Motion-tracked binaural sound

“A string trio plays in front of you as you turn your attention from cello to violin. A soprano walks across the stage, and you turn your head to follow her voice…Motion-tracked binaural sound captures cues for direction, distance and movement and the subtleties of natural, ambient sound that other systems don’t…The new method records through multiple microphones (eight for voice, 16 for music) spaced around a head-sized ball or cylinder. The sound is played back through headphones with a small tracking device attached to the top to follow head movements. As you turn your head while listening, the system mixes sound from different microphones, reproducing what you would hear if you were in the room.”

How cool is that?

Site Migration

Didn’t take too long to find some limitations with Blogger so I’ve just finished migrating to WordPress and editing a WordPress template to make it look the way I want it to (which is more or less complete as far as I’m concerned). All posts are now categorised and searchable…which is nice! One small problem is that WordPress uses PHP and MySQL, I’ve had no experience with either before so it’s been a bit of a struggle getting it running etc. I now have loads to learn just to get an understanding of the basics, I can’t stand the thought of using it without knowing how it works, I have a few things that I want to tweak anyway so learning more will hopefully help me to sort those issues out. Anyway, here it is in all its infant glory:-)

Urban Climbing

I’m well into my climbing at the moment and was really chuffed to find this cool French site all about Urban Climbing (free climbing on inner city structures such as buildings, monuments, houses etc.). Check out some of the videos. Looks like it’s built on the same kind of attitude that underpins the French Free Running (Le Parkour) movement (also here) seen on Channel 4s Jump London last year. Nearly forgot to mention the accompanying soundtracks…excellent. Top stuff.

Update (24/09/04) – More Le Parkour pictures, videos etc here


I originally heard the name Kurzweil about seven years ago while looking into replacing my old Yamaha SY77 keyboard. Kurzweil keyboards were supposed to be just about the most versatile and best you could buy. A couple of years back I found out that the company Kurzweil belonged to the forward thinking inventor, Ray Kurzweil.

Ray’s site,, has become a fantastic home of artificial intelligence thinking with a vast repository of futurist thought.

I haven’t read a huge amount of the articles there yet buy my favourite so far has to be The Human Machine Merger: Are We Headed For The Matrix? It’s not about the Matrix connection that I like it so much but more about how Ray explains about how the rate of technological progress is increasing.

“…the rate of progress is not going to remain at today’s rate; according to my models, it’s doubling every decade…We will make a hundred years of progress at today’s rate of progress in 25 years. The next ten years will be like twenty, and the following ten years will be like 40. The 21st century will therefore be like 20,000 years of progress—at today’s rate.”

Ray goes on to discuss Moore’s Law (the model that predicts the exponential growth, at a fixed price, of new technologies) and other interesting stuff.

Thermoacoustic Refrigeration Unit

Here’s an interesting article from Popular Science about how Ben & Jerry’s have funded a prototype thermoacoustic refrigerator to be designed and built. How does it work?

“The freezer is an ordinary deli cabinet piped to a 14-inch-high canister with soundproof stainless steel walls. A loudspeaker pumps sound waves (at 190 decibels, louder than a rocket launch) into the canister, expanding and contracting helium gas inside. The pressure changes chill the icebox as efficiently as a conventional freezer…” “…friendly, alternative refrigeration technology that chills out to sound waves.”

There’s also a 10 minute broadband only presentation that explains the science in more detail…and at a level that even I can understand…Cue the penguins and the cow!