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Does it make sense converting a file to a higher audio bitrate?
Some incredibly clever person might be able to write a program that guesses, for instance, what instruments are being used and how, and then use high quality samples to fill in some of the missing data...but I doubt anyone's commercialized such a thing, and that's a lot more than just reencoding.
How do PCs know when the time has changed?
NTP does not contain any DST or timezone information. It just establishes what the current time is in UTC. The client must separately apply rules appropriate to their timezone, using the Olson database or equivalent. Windows Time Service appears to implement only NTP, with no means of disseminating updated timezone rules: technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc773061(v=ws.10).aspx
Why is there a difference between ping “localhost” and ping “local IP address”?
I think the interesting thing is: why do you get a number of bytes transferred and a TTL when pinging a remote host, but neither when pinging localhost? Nobody likely cares that the IP address format is a bit off.