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Microsoft Paid NFL $400 Million To Use Surface, But Announcers Call Them iPads

Bryan Ischo Re:How much! (405 comments)

Is that legal though? Can you really just give your product away for free? Can't that be construed as anti-competitive? It's called "predatory pricing" I believe, isn't it? Sincere question here.

about 2 months ago
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Deputy Who Fatally Struck Cyclist While Answering Email Will Face No Charges

Bryan Ischo Re: yet if we did it (463 comments)

I agree with them on that one. The last thing we need here is additional inflammatory commentary in the news summaries. Leave that stuff for the comments section, where there will be no shortage of it.

about 3 months ago
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Fermilab Begins Testing Holographic Universe Theory

Bryan Ischo Yes, and No True Scotsman also (247 comments)

I've been on Slashdot for many years now and I'm just starting to finally get tired of the general level of complete idiocy of most posters here. Am I getting old or is the internet population at large just getting dumber? Not sure.

about 3 months ago
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Silicon Valley Doesn't Have an Attitude Problem, OK?

Bryan Ischo Re:Silicon Valley is overrated (262 comments)

Well enlighten us, Big Sexy Joe, what's so awesome about wherever it is that you live that you can so easily look down on the clueless 8 million or so that can't possibly have a good reason for living in the SF bay area?

about 3 months ago
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2D To 3D Object Manipulation Software Lends Depth to Photographs

Bryan Ischo Re:A question on this (76 comments)

I agree there was some trickery there. Since they did not address this at all, I am assuming that the answer is simply that they had to manually paint in the parts of the photos that were revealed when other parts were removed. Having to point that out in the video would take away from the apparent magic which is probably why they didn't mention it (and that's somewhat disingenous if you ask me). It's possible that they provide some tool that attempts to automatically fill in the background, and if so it would appear that it was used in some of the examples (such as when the apple or whatever it was was moved in the painting, the area that was revealed looked more like the cloudy background than it did like the table that the apple was on), but there's no way that they automatically compute the background for anything that is not on top of a pattern or more or less flatly shaded surface. I also noticed that in some examples, they were merely adding new objects to the scene (such as the NYC taxi cab example), and although they started with a scene that looked like the cab was already there is moved it to reveal painted chevrons underneath, it's likely that those chevrons were already in the photo and didn't need to be recreated.

In short: they glossed over that detail and used examples that didn't require explaining it, but it'c certainly an issue that a real user would have to address and doesn't happen as "magically" as it would appear from the video.

BTW, CMU alum here. Went back to campus for the first time in nearly 20 years earlier this year. My how things have changed. I suppose every college is the same way now, but holy crap it's so much more cushy than it used to be! Guess all that cush keeps the computer science juices flowing ...

about 4 months ago
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Verizon Throttles Data To "Provide Incentive To Limit Usage"

Bryan Ischo Re:Except,,, (316 comments)

Why in their right mind would believe that they will be delivered "boundless; infinite" bandwidth just because they signed up for a plan that called itself "unlimited"? I absolutely agree that the companies should not be using the term "unlimited" in their advertising, but can't we all recognize that this is a term now deeply embedded in the nomenclature of internet service that has a clear definition in that context (that should be especially clear to the highest bandwidth users, who certainly must be seasoned users), that doesn't actually mean "truly infinite" as you would suggest we should expect it to mean?

about 4 months ago
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Verizon Throttles Data To "Provide Incentive To Limit Usage"

Bryan Ischo Re:Except,,, (316 comments)

Nope, COMMON FUCKING SENSE is realizing that words are not always used literally and should not be expected to mean such. It's realizing that when an advertisement for Tylenol says that it cures headaches, that doesn't mean you can sue the manufacturer if your headache doesn't go away. It means understanding the context of meanings reflected in how the world actually works instead of pedantically insisting on meanings that clearly are impossible.

That, my friend, is COMMON FUCKING SENSE. It's the skill that we all have to understand WHAT IS MEANT, even when it is not exactly the same as WHAT WAS SAID.

In this context, anyone who believes that you really can take as much as you want of something that has been advertised as "unlimited" is not using common sense. You're saying that if I use so much bandwidth that it drives the company out of business, I should expect them to allow me to do it? If I use so much bandwidth that the company providing the service has to take out loans to support the infrastructure to provide my service, go broke, and starve to death, I should exect them to do that? COMMON FUCKING SENSE, man. There is no such thing as unlimited.

about 4 months ago
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Verizon Throttles Data To "Provide Incentive To Limit Usage"

Bryan Ischo Re:Except,,, (316 comments)

I disagree. They are the same thing. A certain amount of hyperbole is allowed, even expected, in advertising.

People who are using so much bandwidth that they are subject to throttling are almost certainly the *most* savvy, *most* knowledgeable users. There is no way that they don't know what bandwidth is, how networking works, and there really is no such thing as an "unlimited data cap", so pretending like they don't is really just disingenuous.

about 4 months ago
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Verizon Throttles Data To "Provide Incentive To Limit Usage"

Bryan Ischo Re:cretinous because (316 comments)

The problem is, no one wants to be first, because the first one to change their advertising will put themselves at a competitive disadvantage against those who continue to bogusly advertise unlimited internet.

So I guess this is where government regulation is supposed to kick in and force all such businesses onto a level, more honest playing field?

about 4 months ago
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Verizon Throttles Data To "Provide Incentive To Limit Usage"

Bryan Ischo Re:Except,,, (316 comments)

Too true. And when I go to an all-you-can-eat restaurant, I expect to be able to take the entirety of all of the food in the buffet, throw it in garbage bags, and carry them to my table, denying everyone else in the restaurant anything to eat.

Yeah, that works.

You know what really works? People using common sense and realizing that there is no such thing as "unlimited" bandwidth, food, or anything else. When such services are advertised I think we all realize, or at least the reasonable among us realize, that "unlimted" means "much more than the average consumer would utilize, and thus from the perspective of the average consumer, unlimited", not "as much as you can possibly use".

Who doesn't realize that limiting the highest users is sometimes necessary to ensure quality of service for everyone? Hey I paid my Verizon bill too, how come my service is slower because some dork has to torrent down 100 movies per month to add to his never-watched "collection"? Shouldn't I be complaining also about not getting the quality of service *I* paid for?

about 4 months ago
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European Rosetta Space Craft About To Rendezvous With Comet

Bryan Ischo Why aren't space pictures better? (62 comments)

I have always wondered why the photographs that come back from space are so grainy/blurry and have poor color reproduction. Why aren't the images clearer? Why don't we get to see movies instead of just crummy looking stills?

There *must* be a reason that they can't make photos that come from space exploration better or include full color videos so that we can see what these things would look like if we were really there.

I can only posit that either the radiation hardening necessary for space exploration somehow precludes the use of large CCD/CMOS sensors, or the bandwidth limitation of sending data from that far out makes anything other than tiny images with low resolution possible, and makes video impossible.

But still I can't help wondering why, if they can spend tens of millions to put these things up there, they can't produce better images for whatever millions are left over for on board equipment.

about 4 months ago
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Google Spots Explicit Images of a Child In Man's Email, Tips Off Police

Bryan Ischo Re:Hash Collision (790 comments)

Isn't 2^33 times 2^17 equal to 2^50, not 2^40 like you stated? I think you need to redo your numbers. The conlusion will be the same, but your numbers are all wrong.

about 4 months ago
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Ridley Scott to Produce Philip K Dick's The Man In the High Castle

Bryan Ischo Re:Blade Runner's script had little to do with Rid (144 comments)

Wish I had mod points. Your post is very interesting and insightful and one of the only posts I've ever felt a strong compulsion to mod up.

about 4 months ago
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Man Booted From Southwest Flight and Threatened With Arrest After Critical Tweet

Bryan Ischo 100% sure there's more to it than this one sided (928 comments)

story. Don't all of you sheep realize that stories like this are posted in this fashion just to get your panties in a bunch so that you'll post irate comments and then keep coming back for more? You're being manipulated here and you're oh so willing to take it because you just enjoy being outraged/offended.

Here's a quote from that very thin story:

"Our decision was not based solely on a customer's tweet," it said, adding it offered the customer vouchers as a gesture of goodwill.

So do you think perhaps there's more to it than this self-serving outrage-inducing article is letting on?

about 4 months ago
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How One School District Handled Rolling Out 20,000 iPads

Bryan Ischo Re:Yeah, students will use bandwidth (285 comments)

Surely if there is a will, there is a way. How about:

- Hiring an independent third party to evaluate each teacher, evaluating:
- The lesson plan that the teacher is using
- The coursework assigned to the students over the course of the year
- The quality of grading and written feedback given to students
- Observe classroom interactions over periods of time (probably would require a video camera to be installed in the classroom full time which is only sometimes turned on, and the teacher cannot know when it is turned on)
- Compare testing outcomes as a broad metric (with the full understanding of how outcomes cannot necessarily be correlated to teacher effectiveness since so many other factors apply - but surely *some* limited conclusions can be drawn, and over years, a pattern established)
- Solicit anonymous feedback on teachers (once again using obvious common sense in recognizing that some feedback will not be accurate, but one would expect a pattern to appear over time)

It's not rocket science and you don't have to be 100% accurate to have a significantly positive effect on teacher quality using these and other obvious techniques.

about 4 months ago
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Mass. Supreme Court Says Defendant Can Be Compelled To Decrypt Data

Bryan Ischo Re:Face it ... (560 comments)

Yeah I used to think that when I was 20 too. But I've been around the block a few times and I've heard about the sky falling more than once now. After a while you learn to ignore the hysteria.

about 5 months ago
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Mass. Supreme Court Says Defendant Can Be Compelled To Decrypt Data

Bryan Ischo Re:Face it ... (560 comments)

Well then I have good news for you! You're wrong. Absolutely.

about 5 months ago
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Supreme Court Rules Against Aereo Streaming Service

Bryan Ischo Re:misunderstanding of the internet? (484 comments)

Obviously you can construct any complex scenario closer and closer to the imaginary line separating legal from illegal, for pretty much any law. As you get closer to that line, each such concocted scenario gets harder and harder to argue about because the issues become more and more subtle. All you're doing is trying to define that line exactly, when typically laws cannot be defined so exactly. Getting closer to the line just means you are "more likely" to be found guilty. There is never a perfect line that can be drawn, on one side being 100% guilty and the other side being 100% innocent.

The best answer to your question is that scenarios that close to the line are typically going to be decided on a case by case basis. Who knows what the decision would be until a court actually decides it, and we're not going to be able to go through all of the arguments and predict what the outcome would be here.

However, if you enjoy speculation, the I'd say the scenario you described is probably legal because you own the device in question, and are not profiting from using it in the way you describe. Profiting from your actions tends to bring your actions into much closer scrutiny because of the implication that your profit may represent illegal gains at the expense of whoever is losing profit because of your actions.

about 5 months ago
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Half of Germany's Power Supplied By Solar, Briefly

Bryan Ischo Re:Most interesting part... (461 comments)

Read the other comments before posting, it will save us all some time. All that Germany proved is that in ideal conditions on one afternoon solar contributed significantly to their energy supply. Solar only contributed 5% of their total power over the year. That is hardly proof that such a methodology can scale as you suggest.

about 5 months ago
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Evidence of a Correction To the Speed of Light

Bryan Ischo Re:Is there a 'less nerdy version'? (347 comments)

That doesn't make any sense to me. Any pull that has any component other than directly and exactly away from Earth would bend the direction of the light so that it completely missed Earth. Even the tiniest deviation thousands of light years away would cause the light to miss Earth by a huge, huge distance.

Or is the light somehow being pulled into a different direction and then pulled back on course to aim directly at Earth? How in the world would that work?

about 5 months ago

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