Friday, September 30, 2011

Dinosaurs aglow (and a Godzilla)

mythical mammoth


sabre tooth


Photos from Darius twin. Peek at more of these creatures in his set, light fossils.


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Convert MDF To ISO Images

The MDF disk image format (MDF stands for Mirror Disk File) is not as widely used as the ISO format. This in turn means that the file format is not supported as widely in disk burning or mounting applications when compared to the ISO format. MDF files are created with the commercial Alcohol software which can not only created .mdf files but also burn them to disc or mount them on the system. There are other programs that can do that, including OSFMount or Gizmo Drive Mounting.

Regardless of programs being available, you may have no compatible software installed on your system to burn or mount .mdf files. If that is the case you can either install a software supporting the disc image format or convert the mdf image to ISO to circumvent the issue. The second solution may be more appropriate if you don’t have to work with mdf files on a regular basis.

The free software MDF to ISO looks very similar to the previously reviewed Img to iso application that I have reviewed less than a month ago. Both the application’s design and the program homepage look very similar.

mdf to iso

MDF to Iso needs to be installed which is unfortunate as it would make a great addition to a portable tools collection. When you start the program you see a minimalistic interface where you have to select an mdf image file that you want to convert by clicking on the select button. You then pick a local directory where you want the ISO file saved to. A click on Convert start the conversion.

A real-time progress bar indicates the conversion progress. The conversion time depends on the mdf file size and the performance of the computer, specifically its processor.

The developers have tested the program only under Windows 7. It is however likely that it will work under different versions of Windows as well. Interested users can download MDF to ISO from the project homepage.

New Visa Android app offers person to person money transfers

New Visa Android app offers person to person money transfersVisa Europe has launched a new Android app which will allow transfers directly from one card holder to another.

The app was announced by Visa Europe Chief Executive Peter Ayliffe in his keynote speech at the EFMA conference in Paris. Right now the app is available only in English and allows transfers in a single currency for Visa and V PAY cardholders within Europe.

Visa promises support for additional operating systems and multiple currencies, as well as payments to and from countries outside Europe in the future.

In order to transfer money, the sender will need to use a Visa card issued by a bank which supports the service and register with Visa. Money can then be sent, via the app, to a Visa pre-paid or debit card.

The recipient will not have to be registered with the service.

Another feature of the new app is access by a Visa card holder to notifications whenever their card is used.

In his keynote address, Ayliffe said:

The way we pay is changing, driven by the rapid uptake of new technologies and growing consumer demand for more flexible payments. Today's announcement is the first in a series of new products and services that Visa Europe will be launching in the coming months to reflect the fundamental shift in consumer behaviour. We are already seeing early adoption of mobile payments, and in the coming months we will see the arrival of mainstream NFC technologies, advanced loyalty and e-commerce services, and ultimately, the launch of a new digital wallet.

Visa has also been working with with Google to get Visa payments added to the recently launched Google Wallet program.

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Thursday, September 29, 2011

TeamWin demos TWRP 2.0 recovery manager for Android, scoffs at your volume rocker (video)


It's pronounced "twerp," but don't mistake TeamWin's Recovery Project for a run-of-the-mill chump. The software is intended as a touchscreen replacement for ROM managers such as TWRP 1.0 and ClockworkMod Recovery. In addition to the all-important backup, restore and install functions, the utility now provides a full GUI for touch input that's fully customizable with XML themes. As a particular boon, developers will have the option to design custom installation processes unique to their particular ROMs, which is a lovely (though very metaphorical) cherry on top. As you'd expect, the software supports both phones and tabs, and if you're interested to see more, just check the full demo video after the break. According to the developer, the utility still needs some work before it's ready for prime time, but it's rather nice to see the group stay productive as it matures.

[Thanks, Ian]

Continue reading TeamWin demos TWRP 2.0 recovery manager for Android, scoffs at your volume rocker (video)

TeamWin demos TWRP 2.0 recovery manager for Android, scoffs at your volume rocker (video) originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 27 Sep 2011 22:22:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Rush's Closer to the Heart makes Guitar World magazine's Top 30 12-String Guitar Songs of All Time

Guitar World magazine recently posted their list of the Top 30 12-String Guitar Songs of All Time and Rush's Closer to the Heart made the cut at #10:

Taken from Rush's 1977 album A Farewell to Kings, "Closer to the Heart" begins with a majestic-sounding arpeggio picking pattern played by guitarist Alex Lifeson on a 12-string guitar. This song was also Rush's first hit in the U.K. and has been a staple of their live show ever since.

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The How-To Geek Guide to Getting Started with Usenet

The How-To Geek Guide to Getting Started with Usenet

What would BitTorrent look like if it was lightening fast, always available, completely private, and secure? It’d look a lot like Usenet. Read on to learn how to ditch Torrenting and enjoy super speeds and selection on Usenet.

What Is Usenet and Why Should I Care?

First, let’s talk about a system nearly everyone is familiar with, BitTorrent. Torrents are a form of distributed file sharing. You get a torrent file and that torrent file connects you to a tracker and in turn that tracker helps your BitTorrent client find all the other computer around the world sharing that file. Your ability to find and download files is dependent on other people sharing and the quality and speed of their connections to the internet. It’s also inherently not a private or secure activity because there is no way, even on the nicer private trackers, to engage in the entire process of torrenting without sharing your identity (or the identity of your proxy or seedbox at least). Torrenting is, even on a private tracker, a public activity.

By contrast Usenet is private, secure, and as fast as your broadband connection can handle. What exactly is Usenet and how does it provide these things? A bit of history is in order. Usenet is, by modern standards, an ancient internet system. Harking back to the early 1980s, Usenet was created to serve as a global distributed discussion system. Sub groups existed for everything from hardware hacking discussion to movie critiques to alternative lifestyles. The heyday of Usenet as a global discussion forum has long since passed (although some groups are still in use). Usenet, however, lives on thanks to the binary groups and the introduction of the NZB file.

For decades Usenet has had binary groups, sub groups that specialize in the distribution of non-text files that are broken up into pieces and shared as text blocks in thousands of sequential Usenet messages. Software, photos, music, movies, television shows, and more can be found in the binary groups. Accessing the binary groups was an arcane art and required multiple steps as well as a lot of frustration when files didn’t download or unpack correctly. Eventually people decided they’d had enough and the NZB file was created.

Although the origin of the NZB format is murky (some accounts claim it was created by Newzbin, others that it was first created by Dutch computer enthusiasts and lifted by Newzbin, etc.) the practical application of NZB files is perfectly clear. NZB files are XML indexes that make sharing and accessing files on Usenet extremely easy. Back in the olden days of binary sharing on Usenet you had to, by hand, find all the pieces of a shared file and reassemble them yourself using a variety of programs. In the early 90s, for example, doing something as simple as downloading a wallpaper pack was a multi-step and failure prone procedure.

NZB files did away with all that tedious hands-on activity and made it simple to retrieve the entire file set with nothing more than a single NZB file. To bring it back to the BitTorrent comparison, NZB files are just like Torrent files except instead of pointing you to all the thousands of file sharers around the world with the file, they point you to the thousands of pieces of the file on a high-speed Usenet server.

When you load an NZB file in a Usenet client you are establishing a direct one-on-one link with your Usenet provider. There’s no extra peers, outside access to your machine, or sharing of files from your collection back to the internet. It’s all the benefits of BitTorrent and none of the downsides.

All you need to get started with Usenet is a Usenet service provider, an NZB index, and a Usenet client. Let’s take a look these three things and get you up and running with Usenet.

One final note on Usenet before we continue: Usenet can be used to download all sorts of material ranging from open-source software distributions to television shows to movies. How you use Usenet is up to you. We’re in the business of creating and sharing useful and accurate how-to guides, not policing what you do with your free time and broadband connection. Keep your comments constructive and on-topic.

Selecting a Service Provider

Unlike BitTorrent, Usenet is going to cost you some money. It’s a small price to pay for blazing fast downloads and privacy, however. Your ISP likely has Usenet servers available but there’s a 99% they’re unsuitable our purposes. If your ISP is one of the remaining ISPs that offer Usenet access they most likely don’t provide access to the binary groups making them useless for using Usenet as a file sharing service. Not only that the speed is likely restricted so between the poor selection and the poor speed it’s necessary to go with a third party provider.

Before we start suggesting potential providers, let’s highlight some critical terms and what you should be looking for in a Usenet provider.

Retention: Retention is the length of time the Usenet server retains the binary files. The longer retention the better. If you’re paying for a premium server you should expect retention on the order of years. Top providers usually have a retention rate in excess of 1,000 days. This is one of the most important things to look at as a server with a low retention rate will be nothing but frustrating. At minimum you should accept nothing short of at least 800+ days of retention.

Quotas/Monthly Caps: Providers offer tiered service that can range anywhere from 10GB a month to unlimited access. We’d suggest taking the free 30 day trial nearly every Usenet provider offers and then at the end of the month checking your usage to determine what tier you’d like.

Server Connections: This is the number of concurrent connections you can have with the main servers. Some people over emphasize the importance of this number. Nearly every Usenet provider offers 10+ concurrent connections and it’s easy to saturate even a 100MB broadband connection with only 5-10. If a provider tries to wow you by saying they offer 20+ connections it’s more for show than for practical application unless you’re sitting on an fiber backbone.

Security Features: The big one here is SSL encryption for your connection. You want SSL. This ensures that nobody between your computer and your Usenet provider knows what’s going on with your connection. You’re taking the effort to set up a Usenet connection for fast, private, and secure downloading. Don’t skip on SSL! Some of the high end providers offer additional security features like VPN services (useful if you want to keep torrenting to access rare files) and secure file storage (encrypted Dropbox like arrangements). Those addons are nice but not critical for our purposes.

Armed with these terms, it’s time to start looking at popular Usenet providers. We’re going to highlight three of the most popular providers here:

Giganews: Currently, Giganews is the Cadillac of Usenet providers. They’ve been around for nearly 20 years, they offers 1113 days of binary retention (the longest in the industry right now), they control their entire operation from the front end right down to the server racks (they’re a tier-1 provider), and they offer lightening fast tech support (in the course of writing this article we contacted tech support and received a reply in 17 minutes). Plans range from $5 a month for 5GB to $35 for their ultra-premium package which includes VPN service and a custom Usenet client. If you’re just interested in unlimited access with SSL, $25 a month will make it happen. The free trial period is 14 days.

Astraweb: If you’re looking for a no-frills service that offers you cheap Usenet access, good retention, and SSL, Astraweb is where it’s at. Giganews beats Astraweb hands down when it comes to added services but for those on a budget Astraweb is the clear winner. For a mere $15 a month you can get an unlimited account with SSL (use this link here and get a lifetime promotional rate of $11 a month). It’s a barebones service but you’ll save $120+ a year compared to an equivalent Giganews plan. For the non-power users they do have an attractive pay-as-you-go option, 180GB of transfer for $25 (thanks aISeen!) Astraweb only offers a 24 free trial.

Newshosting: Newshosting is another tier-1 provider. They offer free SSL, 1103 day retention, and unlimited speed on all their plans. Newshosting recently introduced a custom Usenet browser with built-in search. Plans range from $10 a month for their 50GB plan to $15 a month for their unlimited plan (use this link here to get a lifetime promotional rate of $10 a month or $100 per year). The free trial period is 14 days or 30GB, which ever comes first.

NASA: Satellite fell in south Pacific, not Canada

NASA: Satellite fell in south Pacific, not Canada


The Associated Press

WASHINGTON — That dead NASA satellite fell into what might be the ideal spot — part of the southern Pacific Ocean about as far from large land masses as you can get, U.S. space officials said Tuesday.

Charts the debris in space since the 1950s.

New U.S. Air Force calculations put the 6-ton satellite's death plunge early Saturday thousands of miles from northwestern North America, where there were reports of sightings. Instead, it plunged into areas where remote islands dot a vast ocean.

NASA says those new calculations show the 20-year-old satellite entered Earth's atmosphere generally above American Samoa. But falling debris as it broke apart didn't start hitting the water for another 300 miles to the northeast, southwest of Christmas Island, just after midnight EDT Saturday.

Experts believe about two dozen metal pieces from the bus-sized satellite fell over a 500-mile span.

"It's a relatively uninhabited portion of the world, very remote," NASA orbital debris scientist Mark Matney said. "This is certainly a good spot in terms of risk."

Scientists who track space junk couldn't be happier with the result.

"That's the way it should be. I think that's perfect," said Bill Ailor, director of the Center for Orbital and Reentry Debris Studies at the Aerospace Corp. "It's just as good as it gets."

On Saturday, scientists said it was possible some pieces could have reached northwestern Canada and claims of sightings in Canada spread on the Internet. But NASA said Tuesday that new calculations show it landed several minutes earlier than they thought, changing the debris field to an entirely different hemisphere.

"It just shows you the difference that 10 or 15 minutes can make," said Harvard University astrophysicist Jonathan McDowell, who tracks man-made space objects. On Saturday, he noted, "We were talking about, 'Wow, did it hit Seattle?'"

NASA won't say how it knows the climate research satellite came in earlier, referring questions to the U.S. Air Force space operations center. Air Force spokeswoman Julie Ziegenhorn said better computer model reconstruction after the satellite fell helped pinpoint where the satellite — called the Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite returned to Earth — returned to Earth

After UARS was launched in 1991, NASA and other space agencies adopted new procedures to lessen space junk and satellites falling back to Earth. So NASA has no more satellites as large as this one that will fall back to Earth uncontrolled in the next 25 years, according to NASA orbital debris chief scientist Nicholas Johnson.

But other satellites will continue to fall. Late in October, or early in November, a German astronomy satellite is set to plunge uncontrolled back to Earth. While slightly smaller than UARS, the German satellite is expected to have more pieces survive re-entry, said McDowell, who worked on one of the instruments for it.

The German ROSAT satellite was launched in 1990, died in 1998 and weighs 2 ½ tons. The German space agency figures 30 pieces weighing less than 2 tons will survive re-entry. Debris may include sharp mirror shards.

The German space agency puts the odds of somebody somewhere on Earth being hurt by its satellite at 1-in-2,000 — a slightly higher level of risk than was calculated for the NASA satellite. But any one individual's odds of being struck are 1-in-14 trillion, given there are 7 billion people on the planet.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

If Photoshop was a Real-Life Desktop Image


Real life Photoshop [9GAG]

Download the Wallpaper-Sized Version (1920*1200) 2KiwZJPkLkQ

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How to Enable the Hidden Windows 7 Admin Account Using the Registry

Lead Image

Imagine you have a Windows PC with a single user account, and you just lost your password. Here’s how to enable the hidden Administrator account with nothing more than the install CD and some registry hacking magic so you can reset your password.

Normally if you wanted to enable the hidden administrator account from within Windows, you’d need access to an Administrator mode command prompt, but that won’t work if you don’t have access, right? This is a great way to quickly enable the hidden admin account so you can reset the password on your main account.

Note: This will require editing the registry which is risky. Proceed only if you know what you are doing and at your own risk.


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Rush Hashanah and the Time Machine 2011: Live in Cleveland concert premiere tonight on VH1 Classic

Rush - Time Machine 2011: Live in ClevelandRush HashanahTonight we'll get our first glimpse of Rush's upcoming Time Machine 2011: Live in Cleveland concert video when VH1 Classic kicks off their Rush Hashanah celebration. The station will be airing 24 hours of Rush programming beginning tonight at 7PM EST/PST in celebration of the Jewish New Year. The showcase of the celebration will be the premiere of an edited version of the Time Machine concert which will run from 8PM until 10:30PM, which means they'll be showing about 1:45-2 hours of the actual concert after commercial breaks are factored in. It'll be interesting to see what gets edited out. Also on the docket are the Rush Classic Albums special, the Rush documentary Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage, R30 and Rush in Rio. VH1 Classic first celebrated Rush Hashanah back in 2008 and also in 2010, where they premiered the Rush Classic Albums special. The Time Machine 2011: Live in Cleveland DVD will release on November 8th with the /dp/B005D0RDKW?tag=estengercom-20" target="_blank">Blu-ray version releasing on December 20th. The film will also be getting a theatrical release beginning October 26th.


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Rush - Professional Lighting & Production Summer 2011 Issue


Check out the online edition of the Summer 2011 issue of Professional Lighting and Production for the cover feature "A Rush Of Light, Four Decades In The Making", an interview with lighting designer Howard Ungerleider. - Thanks RushFanForever for the headsup!


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Surviving Members of Pink Floyd Revisit 'Dark Side,' Band Tensions


David Gilmour: Another band reunion is very unlikely

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By Rolling Stone

September 28, 2011 8:00 AM ET

pink floyd rem rolling stone 1141

Rolling Stone Issue #1141

Illustration by Joe Zeff Design/EMI Music

The surviving members of Pink Floyd reunited, more or less, for Rolling Stone's new cover story: With Floyd re-releasing their entire catalog, David Gilmour, Roger Waters and Nick Mason all spoke with senior writer Brian Hiatt for our latest issue, on stands and available through Rolling Stone All Access on September 30th. They discuss the band's fraught history, the making of their 1973 masterpiece Dark Side of the Moon and the delicate current state of their relationship.

The Dark Side of Pink Floyd: The Illustrated History of the Band's Last Days and Bittersweet Reunions

After years of tension, Waters and Gilmour have played together on three occasions in the past six years – leading to many to think that relations between them are better than they have been in a long time. "You would think so, yeah," says Gilmour, before pausing for a moment. "You could say that, but when I hesitate, it's almost nonexistent. I played on Roger's Wall show here one night a few months ago, and I haven't heard a word from him since."

Other highlights from the story:

• The classic line-up of Pink Floyd reunited onstage after 24 years at Live 8 in London, but don't expect that to happen again anytime soon. "Roger spent a lot of time afterwards saying how he would roll over gracefully for that one occasion, but it wouldn't happen again," says Gilmour. "Which strengthened my views: I understand how other people want that sort of [reunion] thing to happen, but I'm entirely selfish in thinking that I want to enjoy my declining years exactly the way that I want to do it. And that wouldn't be part of it."

Roger Waters Bringing the Wall Tour to American Baseball Stadiums

• Waters remembers being pushed not to sing on Dark Side. "My memory is David and Rick [Wright] were at great pains to point out how I couldn't sing and how I was tone-deaf," says Waters. "And there's this bollocks that Rick had to tune my bass. And you only have to look at the body of work to realize that this is not the case. Maybe their way of keeping me from being totally overwhelming was to point out that I might have vocal and instrumental inadequacies."

• Gilmour quietly retired the Pink Floyd name at the end of 1994's Division Bell tour. "I was launched into being pretty much the sole leader by Roger leaving," he says. "And I was having to bear that hurdle, that burden, all by myself. It was difficult, it was a learning curve, that first album. But you know Division Bell's got a lot to be said for it. After that the weight of carrying the burden was getting a bit much. And I thought I might sort of retire or look into solo things."

Roger Waters Bringing the Wall Tour to American Baseball Stadiums
Nick Mason: I Can't Let Go of Pink Floyd
Alan Parsons on 'Dark Side': 'Roger Knew Something Great Was in the Making'
Storm Thorgerson: How I Designed the Cover of 'Dark Side of the Moon'
Erykah Badu, Billy Corgan and More on Legacy of 'Dark Side of the Moon'
Behind the Scenes of Pink Floyd's 2011 Reunion
Inside Pink Floyd: Rolling Stone's 1987 Cover Story
The Madcap Who Named Pink Floyd: Rolling Stone's 1971 Interview with Syd Barrett
The Dark Side of Pink Floyd: The Illustrated History of the Band's Last Days and Bittersweet Reunions
Rolling Stone Readers Pick Their 10 Favorite Pink Floyd Songs
Photos: Roger Waters Rehearses For the Wall Tour
The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time: Pink Floyd, 'The Dark Side of the Moon'

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Google digitizes the Dead Sea Scrolls

Google digitizes the Dead Sea ScrollsGoogle and the Israel national museum have teamed up to digitize the famous Dead Sea Scrolls.

The scrolls were written over two thousand years ago and were discovered in the 1950s in desert caves.

Five of the 972 scrolls were put online today, including the biblical Book of Isaiah.

Using Google technology, users can search for specific passages and translate them into English.

All of the scrolls are currently at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem.

Both teams are working to have all the scrolls available online.

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Interactive Cable Map Showcases High Speed Undersea Cables Around the World

sshot4e809f51b55c3.jpgDespite the common notion that lots of data is beamed down from satellites the majority of global communications travel through a massive network of high speed cables. Check out this interactive map to see the cables that bind everything together.

Not only does the map showcase the vast network of cables around the globe but you can also zoom in to click on specific nodes. Each node has a listing for the cables that terminate there. If you click on the cable name you’ll see additional information about the cable such as when it was completed, how long it is, who owns it, and what cities are at each end of the cable.

For another interactive cable map make sure to check out For a look at the state of trans-oceanic cables at the start of the 20th century this map is particularly interesting. Finally if you’re curious about how exactly they create fiber optic cables and manage to lay 7,000km+ worth of them across the ocean, these videos are a must see.

Submarine Cable Map [via Digital Inspiration]


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Monday, September 26, 2011

Watch Pink Floyd 60 Min Dark Side of the Moon Video

Links - The Greatest Gig in the Sky | Pink Floyd YouTube Channel | Be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter and get our free Newsletter to remain informed of Pink Floyd News!

As part of the promotional activities of the Why Pink Floyd release schedule, an hour long Dark Side of the Moon video has appeared on the official Pink Floyd YouTube channel for you to watch and enjoy. It is called The Greatest Gig in the Sky.

The audio is from the November 1974 BBC recording of Pink Floyd's Wembley performance of Dark Side of the Moon and lets you listen to the album all the way through. The video includes rear screen projection videos that were shown at the live shows on stage.

To encourage fans to converge and discuss, the video is "broadcast" on the hour every hour until next Wednesday 28th so make sure you check it out before then in case it disappears!

I strongly recommend you watch the fancy version of the video with the hourly broadcast and fan comments integrated into the videos. However, if that is not working for you and you want to scroll through the video, click the YouTube logo on the video player to be taken to the normal YouTube page layout. Do experience the integrated version to the right though!

Other Videos of Interest

The Pink Floyd Sound have really been taking advantage of the latest marketing platforms available in the form of Social Media with their Twitter account and Facebook page which has nearly 15.5m fans on! They are popular!

But they have gone further with the marketing in the form of their [youtube] which you can watch on YouTube. If you are wondering who is doing the voice over, it is Sean Bean from Lord of the Rings, Troy and others!

Don't Forget Algie!

EMI are recreating the front cover of the Animals album on Monday 26th September 2011 at London's Battersea Power Station.

From 6am until 9am Algie the pig (technically it is a new pig and not the original Algie!) will be tethered to the North cooling towers so a good vantage point for taking photos would be Grosvenor Road or perhaps up near Chelsea Embankment. Do send in some photos if you take any!

Coming Up

I should be getting some goodies shortly in the form of the Immersion Edition of Dark Side of the Moon. I shall be writing a nice review of that so make sure you are connected to us to receive news updates. Be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter and get our free Newsletter to remain informed of news!

Other Things To See

Check out our Pink Floyd Photo Gallery.

Come and join us on our Pink Floyd Forum.

DISCLAIMER: Please notice that the article above is syndicated from Neptune Pink Floyd and was originally published on 09-24-2011 02:38 PM. As such, APFFN is not responsible for its content. Read the original article here.

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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

R.E.M. Breaks Up After Three Decades

R.E.M. Breaks Up After Three Decades
'We've made this decision together, amicably... The time just feels right,' says bassist Mike Mills

R.E.M. announced today that they have broken up after 31 years together. "As lifelong friends and co-conspirators, we have decided to call it a day as a band," the band said in a statement on their official website. "We walk away with a great sense of gratitude, of finality, and of astonishment at all we have accomplished."

In just over three decades as a band, R.E.M. released 15 albums including landmark works such as Murmur, Reckoning, Document, Out of Time and Automatic For the People. The band's final album, Collapse Into Now, was released in March of this year. The band have plans to release a career-spanning greatest hits collection later this year, which will include a handful of new songs finished after the band completed Collapse Into Now.

Photos: R.E.M. Through the Years

"During our last tour, and while making Collapse Into Now and putting together this greatest hits retrospective, we started asking ourselves, 'what next'?," bassist Mike Mills wrote on the R.E.M. site. "Working through our music and memories from over three decades was a hell of a journey. We realized that these songs seemed to draw a natural line under the last 31 years of our working together."

Mills insists that the band have ended their working relationship on very good terms. "We feel kind of like pioneers in this," he says. "There's no disharmony here, no falling-outs, no lawyers squaring-off. We've made this decision together, amicably and with each other's best interests at heart. The time just feels right."

Interview: R.E.M. Roar Back with 'Collapse Into Now'

"I hope our fans realize this wasn't an easy decision; but all things must end, and we wanted to do it right, to do it our way," says frontman Michael Stipe.

Ethan Kaplan, owner of the R.E.M. fan community Murmurs and former Senior Vice President of Emerging Technology at Warner Bros. Records, says that the band's decision was influenced in part by label politics. "I suspected this was coming last fall," Kaplan tells Rolling Stone. "If you remember, they weathered a lot of storms in this business, and have always operated on their own terms. [Warner Bros.] changed starting last September, and I think the demands on a band now to get a record out were more than they might have wanted to commit. I can understand that after how hard they worked for how long, the thought of going back to 'paying dues' with new label staff, in a very weird industry, was too much."

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