TECH2

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Brent Butterworth Posted: Dec 07, 2011 0 comments

I HAD AN EPIPHANY of sorts last week when I was doing lab measurements for our review of the Creative ZiiSound D5x. Pretty as the product is, it took me about 45 minutes to get it to mate with Creative’s supplied USB Bluetooth dongle. Then it took me another 30 minutes to get it to mate with the DSx subwoofer. In the latter case, I’m still not sure what I did right — it just suddenly started working.

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Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Jul 06, 2011 0 comments

Roger Ebert finds a cool infographic on PC people and Mac people. Mac users are hipsters, PC users are...conservatives?

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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: Mar 23, 2012 0 comments

Synopsis of every tech article in the days leading up to a new Apple release: “OMG STFU this new Apple thing is gonna be AMAZING!!!! I heard from a guy who knew a guy who saw a guy who says...”

And the days right after: “OMG stupid Apple, this new iThing didn’t cure all disease or make me immortal. Apple SUXORS!”

Yep, there’s a new iPad. Yep, it’s got more moreness. So let me say this: Yep, the new iPad is the best tablet you can buy... just like the old one. Cutting through the hype and BS, here’s why.

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Brent Butterworth Posted: Aug 24, 2011 1 comments

If I had been sitting across from someone I'd never heard of who was starting yet another headphone company, I'd have probably steered the conversation to the weather or Lady Gaga's latest outfit.

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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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Brent Butterworth Posted: Jun 01, 2012 0 comments

In the last year, we’ve seen lots of super-compact audio systems that sound surprisingly good: the Jawbone Jambox, the Q2 Internet Radio, and the Soundmatters FoxLv2 are three great examples. But the NuForce Cube comes in at just a fraction of their size: The enclosure measures less than 2.5 inches on all its sides. One look at the Cube and it’s hard to imagine you’d want to listen to it for long.

But behind the Cube’s grille hides what may be the most serious attempt at a 1-inch full-range driver I’ve ever seen.

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Geoffrey Morrison Posted: Oct 11, 2011 0 comments

I gave in. Battlefield 3 had reduced my HTPC to a smoldering, weeping mess that begged me to put it out of its misery.

Gentlemen, we can rebuild him. We have the technology.

And to that end, I started with, well the anthropomorphic spin kinda fails here. It's a new video card, that's what I'm getting at.

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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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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: 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: 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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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: 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: Oct 05, 2012 0 comments

It started with Guild Wars 2: Random crashes, seemingly unconnected. Then it spread to other games. After a few hours with Black Mesa, a crash to the desktop. Occasionally, the dreaded BSOD (Blue Screen of Death).

No amount of driver updates fixed the issue. On the GW 2 tech forums the problem seemed widespread. When an Arena Net employee would bother to respond to one of the many threads about the same issue, they always just said, "Check your RAM."

Yeah, right. In 20 years of fixing and building computers, not once had I ever had a problem with RAM.

So what could it be?

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