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Ask Slashdot: Where Do You Stand on Daylight Saving Time?

mr_jrt Re:Shift the time zones (613 comments)

I hope you're trying to take the piss...I really do.

You do realise that the international dateline (aka. the anti-meridian) is on the opposite side of the word from Greenwich, aka. the prime meridian? Having the international dateline as the prime meridian would result in the international dateline running through...Greenwich, which would then result in strip running through Europe where countries were a day apart. Route it around the west of the British isles and then you result in everything west of the Atlantic coast being a day apart, so Europe and the Americas would be even further apart, time-wise, as opposed to America and Russia/Asia being a day apart as things stand. Might look like it makes sense given the US-centric maps presumably in use over there (i.e. http://gabelli-us.com/WORLD%20...), but there ones centred on the primary landmass makes far more sense to me as it doesn't have to split any land masses: http://www.mapsofworld.com/ima..., which is also one of the reasons why the prime meridian is exactly where it is.

about a month ago
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Nokia Extorted For Millions Over Stolen Encryption Keys

mr_jrt Re:Feature or bug? (89 comments)

Yeah it did - my N95 (Symbian OS v9.2, S60 3rd Edition) was unable to play OGGs via the stock media player as the codecs weren't signed. Previous versions were able to fine, apparently.

about 5 months ago
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Time Warner Deal Is How Comcast Will Fight Cord Cutters

mr_jrt Re:Enforced separation required... (424 comments)

How'd that "enforced separation" work out with Network Rail and the train services that replaced British Railways?

Pretty crappily, in that case. Difference is only one TOC (train operating company) can provide a given service (say, the 7:45 Brighton to London Victoria), and if that's the service the passenger needs to be on to get to work - that's it. No competition possible, and we all know what happens with a captive market - you get price gouging on the scale of the US cable companies. Most of the parallel routes that did exist were shut in the 1960's Beeching closure programme, so it's not exactly unexpected. The only effective competition is the road, and for a long time it won, largely due to the massive unaccountable investment in the motorway network whilst the railways had to turn a profit or be closed.

The ideal model there is London Overground, itself modelled on the London Bus network. When Maggie T. was privatising everything in the 1980s the London bus network was left until last as it was the most complex. However, when the time came everyone could see what a clusterfuck the privatisation of all the other bus operations had been so it was halted and transformed into the arrangement today: Transport for London takes the revenue risk, defines the services, and manages the branding as a single coherent corporate entity, and subcontracts the routes to private operators at largely fixed costs. The passengers don't give a damn if the number 258 is operated by First, Stagecoach or Arriva, they just care that it turns up on time and gets them where they want to go quickly. This is also how LO operates, and it works brilliantly in my opinion - almost indeed as if it were part of the London Undergound. Personally, I think this is how all the mainline train services should operate - bring back the BR regional branding and subcontract the operations to private firms. Competition transforms away from where it doesn't make sense (between passenger journeys) to between operators for the right to run the routes, away from the public entirely.

Internet access is more akin to electricity or water though - you really don't care whose bits / joules / litres you're getting - they're all essentially the same, and having multiple distribution networks would be very, very wasteful (abet, great for resiliency!) Having a single regulated infrastructure provider and free market operators makes the most sense if you don't want to just regulate the whole thing, which would remove market forces from the equation entirely (for good or bad). It also reduces the barrier to entry for new competitors dramatically - meaning your market doesn't stagnate.

about 9 months ago
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Time Warner Deal Is How Comcast Will Fight Cord Cutters

mr_jrt Re:Enforced separation required... (424 comments)

we only have one provider in a city, so it does not really matter. But in reality if you have a separation why would you be prevented from having more than one operator?

You only have one now, because they currently need their own infrastructure to operate. If you split the merged entity and branded the retail operations as Time Warner and the wholesale as Comcast, then CC would have to provide the infrastructure to TW at the same cost as it would provide it to new operators. Means a level playing field, and competition drives down prices (in a functioning market, anyway). i.e. CC provides service at $30/mo. TW adds value however they can and resells for $50/mo. New ISP sets up shop, and Comcast is forced to provide service at $30/mo. If they want to raise the price to $50/mo to crush the competition, they have to charge their own subsidiary the same, so TW's books would be screwed as well. Effective oversight to make sure they're not colluding is how this works over here - BT is terrified of being split in two for monopoly abuse.

Case in point: I'm currently shopping around for a new ISP as my old one was bought out by a big player (and there's no way in hell I'm paying money to Rupert Murdoch's greasy tentacles), and not only do I have the ability to switch - but most providers that meet my requirements also let me choose which wholesale provider I want (as they all have slightly different properties, like line profiles, etc). LLU unbundling over here was brilliant, I can by service from someone like Xilo using BT wholesale, Cable & Wireless LLU or TalkTalk LLU. Don't like the filtering or traffic shaping on one? Vote with your wallet! :)

about 9 months ago
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Time Warner Deal Is How Comcast Will Fight Cord Cutters

mr_jrt Enforced separation required... (424 comments)

What you guys need is something akin to what happened with BT here in the UK - Arms-length separation of the infrastructure and the service. Sure, you may only be able to have one cable provider in the city, but if they have to sell non-discriminatory access to other ISPs at the same rates as their own consumer division, then you get the healthy kind of competition. There's a thriving ISP market in the UK, only downside is the big boys keep hoovering up the smaller ones that do too well, meaning if you want to stay away from the big boys you have to keep finding and migrating to a new small one every few years. :(

BT has these rules because of its ex-monopoly status, but personally I think it'd make perfect sense to apply the same rules universally. BT Retail should be able to provide service over Virgin Media's cable infrastructure in an area if that's the most cost effective way of doing it - don't limit my service options to the infrastructure provider's.

about 9 months ago
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Neo900 Hacker Phone Reaches Minimum Number of Pre-Orders For Production

mr_jrt How exciting! (109 comments)

I've been following this very, very, closely. I adore my N900...I just wish it was a little closer to my beloved Debian than it is...not to mention with the closed source UI code replaced with open code. I was tempted to do some of that work myself (and/or join some of the people doing similar things), but it was hard to justify the time cost on what is essentially a dead piece of hardware.

...with the potential for new devices however....things become a lot more interesting.

Personally, I never really bought into the Meego changes...I felt too much of Maemo's "Debian" roots were lost thanks to the merge with the more Redhat-based Moblin, and I'd be much more interested in going back the other way, though the developers working on the continuation of Meego (Nemo et al) have done amazing work, cumulating in Jolla's new phone running Sailfish. I concluded (as, it seems, have many others) the best approach for my aims was to take the working Maemo 5 system and slowly rewrite the closed components one by one whilst simultaneously separately rebuilding the foundations on top of a more standard Debian base, essentially so you can have operational testing of things like communications features much quickly. There's been a lot of good work by the Maemo community to this end.

All in all, very exciting. I'm hoping to order a couple of boards to revitalise a damaged spare N900 I have here, and if it works out well, my main one too :)

about a year ago
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Neo900 hacker phone reaches minimum number of pre-orders for production

mr_jrt All very excting. (2 comments)

I've been following this very, very, closely. I adore my N900...I just wish it was a little closer to my beloved Debian than it is...not to mention with the closed source UI code replaced with open code. I was tempted to do some of that work myself (and/or join some of the people doing similar things), but it was hard to justify the time cost on what is essentially a dead piece of hardware.

...with the potential for new devices however....things become a lot more interesting.

Personally, I never really bought into the Meego changes...I felt too much of Maemo's "Debian" roots were lost thanks to the merge with the more Redhat-based Moblin, and I'd be much more interested in going back the other way, though the developers working on the continuation of Meego (Nemo et al) have done amazing work, cumulating in Jolla's new phone running Sailfish. I concluded (as, it seems, have many others) the best approach for my aims was to take the working Maemo 5 system and slowly rewrite the closed components one by one whilst simultaneously separately rebuilding the foundations on top of a more standard Debian base, essentially so you can have operational testing of things like communications features much quickly. There's been a lot of good work by the Maemo community to this end.

All in all, very exciting. I'm hoping to order a couple of boards to revitalise a damaged spare N900 I have here, and if it works out well, my main one too :)

about a year ago
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Bitcoin Miners Bundled With PUPs In Legitimate Applications Backed By EULA

mr_jrt Re:Names please (194 comments)

I should have understood the article, first.

From the article it seems to be
www.yourfreeproxy.net

Well, who would not want to install an application that redirects all of their network traffic though their servers FOR FREE?

Someone not very technical wanting to bypass their government's mandated filtering?

about a year ago
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Has the Apache Software Foundation Lost Its Way?

mr_jrt Re:Keeping OpenOffice Trademark a disgrace (126 comments)

As a user, who finds OpenOffice to be a far superior app, I shudder that your hope might come true. LibreOffice is [expletive soup] crippleware.

LibreOffice team: please quit and join Apache OpenOffice.

As a LibreOffice user, I'm genuinely curious why you think this. I switched as I was sick of Oracle's meddling and Java-related issues, but I've found LO to be a much more pleasant product to use than OpenOffice, so I'd genuinely be appreciate if you'd elaborate why you feel OO is superior.

about a year ago
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Former Sega Employee Reveals Sega Pluto Prototype Console

mr_jrt Re:if only it had had a network socket (79 comments)

Kind of. The BBA is a bit of a rarity due to low home networking penetration back then, so no it didn't help it back then, but it might have done had it been a bit more commonplace.

about a year and a half ago
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"Lazarus Project" Clones Extinct Frog

mr_jrt Gaps? (154 comments)

I wonder if they filled the gaps in the gene sequences with DNA from dino-saaaaaurs...

about a year and a half ago
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Why Microsoft Got Into the Console Business

mr_jrt Re:Compare to the Super NES Play Station (257 comments)

I heard it was that Nintendo fucked up the contracts and realised at the last minute that they'd given Sony the rights for anything released on CDs, whilst they retained rights to anything released on carts. Given the way the market was clearly going, they realised they'd basically dropped the soap, so jumped out the shower and rather than "officially" cancelling the Play Station project, they switched to Phillips with some proper contracts and well...but this all took so long the numbers didn't add up...so no SNES CD, but those awful CD-i Zelda games did.

about 2 years ago
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Valve Sued In Germany Over Game Ownership

mr_jrt Re:Even Worse with Physical Media (384 comments)

...which is why I've had to stop buying most games now that so many are using Steamworks. I cancelled my Aliens vs. Predator preorder when I found out, and now I won't be buying Aliens: Colonial Marines. Such a shame...but I refuse to have to ask permission to install software.

about 2 years ago
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Microsoft Says Google Trying To Undermine Windows Phone

mr_jrt APIs should be open. :( (476 comments)

Reminds me of a similar problem with Latitude. Google never deemed Maemo worthwhile to get an official Google maps/Latitude client, so our only option is to use the horrible iPhone-targetted web-based nonsense. Yes, using the maps API decent enough 3rd party map clients have spring up, and they can even update our Latitude position, but there's no way to access your friends locations on said map as Google won't let you (we can't trust you, they say!). ...and as they won't make the software themselves, tough shit.

Annoys the hell out of me as I don't want an iPhone, Blackberry or Android phone...but I have all the damn features on my old Symbian brick :(

about 2 years ago
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Google Nixes Some Calendar Features and Other Software Offerings

mr_jrt ...but why not support SyncML? (235 comments)

I'm somewhat out of the loop with my protocols, so can anyone tell me what the advantages are of all the xDAV protocols over SyncML? That's the one bit of information I've been unable to find anywhere - e.g. why Apple decided CardDAV was required instead of just using SyncML, for example.

about 2 years ago
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"Jedi" Religion Most Popular Alternative Faith In England

mr_jrt Re:Survey with "Jedi" option available (262 comments)

Because getting rid of the state religion, and the state relationship with the church of england would be problematic. It's not that it can't or won't be done, but there's quite a lot of legal effort involved in the powers of parliament vs the sovereign vs the church as an independent entity.

In some respects it's the same reason why none of the countries have actually settled the legal inheritance issue of if the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have a daughter and then a son (just a daughter, or multiple daughters doesn't require any rewrite), because it's not that we can't sort this out. But it's a lot of legal paperwork that can be deferred 50 or 60 years if they never have a son after a daughter.

I was under the impression that they sorted this out very recently: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-20600543

about 2 years ago
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Google Kills Apps Support For Internet Explorer 8

mr_jrt Re:Negotiation on shared hosting or localhost (296 comments)

Depends entirely on your requirements of course, but what would be the problem with running a local Apache instance?

Only time it cropped up for me was when I had one slight hiccup and I had to fallback to XSL transforms on the server side when the client didn't support them (but still wanted to use them normally). I was able to quite easily write a protocol handler for PHP that implemented multiviews for local filesystem calls, and it works really nicely!

more than 2 years ago
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Google Kills Apps Support For Internet Explorer 8

mr_jrt Re:Lucky bastards (296 comments)

..or Apache multiviews using the content-accept header. :)

URLs should identify resources, not files anyway, so "/images/background10.jpg" should have the URL "/images/background10" anyway, then you're free to have multiple formats that can supply said resource on the server and vary depending on the client's preferences.

more than 2 years ago
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Ubuntu Tablet OS To Take On Android, iOS

mr_jrt Maemo (237 comments)

...I just wish Nokia had had more of a clue and made more of Maemo open so we could see it running on more devices. It's an awesome system...or at least the Debian bits are. The Nokia bits...less so. So much potential though.....

more than 2 years ago
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UK Green Lights HS2 High Speed Rail Line

mr_jrt Re:The problem with our railways is not speed (329 comments)

...yet the Victorians managed to convert a large chunk of the Great Western Railway over a weekend from broad gauge to standard gauge. *sigh* ...if only broad gauge had won this would be a *lot* easier to fix ;)

more than 2 years ago

Submissions

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Google Reneges on Video DRM

mr_jrt mr_jrt writes  |  more than 7 years ago

mr_jrt writes "It seems Google is going to play out that which any sane person knew was inevitable — paid-for DRM-shackled media can be taken away on a whim, as Google announces that it is closing it's video purchasing and rental service. It seems that the individual in the article will get a $2 Google credit checkout, but doesn't specify how much they paid initially. Whilst it may seem like there is a valid argument that they are doing this because they had so few sales, if external factors were to intervene with other, more successful services, there could be trouble ahead... ( and whilst there may well be moonlight, the music will be DRMed, so your love and romance will have to find something else to dance to. )"
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