20 Stories

10 Inventors Who Saw No Riches From Their Big Idea

Like the guys behind Post-It Notes...

(Newser) - Despite what you may think, a smash-hit of an invention doesn't necessarily set an inventor up for life. (Witness Doug Englebart , who invented the computer mouse but didn't see a dime from it.) As the BBC points out, there are plenty of others who failed to make... More »

Microsoft Axing Zune Player

Company has given up on device, will focus on software: source

(Newser) - The music has died for Microsoft's Zune music and video player, a well-placed source tells Bloomberg . The company is going to stop producing new models of the player because of tepid demand and will instead focus on providing Zune software for smartphones, according to the source. When Zune was launched... More »

Teens Get High on 'Digital Drugs'

Should we be concerned about 'i-dosing'?

(Newser) - The latest drug trend sweeping the nation has nothing to do with pharmaceuticals. Kids are getting high on MP3s, Wired reports , pointing to an Oklahoma News 9 report (at left) on the phenomenon known as “i-dosing.” Supposedly, just by putting on headphones and listening to music—which is... More »

College Kids' iPod Volume Hurts Hearing

Most subjects in study set volume to damaging level

(Newser) - Most young people listen to their iPods at levels that will damage hearing over time, a new study shows. Researchers measured the output of an iPod while college-age students listened to music in a lab setting, and they found 55% of the subjects set the volume higher than 85 decibels—... More »

Things the Internet's Killed

(Newser) - The efficiencies granted by the Internet have rendered many aspects of life obsolete—the Telegraph has compiled a full 50. Some highlights:
  • The art of polite disagreement. A quick look at the comment section on YouTube or any news or politics-related site will confirm this.
  • Fear that you are alone
... More »

Yes, the $1,100 Earbuds Sound Pretty Awesome

JH Audio in-ear headphones offer near-perfect sound, for a price

(Newser) - Sure, the new JH Audio JH13PRO custom earbuds cost $1,100, Jackson Lynch writes in Wired, but you get what you pay for. “The three sets of twin drivers funnel fantastically detailed sound directly to your cochleae,” Lynch writes. “The proprietary drivers—two for the highs, two... More »

New iPod Shuffle Is Smaller, Holds More, Talks

(Newser) - Apple today unveiled the newest iteration of its iPod Shuffle, which is just 1.8 inches by 0.3 inches, can speak titles in 14 languages, and holds 1000 songs, Macworld reports. Smaller than a AA battery, it’s half the size of the last version, but more functional. The... More »

Zune Sales Plummeting

Is mp3 gizmo doomed?

(Newser) - Is the Zune on its last legs? Buried in Microsoft’s terrible earnings report yesterday was news that revenue from the MP3 player plummeted $100 million compared to last year, or 54%, “reflecting a decrease in device sales.” Microsoft can’t just blame the economy, either; sales of... More »

Leap-Year Bug Zapped Zunes

Microsoft advises Zune30 owners to drain batteries, then recharge

(Newser) - All 2006 model Zune30s froze up at midnight last night because of a problem handling the last day of leap years, according to Microsoft. The company advises owners to wait until 4pm PST today, drain the device's batteries, and then recharge, reports the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Microsoft apologized for the inconvenience,... More »

All the World's Zune 30s Mysteriously Freeze Up

Bizarre bug struck mp3 players just after midnight last night

(Newser) - Microsoft’s Zune has a bizarre bug: Hundreds, if not thousands of the 30G models froze up simultaneously at 12am PST, CNET reports. The MP3 players all displayed a startup status bar frozen at 100%; the timing has prompted some Zune owners to call the problem “Z2K,” after... More »

Obama Denies He's ... Gasp! ... a Zune User

President-elect just needed tunes after misplacing iPod: staffer

(Newser) - Barack Obama’s staff went into major spin mode after the president-elect was spotted this week working out with (cover your ears, kids) a Zune, forcing millions to ask what happened to the cool iPod user they thought they’d elected. An spokesman assured the nation that Obama typically uses... More »

You Heard? Headphones, Pacemakers Don't Jibe

Headsets may interfere with heart devices

(Newser) - Headphones used with digital music players may interfere with pacemakers and internal defibrillators, scientists discovered in research contradicting reports from the US government. “Exposure of a defibrillator to the headphones can temporarily deactivate the defibrillator,” the lead researcher said. Draping the headphones over the chest caused hindrance in... More »

GameStop Axes Zune; Microsoft Shrugs

Video game retailer will no longer sell Microsoft's feeble mp3 player

(Newser) - GameStop, a national chain of video game stores, has announced it will no longer carry Microsoft’s floundering Zune digital media player, reports. "We have decided to exit the Zune category because it just did not have the appeal we had anticipated," a spokesman said of... More »

UK Slaps Chatty Drivers With Jail

Texting, tinkering with gadgets could net 2 years in the pokey

(Newser) - Yakking on the phone while behind the wheel could fetch you a little quality time behind bars in the UK, reports the Daily Telegraph. A new law rewards chatty driving—or texting, or tinkering with a GPS unit or MP3 player— with jail terms of up to two years. The... More »

Pepsi, Amazon Could Spark Digital Music Revolution

Promotion deal pushing music companies to switch to DRM-free MP3 format

(Newser) - Pepsi and Amazon aren’t music producers, but they may inspire large-scale changes in the industry, Reuters says. The two companies will launch a music download promotion of MP3 songs during the Super Bowl next year, a deal pushing music titans like Warner Music and Sony BMG to consider distributing... More »

Stairway to iTunes

Reuniting Led Zep bows to demands of download devil, uploads catalogue

(Newser) - Led Zeppelin has joined the digital age, allowing its music to be sold online for the first time shortly before playing a one-off reunion show in November. The essential classic rock oeuvre is one of the last to get the mp3 treatment, Reuters reports. Led Zep will cave in to... More »

Meet the New Zunes

Microsoft rolls out its second generation of mp3 players

(Newser) - The Zune is getting three shiny new models in November, Microsoft announced yesterday, including nano-like flash-integrated 4GB and 8GB players, and an 80GB hard drive model, all priced just like corresponding iPods. They’ll sport new features like wireless syncing, touch-sensitive navigation pads and a redesigned, DRM-free marketplace. But they... More »

Moscow Court Acquits Music Site Boss founder ruled innocent of copyright infringement

(Newser) - A Russian court has acquitted the founder of of breach of copyright, Reuters reports. The now-defunct Russian website infuriated American and Western European music companies by offering cut-rate downloads that they said infringed on their copyright. EMI, Time Warner, and other major corporations insisted on prosecution, but a... More »

Apple Toying With Mini iPhone

Analysts guess $300 scaled-down version of popular gadget in the works

(Newser) - Apple will release a fewer-frills, cheaper counterpart to its wildly successful iPhone by the end of the year, a JP Morgan report claims. A Taiwan-based analyst cites an unnamed source in the supply chain and a patent application for a multifunctional handheld device with a circular touch pad, which Apple... More »

Radio Should Pay to Play, Artists Argue

Music industry wants to start collecting AM, FM royalties

(Newser) - It's time AM and FM radio broadcasters started paying for the music they play, a group of music industry types has decided. They're lobbying Congress to amend the federal law that has exempted terrestrial radio from paying artists' royalties for nearly a century, Business Week reports.   More »

20 Stories