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Comment: Re:When you are inside the box ... (Score 1) 270

by sound+vision (#48228357) Attached to: Assange: Google Is Not What It Seems
I think the quality-of-life improvement in China has been overstated. What's happening is simply that more Chinese are entering into the capitalist system. When you're getting by on subsistence farming, you have (on paper) no income, you contribute little to nothing to the country's GDP, have no bank account, etc.
These subsistence farmers are slowly moving into the city. Once they are there, they suddenly come into existence, as measured by the capitalist metrics. But has their quality of life really improved if they can't walk outside without a face mask for the pollution, and they work 80 hour weeks at Foxconn? Do the occasional trip to McDonald's and the pair of Gap jeans after months of saving really make up for that?

On top of that you also have parts of China's GDP that are illusory, not real production. Look up the videos of the empty malls, apartment blocks, indeed entire cities that have been constructed and not used. Example: Such building projects were undertaken to provide the appearance of economic growth on paper, but we see they are empty... and somewhere in China, 2 or 3 people walked away with a shitton of money from foreign investors due to this perception. Meanwhile, the peasants at Foxconn are throwing themselves off buildings.

Comment: Shameless plug (Score 1) 27

by sound+vision (#48228207) Attached to: Peter Kuran:Visual Effects Artist and Atomic Bomb Archivist
I've recently went through quite a bit of footage of nuclear bomb tests. This started due to working on a slideshow regarding the bombing of Hiroshima, for YouTube which is here: It's set to the song/poem "I Come And Stand At Every Door", which is about Hiroshima and the larger picture of nuclear war. If you're into poetry or folk music, or just want to see before & after pictures of a bomb blast, you can click.

Comment: Re:One crap audio brand battling with another (Score 5, Insightful) 328

"Flat" relating to headphones usually means a flat frequency response, unless you are talking to people who don't have a clue (which is a very real possibility). A flat frequency response is the goal of a high fidelity system, the very word "fidelity" means trueness to the original source, which is what you get with a flat frequency response. The idea that a speaker needs to distort the sound because it "sounds good" is absurd, and in fact it's the exact same rationale audiofools have for preferring vinyl. Vinyl inherently has an uneven frequency response (among other things) and it is those characteristics that give it is distinctive sound, leading some to prefer it. It is distinctive but it is low fidelity, just like a poor set of speakers. Besides, if you want the treble or bass jacked up or some other frequency band notched, that's what equalizers are for. Although it should be noted they are called equalizers because the intent is to bring an equal loudness to all frequency bands - aka, a flat frequency response. To compensate for speakers that are not already flat.

Comment: Re:Using a Java plugin to play audio files... (Score 1) 74

by sound+vision (#48178757) Attached to: New Music Discovered In Donkey Kong For Arcade
It's not just video games either, Vorbis support has had time to penetrate deeply in many places, where its not immediately obvious, or listed on the spec sheet. DVD players, car stereos, lots of 'MP3' players (once again excepting Apple, they typically push their proprietary stuff). Basically anywhere that someone needed audio compression and didn't want to shell out to Fraunhofer for a license.

Comment: Re:Using a Java plugin to play audio files... (Score 3, Interesting) 74

by sound+vision (#48175323) Attached to: New Music Discovered In Donkey Kong For Arcade
Ogg Vorbis certainly isn't dead - development has slowed in the past 5-7 years, due to the codec reaching maturity, but it remains the best choice for an open audio codec in the transparent bit rate range (100 kb/s+).
Recently, Opus has taken a clear advantage at lower bit rates and in applications that need ultra-low-latency encoding, like video conferencing. But there is really no excuse for these browsers not to include Vorbis support. From the point of view of someone needing to encode content, Vorbis has the additional advantage of being much more widely-supported vs. Opus, oversights in these minor browsers notwithstanding.

Comment: Re:great news. (Score 1) 407

by sound+vision (#48174887) Attached to: As Prison Population Sinks, Jails Are a Steal
I'm not sure what the state laws in Florida are like regarding marijuana, but the relevant federal law (which anyone can be charged under) is the Controlled Substances Act. Under this act, marijuana is classified as a Schedule I substance, and possession of any amount is a felony punishable by much more than 22 months. By contrast, drugs like opium, PCP, methamphetamine, and cocaine are in the less-restrictive Schedule II.
Additionally, police are allowed to inflate the weight of seized drugs by adding in the weight of the container and anything else that may happen to be in it. For example, if 5 grams of weed were being carried in a container along with some lighters, rolling papers, and a metal herb grinder totaling 100 grams, that can be charged as possession of 100 grams of the drug. This is actually a common practice, and its legality was upheld by a federal court of appeals in the 90s.
Indeed, there are more than a few examples of people who are currently serving life sentences for first-time non-violent weed-only offenses, never mind 22 months. Some of these cases are detailed at .

Comment: Re:what an idiot (Score 1) 263

by sound+vision (#48109131) Attached to: Carl Sagan, as "Mr. X," Extolled Benefits of Marijuana
Alcohol is likely to induce the false self-confidence you speak of, whereas marijuana (and psychedelics) induce a sense of humility, which is one of the reasons for its use in religious groups like the Rastafari.
If your only experience with psychoactive chemicals has been alcohol, and your only 'research' into marijuana has been the spoon-fed government propaganda, I could see your generalization being an easy trap to fall into. Although you can't force life experiences on someone, my advice would be to at least look at what the scientific literature has to say regarding marijuana.

Comment: Re:1996 called (Score 4, Interesting) 263

by sound+vision (#48109023) Attached to: Carl Sagan, as "Mr. X," Extolled Benefits of Marijuana
Frankly I think it's a matter of more people now have actually tried it, and the old hardheads are drying out. The Time magazine poll from 1969 put the *lifetime* use of cannabis among the US population at somewhere in the low single-digit percentage - I want to say around 2% but I'm sure you can look it up if you need the exact number. It definitely shocked me. This was already many years into the hippie movement, so weed was firmly embedding itself into the pop-culture mythology, but how many people who weren't hippies had used it? Very few - only the most open-minded.
Lifetime-use numbers did skyrocket through the following decades, reaching near to 50% by 2000. But politically it was/is still a very loaded issue. It's something that's easy to ignore and maintain the status quo, but political suicide to suggest to change, until it becomes such a *big* issue that the number people who know someone who's been fucked by prohibition gets to be bigger than the number of self-righteous assholes who won't listen. Gallup literally did a double-take in 2012 or 2013 when their polls showed, for the first time, that over 50% of the US favored legalization. They had to run the poll a second time. With stats like these rolling in, the political trepidation around this topic will begin to dissolve in short order. I think we've now reached the tipping point, just 40 years later than everyone thought. Presidents and governors now admit that they've smoked pot.

Revolutions happen from the bottom up, not the other way around.

Comment: Re:Really? (Score 3, Informative) 577

by sound+vision (#48044529) Attached to: Will Windows 10 Finally Address OS Decay?
Windows changes a lot of its behavior as soon as you change that radio button from "Workgroup" to "Domain". Before you even get to the log in prompt, Windows has to connect to a domain controller to download Group Policy settings and the like. Having to run login credentials through a DC and load config from it as well will add at least a slight amount of lag - possibly a lot, depending on how responsive the network and the DC are. Then, there's the matter of which Group Policy settings the admins have chosen, many of those can slow down the computer on their own.

If IT "had their way" with it, they might have also loaded it up with antivirus or some other bloatware.

(1) Never draw what you can copy. (2) Never copy what you can trace. (3) Never trace what you can cut out and paste down.