Spelling Test Practice Free Edition is a free program that helps you with your spelling by letting you record and hear the words in your own voice. It's suitable for all who want to brush up on their spelling (or diction) or prepare for tests and spelling bees. It's case-sensitive and can randomize word lists and print reports such as lists of misspelled words, as well as user vocabularies and test grades. To use Spelling Test Practice's voice recording feature, you'll need a microphone for your PC, though many laptops have built-in microphones. It's free, … Read more
Sometimes, you don't want a ton of bells and whistles on your GPS device. Sometimes, you just want to reliably and cheaply get from point Alpha to Bravo.
Enter Garmin's Essentials series of Nuvi GPS navigators. Specifically, we're taking a look at the largest model in the entry-level Essentials series: the 5-inch Garmin Nuvi 50.
There aren't many surprises here where design is concerned. If you've handled a Garmin Nuvi in the last half decade, you'll know exactly what to expect from the 50. The icons are all where you'd expect them to … Read more
Gadgets make great gifts--for the recipients, at least. For the gift giver, however, tech products often mean a sizable bite out of the wallet. It's great to get an iPad--it's decidedly less enticing to pay for one.
Thankfully, there are some great tech gifts you can buy at far more reasonable prices--less than $50, to be precise.
We've scoured the Internet to find 10 worthy gifts that will cost you less than a Ulysses S. Grant. The list includes MP3 players, headphones, one great game for each major game console, and--our current favorite video streamer--the Roku LT (pictured above).
Got a favorite bargain gift that we skipped over? Let us know your suggestion in the comments.
Intel is trying to overhaul the supercomputer. The idea is to pack more processing power into less space. The 50-plus core Knights Corner processor is how Intel hopes to make it happen.
Let's be clear. It's not that Intel is necessarily losing the supercomputer race--its Xeon processors still power the vast majority of the world's supercomputers--but supercomputing is changing. And the chip giant's arch rival Nvidia is leading the way, with newfangled supercomputers that increasingly rely on its graphics processing units (GPUs) to do supercomputer calculations more efficiently.
Intel's Knights Corner processor is … Read more
Apple's iOS 5.0.1 update, which the company released today ahead of schedule, apparently fixes the battery drain problem, at least according to some early testers.
Based on comments made by users who've installed the update, Wired found that most are enjoying a big boost in battery power. Followers of Wired on Twitter chimed in after the magazine posted a tweet asking who has updated to iOS 5.0.1 and if it improved their battery life.
In response, Wired reader Donald Kuntzman reportedly called the update "nothing short of amazing," saying that his iPhone … Read more
I wasn't expecting much from the Hifiman Express HM-101; it's just a $39 outboard USB digital-to-analog converter and headphone amplifier. Well, this tiny USB-powered (it doesn't need batteries or an AC power supply) device definitely pumped up the sound of my Audio Technica ATH-M50 headphones! They sounded significantly better with the Express than they did plugged directly into my Mac Mini's headphone jack. Sure, the Mac's sound is perfectly acceptable--until you compare it to something better.
The Express is a lot better.
Before we go any further, the Express isn't just for headphones, it also has a line-out 3.5mm jack you can run to a set of desktop-powered speakers, like myAudioengine 2s. DAC resolution isn't specified, but it's probably 16-bit/48-kHz.
Switching over from the computer's headphone jack to the Express, the first thing I noticed was that the Express could play a lot louder. That's great, but when playing drummer Ginger Baker's "Going Back Home" CD at equal volume levels from the computer and the Express, the Express unleashed more of the drummer's hard-hitting dynamics. The computer squashed his sound, especially Baker's mighty bass drum. Wow, the little thing delivers. If anything, the Express errs on the side of too much bass fullness, which isn't such a bad thing.… Read more
Call them bridge cameras, longzooms, superzooms, or megazooms (as we do), they're all pretty much the same thing: a large lens slapped on the front of a point-and-shoot camera.
While that's a bit of an oversimplification, the fact remains that though these are full-featured models with digital SLR-style bodies, they still have the shooting performance and photo quality of a compact camera. That said, if you're after a long lens, point-and-shoot simplicity, and an affordable price (at least more so than for a dSLR that has comparable lenses), you've come to right roundup.Editors' note: This post was originally published October 26, 2011, but is updated frequently. It was updated May 8, 2013, to include the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX300.
The BlueAnt Embrace on-ear headphones ($200) look luxurious and, if you don't mind, adult. I sometimes think a lot of today's headphones are designed to look cool to 15-year-olds, with boosted bass and highs designed to dazzle young ears. The Embrace's demeanor is more, shall we say, reserved?
Maybe it's the all-black color scheme and lack of flash that first appealed to me, but then I fell in love with the thickly padded headband and pillowlike ear cushions. My ears and head appreciate being coddled like this. The sound mimics the Embrace's look and feel: … Read more
SAN FRANCISCO--When Yamaha gathered members of the media this week to road-test its 2012 Yamaha Zuma 50F, the motorcycle maker's reps unveiled PowerPoint presentations and let reporters tool around city landmarks to get a feel for the vehicle.
But, in this day of $4-per-gallon gas, all Yamaha might have to display to get buyers' attention is the vehicle's listed mileage: 132 mpg. With its 1.5-gallon tank tucked away beneath the rider's feet, that's 200-plus miles between $7 fill-ups in an age when filling a larger vehicle can cost north of $75. With numbers like that zipping about, more people might consider buying and riding scooters--especially if they're "green minded" and want to lay off the fossil fuels.
Yamaha chose San Francisco for the Zuma 50F demos because it's tailor-made for that environment. Small, fuel efficient, easy to park, and fast enough to keep up with clogged urban traffic, the 50cc engine was powerful enough to get even me--a certified lummox--up all but one of the city's Steve McQueen-christened hills. While the Zuma 50F got me down the brick-lined twists of crooked Lombard Street, it couldn't quite get me back up Telegraph Hill a short toss from Coit Tower. Me and my oafish frame had to hop off and jog it a few feet to the crest before hopping back on again. That was the only strike against the scooter's power, and it's not as if a majority of its buyers will be my size. … Read more
Gone are the days of managing your finances with a calendar and a checkbook; personal finance software has almost completely automated what used to be a tedious chore. Unfortunately, Household Accounting Book is not one of the more capable programs we've encountered. In fact, there's not much of anything that we liked about it.
The program's interface is rather sparse, with a handful of drop-down menus and buttons and a logo that looks like it was created in Microsoft Paint. Transactions are split into three categories--income, fixed expenses, and variable expenses--and you can create subcategories in each … Read more