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Comment: Re:Better question (Score 1) 749

by Lagmo (#43254619) Attached to: Can You Really Hear the Difference Between Lossless, Lossy Audio?
Yea i personally am a big fan of the 'broke student 5.1 Surround Special'

Using a 4 Channel Car-fi amp(4x100W typical) ~$25-$50 used, usually powered by a PC ATX PSU or similar (practically free as in beer).

A 5.1 USB soundcard($20ish) hardwired directly to amp + Guitar/Bass amplifier($50) used as subwoofer. Decent speakers bought used can be had for around $50 a pair, good speakers last for decades unlike most crap made nowadays, so just spend whatever you can reasonably afford, since it's a fair investment in the long run, just make sure to check they still work(no damaged tweeter/woofer units).

Use standard Cat-5 network cable for signal cable AND speaker cable(double up), failing that regular mains cable works too, again free as in beer.
Use media player/OS driver to mix center channel into front speakers.

Bonus points for:
Soldering the connections.
6 ch. car amp, bridge one pair for center speaker, or get a powered full range PA mono speaker(easily found used).
Braiding the Cat-5 cables, with honors if the speakers you got can be bi-amped and the braid uses it(2 bass and one for treble/tweeters)
Using a studio grade soundcard, firewire ones tend to be common, useful if you have the connector anyway.
If you can find a mains power noise filter and/or have proper ground connections.
Using the guitar amp for it's intended purpose.
Optional mounting hardware.

I've had people compare such setups to $10K+ supposedly high-end gear, they can be amazingly high fidelity for what can be done on a very frugal budget.

Don't get frightened by how it looks, just consider it 'ART' =)

Comment: Re:Depends on the source (Score 1) 749

by Lagmo (#43250955) Attached to: Can You Really Hear the Difference Between Lossless, Lossy Audio?
Actually what people may be hearing is atrocious sample rate conversion, they might benefit from improved up-sampling algorithms from 44.1Khz -> 48/96Khz. Some soundcards and drivers are notorious for this(looking at you Creative Labs) but that's probably only after you've spent an hour just finding out how to turn off all the default EQ booster/plug-in/effect crap as well.

Comment: Re:Depends on the bitrate (Score 1) 749

by Lagmo (#43250701) Attached to: Can You Really Hear the Difference Between Lossless, Lossy Audio?
Quite so, AAC also is perceptibly better on my stereo once you crank up the volume. Digital PWM amplifier (sometimes referred to as Class-D) seems to be especially vulnerable to this harsh distortion in MP3 encodings.
Extra bitrate does mitigate the issue, but with lossless it lessens considerably. But it can never get better than the source material at any rate.

Stuff that usually sounds like crap in MP3 at any bitrate:
Live recordings with lots of audience participation
Treble heavy songs(hihats, cymbals, lots of complex chords)
Heavily stereo panned recordings.

Don't need to go bonkers on HD audio though, a straight FLAC CD rip is perfectly adequate for most listening and can be trivially stored and later downconverted if space is needed, but there might just be that occasional gem that does sound even better in 24bit/48Khz if you have the right equipment(Ears, Hardware and proper training/experience).
Anyone claiming >48Khz samplerate is needed probably just wants to sell something or they have a very large tinfoil hat collection.

Comment: Re:Um? (Score 4, Informative) 320

by Lagmo (#42199637) Attached to: Race To Mine Bitcoins Drives Enthusiasts Into the Chip Making Business

Actually one of the more serious projects(ASICMINER) DO plan to use the first batches of chips to compensate the IPO investors by using them for mining and later to possibly help fund more R&D and production runs. Additional and future income will be based on sales of the hardware

And since this is /. Preliminary chip info:
Built on 130nm node process (approximately comparable to the Pentium III generation)
It'll use a 15 x 15mm BGA package.
It's expected to run at around 200-300Mhz
It'll be a couple orders of magnitude more power efficient than GPUs and serveral times more than current FPGAs at hashing the SHA256 algorithm.
More info here: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=99497.980 and older (but more geek bait): https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=91173.0

Project is only about 2/3rds of the way through the foundry process, so atleast a month left till these chips could be active on the BTC network.

Comment: Re:Change the definition, no more problem! (Score 1) 602

by Lagmo (#42178361) Attached to: No More "Asperger's Syndrome"

I know the trolls are lining up to post "Ass-burgers is fake anyway, I met an Ass-pie once, and he was fine."

So let me say this first: If you've met an Aspie and dismissed the condition because that person "seemed fine", then please consider that what you didn't see was the countless hours of practice and stress and anxiety of being able to pretend to be that way; the habitual exhaustion from the effort of doing so; the depression and abysmal self-esteem from never, never understanding the people around you or being able to tell whether people actually like you or not. The years of teasing and abuse, the subsequent years of retrospectively realising all the other things which were teasing and abuse at the time but we couldn't tell at the time. The incessant Impostor's Syndrome, which only gets worse the higher you rise -- if you can move forward in your career. Who speak nineteen languages, but get scurvy because they forget to eat. No, seriously: people whose executive dysfunction requires the scheduling of bathing and eating, or else a rigid routine, where even slight interruptions can trigger a panic attack. The meltdowns and fear and frustration and despair.

And you don't see the ones who don't "seem fine". Who weren't as fortunate as those of us who got a series of lucky breaks and have been able to work around our disabilities and take advantage of our strengths. The ones who killed themselves in despair or ended up on the streets or were institutionalised or are housebound on antidepressants and anti-anxiety meds.

+1 Just so.

Thank you.

Comment: Re:What? (Score 1) 214

by Lagmo (#41935637) Attached to: A Year After Thailand Flooding, Hard Drive Prices Remain High
We built a storage server with 16 x 2TB Seagate ST2000DL003-9VT1 HDDs back in April/May 2011, the invoice says 6950kr (DKK, was 5.2DKK = $1 USD at the time*) so that works out to $83.53 USD per drive even here in Denmark and it wasn't any special deal, just day prices.
* - Source: http://nationalbanken.statistikbank.dk/nbf/107312

Comment: Re:How can you quantify the loss? (Score 1) 663

But for Avengers, I did go see it in 3d. The 3d sucked and the glasses were uncomfortable after 2 hours.

I paid 7.25 which seems very reasonable.

Indeed it does.. Almost unreasonably so, I just paid 110DKK(about $19.5USD incl. 25%VAT) + 5DKK reservation fee for the same privilege.

The audio was fine and so was the movie for that matter, but the Real3D setup gave me a splitting headache after just half an hour or so. I think I'll enjoy the 2D Bluray version considerably more, DAMN, there goes another $35..

How are these people NOT making money hand over fist already? And they want MORE protection for their racket?!




+ - Sony Could Face Developer Exodus on PSN->

Submitted by donniebaseball23
donniebaseball23 (1888144) writes "As the PlayStation Network outage continues, developers continue to feel the economic pinch. There's been no word from Sony on whether they'll compensate companies who produce games for PSN, but Capcom has already said it's losing potentially "millions" from the downtime. Worse yet, developers who rely on PSN revenues may jump ship if they aren't compensated, warns Dylan Cuthbert, creator of popular PSN game PixelJunk. "I have a feeling they [Sony] are thinking about doing something or they will lose developers which of course is pretty bad for them," he told IndustryGamers."
Link to Original Source

+ - China Rigs Electric-Car Taxes Against Chevy Volt-> 2

Submitted by thecarchik
thecarchik (1520545) writes "Over in China the local government has drafted its own ‘New Energy Vehicle Development Plan’ designed to promote the proliferation of green cars, specifically electric cars and plug-in hybrids. The plan calls for the investment of up to $15 billion in R&D spending, as well as the development of electric car infrastructure and buyer incentive programs similar to tax credit rebates offered here in the U.S.

However, where China’s program differs significantly to the one here in the U.S. is that eligible vehicles will have to be manufactured in China, either by a Chinese firm or in a joint venture with a Chinese firm. Additionally, the Chinese firm must also have intellectual property rights and "mastery" of one of three key components: the motor, battery or power electronics. This specifically excludes the Chevy Volt (and the Nissan Leaf too)."

Link to Original Source

Switched On: Windows Mobile success deserves a better successor->

From feed by engfeed

Filed under: Cellphones, Features

Each week Ross Rubin contributes Switched On, a column about technology, multimedia, and digital entertainment:

Last year marked the tenth anniversary of Windows CE, now the underpinnings of what is called Windows Mobile. Few Microsoft market entry forays have tested the software giant's patience as its miniature embedded operating system. At its debut on PalmPCs, as they were known before threats of litigation ensued, Windows CE was slow and ungainly while the incumbent Palm OS was speedy and elegant. Palm seemed to leave Microsoft in the dust when it unveiled the Palm V, the slim PDA that carried the kind of design buzz in 1999 that the Motorola RAZR or iPod nano did at their debuts.

But among developer platforms, Palm OS licensees vanished one by one as the operating system languished during Palm's notorious hand-changing history. Symbian -- begun as a reaction to Microsoft's mobile designs -- has so far failed to achieve the smartphone success stateside that it has in Europe. And despite the promise of Linux as a cellphone operating system, it has become a handset market force only in countries hosting next year's summer Olympics. All this had left Microsoft strongly positioned in a nascent market, but its perseverance is only now starting to pay off.

Continue reading Switched On: Windows Mobile success deserves a better successor

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BOLD MOVES: THE FUTURE OF FORD A new documentary series. Be part of the transformation as it happens in real-time

Office Depot Featured Gadget: Xbox 360 Platinum System Packs the power to bring games to life!

Link to Original Source
The Internet

China's New Internet Plan 259

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the i-don't-want-to-wash-the-people's-internet dept.
eldavojohn writes "The internet in China is diverging rapidly from the state that the rest of the world enjoys it. Recent news of China's leader, Hu Jintao, has revealed a strategy to distort it even further. Jintao is tackling the issue his Communist party is having with the youth of China that are too young to remember Chairman Mao and the fanaticism the populace had for him. A strategy he is proposing is 'cleaning up' China's internet & lacing it with a little propaganda like the need to 'Consolidate the guiding status of Marxism in the ideological sphere' online. The meeting notes also declared that 'Development and administration of Internet culture must stick to the direction of socialist advanced culture, adhere to correct propaganda guidance.'"

+ - Gates-Backed High Tech High Flunks Out

Submitted by
theodp writes "On Sunday, Bill Gates' Washington Post Op-Ed on How to Keep America Competitive said the U.S. must build on the success of schools like the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation-backed High Tech High to remain competitive in the global economy and reduce the need for H-1B visas. Try telling that to High Tech High Bayshore parents and students, whose tears and desperate pleas fell on deaf ears Friday as the board of directors of the High Tech High Foundation voted unanimously to close their school. Perhaps someone at the Post — say Director Melinda French Gates — should see that a little fact-checking is done when they give Bill a bully pulpit."

+ - Living room HDTV for PC Gaming?

Submitted by
Goosey writes "With the major purchases of a new HDTV, HTPC, and gaming PC setup in the near future the thought occurred that I could combine my needs (and save some money) by putting high end hardware in the HTPC and using the it with the HDTV for gaming. Big screen gaming sounds like a dream come true, but having never done any PC gaming outside of a computer desk some concerns do pop up. What little information I could find has been pretty lacking, so I ask: do any slashdotters have experience with PC gaming in the living room? Is it a viable option using a large HDTV with 1080p native resolution or does the large view distance make the experience unbearable? Is text unreadable without inducing eye strain? Are there any mouse/keyboard solutions suitable for use on the couch?"

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