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Comment: Re:Paint one side. (Score 1) 108

by gstoddart (#49819283) Attached to: Fuel Free Spacecrafts Using Graphene

Oh, don't get me wrong .. I get there are some actual badass Civics out there. I've seen all the Fast and the Furious films. ;-)

But I've also seen the piece of crap cars with all of the stickers and none of the mods with the cheap-ass plastic spoiler held on with duct tape and rolling on bald tires.

I don't know which of these two painting one side of the graphene this sail gets us.

Comment: Re:Paint one side. (Score 1) 108

by gstoddart (#49818913) Attached to: Fuel Free Spacecrafts Using Graphene

A solar sail with one side painted and the other painted with graphene might be really cool.

Hmmm ... you mean "really cool" in the "it will do more useful stuff" sense of the word? Or in the sense of adding a spoiler and neon running lights to a beat up Honda Civic "might be really cool"?

Or maybe the painted side could have a jolly roger on it to play space pirate?

Honestly, is painting one side functional?

Comment: Re:Does this mean... (Score 1) 124

Sadly criminal law is all over the map when it comes to rules about intent

Honestly, though. That's because lawmakers who seldom understand the technology jump to try to pass new laws for new problems. And they end up passing really badly written laws.

In a lot of cases, they could have used existing laws. And in other cases, they just pass overbroad laws because "teh interwebs" are scary.

Changing the threshold for criminal liability to the laughable levels used for civil liability is a terrible mistake.

The problem is it takes many years to fix badly written laws. And in the mean time a lot of people can get their lives ruined ... when defacing a web page can carry a longer sentence than an actual murder, something is seriously wrong.

But half-wit lawmakers who want to quickly pass a law for the evening news sound bite have neither the time, nor the skills apparently, to write a law which makes sense and will hold up in court.

These days it seems like governments get one in-house lawyer to say "sure, works for me", and then proceed.

Kinda like Alberto Gonzales, who more or less demonstrated his grasp of the US Constitution was to terrible as to disqualify him from having been the AG in the first place. That idiot would rubber stamp anything.

Comment: Re:Do these companies really hate people so much.. (Score 1) 197

What happened to the idea that automation would generate free time for humans?

It's still true .. only in this case "free time" is unemployment.

It was naive to say that automation would make all of our lives better. Mostly it just makes corporate profits go up, and everybody else gets screwed.

Comment: Re:Free.. (Score 2) 299

by gstoddart (#49814651) Attached to: Windows 10 Release Date: July 29th

My history of windows use has always reinforced the idea of "clean install" over upgrade

Agree on this one ... there have been lots of "you can buy this upgrade for your current" which haven't always worked, and then you end up without proper install media for the version you're running.

I won't run a version of Windows for which I don't own the install media for. Because it basically leaves you at the mercy of hoping nothing ever goes wrong.

And that, in my experience, is a dumb idea with any software.

Comment: Re:Looking forward to it (Score 3, Informative) 299

by gstoddart (#49814589) Attached to: Windows 10 Release Date: July 29th

With Classic Shell you can add the start button back to Windows 8.1. I highly recommend it.

With some tweaking, you can turn a Windows 8.1 desktop into something which pretty much looks like the classic Windows desktop, and ignore the mobile eye candy and app-crap entirely.

After which, Windows 8.1 becomes a fairly decent platform.

I think what Microsoft fails to realize is the things they think are cool and innovative are useful for some people, but utterly fail for people who need a traditional desktop.

I don't use a single feature on my desktop Windows 8.1 machine which Microsoft had configured as the GUI by default -- but once I got rid of their "innovative" crap, the OS itself is pretty nice.

Comment: Hmmm ... (Score 0) 299

by gstoddart (#49814199) Attached to: Windows 10 Release Date: July 29th

So I see a gushing blog post, trumpeting way too many "touch first" applications, claiming some fancy innovations (which are mostly the app-ification of Windows and which other companies already have), as well as some biometric stuff which sounds annoying and is likely not very secure.

I see nothing in this which would make me "upgrade" from Windows 8.1, and except for the Edge thing, not much of it seems especially innovative to me.

But, you guys download it and test the crap out of it, let the inevitable bugs and security holes get shaken out ... and maybe by next July I'll decide if I'm willing to consider the free upgrade.

I question if this will offer a useful desktop experience, or if they're so focused on mobile that they've lost the plot.

Comment: Re:Do they even know what transformative means? (Score 1) 167

by gstoddart (#49807521) Attached to: Can You Commit Copyright Infringement By Using Your Own Work?

but a photograph that's in a frame (generally) is a transformative work. Framing has been recognized as an art

I'm pretty sure that, while the frame can be considered as art, you can't sell copies of someone else's image just because you put it in a fancy frame.

In fact, you sure as hell can't sell copies of someone else's copyrighted photo in a frame and call it a transformative work.

You can own the art of the framing, but you sure as hell don't get rights to the work you framed. Not even a little.

The description is that the work was "transformed" by being annotated and printed from a screenshot. I have no problem with that.

You should. Because what you're saying is you can co-opt someone else's work merely by framing and annotating it.

And, I'm sorry to tell you this, but that's bullshit.

That's like saying you could print out someone's source code, add some annotations to it, and claim copyright on the whole thing.

So, if you buy a copy of someone's work, frame it, and sell that .. sure, you can be value added, and your framing is a "transformative work".

But you can't sell multiple copies, because the act of copying that photo means you have violated copyright. Because you can't make copies in the first place.


Steve Albini: The Music Industry Is a Parasite -- and Copyright Is Dead 179

Posted by timothy
from the but-how's-the-marrow? dept.
journovampire sends word of another thought-provoking rant from Steve Albini (mentioned here last a few years back for his paean to the beauty of analog tape for recording): The veteran producer addressed an audience in Barcelona on Saturday: "The old copyright model – the person who creates something owns it and anyone else that wants to use it or see it has to pay them – has expired."

Comment: Re:annoying downgrade, ingores major usage pattern (Score 2) 100

by gstoddart (#49807323) Attached to: Google Calendar Ends SMS Notifications

I find it really ironic that Google, a company so used to being the new hotness upstart company, is so willfully ignoring usage patterns of a significant minority comprising "the youth" and people on the wrong side of the internet divide, and much of the third world, and anyone without a data plan outside of wifi range.

So, basically the non-profitable ones they can't sell ads to?

Because, let's be honest here, Google makes the new hotness to sell ads. That it is useful "new hotness" is just the way they lure you in.

Google isn't providing a public service. Google is padding their ad revenue. And all those "free" services exist for two reason: analytics and ads.

Beyond that, you can bet your ass google doesn't give a crap about you. Not even a little. And they never will.

Comment: Re:What I have found (Score 1) 129

Honestly, if you're thinking of solutions for hurricanes where you might be without power for longer than the portable batteries will last ... see if you can't find a hand-crank generator or something.

This looks interesting, but other than the google search for "hand crank generator" I know nothing about it.

A bunch of years ago my family spent a week without power after a major storm. A few weeks after that my father had a Honda generator wired directly into the house so they could keep the fridge running for short periods and run the well pump. Flick a switch, and you have limited power and a single AC plug. My in-laws have a much bigger generator which will generate a lot more power.

And then there's really cool things like this which is a campstove, but which also powers USB .. so you can cook and generate electricity from wood, which is pretty neat.

Similar thing in this power pot which charges USB while you boil water.

So, wood-burning USB power is a real thing.

With some googling, you can find a ton of ruggedized things which both charge from USB, and, and which generate power to charge USB devices.

The question is ... what do you need?

Comment: Ummm ... anything? (Score 2) 129

What other things am I missing that would be useful and/or interesting to power when not near an electrical outlet?

Well, your phone, your tablet, your GPS, your portable speakers, your music player. You know, anything you own which can be charged via USB.

I've got 2x5000 mAh, and 2x6000 mAh batteries I keep charged around the house and when I travel. They all have 1A and 2.1A outputs, as well as built in LED flashlights. Which means I can keep most of my stuff charged until I get where I'm going. Or I can charge them where I'm sitting instead of being chained to a wall charger. (And I've got a 4-port USB wall charger as well as a 3-port USB wall charger which will do 120/240V 50/60Hz.)

They've handy and convenient, but do you actually need to ask "what things that charge from USB can I charge from USB"?

If it charges from USB, and you own it ... ta da!

Years ago I decided that except for very specific things (like my camera), I won't own anything which doesn't charge with standard USB. From there, a couple of cables, a couple of batteries, and a couple of wall chargers and you can keep stuff always charged.

Once you toss proprietary cables, or anything which can't charge by USB ... you find it's a lot easier to pack what you need.

My travel electronics bag is now capable of operating everything I need from any electrical source by reusing the same USB cables. It really cuts down on the crap and clutter.

If a 6600 used paper tape instead of core memory, it would use up tape at about 30 miles/second. -- Grishman, Assembly Language Programming