Lion of the Blogosphere

Archive for May 2016

Intel Compute Sticks!

A Windows 10 computer that’s smaller (in area) than a cell phone (although chunkier). Pretty cool!

The ones that sell for less than $140 would be slow pieces of cr** because of the underpowered Atom processor, and only 32GB of storage of which 20GB would be used up by Windows 10.

However, the $389 Compute Stick has decent specs, with a Core m3 microprocessor and 64GB of eMMC storage. The Core m3 is just as powerful as a Core i3 you might find in a cheap laptop of approximately the same price. Although I’d say you are paying a $100 premium for the coolness factor of the compute stick.

What’s the use case for such a device?

You hate using laptop monitors and keyboards, but still want to be able to take your computer to the office and then take it home. One solution, of course, is laptop docking stations, but the more elegant solution is the Intel Compute Stick!

Or maybe you just want the world’s smallest Windows PC.

The compute stick would work best with a monitor like the Dell Ultrasharp U2415 which includes a powered USB 3.0 hub and an audio-out port.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

May 31, 2016 at 5:48 pm

Posted in Technology

Can Trump win New Jersey?

Hillary only leading Trump by 4 points, but this Monmouth University poll was conducted by live telephone interviews, and it’s well known that Trump underperforms in live-interview polling because respondents who will actually vote for Trump don’t want to admit it to a live interviewer because Trump is low class and politically incorrect.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

May 31, 2016 at 2:11 pm

Posted in Politics

Trump Sanders debate

Wow! I predict this will be the most-watched debate in the history of American politics.

* * *

The consensus is that a Trump-Sanders debate right before the California primary hurts Hillary, which means that it benefits Trump. The only danger for Trump is if he hurts Hillary so badly that Bernie somehow becomes the nominee instead, but that’s pretty unlikely because for the same reason the GOPe wanted to lose with Cruz, the Dem-e wants to lose with Hillary.

* * *

Otis the Sweaty writes:

Is this actually going to happen? I thought Trump was just trolling.

Yes, I predict it will happen because Trump said he would do it if the profits are donated to charity, and apparently Bernie really wants a debate because he understands that publicity benefits his cause, and ABC apparently has agreed to host the debate for the prestige of hosting it even though the profits have to be donated to charity.

This has reached a level where no one can back out of it. And Hillary is left looking stupid because she refused to debate Bernie and she insisted at a TV interview that there is no way such a debate would happen. So now Hillary looks like a chicken with very bad predictive powers, while the real man, who are not afraid of debates, debate each other.

* * *

This is a huge opportunity for Trump to win over the support of Bernie’s supporters. I predict that we will see Trump treat Bernie with a lot of respect, and Trump will try to agree with him as much as possible while adding his catchphrase “but we have to be smart about it.”

* * *

And now Trump says he no longer wants to debate.

DONALD J. TRUMP STATEMENT ON DEBATING BERNIE SANDERS

Based on the fact that the Democratic nominating process is totally rigged and Crooked Hillary Clinton and Deborah Wasserman Schultz will not allow Bernie Sanders to win, and now that I am the presumptive Republican nominee, it seems inappropriate that I would debate the second place finisher. Likewise, the networks want to make a killing on these events and are not proving to be too generous to charitable causes, in this case, women’s health issues. Therefore, as much as I want to debate Bernie Sanders – and it would be an easy payday – I will wait to debate the first place finisher in the Democratic Party, probably Crooked Hillary Clinton, or whoever it may be.

That sucks.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

May 27, 2016 at 11:26 am

Posted in Politics

Trump, not conservative but strongly anti-liberal

W. James Antle III writing in the Washington Examiner:

[Donald Trump] tapped into a large mass of voters who were instinctively pro-American and anti-liberal, but not really interested in the finer points of conservative ideology or policy.

That’s a great and very simple way of explaining Trump’s support. I wish I had thought of it that way. I have previously pointed out that conservatism, as defined by National Review types, is NOT the opposite of liberalism, it’s just one of many different philosophies that are at odds with liberalism.

Some people have been fretting over whether Donald Trump is a “real conservative.” Who cares? The important thing is that I am certain that Trump is a true anti-liberal and he’s not just pretending to be an anti-liberal. As I previously pointed out, Trump has fifties values, the decade in which he grew up (Trump was born in 1946), and fifties values are anti-liberal. For some psychological reason, Trump is immune to the societal pressure which causes nearly all other wealthy and successful people his age to abandon the values of their childhood and adopt newer more liberal values. I believe that Scott Adams has some insight into this. Trump is a master at persuading other people but his immune to persuasion himself, and the societal pressure which causes people to change their values is a type of persuasion.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

May 27, 2016 at 11:14 am

Posted in Politics

A technical explanation of audio files

Compression is a way to store data using less storage space. The music data on audio CDs is not compressed because back in the 1980s when the standard was introduced, the computing power necessary to decompress data on the fly just didn’t exist.

The data is truncated, however, because the music is sampled at a certain rate and limited to a range of frequencies. However, the people who created the standard had the goal of leaving enough data so that no human would be able to tell the difference between an audio CD and digital audio recorded with a higher sample rate and greater frequency range.

MP3s take up a lot less storage space because (1) they use data compression; and (2) they use “lossy compression” which means they remove some of the data. I think it’s better to think of it as smart truncation. The MP3 encoding algorithm is removing data that the algorithm determines is unimportant for humans.

MP3s vary in quality based on (1) the bit rate (lower being worse); and (2) the quality of the encoder. There is also such a thing as variable bit rate (VBR) encoding which maintains a target listening quality and varies the bitrate based on what’s needed for a particular moment in the audio stream to have the targeted quality level.

The maximum size of an MP3 file is 320 kbps CBR (continue bit rate), and the vast majority of humans cannot tell the difference between CD-quality audio and a 320 kpbs MP3 encoded with a quality encoder, even if they are listening on the highest-end audio equipment in a completely quiet room.

Amazon currently uses “variable bit rates aiming at an average of 256 kilobits per second (kbps)” which seems similar to the “Extreme” setting on the Lame encoder (and maybe that’s exactly what Amazon is using). Even though this is a little bit lower in quality than 320 kbps CBR, this is still a quality level where the vast majority of humans can’t tell the difference between that and a less truncated file even under optimal listening conditions.

In the past, when bandwidth and storage were at more of a premium, purchased MP3 files often had lower quality than that. But based on current Amazon quality standards, it seems to me that you can confidently buy Amazon MP3s.

* * *

My first MP3 player was a Sony with only 2GB of memory, and it stored the music in a proprietary Sony format that was only 64 kbps. Sony claimed it was superior quality to MP3, and I am sure they were right because it’s well known that MP3 doesn’t have the best quality compared to some other formats, especially at lower bit rates, but it was still a pretty heavily compressed file and probably had quality somewhat below 128 kbps MP3s which are considered low quality by audiophiles. Yet I was immensely pleased by how great the music sounded on that device.

* * *

I also notice that standalone MP3 players have become much less popular items because everyone is listening to music on their smartphones. But Apple charges a lot of money for memory on their iPhones, so if you buy a dedicated MP3 player that accepts micro-SD cards, you could carry around a much larger collection of music at a much lower price.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

May 26, 2016 at 12:56 pm

Posted in Technology

Why does anyone buy vinyl?

I was playing with some vinyl on a turntable today. Scratch scratch scratch. Hiss. Skip. Scratch. And it only plays music for about 22 minutes before you have to manually turn it over. Why are people still buying these things? There was a reason why people abandoned vinyl in the 1980s, with many people even re-buying their favorite vinyl on superior CD.

(And in case you have no idea what I’m talking about, vinyl sales are said to be surging and will soon surpass sales of CDs if this trend continues. I know, it sounds crazy.)

* * *

Someone will probably say that if you keep the vinyl and the stylus spotlessly free of dust, there’s no other dirt or god-forbid scratches on the vinyl, you have the highest quality turntable, the moon is in the seventh house and Jupiter aligns with Mars, then you might get superior sound from the vinyl.

* * *

By the way, yes I’m aware that CDs, as a storage medium for music or anything else, have become obsolete. But if you’re unwilling to pirate your music because you are honest, then you will often find it’s less expensive to buy a used CD (which you can then rip into MP3s) than it is to buy the downloadable MP3s from Amazon.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

May 25, 2016 at 6:13 pm

Posted in Music videos

Will Trump pick up some of Bernie’s supporters?

The answer is yes.

The reason is that some of Bernie’s supporters support him not because they are super liberal (or even understand Bernie’s policy positions), but because they support an old white man who’s angry at the establishment and who’s not Hillary.

What a lot of MSM pundits don’t get is that a large percentage of regular people don’t decide who to vote for based on the policy issues that MSM pundits talk about and care about.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

May 25, 2016 at 10:04 am

Posted in Politics

New Jersey Poll

From Fairly Ridiculous University:

Clinton 48
Trump 37
Other 7
Don’t Know 5
Refused 3

Clinton leading Trump by 11 points may not sound so great for Trump, but remember that New Jersey is a solidly blue state that Romeny lost to Obama by 17.8 points. Also note that this was a live-interview poll, the kind on which Trump does especially poorly and underestimates Trump’s true support.

Trump probably still won’t win New Jersey, but a Republican doesn’t need to win New Jersey to be elected president. George W Bush never won New Jersey. The important takeaway is that Trump is outpolling Romney 2012 by a large margin.

I do predict that Trump will win neighboring Pennsylvania.

* * *

Liberal MSM and SJW types are beginning to have nervous breakdowns and other psychological conditions because of Trump’s soaring poll numbers.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

May 25, 2016 at 8:43 am

Posted in Politics

Trump 76% in Washington primary

Sure, the other candidates suspended their campaigns, but Cruz, Kasich and Carson were all still on the ballot so people could have come out to vote for them if the people hate Trump as much as the liberal mainstream media likes to imagine that they do.

Meanwhile, there are violent anti-Trump protests in New Mexico. No doubt, the MSM will consider this proof that Trump is the next Hitler. But when Bernie’s supporters protest against Hillary, and we can see that coming, you can be sure that Hillary won’t be blamed for anything.

* * *

I see many Mexican flags being waved at the violent anti-Trump protests.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

May 24, 2016 at 11:53 pm

Posted in Politics

Belinda Carlisle – Mad About You

Belinda Carlisle (when she was in her late twenties) is way more beautiful than Stacy’s mom. I am envious of the guy she is mad about.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

May 24, 2016 at 7:57 pm

Posted in Music videos

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