reviews stories

 
Sure, spies have charm, cat-like reflexes and an uncanny ability to seduce anything that walks, but without their gadgets, they'd have a tougher time getting out of sticky situations. While the International Spy Museum in Washington D.C. doesn't sell the infallible Cone of Silence (my favorite spy gadget of all time), it does have a nifty pen camcorder to help you get started on your next mission, should you accept it. Embedded within this $75 ballpoint pen, the MP9, is a tiny camera that can capture more than two hours of footage on 4GB of storage (up to 80 minutes on a full charge). The pen untwists into two halves: the bottom part for writing (yes, it works as an actual pen) and the top half for recording. After you're done capturing all the details of an evil mastermind's plan for irradiating America's gold supply — or something to that nature — you plug the pen into a USB port to transfer the incriminating evidence onto your computer. Novel as this might be, how does it perform in real life? We find out.
 
In the year we've waited anxiously for Jawbone to re-release its fitness tracker, the company has been hard at work trying to perfect every last detail. While Up was certainly a trailblazer when it first debuted and is still a perfectly respectable health monitor now, it's a year late to the game, and the health tracking market has gotten a lot more crowded since. Within that year, Jawbone had gone through 200 hardware designs, 16,000 man hours, 46 weeks of user trials, 2.9 million hours of real-world user testing, 13 billion steps and more to improve upon the flaws that had rendered some units useless the last time around. Here's our review.
 
Back in the old days, if you wanted to take your music to go, you shouldered a giant boombox and went. But kids today are spoiled and have a bevy of pint-sized options at their disposal. Whether they're picnicking in the park, laying out at the beach or hanging out with friends, they can easily pull out a compact Bluetooth speaker from their bag to belt out their favorite tunes. Since Jawbone introduced the Jambox in 2010, we've seen an explosion in the portable speaker market, with more options for mobile music than ever before. To help you wade through the choices, we're going hand-on with six Bluetooth speakers.
 
Criticism comes with its fair share of hyperbole, so take the following with the requisite amount of salt: Dishonored is quite likely the most inspired game since the original BioShock. Yes, both games share a quasi-steampunk, war-torn retro vibe, and there's a fair argument to be made that the title feels so inspired because it wears its inspirations so evidently on its sleeve, but there is a thoughtfulness present in each aspect of Dishonored that makes it feel not only completely original, but infinitely enjoyable. Warning: Some plot spoilers ahead, though we'll talk around them as generally as we can.
 
If one was faced with describing FTL: Faster Than Light concisely, the words "sparse," "evocative" and "random" could easily spring to mind. What's interesting about those terms is their non-sequitur nature. Subset Games fits the disparate puzzle pieces together, and the result is more than meets the eye.
 
Just as in politics, the vast majority of the smartphone universe is made up of iOSocrats and Androidicans (or, if you will, Androidicrats and iOSicans) with only a small sliver of undecided (or older BlackBerry users deciding to reject the useless protest third party candidate vote, and non-smartphone users finally willing to dive in). Androdicans will buy only Android phones; iOSocrats will stick with whatever candidate Apple annually nominates. So any review of the new iPhone 5, such as this one, will appeal largely to current iPhone owners and the small slice of the feature phone undecided. So the question then is this: should current iPhone owners move up to the iPhone 5? Based on two fun-filled days playing with my new iPhone 5, I'd say this: Are you friggin' kidding me? You will love this new iPhone.
 
The elegant bamboo box before me looks like an heirloom passed down within a family for generations. Among the engravings in the blond wood is a dragon, a Chinese symbol of prosperity. When I open it up, I'm greeted with a lovely soft black pouch that surely holds something precious and delicate. Reaching in, I pull out a pair of Bruce Lee-branded steel headphones, leading me to wonder: Are these high-end cans that pack a punch like the action star they were named for, or are these something I can pick up at Chinatown?

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