I caught up with my old friend, mastering and recording engineer Bob Katz at the Audio Engineering Society convention held last week in NYC. He was there to proclaim an end to the "Loudness Wars," which refers to the overuse of dynamic range compression to flatten the soft-to-loud volume changes that naturally occur in music. Katz was way ahead of the pack in decrying the overzealous use of compression in mastering recordings, he has been in the trenches, fighting the good fight for more than 20 years.
Facebook just "friended" Cisco Systems.
The two companies are partnering up to provide restaurants, hotels, retailers, and other public locations with an integrated Wi-Fi check-in experience that ties into the Facebook network. Such a service would allow retailers to get more data on its customers, allowing for better targeted advice, advertising, or discounts.
The initiative is called "Cisco Connected Mobile Experience with Facebook Wi-Fi," a long-winded name for a bundle of services and router equipment that's being tested by several businesses, including two restaurants in the Bonefish Grill chain.
The partnership is the latest in … Read more
For those still on the hunt for an iPhone 5S and planning to buy it from an Apple retail store, there's a new, unofficial tool that makes it very simple to search multiple stores at once.
iPhone-Check, made by developer Mordy Tikotzky, just has you plug in your ZIP code, then pick what color and carrier you want. It then shows what phones are available at varying capacities at all of Apple's stores in that area.
The tool is US-only for now. It's also unclear how up to date it is with Apple's own store data. … Read more
Forget McDonald's and Macy's, small businesses can now pay Foursquare to make their ads appear higher in search results.
Foursquare announced Tuesday that it was rolling out self-serve ads for small businesses, with the goal of letting users discover new locales they normally wouldn't know about. The way it works is businesses pay a little extra for the self-serve ads and then their profiles are ranked higher in user search results.
"The idea behind these new ads is simple -- connect people looking for somewhere to go with businesses that want to drive traffic to their … Read more
Spell-check can be pretty frustrating, but it's become an invaluable feature in word-processing programs. For jotting down notes with a pen, though, people just have to take their lumps. Or, rather, they did. The Lernstift smart pen, created by two German dads, hopes to improve spelling around the world by alerting scribes whenever they make an error.
While we've written about the Lernstift before, the project is now making a go on Kickstarter. Using a motion sensor that combines a gyroscope with an accelerometer (unlike the camera technology used in Livescribe pens), the Lernstift will be able to capture and monitor the user's handwriting, vibrating whenever a word is spelled incorrectly. The pen was conceived by co-creator Falk Wolsky's wife, who hit upon the idea after helping her son with his homework. … Read more
Foursquare on Tuesday released an update to both its Android and iOS apps, giving users the ability to check their friends into a venue, without their friends having to do a thing. According to Foursquare, the ability to check in friends is the most requested feature to date. Well, those who sent in the requests can now be happy, but for those who would rather have control over their digital whereabouts -- you'll need to disable the feature.
The first time a friend attempts to check you into a venue, you'll receive an alert asking you to approve … Read more
One of the most anxiety-inducing moments you'll hear a Southwest customer talk about is the process of checking in as close to 24 hours before a flight, hoping to see a boarding priority number prefaced with an A. The lower the number, the sooner you get to board the plane and pick a seat of your choosing.
A new service, originally covered by Lifehacker, will automatically check you in at exactly the right time, ensuring that you are on the elusive A-list. The name of the service: Southwest A-List, of course.
Here's how it works:After booking your … Read more
For those who need a cheatsheet when contacting technical support, EtreCheck for Mac quickly creates a list of vital system information. It looks a bit dated, but couldn't be easier to use.
Clicking the downloaded file immediately opens EtreCheck for Mac. There did not appear to be any technical support or user manuals available, but the application's single feature and automatic operation made this unnecessary. The program, itself, is a basic menu with a dated appearance that creates a list of system information. This includes information on the operating system, processor, memory, and log-in items, among many others. … Read more
After a rough night out on the town, looking at your Foursquare history is a good way to figure out where you were (assuming you were coherent enough to use your phone). Sometimes you may not like what you see and want to delete any trace of where you were as fast as possible.
Or you could have innocently checked into the wrong venue and need to delete the error from your history.
Well, you can delete any check-ins directly from your Android or iOS device. I'm not sure when the feature was added to either app, but previously … Read more
Meet Saga, the "Automatic Lifelogging" app. This is the app you've never known you needed. Remember what you were doing last Thursday? Saga remembers. OK, I guess that sounds a bit creepy. But really, here's what the app does...
Instead of forcing you to write a journal each day to talk about everything you did, in perhaps an overlong narrative, Saga keeps everything in a neat list for you. Checked in at the grocery store on Foursquare last Monday? Saga recorded it. Tweeted about an upcoming movie you want to see? Yep, Saga got that, too. … Read more