Don't forget: Intel vs. AMD NVidia vs. ATI iPhone vs. Android
New York State's Attorney General, Andrew Cuomo, has subpoenaed a number of online retailers, including GameStop, Barnes & Noble, Ticketmaster and Staples, over the way they pass information to marketing firms while processing transactions. MSNBC explains the scenario thus: "You're on the site of a well-known retailer and you make a purchase. As soon as you complete the transaction a pop-up window appears. It offers a discount on your next purchase. Click on the ad and you are automatically redirected to another company's site where you are signed up for a buying club, travel club or credit card protection service. The yearly cost is usually $100 to $145. Here's where things really get smarmy. Even though you did not give that second company any account information, they will bill the credit or debit card number you used to make the original purchase. You didn't have to provide your account number because the 'trusted' retailer gave it to them for a cut of the action." While there is no law preventing this sort of behavior, Cuomo hopes the investigation will pressure these companies to change their ways, or at least inform customers when their information might be shared.
sproketboy writes "Project Darkstar, an open source software platform from Sun labs that simplifies the development of horizontally scalable servers for online games, is being discontinued as of the Oracle acquisition. This project, mentioned a couple of years back on Slashdot, was a unique concept for building an application server specific to on-line gaming. Sadly they were so close at version 0.9.11 (which is still very stable). Hopefully the open source community can get involved and help continue work on this project."
iamapizza writes "New Scientist reports on the quest of two math boffins for the perfect way to slice a pizza. It's an interesting and in-depth article; 'The problem that bothered them was this. Suppose the harried waiter cuts the pizza off-center, but with all the edge-to-edge cuts crossing at a single point, and with the same angle between adjacent cuts. The off-center cuts mean the slices will not all be the same size, so if two people take turns to take neighboring slices, will they get equal shares by the time they have gone right round the pizza — and if not, who will get more?' This is useful, of course, if you're familiar with the concept of 'sharing' a pizza."
I remember trying lots of encoders back then and various bit rates (including VBR). I remember it on Beck's "Mutations" mainly (which was 1998). I listened to it millions of times on CD before I converted it, which is why it stood out so much. I might give it a shot later tonight (I really don't have any CD's handy at all). I also have the built-in excuse of being older now than when I first really noticed it, so I might not be a good test subject
You definitely notice it most on CD's you've listened to a lot on headphones. Cymbals are the most obvious place you hear it. A MP3 will have "wispy" sounding cymbals. It's sort of like a flange effect but not as pronounced. On songs I've heard an insane amount of times on CD it drives me crazy. These days I buy a CD and immediately convert it.
An anonymous reader writes "Gizmodo has an exclusive video and feature of one of the most heavily guarded secrets in Lego: the security vault where they store all the Lego sets ever created, new in their boxes. 4,720 sets from 1953 to 2008. Really amazing stuff and a trip down memory lane to every person who has played with the magic bricks. All combined, the collection must be worth millions, not only because of the collector value, but also because Lego uses it as a safeguard in copyright and patent cases."