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Submission + - Happy Birthday song is public domain (

innocent_white_lamb writes: A judge has ruled that the 120-year-old Happy Birthday song is public domain and Warner Music has never held a valid copyright on it.

Warner has apparently been collecting about $2 million a year in royalties which may now need to be refunded to those who paid them.

From the article, "Mark C. Rifkin, one of Nelson's attorneys, said the plaintiffs will pursue Warner for royalties paid since "at least" 1988, and could also ask the company to repay royalties that have been collected all the way back to 1935. It's not clear how much money that could entail."

Comment Windows uses a unix file hierarchy (Score 3, Informative) 54

I never realized that Windows uses a unix-like file hierarchy.

According to the article, drive C: is actually a symbolic link to \Device\HarddiskVolume4, COM3 is \Device\Serial0 and so on.

I'm surprised, frankly. My exposure to Windows is pretty much nil (and I like it that way) but I always assumed that the the C: drive and COM: stuff was a completely different way of accessing the devices and whatnot than what Unix uses. Apparently, it's actually quite similar once you get under the hood.

Learn something new every day....

Comment Re:Music Score (Score 1) 177

Yer damn tootin', toots!

I have an Android tablet that I got as a "refurb" from Staples (Hipstreet brand, actually) for the sole purpose of reading sheet music pdf's on. It's ok for some quick lets-try-this-out stuff, but for anything that I'm going to do any in-depth study with, I still print the score on paper.

I don't give a rat's rear about cameras and whatnot -- give me a big screen that I can display a full size pdf sheet on and I'm interested.

Comment Script Supervisor (on movies) (Score 3, Informative) 95

Movies have a Script Supervisor whose job is to keep track of things like that. Since most movies are not shot in chronological order, in many locations and over the course of several weeks or months or sometimes even years, this is a bigger challenge than it appears at first glance.

The invention of the digital still camera was a godsend for these folks; they used to go through ungodly quantities of Polaroid film. Now they can keep it all on their computer.

Comment Re:Numpad (Score 1) 240

I never (ever) use the number pad.

I learned to type on an Underwood office typewriter in Typing Class in school, and I learned to type numbers by entering machine language programs out of Run magazine on my Commodore 64 (using their MLX program). No number pad on a C64, so I never got used to using one.

Today, I never touch the number pad on my computer keyboard. Ever. If it was missing I wouldn't notice at all. Could use the extra desk space for something else, even.

Comment My Microsoft ergonomic keyboard has it on the left (Score 4, Informative) 240

My Microsoft Natural 4000 keyboard has it on the left.

Since I've been using Microsoft ergonomic keyboards for years, I'm now in the habit of hitting the 6 with my left forefinger.

(Microsoft can't make a decent operating system, but their keyboards and mice are first class.)

Comment Re:Obligatory TheOatmeal comic (Score 5, Informative) 223

Musicians. I keep an android tablet on my piano too, but a lot of the time it's more convenient to print out the sheet music that I'm currently using and lay the pages side by side on the stand instead of working with a smaller tablet screen. Tablet is great for trying stuff out and whatnot but it's nice to print the sheets out for longer term study.

Comment Re:One time pad (Score 1) 128

While I have a basic understanding about one-time pads and how they work, I realize that there must be something wrong with this idea but I don't know enough to figure out what.

There are vast amounts of publicly available documents on the Internet. Why can't Alice and Bob agree that they will use the text of the first article posted on Slashdot after noon Central Standard Time each day that they have a message to send as their one time pad? In that way avoid the issue of having to transfer the pad between themselves in advance and they have a new text available daily.

Can someone explain to me why this isn't secure, assuming that the bad don't know that this is the text that they use for their one-time pad? If someone is going to beat it out of one of them, they will could beat a pre-exchanged one-time pad out of them too, so that can't be it.

Comment Re:Come on, complete the mystery. (Score 1) 179

About thirty years ago I picked up the single-line landline phone on my desk to make a call and discovered that a conversation was already in progress on it. Two people were discussing a divorce, of all things. I quietly hung up the phone and picked it up again and got the dial tone that I expected to hear.

I guess that the telephone company's switch had some sort of a glitch the first time I picked up the phone.

Usage: fortune -P [-f] -a [xsz] Q: file [rKe9] -v6[+] file1 ...