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January 26, 2013

Would you pay $2 million for a set of speakers? "150 decibels — with almost no distortion."

Screen Shot 2013-01-26 at 6.27.17 PM

Two people already have, according to Christopher Bonanos' Bloomberg Businessweek story.

They've ordered them from Transmission Audio of Stockholm — can they build a set for you?

From the article:

You use 40 subwoofer cones, all lined up in a grid, for the bass. Why not fewer big ones instead?

This way, you get extremely low distortion, so low you can't measure it. Frankly, that was more or less how I wanted to challenge myself: by asking, "What would it take to make a no-compromise speaker that could play very loud with a distortion so low that its barely measurable?"

What sets the Ultimate apart—proprietary technology or precision?

It's both! But mostly proprietary: I designed the woofers and the ribbons as well. They have small, very powerful magnets—neodymium, the most powerful you can get—and you have a line of these, as tall as a tall American, 2 meters-plus. They move a thin metal ribbon [which moves air and produces sound].

The installation must matter a lot when it comes to a system like this. Do you tailor it to the room?

Well, the Ultimate is very large—13 meters wide. So people need help, and it needs a very big house. But that's the good thing about the modularized design: You can use as many parts as you want for a given area. With the whole 13 meters, you could easily crack the building.

Have you cracked a building?

We've come close. When there was too much amplifier power—30,000 watts—at one moment.

What was the hardest part to nail?

How to design the speakers so that they could be transported without getting damaged in shipping. [We solved it] by taking the modular thinking to the extremes that were possible. I have two pairs under construction—one in Dubai, one in Miami. They have a very long delivery time, because it takes half a year to build one system, and we’re only four guys doing all the jobs. But the Megatrend, our cheaper system, that's a big hit, and they're $60,000 per pair.

January 26, 2013 at 08:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Progressive Flo goes to the dark side — With fantastic results

I've been enchanted, mesmerized even, by the new Progressive commercial featuring Flo not as Ms. Ditzy Chirpy but, rather, a William Shatner Negotiater-esque dark presence, emerging from the shadows to offer a couple of nerds her new Snapshot comparison tool.

Dweeb: "My insurance company told me not to talk to people like you."

Flo: "You always do what they tell you?"

"You don't even have to switch. Unless… you're scared."

Wonderful, wonderful piece of work.

January 26, 2013 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Grumpy Octopus Coffee Cozy


Wrote Nicole Wakelin on thatsnerdalicious,


"I'm not sure I'd drink this coffee out of fear that that grumpy purple octopus would strangle me the second I took a sip."


"It was crocheted by Twinkie Chan for a White Elephant gift exchange, and even came with a warning [below] about hot coffee and grumpiness."


[via Laughing Squid]

January 26, 2013 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

"Satan in Prison" — George Méliès

A 1907 film from the father of special effects.

[via Flautist, herself a special effect.]

January 26, 2013 at 08:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

4:01a.m. Bottle Opener Series — Episode 7: Cheapest of them all


How's $1.35?


Does that work for you?

'Cause it works pretty well for me.

"This credit card-size multi-function survival tool includes a can opener, knife edge, screwdriver, ruler, cap opener, 4-position wrench, butterfly screw wrench, saw blade, direction ancillary wrench, 2-position wrench, and a keychain hole. Comes with a pouch."              

January 26, 2013 at 04:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Giant squid — first live video EVER

It was lured into view by scientists.

I remain mesmerized, even after watching it at least 10 times.

Back story here.


January 26, 2013 at 12:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

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