In case you missed it on Wednesday night, the embargo was lifted on early reviews for Research in Motion’s first tablet device, the BlackBerry PlayBook. A veritable flood of reviews hit the web for the device, which debuts on Tuesday, April 19 -- but it’s off to a bit of a rocky start so far.
Verizon Wireless is finally accepting iPhone 4 preorders from existing customers today, and that means the embargo has been lifted on reviews of the new handset. A flood of such reviews hit late Wednesday night, and there aren’t too many surprises to be found.
The Mac’s window-based user interface was cutting edge in 1984. And while OS X has features that the first Mac users couldn’t have dreamed about, the basic metaphor for interacting with our machines hasn’t changed all that much in the last few decades.
Active noise cancellation is meant to reduce unwanted sound--the drone of an airplane’s jet engine, the hum of your office air conditioner, that kind of steady background noise. A tiny microphone detects the sound waves outside your headphones, then the headphones play an opposite sound wave which cancels out the original noise. That’s why they need a battery to work.
If you’re a guitarist, Capo is the bionic upgrade you wish you could give your ears. Drag any track from your iTunes library into Capo, and it quickly displays the music as visual data--a spectrogram full of blue smears. Those smears represent notes in the recording; the smears near the top are the higher-pitched notes and the ones below are the lower pitches. Click the cursor on a spectro-smear to hear its corresponding MIDI note. If that note is part of the solo or chord you are trying to figure out, drag the cursor on it a bit and, like magic, a tablature number appears below, showing you exactly where to place your fingers on your guitar.
Walking the line between tool and toy, Spiderpodium’s eight legs can keep your iOS device--or any handheld gizmo of about the same size--right where you want it. The rubber legs stay in any position, so you actually get to use your imagination when dreaming up new ways to pose it--and there’s no reason a kid couldn’t also imagine it as a nefarious space insect attacking a brave colony of Lego men.
Like a lot of people, I use a MacBook Pro as my main computer. The 15-inch screen hits a sweet spot in terms of size and functionality. It’s big enough to be useful on the go, but not so big that carrying it around becomes a burden. But when I’m at my desk, I need the extra space a Cinema Display provides. It’s a great setup, but because of the different screen sizes, I’m constantly juggling windows around as I switch between my external monitor and my MacBook Pro’s display. Stay is a simple but powerful utility that solves that problem--and even if your setup only includes a single display, Stay’s window-wrangling powers are impressive.