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Comment: Re:Looking to move off of iTunes (Score 1) 338 338

Not a mac user myself, but I use Quod Libet on both Linux and Windows for my 621 album collection of FLACs, and there's a mac version as well. It's written in Python using GStreamer for the audio support, so I suppose file support depends on what GStreamer can play on your platform. I'm pretty happy with its tagging support, it will bulk-tag selected files and can move/rename files if you want, great for when the track database gave the ripper "Sound Track CD 1" and "OST Disc II" (musicbrainz is just as shit at consistency as freedb).

Comment: Re:Holy Mountain (Score 1) 232 232

But the alien conspiracy creates an "other" which binds the Earth together. Dr. Manhattan creates a new nuclear arms race to create more Dr. Manhattans (even if in secret). The squid might not have been necessary, but something alien was. This is from the Antogonist's perspective. From the readers' perspective, we all understand that it's a matter of time before the house of cards for either secret falls.

+ - First successful widely used symmetric cipher broken since before DES

semper_statisticum writes: A team of cryptographers has submitted an outline of an attack against a symmetric cipher, which was one of the AES candidates.This is the first public successful attack against a symmetric cipher since before DES was introduced. Although the attack is only equivalent to a 2 bit reduction in security compared to a brute force attack, it is still an impressive development.

+ - Austerity Is just the class war->

An anonymous reader writes: What’s going on with the austerity is really class war. As an economic program, austerity, under recession, makes no sense. It just makes the situation worse ..

It’s not an economic policy that makes any sense as to end a serious recession. And there is a reaction to it — Greece, Spain and some in Ireland, growing elsewhere, France. But it’s a very dangerous situation, could lead to a right-wing response, very right-wing. The alternative to Syriza might be Golden Dawn, neo-Nazi party.

Link to Original Source

Comment: Magnavox pong (Score 3, Interesting) 207 207

I bought an old Magnavox tv with built in Pong, but it was missing the controllers. To play games, my brother and I would shove speaker wires into the ports and hold the bare wires with our hands.

By staying very still and very carefully pinching one wire in each hand, tips of fingers touching, we could control the resistance in the range needed to start and control the game. So much as a twitch or turning your head would cause the pong paddle to go off the screen.

Holding that still and staring at the tv, it looked like we were controlling it with our minds.

After a couple days, the TV died. But $18 well spent.

Education

Microsoft To Launch Minecraft Education Portal For Teachers 56 56

Mickeycaskill writes: Microsoft wants to help educators use Minecraft to teach pupils about maths, history, creative design and other subjects and skills, claiming the game is already being used in classrooms in the US and UK. Minecraft developer Mojang was bought by Microsoft last year for $2.5 billion and the game has been featured in a number of HoloLens demos, an indication of how it sees the former indie phenomenon as more than just a game. "Very soon after Minecraft launched, we noticed teachers bringing the game into their classrooms," said a blog post. "Often inspired by the passion of their students, they started using Minecraft to design history lessons, teach language classes, explore mathematics, physics, computer science, writing, and more."

Comment: Re:E-book prices (Score 1) 97 97

Makes sense. I've been looking into this as a self-published author, and your numbers definitely work out, or should even be maybe more extreme. Selling an ebook through Amazon for $5 gives a 70% royalty, or $3.50. Print versions through CreateSpace are going to vary depending on production values, but may end up being around $5 for the cost of creation, and then Amazon will cite a minimum price (I was seeing around $10 or $12, again depending on the number of pages), though that doesn't give the author the same royalty. I think I had to pick $12.50 (shorter book) and $14 (longer book) to hit the same $3.50 royalty. So at least from the perspective of a self-published author, the ebook can be less than half.

Now that's for print on demand. A traditional publisher run definitely costs less per physical book, so the ratio of electronic to print price ought to be smaller. A 30% discount on electronic may be reasonable.

Comment: Re:E-book prices (Score 1) 97 97

The publishers are the ones that first sell eBooks for the price of the hardcover paper book and only go down with the price when the paperback is released.
It doesn't make sense that the same eBook suddenly should be worth only a third of what I would have had to pay earlier.

That model actually makes a lot of sense to me. Pay more if you're impatient and want to see it new, pay less when it's older. You see that kind of system regularly with DVDs, where a new release may be $20, but it'll be $15 or $10 after a year, and in the $5 bin a few years later. Computer games, too, except that you're starting at $60 and going down in several steps to $20 and then maybe $10 or $5. What's really amazing is that books are so insensitive to this trend.

Comment: Re:Good (Score 1) 97 97

But it *is* 70% to Amazon for books between $0.99 and $2.98. Maybe that's justified by the fixed costs Amazon faces, which are a greater percent of a smaller price, but it still seems absurd to me. Of course my response is just to not price ebooks under $2.99, and then I can avoid it.

Comment: Re:The problem... (Score 4, Interesting) 195 195

My new car has exactly that feature. If a car ahead of me stops abruptly, it flashes a red car on the HUD well in advance. The timing is the key, the couple of times it has happened, the car "saw" the obstacle VERY early, giving me plenty of time to stop. It happens very rarely, such that if that warning is up, you know it's important to be alert. It's pretty intuitive and really doesn't distract as it's complementary to what I've hopefully already been looking at. It's also small and low in your field of view, so it doesn't block your view of traffic. The car will also apply the brakes itself to avoid a crash.

TFA shows a red car with a green arrow directing the driver to go around. I can definitely see how that might be too much in an emergency situation, particularly if you aren't trained on how to interpret and respond to that alert. My "red car icon" is more of a "HEY! WAKE UP!" and mostly leaves the avoidance decisions up to me. I could see more complex HUD alerts like in the TFA also being beneficial, but requiring training, so less time is needed to understand and react to the alert.

I don't think TFA's controlled tests are representative enough of how mature drivers drive. We practically drive on auto-pilot most of the time. The alerts are really helpful at getting you to focus when you need to, if your mind wanders a bit because you're making the same drive you've driven hundreds times before.

We all live in a state of ambitious poverty. -- Decimus Junius Juvenalis

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