This is a follow-up to last week's "Before you buy a sound bar speaker, read this" post, but this time I'm setting my sights on expensive, $400-plus iPod and Bluetooth speaker "docks." They have built-in limitations common to all single-speaker systems. They might have two sets of speaker drivers housed in a single cabinet, but when the drivers are just a few inches apart, "stereo" sounds more or less like mono. In the quest to make these speakers as sleek and lightweight as possible, bass and dynamic range capabilities are limited, compared … Read more
If you think wind power will never get you anywhere, take a ride on the Sailrocket 2, a specially engineered sailboat that has set a new sailing speed record.
Sponsored by Danish wind turbine maker Vestas, the Sailrocket accelerated to 59.23 knots (68.1 mph) on Walvis Bay off the coast of Namibia. The speed was the best average time over 500 meters (546 yards), but the craft was later clocked at 64.78 knots (74.5 mph).
The World Sailing Speed Record Council has certified a speed of 54.08 knots (62.2 mph) and is assessing faster claims.
The 40-foot, British-built craft weighs just over 600 pounds but skims along the water on hydrofoils. It was built from carbon fiber with a core of Nomex Honeycomb, a composite material. Titanium was also used in the construction.… Read more
The more data centers are built, the more power is consumed.
The more power is consumed, the more people rely on that power.
The more we rely on the grid, the more chance there is, perhaps, that something will go wrong.
The more we become reliant on the cloud, such a calamity will annoy more people who are desperate to, um, watch Netflix or stare at Instagram.
Microsoft doesn't want to risk taking any verbal dung from you on such matters, so it announced today that it is building a data center powered by, well, waste matter.
Yes, your Microsoft cloud uploads could soon be powered by your own personal downloads. … Read more
People love sound bars for a lot of good reasons: they eliminate most of the wiring and setup hassles associated with traditional 5.1-channel home theaters, they don't take up a lot of space, they are less expensive than subwoofer/satellite packages, and since most sound bars are self-powered, you don't need to buy an AV receiver. A skinny sound bar positioned under a sleek display is certainly a more appealing solution than a 5.1 or even stereo pair of speakers. There's just one problem: sound bars can't fill a room with sound nearly as well as separate speakers can.… Read more
People who want to take Office 2013 for a spin can download a 60-day evaluation edition.
The version available is the full Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2013 suite, which includes Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Outlook, OneNote, Access, Publisher, and Lync. The software contains all the features in the paid edition, so you won't miss out on anything.
You will need a Microsoft account in order to access the download page, but otherwise there are no strings attached.
Here's how you can grab the free trial version:
Head over to the Office Professional Plus 2013 download page on TechNet. Click … Read more
If you have a MacBook system that contains dual graphics cards, then you have the option of enabling either the internal graphics or the discrete graphics card, depending on the hardware demands of the tasks you are running.
Integrated or "internal" graphics functions are included on the Intel processor in your Mac (though some prior Mac systems used Nvidia chipsets with Nvidia-branded internal graphics). This graphics option is relatively slow but also draws far less power than a dedicated graphics processor. The integrated graphics are powered fully when the system is turned on.
If your system includes a … Read more
Congrats to Tami M. of North Mankato, Minn., for winning a Zooka speaker bar in last week's Crave giveaway.
Ever found yourself with several gadgets that need recharging when you aren't in a position to juice them all up? This week's giveaway's got the power to help.
The MyCharge Portable Power Bank 6000 is a high-capacity 6000mAh rechargeable battery pack that can simultaneously fuel products including smartphones, iPads, e-readers, and Bluetooth headsets. It comes with Micro- and Mini-USB plugs, plus an Apple dock connector and a full-size USB port, meaning it can power a whole lot of different devices. Handy when the gang's on a camping trip and all the working tree outlets are taken. … Read more
In a stroke of ingenuity that could have proven handy during Hurricane Sandy, four teenage African girls have come up with a urine-powered generator.
Duro-Aina Adebola, Akindele Abiola, and Faleke Oluwatoyin, all 14, and Bello Eniola, 15, collaborated on the invention, which they claim generates one hour of electricity from one liter (about a quart) of urine.
I can relate to the energy woes of folks in the Pacific island nation of Tokelau (technically a territory of New Zealand), and I'm a bit jealous of their solution.
Tokelau and the roughly 1,500 residents of the coral atolls about halfway between Hawaii and New Zealand have become the world's first completely energy-independent territory/nation/whatever, thanks to a solar energy project that's just been completed with funding from the New Zealand government.
"Until now, Tokelau has been 100 percent dependent upon diesel for electricity generation, with heavy economic and environmental costs," New … Read more
Many shipping companies are experimenting with adding sails to cargo vessels. Here's a design in which the sails are also solar panels.
EnergySail is a concept by Japan's Eco Marine Power that harnesses and stores wind and solar power to reduce fuel costs and pollution. It would work as an additional source of power to a ship's main engines.
The devices would be fitted on anything from large bulk ore carriers to cable-laying ships, ferries, and coast guard patrol vessels, according to the company. An automatic control system would orient the sails and panels to catch the … Read more