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Comment Re:In Ancient Times (Score 1) 217

Somehow Joplin was making a $100,000 a week in the 1920's, even though it's fairly trivial to simply hand-copy someone-else's work.

Funny, because Scott Joplin died in 1917.

Even if hand-copying ragtime sheet music were trivial, which it is not, it was still more convenient to spend the 5 cents on an officially published copy of 'Maple Leaf Rag' than it was to spend 2 cents on some blank staff paper and three hours transcribing a copy borrowed from a friend.

Comment Re:facepalm (Score 1) 459

Isn't part of the point of linux that there isn't a face to it?

Linux is my mailserver
Linux runs on my access point
Linux runs on our company's DVR.

Linux is not an operating system for the desktop or for the server, or for the embedded device. Linux is an operating system for EVERYTHING.

I believe as far as commercial marketing goes, Cisco is already taking credit for running all of those things. Or Sun. Or Bernard Purdie.

Comment significant figures (Score 2, Insightful) 1038

The approximately correct answer range for this question was defined as anything between 65% and 75%. Only 15% of respondents answered this question with the exactly correct answer of 70%.

I'm sorry, no. Seventy percent is not "exactly correct". At best it is an estimate, and one that is subject to natural fluctuations due to things like temperatures, tidal patterns, etc.

How much should a layperson actually know about the planet's water coverage? "More than half water" is probably a little lacking; "between two-thirds and three-quarters" is probably about right.

"Between 70% and 71%" is worthless nitpicking, a rote recitation of a rule of thumb learned in grade school, the same place they learned that the speed of light is 186,000 miles per second, there are 2,000 pounds in a ton, and 1 yard = 1 meter.

Comment Re:Mouse (Score 1) 217

One might also note that the PS/2 port is electrically compatible with the old AT keyboard that debuted in 1984, on a system with a 6MHz 8086.

Additional things that one might note:
- the AT keyboard debuted in 1984 as part of the IBM PC/AT system, which was based on the 80286, though some 8086/8088-based PC- and XT- compatibles got BIOS updates that allowed the AT keyboard to be used on them
- with the advent of USB, fewer and fewer desktop PCs over the past decade have been including PS/2 ports, with inclusion on laptops now approaching zero

Comment Re:Lawyers? We don't need no stinkin lawyers for t (Score 2, Informative) 492

I thought if one is using 10secs (I'm unsure if there is a real number or duration) of any video, song, or literature it is not 'reproducing' or distributing IP or copyright, but Fair Use, and therefore not against a civil or criminal law.

Fair Use is about HOW a copyrighted work is used, not simply HOW MUCH of it is used.

If the source material is readily identifiable, and it is not clearly apparent that the re-user is engaging in a protected action like academic study, critical review, or parody, then the odds are pretty good that in the eyes of the law it will be considered a derivative work, and a copyright violation if not properly licensed.

Adding the video aspect of this work actually makes it MORE likely that the source material will be identifiable. You probably wouldn't be able to tell from 2-second audio-only snippet that a drum pattern was originally performed by Bernard Purdie, but when the audio is accompanied by the video footage of him actually playing it in one of his instructional videos, it gets a lot more identifiable.

Comment Re:What the hell? (Score 1) 653

The same could be said of the guy working at the QuikyMart. Do you treat them with the same 'respect' that you do the police?

'Respect', in sociological terms, is little more than acknowledgement of a power differential. It is irrefutable that at the moment when a police officer has stopped a citizen on suspicion, the police officer wields a lot more power.

Comment Re:Ram drives suddenly new again? (Score 2, Interesting) 79

Throw and equivalent amount of money at REAL RAM, such that your machine never swaps and everything will run much better.

This approach works, but only up to a point.

Sure, a system with a 64-bit address bus is theoretically capable of addressing 16 petabyes of RAM, but how many motherboards do you know of that have more than six or eight DIMM slots? I don't think they make 2-million-terabyte DDR3 sticks, yet...

Comment Re:Should have included PostgreSQL and DB2 (Score 1) 159

This study would have carried more weight if it had included PostgreSQL and IBM's DB2. These two databases do more serious work than MySQL although many believe MySQL is more widely deployed.

"Study"? This is a book review.

Thanks for getting the "WHAT ABOUT POSTGRES" comment that must accompany every Slashdot story submission that mentions MySQL out of the way early, though.

Comment Re:Taste is subjective, Sound waves aren't (Score 4, Insightful) 743

There is no accuracy in coffee that expensive coffee is closer to than Sanka is.

Who says 'accuracy' is a desirable quality of a musical recording?

Certainly not the musicians who "punched in" re-takes of passages where they were unhappy with their first performance, or the producer who demanded that the singer's performance be processed with autotune, or the engineers who applied reverb, compression, and EQ to each recorded part individually, made volume adjustments to everything during mixdown, and then applied more compression and EQ to the finished product, or the CD duplicator that took the 48kHz/24-bit master DAT and transcoded it down to a 44.1kHz,16-bit master...

Comment Re:And Futurama (Score 1) 753

And don't tell me Fox doesn't know this, their syndication of The Simpson all through high school at 5 & 5:30 on weekdays was very popular.

It's worth pointing out, if it's not already clear to everyone, that daytime scheduling of syndicated content is done by the affiliate station, not by the network. So you may have got a double-dose of The Simpsons at 5:00 and 5:30PM watching Fox 5 WNYW in New York, but a viewer watching Fox-affiliated My13 KCOP in Los Angeles might only get a single episode, at 6:30PM.

Comment Abrams (Score 1) 444

"If J.J. Abrams' reboot is successful (and the latest trailer suggests it will be!) perhaps we'll see him involved with a new Star Trek TV show with the style and impact of Fringe or Lost."

Oh, you mean it will start off with a compelling premise, but it will eventually become clear that the writers are just making shit up as they go, and soon everyone (Abrams included) will have given up on it and moved on to the next new, compelling premise?

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