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Comment: Not any more. (Score 1) 434

I do not use onboard computer DACs. Never found one that I liked.

Yes I am insanely fussy about sound quality compared to most folks.

It used to be that I would get a sound card in order to get digital sound out. SPDIF so I could run it through a nice external DAC (typical good ones cost about $1K and up.).

Nowadays that isn't needed any more. Integrated sound almost always comes with SPDIF out, and most external DACs have USB capability. So I don't need sound cards to get the sound into my DAC these days.

Comment: F-35 (Score 2) 348

by the eric conspiracy (#47419933) Attached to: The Pentagon's $399 Billion Plane To Nowhere

The F-35 is a classic example of what is wrong with the military-industrial-political complex.

It's bloated. To an extreme nearly unimaginable. Layer on layer of bureaucracy and self interest slathered immeasurably deep. It's not possible for this to be efficient or effective.

The problem is NOT the concept of the plane or its implementation. Nor is it with the inevitable startup issues. Any design no matter how brilliantly conceived would have similar problems when constructed by the set of institutions that are in play here.

What I am afraid is that the only thing that will change this is a real existential threat to the United States. Only then will we see focus on what is really important. The sort of focus that led the United States to an economic output greater than the rest of world combined during WWII.

Comment: Yup (Score 1) 24

by the eric conspiracy (#47411243) Attached to: Another Dementia Test Oversold

This is a generic problem with media reports of medical results. No understanding of the statistics.

Add in the lack of repeatability of many studies (for example just about anything claiming bad effects from low doses of bisphenol-A has proven to not be repeatable) and outright fraud (Wakefield) or attempts to push the data using questionable statistics (Séralini) and you have a giant problem with media and medical research results.

Comment: Re:Generic revenge on phone companies (Score 1) 110

Writing off a loss generally doesn't do much for you. It might save you 30% of the charge or so.

Insurance companies have a better deal because their business often involves re-insurance, that is off-loading their liabilities to pools.

The best of all is credit cards. They charge fees to merchants to cover the losses. The merchants then bake the fees into the retail price which people pay regardless of whether or not they use the card.

So no, T-Mobile isn't quite in the same league as insurance and credit cards.

Comment: Re:Insurance and Employment (Score 1) 1314

I didn't say there is no reason for it. There are in fact a lot of reasons, primarily in the tax code for such.

However the idea of 'group discount' is not one of these reasons. We have lots of other insurance programs that work fine for individual purchasers. Homeowners, auto, term life, umbrella policies etc. My experience (through CORBA) is that you can usually find coverage for LESS than what your employer is paying.

Comment: Re:A win for freedom (Score 1) 1314

Hobby Lobby did not want to pay for contraceptive drugs that created a condition they consider to be abortion.

Others may have a different view as to what they consider objectionable.

This really did not establish much of a precedent because the court based the decision on Federal law, not Constitutional law.

Comment: Epic Fail (Score 1) 66

by the eric conspiracy (#47354963) Attached to: The Internet of Things Comes To Your Garden

The reason I have a garden is to have a place where I can go outside and putter around with living things. The pace at which things happen in the garden is very slow and relaxing. The needs of the plants are simple.

The most stressful thing that happens in my garden is the annual competition between me and the birds to see who will get the grapes and blueberries. Really though I don't mind much if the birds get some. They are enjoyable to have around in their own way.

The last thing I want is some sort of automation that takes away from this process and replaces it with the technology that I am trying to escape from with my hobby.

There is nothing so easy but that it becomes difficult when you do it reluctantly. -- Publius Terentius Afer (Terence)