You are viewing a read-only archive of the Blogs.Harvard network. Learn more.

Re-imagining technology

July 26th, 2005 by

Hip-hop once again discovers uses for a technology that its inventors would not have imagined. Wired puts the spotlight on UK MCs freestyling over ringtones. With mobile phone culture even more firmly in place in London areas than in the U.S., the little handheld devices have been a part of underground music for years. Organizers of illegal raves would leave a phone number on flyers instead of an address. Pirate radio DJs call out their numbers and read off SMS shouts between tracks.

According to the article, DJs now calculate listener appreciation for new tracks by counting up “missed calls.” If you like a song, you call up the station and disconnect after only one ring. The DJ’s mobile will read out one “missed call” on the screen thus communicating a message without cost to either party.

Kids at my high school have newer telephones with extra-loud speakers and flash memory for storing compressed audio (even mp3.) At lunch or after school, they will sit around chatting as one person plays top songs off of her phone at a perfectly audible volume with quality akin to AM radio. Taking this one step further into rhyming is a natural progression.

This article is one more example in support of the rising number of voices critizing the Grokster decision for its emphasis on “inducement.” Inventors and creators should not be responsible for identifying all possible future uses of their technologies. Could Nokia have imagined kids rapping over ringtones? What if this activity were infringing on the copyright monopoly of a third party? Should kids pay public performance rights? Should Nokia be liable?

For a related project, check out Blazin’ Blip Blop and Blar & Bee, a mixtape by 424 Sound Monster that pairs MIDI ringtone instrumentals with the real acapella vocal tracks. Wu-Tang’s “C.R.E.A.M.” is a standout in any format.

20 Responses to “Re-imagining technology”

  1. free directory Says:

    thank you!

  2. Ringtone Singapore Says:

    Hello, I found your website when i was searching for pages related to ringtone. I have tell you, your site is good. I like the design too, its refreshing. I don’t have much time now to fully read your blog but I have noted it and I also subscribed for your RSS feed. I will be back in a day or two. Thanks for a helpful website.

  3. کليک کنيد* ورود به سايت تقويت و آموزش جنسی Says:

    سلام هموطن عزيز.ممنون از مطالب خوبی که نوشتيد.يک سايت خوب و آموزنده برای روابط زناشويی رو بهتون معرفی ميکنم.خوشحال ميشم نظر بديد

  4. Jac Says:

    Nice site – Here’s wishing you a very happy and prosperous new year !

  5. how to get ringtones Says:

    Interesting point of view, surprised I couldn’t thought of that myself

  6. erica Says:

    I just Googled for midi music and Got your Page.Your Post Kevin Driscoll » Blog Archive » Re-imagining technology is really Nice.Pl. keep posting on midi music

  7. Jennifer Emick Says:

    Hate colored people? So do we! Come talk about stupid niggers and why religion hates them over at

  8. Kathy Says:

    Very educating post, bookmarked your site for hopes to read more!

  9. Dont Click Me Says:

    Thanks mate. Awesome article you got going on here. Have some more links to link to which have a bit more info?

  10. {earn money by working at home|how to earn money from home} Says:

    This is a fantastic Wp learning resource! I couldn’t get 1 / 2 the projects I do carried out without having WordPress and all the terrific styles make looking great quite simple!

  11. lose weight Says:

    Thanks pal. Good blog you have here. Got some more websites to link to which have more stuff like this?

  12. Araceli Sutkus Says:

    Man I love your article and it is so good and I am definetly going to bookmark it. One thing to say the Indepth analysis this article has is greatly remarkable.No one goes that extra mile these days? Well Done. Just one more suggestion you caninstall a Translator Application for your Global Readers !!!

  13. ödev kapakları Says:

    Myself want to thank the blogger very much not only for this post but also for his all previous efforts. I found your site to be very interesting. I will be coming back to site for more information.

  14. weird facts Says:

    Hey, just sent you a freebie link on my website about weird facts. Tell me if u return the favor or Ill probably remove it in a week or so.

  15. Jessica Bell Says:

    Search engine optimization requires a great optimizer plan. Certainly one of these strategies could make an enormous difference in your website’s position and bring significant new visitors.

  16. Tulip Green Says:

    Simply killing some in between classes, on Digg and I discovered your article . Not normally what I prefer to examine, nevertheless it was completely worth my time. Thanks.

  17. Joan Johnson Says:

    I need to frequent this site a lot more often, information such as this is difficult to find.

  18. John Smith Says:

    Excellent stuff on %BLOGTITLE%. I possibly agree with most of it!

  19. breast pumps ratings Says:

    It’s my very first time i visit this web site. I recently found a variety of helpful information inside your web site especially this blog page. From the so many responses on your articles, I guess I am not the only one experiencing all of the enjoyment here!

  20. Sanora Languell Says:

    They just pick up other people’s ipones or iPads and start reading things!