Why Are Tech Sites Anti-Audio?

One side story to my debates about audio quality is how the mainstream tech press – the people who cover gadgets, phones, TV’s, laptops, etc. – always seem to have their head up their asses when it comes to audio products.


 

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Their ignorance of audio basics is shielded by an arrogance about all things consumer tech. They wrongfully assume expertise and botch their reviews.

The message boards & comments after the review are usually worse, with outright false claims masquerading as fact and characters of all stripes blaring opinions disguised as common-sense fact. I sometimes take up the challenge of straightening these arguments out and of course it usually gets me nowhere – unless the rabbit hole of internet flame battles is really a destination!

My latest attempt at education got me banned from Ars Technica, a site about technology that asked me to leave their community for claiming that MP3 is less than perfect for music. Oh the horror!  I’ve had similar luck and been told to scram from other tech sites, too.


Banning is the nerd response to having their worldview challenged. I’m trying to help these dolts. They are like the flat-earthers of the audio world. I was online when most of these chaps were in diapers!

Such a strange time warp: these ultra-modern people holding onto ancient mp3 files while their games, TVs, monitors, cameras, watches, GPS, cars, and every other digital device in their lives continues to increase in resolution, and thus  r e a l i s m.

Yet they wrongly think they can’t hear – and no one else can hear either – any increase in quality, ever!  Snake oil!  Monster cables! Rich rock stars!

Even if you are a master musician like Tom Petty, a legendary producer like Bruce Botnick, a professional recording engineer, a classical musician, or some other heavyweight in the field of professional audio, you are called a scam artist and/or deaf by these gadget loving fools!


 

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The world of good enough rules certain people. They profess fashion over substance and know that now must be the best. A classic case of experts being drowned out by idiots.

They equate recognizing music with loving, knowing, feeling, and creating music.

If you bring up the inner ear on these tech sites, they ban you. Actual bitrate, they ban you. Known psychological issues with ABX testing of music, they ban you. I have an entire list of topics that immediately get me downvoted or banned on consumer tech sites when discussing audio products.

 


 

Oh well, tell you what Ars Technica – fuck off. I’m tired of fighting. I’ve participated and read your site for over 15 years now and you ban me for stating something so obvious about a 20 year old tech compromise? Sad. I suppose much of it was time wasted since your message board is overrun by assholes that share that belief.

Ars claims to cover every advancement in the tech-gadget world yet you shit on audio products and audio professionals. Why is that?  Perhaps jealousy. Gadgets come and go but music lasts forever.

I was told by some greybeards in music production decades ago to never trust the technology world “because they have no idea when it comes to audio”. I suppose this aligns with that. Techies don’t want a debate or to be educated, they want to ban those that expose their ignorance, and they love using terms they don’t even understand in practical use. Lots of keyboard jockeys.


 

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Modern ignorance is thinking this thing can’t play music that sounds as good or better than an iPhone.


 

Hopefully this trend changes soon, since these people are so influential over mainstream music purchases. They argue their day away about whether 320k sounds better than 256k, and then ban people who say 1400k, or 5700k, sounds better. Their math doesn’t line up.

They can quote statistics showing you something is less or the same as something else. They can reference ridiculous studies attempting to capture sound quality differences with no understanding of – or concern for – musical enjoyment. So many of these people link back to xiph dot org – they are like an army of quality denialists.

But ask them to prove that something sounds better than something else. They cannot do that because their science isn’t science at all.

It amounts to a pile of garbage. Trust your own ears. Seek higher quality and you shall find it.


 

It makes sense that it would be the gadget fans first in line to explain their perceived limitations with the human body.

These are people that often look to technology to do things that they could in fact do better themselves with just a little bit of training and effort.

 

Snark Attack

Internet snark has become a major annoyance. I often long for the days when only nerds were on the internet. If you haven’t heard it before, snark is the term used for sarcastic, asshole responses in the comments at the bottom of every story and in every thread you are interested in following.

Snark, when done right, is a quick bit of ignorance or obviousness to lighten up the discussion. It’s the typed version of a quick dumb joke. It is often targeted at a poster who is ranting, repeating, or working with false assumptions. Good snark is the elephant in the room.

When the nerds had the internet all to themselves snark was often technical and sometimes obscure, and the effect was often endearing because it represented a frustrated nerd cracking wise. Nowadays with every member of the general public posting daily, their little Facebook faces crowding up the entire web, snark has become the standard language of the internet, and the way it is practiced these days is downright unfunny if not horrible in it’s completeness.

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Seemingly every discussion on the internet (okay about 75% in my experience) has someone posting garbage insults, opinions, and false information. It’s like the ignorance of mankind on full display. We are treated to people who can type but not spell, people who must not have made it through 6th grade grammar, people who’s hatred drives them to post horrible things under their own name, often times with a picture of them and their unfortunate offspring. Making fun of people’s appearance is something the nerds never bothered with, that was against the rules.

I shudder to think how much snark has affected people’s psyche. The early internet featured nerds having nerdy discussions, so snarky comments just added to your nerdy battles. People weren’t discussing nearly as much emotional content back then.

The fact that the modern internet includes insulting snarks in the comment section of stories about death, disease, and tragedies makes it a pretty horrible place. So much ignorance and insensitivity being posted to this amazing resource known collectively as the internet. Someone posts something nice, someone else posts that they have bad teeth and seeing their teeth was so horrible that it has altered their worldview. Original poster has to deal with that.

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Are you guilty? If you log into a single service (like facebook) and cruise around the web posting short, opinionated slams on people or the subject at hand, you are probably snarking. If your posts aren’t funny and could hurt people’s feelings you should know you are pooping in the hallway and you need to get some manners.

Stop insulting people online and move it offline. Have fun sitting at the bar telling people their flaws to their faces. The cute baby in your photo won’t help then.

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Hack Attack Underway

Hand is not ball! Our little site here is currently under attack from Russian hack-bots so I’ve started to take defensive measures. I’ve had to wipe out all user accounts and some of the various redirects that have built up over the years. You will need to make new accounts and bear with me through this crap. Fucking hackers, they are the worst.


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If you imagine hackbots as fembots the day goes better


Don’t worry – none of this can affect you, your computer, or anything. It’s just a take-down on my site that redirects you to other servers for their profit exploitation. If you get through and are on WFNK.com then you are fine. It’s not a spoof or anything like that.

I’m seeing the hack when I try to access from a mobile browser – it was redirecting to .ru (russia) and then to abc.go.com. As of now it’s fixed but these things can be really hard to remove completely.


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Oh My Obamacare, Part 5: Software Is Now Working, Time For Research

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Healthcare.gov let me in today, let me make my account, and get through the identity confirmation stage. That identity phase is always interesting – this one used various pieces of government-known data and asked it back to you, with misleading and nearly-accurate answers along with the factual answer. Very clever, and it was like a trick question about my own life.

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After you do the email confirmation and pass the identity test,you are let into your account. If you aren’t ready to register, you can follow the main top tab from “Get Insurance” to “Learn”. They ask you a similar version of the basics of your profile and then put up a list of links to more information. These cover things like pre-existing condition details, self-employment policies, coverage of unrelated people, medicaid eligibility, etc. in more detail.

I’m finding the site fast and easy to understand, at least when compared to other business sites needing to push something this complex out. I use web apps all day long plus design some myself, and this isn’t so bad, assuming it keeps working.

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The feds get bad reviews for everything but a couple of their more recent web offerings have been pretty decent (and are currently all shut down because of the tea party shenanigans).

Personally, I’m gonna hold off finishing my application until I have all my family info in front of me. I’m printing some of the FAQ’s to review with the fam. I thought it was important to show the site working since the mainstream media has learned it was down. Let’s see if they update their narrative.

Better Wait A Bit More – Obamacare website goes down for software fix

If you are waiting to sign up for Obamacare, wait just a bit longer. They are whipping some IT people mercilessly in a windowless server room right about now, and the website should settle down and work properly in the next couple of days.

I know a couple tings about releasing software and web apps and this one is a huge system with even larger demand. But still, I would think they would have poured enough money on it to get tested before October 1. I’m sure there will be some tell-all IT tales published from this massive project.

Our government at work, and I’m not really using that as a slam. No company is big enough to build a web service this large, so it’s interesting watching the feds try.

BTW coverage isn’t set to begin until 1/1/14 and the deadline for that was set to 12/15/13, so this shouldn’t be more than a small bump in the launch.

October 1972: Birth of the Packet Man

Packets, packets, got your packets here!


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Going way back into the ‘what is the internet?’ file, here’s a great article about the actual first pitch and live demo of the internet (then called by it’s acronym ARPANET).

Yes, it did crash once. Yes, some people left the event convinced the technology was going nowhere. And yes, it was another decade of development before anyone outside of computer science departments heard about it.

I wasn’t even born when that demo took place, and wouldn’t get online for myself until 1986. Hard to believe the net has been in development for 40 years already!

For comparison: The machine they used to get online in 1972 / What I used to get online in 1986.


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