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Paul Ridden

Paul Ridden

While Paul is loath to reveal his age, he will admit to cutting his IT teeth on a TRS-80 (although he won't say which version). An obsessive fascination with computer technology blossomed from hobby into career before the desire for sunnier climes saw him wave a fond farewell to his native Blighty in favor of Bordeaux, France. He's now a dedicated newshound pursuing the latest bleeding edge tech for Gizmag.

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— Home Entertainment

OwnPhones aims to produce world's first 3D-printed wireless earphones

By - July 24, 2014 15 Pictures
Like many music lovers on the move, OwnPhones founder and CEO Itamar Jobani became frustrated when his off-the-shelf earphones kept falling out during sporty activity. He gathered a team of expert programmers, electronics engineers, 3D modelers and industrial designers and launched a new effort to develop custom-fit wireless earphones. The tailored personal audio throwers will range from simple plugs that stay put when you're out for a run to ornate jewelry that's sure to create an impression. Read More
— Music

Powerful hybrid polysynth marries analog goodness with digital reliability

By - July 21, 2014 9 Pictures
Though still in demand, classic analog synthesizers from decades past can be a bit of a nightmare to keep in good working order. Many modern digital emulators do a decent enough job of recreating the epic sounds of artists like Jean Michelle Jarre, Kraftwerk and Soft Cell, but some believe that they just don't have the same iconic sound qualities. Such is the thinking of a team of designers and engineers led by Philip Taysom and Paul Maddox, which has created a next gen music synth named Modulus.002. The boutique polyphonic sound machine mixes classic analog sound creation techniques with some digital magic to give musicians access to the kind of sounds made famous by vintage instruments of yesteryear. Read More
— Home Entertainment

Lights, camera, action: A closer look at the Keecker entertainment computer

By - July 15, 2014 20 Pictures
Back in January, French startup Keecker made a bit of a CES splash with a cute and curvy home entertainment computer capable of moving around on its own or as instructed by an app-based remote, and transforming any wall, door or ceiling into a huge projected screen. Gizmag dropped in on the company's Paris home at the weekend for a chat with CEO and Founder Pierre Lebeau, and a one-on-one with the multi-talented Keecker prototype. Read More
— Electronics

Tele Servo Bender emulates a lap steel sound using servos

By - July 10, 2014 7 Pictures
Though mostly associated with country music, there's a pretty good chance that you've heard the sweet singing tones of a lap steel guitar in whatever modern genre floats your boat. OK, maybe not techno or electronica, but certainly blues, rock, jazz and folk music. Rather than gently stroke the six to ten high action strings of an electric lap steel with a glass or metal bar though, Dean Miller opted to recreate the sound using four servos controlled by a modified foot pedal array and an Arduino running some custom code. The result is pretty astounding. Read More
— Home Entertainment

3D-printing gives Normal earphones a tailored fit

By - July 9, 2014 3 Pictures
If you enjoy music on the move, there's a very good chance that you've been troubled by earphones popping out of your ears just as you're getting into the groove. There are high-end earphones or professional in-ear monitors available that require the buyer to pop along to an audiologist and go through an uncomfortable custom fit process to ensure the buds won't keep falling out as you run through the park or jump around the stage. Or you could look into having a custom set of earphones made. This is precisely what Normal founder Nikki Kaufman did, but the significant cost and long shipping delay she encountered prompted her to find another way. She came up with a way to tailor each pair of earphones to the wearer using a free mobile app and a 3D printer. Read More
— Computers

HummingBoard is set to take a bite out of Raspberry Pi

By - July 7, 2014 4 Pictures
Since shipping in 2012, Raspberry Pi boards have found themselves the brains of such diverse DIY projects as a mobile phone, a touchscreen computer or even a treat dispenser for the family dog. Now there are three new boys in town that promise faster processing, more system memory and more connectivity options. Yes indeed, SolidRun's new HummingBoard family has all the makings of a serious Pi killer. Read More
— Music

Hammer Jammer brings a percussive twist to playing guitar

By - July 4, 2014 3 Pictures
With what's got to be one of the shortest campaign pitches on Kickstarter, Ken McCaw is putting second production run hopes for his Hammer Jammer percussive guitar attachment in the hands of players. Described as essentially turning the guitar into a new instrument, the fretting hand is still used to form chord shapes or single-note runs. But players tap, stroke or bash the big raised "buttons" at the picking end, causing soft or hard hammers to sound the strings. Read More
— Computers

Kudoso kids can only get online after the chores are done

By - July 3, 2014 5 Pictures
Parents have been able to set controls on TVs and set-top boxes for a while now, whether to try and encourage a more active lifestyle from their offspring, or just to get the kids to tidy up, do homework or even read a book. In today's connected world, a good many youngsters get their entertainment and social gratification online – and spend numerous hours glued to a computer, tablet or smartphone screen. Many smart devices come with some form of parental control, but setting up and managing blacklists across multiple gadgets can be a little overwhelming. The Kudoso system controls internet access at the router, and kids only get to play when a checklist of parent-created tasks is complete. Read More

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