May 092021
 

Older readers may remember the Stylophone, a small battery powered electric organ using conductive PCB pads and a stylus to create notes. The simple multivibrators in those instruments made them monophonic, but here in 2021 we can do better than that! [Sjm4306] has gone the extra mile with a PCB organ, by making a capacitive-touch instrument that boasts four-note polyphony.
At its heart is an ATmega328p whose software sports four tone generators that each emerge on a different pin. These are summed using a set of 100 Ω resistors and fed to a tiny speaker. Power comes from a CR2032 lithium cell, and he notes that a higher voltage delivers more volume.
The full story is detailed in…

External feed Read More at the Source: https://hackaday.com/2021/05/09/polyphony-on-a-tiny-scale/

 2021-05-09  No Responses »
May 072021
 

I always thought it would be a great honor to be referenced in the hallowed pages of WIRED magazine. Like Mike, I’ve been reading it since its beginning, as a then student studying information technology and watching the Internet take hold in the world.

This week it finally happened, and ugh… My work was referenced in support of a terrible take on Section 230, which not only argued that Section 230 should be repealed (something that I spend a great deal of personal and professional energy trying to push back against) but masqueraded as a factual explanation of how there was no possible reasonable defense of the law and that therefore all its defenders (including me) are,…

External feed Read More at the Source: https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20210507/08280746747/thanks-to-section-230-i-can-correct-wireds-portrayal-my-section-230-advocacy.shtml

 2021-05-07  No Responses »
May 062021
 

For almost 15 years the website LiveLeak shocked and entertained the internet. If you wanted to see uncensored and horrifying footage of war and violence that YouTube wouldn’t allow, then LiveLeak would serve it up to you. In 2014, Business Insider called it “The Islamic State’s favorite site for beheading videos.” Now, LiveLeak is gone, replaced with a softer sounding video website called ItemFix that eschews the violence and gore that made LiveLeak a staple of the dark side of the internet. “Nothing lasts forever though and—as we did all those years ago—we felt LiveLeak had achieved all that it could and it was time for us to try something new and exciting,” LiveLeak co-founder Hayden…

External feed Read More at the Source: https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/qj88w7/liveleak-the-infamous-site-for-beheading-videos-is-gone

 2021-05-06  No Responses »
May 062021
 

Cancel culture is at a crossroads, seems to me.  And I might as well be at the center of it.  If I wasn’t before, I appear to be now.
But what is cancel culture?  Isn’t that a rightwing term used to excuse bigoted behavior and avoid accountability for said behavior?  Yes, that’s how the right uses the concept — as a weapon against the rest of society.
And that’s all I’ll say about that.  Now to the left.  Cancel culture on the left also exists.  The people claiming otherwise are part of the left’s version of cancel culture.  (Note to anarchists:  when I use the term “left,” this includes you, too.  We can argue about the semantics of…

External feed Read More at the Source: https://www.counterpunch.org/2021/05/06/cancel-culture-conundrums/

 2021-05-06  No Responses »
May 062021
 

On May 5, the proponents of several Ohio initiatives filed this brief in U.S. District Court, in Thompson v DeWine, s.d., 2:20cv-2129. This is the case over petitioning relief for initiatives. Although the Sixth Circuit denied injunctive relief (and the U.S. Supreme Court refused to get involved), that doesn’t necessarily mean Ohio’s policy is constitutional. The proponents of the initiatives will seek a ruling that Ohio violates the First Amendment by its policy. Here is the brief.

External feed Read More at the Source: http://ballot-access.org/2021/05/05/ohio-initiative-proponents-will-seek-a-ruling-in-u-s-district-court-that-constitution-required-petitioning-relief-during-covid/

 2021-05-06  No Responses »
May 062021
 

Enlarge / Before you tweet, you might be asked if you meant to be so rude. (credit: Getty Images / Sam Machkovech)
Want to know exactly what Twitter’s fleet of text-combing, dictionary-parsing bots defines as “mean”? Starting any day now, you’ll have instant access to that data—at least, whenever a stern auto-moderator says you’re not tweeting politely.
On Wednesday, members of Twitter’s product-design team confirmed that a new automatic prompt will begin rolling out for all Twitter users, regardless of platform and device, that activates when a post’s language crosses Twitter’s threshold of “potentially harmful or offensive language.” This follows a number of limited-user tests of the notices beginning in May of last year. Soon, any robo-moderated…

External feed Read More at the Source: https://arstechnica.com/?p=1762846

 2021-05-06  No Responses »
Apr 292021
 

Combined with today’s massive flat panel displays, a nice surround sound system can provide an extremely immersive environment for watching movies or gaming. But a stumbling block many run into is speaker placement. The front speakers generally just go on either side of the TV, but finding a spot for the rear speakers that’s both visually and acoustically pleasing can be tricky.
Which is why [Peter Waldraff] decided to take a rather unconventional approach and hide his rear surround sound speakers in a pair of functioning table lamps. This not only looks better than leaving the speakers out, but raises them up off the floor and into a better listening position. The whole thing looks very sleek…

External feed Read More at the Source: https://hackaday.com/2021/04/28/lamps-double-as-secret-surround-sound-speakers/

 2021-04-29  No Responses »
Apr 212021
 

MQA is an audio format that claims to use a unique “origami” algorithm, promising better quality and more musicality than other formats. At times, it’s been claimed to be a lossless format in so many words, and lauded by the streaming services that use it as the ultimate format for high-fidelity music. With the format being closed source and encoders not publicly available, these claims are hard to test. However, [GoldenSound] wasn’t born yesterday, and set out to test MQA by hook or by crook. The results were concerning. (Video, embedded below.)
To actually put the format through its paces, the only easy way available was to publish music to the Tidal streaming service, which uses the…

External feed Read More at the Source: https://hackaday.com/2021/04/21/mythbusting-tidals-mqa-format-how-does-it-measure-up/

 2021-04-21  No Responses »
Apr 212021
 

US citizens: phone your congresscritter and senators to support
H.R. 2509 / S. 1139, which would eliminate the mechanism for the
military draft. Specifically, it would do these things: Repeal the Military Selective Service Act (thereby eliminating Presidential authority to order men to register with the Selective Service System for a possible military draft and eliminating criminal penalties for failure or refusal to register); Abolish the Selective Service System (thereby ending contingency planning by the SSS for the Health Care Personnel Delivery System or any other form of special-skills draft); Prohibit all other Federal agencies from imposing civil sanctions (denial of federal student financial aid, federally-funded jobs, etc.) for nonregistration or using nonregistration as a basis for…

External feed Read More at the Source: https://stallman.org/archives/2021-jan-apr.html#21_April_2021_%28Urgent%3A_H.R.2509%2F_S._1139%29

 2021-04-21  No Responses »
Apr 212021
 

As a law librarian and author, Ben Keele wants to share his expertise on copyright with as many people as possible. His book, The Librarian’s Copyright Companion, 2nd edition (William S. Hein, 2012), coauthored with James Heller and Paul Hellyer, covers restrictions on use of copyrighted materials, library exemptions, fair use, and licensing issues for digital media.  (Heller wrote the first edition in 2004.) The authors recently regained rights to the book in order to make it open access. So after years of being available through controlled digital lending (CDL) at the Internet Archive, the book is now available under the Creative Commons Attribution license (CC BY 4.0), which means that anyone is free to…

External feed Read More at the Source: https://blog.archive.org/2021/04/21/the-librarians-copyright-companion-goes-open-access/

 2021-04-21  No Responses »
Apr 212021
 

For the past two months, retail pharmacies like CVS, Walgreens, and Rite Aid have become the tip of the spear for the COVID-19 vaccination effort in the U.S. Widely available vaccinations at pharmacies have been one of the key reasons America’s pandemic outlook has gotten better. But many pharmacy staff feel they’ve been frogmarched to the frontlines of the pandemic without receiving appropriate resources to do vaccines as well as prescription filling. Meanwhile, their companies are enjoying the financial windfall of their labor.  “There was supposed to be a dedicated staff in place. That never materialized,” a Walgreens pharmacy manager in the greater Atlanta area said. Motherboard agreed to keep several sources in this story anonymous…

External feed Read More at the Source: https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/akgz8e/covid-19-vaccinations-are-pushing-pharmacists-to-a-breaking-point

 2021-04-21  No Responses »
Apr 212021
 

I did quite some work to have “–enable-altivec” work in ArcticFox. The FireFox AltiVec test did not work because it relies on GCC rejecting it if not supported by the CPU.

Most of the work was getting the 32bit AltiVec code actually work during a 64bit compile on a PPC970. But what about a non-AltiVec build? WIth some #ifdef’s imported from TenFourFox… I was able to get it and produce, while compiling on a G4, a usable G3 optimized binary for Linux.

Result? A quite current browser for a 21 year old vintage computer! Fun! Not very fast and the beautiful tangerine clamshell has only 160MB of RAM, but still, one can browse Wikpedia!


External feed Read More at the Source: http://multixden.blogspot.com/2021/04/arcticfox-to-browse-on-ibook.html

 2021-04-21  No Responses »
Apr 212021
 

For decades, a special court—the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, or “FISC”—has issued secret legal opinions authorizing the U.S. government to conduct sweeping programs of electronic surveillance. These opinions have had a profound impact on Americans’ rights to privacy, free expression, and free association. But many of them are entirely hidden from public view.
Secret law undermines democracy and the legitimacy of the judicial system—especially when the law being withheld from the public affects the rights of millions of people. So today, the ACLU is asking the Supreme Court to order the FISC to publish its secret opinions, redacted only as necessary to prevent genuine harm to national security. The petition—filed by ACLU lawyers, former Solicitor General Ted…

External feed Read More at the Source: https://www.aclu.org/news/free-speech/the-public-should-have-access-to-the-surveillance-courts-opinions

 2021-04-21  No Responses »