Daily Archives: January 18, 2022

Microsoft to Buy Activision Blizzard for Nearly $70 Billion – The New York Times

In buying Activision Blizzard, the maker of Call of Duty, Microsoft will inherit hugely popular titles — and an employee revolt over accusations of sexual harassment. Credit…Benoit Tessier/Reuters

By Karen Weise, Andrew Ross Sorkin, Kellen Browning and Michael J. de la Merced

  • Jan. 18, 2022Updated 5:39 p.m. ET

SEATTLE — Microsoft plans to buy the powerhouse but troubled video game company Activision Blizzard for nearly $70 billion, its biggest deal ever and one that places a major bet that people will be spending more and more time in the digital world.

The blockbuster acquisition, announced on Tuesday, would catapult the company into a leading spot in the $175 billion gaming industry. Games on virtually every kind of device, from bulky consoles to smartphones, have gained even greater popularity during the pandemic. Technology companies are swarming around the industry, looking for a bigger share of attention and money from the world’s three billion gamers.

In an industry driven by big franchises, Activision makes some of the most popular titles, including Call of Duty and Candy Crush. Yet the company has been roiled in recent months by an employee revolt over accusations of sexual harassment and discrimination.

Microsoft framed the deal as strengthening the company’s hand in the so-called metaverse, the nascent world of virtual and augmented reality. The metaverse has attracted huge amounts of investment and talent, though so far is more of a buzzword than a thriving business. Facebook renamed its parent company to Meta late last year to underscore its commitment.

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You Can Actually Hear the Climate Changing – Outside Online

Leath Tonino –Dec 7, 2015

Soundscape ecologist Bernie Krause has recorded jaguars in the Amazon, ice in Antarctica, insects in Zimbabwe, rainstorms in Borneo, and orcas in the Pacific. The 77-year-old began studying nature’s sounds at age 30, later earning a Ph.D. in creative arts. (This was after two successful decades as a musician and producer.) He has since traveled to the world’s most remote areas to create an audio library that began as an inventory of the intricate symphonies unique to each ecosystem but has become a way to document biodiversity and, most recently, loss.

Krause’s archive now consists of 5,000-plus hours of what he calls “whole habitat” field recordings. To get them, he sets up a wind-protected microphone on a tripod, plugs it into a handheld recorder, and captures everything that occurs. More than half of the 3,700 habitats represented in the archive—from Yellowstone to Australia to his own backyard in Glen Ellen, California—are now either totally silent or severely diminished because of human activities like mining, logging, poaching, real estate development, airplane traffic, warfare, and climate change. Outside spoke to Krause shortly after the release of his new book, Voices of the Wild: Animal Songs, Human Din, and the Call to Save Natural Soundscapes, to discuss how wild sounds allow us to examine changes that may otherwise go unnoticed—and whether they might be on the verge of vanishing forever.

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The Tuning of the World: R. Murray Schafer

Entertaining recreations of soundscapes of past times and places precede a survey of methods for analyzing present-day soundscapes, distinguishing types of sound, and developing an understanding of the effects of sounds on us all.

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ 0394409663
  • Publisher: ‎ Random House Inc; 1st edition (June 1, 1977)
  • Language: ‎ English
  • Hardcover: ‎ 301 pages
  • ISBN-10: ‎ 0771079656
  • ISBN-13: ‎ 978-0394409665

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The Soundscape: R. Murray Schafer

The soundscape–a term coined by the author–is our sonic environment, the ever-present array of noises with which we all live. Beginning with the primordial sounds of nature, we have experienced an ever-increasing complexity of our sonic surroundings. As civilization develops, new noises rise up around us: from the creaking wheel, the clang of the blacksmith’s hammer, and the distant chugging of steam trains to the “sound imperialism” of airports, city streets, and factories. The author contends that we now suffer from an overabundance of acoustic information and a proportionate diminishing of our ability to hear the nuances and subtleties of sound. Our task, he maintains, is to listen, analyze, and make distinctions.

As a society we have become more aware of the toxic wastes that can enter our bodies through the air we breathe and the water we drink. In fact, the pollution of our sonic environment is no less real. Schafer emphasizes the importance of discerning the sounds that enrich and feed us and using them to create healthier environments. To this end, he explains how to classify sounds, appreciating their beauty or ugliness, and provides exercises and “soundwalks” to help us become more discriminating and sensitive to the sounds around us. This book is a pioneering exploration of our acoustic environment, past and present, and an attempt to imagine what it might become in the future.

Review

” . . . an unusual sensory experience that will raise your consciousness of the soundscape to a level of sensitivity you never experienced before.” ― The New York Times

From the Back Cover

MUSIC

The soundscape–a term coined by the author–is our sonic environment, the ever-present array of noises with which we all live. Beginning with the primordial sounds of nature, we have experienced an ever-increasing complexity of our sonic surroundings. As civilization develops, new noises rise up around us: from the creaking wheel, the clang of the blacksmith’s hammer, and the distant chugging of steam trains to the “sound imperialism” of airports, city streets, and factories. The author contends that we now suffer from an overabundance of acoustic information and a proportionate diminishing of our ability to hear the nuances and subtleties of sound. Our task, he maintains, is to listen, analyze, and make distinctions.

As a society we have become more aware of the toxic wastes that can enter our bodies through the air we breathe and the water we drink. In fact, the pollution of our sonic environment is no less real. Schafer emphasizes the importance of discerning the sounds that enrich and feed us and using them to create healthier environments. To this end, he explains how to classify sounds, appreciating their beauty or ugliness, and provides exercises and “soundwalks” to help us become more discriminating and sensitive to the sounds around us. This book is a pioneering exploration of our acoustic environment, past and present, and an attempt to imagine what it might become in the future.

A well-known Canadian composer, R. MURRAY SCHAFER is the author of several books, including The Music of the Environment.

  • Publisher: ‎ Destiny Books; Original ed. edition (October 1, 1993)
  • Language: ‎ English
  • Paperback: ‎ 320 pages
  • ISBN-10: ‎ 0892814551
  • ISBN-13: ‎ 978-0892814558
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 14.4 ounces
  • Dimensions: ‎ 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches

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