The December 2022 issue of IEEE Spectrum is here!

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"Hacking" was a big part of BioShock - the dark and addictive first person shooter.  To progress through the story, you had to solve mini-games, little puzzles that unlocked key portions of the experience.

I wasn't crazy about this.  To me, it stopped the action and took away from the otherwise awesome pacing.

Good news!

The old style "hacking" isn't going to be as goofy in BioShock 2.

Check out this little video interview with the game's lead designer, Zak McClendon.  Hacking has now been integrated more seamlessly into the gameplay experience, so you can solve puzzles WHILE getting shot (how's that for multi-tasking?).

Also, it's commendable that the developers are making hacking a heroic skill.  There's a lot of negative buzz in the media lately about the scourge of game hackers, the people pirating games, online and off.  Of course hacking is not always a bad thing, and BioShock, maybe, is helping to put it back in the geeky and proper light. 

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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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