Tuesday, April 27, 2010

BlackBerry 6 sneak peak at WES 2010 [BlackBerry]

The new OS 6. A very nice and stylish video for the new version. Emphasizing the new user experience. I don't know, all the of newly designed OSs these days seem to be very similar. All centered around the social, which is great for the user... Well, here's the video:

This reminds me that my newly purchased Nexus One is coming in two day. I will let you all know if and how I enjoy using it.

Nokia N8 Official, With 12MP Camera and 720p Video Recording [Nokia]

Nokia N8 Official, With 12MP Camera and 720p Video RecordingWell now, this is awkward. Only yesterday Mobile-Review was calling the N8 an unpolished turd, and now Nokia's gone and announced it to the world. As leaks foretold, it's got a 12MP camera with Xenon flash, and runs Symbian^3.

It's Nokia's first Symbian^3 phone, and while initial videos and photos made it look pretty special indeed, Mobile-Review's early look at it warranted a big, fat "do not like." As I said yesterday, that could be because it was an early prototype—time will tell, in any case.

Onto the specs, and that camera has Carl Zeiss optics and the Xenon flash most Nokias are blessed with. It can record video in 720p and thanks to the HDMI output, can play footage on HDTVs.

The screen is a 3.5-inch capacitive touchscreen, and there's 16GB of inbuilt storage, expandable up to 48GB if you've got the requisite microSD memory card. As with all the next-gen Nokia handsets, free Ovi Maps is included.

The US pricing and availability hasn't been confirmed by Nokia yet, but for now we've been told the pre-taxes European cost will be but it'll of course be available for free on contract. Out in the third quarter, so we're looking at another few months at the very least.

Full list of specs here.

[Gizmodo via Nokia Conversations]

Rear-View Helmet Has Eyes In the Back of Its Head [Safety]

The folks behind the Reevu MSX1 figured out a clever way to give bikers eyes in the backs of their heads without the need for any fancy pants electronics. By glancing up, the wearer can see what’s behind them, thanks to a mirror arrangement that bends light around your noggin like a periscope.

It seems to tick all of the right safety boxes as well, with webBikeWorld rating it as a high-quality helmet and adding that it is “built like a tank.” At it is not cheap, but no good helmets are.

Price: 384$

[UberReview via WebBikeWorld via DVICE]

Monday, April 26, 2010

No-Touch, Hover 3D Input Interface for Mobile Devices [Remote Control]

A lot of sophisticated, portable gadgets nowadays have a touchscreen, but what if you could operate those gadgets with your fingers – without touching the display or any part of the device itself? A research team led by Masatoshi Ishikawa, a professor at the University of Tokyo, has developed a way to operate mobile devices by moving your fingers in mid-air.

The technology is mainly based on a high-speed mini camera, which can shoot 154 pictures per second and records your fingers’ movements (vertical and horizontal), and an image-processing chip, which determines whether your fingers are moving forward or backward. The researchers says the system is especially suitable for 3D applications on mobile devices, setting it apart from other gesture-recognition technologies.

The prototype module allows users to turn the page of an e-book by flicking a finger in mid-air, for example. Move your finger towards the display, and the image on the screen expands (and vice versa). Make a circular motion, and the object displayed starts rotating, etc. etc.

The research team hopes to commercialize its technology in the near future, especially targeting makers of 3D software and 3D hardware.

Here’s a video that provides more insight:


Another Format Bites The Dust: Sony Discontinues Floppy Disks [Memory]

Another Format Bites The Dust: Sony Discontinues Floppy Disks
What, wait? Sony's been churning out floppy disks all these years? And 12 million were sold last year in Japan alone? I guess that's not enough though—as Sony Japan will cease selling them March 2011.
[Gizmodo via Akihabara News]

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Philips shows off its $10 million LED light bulb [LED]

Philips shows off its  million LED light bulb
Most people are familiar with the various X Prizes that have been offered for achievements in flight and space travel, but how many know that the US Government has offered an L Prize for energy efficient lighting? The idea is to come up with a 21st century replacement for the 60 Watt light bulb, with the goal of saving 34 Terawatt-hours of power nationwide per year.

Entries must deliver at least 900 Lumens output, with a consumption of less than 10 watts, and must have a lifespan of at least 25,000 hours. There are also rules about light quality and color temperature. The top prize is million.

Philips is the first company to submit an entry, and they showed off their baby Thursday evening at the EcoFocus event in New York.

I think the real question is how much the bulbs will cost to buy. It's hard to convince people to spend big bucks on a bulb, even after you explain the long term savings on their electric bill. I asked if they would sell me the prototype, and they said sure, but it would cost me Million.

[DVICE via L Prize]

Friday, April 23, 2010

It's Happened: The First Full Face Transplant [Medicine]

It's Happened: The First Full Face Transplant
The operation took 22 hours and 30 doctors, but the world's first full facial transplant has been deemed 'a success'.

In a clandestine operation that took place almost a month ago in Barcelona, a man who'd lost his much of his face in a shooting accident received an entire face—skin and muscles, and as the BBC clarified, even "cheekbones, nose, lips and teeth"—from a donor.

Apparently the patient, who'd formerly been unable to swallow or breathe, has since seen himself in a mirror and was 'calm and satisfied.' It's unclear just how much function he's regained, and just like for any organ transplant, he'll be on anti-rejection drugs for the rest of his life.

But...I mean...wow.

[Gizmodo via BBC]

Psyko 5.1 Gaming headset now available in USA and Canadee-i-o [Surround]

The Psyko 5.1 gaming headset has fascinated us for nigh on a year now but it is finally reaching the masses. The headset is available today on NewEgg and a number of other exciting online retailers.

The headphones cost We did a hands-on at CES.


Thursday, April 22, 2010

Japan’s DoCoMo announces new mobile projector for cell phones [Projectors]

It’s not that there’s a shortage of mobile projectors, but when DoCoMo (Japan’s biggest cell phone carrier) announces [JP] a model for its 55 million customers, it deserves a mention. DoCoMo specifically suggests using the F01 with Fujitsu’s uber-cool “Separate Keitai”, a cell phone that breaks into two parts (and that’s currently available on the Japanese market only).

Weighing 88g, the DLP device is sized at just 11.4 x 5.1 x 1.64cm and produces images measuring between 5 and 66 inches in size at 854×480 (WVGA) resolution. It also features a brightness of 9 lumens, 150 minutes of battery life, an analog RGB interface and Bluetooth.

The device can be used to project images, digital TV programs (all Japanese phones have a tuner), games, and Word/Excel/Powerpoint/PDF files.

DoCoMo plans to ship the first 10,000 units to Japanese electronics retailers and its own cell phone shops at the end of this month, probably with a ISL 1,008.47 ($270) price tag. I am thinking the only chance for the F01 to make it outside this country is when Fujitsu decides to sell the “Separate Keitai” abroad as well.


Satellites Will Issue Speeding Tickets from Space [Speeding]

UK drivers had better stay under that speed limit, because the traffic authorities are watching… from outer space. According to The Telegraph, an American company called PIPS Technology has developed a system that uses two cameras on the ground and one mounted on a satellite in orbit to catch speeders.

The system — called “SpeedSpike” — figures your average speed between two points, captures an image of your license place and reports you if you’re going faster than the law allows. Oh, and if you’re hoping Great Britain’s notoriously gray weather will save you, you’re out of luck; the system works even when it’s cloudy or dark.

SpeedSpike will be tested in two places: the London borough of Southwark, and along the A374 between Torpoint and Anthony in Cornwall. If the trial is successful, the tech may be used to enforce speed limits near schools, to reduce the need for speed bumps, and for “main road enforcement for traffic reduction.”

[Mashable, image courtesy of iStockphoto, Snaprender]

Bluetooth 4.0 Uses Less Power While Extending Range [Bluetooth]

Bluetooth 4.0 just got finalized and will start rolling out to devices by the end of the year. Along with extending range from 30 feet to 200 feet, 4.0 introduces a new low power mode that will be seen in either single or dual-mode iterations.

The single-mode chips are strictly low power which means it can be tossed into watches, remote controls, and a variety of health, fitness, and in-home sensors. Dual-mode chips combine that same low energy mode with the ability to transfer data over 802.11 WiFi, much like what we've seen with Bluetooth 3.0. Think of it like 2 Bluetooths. Or Blueteeth.

[Gizmodo via Bluetooth]

Even the New $100 Bill is Going 3D [Money]

If you had any doubts that 2010 is the year of 3D, this may put them to rest. The U.S. Treasury unveiled the new ISL 373.51 ($100) bill today, which incorporates a “3D Security Ribbon” to combat piracy.
The security strip’s series of digits and bell images jump to 3D life when you tilt the bill, making it far faster to check whether or not the note is real.
The 3D ribbon is only one of a bevy of new state-of-the-art security features designed to stay ahead of counterfeiters, who are responsible for making the Ben Franklin-graced bill the most frequently faked paper currency. His visage stays on the new note, but the rest of the ISL 373.51 ($100) gets a serious makeover, including a portrait watermark, second security thread, and a Liberty Bell image that turns from copper to green color when tilted.

As if that weren’t enough, the U.S. Treasury went all out and made a blockbuster release video for the new ISL 373.51 ($100) bill. Check it out below and let us know what you think of 3D pervading even our very wallets.


Dell Thunder Android Smartphone Pics Storm Onto the Scene [Android]

In a week that’s been filled with stories of Apple’s smartphone leaks, I guess Dell got a little jealous and let some photos slip out of their own new mobile handset.


The Dell Thunder looks pretty slick from these early pics the guys over at Engadget managed to get their hands on. The Thunder is expected to have a nice big 4.1-inch WVGA OLED screen, and sports an 8-megapixel digital camera. Rumor has it that it will have a zippy Snapdragon CPU powering its brains. Connectivity will be provided by 7.2Mbps HSPDA and Wi-Fi.


From the looks of the user interface screens, Dell has added their own menu system, but under the surface, there’s a full Android 2.1 operating system. Internal documents from Dell indicate that the Thunder will include built-in support for Facebook, Twitter, and Hulu, and also play Flash 10.1 content.

At this point we don’t know a firm release date, but word on the street is a Q4 2010 release for the initial version of the phone.


Dell Lightning Is a Beauty Who Runs Windows Phone 7 [Dell]

Dell Lightning Is a Beauty Who Runs Windows Phone 7
The Dell Lightning slider is apparently not coming out until the end of the year, but it looks rather good—aesthetically and feature-wise. The Windows Phone 7 device has a 1GHz Snapdragon processor, a 4.1-inch OLED display, and more:

Dell Lightning Is a Beauty Who Runs Windows Phone 7

Seems like this will be worth keeping an eye on.

[Gizmodo via Engadget]

The Deadliest Place In the Solar System Is Beautiful [Space]

The Deadliest Place In the Solar System Is Beautiful
This is the deadliest place in the solar system, photographed as never before by NASA's new Solar Dynamics Observatory. It's one of the first humbling, terrifying, and beautiful images returned by the spacecraft. The video is equally impressive in HD:

SDO was launched on February in a five year mission to study the sun's magnetic field. Its image quality is ten times better that 1080p television, four times the resolution of the previous king of the Sun observers, the STEREO spacecraft.

The most spectacular sun view isn't the most spectacular anymore.

[Gizmodo via NASA]

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

HP DesignJet 3D Printer Is Here, but We Still Can’t Afford It [3D Printing]

When Hewlett-Packard promised to make 3D printers more affordable for the masses, I’m pretty sure they didn’t mean bums like you and me who just want to print 3D models of bacon, Patlabor and Olivia Munn (not necessarily in that order) will be able to get one. But yeah, HP’s Designjet 3D printers will be for sale starting this May, although for now they’ll only be sold in Europe.


The printer “turns three-dimensional CAD drawings into tangible prototypes by extruding partially molten ABS plastic in extremely fine layers one atop the other, forming the entire 3-D model in a single piece from the ground up.” The Designjet 3D can only print using ivory-colored plastic…


…while the Designjet Color 3D can print using up to 8 different colors.


I hope in the future we can just download an image of anything we want and then print it in 3D. But that will probably result in the rise of collectible toy pirates.

HP says that retail prices for their 3D printers will start at ISL 64,933.96 (€13,000) (approx. ISL 65,363.87 ($17,500 USD)). If that’s too rich for your blood, you could always just spend ISL 3,735.08 ($1,000) on a Makerbot.

[technabob via Popular Science via Geek]

Devon Tread 1 Motorized Watch Looks Awesome, but Crazy Expensive [Watches]

I have said before that I don’t wear watches. If I were a billionaire and could just throw away money on cool stuff that I don’t really need, I would buy this new Devon Tread 1 watch.


This thing has a clear polycarbonate case that is supposedly bulletproof. The coolness is that all the numbers to tell time are printed on bands that are woven together and move to place the correct numbers in each of the colored boxes on the watch face.


This has to be one of the coolest watches that I have ever seen and all the moving bands require four little motors on the inside. The downside to all the cool the watch has to offer is the ISL 56,026.17 ($15,000) price tag.

[technabob via The Awesomer]

The insane plan to convert dead airliners into hydrofoils [Recycle]

The insane plan to convert dead airliners into hydrofoils

Instead of putting old airliners out to pasture to rot in some cockroach corner, Hydro Lance wants to substitute pontoons for wings, and blast those Boeing 727s across the high seas. The company says it'll cost about million to buy one of the decommissioned jets, and then once things get rolling, an additional million to convert it to one of these jet-propelled ferries that can go 161mph.

It all sounds so simple. The idea is to leave the three engines located near the tail section intact, and use the existing cargo areas and seating for passengers, and use the existing cockpit controls to steer this seafaring rocket full of passengers on a 'glass smooth' ride from here to there. How will these flightless jets skim across the waves? Why, they'll use the company's HARTH float pontoons, of course. Insert miracle here.

The company's not saying anything about how those jet engines would react to ingesting salt water. If they would've had a fleet of these ready last week, those poor souls marooned by the volcano would've had a great way to escape their predicament.

[DVICE via Hydro Lance via Jalopnik]

Swiss Watch Maker Ulysse Nardin To Launch Luxury Android Handset [Luxury]

Looking to blow some cash? Here's a thought. Swiss watch maker, Ulysse Nardin has partnered with SCI Innovations to craft and sell a luxury Android handset. That's right, a luxury Android handset!

According to the Ulysse Nardin website, the handset will be named the 'Ulysse Nardin Chairman' and feature a 3.2-inch capacitive touchscreen display, a fingerprint reader, 8-megapixel camera and 32GB flash drive. It will support playback of HD video and come pre-loaded with applications for YouTube, Google Maps, Gmail, Google talk and Facebook.

Additionally, the smartphone will be equipped with a Ulysse Nardin Rotor kinTetic power system and Crown (for winding the phone), which is designed to recharge additional electrical power for the battery. With this, the battery will provide up to 8 hours talk time and 30 days standby time. That's pretty damn impressive if you ask me.

No word yet on when this phone will be released, but the phone will cost between ISL 47,375.41 ($12,800) and ISL 183,209.61 ($49,500). As always, the price goes up as the options go up. So, who is interested?

[AndroidGuys via Ulysse Nardin]

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Scientists Measure Atomic Nudge [Physics]

By pushing a cluster of just 60 ions with a tiny electric field, researchers have measured the most minuscule force ever.

The result, measuring mere yoctonewtons (10^-24 newtons), beats previous record lows by several orders of magnitude. The group behind the measurements, based at the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Boulder, Colorado, hopes that the technique can eventually lead to new tools for measuring the minuscule features of materials' surfaces.

Tiny force measurements are crucial for imaging atomic surfaces and detecting nuclear spins, but they are difficult to make because of the tiny dimensions involved.

To date, researchers have successfully measured around an attonewton (10^-18 N) of force by giving small pushes to microscopic paddles or wires and then watching them vibrate. These systems work well, but are limited by factors such as their relatively large size.

The new technique eschews the paddle-type systems in favor of just 60 beryllium-9 ions. The group flattened the ions into a tiny "pancake" and suspended this in mid-air using magnetic fields. They then fired a laser at the ions, lead author Michael Biercuk, now at the University of Sydney in Australia, writes in a paper on the physics preprint server arXiv.org.

By carefully tuning the laser, they extracted energy from the atomic pancake until it reached a temperature of just 0.5 millikelvins.

The team then nudged their pancake with a small electric field. The nudge shook the ions and caused a discernible change in the reflected laser light. On the basis of the size of the change, the team estimates that it has measured a force as small as 174 yoctonewtons--about a thousand times smaller than previous measurements.

Tiny force shunts tiny mass"What makes it work is that the system is so light," says Chris Monroe, a physicist at the University of Maryland in College Park who was not involved in the research.

Newton's second law of motion states that force is equal to the product of mass and acceleration, so a tiny mass is sensitive to a tiny force. Weighing in at around 0.1 yoctokilograms, 60 beryllium-9 ions make one of the lightest force probes possible.

There is nothing particularly new about the technique, Monroe adds. Clusters of ultracold atoms are already the focus of many studies in their own right. The team's insight was that the ultracold ions would make for supersensitive force detectors. In their paper, the researchers say that even more sensitive detections might be possible with fewer ions.

Monroe says that he agrees in principle, but notes that as the number of ions shrinks, so will the laser signal crucial to the measurement. The team behind the work says that a single ion could detect an even smaller force. True enough, says Monroe, assuming the ion itself can be accurately measured.

Ultimately, the team hopes that beryllium ions could be used as tiny force detectors in all sorts of measurement. "In principle, you could try to use this for fundamental force measurements," says Konrad Lehnert, a researcher at JILA in Boulder, who held the previous measurement record for work using a vibrating wire. In particular, it might be possible to test gravity and quantum effects at ultra-short scales.

But Monroe cautions that the technique should not be oversold. The ions must be kept isolated in a vacuum chamber in order to work, he notes, making actual applications tricky.

"It's not going to be used to find oil tomorrow or anything," he says. But he adds that it may well be possible to develop the atomic pancakes into something more practical.

[By Geoff Brumfiel at Scientific American]

Hitler Is Very Upset That Constantin Film Is Taking Down Hitler Parodies [Downfall]

For my money, memes on the Internet don’t get any better than the Hitler one. You know, the one in which you take some current event (the more mundane, the better) and shove it into the scene from the German film Downfall in which Hitler is told in his bunker that he cannot win the war. The key to these (assuming you don’t speak German, of course) is to replace the actual subtitles with ones of your choosing about a different topic. Facebook/FriendFeed, Twitter, MySpace — all solid gold stuff. In fact, just this past January, while reviewing the iPad version, Erick called it “the meme that will never die.” But sadly, it looks like it may in fact die, at the hands of the studio behind it.

Earlier today, someone attempted to upload a new version surrounding the massive iPhone 4G (or iPhone HD, whatever) news. Unfortunately, as you can see on YouTube, that video has already been removed with the message, “This video contains content from Constantin Film, who has blocked it on copyright grounds.

Constantin Film is the German film production and distribution company behind the film Downfall (Der Untergang in German). The uploader of one of the Hilter parodies notes in the comments of his video that, “Constatin Films has filed a copyright infringement claim against this video, right before it was about to reach 500,000 views! Even though it falls under Fair Use, I suspect this video will be taken down soon. Sad face.

Sure enough, many of the other Hitler meme parodies have started disappearing as well (Hitler on Xbox Live, for example). But as of right now, there are so many out there that are subtly different enough that plenty are still up. Still, you can probably expect YouTube’s smart content system to hunt down and find all of these clips sooner rather than later. Now may be the time to appeal to Constatin Film. Downfall is a great movie, but it’s also in German which sadly means that many people outside that country will never watch it. But I’d bet these clips have sparked an interest in the film beyond what any type of traditional marketing could have done.

Mostly, I just really want to see Hitler’s reaction to the stolen iPhone 4G. Also, someone really needs to make a video about Hilter being upset that Constantin Film is DCMAing Hitler parodies.


Thursday, April 15, 2010

Intel predicts Light Peak to replace USB 3.0 [Light Peak]

Intel pundit Kevin Kahn predicted that Light Peak may overtake USB 3.0 before it even starts. The 10Gbps standard is poised to become the mainstream technology as soon as 2011, beating the technology it’s intended to replace to the mainstream.

While Light Peak is currently considered to work with USB 3.0, the sure blazing speed could serve to make it become the standard before the older technology has a chance to take off. Mr. Kahn stated that Light Peak will become available to PC manufacturers later this year, and shipping in early 2011.

[CrunchGear via Electronista]

Black Holes May All Contain Other Universes [The Universe]

Black Holes May All Contain Other Universes
It's mind blowin' time! According to a new theory, every black hole contains a smaller alternate universe. And our universe might just exist inside a black hole in a much larger universe. Ah-whaaaaaa?

According to Indiana University physicist Nikodem Poplawski, the matter that black holes absorb don't condense into singularities. Instead, they pop out the other side and become the building blocks for whole other universes in another reality.

This would explain what happened before our Big Bang: it popped out of a black hole from another, much larger universe. Everything came out of a 'white hole,' if you will.
Gamma ray bursts occur at the fringes of the known universe. They appear to be associated with supernovae, or star explosions, in faraway galaxies, but their exact sources are a mystery. (Related: 'Gamma-Ray Burst Caused Mass Extinction?')

Poplawski proposes that the bursts may be discharges of matter from alternate universes. The matter, he says, might be escaping into our universe through supermassive black holes-wormholes-at the hearts of those galaxies, though it's not clear how that would be possible.

'It's kind of a crazy idea, but who knows?' he said.
Yeah, kind of!

[Gizmodo via National Geographic via The Daily What]

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Phantom Flex Camcorder Shoots 1080p Video at 2,800fps [Camcorders]

Phantom Flex Camcorder Shoots 1080p Video at 2,800fps
Mmm, perforation. 1,000fps may've impressed with the previous model, but a whopping 2,800fps at 1080p? Wow. If you crank the resolution all the way down to VGA, you can even shoot in 6,300fps.

Flex is the latest model from Vision Research, whose professional Phantom line of camcorders tends to the more expensive side of the market but the specs are pretty astounding. This particular one has a 4K 2,560 X 1,600 CMOS sensor with 12bit color depth. As mentioned before, when shooting 1080p it films in 2,800fps, but you can get 1,560 when pushing the resolution even further.
[Gizmodo via Phantom Flex via OhGizmo]

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Mercedez-Benz Creates Artificial Tornado [Guiness Record]

This is one thing that you’ve definitely got to see. In Germany, in the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart, they can repurpose the building’s internal ventilation system to create an artificial tornado – indoors!

mercedes-benz tornado artificial weather

This twister takes about 7 minutes to form and is powered by 144 jets and 28 tons of air. The system was initially created to funnel away smoke from inside the museum to the ventilation shaft and the outside world.

The whole thing is more than 100′ tall, making it officially the world’s largest artificial tornado, which is not likely to be a very crowded category in the Guinness Book, is it?

[technabob via Presurfer]

Friday, April 9, 2010

Google Earth helps discover rare hominid ancestor in South Africa [Hominid]

Today, scientists announced a new hominid fossil discovery in the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site in South Africa. The discovery is one of the most significant palaeoanthropological discoveries in recent times, revealing at least two partial hominid skeletons in remarkable condition, dating to between 1.78 and 1.95 million years. We are especially excited because Google Earth played a role in its discovery.

So how did this come about? Back in March 2008, Professor Lee Berger from Witswatersrand University in Johannesburg started to use Google Earth to map various known caves and fossil deposits identified by him and his colleagues over the past several decades, as it seemed the ideal platform by which to share information with other scientists. In addition, he also used Google Earth to locate new fossil deposits by learning to identify what cave sites looked like in satellite images.

At the beginning of this project, there were approximately 130 known cave sites in the region and around 20 fossil deposits. With the help of the navigation facility and high-resolution satellite imagery in Google Earth, Professor Berger went on to find almost 500 previously unidentified caves and fossil sites, even though the area is one of the most explored in Africa. One of these fossil sites yielded the remarkable discovery of a new species, Australopithecus sediba. This species was an upright walker that shared many physical traits with the earliest known species of the genus homo — and its introduction into the fossil record might answer some key questions about our earliest ancestry in Africa.

We’re absolutely thrilled about this announcement, and delighted that our free mapping tools such as Google Earth and Google Maps continue to enable both individuals and distinguished scientists to explore and learn about their world. With these tools, places both foreign and familiar can be explored with the click of a mouse, allowing for new understandings of geography, topology, urbanism, development, architecture and the environment. Our efforts to organize the world’s geographic information are ongoing — but at the end of the day, seeing the way these tools are put to use is what most inspires us.

Posted by Michael Jones, Chief Technology Advocate

Mitsubishi WD-82738: 82 Inches of 3D TV For Only $3800 [HomeTheater]

Mitsubishi WD-82738: 82 Inches of 3D TV For Only 00

Mitsubishi announced three new lines of (relatively) affordable 3D Home Cinema TVs today, but the one that sticks out? An 82-inch DLP that puts jumbo-sized 3D in your home for under ISL 14,796.69 ($4,000.)

The trade-off, of course, is that DLP is going to put a little junk in your TV's trunk. But it's a trade-off I'd be willing to make for the price. The WD-82738 steps up from last year's WD-82737 by adding StreamTV Internet Media—with applications ranging from Pandora to Vudu to NY Times. The WD-82838, another 82-inch set that costs ISL 16,646.28 ($4,500,) also includes Immersive Sound Technology, an integrated 16-speaker 5.1 surround sound system.

And if you don't need that much screen real estate, the WD-60638 (the smallest in the series) gives you a 60-inch 3D DLP for ISL 4,439.01 ($1200.) For a 3D set, however fat, that's pretty impressive.

Availability and Suggested Retail Pricing:

638 Series
WD-60638 - ISL 4,435.31 ($1,199.00) WD-65638 - ISL 5,545.06 ($1,499.00) WD-73638 - ISL 7,394.65 ($1,999.00)

738 Series
WD-60738 - ISL 5,175.14 ($1,399.00) WD-65738 - ISL 6,654.81 ($1,799.00) WD-73738 - ISL 8,874.32 ($2,399.00) WD-82738 - ISL 14,053.16 ($3,799.00)

838 Series
WD-65838 - ISL 8,134.48 ($2,199.00) WD-73838 - ISL 10,353.98 ($2,799.00) WD-82838 - ISL 16,642.58 ($4,499.00)


iPhone OS 4.0: All the New Features [iPhone OS 4]

iPhone OS 4.0: All the New Features
The curtain has been pulled back on iPhone 4, and the list of new features is massive: There's multitasking (finally!), a refreshed interface, and literally hundreds of other changes, all coming this summer. Here's the full rundown.
The new OS will ship in June (Fall for iPad, and a developer preview is available today, so we can expect to have plenty of apps updated and ready for launch.

New Features: Multitasking, App Folders and More

iPhone OS 4.0: All the New Features

Multitasking: It's here, finally. It's handled with a simple task switcher: double click your home button, and you get a list of running apps. Select, switch, done. Multitasking is limited to audio streaming, VoIP and GPS apps, as well as a few other allowances: they can finish specific, important tasks in the background, for example. As far as non-music/nav/VoIP apps, those can be suspended in the background, but not left running. (See below.) Full details here.

Fast app switching: With iPhone 4's multitasking, most apps aren't actually running in the background—just certain functions of the app, like an audio stream or a GPS lock. But! All apps can now be frozen, in full, so that when you reopen them, they're restored to exactly the state they were in when they were closed.

Local notifications: Notifications can be sent between apps on the phone, not just from remote servers. In other words, if something important happens in an app you've opened and moved away from, a notification will pop up in whatever app you're using at the time, effectively saying 'switch back to me!' It's a fairly clever way to keep track of multiple apps without the need for a start bar or dock-type interface. From Apple's dev guidelines:
The advantage of local notifications is that they are independent of your application. Once a notification is scheduled, the system manages the delivery of it. Your application does not even have to be running when the notification is delivered.
Apple's official line:
iPhone OS 4's new multitasking offers users a new way to quickly move between apps, and provides developers seven new multitasking services to easily add multitasking features to their apps. These services include background audio, so apps like Pandora can play music in the background, and VoIP, so VoIP apps can receive a VoIP call even when the iPhone is asleep or the user is running other apps. iPhone OS 4 provides multitasking to third party apps while preserving battery life and foreground app performance, which has until now proved elusive on mobile devices.
And some more technical details, again from Apple's developer guidelines:
An application can request a finite amount of time to complete some important task. An application can declare itself as supporting specific services that require regular background execution time. An application can use local notifications to generate user alerts at designated times, whether or not the application is running.
iPhone OS 4.0: All the New Features

App folders: Now you can sort your apps into folders! That's homescreen clutter solved, just like that. Apple's description:
Folders help users better organize and quickly access their apps. Simply drag one app icon onto another, and a new folder is automatically created. The folder is automatically given a name based on the App Store category of that app, such as 'Games,' which the user can easily rename. Using folders, users can now organize and access over 2,000 apps on their iPhone.
2160, to be exact.

iPhone OS 4.0: All the New Features

A new Mail app: Unified inboxes, multiple Exchange accounts, fast inbox switching, threaded messages: These new features are actually a huge deal, since the iPhone's mail client has barely changed since 2007, and Apple doesn't allow alternative mail apps. Apple's pitch:
iPhone OS 4 delivers the best mail experience on a mobile phone with its new Unified Inbox, allowing users to see messages from all their email accounts displayed together in a single inbox. With just a few taps, users can quickly switch between inboxes to see messages from any single account.
iPhone OS 4.0: All the New Features

iBooks: Oh hey, that iBooks ebook reader app and accompanying ebook store we first met on the iPad has ambled on down to the iPhone. Nice, since you can now take your books with you wherever you go, as oppose to wherever you go with your iPad.

Custom backgrounds: Jailbreakers have them. Hell, the iPad has them. Now you can choose a persistent background for your iPhone—and not just for the lockscreen.

Game Center: Apple's going to roll out a centralized gaming service—a multiplayer network like PSN or Xbox Live—to help connect games to one another, by the end on the year. There are 3rd-party services that already do this, like OpenFeint. They will probably die. Full details here.

iPhone OS 4.0: All the New Features

iAd advertising: It looks like Apple's finally making use of Quattro, that mobile ad company it gobbled up a few months ago, by rolling out its own advertising platform, a turnkey ad plugin for app developers called iAd. The theory here is that instead of relying on links to external websites, which pull users out of apps whenever they tap on an ad, developers can use Apple's new tools to keep people in the app while still showing them advertising—sort of like popover browser windows. You can watch videos, play games, and even buy apps from within these ads. This is in the iPhone OS 4 developer tools, but it's not explicitly a part of OS 4, so you won't see apps with iAds until later this year. Full details here.

5x digital zoom: Could this hint at a higher quality camera in the next hardware? 3.2 megapixels seems a bit low for 5x digital zoom.

Bluetooth keyboards: Another carryover from the iPad, Bluetooth keyboard support will finally come to iPhone 4.

• A bevy of other new developer features, including 1500 new APIs to play with: See here for more details.

Which Devices Get It, and When?

iPhone OS 4.0: All the New Features

When the software ships in the summer, iPhone 3GSes and iPod Touch 3rd-gens devices will get all of the new features. The iPhone 3G and Touch 2G will get 'many things,' which doesn't include multitasking. I repeat: the iPhone 3G won't get multitasking, ever. iPhone 2Gs will be left on a hillside somewhere to die of exposure, or something.

Apple didn't drop any clues about the next iPhone's hardware, but it's a fair bet that we'll see some changes come June.

What About the iPad?

iPhone OS 4.0: All the New Features

The iPad won't get the 4.0 upgrade until Fall of this year, a few months after the iPhone does. So, you'll be able to multitask on your dinky little iPhone before you'll be even be able to listen to Pandora and check your email at the same time on your giant iPad.

[iPhone 4 on Gizmodo]

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Hubble Discovers God [NASA]

Hubble Discovers God
It's official: God exists. The Hubble caught Him out of his home, taking a walk on the Gemini constellation, about 5,000 light-years from Earth. Looking at His photo, God doesn't have a beard. Or maybe this isn't God.

In fact, NASA says that this image taken by the space telescope Hubble—which is turning 20 this year—is the Eskimo Nebula, NGC 2392. It began forming 10,000 years ago—which sounds about right because that's when God created Earth, as everybody knows. NGC 2392 was first discovered by William Herschel in 1787. In the middle you can see a dying star surrounded by some objects and gas.

The photography has been included in Hubble: A Journey Through Space and Time, a book published to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the space telescope.
[Gizmodo via Hubble: A Journey Through Space and Time]

Electronic Noses Can Smell If You Have Asthma [Health]

Electronic Noses Can Smell If You Have AsthmaAsthma affects about 300 million people around the world, but can be difficult to diagnose. That's why scientists designed an electronic nose which can sniff the air exhaled by a patient to determine whether he or she has asthma.

The electronic noses basically consist of a bunch of gas sensors which sample and analyze inhaled and exhaled air. And based on initial testing, they're rather accurate:

In a test involving 14 people, the electronic nose proved to be 87.5 percent accurate, compared to conventional tests like fraction of exhaled nitric oxide (FeNO) and lung function tests, which were 79.2 percent and 70.8 percent accurate respectively.

Now if only they can combine combine these asthma detectors with breathalyzers then every horrid driver could get a free medical exam before being handcuffed.

[Gizmodo via Science Daily via Inhabitat]

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The Most Magnetic Material Yet [Magnets]

The Most Magnetic Material Yet
Iron cobalt was the most magnetic material on Earth until physicists created what's in this man's hands. It's an iron and nitrogen compound which is 18 percent more magnetic and potentially disproves theories about how magnetic a material can be.

Jianping Wang, a physicist at the University of Minnesota, created the compound, but he's actually not the first to do so:
In 1996, researchers from the Central Research Laboratory of Hitachi in Japan made the same iron and nitrogen compound. Their research also showed that the material exceeded limitations set by traditional theories. However, scientists were unable to duplicate their experiments.

Apparently Wang has 'taken special care to allow other scientists to duplicate his experimental setup' because of these failed attempts of the past. It's a shame that his experiment doesn't count as proof of the original compound's creation for some reason though.

[Gizmodo via MN Daily via Pop Sci]

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

ICD Gemini Comes with Loaded Feature List [Tablets]

ICD Gemini Comes with Loaded Feature List
There are people out there who are interested in a tablet computer, but refuse to buy the iPad on principle. Well, take a gander at ICD's Gemini, an 11.2-inch tablet that's got a damned impressive spec list.

With the 1GHz Tegra 2 SOC running the show, this thing should be able to handle 1080p video just fine. It's got a 3G connection that allows voice calls as well as 'a user-replaceable 40Wh battery, an SD card reader, FM radio, GPS, 802.11n WiFi, Bluetooth, MicroUSB connectivity to PCs and USB peripherals, stereo speakers, and dual webcams.' Not much more you could ask for there. And the whole thing will run Android, so it's a reliable, supported OS rather than some slapdash interface or, worse, a desktop OS such as Windows.

Oh, and it runs Flash, if you're into that sort of thing. For now, it's just a prototype. No word on pricing or availability as of yet.

ICD Gemini Comes with Loaded Feature List

[Gizmodo via Engadget]

This is either the Nintendo 3DS or an over-the-top mock-up [Nintendo]

We’re not sure what to make of this thing. On one hand the design is clearly out of the box in a way Nintendo tends to think, but the twisting and turning seems just a tad too far from the norm to be real. But the Japanese site says it’s the real deal so it must be real.

The handheld seems to have everything that we’re expecting with a touchscreen autostereoscopic screen with a 854×512 resolution that’s stylus-friendly along with a dual screen mode to replicate the functionality of current DS games. Then there’s the input controls that are clearly designed to work in a 3D space that are obviously included. But it’s the extras that make us question if this thing could really be real.

Apparently the device can generate 3D objects in a augmented reality mode using two rear-facing cameras and sensor. The same sensor can also double as a sort of object scanner to import real objects into the virtual space. The performance is also said to be in the same class as the PS2/GameCube and the unit will reportable be able to link up with the Wii for some sort of VC sharing. The article goes on to tell a tale of WiMAX, WiFi, and even an optional keyboard for some blogging – seriously. It might just be too good to be true.

The post states that the 3DS should hit stores (probably in Japan first) next March 31st and Nintendo will official unveil the unit at E3 in the coming weeks. Jump over to the site and peek the pics. What do you think? Real or fake?

[TechCrunch via Mogu Mogu via Kotaku]