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126  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / DOJ to Apple: all your iTunes are belong to us. on: August 02, 2013, 08:12:22 PM
After winning their anti-trust suit against Apple for e-book price-fixing, the US Department of Justice has revealed their proposed remedy, and it is no mere slap on the wrist.

DOJ is demanding that Apple terminate the agreements with the 5 major publishing conglomerates that brought on the lawsuit. But it would also require Apple to cease and desist from any anti-competitive practiices, allow in-app sales by Amazon, B&N and other competitors for e-books, as well as for other media including music and video. It would also require an auditor to monitor Apple's compliance over the next 2 years.

Apple, needless to say, is calling this "draconian" and pledging to fight it, and of course, the court would have to approve any remedy, but it should be remembered that this judge has already ruled twice against Apple and has had very harsh words about their business practices.

127  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / ExtFS for Windows on: July 31, 2013, 06:09:16 AM
Paragon Software has made their new version of ExtFS for Windows free for personal use. It claims to be the only solution that provides full read/write access to Ext4, as wells as Ext2 and Ext3.

As I inch closer to giving Linux a serious tryout, this has been a concern of mine, as I would want to be able to access stored data on portable drives from either OS. I've heard bad things about Windows ExtFS drivers in general, but I've used Paragon products for many years and found them to be very reliable.

I'd be interested in what dual Windows/Linux users here think about this.
128  Other Software / Found Deals and Discounts / Re: XYplorer Lifetime License 51% discount on BitsDuJour on Monday 8 Nov 2010 on: July 29, 2013, 09:05:15 AM
As of version 12.70 (July 23, 2013), the XYplorer lifetime license is back!

You can also upgrade from a standard to a lifetime license.
129  Other Software / Found Deals and Discounts / O'Reilly programming Ebooks & videos 50% off through 7/27/2013 on: July 22, 2013, 01:41:16 PM
To celebrate the 2013 Open Source Convention, O'Reilly is discounting all programming Ebooks & videos by 50% until July 27, 3013.

Go here to browse the titles and get the discount code (CFSCN13).
130  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Teamviewer mobile support on: July 18, 2013, 10:05:59 PM
For some time, Teamviewer has had an app that allows one to control a remote PC from an Android device.

They have now introduced a new mobile app called Teamviewer QuickSupport that allows a user to control certain Android devices (Samsung, Sony and a few others) from a PC.

The app is remarkably flexible, allowing not just remote control of the device, but file transfers in both directions through a 2-pane file explorer, screen captures and remote process control, among other features.  Some quick testing on my Nexus 10 (Samsung) showed that everything worked smoothly.

They also have a much less powerful version for iPad/iPhone, which I haven't tried, since I have no iOS devices.
131  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Samsung Galaxy Android Camera EK-GC110 Anyone have real-world experience of it? on: July 03, 2013, 03:31:47 PM
You could trade in your smartphone for the new Galaxy S4 Zoom and replace two stones with one bird.
132  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Microsoft 'retires' TechNet on: July 02, 2013, 03:10:20 PM
In yet another sign that Microsoft has decided the future lies elsewhere than the desktop, TechNet subscriptions will no longer be sold after August 31 2013 and the TechNet support site will disappear on September 30, 2014

My take on this is that small consultants will need to seriously start talking to their customers about switching to Linux, because that may soon be the only desktop OS for which they will actually be able to get support.

133  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Interesting Amazon MP3 development on: June 30, 2013, 12:28:43 PM
It is quite possible to buy a CD from Amazon and then list it for sale again on Amazon (which costs nothing until you sell it). Anyone can sell on Amazon. I often buy stuff on Amazon that is new but slightly cheaper from a third party seller.

Sounds like a quick route to bankruptcy.

Amazon has your cash until someone else comes along and buys your CD, at which point you will still be out the shipping charges both ways. You'd also have to sell it for less than Amazon to get someone to buy from you rather than Amazon, since you won't be offering the free MP3/streaming version that Amazon does.

BTW, I mostly listen to classical music and Jazz and am very picky about sound quality, which is why I always buy CDs (or flac) and rip my own MP3s for listening on players.  Amazon's rips are actually better than most (they use a relatively high bitrate VBR), but ripping them myself gives me complete control over quality, size and tagging.

Many newer CDs have been remastered at higher bitrates, so the sound is much better than older CD versions of the same music. CDs themselves are limited to 16 bit 44,100 Mhz reproduction, but the improved quality of the mastering makes the sound noticeably better. The highest quality MP3 rips are in practice indistinguishable from the CD and preserve the benefits of the remastering.

The same is NOT true of  DSD sound on SACDs, which can deliver vastly superior sound to anything you can get from a regular CD, if you have the proper playback equipment.  DSD cannot be ripped to regular digital formats, although most SACDs also incorporate a CD (Redbook) layer, which can be, albeit without the 5-1 surround and higher definition of DSD.
134  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Interesting Amazon MP3 development on: June 29, 2013, 04:16:06 PM
The idea that anyone would buy a CD from Amazon just to get the music as an MP3 and sell the CD as new, strikes me as beyond ridiculous.

To begin with, you'd need to have a buyer lined up for the CD, unless you already had a music store (remember those) where you could sell it - in which case, you wouldn't be buying from Amazon in the first place.

The simple explanation is the Amazon makes money selling CDs, and that providing buyers with the music they have legally purchased in MP3 format gives it a way to compete with iTunes, Google Play and music subscription services.  Nothing wrong with that.

135  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Interesting Amazon MP3 development on: June 28, 2013, 04:37:06 PM
Not sure I understand your concern.  The musical content is copyrighted, not the means of distribution.

If you own the CD, it is perfectly legal for you to rip the contents to MP3 (or any other format) to listen to on any digital device you own, as long as you don’t give the music away.   And if you do buy a CD, the only thing keeping you from copying or ripping it and reselling the original is your conscience anyway. 

What Amazon is doing is actually likely to encourage the sale of new CDs, which can only help the artists.

136  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / On today's Internet, EVERYONE knows you're a dog! on: June 17, 2013, 03:29:10 PM
This cartoon references the NSA,, but much the same could apply to Google, Facebook, Yahoo, Microsoft, etc., as well as most of their advertisers.
137  Other Software / Found Deals and Discounts / Microsoft Press eBooks 50% off until June 7 2013 on: June 03, 2013, 10:52:13 AM
O'Reilly has a sale on all Microsoft Press eBooks until 5 PM PST, June 7, 2013.
138  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: What does your avatar say about you? on: May 14, 2013, 02:10:55 PM
Herman Hollerith invented the punch card in 1888 to allow mechanical tabulation of the 1890 US Census.  The company he founded became the nucleus of IBM several decades later.

In 1906, Hollerith devised a wiring panel system that allowed one machine to be used to tabulate many different jobs. This was not the first example of programming (see, e.g., the Jacquard loom or Charles Babbage), but it was arguably the origin of modern information processing.

I came along a few years later and stole his avatar.
139  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Celebrate 'Day Against DRM' today on: May 03, 2013, 08:27:16 AM
Today is  International Day Against DRM.

In celebration, O'Reilly is offering every ebook they publish or distribute at 50% off until midnight tonight.

O'Reilly has long opposed DRM for ebooks, and Tim O'Reilly claims that this is a major part of their success.
140  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Getting Things Done revisited on: April 29, 2013, 10:17:22 AM
Task management software works best as a simple resource to remind the user of what he/she wants to do, not as a traffic cop laying out a schedule and enforcing it. To my way of thinking, one of the most useful features of any task management software is floating events, which simply roll over to the next day, keeping all of their settings, if not completed when originally scheduled.

The original Palm organizer remains the (mostly unmatched) benchmark for today’s PIM software. Pimlico Software’s Datebook, which Handspring included in the Treo, the model for today’s smartphones, added floating events among other enhancements to the Palm organizer. Pimlical for Android and PC, from the same author, includes floating events, as does DTG. but few other task managers do.

A huge advantage of Android smartphones over the iPhone, IMO, is the availability of home screen widgets.  I have both DTG’s widget and Agenda Widget Plus on the home screen of my Android phone.  While Agenda Widget Plus can also display DTG tasks, I prefer to keep tasks and schedule separate. Whenever I look at my phone, which is many times a day, I have everything I need right there to remind me of what I need to do, and when.
141  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: You Want Targeted Ads! on: April 20, 2013, 09:05:37 PM
This so-called "Poll" provides a textbook example of how to frame questions to get answers you can use to prove whatever you want.

Of course, it comes from Zogby, long known in the survey research field for phony polling. ABC News, among others, has a policy against quoting Zogby polls in news articles because they are not credible.

This clip from the British TV series Yes Prime Minister provides a very funny example of how this is done.
142  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Google Nose on: April 01, 2013, 10:17:36 PM
Google has several other April Fool's jokes today.

My favorite is GMail Blue, a not so subtle jab at Microsoft.

There is also YouTube's announcement that the entire 8 years it has been in existence was a giant contest to pick the best video, and that the deadline is this night at midnight, after which YouTube will shut down to spend the next decade picking the winner.

At this moment, they are streaming a live reading of "submitted entries" which I guess will go offline tonight.
143  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Pirate Vinyl Records! :D on: March 31, 2013, 03:40:36 PM
Classical music, and to a lesser extent, Jazz, provide a better test of recording techniques.

Classical recordings are generally pretty dreadful - especially when soloists are involved. The only place to hear classical music as it should sound is in the concert hall. On recordings the balance of instruments is always wildly different - and usually REALLY unbalanced.

I have to disagree with that.  I have attended many hundreds of live concerts over more than 50 years.  I'd guess about 75% classical, 20% Jazz and 5% popular music. I consider the concert experience to be almost always better overall, but the actual sound of the music often is not.

Sound balance varies tremendously within a venue, and what musicians hear on stage is not what you hear in the audience. And what those in the back row hear is not what those in front or in the balcony hear.  In orchestral concerts, soloists are often hard to hear in the middle of the hall, although they may stand out to those listening on the stage.  That doesn't mean that a recording where you can hear the soloist above the orchestra is out of balance - just that the balance is not the same as what you heard from where you were seated in the hall.

Carnegie Hall in New York is considered one of the finest for classical music. From personal experience, I have found that the best place to listen to a piano recital is nose-bleed territory in the top balcony, whereas the best sound for a full orchestral concert is in the parterre, but you won't hear the soloist as well there.  A good recording -- and many have been made in Carnegie Hall -- allows you to hear it all.

The biggest problem with most recordings is dynamic compression. For LPs, that was required by limitations of pressing and playback devices, although the actual range on the original tapes may have been much greater.  It is not as necessary for CDs, but is usually done because most people don't have playback equipment capable of handling wide dynamic ranges.
144  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Pirate Vinyl Records! :D on: March 31, 2013, 01:44:03 PM
I don’t even consider rock and pop music when talking about the accuracy of sound reproduction, because most of the original sound is electronically generated in the first place. Even the sounds of drums and vocals, which are acoustically produced, are almost always electronically enhanced in performance, as well as in recordings.  Classical music, and to a lesser extent, Jazz, provide a better test of recording techniques.

Binaural sound is a great in theory, not so much in practice, unless you usually attend concerts encased in a concrete block so you cannot move your head.  In practice, we move our heads and ears to adjust both sights and sounds when we listen to music, and that affects what we hear.  And yes, even though it sounds counter-intuitive, what we see affects what we hear, because what the brain perceives as sound is reconstructed from signals received from the ear, and that reconstruction process is affected by other stimuli as well.
145  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Pirate Vinyl Records! :D on: March 31, 2013, 10:20:40 AM
I generally use a flat EQ with no effects. Why mess with what the band and recording engineers intended? Sometimes I'll put up the bass for some music, but in general, I listen to it flat.

Because there is a difference between what is heard in a studio with studio monitors and what comes out of, even expensive, domestic audio equipment.

The difference is because of the location, not the speakers.  You can put the same exact speakers in your living room that are used in a recording studio, but the sound will not be the same because of a different acoustic environment.  The best sound in any given room will be obtained by matching the capabilities of the speakers to the characteristics of the room, and also to where listeners will be positioned.

Sound is the result of complex interactions of pressure waves and it varies as you move around a room, or how many people are in that room.  Newer home audio equipment can do a pretty good job of emulating the ambiance of different concert halls, and the effect can sometimes sound more "natural" than straight reproduction, but neither is more "accurate" than the other.
146  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Pirate Vinyl Records! :D on: March 31, 2013, 09:22:18 AM
I still prefer vinyl for the more organic ambiance and softness of the sound. But that's what I grew up with so that probably has a lot to do with how I feel about it. It's what I learned sounded "right" - and the preference is now linked too deeply in the neurons processing sound for me to feel differently.

Those who go back to vinyl may remember a company that did half-speed vinyl mastering. They were called Mobile Fidelity. An album by them went for about $15 when a regular LP cost about $5-$8. If you had a really good cartridge in your turntable and a decent stereo amp and quality speakers, the difference was like night and day. No warble, hiss, clicks or pops!

Mobile Fidelity is still around, issuing both LPs and CDs in superior sound.

But there are plenty of others now producing superior quality CDs today. There is a much better understanding of digital sound and how to get it right today than there was in the first couple of decades of the CD era (1980-2000).  Among other things,  even though all CDs still play at a 16bit 44.1K sample rate, the quality of the perceived sound is greatly improved by mastering at higher bit depth and sampling rates. This used to require very expensive equipment, but can now be done by anyone on a $500 PC.

The best sound you will find today is from DSD recordings issued on SACD discs, but just listening to the CD tracks on hybrid SACDs mastered by firms like Analogue Productions in the US and PentaTone in the UK will give you an idea of how good a properly mastered CD can sound.

147  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Good for Nick D'Aloisio!! on: March 26, 2013, 12:22:01 PM
it's essentially a PR stunt,

Sounds right to me.  my radar went up when i saw Salon.com had an article about this.. written by... Marissa Mayer.  So essentially salon.com is now just a stenographer of press releases masquerading as journalism?  Give me a break.
That Salon article was NOT written by Marissa Mayer - it's an AP story that mentions her.  My guess is that someone at Salon meant to tag the article and stuck her name in the byline slot by mistake.

148  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Good for Nick D'Aloisio!! on: March 26, 2013, 10:11:03 AM
Read the article and what it says he is being paid millions for.
Makes no sense to me.  Must be something more to what he is being paid for.
Then again, very little in this world regarding money makes sense to me so..
You are not alone: The NY Times reporter also clearly had no clue as to what D'Aloisio was being paid for, even though the article links to Kara Swisher's article in All Things D which has more to say on the matter.

As this Business Insider article explains more fully, it's essentially a PR stunt, and it appears to be working. I have to give Marissa Mayer more credit than I had previously for knowing how to manipulate the mainstream media and dig herself out of a self-made hole.  Unfortunately, the NY Times reporting on tech matters is superficial, when it is not incompetent . Nothing new there -- it's been that way for at least 30 years and is not likely to change any time soon.
149  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Google data centers on: March 25, 2013, 09:44:47 AM
Today's Washington Post web site has a series of great photos of several Google data centers.

Gives a whole new understanding of the expression "Big Data."
150  News and Reviews / Mini-Reviews by Members / Re: Calibre - e-Book (Personal Library/Document) Management - Mini-Review on: March 24, 2013, 03:06:14 PM
I think wraith808 must be right about the downloaded data being in some other partition.  I've looked through the Nook folder structure in Explorer (with hidden files and folders displayed) and can only find a "Books" folder containing my sideloaded ePub files - no WiFi-downloaded files. The other folders contain .jpg files of the book covers, or annotation files.

The B&N website will put the WiFi-downloaded files into an online library. From there I can download them to a folder on my PC, and then import them into the Calibre library. In Calibre, the library will mark those files that are also on the reader, but since it can't see all of the books on the reader it doesn't mark all of them.

I've also tried using Adobe Digital Editions, and even the Nook desktop reader software. Neither of them show the WiFi-downloaded files.

Thanks to all for your ideas and suggestions!
On a Nook reader or tablet, there is indeed a separate partition for downloaded B&N content. You cannot access it unless you root the Nook device.

On a PC, any book you open to read in Nook for PC is downloaded to \My Documents\My Barnes & Noble eBooks\[Your_B&N_Login_Name].
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