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* Posts by Charles 9

3697 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

Microsoft reveals Xbox One, the console that can read your heartbeat

Charles 9
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Re: No second-hand games

"Simple. Laws have priority over EULAs. It's still illegal to shoot your neighbour, even if a EULA specifies it"

Is it STILL illegal if you shoot your neighbor with a water pistol? Or a confetti shooter? Or a blank round? This is the kind of grey area we're walking into. Can Valve and Microsoft say their software is a service and the game discs merely keys (since the games are also downloadable and subscription-based a-la OnLive)? IOW, is it a sale or it is a service?

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Charles 9
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Re: No second-hand games

"Also, I'm not massively familiar with US law on the subject, but Vernor vs. Autodesk seems to indicate that the US courts take a very similar stance, so I'm fairly confident that the idea that US companies can shovel any old shit onto their consumers in their EULAs is a misconception too."

Vervor v. Autodesk was thrown out on a technicality. Turns out Vernor never properly got the copies from their original location. Autodesk proved (with a LEASE contract, no less) that the copies were part of a service agreement—they were meant to be destroyed or returned to Autodesk as they were sending the original company the next version of the software.

As for the EULA, it wouldn't be shrink-wrapped because it would occur the moment you turn the console on, meaning it's prior to activating your Live account and starting your first game. Maybe not a lease but a SUBSCRIPTION or a SERVICE AGREEMENT (which IS enforceable--that's what threw out Vernor v. Autodesk) Something or other that requires a continual good faith and terms and conditions to remain in the service. IOW, the disc is no longer the product itself: just a one-time-use key (and Sony is working on a similar idea only without the online requirement—using RFID tags instead). And like I said before, no one's managed to force Valve to make their games resellable, so there must be some kind of legal standing that keeps Steam running in Europe, and Microsoft's new model is much like Valve's.

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Charles 9
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Re: No second-hand games

Actually, Microsoft and Sony seem to have put serious dents in piracy (at least where their chief markets are concerned). Tamper resistant packaging, constant updating, and so on have stymied all but the most determined efforts to pirate (compare the level of piracy on the 360 and PS3 to that of the original Wii). Put it this way; if you have to open the box to hack it, you've already accomplished a fair bit. Not much you can do about the determined hackers or the outer markets where there's little control, but if you can keep casual hacking to a minimum, that's progress.

I'm willing to bet both the XBox One and the PS4 will carry something similar to a Trusted Platform Module (available for x86 platforms), and the CPU will probably have a hardware encryption unit. That'll make things more difficult.

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Charles 9
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Re: The sleek, black 64-bit system carries an eight-core x86 processor...

Plus PCs have had multiple cores for nearly a decade (and gaming PCs for longer). Every gaming developer worth its salt realizes multicore (as well as using the GPU for more than graphics) is the way to go and has been working hard to tune their games and engines to use them more efficiently.

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Charles 9
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Re: No second-hand games

"Tying discs to an Xbox account is another matter but, as has been said, there are other laws that make that illegal in the EU."

What if Microsoft classes all software transactions as LEASES instead, exempting them from exhaustion and making the EULAs binding lease agreements?

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Charles 9
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Re: XBox One == Creepy Snooping Apparatus

Isn't Valve working on a Linux-powered Steam box?

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Charles 9
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Re: Not looking too good

Any word from Sony itself about how it will handle things. Because, lest we recall, there is one other company that adopts a similar model to what Microsoft is proposing.

Valve.

Funny how we don't get too many complaints from Steam users about the lack of resale (and I would imagine Microsoft's legal team has their files all set up for Europe as well--bet you every software transaction is a LEASE and therefore not subject to exhaustion).

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Charles 9
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Re: XBox One vs PS4

IIRC, NONE for either one...YET. Live demo units don't seem to be available for either one as of yet.

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Charles 9
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Re: No second-hand games

Since the XBox One will use BluRays, odds are the serialization will occur at the ROM Mark. This still allows for rapid pressing of the BD discs. You can't burn a ROM Mark (you can't be certified as a BD-R device unless you explicitly DON'T have the capability), and only the pressing plants have the ROM Mark machines (which are carefully monitored by the consortium). Quite simply, no piracy unless the console is hacked (and I would think Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo have been doing their homework regarding hardening against hacks).

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Spam and the Byzantine Empire: How Bitcoin tech REALLY works

Charles 9
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Re: Hight tech Goldbugs

Given that a number of banks have been mistreating people (including its smaller clients), can you blame some people for not trusting banks? I know plenty of people who work strictly on cash and money orders.

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Charles 9
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Re: The problem with real-world currencies is not governments

The trick is that people have to TRUST the money for it to be useable. Inflation degrades that trust because it diminishes the value people have on hand. If inflation grows too high, you start a vicious cycle towards hyperinflation which inevitably removes trust in the currency. That's why many people liked pegged or 100% reserved currencies: there was a surety of the money being backed that you can't get with floating or fiat currencies.

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Smartwatch face off: Pebble, MetaWatch and new hi-tech timepieces

Charles 9
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Re: It's all being done backwards...

Nice thought, but wireless comms are battery eaters. That's one reason for beefy phone and tablet batteries. Plus that bigger battery means heat.

That's why the tech is limited to low-level communications: it minimizes the battery draw (and thus the heat).

Perhaps a more limited version of your idea. Use the watch as an arbiter or initiator. The watch or whatever can act as a central focus for a limited but useful batch of data such as how to communicate with your devices and so on (each device could provide some credentials, etc.). Then when they get near the device, the device verifies it, passes along the credentials to the other devices (so just a a quick burst of data), and they can now talk to each other without having to go through the device.

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Charles 9
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I've given these things some thought. Perhaps not not, as they seem to be rather a nascent tech, but perhaps with a little polishing we'll see them find their place.

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Charles 9
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Re: Micro USB charging

"The aforementioned Agent watch currently on Kickstarter might pique your interest then. It is set to include wireless charging (QI)."

Could be a winner for GS4 owners. It is Qi-capable though not out of the box (however, Qi backs are slowly coming onto the market. Having both phone and watch Qi-capable would make a Qi pad more useful.

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James Bond inspires US bill to require smart guns for all

Charles 9
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Re: gets my goat

"I'll be very much happier knowing that there is a *vanishingly* small probability that an intruder is anywhere near as well-armed as I..."

Doesn't matter. You have the knowledge of terrain. You can ambush. It's harder for the perp.

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Charles 9
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FAIL

Re: @ Charles

You FAIL at FAILING.

I was taking ALL GOVERNMENT into consideration.

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Charles 9
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Re: gets my goat

"Well-regulated" CANNOT mean "organized" in this case, as that implies rules, which implies government...and government is the intended adversary OF the militia in the worst case. The purpose of the 2nd Amendment is to guarantee the people (the militia is defined as the regular people--see the Federalist Papers) the last resort...and it must be against ANY government because what if ALL the government levels are in cahoots?

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Charles 9
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Re: gets my goat

Ever heard of a one-man army? How about a one-man militia? Entirely possible and within the law (by definition, militias are outside government control; the National Guard doesn't count). And regulated in this case means equipped (like the Regulars).

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'Catastrophic failure' of 3D-printed gun in Oz Police test

Charles 9
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Re: When did?

When the enemy within became worse than the enemy without. That's when. America was founded on the premise of enemy within (they just broke away from a government—they didn't trust government). That's why it's government and Constitution are structured the way they are.

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Charles 9
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Re: Why not bake the gun

Here's the thought: use the 3D printer to make a MOLD, then CAST the gun parts from it, harden as appropriate (bake ceramic, use chemical hardener for plastics, etc.). Nice part is that you can probably make more than one set of parts from one set of molds.

As for a nonmetallic bullet, use stone or ceramic (and yes, you can make them hard enough to withstand firing—once upon a time we used stones for cannonballs). And what about carbon fiber for the casing? They use that in place of aluminum in aircraft, so it must be flexible.

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Charles 9
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Re: @SuccessCase

Can it kill at ten feet while getting past a metal detector (think a courthouse hit)? I'll work on making this plastic gun stronger and still nonmetallic (replace the firing pin and bullet).

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Experts: Network security deteriorating, privacy a lost cause

Charles 9
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Re: The problem is that our devices are too easily subverted by unexpected inputs.

Actually, that can happen in real life. Imagine a sock of just the right material able to slip in through the gap between the tub and the frame, fall into the motor mechanism, and fry it. Congratulations, you just did the mechanical version of a Denial of Service attack: better known as good ol' Sabotage. As for reprogramming it, think of lockpicking or developing a tool to undo one of Apple's screws (or any other "one-way" screw you can imagine).

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Charles 9
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Re: There's a better way

You'll just find that the bankers are in cahoots and in the same black side of the industry (IOW, the hackers simply turned to financial groups who know how to run shadow accounts and the like). Also, there's a very real possibility of the backers (already antagonistic to the sheep) also being the bankers. Does the phrase "state-sponsored cyberwarfare" ring a bell?

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Charles 9
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"Small data, if I don't need it now, I don't need it."

The BIG problem with that is the fear that you drop the big one, someone else gets it, and leapfrogs you. And in a cutthroat environment such as this, NO ONE wants to drop the big one and get relegated into obscurity or (worse) liqudation.

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Charles 9
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Re: More protection - more risk taking?

The problem is when protection gets in the way of productivity. If the guy wants to run down the hallway with scissors because the boss is tangled up in his/her chair wheels, then you better just get out of the way because safety comes second when the boss is involved, otherwise the risk of stabbing will be the least of your worries.

As for hunting the wolves, that's also a lost cause because the wolves have already established havens for themselves in countries antagonistic to the sheep: some of them complete with world-ending weapons if push comes to shove. In fact, some of the wolves are in the employ of those self-same countries. How do you hunt a wolf when he's got an ICBM backing him up?

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Orange customer clobbered with SIX-FIGURE phone bill

Charles 9
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Re: Whilst I fully support "MOP" as a unit of mobile data use...

Even that's variable. You can encode that same minute at different bandwidths. You'll get differing results, but for a porno tube transmission, a rate of ~500kbps would be acceptable. You'll either need to provide a bandwidth or a quantizer setting to make a concrete result.

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Charles 9
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Re: There's only one way to measure data usage

1.5Mbps? Sounds like you could cram HD-level porn in that bandwidth. I would think something more in the neighborhood of 500kpbs video is more to be expected from a mobile porn stream.

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Charles 9
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Re: Unit of data

How long average per track? Disco tracks can range from relatively tame 3-minute affairs to 15 minutes plus (some of the longer songs of Donna Summers).

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Apple cored: Samsung sells 10 million Galaxy S4 in a month

Charles 9
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Re: Samsung 1 Nokia 0

Unfortunately, that can happen naturally in capitalism (what I call "Winner economics"). Once a firm gets a big edge, they can leverage it to push everyone else out of the market: even to the point that even a disruptive innovation doesn't have much impact.

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Aha, I see you switched on your mobile Wi-Fi. YOU FOOL!

Charles 9
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What about for just casual "check the news while you wait" kind of browsing? Especially for newer phones that don't have Flash installed on them? Sure, there's the drive-by, but wouldn't a drive-by penetrate a tunnel?

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'Leccy car biz baron Elon Musk: Thanks for the $500m, taxpayers...

Charles 9
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Re: The US government made about USD$26 million on the deal...

ItsNotMe is claiming that's a one-off: the result of the selling of pollution credits. Let's see them repeat the feat in the NEXT quarter.

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Soylent Corporation prepares to DEFEAT FOOD

Charles 9
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Re: Forgot to ask

That would just about rule out milk and meat, and those are the two things that are subject to the kosher restrictions (primarily, you can't have both of them at once, and anything dairy can't follow meat for a while). Avoid them altogether and you can probably get it Pareve.

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Charles 9
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Re: This is Plausible

Trouble is, those amounts differ from person to person. Glandular deficiencies, birth defects, and so on can radically alter the required diet.

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Charles 9
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Re: Not the perfect food..

Actually, it would be valuable if the cholesterol is high-density lipoprotein (such as that found in fish). HDL actually helps to keep other cholesterol levels under control.

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Charles 9
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Re: Is he rebranding milk?

Making a substance that is perfectly healthy yet perfectly safe for everyone sounds impossible to me because some otherwise-helpful substances trigger dangerous allergic reactions in some people.

- Can't use peanuts or tree nuts. Some people are allergic to them to the point of anaphylaxis from just trace exposure.

- Can't use wheat, barley, or any grain with gluten in it. Caeliacs, you understand.

- Can't use milk or anything with lactose. Intolerance.

- Did you know there are even people allergic to CORN? Makes life in North America tough (corn is the big grain of the US, and most things there have corn in them somewhere).

Pretty sure if you dig deep enough, you'll find that everyone has a bad reaction to SOMETHING you would need to make this "Soylent" complete.

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Charles 9
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Re: Licence

No, because there is no TRADEMARK on the term "Soylent". Indeed, the makers can probably claim the term is too simple (it's just a portmanteau of "Soy" and "Lentil"--see "Make Room! Make Room!") to make the word eligible for trademark.

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Opera rewrite comes to Android

Charles 9
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The main problem I've seen with lightweight browsers like Boat and so on was that to fit in those small memory footprints they had to eschew various rendering capabilities like CSS layouts, fonts, and especially scripting (which more and more sites require). It ultimately came down to a case of they made too many sites messed up to the point of unusability.

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Charles 9
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I suspect memory has more to do with Opera's performance than anything. The problem with my old G2 (aka Desire Z) was that it only had some 384MB on board, most of which was taken up by the system and essential processes, leaving maybe 80-100MB or so to play with. As the web became more interactive, Opera Mobile struggled to stay within its bounds, and Turbo/Off Road didn't help any because most of the advancement was in scripting, which those things can't accelerate much. As Opera hung up more and more, I realized the problem was only going to get worse. That was the sign to me that time was pretty much up for my phone.

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Charles 9
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Seems I jumped to the GS4 just in time. Opera Mobile was already clunky on my old phone (so were all the other browsers, though). I've mixed opinions. It runs fine here, but what about older phones?

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Review: Samsung Galaxy S4

Charles 9
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Re: Well I like it....

Having the removable battery is less a matter of the spare battery and more a matter of being able to shut the thing off if all else fails. I'm a bit leery about non-removable batteries in spite of the presence of hardwired reset switches. Switches are all well and good...until they break. For my money, there's no peace of mind like being able to pull the plug (or in this case, pull the battery), as I've yet to read of a way a device can keep running for long without a source of electricity.

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Congress: It's not the Glass that's scary - It's the GOOGLE

Charles 9
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YOU may stay away from Facebook and the like, but what about *everyone you know*? Unless you're a complete hermit, SOMEONE knows you. And if that someone took a picture of you and then posted it somewhere on a social network, then a trace on you has been established. As more pictures of you emerge, it becomes possible to identify you from a stranger's photo.

As for your supposed tech, someone will just come up with a way to block your blocker. And no, not even the paper bag technique will likely work (if you can walk the streets with a paper bag, someone else will just show up with a leaf blower).

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Charles 9
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"If a person wearing it films me walking into a shop it isn't going to inherently know who I am, my google account info etc"

It MIGHT. One of Google's projects involves face recognition. If Google analyzes the video and recognizes your face, BAM.

The big concern is COVERT recording, and that horse has already bolted. Sure, they tried to make camera phones click when they're used but the pervos (who slip the things into their SHOES, no less) just switch to video recording which can't give any audible clues (or it would spoil the recording). I'm pretty sure a sophisticated pervo would make Bluetooth camera shades...oh wait, they already have them (http://www.lightinthebox.com/Sunglasses-with-4GB-MP3-Player-with-camera-video-Bluetooth-Black-HF139-_p110137.html), with twice the memory of Spider Jerusalem's signature Live Shades, too.

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Nvidia opens pre-orders for handheld Shield console three days early

Charles 9
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Trollface

But...can it play Crysis?

(Sorry, just had to throw that in.)

But seriously, it mentions Steam, but Steam on Android is more an extension of the Steam interface rather than a gaming portal—unless that is changing. It would be something if longtime Valve favorites like Half-Life 2 and Team Fortress 2 were to make the jump (TF2 was the first Valve game to join the penguins, after all), but I'm not getting my hopes up.

Also, I'd be interested to see if other powerful Android phones like the HTC One and Samsung GS4 can somehow get in on the party in some way.

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US government wants security research on car-to-car nets

Charles 9
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Re: “vehicle cybersecurity”

IIRC you had to be IN the car to attach something to the car's system bus. Or are you saying this will translate to the wireless transmissions, saying they will inevitably be hacked all to pieces?

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Unlocking Technology Act plans to let freedom ring for devices

Charles 9
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Re: Hmm

Not illegal, just VERY bad for business. People have gotten used to Windows for over 20 years now. It's what they want, and as the business mantra goes, that's what they'll get.

Any store that has TRIED to sell Linux desktops end up with confused questions and irate customers unable to do their taxes or the like because the software is for Windows (Oops). If even Walmart can't make Linux on the desktop work, it's pretty much given Microsoft currently holds a NATURAL near-monopoly on the desktop market.

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'Liberator': Proof that you CAN'T make a working gun in a 3D printer

Charles 9
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Re: why bother

I'd hardly call making a small, concealable weapon capable of killing at a distance that can't be picked up by metal detectors pointless. Most airports still just use metal detectors, not to mention all the other places like courthouses guarded just by metal detectors.

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Hemp used to make graphene-like supercapacitors

Charles 9
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Re: Hemp bast is a waste product?

Not really. Cotton beats hemp for most fabric uses, as it's tougher (lasts longer) and softer (more durable) than hemp. And like hemp, cotton naturally wicks.

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Charles 9
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Re: Hemp!

If it's such a miracle plant, why isn't it used more often in countries where it isn't restricted by drug regulations? The main reason is that hemp is rather a jack-of-all-trades plant. It's useful, yes, but it's no miracle maker. Furthermore, it's a tough plant to process completely.

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Apple: ebook price fixing? Nooo, nothing to do with us, no siree

Charles 9
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Re: 'Cost' for an e-book

What if the proofreaders, editors, and the like, like the authors, work on commission or royalty, such that the cost is not one-off but per-book?

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Charles 9
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Re: Too much marketing information (for Apples peace of mind)

The trouble is that with Android taking the lead in the mobile market and with mutli-purpose tablets reaching ubiquity, the market is anything but clear. Sure the nook and Sony markets are tame compared to Amazon, but there's less lock-in with Android devices. Which means Amazon gaining a complete monopoly would be difficult—there's still plenty of room for market disruption.

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