Recent Articles By Chuck La Tournous [RSS]
Automatic is a gadget with a companion iOS app that gives just about any car built since 1996 advanced features, including some that even address the "nut behind the wheel." Contributing Editor Chuck La Tournous takes Automatic out for a spin and comes back impressed with its style, fuel-saving behavior modification, and the ability to answer that age-old question: "Does anybody remember where we parked?"
Did Apple renege on its promise of free updates to its iLife and iWork suite of apps? It appears to be nothing more nefarious than a App Store glitch, reports Contributing Editor Chuck La Tournous, who finds that the best medicine for this issue may be the toughest to swallow: Patience.
IK Multimedia's iRig Pro -- the newest entry into the increasingly crowded audio input field -- seeks to set itself apart from the pack with its versatility and ease of use. Contributing Editor Chuck La Tournous leaves no cliché unturned as he cuts to the chase to see if this acorn fell far from the iRig tree or if it's a jack of all trades and master of none.
Want full-sized digital sound from your guitar or bass without the strain and hassle of lugging around a full-sized amp? The impressive (but inelegantly named) Sonoma Wire Works Guitar Jack Model 2 is stunning, but be prepared to BYOC (bring your own cable).
Regret not ponying up for that OnStar subscription for your last car? A startup called Automatic promises to provide most of those features (and a few extra) with an iPhone app and a hardware dongle that plugs into your car's data port. The device performs diagnostics, lets you turn off your "Service Engine" light, provides fuel-saving tips based on your driving habits, remembers where you park and where you drove, calls for help in an accident, and more. The device (expected to ship in August) costs a one-time fee of US$69 and connects to a companion iPhone app via Bluetooth. An Android version is planned, but Windows Phone and Blackberry users are out of luck. The company says it works with virtually every gasoline-powered car sold in the U.S. since 1996. If Automatic lives up to its promise, it could be huge.
Forget warp drive, Mr. Fission and flying cars. For a real glimpse of tomorrow's technology today, it's hard to imagine anything cooler than charging your iPhone with a tablespoon of water. Contributing Editor Chuck La Tournous looks at the PowerTrekk -- a hydrogen fuel cell that's barely indistiguishable from magic.
As any good scout will tell you, the best way out of a bad situation is to be prepared. But how do you call for help if your adventures take you beyond the reach of the nearest cell tower? As Contributing Editor Chuck La Tournous discovered, a company called SPOT offers a clever way of combining the reach of a satellite communicator with the power of your smartphone. And it might just save your life.
One can have rugged protection for an iPhone — if you don’t mind carrying around a brick. That is, until Scosche’s RAILkase came along. With thoughtful features and a stylish attention to detail, it’s serious protection you won’t mind carrying around every day.
The new Mac commercials aren’t cool; they’re not “Steve” ads; and Chuck La Tournous doesn’t like them. But they may be appeal to “non-Apple” folks, and if that works, that’s fine. They’re also the first Mac-rather-than-iOS-device-ads he’s seen since the “I’m a Mac” spots, and he thinks that makes them a good thing.
Consider: an earbud set perfectly paired to your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch? You know it’s not the pair Apple gave you. With a tangle-resistant cord, great sound quality and accents to match your i-device, a-JAYS Four just may have out-Appled Apple.