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Comment: Re:Software Patents Are Just Wrong (Score 1) 43

If software patents were around back in the 80's

They were. Commodore used a character set which contained an inverse-video duplicate set to avoid a software patent on the use of exclusive-OR to draw a cursor. Specifically, some drafting company back in the late 70's patented the idea of using XOR to draw a crosshairs, so in the VIC20, C64, and others, the cursor was implemented by periodically alternating the target location between the character located there and its counterpart in the inverse-video half of the character set. Apple avoided this patent by alternating between the character on the screen and a little checkerboard cursor.

Comment: Re:Now it's the grid engineers' problem to solve.. (Score 1) 227

by VanessaE (#46685693) Attached to: Nanodot-Based Smartphone Battery Recharges In 30 Seconds

So put a big, obvious indicator on the charging station that shows a color-coded load level. After a while, EV owners will come to understand it at least enough to know that a high reading means their car will charge slower.

If consumers can figure out those little pinch-the-ends-to-read charge indicators in some batteries, and what a regular traffic signal means at an intersection, they can figure out "green means fast, red means slow" at the charge station and charge up or go elsewhere accordingly.

Stations can even display their capacity reading on their main sign under the price, if they're proud of it anyway.

Comment: Re:The olden days (Score 1) 66

by VanessaE (#46274039) Attached to: Ask "The Fat Man" George Sanger About Music and Computer Games

But a distinction must be made here: Protracker and friends may have had "tracks" that work more or less like a professional studio, but the thing is, the *other* limits of the format meant that making music with a module tracker was a WHOLE different beast than doing it with a recording studio.

With module files/trackers, you could play exactly one sound sample at a time on each track - which is why many of us preferred to call them channels rather than tracks.

Each sound might be a single key on a piano, a single string on a violin, a crash of a cymbal, or whatever. If you needed a chord and you didn't have enough spare channels to play it (which was often the case), then to did it the hard way: you either composed and edited that chord in your favorite sample player/editor program and and loaded the result into your tracker or you sought out someone else who had already done the work... and that's if you only needed one type of chord for just one specific instrument (say, a major chord on a piano). Wait, you need a minor chord for that instrument also? Oops, better go compose/download one. Oh, need a few chords in one of the other instruments? Crap, gotta go do those also.

A module artist had, at most, only 31 sound slots to work with back in the day, so it was pretty easy to run out - and that's before you even start laying down you actual tracks.

With careful attention to note durations and use of the "set sample offset" effect command, you could combine several shorter samples into one "conglomerate" multipurpose sample that you could pick-and-choose from as needed, giving the appearance of more than just 31 samples. Problem is, this came at a price: You couldn't use this trick on anything that might need an effect command, there was no way to set custom sample loop endpoints (that I remember), and you only had 128 kB of sample data per sound slot, so it was only useful for short percussion-like instruments and sound effects.

When you laid down your tracks and assigned pitches, durations, and various effect commands to the samples (I mean the regular stuff like vibrato or portamento) is where the music was actually made.

Newer module formats eliminated the sample lengths, counts, and limits on the numbers of channels, of course.

Comment: Re:Rule of acquisition 18 (Score 1) 888

by VanessaE (#46250455) Attached to: Star Trek Economics

The problem isn't that people want to drag the more successful down to their level. The problem is that the most successful out there barely do anything genuinely good with their money (if at all, and excepting rare cases), and therefore are not doing enough help to raise the poor UP to a better standard of living.

Somewhere I read that if we spent just half as much on housing as we spend on putting non-violent offenders in prison - counting only those who should not BE in prison to begin with, and counting only those who have no homes - we could put a roof over every last person's head in this country, free of charge to those people, and even pay for a social worker to see to that person's social-economic needs (at least, to within that that person is willing to do for themselves, of course). If they fail to get themselves out of their slump, they STILL keep the house, and we as a society come out ahead both economically and socially.

+ - Owner: Vote, your choice: Get rid of Slashdot:Beta OR everyone goes elsewhere-> 1

Submitted by Ying Hu
Ying Hu (704950) writes "Slashdot Beta is not Slashdot:
What was loved about Slashdot does not appear in the new design — those creating the latter, please fire yourself and go work for a commercial consumer site (which we never read, and never will). OUR site should work without JavaScript, and JavaScript that IS used should to do something actually desired by a reader or commenter, not waste our bandwidth and CPU, and electricity, sending CRAP onto our computers. Improvements/ plugins,, won't be enough."

Link to Original Source

Comment: Re: Meet The New Boss (Score 1) 138

by VanessaE (#46119545) Attached to: Obama Nominates Vice Admiral Michael Rogers New NSA Chief

Look, there are four basic ways to get Obama out of office, and you know what they all are:

* He could resign. Certainly all of us could think of reasons for him to do so, but that depends on HIM deciding that he's got a good enough reason to do so (and enough pressure from outside sources).
* The senate could impeach, convict, and remove him from office via their normal Constitutional power to do so, provided they have an actual legal reason to DO so. Care to cite an actual law he's broken? I can't think of one.
* He could die. In which case, you just let the 25th Amendment do its job and Biden takes the presidency. Can't see that going too well for Obama haters, though.
* Or, hey, here's a thought: his second term expires in a few years. Hold a regular election and let the 22nd Amendment do its job.

Care to expand upon one of those?

Comment: Re:Of course... (Score 2) 164

by VanessaE (#45984827) Attached to: Why the Major Labels Love (and Artists Hate) Music Streaming

> You don't own the recording, just the media. You license the recording.

Bullshit. I own that copy of the recording and the piece of media it sits on. I will do whatever the fuck I want to with that recording, within the confines of the copyright laws of the country I live in. It is MINE. I OWN IT.

Slowly and surely the unix crept up on the Nintendo user ...