×

Announcing: Slashdot Deals - Explore geek apps, games, gadgets and more. (what is this?)

Thank you!

We are sorry to see you leave - Beta is different and we value the time you took to try it out. Before you decide to go, please take a look at some value-adds for Beta and learn more about it. Thank you for reading Slashdot, and for making the site better!

Comments

top

HBO Says Game of Thrones Piracy Is "a Compliment"

SnowDog74 HBO GO standalone will come.... (447 comments)

HBO's CEO has hinted at the possibility of a standalone HBO GO subscription... It's probably coming. One of the challenges to this is the way that deals are structured, and this isn't a bunch of executives sitting around wringing their hands and twirling their mustaches. There are certain agreements that content providers have made with carriers because they didn't initially have as many options for distribution as the internet has made possible in today's world.

The other challenge is... so you've got these existing revenue streams out there. How do you structure your content distribution in a way that doesn't cannibalize the sales that will piss off the carriers who depend on a cut of the monthly fees they charge?

While Lombardo understands that "free" isn't an option, he's as shrewd as Steve Jobs in treating "free" as a competitor and trying to figure out what they need to do to make paid HBO as compelling. What the iTunes model did was treat "free" as a competitor and then go after a more convenient user experience and one-touch purchasing.

The point that's often missed in a lot of the moaning about "users want free so it should be free"... no. Free is not the thing that the users want. If I gave you a pile of trash for free, would that satisfy your appetite for Game of Thrones? It's the content they want. But all of these defined revenue streams instead of an ad-based model (which is the "free" alternative in the pragmatic world of content production) are a large part of why HBO can produce the extremely expensive-budget shows with fewer episodes and better writing than the ad-based models that have to appeal to the broadest, dumbest audience possible.

If those revenue streams are eliminated, there's no cushion for them to commit to shows that would never survive on network television. The only thing they need to do here is to research just how much their cable subscriptions would be affected by online, and perhaps make a deal with the cable companies to compensate their existing agreements the way Apple paid the content producers upwards of $150 million to secure unlimited cloud streaming.

Something will get worked out because every party has an interest... HBO could very well serve up a pile of crap and not care as long as they got their fees. That's how subscription cable works, and through advertising it's how networks work. But they're not the Wal-Mart of television programming nor do they want to be. If they were, none of us would be here talking about wanting TV shows that some nonexistent premium channel doesn't produce that you've never heard of.

about a year and a half ago
top

Iran Running Out of Physical Currency, Satellite Broadcasts Dropped in Europe

SnowDog74 Amusingly enough... (480 comments)

Funny enough, Iran does have a couple of Intaglio presses... so printing more currency shouldn't be a problem. Oh wait, those presses are busy counterfeiting US $100 bills...

more than 2 years ago
top

Supreme Court To Decide Whether Or Not You Own What You Own

SnowDog74 RTFB (543 comments)

SCOTUS filed a brief on the matter that explicitly indicates that the scope is only Title 17, Copyright law, not patent law and not the uniform commercial code. The petitioners argument is based on a misunderstanding of Section 109(a) which deals with Limitations on transfer rights. The case has to do with the inapplicability of transfer rights under section 109 in foreign countries where Title 17 does not apply. There's a very good reason for that inapplicability if you think about why other countries protections or prohibitions don't apply to actions or works created in the United States. So SCOTUS did its job in rejecting the petition.

The case will not apply to all goods sold. It will only apply to works not protected by Title 17 because those works were created in foreign countries not party to Berne Convention rules. And that makes sense. If I'm from some country that didn't sign off on the Berne Convention, and has totally different laws concerning creative works, then why would America's laws apply? That would be like expecting Saudi Arabia's Sharia law to be applicable to the actions of U.S. Citizens in the United States.

more than 2 years ago
top

Cheap, Portable Ultrasound Could a Be Lifesaver .

SnowDog74 Re:Needed: low-cost 3D ultrasound (139 comments)

This isn't needed so much as adequate training... a good radiologist/ultrasound technician can identify defects/anomalies in a 2D planar image. If more complex imaging were required, it wouldn't do the patient much good without being near a Level 1 trauma center fully equipped to actually do anything about it. And even then, three dimensional ultrasonography is very low in detail. There's not a tremendous amount more diagnostic information you'll gain, versus sending them to an L1 trauma center equipped with MRI.

more than 2 years ago
top

Cheap, Portable Ultrasound Could a Be Lifesaver .

SnowDog74 Ultrasound has many applications (139 comments)

The thing lacking in both the original article and the comments here (except for a few) is that ultrasonographic imaging has many diagnostic applications outside of neonatal care. Cardiopulmonary medicine, nephrology, hepatology, endocrinology, gastroenterology... the list goes on. All of these applications would make low cost, portable ultrasonography extremely beneficial in third world and developing countries.

more than 2 years ago
top

Which Company Is the Largest?

SnowDog74 Carrying value (378 comments)

Market cap is a completely nonsensical way of saying "what's the largest company". Market cap is simply whatever irrational price the market has placed upon a company, and has zilch to do with its actual value as a cash generating engine.

For that, one has to look at book value or intrinsic value, as defined by Graham, Dodd, Buffett and others in the value investing fold. Book value (or carrying value) is simply assets minus liabilities minus intangibles (e.g. goodwill, the paid in capital during acquisition of other companies in excess of their book value). Intrinsic value, more or less, includes the net present value of discounted cash flows looking probably five or six quarters forward (any more than that is pure speculation as companies tend not to forecast out more than a year or two from the known inputs into their business).

A third way of looking at it is net working capital plus net operating cash flows... paring it down to inventories on the balance sheet side (working capital) and cash flows related directly to the sale of their goods/services, and not via financing activities, acquisition, etc. This is a really strong measure of how powerful a business is. By almost all of these measures, Apple is pretty strong, but their market capitalization seems to have them overvalued several times relative to what their future cash generating ability truly is.... which is why you won't see any offers for acquisition any time soon, not that Apple would entertain any of them anyway.

more than 3 years ago
top

Why Apple's DUI Checkpoint App Ban Is Stupid

SnowDog74 To Nick Gillespie (228 comments)

R.Y.O.F.A.

more than 3 years ago
top

PayPal Co-Founder Gives Out $100,000 To Not Go To College

SnowDog74 There are two sides to every bet... (418 comments)

As a venture capitalist, Peter Thiel benefits from a larger pool of potential innovators to work from. Even better if they're college-age whiz kids who will work for pizza and beer. He's very skilled and knowledgeable at identifying winners, but he's also operating under a huge capital blanket that allows him to spread his bets and mitigate his losses.

The other side of this equation is the kid who takes him up on the bet. For every one that's actually successful, there may be 10 or 100 grant recipients who fail, and hundreds of thousands of grant applicants who take up Thiel's challenge but don't end up qualifying for the grant anyway. So, this is ultimately a losing proposition for many, as is often the case.

It is really important that young people recognize that the handful of startups that succeed enormously, distorted by the myopic lens of the media, are vastly outnumbered by the carcasses of miserable failures, many of which were well-planned, well-executed, but simply not in the right place at the right time with the right connections. And here's the rub: The two most talented pools of business innovation fellows come out of Stanford and MIT... which not only teach the necessary skills to make successful ventures, but also put those students in an environment conducive to building the right networks of people with fresh ideas that they can get off the ground before anyone else. Notice I didn't say "get there first"... Many get there first, and then don't know what to do from there, and never get truly off the ground.

Consider on a smaller scale the movie review websites Cinemablend and Ain't It Cool News... There are seas of film websites that come and go, but these two were able to monetize successfully simply by virtue of being among the first to get there, and they both rely on a relatively endless supply of free labor. But even they are working constantly just to stay in place. I know a guy who runs a film website with huge traffic and he can barely pay himself, let alone his 50 tireless volunteers.

Apple was there early. Google was there early. Facebook wasn't there first but they were in the right place (both Harvard and Stanford) at the right time, and they made some key innovations that no other social networks had thought of (most people who want to find former classmates go to Facebook. It's funny what one single field of data can do... but Facebook thought of it, and implemented it well).

So it's really critical to have a backup plan because the fact is, the market is so saturated that statistically most of you will never be a Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Sergey Brin, Larry Page, etc. It would be great to see it, but I wouldn't bank on it.

Peter Thiel is another story... because no matter how many of you lose, he still wins.

more than 3 years ago
top

HDMI Brands Don't Matter

SnowDog74 Re:Receivers should have error counters (399 comments)

I'm always amused when audiophiles (pronounced: "scientifically illiterate people with more money than brains") tout the potential for "digital jitter" or "coloration" of the signal when Pohlmann's Principles of Digital Audio had outlined that most DACs in production were manufactured with sufficient sample and hold buffering as well as internal reclocking of the signal and parity checking to eliminate such errors ... by around 1985.

more than 3 years ago
top

HDMI Brands Don't Matter

SnowDog74 The Secret of The Cable (399 comments)

Here's a secret that isn't concealed very well... Almost all cable distributors get their cable and interconnects from one of a couple vendors. Belden is the primary supplier to all, including Monster Cable. They assemble the cable, interconnects, and then all the reseller does is slap sheaths on the ends that have their brand name on it. This is also why the same suit at Halberstadt's costs $500 more at Marshall Fields (or what is now Macy's)... because the suit comes from the same factory, but has a different label sewn into it depending on where it is sold.

The funniest experience I've heard relating to this phenomenon of rebranding: I have a friend with an M.S. in Engineering. He did R&D on ASICs for Honeywell as well as R&D for CBS Soundlabs, including but not limited to the development of the FMX quadrature. He was given a tour of the Wadia factory. Wadia, for those who don't know, is a manufacturer of, among other things, $3500 CD players. Granted, these CD players use marginally better (not worth a $3450 premium, however) Burr-Brown D/A converters (at a time when every CD player manufacturer uses one or another Burr-Brown DAC)... but the laser transport mechanism that they say is so special is manufactured by... wait for it.... PIONEER, and is the very same laser transport that goes into Pioneer's bottom end CD players.

A fool and his money are soon parted...

more than 3 years ago
top

HDMI Brands Don't Matter

SnowDog74 Re:Not Exactly News, But Consider This... (399 comments)

I keep asking myself how I can get some of that idiot money.

Unfortunately, if you want cables et al that are not complete junk, you often have no choice except for the "audiophile" stuff. Not everyone who buys that stuff is an idiot, some just want a solid cable that will last for 20 years and will not break during normal use.

16 gauge zip cord works just fine... because the only two things that really matter, electrically, for power delivery to a set of speakers properly matched to a similarly rated amp (in terms of power output vs. speaker sensitivity rating) are inductance and capacitance, and these are driven by only two things: the thickness and length of the conductor.

If the 16 AWG zip cord you bought at the hardware store for a few cents a foot breaks, you're not out thousands of dollars. I'm pretty sure I can replace 35 feet of zip cord every year for twenty years and still not have wasted thousands, let alone hundreds, of dollars.

more than 3 years ago
top

The Car Faster Than a Speeding Bullet

SnowDog74 Faster than a speeding bullet... (405 comments)

Aside from the obvious engineering research benefits that Richard Noble and his predecessors such as Craig Breedlove have brought about, in addition to the decades-long tradition of high-speed research at Daimler (Benz had built a diesel engine capable of speeds in excess of 200mph in the 1920's, and used these vehicles often to test high speed safety features including crumple zones, ABS and airbags, the first two which they had made standard)... but here's a fun fact for those questioning the noteworthiness of 1050mph as it relates to bullets...

35 years ago, in 1976, the SR-71A Blackbird reconnaissance aircraft broke the world speed record for a fixed-wing aircraft (excluding rocket-powered types, e.g. Bell X-15) at 2193 mph (3216 ft/sec). That is faster than the muzzle velocity of a .30-06 bullet (2910 ft/sec max).

more than 3 years ago
top

William Shatner Wakes Up Crew for Final Discovery Mission

SnowDog74 Re:The Cosmic Perspective (185 comments)

... should read "first black female astronaut" in the first paragraph.

more than 3 years ago
top

William Shatner Wakes Up Crew for Final Discovery Mission

SnowDog74 The Cosmic Perspective (185 comments)

It's worth noting that a massive letter writing campaign organized by Star Trek fans in 1979 convinced NASA to rename the first Space Shuttle, originally the USS Constitution, "USS Enterprise" and the first black female, Dr. Mae Jemison, was inspired to pursue her career after seeing Lieutenant Uhura (Nichelle Nichols) on the original series.

The influence of Star Trek can be seen everywhere, but polls of NASA engineers have revealed that a good portion of them were motivated toward aerospace careers because of Star Trek. My only hope is that near Earth orbit is not, if politicians have their way, the final frontier of our space exploration in my lifetime.

My generation and yours needs our own July 20, 1969 to usher in another era of progress. We need seemingly unattainable goals to push us beyond the reaches of our imagination... to boldly go, as corny as this may sound, where no mind has gone before. If we shutter our intellectual curiosity, we are doomed for generations.

Sagan was right... had the Library of Alexandria not burned down, and set the world back some 1700 years in intellectual progress, there might today be survey ships returning from Alpha Centauri with a dodecahedron insignia on their hull. Just imagine.

more than 3 years ago
top

Disarm Internet Trolls, Gently

SnowDog74 Social Skills 101 (417 comments)

It's rather disturbing reading the article's suggestions... It reminds me that the audience appears to be comprised of individuals so completely lacking in social skills, one wonders for what purpose they congregate... other than to find others to act indifferently or rude toward. That sort of makes the coaching a little fruitless... unless, there again, my first advice is STAY OFF IRC.

Surrounding one's self with sociopaths tends to ingrain sociopathic behavior. Spend time around a normal distribution of well-adjusted people. It'll rub off on you, or you'll rub them the wrong way and discover very quickly (unlike in IRC) just how unacceptable IRC-style behavior really is. You'll either adjust quickly or suffer a fate more devastating to one's ego than being banned: insignificance.

more than 3 years ago
top

Disarm Internet Trolls, Gently

SnowDog74 WarGames (417 comments)

The article's first example involves IRC. There's your first mistake... wasting time on IRC, the backside of the internet.

Heed the wisdom of Professor Falken's Joshua, "Strange game. The only winning move is not to play."

more than 3 years ago
top

DSL Installation Fail

SnowDog74 Former Qwest (371 comments)

I worked at Qwest for ten years and because they contract independent techs in a lot of the CLEC regions (where they're not the incumbent carrier), and based on my own experience years ago fielding provisioning/repair calls, what you describe does not particularly surprise me.

I'm checking with my former manager in the IPNOC to see who you might escalate this issue to directly. I'll get back to you if they can give me someone.

more than 3 years ago
top

DOJ Ramping Up Crackdown On Copyright-Infringing Sites

SnowDog74 Re:While we're all on the "freedom" crusade here.. (366 comments)

And again... My entire point is that if you want to be granted license for use without paying monetary consideration, then ask the copyright owner permission.

I have permission, in writing, for every piece that I use... and I asked for it in advance.

more than 3 years ago
top

DOJ Ramping Up Crackdown On Copyright-Infringing Sites

SnowDog74 Re:While we're all on the "freedom" crusade here.. (366 comments)

Huh? How exactly am I engaging in an unsolicited request to "share and share alike"?

I fall under the exception only for one type of usage. For all other things... casual viewing/listening, etc. I PAY for the material I acquire. All the material I use in any exempted criticism is obtained lawfully.

So explain how I'm a hypocrite: I don't engage in piracy or circumvention of copyright protection systems to obtain any material. I either buy the material or it's press material made available by the author to accredited members of the press.

I have thousands of dollars of audio and video in my collection for items I've acquired outside the course of criticism/comment.

This situation is not more subtle than a toddler screaming. It boils down to convenience at the expense of another's rights. You don't have any inherent right to creative works you didn't author. No one is obligated to furnish you with access to them.

But if you really think it's more complicated than that, please do enlighten me as to a single, legitimate reason, i.e. one that completely excludes personal convenience/gratification as the underlying motive.

more than 3 years ago

Submissions

top

Klausner Sues Apple over Voicemail Patent

SnowDog74 SnowDog74 writes  |  more than 6 years ago

SnowDog74 writes "Filed in Texas by New York-based Klausner Technologies, "The suit alleges asserts that the defendants' Internet-based voicemail products and services violate a Klausner patent. It seeks damages and future royalties estimated at $300 million, according to the press release." Interestingly, the article points out that Klausner has pursued Apple over several patent disputes relating to the Apple MessagePad (Newton). Klausner's lawsuit "also names Comcast Corp, Cablevision Systems Corp and eBay Inc's Skype as infringing its patent for "visual voicemail.""
Link to Original Source
top

SnowDog74 SnowDog74 writes  |  more than 7 years ago

SnowDog74 writes "MacNN reports that on Feb. 8th, Apple, Inc., filed a US Patent Application titled Method and apparatus for organizing information in a computer system. This patent appears to be based on the Piles project developed by Gitta Salomon in 1992. Of particular note are descriptors such as "The appearance of the graphical representation of the pile (e.g. dynamic or static icon of the pile) provides further information to the user, including the texture, thickness, and color of the various documents within the pile." The summary, as a whole, surreptitiously suggests a dynamic user interface optimized for a touchscreen interface. This may be the first evidence to corroborate the hypothesis that iPhone is simply a tactical step in a larger strategic direction for Apple. Given Apple's typical product development cycle from patent to prototype to release, might we see the first multitouch Mac within two to three years?"
top

SnowDog74 SnowDog74 writes  |  more than 7 years ago

SnowDog74 writes "According to an article in USA Today, Verizon Wireless apparently rejected an Apple deal. The article suggests that Verizon wasn't particularly happy with the strict terms Apple wanted. What's perhaps most interesting, however, about this story is the implication from sources that say Cingular's exclusive deal is within the United States only. If this is true, it undermines some of the criticism Apple's been receiving for their business strategy surrounding the iPhone, given the size of the cell phone market outside the United States."

Journals

SnowDog74 has no journal entries.

Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?