Wes Phillips  |  Jan 16, 2006  |  2 comments
That's what a newly discovered 1763 copy of an earlier map is said to "prove." Has anybody else out there read Kim Stanley Robinson's alternative history The Years of Rice and Salt? It's a good 'un.
Wes Phillips  |  Jan 16, 2006  |  0 comments
Honda made the best commercial ever. Now it has made one that's almost as good. Call it a concerto for Civic and chorus.
Wes Phillips  |  Jan 16, 2006  |  0 comments
Evidence that a Black Hole leaves a dent in space-time "just like a dimple in one's favorite spot on the sofa."Right, that's precisely the homey metaphor that immediately occurred to me. Isn't anybody else alarmed by alterations in reality as we perceive it? i mean, it is all about me, isn't it?
Wes Phillips  |  Jan 15, 2006  |  0 comments
We were sorry to learn that Hiroyasu Kondo died January 8, while attending CES in Las Vegas.
Wes Phillips  |  Jan 15, 2006  |  0 comments
Apple's release of its latest version of the iTunes software for Macs on January 10 promised "stability and performance improvements" over the 6.0.1 version already in existence. It also included a new iTunes MiniStore feature that "watches" what you click on your library or playlist and, when you double-click on a selection to play it, changes its display to reflect "matches" you might consider purchasing. This means that iTunes 6.0.2 is sending your now-playing information to an outside server.
Wes Phillips  |  Jan 15, 2006  |  0 comments
Certain ideas (or memes in Internet jargon) seem to achieve instantaneous critical mass, at least if you judge them by how frequently certain web URLs are transmitted among friends. One article that appeared in our inbox many times this week linked us to research by music psychologist Adrian North of the University of Leicester, who led a team of researchers who monitored 346 people for two weeks, evaluating how they related to music.
Wes Phillips  |  Jan 15, 2006  |  0 comments
There was at least one story we missed at last week's Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and that was the announcement of two new plans to provide 5.1 music surround: XM Satellite Radio announced the addition of two 24-hour surround channels to its line-up and download service; MusicGiants announced its intention to add 5.1-channel "high-definition" audio files to its premium subscription service.
Stereophile Staff  |  Jan 15, 2006  |  0 comments
For 14 years now, Stereophile has recognized the components that have proved capable of giving maximal musical pleasure with its "Products of the Year." Based on a vote by the magazine's reviewers and editors, the 2005 winners were announced in the December 2005 issue and the awards were presented by Stereophile editor John Atkinson at the 2006 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES), held January 4–8 in Las Vegas.
Michael Fremer  |  Jan 14, 2006  |  0 comments
Part New Jersey diner, part Wurlitzer jukebox, with a snakelike tonearm that at certain angles looks vaguely lewd, this boxy, man-sized creation from Australia seems to have been built around its distinctive looks rather than for any functional purpose. Combine that with its sky-high price—itself almost obscene—and the result is apparently the sort of product that envious, cynical, self-loathing audiophiles love to hate, and reviewers love to write about.
John Atkinson  |  Jan 14, 2006  |  1 comments
Conceptually, the preamplifier is the bottleneck in an audio system. All sources pass through it, and it influences every sound you hear. A system comprising great speakers and gutsy amplification will sound uninspired if that's the character of the preamplifier. Conversely, a great preamplifier will allow through so much information, so much of the music, that the listener can forgive the shortcomings of lesser speakers and amplifiers.