News

Soundbyte 356: Not Yet

29 July 2018

Did someone mention the heat? It feels like one of those things it’s so obvious nobody is talking about it anymore. Especially on the news. And what about the drought? Thank god there are still plenty of AC’s in stock so we don’t have to sweat so much we can water our plants. Like this Tuesday, I was so sweaty and sticky after waking up I was still wearing my bed when I got into the shower. And then there was this Wednesday. Imagine how you would feel when you just opened your eyes after a sleepless night and the first thing you read in the paper is some weather guy stating this summer will be known as a ‘cool’ summer in the future. Fake news! Just like climate change. I’m still not convinced that’s a thing either. And the weather guy was obviously just a CGI-character voiced by Barry Atsma.

Anyhow, setting aside my heat-induced delirium. Have we found a problem for blockchain yet? Perhaps we should apply some machine learning while finding it since we’re using that for everything these days. In the meantime, according to the Dutch Financial Market Authority this week, we are mostly investing in cryptocurrency because our neighbor is too and we don’t want to stay poor while he might get rich. The first blockchain application as a fancy Dutch National Postcode Lottery.

In other news, this week we can finally start enjoying the Dutch Google Assistant! I can’t wait before it gets available on my smart speaker because it happens more than once that all the “lights” in my house are turned on instead of the “night” scene being activated like I asked. Resulting in a disgruntled wife because the bedroom light was also attached to my slightly excessive home automation system. The underlying WaveNet technology is quite impressive and you should check out the samples. It even generates personality traits and classic piano sequences!

But, the best piece of news for me is no doubt that I can soon remove not one but two messaging apps now Slack bought Atlassian’s Hipchat and Stride. In my opinion, the messaging ecosystem is a scattered vendor-locked in mess and sometimes I long back to the days it was just phone calls and texts. Now it’s Slack, Whatsapp, Signal, Telegram, three flavors of Skype with four different names, five from Google which turned out to be seven after a recount and let’s not forget Apple with iMessage for Steve-approved devices. I think I also heard something about LinkedIn this week introducing voice messages, but I’ll spare my take on social media platforms before we all drown in sarcasm.

Right, on to music. Definitely not a computer generated piano play but Michel Camilo with the All Star New York Big Band and Anthony Jackson on his own 6-string bass. The sound quality is a bit sketchy so look for his album Caribe on Spotify and the likes for a better version of the same recording. Enjoy!

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