The Clue has a proprietary, made-in-Denmark 5.5-inch woofer and an 0.8-inch silk dome tweeter. The heavily braced, medium-density fiberboard cabinet is beautifully finished in real maple, cherry or piano black. The cabinet is made in China, but the rest of the speaker is assembled in Sjofn Hi Fi's garage in Seattle. The Clue measures a tidy 14 by … Read more
Twitter has finally begun a slow-motion rollout of a plan to generate advertising dollars from small businesses with a low-key, self-serve ad program.
Initially, only a small group of businesses will have access to this new advertising opportunity -- Twitter wouldn't say how many, although a spokesman allowed that the number of participating small businesses will "steadily increase" in coming weeks. If it works as advertised --no pun intended --this could be a very big deal for the company, one that could allow it to tap into a huge new swathe of potential advertisers.
The hope within … Read more
The H520 is a pure commodity PC, albeit in an attractive case. I've asked Lenovo for some better pictures, which I'll post as soon as I have them.
From the spec sheet, at least, this system actually offers one surprise. Again pre-empting Nvidia's own announcements, for this system Lenovo provides details of a heretofore unannounced 2GB GeForce GTX 630 graphics card option.
Otherwise the configuration options look standard. Intel Core CPU options go up to the i7 family, although exactly what generation of the Core i7 Lenovo has in mind is unclear. Given the June release schedule, I'd bet Ivy Bridge. The starting price for the base model will be $499 when the H520 makes its debut.… Read more
One of the added benefits to the next generation of Intel Ivy Bridge processors coming later this year is its native support of Thunderbolt. The newly announced high-end ThinkPad Edge S430 will feature Thunderbolt as one of a bevy of extra features aimed at taking this middle-range small business line of laptops up a notch.
It's unclear whether it will feature Ivy Bridge, but considering that the new CPUs will release in June, coinciding with the S430's release, we can guess that it's likely that the S430 will feature the new Intel processors.
The Edge S430 doesn't look particularly striking, but Lenovo promises metal accents and a soft-touch finish that might make holding it more impressive. Besides having "the latest Intel Core processors," additional options will include an optical drive or, alternatively, a second hard drive, and Nvidia Optimus graphics. The Edge S430 will start at $749. … Read more
Our beef with most so-called business software is that it's often poorly designed, hard to navigate, and of questionable value. If time is money, no one wants to waste time trying to figure out software that makes simple tasks much harder and more frustrating than they need to be. That's why we were pleasantly surprised by Whistler Small Business Software. This program packs an unusual number of essential business tools into an intuitive package that just about anyone can master.
The program started by having us configure our business information, and then a setup wizard walked us through … Read more
Big week ahead, fellow cheapskates! And I'm kicking it off with my annual guest appearance on CNET's Holiday Help Desk, which airs live today at 12 p.m. PT/3 p.m. ET. The big topic, of course, is Black Friday, and if you think you know what I'm going to say about it, think again. Hope you'll tune in!
That said, let's table Black Friday for a moment and talk Sweet Saturday. On November 26, American Express is sponsoring an event called Small Business Saturday. The upshot: Spend at least $25 at any … Read more
PSB Speakers has always been one of my favorite brands. The company gets it, and has a knack for making bona-fide high-end speakers with real-world prices. Even by PSB's high standards the Imagine mini is a standout design.
With a name like mini, you'd expect something small, and at just over 9 inches high, it's nice and compact. The mini's curvaceous cabinet is a five-layer construction of 1/8 inch thick medium-density fiberboard sheets laminated together with a special microwave activated adhesive. The top and bottom panels are also curved to enhance cabinet rigidity and minimize internal standing waves. The mini's molded, rubberized base houses all-metal connectors that accept bare wire ends or wires terminated with spades or pins. The mini is an 8 ohm design. … Read more
Apparently, the designers at Fluance think different.
Instead of plastic they made their FiSDK500 iPod speaker out of wood, and they made it sound good enough to please audiophiles. It's usually $200, but it's on sale through November 7 for just $100. (Just be sure to add the coupon code "FISDK500" when checking out.)
I usually judge iPod speakers on a different scale than regular speakers. I have to, they're handicapped in a number of ways, even the $600 models never really delver hi-fi sound quality, and the one-piece models have almost no stereo separation. … Read more
The small wind industry is about to enter a major growth spurt.
It is poised to grow from a $255 million industry in 2010 to $634 million industry in 2015, according to a recent Pike Research report.
The report attributes a growing interest and expected success in the coming years to the fact that small wind is currently more efficient and, therefore, cheaper on a cost-per-watt basis than solar photovoltaic cells. Because the return on investment can take as little as 5 years to 10 years, depending on area wind conditions, it offers an accessible option to small businesses, farms, … Read more