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

by marcle (#44149451) Attached to: The Average Movie Theater Has Hundreds of Screens

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

by marcle (#36851866) Attached to: The Loudness Wars May Be Ending
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

by marcle (#36282952) Attached to: Facebook May Make Tiny Town a Data Center Mecca
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

Posted by samzenpus
from the hello-true-believers dept.
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."
Image

Happy Towel Day 122

Posted by samzenpus
from the wringing-out-the-wit dept.
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."
Image

NHS Should Stop Funding Homeopathy, Says Parliamentary Committee 507

Posted by samzenpus
from the how-am-I-going-to-align-my-chakras-now dept.
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.
Biotech

One Variety of Sea Slugs Cuts Out the Energy Middleman 232

Posted by timothy
from the would-never-leave-the-house dept.
dragonturtle69 writes with this story, short on details but interesting: "These sea slugs, Elysia chlorotica, have evolved the ability to gain energy via photosynthesis. Forget about genetic modifications for sports enhancements. I want to be able to never need to eat again — or do I?"

I've got a bad feeling about this.

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