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Comment Re:In Soviet Brazil (Score 2, Informative) 258

Actually not...I do stuff with intellectual property for a living, including replication management and licensing for music and film.

DVDs in retail packaging (cased, 4/0 cover, 4 color disc face, shrinked, top spine label, etc.) can cost well below 50 cents when produced in very large quantities. The last batch I had made came in at about $1.05 a disc, and was a short run for a small publisher.

As for old films: The publisher/studio is contractually bound to pay residuals/reuse on DVDs for the entire life of the copyright. SAG/DGA/WGA want their (pitifully small) cut. For the soundtrack, the AFM wants their cut. IATSE also gets a cut, which helps fund pension and health plans. This list goes on.

The point is, a certain amount of money does, in fact, flow to the original artists.

Comment Re:Offshore wind farms (Score 1) 252

Another issue is that offshore oil platform are much more easily attacked by an enemy. If we are pumping 30% of our oil from offshore rigs, and we get attacked by an enemy, we could be crippled around the country by fuel shortages if they took out the rigs, which could be done very easily with submarines and torpedoes.

Comment Re:El-Wrongo (Score 1) 651

Related to that:

I use some very high end printer's inks...As in letterpress, woodblock printing, and whatnot. I've never payed more than $400/gallon equivalent. There are some specialty pigments that can seriously cost, and I've gotten those in 200 ml jars. A standard carbon black is dirt cheap, especially in bulk.

On the commercial side of things, offset litho inks can be had for less than $10/pound...Same ink that prints the world's magazines and books.

Inkjet ink is a ripoff, and yes, we are stupid.

There are some good laser printers...and some inkjet companies that tout cheap cartridges. It is time for people to smarten up.

Comment Can O' Worms (Score 1) 513

Cubase or ProTools

Damn, did you just open one hell of a can of worms...Because there is a hell of a big world beyond Cubase and ProTools.

Cubase hasn't been considered a joke for a while, which is good. It's not a bad program.

A large number of the current DAW systems are very, very good, and have a place amongst serious musicians, mixers and composers.

Digital Performer still ranks supreme for a lot of music producers and film/TV composers (Zimmer, Elfman)...And it can utilize the PT audio system, cards and interfaces. It still has superior MIDI capabilities in some areas and does some nifty things with monophonic pitch detection.

Logic also has a place amongst the serious, though a smaller place.

And speaking of Steinberg, Nuendo is Cubase+everything needed for film, complex surround, specialized file formats etc. Cubase is the low-midgrade Steinberg product: Nuendo is, and always has been the flagship, dating back to its very, very brief days on the Irix platform (no, really).

Now, if we look at the very high end, we have some tools like Merging's Pyramix, Fairlight's impressive stuff, and for hardware, Euphonix, Harrison, Studer (yes, they make digital consoles), and even Otari for broadcast. But I digress.

Of course, the biggie DAW on Linux is Ardour. It supports CoreAudio (OS X) or ALSA/FFADO...No support for Windows users though. But why bother trying to program around Microsoft's inefficiencies? Ardour is very much a serious player. They had a partnership with Solid State Logic for a while, and put out a good package.

Cubase occupies a place in the market that I would describe as prosumer to pro...I wouldn't describe it as one of two 'serious' options. I would describe Cubase as the Honda of the audio production world: It does everything it needs to, but it's no Cadillac, no Rolls, and definitely no Oshkosh truck.

Comment Re:Related, in a way (Score 1) 709

OK, instead of debating pot (Sched. 1), why don't we debate the equivalent, legal, pill. After all, your entire last sentence describes the symptoms of our war on drugs, NOT the symptoms of marijuana use.

Sure. People die from impairment. Pot, booze, opiates, Oxycontin...cell phones, pets or children in the back seat...dashboard TVs...but I digress.

Marinol (Pure THC) is a schedule 3 drug. What we have is a tacit acknowledgment by the pharmaceutical industry, the FDA, the US government, and state governments across the nation that pure THC has a valid medical use and is of so little risk that it is a schedule 3 drug.

Yes, pot has problems. yes, it causes cognitive and memory loss issues...the problem that most people have is one of disproportionate response. THC is less dangerous than alcohol or tobacco, and that has been clinically shown.

When someone gets drunk, orders a pizza and masturbates in the privacy of their home, you don't automatically respond with a SWAT team. When someone smokes an 8th and drives, then we rightfully throw the DWI book at them...however, we also send them to jail for years, whereas a drunk gets probation.

It is a matter of proportionate response, and right now, we are seeing cancer patients getting tossed in jail, a mayor's dogs getting shot in a botched SWAT raid, and the symptoms of a war on drugs that are doing more harm than the drugs, per your last sentence.

In parting, a little trivia: MDMA (Ecstasy) was used clinically on and off for quite a while after its initial discovery in 1912 until its scheduling (I) in 1985. We are now studying this 'dangerous raver drug' as a possible treatment for PTSD. Our perceptions about an individual drug are rarely shaped by medicine, but routinely shaped by politics and FUD.

Comment Re:Our tax dollars at work. (Score 1) 385

The point is if you don't file your plans the town will send a poor fucking co-op student out there to mark the fucking thing on the map.

The thing about Northern Virginia is that the rules are different. Nobody wants to know, and nobody cares about random fibre lines. The local governments just want to ignore it. Fort Belvoir, CIA, NDRO, Tyson's Corner complex, the multitudes of defense contractors linked to or serving active DoD operations (Lockheed, EADS, Boeing, SAIC, Northrop, Raytheon, GD, UT, L-3 Communications, ATT, etc.) all have 'off map' needs. No Northern Virginian government just sends their poor co-op students out to map stuff. The local governments don't want to touch that mess. Better to just make it someone else's problem. Fairfax County doesn't care if 'black' lines get cut, because the Fairfax County voters don't care if lines get cut. I know a guy at a datacenter in Reston who was bird watching. He had a pair of decent binoculars. After a few minutes on his lunch break outside his building, a black SUV shows up, and they pester him with questions before telling him to stop and go back inside. He still has no idea which of the dozen building visible from his the US government has interests in.

Comment Re:Still working with Paper Tape (Score 1) 622

I've done it...

Not only have I played with a monotype, but I know some people who have computer controlled solenoids on the air tower. Basically, they can run their monotype via computer. A text document is rendered into a virtual paper tape, then spat out via the control board to a solenoid manifold on the air tower. Awesome stuff.

Newspaper Linotypes could be linked to a teletype, and could take wire service stories and cast them in real time while receiving. It ran the machines really, really hard.

Now, we could go back further: I have cast type the way Gutenberg did...With a hand mould and matrix. The first mass reproduction technology...

I didn't expect to see any typecasting comments in this article. It was a fun surprise.

Comment Re:Shouldn't it be easy to figure out? (Score 1) 106 you count raw tonnage of servers, or do you include the ancillaries like cable runs, UPS, cooling etc?

Easy way to win:

My Eniac replica, combined with my replicas of Mayan and Egyptian pyramids (purportedly used as astronomical know, by the illuminati, etc ;)) means that I win by sheer tonnage!

Comment Re:The problem is (Score 1) 591

Except you don't pay by volume.

Take Google's Dalles datacenter in Oregon. They pay for their water by the diameter of the pipe. They have (iirc) two 6 inch pipes. It doesn't matter if a drop or a hurricane flows through them.

Same thing with the power for that datacenter. Bonneville Power charges them based on the peak monthly load, not the total consumed power. So 500 megawatt load for an hour is a lot more expensive than 250 megawatt load for a month.

It is the diameter of the pipe that is expensive, not how much goes through it.

Comment Re:Been following this for awhile. (Score 1) 1240

So, the administration identified the 'drug' in question as ibuprofen...They knew what they were looking for. They knew what a student had previously gone to the hospital for taking.

The LD50 of that drug is something close to 636 mg/kg. The child (weighing about 45kg) would have had to take 28 GRAMS to OD. That's something like 40 tablets of the prescription strength stuff.

Both OTC and prescription painkillers in the Advil/Ibuprofen or Tylenol/Tylenol with codeine class are designed to be very hard to OD on. You will throw up most of the 40 pills long before they reach your kidneys and liver, which then cause a slow 2 week death without treatment.

If they were SO WORRIED about her 'health' or the health of other students, they should have called poison control or 911. They might have been able to address health concerns faster that way. The fact that they searched her indicates they had little care for her health, and only cared about discipline. They even lectured her about 'telling the truth' after the search.

It's simple: After searching her belongings, a legal representative should have been there before searching her person. The early teenage years are perhaps the most vulnerable years a human has psychologically. If anything, her age makes the search that much more egregious. Go back a few years and look at the "Voices from the Hellmouth" series that was on slashdot.

The fact that it happened 6 years ago is inconsequential. 6 years ago, a violation of a person was committed without consent, and allegedly without legal cause, which by any sane definition is assault. The fact that it is 6 years later has everything to do with our lengthy appellate process, and no bearing on the crime in question.


Submission + - Ways to build a Creative Commons based community? writes: "My wife and I operate a small educational resources web site, under which we're trying to build a community of educators and parents who are willing to submit content licensed under Creative Commons style licenses. The objective is to ensure that member contributions are accessible to and freely usable by the largest audience possible, primarily educators and parents. With this in mind, I've designed the site to include a donations system to allow people who find content useful to reward the author with a monetary donation of their choice, as an incentive for people to submit useful articles.

I'm at somewhat of a loss for how to really get the word out about this sort of system, without resorting to buying AM talk radio spots :). We don't have the budget for that sort of thing... my "day job" is active duty military, and my wife works as an EMS instructor. Organizations like Wikipedia have the "massive inertia" factor working for them, and in my opinion things are looking to get even better for their community with the switch to Creative Commons licensing for their content. What sort of communities are out there that could help us promote our ideas and build a community of education-centric folks?"

Submission + - IP Lawyer writing an e-book on ODF v. OOXML (

christian.einfeldt writes: "IP lawyer and popular FOSS blogger Andy Updegrove has announced that he is writing an e-book, entitled 'ODF vs. OOXML: War of the Words', which will chronicle the slug-fest between the OpenDocument Format and Microsoft's Open Office XML format. Calling it a 'a standards war of truly epic proportions' that he predicts will be 'studied in business schools and by economists for decades to come', Updegrove says that his goal in writing the book is to document this process now, as it is unfolding, rather than wait for the passage of time to cause memories to fade, witnesses to scatter, and the bias of history to confirm what we think we already know about the past. Updegrove makes no attempt to mask his pro-ODF bias, which is actually a refreshing and useful aid for his readers, who will begin this multi-chapter on-line journey with advance knowledge of the lens that Updegrove will use to point out sights (and sites) along the way. Updegrove wastes no time in delivering on his promise, and rolls out his first chapter, called 'Out of Nowhere', along with his announcement."

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Thus mathematics may be defined as the subject in which we never know what we are talking about, nor whether what we are saying is true. -- Bertrand Russell