Philips ▪ June 8

Philips ▪ January 8

HARMAN JBL Aware

Harman JBL Reflect Aware left, Philips Fidelio NC1L right

Noise-cancelling headphones are great, but they do have one big drawback: noise-cancellation requires power, giving you yet another device to charge. Harman and Philips have each removed that pain-point, announcing noise-cancelling devices with a Lightning connector instead of a 3.5mm headphone jack, drawing their power from the iPhone, iPad or iPod touch.

The Harman JBL Reflect Aware are earphones aimed at sports use, allowing you to choose the level of noise-cancellation – handy for times when you are on the street and want to retain some awareness of things like traffic noise. They come in at a reasonably wallet-friendly $149. Harman has them at CES, but no word yet on availability …  expand full story

Philips ▪ November 26, 2014

holiday gift guide smart home products 2014

I wondered earlier this year whether Apple’s HomeKit system would bring home automation to the masses. The good news is that you don’t need to wait for HomeKit to start bringing smart home technology to your family and friends – and we’ve put together a gift guide covering some of the main products that might bring a smile to their faces during the holidays.

With the right gadgets, they will be able to control lighting, heating, cooking, sound systems … even have their kettle switch on when they walk up to their front door, which will automatically unlock as they approach. Best of all, you can get them in on the smart home action from just $30 …

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Philips ▪ November 10, 2014

logos-mbp

A new report from Reuters citing sources at Apple familiar with the company’s plans for future corporate offerings has unveiled new details on the Cupertino corporation’s efforts to recruit business clients and software developers. According to these sources, Apple is currently courting companies such as Citigroup, ServiceMax, and PlanGrid (among others) to augment its current IBM enterprise agreement.

The exact nature of the proposed partnerships between these companies hasn’t been confirmed yet, but the general idea is similar to the IBM arrangement. ServiceMax, a company that creates solutions for managing field technicians, and PlanGrid, which allows construction workers to share blueprints with each other, will both agree to roll out Apple hardware with custom software to their clients.

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Philips ▪ September 10, 2014

philips

When Apple quietly created a new MFi spec for headphones, allowing them to connect via the Lightning port rather than the headphone jack to deliver higher-quality audio, everyone expected Apple-owned Beats to be first to take advantage of it. But instead Philips has, ah, beaten them to it …  expand full story

Philips ▪ June 26, 2014

owc-8

One of the reasons I like Macs is that their useful life tends to be significantly longer than that of a typical Windows machine. This is especially true of the pre-Retina MacBook Pro models, where it’s trivial to upgrade both the RAM and the drive.

I’d previously swapped out the 750GB hard drive and optical drive that came with my late-2011 MacBook Pro 17 for two 1TB hard drives. Along with a RAM upgrade, that gave me a 16GB RAM, 2TB hard drive machine. The plan was to use the machine in that form for a year or two, then do a further upgrade to SSDs once 1TB models arrived and fell to a halfway sensible price.

When that finally happened, and I did the upgrade, that gave me two 1TB hard drives surplus to requirements. I could have placed each into its own external drive caddy, but one 2TB drive is more useful than two 1TB ones, so I decided instead to try out OWC’s Mercury Elite Pro mini. This is an external enclosure for two 2.5-inch drives, which supports both USB 3 and Firewire 800, drawing power from either source – making it a portable drive without the need for external power …  expand full story

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