GRACE NOTES

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Leslie Shapiro Posted: May 16, 2013 0 comments

 

In addition to innumerable television episodes, Paramount has produced no fewer than 12 Star Trek feature films. The canon is vast, and the core characters and their relationships are familiar to many moviegoers. The dilemma is this: How to make a film that satisfies both hardcore Trekkies as well as more casually invested international movie audiences. Does this latest installment boldly reinvigorate the franchise, or merely recycle it?

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Leslie Shapiro Posted: Sep 16, 2011 0 comments

It's become ubiquitous. Anytime you see a person jogging, there's always a cord flapping in the breeze and on closer look, you'll see their earphones. They're having an endorphin rush, zoning out to their favorite tunes. But - you have to wonder - can earphones designed for the rigors of exercise really sound okay? And more important, how safe are they to wear?

Leslie Shapiro Posted: Jul 14, 2014 2 comments
If you love something, set it free. It’s time to love T-Mobile for setting music free. T-Mobile users can stream all the music they want, free from the fear of hitting their data limits. While the Music Freedom news was announced a few weeks ago, the airwaves have just lit up with new ads touting T-Mobile’s new music streaming plan. Sound too good to be true?

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Leslie Shapiro Posted: Oct 04, 2012 0 comments

Six months ago, we reported that Neil Young was going around talking about a crazy idea he had for a new music business model.   He had some high-res, music-in-the-cloud idea that he thought would revolutionize the way people listen to music. Would it be the Segway of the music biz?

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Leslie Shapiro Posted: Sep 23, 2011 0 comments

Netflix customers are hopping mad, and the company predicts it will lose a million customers. Its stock price has tanked. Has its CEO, Reed Hastings, lost his mind, or is this merely a speed bump along the path of a much grander strategy?

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Leslie Shapiro Posted: Jul 03, 2012 0 comments

By any measure, Disney’s enjoyable Mars epic John Carter was a fiscal fiasco, netting only $72 million in the US and $282.4 million total worldwide, barely clearing its $250 million price tag. Ouch.

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Leslie Shapiro Posted: Oct 10, 2011 0 comments

A few weeks ago, the blogosphere was abuzz with commentary on Netflix's impetuous decision to split into two companies: Netflix for streaming TV shows and movies, and Qwikster for home delivery of DVD and Blu-ray movies. Seems that Netflix thought better of it too.

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Leslie Shapiro Posted: Apr 15, 2013 0 comments

Alan Parsons’ Art & Science of Sound Recording is a series of videos available on DVD, online streaming, or download that offer a fascinating look into the recording industry, hosted by legendary producer, engineer and performer Alan Parsons. With years of experience at Abbey Road Studios and credits including Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon, Parsons is an eminently qualified host.

Leslie Shapiro Posted: Apr 28, 2014 0 comments
It’s possible that you’ve never heard of Bayan Audio. The company is better known in the UK, where it has built a solid reputation. Now, Bayan is bringing two new products to North America. The Soundbook and Soundbook X3 are portable Bluetooth speakers packed with some very cool features in very impressive packages. Can they make the jump over the pond and land with a big enough splash in an already crowded speaker market?

Leslie Shapiro Posted: Apr 14, 2014 0 comments
As someone whose life seems to revolve around the outdoors, I’m all ears whenever I hear about a new “active” piece of electronics gear. The new BlueAnt PUMP HD wireless waterproof sportbud promised to deliver audiophile-grade performance in a rugged, IP67-waterproof rated Bluetooth-compatible package.As soon as it arrived, I charged it up and hit my favorite bike trail.

Leslie Shapiro Posted: Oct 13, 2014 0 comments
They say you can’t judge a book by its cover. True that. However, you usually can assume quite a bit by that cover. When I first saw the Harman Kardon Esquire Mini portable Bluetooth speaker ($150), I knew it was something special. Very few speakers can compete with the looks of this one; and on an executive’s desk, looks do matter.

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Leslie Shapiro Posted: Apr 05, 2012 0 comments

The iFrogz Boost is a small, very portable speaker that claims to magically boost the sound from an iPhone, or any smartphone or other device with an external speaker. I have to be skeptical of any product that uses the word "magical" on their packaging - unless it's a "As Seen on TV" product, which everyone knows are all magical.

Leslie Shapiro Posted: Sep 30, 2013 0 comments
Every morning, my inbox is filled with press release after press release announcing some new Bluetooth wireless speaker. Everybody seems to be making them, and every company is trying to find an edge—some way to elevate themselves above the fray. Different shapes, multiple colors, small or large, they all do the same thing. But the Lyrix Duo caught my eye as something different, something unique. I needed to find out if different is also good.

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SV Staff Posted: Aug 14, 2013 0 comments
Can a high-end headphone manufacturer appeal to mainstream listeners? Oh yeah!
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Leslie Shapiro Posted: May 07, 2013 0 comments

To cut through the clutter of Bluetooth-enabled wireless speakers on the market these days, one would need a stiletto. Or at least a pair of stiletto heels.  The Stellé Audio Couture Pillar is making its way through the crowd with a difference. The Pillar (in fact, the entire Stellé Audio Couture product line) is being targeted and marketed to women, with a sense of style and fashion blended with good quality products.  

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