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Comment Re:Who? (Score 1) 574 574

Although I agree that listening to an MP3 on a phone with earbuds is a far cry from listening to the same music coming from an amp with nice speakers, I'm not sure the quality of music that the general population deems acceptable is on a downward trend.

I think it's all about what it has always been about: how important music is to you and how much you're willing to (or can) spend on it.
Now, I grew up more in the Walkman era, copying friends' cassette tapes and recording live radio on cassette, but I would imagine that "back in the day", when the general population demanded better music (if we're assuming a downward trend), there was a similar percentage of people listening using low-quality audio gear as there is now. Not everyone can (or is willing to) spend the money on high quality audio sources, and I don't think the type of music being put out has changed that.

As far as Neil Young's assertion that the quality of streamed music just isn't there yet... well, I'm guessing his songs will continue to be played on FM radio, huh? You're telling me that's better than streamed sources? That's a joke, and makes me question his true motives.

Comment Re:They almost had me (Score 1) 46 46

Maybe once they get off the ground they'll start offering orders of "rebranded" keys. I mean, if you didn't mind the layout of the keys themselves, but wanted to swap them around or replace them, I'd imagine it'd just require a minor software change. You'd just have to deal with having to remember that the "cmd" key is actually left alt, or whatever, without "rebranded" keys.

Looks cool, and sounds like it'd be fun to play around with, but I'll probably just keep my old Microsoft Natural Keyboard Elite. Unless my financial situation changed, that is, and I had money to burn.

Comment Re:The most important thing we've learned from thi (Score 1) 193 193

this shows just how bad an idea it is to put too much trust in computer models

What's this? What exactly did the output of their model harm?

If anything, it was a reality check reminding people who don't study the spread of disease just how bad things can get if something this harmful goes unchecked.

Comment Re:wrong is right (Score 1) 193 193

Exactly. Do those asking the question "did the modelers get it wrong?" think that the models can actually account for the level of response there will be from every country in the world that has the ability to help mitigate the spread of the disease?

I can see it now... epidemiologists sit down, come up with a model of the outbreak based on what they know about how the disease spreads, and where it's starting from, and then ask themselves "OK, now what's the World Aid Fudge Factor?".

Comment Re:Wow ... (Score 1) 225 225

We don't provide any live chat support to our customers. We're not big enough to have a customer service department to handle that kind of support. We only correspond to our customers via phone and email.
Internally, however, it does look like a nice alternative to Skype; but try telling that to the boss who likes to use the Skype app on his mobile phone for conference calls.

Comment Re:Wow ... (Score 4, Funny) 225 225

Yeah, pretty epic bug.
We use Skype for communicating with coworkers (we are a very small company, and all telecommute, so to speak), when the conversation doesn't warrant a phone call (on our IP phones).
But I'm still very tempted to try it. It's like a big red button that says DO NOT PUSH.

Comment Re:Black Ice (Score 1) 249 249

Really? Coal and diesel pollution?
Haven't you ever seen a snow-covered parking lot get the snow plowed into piles, and then watch those piles melt away, becoming more and more "sooty", as you put it?
It's sediment gathered up in the glacier when it was forming, over a long period of time. As it melts, the sediment becomes more concentrated because it stays put while the water runs away.

Comment Re:I created a game with my SIster's kids (Score 1) 315 315

There's something to be said for starting with something that's already written, and hacking away at it.

That's how I got my start mainly: I'd get some of those old DOS games on a 5.25" floppy... you know the kind, that actually included the BAS source files. I'd browse through it and just start making changes to do something different... to change colors, change text prompts, etc. Before I knew it, I was using the existing game or program as a launching point to piece-meal together an entirely different game. Learning by example like this greatly reduces the intimidation factor when starting out to program. You don't have to know a whole lot to get started, like program entry points, dependencies, etc, you just have to understand some basic logic and flow control (and most 7-year olds will understand "if this, then that"), and you're ready to start hacking at it, learning as you go.

After you've hacked away at it little by little for a while, you'll want to start looking things up and learning how to do more complicated tasks, so a readily-available online reference would also be a big plus.

I'll also add that, like others have mentioned, having immediate feedback is also crucial. That was easy with BASIC where the "IDE" and compiler/interpreter was readily available on all DOS machines. Find something like BASIC where making these little changes is easy and quick feedback is available. Maybe look into some online IDEs?

"You're a creature of the night, Michael. Wait'll Mom hears about this." -- from the movie "The Lost Boys"