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Comments

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Grooveshark Found Guilty of Massive Copyright Infringement

Firethorn Re:Funny, however.. (161 comments)

I believe some of those performances are old enough to have made it into the public domain, and some of those old masters are pretty good.

It's not 2067 yet.

It would have had to have been produced in 1922 or earlier.

Works published between 1923 and 1978 are protected for 95 years from date of publication. After 1978 it's 'Life of the longest surviving Author plus 70 years', which works out to 2049 at the earliest. Now consider for classical music that every musician in the symphony can be considered an 'author'. That can be hundreds of people, including a person in their teens. Hell, put a preschooler on the triangle or something. Still, consider that some are probably in their twenties and will survive into their 90s. That's 140 years.

Anyways, consulting the timeline of audio formats..., it looks like the 'best' recordings you'd have would be wire recordings, and the phonograph records/tubes could hold only about 4 minutes of sound.

So in order to exploit this you'd need to find an intact record produced before 1923(until next year), scan it and convert it to digital, as well as putting up with the fact that in many cases you'd be lucky to find a single song given the limitations.

It would almost be easier to pay a symphony to produce songs to be put into the public domain 'for the good of mankind'.

2 hours ago
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Grooveshark Found Guilty of Massive Copyright Infringement

Firethorn Re:Funny, however.. (161 comments)

No matter how much "downloading is theft" propaganda the MAFIAA spews, or how much I despise them for it,

I agree, but I considered the 'and reshare' bit implied when I should have probably mentioned it. If it helps, read my post in the context of 'evidence in addition to the generic orders already known to 'download and share as much music as possible'.

Also, look at all the torrent stuff out there, you wouldn't ever get 90c per song - too many people would pay a buck for 1 song, if that, as an 'entry fee' and share amongst themselves.

2 hours ago
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Grooveshark Found Guilty of Massive Copyright Infringement

Firethorn Re:Funny, however.. (161 comments)

Those things would surely be illegal, and perhaps that is in the evidence somewhere and just didn't make the summary.

Pretty much. It could be that the statements that mentioned copyright violations of something like 'download MP3s of commercial artists!' were more abstract and obfuscated enough to not make a good headline.

Also, balance of evidence. A number of emails along the lines of 'find MP3s of music that the owners WANT to share for free' might of saved their asses. Modern copyright law is automatic, the creator of the work owns the copyright automatically and has to explicitly allow sharing. Ergo statements about 'downloading all the music you can find in order to add it to the sharing' can be assumed to be hitting copyrighted works, because, well, they'd actually need to contact the content owners to get permission outside of relatively few works.

For example, even MP3s of classical music are copyrighted. Sure, the musical score Bach or Beethoven wrote is free of copyright. But the symphony that produced the performance? That's not copyrighted, and the ability to record high fidelity music is so new that all of the 'good' recordings are modern enough to be protected.

yesterday
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Scientists Seen As Competent But Not Trusted By Americans

Firethorn Re: Rebels (450 comments)

Answer this: How many "money grabbing pastors" are there, and how many people trust them?

Not the Op, but consider in a country of somewhat in excess of 300M people, if said 'money grabbing pastors' can get 1% of the population to give them 10% of their income(traditional tithe), at an average of something like $4k per person, that's $12B going to said money grabbers, which while still a really big chunk of change to individuals is still peanuts on a national scale and indicative that the problem isn't actually that big.

2 days ago
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Popular Wi-Fi Thermostat Full of Security Holes

Firethorn Re:Will this internet of things die already? (103 comments)

Nobody needs a home thermometer and refrigerator connected to the internet.

Don't know about the refrigerator, and I think you meant thermostat, because a thermometer hooked up to the internet would be darn useful up here. As is many buildings have alarms hooked up to phone lines that notify you if the temperature dips below a set temperature(40-50F, typically).

about a week ago
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Now That It's Private, Dell Targets High-End PCs, Tablets

Firethorn Re:Google Stock Split 04/14/2014, 2 Classes of Sha (167 comments)

If a company fails the owners get paid last.

All stock holders are owners by definition, but the way it's generally supposed to go the more say you have in the running of the company the lower on the list for pay out in case of the company being liquidated. Generally employee wages are paid first*, then bond holders, then other debt holders**, followed finally by preferred stock holders then regular stock.

*Often there has to be a bond/insurance that ensures they're paid.
**Secured debt gets the security.

about a week ago
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Anonymous Peer-review Comments May Spark Legal Battle

Firethorn Re:Not ad hominem (167 comments)

I expect that this is why he got into trouble - a relevant expert from the hiring university would be able to easily evaluate the merits of the comments.

That was what I figured as well. Whenever somebody sues because of some anonymous comments on a website my default assumption is that it only 'caused harm' because the comments were true, or at least accurate enough.

However, in the USA this is the equivalent of throwing a hissy fit because truth is actually a protection under US law. I know that over in England the rules are somewhat different, truth is not an absolute defense.

For that matter, in many cases the harm has to be deliberate - IE they had to post it KNOWING that it was going to hurt, as opposed to the ultimate purpose of a peer review being to improve your paper.
"Oh crud, a citation for that data got dropped" would probably be a better response than a hissy fit.

about a week ago
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Kickstarter Lays Down New Rules For When a Project Fails

Firethorn Re:Good. IndieGoGo should do it too (203 comments)

What decade are you from, out of curiosity?

I span many decades, though I wonder if you're from the future, seeing as how you present figures that are around double that of current mainstream stuff.

Currently, we're pushing ~40% in top end photovoltaics ~35% in midrange/prosumer, lowly consumer stuff bought off Alibaba easily reaches 25%

Let's see:
2014 review says 15% for consumer grade panels.
44.7% is the world record. However, these cells are disallowed because they're all concentrator types - they're designed for use with mirrors and such to feed them 100X+ concentrated sunlight.
21.5% is the world record for consumer grade panels.

After that we had to adjust because they'd be non-optimally placed(flat vs angled, under shade, etc...), where the light has to penetrate through thick and fairly dirty glass*, etc...

blue is far more efficient than red in terms of input power/output

Huh, looks like red LEDs are still more efficient than blue. The reason we use blue LEDs(well, ultraviolet ones), is that you can change blue to red(and the other colors) with a simple phosphor, but not vice versa.

Oh, and Monochromatic efficiencies are more in the 1/3rd range, not 70%. You also have to account for the power conditioning electronics to buffer output between the solar panels(or nighttime power transmission) and the LEDs. They can be highly efficient as well(90%+), but it's still there.

Your math is about 40 years behind.

I'll give you 1. Which was when we examined the issue.

*They found that their 'traction surface' dropped power production by about 15% compared to the bare panel. That would drop a 21.5% efficient panel to 18.3%.

about a week ago
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Kickstarter Lays Down New Rules For When a Project Fails

Firethorn Re:Good. IndieGoGo should do it too (203 comments)

Some sort of colored LCD providing a sort of e-inkish surface was indeed one of the things we considered - heck, we even considered moving strips of material to expose the proper color at the proper spot. Thing is, the more systems you stuff in there, the less space for solar panels and the more it costs.

Like my first post - I wish them the best of luck, but we don't see the potential being that high. One of the other problems of the solar roads site was that they massively overstated the maintenance requirements for non-heavily traveled roads.

about a week ago
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Kickstarter Lays Down New Rules For When a Project Fails

Firethorn Re:Good. IndieGoGo should do it too (203 comments)

Considering the sun is ~93 lumens per watt and we've got LEDs now pushing 300+ lumens per watt, not very much power, at all. One watt will put any LED brighter than even the glare on the glass.

The problem is that you're not just doing 1 LED when you're making lane markings using LEDs. You're lighting up dozens per hexagon, and the results we got had the power cost of the lane markings drowning out the power gained by the solar panels.

"Lumens per watt" doesn't make much sense when considering whether or not a light will be visible(and not just visible, 'easily visible') because you still have to consider how many watts the sun is putting out. Given solar panels somewhere between 10-15% efficient, you'll need a surface area at least 10 times that of the LED lighting to simply break even.

about two weeks ago
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Kickstarter Lays Down New Rules For When a Project Fails

Firethorn Re:Good. IndieGoGo should do it too (203 comments)

American roads rarely last more than a few decades, unless consistently and constantly maintained.

They are cheap, but I'd also like to point out that the average amount of traffic on a American road would beat even a Roman one to shit within a decade without constant maintenance. Roman roads typically didn't have to deal with the weight we run across ours every day all day.

Solar roadways are an interesting idea, but they're reaching so far that when one of my forums got into it we found enough problems that would need to be solved, ranging from how fast glass actually wears to the question of how much power does it take to make an LED light visible during the day, to how much of the cost of a road is under-surface preparation(lots of it) which wouldn't be saved when you're putting down a solar roadway.

The end result is that we wish them the best of luck, but we don't see a lot of promise in the technology.

about two weeks ago
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NY Magistrate: Legal Papers Can Be Served Via Facebook

Firethorn Re:I'm fine with it (185 comments)

There's a problem with this - I've never heard of this requirement short of you being on a sex offender's list(or on parole).

Of bigger concern is keeping an accurate address on your driver's license, but not everyone has those as well, and getting that updated is always very low priority.

about two weeks ago
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NY Magistrate: Legal Papers Can Be Served Via Facebook

Firethorn Re:I'm fine with it (185 comments)

Hmm...
As Ruir said, 'who says she works'. The IRS really doesn't care as long as it's books balance, and it works on an annual basis. They could get last year's information fairly easily, but that's not the address they're looking for, now is it?

I think you have too much confidence in the abilities of skip-tracers. Plenty are found, yes, but plenty also fall through the cracks. Consider federal fugitives who often aren't found for years. Most are caught quickly, yes, but some manage to hide.

The easiest way to do what she's doing is to simply shack up with a boy-toy and not have your name on any bills. No credit cards that aren't still at the old address, same with the bank account.

For example, from your link on skiptracing:

Often, the job becomes more than mere research since one must often employ methods of social engineering, which involves calling or visiting former neighbors, or other known contacts to ask about the subject, sometimes under false or misleading pretenses.

If she's only communicating with family through facebook and actually has the geolocation features turned off... It'd take a warrant to facebook to get them to give them IP address/location information.

Records that "skiptracers" use may include phone number databases, credit reports (including information provided on a loan application, credit card application, and in other debt collector databases), job application information, criminal background checks, utility bills (electricity, gas, water, sewage, phone, Internet, and cable), social security, disability, and public tax information

Thus my 'not working'(at least above the table, legally), which takes care of job apps, background checks, social security, and such, 'using the old address for bank/credit cards(doable with the internet), and 'living with boy toy' which takes care of the rest.

about two weeks ago
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NY Magistrate: Legal Papers Can Be Served Via Facebook

Firethorn Re:I'm fine with it (185 comments)

And facebook can be more reliable than physical mail? We're going to bank all of this on the reliability of a single third party entity?

I'm going to boil all of this down to 'You appear to have more faith in the USPS than I do'. The USPS is also a third party entity, after all. Process servers are third party entities. Etc...

My mother received a piece of mail literally TWO YEARS after I sent it. It came partially torn, in a plastic bag with an apology letter from them.

There was a bit of a local scandal a few years back where it turned out that a group of process servers were lying about making contact, forging signatures on paperwork.

If it were simply enough to say "we know this account really belongs to this person and that they actively login and use the account", then we wouldn't need certified mail or people to serve a summons in person.

As opposed to a certified letter to an address that may not even be where a person lives anymore?

They tried the other two ways; she was hiding her address ergo they failed at notifying her the latter two ways. The judge made a dispensation in this case, doesn't mean that it'll become a standard method.

about two weeks ago
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NY Magistrate: Legal Papers Can Be Served Via Facebook

Firethorn Re:I'm fine with it (185 comments)

It was explicit in the summary that the account was active and that was part of the decision. As was that the ex was hiding by not leaving a forwarding address to be traditionally served.

Today facebook can be more reliable than physical mail. Plenty of people move, after all, more than those that simply abandon their facebook accounts. I think, at least.

about two weeks ago
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Washington DC To Return To Automatic Metro Trains

Firethorn Re:Old technology (179 comments)

I'm picturing it like driving a car designed for power steering and brakes, with both out. Its even harder than for a car designed without those features to begin with because the car without was designed to work well woithout the systwm. With it they only expect it to be operated that way in an emergency, thus 'close enough' is seen as acceptable.

about two weeks ago
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Washington DC To Return To Automatic Metro Trains

Firethorn Old technology (179 comments)

As MightyYar said, that's going by 30 year old technology for the train automation. Also very few people think that self-driving cars are ready today, more like 5-10 years in the future, minimum.

about two weeks ago
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Why the iPhone 6 Has the Same Base Memory As the iPhone 5

Firethorn Re:Edge cases (262 comments)

The article itself lists subsidized prices for the smart phones, which is why he's quoting $649 for a 16GB module, and I pulled $199 from the article.

about two weeks ago
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Why the iPhone 6 Has the Same Base Memory As the iPhone 5

Firethorn Re:lockin (262 comments)

I looked at the iPhone 6 tear down and the chip sizes are not that much smaller than a laptop's chips. So it's just miniaturized case, motherboard, battery and camera (and the battery holds a lot less charge than a laptop battery).

I haven't looked at that teardown, but I'm willing to bet that there's a lot FEWER chips because there's more integration within them, not to mention the engineering to fit that many into such a tight space. Mounting chips on BOTH sides of the motherboard? That's not normally seen in laptops or desktops.

Anyways - from a quick count I got 18 chips in an iphone 6.

In my laptop the RAM alone is 16 chips. Yes, it's a desktop replacement laptop.

about two weeks ago
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Why the iPhone 6 Has the Same Base Memory As the iPhone 5

Firethorn Edge cases (262 comments)

I think it might be the case of 'normal user' vs 'power user' in deciding to only offer 16GB and 64GB phones. You have 'most' people who are like Sarten-X and 16GB is 'plenty'.

Then there's power users like you who will use more than the base amount. Now considering this population of people who want more local storage, how many are going to be satisfied with a 32GB model if a 64GB version is being offered for 'only' $50* more? After all, you already 'know' that you're going to bust 16GB, which means your phone will be half full.

It's entirely possible that Apple noticed a 'hockey stick' effect in it's sales - lots and lots and lots of 16GB models, lots of 64GB models, but the 32GB model was selling the least. So why have it? Odds are the 32GB users will grumble a bit and buy the 64GB model anyways.

*It seems like it'd be pretty standard: $199 for 16GB, $249 for 32GB, $299@64.

about two weeks ago

Submissions

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Firethorn Firethorn writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Firethorn (177587) writes "From Decatur Daily
Shut down 22 years ago in 1985, the Tennessee Valley Authority has reactivated Unit 1 at Browns Ferry Nuclear plant in response to rising demand for electricity in North Alabama. It's the first reactor activated since 1996.

It's expected to produce 1,155 megawatts, power 650,000 homes, and employ an extra 100 workers at the plant.

Renovations cost $1.8 Billion, but they expect the payback to be done within 4-5 years, down from the 7-8 years estimated in 2002, mostly because of increased fuel costs for the alternatives."

Journals

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Firethorn Firethorn writes  |  more than 5 years ago

You know, I found a story on fark leading to a postive spin on Walmart. Of course, the thread had all sorts of entries on how bad/evil Walmart is. While I certainly don't agree with everything in the article, neither do I believe that Walmart is worse than the devil. It's of only average evilness for a large corporation.

One points brought up was the 'liveable wage'. While Walmart does indeed have one of the lower wage medians, it's a retail store. It's wages are in line with the other 'mart' stores, grocery stores, and their ilk. If anything, a lower median wage indicates that they aren't top heavy with too many managers. 90% of their workers are covered by health insurance - and not government plans.

Here in the USA we have a messed up view of what a 'liveable wage' is. It's part of why we've lost so much of our manufacturing - cheaper laber outside the USA.

I'd rather have them have a job that might not pay enough for them to get that 60" Plasma, own two cars, not to mention such 'essentials' as cable, high speed internet, a thousand+ computer, etc, than NO JOB.

Essentially, I feel that it'd be a better situation to have welfare set up so that people are always better off working than not working. They're also always better off working the better paid job than the lesser**. As part of that, I'd get rid of the minimum wage.

IE we declare the minimum living income to be X. Really bad standard of living, barely covers the basics. Everybody gets X.
Joe gets a job making Y. His welfare payments are adjusted such that he gets Y + (X-Y/3). I use a divisor of 3 because there are costs associated with working, and a /2 is a bit too quick. Let's say X is the Poverty line. We'll go with a family of 4. $21,200. Ouch. Still, let's say they get job/s earning $30k. They'd 'lose' 10k in benefits, still obtaining $11.2k in benies. They now have an effective income of $41.2k, which while not great, is better than sitting completely on welfare. Meanwhile the single guy would be looking at $10.4k, and that $30k job would leave him with $400 in benefits. He's still better off getting that pay raise, though. I'm firmly of the belief that somebody working and contributing is better than not working.

That would help with our outsourcing problem, while wages would drop, it would help make us competitive on the global workforce market again.

On another topic - U.S. homes lose $2 trillion in value in '08

Is this necessarily a bad thing? For a while there people were treating their homes as investments - well, a home IS an investment, but they were treating theirs like something they could buy then sell when their retired for enough money to retire on. Easy credit allowed people and speculators to buy far more home than they needed, or even could afford, putting a crunch on housing and raising prices to the point of unaffordability. Personally, I'd like to remain able to afford a decent home with a 30 year fixed, on no more than 30% of my income, not some fancy loan that I ultimately can't afford.

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Firethorn Firethorn writes  |  about 9 years ago

What with the flooding, I feel that New Orleans should be renamed to 'New Venice'. I have many thoughts on this.

For one, it's just stupid to build a standard city below sea level, on the coast, especially in an area subject to hurricanes.

My idea, since the area's natural tendency is to be flooded anyways, we go along with it and build like in venice. It'd remain a tourist attraction, and would be far more resistant to hurricanes with proper construction. My idea is floating homes. Tie them in location with rails so they stay level. Give then around 3-4 meters of travel. You could reduce this by actually artificially raising the level of water, then when a hurricane comes, pump the water out to keep it level. It's hard to flood an artificially raised lake. You break a levy, the water level drops.

Then instead of levees, you build tide breakers, to moderate the tide and any breakers. Build 'sacrifice buildings' closest to the gulf, that can be used to break the tide even further. Then large buildings that won't float, but sit on a solid foundation, will use their first floors for nothing critical, and reinforce the ocean side to withstand the hurricanes, at least better. They're also to protect the homes behind.

Great tourist attraction, unique, pretty much floodproof.

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Why do people keep calling me a republican?

Firethorn Firethorn writes  |  more than 9 years ago

Disclaimer: This is intented to be a summery. There are all sorts of jinks and kinks in my beliefs. This is mearly a summery.

People keep calling me a republican on this board. If I am one, I must be an awfully strange one, seeing as how I'm pro choice, pro drug legalization, at least somewhat pro gay rights, and am an agnostic with atheist tendencies.

I believe in seperation of church and state, but I don't think that means that the state can supress people's freedom of religion. As in if a kid wants to read the bible or pray in school, they can (as long as it's not disruptive to class).

I think that school vouchers are a good idea. Private schools and parents have been doing more education with less than public schools for years.

I think that the government should run a balanced budget. I also think that the fairtax guys have a good idea, but that there are a number of kinks to work out.

The war on terror, war in Iraq? I think that we're taking the wrong direction at the airports. I think that all the violations of our rights are wrong. As for the war in Iraq, well, we're committed. We have to finish it, lest it turn into another Afghanistan. I can only hope the upcoming elections go reasonably well.

I am a strong supporter of the first amendment. I feel that if I'm not uncomfortable with at least some of what is being said, speech isn't free enough.

I am also a strong supporter of the second amendment. And yes, I believe that that covers machine guns. NBC weapons are a bit much even for me however. If it's not something that a single soldier can be expected to haul and use somewhat discriminatorily, it's not a personal arm.

I think that it's a major crime that the government can confiscate property without trial.

I think that our government spends too much money on various welfare and pork barrel projects. If we must have welfare, I think that people should have to work for it.

I'm a libertarion, not a republican.

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First Entry...

Firethorn Firethorn writes  |  more than 9 years ago

Well, I usually mess something up in my posts, so if something seems odd, it might just be.

I'm certainly not average.
I'm pro-choice... And Pro-Death penalty
I'm for a strong military...but I'd let gays join
I'm for closing the border...but I'd let legal immigration be easy.
I'm for legalizing drugs...And serious prison time for DUI's.
I consider myself for a clean enviroment...but I'd do this closing all hydrocarbon powerplants and replacing them with nuclear.
I'm a strict constitutionalist.
I believe that if we must engage in war, we should wage it offensivly. Under modern technology, offense is what wins battles.
I'd eliminate welfare and the minimum wage, replacing it with a 'work-fare' program, where you have to work at something for forty hours a week (even if only picking trash up from the side of the road). Benefits would be mostly concrete, not cash. You'd eat at a dining facility, live in a provided apartment, etc...

I certainly have other views, but this should cover most of the issues.

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