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Comment: Re:Hi speed chase, hum? (Score 5, Informative) 415

by gman003 (#47433981) Attached to: The First Person Ever To Die In a Tesla Is a Guy Who Stole One

Minor collision? The BusinessInsider source claims the pursuing officers had to be hospitalized. That doesn't sound "minor" to me.

And they only broke off pursuit when it became impossible for them to continue, not when it became unsafe. Many police departments now have a policy of not performing chases for non-violent crimes because, statistically, you're more likely to kill bystanders by chasing than by letting the criminal drive off.

Comment: Better than WHICH integrated audio? (Score 3, Informative) 481

Which integrated audio is it comparing to?

Let's use Realtek as an example, because they're a very common one. They have a variety of chips, ranging from the ALC231 to the ALC1150,

The ALC231 is rubbish. Four output channels (two stereo outputs), four input channels, and a 97dB SNR on output. But even that is probably enough for most users.

A good "middle-end" chip is the ALC861. That brings you up to 7.1 audio out, and a pile of sound-processing features (EAX, A3D, all that - including Creative's own standards). You still only have a 90dB SNR, but on a clean line that's tolerable. And it's cheap enough to be seen on sub-$150 motherboards.

Their top-end ALC1150 is basically the same, adding a few more output channels for some reason, a second ADC, and a 115dB SNR. That puts you above the low-end SoundBlasters, and within spitting distance of the high-end ones. On an integrated chipset. For anyone not doing professional audio work, that's probably enough. And you can find it on motherboards that cost less than this discrete card alone - sometimes even with advanced features like swappable op-amps.

It gets worse, because the main advantage of a discrete card is the SNR. Problem is, S/PDIF over TOSLINK is becoming a more common feature. And that means your computer's DAC doesn't matter - it's done on the sound system itself. Line noise isn't an issue, because it's fiber-optic. Every single Realtek chip I looked at supported this - probably not every implementation does, but it's something that doesn't cost the manufacturer any more than the cost of the connectors. That's another blow against them.

This isn't like video cards, where integrated can handle light users but any remotely intensive task requires at least a low-end discrete card. Probably not even one in a thousand users will need a discrete sound card - the ones who need more than the low-end integrated chips, like gamers, will be buying mobos that already have a higher-end audio chip.

Comment: Possible, yes, but feasible? (Score 2) 104

by gman003 (#47403887) Attached to: ESA Shows Off Quadcopter Landing Concept For Mars Rovers

Helicopters work well on Earth for several reasons - first, our oxygen-bearing atmosphere means we don't have to carry our own oxidizer, just fuel, which makes it far more mass-efficient. Then our thick atmosphere means you get a lot more lift for a given amount of airspeed.

I have no doubt that you could get a rotorcraft to work on Mars. It's a question of whether it will work better than alternatives - such as the rockets used by Curiosity. But in essence this will have to be a rocket-powered rotorcraft as well - either rocket-like gas generators, or electric motors would be needed to work in the oxygenless environment, and I don't see electric being feasible in this situation. It then comes down to "is it more efficient to use the fuel+oxidizer to turn a rotor at supersonic speeds, or use it as a rocket?"

I'm no rocket scientist, but it seems to me that the simple extra mass of the rotor is a big strike against it being a good alternative to rockets, never mind the thinner atmosphere.

Comment: Re:What's wrong with reselling? (Score 3, Insightful) 131

by gman003 (#47396939) Attached to: Oculus Suspends Oculus Rift Dev Kit Sales In China

The problem is that this is not a consumer product - it's a development kit. It isn't ready for consumers yet, and is intended only for use by developers so they can have something ready when the retail version is available.

Reselling to non-developers might give Oculus a bad rep because they're being judged by an incomplete product that wasn't supposed to be used by such people. So I can see why Oculus is trying to avoid this happening.

Comment: Re:I dont see a problem here (Score 1) 146

by gman003 (#47388107) Attached to: NASA Approves Production of Most Powerful Rocket Ever

My problem with SLS is that it's a rocket built almost entirely on existing tech, and it's still taking them this long to develop it. You're taking existing engines, existing boosters, and (in some configurations) existing upper stages, and yet you still have nothing to show after three years and millions of dollars? Not to mention all the design work you could reuse from almost identical programs that got scrapped - I'm sure there's work from Ares V that could be reused.

Comment: I have to wonder (Score 4, Informative) 238

by aitikin (#47371341) Attached to: Following EU Ruling, BBC Article Excluded From Google Searches
If Google is really just trying to show how flawed this is. After all, if you search him (I popped over to google.co.uk as I'm in the US) that blog certainly does not come up, but about the entire first page of hits (especially if you throw bbc in as well) is about how that page will not come up because of this ruling...

Comment: Re:What? (Score 1) 45

by aitikin (#47371033) Attached to: Google Acquires Curated Music Service Songza

> (I've seen vinyl rips in FLAC where each track is upwards of 350MB)

That's a stretch.

192Khz * 24-bit = 576KB/s = ~35MB/min

350MB would be 10 minutes long uncompressed

That's for one track, not stereo. It would actually be about 69.12 MB/min or 4.14 GB/hr uncompressed, so, using conservative estimates, 3.105GB/hr FLAC.

Most people are wise enough not to bother with 192KHz, although some could argue for 96KHz, which still puts you at about half of the figures I stated above for a stereo track. 350MB is a 35 minute album done in 44.1KHz/16 bit at uncompressed or likely 44.1KHz and 24 bit done in FLAC or with really good FLAC compression, 48 KHz/24 bit.

This brings up a quick question for the GP, Joe, with the size of hard drives/solid state these days, why should you be so worried about file size? Audio quality makes a big difference in both perception and experience. 350MB for a high quality (audio quality not necessarily musical) album is a better way to enjoy a good (musical) album than a crummy 256 kbps MP3.

Comment: Re:No voice control? (Score 1) 88

by aitikin (#47363227) Attached to: Automotive Grade Linux Released For Open Source Cars
Or someone pays for a license for speech to text implementations. Just because it's Linux, doesn't mean there can't be commercial software on it, commercial licenses available, etc. The kernel should not have non-open source code in it (although, there's ways around this ala nVidia drivers), but other than that, why would it matter that Linux doesn't have open sourced speech to text and patents aren't in the public domain?

Comment: Re:Step 1 (Score 1) 196

by gman003 (#47343255) Attached to: How Apple Can Take Its Headphones To the Next Level

I'd like to know where you're finding them for $15, because I can't find any for less than $30 or so in stores around here. They'd be perfectly fine earbuds for $15. The problem is that stores are selling those $15 for at least twice that.

I use cheap $15 earbuds myself - after spending $80 on a headset that broke repeatedly and didn't even sound that good, I swore off expensive headphones in favor of something I could regularly throw into a river and still spend less.

Comment: CAR ANALOGY, SUCKAS! (Score 2) 347

by gman003 (#47310765) Attached to: Evidence of a Correction To the Speed of Light

Okay, let's say you have two cars, a Porsche and an NSX (representing a photon and a neutrino, respectively). Both are limited by the same speed limit, which they always travel at (the speed of light).

Well, due to some weird quantum mechanics, every so often that Porsche splits into a pair of motorcycles, because apparently they got bought by Wayne Enterprises or something (in actuality, they split into an electron and anti-electron). They almost immediately join back together (forming a photon again), but while they're motorcycles, they are affected by wind (gravity). They still can't break the speed limit, but sometimes it slows them down just a bit.

When you're traveling almost literally between galaxies, that little bit of slowdown for tiny snippets of time can really make a difference. In this case, the NSX made it here a few hours earlier.

Comment: Missing the whole point (Score 2) 270

Net neutrality isn't about forbidding high-traffic companies from finding efficient ways to handle that traffic. Doing what Netflix usually does, having a local cache server hosted within the ISP, works because it reduces the amount of traffic leaving the ISP. As long as the ISP charges the same amount to everyone doing so (0 is a good amount - it's a benefit to them - but if they want to charge a nominal fee, fair enough), it's neutral.

Net neutrality is about not letting ISPs slow down traffic unless they get paid twice.

If the only difference between two sites is that one paid the danegeld and the other didn't, they aren't making one faster - they're making the other slower. Deliberately degrading the performance of everyone else is NOT neutral.

The confusion of a staff member is measured by the length of his memos. -- New York Times, Jan. 20, 1981

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