Siamo rimasti particolarmente colpiti da una stiuazione creatasi tra un consumatore e il rinomato portale Amazon, società che senza preavviso ha deciso di cancellare l’account del cliente e ogni contenuto associato al profilo.
Fatto al limite del possibile che viene narrata da una terza parte, mostrando in rete lo scambio di missive tra consumatore e Michael Murphy, Executive Customer Relations di Amazon.
E’ proprio Amazon a contattare Linn, il cliente chiamato in causa, e a informarlo che non solamente il suo account è stato eliminato dal circuito, ma che ogni suo acquisto e ordine verrà completamente eliminato.
Il motivo è molto semplice: pare che l’ID di Linn sia direttamente correlata ad un altro che è stato precedentemente chiuso per abuso delle politiche del portale.
Murphy richiama all’attenzione alcuni dettagli dei termini contrattuali accettati durante la fase di iscrizione ad Amazon, i quali riportano che: “Amazon.co.uk ed i suoi affiliati si riservano il diritto di rifiutare il servizio, chiudere i conti, rimuovere o modificare il contenuto, o annullare ordini a loro esclusiva discrezione.”
Inutile il tentativo di Linn di chiedere spiegazioni e dettagli riguardanti questo fumoso account, dato che Amazon, dopo un paio di scambio di mail, chiude il discorso con un poco elegante: “Vi auguriamo buona fortuna nel trovare un rivenditore maggiormente in grado di soddisfare le vostre esigenze.”
Lasciando da parte i problemi Linn per un momento, molti di voi, leggendo quanto appena raccontato, si staranno sicuramente chiedendo se Amazon ha il diritto di cancellare i contenuti rilasciati a pagamento su un dispositivo in possesso. Purtroppo, la risposta è probabilmente sì.
Tutto si riduceal Digital Rights Management, o DRM, un sistema che regola il noleggio di libri (e anche altri contenuti digitali come musica e film) “fino a quando il rivenditore trova conveniente.”Amazon a sua volta utilizza il Digital Millennium Copyright Act, o DMCA, elied eliminando così i contenuti “acquistati” in caso risultino collegati a un utente truffatore.
Diciamo la verità, nessuno di noi ha mai letto a fondo i Termini di Contratto nel momento in cui ci iscriviamo ai vari portali, saltandoli a piè pari. Amazon però riporta una serie di determinate voci che regolano i dettagli di DRM, più precisamente indicando: “i contenuti Kindle sono concessi sotto forma di licenza, non venduti.”
In caso di infrazione delle regole, Amazon “può revocare immediatamente l’accesso al Kindle Store e ai Kindle Content senza alcun rimborso delle spese sostenute.”
Navigando per la rete ci siamo accorti che il fatto di Linn non è un caso isolato e di conseguenza può accadere non solamente ai possessori di Kindle ma anche a tutti i possessori di apparecchiature che hanno deciso di utilizzare il sistema indetto da DRM.
Per chi volesse leggere lo scambio di missive tra Linn e Amazon in versione completa può seguire questo LINK.
Cosa ne pensate della politica adottata da Amazon?
(Rinnovabili.it) – Fino a ieri il settore energetico cinese era quasi ad esclusivo appannaggio dello Stato. Ora la Repubblica Popolare è intenzionata a dare una scossa al proprio mercato delle rinnovabili ed è pronta ad aprire la porta agli investitori privati. Lo annuncia l’agenzia ufficiale Xinhua rivelando il contenuto del nuovo “White Paper”, il documento contenente le linee guida della politica energetica nazionale elaborato dall’Ufficio Informazioni del Consiglio di Stato.
In questo suo Libro Bianco la Cina si assume l’impegno a sviluppare fonti energetiche nuove e a scardinare i vecchi monopoli elaborando nuove normative volte a riformare il settore energetico. “Tutti i progetti indicati nel programma energetico nazionale, ad eccezione di quelli vietati da leggi o regolamenti, sono aperte al capitale privato”, si legge nel documento che illustra in modo completo gli obiettivi, le sfide e gli impegni attuali e la disposizione generale sul rafforzamento della cooperazione internazionale in merito. Secondo i piani, la nazione si impegnerà per accrescere lo sviluppo elettrico in aree rurali e valorizzarla nelle regioni di confine. Entro il 2015, la nazione si propone di creare un totale di 200 contee “green energy” e 1.000 villaggi che utilizzano l’energia solare.Inoltre, il governo fornirà finanziamenti extra per il Tibet per lo sviluppo energetico, con investimenti diretti tra il 2011 e il 2015 che supereranno i 900 milioni di yuan. Il documento prevede infine di aumentare la quota di combustibili non fossili, nell’ambito del consumo primario di energia, arrivando all’11,4%, e la potenza installata al 30% entro la fine del 2015.
"Abbiamo 5 mila iscritti e un mondo di simpatizzanti – spiega il vicepresidente di CPI, Simone Di Stefano – vogliamo portarli alle urne per essere l'ago della bilancia. Scegliamo Bersani e D'Alema perché vogliamo che il Pd rimanga così: vecchio"
Oh, Maschine. Are you the all-in-one music production hardware/software for the masses, the ultimate drum pad MIDI controller, a killer plug-in instrument, or just the prettiest multicolored light show on the music store shelf? Could you possibly be all of the above? No, that can’t be possible. But then again, maybe. Just in case, we’re going to examine every last perk of Maschine Mk2 and get to the bottom of this enigma.
Reviewed: Native Instruments Maschine Mk2 Price: $ 669 (MSRP), $ 599 in the new DJTT store Communication: MIDI over USB (USB powered) Available: Now! Also Available: Maschine Mikro Mk2 ($ 399/349) Ships with: Maschine 1.8 software, 6 GB sound library, USB 2.0 cable Weight: 4.6 pounds (2.1 kg) Dimensions: 12.6 x 11.6 x 2.6 inches (32 x 29.5 x 6.5 cm) System Requirements: Windows 7 (latest Service Pack, 32-bit/64-bit), Intel Core Duo or AMD Athlon 64 X2, 2 GB RAM / Mac OS X 10.6 or 10.7 (latest update), Intel Core Duo, 2 GB RAM
The Good: Flexible, powerful production platform works stand-alone or as a plug-in to a DAW program. Well-made hardware components and absurdly slick-looking multi-colored LEDs. MIDI mode for general control of other hardware and software. Attractive price compared to hardware workstations. Latest software retains compatibility with Mk1 hardware.
The Bad: The TSI for Traktor is either janky, not updated for Maschine Mk2, or both. Its unique workflow takes some learning for producers coming from either hardware or software backgrounds. We’re still waiting for some mind-blowing Maschine/Traktor integration.
The Bottom Line: While not an essential hardware update for existing users (the free 1.8 update is much more essential for them) , the Maschine Mk2 makes concrete improvements to an already solid, flexible music production platform for the same retail price. This should entice novice producers with its all-in-oneness and tempt initiated music makers to incorporate it into a larger setup.
MASCHINE IN A NUTSHELL
In case any of you are not familiar with Native Instruments Maschine, the concept bears reiterating, especially because the Mk2 update is more of an evolutionary than revolutionary update.
My speculation is that NI developed Maschine several years ago to rip the hip-hop producers away from the popular Akai MPC workstation and bring them into NI’s universe of computer-based music production. That process has had some success, is still ongoing, and of course along the way many other music producers and DJs embraced the very worthy Maschine platform as well.
It’s a rather ingenious meeting halfway between the worlds of hardware music production — specifically MPC-style sampling workstations — and software digital audio workstation (DAW) production. Maschine’s hardware provides a familiar drum-pad workstation interface, and its software and connection to a computer allow it to leverage the power, user-friendliness, and easy updatability of computer music while keeping the price much lower than expensive hardware workstations.
Maschine can be an extremely capable standalone system, yet users of other production software can also use Maschine as a plug-in instrument and/or a MIDI controller.
As someone who has a background with both MPCs and (more so) with DAW software, the Maschine workflow came with somewhat of a learning curve – but the basics are fundamental. Maschine assembles Groups of sounds — often a drum kit’s worth of percussion sounds, but also instrument sounds — that act like tracks in a typical DAW. You create Patterns with the Group sounds, then group together Patterns into Scenes, and then order Scenes to create a song.
You have full sound editing capabilities, many onboard sounds and effects, the option to sample straight into Maschine, and Maschine can even host plug-in instruments and effects, making its possibilities truly infinite.
As with Native Instruments’ other software products, Maschine runs quite deep in functionality. To get the most out of it, you should dive just as deep into learning it, which means scouring manuals and tutorials. Also like other NI programs, you could use Maschine on a basic level without digging much deeper, and you will eventually stumble upon new things, but you may be missing out on some really powerful sound editing hidden under a small menu arrow, or some Group-level routing or quantizing options, and so on, and so on.
THE NEW MASCHINE MK2
Some of the most important changes to the Maschine Mk2 hardware aren’t actually visible in comparison to the older version (above image: Mk2 on left with one of the custom red faceplates; Mk1 on the right). Most importantly, the buttons and pads are backlit with RGB LEDs, allowing them to illuminate in many colors, including white. Maschine 1.8 software adds support for color coding Sounds, Groups, Patterns, and Scenes in a rainbow array of 16 colors, similar (or more likely identical) to the color of the Remix Decks in Traktor 2.5. Those software elements get their own default colors that you can change to your liking, and the colors of active elements in the software are immediately reflected on the hardware buttons and pads.
The new button and pad backlights look spectacular and have at least two very distinct different levels of brightness intensity. Because Maschine doesn’t shuttle any audio and uses energy-efficient LEDs, the unit can power its displays and tons of bright multicolored buttons all on USB power.
The drum pads don’t seem to have changed in feeling on the Maschine Mk2 – they have the same middle-ground feel—neither too firm nor too loose—same quick triggering sensitivity and responsive velocity sensitivity. That being said, when we reached out to Native Instruments prior to publication, they reported that the pads were very much rebuilt to increase sensitivity drastically:
The pads have been refined substantially, increasing the sensitivity, something which can also be adjusted via the software. Maschine power users such as Jeremy Ellis have already commented enthusiastically on the new, more sensitive feel of the pad which allow for more creative finger-drumming techniques such as advanced drum rolls etc.
In a welcomed improvement, the buttons now have a satisfying click response when clicked, which I liked particularly well when using the buttons for critical live performance or automation tasks, such as muting groups during playback.
No longer rubberized, the eight encoders also feel better to me. They’ve been ever so slightly streamlined, without losing their grip. They also twist just a bit more buttery smoothly.
The biggest change to the control layout comes with the Master section. The three knobs of the old Master section have been replaced with a single push-button encoder and buttons for Volume, Swing, and Tempo. By default, the encoder works like a jog wheel for skipping forward or backward through an arrangement or for navigating and selecting items from the browser. The arrow and Enter keys in the Master section have the same purpose.
If you press Volume, Swing, or Tempo buttons to select those settings, the encoder will then alter the master settings for Volume, Swing, or Tempo. Additionally, with one of those buttons selected, you can hold down a Group button or a pad and then use the encoder to change the Volume, Swing, or Tempo setting for that individual Group or Sound. Overall, the new Master section seems a bit more efficacious for making quick changes than the old way.
The new Mk2 comes in both black and white versions, and there are also additional color replacements available for the magnetic top-plate and knobs – the one shown in many of the photos in this review is the red custom kit. Additional colors include gold, red, pink, blue, and gray.
Lastly, the Maschine Mk2′s displays now have a dark background and light text, rather than the other way around on the old version. This helped with the display’s visibility in a variety of light conditions, and of course you have full control of the display’s brightness level from the global settings.
WHAT’S NEW IN MASCHINE 1.8
Besides the other general sharpness to the user interface, the Maschine 1.8 software adds support for assigning 16 colors to the Sounds, Groups, Patterns, and Scenes that are also then matched on the corresponding hardware buttons and pads. The software by default assigns a new color to each Group, Pattern and Scene, and makes Sounds the same color as their Group, but you can change any color individually or make global changes in the Preferences.
Many of the other software updates are quite minor features (full list below), but one other notable change add the Stretch option to the Sample Edit menu. Stretch allows for the independent time stretching and/or pitch shifting of an individual sample — aka Sound in the Maschine nomenclature. It’s quite a powerful sound-shaping tool, and like many aspects of Maschine editing, it can be done from the hardware displays and controls or from the software. Edited sounds can also be exported as WAV files.
Other new features in Maschine 1.8:
The Saturator effect (pictured below) adds Tape and Tube saturation. Tape mode emulates the soft compression and saturation from recording to analog magnetic tapes. Tube mode emulates the smooth saturation of overdriven tube amplifiers. Both have controls to let you lightly warm up the sound, or add heavy and aggressive distortion.
USING MASCHINE WITH TRAKTOR
Of course you can use the Maschine hardware as a general MIDI controller by pressing Shift+Control at any time to send it to MIDI mode. So if you want to create your own mapping for Traktor or any other MIDI software for that matter, the large number of high-quality buttons, pads and encoders can make for fertile ground to sow for MIDI control possibilities.
However, there is also a .tsi file available for Maschine in Traktor’s Controller Default Settings folder that’s installed with the software. It would seem that as of Traktor Pro 2.6—of which we had access to the beta version—the Maschine .tsi hasn’t been updated yet for Maschine Mk2, because the PDF of the controller mapping (below) still shows the old hardware version.
Maschine’s Current Traktor Mapping – Update Coming Soon?
So I can’t be super judgmental of the .tsi with Maschine Mk2 until NI updates it, because it does need some work. The Hot Cue Mode and FX on/off buttons weren’t working, and the loop functions seemed inconsistent.
However, for controlling Traktor’s two FX units, Maschine’s top row of buttons 1-8 and encoders 1-8 were awesome. The controls felt entirely appropriate for effects, and having four encoders and four on/off buttons for each FX unit is more than you get in some dedicated DJ controllers. Maschine’s ability to have a Shift layer of functionality also gives it great potential as a Traktor controller. The Shift functions in the current .tsi weren’t entirely clear and seemed to behave erratically at times, but again, I have to give NI the benefit of the doubt that the .tsi will be updated for Maschine Mk2 soon enough – likely with Remix Deck compatibility? For now, if you want to take advantage of the controller’s great drum pads and buttons in your own mapping, the possibilities are promising for cue points on the drum pads and looping functions on the 8 Groups buttons or the row of 8 mode buttons.
DEUS EX MACHINA
I have to think that the update to Maschine’s v 2.0 software will somehow take a much bigger advantage of the new hardware, or at least present a pile of new and impressive musical options to it users. I’m a fan of Maschine and use it regularly on my own time, so it’s not hard to recommend it to DJs who are looking to dip their toes into music production for the first time or to seasoned producers who may be intrigued by its bridging of production world.
The new color-coding options and other hardware and software improvements essentially make an already cool production platform just a bit cooler for the same price. Yet even though the colors are gorgeous, the combination of Maschine Mk2 and Maschine 1.8 software it still feels like a bit of a timid advancement to justify a new hardware unit. I understand that NI wouldn’t want to change things too radically; it has to keep the Mk1 hardware compatible with the new software to avoid alienating its loyal customers.
But I still have a strong suspicion that the next software update will be something special – we’ve only heard rumblings from folks in the know about Maschine’s v.2 software, but they’re very excited rumblings. That’s not a lot to go on, but we definitely know that it’s on the way before too long. We’re looking forward to it. Are you?
Please tell us what you think about Maschine Mk2 in the comments. Do you think the hardware will be good for DJs? Does it interact enough with Traktor? Do you like its approach to music production? Do you want to know more about the version 2 software when it comes out? Thanks; you’re the best… around.
As part of a series of memory reviews, the next kit to enter our test beds is a limited edition enthusiast kit from GeIL. Attached with what is called a ‘Frost White’ colored heatsink, this is a two module dual channel kit with a total of 16 GB running at DDR3-2400 MHz at 11-12-12-30 sub-timings that retails for ~$ 150.
GeIL: The Company
GeIL is short for Golden Emperor International Limited, and in the world of memory, have been a main player in the consumer memory space since the late 1990s. Today their product range consists of product names typically reserved for cars – Corsa, Leggera, and in this case Evo Veloce. This could imply that GeIL want to advertise themselves at the forefront of memory production, and this is shown by their catalogue on Newegg showcasing mostly kits with 8GB modules.
The bulk of their memory sales comes from their Corsa range, featuring yellow colored heatsinks in a range of capacities (8GB modules to 8x8GB kits) and speeds (1333 to 2133 MHz).
The Leggera range has similar speeds (up to 2400 MHz) and capacities (up to 4x8GB kits), but smaller blue heatsinks.
In contrast their Black Dragon range is heatsinkless, and comes in at only 1333 and 1600 MHz:
Today we are looking at one of GeIL’s Evo Veloce kits, kitted out in a ‘limited edition’ frost white. The heatsinks are large, and with two 8 GB modules, there leaves room for upgrades in the future.
GeIL Evo Veloce DDR3-2400 11-12-12 2x8GB Kit Overview
Back in the ‘DDR3 on Ivy Bridge’ overview, superlatives were not forthcoming with our DDR3-2400 C10 kit under scrutiny. It offered little performance gain over the DDR3-2133 C9 kit, but asked for another $ 15 for the privelege to exceed in peak synthetic results only. The GeIL Evo Veloce DDR3-2400 11-12-12 2x8GB kit then has a tough act to follow, coming in at $ 150 (more than the 2400 C10 kit) and having the timings reduced. The upshot of all this is more capacity per module, leaving the door open for future upgrades, or maximising the memory in a dual module system.
When making the jump from 4GB modules to 8GB modules, compromises have to be made. It could be construed that as everything is smaller, accesses should be quicker – but with double the density we can accrue additional latencies by reading larger rows in our memory module. Whether that actually makes a difference in normal day to day tasks is another matter – everything to do with memory and memory speed borders on the debatable when it comes to actually affecting everyday use.
In terms of the competition, solely looking at 2×8 GB kits means on Newegg we have two competitors – the G.Skill TridentX 2400 C10 kit ($ 155) and the Corsair Dominator Platinum 2400 C10 kit ($ 255). Going on solely XMP profiles, the G.Skill is the main competition, and being C10 is an advantage. However, a set of 2×8 GB from the Crucial Ballistix range at 1866 C9 ($ 150) could also give the 2400 kit a run for the money. Based on the calculation methods described in our original Ivy Bridge DDR3 overview, we having the following:
2x8GB DDR3-2400 C10 has a latency of 8.33ns, and will read 8 words in 11.25ns 2x8GB DDR3-2400 C11 has a latency of 9.16ns, and will read 8 words in 12.08ns 2x8GB DDR3-1866 C9 has a latency of 9.65ns, and will read 8 words in 13.40ns
Whenever we look for a memory kit, having something extra to talk about always helps – aesthetics or overclocking usually works well. While the Evo Veloce frost white modules look nice, they overclocked relatively well, hitting 1T with no issues, as well as overclocking to DDR3-2600 11-12-12 and DDR3-2400 10-11-11 at stock voltages.
4 x 4 GB
4 x 4 GB
4 x 4 GB
4 x 4 GB
2 x 8GB
4 x 4 GB
Usually the first thing we notice about the high end memory kits is the size of the heatsink. With the Evo Veloce 2400 C11 kit, the heatsink extends 17 mm above the module itself providing some but not an optimal amount of surface area to dissipate heat… if that was the primary purpose. Heatsinks on memory kits in the year 2012 tend to be on the kit for two reasons – the first is aesthetics, and as such if a user is producing a colored build then having memory the right color is a step in the right direction. The other reason is one of secrecy – more often than not memory vendors no longer disclose what type of memory is underneath and where they buy it from. We know that GeIL does its binning of the ICs, but they do not want other manufacturers to know which ICs are being used unless the manufacturer buys a kit and then rips it apart. These heatsinks are sufficiently bonded to the ICs that attempts to remove them will damage the module. Nevertheless, here are what the modules look like:
In comparison to other kits we have tested, we can see the extent of the heatsink. In the case of the G.Skill Ares, which is a standard height memory module:
In terms of the G.Skill RipjawsZ:
And against the tallest kits we have in, the G.Skill TridentX:
When placing such large modules into a motherboard, we must be aware of how large air coolers can affect the placement. Typically a large air cooler will encroach on the nearest memory slot, and thus choosing the right memory can be important. Following on from our previous memory testing, here is the attempt to get a GeIL kit into a Gigabyte H77N-WiFi which has a Copper TRUE mounted so the PCIe slot is not blocked:
The result is not good – I could not even get the module in. In contrast, here is the second slot:
While the module is in the slot, we are right up against the cooler and there is some pressure there against the module forcing it at an angle. Users with these modules may want to invest in some form of all-in-one liquid cooling as a result. In our actual testing we use an ASUS P8Z77-V Premium and a stock Intel cooler, meaning spacing is not an issue.