MP3 is finally free

"MP3 is dead" missed the real, much better story:

If you read the news, you may think the MP3 file format was recently officially "killed" somehow, and any remaining MP3 holdouts should all move to AAC now. These are all simple rewrites of Fraunhofer IIS' announcement that they're terminating the MP3 patent-licensing program. [...]

MP3 is no less alive now than it was last month or will be next year -- the last known MP3 patents have simply expired. [...]

MP3 is very old, but it's the same age as JPEG, which has also long since been surpassed in quality by newer formats. JPEG is still ubiquitous not because Engadget forgot to declare its death, but because it's good enough and supported everywhere, making it the most pragmatic choice most of the time.

AAC and other newer audio codecs can produce better quality than MP3, but the difference is only significant at low bitrates. At about 128 kbps or greater, the differences between MP3 and other codecs are very unlikely to be noticed, so it isn't meaningfully better for personal music collections. For new music, get AAC if you want, but it's not worth spending any time replacing MP3s you already have. [...]

Until a few weeks ago, there had never been an audio format that was small enough to be practical, widely supported, and had no patent restrictions, forcing difficult choices and needless friction upon the computing world. Now, at least for audio, that friction has officially ended. There's finally a great choice without asterisks.

MP3 is supported by everything, everywhere, and is now patent-free. There has never been another audio format as widely supported as MP3, it's good enough for almost anything, and now, over twenty years since it took the world by storm, it's finally free.

Previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously.

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Emoluments Welcome


Robin Bell said he kicked off the colorful display from a van parked across the street around 9:15 p.m. Monday.

It lasted 10 minutes before a security guard for the Old Post Office stood in front of the projector, blocking its feed.

"We had a couple great moments. A tour bus pulled up, people started clapping and taking photos," Bell told the Daily News. "Everyone on the street, except for the security guard, seemed really happy."

I was only able to find this one looping, blurry 6 second video clip.

Also, sick burn:

When the World Is Led by a Child

But Trump seems to have not yet developed a theory of mind. Other people are black boxes that supply either affirmation or disapproval. As a result, he is weirdly transparent. He wants people to love him, so he is constantly telling interviewers that he is widely loved. [...] Trump's statements don't necessarily come from anywhere, lead anywhere or have a permanent reality beyond his wish to be liked at any given instant.

We've got this perverse situation in which the vast analytic powers of the entire world are being spent trying to understand a guy whose thoughts are often just six fireflies beeping randomly in a jar.

Previously, previously, previously, previously, previously.

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