wtf

Opinion: US Internet Censorship Could Cripple Online Music Web; Where to Find Out More, Where to Act

If you haven’t been following the (excellent) coverage elsewhere, just how bad is the “Firewall of the United States,” the draconian Internet dystopia misguided legislation in the US proposes to create? That legislation is so vague, so far-reaching, so poorly-designed, that it potentially threatens all kinds of sites musicians regularly use. And little wonder: a backwards legislation process in the US has locked out the very Internet and tech companies that have until now been glimmers of hope in a stagnant US economy. The crux of this issue is the impact on legal sites, and democracy and speech online. For …

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soundplane_blanks

A Glimpse of the Soundplane Controller, Innovative Tactile Multi-Touch, in the Lab; Call to Action

Alder Soundplane prototype with blanks of reclaimed redwood and Doug Fir. Photo by Randy Jones; used by permission. On tablets, on displays, multi-touch control these days is calibrated largely as a software interface – more Starship Enterprise panel than violin. As such, it works well for production tools and exploring compositional ideas. But it falls far short of being an instrument: even on the much-hyped iPad, touch timing and sensitivity is too imprecise, and the absence of tactile feedback and real, kinetic resistance makes you feel like an operator rather than a musician. Several projects in experimental instrument research seek …

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Why iOS’ Problems with Free Video Won’t Spread to Android, Most Other Platforms

Free as in beer is a great concept, too. Photo (CC-BY-SA) The Art Gallery of Knoxville. While on the topic of the conflict between the GPL-licensed free VLC video tool (and GPL software in general) and Apple’s App Store, I can’t help but be slightly amused at the common reaction. It goes like this: “hey, isn’t this all in conflict with the spirit of open source?” Of course, that’s the point. The GPL protects certain rights a developer wants the user to have. Apple’s store imposes specific restrictions. Each party is entirely free to do so; they own the code …

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Why iOS' Problems with Free Video Won't Spread to Android, Most Other Platforms

Free as in beer is a great concept, too. Photo (CC-BY-SA) The Art Gallery of Knoxville. While on the topic of the conflict between the GPL-licensed free VLC video tool (and GPL software in general) and Apple’s App Store, I can’t help but be slightly amused at the common reaction. It goes like this: “hey, isn’t this all in conflict with the spirit of open source?” Of course, that’s the point. The GPL protects certain rights a developer wants the user to have. Apple’s store imposes specific restrictions. Each party is entirely free to do so; they own the code …

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As Apple Pulls GPL-Licensed VLC, The Developers' Version of Events, What it Means for Free Video

Why did Apple remove the free VLC video player from its iOS store? One developer close to the story who asked not to be named answered that question, simply, “No f**king idea.” And that perhaps sums up the mess, misunderstandings, and resentment now surrounding a mobile port of the video app. The word “open” these days seems to mean whatever people want it to mean. But a dust-up over the distribution of free and open source video player VLC is far from abstract. By determining whether or not people are able to use a popular video tool on their iPads, …

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As Apple Pulls GPL-Licensed VLC, The Developers’ Version of Events, What it Means for Free Video

Why did Apple remove the free VLC video player from its iOS store? One developer close to the story who asked not to be named answered that question, simply, “No f**king idea.” And that perhaps sums up the mess, misunderstandings, and resentment now surrounding a mobile port of the video app. The word “open” these days seems to mean whatever people want it to mean. But a dust-up over the distribution of free and open source video player VLC is far from abstract. By determining whether or not people are able to use a popular video tool on their iPads, …

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CBC Dumps Creative Commons; Non-Commercial Licensing to Blame?

I’m able to use this particular image as CDM is itself under a Share Alike license. Photo (CC-BY-SA) Andy Melton. I have no problem with copyrighting music. So I’ll be blunt: my ongoing impression of Creative Commons licensing is that you should either choose a license that allows for commercial use, or opt for traditional copyright and licensing. The popular “non-commercial” restriction is problematic. It does too little to prevent exploitation, and too much to prevent exactly the kind of use that’s the reason you’d choose CC in the first place. That’s not an effective compromise; it’s more like a …

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As Gaming Faces Supreme Court Case, Music Industry Defends Free Speech

Music or games – free speech is free speech, say legal, advocacy, and industry groups. Photo (CC-BY-SA) FHKE. A California ban of the sale of violent video games to minors may not seem relevant to the world of music on first blush. But the music industry, joining everyone from software makers to legal groups to state Attorneys General, feels otherwise. Overzealous restriction of the sale of games, these groups say, is tantamount to an attack on rights of free speech protected by the United States Constitution. And while the California law would make a separate set of rules for gaming, …

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Editorial: MPEG LA Extends Royalty-Free License for H.264, Sorta – But Not Much Changes

The good news: a lot of “broadcast” Internet video is free forever on AVC and H.264. The bad news: everything else still costs money, not much else changes, and you can expect the next battle will be a protracted patent debate. Whee! Photo (CC-BY) Bill Jacobus. MPEG LA, the group that holds the patent pool for AVC (best known for the H.264 codec) and licenses said pool to third parties, has extended its royalty-free license for free, end-user playback of its video. That extends a deadline from what had been December 15, 2015 to an indefinite date, and it removes …

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iPhone Devs Get MIDI Keyboards, MIDI I/O, But With Some Strings Attached

Mobile devices are here, they’re powerful — get used to them. Now, could they just connect to the rest of your noisemakers and studio rigs? That’s the potential of new iOS SDKs for MIDI I/O and keyboard docking. But aside from some restrictions imposed by hardware support on iOS, what many developers are publicly wondering is whether a different path entirely will be most productive. Hot on the heels of Line 6’s SDK for their MIDI Mobilizer, a MIDI input and output connector for iOS devices, Akai is courting developers for its own music accessory. The SynthStation 25 is a …

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