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UK MPs: Google Blocks Child Abuse Images, It Should Block Piracy Too

Zinho Re:Child abuse is machine recognizable; piracy is (348 comments)

One would be hard pressed to argue that a bloodied child in a war zone is not being abused. I'd say thats abuse by definition.

Not hard-pressed:
tr.v. abused, abusing, abuses
1. To use wrongly or improperly; misuse: abuse alcohol; abuse a privilege.
2. To hurt or injure by maltreatment; ill-use.
3. To force sexual activity on; rape or molest.
4. To assail with contemptuous, coarse, or insulting words; revile.
5. Obsolete To deceive or trick.

IMHO, Your definition exceeds the actual definition.

Now define piracy in a way that's machine detectable, and what you'll really have is the ultimate DRM.

Agreed on the DRM, disagree on the war zone children.
* Children in war zones should not be combatants, they should be civilians. Any child in a war zone who is acting as a combatant is being maltreated, or ill-used; definition 2.
* Civilians are non-combatants, and so should not be getting injured. A civilian being injured due to wartime activities is being "hurt or injure[d] by maltreatment"; definition 2.

I don't think that BitZtream exceeded the definition; it seems to me he got it spot-on.

about a year ago

Concern Mounts Over Self-Driving Cars Taking Away Freedom

Zinho Speed Limit Activism & Support (662 comments)

There actually are people actively campaigning for the speed limit culture in the U.S. to be changed. There's not a lot of support for it, but if you want to be part of the solution check out the National Motorists Association and join the cause!

about a year and a half ago

Concern Mounts Over Self-Driving Cars Taking Away Freedom

Zinho Opposite of Gambler's fallacy? (662 comments)

I don't think either AvitarX pr Pieroxy are committing the Gambler's Fallacy; if anything, AvitarX is doing the exact opposite. He's looking at 500 die rolls, none of which are a "1", and concluding that there is a greater likelihood that the die is not fairly weighted.

Is there a word for this? I'm not strong on my statistics, but I hear a lot of people talking about Bayesian analysis being like this.

If nothing else, actuaries at insurance companies would agree with AvitarX that 250,000 miles of accident-free driving is evidence of him being a lower accident risk, and would give him a discount on his rates as a result.

Some of the other posts in this thread do a great job of explaining the Dunning–Kruger effect as related to driving, and it doesn't seem to me that AvitarX is suffering from that, based on his stated evidence and how circumspect he's being about calling himself a good driver.

about a year and a half ago

German Government Warns Windows 8 Is an Unacceptable Security Risk

Zinho Definition of "Quality" (373 comments)

You must be using the industry definition of "Quality", i.e. compliance with quality standards like ISO 9001. Your comment reminds me of a business plan, "Monkey Maid Service", made by an engineer friend of mine:

Step 1: Purchase a supply of monkeys, monkey housing, and monkey chow from traceable sources, documenting the origins of every piece of material involved.
Step 2: Draft a standard process for "Performing maid service" using the monkeys purchased in step 1. If I recall correctly, his rough draft of this process included "dress the monkeys in French maid costumes, then release them in the house for the period of time specified in the contract".
Step 3: Have supervision in place to ensure work performance follows documented procedure, and record performance metrics (% monkeys dressed as French maids, deviation from contract time) for auditing purposes.
Step 4: Advertize the service as ISO 9001 compliant.*

If every can of Budweiser tasting the same is your definition of quality, then sure, it's a quality product. By the way, my friend has a maid service you may be interested in using after your next party.

*I've probably missed a few crucial 9001 compliance steps; quality geeks, please don't crucify me over that ;)

about a year and a half ago

Joining Lavabit Et Al, Groklaw Shuts Down Because of NSA Dragnet

Zinho Re:It was a myth (986 comments)

Touché. You're right, of course. In the future I'll perhaps reserve my mod points for people who both have good ideas AND disagree with me. =P

When I responded, though, it was at a score of 1; its current rating of 5:informative suggests that it was underrated at that point. I would have gone with "insightful", and not felt too bad about it - historical perspective sharply highlighting the current political climate I think is worth the up-mod.

about a year and a half ago

Joining Lavabit Et Al, Groklaw Shuts Down Because of NSA Dragnet

Zinho Re:It was a myth (986 comments)

Where are my mod points when I need them?

How soon we seem to have forgotten the lessons of the Cold War...

about a year and a half ago

"451" Error Will Tell Users When Governments Are Blocking Websites

Zinho Re:Already exists? (255 comments)

Maybe I'm being dense, but how is an error code (intended for remote coffee pot control) that indicates the status "I'm a teapot" relevant to indicating a government-initiated content block?

about a year and a half ago

IAB Urges People To Stop "Mozilla From Hijacking the Internet"

Zinho Re:Fork it then. (499 comments)


about a year and a half ago

OmniCam360 Camera Cluster Lets You Choose the Viewing Angle

Zinho The teams don't want you to have this (66 comments)

The big reason this will never hit my TV screen is that the teams don't want us to understand what really went on during the plays. This technology may get used, and may become available to the teams who played in the game, but the teams will actively block access to the general public. There are already many cameras on the field that give easier-to-understand views than we see on TV, and we never see footage from those, either.

On a side note, I've been around long enough to realize that the editors can't keep track of what was posted yesterday (let alone two years ago), but somehow I was still surprised to notice that today's article and the one I linked were both posted by Timothy. Oh, well, stay classy, Tim.

about a year and a half ago

Apple Retailer Facing Class Action Suit Over Employee Bag Checks

Zinho Re:The incredible irony of.. (353 comments)

Which is as much about theft as forgetfulness.

How often have people placed a tool at work in their pocket, found it when they got home ,and failed to return it due to fear of firing?

It never occurred to me anyone should have a fear of that. Why would returning something to its rightful owner/place be punished? If someone were to return to me something of mine that they took, then I'd think of them as honest and trustworthy for returning it instead of keeping it.

I have a picture in my head of a sociopathic boss chuckling to himself in the soundproof office, "I'll fire this guy, then NOBODY will ever bring my lost/stolen property BACK to me, EVER AGAIN!!!! BWAHAHAH!" It just doesn't scan, and seems quite comical.

about a year and a half ago

Next-Gen Gorilla Glass: Smartphones Could Have Antibacterial, Anti-Glare Displays

Zinho Re:Phobia... (175 comments)

. . . people don't tend to lick, sniff or rub their phone in their eyes.

No, but they tend to touch their phones with their fingers. And touch their eyes with their fingers. I'm watching a co-worker poke himself in the eye right now. I'll be generous and assume he washed his hands after using the restroom, but if he's the type to text on the toilet ($DEITY I hope not) I think there's a risk there.

An anti-bacterial surface (like the titanium dioxide mentioned elsewhere) would be a benefit for a too-large-for-my-comfort segment of smartphone users.

about a year and a half ago

Ask Slashdot: What To Do With New Free Time?

Zinho !(new hobbies || time with families) (299 comments)

Why are you rejecting out of hand the two best suggestions I could think of? I'd encourage you to reconsider that position.

* Everyone I've ever heard express regrets about their career started with "I wish I'd spent more time with my family".

* I can't think of a single time-wasting activity done outside of work that wouldn't qualify as a hobby. Exercise? Yep. Gaming? Yep. Home improvement? Yep. Writing a novel? Yep. Fishing? Yep. Transcendental meditation? You betcha. [1]

For each person the answer to "what should I do" is different. The way to answer it is to think of any time you've ever said "I wish I could do that" or "I'd do that if I had more time", then go and do it. For me, a while ago, it was knitting armor out of stainless steel. I finished one shirt, am halfway through another, and have enjoyed making jewelry for my wife as small projects. More recently I've expanded that skill using knot-tying techniques (it becomes challenging when you use stainless steel instead of rope or softer metals). I can't tell you what will float your personal boat.

What I can tell you, though, is to do what you've always wanted to do. Figure out what that is, then do it.

Also, for everyone else who doesn't suddenly have 8+ extra hours in their day, I'd give you the same advice:
1. Decide what's important to you
2. Do that.

What I've found is that whatever I really want I can make time and find resources for, regardless of my work schedule or other circumstances. I still waste too much time in each day and money on things that aren't really important. When I decide that there's something I really want to learn or to do I can cut back on video games/TV/sleep if necessary.

Don't wait to do what's most important. Start today.

[1] Incidentally, going the exercise/meditation route in addition to whatever else you do is likely to do wonders for the damage to your body and psyche inflicted by long hours in the server room. Give it some thought.

about a year and a half ago

One Year After World IPv6 Launch — Are We There Yet?

Zinho "everything is up and to the right" (246 comments)


it all looks like everything is up and to the right

I'm confused, is up and left an option? I'd love it if my graphs with negative slope indicated time travel instead of a decrease over time!

about a year and a half ago

GMO Wheat Found Growing Wild In Oregon, Japan Suspends Import From U.S.

Zinho WHOOOOOSH (679 comments)

On the other hand, I love your analogy! I'm going to steal that and use it in future arguments, it's classic =)

about a year and a half ago

Compared to its non-Super version, I most prefer ...

Zinho Re:Easy. (288 comments)

Oh my goodness, how can you pop that gem out without stating the obvious and DOUBLE Whammy...

Superconducting Super Collider!! I mean really, I think your nerd badge needs a review :)

Otherwise, great call!

Alternately, the Super-Colliding Super Button...

about a year and a half ago

Does Antimatter Fall Up?

Zinho Re:Maybe our universe is a 'matter bubble' (255 comments)

Then we should see a very bright border as matter and anti-matter annihilate on the edges. As far as I know, that doesn't exist so being a bubble of matter in anti-matter doesn't seem likely.

Like, say, a nearly-uniform wash of electromagnetic radiation, apparently emanating from every observable point in the sky? I'd be willing to consider matter-antimatter annihilation at the universe's border as a possible explanation of Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation. Since objects at the edge of the observable universe are already redshifted to near-invisibility I'd expect that the gamma they emit would be similarly redshifted.

Having said that, I'd need to hear a really good explanation for why this annihilation exactly matches the spectral distribution for blackbody radiation at 2.7260 ± 0.0013 K before I'd totally swallow it as a replacement for the big bang theory. But I won't go around demanding that funding be cut from a bubble-universe researcher, either.

about 2 years ago

USB SuperSpeed Power Spec To Leap From 10W To 100W

Zinho Vaporware, for now (242 comments)


"I think we'll see products in the market by the Christmas season in 2014," Ravencraft said. "The companies have to build silicon - device, host, bridge and hub silicon."

So it looks to be quite a ways out. Still, I'd love to see a video output spec that doesn't have mandatory DRM. I didn't see any mention of HDMI in the article, so there's a slim chance of this new interface not being broken by design...

about 2 years ago

A New Benefit For Logged-In Readers: Meet Slashdot's ROT13 Initiative

Zinho Bookmarklet decrypter (261 comments)

I use bookmarklets to handle rot-13 encoding when I find it. Highlight, click bookmark, read as plain text. Simple.


about 2 years ago

Video Game Industry Starting To Feel Heat On Gun Massacres

Zinho Re:Smart cop? (1006 comments)

So, a Master's degree, then?

about 2 years ago

Major Find By Japanese Scientists May Threaten Chinese Rare Earth Hegemony

Zinho Re:Senkaku islands (189 comments)

Having it in your map in the 14th century is a better claim than, "I have bigger guns than you, it's mine now."

Perhaps, but it's a much more practical claim than the ancient map, especially when coupled with "I've been standing on it for the last 100 years"...

about 2 years ago



TuneCore helps musicians self-publish

Zinho Zinho writes  |  about 7 years ago

Zinho (17895) writes "Forget MTV, forget signing up with a music label. Publish your music and music videos on iTunes, and keep 100% of the proceeds! Since 2006 a company called TuneCore has offered publication as a service to musicians, charging a flat rate fee based only on the quantity of music. Established musicians and groups such as Public Enemy, Jaz-Z, and Ziggy Marley are already using the service.

People frequently ask what musicians will do for money if the record labels die; TuneCore may have part of the answer."

Zinho Zinho writes  |  more than 8 years ago

Zinho (17895) writes "Blank Label Comic's Dave Kellett needs your help. He's moving his daily strip, Sheldon, to www.sheldoncomics.com tomorrow. Unfortunately, United Media (who hosts the comic for most of Dave's readers) won't let him announce it on their website. This will leave many of Dave's readers wondering where the comic went.
Howard Tayler (author of the comic Schlock Mercenary gives further information in his blog:
He is leaving United Media to go completely independent... Dave tried putting a notice in the strip... it got edited out, and United Media won't send a "Sheldon is moving" message either.
(If anybody from United Media is reading this... it may be too late to save the syndication business model, but it's not too late for you to go out of business with a clean conscience.)



Justify an SSD to your boss

Zinho Zinho writes  |  more than 2 years ago

I made a comment a while back detailing money I saved switching to a solid state drive (SSD) from a standard spinning-rust hard drive (HDD). Since then I've gotten a request to detail my procedure. It's not difficult or complicated, so I'll explain it here.

Step 1: profile daily usage. I work in a corporate environment, and my highest frequency applications are MS Outlook and SolidWorks; as a result, I took a stopwatch and timed a cold boot, launching Outlook (no document) and launching Solidworks (no document). I also timed how long it takes to open a file once solidworks is up. The times I got were 270s cold boot (power on to login prompt), 50s SolidWorks, 30s Outlook start, 15-20s document open. Yes, these are horrible. No, it's neither comprehensive nor precise; I was going for representative and ballpark figures.

Step 2: Find difference in use times on an SSD. My first draft approached this with a throughput estimate - seek time is minimal for most files compared to read time in my use case. The HDD that came with the system is specced for 100 MB/s max transfer rate, the SSD I wanted to buy (Crucial RealSSD C300) claimed up to 355MB/s max sequential read; from this I estimated about 1/3 the time to open a given file. Based on this I was able to run the rest of the "time=money" numbers and convince my boss to buy one as a trial. If you can get actual numbers instead of using estimates that's better; more on that later.

Step 3: Estimate time saved between HDD and SSD. I estimated one bootup and 20 solidworks files opened per day; I could have gone further, but the ROI numbers just on that were good enough. With the 1/3 assumption we're looking at 6 minutes a day wasted waiting for a disk to spin.

Step 4: Estimate cost of lost time. I tried to keep this from being personal by using my company's pay scale for a typical full-time employe at my level instead of my own salary. Dividing by work days per year, hours per work day, etc I was able to figure out a cost per minute of salary time. Multiplying that by 6 minutes/day gave me about $4/day.

Step 5: Calculate ROI time for new SSD. Knowing the cost of the drive you can then estimate how long it will take to pay itself off. For a $300 drive that is $300/$4 = 75 working days, or 15 calendar weeks (5 work days per week). That's less than 4 months. In fact, for an employee who has two weeks of vacation/holidays per year (250 work days) the drive earns back about $1000/year. Not bad.

Step 6: Get actual hard drive and refine the numbers. Once I had the sample drive in hand I re-profiled the same tasks as before. The new numbers were 75s cold boot, 15s SolidWorks start, 4s Outlook start, and 3-7s SW drawing open; this validated the 1/3 estimate, and allowed me to make a final report with real results. The final numbers weren't much different, though; 195s saved per bootup is not a lot more than 180s saved, and 12s/file isn't a big gain over 10s. We're still looking at about $4/day savings (ballpark). It was nice to be able to show that the real numbers lined up with the rough estimate (better than the estimate, actually).

Please note that to adapt this to yourself you'd need to decide where your time is spent waiting on disk for your profession; programmers, game developers, legal assistants, and graphic artists would presumably all have different applications to load and different amounts of disk wait time in their day. Total savings also are dependent on salary; a $150k/year salaried employee's time is much more costly than a $15k/year hourly minimum wage employee. Your management may be comfortable with a larger drive based on these numbers as well, that's up to your manager and where he/she reaches sticker shock. Also, try to be honest about the nature of this time saving. Large blocks of disk wait can be compensated for by doing other productive activities (even if it's only getting coffee during bootup instead of watching compy boot while sipping the morning coffee).

In my opinion, though, the biggest benefits are intangible. By not interrupting my work cycle for 15s blocks while I'm immersed in my thought process I improve my ability to concentrate on the task at hand. Having programs start immediately when called upon greatly improves the computing experience as well, and improves morale (the computer is working for me rather than fighting me or slowing me down). The experience is so much better that I'd recommend it to anyone working at a computer as their primary job.

As time passes the brand of drive you'll want to buy will change. These days I'd still recommend the C300's successor, the Crucial M4 256GB (~$200 on Newegg); however, the Corsair Force 3 and Force GT series are good bang-for-buck solutions as well (~$210 on Newegg for 240GB, better performance). I use techreport.com's occasional reports to keep an eye on the lay of the land as far as SSD value across the market. Other attempts I've seen didn't have the same numerical rigor to them or as eye-catching of a graph.

To anyone using this as a pattern to convince their boss that SSDs are worth it, good luck! It's been a great switch for me, and I hope the experience goes as well for you.

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