Ina Fried

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Jawbone’s Newest Headset Comes With a Built-In Nerd

Jawbone’s latest headset looks a lot like its existing Icon product, but with one small addition.

The new model includes a little USB dongle, known as the Nerd. And, like the nerds in all of our own lives, this nerd helps magically make tech products work — in this case making it easier for the headset to connect to a computer.

The Jawbone Nerd convinces the PC or Mac that the headset is just like any other audio device, allowing the new headset to be easily connected simultaneously to both a cellphone and a computer.

Unfortunately, like other nerds, Jawbone’s is particular, only working with the new Icon HD with which it comes bundled for $139. The product also has some other audio and control improvements to go along with its heftier price tag. (The existing Icon sells for $99.) Because it is a single earpiece, it can’t match the immersive stereo experience that many people like when listening to audio on their computer. Jawbone executives note that the need for better headphones has caught their attention, although they say they have nothing to announce yet on that front.

Jawbone is also releasing a free Android app on Tuesday that allows its headsets to more easily manage conference calls; Research In Motion has a similar app for the BlackBerry.

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work