I listened to the sample tracks hdtracks.com offers for some albums I own & have ripped to 256kbps MP3s and without question the lossless tracks did sound better. The question that I then had to ask was did they sound $20/album better and nope, not even close for me.
Oregon may have relatively high gas prices for the nation but we're smack dab between areas with generally even higher prices. If we fire all the pump workers our prices won't go down. Why should they? They'll just fire the minimum wage workers and pocket the difference. It's not as if we can drive across the river to washington to fill up for less. It's more expensive there for self serve than for full serve in Portland.
aesoteric writes "A 30-year-old IT worker at a Florida-based health centre was this week sentenced to 19 months in a US federal prison for hacking, and then locking, her former employer's IT systems. Four days after being fired from the Suncoast Community Health Centers' for insubordination, Patricia Marie Fowler exacter her revenge by hacking the centre's systems, deleting files, changing passwords, removing access to infrastructure systems, and tampering with pay and accrued leave rates of staff."
Australian Justice Minister Brendan O'Connor has advised visitors to take a better safe than sorry policy when it comes to their porn stashes, and declare all porn that they think might be illegal with customs officers. From the article: "The government said it changed the wording on passenger arrival cards after becoming aware of confusion among travellers about what pornography to declare. 'People have a right to privacy and while some pornography is legal and does not need to be disclosed, all travellers should be aware that certain types of pornography are illegal and must be declared to customs,' Mr O'Connor said."
YokimaSun writes "The war between hackers and Sony over the PlayStation 3 has now taken an even more sinister turn, with Sony going after not just shops but actual buyers of the PSBreak dongle, threatening them with fines of many thousands of Euros and forcing them to sign cease-and-desist letters. It seems Sony will use any means necessary to thwart both homebrew and piracy on the PS3."
eldavojohn writes "The University of Aberdeen's Oceanlab (a partner in the recent census of marine life) has discovered a new snailfish. That might not sound very exciting, unless you consider that its habitat is an impressive four and a half miles below the ocean's surface (video). If my calculations are correct, that's over ten and a half thousand PSI, or about seventy-three million Pascals. The videos and pictures are a couple years old, as the team has traveled around Japan, South America and New Zealand to ascertain the biodiversity of these depths. The group hopes to eventually bring specimens to the surface. It seems the deepest parts of the ocean, once thought to be devoid of life, are actually home to some organisms. As researchers build better technology for underwater exploration, tales of yore containing unimaginable monsters seem a little more realistic than before."
Dthief writes "From MSNBC: 'Firefighters in rural Tennessee let a home burn to the ground last week because the homeowner hadn't paid a $75 fee. Gene Cranick of Obion County and his family lost all of their possessions in the Sept. 29 fire, along with three dogs and a cat. "They could have been saved if they had put water on it, but they didn't do it," Cranick told MSNBC's Keith Olbermann. The fire started when the Cranicks' grandson was burning trash near the family home. As it grew out of control, the Cranicks called 911, but the fire department from the nearby city of South Fulton would not respond.'"
ptresset writes "From Singularity Hub: 'Artists and programmers in the UK have decided to improve upon the male and female symbols outside many toilet facilities. They’ve developed a set of robotic arms that take pictures of people entering into a bathroom and then use that image to create a unique drawing to place outside the door. It then wipes away this art to make room for the next person’s caricature.'"
An anonymous reader writes "With its sweetener linked to obesity, some cancers and diabetes, the Corn Refiners Association (CRA) doesn't want you to think 'fructose' when you see high fructose corn syrup in your soda, ketchup or pickles. Instead, the AP reports, the CRA submitted an application to the FDA, hoping to change the name of their top-selling product to 'corn sugar.'"
Velcroman1 writes with this snippet from Fox News: "Using lead weights and depth sounders, scientists have made surprisingly accurate estimates of the ocean's depths in the past. Now, with satellites and radar, researchers have pinned down a more accurate answer to that age-old query: How deep is the ocean? And how big? As long ago as 1888, John Murray dangled lead weights from a rope off a ship to calculate the ocean's volume — the product of area and mean ocean depth. Using satellite data, researchers from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute set out to more accurately answer that question — and found out that it's 320 million cubic miles. And despite miles-deep abysses like the Mariana Trench, the ocean's mean depth is just 2.29 miles, thanks to the varied and bumpy ocean floor."
An anonymous reader writes "Homeopathic remedies work no better than placebos, and so should no longer be paid for by the UK National Health Service, a committee of British members of parliament has concluded. In preparing its report, the committee, which scrutinizes the evidence behind government policies, took evidence from scientists and homeopaths, and reviewed numerous reports and scientific investigations into homeopathy. It found no evidence that such treatments work beyond providing a placebo effect." Updated 201025 19:40 GMT by timothy: This recommendation has some people up in arms.
An anonymous reader passes along this excerpt from Develop: "The average development budget for a multiplatform next-gen game is $18-$28 million, according to new data. A study by entertainment analyst group M2 Research also puts development costs for single-platform projects at an average of $10 million. The figures themselves may not be too surprising, with high-profile games often breaking the $40 million barrier. Polyphony's Gran Turismo 5 budget is said to be hovering around the $60 million mark, while Modern Warfare 2's budget was said to be as high as $50 million."
At CES, Sony's Kaz Hirai confirmed that the company will build out its PlayStation Network for use with other devices, such as televisions, Blu-ray players, and PCs. Quoting: "... the expansion starts next month with the availability of the PSN video store on these other devices, and Hirai explained they are constructing a mechanism to create a single user ID across the entire network (if you have a PSN account, it's good to go on any other applicable Sony device, and if you create one on another device, it'll work on PSN). And finally, Hirai also announced the formation of a new Sony division — called Sony Network Entertainment, Inc. — to drive this expansion of the PSN service into a Sony-wide network."
Barence writes "It's desolate, dirty, and sex is outcast to a separate island. In this article, PC Pro's Barry Collins returns to Second Life to find out what went wrong, and why it's raking in more cash than ever before. It's a follow-up to a feature written three years ago, in which Collins spent a week living inside Second Life to see what the huge fuss at the time was all about. The difference three years can make is eye-opening."
A feature at Gamasutra examines one of the foundations of many MMORPGs — the idea that class roles within such a game fall into three basic categories: tank, healer, and damage dealer. The article evaluates the pros and cons of such an arrangement and takes a look at some alternatives. "Eliminating specialized roles means that we do away with boxing a class into a single role. Without Tanks, each class would have features that would help them participate in and survive many different encounters like heavy armor, strong avoidance, or some class or magical abilities that allow them to disengage from direct combat. Without specialized DPS, all classes should be able to do damage in order to defeat enemies. Some classes might specialize in damage type, like area of effect (AoE) damage; others might be able to exploit enemy weaknesses, and some might just be good at swinging a sharpened bit of metal in the right direction at a rapid rate. This design isn't just about having each class able to fill any trinity role. MMO combat would feel more dynamic in this system. Every player would have to react to combat events and defend against attacks."