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Comment It's a still a nice PC. (Score 3, Insightful) 337

For years I hated MS. But of late they are doing really nice work and getting mocked despite doing real innovation. It feels weird to like MS as an underdog, but that's what it's come to. And I will be be getting a Surface 3 - it's the one that finally kills it in terms of compact size and decent computing power. I just gotta save up cuz it's not a cheap machine.

Submission + - Can an App Improve Vision? (

Okian Warrior writes: A 12-week, scientifically tested training program, newly available as an iPhone app, uses a technique called perceptual learning to reduce—or even eliminate—the need for reading glasses.

A 30-person study published in February 2012 in the journal Scientific Reports found that after trying [an iPhone app called GlassesOff] participants on average could read letters 1.6 times smaller than they could previously. The program is much more likely to show improvement in adults 40 to 60 years old, scientists say.

Submission + - Google Doodle remembers computing pioneer Grace Hopper (

SternisheFan writes: Monday’s Google Doodle honors computing genius Grace Hopper (remembered as a great pioneer in computing, as well as in women’s achievements in science and engineering), on what would have been her 107th birthday, doodling her right where she spent much of her time – at the helm of one of the world’s first computers.

At Harvard, Hopper would go on to work with the subsequent Mark II and Mark III computers. She is often credited with coining the term “bug” for a computer malfunction: In 1947, she is said to have tweezed from the Mark II computer an actual moth that had been bugging up the machine, caught between Relay #70 and Panel F. She was also at the forefront of designing computers that would communicate to the user in a language similar to English, not in numbers. The language that she and her colleagues produced, Common Business-Oriented Language (COBOL), is still in use in 2013.

When, in 1982, David Letterman asked her how she knew so much about computers, in order to work with Mark I, her reply was: “I didn’t. It was the first one.”

Comment Ventra doesn't hash their passwords (Score 1) 196

A Ventra card is basically a Debit card. So one would expect simple best security practices.

Imagine my surprise when I hit the forgot Name and Password button and after entering in my Debit card number and email, I was sent the original password I used (not a reset). As with Adobe, this is asking for a massive breach.

$454 Mil apparently can't buy programmers/designer familiar with password hashing, salt and slow algorithms. Or a basic security audit.

Comment Re:This is actually a Slashdot sting (Score 1) 391

I generally don't bother to post about my experiences with MS products. The zealots of other platforms don't want to hear anything that doesn't jive with their world view and will brand you a shill for making simple factual statements. The whole idea of arguing about this stuff is silly, especially since most of the people arguing don't have extensive experience in all the major platforms from which to form a real opinion.

Comment If only the labels paid for their infringements (Score 1) 525

What gets me is that many of these record companies will release tracks they don't own on compilations - a major infringement. They are clearly commercially profiting, they clearly know better, but because they have teams of lawyers they release this stuff in violation of copyright laws. Friends of mine have had their recordings essentially bootlegged by major labels in this fashion - and never seen a cent.

When you get into sample clearance it gets even uglier. The little guy gets sued if he sampled, and ripped off if he's being sampled. And his only recourse are legal fees he can hardly pay on a musicians income.


Submission + - Linux as an OS for music production?

Ximogen writes: "You just can't get decent music production tools for anything but Windows and MacOS, and I'll not touch anything from Apple with a bargepole. If you believe otherwise let me know as I'd be interested to find out. I currently use Cubase 4 as my primary music production application along with an extensive library of VST instruments, effects and mastering tools. So any Linux (either open or closed source) alternative would need to support VST2 & VST3"

I included the above comment in a post relating to a different story but it got me thinking. I am a Windows user for many reasons but the most significant reason in recent years is that I've just not been able to find acceptable music production tools for Linux. Given that I'm repeatedly informed by Linux users that Linux is more stable and out-performs Windows on equal hardware AND that I am currently looking to spec a new PC for the sole purpose of music production I thought I might put this to the test.

Unfortunately I fell at the first hurdle, drivers for my E-MU 1820M (E-MU 1010M + IO breakout box + sync daughter card) and given that I don't want to replace a perfectly functional £300+ audio interface that is pretty much where I've got to. Of course £300+ is peanuts compared to the extensive library of VST instruments, effects and mastering tools I've purchased over the years so if the performance benefits of moving to Linux were sufficient and I could utilize my existing library of VSTs I would consider new audio hardware.

While talking of hardware the new PC is likely to be built around an Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 2.4GHz CPU on an Intel DP965LT motherboard.

Am I barking up the wrong tree here? Is there likely to be enough of a performance difference to give any practical benefit? Does anyone out there use Linux for music production?

Any thoughts or recommendations gratefully received!

Submission + - No-fly list checked for accuracy, to be cut

denebian devil writes: The Bush administration is checking the accuracy of a watch list of suspected terrorists banned from traveling on airliners in the U.S. and will probably cut the list in half, according to the head of the TSA. However, "Even cutting the list in half is "nice but not all that meaningful," said Barry Steinhardt, an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union. He noted that various estimates of the list's size, which is classified, have ranged from 50,000 to 350,000 names. "Cutting a list of 350,000 names is not all that impressive," Steinhardt added. In addition, the Homeland Security Department launched a new program for passengers who feel wronged to try correcting the list. The program begins February 20.

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