In the movie Hairspray (2007), Tracy Turnblad gets sent to detention for "inappropriate hair height". But instead of being a punishment, her pink slip is a ticket to a higher education than her school is willing or able to teach, and an opportunity to enjoy the greatest freedom of all--the freedom to be herself and to follow her dreams. The currency rebels of today have moved from hair height to copyright, and the hottest ticket to detention is...Firefox. !!!w00t!!! Consider this facsimile of a letter supposedly sent from the Principal's office of Big Spring High School in Newville PA: (UPDATED)… Read more
The Zu Audio Driud Mk. IV is the Audiophiliac's Speaker of the Year! As a former hi-fi salesman and now as a professional audio reviewer for twelve years I've heard thousands of speakers, but the Druid hit me hard. A total rock & roll animal, the skinny monolith/tower feels tremendously powerful, and my samples look extremely cool decked out in brilliant red metallic paint. I initially reviewed the speaker in the March, 2007 issue of Robb Report Home Entertainment. I'm still listening.
A number of American and Canadian speaker manufacturers now outsource production while maintaining sky … Read more
I just heard the Podium Model 1 flat panel speakers at Laufer Teknik, a brand new, high-end audio showroom in downtown Brooklyn, New York. Sam Laufer's shop doesn't carry Sony or Bose, in fact I doubt most audiophiles have heard of most of the brands on display there. The Podium Sound speakers are new to me, but these slender panels, which look like beautifully constructed room dividers, may break through to the wider market.
Laufer Teknik promotes uber audio, stratospherically priced exotica from cutting-edge manufacturers, mainly from Europe; Laufer also serves as a distributor for Behold electronics, Ascendo speakers, … Read more
Put that silly iPod away--this time it's the real deal--extreme hi-fi by and for fanatics. Chances are you've never heard a truly great sounding audio system, so it'll be hard to imagine living with sound that can take you to another place. The very best systems can summon up hot blooded performances of your favorite artists. It's music in the foreground, upfront and real--sure, your $29 plastic computer speakers can play tunes, but without a hint of passion, totally devoid of human spirit. It's merely music as background noise, a drone to fill in the … Read more
Got some gardening to do but don't want to miss Oprah while you're out weeding?
The weatherproof WP-42HD, manufactured under Planar's luxury video brand, Runco, utilizes LCD technology and glass with element-proof bonding to deliver a wide-screen flat-panel monitor that's supposed to withstand temperature shifts, exposure to moisture, dust and oils, and intermittent direct water spray--way more wear, in other words, than the TV in your living room.
Planar says you're free to leave the display … Read more
It's a lot harder to find an analog television at Best Buy these days. That's because as of the beginning of October, Best Buy stopped selling them, according to an Associated Press report. The largest consumer electronics chain in the U.S. will now only sell televisions with digital tuners.
It's not a huge surprise. The government-imposed digital television mandate is fast approaching. By Feb. 18, 2009, TV broadcasters will be required to broadcast only digital signals, and TVs with only analog tuners will be unable to pick up the new broadcasts. As part of the gradual … Read more
A reader wrote asking the age old question--Do all amplifiers sound alike? "Mr. Guttenberg, I've been enjoying what you write about since I am a budding audiophile. A guy I know claims that amplifiers do not alter the quality of the sound and pointed me to a web site with a $10,000 challenge by Richard Clark that states that the human ear cannot discern the differences between amplifiers. What are your feelings on the subject and do you think there is any merit to this man's challenge?"
Well, I do believe that there are important … Read more
KEF, one of Britain's leading speaker manufacturers, had a press event earlier this week in New York City to show off their new Muon speakers. I was curious to see the speaker in the flesh, and now that I have I can say the pictures don't do it justice. They are the most beautiful speakers I've ever seen.
Designed by Ross Lovegrove (a top industrial designer), they are indeed works of 21 century art, fabricated from malleable sheets of heated aluminum. The process was required to produce the Muon's complex curves, dictated by the design's … Read more
The latest version of financial analyst firm Piper Jaffray's biannual survey of high school students and technology states the obvious, but also contains some interesting tidbits.
Let's get the "duh" stats out of the way first. In case you were unaware, the survey confirms that Apple is a big player in the portable media player market. Eighty percent of students surveyed by Piper own a portable music player, and 82 percent of those own an iPod of some type. Of those planning to buy a music player in the next year, 78 percent plan to buy … Read more