Headphone recommendations

Dear Lazyweb,

With the new phone, I find myself in need of new headphones. My last three phones, two Treos and a Centro, used 2.5mm 4-band jacks. The Pre uses a far more sensible 3.5mm 4-band jack, but that means my headphones no longer fit. I don't want to use an adapter because they are bulky and, in my experience, make it more likely that you'll break the headphone jack.

My previous headphones were "Shure e2c", and I loved them. The sound quality was great, they fit well, and they blocked out outside noise better than any other headphone of the size that I've ever used. The cables tended to fray, though. I had the 2.5mm 4-band version, but they also used to make them in a 3.5mm 4-band version. However, apparently the whole e2c line has since been discontinued.

Shure's new product line baffles me. I can't tell what corresponding new product is, if there even is one. It kind of looks like they have decided to only make headphones with 3-band jacks, and if you want to use it as a headset on a cell phone, you have to use an adapter. That sounds bulky and irritating (and also would put the mic quite far away from your face, I assume.)

Before the e2c, I tried "Etymotic ER-6", but I hated them. I gave them away after two days. They had no bass response at all, and were not nearly as sound-isolating as the e2c were. And I they had the wrong sized jack, too.

So, because Shure's site confused me, I took someone's recommendation and picked up the "V-Moda Vibe Duo" headphones (3.5mm, 4-band). I've been using them for a week, and I kind of hate them. They block out basically no outside sound. They sound muddy. The midrange is weird. And about a quarter of the time when I take them out of my ears, the rubber ear-bud tips stay behind in my ear canal and I have to go digging, even using the smallest size.

My requirements are:

  1. 3.5mm 4-band, so I can talk on the phone with it too (though the primary use is music).
  2. In-ear-canal. Not those iPhone-like buds that just sit on the surface. Not over-the-ear cans. Don't bother telling me about those, no matter how much you love them.

  3. Extremely sound-isolating. With the e2c, wearing the headphones without anything playing sounded like wearing earplugs. I loved that.

  4. Good sound quality. I'm no audiophile, but I can tell when it's crap. Bass is better than "perfectly flat", but bass to the exclusion of all else is bad.

So what should I get?

Update: I picked up the Ultimate Ears SuperFi 4vi. Conveniently, the Apple store stocks these. (Not any more. Bastards.) I've only used them for a few minutes so far, but they seem pretty good. Nice isolation, and sound quality is very similar to (possibly better than) the e2c. So I'm hopeful.

One nice thing about the Modas was that the cable was cloth, so they didn't tangle as easily. More manufacturers should do that.

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Current Music: SSQ -- Walkman On ♬

Facebook "pages" versus "groups"

Dear Lazyweb,

Do any of you know a clue-enabled individual within the Facebook hivemind who would be willing to talk to me, and allow me to browbeat them into fixing a bug / design flaw?

DNA Lounge has a so-called "page" on Facebook. We post our events there. However, there is apparently no way for us to send event invitations to everyone who has friended ("fanned") DNA Lounge.

If this DNA Lounge "page" were a "group" instead, I could send event invitations to everyone who had friended ("joined") the group. But clearly "pages" are intended for businesses: they have build-in fields like address and hours of operation. "Groups" don't.

baconmonkey has a hunch that "pages" are a legacy thing: something that Facebook thought was a good idea once and have since abandoned. I'm not sure why he thinks that, since they still seem to be pushing them as the thing that businesses should use.

Maybe we should just delete our "page" and create a "group" instead. I don't know. I can't tell.

What I would like is for someone who actually works for Facebook to tell me their understanding of how a business like mine should use their service.

I want them to either fix this bug (the bug that you can't send event invitations to "fans" of your "page") or tell me the right way to promote my events to these people who have explicitly expressed their interest.

I'm asking here because Facebook apparently has no tech support and no way to contact them that is more direct than spitting down the gaping well of a web forum that no employee ever reads.

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im in ur browser, melting ur digits

Dali Clock Javascript!

I factored out the Javascript from the Palm Pre port of Dali Clock, so now it works as a web page too, including all the display options.

If any of you browser-internals types have suggestions on how to get better performance out of the <canvas> tag (specifically in the Palm Pre version of Webkit) I'd love to hear them.

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Palm WebOS Dali Clock

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I have ported Dali Clock to the Palm Pre.

Truly, this program will last forever. If I have anything to say about it.

It's a little slow. It is, in fact, a bit slower than the PalmOS "Classic" port. And, for that matter, the original Xerox Alto version. Why, you may ask?

Because this port is written entirely in Javascript.


Let's take a moment to ponder this version and the Alto version, and just how many wasted instructions, layers of abstraction, frameworks, toolkits and outright cruft have gotten between the algorithm and the frame buffer in the intervening twenty-seven years. This program makes my phone hot. Hot, I tell you.

Oh. The huge manatee.

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dnalounge update

DNA Lounge update, wherein the War on Fun gets some more press, and a legal smackdown is delivered.


Brand-new cable car will soon hit the streets
Cable car No. 15 is no off-the-shelf vehicle.

For more than five years, nearly 30 Municipal Transportation Agency crafts workers - carpenters, a patternmaker, metal workers, transit mechanics, welders and painters - labored on and off to build the cable car from scratch, working off blueprints more than a century old.

"It's a work of art," Christopher Hill, Muni's manager of cable car maintenance, said of the new 8-ton rolling monument.

Made of bronze, steel, red oak, white oak, knot-free fir, Alaskan yellow cedar, canvas and glass, No. 15 cost $823,000 to build. Just about the only materials not specially fabricated for the cable car were the lightbulbs, hinges, rope and screws.

No. 15 is the 12th cable car produced from the bottom up by Muni in the past two decades. It will be used on the Powell Street lines that run from Market Street downtown to Fisherman's Wharf.

The new cable cars ensure that the 136-year-old system - a designated National Historic Landmark and the only one remaining in the world that operates on public streets - will carry on. The average lifespan of a cable car is about 100 years.


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dnalounge update

DNA Lounge update, wherein the camera goes click and the back wall is ornamented.

today in batcock news



"We're Getting Reports of a Massive Space-craft..."

dreadwhimsy writes:

Looking back, was the short enslavement of humanity by our alien overlords, Mieux-Mieux and Praxis, really such a "reign of terror," the way the cable news media's trying portray it?

Let's not re-write history. It wasn't all that bad.

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My first Palm Pre app!

I wrote a restaurant tip calculator, since there wasn't one.

It was relatively painless, though the documentation is pretty spotty.

Since Palm isn't yet letting people upload things to the App Catalog, here's how you install this:

  1. Email yourself a link to the .ipk file. Don't mail the file itself as an attachment: just send yourself an email with the URL in it. You can do that by clicking here.
  2. Open that mail message on your Pre, and click the link.

  3. That will appear to have done nothing, but it did! Go to the first page of the Launcher, and you'll see that the new application has been installed.

Dear Lazyweb, I have several questions.

  1. How do I get it into the Palm App Catalog?
  2. How do I give a button a different background color, while still having it look like a standard Pre button?

  3. Native code, man. I need it. How do I do it? I seriously doubt I can do a port of Dali Clock using only Javascript and the <canvas> tag.

Update: Oh, the email I've been getting. Look, it only does whole numbers because if you insist that your tip be accurate to the penny you are a cheapskate weirdo. Here in the Colonies, we use paper money, not coins. If your bill is $44.22, just enter $45. Don't go all Scrooge McAsperger's on us, ok?

Update 2: Holy shit! The intardwebs have a new cesspool, I see!

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