Tenori-On Orange $699 for “Home Use” – Minus Battery, Lights on Back

The Tenori-On, the grid-based musical instrument with whimsical sequenced lights created by Toshio Iwai, has been gradually becoming more affordable. The original model, complete with its rounded metal case, has already been cut to US$999 here in North America. Now, Yamaha announces that it is making an “Orange” version which also slices costs. A plastic case stands in for the metal one, the lights are orange instead of white, and lights appear only on one side. Yamaha says this is for “home use” — that is, you don’t need the device lighting up on the other side if no one’s …

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Going Mobile: Nintendo DS-10 Comes to North America

Today was full of good news for people interested in carrying pads in the palm of their hand. Fans of the Nintendo DS in North America, the Korg DS-10 Plus synthesizer for Big N’s game system is now coming to your side of the Pacific Ocean. (That also bodes well, I think, for other parts of the world.) The DS-10 I think really deserves some credit for making a straight-up music title a hit on gaming platforms, and its success certainly surpassed my own expectations. It’s not a game, it’s not an interactive experience, it’s not a music game – …

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Subprime: The American Housing, Financial Crisis, Animated

Putting complex political issues into the form of art sometimes falls on its face. But art’s unique power to personalize and make big issues specific can be a powerful asset. We were already big fans of the animation work of Beeple, but the latest, hand-animated digital creation is especially poetic. It’s an essay on consumption, and it doesn’t focus – as the news has – on the crisis itself. Instead, in watching the idea of shelter blown to absurd proportions, in simple graphics reminiscent of The Sims, it gets at a notion of consumer excess that goes well beyond just …

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Inside the Performance Rights Act, And Deciding Who Gets Paid on the Radio

Performers don’t get paid for radio play, even if writers do. Billy Corgan – yes, the Smashing Pumpkins Billy Corgan – is getting in on the issue, testifying to Congress. So should you be on Billy’s side, or the broadcasters? That’s a trickier question. Photo (CC) Andra Veraart. Policy, intellectual property, and changing business models remain hot threads to follow on this site as we watch the transformation of music distribution in the electronic age. This time, we welcome a new contributor to look inside the issues. Surprise: one radio host sides with the record industry, and the issues may …

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Artists’ Jobs Aren’t Jobs? Will the Real Conservatives Please Stand Up?

Well, someone has pork on the brain, anyway. Photo: Jason Brackins. While I’m discussing the potential to take new directions in the arts and technology worldwide, and about ways in which creative technology can help repair the global economy, I’d be remiss if I didn’t make one sobering concession: To many policy makers, the “arts” don’t count as the economy. If you’re employed as an artist, (and by extension in creative fields), you’re not a worker. Um… thanks? Never mind that in the US alone, nearly 6 million people are employed in the arts – or that that figure itself …

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Harvard Students Defend Privacy Against RIAA; Industry Pushing Campus Licenses?

Reflecting Harvard: a bike passes through Cambridge. Photo (CC) sandcastlematt. Music DRM may be a thing of the past, online sales may be growing, but that doesn’t mean the U.S. record industry has missed a beat in its ongoing legal and lobbying campaign against music piracy online. The latest battle starts today in Rhode Island federal court. The difference this time: the RIAA and record companies will have to face a Harvard Law prof and his students. Prof. Charles Nesson and his team allege the industry is abusing the court system, unfairly making “examples” out of the people they’re suing, …

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Projectors are Now Presidential Political Fodder in the US

Viva la revolucion! Unidad para proyectistas! Photo by Richard Yuan of the Adler Planetarium’s now-controversial projector. Attention, visualists! We’ve reached a historic landmark: we’re a political campaign issue! A projector controversy on a nationally-televised Presidential debate? Believe it. Background For those not in the US, for some time candidate Senator McCain has been attacking “earmark” funding as “corrupt.” This is a system by which federal funds are included in Congressional spending bills. That spending has indeed grown recently, and in some cases has fairly been criticized for wasteful spending. Senator McCain has been a worthy opponent of such spending. But …

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