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Billy Taylor’s iPhone App – Jazz Piano 

Pianist, composer, educator, author, broadcaster and Jazz advocate Dr. Billy Taylor has released Jazz Piano, an iPhone App.

Taylor has always been on the cutting edge of using technology to reach existing and new listeners of jazz first on the radio, then television, on his website; on YouTube; and, now on the iPhone.

 Jazz Piano, is available for free download in the iTunes App store, features Billy’s music; a photo gallery; both performance and instructional videos; a biography; news; and, a fan wall, so that users can interact directly with the musician.

Bret Primack, who is working with Taylor to digitize his archives and post them online, developed the iPhone App. Primack believes that “it’s important for those of us who are involved with Jazz to utilize new media and each new technology platform to reach the global audience. So to tap into this growing audience of mostly younger people who embrace new technology, we must create programs, websites, videos, etc., and position them accordingly.”


Apple continues to innovate, and in the last decade, the company has become not only a leader in consumer electronics, but a potent music retailer with iTunes. For musicians, the major benefit of an iPhone App is the ability to preview and purchase music so easily. 

An App on the iPhone makes it really easy for Jazz listeners to preview and then purchase music because the buy links go directly to iTunes, and then the purchased music is downloaded directly to the iPod that lives within the iPhone.

To Download: Jazz Piano, Billy Taylor’s free iPhone App, go to:

For all things, Billy, please visit his website:

Cruising With HTC

HTC , a leader in mobile phone innovation and design,released its latest personal navigation handset with inbuilt GPS.  The new HTC Touch Cruise™, an update to 2008’s popular HTC GPS device of the same name, but this one boasts a new, more compact design and a host of new capabilities to offer a richer and more intuitive experience in one powerful package.

The HTC Touch Cruise is the first device to incorporate HTC Footprints™, a new feature that allows people to capture special moments and places in a whole new way.

With HTC Footprints, mobile images are taken to the next level by allowing people to tag their pictures with a variety of additional information.  There are a number of scenarios that you could imagine for this: Family historians can capture audio clips with each image, effectively capturing in the moment thoughts and feelings.

Leisure travelers can take advantage of the included GPS chipset and tag each image with its exact coordinates, as well as rename that image with the location it was taken.  When a person goes back through old images, they find their life’s moments chronicled in detail in the palm of their hand.

Read more: Cruising With HTC

Catching Fire with Dolby's Poppy Crum

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire won't spread to theaters till November 22, 2013 but Katniss's next post-apocalyptic exploits can be glimpsed in a teaser trailer.

Even the blazing logo has fans whipped up. 

Fiery content is also consuming neuroscientists like Dr. Poppy Crum, a Senior Scientist at Dolby Laboratories. Though perhaps best known for its audio products, the company is developing imaging tools to represent fire, among other immersive experiences that can ignite moviegoers' senses across sight, sound and emotion. 

"To create believable realities and provoke visceral responses, you need to start with how the human brain interprets reality," Crum told a crowd recently gathered at Dolby's New York office. She and her team pay attention to how neurons integrate information "to form a holistic experience of what it means to be an object." In particular, they focus on brain cells that care about multiple-sensory input from what's being seen, heard and felt.

2PoppyCrumRecently Crum had a curious experience in the Dolby lab. She was watching a large image of fire when suddenly she felt flushed. At first she suspected that the monitor was giving off heat as the imaging technology produced up to 10,000 – 20,000 candelas per square meter, comparable to natural sunlight. (A typical HDTV display produces between 300 - 500 candelas per square meter.) But a test quickly established that the display was the same temperature as ever.

So the Dolby scientists ran a little experiment. Armed with a thermal imaging camera, they had subjects watch content of someone ringing fire around them, and tracked changes on their faces along with temperature fluctuations in their bodies. What the data revealed is that the subjects were expelling heat in response to changes in the content.3Dolbyslide heat

"When we see flame, our bodies are already starting to expel heat and prepare us before we even experience that flame," explained Crum. Apparently, it suffices that the luminescence reaches our retina and that our brain cells cry "fire!" for the body to turn down the thermostat.

As Crum pointed out, the technology "is creating an illusion that’s realistic enough to cause the body to trigger a physiological response." This ability to trick Mother Nature is Dolby’s reward for having sunk serious time and treasure into modeling perceptual reality, a reward that academic research alone hasn't turned up.

And the company has its eyes on bigger prizes yet. Not content to recreate human perceptual reality, it’s looking to improve on it. That’s why Dolby scientists are spending lots of time these days with bats. They’re hoping to harness the brain mechanisms through which bats and other species achieve an array of dazzling feats, and to deliver entertainment experiences that aren’t confined to the faculties of the human animal.

By goosing the “synergistic effects” of our mingled senses, tech toys can rev our sensory experiences beyond the response of our component parts -- and give audiences superpowers and the emotional highs that come with them.

Let the games begin…

Photographing NYC with An iPhone

On February 18, 2011, From 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm, master photographer Sion Fullana will give a talk and demo about photographing NYC with an iPhone at the Apple Store Soho (103 Prince Street). Capturing the Big Apple  through the lens of an iPhone, Sion Fullana is a trailblazer in this new medium. Sion Fullana

Born in Spain, he now finds "The City" an endless source of inspiration for his urban and street photography.

A professional photographer, journalist and filmmaker living in New York City, he was born in Majorca, and moved to Barcelona to graduate in Journalism at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. He then traveled to San Antonio de los Baños, in Cuba, where he lived for two years and obtained a diploma on film directing from the prestigious EICTV (International Film and TV School).

After a brief return to his homeland for a year working as a TV reporter in Palma de Majorca he moved to Manhattan in 2006, where he has continued his journalistic and photographic collaboration with several international media outlets, and local ones like Time Out New York.

Read more: Photographing NYC with An iPhone

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