* Posts by jonathan keith

244 posts • joined 14 Aug 2007

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Varjo promises Oculus-killing VR/AR, but is it the next Magic Leap?

jonathan keith

It's a bit fiddly, but:

https://www.trinusvirtualreality.com/

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Voyager 1 passes another milestone: It's now 138AU from home

jonathan keith

Re: Not sure what they used...

There's likely to be a version of Elite that Voyager could keep itself entertained with.

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Five Eyes nations stare menacingly at tech biz and its encryption

jonathan keith

Re: the genii has been out of the bottle for DECADES

Apparently it's a fuck sight more difficult to kill someone with a knife, up close and personal, than it is to shoot someone where you're much more psychically* removed from the situation.

* as in psyche, not woo.

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jonathan keith

Let's simplify this for the hard of thinking

Either everyone enjoys the benefits of encryption or no-one does.

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What a tit! Uber CEO hijacks his staff breast-pump room to meditate

jonathan keith

FTFY

- app maker

+ taxi firm

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IBM CEO Ginni flouts £75 travel crackdown, rides Big Blue chopper

jonathan keith

MBA...

Generally known round here to stand for "Master of Bugger All".

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Bye bye MP3: You sucked the life out of music. But vinyl is just as warped

jonathan keith

Loudness wars

This:

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/4d/Michael_Jackson-Black_or_White_Loudness.png

is why music these days sounds bloody terrible.

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MP3 'died' and nobody noticed: Key patents expire on golden oldie tech

jonathan keith

24bit. God Damn it.

<draws breath>

Right. Digital audio is described with two sets of numbers:

The SAMPLE RATE, which is a measure of the number of times an analogue wave form is measured per second, i.e frequency. This is your 44.1, 48, 96 KHz number.

The BIT DEPTH. (NOT, repeat NOT 'Bit Rate'.) This is your 16 bit or 24 bit number, and details the amplitude of the analogue waveform at the point where it was sampled. A 16 bit sample has 65,536 possible values (2^16), a 24 bit sample has 16,777,216 (2^24) possible values.

Because Bit Depth is a measure of a wave's amplitude, it can be used as an indicator of a sound's loudness, and this is where using 24 bit makes sense. All audio systems have two boundaries: the lower being the point where a signal becomes indistinguishable from background hiss (the noise floor) and the upper, reached when the signal level becomes so high that the system becomes unable to process it, causing distortion ('clipping', as the peaks and troughs of the waveform are clipped.)

A greater bit depth offers a wider Dynamic Range (more 'headroom') when digitally recording a sound - less background hiss (i.e. a lower noise floor) means that you can record extremely quiet sounds clearly; more numbers (2^24 at 24 bit compared to 2^16 at 16 bit) means you can record much louder sounds without the signal clipping.

In the olden days, even the best studio equipment was noisy, meaning that there was much less headroom available when recording. Studio engineers spent a lot of time managing input levels so that a recording would cleanly capture a performance without the quietest parts being lost in background noise or the loudest parts being clipped. 24 bit recording means that studio engineers don't have to do that any more, as the format offers them enough room to cleanly capture a performance, and if a guitarist decides to turn an amp up to 11, the engineer doesn't particularly have to worry about the signal clipping.

If not more importantly, considering that the vast majority of music made today is created almost entirely through software (including those beloved classic album remasters), the extra headroom that 24 bit offers means that a producer is able to pile on the signal processing effects without being forced to degrade the signal quality of the piece to do so.

24 bit audio is now indispensible in audio production, and people are already moving up to 32 bit floating point workflows.

What about for audio playback? As we know, 24 bit gives us a wider dynamic range - the difference between the quietest sound we can detect and the loudest we can cleanly process. Say you had a 24 bit audio file that consisted of a tone just distinguishable above the noise floor, which then increased to the point where it clips, and that you played this through a pair of capable speakers. By the time the playback finished, you would be in agony, and your hearing would be permanently damaged.

No piece of audio for playback would ever be put out that uses the entire dynamic range 24 bit offers. It would permanently damage customers' audio equipment and their hearing. All a 24 bit file gives you that is missing from a 16 bit recording is masses of dead, empty headroom in which there is nothing to hear, and that will never, ever get used.

Anyone who tells you that listening to a track rendered as a 24 bit file is 'better' than listening to the same audio rendered as 16 bit is a liar or a fool, and either selling you something or trying to justify something expensive they've bought.

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Sexbots could ‘over-exert’ their human lovers, academic warns

jonathan keith

"I met someone who looks a lot like you, she does the things you do - but she's an IBM".

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KY2P4i4xHy8

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Adblock overlord to Zuckerberg: Lay down your weapons and surrender

jonathan keith

Escalation

At what point are ad blockers going to start using malware methods to hide themselves from being identified by websites?

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Microsoft thinks time crystals may be viable after all

jonathan keith

AHA!

Apparently these are special four dimensional crystals too.

(Obviously once I'd learned that, everything else just fell right in to place.)

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Breaking 350 million: What's next for Windows 10?

jonathan keith

What?

"Customers will likely forget that pushing now, and upgrade hold-outs could move on."

You're on the money with the second part of that sentence at least, if by move on you mean move on to Mint.

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Free Windows 10 upgrade: Time is running out – should you do it?

jonathan keith

Balls to Win 10

When MS strip out the telemetry, allow update installation choice and offer a cast-iron guarantee that they will never introduce a subscription-based usage model, I might consider upgrading.

I'm tied to windows because of games and work software that don't (yet - I live in hope) have Linux versions. The moment that I can be windows free and still use the products I have bought, I'm off.

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Lester Haines: RIP

jonathan keith

Vale Lester Haines

If you judge a man by his works, Lester was an absolutely top-drawer chap. I'm just glad that I've been able to delight in his inspired shed-based excellence.

2016, will you please just stop now?

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Criminals exploit zero day Flash vulnerability

jonathan keith
Mushroom

Nuke it from orbit.

It is, after all, the only way to be sure.

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BT Sport takes Elemental step of software encoding

jonathan keith

Re: Best thing about BT and Sky squabbling over football rights...

But the Grandstand theme tune was both aces and skill.

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Mud sticks: Microsoft, Windows 10 and reputational damage

jonathan keith

Won't touch 10 with yours

Telemetry and no control over updates. Those are my two absolute no-nos. Fix those in Windows 10 SE and I'll reconsider.

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Swedish publishers plan summer ‘Block Party’ to thwart ad blockers

jonathan keith

Ask people to pay? Excellent!

That's the correct response. No ads and charge a small fee for content. A pound or two for a month's subscription. The most important thing is for the publishers to make that as reasonable, quick, simple and seamless as possible.

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Google emits Android N developer preview early to smoke out bugs

jonathan keith

Re: It keeps getting more awesome

I expect to see it arrive via OTA update on my Note 4 at the beginning of never.

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AdBlock Plus, websites draft peace deal so ads can bypass blockade

jonathan keith

Re: Used Hosts blocking for years but...

Add Ghostery to your list to prevent tracking, beacons and all the underhand shit that marketers also use.

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How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Star Wars Special Editions

jonathan keith

Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Taste of a Shit Sandwich

Fine, Lucas has the opportunity to tinker with his films. But the question isn't if what he's done is *right*, it's rather whether what he's done is *good*. The answer, with a couple of very minor exceptions, is "absolutely not". Not because of some purist vision holding the originals up as unalloyed masterpieces, because they weren't, but because almost everything he has added has detracted from what's happening on the screen, or was so bad that it was left on the editing room floor in the first place for a reason. Less is often more in cinema, and that's certainly true here.

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Doctor Who's good/bad duality, war futility tale in The Zygon Inversion fails to fizz

jonathan keith

Re: We got our Osgood answer, though

Speaking of, did anyone else find the "judge of time" line to be particularly ominous?

Is the Doctor going to be going full Dredd on us?

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jonathan keith

Every single thing about the Doctor requires you suspend your disbelief. Unless you honestly think there really is a time travelling alien who travels the galaxy in a blue box that's smaller on the outside with a variety of human companions in tow.

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jonathan keith

x 7, allow me to introduce you to a concept common in fiction: Suspension of disbelief. Try it - you might find it helps you to enjoy TV drama a little more.

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Caption this: WIN a 6TB Western Digital Black hard drive with El Reg

jonathan keith

Do I look like a mug? You expect me to believe that in the future trees will have ears?

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Laid-off IT workers: You want free on-demand service for what now?

jonathan keith

Re: Severance - I sense a ploy

I don't know what the law in the US is, but surely there's some protection against constructive dismissal (as it's known here in the UK)

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WIN a 6TB Western Digital Black hard drive with El Reg

jonathan keith

Gemma had integrated seamlessly into the hipster lifestyle.

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WIN a 6TB Western Digital Black hard drive with El Reg

jonathan keith

Computers - fucking with your head since 6000 BC

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jonathan keith

Babbage's Spot The Difference Engine came with a few undocumented features.

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It's the white heat of the tech revolution, again!

jonathan keith

Corporate welfare

I believe that phrase refers in part to the recent phenomenon of hugely profitable companies paying many* of their staff so little that those staff are only able to get by through receiving top-up benefits from the state.

* Except for the senior executives. They're paid enough not to need state handouts. They also refuse to contribute to those benefits the state has to pay by "mitigating their tax liabilities". After all, it's only the little people who pay tax.

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Bletchley Park remembers 'forgotten genius' Gordon Welchman

jonathan keith

Post-war Enigma

I think I'm right in saying that after the war, the British sold Enigma machines to friendly governments, conveniently forgetting to mention the trivial fact that Enigma had been turned inside out by Bletchley.

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jonathan keith

Re: BBC programme

As far as I could make out from the (excellent) BBC doc, it was Welchman's ideas and work on Traffic Analysis, as opposed to code-breaking, that the UK and US governments wanted suppressed, because it was TA that provided the basis of GCHQ and NSA's most powerful tools (and still does, in many ways).

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FOUR STUNNING NEW FEATURES Cook should put in the iPHONE 7

jonathan keith

What's happned at The Graun?

Has Charles Arthur, Apple's inside man, been 'let go'?

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CHEAT! Volkswagen chief 'deeply sorry' over diesel emission test dodge

jonathan keith

"Driving shareholder value" strikes again.

I'd quite like to see a Tim Worstall piece on the economics of 'gaming' targets, actually.

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WIN a 6TB Western Digital Black hard drive with El Reg

jonathan keith

This new armour's ridiculous. You've used far too much material.

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Intel's 6th gen processors rock – but won't revive PC markets

jonathan keith

Yes, gaming.

... and I'm still doing very nicely on my overclocked D0 stepping Core i7 920 from five years ago, thank you very much. The GPU's been upgraded a couple of times and I've swapped out the rust for SSDs, but I have absolutely no need whatsoever for a new CPU, and expect not to until this one dies.

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Another chance to win a 6TB Western Digital Black hard drive

jonathan keith

Exynos Octoclaw.

With hindsight, the Samsung marketing department realised that releasing live spiders at the launch event for their new octocore chip was a terrible mistake.

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jonathan keith

Hey! Not all spiders, right?

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Vote now: Who can solve a problem like Ashley Madison?

jonathan keith

Oversight!

The obvious candidate is Computer Engineer Barbie.

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Get whimsical and win a Western Digital Black 6TB hard drive

jonathan keith

Amazing!

This gorilla finds an iPhone - you won't BELIEVE what happens next!

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D-Wave promises chip that could SEARCH THE WHOLE UNIVERSE

jonathan keith

The true test.

How well will it run Crysis?

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Mum fails to nuke killer spider nest from orbit

jonathan keith

Daily Fail

You forgot to mention the illegal immigrant angle!

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Hardcore creationist finds 60-million-year-old fossils in backyard ... 'No, it hasn’t changed my mind about the Bible'

jonathan keith

Evidence.

How else do you interpret 60 million year old rocks? That boffins have failed God's test of faith?

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RAF Eurofighter gets a Battle of Britain makeover

jonathan keith

Re: Very nice

They also managed to avoid getting any thumb prints on the canopy too.

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Boffins have devised TERMINATOR style LIQUID METAL – for an antenna

jonathan keith

Re: Fillings...

Wasn't it Against A Dark Background?

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Cheers Ireland! That sorts our Safe Harbour issues out – Dropbox

jonathan keith

Re: Its not clear to me whether...

I'm in the middle of an ongoing correspondence with Dropbox about this. So far they have been unable to list a single concrete example of the specific benefits that being a customer of Dropbox Ireland will give me.

It's rather suggestive to me of the fact that they're doing it for tax purposes rather than out of the goodness of their hearts and concern for their global customers' privacy.

This article might be absolutely on the money, but it feels more like someone's fishing around for a justification after the fact.

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This is Sparta? No - it's Microsoft Edge, Son of Internet Explorer

jonathan keith

Hear that sound?

It's Tim Langdell, weeping in to his cocoa.

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Cheer up songwriters, there's shedloads of money rolling in

jonathan keith

Money

This

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0bf1jocbm2M

and this

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TC1Vfoq3PvU

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Drones to bring DEBT FROM ABOVE in Switzerland

jonathan keith

10/10

Bugger the story, top marks to that sub.

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Googley TENTACLES reach towards YOUR email

jonathan keith

Re: Isn't there a rival product

If you really know what you're talking about though, you use Pulp.

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