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Today in Gear: November 13, 2013

Rocksmith 2014 How much better would you be at math had you learned your times tables while playing Zelda? Okay, maybe not the best analogy, but a similar principle is at play with Rocksmith 2014.


Rocksmith 2014
How much better would you be at math had you learned your times tables while playing Zelda? Okay, maybe not the best analogy, but a similar principle is at play with Rocksmith 2014. It’s basically a video game that teaches guitar; in fact, Ubisoft claims that in 60 days players/students will show a marked improvement. Use the included cable to plug your electric strummer into a gaming system or PC and soon you’ll be shredding — without costly lessons or all that silly conventional practicing. $80

Compass Box Whisky Co. The Peat Monster
Peat is quite versatile. Use it as a fuel, to preserve corpses or make a killer batch of whisky, à la Compass Box. This 46% ABV swill is a blend of Islay malt whisky (quite smoky) and other Highland whiskies (less smoky), which impart a complex structure and excellent taste. It’s suggested that this one be paired with blue vein cheeses, or simply drunk as a digestif. We say it’s good for a toast anytime, though we’ll never pass up a nightcap. $132

Motorola Moto G
Motorola, now of course a Google subsidiary, launched the Moto G smartphone this morning, the second brand new phone from Motorola since its acquisition by the advertising company search giant. It’s meant to be an affordable device for the global market while still delivering the goods — which include a 4.5-inch 720p screen covering a Snapdragon processor and 1GB of RAM. Android 4.3 runs the show, and talk time over 3G is a whopping 14 hours. Also on board is an FM receiver; and Moto G users get an additional 50GB of Google Drive space on top of the standard 15. Both the 8GB and 16GB versions — unlocked and without contract — cost under $200. $179+()

Filson x Shinola Bixby Bicycle and Filson x AEV Brute
By now we all trust Filson to come out with the ultimate in rugged, outdoorsy, made-to-last goods (apparel, accessories, luggage, etc.), but their latest collaborations have a slightly more mobile bent. The Filson x Shinola Bixby Bicycle is a lightweight, three-speed urban two-wheeler. It’s assembled in Detroit out of parts handmade in Wisconsin, which include an internally-geared hub, disc brakes, a bamboo rack and details, and Tin Cloth bags all around. The partnership with American Expedition Vehicles produced a WWII-style Army Jeep for the modern civilian, which hauls ass to the tune of 475 horsepower out of a 6.4-liter Hemi V8; the interior features Filson-esque twill, leather and brass appointments with custom luggage. filson.com

House Of Marley Get Together Bluetooth Speaker
As if being named after the big B wasn’t enough to gain adoring fans, House of Marley seems hellbent on creating sustainable, high-quality audio appliances and accessories that look unique and perform with the best. The 2.5-inch woofers and 1-inch tweeters inside this unit pump out all sorts of sound; reclaimed hemp, cotton and recycled bottles make up the “Rewind” fabric bits; and even the packaging is recycled. The bamboo front and back panels look killer and are equally earth friendly, and of course, Bluetooth tech means you can connect any device and jam for hours. $200

Diario Peltre Gradient Cups
Vitreous enamelware is a two-in-one deal: elegant designs in the enamel look good in any environment, and since it’s essentially glass, the enamel will take a lot of heat, resist scratches and last for a great while. Dishes and cups with the Peltre look are available all over the place, but these — the coffee cup and smaller tequila cup — not only compliment each other, but feature a gradient in the Peltre pattern that’s as eye-catching as it is traditional. $19

Meridian G65
Meridian’s new G65 serves as the premiere digital surround controller for the brand’s G Series stereo tech, supplanting the 800 Series before it. When combined with an HD621 processor, the device controls time alignment, surround sound and bass in order to unify audio and video for the benefit of your two ears. It’s launching now, available next month — so get some cookie-eating music for Santa to enjoy. meridian-audio.com

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