Keurig 2.0 brews up DRM to freeze out copycat cups

In an effort to reclaim control over the single-serve coffee market, Keurig parent company Green Mountain Coffee Roasters' new generation of "Keurig 2.0" brewers will include interactive readers programmed to work only with Keurig-licensed K-Cups. The company confirmed the news in a recent earnings call, as reported by Techdirt. The new brewers are due out in stores later this year.

The move comes at a time when Keurig's grip on the booming single-serve coffee market might be slipping. The company's original K-Cup patent expired at the end of 2012, and not surprisingly, bargain-priced competitor cups … Read more

Former homeless man finds success in the speaker business

Five years ago I wrote about a homeless man in California who wanted to start a speaker company. That man, Kevin Nelson, dared to be different: his speakers could produce stereo sound from a single box. He was way ahead of his time -- nowadays millions of Bluetooth speakers claim the same thing. But Nelson's speakers do a more convincing job of creating stereo. Nelson started working on the stereo from one speaker idea in 1989 and spent years perfecting the concept. He cooked up the name Zealth Audio early on and stuck with it.

Some time after I … Read more

Change the Notification Center banner dwell time in OS X

Apple's Notification Center in OS X is a relatively new service that offers notifications along the right-hand side of your desktop. This service is used by both third-party applications and Apple programs and services, and offers two configurable notification types: Banners and Alerts.

These two types differ in that alerts will stay present until you interact with one of their buttons, and banners will appear for a short while and then disappear from view. While useful for a quick notice while you are at your system, the default banner dwell time of a few seconds might be either too … Read more

Review: MountainView is a photo gallery drawing from mountainous imagery

MountainView doesn't provide much as an app, but if you are a photography buff and enjoy images of mountains like those from the Valley of Ridanna, it will serve you well. Composed of numerous photographs taken in the Valley of Ridanna and a fairly easy-to-navigate interface for viewing those photos, MountainView is a fun app for those that enjoy the imagery of the great outdoors.

There are three screens in MountainView -- the home screen, the gallery screen, and an About page. Swipe your finger to the right and they will cycle through. On the gallery screen you can … Read more

Review: Mac OS X 10.9 Mavericks


Free: Mac OS updates are typically a paid upgrade, but Apple has finally embraced the free distribution model, including a bunch of new app updates to boot.

Tabs and Tags: As users are now naturally used to browsing and managing the Web with tabbed interfaces, one is left to wonder why first-party developers never incorporated this into the native OS sooner. You can now browse your directories with similar Safari-like prowess. Mavericks also brings the ability to add tags to each file. Users can now label each file with a tag and color for quick indexed search.

Notifications: You … Read more

High-end audio aims higher in Denver

The Rocky Mountain Audio Fest is held every October in Denver, and every year it's packed with the latest and greatest high-end audio goodies. High-end doesn't necessarily mean outrageously expensive, though; Schiit Audio was previewing its upcoming $119 Vali tube headphone amplifier, and I quickly auditioned Audioengine's soon-to-be-released $249/pair A2+ desktop speakers. I hope to get one of the first pairs in for review. Hifiman was showing prototypes of a sleek portable music player that comes with a set of the company's excellent in-ear headphones; the complete system price was $249.

Oppo, best known for … Read more

Google snaps up $235M of Silicon Valley office space

Google has just thrown down $235 million to buy up some more office space in Mountain View, Calif., according to the Silicon Valley Business Journal. This is the company's largest land purchase so far for this year.

The money bought six buildings, or 400,000 square feet of office space, in the Silicon Valley town. Two of the buildings are currently leased to security software company Symantec. The Silicon Valley Business Journal speculates that Google may be looking to make some extra cash as a local landlord as it waits for Symantec's lease to expire.

At the beginning … Read more

Apple's OS X Mountain Lion 10.8.5 update arrives

After nearly three months of beta testing with developers, Apple has rolled out another update to its desktop operating system.

OS X 10.8.5, which went out as a free update on Thursday, brings a handful of bug fixes and security patches. Key among them is a fix for a bug in Apple's mail software that would keep the program from displaying messages, the company said in its change log, pasted below:

The OS X Mountain Lion v10.8.5 Update is recommended for all OS X Mountain Lion users. It improves the stability, compatibility, and security of … Read more

How to overcome problems with OS X Dictation

The dictation service Apple introduced in OS X Mountain Lion offers a convenient option to input text by speaking to your computer. When enabled by activating with the Function keys, the service will accept a small recorded spoken phrase which it sends to Apple where it's transcribed and returned as a text string to be entered at the point of the cursor.

This setup can work nicely, but does have a few configuration requirements to enable it to work properly, so there may be one of several causes for why the service might not work as expected.

First, if … Read more

Always On Best of Season 4!

Season 4 was definitely the most fun we've had since Always On started one year ago. That being said, we're hitting the road in hopes of making next season give Season 4 a run for its money. In the meantime, here's our three favorite stories from the last couple months.

We couldn't help but notice Jeff's perma-smile and what seemed like an emotional journey back to his childhood when he visited NASA in Texas. Driving the SEV with an astronaut who's spent more than a month in space can have that effect on a … Read more