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TuneCore Announces New Partnerships with Gracenote and Shazam

Digital music distribution service TuneCore today announced a partnership with Gracenote and Shazam.

Artists that use TuneCore will now be able to add their music to the metadata database Gracenote and music identification service Shazam, which services some 350 million app users worldwide.  The new service will help increase TuneCore artists’ exposure to consumers looking to discover new music by providing information such as artist name, track title and links to purchase the song.

In a press release from TuneCore, COO Scott Ackerman said, “Our new partnerships with Gracenote and Shazam, and the integration of the artists’ music with their respective technologies, brings music discovery to an entirely new level, increasing the opportunity for artists to earn more revenue from the downloads and streams of their music from store partners including iTunes, Amazon MP3, Rdio and Spotify,”

“We’re pleased to announce our partnership with TuneCore that will allow their artists to add their music to Shazam’s library of over 30 million tracks,”  Jon Davies, Shazam Music Partnerships Manager commented.

TuneCore has also launched a new online tool called the Store Manager to better manage the growing number of TuneCore Distribution partner stores and to optimize the artist’s revenue-earning potential. The tool provides artists the ability to select and add additional stores (like Gracenote and Shazam) to their existing TuneCore releases, in one step.

The Simpsons x Kid Robot Zombie Bart

The Simpsons Zombie Bart by Matt Groening is the latest collaborative release from The Simpsons and Kid Robot. The 6-inch vinyl figurine of Bart Simpson features blue skin, an open head and a set of torn clothing. Additionally, the figurine includes a spoon for “scooping his brains.” Available now from for $49.99 USD.


LA To NYC In Under An Hour, Hyperloop System Will Let You Travel At 4,000 MPH



Commuting is a way of life for most Bay Area residents. Many people are accustomed to an hour commute each way without traffic. Some people even commute to Southern California several times a month, spending several hours each way either in the car or fighting through airports. What if there was an alternative to flights and car rides? If it was up to Tesla CEO Elon Musk and a Colorado company, an answer could come sooner than we think.

Hyperloop System

Musk, the man behind both Tesla Motors and SpaceX, has spoken about a high-speed transportation system known as the Hyperloop, a tube transport system that would allow passengers to travel at high speeds. The proposed system could reduce trips between San Francisco and Los Angeles to minutes, and reaching the East Coast from California could take under an hour. Crazy as it seems, the company ET3, based out of Longmont, Colorado, has already been hard at work making this a reality, calling their project the Evacuated Tube Transport.

How Does It Work?

The Hyperloop has been vaguely described by Musk as a “cross between a Concorde, a rail gun, and an air hockey table.” A better description might be an elevated tube system with a magnetic levitation system similar to high-speed bullet trains. The kicker would be the enclosed tube, which would provide a nearly friction-less surface for individual capsules to travel in.

ET3′s Hyperloop-like project already has a number of schematics and plans already in place. They claim an automobile-sized, six-passenger capsule constructed for “outer space” travel conditions could easily reach speeds of 4,000 miles per hour on longer journeys across the country or across continents. In theory, this elevated tube system could be built for a tenth of the cost of high-speed rail and a quarter the cost of a freeway. The projected cost for a passenger to travel from Los Angeles to New York is $100.

The tubes could be connected to form a new superhighway across the United States. They could go underwater and connect to Alaska, Hawaii, and the rest of the world. ET3 has already built mock-ups and prototypes and is planning a 3-mile test run by the end of 2013.

Expanding on Older Ideas

Despite the ingenuity of the idea, it isn’t actually that new. In 1972, a paper written by physicist R.M Salter described a tube system known as the Very High Speed Transit System (VHST) that could send people across the United States in under an hour. The system was composed of a series of underground tubes arranged in a network across the country. While several technical problems existed with the idea at the time, Salter also concluded, “The general principles are fairly straightforward: electromagnetically levitated and propelled cars in an evacuated tunnel.” The one primary difference between Salter’s plan and ET3′s is that the VHST would need to be underground, with massive amounts of excavation required.

If the Hyperloop or Evacuated Tube Transport was built and succeeded, it could make California’s current high-speed rail project obsolete. With a budgeted cost of $70 billion, the high-speed system currently under development would take passengers from San Francisco to L.A. in three hours, potentially six times slower than the Hyperloop. [via]


“Talent hits a target no one else can hit. Genius hits a target no one else can see.”
-Arthur Schopenhauer

HTC Hoping to Make Another Big Impression With One Mini

For HTC, a company that has struggled to keep up in the competitive smartphone market, the launch of its One handset was a biggie. But for its next product launch, the company is going small — literally.


Today, the Taiwanese smartphone manufacturer introduced the HTC One Mini, a scaled down and more affordable version of its flagship device.

Launching in August or September, the One Mini keeps to the same design aesthetics as the HTC One — aluminum chassis and dual speakers — but features a smaller 4.3-inch 720p HD touchscreen and a 1.4GHz dual-core processor. (The One has a 4.7-inch 1080p HD touchscreen and a 1.7GHz quad-core processor.)

It also lacks the infrared feature that allows you to use the smartphone as a remote control, and has a smaller battery than the original HTC One.

These modifications aside, the One Mini keeps many of the same features as its bigger brother, including HTC’s Ultrapixel camera technology and software and BlinkFeed, an interface that lets you view all your social network updates and news right on your home page.

Mike Woodward, president of HTC North America, said customers have been asking for a smaller version of the HTC One since it launched in late April.

According to Woodward, the One has been HTC’s most successful product launch to date, though he wouldn’t provide any sales numbers to back that up. (According to The Wall Street Journal, an unnamed HTC rep said it had sold 5 million HTC Ones since launch.)

Woodward credited some of the One’s success to the scale of the phone’s launch (it’s available in 181 countries and on 583 networks around the world), and some to the company’s efforts to promote the One and its premium features.

“We’re really pleased with the reaction from customers and the tech reviewers,” Woodward said in a phone interview with AllThingsD. “Now that we’ve created the best product that we can, we think it’s appropriate to expand with a family of devices.”


Creating an entire portfolio of products under one name certainly isn’t new. Samsung, for example, offers a wide range of products under its Galaxy brand, including ruggedized smartphones and connected cameras.

But having already been in a situation where it offered a huge number of products and had to scale back as the competition got fiercer, HTC wants to focus on quality, not quantity.

When I asked if HTC was considering creating a bigger version of the One, Woodward said, “We want to be really focused. We’ve been studying those opportunities [to expand] but whatever we do, we want to make sure it stays true to the HTC One, and we think the Mini does that.”

While the One Mini might be welcome news for some folks, Verizon customers are still waiting to get their hands on the One. As first reported by Ina Fried, Verizon will get its own version of the high-end Android device, but it has yet to hit store shelves. Woodward didn’t have any updates other than to say that it’s still slated to be released later this summer.

Release dates and pricing for the HTC One Mini will be announced closer to launch, but the phone will cost less than the HTC One.

Naya Rivera On Complex Magazine

Glee actress Naya Rivera will grace the latest issue of Complex Magazine. The 26-year-old stars in a sexy new photo shoot playing a game of strip poker against herself for Complex magazine.