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Comment Re:yes (Score 1) 1010

Her statement back to the interviewer was "How am I suppose to know how to use an adding machine if no one has ever taught me" at which point the interview was ended.

coincidentally, i just finished rereading atlas shrugged last week. she sounds just like Philip Rearden.

btw, there are apparently whole countries that just don't practice change minimization--i got the funniest looks in singapore when i'd offer eleven dollars (a ten and a one) for a six-dollar purchase. i'd just nod and smile and hope they'd learn something useful when they saw what their machine said....

Comment how do you define "ISP"? (Score 1) 250

my first internet access was through dialup (actual modem-dialer dialup, pre-PPP) to a university VAX, where i fiddled around with email, usenet, ftp, gopher, and the very early web. there were also Delphi and GEnie and so on--dial straight into the SPRINT data line and see if there's anything interesting going on on the message boards.

my first ISP (in the normal sense of the word) was probably two or three years later.

somewhere in between were the GUI-based online service providers--Prodigy, CompuServe, AOL, eWorld, even Juno at some point.

i've only personally, voluntarily switched ISPs (as opposed to moving, changing dorms, my parents' doing it, etc.) once, i think--i had a cable modem connection in new york city a few years back that was so bad i switched to DSL, even tho it was Verizon and it took them a month to get me hooked up.

Comment Re:LTE? How about Android and IPhone (Score 1) 299

i wish iOS had bb's ability to handle very-low-bandwidth conditions. my bb can send and receive email seamlessly, and browse the web with mild difficulty, in a one-bar environment where my iPhone just spins, assuming it can get an IP address at all. (that's about the only thing i like about bb tho....)

Comment Re:For fuck's sake (Score 1) 288

no, that's war crimes. if you commit acts of war, then you're in a state of war, which means the armed forces of your opponent are legally justified in shooting you dead as soon as they can find you. that's the whole point of legal concept of "state of war".

(there's a fine point to be argued about whether acts that would be acts of war given a formal declaration of war are acts of war or war crimes, but that's a different question.)

Comment four (Score 1) 380

driver's license, work id, old college id (i still live in the same city, it's sometimes handy for getting into alumni events), and "passport card" (the thing that lets you drive into canada or mexico). (i'm not really sure why i carry that last--i think it may be a carryover from a year i spent living abroad a couple years back when having unambiguous proof of US citizenship on me at all times seemed like a good idea.)

Comment 5? (Score 1) 280

Windows and Linux at work [1]; OS X at home [2]; iOS on my iPhone, iPad, and new Apple TV; and whatever iPod Nanos run [3].

If you get into versions, it's XP for all the Windows work; Redhat 4, 5, and 6 for Linux at work; currently straight Debian (I think Sid?) at for Linux at home; mostly Leopard through Lion for OS X [4]; and iOS 5.

Oh, and I have a dev edition of an Intel tablet I got for free that I've booted exactly once. I think it runs Maemo or Meego or something?

Do we count firmware? I'm pretty sure my receiver, TV, Blu-ray player, and cameras all run things sophisticated enough to be called OSs....

[1] And very occasionally Solaris (8, mostly, I think).

[2] With occasional interludes of Windows or Linux at home, mostly via VMs.

[3] Also miscellaneous earlier iPods, from original up to 3rd gen Shuffle, that get used an average of once a year.

[4] And one ancient Tiger box I boot maybe once a year.

Comment Re:What is the definition (Score 2) 83

What is the definition of "Classical" music? I thought that the works composed by Bach, Beethoven, Mozart and so on were out of copyright anyway.

the problem is that the vast majority of recordings of classical music are under copyright (to the orchestra or whatever). anything old enough to be public domain by sheer age is going to sound terrible (mono 78s at best, and almost certainly recorded "acoustically" through a horn) and there's not going to be much because of the format limitations of the time. (10-inch 78s hold 3min a side, that's about right for a piano etude. hard to put a symphony on those....)

there's a similar issue actually with sheet music--most of the good sheet music for those same pieces is under some degree of copyright control. i wonder if anyone's looking at doing the same thing there? you could transcribe whole swaths of the canon to MusicXML or ABC and release them under CC-SA or GFDL pretty cheaply, i'd think.

Comment Re:What is the definition (Score 1) 83

iirc definition 2 was originally supposed to relate to "classical" in its primary definition of the time--"relating to Classical Civilization", i.e. ancient greece and rome (cf. classical architecture). i think the idea was that this music was a simplification from the baroque period that preceded it.

Comment Re:16-digit ID (Score 1) 164

9 999 999 999 999 999
I have no idea what number that is. What comes after trillions?

It's called Quintillions

actually (in short/american count) it's quadrillions. (10e15 is ten quadrillion.)

and the only book that I've read that would even approach that would be Niven's Ringworld... and I'm sure that even that would fall short.

a ringworld as wide as the earth and at our orbit would have roughly 5 trillion square miles (~8000 miles * ~100e6 miles * 2 * pi) (inside) surface area.

10e15/5e12 is 2000 people per square mile, slightly less than bangladesh, and about 24x america -- feasible, if not terribly probably.

Ringworld itself is unlikely to have anything close to this "now", given what the Puppeteers did to it, but i suppose it might have back when the Pak were running things.

Perhaps a large star cluster full of Ringworlds?

a (solid) dyson sphere at our orbit would have about 125 quadrillion (4 * pi * ~100e6 miles^2) square miles (inside) surface area, and could thus accommodate 10e15 people at 1 per ~12.5 square miles (~0.08 per square mile), just slightly more than greenland, and 15x less than alaska.

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