09-stuffHave you noticed that the selection for good quality audio components for the PC is dwindling? I mean the number of companies that make add-in sound cards, good quality analog (and digital) speaker sets and yes even head phones (for those of us that have to maintain a low volume presence). There was a time when the choices in audio gear was large enough that you had to do quite a bit of research to get something that fit right. Now, well the pickings are slim. However, just because they are limited does not mean there are not any good ones out there. As we recently found with the Cine5 from Asus some companies are getting back into the audio game. We had the chance to talk to Asus about their recent improvements in quality audio products (both on their boards and their own line of audio gear). Asus said they recognize that gamers, enthusiasts and HTPC owners are looking for better audio from their components; as such Asus is moving to provide these parts at all levels to meet this need. One of the products they have released is a set of plug and play wireless headphones; the Travelite HS-1000W. These headphones operate from a single USB audio dongle that acts as both audio processing device and charging connection. They are lightweight and while not exactly “stylish” still look pretty good. Now it is time for us to see if they work well or not.

90So the FBI has started a new club and one that involves the US Marshals, the DEA and apparently even the NSA. This clubs whole purpose is to find ways to monitor and decrypt data that transferred through electronic communications. Sounds fairly innocuous right? After all these law enforcement agencies should have the tools they need to investigate crimes and to prevent threats to national security. The problem comes from the fact that the club (called either the National Domestic Communications Assistance Center or Domestic Communications Assistance Center) might have been around since 2008 without anyone telling anybody.

90After watching the Department of Homeland Security try to force new amendments allowing them very expanded powers to police and control the Internet it seems the FBI wants to get in on some of this too. You see The FBI and law enforcement are having a hard time doing their job (according to them) and their current methods for gathering information with a warrant are just not enough. They would like Mandatory backdoors into online communication services like Skype, MSN, Gmail etc.