I heard about the Wadia 151PowerDAC from my friends at Magnepan, who make some of my favorite flat-panel speakers. They loved the way the 151 brought their fourteen-inch tall Mini Maggie speakers to life. That's great news, because when I auditioned the Minis at the factory last year (before they tried the 151) the speakers were hooked up to a massive Threshold stereo power amp. The Threshold/Maggie system was, by a large margin, the best-sounding desktop system I ever heard. Using a monster amp like that wasn't a practical solution for most buyers, but now with the … Read more
You see that battery meter dwindling down to zero. There's a knot in your stomach. You'd pay anything just to squeeze another 10 minutes from your phone.
Your panic is justified. Not only does a dead phone battery cut you off from communication with the outside world, but it strips you of your contact book as well. There was a time when I could remember close to a dozen phone numbers off the top of my head. But today, I can barely remember my wife's number without the aid of my phone.
Fortunately, there are a number … Read more
Who hasn't left their various mobile devices plugged in long after they're fully charged?
A new product -- still a prototype but expected to go on sale soon -- aims to solve the problem of so-called vampire power. Plug your device into the Mushroom GreenZero charger, and when your device is fully charged, the charger will turn off automatically. SmartPlanet's Sumi Das takes a closer look at the handy device.
This video originally appeared on SmartPlanet with the headline "Charging devices eliminate vampire power."
More SmartPlanet linksCleverly designed bike lock takes water bottle shape … Read more
Ivy Bridge chips for laptops like the MacBook Air, the Dell XPS 13 ultrabook, and HP Envy series will come in a second wave, Intel's CEO said today during the company's first-quarter earnings conference call.
"The first versions of Ivy Bridge that we're shipping are quad-cores," CEO Paul Otellini said during the call today. "And then the second launch of the products is the dual core, which is the mainstream notebooks," he added.
Microsoft announced on its Office for Mac Blog today that it has made its Service Pack 2 for Office for Mac 2011 available for download. This update addresses a number of problems users have been having with Outlook, but also fixes some aspects of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.
The update is available via Microsoft's included Autoupdate utility, but can also be downloaded from Microsoft's Web site. The update is about 110MB in size, and after installing the version of your Office installation will be 14.2.0.
With the release of Office 2011 Microsoft replaced its old Entourage … Read more
Rather than try to reinvent the solar cell, startup Thermata has engineered a high-tech mirror to cut the cost of solar power.
The company, incubated at Idealabs, has completed initial testing on a system executives say can cut the cost of sun-tracking mirrors, or heliostats, in half using cameras and other digital technologies. Thermata plans to start beta testing the heliostats this year with potential customers, which are concentrating solar power technology companies, and with Sandia National Laboratories.
Finally, a way to put that boiling pot of water to some good use besides making a box of mac and cheese.
The PowerPot is a Kickstarter project that looks to heat things up by adding the ability to charge gadgets while the pot is over a heat source. The heat source can be an open fire, a camping stove, or even a natural hot spring. What is important is that the liquid inside the pot is colder than the heat source. It is this temperature difference that is used to generate the energy necessary to power small gadgets.
The … Read more
Justin, Jaymar, Antuan & Stephen predict the future of the Android Operating System all the way in the year 2020. All that and more on this week's edition of Android Atlas WeeklySubscribe: iTunes (MP3) | iTunes (320x180) | iTunes (640x360) | RSS (MP3) | RSS (320x180) | RSS (640x360) EPISODE 92
Jaymar’s Predictions for 2020
Google Play Movies will be re-rebranded as YouTube Android will be available as a standalone desktop OS, and it will come loaded with Chrome Browser (a la Windows & IE). (This, of course, means that Chrome OS is dead) Android@Home … Read more
Many people enjoy it when technology works automatically. Sometimes, though, a little stick-shift principle might be the wiser course.
I make this entirely free suggestion on having heard about Father Martin McVeigh, a priest in County Tyrone, Ireland.
McVeigh was making a presentation to parents of children preparing for Holy Communion. Like any modern pastor would do, he prepared a PowerPoint and carefully inserted his USB stick into a computer.
For reasons that seem not entirely clear, scenes of gay pornography appeared on the screen. Yes, in a slideshow.The Associated Press offers that the parents at St. Mary's … Read more
The WD My Passport, the first-ever 2TB portable drive WD introduced last week, turned out to be pretty impressive.
Despite the fact that it offers the top capacity for 2.5-inch-based drives that use the current perpendicular recording technology, the drive is also compact and light. In fact, it's more compact than the My Passport Studio that offers just half of its storage space.
Originally, it was predicted that for 2.5-inch internal drives -- those housed inside portable drives like the new My Passport -- to reach 2TB, a new recording technology would be required. WD's My … Read more