Is Facebook Here To Stay? (Love Or Hate Mark Zuckerberg)

We all know the huge controversy that Facebook was able to stir up on the internet. Facebook made a huge dent on Facebook users sentiments with their Privacy Policy – which was too difficult for normal mortals like us to understand.

The smug-faced Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg was not much help either. In fact, a few of his comments infuriated a lot of Facebook users – and that is a lot considering Facebook has more than 2 billion (!) monthly active users.

Mark Zuckerberg is the young entrepreneur and one of the youngest millionaires (I should say: billionaires) the world has seen. It is tough to imagine that Facebook started from his dormitory room. He has never been a favorite among most people as he has always been termed arrogant and callous.

When the Facebook privacy policy rift started, Mark Zuckerberg was directly targeted for such complications in the user privacy policies. Right from the start of Facebook, its privacy policy has always been an issue. But it was not until a few years back that it really began to face the heat of controversy.

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Virtual Technology – social checks and balances

Virtual technology has emerged as one of the cutting edge technologies of the 21st century. In conjunction with nanotechnology, bi technology, and cellular chemistry, the virtual world is all set to dictate the terms of the market in the century that started almost two decades ago.

One of the basic principles that connect all these worlds is the basic conception of matter. Scientists had thought that they had discovered the basic secret of matter in the 1920s. Again they thought the same in the last decade of the 20th century. And some years back, the 21st century itself has had to go back to the basics and rewrite these basic principles.

In the early 20th century, the perception was that matter was solid. However, many properties of matter could not be explained if matter was considered to be solid. So it was suggested and later proved that matter was wavy in nature. But this was also not an answer to many basic questions.

So now, after nearly two decades into the 21st century, the position is that matter can be both solid as well as wavy. Depending upon the nature of the environment, matter can exhibit the properties of both wavy particles as well as that of solid particles.

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Lights, Camera, Action!

High-tech efficiencies make this home entertaining — and easy.
Taking your work home might not be so bad if you’re Mike Toutonghi, the engineer who started Microsoft’s effort to develop home-entertainment and automation systems of the future.

The son of a Seattle school teacher, Toutonghi used to be a jewelry designer. While attending community college he worked on the campus network and taught himself programming. That eventually led him to Microsoft, where he became one of the company’s “distinguished engineers.”

So it’s not surprising that his nearly new Craftsman-style home tucked away on a Bellevue cul-de-sac is comfortably packed with the latest technology. The house is also a sort of laboratory where he tinkers with the latest gizmos for controlling various household systems with a personal computer.

The technology is mostly invisible. All a visitor sees are fancy control pads the size of light-switch plates on the walls and a whiz-bang remote control in the family room. Like a family dog, the house comes to life when people approach, lighting up when sensors on the perimeter are triggered. Inside the foyer, a panel allows you to adjust the lights, turn on music and control the security system.

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Music and Science Connection

If we take a (very) broad, retrospective look at things, music has been interwoven with the sciences – nay information – since its inception. From Pythagorean and other tuning systems to the particular mechanics of individual instruments, to the emergence of audio technology – the world of music is essentially a world of information bathed in sound.

Thanks to more recent studies in neuroscience, we’ve learned that music affects our consciousness, cognition, and other mental processes in ways that not only define how we listen but also (often) trigger our most primal and instinctive reactions and emotions. These phenomena are documented in studies, numerous books (such as Oliver Sacks’s Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain), and fascinating articles, such as this one featured in a recent New York Times ‘Sunday Review’ of The Opinion Pages. Yes, information is inherent in music, and that information tends to manifest itself in ultra-unique ways.

Composers have long been familiar with these connections (if only subconsciously), but only in the 20th century did they start outwardly exploring them (and their potential) in terms of musical material. More recently in the musical world, the data-driven sciences (e.g., probability and statistics, applied mathematics, analytics, psychology, economics, etc.) have taken hold, being given new form and new meaning through composition.

In the last few decades, there seems to have been somewhat of a “surge” in composers and sound artists deriving entire pieces of music from (specific pieces of) information, information theory, and/or raw data sets. While some composers focus on theoretical or philosophical aspects, others are concerned with hard evidence. Fascinatingly, but not surprisingly, certain composers of late have become interested in the data itself (lists of facts, figures, percentages, rankings, and charts) and have tasked themselves with giving sound and musical shape to these seemingly sterile, systematic findings. Continue reading “Music and Science Connection”

Digital Music in Public Libraries

E-books in libraries are certainly attracting a lot of attention these days. The public seems both fascinated and horrified by the idea of “bookless libraries”, while the library profession itself grapples with the manifold challenges raised by e-books. Access versus ownership, digital rights management, and ever-changing file formats and technologies are key issues at library conferences around the world. In Nashville, Tennessee, they’ve already introduced the system:

Meanwhile, a similar revolution is taking place on the library’s CD shelves. MP3 players and streaming audio are a constant presence in our daily lives, and digital formats are finding their way into the library’s music collection. Just as for e-books, the introduction of digital music to libraries presents certain challenges and opportunities.

For academic libraries, especially those focusing on classical, jazz, and traditional music, Naxos Music Library and Alexander Street Press provide excellent services. With popular music, however, things become more thorny. Continue reading “Digital Music in Public Libraries”