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Comment Charging is a big issue (Score 2) 504

Bluetooth can work fine if you don't use something a lot, but headphones are the kind of thing you may wish to use for extended periods. I've never seen a BT device that isn't massive that has any staying power. Like I have a Plantronics Voyager Legend. This is a new, high end, and fairly large ear piece. It curves over your ear and has a unit that sits behind with electronics and a sizable battery in it. For all that, it is lucky to get maybe 6 hours of talk time fully charged (which will only get worse as the battery ages). Less if you use the high quality audio mode.

That's not great, and that is for a bigass part. You take something small, like the Earin phones one of our students has, and it is a bit over an hour if you are lucky. On the other hand my little Shure earbuds will work as long as the device feeding them will. Despite the cord, they are actually no larger to carry than the Plantronics earpeice as well. Oh, and they work with my computer, my phone, my receiver, and so on with no fiddling, just plug and go.

I don't hate BT audio devices, but earbuds have good reasons to exist.

Comment Re:Headphone Jack is Pretty Crappy (Score 1) 504

Ya unless Apple makes really shitty connectors on their products, I'm failing to see how this isn't a case of user error (or someone making shit up). I can't think of the last time I've seen a 3.5mm TRS plug fail. I make a lot of use of them between my personal devices for listening to music and connecting computers to capture/presentation setups at work. I really honestly can't remember when I last experienced one fail on me. I'm not saying it never happens, but it is rare enough that it isn't even a problem I consider. They are quite reliable, in no small part because they are dead fucking simple.

Comment It's fanboy rationalization (Score 1) 504

You see it all the time with fanboys of a given brand. When that brand does something stupid or something they don't like, they have to rationalize it away how it isn't just not bad, but is actually a GOOD thing. That way, they can continue to be a fan and needn't reevaluate their position, which is important since being a fan of a brand often means having your ego tied up in the success of that brand.

You see it a lot with Apple fans since Apple is known for changing things on a whim with no warning or input.

Doesn't even have to be changes either, fans will do it when something is just disappointing. I saw a funny one with one of our former students who was a total Apple fanboy. The iPad 2 was coming out and he'd really hyped himself up for it. I told him that some of the things he was hyped for (like a high DPI display) weren't going to happen, tech just wasn't there yet. So it launched and was underwhelming to him at least. It was just a bit of an update to the old one. Now I don't see an issue with that, makes sense to refresh your products with the latest tech, even if the refresh is just minor. Just means that they are more for new customers than people upgrading. However he was very let down.

But then, over the course of about 5-10 minutes, he managed to find all kinds of rather stretched reasons as to why it was better and he had to have one, and then placed an order. It went from "I am disappointed," to "I must have this ASAP," in the course of just a few minutes. Nothing changed, no new information, he just rationalized the decision he'd already held: That he wanted a new toy from the brand he was a fan of.

Comment Also, you have options (Score 1) 504

It isn't like all phones are doing this. In fact, usually if some companies start doing something stupid and not giving people what they want, someone else will make and advertise products with those features.

For example I'm not a fan of the "no removable battery, no SD card" trend. Lots of phones have gone that way in the name of thin... however LG apparently figures there's a market for people who want those features and the LG G5 has them. So guess what phone I've ordered?

It really isn't that difficult a problem, unless you are a fanboy who is overly dedicated to a given product. If you don't mind a feature going away, ok no problem, buy the new unit and be happy. If you do mind, go and buy another product that has what you want.

However what I can't respect and get annoyed with are fanboys who will cry about something like this, and then go and buy the product anyways, acting like this had no choice in the matter and they "had" to upgrade. They are the problem.

Comment No, it was FUD (Score 2) 504

Basically what happened is one "security researcher" who wasn't that good at the "research" part of his job upgraded a system to Vista and had audio issues. He then wrote a blog piece about how Vista sucked and theorized that it was DRM causing issues. This got echo-chambered over the Internet tons and because "Vista's DRM won't let you have good audio."

It amused me since, when I read it, I had Cakewalk Sonar loaded in the background and was working with pro audio at the time, in Vista, no issues at all.

What had really happened is his system had a old, low end, integrated soundcard. The manufacturer provided poor quality Vista drivers that didn't work well in full duplex (recording and playing back) mode. So if you were using the mic and output, sound quality was degraded. This was a function of the sound chip and its drivers, not Vista. It was, and is, fully capable of doing 24-bit 192kHz or greater multi-channel audio in and out, as are subsequent versions of Windows.

The DRM that showed up in Vista related to audio is "protected audio path" and is only relevant to shit like Blu-ray playback. The media industry won't give out licenses to AACS and BD-J unless the whole setup it DRM'd including the drivers. So Vista added this capability (and subsequent Windows versions keep it). A program can say "I am playing DRM'd content, you need to protect this" and the driver will then make sure that screenshots/recording can't happen, that it only plays on HDCP enabled outputs and shit like that. However normally all that is turned off and it affects nothing if you don't use it. While it is silly, it was either implement it, or Windows would never be able to (legally) play Blu-rays.

Comment Re:Also (Score 1) 123

On the other hand you typically carry your phone with you everywhere and never leave it unattended. A desktop or laptop on the other hand is likely to often be left at home or in the office etc... Someone could easily break in and steal it.
A bit of vigilance with your phone and its less likely to get stolen than a laptop or desktop.

Comment Re:I'm shopping for a phone now (Score 1) 504

My stereo has neither USB nor bluetooth, and damned if I'm gonna buy a new stereo with my new phone.

A bluetooth receiver costs all of $5... I've got a couple to retrofit otherwise decent (and expensive) older car stereos/entertainment systems. The sound quality of bluetooth in general is no match for hard-wired, but it's an option.

My concerns are much more practical... FM radio is a nice option to have in phones, and the headphone cord doubles as the antenna. Bluetooth obviously can't do that.

I also like the no-brainer ability to just plug in a cord and everything works... No navigating menus to select the device you want to send sound to.

I also flatly refuse to hassle with a bunch of different devices with separate batteries that need routine recharging. That's the only reason I don't carry around a bluetooth earpiece and keyboard with my phone... If they could both securely clip-on to my phone and have contacts allowing them to recharge their own batteries from my (larger) phone while not in-use, I'd love to have them. Until that happens, no go. My corded ear-buds (sitting in my bag for years) will be ready to go whenever I want with no maintenance.

Comment Re:Atrix (Score 3, Informative) 123

I'd like to see this with bluetooth instead of a dock so you can just leave the phone in your pocket. Not sure if the bandwidth would work though.

One of the big things the Lapdock provided was POWER to the phone... Can't get that if you leave your phone in your pocket.

And no, bluetooth doesn't provide remotely enough speed for screen updates... WiFi is faster, but still not realistically fast enough, and you'd have to lose your internet connectivity to use it that way. Not to mention your phone would be consuming a lot of power just to refresh the screen, instead of doing any useful work.

Comment Gets the history wrong (Score 3, Informative) 504

The headphone jack has worked for 50 years and it can work for another 50 more because it's universal.

50 years ago, most everyone's headphone jacks were 1/4" (6.35mm), and only monaural. They introduced 3.5mm (still mono) way back when, but almost nobody was using them until much more recently. When stereo was needed, two 3.5mm jacks/pins were used side-by-side. It was only more recently that 3-connector stereo jacks were introduced.

They also shrunk it again to 2.5mm, which was popular on dumb phones and 2-way radios, but that one didn't catch on too well. But you can just as easily say that sub-mini plug has been around for decades, so we should all be happy to use that...

And they added a 4th conductor, most often for video (but possibly for a microphone), but nobody agreed to a standard so the wiring is always incompatible between devices, and that didn't catch on very well, either.

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