The "Spinal Tap" reference to the volume control that goes to "11" notwithstanding, there's a lot of confusion surrounding volume controls. There shouldn't be; the volume control setting has nothing to do with how loud an amp can play. Some folks mistakenly think that if you don't have to turn the knob up very far from the minimum setting to achieve high volume, that "proves" it's a powerful amp. No, not at all; the maximum volume level of any amp is determined not by how far you turn the knob, … Read more
While we're waiting for Google Glass to reach the masses, there are plenty of other wearable technology options to keep us busy. One newcomer is the ManiGlove, an iPod and iPhone control glove raising funds on Kickstarter.
The Version 1 ManiGlove looks a lot like a golfing glove, but it contains a rechargeable battery and Bluetooth for hooking up to your iPhone or iPod. Touch your thumb and different fingers together to change the volume, navigate songs, activate Siri, or control a PowerPoint presentation. Conductive pressure points trigger the commands.… Read more
CodePanic's FileMany is a free tool that scans your hard drives for duplicate files, which you can then choose to move, delete, or ignore. It uses a variety of customizable criteria to distinguish actual duplicates from merely similar data to help you avoid the regrettable error of deleting the wrong files. Even if duplicate files aren't a big issue, running FileMany before you clean or defragment your drives can make the process faster and help reduce errors. And if you boot from an SSD, especially a smaller one, FileMany can help you keep your free space free and … Read more
Aspiring game designers and robot aficionados unite!
One of the most prominent independent game developers in the Boston area, Demiurge Studios, is getting ready to launch its newest downloadable game, Shoot Many Robots, but not without seeing a few of your ideas first.
Announced to implore budding concept artists to show off their skills, the contest "Design Many Robots" asks creative minds to sketch their own vision of the ultimate battle robot by April 4.
The most creative and all-around awesome entries will earn a free trip to Demiurge Studios to see their creations come to life--not literally, of course.
In a perfect world, all 100-watt-per-channel amplifiers would be equally powerful. If we were talking about cars instead of amplifiers, you might suppose all cars with 300 horsepower are equally fast. But the weight of the car, gearing, and suspension tuning all play their parts, so performance expectations have to be based on more than just a single specification or number.
Before we go any further, I'd like to point out that the power spec's prime relevance lies in determining how loud a given set of speakers can play. Assuming the speakers can handle power, feeding them more power will produce louder sound levels. Sound quality is another matter, and isn't always associated with power, so the more powerful amp isn't necessarily the better-sounding amp. A few months ago I wrote a rave review of a 3.5-watt amplifier that sounded wonderful with my Zu Essence tower speakers. So just a couple of watts can sound amazing, and play louder than you'd think. Amplifier-speaker matching is more than a numbers game; knowledge of what works with what is a valuable commodity, so if you're lucky enough to have access to a top-notch hi-fi dealer or an experienced audiophile buddy, don't be afraid to ask for advice. … Read more
The How many? iPhone app is a lot like me: useless, but a lot of fun. The concept is pretty simple. The app presents objects, lots of them, in lists called "packs." You pick one item and it calculates how many of another item that first item equals. For example, one MacBook Pro (15.4-inch?) equals 18 iPhones.
Why is this important? It's not; it's stupid, and kinda fun. There are a few categories, like animals, electronics, fruit, and "general," which is something of a grab bag. You can sort by volume or by … Read more
We love tabbed browsing, but we often find ourselves with tons of tabs open. Sometimes they're simply things we forgot to close when we were done with them, but other times they contain pages that we want to return to. TooManyTabs for Chrome is a clever browser extension that helps you hang on to the tabs you're not done with without all the clutter.
TooManyTabs isn't the most intuitive application we've ever used, but after a bit of experimentation, it was pretty easy to figure out. It appears as an icon to the right of Chrome'… Read more
In a world where almost everything is online, from e-mail to credit cards, social networking to car insurance, keeping passwords both secure and manageable is no easy task. Security experts recommend that you not use the same password for everything, and that you incorporate a mix of letters, numbers, and punctuation. Who can remember so many different nonsensical passwords? Fortunately, there's Efficient Password Manager, a simple and effective way to keep track of passwords for just about everything.
The program's interface is plain and intuitive, reminding us a bit of Microsoft Outlook. There are separate sections in which … 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
Intel's future Larrabee graphics chip is still just a PowerPoint presentation. But one worth noting because it's likely one of the most important projects inside the world's largest chip manufacturer.
That doesn't mean Larrabee will be a slam dunk. Intel has a checkered past in the discrete graphics chip market and this 10-year-old CNET article about Intel's 740 graphics processor reads eerily like some of the chatter about Intel's Larrabee today.
But Intel is older and presumably wiser now. (Though of course that remains to be seen.) Here's a quick look at how Intel depicts the future Larrabee architecture graphically. … Read more