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Comment: Re:So you're a twat. (Score 1) 1080

by harmless_mammal (#41453479) Attached to: Light Bulb Ban Produces Hoarding In EU, FUD In U.S.
Except that you share electrical infrastructure with your community...  The power you use affects how much excess capacity is available, how many power plants need to be built, etc...  The lightbulbs everyone uses is, at a county and state level, an issue that affects a lot of people.

Now if you want to go Amish on us and supply your own power with solar cells and diesel generators, then it truly doesn't matter what kind of bulb you use.

Comment: Re:This makes sense if they're recording *raw* dat (Score 4, Interesting) 221

And, also, please realize that organizations like the NSA aren't free to discuss their techniques in a public forum... so they can't publicly tell Sen. Wyden why they don't have the capability to answer his questions.

Comment: This makes sense if they're recording *raw* data.. (Score 5, Insightful) 221

Okay, I remember reading (probably on Wired) that the NSA has an unusual definition of "intercept" when it came to domestic telephone calls...  An "intercept" for them was going back and analyzing their recordings, not the actual "making" of the recording.

If, for instance, I merely record raw packet data on the network and do not interpret it... then I've "captured the firehose", but I don't know what I've got until I analyze it.

If I have the budget to "capture the firehose" for the entire US telephone network, but I only need to analyze 10-20K "intercepts" per year, then I probably wouldn't have the equipment or staff to evaluate the details of all the data I have.

If that's the situation, then I'd probably respond similarly to Wyden's request.  In order to answer his questions I'd have to analyze ALL the data I have, which I don't have the resources or budget to do...  and even if I did, it'd expose the details of all comunications on the network... which would be an invasion of privacy.

+ - Half-Life Fans Say "We've Waited Long Enough."->

Submitted by
harmless_mammal writes "Fans of the Half-Life franchise have formed a group on Valve's Steam Community site with a very simple message:

Your oldest and longest running fanbase would like better communication.

The Half-Life 2 series was designed as three separate "Episodes", presumably with the intent of delivering content faster. HL2 Episode 1 was released in June 2006. Episode 2 was released in October 2007 (along with Team Fortress 2 and Portal in The Orange Box). It's been over 4 years since then, and there's still no word on Episode 3."
Link to Original Source

Comment: My letter to Steven Metalitz (Score 1) 749

by harmless_mammal (#28885415) Attached to: RIAA Says "Don't Expect DRMed Music To Work Forever"
Subject: Re: your letter to the copyright office

I have just read of your letter to the Copyright Office claiming that your clients reject the view that consumers should expect perpetual access to a copyrighted work.

I have only one response.

Please identify, with specificity, the section in the Copyright Act where it grants copyright owners the authority to deny access to a protected work that has been legitimately obtained.  I can save you lots of time, you won't find it.  The right of the consumer to access a work protected under the act is implicit in the sale.  The consumer did not rent or lease authorization to "access" the protected work, it was an outright "purchase" of that authorization and the revocation of that authorization is not permitted.

Have a nice day,

Comment: Get a Mac, and buy TeXtures (Score 1) 918

by harmless_mammal (#24385913) Attached to: Modern LaTeX Replacement?
TeX/LaTeX have been used for scientific journal articles for over 20 years. It's going to be difficult to replace something that has proven itself to be reliable for that length of time.

Please remember that your "structured document processor" needs to be supported by the journal you're going to submit to.

And also remember that journals already know what their layout requirements are, and already provide the necessary header files, so unless you're a journal publisher yourself I have to question why you need to create your own document class.

I've personally used TeX/LaTeX for 20 years. The absolute best implementation I've ever seen is TeXtures by Blue Sky Research. I started using TeXtures (v0.91) back in 1988. Unfortunately, it's only available on the Mac. However, if your job is to produce high-quality scientific publications then buying a Mac for TeXtures is probably the best use of your time and money. It really is that good.

The user interface is very Mac-like (always has been), and you can see the typeset results immediately as it dynamically updates your typeset document as you type.

Old programmers never die, they just branch to a new address.