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Journal: Merry Christmas! 1

Journal by mcgrew

For the first time in nine years I got to see my youngest daughter on Christmas; this is the first Christmas in nine years she didn't have to work. Great Christmas present!

And the second to last pre-publication copies came Christmas eve eve. I finished going through it this morning, and the book itself is ready. What wasn't was the cover; I fixed it and ordered another copy, so Mars, Ho! should be online in a couple of weeks.

Comment: Re:It's in the image (Score 2) 182

by zippthorne (#48668671) Attached to: Human Eye's Oscillation Rate Determines Smooth Frame Rate

Movies don't look smooth. They look like a staccato of motion-blurred still frames. 24fps was simply the minimum (read: cheapest) frame rate at which most of the population would perceive as mostly motion-like. Motion blur helps, but it hardly makes up for the deficiency.

Technology has advanced quite a bit since the advent of motion picture cameras, to the point that the "film" is pretty far from the most expensive line item in the budget. Why not record at a more natural frame rate?

The conceit of the movie industry is conditioning he movie watching public to believe that 24fps looks "more cinematic." How convenient for them that it is also "less expensive." But how disappointing, too, when those hard to-obtain establishing shots from high over the countryside don't really show any of the beautiful detail to the viewers?

Comment: Re:Start with copyright (Score 1) 113

by zippthorne (#48668455) Attached to: How Laws Restricting Tech Actually Expose Us To Greater Harm

3/5ths was about proportionment of representation among the states, not the treatment of individuals. The problem was the existence of states where non-free persons were not eligible to vote, so any proportionment of representation made on their behalf was exercised by the free, land-owning male citizens.

If you think disenfranchisement is unfair, how do you feel about disenfranchisement that grants your own deserved electoral power to the very parties that are oppressing you?

3/5ths was a compromise, but its fundamental unfairness was not that it was too low, but too high. States with non-free populations should never have been rewarded with the ability to exercise electoral power of the people they oppressed.

Comment: Re:The Drive used to have "Deep Tracks" (Score 1) 7

by mcgrew (#48666529) Attached to: A mild rant

FM is now an analog/digital mix. They broadcast the analog channel with two digital channels piggybacked on the signal. They don't call it digital, they call it "High Def".

And if they're too broke to pay the fees, they must have trouble selling ads. KSHE has no problem, but they're probably the most popular station in St Louis.

Comment: Re:Other art forms that contain music (Score 1) 622

by mcgrew (#48666499) Attached to: What Happens To Society When Robots Replace Workers?

I certainly agree that copyright lengths are way too long, and that the extreme lengths hinder creative expression. I ran across it with Random Scribblings; I had to change Dork Side of the Moon, reducing the lyrics of the two songs to "fair use" snippets, since I can find no way to contact Roger Waters for usage permission. That album is four decades old and should not be under copyright.

You are right, copyright is supposed to encourage creators so their work will belong to everyone after the copyright lapses. How is anyone supposed to get Hendrix or Cocker to perform again?

It does add challenges to creativity.

Comment: Apple used to have security for firmware updates (Score 2) 163

by ZorinLynx (#48664241) Attached to: Thunderbolt Rootkit Vector

With older (PPC?) based Macs, to update the firmware you had to power off the machine, then turn it on by holding the power button until you got an extra beep or sound. This would physically un-write-protect the firmware EPROM so that it could be updated by open firmware.

In their quest to make everything as "user friendly" as possible, they took out this hardware security feature, allowing the update to just happen without any physical action.

Bad Apple, no donut.

Comment: Re:What a nightmare (Score 1) 327

Instead we have a "Star Trek" universe that JJ has TOTALLY F*&*ed up where people can use the transporter to get anywhere in the galaxy, super-magically powerful "Red Matter", lame plots and passable acting etc. etc.

and magic blood that cures any disease or ailment including death from extreme radiation exposure, yet the episode wasn't about the ethics of a systematic rare-blood harvesting operation or the distribution of its products.

Comment: Re:One reason: Annoyance (Score 1) 234

by zippthorne (#48662983) Attached to: The Slow Death of Voice Mail

You don't have to wait through all that crap. Most voicemail systems have a key assigned to skip the header and jump straight to the message. It's always a different one, though, as far as I can tell. Next time you're at the main menu of your voice system, try listening through to the end of the options and choose the help one if it exists.

Comment: Re:Wait, what? (Score 1) 291

by ZorinLynx (#48662559) Attached to: Hotel Group Asks FCC For Permission To Block Some Outside Wi-Fi

Hotels will make you pay just to use an electrical outlet in a meeting room.

They charge for every little tiny thing, simply because business execs will just sign off on all of it and not care about a "paltry" $100 "outlet usage" fee.

Meanwhile, these fees can be big problems for smaller budget conventions, such as fandom cons. The artist alley at half the furry cons I've been to have a policy keeping artists from plugging in their stuff to charge because the con gets dinged hundreds of dollars in penalties by the hotel.

It truly is a non-customer-friendly business if you're not a big company flush with cash.

Comment: Re:Interesting (Score 2) 291

by zippthorne (#48662373) Attached to: Hotel Group Asks FCC For Permission To Block Some Outside Wi-Fi

They compete on price because that's all the information the aggregation networks have. I'm not in the industry, so I don't know if it's the aggregation networks' fault for not having more detail in the spec, or the airlines' fault for not releasing enough information, or what, but the problem is that when using one of the aggregators, you can typically only sort on price or time. Comfort details aren't part of the sorting metric, so the system doesn't optimize for them.

Torque is cheap.