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The History of the Floppy Disk

troc Re:Transforming DD into HD (204 comments)

And before that we took single-sided 5.25" floppies, carefully removed the disc, cut some extra holes in the case, carefully replaced the disc and, if we were lucky, had a double-sided disc instead!

about 2 years ago

The History of the Floppy Disk

troc Re:Read Error (204 comments)

I remember the "fun" of installing Office from floppy in the 90's when it came on something like 44 discs.

aaaargh the nightmares.....................

about 2 years ago

2013 H-1B Visa Supply Nearly Exhausted

troc Re:Hire the unemployed (428 comments)

You know they could be bringing these people in because all the decent, diligent, intelligent and reliable local workers have jobs already and those without jobs are crap at what they do. Or am I mistaken and actually all Americans, even the thick and stupid ones, are better workers than highly-educated and motivated people from countries like India or from within the EU?

Just a thought.

more than 2 years ago

Twitter Bomb Joke Case Rolls Back Into UK Courts

troc Re:New Rule: Mark your jokes. (174 comments)

You mean like:


(here is some random text because Slashdot is being wanky about caps again :) )

more than 2 years ago

Ask Slashdot: What If Intellectual Property Expired After Five Years?

troc Re:Not all Patents are the Same (577 comments)

All too easily done, patent examiners are paid less than a living wage for their location near D.C., you would need to combine two full-time patent examiner's incomes to rent a 1600 square foot apartment.

We are? I didn't even know I lived near D.C.

more than 2 years ago

Have Online Comment Sections Become Specious?

troc Re:obviously (429 comments)

Being on /. for 13 years, I agree :)

noob :)

(It's not often I see another 3k series userID)

more than 2 years ago

Antibiotics Are Useless In Treating Most Sinus Infections

troc Re:What does this sentence mean? (377 comments)

Antibiotics are very quick - their major effect is in the first couple of days of a 10 day (2 week, whatever) course. The extra week or more of pills is to make absulutely sure that everything that can be killed off, is. This is to prevent (or at least restrict) the chance of any drug-resistant strains developing.

One of the major problems in countries like France (where drugs are handed out like sweets) and in the developing world (where people can't afford the whole course, or save some for "next time") is people not finishing up a full course of antibiotics because 3 days in, they feel well and can't see the need to swallow any more of the evil pills that have given them diarrhoea and other stomach problems (the main side effect of broad spectrum antibiotics....).

more than 2 years ago

In Bolivia, a Supervolcano Is Rising

troc Re:Against all odds... (469 comments)

Surely you mean Dome-sday ;)

more than 2 years ago

Apple Bans Game App That Criticizes Smartphone Production

troc Re:It fun to out verb (213 comments)

*sigh* Have you spared a moment to consider whether the OP is a non-native English speaker?

Slashdot might be based in the US and thus be predominantly Anglo-centric but there are quite a few people on this Earth who aren't native English speakers. English could be this guy's 4th or 5th language for example.

I have no problem with the idea of poking fun at someone's language skills when they should know better (or indeed DO know better but are just being lazy) but assuming everyone speaks MY language at least as well as I do is, in this day and age, very naive.

about 3 years ago

Fukushima and Chernobyl Side-by-Side

troc Re:Accuracy in the article. Wow (284 comments)

Zilla, a pair of giant stomping legs and a tail, with nothing above the pelvis...

Reminds me of a girl I once went out with.


about 3 years ago

Dutch Court Says Android 2.3 Violates Apple Patents

troc Re:Software patents in the EU?? (195 comments)

It's a METHOD of doing something. You can view each step of the method as a little black box with an input from the previous step and an output to the next. It is irrelevant TO THE METHOD what is in each black box. It could be some hardware, it could be software, it could be a little fairy with a wand and some fairy dust. It doesn't matter. What matters is whether the method - as a series of technical steps - is novel and inventive.

Maybe the method steps are not actually novel or lack an inventive step, I don't know as I've not studied the patent and related prior art and I don't intend to, it's not my field of work. I can only assume my colleagues did a thorough job and found that the method being claimed was both novel and inventive. Implementing something in a computer or with software when that is the only difference to the prior art is not patentable under the EPC as lacking (amongst other things) inventive step. This is very clear if you understand European Patent Law. There must therefore have been, in the eyes of the examiners, something inventive in the particular series of method steps as claimed in the granted patent specification. The parts of the independent claims referring to computer implementation will not have formed part of that reasoning. Furthermore, the general public (and ALL of Apple's competitors) had years in which they could oppose and comment on the application before it was granted and nobody did.

I refer you back to my point - please learn some patent law before commenting on these cases. Yes, I've been around here a while and yes I know that most people comment on stuff here without reading the stories and without actually having any knowledge of the subject in question. I can usually resist but when people are choosing to mock my chosen career and the work carried out by my colleagues in the EPO, without any form of knowledge or study to back-up their obviously idiotic bias, it annoys me a tad.

about 3 years ago

Dutch Court Says Android 2.3 Violates Apple Patents

troc Re:Software patents in the EU?? (195 comments)

Untrue. Yes, the claims in the document everyone keeps linking to and discussing are rubbish and should never be granted - indeed they weren't as that's merely the published application. If you look at the claims of the granted patent specification (and not the published application which everyone keeps linking to) which actually define the scope of protection offered by the patent, you will see 2 independent claims. One is directed towards a method and is phrased in terms of method steps i.e. a series of actions to perform to obtain a desired event or result. The other is an apparatus claim, claiming the device that carries out the method of claim 1.

The method is "computer implemented" sure, but it's not software. Each step has a technical nature "do this, do that, wait for this to occur and then do something etc".

The claims don't claim software as such, they claim a method that can be carried out by software. It is, however the method itself which is granted (rightly or wrongly, I don't know, I don't work in this field) because that combination of method steps is, in the opinion of the examining division, new and inventive. The additional "feature" of it being computer implemented or "in software" is not inventive under the guidelines of the EPC and will have been treated as such.

about 3 years ago

Dutch Court Says Android 2.3 Violates Apple Patents

troc Re:Software patents in the EU?? (195 comments)

I am not going to comment on the validity of the patent as such and please don't take what I'm saying as implying in any way that I believe the patent is valid or invalid. I've not analysed it and it's not in my field of expertise anyway. Saying that, I do have a few patent law (and specifically, European patent law) related bits of info you might like to read:

1) In patent law the words "suitable for" are always implicitly present in a statement such as:

The disclosed embodiments relate generally to portable electronic devices, and more particularly, to portable devices for photo management, such as digital photographing, 5 photo editing, and emailing photos."

In this case, the Galaxy phone is quite definitely suitable for photo management.

2) - 4) No it's not software, it's a method of performing something comprising a series of technical steps. The fact that is can be implemented on a computer, or using software is secondary and irrelevant. It is the method steps themselves which are the invention and upon which the patent is based and upon which the examiner(s) will base their decision. The extent of protection granted by a patent is governed by the claims and not the description. The description merely describes aspects of the invention and will also contain quite a lot of info which is directed at the prior art or to methods of implementing the invention. The mere mention of the word software in the description does not imply that the claims are software-based. Even worse would be to use the title and/or abstract to get angry about a patent. The abstract for example has no legal value whatsoever and has no bearing on the scope of protection offered by the claimed invention. The description is there to aid the skilled man in carrying out the invention AS CLAIMED in the CLAIMS.

The EPO does, of course, have legal mechanisms for objecting to a patent and any stage of it's passage through the EPO system. Up until it was granted, anyone could have filed a 3rd party observation with the EPO which would be read and acted upon (if relevant) by the examiner in charge of the case. The patent was granted on 2010-09-29. By law you could have opposed the patent within 6 months of that date by filing a notice of opposition with the EPO, a facility open to anyone. Once this date is passed, it is no longer the responsibility of the EPO to manage or administer the patent and you would need to go to the patent offices of the individual countries where the patent has been granted to seek redress. Every country has a mechanism for opposing or fighting a granted patent.

Please go and learn some (European) patent law.

about 3 years ago

Twitter Sued By British Soccer Player

troc Re:Ryan Giggs (264 comments)

I'm fairly certain that 'allegedly' is unnecessary in this case. i.e it's Ryan Giggs, definitely. :p

more than 3 years ago

When AIM Was Our Facebook

troc Re:You spoiled kids! (395 comments)

Rants like that work best with a smaller Slashdot UID number :)

more than 3 years ago

The Hobbit Filming at 48fps

troc Re:Wrong problem anyone? (423 comments)

Not always true.

A lot of people get headaches from the disconnect between the information their eyes are telling them and what their brain has learned to understand. The brain resolves stuff into 3D using a number of visual cues. These include stereoscopic imaging (different images to each eye) which we get in 3D movies but also include information to do with focal distance (i.e. the brain is confused because the image appears 3D but the eyes are focused on a flat plane - and if you try to focus on something outside of the plane, you can't resolve it unless the filmaker happens to have recorded it in focus) and parallax (i.e. when you move your head, the images shift according to distance away from you. Birds do this a lot). There are more cues but these are the biggest usually. In 3D movies, we only simulate one of these - the stereoscopic effect. As such, the brain is getting conflicting information about what is in front of us and it is this attempt to "fix" the issues that causes many people to get headaches and/or sick when watching 3D.

I find, for example, that the fact that I can't decide which part of the allegedly 3D scene in front of me is in focus gives me serious eye-ache (leading to a headache) as my brain tries to focus on the blurry object in the foreground of the scene that was never recorded in focus. Were it real 3D, I would be able to focus on it but that data is not in the 2D image in front of me. It's a bit like trying to read a book which is held much to close to your eyes for an couple of hours.

Avatar was better than most because they used smaller (virtual) apertures, thus creating a greater depth of field, meaning I could visually wander through the scene without too much trouble. The effect is at it's worst in 2D movies which have been 3D-ified and were recorded with the typical narrow depth of field used to draw people to a specific part of the scene.

more than 3 years ago

The Beatles On iTunes

troc Re:Cheaper to buy CDs (551 comments)

Hmm, $150 = €110 (approx) at at today's rate.

But, we have to add some VAT. VAT in France is currently 19.6%

Which makes €131.5

So actually we are only being screwed to the tune of €17.5 :)

Oh and btw, in most states in the US they don't pay $150, they pay $150 plus tax, so in NC for example (7% VAT), you'd pay $160.5.

more than 3 years ago

Why Warhammer Online Failed — an Insider Story

troc Re:In Game Voiceovers (235 comments)

Personally, I use the LK speech/cut scene to /grab another beer/take a quick bio break/briefly stand up and juggle a bit for exercise/ before the main event starts and I have to concentrate. I rather like it. The Sauerfang one on the other hand annoys me something rotten as the fight is rather easy and doesn't require much concentration by anyone (it was only ever a gear check anyway). Even when we were training LK, I still didn't mind as it gave everyone a minute or two to make sure they had their game face on, or make silly comments in vent.

I think WoW mostly gets the cutscenes right - the only seriously annoying waste of time aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaargh one was at the Argent Tournament and they allow you to skip that one now anyway :)

more than 3 years ago

Anti-Product Placement For Negative Branding

troc Re:clever (130 comments)

Nope :)

about 4 years ago


troc hasn't submitted any stories.




troc troc writes  |  more than 10 years ago

I need to get out more. My wife despairs of me. She is a beautiful and intellegent woman who cannot spell. I love her to bits. Hello Phil!


My Shiny thing

troc troc writes  |  more than 9 years ago

I lost my shiny thing. It might be somewhere in the sofa but I am afraid to reach inside incase novel lifeforms have evolved and are hungry.

Maybe they are shiny-thing-etarians and won't bite me? In which case I will be shiny-thing-less for ever. This could be a Schroedinger's thing, maybe the cat has got it.



troc troc writes  |  more than 10 years ago

Oh well, I guess it had to happen - summer has flown south for the winter. Non-stop rain for 3 days now, grey skies, lots of wind. Holland is back to normal :)


my video recorder

troc troc writes  |  more than 10 years ago

It broke a few days ago when my wife set fire to a paint roller!


Random Musings

troc troc writes  |  more than 12 years ago

Hohum, first time for everything. I blame it on the hangover (not the boogie)

My mind has gone blank now, which is a bummer. I could try a random stream of thought but I am scared about what would be revealed.

Does Steve Jobs break into my house, investigate my current computer set-up, toddle back to his programmer-types and tell them what I use, just so they can design something that I just can't use without a serious hardware upgrade?

I think so. I shall set up some Steve Jobs traps. Does he like cheese or chocolate?

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