Are people more obsessed with reducing clutter now than they were in times past? A mastering and recording engineer friend recently told me he was selling off all of his CDs and LPs, and from now on Spotify would be his only music source. I was taken aback by that remark; this man has spent his entire working life making the best-sounding music he could, but from now on he'll be streaming tunes. So I asked if he heard something new on Spotify he really liked, would he buy it? He just smiled and said, "Why?" So … Read more
Most of us live with some amount of cable clutter--it's a fact of contemporary life. There are numerous cable minders, and many desktop monitors have them built in. Still, it's nice to see an elegant solution, especially one that doubles as a tablet or smartphone stand.
Cable.Gone's shape and materials set it apart from other cable minders. It's a slanted, rubberized plastic tube with open ends and a couple of holes in the middle. Cables can run from one end to the other or from either end to the middle. Running cables through Cable.Gone is an easy way to consolidate cables, save desk space, and reduce visual clutter.
Cable.Gone's cross-section is hexagonal, with one side lower than the other so the top surface is slanted. The slant is useful for propping up tablets and smartphones at an angle that makes them easier to see and type on. The bottom surface has a slot that makes it easy to insert cables. The tube is made of a rigid plastic with a rubberized outer surface, which helps hold tablets and smartphones in place.… Read more
Awhile back, a package arrived at my desk containing two unassuming little boxes that contained what I presumed on first glance were brushed-metal paperweights. I set them aside to attend to more pressing matters and didn't give them much thought until I was sorting through some drawers a couple weeks ago and one finally made its way out of its compact packaging and onto my desk. I then promptly kicked myself for not using the OXO Good Grips Cord Catch from the moment it arrived.
The Cord Catch is an exceedingly simple device--actually, it is quite similar to a … Read more
The beauty of Diskeeper is its simplicity. It runs in the background when your machine is idle, automatically defragging your files making manual defragmentation mostly unnecessary. But new in version 2010, Diskeeper offers what they call IntelliWrite technology to prevent fragmentation even before it begins.
You can schedule your defragmentation for times when your away from the computer or you can use the manual defragger when your system feels sluggish. But beyond basic defragmetation functions there are a number of advanced options to increase system efficiency. Use Boot Time Defragging to defrag your hard drive at start up. While it … Read more
Until all gadgets go wireless, you'll have cables to deal with. Bluelounge--an LA-based design studio--realizes every device comes with a cable (or two), so it's created products that organize cables that help to defeat their everyday annoyances.
Bluelounge studio's Melissa Sunjaya and Dominic Symons do more than design furniture and accessories. The internationally recognized artists have designed Web sites, interiors, footwear, fashion accessories, and other products that benefit from a contemporary look. Their designs are distinct and inspire clean and happy feelings.
Minimalists will enjoy the StudioDesk, a work space with a cubby to conceal unattractive … Read more
Sure, home theater sound is synonymous with five, six, or seven speakers and a subwoofer. And sure, multichannel audio can sound great, and more and more of today's films rely on a room-filling surround experience to convey their full impact. But a lot of folks cringe at the very idea of dealing with a mess of wires and speakers filling their living rooms. Enter HT2.0, a concept I've been writing about for nearly ten years; stereo home theater really can sound amazing on films that don't rely on special effects. If you mostly watch dramas, comedies, … Read more
Monday's New York Times highlights one of my growing pet peeves: increasingly invasive on-screen ads and information that are invading all manner of TV programs. The article ("As the Fall Season Arrives, TV Screens Get More Cluttered") explores some of the supposed reasons behind the trend, which runs the gamut from "bugs" (channel logos) and on-screen data dumps (news and financial market tickers, scoreboards), to--in my opinion, the top annoyance--"snipes" (animated ads, for either upcoming programs or sponsored products).
On news, financial, and sports programming, I'm a lot more forgiving of … Read more
In an effort to retool the way users get to the applications on their profile, Facebook has added a new feature in the form of a quick finder for profile apps. If you're used to the row of icons on the left side of Facebook's navigation, this idea isn't too far off. Any apps that have been installed on your profile will show up as small icons in a cluster. Clicking on any of them will jump you down to where the app's box is located, as well as briefly highlighting it with a dark blue … Read more