Mind + Machine

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The ability of human to control computer is becoming a reality. Brain Computer Interface (BCI) are devices that capture the signal generated by the brain when an intention is made. This technology will potentially restore communication and movement to those who are disabled (Schwartz, Cui, Weber, & Moran, 2006). Currently, BCI devices works by recording electrical activities from the scalp, surface of the brain and/or within the cerebral cortex that is then send to the computer.

The application of this technology has expanded wildly in the recent years. Devices that we often see in the books or movies are now available, though not perfect. The various devices and applications that stem from the technology are:

Emotiv EPOC

Figure 1. Emotive EPOC. (n.d.) coroflot.com

Emotiv EPOC allows the users to interact with computers by using thoughts. This devices uses 14 sensors plus 2 references to tune into electric signals produced by the brain to detect the user’s thought feelings and expressions in real time. The EPOC is capable of detecting the user’s facial expression, emotional state and thoughts and intent. (EPOC, n.d.)

Muse

[vimeo 52390320]

Similar like Emotiv EPOC, Muse is a 4 sensor headband that allows the user to control applications, games, reduce stress, and improve memory and concentration. Muse measures the user’s brainwaves in real time thus it is capable to guide the user to relax or focus before performing any mentally challenging task. Though still under development, Muse intent to allow the user to fully control the smartphone with only thoughts. (MUSE, n.d.)

BrainDriver

From its name, BrainDriver is a project that allows the user to control the car by thoughts alone. The project uses the Emotiv EGG headset. The user is only required to do some mental training and they are able to drive the car with the brain. (Appiron, 2011)

Neuro Turntable Mobile

Figure 2. Neuro Turntable Mobile and an iPhone running the application. (n.d.) neurowear.com

Neuro Turntable plays music from the user’s mobile phone only when the user’s thought is set to listen to a music, music stops when the user is distracted (like talking to someone, or thinks about something else). (Neuro Turntable, n.d.)

Brain-to-Brain Remote Control

Figure 3. Researchers experimenting with the system. (2013) extremetech.com

Researchers at the University of Washington created a system that allows one researcher to remotely control the hand of another researcher by merely thinking about moving his hand. This was done across the internet. (Anthony, 2013)

Orbit Helicopter

Figure 4. Puzzlebox Orbit Helicopter. (2012) brainstorm.puzzlebox.info

This is a helicopter toy uses the standard BCI input devices, NeuroSky Mindwave EGG to control it. Since it will take some time to master the control of the helicopter, it has been equipped it a unique spherical protector that protects the helicopters from unintended impact.  (Puzzlebox, n.d.)

Necomimi and Shippo

Figure 5 and 6. Necomimi and Shippo. (n.d.) neurowear.com

This is a pair of fluffy ears and tail that scans the user’s brain, the parts will stand up when the user’s concentrate and relax when user’s relax, recreating the sensation of an animal with a tail. (neurowear, n.d.) (neurowear, shippo, n.d.)

Neurocam

This Japanese project created a device that is hooked up to a mobile phone that will captures everything that the user is interested in. (Neurogadget, 2013)

Prosthetic Limbs

There are countless of people who have lost their limbs, mainly because of military service or cancer. Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)‘s advance prosthetics research has become their hope to return their lost limbs, and over the years the research has resulted in some impressive breakthrough. They have created prosthetics arms that lets the wearer to control them using their mind. The control extends not only from the elbow to the wrist but also to the fingers. The video above shows an army veteran using a working prosthetic arm to lift an object and other various tasks.The device can even communicate back to the wearer, restoring a sense of touch. The device has been proven to be very effective when Zac Vawter uses his bionic leg to successfully climb a 103-Floor building in Chicago. The videos below shows how the technology changes the life of Zac Vawter. (Blagon, 2013)

BCI will not only be effective for people with disabilities, there are many possibilities on how these technology will change the way people uses interact machines.

References

Anthony, S. (2013) ‘First human brain-to-brain interface allows remote control over the internet, telepathy coming soon’, Extreme Tech. [online] 13 August 2013. Available at: http://www.extremetech.com/extreme/165081-first-human-brain-to-brain-interface-allows-remote-control-over-the-internet-telepathy-coming-soon [Accessed 13 November 2013].

Appiron (2011) BrainDriver – a mind controlled car 16 February 2011. Available at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iDV_62QoHjY [Accessed 13 November 2013].

Blagon, J. (2013) ‘Darpa’s New mind-controlled prosthetics let patients feel again’, The Verge. [online] 31 May 2013.Available at: http://www.theverge.com/2013/5/31/4382366/darpa-tmr-mind-controlled-prosthetics-sensory-feedback [Accessed 13 November 2013].

EPOC, E. (n.d.) Emotiv [online]. Available at: http://www.emotiv.com/epoc/features.php %5BAccessed 13 November 2013].

DARPA Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. (2013) ‘Targeted Muscle Re-innveration (TMR) for Advanced Prosthetic Control’. 30 May 2013. Available at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-u8KkvZvVVI [Accessed 13 November 2013].

Falcon, A. (n.d.) ’8 Mind-Blowing Gadgets You Can Control Just With Your Brain’, Hongkiat.com. [online] Available at: http://www.hongkiat.com/blog/brain-controlled-gadgets/ [Accessed 13 November 2013].

InteraXon. (2012) ‘Introducing Muse: Changing The Way The World Thinks’. 2012. Available at: http://vimeo.com/52390320 [ Accessed 13 November 2013].

MUSE. (n.d.) ‘MUSE: The Brain-Sensing Headband that lets you control things with your mind’,  indiegogo. [online] Available at: http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/muse-the-brain-sensing-headband-that-lets-you-control-things-with-your-mind [Accessed 13 November 2013].

Neuro Turntable. (n.d.) ‘Neuro Turntable,  Neurowear. [online] Available at: http://neurowear.com/projects_detail/neuro_turntable.html [Accessed 13 November 2013].

Neurogadget. (2013) ‘Neurocam turns your iPhone into a wearable camera that only records what interests you’, Neurogadget. [online] 29 October 2013. Available at: http://neurogadget.com/2013/10/29/neurocam-turns-your-iphone-into-a-wearable-camera-that-only-records-what-interests-you-video/8861 [Accessed 13 November 2013].

neurowear. (2013) ‘Neurowear “neurocam” concept movie’. 29 October 2013. Available at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=CDgkX-JY_wM [Accessed 13 November 2013].

neurowear. (n.d.) necomimi’ neurowear. [online] Available at: http://neurowear.com/projects_detail/necomimi.html [Accessed 13 November 2013].

neurowear. (n.d.) ‘shippo’, neurowear. [online] Available at: http://neurowear.com/projects_detail/shippo.html [Accessed 13 November 2013].

Puzzlebox. (n.d.) ‘Puzzlebox Orbit: Brain-Controlled Helicopter’, Kickstarter. [online] Available at: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/puzzlebox/puzzlebox-orbit-brain-controlled-helicopter [Accessed 13 November 2013].

Robknows100. (2013) ‘First mind-controlled bionic leg a ‘groundbreaking’ advance’. 25 September 2013. Available at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=efN8QPbVHdU [Accessed 13 November 2013].

Slatester. (2012) ‘Amputee Scales 103-Story Building with Bionic Leg’. 5 November 2012. Available at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xjYoUdSAK6k [Accessed 13 November 2013].

Schwartz, A. B., Cui, T., Weber, D. J., & Moran, D. W. (2006, October 5) ‘Brain-Controlled Interfaces: Movement Restoration with Neural Prosthetics’, Neuron Volume 52, issue 1. [online] 5 October 2006. Science Direct. Available at: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0896627306007264 [Accessed 13 November 2013].

List of Images

Figure 1. Photograph ofEmotiv Epoc’, (n.d.) [image online] ‘Emotiv Epoc’. Coroflot. Available at: http://www.coroflot.com/chris_thomson/Emotiv-Epoc [Accessed 13 November 2013].

Figure 2. Photograph ofNeuro Turntable Mobile and an iPhone running the application’, (n.d.) [image online] ‘Neuro Turntable’. Neurowear. Available at: http://neurowear.com/projects_detail/neuro_turntable.html [Accessed 13 November 2013].

Figure 3. Photograph of ‘Researchers experimenting with the system’, (2013) [image online] ‘First human brain-to-brain interface allows remote control over the internet, telepathy coming soon’. Extreme Tech. 13 August 2013, Available at: http://www.extremetech.com/extreme/165081-first-human-brain-to-brain-interface-allows-remote-control-over-the-internet-telepathy-coming-soon [Accessed 13 November 2013].

Figure 4. Photograph of ‘Puzzlebox Orbit Helicopter’, (2012) [image online] ‘Puzzlebox Orbit: Brain-Controlled Helicopter‘. Puzzlebox. 8 November 2012, Available at: http://brainstorms.puzzlebox.info/ [Accessed 13 November 2013].

Figure 5. Photograph of ‘Necomimi’, (n.d.) [image online] ‘Necomimi’. Neurowear. Available at: http://neurowear.com/projects_detail/necomimi.html [Accessed 13 November 2013].

Figure 6. Photograph of ‘Shippo’, (n.d.) [image online] ‘Shippo’. Neurowear. Available at: http://neurowear.com/projects_detail/shippo.html [Accessed 13 November 2013].

Figure 7. Photograph of ‘Army Veteran with DARPA Prosthetic Arm’

Perlin Noise and its Application

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Although the term Perlin Noise may seemed to be unfamiliar, but its application goes to the contemporary movies and video games in the last 20 years. The noise was developed by Ken Perlin for the 1982 film TRON. The task was to develop a more fluid and natural appearance for 3D objects for the film. Normally image texture is used as the material for the 3D object, but Ken Perlin used a random mathematical formula. “Perlin noise is simply a well-crafted pseudo-random function which is designed to look controlled and natural.” The technique revolutionize the field of motion graphics as it allows the 3D object much more efficiently at that time where computer memory was very limited, as a mathematical formula uses much fewer memory than a large image map and it was easier to apply the noise formula than using the UV method that wrap an image around a 3D object. Perlin noise was very efficient and effective that the graphics industry adopted them as standard techniques (Williams, 2012). In 1997 Ken received an Award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science for his work. The awards says, “The development of Perlin Noise has allowed computer graphics artists to better represent the complexity of natural phenomena in visual effects for the motion picture industry.” (Perlin, n.d.)

Figure 1. Perlin Noise used to animate array of cubes (2012) graphicdimensions.wordpress.com

The application of Perlin noise in the Motion Graphic and Video Games is very wide as it is the foundation of various systematic texture and modelling algorithms. Perlin Noise is generated mathematically like a graph, thus for different dimensional graph its function also varies. The application of Perlin Noise are:

Landscape or Terrain

By Using the 2 Dimensional Perlin Noise as a height map it can create an interesting shape of terrain. The shape of it can be easily calculated, stretch indefinitely and it is calculated to the very detail (Figure 2) (Tulleken, 2009).

Various example of landscape generated using Perlin Noise (Tulleken, 2009) (Quilez, 2008).

Figure 2. Various example of landscapes generated using Perlin Noise. (2008) iquilezles.org

 Figure 2 (lower right). (2009) devmag.org.za

Clouds

Perlin Noise is very convenient in rendering 2D clouds (Cortes, 2012), and 3 Dimensional Perlin Noise can produce volumetric clouds (Figure 4).

Figure 3. 2D clouds generated using Perlin Noise, Perlin Noise Generated, Adjusting Levels and Adding Colour (From Left to Right) (Cortes, 2012).

Figure 3. 2D clouds generated using Perlin Noise. Steps are: Perlin Noise Generated, Adjusting Levels and Adding Colour (From Left to Right) (2012). romancortes.com

Figure 4. Volumetric Cloud (Kutz, n.d).

Figure 4. Volumetric Cloud (n.d). peterkutz.com

Textures

2 Dimensional Perlin Noise is mostly use to create texture, and its basic application is to map it with a gradient. This will result in attractive maps or fire effects as shown in figure 5. The noise also allows the blending in between 2 textures (Figure 6).

Figure 5. Various textures generated using Perlin Noise (Tulleken, 2009).

Figure 5. Various textures generated using Perlin Noise. (2009) devmag.org.za

Figure 6. 2 Textures blended together using Perlin Noise (Tulleken, 2009).

Figure 6. 2 Textures blended together using Perlin Noise.(Tulleken, 2009).

(2009) devmag.org.za

And by using the 3 dimensional Perlin, it can generate a growing effect using 3 textures and the appropriate blending (Figure 7). (Tulleken, 2009)

Figure 7. Real Time Transitions Using Perlin Noise (Tulleken, 2009).

Figure 7. Real Time Transitions Using Perlin Noise (Tulleken, 2009).

Animation

Perlin Noise can be used to animate or deform any object easily, be it 3D or 2D, below are various example of animation using Perlin Noise.

Figure 8. Perlin Noise deforming a sphere. (2012) graphicdimnesions.wordpress.com

Video 1. Perlim Noise Animation (Ferenczi, 2010).

Video 2. Perlim Noise 3D (Wezside, 2011).

Video 3. Perlim Noise Warping (Hamzic, 2012).

Video 4. Processing Perlin Noise Experiment 2 (Berg, 2008).

Here are also basic applications of Perlin Noise in website using WebGL and Three.js, click on the image to access.

Figure 9. Wobbly Chrome Sphere. (n.d.) clicktorelease.com

Figure 10. Lights with Radial Blur. (n.d.) clicktorelease.com

Figure 11. Fireball Explosion. (n.d.) clicktorelease.com

Reference

Berg, B. (2008) ‘Processing Perlin Noise Experiment 2’. Available at: http://vimeo.com/1699793 [Accessed 13 November 2013].

Click To Release. (n.d) ‘Experimenting with Perlin Noise’. [online] Available at: http://www.clicktorelease.com/blog/experiments-with-perlin-noise [Accessed 13 November 2013].

Cortes, R. (2012) ‘The Entry I Didn’t Submit to Js1K’, Roman Cortes. [online] 1 April 2012. Available at: http://www.romancortes.com/blog/the-entry-i-didnt-submitted-to-js1k/ [Accessed 13 November 2013].

Ferenczi, B. (2010) ‘Perlin Noise Animation’.  2010. Available at: http://vimeo.com/13416415 [Accessed 13 November 2013].

Hamzic, A. (2012) ‘Perlin Noise Wrapping’. 2012. Available at: http://vimeo.com/35057708 [Accessed 13 November 2013].

Perlin, K. (n.d.) ‘Noise and Turbulence’, New York University. [online] Available at: http://mrl.nyu.edu/~perlin/doc/oscar.html [Accessed 13 November 2013].

Quilez, I. (2008) ‘Advanced Perlin Noise’. [online] Available at: http://iquilezles.org/www/articles/morenoise/morenoise.htm [Accessed 13 November 2013].

Tulleken, H. (2009) ‘How to Use Perlin Noise in Your Games’, DevMag. [online] 25 April 2009. Available at: http://devmag.org.za/2009/04/25/perlin-noise/ [Accessed 13 November 2013].

Wezside, (2011) ‘Perlin Noise 3D’. 2011. Available at: http://vimeo.com/31792461 [Accessed 13 November 2013].

Williams, D. (2012) ‘Designing Noise’, Graphic Dimensions. [online]  4 December 2012. Available at: http://graphicdimensions.wordpress.com/2012/12/04/designing-noise [Accessed 13 November 2013].

YTmartinz, (2012) ‘A 3D Perlin Noise Experiment’. 5 February 2012. Available at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vPrZJgy0Iqk#t=88  [Accessed 13 November 2013].

List of Images

Figure 1. A Gif Animation on ‘Perlin Noise used to animate array of cubes’, (2012) [image online] ‘Designing Noise’. Graphic Dimensions. 4 December 2012. Available at: http://graphicdimensions.wordpress.com/2012/12/04/designing-noise [Accessed 13 November 2013].

Figure 2. Pictures of ‘Various example of landscapes generated using Perlin Noise’ , (2008) [image online] ‘Advanced Perlin Noise’. Available at: http://iquilezles.org/www/articles/morenoise/morenoise.htm [Accessed 13 November 2013].

Figure 2 (lower right). A picture of ‘An example of landscape generated using Perlin Noise’, (2009) [image online].  ‘How to Use Perlin Noise in Your Games’, DevMag. 25 April 2009. Available at: http://devmag.org.za/2009/04/25/perlin-noise/ [Accessed 13 November 2013].

Figure 3. Series of pictures depicting ‘2D clouds generated using Perlin Noise. Steps are: Perlin Noise Generated, Adjusting Levels and Adding Colour (From Left to Right)’, (2012) [image online] ‘The Entry I Didn’t Submit to Js1K’, Roman Cortes. 1 April 2012. Available at: http://www.romancortes.com/blog/the-entry-i-didnt-submitted-to-js1k/ [Accessed 13 November 2013].

Figure 4. A Picture Depicting ‘Volumetric Cloud’, (n.d.) [image online] ‘Computer Graphics by Peter Kutz’, Peter Kutz. Available at: http://www.peterkutz.com/ [Accessed 13 November 2013].

Figure 5. A series of pictures depicting ‘Various textures generated using Perlin Noise’, (2009) [image online]  ‘How to Use Perlin Noise in Your Games’, DevMag. 25 April 2009. Available at: http://devmag.org.za/2009/04/25/perlin-noise/ [Accessed 13 November 2013].

Figure 6. A series of pictures depicting ‘2 Textures blended together using Perlin Noise’, (2009) [image online]  ‘How to Use Perlin Noise in Your Games’, DevMag. 25 April 2009. Available at: http://devmag.org.za/2009/04/25/perlin-noise/ [Accessed 13 November 2013].

Figure 7. A series of pictures depicting ‘ Real Time Transitions Using Perlin Noise’, (2009) [image online]  ‘How to Use Perlin Noise in Your Games’, DevMag. 25 April 2009. Available at: http://devmag.org.za/2009/04/25/perlin-noise/ [Accessed 13 November 2013].

Figure 8. A Gif Animation on ‘Perlin Noise deforming a sphere’, (2012) [image online] ‘Designing Noise’. Graphic Dimensions. 4 December 2012. Available at: http://graphicdimensions.wordpress.com/2012/12/04/designing-noise [Accessed 13 November 2013].

Figure 9. A picture showing ‘Wobbly Chrome Sphere’ as a hyperlink to: http://www.clicktorelease.com/code/perlin/chrome.html, (n.d.) [image online] ‘Experimenting with Perlin Noise’, Click To Release. Available at: http://www.clicktorelease.com/blog/experiments-with-perlin-noise [Accessed 13 November 2013].

Figure 10. A picture showing ‘Lights with Radial Blur’ as a hyperlink to: http://www.clicktorelease.com/code/perlin/lights.html, (n.d.) [image online] ‘Experimenting with Perlin Noise’, Click To Release. Available at: http://www.clicktorelease.com/blog/experiments-with-perlin-noise [Accessed 13 November 2013].

Figure 11. A picture showing ‘Fireball Explosion’ as a hyperlink to: http://www.clicktorelease.com/code/perlin/explosion.html, (n.d.) [image online] ‘Experimenting with Perlin Noise’, Click To Release. Available at: http://www.clicktorelease.com/blog/experiments-with-perlin-noise [Accessed 13 November 2013].

The Chemistry between Youtube and Internet Piracy

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Piracy has been one of the biggest issues people are trying to tackle. Few years ago, people used peer-to-peer sharing sites and free downloading sites to gain access to these content, and since the introduction of Youtube, the number one worldwide free video sharing website, nothing has really changed except that people would prefer to stream these content rather than downloading them anymore (Bilton, 2012).

The entertainment industry are now dealing with their content being published on video-streaming site Youtube. These published content created a massive revenue loss to these companies (Bureau, 2013). According to the Hong Kong Motion Pictures Industry Association (MPIA), over 200 pirated Hong Kong films was found on Youtube, estimating a loss of over HK$ 2.4 billion (£ 190 thousand) (Chu, 2013). The total revenue from U.S music Sales and licensing went down from $12 Billion to $6.3 Billion in 2009 since the introduction of Youtube, and the decline doesn’t seem to be slowing down soon (Goldman, 2010). Every time a content went online its producer will lose around 10 percent of revenue (Bureau, 2013). It is no surprise that these companies see Youtube just as another tool for piracy.

These companies that are unhappy with their revenue being stolen went to channel their resentment to Youtube and Google (its parent company since Google bought Youtube in 2007). “YouTube (Google) has to be made responsible if copyright infringement takes place on its website,” said Berserk Media’s Holla (Bureau, 2013). Viacom filed the infamous a $1 billion lawsuit on 2007. Mediaset also filed a lawsuit looking for a $779 million in damages from the 4,643 videos found on Youtube. An LA-based video journalist, Tur, also sued Youtube in 2006 for copyright infringement after he discovered that the videos he took were accessible on the site. The English Premier League and US music publisher Bourne also launched a lawsuit on inducement and contributory copyright infringement in 2007 (Bryant, 2008). The Russian minister also wanted the Video Streaming service to be shut down since it offers pirated Russian made Movies (enigmax, 2011).

In respond to tackle these problem Youtube (Google) has developed Content ID, a system that gives copyright holders an automated way to identify, block, promote, ignore and even make money from their content. “We remove content deemed illegal or unsuitable once it is flagged by users and reviewed subsequently by our review teams and found violating our community guidelines and/or terms of service,” said the company in a statement (Bureau, 2013). And despite all the pirated content, Youtube provide artist and songwriter new ways not only to generate more audience but also make money. Robin Thicke, for instance, his “Blurred Lines” video made $ 350,000 through monetization, video that has advertisement on it get paid $2 per 1000 Youtube views. Baauer’s “Harlem Shake” that went viral in February 2013 has 400 million overall cover versions with the “Content ID” every view was paid to the company and Baauer which amounted to $ 400,000. Vevo, a partnership between Youtube and major record labels are also helping these artist by sharing the revenue between these online-video and music industries, and it has paid $200 million to video owners since 2009 (Knopper, 2013).

The existence of Youtube is actually reducing the traffic of Peer-to-Peer file sharing.  Reducing the traffic from downloading illegal music and movies. In a way Youtube is actually making piracy much easier to be controlled with for the industry.  After all piracy won’t go away, copyright holders may believe new laws will stop this,  but they will only just push people to find creative new ways of acquiring content (Bilton, 2012).

References

Agarwal, A. (2010) ‘Finding Pirated Software through Youtube’, Digital Inspiration. [online] 11 January 2010. Available at: http://www.labnol.org/software/pirated-software-on-youtube/13345/ [Accessed 13 November 2013].

Bilton, N. (2012) ‘Internet Pirates Will Always Win’, Sunday Review. [online] 4 August 2012. Available at: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/05/sunday-review/internet-pirates-will-always-win.html [Accessed 13 November 2013].

Bryant, S. (2008) ‘YouTube Lawsuits: A Roundup’, Gigaom. [online] 6 August 2012. Available at: http://gigaom.com/2008/08/06/youtube-lawsuits-a-roundup/ [Accessed 13 November 2013].

Bureau, E. (2013) ‘Now, pirates storm YouTube, rob film industry of revenues’, from The Economic Times. [online] 5 March 2013. Available at: http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2013-03-05/news/37469729_1_upload-videos-youtube-piracy [Accessed 13 November 2013].

Chu, K. (2013, 4 23) ‘Hong Kong Film Piracy on YouTube Amounts to $308 Million Loss’, The Hollywood Reporter. [online] 23 April 2013. Available at: http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/hong-kong-film-piracy-youtube-314976 [Accessed 13 November 2013].

enigmax. (2011) ‘Russian Minister: YouTube and Google Should Be Shut Down For Copyright Infringement’, Torrent Freak. [online] 6 September 2011. Available at: http://torrentfreak.com/russian-minister-youtube-and-google-should-be-shut-down-for-copyright-infringement-110906/ [Accessed 13 November 2013].

Goldman, D. (2010) ‘Music’s lost decade: Sales cut in half’, CNN Money. [online] 3 February 2010. Available at: http://money.cnn.com/2010/02/02/news/companies/napster_music_industry/ [Accessed 13 November 2013].

Knopper, S. (2013) ‘Seven Ways Musicians Make Money Off YouTube’, Rolling Stone. [online] 19 September 2013. Available at: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/seven-ways-musicians-make-money-off-youtube-20130919 [Accessed 13 November 2013].