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Comments

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Astrophysicists Identify the Habitable Regions of the Entire Universe

VanessaE Re:A few hundred extrasolar planets (80 comments)

Well for starters, the observable universe is something closer to 90 billion light years across, not 14 (or 28). The universe's *age* is about 13.7 billion years or thereabouts. You can thank the inflationary period after the Big Bang for that difference. It's the space itself that's expanding and *pushing* or *carrying* the matter with it.

Space can expand/move far faster than the speed of light - that universal speed limit simply doesn't apply to the fabric of spacetime itself. Same idea that makes warp drive so appealing.

yesterday
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The Minecraft Parent

VanessaE There are alternatives... (171 comments)

I don't mean to advertise here, but if language, "adult content" and so on is as big a problem as it's being made out to be on Minecraft servers, you might want to try an alternative game instead.

Those of us who run Minetest (the open source game/engine) usually very careful about policing the users on our servers, to the point at least that adult discussions are usually not tolerated at all, and coarse language/cursing is usually equally shunned. Sometimes, depending on the server, it's okay to "blur" your curses if they're not directed at someone in an insulting manner.

Some servers have PvP enabled, but I guess most server owners have that turned off.

We're small, and we're not Minecraft, but I think we do okay, and besides - its fun.

Freenode channel #minetest or http://minetest.net/ if you want to take a look. And no, it's not supposed to be a Minecraft clone and it does not use any code or assets from that game. It's just supposed to be similar enough to appeal to same "sandbox" audience.

Full disclosure: I am a modder and texture pack author for this project and have contributed a couple of small things to the engine.

4 days ago
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33 Months In Prison For Recording a Movie In a Theater

VanessaE Re:The real crime here (465 comments)

Then jail him for the burglary, not for his drug usage.

about a month ago
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A Thousand Kilobots Self-Assemble Into Complex Shapes

VanessaE Re:"kilobots" (56 comments)

No, that would be a Megatron.

about a month ago
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For Now, UK Online Pirates Will Get 4 Warnings -- And That's It

VanessaE Re:So the idea is that.... (143 comments)

"slammed down"? But...how can I slam the phone down if I'm on a cell? ;-) Seriously though, there's something just... unsatisfying... about hanging up on a scammer (or just anyone you're pissed off at) when all you can do is press a button to cut them off.

about 2 months ago
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Red Hat Assistant General Counsel Analyses Supreme Court's Patent Ruling

VanessaE Re:Software Patents Are Just Wrong (43 comments)

If software patents were around back in the 80's

They were. Commodore used a character set which contained an inverse-video duplicate set to avoid a software patent on the use of exclusive-OR to draw a cursor. Specifically, some drafting company back in the late 70's patented the idea of using XOR to draw a crosshairs, so in the VIC20, C64, and others, the cursor was implemented by periodically alternating the target location between the character located there and its counterpart in the inverse-video half of the character set. Apple avoided this patent by alternating between the character on the screen and a little checkerboard cursor.

about 3 months ago
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Nanodot-Based Smartphone Battery Recharges In 30 Seconds

VanessaE Re:Now it's the grid engineers' problem to solve.. (227 comments)

So put a big, obvious indicator on the charging station that shows a color-coded load level. After a while, EV owners will come to understand it at least enough to know that a high reading means their car will charge slower.

If consumers can figure out those little pinch-the-ends-to-read charge indicators in some batteries, and what a regular traffic signal means at an intersection, they can figure out "green means fast, red means slow" at the charge station and charge up or go elsewhere accordingly.

Stations can even display their capacity reading on their main sign under the price, if they're proud of it anyway.

about 6 months ago
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60 Minutes Dubbed Engines Noise Over Tesla Model S

VanessaE Re:Traffic congestion (544 comments)

Impossible. Who would bother dragging the mime's invisible box into the carpool lane in the first place?

about 6 months ago
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Ask "The Fat Man" George Sanger About Music and Computer Games

VanessaE Re:The olden days (66 comments)

But a distinction must be made here: Protracker and friends may have had "tracks" that work more or less like a professional studio, but the thing is, the *other* limits of the format meant that making music with a module tracker was a WHOLE different beast than doing it with a recording studio.

With module files/trackers, you could play exactly one sound sample at a time on each track - which is why many of us preferred to call them channels rather than tracks.

Each sound might be a single key on a piano, a single string on a violin, a crash of a cymbal, or whatever. If you needed a chord and you didn't have enough spare channels to play it (which was often the case), then to did it the hard way: you either composed and edited that chord in your favorite sample player/editor program and and loaded the result into your tracker or you sought out someone else who had already done the work... and that's if you only needed one type of chord for just one specific instrument (say, a major chord on a piano). Wait, you need a minor chord for that instrument also? Oops, better go compose/download one. Oh, need a few chords in one of the other instruments? Crap, gotta go do those also.

A module artist had, at most, only 31 sound slots to work with back in the day, so it was pretty easy to run out - and that's before you even start laying down you actual tracks.

With careful attention to note durations and use of the "set sample offset" effect command, you could combine several shorter samples into one "conglomerate" multipurpose sample that you could pick-and-choose from as needed, giving the appearance of more than just 31 samples. Problem is, this came at a price: You couldn't use this trick on anything that might need an effect command, there was no way to set custom sample loop endpoints (that I remember), and you only had 128 kB of sample data per sound slot, so it was only useful for short percussion-like instruments and sound effects.

When you laid down your tracks and assigned pitches, durations, and various effect commands to the samples (I mean the regular stuff like vibrato or portamento) is where the music was actually made.

Newer module formats eliminated the sample lengths, counts, and limits on the numbers of channels, of course.

about 7 months ago
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Star Trek Economics

VanessaE Re:Rule of acquisition 18 (888 comments)

The problem isn't that people want to drag the more successful down to their level. The problem is that the most successful out there barely do anything genuinely good with their money (if at all, and excepting rare cases), and therefore are not doing enough help to raise the poor UP to a better standard of living.

Somewhere I read that if we spent just half as much on housing as we spend on putting non-violent offenders in prison - counting only those who should not BE in prison to begin with, and counting only those who have no homes - we could put a roof over every last person's head in this country, free of charge to those people, and even pay for a social worker to see to that person's social-economic needs (at least, to within that that person is willing to do for themselves, of course). If they fail to get themselves out of their slump, they STILL keep the house, and we as a society come out ahead both economically and socially.

about 7 months ago
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Slashdot Tries Something New; Audience Responds!

VanessaE Re:And here is the problem (2219 comments)

Why does it feel like "we are legion" is missing from the above?

about 8 months ago
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Obama Nominates Vice Admiral Michael Rogers New NSA Chief

VanessaE Re: Meet The New Boss (138 comments)

Look, there are four basic ways to get Obama out of office, and you know what they all are:

* He could resign. Certainly all of us could think of reasons for him to do so, but that depends on HIM deciding that he's got a good enough reason to do so (and enough pressure from outside sources).
* The senate could impeach, convict, and remove him from office via their normal Constitutional power to do so, provided they have an actual legal reason to DO so. Care to cite an actual law he's broken? I can't think of one.
* He could die. In which case, you just let the 25th Amendment do its job and Biden takes the presidency. Can't see that going too well for Obama haters, though.
* Or, hey, here's a thought: his second term expires in a few years. Hold a regular election and let the 22nd Amendment do its job.

Care to expand upon one of those?

about 8 months ago
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Why the Major Labels Love (and Artists Hate) Music Streaming

VanessaE Re:Of course... (164 comments)

> You don't own the recording, just the media. You license the recording.

Bullshit. I own that copy of the recording and the piece of media it sits on. I will do whatever the fuck I want to with that recording, within the confines of the copyright laws of the country I live in. It is MINE. I OWN IT.

about 8 months ago
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Tesla Sending New Wall-Charger Adapters After Garage Fire

VanessaE Re:Modus Operandi (195 comments)

> Next step; posh neighborhoods with multiple Teslas discover that electric companies will eventually upgrade the grid to compensate for rising demand as there is money to be made from selling more power.
FTFY.

about 8 months ago
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Disney Pulls a Reverse Santa, Takes Back Christmas Shows From Amazon Customers

VanessaE Re:It's still morally reprehensible (418 comments)

Spam the appropriate phone numbers if you want changes made to a company's policies, and otherwise waste THEIR time. Emailing them merely wastes your own time and accomplishes nothing. Wasting their time costs them money, and if that's what it takes to get your point across, then that's what has to be done.

Emails are easily deleted or routed to /dev/null. Ditto for physical letters. Phone calls, on the other hand, usually end up with a person at the other end, if not a voice mail, and are much harder to ignore, by virtue of how long it takes to just listen to one's messages.

about 9 months ago
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Photos Stream Back From China's Lunar Lander

VanessaE Re:assuming plutonium-238 is true (268 comments)

Not to mention one other thing: the moon is FUCKING DEAD. There is literally nothing there to pollute. In the face of a constant barrage of meteroites, who honestly gives two shits if we leave tons of trash up there, let alone active, running research equipment?

about 9 months ago
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Single-Atom Layer of Tin May Be a New Wonder Conductor

VanessaE Re:All the way to Pandora for tin? (126 comments)

Actually, it's a chunk of natural lead (galena). Go figure.

about 10 months ago
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Third Tesla Fire Means Feds To Begin Review

VanessaE Re:Compare the Right Stats (375 comments)

You'd seriously go 10-15 years without at least changing your fuel filter!?

about 10 months ago

Submissions

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Congress Approval rating falls below Pornography, Polygamy

VanessaE VanessaE writes  |  more than 2 years ago

VanessaE writes "From the fine article: A greater percentage of Americans approve of polygamy than the United States Congress, according a set of polls. Last month, a New York Times poll found that Congress' approval rating fell to an all-time low of 9 percent. Meanwhile, a recent Gallup poll found that 11 percent of people found polygamy "morally acceptable." Additionally, 30 percent of Americans expressed approval of pornography."
Link to Original Source
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Google buys Motorola for 12.5 Billion

VanessaE VanessaE writes  |  more than 3 years ago

VanessaE writes "Google just announced that it is acquiring Motorola Mobility. The search and online advertising company is buying the company for approximately $12.5 billion (or $40 per share), in cash. The price represents a premium of 63 percent to the closing price of Motorola Mobility shares last Friday. Google had about $39 billion in cash at last count."
Link to Original Source

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