A few days ago, the News @ Y Combinator Twitter feed linked to this article, misleadingly titled “24/192 Music Downloads…and why they make no sense”. I say “misleadingly” because the article is actually a very good introduction to the theory of digital audio, touching on such subjects as the human ear and how it works, how we know that humans can hear between 20 and 20,000 Hz, Nyquist sampling, and ABX tests.
ABX is considered a minimum bar for a listening test to be meaningful; reputable audio forums such as Hydrogen Audio often do not even allow discussion of listening results unless they meet this minimum objectivity requirement.
Holy cow! You mean, there are audiophiles out there who actually believe in science and double-blind testing? My faith in humanity is restored.
The Hon. John Gruber pointed out a post by Chris Hofstader about disability advocacy groups (in particular, the National Federation of the Blind) and how they treat corporations:
At last years NFB convention, ebay was the lead sponsor. Guess what? The ebay web site had, at that time, dozens of accessibility problems . NFB took ebay’s sponsorship dollars while ignoring their poor accessibility. Those of us who would say that any group advocating for our community should require accessibility before rewarding a company by splashing its name all over their convention like they were a friend of our population.
It isn’t just ebay: Hofstader points out that the NFB has been harshly critical of Apple (a company that has done a great deal to promote accessibility) while promoting Google’s Android (which, per Hofstader, has poor accessibility).
I’ve been seeing a lot of promotion of something called “Kony 2012″, which appears to be tied to a campaign by a charity called “Invisible Children” targeting Joseph Kony and his “Lord’s Resistance Army” in Uganda. From what I can tell, Kony is a scumbag who recruits children to fight his battle against the Ugandan army. I think he deserves to be killed; and apparently, we (that is, the United States military) have sent forces to kill him in the past. But the whole “Kony 2012″ campaign seems to be, from what the supporters state, about raising money and “awareness”. As far as “awareness” goes, what good is that going to do? As far as money, money for what? Hiring mercenaries to kill Kony?
“Kony 2012″ may be a worthwhile cause. But before you jump on the bandwagon, I’d like to suggest that you read the “Visible Children” Tumblr blog, which offers an alternative and skeptical take on the cause. (
I will point out one problem with Grant Oyston’s entry: Invisible Children currently has three stars on Charity Navigator, not two Edited to add: I misread Oyston: IC has three stars overall, but he is correct in stating that they only have two stars in the specific subcategory of “Accountability & Transparency”.)