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OKCupid Experiments on Users Too

Shirley Marquez Apples and oranges (161 comments)

OK Cupid's experiments don't bother me as much as Facebook's do because online dating is already a big social experiment.

3 days ago
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Lots Of People Really Want Slideout-Keyboard Phones: Where Are They?

Shirley Marquez Re:Virtual gamepad problems (543 comments)

What ultra portable laptop? Macbook Air, Surface Pro, Chromebooks, Ultrabooks. The category is alive and well.

3 days ago
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Lots Of People Really Want Slideout-Keyboard Phones: Where Are They?

Shirley Marquez Re:NO, all candy bar (543 comments)

They don't? What about all that texting?

3 days ago
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Lots Of People Really Want Slideout-Keyboard Phones: Where Are They?

Shirley Marquez Re:Just get a case (543 comments)

Voice recognition is a non-starter in many situations; either there is too much background noise for it to work reliably (using the phone in a club or in the subway) or talking is socially unacceptable (sitting in a restaurant, checking email during a meeting).

3 days ago
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Amazon Isn't Killing Writing, the Market Is

Shirley Marquez Re:Yep, how the music industry was killed... (192 comments)

In the past, you made an album as a musician and you got $1 or $2. After you paid out your advances, and the accounting game was rigged to make it very difficult to do that. Now you make the album yourself, and you actually make $10 when you sell a copy of it at your gig. Or you put your songs on iTunes and make 50 cents per song sale. (This is all assuming you DON'T have a major label contract.)

about two weeks ago
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Mozilla Doubles Down on JPEG Encoding with mozjpeg 2.0

Shirley Marquez Re:Hard to get excited. (129 comments)

One fundamental difference. Improving the JPEG encoding used by Facebook would reduce their bandwidth use without requiring users or browser developers to do anything. Moving to H.265 or VP9 video encoding requires two things: that browsers add support for those video formats (some have already done that), and users upgrade to browser versions that include the support.

Most likely, Facebook would not transcode existing images; unless they saved the originally uploaded files (rather than the transcoded ones they made when they were uploaded) that would involve generation loss and thus a degradation of image quality. They would use the new encoder when they transcode new uploads. YouTube DOES retain the original uploads (though they did not in the early days which is why many older videos are only available in 240p or 144p) so they have been able to re-encode videos as new formats become available.

about two weeks ago
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New Raspberry Pi Model B+

Shirley Marquez Re:Much better board layout (202 comments)

If you're willing to look beyond the Pi, the BeagleBone Black might be a good alternative. It has a significantly faster processor (1 GHz ARMv7 vs. 700MHz ARMv6, about twice the performance typically and even more if your application can take advantage of new SIMD instructions) and more I/O. Add the Audio Cape (24/96 capable TLV320AIC3104 codec, $30) and you're set. The combination won't quite reach your price point (the new 4GB version of the BB Black is about $55) but you could get to $150 for receive-only or $200 for RXTX, not too bad.

about two weeks ago
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O3b Launches Four More Satellites To Bring Internet To 'Other 3 Billion'

Shirley Marquez Re:Because of course (80 comments)

O3b's business plan isn't currently about selling satellite dishes to individual subscribers. They plan to offer their service mostly to local internet providers, who would in turn provide local service using other technologies. I don't think it's likely that the local providers will have much interest in doing wired infrastructure; 3G or 4G wireless, or WiFi for smaller areas, are more likely.

about three weeks ago
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Ode To Sound Blaster: Are Discrete Audio Cards Still Worth the Investment?

Shirley Marquez Now a niche market but not completely dead (502 comments)

Most people won't need a separate sound card or external interface for playback of music, movies, or game sounds. Audiophiles with high quality speakers or headphones can still benefit from a good DAC (digital to analog converter). People who want to play surround sound from a laptop may also benefit if they are using a receiver or speaker system that only has analog surround inputs, or if they have an older laptop with no HDMI port.

In a current home theater setup you're likely to be sending sound to the receiver via HDMI. In that setup a separate sound card will give you no quality benefit, because the DAC is in the receiver rather than the computer. HDMI also eliminates the need for multichannel analog audio outputs, which laptops rarely have.

Recording is another matter entirely. Laptops typically only have a mono microphone input. Desktop systems usually have a stereo line in, but even that is not enough channels for many recording scenarios. Onboard ADCs (analog to digital converter) are usually low quality and suffer from high levels of noise, in part because of having to exist inside the electrically noisy computer enclosure. A quality recording interface will let you make much better recordings. The best ones are found in music stores (either brick and mortar or online) or from specialty manufacturers online, not in computer stores, though a Sound Blaster is significantly better than most onboard audio. Special audiophile motherboards may be an exception; those use better converters and pay attention to filtering and shielding.

about three weeks ago
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Ode To Sound Blaster: Are Discrete Audio Cards Still Worth the Investment?

Shirley Marquez Re:No. (502 comments)

Creative has a professional line, E-MU. That brand is decent for the price, though in typical Creative fashion the published specs overstate the actual performance. Current E-MU products top out at two microphone inputs, so they're inadequate for most professional studio applications. But they might be useful in some home studio setups or for field recording.

about three weeks ago
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Ode To Sound Blaster: Are Discrete Audio Cards Still Worth the Investment?

Shirley Marquez Re:griffin imic (502 comments)

Desktop computers usually still have stereo line in. Most laptops only have mono mic inputs. There are exceptions in both cases.

about three weeks ago
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Tesla Aims For $30,000 Price, 2017 Launch For Model E

Shirley Marquez Re:Tech likely to disrupt: (247 comments)

Life expectancy is an issue in some applications. If you wanted to build an electric bus, for example, where the battery would likely have to withstand multiple charge-discharge cycles every day, the current lifespan of batteries is a problem. You might well have to replace the battery annually.

Mixed power catenary-standalone bus rapid transit systems (like the airport branch of the Silver Line in Boston) are an even more extreme case. Currently the MBTA uses electric/diesel dual mode buses on that route; they use electricity from overhead wires while in the underground busways and a diesel engine for the above-ground parts of the route. It would be more environmentally friendly to replace those with pure electric vehicles that charged while operating in the busways and discharged on the above-ground segments, but that vehicle would see as many as 50 deep charge-discharge cycles every day. How deep the cycles would be depends on the size of the battery or capacitor, but you would probably want to keep it relatively small to keep cost and weight down.

about a month ago
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Disappointed Woz Sells His "Worthless" Galaxy Gear Watch

Shirley Marquez Re:Legendary nerd? (242 comments)

Don Lancaster never wanted to go corporate. He likes his independent life. He wrote a book about how to do it yourself: The Incredible Secret Money Machine. The second edition of the book is available as a PDF download on his web site: http://www.tinaja.com/ebooks/i...

about a month ago
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Krebs on Microsoft Suspending "Patch Tuesday" Emails and Blaming Canada

Shirley Marquez Re:Email is expensive? (130 comments)

Er, no. The original version of DOS was developed by Seattle Computer Products; later versions contained contributions from IBM and Microsoft. Microsoft Windows was Microsoft's baby all along, though it certainly got ideas if not code from OS/2 which was jointly developed by IBM and Microsoft.

about 1 month ago
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Windows 9 To Win Over Windows 7 Users, Disables Start Screen For Desktop

Shirley Marquez Re:But 7 works fine. (681 comments)

Microsoft got the market share of XP down, but a lot of those people are going to 7 rather than 8. A lot of the Windows 7 users won't upgrade to Windows 8 nor buy computers that come with 8. To move forward, Microsoft has to get the Windows 7 users to consider using a newer version of Windows.

Microsoft might even need to consider an upgrade model similar to what Apple is doing now - all upgrades are free, you only pay once for the initial license of Windows for your computer. Currently a negligible percentage of Windows systems are ever upgraded - unlike Macs, newer Windows versions get involved when people buy new computers - so Microsoft wouldn't be leaving a lot of money on the table, and it would get them away from the burden of having to support multiple old versions of Windows as they could take the position of "upgrade or get dropped".

about 1 month ago
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Windows 9 To Win Over Windows 7 Users, Disables Start Screen For Desktop

Shirley Marquez Don't forget Media Center (681 comments)

Another thing that has kept some of us from upgrading is the pricing of Media Center in Windows 8. Not only is it optional at extra cost - the $10 add-on would be tolerable - but you can only add it to Windows 8 Pro, if you have the standard (home) edition you have to upgrade with a $100 Pro Pack. The net result is that you can count the number of HTPC users who are running Windows 8 with the fingers of no hands, and the manufacturers of TV tuner cards are unhappy because Microsoft has pretty much destroyed their business.

about 1 month ago
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Ask Slashdot: SIM-Card Solutions In North America?

Shirley Marquez Watch out for the gotchas (146 comments)

T-Mobile service offers good prices, but there are a couple of catches to watch out for.

1. If you have a non-US phone that does not offer AWS band (1700 and 2100 MHz) coverage, you will not be able to get 3G data service in smaller cities (the ones that do not yet have LTE service). T-Mobile originally operated HSPA+ on that band; more recently they moved it to 1900 MHz (reducing or eliminating EDGE service to make room) and operate LTE on the AWS frequencies.

2. Most retail outlets only have the full size SIMs. If you need a micro or nano SIM you will probably have to order it from T-Mobile. You might be able to get one at a T-Mobile company store. Other places that sell prepaid T-Mobile stuff (drug stores, Best Buy, Radio Shack) won't have them. One other way to get a micro SIM is to buy a Lumia 521, an inexpensive Windows 8 phone.

General comments that apply to bringing any GSM phone to any US carrier: you need a quad-band phone (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz) phone to get anywhere at all. LTE probably won't work with your non-US phone.

about a month ago
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Bye Bye Aereo, For Now

Shirley Marquez Re:From CEO/Founder Chet Kanojia (93 comments)

It's to make the company possible at all. The broadcast industry clearly doesn't want Aereo to exist, so the probability that they would have offered retransmission rights at non-ruinous rates is nil.

about a month ago
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Bye Bye Aereo, For Now

Shirley Marquez Re:Listen to the trolls (93 comments)

The Hopper case is a bit different because it involves equipment that is clearly customer-controlled. No telling what this court will do, but Hopper is not a pure cloud play.

about a month ago
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Kingston and PNY Caught Bait-and-Switching Cheaper Components After Good Reviews

Shirley Marquez Re:Kingston selling shit USB3 flash keys (289 comments)

At least they're giving the two tiers different branding (and pricing). And both tiers deliver high READ speeds; it's the write speeds that diverge.

about a month and a half ago

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