Setting up an X-Arcade Tankstick with Retropie on Raspberry Pi

source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EV4DHYdeEVA

Plug Joystick USB and Trackball USB cables into the Pi

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Review: iSilencer3.0 USB Audio Noise Eliminator

Sometimes, you learn something new that changes everything. I have read about jitter and quantization with digital signals for some time but I didn’t know there were small, affordable devices that correct it. I have always read about really expensive devices that included a noise filtering technology. Well, I was poking around looking for a smaller, cheaper DAC for work – my Samsung Galaxy S7 doesn’t cut it by itself for high fidelity and my old Fiio E7 DAC won’t work with the newer OS updates for IOS and Android. I stumbled on something called a Dragonfly which had high praise. A little smaller than a thumbdrive, the AudioQuest Dragonfly acted almost like an inline DAC. Hmmm. Then I found something new. AudioQuest also makes a USB jitter filter called a Jitterbug. Reviews mentioned a better device – the iSilencer 3.0 by iFi Audio.
So I bought one and wasn’t able to try it out until I got to work. Here I am, just blown away that I’m listening to a phone and not a high-end stereo. I had my little setup (phone/laptop, audioengine D1 with Sony Headphones MDR-7506) at work and was so frustrated by the USB noise from the one portable working DAC that I have. For some reason the signal that comes out of my laptop and my phone sucks connecting to this thing. The iSilencer3 really does work and it’s amazing! Not snake oil as I feared. The signal is clear and lets the DAC do it’s job without any digital artifacts and most important from the phone – no intermittent disruptions. Bass is tighter and the headroom is wider. I am not sure exactly how this is accomplished but for $50, this little gadget is an incredible value and a needed accessory for any audiophile on the go.

Rethinking Music Streaming

According to The Guardian, an artist is paid $0.001128 per song stream after the label gets it’s share. A million streams of a song will pay $1,128. How many songs will get played a million times? Is this a sustainable business model for artists?

Spotify could be seen as a vehicle for promotion. If a trending song lead to higher CD/LP sales, I could see the angle. There will also be many who feel any media beyond streaming is antiquated. There will be others who simply refuse to pay for physical media as well as streaming. These are obvious points.

What’s the answer? Should Spotify pay artists more? We will find out how profitable the company is once it goes public and must disclose their sales revenue numbers. I believe at that time it will be easier to reassess the streaming business model. There should be a fair ratio of profits to artist payout. What do you think? Do you use Spotify or other music streaming services? Do you buy physical media and support your favorite artists?

Interesting interview with AI Guru Danny Lange

If you are interested in AI (Artificial Intelligence), this is a very good read from Fast Company.

I think a lot about the voice systems like Siri and Alexa. They’re more like branded, hardwired systems, built to give you a safe voice interaction with their corporate owners… All Siri’s jokes are written by creative writers in Cupertino—nothing that Siri learned.

Trust Project = establishment silencing alternative media

A new corporate/government effort is underway to silence news that isn’t to their liking. It’s called the “Trust Project”. Ten media companies are creating a new system that can label a news source as trustworthy. Just like the Twitter blue-badge, the label is bestowed up the fortunate and taken away from anyone that disagrees with their establishment views. In other words, the alternative media was a little too effective in getting news out that conflicted with their propaganda. Despite their rigged polls and fake news, Hillary Clinton was not elected. Oops, they can’t let that happen again.

Media companies should not be trusted to verify their own trustworthiness. A collection of independent sources should validate. is NOT TO BE TRUSTED. It is the first step toward shutting down free speech. A “trust logo” will be a symbol of establishment propaganda.

Honda’s self-balancing motorcycle

Using technology invented for the ASIMO robot, Honda was able to develop a self-balancing motorcycle. This incredible advancement is the size of a lamp and mounts over the front wheel. When the bike is running, it can not fall down due to an advanced gyroscope and a computer controlled steering bar. If the rider steps away from the bike, it remains in an upright position. Hopefully this new technology will find it’s way into saleable vehicles in the near future.

“sensorveillance”

Our phones, fitbits, home security systems and voice-assisted speakers are gathering data about us and being used against us .
While law enforcement might have good intentions by using this data, who is to say that their interpretation of it is foolproof? Could one be framed by misuse of data interpretation? Are we better of not using these devices? I would argue that it’s unethical for any company or government to spy on us through these devices and the data should not be admissible in court. With the “internet of things” on the horizon where simple, everyday devices without ample data security are all around us (whether an individual voluntarily uses them or not), no one is safe from intrusion. Imagine having a cloud of data points around you at all times. Your movements, words and actions are accessible, tracked and even recorded at all times. Do you really want to live in a world like that where privacy is non-existent?