First though, let's consider what happens when DNS breaks. As noted previously, the DNS system translates computer names into IP addresses. So if it breaks, it may seem that your Internet connection is broken when in fact, it's fully functional. That is, from your ISP's perspective everything can be working fine, all the lights on your modem and router* can be normal, but still, you can't get to any Web sites … Read more
How grand is it? The entire system weighs 3,800 pounds, stands thirteen feet tall, and was designed to fill even the most lavish homes, and yes, palaces with sound! The system employs three stacked planar-magnetic arrays and eight-foot tall subwoofers. I've heard Wisdom's statuesque speakers at high-end shows and they really do produce a sense of scale that conventionally sized speakers can't muster. For those lucky enough to afford the very best, the Infinite Grande closes the gap between mere hi-fi and the sound of the real thing. The better the speaker the less you hear … Read more
Ted Landau December 2007
Dear Mr. Landau:
I bought an iMac about a year ago and have been delighted with it. It was my first Mac, having previously owned several Windows machines. It did take me a bit of time to get used to all the differences. But it was worth it. Actually, the biggest adjustment I needed to make was a very pleasant one: I needed to get used to the idea that my Mac would not crash every couple of hours, would not need to be cleaned of viruses every other day, and would not require that I … Read more
OpenDNS is a free online service that offers an extra layer of safety on the Internet. Technically, the service is DNS resolution, which I'll explain below. The main defensive computing advantage it provides is protection from bad Web sites, most importantly from phishing scams. ID theft is, to me at least, the worst thing that can happen to a computer user, so any extra protection helps. You also get some flexibility in deciding which other types of Web sites should be restricted.
You don't have to register to use the service, and there is no software to download … Read more
The Zu Audio Driud Mk. IV is the Audiophiliac's Speaker of the Year! As a former hi-fi salesman and now as a professional audio reviewer for twelve years I've heard thousands of speakers, but the Druid hit me hard. A total rock & roll animal, the skinny monolith/tower feels tremendously powerful, and my samples look extremely cool decked out in brilliant red metallic paint. I initially reviewed the speaker in the March, 2007 issue of Robb Report Home Entertainment. I'm still listening.
A number of American and Canadian speaker manufacturers now outsource production while maintaining sky … Read more
If you need to send files to someone and they are too large to email, there are untold numbers of web sites offering this service, both for free and commercially. However, if you need to transfer very big files, your choices are more limited. When I recently needed to transfer some files of 650MB to a client, I tried a handful of these services. Previously I wrote about free services from SendThisFile and EatLime. Here I relate my experiences with the free services from DropSend and TransferBigFiles.
All these services operate by letting you upload files to their servers, notifying the recipient that the files are ready to be downloaded and providing a link that points to the file(s). Some of the services have optional software, but installing software scares me, so I used nothing but a web browser (except in one instance).
DropSend offers to send files up to 1 gigabyte for free (the same limit applies to their paid accounts). They allow only five file transfers per month, but also include 250MB of permanent online storage. The limit of five transfers does not apply to uploads to the permanent storage. … Read more
I've had my Kindle for eight days now. I've bought eight books for it (well, seven plus a short story) and read three of them, installed over 90 other free ebooks, spent time browsing the Web, and... I actually read the manual. On the Kindle, naturally.
Shortly after writing about SendThisFile, I had to transfer some large files to a client. It's one thing to read about a product and kick the tires, but quite another to battle-test it. Here was a battle.
Since transferring large files can take hours, you need to be concerned with your computer going to sleep midstream. Many computers go into assorted suspended states when they haven't been used in a while. For example, the Power Options in the Windows XP Control Panel lets you set time limits after which the hard disk stops spinning, the entire computer goes … Read more
The Los Angeles Auto Show wraps up this weekend. I drove down to the Los Angeles Convention Center last week to check out the new BMW M3--which I hope to buy next year--and get a look at all the other new cars debuting there.
There were two clear trends at the show: higher performance and increased environmental sensitivity. The best new vehicles show improvements in both areas.
I got my Kindle ebook reader from Amazon yesterday. It was very attractively packaged, and I've been looking for an excuse to do a traditional unboxing blog post, so here we go.
[Later update: my Kindle review is online now.]
When I opened the outer box the Kindle was shipped in, I found a second folded-cardboard sleeve inside protecting the product.
Inside that was the packaging for the product itself, a book-like box held shut by an elastic band around a post recessed into the "cover". This box would look reasonably attractive on a bookshelf, helping to reinforce Kindle's place in one's library.