Friday, September 25, 2009

New Fossil Links Dinosaurs and Birds

Four-winged dino may be missing link in bird debate - Yahoo! News
It was found in rock dated to the early part of the Late Jurassic, between 151 and 161 million years ago, which means it is clearly older than Archaeopteryx.

Rather than be considered a bird, A. huxleyi is a late member of the Troodontidae, a category of dinosaurs closely related to avians, the study argues.

"This new find refutes the temporal paradox and provides significant information on the temporal framework of theropod divergence," it says.

Monday, September 14, 2009

CBS to field a Last.FM powered HD radio station in major markets.

Crowd-sourced commercial on-air radio programming.  Its a long way from Jack and Bob robot programmed stations, let alone WKRP which was programmed by a crew of quirky humans.   The question is ... can Last.FM users game the programming?   

CBS to Launch HD Radio Stations in Top 4 U.S. Markets | Epicenter |
Listeners in those cities (who own HD Radios) will be able to tune in to the channel, to be comprised of “an eclectic mix of music aggregated and influenced by the service’s user-generated weekly charts, combined with live performances and interviews from the studios in New York, and event updates,” according to Friday morning’s announcement. The station will also be available as a webcast on and other CBS websites, of course, as well as through mobile apps for the iPhone and Blackberry.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Name that Tune

Top of the list in this article was a site I'd never tried before: Midomi which asks you to "hum a few bars" and they'll guess the song.   So my first inclination here - as in so many cases where a web site claims to be able to guess what you're thinking  - is to toss Gilligan's Island at them.   I figure its something that's rarely on people's minds, yet it is familiar to almost everyone.  In this case the theme song.  They request 10 seconds, so I started with 3 seconds.  No dice.  Then I tried whistling for 10 seconds.  No dice.  Then I followed instructions hummed for ten embarrassing seconds and ...

Now you can try this yourself, and perhaps you'll find the "near misses" just as interesting.  In my case, Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean" turned up as a close match to Gilligan's Island.

HOW TO: Find the Name of That Song
In our usage of Midomi over time, we’ve found it to be startlingly accurate. Of course, it depends a bit on some esoteric factors such as how faithfully you can reproduce the sound (or conversely, how tone-deaf you are!) and how obscure the track is you’re trying to identify. You’ll also need to give the search engine some core identifiable piece of the song to work from, which means knowing enough of the lyrics or melody to trigger a match.