Recommended Reading: The science fiction of William Gibson

How William Gibson keeps his science fiction real Joshua Rothman, The New Yorker While a lot of sci-fi is obsessed with the distant future, one of the best authors of the genre takes a different approach. The New Yorker explains how William Gibson...

The crowdfunded cult of Amanda Palmer

Amanda Palmer wouldn't exist in her current form without Patreon. That's not to say Amanda Palmer the person would dematerialize if Patreon didn't exist, but Amanda Palmer the artist would be a completely different beast. As it stands, Palmer is an i...

i-Blason’s Marble-inspired cases give your AirPods some serious bling

Designed to resemble a fancy lighter or a case for your cigar-cutter, i-Blason’s Cosmo Airpods cover looks pretty goddamn fantastic. With its interplay of marble-inlay and gold, each case has the appearance of a literal jewel. The cases (available in black, green, and pink) are relatively easy to install, as they slip on with a pretty snug fit. They even come with a patterned PU leather strap, the ability to charge wirelessly if you’re using the 2nd generation AirPods, and a cutout for plugging in a lightning cable, making it compatible with both generations of AirPods.

It’s worth noting though that the cases don’t literally come made with marble (or gold), which would unnecessarily increase the weight and affect its ability to be wirelessly charged. The graphics on the cases do look absolutely convincing though, and with a shock-absorbing TPU bumper running around the edges, your AirPods remain protected from accidental drops too!

Designer: i-Blason

Click Here to Buy Now

Click Here to Buy Now

Ingrana’s Modular Synth Days Calendar gives you a new sound everyday for 15 years

Giving you a new sound to associate with each day of the year, Ingrana’s Modular Synth Days Calendar is a great way to understand synesthesia or cross-sense experiences. The modular synth comes with multiple modules, 24 keys, and two 3/4″ cables. The modules correspond to a day, date, month, and year going all the way till 31st December 2034, and each module sports a series of 3/4″ inlets you can plug your cables into. Modeled on a Moog synth, the Modular Synth Days calendar takes a funky approach to reading the date, as you plug in and out cables to connect modules to each other that in turn alter the synth’s sound, giving you a new sound each day. Hang it on the wall, display it on your desktop, and jam away till the year 2034! Or better still, hook it to your doorbell so you’ve got a new sounding riff every time someone shows up at your door!

Designer: Ingrana

Amazon just announced a musical keyboard… for coders.

You’d probably think Amazon got its target audience slightly wrong with this one, but that title couldn’t be more accurate. Amazon’s newest reveal is a musical instrument, but it isn’t for musicians… it’s for developers. This is the AWS DeepComposer, a machine learning-driven keyboard aimed at coders and developers, giving them a creative, hands-on way to approach machine learning, and probably knock out a few jams while they’re at it.

“AWS DeepComposer is a 32-key, 2-octave keyboard designed for developers to get hands on with Generative AI, with either pretrained models or your own”, says Julien Simon from Amazon Web Services. Generative AI works a lot like generative design does, wherein the AI uses parameters and experience to create something new and advanced. Introduce machine learning to it and the AI gets better over time, creating more polished, refined, and accurate results. Amazon’s AWS DeepComposer isn’t a musician’s tool, but Amazon hopes it could be in the future. Coders and developers can help train the AI by using the keyboard to play tunes and have the AI support it with genre-specific music. Developers can either choose from genre-models, or develop new genres of their own within the AWS DeepComposer console. The keyboard also works as a MIDI controller within DAWs or digital audio workstations, allowing you to quickly and effectively jam out tunes, creating layered compositions built by a combination of human and AI creativity. Who knows, the next deejay at Coachella could be an artificial entity…

This is Amazon’s third machine learning teaching device, along with the DeepLens camera that the company introduced in 2017 and the DeepRacer racing cars debuted last year.

Designer: Amazon Web Services

Google Assistant can create alarms based on weather and time of day

An update on its way to Lenovo Smart Clock will add a Google Assistant option that can switch up the alarm ringtone based on factors such as the time of day and the weather. In fact, Google's AI can create and curate the piano ringtones for you.

Yamaha’s latest turntable steps into the future while paying a tribute to the past!

Yamaha’s latest turntable is not your usual aluminum platter, tonearm and cartridge trio. It promises to be much more. The Yamaha MusicCast Vinyl 500 combines the iconic vinyl record player with modern wireless technology. Old school meets modernity in this game-changing audio product. Supported by an array of MusicCast speakers, the Vinyl 500 can be wirelessly connected to all of them using wi-fi, enabling seamless multi-room listening. However, a phono output can be used to connect to any pre-existing external preamps for those who prefer a traditional audio experience.

The Vinyl 500 has taken huge leaps into the future. It can effortlessly connect to all the popular music streaming platforms such as Spotify, TIDAL, Deezer, Amazon Music and etc. Amped with Bluetooth and AirPlay, the Vinyl 500 invites in more devices for instant connectivity and versatile listening. Spicing things up further, the vinyl turntable is compatible with the MusicCast app, allowing you to easily control the system and your playlist from all over your home!

Sleek and minimalistic, Yamaha’s latest vinyl baby is reminiscent of a classic piano. Equipped with a straight tonearm and belt-drive motor, the turntable was designed to ensure the minimization of noise disruptions caused by vibrations. Available in two neutral shades of black and white, the MusicCast Vinyl 500 is a classy addition to any living space, and as Yamaha described it themselves, it is “A step into the future with a tribute to the past”.

Designer: Yamaha

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Recommended Reading: A year later, the CRISPR babies are still a mystery

Why the paper on the CRISPR babies stayed secret for so long Antonio Regalado, MIT Technology Review A year has passed since Chinese biophysicist He Jiankui presented work on editing the DNA of two girls while they were still embryos. Ethical issu...