Trivial Posts #25: The Amazing, The Afraid, And The A.I.s
I thought work was going to be all about the iPhone this week. In terms of popular culture it was, but I picked up success somewhere else. And in the middle of all that, I found some fun things online… these are the Trivial Posts that kept me from falling down an Apple-filled rabbit hole.
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Dah dah dah dumm DUM!!
“Hum the music from Star Wars. Hum the music from James Bond. Hum the music from Harry Potter. Now hum the music from any Marvel film.”
And with that simple question. Tony Zhou nails another ‘Every Frame A Painting’ video on the magic behind the movies.
The Marvel Symphonic Universe (YouTube)
The Great Musical YouTube Debate
Times change, business models are tweaked, and the record industry still wants the same pound of flesh from those who consume it. That’s one angle. The other is that the music industry believes that many companies (primarily Google) is profiting from music without sharing the income fairly. Chris Cook takes time to look at the flashpoint issues for Complete Music Update:
Then streaming music started to take off. And then it started to really take off, in key markets like the US and UK. And as SoundExchange revenues started to grow in the former, and Spotify gained momentum in Europe, the monies being paid over by YouTube each month started to look much less impressive.
Oh, and then download sales peaked. This was a key factor in the music industry’s changing relationship with YouTube
We’re All Suspects So Watch Your Back
Once more, profiling and harassment at Airport security reveals far more about the humanity in the post 9/11 world. Riz Ahemd writes about his experiences at The Guardian.
My first film was in this mode, Michael Winterbottom’s The Road to Guantánamo. It told the story of a group of friends from Birmingham who were illegally imprisoned and tortured in the US detainment camp. When it won a prestigious award at the Berlin film festival, we were euphoric. For those who saw it, the inmates went from orange jumpsuits to human beings.
But airport security did not get the memo. Returning to the glamour of Luton Airport after our festival win, ironically named British intelligence officers frogmarched me to an unmarked room where they insulted, threatened, and then attacked me.
Let’s Teach The AIs How To Use Guns
For computers to learn how to drive cars, they need somewhere to practice. That could be on a real rod with a human co-driver, but that has to be late stage testing for obvious reasons. What could be used instead? Rockstar Games Grand Theft Auto:
There’s little chance of a computer learning bad behavior by playing violent computer games. But the stunningly realistic scenery found in Grand Theft Auto and other virtual worlds could help a machine perceive elements of the real world correctly.
A technique known as machine learning is enabling computers to do impressive new things, like identifying faces and recognizing speech as well as a person can. But the approach requires huge quantities of curated data, and it can be challenging and time-consuming to gather enough. The scenery in many games is so fantastically realistic that it can be used to generate data that’s as good as that generated by using real-world imagery.
You Can Sing With It Or Hammer Some Nails Into The Wall
Where would the world be without music? And where would music be without the Shure SM58 microphone? Shure itself has celebrated its top product with a top ten list, but its hard to argue with the PR when the product is the indestructible microphone:
Ernie Seeler, the man behind the development of the SM58, didn’t like rock and roll.
It’s ironic that a quiet man who preferred classical music invented a mic that would become synonymous with rock and roll, first capturing the attention of acts like The Who and The Rolling Stones. Shocked by its widespread adoption on the rock stage, Ernie Seeler said, “I love classical music, but rock and roll, I don’t take very seriously.”
What I’ve Been Up To
Well, the iPhone arrived in store and anyone could (allegedly) buy one. So it was off to brave the Apple Store so I could come home to my blanket fort to recover with the iPhone 7, open it up, and start reviewing it for Forbes. That said, this was the weekend of Android, as my weekly digest of Android news went viral and picked up over one million readers. Where do I pick up my ‘seven-figure blog post’ badge?
Today (Monday 19th) I’ll be attending the Next Radio conference in London. I’m here till Wednesday, so drop me a line if you’d like to meet up or talk technology while I’m in the capital. I’m also attending the Web Summit (Lisbon 7-10 November 2016) and SXSW (Austin, 10-20 March 2017)
‘Trivial Posts’ is a mostly weekly series of posts that brings together interesting posts, ideas, video clips, essays, images, and anything else that catches my eye on the Internet. Read it online, or subscribe to the email newsletter version here.