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Comment Re:You Just Don't Know When to Shut Up, Do You? (Score 1) 705

Copyright does not protect 'ideas'. Copyright protects a particular--read specific--expression/manifestation of an idea. . . Ideas have no legal protections whatsoever in the US, except perhaps certain areas of patent law but that is not the same as copyright law. Now I agree that this lawsuit is silly, as is the fact that 'Happy Birthday' requires someone to pay royalties for each and every public performance. . . but the fact that I don't like it doesn't change the fact that someone owns the rights to those specific expressions of ideas. . . though I think in the end this woman will given a somewhat reasonable settlement offer or, more likely, will have the charges against her dropped due to the bad publicity against whatever corporation owns the film rights. . . a story like this is more likely to get public support than someone who entered a cinema with the intention of recording the entire film in order to put it on the intertubes. . .

Comment Schrodinger's Bank (Score 5, Funny) 445

They will exist in both a state of winning and losing this case regardless of the outcome. Cool! I would ask why this stupidity is allowed to continue but then I remember that people like this thought credit default swaps were a pretty neat idea. . .

Comment Well Since they are German. . . (Score 1) 461

It's got to have a really long name made out of a string of words something that might look like:

Atomare-Struktur-Mit-HundertzwÃlf-Protonen-Und- Elektronen-Die-Zeigt-dass-Deutschland-Ist-Wissenschaftlich-Besser-Als-Alle-Anderen-Nationen-Der-Welt,-Nehmen-Sie-Sich-Also-Dass Francium!

(Nuclear-Structure With 112 protons & electrons That showsthat Germany Is Scientifically better than any other nation in the world, so take that Francium! note: quite probably just gibberish in German, as it has been babelfished ;)

Comment Re:Yes (Score 1) 524

I could kind of see the price being this high if the wires were gold, but 'high purity' copper for $499 wrapped in a woven jacket that reduces 'vibration'? Seriously, would the vibration of 1.5 meters of cabling be so much that the human ear could detect whatever signal loss occurred? Do people seriously buy this stuff or is this some sort of joke because if I knew anyone who actually spent 500 bucks on a bit of cabling that has 'signal directional markings are provided for optimum signal transfer' I would think they are an idiot with far more money than sense. I can understand scientific instruments needing as little signal loss as possible, but a home stereo? If rich people are this gullible, I think I'll take some high purity copper wire and coat it in a handwoven jacket with colorful markings that show audio signal electrons exactly which way they should be going for the best sound ever! Yours today for $1,999! Act now and I'll include the ultra-mega-super-duper signal enhancing plastic plug-in thing, guaranteed to direct the copper wires into gentle and loving contact with the connectors of your audio device. No extra charge! Call now!

Comment a bit premature to declare death... (Score 2, Insightful) 571

While larger schools may have incoming students with their own laptops, smaller community colleges and colleges with higher percentages of older/non-traditional students will still have need of the local campus computer lab. I attend a small local college of about 1,200 students, many of which are former GM employees. Our campus computer labs are almost always very busy with people typing papers up and so forth. Our campus even utilizes the computer labs for some creative writing and digital photography classes. It seems to me that your particular campus that is shutting down it's computer lab is not considering multiple uses for their labs. It may be they don't need it but still to me it seems as if they are under-servicing their students by not keeping such labs around.

Comment I've got it! (Score 1) 297

"You are accessing a long-distance website, additional charges may apply" I wish bbs' back in the day had that back in the day. I might have not have incurred the wrath of my parents when the phone bill arrived for the first time after I discovered the joy of some out-of-state bulletin boards that had a lot of interesting files that took a while to download on my shiny new 14.4. . . but the bootleg copy of doom II beta was worth the many, many hours damnit! >.>

Comment Microsoft is shooting itself in the foot (Score 1) 1127

'Windows Genuine Advantage' is not an advantage but a pain in the ass to deal with. Having to change settings just so I can see file extensions and my own files is a pain as well. I've not tried windows 7, but it sounds like it's built for people who cannot be bothered to ever actually learn about their computers. Let me guess, the Premium Ultra Mega Business Edition will actually allow you to access all of your files in all of the directories. Microsoft is going to annoy those people who know nothing about computers with all the crap it does without telling anyone, and those of us who know anything about computers will get frustrated when the operating system we paid for locks us out of portions of drive. . and then messing with the soundcard so it does not function as intended?!? Who's brilliant idea was that I wonder. I do a bit of amateur music production and because I'm a broke single parent/college student I use my laptop as a recording studio. I use guitar FX pedals connected from the sound output through a mixer--because I hate using a mouse to move sliders--looped back through the audio input. . It seems like such a stupid way to 'stop' the pirating of drm'd music. Those that want to do it can either use an older machine, or use multiple soundcards. This will only really serve to annoy the casual user once again. I wonder if this also would degrade the quality of a non-usb headset mic/headphones. Gah. . Microsoft seems to want to turn computers into a glorified console where the normal user cannot do anything that is not 'allowed' by them. Well, if this is their strategy I'm going to be keeping my XP for many years to come.

Comment gotta love the name of this thing. . . (Score 1) 1235

Sounds like there is a scourge of man-eating camera-equipped cell phones stalking people in the urban jungle. *insert Australian accent here* "Here we are today stalking the rogue Predator Camera Phone. See how it opens and closes it's terrible jaws, while taking a rather blurry photo of its victim. Crikey, if only it had a warning click its prey could escape!"

Comment What the hell is with the cheesy music? (Score 1) 659

I think my old Casio keyboard I got for Christmas in the mid 80's had a more realistic sound to it when ya hit the demo button. This is just bad. . . Sounds like the folks at Microsoft Research have been listening to too much Wesley Willis while trying to come up with ideas. Makes me a bit sad though, Microsoft Research developed the best multi-player game I've ever played; Allegiance (can be found at freeallegiance.org). I hope it was just a slow day at the office for these developers, and they are just scrambling to show M$ something to avoid being laid off. . .

Comment Re:SUVs (Score 1) 897

Indeed, back in the early 90's the GM plant in my town (Janesville, WI) retooled the plant in order to build SUV's and light trucks almost exclusively, rather than a mix of trucks and cars. They even got the city and state to build a special access road--that caused several local businesses and homeowners to relocate--to haul materials to and vehicles from the plant. While the plant made some E85 vehicles, the bulk of the vehicles they made were the gas guzzling Yukon, Suburban, Tahoe, etc. The plant is closing regardless of what they do with their stimulus money because they claim they cannot re-tool it to make fuel efficient cars--of course they don't mention the millions the state of Wisconsin paid either directly or through tax incentives to re-tool for the-then profitable SUV market. Really don't know what a good solution for the industry as a whole to do--I don't want to see the automakers fail as I believe strongly in unions and such--but this idea seems a bit odd. I would think that existing manufacturers of railway engines and such would be able to re-tool for such a task for far less than the auto industry could switch over. I think it would be far more likely to switch over to the production of smaller vehicles with more fuel-efficient engines. We are a car culture, and I don't think that is going to dramatically change any time soon.

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