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Updated: 28 min 26 sec ago

Google’s stuffed animals would control your appliances (and talk to your kids)

28 min 26 sec ago

A patent filed by Google speculates that mechanical toys, whose embedded microphones would be constantly listening for spoken cues, could be installed in children's bedrooms.

Why the US is testing hypersonic weapons (+video)

28 min 26 sec ago

The US Air Force has developed a hypersonic engine as part of a program to create a class of weapons so fast and accurate that they could reach any target in the world within an hour. 

YouTube's first decade shows sharing free content pays off

May 24, 2015 - 4:27pm
YouTube's legacy extends beyond its pioneering role in the Internet's video revolution. The 10-year-old site provided a stage for exhibitionists, narcissists and activists to broadcast their opinions, show off their talents, expose abuses or just pass along their favorite clips of movies, TV shows, music, cute kittens and other interests.

Spiders strum on leaves for love

May 22, 2015 - 8:07pm
Purring spiders use leaves as microphones and speakers to transmit their purring courtship song to a female, scientists find.

Birds 'weigh' peanuts and choose heavier ones

May 22, 2015 - 3:47pm
Mexican Jays (Aphelocoma wollweberi) distinguish between heavier and lighter peanuts without opening the nuts. The birds do it by shaking the nuts in their beaks, which allows them to 'feel' nut heaviness and to listen to sounds produced by peanuts during handling.

A computer algorithm that mines rap lyrics to create its own song

May 22, 2015 - 9:20am
(Phys.org)—A team of researchers working at Aalto University in Finland has devised an algorithm that mines a database full of rap songs, picks lines from them based on rhyming and produces a new song of its own. The team has written a paper on their project, which they call DeepBeat, and have uploaded it to the preprint server arXiv.

From reverberating chaos to concert halls, 'good acoustics' is culturally subjective

May 22, 2015 - 8:42am
Play a flute in Carnegie Hall, and the tone will resonate and fill the space. Play that same flute in the Grand Canyon, and the sound waves will crash against the rock walls, folding back in sonic chaos. The disparity is clear – to the modern listener, the instrument belongs in an auditorium. The response of audiences and performers to acoustic characteristics is a function of their worldview, and it is as fluid as the environment they inhabit, researchers say.

How we discovered the three revolutions of American pop

May 22, 2015 - 7:50am
Dr Matthias Mauch discusses his recent scientific analysis of the "fossil record" of the Billboard charts prompted widespread attention, particularly the findings about the three musical "revolutions" that shaped the musical landscape of the second half of the 20th century.

Depressed people may have difficulty following emotional speech

May 22, 2015 - 6:32am
Psychoacoustics identifies five basic types of emotional speech: angry, fearful, happy, sad and neutral. In order to fully understand what's happening with speech perception, a research team studied how depressed individuals perceive these different kinds of emotional speech in multi-tonal environments.

From reverberating chaos to concert halls, good acoustics is culturally subjective

May 22, 2015 - 6:30am
Play a flute in Carnegie Hall, and the tone will resonate and fill the space. Play that same flute in the Grand Canyon, and the sound waves will crash against the rock walls, folding back in on each other in sonic chaos. The disparity in acoustics is clear - to the modern listener, the instrument belongs in an auditorium.

Birds 'weigh' peanuts and choose heavier ones

May 21, 2015 - 10:00pm
(Laboratory of Behavioral Ecology and Evolution at Seoul National University) A study carried out in Arizona by an international research team from Poland and Korea revealed that the Mexican Jays (Aphelocoma wollweberi) distinguish between heavier and lighter peanuts without opening the nuts. The birds do it by shaking the nuts in their beaks, which allows them to 'feel' nut heaviness and to listen to sounds produced by peanuts during handling.

Magnitude 4.0 Earthquake Hits Southern California

May 21, 2015 - 7:33pm

CBS San Francisco Connect With Us At KPIX 5 PROGRAM GUIDE: KPIX 5 TV Schedule WATCH: A Glimpse Inside The Working KPIX 5 Newsroom Breaking News Send news tips, video & photos, and video to the KPIX 5 [...] CONNECT WITH KCBS Welcome to KCBS All News 740AM & 106.9FM on CBSSanFrancisco.com! LISTEN LIVE RIGHT NOW: KCBS Live Audio Stream LIKE KCBS Radio On Facebook: KCBS is the Bay Area's only all news station, serving listeners with [...] CALIPATRIA, Imperial County - The U.S. Geological Survey says a magnitude 4.0 earthquake has struck the Southern California area Wednesday evening. The USGS says the quake's epicenter was located 8-miles west of Lata, Solomon Islands, and struck right at the surface.

In overweight teens, food ads appeal to mouth and brain

May 21, 2015 - 7:29pm
When a sitcom's laugh track stops and the camera pans seductively up the height of a glistening bacon cheeseburger, the teen brain snaps to attention - especially if that brain sits atop a body that carries excess fat, a new study says.

Nashville is pretty ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ about its giant accidental lake

May 21, 2015 - 5:28pm

Nashville, Tenn. — historical home to music legends like Dolly Parton, Johnny Cash, and Willie Nelson — isn’t just America’s country music capital. The southern city is also notable for something a little more offbeat: an accidental lake. Wait — How is a lake also an accident, you ask? When a developer abandons a giant hole in the ground until it fills up with 50-60 feet of water and no one complains about it, you get an accidental lake. Simple.

On the whole, human-made lakes aren’t all that uncommon in the area; Nashville has a handful of reservoirs, ponds, and lakes built on purpose by people, reports Atlas Obscura. However, this unnatural body of water — called Lake Palmer — became a city-wide target of ambivalence after a local construction firm ditched a plan for two mixed-use buildings in 2007. The locals affectionately named the building blunder Lake Palmer after project developer Alex Palmer. (Nothing like being reminded of your failures with a permanent geographic landmark, eh Alex?)

A giant pool of stagnant rainwater in the middle of downtown would seem to be a natural magnet for local ire. But Nashvillians don’t seem to mind, reported Atlas Obscura.

“It’s just something that we sort of shrug our shoulder at, and we deal with,” says [J.R. Lind, a reporter who has written about the lake for a local paper]. “The construction has stalled again, and we’re entering our wet season. So I guess it’ll just fill up.”

Lake Palmer has been part of downtown Nashville for so long even Google Maps recognizes it, though it remains unnamed. Yeesh, what’s a mosquito dreamland gotta do to get a little recognition?

TL;DR, Nashvillians feel pretty meh about this weird hole in the ground — which is more than we can say for the hole left by one departing Ms. Swift. Sniff.

 


Filed under: Article, Cities

Experts map surgical approaches for auditory brainstem implantation

May 21, 2015 - 10:09am
A technique called auditory brainstem implantation can restore hearing for patients who can't benefit from cochlear implants. A team of experts has mapped out the surgical anatomy and approaches for auditory brainstem implantation.

Anti-stroke drug effective treatment for middle-ear infections, researchers say

May 20, 2015 - 10:00pm
(Georgia State University) An existing anti-stroke drug is an effective treatment for middle-ear infections, showing the ability to suppress mucus overproduction, improve bacterial clearance and reduce hearing loss, according to researchers at Georgia State University and the University of Rochester.

Male Java sparrows may 'drum' to their songs

May 20, 2015 - 1:16pm
Male Java sparrows may coordinate their bill-clicking sounds with the notes of their song. Birds may communicate using both vocalizations and movement, as for instance occurs during courtship displays, but scientists' understanding of how they coordinate their movements with the sounds they produce is limited. To further investigate birds' communicative and musical abilities, the authors of this study looked into the vocalizations and bill sounds associated with singing in the Java sparrow, a song bird.

Male Java sparrows may 'drum' to their songs

May 20, 2015 - 12:00pm
Male Java sparrows may coordinate their bill-clicking sounds with the notes of their song, according to a study published May 20, 2015 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Masayo Soma and Chihiro Mori from Hokkaido University, Japan.

Spotify introduces video, radio service

May 20, 2015 - 10:09am
While saying that it still a music company at heart, Spotify says it is expanding is lineup to include podcasts, news radio and video streaming.

Ultrasonic production of skimmed milk

May 20, 2015 - 9:40am
Scientists have demonstrated cream separation from natural whole milk at liter-scales for the first time using ultrasonic standing waves -- a novel, fast and nondestructive separation technique typically used only in small-scale settings.