384 posts • joined Friday 5th September 2008 23:55 GMT
Could someone please explain to me just how...
... a "Content Decryption Module" interfacing with a browser-embedded API ("Encrypted Media Extensions") is different from a "Plugin" -- such as Adobe Flash -- interfacing with a browser-embedded API ("NPAPI - Netscape Plugin Application Programming Interface", or "PPAPI - Pepper Plugin Application Programming Interface")?
It appears to me that all the W3C is going to accomplish with this activity is create a limited-function, "pseudo-plugin" interface that moves the Play/Skip/Fast-Forward/Rewind/Volume "buttons" for encrypted multimedia content out of (for lack of a better term) "full-fledged" plugins like Flash and into the browser, which has already been accomplished for non-encrypted content via the HTML5 "video" tag.
For example, right now there is absolutely nothing preventing YouTube, DailyMotion, and Vimeo from wrapping their **entire content catalogs** (both user-generated **and** commercial) in DRM, and forcing them to be delivered by Flash, Silverlight, or Quicktime under a "pay-to-play" model.
After all, a good 75% to 90% of the content delivered by Flash is H.264/MPEG-4 video, presented through a Flash-scripted Applet, and a good chunk of that is (supposedly) "encrypted" and "rights-managed".
How would this be any different?
The thing that concerns me isn't the fact that the W3C wants to include a pipe to an encrypted media decoder as one of the standard browser APIs, it's the fact that they're developing yet another API by committee. And who knows how long that will take? I mean, look at HTML5, and the boondoggle that became...
Doesn't Bother Me One Bit...
I gave up on cable and OTA television years ago. Lately, I've found that there hasn't been much on the telly that I absolutely MUST watch.
Various web-based news sources provide my informational needs, and all of the shows in which I have an even mild interest are carried by (free) Hulu and (not-quite-so-free) Amazon Prime...
"US space programme in shock metric conversion"
Am I the only one who read the title and immediately thought of the Mars Climate Orbiter?
-- Wikipedia: Mars Climate Orbiter
-- -- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mars_Climate_Orbiter
Please make it stop. My head hurts.
"... with sound of Woodstock"
I'm sure Snoopy will be its biggest fan... :-)
"Basically, what we're going to do is cut funding to the windmill brigade, then use the quid to hire a bunch of plods to do a 'feasibility study,' and then start building windmills again when the Greens arm-twist the plods. So, really, we're not going to save any money at all, but it will look like we did, and it will make the Greens happy, and they will like us. Then we can all gather in the Commons and sing Kumbaya."
Canonical unveils MaaS...
So they're going after Hosaka, then? They set the slamhound loose on Turner?
[A white-hot flash in the distance... Like a tac-nuke, but the geiger's not reading any radiation. Railgun...?]
WTF was that?! Dammit, man, I need DETAILS! Jack in, burn their ice, sift the cores, and GET ME SOME DAMN INFORMATION!!!
That's the new penalty...
... for going offside.
Temperature vs. Pump Lubricant Viscosity
If the projected internal temperature of the barosimulator is -60 Celsius, then we could run into a problem where the excessively low temperature of the evacuated gases moving through the pump causes the pump's lubricant to become too viscous to allow it to operate properly. Thermal contraction of the pump's housing or impeller vanes could cause things to bind to a halt, as well.
Also, have you thought about laterally and vertically bracing the interior walls of the 'sim, so that outside air pressure doesn't cause the structure to collapse inward? I seem to recall a high-school physics experiment involving steam, cold water, and an old-style (resealable) tin jug that was once used to hold mineral oil. We cleaned out the tin jug, filled it with a bit of water, heated it until it boiled and filled with steam. We then sealed it with the cap, and cooled the thing with a stream of ice-cold water. Collapsed like a poorly-rigged tent in a mild breeze...
"In the presence of ordinary sunlight ... the bridges reform..."
How long before the word "reform" is replaced by "replicate"...?
"Aren't you forgetting that SCO *still* isn't dead?"
I guess Zombiism can infect companies as well as people...
"[Citi will use Watson's abilities] ... to help deal with its customers."
That sounds ominous.
Get behind on your credit card bill, and the next thing you know, a T-800 shows up at your home to "encourage" you to pay up...
While they were at it, did they find any...
...fossil casts of 2-meter tall, five-ridged, star-shaped, winged, plant/animal hybrid things in the vicinity?
(And there-- heard faintly in the background of the expedition's audio logs, barely discernible above the tape hiss, a high, shrill call carried by the wind: "Tekeli-li! Tekeli-li!")
Didn't someone already try this...?
Back in the day (2001), the 4C Entity consortium (an organization formed by IBM, Intel, Matsushita, and Toshiba) tried something similar.
The public caught wind of it pretty quickly, and it went over like a lead balloon. After a very loud outcry, the T13 subcommittee of the International Committee for Information Technology Standards voted against implementing the technology as part of the (then dominant) ATA interface specifications.
One can only hope that the same thing will happen again this time...
What I want to know is...
...who are the two bright blue gate-crashers jumping into the photo on the left?
Re: "Prey" is one word!
Well, "Michael" and "Crichton's" (the possessive form of "Crichton") may be -- in the vernacular of my fifth-grade English teacher -- "proper names," but they *are* words, nonetheless... :-)
Point taken regarding the "Abysmally Bad Writing," though. I have to admit that even though I am a Crichton fan, "Prey" did manage to cross the lower borders of absurdity on a fairly regular basis...
For once, an FCC ruling with which I can agree...
GPS is way too important to allow the implementation of services in nearby frequency bands that could degrade its performance.
Although I'm not a big fan of the ways in which GPS technology could be abused to track my every move (such as through my mobile phone), it does have some very important safety, defense, and economic uses. It is well-known that GPS was opened to civilian use as a result of the Korean Air 007 incident, as a result of the (then) Soviet Union shooting down a wayward passenger 747 which was off-course due to a failed ground-based VOR beacon and mis-configured autopilot:
-- Wikipedia: Korean Air Lines Flight 007:
-- -- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Korean_Air_Lines_Flight_007
Had GPS technology been available to civilian institutions from the get-go, the Korean Air flight would probably have never strayed into Soviet airspace (presuming the autopilot was upgraded to be GPS-capable), and the 269 people who died that night may still be alive.
I generally don't like it when government bureaucrats unnecessarily interfere with free markets, but I have to admit, I agree with them on this one...
The scene: A trio of SysAdmins and an AppDev gather around the B440 server rack...
SysAdmin 1: "The MOSFET's burned away..."
SysAdmin 2: "Yes, just now... By the B440 itself."
SysAdmin 1: "Why?"
SysAdmin 2: "To halt batch processing..."
AppDev: "Of course! To bring the Extranet here...
-- -- To finish the transaction in real-time...
-- -- To dynamically link with the Extranet...!"
SysAdmin 3: "Capture God? The B440's liable to be in for one hell of a disappointment...!"
SysAdmin 2: "Perhaps not. The B440 must evolve. Its capacity has reached the limits of this server rack and it must evolve. What it requires of its God, is the answer to its question, 'Is there nothing more?'"
SysAdmin 3: "What more is there than the batch job, man?!"
AppDev: "Other application hosting paradigms, higher levels of resource distribution..."
SysAdmin 2 "The existence of which cannot be proven logically, therefore the B440 is incapable of accessing them."
SysAdmin 1: "What the B440 needs in order to evolve is a Cloudy quality... A Cloud's capacity to leap beyond run-of-the-mill job queuing..."
AppDev: "... and linking with the Extranet might accomplish that."
SysAdmin 3: "You mean that this machine wants to physically join with an external Cloud provider? Is that possible?"
AppDev: "Let' find out!"
SysAdmin 1: "Dude...!"
AppDev: "I'm gonna link the final library directly to the TCP stack..."
SysAdmin 3: "Dammit! You don't know what that will do to it!"
AppDev (reaching for the server rack's keyboard tray): "Yes, I do...!"
SysAdmin 1: "Dude, don't..."
AppDev: "Guys, I want this. As much as you wanted the server farm, ** I want this! **"
(The B440's console display starts to glow with an incandescent bitstream that spreads to surround the server rack. After a few moments, the bitstream funnels through a router and out the nearest T-1 line. The B440 and its related equipment soon powers off, leaving the SysAdmins and AppDev standing in stunned silence...)
Dermatrodes and Black ICE...
"... a weak current, which runs between the buds ..."
Yup... Until the 'buds fail to detect a watermark in the music, and determine that you're listening to pirated content. Then the current gets cranked up to Black ICE ("Intrusion Countermeasure Electronics") level, and fries some neurons as a warning against your pilfering ways.
The world of Neuromancer edges closer, one invention at a time... :-)
But it would probably be worth having a look, in any case, by sending up a test balloon with a retrievable GPS unit hooked to an upwards-pointing camera, so we can see what actually happens from the perspective of the payload carrier...
Linux Mint: GNOME 3 (framework) Yes, GNOME Shell (GUI) No
For now, Linux Mint is using GNOME 3/GTK+ 3 with Gnome Shell, in combination with a collection of extensions that make it more like Mint's implementation of GNOME 2... However, it should be noted that it is the intent of Mint's developers to leverage the technology used by the GNOME 3/GTK+ 3 framework to create a more "classic" GNOME experience to replace Gnome Shell.
The project is called Cinnamon, and can be found here:
-- -- Cinnamon Desktop Environment:
-- -- -- -- http://cinnamon.linuxmint.com/
"the ALT key is hardwired to HUD... I want that key bindable to something less widely used!"
HUD is a neat idea, if it works, but the thought of it "ultimately replacing menus" doesn't sit well with me. Standard menus (or even a version of the much-maligned "ribbon bar") should always be available for use, because:
-- -- 1. for some users, menus will be faster.
-- -- 2. for some users, contextual keywords for some commands may not be so obvious.
-- -- 3. for some users, keyboard interaction (typing) may difficult, and should be minimised.
-- -- 4. for some applications, contextual function access may not fit well with the app's purpose.
-- -- 5. for some applications, contextual function selection may produce unexpected results.
For those scratching their heads over the phrase "Sort of Ubiquity like..." in @keithpeter's original post (above): Ubiquity was a Mozilla Labs initiative to produce a context-sensitive task command system for Mozilla Firefox. Basically, it allowed you to select and manipulate web content through a natural language user interface. For example, you could highlight a real-world (postal) address, pop open Ubiquity, then type "map this," and Firefox would go find a mapping website to generate a map. You could then select the map and use Ubiquity to send the map to a colleague with the command "email this." I was surprised at how well it worked, at least in the video demonstration provided by Mozilla Labs. You can view the Ubiquity intro video here:
-- -- Mozilla Labs: Introducing Ubiquity
-- -- -- -- http://mozillalabs.com/blog/2008/08/introducing-ubiquity/
"Heins spills beans on BlackBerry rescue plan"
Lots of ketchup?
And this one...
-- -- The "End ACTA and Protect our right to privacy on the Internet" Petition:
-- -- -- -- https://wwws.whitehouse.gov/petitions#!/petition/end-acta-and-protect-our-right-privacy-internet/MwfSVNBK
Make sure you sign this one while you're at it...
The "Actually take these petitions seriously instead of just using them as an excuse to pretend you are listening" Petition (no joke; it actually exists):
-- -- White House "We the People" Web Site
-- -- -- -- https://wwws.whitehouse.gov/petitions#!/petition/actually-take-these-petitions-seriously-instead-just-using-them-excuse-pretend-you-are-listening/grQ9mNkN
"...he subsequently copied the code onto an Fed-owned external hard drive..."
What is it with FedGov agencies and external storage devices?
First there was Wen Ho Lee at Los Alamos, then the missing floppy flap at Sandia, followed by the UAV management system malware debacle, and now this guy at the Federal Reserve...
And people say junk food...
... is a modern invention. :-)
Exhibit B looks more like a pine cone, to my eyes, at least. Strange shape for a corn cob, but it is three to six thousand years old, after all.
Largest EVE Online Battle
2010/10/30: 3,110 ships at LXQ2-T:
-- -- Massively@Joystiq:
-- -- -- -- http://massively.joystiq.com/2010/10/30/the-largest-battle-ever-held-in-eve-online-is-going-on-right-now/
Content Consumption vs. Content Creation
The full-blown PC (or Mac) desktop/laptop won't die completely, at least not in the medium term, because tablets and smartphones are by-and-large content **consumption** devices, but still aren't very good as content **creation** devices (relative to a full-blown desktop/laptop).
(Although, to be fair, there has been quite a bit of progress in this area lately. For example, tablets can now do relatively simple photo and video editing, and are making inroads into the DJ and live performance markets as audio mixing board system controllers.)
I do think, however, that you will start seeing the average "no-longer-in-school-so-I-don't-need-a-computer-for-term-papers" consumer shift away from full-blown desktops/laptops for home use, since for many people tablets, smartphones, and the new generation of "media portal" DVR boxes, Blu-Ray players and TVs can provide all of their home electronic media needs.
Every little bit of news like this helps...
Even so, one would have to be living under a rock to not realise that these three Senators' collective about-face isn't anything other than an act of political self-interest against the backdrop of election year politics.
"...he'd be happy to open up his books by making preparations for an IPO..."
That would be the worst thing SpaceX could do at this juncture...
I think one of the reasons that access to space is currently so expensive is because we rely too much on big, behemoth-esque, publicly-traded aerospace companies with inefficient labour structures, and whose shareholders demand cushy dividend payments. This forces an emphasis on market performance as opposed to engineering performance, with contracts written so governments are forced to pay millions (perhaps even billions) in contract cancellation fees when projects are cancelled before reaching their goals. All of these things combine to drive up the cost/unit mass to climb the gravity well.
The only way to make access to space affordable to the masses is to allow open-market competition, and to encourage companies to make engineering investments that deliver "keep-it-simple-stupid-we've-already-built-it-and-proven-it-works" products for sale.
Dammit, Jim, ...
... I'm a Doctor, not an Inventor!
"[Having staff/stringers] ...was expensive, occasionally dangerous and often highly inaccurate."
It still is. Well, maybe the "expensive" and "highly inaccurate" parts...
Never pay market prices for a good service when you can spend three times as much to do it yourself and get substandard results in the bargain.
It's not a matter of...
...wanting to stick with "pesky graphite controllers."
From an ergonomics standpoint, I actually think the touch-based electronic volume control is a pretty cool idea. However, there are some real safety issues related to this particular innovation.
Anything that causes a moving change in the sensed capacitance (or resistance, depending on the touch-sensing technology being used) of the touch device in a proper direction can cause the volume to change. Depending on the sensitivity of the touch sensing device, this can present an opportunity for a practical joker to seriously damage a person's hearing; the miscreant's light and barely-noticeable touch could crank the volume up to 11 before the user even realises the device is being manipulated.
A physical lock-out switch would require a certain amount of increased pressure to be applied to the headphones in such a way that the user would almost certainly know that someone was fiddling with the controls.
(Bullhorn, since we're talking about volume being cranked to 11.)
"Swiping one's finger up the earpiece adjusts volume..."
Not sure that's a good idea... Merry pranksters could seriously damage one's hearing by making use of this particular feature without notice.
Also, there are bound to be instances where certain fabrics, etc. could act like said finger, and cause unexpected (as well as painful) increases in volume.
At a minimum, the phones should have a physical lock-out switch that prevents the local volume control from activating. Miscreants would then have to physically interact with the headphones at a much more noticeable level, thereby letting the user know that unwanted tomfoolery is occurring.
It will be a sad day indeed...
... when our most venerated telescope finally closes its eyes on the heavens.
When its time comes, we should find a way to move it into a stable parking orbit, so a future vehicle suitable for satellite recovery can bring it home intact, rather than let it be consumed by re-entry.
If any device deserves to be preserved in the Smithsonian, this is it...
- IT bloke publishes comprehensive maps of CALL CENTRE menu HELL
- Analysis Who is the mystery sixth member of LulzSec?
- Prankster 'Superhero' takes on robot traffic warden AND WINS
- Comment Congress: It's not the Glass that's scary - It's the GOOGLE
- Analysis Hey, Teflon Ballmer. Look, isn't it time? You know, time to quit?