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Six-Strikes System Starts In U.S.

PickyH3D Re:If I had to guess (418 comments)

So tell me genius, if a civil suit was filed against you and your roommate then denied that he infringed any copyright, how exactly you would prevent yourself from 'going down' for this?

Fortunately, when you actually have friends, you can reason with them. I did not break down a legal argument to my friend. I simply made it clear that if I got any further notices, then things would get awkward and that it was unacceptable.

When you have friends, they are not usually out to screw you because, otherwise, they are not your friend. In a matter of law, he may have decided to point the finger back at me, but reasoning with him that I had no intention of sitting idly by while he pirated content effectively in my name was enough to make him stop.

As for your final statement:

And that is just one of many problems of this so called 'piracy' bullshit.

Based on this statement alone, I suspect that you took offense to me declaring myself against piracy.

The tactics used by the *AA and various other copyright magnates are outrageous and disturbing, but that does not change the fact that there is nothing "so called" about piracy. The fact that they cannot determine whether it was my roommate or me pirating something is a happy (privacy benefiting) shortcoming of technology. The belief that piracy is only an issue because the *AA make it out to be one is a fairy tale told to people too naive to understand reality. Clearly, the *AA is a consortium of corporate leaches, but that does not change the realities of piracy across all forms of media.

The BS of piracy is the fact that the *AA have so much power, and that they have convinced judges, many in Congress, and the President that their losses far exceed what they charge. Not to mention the idea that they deserve exceptional opportunities to create dragnets to catch only potentially non-innocent citizens. The very idea that a single person pirating a TV show magically costs its associated organization more than the cost of that show, or even a few multiples of that cost for punishment, is ludicrous even without going into the oft-claimed argument that many pirates try-before-buying. But, again, that does not change the sheer scale of piracy that does occur on a daily basis, which does rob the rights owners of their dues, whether or not we think them to be obscene.

about a year and a half ago

HP Continuing To Flee Windows Reservation With Android Tablet

PickyH3D Re:Huh? (124 comments)

Objectively to whom?

Sony put a rootkit onto a music CD that was reused for nefarious purposes by malware and virus authors. Sony later provided a "removal" tool that simply revealed the rootkit rather than removing it.

Sony did away with the Other OS even after advertising it is as a reason to buy a PS3.

Sony is also the company that attempted to scrub all traces of a number from the internet. Granted, it's the number used to jailbreak their PS3, but the ludicrous nature of their threats just goes to show how evil Sony really is as a company.

At the very least, Microsoft never advertised running Linux as a true feature of the Surface, but I doubt that Microsoft will look into removing the feature. They have absolutely nothing to gain by taking away the end user's ability to disable Secure Boot. Users that do so are likely on their way to voiding their warranty, and locking users out only encourages legal oversight, which is something that Microsoft is keen to avoid.

It should also go without saying that if Microsoft were to broadcast some executable that disables user control of Secure Boot, then people would reverse engineer it to simply re-enable user control.

about a year and a half ago

Six-Strikes System Starts In U.S.

PickyH3D Re:If I had to guess (418 comments)

That's a fair point, but I suspect that the service probably hopes to pay for itself with people getting caught trying to game the system. It's possible that you are right and that the ISPs might end up footing a significant bill--one that that they will surely pass onto normal user's monthly bills--by sending out too many false claims.

At the very least, your point provides some incentive for the ISPs to be accurate to minimize costs even if they plan on passing the buck.

about a year and a half ago

Tech Leaders Encourage Teaching Schoolkids How To Code

PickyH3D Re:my whole class was taught to program in high sc (265 comments)

But if done right it would be revolutionary. Asking a student to program a python web pages that solves a generic two step equation when a user inputs the values, performing a sort to calculate the mode and median, interfacing with data collection equipment to gather and analyze data for an expirent, this would provoke understanding in some students beyond what they would otherwise have.

This. It also strongly encourages cross-training with other disciplines in order to do something remotely useful. Use the proposed equation to draw the parabola of a curve for a ball tossed into the air. Later, you can use the same code to introduce friction, and revisiting the same techniques, I believe, is what truly opens a lot of eyes. It uses the CS to teach the math and physics in an interactive way where the student can definitively get it right or wrong, but they can use creativity to get there.

about a year and a half ago

Six-Strikes System Starts In U.S.

PickyH3D If I had to guess (418 comments)

This is both the RIAA and the ISPs winning with users losing. The ISPs can point to this system to get the RIAA off of their backs. The RIAA can point to this system in courts to try to further pinpoint end users to sue.

However, as the summary points out, the end user must pay $35 to challenge "strikes" against them, and while they are refunded the full amount, if they win, there is nothing else won, nor is the ISP punished for false claims. In other words, the user assumes all risk even if they know that they are innocent.

While I imagine that this system might catch a few pirates out there, I suspect that the errors related to this system will lead to far more collateral damage than it even supposedly fixes. And I am strongly against pirating, but this system screams of looming problems to be faced by the innocent like myself. As someone that has been hit with a "gotcha" notice from a previous roommate's downloading, I know the problems that this will cause. In my case, my roommate was reasonable and he did not continue the practice after I showed it to him and explained that I would not "go down" for it.

How many people can we expect to be burned by this before we have an online petition in Congress? If we're lucky, then maybe this is the start of turning ISPs into dumb-pipe utilities. But we're not lucky.

about a year and a half ago

Ask Slashdot: Identity Theft Attempt In Progress; How To Respond?

PickyH3D Re:bullshit - gmail does NOT recognize dots (239 comments)

That wasn't originally the case though. I believe that when they first instituted the referenced change, they excepted those that were already in conflict.

about a year and a half ago

HP Continuing To Flee Windows Reservation With Android Tablet

PickyH3D Nice Google ad (124 comments)

The summary even went as far as breaking down what it means to be a Chrome OS-running device while attacking Microsoft at both the start and end of it.

about a year and a half ago

New GPU Testing Methodology Puts Multi-GPU Solutions In Question

PickyH3D Re:Regardless... (112 comments)

proves the point that only suckers buy into SLI/CF scheme

SLI/CF decrease the chances that the frame rate will drop below an acceptable level. They're pointlessly rendering if they go beyond what you, and your monitor, can perceive.

The only point proven is that you do not understand FPS, nor do you understand the purpose of SLI/CF.

about a year and a half ago

Surface Pro: 'Virtually Unrepairable'

PickyH3D Re:Wrong Comparison (418 comments)

Isn't that the nature of incredibly complex, thin designs?

I took apart an old iPhone 3G that was messed up to look around inside after the Gazelle purchase program broke the phone and cut their offer down enormously, looking for evidence that they had swapped the phones (the device had different scars than the original, while the original only had one tiny one). I was looking for serial numbers on the inside to prove that it had changed, but I never did find anything usable.

Anyway, tight spaces require intricate designs. Honestly, I think 90 screws sounds like it is overdoing it, but the glue and cables around such a dense, high resolution screen are not surprising in the least. If you don't want super thin devices, then I suspect that they can make them more repairable. As time progresses, I imagine their designs will simplify and they will become easier to repair, even if regular users remain in the dark.

about a year and a half ago

Surface Pro Sold Out; Was It Just Understocked?

PickyH3D Re:Surprised? (413 comments)

It's as powerful as a MBA in its own price range. Adding the keyboard--which can be used with a future version of the Surface that one may be inclined to buy as hardware naturally improves--adds $130. Frankly, I do agree that it is more than it should cost, but peripherals are always where manufacturers make back from early profit margins.

That's $30 more than the similarly specced MBA. Comparing $1000 compared to $1030 (or $1100 compared to $1130 for 128 GB), you also get a wall charger that includes a USB slot for charging one's other devices (e.g., cell phone) and a stylus pen that actually works much better than I expected (try one in the store before you jump on the bandwagon(s) badmouthing it) with the Surface Pro. It also has a full 1080p screen, which actually doubles up for very fine pen input. Furthermore, its battery life, when not being intentionally rundown, is equal to the MBA.

Ignoring OS preference, the computer itself is at least as good; all existing Windows applications run on it. There is no deficiency unless you require a workhorse machine, which similarly excludes all Ultrabooks from comparison, including the MBA. However, the Surface Pro actually does add features that may be desirable: truly impressive pen input, and multitouch. One can always be against multitouch, but I expect that it will be a "great" feature that adds value on some future iteration of the MBA to the Slashdot crowd. Not to mention, if you don't want multitouch, then you probably legitimately have no desire for a Surface RT/Pro anyway.

Finally, comparing an n-th generation, already-out product to a first generation, just-released-over-the-weekend product's availability is confusing, at best.

about a year and a half ago

Does US Owe the World an Education At Its Expense?

PickyH3D Re:We have the same... (689 comments)

International students are often more motivated to study, lifting the general class level.

This is one of the biggest over generalizations that I have seen on Slashdot, and it flies in the face of everything I saw in both my undergraduate and graduate level degrees. By and large, foreign students segregated themselves and studied as a group, which wouldn't be particularly noteworthy except when group participation was not allowed.

The vast majority of international students, particularly from Asia, are students simply seeking a degree rather than a skill or knowledge. Clearly, there will always be exceptions, but the reverse is definitely not true.

about a year ago

Java Vs. C#: Which Performs Better In the 'Real World'?

PickyH3D Re:Language is hardly relevant (437 comments)

Java has had threading support since it was released. java.util.concurrent.Future appeared in Java 1.5, which was after C# and .NET appeared on the scene.

C#'s async keyword provides language level support to performing asynchronous work, as opposed to framework level support. As a Java developer, I do love the Executors (thread pools) provided by Java, but that is not really the same thing. It's just a shame that running C# on anything other than Windows is simply unrealistic, even with Mono.

As a language, Java is far behind C#, and it's even behind C++ since C++11. In terms of the JVM versus the CLR, they're relatively comparable and both have impressively good JIT engines.

about a year and a half ago

Java Vs. C#: Which Performs Better In the 'Real World'?

PickyH3D Re:Language is hardly relevant (437 comments)

In the first test, he explicitly mentions going back on his word to use a Linux machine.

Because of this discrepancy, I feel compelled to try out the Java version on a Linux server. The server used is a “c1.medium” on Amazon EC2. I install the two different Java classes and see essentially the same speeds. The HttpServer class takes about 14 seconds to process 15 requests. Not very good.
slashdot (

The author is clearly not a Java developer, and the second test really calls the first test into question. In the first test, he is having trouble with socket connections, which proved devastating to Java's numbers. Then, he moved onto using ASP.NET versus JSP in the second test, and JSP did significantly better than his simple socket tests in Java.

The simple fact that he did not go back to figure out what was wrong with his first test demonstrates quite clearly that both sets of his results are useless. It should be obvious that he is a weak Java developer--even without seeing the code--and I suspect he is not a particularly strong C# developer either on the basis that he did not question the results.

about a year and a half ago

Hit Game Makes £52 In First Week On Windows RT

PickyH3D Re:Sorry to be frank but what did he think (308 comments)

That sounds interesting. What is "much higher usability" -- by itself that statement means nothing.

Ironic point.

Those are common features of android tablets (and kickstand and attachable keyboard are certainly available for iOS devices). What about their presence on the Surface makes the Surface notable for having them?

No one has anything as flat and integrated as the Touch Cover. No one. The Android tablets that do have kick stands are not the full width of the device; they're like little arms that extend, which prevents them from being useful in your lap, unless there is a newer Android tablet that I haven't seen, but I believe none of the mainstream ones have them built in anyway.

So, even though it came out after the new ipad it doesn't achieve the same resolution? That's a shame.

Yep. Given that the x86 model is 1080p, I suspect that doing the same resolution on the ARM chip was too taxing of the battery to justify it. They might have also made the decision before the Retina Display iPad was ever officially announced as well, which meant they went from beating the competition to being behind. Microsoft has to own up to this one, but the Metro UI does a very good job at hiding the lower resolution combined with ClearType.

Maybe you aren't aware that the lack of flash is a *feature*? Not everyone wants to have crappy flash apps whether its on a mobile device or not. My desktop systems are flash free since I have a choice in the matter.

I guess that means you're not running Chrome. But, anyway, I use Chrome on my desktops and I run FlashControl (way better than the other plugins) to limit Flash to websites that I choose, and that pretty much boils down to Hulu. I use tablets even more for entertainment than my desktops and Hulu is the last thing that I actually use Flash with, but I use it a lot (there is a Hulu Plus app, but I don't pay for Hulu, and therefore it serves no purpose for me on either tablet). So, as long as that's the only way to get Hulu, then Flash will unfortunately remain a feature. Once that door closes, or a better, legal alternative opens up to Hulu, then that won't change.

I will say, IE's biggest limitation is actually its general lack for simple plugin support akin to Chrome and Firefox, but mostly like Chrome. I wouldn't be surprised to see this coming with IE11, whenever that is, as that's the last real advantage Chrome has beyond WebGL, which I don't actually use, but plugins are a huge advantage that I miss, which is odd because I never really noticed missing them on my iPad with Safari (I suppose my only other plugin, AdBlocker in that case).

The Samsung Galaxy Tab is similar specs at similar price (even having flash, ugh!) with the advantage of a mature marketplace.

Only a true fan would dare to call Android's tablet marketplace mature. Unless something major happens, Windows RT-based apps will outnumber Android tablet apps by this time next year, and it will particularly out number them in the sense that you will actually be able to download one and know that it will work on your tablet.

Or, a new ipad is better specs and a mature marketplace for a similar price balanced by the lack of a USB port or SD card slot.

As you must be a technical user, it's stunning that you don't see the enormous benefit of having a USB port that can be used for anything with a working driver, and an expansion SD slot. I have already transferred files between machines using my Surface, and I am happy that I can plug in a mouse if I ever get tired of the mouse pad built into the Touch Cover. Shy of actual software development, which I tend to do on a desktop with dual monitors anyway, my Surface can completely replace my MacBook Pro. Technically, I can use the free Remote Desktop app to even enable that, but I hope that I am never in the need to do that.

I'm not certain that Windows will win in the tablet space, particularly because they do have the youngest ecosystem. However, with the ability to actually control everything analogous to a real computer--more so than even Android, shy of rooting, which no normal user will ever do--and plug in peripherals that use the same Windows driver model as, well, Windows, it opens up a lot of opportunity. Frankly, I hope that Android doesn't win until it's no longer hit or miss with support, and I hope Apple doesn't win because their tablet is a glorified gaming screen (that loses support after two years). I very seriously want them to compete heavily with Microsoft so that whoever does win gives us all the best product. After all, imagine Microsoft even attempting to do this 6 years ago. It would never have happened. It's only because of the competition that they've finally stopped pumping out delayed first releases like Vista (which, to be fair, is pretty much Windows 7 at this point after all of the patches and manufacturers fixing their drivers, with a few usability warts not present in Windows 7). I hope they put the pressure on everyone, and I hope it comes right back to them.

about a year and a half ago

Hit Game Makes £52 In First Week On Windows RT

PickyH3D Re:Sorry to be frank but what did he think (308 comments)

Actually a good catch (same to the Anonymous Coward making the same point 13 minutes later).

As you pointed out, I was referring to the Surface in my post, as I am frankly not very aware of what the competition is up too because I stopped looking around once I bought my Surface.

about a year and a half ago

Hit Game Makes £52 In First Week On Windows RT

PickyH3D Re:Sorry to be frank but what did he think (308 comments)

To be fair to the author, he released his software before there were any numbers.

To be fair to Windows RT, it's sold through an excessively limited distributed channel (Microsoft kiosks and Microsoft Stores). To then expect overnight miracles for a game that, admittedly, I have never heard of is a little astounding. Granted, 52 pounds is probably a bit of a shock, but having never heard of it (as an admitted iPad and Surface owner), I can't really say I am stunned.

It appears that he expected it be promoted by Microsoft because of their 10,000 pound investment, even though his company apparently refused to recompile and support x86, which sounds like an obvious no brainer. I cannot imagine that a game like theirs has many ARM-specific code blocks, and if it does, then I fully expect they are easily swappable for something in x86-land (if not just the high level language equivalent that would run faster on x86).

We are talking about a company with two mobile flops, and one of them was seemingly expected internally. The Kin was an undersupported and overpriced piece of junk thanks to Verizon (pricing it like a smartphone), with apparently a poor experience thanks to Microsoft. Windows Phone 7 appears to have been merely a stopgap to flesh out Metro, and to hold on until the Windows 8 kernel was ready for the phone.

As I have described in my random other posts, the Surface is actually a very solid (physically) device with much higher usability than my iPad (although I only have an iPad 2). Having a kickstand, USB port, microSD card expansion slot, attachable keyboard, larger (admittedly lower resolution than the "New iPad") screen, direct access to the file system and bundled Office makes the Surface worth iPad money. I'm honestly a bit stunned so many people hate it on Slashdot, beyond the obvious Microsoft bias, because it actually supports Flash. That's something that even Android cannot say ever since Adobe stopped supporting "mobile" platforms.

about a year and a half ago

Microsoft Surface Struggles to Ship A Million Units

PickyH3D Re:I haven't read a bad review of it (375 comments)

That is pretty humorous (for those that don't feel like checking his profile, it claims that he is a Microsoft employee).

That doesn't change the fact that your post combined "heavy" and "bulky." I will give you the fact that "bulky" is quite a subjective term, but heavy is not as subjective. It's a device that is larger than the competition, and the leading competition is the "New iPad." No one is looking at buying the iPad 2 versus the Surface, because the iPad 2 is so much cheaper, but it's also over a year and a half older. Regardless of the iPad, it shouldn't feel heavy because you should very rarely need to actually hold it in the air unlike the iPad. The kickstand alone enables much greater versatility, and it only increases when combined with the Touch Cover.

The Surface loses in the screen resolution corner (and the Surface Pro will continue to lose that fight). Now, as a power user, I would have definitely preferred something akin (maybe I should avoid the word "kin" with Microsoft) to the Retina display, but the heat and reduced battery life really loses it for me. Having said that, I have wanted the Retina display quality in a few games, although, to be fair, I haven't missed it in others. The Surface RT's screen does a good job hiding its lower resolution very well particularly alongside Metro (Microsoft Design), as it suits itself well to nice screens regardless of resolution.

I have both the Touch Cover and iPad Smart Cover, and I honestly can't feel a difference in weight even though it is just an iPad 2 (and not its heavier cousin). In all honesty, I strongly prefer the Touch Cover for multiple reasons. For starters, when combined with the built-in kickstand, I can comfortably use the Surface in my lap without holding it. In fact, I rarely find myself holding the Surface in the air, which is why I think that I really enjoy using it so much. Given a few minutes, I am sure that I could distinguish the heavier of the two, even when just talking 0.35 lbs (difference with covers), but that's frankly the best part about the Surface. I can actually use it on a table with or without the Touch Cover, whereas every iPad requires it, and even then the usability is greatly reduced. Using the Surface on my lap, I find that I have a harder time using the Touch Cover without a solid surface (no pun intended) beneath, and for less frequent typing I love being able to fold the Touch Cover under the kickstand, which lets me flatly rest the Surface on my legs, or even my stomach when I am laying down on my bed. That's something you cannot easily do on the iPad without propping up your legs, uncomfortably holding it in the air, or laying it in your lap and arching your neck.

It's because of all of that that I do not think the Surface is heavy. It's marginally heavier--at best--upon first grab, but you should rarely be holding it. You can if you want too, but most real world situations lead to positions that give the Surface the edge. I personally hate kickstands on phones, but I think that it was brilliant for Microsoft

Throw in the ability to add a microSD card and a USB hub, and I have been thrilled with the versatility of the Surface. Shy of development, I can replace my laptop usage with it entirely. I could never comfortably say that about the iPad.

The iPad's chip is definitely faster than the Tegra 3. I am frankly a little surprised at times when the Tegra 3 is choking, considering the amount of talk I had heard when it was being included in many other devices. Apple has clearly done a very good job in the SoC arena, and I do not know who will be able to take their crown within 2013--I suspect it won't be until 2014 until someone catches up. What I really miss most from the iPad, and Apple products in general, is their battery life. Being that Apple makes the entire product, including the chip, they clearly get the edge here, but they also have amazing batteries regardless of everything else. I hate the inability to replace them, but I have never actually seen a real case where someone needed to do it.

That's not to say that the Surface has low battery life (as I use it throughout the week with WiFi left on to get live tile updates, unlike my iPad, which I instinctively turn off considering I have to enter apps to get meaningful information anyway), but if it had Apple's battery savvy inside of it, then I cannot help but wonder how much longer it might last.

Finally, both the Surface and the iPad fall short on the camera, but I didn't exactly buy either one for a camera. The Surface's camera being intelligently angled has already come in handy once while talking with someone over Skype at the same as I was writing a very long email, and I split-screened the apps (IE and Skype) to be able to see the other person at the same time; that was awesome and very smooth.

about a year and a half ago

Microsoft Surface Struggles to Ship A Million Units

PickyH3D Re:I haven't read a bad review of it (375 comments)

It's relatively heavy and bulky for what it is.

Good on you for pointing out that the above poster was wrong, but your follow up can only be said by someone that has no idea what they are talking about. You should at least try to hide your ignorant bias.

First google image result for "ipad versus surface":

The Surface RT is 0.1 mm thinner than the iPad 3 (the first "New iPad"), and the added weight is likely because its screen is 0.9 inches larger (10.6 compared to 9.7), which only adds up to 0.06 pounds more.

And, for what it is, it gives your more flexibility than an iPad. You can actually browse the file system. There's no question that both Android and iOS tablets have a much larger swath of apps currently available, but I have gotten far more use out of my Surface in the month that I have owned it compared to my iPad 2 for the entire time that I have owned it (a few months after its initial release). Add to that the free copy of Office that comes with Surface RT, and it's rather dubious to scoff clearly without any actual knowledge of the matter.

It is better to say nothing and be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.

about a year and a half ago

Ask Slashdot: How Should Tech Conferences Embrace Diversity?

PickyH3D Re:None whatsoever (343 comments)

Yep. Anything short of that is racist on either end of the spectrum. You're either claiming one race is superior, or claiming one race is inferior and thus it needs your support.

I don't really see how this isn't the obvious solution.

about 2 years ago


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