If you find that your employees are goofing off watching porn at work instead of working, does it make logical sense that you should get rid of the porn, or the employee? Exactly. Of course, the government doesn't see it that way, but they're the ones who encoded their like, 900-word mission statement into the U.S. CyberCommand shield. Sigh.Subscribe: iTunes (MP3) | iTunes (320x180) | iTunes (640x360) | RSS (MP3) | RSS (320x180) | RSS (640x360)… Read more
Magnetic Thinking Putty is Silly Putty with a twist. Aside from exhibiting standard characteristics such as being able to be molded and stretched, this version can be magnetized. This means you can use a magnet to control the putty, creating the cool effect seen in the image. It reminds us of Spider-Man's nemesis Venom preparing to snare its next victim.
This is possible because there are millions of tiny magnets embedded in the material, giving this blob its magnetic properties.
With music, there's no bright line between art and commerce. Ever since the dawn of mass media, when big-band radio shows were commercially sponsored, musicians have explicitly endorsed products or allowed their songs to be used in advertisements.
At the same time, there's a notion among some musicians and fans that rock 'n' roll is sacred, and that artists who sell their music to commercial sponsors are less talented or less deserving of fame and fortune. This notion ebbs and flows as the music industry changes and has been particularly strong in certain subcultures--particularly the original punks and … Read more
Moon Audio claims the Signature Titan was designed to outperform any speaker system in the world. It's a strictly limited edition of three pairs, and each pair is hand-signed by the designer. Each pair will also be named after its buyer and once the third pair is built, the Signature Titan is history.
Even by high-end audio standards the pricing structure is a little unusual: Signature Titan #003 can be yours for $500,000 per pair, but the cost for #002 doubles to $1,000,000! Sounds crazy, but #001 has already been sold for $2,000,000!
I spoke with Moon Audio's founder, Chris Moon, yesterday about the Signature Titan, and learned the speaker grew out of Moon's dissatisfaction with the world's best production speakers. He went out and built the Signature Titan just to see how far he could take speaker design. Moon isn't your average high-end guy, he told me that he discovered, recorded, and produced Prince, along with Morris Day, Alexander O'Neal, Dez Dickerson, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis.
Moon wrote and produced music for companies such as Northwest Airlines, music scores for films and television.
Moon claims the designers of the 72-inch-tall speaker have been involved in the high-end audio industry for 25 years. Installation and setup in the customer's home anywhere in the world is included in the purchase price. They better have strong floors; the pair of speakers weighs 2,800 pounds!… Read more
If you're an Apple fan with a particular love for all things iPhone, you'll want to check out Jailbreak Toys' new App Magnets.
The company has looked at all those apps you'll find in the iPhone and turned them into magnets you can place on your refrigerator. The offering includes magnets of Safari, Mail, and several other apps that come pre-loaded on the iPhone. All told, 18 magnets come in the box.
The Jailbreak Toys iPhone magnets follow a long line of tech-related products that have been converted into magnets. In fact, just a few years ago, … Read more
A refrigerator is not a refrigerator without magnets. And a self-respecting iPhone/iPod Touch owner is not a self-respecting iPhone/iPod Touch owner without a set of Jailbreak Toys App Magnets.
I mean, how awesome are these things! They come in sets of 18 (one for each stock iPhone app, presumably) and sell for the reasonable-to-my-cheapskate-senses price of $12.99.
Shipping will run you another $5 or so, though if you order three sets you can get free shipping by applying coupon code 3forFREE at checkout. My advice: Grab a set for yourself, and stash the other two away for … Read more
In 2008, scientists at the Georgia Institute of Technology and the Ovarian Cancer Institute developed a potential treatment to fight cancer using magnetic nanoparticles designed to attach themselves to cancer cells. They found in their groundbreaking tests on mice that the particles not only attached to cancer cells, but they also moved those cells.
In what may well prove to be some of the most exciting health news in the year to come, the group announced in the journal Nanomedicine in December and further publicized on Tuesday that it has replicated the study on human cancer cells, with the nanoparticles … Read more
Every year product life cycles in the consumer marketplace grow ever shorter and we see ever faster turnover in cameras, phones computers, and so on. On the audio side, the latest and greatest receivers become yesterday's news faster than you can say "HDMI 1.4." It seems like no receiver can stay current for more than a year or so.
Speaker companies show a little more restraint and "refresh" their lines every few years, but even then new models rarely demonstrate actual performance improvements over the previous generations' models. Speaker manufacturer Magnepan doesn't play by those rules; it invests years of development in each of its models before introducing a new speaker. It has to sound better--a lot better--than the outgoing model before it's released to the world.
And not just in the opinion of the designers. New-model Magnepans undergo extensive "blind" listening tests with a wide range of audiophile and non-audiophile listeners (the listeners don't know whether they're hearing the old or new model). The new speaker must consistently score better than the old model before it goes into production.
When I first heard the Magneplanar 1.6 back in 2008 I said it was the best under-$2,000 speaker on the market. Incredibly enough it was 10 years old at the time! The Magneplanar 1.6 has stayed in production for 12 years, but now it's about to be replaced with the new Magneplanar 1.7.
Magnepan, based in White Bear Lake, Minn., builds nothing but panel (boxless) speakers. Not only that, Magnepan designs forgo conventional dome tweeters and cone-type woofers. As I pointed out in my August 14, 2008, blog that's why the company's Magneplanar 1.6 speaker mostly avoids sounding like a speaker. The speaker earned the top position in my Top 10 greatest audiophile speakers blog earlier this year.
The new Magneplanar 1.7 is also a flat-panel design, 64.5 inches tall and a mere 2 inches thick! The new speaker looks a little more contemporary, thanks to its aluminum, wrap-around edge molding. The old model was a two-way design, with a 48-inch-tall aluminum ribbon tweeter and a 442-square-inch mid/bass panel. The Magneplanar 1.7 is a three-way design, with a woofer, tweeter, and super-tweeter. The super-tweeter comes in around 10,000 hertz and is said to produce wider dispersion and better-resolved treble than the Magneplanar 1.6 did.
The other big difference is the Magneplanar 1.7 is a "full-range" ribbon design.… Read more
For centuries, humans have looked for signs of diseased tissue and organs by tapping the outside of the body to measure stiffness. Obviously such a method is only so effective, especially when trying to evaluate someone's liver, say, or heart. And more modern biopsies, while highly effective, are invasive procedures that involve removing tissue for examination.
Since 2007, researchers at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., have been working with magnetic resonance elastography (MRE), a medical imaging technique developed to non-invasively diagnose and monitor disease.
The device they use, MR-Touch, uses low-frequency sound waves for just 15 seconds at … Read more
I've recently reviewed most of the contenders for the world's best headphones: the Audio Technica ATH-W5000, Denon AH-D7000, Sennheiser HD 800, Grado PS-1000, Ultrasone Edition 8, and the best headphones I've heard so far, the Stax electrostatic SR-007Mk2. I listened to the Stax with the Woo Audio WES headphone amplifier. If you want and can afford the best, go for the Stax-Woo combination.
But now I have yet another headphone to check out, and this one is a very different-sounding design. Oh, and it's less than half the price of the least expensive of those models!
It's called the Hifiman HE-5, and it uses planar-magnetic drivers to create sound. A planar magnetic driver is a large, flat Mylar diaphragm, coated with superthin aluminum, suspended between rows of slender bar magnets. The HE-5's diaphragm is therefore driven over its entire area, which dramatically reduces distortion; conventional dynamic headphone drivers are "driven" by a voice coil on the outer edge of the diaphragm, so the inner portion is more likely to distort.
The HE-5's driver is similar to the Stax electrostatic 'phones in that way, but the HE-5 doesn't use the bias charging scheme that all electrostatic headphones use, which also means the HE-5 can be used with standard headphone amplifiers. The Stax cannot.
The HE-5 is incredibly detailed sounding, but at the same time it's very smooth and laid back. Swapping between the HE-5 and the Sennheiser HD 800--considered by many to be the world's best dynamic headphone--the two headphones are opposites. The HD 800 is brighter, crisper, with more apparent treble detail; the HE-5 is softer, warmer, and more natural-sounding. … Read more