You'd have to be an idiot to screw up PC Mover, a piece of software that lets you migrate all your documents and installed programs from your old PC to a new one. Install the program on both computers, plug in the included and special-looking USB cable from one to another, run the program on both boxes, and watch the magic happen. There's really only one instance in which you have to think AT ALL: It asks you (on both machines) if you are on the old computer or the new computer. Apparently, I messed that up (because I'm an idiot and, according to my neighbors who heard me lamenting my screw-up with much profanity and volume late last night, a complete psycho). No worries, though. I later discovered that PC Mover doesn't wipe the destination machine; it just creates a new user profile and moves all your old stuff over there. Thank God. —Joe Brown
We at PopSci are unabashedly Sonos fans. We gave its wireless music-streaming system a Best of What's New award in 2004 when it came out, and I personally have recommended it so many times that almost every serious digital-music fan I know has one (well, all of them with an extra G to drop, at least). The system has remained more or less the same over the past couple years, and, though it never really needed an update, I kept wondering what the company's crunchy, music-lovin' CEO and his merry band of nerds were going to do next.
Turns out that they have been working on enhancing awesomeness, and by this I mean subscription music content. Starting today, Sonos will be able to access the Rhapsody subscription-based music service, which lets you borrow songs from a two-million-track database for $10 a month. Now any Sonos user has the option to access this service through his remote control with no additional setup required—all the software is built into a software update that the company is pushing out over the Web as we speak. It's kind of like every radio station in the world, and you get to fast-forward. —Joe Brown
Generally, if a company claims that its product does something cool, I don't believe it. That's my job, see? But I gotta hand it to Nintendo. Its newish Nintendo DS title, Brain Age (PopSci loves Brain Age), has actually made me smarter. Today is my one-month anniversary of playing the game, which claims to stimulate your prefrontal cortex with fun little mini games involving math, memory and split-second decisions. How do I know I've gotten smarter? Here are some examples:
1. I paid my rent not on time, but early. I usually forget until I'm crouching under the kitchen table on the sixth of the month while my landlady (Hi, Marie) pounds on the door.
2. I have already started Christmas shopping—no joke.
3. I destroyed a bunch of Irish folks in Charades at 5 a.m. Saturday night, solving most of the pantomimes within 10 seconds. It got to the point where they asked me to retire from competition and just come up with subjects.
And here's a prediction: New York City will have a blackout today or tomorrow. Our power grid is already waaay overtasked, and, with the damaged power lines in Queens, we can't handle two 100-degree days in a row. If I'm right about this, I'm running for office. —Joe Brown
If you're walking along one fine summer day, and happen to look up in the air and see a giant cursor pointing down at you, do not freak out. Tron is just a movie, you are not a program, and that giant cursor is just a giant kite. Flown by a giant nerd. And since the company that makes the thing, Windfire Designs, prices its kites pretty reasonably, chances are that giant nerd pointing at you with his cursor kite will be me.—Joe Brown
After reading about the JetBlue flight that was rerouted home to Newark last night after an all-female brawl broke out at 30,000 feet over the Atlantic, I got to thinking: With inexpensive, somewhat gimmicky airlines like JetBlue (no offense, JB, I still love you) taking over the skies in the U.S. and Europe, you'd think there would be more carriers playing an angle to capture market share, sans catfights. My suggestion: Air McDonald's. What better way to start your vacation in America than with a Big Mac, a bucket of fries and a jug of soda, served up by the Hamburgler himself? Would you be "lovin' it"? Or would you be "throwin' up" in the bathroom with the flight attendants who had to serve fast food in recirculated air for 14 hours a day? After Hooters Air ceased all non-chartered operations earlier this year, I see a wide-open market. Anyone have any other ideas for a more succesful theme airline? —Joe Brown
Today Napster announced a free online listening feature. It's kind of like Internet radio meets HBO on Demand meets, well, Napster. You can listen to any of the service's two million songs up to five times for no charge. After that, Napster gives you the option to purchase and download the tune or subscribe to its service. Or simply choose to part company with the song forever—particularly useful when you're just trying to get some pop opus you heard at the gym out of your head. It ain't the good ol' days, but it is a solid way to listen to a song and figure out how quickly you're going to get sick of it before you fork over your wages to buy it legally. —Joe Brown
Nintendo announced last week that its new game console is going to be called Wii. Which is quite possibly the stupidest name I have ever heard, especially for a system that has proudly borne the kick-ass code name Revolution for the past year. Wii at PopSci don't understand what Nintendo was thinking but, stupid name notwithstanding, wii're totally excited to check out the console when it hits the market. —Joe Brown
It seems there's someone out there more obsessed with Knight Rider than I. His name is Juha Terho, he's Finnish, and, according to his Web site, he graduated from the University of Helsinki Law School last Friday. Congrats, Juha. Anyway, Juha has a history of obsession with KITT, the 1982 Trans Am that was the star of the classic TV show (Hassel-who?). From the tender age of seven, he dedicated his free time to drawing KITT's dashboard, a pursuit culminating in the Photoshop masterpiece that eventually made its way into the series' season-one DVD set. Check out his progression here. —Joe Brown
Today Apple announced their iPod HiFi, an iPod-specific speaker system. It'll run off of two D cell batteries (good for shoulder-mounted hood-stompin) or an AC adapter, and charges your iPod (but not the oft-scorned runt of the litter, the iPod Shuffle—sorry) while it plays. The $349 HiFi packs three forward-firing speakers, one of which is a subwoofer. And it's white. So to summarize, it's another iPod speaker system, but designed by Apple for Apple. Which raises the question: Why is it so vanilla? —Joe Brown
Seven new ways to get a state-of-the-art motorcycle experience
By Joe BrownPosted 08.16.2005 at 2:00 am 1 Comment
American motorcycles have a reputation for being low-tech machines stripped down for speed. But there´s only so much a bike can do without. So Confederate Motor Company (confederate.com) replaced every metal piece possible with a lightweight carbon-fiber one. The company hired industrial design firm Foraxis to help fabricate the new parts and produced a bike that weighs a mere 375 pounds: the B91 Wraith.