Earplugs are the best way to protect your hearing in loud environments, but sometimes they do their job too well. They muddle the sound, so music sounds dull, or you can't understand people talking around you. I've used earplugs for decades; my first set was custom-molded to my ears, and while they were highly effective, the hard plastic plugs were uncomfortable to wear for extended periods of time. So I moved onto inexpensive, but comfy foam plugs that quelled the noise almost as well, but they totally muffled the sound. Foam earplugs can be frustrating to use at … Read more
While the features and services offered by wearables and home tech are certainly abundant, hardware makers say the next big challenge for these products is an age-old one: getting people to actually use them.
This means making products that look good and are ridiculously easy to use, according to a panel of industry folks from Misfit Wearables, Intel, Ford, and Microsoft at CNET's Next Big Thing presentation on Tuesday.
A visually-pleasing design is the only way these types of products can go mainstream because people won't just use wearables simply because they perform well, said Sonny Vu, CEO … Read more
While the smartphone and tablet markets seem to have devolved into a somewhat-predictable battle of bigger displays and faster processors, we're seeing some amazing innovation in a flotilla of other devices with more specific intents. These things use sensors and other smarts to provide solutions to problems we didn't know we had.
At last year's Next Big Thing SuperSession, we talked about how connecting all your many and myriad gadgets helps to make them all smarter than they would be on their own. This year we discuss how those individual devices are becoming more aware of their … Read more
Ever since Ouya launched its Free the Games Fund, gamers and developers have wondered whether some people were taking short cuts to get funding for their projects -- namely getting friends and family to donate a high amount of money to meet the project minimum on Kickstarter.
It may be because of this speculation that the gaming company announced Wednesday it was changing the rules of the fund. Now, the project minimum has been lowered to $10,000, but projects must have at least 100 backers for every $10,000 raised.
"You need to play by the spirit of … Read more
Ever wish you could peek inside someone else's e-mail inbox? Say, your boss'? Your girlfriend's? Lena Dunham's?
Actually, you can (well, Dunham's, at least).
For the next several months, performance artist, actor, and director Miranda July is giving the world a look at private e-mails written by celebrities, including the star of "Girls"; NBA great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar; actress Kirsten Dunst; and Israeli writer Etgar Keret.
With the dog days of summer upon us, the tech world could use a diversion beyond the seemingly endless PRISM story and the accompanying saga of one Edward Snowden. So it is that one popular parlor game within some segments of the chattering class is to pose the seemingly provocative question of whether Apple's best days are behind it.
Everything is relative and the same might also be asked of Apple rival Samsung, which just this week revealed that it will finish up its second quarter way short of analyst projections. Truth be told, this is all part of … Read more
Leaked from today's 404 episode:
- From Usher to jellyfish: What was new at this year's Macy's 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular.
- Social etiquette do or don't?: The ol' Irish farewell.
- Is this the first arrest filmed on Google Glass?
- Speaking of citizen journalism: you'll never eat at Golden Corral again.
- RadioShack tries out new concept store.Episode 1,298
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July Fourth is the day we celebrate being a true American.
Some will choose to barbecue animals and watch fireworks. Others will hack into their neighbors' wi-fi, just to see who they've been e-mailing lately.
However you choose to spend the Fourth, you have to take one little look at Google's Independence Day doodle.… Read more
Rallying around the Fourth of July holiday, several Web sites have come together to take part in a nationwide protest over the National Security Agency's surveillance program.
Organized by the nonprofit Fight for the Future, thousands of sites -- including some heavy-hitters like Mozilla, Reddit, WordPress.org, and 4chan -- will be staging online protests.
Rather than going black, like many sites did during the 2012 protests of Congress' Stop Online Privacy Act, or SOPA, these sites will prominently display a Fourth Amendment banner. The banner will quote the text of the amendment, which says, "The right of … Read more
We're all excited that the United States of America is finally turning 237 years old this Fourth of July, but it's highly advisable that you keep your gun in your holster and all bullets out of the air when celebrating this week.
Celebratory Independence Day gunfire is a bad idea, and not just because of the potential of, you know, killing someone. This week, police departments in many cities are also armed -- with technology that can pinpoint the location of such well-meaning but ultimately dangerous gunshots.… Read more