Microsoft meeting yields hints of 'Rio' streaming service

The annual Microsoft company meeting has served as a showcase for many teams at the company for their near-term wares.

Even though it's open to all employees, Microsoft executives expect (or at least hope) that the Softies will be mindful enough not to tweet (thanks @m3sweatt), blog, or share with others the four-plus-hour-long internal presentation. And almost every year, information still leaks.

This year, Microsoft execs' latest promises about a single app store leaked. I've received conflicting information now as to whether Microsoft executives actually said whether the unified store will be part of the next version of … Read more

Can a $15 in-ear headphone sound better than good enough?

This blog is all about finding great-sounding audio products, in every price range. In June I reported on the best-sounding headphone I've ever heard, the Abyss AB-1266, but not long after that I was knocked out by Sony's MDR-V6, and now I'm auditioning these surprisingly decent $15 Audio Technica ATH-CLR100 in-ear headphones.

Introduced earlier this year, this all-plastic design is incredibly light, just 3.4 grams. It has 8.5mm drivers, sports small, medium, and large silicone eartips, and the headphone comes with a round plastic case. Amazon sells it for around $12, and even with that … Read more

The 404 1,222: Where we bust myths and eardrums (podcast)

Leaked from today's 404 episode:

- Makerbong? 3D printing is getting stoned.

- Bloomberg's next ban may be loud headphones.

- A petition to change the national anthem to R. Kelly's 2003 hit "Ignition (Remix)."

- 404 Archive News: 404 Redditor fanbanlo posted a link to download 1,217 archived episodes of the show. Canoy took care of a search for all 404 episodes on CNET.… Read more

Valentine's Day deal: V-Moda Remix Remote earphones

The funny thing about headphones and earphones is that sometimes the same product costs much less depending on its color. That's the case for the V-Moda Remix Remote earphones, which carry a list price of $79.99, but the pink version goes for $38 on Amazon (the standard Remix model without an inline remote and microphone is only $30).

We've generally given positive reviews to V-Moda headphones, and like some of the full-size models, the Remix Remote features a sleek design and big bass.

I've been listening to a black version for a few weeks and the … Read more

Infinite Jukebox: Your favorite song ... forever

It all started with Infinite Gangnam Style. For Music Hack Day Reykjavik, Paul Lamere, Director of Development Platform for the "music intelligence" company The Echo Nest, took Psy's "Gangnam Style" sensation to the next technological level. By breaking down the song into parts and matching similar parts in various patterns, he created a dynamic remix of the song that never ends. For Music Hack Day Boston last weekend, he modified and updated the musical algorithm to work with (nearly) any song, resulting in the webware app Infinite Jukebox, with the tagline "For when your … Read more

Gender-bending Lego ad remixer mashes up ninjas, puppies

I don't mean to sound all crotchety and old, but back when I was a kid, our Legos didn't have genders. All Legos were for everybody.

My brother and I shared the same pile of bricks and Lego figures. I didn't feel slighted that our little yellow people were missing pink skirts and sassy ponytails.

Lego recently debuted a new line of toys for girls. The Lego Friends wear skirts, have puppies, play dress-up, and hang out in a candy-colored cafe. Meanwhile, the boys' Lego characters are fighting space battles, capturing dinosaurs, and sailing pirate ships.

The HTML5 Gendered Lego Advertising Remixer shines a light on the gender divide in toy advertising. There's one world for girls and an entirely different world for boys.… Read more

Give your homely headlamp a sexy makeover

Headlamps are undeniably useful, but they are typically dull-looking entities with an emphasis on function rather than fashion. That's changing with Princeton Tec's Spectrum program for customizable headlamps.

Princeton Tec gave me the opportunity to customize a $35 Fuel light. I could have gone with something tasteful, like black and gray. Instead, I went '80s retro with a mix of pink, green, yellow, orange, and blue. It's the Cyndi Lauper of headlamps.

The Fuel has four LEDs that spit out 43 lumens. There are three brightness settings and a flashing setting. It runs on three AAA batteries and goes for up to 146 hours.

The headlamps are hand-assembled in the U.S. to your color specifications. The online design process gives you a very accurate idea of what the final product will look like.

There are 10 colors to choose from, ranging from screaming orange to subdued gray. You can select different colors for each individual part, including the body, battery door, end cap, and bracket.… Read more

Record, mix, and create music

If Sony ACID Pro is a little too rich and advanced for your blood, the slightly simpler and much cheaper ACID Music Studio may be right up your alley. Version 8 of the program builds upon the already robust music recording, mixing, and creation tools with several new features and enhancement, and yet the $64.95 licensing fee won't break the bank (you can try it for free for 30 days). But don't be fooled by the lack of a "professional" designation in the title: ACID isn't geared for newbies but for serious music aficionados … Read more

Best Clogging the Tubes ever

This week's Buzz Report is one of our best ever, if you're a fan of highly inappropriate humor (and we are). Gadget of the Week: the BlackBerry Torch, plus we check out the news that Saudi Arabia and the UAE are working on banning BlackBerry there because it's too secure. We say goodbye to Google Wave, report the shocking news that the next iPad may have a camera, and take the FBI to task for spending more time on Internet censorship than solving crimes.

Then, things get really good. Clogging the Tubes this week is the amazing autotuned Bed Intruder song, … Read more

Buzz Out Loud 1229: Too stupid even for Paramount (podcast)

Did Paramount actually issue a DMCA takedown to some people who filmed "Transformers 3" while it was being filmed outside their window!? Well, yeah. But Molly thinks that particular brand of stupidity almost had to be an accident. I mean, come on. Also, Google accidentally (!) collected data from open WiFi hotspots while taking pictures of their houses, which kind of feels like a double whammy. Oh, and it's Rafe's first show in the Tom Chair! We call it: Episode 1.

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