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 »
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 162021
 

There is a serious problem with Dreamwidth, which is impeding access for many RSS reader tools.

This started at around 0500 UTC on Wednesday morning, according to my own RSS reader cron job. A friend found #43443 in the DW ticket tracker, where a user of a minority web browser found they were blocked.

Local tests demonstrated that Dreamwidth had applied blocking by the HTTP User-Agent header, and were rejecting all user-agents not specifically permitted. Today, this rule has been relaxed and unknown user-agents are permitted. But user-agents for general http client libraries are still blocked.

I’m aware of three unresolved tickets about this:
#43444
#43445
#43447

We’re told there by a volunteer member of Dreamwidth’s support staff that this has been done…

External feed Read More at the Source: https://diziet.dreamwidth.org/7930.html

 2021-04-16  No Responses »
Apr 162021
 

Last year, the Firefox platform development team announced plans to remove the built-in FTP implementation from the browser. FTP is a protocol for transferring files from one host to another.
The implementation is currently disabled in the Firefox Nightly and Beta pre-release channels and will be disabled when Firefox 88 is released on April 19, 2021. The implementation will be removed in Firefox 90.  After FTP is disabled in Firefox, the browser will delegate ftp:// links to external applications in the same manner as other protocol handlers.
With the deprecation, browserSettings.ftpProtocolEnabled will become read-only. Attempts to set this value will have no effect.
Most places where an extension may pass “ftp” such as filters for proxy or webRequest should…

External feed Read More at the Source: https://blog.mozilla.org/addons/2021/04/15/built-in-ftp-implementation-to-be-removed-in-firefox-90/

 2021-04-16  No Responses »
Apr 162021
 

Like many schools, Dartmouth College has increasingly turned to technology to monitor students taking exams at home. And while many universities have used proctoring tools that purport to help educators prevent cheating, Dartmouth’s Geisel School of Medicine has gone dangerously further. Apparently working under an assumption of guilt, the university is in the midst of a dragnet investigation of complicated system logs, searching for data that might reveal student misconduct, without a clear understanding of how those logs can be littered with false positives. Worse still, those attempting to assert their rights have been met with a university administration more willing to trust opaque investigations of inconclusive data sets rather than their own students.
The Boston Globe…

External feed Read More at the Source: https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2021/04/proctoring-tools-and-dragnet-investigations-rob-students-due-process

 2021-04-16  No Responses »
Apr 102021
 

I recently updated Pixel Wheels banner image on Google Play. That triggered a review of the game: shortly after the update I received a message telling me Pixel Wheels was “not compliant with Google Play Policies”. What nefarious activity does the game engage in? Sneak on users? Mine bitcoins?
Nope.

Something much more terrible, as evidenced by this screenshot they sent me:

The Horror
Yes. I confess it. I added a link to my donation page within the game, depriving Google of some precious money it totally cannot survive without! How dare I?!? I am such a bad person.
Since there is no point arguing with them, I am going to have to build a Google Play flavor of the game,…

External feed Read More at the Source: https://agateau.com/2021/google-does-not-want-you-to-tell-your-players-about-your-donation-page

 2021-04-10  No Responses »
Apr 102021
 

We’re all too familiar with the 3D printing post-processing step of removing supports, and lamenting the waste of plastic on yet another dwindling reel of filament. When the material is expensive NinjaFlex or exotic bio-printers, printing support is downright painful. A group at USC has come up with a novel way of significantly reducing the amount of material that’s 3D printed by raising portions of the bed over time, and it makes us wonder why a simpler version isn’t done regularly.
In the USC version, the bed has a bunch of square flat metal pieces, with a metal tube underneath each. The length of the tube determines the eventual height of that square. Before the print is…

External feed Read More at the Source: https://hackaday.com/2021/04/10/dynamic-build-platforms-for-3d-printers-remove-supports-and-save-material/

 2021-04-10  No Responses »