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Comment: Re:I'm an OK violinist (Score 5, Informative) 469

"Few multiples" of $10K won't buy you much in the range of around half the orchestral instruments. You'd be flat out trying to pay $30K for a pair of Clarinets or a trumpet, but the less popular instruments can get very, very pricey. As a bassoonist, many of our top of the line instruments are rather expensive. A good Fox or Heckel will be around $30K - 50K USD before custom keywork is factored in (can add up to $10K to the base price). My Fox Contra was, 10 years ago USD $30K so it would be significantly more than that to replace it now. If I was to purchase the same instruments here in Oz about triple that price in AUD.

Double basses and 'cellos also are upwards of $50K in the USA for good ones. Harpsichords also up over $30K for a reasonable one that wasn't assembled from a kit (lots in kit form for $15-20K). Harps also waaay up there in price. That's just from instruments I'm personally familiar with that I either play or someone in my family plays.

Comment: Re:Don't they have an fiber to the node cable netw (Score 1) 229

by Mithrandir (#45613457) Attached to: Australia's $44B Broadband Network May Settle For Fiber Near the Home

Friend of mine just moved into a new house that has NBN on it in NW Sydney. Fibre goes all the way to a termination box inside the garage and then he has standard cat6 ethernet ports connected to the fibre modem. No ability to have a fibre switch in there according to him.

Comment: Re:Downgrade rights (Score 1) 671

by Mithrandir (#40955135) Attached to: CowboyNeal Weighs In On the Windows 8 "Metro" GUI

Major problem there is the same as the mobile market - you have to write very fundamentally different code for a mobile and desktop. Some fascinating figures came out of this year's Siggraph. On the desktop you typically have up to 300W of power dedicated to graphics hardware. On a mobile device you have at most 1W (phone) or 5W (tablet). Those numbers will _never_ go up because anything more than that starts to fry your pocket or hand. So, the optimisation techniques that one uses to write a desktop app or game are extremely different to those written for a mobile device. There's just no getting around that at all.

One of the other interesting factors is that from a developer and graphics perspective now, except for the desktop gaming market, D3D is all but gone. I saw one mention of D3D at Siggraph this year, and that was because the chair of the panel was from MS. All those tablet/phone game writers were way over in the OpenGL ES camp. MS is trying to force the issue again like it's 1999 and now allowing OpenGL drivers on Win8, so you'll see how quickly the game studios will react to that - Even Valve were demoing OpenGL games this year that had better performance on Linux than on Windows on the same hardware according to their statements at one talk. Apart from business desktops, I don't see much more future market for the Microsoft and PCs. The games of interest are now appearing on mobiles and those developers are definitely not in the MS camp.

Summed up, it's a failed strategy and will do more to make people move away from MS than towards it.

Comment: Re:Maybe they did it wrong... (Score 1) 395

by Mithrandir (#34119226) Attached to: A Decade of Agile Programming — Has It Delivered?

You'd be surprised at how often point #2 cannot be assumed to be true. There are some personality types that just cannot see big picture stuff, despite how much you work on training them to see it. These are the detailed-oriented people who become fixated on minutae that they can't see big picture stuff.

Comment: Re:most people arent wired for math (Score 1) 427

by Mithrandir (#31619018) Attached to: BC Prof Suggests Young Children Need Less Formal Math, Not More

I'm wondering what that might make room for in the pre-7th curriculum.

Suggestions?

Have a look at what the Motesorri style of teaching does. I have a few relatives that are teachers (active and retired) in traditional schools and the younger ones are sending their kids there, rather than through the traditional system.

The Matrix

How The Matrix Online Went Wrong 144

Posted by Soulskill
from the not-like-this dept.
As the July 31st deadline for The Matrix Online's closure looms, Gamer Limit is running a story discussing the game's shortcomings, as well as some of the decisions that led to its failure. Quoting: "I honestly thought the writers must have absolutely hated the remaining cast of The Matrix Trilogy or something, because they constantly seemed to go out of their way to phase out existing characters in favor of newer ones. The cast overall basically made me, as a player, feel distant from the main storyline and made the entire game feel like a Matrix side story instead of the continuation it was meant to be. ... When MxO first launched there was an entire team dedicated to playing the game as Agents and other key characters as a means to further in-game events and directly interact with players, giving players the feeling that they truly were making a difference. After the SOE buyout of the game the LESIG team was reduced to playing minor characters before eventually being phased out and replaced with a Live Event Team (LET) comprised purely of volunteers."

Comment: Re:How many lives have been lost? (Score 1) 249

by Poppa (#28623357) Attached to: US Finalizes Stem Cell Research Guidelines

It was *not* banned. What was restricted was the federal funding for the research.

There was no restriction in private companies being able to do the research. What is truly shameful, is that the Liberals have used this issue for political gain, by obfuscating the issue as you have by implying that all research has been banned.

Liberals think all problems can be solved by sending men with guns to take your hard earned money for their social programs. If the research was so promising, then there are a number of companies that would jump at the chance to make a profit off of it. Pharmaceutical companies have deep pockets.

For shame, Liberals.

Comment: Re:Going to be more changes soon (Score 1) 151

by Poppa (#28399437) Attached to: Visualizing the Ideological History of SCOTUS

Look closer. Obama is popular, but his policies are not.

Most voters (58%) say the nation is heading down the wrong track:
http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/mood_of_america/right_direction_wrong_track/right_direction_or_wrong_track

Voters now trust Republicans more than Democrats on six out of 10 key issues, including the top issue of the economy.
http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/mood_of_america/trust_on_issues/trust_on_issues

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that just 49% of voters see health care as a very important issue. That is down from 61% in early May and 62% in April. This is the first time since August 2007 that the majority of voters do not see the issue as very important.
http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/mood_of_america/importance_of_issues2/importance_of_issues

Fifty-one percent (51%) of Americans favor an across-the-board tax cut for all Americans to stimulate the U.S. economy, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey.
http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/business/economic_stimulus_package/june_2009/51_say_cut_everybody_s_taxes_to_stimulate_the_economy

Most voters (53%) believe increases in government spending hurt the economy, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey.
http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/business/taxes/june_2009/53_say_more_government_spending_hurts_the_economy

And then there is the Generic Congressional Ballot which is an indication whether voters would vote for their district's candidate. It is tied right now and the Republicans actually took a two-point lead for a single week in the middle of March. Since mid-April, the parties have been roughly even.
http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/mood_of_america/congressional_ballot/generic_congressional_ballot

The Obama Apologists should be concerned with the trends.

Comment: President Obama'a Response ... (Score 1) 368

by Poppa (#28309319) Attached to: WHO Declares H1N1's Spread Officially a Pandemic

to this airborne epidemic, was to have brochures handed out at airports and tell us to wash our hands. Whereas, other countries had heat-sensing machines where they would quarantine people that had fevers, and hand out masks.

Maybe someone needs to explain to him how these things are spread?

He got lucky, again. I hope for our sake that his luck holds out during the rest of his term.

Comment: "We know what is best for you ..." (Score 1) 1186

by Poppa (#28028227) Attached to: US To Require That New Cars Get 42 MPG By 2016

And the Democrats continue with their nanny-state mentality. We are too stupid to choose fuel efficient vehicles, so we must be forced to do so.

With Big Government, you get more laws and less freedom.

I choose to put 5k miles/year on my 15MPG SUV and 10k miles/year on my 45MPG Harley.

But the Democrats are working to eliminate that choice.

Government

+ - Obama to shut down the Internet

Submitted by
Poppa
Poppa writes "if this bill passes: http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=s111-773 SEC. 18. CYBERSECURITY RESPONSIBILITIES AND AUTHORITY. The President-- (2) may declare a cybersecurity emergency and order the limitation or shutdown of Internet traffic to and from any compromised Federal Government or United States critical infrastructure information system or network; (6) may order the disconnection of any Federal Government or United States critical infrastructure information systems or networks in the interest of national security; Are you sure you want your President to have this authority when he doesn't even know that his airplanes are harassing NYC?"
Moon

Volunteers Recover Lunar Orbiter 1 Photographs 150

Posted by timothy
from the file-systems-are-important dept.
mikael writes "The LA Times is reporting on the efforts of a group of volunteers with funding from NASA to recover high resolution photographs of the Moon taken by Lunar Orbiter 1 in the 1960s. The collection of 2000 images is stored entirely on magnetic tape which can only be read by a $330,000 FR-900 Ampex magnetic tape reader. The team consisted of Nancy Evans, NASA's archivist who ensured that the 20-foot by 10-foot x 6-foot collection of magnetic tapes were never thrown out, Dennis Wingo, Keith Cowing of NASA Watch and Ken Zim who had experience of repairing video equipment. Two weeks ago, the second image, of the Copernicus Crater, was recovered."

The meta-Turing test counts a thing as intelligent if it seeks to devise and apply Turing tests to objects of its own creation. -- Lew Mammel, Jr.

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