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Comment: Re:No. (Score 1) 502

The one complicating factor, though, is that discrete sound cards are being squeeze from both sides: With even integrated GPUs offering HDMI and displayport audio, and even all but the most spartan (usually super-cheap and/or strictly business oriented) onboard audio supporting S/PDIF, the option of an external DAC or receiver becomes much more attractive, especially if you already have one that you like or want to be able to use other audio sources with a relatively expensive piece of high quality audio gear.

The performance of the analog components of onboard audio is, indeed, going to be more 'endurable' than 'good'; but digital logic is crazy cheap and (mostly) either works or doesn't, and basic boring onboard audio often has less ghastly driver mess than the cards trying to 'value add'(Creative, specifically, being a ghastly offender).

It's not as though they are a ghastly scam or anything, if you want to be able to plug a nice pair of headphones straight into your PC rather than an outboard module that's totally understandable; but they do occupy a slightly precarious middle ground between mostly-competent onboard audio and the full array of audio gear that accepts digital input.

Comment: Re:No. (Score 1) 502

Apropos of that... With at least certain Realtek chipsets(I'm afraid I don't have the model number handy, this was a couple of years ago) I ran into an issue with audio output from a program that made atypically demanding use of MIDI:

The audio worked, and was free of obvious noise problems; but the pitch and playback speed kept changing, sometimes correct, sometimes badly off. With a bit of fiddling, it turned out that putting the system under heavy load made it work properly, and the deviations only cropped up when it was lightly loaded. If CPU power saving was disabled(and so clock speed kept constant) the problem never occurred regardless of load. As best I was able to tell, some part of the sound system was using the CPU (instead of all those fancy system timers that were added because using the CPU clock is something best left to the bad old days of Turbo buttons) as a timebase; but not accounting for the fact that it only actually ran at the maximum frequency when load demanded it.

It was an entertaining bug, as they go; but not confidence inspiring. The $10 USB thing that replaced it had no such issues.

Comment: Re:No. (Score 1) 502

The /. writeup sounds like audiophile wank to me. I would be surprised if this Soundblaster could justify its price in a proper double blind study on real world data (music, games, movies, etc...) vs. the built in audio on your mobo.

It doesn't help that the squeeze is really coming from both sides: On the low end, the performance of onboard audio has improved(SNR may still make the golden-eared cringe; but horrors of the old days are mostly banished, so adequate performance, usually with fairly well behaved default drivers, is rarely a problem).

On the high end, odds are good that the user already has a preferred DAC and amplifier which will skip the cheap and electrically noisy PC entirely. Even fairly nasty onboard sound often has digital out, and with HDMI and displayport including audio support, so do most graphics cards, even integrated GPUs.

Unless you are trying to drive a touchy and analog only device, maybe a nice pair of headphones or an older amplifier or receiver, there just isn't an obvious need for what creative is selling.

Comment: Re:Stay classy, big V. (Score 1) 66

Verizon does do dedicated lines of various flavors, if you pay them enough; but that's more or less irrelevant to the duel over how finely commodity ISP customers can be diced up and double billed. Nor could one seriously imagine even the most grandiose promises of fast-lanes actually making life-critical applications over cheapy links seem like a good idea.

Comment: Stay classy, big V. (Score 4, Insightful) 66

I'm not surprised, alleging that the telegenic interests of assorted groups just so happen to be aligned with your bottom line is an old strategy; but this is pretty incoherent even by the low standards of the genre.

Yes, if there were a fast lane, one could theoretically put special-deaf-packets in it (or just as easily shove them into the slow lane, if they can't afford to pay); but this ignores the more pressing question of "What, pray tell, is currently suffering for want of special bandwidth and how demanding must it be if your existing service can't cope?".

I can imagine that certain disabilities might drive modestly higher bandwidth demands (the deaf, presumably, don't get much use out of VOIP, which is lower bandwidth than video good enough to make lip reading or signing an option; but last I checked uploading and downloading video wasn't exactly a niche case, even if it is one where Verizon can't seem to get Netflix working...); but nothing that exceeds the current or near-term demands of most internet users.

They obviously won't prefer this interpretation; but just how awful is Verizon planning to make the non-fast lane if these special disabled services will need to be fast-laned to work? Anyone?

Comment: Re:How do you (Score 4, Insightful) 673

by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (#47511575) Attached to: The Daily Harassment of Women In the Game Industry

How do you defend yourself against accusations like that as a man? We are extremely sensitive to being criticized by women, can you really say thats not true without becoming another "point of proof" that they have?

Well, the most obvious step is to distinguish between "That's not true of me" and "That's not true". The first statement(while not always accurate) is much easier to confirm or deny. Plus, you aren't immediately put in the position of having to 'win' the debate in order to lay out your own position. If you immediately conflate population-level complaints with personal complaints, you end up taking on a markedly larger and more challenging position.

It may also be true that you suspect the harassment to be the work of a vocal and dedicated minority(and it would actually be rather interesting to see what the logs say about troll distribution in various internet locations) rather than a general thing; but you still gain nothing by tying the desire to defend yourself with the desire to defend a population.

Comment: Misfeatures (Score 2, Informative) 152

by Arker (#47510679) Attached to: Firefox 31 Released
"Malware blocking" = yet another bad signature/reputation based scanner. If I wanted one, I would have one installed - and Firefox versions without this misfeature would still use it to scan, so in what universe was this worth doing?

If you really want to do something about malware, disable javascript by default.

"Automatic handling of pdf and ogg files" - I have a pdf reader already. I dont need another one, and I dont need one 'integrated' in my browser, period.

"loaded with new features for developers." Pretty sure that means for advertisers.

Comment: Re:This is news? (Score 1) 203

More projection. Unlike you I got a full-time job and an apartment all of my own.

And your logic still doesn't follow. You're trying to prove that one very specific abuse of this data (Guys sharing it with each-other) is inevitable. Your only real example of them doing so is has a motive that is totally irrelevant to a text file about airline tickets.

In other words your generalization is so broad it's meaningless. For example every cop has a gun. This means that he could theoretically go out and kill the local First Grade Class. By your generalization it's totally inevitable this will happen at some point, which in turn means we should disarm the police.

Most cops have cars. These could be misused in some unlikely, and totally destructive way, such as a mass campaign by Cleveland Height PD to run down the entire Kindergarten class at recess. therefore, per your generalization, it is inevitable that the Cleveland height PD will eventually try to run down the entire kindergarten class at recess, and Cleveland Heights cops should walk.

One of the first things you learn when you leave your mom's basement, and start dealing with the real world, is that people do bad things when they have a motive to do said bad things. These particular abuses are unlikely because there's no emotional payoff to killing small children.

By the same token, the emotional payoff from reading a supremely boring text file about a supremely boring plane trip is completely different then the payoff of seeing a good nudie, therefore the fact agents at a completely different agency shared nudies had no bearing on whether TSA guys will share travel documents.

Comment: Re:This is news? (Score 1) 203

Dude, I'm not talking about the NSA. I'm talking about one specific TSA database. I'm specifically avoiding talking about the NSA because that's all anyone talks about on Slashdot today.

The specific database in this case is the one that includes all the information your airline has about you.

And this particular database has a lot of arrests. Just about any time a TSA agent finds contraband (which can be anything from illegally imported animals to drugs to bombs) he did it partly because this particular database told him something that didn't quite check out when the arrestee went through security.

This is actually exactly the kind of decentralized database you say you want law enforcement to have. It's targeted for one very specific legal use, it's quite effective at getting bad guys. Abusing would be extremely complicated because TSA has no motive to share any of this information with literally anyone, and it lacks the capacity to do anything more nefarious then hassle innocent people at the security line of the airport. Moreover the data just isn't that interesting.

Comment: Re:Why is it always developers? (Score 2) 82

by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (#47510065) Attached to: Researchers Test Developer Biometrics To Predict Buggy Code

Every time I hear about a terrifyingly invasive means of "improving performance" its targeted at developers. Is it just selection bias, or does the world actually hate us?

Mostly because they are a newer profession and a trickier one to quantify.

Time and motion studies, along with 'scientific management' were already a serious hit in terrifyingly invasive performance enhancement for blue collar labor around the turn of the 20th century(Taylor and the Gilbreths being the poster children, with many successors). The workers who haven't been replaced by robots yet are likely still subject to a descendant of it. Though less amenable to automation, service sector jobs are also rationalized more or less as tightly as available technique allows.

Software development is still a work in progress because it only started existing comparatively recently and because it takes more technology to dismiss any "Oh, what we do here is unquantifiable skilled craftsmanship" positions.

It is selection bias, in that you apparently haven't heard of it happening to basically everyone it can reach; but the world does actually hate you, and is actively working on making software development absolutely as soul crushing as seems economically desirable.

The economy depends about as much on economists as the weather does on weather forecasters. -- Jean-Paul Kauffmann

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