How well does Netflix really know you? How far has Amazon crept under your pores in order to determine with arrant certainty that you would enjoy a little more Danielle Steel and a little less Tony Blair?
A vast-brained MIT professor insists that these brands know you about as well as your subway train driver.
Devavrat Shah, the school's Jamieson Career Development Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, furrows his brow at the relative pointlessness of asking humble, subjective souls to rate books, movies, and even cars on an absolute scale, such as a five-star rating system. … Read more
Mozilla is preparing to patch a flaw affecting the Firefox 5 browser on Apple's Leopard and Lion OS X operating systems.
The bug within OS X 10.7 Lion causes Firefox to crash if it is using downloadable fonts. Mozilla "alerted Apple to the problem before the release of 10.7, but they did not fix the problem before 10.7 went to final release,", the company wrote in a blog post Friday.
There is also a Java flaw within OS X 10.5, Leopard. Mozilla said it expects to apply the fixes before the release of … Read more
The tool didn't actually copy e-mail addresses from Facebook--only first and last names. It then matched those names to other e-mail records in the user's accounts. But Facebook disabled the API (application programming interface) key that the software used to read the names, Open-Xchange Chief Executive Rafael Laguna said.
Facebook gave two reasons for the move and underscored the seriousness of its decision with a warning about the repercussions: … Read more
Cloud-music services have received a lot of attention over the past year and are supposed to represent the next phase in music retail. But looking at music sales from the past five years, it may be hard to understand why.
Supporters have said that cloud music services will generate a big chunk of revenue through subscription fees. The problem is that subscription-music services have been a problem for a while and the public still hasn't shown any indication that it's willing to pay to store and access music.
Last week, Nielsen SoundScan reported that overall music sales rose … Read more
One of Apple's latest iPhone commercials is capitalizing on the recent surge of interest in video calling.
One of its two new "If you don't have an iPhone" commercials focuses on the smartphone's FaceTime video-calling feature. The ad, which popped up on YouTube yesterday, shows how the feature lets people video-chat with anyone else with an iPhone, iPad, or Mac.
The timing of the ad might just be impeccable, considering video calling has been in the headlines lately.
Back at CES in January, we got an early look at Iriver's Story HD, a new e-ink-based product that the company was touting as the world's "highest-resolution 6-inch e-reader." Well now, that e-reader is set to launch July 17 with the Google eBookstore on board, making it the first Google eBooks e-reader.
The 7.3-ounce Story HD, which retails for $139.99 and sports an electronic paper display made by LG, offers XGA (768x1,024 pixels) resolution and has 63.8 percent more pixels and faster page turns, thanks to an advanced processor from Freescale Semiconductor … Read more
Google is working on launching a new data exchange, AdAge is reporting.
Data exchanges are not new. The services allow Web site owners to sell data on their users to potential advertisers. So, rather than buying a single banner ad at the top of the page for all to see, data exchanges allow advertisers to target specific portions of the site's audience, such as stay-at-home parents living in Montana or people shopping for a new smartphone.
Citing "executives" with knowledge of Google's plans, AdAge says that the search giant is calling its data exchange "DDP&… Read more
Apparently Google is feeling more confident about expanding the population of its social network, because the "invite people to Google+" button has been visible for well over a day.
The button had been appearing fleetingly since the Google+ launch on June 28, so Google's decision to leave it up carries the message that the company is less concerned now about a big growth spurt. Of course, the company can still throttle the rate at which it delivers those invitations or the rate it signs up the new members when they open their invitations, but the relative ease … Read more
Among the most notable changes is more information about the Chicago-based social buying start-up's collection and use of mobile location information.
"In short, if you use a Groupon mobile app and you allow sharing through your device, Groupon may collect geo-location information from the device and use it for marketing deals to you (and for other purposes listed in the "How Groupon Uses Personal Information" section of the Updated Privacy Statement)." … Read more
Unless you're a regular reader of hi-fi magazines, you're probably unaware of some of the most innovative designs coming out of Europe and America. That's why from time to time I highlight a small sampling of the exotic high-end gear that catches my fancy. I think it's a shame that the major consumer electronics brands like Denon, Pioneer, and Sony are content to sell only the blandest designs year after year.
The Elipson Planet L is an 11.4-inch spherical speaker available in red, white, or black painted lacquer finishes. A few other brands have dared to make spherical speakers, but Elipson claims to have been the first; they've been perfecting round speaker design for more than 70 years. The Planet L has received glowing reviews, and I think it looks great. Considering its small size, the Planet L can make a fair amount of bass. The speaker is the culmination of two years of research and development, and the Planet L is fitted with a special two-way woofer-tweeter driver. Elipson is based in France; L'Atelier Audio is the North American distributor.
The Kuzma Stabi S turntable's unique shape and construction provide an extremely rigid platform for its platter, bearing, and tonearm. The motor is housed in a separate tower to ensure the lowest possible background noise. The turntable's bearing is fabricated from highly polished, fine-grain carbon steel and has a one-point contact.
The Kuzma Stabi S and matching Stogi S tonearm have been in production for more than a decade. Kuzma turntables and tonearms are designed by Franc Kuzma; his small work force handles the machining, polishing, assembly etc. on-site and at various vendors in Preddvor, Slovenia. The turntable sells for $1,750, plus $1,000 for the Stogi S tonearm. Kuzma products are imported by Elite Audio Video Distribution.
The Jeff Rowland Design Group, based in Colorado Springs, Colo., has been making state of the art electronics for more than 30 years. … Read more