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Seagate Bulks Up With New 8 Terabyte 'Archive' Hard Drive

VanessaE Re:Fill in the blank (219 comments)

Backups. Lots and lots of backups. Too bad I *just* bought a 2 TB disk for that purpose a few days ago.

about two weeks ago
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U.S. Passenger Vehicle Fleet Dirtier After 2008 Recession

VanessaE Re:Externality--tax it! (176 comments)

Better a well-maintained coal plant emitting scrubbed gasses than a thousand poorly-maintained gasoline cars belching out exhaust fumes with little more than a catalytic converter to help out.

about two weeks ago
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Bellard Creates New Image Format To Replace JPEG

VanessaE Re:Ok, looks good (377 comments)

Well, by virtue of the in-browser javascript decoder, at least that end is handled already - it "just works" in chromium at least. Between that and alpha support, this looks like it has everything that's been needed from a lossy image format for a long time now.

about two weeks ago
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How Astronomers Will Take the "Image of the Century": a Black Hole

VanessaE Re:Revelation 9:1 (129 comments)

Except....that a black home has a bottom. There's nothing infinite about them, except in some formulas (i.e. the _mathematical_ singularity at the center). If the black hole is big enough (around 150 billion solar masses), you could even stand more or less comfortably on its surface, normal earth-like gravity, provided the radiation doesn't kill you.

about two weeks ago
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Gangnam Style Surpasses YouTube's 32-bit View Counter

VanessaE Re:What PSY is costing YouTube (164 comments)

If the values are straight storage, well that's an extra 4 bytes per video for the count. Some quick googling turns up a couple of figures that aren't too terribly old, and which don't actually add up to much:

As of 2008, there were around 83M videos on YouTube, so that's 332 MB for storage for the counters, assuming every video's record were updated and the count data is stored uncompressed. I'd guess double that amount for 2014, but I couldn't find a reliable figure.

Currently, about 4 billion videos are watched per day (!), so allowing for four extra digits on the displayed "watched" count, that would add up to 16 GB of added bandwidth, were every one of those videos to significantly exceed the former 32-bit counter.

about three weeks ago
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Doubling Saturated Fat In Diet Does Not Increase It In Blood

VanessaE Re:Humans are supposed to be vegan (252 comments)

Just because YOU say humans are somehow supposed to be vegan does not make it "normal" either; humans don't have razor sharp teeth and claws, but we evolved the intelligence to develop simple weapons and tools to make killing for food and cooking it efficient enough for humanity to thrive.

Your argument is invalid.

about a month ago
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Comet Probe Philae Unanchored But Stable — And Sending Back Images

VanessaE Re:Warranty voided (132 comments)

The lander weighs only about one *gram* on the comet's surface.

about a month ago
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Mathematical Proof That the Universe Could Come From Nothing

VanessaE Re:Car analogy? (429 comments)

It's as if a single-cylinder engine running on a tabletop in the only room in existence suddenly backfired and a whole fleet of semi trucks/lorries sprang into being in an instant, already pre-loaded with cargo, starting from that engine's intake manifold.

about a month and a half ago
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FTDI Reportedly Bricking Devices Using Competitors' Chips.

VanessaE Re:On the other hand... (700 comments)

If Ford released a firmware update that works on fake Fords, and said update explicitly detects the fakes and mashes the accelerator in response, yes, Ford is to blame.

about 2 months ago
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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.

about 3 months ago
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The Minecraft Parent

VanessaE There are alternatives... (174 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.

about 3 months 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 4 months 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 4 months 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 5 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 6 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 8 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 9 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 10 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 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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