Interesting & peculiar products

The third section of the July 2009 Cites & Insights is an installment of an occasional series, Interesting & Peculiar Products.
When C&I began (in December 2000, as the ejournal continuation of a monthly print-newsletter section that ran from 1995 through 2000), much of its focus was personal computing and related technologies. This is one of the remnants of that focus, although the range of products is even broader. The specific holdover comes at the end of each installment, “Editors’ Choices and Group Reviews,” where I summarize top review choices in some personal computing and audio/video magazines–and since PC Magazine ceased as a print publication, that holdover may be weakening.
“Interesting” or “peculiar”–that’s up to the reader, although my comments are frequently pointed one way or the other.
So, for example, while I think the technical achievement behind “high-def bluetooth” is interesting, it does strike me that–at least for the next year or two–there’s a mild disconnect between the usual habits of those who use smart phones as music players and storing/reproducing music at better-than-CD resolutions. On the other hand, having high-res downloads (legally) available strikes me as interesting, not peculiar: I may not be able to hear the difference between 44/16 sound and 96/24, but I suspect that some people really can hear that difference. (There are lots of audiophile “huge difference” claims that I’m a bit more skeptical about…) Sometimes, the section just follows developing stories–e.g., milestones in hard disk capacity.
If all you want is this particular section, here it is.

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