AC Gears sells a wide variety of headphones and gadgets in Greenwich Village in NYC. It's not a huge space, but half of the store is devoted to in-ear and full-size headphones, and I recently spoke with founder Kohn Liu to learn more about his business. The brands and model lineup change from time to time, but right now he has around 50 headphones on display. Many are in the affordable range, but there's also a decent selection of high-end brands as well. AC Gears has most Grado models on display, including the top-of-the-line PS 1000. They also … Read more
When you see the word "toolbar" in something other than Windows, do you tend to look on it with suspicion? Unasked-for, ad-supported toolbars that are difficult to remove are common annoyances, so Gizmo Toolbar raised flags at first. However, it's actually a surprisingly flexible and easy-to-use desktop customization utility. You can use it to create multiple customized toolbars that you can access quickly from the system tray, customize the look of your layout and themes, add plug-ins, and more. It's free and works in 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows from XP to 7. For Windows … Read more
I wasn't expecting much from the Hifiman Express HM-101; it's just a $39 outboard USB digital-to-analog converter and headphone amplifier. Well, this tiny USB-powered (it doesn't need batteries or an AC power supply) device definitely pumped up the sound of my Audio Technica ATH-M50 headphones! They sounded significantly better with the Express than they did plugged directly into my Mac Mini's headphone jack. Sure, the Mac's sound is perfectly acceptable--until you compare it to something better.
The Express is a lot better.
Before we go any further, the Express isn't just for headphones, it also has a line-out 3.5mm jack you can run to a set of desktop-powered speakers, like myAudioengine 2s. DAC resolution isn't specified, but it's probably 16-bit/48-kHz.
Switching over from the computer's headphone jack to the Express, the first thing I noticed was that the Express could play a lot louder. That's great, but when playing drummer Ginger Baker's "Going Back Home" CD at equal volume levels from the computer and the Express, the Express unleashed more of the drummer's hard-hitting dynamics. The computer squashed his sound, especially Baker's mighty bass drum. Wow, the little thing delivers. If anything, the Express errs on the side of too much bass fullness, which isn't such a bad thing.… Read more
Sometimes you have to live with discomforts.
These can be human--lovers who snore, lovers who wear far too many clothes in bed, or merely lovers who turn over and go to sleep without remembering your name. They can also be uncontrollable annoyances, like foghorns, barking dogs, or trains.
Ed Rogers happens to endure the latter. He doesn't want to have to endure it, though.
So he decided to rig his windows with a remote control, an Arduino linear actuator, a Webcam, and some other fine pieces of electronica in order to get his windows to close automatically whenever a … Read more
Ever since Google bought up VoIP company Gizmo5 last November, there's been conjecture over how exactly it is planning to fit in Gizmo5's VoIP capabilities as the missing piece to the Google Voice telephony service.
Last week, the folks over at TechCrunch got their hands on a leaked version of Google-branded version of the Gizmo5 VoIP app for Mac.
TechCrunch reported that although the app looks like the original Gizmo5 client, Google has done work to integrate it with the Google Voice address book.
What's unclear is the direction that Google intends to take with VoIP now … Read more
Turns out when we blew up the moon a few weeks ago, we found water! Yay! The bottled water companies are presumably planning their trips now. THIS is how we motivate us to get back to the moon! We also hear more from old man Murdoch on blocking Google from indexing his newspapers, and Dell launches a smartphone. Does anybody want it?Subscribe with iTunes (audio) Subscribe with iTunes (video) Subscribe with RSS (audio) Subscribe with RSS (video) EPISODE 1106
Rupert Murdoch to remove News Corp’s content from Google ‘in months’ http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/mediatechnologyandtelecoms/digital-media/6559694/Rupert-Murdoch-to-remove-News-Corps-content-from-Google-in-months.html… Read more
Google confirmed its intention to acquire Gizmo5, an Internet telephony company, with plans to merge the group into the Google Voice team.
The pending acquisition had been reported earlier in the week by Techcrunch but was overshadowed by the announcement of Google's third-largest acquisition to date--the $750 million AdMob deal--on the same day. Late Thursday Google confirmed that it had acquired the company, although financial terms of this deal were not disclosed.
Gizmo5 is a Web-based VoIP client that lets you make phone calls over the Internet, similar to programs like Skype. It's based, however, on … Read more
A new law in Europe protects all citizens from the evils of cookies. Instead of relying on people to operate their own browsers, Europe now requires all Web sites to notify users that they will set cookies. That certainly sounds annoying. Come on over to our freedom-loving U.S. sites, y'all! We also check in on Motorola Droid sales and find out that the Milestone kicks the Droid in the butt. And Google has a holiday present for you. And it's free!Subscribe with iTunes (audio) Subscribe with iTunes (video) Subscribe with RSS (audio) Subscribe with RSS (video) … Read more
It's Friday the 13th today, and just one day left before Valentine's Day, so we beg 404 resident hottie biscotti Rana Showbunny of Medialets into the studio to help Jeff decide what to get his girlfriend for the holiday. Her answer is definitely the opposite from what we thought! Meanwhile, I think all hope is lost for Wilson and me...I can't speak for him, but I know that by this time tomorrow I'll be curled up in the fetal position with a Snuggie watching A Walk to Remember and polishing off a Dumpster's worth … Read more
The Internet is a great big data pipe that can carry a lot of things, including phone calls. Watch our video, then come back here to learn how to use your computer as a phone.
Assuming you have a computer, you'll need three things: the Net, some software, and some hardware.
First the Internet connection. The higher the speed, the better. Unlike regular phone service, there's never a direct connection between you and the person you're calling. Like other Internet traffic, your call arrives in packets. The faster you can receive and send those packets, … Read more