Computers to coach vocal students?

July 8, 2008
The Microsoft to Yahoo shareholders: replace Yahoo board and we’ll talk buyout
Nicholas Carlson includes Microsoft Corp.’s statement which was issued yesterday regarding their interest with Yahoo.

An excerpt from Microsoft’s statement reads: “Despite working since January 31 of this year, as well as in the early part of last year, we have never been able to reach an agreement in a timely way on acceptable terms with the current management and Board of Directors at Yahoo!. We have concluded that we cannot reach an agreement with them. We confirm, however, that after the shareholder election Microsoft would be interested in discussing with a new board a major transaction with Yahoo!, such as either a transaction to purchase the ‘Search’ function with large financial guarantees or, in the alternative, purchasing the whole company.”

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MacBook Air price drops $500
Charlie Sorrel looks at Apple’s recent price reduction on its MacBook Air notebook.

”Apple never drops the price of its products unless there is a significant revamp in a product line (the exception, of course, was the $200 price drop for the original iPhone). But the top-end MacBook Air has just been reduced by $500. The vanilla hard drive based Air remains at $1,800, but the SSD model is now $2,600, down from the $3,100 launch price. Adding the SSD to the base model will cost an extra $600. Why? We’re betting that the price of solid state drives has plummeted.”

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Your computer as your singing coach
ZD Net
Roland Piquepaille writes that Israeli researchers at Tel Aviv University have designed a computer that can help vocal students improve their singing techniques.

“Israeli researchers have developed an electronic ear to coach vibrato technique. Until now, the quality of a vibrato – the pulsating change of pitch in a singer’s voice – could only be judged by voice experts. Now, a Tel Aviv University research team ‘has successfully managed to train a computer to rate vibrato quality, and has created an application based on biofeedback to help singers improve their technique.’ Interestingly, this research could be used for other applications, such as improving automated help centers, where computers could be trained ‘to recognize a range of different emotions, such as anger and nervousness.’”

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Maxine Cheung
Maxine Cheung
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