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Jonathan Coulton Song Used By Glee Without Permission

Sparks23 Re:Okay, so... $2M fine, right? (307 comments)

I thought the standard was for each copy 'made available.' So if you count each song as multiple infringements on BitTorrent, by that logic, shouldn't every single hypothetical viewer of Glee be counted as a separate infringement?

According to TVByTheNumbers, last night's Glee viewership was 6.75 million viewers, and the fine's almost certainly more than $1 per infringement, so... ;P

about a year and a half ago

Why Apple Replaced iOS Maps

Sparks23 Re:iOS maps should have started as an App (561 comments)

Except that, according to the article, that was exactly the problem: Google Maps would expire mid-next-year. Which meant either they'd have to sign another contract — and I would be *stunned* if, in such a situation, Google didn't demand Latitude be included or some other sort of data-collection concession — or have Maps go dark *during* iOS 6's lifetime, requiring Maps to be replaced in a point-release, rather than changing over at a major OS release.

Whether or not I think this was a great decision, I can totally see why they made the move now from a business aspect. Imagine if they had done this changeover in iOS 6.2...

about 2 years ago

Toyota Abandons Plans For All-Electric Vehicle Rollout

Sparks23 Re:Largely Demand Driven (490 comments)

Renault and Nissan came up with the Quick-Drop battery swapping system that another poster mentions in regard to the Fluence ZE, though Nissan doesn't use it for the LEAF platform; the LEAF battery packs *can* be swapped out fairly easily, but it's not set up for the Quick-Drop method. Tesla originally talked about offering battery swaps at their Supercharger locations, but I think that's fallen by the wayside.

Honestly, with so many different battery capacities — the LEAF has 24kWh worth of batteries, while the highest-end Model S has 80kWh — I think standardization would be hard. I mean, we can't even fully finalize on a quick-charging standard!

In Japan and France, they have a system called CHAdeMO, a large plug capable of delivering up to 62.5kW of charge and thus charging the LEAF from near-empty in about 25 minutes. Japanese EVs and a number of European ones use this as a charging connector.

Meanwhile, the US came up with SAE1772, a replacement for older charging standards, with a smaller plug but which is limited to about 6.6kW of charge at 220V, meaning they can be installed many more places but take hours to recharge. (These are the little stations in many parking lots, for 'charge while you shop' at a mall or whatever.) Given the differing standards, various cars released in the US — the LEAF, the MiEV, etc. — support J1772 for slower charging and CHAdeMO for fast charging. And so CHAdeMO quick chargers have been put in along freeways.

Now SAE has come up with a variant on SAE1772 — a bigger form of the plug with the original plug as a subset of the design — which could allow quick-charging. The idea being that you'd only need one plug; the new SAE1772 variant sockets could use the old plugs, so older charging stations would work, but you'd have to have new sockets for any new plugs. However, no one's committed to supporting that yet that I've heard.

Then Tesla, disgusted with everyone else, designed their own Supercharger system which charges at up to 100kW — heavier duty than CHAdeMO — so that they can charge the 80kW pack of a high-end Model S much faster. They made adapters to allow SAE1772 charging too, for all the little parking lot stations, but there's no easy way to convert CHAdeMO for those quick chargers.

Standardization among EVs is... well, we still have a way to go.

about 2 years ago

EVE Online CSM and Diplomat Killed in Libyan Consulate Attacks

Sparks23 Re:Double standards are twice as good! (680 comments)

If I'm reading the news articles properly, available evidence actually indicates the protesters themselves were peaceful and the protests got used as cover for violence by extremists. Some articles suggested that this was a 9/11 'reminder' planned anyway, and the protests over the film just provided a convenient cover for them to get into place in a crowd.

Sadly, the lunatic fringe is often what a group gets judged by, which is hardly unique to Islam; many people also judge Christianity by groups like the Westboro Baptist Church or the Christian groups who bomb abortion clinics. Heck, the same is true of political parties or — to use a more Slashdot-relevant example — OS platform advocates. The loud lunatic ones end up being the voices outsiders notice the most readily, because they're shouting and starting fights.

As a result, the story many take from this becomes not, "Violent lunatics seize on convenient excuse to thinly justify their attacks" but "ZOMG YOU GUYS, MUSLIMS ARE CRAZY-VIOLENT." Which is unfortunate.

about 2 years ago

Patent Suit Targets Every Touch-based Apple Product

Sparks23 Seems to me... (141 comments)

...that this would affect a lot more than just Apple if upheld. I understand Google's got a small interest in touch-based devices, too, and I seem to recall that Microsoft's considering maybe supporting some of this 'touch' stuff in Windows 8. (Sarcasm tag heavily implied there, which was hopefully clear.)

Seriously, I feel that patents have become sort of like nuclear weaponry; you either try to amass enough weapons in your patent portfolio that the other side won't launch, as with mutually assured destruction between the big companies, or else you get held hostage by patent-troll terrorists who get ahold of a weapon and threaten to take out everything they can unless you pay them. Maybe we need the patent law equivalent of Jack Bauer to deal with patent trolling. :P

more than 2 years ago

Microsoft Curbs Wi-Fi Location Database

Sparks23 Re:Published? (69 comments)

No, Skyhook's definitely not the technology under the hood. In fact, Motorola replaced Google's built-in geolocation with Skyhook on their Android handsets, but Google pitched a fit about this. And so Motorola dropped Skyhook again and returned to Google's geolocation system, and Skyhook sued Google.

more than 3 years ago

Use Your Car To Power Your House

Sparks23 Re:Inefficient (271 comments)

Japan never used to have power outages to speak of, but in the wake of the tsunami and Fukushima Dai-ichi being taken offline, outages are heavily on the mind of the average Japanese citizen. They had a ton of blackouts in March, and the Tokyo area in particular has been engaging in a ton of power-saving measures; the article from the summary even mentions a few (dimming subway station lights, to draw less power, for instance). Given that everyone's looking for ways to reduce their draw on the power grid at peak times, I'm not surprised that Nissan is looking into this possibility.

more than 3 years ago

IPv6 Traffic Volumes Are Low, But Nobody Knows How Low

Sparks23 Re:The embarrassing thing (231 comments)'s AAAA record resolves to 2620:0:1cfe:face:b00c::b -- however, most folks can't resolve it. According to posts on the ipv6-ops mailing list, Facebook is still doing IPv6 in a limited testing phase, so they have DNS whitelisting enabled to avoid folks other than Hurricane Electric IPv6 testers getting the AAAA record while the IPv6 version of the site is still not quite there yet.

Presumably they'll turn off the whitelisting and let it resolve universally for IPv6 Day.

more than 3 years ago

Police Using Apple iOS Tracking Data For Forensics

Sparks23 Re:Android (208 comments)

No, Android stores the last 50 unique cell-derived locations (in cache.cell) and the last 200 unique wifi-derived locations (in cache.wifi). In other words, the file /is/ truncated, but based on quantity of data rather than age/time. Apple's logfile is not truncated, whether by design or programming error.

Conversely, Apple's log remains on the device only for Core Location caching; it's stored in iPhone backups, but isn't ever sent back to the mothership (at least so far as anyone has been able to tell). Google truncates the log, but does send the data when you hit a WiFi point and have a GPS signal; they use this to update their WiFi location database for GPS assist, as they use their own service rather than Skyhook. (If your base station advertises itself, open or otherwise, go to and enter your local router's MAC address; you can see where Google thinks that base station is, based on how Android devices have paired your station to their GPS data.)

more than 3 years ago

Microsoft Counts Down To XP Death

Sparks23 Re:Uh, unless you're a programmer... (766 comments)

Not to mention Apple retires OSes in just a few years after release but there's no outcry on here.

Some of that may be due to the fact that Apple charges a lot less -- a LOT less -- for OS upgrades than Microsoft does, and some of it may be due to the fact that OS X is a lot less likely to be heavily tied into some company's corporate network than XP was.

Either way, you're still correct that no company can be expected to support an older OS forever. As was noted elsewhere, RedHat's long since retired support for many versions of their software, and no longer roll RPMs to update various things based on older systems.

more than 3 years ago
top Hacked With Sql Injection

Sparks23 Re:Yo Dawg (288 comments)

Honestly, "YourSQL" seems more accurate than "MySQL" given that apparently even the developers can't keep control of their own database. ;P

more than 3 years ago

$1.2 Million Worth of MS Points Taken After Hackers Figure Out Code Algorithm

Sparks23 Re:Oh deary me (203 comments)

In fairness to Gates, he's willingly given away something like $39 /billion/ dollars of his own money through philanthropic and charity efforts. Even as a stockholder in MS, I doubt he cares much about $1.2 million. But there were probably some chairs thrown in Ballmer's office...

more than 3 years ago

Apple Deemed Top of Movie Product Placement Charts

Sparks23 Re:And it's fucking irritating (321 comments)

Yeah, Bones is really the worst offender out there for product placement. They don't even bother to try to disguise them most of the time.

As I noted in a different post, White Collar at least /tried/ to work it into the story and dialogue in a semi-natural way when they were showing off a hybrid car placement (during a high-speed car sequence) in a recent episode, by having Neal mock Diana for "not driving very green." Bones doesn't even bother with that much effort.

more than 3 years ago

Apple Deemed Top of Movie Product Placement Charts

Sparks23 Re:And it's fucking irritating (321 comments)

Bones has got to be the worst offender for this, which particularly bothers me because, honestly, if you rated what characters in television series were the least likely to bother showing off a new gadget to those around them, I would say Temperance Brennan should land somewhere in the top five. She just wouldn't care. But White Collar also earns an honorable mention lately; they seem to be trying to take the crown of Random Car Placements from Bones. Though at least they've tried to work it into the script through jokes, like covering the hybrid during a high-speed driving sequence.

Neal: Why is there a tree on your dashboard?
Diana: It's a hybrid. It shows me how efficiently I'm driving.
Neal: You're not driving very green. All the leaves are falling off.
Diana: *annoyed* Do you want to catch this guy?
Neal: I feel like I'm stuck in the Giving Tree. There's nothing left but a stump.
Diana: *more annoyed* I'll grow a new one over the weekend!

I didn't say they SUCCEEDED, but they tried.

more than 3 years ago

Apple Deemed Top of Movie Product Placement Charts

Sparks23 Re:And it's fucking irritating (321 comments)

That's the thing. Watching Castle and seeing that Rick Castle has an iPhone, or that Detective Beckett has a Palm Pre? Eh, whatever. They're probably going to have a cell phone, like most of the people in the US. As long as you're not throwing that device into my face really obnoxiously, I don't care what it is. It's just a prop, and I can focus on the story. Seeing that Shawn on 'Psych' carries an iPhone, again, not terribly jarring. None of them make a big deal about their phones, they just use them on screen.

But when I'm watching Bones and, say, Dr. Brennan feels a need to explain her new Windows Phone 7 device and show the Metro UI off to someone? Or on /any/ show where they feel the need to discuss the little tree on the dashboard (or demonstrate the Bluetooth capabilities) of certain hybrid cars? (White Collar, I'm looking at you as well here.) Those get annoying and jarring, because they feel like someone randomly regurgitated marketing into the middle of the script.

more than 3 years ago

Does Syfy Really Love Sci-Fi?

Sparks23 Re:Let's Hijack the Science Channel (742 comments)

Be fair... for a while, the History channel made it seem as though all of human history boiled down to UFOs or Hitler. (Or sometimes UFOs and Hitler.) The Bible Sex and Mayan Apocalypse shows were at least a new form of irritant!

more than 3 years ago

Does Syfy Really Love Sci-Fi?

Sparks23 Re:Bills to Pay (742 comments)

It used to be, network executives understood that sometimes it takes a couple of seasons for a show to really get its legs, for people to get interested in it and for its audience to build. Now, they evaluate everything on a week-by-week basis. Some shows last only two or three episodes. Very, very few last more than a season or two.

USA Network is apparently the exception to this; it seems like they'll give all their original programming at least two seasons to find its legs. Psych, Burn Notice, White Collar, In Plain Sight, Royal Pains... every one of them has been given sufficient time to find its legs and pick up an audience. And most of them have. I imagine their new series Fairly Legal will be given the same opportunity.

more than 3 years ago

Motorola Xoom Won't Have Flash Support At Launch

Sparks23 Re:I think... (187 comments)

The real problem I have with the Xoom is that you have to sign up for the cellular data plan in order for the tablet to enable WiFi. No Verizon data plan? No WiFi for you, either. Sure, you can cancel after the WiFi's been activated, with a minimum of one month data service... but still, that's just outright extortion. And there's no release date on the WiFi-only Xoom yet, so it's the cellular-enabled Xoom or nothing.

more than 3 years ago


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