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Astronomers Find Planet Barely Larger Than Earth's Moon

bizard Re:Asteroseismology? (71 comments)

Largely because the field was pioneered by European and Australian astronomers.

about a year ago
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Wayback Machine Trumps FOI Tribunal

bizard Re:Yep, "AGW" *must* be true (401 comments)

Or, instead of posting the summary from the blog post, you could have looked at the actual list. Most of the attendees are obviously media people: program directors, commentators etc. There were 3 academics, representatives from a couple of environmental groups, and at least one industry rep (from BP). So really, they get together a small group of 'experts' to inform the other attendees about the subject so that they can make their reporting policy decisions. It seems like the list shows exactly what the BBC described.

about 2 years ago
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EA Sues Zynga For Copying Sims Game

bizard Re:Fed up with all this... (197 comments)

"Yes, well, that's the sort of blinkered, philistine pig ignorance I've come to expect from you non-creative garbage."

In all of the discussions about copyright and patents, the ranters all seem to assume that ideas float freely and all anyone needs to do is fire up the machines to produce the widgets or code it up. They neglect the fact that someone had to spend (usually a lot) of time (and often money) to conceive, test, refine and _then_ produce the book, game, widget, etc. And with all of that investment there was no guarantee that it would succeed.

As soon as printing presses were around, it became clear that there are plenty of assholes who will wait to the very end of that process and simply copy a popular product, selling it cheaper because they had to take no risks. And plenty of people willing to save a buck by buying the knockoff.

Nobody would care if you came up with new bread shapes unless they somehow made eating bread even more wonderful. Despite the hours/weeks/years you spent toiling, your bread would be copied and you would never be able to recoup those costs.

I don't think that perpetual copyright is the answer, but neither is vilifying everyone who comes up with an original idea and wishing they would go out of business because Joe down the street was able to copy them in a week and sell it to you for half the price.

more than 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: What's a Good Tablet/App Combination For Note-Taking?

bizard Re:iPad with a keyboard? (425 comments)

Generally a picture of a chalkboard or whiteboard from a distance, with heads in the way is of significantly lower quality than simply writing the equations yourself. In fact, in my cosmology class I currently need to roll my chair back from the table on occassion to even see the board and my professor tends to add annotations or erase areas in the middle of an explanation.

more than 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: What's a Good Tablet/App Combination For Note-Taking?

bizard Re:None (425 comments)

Having spent three semesters now taking notes on an iPad I couldn't disagree more. In physics and astrophysics classes it is quite common to want to add plots and other figures to your notes. If you have them at hand (ie googled for them) then you are correct and a laptop is as good. However, it is much more frequent that you simply need to add a quick figure or write down an equation with more greek letters than you feel like pseudo-latexing out. Switch the the pen, zoom in for smoothing or detail work, result is better generally than pen and paper. Since most of the content is typed, there is not 'recognition' problem. I have had a professor ask for my notes since they were more detailed than his slides (incorporating what he was saying as well).

more than 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: What's a Good Tablet/App Combination For Note-Taking?

bizard Re:iPad with a keyboard? (425 comments)

I use an iPad with a bluetooth keyboard as well as a pen. For general lectures or notes in a class where there are few equations, the keyboard is great. For a few figures or equations I can zoom in and draw with my finger (in the same notebook app that I am typing in) or even quickly google the figures I see in the presentation and paste them directly into my notes. For my cosmology class, heavy on general relativity, I find that I can't type the equations fast enough and so switch to an app which has fantastic stylus response. Both apps allow exporting as PDF (among other things) and so for classes where I use both notebooks, I export to PDF and merge the pages in the proper order.

Apps: iNotes (typing with light figure work) and NoteShelf (fantastic pen work with Griffen pen). The 'fatness' of the stylus is not an issue and for particularly fine writing you can write in a 'zoomed' area and have it appear on the page at a smaller size. The app also recognizes your wrist as opposed to where you are writing so that you can just write directly on the page. They also have lousy screenshots on their website...the control you have over line shape is superb. Both apps allow organizing your notes in different notebooks so that you can separate out your classes.

The one thing I would still like is a better app for general note taking. iNotes is fine for typing but the drawing tools are rather limited. A previous app that I used, Notify, was fantastic until it crashed 45 minutes into a class taking all of my notes with it. Both iNotes and NoteShelf have been stable and I have never lost any notes.

more than 2 years ago
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House Websites Jammed After Obama Debt Speech

bizard Re:Who pays the taxes (1042 comments)

I don't know where you pulled your stats from, though I know I have essentially seen the same bullshit floating around for months now. Even if your numbers were anywhere close to correct (or weren't skewed to pull some middle income households into the wealthy), you are neglecting the fact that the amount of income brought in by those groups is far larger by percentage than the amount of taxes they pay. In 2000, the top 10% owned 69.8% of the wealth (it has gotten worse since). They should be paying _at least_ 70% of the taxes.

Here is one nicely collated article http://sociology.ucsc.edu/whorulesamerica/power/wealth.html

As you realize that the top 1% of earners hold 35% of the wealth, you have to wonder why they don't want to pay their taxes.

more than 3 years ago
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Apple Losing Touchscreen War

bizard Re:Touch screen problems (392 comments)

With the iPhone (and now with any ipod if you buy apple's new headphones) you can click on the mic to pause, double click to skip a track, and triple click to skip backwards a track. Volume has also been added to the side of the new Touch to match the iPhone so that all of the things you can reasonably hope to accomplish by feel are now possible.

more than 6 years ago

Submissions

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bizard bizard writes  |  more than 7 years ago

bizard (691544) writes "As more and more european companies have piled on the anti-ITunes bandwagon in the past few months, people have been wondering what Apple's strategy would be. Many assumed that Apple was enjoying too much of a benefit from the DRM and that they would never get rid of it. Well, today Steve Jobs said that getting rid of DRM would be the best option for consumers and that if the record labels can do it for CDs then why not downloads."

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