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Comment Re:Depends on the source (Score 1) 749

Ok so you can't fit the human hearing's 130 dB dynamic range into the 96 dB dynamic range offered by 16 bits. Now take a $1500 Emotiva XPR-1 Mono Block amplifier. It only amplifies a single channel for all that money. It's not necessarily the best amp out there, but it sure is a very nice one. At 1 W, its SNR is 93 dB. So you won't fit the 16-bit dynamic range into it. Of course the SNR gets better at higher volume, and eventually you'll be able to fit 96 dB. But with 24 bits... You'll have 30 dB of dynamic range buried in amp noise. Then consider the average consumer. My $400 AVR has a 81 dB SNR at 1W, and could barely fit the 96 dB at max volume. At max volume, I don't want to be in the same room. It would be waaay to loud anyway. Also consider than an average quiet room registers at about 30 dB SPL. If you want 96 dB of dynamic range over that noise level, that would bring the total to 126 dB SPL, which is around thunder clap levels.

Comment Re:Sage or Python + IPython + SciPy + NumPy (Score 3, Interesting) 254

I concur: the Python shell is a very very powerful calculator given that you can define functions in the interpreter. There are many graphics packages for Python; Matplotlib is perhaps the most complete albeit not the symplest. As suggested above, installing Python with the IPython shell, NumPy and SciPy, enables the "PyLab" IPython mode, which is similar to what Matlab would offer in terms of graphics and computation integration.

Simpler to install and learn is perhaps Octave (with plots using GnuPlot), which would behave similarly. Although for the long term, I'd say learning the Python shell is more useful than learning Octave.

Comment Re:Truth or dare... (Score 1) 617

They do it by spending millions on computers, programmers, interconnects, and physical proximity and connectivity to exchanges. This gives them a fundamental and practically (for a small time player) unbeatable advantage over other users of the system, which is utterly against the spirit of a free market.

That got me thinking. Would a turn-based exchange be feasible? You know, with transactions all executed at predefined intervals? I guess the problem would still be who called dibs first on some offer, so the low ping advantage would remain when the offers are published. Maybe there could be a way in which the offers are propagated randomly as to not give any timing advantage?

Comment Re:Price fixing by camera makers push me there. (Score 1) 280

Same thing here. Home theater stuff can generally be found at half the price in the US vs Canada. Same thing with kitchen and bathroom hardware. Also bizarrely I found some stuff that is "designed in Canada" and is distributed in the US but not in Canada. Using and other border mail services, Canadians can benefit from free shipping (e.g. from up to the border. Buying cars (typically a few $k less after taxes and duty and import regulations are taken care of) and tires (easily half the price) in the US is also popular.

Comment In REAMDE... (Score 1) 204

In REAMDE, one of Stephenson's character is a prolific writer who is constantly active. He litterally lives on a threadmill. Being rich, he works in a room equipped with an industrial robot that supports keyboard, displays, and a head-tracking camera so that the whole setup is bobbing exactly in synchronicity with his head and arms.

I guess it *is* a solution. I'm just not sure anybody tried it for real yet.

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