Apple Gets in the (Tablet) Game

Rumors of a new tablet computer from Apple

1 min read

Word is spreading that Apple will be debuting a tablet computer - ideal for gaming - this fall.  The Telegraph quotes an anonymous analyst who says that the so-called "MacBook Touch" will be like a really big iPod.

"The touch-screen expected to have a 10in touch-screen and be similar in look and feel to a large iPod touch," the Telegraph reports, "Experts expect it to cost around $800 (£500), and to be positioned as a home media hub, capable of streaming content and services in much the same way as Apple TV does, and doubling as a games console."

So what about that last bit - touch-screen gaming.  We've seen a lot of hit-and-miss exploitation of this feature on the iPhone.  The best games - such as Rolando or Dr. Awesome - make the touch-screen an integral, but not gratuitous element of gameplay.  This works for the quickplay experience of mobile games, but what about more robust, long-play computer games?   Do we really want to spend a lot of time sliding our fingers around World of Warcraft?   Won't that get annoying?   I don't think existing titles will be able to simply add touch-screen movement to the action without it feeling lame.  The best titles will be created from the ground up with the touch-screen in mind. 

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Deep Learning Could Bring the Concert Experience Home

The century-old quest for truly realistic sound production is finally paying off

12 min read
Image containing multiple aspects such as instruments and left and right open hands.
Stuart Bradford

Now that recorded sound has become ubiquitous, we hardly think about it. From our smartphones, smart speakers, TVs, radios, disc players, and car sound systems, it’s an enduring and enjoyable presence in our lives. In 2017, a survey by the polling firm Nielsen suggested that some 90 percent of the U.S. population listens to music regularly and that, on average, they do so 32 hours per week.

Behind this free-flowing pleasure are enormous industries applying technology to the long-standing goal of reproducing sound with the greatest possible realism. From Edison’s phonograph and the horn speakers of the 1880s, successive generations of engineers in pursuit of this ideal invented and exploited countless technologies: triode vacuum tubes, dynamic loudspeakers, magnetic phonograph cartridges, solid-state amplifier circuits in scores of different topologies, electrostatic speakers, optical discs, stereo, and surround sound. And over the past five decades, digital technologies, like audio compression and streaming, have transformed the music industry.

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