Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


Forgot your password?
Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! No Flash necessary and runs on all devices. Also, Slashdot's Facebook page has a chat bot now. Message it for stories and more. ×

Comment Re: There is two ways ads can survive (Score 1) 244

The only exception is where the consumer deliberately seeks out filters that discard the shitty ninety percent, such as only watching movies endorsed by Roger Ebert. This is not perfect, but man oh man, the troubles he's seen. He watched The Brown Bunny and The Human Centipede so you didn't have to.

He also wrote Beyond the Valley of the Dolls, so his tastes could be suspect as well.

Comment Re: wire (Score 1) 128

I have seen complaints that the battery life is unsatisfactory, and there's a good chance a lot of those people are listening to them loud. Mind you this is not unique to AirPods. Even the headset I had, had an underwhelming battery life when cranked up full throttle. However, batteries have improved in the six years since I had those. At the same time, expectations have gone up. It's one thing to sell something that only lasts three hours at full throttle with a "three to six hours" claim, and another to say "up to N", N being whatever number Marketing wants it to be.

At the same time, adding more surface area in the form of a connection between the two will solve the "losing one AirPod" problem, the synchronization problem (which they have dealt with but it still expends power on the phone side), possibly the reception problem, and allow for a battery that should outlast the charge in the phone. It would also solve, or at least greatly reduce, any distortion problems that might be caused by the power rail to the amplifier being unable to match the input curve of the signal.

Happy now?

Comment Re: wire (Score 1) 128

"Really loud" is relative. Unless they are noise-canceling, the only answer to not being able to hear your music over noise is to turn it up. Thus headphones that sounded fine in the store, and still sound fine when you get them home, can completely fall apart when you decide to walk to the grocery store or take them to the gym. This is easy to hear, but harder to measure because of the background noise obscuring the distortion of the signal.

If you have a headset with a higher capacity battery, then (to a certain extent) turning it up should just shorten battery life. In practice, most of them probably allow themselves to be turned up to the point where they distort, because (1) distorted is better than not being able to make out the signal at all, and (2) low input levels won't actually distort, so the extra gain can be used to even out from one track to the next.

Comment Re: wire (Score 1) 128

No, not all Bluetooth headsets have tiny batteries. I had the kind with the wraparound strip in the back, and the battery was generously sized because it was in that strip on the back. In noisy environments, which is where they mostly got used, the sound quality was decent. I wish I could tell you what they were but I lent them out and the borrower managed to lose them within 48 hours.

The main problem was that the strip was in back, and putting the phone in a front pocket meant constant disconnections. It was fine if I left the phone on a table, and even if I walked 15 or 20 feet away, but the moment I tucked it in a pocket and the signal had to go through me, it was dropout city. Since I was forced to leave the phone on my desk, I walked away from it many times and lost the signal.

The problem here is that Apple is trying to solve a fashion problem with two separate earbuds, when a less fashionable but technically superior solution exists: tether one to the other, and hide more battery capacity there.

Comment Re:So how will we build... (Score 2) 333

While we're talking about the exact same dinosaur squeezings, making petroleum into durable goods makes it a raw material, not fuel. You can believe in fossil "fuel" as a material while wanting to get away from burning it. It might even be because you want to make more stuff out of it instead of burning it.

Comment Re: wire (Score 2) 128

But he's not wrong with his point. AirPods necessarily have tiny batteries, much smaller than the phone does. While their average current may be fine, they are going to "brown out" on peaks without something like a capacitor to back them up. This causes distortion very similar to that induced by a megaphone, which is highly undesirable for music unless your name is Tom Waits.

Comment Re:32gb ram = $300 upgrade vs $200 for it alone (Score 1) 300

Anything with room for a standard HDD is not in this class. I also didn't mean that every laptop is this way, but the particular class that Apple is targeting -- thin and light -- is built this way no matter where it comes from. The RAM is fixed, and the storage often is as well.

You can yell at Apple for insisting that its MBP fall into the thin-and-light category rather than a Business Laptop. But once that choice has been made, these are the corners that are being cut by everyone playing in that field.

Comment Re:32gb ram = $300 upgrade vs $200 for it alone (Score 3, Informative) 300

All "thin and light" laptops are like this. The RAM is soldered directly to the motherboard and is not upgradable unless you have a reflow oven. Apple is nowhere near alone on this point. I think the last machine I've seen that was field-upgradable in RAM is the Acer C710 or V5 (same time frame, just Chromebook vs. Windows). The next couple generations still had mSATA or M.2 slots, but even those are going away in favor of permanently attached eMMC. I think the upgrade to my C720 will be... a Core i3 motherboard to replace the Celeron that I have now. (They're about $100.) And maybe the touchscreen to convert it into a C720P. But the base unit is one I expect to have for a few years because everything since (save for the C740) has been shittier and non-upgradable.

So don't single out Apple. Everyone is shipping non-serviceable laptops now.

Comment Re:the smell of E-6 in the morning (Score 1) 213

And I was limited by budget.

Did I have to pay attention to detail? Sure. But sometimes your best guess is exactly that, a guess, and then you bracket. This means burning through your film three or five times as fast, and you still may not get it right. Not only that, you have to wait until the processed film comes back before you can determine what actually worked.

If you use auto-everything and don't understand why it works most of the time or how to compensate for it the rest of the time, that's on your head. It doesn't matter whether you're shooting film or pixels.

Comment Re:the smell of E-6 in the morning (Score 2) 213

Kodachrome can't come back without an E-4 lab coming back along with it. When it was discontinued, there was only one such lab in the U.S., and possibly in the world. What would go over quite well though would be a new film with the characteristics of Kodachrome, but using process E-6. I doubt such a thing is easy though, or Kodak would have done it decades ago.

Comment Re:the smell of E-6 in the morning (Score 1) 213

Digital has been a great thing for people wanting to learn to do proper photography. The almost-zero cost per shot means more room to take chances and experiment, as well as an immediate chance to know if you got it right. I would certainly advise someone to get really good with a digital camera before they start shooting film, so that they can avoid the basic mistakes and get right on to dealing with the vagaries of chemical photography. That said, there is something special and visceral about taking a photograph on film and knowing that it's a purely physical process. I don't intend to go back to it because I just don't have the need, but it is different, and for some people, more meaningful.

Comment Hell yeah, if you still shoot film. (Score 2) 213

Ektachrome was always a good choice if you had no access to a lab that would do process E-4. Also, the trade-off is color saturation for speed – Kodachrome was nicely saturated and sharp (small grain) but slow while Ektachrome was a stop or two faster at the same sharpness (though still slow compared to print film).

I haven't checked to see if it's still made, but Fujichrome Velvia was the pick if you wanted to work the cooler colors while retaining saturation. It is/was also slow.

Slashdot Top Deals

If money can't buy happiness, I guess you'll just have to rent it.