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MusicLM

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https://google-research.github.io/seanet/musiclm/examples/

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Abstract We introduce MusicLM, a model generating high-fidelity music from text descriptions such as "a calming violin melody backed by a distorted guitar riff". MusicLM casts the process of conditional music generation as a hierarchical sequence-to-sequence modeling task, and it generates music at 24 kHz that remains consistent over several minutes. Our experiments show that MusicLM outperforms previous systems both in audio quality and adherence to the text description. Moreover, we demonstrate that MusicLM can be conditioned on both text and a melody in that it can transform whistled and hummed melodies according to the style described in a text caption. To support future research, we publicly release MusicCaps, a dataset composed of 5.5k music-text pairs, with rich text descriptions provided by human experts.

A Russian graveyard reveals Wagner’s prisoner army

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https://www.reuters.com/investigates/special-report/ukraine-crisis-russia-graves-wagner/

There were around 200 graves at the site on the outskirts of Bakinskaya village in Krasnodar region when Reuters visited in late January. The news agency matched the names of at least 39 of the dead here and at three other nearby cemeteries to Russian court records, publicly available databases and social media accounts. Reuters also spoke to family, friends and lawyers of some of the dead.

Many of the men buried at Bakinskaya were convicts who were recruited by Wagner last year after its founder, Yevgeny Prigozhin, promised a pardon if prisoners survived six months at the front, this reporting showed. They included a contract killer, murderers, career criminals and people with alcohol problems.

Potemkin GDP: Vladimir Milov on why Russia’s “soothing” economic indicators are not to be trusted

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https://theins.ru/en/opinion/vladimir-milov/258158

Summing up the economic results of the year, many Russian economists say that “everything is not so bad”, referring to the usual indicators, such as GDP of the rates of unemployment, inflation or exchange of the ruble. Judging by these, “GDP has declined less than expected,” unemployment and inflation are virtually nonexistent, and the ruble has “stabilized,” but does this really mean that the country is not in economic crisis? Vladimir Milov explains why these indicators are irrelevant at a time of war, the crisis is already in full swing (even if the average citizen cannot see it yet), and the payback for Putin's military ambitions will be dire for Russians.

Git Notes: git's coolest, most unloved­ feature

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https://tylercipriani.com/blog/2022/11/19/git-notes-gits-coolest-most-unloved-feature/

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Once a commit cements itself in git’s history—that’s it. It’s impossible to amend a commit message buried deep in a repo’s log.

But git notes enable you to amend new information about old commits in a special namespace. And they’re capable of so much more.

Notes stow metadata about anything tracked by git—any object: commits, blobs, and trees. All without futzing with the object itself.

European Parliament declares Russia to be a state sponsor of terrorism

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https://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/en/press-room/20221118IPR55707/european-parliament-declares-russia-to-be-a-state-sponsor-of-terrorism

Parliament calls on the European Union to further isolate Russia internationally, including when it comes to Russia’s membership of international organisations and bodies such as the United Nations Security Council. MEPs also want diplomatic ties with Russia to be reduced, EU contacts with official Russian representatives to be kept to the absolute minimum and Russian state-affiliated institutions in the EU spreading propaganda around the world to be closed and banned.

Against the backdrop of the Kremlin’s escalating acts of terror against Ukrainian civilians, the resolution further calls on EU member states in the Council to swiftly complete its work on a ninth sanctions package against Moscow.

The truffle industry is a big scam. Not just truffle oil, everything

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https://www.tasteatlas.com/truffle-industry-is-a-big-scam

Liters of this petroleum-derived product, the colorless 2,4-dithiapentane liquid, are sourced for a few euros from Italy, Germany, or China, and then they end on your plates and refrigerators, in pasta, tartufata, oils, cheeses, and sausages, but also in expensive delicacies with a prostituted label "truffles."

If you find the smell of restaurants' truffle dishes foul, it does not mean that you do not like truffles; it could indicate that you have good taste and do not like petroleum on your plate. Unlike that intense gas-like smell, the aroma of real truffles is mild and complex.

Some will compare the difference between the natural flavor of truffles and the artificial truffle flavor with the difference between sex and sniffing dirty panties. Martha Stewart says: "Many studies have been done with truffle oil. It is fake, synthetic, and awful. Truffle oil should not be in anyone's kitchen." Bourdain was the most direct: "Let's say this once and for all. Truffle oil is not food at all."

The 4 eras of classical music: a quick guide

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https://www.classicfm.com/discover-music/four-eras-classical-music/

With centuries of history to consider, it can be easy to get in a bit of a twist when it comes to the various eras of Western classical music. Here’s a quick guide to the four key periods we usually learn about in music theory: Baroque, Classical, Romantic, 20th Century and beyond.

Russians Accuse Ukraine of Nazism — But Look at How Russian Propagandists Talk

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https://www.thebulwark.com/russians-accuse-ukraine-of-nazism-but-look-at-how-russian-propagandists-talk/

The reality is that right now, an enormous amount of essentially fascist and in some cases downright Nazi-like rhetoric is emanating from the Kremlin propaganda mill—and, in even more extreme form, from Russian nationalists and war hawks who think the current leadership is too soft.

The Kremlin’s written instructions to propagandists tell a story of desperation, failure, and frictions with the media

Wastholm.com

https://meduza.io/en/feature/2022/10/12/you-don-t-cover-up-disfigured-corpses-by-saying-something-positive

The Russian President’s Office regularly sends detailed written instructions to state-controlled media, telling them exactly how to cover daily events in the country. Over the past six months of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the Kremlin’s publicity efforts were increasingly criticized by people who supposedly take their cues from those memos — the propagandists themselves. The Russian media are, of course, prohibited from calling the war a “war” and must instead always minimize it as merely a “special military operation.” But there is a lot more to how the Kremlin strives to limit and shape the information that reaches mass audiences. Meduza’s special correspondent Andrey Pertsev has pored over six months’ worth of the close-to-daily instructions — the so-called “metodichkas” — sent by the Kremlin to propagandist journalists, editors, and bloggers. It turned out that these documents speak volumes about current events — and Vladimir Putin’s attempts to maintain a grip on public opinion.