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Comment: Re:154dB is not fatal, or unusual (Score 4, Interesting) 113

by Sparohok (#46135839) Attached to: Sound System Simulates the Roar of a Rocket Launch

Car audio competitors exceed 154db:
* In a very small enclosed space (not a 16 meter room large enough to test spacecraft)
* With an acoustic design to focus sound on the microphone (not intended to create a uniform soundfield)
* For just a few seconds before the speaker voice coils melt
* At a very small range of bass frequencies
* Strictly without nobody inside the car to avoid certain injury - or perhaps even death, we have no way to know

154db may not be unusual but what the LEAF facility is doing certainly is unusual.

Martin

Comment: Betteridge's Law (Score 4, Interesting) 237

by Sparohok (#46106613) Attached to: Hard Drive Reliability Study Flawed?

No.

Henry Newman's response, however, is deeply flawed.

1) Newman complains that average drive age is a "useless statistic." But he seems to prefer "time since product release" which is far worse than useless -- it is an obviously incorrect way to estimate the age of a drive population and is directly contradicted by the average age data reported in the blog post.
2) Newman has questions about Backblaze's burn in. He can find answers by googling "Backblaze burn in" to learn more about the company's remarkably transparent operations. Beach does not go into these details because an effective blog post will focus on its key conclusions rather than discussing every detail of methodology. It is not a research paper.
3) Newman digresses into hard error rate which is unrelated to drive failures. I look forward to a future Backblaze blog post about error rates. In any case since all these drives are consumer drives and all but one have the same specified error rate it is a non-sequiter.
4) Newman points out that Backblaze probably vastly exceeds manufacturer specs for drive throughput. I think this is exactly the point. Is there really enough difference in reliability between commodity and enterprise drives to justify their price difference? Or is it just a form of price discrimination? Does the spec sheet reflect reality or is it a marketing-driven fiction?

Overall this article strikes me as being written by an industry flack: someone who is more interested in parroting jargon and received wisdom rather than indulging in genuine curiosity.

Comment: Misaligned due to LCD pixel structure (Score 1) 378

by Sparohok (#41185919) Attached to: Microsoft Unveils First New Company Logo In 25 Years

The small version of the logo (for example in the upper left corner of their home page) appears significantly misaligned. The red box will appear to be 2/3 of a pixel to the left of the blue box on most LCD panels due to the structure of the RGB elements in each pixel. The strong vertical lines and narrow gaps in the logo, along with the vertically aligned primary colors, makes this a really glaring problem. How embarassing for Microsoft, inventors of ClearType some 15 years ago, who should have known all about this issue.

It took me about 10 seconds to notice this and another 10 seconds to figure out why. Microsoft spent how long and how much money coming up with this logo?

Comment: Re:The article writer is a deaf idiot (Score 1) 841

by Sparohok (#39271079) Attached to: Why Distributing Music As 24-bit/192kHz Downloads Is Pointless

You're welcome!

The students were in audio related fields. They were included because otherwise the data would be age biased. Younger ears can hear higher frequencies. I had no desire to obscure my point by explaining the finer design points of the study to those who couldn't figure it out for themselves. If you want to call that "lying," so be it.

If you take an extremely quiet passage on a properly mastered and dithered CD and amplify it to levels where the quantization noise is audible, a 0db passage with the same gain will either destroy your test equipment or your ears, whichever comes first. This is not a matter of opinion, it is a matter of physics.

Comment: Re:The article writer is a deaf idiot (Score 5, Informative) 841

by Sparohok (#39257197) Attached to: Why Distributing Music As 24-bit/192kHz Downloads Is Pointless

A group of sixty audio professionals and audiophiles did a series of controlled double blind trials published in the Journal of the Audio Engineering Society. They found no perceptible degradation caused by a 16-bit/44.1kHz A/D/A.

http://www.aes.org/e-lib/browse.cfm?elib=14195

Comment: Re:The article writer is a deaf idiot (Score 5, Insightful) 841

by Sparohok (#39257109) Attached to: Why Distributing Music As 24-bit/192kHz Downloads Is Pointless

When you can tell the difference between 44.1/16 and 192/24 in a double blind trial, come back and we'll talk.

Subjective opinions about audio quality, particularly those accompanied by words like "deaf" or "idiot", are worse than useless. Subjective listening is deeply suggestible and unreliable. Claimed differences among any acceptably well designed audio electronics virtually always disappears under rigorous and controlled testing.

To give just one example, listeners reliably prefer the louder source in subjective testing, even if the difference is not consciously perceptible. If a 192/24 D/A is just 0.1db louder than a 44.1/16 source, listeners will tend to describe it in all sorts of subjective terms... "edgier," "richer," "more forward," "cleaner impact," "deeper soundstage" etc when in fact it is simply a little louder.

Comment: Re:"destructive device" (Score 1) 571

by Sparohok (#32758872) Attached to: Mom Arrested After Son Makes Dry Ice "Bombs"

Did you actually look up the law before you offered your legal opinon? It's not hard, just Google "Nebraska law destructive device." It certainly isn't vague nor does it leave room for interpretation. It explicitly categorizes CO2 "bombs" as destructive devices.

Nebraska Penal Code 28-1213(7)(a) Destructive devices means: (i)(I) vessel or container intentionally caused to rupture or mechanically explode by expanding pressure from any gas, acid, dry ice, or other chemical mixture

http://law.justia.com/nebraska/codes/s28index/s2812013000.html

At least the Nebraska law requires the intent to "use as a weapon against person or property;" California has a similar law, a felony with a 2 year mandatory minimum sentence, with no such stipulation. Indeed in California, even possessing dry ice and a soda bottle with the intent to put the one inside the other is a felony.

Do not mess around with CO2 "bombs" unless you are very familiar with the applicable law in your state. You could end up in very, very serious, very expensive trouble.

Comment: Re:Missing the point (Score 1) 188

by Sparohok (#28055981) Attached to: Plastic and Fuel That Grow On Trees

If you give them something that does the job better (which is to say, with a higher profit margin) they'll be all over it.

However, oil companies have a vast investment in oil infrastructure, technology and expertise which give them a significant advantage over potential competitors when it comes to delivering oil at a profit. They do not have an advantage at delivering plastic trees. As a result, they are not quite as unbiased as you imply with regard to the exact form in which energy is delivered to the customer.

Comment: Re:This is silly. (Score 2, Insightful) 412

by Sparohok (#27886377) Attached to: What To Do When a Megacorp Wants To Buy You?

I disagree.

There are obvious reasons not to put in too many specific details, in case the buyer reads Slashdot. (Unless of course this whole discussion is a negotiation tactic by the poster, in which case, bravo!)

You seem to want to provide accounting advice. Slashdot is not news for accountants, presumably the poster is better off hiring one of them for their accounting needs.

What Slashdot does have is older more experienced nerds who have been through this before and can give nerdly life advice. That's clearly what the poster is after, and we got exactly the right details to give a reasonable overview of their life outlook.

Comment: Seller's market (Score 1) 412

by Sparohok (#27886319) Attached to: What To Do When a Megacorp Wants To Buy You?

Your enthusiasm for your current gig puts you in a very nice position. Since you are not especially motivated to sell, you can drive a hard bargain and safely explore the limits of what the buyer will pay. If they get annoyed and walk away you go back to doing what you love. Win-win.

So, I would say, put your heads together and come up with the lowest price at which this decision would become a no-brainer, where you could all move on without regret. Make a counter offer at that price. Then go from there. The very least you will get is additional information about your negotiating position.

Just remember, you have the upper hand in the negotiation because you are happy to walk away.

A committee is a life form with six or more legs and no brain. -- Lazarus Long, "Time Enough For Love"

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