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Comments

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Apple Said To Team With Visa, MasterCard On iPhone Wallet

fruey Back to the Future 2 (187 comments)

Anyone else thinking of Thumb payments in that?

about a month ago
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Study: People Are Biased Against Creative Thinking

fruey The kicker... (377 comments)

In terms of decision style, most people fall short of the creative ideal unless they are held accountable for their decision-making strategies, they tend to find the easy way out—either by not engaging in very careful thinking or by modeling the choices on the preferences of those who will be evaluating them.

This is the kicker. Not only do people reject creativity, but they hamper their own responses by conforming to what they think the boss will like. So if you don't agree with your colleague or their interpretation of what the boss will like, you're screwed. What tends to then happen is a breakdown in communication, as you will want to present to the boss directly instead of via the misguided (in your opinion) minion.

If people stopped trying to predict other people's reactions, they'd be more likely to be themselves. Sadly in the corporate world this means that bosses only get a limited set of responses from anyone not directly below them in the hierarchy. Shame.

about 10 months ago
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Mathematical Model of Zombie Epidemics Reveals Two Types of Living-Dead Strains

fruey Zombie, zombie zombie-eh-eh in your head (163 comments)

Article says nothing about the Cranberries.

Modelling epidemics is important. Mass transit and all that just means that the next major flu bug could well screw a hefty percentage of the population.

Zombies were once a semi-real concept, because defining death has been refined only recently. The French word for undertaker is "croque mort", literally the "dead biter" who would bit corpses to make sure they were really dead.

about 10 months ago
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22nd International Obfuscated C Code Contest Starts Thursday 1 Aug 2013

fruey Good old days (48 comments)

At least one of the judges (^chongo^) was a contributor to this very site many moons ago, not sure if he's still here. (Had|Has) some fine prime number & math pages.

I strongly suggest taking time to look at just what previous entries have been able to do, including print musical notation, a working spreadsheet implementation, and a flight simulator. With obfuscation & size limits.

Ahhh memories. Never could enter myself though, can't even write normal C with any proficiency.

about a year ago
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Ask Slashdot: IPTV Service In the UK?

fruey Freeview via Satellite (78 comments)

I have a setup with a satellite dish, Freesat box (Technisat HDFS, which is also a PVR if you add a USB HDD) which has a network adapter. iPlayer works via broadband for catchup TV, the rest is all just PVR. Virgin have a Tivo like box for cable, but you'll pay heavy subscription fees for that.

Freesat gets you most of what you need. For Video on Demand Netflix runs in the UK, selection not as good as US, you can as others have suggested get a VPN as needed to look like you're in the US.

about a year and a half ago
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RIM Responds To an Employee's Open Letter

fruey Re:RIM is losing in the Enterprise too (197 comments)

Yep, of course you have keyboards on some Android devices... some of the best at the moment are 100% touch but there are capable keyboarded versions.

more than 3 years ago
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RIM Responds To an Employee's Open Letter

fruey RIM is losing in the Enterprise too (197 comments)

From basic observation I have seen execs moving from BlackBerry to iPhone & Android because the latter platforms are in fact now both capable of syncing reasonably well with Exchange.

BlackBerry is still a powerful platform for corporate email but they're mostly used for reading - rather than writing - email so the data entry & ergonomy for basic email operations isn't *killer* enough. On top of that new >200 DPI screens on Android & iPhone devices make reading much more pleasant. If you read a lot, then having hardware keys to scroll (I love being able to use space to page down on BB) is great though, but the text resolution is shit.

The thing most have missed so far is that the gadget that is invading the boardroom is the iPad. Meetings where everyone has a slide deck on their own tablet make sense, especially when (if indeed it isn't already out there but has escaped my attention) a collaboration tool allows slick collective annotation on iPad.

Many apps on BlackBerry are pretty awful, and my all-time favourite, viigo, was bought by BlackBerry and then almost instantly killed. It relied on a proxy to format RSS properly and serve it to the terminal, and the proxy never works any more. The new RIM News Reader app isn't available in my country. WTF? It was the only app that allowed RSS + Twitter (multiple accounts) + stocks + weather in one easy place.

Note also that the processing power on smartphones make BlackBerry appear exceptionally slow. RIM are going to lose, unless they bring back something a bit more *killer* in the corporate space. They have some interesting niches though, esp. for teen texting where BlackBerry does come into its own. iPhone text messaging is way sexier though, mostly thanks to the higher DPI.

more than 2 years ago
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ICANN Domain Expansion Could Increase Phishing

fruey Re:Come on Slashdot editors! (142 comments)

Old bullshit as a legitimate story has precedents as old as slashdot. It only seems like it got better because you filter the crap from your retrospective memory.

more than 3 years ago
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Why Has Blu-ray Failed To Catch Hold?

fruey Re:Not bothered (1162 comments)

You're mostly right, but things can look a bit better, notably : better rendering of small detail can be detected as you may move your head forward slightly. Less likely to see blurring and artefacts even if your eyes don't physically distinguish for a _single_ image on your retina, you are watching animated content and so more detail can make a quality difference beyond the physics of your eye (because it's gauged over time and with minor head/eye movement).

more than 3 years ago
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France Outlaws Hashed Passwords

fruey French Data Law (433 comments)

Sadly, the restrictions in France in eCommerce are wider ranging than even this. Storing credit card information, for example, requires companies to jump through many hoops and prove data is stored in Europe. Many sites steer clear of storing credit card information. Any subscriptions (newsletters, etc) have to be kept in auditable databases and opt-out laws are strong. Sometimes this is a good thing for the end user, but it stifles intelligent lazy login systems and means billing is not as automated as it needs to be. Anti fraud measures such as 3D secure (Verified by Visa, Mastercard Securecode) are crap in France because the banks have all adopted different ways of authenticating their clients in an online payment system (some by a challenge/response via SMS, some via one time pads, some via birthdate, etc).

Obviously legal departments are kept busy, and content publishers or eCommerce merchants end up crippling user experience because they are very likely to take a pessimistic interpretation of all the data privacy laws. So the French do what? The internet illuminati sign up for US/UK English versions of sites, or French canadian sites, whereas the average Joe just things the net is about typing in the same data all the time.

more than 3 years ago
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NYT Paywall Cost $40 Million: How?

fruey Re:Large organization doing something simple (305 comments)

apparently it is broken anyway, there have been several articles that show just changing the URL got around it on launch, not sure on the status at the current time...

more than 3 years ago
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NYT Paywall Cost $40 Million: How?

fruey Re:Large organization doing something simple (305 comments)

"any project, no matter how big" can be split into sub-lots which can be done by 6 people... but may take a lot of time if the same six people have to install in several different countries, or install hundreds of machines for infrastructure :)

more than 3 years ago
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NYT Paywall Cost $40 Million: How?

fruey Re:Large organization doing something simple (305 comments)

Two well identified principles at work here (and the bigger an organisation, the more likely they are to happen, especially without strong leadership)

1. Parkinson's law : basically, work spreads out to fill the time that was earmarked to complete a project
2. Brooks' law : Adding people to a project increases lateness, because the number of communication channels to manage increases as a square of the number of people on a project

Only very sound management and trusting delegation - along with having a reasonably competent project team in the first place - can make things happen quickly.

more than 3 years ago
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IE9 Released, Media Has Opinions

fruey Re:WTF? No XP support? (378 comments)

The overall IE market share is slipping, but a proportion of windows users seem stuck to IE only. Since XP users are effectively stuck at IE8, those that don't already run Firefox or Chrome (or Opera, or Safari...) are not likely to change their ways.

more than 3 years ago
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IE9 Released, Media Has Opinions

fruey Re:WTF? No XP support? (378 comments)

Getting rid of XP will soon become important in order to improve market share of "modern" browsers capable of rendering HTML5 / CSS3 reasonably correctly.

more than 3 years ago
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Sony's War On Makers, Hackers, and Innovators

fruey Re:Sony still relevant outside of hackers (317 comments)

I think I'm using a more liberal interpretation of what deprecate means, but it doesn't matter - we both mean the same thing - redundant, pointless, once relevant now no longer relevant.

Good point in the irony - though I wonder if their protectionism is driven by agreements with content companies that allowed Sony to defend BluRay in the first place? After all the hardware manufacturers shouldn't care much about how their hardware is used, unless they need help from the big studios etc. to push their hardware formats.

Minidisc was an affordable recordable digital format before CD burners became prevalent. DAT was better though as it was 16 bit, 48KHz. Minidisc was a lossy compressed format, though it wasn't a total flop.

more than 3 years ago
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Sony's War On Makers, Hackers, and Innovators

fruey Sony still relevant outside of hackers (317 comments)

For non hacking, Sony do manage to be reasonably relevant. The PS3 and the win for BluRay exorcised some of the ghosts of the Betamax era (and Betamax was a superior technology from a quality point of view). Their midrange consumer equipment is reasonable, and their semi pro stuff still dominates in AV markets and provides a big range of equipment.

That being said, they're no longer dominant in home audio (though they still have reasonable CD players and stuff) since their real flagship - The Walkman - has been deprecated by apple. Home HiFi is not selling as much, the PC is the new media center and there it's Apple all the way for most of my real music-mad friends. Sony have big corporate culture issues, but that's nothing new.

more than 3 years ago

Submissions

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Overestimates of the cost of illegal downloading

fruey fruey writes  |  more than 5 years ago

fruey writes "Ben Goldacre, well known for lambasting bad science, looks at figures from a recent article in Britain's most read daily newspaper, the Sun.

MORE than 7 million Brits use illegal downloading sites that cost the economy billions of pounds, government advisers said today. Researchers found more than a million people using a download site in ONE day and estimated that in a year they would use £120bn worth of material

If you make up grossly exaggerated figures — "that's £175 a week or £8,750 a year potentially not being spent by millions of people. Is this really lost revenue for the economy?" — how can you then be taken seriously about the impact of illegal downloading? And when will people just accept that you can't put a price on lost revenue for intangible goods?"
Link to Original Source

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The Long Tail isn't longer than it was before

fruey fruey writes  |  more than 5 years ago

fruey writes "Apparently the Long Tail theory does not hold up to statistical analysis of internet buying.

The tail is indeed getting longer, but isn't growing fat with choice. Instead it is getting both flatter and thinner, filled with ever more products that sell few or no copies.

You are still likely to download and to buy what your peers are into, because of the Harry Potter effect."
Link to Original Source

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Bobby Kennedy Not Killed by lone Shooter

fruey fruey writes  |  more than 6 years ago

fruey writes "Bobby Kennedy was shot on the 5th June, 1968 allegedly by a lone gunman called Sirhan Sirhan, a Palestinian refugee.

New evidence from audio recorded at the scene suggests two different acoustic profiles for the gunshots, more shots fired than the rounds in a full Iver Johnson Cadet 55 revolver that Sirhan carried, and other forensic evidence which just doesn't add up. JFK is not the only Kennedy to have died in less than convincing "official" circumstances."

Link to Original Source

Journals

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On Filesharing

fruey fruey writes  |  more than 10 years ago

-- this from actual posts to SlashDot discussions, for later use sometime maybe --

I'm not saying that filesharing should be made legal. I think, however, that people would pay for music if the distribution could be managed fairly. Most people who think they are doing nothing wrong are vindicated because buying individual songs is nigh impossible, even with iTunes and all the rest. Record distribution wasn't fair in the days of vinyl; tapes and CDs just made the whole process even less balanced towards the artists and consumers are starting to vote with their wallets and flippantly copy "multimedia content".

I think high percentages of people would really pay for stuff online in convenient delivery mechanisms. I don't think tax is the answer like the blank CDR levy in Canada. I don't think leglislation is the answer. I think the answer is the very technology everyone is so afraid of. Make the music available online with an easy way to pay. Those who want to copy for free, will anyway. That's what freedom is all about.

I was in a Virgin CD outlet the other day, looking for a recording, made by someone from Primal Scream featuring Kate Moss, for a colleague. It hasn't been released (yet). I was told maybe I could find it online. I would have paid for it in Virgin, had it been available. Similar analogies could be made for buying other music online. Most artists I like do not have their catalogue available online.

I am a musician, I have made money performing, but not from recorded work. I'd just be happy for people to hear my music, and some has (at some times) been available for download, completely free. I just do it for the pleasure, I earn my living elsewhere. That's how I feel about my music but I am blessed in having a talent to make money in the professional world and free time to make music which I can give away for free, with an open heart.

We're all asking more questions (about the filesharing and media distribution situation) than we're answering, but the key is that the technology that is available today is not changing anything fundamental compared to the copyright violations of photocopying, VCRs and home taping to compact cassette. But the quality of copies and speed at which they can be distributed means, of course, the problem is intensified; still, that also means duplication costs are virtually nil and the marketplace is immediately international.

Perhaps, ultimately, the only way that things are going to work is by honesty. Get full quality (320kbps) MP3/OGG encodings direct from studio masters if you pay. If you want crappy quality or second generation, and to do the band out of the money, well then that sucks but the harder you fight, the more freedoms you take away. A lot more people have gotten rich by ostensibly "protecting artists and works" than by actually creating them.

Music distribution is changing. Movie distribution is too. This is the great problem for the "industries" but I personally see it as a great levelling. I'm still not sure just how things will pan out, but I follow the whole thing with a lot of interest. And I get a bit pedantic about linguistics, rightly or wrongly, because I'd like to see more intelligent argument and vocabulary in the whole debate. I should try to spend more time better expressing the points I hold close to my heart. If you now disagree with me now, at least I have more or less exposed my true opinion in a more or less coherent manner.

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