Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed


Forgot your password?
DEAL: For $25 - Add A Second Phone Number To Your Smartphone for life! Use promo code SLASHDOT25. Also, Slashdot's Facebook page has a chat bot now. Message it for stories and more. Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! ×

Comment Use your own ears (Score 1) 849

This debate is largely irrelevant to most people who don't have high end gear (particularly headphones which can be disturbingly revealing). It really comes down to your specific situation and equipment. I have run endless double blind tests with lossless files and LAME encoded MP3s (at -V2 and -V0 VBR quality) and I can safely say that I can't tell the difference between those formats. 128Kbps AAC and MP3s are a different story. I could hear discernible differences with those bitrates against the lossless versions. With Amazon and iTunes now offering DRM-free 256Kbps files, I find the issue nearly moot.

I say "nearly moot" because I refuse to regularly pay out a minimum of $10 for digital albums that don't have the overhead of printing liner notes and pressing CDs. But I have purchased several Amazon $5 albums and even an iTunes album that was $7 that included a high resolution PDF of the liner notes.

As a result, I still buy most of my music on CD and vinyl and archive the files to Apple Lossless and rip those to LAME -V0 VBR MP3s for actual listening. Why keep a copy of large lossless files if MP3s are good enough? Chalk that up to my fear that one day I may want to transcode those lossless files to a new format that improves compression and maintains transparency or storage prices for DAPs and media become so cheap that I might as well just use the lossless versions as my primary playback files.


What's In an Educational Game? 160

An anonymous reader writes "I work at a non-profit whose mandate is to increase science literacy and awareness. One of the methods that we've started exploring is in making free, online educational games. Our target demographic for the games is kids aged 8-12, but there is no reason the games could not also appeal to a broader age range. What would you look for in an educational game? Does length and depth of gameplay matter to you, or would you rather play a trivial game with subconscious educational value?"

Comment Re:And? (Score 2, Interesting) 543

Don't mod this down. The AC hits the nail squarely on the head. I've had to disclose my SSN number anytime I've signed a contract with a mobile carrier (and I've been on contract with most of them at one time or another). The real issue is why they are allowed to keep this information past the time it takes them to run a credit check. Most consumers "consent" to this when they sign that absurd multi-page TOS that not only gives the carrier the right to keep this information indefinitely, but also allows them share it with "trusted" partners.

My wife's personal information was stolen a few years back when a large public university in California had an internal database breach. The only "recent" contact she had with the university was a 4 year old grad school application for a program she wasn't even accepted to. Why the university felt a need to hang on to her information long past the time it would have provided any usefulness to the application process is a mystery, until one considers the value of that data for other purposes.

If anyone is interested in learning more about the sorry state of protecting one's own digital identity, I highly recommend reading "The Digital Person: Technology And Privacy In The Information Age" by Daniel Solove.


Google Chrome's Inclusion of FFMpeg Vs. the LGPL 245

An anonymous reader writes "Google has recently added FFMpeg to Chrome to better support HTML5's video element. FFMpeg is licensed under LGPL 2.1, which states that 'if a patent license would not permit royalty-free redistribution of the Library by all those who receive copies directly or indirectly through you, then the only way you could satisfy both it and this License would be to refrain entirely from distribution of the Library.' Google admits to having obtained a patent license for their use, but still claims they are not violating LGPL. Among the confused we find Håkon Wium Lie and Miguel de Icaza, who wonders what FSF might say. Google doesn't feel like asking FSF for clarification."

Comment Carrier Exclusivity Might Kill It (Score 1) 144

A 6-month exclusivity on Sprint means many people won't purchase one right away. That's a shame since I think it fits the definition of a "smart phone" much closer than anything else out there right now, including the iPhone, which I happen to own. I don't have a problem with subsidized hardware in exchange for extending your contract, but why limit it to a single CDMA carrier?

Palm needs to get the pre adopted in large numbers and at a quick pace, otherwise it might be left behind as a promising also-ran to the myriad of Apple, RIM, and Android phones that will be out by the time the pre makes it to other major carriers in the US and abroad.

Comment You can add Los Angeles to that list (Score 2, Informative) 230

3G coverage is spotty at best, and as others have mentioned, sometimes full 3G bars doesn't even provide data.

Problem has gotten so bad that I have turned off 3G altogether when I'm at home as call reliability is improved and I can just use my Wi-Fi connection for data. I could have just kept my 1st gen iPhone and lived without GPS.

Slashdot Top Deals

"Only a brain-damaged operating system would support task switching and not make the simple next step of supporting multitasking." -- George McFry