* Posts by all ears

43 publicly visible posts • joined 1 Mar 2018

AI threatens to automate away the clergy

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What's the meaning of "meaningful?"

"Some things simply need a human touch or they quickly descend into meaninglessness. We hope so anyway, for all our sakes."

Perhaps quite a few things that we call "meaningful" actually have very little significance. One of the things that AI is already teaching us is that meaningfulness can be faked. Instead of embracing AI, perhaps that should inspire us to question the purpose of much of the tsunami of text, images, and other media that floods over us every day.

China succeeds where Elon Musk has failed with first methalox rocket

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Clickbait journalism

Not to put down China, or overly praise Musk, but he hasn't exactly "failed." He's pursuing a much more complex vehicle, is in the midst of testing and development, and may well revolutionize space travel. Anyway, it's not a zero sum game. If it were a race to get to orbit first using methalox, I'm sure Musk could have built a much simpler rocket and launched it quite a while ago.

Why must media turn everything into some sort of race or contest?

China is trolling rare-earth miners online and the Pentagon isn't happy

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Seems like the US could do a similar campaign, such as "Chinese rare earths are contaminated with poisons due to poor environmental controls, US rare earths are clean and well-regulated."

Musk repeats threat to end $46.5bn Twitter deal – with lawyers, not just tweets

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Different metric

Article (and Musk) are misleading. Twitter never claimed that a certain percentage of *all* users were bots. Twitter has a particular metric of "monetizable" users, and an internal methodology to distinguish those users. Their claim relates only to those users, and is probably quite correct. Aside from the fact, of course, that Musk waived due diligence and agreed to buy Twitter as is.

Why the Linux desktop is the best desktop

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Granted, Linux is a superior OS. Granted, there are Linux desktops and apps that will suffice for most daily tasks. But my use case is recording and editing multi-track audio, and even if I wanted to go with the audio apps available on Linux (much more limited than what's available on Windows), my audio hardware requires drivers that are simply not available for Linux at all. These drivers are finicky enough on native Windows, and I would be very reluctant to try to get them to work in a VM with acceptable latency.

I also use Illustrator and Photoshop quite a bit, and the Linux equivalents that I've tried seem to have a non-instinctive interface and steep learning curve. It may just be what I'm used to, but since Windows is basically trouble-free for me, there's just no incentive to put in the hours that I've already invested in the Adobe apps.

If/when the day comes that MS makes Windows absolutely too cumbersome and unworkable, I'll decide between Linux and Mac, but till then my current Windows 10 box is relatively friction-free.

Horizon Workrooms promises a virtual future of teal despair

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Re: Worth repeating

Be sure to eschew your food thoroughly before eswallowing.

Samsung adds non fungible token trading app to its tellies

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Make it easy for the average consumer to buy NFTs -- what could possibly go wrong?

Amazon to cover 100%* of college* tuition* for hourly employees* in the US

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Re: Or

Amazon has "succeeded" by trampling everything in its path like an 800 pound gorilla. I don't want a piece of it, I want them to stop ruining the society I live in.

all ears

Re: Or

And I can comment on it however I please.

Open-source dev and critic of Beijing claims Audacity owner Muse threatened him with deportation to China in row over copyright

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Re: Is this really news?

Youi're conflating the controversy about Audacity with the controversy about Musescore, which is what this article is about. And it sounds like you don't understand either one of lthem.

Read the article carefully, try to understand what it's about, and then see if you can post a thoughtful comment. Hint: it has nothing to do with "making the software better."

SpaceX's Starlink: Overhyped and underpowered to meet broadband needs of Rural America, say analysts

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Re: They will be competing with fixed 5G, not 1.5 Mb rural DSL

If you think 5G will be deployed to most of rural America in 3-5 years, please pass the spliff. The big telcos have absolutely no intention of serving sparse rural neighborhoods, no matter how much money the feds shower on them. This little drama has been played out many times before, and it always ends with fatter shareholders, more yachts for suits, a slap on the wrist (if that) for the telcos, and rural customers still out in the cold.

The Audacity of it all: Version 3.0 of open-source audio fave boasts new file format, 160+ bug fixes

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Harrison Mixbus -- full featured DAW based on Audacity

Mixbus has all the bells and whistles, is inexpensive, and most importantly has the big fat sound of a large-format console, which is Harrison's main business. Well worth trying -- one listen and you may become addicted, as I have. Also easily imports all standard formats, making it ideal for final mixes, so you can use your tool of choice for tracking, editing, etc. (although Mixbus does all of that also).

Debut firing of NASA's Space Launch System core stage cut short following 'Major Component Failure'

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"This is why we test" -- not!

This was not a test during the development stage, when any problems could be fixed with a re-design. In this case the development was supposed to be fully completed, so this was a *validation* test.

To contrast with SpaceX (what a contrast!), when Elon rapidly tests one prototype after another to destruction, he's using lessons learned to accelerate the development process. In this case, if any re-design is needed, it will eliminate the possibility of keeping to their schedule. This test was supposed to be a slam-dunk, simply extra insurance before the final product was assembled. It was definitely not supposed to fail, nor are there plans in place to recover from a failure.

In other words, not all tests are created equal, and this one was at a stage when failure was extra costly.

If I pedal faster and feed it spinach, my robot barman might pull more pints

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This article made me look up bicycle generators, but there doesn't seem to be much on the market. Anybody know of any possibilities?

Sony launches ‘Airpeak’ drone division

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Sony not trustworthy

They make some very good products, but they're generally overpriced, and always include an unhealthy amount of proprietary lockin. And remember when they installed malware on their customers' hard drives, on purpose, just to further their DRM scheme?

No corporation really has their customers' best interests at heart, but Sony is worse than most.

NSA: We've learned our lesson after foreign spies used one of our crypto backdoors – but we can't say how exactly

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I'd comment, but then I'd have to kill me.

After ten years, the Google vs Oracle API copyright mega-battle finally hit the Supreme Court – and we listened in

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Good analysis

This is one of the best discussions of this case I have seen. It covers the nuances well, and doesn't freak out at the prospect of Oracle winning.

As the article pointed out, despite the ramifications of this decision for the software industry, the decision is being made by people who are largely ignorant about software development, and will be on legal grounds. These legal precedents have been set by creative works such as fiction, and have only a tangential relationship to writing code, even though both are expressed as text.

In any case, programming will go on. And don't worry about the possible additional cost of producing code -- it'll just be passed on to the consumer.

First analysts, now YouTubers put you on blast. Do you A) take it on the chin or B) up fire up the DMCA-o-tron?

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They're in a hole, and still frantically digging. Not only a scamming company, but a stupid scamming company.

Drone firm DJI promises 'local data mode' to fend off US government's mooted ban

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Re: DJI dominates the drone market

DJI drones are designed and manufactured in China. Their American offices are for sales and support only. There is nothing American about DJI drones.

all ears

DJI dominates the drone market

Because there isn't any competition at that price. You can't say they've copied somebody else when there isn't anyone else who does what they do. The US demanded geofencing to keep drones away from airports and other sensitive areas, so that's why they need to talk to remote servers.

If you want a drone in the $500 - $2500 range, nothing else has the features and quality of a DJI. If the US wanted to compete we'd have a long way to go to catch up. Do we really want to deprive ourselves of such excellent machines? Communications can be monitored and vetted if we're so worried about security. And we can always add any security vulnerable areas to the geofence.

Microsoft: 14 January patch was the last for Windows 7. Also Microsoft: Actually...

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It's the apps, natch

Win7 holdout here who finally switched to Win 10. Using Classic Shell and ShutUp10 along with some other tweaks, it seems quite acceptable. Definitely easier than setting up Linux, and believe me I've tried.

I wouldn't mind switching to Linux, except I don't want to give up all the great 3rd party Windows ecosystem. Not just Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop (bootleg), but pro multitrack audio, video editing, and the jillions of free or inexpensive utilities, addons, plugins, etc.

Yes it's a shame that I have to put up with any MS BS at all, but there's ways around most of it, and my machines seem to run quite well. Plus I can take advantage of modern hardware (which again is part of a huge ecosystem not available to Linux).

YMMV of course depending on your own needs, and I'm not denying MS evilness and incompetence, but every choice has tradeoffs, and so far Win10 is working for me.

US senators propose yet another problematic Section 230 shakeup: As long as someone says it on the web, you can't hide it away

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Howza bout the Constitution? Remember that?

"Free speech" is about regulating the government, not private companies. If a private company doesn't want to publish my ravings, they don't have to. You have the right to say what you want, but not the right to force someone else to publish it.

AT&T’s CEO has a solution to US broadband woes despite billions sunk into the problem. You’ll never guess what it is

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Is it Stankey or Shankey?

Author can't quite decide. I say it's spinach and I say the hell with it.

AI in the enterprise: Prepare to be disappointed – oversold but under appreciated, it can help... just not too much

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As the article states, this debate "question" is vague and conflates some very different things. You will certainly get a lot of heat and smoke in return, but not much light.

Digital pregnancy testing sticks turn out to have very analogue internals when it comes to getting results

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Re: "It's not yours"

And if you look at the display closely, it looks as though they've inserted an apostrophe in a very unnatural place. I suspect shenanigans.

Microsoft adds 'Here's what we may have broken' screen to Windows 10 Insider PCs

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I think that word does not mean what you think it means

Microsoft's new "features," as usual, are more about customer lockin and revenue generation than what I would regard as improvements to the OS. And apparently most users agree with me, which is why MS wants to push them into your face.

MS would be thrilled to make Windows into a smart TV, where users simply consume content, and occasionally click the "buy" button.

No Wiggle room: Two weeks after angry bike shop customers report mystery orders on their accounts, firm confirms payment cards delinked

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Where's that picture from?

I don't know if that was 'shopped, done by a stunt man, or actually happened that way, but I sure hope that guy's OK!

SpaceX Falcon 9 and Dragon cleared to hoist real live American astronauts into space

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Supposedly the weather isn't looking good on Wednesday, may have tp postpone till Saturday.

Hana-hana-hana: No it's not your dad trying to start a motorboat... It's Northern Gas, renewing its SAP software

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Re: Slightly silly

I'm guessing the reason for your downvotes is that this is SAP we're talking about, which has a strong and well-deserved reputation. Is Oracle any better? Perhaps not, but the real point is that this is much more about marketing, politics, and perhaps even corruption than it is about sane IT management.

Bose shouts down claims that it borked noise cancellation firmware to sell more headphones

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Fanboi or Bose exec?

Enjoy your pricey underpeforming gear.

all ears

Re: I've an advert to sell you. Sign here. . .

Lost my faith in Bose many years ago with their 901 PA speakers.

They sounded pretty good, but they were ridiculously overpriced. Especially when teardowns showed cheap components. A knowledgeable sound person could easily put together a rig at least as good for a fraction of the price, or much better for the same.

But they advertized like crazy, created a buzz, and sold a ton of them. They may not know a lot about audio, but they definitely understand marketing -- or at least they used to. Sounds like the new bean-counters aren't as smart as the old bean-counters...

all ears

Re: Audiophiles

What's with all the scorn for "audiophiles?" My hearing is particularly keen, I spend a lot of money on quality gear because I can hear the difference. I also know the difference between a dB and a doorknob, and don't go for any woo-woo stuff. If you think all audio gear sounds the same, I feel sorry for you.

Internet samurai says he'll sell 14,700,000 IPv4 addresses worth $300m-plus, plow it all into Asia-Pacific connectivity

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Obligatory nit

"to ensure that the internet's foundational layer is treated with equanimity" -- You're right, these guys are getting way too excited. They just need to chill a bit...

Microsoft's Bill Gates defrag is finally virtually complete: Billionaire quits board to double down on philanthropy

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Didn't have a reality distortion field as powerful as Jobs. Arguably did more damage to society. Definitely held back the development of computing for the widest benefit to all.

Still egotistical and delusional, but so much richer than me that I think I'll just shut up.

Smart speaker maker Sonos takes heat for deliberately bricking older kit with 'Trade Up' plan

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Well that puts paid to the idea of ever owning a Sonos, whatever that is. I guess I'll just have to keep listening to my decades-old super quality component stereo system, which works and sounds as amazing as ever. (Got a new high-end DA converter that makes even digital audio sound good.) On the other hand, my hearing...

When is an electrical engineer not an engineer? When Arizona's state regulators decide to play word games

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Um redesign the entire circuit board at the last minute for a previously unmentioned requirement? $800 sounds cheap. When was the last time you had it done for less?

Bose customers beg for firmware ceasefire after headphones fall victim to another crap update

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Re: thank god.....

Definitely not true. We lose some sensitivity to upper frequencies as we age, but since what we "hear" is a matter of our brain interpreting signals from our ears, there's a huge amount of estimation and interpolation going on. I may not be able to hear ultrasonic security systems in stores like I used to, but I have no problem telling clean, balanced, undistorted, wide-ranging audio from the likes of Bose.

2019 set to be the worst year yet for smartphone market as lack of worthy upgrades dents demand

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Damn, these modern mobes are cool!

Just got thru buying a brand new Sammy S7 to replace my Asus Zenfone 2E. Love the screen, the responsiveness. Cost me $175 on ebay.

I expect this 3-year old model to last me at least 5 years or more.

Of course I'm not well to do, nor am I a heavy user. But it's clear to me that you can get a helluva device for a lot less than they're charging for the current stuff.

Same with my desktop PC, I'm rocking an i7-4771 with Win7x64, and have no need or desire to upgrade. When your main concern is functionality and not the bling factor, you realize that tech has been very very good for a while now, and you can spend your money on hookers and blow.

Adobe forks out $4.75bn for Marketo in massive marketing mashup move

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Re: More of this cesspit then - Yay!

Um, no, you and I aren't the customers of which they speak, we're the product.

Internet overseer ICANN loses a THIRD time in Whois GDPR legal war

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Re: Cut the EU off

As a USian I totally agree. My beloved country is a well-known spoiled bully who loves to throw its weight around. It's a bit painful to watch, but I think that some of our karma is coming home to roost.

VMware 'pressured' hotel to shut down tech event close to VMworld, IGEL sues resort giant

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Re: Elementary...

Pun already in article. Double demerit, for obviousness and plagiarism...

Facebook's democracy salvage effort tilts scale in Mississippi primary

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Live by Facebook, die by Facebook. It's not some public service, it's a private (and unscrupulous) company that can (and will) screw with you any old way they want to.

Google powers up latest app it'll cancel in two years: Hangouts Chat

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Best subhead ever

no lack of hack in your attack...