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Audio News for July 26, 2016

Responding to Catastrophe wth Culture – Politics intrusion on culture can be unnerving. Stalin restricted the work of Shostakovich, The Third Reich’s appropriation of Wagner prompted Israel to adopt an unofficial ban on his music. The ban was set aside in 2001 by Daniel Barenboim, who also set up the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, comprised principally of Israelis and Palestinians. Shostakovich’s Festive Overture is remembered today as a towering symbol of freedom from musical dictatorship.

After the attack in Nice, Sakari Oramo, conductor of the first night of the BBC Proms, preceded his scheduled program with a rendition of La Marseillaise. The entire Albert Hall audience rose to its feet at the end with rapturous applause, reminiscent of the scene in Casablanca when La Maseillaise was sung by everyone else at Rick’s club, overpowering the voices of the Nazis. And this was not the first time the Proms had altered their program in the wake of catastrophe. After 9/11, the BBC added Beethoven’s Ode to Joy to their final night celebrations. No single national anthem can serve to rally us all. Paris and Ansbach were attacks on culture, focusing on musical events; Nice was an assault on identity. Both culture and identity should therefore be used by the West in response.

The iPad is Poised for Glory – After its launch in 2010, the iPad was supposed to be the harbinger of the Post-PC era, but then it faltered. Sales have declined. Now Apple is positioning the iPad to take up its long-intended role as the PC replacement.  Some pundits think the iPad was a brilliant pipe-dream, but it can’t compete with notebook computers with any OS. Here are some of the concepts of the reborn iPad: The development of Swift Playgrounds, providing for ode development on the iPad. Terrific advances in the CPU and graphics to give a better user experience. Interoperability of various devices, so that we can do our work on whatever device suites us at the moment. As technology has advanced, more and more constraints will be lifted until we get to an inflection point, and that’s when the real Post-PC era will launch.

Superbook Transforms Your Android Smartphone Into a Laptop – Anyone wanting to access their mobile documents and harness the power of their smartphone on a large screen with full QWERTY keyboard might be interested in the new piece of hardware called The Superbook, which begins at just $99. You only need to connect any smartphone to the Superbook to transform it into a laptop, and it can even charge your smartphone. It has been launched by Kickstarter and already has raised over $300,000 in the first 14 hours.

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