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Comment: Re:Of course... (Score 1) 164

by AntEater (#45985441) Attached to: Why the Major Labels Love (and Artists Hate) Music Streaming

The you buy from the next service...You probably will have to re-download all your crap, but that's life. Or use a DRM stripper, Or, if you have a program like Tunebite or Sound Taxi and don't mind a transcode, you can use that to have stable files.

In my case, you're suggesting that I redownload over 500GB of music files??? I don't think so. If you have a large collection of music, particularly if what you listen to doesn't fall into the mainstream/consumer music, then these on-line options aren't going to cut it. Also, I'm not really an audiophile but I am cursed with enough audio discernment that the low bitrate on most streaming services will sound pretty bad on my stereo where I do most of my listening - trascoding from an already poor source isn't going to be acceptable.

Comment: house of cards? (Score 5, Interesting) 698

by AntEater (#45713537) Attached to: NSA Says It Foiled Plot To Destroy US Economy Through Malware

Does this strike anyone else as being utterly ridiculous? "Cataclysmic"?? I mean, if a bunch of bricked computers could bring down our economy (and possibly the global economy) then isn't the whole thing in need of some serious attention? Maybe we've built an unreasonable amount of dependence on something that is entirely too frail to warrant such trust? - both the computer systems and our current economic system.

Comment: Re:The Stupidity, It Hurts! (Score 5, Insightful) 1006

by AntEater (#43272293) Attached to: Video Game Industry Starting To Feel Heat On Gun Massacres

The individual who committed the crime is definitely where the blame ultimately lies. What people are looking for isn't merely the blame but some cause that can then be legislated away so that this type of thing can be prevented in the future. I don't believe it'll ever be effectively done but I think that is the ultimate motivation. Our society tends to like to find "things" to blame (guns, music, games, etc) rather than addressing some of the social, family and personal issues that lead to horrible actions like this. Banning things is an easier task and creates the illusion of "doing something" about it.

Comment: rip off. (Score 3, Insightful) 217

by AntEater (#42727763) Attached to: How Many Text Messages Do You Send a Day?

I'm sure I'm getting old and all that but I just can't get into texting. Mostly this is due to the fact that I don't own a cell phone. If I did own one, I would still find the concept of paying for texting offensive. The data rates put the cost per megabyte somewhere around the same rates as buying Winchester disk storage in the early 1980s. The worst part is that the true cost for the service provider is effectively nothing - texting plans are about as close to 100% profit as anything ever put on the market. Even if you got unlimited texting for "free" as part of your plan, it's part of the product that they charging you for.

Comment: Re:why webcam? (Score 2) 63

by AntEater (#42661105) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best Webcam To Augment Impaired Vision?

I'm mystified why it has to be a webcam, other than the joy of complexity.

It's more than just senseless complexity. Some visual impairments are helped significantly by having the ability to invert the colors, convert to grey scale, convert to straight up black and white, filter out certain colors, provide a reading "line" which can easily be done with software but not so easily with a basic camera - not that it is impossible. Today, a web camera and 20" flat panel monitor can be purchased for less than 10% of the cost of a commercial CCTV magnification system. I do agree that a typical web camera seriously lacks in quality.

Comment: Re:For people who don't know (Score 3, Interesting) 63

by AntEater (#42661017) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best Webcam To Augment Impaired Vision?

There are some issues here that you're not addressing and most of them are economic. I have a family member that is legally blind and can only read with massive magnification. These CCD units are great but they cost thousands of dollars. Admittedly, it's a limited market but the manufacturers price the units assuming that some state or federal agency will be buying them - not the end user. They are dead simple with today's technology but still are priced like they're wired with gold circuits. If someone can find a supporting government or non-profit agency to help them, then they're good to go. Otherwise, they need to cough up a big chunk of cash which isn't easy for someone with very limited financial resources, as most visually impaired individuals tend to be.

Ebooks are expensive. Large print books are expensive and very, very limited in availability. Traditional lense magnifiers often do not provide adequate magnification or do not address the visual difficulty sufficiently.

When I was first looking at purchasing one of these units I was seriously outraged at the prices charged for a system that has less than $100 worth of hardware. They are essentially little more than a simple flat panel monitor, web camera, LED light and some light image processing software (invert, color masks, etc) on a stand that allows the book to slide around. I would absolutely *LOVE* to see someone come up with a good system for putting a webcam and small system together for reading - it would be great to open up the opportunities for people without the means or assistance to get a reader and, almost as wonderful, would be to put the screws to these companies that are charging such a ridiculous markup on the hardware. Unfortunately, the quality of web cameras isn't that hot but maybe there are some exceptions. I wonder if this could make for a cool Raspberry Pi project.

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