Get original DX7 patches made by Brian Eno in 1987

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You can’t get much more 80s synth power than this: Eno. DX7. Keyboard Magazine.

Yes, it seems there’s a magical synth site called Encyclotronic, full of patches and hardware specs and other goodies. And it seems that site has noted that back in 1987, Keyboard Magazine managed to extract some of his favorite patches for the Yamaha DX7 and shared them with readers.

Sadly, Keyboard lacks any kind of exhaustive archive. (Believe me, having edited a book from their archives, I know – thar be dragons.) And because this was a paper publication, Mr. Eno didn’t share everything. So somewhere, he’s got even more of these. KORG, you’ve got an instrument capable of loading them. Given that you did an OK Go edition of the volca sample, surely you could do an Eno volca FM?

Oh, yeah, also – Yamaha, maybe you’d consider doing something with the DX7 given you invented it?

In the meanwhile, this is a beautiful, free gift to all of us. Thanks for that! Now time to get FMing.

brian_eno_yamaha_dx7_patches

Brian Eno Yamaha DX7 Patches [info and download; download requires registration]

Via Electronic Beats

And to help you load them:

The post Get original DX7 patches made by Brian Eno in 1987 appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

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The Myth of Flyer’s Rights

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Illustration by Angelica Alzona.

Flyer beware.

There’s been a lot of disdain aimed toward airline companies lately, and for good reason. United Airlines literally dragged a man off of a plane because they “needed” his seat for an employee, and kicked off some girls because they were wearing leggings. Delta booted a family of four because their youngest son was using a seat that had been assigned to their oldest son. Spirit Airlines canceled a ton of flights over labor disputes, stranding tons of passengers. Then United was in the news again recently when they canceled someone’s ticket for using a phone to record interactions with airline employees. Plus, there was that whole rabbit thing. Needless to say, people are up in arms, and airlines like United are taking a pretty big hit.

Hold up, though. These stories have people upset, shouting about their rights as a paying passenger. But do you know what those rights actually are? Before you go complaining too much and boycotting, maybe you should know what’s what when it comes buying a plane ticket. Flyer’s rights do exist, thanks to the Department of Transportation, but they are pretty freakin’ barebones. Like, probably not even close to what you think they are. Let’s break this down, shall we?

The Few Rights You Have as a Flyer

First off, you absolutely need to know that airlines have the legal right to stop any passenger from flying at any time, even if the passenger doesn’t want to give up their seat. That means you mister or misses paying customer. You could be removed for being drunk, having a crying baby, smelling like butt, not wearing shoes, or even because they overbooked and need your seat for someone else they deem to be more important. Sorry. Here’s what the DOT has to say about that:

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Overbooking is not illegal, and most airlines overbook their scheduled flights to a certain extent in order to compensate for “no-shows.” Passengers are sometimes left behind or “bumped” as a result. When an oversale occurs, the Department of Transportation (DOT) requires airlines to ask people who aren’t in a hurry to give up their seats voluntarily, in exchange for compensation. Those passengers bumped against their will are, with a few exceptions, entitled to compensation.

If you are involuntarily removed from a plane or denied boarding, you are entitled to another ticket free-of-charge, as long as you didn’t break the law. The Department of Transportation explains that this reimbursed ticket must be equal to 200% of your one-way fare to your final destination that day (to a $650 maximum), as long as the substitute transportation is scheduled to arrive at your destination between one and two hours after your original arrival time (between one and four hours for international flights). It goes up to 400% if arrival time is later than two hours.

Basically, you get another ticket to where you need to go, but you’re going to be late. However, you can also insist on a check instead of the new ticket, and keep your original ticket, which you can still use on a different flight with the same carrier. And when it comes to in-flight services you’ve already paid for, they have to refund those payments to you as well. If you feel like you were wrongly removed from the flight, you can file a formal complaint with the Department of Transportation. If that’s not good enough, you can also try to take the fight to small claims court if you can prove some sort of financial loss, but that’s a tough fight to win.

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If your flight is delayed or canceled, however, things are a bit different. You have even fewer rights. Per the DOT:

Contrary to popular belief, for domestic itineraries airlines are not required to compensate passengers whose flights are delayed or canceled. As discussed in the chapter on overbooking, compensation is required by law on domestic trips only when you are “bumped” from a flight that is oversold.

Yes, you read that right. If your flight is canceled, they don’t have to do anything for you. They don’t even have to provide you with any amenities if you’re stranded somewhere because of a cancellation. Most airlines will put you on another flight or offer something to you as a gesture of customer service, but they don’t have to.

AND… Oh wait, that’s it. Those are your rights as a flyer.

Why All This Crazy Stuff Keeps Happening

Okay, so now let’s take a look at how some of these specific instances went down. Just to be clear, these explanations are not in defense of the airlines, but so you can understand why these things happened. Knowing the “why” doesn’t make their actions right, but it will help you come to grips with the reality of flying this day and age.

For example, what happened to Dr. David Dao was truly horrible, no doubt, and United handled it as poorly as feasibly possible. But here’s the thing—Dao was politely asked several times to exit the airplane and he refused. Your gut reaction is probably something along the lines of “Good for him, that’s crap, he’s a paying customer, he shouldn’t have to leave.” Nope, that does not matter in the eyes of the airline or the law of the skies. Remember? Airlines may remove you from an airplane at any time if they want to, as long as they properly compensate you according to the law. It’s classified as an “involuntary denied boarding,” and the number one thing that will get you in hot water—or manhandled if it strikes their fancy—is not following flight crew instructions. If you’re told by flight crew or security to get off a plane, do it.

FAA regulations are extremely clear about that, stating “…no person may assault, threaten, intimidate, or interfere with a crew member in the performance of the crew member’s duties aboard an aircraft being operated.” Dao was asked to disembark repeatedly (for a bullshit reason, I know, but still), he refused to comply, saying he had patients to see the next morning, they sent Chicago PD on board, he continued to refuse, then Chicago PD and flight personnel made the call to physically remove him, which they technically have the authority to do. You may not like it, and United’s insane actions were a horrible fiasco, but them’s the breaks. Over 46,000 passengers were “bumped” from flights in 2016 alone, so this is incredibly common. Let’s look at the rest of these examples:

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  • The girls that were kicked off that United flight for wearing leggings were also breaking some rules. They weren’t normal passengers, and were using free employee ticket vouchers that required them to fly under the airline’s strict company dress code. Their leggings did not qualify for said dress code and they were denied boarding—plain and simple. Regular passengers may wear leggings.
  • The family booted from the Delta flight had a child flying in a seat that was not assigned to him. It was assigned to his older brother—who had already flown home on a separate flight—meaning that ticket (and seat) did not belong to the child that was actually on the plane. You can’t do that. Child or not, in the airline’s eyes it’s no different than an adult flying with someone else’s ticket.
  • Spirit Airlines can cancel every one of their flights whenever they like. It would be bad for business, sure, but they can do it if they so choose. Most airlines usually try to get you on the next available flight, and some airlines might even endorse a new ticket for you on a new carrier, but it’s entirely up to the airline. There are no official rules, and, as mentioned, they don’t even owe you compensation. If they do put you on the next available flight, though, you’re not likely to be provided any amenities while you’re stranded. This is especially common with low-fare airlines like Spirit.
  • Lastly, United flight crew may deny boarding to someone who is recording them without their permission because, again, flight crew may deny boarding to anyone at any time. In all-party consent states, recording audio without their permission is illegal anyway. This took place in Louisiana, which isn’t an all-party state, but flight crew still has the final say. If you’re doing something to upset them or tick them off, be prepared to pay for it.

Don’t get me wrong. None of this is “fair,” so to speak, but it’s the way it is right now. You must comply with plane regulations and flight crew at all times, period. This is the reality of flying in our post 9/11, corporation-controlled world. You have the right to compensation for lost time and inconvenience in some instances, and you have the right to file a formal complaint with the Department of Transportation, and, well, that’s about it!

Know Your Rights but Understand the Reality

So yes, airlines are mostly deserving of their bad reputations because they continue to handle almost every situation they’re presented without a shred of grace or sliver of humanity. But media frenzy, a general misunderstanding of flyer rights, and people’s all-too-present self-entitlement are what’s feeding the flames of this raging bonfire. There’s more to this messed up equation than people being mistreated, and it’s important you know all the variables if you intend to fly.

Hopefully, all the media coverage of these incidents teaches the airlines a lesson and helps change their rules for the better. But until then, you don’t get to refuse flight crew, you don’t get to do whatever you like because you’re “a paying customer, dammit,” and you don’t get to break rules (even if they seem ridiculous). You have the right to remain silent, lean your chair back at cruising altitude, and watch terrible comedies while you sip Fresca from a plastic cup that’s way too small—unless the airline says otherwise. Have a nice flight.

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Why don’t we have waterproof laptops already?

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Why don’t we have waterproof laptops already?

Image: Bob al-greene/mashable

I still don’t know how it happened.

One minute I was sitting down at my desk, glass of water in hand. Seconds later I was watching helplessly as the contents of the glass seeped into my MacBook Air. My screen went black almost immediately.

As I walk-of-shamed my soggy laptop down to IT, I started going through a mental checklist of what was backed up and what wasn’t. Just how screwed would I be if the thing ended up being totally unsalvageable?

Luckily for me, almost everything was backed up somewhere. Luckier still, IT was able to successfully dry out the laptop and return it to me within a couple days (thanks Norman!) with no sign of the incident. 

Still, the whole thing was more than just a reminder to be more careful (or, at the very least, to use cups with lids). The whole thing got me thinking about why, of all the waterproof gadgets we have, laptops — arguably one of the most important pieces of our digital lives — so rarely have any water resistance at all. 

Think about it. Water resistance is becoming the norm for flagship smartphones, including the iPhone 7. Want a waterproof camera? Take your pick. Even smartwatches, which have long been slightly water resistant, are becoming waterproof. 

But look for a waterproof laptop and your options are depressingly limited. You’re pretty much stuck with a handful of “rugged” notebooks designed for regular outdoor use. These thick bulky bricks are not only offensive to look at, they aren’t at all practical for anyone not working in the middle of a forest. Just look at this 10-pound beast from Panasonic: it could probably survive the apocalypse but I wouldn’t be caught dead with a laptop that looked like that.

Panasonic's Toughbook is fully waterproof and 100% hideous.

Panasonic’s Toughbook is fully waterproof and 100% hideous.

Now, I get that making a laptop capable of withstanding a lot of water is no small engineering feat. But it seems like there should be some middle ground. It’s 2017, after all, at the very least I should be able to spill few drops of coffee on my laptop without panicking over whether it’s going to destroy my digital life. 

Surely, this is a solvable engineering challenge. I would even be willing to sacrifice a bit of thinness if it meant I could take my laptop into a crowded coffee shop without anxiety. 

So, OEMs (especially you, Apple), please take note: add just a little waterproofing, okay?

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The 22-year-old Brit who stopped the global cyberattack is donating his $10,000 reward to charity

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nhs cyberattack ransomware

LONDON — The 22-year-old Brit who "accidentally" halted Friday’s devastating global cyberattack says he plans to give his $10,000 (£7,700) reward to charity.

"I don’t do what I do for money or fame," he told Business Insider. "I’d rather give the money to people who need it."

Late last week, a ransomware attack that made use of a leaked NSA (National Security Agency) "EternalBlue" software exploit spread rapidly round the world, infecting organisations in more than 150 countries, from Britain’s National Health Service (NHS) to Spanish telecoms giant Telefonica, Nissan, and FedEx.

But the "WannaCry" malware’s spread was halted when a pseudonymous British security researcher who goes by the name "MalwareTech" registered a website he found when investigating the malware’s code. In doing so, he inadvertently triggered a "killswitch" — and he continued to host the website when he realised what he had done.

Since then, he has been inundated with unwanted publicity, with journalists tracking down his real name, publishing his photo, and appearing outside his family home, where he lives with his parents.

"If you turn up at my house you’re crossed off the list of potential media outlets I will do an exclusive with," he tweeted on Monday. "For the record I don’t ‘fear for my safety’, I’m just unhappy with trying to help clear up Friday’s mess with the doorbell going constantly."

He has now been offered a $10,000 reward for his efforts — but he says he doesn’t want it.

HackerOne is a platform that lets security professionals responsibly report potential security issues in software, often in return for a cash reward (a "bug bounty"). In recognition of MalwareTech’s efforts, the company publicly offered him a ten grand bounty, writing: "Thank you for your active research into this malware and for making the internet safer!"

In response, he said he intends to donate it to charity. "I plan on holding a vote to decided which charities will get the majority of the money," he wrote. "The rest will go to buying books/resources for people looking to get into infosec [information security] who can’t afford them."

In a message, MalwareTech told Business Insider he is still undecided on what sort of charities he will give the reward, to and that he plans "to let people suggest which they think is best."

"I don’t do what I do for money or fame," he wrote. "I’d rather give the money to people who need it."

So why does he do what he does? "Because it helps people and I enjoy it."

The vulnerability in Microsoft Windows that WannaCry exploited was patched in March this year, but because many organisations hadn’t updated their software, they remained vulnerable. On Monday, Microsoft published a blogpost excoriating the NSA for "stockpiling" software exploits and their subsequent leak online by hacking group "ShadowBrokers."

"An equivalent scenario with conventional weapons would be the U.S. military having some of its Tomahawk missiles stolen," wrote president Brad Smith. "The governments of the world should treat this attack as a wake-up call."

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