With Leopard and prior versions of OS X, one of the popular maintenance utilities was AppleJack, which is a free SourceForge project and ran in the Terminal (preferably Single User mode) as an easy-to-access way to run a bout of cleaning functions on the Mac. AppleJack so far has been incompatible with Snow Leopard, but with today's update the Snow Leopard incompatibility has been squashed.… Read more
Invitation-based, private sale sites like Gilt, Vente-privee, and Ideeli have become all the rage over the last two years as entrepreneurs and investors have looked for new ways to reach customers who have more disposable income than the recession-burdened masses.
On Thursday, Thrillist, a provider of daily e-mails highlighting cool things to do, see, and buy, announced it would acquire JackThreads, a guy-oriented shopping site that runs daily specials for invitation-only members. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. (Note: in this case, invitations are given to pretty much anyone who asks, and are used as more of a … Read more
Plugging your headphones into your computer or receiver's headphone jack won't produce the best possible sound. Why? The embedded headphone "amp" is probably just a good-enough chip amp. It may sound acceptable, but nothing like what you'd hear from a properly designed dedicated headphone amplifier.
Sure, if you have a set of $50 or $100 headphones, it doesn't make a lot of sense to drop $400 on a dedicated headphone amplifier.
But if you have something closer to the sort of world-class headphones I write about from time to time, you'd be foolish not to take the plunge. You've already made a substantial investment in headphones, but you're not getting all the sound quality you paid for.
Head-Direct's EF5 Desktop Tube Hybrid Amp ($399) is a two-box affair; one chassis is the power supply, the other is the amp itself. Each unit is solidly built and fairly compact: just 4.33 inches wide, 1.97 inches high, and 10.63 inches deep.
The amp uses a single (RCA 12AU7) vacuum tube. The amp takes about a minute to come to life after turning it on, and when the top panel's blue LEDs light up you know it's ready to play. Plug the headphones into the 6.3mm jack, adjust the volume, and you're good to go.
The Drive-By Truckers' excellent "Live From Austin TX" CD had tremendous presence and impact. Patterson Hood's straight from the heart vocals really cut through, and ditto for the raucous guitars. Sweet!… Read more
On Tuesday, I was enlisted to help out with an event in conjunction with the New York arm of the "Social Media Week" conference-fest--called "Digital Divas," the cocktail affair was organized by a handful of women involved in various niches of technology and digital media. Yes, dudes were allowed too.
As the event grew closer, we decided that we wanted some kind of innovative way for guests to donate to support Doctors Without Borders' relief efforts in Haiti. So after some brainstorming we thought about using Square, the new mobile-payment company co-founded by Twitter Chairman Jack Dorsey. … Read more
"It Might Get Loud" is definitely one of the best rock documentaries I've seen in a while. Thankfully, it doesn't have a narrator spouting somber lines about the importance of it all. You don't have to suffer through inserted clips of celebrities and other musicians babbling about how great Jimmy Page, The Edge, and Jack White are.
The filmmakers cover the three guitar greats individually doing their things, but the film is at its best when the musicians get together on a film sound stage to talk shop and jam.
There's a great little … Read more
The FBI has accused the man who allegedly was first, or among the first, to upload a pirated copy of "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" that circulated online in April. What authorities have apparently yet to do is identify the original source of the leak.
On Wednesday, after Gilberto Sanchez was charged in New York with violating federal copyright laws by posting "Wolverine" to a file-sharing site a month before the film's theatrical release, he told reporters from The New York Daily News: "It's just ridiculous. I bought it from a Korean guy on the … Read more
Small business is front and center for Square, the new mobile-payments company founded by Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey. Previously in a quasi-stealth mode (OK, more like San Francisco's worst-kept secret), Square has now launched in beta, is accepting e-mail requests for preliminary accounts, and has put up a basic Web site to explain the company's premise.
The Square hardware is a small, inexpensive card reader that plugs into the audio jack of a compatible device, including a mobile phone (it's starting with the iPhone and currently has job postings up for BlackBerry and Android engineers). It processes … Read more
Fans of the Samsung Jack, I have some good news for you.
Samsung announced Wednesday that its Windows Mobile 6.5 upgrade is now available for the smartphone. The upgrade includes Windows Phone 6.5 Standard Edition and a handful of software enhancements. Major improvements include:Windows Marketplace for Mobile: Provides access to secure shopping. You can download the application instantly to the phone. Internet Explorer Mobile 6: It delivers the same Web-browsing capability as Internet Explorer for a desktop computer, including support for multimedia-rich content like Flash animation, YouTube, and social-networking sites like Facebook and MySpace. AT&T … Read more
Today's receivers are so jam-packed with features they can be a hassle to set up and use. Even entry-level models boast features that flagship models from even just five years ago never had.
Is that a good thing? No manufacturer offers a receiver that's dead simple to use, sounds great, and has adequate connectivity to hook up a cable box, Blu-ray player, and one or two other sources.
Do you base your buying decision on the features lineup? Does the one with the most features win? Does your receiver really need to be THX Ultra2 Plus-certified, with four … Read more
LoJack this week introduced its next-generation Stolen Vehicle Recovery System. LoJack is known for its speedy auto recovery services. The Stolen Vehicle Recovery System is a tiny transmitter hidden within the vehicle and emits a radio frequency signal when activated.
Paul McMahon, a LoJack spokesman, said the new self-powered system runs off a proprietary 10-year battery. The system does not draw power from a vehicle's battery or electrical system, which makes it suited for hybrid, electric cars, and collector cars. "Hybrid and electric cars are very battery-energy dependent, and collector cars typically have older electrical systems," McMahon … Read more