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Apple Wins iTunes DRM Case

GrahamCox Re:Yes this is Terrible. (187 comments)

It wasn't Apple being totalitarian, it was the music industry in general. All Real had to do to make their stuff work on the iPod was to remove ALL DRM. However, had they done that, they'd have been the ones in the dock at the behest of the RIAA, et. al. Eventually Apple's power and market dominance gave them enough clout to tell the music industry where to stick their DRM. And yes, that sounds "totalitarian", but actually, it was the consumer who benefited.

Seems to me that people just like to use the existence of the meritless case to push and reinforce their own anti-Apple views. Such views may have some validity, but to use this particular case and the history behind it to push them is ridiculous. We consumers enjoy DRM-free music today because of Apple, make no mistake. Do you really think Real (or Amazon, or whoever) would have managed the same thing if Apple hadn't? Nope - we'd still have crappy DRM-encrusted music from the industry or would be using the hit-and-miss GNUTella method.

Remember that any industry-backed music download service had to compete with free (albeit free with strings attached, in the form of terrible rips, mislabelled files and malware). Apple pulled it off, and they deserved to win this.

2 days ago
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Former iTunes Engineer Tells Court He Worked To Block Competitors

GrahamCox Re:Wait, what? (160 comments)

If a shitty 3rd party device can't use iTunes, then the consumer may fault Apple for their bad experience

Way back when iTunes was just a reskinned SoundJam, it supported an architecture for supporting arbitrary devices, alongside the visualizer API. The visualizers are still supported and even got some improvements a few years ago, but the device support was dumped very early on, version 3.0 perhaps.

I know this because I wanted to make a plug-in for iTunes that supported one of the early cassette player adapter devices (forget the name, but it was a solid-state music player in a cassette form factor that would work in a standard deck). I got it roughly working just as iTunes got revved and the device API was scotched. It was annoying but as a hobby project not something I was expecting to build a business on. Asking around Apple devs, even then (this was before the iTunes store launched) the consensus was that iTunes was only going to support the iPod from then on, no 3rd party devices, and for precisely the reason stated. The anti-competitive nature wasn't really expressed, and at that time the Mac and the iPod were extremely minority players in the marketplace so it wasn't really seen as anti-competitive. By the time the iPod and the iTunes store started to become huge, everyone had forgotten that iTunes had ever supported a devices plug-in API.

5 days ago
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No More Foamy Beer, Thanks To Magnets

GrahamCox Re:It's rotten barley water (130 comments)

And cheese is rotten milk. It still tastes great though, and perfectly fine to eat. Same with beer (excluding commercial American brands like Schlitz which are universally undrinkable).

5 days ago
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Preferred Type of Game?

GrahamCox Chess (171 comments)

I voted "board" because of chess. Chess has a reputation as being the game of choice for nerds, sociopaths and elitists, but the more I get into it, the more I realise it has immense depth, and by analogy teaches a lot about all sorts of useful skills for life - planning, tactics, keeping a cool head when things look tough, thinking out the consequences of your actions, doing things in a logical order and deferring the big rewards and not settling for the short-term gain. It's life distilled into a remarkably elegant model.

about two weeks ago
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CIA Lied Over Brutal Interrogations

GrahamCox America, you stink. (769 comments)

As a Brit living in Australia, two of the world's most ardent allies of the USA , I say this: America, you stink. When a friend tells you you stink you'd better wise up and do something about it. Your actions are CAUSING the terrorism that you are seeking so vainly to suppress. The more you oppress, the more people turn against you. I know you have a bit of a thick skull and your thinking processes are limited (as a country, we understand you have trouble walking and chewing gum, but that's OK, intellectual disability we can accept and sympathise with - we are similarly afflicted, truth be told). It's the actions we have a problem with. But now even your friends and allies can see the terrorists' point of view, and have done for some time. Wake up, fix your stupid foreign policies and you know, maybe THAT will sort out terrorism. It's win-win.

about two weeks ago
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CIA Lied Over Brutal Interrogations

GrahamCox Re:Really? (769 comments)

You haven't read the report have you? It's brutal alright, with plenty of lasting effects. In any case, it's beside the point. What so-called "civilised" nation sanctions such things, in the 21st century? This is utterly shameful and there's no excuse. America cannot claim the moral high-ground or any respect until it stops acting this way.

about two weeks ago
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Programmer Father Asks: What Gets Little Girls Interested In Science?

GrahamCox They'll be what they want to be (584 comments)

My daughter's 8, and she's quite into science, particularly chemistry. Also reading, particularly Neil Gaiman and inevitably J.K Rowling. She hates the colour pink, and her favourite show on TV is Mythbusters. We didn't do anything to make her "turn out" this way, other than possibly the fact that we discouraged toys that required batteries when she was young, and not forcing stereotyped toys on her, though had she ever shown an interest in Barbie, etc we would not have insisted that she shouldn't have them.

My worry (or one of my many worries) as she is on the threshold of puberty is that she'll be a bit too geeky and that will invite bullying and so on. Ad that in turn will turn her away from her natural interests just to fit in with her friends. All you can do is encourage them to be themselves and be proud of not being part of the crowd.

about two weeks ago
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Gangnam Style Surpasses YouTube's 32-bit View Counter

GrahamCox Psy2K? (164 comments)

I assume they're gonna be calling this the Psy2K bug.

about two weeks ago
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James Watson's Nobel Prize Goes On Auction This Week

GrahamCox We do know what you are. (355 comments)

FTA: "All you can do is nothing, except hope that people actually know what you are."

We do. A bigot.

about two weeks ago
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I prefer my turkey ...

GrahamCox Left alone (189 comments)

I prefer my Turkey just the way it is. Wedged in between Greece and Iran.

about three weeks ago
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Complex Life May Be Possible In Only 10% of All Galaxies

GrahamCox It's life Jim, but not as we know it... (307 comments)

If the environment of such worlds has large amounts of gamma radiation, surely whatever life evolves there will naturally be able to cope with it? Maybe our namby-pamby DNA-based life couldn't survive under those circumstances, but it's probable that there are trillions of alternatives.

about three weeks ago
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A Worm's Mind In a Lego Body

GrahamCox Re:Of course it scales (200 comments)

I take it you never managed to actually get through any of his books

And so many unnecessary assumptions on your part as well. Yes, I've read his book (singular; one was enough). I ploughed through it. I wasn't put off by the maths, just his argument. Perhaps using the term "magic" is oversimplifying, but it's what it amounted to as far as I'm concerned.

You can argue about whether he's right or wrong, but using my opinion as a platform for a personal attack on a total stranger just makes you look like an idiot, I'm afraid.

about a month ago
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A Worm's Mind In a Lego Body

GrahamCox Of course it scales (200 comments)

it does suggest that the ghost in the machine is just the machine. The important question is does it scale?

Our own brains are proof that it scales, at least if you get the implementation right. Unless you're of the rather woolly Penrose school of thought, there's nothing "magic" involved in the physical implementation of the mind, it's just physics. The devil is in the software model that it runs. We have no idea how that is architected, but experiments like this will probably help to shed some light.

about a month ago
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Apple Disables Trim Support On 3rd Party SSDs In OS X

GrahamCox Re:You think that's bad? (327 comments)

You wasted your money. Apple themselves simply eliminate the temperature sensor when an SSD is installed, as they run cool no matter what. All you need to do is to short out the sensor input (as Apple do) and the system keeps the HDD fans ramped all the way down. This works on the iMac, not sure about the Macbook.

about a month ago
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Debunking a Viral Internet Post About Breastfeeding Racism

GrahamCox Re:Most people don't object to public breast feedi (350 comments)

Breasts may be sexual to you, but that's your problem. Are a cow's udders sexual? Not even to other cows, as far as we can tell. I have never understood men's obsession with breasts, even as a straight man myself. I can only surmise that this stems from prevailing attitudes exactly like the one discussed here, that breast-feeding in public is somehow "inappropriate", which in turn indicates an entrenched prudishness in parts of western culture that is simply baffling. It's like how the sight of an uncovered ankle in Victorian times allegedly excited men, simply because it was something the culture denied them. Same with breasts now. Once all women are comfortable everywhere breastfeeding in public, a new generation of men will grow up (in every sense) not being titillated by them. It's that unwarranted obsession which is "inappropriate".

about a month ago
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25th Anniversary: When the Berlin Wall Fell

GrahamCox Teufelsberg listening post (151 comments)

One of the installations made obsolete by the fall of the Berlin Wall was the NSA's listening post on the Teufelsberg (itself an artificial hill built from the millions of tons of rubble cleared after WW2, burying a Nazi training camp and the highest point in the city). This should be on the list of any self-respecting nerd's list of places to visit in Berlin. It's really eerie now, largely abandoned though sort of occupied by some sort of artists' commune. You can get into the radomes which housed the antennae, and the acoustics in there are incredible - a whisper will travel around the room and a sharp clap goes around and around. Rumour has it that the flooded basement rooms, which are currently inaccessible, house some strange and dark secrets. The whole place will give you the shivers (and a great view over the city). I visited last year just after the Snowden revelations, and the overwhelming sentiment was the hope that one day the rest of the NSA will go to ruin in the same way.

about a month ago
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Computer Scientists Say Meme Research Doesn't Threaten Free Speech

GrahamCox Re:Question (109 comments)

Not really. While many or most fads are memes, not all memes are fads. For example, 'democratic government' is a meme (just to pick a totally random example from the millions out there), and that's still going after 4,000 years.

about a month and a half ago
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Computer Scientists Say Meme Research Doesn't Threaten Free Speech

GrahamCox Re:Question (109 comments)

Meme

about a month and a half ago
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Space Tourism Isn't Worth Dying For

GrahamCox Re:Who fucking wrote this? (594 comments)

Nearly everything you do carries some risk of death with it. That's part of life.

Nearly? Being born carries a 100% risk of death with it. At least for now.

about a month and a half ago
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UN Climate Change Panel: It's Happening, and It's Almost Entirely Man's Fault

GrahamCox Re:Focus on solutions (695 comments)

Who cares? If it's real, then we get it fixed. If it's not real, we have a much more efficient food production system and energy sources.

about a month and a half ago

Submissions

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Einstein thought religion "childish superstiti

GrahamCox GrahamCox writes  |  more than 6 years ago

GrahamCox (741991) writes "The Guardian is running a story about a private letter of Albert Einstein's which is about to come up for auction:
"Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind." So said Albert Einstein, and his famous aphorism has been the source of endless debate between believers and non-believers wanting to claim the greatest scientist of the 20th century as their own. A little known letter written by him, however, may help to settle the argument — or at least provoke further controversy about his views. Due to be auctioned this week in London after being in a private collection for more than 50 years, the document leaves no doubt that the theoretical physicist was no supporter of religious beliefs, which he regarded as "childish superstitions"."

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