CES 2019 Coverage [ NoLife - Ep. 68B ]


Tech of the Future

In our return show from out break, Wayne and Jerry dive into CES 2019, and talk about some of the winners and losers of the show.




Why the Lumix S1 is SO DISAPPOINTING



In the video above, I talk about the newly announced Panasonic Lumix S1 and why it's so disappointing. The camera, which is Panasonic's first Full-Frame camera that has 4K 60fps capabilities, as well as best-in-class IBIS, a new lens mount, new EVF, and other great features, has for some reason, left out one of the most important features. That is the flip-out screen. In the video I go on a rant about this, and how the market is essentially just waiting for the one camera to include 4k at no crop, with a flip out screen, and mic jack. Aka, the YouTuber. Unfortunately, this was not the camera.

Why ANC (Noise Cancellation) is a Game Changer

“…get ready to spend every last dollar for diminishing returns”

I’ve been in the Audiophile world for about 5 years now. It’s not long, and I haven’t literally paid my dues to call myself an “expert”. I think I have about another $150,000 to go. But I do know the mechanics of it all, the lingo, as well as the wants and needs of an expert audiophile. The only thing keeping me out of that elite club is the outrageously expensive equipment I haven’t purchased…yet. So with all that being said, I want to talk quick about ANC, or Active Noise Cancellation, and what it means to the audio world.


If you’re looking to pick up headphones, there are a few ways to go. You can go budget consumer, and pick up something anywhere from $25 – $200, and this will give you sound that’s better than the stock earphones that come with your phone. This is the option most people take, and is the reason why the M50x’s are one of the most popular headphones to buy. Then you can go the consumer audiophile route, and usually consists of headphones like the HD600’s – HD800’s, maybe some IEM’s like the Campfire Audio Andromeda’s, or some type of reference headphones like AKG 701’s, all of which require some type of Amp to power them. Lastly you can go the True Audiophile route, where you get into planar magnetics, electrostatics, McIntosh stacks, and room treatments. All of which can cost up to the hundreds of thousands. But it’s the room treatment where most of the costs can come into play. Some audiophiles taking it so far to even having their own “clean” power lines being put in, for the cleanest power to their audio amps. Of course, this is ridiculous, but it’s interesting to me to see how far some will go for a perfect listening environment.

Noise Cancelling

What I find the most interesting right now in the audiophile world, is the intro to “good” noise cancelling. To me, it’s the great equalizer. The idea of Noise Cancelling is not new. Many headphones are made with a closed design to “passively” cancel the outside noise. This often works pretty well, but it isn’t nearly perfect. Outside noise, especially bassier sounds, always tend to leak in. Even if you have the tightest of comply foam ear tips in. And we’re not even talking about the sound our own bodies make which always leak in as well. The idea of room treatment is essentially to make the room sound as quiet and as “interference free” as possible. The part that audiophiles spend nearly millions of dollars on, is the most important to a great sound stage. So what engineers have done is create Active Noise Cancelling. This is more to quiet the outside world so you can focus on your music or movies. But in the past year or so, we’ve gotten REALLY good ANC. The Bose QuietComforts were some of the best, and then Sony came in with the 1000x’s which now take the cake. Turn on the ANC, and you feel this force-field of quiet consume you. This allows for “perfect” room treatment, and thus, gives you the perfect platform to create truly immersive or expansive audio signatures. Now, for $350, consumers can get a much closer experience to that of an expensive audiophile setup, than ever before.


So now the question is, if you want the best possible experience for your money, do you go with a good pair of ANC headphones, or do you go the traditional analog route? Well, it’s tough. I currently own some top tier passive headphones, a few different headphone amps, as well as an entire vinyl audio stack. But I use my Sony WH1000x’s more than I use any of them (well I use my shitty Airpods the most, but that’s a different discussion). That said, the sound on the Sony isn’t the best. It’s not even close to the sound I get from pushing my K701’s through a Schitt Stack, listening to Kind of Blue by Miles Davis on vinyl through my ProJect turntable pinned with Ortophone Blues. But…who cares? If you’re the type of nerd like me who wants to feel like Miles is playing right next to you, then sure, go for the passive option, and get ready to spend every last dollar for diminishing returns. But if you just want good sound quality, immersion, good imaging, and flexibility, go for an ANC Wireless BT model (recommended ones listed below) and I promise you’ll be very happy. Who knows, maybe one day ANC headphones will replace the prestige of the great passives. You won’t have any audiophile admit, but I’m excited to see where ANC can take us in the world of audio.

Recommended ANC Headphones

How to Fix Apple...

We've all seen the reports. Apple is "hurting". Corporate released a letter to investors recently which gave their guidance for the 2019 year. They stated shorter than expected revenues, and blamed it on a few things. One being the different timing of iPhone launches, another being the strong US dollar creating much higher prices in other countries like India, third being supply constraint due to an "unprecedented number of new products to ramp", and fourth, China.

When I saw this, I knew the tech world would ignite with their thoughts on how Apple is failing. How their refusal to "innovate" and their stubborn pricing would finally catch up to them. How Steve Jobs would've never allowed any of this to happen, and how Tim Cook needs to burn in hell. And, almost immediately, these comments came.

So what's the answer for Apple? That's the question that all the tech-tubers have been trying to answer. It's a fun one to debate upon as well. From Dave2D to Rene at Vector, to the Vergecast crew, everyone's had their opinions. And I wanna give mine, which I believe, is the only true correct opinion. Don't bother reading anyone else's opinions, because I'm always right. '

Apple Services:

The main reason people use an iPhone, and stick with the iPhone, is because of Apple's services. I'm talking about iMessage, Photos, Apple Music, iCloud, Calendar, Facetime, hell, people are still using Photobooth till this day. Not too mention on the pro side like Final Cut, Logic, and Photoshop for iPad. Unfortunately for Apple, they have seemed to lost sight of this. Look at iCloud. While it syncs seamlessly and it generally works fine, it's still a complete mess. In terms of just a file system, I've even considered moving everything to Dropbox. And by doing that, we're now presented with the biggest problem for Apple.

Once I move to Dropbox, I'm one step further from the Apple ecosystem. I'm thinking about switching to Spotify, because its UI is much quicker and more efficient. This means I'm another step further. I can easily move to Google Photos, since I'm already synced to it. I can very easily switch back to Premiere. I can use Outlook for my contacts and calendars (the industry standard), and before you know it, the only thing keeping you attached to the iPhone is iMessage. While iMessage is great - well, it's hands down the best - it's not enough for some people to pay over $1000 for an iPhone (almost $1800 in other countries). This has been compounding over the last 3 years.

So in order for Apple to start to regain market share, they need to start crafting killer applications again. They have the money. The acquisition of Texture was a great idea, but it's not a killer app. Why not buy Dropbox? Use that team to completely overhaul iCloud. Make it so good, so fast, and so private, that if we aren't using "Apple Drop" to store and send files, it's a detriment to not only ourselves, but to the other people receiving the files. That's what it feels like with iMessage. And they need to make it feel like that for every other service.

Companion Products:

The thing Apple has been doing right lately, is creating the most amazing companion products out there. The Apple Watch 4, the iPad Pro 2018, the Airpods, the Apple Pencil 2, all these products are fucking phenomenal. Unfortunately, for Apple, we want more of them. If you're not going to convince us to stick with iPhone through your services, you better try and dazzle us with innovative gadgets. The reason it's unfortunate for Apple is because it's much harder to pull off. Impressively, they've been doing it. But I think we're starting to see Apple fumble a bit on this route. Where the fuck is Airpower?  Why is the Homepod so retarded? Why is that all you're offering?


While I think this small misstep this year is good for Apple, I do fear that it will only make them double down on Cook'o'nomics. What is Cook'o'nomics you ask? Well it's essentially Tim Cook's weird idea that if you withhold very small, very cheap & simple things from very expensive products; you make that person a very happy consumer and more willing to buy those very small, very cheap gizmos, at a very high markups. Case in point, the fact the iPhone doesn't come with a headphone dongle, or a fast charger, or even a fucking cleaning cloth. Or how about how the Macbook Pro ships with a great charger, but a USB-C cable that ISN'T Thunderbolt 3, in fact, it's solely for power. I could go on, but you get the idea. I hope Cook learns from this, and starts to reintroduce MORE for LESS.

At the end of the day, all Apple really needs to do to remain the king is lower their prices a bit, fix iCloud / iOS, and stop nickel and diming its customers. It's really that simple. I love their products. They are the best built products in tech, and I absolutely love the Mac / iOS ecosystem. But if something better comes along, which shouldn't be very difficult right now, I'll have no problem jumping ship. The problem is, for Apple, many people have already found their better alternatives, and are waiting on Apple now, rather than the other way around.

Massdrop ALT - 65% Mechanical Keyboard


The Massdrop ALT

In the video above, I take a look at the Massdrop ALT keyboard. It's a 65% keyboard (smaller than TKL, but slightly bigger than 60%), with a solid aluminum body build, keyed RGB lighting with an RGB strip around the base, shine-through double-shot PBT keys with a media blasted finish, DUAL USB-C connections so you can plug it in on either side, and best of all, a PCB that allows for hot-swapping switches without any solder. It's truly a unique & very customizable keyboard with excellent build quality.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


There's no denying the build quality from this keyboard. As soon as you feel it, you know you have a premium piece of hardware in your hands. It's so luxurious in that regard. But of course, this comes at a price tag. I purchased this board for $175, which is expensive, but still a bit lower than most luxury mechanical keyboards. And what you get out of this board, is so much more than what they're asking for. Mainly because of the hot swappable switches. If down the line I want to change to a linear switch, it's as easy as putting on new caps. There is so much value in that. Say down the line, a new switch comes out that is a must have. Well instead of waiting for another $300 board to be on sale (which is a hassle on its own in the craft mkb space), all I'd need to do is swap in the keys. I also love the idea of having multiple types of switches on the same board. So with build quality top notch, two USB-C ports, RGB lighting, excellent stock key options with top-tier doubleshot PBT stock caps, and of course the wildly unique hot-swap PCB, I think it's one of the bets mechanical keyboards on the market.

4.5 / 5

With amazing feel & build quality, excellent stock switch options, and the ability to upgrade switches easily without soldering, it's a must have for anyone looking to get into the MKB scene.



The Best of 2018

I wanted to create a list of all the products I think really pushed the boundaries of tech this year, as well as offer a great value for you all to buy. This will be an annual list, and something I take very seriously. The products on this list have not only been purchased and used by me personally, but extensively reviewed, looking at things like durability/longevity, ease of use, and quality of life improvement. So without further ado, let's get into the list.

Product of the Year

Sony a7III

This is the greatest camera release we've seen since 2012 when Canon released the 5D MK III. It's not only because it's the best consumer camera on the market, but because it completely changed the landscape of modern photography & videography. To put it simply, this camera released with specs that rivaled professional cinema cameras as well as high-end professional photo cameras, at 1/4 of the price. For only $2000, you're getting a 24.2 megapixel Full Frame sensor, that shoots incredibly sharp and detailed photos with better dynamic range & low-light photo capabilities compared to cameras 2x its price. On top of that you can shoot Full Frame 4K video, down-sampled from a 6K fully read sensor, up to 30p, 1080p video up to 120p. On top of that, you're getting some of the best PDAF auto-focus capabilities we've seen yet, 10fps RAW shooting with Zero Blackout with a silent shutter, battery life that lasts shooting photos all day a breeze as well as hours of 4K video, not too mention a USB-C port for battery bank usage, Zebra/Peaking, perfect in-body-stabilization allowing old legacy lenses to be stabilized, I could go on and on. It's a spectacular value, all compounded by the fact Sony has seriously ramped up their lens selection, with native G-series lenses, Sigma Art lenses, and Zeiss lenses, all with native mounts. This is easily the best consumer camera Sony has ever put out, and the best overall camera currently on the market. It's easily my Product of the Year.

Runner Up

iPad Pro

I've been waiting for the iPad to get a new full refresh for quite some time now. I've always been a fan of iPads, and I do so much of my content consumption on it. But this year, Apple dropped a stunning new device, and now I find myself using my iPad almost more than I use my laptop. So the new gorgeous design takes its cues from the old iPhone 5, with its flat aluminum edges. This allows it to be held much more easily now, rather than the slightly slippery slope design of yesteryear. Also, because the screen is pushed all the way to the edge, with slimmer bezels around it, I was able to opt for the larger 12.9" device, which was only marginally bigger than my previous 10.5". The new USB-C port allows me to only carry around one cable in my bag to charge my devices, as well as open the product up to more peripherals. The new Pencil feels like it was finally built alongside the iPad, rather than an after thought (also solving the terrible charging issue plagued by the last). But the best part of the new iPad is its performance. The A12X Bionic chip is simply put, not fair. It's so fast, and iOS is so optimized for it, that it benches faster than some laptops. It's literally insane I can edit 4K raw video, on a device so slim, on my couch, with a pencil, while switching through many other apps, without any hiccups whatsoever. And it renders out the video FASTER than my highend desktop. It's pushing the boundaries of the tablet market, which is even crazier, since Apple completely dominates in that realm already.

Phone of the Year

iPhone XS

To me, this phone is exactly what I need, all wrapped in a perfect form factor. I'm a big fan of iOS, so if you're not, then this won't pertain to you. But for me, iOS meets all my needs, in an extremely snappy and fluid way. The phones new A12 chip is just so fucking fast. I just fly through my productivity apps, and so much of my work has been able to be offloaded to my phone, allowing for a completely mobile workflow without compromising performance. The camera is excellent (although it didn't release that way), but the video it shoots is the best in the business. If you're like me and take much more video on your phone rather than photos, this is the phone to get. Nothing comes close. The battery life is great and easily lasts me until bedtime. Apple just does an excellent job at optimization. But my favorite aspect of this phone is its size. Coming from an iPhone 8+, the XS Max (the phone my wife has) just didn't appeal to me. I've since gone for smaller phones, and after using it this year, I'll never go back to a big phone. I'm so happy with this phone, I have no idea when I'll want to upgrade it.

Game of the Year

Red Dead Redemption 2

I've played almost all the top GOTY's for 2018. Between them all, it was obviously between God of War and Read Dead. I ultimately came upon Red Dead to take the win. To me, it reminded me of western Breath of the Wild with a much, much higher budget, and outfitted with some of the best voice acting and writing that's come out of Rockstar to date. It's a slow burn of a open world game and I love it for that. There's a certain serenity that comes from playing it, that I really only felt with BotW - which was my last years GOTY. While the story isn't as impactful and the gameplay isn't as fluid as God of War, to me, the experience was more memorable. What really separated this game from any other is how the realism in this game added to the experience. Much like real-life, there are some parts of the game that just aren't fun. And it made me think about what exactly it means to be a game. And despite some of the gameplay shortcomings, I still constantly want to engulf myself into the game, even after beating it. Something I just can't say the same about with God of War. If you're fortunate enough though, you need to just get both. You're really missing out if you don't experience these masterpieces.

Fashion of the Year

Off-White Air Presto

Virgil Abloh owned 2018. Off-White has exploded this year, to the point where its brand seemed more recognizable than the legendary red box. To me, his best and most important release were the Air Presto's which I was lucky enough to pick up over the summer. They are quintessential of his brand, with its industrial and utilitarian design infused into urban streetwear. They also seem to be one of the more valuable pieces clocking in currently at >$1300 on StockX. Some would argue the Air Force x MoMA Collab was more impactful, but I find the odd nature of the Presto's to be more iconic and fitting.

Album of the Year

Pusha T - Daytona

It's hard to deny how big this album was when it first dropped. Especially due to the genius marketing by Ye and it consecutively dropping alongside his project and Kids See Ghosts. While it's a short 7 track line up, it's enough to drive home how good Pusha is at the in-your-face brash rap we don't see very often. That tightly curated list means each and every track is a winner, and there is absolutely zero filler. Something more albums need to take note of. My favorite track being the first. "If you know you know" is an excellent track that takes double entendres and crack lingo to a whole new level. This album always seemed to find a way into my ears whenever it was time to get in the zone.

Song of the Year

Wide Awake - Parquet Courts

This album was my runner up to Album of the Year. It's a fabulous art house punk record that bangs with raucous yells. And to me, Wide Awake is the best on the album. It's a fun punk song with a noodly riff that digs right into your head and it's hard to listen to this song and not yell "IM WIDE AWAKE" every chorus. It's not a deep song, it's not hard to understand, it's not very well produced, its timing is a bit off at times, it's a bit rough around the edges, but all of that doesn't matter because it's just a dope song. You're welcome.

Disappointment of the Year

Canon EOS R

This year, Canon and Nikon decided to enter the mirrorless market currently dominated by Sony. While Nikon released an excellent camera that actually rivals the a7III. Canon on the other-hand completely dropped the ball. As soon as the camera community heard the specs, you heard a sign of disappointment reverberate through the air. The biggest disappointment was Canon's refusal to give consumers Full Frame 4K video capabilities. Instead, they gimped their 4K by throwing on a heavy 1.76x crop on the image, which doesn't even meet Super 35 standards. They also dropped In-Body stabilization on the camera, dropped a joystick in favor of a "swipe bar", and they dropped their EF-S mount putting a new RF mount on instead. Overall they dropped the ball. I'd be lying if I didn't say that the entire photo/video community is waiting for Canon to release a true Sony competitor. We all want the features of the a7III with the color science of Canon, their awesome flip-out screens, and the incredible build quality they always bring to their cameras. Instead, we got more of Canon holding out their best features for their professional cameras.



If you enjoyed this list and want to support NoLife Digital, feel free to share the article on your social media using the links provided. Also, don't forget to subscribe to the NoLife Digital YouTube Channel.

Razer Announces New Lap-Board for Xbox One

credit: Razer

Razer Turret

So Microsoft recently has announced that the Xbox One will be getting the much requested feature of allowing full support for keyboard and mouse inputs for gaming. This has been a feature many console gamers have been asking for, for quite some time. And now it seems like it's finally coming to fruition. In that initial announcement from Microsoft, they state they will be personally partnering with Razer to develop some peripherals for the launch. Well today, Razer has showed us what they will be releasing come March.

credit: Razer

As you can see, it's modeled very similarly to Corsair's Lapdog. But unlike the Lapdog, which allows you to input your own Corsair keyboard, the Razer Turret has its mechanical keyboard embedded. The Turret (which uses Razer's own mechanical switches) also comes equipped with a mouse, and both can be wired or used with 2.4ghz wireless band. One of the cooler aspects about it is its retractable mouse pad, which makes it easier to store. Overall in my opinion, I think the design is quite slick, and I'm curious to see the performance of it. All in all, I'm quite happy to see Xbox getting closer to becoming a supreme HTPC. I see a future where Xbox positions itself to be the premiere choice for console & PC gamers, maybe even replacing the powerful gaming desktop for some.

credit: Razer

Make YouTube WAY Faster on Firefox


Recently, reports started coming in that Microsoft's Edge browser was switching off EdgeHTML to Chromium, which is the Google owned browser engine. This spun off a ton of criticism because it would mean that Google would own 80% of the web-browser space which starts to encroach on monopoly territory. The reason for Microsoft making the switch? Well Microsoft was tired of constantly developing for "new standards" set by Chromium. And in order for Microsoft to be competitive with its browser, it needed to keep up with those standards. Instead, they decided there's just more value in implementing the skeleton behind the company who pushes those standards. But thanks to an Ex-Microsoft/Edge dev, we have some more input as to exactly why Microsoft made the switch. Someone on HackerNews asks "For example, they may start integrating technologies for which they have exclusive, or at least 'special' access. Can you imagine if all of a sudden Google apps start performing better than anyone else's?". JoshuaJB, the ex-edge dev states

This is already happening. I very recently worked on the Edge team, and one of the reasons we decided to end EdgeHTML was because Google kept making changes to its sites that broke other browsers, and we couldn't keep up. For example, they recently added a hidden empty div over YouTube videos that causes our hardware acceleration fast-path to bail (should now be fixed in Win10 Oct update). Prior to that, our fairly state-of-the-art video acceleration put us well ahead of Chrome on video playback time on battery, but almost the instant they broke things on YouTube, they started advertising Chrome's dominance over Edge on video-watching battery life. What makes it so sad, is that their claimed dominance was not due to ingenious optimization work by Chrome, but due to a failure of YouTube. On the whole, they only made the web slower.

So it looks like Chrome was implementing road blocks in its own backend to halt the optimizations of other browsers, Edge and FireFox to name some. What's infuriating is that this wasn't done because Chrome found better optimizations to its browser. It was specifically thrown in with malicious intent. Unacceptable.


If you've been listening to NoLife Tech, you'll know that we've all been doing our best to limit our Google usage. I personally have stopped using Chrome in favor of both Firefox and Safari. This is more for privacy concerns, but as time goes on, more concerns become valid. One thing that I do miss from Chrome is how much quicker YouTube is on its platform. Well thanks to this article from OnMSFT, I was able to find a remedy to my issue.


If you click the link embedded in that tweet from Chris Peterson, you'll be taken to an extension for Firefox. That extension implements the "old" version of YouTube (when you'll see it, you'll find it familiar). This was "pre-polymer" which is was before Chrome implemented its "opimization hurdles". And I'll tell you - after using it for more than 5 minutes, it's lightning quick. Much quicker than the "new" YouTube is on Chrome even. That said, you do lose some features. One being the new "Theater" mode, which essentially stretches the video to fit your window. Something I used often. But nonetheless the experience is more fluid. So if you're like us, and you want to move away from Chrome, make sure to follow us here on NoLife.Digital as well as on Twitter and Instagram to stay updated on more optimization tweaks such as this.

2018 in Review [ NoLife: Ep. 67ab ]


Incremental Updates

In this episode the crew talk a bit more about Smash since Wayne and Doobie can't stop playing. They dive into how Samsung was fooled by a fake Supreme. And then they break down their favorite products, games, movies, and music of 2018, as well as the most disappointing things of the year. NoLife Podcast will return on January 8th in 2019. Make sure to sub for updates on more tech, gaming, and culture.



Google Under Pressure [ NoLife: Ep. 66b ]



In this video we talk about the hearing Google CEO Sundar Pichai had with congress and the interesting (and frustrating) discussions they had. We also take a look at a few new toys we got in, like the SmallHD External Monitor, and the values of having a Color Corrector.