Beta

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Comments

top

A 24-Year-Old Scammed Apple 42 Times In 16 Different States

Chas Re:Wow ... (388 comments)

It's a system for a company to call into the credit card clearance office and obtain an authorization in case their system cannot contact the CC company (like during maintenance periods, etc). It's had historical use in the past. And yes, it should probably be phased out at some point. The fact is, it exists now and there's a legitimate reason for it existing.

yesterday
top

A 24-Year-Old Scammed Apple 42 Times In 16 Different States

Chas Re:Wow ... (388 comments)

Because, apparently, the banks system accepted the transaction.

No. An override code is a local thing. It doesn't communicate back to the bank.

yesterday
top

How Gygax Lost Control of TSR and D&D

Chas Re:I still don't get it... (177 comments)

You forget, Gary's son, Ernie, also had shares. Ernie could be counted on to pretty much vote dad's party line.

yesterday
top

How Gygax Lost Control of TSR and D&D

Chas Re:When going into business with Friends (177 comments)

The arrangement made sense right up until TSR actually started making real money. When you and your friends bust your asses to build a business, and have no substantial income or assets to fight over, running it as a labor-of-love makes perfect sense. But once they started bulk-hiring new staff and pulled off 5000% growth over five years - Why the hell didn't they hire a competent CFO???

It's a NORMAL pitfall in hobby companies.

It starts out as a hobby/lark. And there's a certain looseness in how the company is run.

However, once the company starts employing dozens of people and pulling in multiple millions a year, it's definitely NOT the best way to run the company and things DO need to change. It's just very difficult to see where that jumping-off point is when you're in the middle of things (especially if you haven't encountered this sort of managerial divide before).

This is speaking from experience. A few years ago, a partnership of mine nearly ran our company into the ground. Quite by accident. You go to bed one evening and everything's cool. Then next morning, the books are going "AUUGH! WHAT DID YOU DOOOOOOO!".

We were lucky we caught it when we did (though catching it SOONER would have been nice). And we were able to get the company turned around and working in a healthy manner.

Unfortunately, TSR wasn't able to do the same thing. Mostly from sheer inertia. And then, after the takeover, primarily because Lorraine Williams just didn't care about anything at the company or customer base other than what added to her personal bottom line.

yesterday
top

A Fictional Compression Metric Moves Into the Real World

Chas Re:Idiots born every day. (133 comments)

Actually replaced with a better example.

Took an 8.1MB TGA file and did three things.

1: Saved the first off as a PNG file. Resulted in a 1.7MB file with lossless compression.
2: Saved the file off as a high-compression JPEG. Resulted in a 46K file that's noticeably blurry and indistinct.
3: Downsampled to 19x11 and back up to 1920x1080 and saved as a high compression JPEG (36K file) or a lossless compression PNG (114K file). Labelled this method UCCT (Ultra Crappy Compression Technique).

Amalgamated the three images into a single PNG file to eliminate/reduce further compression issues.

2 days ago
top

A Fictional Compression Metric Moves Into the Real World

Chas Idiots born every day. (133 comments)

Oh boy. A useless metric!

Compression ratio: Sure. But the problem is, it's possible to increase compression ratio by "losing" data. So you can obtain a high ratio, but the images as rendered will be blurry/damaged.

Compression Speed: This is just as dumb since compression speed is partially a function of the compression ratio, partially a function of the efficiency of the algorithm and partially a function of the amount of "grunt power" hardware you throw at it. So one portion of this is a nebulous "hardware norm" factor that can be gamed. The other is a function of the other factor (compression ratio) which can ALSO be gamed (and creates a bias towards lossy compression).

Basically something with a high Weismann number would be extremely lossy compression on high power hardware. Which basically negates the point of high resolution viewing, as any idiot can reduce a 1920x1080 frame to 19px by 11px, and then compress it. I can already take precompressed (and lossy) JPEG files, resample down to 19x11, then back up to 1920x1080. I can wind up reducing a 930K file down to 40K (basically a 95+% savings). And the image is completely indecipherable.

Take a look at an original image versus the same image on the above-described UCCT (UltraCrappyCompressionTechique).

http://cox-supergroups.com/The...

The above image is a PNG to prevent further compression artifacts from creeping into the sample.

The top portion of the image is the original 930K JPEG file.
The bottom portion is the resampled 40K JPEG file.

2 days ago
top

Lots Of People Really Want Slideout-Keyboard Phones: Where Are They?

Chas Comes down to cost basically. (533 comments)

The companies CAN produce them. But not everyone buys one. And it doesn't make as much sense when you have a perfectly usable (and large, high resolution) touchscreen.

Depending on the phone you have, you should be able to find after-market cases with slide-out keyboards that fulfill your needs.

2 days ago
top

Bose Sues New Apple Acquisition Beats Over Patent Violations

Chas If there's no highs and no lows, gotta be Bose! (161 comments)

Bose: They have infringed on our patents for crappy sound reproduction!

Beats/Apple: Crap! We got nothin'! We weren't expecting them to play the "blunt honesty" card!

3 days ago
top

eSports Starting To Go Mainstream

Chas Re:Yeah and people watch "reality TV" too! (116 comments)

Yep. I'm going to fear some AC troll and a vauge, pointless threat of "mod points".

Probably about as much as belching during a belching contest.

4 days ago
top

Cable Companies: We're Afraid Netflix Will Demand Payment From ISPs

Chas Why the fuck would they? (200 comments)

They're a direct-to-customer subscription service.

Demanding payment from the carriers would be cutting off their own balls in search of a hand job!

Cable companies just don't get this "Internet" thing, do they? They can only view things through the myopia of their cable business model?

4 days ago
top

Google Looking To Define a Healthy Human

Chas Data won't be shared with insurance companies (125 comments)

Unless a fat sack of cash or some sort of swanky government hand-out comes their way...

And then, what then? We have another artificial "universal" measure for determining what "healthy" is? Like BMI supposedly is for weight measurement?

5 days ago
top

eSports Starting To Go Mainstream

Chas Re:Yeah and people watch "reality TV" too! (116 comments)

you know, that's why it's called a eSport event. On another note, the word sport dosen't mean that it's only for physical competitions.

you stooge.

Why don't we just check a dictionary on that?

Sport (Noun)
An athletic activity requiring skill or physical prowess and often of a competitive nature, as racing, baseball, tennis, golf, bowling, wrestling, boxing, hunting, fishing, etc.

Hmm.

5 days ago
top

eSports Starting To Go Mainstream

Chas Yeah and people watch "reality TV" too! (116 comments)

Sorry. But they're not sports.

They're not.

All this is, is an attempt to fleece money out of a bunch of stooges who're too stupid to understand that watching a bunch of guys clicking away on a computer or console system is NOT a sport.

5 days ago
top

Lawrence Krauss: Congress Is Trying To Defund Scientists At Energy Department

Chas Re:Que surprise? (292 comments)

Ooh! I loves me a good waterboarding in the morning...and the afternoon...not so much in the evenings though...but they'll be accommodating I hope... ;-)

5 days ago
top

Lawrence Krauss: Congress Is Trying To Defund Scientists At Energy Department

Chas Que surprise? (292 comments)

Our politicians are a bunch of pork-minded, short-sighted luddite political hacks more concerned with their privileges than with doing what's best for the American public?

Color me shocked!

SHOCKED I SAY!

Oh wait, I'm wearing my wrist strap and a neoprene suit.

So I guess I'm not shocked at all!

I propose August 10th as International Politician Assassination Day (IPAD).

Sure, riddling your local political climber may not immediately make the world a better place, but in the long run it will. And in the mean time, it'll be VERY cathartic!

about a week ago
top

Microsoft's CEO Says He Wants to Unify Windows

Chas Re:Server 2012 already looks like Windows 8. (322 comments)

Unfortunately there are some troubleshooting steps that you simply can't do from a CLI. And certain software packages automatically assume a desktop environment is available (and misbehave when it isn't).

And for the guy you replied to, nobody said "daily administration".

about a week ago

Submissions

top

Netflix pay us. Verizon keeps throttling.

Chas Chas writes  |  about two weeks ago

Chas (5144) writes "Even though Netflix caved to Verizon's demands and is now paying protection money to them to ensure better service, Netflix performance still has not improved on the Verizon network.

This is the problem with giving in to extortion like this. Sure, Comcast at least made a token effort to improve performance for end-users. Verizon just treated it as a payday, and maintained status quo, continuing to blame Netflix."
top

CEO of Bitcoin exhcange found dead

Chas Chas writes  |  about 5 months ago

Chas (5144) writes "And still more hoopla surrounding Bitcoin. 28 year old CEO of First Meta Autumn Ratke was found dead in her Singapore apartment on February 28th. Local media is referring to it as a suicide, but officials are waiting on toxicology reports."
Link to Original Source
top

Maxis/EA admit SimCity could run offline.

Chas Chas writes  |  about a year ago

Chas (5144) writes "Well, after a week or so of denying that SimCity "could not" be run in an offline mode, Maxis GM Lucy Bradshaw has reversed herself.

According to her blog, Maxis COULD have implemented an offline mode but "It wasn't part of their vision".

This coming to light after modders have come forth to show that the game can be played almost completely in offline mode.

And in other news, apparently they're also censoring their helpdesk number now as well.
1(866) 543-5435 (By the way)"

Link to Original Source
top

Can the City of Heroes save... itself?

Chas Chas writes  |  about 2 years ago

Chas writes "As reported earlier, NCSoft has announced the impending closure of the City of Heroes superheroic MMO. So that's it. The end. Finis. Rocks fall, everyone dies.

Or is it?

Apparently they didn't reckon with a community that's spent the better part of a decade fighting evil and myriad world-ending threats. Now the citizens of Paragon City are stepping up to bat again. The stakes? The end of the world.

In a surprisingly civil and well coordinated effort, thousands of City of Heroes players have come together in a campaign to convince NCSoft that City of Heroes is worth saving. With online events, letter-writing campaigns, presence in social media and an online petition that's now in excess of 17,000 signatures. On top of that, they're seeing support from various people with some celebrity of their own such as Neil Gaiman, Felicia Day, and Mercedes Lackey.

So, while saving this game is still probably a long shot, many people, including those in the media, think that this group might just be able to save the day."

Link to Original Source
top

Community seeks to stop closure of City of Heroes

Chas Chas writes  |  about 2 years ago

Chas writes "On Friday, NCSoft announced the shuttering of Paragon Studios and the imminent closure of the City of Heroes MMO. After a brief period of shock, the budding heroes in the community sprang back into action. This time, facing a much different foe.

Multiple, coordinated actions are now under way, ranging from petitions to NCSoft against closure of the game, letter writing campaigns, attempts to find a potential buyer and new publisher for the game, as well as attempts possibly acquire the game via a crowd-sourced action."

Link to Original Source
top

Researcher Trolls MMO, Ethical violations

Chas Chas writes  |  about 3 years ago

Chas (5144) writes "Approximately two years ago, a story popped up on Slashdot about a researcher, David Meyers (aka Twixt) who had supposedly spent time "studying" players in the City of Heroes MMO. At the time, there was a lot of media attention about the subject. After a short time, it dropped and nothing more was heard on it until now.

Apparently one of the players who was upset did more than simply rant on a board. The player, who had some of their own training in sociology contacted both NCSoft and Loyola University to notify them about the ethical violations of experimenting on people (especially minors) without their permission.

Since then the Mr. Meyers has scrubbed almost all reference to his paper from his CV, and a book deal was quietly killed."

Link to Original Source
top

Chas Chas writes  |  more than 7 years ago

FreeJeremyDOTcom (5144) writes "Jeremy Hammond, of Chicago was sentenced last Thursday to two years in Federal Prison for hacking into the ProtestWarrior.

According to his plea-bargain agreement, he admitted to hacking into the ProtestWarrior servers and stealing upwards of 5000 credit card numbers. Reportedly, he had plans to use them to make fraudulent donations to various liberal causes.

In addition to his two year sentence, he was ordered to pay $5,250 in fines and restitution, and is barred from participating in any of the various hacking and anarchist groups for a period of 3 years after his release.

For the most part, all the various links point back to this article (may require registration/login) at the Chicago Tribune.

Of surprising note is the marked lack of support in the local hacker and anarchist communities for this person."
top

Chas Chas writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Chas writes "I guess it's just me, but I find the notion that sound purchase decisions for IT-based solutions can be achieved solely on brand-name recognition by the luddite "general public" is not only insulting, but ridiculous as well.

I mean, YES, there ARE mental defectives out there who will simply buy ANYTHING with a specific brand name on it (*COUGH*APPLE*COUGH*). But using that to gauge technical merit of a purchase?

Again, I'm not saying that various-and-sundry intellectual cripples don't do this. But I'd like to think that the rest of the people researching solutions, or making the purchase decisions are at LEAST making the attempt to inform themselves before making a purchase decision.

Whether this means they go with *INSERT BRAND HERE* or *INSERT ANOTHER BRAND HERE*, doesn't make a bit of difference. Merely that they made an informed choice (even if the information was wrong/incomplete/biased)."

Journals

top

I am so SICK of brand-fapping.

Chas Chas writes  |  more than 7 years ago

I guess it's just me, but I find the notion that sound purchase decisions for IT-based solutions can be achieved solely on brand-name recognition by the luddite "general public" is not only insulting, but ridiculous as well.

I mean, YES, there ARE mental defectives out there who will simply buy ANYTHING with a specific brand name on it (*COUGH*APPLE*COUGH*). But using that to gauge technical merit of a purchase?

Again, I'm not saying that various-and-sundry intellectual cripples don't do this. But I'd like to think that the rest of the people researching solutions, or making the purchase decisions are at LEAST making the attempt to inform themselves before making a purchase decision.

Whether this means they go with *INSERT BRAND HERE* or *INSERT ANOTHER BRAND HERE*, doesn't make a bit of difference. Merely that they made an informed choice (even if the information was wrong/incomplete/biased).

top

Chas Chas writes  |  more than 11 years ago

Been a while since I've looked into my preferences section. Indeed, I'm somewhat surprised at the host of options available to me now.

Quite cool in fact.

Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?
or Connect with...

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>