LORETTO, Ky.--If you're the kind of person who likes to partake in the occasional glass of bourbon, this tiny town might just be your kind of heaven.
Loretto, about a 90-minute drive south of Louisville, is home to the Maker's Mark distillery, a fully functioning facility that turns out thousands of bottles of the booze each day.
As part of Road Trip 2008 on Sunday, after driving to Loretto along a series of lush green roads dotted with horse farms, charming houses, and plenty of wide-open space, I found myself signing up for a tour of the … Read more
If you're not in the "club," high-end audio might look like a bastion of elitist snobs and the idle rich, so it may come as a shock to note that some of high-end audio's greatest engineers started out in rock and roll. Take John Curl, in the early 1970s he worked his magic on the Grateful Dead's concert and recording sound systems and later kept the Jefferson Airplane aloft. That was just before he tackled film sound in Hollywood. All of that led to collaborations with high-end pioneer Mark Levinson; together they raised the stakes, considerably, with the JC 2 stereo preamplifier in 1974.
It didn't matter that the JC 2 was two or three times more expensive than any other component in the nascent high-end market; a lot of folks lucky enough to hear it and afford it bought it. The JC 2 had that effect on people. Curl and Levinson soon parted ways and over the next few years Curl designed a long run of cutting edge electronics for other companies. Levinson eventually departed the company that bears his name, and his old company now designs car audio systems for Lexus. High-end is in the big time now.
When I heard that Curl had finished work on an all-new Halo Series JC 2 stereo preamplifier for Parasound I had to check it out (it's like hearing that Carroll Shelby just built a new AC Cobra). Better yet, for this review Parasound sent along a pair of the matching Halo Series JC 1, 400 watt mono power amplifiers. I reviewed the all-new JC 1 & JC 2 combination for Home Entertainment magazine, you can read the review here.
The JC 1 is a seriously powerful amplifier, its output stage employs nine pairs of high-current bipolar transistors with massive heat sinks to insure long-term reliability. Each amplifier can deliver 400 watts to 8 ohm rated speakers, and 800 watts to 4 ohm models, and if your speakers ever dip as low as 2 ohms, the JC 1 will happily serve 1,200 watts! The JC 1 sounds potent, even when listened to at merely moderately loud levels, and maintains its composure at lease breaking, call-the-cops volume. … Read more
For a long time, I've said that YouTube could become the Web's supreme ruler of short-form and long-form video should it ever offer feature films and TV shows.
The Web's top video-sharing site now appears to be preparing to make such a move. YouTube has begun experimenting with delivering longer videos than the typical 10-minute clips allowed on the site, Fortune magazine reported Wednesday. On YouTube now are several full-length documentaries and TV shows. (See one of those videos, Howard Buttelman, Daredevil Stuntman, embedded below.)
The question is whether Google is making the move too late.
Long-form … Read more
Mark Cuban sounds almost giddy in a blog about Google CEO Eric Schmidt's acknowledgment that the company hasn't figured out how to make YouTube profitable.
Cuban, the founder of Broadcast.com and owner of high-def cable channel HDNet all but said "I told you so."
"It is coming up on two years (since I posted) my declaration that only a moron would buy YouTube," Cuban wrote, "and that Google was crazy for actually going through with it...YouTube has become the poster child for the old saying "we are losing money on … Read more
Prodded by the aging Boomer population, wearable exercise monitors have themselves boomed in recent years. But the obvious discomfort of wearing a monitor against the chest has pushed manufacturers to devise other scenarios--sometimes as far away from the heart as possible in the body's extremities.
The "Mark of Fitness MF-180" exercise monitor is one such example, keeping track of the body's performance through a fingertip. Not only does it measure the heart rate, Red Ferret says, but its built-in LCD will also display goals, calories burned, and recovery rates. All this was integrating into a … Read more
This week's Friday Gillmor Gang podcast featured Mark Lucovsky, currently head of Google's search APIs and formerly a top technologist at Microsoft (reportedly Steve Ballmer threw a chair across the room upon being informed that Lucovsky was getting hitched to Google).
"We are opening up all of Google bit-by-bit programmatically," Lucovsky … Read more
Mark Cuban's onto something important with his frank ruminations on the subject of imposing tiered broadband. It's not a popular argument, but it is one worth consideration.
When it comes to broadband internet access, you can have speed or large volumes of data transfer. You can't have both. One certainty in the broadband world is that for those of us with cable or DSL modems connecting us to the Internet, there is still a finite amount of bandwidth available. When a user consumes a disproportionate and significant amount of bandwidth, it can and will slow down everyone. … Read more
As she lurched towards an unfortunate demise in the Democratic Primary election, Hillary Clinton sought out Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg and appeared to blame him for her failure to defeat Barack Obama.
Last week, a Clinton campaign operative placed a phone call to Zuckerberg, choosing a less than optimal time of the morning. When Zuckerberg picked up, the New York Senator came on the line to firmly state her views.
"Mr. Zuckerberg. You and your friendsters- I believe that's the trendy term- are costing me the Presidency," declared the Senator.
"Um, we're Facebook, not Friendster, … Read more
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his new COO Sheryl Sandberg fielded questions from Kara Swisher at the D6 conference. The pair stayed on message. Zuckerberg has learned to simply state the company goals in answer to almost any question. It shows focus and the savvy of a budding politician. Sandberg brought serious chops to the monetization and marketing discussion.
Kara asked Zuckerberg why he chose to be the CEO, even as the company has grown to 550 people. He sidestepped the question and talked about the company goals--helping people share information, building products, and creating teams.
Zuckerberg offered up that … Read more