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Comment: Not this again... (Score 1) 755 755

Logic can't explain intuition, and intuition can't explain logic. They're two different ways of looking at reality, and each is perfectly valid in its own way, and they happily coexist within each of us.
For "science" (that is, a logical, rational approach) to try to explain "God" (a matter of faith, intuition, or myth, depending on your point of view) makes about as much sense as describing a piece of music in terms of odors (I know, some music stinks). Most of us have no problem surfing between levels of consciousness, or realizing that it's silly to try to describe the effect of a piece of abstract art in terms of the chemical composition of the paints.
Be rational, be irrational, enjoy them both, but don't try to explain one in terms of the other.

Comment: Depends on the definition of 'is' (Score 1) 301 301

OK, if it's 'fully autonomous', then there is no 'driver', only 'passengers'. The 'driver' is, as they say, 'autonomous'. So this is really a semantic quibble about the meaning of 'fully autonomous'. Or 'fully'. Or 'or'.

In other news, would I be willing to be a passenger in such a vehicle? Depends on the definition of 'willing'.

Comment: easy solution (Score 1) 924 924

Just don't bother to go to movies. They're expensive, dumb, and annoying, with or without the foibles of your fellow movie fans.

The sound is louder, the previews are more irritating, and the movies are more mindless. This is fun? The occasional good flick can be viewed in comfort and privacy in your home theater (or other device) on your own terms.

Comment: This is the real deal (Score 1) 294 294

In digital audio, nothing can be louder than 0dB. So, if you're an ambitious engineer, and want your song to sound louder than the rest, but you still can't go above 0dB, you employ tricks to make your song apparently louder. These tricks include compression (reducing dynamic range), but more sophisticated versions like multi-band compression where different frequency ranges are compressed differently, or look-ahead limiters that sample audio ahead of the playback to limit more smoothly. However, compression reduces dynamic range, throwing away information and resolution, and lessens fidelity. So if I'm an engineer and want to make a recording that sounds really good, with a wide dynamic range, it's not gonna sound very loud on the radio or CD player next to the other guy's highly compressed song. That means that in order to satisfy my client and have a song that's sufficiently "loud," I've got to compress the crap out of it. Of course, since no song can go over 0dB, that "loudness" is a subjective thing. Until now, it was difficult to come up with a way to measure it, and therefore a way to control it. Bob Ludwig is a famous mastering engineer, and to hear that he's involved with this effort tells me it's the real deal. I own a small recording studio, and I have to deal with clients all the time that want their music louder. Maybe I'll finally have some good tools to say "This is as loud as it's gonna get."

Comment: Prineville is like Mayberry but more so... (Score 1) 136 136

Back in the 70's, I lived in Bend, Oregon. I played in a country band (there wasn't hardly any other kind there), and we had a (very) funky gig in Prineville, highlighted by a scene I remember vividly still. An extremely large individual, dressed in flannel and overalls and looking and smelling thoroughly unwashed, came up to the stage and said, "Y'all know Home on the Range?" We tried to explain politely that it wasn't in our set list. After a little back and forth on the subject, he said, "Y'all play Home on the Range or I'm gonna come up there and mix it up a little." After a brief on-stage discussion we decided that the key of C was our best bet, and proceeded. That's gonna be some serious culture shock to a tiny rural bump on the map like that.
United Kingdom

Boy Builds Wall-Climbing Machine Using Recycled Vacuums 96 96

Joe McIntosh writes "Hibiki Kono just might be a boy genius. The 13-year-old decided he wanted to climb vertical surfaces like his hero, Spiderman. So, he used two 1,400-watt recycled vacuum cleaners and a little bit of elbow grease to make a machine that allows him to scale walls. Kono has been scaling the walls of his UK school and has told the media that he hopes his invention will help window washers eliminate clumsy ladders from their daily routine."

Happy Towel Day 122 122

An anonymous reader writes "While Douglas Adams continues his attempt to set a new record for the longest extended lunch break, geeks all over the universe pay tribute to the beloved author by celebrating the tenth edition of Towel Day. Towel Day is more alive than ever. This year Richard Dawkins, one of Adams' best friends, has tweeted a Towel Day reminder to his numerous followers. The CERN Bulletin has published an article on Towel Day. There has been TV coverage and there will be a radio interview. The Military Republic of the Deltan Imperium, a newly formed micronation, has recognized Towel Day as an official holiday. In Hungary several hundreds of hitchhiker fans want to have a picnic together in a park. And there's a concert, a free downloadable nerdrap album, a free game being released, the list goes on and on."

"Everyone is entitled to an *informed* opinion." -- Harlan Ellison