High Resolution Technologies makes some of the very best and most affordable digital-to-analog converters on the market. The company's newest model, the MicroStreamer, is a tiny thing, just 2.5 inches by 1.2 inches by 0.4 inch, and since it's USB-powered it doesn't have a power supply or require batteries. It works as an external sound card for computers, tablets, and some smartphones. It's also a high-quality headphone amplifier. It was designed in the U.S., and the little guy's circuitboard's components are mounted in Southern California. The aluminum case is made … Read more
Mirror, mirror on the wall, will drinking affect my looks at all?
The very week that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released the results of a survey on drinking patterns among U.S. females (notably that 1 in 5 high school girls and 1 in 8 women report binge drinking), the Scottish government launched its Drop a Glass Size campaign, complete with app, in an attempt to get people to drink a little less every day.
The free Drinking Mirror app, for iPhone and Android devices, has users take or upload existing photos of themselves and watch their faces age over the course of 10 years based on their current rates of alcohol consumption.
The developers fully admit that they are playing the vanity card -- and targeting women in particular.… Read more
Like most folks, I've made "enthusiastic" commitments to be more resolute in staying healthy this year. Such crazy claims include getting off the buttocks and working out, eating healthy, and other life-changing nonsense. Recently, one of my friends started this diet called the TAO Diet, which stands for Ten and One. The premise is simple: You eat 10 salads and one meal of whatever you please. Then rinse and repeat.
I've come to realize that I'm an attention-seeking and easily distracted geek with a healthy track record of...falling off track. But rather than giving … Read more
Google is aiming to harness people's motivation to carry out their New Year's resolutions and then use that to help others achieve their goals. Be it lose weight, make more money, learn a new language, or travel more, users can see what people around the world are striving for on Google's new interactive resolution map.
"Research shows that you're more likely to achieve your resolutions if you write them down and have support," Google's Associate Product Marketing Manager Liz Wessel wrote in a blog post yesterday. "Try sharing your goals with communities … Read more
I could have been a better geek in 2012. When it comes down to it, there just aren't enough hours in a day to do all the gaming, social networking, rooting, modding, and general geekery we'd like to. When forced to make the choice between a family vacation or staying home to indulge in nerdy pleasures like crunching the data generated by the newly flashed firmware on my Wi-Fi router, that trusty old Linksys model and my other devices tend to be the ones that get scorned.
But I resolve that this New Year will be different. … Read more
The so-called "iPad Mini" is the Sasquatch of the gadget world. Rumored for years, the smaller iPad looms ever closer to reality, with rumors of an imminent announcement and release ramping up nearly every day.
The gadget blogosphere, bolstered by a recent flurry of leaked photos and specs, seems to be taking the existence of the iPad Mini as an inevitability. But even assuming that the Mini is real -- and that it's coming soon -- there are some key unknowns. Here are the biggest and most important ones.… Read more
A bigger screen on the iPhone 5 means more pixels in order to maintain the Retina branding. So, what can we expect exactly?
I asked Paul Semenza, senior vice president of analyst services at NPD DisplaySearch.
"To the best of our knowledge, the display will be 4 inches, with the same 326 ppi [pixels per inch] resolution, which would make it 1,136x640," he said, confirming current speculation.
That would keep the ppi ahead of popular phones like the 4.8-inch Samsung Galaxy S III (306 ppi at 1,280x720 resolution) and the 4.7-inch HTC One X (… Read more
For months, we've heard talk of an iPhone 5 with a longer screen. The latest stories around the Internet suggest not only that this is a likely reality, but that iOS 6 supports this new resolution: 640x1,136 pixels, to be exact. That's an extra 176 pixels longer than the current iPhone's 640x960 display.
When I heard of the next iPhone's longer screen, I thought: I'd just prefer a slightly bigger screen, not necessarily a longer one. My current iPhone 4S feels like it has a perfect aspect ratio. Why change it?
Then I thought about it, and quickly changed my tune.… Read more
I wrote about Zoom's nifty $99 H1 pocket recorder last year, and really loved its sound, so I was curious to see how the H2n recorder measured up. It's a bit shorter, just 4.5 inches high, but fatter and a little heavier. The H2n's body is shiny black plastic, but it feels more solidly built than the H1.
It has four recording modes: Mid-Side (MS) stereo, 90 degree X/Y stereo, two-channel, and four-channel surround modes. The H2n can record MP3 files (48 to 320 Kbps) or WAV files (44.1-kHz/16-bit to 96-kHz/24-bit). The &… Read more
At the end of May, Onkyo will start selling Dolby TrueHD 5.1-channel music downloads, first in Japan, and by the fall of this year worldwide. That's either a brave or foolhardy move.
Multichannel music formats -- starting with quadraphonic LPs and tapes in the early 1970s, DTS encoded surround CDs in the 1990s, and DVD Audio and SACD in the early 2000s -- have all suffered from a lack of consumer demand. Very, very few surround releases were initially recorded in surround; most rock and jazz titles are remixed from older stereo recordings. The Blu-ray format has now … Read more