Xbox Alive with Facebook

Social networking + gaming = Score!

1 min read

It's been a week since Xbox Live launched access to Facebook on its online service - and the numbers are in.  Two million players logged on to Facebook through their game consoles.

This is a big deal.

Xbox Live was already a thriving social hub, combining gameplay, community, and chat.  Now with Facebook/Twitter access, it's unstoppable. What's Microsoft's big plan?  To build "the largest social network connected to the TV," as a spokesperson puts it.

It wasn't long ago that Microsoft was the new kid in console gaming - taking on Sony and Nintendo.  I remember going to the Microsoft campus months before Xbox launched, and leaving with the feeling that this was not just a console but a trojan horse to "own" the living room.  Now look at what's happened.  Sony has been dethroned, and Xbox Live is by far the coolest console community online. 

The Conversation (0)

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.

Keep Reading ↓Show less