Category Archives: Tech

From Amazon to the Ganges

The prime minister of India? Ben Kingsley as the younger Gandhi? No, it’s Amazon.com CEO Jeff Bezos in Bangalore at, somewhat ironically, a shopping mall.

Jeff Bezos, founder and chief executive officer of Amazon, stands atop a supply truck during a photo opportunity at the premises of a shopping mall in the southern Indian city of Bangalore. © Reuters

Jeff Bezos, founder and chief executive officer of Amazon, stands atop a supply truck during a photo opportunity at the premises of a shopping mall in the southern Indian city of Bangalore. © Reuters

Audio File

Note to Morris:

When you get the package from Amazon, plug the “one-to-one” RCA cable from the digital audio output on your TV into this side of the adapter box. Ignore the connector labeled “Toslink.”

Digital inputs

Digital inputs

Connect the red-and-white “two-to-two” RCA cable on this side of the box into one of the Bose Wave changer’s two aux inputs. Then plug in the box’s power adapter and turn on the TV.

Analog output

Analog output and power supply

Undeliverable on Amazon

For the first time in my 18 years as an Amazon customer there is a problem with my account… that I’m aware of. Here is the transcript of my exchange with customer support:

Initial Question: There was a delivery address in my account that I did not enter. This was the entry:

Mr. Jabati
Hanovia House, (Suite 3)
28/29 Eastman Road
London, W3 7YG
United Kingdom
Phone: +44 (0) 181 740 4086

07:34 AM PDT Raja(Amazon): Hello, my name is Raja. I’ll certainly try to help regarding your concern.

07:34 AM PDT Douglas E Pratt: I assume there was a database problem and/or a hack of my account.

07:35 AM PDT Raja(Amazon): I’m sorry about the trouble you had with your account. Would you mind if I put you on hold for 2-3 minutes to check your details?

07:35 AM PDT Douglas E Pratt: Okay

07:37 AM PDT Raja(Amazon): Thanks for waiting,Douglas .
Douglas , I’ve checked your account and In this case I’ll forward your account specialist team.

07:38 AM PDT Raja(Amazon): They’ll get back to you with perfect solution within 1-2 business days.

07:38 AM PDT Douglas E Pratt: Okay. Thank you. I deleted the entry and changed my password. Looking forward to any information that the specialists can find.

Perfect Sound Forever?

Thirty years ago, the ads in the hi-fi magazines said that Compact Discs offered “perfect sound forever.” “Perfect sound” is a complicated topic, but it’s apparent that “forever” isn’t happening. NPR has this piece on CD deterioration.

Some CD players do a better job than others at handling marginal discs, as I demonstrated in this post. It seems that the gold discs manufactured by defunct specialty labels like Mobile Fidelity and DCC are superior after all.

On the subject of “perfect sound,” I have come around to accepting that the CD format is as good as 2-channel audio gets. 44,100 samples per second, 16 bits per sample, represents the limit of what the human ear can hear. There are plenty of things that can be done wrong, and were wrong for a long time, with digital-to-analog conversion in CD players, but the bit depth and sampling rate are fine. Here is the best explanation I’ve seen.