Category Archives: gadgets

Music Unlimited?

That is the name of Amazon’s new music service.

Will it develop any traction? It might, says Wired, if Alexa’s voice control AI powered system wins over music lovers.

Amazon’s secret weapon isn’t just lower prices. Its popular Echo lineup of voice-assistant products are a huge draw, and because of Echo and Alexa, Amazon Music Unlimited is aiming at a different target than its competitors. Traditional mobile and desktop users aren’t an afterthought, but Amazon is hoping the in-home experience is the huge hook for millions of new subscribers.

Another reason to go Dot – and hook it up to your home stereo system.

How Big is Your Transistor Gate?

These are turbulent times. Just ask the Donald. But amidst the turmoil, one thing seemed pretty fixed. We were bumping up against a limit to how much we could reduce transistor size. That was bad news for those of us who crave ever more powerful gadgets.

Well, that limit may not be a limit after all. From Engadget

“The semiconductor industry has long assumed that any gate below 5 nanometers wouldn’t work, so anything below that was not even considered,” University of California at Berkeley researcher Sujai Desay says. In recent years, though, that assertion has looked shaky, and now it’s been thoroughly disproved thanks to the discoveries made by scientists at UC Berkeley and the magic of carbon nanotubes. Or, as they’re more commonly known, graphene.

It seems that we will be able to go down to at least 1 nanometer gate sizes. What will that mean. Who knows. but it will be fun to find out.

Trust Me: You Will Buy a Digital Home Assistant – But Not yet

I have been tracking the evolution of digital home assistants for a while. So far, they are no big deal. Perhaps the best of the bunch has been the amazon Echo. But Amazon Echo has a long way to go before it truly could be called helpful.

Perhaps if it had some competition? Folks at Google may be reading my mind. They are coming out with Google Home – and the initial comments about it are that it may be a step beyond the Echo..Here are several links´ from my Luxe Shopping page (above)

Google Home profile

Mashable calls it the Echo killer

Let the games begin!

Fred Goes for the QC35’s!

the Bose QC25 is already on my “luxe shopping” list. It is not the only bluetooth, noise cancelling headphone set there, but it is one of the “best bets”. So it was fun to see today that Fred Wilson thinks they are very cool.

But Fred took this a step further. Before today, I was not sure if I really wanted a set of bluetoot headphones. Fred points own

… the thing I love most is that the bluetooth implementation on these headphones is fantastic. You can pair with multiple devices at the same time and the headphones manage the interrupts. When I am paired with my desktop and my smartphone and listening to music or a podcast or a video on my computer and my phone rings, the headphones pause the computer connection and my phone rings on my headset. The mic on the headset is great and I use it for conference calls all the time.

I am starting to get the idea. Now I want a pair!

Luxe Shopping: The Egg Topper

I agree with Maggie Hoffman at Saveur. Soft boiled eggs can be heaven. But they are a pain to get out of the shell.

Enter stage left, the egg topper. Maggie recommends the “smacker”.

— I go for the top of the line, investing $14.25 in the Rosle Egg Cracker / Topper. It looks a bit like a plunger, with a spring for a handle that’s meant to be pulled and released. With a loud snap, the dome’s sharp edge does its duty. (More than one snap is usually needed, and the device seems to prefer the broad end of a large egg.) When it works—practice, and careful positioning, makes perfect—the decapitation is masterful, the smooth circle of the egg’s top lifted in the plunger’s dome. I’m left with the perfect package, breakfast for one.

Here it is in action

As a person who cannot resist kitchen gadgets, I may have to get one! How about you?

Are Bluetooth Headphones the future?

Apple thinks that they are. And there is something to be said for eliminating the wire that connects your mobile device to your ears.

Not everyone is convinced that Apple’s solution (the Airpods) are the rightr answer — especially because they have no wire that connects the two ear buds together (which increases the chance that one or both will get lost in the shuffle).

So the question is raised — what works best?

Esquire offers some alternatives

Fred Wilson asks his rather large tech community what they are looking at.

Let the games begin!

Apple’s Brave Step into Wireless Earbuds

It was rumored to happen and it did. Apple has eliminated the earphone jack on the IPhone 7. and going with a new $150 set of bluetooth earbuds.

Two quick comments

It did take courage to remove the headphone jack. It’s not the kind of courage we talk about when people rush into burning buildings or save kittens from tall trees. It’s the kind of courage that accepts that your actions will change the status quo and will be, in the end, insanely unpopular. And, after the digital dust settles, the technology will move into the mainstream and we’ll forget this ever happened.

… these headphones are committing a grievous sin of design; they gesture at simplicity and ease while making life harder and more complicated. What might seem like an advancement is actually a bunch of needless flash and glitz. Don’t let yourself get blinded.

Great or horrible? You decide.

Enjoy the debate!