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Comment Charging is a big issue (Score 2) 510

Bluetooth can work fine if you don't use something a lot, but headphones are the kind of thing you may wish to use for extended periods. I've never seen a BT device that isn't massive that has any staying power. Like I have a Plantronics Voyager Legend. This is a new, high end, and fairly large ear piece. It curves over your ear and has a unit that sits behind with electronics and a sizable battery in it. For all that, it is lucky to get maybe 6 hours of talk time fully charged (which will only get worse as the battery ages). Less if you use the high quality audio mode.

That's not great, and that is for a bigass part. You take something small, like the Earin phones one of our students has, and it is a bit over an hour if you are lucky. On the other hand my little Shure earbuds will work as long as the device feeding them will. Despite the cord, they are actually no larger to carry than the Plantronics earpeice as well. Oh, and they work with my computer, my phone, my receiver, and so on with no fiddling, just plug and go.

I don't hate BT audio devices, but earbuds have good reasons to exist.

Comment Re:Headphone Jack is Pretty Crappy (Score 1) 510

Ya unless Apple makes really shitty connectors on their products, I'm failing to see how this isn't a case of user error (or someone making shit up). I can't think of the last time I've seen a 3.5mm TRS plug fail. I make a lot of use of them between my personal devices for listening to music and connecting computers to capture/presentation setups at work. I really honestly can't remember when I last experienced one fail on me. I'm not saying it never happens, but it is rare enough that it isn't even a problem I consider. They are quite reliable, in no small part because they are dead fucking simple.

Comment It's fanboy rationalization (Score 1) 510

You see it all the time with fanboys of a given brand. When that brand does something stupid or something they don't like, they have to rationalize it away how it isn't just not bad, but is actually a GOOD thing. That way, they can continue to be a fan and needn't reevaluate their position, which is important since being a fan of a brand often means having your ego tied up in the success of that brand.

You see it a lot with Apple fans since Apple is known for changing things on a whim with no warning or input.

Doesn't even have to be changes either, fans will do it when something is just disappointing. I saw a funny one with one of our former students who was a total Apple fanboy. The iPad 2 was coming out and he'd really hyped himself up for it. I told him that some of the things he was hyped for (like a high DPI display) weren't going to happen, tech just wasn't there yet. So it launched and was underwhelming to him at least. It was just a bit of an update to the old one. Now I don't see an issue with that, makes sense to refresh your products with the latest tech, even if the refresh is just minor. Just means that they are more for new customers than people upgrading. However he was very let down.

But then, over the course of about 5-10 minutes, he managed to find all kinds of rather stretched reasons as to why it was better and he had to have one, and then placed an order. It went from "I am disappointed," to "I must have this ASAP," in the course of just a few minutes. Nothing changed, no new information, he just rationalized the decision he'd already held: That he wanted a new toy from the brand he was a fan of.

Comment Also, you have options (Score 1) 510

It isn't like all phones are doing this. In fact, usually if some companies start doing something stupid and not giving people what they want, someone else will make and advertise products with those features.

For example I'm not a fan of the "no removable battery, no SD card" trend. Lots of phones have gone that way in the name of thin... however LG apparently figures there's a market for people who want those features and the LG G5 has them. So guess what phone I've ordered?

It really isn't that difficult a problem, unless you are a fanboy who is overly dedicated to a given product. If you don't mind a feature going away, ok no problem, buy the new unit and be happy. If you do mind, go and buy another product that has what you want.

However what I can't respect and get annoyed with are fanboys who will cry about something like this, and then go and buy the product anyways, acting like this had no choice in the matter and they "had" to upgrade. They are the problem.

Comment No, it was FUD (Score 2) 510

Basically what happened is one "security researcher" who wasn't that good at the "research" part of his job upgraded a system to Vista and had audio issues. He then wrote a blog piece about how Vista sucked and theorized that it was DRM causing issues. This got echo-chambered over the Internet tons and because "Vista's DRM won't let you have good audio."

It amused me since, when I read it, I had Cakewalk Sonar loaded in the background and was working with pro audio at the time, in Vista, no issues at all.

What had really happened is his system had a old, low end, integrated soundcard. The manufacturer provided poor quality Vista drivers that didn't work well in full duplex (recording and playing back) mode. So if you were using the mic and output, sound quality was degraded. This was a function of the sound chip and its drivers, not Vista. It was, and is, fully capable of doing 24-bit 192kHz or greater multi-channel audio in and out, as are subsequent versions of Windows.

The DRM that showed up in Vista related to audio is "protected audio path" and is only relevant to shit like Blu-ray playback. The media industry won't give out licenses to AACS and BD-J unless the whole setup it DRM'd including the drivers. So Vista added this capability (and subsequent Windows versions keep it). A program can say "I am playing DRM'd content, you need to protect this" and the driver will then make sure that screenshots/recording can't happen, that it only plays on HDCP enabled outputs and shit like that. However normally all that is turned off and it affects nothing if you don't use it. While it is silly, it was either implement it, or Windows would never be able to (legally) play Blu-rays.

Comment Careful with 1080 though (Score 1) 729

Because consoles don't usually render at it. Most games on current consoles render at 1600x900 or 1280x720, usually at 30fps and are then scaled to whatever screen you have. So setting a target of 1080p60 for a PC to be like a console is not accurate for most games. They have a few that are like that, but not many.

Comment Well for hipster tech writers (Score 1) 729

It isn't necessarily zero sum, since what they will own is a Mac laptop. While you can play some basic games on that, you'd need a second system to do any real gaming.

The logical argument of "Well just get a PC and use it for games and writing," is lost on them. I mean how could you NOT have a trendy Mac laptop? It is just unthinkable!

Comment Though to be fair (Score 3, Informative) 145

That is unlimited data at 2G speeds (around 100kbps usually), 2GB of data at 4G speeds. I love T-Mobile and have been a customer for quite some time but it isn't unlimited data in the sense many people would expect. On their base $50 plan you get as high a speed as the network can support for the first 2GB of data, then they throttle it down to a slower speed.

If you want unlimited (barring abuse, if you go too nuts they still might throttle) high speed data that is another $45/month.

Their base plan is the best plan going though. Really these days I think many people will find 2GB more than sufficient since WiFi is everywhere.

Comment It would, actually (Score 5, Interesting) 73

Undersea cables are interesting beasts. When you look at them they are MASSIVE and so you figure there are a lot of pairs. Nope. 4-8 usually. All the rest is shielding and power. The big limiting factor size and cost wise is the amplifiers. You have to have a bunch of optical amplifiers in-line with the cable, and those have to be powered from the shore. Obviously each channel needs its own amplification so in the case of 6 pairs that's 12 amps. You then need a set of 12 amps periodically along the cable.Every few hundred km or so.

Hence, undersea cables are small in count when laid. Very different form land. If you hook up a building, fuck it you probably lay 144 fibers minimum because that's a small sized bundle. However for those long-haul undersea connection, it is just a few fibers per massive line.

Comment Which is why you need some good storage (Score 2) 36

If you are doing IT for an enterprise, get stats like this to go to management and show them why you need storage with snapshots and backups to alternate storage. Ya it costs to get a good setup, and it takes some IT time to administer, but all it takes is one of these and it has paid for itself.

We got hit with cryptolocker back in the day, the Dean opened it and it proceeded to go and encrypt the entire administration share he had access to. However we didn't pay shit, I went in to the management console, rolled back to an earlier snapshot, and we were good. Minimal disruption. Even had it somehow been able to blast the snapshots (users don't have write access to them so I can't see a way) we could have pulled data from tape that was at most a couple days old.

There's other reasons to do this too, of course, but this is a big one that is very visible these days, and so worth it.

Comment Power and heat largely (Score 2) 133

Dunno if you've ever played with overclocking but the relation between speed increases past a chip['s normal limits and heat increases are not linear. So if you don't need/want the extra power, it is not a good idea to run your card harder than needed, particularly since those fans can get noisy when they spin up.

Support and stability are another reason. If a company rates a chip to a given level, they'll support/replace it there. Past that, maybe there's problems, maybe there's failures.

There can be a difference between what you normally design for and what something can actually do. Like my processor is spec'd to 140 watts TDP. What that means is Intel certifies that at standard operating frequency and voltage it will never dissipate more than that amount of heat, so if my thermal solution can handle that, I'm good. However the chip itself can survive more power, if there's a good enough solution. I can push it past that limit, if I want. If I do though, it is on me with regards to cooling and stability. If the chip messes up, they won't replace it.

Comment Ummm... (Score 1) 133

What kind of money do you think those review sites make per review? It is going to be a real problem staying in business if every review is predicated on being able to purchase one (or more) of a piece of high end hardware that can cost in the real of $700 in this particular case. It might be a nice idea to think they'd do it out of the goodness of their hearts and just spend their own money to help people but that isn't how things work. They need to get paid and they all have to cope with the rise of adblockers dropping revenue. So ya, review samples are pretty important.

Also in some cases samples are sent prior to public launch, so reviewers have to to get their review ready for when the public can purchase the hardware, so they don't need to sit around waiting for a review or go in blind. These things take time to do right, getting them hardware early is the only way to make that happen.

If you have a solution where people can still get the hardware early enough time to meet release day reviews and can do it cheaply enough to be able to pay their people to work on reviews for a living, I'd love to hear it. However the reality is I don't think there's a way.

Comment That aside (Score 5, Insightful) 155

It was a valid lawsuit. I could see hating on someone if they were funding a long, drug out, suit with lots of delay tactics over nothing to try and force a settlement or bankrupt the other side. However the Hogan suit went to trial, and Hogan won in short order.

I don't see anything bad with someone funding a legitimate suit.

Comment Re:No shit (Score 1) 482

Advancements in car safety are great. When you look at the stats on car deaths despite number of miles drive per year going up, death rate just keeps dropping. It isn't because people are better drivers, but because we've managed to build in so many safety features in to cars. I love it.

I'd never heard of that 911 feature until your post. Something like that is wonderful because it means even if you are completely incapacitated EMS is summoned quickly.

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