Blog posts

  • Streaming War Pigs

    Michael Wilson's look at the year just gone in music services is excellent:

    [You've got…] the story of streaming in 2015: artist as product or artist as propaganda. Like Zuckerman's Famous Pig in Charlotte's Web, musicians today are being fattened either for slaughter or for show, but make no mistake: The beneficiary of all this shiny pink flesh is Zuckerman. It's his pig, his pen, his farm. And either way, no matter what, there are a whole lotta little piggies not named Wilbur who are gonna go to market and just end up bacon.

    [Via The Morning News]

  • Babypod

    What is Babypod?

    Babypod emerged within an important research line carried out by Institut Marquès on the effects of music from the beginning of life. Music has many benefits for the human brain, including acting as a stimulus for learning and it plays an important role in the sphere of social comunication. Stimulating babies through music in their first months of life has positive effects on brain development; if this is so, why not give your baby the benefits of music starting before birth?

    [Via jwz]

  • The perils of translation

    From Alan Bennett's What I Did in 2015 in the London Review of Books:

    3 August (the day of Dad's death, 41 years ago). To Gosford Street to record Sue MacGregor's programme Reunion about the two series of Talking Heads. The best anecdote to come out of the first series was told me by Tony Cash, who heard A Lady of Letters translated on French radio. In the original version Miss Ruddock, talking about her dubious neighbours on whom she spies, remarks: 'Couple opposite having their tea. No cloth on. Milk bottle stood there waiting.' This had been translated: 'Couple opposite having their tea. No clothes on. Milk bottle stood there waiting.'

  • Truly Exceptionally Unacceptable

    When numbers and words don't add up:

    Ok, this should be easy. "Ease of looking at dealer's inventory"  -  great, no problems there. A 10, right? Well… was it OUTSTANDING? How about TRULY EXCEPTIONAL? No, it wasn't those… I can't say someone's inventory was truly exceptional. I can't put my name on that sort of endorsement. So…? Comfort in the office where we cut the deal? It was fine  -  I couldn't imagine it to be better, but was it TRULY EXCEPTIONAL? No. That doesn't fit. So does that make it a 6 or 7? No, it was better than that… But… So…?

  • Untangling Ada

    Stephen Wolfram on Untangling the Tale of Ada Lovelace:

    Ada Lovelace was born 200 years ago today. To some she is a great hero in the history of computing; to others an overestimated minor figure. I've been curious for a long time what the real story is. And in preparation for her bicentennial, I decided to try to solve what for me has always been the "mystery of Ada". It was much harder than I expected. Historians disagree. The personalities in the story are hard to read. The technology is difficult to understand. The whole story is entwined with the customs of 19th-century British high society. And there's a surprising amount of misinformation and misinterpretation out there. But after quite a bit of research - including going to see many original documents - I feel like I've finally gotten to know Ada Lovelace, and gotten a grasp on her story. In some ways it's an ennobling and inspiring story; in some ways it's frustrating and tragic.

    Absolutely fascinating. (Obligatory link to Sydney Padua's wonderful The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage.)

    [Via jwz]

Subscribe via RSS