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Apple Electronics: Inside the Beatles' eccentric technology subsidiary

Daily Mail - Science & tech

Say the word Apple today and we think of Steve Jobs' multi-billion-dollar technology company that spawned the iPhone and the Mac computer. But a decade before the California-based firm was even founded, Apple Electronics, a subsidiary of the Beatles' record label Apple, was working on several pioneering inventions – some of which were precursors of commonly available products today. Apple Electronics was led by Alexis Mardas, a young electronics engineer and inventor originally from Athens in Greece, known to the Beatles as Magic Alex. He died on this day in 2017, aged 74, and was one of the most colourful and mysterious characters in the Beatles' story. Dressed in a white lab coat in his London workshop, Mardas created prototypes of inventions that were set to be marketed and sold. These included the'composing typewriter' – powered by an early example of sound recognition – and a phone with advanced memory capacity.


You just got a smart speaker as a holiday present. Here's what you need to know.

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

So you just got a smart speaker as a holiday present. Now what to do with them? You've come to the right place. On command, by saying "Hey Siri," for the HomePod, "Hey Google" for the Nest Audio or "Alexa," on Echo speakers, you can instruct them to play music of your choice, either via a subscription service, or more generically, as part of a themed radio station via the Pandora service. Amazon's speakers play music from Amazon Music, Spotify, Apple Music, Pandora and iHeartRadio, while Apple plays just from Apple Music and Pandora.


Pop songs will get shorter this decade because of faltering attention spans

Daily Mail - Science & tech

Pop songs will get shorter on average by the end of this decade because of faltering attention spans and'skipping culture' on streaming services, experts say. Attention spans of music fans has dropped from 12 seconds to eight since the year 2000, according to research from Samsung. As a result it's more important than ever for musicians to draw listeners in early, keep the overall length of a track short and'load choruses up front'. On music streaming services like Spotify, artists don't get royalties from a song being played if the listener doesn't get beyond the first 30 seconds. By 2030, it will therefore be more important than ever for songs to quickly progress to the next track on an album before listeners get bored, the experts say.


Stop the music! New AI-powered program tells you how bad your Spotify playlist is

Daily Mail - Science & tech

This time of year, many people post their Spotify'Wrapped' lists, revealing which songs they played the most over the past 12 months. The online culture magazine The Pudding fed millions of indicators of what it deemed objectively good music, including Pitchfork reviews, record store recommendations'and subreddits you've never heard of.' In addition to rating your taste in tracks, the'How Bad Is Your Spotify?' app will tell you which songs you play too much and which artists you are obsessed with'to an uncomfortable extent.' Launching on Wednesday, it's proven successful enough to trend on Twitter. Logging into Spotify via the'How Bad is Your Spotify' allows the site to review and judge your'awful' taste in music Depending on how high traffic is, it may take a few moments for it to assess your taste in music.


This Yamaha soundbar delivers understated stylings

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

The Sonos Arc is a pricy but peerless home audio package. Sonos' first-ever Dolby Atmos soundbar is more than just a pretty (and tubular) face. This powerful hunk of well fashioned plastic is loaded with 11 individually powered drivers, including dual speakers pointed upward to bounce off your ceiling, creating an impressively potent example of the hemispheric immersion for which Dolby's Atmos sound format is so highly praised. Its well-tuned drivers offer a rich and smooth sound signature that's fantastic for anything you play, from sitcoms to streaming music. Speaking of streaming, like all Sonos speakers, the Arc offers WiFi connection through the Sonos app, along with the ability to connect with other Sonos speakers, either in a group, or as part of a surround sound setup. This allows you to add dual surround speakers and a Sonos subwoofer if you want, though the Arc offers impressive bass response even without one. Like the Sonos Beam, it also sports built-in microphones and your choice of Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa support, making it both a soundbar and a powerful smart speaker. The drawback of all these features is, of course, the price of $799, which puts the bar beyond the average budget.


Here's how to set up Apple Music on Google smart speakers

USATODAY - Tech Top Stories

Rejoice! Apple Music is finally available on Google Assistant-enabled smart speakers and displays like the Nest Audio and Nest Hub Max. Previously, only YouTube Music, Spotify, Pandora, and Deezer were able to be played natively on Google speakers. The addition of Apple Music to Google speakers is a welcome change for veteran iOS users who have previously relied on Bluetooth as a workaround to play from Apple's catalog of 70 million songs on Google Home speakers. Without further ado, here's how to start rocking out to Apple Music directly from Google speakers. Here's a look at how to link your Apple Music account in the Google Home app.


Reface grabs $5.5M seed led by A16z to stoke its viral face-swap video app – TechCrunch

#artificialintelligence

Buzzy face-swap video app Reface, which lends users celebrity'superpowers' by turning their selfies into "eerily realistic" famous video clips at the tap of a button, has caught the attention of Andreessen Horowitz. The Silicon Valley venture firm leads a $5.5 million seed round in the deep tech entertainment startup, announced today. Reface tells us its apps (iOS and Android) have been downloaded some 70 million times since it launched in January 2020 -- up from 20M when we spoke to one of its (seven) co-founders back in August. It's also attained'top five' leading app status in around 100 countries, the US included -- as well as bagging a'top app' award in the annual Google Play best of. That kind of viral growth clip has been turning heads all over the place.


CrossNER: Evaluating Cross-Domain Named Entity Recognition

arXiv.org Artificial Intelligence

Cross-domain named entity recognition (NER) models are able to cope with the scarcity issue of NER samples in target domains. However, most of the existing NER benchmarks lack domain-specialized entity types or do not focus on a certain domain, leading to a less effective cross-domain evaluation. To address these obstacles, we introduce a cross-domain NER dataset (CrossNER), a fully-labeled collection of NER data spanning over five diverse domains with specialized entity categories for different domains. Additionally, we also provide a domain-related corpus since using it to continue pre-training language models (domain-adaptive pre-training) is effective for the domain adaptation. We then conduct comprehensive experiments to explore the effectiveness of leveraging different levels of the domain corpus and pre-training strategies to do domain-adaptive pre-training for the cross-domain task. Results show that focusing on the fractional corpus containing domain-specialized entities and utilizing a more challenging pre-training strategy in domain-adaptive pre-training are beneficial for the NER domain adaptation, and our proposed method can consistently outperform existing cross-domain NER baselines. Nevertheless, experiments also illustrate the challenge of this cross-domain NER task. We hope that our dataset and baselines will catalyze research in the NER domain adaptation area. The code and data are available at https://github.com/zliucr/CrossNER.


We made a royal mess to test this Shark robot vac

Mashable

Check out how this Shark has you covered in our video with tech influencers Sarah Dietschy and Will Carmack. Captain America's best buds are back in explosive trailer for'The Falcon and the Winter Soldier' Taylor Swift's music video for'willow' is a romantic sequel to'cardigan' Tom Hiddleston's Loki takes the spotlight in thrilling first look at his Disney series


The Biggest Companies are Integrating Chatbots into Their Interface and Why You Should Too!

#artificialintelligence

Chatbots are not a new development in the tech world, but over the course of the last few years they have exploded in popularity, going from simple scripts to complex Artificial Intelligence tools that will change the way we see and interact with the internet, both as individuals, and as large corporations and organizations. With industry leaders such as Facebook introducing chatbot services that have been used to create almost 300,000 individual bots, it is clear that chatbots are taking off in a big way, and the decision to incorporate them should be a no-brainer for any business looking to excel in the digital sphere. Keen to build off the excitement of new developments in the chatbot industry, Domino's Pizza introduced Dom the Pizza Bot. In a partnership with Facebook Messenger, potential customers are able to message Dom and request food with as little as a single word or all-encompassing emoji. This bot has captured the hearts of thousands of pizza-lovers with it's irreverent responses, and given a heart and soul to Domino's Pizza.