whoever57 writes "A study of music from the '50 to the present using the Million Song Dataset has concluded that modern music has less variation than older music and songs today are, on average, 9dB louder than 50 years ago. Almost all music uses just 10 chords, but the way these are used together has changed, leading to fewer types of transitions being used. Variation in timbre has also reduced over the past decades."
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Busshy writes "A few months after the rather subdued release of the PSVita comes the release of the Larger screened 3DS XL, improvements are the obvious larger screens and much improved battery life, CVG report that the 3D effect has noticeably improved. As you'd expect with a larger display, the sweet spot in which you have to angle the device to consume your trio of dimensions is far easier to find on the XL. The console is shipping in 3 variations with sites such as Amazon offering different deals depending on where you live in Europe. Those wanting the Transparent version of the 3DS XL are out of luck at this time. Slashdotters in the USA will have to wait till Mid August for the new console."
rms has published his thoughts on Steam coming to GNU/Linux. He notes that the availability of proprietary games may very well help spread GNU/Linux (but the FSF prioritizes spreading software freedom). And, you're better off at least having a Free operating system instead of Windows: "My guess is that the direct good effect will be bigger than the direct harm. But there is also an indirect effect: what does the use of these games teach people in our community? Any GNU/Linux distro that comes with software to offer these games will teach users that the point is not freedom. Nonfree software in GNU/Linux distros already works against the goal of freedom. Adding these games to a distro would augment that effect." Or: How will the FOSS community affect Valve? Already they've contributed a bit to the graphics stack, hired a few folks from inside the community, etc. But Steam also makes use of DRM and distributes software in ways that are opposed to the ideals of many in the FOSS community (and even the wider Free Culture community). Given Gabe Newell's professed love for openness, might we see their company culture infiltrated?
martiniturbide writes "Author Holly Lisle tried to publish her guide How To Think Sideways Lesson 6: How To Discover (Or Create) Your Story's Market at Apple's iBooks store. She says it was rejected first by Apple because it had 'live links' to Amazon. After she removed the links, it was rejected again because according to her: 'The problem is the CONTENT. You can't mention Amazon in your lesson.'"
Capt.Albatross writes "Andrew Hacker, a professor of Political Science at the City University of New York and author of Higher Education? How Colleges Are Wasting Our Money and Failing Our Kids — and What We Can Do About It, attempts to answer this question in the negative in today's New York Times Sunday Review. His primary claim is that mathematics requirements are prematurely and unreasonably limiting the level of education available to otherwise capable students ."
TechCrunch has a story about the recent trend of websites wanting users to use their real names in an attempt to make comments better. The story points out that the practice didn't work in South Korea. From the article: "...In 2007, South Korea temporarily mandated that all websites with over 100,000 viewers require real names, but scrapped it after it was found to be ineffective at cleaning up abusive and malicious comments (the policy reduced unwanted comments by an estimated .09%). We don’t know how this hidden gem of evidence skipped the national debate on real identities, but it’s an important lesson for YouTube, Facebook and Google, who have assumed that fear of judgement will change online behavior for the better."
First time accepted submitter bigvibes writes "A technology that would enable low-cost, high efficiency solar cells to be made from virtually any semiconductor material has been developed by researchers with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)'s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and the University of California (UC) Berkeley. This technology allows for plentiful, relatively inexpensive semiconductors, such as metal oxides, sulfides and phosphides that had previously been considered unsuitable for solar cells because of the difficulty in tailoring their properties by chemical means."
bs0d3 writes "According to this article printed in tagesspiegel.de, not having a Facebook account could be the first sign that you are a mass murderer.(German) As examples they use Norwegian shooter Anders Breivik, who used MySpace instead of Facebook and the newer Aurora shooter who used adultfriendfinder instead of Facebook. They already consider those with Facebook accounts, who lack friends to be suspicious, but now they are suggesting that anyone who abstains from Facebook altogether may be even more suspicious."
An anonymous reader writes "Project Glass made a big splash not too long ago at Google's annual developer conference when they showed several users falling on to the Moscone West in San Francisco. Google's pretty bent on showing us the sharing possibilities with Project Glass, but it feels like in time that technology could become a ubiquitous part of our lives. Fortunately for those of us who lack a hyperactive imagination, a short film popped up recently that can help fill in the blanks. The world created in the film was made possible by wearable tech. Games, cooking challenges, information in real-time about the person you are talking to, all made possible by the contact lenses being worn. And of course there's a darkside to the equation, the potential to hack and therefore influence the actions of others. Ultimately, it's a realistic idea of the future we all face."
cylonlover writes "General Motors is working to expand upon its vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) and vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication systems that allow information to be shared between vehicles and infrastructure to provide advance warning of potential road hazards, such as stalled vehicles, slippery roads, road works, intersections, stop signs and the like. The automaker is now looking to add pedestrians and cyclists to the mix using Wi-Fi Direct technology so a car can detect them in low visibility conditions before the driver does."
Nerdfest writes "The lawyers behind the upcoming Apple v. Samsung trial have been hard at work filing docket after docket as their court battle looms closer, and many of those dockets have just been released to the public. We're now seeing a lot of previously secret information about the early days of iPhone and iPad R&D, and what's happened behind closed doors at both Apple and Samsung. Surprises include the iPhone design being 'inspired' by Sony product ideas, and that Samsung was warned that it was copying Apple."
bledri writes "The results of the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature are in and Richard Muller, the study's director (formerly an AGW skeptic) declares, 'Call me a converted skeptic. Three years ago I identified problems in previous climate studies that, in my mind, threw doubt on the very existence of global warming. Last year, following an intensive research effort involving a dozen scientists, I concluded that global warming was real and that the prior estimates of the rate of warming were correct. I'm now going a step further: Humans are almost entirely the cause.' The study was funded by the Folger Fund, the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, the Fund for Innovative Climate and Energy Research (created by Bill Gates), the Bowes Foundation, the Koch Foundation, and the Getty Foundation."
An anonymous reader tips this news from TorrentFreak: Earlier this year the sentences against the Pirate Bay defendants were made final. Aside from prison sentences, they will have to pay damages to the entertainment industries, including €550,000 to several major music labels. The court awarded the damages to compensate artists and rightsholders for their losses. However, it now turns out that artists won’t see a penny of the money, as the labels have allocated it to IFPI to fund new anti-piracy campaigns. ...While it may come as no surprise that the music industry has a hard time getting money from The Pirate Bay defendants, what comes next may raise a few eyebrows. 'There is an agreement that any recovered funds will be paid to IFPI Sweden and IFPI London for use in future anti-piracy activities,' IFPI writes. In other words, the money that the Court awarded to compensate artists and rightsholders for their losses is not going to the artists at all."
An anonymous reader writes "Boston magazine provides the first reasonably satisfying account of the final year of Curt Schilling's video game company 38 Studios, which was heavily subsidized by a huge loan guaranteed by the state of Rhode Island. During his career as a baseball pitcher, Schilling helped lead three different teams to four World Series, resulting in three championships. He has so far been much less successful as a video game CEO; although he has some of the stereotypical qualities of a successful entrepreneur (passion, energy level, optimism, selling ability), his company seemed utterly lacking in controls, while facing a very tough industry and economy. Schilling apparently regrets the decision to bet the company on an MMO game, but otherwise seems to accept little blame for the demise. His company burned more than $133 million over six years, mostly for headcount, according to an analysis of public documents by Providence TV station WPRI."