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1  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Decibels, loudness, amplifiers, formulas...complete confusion! on: December 10, 2014, 03:36:50 PM
I think that all you really need is an amp that goes to 11.
2  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Decibels, loudness, amplifiers, formulas...complete confusion! on: December 10, 2014, 01:16:22 PM
I think Vurbal hits the nail on the head: given a given loudspeaker system - meaning that the efficiency of the driver, stiffness of the cone, dampening in the box, rigidity of the box, etc, are all held constant - then Ohm's law and all that other stuff will tell you how changes to the input will affect changes in the output. And that's precisely *why* it's expressed in db's - we don't know the actual absolute value, but we can still safely talk about relative values. So for your headphones, if you've got an amp design that produces X in your headphones, you (in theory) could tweak it to produce, say, 2X. But in real life you can't, of course, because that amp is a proprietary product, a black box to you, so you can't actually tweak it yourself.

As far as factoring in those values above, I think it's largely voodoo. There are rules of thumb, even things that pretend to be scientific and formulaic, but as far as I'm aware that's just formalizing those rules of thumb. They're as useful as high school physics formulas that assume point-masses and zero friction.

I also agree with the sentiment here that the final impression of the sound is determined largely by the music's mastering. It seems clear to me that the perception of the sound volume can be very decoupled from the actual sound energy being output. And generally speaking, it's that cleaner sound, even at higher "sound pressure", isn't perceived as loud, but when there's audible distortion, that quickly drives up the perception of loudness.
3  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Matchstick - A streaming stick using Firefox OS [Kickstarter] on: October 29, 2014, 03:09:35 PM
I signed up a couple weeks ago.
Quote
Will this device be able to play media from a local source like samba, NFS, or windows file share?
Not supported yet. Sorry.

This is the Local Play extension that was mentioned in the OP. Apparently they're going to let subscribers choose which of those two extensions to have added to the feature list. I sure hope it's this Local Play thing.
4  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: android app to set my vibration mode on specific hours on: October 29, 2014, 09:59:49 AM
omg, how am I supposed to find that?

DuckDuckGo is your friend, or go to relevant web fora and search within them.
5  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: android app to set my vibration mode on specific hours on: October 29, 2014, 09:02:15 AM
I had some headaches getting Tasker to actually close stuff. As far as I can tell, an outright close doesn't work. But if you can find it, many apps have a built-in way of requesting that they close.

For example, I found that with Waze, the way to get it to close is by sending an action "Eliran_Close_Intent" to Package "com.waze" targeting "Broadcast Receiver".
6  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Satnav for android on: October 22, 2014, 11:21:45 AM
Initially I was amazed by the good amount of warnings before turns and the timing they occur.
However, I used the Serena voice, the only UK English voice that has 'street names' and it was awful!
The quality is so bad, that it is heard like she speaks from a bad phone line!
Also, it is not loud at all!
Compared with Google Maps' voice which is loud and clear.

Any hint?

Well, you could use a USA voice.

Regarding the volume, there is a setting for that. Go to Settings -> Sounds -> Prompts volume. That's a slider that determines the voice volume (I think), so make sure the slider is all the way to the right.
7  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: android app to set my vibration mode on specific hours on: October 22, 2014, 11:17:47 AM
The part I can't figure out how to do it is the 'automatically navigate to work' part

You said you're using Waze, right? For me, Waze handles that part automatically. When I start it up in the morning, it knows itself that what I normally do is drive to work, and it offers me that straighaway. And similarly in the evening, it knows that I'm going to be driving home.

how does that do it? how did you set it to do it?

It just does it. It seems to notice the pattern of what destinations are chosen consistently at a given time of day. When it starts to see a pattern, it will automatically pop up a box asking if you want to repeat that pattern for this trip.
8  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: android app to set my vibration mode on specific hours on: October 22, 2014, 09:44:49 AM
The part I can't figure out how to do it is the 'automatically navigate to work' part

You said you're using Waze, right? For me, Waze handles that part automatically. When I start it up in the morning, it knows itself that what I normally do is drive to work, and it offers me that straighaway. And similarly in the evening, it knows that I'm going to be driving home.
9  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: android app to set my vibration mode on specific hours on: October 21, 2014, 05:20:47 PM
I also want to automatically start up waze at 8am and navigate me to work, is it possible?

With Tasker that's pretty trivial. And you can go farther, like having it shut down Waze again once you've arrived at work.
10  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: android app to set my vibration mode on specific hours on: October 21, 2014, 03:46:14 PM
I don't know of a dedicated app for this, but it's a pretty trivial usage of Tasker.

Tasker is a must-have for automating the operations of your Android, at least if you're sufficiently tech-savvy to set it up. You can program all sorts of triggering events to cause actions of your choosing. So for example, I've got mine set so that when it senses my phone connecting with my car's bluetooth, it automatically starts up my nav software (Waze) and OBDII datalogging app.
11  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Satnav for android on: October 14, 2014, 04:34:03 PM
You might consider Waze. This was recently purchased by Google, and its search function now uses Google search, so you'll get the same search goodness.

But it differs from Google Maps in a few key areas. Most importantly, it's crowdsourcing data including traffic, accidents, speed traps, and other stuff, and using this to give you a route that's optimal given the actual conditions right now. They're also trying to stuff in some social aspects to the app, but imho that part is lame.
12  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Google's Satellites Could Soon See Your Face from Space on: August 14, 2014, 11:39:57 AM
This is just silly. The resolution is roughly the size of your face, which means that in the resulting image, it'll be represented by a single pixel. It won't be possible to recognize who is who, or even if you're wearing clothes or not.
13  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: New "censorship" technique on Youtube on: August 11, 2014, 04:04:27 PM
I had a YT video that was flagged for infringing on a music copyright. They alerted me, and presented me with a list of choices from which I could choose how I wanted to handle it. I could say that I had permission to use the piece, and stuff like that. But "mute the audio" wasn't one of the choices, as far as I can recall.

What sticks out in my memory about the incident though, was something else. They were right that the audio wasn't mine - but the piece that they flagged it as being a copy of was incorrect! They said I was copying X (I forget what), but my video was not X, it was a different song entirely. And of the choices they give you for how to handle it, they don't give you an option for "YT identified the audio wrong, it's not really that song at all". I was stuck.
14  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: SPAM reaching epidemic proportions on: July 31, 2014, 03:16:49 PM
From my own personal perspective, spam incidence has just jumped up dramatically in the past week or so.

In the past 24 hours, I've had ~90 messages that were obvious spam stopped at my ISP, plus another 65 making it through the easy filter and stopped by my Bayesian filter.
15  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: The Declaration of Independance- some scholars say we've been reading it wrong. on: July 10, 2014, 09:37:52 AM
Coincidentally, I just saw this article. Apparently the Mexican government have been using, while considering cases, a non-existent "provision" of their Constitution.

Quote
DHS officers and the Administrative Appeals Office (“AAO”) within DHS have relied on provisions of the Mexican Constitution that either never existed or do not say what DHS claims they say. In Saldana’s case and in others, DHS has relied on the proposition that Article 314 of the Constitution of Mexico provides that...

At oral argument, however, the government conceded that Article 314 of the Constitution of Mexico does not exist and never did.
16  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: The Declaration of Independance- some scholars say we've been reading it wrong. on: July 08, 2014, 05:25:44 PM
The thing that cracks me up is many people...

I don't understand why we celebrate Independence Day as the birth of the USA. All this holiday marks is when we started trying to break away from England. But we weren't successful with becoming independent for several more years, and the form that our country now takes wasn't solidified until the ratification of the Constitution in 1789.

In a sense, the Constitution was written to guarantee individual rights. The reason that stuff is relegated to the BoR is that the individual rights was so fundamental a foundation, that it was simply assumed. The Constitution documents a limited set of powers that the people cede to the government; obviously it therefore guarantees anything not mentioned therein to the people - they never gave away those rights!

There was a fair amount of controversy over the BoR, not because anyone disagreed with its intent, but because there was a fear that (even with the 9th Amendment trying to explain the situation) the list would be taken to be inclusive, and the government would just start doing things that the list doesn't explicitly forbid. And this is exactly what has happened.
17  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: The Declaration of Independance- some scholars say we've been reading it wrong. on: July 08, 2014, 11:57:45 AM
As others have noted, I can't see how the presence or absence of that punctuation has any real effect on the meaning.

I don't think that there's any doubt about where the heads of the founders were at - folks like Jefferson and Franklin, who wrote it, or Madison who wrote much of the Constitution were very much interested in the (classical) liberal ideology, as in the writing of JS Mill. Their philosophy was all about the sovereignty of the individual, and were not of a communitarian bent.

You might not like that, you might think that we've learned better since then, but the body of writing from these guys is pretty clear, and it's nutty to believe that a single punctuation mark, whose impact escapes most of us anyway, should be taken to contradict all that.
18  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Reindexing in the background software for databases on: July 07, 2014, 11:32:53 AM
Shades, your description of Oracle doing index maintenance offline isn't quite right. Any real relational database (Oracle, SQL Server, etc.) requires that the database be entirely consistent at any point in time (see ACID). Thus, index maintenance is occurring in real time, as the data to which they refer is being updated.

This is crucial to some more advanced DBA optimization techniques. In particular, covering indexes allow a query to see data that would otherwise be locked by another process's locking operation, by taking the data out of the index rather than the real data tables.

Keeping any indexes up-to-date is indeed a resource drain on your system, but it's not really correct to say that indexes should be avoided as a result. Rather, you need to consider how your system is being used -
  • When SELECTing data, what are the most common patterns (e.g., are you looking for "all the orders submitted yesterday", or "all the orders from this customer"?)
  • When INSERTing new data, will it tend to be appended onto the end of the index structure, or must it be stuffed into the middle?
  • Does the kind of multi-process access going on suggest that you'll need covering indexes?
  • How much can you trade off additional storage (or faster more expensive storage devices) to improve overall system speed?
...and so on

An increasingly common way to get around some of these problems is to have two distinct databases, once that's updated in realtime for the live transaction processing, and a second that gets updated periodically, and has different indexing structures (maybe even different table structures) to better facilitate reporting on the data.
19  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Remember Alice's restaurant? on: July 03, 2014, 11:44:08 AM
...With circles and arrows and diagrams on the back perhaps??

Naturally. The beginning of the song has the narrator cleaning out Alice's Restaurant, and because the landfill is closed, they just dump it down a hill. So there you have the recycling reference from the OP.
20  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Antilock-breaking (ABS) vs Stabilty Control (ESP) vs Traction Control Video on: June 23, 2014, 11:30:37 AM
A defective brake caliper about 25 years ago grabbed my disc and ripped itself off its mounting, thus opening the hydraulic line. That's the only time I've ever experience such, or heard of it happening.

It was quickly clear what had happened to the brakes. But note:
  • Once this happens, any rational person is going to drive very slowly and cautiously to the nearest service station, if not stop entirely. If at this point you get yourself into a situation where ABS would be required, you're beyond stupid.
  • When this happened to me, I still had partial braking. That's because car designs anticipates such a failure. You'll have two independent hydraulic "circuits", probably governing opposing wheels. So loss of pressure in one loses only half of your braking potential. I suppose that if I'd needed to drive more than 2 miles to get to service, the master cylinder might have run dry trying to push fluid into the broken line.
  • The vast majority of people today drive cars with automatic transmissions, which don't really afford a good means of engine braking.
21  Main Area and Open Discussion / Non-Windows Software / Re: Android: (Wired) File Transfers from PC on: June 11, 2014, 04:16:50 PM
For some reason, connecting an Android phone (this has happened with three different ones) gives me a BSOD on my desktop (even after upgrading XP to Win7). So I've relied on WiFi transfer, having SMB shares on my desktop and pulling with the phone using ES File Explorer, which has worked out pretty well.

Until my new phone and KitKat. Now, file explorer apps are useless, because Android only lets the app that "owns" a directory write to it. I hate KitKat.

The only solutions I've found was to make my desktop computer an FTP server. The built-in explorer program still has write authority, and includes an FTP client. Alternately, open up the phone, remove the SD card, and write directly to that. Then put the SD card back in the phone.

Did I mention how much I hate KitKat?
22  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Antilock-breaking (ABS) vs Stabilty Control (ESP) vs Traction Control Video on: June 11, 2014, 11:04:56 AM
I think that's where the other side in this debate is coming from.

Fair enough, mouser, and thanks for the injection of sanity. If I might sum up, then:

  • In any particular incident, if you feel the ABS kicking in, and you really do need to stop quickly, you should maintain foot pressure to let the ABS do its job.
  • If you find that you're using ABS in general, you should reconsider your driving. Are you going too fast for conditions? Are you over-driving your visibility so you've got less distance to react? Are you exceeding the capabilities of your equipment (check your tire wear and brakes)?
23  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Antilock-breaking (ABS) vs Stabilty Control (ESP) vs Traction Control Video on: June 11, 2014, 09:55:51 AM
But under normal driving conditions, if you hear the ABS buzzing you need to back off of it and conserve your traction.

Sorry. I don't want to be the jerk guy that just can't let something go on the Internet. But this is special because it directly affects the safety of each one of us, and I really don't want to let something like that lie.

Do not believe that you can achieve better results than the ABS, whether that's by backing off and trying to stay right on the limit, or any other trick.

The fact of the matter is that under any circumstance other than deep snow, the ABS will do better than you. It will also do better than Michael Schumacher, Ryan Hunter-Reay, or Sebastian Loeb. The limiting factor for a human is that there's only one brake pedal, so you cannot control each wheel individually. Thus, you cannot keep all four wheels at the limits of traction simultaneously. You're either going to have some at the limit and others locked and sliding, or you'll have none sliding, but not using all available traction. The ABS sensors watch each wheel individually, and modulate the pressure of each wheel individually, allowing each one to get closest to its greatest potential traction.

In Formula 1 racing, the cars have had ABS and traction control in the past. These technologies were all banned because they made the sport too boring: having the cars perform so perfectly took much of the interest out of the sport. Consider that F1 has said that ABS (and traction control) are, even for arguably the best twenty or so drivers in the world, an unfair advantage. No human, given the means of control we have, can do better than the ABS computer.

In 1997, the McLaren F1 team had a nifty idea. They added a 2nd brake pedal (where the clutch would have been in the old days), allowing the driver to send additional brake pressure to just one of the rear wheels. This innovation allowed the two McLaren drivers to lap the field. Once this innovation was discovered (by a photographer who stuck his camera down into a stopped car and quickly snapped a picture), it was quickly banned. If the addition of driver control of just one separate wheel was such a huge advantage, imagine what a difference separate control of each wheel makes.

Edit: typo
24  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Favorite Sci-fi movies? on: June 10, 2014, 01:30:36 PM
Not my favorite but i'm surprised no one has mentioned the Cube series -- good stuff.

I really enjoyed the first Cube movie. Are the sequels in the same ballpark of quality?
25  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Antilock-breaking (ABS) vs Stabilty Control (ESP) vs Traction Control Video on: June 10, 2014, 12:19:10 PM
As others have said, one emphatically should not ease off until ABS stops pulsing.

The fact is that it's physically impossible to brake any better than ABS can, and anyone who tells you they can stop the car faster than if they just put it to the floor and let ABS handle it is lying.

The key here is that you've got just one brake pedal, so even if you've got the most sensitive reactions of any human, you can only give general directions to all wheels simultaneously. On the other hand, ABS can control each wheel independently. So if you're locking just one wheel, ABS can release pressure in that wheel's caliper while continuing to hold the other three. You simply cannot accomplish that with a single brake pedal.

There's one place where ABS logic fails, though. If you're in deep snow, having your wheels locked causes the snow to build up in front of you, and in some cases, the resistance of that piled snow exceeds what your braking force can achieve, so you would be better off just letting the wheels lock. But that's rare enough, and you're not probably qualified to make the determination, so best to let ABS do its thing.

The video in the OP showed that even with proper clutch technique, the traction control can do better than you.

So, as a driving enthusiast and go-kart racer, I think it's best to let the computer-aided safety measures do their thing and not try to take matters into my own hands.

Edit: spelling
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