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40 Windows Apps Said To Contain Critical Bug

coppro Well.. (158 comments)

Need your computer hacked? There's an app for that.

more than 3 years ago

How Game Gimmicks Break Immersion

coppro Not just games (228 comments)

This is like a modern cartoon. American children's cartoons tend to be the worst offenders. Backgrounds are usually static while only the foreground is animated. The background might even be drawn with different penmanship or a different style altogether (e.g. a watercolor background). Sometimes the effect works, as it does in some video games, but in particular if a character has to interact with an element of the background, then things start to look very out of place.

My personal favorite example was from a cartoon showing a series of fences. They were mostly soft, pretty detailed. Except every fence had a few panels in a line that were drawn with heavier lines and flatter colors. It was easy to predict that the scene included a character breaking through those panels.

about 4 years ago

Australia Gets Its First Female Prime Minister

coppro Interesting Historical Fact (419 comments)

Canada's first and, so far, only female Prime Minister also took office by becoming party leader and with no general election in between.

about 4 years ago

The MPEG-LA's Lock On Culture

coppro Re:Who reads the manual? (457 comments)

This isn't some kind of EULA situation where a provision in the contract will be thrown out: the cameras are stated to be for non-commercial use because no one paid for a commercial license. Suing would be quick and dirty, and the user would be at fault.

No. There is no provision in the contract to buy a camera stating that it is for personal use only, unless it's clearly marked on the packaging. This means the license could only bind the user if the patents are valid. If they are found to be invalid, there is no consideration and so the license cannot bind the user to anything. If the patents are valid, the user might still be found not to be subject to the license (since they would have to agree to it, and most users aren't even aware of the license's existence - they could still be found to agree without knowledge if there was significant notices attached to the camera that most people would notice stating it could only be used if you agree to the license, but to my knowledge no camera is like that), but then they would be at fault for patent infringement, which generally does not require intent.

more than 4 years ago

Red Hat Prevails Against Patent Troll Acacia

coppro Re:patent trolling (89 comments)

Would be tough... Patents are a property right. We don't normally take peoples' property away if they're not using it in ways that we'd like, but maybe you could make an argument under Kelo v. City of New London that it's an eminent domain taking. Plus, it wouldn't be invalidating the patent - it would be assigning it to the government, who then releases it free into the public domain.

Some patent laws provide provisions by which a patent holder can be seen to be abusing their patent and have conditions forced upon them, but these seem to get rarely used (Here's Canada's Patent Act as an example).

more than 4 years ago

Google Buzz — First Reactions

coppro Losing Appeal (310 comments)

The great thing about Gmail is that it is^H^Hwas a very usable email service that didn't try to tie you into a bajillion other parts of a website and other features you aren't really going to use. The more stuff they add, the more likely I am to complain loudly about the death of Unix. If they go far enough (and they're close) I'll do something about it by switching to a more Unixy mail provider, like postfix. The loss of flexibility (nice easy access from anywhere; easy to set up filtering) will be repaid in my sanity.

more than 4 years ago

Murdoch Says E-Book Prices Will Kill Paper Books

coppro Not a New Concept (538 comments)

This is not a new concept, and it's certainly not fatal to the book:

  • The Encyclopedia Britannica costs $70/a for an online subscription. It costs $1300 for a paper copy. People still buy the paper copy.
  • A hardcover book costs 2-4 times as much as the paperback. People still buy the hardcover.
  • Public libraries exist. People still buy books.

more than 4 years ago

Europe's LHC To Run At Half-Energy Through 2011

coppro Re:Pay Now or Pay Later (194 comments)

I seem to have heard this argument before. The Apollo fire. The loss of the Challenger. Repairs to the Hubble.

The difference here is that they know what the current safe maximum is, so they'll operate it for a while, tear the thing down and replace them with interconnects with higher safe maximums, and start it up again. They are aware that the lower safety factor must also mean a lower-power experiement (not that putting 7 TeV of energy into a single proton is normally considered low power).

more than 4 years ago

Scientists To Breed the Auroch From Extinction

coppro Aurochs (277 comments)

It's called an aurochs. Research fail.

more than 4 years ago

Best estimate of monthly spending on food:shelter

coppro Re:1:1 (582 comments)

Divide both sides by 0: (0/0)/0 = (1/1)/0 *** By associativity of division across the reals: 0/(0/0) = (1/1)/0

Uh, problem. Division isn't associative:
(1/2)/3 = 1/6
1/(2/3) = 3/2

Also, in the reals (which is your stated field), x/0 is taken to be undefined, meaning that your division of both sides by 0 isn't valid unless you define that too (which can be done, but you didn't do it).

more than 4 years ago

A New Libel Defense In Canada; For Blogs Too

coppro Re:Truth as a defense? (146 comments)

Truth is already a defense. This case establishes a new defense; it doesn't invalidate the exsisting ones:

The statement was true
If you have some legal or moral obligation to disclose the defamatory material - for instance, you are providing a reference for someone looking for a job, or you are testifying in court.
Fair comment
You are allowed to criticize as long as it is done fairly and is based on fact.

more than 4 years ago

A New Libel Defense In Canada; For Blogs Too

coppro No. (146 comments)

That's not the meaning of this ruling at all. Because this is a defence, you would have the burden of proof. It's your job to show that you did try to contact them and they refused comment. Furthermore, the tests effectively establish that you must have enough information to justify the possibly-defamatory claim as much as is reasonable given the urgency of the issue. You have to prove that you did everything reasonable to determine if then rumour was true or false and then (and only then) went forward with publishing a report of an unsubstantiated allegation.

In theory, you could concoct a large amount of fake evidence to prove this to the courts, but a) it's not easy b) you'd have to convince them that the other plain was lying when he says you didn't contact him c) it's highly illegal (in Canada, the maximum prison term for perjury is fourteen years) d) the same would be possible without this new defence.

more than 4 years ago

Holy See Declares a "Unique Copyright" On the Pope

coppro Terrible article (447 comments)

Ugh... I wish people would stop mixing up the difference between trademark and copyright. Notwithstanding that the Vatican is a sovereign state and can do whatever the heck it wants within its boundaries, what they're really declaring is that the trademark of the Pope is going to be reserved for their exclusive use. Copyright isn't even involved here.

more than 4 years ago

Nintendo Upset Over Nokia Game Emulation Video

coppro Re:Note that they haven't accused yet (189 comments)

Your point is well made, but the UltraHLE threats occurred before the court decision that an emulator is legal. Nowadays, Nintendo's legal department is very careful to sidestep the issue of whether or not the emulator program or a data backup made from a physical medium (as opposed to another copy of the same game downloaded over the Internet) is itself legal, instead focusing on the fact that downloading ROM images of games over the Internet is illegal.

more than 4 years ago

Typewriters, Computers, and Creating?

coppro Let's put this in perspective (227 comments)

How much would you pay for the computer Linus used?

I rest my case.

more than 4 years ago

Nintendo Upset Over Nokia Game Emulation Video

coppro Note that they haven't accused yet (189 comments)

It's worth pointing out that Nintendo merely wants to find out if infringement occurred - they're almost certainly as aware as every other game company that emulation is legal. It's quite possible, however, that there was indeed some copyright infringement, such as in acquiring the game, and they want to be sure that their competitors are playing by the book.
This is reasonable, in my opinion.

more than 4 years ago

Firefox's Awesome Bar...

coppro Re:bookmarks? (447 comments)

There's Private Browsing for a reason. Ctrl-Shift-P to the rescue!

more than 4 years ago

Brazilian Breaks Secrecy of Brazil's E-Voting Machines With Van Eck Phreaking

coppro Re:Whew, that was a close one... (157 comments)

The issue is one of anonymity. Someone could (comparatively) easily phreak a machine when a specific person walks into the polling booth so that they could determine that person's vote. The integrity of the results is not compromised, however; there is no threat of vote-stuffing or fraud.

more than 4 years ago

Go, Google's New Open Source Programming Language

coppro Re:Build-in function library (831 comments)

A system language with run-time reflection is one of the worst ideas I've heard this year.

And I've heard a pitch for a language where the compiler can be changed by a running program... retroactively.

more than 4 years ago

Apple Says Booting OS X Makes an Unauthorized Copy

coppro Re:Litigated before (865 comments)

It says you have the license to run it, which would, I suppose, include copying it into RAM since that's how computer programs are usually designed to be run.

more than 4 years ago



Canadian Court takes away Wii for bad behavior

coppro coppro writes  |  more than 4 years ago

coppro (1143801) writes "A Winnipeg boy has had several run-ins (runs-in?) with the law in the past few months, and the police are tired of it. In his most recent confrontation with the courts, the prosecutor argued he should be denied bail. But the judge granted the boy bail — for his Wii. If he fails to meet the conditions of his bail, he won't get it back."
Link to Original Source

Yet Another Conservative Minority

coppro coppro writes  |  more than 5 years ago

coppro (1143801) writes "Stephen Harper looks to have let a majority government slip out of his grasp. For those of you who aren't up-to-speed with Canadian politics, it means that if everyone else in the Parliament doesn't like a bill, then they can have the bill defeated and send the country to another election. This is the same party that proposed the famed bill C-61 (discussed previously on Slashdot), which has been said by some to be more restrictive than the DMCA. And they still have copyright on their election platform."
Link to Original Source

EU Greens-EFA Fight Back Against Media Industry

coppro coppro writes  |  more than 6 years ago

coppro (1143801) writes "Over at, the European Union's Greens-European Free Alliance have created a new advertising campaign that fights back against the industry — and it looks a lot like something that you might already have watched on a recent DVD coming from the entertainment industry.

The media industry has failed to offer viable legal alternatives and they will fail to convince consumers that sharing equals stealing. Unfortunately, they have succeeded in another area — lobbying to adapt laws to criminalize sharing, turning consumers into criminals. They argue that their laws are necessary to [support artists], but in reality all they're protecting is their own profits.
Filesharing is gaining ground, it seems."

New Darkest Material Created

coppro coppro writes  |  more than 6 years ago

coppro (1143801) writes "A bunch of US researchers have created a new darkest material in the world using the powers of nanotechnology:

In fact, the stuff's so unrelentingly black it's "30 times darker than a carbon substance used by the US National Institute of Standards and Technology as the current benchmark of blackness" and, with a total reflective index of just 0.045 per cent, is over three times blacker than the nickel-phosphorus alloy which currently holds the world's darkest material record.
I hereby denounce this sufficiently advanced technology as magic."

Game Companies Apparently Aware of the Internet

coppro coppro writes  |  more than 6 years ago

coppro (1143801) writes "Apparently, the game companies are now aware of the Internet's potential to spoil hidden secrets. Specifically, Nintendo today announced that Super Smash Bros. Brawl's online mode would not shelter players from exposure to characters they unlocked. Masahiro Sakurai says, "When you have a battle mode that runs online like Basic Brawl, the problem of what to do with hidden characters arises. If one of your opponents chooses a character you haven't unlocked yet, it will be spoiled for you immediately. But even without this mode, given the proliferation of the Internet these days, the existence of hidden characters is going to get exposed anyway. So, this time I'm moving in the direction of not being too hung up on hidden characters.""
Link to Original Source


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