The Audio Frontier

Leading computer audio engineers retreat to a Texas ranch to map out the future of their technology... and to admire the emus

10 min read
A Project Bar-B-Q attendee leaves the conference room at scenic Guadalupe River Ranch in Texas, where brainstorming and jam sessions share the spotlight.
Photo: Greg Smith/Corbis Saba

Don't poison my well!" warns the cowboy, "or there's going to be hell to pay." It's late one night on a ranch in the central Texas hill country. The cows are heading off to pasture, storm clouds are moving in, and smoke rises from the campfire. As the cowboy admonishes the men gathered before him, the showdown is about to begin.

But this is no ordinary shootout. And these are no ordinary cowboys. They're some 50 software and hardware engineers who work in the Wild West of computer audio. The weekend cowboy addressing the group is Keith Weiner, the handlebar-mustached CEO of DiamondWare Ltd. (Mesa, Ariz.), a company that produces audio software. As Weiner puts it metaphorically, they're here to spend the next three days cleaning up their poisoned well: the faulty and undependable pit of audio wares. These are the strings of bits that translate into bongs, shrieks, beeps, honks, and even the occasional musical interlude when you boot up your computer, blast a monster in a computer game, or crank up Radiohead. If success crowns their efforts, they'll not only improve computer audio, but also make consumers care more about computer audio in the first place.

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Video Friday: Drone in a Cage

Your weekly selection of awesome robot videos

3 min read
A drone inside of a protective geometric cage flies through a dark rain

Video Friday is your weekly selection of awesome robotics videos, collected by your friends at IEEE Spectrum robotics. We also post a weekly calendar of upcoming robotics events for the next few months. Please send us your events for inclusion.

ICRA 2022: 23 May–27 May 2022, PHILADELPHIA
IEEE ARSO 2022: 28 May–30 May 2022, LONG BEACH, CALIF.
RSS 2022: 21 June–1 July 2022, NEW YORK CITY
ERF 2022: 28 June–30 June 2022, ROTTERDAM, NETHERLANDS
RoboCup 2022: 11 July–17 July 2022, BANGKOK
IEEE CASE 2022: 20 August–24 August 2022, MEXICO CITY
CLAWAR 2022: 12 September–14 September 2022, AZORES, PORTUGAL

Enjoy today’s videos!

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Remembering 1982 IEEE President Robert Larson

He was a supporter of several IEEE programs including Smart Village

3 min read
A photo of two men in suits.  One behind the other.

Robert Larson [left] with IEEE Life Fellow Eric Herz, who served as IEEE general manager and executive director.

IEEE History Center

Robert E. Larson, 1982 IEEE president, died on 10 March at the age of 83.

An active volunteer who held many high-level positions throughout the organization, Larson was the 1975–1976 president of the IEEE Control Systems Society and also served as IEEE Foundation president.

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Reduce EMI and EMC Issues with Engineering Simulation Software

Save time and money all while delivering accurate and reliable results

1 min read
Reduce EMI and EMC Issues with Engineering Simulation Software

Electronic components and systems exist today in nearly all consumer and industrial products. A major design consideration in all electronics is electromagnetic interference (EMI) and compatibility (EMC). EMI and EMC issues are complex. They can be hard to detect and can be taxing to a design. With the use of engineering simulation software, design engineers can mitigate issues before entering the prototype testing phase. Avoiding the test-retest cycle with simulation can help save time and money all while delivering robust and reliable products.