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Music

At Atlantic Records, Digital Sales Surpass CDs 273

Posted by kdawson
from the trading-analog-dollars-for-digital-pennies dept.
The NYTimes reports that Atlantic is the first major label to report getting a majority of its revenue from digital sales, not CDs. Analysts say that Atlantic is out in front — the industry as a whole isn't expected to hit the 50% mark until 2011. By 2013, music industry revenues will be 37% down from their 1999 levels (when Napster arrived on the scene), according to Forrester. "'It's not at all clear that digital economics can make up for the drop in physical,' said John Rose, a former executive at EMI ... Instead, the music industry is now hoping to find growth from a variety of other revenue streams it has not always had access to, like concert ticket sales and merchandise from artist tours. ... In virtually all... corners of the media world, executives are fighting to hold onto as much of their old business as possible while transitioning to digital — a difficult process that NBC Universal's chief executive ... has described as 'trading analog dollars for digital pennies.'"
The Media

90% of Gaming Addiction Patients Not Addicted 333

Posted by Soulskill
from the don't-worry-i'm-sure-you're-in-the-other-10% dept.
phorm writes "BBC is carrying an article which states that 90% of visitors to Europe's 'video game addiction clinic' are not, in fact, addicted. The problem is a social one rather than a psychological issue. In other words, the patients have turned to heavy gaming because they felt they didn't fit in elsewhere, or that they fit in better 'in the game' than elsewhere in 'the real world.' This has been discussed before, with arguments ranging from gaming being a good way to socialize, the clinical definition of gaming addiction, and claims than males are wired for video-game addiction."
Databases

Searching DNA For Relatives Raises Concerns 199

Posted by kdawson
from the database-creep dept.
An anonymous reader calls our attention to California's familial searching policy, which looks for genetic ties between culprits and kin. The technique has come to the fore in the last few years, after a Colorado prosecutor pushed the FBI to relax its rules on cross-state searches. "Los Angeles Police Department investigators want to search the state's DNA database again — not for exact matches but for any profiles similar enough to belong to a parent or sibling. The hope is that one of those family members might lead detectives to the killer. This strategy, pioneered in Britain, is poised to become an important crime-fighting tool in the United States. The Los Angeles case will mark the first major use of California's newly approved familial searching policy, the most far-reaching in the nation."
Transportation

Bay Area To Install Electric Vehicle Grid 388

Posted by kdawson
from the recharge-it dept.
Mike writes "Recently San Francisco, San Jose, and Oakland unveiled a massive concerted effort to become the electric vehicle capitol of the United States. The Bay Area will be partnering with Better Place to create an essential electric vehicle infrastructure, marking a huge step towards the acceptance of electric vehicles as a viable alternative to those that run on fossil fuels." Inhabitat.com has some conceptual illustrations and a map showing EV infrastructure, such as battery exchange stations, stretching from Sacramento to San Diego — though this is far more extensive than the Bay Area program actually announced, which alone is estimated to cost $1 billion.
Businesses

+ - Mislabelling Organic Foods

Submitted by BayaWeaver
BayaWeaver (1048744) writes "These days I try wherever possible to eat organic foods: bread, olive oil, tofu, veges but then there's this article in the LA Times USDA may relax standards for organic foods.
This looks like an attempt to water down the meaning of organic. Here's a quote from the article: "This proposal is blatant catering to powerful industry players who want the benefits of labeling their products 'USDA organic' without doing the work to source organic materials"
So I may not be free of pesticides and preservatives after all. If we can't trust the USDA to enforce accurate labelling of foods, who else can we turn to? Are there independent organizations that can be trusted?"
United States

+ - Cooling the Earth with dead birds (really !)

Submitted by Global Observer
Global Observer (666) writes "It can't be good that were trading a cooler earth for fewer birds. The folks at www.terrapass.com are offering what is effectively a bird killer luggage tag http://www.terrapass.com/flight/whatyouget.html if you purchase some carbon credits. With the fees they get from your purchase, they reduce green house gasses using windmills and other technologies. Modern windmills are a serious hazzard to birds http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2005-01-04-win dmills-usat_x.htm Whats the average CO2 reduction per bird ?"
Music

Why Music Really Is Getting Louder 388

Posted by Zonk
from the what's-that-grandpa dept.
Teksty Piosenek writes "Artists and record bosses believe that the best album is the loudest one. Sound levels are being artificially enhanced so that the music punches through when it competes against background noise in pubs or cars. 'Geoff Emerick, engineer on the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper album, said: "A lot of what is released today is basically a scrunched-up mess. Whole layers of sound are missing. It is because record companies don't trust the listener to decide themselves if they want to turn the volume up." Downloading has exacerbated the effect. Songs are compressed once again into digital files before being sold on iTunes and similar sites. The reduction in quality is so marked that EMI has introduced higher-quality digital tracks, albeit at a premium price, in response to consumer demand.'"
Robotics

Chairbot Walks You Around While You Sit 241

Posted by samzenpus
from the stop-using-your-legs-like-a-sucker dept.
Gary writes "What do you get when you combine a robot and a chair? The Hubo FX-1 chairbot, of course. In what is perhaps my favorite robot design yet, this giant chair with legs looks like it came out of some ridiculous 80's sci-fi movie or something, but it's very, very real. HUBO FX-1 is two meters in height, and weighs 150 kg. The person sitting can control the robot easily using the built in joystick. Each ankle has a 3-axis force/torque sensor which measures the normal force and 2 moments. Each foot has an inclination sensor which measures the angle of the slope. Also, the rate gyro and the inclination sensor of the body allow the device to stabilize itself."

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