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Southwest (finally) rolling out mobile boarding passes

AUSTIN, Texas--Hallelujah!

Southwest Airlines is starting to roll out mobile boarding passes, and for anyone who flies as much as I have over the last few years, this is very welcome news.

I've been here at South by Southwest for the last week, and this afternoon, checking in for my flight home on Tuesday, I was surprised -- and very, very delighted -- to be offered a mobile boarding pass.

I'd not heard of this before, so I did a quick Google check and it turns out that (at least some) passengers in Dallas have had this option … Read more

Pass Labs unveils next generation amplifiers at CES 2014

Nelson Pass is one of America's leading amplifier designers, but he doesn't change his products all that often, the last time was in 2006, so when he does it's a big deal.

I was knocked out by one of Pass' earliest designs way back in the late 1970s, and over the decades he's always made some of the best sounding high-end amplifiers on the scene. His latest series of X.8 amps come in a variety of power ratings and configurations, but all share the same refinement and purity of sound that Pass Labs amps are … Read more

Xbox Music taps into Gracenote to tag your tunes

Xbox Music users now can identify their music and listen to it across different PCs and mobile devices courtesy of Gracenote.

Buying a $10-per-month Xbox Music Pass entitles you to tap into the new service, which can identify albums and songs you already own and unlock your music online. All of your music can be unlocked, including songs bought through Amazon or Apple as well as those ripped from your CDs.

Gracenote, which is owned by Sony, also lets you edit the metadata for your Xbox Music collection and add missing album art. Finally, you can stream your tunes to … Read more

Rumor Has It: Watch out Spotify, YouTube is coming for you

Samsung rumors run rampant in this week's episode.

First, insiders are predicting that a "lite" version of the giant Note 3 could be released early next year. And, not even a year after the Samsung Galaxy S4 dropped, Sammy could already be gearing up to release the Galaxy S5. And this time, it might have a more-premium feel.

The biggest news this week, though, is the rumor that YouTube is working on a subscription-based service called "Music Pass." Imagine ad-free YouTubing. Sounds good to me.

Thanks for watching!

Heard a tech rumor you think we … Read more

YouTube's music service said to be delayed until next year

Music fans will apparently have to wait until next year to finally give YouTube's much-rumored streaming music service a spin.

Originally expected to debut this past summer, the launch of the subscription service was reportedly pushed back to the end of the year. Now it appears the service won't appear until the first quarter of 2014, people described as familiar with the company's plans tell AllThingsD.

Although not yet officially announced by Google, the music service is said to resemble the platform employed by Spotify but with videos. And, like Pandora, it's said to have both … Read more

Review: PassPhoto is a relatively basic photo app with no added features

PassPhoto is another free photo editing application for iOS users, offering nothing new or innovative to the field. Like most other free photo apps, the program provides no value of its own. Instead, it uses the photo editing features of Aviary, a photo editing development tool, and doesn't do anything to set itself apart. While Aviary works well -- a good reason for its inclusion in dozens of other free apps -- PassPhoto needs something else to stand out and here it falls short.

PassPhoto offers no instructional tools like most photo editing applications do, but regular iPhone users … Read more

Review: Access secure passwords with KeePass Password Safe Professional Portable

KeePass Password Safe Professional Portable stores secure (i.e., long) passwords and cryptographic keys in a secure database and recalls them with a single master password or key-disk (such as a USB drive). With KeePass, you no longer need to memorize long alphanumeric passwords, or, worse, keep using the same unsecure, easy-to-remember passwords. KeePass Portable is just like the installed version, only it runs from a thumb drive or similar device without installation. It's a great way to back up your KeePass Pro installation since you can open and view your password database on any compatible PC (Windows 98 … Read more

Review: PassGen for Mac generates an unlimited number of passwords

PassGen for Mac does one thing and does it well: It generates an unlimited number of custom passwords. The app comes with plenty of options, all of them packed in a tidy, accessible interface, making it worth checking out. Don't expect it to be perfect, though.

PassGen for Mac has a plain, almost unattractive interface, but then security apps are rarely stylish, so we can't complain too much. However, the app impresses with its many password customization options. You can choose the number of passwords to be generated, the number of characters in passwords, and even which characters … Read more

Review: PassLook for Mac stores passwords in an encrypted database & retrieves them

PassLook for Mac securely stores your passwords and can quickly retrieve them for you. A fully searchable app, it provides you with an accessible interface through which you can keep track of all your site log-in details. If password security is a big concern for you when managing multiple accounts, then you should give this app a try.

PassLook for Mac has a basic interface that lets you quickly search for passwords or add new entries. With a click you can view all stored passwords or export them to the clipboard. New entries have to be added manually by clicking … Read more

Do all amplifiers sound exactly the same?

The $25 Lepai LP2020+ integrated stereo amplifier plays exactly the same notes as a $42,000 D'Agostino Momentum amplifier. Exactly. The rhythms, melodies, and harmonies are all the same. Granted, the Momentum is considerably more powerful, so it can play louder, the bass will be more potent, the treble is clearer, and the stereo sound stage takes on an almost three-dimensional quality, but the notes, they're no different.

For me, the real difference between the two amps is how they translate music into sound. The emotional connection to the music is stronger through the D'Agostino Momentum; it'… Read more