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Comment: Re:yes (Score 1) 1010

by adavies42 (#40823235) Attached to: Political Science Prof Asks: Is Algebra Necessary?

Her statement back to the interviewer was "How am I suppose to know how to use an adding machine if no one has ever taught me" at which point the interview was ended.

coincidentally, i just finished rereading atlas shrugged last week. she sounds just like Philip Rearden.

btw, there are apparently whole countries that just don't practice change minimization--i got the funniest looks in singapore when i'd offer eleven dollars (a ten and a one) for a six-dollar purchase. i'd just nod and smile and hope they'd learn something useful when they saw what their machine said....

Comment: how do you define "ISP"? (Score 1) 250

by adavies42 (#40757923) Attached to: I most recently switched ISPs ...

my first internet access was through dialup (actual modem-dialer dialup, pre-PPP) to a university VAX, where i fiddled around with email, usenet, ftp, gopher, and the very early web. there were also Delphi and GEnie and so on--dial straight into the SPRINT data line and see if there's anything interesting going on on the message boards.

my first ISP (in the normal sense of the word) was probably two or three years later.

somewhere in between were the GUI-based online service providers--Prodigy, CompuServe, AOL, eWorld, even Juno at some point.

i've only personally, voluntarily switched ISPs (as opposed to moving, changing dorms, my parents' doing it, etc.) once, i think--i had a cable modem connection in new york city a few years back that was so bad i switched to DSL, even tho it was Verizon and it took them a month to get me hooked up.

Comment: Re:LTE? How about Android and IPhone (Score 1) 299

by adavies42 (#40617829) Attached to: RIM CEO On What Went Wrong

i wish iOS had bb's ability to handle very-low-bandwidth conditions. my bb can send and receive email seamlessly, and browse the web with mild difficulty, in a one-bar environment where my iPhone just spins, assuming it can get an IP address at all. (that's about the only thing i like about bb tho....)


Young Listeners Opt For Streaming Over Owning 390

Posted by timothy
from the maybe-more-of-them-should-get-the-bills dept.
An anonymous reader writes "CNN reports that younger listeners are increasingly opting to stream music rather than own it. If their music is constantly available anywhere on any device, then 'what's the difference?,' ponders the article. The distinction between streaming music and owning music is starting to blur. From the article: 'But Van Buskirk also suggests another reason for streaming, not acquiring music. It's liberating. "There is a certain relief with not having to own music. It is a lot of work," he said. ... Porter says the way people own music is transforming. He believes the cloud model is where the state of music is heading, and for many people ownership is not essential. "I think ownership is access, you don't have to have music on your local hard drive to own it," he said.' Will the concept of ownership of music and software fade as cloud based services become the way people expect to access media and software?"

Comment: Re:For fuck's sake (Score 1) 288

by adavies42 (#40314169) Attached to: 'Inventor of Email' Gets Support of Noam Chomsky

no, that's war crimes. if you commit acts of war, then you're in a state of war, which means the armed forces of your opponent are legally justified in shooting you dead as soon as they can find you. that's the whole point of legal concept of "state of war".

(there's a fine point to be argued about whether acts that would be acts of war given a formal declaration of war are acts of war or war crimes, but that's a different question.)

Comment: four (Score 1) 380

by adavies42 (#40302099) Attached to: I typically carry X many forms of photo ID; X =

driver's license, work id, old college id (i still live in the same city, it's sometimes handy for getting into alumni events), and "passport card" (the thing that lets you drive into canada or mexico). (i'm not really sure why i carry that last--i think it may be a carryover from a year i spent living abroad a couple years back when having unambiguous proof of US citizenship on me at all times seemed like a good idea.)

Comment: 5? (Score 1) 280

by adavies42 (#40182197) Attached to: I typically interact with X-many OSes per day:

Windows and Linux at work [1]; OS X at home [2]; iOS on my iPhone, iPad, and new Apple TV; and whatever iPod Nanos run [3].

If you get into versions, it's XP for all the Windows work; Redhat 4, 5, and 6 for Linux at work; currently straight Debian (I think Sid?) at for Linux at home; mostly Leopard through Lion for OS X [4]; and iOS 5.

Oh, and I have a dev edition of an Intel tablet I got for free that I've booted exactly once. I think it runs Maemo or Meego or something?

Do we count firmware? I'm pretty sure my receiver, TV, Blu-ray player, and cameras all run things sophisticated enough to be called OSs....

[1] And very occasionally Solaris (8, mostly, I think).

[2] With occasional interludes of Windows or Linux at home, mostly via VMs.

[3] Also miscellaneous earlier iPods, from original up to 3rd gen Shuffle, that get used an average of once a year.

[4] And one ancient Tiger box I boot maybe once a year.

Comment: Re:What is the definition (Score 2) 83

by adavies42 (#40174557) Attached to: MusOpen Releases Open Source Classical Music As Pro Tools Files

What is the definition of "Classical" music? I thought that the works composed by Bach, Beethoven, Mozart and so on were out of copyright anyway.

the problem is that the vast majority of recordings of classical music are under copyright (to the orchestra or whatever). anything old enough to be public domain by sheer age is going to sound terrible (mono 78s at best, and almost certainly recorded "acoustically" through a horn) and there's not going to be much because of the format limitations of the time. (10-inch 78s hold 3min a side, that's about right for a piano etude. hard to put a symphony on those....)

there's a similar issue actually with sheet music--most of the good sheet music for those same pieces is under some degree of copyright control. i wonder if anyone's looking at doing the same thing there? you could transcribe whole swaths of the canon to MusicXML or ABC and release them under CC-SA or GFDL pretty cheaply, i'd think.

Comment: Re:What is the definition (Score 1) 83

by adavies42 (#40174445) Attached to: MusOpen Releases Open Source Classical Music As Pro Tools Files

iirc definition 2 was originally supposed to relate to "classical" in its primary definition of the time--"relating to Classical Civilization", i.e. ancient greece and rome (cf. classical architecture). i think the idea was that this music was a simplification from the baroque period that preceded it.

The Almighty Buck

IEEE Spectrum Digs Into the Future of Money 292

Posted by timothy
from the amazing-kreskin-says-inflation-continues dept.
New submitter ArmageddonLord writes "Small, out-of-pocket cash exchanges are still the stuff of everyday life. In 2010, cash transactions in the United States totaled $1.2 trillion (not including extralegal ones, of course). There will come a day, however, when you'll be able to transfer funds just by holding your cellphone next to someone else's and hitting a few keys — and this is just one of the ways we'll wean ourselves off cash. In 'The Last Days of Cash,' a special report on the future of money, we describe the various ways that technology is transforming how we pay for stuff; how it's boosting security by linking our biometric selves with our accounts; and how it's helping us achieve, at least in theory, an ancient ideal — money that cannot be counterfeited."

Comment: Re:16-digit ID (Score 1) 164

by adavies42 (#40159467) Attached to: All Researchers To Be Allocated Unique IDs

9 999 999 999 999 999
I have no idea what number that is. What comes after trillions?

It's called Quintillions

actually (in short/american count) it's quadrillions. (10e15 is ten quadrillion.)

and the only book that I've read that would even approach that would be Niven's Ringworld... and I'm sure that even that would fall short.

a ringworld as wide as the earth and at our orbit would have roughly 5 trillion square miles (~8000 miles * ~100e6 miles * 2 * pi) (inside) surface area.

10e15/5e12 is 2000 people per square mile, slightly less than bangladesh, and about 24x america -- feasible, if not terribly probably.

Ringworld itself is unlikely to have anything close to this "now", given what the Puppeteers did to it, but i suppose it might have back when the Pak were running things.

Perhaps a large star cluster full of Ringworlds?

a (solid) dyson sphere at our orbit would have about 125 quadrillion (4 * pi * ~100e6 miles^2) square miles (inside) surface area, and could thus accommodate 10e15 people at 1 per ~12.5 square miles (~0.08 per square mile), just slightly more than greenland, and 15x less than alaska.

The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness. -- John Muir