These Guys Again

And about time! Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, AND Malcolm McDowell?

Truth Seekers is a supernatural comedy drama series featuring Nick Frost, Samson Kayo, Simon Pegg, and Emma D’Arcy. A group of part-time paranormal investigators team up to uncover a deadly conspiracy.

I’m in. No firm release date yet.

New Strokes

I’m hearing good things about the next album, due April 10. I lost interest in The Strokes after First Impressions of Earth (2006?!), but I’d be hard-pressed to find a better debut album than Is This It.

Here’s a video for one of the new singles, “Bad Decisions.” If it sounds a lot like “Dancing With Myself,” it’s no accident. The band allegedly gave Billy Idol and Tony James songwriting credits to avoid litigation.

As near as I can tell, the message in the video is that The Strokes will be evolving musically, so if you want rehashed older albums (clones), too bad. Oh, and the band members’ faces are deepfaked onto actors playing the clones. Timely!

Quantum Supremacy


(artist’s drawing of Google’s quantum computer chip)

In October, Google built a quantum computer that solved an incredibly hard problem in 200 seconds — a problem the world’s fastest supercomputer would take 10,000 years to solve. This is called “quantum supremacy”, and has been compared to the Wright Brothers’ first flight.

”Until recently, every computer on the planet — from a 1960s mainframe to your iPhone, and even inventions as superficially exotic as ‘neuromorphic computers’ and DNA computers — has operated on the same rules. These were rules that Charles Babbage understood in the 1830s and that Alan Turing codified in the 1930s. Through the course of the computer revolution, all that has changed at the lowest level are the numbers: speed, amount of RAM and hard disk, number of parallel processors.

But quantum computing is different. It’s the first computing paradigm since Turing that’s expected to change the fundamental scaling behavior of algorithms, making certain tasks feasible that had previously been exponentially hard. Of these, the most famous examples are simulating quantum physics and chemistry, and breaking much of the encryption that currently secures the internet.

I’m sure this will go well.

More here.

Union Row

THIS IS HUGE! An epic, historic game-changer for Memphis, one requiring all the stars to align for a project of this magnitude to even be considered. According to The Daily Memphian

Supporters believe Union Row, the massive, $950-million office, retail and residential project in downtown Memphis’s blighted east edge will be a catalyst for enormous additional investment.

“That’s a Cinderella story,” Mark Billingsley said in December after he and fellow Shelby County Commissioners voted to pump $100 million into the project.

Developers contend Union Row will create 4,300 jobs and generate $16 million in annual property, sales and hotel taxes. If all phases are completed, the project will be among the largest, if not the largest “mixed-use’’ real estate development in Memphis history.

The project will be built in stages. Phase One, with a construction price tag of about $512 million, represents about half of the overall $950-million venture.

Developers spent $25 million this year — much of it with cash — snatching up an array of parcels where Phase One will rise: Collectively, a 10.8-acre site roughly bounded by Union on the north, Danny Thomas on the east, Beale on the south and Fourth on the west.

Developer J. Kevin Adams believes Union Row will reshape downtown.

“This is the gateway to our downtown,’’ he told a gathering in April at East Memphis’ Crescent Club. “And it’s been blighted for a long time.’’

The site is in decay. Vacant or overgrown lots surrounded by razor wire line the streets amid bits of broken glass. Now out-of-place businesses have agreed to move, including auto repair shop Powerhouse Motors and Lit Restaurant Supply, housed in a repurposed car dealership first opened in 1935.

Demolition is set to begin in October or late fall.

Full article here.

Project Magenta

Co-creating with AI. Fascinating stuff.

New technologies have fundamentally changed the way we make and experience music. In this session Claire Evans, artist, author and one half of the pop duo YACHT talks about deep learning as a tool in their creative process. Their new album explores Google AI’s research project, Magenta, an open-source music-making package using machine learning models.