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   PastimesAll Things Technology - Media and Know HOW

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From: Don Green9/21/2022 1:42:48 PM
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From: Don Green9/26/2022 1:13:16 PM
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The Unicycle has come a long way baby!

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From: Don Green9/26/2022 8:19:02 PM
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Off Topic But memories galore….

Abbey Road track-by-track - Beatles engineer Geoff Emerick: "For the first time, John and Paul knew that George had risen to their level"

published about 16 hours ago

(Image credit: Apple)
Abbey Road was released today, 26 September, in 1969. In 2014, we were lucky enough to speak to engineer Geoff Emerick about the making of this bonafide classic.

It's one of the most iconic album covers of all time: John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr strolling across a zebra-striped street called Abbey Road in St John's Wood, north London.

It is an image as memorable as the moon landing - and one copied by tourists on a daily basis. (Even a few bands have paid homage, most notably Booker T & The MGs.)

Ironically, the shot was a last-minute decision.

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To: Don Green who wrote (949)9/28/2022 6:24:17 PM
From: Don Green
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Apple's iPhone overshoot

Data: FactSet; Chart: Axios Visuals
Apple shares were sent tumbling today on a Bloomberg report that suggested demand for new iPhone 14 products was weaker than the company previously expected, Hope writes.

Yes, but: Apple analysts were largely unsurprised and unfazed.

    Gene Munster at Loup Funds noted on Twitter that production cuts happen "every iPhone cycle" because "Apple always overshoots production goals to its suppliers in the summer and 'cuts' in the fall."
The big picture: Sales growth of the iPhone (which alone makes up more than 50% of the company's overall sales) have cooled over the past few years — and it's partly why the company has pushed so deeply into higher margin services, including news, gaming, music and media.

Of note: Apple shares closed down 1.3% today, after falling nearly 4% earlier in the day

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From: S. maltophilia9/28/2022 11:35:36 PM
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Is This the Beginning of the End of the Internet?

How a single Texas ruling could change the web forever
By Charlie Warzel

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From: Don Green10/2/2022 1:11:24 PM
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Avoid the Trash Heap: 15 Creative Uses for an Old ComputerDon't junk that ancient laptop or desktop. Reuse it! Turn an old gaming PC into a NAS, experiment with a new OS, build your own security cam, plus a dozen more creative recycling ideas. Demand for PCs surged during the pandemic, as people shifted to work-from-home setups amid quarantines. That left a lot of older computers sitting alone, unused.

You may be tempted to just junk your old PC. But if that laptop or desktop was created any time in the last decade, you'd be surprised by how much life you (or others) can get out of it. I'm not talking about limping along, but of ways to bring an old PC back to useful life.

You may need to do some light upgrades here and there; more RAM and a big new storage drive may benefit some (okay, probably all) of these projects. In many cases, the PC will require access to the internet and/or the ability to access software written to a USB flash drive for installing it on that old junker. Take a gander at the options. You'll be glad you kept that old PC around.

1. Experiment With New, Lighter OSDo you like to try new things? Nothing will seem newer than a freshly installed operating system on your old PC—even a downright elderly computer will feel brand new.

Most alternative operating systems (translation: not Windows or macOS) are based on Linux, which comes in a variety of options called "distros." Popular examples include Ubuntu, Mint, elementary OS, and Manjaro. You'll find interfaces similar to Windows, and they come with software packages, like LibreOffice (a free, open-source equivalent to Microsoft Office). Most work pretty great on PCs with 4GB of RAM or more, but check the specifications needed.

You might also want to try creating your own version of a Chromebook. That's usually a laptop you'd buy that runs Google Chrome OS; it makes the Chrome browser and Google cloud services/storage the center of the OS. You can now download and install Chrome OS Flex, on old PC or even old Mac systems; it will even run from a portable flash drive.

2. Serve Up Some MediaEven if you're a video-streaming service addict, you probably have hours of music, podcasts, movies, or TV shows stored locally, which you want to access on PCs, game consoles, tablets, or phones. For that, you need a media server.

"Theater software" like Kodi will take care of that. Install the server software on any device running Linux, Windows, macOS, jailbroken iOS devices, rooted Android devices, or even a Raspberry Pi; there are "remote control" apps for iOS or Android users not willing to go for broke(n).

Plex (above) has most of the same features. The server can install on PCs running Windows, macOS, Linux, FreeBSD, and even on NAS devices. The playback software is available for about every device you can imagine. Plex even offers some live TV options.

To get the best performance, put the server software on your old PC with a clean OS install and dedicate the system to playing media, and nothing else.

3. Turn Your Old PC Into a NAS Home ServerA network-attached storage device is a server for your home or small business network used for storing files you share with all the PCs on the network (or externally via the internet). Prices vary from a pittance to the hundreds. But if you've got an old PC with lots of storage drive space, you don't need to buy a NAS: Make one. Free, usually open-source software for doing just that is easily available. TrueNAS Core, Rockstor, FileCloud, XigmaNAS, and more can put your old PC into the center of its own version of the cloud.

4. Hack Together an Anonymous PC

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From: Don Green10/2/2022 4:53:04 PM
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NASA, SpaceX weigh invoking Dragon to take Hubble higherTelescope hasn't been superseded by JWST, so why not try to keep it going?
Richard CurrieFri 30 Sep 2022 // 14:29 UTC
Though it may have been eclipsed by the launch of its successor, the James Webb Space Telescope, long-lived Hubble continues to gaze deep into the universe.

JWST specializes in infrared, versus optical and ultraviolet wavelengths, so the telescope functions complement each other rather than overlap. To that end, NASA has tapped SpaceX for a feasibility study on how the private space company could service Hubble and boost it to a higher orbit at no cost to the US government.

Hubble launched in 1990 with an anticipated lifespan of 15 years and, thanks to the Space Shuttle servicing missions, continues to be scientifically productive. "All indications are that the telescope will continue operating into the late 2020s and possibly beyond," NASA reckons.

This year alone it spotted the most distant star in the universe, imaged the largest comet ever identified, and helped document the DART probe's rendezvous with an asteroid.

So why not try to keep it up there? Hubble originally orbited at 600km but over the decades has fallen to around 540km. NASA would like to get it higher, perhaps extending its life by some 20-30 years before it meets a fiery death in the atmosphere.

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To: S. maltophilia who wrote (960)10/2/2022 5:27:56 PM
From: S. maltophilia
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Tech companies are gaming out responses to the Texas social media law
Experts said the measure, which bars companies from moderating content, could prove challenging for platforms to deal with...

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From: S. maltophilia10/3/2022 8:02:47 PM
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How Bots Corrupted Advertising
Botmasters have created a Kafkaesque system where companies are paying huge sums to show their ads to bots. And everyone is fine with this.
An illustration of robots holding up a sign that reads buy more new stuff

Bots Run the Internet
They’re a scourge! They’re a boon. They’re the automated worker bees of cyberspace—and they influence everything you do online.

When Aleksandr Zhukov went on trial last year, he stood accused of defrauding US companies, including The New York Times and pet care brand Purina, out of millions of dollars. According to the court, the then 41-year-old set up a company that promised to show online adverts to humans, but he instead placed those adverts on an elaborate network of fake websites where they were seen only by bots. Yet Zhukov’s defense did not center around his innocence or his remorse. Rather, he said he was giving the online economy exactly what it wanted: cheap traffic, whatever the source.

“There was nothing to conceal,” he said on the stand in May 2021. “We were making business. We are not making scam or fraud.”

The federal courthouse in Brooklyn disagreed and, in November 2021, Zhukov was sentenced to 10 years in prison. By extraditing the Russian cybercriminal from Bulgaria,.........

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From: Don Green10/3/2022 9:56:54 PM
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TV Size to Distance Calculator and Science

Updated Mar 12, 2021 at 09:31 am
By Cedric Demers, Adriana Wiszniewska

Updated Mar 12, 2021 at 09:31 am
By Cedric Demers, Adriana Wiszniewska

Bigger and closer is usually better when it comes to choosing the perfect television for your room. Size not only affects the price of a television, but it also has a huge impact on the perceived picture quality. Use our size to distance calculator to see which size TV you should get based on how far away you'll be sitting from the screen.

Distance: 8.8 ft (2.69 m)

Size: 63"

70.9 cm
39.9 cm
438 in²
0.283 m²
88.6 cm
49.8 cm
684 in²
0.441 m²
95.3 cm
53.6 cm
791 in²
0.511 m²
110.7 cm
62.2 cm
1068 in²
0.689 m²
121.7 cm
68.6 cm
1293 in²
0.835 m²
132.8 cm
74.7 cm
1538 in²
0.992 m²
144 cm
81 cm
1809 in²
1.166 m²
154.9 cm
87.1 cm
2092 in²
1.349 m²
166.1 cm
93.5 cm
2407 in²
1.553 m²
177 cm
99.6 cm
2732 in²
1.763 m²
188.2 cm
105.9 cm
3090 in²
1.993 m²

Bigger and closer is usually better when it comes to choosing the perfect television for your room. Size not only affects the price of a television, but it also has a huge impact on the perceived picture quality. Use our size to distance calculator to see which size TV you should get based on how far away you'll be sitting from the screen.

The science behind our TV size and distance calculatorA lot goes into determining the best viewing distance, and there are several different criteria you can use. Aside from size, things like resolution and even how strong your eyesight is can affect how you see the screen. Because everyone's eyesight is different, this is less an exact science and more of a general guide based on scientific principles of vision and resolution.

Field of View

TV filling 20 degrees of the field of vision

TV filling 30 degrees of the field of vision

Since resolutions found today are almost exclusively 4k (Ultra HD), it takes a very big TV watched from very close to see imperfections related to the resolution. Because of this, you can sit closer to your TV than you would with lower resolutions and have a more immersive experience. Think of it like a movie theater: the more a TV fills your view, the more immersive it will feel.

That doesn't mean you should be sitting a foot away from your TV. Having the largest screen possible isn't always ideal. The human visual system has a total horizontal field of view of about 200 degrees, although a portion of that is peripheral vision. While it makes some sense to get as large a TV as you can for movies, not all content is made to fill the entire field of view. This becomes very apparent if you try to watch sports from up close while fixating on a single part of the screen, which quickly starts to feel nauseating.

The Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers recommends sitting at a distance where the screen fills up a minimum of 30° of your field of vision for a good experience.

Using a theater-style field of view requires sitting a bit closer
This is generally good guidance, but people who use their TVs mostly for watching movies might benefit from sitting a bit closer to get a more theater-like experience. The SMPTE "reference" position for movie theaters and the THX recommendation is about 40°. The minimum angle of vision works well for most usages, though, and sitting at a distance where the screen fills 30° of your horizontal field of view should be comfortable for most people.

It's also worth noting that this angle assumes a single person is viewing the TV head-on at eye level. Not all living room setups meet these conditions exactly, so it's best to use this as a guideline only. Learn more about viewing angles.

Screen SizeRecommended Mixed Usage Distance
Recommended Cinema Distance
25"3.4' (1.04 m)2.5' (0.77 m)
30"4.1' (1.24 m)3' (0.92 m)
35"4.8' (1.45 m)3.5' (1.07 m)
40"5.5' (1.66 m)4' (1.22 m)
45"6.1' (1.86 m)4.5' (1.37 m)
50"6.8' (2.06 m)5' (1.53 m)
55"7.5' (2.28 m)5.5' (1.68 m)
60"8.2' (2.48 m)6' (1.83 m)
65"8.9' (2.69 m)6.5' (1.98 m)
70"9.5' (2.9 m)7' (2.13 m)
75"10.2' (3.1 m)7.5' (2.29 m)
80"10.9' (3.31 m)8' (2.44 m)
85"11.6' (3.52 m)8.5' (2.59 m)

Angular resolution

The closer you are, the lower your perceived pixel density will be

Angular resolution is the point at which the eye can 'resolve' or distinguish individual details in an image. Experts suggest that someone with 20/20 vision (or 6/6 using the metric system) can distinguish details that are 1/60th of a degree apart. Our ability to resolve details is determined not only by visual acuity but also by distance. At a certain distance, depending on your eyesight, your eyes won't be able to distinguish every detail. So, if you sit too far, your eyes won't be able to resolve the image, but if you sit too close, that image will appear pixelated. For lower resolutions, you have to sit a bit further than preferable to not notice the pixels, while 4k resolutions and higher give you more freedom.

For instance, sitting close to a 1080p TV can look almost like watching through a screen door because you can see the individual pixels, even if it's playing a high-quality 1080p HD movie. Increasing your distance to the TV also increases the density of details, producing a better image. Since 4k TVs have such a large density of pixels, it's much more difficult for this issue to arise. You need to be quite close to a fairly large TV for the pixels to be noticeably distracting.

With 8k TVs, that density increases further, making it even harder to notice flaws with the resolution unless you're sitting extremely close. However, this also decreases the point at which the perceived difference in picture quality becomes noticeable. Because the pixels are more densely packed with an 8k resolution, you need to sit closer to actually resolve those details. For that reason—content aside—8k only really makes sense if you want a really big screen and plan on sitting close to it. Learn more about the difference between 4k and 8k.

All that said, everyone's eyesight is a little different, and most TVs now are at least capable of 4k, so visual acuity isn't really the best way to find the right distance. It should instead be used to figure out the closest you can sit to a TV without hitting its resolution limitation.

How do you interpret the chart?This chart shows the point at which an upgrade in resolution becomes worth it depending on size and distance to the TV. Each line represents the optimal viewing distance for each resolution, but any TV that falls within the range of that color will be suitable to notice a difference in picture quality. So, for example, if you have a 65 inch TV, the viewing distance at which the eye can actually process the details of 4k content is about 4 feet. However, any distance between 4 and about 8.5 feet will be enough to appreciate the difference between 4k and 1080p on a 65 inch TV. Go too far, and the image will look identical to 1080p HD.

The chart suggests that at a certain point, 4k UHD may not be worth the upgrade—if you're sitting more than 7 feet away and have a 55" TV, for instance. Really, though, this chart is just a guide, and as 4k TVs have become the standard, the question of whether it's worth it or not is a moot point. While your eyes may not be able to tell the difference at a certain point, your next TV will more than likely be a 4k TV anyway. Knowing the optimal viewing distance for the resolution can help you determine a living room setup that takes full advantage of your TV's resolution, but since angular resolution is almost a non-issue with UHD content, we recommend using our calculator tool at the top of the page, which is based on the optimal field of vision.

See our recommendations for the best 4k TVs.

There's also the matter of compression. Even if you're watching HD content presented in high resolution, there will be some artifacts due to the compression algorithm. Artifacts can appear in multiple forms like noise, blur, or a pixelated image (see the picture to the right). Some artifacts may even be visible from farther away, so consider that the above numbers apply to perfect uncompressed media. The numbers show the minimum distance at which you start losing the advantage of the resolution.


You're probably thinking something along the lines of "My couch is 10' away from my TV, which according to the chart means I need a 75 inch TV. This is insane!" It's true that if you want to take full advantage of higher resolutions, that's the ideal size you should get. That said, this may not be possible for everyone, which brings us to budget.

The price of a TV is usually exponential to its size. Size isn't the only factor though, as resolution, panel type, and features all play into it as well. Looking at 65 inch TVs, for instance, an OLED like the LG CX OLED is inevitably going to cost more than a budget LED TV like the Hisense H8G, and both of these will seem downright cheap compared to an 8k TV like the Samsung Q900TS 8k QLED. Fortunately, though, as technology improves and the availability of higher resolution TVs expands, larger TVs have become more common and therefore more affordable. Feel free to compare the prices of our picks for the best 65 inch TVs, the best 70 to 75 inch TVs, and the best 80 to 85 inch TVs to really see the difference that size makes.

ConclusionWe recommend a field of vision of about 30 degrees for mixed usage. In general, we also recommend getting a 4k TV since lower resolution TVs are becoming harder to find. To easily find out what size you should buy, you can divide your TV viewing distance (in inches) by 1.6 (or use our TV size calculator above) which roughly equals a 30-degree angle. If the best size is outside your budget, just get the biggest TV you can afford. These are guidelines, after all, and since most TVs nowadays are 4k, you can't really go wrong with the size that works for you, especially since picture quality also depends a lot on the content and viewing conditions. Ideally, you would optimize the capacity of your TV by getting one that's large enough for you to notice all the visual detail that 4k has to offer, but ultimately, you should watch however feels most comfortable to you, whatever the size and distance may be.

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