I remember just before the CD was introduced 30 years ago thinking that digital audio would be a giant leap forward in fidelity, but as soon as I heard a few CDs I knew digital wouldn't do a thing to make music sound more realistic. The CD was vastly better than LPs and cassettes in terms of noise and distortion, but voices still didn't sound like they do in real life, and pianos didn't sound as big and powerful as they do in Carnegie Hall. That mystified me; those early digital recordings were compression-free, and I was … Read more
I was a huge Talking Heads fan and saw the band many times at shows in New York. That was a long time ago. Byrne is still a vital creative force, recording new music, performing, and writing books. He's worked with various media including film, photography, opera, and non-fiction. He's still searching for new creative challenges, which is more than you can say about most aging rock musicians. Byrne's new book, "How Music Works" reads more like an autobiography than a how-to make it in the music business tome.
Byrne is hyper-aware of how technology … Read more
British inventor Colin Furze's 1-month-old son may have to wait til he's old enough to drive before he really gets to ride in his own baby carriage. Furze set his mind to creating the world's fastest pram, and it looks like he is likely to succeed.
Do you suffer from Webcam Paralysis, the fear that you'll miss something good the instant you look away from the Webcam you're watching? Help is available from Solent Software in the form of WebCam Recorder, a compact but versatile shareware utility that can monitor and record almost any Webcam, even those that use plug-ins. It can record Webcams and Webcam feeds in your system or online -- in fact, any Webcam that can display its feed on your desktop. With a wizard-based setup process and a simple interface, it's easy to use yet flexible enough for a … Read more
Face it, most of today's shiny new gizmos will be hopelessly out-of-date in a few years and taking up space in landfills not so long after that. The iPhone 5 may be a marvel of engineering and marketing genius, but like iPhones of years past it's doomed to be cast aside when legions of Apple fanboys and girls stand in line to buy the iPhone 6 sometime next year. And so it goes.
Gangnam Style is neither ganglike, nor Vietnamese.
It's more of a Korean Macarena for those who think cocktails should be green and jackets should be white.
And yet it has become immensely popular. It seems only some understand that it is meant to be just a little satirical.
Not only has this video enjoyed almost 243 million views at the time of writing, but it has been adorned with more than 2.… Read more
Records, aka LPs, have been around since the 1950s, so there are lots of them out there. I've bought great records for a buck or two at thrift shops and yard sales, and found them on the street for free, but records aren't yesterday's news; lots of young bands are releasing LPs. The way things are going, the LP will probably outlast the CD as a mainstream format.
Speaking of yard sales and thrift shops, you can probably find dirt cheap turntables in those places, but the chances of finding a turntable in good working condition there … Read more
MidiPiano is free software for playing and producing MIDI music files, with the addition of a virtual piano that can be played with your keyboard or cursor.
The interface for MidiPiano is okay, but not fantastic. The buttons are simple and easy to understand, but almost too simple and could be improved upon for functionality. You can play previously saved MIDI files or make your own. Creating MIDI music with this software consists of recording while you play the virtual piano and then editing to cut or insert notes. You can also adjust the octave, speed, and volume.
The virtual … Read more
France has assessed its first fine under the antipiracy law known as Hadopi.
Alain Prevost must pay the equivalent of $194 after being found liable for failing to secure his Internet connection and for ignoring warnings that the connection was being used to illegally download copyrighted content, according to a report in Ars Technica.
Prevost is the first person convicted under the "law promoting the distribution and protection of creative works on the internet." But he may not be the last. There are 13 other cases scheduled waiting to be tried. This is the French version of the … Read more
Most QR codes are little things that are attached to ads or show up in the corner of TV commercials. A farm in Alberta, Canada, has made one that covers 309,570 square feet.
The Kraay Family Farm took a little departure from its usual corn maze themes. Recent years have had homages to Rick Hansen's Man in Motion tour and Alberta tourism. This year, it's a massive QR code that leads back to the farm's Web site.… Read more