Forget the flowers this Valentine's Day. Go for a lightsaber-lit dinner, the open-source iNecklace, and the flirtatious Fingle app. Bridget Carey shows off tech to woo the nerd of your dreams.… Read more
Back in the day, CDs burned with custom playlists were the ultimate last-minute gifts: thoughtful, unique, and took just enough effort to warrant a "Wow, I can't believe you made this for me!"
For the most part, those days are over, but if you have a USB drive laying around, you can give a gift that might be even better than a burned CD: a customized USB hard drive. Not only can you pack it with a variety of goodies (like hand-picked music and photos), the gift recipient will use the USB drive over and over again … Read more
I have "a friend" (who is no way whatsoever me, no sir, mm-mm) who recently got so excited about her new smartphone case she couldn't stop looking at it for days. Point being that accessories can hugely boost one's enthusiasm for gadgets, even the most humdrum ones.
Take these Dexim Visible Green illuminated charging cables that use electroluminescent (EL) technology to display the current flow from the power socket to your device. They function like any other charging cable, but they do it with such pizzazz that you (and by "you," I mean "me") can't help but feel energized watching them. Suddenly, charging a smartphone feels like going to a rave. … Read more
If you've ever compared a Formula 1 racer steering wheel with the one in your street car, you probably found yourself taken aback by the sheer number of buttons, knobs, and controls crammed onto the relatively small surface of the former.
That's exactly the feeling that I got when unboxing the SteelSeries SRW-S1 steering wheel for the Simraceway online racing game. Compared with, for example, the Microsoft Wireless Speed Wheel, S1 (for short) more than doubles the number of buttons available to the player--an attribute that may be daunting to some novices and enticing to many hard-core gamers. However, despite my initial impressions, I'd learn during testing its control scheme (and lack of pedals) it is probably a better fit for casual players than its complex appearance belies. … Read more
Everything charges via USB nowadays: Kindles, iPods, Bluetooth headsets, smartphones...shall I go on?
In a perfect world, your home's AC outlets would have USB ports alongside their three-prong sockets. That way, you could dispense with all those bulky power plugs and just plug each device's USB cable right into the wall.
Until home builders get the memo, here's the next best thing: Lowe's has the RCA USB Wall Plate Charger for $14.99, plus sales tax where applicable. If you don't have a Lowe's store near you, you'll be on the hook … Read more
You probably find yourself more often needing an extra cable than having too many, but in case you worry about what to do with your extra cables when you're done with them, Qmadix has one answer: just toss 'em.
The mobile-accessory company today announced its Ecoustic biodegradable cables. These are regular cables like those you have at home, such as USB cables, HDMI cables, auxiliary audio cables, and of course iOS-based 30-pin cables for the iPhone, iPod, and iPad. The difference is their coating, "a resin mixture made from biodegradable, plant-based by-products and other natural properties" that quickly degrades naturally, rather than staying in a landfill for hundreds of years. … Read more
Audioengine is one of my favorite brands. For me it all started with their petite A2 speakers ($199/pair), and then I gushed over their P4 speakers ($249/pair). But Audioengine isn't the sort of company that reinvents its line every year or two. No, they invest a lot of time into designing great products, and then let them be. The A2 and P4 are still in the line, and are still stellar.
Once upon a time, there was this scary idea that computer manufacturers would lock down our machines with a purely-digital, "protected," end-to-end music delivery system. The fear driving this shift, which did not happen: the so-called "analog hole."
The analog hole can allow someone to record otherwise "protected" audio on its way to speakers. The person who recorded the song can then share it via P2P with millions of music fans who would never bother connecting an analog recording device to a computer's output and hijacking the audio that way.
One solution that … Read more
When you attempt to install a program or perform other administrative tasks in OS X, the system will prompt you for a username and password before continuing. Generally when such prompts show up they will not go away until you press either the OK or the Cancel buttons; however, sometimes errors might occur in which the authentication window might unexpectedly close.
When this happens, upon performing an administrative task the system will display the prompt but immediately close it without letting you supply credentials and authenticate.
Recently MacFixIt reader Scott wrote in about an experience with such a problem when … Read more
Let's face it. What's the point of wearing any fashion accessory that doesn't help you move your data around? I mean, that would just be a waste.
Fortunately, Brookstone has you covered with this slick pair of Wi-Fi-enabled cufflinks. These silver oval 'links keep your cuffs together without the embarrassment of using some silly analog plastic buttons, and also double as a USB thumbdrive with 2GB of storage and an embedded wireless hot spot. … Read more