Women sometimes buy quality audio, but that doesn't make them audiophiles.
With rare exceptions, all the audiophiles I've known are men. The unifying mantra for audiophiles is that there's always something, maybe an amplifier or speaker just out a reach that might get them a little closer to the music. Audiophiles are gear junkies. They want to have Aretha Franklin or the New York Philharmonic or their favorite music sound like it's in the house. Audiophiles crave an emotional, visceral connection with their music.
That pretty much sums up Margery Budoff's audiophile urges. Like most audiophiles I know, Margery had an unusually strong affinity for music at a young age. She described herself as "A child musician with an industrial design fetish." Even as a little kid she loved the look of stuff, especially older, big and clunky 1950s and 1960s record players.
The first record Margery bought was "Telstar," then Dionne Warwick, then the Rolling Stones. The record player was the thing that could "Decipher the secret code encrypted in the records. I wanted to hear the sound in all its glory. That's how I became an audiophile."… Read more
This story was corrected. See below for details.
SAN FRANCISCO--Apple wants Mac OS X to do a better job dealing with the new directions that Moore's Law has taken computer chips.
At its Apple Worldwide Developer Conference here, Bertrand Serlet, senior vice president of software engineering, shed light on technology called Grand Central Dispatch that's designed to make Mac OS X 10.6, called Snow Leopard, take better advantage of multicore processors and graphics processors.
Computer chips for years improved in performance through faster clock speeds, but processor engineers ran into problems with chips consuming inordinate amounts of … Read more
Corvette customers were the driving force behind the design of the 2010 Corvette Grand Sport, a company executive says.
The media get a look at the new model at an event at the National Corvette Museum last week. Here's a Web video that Corvetteblogger.com posted on YouTube.
Last week Nintendo announced a June 8 release date for MotionPlus, an attachment device that promises more accurate and precise motion control. While you can't use the technology with preexisting games, you'll certainly be able to take advantage of it with the 2010 EA Sports lineup of titles.
In fact, EA has just revealed that MotionPlus will be bundled with select games from the publisher. In the U.K., you'll be able to purchase Tiger Woods PGA Tour 10 and Grand Slam Tennis with the accessory, but only with the Tiger Woods game here in the … Read more
General Motors is recalling nearly 1.5 million midsize cars from the 1997-2003 model years have a defect that lets oil drip onto the exhaust manifold and flame up, potentially leading to an engine fire, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
The recall includes 1997-2003 Buick Regal and Pontiac Grand Prix, the 1998-1999 Chevrolet Lumina and Oldsmobile Intrigue; the 1998-2003 Chevrolet Monte Carlo; and the 2000-2003 Chevrolet Impala equipped with the naturally-aspirated (without a supercharger) 3.8-liter V6.
According to the recall notice, if the manifold is hot enough and the oil runs below the heat shield, it … Read more
SAN FRANCISCO--While Nintendo's Wii continues to outpace expectations and certain games are making fortunes for their publishers, a strong argument can be made that the hottest segment of the video games industry is one that is still in its infancy: social games.
These titles, which are popping up by the bushelful on platforms like Facebook and MySpace, as well as on Apple's iPhone, are garnering user numbers that would previously have been thought impossible. And in a deep recession, when even the strongest console manufacturers and biggest game publishers are being forced to shut down projects and lay off workers, people have no choice but to sit up and take notice.
At the Game Developers Conference on Thursday, Kristian Segerstrale, the CEO and co-founder of PlayFish, one of the most successful publishers of social games, upped the ante, stating his case for how the mainstream video games industry can learn from his side of the business.
In his talk, "Five lessons from social games that matter to the rest of the games industry," Segerstrale argued that while the nature of the social games business differs significantly from that followed for many years by the more traditional, retail-oriented publishers, times are changing, customers' behaviors and expectations are shifting rapidly, and the winning model may well be the new one.
PlayFish's roster of games, including the mega-hit Who Has the Biggest Brain is illustrative of the popularity games can achieve on services like Facebook. Segerstrale said PlayFish has had 60 million players, averages about 25 million monthly users and 5 million daily players, and currently has 5 of the 10 most popular applications on Facebook. And by itself, Who Has the Biggest Brain has been played a total of 500 million times by 15 million people, he said.
With numbers like that, it's clear why Segerstrale feels he has some lessons to teach the rest of the games industry. And while the traditional retail games model has been relatively unchanged for decades and remains strong today, he said he sees signs that the Electronic Arts, Activisions, and Take-Twos of the world, not to mention the countless other game developers and publishers out there, may need to rethink their methodology.
One harbinger of that need for change is evident even within the traditional games business itself, he pointed out. He said that Nintendo established the Wii as a sleeper hit by exploiting a wide range of people's desire to be social with friends and family. And he explained that Nintendo itself is well aware of this, as evinced by ads for the Wii that show groups of friends playing gleefully. Yet the real estate in the ads devoted to showing the games themselves is minimal; it's the image of the social activity that sells the Wii.
"This is about you and your real-world relationships," Segerstrale said, "which is ultimately much more important than anything that happens between you and your screen...That's why you're playing. You're playing together, not because you're trying to beat the boss in level 10." … Read more
debbiefromtoronto from the chat room joins The 404 today all the way from Canada. Of course, she brings her special Canadian goodies, like ketchup potato chips and Smarties, on to the show. Justin falls in love with her when he finds out that she has a bachelor's degree in printing! And she reveals that she was the one who actually coined the phrase "ear douching."
On today's show, we touch on the iPhone OS 3.0 news. Mostly, Jeff takes credit for the shake-to-shuffle feature. While Wilson flips out over the new dock input/output features. We also speculate on the new iPhone revision this summer. Also, a really bad Chinese iPhone joke: Ping Guo i-Dian Hua San-Ge. Ask your Chinese friends what that means.
In other phone news, we get a little excited over Google Voice. Wilson was previously a Grand Central user, but may pick it back up now that Google Voice forwards SMS messages as well. Justin thinks about signing up for an account to call Debbie when she goes home to Canada.
Finally, a man gets shot while wearing a Joker costume. He was holding a shotgun. He wasn't shot for his lack of creativity. And in other shooting-related news, Sega breaks the record for most f-bombs in a video game for House of the Dead: Overkill. Apparently there are a 189 f-bombs.EPISODE 301 Download today's podcast… Read more
The controversial Grand Theft Auto series infiltrates the Nintendo DS handheld gaming platform Tuesday, March 17, in the form of Chinatown Wars. While the game is still set inside the fictitious town of Liberty City, the storyline deals with the Chinatown section of it and a Hong Kong transplant who will serve as the game's protagonist.
Chinatown Wars features an older GTA game play style as you'll be viewing the world from a top-down perspective. This viewing mode was how GTA was originally played before it made the jump to 3D with Grand Theft Auto III on PlayStation … Read more
Google's new Google Voice has a few rough edges but for many users, it could be a life-changing experience.
The service, a relaunch of GrandCentral, which Google bought in 2007, allows you to choose a local number, which will simultaneously ring up to six phones such as your cell phone, home phone, office phone, and the phone at that vacation home that most of us can only dream about.
In addition to forwarding your calls, it also takes voice messages that you can listen to on the Web, from a phone, or read, thanks to a new feature that … Read more