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Comment: Regulation is ok, but the EU can't be a bad actor (Score 1) 245

by cpt kangarooski (#49476387) Attached to: EU To Hit Google With Antitrust Charges

Google does have an effective monopoly in search, and it's not a bad idea to have some degree of regulation in place to make sure that it doesn't harm consumers. (Though nonsense like a 'right to be forgotten' is going too far, and should be dropped)

The problem is that that very well may not be the EU's only motive here. At about the same time that the charges were announced, Gunther Oettinger, the EU's Digital Commissioner gave a speech where he said:

A great challenge is also Europe's position in the development of the next digital platforms that will gradually replace the current Internet and mobile platforms. We have so far missed many opportunities in this field and our online businesses are today dependent on a few non-EU players world-wide: this must not be the case again in the future. ... We need European industry 4.0 champions to win the global game in industry 4.0. ... Industry in Europe should take the lead and become a major contributor to the next generation of digital platforms that will replace today's Web search engines, operating systems and social networks.

Maintaining a level playing field and ensuring fair competition is one thing. Using the law to rig the market in order to engage in protectionism, however, is not acceptable. If the EU wants to pursue Google, they're going to need to do so in a way that is justifiably beyond reproach. Otherwise it's relatively easy for Google to restructure the way it does business internationally to avoid the EU from having any power over them, while still offering its services to persons in the EU, and to have many people cheer them on in the process.

Comment: Re:Why the bad rap? (Score 1) 111

True, though it could well impact the estimates of methane emissions worldwide. If there's some unexpected source of methane, there may be more. Or it may indicate that if some sources are producing more then others are producing less, or that that methane atmospheric lifetime is different than we thought.

So it's scientific curiosity, but it may well end up having an impact on our understanding of climate change due to greenhouse gases, beyond the immediate production at this site.

Comment: Re:Systemic and widespread? (Score 1) 489

by drerwk (#49440317) Attached to: The Courage of Bystanders Who Press "Record"
It is a little more extensive in Texas - you can use deadly force against a fleeing robber to recover property that could not be replaced.

Sec. 9.42. DEADLY FORCE TO PROTECT PROPERTY. A person is justified in using deadly force against another to protect land or tangible, movable property: (1) if he would be justified in using force against the other under Section 9.41; and (2) when and to the degree he reasonably believes the deadly force is immediately necessary: (A) to prevent the other's imminent commission of arson, burglary, robbery, aggravated robbery, theft during the nighttime, or criminal mischief during the nighttime; or (B) to prevent the other who is fleeing immediately after committing burglary, robbery, aggravated robbery, or theft during the nighttime from escaping with the property; and (3) he reasonably believes that: (A) the land or property cannot be protected or recovered by any other means; or (B) the use of force other than deadly force to protect or recover the land or property would expose the actor or another to a substantial risk of death or serious bodily injury.

Comment: Re:Keep digging you own hole (Score 1) 166

by jonadab (#49423455) Attached to: The Arrival of Man-Made Earthquakes
I live in Ohio. We have 3.x and even 4.x quakes, I'm told, "all the time" (albeit, not nearly as often as California).

I've never felt an earthquake, nor do I know anyone who has ever felt one of these 3.x or 4.x quakes. Back in the eighties (I want to say '86 maybe) we had a 5.x, which of course was all over the news for weeks. I knew several people who claimed to have felt that one, including my father. Invariably, they were sitting at the time, and not on a padded surface like a couch or recliner, either. People who were outdoors walking around at the time -- including me -- felt nothing. We could only hear about it later and envy our friends who had actually experienced this amazing once-in-a-lifetime phenomenon.

I don't doubt that it's /theoretically/ possible to feel a 3.0, under perfect laboratory conditions. But under normal real-world conditions, there's no way you're ever going to notice it. It's way too subtle.

Comment: Re:Web sites (Score 1) 277

That's partly Amazon's fault. They nag you to provide reviews. And not just star ratings, but reviews; IIRC you can't submit the star rating without at least a few words. So at least some people end up writing crappy reviews just to turn the nag off, and hoping that they're helpful, even though ones like this obviously aren't.

+ - New NetHack Variant: NetHack Fourk->

Submitted by jonadab
jonadab (583620) writes "A new NetHack variant has been brought into existence. This variant is called NetHack Fourk, and it is based on the NetHack 4 codebase. The focus of the variant is on balance refinements and on differentiating existing content (roles, monsters, levels, etc.)"
Link to Original Source

Comment: Maskirovka (Score 1) 269

by jfengel (#49357937) Attached to: How Professional Russian Trolls Operate

So much so that they even have a name for it: Maskirovka. The term was originally used just for camouflage, and the uses of it seem entirely in keeping with ordinary warfare. The disinformation campaign around D-Day would have been a brilliant example of maskirovka.

But the Russians do it before a war, and even during active hostilities as a way to demand that they be treated as if they were non-combatants. It's going on right now, pretending that they aren't engaging in war against Ukraine. It's so traditional in the culture that it's not even really something we can blame them for, exactly. But it means that our actions and reactions have to be calibrated around the fact that this is part of the way they view the world.

Comment: Re:Unfortunately, it's still on piano (Score 1) 59

> And the German word for "piano" is "Klavier".

I don't know about modern German, but in Bach's time any keyboard instrument would be called a Klavier.

However, you are certainly correct about the Well-Tempered Clavier being by design particularly suited, more than any of Bach's other music, to newer instruments that were more closely approaching the modern piano than anything that had come before. That's the whole point of the piece, in fact.

Comment: Re:Unfortunately, it's still on piano (Score 1) 59

> I went to Bach's childhood home and they have a number of his harpsichords

Yes, but those harpsichords were probably all justly intoned for a particular key (not necessarily all for the /same/ particular key, mind you). Well tempered instruments were a relatively new thing in Bach's time, and the instrument most widely associated with well temperament (and later perfectly equal temperament) is the pianoforte.

Most of Bach's works would be better performed on some other instrument -- violin, harpsichord, or in a few cases the pipe organ. The Well-Tempered Clavier is the exception. More than anything else Bach wrote, it really does belong on the piano.

Comment: Re:Unfortunately, it's still on piano (Score 1) 59

The more you study Bach's work, the more you get the impression that he didn't really prefer one instrument over another. The man routinely took pieces that had been originally written for one instrument and reworked them for another. He made violin pieces work on the harpsichord, harpsichord pieces on the pipe organ, organ pieces on the violin, whatever. He really seems to have been more interested in the music itself than in the specific acoustic properties of any particular instrument.

Besides that, of all the works Bach wrote, the WTC specifically is probably the best suited for pianoforte. Virtually every other keyboard instrument available in Bach's time was tuned to a just intonation in almost every case, making them unsuitable to play this particular piece. A justly intoned harpsichord (or a set of justly intoned violins for that matter) would be fine for BWV1079 or 1080, but it clearly wouldn't work at all for WTC.

Comment: Re:It depends (Score 1) 307

Yeah, it depends.

I think I've had five power supplies go bad for every one other component that has failed. So if you count by the number of incidents, definitely PSUs.

But, when a power supply goes bad, you replace it, and *usually* the computer then works just fine.

If you count by the number of hours of my time that have been spent as a result of hardware failures, then obviously hard drives have caused me the most trouble. They're the second most common thing to go bad after the PSU, and you typically have to _at least_ do a full OS reinstall after you replace one, then install updates and applications. That's if the system in question didn't have any data on it that you have to restore from backup, or any significant customization...

FORTUNE'S FUN FACTS TO KNOW AND TELL: A giant panda bear is really a member of the racoon family.