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Comment U.S. Government Policy... (Score 1) 613

has, is -- and will be in the foreseeable future -- not to provide services for free which are already provided by commercial ventures unless the citizen can prove very low income and inability to pay.

Some cynics may even say the entire tax code is a guarantee of lifetime employment for accountants, but that may be far-fetched.

Or not.

Comment Noam Chomsky... (Score 1) 86

once posited that humans are "hard-wired" for speech (quotation marks are around his words). This is still an open question but the data seem to show he was right, and more data over time has swung the pendulum toward this view. It appears as if the DNA leads us toward syntax in some yet unknown manner.

Perhaps we are also hard-wired to see. This seems very likely to me; likely enough that I am willing to put a huge bet on it, if there are any takers....

TFA just reinforces the view that human sensory abilities and culture itself in fundamental ways are dependent on genetic information.

Comment Article links (Score 3, Insightful) 433

This is very disappointing...both because of the hyped-up /. summary and the overreaction of some of the media to his statements, made as a response to a question in a telephone news conference largely about News Corps.' financial side.

A former journalism teacher of mine prohibited the use of adjectives and to the word "I" outside quotation marks in news stories. Taking the /. summary as an example, we are left with nothing but a (relatively) reasonable quotation from someone (Murdoch) who has already spoken about this.

This summary is *wrong* on so many levels. It has severely overhyped the event and set up a straw man in that Murdoch speculated about asking Amazon for his subscribers' info but has not yet done so.

And where is /.'s moderation? How in the world did this ever get published on /.? Has /. become Digg?

Comment Re:Music as a Product (Score 2, Informative) 749

This is the "music as a service" model

You might think so but Metalitz in TFA says otherwise:

"No one expects computers or other electronics devices to work properly in perpetuity, and there is no reason that any particular mode of distributing copyrighted works should be required to do so."

This not only muddies the (logical) waters, but is dead wrong: The first computer I bought new (in 1990), an Acer laptop, 386-20Hz, still works. It will not run Windows Vista, but it runs DOS just fine -- still. It does what it was intended to do when it was bought. I do not expect it to run a modern OS. But I DO expect it to be repairable (it hasn't needed any) and to work as long as I live.

Same for my music and movies, Mr. Metalitz.

Comment Followup Study Suggestion (Score 2, Insightful) 245

Find young criminals who *have not* been caught and find out over twenty years how many crimes they committed well enough not to be caught at. Perhaps, the data might suggest, the groups studied were taught by incompetent leaders. We might be better served by studying successful criminals, who might behave differently. Or who might have been taught better work habits and techniques.

Or mebbe the youths in the study got caught "in a game" at first, but found dealing with the police, courts, other inmates, and the jail system itself emotionally satisfying in some way. This is called "institutionalisation."

Every year we pay for more and more police, and we get more and more crime.

Let's try something else. But, please, not another study like this one.

Comment Re:Reverse Payola? (Score 1) 253

Yes, I know. I didn't feel like going into detail, but I was a music director for a dominant medium-market AM radio station in the 70s, and one of my music "reps" was a former high school buddy who worked for one of the very, very major distributors. The stories he told, and the deals I was offered via "announcement parties," were chilling, to say the least.

He once asked me if I knew where he could get a 12-year-old boy for a music director in a neighboring city who would not otherwise play his "product." I quit the biz some short while later...but that's another story.

Comment Reverse Payola? (Score 1) 253

Only a few months ago, it was charged in the US Congress that record companies have been paying radio stations (again, like in the fifties) to play their records.

Now they want the stations to pay them?

Playing a recording on the air is better than advertising it, and the record companies know it.

This effort is bound to fail, if not ignite laughter.

Comment Tennessee Law (Score 2, Informative) 639

He's being prosecuted under the TN law, part of which is included in the article, which gives some background regarding SCOTUS' ruling and the rush of states to rewrite the virtual part of the law.

This or a case like it may go back to the Federal Courts on constitutional grounds and, eventually, back to SCOTUS. Whether they would revisit such a case is open to question.

Comment Re:Reunion Time (Score 1) 195

Not a possibility in my case, as I was using a lot of programs then (Pan, Sylpheed-claws, e, ytree, blackbox) that were not available in .rpms from RH or anyone else; they had to be compiled from source. This was Back in the Day while they were alpha and beta applications -- say around 2000-2001.

Comment Reunion Time (Score 1) 195

I last installed a RH/Fedora OS almost ten years ago -- RedHat 6.0. I loved it. I pulled down sources from and compiled them to try them out. I used that distro until the wheels fell off -- GCC became out-of-date and could not be updated nor could programs written for GCC-4 be compiled successfully under GCC-3, or so I heard. Same for the kernel, RH-6.0 being one of the first users of the 2.4 series (2.4.11, IIRC). The most modern kernel I remember installing on it was 2.4.35!

That took about five years. (I HATE installing and especially configuring new OSes!)

I used Knoppix 3.2.x for a year or so as a hard drive install but it would not update, Knoppix maintaining no repositories themselves, and the distro being incompatible (libraries) with Debian's repos.

I moved on to Ubuntu clones, Mepis-6 (two years) and Ultimate-2.0 XMas (six months.) No probs except I feel left out of the process. When I installed UE first time, a few things didn't work quite right. I ignored them for the time being, spending time finding and installing programs useful for the way I live -- Ufraw, ufraw-Gimp, Gimp, Digikam, (I have a pro-level DSLR and shoot RAW-DNG) and such. Then, after an update, the probs went away. Obviously, the updates fixed them, but I was not aware of how. Then, I was offered an opportunity to upgrade the distro to the newest one, and I tried it. Now, the system is not borked but imperfect, so time to install another.

I will try Fedora 11 (it's downloading now) with workstation compiling tools and see if I can keep it going for five years or so like RH-6. Or at least until GCC-5 and kernel 2.8.x become ubiquitous, whichever comes first.

Did I mention I HATE installing and configuring OSes?

Comment Not acid3 compliant? (Score 3, Informative) 319

I just installed Opera-10 beta bc Opera says it is 100% acid3 compliant, and went over to Bing and chose to search for an image. When I tried to modify the search filter settings from the default (moderate) to no filter, the popup that had the checkboxes appeared UNDER the image windows, making a selection impossible.

As usual MS seems to be ignoring standards.

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