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  • Google drops free Netflix Chromecast promotion a day after launch

    Three free months of Netflix with the purchase of Google’s $35 Chromecast dongle sure sounded too good to be true. Turns out it was — or at least too good to last longer than a day. Google’s pulling the plug on the promotion, telling The Los Angeles Times that it couldn’t keep things going, “due to overwhelming demand.” So good on those folks who got in early, and while the streaming plug-in still has a pretty sweet price point, it’s not quite the $11 post-subscription deal it was yesterday.

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    Source: LA Times

  • Scientists create false memories in mice, cause rodent-style Inception

    DNP Scientists create false memories in mice

    A group of MIT researchers (we assume they’re all Philip K. Dick fans) have successfully implanted false memories in the minds of mice, according to a study published in the journal Science. This “mouseception” experiment was designed to examine the phenomenon called false memory syndrome, in which the brain concocts recollections of events that have never happened. By manipulating the memory engram-bearing cells in the hippocampus, the research team convinced a few unsuspecting mice that they had experienced a shock to their feet when one had never actually occurred. One can only assume that after finessing this false memory implantation, the next logical step is going into the mice’s dreams and stealing all their secrets. Christopher Nolan would be so proud. Or horrified. Jury’s still out.

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    Via: MIT Technology Review

    Source: Science

  • Sailing the sea of pennies: Sub Pop's digital salvation

    Sailing the sea of pennies Sub Pop's digital salvation

    “You can’t deny the math,” Tony Kiewel says, with the slightest hint of defeat in his voice. “The math is bad and continues to get worse for the whole pie.” Sub Pop’s head of A&R’s not particularly bullish when asked about the state of the music industry. It’s been a rough couple of years — decades, really — and the idea of the record label going the way of its brick-and-mortar counterpart doesn’t seem like some far off prediction, as the majors continue to implode under their own unwieldy weight at an impressive clip. But Kiewel’s pessimism is tempered with a note of enthusiasm. All said, things could have been much worse for the legendary Seattle label, which has managed to weather the technological storm largely unscathed. “Our piece of the pie is so much bigger than it was two years ago,” the bespectacled executive adds.

    A dozen years ago, around the same time the first iPods, now big, boxy anachronisms, began to find their way into the hands of early adopters, Sub Pop experienced a renaissance, after years spent wandering forests of obscurity. In the ’90s, the label was the epicenter of one of the most important music movements in recent memory, coming a long way from its humble beginnings as a zine published a few hours south of Seattle in Olympia, Wash. For a few heady years, it seemed that every record of note sported the label’s iconic two-tone block label on its rear — but Sub Pop’s reign, like the grunge music it championed, wasn’t long for the charted world.

    By the time the early 21st century rolled around, however, something happened. “We didn’t know what the hell was going on,” Kiewel recalls, with audible excitement. “At one point, there was so much [traffic] that it was breaking everything. It was people downloading ‘Such Great Heights,’ the Postal Service song. There were thousands and thousands of kids that had soundtracked their MySpace page with the MP3. It became a debate for years — maybe we should take down that free MP3. We left everything alone and backed away slowly.” Between the Death Cab for Cutie mail-order side project and the haunting indie-pop of Albuquerque’s The Shins, Sub Pop was relevant again — thanks in large part to the magic of social networking.

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  • SIGGRAPH 2013 wrap-up

    SIGGRAPH 2013 wrapup

    As we noted at the the end of the show last year, SIGGRAPH certainly delivers on the eye candy. From graphics demos to display tech and both 3D printing and motion capture, this is one trade show that offers a glimpse into the present and future of the industry when it comes to visual goods. Highlights include major component news from NVIDIA and Samsung while Dell’s 32-inch 4K display and the latest Disney Research project certainly nabbed our attention. The show ends today until we descend upon Vancouver next summer, but a gallery chock full of sights from the show floor and a roundup of the past few days should tide you over until then.

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