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Aereo To SCOTUS: Shut Us Down and You Shut Down Cloud Storage

ngc3242 Re: (342 comments)

If the cable companies used to do this, then why do they pay royalties to the networks nowadays?

Because the television stations sued them and won on the basis that the cable companies were essentially offering a public performance of the television broadcast because they had one antenna and transmitted the input to many users.

Why is Aereo getting sued if they're doing the same thing the cable companies can do?

Cable companies can do it currently because they license the content from the providers (i.e. they pay for the priviledge). Aereo is trying to get around paying the content providers by providing every subscriber with her own personal antenna and saying it's not a public performance. We're just automating what the subscribers could do themselves by erecting their own antenna, attaching it to a tuner and a dvr, and putting the DVR on the internet.

about 9 months ago

Steve Ballmer Blew Up At the Microsoft Board Before Retiring

ngc3242 Microsoft just doesn't get it. (248 comments)

Microsoft was trying to push smartphone before it was popular, but no one wanted or wants what they were or are selling. They have never really had the kind of charismatic salesman that Apple had in Jobs, so they weren't able to create convince people to buy this new thing and create a market. Now that the market's set, and Microsoft essentially isn't part of it, they're done. Just copying Apple or Samsung are doing by having hardware isn't going to make people want Windows Mobile (or whatever they're calling it these days) anymore than they did previously. The Nokia purchase is a huge waste of money. Most people aren't going to buy Microsoft phones. Microsoft needs to spend its resources building something cool (that isn't a phone) and a separate brand for it. That's the kind of gamble that big companies don't take though. There's too much to risk, and it takes a long term vision and commitment that investors don't have.

about a year ago

Silent Circle Moving Away From NIST Cipher Suites After NSA Revelations

ngc3242 Re:I thought that AES *was* independetly designed? (168 comments)

Don't be fooled by the government! You're discounting the possibility that the NSA used its time machine to travel into the past and implant into the minds of Joan Daemen and Vincent Rijmen with a weakened version of their own algorithm!

about a year ago

FTC Wins Huge $7.5 Million Penalty Against "Do Not Call" List Violator

ngc3242 Re:Very nice (136 comments)

They did. A couple of months ago. The problem is the ROI is so high on this kind of scam that there's always another scumbag setting up all over again.

The fines for businesses that break the law need to be "the revenue earned during the period when the conduct was occurring" that would eliminate the sociopathic calculus that companies use to determine if the potential downside of breaking the law is less than the upside. Stating the penalty as "all revenue" instead of "all profit" would ensure that they lose more than they gain.

about a year and a half ago

No Transmitting Aliens Detected In Kepler SETI Search

ngc3242 Re:Thirst Toast (197 comments)

Our galaxy is roughly 110,000 light years across. Our largest satellite galaxies, the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds, are less then 200,000 light years away.

about 2 years ago

Is Intel Planning To Kill Enthusiast PCs?

ngc3242 Re:Even if this was true... (1009 comments)

You made an excellent point. It made me realize that economically tying the motherboard and the CPU will necessitate less choice.

Right now if there are X motherboards and Y CPUs compatible with those motherboards, a seller needs to stock X + Y items to provide buyers all possible combinations. In the new system if the same degree of flexibility is to be offered a seller would have to stock X * Y items.

There is no way that will happen. We will get less choice if this change becomes a reality unless as others point out someone offers CPU's soldered to something that's socketable that would then be put into a motherboard with a socket (assuming that this is possible and there aren't signal integrity reasons that are forcing Intel to solder the chip to the motherboard).

more than 2 years ago

Wayback Machine Trumps FOI Tribunal

ngc3242 Re:Must be nice (401 comments)

I'd be interested to know where the proof is that the increase in healthcare costs since AHCAA was passed are due to the act and not just the normal ridiculous growth in healthcare costs.

That said, clearly the provision that denies insurers the ability to deny coverage based on previously existing conditions is going to increase costs because those are individuals are known to have conditions that are going to cost the insurance company something. I guess the provision allowing children to stay on their parents plans might raise costs if the premium for dependents is less and/or the dependent is more likely to need healthcare.

On the savings side, however, there is a percentage of the population that could be paying at least some portion of their healthcare costs instead of waiting until things get so dire that they can't pay for hospitalization and declaring bankruptcy after the fact. Those costs get passed on to the majority of the population that does have insurance by the healthcare providers. There is some evidence from studies involving state run medicaid that having health insurance does in fact reduce the incidence of larger issues, so if that carries forward with AHCAA there will be some savings there too.

Clearly if things pan out in the increased cost or reduced cost category remains to be seen. There are good arguments for both cases. This act will help get people insured. That's a good thing. Insurance is just one part of the overall cost equation. More will probably also need to be done about constraining the cost of the healthcare itself of which the uninsured are just one small part.

more than 2 years ago

How a Google Headhunter's E-Mail Revealed Massive Misuse of DKIM

ngc3242 Re:This just in... (115 comments)

To add more detail to the AC's response.

AES is based on a subsitution-permutation network.
DKIM is based on the RSA signature algorithm which relies on the difficulty of factoring large integers.
Elliptic curve public key cryptography is based on the difficulty of solving a discrete logarithm problem.

The difference in the size of keys between one type of algorithm or another is an expression of the difficulty in solving the underlying problem. Factoring a large integer of X bits (RSA) is relatively easy compared to working through the substitutions and permuations of X bits of AES.

The link below provides a guideline for comparing the key sizes of AES, EC, RSA/DH.

more than 2 years ago

Leak Hints Windows 8 Tablets May Be Dearer Than Makes Sense

ngc3242 Re:My god, slashdot editors are retarded (365 comments)

I like how you left off the "Not to be confused with Windows RT." from immediately before the text you quoted from the article.

Here's another wiki for you: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_RT

"Windows RT (formerly known as Windows on ARM) will be a version of the Windows 8 operating system for ARM devices such as tablets. It will officially only run software available through the Windows Store or included in Windows RT. Among the applications included with Windows RT"

more than 2 years ago

UPEK Fingerprint Reader Software Puts Windows Passwords At Risk

ngc3242 Re:how hard would it have been (122 comments)

As others have pointed out all over, what you're suggesting isn't feasible. What is feasible is that the sensor acts like a secure key store. When a finger is swiped that matches an enrolled finger, the sensor releases a key associated with that enrollment.

more than 2 years ago

SETI Running Out of Money

ngc3242 There are better ways to spend our science dollars (312 comments)

What else could we be spending our money on? Projects like the James Webb Space Telescope or sending to humans to Mars would have certain benefits to humanity while spending money on SETI is likely to be a waste of money. If there were plenty of money to go around then I would have no problem spending the relatively meager 2 million USD on it. However, with things like they are, let's shelve SETI and direct our resources elsewhere.

Is there life on other planets in the galaxy? Probably.
Is there intelligent life on other planets in the galaxy? Maybe. There will be a lot more planets with only bacteria than there are planets with sentient beings.
Will we be able to detect planets with intelligent life? Even less likely.
If we find intelligent life then what? Presumably we're going to try to engage in a dialog. Is that really a good idea at this point in human development?

more than 2 years ago

Conservatives' Trust In Science Has Fallen Dramatically Since Mid-1970s

ngc3242 Re:I don't think so. (1128 comments)

Your statement assumes infinite resources not finite resources. Steps 2 and 3 require energy which is not available in infinite quantities.

A limited amount of work can be done at any time. Work is limited by the number of people and machines available to do the work, the rate at which those entities can utilize energy, and the rate at which energy can be collected or extracted.

This is my problem with item 3. If it costs more to improve something than people are willing to pay, then you can not increase wealth by doing it. So there are practical limits on improvement.

Furthermore your item 4 is false. Wealth implies value, but something can be improved or better without being more valued. For example, a weapon capable of killing 10 billion people that costs twice as much to make as a weapon that kills 9 billion people. Producing such a weapon is not going to make you more wealthy because it is unnecessary even though it is improved. You should talk about value not improvement.

more than 2 years ago

The Numbers Behind the Copyright Math

ngc3242 Re:Jobs and Profits (311 comments)

Buying stock rarely benefits the company the stock represents directly because the stocks are usually purchased from third parties. Strong demand in a stock will increase its market capitalization which will lead to the company having more power to borrow or to generate income through the sale of newly issued stock (at the detriment of current stock holders), but that ability to increase cash on hand is only useful if used. Many companies are already sitting on record hordes of cash but can't find useful ways to spend it.

The people who benefit most from the purchase and sale of stock are disproportionately people who already have so much money that they don't have to worry about how much money their teenage daughter is spending on Lady Ga Ga albums.

more than 2 years ago

Rumor of Betelgeuse's Death Greatly Exaggerated

ngc3242 Unreliable (356 comments)

The person that wrote that post can't get basic facts about stars right. I wouldn't trust them to interpret anything he or she heard correctly.

From the original article "So the really lucky folks (for whom Betelgeuse is only visible at night) will get 24 hour days, everybody else will get at least some time with two suns in the sky." Here's the deal. A given star isn't visible at night to one person and visible during the day to another. Now if a star is visible to people at the same longitude can depend on their latitudes. If the Earth is between Betelgeuse and the Sun, then it's visible at night to everyone who can see it from their latitude. In that case everyone is going to have longer days. It might turn out to not be full daylight for 24 hours depending on the angles. We could get brighter days and shorter nights.

My guess is either the person is making it up, or their lack of basic astronomical knowledge led to them misunderstanding something that was being said about when Betelgeuse dies.

more than 4 years ago

What Do You Do When Printers Cost Less Than Ink?

ngc3242 Re:Donate (970 comments)

I have an old HP inkjet printer/scanner/copier that will not scan without ink. That was the last HP printer I will ever buy.

more than 5 years ago

Star Trek's Warp Drive Not Impossible

ngc3242 Re:Simple FTL question (541 comments)

The energy required to hold on to the stick and rotate at a rate so that the velocity at the end of the stick faster than the speed of light would be infinite.

So, no. The ship wouldn't move faster than the speed of light because you wouldn't be able to generate the force required to make it do so.

more than 5 years ago

Psystar Wins a Round Against Apple

ngc3242 Re:Hell yes! (660 comments)

I suspected that was your point, but it is not what you said.

You said (my emphasis) "Here's the difference. You can buy OS X and install it on any machine you want. Apple won't stop you; however, don't expect Apple to support it as it runs on non-Apple hardware. Now the moment you create a business to start selling it, you become a re-seller. As a re-seller, Apple can dictate what you can and cannot do."

My point (of which you're probably aware) was that Apple actually does try to dictate to everyone that OS X may only be installed on Apple hardware. However, unlike the RIAA, they don't seem to think it's worth it to sue each individual user. Though that view doesn't stop them from trying to use the DMCA to keep the information from users http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/06/02/17/apple_serves_dmca_notice_to_osx86_project.html. The only difference between an individual and a group to Apple is how much effort they are willing to expend to stop you from using OS X in violation of the EULA.

more than 5 years ago

Psystar Wins a Round Against Apple

ngc3242 Re:Hell yes! (660 comments)

Here's the difference. You can buy OS X and install it on any machine you want. Apple won't stop you;


OSX contains DRM to stop this type of thing.

From the http://wiki.osx86project.org/wiki/index.php/FAQ
Do I need Apple hardware to run Mac OS X?

Not anymore.

Projects such as OSx86 have succeeded in allowing the Intel-based version of Mac OS X to run on non-Apple hardware largely by bypassing the TPM in software.

The "Trusted Platform Module," or TPM, is a computer chip embedded inside Intel-based Macs to prevent the Intel-based version of Mac OS X from running on non-Apple hardware. (during installation of Mac OS X, Mac OS X interfaces with the TPM. If Mac OS X finds that the TPM doesn't exist, Mac OS X refuses to install or run.)

In building your "Hackintosh" however, you may want to keep as close to the hardware configuration of Intel-based Macs for the best compatibility. Intel Macs use (or have used) either a Core Solo, Core Duo, Core 2 Duo, or Xeon processor. For graphics cards, Intel Macs have seen Intel's GMA950; ATI's Mobility Radeon X1600, Radeon X1600, and Radeon X1900 XT; and nVidia's GeForce 7300GT, 7600GT, 8600M GT or Quadro FX4500. . . . . .

more than 5 years ago


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