Stories by Eric Butterfield

Toybox: Pricey earbuds deliver robust sound

Walking through a noisy downtown is a lot more enjoyable if you’re wearing a pair of Shure’s SE210 sound-isolating earbuds. The preproduction set I tried delivered full, rich sound and kept all but the loudest noises from intruding on my music.

Camera phones fuel mobile diaries

Veteran trend-watcher Howard Rheingold chronicled the advent of text messaging on mobile phones in Japan in his book Smart Mobs (Perseus Publishing, 2002). He has since been struck by the preponderance of Tokyo cell phone users clicking pictures with camera phones. On a visit last year, "it seemed like one in every ten people was framing the world through the lens of their phone," he says.

Lovers' lane paved with online rejections

These days, a lot of young romantics are getting off the hook the easy way. Rather than deal with the messy emotions of breaking off a relationship in person or over the phone, a lot of teens are calling it quits with an instant message. You could call it efficient — or maybe something else.

Ink jet printers: More than pretty pics

SAN FRANCISCO (11/20/2003) - The US$199 Hewlett-Packard Co. Business Inkjet 1100d comes standard with a built-in duplexer, and the vendor optimistically estimates it can handle a monthly duty cycle (workload) of 6250 pages--impressive for an ink jet. Similarly productive, despite a price of under US$100, the Epson America Inc. Stylus C84 boasts a monthly duty cycle of 5000 pages.