Sometimes a man can be betrayed by his wife in a good way.
A 61-year-old woman from Bridgend, Wales, had been married to her husband, for almost 20 years when, according to a court report from the Telegraph, she noticed a curious message on their computer at home.
She focused and realized that the message had been sent by an underage girl to whom her husband had been sending messages in a chat room. The message was of a sexual nature and included her husband's original message to the girl.
Perhaps some spouses would have been so stunned as … Read more
MB Feng Shui Bagua is a fun, easy-to-use bit of freeware that helps you apply the Chinese system of feng shui to your own home. The simple graphic interface takes you step by step through the process of mapping your home, including all the rooms and doors. The program then breaks the area into "bagua" to give advice on everything from furniture to colors.
Although the graphics are rudimentary, most users should be able to re-create their homes fairly accurately. We had some problems with things like multiple floors or rooms that weren't symmetrical, so it would … Read more
Room Arranger offers to help users by setting up a virtual room or rooms. While the controls require a steep learning curve, many users may feel that the exciting results are worth it.
This program definitely requires users without prior design experience to make a trip to the online Help file. Here, users will get a better idea of what the confusing icons and command buttons, which are scattered throughout, do. Designing a room was surprisingly simple after we got a feel for the program and did a little experimenting. Users choose the dimensions of their room and can even … Read more
Auto speaker setup and calibration is a popular feature on almost every receiver and a lot of home-theater-in-a-box systems.
Sure, it sounds like a peachy idea, but the accuracy of auto setup is hardly a sure thing; and at their worst, auto setup systems sound worse than no setup at all.
Ideally, the setup system automatically determines speaker sizes (large or small), measures speaker-to-listener distances, sets the volume levels of all of the speakers, determines the proper subwoofer volume level, checks that all the speaker wires' "+" and "-" connections are properly oriented at the speaker and receiver ends, and calculates the subwoofer-to-speaker crossover point. Some receivers also employ EQ (equalization) curves to correct for speaker and room acoustic anomalies.
What's not to like? Well, it the auto setup worked perfectly, nothing.
But they're mostly flawed: Subwoofer calibrations are almost always off. Auto calibration systems boost the sub volume much too high, and overestimate the sub distance to the listener by a factor of two (so a 10 foot distance becomes 20 or more feet).
Worse yet, auto setup systems rarely set the subwoofer-to-satellite speakers crossover frequency to the optimum point. That is, they tend to set the crossover too high, say 150 Hertz, which unnecessarily restricts the speakers' bass response. The speakers might sound better with a lower crossover setting. I recommend 80Hz for all speakers with 4- to 6-inch woofers; 100Hz for 3-inch woofers; and higher settings of 120Hz or 150Hz only for the tiniest speakers.
Accessing the measurement data post auto setup can be tricky on some receivers. Then you really don't know what you have.
Thing is, manual setup isn't all that difficult and will likely be more accurate. And chances are you wouldn't muck up the distances as poorly as the autosetup would. Running the test tones over the speakers and manually adjusting the sound by ear or with a Radio Shack meter isn't so hard to do.… Read more
While we're not in for the show on this good Memorial Day, we decided to embed our appearance on FOXNEW.com's Strategy Room's Gadgets and Games show. Our good friend Claytom Morris invited us to discuss everything from the latest "Ghostbusters 3" rumors to unboxing the Asus Eee PC Seashell and our thoughts on the Palm Pre. We also chat about a slimmer PS3, how a HTC Touch Pro causes some one's pants to catch on fire, the Queen gets a gold plated Nintendo Wii, and a possible Apple netbook or tablet.
Check it … Read more
Aside from some technical difficulties today and a giant bug bite, we've got a great show featuring all three of your favorite Web celebrities. Before we get to the stories, we want to remind everyone of The 404 logo contest and of our appearance on our buddy Clayton Morris' FoxNews.com's Strategy Room to talk about all the good tech, video game-related goodness at 2 p.m. EST.
On today's show, find out ways that kids now are using abbreviations in text messages to hide things from their parents. Apparently, "RU/18" is something that kids these days are getting on their cell phones. Also, Pfizer is giving away free three-month supplies of Viagra and Lipitor because of the recession, but only if you were on the drugs before you got laid off. We hope Justin isn't itching to get fired for this deal.
In regard to a story about China shutting down a sex-themed park, Wilson gives us way too much information about "the talk" with his mom when he was 15. Justin and Jeff learned everything from "Sesame Street." Speaking of more things naughty, there is a new version of "Star Trek" called "Star Trix", and we can't really say much more about it other than it's totally NSFW.
Finally, showers make you more productive at work. Just be sure to watch out for peephole-size openings at work. Be sure to write in at the404 [at] cnet [dot] com. We'd love to see more of your submissions for our logo contest. See you on Tuesday after the Memorial Day break!
Episode 348 Download today's podcast Subscribe in iTunes audio | Suscribe to iTunes (video) | Subscribe in RSS Audio | Subscribe in RSS Video… Read more
debbiefromtoronto from the chat room joins The 404 today all the way from Canada. Of course, she brings her special Canadian goodies, like ketchup potato chips and Smarties, on to the show. Justin falls in love with her when he finds out that she has a bachelor's degree in printing! And she reveals that she was the one who actually coined the phrase "ear douching."
On today's show, we touch on the iPhone OS 3.0 news. Mostly, Jeff takes credit for the shake-to-shuffle feature. While Wilson flips out over the new dock input/output features. We also speculate on the new iPhone revision this summer. Also, a really bad Chinese iPhone joke: Ping Guo i-Dian Hua San-Ge. Ask your Chinese friends what that means.
In other phone news, we get a little excited over Google Voice. Wilson was previously a Grand Central user, but may pick it back up now that Google Voice forwards SMS messages as well. Justin thinks about signing up for an account to call Debbie when she goes home to Canada.
Finally, a man gets shot while wearing a Joker costume. He was holding a shotgun. He wasn't shot for his lack of creativity. And in other shooting-related news, Sega breaks the record for most f-bombs in a video game for House of the Dead: Overkill. Apparently there are a 189 f-bombs.EPISODE 301 Download today's podcast… Read more
Most new AV receivers come with an "auto setup" or "automatic calibration" feature, but despite the word automatic, these features can stump AV novices. If you're setting up an AV receiver for the first time, this guide will put you on the right track.
First, let's describe what auto setup systems do.
They send test tones to all the speakers and subwoofer, and use a microphone to pick up the sound of the speakers in your room. Auto setup systems determine speaker sizes and volume levels, set the subwoofer-to-satellite crossover frequency, measure distances from each of the speakers to the listener, and confirm that all of the speaker cables are correctly hooked up. Some receivers also use equalization to balance the frequency response of all the speakers.
Auto setup systems go by different names, but they all do approximately the same thing. Denon and Onkyo feature Audyssey; Sony has Digital Cinema Auto Calibration, Pioneer Multi Channel Acoustic Calibration, and Yamaha uses a Parametric Room Acoustic Optimizer.
The exact positioning of the auto calibration microphone is crucial for achieving accurate results. Some auto setup systems work from just one mic position, which would be the primary spot where you sit when watching movies by yourself. Ideally the mic should be placed at the same height as your ears when you're sitting watching a movie.
If you have a camera tripod, use it to place the mic at ear height; perfectionists should move the couch entirely out of the way. Lacking a tripod place the mic on the back of the couch, atop the highest pillow.… Read more