The December 2022 issue of IEEE Spectrum is here!

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Need another reason to download games?   Here's one.   A postal worker got caught swiping games from Gamefly envelopes.

Meanwhile, there's more evidence that gamers are booting up downloads - especially during a recession.  According to this story in Reuters, premium downloads of online games is growing 50 to 100 percent per yer.  This is happening while game sales - so far in 2009 - are down by 14 percent.  Consider the difference between buying a new Madden game and getting it online:

"[The] exclusive downloadable five-on-five football game offers a $15 casual alternative to the fully-packed 'Madden NFL 10' console games, which retail for $40 to $60. It's not just the mainstream audience that's migrating to downloads. Chris Buffa, editor-in-chief of AOL's GameDaily.com, said as hardcore gamers have tightened their belts during the recession, they've opted for more affordable gaming options. 'Instead of going to the store and picking up three or four games, they're buying that one big game each week,' said Buffa. 'Personally, I opt for more downloadable content over retail releases because I get more for my dollar.'

 

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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
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Image containing multiple aspects such as instruments and left and right open hands.
Stuart Bradford
Blue

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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