I know I’m late but in case you missed it the first time around this morning, iOS 4.3 is here bringing some pretty nice changes. Here’s the rundown, some information from Tuaw.com

Personal Hotspot:

“…Personal Hotspot — Verizon iPhone users have had access to the feature before now, but as of iOS 4.3, AT&T users can find the hotspot feature under the Network tab, inside the General Settings app on the iPhone. Note that while Personal Hotspot makes it possible for you to share a network connection with a computer, either over Bluetooth, a USB connection, or now over Wi-Fi, there is an extra charge on AT&T, and your phone will ask you to sign up for that service if you haven’t yet.

AT&T calls the service DataPro with Tethering, and it will cost you an extra $45 a month, allowing up to 4 GB of bandwidth, and extra charges beyond that for more. That’s not cheap, but if you are often in places where you have to depend on your phone for an internet connection, it could be worth it.

To use the service itself, you just jump into that Settings screen, set up a password, and then connect from your computer as you would any other Wi-Fi network. The hotspot works with up to three connections via Wi-Fi at a time, so you and two friends can access the internet from anywhere, right through your iPhone.”
Airplay update:

“4.3’s AirPlay allows playback of videos straight from the iPhone’s Camera Roll, meaning that your snapshots and quick clips can be shared immediately. Websites that show H.264 video in Safari can stream to Apple TV as well, which is sure to be useful. Third-party app support is there too, and though it may take a little while for the developer community to catch up the possibilities are vast and very cool (Hulu, anyone?).

In addition to the wireless streaming magic of AirPlay, wired video playback gets a boost with iOS 4.3. The new version allows for “720p HD video playback from the Videos app, iPod app, Photos, YouTube, Safari, Keynote, and enabled third-party apps on an HDMI display,” meaning that you’ll need one of Apple’s new Digital Adapters to make the magic.”
Message Alert Options:

iOS 4.3 also brings some subtle changes to the way message alerts work. The settings for the Messages app now allow you to have alert tones repeat up to ten times at two minute intervals, which will come in handy if you’re away from your iPhone for awhile and miss a text.

Most of the 17 new (iPhone 4-only) text tones introduced in iOS 4.2 have been retooled. These new tones were quite lengthy before iOS 4.3, with some of them seeming more suited to a ringtone than a text message alert. 11 of the tones have been dramatically shortened and/or sped up — including Noir, which I thought was short enough to begin with — while six tones remain at roughly the same length they were before iOS 4.3.

Most tones are now less than a second long, and they sound much less overdriven, too; several of the new tones were so loud in iOS 4.2 that they sounded distorted through the iPhone 4’s speaker. That’s no longer an issue now as far as I can tell.

Another subtle change that you might not even notice at first: vibration alerts for messages have been changed up. Before, new messages had the same, brief vibration as the new mail alert. As of iOS 4.3, new text messages will instead give two sharp and quite noticeable vibratory pulses.

We’re unsure if the new tones have made it to the iPhone 3GS as of iOS 4.3; they weren’t available on the older iPhone in iOS 4.2, so chances are they’re still iPhone 4-only.

MLB NBA as streaming content

(Yaaawn) I guess this will appeal to some of you, forgive me if I save the confetti for another announcement.

“…additions of MLB.TV and NBA Game Time as streaming content options. Subscribers to these services (starting at $20/mo for the baseball side, and $65 for the NBA season) get streaming video of games, on-demand content and more. It’s a big step towards enabling the Apple TV as a digital hub for the living room — although, as pointed out, the Roku and Boxee devices have had this capability for a while (not to mention the Sony PS3).

Beyond the new streaming content, the update includes 5.1 Dolby sound for Netflix streaming, an improved onscreen keyboard, new slideshow themes, and the souped-up AirPlay feature to work with iOS 4.3 devices. Lots to enjoy!”

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Over the past 4 days I’ve been attempting to find a decent set of upgrades to my “Fatality MK II”  ($70) computer headsets/headphones. My primary use is video editing/music listening, and occasionally when time permits…gaming.

I tested over *8* pairs of headphones over the weekend and I’m really shocked at how shitty they all were.

Still on the top for the best bass reproduction is the Fatality MK II, which is what I own and was trying to upgrade from. They are very uncomfortable, specifically on the top of your head, the headband seems to always put to much pressure, giving you headaches after a couple hours.

The Fatality MK II have really really good deep bass, but on a scale of 1 to 10 for mids and highs , there about a 5.5.

Now being that they are only $60-70, I figured that headsets that sell for $150~ should be much better quality, which started this epic journey to find some decent headphones.

So after two or three trips to Fry’s electronics, I decided to just buy the whole lot of their top end headphones and try them all out, since the employees there were really against me opening them and trying them out on a my iphone/(ipod) in the store. (In the end they all were returned, so they got the short end of the stick anyways…assholes).

MOST of them are 3.5mm analog connectors, only a couple were USB, the analog ones were plugged into the controller unit for my Logitech z5500, and volume was turned to absolute max. For the song I played the great Dubstep song “Wel’ard”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HNQTr3YyipI

I listen to all types of music, primarily though, good ol rock and roll, and sometimes when I’m up late, a nice Pandora dubstep station.

I bought the following headphones and tested them all out,

MonsterBeats by Dre
Tritton blackops headset
Sony DRGA500 headset
PSYKO 5.1 headset
Corsair HS1
Corsair HS1A
Creative WoW headset
Razer Carcharias
sound blaster tactic3d Sigma

Here’s what I thought of them:

Monsterbeats Dre: Garbage, I mean seriously, just WOW. Bass is all over the place, and has heavy distortion on mids and highs. Clarity is completely substandard when listening to other songs (Black Keys, Michael Buble, Coldplay). I can’t see why these are used by anyone besides hoodie wearing hoodlums on subways plotting their next $5 pickpocket mark. These are complete garbage, and uncomfortable to wear. Gaming on these was by far the worst experience as well, although I know these are not sold as “gaming” headphones, they should still have been able to hold some ground….but again, nope, nothing but weak reproduction and lackluster audio. These are definitely NOT worth the 299.99, they are most likely $30 headphones with the traditional “Monster” markup.

Tritton Black Ops Headset: These were like having headphones with drivers (speakers) made of recycled paper. The sound was very “pale”, had no thump or ear shaking bass needed to reproduce a grenade explosion or mid to low bass in any song I played on them. As for comfort they were just “ok”.

Sony DRGA500: The Mids and Highs were great, very clear, but the Bass was almost completely absent. Keep in mind I’m not just talking about thumping “rap” bass, but deep bass of drums during rock and roll songs as well. During gaming, voices were clear and great, but again, just lacking that extra “umpfhh”. Comfort was one of the top three from the ones I tested.

PSYKO 5.1 headset: These headphones were decently comfortable, but the sound was very flat, on mids and highs and on bass. Aside from the aesthetic design, there was nothing impressive or really negative on these. They were simply “mediocre”.

Corsair HS1 & HS1A: One is analog and one is USB. Although you’ll find in the Corsair forums, some people describe the USB one as louder and better quality, they are sadly WRONG. They are physically identical, and the only difference is the USB one has an onboard audio processor, which I have to say doesn’t do much. They are by far, out of ALL headphones I’ve ever used in my life, the most comfortable headphones *right out of the box*. Out of all the headphones I tested, these were also by far the easiest to setup and get BOTH the headset and mic working flawlessly. The mids and highs were exceptional, but they both lack ANY bass what-so-ever.

Creative WoW headset: These are marketed as specifically for playing World of Warcraft. They must specifically only sound great while playing WoW, because aside from decently reproducing voices, they don’t do a good job at much else. Bass would fall during heavy parts, and mids and highs were just ok, I also noticed a faint hissing from these, I double checked all connections but it seemed to be limited to only these headsets out of the whole lot.

Razer Carcharias Ahhh, finally at least one headset that came very close to the Fatality MK II’s in bass reproduction. These headsets felt rather cheap and plastic-y, very light, and not to comfortable. However the mids and highs were clean and clear, and the bass was pretty decent, they could have been a tad more stronger in the deepness of the bass. Out of all the headphones, these were really great, and *almost* ….do I dare say , almost remained when I took all the other  headphones back. However Ill explain why I didn’t in a second.

Sound blaster tactic3d Sigma: These ones made me laugh genuinely.
On the box for these as I opened them I noticed it said in big letters “MEGA BASS!!!” which was obviously a complete marketing add-on. They were very poor on bass reproduction as well as very pale mids and highs, as if I was listening to a cassette tape. I honestly laughed because the quality packaging came across as if these would actually be a decent set of headphones. During gaming I had the same “distant” and cassette tape sounds, glass shattering in Metro 2033 didn’t have the same high treble crackling.

So in the end I am deciding to go another route, and either wait for a different, new, possibly better headset to come out, or to just fork out more cash for a professional grade of headphones. I use the Sennheiser HD800’s at my office, and there the definition of  badass, however they are $1500 headphones, and wouldn’t be practical to buy another pair for home, or to lug them back and forth and possibly get damaged or lost.

The Razer Megladons were going to be my next test, but as I found out they are USB only which means that they can’t be that loud, and reviews list them as the same as the Carcharias but only with the addition of a sound processor and a $150 price tag.

This leads me to be very disappointed in Computer headset manufacturers. Obviously were paying a enormous markup for what seems to be $30-50 China/Taiwan made headsets. And the “ultimate” ones costing around $200-$300, were still getting shit quality, nowhere near the quality of a entry level Sennheisers or Marshall headphones.

What kind of blogger would I be if I didn’t at least mention the news release of the Ipad 2? Well it’s not like I could tell you anything that you can’t simply find out yourself, so for the full scoop, see it at Apple.com or my favorite Tuaw.com.

The ipad 2 is not a whole world of a difference from the original, faster dual core CPU (a5), output support to 1080p, thinner, lighter, and entering the market as the same price as the original release of the “OG” ipad. There wasn’t any technical specifications posted quiet yet at the time of this writing in regards to the graphics processor or whether or not the RAM was increased. But I will update as soon as I see it!

 

Cheers!

So I’ve already started receiving concerned pirates out there about whether or not to download and install the latest SP1 for Win7 which if I am correct, dropped on the 22n….errr today. I’m going to jump the gun before even I install it on my singular PC system, and say that I would believe it to be quiet safe. Microsoft has learned in the last few years that even upsetting users of Windows who didn’t pay for a copy, isn’t a good idea.

Sure there may always be a small intrusive little star that pops up and reminds you that your copy is in fact not genuine, but there are always people like me out there that create ways for you to remove them. 🙂

Sometime this weekend amidst the madness of editing more video, converting PSD’s to XHTML, and testing a new eCommerce site I built for a friend, I will set aside my 5 hour energy drink and install SP1 and report back on my findings. I really hope that there were fixes to dropping connections when connecting to windows via SMB, and I’m crossing my fingers, though unlikely for a lost cause, and am hoping that there is major fixes to Optical Audio device handling, because right now it’s shitty at best.

For those of you that have installed SP1 for Win 7, if your having problems let everyone else know. Since I linked my facebook to my blog I noticed a lot of you post comments there instead of here, so lets try to keep the comments on the blog 🙂

UPDATE: Installing SP1 went very well, not hiccups or issues, and no problems with annoying “Not genuine” popups for a “non-official” version of Windows 7 on a test system. Depending on how you obtained your copy of Win7 and how you cracked it, your results may vary. I know that Daz’s and Hazar loaders do a pretty damn good job at retaining the copy of Windows as “legit” so if that’s how you cracked it, you should be fine. There are several versions floating around the torrent sites that come pre-cracked and I can’t confirm or deny that those will have the same results, but I think we would all like to hear if anyone is having problems (or if your not).

Cheers,

David

 

UPDATE: A full two days later and I was greeted by the “This copy of Windows is not Genuine” on the bottom right hand side of my screens. If your a Win7 ULTIMATE user, then simply download THIS , double click and run, the program will auto reboot you, and you should be good to go. For Win7 users that are NOT running Ultimate, Try downloading older Hazar or Daz loaders and re-applying the crack. As always if your having problems drop me a comment and I’ll walk you through it.

Today at 5:00 am PST, TwelveSouth a company that most Apple owners are very familiar with and love dearly, launched a new product called MagicWand. MagicWand connects your wireless Apple bluetooth keyboard to your Magic Pad, something that a lot of us had wanted to do for quiet a while. Here’s the description from TwelveSouth and a video:

“What is MagicWand? It’s a cool little accessory that connects Apple’s Magic Trackpad to your Apple Wireless Keyboard, creating the sleek, one-piece input device you’ve been imagining. MagicWand creates an amazingly efficient keyboard you can pair with iMac, MacBook and your Apple home theater setup. Use it on your desk, the sofa or anyplace else you use your Apple Wireless Keyboard and Apple’s Magic Trackpad.”

For only $29.99 it’s a pretty good deal and they beat some competition to the finish line (I can’t find the damn link to the product that is almost identical to the MagicWand sorry!), if you want to add a number pad to the keyboard, check THIS out.

Last week I had the opportunity to play with a new (and at the time unreleased) Sony PMW-F3k motion cinema camera at Samy’s DV EDIT in Marina Del Rey. I have to honestly say that when I was initially invited to check it out, I almost didn’t go. I’ve been so excited to receive my Red EPIC, that I haven’t even paid much attention to what’s going on with all the other manufacturers out there.

The Sony PMW-F3k (“K” just stands for kit) has two packages, one is the PMW-F3 which is just the body for 14k, or the PMW-F3k which comes with a 35mm, 55mm, and 85mm lens (PL ma incl) for 21k. Amazingly Jody Eldred, producer/director/writer/cinemetographer for many many shows NCIS, JAG, Nativity was there to give us a “pro’s & con’s” of the camera.

Execs from Sony gave us the short canned sales powerpoint presentation, and then let us watch RAW footage that was shot the night before. I was absolutely astonished. The footage, un-edited, was absolutely jaw dropping gorgeous. Linear lines of gradients were captured flawlessly, using only natural lighting, there was no noise what-so-ever that I could see with the naked eye.


Jody explained that he had been given the camera only a few nights before (he now has his own) and was asked to simply record random footage, but it was none-the-less amazing. I know that some people may think that $21,000 is a lot for a camera, but this isn’t the “Daddy filming and afternoon at the park” camera, this is a Cinema level camera, for only 21k, typically it’s easy to spend 50k-70k on a camera of this quality. The Sony PMW-f3k is lightweight (less than 7 lbs for the body alone) fully loaded is hard to say though. It’s has compact body that makes it an excellent choice to be used as an A or B cam.

One of the largest (aside from quality) advantages of the camera is that it’s a familiar and easy to use format, Sony’s AVCHD (mpeg-2 SD) which if you’ve shot and edited with a Sony cam before you’d know this goes right with your workflow.

Now I might even dare say, I just might whisper… that the Sony PMW-F3k could go toe to toe with the RED Epic-S, but wait, just waiiiit, I have yet to fully test the Epic (or EPIC-s which the PMW-f3k should be in the same ballpark as far as specs, quality and price). I do believe Sony with their Super 35mm imager has a strong chance of contending with RED on this one.

Ok so I’ve told you the good, so your probably wondering what’s the negatives right? Jody had mentioned that the viewfinder is garbage, and it would be wise to invest $600-$1000 for a new one, which is in my opinion relatively cheap for what you actually get. Also I noticed, along with a friend of mine, that the colors seem slightly hrmmm “faded”, the color red just didn’t seem as vibrant as it should have been, almost washed out. This could be contributed to the fact that it was a prototype unit, and some functions on the camera didn’t even work yet, it also could be attributed to improper settings, so don’t take my word as written in stone, yet. Other than that, there really wasn’t any issues with the camera, and I am now eye-ing it for my next B or C cam purchase.

For the full list of specs CLICK HERE.

 

*Note: the second picture has a Fujinon lens on it, and it is NOT included in any of the Sony’s packages (the lens cost $88,000!!!)