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Comments

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U2 and Apple Collaborate On 'Non-Piratable, Interactive Format For Music'

PhrostyMcByte Re:This is silly (336 comments)

The #2 thing Apple can do is offer songs in Apple Lossless. AAC was a good choice back when 128K was the bitrate of the day. But, in a world where everyone is selling 256K and 320K tracks, I'd rather get my music in a lossless format and convert down to VBR MP3.

A thousand times this. It's been shown that ~192K VBR from a modern encoder is transparent to our ears, so these 256K or higher bitrates are the worst of both worlds: it's not lossless AND it's a waste of bandwidth.

2 days ago
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Microsoft To Buy Minecraft Maker Mojang For $2.5 Billion

PhrostyMcByte Re:I am guessing they will make a sequel (329 comments)

They said they wont make changes to Minecraft, so how will they make money?

I've seen kids wearing Minecraft backpacks and shirts, said something like "hey cool! what're you building right now?" only to discover that while they've heard of the game they haven't actually played it.

I suspect these paraphernalia stand to make a lot more money than the game does.

As far as coming out with sequels, I'm not sure how well that would work anyway. Minecraft prides itself on being extremely basic, letting the player provide the creativity. What could a sequel possibly provide that didn't do away with that premise?

Anyway. Worth 2.5 billion? Highly doubtful, especially looking at the lackluster response to anything non-Minecraft they've brought out.

5 days ago
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Surprising Result of NYC Bike Lanes: Faster Traffic for Cars

PhrostyMcByte Bikes lanes are nice (213 comments)

But it sounds like optimizing left turns is what actually improved traffic.

about two weeks ago
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Paypal Jumps Into Bitcoin With Both Feet

PhrostyMcByte Re:Can someone clarify the state of BitCoin? (134 comments)

Bitcoin itself doesn't have any known security flaws. One usability issue is that you can't instantly guarantee a transfer of coins -- nobody is going to be buying coffee with it directly.

It's not so much about problems with Bitcoin, but with Bitcoin "banks" that turned out to be incredibly insecure. The banks were created to exchange paper money for Bitcoins, and to facilitate instant transfers. They just happen to be incredibly bad at it, and because there is no regulation like an actual bank, are pretty much free to be as bad as they want.

Paypal is actually a good fit, as Bitcoin is essentially a decentralized Paypal. Paypal is also pretty well known for the same evils as they aren't regulated like an actual bank either, but they've got a lot of infrastructure and experience that could make them a far better Bitcoin bank than what's available right now.

about two weeks ago
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Tesla's Next Auto-Dealer Battleground State: Georgia

PhrostyMcByte Re:Franchise laws = Racket laws (157 comments)

Car franchise laws were put in place to protect dealerships. Car manufacturers did not want to put in the heavy local investment to sell cars in every area, and dealerships did not want a manufacturer swooping in to steal the business with lower prices once the areas started booming.

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: the State of Free Video Editing Tools?

PhrostyMcByte Are you a programmer? (163 comments)

AviSynth is extremely versatile and often leads in state-of-the-art filters long before any other video editor gets them, including professional ones. The trick is that there's no UI for it -- to edit videos, you write scripts.

about three weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Best PDF Handling Library?

PhrostyMcByte Re:pdf.js (132 comments)

Office Automation is problematic -- because it literally opens up a hidden window of your Office app and simulates clicking around the UI to do what you need, if something unexpected happens it can unhide the window to show the user a message. This might be good enough for a desktop app, but if you're running it on a server it'll just freeze up your process with noone there to click it.

For Office->PDF conversion of word docs, Aspose.Words has a fairly easy API and generally very accurate rendering. I highly recommend it.

about a month and a half ago
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Ask Slashdot: Best PDF Handling Library?

PhrostyMcByte I'm convinced there is no elegant PDF library (132 comments)

At least on the C# side of things, the three libraries I've used (iTextSharp, PdfSharp, and Aspose.Pdf) are all a bit of an unintuitive mess with inconsistencies all over the place and very little documentation. In the case of iText, their revenue stream is putting all their documentation into a book for people to buy, so it's not uncommon to get an intentionally vague response when asking for help.

I cycle between each depending on what I need to do, because they all have their own quirks and supported features. I've even piped from one to another to get certain parts of the process working.

Good luck.

about a month and a half ago
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Bose Sues New Apple Acquisition Beats Over Patent Violations

PhrostyMcByte Re:Bose is worried (162 comments)

Well, I never said Bose actually had quality, only that people perceive them as having it. I carefully worded it like that because while I agree with you, it was not the point I was trying to make. I'll stick to my Mad Dogs and DT880s.

about 2 months ago
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Bose Sues New Apple Acquisition Beats Over Patent Violations

PhrostyMcByte Bose is worried (162 comments)

Bose and Beats are both highly brand-focused. Bose targets the more mature quality-seeking crowd, while Beats targets the bass-hungry and fashion-conscious youth. There's some overlap, but generally I'd say their targets kept competition to a minimum, and they've pretty much cornered those targets

Apple has the best of both worlds being viewed both as high quality and a status symbol. If they start using their monster marketing teams to align peoples' view of Beats with that of Apple, Bose stands a chance of being pushed out of the market by a frightening direct competition. They've got good reason to try to stall the acquisition as much as possible

about 2 months ago
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FCC Reminds ISPs That They Can Be Fined For Lacking Transparency

PhrostyMcByte Re:Why haven't they fined practically every ISP? (38 comments)

If this order still stands, why hasn't the FCC fined practically every ISP under this rule?

It seems they've got quite a lot of bark, but not enough bite. Unless it comes to boobs on TV.

about 2 months ago
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FBI Concerned About Criminals Using Driverless Cars

PhrostyMcByte Re:Automation is killing jobs faster than ever (435 comments)

Umm, is that per 100,000 65-74yo drivers, or just per 100,000 drivers in general? I imagine, you know, death, would skew that quite a bit if the latter.

about 2 months ago
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Selectively Reusing Bad Passwords Is Not a Bad Idea, Researchers Say

PhrostyMcByte Re:High entropy rules on low importance sites (280 comments)

Meanwhile, the bank will take anything.

Really? I'm so used to "6-8 characters, no symbols, etc.". You'd think these things would be regulated.

about 2 months ago
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Selectively Reusing Bad Passwords Is Not a Bad Idea, Researchers Say

PhrostyMcByte Re:Bah (280 comments)

You can buy a YubiKey to do this today without any finicking with a Raspberry Pi. There are a few modes depending on the devices you buy. First is what you say -- it can emulate a keyboard, and input a password for you whenever you press a button on the device. It can also perform HOTP/TOTP authentication, and some of them can act as a legitimate security token that integrates with your platform's crypto.

about 2 months ago
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DARPA Successfully Demonstrates Self-Guiding Bullets

PhrostyMcByte Re:Creepy (188 comments)

I think the point is that important figures could have several "dummy" lasers present at all times to fool the bullet into going elsewhere. It would act similar to any other frequency jammer.

about 2 months ago
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The World's Best Living Programmers

PhrostyMcByte Re:Stack Overflow reputation (285 comments)

Stack Overflow reputation indicates that you're a 1337 documentation writer, not necessarily that you know how to program.

SO reputation indicates a number of things -- that you can understand and dissect problems and code from others, that you have intimate knowledge of the platforms you're answering about, that you can code reasonably well, and that you can communicate well.

Basically, someone with a high rep is very likely to be enthusiastic, knowledgable, and great to work with. Does this mean Jon Skeet can out-code an elite like John Carmack? No. Does it mean he's a good coder? Probably. One of the "top" programmers? Not enough data.

This whole article is a bit of a bonkers idea. What makes a good dev? Is it the ability to work quickly, elegantly, and robustly? Being able to pull innovative algorithms out of thin air? Is it the ability to hack together important, complicated projects even if the code itself is a mess? How about less direct things, like overall contribution to the dev community and enthusiasm for helping other people grow?

about 2 months ago
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Amazon Sues After Ex-Worker Takes Google Job

PhrostyMcByte Re:Non-compete agreements are BS. (272 comments)

Non-competes are BS. But requiring employees to not reveal confidential information, poach clients, etc. for their new competing bosses seems like a reasonable and ethical thing to ask. It sounds like Amazon believes he may have crossed this line, beyond simply working for a competitor.

about 3 months ago
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Cable Boxes Are the 2nd Biggest Energy Users In Many Homes

PhrostyMcByte Re:Why can't you plug into you TV anymore. (394 comments)

I own a HDHomeRun, and it was a bitch to set up because even Comcast customer support had never heard of it (at one point, they told me to call TiVo!)

When was the last time you did this?

I've had a HDHomeRun Prime for about three years now, and have never had an issue with Comcast's CableCard activation line. The other side of the call is seated by a weird androgynously-voiced Indian following a script, but I've never been on the phone more than about 5 minutes before my card was working.

about 3 months ago
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How Tim Cook Is Filling Steve Jobs's Shoes

PhrostyMcByte Less hands-on (209 comments)

But some say he is less hands-on in developing products than his predecessor.

The best leaders will see their own shortcomings and delegate to trusted experts to pick up their slack. Perhaps this is Cook's strategy.

about 3 months ago
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Google Engineer: We Need More Web Programming Languages

PhrostyMcByte Re:No, we don't (309 comments)

I have no idea if Google's language is one that I'd want to use, but I do know that Javascript is by no means a good choice to develop large-scale web apps with. Unfortunately, it's currently the only choice we've got. Given that the ecosystem is far more open to change lately, it seems like as good a time as any to replace it.

I think the best way we could handle it is to create a standard high-level bytecode and package format. Then any number of languages could be translated to it easily and efficiently.

about 3 months ago

Submissions

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Judge rules BitTorrent cases must be tried separately

PhrostyMcByte PhrostyMcByte writes  |  about 8 months ago

PhrostyMcByte (589271) writes "TorrentFreak reports that Iowa Judge Stephanie Rose recently put a thorn in the plans of copyright holders hoping to file cheap mass-doe lawsuits against alleged pirates. Rejecting all but one Doe for such a lawsuit, Rose's order mentions that the plaintiffs have failed to demonstrate the five Does in the case were a part of the same "transaction" needed to be tried together, with an uncommon understanding of BitTorrent showing that "...even in all five cases where Doe defendants allegedly have “hit dates” on the same day and close in time, there is no showing that the earlier defendants were still connected to the Internet and actively distributing data through the BitTorrent client at the same time as the later defendants.""
Link to Original Source
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Japan to fish space junk with kilometers-wide net

PhrostyMcByte PhrostyMcByte writes  |  more than 3 years ago

PhrostyMcByte (589271) writes "JAXA, Japan's space agency, is teaming up with fishing net manufacturer Nitto Seimo Co. to build a kilometers-wide net to orbit the Earth and collect space junk. The net would eventually be pulled by the Earth's magnetic fields to burn up in the atmosphere along with its contents."
Link to Original Source
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Black hole emits a 1,000 light-year wide fireball

PhrostyMcByte PhrostyMcByte writes  |  more than 4 years ago

PhrostyMcByte writes "12 million light-years away in the outer spiral of galaxy NGC 7793, a bubble of hot gas approximately 1,000 light-years in diameter can be found shooting out of a black hole — one of the most powerful jets of energy ever seen. The bubble has been growing for approximately 200,000 years, and is expanding at around 1,000,000 kilometers per hour."
Link to Original Source
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Origin of Species to be given for free, with FUD

PhrostyMcByte PhrostyMcByte writes  |  more than 4 years ago

PhrostyMcByte writes "November 24th will mark the 150th anniversary of Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species, the pivotal work that helped bring the theory of evolution through natural selection into popularity. Around this same time, Growing Pains star Kirk Cameron is spearheading a plan to pass out 50,000 free copies at universities around the country. The catch? Each copy will be altered to include creationist propaganda and FUD targeting evolution and Darwin himself."
Link to Original Source

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