top Come Try Out Slashdot's New Design (In Beta)
It looks like every other blog site out there, too many images, too much white space, no comment filter and comments are much harder to read and understand who is replying to what. If you switch to this new layout with no option for the classic one, I will stop visiting slashdot. It won't be much of a sacrifice at that point, this site would have already lost what I liked about it, focus on stuff that matters, the comments and information.
top Can You Really Hear the Difference Between Lossless, Lossy Audio?
I was concerned with scientific studies as absolute proof but then I realized that when it comes down to it, it only matters with what *I* can hear. So I used the ABX comparator plugin in foobar2000 to test my ability to discern FLAC vs 320kbps. You select two tracks you want to compare and then it presents them as blind tracks labeled A,B,X,Y and you need to pair up tracks A and B to X and Y. So I found out I can hear a difference. On select things. I'd have to listen to almost the entirety of the song and only at certain points does the difference become apparent to me. Things like ending a song with a rattling of a drums hi-hat sounds more distorted with 320kbps MP3 than FLAC. Music like the Beatles ends up sounding the same from even at 256kbps to me. So I believe that a person can hear the difference between FLAC and MP3. It might not apply to all music across all equipment for all people but there is a difference. Personally, the majority of my music is encoded in 256kbps MP3.
about a year and a half ago
top Ask Slashdot: Open Source Remote Application Access?
For home use I recommend
Window Switch. You could roll your own DIY solution with a combination of xpra, X11, vnc, rdesktop, ssh and so on but WinSwitch already does all that for you.
about a year and a half ago
top New York Passes Landmark Gun Law
IANAL but No, the M1 Garand or any other gun from WW2 or even WW1 is not considered a "relic" or "antique" firearm in the United States. The M1 Garand was not made before 1899, is not a replica of a gun from before 1899, is not muzzle loading and is capable of firing "modern" (rim/center fire) ammunition. The law regarding antique firearms is to allow people to own and collect them without needing to register. Of course the finer details varies from state to state but here's us code
18 USC 921 (a)(16). (A) any firearm (including any firearm with a matchlock, flintlock, percussion cap, or similar type of ignition system) manufactured in or before 1898; and (B) any replica of any firearm described in subparagraph (A) if such replica -- (i) is not designed or redesigned for using rimfire or conventional centerfire fixed ammunition, or (ii) uses rimfire or conventional centerfire fixed ammunition which is no longer manufactured in the United States and which is not readily available in the ordinary channels of commercial trade.
about a year and a half ago
top Is It Worth Investing In a High-Efficiency Power Supply?
No it's not worth investing in a high efficiency power supply for your computer if you're trying to save money or the environment. Yes it's worth buying a 80 Plus Gold or Platinum power supply if you want to reduce noise as many of them now run fanless or have a fan that generally doesn't need to turn on.
top Own Every SNES Game Ever Made For $24,999
Shipping via free local pick up only. Looks like I'll have to pass. There's also the issue of me not having $25k to spend on 721 SNES titles but the shipping clearly is the bigger problem since I don't live in Ohio.
top Valve Begins Listing Linux Requirements For Certain Games On Steam
I would be plenty happy if Steam would just redirect and store all the games files to a specific folder in the steam directory, much less implement a hypervisor. As it is now, installing a number of games from steam poops data all over my hard drive. I have game saves, settings and common files in My Document, "My Documents\My Games", AppData\Local, AppData\Roaming, AppData\Saved Games, steamapps\user and probably in other places I discovered yet.
While i'm at it, another nice feature would be for steam to be a unified DRM scheme. Install steam and buy a game and install only the game (and necessary libraries such as XNA for windows). Somewhere along the line I didn't pay enough attention and now I have junk like SecureROM and that Rockstar Social Club crap.
top When I see gov't CCTV cameras, I think:
top Ask Slashdot: Best Way To Take Notes In the Modern Classroom?
Pencil and paper is unbeatable as the main medium for recording notes. Pencil on paper feels nice and I like to think that writing things down helps me process the information better later on. I like using plain white paper (or engineering pads but those are expensive) since I like to take notes on notes and have blocks of notes all over the page with arrows pointing every which way.
I tried other things and the most useful companion to pencil and paper is a decent camera for taking pictures of diagrams or poor handwriting to be deciphered later. I guess you can just use a smart phone for that now. I also recorded lecture audio but almost never listened to them again. There are the rare occasions where typing on a laptop is better and emacs + org-mode would be my note taker of choice. But yeah, in general, pencil + paper.
top Ask Slashdot: Are The Days of Homebrew Gaming Over?
Can we, as a community, get over Betteridge's Law of Headlines? Please? I'm seeing it all over slashdot recently and it really is just the latest incarnation of FIRST POST. While "no" may end up as a valid answer to the headline, it kills the discussion by religiously applying an adage instead of introducing replies to the summary with new facts, anecdotes or questions. Sure the headline might be crap but that doesn't mean we need to reply back with crap.
top Why Microsoft Killed the Windows Start Button
Unless they decided to change it in Windows 8 from the previous iterations, Ctrl+Esc brings up the start menu.
top Next Generation Xbox and Playstation Consoles Will Have Optical Drives
As a gamer I generally care more about latency than bandwidth.
top Return of the Vacuum Tube
Low power? Maybe compared to traditional vacuum tubes. TFA says the nano vacuum tubes have a threshold voltage of 10V. Modern FETs are a magnitude less.
top Anti-WiFi Wallpaper Available Next Year
So if a house has this copper particle wallpaper (or paint) does that mean the house is more of a hazard in a lightning storm?
top Sony Put Video Service on Hold Due to Comcast Data Caps
I went over the limit once and the worse part is that they threaten to disconnect the service for repeated offenses. No excessive charge fo each GB over, they will just disconnect the internet. And of course my only option for broadband is comcast.
top Gaming Clichés That Need To Die
Nope. Minecraft runs on IOS and Android. A Xbox 360 version is suppose to be coming out soon too.
Hobbit Film Underwhelms At 48 Frames Per Second
Someone please correct me if I'm wrong but my understanding is that the reported FPS in a video game is more easily noticeable because it's not only showing how limited the picture you're seeing being updated but also as a function of mouse input. Since you're directly control the picture and expecting it to change a certain way a lack of smoothness in transition becomes more apparent.
But with more "modern" games I'm having a harder time determining between 30fps and 60fps especially since a lot of them are trying to go for that cinematic look and add in all sorts of things like motion blurring. As someone who loves classic death math of quake and unreal tournament the motion blurring in newer games drives me nuts since it limits how fast I can move a viewpoint without it going blurry.
top Most Game Console Power Draw Comes From Time Spent Idling
I put together a nice charging station for all my 5V devices (a fairly efficient AC to DC 5V adapter and a lot of custom cables) and found the PS3 controller to be particularly annoying. The easy USB charging devices just want to see 5V. The slighltly less easy ones (like phones) will want to see a certain value resistor placed between various pins of the usb device. The playstation 3 controller comes in as super annoying because you can't get it to charge with the above two techniques, it needs to go through the whole USB protocol to establish a connection and negotiation before it will start charging.
top Power-Saving Web Pages: Real Or Myth?
Watts is a unit of power. Multiplying voltage by current gives you power. Multiplying time by power gets you energy. More precisely integrating power over time gets you energy because power might not necessarily be constant over the duration of time.
It works for light bulbs because you assume a lot of things. If we were a more scientifically inclined society then light bulbs would be measured in Watt-hours and not watts. Light bulbs are mostly linear regarding their power usage which is why a 60 watt light bulb that runs for an hour uses less energy than a 120 watt light bulb ran for an hour.
top Emperor Penguins Counted From Space
The video in the article mentions that the computer does most of the counting and I get the feeling that surveying animal count from aerial photographs might only work with penguins in Antarctica. It's relatively easy to distinguish between snow, poop and penguin from a computer vision algorithm stand point seeing how it boils down to distinguishing between black or brownish spots with little noise from other unwanted objects. Not that I'm trying to say it's trivial to program it but it it's a lot simpler problem than say counting people in a city from space or cars.
ninjackn hasn't submitted any stories.
top Low hanging fruit.
I don't particularly care for the new found achievement culture of technology but since posting in my journal is simple enough I made this journal entry. I didn't even know slashdot had achievements until a few seconds ago.