Free Press Journal

e-pundit: Capturing audios, predicting future and more


Capture that audio

If you like audio as much as I do, then you’ll find this useful. It’s a YouTube video which promises to teach you “how to capture great audio on your smartphone microphone and edit (it) with the free Audacity audio software”.

This comes from a group called

Its 13-minute video is quite useful and informative. It uses an app called iTalk Recorder from Griffin Technology. Audacity is a lovely piece of Free Software (free-as-in-freedom), which is available for GNU/Linux and Windows. As a user of this software, it’s very easy to recommend.


Stuffcool, indeedtech stuff cool

Little things matter, we’re told. You guessed right. This is an outlet that offers phone accessories online. Go to and you’ll find car chargers, leather covers, flip folder cases for tablets, 10,000 MAH ultra slim backup batteries, iPhone stands, and much more.

What caught my eye was this ‘shoulder sleeve’ made especially for the MacBook (Air, Pro and Pro Retina) 13″. Prices range between Rs.1795 and 2299. Its sales pitch shows one the sleek ‘shoulder sleeve’ (a bag, in other words) looming over the skyline of a city of skyscrapers. Maybe New York. These are imported and marketed by Nissan Enterprises at Andheri East.


Tough timestech tough times

My audio recorder just fell from the computer table. Fortunately, it’s an old and rather sturdy piece of equipment (M-Audio Microtrack II). Anyway, I hurriedly switched it on and off again, just to make sure that it was all okay.

You might not have such worries if you’re the owner of a Moto X Force. (Formerly called the Motorola X Force, it was launched not too long back in India, at a price of one rupee shy of Rs50k. Now it’s change in name reflects the fact that it has become a sub-brand of Lenovo.)

Its claim to fame, as its name suggests, is its shatterproof glass. No one will say what material goes into this product, but the tech press suggested it wasn’t glass, because glass can actually shatter quite easily.

It has a screen protector, and another tough “ballistic” nylon back. Its screen won’t scratch either, while the top layer has a glassy feel to it.

New app lets users text like Shakespeare

An app for mobile phones was launched recently which allows users to text like William Shakespeare. The free app is called ShakeSpeak and can be downloaded onto digital devices. It uses predictive keyboard technology to complete sentences in the manner of Shakespeare, Xinhua reported. The year 2016 is the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death. The app has been developed by SwiftKey, a technology company founded in 2008, as part of a tourism campaign for London. Technicians at SwiftKey examined the Complete Works of William Shakespeare to design ShakeSpeak. Users wishing to convincingly adopt a Shakespearean tone to their texts can use “thou”, “thee”, and “thy”. The predictive technology in the app will do the rest, to produce fake Shakespeare text. For instance, writing “To be” will prompt the app to complete the sentence with “or not to be, that is the question,” or “All the”, which is completed as “world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players”.


What tweets can tell us about future

Can a flow of information across Twitter signal about a momentous future event? According to a new study, “yes” it can, says ANI. Northeastern’s Alessandro Vespignani, Sternberg Family Distinguished University Professor of physics, computer science, and health sciences, has teamed up with an interdisciplinary group of scientists to develop an innovative method to map how tweets about large scale social events spread.

Using massive twitter datasets and sophisticated quantitative measures, it tracks how information about political protests, large business acquisitions, and other “collective phenomena” gather momentum, peak, and fall over time, from city to city, and where the impetus comes from for that trajectory.

The findings are only a first step, notes co-author Nicola Perra. But knowing the characteristics of that build-up could, in the future, enable us to prepare ahead of time for undesirable repercussions from such events, with implications for crises from earthquakes to power grid failures.

“A lot of people have analyzed social media in terms of the volume of tweets regarding particular phe­nomena such as the Arab Spring,” says Vespignani. “What we are trying to understand is the presence of precursors: Can we find a signal in the flow of information that will tell us something big is about to happen? That’s the multimillion dollar question.”

In an interdisciplinary leap, the researchers turned to network modeling in neuroscience to conduct the study. “For the brain we map based on physiology, and for social aggre­gates, like those in this paper, we map on geography,” says Vespignani.