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Comment Re:What efficient substitute for Internet radio? (Score 1) 314

So if someone wants to listen to music other than the music that the major labels pay the FM stations to play, how should he more efficiently listen to such music while away from fixed line broadband?

One way is to look at some of the lesser known FM stations (public/college radio) that are out there, especially if you live in the vicinity of an interesting city (if not, you might well be out of luck). I have a 45+ minute commute by car, and no data plan, so I face this problem daily. Here in the Boston area, I listen to WZBC (Boston College) and the local NPR station, and sometimes the MIT station (WMBR). When I lived in New York City, it was WFMU 24/7 basically. I send money to these stations to help keep them viable among the absolutely awful commercial FM radio stations and internet streaming they have to compete with. Finding and supporting local alternative FM stations is critical to solving this problem. It's getting more difficult, though.

Comment Re:Just an excuse. (Score 1) 105

This immediately reminded me of a paper I came across some years ago reporting measurement of the magnetic susceptibility of cigarette ash from different brands of cigarettes:

Magentism of Cigarette Ashes (pdf)

From the experimental section:

We have studied ashes (whole products residue)
from smoked by different smokers cigarettes from
three different commercially available on the
market brands, labeled as follows: Camel
(CM)—three varieties: Camel filter normal (CM),
Camel Light (CML) and Camel 100s (CM100);
Marlboro (MR) and the Bulgarian brand
Shipka (SH). Ashes were collected in glass pots
and used for magnetic measurements without
further treatment.

Glass pots. You mean, ashtrays?

(by the way, I have had that same sig for many years, but it perhaps has never been so appropriate...)

Comment Re:If you want the short answer (Score 1) 290

I disagree. There is a market for a linux distro like Ubuntu 10.04. Just a bare bones linux distro with some gadgets and some UI fringes, but basically a linux that you can use for work. Ubuntu has moved away from that. I have to find another linux that gives me just a shell and apt-get and some more. I am a programmer. I don't want my linux to become windows because I want to be in control.

But, how much would you pay for said distro? Downloading for free is not a "market", and I suspect as a programmer you would not buy it.

Comment Re:I do not use the same password for multiple sit (Score 2) 339

I can tell you that RCN cable does. I was with RCN for many years, even using their email. Two years ago I moved, and transferred my service. During the transfer process on the phone, they asked me my 'PIN' number for my voicemail. I didn't know it, because I never set one as I never used RCN voicemail. After answering some other questions, they told me over the phone what my 'PIN' was. Lo and behold it was my RCN email password, that I would never have given them as a voicemail PIN!!! It was complicated and hard for the person on the phone to read, and I was thinking to myself "where the f**k did you get that?"...

No. Don't ever reuse passwords, even if you add a suffix like 'rcn' at the end...

Comment Re:Learning Perl (Score 1) 624

I am not a programmer but I read this about 14 years ago because I needed to analyze some pretty big text files. I thought it was written spectacularly and got me up and going in no time at all. If nothing else, this book should be read by anyone looking to get into the business of writing good programming books.

Comment Re:PC! (Score 1) 133

Pinball really is a lost bit of nostalgia. I bet you a LOT of money could be made if classic machines such as Dr. Who, Attack from Mars, Revenge From Mars, Terminator, were adapted to the PC. I mean, Maxis' Full Tilt Pinball is the last decent pinball sim I can think of. And that was circa Windows 3.1

I agree. Although, while I haven't followed this in a while and I don't use Windows at home anymore, I was thrilled 7 or 8 years ago with vpinmame and Visual Pinball for machines like The Twighlight Zone, the Adams Family, and, well, Whirlwind, since I played that a lot in college. Actual ROMs, photographs of the tables as backgrounds, and real physics you could even edit, and it was all free (except for the ROMs technically, I guess...). Not sure what the status of these projects is these days, but I am inspired to check it out.

Comment Re:Realistically Speaking... (Score 1) 575

Besides, you know what he fucking meant, asshole.

Did you read the whole thread, or do you just get off on being a dick? Perhaps you just read snark into any short comment you disagree with. For the record, none was intended.

The grandparent said the following (in case you didn't bother to read it):

Social security is becoming a real burden on the nation. A lot of personal savings have been wiped out by our friendly neighborhood banks. Our healthcare system needs a major overhaul. Does it really do you any good to live to your 100's if you end up owing a couple of million dollars to someone and passing it onto your kids? I'd rather live the good life and fight the good fight, then peacefully leave when it's my time.

The parent then made a reasonable comment about how on an individual basis it's not possible to inherit debt. I simply chose to remind him of the fact that you certainly do inherit debt on a national level. Especially so in the context of health care, since your parents are or someday may be getting health care through Medicare, which is funded through your payroll taxes and is not long-term solvent under our current system. If you are relatively young and our system doesn't change soon, you should expect to inherit a significant debt burden on a national level with respect to health care. As the grandparent stated, our health care system does indeed need a major overhaul.

You, Dun Malg, said (in addition to the above quoted dickheadedness):

Not relevant. By the time it passes through the distortion lens of government, it's no longer real money, it's just federal debt. Federal debt never gets paid back anyway, it just waits for inflation to keep the interest payments at bay until GDP renders it inconsequential.

A dick you may or may not actually be, but ignorant you certainly are. Your reference to a distortion lens is quite apropos, however, considering the short-sightedness of your statement. The scheme you describe only works if there is someone willing to continue lending money and if you keep your debt in check with your GDP, which we are not doing now, and will not be able to do with our current system anytime in the near future. Keep borrowing and inflating away your debt obligations as a nation and you will soon find money from willing lenders drying up. Just look at Ireland. In the case of the US, you might also find the hard-earned savings of your citizens becoming worthless.

The situation we are in now is quite grave and I recognize the need to spend heavily to get this economy rolling again (and I really don't want to extent this into some political argument of that type). I'm mainly responding to your dickheadedness, Dun Malg, which is really pretty much borderline douchebaggery, backed up with only short-sighted stupidity, and I really do hope you were over-interpreting my short remark to mean something I didn't intend.

In any event, namecalling will certainly not get us anywhere towards resolving our financial problems, so I hope we can continue discussion elsewhere in a more productive manner.


The Courts

Apple Settles With Burst For $10 Million

Techdirt is reporting that Apple has settled their video streaming patent problems with Burst.com for the low low price of $10 million (USD). This comes in addition to the $60 million they wrestled away from Microsoft. "Burst's secret sauce is that there is no secret sauce. Burst's patent describes 'faster than real time' streaming. There's simply nothing novel or innovative about this; it's perfectly obvious that if you've got a fat enough pipe, you can download video faster than you play it, buffering the difference. Buffering isn't a new 'technology,' it's a common-sense programming technique that has been used for decades. In a sensible patent system, Burst would have been laughed out of the patent office for claiming they invented such an obvious concept. But in the upside-down world of the USPTO, filing patents on incredibly obvious concepts can net you tens of millions of dollars."

Submission + - 10 reasons why HP revenues hit $100 billion

Stony Stevenson writes: Hewlett-Packard's 2007 annual revenues shot past the $100 billion mark for the first time with sales reaching $104.3 billion for the year ending 31 October. itNews is running an article detailing 10 factors that helped make HP a $100 billion baby. Number one surprisingly comes out as: Hiring Carly Fiorina as CEO. Others include: "Making products that don't burst into flames", and "Buying Hot Companies".

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