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New York Public Library Releases Over 20,000 Hi-Res Maps

jason8 Re:Suitable as wall art? (25 comments)

I downloaded a map of the section of Manhattan where I live, and it's a massive .png file -- 73MB, about 12000x8000, and looks very frameable.

about 9 months ago
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Marc Andreessen On Why Bitcoin Matters (And A Critique)

jason8 Payments good, speculation bad (332 comments)

I'm in favor of a fast, cheap, reliable payment system, and that aspect of bitcoin is certainly appealing. But I'm totally against the speculative aspect of bitcoin (which is what I believe 99% of its proponents are *really* interested in). 80% of bitcoins are held by 1% of wallets, and the holders of these wallets are dearly hoping that the general public will buy into the idea of bitcoin with "real" money. Sorry, it ain't gonna be my real money.

about a year ago
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Cisco Slashes 4,000 Jobs

jason8 Re:Have any one of you worked there? (139 comments)

In my experience this is fairly typical of large corporations. They DO have a lot of dead wood, mostly in the form of bloated middle management. But unsurprisingly, those are NOT the people they fire during layoffs.

That's probably true, but I was interested to read this quote from the Cisco CEO in the nytimes article about the layoffs:

"We've got to take out middle-level management," he said. "What I'm really after is not speed of decisions but speed of implementation."

about a year ago
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Tar Pitch Drop Captured On Camera

jason8 Re:Why does the equipment move? (142 comments)

In that video, 3-4 seconds = 1 day of actual elapsed time. So maybe after the drop fell, there was some human intervention to move the clamp up slightly, but the intervention isn't visible in this video?

about a year ago
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What's the Best RSS Reader Not Named Google Reader?

jason8 Emacs and Gnus (287 comments)

Emacs with Gnus is a nice low-bandwidth way to check your feeds. I'm not kidding either.

about 2 years ago
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Evidence For Comet-Borne Microfossils Supports Panspermia

jason8 Who thinks life began on Earth? (169 comments)

Perhaps I'm not being anthropocentric enough, but does anyone really think that life began on Earth? Perhaps there's no evidence yet to prove otherwise, but just on an intellectual level, it seems roughly similar to claiming that the universe revolves around us, or to expecting that alien life forms will be carbon-based, with arms and legs, symmetrical bodies, a tendency to post as anonymous cowards, etc...

about 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Are The Days of Homebrew Gaming Over?

jason8 Re:Depends, how much money you got? (181 comments)

My understanding of "homebrew" is that it's really a code word for cracking the platform, i.e. providing a way for users to play games on the console without owning a physical copy of the game. So in that light I can understand why Sony/Nintendo/Microsoft would be trying to make it go away.

I'm sure that people in the homebrew community would disagree with this, but for every enthusiast, there are probably 100 or 1000 people who would like to build a huge library of free games, enabled by a hack developed by one of the enthusiasts. And this would easily explain the interest in closed platforms.

more than 2 years ago
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Giant Touchscreens Coming To NYC Phone Booths

jason8 Re:we have phone booths in NYC? (124 comments)

There are 4 phone booths left in Manhattan, according to this article. All of them in pretty out-of-the-way places.

I've certainly never seen one that I can remember, after 13 years living here. Plenty of pay phones, but no phone booths.

more than 2 years ago
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10 Years of Windows XP

jason8 Re:Wrong (471 comments)

XP itself never crashed(BSOD'd) unless you had serious hardware (or later, malware when it became sufficiently virulent) problems.

I distinctly remember an occasion about 5 years ago when I logged in to my office PC (running XP) from home, I believe using Citrix. That was in the morning, to get something done early. I did my stuff, then closed the Citrix session and headed in to the office -- but that didn't terminate the session, it just paused it. At my desk, for some reason I opened that Citrix session again, this time from my desktop PC itself. For about a second I saw a "two mirrors facing each other" type of thing, as it tried to show my desktop in a window on my desktop, and another one inside of that one, etc. Then XP blue-screened. It didn't seem like a hardware thing, and that's about the only blue-screen I can remember.

Still running XP at work, but now it's the 64-bit edition...

more than 3 years ago
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Amazon Bypassing Publishers By Signing Authors Directly

jason8 Re:It won't matter (461 comments)

I think it's amusing that Penguin is involved here (although it may as well be any publisher for this particular story).

When Penguin was founded in the 1930s, they were probably as much of a disruptive force as Amazon is now. Paperbacks were pretty much unheard of. At the time new books -- which meant cloth-bound books -- generally cost about 6 shillings, or say about 20-30 pounds in today's UK money, or 40-60 US$. The first Pengins were sold for 6 pence, or 2-3 pounds, or 4-6 US$. All the original Penguins were reprints, i.e. not new original works but titles licensed from other publishers. The public reaction was positive. The publishing community started with an attitude of amused skepticism, and soon evolved to something like fear, as they watched Penguin cannibalize their sales.

These days Penguin is still around, having outlived and/or absorbed most of the old British publishing companies. It's interesting to think that they might be confronting an upheaval in the industry similar to the one they caused themselves 80 years ago.

more than 3 years ago
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Google Quietly Posts Big JavaScript Engine Update

jason8 Great. Web preview will suck faster now. (120 comments)

Ever since google decided to make their web search results unusable with the "Web Preview" crap (which pops up a huge, useless, floating window when you click on the text of any search result, and which is non-opt-out-able), they've made themselves an enemy of me. Or me of them. Whatever. I know it can be disabled via greasemonkey or noscript, but fuck it -- I'll just use other web searches, email, RSS readers, etc.

about 4 years ago
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Deposit Checks To Your Bank By Taking a Photo

jason8 Re:Aww, checks! (494 comments)

"That will be $1.99, sir."

"One dollar and ninety-nine cents," I say, taking my delicious time. I pause, look at the cashier, pause again, and then break into a slow grin. "One full dollar, plus ninety-nine one-hundredths of a dollar..."

I then reach into my breast pocket and leisurely extract my slim, calf-bound check book, artfully raising an eyebrow as I do so. Extracting it approximately 50%, so that the cashier gets a glimpse of it, I ask, "Do you take... checks?"

"Of course, sir."

A satisfied, elegant, slightly ironic smile breaks over my face as I fully extract the check book and lay it on the counter. I cast my eyes about for a pen. The cashier offers a battered blue Bic. I visually inspect it and decline with a wry and rueful grin. My left hand rises slowly and deliberately to my other breast pocket, and eventually emerges holding a dark and slender pen. A fountain pen, its barrel chased with gold and etched with mysterious swirls.

And although at this point the store closed for the night and I had to leave without completing my transaction, I think you'll get some taste of the elegance of paying for a purchase with a check.

more than 4 years ago
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Pandora Wants Radio Stations To Pay For Music, Too

jason8 Re:Contact your state senator!!! (253 comments)

This is one of the primary reasons that radio stations have to say their callsigns at required intervals, so pilots can identify the station should they have some sort of insturment failure which allows them to tune in, but not know what they are tuning into.

That's interesting. But when I was doing radio, the station ID was required once an hour, as close to the :00 as possible, usually within 2 minutes either way. With that kind of timing, I don't see how it would be much good for a pilot in distress, unless the distress conveniently started around :55 or so.

more than 5 years ago
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Last.fm User Data Was Sent To RIAA By CBS

jason8 Re:Why the outrage? (334 comments)

That's not "putting in another way", it's two completely different points.

OK, I thought the reason for the "outrage" was that people were listening to stuff that the RIAA didn't want them listening to (a leaked U2 album), and CBS was able to identify these people via their last.fm logs. My point is, why would these people do such a dangerous thing when they know that last.fm is owned by a major media company? I could see it being not too unreasonable if last.fm was independent, but as things are, it seems to be just asking for trouble. Similarly, for CBS to not pursue this would be troublesome for them, since I'm sure they don't want their last.fm property to get a reputation as a hangout for pirates/downloaders/etc.

more than 5 years ago
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Last.fm User Data Was Sent To RIAA By CBS

jason8 Re:Why the outrage? (334 comments)

Ah... I know I have lots of records on CBS (UK/Japan) and Columbia (US), but I guess those are mostly older.

It looks like there's an effort to revive the CBS music brand, though there are so few artists that I don't see why they would go to the trouble of checking out last.fm users' logs.

Still, I would be suspicious on principle. I can imagine CBS being friendly with other big media companies, including RIAA music companies...

more than 5 years ago
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Last.fm User Data Was Sent To RIAA By CBS

jason8 Why the outrage? (334 comments)

If last.fm sold out to CBS for 140 million pounds, why should anyone be outraged if CBS is using the last.fm user info like this? CBS is one of the major labels controlling the RIAA actions. Why wouldn't they do this? Or to put it another way, why would a user stick with last.fm after it sold out to a CBS?

more than 5 years ago
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Tata Building $7,800 Apartments in Mumbai

jason8 Re:very cheap + little material =unsafe (242 comments)

As Martin Amis wrote, "Indian motorists are not required to use their lights after dark, though they may flash while swerving if they wish; they are obliged, however (or so it seems), to sound their horns whenever they see anything at all, mobile or stationary, animate or inanimate."

more than 5 years ago
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Hitachi Fined $31 Million For LCD Price Fixing

jason8 Re:Staggering (135 comments)

Oops, maybe you're right, I got my info here, specifically the "Gross Profit (ttm): 24.74B". I should have thought about that a minute, USD 25B in profit sounds way too big. My bad.

more than 5 years ago
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Hitachi Fined $31 Million For LCD Price Fixing

jason8 Staggering (135 comments)

$25 billion in profits last year. Yep, that $31 million fine is staggering.

more than 5 years ago

Submissions

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Madoff's programmers indicted

jason8 jason8 writes  |  more than 4 years ago

jason8 (917879) writes "Two programmers who helped Ponzi-schemer (and now prison punching bag) Bernard Madoff program an old computer to produce false records have been indicted, according to the Post. Jerome O'Hara and George Perez were accused of conspiracy, falsifying records of a broker dealer and falsifying records of an investment adviser. They are each free on $1 million bail, and their lawyers say they will both plead not guilty."
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