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Comment Re:Do not look into laser with remaining eye (Score 1) 62

With the iris scanning, how about getting the person to follow a small dot around the scanner with their eye and an iris tracker can confirm it's doing so.

Any security solution that depends on technology can also be defeated by technology.

In this case, you would have to have a system for tracking the eye, which would be defeated by a system for tracking the dot. Plus, you'd need guards against feeding the system wrong data at multiple points, or bypassing the tracking altogether. You'd multiply complexities unnecessarily, and only end up with another system to keep honest people honest.

Executives[*] who base their "knowledge" on Hollywood movies and detective stories are to blame for big business buying into biometrics for authentication. It's the worst thinkable system possible, because once you have defeated it, you have defeated a living human person, who cannot change his compromised biometrics.

The implementations fly in the face of ADA and similar measures too, directly discriminating against people who cannot use the systems. Some don't have fingerprints. Others cannot stand and look into the iris scanner. Or don't have eyes to look into them with. So you must have a backup system anyhow. That prompts the question: If the backup system is trustworthy, why not use it instead?

[*]: And unfortunately not just business execs. As late as last week, a police superintendent was quoted in a big newspaper saying that DNA evidence is 100% trustworthy and (I kid you not) we should never question it. The newspaper didn't even question that statement or ask an expert for opinion.

Comment Re:Headphone Jack is Pretty Crappy (Score 1) 290

To my dispointment, a number of my live sound colleagues have blown up iphones by plugging in via mini jack to XLR, and forgetting to switch of phantom power. They should know better, luckily they play dumb and tell Apple it just stopped working, and get replacements.

That should be the least of their worries. Plugging pre-amped headphone level output into mic level inputs isn't good for the mixer either. At least use a passive direct box that can match impedance and attenuate the signal. Better ones do re-amp, balun and 48V stripping, but even a $25 direct box is better than blowing your mackie/motu/whatever, and having to software gate a horribly clipped signal.

Comment Re:Hardware (Score 1) 290

There are actually two sorts of bluetooth audio. SCO uses a very nasty lossy compression codec to carry low-quality mono audio - it was intended for phone calls, not music, and is responsible for the poor reputation of bluetooth audio quality as many early headsets used it. There is also A2DP, which still uses lossy compression, but at a much higher bitrate, stereo, and at 48KHz sampling - good quality audio, as the compression noise is below what human hearing can detect. That's what modern bluetooth headphones use.

But you've still got the issue you pointed out: There's not a lot of room in those headphones for decent transducers and electronics, so a lot of them sound like crap anyway, much like 99-pence earphones usually do. If you want quality sound, you have to pay a penalty in cost and in weight. The laws of physics are unforgiving.

Comment Re:get over it (Score 1) 290

The headphone jack interface is ancient. So is the Edison screw light bulb, but that fitting is still commonplace. Simply being old is not a good reason to abandon technology. The floppy drive was killed off not because it was old, but because superior alternatives were available. What is the superior alternative to the headphone jack? What else can offer the same convenience, low cost, universal compatibility, and reliability?

Comment Re:Gets the history wrong (Score 2) 290

I think the Belling-Lee connector might have the record. Introduced in the 1920s, still in common use today. It just barely edges out the banana connector.

If you go back any further you're down to binding posts and clips to hold a bare wire - it's arguable if those count as connectors at all.

Comment Re:Analogue vs Digital, and DRM (Score 1) 290


Until you can jack the interface directly into your brain, there must be an analog final stage. Even if you have to break open the some headphones, solder on to the transducers and calculate appropriate attenuation.

DRM doesn't work, because if just a single person is able to break it they'll soon have the de-DRMed media up on torrent sites.

Comment Re: Oh boy (Score 1) 330

" If someone's beliefs get in the way of doing their job then they need a new job."

You mean you are going to deny them employment for their religious beliefs? PERSECUTION!

Christian culture in the US has developed a really severe persecution complex. Every time their demands for special exemptions are not met, it's persecution. A good example is the recent case is that of Javier Chavez, a former security guard at Macy's, who took it upon himself to kick a transgender person off of store property - even though they had commited no crime or action in violation of store policy, and he had previously been made aware that the store owners had no objection to people using whatever restroom they felt comfortable in. He has now commenced legal action against his former employer, while the head of the Catholic League Bill Donohue has written a most annoying column accusing Macy's of "thought control." As he puts it, "For merely holding beliefs that are contrary to the store's policy, Chavez was fired. This is what totalitarian regimes do, not American commercial establishments."

That's the way they think: They have a right to expel whoever their God dislikes from their employer's property, and if they are fired then they are the victims of persecution.

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Computers are unreliable, but humans are even more unreliable. Any system which depends on human reliability is unreliable. -- Gilb