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Comment Headphone leakage is my #1 pet peeve (Score 1) 251

What grinds my gears? People with headphones that leak sound. "Waaah I have headphones, why do you bother me?" "Because they're open.. because you play way too loud."

Open radios are even worse. The one guy that just has to force his music on the entire group of workers.

The antidote? Absolutely nerdy AKG K271S headphones. Sealed, I don't hear them, they don't hear me, and they look like something a WWII tank commander would wear. I bought them for the sound quality and isolation. Ruler-flat response and ruthlessly honest.

I've not worked in an open office since 1999, but I have no love for them. I'm actually a bit confused by their re-emergence. There's a happy medium and some companies have found it. I wish more did.

I got those AKGs a decade ago. Best office well-being purchase I ever made. Back then they were Made in Austria.. today they're Made in China... after Harman Kardon bought AGK. I have a MIC pair.. they sound just as nice. I have them at home, so I don't have to listen to the neighbor across the street blast his music while I'm trying to enjoy a book, a cigar, and a whisky.

Comment Screen Brightness has much blame (Score 1) 325

White background hurting your eyes? Maybe your monitor's too bright. Easy to fix. Set ambient light to where you use your monitor the most. Take a piece of white paper, set it on your desk. Now put a white background site on your browser.. say.. slashdot, as an example.

Now turn the brightness up or down on your monitor until the intensity of the white background matches the intensity of the white paper. Problem fixed! Does your ambient light vary? Get intimate with your Brightness control!

Some monitors do this automatically, as do most phones and pads. I'm frankly amazed by how many people have the brightness setting on their monitors at or near full intensity in a place with low-to-moderate ambient light.

If you have a crap monitor with crap defaults, you can use Huey or something like it to correct your crap color gamma, etc. Like my desktop's monitor: I have an ancient Acer 24 inch with horrible defaults. It's so much work to tweak that I just use Huey. My Dell E6420 laptop, in comparison, has a glorious screen that requires no color or gamma adjustment to look awesome. I just vary the brightness according to environment. (yes, I know there was an option for auto adjust on the 6420, but alas, I bought mine used and then retrofitted the backlit keyboard and "hd" screen, I don't see a way to retrofit auto brightness)

As to text / widgets with low contrast relative to the background.. yeah.. that's a bone-headed design and will only be cured by time, when something worse replaces it.

Comment Re:Why not use what's good enough for pilots? (Score 2) 236

It's all about $$$, is Apple willing to shell $400m for such privilege?

Nah, Apple will build a (walled) garden around the NFL, and make the NFL pay for it.

Oblig. wall jokes aside, it's all about the $$$ until the client decides the product is bunk and demands the vendor deliver on promises, backed by a team of legal sharks.

Comment Very rarely do I buy Apple from Amazon (Score 1) 192

But when I have.. which is maybe 2 or 3 times, it was the 12w iPad charger. I made double sure I selected the "sold by and ships from Amazon" option, no matter how hard it was buried.

The rest of the times I've needed anything Apple related i got it at Worst Buy.

Why do people not make sure that the seller is Amazon and not some shady 3rd party? Yes yes yes, I @#!$% know Amazon many times sets the default to "some random chinese faker".. but really? People don't check it? I do. Every single time. For everything I buy. The rare exceptions are when it says "sold by blah and Fulfilled by Amazon"

Comment Re:Tomlinson Holman of THX (Score 2) 44

The electronics portion was designed by Tom Holman. Do you think these speakers count as THX Certified?

If they don't have the THX logo, they aren't. But that doesn't mean much anymore. In the end, I think THX was a joke, applied to tiny desktop speakers.

That Holman designed the electronics in your speakers probably assure they are of higher quality, even if the THX logo isn't on them.

I read Holman joined Apple in 2011. (as per wikipedia article on Holman). I think this is a good arrangement, Apple, for as much hate as people heap on them, do care about sound quality. I bet they can take the syrupy bass-heavy Beats and make them sound good. Y'know, like AKG or Sennheiser or Koss or Grado or ... well, anyone other than Beats have for the past six or so decades.

Comment Tomlinson Holman of THX (Score 4, Informative) 44

Tomlinson Holman, the TH in THX, left THX to co-found Audessey.

For those not in the know, the Audessey calibration system and hardware many home cinema receivers come with addresses the problems the great majority of users have: Room correction and EQ. It did to home cinema what THX did to the movie studio mixing room and movie theater.

Of course, just using Audessey is not going to be a magic bullet. You still need to have a room with good control over ringing, etc. You still have to know where to put your speakers. And you still need your speakers to be at least in the same family. But if you put in the effort, start with semi-competent hardware and maybe tweak a little what Audessey comes up with, you will have sound better than most has-been multiplexes.

In short, Tomlinson Holman has done more for movie sound in the cinema and in the home than people realize.

Comment Re:Is this it? Is this how it begins? (Score 1) 269

The German side of WWII was started by a false-flag attack on a radio station and a suspicious fire on the Reichstag building. Minor things on their own, but were leveraged into a full invasion of Poland, and well, you know the rest.

Obama has previously declared that cyber intrusions may be dealt with in meatspace with real weapons. Given all the recent hubbub about supposedly russian h4xx0rz, would it truly be beyond reason that this could escalate hidden in plain view?

I used to think the tinfoil brigade were paranoid weirdos, but now I wonder if they were right all along: They are *all* out to get you.

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Thus spake the master programmer: "When a program is being tested, it is too late to make design changes." -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"