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Comment Re:immigrants (Score 1) 114 114

FTFA:

The facial recognition scanners will ensure that ticketed passengers board their correct flight. It will prevent, for example, a passenger who arrives from Miami from trying to use a domestic ticket obtained from someone else in the departure lounge and then flying to Glasgow. Since domestic flights do not have immigration counters, it would be possible with the departure lounge arrangement in those terminals for a passenger from Miami to avoid immigration.

Comment Re:So what? (Score 1) 279 279

In the similar case of Gary McKinnon - who also has aspergers - his defence argued that extradition would be severely detrimental to his health. Being chucked in one of those super-jails - sharing a room with 12 other convicts - doesn't go too well with the typical inability to adapt to new routines or environments, found in those with the condition. I think he said he'd commit suicide if he had to go.

Comment Re:Fuck recorded music -- it's FAKE (Score 1) 344 344

If the goal is to reproduce live music faithfully, then every piece of audio equipment fails utterly.

That's like saying that if the goal is to reproduce live theatre performances faithfully, then every piece of television equipment fails utterly. I think at some point, reproduction devices branched off into their own medium.

I don't complain about poor stereo-imaging when at a live music event. But then, I don't complain that every time I play a CD, it's a synthetic, predictable performance.

Comment Re:I believe you misunderstood his point there... (Score 1) 344 344

There is a certain line... at which music becomes "too fake" and I don't enjoy it ... It's kind of odd that it matters.. and I have to wonder if I heard a song I liked, and someone told me it was entirely synthetic.. if I would still like that song. From a logical perspective it shouldn't... but I'll admit it probably would. Very irrational :(

This is a minefield. Rationally, we'd enjoy music purely for the feeling the sounds evoke, without bias from what we know about the process taken to produce the music.

Personally, I think this is impossible. I like to know the story behind the artist, to build a picture in my mind as to the meaning of the music.

The production process matters. Mass-produced objects have lower perceived value than hand-crafted ones (even when this belief is mistaken).

It's like how the sense of taste is very much entwined with other senses: visual (appearance is very important), smell (we all know 'taste' is mostly smell, or is that an urban myth?). Then there is the semantic level: we don't like the "idea" of certain foods: in some countries they eat songbirds and insects, and many westerners are often repelled by this notion.

It's not enough for me to just experience something. I have to know what it "is".

So I say screw it: be biassed.

Comment Re:Electrostatic... (Score 1) 344 344

Right here on my desk I have a pair of Wharfedale Pro Active 8.2s, only £200. Very decent for the price. No need for separate amp as they are active, so I just hook em directly to my soundcard. Soundcard is an Emu 1212M, which has some sweet onboard DSP, including EQ.

However, I'm suspicious that the (apparently) flat response of studio monitor speakers is the best thing for general listening. Some say they prefer to hear the music the way the artist intended, but in my opinion there's nothing wrong with adding a little more salt to a meal to your taste.

Headphones: AKG K271s, closed-back for total isolation. Haven't got the balls to wear them in the office though, where I usually go for the in-ear type.

As for TV and movies, all I have is the built-in speakers in a fairly cheap LCD TV. I really ought to get that sorted, but space is at a premium in my flat.

Comment People like being told what to do (Score 1) 430 430

Hate to rock the boat by commenting on TFA, but surely this doesn't tell us that much. One conclusion could be that the placebo effect simply shows how many patients just want an authoritative medical figure to tell them what to do, something constructive (however questionable), and do not factor any of their own decision-making into the process.

"The doctor told me to go jump off a bridge. I feel better already now I've spoken to a man of medicine, with years of experience and schooling, and I'm taking action based on his advice."

There is probably significance in the *psychological process* of having a consultation with a doctor, getting the prescription, following the instructions to the letter. Wonder if it would still work if you thought it was BS and a waste of time. I wonder if they controlled for the patients' attitude towards the treatment, i.e. did they feel the program would do them some good, on some level? After all, people know placebos are supposed to work.

Comment Re:Mod parent us (Score 1) 965 965

Agreed on the OS X subject, but I'm not sure what is special about a 'consumer electronic device' that means it must be locked down. Reliability and performance are surely important for a general purpose machine, so why aren't they locked down too? Agreed on the Apple business model, but what about the Consumer usage model?

If you read the sales copy for the iPhone, its billed as being able to do just about anything ("there's an app for that"). So it begins to look more like a general purpose machine anyway.

"What I've done, of course, is total garbage." -- R. Willard, Pure Math 430a

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