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Comment: it is new... in a way. (Score 2, Informative) 111

by jhfry (#44569527) Attached to: Wireless Devices Go Battery-Free With New Communication Technique

Sure backscatter has been done... But it always used known frequencies as the signal source. This will pick up any ambient ref noise and use it to generate a new signal.

Essentially, you could embed a transmitter anywhere without concern for a power source (assuming there are other transmitters around).

Comment: Re:Hemos Says: "So Long, and Thanks For All The Fi (Score 1) 1521

by bn557 (#37222146) Attached to: Rob "CmdrTaco" Malda Resigns From Slashdot

Same happened to me :-/ I created an account in either late 98 or early 99 (too much happened in the last dozen years to be sure), forgot what my login/pwd were, so I recreated this one with my massive UID. It was still fun at the anniversary party to have a 'low uid' though. Lots of 7 digit UIDs in the Ann Arbor area.

Comment: Re:If I were to guess (Score 2, Insightful) 257

by bn557 (#33733114) Attached to: Seven Words You Can't Say On Google Instant

I'm guessing they have some algorithm that has blacklisted terms that the highest use patterns involve offensive material searches, regardless of the non offensive implications. Because they don't control their result ordering, these terms could provide offensive material in the future (or rather, are more likely to).

All said and done, put me down in the `meh, doesn't bother me` camp though. I still hit enter with this due to the momentary lag between when I finish typing and the results showing up (slow internet connection).

Comment: This is the definition of progress. (Score 1) 140

by jhfry (#32908868) Attached to: Sonic Skydive's Real Aim Is To Help Astronauts Survive

Just a few decades ago, and for thousands of years previous, there were very few great advancements that did not put someone's life in jeopardy. In my mind, that is where NASA went wrong.

I would wager we could build a space shuttle replacement for 1/10th the cost but with double of the failure rate and still have the best and brightest clamoring to get aboard!

Today, there are billions wasted and many opportunities to learn missed in an effort to prevent catastrophe. Though I understand the logic, I think that risk avoidance is what has brought so many exciting government, and private sector, programs to a slow crawl.

It wouldn't be difficult to find someone willing to travel to Mars on a low budget/high risk mission. Sure they may not come home, but they would go anyway. I'd bet you could find someone to take a one way flight to the outer solar system, just for the sake of exploration. A few hundred years ago, humanity had great respect for explorers and scientists who were willing to put their lives on the line for the sake of progress. How many discoveries were made when men and women risked, and often lost, their lives exploring uncharted territory, or trying risky experiments.

I applaud this effort and hope that people start realizing that there are 6 Billion people on this planet, one or two lives for the sake of progress is a small price... and one that would likely be paid willingly just to go down in history as "the first".

Comment: Re:what is the point, exactly. (Score 1) 370

by jhfry (#31349996) Attached to: Technical Objections To the Ogg Container Format

A container format is a necessary evil. There is much more to any media file than just the content. Potentially in any media file there may be metadata, timing information, synchronization information, subtitles, multiple language audio streams, multiple video streams, 3d video streams, surround sound information, interactive content, etc.

A good container format is one that allows all of those things in a way that developers supporting that container format can utilize in a standard predictable way.

If you did away with the container, your issues with .avi now would be severely compounded as your software must determine how to combine several files into one complete presentation. This is what many editing packages do... and even ones costing hundreds of dollars can have a hard time of it sometimes.

Comment: Re:Flamebait much? (Score 1) 370

by jhfry (#31349658) Attached to: Technical Objections To the Ogg Container Format

Sure you could... but would those 10 meet the needs of developers, content creators, and everyone else to whom the container does matter.

Most container formats are limiting on the users of the format... and they must be to ensure that someone can develop for them, if there weren't rules, then it wouldn't be a specification. The best format is the one that imposes the right limitations while remaining very flexible for future technologies and uses.

While there are a multitude of container formats, few have met the ideal balance between flexibility and restriction. I haven't read the linked article, but I suspect it will highlight how OGG is to restricting and/or not flexible enough to stand the test of time.

It would be trivial to create a completely unrestricted container format, but no one could use it as there would be no standard for reading the content contained within it.

Comment: Re:When 10's of thousands of screaming fans... (Score 1) 261

by jhfry (#31349560) Attached to: How Artificial Intelligence Is Changing Music

This is assuming that the "pop" music industry is sustainable. I argue that it is not.

As recording companies continue to gouge consumers and musicians, as consumers continue to demand lower prices and alternative sources (especially free ones), as music becomes easier to produce and major labels simply manufacture stars, the consumers gradually look outside the pop scene.

There will likely always be stars in the recording industry, however i think that eventually those recordings will not be able stand on their own... they will REQUIRE royalties from TV/Movies/commercials, revenue from performances, and other unforeseen sources other than record sales in order to be profitable.

The recording studios have already demonstrated that it doesn't take much talent to achieve super-star status. And as technology progresses, any average creative person may be able to create music that rivals even the best musicians of today... the future is bleak for the recording industry.

All it will take to topple the pop scene is for a handful of independent artists to to achive superstar status without a major label. This will entice radio stations and record stores to shop talent and try to be the first to introduce the next star. Radio stations will not be competing to play the same music the most, but instead compete to play artists that nobody has heard of but their listeners enjoy. It will happen eventually. The Internet is already making it trivial to locate and sample new talent; TV, Radio, Movies, and Commercials have all given independent artists much more attention in recent years... and I don't see the trend changing any time soon.

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