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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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— Music

Dual-driver M4U 4 earphones promise perfect listening room audio experience

By - May 29, 2015 2 Pictures

For its first foray into a crowded earphone space, PSB Speakers is aiming straight for the audiophile jugular with a combination of hybrid dual-drivers and its own Roomfeel technology. When the source audio signal reaches each M4U 4 in-ear monitor, the lower frequencies are directed to a dynamic driver while the higher end head for a balanced armature driver. This hybrid system has allowed the company's designers to add back the acoustic signature of a typical listening room for greater space and true-to-life presentation of recorded music.

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Bad weather forces Solar Impulse 2 to land in Japan

The Solar Impulse team reports that the aircraft is making an unscheduled stopover in Nagoya, Japan. The plan was to cross a weather front just before Hawaii on solar day 5, but the latest forecasts looked grim so the decision was made to land and wait for better weather conditions.

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— Around The Home

Carriers collaborate on Parcelhome Smart Box package delivery pilot in Belgium

By - May 28, 2015 4 Pictures

Though consumers can make substantial savings by purchasing goods online, the modern shopping experience does have some drawbacks. Chief among those is making sure that someone is home to receive the package. Online tracking tools can help, but Irish start-up Parcelhome reckons that anywhere between 15 and 50 percent of deliveries fail on the first attempt, meaning that the customer has to schedule another delivery or arrange to pick up from a drop off point. The company's Smart Box letterbox is currently undergoing pilot testing in Belgium in collaboration with carriers DHL, GLS and DPD. Once installed, it allows couriers to make secure home deliveries any time without the need for the customer to be there to receive the package, with a companion app notifying the recipient when the delivery has been made.

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— Home Entertainment

Mr. Everything wireless speaker can jump start a car

By - May 27, 2015 12 Pictures

In a very crowded marketplace, what can a newcomer to the Bluetooth speaker arena do to stand out from the crowd? Well, in the case of Mr. Everything, it's pack as much functionality and usefulness into a portable audio throwing box as possible. The water-resistant speaker comes with integrated emergency lighting, a wireless charging pad and enough stored juice to charge up a MacBook's battery twice or, as mentioned above, jump start a car. It's even got built-in storage. Not the flash memory kind, but somewhere to stow away essentials like protein bars or first aid supplies.

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— Robotics

VelociRoACH gets a job as an aircraft carrier

By - May 26, 2015

In nature, you're not likely to ever see a bird get a piggyback ride from a cockroach and then take off from its back. But in the world of bio-inspired robotics, such things can and do happen. Researchers from the UC Berkeley's Biomimetic Millisystems Lab have successfully demonstrated a cooperative launching system that puts a lightweight ornithopter on the back of its VelociRoACH robotic carpet crawler for a short run before the H2Bird takes to the air.

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— Music

Astell&Kern launches hi-res, high price AK380 audio player

By - May 20, 2015 2 Pictures

Many of us enjoy listening to a good tune or two when out and about, and a goodly proportion of that mobile music will likely be sourced from a smartphone or tablet. For those who prefer high quality sounds though, dedicated players like Neil Young's Pono and those from iRiver's Astell&Kern are probably going to be on the menu. The latter has announced a new flagship portable audio player aimed squarely at audiophiles and sound professionals, which is capable of 32-bit/384 kHz bit-to-bit decoding without the need for conversion but comes at a rather high cost.

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— Music

Pole Position pickup rides the rail for tweakable tone

By - May 20, 2015 4 Pictures

Mike Canavan is on a mission to bring guitarists the "greatest possible range and control over their tone" on a single instrument. The patented Pole Position Sliding Pickup System allows players to change the position of a guitar's pickup relative to the strings on the fly. This means a string-picker can opt for a bright bridge tone or a fat, warm neck tone, or anything inbetween – all with just a light touch from the picking hand.

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— Home Entertainment

High School students reinvent headphone cable for the 21st century

By - May 18, 2015 6 Pictures

Music lovers can waste many hours and huge sums of money searching for a pair of headphones to match a certain style or preferred sonic signature, only to have to put them to one side and start again just to join the groovy wireless in-crowd. If those premium cans are the kind where the audio cable can be unplugged, however, then the Spiro X1 will allow them to be transformed into Bluetooth ear candy.

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— Home Entertainment

Sennheiser takes a closed in approach to audiophile quality

By - May 18, 2015 3 Pictures

Though open high definition headphones like Sennheiser's wonderful HD 598s or the mighty HD 800s can offer greater spacing and a more natural airy feel than closed-back designs, they can't really be used in anything but the quietest of environments so listening on the move is simply not an option. The German audio brand says that it's new HD 630VB headphones offer hi-res music lovers a balanced, airy and audiophile-grade listening experience with the benefit of effective passive noise isolation.

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— Music

Silent Guitars given SRT power boost

By - May 15, 2015 5 Pictures

Yamaha has revealed the third generation of its award-winning Silent Guitars series ahead of a July release in the US. Described as the perfect guitars for practice, travel or stage, the new "near silent" SLG200 series guitars feature something called Studio Response Technology that's been designed to recreate the body resonance, tone and ambiance of an acoustic guitar in an instrument that, well, doesn't have much of a body.

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