goods posts on CNET - Page 6

goods

Can recorded music ever sound like the real thing?

I've heard most of the world's very best speakers and amplifiers, and while they can sound pretty amazing at times, they never sound like live music. The reasons for the shortfall are many, but heading the list are recordings, there's way too much signal processing and manipulation imposed on the sound of instruments and vocals, so even if you had a perfect hi-fi, the recordings wouldn't sound realistic. Analog or digital? Sorry, neither has a real advantage here; state-of-the-art recording technology still loses too much information to achieve total fidelity.

I covered this subject in a … Read more

The 404 713: Where we're ready to believe you (podcast)

Wilson's taking a day off to devote more time to early-morning photography, so Mark Licea sits in his seat to fill in. We received a handful of listener responses about yesterday's TSA scanner conversation, so we spend part of the first half clarifying our stance on the issue, but also discuss our typical Friday stories--Asians, vacations, video games, Apple, Kool-Aid, and paper airplanes just a few things you can expect to hear on today's show!

A 17-year-old geek bearing a striking resemblance to Wilson in middle school is getting heat from Apple after running a six-figure business out of his home selling white iPhone 4s. Six months ago, high school senior Fei Lam contacted Apple's Chinese supplier Foxconn and somehow convinced them to sell him white iPhone 4 parts.

He used those parts for Whiteiphonefournow.com, a site specializing in converting black iPhone 4s into the missing white version. After selling more than $130,000 worth of parts since, Lam just received a letter from a private investigator hired by Apple to investigate accusations of stolen goods, but there's no word yet from Apple about what they plan to do with the litigation. Another reason explaining Wilson's absence today!

Social networks are all fun and games until someone gets outed for digging Asian girls--that's the lesson of the week for Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, whose old Friendster profile is making the rounds on the Internet for comments made about Asian females under the "What I Enjoy Doing" heading.

We'll grant Zuckerberg some slack since he was just a 19-year-old teenager at the time, and the rest of the content is equally lighthearted--he also lists "coding," "IN n Out," "bad life decisions," and "defeating nemeses" under the same category.

Our final story of the day comes from South America, where Brazilian Christians have banned the use of all USB connections and their associated products after claims that the logo for USB resembles the Satanic trident.

The Web is divided on the origin of the USB logo, but some suggest that the artist based the design on Neptune's Trident, with three shapes adorning the points that symbolize several connections to one destination.

Unfortunately, the ban on USB devices means that flash drives, mice, keyboards, and printers all fall under the same devil-worshiping umbrella, so hold onto your parallel port cords and PS/2 extensions--someday you might need them in Brazil.

Episode 713 Subscribe in iTunes audio | Suscribe to iTunes (video) | Subscribe in RSS Audio | Subscribe in RSS VideoRead more

Virtual goods revenue to hit $7.3 billion this year

Between 2007 and 2010, virtual goods revenue increased 245 percent, according to a study released today from market-research firm In-Stat.

According to the company, consumers will purchase $7.3 billion worth of virtual goods in 2010, up from the $2.1 billion they spent in 2007. The company's statistics include revenue generated from social-networking titles like Zynga's FarmVille, and casual games both online and on mobile phones.

In-Stat found that 70 percent of the revenue generated from virtual goods originated from consumers in Asia and Pacific countries, while the remaining 30 percent of the cash was generated from … Read more

Toyota is giving away cars for a few good ideas

Toyota this week announced its new campaign "Ideas for Good," along with a Web site that encourages anyone to post a video of an idea that uses Toyota technology in a new way.

Consumers are challenged to find new, nonautomotive ways to repurpose five distinct Toyota technologies: T.H.U.M.S. (Total HUman Model for Safety) is an advanced injury-simulation, Solar Powered Ventilation System uses the sun's rays to keep an electric fan running while the car is parked, Hybrid Synergy Drive converts braking energy into electricity, Advanced Parking Guidance System helps drivers park hands-free and allows drivers to control music, and Touch Tracer Display allows drivers to control the cabin temperature and other features from the steering… Read more

Putting employees' smartphones to work

Two years ago, casino giant Harrah's Entertainment needed to cut costs. One of the first places managers looked was cell phones.

As the company evaluated its business, one of the quickest and least painful ways to reduce its yearly budget by more than $1 million a year was to change its cell phone policy. Specifically, the company started allowing its employees to use their own cell phones for work.

"We looked at the cell phone market penetration, which is close to 100 percent, and we realized that everyone already has their own cell phone," said Mark Cross, … Read more

Paris Hilton hopes to sell you a skirt that doesn't exist

Paris Hilton is the epitome of virtual success.

She has proved that myths can become flesh and flesh can become a myth that becomes a legend.

So who could not but lie back and admire the fact that one of the 21st century's most significant icons is launching a new fashion line in the world of icons?

Yes, together with Mentez, the self-styled "world's leading publisher and developer of social games" on Google-owned Orkut, and Virtual Greats, the self-styled "world's leading virtual goods and sales distribution agency," Hilton is self-styling clothes that don'… Read more

Seeking all sports nuts: Coveroo phone cases

If you're like me, you might have been on a fruitless hunt for a customized iPhone case that touts your beloved sports team, only to discover nobody seems to have any. Is it critical for me to own an iPhone case themed after the New York Jets? Hardly, but I'm a superstitious fellow and I like my digital trinkets and amulets.

Coveroo, which makes custom cases for iPhones, BlackBerries, iPods, iPads, and many other devices, doesn't actually have an NFL teams license, although it does have a license for NFL players. They have NBA and MLB licenses, … Read more

Verizon and Good boost Android enterprise support

The nation's largest wireless provider has paired up with one of the premier names in the enterprise space to bring business-grade security and management to handsets like the Droid 2, Droid X, and LG Ally. The move will give the carrier a leg up when it comes to attracting business customers who previously worried about security protocols, remote wiping, and general data encryption.

The new solution is based around two components: messaging and control. Good Mobile Messaging will provide personal information management (PIM) and enterprise-class e-mail and Good Mobile Control will allow for over-the-air and on-device encryption of enterprise … Read more

Is good-enough sound good enough for you?

Few big-screen-TV buyers are willing to invest in bona-fide home theater systems with a receiver, five (or more) speakers, and a subwoofer. Most folks are satisfied with the sound from the tiny stereo speakers built into the display. That's sad, since based on what I've heard from the displays being reviewed at the CNET offices the sound is at best barely passable. In fact, the quality of the built-in speakers is getting worse with each passing year. Great-looking high-definition video matched to lo-fi sound doesn't work for me, but we all have our priorities, don't we?

Those considering stepping up to a $300 sound bar speaker are more sophisticated buyers, and by the time we get to home theater in a box systems, with five or more speakers and a subwoofer, we're getting to the elite buyer class. I'm not joking, HTIB buyers can deal with a tangle of wires, and nearly all the setup hassles associated with a receiver-based home theater system. If you want an even higher quality home theater system with a receiver and full-size speaker/subwoofer system plan on spending close to $2,000. Sure, you can spend less, but you'll just wind up with something that doesn't sound much better sounding than a really good HTIB.

Here are my recommendations for the best-sounding affordable home theater solutions. (Editors' Note: The following list is Steve Guttenberg's personal opinion, based on his evaluation of sound quality and audio performance. For a more complete list of CNET's official product recommendations [which takes design and features into account], check out CNET's in-depth list of best home audio products.)… Read more

Report: Women driving virtual good sales

Set to be released later today, the latest Digital Goods Spending Report by analyst firm VG Market and in-game monetization provider Playspan, shows that the burgeoning market for virtual goods is still just scratching the surface of the enormous opportunity ahead.

July's report reveals that 75 percent of the respondents (a sample size of 2,221 respondents was polled) have used real-world money to pay for virtual goods, and that roughly half expect to continue to spend about the same amount of real-world cash over the next 12 months.

Additionally, women over the age of 25 are stepping up … Read more