NPR Morning Edition's David Malakoff yesterday covered the Laptop Battle phenomenon: competitive laptop composition contests that are spreading across North America, thanks to fourthcity's LAPTOPBATTLE.ORG.
NPR caught the recent Mid-Atlantic laptop battle. Players are given a
time-limit and are actually forbidden from using external controllers.
The music must be laptop-only. Then it's a slam — whoever wins over
the judges with their musical mastery and energy wins.

So, how can you get on the action? April 1 (Friday!) is the next
contest in Seattle. (Any Seattle readers? Hit comments and let us know
if you make it!) And the contest will be touring through many other US
cities; check the site for details. For virtual action, download the free DVD. And women, get rolling — there was all of one female entrant in February.

In other news: NPR finally answers the question of what Fruity Loops composition + color commentary sounds like on the radio.