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.'"
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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.
alexbgreat writes "What do you think is the best set of head-mounted loudspeakers for the money, with a cost of less than $50? Here are some featuresthat would be stupendous to have (in descending order of importance): noise isolation (not cancellation), flat/near flat response (I need to be able to hear bass, but I don't need my eardrums blown out), long-term comfort (earbuds usually hurt for me), and durability. Over-ear is preferred to anything on- or in-ear. Boom mics are permissible, as I may well use it as a broadcast intercom headset." If you have experience using headphones from different price ranges, feel free to share that as well.
Last week you got a chance to ask the team behind Space Command about their project and all things sci-fi. Marc Zicree, Doug Drexler, David Raiklen, and Neil Johnson were nice enough to put down the blasters and answer a handful of your best questions. David even answered one of his own! Read below to see what they had to say.
New submitter toxygen01 writes "Neal Stephenson, sci-fi writer mostly known for his books Snowcrash and Cryptonomicon, takes on revolutionizing virtual sword fighting with help of crowdfunding. Inspired by the little-known fictional universe of 'Mongoliad,' an interactive book he is collaborating on, his company is trying to develop hardware (low-latency motion controller) and software for realistic medieval sword fighting. From what is promised, it will try to be open for other developers by having API and SDK available for further modding." Very few Kickstarter drives have a steel longsword as one of the rewards for investing.
MojoKid writes "Despite television being a rather tough nut to crack, Intel is apparently hoping that its upcoming set-top box and subscription service will be its golden ticket to delivering more Intel processors to the living room. The service would be a sort of specialized virtual cable subscription that would combine a bundle of channels with on demand content. So what's Intel's killer feature that distinguishes it from the vast and powerful competition? Granular ratings that result in targeted ads. Intel is promising technology in a set-top box that can distinguish who is watching, potentially allowing Intel to target advertising. The technology could potentially identify if the viewer is an adult or a child, male or female, and so on, through interactive features and face recognition technology."
stevegee58 writes "After 25 years on the air, Tom and Ray Magliozzi (aka Click and Clack, The Tappet Brothers) are calling it quits in September. With their nerdy humor, explosive laughter and geek cred (both MIT alums) Tom and Ray will be sorely missed by the average NPR-listening Slashdotter." How many garages have names as cool as "Hacker's Haven"? I've long thought that someone should assemble a compilation featuring nothing but hours of their laughter. (Which will be available for sampling, since they will continue to play archived material for a long time yet.)
TheGift73 sends this excerpt from TorrentFreak: "With nearly 4 million downloads per episode, the HBO hit series Game of Thrones is the most pirated TV-show of the season. Worldwide hype combined with restricted availability are the key ingredients for the staggering number of unauthorized downloads. How I Met Your Mother and The Big Bang Theory complete the top three, albeit with significantly fewer downloads than the chart topper. ... While there are many reasons for people to download TV-shows through BitTorrent, airing delays and HBO's choice not to make it widely available online are two of the top reasons."