TECH2

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Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Sep 21, 2012 0 comments

One of my favorite authors, Robert Heinlein, had a form letter he sent to fans. To save time, it had all the possible options for correspondence, and he’d check the applicable boxes.

Being considerably less talented — and marginally less grumpy (arguable) — I figured this would be a fantastic way to deal with the 100+ emails I get each day.

So for all my tech journalist friends/colleagues/enemies, and for all my future fans/haters/curious minds, here is the eminently useful, infinitely adaptable, largely offensive, Form Letter for Tech Correspondence.

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Brent Butterworth Posted: Sep 17, 2012 0 comments

Whenever I'm in the Pacific Northwest, I like to stop by Vancouver's Innovative Audio and visit my friend Gordon Sauck, one of the true gurus of vintage audio gear.

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Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Sep 14, 2012 0 comments

I could have reviewed the new Bob Dylan album this week. Not finding it possible to be even the slightly objective, I'll just say buy it cause it's awesome.

Instead, I figured I'd review something more obscure, even if it is a few months "old."

But what is "old" in this digital age? It's new to you when you find it, right? And I bet most of you hadn't found this, and you might regret missing it. 

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Brent Butterworth Posted: Sep 12, 2012 0 comments

Apple announced today that it’s switching from the 30-pin connector on the bottom of iPods, iPhones, and iPads to something more compact. You can hardly blame Apple’s designers, since that connector is more than a decade old. But the move will essentially obsolete millions of iPod/iPhone docks already in consumers’ homes.

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Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Aug 31, 2012 0 comments

I've been playing Counter-Strike for 13 years. Not continuously, mind you (that would be weird), and less and less as the years go on, but thirteen years. Wow.

So much has changed. Back then I was a bald writer, avid pc gamer, and lover of classic cars. Now I'm... hey, wait...

Perhaps it's fitting that C-S, with its latest iteration C-S:GO, hasn't changed a bit either, save for a polish and some softer edges. Softer edges. That's what we have in common.

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Brent Butterworth Posted: Aug 28, 2012 0 comments

Even in a tech-packed place like the January Consumer Electronics Show, the Edifier Spinnaker stood out like a. . . well, like a pair of red rhinoceros horns at an electronics trade show. I noticed it from about 70 feet away and rushed right over to see it. These days, you see lots of crazy designs for audio systems, but the Spinnaker looked crazy-cool, not crazy-silly. I demanded a review sample right then and there.

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Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Aug 27, 2012 0 comments

I'm ashamed. I must embarrassingly hand in my nerd card.

This month, for only the second time in my adult life, I purchased a computer. No longer can I haughtily proclaim "well, I build my own PCs." Gone is the geek-cred I felt enshrined me as an elitist in the elitist world of PC gaming. But it had to be done, and I'll tell you, it's awesome.

So let me save you some money, and go through the various bits of the PC I bought, so you know where to spend your money on a PC you might buy, or want to build yourself.

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Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Aug 24, 2012 0 comments

There are few things more powerful than the perfect combination of music and visuals. Think of your favorite movie scenes, and I’d be willing to bet they’ve got amazing music in them.

On one hand, you’ve got the great film composers; Herrmann, Goldsmith, Williams, and so on. They’re all worth study in their own right, of course. But what I find equally powerful, and arguably more interesting, is the effective use of popular music.

Interesting, because often, directors (and presumably, music supervisors) get it so horribly wrong.

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Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Aug 16, 2012 0 comments

It’s hard to believe Team Fortress 2 is 5 years old. I remember waiting breathlessly for the Orange box to come out, unable to decide which game I’d play first: TF2 or Episode Two of Half-Life. There was also some puzzle game included as a bonus, but puzzle games are lame.

Three days of nothing but the amazing Portal have since proved that last thought incorrect, but over time I came to love Team Fortress 2. I was shocked, in preparation for this review, that I hadn’t played in almost a year. Thanks Steam for making the passage of time so blatant.

Last summer Team Fortress 2 went free to play, and to mix things up (and get some players back, no doubt), they’ve added a new mode: Mann vs. Machine. It’s pretty awesome.

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Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Aug 10, 2012 0 comments

The Internet has allowed millions of creative people to offer their works to the world, without the gatekeeper of traditional publishing.

This can be good and bad. There’s good in that there are fewer roadblocks for creative people. The bad in that without that gatekeeper, there’s no “pre-check” of quality. Not to say that everything from a publisher is good, just that the assumption is that somebody looked at the thing before it went out. Without this initial eyeballing, how do you sort through the slag to find the gems?

Enter: Bundles.

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Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Aug 06, 2012 0 comments

I have been saying for ages that the only thing that matters in a tablet is the available content: What can I download to the device, and watch on a plane, train, automobuggie? Everything can stream Netflix, surf the web, etc. The number of downloadable TV shows and movies is by far the most meaningful difference between tablets.

The assumption: iTunes and Amazon offer so much more content, the other services - and thus, tablets that aren't iPads or Kindles - are pointless.

Is that assumption correct? Or more to the point, how can you tell?

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Brent Butterworth Posted: Aug 01, 2012 0 comments

When pro audio technology invades home theaters, it’s usually in the form of a recording monitor repurposed for consumer use. Pro Audio Technology comes at it from another direction: It’s bringing P.A. system technology into the home.

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Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Jul 27, 2012 0 comments

I have been a vocal hater of the "free" music service Spotify. The infinitesimal amount they paid for each song, to me, was a slap in the face to musicians everywhere. You can read my original rant on why I think Spotify is unfair, and the follow up where I recant slightly and recognize Spotify has some redeeming qualities.

Not that I ever expected it to go away, but far too many people love the service, including musicians. So I give up.

Sort of.

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Brent Butterworth Posted: Jul 25, 2012 0 comments

They’re still at it. A recent issue of Stereophile featured a sidebar on “13 Products Julian Hirsch Got Right” — implying, of course, that Hirsch got most products wrong. Poke around audio websites and you’ll probably see his name mentioned, often with scorn. But the man retired as technical editor of Stereo Review (Sound+Vision’s forebear) way back in 1998, and passed away five years later. What did he say so long ago that continues to attract attacks?

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Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Jul 20, 2012 0 comments

Something's in the air - it must be time for some summer reading. Earlier this week we told you about the new edition of the Rotel Ultimate Guide to High Performance Home TheaterAnd a reader recently asked me what books he should read to learn more about audio and video. I am unabashedly stealing this idea for an article.

After all, we all learned this stuff somewhere.

From entry level to advanced, here's a list of many things for the book learnin'.

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