BOSE VS SONY

In an uncharacteristically loose moment last year I blew $350 on Bose noise-canceling headphones designed for use on airplanes. Air is rushing past at 600mph and people are chattering, but you are floating in your own private SurroundSound.

Three problems. First, that same sum invested in just the right succession of stocks, compounding at 25% a year, grows to $2.6 million in 40 years – and the headphones surely won’t last half that long. Second, the headphones, in their leather case, take up half your carry-on bag. Indeed, you may have to check them as excess baggage. Third, if you manage somehow to get bumped up to business class on a long flight – the only kind of flight that would justify this elaborate audio enhancement in the first place – you will find that many airlines lend you their Bose headphones.

But the real killer is that for $38 (when discounted) you can get SONY MDR-EX70LP earphones that fit so well, they do almost the same job. And they’re much more practical for jogging. You can still hear the bus before it runs you over, but unlike the typical earphones that come with a Walkman, they don’t fall out of your ears. A perfect accessory for your audible.com MP3 player. (My thanks to Walter Mossberg, whose Wall Street Journal techno column many of us swear by. He recommended these a few months ago, and he was right.)

UPGRADING YOUR MEMORY

And speaking of the MP3 player that I got with my Audible . . . I bought a tiny 256MB chip that fits brainlessly into a slot and quintuples my memory. Now, instead of one or two books I can store enough listening material for an entire summer’s vacation.

TEMPO-NUMEROLOGY

David Kelly: ‘It occurred to me that on March 3 of this year at 3:03:03 am (and pm), the date and time will be 03-03-03 03:03:03. This should happen progressively through the year 2012 (12-12-12 12:12:12).’

☞ Not only should it; I would be highly concerned if it did not.

 

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