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* Posts by Charles 9

3271 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

ReDigi fights for right to sell used digital music

Charles 9
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Re: So what's the difference between this and the

An update to that. The SCOTUS refused to hear the case, meaning the decision stands for the 9th Circuit. The law can still be challenged on grounds of "copyright misuse" (which was left unresulved) or by an alternate interpretation in another circuit (which could then force the SCOTUS to decide due to the conflicting rulings).

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Charles 9
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Re: So what's the difference between this and the

I couldn't find the article at OUT-LAW, but here's an arsTechnica article on the appeal:

http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2010/09/the-end-of-used-major-ruling-upholds-tough-software-licenses/

Though they make a big whoop about it, the core of the overturn was as I said, the simple fact the copies were destined for destruction due to an upgrade agreement (which CAN be considered a contract--destroy your old copy, and we give you a discount on the new version). Thus the copies were technically stolen (not pirated but physically stolen).

Also of note, the EFF filed to appeal the above ruling to the SCOTUS. I do not know at this time whether or not they agreed to hear it or not. Source:

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2011/06/eff-asks-supreme-court-protect-first-sale-rights

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Charles 9
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Re: So what's the difference between this and the

You're talking about the 2008 Vernor v. Autodesk case. The lower court found in favor of Vernor, but the Court of Appeals overturned the ruling because the lower court forgot to see if Vernor got the original copies legitimately (he didn't--they were slated for destruction or return to Autodesk as part of an upgrade contract). Since the copies that were the linchpin of the case were physically stolen, that was in and of itself theft, making any other issues in the case moot, so as far as US law goes, there is still no precedent on the issue.

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Charles 9
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Not mentioned in the article and key to ReDigi's case is the fact that "first sale doctrine" is an exhaustion doctrine, meaning that copyright holders can't dictate terms once the copy changes hands, meaning any T&Cs that say otherwise have no legal basis. As I understand it, to improve their legal standing, they only allow resale of music directly purchased through iTunes, which provides a legal "paper trail" that lets them say, "OK, they bought it here, then sold it here." Beyond that, Apple and the music publishers should have no say (otherwise, one could apply their angle with physical media, too--copy the CD, sell the original, eh?). I would imagine companies like Valve will be paying close attention to this case since it would set a precedent for them, too.

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Drinking too much coffee can MAKE YOU BLIND

Charles 9
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Joke

Re: If drinking too much coffee can make you blind ...

"Long time ago there was a study that showed a strong correlation between ice cream sales and drowning accidents with both peaking in July. Proposed remedy was to require proof of swimming skills when buying ice cream ;-)"

I think they went against it because they learned the problem was caused by ice cream stands stationed right next to the pools. Kids would get ice cream (popular on a hot July day), eat, jump in the pool, and CRAMP, causing the drowning incidences. Since cramps can be dangerous even for a skilled swimmer, they instead just banned ice cream (and any other food) from pools. Isn't that why you can't find a snack machine around a pool anymore?

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Charles 9
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Hey, you gotta start somewhere.

Don't knock the article for what is: an observation leading to a hypothesis. Specifically, the statement they'll want to test next is, "Drinking more than three cups of coffee per day results in increase shedding of lens and iris material." I'm only taking the article at face value and won't give it much thought until I hear the results of a follow-up experiment to determine a causal relationship.

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LASER STRIKES against US planes on the rise

Charles 9
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Devil

Re: Two separate issues

Why aren't cars dazzled? Because, being ground-bound, it's easier to create havoc with bricks. Most people turn to the lasers because it's the only way to reach aircraft from the ground.

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Charles 9
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Re: I'd love those odds

Even your average stateside Pick 4 is tougher to hit (1 in 10,000).

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4K vs OLED: and the winner is...

Charles 9
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Re: My Geeky Side

No....but it would make a good gag clip, especially on Global Offensive: Team 4K vs. Team OLED.

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Charles 9
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Re: 1080p?

Many people have 1080p sets, just not ones with Internet access. Indeed, I'm rather leery of the term since "Internet access" usually means access to things like YouTube, not things like DLNA home media networks (apart from the WD TV, I've yet to find one that can do the job reasonably--Sorry, Sony, but your box fails the test--and the interface is like crap--and you wonder why there's a clamor for XBMC on a Raspberry Pi).

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Charles 9
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Yeah. Right.

1080p already pushes the envelope of video bandwidth, and to much further you'll need both an increase in bandwidth and probably an increase in compression efficiency (for a minimal increase in artifacts--as the resolution goes up the perception of artifacts becomes easier). And while video upscaling is OK for passive content, what about TVs hooked up to consoles or computers playing games where even the slight lag caused by image processing can affect twitch gaming.

In addition, the current push for video content has been towards making it more portable with better wireless tech. Even Apple's latest iPad with "retina" resolutions is only about 75% the 4K resolution, for a 9-10 inch display, and I don't think too many are complaining that it's not detailed enough a display. Resolution has diminishing returns as the form factor shrinks.

So I'm calling "not ready for prime time". Probably need a few more years at least.

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BYOD cheers up staff, boosts productivity - and IT bosses hate it

Charles 9
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Re: Another Reg article banging on about BYOD

But like I asked before and never got an answer, that's assuming that the BYOD push comes from the BOTTOM. What if it comes from the TOP? From the CEO or other people who can basically say, "Who hired this idiot?" and actually be able to do something about it?

Remember it's only "security" until the boss is inconvenienced.

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Charles 9
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Re: Responsability

When the demand for BYOD comes from down below, that is easy to enforce, but what happens when the demand comes from UP TOP and over your head?

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Most biofuels fail green test: study

Charles 9
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Re: @Charles 9 Luddites Ignore Population Drops in Industrialized Societies

So here's the billion-dollar question: how do you cram a baker's dozen in an egg carton only built for 12 without breaking an egg? At some point, physics gets in the way. And we're nowhere near entering the Kardashev scale. You'd need some level of planetary cooperation for that to happen, which given current attitutdes probably won't happen soon (I mean, you still have people who would rather destroy the world that see it happen).

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Charles 9
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Re: @Charles 9 Luddites Ignore Population Drops in Industrialized Societies

Piracy ends when people started intruding on each other. Eventually, you get so crowded that there's no longer such a thing as personal space. As for worldwide industrialization, the counterargument is that while fewer people get born, the difference is made by by using more per person. Africa has a high population but low utilization per person while the US has a declining population but no argument as to who's the more energy-intensive. The Luddites contend that unless you can produce energy in the yottawatt range without leaving increasing tracts of the planet an inhospitable dump, we're in big trouble anyway. They basically say, "either find some way to control yourself, or your very nature will provide the solution THE HARD WAY--with increasing resource wars that could end up being a no-winner scenario.

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Charles 9
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Re: @Charles 9

Actually, they DO know...and counter that it's not falling FAST ENOUGH. Their view is that most countries are overpopulated by a factor of three or so.

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Charles 9
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Re: @Charles 9

I'm not on either side of the argument, but am simply saying that many of the criticisms you cite (such as population) are in fact THE VERY THINGS the Luddites endorse. Population reduction being close to the top of the list (since not one with the exception of China has given serious thought it seems to the "O" word).

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Charles 9
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Re: Methane from Cellulose

Before you advocate returning to this level of energy consumption, just try walking everywhere you want to go for a month. Limit your diet to whatever is in season and can be found within a day's walk of your home. Oh, and no refrigeration allowed! Not even air condtioning. Live without cooled or heated air for a month as well. Oh, and no filtered or distilled water, and no preservatves at all and no..."

That is EXACTLY what the Luddites want. After all, that's how every other animal in the world does it. They want us to be completely self-sufficient or at worst local-sufficient. They will have an answer to every contention you raise. Who needs to travel great distances when everything you need is right at home? After all, transportation, both of people and goods, are taking up a lot of the fuel expenses. Seasonal goods? That's why they encourage farming and crop rotation, so that you have things available in different parts of the year. The right home design can actually help regulate the internal temperature. Think solid stone or mud walls and thich thatch roofs, both of which retard heat transfer, and open windows combined with a central fireplace that encourage airflow via chimney action. We had ways of preserving foods well before the modern refrigerator: root cellars, jerking, salting, etc. As for the water issue, we already knew two ways to clean the water: you can either boil it or switch to drinking ale, which was that many people drank in those days for reasons of health (the water in ale is boiled and it has microbe-killing alcohol in it).

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Liquefied-air silos touted as enormo green 'leccy batteries

Charles 9
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Re: "A nuclear power station @AC 11:58

IOW, tuning nuclear plants aren't as necessary when you have alternate plants that are easier to tune, like hydroelectric plants that are very easy to adjust (via their sluice gates).

Another way would be to use a small number of natural gas turbines (many of which are already set up for surge capacity). Sure it's a fossil fuel but only as a secondary source, which reduces its consumption and side effects.

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Charles 9
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Re: Penny wise, pound foolish.

"A storage mechanism to store excess generation until its needed is equally useful for nuclear."

Nuclear plants are by their nature "baseload" plants because they output continuous steady power. Unlike gas or renewable generators they're actually difficult to shut down.

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T-Mobile and MetroPCS mobile minnows merge

Charles 9
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Re: CDMA dead

Wouldn't be surprised if T-Mobile sets a similar timetable to turn off the HSPA+ bands. By that time, phones like my G-2 will be several years old and likely showing their age. When that time comes, I should be able to transition to a decently-priced LTE phone with no need for a new contract. Two years sounds reasonable, and at least I'll what's coming.

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Bitcoin Foundation vows to clean up currency's bad rep

Charles 9
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Re: Inaccurate reporting

I think that $100,000 figure was before the market crashed to about $10/B. Before then, it was well over $30 and flirted with $50.

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Charles 9
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Re: BitCoins were DOA

But you need a bank (or some other aggregator) to provide Bitcoin financial services like loans. At its base, the bank leverages deposits from customers to enable services that require larger sums like construction loans. Thing is, Bitcoin is somewhere between a fiat and a hard-standard market. Like a fiat market, its value against other currencies fluctuates according to market forces. However, unlike a fiat currency, there is no way to "inflate" the market besides a well-recognized formula (one which incidentally includes a hard maximum), so it's more like a hard currency. Basically put, the kinds of banking tricks one could do with true fiat currency (like fractional reserves) can't be done in Bitcoin. Bitcoin banks can exist, but they'd have to be "old school" banks like in the old days, and even then the nature of Bitcoin's public transaction records and such might force some alternate ways of thinking.

For now, though, the currency is still too novel, so more traditional currency services aren't as necessary as yet.

So don't diss Bitcoin out of hand. After all, some of the greatest ideas started out as seemingly too strange. Some healthy skepticism is fine, but I wouldn't be afraid to dip a toe in the water just in case it gains traction.

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Charles 9
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Re: BitCoins were DOA

Not to mention that unlike most other currencies, Bitcoin doesn't establish a hard and fast minimum unit of denomination. It's not uncommon to perform transactions in the thousandths of Bitcoin (or even millionths, though usually it falls somewhere in between, like say 432μB). The current Bitcoin client goes to about 8 decimals (I think that's down to 10nB).

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Charles 9
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It's almost there.

I think part of the problem is, like any new monetary system, systems of trust and audit have to be put in place to make the currency transfer stand up to legal scrutiny. I don't know how it is in the UK, but in the US, BitInstant seems to have the easiest way to go. You receive a bill from a firm associated with them which you can then in turn pay through services like MoneyGram (which is nationwide--just look for a 7-Eleven, for example). When the bill is paid, the currency (minus commission) is converted and sent to your B-wallet. Not the neatest way in the world, but it's getting close. I went ahead and used to put a minor amount into my wallet because I'm seeing an increasing number of e-commerce sites taking the currency. Mostly depends on where you go, but not all of it is seedy or illegal: just rather novel and without the financial backing to work with a bank and handle real currency or credit cards. IMO, it wouldn't hurt to have some small amount of Bitcoin (maybe 1 or 2, which is about $20 worth today) just so you have the flexibility to try something out in future should you see it. And if it tanks, well you eat cheap one night; oh well.

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Japan enacts two-year jail terms for illegal downloading

Charles 9
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Well, manga's a tough one to police because it has a famous and prolific underground culture. Taking liberties on someone else's manga property is generally considered OK so long as you don't pass it off as the original. As for the medium itself, most collectors favor the print copy, which is hard to knock off. e-Manga is a niche market in a niche market, and a lot of the traffic flows overseas out of their jurisdiction.

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Hackers break onto White House military network

Charles 9
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I wonder if anyone's come to the conclusion that a system that is truly secure by design is impossible for one simple reason: the average human isn't PARANOID enough to be willing to jump through all the hoops everyday to keep everything bottled tight until absolutely needed.

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Satellite broadband rollout for all in US: But Europe just doesn't get it

Charles 9
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Several things.

Odds are most of the urbanites and suburbanites serviced by this hybrid solution when terrestrial solutions came their way: either DSL from the phone company or cable internet. Basically, if you're within reach of a decent POTS provider, odds are there's a decent enough landline for your purposes.

Plus there's competition from the cell providers who can scale their service areas to get the right customer/bandwidth ratio provided enough customers sign on.

Finally, direct-to-satellite uplink started to outpace POTS modems, which topped out at 56kbit/sec. At the rate of lag being seen, going from a one-trip lag to a two-trip lag isn't as irksome for the right kinds of information.

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Charles 9
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LEO setups can't stay still. Physics are what dictate that geostationary orbits tend to be at around 36,000 km. LEO setups work OK for a downlink-only system like GPS, but for anything requiring an uplink, you'll need more sophisticated electronics on the ground to get acceptable rates, which means more expense. A company called Teledesic made such a proposal. Thing is, they planned to get their constellation going TEN YEARS AGO. Right around the time they planned to go live, they went under. Most of the other LEO setups like Iridium also fell by the wayside. In general, the infrastructure needed appears to be too massive for the purpose.

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'Replace crypto-couple Alice and Bob with Sita and Rama'

Charles 9
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I guess to each his own. For cryptologists, using a phonetic nomenclature makes some sense beacuse of historic military applications. And the military is well known for using a phonetic alphabet for transmitting letters clearly, so too here with the idea of phonetic names. The names simply refer to lettered parties, after all (Alice is really Party A and Bob is Party B, Eve is Party E(avesdropper) and Mallory is Party M(alicious)), and most westerners who study it come to realize it as such. If Indians can find a better relation in their lore, so be it; just remember to provide a translation guide should one cross over into the other.

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AI game bot HUNTS DOWN ENEMIES, passes Turing Test

Charles 9
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Re: In games like in real life

You can usually recognize well-oiled teams straight off, and these are the kinds of teams you usually find at high-level competition. That said, perhaps that'll be one of the next steps in evolving Bot AI: a group of them acting like a realistic team: to the extent that they're also capable of improvisation as the situation arises. It would be an interesting angle to pursue.

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Adobe scrambles to revoke stolen cert

Charles 9
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Re: How can this happen?

Trouble is those writers tend to start faltering over time. And even then, optical drives (and the logical alternative, USB thumb drives) become infection vectors in and of themselves, particularly ones capable of penetrating the air-gap (think Stuxnet--it used USB to jump an air-gap).

So, think a rootkit on the publishing server, secretly infects any optical disc written and any USB drive inserted, this jumps the airgap, gets inserted, infects the build server, sniffs out the private keys, then goes on to infect the return vector, which waits to find a network connection, and then sends the key juice back.

Let's face it; if an adversary really, REALLY wants to have at it, cross every network you have to reach it. Even Sneakernet.

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Hitachi claims glass data storage will last millions of years

Charles 9
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Re: meltdown...

Somewhat a myth but with basis in reality. Glass is considered an amorphous solid. IOW, it has no real structure to its solid form, such that it closely resembles its fluid form. So unlike crystalline solids like quartz and sapphire, it IS more vulnerable to damage and distortion under the right circumstances, given its inherently low strength and toughness.

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Charles 9
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Alert

While the data may still be readable for that long, one has to wonder if the encoding will last as long. After all, reafing a binary 65 won't mean much if the ASCII code system got lost along the way.

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Made for each other: liquid nitrogen and 1,500 ping-pong balls

Charles 9
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Not, it's the bottom of the bin, inflated momentarily by the explosively-expanding gas (note that the bin is thing plastic, not more-rigid metal). The balls are being forced out of the can by the nitrogen gas, which is taking the balls' place in the can, so no vacuum is involved.

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Charles 9
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Re: Now if only a lecturerer directory listed *this* sort of stuff...

1) The dustbin jumped because most dustbins that size aren't flat or rigid at the bottom. They usually have a recess down there to reduce friction when you have to drag it. When the nitro blew, contained even momentarily by the ping pong balls, the pressure probably inflated the recess down there, causing it to push down and strike the floor at velocity, working like a downward-striking piston.

2) A lot of things look remarkably like an explosion. Rapid combustion, for example. Explosion is a pretty vague term usually.

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Charles 9
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Re: That's learning of today (the future)?

There are some studies that point out that the dreary approach (rote memorization and lengthy practice drills) actually yields better long-term results. I don't know why, but I think it's because that combined with a very high competitive bar (I think they were comparing Japan in this case, which tends to foster mutual competition) tends to make the students focus, and focused learning tends to stick better because there's a motivation behind it..

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New vicious UEFI bootkit vuln found for Windows 8

Charles 9
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Re: Could this root a tablet?

He's simply said Microsoft isn't interested in using Secure Boot to kill Linux. It would tick off too many people and be crossing a legal line in Microsoft's case since they don't own the UEFI code. That's why the PC versions require an ON/OFF switch, to show that Microsoft isn't coercing the OEMs. The tablets are another story because that is supposed to be a total-package solution that requires end-to-end protection. Different rules.

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Charles 9
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Re: still vulnerable to the old attacks if the SecureBoot technology is not turned on by default

Thing is, unlike on tablets, turning it on by default wouldn't be so big a deal...so long as you still have access to the ON/OFF switch!

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Juries: The only reason ANYONE understands patent law AT ALL

Charles 9
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Re: Not even related.

But at the same time, you never see a private company develop CURES, only TREATMENTS (that have to be repeated). There are some socially desirable things that the money angle draws away. One-and-done solutions are one, devices and appliances that don't wear out after a few years are another.

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Charles 9
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Re: Not even related.

OK...care to foot the bill for all the staff you'd need to handle that case load?

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Charles 9
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Re: Why do we have a patent system at all?

Then how do you encourage innovation without some kind of incentive? Money alone won't suffice since without legal protection you're bound to get copycatted.

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Charles 9
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Re: I respectfully disagree :-)

Then how do you deal with single points of failure inherent with using a judge? IOW, how do you control corruption that can go all the way up the chain unless you use random laymen from the street who are the most difficult part of the court to corrupt (because there is not enough advance knowledge of them to lean influence)?

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Charles 9
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Re: the party of the first part...

The point is that legal jargon and technical jargon are just that: jargons meant exclusively for those "cliques". They're not meant to be interpreted outside their specific cliques, and it's been that way for centuries. IOW, they WANT to make the stuff as hard to understand as possible: it means job security to them. The problem is that patent law has to necessarily mesh these two together. The results usually aren't that pleasant, and not enough people are happy for any one solution to be embraced.

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ITU suggests replaceable cables for power supplies

Charles 9
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Re: Another idea

That's assuming the failure occurs at the brick. Mine tend to fail most often in the middle, where some consistent kink eventually breaks a wire open.

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Size matters: Bromium 'microvisor' to guard PCs for big biz

Charles 9
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Interesting approach.

Hearing about it here and there, all I can say is that it's an interesting approach to the problem, to say the least. I'll give them points for coming up with something rather novel. And bully them for taking a "whitelist" approach to trust. Starting slow is fine for a whitelist. Just as in real life, trust should be earned the hard way.

But as others have said, this still needs to face the acid test. Two concerns abound. First, there is already VM-aware malware in the wild. They can sniff out virtual machines and either not run or, worse, trigger the second concern. Second, how well-guarded is this MicroVM against a rogue process trying to "redpill" its way out?

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The perfect CRIME? New HTTPS web hijack attack explained

Charles 9
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Re: "oh, we have secure email"

IOW, at some point you gotta make up your mind. Trouble is that sometimes you can't get a break. You either go down path A and get peeked at all along the way, go down path B and get your pocket picked, go down path C which happens to be the way you came and get mobbed, or stay where you are and end up facing the wolves. Sometimes, failure is the only option, especially in a game like life where you are forced to play.

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Google defends drowning Acer's newborn Alibaba Linux mobe

Charles 9
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Re: cyanogenmod

Come again?

http://source.android.com/

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Charles 9
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Re: cyanogenmod

That would depend on the hardware being used in the devices. If they are not devices known to the community, then drivers probably don't exist for them, which means you can't build a CM for that hardware since drivers are not included normally in the open-source part of Android.

Remember, Android the BASE OS is open source, but that doesn't mean anything else running ON TOP OF IT has to be as well. Think of it this way: Google Play isn't open source; neither's Angry Birds.

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iPhone 5: skinny li'l fella with better display, camera, software

Charles 9
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Re: Acronyms FFS

Nope.

Listen, how do you say each of those ALL-CAP words above? If you say it as a word (EDGE is spoken "edge"), THEN it's an acronym. LASER and RADAR are acronyms because they're spoken as words. If they're spoken letter-by-letter (like LTE--spoken "L-T-E"--and most of the rest), it's not an acronym but rather an initialism (TV is an initialism; so's DVD).

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