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December 21, 2010

Glenn Gould lives*

Long story short: John Q. Walker's Zenph Sound Innovations team "wrote software to take a piano recording — even an old, scratchy one — and determine not only which keys were struck but exactly how they were played, including all the subtle nuances that distinguish great pianists."

Said Walker, "We saw it as a very hard signal-processing problem: Can we get backwards from recordings to the notes? We all know how to go forwards, but can we go backwards? And if we can crack that problem, the whole industry changes."

Wrote David Schneider in IEEE Spectrum, "Walker's group indeed cracked that problem. And with their software, they were able to re-create great piano performances of the past. "Reperformance" is the word Walker uses. It may seem like remastering on steroids—but in fact it's a lot more. Think about turning a mono recording into stereo, for example, changing the acoustics of the room and positioning the microphones differently from where they were placed during the original recording session—even letting the listener experience what the pianist heard sitting on the bench. The commercial value was obvious, which is why Walker's company was able to strike a deal with Sony Music."

More: "To demonstrate how well his system could capture even Gould's rapid-fire playing, Walker had me listen to the original recording while his robotic piano played along. Had the re-created notes been even a fraction of a second off in timing, you would hear the dissonance. There's none. Walker's piano re-created Gould perfectly."

Equally impressive: Walker's team was able to reconstruct, from a 1969 video of Jerry Lee Lewis's hand movements during an appearance on the "The Ed Sullivan Show" (the piano was unmiked and couldn't be heard at all) what he was playing and then add it to the performance via Walker's robotic piano.

*Coming to your living room holographic theater circa 2030: Glenn Gould playing, so indistinguishable from the living, breathing artist that you can't tell the difference.

And as Alan Turing pointed out, if you can't tell a difference, for all practical purposes there is no difference.

[via Richard Kashdan]

December 21, 2010 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Arizona Motorcycle Seat


The caption: "These are big sellers in Arizona right now!!!"

[via Whattayagonnado]

December 21, 2010 at 03:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (10) | TrackBack

"See what people will do for a Hublot"


Above, the watchmaker's ad featuring 81-year-old Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone.

It appeared two weeks after he and his girlfriend were assaulted last month outside his office in London by four attackers in an attempted robbery of his watch — a Hublot F1 King Power Big Bang — and $315,000 in jewelry.

He fought back and the thieves punched and kicked him and ultimately fled with the jewelry — but without his watch.

His photograph with a black eye and bruised face — provided by Ecclestone — was then incorporated into a new Hublot print ad campaign that ran in the Financial Times and International Herald Tribune, with a tag line quoting Ecclestone as saying, "See what people will do for a Hublot."

[via topwatches and sportsnet]

December 21, 2010 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (6) | TrackBack

Clip-it Flash Drive


paper clip that stores 4G of information.


Can your paper clip do that?


Can your head do that?


Never mind.



December 21, 2010 at 01:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack



The other day I wanted to respond to someone's tweet with a link to a document — but I hadn't a clue how to do it.

Yes, I know, post it as a JPEG on flickr or Twitpic or their ilk and link to the corresponding URL.

Way more than my TechnoDolt™ self was capable of wrapping itself around at the time.

"Solve the problem with what's in the room," Edwin Land's wonderful advice, invoked itself.

Does a virtual room — i.e., the mind — qualify as being in camera?

I say it does and no one else around had a vote except Gray Cat, who was basking in full submissive pose in a shaft of sunlight, wisely choosing to abstain, a là Maxwell Maltz's wonderful advice, "The best response is no response."

With all these great exemplars and advisors, how come I mess up so often?

Perhaps because of yet another piece of wisdom I follow all too often, to wit: "Take my advice, I'm not using it."

Not that distant philosophically from, "My advice is worth exactly what you're paying for it."

But I digress.

I put on my thinking cap — yes, I actually have one, but that's the subject of another post entirely, sometime in the future (unless you believe that it could as well be characterized as appearing in the past from the point of view of someone who's read that future post) — and gave some thought to how else I could get that document to someone via Twitter without posting it to some new place where I'd have to set up an account, blah blah blah.

Then the penny dropped.

Over the years, whenever a new blogging service has appeared I've set up an account and done a test post, just to see if it was easier than TypePad.

As such, I've accumulated a number of blogs with one or two posts that haven't been accessed since I tried them out.

I went back into my Rolodex and found several, each of which I tried to see if I could still post.

Voilà — one worked.

So I posted the document to it, then used the blog post's permalink in my tweet.

So cool.


I'm not going to tell you where to find bookofjoedark.

Because then it wouldn't be a secret and I wouldn't be able to use it effectively for one-offs like that tweet.



December 21, 2010 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack



"These handy-dandy utensils allow you to eat your Chinese or Japanese food with chopsticks. When you get tired or frustrated, you simply flip them over and use them as a knife and fork."




Per set, $6.99.

[via somethinbeautiful]

December 21, 2010 at 11:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Encyclopedia Astronautica







December 21, 2010 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Nike Footstickers — Makes Vibram Five Fingers look positively clunky


From Ufunk: "There are many advantages for bare feet in sports: better motion control, more feeling in your feet, and direct floor contact, among others."


"In this way you are more grounded and more aware of your feet and movements. It's also good for making your feet stronger."


"A disadvantage is the risk of injuries, as you can easily twist or slip. The Footsticker enhances physical activity and keeps the bare foot feeling. The flexible material feels like a second skin, giving you more grip, support, and protection."

December 21, 2010 at 09:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (5) | TrackBack

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