Google+ Sign-In is the social network's authentication service, used by a range of apps and services to simplify logging in for users. On Wednesday, Google announced that developers who implement it will no longer have to ask their users for all or nothing when it comes to permissions.
The update introduces incremental authorization so that an app's users don't have to be asked to surrender all app permissions at once. This could help educate people as to what an app or service is doing with those permissions, although it's not as far a step as giving … Read more
There's no sense denying vinyl's imperfections. First there are the noise issues -- pops, clicks, and rumble -- and they all get a little worse every time you play an LP. Then there are problems with speed stability, off-center pressings, warped records, less than accurate vinyl and phono cartridge frequency response curves, poor stereo separation, and limited dynamic range. That was all true back in 1983, and digital has only improved since then. So why are vinyl sales up year after year since the early 2000s?
Most formats wither and die soon after the replacement format takes over … Read more
Before the iPod and iTunes supposedly changed everything, we listened to records, CDs, tapes, and radio in our cars, on the street and in mass transit. Music was nearly as portable as it is now, but iPods and other MP3 players radically increased the quantity of music you could take with you. Looking back to the dawn of the iPod/MP3 era, sound-quality improvements weren't part of the agenda, just the quantity of music that was transportable. Apple's early ads touted the advantages of having "1,000 songs in your pocket," which struck me as an … Read more
I know a little about under-dash record players from the late 1960s, but I was totally clueless about 1950s car turntables, until I heard writer Paul Collins talking about them on WNYC's "Soundcheck" radio show a few weeks ago. I chatted with Collins to learn more about these groovy hi-fis.
Columbia Records developed the proprietary Highway Hi-Fi format: a thick 7-inch, 16 2/3rpm record that had up to one hour playing time per side. Chrysler executives jumped on the idea, and offered the turntable as an option in their 1956 models, and were hoping one out … Read more
Apple today released, as promised, an iOS update addressing location-tracking behavior, and the security of that information on its portable devices.
iOS 4.3.3, which is a free update delivered through Apple's iTunes software, reduces the size of the "crowdsourced" location cache, no longer backs up the cache to iTunes in the form of a device recovery image, and deletes the cache when a user turns Location Services off.
Two of those issues--the size of the database, and the failure to delete the cache from the device--Apple had called "bugs" when addressing the issue … Read more
The Eight Track Museum opens on Monday in the Deep Ellum arts district of Dallas. If you're under 40 you may have never seen or heard an 8-track audio tape. The 5.25x4x.8 inch plastic tape cartridge was big and bulky, but it became wildly popular in cars in the 1960s. An 8-track cartridge contains a continuous loop of quarter-inch tape. The ends of the tape are linked by a metal foil splice, and the tape is divided along its length into 8 channels, or tracks (hence the name).
Bucks Burnett, 52, is the force behind the creation … Read more
From what I recall, Ford in 1971 offered "his and hers" Thunderbirds in The Christmas Book from Neiman Marcus. Retailing at $25,000 for the pair, the T-Birds were outfitted with the latest connectivity of the day. I have no idea how many of these special-edition T-Birds sold, but the built-in telephones and tape recorders must have seemed like spy tech to the drivers.
Then again, in 1971, there were about one-third the cars that are on the road today, and passengers serving as navigators would direct drivers to their destinations using complex and hefty Thomas Guide map … Read more
Remember that crazy little thing called 8-track? We didn't know you could still order albums in the format, but apparently you still can--at least when it comes to Cheap Trick's latest, which also happens to be called The Latest.
Going retro will cost you, however. The 8-track tape version costs $30 (it's available for pre-order) while the CD is going for $12.99 on Amazon. The record is $20 and the digital download is $8.99.
When I was growing up, the closest thing we had to artificial intelligence was something called 2-XL (if you're younger than 30, you probably have no idea what I'm talking about). We've always had trivia games--what made this one interesting, especially to a generation that's just seen Star Wars, was that these trivia questions were asked by a plastic robot.
In 1978, when I got my hands on 2-XL, I was ecstatic. It was the it toy back then. 2-XL was a trivia robot created by Michael J. Freeman, an inventor with an interest to educate … Read more