Max Romantschuk's weblog – July 2005 archive

Immersion

Friday 29th of July, 2005 - 11:52 – Permalink

Surround sound is a tricky thing. In theory great surround is simple: A decent surround amplifier, multiple, correctly placed speakers and a room with proper acoustics. In practice this is a very hard goal to achieve, unless you happen to have a room to spare.

Yamaha may have come up with the next best thing: The Yamaha YSP-1 Digital Sound Projector. It's basically a device capable of directing sound waves precisely enough to generate surround sound by reflecting sound off the walls in a room. Seems like an interesting compromise if you are going for surround but can't really go for the full blown N-speaker deal. (Room-wise that is, this thing ain't exactly cheap.)

The voices in my head are all around me...

While virtual surround in a room is interesting, headphone-based surround is more so. The thing is, that we only have two "native" channels, our ears. In theory, with sophisticated DSP processing, it should be possible to create surround which sounds just like the real thing. This could do wonders for things like playing computer games when the kids are asleep. If the hype proves real, the Creative X-Fi may be just the thing...

The insane values of our time

Friday 15th of July, 2005 - 12:16 – Permalink

The news that GTA San Andreas contains a "sex mini-game" which can be unlocked with a mod have exploded into a media frenzy which only goes to show how twisted a society we live in these days. By now Hillary Clinton is up in arms. For what?

Let's break this down shall we... In GTA San Andreas the player:

  1. Can kill people in numerous, graphical ways
  2. Can take part in organized crime
  3. Is encouraged to ignore all possible traffic laws
  4. After modding the game: Have sex.
WHAT? SEX? Oh the outrage!

For some bizarre reason our society thinks that it's OK to have C H I L D R E N (apparently it's rated 17 or older in the states) play a game with this amount of violence. But when the news surface that a mod can turn the game into a filthy naughty sex simulator everyone is suddenly up in arms. Sheesh!

I'm not saying that sex should be taken lightly. Hell, I was I virgin until I was 20 for Pete's sake... But I for one would rather see my children fucking their brains out than killing people or wreaking havoc in traffic. Apparently that makes me a minority.

Burt Carver wrote a likeminded piece at the Inquirer titled GTA: San Andreas has started to get my goat. Readworthy.

Surveytastic

Thursday 14th of July, 2005 - 12:50 – Permalink

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The Bad Old Days

Wednesday 13th of July, 2005 - 12:26 – Permalink

I predict, that in twenty years' time we will look back on the first ten years of the new millennium and shake our heads in respect to the way media companies tried to halt progress. I am of course referring to the various legal actions taken by organizations like the RIAA and the MPAA against it's own customers for sharing/pirating music and movies.

The problem isn't that people wish to steal stuff. The problem is that there is a market for downloading music, movies and TV as well as letting the consumer decide what to watch and when to do it. I, for example, have downloaded Stargate and Stargate Atlantis episodes. Why? Stargate airs at the wrong time for me, and Atlatis doesn't air here at all. If the media companies can't provide a legal downloading option for a reasonable fee I simply resort to downloading from somewhere else.

Just give in, and let me pay, will ya? Don't alienate your customers with legal action. Change is inevitable, embrace it.

Evil car pool

In other bizarre news, a French bus company took their former customers to court for car pooling. Via a comment on Slashdot.