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A Guitar Robot That Can Really Shred

cybin Re:Am I the only person here who's impressed by th (88 comments)

It is very impressive for a number of reasons, but I would challenge the naysayers on this thread... if you think it's so lousy and stupid, you build one.

Industrial automation came into maturity during the last century -- research is research. The current generation of musical robots and automated musical instruments is a fraction of what they WILL BE, because of research like this. They offer new avenues for musical expression and are giving creators new tools to work with -- which is a TOTALLY worthwhile pursuit.

more than 3 years ago

Should Professors Be Required To Teach With Tech?

cybin Not Appropriate for All Disciplines....? (319 comments)

"Only 13 percent of the professors surveyed said they used blogs in teaching; 12 percent had tried videoconferencing; and 13 percent gave interactive quizzes using 'clickers,' or TV-remotelike devices that let students respond and get feedback instantaneously."

Just a few thoughts...

I'm a music professor... and I'm the _music technology_ professor at that. I don't think any of these technologies are appropriate for music teaching -- that's why I don't use them. I do teach blogging in my intro class -- but I don't use a blog to communicate with the students. I think a lot of other faculty members feel the same way -- they don't know how to match up the technology with an appropriate use -- a common problem in universities. They want to invest in technology, but they end up buying the wrong things or implementing things poorly.

I like the course management systems, but I only use it for the gradebook and for handing out readings. Clickers are, IMHO, incredibly stupid. It only proves the students can push a button -- not articulate an intelligent answer. I suppose we could have guest speakers via videoconference... *shrug*.

  If anyone has suggestions, I'm all ears!

more than 4 years ago

Is the Line-in Jack On the Verge of Extinction?

cybin Re:If only it did work that way (411 comments)

If you want to experiment, i've had a lot of success fixing clipped recordings with iZotope RX, which includes not only the de-clipper, but a de-clicker and some pretty awesome noise reduction... i believe it works through vector analysis but i'm not sure.

(just a satisfied user, btw!)

more than 4 years ago

Students Failing Because of Poor Grammar

cybin Re:Maybe its the school thats failing (1343 comments)

true true... and i would argue that text message lingo is more akin to spoken than written. clearly the kiddies are not being taught the difference.

more than 4 years ago

Students Failing Because of Poor Grammar

cybin Re:Maybe its the school thats failing (1343 comments)

IMHO, affixing some kind of rigid standard to spoken language is the lazy way -- computer code it not a good analogy. computer code has to be extremely semantically rigid so the machine can understand it.

on the other hand, i can generate an infinite number of novel sentences and you can understand them -- not to mention generate words that are not "in the dictionary" and you will understand them too. language is _constantly_ evolving and changing... anyone who says otherwise is the real product of bad english teaching.

more than 4 years ago

Students Failing Because of Poor Grammar

cybin Re:Maybe its the school thats failing (1343 comments)

if we don't need the same level of complexity, language will devolve naturally.

chimps and dolphins have gotten along OK without it....

more than 4 years ago

Students Failing Because of Poor Grammar

cybin not as bad as you think? (1343 comments)

it's so sad and cliché to lament the "declining state of our youth".

i'm a college professor too, and while bad writing is a problem, i think this is pretty sensationalized. students know not to put "cuz" in a paper, but they do it anyway because they don't understand the difference between formal/good writing and lousy/bad writing. maybe it does have something to do with grammar instruction, but i think it's more related to the fact that there are fewer and fewer situations where these kids have to use formal language -- so it gets deemphasized. but i assure you, they DO know how to use it. I've seen them meet our university president and boy does it come right out :)

anyway, yes i agree it's a result of bad instruction, but it just seems like they're looking at a number and going "these kids are dumb" and jumping to the conclusion that it's because they don't teach grammar anymore... i'm much more apt to blame it on the formulaic writing style they get taught to pass things like the FCAT.

more than 4 years ago

Google's Nexus One Phone Launches

cybin Re:It's $279 for existing Tmobile customer renewal (568 comments)

yep -- it's true. i've been a T-mobile customer for a long time -- i've even got their $50/mo unlimited talk/text "customer loyalty" plan and i still pay more than someone with good credit who buys the $179 commitment. but who knows who's eligible for that... the site told me $229.

i think i'll pass for now. i would pay $179 and get into a 2-year contract (maybe), but first i want to go to the store and play with the phone... and i can't do that because you can only buy it on the web.

more than 4 years ago

Need a Favor? Talk To My Right Ear

cybin Re:Corpus Callosum (288 comments)

indeed, the corpus callosum does connect the two hemispheres -- but remember, not everything in the brain is "active" -- much of it is passive, and it's not just "excitatory" -- it's also inhibitory. a lot of the signals on one side do not get routed to the other, to use a computer term.

at the same time, remember that the left-brain/right-brain stuff is pop psychology. one simple scientific finding, that language is primarily left-lateralized, got turned into this gigantic thing that just isn't true or in any way demonstrable.

more than 5 years ago

Need a Favor? Talk To My Right Ear

cybin Re:Unconvinced (288 comments)

precisely my first thought when i read this post -- the auditory system works in "fields" much like the visual system - it's contralateral and ipsilateral.

who knows why the right ear thing gave them those results... seems rather shallow. would the same be true if we asked participants to close their left eye and look at a beer? how many of those beers would get consumed? :)

incidentally, the cigarette thing throws a whole other problem into the equation -- addiction and alcohol. if you ask someone at 7pm for a smoke, are they more or less likely to give one to you than at 1am when they've had 4+ drinks?

guess i'll have to read the study! :)


more than 5 years ago

Physics Experiments To Inspire Undergraduates?

cybin monkey gun! (249 comments)

i had a great time as a senior in high school when my physics teacher taught us the "monkey gun":

more than 5 years ago

The Deceptive Perfection of Auto-Tune

cybin Re:Authentic is the wrong word (437 comments)

You mean John Cage. John Cale is a member of the Velvet Underground.

more than 5 years ago

A Computer Composing and Playing Jazz

cybin Re:Expect more of this in the future (134 comments)

i think what you mean to say is, if people get better at programming computers to write music :)

the comments about granular synthesis are dead on... but really half right. there's a big difference between sound file granulation and granular _synthesis_ which uses chopped up simple waveforms.

john cage did this with magnetic tape... see "williams mix" for an example.

as a composer about to get a ph.d. in the subject, i think the cool part is the fact that creativity is much more accessible thanks to computers. people using something simple like GarageBand have to know very little, whereas writing something in CSound or Max/Msp requires a lot of knowledge. i'm all for it... and if this program makes people listen and pay attention to jazz, awesome.

more than 5 years ago


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