In case you missed the tale of the Creepy Edison Dolls, this Times story will acquaint you with the particulars. They were talking dolls that stored sounds on cylinders, and the advanced age of the fragile items meant the songs and voices could not be replayed. Until Irene, that is. NYT:
The technology, which is known as Irene (Image, Reconstruct, Erase Noise, Etc.), was developed by the particle physicist Carl Haber and the engineer Earl Cornell at Lawrence Berkeley. Irene extracts sound from cylinder and disk records. It can also reconstruct audio from recordings so badly damaged they were deemed unplayable. “We are now hearing sounds from history that I did not expect to hear in my lifetime,” Mr. Fabris said.

It’s fascinating. The only problem is this: the result is absolutely horrifying.

ODDS & ENDS Time to empty the bin: links and screenrgabs I saved for some reason. Digg is always helpful; if you don’t share the editor exact set of panic triggers, the articles look a bit overwrought or misguided. Such as:

Don't you feel guilty already? 

If you spend a lot of your time online, it’s easy to be smug about your environmental impact. After all, you rarely print stuff out, so you don’t kill trees. You read The New York Times on your phone, so a hunk of chopped up rainforest doesn't get tossed on your doorstep every morning. And you don’t go out in your car much, because you spend weekends devouring The Stormlight Archives on your Kindle.

Well, unsmugify yourself, buster, because all that clicking and loading is consuming electricity. A lot. So you’d better stop. There’s even an academic who studies the social ramifications of social ramifications, and he’s concerned:

Miller notes that high tech is changing rapidly, and regulations haven't caught up. For example, there’s no established system for knowing whether it's better for the planet to read an article online or print it out. And he feels that’s something that needs to change.

I’m sure he does, and I’m sure his feelings are very important and should be heeded by other people who feel things. But if the author was serious, the article would have been in plain text without images. or ads pulled in from outside vendors. Let alone a gas-guzzling sound file.


Why? Did it contain detailed information about the people sent to the gulag in April, confirming that they had hoarded up to sixteen ounces of wheat and deserved hard labor, if not the firing squad? The author explains:

No matter what any of us do, we all are standing on a useless pile of sinking garbage created by our ancestors for no plausible reason. Except, in this case, what’s sinking isn't land – it’s capitalism.

Edgy stuff here. The author concludes by calling for Revolution, which will break the cycle of consumption. Until then you can support the author’s work at this studio. After the Revolution it will probably be free, so you might want to wait. Me, I do not share the author's worries and doubt over dental floss, and regard it as more essential than, say, a vase. (Note: the vase is 3d printed, which the article on internet power usage notes is also problematic.)

From my Zite app - which continues to work, even though Zite was bought and is slated to go away some day - a few peculiar juxtapositions of headlines and images scraped from the source.

He does seem well-preserved. A piece from Diply, a site for people who find Buzzfeed taxes their intellect:

This particular style of headline writing will be rewarded in hell with uninterrupted centuries of pitchfork jabbing. Note the tag: Vinegar! In case you’ve set up alerts so no stories about Vinegar escape your attention. I mean, it could be trending on Twitter and you wouldn’t know.

My favorite phishing email of the week, from “iTunes Inc”

Act swifty so you can resume to use!

Finally, a warning. Up Next:

And autoplay is enabled. Remember when internet lore said you had to sit through the whole song if you were tricked into watching it? No one ever did that.