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* Posts by Charles 9

3695 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

Netflix plotting move to HTML5 video - but only if DRM works

Charles 9
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Re: anti-piracy ads

"You wouldn't download a car would you?".

No, but what if I REPLICATE it instead? How do you answer that, copyright cops?

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Charles 9
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Maybe it's because I have NoScript installed, but I haven't seen a site that blocks the right button. I wonder if sites will begin trying to detect the presence of NoScript or forcing a bypass by incorporating the click-block into a block of essential-to-the-site scripts you have to allow to function.

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Charles 9
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Re: We want to BUT....

Adding a non-free program blob is considered tainting the disto, so you can't install it unless a conscious direct choice is made to install it (like the checkbox you make for the non-free codecs or the configuration option to install non-free video drivers).

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Charles 9
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Re: the one thing that we are doing right now, which is to go global.

So why not just get an overreaching global license directly from the content creators, going over the heads of the individual regional licensees, unless you're saying each licensee's contract includes an exclusivity clause?

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Charles 9
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Re: @Tom 7

And even that isn't guaranteed, given the propensity of shill accounts and the continual development of stego/watermark manglers.

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Smart metering will disrupt weather forecasts, warns Met Office

Charles 9
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Re: Alternative

The trouble is that while it may be YOUR house, it's THEIR power and THEIR meter. Their rules IOW unless you want to go off the grid.

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Bitcoins: A GIANT BUBBLE? Maybe, but currency could still be worthwhile

Charles 9
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Re: Worthwhile for Whom?

How would this proceed when Bitcoin has no "headquarters" to speak of and transactions can easily take place outside government reach, thanks to its built in anonymity measures?

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Charles 9
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Bitcoin uses the same algorithms governments use to keep state secrets and the like. Trust me, if they break the algorithms behind Bitcoin, they'll have much better uses for the information. As for hacking Mt. Gox and the like, this is more like a bank robbery or the hack of a real bank. It can happen anywhere, with any currency. Bitcoin just gets the press because it's not tied to a government.

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Charles 9
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Re: A finite calculable resource [like] gold/precious metals -- NOT

You can say the same things about a nonmetallic brick. Value is in the eye of the beholder, and intangible things can have value. What is the value of a secret state document, for example? Or a company's private encryption key? Or even the bank notes in your wallet right now (nearly all currencies worth mentioning are fiat and not tied to anything physical)?

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Half of US smartphone owners have no idea which mobe to buy next

Charles 9
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Re: What's the motivation?

It depends. If your phone is starting to get a bit long in the tooth (as is mine), then you start to make considerations. I'm currently trending towards the Galaxy S IV, but I won't commit without some more data and preferably some hands-on time on the device. I also want to see if other makers will respond to this with comparable devices (sorry, HTC, but no removable battery is a deal-breaker for me for the One).

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News Corp prez threatens to pull Fox TV off the air

Charles 9
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Re: Of course.....

It's a trade-off. If they don't charge the cable companies, then they can COMPEL the cable companies to carry their stations (the "Must-Carry" rule). That rule can't be used if they insist on a carry agreement (the kind that cable companies have to pay).

As for the cable box, most of them are built by big names (think Motorola), and I'm pretty sure the Big Boys put pressure on them NOT to add aerial ports (Digital Satellite Boxes originally HAD to have them because there wasn't bandwidth enough for all the local stations; once the room was made, out went the aerial port).

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Charles 9
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Re: Why are you all talking about fox news?

Unlike the Big Three, FOX (the broadcast network) does not televise a nightly news show. They leave that duty to the local stations.

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Netbooks projected to become EXTINCT by 2015

Charles 9
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Re: I'm Surprised They Lasted This Long

Correction: Only the NETBOOK could handle the external hard drives.

PS. El Reg, PLEASE consider an Edit button.

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Charles 9
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Re: I'm Surprised They Lasted This Long

On a recent trip, I had both and found the netbook more useful than the tablet. For one thing, only the tablet could handle the external hard drives (which were TrueCrypted, so the tablet couldn't read them). Even when it came to videos, it was just easier to handle. It was unbeatable for web browsing. Plus it had a switchable battery, so I kitted it with a triple-capacity battery, so it had plenty of legs even in places where outlets were few and far between.

Oh, it had one key advantage over a full-fat laptop. You didn't have to take it out at the security checkpoints.

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Winklevoss twins claim to have enormo $11m Bitcoin stash

Charles 9
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Re: You cant eat or drink..

Well, compared to one big entity you have a bunch of little entities, each of which backs up the system (each client keeps a copy of the block chain--the BtC version of the public ledger--as well as performs verifications on other people's transactions). So as long as there are plenty of players in the game, the currency can still hold.

As for other e-currencies joining in, so what? Dollars, Pounds Sterling, Yen, and Euros all coexist and are cross-traded. Why can't more than two or more e-currencies co-exist?

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Charles 9
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Re: You cant eat or drink..

Hey, you can't eat or drink REAL coins, either. And most of our coins are made of base metals, so it's not like they have any intrinsic value in them, either.

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WTF is... H.265 aka HEVC?

Charles 9
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Re: The ear is more fickle than the eye

But one needs to be careful because our eyes are more perceptive regarding matters of contrast. That's why even very brief flickers of images (Wasn't that military test in the neighborhood of 1/200th of a second?) register in our eyes if they contrast enough. Though IIRC the fundamental codecs and algorithms work off contrasts, so this may not be a tremendous issue.

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Charles 9
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Re: I've seen it working, and I liked it

Just out of curiosity, what was the content of that 2k x 2k video loop? Content has a significant effect on encode and eventual playback quality, so knowing what was playing will give us a better idea on just how well it's coming.

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Charles 9
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Re: hevc facts

That's probably why the hardware makers were part of the conversation. They know the portable market will be key to mass adoption (as it was for H.264). The emphasis on multicore processing shows they know where computing is going (more CPU cores and the mass parallelism of GPUs) and are taking that into consideration. I'll see where this goes as well as VP9 to see if it provides honest competition.

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Charles 9
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Re: H.264 and WebM

Maybe, but perhaps that was more because WebM was late to the game. This time around, Google has a chance to steal the march on H.265 by being first. Suppose, before H.265 is released, Google releases Android 5 KLP with built-in VP9 support, maybe even backports the support to JB and/or ICS. Suddenly, you got a mass of devices with support ready to go. These should also make all those VP8-encoded YouTube videos readily available to them. Now you've got some pressure.

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Charles 9
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Re: All those pretty words and not a single mention of WebM

VP8 was just too late into the game. By the time it came out, everyone had already settled on AVC. For Google to get VP9 into this generation's game, it needs to beat H.265 to the punch, probably by adding support for it into Android, and sooner rather than later (meaning rather than wait for Key Lime Pie, incorporate it as far back as possible, into Jelly Bean and maybe even ICS). Doing that will provide a mass of support that will get the content creators to support it more and get the embedded hardware makers on board.

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Oh S**T, here comes a ROBOT to take my JOB

Charles 9
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Re: made themselves unemployable, made poor decisions

It's like I said, a lottery. And many people have perfectly valid reasons for being unemployable. Move, you say? Great, what about your homebound mother who you're taking care of, has no other family, and refuses to move? Retrain? Fine...if I had the time and money to go back to school, which most people unceremoniously laid off DON'T since they were already at the paycheck-to-paycheck (if not day-to-day) level. And in every other place, it's an employer's market: full of desperate unemployed. And even there, more and more jobs are being taken up by cheap imports who willing work at starvation levels or by machines and computers who almost never "tire". Even the retail sector is feeling the effects with loading machines, automated ordering programs, and self-checkouts.

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Charles 9
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Re: Patients?

But at the same time, what happens when global competition, increased efficiency, and so on simply results in there being no more jobs for the working people to fill? Businesses won't stand for the redundancy, but at the same time, families gotta eat. Plus, if anyone says leave them to their fate, they'll be immediately railed as inhumane. It's essentially a population control lottery. So you're caught between a rock and a hard place. Basic Income is unfair, but laissez-faire is inhumane.

It's like twelve survivors going after enough water for only six or so, and splitting the water won't help because then EVERYONE dehydrates.

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P2P badboys The Pirate Bay kicked out of Greenland: Took under 48 hours

Charles 9
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Re: Bay not Pirate

Um...you drop anchor at a port. A bay can be considered a natural place to put a port.

As for firing broadsides, they can be aimed at ports as well as other ships.

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Charles 9
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Round-Robin Resolution.

That doesn't work anymore in an environment where one DNS entry can point to any number of actual IPs. And TPB probably uses this technique as part of its cloud strategy, ensuring that the name resolves to a working server SOMEWHERE. So, yeah, you need the DNS name because the IP addresses may not be the same from day to day.

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Bitcoin exchange: Greedy traders to blame for DDoS attack

Charles 9
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Re: End Point

Many governments encourage some small amount of inflation as an incentive to keep the currency moving (as the more the money changes hands, the more economic activity you can spur). Flat or deflated currencies tend to encourage hoarding, meaning the money doesn't move around. Whether you can keep the inflation game going for too long is a debate among economists.

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Charles 9
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Re: Quite, quite mad

You know a fiat currency isn't much better. It's only the trust of the government that keeps them afloat. Some people would rather trust a non-government entity.

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Charles 9
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Re: End Point

That assumes the currency has a minimum denomination (the US cent or UK pence). Birtcoin is designed to allow for transactions with a smaller precision. Last I checked, the Bitcoin software can track fractional bitcoins down to eight decimals.

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Charles 9
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Re: not magic beans

Perhaps in the black markets, no, but Bitcoin aficionados have been refining the technique of performing physical transactions using Bitcoin, usually through the passing of QR Code tokens either printed on paper or displayed on mobile devices.

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Charles 9
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Re: bitcoin hosting: good idea? alternatives?

Actually, there is a tangent project to create a decentralized DNS system. It's called Namecoin. Run the name through Google and do some research. It seems a bit raw at this point, but you never know.

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Inuit all along: Pirate Bay flees Sweden for Greenland

Charles 9
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Freenet has a couple small problems when it comes to torrents: You can't show realtime updates about torrent health on Freenet due to the lag time. That means it's harder to clean up stale torrents. It also makes searching difficult (searching on Freenet is hit-or-miss). What I would suggest is not using Freenet as a base but as a backup: a place where torrents and magnet links can be stored in bulk That way, even if a repository goes down, it can be recovered pretty easily.

Perhaps another idea they could try is a hidden Tor site (an onion site) as a mirror. It won't do much for the traffic, but it could provide some cover and allow people normally blocked at the ISP level to reach the site without the ISPs being able to know that.

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Windows 8 has put the world's PC market to sleep - IDC

Charles 9
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But what about applications for which multicore techniques aren't as well optimized because the job, by its very nature, works best with one or few threads? Take media encoding. Any attempts to make them use GPU resources have fallen flat because the most important part of the process, motion estimation, is inherently divergent and not well-suited for GPUs. It's still OK for multicore CPUs though, as you can slice the media in a few ways (doing it by keyframes, for example). As I understand it, if a job requires a very rigorous schedule and/or timing, then it's not well suited for multithreading, either, because of the risk of race conditions.

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German ransomware threatens with sick kiddie smut

Charles 9
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Re: Tracability

The usual way: wire transfers to mules. Wire transfers usually involve cash, so there's a break in the chain at the paying end. The mule breaks the chain at the receiving end.

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Charles 9
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Re: Catch the bastards

And if it turns out the ransomware makers are in a country with hostilities to the West?

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Charles 9
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I think I mentioned it the last time something close to this popped up. What if someone used child porn as ransomware and then compounded the threat by saying if they don't cooperate immediately, they'll relay as much personal information as it can mine to the authorities on the grounds of owning child porn, probably scatter other CP around the drive in ways hard to remove, and then make the user sweat. Now it's either pay up or go to jail (and likely worse). It may even remove itself after a while (but leave the hidden CP) so as to remove the "trojan defense".

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Microsoft Xbox gaffe reveals cloudy arrogance

Charles 9
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Re: Been that way for a while. .

Whatever happened to getting things right the first time?

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Gartner: RIP PCs - tablets will CRUSH you this year

Charles 9
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Re: Are these the same people...

They CAN displace tools if people find they didn't really need a tool in the first place. Why use a Swiss Army Knife when the right screwdriver can do the job more cleanly?

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Charles 9
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Re: Uhm...

People will need a convincing reason to upgrade, and that has been lacking over the last several years. Windows 8 has had one VERY tepid start to its lifecycle. Even games, usually the stalwart of the PC's cutting edge, has stalled in terms of performance demands (basically, if your computer has a circa 2009 CPU and a circa 2011 GPU, you can run almost all your games acceptably, at 1080p even). GPUs keep building up bit by bit but the CPU demand has plateaued in the consumer sphere (most of the push now is in server space where virualization is helping to keep up the pressure).

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Charles 9
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Re: Good

Even that's being challenged by cheap ARM computers (especially the Raspberry Pi) with GPUs decent enough for the job. Many Android tablets have strong enough codec support (admitted it still has some teething issues here and there, but this will only improve), and some companies are trying their hand selling Android computer boxes on the cheap.

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Charles 9
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Re: One thing you can use PC for

Maybe, but the bean counters may decide that software doesn't really require the cutting edge at this point and decide to hold off on upgrade cycles. Fewer businesses upgrading their PCs are going to slow the market down.

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Charles 9
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Re: Gartner are full of it

The point he's trying to make is that you're keeping your existing box rather than stepping up to something like a hex-core or the like. More and more people are finding their existing machines are "good enough" and sticking with them. The software shifts gradually, but it hasn't reached a point where people are compelled to upgrade good dual- and quad-core machines. Upgrade cycles are being reconsidered as companies notice that software demands aren't growing so much. The end result: fewer new PCs get shuffled around, slowing the market.

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Provider of FIFA goal line tech chosen, tracks ball in space and time

Charles 9
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Re: At least they haven't chosen the ludicrous Hawkeye...

The ball DOES change. Tennis balls are relatively speaking not that stiff. They're rubbery for the most part and--unlike most balls in sports the size of your fist or smaller--hollow,, so they can deform as they bounce, especially when they hit at speed (think your typical first service). Part of Hawk-Eye's trick is that it recognizes this deformation and accounts for it in the line call.

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Charles 9
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I think the tech uses several, placed at different angles in case one or more of the cameras is covered by a body. A football goal is bigger than a hockey one, so more cameras are recommended for proper coverage.

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Charles 9
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Re: Fog, snow, hail

That's probably why the plethora of cameras: the more angles you have, the more likely the system can get a clear enough image to make a decision.

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Charles 9
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Re: Encrypted radio signal

It's meant for authentication purposes, to ensure someone on the field doesn't try to fake a goal by secretly transmitting a false signal.

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Charles 9
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I recall that one isn't heavily in use because it involves modifying the ball (which requires delicate work to keep it to exact regulation specs) plus has difficulty showing when a driven (and thus slightly deformed) ball completely crosses: the shape changes in-flight.

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Tech is the biggest problem facing archiving

Charles 9
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Re: Proprietary backup format = No backup

The trouble is that ANY format can eventually become either proprietary or otherwise obsolete. Take your optical discs. More and more computers are showing up with no optical drives to speak of. So what happens when the time comes to actually retrieve that archived data, your drive is discovered to be knackered, and they don't make optical drives anymore (because they've moved on to things like 3-D crystal storage or something)?

I can see what's going on. It's the competing pressures of paying up to keep all this archived data and the risk that the archived data may not be there when it actually become necessary. How do you know you actually need the data...before you actually need the data? And if the threat is existential, then price no longer becomes an object.

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Production-ready ZFS offers cosmic-scale storage for Linux

Charles 9
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Re: Open source purity

Iceweasel and the result are the result of trademark issues. The Mozilla Foundation doesn't want anyone using a modified version of its software to carry its trademarks: in essence, "Don't use our name with your version." Now, trademarks are a separate issue from software licensing, so they compromise: if you compile Firefox straight up, you're cool beans, but if you modify it, they require you to make your own logo for your version. They even give you free use of the globe icon which is common to all Mozilla products. Just don't use THEIR logos.

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Charles 9
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Re: License madness

"Why on earth would you want the file system driver in the kernel?"

Because if it isn't in the kernel, it can't be used as a baseline partition. You can't boot userspace filesystems because userspace doesn't appear until later in the boot process.

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Music resale service ReDigi loses copyright fight with Capitol Records

Charles 9
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Re: ok - I'll bite

"Apparently we are living in a world where the consumer is no longer buying stuff but licensing it. And government and legislature are supporting this. Marvellous thing, democracy."

It's happening everywhere in the electronic world--everyone's going to a service economy where you never BUY anything but just RENT it. OnLive was basically a game rental service, many pieces of commercial software are moving to a subscription model.

They're just finally applying a basic tenet of economics: there's almost always more money in REPEAT business. And if the only business around is repeat business, you can create a naturally captive market.

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