It depends a huge amount on what you're listening to. For about 90% of my music, I can't tell the difference between the original CD and 128kb/s MP3. A few things have noticeable artefacts that don't go away no matter how high you put the bitrate. Substitute 128kb/s AAC and that changes to over 95%. At 256kb/s AAC, I can't tell the difference for anything I own, but I've heard some recordings that hit pathological cases in the algorithms used for AAC and sound terrible at any bit rate (usually orchestral pieces with a single voice and only for short samples). With FLAC, you can 100% reconstruct the original, bit for bit, so you won't suffer from any unfortunate coincidence between your choice of music and the CODEC of choice.
The big advantage of a lossless compression though is for recompressing. For a long time I had a DVD player connected to my living room speakers that could play back MP3s, but not AAC. If I wanted to burn a CD-RW or DVD+RW to play on it, I had to recompress, which usually sounded noticeably worse than if I'd gone straight to MP3 from the source material. If I'd ripped everything as FLAC, then that recompression would not have introduced any new artefacts.
So, as the price goes up economically viable reserves go up.
Yes. Of course, at some point you'll start getting the material from asteroid mines, because at a few million dollars per kg it's actually worth doing that. Generally, the demand slows as the price increases too though. A roof paint that costs a few thousand times the value of the house probably isn't going to be that popular...
Nuclear releases less CO2, but kills more wildlife and releases more radiation
I'd like a source for the 'kills more wildlife'. Even counting just emissions at the plant itself and not the huge amount from coal mining, nuclear power plants emit less radioactive material than coal.
By the time Gmail was no longer an invite-only beta service, everyone had been talking about it for months. The buzz was enormous
Among geeks, sure. Among normal people? Not so much. A year after GMail launched, I still had non-geeks asking me 'what's your hotmail address?' meaning 'what's your personal email address' (as opposed to the work-run one).
Microsoft bought a well reputed linux based webmail service (whose name I can no longer recall) that they painfully migrated Linux>Windows to attempt to jumpstart their entry into webmail.
The service that they bought was called Hotmail and was running FreeBSD, not Linux. They bought it long before Google was a major player in the online space. When they bought it, it was (by quite a large margin) the dominant player in the webmail space (it was also the first mover). They tried once and failed to migrate to Windows. Windows Services for UNIX exists solely because of that PR disaster: they eventually migrated everything to Windows via a POSIX compatibility layer.
The salespeople saw money. The business people, who would normally assess risk, got blinded by the prospect of making huge amounts of money. The engineers who could see disaster coming were not consulted or ignored.
I suppose the people signing the contracts saw big bonuses coming their way, plus big money from their company share options, with the risk being that they had to find a new job if the deal went sour. So a contract was signed that benefitted those signing the contract, but didn't benefit the company.
IIRC, this was what killed off TRS (they of Dungeons and Dragons). They massively overextended by selling to a large buyer, who then proceeded to return all of the goods right before the deadline expired.
If you have a contract that allows the buyer to return the goods and get the money back, then you haven't actually sold them.
So why isn't anyone making a big deal about Microsoft any more? The big issue at their trial was bundling the browser with the OS. They are still doing that.
The big issue was using a monopoly in the OS market to gain a monopoly in the browser market. Bundling the browser with the OS was one aspect of that. Giving away the browser for 'free' (actually for free for the Mac and UNIX editions, while they lasted) was another. Tying ActiveX to IE and pushing server products that only worked with their browser was another. Forcing OEMs to pay more for Windows if they included Netscape or other browsers was yet another. The shipping of a browser with the OS was a relatively small part of the complaint, just the part that got the most press coverage.
And this was addressed in Europe, by requiring Microsoft to allow OEMs to bundle other browsers and to provide a box on first boot that would allow the user to select their browser of choice. ActiveX is basically dead and it's been a while since Microsoft launched any IE-only services, so this seems to have worked.
When did Google ever start forcing users to sign up just to search?
If you visit the Google search engine, it will set a tracking cookie that is used to serve ads to you, so they are forcing you to sign up to their targeted ad service to use their search. If you want to be able to configure the search settings, then they do this via the tracking cookie. This is not a technical decision: DuckDuckGo, for example, sets a cookie that just has a set of preference flags in it, so any two people with the same preferences will have the same cookie, not a unique identifier, and the web server can handle these preferences without needing any kind of database lookup.
I'm not sure if the EU is aware, but Google is absurdly popular. I'd be shocked if Gmail didn't come up #1 in a search for email
That's certainly true now. But when gmail launched, it wasn't absurdly popular, it was a new contender in an established market, yet it still showed up at the top of the search results.
I learned to write C code by writing C code, with NO ONE AT ALL to tell me my mistakes.
You had the compiler to tell you your mistakes. Quit your bitching.
One of my favourite interview questions is "What's your favourite data structure, and why?"
Frankly, that strikes me as a silly question.