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Ask Slashdot: Remote Support For Disconnected, Computer-Illiterate Relatives

queazocotal Re:no options? really? (158 comments)

...
3g/LTE is very, very far from universally available.
An Ipad?
On dialup?
Certainly, you can as a competent user probably use it that way.
Good luck training people in the OPs relatives position to use it.

As others have raised, dialup often costs per-minute.
Webmail may be a terribly expensive option.

3 hours ago
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NASA's Manned Rocket Contract: $4.2 Billion To Boeing, $2.6 Billion To SpaceX

queazocotal Re:Commercial Crew Press Conference (176 comments)

I'd argue that the propulsive landing of dragon 2 makes it considerably more capable than apollo era capsules.

yesterday
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The Challenges and Threats of Automated Lip Reading

queazocotal Re:Combined (119 comments)

Err...
Yes - and if you actually read the article you linked, it's saying that if you edit the sound to be different than video, then you get effects that differ from the sound when listened to.
In real life - when the sight and video are not intentionally disturbed - it helps.

4 days ago
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Early iPhone 6 Benchmark Results Show Only Modest Gains For A8

queazocotal Not quite as silly as you might think. (207 comments)

Moores law is hitting a wall - and sharply limits the possibility of simply improving the speed of increasing the performance of single-core processors.

Interestingly however, one alternative - in addition to magical as-yet-unthought of technology is single purpose cores that remain switched off most of the time, and are only powered up to do a specific task very efficiently.

4 days ago
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Top EU Court: Libraries Can Digitize Books Without Publishers' Permission

queazocotal Re:ok (102 comments)

That's not required under my reading.
The full text of the original law referred to is 'use by communication or making available, for the purpose of research or private study, to individual members of the public by dedicated terminals on the premises of establishments referred to in paragraph 2(c) of works and other subject-matter not subject to purchase or licensing terms which are contained in their collections; '

It is quite arguable that VPNing into a virtual screen of a terminal is in fact compliant with the law - as long as it does not allow >1 person to view it at once.

about a week ago
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Top EU Court: Libraries Can Digitize Books Without Publishers' Permission

queazocotal Re:"they will need to pay the publisher" (102 comments)

It specifically refers in the body of the judgement to not putting libraries that had digitised books at an advantage' - so you can't digitise a book, and show it to more than one person at once.
(unless you have more than one physical copy).
If the physical copy goes away, so does your right to show it.
It's not clear you have the right in that case to keep the digital copy.

about a week ago
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Top EU Court: Libraries Can Digitize Books Without Publishers' Permission

queazocotal Re:Fair Use (102 comments)

Reading lightly the judgement at http://curia.europa.eu/juris/d... - a number of issues are raised.

It is several times noted that it's a 1:1 based on physical books.
One of the most important reasons for digitisation would be to protect physical books from being lost.
Digital books, of course, can be backed up.

The judgement does not quite help with that - if a paper book is disposed of, destroyed, or catches fire - you lose the right to at the least display it - it is not clear to me that you have any right to retain the digital copy.

"use by communication or making available, for the purpose of research or private study, to individual members of the public by dedicated terminals on the premises of establishments referred to in paragraph 2(c) of works and other subject-matter not subject to purchase or licensing terms which are contained in their collections; "

This has some problems.
If you digitise your collection, can you only provide access at the site you digitised it at?
At any building in the same complex?
At any building managed by the same entity as the original digiser?
At any library with inter-library loan arrangements with the first library?

The judgement diddn't address this, they just said the fundamental right existed.

Another major hole in the judgement is 'by communication' - unless this is separately defined - one could imagine it being OK to connect (with DRM) to some dedicated terminal which provided copies of books via your phone or tablet.

The judgement also notes that it's free for national lawmakers to permit libraries to print or give digital copies - if the original publisher is properly compensated - even if the original publisher declines this.
This could vastly free up access to some books where the publisher is unidentifiable.

about a week ago
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BBC: ISPs Should Assume VPN Users Are Pirates

queazocotal Re:It also helps me.... (362 comments)

In this case - the broadcast arm of the BBC only has the rights to broadcast certain shows in certain locations.
It is violating the copyright of the original provider to use them outside agreed borders of those locations.
If you are accessing the BBC via a VPN in the UK - you are in fact violating the copyright terms - even if you are accessing a free service.

As to the point raised by a commenter - yes, of course you should be able to pay for access - but this access can't (apart from BBC self-produced content) be assumed by the BBC, it would need to be separately negotiated by the BBC.

about a week ago
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DNA sequencing of coffee's best use:

queazocotal Re:Marketing poison to the masses. (228 comments)

if you go back and actually read the original 'GMO gives rats cancer' paper, you find that the whole papers statistics rests on two female rats of a cancer-prone strain of rat getting cancer, when the control group did not.

Two rats is not significant.

about two weeks ago
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Feds Say NSA "Bogeyman" Did Not Find Silk Road's Servers

queazocotal Re:Analyzing the FBI's Explanation of How They Loc (142 comments)

There is a difference between no identifying information, and no information.
Rips of DVDs, for example, would be information - but they would not contain any identification other than the program used to make them, and the DVDs in question.

about two weeks ago
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New DNA Analysis On Old Blood Pegs Aaron Kosminski As Jack the Ripper

queazocotal Re:forensic 'science' (135 comments)

'This is where I think we get in trouble with forensic science. Certain things, like finger prints and DNA, can exonerate a suspect but we have seen enough analysis around here to know that it is a fallacy to think that these things prove guilt. it only proves guilt if we assume the probability of guilt is 100% initially. When comparing the sample to a database, random error can create a match under certain common circumstances.'

However, in this case, they were comparing not against a database of millions, but one of several possibilities.

about two weeks ago
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DMCA Claim Over GPL Non-Compliance Shuts Off Minecraft Plug-Ins

queazocotal Re:What the heck? (354 comments)

This relies on the GPL 'you can't distribute at all if you can't comply with the licence' - if you distribute with a binary blob (effectively) that you have no rights to in your allegedly GPL codebase - then you're in violation of the GPL.

You can then come into compliance with the GPL in principle by supplying source for that blob. It is possible that the only way that compliance could be done is to release the whole of minecraft under the GPL - but the impossibilty of that does not factor into the legality of distributing.

The only way you can be forced to release source code is for a judge to compel you to release source code, after a copyright suit.
They are probably more likely to assess financial damages - rather than compelling release of source code.
I'm not aware of any compulsory release of source code ever happening.

about two weeks ago
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NYPD Starts Body Camera Pilot Program

queazocotal An interesting additional idea. (170 comments)

The cop cameras will presumably have evidential and tamper resistant design.
if you're concerned about off-camera and camera broken incidents - it would be interesting if you could also purchase one of them.

about two weeks ago
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NYPD Starts Body Camera Pilot Program

queazocotal Re:And make video available when asked (170 comments)

Every second of video GPS timestamped, and the GPS logs extracted and used to index the video.

Privacy is a hard topic.
To a degree - I find the fact a police officer, who could have arrested someone was on the scene - makes the case rather different from that of a random surveillance camera.

My starting point would be that all video from cameras while the cop is in a public place have a much, much, much lower threshold for access.

about two weeks ago
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NYPD Starts Body Camera Pilot Program

queazocotal Re:And make video available when asked (170 comments)

18 petabytes a year isn't much.
Taking the assumption above that there are 5000 cameras working at once.
They are paid around $35/hour. This would make the wage bill 1.5 billion. Budget is $5B - so this seems order of magnitude right.
18 petabytes, on amazon redshifts '$1000/tbyear' is only $18M.
It seems quite plausible to get that to $5m without trying really hard.

Perhaps more important than storage, is access.
It should be possible to say 'show me a list of officers and car cameras within 1000 yards of 1 WTC between 8Am and 9am last friday'.

And yes - this implies the cameras must have GPS too.

about two weeks ago
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SpaceX Challenges Blue Origin Patents Over Sea-Landing Rocket Tech

queazocotal Re:Would it really be worse without patents? (75 comments)

'Patents are supposed to be for inventions, not just "useful things".'

Quite.

Patents were originally meant to be a trade - you got protection in exchange for showing how your device worked that may take months or years to reinvent.

You should never, ever be able to get a patent for being the first to come up with a problem, and doing the obvious solution.

This is especially the case if that solution took you less time than a full and proper patent search to see if that solution was already patented.

If that is the case, the patent system is _completely_broken_.

I can see the argument for patents that have some extreme and brilliant novelty to them.
But patents that are basically obvious restatements of the problem that the designer was facing - followed by the obvious solution - should result in the applicant getting set on fire.

about two weeks ago
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Hidden Obstacles For Delivery Drones

queazocotal Re:Batteries (215 comments)

They are _a_ bottleneck.
lithium-ion batteries are quite adequate for 10 or 20 minute flights in a small drone.
3 minutes flight at 60km/h takes you 3km.
Taking for example - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... - this needs around 60 drone stations to cover the entirety of London.

Each drone can do 10 deliveries an hour - 180 a day, 65000/year.
The network can do 4 million deliveries per year.
The cost per drone is perhaps pessimistically, 1000 pounds.
They need to survive a week or so to easily recoup their losses.

about two weeks ago
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Battle of the Heavy Lift Rockets

queazocotal Re:Delay is good. congress operating as designed. (211 comments)

The shuttle had several very near accidents in its run.
NASAs current criteria for man-rating would - for astronauts that fly six times a year be safer at work than:
A) Deep sea fishermen
B) Lumberjacks
C) Librarians.

Hint: It's not the first two.
(actual figures from US statistics).

about two weeks ago

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