CES 2011: Ready to Trade in Your Computer for a Phone?

Motorola's Atrix 4G phone wants to be your computer, but it needs a bagful of accessories.

1 min read
CES 2011: Ready to Trade in Your Computer for a Phone?

If you’re really living in the cloud, do you need a computer? Motorola Mobility, introducing the Atrix 4G mobile phone, a stand-alone company that separated from Motorola Inc. yesterday, seems to think that the answer is no. All you need is a phone.

Well, maybe just a phone with a few accessories. At a press conference on the eve of the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Motorola piled on accessories in a way that reminded me of one of my favorite movie scenes of all time, when Steve Martin in “The Jerk” keeps adding random household objects to his list of  "the only thing I need."

Motorola started with the Atrix phone, a very nice and powerful dual core processor phone with 1 GB of RAM and 16 GB of storage. Of course, if you’re going to do real computing with it, you need to hook it up to a few things, so you’ll need a handy dandy little dock. And a keyboard. And a big screen—a monitor, or maybe a television, so you can watch streaming HD video if you get tired of working. But that won’t fit on your lap, so you’ll need a faux-laptop (a screen, keyboard, and dock in one package).

No word yet on what it all will cost.

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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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