TECH2

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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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Posted: Dec 11, 2012 0 comments

Today Kaleidescape launched a new online store where you can download movies directly to a Kaleidescape system that are bit-for-bit the same as Blu-ray and DVD.

It's a cool idea, since iTunes and Amazon downloads are compressed at best, and 720p at worst.

What this could mean, and more info, after the jump.

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Brent Butterworth Posted: Jul 13, 2011 0 comments

An audio reviewer hears two lines over and over: “That never happened with any of the other samples” and “We created this [fill in the blank] because the products that are out there now are inadequate.” I heard the second line last week in a ramshackle Van Nuys, California industrial space bordered by a security gate and half-filled with piles of decades-old test gear. Unlikely as the setting seemed, its tenant actually delivered on his claims.

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Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Feb 26, 2013 0 comments

I am a vocal and unrepentant projector fanatic. I think projectors represent the best value in home entertainment, and wish more people would embrace the awesome as I have (for over 10 years now).

However, projectors aren’t without drawbacks, and the UHP lamps in nearly all of them are a big one. Hot, expensive, and not particularly long lasting, UHP lamp replacement is often cited as one of the biggest annoyances of projector ownership. The alternative, LED lighting, has mostly just been found in uber-high-end projectors, and inexpensive wee little projectors.

But not anymore.

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Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Mar 15, 2013 0 comments

I can't recall a game in recent memory that so embodied corporate hubris, a distaste and distrust of fans, or a launch so bungled that it was the story not the game.

Which is too bad, because underneath all the noise and hate are pieces of a great game, one that I've played a lot over the last two weeks.

But you know what? Don't buy it.

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Brent Butterworth Posted: Dec 19, 2011 0 comments

Every year, magazine editors around the world solicit ideas from their writers for the compulsory “holiday gift guide.” Every year, we scrounge the Internet in search of items we think our editors will go for. ’Cause the more gift ideas the editors buy, the more money we make.

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Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Jul 06, 2011 0 comments

I am not a luddite. In fact, barring cybernetic augmentations (bring 'em on), I'd say I'm about as far from a luddite as one could be. I love technology. Thanks to my job, I'm often the first of my circle to have the latest gadget. I've got tons of Apple iStuff, a beloved Android phone, an oversized HDTV, 18MP DSLR, and yadda yadda.

Yet, I still buy CDs.

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Brent Butterworth Posted: Apr 02, 2012 0 comments

I had always assumed that all $59 headphones sound about as refined as Ski Johnson. That is, until I happened upon a marketing crew from House of Marley at my local Fry’s Electronics. Encouraged by our experience with the company’s $149 Exodus, I tried the $59 Positive Vibration — and was shocked to hear that much of what I loved in the sound of the Exodus was evident in the Positive Vibration, too.

Which got me wondering: Are there other good headphones available at this price point? Could those who have only three Andrew Jacksons to their name actually get a decent set of cans?

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Brent Butterworth Posted: Jan 25, 2012 0 comments

I almost did it myself. I was listening to "King Contrary Man" from The Cult's Electric, through Phonak Audéo PFE 232 in-ear headphones while sitting in a 757 somewhere over Colorado, trying to get an idea of how well Phonak's PerfectFit design blocks out airplane noise.

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Brent Butterworth Posted: May 25, 2012 0 comments

If I were forced to choose between the $20K worth of audio test gear I own or the demo CD that cost me probably 20 cents to make, I’d take the latter without hesitation. Test gear is great for telling me how well an audio product is engineered. But when I want to find out what an audio product does — i.e., how a listener will perceive its sound — the demo CD is a much better tool.

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Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Oct 06, 2011 0 comments

It's an interesting thing, this. A tweaky audiophile program that strips away all the junk your computer could be doing while playing back your digital audio files.

The idea is to give each file as good an environment for playback as possible, minimizing jitter and maximizing sound quality.

Well, OK. That could be 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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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: Dec 08, 2011 0 comments

I'm a big fan of the Kindle Fire. It's the iPad's equal in every meaningful measure, plus it sports a more convenient form factor. Check out my review and this week's iPad/tablet face off.

But there's one thing I won't use it for: reading. Chances are, you won't want to either. So if you're thinking about getting one to use as an eReader, allow me a few words to talk you out of it.

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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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