F e a t u r e s
Top 10 songs, albums
on the iTunes Store
These product images provided by Google show the mood music feature on the web version of Google Play. — AP photos
Top Songs
Out Of The Woods, Taylor Swift
Shake It Off, Taylor Swift
All About That Bass, Meghan Trainor
Animals, Maroon 5
Bang Bang, Jessie J, Ariana Grande & Nicki Minaj
Habits (Stay High), Tove Lo
Trumpets, Jason Derulo
Don’t Tell ‘Em (feat. YG), Jeremih
Cool Kids, Echosmith
Black Widow (feat. Rita Ora), Iggy Azalea
Top Albums
Anything Goes, Florida Georgia Line
1989, Taylor Swift
rose ave., You+Me
Old Boots, New Dirt, Jason Aldean
In the Lonely Hour, Sam Smith
Hozier, Hozier
Blood Moon: Year of the Wolf (..., Game)
FOUR (Deluxe Version), One Direction
Sweet Talker, Jessie J
Sonic Highways, Foo Fighters — AP
Google’s streaming music
service adds mood to mix
oogle’s music-subscription service will try to anticipate
its listeners’ mood swings as it amplifies its competition
with Pandora, Spotify and other popular services that
play tunes over the Internet. Starting from today, the $10-amonth All Access service will make music suggestions based on
educated guesses about each subscriber’s mood and likely
activities at certain points in the day or week.
For instance, a subscriber who opens the service on a smartphone on a Monday morning might be offered a playlist suited
for commuting, going to the gym or getting motivated for
work. Opening the app on Monday evening, though, might
generate songs appropriate for eating dinner, studying or
unwinding. Six different music mixes created for different emotions and activities - with such labels as “Jumping Out of Bed” or
“In The Lonely Hour” - will be automatically displayed for All
Access subscribers in the US and Canada. The mixes won’t be
played unless the subscriber selects one.
The feature won’t be immediately available in the other 43
countries where All Access is sold. The mood music also will be
tailored to each listener’s tastes, so a subscriber who already has
signaled a preference for rock and an aversion for country
music would be more likely to hear the Rolling Stones perform
“Monkey Man” than “Dead Flowers” in their mixes. Subscribers
also will be able to request playlists designed for specific activities such as napping or housecleaning. Google’s attempt to
cater to people’s moods reflects the growing importance of
delivering soundtracks that suit listeners’ discrete tastes and
lifestyles. Making the right recommendation is becoming more
crucial now that Google, Pandora and Spotify have secured the
licensing rights to most of the same music.
30 million titles
“The content is roughly the same, so the main thing you can
do for a user now is to have the right context,” said Brandon
Bilinski, product manager for Google Play Music, which runs All
Access. “We want to get our listeners to the right music to fit the
mood and make them feel good.” Google Inc. picked up the
mood-melding technology in its July purchase of Songza, a free
music service with about 5 million listeners. Google’s All Access
service launch just 17 months ago, leaving the company that
runs the Internet’s dominant search engine and other leading
digital services in the unfamiliar position of trying to catch up.
Pandora Media Inc’s free Internet radio station boasts 76 million monthly listeners, while Spotify has 40 million listeners,
including more than 10 million subscribers to its $10-permonth service. Google hasn’t disclosed how many people subscribe to its All Access service, which offers a music library spanning 30 million titles.
Selecting songs based on listener’s shifting moods is similar
to what a smart music player called Aether Cone does. That
player draws upon the music from another subscription service
called Rdio Unlimited, which also charges $10 per month.
Computer’s analytical powers
Pandora, Spotify and other services all strive to lead their
audiences to mixes and genres that will please them, though
the others tend to depend on computer algorithms that analyze each person’s preferences and listening histories.
Combining human knowledge with a computer’s analytical
powers is similar to what Beat Electronics was doing with its
own music-streaming service before Apple Inc. bought it for $3
billion earlier this year. Apple has said Beats’ recommendation
system eventually might be blended into its own music-streaming service, though that hasn’t happened yet.
Google’s new feature includes several thousand playlists
assembled by Songza music aficionados that include DJs, performers and critics. Songza’s hand-picked playlists will be slightly
adjusted by algorithms programmed to learn more about each
listener’s tastes and habits. As time goes on, Google hopes to
provide even more nuanced playlists that acknowledge a person’s mood is likely to be much different while driving to work
on a Friday morning than a Monday morning. For now, though,
the Mountain View, California, company will depend on cues
from each subscriber. “We can be smart about a lot of things, but
it’s really hard to tell a person’s mood,” Bilinski said. — AP
Shmulik Freireich, an Israel Antiquities Authority conservationist works on a commemorative inscription in stone dedicated to the Emperor Hadrian that was found outside
Jerusalem’s Old City, at the Rockefeller museum in Jerusalem. — AP photos
Italy’s singing Nun
picks ‘Like a Virgin’
as her first single
taly’s singing nun, Sister Cristina Scuccia, who won “The
Voice of Italy” in June, has released a cover of Madonna’s
“Like a Virgin” as her first single, ahead of a forthcoming
album. The 26-year-old Sicilian sister’s rather restrained
cover of “Virgin,” softly sung against picturesque religionthemed Italian backdrops, while wearing her nun’s habit,
crucifix around her neck, and plain black shoes, is bound to
provoke some polemics, especially in Italy. And is clearly
calculated to generate boffo sales.
In an interview with Italian catholic daily Avvenire,
Scuccia said she “chose it with no intention to provoke or
scandalize.” “Reading the text, without being influenced by
previous interpretations, you discover that it is a song
about the power of love to renew people, to rescue them
from their past,” she professed. “We have transformed this
song from the pop-dance piece which it was, into a romantic ballad, a bit like the ones by Amos Lee. Something more
similar to a lay prayer, than to a pop piece,” Scuccia went
Scuccia reportedly took her vows in 2010 after a rebellious adolescence. She has been training as a singer for
years and before appearing on “The Voice” had previously
auditioned for several other TV talent shows, including “XFactor” in Italy. Scuccia become a global sensation starting
in March when her rendition of Alicia Keys’ “No One” on a
“The Voice” blind audition in Italy got more than 50 million
hits on YouTube and appreciative Tweets from Keys herself
and Whoopi Goldberg. Sister Cristina’s debut album will
be out Nov 11 on Republic Records. It will also include
covers of Keane’s “Somewhere Only We Know,” Jessie J’s
“Price Tag,” Coldplay’s “Fix You,” Cyndi Lauper’s “True
Colors,” and Duran Duran’s “Ordinary World,” as well as two
new original tracks. — Reuters
Rare Roman inscription unearthed in Jerusalem
sraeli archaeologists yesterday unveiled a 2,000-year-old
commemorative stone inscription dedicated to Roman
Emperor Hadrian, which researchers say sheds light on the
Jewish revolt against the ancient empire. The stone, which
measures a meter by a meter-and-a-half (three feet by five
feet) and weighs a ton, was found near the Damascus Gate
entrance to Jerusalem’s Old City, with Israel’s Antiquity
Authority (IAA) calling it “one of the most important Latin
inscriptions” discovered in the Holy City.
The six lines in Latin, engraved in the hard white limestone,
are a dedication from the Roman army honoring Emperor
Hadrian, who visited the city in 130 AD and whose many
building projects included the wall named after him in Britain
to demarcate a border of the Roman Empire. The IAA said the
stone may have originally been set into a gateway.
It was found on top of a deep cistern, with a semi-circle cut
through the lower part of the inscription to allow access to
the water. “We have testimony in a new medium - stone - and
a remnant of an original monument,” said Rina Avner, who led
the IAA excavation along with Roie Greenwald. The event
mentioned in the inscription took place before the so-called
Bar Kokhba revolt (132-136 AD) against the Roman Empire,
she told AFP. She said historians remained divided over
whether the revolt was a result of harsh measures taken
Turkish people keen on
learning Arabic language
he Turkish people are very keen on learning the Arabic
language to enable them to better understand the Holy
Quran and Islamic values, said Turkish academic here
yesterday. Speaking to KUNA, Head of the Arabic Language
Department at the University of Gazi in Ankara, Professor
Musa Yildiz said that historically, the Turkish people started
learning the Arabic language during the era of Islamic conquests when the Turks began to have contact with Arab
Sharing common social values and ethics, the Turkish
people assimilated into the Islamic world and began to
become vanguards of the Muslim nation, said the academic,
noting that Islam played an integral role in the social transformation of the Turkish people. Yildiz said that Arabic had a
great impact on the Turkish language with the Turks adopting
the Arab letters in writing for a long period of time before
switching to Latin alphabets in 1928.
In regards to modern teaching of the Arabic language,
Yildiz affirmed that the Arabic language was taught in all
school levels before University as a selective subject, but it
was compulsory for those willing to become Imams and
scholars in the 1,001 religious schools in Turkey. On the level
of university and high learning institutions, Yildiz said that
there were 2,500 university student learning Arabic while
there were around 52,000 counterparts studying at higher
Sharia (religious law) institutes. —KUNA
against Jews by Hadrian, who rebuilt the city with pagan temples and named it Aelia Capitolina, or if the decrees were punishment for the rebellion.
The latest finding is proof of “public official Roman building
in the city” of Jerusalem in that year, she said. While the
inscription did not change the way history would be written, it
was “another significant piece of the puzzle we’ve been trying
to solve for a while,” Avner said. — AFP
World-leading professional hair color
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oldwelloffers intelligent technology that gives unmistakably beautiful hair color and extends 100% accuracy in
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and a wide range of hair treatments such as Kerasilk (The first
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Hair colouring is one of the fastest growing industries, especially in hair care sector, with customers always on the lookout
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“The world-class Goldwell hair colour is designed to suit various hair coloring needs in Kuwait. Al Jothen, is renowned to
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