may have ordered 1 million of the OLPC laptops, but India isn't saying
"Thank you, come again" to Nicholas Negroponte and his band of MIT
hooligans. The Indian Ministry of Education said the laptop was
"paedagogically suspect" and that "We cannot visualise a situation for
decades when we can go beyone the pilot stage. We need classrooms and
teachers more urgently than fancy tools."
He goes on to say: "We do not think that the idea of Prof Negroponte
is mature enough to be taken seriously at this stage and no major
country is presently following this. Even inside America, there is not
much enthusiasm about this." Harsh words, as Nigeria probably doesn't
like being called a minor country.
Although Nigeria ordered 1 million, they won't be getting their
shipments until other countries jump in and push the total order number
up around 5 or 10 million units. – Jason Chen
software developed by the Munich group, AudioRadar, provides a map of
songs by their sound and similarities. Using algorithms developed by
other acoustical researchers over the years, it scans a music
collection, measuring song qualities: tempo, chordal shifts, volume,
harmony, and so on. Then it weights the songs by four key criteria:
fast or slow, melodic or rhythmic, turbulent or calm, and rough or
clean. (Turbulence measures the abruptness of shifts; "rough" indicates
the number of shifts.)
on these metrics, the application creates a map in which a chosen song
appears at the center of the screen, with similar songs clustered in a
circle around it -- sort of like points of light on a radar screen.
Then users can gauge, for instance, the "calmness" or "cleanness" of
another music choice by its relative position on the map. Distances are
scaled; for instance, a song at the circle's outer edge would be twice
as calm as one in the center. And the cluster rearranges itself after
each new song. Thus, users can surf their collections without needing
to remember every song they own. They can build mood-based playlists or
let the program select the next most similar song."