Nexus 4 vs Galaxy Nexus

My wife’s 3-year-old phone has been irritating her with its lack of app space, so I gave in and bought a Nexus 4, passing my Galaxy Nexus on to her. I thought I’d write up a quick review comparing the Nexus 4 and Galaxy Nexus, for the benefit of anyone not sure whether to upgrade. From the front, it’s hard to tell the two phones apart. The Nexus 4 is 0.

Where to buy music in lossless formats

The last CD has been ripped. I now face the problem of finding out where to buy lossless audio files. Criteria for stores: Must sell something I’m interested in listening to, i.e. not just folk and jazz. Must sell to the US. Must have more than a token number of releases available in lossless format. Must sell music by someone I’ve heard of already. I know there are lots of talented unsigned artists out there, but I’m viewing that as a separate problem.

CD bronzing

If you’ve never seen factory-pressed CDs decay, or think it’s a myth, well, I have some photos to show you. Here’s an overall view of the label side of the CD. Notice the strange swirly patterns. That’s not a camera artifact; the label part of the CD seems to have some separation from the metal layer, resulting in the interference patterns. Here’s another view, showing that part of the label embossing has caused brown patches.

Memo to music corporations

If you don’t offer lossless downloads, you’re leaving money on the table. Here’s why: People who are serious about music and buy a lot of it tend to be serious about sound quality. In my own tests, I’m able to distinguish lossless files from even 320kbps MP3s. Therefore, I’m very reluctant to buy anything but lossless music. Right now, the CD is dying. Amazon is full of people selling their old used CDs.

Ripping redux

A while back I wrote about double-blind testing various MP3 bitrates in order to decide what format to rip CDs to. The short summary of my testing was that I could easily hear the difference between 320kbps MP3 and lower bitrates, but that the difference between 320kbps and lossless was tougher to hear, at least under the circumstances of the test. However, as a result of what I learned, I decided to rip everything to lossless FLAC files.

Game review: Uncharted 3 (vs Uncharted 2)

Naughty Dog have always had the best game engine technology on the PlayStation. Back in the PS1 days, Crash Bandicoot used algorithmic textures to get around the console’s lack of texture memory, true 3D levels so big that they took hours to compile on the development systems, and a Lisp-based game engine. On the PlayStation 2, Jak and Daxter kept the use of Lisp, and was the first game to have one huge free-roaming world with no loading screens.

We aim to please

An identified ████████ as of October planned to engage in sniper attacks against protestors in Houston, Texas, if deemed necessary. An identified ████████ had received intelligence that indicated the protesters in New York and Seattle planned similar protests in Houston, Dallas, San Antonio and Austin, Texas. ████████ planned to gather intelligence against the leaders of the protest groups and obtain photographs, then formulate a plan to kill the leadership via suppressed sniper rifles.

SMS is useless

Yesterday was the 20th anniversary of SMS, the mobile phone Short Message Service. Coincidentally, I needed to ask my cousin a question. He wasn’t available via instant messaging, so I resorted to sending a text message to his mobile number. A lot of people don’t realize that SMS is not guaranteed delivery. The network(s) may simply drop the messages if they lack capacity or if the recipient’s phone is out of service area.

About that “proposal for the UN to control the Internet”…

There’s a kerfuffle ongoing about whether the UN is trying to take over the Internet. The problem proposal: “31B 3A.2 Member States shall have equal rights to manage the Internet, including in regard to the allotment, assignment and reclamation of Internet numbering, naming, addressing and identification resources and to support for the operation and development of basic Internet infrastructure.” What nobody seems to be talking about is why this proposal has been brought forward.

Semiotics of video game genres

Martin Hollis, developer of Goldeneye, recently Tweeted: Accepted game genres are a bunch of things which don’t go together: world structure (platformer), camera angle (FPS), I don’t even (RPG) I went to tweet a reply, but one thing led to another, and it turned into this article. I think that the confused nature of video game genre terminology is because the genre names are largely indicative signs, not expressive signs.