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Ford Evos to be the next Mustang

There are rumors floating around that Ford maybe ditching its retro-designed Mustang in favor of a modern look. Wall Street Journal’s Matt Ramsey is a proponent of this theory.

In his article, he suggests that Ford is doing so due to decline in retro-looking car sales. He also suggests Volkswagen suffered the same fate with its New Beetle, which also saw a decline in sales. However, Autoblog brings up two valid counterarguments. One is the Mustang did not have competition for years, and now competes against Dodge. Secondly, both manufacturers where hit by the recession, thus sales suffered.

Both arguments hold true. Ford has announced that it's going to take the Mustang global. Though the retro-looking Mustangs are popular here in the States, they may not be everyone’s cup of tea in Europe. They’re not big on large, bulky vehicles roaming the streets. We don’t blame them either, since most of their city streets aren’t wide enough for pedestrians to walk on.

The speculated predecessor for the retro-Mustang would be the Evos. The Evos is geared with Generation Y in mind. It also fits well with Ford’s overlapping theme set by the Fusion or the Aston Martin look, as we like to call it. Though we’re not opposed the redesign, we’d be sad to see the retro-bodied Mustang go to pasture.


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In today's Ask Andru column, we get a question about an issue with the iPad that we've actually experienced ourselves for years. Ever since the release of the original iPad, it's been painfully obvious that the speaker on the Apple tablet isn't exactly up to snuff. It's fine if you're somewhere quiet, but go somewhere that has any ambient noise, and all of a sudden it's a challenge to enjoy any audio-based entertainment. So, on to the submitted question:

I love my new iPad, but I wish it were louder. It seems that everything about the new iPad is high-quality, with the exception of the speaker! Is there any way I can get more volume out of this thing?

I hear you! As I said earlier, the low volume issue has been around since the very first iPad. When the iPad 2 was released, the speaker grille was larger, and many assumed that this meant that the device would be louder. Unfortunately, despite the visual cue, the iPad 2 suffered from the same issue, and the new third-generation model (see our new iPad review) seems to have the exact same speaker as its predecessor. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to alleviate the frustration.

Click to continue reading Ask Andru: How can I make my iPad louder?


SCion FR-S Overpriced

There has been much hype surrounding the Toyota 86 (Scion FR-S for the U.S.) and the Subaru BRZ after both vehicles hit the assembly line a few days ago. Much of the speculation was that the car was going to be a game changer for both manufacturers. On Toyota’s side, they would finally have a proper sports car after killing their legendary Supra (our fingers are still crossed in hopes Toyota will bring it back.) On other side of the field, Subaru has given up their claim to fame in only producing all-wheel-drive vehicles, as the BRZ is a rear-wheel drive coupe. But personally, the biggest blow is the price tag attached to the Toyota 86--$24,930.

Let’s be real here, with a sticker price in the mid $20s, the Toyota 86 doesn’t hold a candle to some its competitors. In the neighborhood of $25,000 you have plenty of other options. If you’re looking for a bit more room and functionality, you can pick up a Volkswagen Golf GTI, which starts at $23,995. If you’re looking for a thrill and all weather functionality, you have the Subaru WRX, which starts at $25,595.

Now if you’re wondering what the BRZ will be priced at, it’ll cost even more without a doubt. But Subaru has not yet released their price on the coupe. Unless you’re a diehard for a coupe, the BRZ’s price point is just illogical, not too mention that for $24,250 you can get a coupe that’ll run circles around the T86 and BRZ all day long. Wondering what that is? The newly redesigned Hyundai Genesis, featuring 274 horses. This, in our opinion is a better buy in the current sports coupe market.


Turntable.fm music discovery

Right now I'm at SXSW, sitting in on the Turntable.fm DJ Battle that's taking place over the next two hours. There are a few DJs on stage playing their best tracks in an attempt to rock the crowd, and as things are unfolding, I can see some real potential for Turntable.fm to bring something to the table that the Spotifys, Rdios, and Rhapsodys of the world just aren't able to deliver at the moment, especially now that Turntable has secured licensing rights from all four of the major record labels here in the U.S.

Click to continue reading Why Turntable.fm matters, and how it enhances music discovery


A few nights ago I found myself, along with two of my friends, shooting the breeze at a local watering hole. All of us come from different walks of life and hold different views on politics and social matters; but our love of good food, cars, and company puts all that aside. If you put us together for an extended period of time, one of us is doomed to end up in a hospital because of another, but it’s all fun and games.

Mid-way into the evening, my friend mentioned that he’s in the market for a new pistol. The other guy highly opposes guns. The bartender chimes in with his two cents, stating knifes kill people, cars kill people, and since people die in hospitals, the hospitals must be killing people, too. With these two bickering back and forth, it got me wondering just how many people get injured, or killed, on a yearly basis due to getting his by a car and how that compared to gun fatalities. Recently the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has proposed a bill that would require all automotive manufacturers to include a backup camera in all vehicles by 2014. However, this wouldn’t come out of the manufacturers pocker, as the expense is passed on to the consumer. It would end up raising the cost of a vehicle by about 200 bucks. It's a small price to pay, and would more than likely save a bunch of lives.

Click to continue reading Can the NHTSA make cars safer with mandatory backup cameras by 2014?

Read More | AutoBlog

Ford Focus ST

Europe always seems to get the best of breed when it comes to cars. Regardless of the make or model, Europe takes delivery of vehicles we can only dream of over here in America. Here in the States we’re often left with slightly bland, dumbed down, and unappealing vehicle selection. Even Ford, an American company, offers vehicles in Europe that we can’t get here at home like the Ford Falcon and Focus RS, which we’ll zone in more later in the article.

Europeans have a knack for the ultimate driving experience, and one thing we noticed during a visit over the Atlantic during the summer was their love of hatchbacks. No, we're not talking about some hokey-puck cheap car that you'd find a teenager racing around town in. These vehicles are actually pretty awesome. We've put together our list of five hot hatches to look out for and consider if and when you’re in the market. Read on!

Click to continue reading Top 5 Hottest Hatchback Cars in the U.S.


iPad 2 giveaway

We've come to the end of another year, and as we wave goodbye to 2011, we figured it was only fitting that we share the most popular stories published on Gear Live this year, as determined by our readers (we've also got the top ten most read stories regardless of publish date, as well as the ten most popular Gear Live videos of 2011!) These are the ten stories that were read the most, and when you consider that fact, it's pretty surprising to see what made the list. Let's kick it off with our most read story of the year:

Giveaway: Apple iPad 2 32 GB!:
The iPad 2 certainly got a lot of attention this year, and our iPad 2 giveaway served as our most popular post out of them all for 2011.

Click to continue reading Top 10 Gear Live stories of 2011


Legend of Zelda Skyward Sword

Here we are in the week before Christmas, and while we hope that everyone's got their holiday shopping completed, we know from experience that it's a little too optimistic to think that way. We put together our 2011 Holiday Gift Guide in order to help guide you, but we've heard loud and clear that some of you felt the guide was a little light in the video game area. With that in mind, we've decided to compile three big holiday game releases that we think you should add to your wish list, if you haven't already. The holiday season is chock full of major game releases, so this obviously isn't a definitive list. Instead, it's a look at three titles that we think you shouldn't miss. A big thank you goes out to Sony's Xperia Play, which sponsored this post - if you're looking for the ultimate smartphone that can also run Playstation games, you'll wanna check out the Xperia Play.

These games should all be easy to find at your local Best Buy, Target, Walmart, Gamestop, and the like - so you don't have to wait for slow shipping that might ruin an otherwise perfect Christmas gift exchange. Now, on to the list - click on through for our thoughts!

Click to continue reading 3 big holiday game releases to add to your wish list


Normally at this time of the year, I predict tech trends for the New Year.  As I think about 2012, I realize that over the next 12 months, the personal computing and consumer electronics industries are poised to see some big disruptions that could change their course for the next five years.

In fact, I believe that when we end 2012, we will look back and realize that it was the most disruptive year we will have had in personal computing in over a decade. In the next 12 months, the market for personal computers of all shapes and sizes will have changed dramatically.

So, what will be the major forces that could reshape the PC business in 2012? There are four technologies and trends in the works that I believe will force the computer industry in a new direction.

The first will be Intel's huge push to make ultraportables 40 percent of its laptop mix by the end of 2012. Although I don't believe it will achieve that goal, especially if ultrabooks are priced above $899, the fact is that ultrabooks are the future of portable computing. Instead of thin and light laptops driving the market as they are now, ultrabooks, which are thinner and lighter, with SSDs and longer battery life, will eventually be what all laptops will look like in five years. The heavier and more powerful laptops that exist now won't go away completely since there are power users who will still need that kind of processing power. But ultrabooks will be the laptops of the future and 2012 will be the first year of their major push to change the portable computing landscape.

There is an interesting twist with ultraportables that could be even more important starting next year: the introduction of ultraportables with detachable screens that turn into tablets. In the past, this hybrid, as it is called, ran Windows when in laptop mode and Android when in tablet mode. But this approach was dead in the water from the start. With Windows 8 tablets ready to hit the market next fall, you will see ultraportables with detachable screens that will run Windows 8 with the Metro UI both on the laptop and in tablet mode. This will bring a level of OS consistency across both device modes and I think that this concept is a sleeper. In fact, if done right, this alone could reshape the traditional PC market in the near term.

Click to continue reading 2012: The Year everything gets disrupted


Protecting the nation's electric grid from cyber attacks is imperative, but a lack of standards and a designated federal agency to handle the issue could hamper progress, according to a new study.

"With rapidly expanding connectivity and rapidly evolving threats, making the grid invulnerable to cyber events is impossible, [but] improving resilience to attacks and reducing the impact of attacks are important," according to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

The 268-page report focuses on the future of the electric grid, with a chapter on cybersecurity efforts.

"Much as cybersecurity was not a key factor in the design of the Internet, cybersecurity has not been a high priority—until recently—in designing grid components," researchers concluded.

It's not cheap to secure the grid, however. A 2011 report from the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) estimated that it would take at least $3.7 billion to secure grid cybersecurity. Trouble is, "the probability of a serious event is still very low," so it's difficult to get businesses to invest in grid cyber efforts.

That could change as more and more devices come on to the grid, and consumers turn to generating their own electricity via fuel cells, wind turbines, solar roofs, and the like.

Click to continue reading How do we protect the power grid from a cyber attack?


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