Ringtones Composed by Brian Eno for the Nokia 8800 Scirocco Phone

Many people know that Brian Eno composed the Start tone for Windows 95, which has become his most-heard piece of music. But Eno also composed ringtones for the Nokia 8800 Scirocco phone, which was released back in 2006.

OpenCulture has an article about this today, and includes a YouTube “video” which plays all these ringtones. As the article says, they do somewhat recall the Laraji album which was part of his Ambient series of records back in the 1970s and 1980s. But when you hear the ringtones you can tell that Eno really did try to compose music out of the limited palette of sounds that was available.

At that time they were asking you to compose a piece of music, but you could only use those sounds. They would compose ringtones out of these – beep boo boop, beepy noises. So I thought, ‘That’s hopeless – what can you do with that?’ You know the sound I mean, neep neep neep; so people were composing neep-neep neep-neep nee-nee nee-nee. In the meantime things changed so they had polyphonic tones; so you could actually have more complicated sounds. It’s not really a great medium for writing music.

You can also download the ringtones here.

Google ‘actively investigating’ reports of Pixel 2 XL screen burn-in – The Verge

“Screen burn-in isn’t an uncommon issue, but it does seem especially worrisome that it’s showing up within a week or so of these units coming into usage. It’s also possible that what we’re looking at here is image retention instead of actual screen burn-in. If that’s the case, then it’s not as permanent. Neither one is good, but ‘ghosting’ goes away where burn-in may not.”

I don’t even know what to say about this. Screen burn-in – or even “image retention” – after a week? This is laughable, and it’s a shame, because it would be a good thing for Google to become a serious competitor for Apple to be pushed harder to innovate.

Source: Google ‘actively investigating’ reports of Pixel 2 XL screen burn-in – The Verge

Leica’s Owner Dreams of a ‘True Leica Phone’ – PetaPixel

During an interview with CNBC, Andreas Kaufmann (the owner and chairman of Leica) said that it was a “personal dream” of his to reinvent the smartphone camera.

“Every smartphone is wrong for photography at the moment… the phone nowadays is not fit really for photography… it’s used as a camera, it’s used as a video camera, but it’s not built that way and I think there’s a long way to go still,” he tells CNBC.

Despite offering no clear solutions, he said that he was “not sure whether the company can do [this]…[but] one dream would be my personal dream: a true Leica phone.”

The problem with this is that, while it might be a good camera, it would likely be a crappy phone, because it would run Android. So what’s the point? Or is he subtly suggesting that he wants the iPhone to integrate a Leica camera? I can’t really see that happening; Apple has too much invested in its own camera.

Source: Leica’s Owner Dreams of a ‘True Leica Phone’

Sprint Acquires 33 Percent of TIDAL and Creates Game-Changing Partnership | Sprint Newsroom

Global music and entertainment platform TIDAL and Sprint (NYSE: S) announced today an unprecedented partnership that will soon give Sprint’s 45 million retail customers unlimited access to exclusive artist content not available anywhere else.

Uh, okay. Sure, they have some exclusives, but nobody cares that much.

This said, I’ve been predicting for a while that we’d see more telecom companies either buying streaming services, or working with them to bundle those services with phone contracts. One hurdle to successful streaming music is the cost of data, and presumably Sprint will either make Tidal data free, or charge much less for it.

However, Sprint, being almost entirely US-only (they have some presence in Latin America), won’t be able to offer Tidal streaming to users around the world. Perhaps they’ll make deals with other carriers, but this puts Tidal in a silo. Granted, if Sprint gets enough of its 45 million customers to opt in, that’ll be good for Sprint. Their goal is, obviously, to use Tidal – either free or at a discount – as a carrot toward locking customers into a phone contract. Because if you’re committed to a music streaming service, you’re less likely to switch to another carrier. (Or so they hope.)

Source: Sprint Acquires 33 Percent of TIDAL and Creates Game-Changing Partnership | Sprint Newsroom

“Game-Changing” Study Links Cellphone Radiation to Cancer – Mother Jones

It’s the moment we’ve all been dreading. Initial findings from a massive federal study, released on Thursday, suggest that radio-frequency (RF) radiation, the type emitted by cellphones, can cause cancer.

The findings from a $25 million study, conducted over two-and-a-half years by the National Toxicology Program (NTP), showed that male rats exposed to two types of RF radiation were significantly more likely than unexposed rats to develop a type of brain cancer called a glioma, and also had a higher chance of developing the rare, malignant form of tumor known as a schwannoma of the heart.

This is one of those subjects that has been hotly debated, but this multi-year study suggests that there is indeed an increased risk.

Personally, I use a headset whenever I make a call more than a minute or so; not because I’m worried about radiation, but because holding a phone to my ear for a long time hurts my shoulder.

I’ve also wondered about Bluetooth radiation. Those wrist computers many of us are wearing now; could they be dangerous?

Source: “Game-Changing” Study Links Cellphone Radiation to Cancer – Mother Jones

Apple in talks to launch an MVNO in the US and Europe – Business Insider

Here’s how an Apple MVNO will work: Instead of paying your carrier every month, you will pay Apple directly for data, calls, and texts. Apple then provides you with everything you used to get from your carrier, but the Apple SIM switches between carriers to get the best service. The telecoms companies auction capacity to Apple so it can run the service.

I remember people laughing at me when I suggested this back in January

Source: Apple in talks to launch an MVNO in the US and Europe – Business Insider

Update: CNBC reports that Apple has denied this rumor. This is interesting, because Apple generally never denies rumors.