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Comments

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Click Like? You May Have Given Up the Right To Sue

Man Eating Duck Re:The power of EULAs only goes so far (214 comments)

The courts are very hesitant to allow corporate boilerplate shrink-wrap licensing terms that cause the consumer to forfeit their legal remedy paths. I can't believe this change will make it through the first case.

I'm curious, I live in an European country. Here, the law serves as a baseline for which benefits you can contractually sign away. Basically, the parts of a contract which takes away rights accorded to you by law are illegal, and they are ignored in a contractual dispute (and the author of the contract might be punished if the offending company is in contempt of the law by even including such clauses).

I would suppose that the right to sue is prettty integral to US (as it is to many other countries' ) laws, and would be something that cannot be contractually removed, even in a signed paper contract, much less this "a-like-says-you-sign-a-contract" policy. I surmise that the lawyers of this company have thought of this, so my question is: why is this even possible? Serious question, I'm curious about how such legal obligations can be "signed" away.

yesterday
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SSD-HDD Price Gap Won't Go Away Anytime Soon

Man Eating Duck Re:RAID? (255 comments)

With just pure read, it's 123k IPS.
With just pure write, it's 43k OPS.

I apologise for nitpickery, but that struck a nerve with me. A friend, who is an extremely successful salesperson employed at HP, talked about 50K IOPS for their top NAS many years ago without having any inclination what it meant. My modifications to the abbreviations are abominations, I know, but to me they seem more precise :)

2 days ago
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SSD-HDD Price Gap Won't Go Away Anytime Soon

Man Eating Duck Re:RAID? (255 comments)

I have an external 2TB drive I use for backups. (In addition to DropBox for critical files, although I've been reconsidering that particular service lately.) I unplug it when not in use. So in the same system broadly, but not really. It's a consumer system, so no need to go as silly as having a separate BDR box.

Off-topic, but I would advise you to keep off-site backups as well. A friend of mine kept three physical backups of all the pictures and videos of his kids, which where completely useless when his house was burglared and they stole all his computer equipment. He lost everything, and those files were invaluable to him, he would have paid any amount of money to get them back. Anything can happen to a single physical site, from a fire to a direct lightning strike which fries all your equipment. Use a fire-and-forget off-site backup solution to mitigate those risks.

I use Crashplan to keep off-site backups at a friend's place as well as the cloud, but any service that enables you to keep a complete off-site backup is probably OK. Crashplan enables me to keep backups of everything, not just "critical files". Oh, and test recovery as well.

2 days ago
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The GNOME Foundation Is Running Out of Money

Man Eating Duck Re:I like Gnome 3, and I am donating (689 comments)

I actually use gnome 3, and I'd hate to see it gone. I think even with its problems, its the future.

Sure they made some bad decisions.

Good it works for you. I don't know if your last paragraph referred to the OPW or the UI. I don't really have strong opinions one way or the other about their getting involved with the OPW, but to me the main bad decision was that they essentially made Gnome 3 into something completely different, while removing as many features as possible. Many people, including me, used Gnome because they basically liked how it worked. The current Gnome 3 should have been a fork, which could very well have been managed by the same people. They could have sanctioned that the current Mate devs managed *their* version, still under the Gnome umbrella.

Their attitude when confronted with the reality of the majority of users' opinions certainly don't garner much sympathy from me, either. If they had acted in a different manner, and certainly if they had gotten rid of their attitude, they would have had many more supporters now when they're in financial straits.

5 days ago
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The GNOME Foundation Is Running Out of Money

Man Eating Duck Re:Maybe they should stop sucking. (689 comments)

Users might be more inclined to support them if they stopped ignoring what users want.

But... what if all the users are mistaken, and the Gnome designers are right? How can they continue to do the right thing without support or money? :)

5 days ago
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How Many People Does It Take To Colonize Another Star System?

Man Eating Duck Re:People need to start with the scale (392 comments)

Sorry, our parent had no idea what he was talking about.

I have no idea what is upsetting you so much. Had a bad day? Take a beer perhaps and a break.

Good night.

Yup, you're correct, and I went a little overboard. My apologies.

about two weeks ago
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How Many People Does It Take To Colonize Another Star System?

Man Eating Duck Re:People need to start with the scale (392 comments)

Every electric engine?
Or do you mean this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R...
Our parent was not talking about that, but about engines that simply don't have an "exhaust" or other means of expelling impulse in one direction.
At least that is how I understood his post.

Yes, of course I meant a reactionless means of propulsion, which was *exactly* what meta-monkey's post was talking about (the fuel *is* the reaction mass in a chemical rocket engine), and incidentally it was the very word you used without any inclination about its meaning. He even gave you a hint about Newton's laws, look them up, pay attention to the words "action" and "reaction". The third law has never been proven wrong, any reactionless engine would earn you an extremely easy Nobel price.

"Every electric engine" would not help us doing spacecraft propulsion without reaction mass. I don't suppose you actually read the Wiki page you linked to, as I think your understanding of "reactionless" still is a trainwreck.

You obviously have absolutely no idea what you're talking about, but feel free to mention just one of the plenty "reaction less" engines (or drives, whatever) that we have. Please don't mention "electric engines" again unless they are reactionless.

Normally I would just leave this inane discussion, but I am feeling grumpy today.

about two weeks ago
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Navy Debuts New Railgun That Launches Shells at Mach 7

Man Eating Duck Re:IANA Physicist, So... (630 comments)

OK, hot, yes, but wouldn't they need something combustible to actually erupt into flame? Or what am I missing?

I think this is what's going on: when something is burning, the flame you see is just glowing hot air, heated by the energy from the combustion. The flame is not part of the combustion, just the side effect. In this video you see glowing hot air heated by compression and possibly the shock wave from the projectile. Same result, but the energy source is different.

If you've seen a meteor (streak of light in the sky at night, or a visible fireball with a trail if you're really, really lucky), the principle is the same, nothing is burning. The heat come from compression of the air in front of it, and the light you see is from the superheated air in its wake (and a little from the glowing meteorite).

about two weeks ago
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Nanodot-Based Smartphone Battery Recharges In 30 Seconds

Man Eating Duck Re:Phones yeah (227 comments)

Current cars can 80% charge in 30 minutes. So I think the question is do we need 5 minute charging instead of 30 minute charging?

If my range was 300 miles, I'd be cool with 30 minute charging. I'd almost never use it.

I bought my car exactly a year ago. I have driven it about 9000 km in that year, but the longest single-stretch trip was about 250 Km. Turns out I could easily have managed the vast majority of my trips without stopping to charge in one of the longer range electrics, and it would be close to free compared with the petrol prices where I live.

I really like the idea of electric cars, sadly they are still expensive to buy where I live. Then again, so is petrol. I'm watching the used market, and it'll also be interesting to see how well the newer battery packs hold up after a few years, but we'll certainly consider an all-electric car as our primary vehicle. A plug-in hybrid is also attractive, but even more expensive to buy, as taxes are based on total engine power (fuel + electric).

about two weeks ago
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Elite Violinists Can't Distinguish Between a Stradivarius and a Modern Violin

Man Eating Duck Re:Moo (469 comments)

I'd bet it against your soul, because I think I'm better than you.

What does that even mean?

It's a reference to a country song, The Devil Went Down to Georgia by Charlie Daniels Band, in which a boy bets his soul against a golden fiddle in a duel with the devil.

about two weeks ago
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How Many People Does It Take To Colonize Another Star System?

Man Eating Duck Re:People need to start with the scale (392 comments)

I guess the ghost of Newton would be very happy with 'reaction less' engines as you 'christian' them ... after all we already have plenty of them, they are just not suitable for space crafts.

I would be be very excited to hear about this plethora of reactionless engines... That is, if you had any idea what this word you are parroting actually means. (Please, do me the favour of looking it up before replying).

about two weeks ago
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How Many People Does It Take To Colonize Another Star System?

Man Eating Duck Re:People need to start with the scale (392 comments)

To add some details: the Moon's gravity being about 1/6 of Earth's, lifting the 300 Kg object on the Moon would require about as much strength as you would need to lift 50 Kg on Earth. It would take a little bit longer, however, as you would still have to struggle against the full 300 Kg of inertia.

If you're a diver, you might have experienced that lifting rocks underwater is easier than on land. This is because of buoyancy helping you, making the apparent weight of the rock less. It feels strangely "sluggish" because the inertia is the same (and the resistance of water is a lot more than that of air, partly because of the water's inertia). This paragraph might not be very clarifying after all, but I'm leaving it in because I already wrote it :)

about two weeks ago
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How Many People Does It Take To Colonize Another Star System?

Man Eating Duck Re:People need to start with the scale (392 comments)

Didn't know inertia came into play in the empty vacuum of space.

No need to be a cock about it.

I'm not good at explaining things, but here's a try: many confuse weigth, the effect of a gravitational field on a massy object, with mass, an intrinsic property of massy objects anywhere. The inertia of an object depends only on mass, not gravity. A couple of examples to illustrate: on the moon a healthy person could easily lift a 300 Kg object off the ground, which you probably couldn't do on earth. However, if that object were falling at you from above at 10 m/s it would hurt you exactly as much as it would on Earth. This equals a fall of about one second (five meters) on Earth, but on the moon it would require a fall of about six seconds / 29 meters due to the lower weight/mass ratio. The speed is the same, the crushing inertia which is a property of mass is identical everywhere, only the weight is different. In space, the 300 Kg object coming at you at 10 m/s would *still* do the same damage to you (assuming you were crushed between it and a space station, for instance). This is a real concern when astronauts are handling heavy objects in space.

If you decelerate an object the mechanics are identical to accelerating it, including the effects of acceleration, and this is again no different in space. If you needed one year to accelerate the spaceship without crushing the passengers, you will also need one year to brake. There are a lot of other problems with interstellar travel which we really, really don't have the technology to address, such as for instance reaction mass, energy concerns, and deep space impacts, but that isn't relevant to the above explanation :)

about two weeks ago
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Why Are We Made of Matter?

Man Eating Duck Re:Something From Nothing. (393 comments)

Uh, where do YOU think it came from? If you say "God," then you have to explain why God can pop up from nowhere, or why he can be eternal, but nothing else can. Oh, wait... it's "ineffable," sorry.

Besides, no one has given any reason why existence itself must be subject to cause and effect; only things that already exist can be observed to hold to that law.

They don't want to explain anything, they only want to attack and denigrate the evil, evil science at every crossroad. If there is *anything* that science can't explain, the cause must of course be supernatural (god). Look up the fallacy "god of the gaps". For some, this is not a search for truth.

about two weeks ago
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Federal Bill Would Criminalize Revenge Porn Websites

Man Eating Duck Re:Freedom of Speech? (328 comments)

... but the simple act of consenting to the recording is enough, under the law; a release at that point is just ass-covering.

That might be US law, but it sounds strange to me. In Norway the matter is more complex: you can not publish a photo of somebody without their expressed consent, even if they were aware that the picture was taken. "Publishing" includes posting on a website accessible to the general public, and this makes a lot of sense. I would not stop someone taking my picture in a social setting, but if I don't give my consent for them to post it on Facebook, they are in violation of the law if they do so. If you're part of a crowd and not the primary subject of the image, this law is not applicable.

There is an exception for "public persons" (celebrities), which must expect that images of them are published if available, but for regular guys this law is sensible. In fact there was a case a few years back where a picture of some random dude enjoying a beer alone at a sidewalk café was used as an illustration image in an article about alcoholism. He was not aware that the picture was taken, but when the article was published in one of the largest dailies his friends and relatives started calling him, concerned about his alcohol consumption. The paper ended up paying him a substantial amount of money because he obviously hadn't given consent to publishing, and he pursued the case until conclusion.

"Publishing" stuff on the internet, like on a revenge porn site, would certainly fall under this clause here in Norway. Again, this makes sense.

about two weeks ago
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The Problem With Congress's Scientific Illiterates

Man Eating Duck Re:Don't worry (509 comments)

Most people have little idea of what is about to happen as the pH of the oceans falls another 0.1 to 0.4 in log hydromium ion concentrations. A 0.1-0.2 pH drop is already in the cards as the oceans come into equilibrium with current atmospheric CO2 concentrations over the next 50 to 100 years so the intense selection regime is already baked into our planetary system.

I think the main problem is right here; most people won't be alive in one hundred years. Even if they were sure about the consequences many of those people would still not use an electric car for their 10 km daily commute and rent an F-250 only when they need it (twice a year), since the consequences will not affect them personally. The vehicles are just an example here, the important thing is the mindset.

Incidentally, a bunch of posters will now complain about how a Leaf can not tow their loaded boat trailer, blithely ignoring the fact that they actually only tow their boats twice a year. Point proven.

about two weeks ago
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How Do You Backup 20TB of Data?

Man Eating Duck Re:2nd Array or Tape (983 comments)

$2000 + $60/tape isn't what I'd call cheap for home use. Or is that stuff available for a LOT less?

Well, it is available used for somewhat less, but 20TB isn't exactly your average home storage system either. I would ask him *why* he needed to keep all that data online, including backing it up. If the RAID itself contains a copy of his physical media library (or the bay), well, there's your backup already :)

He should balance the need to keep it all instantly available against the cost of doing so. The reason why there are no cheap solutions to backing up 20TB in a home scenario is that very few people do it. If it were me I'd just get a bunch of cheap drives and a hot-swap bay, and just create a script that catalogued the content of each drive. If it was irreplaceable content I created/shot myself I would invest in a tape solution, in that case it isn't *that* expensive. Crashplan works well for me to keep onsite/offsite backups of videos and pictures of my kids, but if I needed so much space that recovery time became a concern I would shell out for some disks or a tape library (it won't, however).

He could be something like a freelance video producer, in which case it might be a legitimate need, but then he would be insane to not already have a backup solution in place. Also, that would remove him from the home user category. For instance, rip-on-demand is likely the cheapest strategy storage-wise for using your library on your media center, and you probably won't end up with 20TB on a RAID :)

about a month ago
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How Do You Backup 20TB of Data?

Man Eating Duck Re:Ah, "unlimited"... right. (*cough*) (983 comments)

Theres no storage system in existence that will store 2TB of data for $5, let alone maintain it.

No, but the average customer stores far less, obviously it all works out because they're still in business :)

I wouldn't find it inappropriate if Crashplan contacted the poster storing 14TB above with a suggestion to get a business plan (if he doesn't already have one), but Crashplan obviously can handle it. I've read articles about people successfully recovering terabytes of data from Crashplan, but that guy had to use the HDD recovery option because it would have taken him weeks or months to download it all.

about a month ago
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Monster Hypergiant Star Discovered

Man Eating Duck Re:size? (94 comments)

and because volume of a star is both hard to measure from distance and not really well defined, since stars are made of gas and thus don't have a well-defined surface.

Also, this star (at about 2 197 000 000 times the volume of the sun, but only at most ~39 times the mass) must have an extremely low specific density. AFAICT even the average density is very close to what we would call a vacuum here on Earth at 7.87 × 10^-5 kg / m^3, and the mass is not evenly distributed, making it even more sparse for most of its volume.

This surprises me a little, did I make any mistakes?

about a month ago

Submissions

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Ubisoft has Windows-style hardware-based activatio

Man Eating Duck Man Eating Duck writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Man Eating Duck (534479) writes "Guru3D describes how the activation system in Anno 2070 also tracks hardware changes: 'So yesterday I started working on a performance review. We know (well at least we figured we knew), that the game key can be used on three systems. That's fair, the first activation is used on my personal game rig. The second we installed on the AMD Radeon graphics test PC and the 3rd on our NVIDIA graphics test PC. [...] For the NVIDIA setup I take out the GTX 580, and insert a GTX 590. When I now startup the game 'BAM', again an activation is required. Once again I fill out the key and now Ubisoft is thanking me with the message that I ran out of activations.

Guru3D subsequently discovered that Ubisoft was less than helpful: 'Sorry to disappoint you — the game is indeed restricted to 3 hardware changes and there simply is no way to bypass that.' I, and many with me, will never buy games with such a draconian DRM scheme, as it's very likely that I'll swap out enough components to run into this issue. Even the Steam version includes this nice "feature". It's probably a good idea to let Ubisoft know why we'll pass on this title."

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