As someone whose job involves filtering massive amounts of hype to isolate the tiny tidbits of information readers may care about, I must admit that at times my filter gets clogged. So I got a kick out of reading Mark Schubin's essay "Headphones, History, & Hysteria" as he doggedly pursued a seemingly simple question: Who invented headphones?
Well, one website says it was John C. Koss in 1958. And if it's on the internet, you know it must be true. But wait! The Beyer website says it was that company in 1937. And if it's on the internet.... But wait!
Gatefold LPs and CDs with copious booklets seduced past generations of listeners with form factors that made them want to buy longform music--and settle down for long, pleasurable evenings playing it. While these formats are not exactly dead, a struggle has broken out over what kind of longform digital music album will succeed them in the age of downloads.
Under recent legislation, some television broadcasters will extend their digital TV transitions to June 12, while others will proceed earlier, by February 17. Yesterday the Federal Communications Commission released a list of TV stations that intend go all-digital next week, cutting off analog transmissions.
Do these Sharp MP3/WMA/FM players look ugly to you? That's what the good folks at Engadget said when they picked up this new product announcement from Akihabara News. For my own part, I think the Sharps look pretty spiffy. And where can you find an iPod all in shiny red, huh, huh, huh? Well, all right then. It's clear the Sharp folks were determined to avoid looking like another iPod-wannabe and I'd say they succeeded handsomely. The player is available in three colors and two capacities (512 for the MP-B200 and 1GB for the MP-B300) but only in Japan. Come on, Sharp, let us have 'em.
Consumers want green TVs. Or, to be more realistic, greener ones. So who's got 'em? For that, you've got to hunt for Energy Star certification. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently issued a new and tighter spec for TVs, so the Energy Star certification you want is version 3.0.
When Apple extended iOS from the iPhone and iPod touch to the iPad, skeptics scoffed at the idea of porting the operating system for handheld devices to a tablet computer. Now Apple practically owns the tablet market. Rumor has it that the next step will be an iOS-powered TV.
Granted, this is only the latest prediction among many that Apple would move into the TV set market.