One of the best headphone makers around is a little company called Westone Audio. They have been making high-quality hearing aids for several decades. In the last few years the company has taken this expertise and branched out into the audio enthusiast headphone realm. Professional musicians are really the target market for Westone’s headphone products. The prices go from $200 up to a staggering $1,000+. I recently had the chance to check out two different sets of headphones from the company, the consumer-targeted $200 ADV Alpha Adventure Series and the higher-end $500 Quad-Drive W40 headphones.
It always strikes me as odd that so many people spend a fortune on really nice home theater systems but then skimp or neglect the most important piece – audio. I happen to be one of those folks. Which is sad, considering that I do review Blu-rays and DVDs. The reason I always skimp on the audio portion is that for me a nice 2.0 soundbar has always been “good enough”.
Remember IBM’s Watson, the supercomputer that kicked human tuchus on Jeopardy? Well, the successful Jeopardy contestant is coming to a smartphone near you, via its new app, Ask Watson. Not only that, IBM is setting up a customer service via call-in center that it claims will reduce search time by up to 40%.
Check out the press release after the jump for more details.
For those that use a Garmin GPS and like to use different voices to tell the directions, here’s some exciting news. UK characters Wallace & Gromit and U.S. Sesame Street characters Bert and Ernie have come to ALL Garmin GPS’s and is now currently available. More details from the press release after the jump:
It’s been rumored for months, today Adobe makes the release of Adobe CS5.5 official. Today they announced Adobe® Creative Suite® 5.5 Production Premium, the complete software solution for video and post-production that helps deliver content to virtually any screen. The entire goal of this release is to push the use of Adobe tools in the creation of new mobile applications. One of the highlights of the new package is Photoshop Touch a new SDK for developing tablet and mobile applications using Photoshop.
To show off the capabilities of the new suite, Adobe is also releasing 3 brand new apps for the Apple iPad: Adobe Color Lava for Photoshop, Adobe Eazel for Photoshop and Adobe Nav for Photoshop. The apps are designed to enable users to create custom color swatches, paint and drive popular Photoshop tools from tablet devices. These Apps will range in price from $1.99 to $4.99. We will review them when they are released in early May and of course we’ll have a full review of CS5.5 when that streets. Press release after the break.
4G and LTE devices and network expansion announcements are all the rage at CES this week. T-Mobile is not one to be left out of the fray. Today T-Mobile unveiled plans to double the speed of its 4G network this year, which will be capable of delivering peak download speeds of up to 42 Mbps. Moreover, the company announced that in 2011 it will launch at least 25 new 4G devices, starting with its first 4G tablet — the Dell™ Streak 7, expected to be available at T-Mobile stores across the country in the coming weeks. The company vowed to aggressively expand and evolve its 4G smartphone portfolio, launching additional devices capable of delivering peak download speeds of up to 21 Mbps in the first half of 2011, and smartphones capable of delivering peak download speeds of up to 42 Mbps in the second half of the year.
One of the cool things about Windows is the fact that there are so many choices. On the Mac, video editors really only have a couple of choices – Final Cut/iMovie or Adobe’s Premiere Products. On the PC side there are numerous Video Applications, one of the lesser known ones is from the makers of the industry leading Avid Video Editing System. Pinnacle Studio Ultimate Collection a consumer level video and photo editing solution for Windows. iMovie has always bugged me because it kind of forces you to edit the way Apple wants you to. The fact that I’m forced to always have clips on my small Macbook hard drive, drives me a little nuts. I understand iMovie is a free consumer level product that comes with Macs, but really, I’d rather pay the extra $100 to get a real video editing solution like this.
Rumors of the death of the Netbook may have grossly been overstated. At least the folks at HP seem to think so. Generally, I’m not a big fan of Netbooks, they don’t fit into my computing lifestyle and I find the screens to be too small and generally the processor underpowered. HP sent me an HP Mini 210 to play with that features the latest generation Intel Atom chipset and I’m sort of impressed. The design is sleek, I love the nearly 10-hour battery life and it has a cool little instant start feature that boots up into an HP’s Quick Web that lets you start surfing the web right away.
In all the hoopla over Apple’s boring, lame, pointless “Music Event” today “Ooh, .99 Cent TV Downloads, iOS Update, OMFG!!!” Don’t forget Netflix’s new deal with Paramount Pictures kicks into gear today, now on Instant Watch you can watch all the Paramount Hits including: The Godfather Trilogy, G.I. Joe, Star Trek, The Transformers and more coolness. But when are we going to get Paramount TV Shows like Numbers, Ghost Whisperers, NCIS? I’m still waiting for the day users get the supposed benefits from the Warner Home Video screw job from earlier this year. Remember the line at the time was Netflix signed the deal to delay DVD/Blu-ray releases because it meant more Content from Warner Brothers would be available for Instant Streaming? I’m waiting……..
They really are pushing the 3D TV “revolution” this fall – too bad there’s no 3D content to actually watch. Sony is adding 3D to it’s new midrange NX800 Seriesof Edge LED lit HDTVs that came out earlier this year. The 3D will add $200 to the price tag and will include two 3D Blu-ray movies and a voucher to download free 3D games on the PlayStation Network. The televisions will include an ambient light sensor and Sony’s Bravia Internet Apps. I don’t know, every time I’ve seen a Sony 3D TV display it’s been pretty substandard compared to Mitsibushi and Samsung’s 3D TV Offerings and Sony is crazy with their pricing – 46Inch will set you back $3,000, 55 inch – $3,700 clams and the monster 60 inch will set you back $4,700 and they don’t even give you a free set of Glasses!
Last year I reviewed JVC’s pocket camcorder, Picsio, while I liked the overall experience it needed a lot of work. Today JVC has announced two new pocket camcorders, the GC-FM2 and the GC-WP10 (a waterproof version). Both feature Full HD video, improved low-light performance, a three-inch touch screen for easy operation and playback viewing, and compatibility with Eye-Fi cards for Wi-Fi connectivity. Let’s hope they didn’t recess the Power Button again and include a weird HDMI port. Based solely on the Press Release, I’m optimistic about this new camera. Check out the full press release after the break.