It’s time for your mid-week GeekBytes update! Today we'll look at the end of new music, a piece of computer history that's back from the dead, and a quicker way to get at Google Street View. Oh, and in preparation for Thanksgiving tomorrow, here’s a message from the International Space Station.
Music all sounds the same these days, right? If that’s your train of thought, it’s no coincidence, as a bit of mathematical calculation suggests that there is only a finite number of possible melodies, and that humans gravitate toward songs that share certain characteristics. The range of tones that the human ear can distinguish is limited, meaning that we may one day reach a time where every melody has already been made and songs will no doubt sound a little familiar—It helps explain why Katy Perry and Ke$ha wrote two very similar-sounding songs. Check out the video below for all the particulars:
After sitting idle for 15 years, the Harwell Dekatron, said to be the world’s oldest digital computer, has been brought back to life. The big machine, originally built back in 1949, has been in storage since 1997, but it was brought back to life at a recent ceremony at the National Museum of Computing at Bletchley Park in the UK. The giant computer, known as the "Wolverhampton Instrument for Teaching Computation from Harwell" (WITCH), first went into service in the early 1950s to perform mathematical calculations. WITCH weighs over two tons, and features 800 valves, 400 tape relays and six paper tape readers.
But can it run Crysi—oh, never mind.
Google Maps is handy and all, but there are certain times when you just want to use specific features, such as Street View. When that’s the case, Quick Street View is a new Web app to do just that. The web app makes searching for street-level mapping a snap, and it's super fast—just start typing in the search box and you’ll start getting results.
This story, "Will we ever run out of new music? (and other things we didn’t cover) " was originally published by TechHive.