CIStud writes "Anyone who goes to see Pixar's new animated Brave film might come home with their ears ringing. Why? because Brave is the debut of Dolby Lab's new 62.2 surround sound format called Atmos, which adds new developments such as pan-through array and overhead speakers. With 62 speakers and 2 subwoofers, only a handful of theaters nationwide will be able to show the film at its full throttle. Dolby has produced a new highly informative video that talks about how movie sound has progressed from mono to stereo to LCR (left/center/right) to 5.1 and 7.1 surround sound and now Atmos. The big question is will the 62.2 format system be adapted for home theaters intent on emulating the immersive movie experience?" I've seen some busy input/output panels on home stereo equipment, but 62 channels is too many for my interconnect budget. Still, overhead sound seems like a good idea for some kinds of movie.
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Shipud writes "A collaboration between a group in Imperial College and Media Interaction group in Japan yielded a really cool website: darwintunes.org. The idea is to apply Darwinian-like selection to music. Starting form a garble, after several generations producing something that is actually melodic and listen-able. The selective force being the appeal of the tune to the listener. From the paper published [Monday] (abstract) in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences: 'At any given time, a DarwinTunes population has 100 loops, each of which is 8 s long. Consumers ratethem on a five-point scale ("I can't stand it" to "I love it") as they are streamed in random order. When 20 loops have been rated,truncation selection is applied whereby the best 10 loops are paired, recombine, and have two daughters each.' Note that in 2009 the creators of darwintunes harnessed the power of Slashdot to help 'evolve' their site."
First time accepted submitter red$hirt writes "I have a few friends, plus my girlfriend, who I would like to introduce to Star Trek. They do have a general interest to watch it, but I'm not sure what's the best way to start. There are so many series and movies and I would like to pick an order that keeps them interested. My first idea is to start off with a few good TNG episodes, and then let them watch First Contact. What does Slashdot think? I'm sure some of you have introduced others to Star Trek before. How did you do it, and how successful were you? Which particular episodes would you recommend watching for someone who is completely new to all this?"
antdude writes in with a story about a patent that won't have DVR users skipping for joy. "Time Warner Cable has won a U.S. patent for a method for disabling fast-forward and other trick mode functions on digital video recorders. The patent, which lists Time Warner Cable principal architect Charles Hasek as the inventor, details how the nation's second largest cable MSO may be able prevent viewers from skipping TV commercials contained in programs stored on physical DVRs it deploys in subscriber homes, network-based DVRs and even recording devices subscribers purchase at retail outlets."
Jason Levine writes "My son is 8 years old. I'd love to get him interested in science-fiction, but most of the books I can think of seem to be targeted to older kids/adults. Thinking that the length of some novels might be off-putting to him, I read him some of the short stories in Isaac Asimov's I, Robot. He liked these, but I could tell he was having a hard time keeping up. I think the wording of the stories was too advanced and there was too much talking and not enough action. Personally, I love Asimov, but I think much of it just went over his head. Which science fiction and/or fantasy books would you recommend for an 8-year-old? (Either stories he could read himself or that we could read together over the course of a few weeks.)"
Hodejo1 writes "[Tuesday] morning we learned that Google fired the first volley against YouTube conversion sites by blocking YouTube-MP3.org's servers from accessing its service and sending a letter threatening legal action. It looks like the fast growing Clip.dj also got the letter based on the note posted on the site: 'We're sorry to announce this, but Clip.dj has shut its service down for good.'"
bill_mcgonigle writes "In his essay 'Capitalists Who Fear Change,' author Jeffrey Tucker takes on 'wimps who don't want to improve.' From DMCA take-downs on 3D printing files to the constant refrain that every new form of music recording will 'kill music,' Mr. Tucker observes, 'Through our long history of improvement, every upgrade and every shift from old to new inspired panic. The biggest panic typically comes from the producers themselves who resent the way the market process destabilizes their business model.' He analyzes how the markets move the march of technology ever forward. He takes on patents, copyrights, tariffs, and protectionism of entrenched interests in general, with guarded optimism: 'The promise of the future is nothing short of spectacular — provided that those who lack the imagination to see the potential here don't get their way.'"
New submitter Mystakaphoros writes "Musician David Lowery (of Cracker fame) takes NPR intern Emily White to task for her stance on paying for (or failing to pay for) music. Quoting: 'By allowing the artist to treat his/her work as actual property, the artist can decide how to monetize his or her work. This system has worked very well for fans and artists. Now we are being asked to undo this not because we think this is a bad or unfair way to compensate artists but simply because it is technologically possible for corporations or individuals to exploit artists work without their permission on a massive scale and globally. We are being asked to continue to let these companies violate the law without being punished or prosecuted. We are being asked to change our morality and principals to match what I think are immoral and unethical business models.'"
New submitter Otis_INF writes "To honor Alan Turing, two researchers at the CWI built a simple LEGO Turing Machine, to show everyone how simple a computer actually is. Primary goals were to make every operation as visible as possible and to make it using just a single LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT set." And if a simple Turing machine gets old, Reader miller60 adds a link to this Lego data center "that recreates all the major features of an IT facility, assembled from 5,772 pieces, 28 figures, and 1 meter of fiber optic cable. The builder, Tanaka, has uploaded details to the Lego Digital Designer Gallery so others can build and adapt their own."
An anonymous reader writes "Google is apparently cracking down on a popular site that converts the music from YouTube videos into MP3s. YouTube-MP3.org has received a letter from Google, YouTube's parent company, notifying the site operators that converting videos this way violates YouTube's terms of service, according to the blog TorrentFreak, which said it has seen the letter. In addition, YouTube apparently has blocked YouTube-MP3.org's servers from accessing the site."
An anonymous reader writes "CNN reports that younger listeners are increasingly opting to stream music rather than own it. If their music is constantly available anywhere on any device, then 'what's the difference?,' ponders the article. The distinction between streaming music and owning music is starting to blur. From the article: 'But Van Buskirk also suggests another reason for streaming, not acquiring music. It's liberating. "There is a certain relief with not having to own music. It is a lot of work," he said. ... Porter says the way people own music is transforming. He believes the cloud model is where the state of music is heading, and for many people ownership is not essential. "I think ownership is access, you don't have to have music on your local hard drive to own it," he said.' Will the concept of ownership of music and software fade as cloud based services become the way people expect to access media and software?"
kodiaktau writes "Film makers keep touting increased frame per second rate as improving viewing and cinema experience, however the number of theaters who actually have the equipment that can play the higher rate film is limited. It makes me wonder if this is in the real interest of creating a better experience and art, or if it is a ploy by the media manufacturers to sell more expensive equipment and drive ticket prices up. From the article: 'Warner Bros. showed 10 minutes of 3D footage from The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey at 48 frames per second at CinemaCon earlier this year, and Jackson said in a videotaped message there that he hoped his movie could be played in 48fps in “as many cinemas as possible” when it opens in December. But exhibitors must pay the cost of the additional equipment, and some have wondered how much of a ticket premium they would charge to offset that cost.'"
SomePgmr tips this quote from Geek.com: "Fans of the cyberpunk novel Snow Crash have reason to rejoice today, as it's been announced that the film adaptation of Neal Stephenson's classic has been revived once again, this time with an exciting writer and director at the helm in the form of Joe Cornish. Cornish is known for his recent sci-fi alien invasion flick Attack the Block, which was filmed and released in the UK by the same studio that put out Shaun of the Dead. Cornish's first film came to the U.S. in a limited release in 2011 and did well enough that Paramount took notice and pursued Cornish for the Snow Crash project."
NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "The RIAA doesn't really like free mp3 files floating around but here's one you can access legally — the audio file of the June 12, 2012 oral argument of the RIAA's appeal in Capitol Records v. Jammie Thomas-Rasset. At issue in this case are (a) the RIAA's 'making available' theory and (b) the constitutionality of large statutory damages awards for download of an mp3 song file. The lower court rejected the making available theory, and reduced the jury's verdict to what the judge considered the maximum possible award of $2250 per file. I'm predicting the Court will affirm. After listening to the oral argument, what do you think?"
First time accepted submitter hooktheory writes "We looked at the statistics gathered from 1300 choruses, verses, etc. of popular songs to discover the answer to a few basic questions about pop music. First we look at the relative popularity of different chords based on the frequency that they appear in the chord progressions of popular music. Then we begin to look at the relationship that different chords have with one another. To make quantitative statements about music you need to have data; lots of it. Guitar tab websites have tons of information about the chord progressions that songs use, but the quality is not very high. Just as important, the information is not in a format suitable for gathering statistics. So, over the past 2 years we've been slowly and painstakingly building up a database of songs taken mainly from the billboard 100 and analyzing them 1 at a time. At the moment the database of songs has over 1300 entries indexed. Knowing these patterns can give one a deeper more fundamental sense for how music works" This reminds me of the work done by two Rutgers grad students last year trying to find a formula for a hit song.