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Comment Re:Sounds like a lawsuit waiting to happen (Score 1) 448

The reason is to verify that the number stamped into the plastic is the same as the number encoded on the magstripe. It's really easy to overwrite magstripe data. I have been asked to confirm the last four at grocery stores; they usually ask for the card, but if you recite the last four, it's usually satisfactory.

Comment Re:Thank you to the submitter (Score 1) 223

I'm not familiar with EAC, but I did catch the bit about moving away from XP. That is why I mentioned wine. Wine supports some software better than others, and EAC seems to work well. (Now that I look in their database, it appears that Polderbits is not listed, so all bets are off.) Are you acquainted with Wine?

Based on your description, it seems like Polderbits would suit your needs better than EAC since it is designed for the purpose of archiving analog audio, while EAC seems geared towards digital audio. It may be that neither one can be made to work well under Linux, but it sounded like you were interested in possibilities, so I shared the one that came to mind. YMMV.

Comment Re:Thank you to the submitter (Score 1) 223

If 'better than Audacity' means (for you) good at recording albums and splitting tracks, then you might want to check out Polderbits. I used it for the purpose of digitizing cassette tapes many years ago, and I'm sure it has only gotten better. In terms of general features it is very limited compared to Audacity, but it is good at automatically detecting sensible places to split tracks. It is only released for Windows, but it may run in Wine.

Comment Re:How do you compare for phones? (Score 1) 558

Well, sure. I was responding to the 'no dual-booting phones' portion of your comment, but it is true that no amount of Linux will help us compare Windows to iOS. (Well, perhaps that is not true. One day we may be able to install roughly the same Ubuntu on a Nokia Lumia as well as an iPhone. That might give us some kind of transitive benchmarks.)

Comment Re:How do you compare for phones? (Score 2) 558

The Nexus 4 can allegedly run both Android and Ubuntu: I have not tried it, and I don't think there's a dual-booting bootloader yet, but it sounds interesting.

I know they both use the same kernel (more or less), but the software ecosystem is probably quite different, including the power management.

Comment Re:Markdown is gaining popularity again (Score 2) 204

Have you ever used TeXmacs, and do you have an opinion of it? I suspect you have, since "what you see is what you mean" is a phrase of which they are quite fond.

For those who have not: TeXmacs is a graphical editor which implements the typesetting rules from TeX in an editor whose interface is inspired by emacs. (M-x commands, and all.) It does not use LaTeX as an intermediate rendering engine. I used it for a while. It has some virtue.

Comment Re:Wonder how many of those are overturned (Score 1) 1440

I lived in Scotland for a spell, and (while I didn't do any driving there) I used to see billboards encouraging people to actually shut off their engines while stopped at a light. Blew my mind. To be fair, the lights there have a half-second yellow-red combo to indicate that the lights are about to be green again. But I am genuinely curious what the laws in the US might have to say about (a) putting an automatic transmission in park and (b) switching off the engine while at a light.

Philosophy: A route of many roads leading from nowhere to nothing. -- Ambrose Bierce