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Rightscorp's New Plan: Hijack Browsers Until Infingers Pay Up

nabsltd Re:nuisance fee (355 comments)

So The ISP has a choice of caving to their demands and getting a kickback or fight a costly battle that they may or may not win.

Or, the ISPs can support being re-classified as "common carriers" by the FCC and then the DMCA requirement goes away, so Rightscorp wouldn't have any leverage of a lawsuit.

yesterday
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Babylon 5 May Finally Get a Big-Screen Debut

nabsltd Re:This was the best... (252 comments)

I can only assume you've never watched "Sons of Anarchy," or, for that matter, "The Shield.",/quote>

No, I haven't, but I'm willing to bet that nobody killed off had front of show "star" credit. A quick look also shows that most of the deaths in both shows appear to be near the beginning/end of seasons, which almost always means that the actor was moving on to something else, and the death was just written in.

2 days ago
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Is Dolby Atmos a Flop For Home Theater Like 3DTV Was?

nabsltd Re:3dTV is a flop? (197 comments)

what is the remote like?

If you have more than one component in your configuration, you almost certainly need a universal remote, so the TV remote doesn't matter that much.

I've used the same remote through 2 TVs, 3 receivers, 2 DVD players, several media players, cable and satellite STBs, and even my HTPC.

2 days ago
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Is Dolby Atmos a Flop For Home Theater Like 3DTV Was?

nabsltd Re:im a music mixer in hollywood... (197 comments)

In any event, preexisting surround systems were not really designed with classical music in mind. The rear channels are low-resolution, which is a problem for classical works (e.g. Stockhausen's Carré, Langgaard's Music of the Spheres, even some Bach organ recordings), as some performers are placed behind the audience and they really need to be heard in the same high resolution as the ensemble coming from the front channels.

Modern loss-less multi-channel codecs (Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD MA) have full-resolution in all channels, so software isn't a problem.

As for hardware, it is true that many installations use smaller speakers for the surround channels, but this does not mean they have generally lower resolution for the vast majority of the audio spectrum. Smaller might limit bass response, but much of the truly low bass is essentially non-directional and is handled by subwoofers instead of the surround speakers. Even so, it's not that hard to add one or two more subwoofers to restore the tiny bit of lost directionality from having only one.

Everything I noted applies only to home installations...professional installations almost always have all the required extras to make the surround channels the equivalent of the front.

2 days ago
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Microsoft Black Tuesday Patches Bring Blue Screens of Death

nabsltd Re:Phew. (179 comments)

You'd think the guys at M$ had already done that. Isn't that why you pay the yearly extortion fees?

Nobody pays Microsoft any money for OS updates as long as the OS is in general support.

5 days ago
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New NSA-Funded Code Rolls All Programming Languages Into One

nabsltd Re:stupid argument (306 comments)

CSS & HTML5 ***are*** code languages for programming machine behavior

CSS & HTML5 are data that is interpreted by a computer program. They are not "code languages". The rule of thumb is that without some sort of control structure (if/then/else, loops, etc.), it's just data.

For HTML, this becomes obvious once you see how many real languages (JavaScript, PHP, ColdFusion, VisualBasic/ASP, etc.) have been created to overcome its lack of control structures.

about a week ago
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Babylon 5 May Finally Get a Big-Screen Debut

nabsltd Re:This was the best... (252 comments)

That's not true. Off the top of my head, MASH killed Henry Blake, and that was probably the first time a major character was killed off in a major series (other than a cast member dying).

In the case of McLean Stevenson, he quit the show, and instead of just writing his character out, they killed him. This is no different from any other show where the actor's off-screen circumstances (death, etc.) caused the show to have to write around it.

On B5, however, characters that you grew to love (like Marcus) were "dead men walking" from the first second they appeared on screen, because that's what JMS had already written. AFAIK, B5 really was the first to kill off characters as part of the planned plot where the actor had front of the show credit. It's still rare today partially because those actors get paid more money because of union rules, and partially because studios and networks want a more stable cast they can sell to advertisers. Mostly, the "planned deaths" are a supporting character. Person of Interest is one of the few recent shows I can think of that killed off a truly major character, and didn't do it at the end of a season.

about two weeks ago
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Babylon 5 May Finally Get a Big-Screen Debut

nabsltd Re:...but there are already films (252 comments)

The whole point behind babylon 5 was the huge story arcs...two great ones. I will watch the movie...but I don't care like I would about a series.

Perhaps a B5 movie could be a launch for a B5 multimedia universe like the Marvel Universe. The tie-in between the theatrical movies and the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. TV show is excellent.

Sci-Fi, fantasy, and comic book are excellent genres for a character-driven TV series with tie-in theatrical movies for the big events that need that kind of FX budget. Even some action/adventure could benefit from this. Imagine a "James Bond universe" where the TV series doesn't have Bond in it very much at all. It could still be very fun, and build up the plot to a movie.

about two weeks ago
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Amazon's eBook Math

nabsltd Re:I've got a better modell (306 comments)

FWIW, I haven't been noticing stuff like that in what I've been reading, and I'm a pretty good natural proofreader. Perhaps we've been reading books from different sources.

My most recent example of something any editor should have caught is in the new Jeffery Deaver (The Skin Collector).

In it, a book is identified by a scrap of a page, primarily because the hero knew the font was Adobe Myriad, based on the shape of certain letters. Anybody at all familiar with actual print books (like an editor) would know that Myriad would never be used as body text since it is a sans-serif font, and a really good editor would check the claims about the "slanted 'e'" and discover that the font has no appreciable angle to the horizontal strokes.

For repeated character description, look at Command Authority by Tom Clancy, and search for "Midas". We are constantly reminded that this is the code name for a character named "Barry Jankowski", and often when we are reminded, we also get a repeat of something else, like his rank, skill set, former postings, etc.

about two weeks ago
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How Facebook Is Saving Power By 10-15% Through Better Load Balancing

nabsltd Re:to sum it up (54 comments)

Or if you're Intel or AMD making millions of CPUs, you think about how to do your systems right.

- what does that have anything to do with the question at hand?

Well, perhaps somebody like Facebook who buys at least thousands (if not hundreds of thousands) of CPUs might go to Intel or AMD and have them custom-build (or at least custom tune) a CPU for their use case.

Also, looking hard at the actual usage might help...lower clock speed CPUs with more cores and lower TDP vs. faster CPUs with fewer cores and higher TDP doesn't have a set answer. Perhaps the latter are better because they finish the job quicker and get back to idle, but maybe the former works better because it can handle more user requests per watt when busy. I have no idea, but answering these kinds of questions might save more power than just making sure idle CPUs stay idle for as long as possible.

about two weeks ago
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AMD Prepares To Ship Gaming SSDs

nabsltd Re:Speeds (110 comments)

Current SSDs already HAVE those speeds. So why bother?

It's actually pretty easy to get those same speeds using 5-8 spinning disks in a RAID stripe. Where SSDs really shine is in random reads and writes.

I use both on my desktop...a 500GB Samsung 840 EVO and five 2TB Western Digital Red (5400rpm) drives in RAID-5. Uncached reads and writes are about 400MB/sec on the array, and about 580MB/sec on the SSD. The two biggest differences are the SSD achieves those speeds at pretty much every block size of at least 4KB, while the disks need 64KB block sizes, and the SSD can also do so in random access.

Note that even an "uncached" write is cached with Samsung's "Rapid" mode, and the SSD can sustain "writes returned to calling app" at over 2GB/sec for about 5 seconds, assuming you have enough RAM and a UPS for safety. With caching, level loading in games is almost completely CPU bound on my system, as it has 64GB of RAM.

about two weeks ago
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Amazon's eBook Math

nabsltd Re:I've got a better modell (306 comments)

Formatting the book is a whole lot easier than it used to be, true, but that's only part of what an editor does.

You'd think that, but I returned an eBook to Amazon after their normal return period when starting about 30% through, paragraphs breaks started being random...sometimes there would be no break in 20 lines of alternating dialog, and sometimes paragraphs would break like they were trying to be wrapped to fit a very narrow line. It also had long runs of italics (no closing tag), random font size changes, and run-together words. It was obvious that nobody had read that book after some idiot formatted it.

Also, many eBooks are apparently not sourced from an electronic copy, but rather scans of the print version, as they often have dozens (or even hundreds) of versions of the section separators (like 3 stars) as images. I can maybe understand one copy of the image, but with Unicode and embedded fonts, you can usually convert those kind of dingbats to text.

Or how about this sample (that happens a lot) of how not to do small caps to intro a chapter. The entire span is set smaller than the main text, then the first character is made bigger, and the rest set in fake small caps (by using all caps and shrinking the font). I've seen even worse examples that result in the first words at about 30% of the main font size. These are straight from Amazon, and that's exactly how it renders on a Kindle.

The author is not going to be good at reading for consistency, since the author knows a whole lot more about the fictional world than went into the story (at least, this is my experience writing stuff that isn't really publishable). A casual reader may miss a name change or inconsistent backstory. That doesn't mean that name consistency is unimportant, but rather than a skilled editor will pick up on things that will make the book worse that most people will overlook.

I can tell you right now that publishers either don't have any skilled editors working for them, or they choose to only assign them to books I don't read.

From #1 best-selling authors to the somewhat obscure, I find errors that anyone who read the book at all would have caught. Gems include sections repeated outright in later chapters (character briefly introduced, then fleshed out, but the "fleshing" used copy/paste starting paragraphs that made little sense in the later context), character name changes, spelling/usage errors (I've seen they're/their/there confusion in far too many books), and no knowledge of the character/author (character says "should of gone" as many people incorrectly do, but is "corrected" by the editor to "should have gone" in some but not all instances).

What I'm basically saying is that if you think a publisher deserves money because they provide editing for the author, much of what is being sent out by the "Big Six" shows that you're wrong.

about three weeks ago
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Amazon's eBook Math

nabsltd Re:Bricks and Mortar? (306 comments)

Powell's Books is quite searchable, they have quite a lot of books, and they have lots of old and rare volumes that are likely to be hard to find elsewhere.

The website is actually quite poorly searchable, as an exact author name of a somewhat obscure author (James Elliott) doesn't hit a match until the 17th result. In addition, none of the books by that author that aren't actually available as physical books are listed. Amazon has similar problems in the first way (although the 2nd result is a match for a different author with the same name), but not in the second. Even if it isn't available anywhere, if Amazon ever sold it, it's in their catalog.

As for "hard to find elsewhere", I pretty much guarantee you that anything they have will have 10x the listings on ABE.

They also have a rather nice store that one can visit and simply browse, on the off chance that they don't actually know precisely what they want going in, and want the opportunity to see what is available on the shelves or to communicate with the knowledgable staff.

Once suggestion engines got going well, "browsing" in a bookstore pretty much went away. Wandering up and down the aisles looking for a title that sounds interesting or a book cover that grabs attention is pretty much guaranteed to cost you a lot more time and result in less success than using Amazon, etc., to do the same thing. I understand that some people like to do this, but some people also just like to walk around the mall looking for "something to buy".

As for the "knowledgeable staff", if a book isn't in their catalog, I'm pretty sure they would give the same blank stares as every place else for anything outside their comfort zone.

about three weeks ago
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Amazon's eBook Math

nabsltd Re:I've got a better modell (306 comments)

People who actually work in the industry, including award winning authors will point out that as much work goes in to turning a manuscript in to a book as goes in to writing the manuscript. That's today, with the crappy level of editing and proofreading.

I have no formal training in "copy editing", "proofreading", or any other publishing skill.

Yet, it takes me only about an hour to reformat a book from the crappy HTML that almost all eBooks have into something that fits the ePub standard. Likewise, I have taken community-scanned books with horrific formatting and with a few regular expression search and replace, turned them into correct paragraph-formatted HTML, ready for detail formatting. Again, this only takes a couple of hours.

Proofreading the book does take whatever time it takes (a minute or two per page), though, as even spell- and grammar-checking can't catch much.

Since I'm assuming that current authors write using some kind of computer software, I would suspect that a publishing house would have far less to do in the formatting realm as they would have much better sources than I get to work with. So, unless the book is just broken in some way (characters re-named halfway through, backstory in chapter 1 doesn't match that in chapter 12, etc.), it won't need much in the way of editing, as pretty much every author has their own style and changing that isn't a good thing. eBooks especially have no real limits, so a book with an extra 30,000 words isn't going to cause the publishing run to have to be done with some other physical method, or a smaller font to fit the required page count, etc., so again unless the book is so crappy that it probably shouldn't have been written in the first place, there's really not as much need for "editing" as there used to be.

about three weeks ago
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Amazon's eBook Math

nabsltd Re:Equally suspect (306 comments)

Scalzi is right that (entertainment) books are not necessarily interchangeable. If one wants the latest Stephen King novel, and it is too expensive, one may very well not be willing to substitute another author.

The other issue is that books have historically always been available for free for many people (libraries) and very cheaply for many other people (used book stores).

If I have 27 books on my reading list, and the latest Stephen King novel is too expensive today and my local library has a waiting list, then I can read any of the other 26 books in the meantime.

about three weeks ago
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Amazon's eBook Math

nabsltd Re:Equally suspect (306 comments)

The interesting thing is that when Apple allowed the music companies to set the price to $1.29, the companies that did so made more money. While some people were not going to pay $1.29 for a song, there were plenty of others who said, "Yeah, okay."

I think the difference is that for $0.30 more you get "what you want", and it's far less than buying the whole album (which many people still remember as the only way to get music).

For books, though, most people who read are willing to read any format if they just want to read the book. So, when an eBook costs more than some other format, then the price needs to be lowered. Since used physical books are still very readable, those need to be considered as well when determining what the market will bear.

For me, this means I haven't paid more than $3.00 for any eBook yet. When Amazon had sales similar to Steam's big ones, I spent hundreds of dollars, and haven't come close to reading all the books yet. Unlike physical books, I can buy for later with no real penalty (storage space for eBooks is essentially free with books averaging 1MB each).

about three weeks ago
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Amazon's eBook Math

nabsltd Re:Amazon is right (306 comments)

I also refuse to pay $9.99 for an eBook copy of a book that has been out of print for 30 years. There are numerous scifi & fantasy books being re-released lately at this absurd price scale and it's ridiculous.

Absolutely true. Assuming you don't circumvent the eBook DRM, both eBooks and physical books have there advantages and disadvantages. If you just want to read the book, a "very good" used paperback from Amazon will do the job as well as anything else.

So, the eBook shouldn't cost any more than the least expensive physical book that is at least "very good" used.

about three weeks ago
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Amazon's eBook Math

nabsltd Re:Bricks and Mortar? (306 comments)

Come to Portland, experience Powell's Books.

Why? What does it give me that Amazon (and the rest of the Internet) doesn't?

I used to spend a lot of time in bookstores, and would almost always go into a bookstore in whatever town I was visiting. Today, I never go into a bookstore, because I guarantee you I have a much better chance of finding the book I want at Amazon, and will almost never pay more for the privilege.

Most of my hunting for books was for hardcovers, because they last longer. I would also search for obscure older books in whatever format I could get. With eBooks as an option (which last even longer than hardcover), plus the vast number of 3rd-party sellers at Amazon, I can find whatever I want. On the rare occasion that Amazon doesn't have what I want, I can try ABE, which is like being able to walk into every independent bookstore in the world at the same time and look for my book.

Powell's Books might be a fine bookstore, but it's unlikely they have a few million easily searchable volumes, sometimes with hundreds of copies of each book (and with each copy trying to price itself competitively against the others). Then, too, one of the things I always hated about bookstores was trying to figure out where they might put a book...is it science fiction, horror, fantasy...and why do "bestsellers" often get their own section, even though the books there are from all genres.

about three weeks ago
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Ford, GM Sued Over Vehicles' Ability To Rip CD Music To Hard Drive

nabsltd Re:The Alliance of Artists should lose this suit (317 comments)

*** "Fair use" does not actually make copying legal. Rather, it's a defense to the accusation of copyright infringement.

You're splitting hairs here.

Imagine that you are sued by someone for copyright infringement. It turns out that they sued you over copying something they you, personally, hold the copyright to. You'd still have to go to court to "defend" yourself, but what you did was absolutely legal.

Basically, you can be sued for anything, and might have to "defend" yourself, even if the law explicitly states that what you did was legal, which is what the "fair use" part of US copyright law does for certain things that would otherwise be infringing.

about three weeks ago
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Ford, GM Sued Over Vehicles' Ability To Rip CD Music To Hard Drive

nabsltd Re:Time Shifting? (317 comments)

Lastly, Ford and GM could be dismissed from the suit as they didn't manufacture the systems but bought them and used them.

Ford's system uses Sony hardware and software (including patent-encumbered software) in addition to software by Microsoft.

Ford and GM are pretty big, but if Sony and Microsoft get involved, the AARC would be in for being tied up in court for centuries.

about three weeks ago

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