Bomarc writes  |  about a year ago

Bomarc (306716) writes "An article on KOMO website highlights the proposed use of a 'rocket cat' as weaponry. The — sometimes colorful illustrations that are coming to light illustrations (Digitized by the University of Pennsylvania) that are coming to light from a circa-1530 manual on artillery and siege warfare seem to show jet packs strapped to the backs of cats.

... looks like sharks with lasers have competition!"
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Ask Slashdot: Looking for RAID Calculator

Bomarc Bomarc writes  |  about a year ago

Bomarc (306716) writes "I’m looking for "RAID calculator" — that will provide recommendations for optional settings based on hardware information data entry; a way to calculate or warn that the optional parameters of controller and/or OS to keep the drive from "thrashing". Here I define "thrashing" as a way to reduce or eliminate the need to read and re-write a sector(s) that has just been written to. Most of what I've found so far is a size calculator, and if you need one of these, I believe that you are in the wrong business.

Example: a hard drive as an example that I’m currently using is a WD red 2 TB Drive for NAS (WD20EFRX). This drive has a 64MB buffer; a sustained read/write speed off 147 MB/s; bytes per sector 512(logical) / 4096(physical) bytes per sector; 3,907,029,168 sectors; 2,000,398 MB space; connected (in this instance) to a Dell Perc 5 with 256MB RAM – that can be configured to a stripe size with data segments of 8, 16, 32, 64, and 128 Kbytes. Under the OS, the sector size includes 512, 1024, 2048, 4096, 8192, 16K, 32K and 64K. The drive bays vary from 2 to 10 drives per array per system (2 drives as RAID 1; 4 as RAID 5, 6 or 10; 6, 8 and 10 drives as RAID 5 or 6)

In this example: The hard drive utilizes 4K bytes (physical) per sector; so with a 4 bay system (RAID 5 with 3 data drives; one parity drive) would result in a single stripe of 12K (with 16K of physical data that would include parity) data being written to the drive in one pass. Note however: That 12K does not go evenly into any of the stripe size, nor does it go evenly into the OS sector size. The result is "thrashing". The user will see a performance degradation (depending on where it occurs) as the controller reads a sector from the drive, merge the data with the outgoing RAID data, and re-writes the physical data to the drive for the sector(s) that are out — bound. If you are lucky to be writing large files, hopefully the logic in the controller will keep the “thrashing” process to a minimum. In an extreme example: you could have a stripe size of 8K and an OS sector size 128 k; with this configuration it could take 16 writes to get the data out — and we haven’t even dealt with hard drive sector size issues; that could bump the number up 128 writes for a medium sized RAID array!

So, back to the question: Has someone made available a "RAID calculator" out there that takes in these considerations — and shows or warns the user that there might be a problem, and/or hints the best configuration for a given hardware setup?"
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160,000 Soc. Security numbers exposed in Wa State court system hack

Bomarc Bomarc writes  |  about a year and a half ago

Bomarc (306716) writes "KOMO TV has reported up to 160,000 social security numbers and 1 million driver license numbers may have potentially been accessed. The information also includes other PII:
The vast majority of the site contains non-confidential, public information. No personal financial information, such as bank account numbers or credit card numbers, is stored on the site. However, other data stored on the server did include social security numbers, names, dates of birth, addresses, and driver license numbers that may have been accessed. Although there is no hard evidence confirming the information was in fact compromised, the data was still vulnerable and should be considered as potentially exposed.
The state has set up two web information pages here and here with more information and means to contact the state."

Link to Original Source
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How to deal with or perhaps replace Tivo?

Bomarc Bomarc writes  |  about 2 years ago

Bomarc writes "On Friday, Tivo release a patch with had a critical bug. The bug causes the ability to transfers any (ALL) recordings to fail. Last time I called TiVo support they (still) claims that the problem is with an update to Windows 7, which I know to be false, for these reasons: First — the system that I use for transferring files from TiVo uses Windows XP, and hasn’t been updated in two weeks. Direct transfer (also known as back-door or web transfer) also does not work. The bug has impacted both of my TiVo boxes (a ‘Series 2’ and a ‘HD box’).

A Google search of the error message returns another person that has the same problem, and no other relevant results. And a bit of history of TiVo: They will frequently release an update on Friday, and with an annoying degree of regularity, the update will have bugs. Sometimes the bugs are just annoying, sometimes the bugs will be critical.

So my question: can I get away from TiVo? I need a solution that is workable (regular and HD), allow me to record, to let my wife watch TV, and for me to record 3+ shows at a given point in time. I’m not trying to receive non-legal channels, but to watch and record and (optionally) keep the recordings that I’ve made. I don’t mind paying for the service. Most of my searches on this topic don’t end well. Does someone have a viable solution that – when implemented is legal and doesn’t require a masters degree in computer science to understand 'how to make it work'? Something that has the features of TiVo, without the headaches? (I can’t even find a media player to effectively replace the TiVo player’s abilities)

History and background: My wife is NOT a techie. She is still trying to figure out the “URL” vs. the “search box”. I’m a techie. I’ve been working with computers for many years now. Several years ago, I migrated to TiVo for two key reasons The first is that it is simple to use. Though TiVo can be annoying for me, my wife can use it and understand it. The second is its ability to transfer and save recordings to a standard format. Every morning I start my daily transfer of files from TiVo to a local hard drive. Expected usage: Recording and keeping about one TB per month, library of about 65 TB of video (at this time). I use Binaryworks.it Extreme Movie Manager to track and organize my video collection."
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What to do when an advised BIOS upgrade is bad?

Bomarc Bomarc writes  |  about 2 years ago

Bomarc writes "Twice now I've been advised to "flash the BIOS to the latest", once by a (major) hard drive controller maker (RAID); once by an OEM (who listed as "critical", and has removed older versions of the BIOS). Both times, the update has bricked an expensive piece of equipment. Both times, the response after the failed flash was "It's not our problem, it's out of warranty". Given that they recommended — advised that the unit be upgraded, shouldn't they shoulder the responsibility of BIOS upgrade failure? Also, if there design had sockets rather than soldering on parts, one could R/R the faulty part (BIOS chip), rather than going to eBay and praying. Am I the only one that has experienced this type of problem? Have you been advised to upgrade a BIOS (firmware); and the upgrade bricked the part or system — if so, what did you do? Should I name the companies?"
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Media Mail: How to fighting the USPO?

Bomarc Bomarc writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Bomarc writes "Sending items using media mail is a great way to save money. However, the government (USPS) is dragging its feet. I recently tried to send a 160GB SATA hard drive filled with movies to a relative. I invite readers to understand what Media Mail is, and what it was intended to do by reading the pamphlet on line "A Consumer's Guide to Mailing". The relevant text: "Small and large packages and thick envelopes can be sent using Media Mail. Contents are limited to books, manuscripts, sound recordings, recorded videotapes, and computer-readable media (not blank). Informally called "Book Rate," Media Mail cannot contain advertising, except eligible books may contain incidental announcements of books. Media Mail is usually less expensive than Parcel Post."

After several phone calls, I was able to reach a real person sent them the question by email:

Thank you for taking the time to listen to me.

Attached are several images to give perspective on the items involved.

{images of SATA drive, SATA to USB connection, and descripton removed for clarity}

Technical details:
The drive is plugged into the device outside of the computer, and the computers normal operation is not required by it's absence or presence. It's operation is the same as a "thumb drive", only physically larger. (And it is more equivalent to a DVD in that the DVD requires a DVD drive — this device requires the docking station as shown in the above image)

My Issue:
What I am shipping is the "hard drive" with video's copied on the drive. This is the (more) modern equivalent of a "DVD" in that it has movies/ videos (approximately 100 hrs). Supplemental hard ware is not shipped, nor are games (etc) included.

My contention is that if VHS tapes, DVD's and CD's are allowed, than this MUST be allowed under the same pretext. Current technology is such that the hard drives being released today are intended for this sole purpose — holding movies. This is the same as shipping a DVD or a 3 1/2 floppy — just more data.


The response from the USPS was:
"I wanted you to know the information I received says Media Mail prices are not available for computer related parts, accessories, flash/thumb devices, and storage devices such as a hard drive. Any kind of drive, whether it be thumb drive or hard drive, is not eligible." This indicates a fundamental lack of understanding of what current standards are for holding data — out side of the computer.

Anyone know how to proceed from here? The USPS doesn't know (or want to tell) how to escalate the issue. I'm concerned that my next course of action might be to go to Federal Court (not my idea of fun, since I can't afford it)."

Link to Original Source
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Tricks with your mind and a dummy's body

Bomarc Bomarc writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Bomarc writes "KOMO is reporting about a study from Stockholm's renowned Karolinska Institute. The story by the AP is using cameras setup to watch "you", from the perspective of a dummy. The system is set up so that as you perform activities with the dummy, you feel sensation. They start out with shaking hands with yourself. They have found out that most people (70-80%) tend to freak out the when the dummy is stabbed with a knife ("experience the illusion very strongly"). The entire article covers the perspective of both the study, and what the writer feels during the experience. Though this study was with short duration subjects, interest is raised with longer duration studies. "The questions is what happens if you did it much longer? If you were in there for days and weeks. Would it be like something out of Total Recall?" (Spence). I was intrigued with the possibility of VR in game simulation."
Link to Original Source
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Washington State: Is Blogging lobbying?

Bomarc Bomarc writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Bomarc writes "Washington State is asking — is blogging lobbying? As KOMO's website is reporting, if blogging is lobbying, then those who are doing the blogging are required to file public reports detailing their finances. This is another instance where 21st century and 1970s political reforms are clashing. Though media is excluded, this could have a chilling impact on private blogs (and websites)."
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Fed judge ruled part of law terrorism vage

Bomarc Bomarc writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Bomarc writes "The Seattle PI is reporting a story by the AP where a Portland, Oregon Federal Judge has ruled against terrorism law: unconstitutionally vague.

He ruled a law prohibiting material support for terrorists is unconstitutional because it is too vague. The judge also ruled the law on the provision of "material support" to any group given the designation was unconstitutionally vague."

Link to Original Source
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Georgia men claim hairy, frozen corpse is Bigfoot

Bomarc Bomarc writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Bomarc writes "Two men claim to have shot Bigfoot, and placed him in a freezer. The announcement describes the creature as a 7-foot-7 male, weighing 550 pounds with 16-inch human-like feet and reddish hair. Three different tales so far offered three different tales so far about how they came to find the creature:
In one, the animal was shot by a former felon, and the men followed it into the woods. In a second version, they found a "family of Bigfoot" in North Georgia mountains. In the third, the two were hiking and stumbled upon the corpse with open wounds.
One interesting note is that this is being picked up by the mainstream media.
However — this rates up there with — Wow, we've found a new and wonderful creature. Let's kill it!"

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Paper posts names of those it says bought degrees

Bomarc Bomarc writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Bomarc writes "The Spokesman Review has published the names of nearly 10,000 people that have alleged to have purchased bogus college degrees from a Spokane diploma mill. The U.S. Department of Justice had refused to release to the public.
The list is available on Spokesman-Review's Web site. The newspaper did not say how it obtained the list.
A preliminary analysis by the newspaper, based on e-mail addresses, showed 135 individuals with ties to the military, 39 with links to educational institutions, and 17 employed by government agencies. But the numbers could be much higher if buyers used their personal e-mail accounts"

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Japanese Company Unveils Solar-Powered Bra

Bomarc Bomarc writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Bomarc writes "One company is really trying to empower women — with a new "Solar-Powered Bra". The aritcle has several models showing the new invention. And to no ones surprise, Fox is also — well, covering the story. It is environmentally friendly, and includes a belt that goes around the stomach. Its creator admits that "people usually cannot go outside without wearing clothes over it" and says it should not be washed or worn in the rain to avoid damage.
Imagine the uses: IPod, GPS and other low powered portable devices...."

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Indictment highlights file-sharing risks

Bomarc Bomarc writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Bomarc writes "From KOMO TV website, an article about how Gregory Thomas Kopiloff used Limewire, Soulseek and other "peer-to-peer" file-sharing programs to troll other computers for financial information, which he used to open credit cards for an online shopping spree, according to a four-count indictment unsealed in U.S. District Court on Thursday.

The news article isn't big on details, but it does outline the risks with "peer-to-peer" file-sharing programs. Carried by the By Associated Press"

Link to Original Source
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Space shuttle was sabotaged!!

Bomarc Bomarc writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Bomarc writes " KOMO TV reports that 'CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — A space program worker deliberately damaged a computer that is supposed to fly aboard shuttle Endeavour in less than two weeks, an act of sabotage that was caught before the equipment was loaded onto the spaceship, NASA said Thursday.'"
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HD DVD fights back with new features

Bomarc Bomarc writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Bomarc writes "KOMO has an article by the AP about HD DVD; more about the wars and how HD DVD is fiting back. One key part of the article is: The HD DVD version of "300" will allow users to re-edit the movie, selecting and ordering the scenes as they see fit, and upload their edit to a server hosted by the studio, Warner Bros. The edit will be accessible to other users, who can download it to their players and see the movie in its new form.

Ability do download it to others??? What is the world coming to will? The MPAA allow this?"

Link to Original Source

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