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Comment Microseconds, not millis (Score 1) 236

"The traders count milliseconds", that's three orders of magnitude out. Single-digit microseconds are considered significant in low-latency algo trading. A useful ballpark figure is one microsecond is roughly 300 metres at lightspeed in vacuum (practically no different to the speed in air) but signal propagation in copper and glass is roughly two thirds of that - about 200 metres.

Comment Etymotic earphones (Score 2) 561

I commute by train and have a fairly low tolerance threshold for other people's inane chatter and noise pollution from crappy headphones. In a bid to stay out of prison for assault I invested in a pair of Etymotic earphones. IMHO they're arguably the best you can buy when it comes to sound isolation (as opposed to noise cancellation) and sound reproduction. They come with lots of different tips - you can even have custom tips made which are moulded to your ear canals. Expensive, yes. But they really work. Without any music they're like a good pair of earplugs, which as you say still lets through the occasional raised voice. Listen to some quiet, neutral music, though (as mentioned by others, try white noise, nature sounds or gentle ambient stuff) and they really do feel like an isolation tank for your head. You have my sincere sympathy - I too have suffered the chronic stress of other people's noise. If you can get the cash together, try these things out. They have greatly improved my quality of life. Good luck.

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The means-and-ends moralists, or non-doers, always end up on their ends without any means. -- Saul Alinsky