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Mark Ward | 12:38 UK time, Tuesday, 14 September 2010

On Tech Brief today: An opera with robots and the web goes all instant all the time.

• This is getting ridiculous. First there was Google Instant. Then Google Maps Instant. Then YouTube Instant and now there is App Store Instant and iTunes Instant. The latter comes courtesy of Stephen Ou who, says Brenna Ehrlich at Mashable,

"is younger than various pieces of my wardrobe."

Ms Ehrlich takes it for a spin.

"iTunes Instant is basically a search engine for iTunes, which the creator said he made because, 'Search within is extremely slow and cluster, I've never used it. So I use Apple's Search API instead, and develop[ed] this app in less than three hours that will make your life better.' A quick test of the app reveals that it does work pretty well -- a search for relatively obscure jams returned relatively accurate results in near real time. (However, it doesn't quite work when searching for both artist and song.)"

• Tech Brief is no stranger to culture and is readying its cummerbund and bow-tie to attend the first opera with robots. Called Death and the Powers it has been put together by the MIT folks who created Guitar Hero. Rebecca Boyle at PopSci reports that it will debut in Monaco in late September.

"The opera takes place sometime in the future, when no humans remain -- only robots. Former poet laureate Robert Pinsky wrote the libretto, which tells the story of an inventor named Simon Powers. Powers builds 'The System' to preserve his legacy, allowing him to download his memories and personality into the built environment. His personage is then expressed through robots, giant blinking bookcases and a musical chandelier made of Teflon, which his wife plays like a harp."

• Word is starting to circulate that the master key protecting high-definition content, such as that found on Blu-ray discs, has been released. Richard Lawler at Engadget wonders what this will mean.

"if this information is what it claims to be, then the DRM genie could be permanently out of the bag allowing perfect high definition copies of anything as long as the current connector standards are around."

• Finally more future-gazing courtesy of Jon Stokes at Ars Technica who wonders how the technology world will change when Intel decides what to do with McAfee - the security company it bought earlier this year.

"So with McAfee, Intel probably plans to offer a default walled garden option, of sorts. At the very least, it's conceivable that Intel could build its own secure app store ecosystem, where developers send code to McAfee for approval and distribution. In this model, McAfee would essentially act as the "Apple" for everyone making, say, MeeGo apps."

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