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Comment: Re:Heptatonic (Score 1) 104

by GrahamCox (#49771493) Attached to: Favorite musical scale, by number of pitch classes?
You're right - music as a logical system is pretty much a mess. But that reflects both its long history and lack of understanding that went along with it for a very long time. A great series to watch if you're interested in that is Howard Goodall's "Big Bangs" which is very interesting and approachable even for non-musicians.

The idea of musical notes being a straightforward geometric series took an awful long time to be realised, because of the idea (set in train by Pythagoras) that musical intervals HAD TO BE simple integer ratios. Just like Pythag's blind-spot about irrational numbers such as root 2, he assumed that nature abhorred nasty fractions. That thinking influenced music for millennia, and people still think that equal temperament is a "compromise" because it's slightly off from whole number ratios - but who says it has to be? That's just trying to force it to fit an idealised model of nature that is an entirely human idea.

Musical notation is also barking mad in the light of a 12-tone scale. It would make much more sense if a stave had six lines, so every note in the scale had its own fixed place, instead of wandering all over the place because 12 doesn't divide into 5. It would do away with clefs, the need to notate keys by use of special sharps and flats, and generally make it much easier to learn and use. However, it'll never happen because those who read the existing notation think it's fine, and a change would be too disruptive.

Comment: Re:You realize... (Score 2) 185

The premise is that things going extinct is universally bad

Says who? You realise that >99% of species that have ever lived are extinct? Of course it seems sad when a species goes extinct, especially as it's often because of unnecessary predation by humans (e.g. elephants, rhinos), so let's concentrate on stopping our own species being such arseholes. However, in general extinction is totally natural, and as in this (rare) case when it's not our fault at all, then let it be. I suspect that those Iguanas will be perfectly fine if we just leave it alone for a change.

Comment: Good News for Mac users (Score 1) 241

by GrahamCox (#49714025) Attached to: How Windows 10 Performs On a 12-inch MacBook
If this is true, then in the long run it's good news for Mac users - it will spur Apple on to make OS X better. That's what competition is good for - just as Windows users are now reaping the rewards of greater Mac market share in having Windows get better.

I have never understood why Windows users wanted to "win" by having all competition sink without trace, nor Mac users for that matter. If there's only one game in town, why would anyone ever want to make it any better? Healthier for everyone if there are at least 2 viable systems, preferably 3 or 4.

Comment: Re:Make sure your project is ready for the real wo (Score 1) 107

by GrahamCox (#49713967) Attached to: Turning an Arduino Project Into a Prototype
What you're talking about is "productionization" - in other words making a prototype able to be manufactured. That sounds over-the-top for a hobbyist project, especially a one-off, but I think it's often worth doing for several reasons: those you state, i.e. for reliability, longevity, but also a) because it gives you some insight into what's needed to create a real product not just a hobby project, b) it adds greatly to the satisfaction you get from the finished article. If (b) isn't a consideration for you, then you're probably pursuing the wrong hobby, for the wrong reasons.

Comment: Re:Nice little tutorial... (Score 1) 107

by GrahamCox (#49713925) Attached to: Turning an Arduino Project Into a Prototype
I have to agree with you - Eagle is downright obstructive. Maybe you can get used to it, plenty seem to, and that perhaps blinds them to how awkward it is for occasional, casual users. Even the dedicated Racal CAD minicomputer system we used in the 80s was a lot easier to use than Eagle, and that's saying something.

Comment: Manual Quantization (Score 1) 175

by GrahamCox (#49679597) Attached to: The Decline of Pixel Art
Pixels are a quantized version of whatever it is you want to portray. Pixel art is doing that quantization manually, when the computer could do it for you, rasterizing to whatever resolution it needs. Therefore the artwork should all be in vector form. They've been doing it that way for Fonts since the late 1980s, it's really about time all other graphics caught up.

Comment: Re: No thank you (Score 1) 203

by GrahamCox (#49655995) Attached to: Critics Say It's Time To Close La Guardia Airport
The problem with LGW, STN and LTN is that they are not in London. Not even close. It's a bit of a joke that they even have the audacity to put London in their names. There are of course road and rail connections, but that just makes the journey more complicated and stressful.

Heathrow's "classic" terminals are dilapidated and badly laid out, requiring miles of walking through nasty corridors and passageways to and from the gates - the newer terminals are better but the entire airport is completely space constrained. In fact the whole south-east is completely space-constrained, so there's never going to be a new, fully functional London airport. Crossrail might make it more bearable, but the entire experience of flying in and out of Heathrow is a horrible nightmare. I haven't flown through La Guardia but I have through LAX many times, and that's the only airport worse than Heathrow in my opinion.

Comment: Re:Hi I'm Patrick (Score 2) 130

allows anybody to inject unsigned code into internet downloads. Then, even if the user has set Gatekeeper to only allow code from the Mac App Store, the unsigned code is allowed to run

Wrong. Anyone can inject code into any data stream trivially. It's getting it to run that's the tricky part. How exactly are you going to do that? If the code that's performing the download is in on the plot, then fine, but a) you would have to get that code past the App Store review, and b) you would have to expect Apple to revoke your signature with maximum prejudice the moment you were caught, and c) you would still have to work around the sandboxing all App Store apps require to do anything truly nasty. Getting an innocent app to run the injected code is another option, but that's back to requiring some other known exploit, such as a buffer overrun.

The short answer is: injecting the code isn't the problem, getting it to run undetected is.

It is your destiny. - Darth Vader