News

Soundbyte 406: True sorry

28 July 2019

During the summer holidays, it seems people are taking time to reflect on matters they pretend they don’t have time for during the rest of the year. We Dutch love to travel around the world during the summer break, but we somehow just can’t get away from each other. Almost everywhere you are you will hear that quaint language that sounds awfully German. (pro-tip: If you’re confused, try listening for swear words. If you suddenly hear a lot of deplorable illnesses being scolded around, chances are high you’re at a French camp-site and the camper who just tripped over a guyline is most likely Dutch)

I understand the charm of getting away to clear one’s head and ponder about the ‘larger’ things of life, but I don’t understand why you can’t do that at home. Especially with the European roaming charges gone it’s not like there is no distraction with instant gratification while abroad. We seldom leave our phones at home and it came as no surprise for me to hear that 5% of the Dutch youth need artificial melatonin to battle the amnesia from all these screens at night.

In other dark-side-of-technology-related-news: Siri became the latest voice assistant with their very own privacy affair this week. It comes as no surprise after Amazon and Google. (Apple used to be such a groundbreaking company) Voice assistant’s accuracy is often laughable at best and with Siri being infamous for the least capable of the big three it was just a matter of time. I understand you need training data for these algorithms to function, but I start to wonder whether these costs are worth it.

The title of this week’s song is somewhat appropriate. It’s from Ibrahim Maalouf, a Lebanese-born trumpet player I first heard a couple of weeks ago. He doesn’t play a regular trumpet, but a quarter-tone trumpet. Instead of three, his instrument has four valves which allow him to play quarter tones common for Arabic music. Maalouf grew up in Paris so it’s no wonder his music is a real blend between Arabic and Jazz.

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