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Comment Maybe next time (Score 2) 198

I tend to agree it's probably too little too late for SimCity, but hopefully EA and other game companies will learn a lesson from this disaster. The fact that they are willing to release an offline mode hints that such hope is not completely unrealistic.

Comment Re:Nope (Score 2) 370

The real money will be made playing music live for fans to enjoy.

Point of fact, that's how the real money is made right now. What most people still don't realize is that a recording contract with a major studio is not a payday, it's a loan; all of that studio time and promotion is something the artist has to pay back through album sales. Where the artist really makes bank is in touring and merchandise sales while on tour.

Is there money to be made from a recording contract? Absolutely, but just like in TV and Hollywood, not much for most of the people who sign one. Big stars can set more favorable terms for themselves, of course. This is where the real shift is coming in: once upon a time, it was completely possible to be a working musician without ever signing a recording contract, you just had a very small chance of achieving elite status and popularity. Ever since the Napster days, artists have gotten more savvy about how to produce and promote their own work and make enough a name for themselves that, when the time comes to talk to a larger studio, they have better leverage going into the negotiating room. It's much harder to pressure someone into unfavorable terms when they're doing pretty well on their own.

Comment Re:Also, the property of rain is to wet. (Score 1) 168

Why would you find minimal long distance travel hard to believe? Also, since in the years following the black death, in England at least, laws were passed to tie workers to the land and punish masterless men and vagabonds: there were so few peasants to work the land that the lowest classes could demand higher wages and buy their way into the yeoman class, but the anti-vagabond laws were designed to put an end to that. This is well documented, but even before then few people would have left the immediate vicinity of their farms if they had any say about it.

Comment Also, the property of rain is to wet. (Score 1, Informative) 168

I recommend they publish this in Duh: The Journal of the Insipidly Obvious. Does anyone really believe you need to be a medievalist to know that communication and travels was much slower in the middle ages than it is in the modern day? Simulations of how the disease spread are interesting from a historical point of view, but it's not even like we're talking about a time when humanity was on the cusp of "small world" connectiveness.

Comment Re:False comparison (Score 3, Informative) 166

You reckon they ban cellphones for interference reasons?! ...nothing to do with the glow of the screen moving in a dimmed room when people nearby are concentrating, or when they ring during a quiet passage, distracting the entire audience?

I don't doubt the lights may factor in to it, but depending on the model of phone, carrier, and location in the theatre, if someone has their cell phone on, you will hear it in my rig. Fortunately the PA system is more forgiving than our comms because we get interference on those almost every show; there's always someone who "forgets" to turn it off.

Comment False comparison (Score 4, Informative) 166

"But who really is more engaged: A live-tweeting audience member, or someone staring silently at the stage?"

I know this is Slashdot, and I'm going to take a leap and say most folks here aren't in the performing arts, but I am, and your comparison is a false one. A live-tweeting audience member isn't necessarily engaged with the performance, but more importantly, audiences seldom sit silently and stare at the stage. The whole point of live performance is that the audience provides instant feedback to the performer and vice versa, and to each other. Some of the most energetic audiences of Shakespeare plays are teens (or younger children) who haven't learned to loathe the classics yet. The real question is what do audiences and performers gain by adding interactivity via twitter (et al) to the mix vs. what is lost.

I'll float out there that, in many circumstances, phones and other wireless devices can cause interference with wireless microphone and backstage comm systems, so asking audiences to turn of their devices is a matter of ensuring that we don't get noise through AV systems. This will not affect all circumstances, of course, but it is a hard-deck restriction in many.

Comment Re:Two incidents, two responses (Score 1) 451

I'm totally with you on this labor party thing, but the flip side of "right to work" is that just about every non-compete form I've had shoved under my nose is basically unenforceable. And, in all fairness, if the larger unions hadn't become as corrupt as the corporate machines they were supposed to be protecting their workers from in the mid 20th century, Right to Work legislation wouldn't have got very far. Here in America, we've always seemed to brand anything that sounded a little bit like socialism as the end of free society. Maybe it's just because Americans are dumber than the average citizen? I don't know. We, as a society, have always been more interested in listening to talking points than reading/thinking for ourselves. If we weren't, we probably wouldn't be a country.

But yeah, you're totally right about the mold. The first thing she should do (now) is start documenting, get an inspector in there, pictures, air samples, etc.

This other person really ought to follow my personal policy of not friending the people I work with on facebook. And I know what you're going to say: some employers require it. I wouldn't even think twice about working for one of those.

Comment Where this leaves free software developers (Score 1) 517

'licensing should guarantee consumers the same basic rights as when they purchase a good: the right to get a product that works with fair commercial conditions,'

I invoke the law of "you get what you pay for." I can't remember the last OSS license I read that didn't include something about use of the software absolving the developer from any monetary damages. Besides, using free software is a little like getting something from the curb. You're essentially using something that you've found, and no one is liable for any damages to the user's system except for the user, unless said user could show cause that there was malicious code buried in the program for the purpose of causing harm. If you find a working washing machine on the curb and it explodes, the burden of proof is on you to demonstrate that this was caused by an act of malice on the part of the person who left it there. If you can demonstrate that someone planted a bomb, you've got a good case. If all you can do is demonstrate that the motor was faulty, you'll need some other evidence to demonstrate that it wa purposefully rigged that way.

Of course, if you're charging money for your software, then you should be subject to the same conditions as the large players. It might not be a bad idea to look into some liability insurance if you want to sell your code.

Comment Hanging out in the CS lab (Score 2, Interesting) 571

There was only a single semester when I *needed* the computer lab, and that was the first I had moved off campus. I didn't want to shell out the cash for internet access because, lets face it, I would spend so much time in the CS lab anyway.

The CS lab was linked directly with the department file server, and I had been running linux full time since my sophomore year. As long as I had enough bandwidth to upload a source file, or download the occasional lib file the prof provided, there was no need for me to be in that lab, and on campus bandwidth was plentiful.

So why do it? I liked the company. I didn't like everyone in that department, to be sure, but most of the folks I knew were pretty good guys (and a couple girls), and it was fun swapping stories of funky things we were experiencing on our own systems, problems we were having with our current projects, or the latest interesting story on Slashdot.

I was a TA for most of my college career, but I spent so much time in the lab that the idea of logging my hours was really a joke. I think it was true for just about every one of the upperclassmen (and those who knew what they were doing) that we were always there to help out anyone who asked.

There was a lot to be gained from that experience. The CS lab was a space where we could work with others, where we could serve as mentors, and where we could get a feel for what it might possibly like to work in a room full of other people with a common interest. I shudder to think of what my CS experience would have been like without that space.


Submission + - GIMP 2.4 Released 3

Enselic writes: After almost three years since the release of GIMP 2.2, the GIMP developers have just announced the release of GIMP 2.4.

The release notes speaks of scalable bitmap brushes, redesigned rectangle/ellipse selection tools, redesigned crop tool, a new foreground selection tool, a new align tool, reorganized menu layouts, improved zoomed in/zoomed out image display quality, improved priting and color management support and a new perspective clone tool.

Submission + - Chef Uses IP Law to Protect Resteraunt (nytimes.com)

starX writes: "Chef Rebecca Charles of the Oyster Bar filed suite in Federal Court against Ed McFarland, chef and co-owner of Ed's Lobster Bar in SoHo, and Charles' former sous chef. Charles argues that McFarland has brazenly copied the look and feel of her restaurant in what she esteems to be a violation of her intellectual property. From the NY Times article:

The suit, which seeks unspecified financial damages from Mr. McFarland and the restaurant itself, charges that Ed's Lobster Bar copies "each and every element" of Pearl Oyster Bar, including the white marble bar, the gray paint on the wainscoting, the chairs and bar stools with their wheat-straw backs, the packets of oyster crackers placed at each table setting and the dressing on the Caesar salad.

Feed Feds Pull Traveler Help Site (wired.com)

Homeland Security pulls down a website link for travelers with watchlist problems after 27BStroke6 points out security flaws. But TSA won't say whether the site was legal. In 27B Stroke 6.

We're here to give you a computer, not a religion. - attributed to Bob Pariseau, at the introduction of the Amiga