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Comment He has a point... about commercial radio (Score 1) 203

Jay Z was of course talking about commercial radio, and he's totally right. Or so I believe... I can't remember the last time I willingly listened to commercial radio.

There are commercial-free radio stations that actually care about music (and the musicians, and the listeners), and aren't beholden to advertisers.

Of course, as has been the case for decades, there are still lots of good low-power college radio stations, with their ever-changing formats. The downside there is that you never know sort of music you're going to hear without looking at the schedule, and the format's going to change within a few hours when the next DJ comes on.

But I know of at least two commercial-free music radio stations in the US which play an amazing variety of music, new, old, popular and--most importantly--the unknown and/or obscure... and with a similar mix of music throughout the day on most weekdays.

I'm proud to be a founding member of Minnesota Public Radio's KCMP "The Current", going strong after over a decade. I no longer live in Minnesota but still listen. However, the station I now listen most often to is KEXP "Where the Music Matters". Aside from the fact that their proximity to Redmond means they're to cause things like their online playlist being crippled (relies on Azure I guess)

I've discovered SO much new music (and some old) from both of those stations, both of which stream their broadcasts 24/7.

Even in my city the local NPR affiliate has a commercial-free music channel, though currently it's only available on HD radio (or the web). Similar mix of music to the others, but with more emphasis on local artists.

Comment Lies, damned lies, and Slashdot headlines (Score 2) 42

Gee, that sounded so exciting. All this talk about images. If the editors had bothered to click the github link, they'd have seen this on the first page:

The Metropolitan Museum of Art provides select datasets of information on more than 420,000 artworks in its Collection for unrestricted commercial and noncommercial use. ...

Images not included

Images are not included and are not part of the dataset. Companion artworks listed in the dataset covered by the policy are identified in the Collection section of the Museum’s website with the Creative Commons Zero (CC0) icon.

It's metadata. No pictures. Hence the wikipedia links in the lame and misleading article.

Comment Re:garbage article (Score 1) 319

Interesting. Well, that's all the more reason we can't afford to let Chrome become the only browser left standing. Monopolies kill innovation and progress.

Personally, I just don't see why anyone would prefer Chrome over Firefox for everyday browsing. I'm not saying it's bad. It works great in my experience. Each browser has its pluses for developers and/or power users. But I'd say that neither browser is markedly better for the average user.

If not for the fact that Google keeps trying to shove it down everyone's throats, Microsoft-style, I doubt it'd have taken over the market. Sure helps to have a company with deep pockets behind you, doesn't it?

Comment Re:garbage article (Score 1) 319

I don't use Firefox on my mobile devices, though, because it just plain works poorly for me.

I also use FF (almost) exclusively for browsing on the desktop, but unlike you I do use Firefox on my Android phone. For me it definitely looks and works better than Chrome. But I never use FF for UI development anymore. The dev tools suck, and even just using them slows the whole browser down to the point it's unusable, unless you only have one or two tabs open.

Chrome definitely wins the contest for the best developer's browser. But all the better... I use superfast Chrome for development, and when it crashes or something goes wrong with my code, I can kill the browser without having to kill the browser I actually use for browsing. And of course, unlike some devs I know, I eventually test all my code with Firefox, my browser of choice.

I do mourn Firefox's ever-increasing irrelevance, but I don't mourn the passing of this dumb "Firefox everywhere" initiative. But we've been headed this direction before... remember Mozilla? Not the company, but the bloatware that Firefox replaced? Firefox still hasn't gotten anywhere near that bad (and in fact, it continues to get better, even as it continues to lose market share... thanks in no small part, I'm sure, to Mozilla's lack of focus on its core products). So maybe there's hope that something awesome will get pulled out of what's left of Mozilla before Chrome's growing dominance turns it into the next IE.

Speaking of Mozilla (the company), I also use Thunderbird exclusively as an email client. Though it's not very actively developed, it doesn't need to be. It's a solid email client, and email isn't exactly a moving target like the web.

Comment Re:Keeping up with the Macs (Score 2, Interesting) 313

Linux biggest problem is that they (Distro makers) were never willing to raise some serious money and actually try.

Yeah, it's a little hard to "sell" something for free and compete with the $$ marketing campaigns of major closed-source companies. Want to tell us about how easy it is for you to raise some "serious money"? I mean, whenever you decide you're willing to raise it.

Flat, high contrast UI is what's "in," get with it.

I'll stop here as I could list about 10 serious issues such as these.

Um, yeah. If you think adopting the latest gee-whiz, touch screen-obsessed, desktop-crippling, dumbed-down UI on a desktop OS is a "serious" issue, I'm pretty sure I don't care to hear about your other 8 "serious" issues.

Once in a rare while I install and open some old app that's no longer in development and is stuck with some old turn-of-the-century GTK/GTK2 UI. So ugly! Yes, things were crappy in 2000. You couldn't even install a popular Linux distro and expect it to "just work". Hard to imagine that today!

The only trouble I have with Linux (I currently use Ubuntu) is a recent regression on my MacBook Pro--used to work perfectly, and still does on the Mac Mini I'm using this very moment. But even with some ACPI issues on the laptop I'm happy I don't have to use OSX on it. But sorry, I digress. I was talking about actual functional issues, nothing as "serious" as the latest high-contrast, flat UI fashion.

As for the UI... yes, things sure have improved a lot in the UI/UX world in the past 17 years, except in the MS world which seems seems to have been devolving for a few years at least, and I commend Linux distros not keeping up with touch-obsessed disgraces like the Aero/Metro UI that looks like a card game or something.

Comment Re:In rural areas, wanted increase from 10 to 25Mb (Score 1) 292

Interesting. Thanks for clarifying that. Sigh--the world might be a much better place, if only the US were a multi-party democracy.

And yes, I know that net neutrality's death warrant was signed when Sanders lost the democratic primary (and is likely never coming back).

But the "digital divide" talk sounded surprisingly progressive for anyone coming from Big Telecom.

Comment Re:Let's teach critical thinking (Score 1) 212

There are almost 300 million people in the US over the age of 14. And to steal a line from George Carlin, consider how dumb the average person is, and then realize that half the population is dumber than that.

I've always thought that was a good joke, except that Carlin was conflating the ideas of "mean" (aka average) and "median".

Comment Re:Does it work better than a tree? (Score 1) 195

Though I did see in an old magazine (Mother earth news?) where someone rigged up a stove in their car to generate CO to burn in the engine. Don't know how true the article it was, or how well the car ran...

Oh yes, "wood gas" engines are a real thing.

The process of using oxygen starved combustion to turn organic material into a combustible gas has been known for 175 years. Gustav Bischof built the first wood gasifier in 1839. By the turn of the 20th century, before the use of natural gas started proliferating in the 1930s, in many municipalities syngas produced from coal was centrally produced and distributed via pipelines to homes and businesses to use for heating and cooking. In 1901, Thomas Parker made the first vehicle powered by wood gas.

Source: http://www.thetruthaboutcars.c...

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