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Comment Re:MP3 (Score 1) 311

I maintain that dynamic range was never an issue for CDs.

Noise-shaping (or Sony's incarnation called "Super Bit-Mapping," or even the HDCD debacle where the "extra" bits are created literally by expansion at playback to counter intentional compression in the mastering phase, though the HDCD is a completely different farce) is old news to me.

That noise-shaping is definitely measurably useful, and the tradeoff is measurably increased spurious noise at frequencies and amplitudes you can't hear, also means that the dynamic range of a CD was fine to begin with:

If the least-significant bit doesn't matter enough that it's fine if we reduce it to essentially white noise ("noise shaping,"), then we were fine with 96dB of dynamic range to begin with.

And yeah, I grossly over-simplified that last paragraph. I recognize that noise shaping allows things to extend to down below -96dB, and still be audible, as noise shaping is literally doing PWM of the LSB. It's inherently low-passed in the frequency domain, and the low-pass gets lower as the amplitude decreases, but substantial improvements can be had in very low-level audible sound given sufficient playback gain*.

*: But it doesn't matter, because there are very few mixtures of ears, systems, and environments which can actually discern that level of quiet without the listener's ears being rather immediately damaged by the 0dBFS which is also available from the same 16-bit PCM CD.

**: Which gets into mastering techniques. It's fine for a digital recording to be on the quiet side, but there's no excuse for any digital recording to not use the MSB for at least singular sample. We have more to gain from proper normalization (note: not loudness-war compression), than we do of noise-shaping, when it comes to lively and dynamic recordings.

***: And we don't need both.

****: Sign me the fuck up for 24-bit in the recording process, because quantization errors can be cumulative and they're always ugly.

*****: And then mixing it down to 16-bit PCM is still fine, because people can't survive intact well enough to hear the dynamic range with musical material -- even if the environment/equipment can measurably support it (most can't, but some can).

******: Dude, these are 30-year-old arguments. Are we done yet?

Submission + - FAA to relax Commercial drone flight rules (

garymortimer writes: The FAA are expected to usher in the new drone era at 1300 EST on Tuesday 21st June 2016. They will announce Part 107, new regulations that will make it possible to fly drones for money without requiring a real pilots licence.

Remote PICs are required to:
  Be at least 16 years old Be able to read, speak, write, and understand the English language (FAA may make exceptions for medical reasons) Be in a physical and mental condition that would not interfere with the safe operation of suAS Pass an initial aeronautical knowledge test at an FAA-approved knowledge testing center (or pass this online course, for part 61 certificate holders) Obtain an unmanned aircraft operator certificate with a small UAS rating (like existing pilot airman certificates, never expires) Pass a recurrent aeronautical knowledge test every 24 months

Comment Re:NOT! PANTS ON FIRE! (Score 1) 84

This happened on my WoW server with wool cloth as well. Some asshole keeps going by the local auction house and buying all the wool cloth and every time i go by they're completely sold out. They've got silk cloth, felcloth, and even sumptuous fur, but no fucking wool cloth!

Of all the shit to run out of.

(-- When I still played WoW, I owned the wool cloth market. This is where my gold came from. I bought all of the wool cloth, all of the time, and then marked it up to a price that I saw fit. I politely called this sub-game "arbitrage," but better names include "fuckery," "scalping, and "I'm going to burn your house down, scumbag".)

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