I've always been obsessed with sound, and I've always wanted to hear my music with the best possible sound. It enhances the experience for me, because I can more clearly hear what the musicians are playing, and the subtleties in the mix, so I get more out of the music. That's true at home and for on-the-go listening, and even when I didn't have much money I still managed to put together a pretty good hi-fi. Then again, good sound is in the ear of the beholder, and that beholder may not be so sure about … Read more
Stanza for Mac is an e-book reader for Mac OS and iOS devices. Available from the App Store, the basic Stanza for Mac is free for a trial period, then must be updated to unlock all the features. Stanza for Mac installs easily.
The Stanza for Mac interface is clean. A list of your downloaded content appears when it's launched (and can be sorted several ways), and clicking on a book opens a clean reader interface. Downloadable content can be accessed from almost every source. Whether you're reading a book, magazine, or other digital publication, Stanza for Mac … Read more
I worked as a high-end audio salesman for 16 years and spent another 16 reviewing audio products. Here's what I learned: The very best gear is always expensive. Sure, there are occasional examples of affordable products that are remarkable, but they never get remotely close to what true high-end gear can offer. Beyond price the main thing that separates high-end companies from mass-market brands is high-end designers are all about maximizing performance. Mainstream audio companies rarely try to make the best possible sounding gear. They know that features, wireless connectivity, styling, compact size, cheap pricing, marketing, distribution, etc. -- … Read more
This is how you sell tech gear:
Yesterday I walked into B&H Photo in New York, which claims to be the country's largest non-chain camera store, and asked one of the many sales representatives if he was an expert on tripods. He smiled and responded: "It's a ball and three legs so you really don't need to be an expert."
I told him I needed to upgrade my tripod and he showed me how to get more life out of my old one. A few weeks ago, a B&H sales person … Read more
We now know that the pilotless X-47B aircraft has its sea legs.
The prototype X-47B Unmanned Combat Air System(PDF) this week completed its first at-sea tests as it gets ready to take off from and land on an aircraft carrier sometime in 2013, a first in naval aviation history.
That eventual flight will be the big moment for the X-47B. But the test phase that just ended is no small potatoes. It's a tricky thing for any aircraft to maneuver around the hectic, cramped, and crowded space of a carrier flight deck. In the test phase that just … Read more
unRAR is a simple utility that unpacks RAR archives under Mac OS X. unRAR lists for 99 cents. Released by the originators of the RAR format, unRAR is available from the App Store and many Web sites. It installs easily.
Using unRAR is simple: drag a RAR archive over the unRAR icon. Tell the utility where to extract the files to, and let it run. unRAR supports password-protected RAR archives and will prompt for the password if applicable. You can drag and drop multiple RAR files and have them processed in a batch if you wish. unRAR does not create … Read more
Renamerox for Mac is, as the name implies, a tool for bulk renaming of files and folders on your Mac OS X system. Renamerox for Mac is not available through the App Store but can be downloaded from several locations, and installs quickly and easily. The demo version of Renamerox for Mac works without limitation, but adds letters to the name of the files it renames. The full version, priced at $9.95, removes these extra letters.
The Renamerox for Mac interface is simple. You can drag and drop files or folders on top of the Renamerox for Mac icon, … Read more
Planning to buy a 7-inch tablet? A new report from the folks at FixYa reveals some of the top issues with today's crop of small-size tablets.
Apple's iPad Mini New to the 7-inch tablet arena, the iPad Mini didn't trigger much in the way of specific problems reported by its users. Rather, people were more unhappy about what the device doesn't offer.
The Mini's 4:3 aspect ratio was cited by users as less than ideal for watching movies, which are typically better served by a screen with a 16:9 ratio. The small tablet … Read more
The best I can say about most cheap subwoofers is they make bass. The bass won't be the deepest, most powerful, or the clearest, or blend all that well with most speakers, but all subs make bass. Better subs, like the $449 Hsu Research VTF-1 MK2, generate deeper, less distorted sound, so you can actually hear distinct bass notes, and can play louder and fill larger rooms better than most cheap subs.
It's round three for the mysterious X-37B space plane.
An Atlas V rocket carrying the unmanned craft, which looks like a miniature space shuttle, has gotten clearance for a planned liftoff tomorrow at just after 10 a.m. PT from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. [Update, December 11 at 10:21 a.m. PT: The Associated Press reports that the rocket carrying the X-37B has launched.]
If the previous two trips into space are any indication, don't expect the X-37B to come home anytime soon -- or for the U.S. Air Force to say … Read more