×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Comments

top

Senate Report Says CIA Misled Government About Interrogation Methods

sehlat [sarc]How wonderfully counter-productive![/sarc] (207 comments)

CIA interrogators continued the harsh treatment even after it appeared that Baluchi was cooperating.

If the reward for cooperating is torture and more torture, why cooperate? At least keeping silent (or lying in ways not easily checked) can be a form of revenge.

about two weeks ago
top

NSA Can Retrieve, Replay All Phone Calls From a Country From the Past 30 Days

sehlat CALEA? (320 comments)

The Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act was passed in 1994. Just how much equipment with mandated-by-US-law security holes WAS sold to foreign countries.

about a month ago
top

Why Are There More Old Songs On iTunes Than Old eBooks?

sehlat It's Not Just the Technical Difficulty of Scanning (77 comments)

Authors' estates are notoriously greedy and short-sighted. I've seen several efforts come to grief on the fact that the heirs frequently have highly-inflated ideas of what the books are worth (Hey, they're classics!), and by God they want their "cut." Project Gutenberg had to fend off efforts by one "estate manager" to claim that materials which were clearly in public domain weren't (sort of a dwarf Warner Music). Another effort to publish "the complete Murray Leinster" foundered the same way.

about a month ago
top

The Next Keurig Will Make Your Coffee With a Dash of "DRM"

sehlat Re:Been doing single-cup for years (769 comments)

Update: I entered [less than] 4 cups and the [left angle-bracket] character was deleted from the post. We've made single-cup morning coffee for a LONG time.

about a month and a half ago
top

The Next Keurig Will Make Your Coffee With a Dash of "DRM"

sehlat Been doing single-cup for years (769 comments)

My wife and I have a Krups dual-carafe coffee maker with a setting switch for 4 cups. Set the switch, take some beans out of the sealed container for the pre-ground beans, place them in a small filter cone. Place cone in plastic holder, pour in water and wait briefly while the coffee brews. Add seasonings to taste and drink.

It's a simple enough process that even a Green Mountain Coffee Roasters executive could do it unassisted.

about a month and a half ago
top

Ray Kurzweil Talks Google's Big Plans For Artificial Intelligence

sehlat Re:One *REQUIRED* Precaution (254 comments)

Has anybody noticed that the stupidest ideas are almost always built by very bright people? And usually, the brighter the individual who builds it, the stupider it is.

Slashdot beta was built by geniuses. :)

about 2 months ago
top

Ray Kurzweil Talks Google's Big Plans For Artificial Intelligence

sehlat Re:One *REQUIRED* Precaution (254 comments)

What I fear is artificial stupidity.

about 2 months ago
top

Ray Kurzweil Talks Google's Big Plans For Artificial Intelligence

sehlat One *REQUIRED* Precaution (254 comments)

Don't let it become a politician.

about 2 months ago
top

US Cord Cutters Getting Snubbed From NBC's Olympic Coverage Online

sehlat Can somebody explain why I should care? (578 comments)

I've been a cord-cutter since 1992 and don't miss it, so why am I supposed to be upset that NBC is being as criminally stupid as usual?

about 2 months ago
top

Target's Data Breach Started With an HVAC Account

sehlat Answer to "Why weak security?" (232 comments)

Because good security, like anything else worth buying, costs $$$. So it looks like a loss on the books. Remember, "the books" don't show the loss Target's taking in lost trade until the trade is lost by incidents like this. And even then, I'll be they don't do very much other than put some cosmetics on their system.

For the same $tupid reason: "The $tockholder$ won't like it."

about 2 months ago
top

EU Secretly Plans To Put a Back Door In Every Car By 2020

sehlat *Every* car? Not on your life. (364 comments)

Five gets you one hundred that, assuming this agreement actually exists, there are exceptions in it for cars being used by high officials and the well-enough-connected-to-pay-sufficient-bribes.

about 3 months ago
top

Weapons Systems That Kill According To Algorithms Are Coming. What To Do?

sehlat At Least One Outcome Seems Possible (514 comments)

"They've got me aimed at a computer center. Why don't I just fly a little farther and hit a maternity ward?"

about 3 months ago
top

How long before most automobile driving is done by computers?

sehlat Re:Never gonna happen. (472 comments)

A vehicle can operate manually until hitting an on ramp

And after that, the computer will have nothing to do but wait for the tow truck.

about 6 months ago
top

Phantom Authors Publish Real Research Paper

sehlat Lobachevsky? (52 comments)

In Harvard Med my name is cursed! When he finds I published first!

about 7 months ago
top

USAF Almost Nuked North Carolina In 1961 – Declassified Document

sehlat Re:Safety design was fine (586 comments)

NASA has a saying, "If you're running on the backups, you're already in trouble." This was the backup to the backup to the backup to the backup.

OTOH, now we have evidence as to why you do NOT choose the lowest bidder for systems that are absolutely MUST NOT FAIL!

about 7 months ago
top

Intel Rolls Out Raspberry Pi Competitor

sehlat "Almost" is an interesting word (214 comments)

As in "...(almost) all the software required to run the platform is open."

That's like saying "We can stop almost all of the incoming nuclear warheads."

about 7 months ago
top

BlackBerry Reportedly Prepping To Slash Workforce By 40 Percent

sehlat There's a lesson in here for every tech company. (89 comments)

RIM ended up known as "lawsuits in motion" for their dependence on the government-granted monopolies we call intellectual "property." They depended on these things instead of innovating and improving their products and staying ahead of the pack. Meanwhile, iPhones and Androids kept showing up with new features, better processors, improved OSes, etc. etc.

The moral is simple, run like hell, don't look back because something might be gaining on you, and above all, don't stop to hire mercenaries to fight for you and then relax while a bunch of hired guns save your village with Elmer Bernstein's music in the background.

about 6 months ago

Submissions

top

Crowdsourcing Big Brother

sehlat sehlat writes  |  more than 4 years ago

sehlat writes "From the Los Angeles Times comes word of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, where 165 public surveillance cameras are being set up to be monitored by a "non profit coalition" of volunteers. The usual suspects, including "the innocent have nothing to fear" are being trotted out to justify this, and the following quote at the end of the article deserves mention.

But Jack Bauer, owner of the city's largest beer and soft drink distributor, calls the network "a great thing." His store hasn't been robbed, he said, since four cameras went up nearby.

"There's nothing wrong with instilling fear," he said.

"
top

Sony announces DRM-free at Amazon

sehlat sehlat writes  |  more than 6 years ago

sehlat (180760) writes "An article at The New York Times begins:

Sony BMG announced Thursday that it would become the fourth and final major music label to sell digital music on Amazon.com, offering its entire catalog in the MP3 format by the end of the month.
The Rebel Alliance has won."
top

Sony drops DRM, retains "album", "reta

sehlat sehlat writes  |  more than 6 years ago

sehlat (180760) writes "Sony may be dropping DRM, but they're not really going fully online for music distribution. Instead they're setting things up so you still have to buy whole albums via "gift cards" purchased at Best Buy, Target, etc. Does anybody outside Sony really think this will fly?

Details at Reuters."
top

Western Digital Cripples Network Drives

sehlat sehlat writes  |  more than 6 years ago

sehlat (180760) writes "Via BoingBoing. It would appear that the advertising claims for the Western Digital My Book(TM) World Edition(TM) II which include: "Listen to the music on your My Book World Edition drive while you're on vacation." and "Securely access and edit your files on any computer." and "Get files from home while at the office." may be false.

This Support Page specifically says: "Due to unverifiable media license authentication, the following file types cannot be shared by different users using WD Anywhere Access." Which means, of course, that if you have a great new multimedia demo of something which falls into the category of "Offer your clients an easy way to access business documents, designs, and artwork. Eliminates the need for a separate FTP server." and it's in one of a LONG list of "forbidden" formats, you're out of luck."
top

Palm Warranty == sneakwrap

sehlat sehlat writes  |  more than 6 years ago

sehlat (180760) writes "There's a new article over at Ed Foster's Gripelog about the warranty on Palm Tungsten E2 and Z22 being ninety days rather than the industry-standard one year. It notes the fact that you only find out about this by opening the package with the device inside.

With software products, we all know that somewhere deep in the fine print the vendor probably disavows any real warranty. But it's a little more unexpected that a hardware vendor like Palm would hide — in the most obscure corners of its website — the fact that their warranty period on some products is so short as to be virtually useless.
"
top

Internet Toplogy Resembles a Medusa

sehlat sehlat writes  |  more than 6 years ago

sehlat (180760) writes "A new study by a group of researchers, tends to show that the internet, taken as a whole, has a structure which greatly resembles that of a medusa.

The data suggests a new picture of the AS-graph structure, which distinguishes a relatively large, redundantly connected core of nearly 100 ASes and two components that flow data in and out from this core. One component is fractally interconnected through peer links; the second makes direct connections to the core only. The model which results has superficial similarities with and important differences from the "Jellyfish" structure proposed by Tauro et al., so we call it a "Medusa."
"
top

sehlat sehlat writes  |  more than 6 years ago

sehlat (180760) writes "I asked my wife her opinion of the MAFIAA's war on their customers and she sent me the following essay. Posted here because I think it deserves attention.

As our communication technology expands (some might say 'explodes'), traditional media are being forced to rethink their traditional models. Nowhere is this more evident than in the struggles of major movie studios, music studios and publishing companies. Some of them are in outright legal wars with their customers. This is a certain ticket to bankruptcy court — it's just a matter of time.

In the past, big studios and big publishers were king. Composers, performers, authors and artists all had to go through them to reach an audience. Even if they went to the considerable expense of self-producing, how did they distribute their wares? The entertainment corporations were free to pay their talent as they saw fit, charge for their product as they saw fit, and they didn't have to answer to anyone. The only real adversaries they had were each other and the counterfeiters.

Counterfeit movies, books and music have always been a nuisance, but they weren't a major threat. Quality problems kept most customers attached to the genuine article. But then the technology expanded, and anyone could make a copy for their mom, their girl friend, their cousin Ernie. A lot of big companies panicked and set loose packs of lawyers to gnaw on the hands that feed them.

Panic is blind, and this is no exception. Those big companies aren't seeing the big picture, and if they don't rethink what they're doing, they will go as extinct as the dodo, BECAUSE THEY'RE NOT NEEDED ANY MORE.

The studios and publishers make a big deal about "intellectual property", but how are they defining that? Do they create anything? Or do they buy the creations of others? Do they sell anything? Or do they pretend to sell their wares, but then insist on the right to continue to "own" and control them?

These days, studios and publishers actually function as glorified introduction services. Once they were mass-producers, using economies of scale to make the expensive, cumbersome process of generating and duplicating entertainment media (whether book or music or film) cost-effective. But today, we're getting to the point where anyone with a good computer and the requisite skills can turn out high-quality content, and mass duplication isn't necessary — it can be done electronically by the purchaser. So the function of the studio or publisher is to 1. Recruit the talent, and 2. Introduce their work to the consumer.

Think about an introduction or dating service. You want to meet a nice person to go out with. The service is happy to oblige, for a fee. So far so good. But what if the service wanted to plant spyware in your car, your favorite haunts, even your bedroom, to make sure that you couldn't ask the person out again without paying them? What if they sued you for introducing her to your cousin Ernie? Would you do business with them?

No matter what they do, these agencies can't successfully control each iteration of the material they sell. If they stop trying, they'll continue to make money. Most people don't want to take the time to record or print their own entertainment. Most artists don't want to be their own marketing companies, either, so they too will continue to support agencies that treat them fairly. Some of both will go to the extra trouble, because they have more time and/or skill than money, but chances are that those people wouldn't be doing business with the agency in the first place, so nothing is being lost to them.

What about all this is so difficult? The same bloated corporations that have been swindling their artists for years are now running amok, suing grandmothers and grade-school kids for doing the very thing that will keep their products in the marketplace. Word of mouth is the most potent advertising a company can have — why aren't they taking advantage of it? The consumers want to be entertained. Show them a little bit of something entertaining and they want more. Intelligent marketing dictates selling content; recorded media might remain as a secondary "convenience" market for people who can't or don't want to convert data to their format of choice, but it's not mandatory any more. The company that's smart and realistic will provide previews, or older material from an artist's library, to potential buyers. When they sell something, they will sell it. They'll sell it in units that make sense (individual songs as well as albums, individual stories as well as collections, etc. No encryption, no spyware, no strings attached at all, except that if anyone tries to copy and market their material, they can act against them on behalf of the artist. And speaking of the artist, they'll pay their talent well enough to make it attractive to work with their agency, because if they don't, their talent has the option of marketing directly to the consumer. In the coming shaking-out of the information/entertainment media, the companies that are smart and realistic will win.
"
top

sehlat sehlat writes  |  more than 6 years ago

sehlat (180760) writes "The Electronic Frontier Foundation has been investigating the innards of iTunes-plus files. Last week, they reported on additional information apparently contained in the tracks over and above the music content itself.

This week they have published an update on their findings. Some of the mystery information appears to be cover art. However, they do mention:

While there are no watermarks, there are some other interesting fields that are likley to have privacy implications. In particular, there is a 1024 bit variant field labeled sign and a 630 byte variant field labeled chtb. These are unique for every combination of user and track we've seen. Neither of these fields existed in the FairPlay DRMed .m4p tracks that Apple has been selling in the past.
"
top

sehlat sehlat writes  |  more than 6 years ago

sehlat writes "There's a note up at the EFF Deep Links blog that indicates the DRM-free m4a files may have just a wee bit more data in them than just a name and email address:

We compared two DRM-free copies of the track Daftendirekt by Daft Punk. When decoded to PCM/WAV data, both copies produced an identical audio signal (the MD5sum is e40b006497f9b417760ca5015c3fa937). So there is no audio watermark. But one of the .m4a files is almost 360K larger than the other!
360K is enough to hold at least a short novel."

Journals

sehlat has no journal entries.

Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...