Picking in-ear headphones, Walmart kills digital music collections, Use Google Earth KML Routes with your GPS, Veronica's Favorite iPhone Apps, DLP Projector Bulb Tips, The Geekiest Bike Around
"How do you decide which in ear headphones are best? It's not like you can audition them like over ear head phones!" Good question, Dave: outside of trade shows, or, say, if you have a friend that has umpteen pair, it's rare to be able to demo them. Some sites you can get honest opinions from include Head-Fi.org and HeadRoom.com. Email us any other faves you have and we'll share 'em.
This week's Freebie download pick is the best Vista tweaking tool evah: WinBubble. (Props to Lawrence Albert for writing this and making it free!) Think of the incredibly fun PowerToys tweaking tools Microsoft released for Windows 98, 2000 and XP... then turn it up a notch. Security tweaks, desktop and icon customization, performance... you can even change the startup screen (or your Windows Experience Index score). If you've got Vista, you'll want this program.
Monty is in hard drive heck... we've got the fix: replace the motherboard (aka CMOS) battery, or, hey, buy that new motherboard and quad core processor. (Which will also require new memory, a new graphics card and an upgraded power supply... and, since you want more than 4 PCI slots, a new case. Ouch!)
DRM Sucks volume 27: Wal*Mart shutting down DRM server, nuking your music collection. Bad Walmart, very bad!
Wonder if Walmart is making room for a new -DRM free- digital music sales program wrapped around Sandisk's slotMusic system.
Send us a video qustion! Just record yourself in front a video camera asking a question no longer than 15 seconds. Then up load them to YouTube and email firstname.lastname@example.org a link with "Video Question" in the subject line. (No attachments, please!)
This week's "Website We Just Can't Get Enough Of" is Fantastic Contraption. As geeks, we have a tendency to enjoy building things, and that's why Fantastic Contraption is the greatest time-waster / brain teaser Veronica's found in a long time! (Even tho you have a seemingly simple objective: get the pink ball into the goal, by constructing a vehicle of sorts.)
Tony has a photo editing question... or, more accurately, a problem with a new software package. (100% CPU loading when you try to do anything) We walk him thru some potential fixes, and remind everybody that new applications that have just hit the street can be tough, and chock full o' lots of new and exciting problems. This is a great time to start checking the forums for your product/its users! (BTW, There are some good Lightroom 2 performance tweaks here!)
PS - we love the CPU Performance Charts at Toms Hardware... a great way to figure out how long in the tooth your CPU is getting.
Bicycle GPS? We didn't expect a rash of GPS questions from cyclists after our $200 GPS roundup, but we got one. Short answer, use any GPS device, or if you're looking for something that's more cycling computer than GPS, check out Garmin's Edge series "GPS enabled cycle computers." (Think heart rate and cadence monitors, even support for ANT+ power meters.
Planning your travel routes in Google Earth is fun, but getting .KML, er, Keyhole Markup Language routes into your GPS can be a pain... in fact, transferring any data between GPS devices can be a pain. GPSbabel "converts waypoints, tracks, and routes between popular GPS receivers and mapping programs. It also has powerful manipulation tools for such data," it's free, and runs on just about any OS. Hope that helps ya, Scott!
And if you want to get a serious travel geek on, check out your basic GPS enabled picture taking YBike... it's a hoot.
Our favorite iPhone Apps? OK Chris. Veronica picked Phoneflix, ToDo, Urbanspoon and Wurdle... Patrick is big on Apple's Remote, TideGraph... and can't wait to face off BunsenTech's Dynolicious and InMotions PocketDyno+
As a follow up, Veronica teaches Patrick how to get rid of apps you don't like on the iPhone and iPod touch.
Sukh in NJ has worn out the bulb in his Samsung DLP, we give him info on where to buy that new bulb, why lowering the brightness won't save your bulb (or your LCD/Plasma backlight!), and why he shouldn't turn the machine off when leaving the room (for less than an hour). Props PCMag.com's most excellent HDTV reviewer Robert Heron for helping us out with this one!