Buchla synth legacy secured, with new leadership, returning engineers

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There’s renewed interest in his pioneering synthesis techniques. But now the future of Buchla’s hardware brand looks bright, too – under new management.

Don Buchla’s ground-breaking approach to electronic musical instruments has gotten a second lease on life, as a new generation has embraced making sound with modulars – and, for that matter, weird and experimental sounds generally. That’s meant that Don’s place not only in the history of hardware, but alongside the San Francisco Tape Music Center (and composers like Morton Subotnick and Pauline Oliveros) has found a growing audience.

Alongside that, the re-invigorated Buchla brand saw the re-launch of the Music Easel plus the debut of the new 252e Polyphonic Rhythm Generator.

It should have been Buchla’s return to glory. But it was marred by Don Buchla’s failing health, then financial troubles at Buchla Elecronic Musical Instruments, legal battles between Don Buchla and the new owners of the company he had founded, and finally the loss of Don Buchla himself.

There was no doubt Don Buchla’s legacy would live on – but would new Buchla instruments?

As of today, we have a much better picture for Buchla the brand. Buchla Electronic Musical Instruments (and the original Buchla & Associates) are no more. In its place, meet Buchla U.S.A.

On today’s nicely-binary January 11, Buchla U.S.A. LLC has announced it has purchased the former Buchla Electronic Musical Instruments and all its assets. The new company will be headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota, under the leadership of CEO Eric Fox. Fox is also owner of Foxtone Music, the US distributor for Buchla, Dreadbox, Polyend, and Black Market.

More good news: Buchla U.S.A. will bring back two Buchla protégées, engineer Joel Davel, who worked alongside Don for over twenty years, and Dave Reilly, who the company describes as “hand-picked” by Don to manufacture new hardware.

The legal address is in Minneapolis, but design and manufacturing will remain in the Bay Area. So don’t worry – you aren’t going to have to start referring to “upper midwest synthesis.” (Well, not to describe this, anyway.)

Now, you know CDM is not in the habit of quoting press releases very often, but this one also comes our way from Marc Doty, history guru, synthesist, and friend-of-the-site, who now has a coveted new “@buchla” email address. And in that press release, we get this charming quote from the new CEO:

“With such an amazing legacy I am really excited about telling the story of Don and working closely with Joel and Dave to develop new products in the spirit of Don… and even revisiting/reimagining some of his designs that never actually made it out into the wild!” said Buchla U.S.A. CEO Eric Fox, about this historic purchase. “I hope to involve as many of the artists and people that inspired Don as possible, moving forward. We owe it to him and the generations of new users to give them a sense of what he was all about.”

So got that? New products, plus vintage designs that never saw the light of day.

That sounds good.

After over half a century, it seems the Buchla story isn’t over yet.

www.buchla.com

Buchla fans may still be waiting for Buchlafest, but you get Maestro Morton Subotnick at Moogfest. Photo (CC-BY) Ethan Hein.

The post Buchla synth legacy secured, with new leadership, returning engineers appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

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Automate Your Savings With IFTTT

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Source: IFTTT

If you’re trying to save money with a finance app, this tip from commenter Drew-Ferg11 is super useful:

Qapital doesn’t invest money into stocks like Acorns (so it’s not a 1-1 comparison if you’re only looking for stock gains) but it does round up purchases and save them off. It also allows you to loop into IFTTT and some other options to make saving a little more ‘fun’. For example, I save a dollar every time Trump tweets……as you can imagine it adds up quickly.

Qapital is a great savings app because it’s so easily gamified. You create a goal, and then it gives you several rule options for how it will save for you, like saving a percentage of each paycheck or saving each time you buy something you’re trying not to buy.

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And as Drew-Ferg11 pointed out, you can also pair it with IFTTT. If This Then That is a website and app that lets users create logic statements (“if this happens, then that will happen”) pairing up certain Internet-enabled services and devices. There are a ton of pre-made rules for Qapital, like save when the temperature rises above 75 degrees, every time you post on Instagram, when you add a track to a Spotify playlist, or when the International Space Station flies overhead. But you can also create your own unique rule.

Source: IFTTT

And there are other finance-related pre-made applets to choose from on IFTTT. For example, you can receive an email if a certain stock is up 5%, or get a push notification of the day’s Bitcoin price.

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In the Qapital app, I set up a payday rule and a guilty pleasure rule for when I spend money at Madewell (what can I say, I love a good button-up). There are a ton of programs and devices you can use to make rules in IFTTT—if you have other creative ideas, leave them in the comments.

from Lifehacker http://bit.ly/2qUAqDl
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CES 2018: All-Electric Fisker EMotion To Challenge Tesla With 400-Mile Range, 161 MPH Top Speed

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fisker emotion car

Vendetta Studios

Tesla has enjoyed a monopoly of all-electric supercars of late, but the brand new Fisker EMotion expects to challenge Elon Musk’s car company in the near future. At the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week, the EMotion was on display for all to gawk at its beautiful and curvy design. But it also offers impressive performance with a more than 400-mile range off of one charge. Plus this sleek beast boasts a top speed of 161 mph.

The exciting EMotion is the product of Henrik Fisker’s company Fisker. Henrik Fisker is an accomplished automotive designer who has worked with premium brands such as BMW and Aston Martin. Fisker did not shy away from a bold design on the EMotion with swooping curves and butterfly doors for the front and gullwing doors in the rear. “The Electric Vehicle Renaissance has truly begun — one that must be met with both timeless, yet futuristic form and hyper-intelligent function,” Fisker said on the company’s website.

At CES 2018, Fisker said his company has developed new solid-state battery and supercapacitor technology that will eliminate the conventional lithium-ion battery. This new tech will allow “Ultra Charging,” where the battery could be charged in only nine minutes. Henrik told the CES crowd that they are working on a solid-state battery that can get a full charge in just 60 seconds. The solid-state battery has yet to be perfected and in the meantime, the EMotion is using a lithium-ion battery pack from LG Chem.

The all-electric 4-door sedan expects to have some sort of autonomous abilities when it launches in the end of 2019. The EMotion has a Knight Rider-looking lidar sensor built into its nose to assist self-driving capabilities. Fisker asked the California-based technology firm Quanergy to create the autonomous abilities. However, the company does not have a factory yet, but expects to announce a factory in the United States later this year. So it sounds like a lot hopes and dreams at this point. But if this dream becomes a reality it will cost a very real $130,000. Fisker said they are also working on a toned-down version that will have a much more reasonable price tag of $40,000. Check out all of the cool tech from CES 2018 HERE.

fisker emotion car

Vendetta Studios

[Overdrive]

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These inventions will help save the earth

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These 10 inventions are saving our planet:

#1 This bin collects garbage from the sea. Seabin has a pump that creates a flow of water. The garbage is caught in a bag, allowing water to flow out back to sea.

#2 This machine crushes beer bottles into usable sand. 200 grams of powder from each bottle is recycled to preserve beaches. 

#3 SaltWater Brewery created edible packaging to save sea life. The six-pack rings are made of barley and wheat. Sea life can eat the rings safely.

#4 AIR-INK can turn air pollution into ink. It collects carbon soot from a car’s exhaust. Then it is processed into a high-quality black ink. 

#5 These edible water blobs are biodegradable. The capsule is made from a seaweed extract. A greener solution to creating waste-free packaging.

#6 This "Ocean Cleanup" machine has a giant floating pipe to capture plastic. The pipe moves with the waves and has floating anchors. The plastic is all gathered in the center for a boat to remove.

#7 Avani’s biodegradable bags are saving sea life and reducing ocean pollution. They are made from cassava root and natural starches. Making them harmless for animal consumption. 

#8 This machine recycles tires. They are turned into rubber crumb for artificial grass.

#9 Aquaponics combines fish farming and hydroponics. As the fish eat and grow they produce waste. The wastewater is given to plants as a fertilizer. The plants absorb the nutrients in the water and they are returned to the fish tanks. A natural process to growing food.

#1o HomeBiogas 2.0 turns food scraps into cooking gas. The gas flows from the system directly to the kitchen stove. It can be fed up to 6 liters of waste and digest almost anything. HomeBiogas can also create fertilizer that goes back into soil.

 

Join the conversation about this story »

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Manage Your Attention Instead of Your Time 

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“I’m too busy!” “I don’t have enough time!” “If only there were more hours of the day.” It’s weird how feeling overwhelmed and busy rarely coincides with getting a lot done. Maybe the problem isn’t that you don’t have enough time. It’s that you don’t have enough attention.

Over at Quartz, Srinivas Rao writes that attention management is really the key to getting things done. If you manage your attention, your time management will much more easily fall into place.

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Attention management is more than not looking at social media every five minutes—though it’s also that, too. It’s also about setting priorities and focusing your attention where it matters. And where it matters is often “deep work.”

Rao divides activities into “deep work” and “shallow work.” Both take attention, but they have different effects on your state of mind. Paradoxically, deep work activities, which require significant investments of attention, are less taxing to your sense of focus, so they don’t tire you out before you can get your work done.

Shallow work, on the other hand, which seems so low-investment—the sorts of flitting check-ins like looking at your phone, like how I just stopped writing here to look at Twitter, with a habitual command+tab—only begets distraction.

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Attention management is about not spreading your attention too thin. By focusing it, by narrowing its scope, you concentrate your mental energies in one place (or at least fewer places). And that—not time-management—is what gives you productivity.

As Rao writes, “Productivity is not about the amount of time you spend on something. It’s about the quality of the time you spend on something.” So isn’t this great news? It means you have plenty of time.

Learn to manage your attention and managing time will take care of itself | Quartz

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If You’re Paying Fees of Any Kind, Get a New Bank

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Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images

The first year or so that I had a Chase checking account, I was paying $25 per month because I didn’t maintain their preferred average daily balance. All it took to solve this was a 5-minute phone call, in which I asked if I could switch to the checking account with a lower monthly balance threshold that was offered.

“You’ll lose out on the interest if you do that,” the kind woman on the phone informed me.

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“But I’m paying $25 per month for you to hold onto my money, and you’re giving me about a penny each month back,” I responded. Undoubtedly she was required to say that, and she quickly changed my checking to the lesser, interest-free product. Since, I’ve been account maintenance fee-free. It was a costly mistake on my part, and I felt very dumb.

What I’m trying to say is, life is too short to pay bank fees—minimum balance fees, ATM fees, NSF fees, overdraft fees, all of them. There are so many ways to not pay them, that if they’re charging you, you should take your money and get out. You have so many options.

Online Banks

I stuck with Chase because I like the convenience of it in New York, and my roommate at the time also had Chase, so I could easily pay her rent money using Chase Pay. As I’m sure you’ve realized, I’m very lazy. I sometimes still incur two fees for using shady bodega ATMs I could avoid if I found a bank-branded machine. All of that is easily-avoidable.

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If you’re fed up enough with your brick-and-mortar to actually make the switch, online banks like Ally and Bank of the Internet (yes, it is a real thing) offer free checking accounts with a sliver of interest, and they also use the Allpoint ATM network or offer ATM reimbursements (usually up to a certain number of times per month).

What you’re missing with online banks is the option to go into a branch and talk to someone in person. Maybe this is another positive for you, or maybe that freaks you out. If it’s the latter, you have another option that’s just as good.

Credit Unions

Credit unions are wonderful. Everyone should join a credit union. These institutions are member-owned nonprofits, and all have their own rules for membership, based on geography, faith, etc. But there are plenty of credit unions that you can join from anywhere, usually for the price of a one-time donation.

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Kiplinger has a handy list of credit unions anyone can join. But one that stuck out to me in past research is Lake Michigan Credit Union, which offers a checking account with 3% APY and up to $15 in ATM reimbursements each month. If you don’t live in Michigan, all that’s required to open an account is a $5 donation to ALS Foundation.

But there are plenty of good options. You can find a credit union with this search tool.

Whichever you choose, mind the potential overdraft fees

The last piece of the puzzle is the overdraft fee. The average fee now hovers around $35, and some banks charge multiple overdraft fees each day if you make multiple transactions.

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Each bank and credit union has their own overdraft rules. Bank of the Internet, for example, does not charge overdraft fees, they simply decline the transaction. Simple and Chime are two other nontraditional banks that don’t charge them either. Online-only banks and credit unions charge $9 less on average for an overdraft than national and regional banks, according to NerdWallet.

One way to avoid an overdraft fee, if your bank charges one, is to not opt into overdraft protection programs. If you don’t opt in, your debit card or ATM transaction will be declined if you don’t have the funds in your checking account to cover it—you won’t be able to purchase whatever it is you were buying, but you also won’t be hit with the $25 to $35 fee. If you do opt into coverage, you’ll be able to make your purchases but you’ll pay an additional $35 for them.

Some institutions also offer free transfers from a linked savings account, while others offer an overdraft line of credit with an annualized interest rate (you pay pretty low interest on the amount you’ve overdrawn). And if your bank offers text message alerts about your balance, that’s a good way to stay informed about your account balance so you don’t find yourself in the situation at all.

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It’s all about doing your research. You shouldn’t pay a bank for the privilege of holding your money. We all deserve better than that.

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How to Buy Cryptocurrency

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Photo Illustration by Elena Scotti/Lifehacker/GMG, photos via Getty Images

So you’re ready to buy some cryptocurrency. Maybe you’ve been reading up on blockchain technology and you’re convinced it really is the future. Or maybe you watched a friend get rich off Bitcoin and you’re still kicking yourself for not doing the same.

Either way, buying Bitcoin, or one of the other many cryptocurrencies out there, can be easy and even fun. Just don’t go in with the expectation that you’ll make a million dollars overnight, and only invest money that you can live without. With that said, here’s what you need to know to get started.

Buying Cryptocurrency With Coinbase

If you’re interested in buying Bitcoin or one of the other better-known cryptocurrencies your best bet is CoinBase, which also supports Bitcoin Cash, Ether, and Litecoin. The popular digital exchange is easy to use and widely trusted, though it does go offline occasionally when trading is particularly frenzied.

You can download the Coinbase app on your phone or create an account at coinbase.com. Agree to the terms and you’ll be greeted by a chart showing the recent rise and fall of Bitcoin and other currencies. The next thing you’ll need to do is add a way to make purchases by tapping the “Buy” button on the app or clicking over to the Buy/Sell tab on the website. From here, you can connect a debit or credit card for quick small investments, or add a direct line to your bank account for larger purchases and sales that may take 4-5 days to process.

With that set, hit the Buy button again. Pick the type of cryptocurrency you’re buying and enter the amount of money you want to spend in U.S. Dollars. You’ll see how much that comes to in Bitcoin (or whatever cryptocurrency you’re buying) along with a small fee from Coinbase. Finally, confirm the transaction by hitting the Buy button and you’re done. (If this is the first time, you may get a call from your bank asking to verify the purchase before it goes through. So keep an eye out for that.)

Buying Cryptocurrency Without Coinbase

If you want to buy Ripple or one of the other up-and-coming cryptocurrencies, you’ll have to look beyond Coinbase. One popular option is Kraken, which supports Bitcoin and Ether, along with smaller currencies like Ripple and Stellar.

Using Kraken is a little more complicated than Coinbase, and you’ll want to do it through the website (there’s an iOS app but it’s not great). The first thing you need to do is setup an account here. Once it’s active, click on Account and pick Get Verified. You’ll need to provide your name, phone number and address by selecting Tier 2 at the very least. You may also need a valid government-issued photo ID and proof of residence (that’s Tier 3) to actually withdraw money from the exchange, depending on where you and your bank are located:

Next, you’ll need to deposit money into your Kraken account. To do this, go to Account, then Funding, and then Deposit. From here, follow the directions on Kraken’s website to activate a wire transfer before sending the money over from your bank account.

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Now you’re ready to buy. Click on Account, then Trade, and then New Order. Then pick the cryptocurrency you want and the government-backed currency you’re using to buy it from the drop down menu in the top right corner (you can also use Bitcoin to buy smaller currencies like Ripple). Select Simple and under that click on Buy. Then enter the amount you want of whatever cryptocurrency you’re buying and hit the green button to confirm.

Ripple.com

Again, you may get a call from your bank to confirm the purchase, but that’s it. You just bought some cryptocurrency.

from Lifehacker http://bit.ly/2CSIlT7
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Don’t Feel Like A Millennial? There’s A Term For People Born Between Gen-X And Millennials

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Shutterstock / nehophoto

Don’t feel like a millennial? The term Gen-X doesn’t apply to you either? You’re not alone. In 2014, Sarah Stankorb in Good Magazine coined a term for the ‘micro generation’ of people born between 1977 and 1985, a group of people who don’t fit into Gen-X or the Millennial generation.

‘Xennial’ was the term coined by Sarah Stankor back in 2014 and for whatever reason this term has picked up renewed interest lately. Shana Lebowitz at Business Insider published an article explaining Xennials aka ‘The Oregon Trail Generation’. Apparently, Xennials were said to get hit the hardest of any generation by the 2008 recession.

Some facts about Xennials:

— They were the first generation to grow up with household computers and have regular internet access.
— Born between 1977 and 1985
— A lot of Xennials didn’t get their first cellphones until their 20’s and grew up with land lines
— Their music industry changed from Cassette Tapes to CDs to Napster in a matter of years
— Hit hardest by the recession due to student debt, job losses, and other factors

Want to read more about Xennials? Click here to read the article on Business Insider.

I’ve never felt like a millennial because the term just seems frivolous. I’ve also never thought I was part of the Gen-X crowd because it seemed to apply to my older cousins who all graduated college while I was still in elementary school. This new micro generation kind of makes sense, I guess. Everyone needs to be part of a generation so we can at least know which age groups we’re supposed to buddy up with and bitch about the economy. So, Xennial bros, get at me in the comments if you want to do some hating on millennials together.

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