Neil Young likes to criticize things: war, environmental abuses, indifference to homelessness, the plight of small farmers, Presidents of the United States, etc. Name an activist topic, and you can probably find several well-crafted lyrics, ranging from subtle to confrontational, on the issue. Neil Young is also critical of sound quality. Highly critical.
Google had revenue of $38 billion last year. So why would they mess around selling a consumer electronics gizmo? Frankly, I don't have the faintest idea. But they have served up a juicy meatball of a nice product.
Some inventions are unquestionably awesome and tremendously useful. Things like the steam engine, electric battery, electric light, radio, internal combustion engine, and transistor were truly transformative. Other inventions are uber cool, but for some reason find it tougher to break through to broader application. Case in point: sound from ultrasound; more specifically, the generation of audible sound from modulated ultrasonic beams.
Sure, before you head to the beach, it’s imperative to slather on the sunblock. (Note: as far as I know, this is the first time I’ve used “slather” in a written sentence.) Everyone knows that too many UV rays are bad for you, and that SPF is the remedy. But what about another kind of ultraviolet?
When your TV suddenly stops working at midnight on February 17, 2009, blame Vice President Dick Cheney. Back in 2005, the Senate's vote on a spending bill that included $1.5 billion to help people buy digital-TV converter boxes was deadlocked 50-50, so Cheney flew back from the Middle East to cast the tiebreaker.
Americans are sometimes criticized for being ignorant of the rest of the world. I guess the fact that most Americans can't locate Canada on a map tends to confirm that. (It's somewhat south of the North Pole) Along the same lines, we tend to forget that there are consumer markets other than ours. Moreover, those markets can be surprisingly different from ours.
Scientists, who apparently never cease thinking of things that would never occur to me, have demonstrated that it is possible to store digital data in molecular form. As reported in Nature, a team of brainiacs stored the text of all 154 of Shakespeare’s sonnets, a photo of their institute’s building, and a copy of a paper by Watson and Crick, as DNA sequences.
Referring to the sound of the 12-cylinder engines in Ferrari cars, conductor Herbert von Karajan said it was, "a melody that no conductor would ever be able to reproduce." Considering that the maestro was not modest when speaking of his abilities, that is quite a compliment. He was right, of course; some engines, tuned with the right exhaust, yield a glorious sound. With further tuning, apparently they can also yield glorious music.