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Comment: Re:The difference isn't the card. (Score 1) 502

Ah, I think we're talking about different issues: Monoprice is fantastic, and absolutely is proof that you don't need to spend a ton of money to get good cables. I'm just saying that lousy cables -- if you can find them -- are problematic. For instance, RF attenuation is roughly exponential (units are usually dB/m) -- hence the need for Monoprice's Redmere series of active HDMI cables. I'm not saying Monster is better (all of my cables are Monoprice), I'm just pointing out that there are legitimate bandwidth requirements on video cables.

As to VGA, try running a monitor off of a significant (10m or so) length of lousy/old VGA cables at high resolution -- in my experience you get terrible ghosting and whatnot. I've personally had issues running monitors at 1920x1200 over short (~2m) VGA cables, though that could in part be due to the monitor's ADC, etc.

Comment: Re:The difference isn't the card. (Score 2) 502

I know this is a humorous post, but for really high-bandwidth applications, cables do actually matter. For example, driving WUXGA (1920x1200) at 60Hz, 24-bit/px, this is roughly 3.3Gb/s, or a little north of a gigabit/s for each color (RGB). Since each color runs over a single wire (I think), this is comparable to the requirements of gigabit ethernet -- except (I think) gigabit ethernet over twisted pair uses all 4 pairs of wires, as opposed to just a single wire for VGA. And, given that VGA is analog, noise certainly does creep in.

With a bandwidth in the 10s of kHz range, yeah...I sorta doubt audio cables matter much at all =)

Comment: Re:Interesting... (Score 2) 119

by by (1706743) (#47351041) Attached to: Boston Trying Out Solar-Powered "Smart Benches" In Parks

But what wouldn't a benevolent progressive government pay for the ability to collect more data? Especially from the phones voluntarily plugged-in by unsuspecting residents?

From TFA:

The benches also connect wirelessly, using Verizon’s network, to the Internet to upload location-based environmental information, such as air quality and noise-level data.

I don't think they're trying to upload data through your phone without your knowledge, I believe the "cell phone charging" and "connects to the cell network" are unrelated, aside from the fact that both are supposedly powered via the solar panels.

Comment: "Victims" received positive or negative newsfeeds? (Score 3, Interesting) 219

According to the WSJ's coverage ,

The impetus for the study was an age-old complaint of some Facebook users: That going on Facebook and seeing all the great and wonderful things other people are doing makes people feel bad about their own lives.

So although conventional wisdom might say that seeing positive things makes you happier, here there have been accusations to the contrary -- positive things about other people makes you feel lousy about yourself. This study ostensibly looked at that (and I think it found something along the lines of conventional wisdom: happy posts make you post happy stuff, a [dubious!] proxy for your own happines...).

If Facebook knew (and how would they?) that X makes you depressed, then yes...there might be some moral issues with that. But it seems that Facebook asked a legitimate question -- especially so given that it was published in PNAS.

That said, feels a little shady. But then, when I log onto Facebook, I am certainly not expecting any aspect of the website to be designed with my best interests in mind!

Comment: Apps which require location? (Score 4, Interesting) 67

by by (1706743) (#47348489) Attached to: Ars Takes an Early Look At the Privacy-Centric Blackphone
Obviously, if you're concerned about privacy, you should avoid apps which require location, etc., information. However, it would be neat if you could get PrivOS to spoof things like location (and possibly calls, contact lists, etc.).

Location information could still be very useful for apps that need it, if you have a sane spoofing policy (either manual or automatic). If you, say, travel to another city for a week, you could have the OS spoof a single location in that city for the duration of the trip. The privacy implications of, "Bob is in San Francisco" are somewhat different than, "Bob is at 14th and Valencia."

Of course, I didn't RTFA, so I have no idea if something like this is implemented/in the works/impossible...

Brain off-line, please wait.