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Today in Gear: March 25, 2014

Today in Gear we examine the world’s fastest external drive, Bell’s throwback helmets, your guide to aging beer and a ladder accessory that lends a helping hand.

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RACING WITH LEXUS F AT FUJI INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY

The Arrival of the New Lexus F Line

From the Archives: Lexus, when it was created in 1989, was itself a halo brand. Today Lexus is pushing its own groundbreaking products — that is, incredible vehicles — to reach new automotive heights. We were recently invited to experience those new halos, several of the company’s latest F models, this time at the very same proving grounds on which they were first developed: Fuji International Speedway.

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Today in Gear: March 24, 2014

Today in Gear we take a look at Nike’s fanatical socks, the world’s smallest interchangeable lens camera, miner lighting & a book with all the answers to the question “what if?”

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Part Craftsman, Part Caveman

30 Minutes With: Jimmy Carbonetti

Jimmy Carbonetti, Caveman band member and the proprietor of Carbonetti Guitars located on New York’s Lower East Side, still has plenty of life to live before he churns out the next self-help best seller. But if a Carbonetti’s Rules for Success ever does surface, the lessons should seem familiar: do what you love and find mentors. Getting both lined up didn’t take long in his case. We caught up with the musician and luthier ahead of his next appearance in Austin to chat about everything from the origins of his “Cobra” nickname to his musical heroes and a few of his latest projects.

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Today in Gear: March 21, 2014

Today in Gear we examine Sony’s take on virtual reality, Porsche’s new Cayman and Boxster GTS, Ghurka’s Norwalk collection and more.

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Today in Gear: March 20, 2014

Today in gear we examine a fine pot stilled Irish Whiskey, the manliest unicycle ever, a varsity jacket turned shirt, Merc’s new glorious S-Class coupe and more.

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Can the world's largest automaker fix the problems ahead?

Rethinking Tomorrow: A Visit to Toyota City

Today, Toyota is making bold bets in a wide range of areas — from alternative fueled vehicles and suped-up tricycles Robocop would sell his hex nuts for, to emotion-sensing AI, household “partner” robots, and smart homes — all in hopes anticipating the shifting mobility needs of tomorrow. Statistics are one way to understand how the company’s master plan will make for a better and Pikachu-cute future; then again, the world’s largest automaker is well aware that practice makes perfect, and that’s on display at their global headquarters, known as Toyota City. We explored the brand’s paradigm-shifting innovations, including personal mobility prototypes, robots, EV infrastructure and more.

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Today in Gear: March 19, 2014

Today in gear: Android’s play on wearables, Yak wool cardigans, a coke glass for serious coke habits and beer flavored Jelly beans.

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Today in Gear: March 18, 2014

Today in Gear we examine the notebook of the future, your guide to Japanese drinking culture, TOMS’ segue into coffee and 4k-upconverting cords.

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A Thorough Guide to Listening the Right Way

Guide to Life: Upgrade Your Music Library

Our obsession with hardware is here to stay — don’t expect an apology for it anytime soon. We’ll be the first to admit, though, that even the right headphones, speakers and amps are only as good as the source material you play through them. Garbage in, garbage out. The solution? Get more out of the tunes you love by upgrading your music library.

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One family's patty-filled chapter in the book of American Dreams

The History of In-N-Out Burger

From the Archives: What truly separates In-N-Out Burger from the Arches, Kings, and Pony-tailed gingers of this world? We don’t have all of the answers, and never will — as much as we’ve tried during Month of Beef. But like any good prophet worth their grape Kool-Aid spritzer, we at least know that retelling In-N-Out’s story is as good of a place to start as any on the path toward fast food enlightenment.

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Today in Gear: March 3, 2014

Today in Gear we examine, a grill approved for Gauchos, a newly immigrated Irish Whiskey, baseball hats from the ’30s and wireless routers your IT staff will love.

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Today in Gear: February 28, 2014

Today in gear, Nokia’s valuable tracking treasure tags, VW-inspired food trailers and more.

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Today in Gear: February 27, 2014

Today in gear we check out the blazing new Nikon D4s, The Black Tux, a new smartphone from Boeing and more.

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Today in Gear: February 26, 2014

Today in Gear, we find optimized beer glasses, workingman’s whiskey, long johns, high-tech goggles and much more.

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Today in Gear: February 25, 2013

Today in gear we find a new Samsung flagship phone, explorer grants, mowers and much more.

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Today in Gear: February 24, 2014

Today in Gear, we check out a Lotus motorcycle, Tumi luggage for Fido, a spare tire grill, Jack Black’s winter skin remedy and much more.

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Worth another look

Tasting Notes: Wiser’s 18 Year Old

Wiser’s is one of the oldest brands in the Great White North, having started life in 1857. While its ownership has changed hands several times, its reputation for quality among the locals has typically remained strong. Wiser’s 18, also sold as Wiser’s Very Old, is a premium offering worth a try for any drinker interested in tasting some of the best Canada has to offer at a reasonable price.

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Today in Gear: February 21, 2014

Today in gear, we examine a rubber-based lint tool, made-in-the U.S.A. Salame, the history of Maserati, Beck’s latest album and much more.

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Today in Gear: February 20, 2014

Today in gear, we examine the return of Big Bertha, a dirt bike to snow mobile conversion kit, Gravity comes home, helmets get a better fit and much more.

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Today in Gear: February, 19, 2014

Today in gear, we discuss Roland’s resurrected drum machine, galactic wonder shoes, Canon’s latest compact champion, Jordan and his Jordans and more.

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Today in Gear: February, 18, 2014

Today in gear we discuss a ballin’ straight razor, LG’s latest phablet, a easy cocktail mixer and old school adidas sneakers.

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Today in Gear: February 17, 2014

Today in gear, we discuss Nokia’s latest flagship for Verizon, new American made overnighters, a minimalist desk with an expandable work area and more.

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Eureka is closer than you think

Guide to Life: Upgrade Your Light Switch

Science continues to prove that lighting affects our energy level, mood and sleep patterns more than we think — not to mention playing a tremendous role in altering the look and feel of interior spaces. Swapping out a traditional on/off switch for a dimmer is a fast home upgrade that provides immediate impact in any lighting scenario. We show you how it’s done.

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Nurture Your Independent Streak

Sundance Movies to See in 2014

Scan the news coming from the movers and shakers in the movie press, and you’ll be sure Sundance 2014 was a bust. Money (surprise!) is apparently the new measuring stick for the festival. We can thank the Little Miss Sunshine VW bandwagon for that. It’s true that studios and Weinsteins of the world kept their wallets generally cheekside — who isn’t these days — but plenty of standout films were still shared with audiences throughout the week in Park City. Of the 121 in the lineup, here are some standouts worth hunting down in 2014.

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Blowing $25 million at the 30th anniversary of the Breeders' Cup

A Visit to the Super Bowl of Horse Racing

Ask any casual fan what the Superbowl of horse racing is and they’ll answer the Kentucky Derby. Pose the same question to a member of the horse racing community and they’ll quickly point to the Breeders’ Cup. Deciding who’s right depends on the measuring stick. History, attendance records and cultural recognition easily favor the Derby. But when it comes to cold hard cash, the Breeders’ Cup is clearly king.

We were invited to experience the scene for ourselves during the 30th anniversary of the lauded event at historic Santa Anita park, California’s oldest race track.

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Director of Programming for the Sundance Film Festival

30 Minutes With: Trevor Groth

Trevor Groth first visited the Sundance Film Festival in 1989 at the age of 17. The experience changed his life, eventually leading him to a job as Director of Programming at Sundance, presiding over the strategic planning and selection process of the now-iconic film festival. Translation? He’s paid to watch and discuss movies produced by the planet’s most talented filmmakers and then picks which movies the world should definitely see. We caught up him in the middle of the 2013 festival to pick his brain about his process, how to experience the festival right and the state of the indie film scene at large.

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The best gets better

Tested: Audioengine A2+ Powered Speakers

Audioengine’s original A2 speakers launched in 2008 and were immediately showered with praise. They were sized to feel right at home on a desk but also boasted smart design decisions and spectacular sound quality, both of which were more in line with traditional bookshelf speakers or studio monitors. The newly updated Audioengine A2+ ($249) retains its predecessor’s baseline of quality but builds upon that wide range of usefulness with notable improvements for a variety of audio setups.

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Integrated Tech, Around the Clock

Why You Need a Qualcomm Toq: Everyday Wear

The smart watch has been a future fiction muse for decades. Dick Tracy used his to keep in touch with The Chief; George Jetson undoubtedly strapped one on before heading to work and leaving Rosie to take care of the kids and his shopping-obsessed fashionable wife. But here’s what all the clever creators behind those characters were missing: wrist-based tech that wasn’t just for business. Whether it’s tucked under the cuff of a sport coat or a sweatshirt, the Qualcomm Toq excels at conveniently (and discretely) connecting users to their digital livelihoods.

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Great Techpectations

The Best of 2013: Tech

Technology is constantly reshaping the world, to both our benefit and frustration. From a macro standpoint, the changes wrought during 2013 weren’t surprising at all. Computing increased; pixels were packed closer; connectivity expanded — just like the analysts said they would. We yawned with indifference while promptly pre-ordering, then tossed the pinnacles of 2012′s innovation on Craigslist.

Still, a few trends did stand out amid the churning tech landscape. The actions and unique characteristics of our bodies have officially joined the digital party, providing new forms of interactions, security concerns and data points. Novel careers in the gaming industry button-mashed ever closer to the mainstream while the consoles wars reset for the decade to come. Personal devices like smartphones finally became personalizable and, in some cases, made in America. True to our heritage, we also devoted plenty of man-hours to simplifying your acquisition quests by researching, testing and sharing the best devices available in countless critical tech categories.

Just in case you missed any of it, here you’ll find a retrospective on some of our favorite forays into the world of technology during 2013. Enjoy them now in the pre-obsolescence stages of their lives, and make sure you check back soon. Next year will bring plenty of innovation again, and we’ll be here to cover it like only GP can.