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Comment Re:Do it yourself (Score 1) 132

About a quarter of my income comes from trading stock and art. For this I often need to be in front of the line to get good deals. RSS feeds make this possible. This is also why I went through the effort to hack together some screen scrapers. RSS feeds are used by many as a professional tool. Day traders, eBay users, journalists...all sorts of people who need some sort of scoop in order to make money.

Comment Do it yourself (Score 1) 132

I never really trust companies with my daily needs. The dependency is stressful and unpractical, so I try to avoid it whenever possible.

For feeds I use Tiny Tiny RSS these days, hosted on a VPS with some other daily stuff (mail, calendar, notes). The application is a lot slicker than the website would suggest. I highly recommend it.

Since RSS seems to take a back seat in modern web development (FOLLOW US ON TWITTER!), I also do some screen scraping in PHP to create my own feeds for sites that don't (properly) support it.

Comment I wouldn't forgive me (Score 2) 134

From the article:
Ira isn’t an actual human being—he’s just a computer model—but you’d be forgiven for not being able to tell the difference.

Well...I wouldn't forgive me. You can tell by:
- The crazy amount of unnatural (colored) lighting used to hide low detail and/or too-uniform shading. Show me the same head model in a field on a cloudy day at 2pm in March
- The limited polygon count; look at the edges of his ear (which is a bit weird looking in itself btw)

Much more impressed by these, but they are pre-rendered:

Instead of unnatural lighting they have a lot of added skin detail (wrinkles, dirt) to hide too-uniform shading. There's a lot of detail / noise / subtle imperfections in real life you don't normally think about, but when it's not there you instantly notice it on a subconscious level.

Comment Re:Bike & bikepaths anyone? (Score 1) 111

Dutch guy here.


Snow & Ice:

I'll admit it can be dangerous when it's been snowing. It really requires a culture of cycling, where governments try to keep roads (incl bikepaths) clear of snow at all times & traffic participants are considerate to other road users.

Comment Update the Package Manager (Score 1) 578

As someone who used to repair computers for a living, I have one thing to say to Microsoft:

It's the elephant in the room that's been slowly crippling the Windows user-experience since Windows XP. I couldn't believe it when I noticed they still didn't implement this in Windows 8 in some sort of way.

When users are bombarded with individual update-notifiers from 20 different vendors every day, users:
- become numb to them and start to ignore them
- don't notice the included adware and bunled software that's pushed to them. (Gee, I wonder why Google Chrome's taking so much of the browser marketshare...)

This behavior is a big part of what's causing Average Joe's laptop to turn into an unusable turd, filled with adware and virusses. He concludes his computer is old and broken, Windows must be shit and takes out a loan for a Macbook. Goodbye customer.

Microsoft needs to centralize this process the same way Android did. Updating 3rd party software, changes in privacy and adware offers should all go through a unified interface from the package manager. Installing software through an official app store should become default with an easy opt-out, so Windows stays an open platform but at the same time the Average Joe is protected from taking too many risks.

Comment Bandwidth vs. Bitrate (Score 1) 48

The CEO claims problems with bandwidth have been overcome. I disagree.

Most broadband connections today still have severely limited upload speeds. Sure, they may be slightly faster. But since 1080p video has become a commodity, the amount of data per frame (bitrate) for amateur video has increased quite dramatically, compared to a few years ago when 480p was still common. So any increase in upload speed is negated by higher video resolutions.

I think this will only work when symmetrical fiber connections become normal.

Comment It depends (Score 1) 749

The issue for me is that mp3's only sound good if you listen to them "as is".

I do DJ work every now and then. If you use DSP's, as I do, like equalizers, compressors and all sorts of stereo/surround effects, the resolution in lossy audio is SO limited that artifacts become clearly audible to most people.

Even home systems suffer from this, albeit to a lesser extent. Systems that are calibrated for the room with a certain equalizer setting, 5.1 receivers that upscale stereo to virtual surround. They all mess with the audio source in a big way...and when that source is lossy, sometimes you can clearly tell.

Uncompressed audio simply has more resolution to play with. And that's why most of my music collection is now FLAC. Compare it to photoshopping a PNG vs. a JPG.

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