No such thing as out of print

The long tail lives: Universal sells 250,000 out-of-print tracks. ‘The project began back in February, when Universal uploaded 3,000 tracks from out-of-print (and mostly European) recordings to online music stores across the continent. In the eight months since, Europeans have responded by snapping up more than 250,000 downloads of the new music. The most popular track in the list was Gun’s “Word Up” from 1994, while the most popular album was Big Country’s Steeltown from 1984. Based on total number of tracks downloaded, the most popular band was French rockers Noir Desir.’
Ars Technica

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Radio tracking

BBC Radio Player | Yahoo! widget. ‘Our experimental / prototype / beta (sorry, but we can’t guarantee the quality of service) widget asks you to sign in to your account and choose a BBC Radio station (only Radio 1, Radio 2, 6 Music and 1Xtra are available at the moment). The currently playing song is retrieved and is added to your profile (unless you decide to add songs manually) and other recommended artists are displayed.’

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Scientists stitch up cloaking device. ‘Metamaterials can be designed with very specific properties that allow scientists to control the path of electromagnetic radiation very precisely. Electromagnetic waves would flow around an object hidden inside the cloak, he noted, just as water in a river flows virtually undisturbed around a smooth rock.’
The Register

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3D space games

Net_Derive, the city as instrument. ‘Participants are given a kind of scarf with a mobile phone in each end and off they go to explore the neighborhood. One of the phones takes pictures every 20 secs and collects sounds, the other talks to the GPS (also in the scarf) and to the server inside the gallery space. On a radar they can see themselves pictured as dots but also the images they’re taking. The sounds and pictures collected in the streets are sampled and mapped to a 3D city map in the gallery. As users are walking they can hear some voice instructions through a pair of headphones.’

We Make Money Not Art

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Character toys

You Talk to It. It Usually Does What You Ask. Oh, and It Burps.. ‘Resembling a large egg, the Radica Jibbi TV is a $35 voice recognition toy that lets children give verbal commands to a smiling creature named Jibbi. After you install the four AA batteries and plug the toy into your TV set’s AV ports, you meet Jibbi, who burps, talks, giggles and responds to short spoken commands like “let’s play” or “do chores.”’

New York Times

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Touch screen displays

Optimus Upravlator keyboard. ‘The Upravlator keyboard is an input device of a new type. Within the case, a 10.8″ LCD screen with a resolution of 800×600 pixels is enclosed. Over the screen, there is a board with 12 transparent buttons. Every button features four contacts (at the top, at the bottom, on the left, and on the right). Pressing the button in the middle is possible, too (“fifth contact”).’


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