Technology

Acer wants to sell you a touchscreen fitness tracker for less than $90

Engadget - 1 hour 55 min ago
This is Acer's latest play for your wrist, the Liquid Leap+. It takes the form of a fairly basic fitness tracker that also pulls notifications from your smartphone. Aesthetically it's a continuation of what Acer offered with the original Liquid Leap,...

Acer's new Windows Phone is unlikely to blow you away

Engadget - 1 hour 55 min ago
For some time now, consumers have pretty much been stuck choosing between Lumias for their Windows Phone fix. Acer is aiming to change that with the launch of its catchily named "Liquid M220" smartphone. The M220 is a decidedly low-end handset, with ...

Genetic Data Analysis Tools Reveal How US Pop Music Evolved

Slashdot - 3 hours 27 min ago
KentuckyFC writes: The history of pop music is rich in anecdotes, folklore and controversy. But despite the keen interest, there is little in the form of hard evidence to back up most claims about the evolution of music. Now a group of researchers have used data analysis tools developed for genomic number crunching to study the evolution of U.S. pop music. The team studied 30-second segments of more than 17,000 songs that appeared on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 between 1960 and 2010. Their tools categorized the songs according to harmonic features such as chord changes as well as the quality of timbre such as whether guitar-based, piano-based orchestra-based and so on. They then used a standard algorithm for discovering clusters within networks of data to group the songs into 13 different types, which turned out to correspond with well known genres such as rap, rock, country and so on. Finally, they plotted the change in popularity of these musical types over time. The results show a clear decline in the popularity of jazz and blues since 1960. During the same period, rock-related music has ebbed and flowed in popularity. By contrast, rap was rare before 1980 before becoming the dominant musical style for 30 years until declining in the late 2000s. The work answers several important question about the evolution of pop music, such as whether music industry practices have led to a decline in the cultural variety of new music, and whether British bands such as The Beatles and The Rolling Stones triggered the 1964 American music revolution [spoiler: no in both cases].

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Genetic Data Analysis Tools Reveal How US Pop Music Evolved

Slashdot - 3 hours 27 min ago
KentuckyFC writes: The history of pop music is rich in anecdotes, folklore and controversy. But despite the keen interest, there is little in the form of hard evidence to back up most claims about the evolution of music. Now a group of researchers have used data analysis tools developed for genomic number crunching to study the evolution of U.S. pop music. The team studied 30-second segments of more than 17,000 songs that appeared on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 between 1960 and 2010. Their tools categorized the songs according to harmonic features such as chord changes as well as the quality of timbre such as whether guitar-based, piano-based orchestra-based and so on. They then used a standard algorithm for discovering clusters within networks of data to group the songs into 13 different types, which turned out to correspond with well known genres such as rap, rock, country and so on. Finally, they plotted the change in popularity of these musical types over time. The results show a clear decline in the popularity of jazz and blues since 1960. During the same period, rock-related music has ebbed and flowed in popularity. By contrast, rap was rare before 1980 before becoming the dominant musical style for 30 years until declining in the late 2000s. The work answers several important question about the evolution of pop music, such as whether music industry practices have led to a decline in the cultural variety of new music, and whether British bands such as The Beatles and The Rolling Stones triggered the 1964 American music revolution [spoiler: no in both cases].

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Genetic Data Analysis Tools Reveal How US Pop Music Evolved

Slashdot - 3 hours 27 min ago
KentuckyFC writes: The history of pop music is rich in anecdotes, folklore and controversy. But despite the keen interest, there is little in the form of hard evidence to back up most claims about the evolution of music. Now a group of researchers have used data analysis tools developed for genomic number crunching to study the evolution of U.S. pop music. The team studied 30-second segments of more than 17,000 songs that appeared on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 between 1960 and 2010. Their tools categorized the songs according to harmonic features such as chord changes as well as the quality of timbre such as whether guitar-based, piano-based orchestra-based and so on. They then used a standard algorithm for discovering clusters within networks of data to group the songs into 13 different types, which turned out to correspond with well known genres such as rap, rock, country and so on. Finally, they plotted the change in popularity of these musical types over time. The results show a clear decline in the popularity of jazz and blues since 1960. During the same period, rock-related music has ebbed and flowed in popularity. By contrast, rap was rare before 1980 before becoming the dominant musical style for 30 years until declining in the late 2000s. The work answers several important question about the evolution of pop music, such as whether music industry practices have led to a decline in the cultural variety of new music, and whether British bands such as The Beatles and The Rolling Stones triggered the 1964 American music revolution [spoiler: no in both cases].

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Genetic Data Analysis Tools Reveal How US Pop Music Evolved

Slashdot - 3 hours 27 min ago
KentuckyFC writes: The history of pop music is rich in anecdotes, folklore and controversy. But despite the keen interest, there is little in the form of hard evidence to back up most claims about the evolution of music. Now a group of researchers have used data analysis tools developed for genomic number crunching to study the evolution of U.S. pop music. The team studied 30-second segments of more than 17,000 songs that appeared on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 between 1960 and 2010. Their tools categorized the songs according to harmonic features such as chord changes as well as the quality of timbre such as whether guitar-based, piano-based orchestra-based and so on. They then used a standard algorithm for discovering clusters within networks of data to group the songs into 13 different types, which turned out to correspond with well known genres such as rap, rock, country and so on. Finally, they plotted the change in popularity of these musical types over time. The results show a clear decline in the popularity of jazz and blues since 1960. During the same period, rock-related music has ebbed and flowed in popularity. By contrast, rap was rare before 1980 before becoming the dominant musical style for 30 years until declining in the late 2000s. The work answers several important question about the evolution of pop music, such as whether music industry practices have led to a decline in the cultural variety of new music, and whether British bands such as The Beatles and The Rolling Stones triggered the 1964 American music revolution [spoiler: no in both cases].

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








We're live at Mobile World Congress 2015 in Barcelona!

Engadget - 3 hours 40 min ago
It's that time again: Our team has descended upon the heart of Barcelona to bring you another week of the latest the mobile world has to offer. As always, we'll be shooting videos and liveblogging events until our fingers fall off, and we certainly h...

Scientists learn to build better metals by freezing alloys in space

Engadget - 5 hours 9 min ago
Metals are full of microscopic structures that define properties like strength, but it's hard to figure out how those structures work on Earth, where gravity skews their effects. An experiment aboard the International Space Station may have solved th...

Foxconn Factories' Future: Fewer Humans, More Robots

Slashdot - Sat, 02/28/2015 - 11:33pm
jfruh writes: Foxconn, which supplies much of Apple's manufacturing muscle and has been criticized for various labor sins, is now moving to hire employees who won't complain because they're robots. The company expects 70 percent of its assembly line work to be robot-driven within three years.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Bjork's next music video is made for virtual reality

Engadget - Sat, 02/28/2015 - 11:07pm
Let's say for a moment that the experimental Oculus VR movies that came out of Sundance didn't do anything for you, but that Icelandic songwriters totally float your boat. You're in luck because Björk's upcoming video for "Stonemilker" will be availa...

Toward Our 3D Future

TechCrunch - Sat, 02/28/2015 - 9:00pm
 If the past couple of years have been about one theme for me investment-wise, they have been about exploring the bridge between bits and atoms with a series of bets aimed to make a path between the digital world and the physical one we populate. And no, I am not talking about ordering a pizza from my smartphone or getting a maid-on-demand to come clean my house within an hour, but rather… Read More

Pebble sets a new record, net neutrality passes and other stories you might've missed!

Engadget - Sat, 02/28/2015 - 9:00pm
Pebble beats its own record, Motorola confirms what we already knew about the Moto E and Facebook takes a break from the sillier aspects of its site to get serious about mental health. Basically, we've got everything you need to know from this past w...

Uber Discloses Database Breach, Targets GitHub With Subpoena

Slashdot - Sat, 02/28/2015 - 8:30pm
New submitter SwampApe tips news that Uber has revealed a database breach from 2014. The company says the database contained names and diver's license numbers of their drivers, about 50,000 of which were accessed by an unauthorized third party. As part of their investigation into who was behind the breach, Uber has filed a lawsuit which includes a subpoena request for GitHub. "Uber's security team knows the public IP address used by the database invader, and wants to link that number against the IP addresses and usernames of anyone who looked at the GitHub-hosted gist in question – ID 9556255 – which we note today no longer exists. It's possible the gist contained a leaked login key, or internal source code that contained a key that should not have been made public."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Oracle Sues 5 Oregon Officials For 'Improper Influence'

Slashdot - Sat, 02/28/2015 - 7:33pm
SpzToid writes: Following up on an earlier Slashdot story, the Oracle Corporation has filed a rather timely suit against five of former governor John Kitzhaber's staff for their "improper influence" in the decision to shutter the Cover Oregon healthcare website, while blaming Oracle to defuse the political consequences. Oracle argues the website was ready to go before the state decided to switch to the federal exchange in April. "The work on the exchange was complete by February 2014, but going live with the website and providing a means for all Oregonians to sign up for health insurance coverage didn't match the former-Governor's re-election strategy to 'go after' Oracle," Oracle spokeswoman Deborah Hellinger said in a statement. Kitzhaber resigned last week amid criminal probes into an influence-peddling scandal involving allegations that his fiancée used her position in his office for personal gain.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Tinder Plus Will Launch On Monday

TechCrunch - Sat, 02/28/2015 - 7:05pm
 Tinder Plus, the dating app’s first step into the wonderful world of freemium monetization, will launch on Monday for $9.99, according to sources familiar with the matter. Tinder Plus includes at least one highly requested feature and a few others that are meant to add broader functionality to the service, which essentially boils down the usual online dating experience into a simple… Read More

IKEA will start selling wireless charging lamps and tables

Engadget - Sat, 02/28/2015 - 7:01pm
After lots of perseverance from smartphone makers, wireless charging is finally starting to make an impact. Many big name phones now support the technology and companies like Starbucks are helping to bring it a wider audience. Now, it's set to receiv...

As Big As Net Neutrality? FCC Kills State-Imposed Internet Monopolies

Slashdot - Sat, 02/28/2015 - 6:28pm
tedlistens writes: On Thursday, before it voted in favor of "net neutrality," the Federal Communications Commission voted 3-2 to override state laws in Tennessee and North Carolina that have barred local governments and public utilities from offering broadband outside the areas where they have traditionally sold electricity. Christopher Mitchell of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance said the move was as important for internet competition as net neutrality: "Preventing big Internet Service Providers from unfairly discriminating against content online is a victory, but allowing communities to be the owners and stewards of their own broadband networks is a watershed moment that will serve as a check against the worst abuses of the cable monopoly for decades to come." The laws, like those in over a dozen other states, are often created under pressure from large private Internet providers like Comcast and Verizon, who consequently control monopolies or duopolies over high-speed internet in these places.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








As Big As Net Neutrality? FCC Kills State-Imposed Internet Monopolies

Slashdot - Sat, 02/28/2015 - 6:28pm
tedlistens writes: On Thursday, before it voted in favor of "net neutrality," the Federal Communications Commission voted 3-2 to override state laws in Tennessee and North Carolina that have barred local governments and public utilities from offering broadband outside the areas where they have traditionally sold electricity. Christopher Mitchell of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance said the move was as important for internet competition as net neutrality: "Preventing big Internet Service Providers from unfairly discriminating against content online is a victory, but allowing communities to be the owners and stewards of their own broadband networks is a watershed moment that will serve as a check against the worst abuses of the cable monopoly for decades to come." The laws, like those in over a dozen other states, are often created under pressure from large private Internet providers like Comcast and Verizon, who consequently control monopolies or duopolies over high-speed internet in these places.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








As Big As Net Neutrality? FCC Kills State-Imposed Internet Monopolies

Slashdot - Sat, 02/28/2015 - 6:28pm
tedlistens writes: On Thursday, before it voted in favor of "net neutrality," the Federal Communications Commission voted 3-2 to override state laws in Tennessee and North Carolina that have barred local governments and public utilities from offering broadband outside the areas where they have traditionally sold electricity. Christopher Mitchell of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance said the move was as important for internet competition as net neutrality: "Preventing big Internet Service Providers from unfairly discriminating against content online is a victory, but allowing communities to be the owners and stewards of their own broadband networks is a watershed moment that will serve as a check against the worst abuses of the cable monopoly for decades to come." The laws, like those in over a dozen other states, are often created under pressure from large private Internet providers like Comcast and Verizon, who consequently control monopolies or duopolies over high-speed internet in these places.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








As Big As Net Neutrality? FCC Kills State-Imposed Internet Monopolies

Slashdot - Sat, 02/28/2015 - 6:28pm
tedlistens writes: On Thursday, before it voted in favor of "net neutrality," the Federal Communications Commission voted 3-2 to override state laws in Tennessee and North Carolina that have barred local governments and public utilities from offering broadband outside the areas where they have traditionally sold electricity. Christopher Mitchell of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance said the move was as important for internet competition as net neutrality: "Preventing big Internet Service Providers from unfairly discriminating against content online is a victory, but allowing communities to be the owners and stewards of their own broadband networks is a watershed moment that will serve as a check against the worst abuses of the cable monopoly for decades to come." The laws, like those in over a dozen other states, are often created under pressure from large private Internet providers like Comcast and Verizon, who consequently control monopolies or duopolies over high-speed internet in these places.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.