Readers have from time to time requested a list of the "test" tracks I use to evaluate gear. It's a long list, mostly recordings I've used for many years and heard on hundreds of products, and recordings I made myself or from sessions I attended. They work for me, but wouldn't necessarily help you. More than any specific tracks, I recommend starting with music you know best, favorite tunes you've listened to for years, and then listen to how the speaker, headphones, etc., you're considering changes, improves, or degrades the sound of your … Read more
Conan O'Brien recently had a little fun on "Conan" trying to envision what one notable director's interpretation of the recently announced "Star Wars: Episode VII" might look like. The director in question? Wes Anderson. I think you can tell where this one is going...
A nearly four-year tax audit of the Mozilla Foundation is finally over. And it looks like the foundation got off easy by handing over just $1.5 million to the U.S. government.
Mozilla Foundation Chair Mitchell Baker announced in a blog post today that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) closed its audit and agreed to settle with the company.
"I'm happy to note that we've settled the issues raised and the IRS recently closed the audit," she wrote. "We entered into a settlement, under which the Mozilla Foundation paid the IRS US $1.5 … Read more
Facebook has finally satisfied the European Union by disabling facial recognition tagging.
Facebook, which was subjected to an audit by Ireland's Data Protection Commissioner (DPC), was under pressure to implement a variety of changes in Europe, mostly dealing with privacy and security issues. Last December, Facebook had promised to make the changes outlined in the audit document in order to comply with European regulations.
One stumbling block was facial recognition tagging, which prompts your Facebook friends to "tag" or identify you in photos in which you appear.
Facebook has now turned off the feature for European users. … Read more
Hopefully, we all know that we should be careful what we tweet, especially after hearing stories about people who mention being on vacation and come back to find their home burglarized. But slips can happen in the fast-paced Twitterverse.
To see if you may have been careless with your tweets, you can use new service at MyPrivacyAudit.com and find out exactly where you went wrong. Though my quick testing of the service suggests that while it may be better than nothing, its privacy checks are far from infallible.
From the Web site:
Initially, the focus of MyPrivacyAudit is understanding … Read more
Though a full report from the Fair Labor Association's audit of Foxconn isn't expected till next month, the group's head says the FLA has already found "tons of issues."
In a telephone interview with Bloomberg, FLA Chief Executive Auret van Heerden told the outlet that the group had found "tons of issues," and that "I believe we're going to see some very significant announcements in the near future."
What those issues are were not disclosed by van Heerden, Bloomberg reported.
The remarks come just a few days after van Heerden … Read more
The U.S. Internal Revenue Service is bringing "more than typical scrutiny" to an audit of Google over how the Web giant has valued software rights and other intellectual property it licensed abroad, according to a Bloomberg report.
The IRS audit is looking into how Google may have avoided federal income taxes by shifting profit into offshore subsidiaries, the news service writes, citing "a person with knowledge of the matter." Google declined to comment on the report, but spokesmen Jim Prosser told Bloomberg that the audit "is a routine inquiry."
Like many multinational companies, … Read more
System information utilities scan your system to extract information about its hardware, software, and usage. They're usually free and often portable, and they tend to extract the same sort of information, just more or less of it, depending on the tool. Where they differ most is what they do with that information, which essentially means how they present it. Free PC Audit from MIS Utilities is portable freeware that places more emphasis on convenient presentation and ease of use than on fine detail and endless options.
Free PC Audit runs when you click its executable file, which means you … Read more
NASA failed to remove sensitive data from computers that it sold, according to an audit report released this week.
The agency has been selling off computers, hard drives, and other equipment associated with the Space Shuttle program as it winds down.
But the audit (PDF) by the NASA Office of the Inspector General (OIG) found security breaches at four NASA facilities: the Kennedy and Johnson Space Centers and the Ames and Langley Research Centers.
Specifically, the audit discovered that 10 computers from the Kennedy Center were released to the public even though they still contained sensitive NASA data and had … Read more
Happy Windows 7 Day everyone! Much to Wilson's chagrin, there is indeed another operating system out there, and the new version just came out today. Users unhappy with Windows Vista can now breath a sigh of relief, as the new OS combines a strong design with an easy-to-use interface that many are calling "Vista done right," but more.
Most interesting about Windows 7 is Microsoft's impressive worldwide media promotion, which includes Burger Kings in Japan rolling out the official Windows 7 burger. The meaty behemoth actually has seven meat patties and carries a 777 special price for Japanese customers.
The limited-time offer is an effort to promote the software as "leaner and meaner," although we don't get how a heart attack between two buns will get the message out there. Seth MacFarlane is getting in on the viral marketing as well--on November 18, Microsoft will sponsor a full half-hour episode of "Family Guy." Be sure to watch the sneak peak that features Stewie and Brian poking fun at Microsoft's new features.
Finally, Jeff's pick for today's Beck's Beer Audio Draft is a band on Victory Records called The Audition. Although we agree with Jeff that they might be the pop-iest band we've featured on the show, they nevertheless have a feel-good sound that takes us back to our teenage years. The first song of the day is entitled "My Temperature's Rising" off the band's newest self-titled album.
Unfortunately, the band just got off a tour with our beloved Alkaline Trio, but be sure to check back on their Last.FM page for the latest concert info.EPISODE 451 Subscribe in iTunes audio | Suscribe to iTunes (video) | Subscribe in RSS Audio | Subscribe in RSS Video… Read more