Misc

Adjustable sit-stand desks are all the rage these days, after some smart person in the healthcare field put two and two together to figure out that planting your backside in an office chair all day long is really not good for you, and in more ways than one. Adjustable height desks come generally in two variants, stand-alone models like the Autonomous Smart Desk 2 you see above and desktop risers that essentially convert a standard desk to sit-stand positioning capability. Pricing for the various model types out there range from the cheesy $149 versions, to north of $500 or so for premium, motorized... Read more...
When you think Amazon, you probably imagine books and freaky fast shipping. You probably don't think about drones and robots, both of which have crept into the company's fabric over the past year or so. In addition to preparing a Prime Air service which would (in theory) drop packages to your front door, the company has just rolled out its eighth-generation fulfillment center which relies on "robotics, vision systems, and high-end technology to speed up order delivery times for customers."Specifically, one of the stars is Kiva. Kiva is strolling around in 10 of these new centers across the United... Read more...
Aereo may be remembered as the most highly disruptive service in the technology space that the masses couldn't find a need for. Now, it'll also be remembered as a company that couldn't battle its way beyond a brutal court decision that effectively made its core service illegal to offer. For those needing a refresher, Aereo offered up an online stream of free, over-the-air network television channels. The argument was that if these stations were given away for free using an antenna, why should it be wrong to transit that same signals using modern technology (the Internet) instead? Evidently, the... Read more...
We have a confession to make (well, several actually, but all the rest date back to our college days, and some secrets are best left untold). Reviewing monitors isn't as fun as it once was. It's not that we've grown jaded over the years, but plain and simple, the monitor market has become stale, lacking the kind of 'gee-whiz' innovations that tend to excite us. Panel makers seemed to stopped pushing the envelope once they developed 30-inch In-Plane Switching (IPS) screens, and for the longest time, that's where the high-end has sector been stuck, as if caught in quicksand with no rope in sight,... Read more...
Ask any person who owns a dual-monitor setup and they'll all tell you they couldn't fathom going back to a single display. Maybe you're one of those people, and if so, you know exactly the feeling we're talking about. But what if you could enjoy all the benefits of a dual-monitor configuration from a single monitor? Would you be game to reclaiming some desk space by trading in two panels for a single display? AOC aims to answer that question with its new 29-inch Q2963PM display. Armed with an UltraWide In-Plane Switching (IPS) panel, this LED-backlit monitor boasts a 2560x1080 resolution with 21:9... Read more...
A growing number of graphics professionals, gamers, and all-around power users are turning to WQHD (Wide Quad High-Definition) monitors as cost-conscious alternatives to pricey 30-inch panels, and ASUS is all too happy to oblige. The PB278Q we're looking at here slips into ASUS' Professional lineup and brings with it a 27-inch PLS (Plane-to-Line Switching) panel with a 2560x1440 display and LED backlighting. At around $700 street, it's one of the least expensive 27-inch WQHD monitors available, yet it boasts some posh features, like swivel support, the ability to rotate into portrait mode, and... Read more...
Apple's Mountain Lion operating system has been a long time coming. Apple first teased the "200 new features" represented in OS X 10.8 back in June, and here we are in August with well over three million copies already downloaded. According to Apple, the launch of Mountain Lion is its most successful OS X launch ever. It's also interesting for another reason: it's the first Mac desktop OS ever to not ship on a disc or USB flash drive from the start. It's only available as a ~4.34GB download, which you could argue alienates OS X users who don't have access to a reliable broadband connection,... Read more...
When we first took a look at the ASRock Vision 3D 137B with NVIDIA 3DTV Play last year, we were quite impressed with the machine. It offered excellent all-around performance for a system in its class and had an extensive feature set that included Blu-Ray and 3D video playback capabilities, all wrapped up in what we considered to be an attractive enclosure. So, when ASRock came to us with an updated model outfitted with a newer CPU, GPU, and other components, we were eager to check it out. Once it arrived we were pleased to see ASRock hadn’t messed around with the system’s aesthetics... Read more...
When Asus asked us if we'd be interested in a reviewing their new, high-end USB 3 implementation that offered better performance than anything available elsewhere, we were skeptical. Historically, USB performance has been a function of which controller (Intel, AMD, NEC, Texas Instruments, VIA, etc.) was used. Similarly, other types of products, like WiFi routers, have exceeded specified standard performance by using custom hardware. Companies like Linksys and D-Link for example, have offered enhanced operational modes, but only if you bought specific routers and wireless cards. But... Read more...
Lisa Su, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Global Business Units, opened up this year’s AMD Fusion Developers Summit by reiterating AMD’s commitment to heterogeneous computing. She began her talk by saying that AMD is firmly committed to heterogeneous computing because the company has literally bet its future on the technology.   Lisa Su, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Global Business Units on stage at AFDS '12 She continued by talking about the ongoing shift in computing to lower power and mobile form factors, convergence, and how AMD is focused on aligning... Read more...
Last month, SiSoftware released the 2012 edition of Sandra, the popular system analysis and benchmarking program. We recently sat down with Adrian Silasi, the creator and chief developer of Sandra, to discuss how he got started, how Sandra distinguishes itself in a crowded marketplace, and whether we'll see the utility popping up on other devices in the future. Before we hit the interview, a bit of introduction is in order. Sandra was one of the first popular benchmark suites, but it's evolved considerably over the past 14 years. While we tend to use it for straightforward CPU and memory tests,... Read more...
We don't typically start off an article by waxing historic on a company's brand, but unless you're really plugged into the technology circuit, and have been for a while, there's a good chance you're unfamiliar with AOC. Punch the letters 'AOC' into Google and they're not even the first entry, not at the time of this writing anyway (the No. 1 spot belongs to Age of Conan). But if you're looking to save a buck -- and with gas prices soaring to obscene heights, who isn't? -- then do yourself a favor and get acquainted with the company formerly known as Admiral Overseas Corporation. Originally... Read more...
When we heard Asus was coming out with a P-IPS display, we were a bit taken aback at the thought of Asus getting into the high end monitor game. But as the old cliche goes, there's a first time for everything, and the PA246Q ProArt 24-inch LCD monitor is Asus' first foray into the professional display market. Every other monitor Asus has come out with has been of the TN variety, some of them very good, but there's a clear divide between what you get with an IPS panel and a TN display. The former boasts better viewing angles, much improved color accuracy, and in recent times have even proved... Read more...
In early September, Steve Jobs took to the stage and unveiled the new-and-improved Apple TV. What was once considered a “hobby” device was reworked, streamlined, made more affordable, and aimed squarely at the masses. It enters an increasingly crowded market of devices that offer near-instant access to libraries of recent movies and TV shows, as well other online streaming media content from the likes of Netflix, YouTube, and Flickr. Not to mention the ability to also stream media you already own—videos, music, and photos—from your computer to your TV and audio system. The... Read more...
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