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Comment: Re:Fundamental failure of process design (Score 1) 212

by Mal-2 (#48647407) Attached to: Cyberattack On German Steel Factory Causes 'Massive Damage'

For three hundred years people were able to run them furnaces without the aid of computers just fine. But after the 'puter takes over, you can't do anything without it, even if the damn thing goes south... I'd say it's not a very good design.

If by "just fine" you mean having a small fraction of the throughput of the modern machinery. The automated systems can be (and thus are) run at damn near peak capacity at all times, which means that when they do fail, it will inevitably be at the worst possible time -- because it's always the worst possible time. The trick lies in determining whether this increased cost of failure is offset by the increase in production. From the widespread adoption of such processes worldwide, it would appear the answer is a resounding "yes".

Comment: We did this long before. (Score 1) 604

by Mal-2 (#48626575) Attached to: Waze Causing Anger Among LA Residents

As someone then living in Studio City but working in Santa Monica, we all knew how to use the residential streets to get around blockages of the 405. Mulholland (which is very much residential) to Laurel Canyon, for example. We told each other about them. I personally knew five or six alternates.

This may be spreading the word among people who don't try things on their own, but it's been a problem for the residents for many years. They do all sorts of things, from speed bumps to parking their cars in the narrowest (legal) places possible to slow down traffic. We would still use these routes.

Comment: Re:Shocking! (Score 1) 176

by Mal-2 (#48592657) Attached to: Hollywood's Secret War With Google

Actually what I find most awful about CSI shows is the notion that police investigations are akin to unbeatable magical formulas. If investigators zero in on a suspect, almost inevitably that suspect is guilty, and found to be so by incredible technologies used by beautiful people in sci-fi like laboratories.

Actually, for dramatic reasons, a good fraction of the shows feature chasing after a red herring, or narrowing in on one suspect who turns out to be either an accomplice or merely connected to the actual perp (without actual involvement). Boyfriend taking the rap for girlfriend who killed someone, mother accused when actually one of her kids did it, etc. If they started in the right place every time, it would be boring.

Comment: Re:Sigh (Score 1) 567

by Mal-2 (#48583757) Attached to: The Case For Flipping Your Monitor From Landscape to Portrait

I've had people hand me a camera to take a picture of them, and then look at me funny when I hold it sideways. I don't always, nor do I by default (there is no default, every image is different), but if you have, say, two people and you want to get them head to toe, you can use a lot more of the sensor by rotating the camera. If a composition lends itself to square formatting, I'll usually shoot it both ways and sort it out later.

I can only hope that when I return the camera after shooting in Portrait, they look at the result and say "hey, now I get why he did that".

As a first approximation: one person - portrait. Two people standing - portrait. Two people seated or three people standing - depends how closely bunched they are, and whether their clothing and/or foreground is significant in the picture. Three or more people seated - generally landscape.

Comment: Re: Have Both (Score 1) 567

by Mal-2 (#48583573) Attached to: The Case For Flipping Your Monitor From Landscape to Portrait

You can use the ClearType Tuner to find a happy medium. I have dealt with this problem (I have a landscape monitor on the left, portrait on the right) by running the tuner on the portrait monitor. What works there also works pretty well on the landscape monitor. I haven't even forced it as close to color-agnostic as it'll go, I think I still have two "levels" of sub-pixel addressing on (out of six) and it really doesn't hurt the portrait monitor. I will notice a slight color fringe around long, vertical letters if I stare at them really hard (that is, if I want to see it), but otherwise it works just fine. Being able to use sub-pixel addressing on one monitor and standard anti-aliasing on the other would be better, but since that's not an option, this compromise does work.

As a side benefit, it is much more difficult to discern where sub-pixel addressing starts to fall apart because of colored text and/or backgrounds.

Comment: Re:Fuck all these people (Score 1) 127

by Mal-2 (#48554591) Attached to: Civil Rights Groups Divided On Net Neutrality

I'm not arguing that the state should own everything and that private ownership should be abolished, but there are things that are best cared for by society as a whole - the state is only one of several possible candidates to represent society's interests.

This makes your desire socialism rather than communism. Socialism is maligned by much of the popular media here as well, on the (quite correct) belief that the huddled masses don't understand it and will do as they are told by their betters, but that doesn't make it the same thing. What reigns currently is more akin to "national socialism", corporations in bed with and eventually owning the government.

Comment: Re:The real solution is really much simpler. (Score 1) 205

by Mal-2 (#48552911) Attached to: The Failed Economics of Our Software Commons

Problem: when companies buy off the shelf, they get something NOW. As soon as they spend the money, they get a product. If they invest, they get a product... when? Next week? Next month? Next year? This is why most places don't develop, they just buy and stack. It costs more most of the time, but you always get SOMETHING.

Comment: Re:Squarer is better. (Score 1) 330

by Mal-2 (#48445079) Attached to: Eizo Debuts Monitor With 1:1 Aspect Ratio

I do rotate a monitor (2048x1152 rather than 1080p), and there is another problem you aren't accounting for: the vertical "sweet spot" of TN panels is much smaller than the horizontal sweet spot. This means that in Landscape mode, the separation between your eyes doesn't matter much, but in Portrait mode, it can become quite significant. The result is that the display looks different to each eye, which can be a very disorienting effect. The only position where this more or less goes away is dead on axis, where the angular difference of each eye matches. The color shift is still different, but at least the brightness and contrast roughly align.This can be quite troublesome though, as I'm talking about a head shift of an inch in either direction making the display go from dead sharp to flickering rapidly between single-eye images. I don't know about you, but I don't sit that still.

Comment: Report every press release from the government. (Score 4, Insightful) 316

Make this such an onerous burden that the ISPs are forced to either withdraw their support, or just censor everything that is flagged without checking it. To do this, report everything that is remotely political as "extremist" and "radicalizing". When the politicians themselves are the targets of their bad law, they just might take a hint.

Comment: Re:Clockwise Question. (Score 1) 61

by Mal-2 (#48348807) Attached to: The Largest Kuiper Belt Object Isn't Pluto Or Eris, But Triton

Phobos is in a similar situation despite having a prograde orbit: it's low enough that it orbits faster than Mars rotates (appearing from the surface to cross the sky in the opposite direction as Deimos), so the tidal drag that is pulling the more distant and slower-orbiting Deimos into an even higher orbit is pulling Phobos into a lower one.

In other words, Phobos orbits below the level of an areosynchronous orbit and outruns its own tidal bulge, which means this tidal bulge pulls back on it. (I just wanted an excuse to use the word "areosynchronous".)

Comment: Re:Who wrote that birdcall? DMCA that chirp! (Score 1) 80

by Mal-2 (#48315265) Attached to: Birds Found Using Human Musical Scales For the First Time

Bach was promoting well temperament, NOT equal temperament. Well temperament was much closer to equal than the meantone that preceded it, closing up the wolf interval Eb to G# and making all keys playable. It did not make them all equal. Keys far distant from C were still more discordant than F-C-G-D.

It's also true that while it's possible to formulate an equal temperament in terms of beats per second between fifths, this depends on having a uniform starting pitch (like our modern A=440), which ALSO did not exist in those days. "A" could be anywhere from 390 to 460+, depending on which town you went to. (Anywhere from a whole tone flat to a semitone sharp.) A tuning regime using beats cannot survive such variances.

Equal temperament didn't become prominent until late in the 19th century. Well temperaments for keyboards were still the standard, and instruments not limited to fixed pitches (including voices) still have a tendency to drift toward 5-limit Just Intonation, even when playing with equal-tempered accompaniment. Barbershop quartets even use 7-limit JI. Solo lines and melodies not doubled by fixed-pitch instruments tend toward Pythagorean (which is really 3-limit JI) -- which I suspect is also what the birds are doing.

Comment: Re:Pretty sure (Score 1) 80

by Mal-2 (#48315239) Attached to: Birds Found Using Human Musical Scales For the First Time

I would guess these birds would use Pythagorean or Just Intonation, not a well temperament. Even meantone is significantly bent from the natural harmonic series in order to close up the thirds in the keys close to C, and well temperaments come even later and are much closer to equal temperament than is meantone.

Birds probably don't worry about modulation on a twelve-note keyboard. There's no reason they need to be consistent even if they do transpose. A doesn't always have to be 440.

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