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Comment: Asymmetric Encryption (Score 1) 176

by Nautical Insanity (#33398958) Attached to: BlackBerry Battle In India Going Down To the Wire

Why should RIM even have the encryption keys? If they really wanted their customer's information to be secure, wouldn't they implement RSA in their communications? That way when governments come knocking, they can just say "Sorry, but these aren't the encryption keys you're looking for."

Comment: Re:LINUX rounds numbers fine (Score 2, Insightful) 764

by Nautical Insanity (#33180542) Attached to: Microsoft Losing Big To Apple On Campus

Only Windows 7 barfs and never MacOS, that's why They took FORCE QUIT off the main drop down menu right? (Oh wait....hey!)

Apple can't guarantee the quality of the applications you run on your mac. The force quit is there when an application hangs. Blaming Apple for putting a force quit option in their OS is like blaming Lexus for putting air bags in their cars because with all the other safety features a Lexus has, it's uncrashable!

If you're going to bash on Apple for karma, at least find valid talking points.

Comment: Re:The only feasible explanation... (Score 1) 228

by Nautical Insanity (#33121888) Attached to: String Quartets On the Web?

That depends on the library. I've been to libraries with dedicated listening sections and then there are libraries like mine that will let you take CDs home (LPs have to stay.) I don't know this for certain, but I suspect that the policy is based more on the fact that the library is concerned about resources going missing. In the case of the library where I attend, forcing people to listen to recordings in the building would be completely impractical. I estimate they circulate at least a hundred albums on a slow day and setting up listening stations to accommodate that many listeners would be as ridiculous as forcing them to keep all musical scores in the building as well.

Comment: Re:The only feasible explanation... (Score 1) 228

by Nautical Insanity (#33121818) Attached to: String Quartets On the Web?

According to this educational purposes are covered under the fair use doctrine. As a music student I could legitimately claim that copying library CDs is a necessary part of my studies. However, I am not a lawyer either so I don't know how well that claim would hold up in court, especially with the RIAA salivating at the mouth just thinking of eliminating the fair use doctrine.

Likewise, I don't know if a non-music student could stand by that claim in court. Luckily, a lot of classical recordings, particularly the hard-to-find ones are produced by small, independent, and less litigious recording companies not part of the RIAA.

Comment: Re:The only feasible explanation... (Score 5, Informative) 228

by Nautical Insanity (#33120088) Attached to: String Quartets On the Web?

As a student studying classical music at a conservatory I can testify to the OP's plight. You may be able to find tons of recordings on iTunes of Beethoven's 5th symphony, but you may not be able to find a recording of the Tomasi Bassoon Concerto. Also, classical musicians and listeners often don't just want any recording of a given work. A lot of the recordings you find on iTunes are done by 2nd-tier European radio symphonies. Often people look for recordings done by specific orchestras or even specific historic recordings. My teacher has collected 33 different recordings of the opening to the Rite of Spring, 17 of them conducted by Stravinsky, 2 of them are rehearsals featuring Stravinsky singing the opening bassoon solo.

If you're lucky enough to be a student at a university with a good music school, you can get access to a huge selection of lesser-marketed recordings. I'm not a copyright lawyer so I can't say if ripping them is exercising fair use under the guise of education or not. If you're in a major city, your public library is also likely to have a large selection.

If that fails and you're looking for recordings that feature some sort of instrumental solo work, a Google search for the piece may turn up a performer who's recorded it but may not be actively marketing their album. Most likely, they'd be happy to get an e-mail from someone interested in listening to their music. Some may even mail it to you for free, just excited to have some publicity. Also, most instruments have their own societies with mailing lists. For example, bassoonists are part of the International Double Reed Society. A question to the society about where to find a recording may yield positive results. Also if you're having trouble finding something, there's a good chance other members of the society are too.

If you're looking for works by an obscure living composer, e-mailing the composer can be an option. Casually asking William Bolcom or John Williams for their music is an exercise in futility, but a lot of composers are struggling to get recognition. If their piece doesn't have a studio recording, chances are they made a recording of one of the performances for their records and would be happy to send it your way.

A last resort would be the Naxos Music Library. A lot of universities have subscriptions to the online database. It can be hard to find the portal on the university's website to connect to it however. If you're not a student, then it's only available with a subscription fee for streaming classical music. They have an incredible selection, however.

Finally, if you've ascertained with complete certainty that there exists no recording at all of the piece and it means that much to you...COMMISSION ONE! I'm dead serious. As a music student I can testify that there are oodles of young, talented classical musicians out there who'd love to take on a project such as that. If you live near a good music school, that's where I'd start. Faculty are a good place to ask about putting together a project as they can help with recruiting. Generally they'll pass on your offer to their students and other relevant faculty, provided you make your case well why this given piece should be recorded. Students may do this for free, but you're more likely to get the creme of the school if you offer to pay them. Music students will play on the (relative) cheap. Figure a bare minimum of $15-20 a service per musician plus $5 for every hour that service lasts past the first hour. You can reduce that with the promise of food.

In summary, finding classical music isn't necessarily easy, particularly if you want to be particular about it. However, it is possible provided you're willing to be outgoing and connect with the community.

Comment: Re:Overregulation (Score 1) 635

by Nautical Insanity (#33074148) Attached to: Nuclear Energy Now More Expensive Than Solar

This has been said before but it can't be said enough: The disposal of nuclear waste is a politically manufactured problem. Reprocessing pulls further fissionable material from the waste, produces scientifically and technologically useful isotopes, and vastly reduces the volume and half-life of material that does need to be disposed of. It's not put in place because the word nuclear is on par with "child pornography" and "terrorism" in its ability to trigger the public's anti-logic generators.

Whether political barriers or the laws of physics are easier to surmount, I don't know. However, if we're making an argument of "what people should do," then obviously we should ignore the political and educational difficulties and focus on what the laws of physics permit.

Comment: Re:Good idea in theory... (Score 1) 269

by Nautical Insanity (#32692004) Attached to: Senate Panel Approves Cybersecurity Bill

That's actually the point of the provision to sever all ISPs instead of severing sections of the nation selectively. It's supposed to make the disconnect as economically painful as possible. No leader would ever venture to touch the option unless it was desperately necessary on a national scale for its intended purpose. To attempt to use it as censorship would be suicide. If that makes the option too toxic to be used at all, so be it, we're back where we started. And if it were ever used you could be certain that the government would restore things as soon as possible as every day it's in place is billions of dollars down the drain.

Comment: Re:Good idea in theory... (Score 2, Insightful) 269

by Nautical Insanity (#32690390) Attached to: Senate Panel Approves Cybersecurity Bill

Much like the old guys at the Whitehouse I think you've been watching too many Hollywood movies.

This was not a Hollywood movie. I will agree that the scenarios where this could be abused far outnumber the number of scenarios where this bill would be useful. However, it is impossible to prove that there exists no scenario where this power would be necessary.

Even if there was some kind of "super virus" that was taking out routing on the internet, shutting the internet seems about as effective as killing the patient to save their leg.

An analogy to counter yours would be the treatment of heartworms in dogs. If you take appropriate preventative measures there shouldn't be a problem. However if you fail at that, the treatment for heartworms is a small dosage of arsenic.

I can think of many cases where the government could happily abuse it for political reasons - particularly if they had the power to shutdown political opposition in order to "protect the public from terrorism."

And here I agree with you. As I pointed out in the OP, Japan for many years (not sure if they're still doing it) used the nebulous term "emergency" to circumvent spending limits in their constitution. The goal of my post was to point out a way the bill could be crafted that would help ensure that it wasn't abused.

That said, I have little faith that the congresscritters wouldn't leave a loophole open for them to use this power politically. Hell, the bill itself is a political game by Liberman to tout how he's tough on terror. Even without loopholes, I doubt the government would have the integrity to follow its own laws. However, that does not mean that some central coordination of ISPs in the case of a real emergency couldn't help stop the threat.

Comment: Good idea in theory... (Score 5, Interesting) 269

by Nautical Insanity (#32689332) Attached to: Senate Panel Approves Cybersecurity Bill

I'm probably crusin' for a brusin' by saying this, but there probably should be some form of last defense for computer systems throughout the nation. In the event of a highly-destructive fast-spreading virus, being able to shut off all connection at the ISP level would buy enough time for security researchers to find a way to negate the threat.

That said, I have qualms about the implementation. Some proposals:

1) The killswitch needs to be an all-or-nothing proposition. Either all ISPs are mandated to shut down or none. The economic magnitude of such a decision would force any internet shutdown to be only used in the face of an even worse threat.

2) The requirements for activating the shutdown need to be more specific than "an emergency." Japan was able to spend itself into debt by repeated use of "emergency" spending. The requirements for a shutdown of the internet should be a clear and widespread danger to computer systems.

3) 120 days is far too long of a time to have before the decision should come up for review. Four months without computer-to-computer communication that has become integral to the economy is far to long to be granted without oversight.

I have not yet had a chance to read the PROPOSED bill. Note that this story is about the bill making it out of committee, not becoming law. Does anyone have a link to the text of the proposed bill?

Businesses

EA Introduces "Online Pass" To Get In On Used Games Market 223

Posted by Soulskill
from the gee-thanks dept.
EA Sports has unveiled a new feature that they hope will help them get a piece of the lucrative used games market: the Online Pass. Each of their new titles will come with a one-time code that allows access to "premium" content and features. Players who buy the games used can get the same content, but will need to pay $10 for the privilege. "According to EA, the content can include anything from title updates and downloads to features like online leagues — and even online gameplay and multiplayer modes. ... EA will offer 10-day trials of Pass content so that users can see what they would be getting. So far, EA seems to be limiting the premium add-on experiment to its sports portfolio. ... The company has apparently gained the support of retailer GameStop, which has been watching with a close eye efforts on the part of publishers to discourage its thriving used games business. According to the retailer, encouraging premium content add-ons still benefits GameStop, since it sells PlayStation Network and Microsoft Points cards. It praised EA's Online Pass as 'forward-thinking.'"

Comment: Do Moviegoers Want More Romantic Comedies? (Score 2, Insightful) 462

by Nautical Insanity (#32095202) Attached to: Do Gamers Want Simpler Games?

Generalizing gamers in this way is like generalizing moviegoers. People who play video games are an increasingly diverse group. The phrase "Every gamer wants $X" is either deceit or wishful thinking. Game publishers would love to have their customers bundled into a neat and easily-marketable demographic. However, as many /. arguments over what makes a great game can attest, every person who plays a video games has a different expectation of what the experience should provide.

"Why can't we ever attempt to solve a problem in this country without having a 'War' on it?" -- Rich Thomson, talk.politics.misc

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