The Klipsh Image X10 are an older model, but still well worth the $84.99 price tag (76% off retail). CNET reviewed this one as well as its updated sibling that includes an in-line remote and microphone for calls, but their exceptionally clear and balanced audio response with passive sound isolation and superslim earpieces make a great sidekick to your music player. … Read more
Bob Dylan famously sang that the times they are a-changin' -- but little did he know just how much. So much, in fact, that a MIDI-controlled orchestra made of old consumer electronics can now play one of his all-time classics.
Chris Cairns of production company Partizan teamed with creative firm Isthisgood? to turn old Brother photocopiers, scanners, fax machines, printers, hard drives, and modems into a full-scale scrapheap symphony with a penchant for folk.
They soldered, reprogrammed, hacked, and rewired 97 printer relics destined for the landfill and even custom-designed their own circuitboard that could control all of the printers from one main computer. … Read more
Halloween's over and done with, the cold November rain is here, and the mercury is dipping. But the gadget ninjas at Tokyo's Thanko do not rest.
They've been preparing for winter, when millions of Japanese face less-than-cozy conditions at home and in the office. Central heating doesn't really exist in Japan, so people use everything from kerosene heaters to blankets to keep warm.
This cute twist on traditional futon floor bedding, which is, of course, very different from the Western concept of a couch futon, comes in three parts: a mouse-pad mattress, a heated quilt, and a wrist pillow. … Read more
The launch of Windows 8 also brings an opportunity for PC makers to release third-party peripherals that complement the push for touch sensitivity. If you're planning to purchase tablet, laptop, desktop, or some combination of the three, these accessories let you get hands-on with your new computer, because let's face it -- a touch-based device is only as good as the accessories available for it.
Retina-display loving Apple fans rejoice. Apple's rumored 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina Display is here.
Apple announced the smaller version of its high-end laptop with the sharper-resolution Retina Display at its event today in San Jose, Calif.
Apple already offers a 15-inch version of the laptop with the Retina Display. And now it offers the same sharp screen for its smaller 13-inch sibling. The notebook also comes with the same dual Thunderbolt I/O connectors, as well as an SD card slot and HDMI out port found on … Read more
Don't drink and text. Don't drunk dial your ex. That's all good advice, but it will be extremely hard to follow if you happen to be the owner of the Beer Keyboard.
The Beer Keyboard is exactly what it sounds like. It uses beer cans in place of keys. Just gently press down on a can and you trigger the proper letter or number on a computer.
The keyboard is made from 44 beer cans and an Arduino-powered touch capacitive controller. It was hatched by Prague-based brewer Staropramen and Robofun Create, a company dedicated to building unusual tech items.… Read more
Industrial designer Kotaro Shimogori has taken to crowdfunding site Indiegogo to raise funds for a Bluetooth-powered appliance that functions as a physical extension of your smartphone's notifications bar. But if you lived through the 1990s with me, you probably recognize Dr. Blinky for what it really is -- the resurrection of the pager with a 21st century spin.
In a nutshell, Dr. Blinky connects to an app on your Android phone (the iOS app is in progress) that you can configure to blink whenever you want to be notified of a new call, text, e-mail, or whatever. Dr. Blinky can also be set to blink in different patterns for different types of notifications. … Read more
Normally I try to provide thoughtful commentary in the Common Sense Tech column, with solutions to problems that I raise when I can find them. But indulge me in rant. Because, once again, I've had it with printers.
I hate printers. They never seem to work. I don't care the model. I don't care the operating system talking to them. I don't care if it's printing through wireless or USB. Printers don't work.
I print far less than I ever used to, but the odd occasion still comes up requiring it. Often it's that there's some form that requires an actual physical signature be written on it, because some bank, government agency, or other bureaucracy is still operating in the paper age.
With a sigh, I push print and hope that the form actually comes out of the printer. Sometimes it does, which leaves me in dread of the next step -- will I be able to scan it with my signature, in order to e-mail it back. Or worse, can I get the fax to work, if that's the only way to send it? Where's my phone cord again?… Read more
Windows RT. I'd say it's divisive, but I don't think there's enough support in its corner to elicit much in the way of disagreement. In other words, most people either don't like it or don't understand its purpose. Or both.
If you've no idea what Windows RT is, here's a quick breakdown. It's essentially the "lite" version of Windows 8. It runs on ARM processors (cheaper and more energy-efficient than its Intel counterparts) and is optimized for Microsoft's Windows 8 touch interface. It's also incompatible with traditional Windows programs.
Sure, we've gotten insight into the reasons it was developed, but I still have problems with some aspects of its execution. Namely the Desktop interface.
Also, so far, only three of the five officially announced Windows RT tablets have actually been released, and one of the five, the Samsung Ativ Tab, won't be showing its pretty face to the U.S. market at all. The Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 11 is the only officially announced yet unreleased Windows RT tablet.
Both Nokia and HTC Windows RT tablets have been rumored for a while, but there's still nothing official yet.
Will we see further Windows RT tablets or will the OS suffer a quick death? By "quick" I mean less than a year and by "death" I mean no other Windows RT tablets are announced in the next few months.
It's still too early to tell, so in the meantime if you're interested in a lower-priced Windows tablet, the following four are currently your only choices.
The iPad Mini has yet to be officially announced, but it's kind of the worst-kept secret in tech right now. There's a very good chance it'll be revealed later this month (although what its final name will be remains to be seen) and even if you've no plans to purchase it, you'll likely want to know what it has to offer anyway.
The Mini is rumored to sport a 7.85-inch screen at a price of at least $299. But when and if it debuts, it will not enter a vacuous 7-inch tablet market. Its opponents will compete on price, ecosystem, performance, and features. Each offers something unique, and Apple's new tablet will have to be an amazing piece of kit to answer the challenge.
Without further lollygagging, let's get to the list.… Read more