Lots of smart people are concerned about how quickly technology is changing virtually everything it touches in the world, but count Google's Eric Schmidt among the optimists.
Schmidt would agree that technological change has happened so fast over the past few decades that it's almost impossible to appreciate the long-term effects of that change, he told attendees at The Atlantic's First Draft of History Conference Friday in Washington, D.C. But he said he feels that while it's true that such change can be used against the world, it's important to remember that the combination … Read more
Atlantic Technology claims its FS-7.0 Surround Bar is the first loudspeaker capable of reproducing all seven channels of a home theater soundtrack from a single wall-mountable enclosure. A matching 8-inch powered subwoofer will be offered for optimal integration with the FS-7.0.
A lot of very expensive soundbars are either tweeterless, or include just one tweeter, like Bowers & Wilkins' $2,200 Panorama. The FS-7.0's front baffle includes three 1-inch soft dome tweeters, for the front left, center, and right channels. The front panel also has a pair of 4x6-inch woofers.
Surround channels use full-range 3.25-inch … Read more
Bass, really high-quality bass, is something I associate with large speakers and subwoofers. Smaller models generate significantly less bass output, but thanks to clever design it is possible to eek out more bass than little boxes used to make. But trust me, you can't predict bass performance by reading speaker specifications. Listening is the only way to learn what a speaker sounds like.
Speaker designers use all sorts of tricks involving bass ports and equalization techniques to boost bass, but bass quality, if not quantity, suffers in direct comparison to larger designs. Right, size still matters.
That may change: Atlantic Technology and Solus/Clements, two American speaker manufacturers, announced that they have joined forces to develop, market, and license a revolutionary new loudspeaker design protocol capable of delivering deep, low-distortion bass at high volume levels. This technology, dubbed H-PAS, (hybrid pressure acceleration system) will allow smaller cabinets and small drivers to achieve levels of performance "...normally associated with much larger speaker systems."
The new patent-pending system combines elements of several technologies: bass reflex, inverse horn, and transmission line in a unique cabinet design. H-PAS does not require the use of special drivers, any kind of onboard electronics or outboard equalization--it is a purely passive system, completely compatible with all amplifiers and receivers. … Read more
We're proud to announce the debut of CNET LIVE, the new portal for all live shows, including The 404, on CNET. Don't worry, the transition won't be as difficult as DTV. We'll give you detailed instructions on how to tell all your friends about the show! Listen in for all the juicy details on our weekend staycation and why Wilson should never consume liquor again.
So now that the weekend is over, we can talk about our top secret trip...to Atlantic City! It's always good to get away for a little bit, even if it's just for a day, so we packed up our bags and took off to AC for a little gambling and good times. What was supposed to be a relaxing trip turned out to be 24 hours of "The Hangover"-esque partying. We all indulged in our own vices: Jeff hit the blackjack tables like a white bat out of hell, Justin explored the dark crevices of AC's back alleys, and Wilson Tang ate chicken. That's right, you read it correctly: Wilson Tang finally broke his "vegetarianism" and is now an official chicken chaser. Unfortunately, his bout with poultry at Friday's dinner left him with a mad stomach ache and he party pooped his way out of the trip. What a shrew!
Lots of stories to talk about today, namely two big news items from over the weekend: the DTV official transition and the mad rush for Facebook Vanity URLs. Actually, the long-awaited DTV transition went off without a hitch, which makes sense, because it's been in the works forever now, although we're pretty sure someone in Florida tried to eat her converter box. Facebook Vanity also had little to no effect on real life, although there did seem to be a slight flux in traffic on Thursday night as people rushed to reserve their own Facebook URLs. In the spirit of American sportsmanship, some of the landgrabs were a little disingenuous; for example, check out the profile for our own Molly Wood. In fact, my own name got snaked by another Justin Yu, so feel free to add him and let him know how much you love The 404. In the meantime, check out the Facebook profiles for the Real Justin Yu, Wilson Tang, and Jeff Bakalar.EPISODE 362 Download today's podcast Subscribe in iTunes audio | Suscribe to iTunes (video) | Subscribe in RSS Audio | Subscribe in RSS Video… Read more
Some of today's DVD and Blu-ray soundtracks are so densely mixed that dialogue can be hard to understand.
When actors' lines are obscured by onscreen mayhem, you may miss important plot details. The dialogue intelligibility problem is even worse for people who are hard of hearing.
Here's a simple fix to improve intelligibility that also works like a charm for quiet, late-night movie watching.
Turn up the center channel volume level. Please understand, that's not the same thing as cranking up your receiver's volume control. Raising the center channel volume relative to the left/right and surround channels makes dialogue louder than the music and sound effects, so it's easier to understand what the actors are saying.
The easiest way to make the adjustment is with your receiver or home theater-in-a-box system's remote control. Check and see if your remote has a button marked "Channel Select." My Onkyo TX-SR805 receiver's remote has such a control, marked "CH SEL". It toggles through left, right, center, etc., and once I got to the center I used the "Level -" and "Level +" buttons to adjust the center channel volume.
Experiment to figure out how much louder you want the center channel speaker to be, but start with turning it up by three decibels. That might be enough, but don't hesitate to turn it up higher if that's what you need.
Of course, you can also use the CH SEL feature to boost subwoofer volume to taste whenever you switch movies or CDs. Or adjust the surround channels volume. … Read more
Atlantic Technology's new 1400 SR-z speaker was designed with Dolby's Pro Logic IIz "height" surround processor in mind
The new speaker's compact size and shallow profile allow it to be unobtrusively mounted high on the wall above the system's front left and right main speakers. The 1400 SR-z sells for $425/pair MSRP.
The company claims that the 1400 SR-z's "voicing" and timbre will match all of Atlantic Technology's speaker systems.
Each 1400 SR-z uses a pair of 3.5-inch full-range polymer-treated cone drivers. The wedge-shaped speaker disperses sound laterally … Read more
We've got a host of Black Friday news today, like Apple retail stores matching online promotions; Sony still refuses to lower the price on the PS3, but they will let you get a PlayStation credit card and a $150 discount (along with whopping interest rates, of course, so pay that sucker off right away, mmkay?); and Nintendo has a couple of new DS Lite bundles on offer instead of the DSi. At least one of them comes in ICE BLUE. Listen now: Download today's podcastEPISODE 861
Apple retail stores will match reseller prices http://news.cnet.com/8301-13579_3-10107987-37.html… Read more
It's a fundamental rule of journalism: let the facts speak for themselves.
An Atlantic Monthly article published online Monday presents the facts of Sen. Hillary Clinton's failed presidential bid in the form of dozens of e-mails, memos, and other pieces of correspondence collected from inside the campaign. The magazine also makes a complete index of the documents available.
While the memos largely reinforce earlier reports of internal disputes in the campaign, it is sometimes surprising what one learns (Bill Gates apparently at one point asked Clinton strategist Mark Penn to make him "more human"), and what … Read more
I have just read Nicholas Carr's Atlantic Monthly article "Is Google Making Us Stupid?"
Actually, I skimmed it.
But his thesis is a very worrying one. (As many of his theses are.)
He fears that his constant Googling and other triflings on the web are altering the way his brain functions.
He is unable to read anything of length. Like a thrice-married ogler in a bar, he feels his eyes are constantly skimming salient facts rather than mellifluous prose. His friends have given up hope of ever reading "War and Peace."
I want to save … Read more