Google’s Pixel 2 event in San Francisco on Wednesday had a lot of stuff to show off and most of it was more of the same…But tucked into the tail end of the presentation, Google quietly revealed that it had changed the world with a pair of wireless headphones. Not to be outdone by Apple’s Air Pods and their wirelessly-charging TicTac storage case, Google packed its headphones with the power to translate between 40 languages, literally in real-time. The company has finally done what science fiction and countless Kickstarters have been promising us, but failing to deliver on, for years. This technology could fundamentally change how we communicate across the global community.
A new breed of video and audio manipulation tools allow for the creation of realistic looking news footage, like the now infamous fake Obama speech. READ MORE: The future of fake news: don’t believe everything you read, see or hear | Technology | The Guardian
Engel and Resnick are part of Google Magenta—a small team of AI researchers inside the internet giant building computer systems that can make their own art—and this is their latest project. It’s called NSynth, and the team will publicly demonstrate the technology later this week at Moogfest, the annual art, music, and technology festival, held this year in Durham, North Carolina.
The idea is that NSynth, which Google first discussed in a blog post last month, will provide musicians with an entirely new range of tools for making music. READ MORE: Google’s AI Invents Sounds Humans Have Never Heard Before | WIRED
Image Source: ars technica | Gregory F. Maxwell/Wikimedia Commons
It’s bizarre but true: wire recording is the longest-lasting capture format in audio history, one that paved the way for reel-to-reel tapes and a host of others—even though most people today, and some techies included, have barely heard of it. READ MORE: Forgotten audio formats: Wire recording | Ars Technica
Film and TV show locations around the world | Business Insider
[I]nteractive map shows you where your favourite films and TV shows were filmed — including ‘Star Wars’ and ‘Game of Thrones.’
Beautiful Maps Let You Explore How Your City Sounds | Gizmodo
The urban aural landscape has a huge impact on our lives—from the roar of traffic and clatter of jackhammer, to the groove of music and lullaby of birdsong. These maps roll that information together to let you explore how cities around the world sound.
Download 67,000 Historic Maps (in High Resolution) from the Wonderful David Rumsey Map Collection | Open Culture
The historical map collection has over 67,000 maps and images online. The collection includes rare 16th through 21st century maps of America, North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Africa, Pacific and the World.
There’s also a new feature for many maps called “Georeferencing,” which matches the map’s contours with other historic maps or with more accurate, modern satellite images.
The podcast/audio world has been waiting for Audible to make its big move into the space. It’s here, including original content from major publishers like The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post. READ MORE: Audible, long known only for audiobooks, is branching out into podcasts — and news | Nieman Journalism Lab
Who knows…one day librarians may be cataloguing these audiophiles or a next generation version of…
WARNING: Do not try this!
Here’s something for all you hardcore party animals: when you can’t get to the rave, you now have the option of the “Audiopill.” It’s a miniaturized sound system housed inside a plastic microcapsule that you can swallow to groove internally to those sweet beats. And yes, it’s as crazy dangerous as it sounds. READ MORE: Swallow This ‘Audiopill’ At Your Own Risk To Get Your Rave On | Gizmodo
The Spotify playlist “1200 Years of Women Composers: From Hildegard To Higdon,” reveals that women started shaping what we now know as classical music far longer ago than most of us realize. (If you don’t have Spotify’s free software, download it here.) The playlist, which contains over 900 pieces and will take you days to listen to, begins in medieval times with the Byzantine abbess, poet, composer, and hymnographer Kassia and ends with female composers from around the world not only living but (especially by the standards of those who write orchestral music) still young, like Misato Mochizuki, Helena Tulve, and Lera Auerbach. This comes arranged by Spotify Classical Playlists, whose site describes how the playlist offers not just an anthology of women composers, but also “a brief history of western classical music…” MORE: 1200 Years of Women Composers: A Free 78-Hour Music Playlist That Takes You From Medieval Times to Now | Open Culture
The tiny, Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan has a unique national aspiration that sets it apart from its neighbors, China and India. (And certainly the United States too.) Rather than increasing its gross national product, Bhutan has instead made it a goal to increase the Gross National Happiness of its citizens. There’s wealth in health, not just money, the Bhutanese have argued. And since the 1970s, the country has taken a holistic approach to development, trying to increase the spiritual, physical, and environmental health of its people. And guess what? The strategy is paying off. A 2006 global survey conducted by Business Week found that Bhutan is the happiest country in Asia and the eighth-happiest country in the world. It’s perhaps only a nation devoted to happiness that could throw its support behind this — postage stamps that double as playable vinyl records. READ MORE: Postage Stamps from Bhutan That Double as Playable Vinyl Records | Open Culture
During these summer months, we’ve been busy rummaging around the internet and adding new courses to our big list of Free Online Courses, which now features 1,150 courses from top universities. Let’s give you the quick overview: The list lets you download audio & video lectures from schools like Stanford, Yale, MIT, Oxford and Harvard. Generally, the courses can be accessed via YouTube, iTunes or university web sites, and you can listen to the lectures anytime, anywhere, on your computer or smart phone. We didn’t do a precise calculation, but there’s probably about 35,000 hours of free audio & video lectures here. Enough to keep you busy for a very long time. READ MORE: A Master List of 1,150 Free Courses From Top Universities: 35,000 Hours of Audio/Video Lectures | Open Culture.