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Comment A curse or a blessing? (Score 1) 5

It's debatable whether or not perfect pitch is a blessing or a curse. The Western tuning system (I can't speak for other tuning systems found in different cultures) is not perfect and in fact requires unconscious ear training before the music "makes sense." Ever listen to traditional Chinese music? It can sound pretty alien because our ears are not accustomed to their different method of slicing up an octave.

I read a great book in high school (given to me by my music teacher) called, "Temperament" and it detailed the history of how the piano came to its current form. It's quite interesting to see the weird pianos that were invented before its current incarnation was finalized (along with our tuning system).

Fascinatingly enough, early musicians had big problems while tuning pianos (or precursors to the piano, such as the harpsichord). They initially started with an absolute note (such as C) and tuned subsequent notes perfectly in harmony to this starting note. The result was that any piece in C sounded wonderful, but if the musician were to try to modulate or transpose the piece to an alternate key, the tones did not resonate very well and sounded like "howling wolves." After much struggle and experimentation, the final system that was decided upon (and is still in use in Western tuning today) is a system where an octave is equidistantly sliced into twelve parts. Because of this slight compromise in pitch (that is, the fifths, fourths, and octaves are no longer "perfect"), world-class singers and classical instrument players can purportedly have difficulty staying in tune with a piano.

My whole digression is to make the point that individuals with perfect pitch might notice all the little tuning inconsistencies that most people automatically and unconsciously adjust to the nearest expected pitch. I can't imagine being bothered by every little out of tune pitch I ever heard... not to mention I would probably get speeding tickets -- "Officer, I know I was doing 80 in a 65 zone, but my fifth gear RPM is exactly A 440 at 80 MPH and, well, I can't stand it when my transmission is flat."


Submission + - Pirate Bay appeal refused by Swedish Supreme Court (

concertina226 writes: The Swedish Supreme Court will not hear an appeal from the founders of The Pirate Bay against prison sentences and fines imposed by the Swedish Court of Appeals, the court said on Wednesday.

Over a year ago, the Court of Appeals sentenced Fredrik Neij, Peter Sunde, and Carl Lundström to 10 months, eight months and four months of jail time, respectively. The court also said they must collectively pay a 46 million kronor (£4.3 million) fine.

Comment Proper response to piracy (Score 2, Informative) 239

Many game developers are fed up with PC piracy and feel they are in a lose-lose situation and they don't want to choose between DRM-laden software or Internet activation... these companies (maker of Crysis comes to mind) vow to develop more heavily for the "console" platforms (XBox, etc.) because piracy is less common there. Of course, if Crysis 3 is console-only, people will probably go the extra mile and modify their boxes and pirate it anyways, but that's beside the point. The point is, game devs (along with authors and other artists) have manned up for ages and when piracy becomes an issue for them, they find a solution that doesn't involve hundreds of frivolous lawsuits that is harming everybody with its costs in tying up our legal system.

Comment Re:Easy to shut off... (Score 1) 137

I think you forgot the biggest (first) step - creating a GMail account and logging in.

Interestingly, my brother-in-law just bought a new phone (I don't even know what the heck model it is, but it runs Android). It would not let him sync to his Facebook contacts, he was required to create a GMail account to use the phone. Didn't sound like opting out was possible.

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If I have seen farther than others, it is because I was standing on the shoulders of giants. -- Isaac Newton