Self-published authors have found a way to actually make money — Quartz

8 Jun

The smell and heft of print books are hard to replace, so it’s no surprise that rumors have been circulating about the death of the no-good, unloveable, cold, glassy ebook. But despite claims of slumping ebook sales, two new reports show this simply isn’t true. One new report from accounting firm PwC, released today, confirms…

via Self-published authors have found a way to actually make money — Quartz

Why in the world do i need someone to love me when i can love myself ?

6 Jun

Time and time again i met people and tried to connect at a deeper level . Why do i want to connect so deep ? Why would i want to know someone else’ undergrounds ? Would it help me feel safe ? Would it help me to get to know myself better than before ? Every time there appears something from within that i try and need to understand . It sure is a way to discover more about me . I have discovered along the way that the only way to really be content with yourself , your life and all life on earth is to be thankful for what is in your life , for the time you have to live on this earth . What can you do with time being given to you every day ? I do believe there is infinity in things . Choices after choices . Plenty for a whole lifetime . So why do you really need to have someone love you to trully enjoy your life , your time on earth , your health , your body , your moments and all the beings that are and enjoy being present in your life ?

Why do people have a life and do not know what to do with it ? I understand that there are differences . What would you do if there were not ? All the differences make living on earth an interesting and thrilling journey . Maybe someday even in the outer space , on other planets . Who knows ?

So , what can people do by themselves or with other beings ? There are answers everywhere around . Inside the house , outside the house . On every part of geography on this earth . Traveling , searching , talking , singing , dancing , laughing , crying and so on . Do it and then find something else to do as long as you respect yourself and the other beings .

Be thankful for what is and live a beautiful , enriching and worthwhile experience ! affluentfamily

 

My Kid Is A Tiny Pedant And I’m Not Really Sorry

5 Jun

My son is going through a pedantic phase. It’s a long phase; it’s been going on for over two years now and shows no signs of flagging. I distinctly remember when it started – he a…

Source: My Kid Is A Tiny Pedant And I’m Not Really Sorry

From Yardwork to Artwork: The Photinia Story — Discover

5 Jun

Andrew Seal demonstrates how yardwork becomes inspiration for artwork.

via From Yardwork to Artwork: The Photinia Story — Discover

Finding paradise in Hamilton Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia

3 Feb

 

Hamilton Island in the Whitsunday archipelago enjoys tropical climate and is right off the Great Barrier Reef – perhaps the world’s greatest natural wonder.

It’s not unusual to find entire seaside towns or destinations with natural beauty that have either evolved into or have been created by design as adult playgrounds.

To say this is true of Hamilton Island would perhaps be an unfairly bland statement for three unique reasons: its status as part of the Whitsunday archipelago, its tropical climate and its position right off Queensland’s Great Barrier Reef – perhaps the world’s greatest natural wonder.

Exciting catamaran tour around Hamilton Island
Exciting catamaran tour around Hamilton Island and Whitehaven Beach

Hamilton Island is one of 74 Whitsunday Islands whose evolution into an inhabited island started some 8000 years when the Ngaro Aborginal tribe called it home. It was then discovered by Captain Cook in 1770 while he was charting Australia’s coastline – he reputedly named the island after Lady Hamilton. The island was bought in 2003 by world renowned winemaker Robert Oatley who developed one third of it with hotels, restaurants and bars leaving the rest of the landscape in its pristine natural state.

The entrepreneur is also an acclaimed yachtsman and so he created the Hamilton Island Yacht Club which he founded in 2009 and it became a challenger for the America’s cup in 2014.

Great Australian beach holiday activities - helicopter tour over the Heart Reef
Great Australian beach holiday activities – helicopter tour over the Heart Reef

Hamilton Island is the only island in the Great Barrier Reef with its own commercial jet airport. You can get there with a commercial jet, private jet or a helicopter, itself an exciting experience, and from the airport it’s a buggy ride to your accommodation.

Indeed, buggies are the mode of transport around the island. The most luxurious accommodation is qualia – a Latin word meaning “a collection of deeper sensory experiences” – located on a peninsula on the island’s northern tip. The complex has 60 architect-designed pavilions within a forest of gum and palm trees. Many of them have infinity pools with stunning views spanning over the Whitsunday Islands.

There are less expensive accommodation options too such as Palm Bungalows, Reef View Hotel or Private Holiday Homes.

Luxury beach house dining room and lap pool at qualia, Hamilton Island
Luxury beach house dining room and lap pool at qualia, Hamilton Island

And though there are plenty of gorgeous spots to sunbathe, there are also compelling reasons to explore. After-all, the Great Barrier Reef and Whitehaven Beach are easy to reach and a myriad of trails will bring you up close with the fauna and flora of the island.

There are plenty of sports on offer too including golf, tennis and a small wildlife park that the kids tend to love, especially if you sprinkle in a trip to the bowling alley, go-kart track and mini-golf.

Kayaking at Whitehaven Beach
Kayaking at Whitehaven Beach

There are several shops and restaurants in the marina where bird life is vibrant and friendly, in particular the wild cockatoos and rainbow lorikeets who come to inspect diners during the day.


Special offer: Pay for 4 nights, get 1 night FREE + a FREE upgrade

Receive one nights’ accommodation FREE when staying at the Reef View Hotel during the applicable travel periods*. The offer includes:

  • 5 nights accommodation for the price of 4 PLUS a free upgrade from a Garden View Room (5 nights from $1480) to a Coral Sea View Room (5 nights from $1760 $1480)
  • Full buffet breakfast daily
  • Return Hamilton Island airport/marina to hotel transfers
  • Use of catamarans/paddle skis/windsurfers and snorkelling equipment
  • Unlimited use of the scheduled ‘Island Shuttle’ service
  • Kids Stay and Eat Free program (conditions apply)
  • Complimentary use of the gym/spa/sauna/tennis court hire

Source : http://www.thetravelmagazine.net/finding-paradise-hamilton-island-great-barrier-reef-australia.html

 

Review: Naim’s first wireless speaker, the mu-so, is worthy of the company’s audiophile heritage

29 Jan

Source: Review: Naim’s first wireless speaker, the mu-so, is worthy of the company’s audiophile heritage

naim-mu-so-review

Naim Audio isn’t a household name outside of audiophile circles, but this British company has for many years made some of the most respected amplifiers in the business. Naim long had an informal partnership with Linn, and if the standard audio system fitted to Bentley’s ultra-expensive cars isn’t good enough for you, the optional audio upgrade is to a Naim system. You’ll also find it available through the Apple Store.

The company is notoriously conservative when it comes to new technology, refusing to even consider making a CD player for most of the 1980s, relenting only in 1989, when it felt the technology had developed sufficiently to allow it to deliver the quality it sought. It’s therefore no surprise that Naim has waited so long to launch its first wireless speaker system, the mu-so – nor that it has done the job properly when it finally did so.

The price is also no great surprise …

Getting your hands on the Naim mu-so will set you back a cool $1500. Like the even more expensive Devialet Phantom I tested last year, for most people that’s a price you expect to pay for a complete hi-fi system rather than a standalone speaker. The question, then, is whether the mu-so is a serious contender to act as your main hi-fi?

Look & feel

This is, in a sentence, a stunning-looking piece of kit. The brushed aluminum casing with massive cooling fins running the entire length of the rear gives it a look that is at once reminiscent of very traditional hi-fi and at the same time gives it a modern, minimalist look. The sculpted front cover is available in a range of colors. The base of the unit is clear perspex, with an embedded Naim logo that lights up when the speaker is connected to a device. There’s not an exposed screw in sight, not even on the underside. It’s a piece of kit that would look instantly at home in the most Apple-like of homes.

All you see in the way of visible controls is a large single dial that combines a touch-sensitive panel with a mechanical rotary volume dial. At the right-hand end are analog and digital inputs, together with an extremely discreet multi-color indicator light used during setup, and a reset button. Underneath, next to the mains power socket, is an optical input and Ethernet socket.

If I have one small complaint about the looks it’s the perspex base. It’s very funky-looking, but if you need to run the power cable to the left rather than the right it’s visible through the perspex. But in a permanent setup, I’d tack the cable down neatly.

naim-mu-so-3

The unit is heavy, at over 28 pounds. Each of the six speakers – two bass, two midrange and two tweeters – has its own amplifier, so the weight is explained by the contents as well as the aluminum-clad wooden chassis.

naim-mu-so-5-1

You could argue that there’s really no need for physical controls in a wireless speaker, as everything can be controlled from the iDevice. This is true, but the combined touch panel and volume control is so utterly gorgeous in both look and feel that it’s almost a gadget in its own right! The touch sensitivity is perfect, and it has indicators that light up to let you know exactly what’s going on. Above, for example, we can see that the music source is AirPlay.

When you rotate the volume dial, the display switches to lit volume segments. The movement is beautifully smooth and perfectly weighted. It’s such a joy to use that I – Mr Gadget – actually found myself walking over to it to adjust the volume rather than doing it on the Mac or iPhone.

naim-mu-so-2

As soon as you stop rotating the dial, it returns to the standard display. Only the outer ring rotates, but it’s so finely engineered you get the impression that the whole thing is moving.

The meaty-looking cooling fins at the rear of the unit do the job they’re designed to, keeping the unit cool to the touch.

naim-mu-so-4-1

Remote

naim-mu-so-7-1

The remote is the one thing that lets the mu-so down – and it does so very badly indeed! This is a beautiful-looking aluminum-clad speaker system, yet the remote is … black plastic. It has no weight to it, and looks and feels like the sort of remote you’d expect to get with a $200 speaker, not a $1500 one.

Granted there’s really no need for a remote unless you have conventional hi-fi sources as well as iDevices: you can control it from your Mac or iOS device. All the same, it’s inexplicable to me why Naim would make such an aesthetically pleasing piece of kit only to pair it with a cheap-and-nasty remote. I would stuff it in a drawer out of sight.

Connectivity

This system does it all when it comes to input sources: AirPlay, Bluetooth, UPnP, Spotify Connect, Tidal, wired Ethernet, USB, optical and 3.5mm analog. It also supports mp3, FLAC, AIFF and WAV at up to 24-bit/48KHz, with 24-bit/192KHz available if you use Ethernet instead of wireless. Finally, it offers multi-room support for up to five rooms.

There’s a Naim app that allows you to control the system, including built-in access to Internet radio stations with presets available on the touch panel, but you don’t need to use this. I just used it as an AirPlay device to stream from iTunes on the Mac and the Music app on my iPhone.

Setup is quick and easy. It does suffer from the usual occasional flakiness on AirPlay, but that’s an issue with the protocol rather than the speaker. As I find with all my AirPlay kit, it drops out once or twice very early in each session but is solid after that.

Sound

So, to the important bit! Does it sound as good as it looks?

Yes. Yes, it does. The maximum volume isn’t quite up there with the Devialet Phantom’s ‘legal limit for a nightclub’ level, but this is true room-filling sound, and there is no trace of distortion even at maximum volume.

The mu-so delivers chest-thumping bass and crystal-clear treble, and the overall sound is beautifully neutral. Naim has clearly worked hard at this and doesn’t want the likes of you or I messing with it: there are no equalization controls on the unit itself, nor in the Naim app – the only configurability is a setting to tell it how close it is to a wall behind it so that the speaker can automatically compensate. You can, of course, use iTunes or the Music app to tweak things, but – in my view – you won’t need to. It’s perfect right out of the box.

Conclusions

If you want ultimate volume from an all-in-one hi-fi-quality unit, the Devialet Phantom Silver is the setup for you. But if you don’t plan to use your speaker as a weapon, the Naim mu-so delivers all the volume you could possibly want in a true hi-fi unit that looks as beautiful as it sounds.

The Naim mu-so costs $1499, and is available direct from the Naim Audio Amazon store.
Filed under: Reviews Tagged: AirPlay speakers, bluetooth speakers, Hi-Fi, Naim, Naim mu-so, Naim mu-so review, Premium audio

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chalk

7 Aug