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Comment: Coffee is a kludge (Score 1) 133

by Colonel Fahlt (#47787955) Attached to: Coffee Naps Better For Alertness Than Coffee Or Naps Alone
It doesn't seem the researchers took into account another factor: physical fitness. If they had other test subjects run for twenty minutes before starting their day, that'd make a significant difference in their feelings of alertness in the office. Some people drink coffee ultimately because they're out of shape and don't eat properly. These researchers could've had another control group do light aerobics or the like instead of napping or drinking coffee or both, and compared. (I'm sure there are many studies out there that have done something like this; my point is, this study isn't very useful except for the habitually sedentary.)

Comment: Re:Its hardware characteristics ... (Score 1) 267

by Colonel Fahlt (#47626373) Attached to: Skype Blocks Customers Using OS-X 10.5.x and Earlier

10.7, the final version that supports that early 2008 MacBook. Apple tends to support a final OS version of a particular hardware generation for a while, at least with respect to security related patches. I noticed when a key exploit had been discovered they patched iOS 6 on some old devices I have that are not supported by iOS 7.

I misunderstood your original statement, because a 2008 MacBook did not come with 10.7 installed, it would've come with 10.5. "My 2008 MacBook that can not run newer versions of Mac OS X" meant to me "my 2008 MacBook is running what it was originally supplied with". Yes, 10.7 is still supported.

Comment: Re:Sorry but why is this news? (Score 1) 267

by Colonel Fahlt (#47622919) Attached to: Skype Blocks Customers Using OS-X 10.5.x and Earlier
Apple claims hardware is supported for Mavericks where their QA is questionable. For instance, the "Mid/Late 2007" and "Early 2008" MacBook Pro laptops are on the supported hardware list for Mavericks, but had problems with freezing, kernel panics, and such. See for instance this discussion thread:

Comment: Re:Its hardware characteristics ... (Score 1) 267

by Colonel Fahlt (#47622845) Attached to: Skype Blocks Customers Using OS-X 10.5.x and Earlier

Apple does not support their own 2 year old OSes, ...

Two days ago I booted up my 2008 MacBook that can not run newer versions of Mac OS X. It offered me various patches. Old versions of Mac OS X are supported.

I think you're confusing the continued availability of old patches for a particular version of OS X versus continued provision of current support. Sure, you can download updates you haven't already applied, but that doesn't mean they're still providing new patches for more recent issues. Given Apple doesn't have any kind of public information on support lifecycles, it kind of clouds the discussion (which may be part of their intent). It's also hard to comment further when you don't say what version of OS X you're running. Certainly 10.5 and 10.6 are no longer supported by Apple.

Comment: Re:Things are different in the Mac world. (Score 1) 267

by Colonel Fahlt (#47622703) Attached to: Skype Blocks Customers Using OS-X 10.5.x and Earlier
The problem being, those Macs won't receive security updates from Apple for the full term the users are planning to keep them for. That's one reason I'm no longer an Apple customer. The hardware's great, but the support lifecycle is not only too short, it's not even publicly documented.

Comment: Re:Report missing/wrong documentation as a bug (Score 1) 430

I'm not sure why any of them wouldn't, though it's often very project specific as to how they want documentation bugs identified/categorized. For instance, I once reported a documentation error for GCC and asked why they didn't have a general category for such in their Bugzilla. Their answer was that they use a keyword "documentation" and want documentation bugs filed against the specific component (as if it was a software bug), as the developers of the component in question also "own" any documentation issues. Some other projects are similar, or have their own quirks.

Comment: Re:After watching the video.. (Score 1) 134

by Colonel Fahlt (#46596243) Attached to: GNOME 3.12 Released
The woman narrating the video isn't even consistent with her pronunciation. The last two times she says it, she first goes with the normal "nome" pronunciation, and then she seems to catch herself wanting to do it again, and gets out a half-G sound. I take this as a sign that "guh-nome" isn't the natural or comfortable choice for most native English speakers. (Given the negative response of so many people to the software, this seems somehow apt...)

Comment: Re:Is anyone actually stuck on Snow Leopard? (Score 1) 241

by Colonel Fahlt (#46359719) Attached to: Apple Drops Snow Leopard Security Updates, Doesn't Tell Anyone
I'm not sure this has been mentioned elsewhere in this thread, but there are machines that Apple claims are supported by Mavericks which in fact exhibit serious issues. I'm referring specifically to the "Mid/Late 2007" and "Early 2008" MacBook Pro laptops, which are on the supported hardware list for Mavericks, but have problems with freezing, kernel panics, and such. See for instance this discussion thread:

+ - NetBSD 6.0 released->

Submitted by Colonel Fahlt
Colonel Fahlt (1267662) writes "The NetBSD project has announced their 6.0 release. From their announcement:

"The NetBSD Project is pleased to announce NetBSD 6.0, the fourteenth major release of the NetBSD operating system. Changes from the previous release include scalability improvements on multi-core systems, many new and updated device drivers, Xen and MIPS port improvements, and brand new features such as a new packet filter.

Some NetBSD 6.0 highlights are: support for thread-local storage (TLS), Logical Volume Manager (LVM) functionality, rewritten disk quota subsystem, new subsystems to handle flash devices and NAND controllers, an experimental CHFS file system designed for flash devices, support for Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) protocol, and more. This release also introduces NPF — a new packet filter, designed with multi-core systems in mind, which can do TCP/IP traffic filtering, stateful inspection, and network address translation (NAT)."

Further information at:"

Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:really??? (Score 1) 666

by Colonel Fahlt (#40934823) Attached to: Man Orders TV On Amazon, Gets Shipped Assault Rifle

.223 "is considered pitiful, not much more than a varmint round." No, not really. The wounding characteristics of small calibre high velocity ammunition when paired with a weapon that can generate sufficient velocity at the point of impact is hardly "pitiful". 5.56x45mm (or similar ammunition, like the Russian 5.45mm) is capable of creating more damaging wounds than larger rounds in some contexts. The US military (and others) did research on this, and found the traditional rifle rounds used by "gramps" would often pass through bodies cleanly, leaving a relatively small wound. 5.56x45mm was found to often become unstable when it penetrated the body, tumbling and fragmenting, causing wound effects greatly disproportionate to its size. (Have a look under "Performance" here: 5.56x45mm NATO article on Wikipedia .) Paired with the fact it was lighter, and produced much less recoil, you have a potentially more accurate weapon for which more ammunition can be carried, comparatively. (As for why it's not optimal for deer hunting, first of all, the size and physiology of the animal is different, and second, a hunter is supposed to go for a clean kill. A soldier is dealing with people firing back, and the goal is to drop them, not get the perfect shot, as nice is that would be. Use your imagination: in the context of a shooting rampage, which of those scenarios is a closer fit?)

"Compared to what gramps used in WWII or worse, WWI, it's laughable..." First of all, what "gramps" used in WWI and WWII was equivalent, e.g. .30-'06 if US military, .303 Enfield if British/Commonwealth, 7.92mm Mauser if German, etc. Not sure where the "or worse" is coming from, that implies a difference. And as for "it's laugable", I've already addressed that above.

Comment: Re:So... (Score 2) 353

by Colonel Fahlt (#39040919) Attached to: Mozart and Bach Handel Subway Station Crime

(Please note this is a response to multiple children of this parent posting, not the parent post itself.)

Normally I don't bother to respond to the uninformed commentary that often gets posted on Slashdot, but I couldn't help myself. Here we have multiple people passing off elementary amounts of music theory they've absorbed from somewhere as evidence they have an informed opinion supporting their notion that "populist" classical music is not as "complex" as some rock or rap music (which they haven't offered any examples of).

First of all, we have more than one person claiming that "complex" chords used in rock (infrequently at that) are more "sophisticated" than what was used in classical music of the 18th and 19th centuries. One poster states "Hendrix habitually threw 7ths, 9ths, augmented 4ths into his chords; intervals which (apart from possibly the occasional 7th) Mozart's audiences would never have tolerated." Sevenths are more than "possibly occasional" in Mozart's work: they're pretty fundamental to some progressions. (And dominant seventh chords -- among the most commonly used and "traditional" -- contain augmented fourths.) If someone can't hear that, they're not arguing intelligently, and I would infer they don't really understand what they're listening to. (If they were to say "Hendrix was more baldly obvious about throwing these intervals into his chords", then yes, I would agree.)

Furthermore, to stick with Mozart, consider his String Quartet in Eb, K428. The opening measures feature, yes, a prominent augmented fourth, and further chromatic harmony. (There are more examples where that came from. Some of Mozart's "Haydn quartets" were sent back by the engraver, who thought they were "riddled with errors" because of the dissonances, whole-tone progressions, and such Mozart employed at times.) Of course, Mozart's aim wasn't to create something stark-sounding that didn't resolve, as that would fundamentally not have fit with the overall form he was trying to create.

Ah, yes, musical form, something completely missing from this discussion of "complexity", where people are claiming Mozart, Beethoven, et al. are not "complex" as some random favourites of theirs. Classical music from roughly the time of Haydn on carries a significant component of its dramatic message in its form, that is, how the music is developed over time. A decision made by a composer at one point will potentially have dramatic ramifications minutes later as the piece unfolds. This is rather different from pop music, where typically very simple elements are repeated over and over again, or in the case of some "progressive rock", somewhat simple elements are baldly juxtaposed "with the subtlety of a blowtorch" (to borrow a phrase of a critic mocking Emerson, Lake, and Palmer which I particularly liked -- the phrase, that is). An understanding of form and musical development is much more significant in appreciating the music than the simple recognition of "a few conventional harmonic structures" (misleading as that statement is). (I would also hazard a guess that these posters are not very familiar with 20th/21st century composition that grew out of the classical tradition, but that's another topic.)

Similarly, there are many dissonant progressions in a lot of Baroque music, as the understanding and application of harmony was different in that time, because those composers' idea of musical form was in turn different. Bach was less concerned about resultant harmonic effects than he was with counterpoint.

Ah, yes, counterpoint, something else missing from this discussion. Counterpoint is the art of creating multiple melodies that sound simultaneously. If anyone on here seriously can find a rock song that can compete with Bach's "Art of the Fugue" in terms of complexity (and perhaps more importantly, skill of execution at that level of complexity), and has the ability to convincingly detail their argument, I will eat my socks. Part of the marvel of Bach is what he did with counterpoint while fitting it all inside generally "conventional" (that is, consonant) harmony. That's hardly pedestrian, quite the opposite.

Next we have the statement "But their popular works are popular because they're populist. And what makes them populist is that they are unchallenging." This once again shows absolutely no understanding of the subtleties involved in the music, including form. What makes these works great is not just that they have "pretty melodies", it's everything that goes into it. Much of it is subtle, unlike rock music, which is generally predicated on being obvious.

Claiming something is "more emotionally sophisticated" is too complicated to argue with here, though again, I don't think that poster understands the subtleties in classical music either. Claiming that rock is "more tonally sophisticated" and classical has a "fixed sonic palette" on the other hand, is pretty bizarre, because varieties of tone are used to convey emotion. There are lots of subtle colours classical musicians use to convey meaning; there's no one "violin sound", there are many. People who tend to point to other musics as having "more sounds" tend to think in terms of very basic timbres ("we have violins and synthesizers", as opposed to "we have a violinist who can get dozens of subtle tonal shadings depending on what she's doing to shape a phrase" [which in turn relates back to form])...

Do the famous classical composers of bygone eras generally throw around the kind of complex harmonies or timbres that can be found in more modern times? No, I'm not arguing they do. But what they do throw around is not something that can really be found outside of that tradition, and it's remarkable.

I'm not sure why I bothered writing all this, as it feels like I'm just bashing my head against the wall. I'm sure other occasional posters on Slashdot can sympathize, wherever their passions lie. Right now, somewhere there's probably someone who knows a little bit about a particular programming language making bold claims about obscure optimizations without knowing the side-effects, sending some poor chap into a pit of typing for half an hour to correct them.

PS If someone's actually read this and cares, that is, is curious to know more, I recommend Aaron Copland's "What to Listen for in Music" as a good starting point for a classical music novice. Yes, it's a bit dated-seeming, and yes, he's prejudiced and snobby about what he thinks is good (I prefer "passionate"), but he does an excellent job of summarizing things in a readable way.

The IQ of the group is the lowest IQ of a member of the group divided by the number of people in the group.