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Graf Zahl

End of MP3 licensing and stupid journalism

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So as most here probably have read somewhere, a few weeks ago the MP3 licensing program was terminated because all the patents have expired.

Good news for everyone? One should think so, but the last few days some worryingly incompetent journalism has surfaced, not just all over the web but also in respected newspapers which seem to be in a hurry to declare the format dead.

 

What's up here? Is it now a requirement to be incompetent to work in journalism and take some corporate statements with a clear agenda at face value?

 

A shining example can be found here:

 

http://gizmodo.com/developers-of-the-mp3-have-officially-killed-it-1795205540

 

and sadly is just a random pick out of a surprisingly large number of badly researched articles.

 

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Does this mean that open-source and hobbyist stuff can have .MP3 support once again (because a lot did, then was all "nope, this shit ain't free")?

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Obviously. And you can bet that the people this misleading statement is aimed at may fall for it, which is not the end users, of course, but those who are in the music distribution business.

 

But that's not what worries me here but that this load of bullshit is repeated unverified on nearly every single news outlet I checked. How worried should we be about important news then? Are they just as bogus as this? MP3 is fortunately something easy to check and declare this as intentionally misleading but when it comes to politics it's a lot harder to separate right from wrong and fact from agenda.

 

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This does not surprise me one bit, I'd take OGG over MP3 any day.

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You can't trust the media.  All they are after are ratings attained by stoking the fires of controversy.  They'll scream injustice at every corner and then start playing the generalization blame game, and then capitalizing off of the fears and monsters they created.

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Well it's an phenomena of the "new" media, where journalism sites have to compete with youtube shows and such, so obviously they go for clickbait to get some ad revenue.

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27 minutes ago, Tracer said:

You can't trust the media.  All they are after are ratings attained by stoking the fires of controversy.  They'll scream injustice at every corner and then start playing the generalization blame game, and then capitalizing off of the fears and monsters they created.

Cool it, Trumpboy.

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9 minutes ago, torekk said:

Well it's an phenomena of the "new" media, where journalism sites have to compete with youtube shows and such, so obviously they go for clickbait to get some ad revenue.

That doesn't explain how the same shit ended up in my local newspaper which is generally a highly respected publication.

 

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9 minutes ago, dew said:

Cool it, Trumpboy.

He's right, though, and so is @Graf Zahl. You can't trust the media... any media. I don't care whether they call themselves left, right, "fair and balanced," or anything else. They all have an agenda, and they're all out to make a buck.

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2 minutes ago, 42PercentHealth said:

He's right, though, and so is @Graf Zahl. You can't trust the media... any media. I don't care whether they call themselves left, right, "fair and balanced," or anything else. They all have an agenda, and they're all out to make a buck.

So who do you trust? Your personal echo chamber? Your facebook feed poisoned by torrents of Moldavian fake news? Your local preacher or union leader? Or do you simply trust no one at all, growing your own crops and living off the grid? Because I don't trust you before you tell me where you get your opinions and reveal your own agenda.

 

I don't believe the solution to the issues you have with the "MSM" is shunning them altogether and turning towards obviously biased youtube preachers of the truth you personally align with. It's in understanding and filtering out the bias, though in Graf's particular case I'd say it's mostly journalists not understanding the issue properly and copying it from the site they read it at. Lazy and incompetent journalism rather than propaganda.

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4 minutes ago, dew said:

So who do you trust?

No one really. I know a guy who gets a unique perspective by reading foreign news sources from various different countries, but some of the things he says are hard to swallow too.

 

Personally, I find it not-too-difficult to gather my news from various mainstream sources -- both left and right -- and sorta "interpolate" the truth from them. It's obvious when propaganda techniques are being used, such as card-stacking, generalized statements, "news by association." It's also obvious which parts of a news story are verifiable facts, and which are possibly made-up conjectures.

 

All that being said, I don't give too much thought to politics and such-like. To quote from a classic movie: "Why should I break my head about the outside world? Let the outside world break its own head!"

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1 hour ago, HavoX said:

This does not surprise me one bit, I'd take OGG over MP3 any day.

Not me, Windows doesn't have native support for playback of OGG and tons of other formats. That's why I use MP3 for all my music, WMP can play it right out of the box. I will never stop using MP3 for music.

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17 minutes ago, 42PercentHealth said:

He's right, though, and so is @Graf Zahl. You can't trust the media... any media.

That's a pretty childish way of thinking to be honest. Every publication, every organisation, every person you'll ever meet has an agenda of some kind. Part of being an adult is accepting that and recognizing that it doesn't mean they aren't still useful sources of information. Trust isn't a binary of "trust" vs. "don't trust" but rather a spectrum of how much you trust something. And by the way, that holds just as true for things like personal relationships as it does for newspapers and media sources. It's more about just keeping a skeptical mindset to what you read rather than shutting yourself away and saying "nothing can be trusted!"

 

24 minutes ago, Graf Zahl said:

That doesn't explain how the same shit ended up in my local newspaper which is generally a highly respected publication.

That in itself is actually kind of telling, because local newspapers don't have the same amount of resources that larger national newspapers have. 

 

A lot of things like this come down to the fact that journalists are lazy. Or not lazy so much as they don't have the time to be as stringent as they ought to be. If something like a press release comes along with all the information laid out it makes it a lot easier to write an article without needing to bother doing any extra research. Some articles can even end up being straight copy/pastes of the press releases they're based on.

 

This has led to the phenomenon of churnalism, where marketing departments use press releases and made-up "scientific" studies to get brand names into newspapers by stealth. One journalist recently put out a fake story like this deliberately to demonstrate the problem.

 

In this case the press release came from Fraunhofer, who owned the remaining patents on MP3. It isn't actually an example of churnalism or intended to be misleading but the release was misinterpreted, and of course once one publication reports on a story from a particular angle, others will look at it the same way too.

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10 minutes ago, fraggle said:

Trust isn't a binary of "trust" vs. "don't trust" but rather a spectrum of how much you trust something.

True.

 

8 minutes ago, fraggle said:

It's more about just keeping a skeptical mindset to what you read rather than shutting yourself away and saying "nothing can be trusted!"

I think my follow-up post did a better job of saying this than my original post did.

 

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17 minutes ago, 42PercentHealth said:

Personally, I find it not-too-difficult to gather my news from various mainstream sources -- both left and right -- and sorta "interpolate" the truth from them. It's obvious when propaganda techniques are being used, such as card-stacking, generalized statements, "news by association." It's also obvious which parts of a news story are verifiable facts, and which are possibly made-up conjectures.

 

All that being said, I don't give too much thought to politics and such-like.

Sorry for selective quoting, but this juxtaposition is unconvincing to me. "I don't really care about politics all that much, but when I do, I rigorously study both sides, add their positions up and easily locate the truth in the middle of the road." It presumes that both sides are always lying by roughly the same amount to sway you from the neutral truth. That is preposterous the longer you think about it. For a colourful example, if you average what Sean Hannity and Cenk Uygur say, you don't get the truth, you get total annihilation of opinion and anti-opinion and nothing remains. And what if Fox and CNN tell you the same thing, but RT says the opposite?

 

Assessing bias of the information you're receiving is much harder than that. If you intend to discover the truth by yourself, you need to stay knowledgeable about the context of the information and weed out the bullshit, which is getting harder and harder as world powers employ considerable resources to spread disinformation. The "MSM" are often as much of a victim of cleverly hidden propaganda as the rest of us. As fraggle says, it's often their fault though, because honest journalism and fact checking is increasingly sparse as virality depends on speed and exclusivity. Don't delude yourself for a second into thinking you see right through all that bullshit.

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2 hours ago, Graf Zahl said:

So as most here probably have read somewhere, a few weeks ago the MP3 licensing program was terminated because all the patents have expired.

Good news for everyone? One should think so, but the last few days some worryingly incompetent journalism has surfaced, not just all over the web but also in respected newspapers which seem to be in a hurry to declare the format dead.

 

What's up here? Is it now a requirement to be incompetent to work in journalism and take some corporate statements with a clear agenda at face value?

 

A shining example can be found here:

 

http://gizmodo.com/developers-of-the-mp3-have-officially-killed-it-1795205540

 

and sadly is just a random pick out of a surprisingly large number of badly researched articles.

 

 

So what are the actual facts regarding the mp3 licensing program expiring, then?

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50 minutes ago, dew said:

So who do you trust? Your personal echo chamber

rofl

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IMO the only good information sources are monthlies, or at least weeklies. All the press that's obsessed with racing to the scoop lacks any ability to take time to make a real analysis, verify facts, and present a look at the big picture.

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It means that there are no more licenses for MP3 - the reason being that the patents that could be licensed have all expired.

 

Sadly some journalists apparently have no clue about the subject matter and being too lazy to do 5 minutes of research concluded that the end of licensing means the death of the format.

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wasn't there a free MP3 version anyways? I think, LameMP3 or something like that.

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Well, I was trying not to write a superpost, but it looks inevitable. Here goes...

 

4 minutes ago, dew said:

Sorry for selective quoting, but this juxtaposition is unconvincing to me.

Quite all right. I do the same all the time... Just so long as the quotes are not mis-representative of what the person said, of course.

 

5 minutes ago, dew said:

"I don't really care about politics all that much, but when I do, I rigorously study both sides, add their positions up and easily locate the truth in the middle of the road." It presumes that both sides are always lying by roughly the same amount to sway you from the neutral truth.

This presumes that I start out with no opinion or facts whatsoever, and am at the mercy of two sources, which I then somehow quantify and average. Of course, this is never the case.

 

I do not like to label my political philosophy, simply because people get preconceived notions about those who say "I'm a conservative," "I'm a Democrat," "I'm a libertarian," or "I'm a Trump supporter." I used to be conservative, but quickly found that their camp was just as full of propaganda and political sleaziness as the liberal/progressive camp that I hated so much. So I don't call myself by either name, nor do I vote based on party or ideology lines.

 

When I say I don't care for politics, this means two things: First, I don't care what the president had for lunch, or how young Newt Gingrich's new wife is, which celebrity is invited to a state dinner, et cetera ad nauseum. These are the things that mainstream news sources can't seem to get enough of. I don't freakin' care. Second, the party politics make me sick. "Mr. Senator had better pander to this-or-that minority, or he'll risk the support of the Republicrap party." "Mr. Congressman needs to purchase only 12 votes from the Democrap side to pass his bill... can he do it?" So I let them all have each other. If an important bill is coming up for vote on the house or senate floor, is my representative going to listen to me, who wrote him a nice note saying I won't vote for him if he doesn't vote my way (even though I didn't vote for him before), or is he going to listen to the nameless and faceless guys with all the money and all the blackmail, who promise to publish his fraud and debauchery if he doesn't vote their way?

 

When I say I don't care for politics, this does not mean that I never pay attention to issues like abortion, issues related to the Bill of Rights (particularly first, second, fourth, and tenth amendments), as well as any other issues which might concern me. In my philosophical view of politics, parties don't exist, labels don't exist; all that matters is liberty and justice for all. A thing called "the Republican party" gets a lot of money. Some of that is taxpayers' money. This is an injustice, but what am I to do about it? If it ever comes up on a referendum, I'd vote to abolish parties altogether, but I don't think that's going to happen anytime soon.

 

Another thing I notice, is that no matter who is in office, NOTHING BLOOMING CHANGES!! For several of Bush II's years in office, we had a Republican-dominated house and senate, and yet Planned Parenthood is still the benefactee of tax dollars. Truly did a wise man say:

 

quote-if-voting-made-any-difference-they

 

Yes, I still vote. But I usually vote for a third-party guy who has too much moral backbone to have any chance at office. (Aside: I recently voted for a guy running for state assembly, and he won... Kinda made me feel like I voted for the wrong guy. :-P)

 

As a somewhat dated example, Trump bombs Syria. That's a fact confirmed by all the news sources, with some possible wacko exceptions which we can ignore. The rest is conjectures about what his motivations were, what this will do to the price of gas, what this will mean to our relationship with Russia, and how this might affect the 2017 Cacowards. There's nothing I can do about any of those things, so I'll just sit back and see what happens. And no matter what happens, my conscience will not be burdened with guilt over voting for Trump, 'cuz I didn't.

 

In short, I have strongly held beliefs about things that really matter, and most of what the news reports on doesn't really matter.

 

42 minutes ago, dew said:

The "MSM" are often as much of a victim of cleverly hidden propaganda as the rest of us.

I doubt that very much. They have too many resources at their disposal to be among the deceived. Even if they are truly deceived, they are still to be held responsible for not finding out the truth on their own...

 

43 minutes ago, dew said:

Don't delude yourself for a second into thinking you see right through all that bullshit.

I don't claim to see through everything. All I claim to be able to do is recognize propaganda techniques most of the time, recognize verifiable facts (as opposed to conjecture, of which the "breaking news" is almost entirely composed) most of the time, and ignore the stuff that belongs in gossip columns. Whatever is left, I usually don't have to trust, because it has no bearing on my daily life.

 

Sorry for the long post, but I do not like to be thought naive or simple-minded. Also, as a disclaimer, I don't know what your political opinions are, so nothing above is intended as an attack against you or your beliefs. I welcome any questions.

 

One last Mark Twain quote, for the road:

 

Mark-Twain-Quote-12.jpg

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10 minutes ago, rodster said:

wasn't there a free MP3 version anyways? I think, LameMP3 or something like that.

 

There is no such thing as a 'free version' of patented technology. It doesn't matter if you manage to reinvent the thing, it's still patented and subject to license fees.

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24 minutes ago, Graf Zahl said:

 

There is no such thing as a 'free version' of patented technology. It doesn't matter if you manage to reinvent the thing, it's still patented and subject to license fees.

Hmm. Welp, good motivation for me to take the patenting module at Uni.

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2 hours ago, 42PercentHealth said:

He's right, though...

Doesn't matter.  I said it, so Dew had to say something in opposition otherwise he would have had an episode of some kind.  It's best just to let him have his fun, he isn't hurting anybody after all.  

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itt: tracer continues to believe he is the only human among a sea of ais, sky is blue, water wet, rabbits adorable

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