Monday, August 25, 2008

Steampunk Star Wars

Is there nothing that cannot be re-crafted in corsets and brass?

This line is my attempt to redesign the Star Wars Universe in a steampunk style. My Star Wars ReVision line took many of the elements of Star Wars and broke them down and amplified them. This line takes some of Star Wars original steampunk elements and is an attempt to create a classic Victorian steampunk look.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Muxtape goes dark

Another competitor bites the dust as the RIAA perpetuates its business model. But as pointed out elsewhere, there are alternatives.

RIAA confirms it's behind the Muxtape shutdown
An RIAA spokesperson confirmed to Ars that it was indeed responsible for the site ceasing operations. At issue is Muxtape's hosting and streaming of MP3s, which the RIAA says violates the record labels' copyrights. "For the past several months, we have communicated concerns to Muxtape on behalf of our members," the spokesperson told Ars. "Muxtape has not yet obtained authorization from our member companies to host or stream copies of their sound recordings."

Monday, August 18, 2008

Internet Radio Drowning

The music industry is sharpening its knives for a dinner of golden goose. The Washington Post and Ars are covering it ...

Giant of Internet Radio Nears Its 'Last Stand' -
OAKLAND, Calif. -- Pandora is one of the nation's most popular Web radio services, with about 1 million listeners daily. Its Music Genome Project allows customers to create stations tailored to their own tastes. It is one of the 10 most popular applications for Apple's iPhone and attracts 40,000 new customers a day.

Yet the burgeoning company may be on the verge of collapse, according to its founder, and so may be others like it.

"We're approaching a pull-the-plug kind of decision," said Tim Westergren, who founded Pandora. "This is like a last stand for webcasting."

Pandora can't make money, may pull the plug
Buckling under the weight of the Internet radio royalty hike that SoundExchange pushed through last July, Pandora may pull its own plug soon. Despite being one of the most popular Internet radio services, the company still isn't making money, and its founder, Tim Westergren, says it can't last beyond its first payment of the higher royalties.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Neanderthal Mitochondrial DNA Sequenced

Mitochondrial DNA places the human/neanderthal split at 660K years ago, with no or very rare interbreeding likely.

Leg bone yields DNA secrets of man's Neanderthal 'Eve' | Science | The Guardian
Researchers at the Max-Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, read the complete sequence of DNA held in tiny biological powerhouses called mitochondria, which provide energy for cells. The mitochondria are only passed down the female line, so can be used to trace the species back to an ancestral "Eve", the mother of all Neanderthals. The team analysed the DNA of 13 genes from the Neanderthal mitochondria and found they were distinctly different to modern humans, suggesting Neanderthals never, or rarely, interbred with early humans. The genetic material shows that a Neanderthal "Eve" lived around 660,000 years ago, when the species last shared a common ancestor with humans.