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Comment: People overthink things (Score 1) 292

by NulDevice (#49226813) Attached to: Do Tech Companies Ask For Way Too Much From Job Candidates?

I'm an IT development contractor, and if I had a dollar for every ridiculous req I've seen come across my desk I would have retired long ago.

It's common to see a requirement for 10 years of experience in a technology that's only existed for 5. It's equally common to see requirements for proficiency in technologies that, when actually examining the architecture, have no business being on the req document (i.e. asking for additional proficiency in VB when the entire codebase is in Java. I mean, sure, there's an argument to be made for skills-flexibility and such, but at the end of the day you still need a Java programmer)

Sometimes it's just naivete on the part of the req author - they got a project from some technical folks they're told to help staff, they don't understand the project needs, and they punt. Programmers know the difference between Java and JavaScript; your average HR person may not.

Often, it's politics and/or money - the project leads have grand plans for upgrades and improvements, but the budget and timeline ends up being tight and the edicts from management-on-high become "just paste over the cracks for now" - and then "for now" balloons to 10 years.

Worse still, it often comes down to ego. A requirement could be perfectly acceptable - hey, you want someone with Hibernate experience? Awesome. But then some lead developer who's owned the non-hibernate ORM code for a decade gets butthurt and blocks every attempt to change things, as though it was some personal attack.

The upshot is that it ends up costing a lot of money for people - they write these outrageous requirement documents and end up paying the hefty sums that someone who fits the bill can command, and then have him or her doing the kind of work that a much cheaper junior dev could be doing.

Comment: Re:Loudness race (Score 1) 433

by NulDevice (#48602317) Attached to: Vinyl Record Pressing Plants Struggle To Keep Up With Demand

Sort of?

Compression happens at various stages in the mix and master. In this case, it's the mastering stage we have to worry about.

There's a lot of compression involved in vinyl. But it tends to be more band-limited, since vinyl is lousy at reproducing high and low frequencies. And it's not really in service of loudness, it mostly rolling off of some frequencies, stereo width, etc so the lathe and the needle will track. Vinyl actually has a *lower* available dynamic range than CD, in practical terms, because of the limitations of a needle. (play back with a scanning tunnelling microsocope, though, and WOW fidelity! :) )

Because CD/Digital can handle much louder singals, a master for digital can run a lot hotter, and with a lot more high and low frequency information. What some people call "digital harshness" may just in fact be "those frequencies over about 15khz we had to roll off for the vinyl." Now of course, this can be entirely abused, and starting around the 80's, record execs started pushing mastering engineers to make it louder, and make it stand out more - so we'd get things like high-loudness heavily-limited tracks with a lot of high-end harmonic exciting done to it, so a track would sound bright and loud compared to its neighbors on the radio.

It was an arms race, but it wasn't a requirement of the digital medium, just a requirement of the people running the industry (and let me just say, mastering engineers aren't fond of it either...they like undamaged hearing...but we've all got bills to pay).

Comment: Re:Speakers (Score 1) 433

by NulDevice (#48602121) Attached to: Vinyl Record Pressing Plants Struggle To Keep Up With Demand

And most homes are acoustically terrible, too. Even the audiophiles I know couldn't convince their spouses to let them plaster their living rooms with diffusers, broadband absorbers and bass traps instead of pictures of the family, home furnishings, etc.. So you're going to have standing waves, comb filtering, flutter echo, etc etc.

(Unless Russ Berger designed the living room.)

Comment: Re:Not really missing vinyl (Score 1) 433

by NulDevice (#48602087) Attached to: Vinyl Record Pressing Plants Struggle To Keep Up With Demand

Very few things in nature or music require the full spectrum of dynamic range. Going from the threshold of hearing to the threshold of pain is something that just doesn't happen very often. Even the most dynamic classical music has a far, far narrow dynamic range. 16 bits can encompass the dynamic range of just about everything we hear (and most stuff is recorded at 24 these days, so there's no audible loss during processing and engineering).

Comment: Re:Not really missing vinyl (Score 1) 433

by NulDevice (#48602035) Attached to: Vinyl Record Pressing Plants Struggle To Keep Up With Demand

I want to see how you could produce a stairstep-pattern in a speaker. It'd require your tweeter to actually teleport between states.

What I believe you're referring to is aliasing noise. It's not the stairstep, it's just noise caused by conversion or other signal processing. And that WAS an issue with older DACs, and was sometimes within the audible spectrum.

Comment: Re:Not really missing vinyl (Score 1) 433

by NulDevice (#48601947) Attached to: Vinyl Record Pressing Plants Struggle To Keep Up With Demand

A lot of the "warmth" of vinyl comes from the limitations of the format - bass basically needs to be in mono to keep the needle in the groove, there's an effective limit to the high frequencies that can be reproduced, and there's a limit to the dynamic range reproducible by vinyl. I mean *theoretically* it's all infinitely analog and so forth but in practical purposes there's a crapton of compression and equalization done to keep the needle doing what it's supposed to and to keep the cutting lathe from slicing right through the acetate.

Comment: Re: Alright smart guy (Score 1) 504

by NulDevice (#47965675) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Is iOS 8 a Pig?

My plain-old 5 seemed a little sluggish for like a day afterwards, but I assume that was because all my auto-udating apps were auto-updating and pulling down a crapton of data. So far I haven't really seen much of a difference, except in a few older esoteric apps I occasionally use that have crashed on me. I'm keeping an eye on that. I was worried for that first day, but it hasn't really made a difference. It's probably slightly slower but I don't notice because I don't type fast enough.

My iPad Air has been stellar thus far.

I'm not touching my old iPad 2, unless one of my MIDI controller apps requires the update for something.

Comment: Re:So what exactly is the market here. (Score 1) 730

by NulDevice (#47875149) Attached to: Apple Announces Smartwatch, Bigger iPhones, Mobile Payments

They sure are pretty. A bit big, though. Would look fine on my wrist, but probably not on my wife's.

That's been one issue with wearables so far - while some of them have decent industrial design, they've all been positioned as "computers that you wear as an accessory", when the mass market would much rather go for "accessories that are also computers." They've all been either too big or too unstylish to make a fashion statement beyond "I read Slashdot", and frankly have been pretty biased towards male wearers.

I dunno if Apple's cracked the code on that yet, but it's interesting to see a wearable that acknowledges that (more than just customize-able faces and bands, actual different form factors and designs).

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