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E-Newspapers: Digital Deliverance?

Dozens of major newspapers are experimenting with electronic reading devices

7 min read

The Swedish mobile technology ­engineer Stig Nordqvist has a vision. He sees millions of people accessing up-to-the-­minute, broadsheet-quality news on small handheld devices that can stay switched on longer than most people can stay awake. Think iPod—plus ­connectivity—for newshounds.

When? A lot sooner than you might expect. Several newspapers in Europe and Asia are already producing dedicated eâ''reader editions, and others are following suit. At the forefront are a couple of dozen publications part way through a three-year electronic news initiative, organized by IFRA, a publishing trade association based in Darmstadt, Germany, with more than 3000 members worldwide. IFRA launched its e-News project in March to help members evaluate business and editorial opportunities opened by a new generation of handheld electronic reading devices [see photo, "New World of News"]. Participants include The New York Times and its International Herald Tribune subsidiary in Paris, Spain’s El País, Britain’s Telegraph Group, and Japan’s Yomiuri Shimbun.

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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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