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Comment: It's More than an Apple Museum (Score 1) 73

by antispam_ben (#43315507) Attached to: Private Collector Builds Apple Pop-Up Museum

He's got a LOT of old computers, not just Apples, including TWO (Qty 2) Cray 1 computers! I think I'd rather see one of those operating than all the rest of his stuff, including his two Apple 1's. Check out this interview from a few months back:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=Fu5wcgWdJQI

Also, this popup museum is only PART (though it's looking like the biggest part) of the Vintage Computer Festival Southeast 1.0 (hope I got that name right). There will be plenty of classic computers with no connection to Apple, some of it predating the Apple 1.

Comment: Re:A word about Vinyl (Score 2) 89

by antispam_ben (#35690406) Attached to: MakerBot Introduces Printable Vinyl Records

It's true most audiophiles have little technical knowledge, and they have little or no clue why they like the LP sound. and likewise for the younger crowd rediscovering "vinyls." LP's (vacuum-cleaned and played with a good cartridge and turntable) are at least as good as music played back with lossy encoding through portable players, the way most people listen to music thesedays (this psychoacoustic data compression should not be confused with the topic I address below, dynamic range compression).The quality of recordings has less to do with the medium and more to do with how music production and mastering have changed over the decades.

The RIAA EQ has nothing to do with the sound (other than appropriately shaping the max signal at different frequencies and the S/N ratio). Tape (in use for many decades, still used for some recordings) has recording and playback EQ as well, and for similar reasons.

The stereo compromise for LP's (this is actually where the term mastering originated) is mainly making the bass mono, which was done anyway for pop record starting in the late '60's with the bass guitar and kick drum mixed "in the middle" for maximum power through both stereo speakers. LP's are also made with a dropoff below 40 Hz to keep from exciting the stylus suspension/arm resonance, but very little pop music (as performed live and recorded on CD's) has anything below 40Hz either. The lowest note on the common 4-string bass guitar, the E, is 41Hz.

The REAL compression started in the '80's and became extreme in the '90's with hypercompression, the "LOUDNESS WARS" and actual signal clipping on CD. That, perhaps more than anything else, is why many people like the sound of LP's - despite its limitations, the recordings made on records have more dynamics than on modern CD's. One CD held as the epitome of this production technique was Rush's Vapor Trails: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vapor_Trails

It's such an irony. When CD's were announced it was touted as such a great innovation, recordings would have greatly increased dynamic range over LP's, and certainly the potential was there, but the exact opposite happened.

Comment: Humans sent to Mars for less than you think! (Score 1) 309

by antispam_ben (#27640927) Attached to: Telepresence — Our Best Bet For Exploring Space

It's simple: Make it a one-way trip. This wouldn't necessarily be a suicide trip - it may still be cheaper to make it a one-way trip and send regular "care packages" containing food, water and other things needed to sustain permanent human life on Mars than to make it a round trip, and with humans living the rest of their lives on Mars, a HUGE amount of exploration and study could be done.

Yes, I know, it's slightly controversial, and it relies on many things going right (followup supplies reliably arriving) and CONTINUING to go right (followup supplies continuing to be sent in spite of political changes), but the cost/benefit ratio is so much greater than a visit-and-turnaround mission, it should be seriously studied.

Comment: Re:The real problem... (Score 1) 458

by antispam_ben (#27640809) Attached to: Reflections On the Less-Cool Effects of Filesharing

Blast from the past, one of the biggest indie "hit songs" on mp3.com:
Fisher, "I Will Love You"

I grew up on WPLO FM in Atlanta between about 1968 and 1975 when it was a format I later heard called "underground FM" - commercial rock that was often not in the Top 40's, but quite interesting. If anyone can tell me where I could find some playlists for that station, I would be quite grateful (yes, they played the Dead). I recall Curved Air and Renaissance as two prog-rock or alt-rock bands they played, but there was a lot of music I can't remember the song titles or artists' names, but would love to hear again. I learned there is much more good music than was/is played on "conventional" popular radio.

So when I discovered independent music on the Internet through mp3 hosts, almost exclusively mp3.com in the late '90's, I ate it up. I remember when mp3.com died, artists spread out to soundclick, the late IUMA, and/or whevever else they could find for hosts (I found these hosts by websearching the names of the artists/bands I had listened to on mp3.com).

Here's two sites that list lots of music hosting sites for independent music artists, it rates them from the artist's point of view, but they may be worth looking over as a listener as well (while sites have all genres, many sites tend to specialize in certain genres):
http://www.compo10.com/MusicHosts.htm
http://www.armydiller.com/musichosting.htm
In general, downloads are either free or only partial songs and charge-for-the-whole thing, depending on options the artist sets.

Many indie artists DO put their material on P2P networks in an effort to increase exposure, but I've stayed away from using the crapware necessary to get it.

mp3.com itself has been "back" for perhaps a couple years as far as being an indie host again, but I haven't really heard about it, I just happened to notice it when I went there one day. It doesn't look like the 'cred' or excitement of the late '90's is there anymore.

One more artist I learned about and bought the CD from ten years ago thanks to mp3.com, country singer "Dorene." Here's her old CD online as free MP3's as well as a new song:
http://www.dorenekedney.com/

Comment: Terrorists now leaving Facebook in droves! (Score 1) 204

by antispam_ben (#27247699) Attached to: UK Gov't May Track All Facebook Traffic

Either that or they're starting to post some wildly misleading info on their Facebook and other social networking site pages.

I remember around late 2001 or 2002, it was reported that "the terrorists" were using porn chatrooms to communicate, at least until that news was reported to the press, then they moved on to some other clandestine way to communicate.

With all the web forums, Usenet, email IRC and other Internet traffic, the government really will have to snoop everything to track terrorists.

Comment: Re:What if Facebook forced encryption? (Score 1) 204

by antispam_ben (#27247579) Attached to: UK Gov't May Track All Facebook Traffic

I swear I thought the idea of these sites was to have your info publicly available so you could amass more and more online "friends." After all, isn't that the most important thing for teens, to be "popular?"

I really don't see how encryption could do anything but hurt a social networking site.

There is no opinion so absurd that some philosopher will not express it. -- Marcus Tullius Cicero, "Ad familiares"

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