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Comment Re:Phirst phoast (Score 1) 520

The problem I run into is that my primary venues for listening to music and podcasts (both of which I enjoy very much) are not particularly conducive to doing so: either in the office, where I have to keep the music low or in the car, where tire/road noise eats 50% of the sound.

With that in mind 128 kbps IS perfectly acceptable--even with flac, I CAN'T turn it up loud enough to hear ANYTHING distinctly, so there's no sense in wasting disk space on quality I'll never hear.

I don't enjoy my musical predicament nor think it's a good way to "listen" to music, but it's where I'm at right now and I'm guessing it's not particularly uncommon.


Submission + - Study Released: How Students Use Wikipedia ( 1

crazybilly writes: First Monday recently released a study about how college students actually use Wikipedia. Not surprisingly, they found, "Overall, college students use Wikipedia. But, they do so knowing its limitation. They use Wikipedia just as most of us do — because it is a quick way to get started and it has some, but not deep, credibility." The study offers some initial data to help settle the often heated controversy over Wikipedia's usefulness as a research tool and how it affects students research.

Comment Re:not for long (Score 1) 198

Agreed. I find the spinning cube particularly useful, if only because it provides some immediate, positive reinforcement for using multiple desktops. I'm getting to the point now where I remember to use them all the time, but as a new Linux user, I often forgot about them. Till I started using the cube and found out how much fun it was to spin the dang thing.

Fun + cube = greater productivity.

Comment Re:Did She Create Something New? (Score 1) 449

I think that it's possible for a book composed entirely of excerpts to be an excellent, creative, and original work. The key question for me is whether the author stole someone's novel and changed some bits, or genuinely pasted together pieces from a body of work in order to create something new.

Having not read the book, and seen no real analysis of its content, I can't comment on whether this was achieved, but if it was I don't think it flies in the face of copyright (especially as applied to literature).

This hits the nail on the head. Excellent sampling takes a bit of an old work, and while referencing it, creates something new out of it. Does this book create something new? or does it simply parrot the old? Is the 'sampling' (or plagarism) a purposefully act, and is it done for a justifiable literary reason? What does referencing, or perhaps more accurately, replaying Strobo (or whatever the original work was) mean within the new work?

The answer to those questions determines whether she's a dirty, lazy plagarist or a Girl Talk-esque genius. Without reading the book, I'd have a lot of troubles making that judgement call.

(All that said, I think not immediately giving credit where credit is due up front is ridiculous and unethical no matter what she's doing. Whether or not it is (or rather should be) illegal is different story.)

Comment Re:The first is still the best (Score 1) 474

Well said. I do think that Episode I feels substantially different (note how shiny the ship is vs. the decroded Mellinuium Falcon), but those are pretty purposeful thematic choices (even if they're not as cool).

The best way to address this lack of perspective is from a quote from Episode IV that threatens to ruin the movie with its overwhelming lameness almost as much as Jar-Jar did Episode I:

You came in that? You're braver than I thought!"

Don't forget to feign incredulity.

Comment No victim-free ways to catch potential fraud (Score 1) 184

The last (and first) time I got a fake cashier's check I called the police both locally and in the town where I was supposed to send the money. Their response was that they couldn't do anything because until I cashed the check (for which I was liable), no crime had been committed.

Long story short, there's no way to catch potential fraud without the victim risking going to jail as well.


Comment Re:Make eBooks Cheaper! (Score 1) 494

Holy crap, $2.50? You must either:
  1. live in a big town where's it's seriously impractical to get to the library
  2. not enjoy the library atmosphere

Our library is between my house and my office, so dropping by to pick something up/drop something off is no big deal. Previously, it was in walking distance of the office, so I could hit it during lunch, so getting there is never a hassle.

I grew up in a small town with a tiny library. But even then, I enjoyed the feeling of being IN a library. I'm not convinced I'd pay money to avoid that feeling.

Comment Re:Consolas (Score 1) 394

I'm pretty sure they can be. I know they can be licensed (the Droid family is under the Apache license, iirc). Regardless, I know you can't legally distribute fonts unless they're under some sort of share-alike style license (Free Software licenses, CC license, etc). That's why there's such a big stink about this @font-face thing in html5 (or the new css or whatever it is).

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