It was probably 10 years ago when I heard my first custom headphones, and I couldn't get over the sound. It was an Ultimate Ears UE-5 model, and the level of detail was so much better than any previous headphones I'd tried. The custom earpieces' superior noise-isolation dividends were also part of the appeal, because as the background noise level goes down, the apparent detail goes up. With less environmental noise overpowering the subtle/quiet details in the music, I could listen at lower volume levels. Once you've experienced what custom-molded headphones can do, it's hard … Read more
Head-Fi is a national headphone club, and I went to the local meeting in Babylon, N.Y., last Saturday.
The vibe was friendly, and it was great to hear Head-Fi members' home-built gear, but there were a few surprises popping up from the headphone and electronics manufacturers in attendance.
Logitech Ultimate Ears' Personal Reference Monitor in-ear headphones feature a new twist on custom-molded-to-your-ears headphone design. Lots of brands now make custom in-ear headphones, and Logitech's have been among my favorites for years, but the upcoming Personal Reference Monitor takes the personalization to the next level. Once your ear canals' &… Read more
You can add some probably now-unhappy Oracle customers to that list thanks to some legal documents that have popped up in the hardware giant's legal battle against Hewlett-Packard going on right now.
As reported by Wired, Oracle received "hundreds of complaints" from customers after the Redwood Shores, Calif.-based company announced it would be discontinuing support for the Itanium processor, making a lot of HP databases rather useless. In a nutshell, that's what started this whole lawsuit … Read more
If you want a customer service answer on Twitter, you'll have your best luck tweeting Zappos or LLBean. (Assuming that's where you did your shopping.)
Out of the top 25 online retailers, Zappos and LLBean proved the most responsive on Twitter, answering 100 percent of customer tweets within 24 hours, according to STELLAservice, an independent rater of online customer-service performance that posted its findings in a blog entry posted today.
The other top retailers answered an average of 44 percent of customer services questions.
For the study, mystery shoppers tweeted daily customer service questions to the Twitter accounts … Read more
After a two-week-long Customs delay, shipments of HTC's One X and Evo 4G LTE are flowing unfettered into the U.S., the company announced today.
"HTC has completed the review process with U.S. Customs and HTC devices have been released, as they are in compliance with the ITC's ruling," the company said in a statement. "Future shipments should continue to enter the U.S. and we are confident that we will soon be able to meet the demand for our products."
The two smartphones were put in limbo earlier this month over unresolved … Read more
The daunting task of restructuring Greece's debt fell to Bob Apfel and his company, Bondholder Communications Group, according to Fortune.
To help complete a complicated series of transactions in which the country's Finance Ministry agreed to settle for far less than the $270 billion owed, Apfel and his team used a network of iPads.
The task involved capturing approval from nearly 100,000 debt holders scattered around the world in a very short amount of time.
Armed with a custom-built debt-restructuring app, the effort's leadership, including representatives from the Finance Ministry, the Hellenic Exchange, the Bank of … Read more
The takeaway from the latest American Customer Satisfaction Index boils down to this: smartphone customers dig their iPhones, despise their BlackBerrys, and are "meh" about the others in between.
The ACSI results, which measured satisfaction on a 0-to-100 scale, gave Apple an 83, marking the first time any maker of cell phones finished with that high a ranking. The annual survey compiles the opinions of about 70,000 customers on myriad topics. This was the first time that Apple and RIM (along with HTC and LG) got included in the survey. The next three companies -- Nokia, LG, … Read more
A friend asked me to recommend a browser add-on that would allow her to see generic results when she did a Google search. I convinced her to eschew extensions in favor of the manual approach to search depersonalization.
Google's support site explains how the company uses what it knows about you to personalize your search results. The site also describes how to restrict who sees your personal results, limit whose personal results you see, and customize the feature in other ways.
The most-obvious way to depersonalize searches --at least partially -- is to use your browser's anonymous mode. … Read more
After a couple of years of bubbling under the surface, near field communication technology -- or NFC as it's known to its close friends -- is set to go big. If you thought NFC was only about buying a latte with your phone in a cafe that offers contactless payment terminals, think again, because it can be used for much more.
As Sony made clear with its recent promotional campaign for the NFC-packing Xperia S, contactless connectivity has a surprisingly wide range of applications. This handy guide will show you what kinds of things you can get up to … Read more
Apple took home a 5-point jump in customer satisfaction, according to the E-Retail Satisfaction Index published today by customer analytics site ForeSee.
The iPhone maker's retail Web site scored 85 out of 100 in this year's index, compared with 80 last year. Only one other retailer, RueLaLa.com, managed a 5-point gain though that site grabbed an overall grade of only 75.
Despite Apple's ascent, it could only rise to second place, having achieved the same grade as QVC. On top as usual was Amazon.com, which captured a score of 89, up from 86 last year.… Read more