In the first part of the 20th century, classical music was stripped of its majesty and injected with a healthy dose of discord and dissonance by avant-garde pioneers like Arnold Schoenberg, Pierre Boulez, and John Cage. Then in 1950s California and New York, a new form of contemporary classical music emerged: minimalism. “Tones, Drones and Arpeggios” is a terrific two episode BBC Four documentary on American minimalism pioneers La Monte Young, Terry Riley (above), Steve Reich, and Philip Glass who reimagined “classical” music and had a massive and continuing influence on punk, experimental, ambient, and electronic music.
Intel just announced their new Sunny Cove Architecture that comes with a lot of new bells and whistles. The Intel processor line-up has been based off the Skylake architecture since 2015, so the new architecture is a fresh breath for the world’s largest chip maker. They’ve been in the limelight this year with hardware vulnerabilities exposed, known as Spectre and Meltdown. The new designs have of course been patched against those weaknesses.
The new architecture (said to be part of the Ice Lake-U CPU) comes with a lot of new promises such as faster core, 5 allocation units and upgrades …read more
Welcome back to The Bureau. This week will be a holiday segment. Above the fold you’ll see this week’s comic and playlist, and you can catch up here on the current story. While the main office building gets covered in gasoline and the intruders pounce upon The Brain, we’re reminded of this time of year and the basic need of giving thanks and appreciations.
Part of this series has been to acknowledge electronic instruments that impact our lives positively. We’ve already highlighted the work of Metasonix and Soma Labs, as well as the RF Nomad and SSL’s Scat Talker, but there are some incredible pieces never made for mass production. Easily one of the most interesting categories of electronics is circuit bending.
When asked about the weirdest thing in the studio, I’m happy to point to an unassuming set of toy guitars. One is a Hot Lixx guitar by TYCO and the other is a generically titled “Electronic Guitar” by Radio Shack. To certain friends with shared interests, the phrase “These are modified guitars by Mr Quintron” is usually all the introduction needed to elicit immediate interest. These are treasured items that I acquired about 15-20 years ago when he put them up for sale. First, let’s meet the guitars without modification.
By themselves, these toys are pretty damn funny and obnoxious. Here’s a TV commercial from TYCO from 1989:
The TYCO Hot Lixx Guitar promises you’ll PLAY IT IN A MINUTE with its computerized buttons.Read the rest
Lucasfilm has released an initial cast list for “The Mandalorian,” the live action Star Wars series that Jon Favreau is creating for the upcoming streaming service Disney+. Pedro Pascal, who had a brief-but-glorious run on “Game of Thrones” as Oberyn Martell, will star in the title role Lucasfilm describes his character as “a lone […]
Amazons Fire TV Cube is rolling out a couple new software updates today thatll fine-tune the experience of using Alexa. The updates enable Alexa multi-room music and follow-up mode, and come at the heels of last weeks news of Alexa Announcements coming to the Fire TV Cube.
To use multi-room music, you can add the Fire TV Cube to the appropriate speaker group in the Alexa App, which includes your HDMI-connected TV, soundbar, or AV system alongside your other compatible devices like your Echo Show and Echo Dot. You can then ask Alexa to play music in that group with commands like, Alexa, play my dinner party playlist downstairs, and itll play music through supported platforms like Amazon Music, Pandora, iHeartRadio.
One of the more underrated perks of the peak TV era is that because theres so much worth watching, no two television devotees will forge the same path through the mountains of programming. Below is a list of 20 outstanding series and miniseries that aired in 2018. These are well-crafted and entertaining shows, highly recommended and worthy of just about anyones time. Some of the names will be familiar; some may be surprising. Taken as a whole, this list is intended to present just one way of looking at what makes TV great. But that perspective is, inevitably, limited.
Here, for example, is just a partial list of shows and specials that couldve easily landed in this Top 20: America to Me, Barry, Bobs Burgers, Brockmire, Brooklyn…
Epic Games unveiled plans for a new developer framework for online services. This framework will let other game developers add cross-platform support into their games. The SDK will be free and roll out in multiple parts over 2019. Fortnite has been one of the best examples of cross-platform gameplay. A single player can install Fortnite […]
Ground is an interesting topic when it comes to engineering. Either it’s the reference level for a digital circuit (not necessarily at zero volts, either), or it’s the return path for current, or it’s the metal chassis, which shouldn’t be the return path for current or else something’s terribly broken. Erika Earl’s talk at this year’s Hackaday Superconference is all about ground.
The first type of ground to talk about is the ground in your outlets and walls. The AC safety ground is the third pin on your plug that should be attached to the chassis of your washer/dryer on …read more
LG has unveiled two new laptops in its Gram lineup in advance of CES in Las Vegas next month, and the Gram 17 looks like a stunner. LaptopMag: It weighs just 3 pounds, which is crazy light for a notebook with a 17-inch display. That’s the same weight as the 13-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar. A typical 17-inch laptop weighs 6 to 6.5 pounds, so getting such a big screen in such a lightweight package is definitely no small feat.
Does that mean the specs skimpy? Nope. LG says the 15 x 10.5 x 0.7-inch Gram 17 packs a 8th-generation Intel Core i7-8565U, up to 16GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD. (There’s also a slot for an additional SSD). The Gram 17’s 72W battery is rated for up to 19.5 hours of usage, which we will obviously put to the test once we get our hands on the laptop. Other highlights include a sharp 2560 x 1600 pixel display with a 16:10 aspect ratio, a fingerprint reader and a chassis that’s rated MIL-STD-810G for durability. LG’s website lists a suggested price of $1,699.99 for the LG Gram 17.
The 17-inch model weighs in at just under three pounds despite its significantly larger size. Like the smaller Gram, its powered by an 8th Gen Core i7 processor (the 8565U) and has 512GB of storage and 16GB RAM. Its display runs at a higher native resolution of 2560 x 1600 than the 14-inch Gram. Theres also a fingerprint sensor for convenient sign-ins. LG is claiming that it can achieve…
Game design doyen Martin Wallace is probably best known for railroad and civilization-building games (Age of Steam, Railways of the World, Brass, London, Struggle of Empires). His latest, Wildlands, is a grand and glorious departure. The game, published by Osprey, is gorgeous, easy-to-learn, fun to play, and very replayable, with lots of play choices and tactical depth (and already emerging expansions). Designed for up to 4 players, Wildlands is a card-driven fantasy skirmish board game with 20 beautifully-detailed, primed, and pre-washed miniatures. Four different factions, with different strengths and abilities, attempt to collect arcane crystals scattered over one of a two-sided game board. A hand of action cards, with multiple choices on each card, determine what each faction can do on each turn in their quest to vanquish foes and acquire crystals. The mechanics are elegant, the action, relentless and tense. Like last years Betrayal at Baldurs Gate, Wildlands is a great way to introduce timid newbies to the world of fantasy miniature gaming and light dungeon delving.
If you like Axis & Allies and want to try throwing a wrench (or in this case, hordes of brain-eating undead) into the typical mechanics of the game, then you’ll likely find Axis & Allies & Zombies a fun new twist. Read the rest
A little while back, we were talking about utilizing compiler warnings as first step to make our C code less error-prone and increase its general stability and quality. We know now that the C compiler itself can help us here, but we also saw that there’s a limit to it. While it warns us about the most obvious mistakes and suspicious code constructs, it will leave us hanging when things get a bit more complex.
But once again, that doesn’t mean compiler warnings are useless, we simply need to see them for what they are: a first step. So today …read more
If you want to visualize sound waves, you reach for your oscilloscope, right? That wasn’t an option in 1905 so physicist [Heinrich Rubens] came up with another way involving flames. [Luke Guigliano] and [Will Peterson] built one of these tubes — known as a Rubens’ tube — and will show you how you can, too. You can see a video of their results, below. Just in case a flame oscilloscope isn’t enough to attract your interest, they are driving the thing with a theremin for extra nerd points.
The guys show a short flame run and one with tall flames. …read more
Algoriddim has announced the next generation of its DJ software for iOS called Djay. The company has made some big changes to the program, including how you pay for it. The old version cost $20 on the iPad and $10 on the iPhone; the new version is free across both devices with an optional pro subscription. That subscription unlocks features like access to sample and loop libraries and support for loads of MIDI controllers from popular brands.
The program is meant for both amateur and professional DJs, and it allows users to mix music entirely within the app or through connected external hardware controllers. For an app, it was pricey, but it came with loads of features that elevated it into professional software territory. Not only did…
Questionable aesthetics aside, I have some serious concerns about how this could even functionally work. Lets start with the obvious: how do you charge the Apple Watch? No, seriously: looking at the pictures on Caviars website, I cant see any way that youd be able to jam the…
In its first season, every match in the Overwatch League took place at Blizzard Arena in Los Angeles. But the big-picture promise for the league is that of home and away matches, where each team plays games out of arenas in their respective cities, much like in professional sports leagues like the NBA or NFL. That ambitious goal likely wont be fully implemented until 2020 or later, but next year well get a preview of what itll look like.
For season 2, Blizzard is introducing something called homestand weekends, where select teams will play a handful of matches in their home cities. The first clubs to participate are the Dallas Fuel and Los Angeles Valiant, along with expansion side Atlanta Reign. The Fuel will host matches at the…
If youve been browsing the App Store for long enough, chances are youve seen djay at some point. Algoriddim, the company behind djay, currently has eight different apps in the App Store. Today, the company is releasing a brand new version that is going to replace all previous apps at once. The reason why this […]
How do you choose which emoji skin tone to use? This week on Whyd You Push That Button, Voxs Kaitlyn Tiffany and I discuss the five emoji skin tones (not counting the default gold option) and how people decide which color best represents them. The tones debuted in 2015, and now, three years later, people have studied how theyre used and how commonly people opt to change the default option. The choice isnt as simple as you might think.
We also change the show up this week. Instead of relying on just two users, we wanted to hear about as many experiences with the emoji as possible, so we have lots of guests. Thank you to all of them for coming on the show, including Ben, J., Jordan, Joshua, Rosie, Soco, and Malachi. We also received…
Hello, Las Vegas! We are all heading to LV for CES next month and instead of spending all our cash on a booth we’ll be wandering the halls and want to meet you as far away from the Convention Center as possible without ending up in the Grand Canyon. And we need your help. While […]