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Comment Re:Miss the artwork (Score 1) 136

That isn't format shifting. It may be legal where you live, but in most places I'm sure it wouldn't be. If you want to format shift, you do it from the copy you own.

Many modern vinyl records come with a code that allows you to download a digital copy, completely legally and DRM-free.

The legality of going outside the record label to get your digital files is a little unclear, too. Go check listings for CDs and records on Amazon, for example. You'll find that many include a digital (meaning MP3) copy as well -- only in this case it's Amazon that's providing it, not the record label. The service is called "AutoRip."

Comment Re:For 20+ years... (Score 1) 223

I agree with the NYT. I'm only a recent subscriber, but I find it covers my interests pretty well. If I want breaking news, I can get that with some of the best reporting in the country (and it will even buzz my phone to alert me, probably more often than I'd like). On other days, if I just want to read about travel destinations or check out movie reviews or read about books, I can do that, too. It's kind of like what they say about cameras: the only "good" camera is the one you actually leave the house with. Likewise, subscribing to a publication doesn't do you much good if actually reading it starts to feel like a chore.

For example, I used to subscribe to The Economist, but inevitably I found its style fatiguing. Its coverage is thorough, but there were just too many weeks where I found myself not reading anything, because it felt like too much of an investment when there were so many other things (like books) I could be reading. Even the audio edition (included with your subscription), which initially I marveled at, started to feel too pedantic and lifeless to really enjoy listening to. A shame, but I might still try it again if a really good bargain price came along.

Comment Re:So? (Score 1) 95

But we're talking about commercial scale. If you only want 50 copies of a book, then sure, you could use inkjet technologies to print 50 books with unique features. We're talking about 7 million unique items, though, and in four-color process, too. I doubt it would have been possible 5-7 years ago.

Comment Re:No (Score 1) 808

2) character literals have the type char, rather than int. That means their size is different, and hence programs behave differently.

Admittedly I haven't looked at the standard in a long time, but last I heard, all of this is platform dependent. As in, if you're programming C on multiple platforms and making the assumption that a char is the same size as an int, you could be in for a rude awakening at some point.

Comment "Without spending much at all..." (Score 1) 57

Subject heading says it ... I'll say these companies can pat themselves on the back without spending much at all, especially when "being able to leave early on Friday" comes with the proviso that you must have completed a full eight-hour day of work before you leave. As long as those are the terms, shit, why not extend the policy to the rest of the week, too? Then, once everybody is working until their fingers bleed, you can gradually start dialing the policy back again, so you're getting 16 hours worth of work out of every employee, every day. EFFICIENCY! What could go wrong?

Comment Sooooo.... about that USA Facts site... (Score 1) 120

That USA Facts site sounds like an interesting idea, but the implementation could sure use some work. Navigate to the homepage and you're given a search box: What do you want to know about? "Search for some things."

Off the top of my head, I decide to compare the number of deaths by firearm due to murder and the number of firearm deaths due to suicide. And ... for the life of my, I can't figure out how to make it call up that information. Which is odd, since if you went to the original Department of Justice surveys from which this data is surely drawn, you can figure it out in a minute or two. There are tables that show precisely those figures, labeled as such! So why is it so difficult to twist USA Facts' arm to extract that data?

Seems like his data sources are sound, but his search engine leaves much to be desired.

Comment I dunno, how do YOU keep track of information? (Score 1) 119

The questions seems weird to me. The media organizations I've been involved with have all gathered, filtered, and kept track of information using a loosely networked system of devices known as trained human brains. Much of information-gathering is subjective; there are many "pieces of information" that cross your desk each day which ultimately can and should be discarded, often because the "information" is simply inaccurate. I imagine it would be very difficult to train any kind of computer to make value judgments on something as vague and indeterminate as "information."

That said, one system that may resemble what the poster is talking about is the Bloomberg Terminal. It gathers information and news -- chiefly about financial markets -- and allows users to slice and dice it in various ways. I'm not sure any news-gathering organizations outside Bloomberg itself use it (or are allowed to use it), but Bloomberg makes a lot of money making the Terminals available to Wall Street traders and the like. (Subscriptions are VERY expensive.)

Comment Re:Banning is the wrong thing for the elderly (Score 2) 219

Delivery services make life much easier when you have trouble leaving your home.

The thing is, it's not like anybody had any trouble getting food delivered before they invented robots. San Francisco is filled with delivery services ... for prepared meals, for groceries, for whatever you want. And when you add the fact that these robots each have a human to guide them around, it's hard to see what value they add.

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