Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Gibson Brands Ceases the Development of Cakewalk Products

Much to the dismay of myself, and especially the two friends I record music with, Gibson has dismantled Cakewalk (as of November 17th of this year - five days ago), which produces the Sonar Producer line of music production software. Cakewalk was originally one of Roland Corporation's subsidiaries.

When founder Greg Hendershott resigned as CEO in 2012 after 25 years with the three-decades old company, Michael Hoover took over as president, stepping up from his former position as EVP of Products for Cakewalk.

Only one year after that, the parent company Roland Corporation decided to sell all their Cakewalk shares to Gibson Brands.

And now, only four years later, Gibson has decided to shut down Cakewalk operations, in order to "better align with the company’s acquisition strategy."

For the tens of thousands of Cakewalk users, this is particularly stressful. Cakewalk had risen to a status that was effectively equal with Pro Tools, the 'industry standard' music production software from Avid Technology. Even though Cakewalk remains a perfectly legitimate software for producing high-quality music, it of course will eventually not be able to compete with the still updated Pro Tools anymore.

In honor of the exceptional DAW that Sonar Producer had become, I will now translate the short memo that Gibson saw fit to publish on Cakewalk's web site here:

What follows is a sentence-by-sentence translation of Gibson's terse blurb to their loyal Cakewalk customers. Original Gibson text in italics, my translation in regular font. The translations given are the author's opinion only, and should not, for legal reasons, be construed as facts regarding unknown activity at Cakewalk, Roland, Avid Technology  or Gibson Brands.


Gibson Brands announced today that it is ceasing active development and production of Cakewalk branded products.

Gibson is dumping its sole software subsidiary, known as Cakewalk.

The decision was made to better align with the company’s acquisition strategy that is heavily focused on growth in the global consumer electronics audio business under the Philips brand.

Gibson lacks the vision to maintain the loyal and growing user base for Sonar, and would rather take the failing "Woox Innovations" subsidiary they purchased from Philips in 2014 (for $135 million), and jump on the gadget bandwagon, because they imagine that they can actually compete with real manufacturers like Samsung, Sony and Apple.

Cakewalk has been an industry leader in music software for over 25 years by fusing cutting-edge technology with creative approaches to tools that create, edit, mix, and publish music for professional and amateur musicians.

Even though, for 25 years, the talented individuals who created Cakewalk managed to turn a minor upstart piece of software into a genuine alternative to the overpriced Pro Tools, their efforts are now being devalued because at least one high-placed person in Gibson Brands was given an undisclosed sum of money by someone in Avid Technology to kill their one worthy competitor.

Gibson Brands acquired Cakewalk in 2013.

Gibson grabbed Cakewalk for a bargain in 2013 because Cakewalk's CEO Michael Hoover somehow managed to bungle enough to destroy Roland's confidence in Cakewalk's ability to compete in the DAW industry.

Gibson Brands, a growing company in the music and sound industries, was founded in 1894 and is headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee.

Gibson Brands, a struggling guitar-making company that was actually founded in 1902 by Orville Gibson, has been purchased by several companies through the decades, because they just don't have enough business sense to stay afloat on their own, what with all these new-fangled musical doodads and all.

Gibson Brands is a global leader in musical instruments, consumer electronics, and professional audio, and is dedicated to bringing the finest experiences to consumers by offering exceptional products with world- recognized brands.

Gibson Brands decided at some point to diversify their manufacturing arm way past merely overpriced guitars, and thinks the way to stay relevant in the early 21st century is to join the "Me Too!" gadget vendors, even though the impressive description of themselves they've published above falls quite far from the ledge of reality.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

The puzzling lack of evidence

New star formation is kind of important, as evolutionary theory (applied to cosmology) dictates that we should eventually be able to observe stars in all stages of formation. According to our astronomical observations, our universe contains older and younger stars, so current theory suggests that stars had to have formed at different times since the Big Bang.

Just like in biological evolution, the magical element in star formation is extremely long time periods. Density waves shrinking dust clouds into new stars isn't the most feasible theory, as most stars are thought to be too far from each other to produce that effect, and since the universe continues to expand, they are growing further apart. Cloud collapse via vast gas clouds in nebulae, a more promising theory, has not been observed to produce a new star anywhere in the universe yet.

We have found candidate interstellar clouds that look promising, such as the Orion Nebula, where we have observed Bok globules which theoretically form new stars.

What's interesting to me in all this is that just like transitional fossils in biological evolution, according to Darwin's theory, we should see myriad transitional fossils of organisms in various stages of metamorphosis, with partially developed appendages, etc. Instead, such fossils are of extremely rare occurrence. So all sorts of explanations are offered to us for why we don't find those fossils.

In the case of new star formation, there is too much dust debris and gas in the Bok globules for us to see anything that looks like a new star forming. What we actually observe everywhere we look in the universe is star decay instead. We can use long microwave wavelengths to "look through" the dust at "newborn" stars, but the fact remains that the closest we've come to seeing a brand new star are the "final stages of collapse, before they are reborn as full-fledged stars."

Curious indeed, how something that theoretically should be observed much more commonly is actually a rare cosmic event. So rare, in fact, that it still has not been observed.

Monday, March 13, 2017

The unadvertised nature of science

The unadvertised nature of science is that "facts" are only as good as the evidence that supports them. Yet so many people, scientists and non-scientists alike, hold on to their world view paradigms with stubbornness seldom seen elsewhere in life.

As of 2017, many people have been made aware of the controversy surrounding the official dismissal of Pluto as our solar system's ninth planet. The details surrounding the decision by the International Astronomical Union sound reasonable enough, yet for many people there is a sense of indignation that yet another fact of science has been revised.

You can read more about the controversy here:

This sort of historical revision, due to new information, is nothing new to science. For centuries, the acceptable theory for the universe was referred to as "Steady State," which meant that it had no beginning, and eternally existed. This theory persisted although many great thinkers proposed otherwise.

Then in 1927 Georges LemaƮtre, a priest/astronomer/physicist logically suggested, based on astronomical observation, that the expanding universe had a starting point it had expanded from. This proposal was met with ridicule by the scientific community, despite Edwin Hubble's further astronomical observations in 1929 regarding galactic redshifts, which strongly supported the idea of an expanding universe. Even Albert Einstein initially rejected the idea.

The ridicule and public derision of the idea are what actually gave the theory its originally pejorative name "Big Bang." The overriding consensus of the detractors was that an expanding universe implied a starting point, which to their analytical sensibilities was much too suggestive of an Abrahamic explanation for the universe. In other words, they found the idea repulsive because it opened the door to the explanation of creation in Genesis to be possible. A Steady State universe that eternally existed would not have a starting point, thus making the biblical account clearly false.

Finally, in 1964, cosmic microwave background radiation was discovered, and the scientific community could no longer wave their hands in dismissal. The physical evidence that had gathered literally forced them to let go of their paradigm. But this process took nearly forty years, much too long for the respected scientific community to admit they were wrong.

Regardless of your ideology, and whether you like it or not, the same process is currently underway in the field of evolution. Just as the more powerful astronomical equipment and improved methods of cosmic measurement and observation provided physical evidence for the Big Bang, several fields in science are producing evidence that seems to refute Darwin's original hypothesis. The current official title for this theory is "Intelligent Design."

Again, these new observations and data are due to improved technologies in the last forty years. New data in microbiology, molecular biology, genetics and even cosmology are challenging the assertions made for the last 158 years since the appearance of "On the Origin of Species" in 1859. The ability to gather this data simply did not exist in Darwin's time.

Books have been published that represent decades of research and data, and the authors are observing that the physical facts as we now know them no longer fit the model that life originated by fortunate accident and random mutation. I have read many of these books, and their arguments are reasonable and science-based, not religious nor irrational. The questions they raise are highly relevant to the issue, and quite frankly, are not being sufficiently addressed by the proponents of evolution.

Are these authors correct or not? Certainly every individual will have an opinion regarding whether or not evolution by natural selection is true or false. Most people accept Darwin's theory as true, and even go so far as to insist it is fact, because this is what they've been taught as far back as they can remember. Much the same as those who refuse to let go of the idea that Pluto is a planet.

The amount of public ridicule and derision that has been thrown at these authors and their fellow researchers is in some ways even worse than the humiliation that Big Bang supporters endured. There is an ever more virulent constituency of "thinkers" who absolutely hate and reject anything that could possibly even hint that God exists. These angry critics don't tend to wax reasonable when they're on their soapboxes. For them, anything religion touches is poisoned.

It's been 158 years since Darwin published his book. It will likely take a lot longer than that to finally get the official scientific community to stop forcing an antiquated theory on the layman, a theory which is slowly turning out to be more ideology than true science.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Women's March on Washington

Apparently, women who are 'pro-life' are not welcome on the 2017 Million Woman March (wisely renamed "Women's March on Washington").

Why is that? Are they not equal to 'pro-choice' supporters in terms of their right to a public opinion?

Just like all the polarizing issues that plague this country, and I do mean plague in terms of pestilence against unification, the Women's March on Washington is an exercise in hypocrisy, disguised as 'the right thing to do.' I work with someone who attended, and although the reason she gave for the event was some nebulous manifestation of "solidarity," I seriously doubt it would have occurred if Trump had never mentioned his intention to overturn Roe v. Wade, nor his intention to return the gay marriage decision back to the individual states.

How dare I make such an inflammatory statement? Here are two questions to ponder:

Just what is it about the pro-choice movement that has women's best interests in mind?

Conversely, what is it about Trump's 'safety and protection' political platform that leads one to believe that women will be mistreated and stripped of their rights as human beings?


Let's do a politically un-corrected analysis:

1) How are we, as a society, protecting women's rights by encouraging the promiscuous behavior in men and women that leads to 'unwanted' pregnancies?

2) How are we, as a society, protecting women's rights by so easily facilitating an action that almost always leads to emotional scarring and unerasable regret?

3) How do we, as individuals, justify our collective conscience regarding the deliberate ending of life of other human beings who have clearly done nothing wrong? Human beings, by the way, who can't be referred to as anything but innocent, as they had no say in their conception, nor were they consulted for their opinion regarding their premeditated death sentence by the hands of others?

4) How are we, as a society, protecting the women and children we allegedly so highly respect and regard, when we deliberately change the verbiage from pro-abortion to pro-choice, as though the deliberate murder of unborn children is somehow a noble pursuit?

5) How are we, as individuals, truly respecting individual human freedoms of thought and expression, by berating and coercing an entire gender to silently acquiesce to a course of action that ultimately does not celebrate life nor freedom, but instead death and bondage to self-destructive behavior?

6) How long are we, as thoughtful, kind, and wise people created in the image of God, going to pretend that being selfish is somehow the same as doing the right thing?

There are many people who are inclined to heatedly argue that a fetus is not a fully formed human being, therefore is nothing more than bodily tissue without any rights or identity.

However, one need only talk to someone who was pregnant with a child they wanted to have, to discover how tragic it truly was when she miscarried. The lies we tell ourselves are for self preservation only, and are easily exposed when placed under honest scrutiny.