NFL star tweets North Korea should bomb New England

North Korea appears currently to be banging the (conun)drum for world instability.

Its apparent enmity to all things American has recently been pierced by such luminaries as Google's Eric Schmidt and the slightly noodly Dennis Rodman.

You might be tickled or troubled by the fact that today, North Korea's Twitter and Flickr accounts were mercilessly invaded by Anonymous.

My emotions, on the other hand, have been moved by the fact that an NFL star is encouraging Kim Jong-un's missiles to be targeted at New England.

There is no known additional antipathy on behalf of North Korea'… Read more

The Audiophiliac's Top 13 music Blu-ray discs

I wrote a Top 10 music Blu-ray list late last year, so it's time for an update.

Patricia Barber, "Modern Cool"

Sultry jazz singer Patricia Barber's "Modern Cool" album was a hit with the audiophile crowd soon after its release in 1998, so I was surprised to see it come out on Blu-ray with a new 5.1-channel DTS Master Audio mix. Even more surprised that the surround mix totally works. You're in the middle of the band, which I usually don't care for, but it clicks here. Barber wrote a lot … Read more

The 404 1,042: Where the Enterprise has landed (podcast)

Steve Sphere Guttenberg returns to close out the week and he's calling on all our listeners to submit and vote for their favorite speakers, sound bars, headphones, subwoofers, and other home theater products for the first ever Stevie Awards for Excellence in Audio. So far, my personal top pick, the Koss PortaPros, are leading the headphones category!

Steve also tells Jeff and me about the leaps in technology that blew his mind growing up, the most prolific of which happens to be a head-shaped JVC binaural recording device that he used as a wingman in bars around New York … Read more

Top 10 music Blu-ray discs

I've received so many great-sounding Blu-rays over the past couple of months, I had to put together a Top 10 list.

A lot of them didn't make the cut; just because a Blu-ray has a high-resolution soundtrack doesn't automatically mean it sounds great; the variables of the original recordings and mixing can make or break the sound. For example, Tom Petty's "Mojo" Blu-ray doesn't sound much better than the CD version of the same music, but it does have an uninspired 5.1 surround mix. All of the following discs are distinctly better … Read more

Music tech guru says Web is not the enemy

The Internet is a killer of art--or at least that's how a couple of former rock 'n' roll gods see it.

John Mellencamp, known for such '80s hits as "Jack and Diane" and "Hurts So Good," last week said the Web is the most dangerous creation since the atomic bomb. Stevie Nicks, the Fleetwood Mac songstress, concluded in an interview this week that the "Internet has destroyed rock."

Jac Holzman, the man who discovered The Doors, founded Elektra Records, and nudged the big recording companies into adopting the compact disc, considers the Web … Read more

Stevie Nicks: Technology has 'ruined our children'

Please, as you walk down the street today, as you eat something far too large for you at Burger King, and as you go home to those who claim to love you, consider whether any children you see seem ruined.

I ask this on behalf of Stevie Nicks, the singer from sometime band of the ages, Fleetwood Mac. Ms. Nicks has strong beliefs. And most of them seem to paint technology as a dastardly villain that has moved into every neighborhood, like a living voodoo doll, warping children's brains into its control.

In an interview with the Associated Press, … Read more

Animal Collective vs. Stevie Wonder

Getting legal clearance for samples and covers can be a real problem. For samples, if the copyright owner of the sampled song discovers you've used it without permission, they can sue to receive a portion of the proceeds--even if the sample's unrecognizable. Even getting permission doesn't always save you, as the Beastie Boys discovered. An article in a recent issue of SSA explores the issue in detail and concurs with Beck's assessement in 2005 that the legal issues with sampling will basically kill the practice in mainstream commercial music.

Covers generally require permission from the publisher, … Read more