2857 posts • joined Wednesday 10th June 2009 16:31 GMT
Re: OK as a proof of concept...
It BETTER be, or I wouldn't trust it to drive. The margin of error on even current GPS technology sometimes shows me driving on the wrong side of a motorway. That doesn't give me a lot of confidence about self-driving programs. There are lots of parallel roads in my area; being placed on the wrong one could have serious consequences.
Re: And what..
...if you don't have a mobile phone or any other way to perform an out-of-band authentication? I think this was one reason TFA didn't become practical in the consumer sphere until recently. Until most people had cell phones capable of SMS, it was difficult to determine if a person had a means to accept an out-of-band authentication. And before you say the telephone, back then long distance calls involved some money, and some people even then tend to screen or otherwise resist always picking up the phone for fear of attracting salesmen, scammers, or other people who may be interested in live targets.
"Consider the car. Where is the horn button? No!! you can't put the horn button there, that was a Volvo invention! If everyone puts the horn button in the center of the steering wheel, they will be copying the innovative positioning of horn buttons from Volvo! So every vendor ends up with a horn button in a different place, on the edge of the wheel, on the door handle, on the head-liner... and next time you are in a random rental car and some idiot pulls out in front of you... you slam your fist into the center of the steering wheel (of your GM) and the windshield washers turn on."
It may well have been the case decades before. Also, less internationalization may have had an influence back then. But the big difference between cars and smartphones is that cars are OLD technology. Most of the basic patents that involve what you put where have long expired whereas mobile phone tech is young and still with the scope of patent law (which unlike copyright still has a term of around 2 decades give or take a few years, after which it's open season).
But you have to wonder how hemp grows so fast without drawing on some resources with which to build its bulk. Further analysis shows the while hemp replenishes much of what it takes from the soil, it still needs a rich soil to start with to provide the best results. IOW, planting hemp in poorer soil will result in less yield. It also prefers warmer environments.
As for the oil, while it can be useful as a food or fuel, it shares one potentially-bothersome trait with linseed oil: it oxidizes. This means the oil can turn rancid if not stored carefully. The fibers are stiffer than cotton fibers, which make them well suited for woven products like pants, but cotton will still be king on knit products like T-shirts which need to be more flexible. And the fibers wick (when used historically on ships, hemp ropes had to be tarred to prevent inside-out wet rot--they were phased out for non-wicking Manila rope), making them less suited for humid or water-exposed environments.
I've learned not to take someone's "cure-all" gospels at face value. It never hurts to subject it to a reality check and see if they have strings attached (they usually do).
Re: Blind to the facts...
"Their bottle shape is a copyright."
Incorrect. The bottle shape is also a trademark, as it identifies Coca-Cola vs. other brands of soft drink. BOTH the logo and the bottle are trademarked. The bottle design may have been patented in the past, but it's evolved beyond that now because of Coca-Cola's image.
Shapes and sounds can be trademarked if they are distinctive enough to identify the product. Intel's little ditty is a sound trademark, as is the RKO morse code sequence. Triangular-shaped candy bars are the signature trademark of Toblerone candy bars.
To be fair, many of these trademarks have market limitations, meaning they only apply in specific areas of the market. That's why two Cracker Barrel trademarks can co-exist. One is limited to a brand of cheese while the other is limited to a chain of restaurants.
Re: This isn't really about Samsung
"What market did Apple forge? The smartphone market was already there long before Apple; by about at least a decade. App store? Nope, Apple was not the first either. Phone with a large touchscreen? Nope, not the first either. So what market did Apple actually forge?"
They made the smartphone appealing to the masses. IOW, they expanded the market beyond its usual boundaries. They took the "siren-like" (as in, you're drawn to it no matter how you feel) appeal of their iPods and extended it to mobile phones, and the result is a lot like what happened when Nintendo came out with the Wii: everyone AND their mother AND their daughter wanted it never mind the price. And this was in the cotton-picking USA where the mobcos pretty much had their subscribers by the balls and were content with trickle-feeding feature phones to them at exorbitant prices, thus why smartphone penetration was low in the US at that time. The iPhone changed that tune significantly since its siren effect skewed the market. Demand was so high it allowed Apple to dictate terms to eventually AT&T, not the other way around,and AT&T couldn't push back too hard for fear Apple would take the iPhone ball to another provider.
Re: The jury was right, the law was wrong.
If it was that or be locked up for the rest of my life, I'd probably jump. Depending on the height and my skills in achieving a vertical layout before splashdown, the odds of surviving the jump may vary but can lean towards pretty good (I mean, look at cliff divers--they're pretty high up as well).
Court settlements happen to be one of the things backruptcy CAN'T relieve since they are a legally-backed restitution. If the debt cannot be discharged outright, the law has the authority to garnish wages and so on to fulfil the obligations.
Re: Yes, we know.
And there are mature American comics as well. You just don't hear about them. V for Vendetta and Watchmen both began as graphic novels, Preacher was definitely not for the kids, there was always Sandman, and the current election climate makes me want to go reread Transmetropolitan. And those are just off the top of my head.
Re: iOS and Android
IIRC many of the points of contention are specific to Samsung, TouchWiz, and phones. ICS phones may not feature a hardware button and can have different skins. Those are more likely to dodge most of the issues. Most of the rest can probably be avoided altogether.
Re: Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactors
They're finding solutions, such as shorter-term reactors that are cheaper, much more compact, require less maintenance or human supervision, easier on smaller communities, and provide repeat business since they're only meant to run for a decade or two before being changed out. It also helps with the proliferation problem because their fuel quantities are so small. Many are also designed to minimize radioactive waste by having recyclable fuel, leaving only minimal byproducts that will only require sequestration for a few centuries rather than millennia (something much more manageable in a government--you're basically talking time-capsule scales). A bunch of these little guys (which are normally supposed to be subterranean) spread out around a country will dampen a lot of proliferation concerns while Gen IV designs with passive or even inherent safety should address the NIMBY issue of possible meltdowns. IIRC, some of the designs can be converted over to use Thorium, so this can be considered in addition rather than instead.
I'm not too surprised firms like Berkshire Hathaway don't invest much in tech stocks. They're too volatile for investment firms like that, who usually go with stalwarts (ie. IBM and Intel, two of the oldest tech companies still in good standing) that have longer-term strength: the "slow and steady" approach.
Re: Assault on tablet makers now...
IIRC, Samsumg's tablets are off the hook because they look too different from iPads. They don't have hardware home buttons (as they're built with Android 3.0 and up which allow soft button bars) and have widescreen aspect ratios (Apple's aspect ratios are more consistent with paper).
As I recall, the infrared remote control was first popularized by Viewstar (through Philips) around 1980. Prudence would dictate they would've had a patent on the technology (or had license or parts from whatever firm actually invented the tech). Given that it's been around for over 30 years, I would imagine any patents on the tech have long expired.
There's also the stigma of DA BOMB (of which there is plenty of historical footage to demonstrate the effects). The mere thought of a manmade technology capable of wiping out an entire city of millions can make nearly anyone's blood run cold. Nuclear reactors, using similar technology, fall under that stigma. There's always the thought deep in the back of someone's mind that a nuclear reactor can lead in some way to a nuclear bomb...which would in turn be detonated in their midst. And because of its scale, it's not something you can just wish away. It's like broken trust.
That said, to anyone who has said nuclear is an inherently unstable technology, what do you say to the likes of pebble bed and uranium hydride reactors and other Generation IV reactors built on the premise of negative coefficient of reactivity (meaning they slow down as they heat up rather than runaway).
"The arcade shops in Akihabara are expensive.. they might be cheaper for MVS carts etc than in the UK but they aren't cheap in the scheme of things when you look up some of the prices for stuff on Yahoo Actions. G-Front was the only PCB shop in Akihabara that had any really rare stuff last time was bothered with that stuff.. and they were also the most expensive and least friendly.. they went from a open plan with stacks of CPS2 boards all over the place and a guy that would help you out if you spoke Japanese to a counter where you had to beg for the guy to get the game and they he wouldn't budge on the price even if you were taking 500 or 600 quids worth of boards off of his hands (I was trying to buy a complete set of Mr Driller games among other things)."
I think the board hoarders changed their tune when the gaming preservation culture kicked into high gear. These enthusiasts realized that classic arcade games were losing out to the ravages of time and company liquidation, so they started a crusade to preserve their vital information so they can still be reconstructed in future. Research began to be collaborated throughout the net, and a "hit list" of rare and desired boards soon appeared. The board hoarders were savvy enough to check out those lists as well and then set their prices accordingly.
Re: Straw man
But Sweden has ALREADY said they can't extradite him to the US due to EU law, since a charge of Espionage in the US can warrant the death penalty. It's just that Assange doesn't seem to want to take the EU law at face value, believing they'll weasel a way around the law.
Perhaps, but the most serious murder charges are those where the person PLANS to kill someone (premeditated murder) or does so in the commission of another serious crime (felony murder). Thing is, few people PLAN to run over someone while drunk (if they did, that's premeditated murder right there), and driving under the influence is still generally a misdemeanor unless a "habitual offender" elevation occurs. It's not a black-and-white thing, and they do tend to change gradually as the situation evolves. That said, some jurisdictions do have the ability to file second-degree murder charges on drunk vehicular slayers, which is pretty serious in its own right.
Re: A lot of indignation here...
The trouble with THAT argument is that many of the smoker KNOW of its dangers (Who do you think calls them "cancer sticks"?). They just don't care, and it's hard to make someone like that start caring.
Re: I think I get where Orlo is coming from.
Enthusiasm LEADS TO addiction because these people don't know when to STOP. And like others have said, making it harder for them to get booze just makes them turn to alternative sources which will INEVITABLE crop up (if not from them than from opportunistic entrepreneurs who can smell the money). That's one of the big lessons taught by US Prohibition--some addictions are so deeply rooted in history that they've become SOCIETAL—too big for any one country to control (IOW, they'd sooner go to war with their COUNTRY than go to war with their VICE, the same thing's happening for tobacco). Drinkers gonna drink, smokers gonna smoke, people gonna fill their demands, and there's I dare say very little you can do about it short of descending into an Orwellian-type society given the amount of control it would need to actually pull a prohibition off successfully.
Re: Pirate In game purchases
Trouble with that argument is that F2P have server-side controls, since the items normally come FROM the server. IOW, there's a paper trail, so they are able to unhack things as they occur.
Don't be so sure.
You've never been to PlayStation Home, have you? That's basically social gaming world BUILT on Microtransactions. And it's on the PS3. Remember that the consoles have their own marketplaces. F2P games let them get in on the action, so they would welcome them if given the chance. It's just the console gamers are also less likely to be wired up, so they keep a solid base of offline games for them.
Re: Free to play?
Guess it depends on the game. I will agree that some of the ones I've encountered (Maple Story and Spiral Knights) make a lot of their purchases time- or use-limited, and that irked me significantly. I also stay away from obvious subscription games like WoW. Even Team Fortress 2 seems to be testing the waters with special gaming mode you have to buy into, though as expected they're getting some choice words sent their way about that. To be fair, though, the buy-ins do have a guarantee (you can play on the same ticket until you win).
"No, I don't. Now if there was one company that handles logins for virtually every tech site out there, and if you want to post comments on any tech site then you have to deal with that company regardless of how shit their security is, and that company can then delete all of your posts over a server burp... in fact no, it's not even like that. I don't need to create any account to read El Reg. Your example, like the rest of your post, is, to put it politely, flawed."
But you're not just reading. You're POSTING. And last I checked, that REQUIRES an account with credentials like an e-mail address. Guess what else requires a few credentials and an e-mail address. I recommend you actually TRY to start a Steam account and walk a virtual mile in my shoes before sneering at Steam's success.
"Why post anything? It's a toy."
Warranties, newsletters, other useful stuff, and even kids get in on this (or else kids magazines wouldn't exist).
"Or insert the disk, and play the game. DRM prevents me from doing that."
Exactly. These days, the DRM's on the DISC, too! Ever heard of activation limits? The Spore controversy? This whole Ubisoft business? These all involved PHYSICAL COPIES. As for easier, how about double-click and run, no need for the blinking disc AT ALL. And before you go off with the whole need an Internet connection thing, two words: OFFLINE MODE.
ANY plant-based (indeed, any LIVING) resource can be over-harvested, resulting in depletion. Furthermore, for it to be sustainable for a large population, you would need an even larger amount of land with which to grow, and this land no longer grows food (because last I checked, hemp is not a food crop), which ALSO has large land demands per person.
Re: Not going there.
It's just the classic problem of what makes more: a penny from a huge crowd or a pound from a select few. No easy answer as it depends on the payment amounts and group sizes. There's also the "nickel-and-diming" principle that can occur with Microtransactions.
Re: OK as a proof of concept...
But GPS signals are the same strength whether being read by the phone or by the PC. And as mentioned, skyscraper cities like New York and tunnels tend to block the GPS signal, making them useless no matter which device you use. And even GPS isn't much help in a dense traffic situation (think New York City at rush hour), as there can be potential dangers coming from every direction, maybe even above, and not all of them are vehicular.
Re: Processing seawater
But that last sentence is exactly where capitalism goes rampant. In pursuit of the edge, especially in markets where potential advantages are few, people become willing to go outside the rules of civilized behavior to get that edge. It is rampant, even predatory, capitalism that is at least partly to blame for today's financial difficulties. Somewhere along the way, you need someone to call out, "Wait a minute!" and keep the system within the bounds of civilized behavior.
As for innovations, I recall a number of technological innovations and successful firms coming from Scandinavia: countries well-reputed for their strong socialist systems. How is that possible? Is it because they're not as socialist as people believe or that socialist countries can produce some good stuff with the right motivation (even the Soviets in their day came up with things--especially military things--that garnered a reputation even in the west).
So you make a Steam Account. Big F'n deal. You make a similar kind of account to post here to El Reg. Don't want to post your credit card details? They have PayPal for that, or just use an online shopping card. In return, it doesn't really matter which computer you use, just sign on, answer the "new computer" second authentication factor (which uses your e-mail), and you can download and play games just as you did on the other machine. Not a bad tradeoff if you ask me.
As for F2P, some games are better than others. For all the complaints, Team Fortress 2 seems to get it pretty solid. Most of the expensive stuff is cosmetic, but most all the game-related stuff (and a lot of the cosmetic stuff) you can get other ways, and they make a pretty low bar to go from a freetard to an average player (buy something--anything--from their store, and it's not like they make it hard as some of the stuff is damn cheap).
Re: I think I get where Orlo is coming from.
"Alcohol addiction doesn't happen quickly, and if booze is too expensive then people won't be able to afford enough of it to addict themselves. Even journalists. Oh?, maybe -that's- the issue."
I once saw a television commercial when two guys had to choose between a six-pack and toilet paper. They took the six-pack and eagerly took the receipt. When it comes to serious vice addiction, nothing matters but the vice. If it's a choice between bread and booze, it's booze any day. It's true with alcohol (Thus why so much effort into evading alcohol restrictions--grandfathered "after-hours" bars, beat-the-clock rushes to the supermarket, across-the-state-line trips just to get those precious 40's) and it's true with tobacco (ask yourself this, "Who most often calls cigarettes 'cancer sticks'?" A: The smokers themselves--they know it'll kill them, but they don't care as they feel they're dead anyway and are just picking their poison).
As for the underage, making it harder to get just makes it all the more alluring. It's not the buzz they're usually seeking but more the fact that the buzz means they're rebelling. Like haters, there's little you can do with rebels: they'll rebel simply because they want to, and trying to stop them is itself a reason to rebel. The only way you can combat this is to remove the "forbidden fruit" effect, but that means letting kids drink legally, which in this age of less parental responsibility, that's not gonna happen.
"Sell and lose license for 1 month, 3 times and iyour banned for a year. Far more effective than a fine. How can they protect themselves, be like when I was in the states, unless your clearly over about 50, you get id'd. They'll be a lot of bitching and moaning for a few months, but then if everywhere does it, it becomes the norm and people accept it."
Problem is that a lot of people go about without their ID cards (because they're in high-theft neighborhoods where pickpocketing is a given) or wear pocketless clothes (and no lanyards) that leave no place for their cards. Some people CAN'T get cards because their licenses were taken away by the courts (usually for DUIs) and since most DMVs also issue the non-driver ID cards, they won't issue non-driver IDs to drivers for security reasons (before and after 9/11, masquerading using an extra ID was a known issue).
Re: One example comes to mind
Funny that one. Usually, multiplayer games on the PC are fun from dedicated servers that most players can run (or perhaps rent) themselves. Wonder why EA didn't take that route in this game?
fail on fail.
Stickers can't be made "ready to bonk" and are, like NFC cards, always ready. Plus there's the issue of e-pickpockets who can use higher-powered radio gear to lift your bonk details from a distance. And anything the terminals can do, a criminal will attempt to redo, including challenge-response systems. That's why the newest bonkable passports have metal in their covers. Say hello to the tinfoil wallet?
As for being lightly dressed, people that lightly dressed are probably wearing pocketless clothes, meaning they're actually more likely to be carrying NEITHER while their importance in emergencies tends to mean if they have room for one in a purse or pocket, they'll be bringing BOTH.
Not to mention bonk cards seem to be a bit fragile. I've had two stop bonking on me. Apparently, the wear and tear of life in my wallet has broken both their antennae.
But then it costs Y to keep 1 X employed, and this Y, like it or not, isn't a constant value, as the costs of living are different from place to place. What may be a pittance in one nation may turn out to be daily bread and change for another. So 420Y in England may be so much more than 420Y in India that, even with another management layer, you still come out ahead.
Re: A sign of things to come
"Just because [encrypted .exe] instances of the game are installed locally, doesn't mean that a whole heap of PC gamers aren't entirely reliant on a cloud-based gaming service, and a large number of them don't even know it."
A lot of PC games these days are beholden to the cloud EVEN WITH physical copies because most if not all of them require a phone home, either for activation or for verification. At least Valve is the trailblazer and has a robust system. The odds of it going down at this point are slim, and not even EA has Valve's level of online infrastructure.
Someone high up in Valve has said they'll convert all Steam copies to offline ones in the event Steam were to go down permanently. However, I'm still waiting for that statement to be put in writing.
Looks like the naysayers were right.
The world just ain't ready for cloud gaming As for being ready in the future...it's still a crapshoot. But in some markets, there will always be a need for locally-run software: mostly in performance- and security-sensitive applications. Too bad games fall into the performance sector.
Re: Another pedant (pendant?)
No, what you have now is an INTRAnet (the prefix being important--intra meaning "interior", "inter" meaning exterior. A LAN like a home network is an intranet. The Internet is a WAN.
Re: Zip code prompt
You don't see a lot of true "robot" pumps in the US. About the only ones I've seen belong to price clubs where you have to swipe a membership card first, removing both the ZIP code requirement and most of the potential foreign traffic. All the other ones I've seen have at least one attendant on duty with a cash register: usually because cash is still a high proportion of pump payments in the US: even in the recent "pay first" environment.
Re: US customers won't be able to use this for 20+ years
"A friend of mine in Japan pays the equivalent of $22 a month for a 100mbps to the house with unlimited bandwidth... South Korea is cheaper I think I read."
You will find they are also a lot SMALLER. You try running a high-speed fiber-optic line from Miami to Seattle (about as long a run as you can get in the continental US, and that includes crossing several big rivers including the Mighty Mississippi and the Appalachian and Rocky Mountains). You'll find it won't be cheap. Not to mention the population isn't as dense as the far east, especially once you get into the heartland where a whole lotta farmland and not a lotta people. So trying to do a high-bandwidth telecommute between New York and Los Angeles (a realistic proposition) will take some significant up-front investment.
Why isn't the US as wired up as the rest of the world? Simple: geography gets in the way.
Re: the "tiger" is patient
"As a fellow psychobiologist once put it to me, pinch a rat's tail and expect it to bite, hard."
But to take the analogy a step further, what if you pinch the rat's tail with a gauntlet-clad fist? The rat may turn to bite, but it's not like it's going to get anything out of the deal.
I wouldn't say I invested money in them but I did let my computer spend some idle time to help mine some and I do have a few Bitcoin out of the deal. But the furor died down and I got bored, so they've been sitting there.
Re: Zip code prompt
International credit cards, by rule, can't be used that way. You have to go inside and swipe the card there.
Re: "Raped" chicks
Assange turned UK sentiment against any form of extradition because he played the capital punishment card (because his releases under US law could constitute espionage, which DOES have a potential death penalty as that was the charge that did in the Rosenbergs). He's claiming the US has either a blackmail or a secret deal with Sweden (Swedish legal system is less transparent) that would basically force him to be sent to the us, EU laws be damned, if he even ended up there.
So? That's nothing new. The business are trying to take back the cut Visa/MC and the others normally ask when their cards are used.
As for the tech involved, it will be interesting to see how it works. They've already mentioned several ways, though I think SMS is potentially too slow for point of sale. QR Codes have potential but I can sense potential security issues here. Same with anything based on Bluetooth technology.
Re: Well Done Equador
Thing is, what good does it do them? Assange can't leave the grounds on his own, and you would think Scotland Yard will be well aware of a covert exit (including disguises and underground). You can forget an aerial exit as the airspace there is controlled by the British, and a simple stall tactic can only work for so long until the British get fed up and just temporarily revoke the embassy's protection so they can come in regardless. Unless Ecuador can draw support from other nations, I don't think they have enough political pull to put up a credible counter-threat to British interests.
Re: It's interesting ..
You would think the US wouldn't be pursuing this so hard unless they had an ace up the sleeve: perhaps some dirty laundry the Swedish government would rather not have known or some other sanction, action, or inaction that would have singularly negative effects. That's the thing with international intrigue: it's sometimes hard to figure out who has the final say.
Re: Find a vunerability
Don't be so sure, because they probably wouldn't have gone public with it if the white hats hadn't ALREADY gotten in and made sure they can STAY in.
Re: Not legal?
I'm pretty sure you can put in SOME conditions. You can DEFINITELY put in contingency conditions (where the inheritance goes if the heir is dead, for example--many a will I've seen put these in just in case). And given that you hear and see eligibility conditions all the time in books and TV, you would think there was at least some basis in reality for such a portrayal.
Re: I assume that's "future" advertising then...
That would be the safe assumption. At least while he was alive, he could personally look at the ad and consider whether or not the spirit of his music fit in with the ad or not. In the case you described, a dog on a skateboard evokes an image of unorthodoxy and rebellion, which fits in well with the theme of "Fight For Your Right:".
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