25 September 2020

The Hacker’s Tribute Vol. 54: the Future of AI Music


Greetings, Dear Hackers!

Oh, the passion, the power, and the determination! Creators are uniting to battle the forces of software. Others, meanwhile, are folding and compromising. The battle lines seem to be shifting – yet all the while, technology continues to better our lives.

Explore a not-too-distant future of AI music, with Machine Learning-powered singers. Learn of Microsoft’s latest schemes in the world of Linux. Discover the new Adobe Liquid mode, bound to solidify your software experiences. And defy superstitions with the 13th luckiest-ever-update of PostgreSQL.

I mean, where would we be without some drama and excitement? 

Welcome back!

Dan 'The Man' Kowalski

Dan ‘the Man’ Kowalski

Editor-in-Chief, The Hacker’s Tribute

Music by Machine

Jukebox may imply simpler times – when a coin was needed to select your favourite song and proceed with ripping up the dancefloor. Not this Jukebox – by OpenAI. This neural network – that’s right, the robots are back – completes custom-written songs in any musical style, voice and all. Need a Sinatra song about sitting in a jacuzzi? Or a Katy Perry hit about your favourite cactus? Machine learning has been listening, and whilst the songs are distinctively off-key – the potential is electric. Is this the end of real singers? We, for one, are thrilled to hear my own Snoop Dogg rendition of “Raspberry Pi”.

Read more: OpenAI: Jukebox

13 is Lucky!

When PostgreSQL announced its 13th edition – my heart skipped a beat. What a number. But with such power, and such ferocity, this intimidating open-source database packs enough positive omens – that it may as well be a black cat. Enjoy features like parallelised vacuuming, incremental sorting, and enough performance enhancements to give the Tour de France a run for its juice money. Security promises to be stronger too – hence the unlucky number.

Microsoft goes Linux

In the act of almost teenage-inspired rebellion, Microsoft will release a web browser for the Linux operating system. Ignite 2020 has confirmed it, amid its virtual audiences (I’m sick of saying why this year’s event went virtual – but stay safe, all). Meanwhile, the software colossus is claiming superiority over its Google rival, whilst making 3,700 commits to the Chromium engine thus far. Expect developer tools such as WebView 2, a native app support system. Oh, the excitement!

Nothing’s More Solid than Liquid

Auto-reflow for mobile promises to simplify our experience of viewing documents on mobile. Why? Because Adobe has enhanced its PDF reader, enabling an intuitive approach to opening everything from Star Wars movie tickets, to Tax Invoices for your new gaming chairs. “Sure, it’s a business expense, Matthew…” The system is already making waves but faces initial flux for more extensive documentation. So, be excited – but not that excited. Too much enthusiasm kills the anticipation.

Taking on ‘the Man’

Apple’s app store has, if anything, been a hallmark for spectacular creations. At the same time, it has been accused of stifling ideas and imposing its monopolistic will. Who would’ve thought that unchecked power could lead to such abuse? Well, the revolution is in full swing. The likes of Tinder, Spotify, and Epic Games are launching an organisation combatting anti-competitive practices, among other megalomaniacal behaviours. The rebuttal has been issued too – with Apple firing back a list of good deeds. The fight continues. Heat up the popcorn.

Knowledge is free and shared. We’re always on the lookout for new insights into the world of Web and Mobile App Development.

We’ll be in touch with more news, as it happens!

Read Tech Stories from Experienced Devs!


Hackers of the world dream to be him. And that’s an understatement. With methods decades ahead of cyberspace, he’s proceeded only by his own reputation. ‘The Man’ infamous for single-handedly causing the ’08 global financial meltdown, he dropped off-grid searching for purpose. He twice-dominated each of the Himalayan peaks, negotiated the rift valleys of Africa, and swam the Amazonian Basin end-to-end. It was in Siberia where we caught up to him – convincing him to work for the ‘good guys’. The veteran’s veteran of coding, now confidently within our ranks, is finally a force for good. Just don’t test him.