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reviews

CorelDraw Graphics Suite X7 review

CorelDraw Graphics Suite X7 offers professional-quality design tools for graphic artists of all levels. The latest iteration of CorelDraw comes with a sleeker UI, additional tool sets, and greater flexibility. By empowering users in their workflow, Corel offers a more competitive package for digital designers.

Pros

Personalized digital studio: With CorelDraw X7 you have total control over your workspace and design process. Both CorelDraw and Corel Photo-Paint offer different types of intuitive layouts for designers of all levels. Workspaces range from minimalistic (lite), to familiar (default) and even allow custom setups. This means you can spend more time creating instead … Read more

2015 Jaguar F-Type R Coupe driven. Hard.

Until I drove the F-Type R, I'd never been pulled over for a car-related offense. I've either been terribly lucky or far too restrained. However, while driving the F-Type R I was collared by the police.

As I approached a sleepy village, after overtaking a car to keep pace with our support truck, I slowed from the speed I was traveling at to the next, lower, speed as dictated by the signage. As I approached the village entrance a Day-Glo figure walked in the middle of my lane and pointed me to turn left.

I readied my license, … Read more

The 404 1,438: Where we get a scorching case of HTML (podcast)

Leaked from today's 404 episode:

- This "Back to the Future" hoverboard will blow your mind.

- 11 percent of Americans think HTML is an STD.

- Explore Jerry Seinfeld's apartment using Oculus Rift.

- Check out the first episode of Comedy Central's "Review" with Andy Daly on Thursday, March 6, at 10/9 CT.

- Follow Andy Daly on Twitter.… Read more

The Germans get serious about making great in-ear headphones

InEar is a new name to me, but it's an established German maker of high-end headphones. ALO's Ken Ball contacted me a few months ago about trying out some InEars and he sent over two models, the StageDiver 2 and StageDiver 3.

They look similar to custom-molded in-ear monitors from Ultimate Ears and Westone, but the StageDivers are universal-fit models that come with silicone ear tips. The large earpieces rest on the folds of your outer ear, so the fit feels more secure than in-ears that stick out from your ears. Both InEar models have user replaceable cables, … Read more

Getting better all the time: M-Audio BX5 Carbon speakers

I'm a big fan of M-Audio's desktop monitor speakers. Their build and sound quality standards, even for their near entry-level models, are exceptional. The new BX5 Carbon retails for $149.99 each.

The vinyl-wrapped, medium-density fiberboard speaker measures 10x7x8 inches. Around back there's a large bass port, so don't plan on placing this guy up against a wall. Each 11-pound speaker has two built-in amplifiers: a 40-watt unit for the 5-inch woven Kevlar woofer and a 30-watt for the 1-inch silk dome tweeter. Rather than use the more common Class D amps, M-audio engineers opted for … Read more

Wide-open sound: AKG K812 headphones

Even before I listened to the AKG K812 headphones I knew they were pretty special. First, they're so incredibly comfortable that after a few minutes it was easy to forget I was wearing a world-class headphone. One reason for that is with the K812, you never feel like you're cut off from the outside world -- you can hear everything around you. Once I started listening to tunes, that spacious quality remained and stereo imaging was wider and more outside my head than what I get from other headphones. Closed-back designs are always 100 percent closed, but open-backs … Read more

Rethinking Microsoft's tablet: Surface Pro 2 succeeds

The Surface Pro 2 is an excellent laptop-tablet hybrid.

I didn't think I would ever be able to write those words after using (for two months) the original Surface Pro, then selling it because, well, I didn't like it.

The Surface Pro 2 changed my mind, though.

A good laptop-tablet hybrid is extremely difficult to design and build; it took me a while to realize this.

Build something that works well as a tablet and it probably won't be a very good laptop. Emphasize the laptop aspect too much and it's a lousy tablet.

In short, … Read more

Ooh la la: The Aedle VK-1 headphones

As soon as I spotted the Aedle VK-1 headphones on the Web, I just had to check them out. That was early last year; e-mails were exchanged, and there were delays along the way, but now that I have them I'm happy to report they sound as good as they look. Aedle designs and manufactures the VK-1 in Paris, France.

I've had the VK-1 for a while; Aedle's founder Raphael Lebas was in NYC a few months ago and hand-delivered the headphones to me. He's a young guy, but totally focused on the job at hand. … Read more

ACLU: 'Obama, grant Edward Snowden immunity now'

In anticipation of President Barack Obama's speech about his review of the National Security Agency's spying programs, the American Civil Liberties Union has launched a petition calling for the amnesty of former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

"Edward Snowden is a great American who deserves full immunity for his patriotic acts. And we're proud to serve as his legal advisors," the ACLU wrote on the petition. "Now if tens of thousands of us stand together and tell President Obama to grant Snowden immunity, we have a real chance of bringing him home."

As of … Read more