Regular readers of this blog will recognize the Schiit name, I've covered a number of their headphone amplifiers and digital converters over the past few years. The newest little Schiit, the vacuum tube Vali, looks exactly like the company's $99 solid-state amp, the Magni, but the internal electronics are completely different. As I listened to them both and switched back and forth they sounded similar. I listened more and the Vali sounded a wee bit sweeter and richer. Not as big a difference as I would have thought, but different enough.
Schiit Audio's very first product, the Asgard headphone amplifier, left me shaken and stirred back in 2010. It sold for $249, looked and sounded amazing, and to top things off, it was made in the U.S. -- not just assembled here. Most of the Asgard's parts are sourced from U.S. companies.
The Asgard is still in company's product line, and it's still $249. But Schiit has grown since then, and now offers a full line of more expensive headphone amps and USB digital-to-analog converters (DACs) -- which is great. But the company's most recent offerings sell for just $99 each! The Magni headphone amp and the Modi DAC are also made in America, and they sound spectacular. … Read more
The Las Conchas wildfire, a 92,735-acre blaze extending around the community and national laboratory of Los Alamos, N.M., often moves faster than the officials who monitor it. That can be frustrating for people who want to see where the fire is burning.
But NASA has an automated answer for the impatient: the MODIS satellite. It records fire data, and the U.S. Forest Service packages it up so Google Earth users can get a rough but useful view of the fire's behavior.
Here's how to take a look. But first, I'll share a sobering NASA photo taken from the International Space Station on Monday, the second day of the fire.
It's a daunting image for anyone like me who knows the area and the scale involved. There are 752 people fighting the fire right now, including four bulldozers, 28 fire engines, and five helicopters. Since the Cerro Grande fire of 2000, which burned hundreds of Los Alamos homes and thousands of acres of Los Alamos National Laboratory property, the lab has taken new fire counter measures including more forest clearing and automatic fire-suppression systems. So far today, physical risks to the lab are lower than earlier in the week, LANL Director Charlie McMillan said. … Read more
Robometer concept device promises to help you feel happy http://www.engadget.com/2008/05/01/ robometer-concept-device-promises-to-help-you-feel-happy/
BAE Systems working on spider-bots, other ways to scare you to death http://www.engadget.com/2008/05/01/ bae-systems-working-on-spider-bots-other-ways-to-scare-you-to-d/
Coffin sofa brings creepy furniture to new extremes http://dvice.com/archives/2008/04/coffin_sofa_bri.php
Push-kun, the cute robot with the … Read more