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Why People Don't Live Past 114

KnownIssues Re:Before the flood it was easier to be vegan (916 comments)

Only flesh with its soul--its blood--YOU must not eat.

Did I just read that right? The Bible says the soul is in the blood? So if I get a blood transfusion, do I swap souls with the donor? No wonder Jehovah's Witnesses are so freaked about transfusions!

more than 2 years ago

Anger With Game Content Lock Spurs Reaction From Studio Head Curt Shilling

KnownIssues Re:Not on the disc (908 comments)

It's true that General Motors doesn't get a dime of the sale when you buy a used car, but they would if they could! If car makers could install a chip that would disable the car if it had a new owner--and get away with it--they would. The fact they can't has more to do with historical technical limitations than a desire not. Software companies believe they can get away it and for them, it's an easy technical challenge. I don't think software companies think they are more entitled to resale dollars, just as entitled and they happen to be one of the few industries that might be able to get away it.

The comparison to cars strikes me as similar to "you wouldn't download a car", to which everyone knows the answer is "hell I would!" The fact I can't doesn't affect the argument. I would do it if I could, and it would still be just as unethical to do so.

more than 2 years ago

Anger With Game Content Lock Spurs Reaction From Studio Head Curt Shilling

KnownIssues Re:Not on the disc (908 comments)

How does an increased player base increase the value of the game in general? Isn't that the same reasoning used by the 90's dot-com bubble companies? Look how well that logic worked for them.

more than 2 years ago

Microsoft Announces ReFS, a New Filesystem For Windows 8

KnownIssues Re:linux driver (459 comments)

That might be motivation for creating ReFS. Third party NTFS drivers finally became mature enough to safely read/write the file system... so lets create a new undocumented filesystem and make data exchange between other OSes a PITA again.

Except that the original blog post where this was discussed states that ReFS will be extensible just like NTFS in the context of supporting features they will not be supporting out of the box.

more than 2 years ago

A Copyright Nightmare

KnownIssues More bizarre than I imagined (411 comments)

Then, in 1999, a judge in Estate of Martin Luther King, Jr., Inc. v. CBS, Inc. determined that the speech was a performance distributed to the news media and not the public, making it a “limited” as opposed to a “general” publication.

So all those people he's speaking to in the video are members of the media? I'm not defending copyright law, but this seems to be a case where copyright law in itself is not the problem, it's the way it's being enforced.

It's not the Martin Luther King estate's fault, necessarily.

But it is. They could put his speech in the public domain. They could choose not to sue for infringements. They could sell the speech and video of it for free. This isn't a judgment of whether they should, but copyright law hasn't mandated this scenario, it's just allowed it.

Also crucial in the estate’s copyright claims: though King himself claimed copyright of the speech a whole month after he delivered it, his claim was seen as valid because no “tangible” copy of the speech had been distributed before he made his claim.

Well, everything seems to be in order. I agree copyright needs to be seriously reformed, but the reporting of this example seems to be much inflated to sound more nefarious than it is.

more than 2 years ago

Germans Increase Office Efficiency With "Cloud Ceiling"

KnownIssues Alternatives (223 comments)

So why not build workspaces that allow more natural light? What about places that naturally have mostly consistant sunlight? Not every locale has moving cloudcover all the time. And isn't it possible that if you were given control of some fancy new lighting system that you would choose rapidly-changing light levels more because it's new and novel? I'm betting we won't see data about the actual percentage improvement in productivity over a period of months with this thing.

more than 2 years ago

Filmmakers Reviving Sci-fi By Going Old School

KnownIssues Re:Dunno... (422 comments)

Being able to watch movies with commentary has really been an eye-opener for me. I'm constantly surprised how often a shot that was filmed in real life looks CG and how often a CG shot looks real. The trick seems to be in where CG is used. Special effects scenes where things your mind can't accept as real happen are bound to look CG especially under the right lighting and lens/focus conditions. We're so used to the way film looks from the last 50 years that high-precision, high-speed, ultra-lighting conditions look fake to use.

more than 2 years ago

Google Throws /. Under Bus To Snag Patent

KnownIssues Re:Someone here actually suggested it before (584 comments)

I've actually stopped writing posts that I thought would be a very good point to make mid-writing as soon as I realized the discussion was a day old and I would get no credit for making my point. I've also made decent but bland posts that I hadn't intended to make when I saw a post that didn't have any comments yet, knowing I was likely to garner a few points from my obvious reply, inclusion of an obvious link, or obvious summary.

more than 2 years ago

No Windows 8 Plot To Lock Out Linux

KnownIssues Re:Not really that surprising (548 comments)

Because she had the mistaken assumption that the store wouldn't be selling a laptop that was useless, so obviously the only thing of significance that should be different is its cosmetic appearance. She probably also bought a car based on its shape and color and possibly how it felt to drive, gas efficiency, maybe based on safety features if she had kids, but probably not based on horsepower, number of valves, ease of repair, or how easy it is to get to the oil.

We techie people like to get all condescending with women regarding technology because they don't place as much importance on statistics and numbers like we do, but the truth is they just know those things aren't important to them. If an ugly lump of gray plastic in the middle of your living room with wires hanging out and as loud as a jet engine appeals to you then great, but don't expect that to be a selling point for everyone.

I understand she's going to be coming back and complaining that her laptop is too slow. It's the vendor's fault for not selling a fast enough laptop in pink. Don't tell her she has to make a choice between an ugly gray computer that's fast enough or a slow pink computer--tell her how she can make the pink computer as fast as the gray one.

Damn, I'm getting old.

more than 2 years ago

White House Responds To Software Patents Petition

KnownIssues Re:I've got to hand it to the administration (276 comments)

Technically the Executive has no power to do anything about any of this[...]

Funny, that doesn't stop them from making campaign promises to do just that.

more than 2 years ago

Rethinking the Nature of Files

KnownIssues Re:...What? (369 comments)

I read the first article, and I have to say, I did not see anything that proposed what should replace files. There was the vague "encompass metadata within a file abstraction", but really, what does that mean?

The main point of the article, as I read it, was that what a user *believes* a file is and what the storage media/application calls a file are often completely different and that the next form of "file" should better represent what a user thinks of as a file--i.e. the smallest allocatable unit of content, e.g. a photo, a contact, a spreadsheet, a document--and the actions they want to perform on it.

The article gave the example of a OneNote Notebook. On your computer it stores Sections as files and Notebooks as folders of these files. This makes sense from a technology perspective. But a user (a normal one, not a Slashdot one) expects the Notebook to be stored as a whole indivisible unit. And not every storage medium stores the Notebook the same way; SkyDrive was given as an example.

On the other hand, I don't think this is uncommon for a research paper. Not every research paper is intended to be a fascinating read about deblur technology in Photoshop. We're taught to "not point out a problem unless we have a solution", but that's not always the best philosophy. Sometimes it's perfectly valid to point out the flaws in something without knowing how to fix it; sometimes the problem is that people don't see there's a problem and the first step is jut raising awareness there's a problem.

more than 2 years ago

Social Media a Threat To Undercover Cops

KnownIssues Do you hear that? (252 comments)

It's the sound of the world's smallest violin.

about 3 years ago

Samsung Cites 2001: A Space Odyssey In Apple Patent Case

KnownIssues Re:Clueless haters... (432 comments)

I thought this was hyperbole until I read the patent for myself. IAANAL, but from what I've gathered from Slashdot Law School, it's all about the claims and what usually causes most patent lawsuits to fail is that all the claims have to be infringed on so the while the first claim is often generic, and that's what Slashdotters/media latch on to and are dismissive of, usually there's 20 other claims that taken as a whole are pretty specific.

This patent has one claim:

We claim the ornamental design for an electronic device (not even an electronic computing device, just an electronic device), substantially as shown and described.

The description does not describe the behavior of the device. It explains that each picture is a different view of the device (e.g. top view, side view, etc). As a flat, rectangular electronic device with a bezel and a screen (it has what appears to be a screen, but it doesn't claim it's a screen, just appears to be distinct from the rest of the device), this could be an electronic picture frame, digitizing pen tablet (ala Wacom), a PADD from TNG or Enterprise, or an LCD screen. I kept thinking I was missing a link to more of the patent, but I'm pretty sure I'm not. Maybe the Citations or References come into play, but that's not my understanding.

To say there's prior art is putting it kindly.

about 3 years ago

1 in 8 Take Fake Phone Calls to Avoid Talking to Others

KnownIssues Double standard questions (160 comments)

The verbage for all respondants is much more positive than the verbage for young adults. For example, "help prevent unwanted personal interactions" sounds (to me at least) much less anti-social than "avoid interacting with people around them" and "important tool in an emergency" gives an entirely different sense than "have had trouble doing something because they did not have their phone nearby", yet that appears to be how they align.

This might be entirely unintended but it looks to me as if a subconscious bias has been exposed.

more than 3 years ago

8 Grams of Thorium Could Replace Gasoline In Cars

KnownIssues Re:250MW ? (937 comments)

I think this was supposed to be 250 mWh (mega-watt hours, not mega-watts/hour). Gasoline produces 33.41 kWh/gal, so 7500 gallons would be 250 mWh.

more than 3 years ago

PC Designer Says PC "Going the Way of the Vacuum Tube"

KnownIssues Re:Dumbest Prediction Ever? (685 comments)

While I don't agree the post-PC age is upon us either, being "post" doesn't mean "non-existent". The examples you gave--high-end gaming, graphic editing, computation, software development--are not typical consumer activities. In the past, I could visit a complete stranger's house and safely assume they would have personal computer in the form of a desktop or laptop. Today, I could quite possibly visit a household that had nothing more than mobile phones and game consoles. In the future, it's going to be the rare specialist who has a traditional desktop system as their main computer device in their household.

I think some people are confusing a device attached to a keyboard and mouse with a PC. I think the future is possibly a "docking station", but it might even be a wireless keyboard/pad combo or even less traditional forms of input. Of course some people will own wired mice and keyboards plugged into a giant stationary tower, but that's going to be an exception rather than the rule.

more than 3 years ago

Fake Names On Social Networks, a Fake Problem

KnownIssues Re:You Are The Product (283 comments)

Facebook was pushing real names long before it sold out to advertisers. The reason social networking sites were pushing real names (and by association, real people) even before the advertising is so you can find people. Social networks aren't just about socializing with people you're already socializing with. Just this week, I had a friend from high school that I've long regretted being out of contact with find me on FB and now we can catch up. That would never have happened if he could only find me by searching for D4rkL0rd.

more than 3 years ago

IBM Plays SimCity With Portland, Oregon

KnownIssues Common sense (220 comments)

It took a computer model capable of modeling 3,000 equations to tell Portland that more walking and biking would reduce obesity? How is this not common sense? Are there people who don't think getting more exercise will reduce obesity? Is this a symptom of our society that we need to wait for a scientist to tell us with mathematical formulas and experimental studies that heat burns things and light makes it possible to see things?

more than 3 years ago

How To Ruin Your Game's PC Port

KnownIssues Re:Extra work required (244 comments)

Note how 3 of the 5 things actually mean extra work for the game developers and QA department. That work probably causes the 4th thing to happen: delayed release.

If 3 of the 5 things mean extra work and that's the explanation for the delayed release, then why doesn't that delayed game come with those 3 things? I think it would be reasonable to get a PC game if it meant a delay. I would understand that the developer needed to use some of the profits from its game to develop the PC-specific features of the game (although budgeting time and resources in advance would be preferred).

The complaint is that the game is delayed... for a version of the game where the developer pressed the "recompile for PC" button and little more.

more than 3 years ago


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