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Comment: That and DACs aren't the issue anyhow (Score 2) 378

It is easy to make good DACs these days. Basically any DAC, barring a messed up implementation, is likely to sound sonically transparent to any other in a normal system. When you look at the other limiting factors (amp, noise in the room, speaker response, room reflections, etc) you find that their noise and distortion are just way below audibility. Ya, maybe if you have a really nice setup with a quiet treated room, good amps, and have it set for reference (105dB peak) levels you start to need something better than normal, but that isn't very common. Even then you usually don't have to go that high up the chain to get something where again the DAC is way better than other components.

Now that said, there can be a reason to get a soundcard given certain uses. For example you don't always want to go to an external unit, maybe you use headphones. In that case, having a good headphone amp matters and onboard sound is often remiss in that respect (then again, so are some soundcards). Also even if you do use an external setup, you might wish to have the soundcard do processing of some kind. Not so useful these days, but some games like to have hardware accelerated OpenAL.

Regardless, not a big deal in most cases. Certainly not the first thing to spend money on. If you have $50 speakers, don't go and buy a $100 soundcard. If you have a $5000 setup, ok maybe a soundcard could be useful, but only in certain circumstances.

As a side note, the noise in a PC isn't a big issue. Properly grounding/shielding the card deals with it. A simple example is the professional LynxTWO, which is all internal yet has top notch specs, even by today's standards.

Comment: Re:Typical (Score 5, Insightful) 256

In 2013, 101 firefighters died in the line of duty.

In 2013, about 110 police officers died...mostly in traffic accidents. Only 33 due to firearms and even among those few actually killed by bad guys.

Firefighters risk their lives on every call and are protected by nothing more than a thick coat and helmet and their brains.

The Police face risks on every call but most a boring and not dangerous. They are protected by firearms, theirs and their partners, ballistic vests, and overwhelming firepower when needed.

The Police kill innocent people all the time. Firefighters rescue innocent people all the time.

Hats off to Fire Fighters.

Comment: Re:Modern Day Anti-Evolutionists (Score 1, Informative) 388

by sycodon (#47416193) Attached to: Climate Change Skeptic Group Must Pay Damages To UVA, Michael Mann

Thick, aren't we?

These are things that were predicted to happen within a short time, yet have not. It is Alarmist information meant to sway public and official opinion. It is misinformation.

Pass these laws or you will never see now again. Make these changes or the Midwest will be ravaged by Tornadoes, etc.

Comment: Re:Modern Day Anti-Evolutionists (Score 4, Interesting) 388

by sycodon (#47415905) Attached to: Climate Change Skeptic Group Must Pay Damages To UVA, Michael Mann

Just off the first page of a Google search.

Hurricanes will increase in number and intensity.

Tornadoes will increase in number and intensity.

New York will be under water.

  Britain will never see snow again.

Record low Hurricanes, Tornadoes, New York still hasn't flooded, and Britain just had record snowfall this last winter.

Comment: They don't care about the cards (Score 1) 347

by Sycraft-fu (#47409003) Attached to: Here Comes the Panopticon: Insurance Companies

They track you using your credit card. The cards are because people want them these days. Albertsons finally knuckled under and started offering them. Not because they needed them for tracking, like I said they already did that, but because customers whined they weren't getting a "good deal". So they raised their prices, and introduced a card.

Comment: Re:Can't live with/without them... (Score 2) 347

by sycodon (#47408863) Attached to: Here Comes the Panopticon: Insurance Companies

I can see it now.

One day, after you stop in at the local Ice cream shop or fast food place, you get an email:

You have consumed products that have been deemed harmful to your health. You premium has been temporarily increased by 1% for this month. Continuing these unhealthy practices can result in a permanent increase.


Your local Obamacare Health Oversight and Accountability Administrator.
A Healthy Citizen makes for a Healthy Nation.

Have a Healthy Day!

Comment: Re:real vs pretend (Score 1) 347

by sycodon (#47408791) Attached to: Here Comes the Panopticon: Insurance Companies

The government scares me less because they don't want to maximize the money they get from me.

Tell that to the IRS

In theory, I have far more control over my government than my insurers.

You can change Insurers, but not really your Government.

Certainly I have more oversight, and there are laws governing what the government can do with my information.


Private companies don't have the same restrictions, and even if they did they have limited liability, an army of lawyers, and my only recourse will be to get $1.28 in a class action lawsuit.

And you can't sue the Government unless they agree to be sued.

Comment: Also (Score 1) 110

by Sycraft-fu (#47408593) Attached to: YouTube Issuing "Report Cards" On Carriers' Streaming Speeds

It doesn't take in to account the net speeds that people have. So you might well have a provider who has no problem doing HD video from Youtube all day every day, on lines that can handle it. However they sell slower lines and some customers have that, so that skews things.

Like say a phone company offers ADSL and IDSL for customers who are way out in the boonies, but VDSL for people in the city. Well those slow connections will bring down their stats, even if their network is quite fast and makes them look bad, despite them actually being the only option for some people.

A somewhat similar deal with cable companies can be people using old hardware. DOCSIS 2 cable modems only use one channel per segment, and those can get saturated these days. Well cable providers tend to be DOCSIS 3 to deal with that... but not everyone has a new modem. The cable company can recommend they get one, but if it is your equipment they can't make you (I guess other than cutting you off but they don't wanna do that).

Comment: Re:why must this be an either/or? (Score 1) 463

You are absolutely correct. You can have the windows and use heads up displays, or "helmet" mounted displays (Google Glass?) supplement additional information.

As a pilot, I can think of nothing more idiotic than to get rid of the front wind screens/canopies/windshields whatever you want to call them.

A meeting is an event at which the minutes are kept and the hours are lost.