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Comment: Re:Alternatives (Score 4, Informative) 242

by BenFranske (#46684315) Attached to: Dyn.com Ends Free Dynamic DNS

I know it's not very slashdot-like to do some research before posting but if you're not familiar with IPv6 please do yourself a favor and check it out thoroughly before spreading FUD. Yes, IPs are (most frequently) tied to MAC addresses _BUT_ you almost always will have 3 IPv6 addresses... a link-local address for communication just on the local subnet, a globally public one tied to your MAC (which you can distribute to people who you WANT to reach you), and a global public "temporary" IP address which you can use for outgoing connections but which will change periodically and will not be tied to your MAC. Of course this all depends a little on your IPv6 stack in your OS but this is how it's typically being handled.

Comment: Re:I grew up in Atlanta... (Score 1) 723

by BenFranske (#46113727) Attached to: Atlanta Gambled With Winter Storm and Lost

We're going to agree to disagree about 4 wheel drive having any substantial assistance for stopping. If you need to use it to stop you're either following too closely or going too quickly. There is no question that 4wd is an advantage in certain circumstances and when used appropriately. My farm truck has 4wd and I wouldn't have it any other way out there. I have never had 4wd on a daily driver though and seriously doubt the few times it might come in handy outweigh the reduction in gas mileage year round. Also do you really think all those SUV drivers from some suburb barreling down the highway are using engine braking? I suspect that in most cases 4wd is just causing them to be unnecessarily reckless. Streets are almost always plowed within 12 hours of snowfall at the latest. I just don't see that there's any justification for 4wd for the vast majority of people who have it in Minneapolis/St. Paul and like I said it probably causes them to be reckless.

I am firmly in the camp that you can learn appropriate winter driving skills in a sedan and be much better at getting around than all the idiots with fancy SUVs who don't know how to use them. I also believe that's the majority of SUV drivers.

Comment: Re:I grew up in Atlanta... (Score 1) 723

by BenFranske (#46111477) Attached to: Atlanta Gambled With Winter Storm and Lost

Bingo. My problem is that we are getting more residents moving in from out of state who are not familiar with how to navigate in winter weather and they are causing more and more problems. It also probably compounds the issue that we've had some weak winters for at least the last decade or so. What you need to do is to allow adequate stopping distances, moderate your speed as needed, and be prepared to correct for inevitable minor fishtailing (which is actually quite fun once you're good at being prepared and correcting for it).

I really suspect that this mess in Atlanta comes down to driver skill. I think that drivers going to fast and not allowing appropriate stopping distances caused accidents which plugged roads basically. It's not plowing equipment (for 2 inches, HAH) or even salting/sanding/brining (again, like we don't get icy roads up here?) or vehicle equipment, tires, etc. Most of us up here drive with regular year round tires all the time. Don't even get me started on how unnecessary 4 wheel drive is, you can do 6+ inches of snow in 2 wheel drive just fine and 4 wheel drive does nothing to help you stop any faster which is really what the problem is 99% of the time, not needing more traction to get going.

Comment: Re:MuseScore? (Score 2) 299

by BenFranske (#46088299) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: An Open Source PC Music Studio?

Parent is correct. Clearly, a lot of slashdotters don't know the difference between notation and DAW software. No, Reaper, Ardour, and Audacity are not notation programs. If notation is what you want the best F/OSS solution I've seen is MuseScore. I have completely replace Finale/Sibelius with this for my notation needs. Note that my needs are strictly for notation for printing though. I am not doing any MIDI creation from it so I can't speak to that. I don't believe it supports playing back with soundfonts (it includes the nasty MIDI patches mentioned in the OP). As an aside if you're really serious about making printed music look nice you should take a look at LilyPond though it doesn't have an editing GUI so it's more for your magnum opus rather than the quick and dirty song development more typical.

Comment: Re:Miranda (Score 2) 768

by BenFranske (#43940059) Attached to: Seeking Fifth Amendment Defenders

Bingo. This is what I was thinking too. All the rules put in place DO eliminate pretty much every reason for a 5th Amendment but they also eliminate the usefulness of many other rights. For example, requiring police to have a warrant before searching absolutely benefits the guilty more than the innocent but you're not arguing to do away with search warrants. Almost all the restrictions on police power benefit the guilty disproportionately but they DO benefit the innocent as well and so that is the price we pay. If you want to create a set of rules like that you can basically justify unlimited police power, the "if it saves even one life we should do it" argument. See for example, the massive data collection being undertaken by the government.

Comment: Re:Can't agree (Score 1) 384

by BenFranske (#43039743) Attached to: Is Code.org Too Soulless To Make an Impact?

I do agree that documents for widespread consumption should take the path you suggested with content and design separate. Let's be honest though, word processing software is not about creating beautiful documents and is not supposed to be real publishing software (which DOES usually separate the two). Word processing software is really a replacement for the typewriter, and viewed in that light it offers marvelous advantages. Documents done on a typewriter were quite ugly and misaligned as well. The problem is that some people, usually those on a tight budget of time and/or money, mistakenly use a word processor as a replacement for a graphic designer and publishing software. You are simply never going to get people to write every informal document in a program which separates content and design. While it admittedly makes for a higher quality end product it also takes longer or at least more skill (and thus is more expensive). For some jobs the only need is to get the information onto the page, presentation is of little concern.

Comment: Re:Will it be adequate training for Cisco cert exa (Score 1) 128

by BenFranske (#41580361) Attached to: Take a Free Networking Class From Stanford
That is typical of what you get when computer science people teach networking classes. It is certainly not the case that all computer scientists and programmers look down on infrastructure people and concepts...but a lot of them do...you'll find that the case on Slashdot as well. People who program don't see the level of training in theory and practice that is important for network engineers and (good) system administrators. They just don't see low level protocols as interesting. Of course, my experience is that these people are often responsible for some horrible networks lacking redundancy, full of inefficiency, etc. The ability to set up a really good enterprise class network is not something that is simple or intuitive, it is programming and design in it's own right. I respect your ability to write software but I find it tedious myself but you don't see me looking down on you...

Comment: Re:Will it be adequate training for Cisco cert exa (Score 2) 128

by BenFranske (#41578355) Attached to: Take a Free Networking Class From Stanford
I really dislike that argument. The truth is that to really tech you useful skills I have to show you how to do it using somebody's thing. To a large extent it doesn't matter who's stuff I use but I can't really just talk about it abstractly and expect you to be able to actually do anything when you're done. An analogous situation in computer science is that you should be taught ONLY general concepts and no particular programming language...ever...that would be up to you to figure out by yourself. The truth is that you probably need to be shown how to do it in at least one language by someone and then you can translate the concepts to other languages. The same is true for the networking area. If I explain the concepts and then show you how to do it on Cisco equipment you can probably figure out how to do it on just about any equipment. This is also why we don't just explain literary concepts abstractly, almost all literature teachers will use particular books as examples of the concept. Most people learn much better if there is an example...whether it's networking or literature. If that's not you great, but you're in the minority.

Comment: Use off the shelf hardware for control if you can (Score 5, Interesting) 135

by BenFranske (#37768878) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Which OS For an Embedded Display Unit?
Having some experience in this area my suggestion is to use off the shelf hardware if you at all can. For most of these specific market "black box" control applications you'll never sell enough to bring the cost low enough to do a ground-up design at a reasonable price, plus it locks you in to the current state of capabilities. It will be much more cost effective to use existing Android tablets, write an app for them to do your control and talk back to your black box over a network (a private network if you must). This will allow you much more flexibility than linking the control interface directly with the black box. In the pro a/v and automation category where I do some of this work almost everything has gone this direction and it makes it much easier and faster to design/upgrade.

Comment: Re:University Owns It (Score 1) 211

by BenFranske (#37502090) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best Copyright Terms For a Thesis?
The trick is to get someone to pay for it, but not the institution. Particularly in high-expense research areas (biomedial, sciences) you can usually find federal funds (NIH, NSF, etc.) which will make it clear that you own the copyright but that you have to provide a copy for free distribution through some clearinghouse. My suggestion (and experience) is to avoid funds coming directly from the institution, there are too many strings attached as you have noted. Finding money for good research is not as tough as it might seem. I would go so far as to suggest that if you're paying your own tuition (definitely for a PhD and probably for a masters) you're probably doing something wrong. Writing grants is a key part of future academic work so you may as well figure out how the system works now...and negotiating so that you retain copyrights is part of that.

Comment: Re:Creative commons! (Score 1) 211

by BenFranske (#37501698) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best Copyright Terms For a Thesis?
They're mostly concerned with you using their facilities extensively, many times that is not the case. Also, you'll see exceptions if you bring any money/resource into the picture with it's own strings attached (NSF funding is specifically called out). For a terminal MS this is probably less common but in the PhD world you almost always bring your own pot of money to the table and thus can make some of your own demands. I suspect that in the end MIT only ends up owning the rights to a very selective number of theses compared to the total number submitted in any given time period.

Comment: Re:University Owns It (Score 1) 211

by BenFranske (#37499948) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best Copyright Terms For a Thesis?
All of this applies only to my experience in the US... At the schools where I've taught and the schools where I've been a student there are no such forms which state those things. Even if there were as you say it might be that they can use it but I would really enjoy seeing such a form which actually turns over all of the rights and are not joint ownership, etc.

Just because there are grants does not mean that ownership is automatically turned over. In fact, most grants explicitly state that ownership resides with the grantee. Sometimes (many times with federal grants) there are requirements to disseminate the research freely but that's the opposite of what's being talked about and that too would never be implied, it would be clearly spelled out in the agreement accepting the grant. As for the use of labs, equipment, etc. the university usually takes a hefty "administrative cost" off the top of money coming in to cover those things and usually any fixtures, equipment, etc. you purchase with the grant become school property.

Academics vigorously protect that their intellectual property belongs to them and not to anyone else. Most contracts for faculty, for example, go so far as to clearly spell this out...even to the extent that at many schools syllabi are property of the faculty and the school may require a record of it but cannot distribute it without permission. Patentable sponsored research, especially in the areas of biotechnology and plant genomics, are some special cases which may be governed by special agreements about who owns the intellectual property of the research, but even there the rights to the report itself is usually owned by the researcher.

Comment: Re:Creative commons! (Score 1) 211

by BenFranske (#37498518) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best Copyright Terms For a Thesis?
That would not fly in the US. I do believe that in some countries universities may have copyright claim on student work but this is simply not the case in the US unless there is a contract and funding making it a work for hire or copyright assignment. I am not aware of any US schools which have such requirements and I study and practice in the field of education.

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