TECH2

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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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Brent Butterworth Posted: Jul 11, 2011 0 comments

I have a confession to make: Often when I see a new über-expensive high-end audio product, I think, “It’s cool, but who would actually buy this?” I sure didn’t feel that way when I got a demo of the new Steinway Lyngdorf S-series at the company’s showroom in Los A

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Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Mar 02, 2012 0 comments

Julia Nunes is the future. A future where talented artists bypass traditional music publishing conglomerates and make their income directly from fans.

Settle Down was bankrolled by fans, for fans. That it's a great album is almost secondary to its importance as a tangible example of what this next generation of professional musician can accomplish.

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John Higgins Posted: Feb 07, 2013 0 comments

At a recent press preview, I got to play through about 20 minutes of the upcoming PS3 game The Last of Us. It’s a survival-horror type game, set in a post-apocalyptic world destroyed by a plague that creates don’t-call-them-zombies. Ok, they’re not zombies, but that’s the idea here. You’re alive, they’re not(really) and you don’t want to get eaten. Seems rational.

Game on, then.

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Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Nov 21, 2011 0 comments

It began, as so many things do, with Star Trek. Premiering just days after my 9th birthday, Star Trek: The Next Generation instilled unto me to many of the core principles I still hold dear: people working together can solve anything; when in doubt, scan; and, of course, bald dudes rule.

It was the technology that really wowed my young mind: the ship, the transporters, the replicators, and especially the tricorders all were added to my permanent Christmas list. Sadly, none of those yet exist (damn you, science!), but the P.A.D.D., barely more than set dressing, is perhaps the first Star Tech that you can actually buy.

And by any measure, that makes tablets fracking cool.

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Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Jun 29, 2012 0 comments

I like writing about tablets about as much as I like getting kicked in the privates, but when big companies announce big dumb things, I feel obliged to cover it. Last week it was Microsoft, with their could-be-awesome-but-probably-won't-be Surface tablet. This week it's Google and the Nexus 7 (and the Q streamer). As usual, the lazy tech writers made hyperbolic comparisons, claiming it a Kindle Fire "killer" and... oh WTF IT'S THE CONTENT.

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Brent Butterworth Posted: Mar 14, 2012 0 comments

I’ve been covering video projection since the early 1990s, but last week was the first time I walked into a product display and had a hard time figuring out which projector was showing which picture.

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Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Nov 09, 2012 0 comments

I have to admit, I didn't think I'd get into this game. I like my action games actiony, and my strategy games real-time. A turn-based action game? What kind of unholy chimera is that?

I never played the original X-COM (the 1994 version had a hyphen, and an incredible following), so the excitement surrounding this remake was lost on me.

Once I tried it, though. . . wow is it easy to get sucked in.

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Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Aug 11, 2011 0 comments

There have been stirrings on the webs about a new push for OLED (or organic light emitting diode-based) TVs. These Holy Grail televisions promise the ultimate in black level, contrast ratio, and color fidelity, they poop kittens, solve baldness, and make people like you.

Most of that is true. Some. OK, part.

Sadly, an imminent OLED renaissance is still highly unlikely. Unlikely, like me dematerializing and rematerializing in the next room unlikely.

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Brent Butterworth Posted: May 23, 2012 0 comments

Falling Skies, the TNT Network sci-fi series that debuted in summer 2011, is certainly one of the creepiest shows on TV right now. It’s creepy because of its grotesque, mysterious alien protagonists. And they’re creepy in large part because of the way they sound.

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Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Feb 17, 2013 0 comments

Lighting is a powerful thing. Lighting can set a mood consciously, and perhaps subconsciously too. Does anyone like the green, cold bluish look of a florescent-lit cubeland office? How about a candle-lit dinner? By a fireplace? What about a cool winter morning, or a hot summer sunset?

The color of light plays a significant role in our lives, and most of the time, we barely notice. The comely nature of incandescent light bulbs has been disappearing for years, replaced by CFLs that despite a similar color temperature, offer little of their predecessor's warmth (literally).

Enter LEDs: Energy efficient sure, but more importantly, with red, green, and blue diodes, able to generate any color imaginable. If only someone would hook one up to an app. Oh wait!

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Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Sep 30, 2011 0 comments

One of the most intensely anticipated games of the year, blah blah blah whatever...

GO DOWNLOAD THIS!!!

Battlefield 3 is in open beta until October 10th, which means you can play it in all its semi-buggy glory for free.

I'll help you sort through the hiccups after the jump.

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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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Brent Butterworth Posted: Mar 12, 2013 0 comments

When testing headphones with multiple listeners-our standard practice at S+V-I've learned that perceptions of a headphone's tonal balance can differ among listeners. Of course, individual taste in sound varies, too.

One solution to this problem is a headphone that can be tuned to the user's taste, a feature we've encountered on in-ear monitors from AKG and Phonak. Both have interchangeable filters that can alter the headphone's tonal balance. But the former costs $1,299, and the latter uses extremely tiny filters that require a special tool to change.

A new company named Torque Audio has what looks like a more practical approach.

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Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Dec 02, 2011 0 comments

I need your help. Maybe you can explain something to me.

Why do we need winners? I'm not talking about sports and such; I mean with A/V gear, movies, video games, etc. How many articles and forum posts have you seen that proclaim one object the winner over another?

What is behind this desire to declare a winner when there's no competition being fought?

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