I'm not a big fan of really small subwoofers. Not that the little ones can't make deep bass -- the best of today's mini subs can deliver lots of low-end oomph, but the quality of the bass won't be anything to write home about. The bass is usually sloppy and poorly defined, so individual bass notes blur together. That's not such a big problem when reproducing the sound of explosions and special effects, but most small subs are less adept with music.
The Philips Shoqbox SB7200 portable wireless speaker doesn't fill a room with sound quite as well as the pricier Shoqbox SB7300 model, but a tough shell helps it stand out among all the portable Bluetooth speakers currently flooding the category.
The hard-mesh speaker and rubber casing amplify bass tones as well as protect the unit from dirt and dust, making it a logical companion on outdoor adventures like hikes and trips to the beach. Pro tip: its light waterproofing also does equally well in your bathroom if you prefer bathing to a soundtrack. The Smart Sensor does a so-so … Read more
In the networking device category, CNET conducts performance tests only on Wi-Fi routers and power-line adapters. Simply put, these are the two types of devices for which it is easy to measure data rates in repeatable and meaningful ways. For more information on other aspects of home networking devices, check out this series on their basics.
A router is the central gateway of a home network. Not only does it connect all devices together via network cables or Wi-Fi signals to form a network, but also it connects to the Internet via its WAN port, and it shares that connection … Read more
Facebook unveiled a new tool this week it touts as helping find people, photos, places, and interests that are most relevant to Facebook users.
Graph Search is the social network's newest way for users to make sense of its massive base of 1 billion users, 240 billion photos, and 1 trillion connections. The tool is meant to provide people the answers to their questions about people, photos, places, and interests. CEO Mark Zuckerberg said Graph Search is launching to a small number of people and is available only on the desktop and in English for the time being.
People … Read more
Yelp plans to shine a bright light on kitchen conditions with the addition of restaurant hygiene scores.
The scores, imported from city data, are showcased on business pages under the "Health Score" heading and are being rolled out in San Francisco and New York. Review-seekers can click the score to read through an establishment's inspection history and get detailed information on its various violations.
"While ratings and reviews are incredibly powerful ways to guide spending decisions, we're always looking for new ways to supplement the information to provide a better experience for consumers," Yelp … Read more
Forget about 3D TV -- this year's Consumer Electronics Show was all about 4K.
Sony got the ball rolling with the unveiling of new 55-inch and 65-inch 4K TVs, as well as the world's first 4K video distribution service, which offers native 4K movies from Sony Pictures and other 4K content creators. Additionally, the company also said it would be selling "4K mastered" Blu-ray discs this summer; they'll be standard 1080p resolution (not 4K), but supposedly look better than traditional Blu-rays.
The electronics giant unveiled a prototype 4K OLED TV at 56 inches, although little … Read more
After a lengthy investigation into Google's business practices by the Federal Trade Commission, the Web giant has agreed to make minor changes to resolve complaints by competitors and advertisers. It avoided any fines.
The commission found that Google's search results were not biased in favor of its own results in a way that was anti-competitive. However, the FTC did rule that Google must stop blocking the use of standard essential patents by competitors. The patents, which it acquired when it purchased Motorola, are used to comply with technical standards.
Google also agreed to remove restrictions on the use … Read more
Spotify has rounded up its 2012, and revealed that Gotye, Rihanna, and David Guetta had huge years on its service.
According to Spotify, the most popular track this year was Gotye's "Somebody That I Used to Know" both in the U.S. and worldwide. Fun's "We Are Young" and Carly Rae Jepsen's "Call Me Maybe" rounded out the top three most popular songs in the U.S. this year.
Spotify then turned its attention to artists, and discovered that Rihanna was the most popular female artist this year. David Guetta took … Read more
Android and iOS devices were apparently popular gifts this Christmas -- more popular than ever before.
Device activations soared from their daily December average of 4 million to 17.4 million on Christmas Day, a 332 percent increase, according to analytics firm Flurry. That's more than double the 6.8 million devices activated on Christmas last year, the previous single-day record holder. And in a first, more tablets were activated on Christmas this year than phones. Apple tablets dominated the category, but the Kindle Fire HD 7-inch made its strongest showing ever.
In late 2011, Crave welcomed Low Latency, CNET's first-ever weekly tech comic. Every Thursday morning(ish), the pair behind the comic's shenanigans, artist Blake Stevenson and CNET editor Jeff Bakalar, give their amusing take on a prominent tech happening. Here, a look back at 10 of the year's big stories through Low Latency's unique lens. Click on each panel for a larger version, and to see every one of Low Latency's panels so far, click here. … Read more