Five Ways Clinton Leads Obama

Daily Kos: Five Ways Clinton Leads Obama: “Hilllary Clinton has won New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, and New York.  By contrast, Obama has failed to win a single state with the word ‘New’ in its name.  Obama’s failure among self-proclaimed new states, raises serious questions about his supposed strength among young voters (new people) and his supposed message of change (new policies).”

Maybe I should reconsider my support of Obama…this is a metric that carries a lot of weight. Pay attention, superdelegates!

Review: Ultimate Buds EB7EB

Bottom Line: This Frankenstein-esque merger of Apple’s standard iPhone headphones with higher quality earbuds combines the best of both worlds.
Verdict: Highly recommended

Apple’s earbud headphones supplied with iPods and iPhones are a common target of audiophiles. While inexpensive and compact, they are not renown for their high fidelity. I, like many others, never really had too much of a problem with the basic buds, but this may have been because of low expectations rather than any intrinsic quality.

ultimatebuds.jpg

What drove me to consider an upgrade from the standard set on my original iPod was listen to audio in the subway. The background noise was so great that that the limited sound insulation provided by Apple’s headphones forced me to either turn up the volume to ear-damaging levels or seek new headphones. I turned to a moderately priced Shure in-ear set, which proved excellent at blocking external noise when properly fit, though it took some work to make them fit properly.

The iPhone presented a new challenge. It’s recessed headphone jack meant that my Shure headphones wouldn’t fit without an adapter. Furthermore, even if they had fit, the headphones don’t have an integrated microphone like Apple’s standard fare, which is a major disadvantage since the goal is to use them on a phone (it makes for a rather one-sided conversation). Shure makes a music phone adapter, an extension cord that fits into the iPhone headphone jack and adds a microphone and call answer/pause/track forward button much like that found on Apple’s own headphones. Unfortunately, the combination of headphone cable and Shure’s lengthy adapters makes for a spaghetti-like mess that ruins the otherwise elegant experience of the iPhone.

A friend recommended a site called Ultimate Buds. While this sounds like an internet marijuana purveyor, it’s actually a company that has found a creative solution to the iPhone headset problem. They takes Apple’s otherwise well-designed headphones and remove only the questionable earbuds, replacing them with high quality versions taken from popular headphones that normally lack microphone functionality. The original model used the popular Etymotic ER6i earbuds, which are reported to have a high degree of clarity but are a bit thin on the bass.

I instead opted for the fusion of Apple’s headphones with the Futuresonics FS1 earbuds (the UB7EB), which reportedly offer a fuller bass than the Etymotics. I can’t speak to the how the two models compare, but I can say that UB7EB does have a nice full sound that’s well balanced and compares favorably to my bulky over the ear Sonys.

The buds come with several replaceable rubber earpieces – you can select the size that best fits your ears, and it’s important to try to find the ones with the best fit. It’s only with a good seal that you’ll obtain the maximum sound quality and best isolation form external sounds. The blacking of external sounds is just about right: enough to obviate the need to make volume adjustments in different environments, but not so much that they imperil your safety.

The buds are not cheap, with a currently listed price of $119, but they are really an excellent alternative to the standard Apple fare if you spend a good deal of time in noisy environment or just want an upgrade in sound quality.

Confronting the Kitchen Sink – New York Times

Confronting the Kitchen Sink – New York Times: “Mr. Kroft asked Senator Clinton if she believed that Senator Obama is a Muslim. In one of the sleaziest moments of the campaign to date, Senator Clinton replied: ‘No. No. Why would I? No, there is nothing to base that on. As far as I know.’

As far as I know.

If she had been asked if she thought President Bush was a Muslim, would her response have included the caveat ‘as far as I know’? What about Senator McCain? Why, then, with Senator Obama?”

I’m glad I’m not the only one who noticed this…