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Congress Unhappy With FCC's Proposed Changes To Net Neutrality

frinsore Re:The FCC has no right to dictate terms (208 comments)

Riddle me this... do you want the US postal service to run your internet?

People tend to hate comcast more then the Post Office, so... yes?

about 2 months ago
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The Design Flaw That Almost Wiped Out an NYC Skyscraper

frinsore Re:They kept it SECRET so lots can be kept secret? (183 comments)

If you read the damninteresting.com article in the expanded summary it mentions that no one knew about it because there was a press strike. Wikipedia confirms that all 3 major New York City newspapers were on strike while the building was being repaired.

The repairs were only "secret" because no one was asking questions about it.

about 3 months ago
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Australia May 'Pause' Trades To Tackle High-Frequency Trading

frinsore Re:Won't work (342 comments)

The problem with requiring someone to hold onto shares for a specific amount of time is that it doesn't prevent HFT but instead adds a barrier to entry. If I buy 5 shares of IBM but then must wait a week before I can sell those 5 shares what prevents me from selling these other 5 shares I bought last week? If there was a company that held several stocks that were readily trade able other people could contract selling the shares & replacing them for a nominal fee. This would be similar to shorting stocks.

One possible solution would be to trade shares on a fixed schedule, ex: every minute but not between minutes. This would provide everyone the same amount of time to react to the information. The difficult part would be deciding between who wins the bids, since time is an unfair determining factor that leaves some other metric like price bid or bidder's history or a random element.

about 4 months ago
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3D Printing: Have You Taken the Plunge Yet? Planning To?

frinsore Re:3D printing (251 comments)

Actually that makes a ton of sense. Seriously, no sarcasm. I can see people going to a library or other community center and using the cheap 3D printers to make test prints and then going to a business to make an expensive version. Or if you had several prints that you needed to get done then just go somewhere with a bunch of printers and have them printed in parallel there instead of in serial at home.

And if the 3D printing revolution does happen like the fanboys say: the kinko's down the street will still have a better printer then the one I may have at home.

about 4 months ago
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3D Printing: Have You Taken the Plunge Yet? Planning To?

frinsore Re:3D printing (251 comments)

3D printing isn't ready for hobbyist level yet, it's still more for early adapters but several of your concerns have been fixed in the past few years.

- The more you're willing to spend on the printer the better quality results you'll get from the printer with less tinkering.
- Windows 8 does have a standard 3D printer driver. Not every 3D printer may use it but you have to admit that there will be some standardization on drivers MS puts out. You'll still need an authoring program, but that's not different then needing a writing program to create a 2D document.

Personally I don't see 3D printers really taking off until there's a "killer app" for them. Until there's something that everyone just needs to print and customize. Something like lego mindstorms or artistic iPhone covers or skylanders. Until that happens most 3D printers will be relegated to knick knacks and smart phone cradles.

about 4 months ago
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AT&T Exec Calls Netflix "Arrogant" For Expecting Net Neutrality

frinsore Re:It's not arrogant, it's correct. (466 comments)

But the connection between providers isn't the justification for the deal with Comcast. Netflix wanted to put their servers inside Comcast's network using their Open Connect Content Delivery Network that you link to. If Netflix had been able to do that then the amount of traffic carrying Netflix data coming into Comcast's network from other Providers would have dropped considerably, which should have saved Comcast money. However according to this LATimes article Comcast wanted Netflix to subsidize the cost of moving traffic through Comcast's internal network.

Basically Comcast feels they're undercharging their customers for the amount of bandwidth that their customers are using but instead of raising the cost of internet access they want Netflix to pay for it since most people are using Netflix.

about 3 months ago
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Gabe Newell Responds: Yes, We're Looking For Cheaters Via DNS

frinsore Re:Not sending history to Valve (511 comments)

Checking the MD5 hash is one of the oldest methods of anti-cheat. Nowadays file hashes are signed by a private key and verified locally with the corresponding public key, if the hashes don't match then it's an invalid file. But like I said, this is one of the oldest methods and has been worked around for years. The simplest method is to modify system dlls that the executable depends upon to inject code into the running game. This then leads to signing everything that the executable could depend upon. The next easiest method is to launch the executable, pause execution, overwrite some data/functions, and then resume. This has been combated by having the executable live at a random offset. Instead of the executable living at 0 in memory it could live at position 1024 or 756.

The problem is that all anti-cheat software is essentially DRM and running DRM on am open platform like a PC is inherently problematic.

about 5 months ago
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US Cord Cutters Getting Snubbed From NBC's Olympic Coverage Online

frinsore Re:Why? (578 comments)

And why is it that you are owed free content?

And why is it that this content shouldn't be free? It seems to me that the spreading of the spirit of international cooperation and friendly competition should have as few barriers as possible.

I've never cared about the Olympics but I could easily see an argument that access to the Olympic games is a citizen's right. However I am enough of a realist to recognize that money quickly comes into the argument. Organizing the games, advertising, etc costs a lot of money and that the majority of that comes from selling the broadcast rights to different companies. But the price that NBC paid for the rights is tiny compared to the USA Federal budget. The USA could pay the license rights, broadcast the content, and probably break even while still providing access to every citizen.

Then the content would be "free".

about 6 months ago
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Target's Data Breach Started With an HVAC Account

frinsore Re:"...as we migrate our audience..." (232 comments)

I don't hate the current beta site but I do find it unusable. The beta site has made some improvements over the months but I doubt that it will be fulfill the minimum requirements any time soon.

My current complaints:
1. Fixed width and a lot of wasted space. I browse with a window width of 1200 on a PC. The comments end up being around 400 pixels wide, that is a lot of wasted horizontal space. On a tablet I can understand having a dead area around the edges of the screen to help avoid accidental touches but on a PC it's wasteful. Also that side bar is completely worthless once someone has scrolled below it yet it still takes up the screen real estate.

2. The side bar can't be customized. On the classic site I can add/remove different widgets for things that I care about. I realize that the web has moved on since those widgets were first designed so I can understand changing them. But that doesn't mean that I want to have widgets that I actively ignore, I haven't cared about the slashdot poll in years and that's not going to change; also I don't care about what was on the site 10 years ago this day.

3. The comments seem to have bugs. On the main site there are 7 replies to this comment's parent while on the beta site there are only 2 replies. What happened to the other comments? It seems that the only the first 2 comments by date are displayed meaning some +5 comments aren't being displayed which brings the average of the entire comment system down by a significant amount.

4. Make a dedicated forum/thread/story/etc where you engage with community about the new site. Currently people are complaining in the comments of every article because that's the only place they feel like they can vent. Make a dedicated area to talk about the new site design and where the designers explain their design decisions. I know that showing people how the sausage is made is scary and that it will invite a lot of criticism but it also can create a lot of trust.

about 6 months ago
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Amazon Botches Sales Tax, Overcharges NJ

frinsore Going to get worse before it gets better (179 comments)

As several people have pointed out Amazon appears to be applying the correct sales tax. The fact that the resident of NJ doesn't understand his own sales tax demonstrates how complex sales tax can be. Every state, county, and city can have their own sales tax laws which have to all be correctly applied based upon arbitrary characteristics. A state can have a tax rate of 4% with an additional 3% for prepared foods and then a city in that state could have a 2% tax on sugary treats. What counts as a prepared food or sugary treat? That will vary just as much and may not even follow common sense, tomatoes have even been legally defined as vegetables for tax reasons.

A national sales tax could make a lot things a lot simpler but would force states to relinquish a lot of power as every business that could use the national sales tax instead of the local taxes would. States with high sales tax would see a large revenue drop while residents of states without a sales tax would be penalized. I could see brick and mortar stores jumping through hoops to selectively use the lower tax rate, if the local tax rate is higher then the national one they'd "order" the item for the customer and then "deliver" it from the backroom.

The best solution I can see is if the federal government runs a sales tax database that every retailer can query. The retailer submits the location, price, item, and some relevant descriptors: "luxury", "food", "service", "book" and the API spits back what the sales tax should be for the item. It's then beholden to the states to keep their relevant data updated. The states would be limited in how creative their sales taxes could be as the software would need to support it but the states wouldn't need to cede power to the federal government.

about 9 months ago
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Collapse of Quantum Wavefunction Captured In Slow Motion

frinsore Re:No video in the link (242 comments)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-fSqFWcb4rE

They have a video camera that takes frames faster than light can travel, so they have the technology. Problem is it requires the subject to be ungodly bright.

No. No they don't. They have a "camera" with a very fast shutter speed. Then they take millions of pictures of different laser pulses and stitch them together to create an animation that mimics a single laser pulse.

I know that the comments on youtube are pretty poor and that most people rarely read articles but this is a really cool video and if you can't be bothered to understand what you're looking at then I feel sorry for you.

about 9 months ago
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Come Try Out Slashdot's New Design (In Beta)

frinsore Re:Digg version 2.0 (1191 comments)

Try out the comments section before making a judgement.

Slashdot does comments better then 99.99% of the sites out there and while this upgrade may have the same back end the graphical representation of the parent/child/sibling/etc is horrible. It seems that whitespace is the only indication of a parent/child relationship and I can't quickly determine who is responding to what. Following a thread of conversation is gone.

about 10 months ago
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Google's Scanning of Gmail To Deliver Ads May Violate Federal Wiretap Laws

frinsore Re:Lucy Koh isn't the brightest judge on the plane (325 comments)

There are some pretty interesting points raised in the case that I think should be addressed. I'm on google's side, the service that google provides me is worth their database about my habits. That's my choice and I knew it going in, even Microsoft advertises that Google does this. But privacy policies, EULAs and such have become stupidly complex. An average user can't be expected to read those tedious documents and I doubt if more then 1% fully read any of the contracts they click to accept. FTFA: "that a reasonable Gmail user who read the Privacy Policies would not have necessarily understood that her emails...". I can see this as a way to require human readable EULAs and privacy policies instead of the pages and pages of legalese that currently exist.

There's also the question of who "owns" the data in an email. If someone sends me an email, do they still own it and am I restricted in how I handle that email according to their wishes? Should they be informed that I'm saving the email on a server or that I've printed out a copy or that I run it through a spam filter? Most engineers would agree that I can do whatever I want to the email as that copy of the data is mine to use as I wish but IP lawyers can argue that I don't have the intellectual property rights to use the data except by whatever rights the owner has granted me.

I'm really hoping that this case can be appealed and finally set some precedence to some of the crazy shenanigans.

about 10 months ago
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Gaming Legends Discuss Using Kickstarter For Their Next Projects

frinsore Re:Excessive greed. (112 comments)

What you're complaining about is the inability to find the projects that are interesting to you and I have the same complaint about kickstarter. Several times I've heard about a project that didn't reach it's funding goal I would have loved to have backed but for whatever reason I didn't discover it until it was too late.

Every digital marketplace has this problem to some extent. The good ones seem to have a good recommendation engine like amazon and netflix or they're heavily curated like steam and Xbox Arcade. Then there are places like kickstarter and iOS where they highlight the best 40 or so and let the rest remain obscure.

Discover-ability is a real problem that is only going to get worse as digital markets get more popular and larger. And I'm guessing that any company that can solve that problem will be the next tech service monopoly.

about 10 months ago
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Hulu "Kicking Back Into Action" Says CEO, Adding New Content

frinsore Re:"everything's just fine" (169 comments)

I have hope for Hulu simply because it can fill a niche that is very under-served. Netflix provides a back catalog but rarely has current content. iTunes provides current content but at a premium. Amazon seems to be attempting to copy both Netflix and iTunes. If I want to watch current content without paying a few dollars my only options are Hulu, torrent sites, and broadcast TV/cable.

about 10 months ago
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Concern Mounts Over Self-Driving Cars Taking Away Freedom

frinsore Re:Safety (662 comments)

The sad thing is this particular invasion of privacy would save the most lives. If every self driving car recorded traffic violations of other cars and sent them to the local precinct for verification people would start driving safer real fast.

Running a light: that's a ticket.
Changing lanes without signaling: that's a ticket.
Running a stop sign: that's a ticket.
Cutting someone off: that's a ticket.
Not yielding to a cross walk: that's a ticket.

about a year ago
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Immigration Bill Passes the Senate, Includes More H-1B Visas

frinsore Re:There are three kinds of lies. (274 comments)

My issues with the H-1B visa program is that it doesn't fix any of the problems that it tries to address and probably creates new issues.

The basic problem H-1B visa tries to address: "There are not enough mediocre engineers for our current business needs." The H-1B visa brings in some temporary employees to fix the short term shortage. But when the visa expires they go home and the company has to hire a new H-1B employee to replace him (remember there is a shortage of qualified applicants) and probably has increased their need of mediocre engineers during the past few years. There is no incentive for the company to fix the problem but instead to just apply the H-1B bandaid to it.

If the company hiring a H-1B visa holder was forced to train workers that would take over the position then the H-1B visa program would probably be rarely used and only when there was an actual need. Or if the company could only use H-1B visa employees/contractors every 2 years out of 5 so that they knew that they were ineligible for the H-1B bandaid when the current employees leave. Or even make the visa permanent, the visa holder isn't forced to leave the country and is free to find other employers whenever they wish; broader immigration issues this would fix the short term problem by just importing more people.

1 year,25 days
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Seeking Fifth Amendment Defenders

frinsore Re:Torture? (768 comments)

Here's a simpler one:
"Alice, you're under oath, please list all laws that you have broken." If Alice says "I broke no laws" then if there's evidence of Alice speeding 1 mile over the limit or jaywalking last week then suddenly she has a worse punishment for a minor infraction. Or Alice could confess to all laws that she has broken and getting whatever punishment that she is "owed". It's a catch-22.

Or here's another one:
Police are going door to door asking everyone if they committed X crime. "Hey, Bob here didn't say he didn't do it. That must mean he did it!" Since asking the question of someone's guilt doesn't provide any evidence then the police are forced to actually collect evidence and find the guilty party. This also protects innocent people from being harassed without cause.

about a year ago
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Ask Slashdot: Are There Any Good Reasons For DRM?

frinsore Re:Lots of good reasons. (684 comments)

The problem isn't the concept of DRM but how DRM has been applied. In general DRM has become so complicated that it's all thorny edge cases with one bug free area that represents the test environment.

The DRM implementation should be so simple that people know when they're crossing the line, think of it as a "No Trespassing" sign. Something that people are aware of but don't intrude upon them or interfere with their business. And if it does happen to interfere then there is a clear path for removing the problem.

People that are willing to pirate material won't be stymied by whatever DRM is applied and the more problems that the DRM introduces the more people will turn to piracy to avoid the DRM issues. Tell the artists to focus on the customers and not the pirates. The better you serve your customers the better they'll treat you, everything else is just noise.

about a year ago
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Indies the Biggest Stars At Game Developers Conference

frinsore Re:Expo (62 comments)

I think you're missing some context, the reason that the booths were light was because the booths are there as an introduction to the company or a quick faq. There were meeting rooms set aside to do real business across the street (in the room that held the expo floor last year) not to mention all the hotel conference room meetings that traditionally happen. Hitting up a big platform owner's booth and striking up a deal is pretty rare, generally your business people call their business people and schedule a meeting away from the noise of the convention and then talk about what ever needs discussing.

And while there was a large advertising, cloud (database & server), and analytics contingent there was also the usual motion capture vendors (real time, facial, etc), middleware (AI, procedural textures, procedural cities, particle editors), content out-sourcers (animations, audio, 2D animation, cut scenes) and a few engines (unity, havok, corona, marmalade, etc). I had to make several passes over the show floor before I felt confident that I hadn't missed anything interesting. It's easy to tune out the booths that were just there to accept resumes or representing schools, the harder part is to notice the booth that just happens to be next to something interesting. Every time I walked by the oculus rift booth my attention was drawn to the video of people playing hawken instead of what ever booth happened to be adjacent to the oculus rift's booth.

about a year ago

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