The 404 1,395: Where, OK Glass, where is the pulmonary artery? (podcast)

Leaked from today's 404 episode:

- Of course Applebee's is going to replace waiters with tablets.

- Charting the popularity of tech through hip hop lyrics. More graphs on Medium.

- The secret meeting that changed rap music, and destroyed a generation.

- A surgeon's review of Google Glass in the operating room.

- With new USB connector, no more wrong-way-up cables.… Read more

With new USB connector, no more wrong-way-up cables

The group behind the USB standard has begun work on a new connector that's designed to fix a two-decade-old problem: it can be hard to tell which way is up.

The Type-C connector will make Universal Serial Bus more like Apple's Lightning connector, which is used on newer iPads and iPhones. With it, customers don't have to make sure the connector is flipped upside-down compared to the port.

USB is burdened by a variety of different connectors today, meaning that customers often must have the right cable to plug in the right camera, external hard drive, phone, … Read more

iPhone 5C snags half its buyers from rival brands

The iPhone 5C has lured almost half of its users from Samsung, LG, and other rival smartphone makers, according to research firm Kantar Worldpanel ComTech.

Many Apple analysts and watchers expected the company to launch a truly low-cost international iPhone. But even with a starting price of $99 on contract and a full price of $549, the 5C still is reaching a wider audience than Apple typically draws, according to smartphone sales data from Kantar released Monday. As such, more new customers are trying the Apple brand for the first time, prompting many to jump ship from other smartphones.

"… Read more

Why the iPhone 4 is the best iPhone ever (video)

The iPhone 4 is the best iPhone ever. Ever. In the latest episode of Adventures in Tech, we explain why Apple's fourth mobile is the best it's built.

Hit play now to hear our reasoning.

Fours of nature The Retina display. The lightning-fast A4 chip. A stunning new design. And a front-facing camera for taking questionable selfies. The hardware alone is enough to put the iPhone 4 leagues ahead of its rivals, both past and present. But there are plenty of other reasons to crown this 3.5-inch marvel king of the iPhones.… Read more

Louis C.K. parody reveals the one button Facebook needs

Your spiritual guide might be the Dalai Lama, Miley Cyrus or Evan Snapchat.

Mine is Louis C.K. He has that desperate grip on reality, despite the modern world trying to rip it from him at every moment.

He's already explained why he won't let his kids have cell phones in stunningly persuasive words.

Now, a Louis C.K. parody account offers that he'd like to make a positive contribution to Facebook.

In a tweet that will surely resonate with so many who are consumed by Facebook's "news," parody Louis mused: "If this … Read more

Acer to sell touch Chromebook at fraction of Google Pixel price

Since February, when Google launched its Chromebook Pixel, there's been just one option for those seeking a Chromebook with a touch screen. It came with a high-resolution screen -- and a high price tag: $1,299.

On Tuesday, however, Acer announced a touch screen Chromebook option that's less than a quarter of the price. The latest in its new C720P Chromebook series comes with a touch screen and will go on sale early next month at Amazon, Best Buy, and the Acer Store for just $300.

It features a Haswell-based Intel Celeron processor and an 11.6-inch HD … Read more

The Jaguar C-X75 is too much for its time

Picture the scene: it's the 2010 Paris Motor Show, the new Bentley Continental GT has been launched; Lotus has announced a stupidly overambitious all-new, five-car lineup; Renault has revealed a concept Zoe EV. It was all good stuff, but nothing that would light your face on fire. Until you got to the Jaguar stand. You see, Jaguar had brought the C-X75 -- a concept hypercar that had an all-electric drivetrain and jets to provide the electricity. JETS.

Jaguar said it was going to make it and was set to reenter the supercar market for the first time since the … Read more

NAD's overachieving budget audiophile amplifier

I go way back with NAD amplifiers; I sold dozens of NAD's 3020 amps in the late 1970s and early 1980s when I was working as a high-end audio salesman. The 3020 lacked the visual pizzazz of the Sony, Onkyo, Pioneer, and Yamaha amps of the time, but the 3020 was hailed by critics and consumers as the best-sounding budget amp of the era. It went on to become the best-selling amp of the time. Not bad for a company that no one in the US had heard of a few years earlier.

In the here and now we … Read more

Battle of the Benjamins: Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini vs. Droid Mini, HTC One Mini, iPhone 5C

Although you can't deny the popularity of flagship handsets, manufacturers aren't shying away from offering devices that are just one notch down from their highest tiered smartphones.

The Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini, for instance, recently landed on Verizon and Sprint (with plans to reach AT&T and U.S. Cellular customers soon). It costs $99.99 on contract, though with temporary rebates and deals, Sprint is offering it for free to new customers only. The device features many of the things users love about the Galaxy S4, but in a smaller, slightly less powerful package.

Likewise, Motorola … Read more

Acer slashes $50 from C720 Chromebooks

For a while, it seemed like Chromebooks had a sweet spot of $250, so Acer rose to the challenge and priced this year's new Chromebook C720 at that level -- $50 higher than last year's C710.

On Friday, it released an updated version of the C720 -- back at $199.99.

The Acer C720-2848 Chromebook is 0.75-inch thick, weighs 2.75 pounds, sports an 11.6-inch, 1,366x768-pixel display, and matches the previous Acer C720 model. For now, it retails at Best Buy and Amazon.com. It will be in the Acer store in December, according to … Read more