Here’s what you’ll get out of Ableton Live 9.7, available today

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Ableton Live 9.7 – the final stable download – is available today. (A public beta was released over the summer.) It’s got a host of improvements for the latest Push hardware, but there are advantages for everyone.

We did a preview of the slicing and beatmaking features in Live 9.7 previously:
Ableton Live 9.7 in beta, with slicing and beatmaking news

But let’s quickly run down what’s in 9.7 depending on which hardware you’re using (or not).

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For everybody

Actually, I think this is the most important. You can now slice in different ways:
By beat division
By region
By transient
Manually

All of this works in Simpler. So yes, it’s mapped to Push 1 and Push 2. But you can also use it if you’re on easyJet working on a laptop, with your trackpad. Or you can map it to custom controllers. Or if you’re McRorie, you could set up a custom workflow mapped to your pants. (Slap those Lederhosen, slice that track!)

Also, this is actually huge for people doing serious live performance – Link support is significantly enhanced if you use Tap Tempo or set tempo with the Looper. Quoting the release notes:

The beat time of connected apps in a Link session will be aligned when starting Live’s playback with Tap Tempo or via Looper.

Since the point of Link synchronization is jamming, that’s a big deal.

Everyone also gets a long, long list of tweaks and fixes – see the release notes for full details.

If you’ve got Push 2

Push 2 is mapped to that slicing, but you also get:
A new drum layout with 16 pre-defined velocity levels:

Select and arm audio and MIDI inputs from the hardware:

Visual feedback with clip phase and count-in so you can see where you are without looking at the screen:

Plus:

Color pads, tracks, and clips via Push (and not only with the mouse)

Pad sensitivity tweaks based on context to “improve playability” (this is actually pretty subtle, but … well, if it works you won’t notice it, you’ll just be happier)

Also, there are numerous improvements to the display, including color matching.

If you’ve got Push 2 or Push 1…

Push 1 also works with slicing mapped.

Also, both devices have a more sensible way to treat Fixed Length recordings – that’s when you set the length of a recording in advance, then play:

By default, Fixed Length now respects the Launch Quantization setting. Its previous behavior can be toggled on via the ‘Phrase Sync’ option in the Fixed Length menu. This works with Push 1 and 2.

So, have at it:

http://ift.tt/1NTSFJF

Live 9.7 will download automatically, or if you’re set to manual updates, you can grab it on your account page.

Photos courtesy Ableton.

The post Here’s what you’ll get out of Ableton Live 9.7, available today appeared first on CDM Create Digital Music.

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Someone recut the presidential debate into a ‘Time of My Life’ duet

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No one is having the time of their life in 2016

Almost immediately after the town hall style debate started on Sunday evening, people quickly noted that it looked like Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton were actually serenading each other. Thankfully, our dreams have since come true.

LuckyTV, a comedy site in the Netherlands, recut the debate so it appears as if the two are singing the 1987 hit "(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life." 

It’s seriously glorious. 

More about Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, Politics, Viral Videos, and Watercooler

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Putting a GoPro on a Hot Wheels Track Is the Safest Way to Become a Stunt Driver

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Think you can pull off burnouts, drifts, and breath-taking jumps in your sedan just because you’ve seen all the Fast and Furious films? Being a stunt driver takes years of practice and the right equipment—and you probably have neither. But it turns you can get a similar experience by just slapping a GoPro on a Hot Wheels car and send it hurdling down a track.

The first-person shots in this video were created using a modified Hot Wheels car designed to serve as a camera dolly for a compact GoPro Hero Session action cam. So at any time the only thing being risked during all these sweet stunts is a few hundred dollars worth of action camera, not thousands of dollars of car, plus the safety of a driver and passengers.

[YouTube]

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Samsung crams LTE into a tiny smartwatch chip

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Samsung’s mobile division is in crisis mode right now, so of course the company is happy to talk about one division that is doing well: chips. It just unveiled the Exynos 7 Dual 7270, which is not only the first 14-nanometer wearable processor, but the first in its class to have a built-in LTE modem. That means your next smartwatch could connect to a cell network and let you tether your laptop without a smartphone — a trick that’s reserved for the LG Urbane LTE and just a few other wearables right now.

The chip uses several different fabrication technologies, namely system-in-package and package-in-package, with the fun acronym SiP-ePoP. That helped engineers squeeze in the DRAM, NAND flash and power management chips, while reducing the total height, to boot. It also jammed WiFi, Bluetooth, an FM radio and a GPS (GNSS) receiver into the 100 millimeter square (0.155 square inch) device. Overall, it’s 20 percent more power efficient than last-gen 28-nanometer tech, Samsung says.

That should yield wearables that let you take calls or tether other devices over LTE and WiFi. Smartwatches or fitness trackers will also get GPS tracking and more without a huge power hit or need for a smartphone. To help developers get on board, Samsung has released a developer platform, but it could be a while before we see any devices that use the new chip.

Source: Samsung

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Watch the first episode of our new series Trust Disrupted: Bitcoin and the Blockchain

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We have a new series launching this week called Trust Disrupted: Bitcoin and the Blockchain. The six-episode series examines the rise of Bitcoin and the tech that allows it to operate.

The first episode will answer all your questions about the Bitcoin platform and how it works. Why did futurists want to create a totally digital currency? How would it work? What will the effects of Bitcoin and the blockchain have on the future of our economy?

Episode one seeks to explain the blockchain, the technology that allows bitcoins to be transferred between entities, as well as the motives behind its creators. The episode also examines the platform’s future and how it will be received by governments and big banks, the very institutions its creators were trying to sidestep or even overturn.

Check out episode one above and episode two here. New episodes will be released on TechCrunch.com or on our YouTube channel daily throughout this week.

Featured Image: Russell Werges

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AA batteries power Bastl Instrument’s pocket-sized synth

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Teenage Engineering’s Pocket Operators offer tiny battery-powered synths and a range of sounds across a collection of six devices that cost $59 each. Czech synthesizer company Bastl Instruments has a new pocket-sized synth of its own with the Kastle: a modular instrument that runs on three AA batteries. The company says the lo-fi device is ideal for beginners and pros alike as it can be put to work alongside other small gadgets like those Pocket Operators and Korg’s Volca series. Kastle can also be used as part of Eurorack system or connected to other full-size gear.

The Kastle is an open-source instrument that runs on two Attiny 85 chips that you can reprogram with an Arduino. One of those chips handles the sound generation while the other is tasked with modulation and due to the DIY nature of the device, those two components can be tweaked to change their parameters. What’s more, Bastl Instruments says the LFO and OSC chips can be swapped out entirely for different ones.

The compact synth offers three modes: phase distortion, phase modulation and track and hold modulation. There are also pitch, timbre, wave shape and LFO controls that can be patched in different configurations with the included cables. Two I/O CV jacks are also on board for routing sounds to other gear. While it does offer a different look and feel to the Teenage Engineering devices we’ve spent time with in the past, the Kastle is slightly more expensive. To snag one, you’ll need to hand over €65.60 (about $73) and the instruments are set to ship next month. For now, you can catch the Kastle in action via the video down below.

Via: Fact

Source: Bastl Instruments

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7 Ways We’re Slowly Becoming Our Phones

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In early 2014, Chief Justice John Roberts, writing on behalf of the Supreme Court in the landmark case of Riley v. California, noted that cell phones had become “such a pervasive and insistent part of daily life that the proverbial visitor from Mars might conclude they were an important feature of human anatomy.” While this is a tickling and imaginative thought, it makes you wonder: do Justice Roberts’ comments actually hold any weight?

Consider this: 91% of the US adult population currently owns a cell phone, of which 61% are smartphones. In fact, while smartphones are only about half as common, cell phones are just as common in Nigeria and South Africa, with about 90% of adults in those countries owning mobile devices. These little devices have become so integral to functioning in civilized societies that it’s hard to imagine existing in them without one. Think about it. If you’ve ever “felt naked” without your phone, you know what I’m talking about. But c’mon–cellphones as an important feature of human anatomy? Well… yes.

According to Marguerite Reardon, writing for CNet, some experts believe that “embeddable ‘phones’ or devices that are implanted in the body that use wireless technology could be commercially available by 2023.” Still need some convincing?

Here are 7 ways we’re slowly becoming one with our phones.

1. Human Civilization is Already Dependent on the Internet and Phones

A lot of people like to debate whether or our growing societal dependence on the internet is a good thing or not. Whatever your stance on the issue, it’s hard to hide from the facts–if the internet were to shut down globally for even just a measly 48 hours, we’d probably see food shortages, rioting, and massive amounts of chaos. This is because the internet helps to run almost everything, including business inventories, transportation schedules, financial payments, etc. Interestingly, we already have an idea of what an internet outage would look like. In 2007, somebody accidentally cut a fiber optic trunk line in Phoenix, AZ, and ended up knocking out much of the cellular and internet service throughout the state. Reddit user Splorinstuff recounts his experience:

“While in total it was probably less than 12 hours, panic was pretty clear. Banks shut their doors and dropped their bars for protection. Grocery stores told people not to come in unless they showed cash at the door. People were running all over trying to get money and supplies. Extend that 12 to 48 and you’ll have a real problem. Infrastructure begins to shut down and people start feeling actual fear. Financial loss starts to seem relatively insignificant to the other effects.”

Our relationship with the internet isn’t all doom and gloom, though. Think about all of the things that the world wide web has made possible. We have global commerce. We are able to text, call, Tweet, or Skype anybody from almost anywhere on the planet. We can learn anything at a moment’s notice. You’re able to read this article right now. Arguing whether or not societal dependence on the internet is a good or bad thing is about as pointless as arguing whether civilization’s dependence on other technologies like electricity or fossil fuels is good or bad. These things just are! Having all of the world’s information at our fingertips has changed us in incredible ways, and will continue to shape us in the future going forward–so much so that we might just want all of the world’s information in our fingertips…

2. Smartphones Are Already Pushing the Limits of Technology

Another indicator that we are slowly becoming our phones is that we focus on them more than almost any other piece of consumer technology. Every September, for example, the whole world turns its focus on Apple (AAPL) to see what new advancements will be made to the iPhone (No headphone jack?! What?!). But it’s not just Apple anymore that’s driving the smartphone race anymore. Samsung (SSNLF) has been doing extremely well with its Galaxy phones, and Google (GOOG) even has its new Pixel offerings available to the public. The problem is that most of these phones pretty much all do the same thing. Sure one may have different camera specs, screen sizes, or color of brushed aluminum–but innovation in the smartphone field has died considerably in the last couple of years. While Samsung has recently placed patents on really cool smartphone tech, including plans for flexible screens, built-in projectors, and even prototype, Star Wars-esque hologram displays, the fact is that we’ve reached peak smartphone. If history is any indicator, these pieces of tech are going to have to undergo a period of renaissance and innovation before their design and capabilities are exciting to the public again. So maybe it’s time we switch our focus from the question “how can we change the smartphone?” to “how can the smartphone change the world?”

3. They’re Already Becoming Our Cars

Intel CEO Brain Krzanich has already put a lot of thought into how smartphones can change the world–and he’s convinced that smart cars are how that change will come around. At a tech conference last July, Krzanich made a speech underlining his belief that self-driving vehicles that will use data to drive themselves represent the next frontier of mobile business. He may be right. Mobile is infiltrating our vehicles already, as those who are too busy to put their phones away while driving is turning to Apple CarPlay and Google’s Android Auto apps, which essentially turn vehicles into very large smartphones. Additionally, Cambridge University researchers are attempting to build software that “would turn a smartphone into an even more versatile device, one that would be able to bring self-driving abilities to future cars,” according to BGR. “Humans can drive using vision alone,” says Cambridge researcher Alex Kendell. “We’re hoping to teach a machine to see, to be able to do the same thing.” Check out their video, “Teaching Machines to See,” below.

4. They’re Already Augmenting Reality

There was once a time that we all thought Google Glass would be huge. This flopped for a number of reasons, one of those being that nobody wants to wear a goofy pair of non-glasses on their face all the time–but it didn’t flop because nobody was interested in what Glass provided, namely augmented reality (AR). Pokemon Go is one of the biggest pieces of evidence showing that the world is ready for and wants AR, even if most investors are clueless about AR’s potential. The point is that smartphones are already able to augment reality for us, the only thing we need to do is point the on-device camera at the world–or come up with some kind of wearable pair of glasses or contact lenses that can pair with and stream data from the smartphone itself. With this type of setup, you’d have a sort of HUD at all times that could display your location, your heart rate, stock market information, incoming messages–basically whatever you want to be displayed. Not only that, but landmarks could contain “floating” digital information too. With the way that smartphones are becoming able to recognize the world around us just as well as, if not better than humans are, it’s not that farfetched to think we’d want to form a permanent symbiotic relationship with this type of tech.

5. They’re Becoming More Like People Every Day

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For awhile now Siri has lived inside of our iPhones, a disembodied voice without much personality and sometimes frustrating to talk to. Yet, we still talk to her, and we’re doing it more and more often. In 2015, up to 20 percent of all searches on the internet were voice searches. Unfortunately, Siri, Cortana, Alexa, and all of the other ethereal personal assistants have a long way to go before we sing their praises or even begin to recognize them as intelligent. Perhaps this is why Google believes AI is the next front in the smartphone wars. It’s not just Google either. Earlier this year, researchers at MIT created a low-power neural-network chip they’ve named Eyeriss that consumes ten times less power than a mobile GPU. This essentially means that smartphone-based AI tasks are much closer than many people realize. In fact, at the end of 2015, CNN ran an article predicting that “artificial intelligence and virtual reality headsets, not your smartphone, could be the way you access entertainment, apps, and services by the end of the decade.” Of course, they never mention that the two are more likely to merge into one device that one replace the other. In fact, they cite the 10 Hot Consumer Trends for 2016 report by Ericsson (ERIC) for their article, which supports the idea that we’ll synthesize AI, phones, and wearables. Some of those statistics:

  • 85% think wearable electronic assistants will be commonplace
  • 80% think internal sensors will measure our well-being and enhance our vision, hearing, and memory
  • 33% want AI to keep them company

See? Someday that voice inside your head might actually be a voice inside your head. Creepy.

6. They’re Already Becoming the Only Computers We’ll Ever Need…

With advancements like the Eyeriss chip that could bring more computing power to your phone using less energy, it’s safe to say (and Wired already has) that in a very short amount of time, a smartphone could be the only personal computer anybody needs. Of course, not everybody agrees with this sentiment. Technology marketing analyst Chris Jones doesn’t believe that smartphones will necessarily reign supreme. “…For many,” he says, “it won’t replace the larger devices with a physical keyboard for productivity tasks… but, if a smartphone can do all the things PCs, digital cameras, camcorders, GPS navigation devices, MP3 players, and DVD players can, then yes, smartphones could be the primary computing device for many people.” It’s really not that farfetched. Motorola (MSI) tried to swing the market that way in 2011 with the Atrix, way ahead of their time, and Hewlett Packard (HPE) tried to break the same ground in 2016 with the X3 Windows 10-powered smartphone. Green Bot even ran an article positing 10 ways your smartphone has already replaced your laptop. Considering that these tiny devices are capable of running health diagnostics, playing games and movies, and, as mentioned above, augmenting reality, don’t be surprised if more people ditch their standard computers in favor of smartphones.

7. …And We’re Already Putting Computers Inside Our Bodies

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Implantables are here to stay…

It’s true. While we’ve all heard of wearables, including Snapchat’s new video-streaming sunglasses, not everybody realizes implantables, including the wireless pacemaker, the artificial pancreas, continuous glucose monitors, and even pain-blocking implants are right around the corner. While the benefits of implantables for those with legitimate medical conditions don’t seem to escape most, some do find more disconcerting the concept of implantables as a pastime or form of recreation. Nevertheless, a group of people called transhumanists believe that the future of human biology is inextricably paired with technology, to the point that upgrades to our natural hardware may allow us to live forever. Now, don’t get it twisted. Transhumanists and promises of immortality are pretty far out there, but the idea of practical implantables such as microchip birth control, RFID chips, and even computer-brain interfaces are actually pretty all pretty feasible. WT Vox ran a story covering the top “implantable wearables soon to be in your body,” and at the top of that list–you guessed it–is the smartphone.

So there you have it.

While the day when the human being merges with the smartphone is a possibility, there are a lot of hurdles to getting there. We’ll need to increase storage capacity on our smartphones, for one, and that says nothing of security. Cybercriminals using ransomware, a type of virus that takes control of computing devices and holds it ‘hostage’ until the user pays up, have been hitting hospitals across the U.S. and endangering lives by shutting down medical systems and infrastructures. Cybersec analysts warn that implantables like pacemakers could be the next target unless we drastically beef up wearable and Internet of Things (IoT) security.

The good news is that the greatest minds in the world are working on it, and as science and technology march forward in time, the things we never thought possible before will become reality. Exciting, isn’t it? Perhaps, someday in the future, you’ll even be able to search for this article online just by thinking it.

You might even be able to use the smartphone that’s been embedded inside of you to give me a call, assuming I’m still alive in that future.

Who knows? With the way technological advancements are going, I just might be.

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6 Things to Experience and Learn While Traveling

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Travelling can provide you with the best life experiences. It teaches you things that you can never learn in a classroom or a textbook. Travelling helps in opening your mind to new cultures, traditions, and experiences. It is the best way of expanding your perspective and connecting to the world. You can look at the lives of people living on the other corner of the earth and feel inspired and blessed. Travelling makes you more accepting and tolerant and makes you evaluate your values.

Here are some things you can learn and experience through traveling.

1. Leaving Your Comfort Zone

Traveling means abandoning the comfort of your home and familiar environment to take a leap of faith. You pack your bags and leave a familiar environment and go to a place that is entirely new to you. It is essential for expanding your horizons. Once you take the plunge and go to a new location, you will find no better feeling. Taking on unfamiliar territory is an excellent feeling, and it will give you timeless stories.

2. Appreciating Other Cultures

You can be judgmental about other cultures because they are different than yours. When you travel, you get to live in other cultures and experience their traditions. You cannot get the best experiences by just reading about them in a book. Residing in the society helps in experiencing the things in their true essence. It helps in better understanding other cultures. It helps in going through a new language, clothing, cuisines, etc. You will only appreciate something when you have firsthand knowledge about it. Before going to any place, you can make use of travel tips archives and look up the places you should not miss.

3. Learning to Live in the Moment

Whether you are looking at the wonders of the world like pyramids of Egypt or the China wall you get to enjoy the moment. Living in the moment is essential for living a happy and content life. While traveling, you will know that you have a little time to spend in each place and you should learn to make the best of it. It teaches you to savor every minute and every moment. Looking at new places fills you with wonder and awe and it is a feeling that you do not want to let go. Travelling teaches us to capture the moment and make it an important part of your life.

4. Live Simply

It is possible to survive on little and traveling teaches you that. You cannot move comfortably if you have heavy bags. To go around without any inconvenience, it is important to travel lightly. You learn to live even in the humblest conditions like small hotels and guest houses. You will also find yourself looking to lower travelling costs. In certain places, you could do that by using Uber coupon codes. Travelling is not about luxury and comfort; it’s about experiencing everything the world has to offer. It makes you appreciate the luxuries you have in your life and home.

5. Going with the Flow

When you travel, you need to learn how to roll with things. It is possible that your flight gets delayed or canceled or you lose your luggage. It can be a little frustrating for you, and you will enjoy your travels more if you quickly learn to adapt to and roll with things. It will make you carefree, and you will find it easier to enjoy one adventure and move on to the next. You can learn to stay calm while facing delays if you travel. It equips you to deal with these situations and realize that they are not worth getting upset about.

6. Valuing Experience Over Material Things

Once you get the taste of traveling, you will understand that the skills gained are much more expensive than any material object that you could own. Gazing at the Grand Canyon or the Eiffel Tower is priceless and more valuable than any merchandise. It is better to invest in a traveling trip instead of a luxurious car.

Every city and country has its unique way of life, and you can have a first-hand experience of their distinct cultures, practices, beliefs, food, etc. and learn and experience new things by investing in traveling trips.

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Want To Tackle Problems At Work Like A Boss? Learn This Thinking Approach From Elon Musk

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If you’re eager to improve your work performance, you probably consider yourself an ambitious and forward-thinking contributor to the world of business. But let’s face the fact: ambition and hard work alone are not enough to help us overcome numerous hurdles on our career paths. What sends some people to the pinnacle of success is their strong problem-solving ability.

Totally clueless about how to improve your problem-solving skills at work? Maybe you learn and practice the thinking approach adopted by many successful entrepreneurs including Elon Musk, founder of PayPal and owner of Telsa Motors, SpaceX and Solar City.

What is the thinking approach? It’s called First Principles Thinking.

What Is First Principles Thinking?

There are two types of thinking when it comes to brainstorming and tackling problems; one is comparison thinking and the other is first principles thinking.

Comparison thinking is when you come up with a solution using a mixture of pre-existing ideas. We tend to do this because our minds can become quite limited and often tries to find the easy way out by building on or tweaking an idea that is already out there. The problem with this is we begin the brainstorming or problem-solving from a space of assumption rather than questioning – we build on what has already been established rather than finding and questioning from a new basic level.

First principles thinking is about starting from a clean slate and free from any pre-existing ideas making it a much better approach to problem-solving and creating innovative ideas. It’s about starting with the core fundamental basics and working your way up from there.

What Are The Benefits Of First Principles Thinking?

By following first principles thinking, it helps you gather a better understanding of complex problems and better knowledge of the unknown leading to unique innovative thinking. Comparison thinking leads us to think in terms of analogy whereas first principles thinking allows us to potentially see something in much finer detail.

How Can I Apply First Principles Thinking?

The best way to use this way of brainstorming is for improving performance at work. Whatever career path you’re on – coming up with new ideas, ways to improve your business or presenting a potential new business strategy to your boss – using first principles thinking will allow you to fully research and understand what will be successful and what won’t be.

The three questions you should use to focus your mind and break free of limited assumptions are:

  • What am I trying to accomplish?
  • What is the fundamental problem?
  • What really matters to the people I’m reaching with this?

This allows you to get to your core motivation and understanding rather than using an existing idea and trying to see how to make it better.

For example, Musk talked about his thinking behind Telsa, his electric car company. An example of comparison thinking would lead someone to say “electric cars will never take off because batteries are too expensive.” This thought process holds limitations and could well lead to the company not going down a profitable route.

Instead, Musk would ask: What are the materials used to make these batteries? What is the market value of these individual materials? Could we, therefore, produce the batteries much cheaper?” He found it was much cheaper through using the strategy of first principles thinking. By taking this route we are able to break down the components and rebuild them in an affordable way showing the original assumption that batteries are not economical enough is, in fact, wrong.

First principles thinking is about breaking out of limited thinking and the assumptions that we tend to conclude from previous evidence. It’s about looking at something from a new angle. It’s about questioning until you reach the core answer. Try applying this to your work life and see how the possibilities can multiply.

Featured photo credit: Nicolas Bariteau via nicolasbariteau.com

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