Friday, August 29, 2008

Sony Blu-ray Home Theater System BDV-IT1000

Sony’s European press centre has a release that may interest those of you shopping for that new Blu-ray Disc Home Theater in a Box. This is Sony’s first crack at marketing a Blu-ray HTiB, even though they are the main innovators of this tech. As a result, many loyal fanboys have been waiting impatiently for an announcement along these lines. While under development, Sony appropriately code-named the project ‘Pockey’, which is a chocolate dipped cookie stick. This perfectly describes the stick-like speakers that complement the aesthetically pleasing style of this sleek system. Providing the power to blast is a 700w 32-bit amp, with integrated BD player. That should be enough power to blow your socks, hats, shirts, and pants off.

Spec sheet after the break...

BDV-IT1000 at a glance

* Super-slim speakers made possible by finger-sized full-range drive units
* All-in-one home cinema system with integrated Blu-ray Disc drive
* Full HD 1080/24p picture quality with Deep Color and x.v.Colour
* Wireless rear speakers for great surround effects without cables
* BD-Live Ready: upgradable to Profile 2.0 for extra content and downloadsvia Ethernet port
* DVD upscaling to 1080p
* Two HDMI input terminals for connection of games consoles, HD TV decoder boxes or other sources, and one HDMI output
* Optical digital and analogue stereo inputs. Also composite/component video in
* Upconversion to HDMI for analogue sources
* Fast, perfect ‘one-touch’ set-up with Digital Cinema Auto Calibration
* BRAVIA Sync for integrated operation with other Sony components
* XrossMediaBar onscreen display for simple, logical operation of all functions
* Connectivity with Network WALKMAN® and iPod® players, Bluetooth devices and home Wi-Fi networks via DIGITAL MEDIA PORT, plus Portable Audio Enhancer
* 700W total power: 5x100W plus 2x100W for subwoofer, using efficient, high-quality 32-bit S-Master digital amplification

Press Release

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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Nikon D90 has Arrived to Advance your Artistic Tendencies

With the newly announced D90, Nikon is finally blazing new trails in digital photography (after playing catch-up for years). Recently, Nikon has been: developing their own sensors that push the limits of low-light sensitivity while producing less noise, improving their Vibration Reduction (VR) lenses to the allow sharp handheld shots at shutter speeds as low as 1/15 of a sec, and, the biggie, integrating HD video recording w/sound (720p @ 24fps) into the D90, a DSLR first.

The HD video files are formatted in AVI; these are easily imported in most video editing software. 5 minutes per video clip is all you get, and the camera can’t adjust the focus automatically while recording, because the mirror is up, but that doesn’t stop you from manually adjusting the focus through live view, if you're up to it.

Other cool new features include the an HDMI port, simulated Fisheye Effect, Straighten, Distortion Control, and up to five faces can be detected with the face detection software. Once the faces are identified the photographer can then press the zoom key to quickly verify that the focus was accurate; something portrait photographers will love.

The D90, the top model of the DX format cameras in Nikon's line, is set to drop in a matter of weeks. The body will be sold for at or around $1000, while the kit, with the AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor 18-105 f/3.5-5.6, will sell for around $1300. I think I've found my new backup cam to the D300.

A Video of Chase Jarvis and his lucky crew that got a sneak preview, playing with the new Nikon D90 after the break.

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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Kindle, Out of the Boardroom and into the Dorm

Amazon’s latest ploy to sell the online retailer's far from red-hot e-reader, Kindle, may be the marketing strategy that finally gives the device the wings Bezos seeks. Target: college students. They have to buy books, and at the beginning of each semester the college bookstore is no picnic, it’s pandemonium – pushy crowds, long lines, and overworked stockers. Wouldn’t it be nifty it hop on the Sprint EDVO network and download the textbooks needed right to your Kindle, for less? Not to mention the environmental savings, or the money saved on publishing.

The latest incarnation of the Kindle is set to drop around September or October, at the much more reasonable price of around $249 or $299; making it the perfect second semester Christmas gift for that diligent student on your list. Along with a bigger screen and a slimmer, sleeker case, the rumors have also suggested the reader will have a, much needed, updated interface, and larger keys with better placement. The hope is Kindle will jump several generations with these advancements. Making a final product seem more like a 4th gen device than a 2nd. Time will tell.

But, if history is any indicator...
Amazon may have a hard row to hoe. Book publishers have noted the number of electronic copies of books sold has declined while hard copies remain steady, and the New York Times hasn’t had a run on subscription through Kindle; stating, they’ve seen a ‘very small number’ of subscription since it’s launch. Add to that, the fact that I never see folks sporting these in NYC, and I really wonder who’s buying these things?

The college crowd is a fickle demographic, but get them in your corner and you can start shopping for that summer home. Amazon will have to be aggressive at promoting the advantages of this system over an iPod or laptop, in order to capitalize on a student's limited resources. I read the NYT everyday on my iPod; it’s free, and great for me. I’m the kind of reader they should be convincing. Just stick to you guns Amazon, if you'll know how to sell anything it’s books.


Update: Drop date speculation has been confirmed to be false by Amazon spokesman Craig Berman. Source: NYT
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Monday, August 25, 2008

Apple Rumors: New iPods, iTunes 8, and a Price Drop?’s founder Kevin Rose: is either - quite well connected, lucky enough to get random emails by Apple insiders, or is just looking for blog traffic. Really, it’s probably all three. A self-made gentleman of the blog-o-sphere, Rose is taken quite seriously by most bloggers and podcasters, as his information is the stuff of dream posts. Hard hitting, late breaking, unconfirmed tech rumors… revealed.

We bloggers crave this type of inside track so badly that we’ll believe most anything. Rose revealed on Sunday’s “This Week in Tech” that he has received unsolicited anonymous emails, which included...

PDF files of reference photos and technical specs for the new nano. The photos released, show a rounder, thinner, and longer body design, in addition to a wider screen. Who knows if the emails are from people working for or with Apple on the latest iPod nano design, but the information is thought to be creditable.

Rose also wrangled up some insider info on the iTunes 8 release, however remained tight lipped about the purported new features, in hopes of avoiding ridicule if his information is found to be false. Of course, that’s silly because people are going to ridicule and discredit him, either way. He also won’t release the full photos of the nano with the technical specifications attached to protect the sources anonymity. OK, then. So we should just take his word for it? Seems as if.

Rose also added what seemed to be his speculation of an impeding price drop. Making the assertion that the current iPhone price, of $199 w/ two-year contract, has been taking sales away from regular iPods.

I personally never really considered buying an iPhone, the service contract always seemed like a rip off, so I bought the iPod Touch, no contest, no debate, no wavering. It seems counter-intuitive that Apple would readjust their entire iPod line's price point to match a discount that is given when a two-year contract is signed. I don’t see it happening… good thing we’ll only have to wait a few weeks for all to be announced (Sept. 9)
. I hate not knowing whether I'm right.

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Friday, August 22, 2008

Sony's S-AIRPLAY Helps You Play Harder

Sony knows where there’s a party - there’s an iPod, and their latest product announcement just made large soirees a little easier to throw (at least in the music department). With the new S-AIRPLAY system, Sony has made multi-room audio practical, inexpensive, and a cinch to setup.

Using their own S-air wireless technology, which has garnished user praise for...

its high bitrates and resistance to outside interface, iPod tunes or radio transmissions, can be transmitted from the main docking station to the satellites speaker/receivers situated in other rooms; up to 10 at once.

The main docking unit also sports RCA interfaces for connecting up to a television, helping you get the most out of those downloaded videos. Each satellite speaker has a source select. Using the S-AIRPLAY system’s dual source feature, any unit can bypass the iPod audio, in favor of radio transmissions, while other satellites continue playing iPod audio.

Satellites also handle remote control over the iPod track selection, and even incorporate the standard clock radio functions of a sleep timer and alarm; making them a great addition to your nightstand. The AIR-SA20PK will arrive in warehouses next month; MSRP is set at $400. We can do better than that…
check the main site for a great deal on this and more Sony products.
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Monday, August 18, 2008

Sony Leaks New Line of Budget-minded Walkman

Sony inadvertently, or not, announced a new slew of inexpensive portable media players (PMPs), through their New Zealand site (which has already been squelched). The NWZ-E430 series Walkman will take its place under the NWZ-S610 line to become Sony’s newest entry-level PMP.

With the earlier 2GB NWZ-S615coming in just under $90, you can guess the 2” screen sporting NWZ-E435, NWZ-E436, and NWZ-E438 will be more than reasonably priced, when released. Other advantages are increased compatibility with drag and drop supported by OS file managers or sync software, as well as Windows Media player and iTunes support.

As with most non-apple PMPs, there is an FM tuner and incredible battery life. However, the 45 hours of music and 9.5 hours of video that this player is purported to be capable of... is unheard of in today’s market. More info as it becomes available.

via Sony Insider
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Friday, August 15, 2008

TSA Ready for 'Checkpoint Friendly' Laptop Bags

The TSA has gotten flack, as of late, for not being slack enough on travelers toting laptops. In short, the TSA is asking every laptop owner to open up and boot up... while also facing them with possible seizure of their equipment without just cause. Never fear, they have a very clear set of guidelines that should allow you to glide through the checkpoint straight to the tarmac - without your laptop seeing the light of day.

Too bad it will eat up more time looking for a bag that meets these requirements, than just opening your bag in the first place. But, hey TSA thanks for trying.

Effective tomorrow, for a bag to be considered checkpoint friendly it should meet the following standards:

  • A designated laptop-only section
  • The laptop-only section completely unfolds to lay flat on the X-ray belt
  • No metal snaps, zippers or buckles inside, underneath or on top of the laptop-only section
  • No pockets on the inside or outside of the laptop-only section
  • Nothing packed in the laptop-only section other than the computer itself.
Here's a new market ripe for conquest... TSA Ready Laptop Bags, investors I'm waiting.

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Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Data Visualization - Mapping Britain’s Information Economy from Above

Art is everywhere – we, as a species, weave our collective artistic sense into everything we do. The paths that fiber optic cables weave as they transmit information, flight paths, shipping routes, and land based telecommunications, all create intricate patterns. These patterns were not derived from concerns of aesthetic impact, but created out of concern for the system's functionality. However, through this functionality arises a planned chaos that is both breathtaking and awe inspiring when visualized.

This type of art is concerned with presenting the everyday, overlooked, functions of the world in striking visualizations of pure data. My first encounter with this type of art making was when I researched Radiohead’s latest video. I found a group of UCLA researchers, who had inspired the video’s director, were using lasers to record the movement of aerial vehicles and compiling the data into still images.

This time around, the BBC presents data visualization, in Britain From Above, through time-lapse video using, among other things, GPS signatures or trails. The images are not of humans, but their systems, and it’s truly amazing to see so many people interacting on such a large scale. These vids makes all our randomness - seem magical.

Link to videos
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Monday, August 11, 2008

iHome ships iH41, formally iP14 rotatable iPod clock

SDI Technologies has begun shipping its intriguing rotating clock dock, the iHome iH41, which compliments the accelerometer technology on the iPhone and iPod Touch, (that thing that changes the display’s orientation in relation to the device’s position).
The iHome iH41 is an L-shaped clock/speaker dock that rotates 90° allowing you to view movies with sound amplification while your Apple is securely docked and charging up. The clock display rotates complementing the iPod's orientation; adding to the desire to acquire this unique compact alarm clock dock. MSRP is set at 79.95, but check back with us later for the best price.

Related Products

iLive IHT3817DT iPod Docking System
iLive ICR6307DTBLK Clock Radio
iLive IBR2807DPBLK Portable Docking
Sony ICF-C1IPBLACK iPod Dock w/ Clock (Black)

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Thursday, August 7, 2008

The Look of Philips' next-generation Senseo?

The rumors about the next Senseo espresso maker are swirling around quicker than the soymilk in my $4 iced coffee (OK… maybe not).

Speaking of overpriced coffee, my wallet is starting to feel those morning fixes a little more these days. And not to take away anything from the Baristas, but I think I could manage pulling a shot, or three, in the morning - if I had my own espresso machine.

Who knows where these mockups originated? They don’t seem as slick as the previous models, but my guess is they’ve ditched the slick look for more pressure.
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Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Google Insight for Search

Insight for search. Learn more about your customers, or just find out what the world is searching for.

Beta launched today.
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Monday, August 4, 2008

Ion VHS to DVD Transfer System

Ever since I stowed them away, with every intention of reliving their glory, my stacks of old VHS tapes have been clamoring to live on in the digital age. Now, their dreams of immortality have new wings. Ion has released VCR 2 PC
which is, as it’s name suggests, a VHS player that outputs thru USB to a Windows machine running XP or Vista. Not only can it record tapes directly to DVD, but
it can also record any analog NTSC source, digitally, by using the RCA inputs in the front of the player. So even analog camcorder tapes can be transferred to DVD, assuming my camcorder still works.

Finally, I can free those original Star Wars VHS tapes, the ones without the crappy digital enhancement, from analog purgatory - along with the all the embarrassing home movies of school plays and summer vacations. Actually, on second thought, I may just stick with transferring the blockbusters. Hopefully your home movie moments caught for posterity aren’t as ego bruising as mine.

Oh, and once the movies have been transferred it’s not trash, VCR 2 PC hooks up to the tele too, using composite AV output. VHS lives on!

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