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Comment: Give it a whirl (Score 1) 97

by RyoShin (#49625151) Attached to: GOG Announces Open Beta For New Game Distribution Platform

While I don't have many games from GOG (I have no qualms with Steam and a huge backlog already), this could be worthwhile, especially if they beat out Origin and UPlay in the quality department. Doubly so if they can match Steam Sales. I put my name in for a beta invite and hope it goes well.

I can't find it in the announcement, but I read somewhere else that part of GOG Galaxy will be downloading the installers for games to your computer, so you can install them outside Galaxy or if the service ever terminates.

Comment: Re:They want to monetize it (Score 3, Interesting) 53

by AthanasiusKircher (#49624723) Attached to: Twitter Stops Users From Playing DOS Games Inside Tweets

Back in the mists of time, it was understood that no one was guaranteed any profit from any publicized work. The idea was, that IF there WAS a profit, then the author(s) should get some of it.

Umm, when was that exactly? Wide-scale publication was not possible until the invention of movable type in the mid-1400s. The first copyright privilege after that was granted in 1486, and others quickly followed in the 1490s and early 1500s. They were almost exclusively granted to PRINTERS, not authors.

It would take a couple more centuries before authors (not printers) tended to be granted copyright and thus had primary control over profit.

(I of course take your point that Twitter making money off of this would be copyright infringement in the modern sense. But your idyllic "back in the mists of time" when no one was guaranteed profit and authors got some of it... well, it wasn't quite like that.)

Comment: Re:Is the Lobster an auto-post? (Score 1) 246

by RyoShin (#49624613) Attached to: Is It Worth Learning a Little-Known Programming Language?

The major difference, and the problem with Nerval's Lobster, is that prior to being purchased by Dice all submissions for their prior owners and sister sub-properties (GeekNet/Andover/SourceForge) would have a disclaimer attached to it so long as I can recall. This is no longer the case; the only way to know that this is a bought-and-paid-for placement ('cause Dice bought Slashdot) is that they're always "submitted" by Nerval's Lobster. Newer visitors won't know about the potential conflict of interest because it's no longer acknowledged.

It would be nice if they just made Nerval's Lobster an editor account so the robot could post itself, but they won't because they know that thousands of regular /. users will just block that editor; rightfully so, IMO.

Comment: Re:works differently in the states. (Score 2) 249

by ScentCone (#49623433) Attached to: USBKill Transforms a Thumb Drive Into an "Anti-Forensic" Device

Why do you need a source for something that happens constantly.

Because everyone knows you're selling a myth that it "happens constantly." That's why you can't point to a list of examples of it happening "constantly" and instead go right for the race card in order to distract.

Comment: Re:Depends how you evaluate the curve (Score 3, Insightful) 398

by AthanasiusKircher (#49622665) Attached to: The Programming Talent Myth
I agree with you that the analogy with music and programming is not exact. HOWEVER...

I think that the music equivalent of programming would be something like song writing or composing. With playing a song, your are really just following the instructions that somebody else gave you, like following a recipe in a cook book.

I think that's a bit of a misunderstanding of how one gets to the "top tier" of musicians, and for that matter, how one becomes a great chef.

It what you say were true, no violinist would ever bother recording another version of some piece of music. In fact, nobody would ever bother even going to see a concert of a standard piece, since there would be nothing new -- it would just be the same "script" or "recipe," and most well-known pieces already have arguably a number of "perfect" recordings (at least in terms of "playing all the notes in the right rhythm and in tune" or whatever your standard is).

No pop star would ever bother recording a cover of an older song. After all, a great singer already did it.

But of course that isn't true. Composers don't generally write every single detail of interpretation in a score, just like there's a lot of "unwritten knowledge" in most recipes about how to actually produce good results. Beyond that, music is a process that happens in real-time. A skilled performer will be sensitive to everything from how their instrument sounds that day to the quality of acoustics in the playing environment to the fact that today they just happened to play the high note in that first theme a little stronger, and maybe they'll bring that note out again a little later because it creates a cool connection (which listeners may not consciously be aware of, but it suddenly brings out an emotion or creates a feeling of continuity which changes the piece).

Performance is an artform at the highest levels. You may not be interested in such nuances, and that's fine. But people who spend hours and hours every day of their lives practicing instruments aren't just "learning notes." They are developing techniques, learning ways to produce better interpretations of music (beyond the basic blueprint in the score), gaining a facility to make real-time adjustments that will create a better experience for listeners at a live event, etc. Similarly, a skilled chef may follow the same instructions you do from a cookbook, but the result in quality may be vastly different. The execution often makes the difference between mediocre and truly great.

I've had people tell me that a particular piece of music was worthless, even when played by top performers who can do flawless execution of the notes. I've then played them a recording of the exact same piece (with all the same notes, played from the same score) played by another performer -- and I've had people say they suddenly thought the piece was amazing... they heard things they never did before, or it had a kind of "energy" that made it enjoyable or whatever.

Anyhow -- this isn't just about music. It's recognizing the value of performance in all walks of life. It's also about recognizing how great artists, whether they generate a product or whether they perform on a stage, are able to tap into dynamic and creative processes to produce effects that are much better than others. You may have been given the greatest set of Powerpoint slides in the world, and you may basically follow a script for a presentation -- but there can still be a huge difference between a completely engaging live presentation and a crappy one that "just follows the instructions that somebody else gave you."

I know you probably didn't mean to denigrate performers, but I think we often tend to think of what's written down as the "primary stuff," no matter what line of work you're in. But there is a lot of knowledge and skill that's passed down orally and learned verbally or through tactile/kinesthetic engagement which makes the difference between following a recipe and cooking like a chef.

And, in that sense, I think there are some interesting analogues between music performance and programming -- because a lot of what makes great programmers great is their ability to see patterns and connections that can't just be expressed directly in some book on programming techniques or syntax or algorithms. That's the kind of knowledge that often comes from a combination of talent and experience -- the kind of experience you get by spending hours each day tackling various problems in slightly different ways over and over.

Comment: Re:works differently in the states. (Score 3, Insightful) 249

by ScentCone (#49621867) Attached to: USBKill Transforms a Thumb Drive Into an "Anti-Forensic" Device

"In case the police come busting in" is a condition typically followed by a hailstorm of bullets here in the United States

I see. You live inside a bad television episode? How many hacker apartment door breakdowns followed by "hailstorms of bullets" can you cite from this month, here in this country of over 300,000,000 people? Please be specific.

Comment: Re:He's also an interesting candidate for this (Score 1) 392

by RyoShin (#49616551) Attached to: Bernie Sanders, Presidential Candidate and H-1B Skeptic

If he makes it to the last rounds of the DNC primaries, I can see his Dem opponents (with backing from the GOP if they see him as the strongest possible opponent) making a big ruckus about his "socialism".

I'd like to see him brand himself as a socialistic capitalist, or capitalistic socialist, to directly take on that eventual attack and also confuse the fuck out of a number of conservative voters. "How can he be a capitalist if he's a socialist?!"

Comment: Re:One word: Cloud (Score 2) 245

But if you want to be scientific about it, there are lots of statistics that show that black people are more likely to be stopped by the cops

Yeah, and if you want to be scientific about that, and be honest, you'll see that cops stop a lot more people in high crime areas, and that poor urban areas tend to have lots of crime. And that some of those poor areas have a larger black population. If those areas weren't marinated in serious crime, there wouldn't be so many warrants out, stolen cars, cars full of contraband, and the rest.

In Baltimore, New York, and most other urban areas, the cops and DA are under a lot of pressure to get "results," i.e., mess up somebody's life.

What? The people whose lives are messed up are those who have to live in areas like west Baltimore where local thugs make daily life miserable for everyone else who lives there or tries to run a business there. So yes, the cops are asked to "get results," because the absence of any results would make those areas completely lost to civilization, rather than just sucking generally. Would you rather that the cops were told NOT to arrest known violent gang members, serial assault and battery specialists, and the like? What would you have them do?

Comment: Re:Sanders amazes me (Score 2) 392

by ScentCone (#49608045) Attached to: Bernie Sanders, Presidential Candidate and H-1B Skeptic

how much do they pay you to write this shit for them?

That's a very insightful way to address the substance of the matter. Obviously you're not willing to say the actual numbers or description of the situation is incorrect ... you're just mad at someone for pointing it out? I get that. But you're not really making any sort of lucid point.

Comment: Re:Sanders amazes me (Score 1) 392

by ScentCone (#49608035) Attached to: Bernie Sanders, Presidential Candidate and H-1B Skeptic

SS and Medicare do not transfer wealth.

What? Each year, people's wages are taxed into those programs, and funds are transferred, that year, to the people who receive it. There is no "savings account." There is no "I paid into Social Security, so I'll get X when I retire." The amount that retired/disabled people get from that entitlement program is determined legislatively each year, and if you bother to read the fine print in your SS statement, you'll see that they explicitly remind you that there is no guarantee you'll get any future benefits.

Each year, funds are transferred from the people who pay to the people who collect.

Comment: Re:Sanders amazes me (Score 1) 392

by ScentCone (#49604709) Attached to: Bernie Sanders, Presidential Candidate and H-1B Skeptic

it's a distraction by statistic

Nonsense. It's not a distraction, it's different topic than the ebb and flow of entitlement programs like Social Security and Medicare (which are transfer welfare taxes). Income taxes are what pay for all discretionary spending (the military, federal agencies like the EPA, the FAA, the FCC and a jillion other activities). There's a good reason we look at all of those differently than we do the entitlement programs.

And ... capital gains? You do realize that a whole lot of middle class people also earn capital gains, right? Directly or indirectly, through things like mutual funds. Warren Buffet's secretary can put a pizza's worth of cash every month into some investments when she's young, and can and should be looking forward to earning some money from that. You know, just like him: taking money on which she's already paid taxes, and putting it entirely at risk in an investment that stimulates the economy and if and when it happens to pay off, paying more taxes on that activity.

If Warren Buffet loses money in an investment? He doesn't get to write that off against his income taxes - he just loses it, plain and simple. But he's smart, and usually makes good investments. If he's making money, the money he risked is being put to very good use in an active economy. That's the entire reason why we reward that risk taking with a lower tax rate - because we want more of that risk taking to happen.

All of which has nothing to do with transfer entitlement taxes.

Comment: Re:Sanders amazes me (Score 1, Informative) 392

by ScentCone (#49604033) Attached to: Bernie Sanders, Presidential Candidate and H-1B Skeptic

they never actually do pay the taxes they claim

Nonsense. Well-off people pay the vast majority of the income taxes in this country. Nearly half the people in the country pay no income taxes at all (though they still get to vote on what happens to the money collected from the other people who do).

The top 5% of earners pay almost 60% of the taxes. The top 25% of earners pay over 86% of the taxes. The bottom HALF of the country pays under 3% of those taxes. So how do you come up with "never actually do pay" - ? These numbers come from the IRS. The people who cash the checks you say aren't being written.

I don't want to achieve immortality through my work. I want to achieve immortality through not dying. -- Woody Allen