It’s been a funny week or two of late with lots of quirky stories floating around the news under the usual rubbish such as the Daily Mail trying to find a causal link between Twitter and Cancer so they can run a front page demanding it (Twitter) is banned immediately and all those with accounts get flogged to within an inch of their worthless lives. Pity all those PR ‘executives‘ who have multiple accounts!
It’s also party conference season in the UK, last week it was the Liberal Democrats (given that they are not really either of those two words it’s no wonder they prefer to be called the Lib Dems) and this week it’s Labour who will be turning Liverpool into a bit of a ghost town, other than from political groupies who will probably be fewer in number now that the purse-strings on MP expenses are that little bit tighter than days of old.
The first thing that caught my attention was the news that Pegasus Global Holdings is building a real ghost town, called The Center, in Albuquerque, New Mexico. This town will occupy an area of 20 square miles, that’s the size of Bristol and house 35,000 hypothetical people. It will resemble a mid-sized American town, complete with highways, houses, apartments and commercial buildings in a mix of old and new styles.
The Center is intended to be a test site for emerging smart technologies such as next-generation wireless networks and self-driving transport. Pegasus will be leasing The Center out to Government labs, private businesses and universities who want to test their innovations in real-world conditions; I guess they need to do something to get back the $200m they’re going to spend building it. What do you think about an automated ghost town? I just can’t get Westworld out of my head whenever I think about it.
Another thing that caught my eye was the news that customers at a music shop in Ireland were banned from playing Adele’s ‘Someone Like You’ when trying out the keyboards. Now this was interesting, not because I like or dislike Adele but because it linked up with a rather geeky stat I received from Last.fm concerning Adele.
Last.fm delved into their massive database and crunched some numbers and deduced that between 5 and 11 September Adele was the most listened to artist with a staggering 96,408 listens by Last.fm users. With a worldwide user base of 40 million, 4 million are registered in the UK, that’s quite impressive by anyone’s standards. Adele now has the distinction of knocking The Beatles, who have a fan base in the hundreds of millions, from the number 1 spot. The Beatles are so popular they are Last.fm’s most played artist as much as 40 weeks out of every year. Not bad for a handful of bubblegum pop songs!
The funniest thing I find is I have never knowingly heard an Adele song (she might have been music on hold or played in a shop somewhere), I mentioned this to someone a few weeks ago and they thought that would be an impossibility but in actuality it’s not that inconceivable. I tend to list to Planet Rock Radio which, as the name suggests, plays rock music. Now, unless Adele has done a rock track, she’s unlikely to get played there and as I don’t have a television I’ve never seen/heard her song covered on any of the karaoke talent shows that litter the screens; I’m so uninterested I’ve never been curious enough to look for her on YouTube…Sorry Adele but I learnt my lesson when I had a look for Susan Boyle…10 minutes of my life I’ll never get back!
I wonder if Pegasus Holdings decided to fill their ghost town with music, if they would have to pay royalties given that the music won’t be heard by anyone? If so they could play Adele’s greatest hits safe in the knowledge that they won’t have any complaints, well not unless Yul Brynner turns up!