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Comment Re:Quasi-audiophile here (Score 1) 450

MP3s encoded properly from a proper CD rip (Exact Audio Copy comes to mind) at >192kbps for all passages and VBR is practically transparent even on reasonably good equipment. Very well mastered CDs may sound different (depends on how good you notice these things) but double blind tests consistently show transparent results above 192kbps.

Shitty 128kbps mp3s (typically the median bitrate) are not transparent. Never have been.

Comment Re:BlackBerry is doing the right things (Score 1) 178

Can't help but think that the main thing holding back BlackBerry in non-users is that it isn't as glitzy and has very little "wow" factor compared to Windows phone 7, iPhone and Android. For personal use - photos, video, checking personal email quickly (but not replying, which is a pain even with predictive text) and surfing casually. Add contacts to Outlook and they're straight on your phone. Email includes a your local addresses and can query the enterprise contact DB. SSH is possible via BlackBerry and can be inside the local network for access to server admin.

BlackBerry is great for email & scheduling, allows you to reply to email comfortably, and the touch version adds some of the other advantages that currently belong to Apple, Microsoft and Google.

Comment Re:Perhaps nobody else cares? (Score 1) 952

Sounds to me like a lot of people are confusing not checking the default OS font size, or not setting your own (changeable) font size. Most of the comments I've seen about this type of bug also happen if you change default OS fonts - nothing to do with DPI... mrchaotica summarises it well

Comment Re:Distribute glibc then ... (Score 1) 223

It's been done before, depends what you need from the library : http://www.fefe.de/dietlibc/, http://www.uclibc.org/, etc (but these are clearly targetted at embedded systems).

That being said, dependency hell is the main reason Linux cannot get ahead of Windows or Mac for the masses - the abstraction layer may not be as optimisable as on Linux, but you can distribute small binaries and be _sure_ they work out of the box with no issues.

Comment Re:What took it all so long?? (Score 1) 269

The state of course intervenes against the overall interest of pure profit, that is what it is there for. The level of state intervention is a matter of politics, and indeed you need but look at Copenhagen to see that overall business competitiveness is the cornerstone of any negotiation on absolute emissions reduction.

So there is a balance and nobody ever gets it right, they sway from overprotective "socialist state" and hard right "private enterprise and free market economy rules" according to geography, political will and geostrategy.

Comment Re:What took it all so long?? (Score 3, Interesting) 269

Euro & Japanese manufacturers are less influenced by the US fuel lobby. Explain why petrol costs way less in the US : (the answer is taxation in Europe). The taxation strategy indirectly subsidises (it's not quite a subsidy, of course, but to the end user making one fuel cheaper than the other is akin to subsidy even if the difference is the level of taxation)

Agree in part with behaviour patterns in Europe, but I've seen roads from Fort Worth & surroundings to Dallas clogged with large vehicles mostly used for a less than 20 mile daily commute...

Comment Re:What took it all so long?? (Score 3, Informative) 269

Various theories hint at the interests of the oil lobby to continue four-stroke dominance (just look at the low mpg of most american manufacturers in general) and perceived customer comfort being the most widely used trump. High fuel efficiency does not usually provide sporty acceleration, low engine noise, and high torque at low revs.

That being said, no doubt many consumers don't care as much about that as the marketing departments of the automotive industry. In reality, noisy diesels have sold well in Europe (thanks in part to diesel fuel subsidies) and customers have bought poor performing, smaller cars for everyday use. They just don't make big margins on cars that sell for less than €8000 new. So once again striking a balance between shareholder interest (increasing profits) and global economic / ecological interest (decreasing emissions and oil reliance both by better fuel efficiency and better combustion of cleaner, more varied fuel) is an impossible mission.

Until oil prices go up, don't expect any good technology to prevail. The four stroke petrol engine will die, but not before oil costs increase.

Comment Re:Pedant Warning! (Score 1) 394

Very good post indeed; however it's totally off on a tangent compared to the topic.

Nonetheless it's refreshing to see such an involved post, especially given that it's a deconstruction of tautology - more specifically RAS Syndrome. Funny that two examples given on that page are PIN and ATM :)

Language is generally redundant, as I have learned while bringing up my son as a bilingual. I live in France and his main language input is French - at nursery school (kindergarten), on television, with friends. I speak to him exclusively in English, and find that it is necessary to repeat the same concepts using different vocabulary since his command of English is limited. Indeed, he only speaks French but will shows his comprehension of English by replying correctly (in French) to questions posed in English. Increasingly of late, he will stop me and ask what an English word means. I do not wish to tell him it means the same as a known French word, so repetition and expansion of the concept is the only way for me to respond to him.

Music

Submission + - Overestimates of the cost of illegal downloading (guardian.co.uk)

fruey writes: "Ben Goldacre, well known for lambasting bad science, looks at figures from a recent article in Britain's most read daily newspaper, the Sun.

MORE than 7 million Brits use illegal downloading sites that cost the economy billions of pounds, government advisers said today. Researchers found more than a million people using a download site in ONE day and estimated that in a year they would use £120bn worth of material

If you make up grossly exaggerated figures — "that's £175 a week or £8,750 a year potentially not being spent by millions of people. Is this really lost revenue for the economy?" — how can you then be taken seriously about the impact of illegal downloading? And when will people just accept that you can't put a price on lost revenue for intangible goods?"

Microsoft

Submission + - Has Bing already overtaken Yahoo? (itpro.co.uk)

nk497 writes: "Microsoft's newly revamped search tool Bing has already overtaken Yahoo in the US and globally, according to StatsCounter. The net traffic watcher said Bing has topped Yahoo 16.28% to 10.22% in the US, and 5.62% to 5.13% globally. Though the firm noted Bing's popularity may drop off after the excitement wears off, the firm also said: "Steve Ballmer is quoted as saying that he wanted Microsoft to become the second biggest search engine within five years. Following the breakdown in talks to acquire Yahoo at a cost of $40 billion it looks as if he may have just achieved that with Bing much sooner and a lot cheaper than anticipated." Google, of course, still leads by a considerable margin."

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