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The Library of Congress in the US has an amazing collection of Musical Instruments

The rarest and the most unique collection of the musical instruments include the Stradivari violins and the library's collection of flutes, is the largest in the world

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November 04, 2016: One of the marvels in the world, the Capitol Hill in Washington DC, houses the largest library in the United States- the Library of Congress. The library was built by an act of Congress on the year 1800.

But the largest library of the US does not only have a huge collection of millions of books and varieties of maps but it also possesses an amazing collection of musical instruments. The rarest and the most unique collection of the musical instruments include the ‘Cremonese collection’, the ‘Wilkins collection’ and the ‘Miller collection’ etcetera.

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The collection showcases some antique violins. These include the excellent creations by Antonio Stradivari. There are the violins- the Ward, the Betts and the Castelbarco, the Cassavetti viola and the Castelbarco cello, present in the collection. The Stradivari violins are known around the globe for their famous musical quality. According to VOA, Steve Miller, of the famed show ‘Did You Know’ reports that the Stradivari collection includes one that is a fine craftsmanship of 53 specialist craftsmen who reportedly signed their names inside. He also reports that this very piece is not displayed to the public. There is another one which has been on loan to the collection of the library since the year 1967.

Musical instruments
A Stradivari violin. Wikimedia

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As per reports from VOA, Miller’s confirmation, and the collection catalogue of the library, the collection owns a long stringed instrument and is a vintage possession among the musical instruments. Apart from the long-stringed instrument, the collection has an exquisite and beautifully carved hand-drum presented to the library by the king of Thailand, Bhumibol Adulyadej, on the year 1960; as a token of sincere respect.

The collection of the musical instruments remains incomplete without the mention of the flutes. The library of Congress owns the world’s largest flute collection, as reported by Steve Miller. The most prized possession of the library- the flutes are not displayed to the public.  They are stored in drawers, hidden from the regular visitors and each item is perfectly catalogued in the journal of Dr. Dayton C Miller, who donated about 2000 flutes and other wind instruments to the library on 1941. It is referred as the popular ‘Miller Collection’.

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A poster for Sousa's 'Stars and Stripes Forever'. Wikimedia commons
A poster for Sousa’s ‘Stars and Stripes Forever’. Wikimedia

As per VOA’s reports, the curator of the musical instruments collections of the library, Carol Lynn Ward-Bamford, stated that Dr. Miller, who combined music with his talents and science, and created this collection, was one of the best collectors she had witnessed.

Steve Miller further says that one of the flutes from the collection was owned by a king and has an amazing feature that enables the player to switch its middle sections to change the pitch. Another, is the one that was played during the first ever performance of John Philip Sousa’s ‘Stars and Stripes forever’.

Apparently, considering one of the world’s most incredible collections of the vintage musical instruments, the Library of Congress has so much more to it than just books or maps. The collection is surely a rare one and adds to the charm of the largest library in the US.

 by Antara Kumar. Twitter: @ElaanaC

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Aadhaar Helpline Mystery: French Security Expert Tweets of doing a Full Disclosure Tomorrow about Code of the Google SetUP Wizard App

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Google Along with Other SSocial Media Giants will Face The Lawmakers, Wikimedia Commons
Google Along with Other SSocial Media Giants will Face The Lawmakers, Wikimedia Commons

Google’s admission that it had in 2014 inadvertently coded the 112 distress number and the UIDAI helpline number into its setup wizard for Android devices triggered another controversy on Saturday as India’s telecom regulator had only recommended the use of 112 as an emergency number in April 2015.

After a large section of smartphone users in India saw a toll-free helpline number of UIDAI saved in their phone-books by default, Google issued a statement, saying its “internal review revealed that in 2014, the then UIDAI helpline number and the 112 distress helpline number were inadvertently coded into the SetUp wizard of the Android release given to OEMs for use in India and has remained there since”.

Aadhaar Helpline Number Mystery: French security expert tweets of doing a full disclosure tomorrow about Code of the Google SetUP Wizard App, Image: Wikimedia Commons.

However, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) recommended only in April 2015 that the number 112 be adopted as the single emergency number for the country.

According to Google, “since the numbers get listed on a user’s contact list, these get  transferred accordingly to the contacts on any new device”.

Google was yet to comment on the new development.

Meanwhile, French security expert that goes by the name of Elliot Alderson and has been at the core of the entire Aadhaar controversy, tweeted on Saturday: “I just found something interesting. I will probably do full disclosure tomorrow”.

“I’m digging into the code of the @Google SetupWizard app and I found that”.

“As far as I can see this object is not used in the current code, so there is no implications. This is just a poor coding practice in term of security,” he further tweeted.

On Friday, both the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) as well as the telecom operators washed their hand of the issue.

While the telecom industry denied any role in the strange incident, the UIDAI said that he strange incident, the UIDAI said that some vested interests were trying to create “unwarranted confusion” in the public and clarified that it had not asked any manufacturer or telecom service provider to provide any such facility.

Twitter was abuzz with the new development after a huge uproar due to Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) Chairman R.S. Sharma’s open Aadhaar challenge to critics and hackers.

Ethical hackers exposed at least 14 personal details of the TRAI Chairman, including mobile numbers, home address, date of birth, PAN number and voter ID among others. (IANS)

Also Read: Why India Is Still Nowhere Near Securing Its Citizens’ Data?