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Tuesday, February 8, 2011

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Westone ES5 custom in-ear monitors review

Posted: 08 Feb 2011 09:53 AM PST

If you're into high-end audio gear and especially custom solutions, you've probably heard of a company called Westone. In operation since 1959, the firm has decades of experience crafting in-ear headphones and audio gear, and it doesn't look like they're stopping any time soon. We had a chance to get our ears molded back at CES so we could check out the company's top-of-the-line model, the ES5, and now we've had some proper time to put them through the paces and see whether they live up to the hype -- head past the break for the nitty gritty.


Molding & Customization

The ES5's are custom made in every sense of the word, and this process starts with your ears. We had our impressions done by a Westone audiologist on site at CES, but most customers will have to find an audiologist near them to get the molds done. It's one of the most important steps, however, because the custom plugs will be an exact replica of the molds you supply.

The process starts with a felt tip being placed into your ear canal to act as a stopper for the ear putty (our term, not theirs). The tip had a super fine plastic tube that was outside our ear while the canal was filled up, helping minimize the "cork from a wine bottle" effect that would've happened otherwise. After the tip was in place, two pink-and-white, silly-putty-esque gels were mixed and injected into our ears and allowed to cure for three minutes. We should mention that we were given a bite block for the duration of the molding process as the shape of the ear canal changes given the jaw's position. This small detail makes a major difference, especially when compared to other custom headphone solutions -- namely this one from Sonomax -- which doesn't instruct users to do so, and doesn't achieve as good of a fit as a result.

The ear molding process only comprises half of the customization aspect of the ES5 experience. Additionally, the company offers all custom molded products in over twenty colors, though we chose to stick with basic clear. For an additional premium, you can add custom artwork to bring your custom headphones to a new level. The graphics are embedded in the acrylic rather than just painted on top, adding another level of detail to the already finely-crafted cans. As you should be able to tell by now, we went with the Engadget logo -- don't they look hot?

Performance & Fit


Westone tells us that the whole process from when they receive your ear molds to when you receive a finished product should take around ten days start to finish. Once they do arrive, however, you're greeted with a heavy duty carrying case complete with 'automatic pressure purge' valve -- seriously. There's also a cleaning tool and bottle of lubricant should you find your ears excessively dry, in addition to some moisture-control beads. These are definitely meant to be handled with care and cared for over time, so we appreciate the attention to detail when it comes to things like this.

Come on, we've talked about everything at this point except for the most important thing of all: how they sound. Well, we're pleased -- and not all that surprised -- to report that the Westone ES5's sound quality is second to none. Virtually every song we listened to sounded vibrant and full, like we were in a huge arena listening to a live performance. There's something about listening to music through these that just sounds clean and smooth -- it's hard to explain in words, but it doesn't sound like you're listening to songs through your MP3 player or computer, there's more depth to the sound.


This pristine sound quality is a result of the balanced armature that puts five -- yes, five -- drivers into each tiny bud. There's a single low, along with dual mid and high frequency drivers that gives sound a noticeably full quality. Westone advertises these as being essentially tone-neutral, but we sensed a slight emphasis on the mids and lows, and bass performance in some of our favorite D&B songs was also excellent. The technical specs of these are an audiophile's dream -- 8Hz - 20 kHz frequency, 120 dB input sensitivity, 20 ohm impedance, and 25 dB of passive noise attenuation, though we'll be honest and say that we really evaluated these based on what we heard more than what we read. If these numbers are gibberish to you, know this: these headphones sound better than pretty much any other pair of headphones we've ever used, period.

We should take a moment to talk about fit, because a pair of headphones could have the best internals on earth but sound washed out if they aren't on properly. Westone includes a CD with some instructional videos about getting started with and caring for your new cans. The main body of the ES5 is acrylic, but there ear canal piece has enough give to allow for perfect insertion into the canal. You essentially line up the canal piece with the opening of your ear, and twist them until they're fully inserted and then angle them a bit to line up properly and maximize sound cancellation. You can definitely tell when they're in properly or not, and essentially all ambient noise is removed when you've got a solid fit. The cable loops over to the back of your ear for extra security and to help with the low-profile fit, which is better than just having the cable dangle freely. The first inch or so has a plastic covering you can shape yourself so you can tweak it to best fit your ear's shape.

For long periods of listening, the ES5's are definitely not uncomfortable, though there's a noticeable difference between having something in your ear canal and wearing big on-ear phones. If you're like us and have never used in-ear monitors, the sensation putting them on the first time is a bit odd but lessens over time. The only time we ever really noticed the presence of the buds in the canal was when we actually clenched our teeth or were chewing food (see how important that bite plate was?). Swallowing liquids is a bit awkward at first, but not like the constant chewing motion, and it's definitely not a deal breaker.

Wrap-up
For us, the Westone ES5 certainly lives up to the hype in terms of sound quality and overall experience, and we had especially high expectations given the quite steep price of $950. Still, it's important to remember that these are targeted at the pro-audio crowd -- both enthusiasts who enjoy listening as well as performers who use this type of in-ear monitor for live performances. Westone has a great reputation in the industry as well, so you should feel secure purchasing a pair of these should you take the dive. The comfortable fit, extensive customization options, and phenomenal sound quality should definitely put ES5 right at the top when it comes to custom audio solutions.

Verizon's LG Revolution to support voice over LTE mid-year

Posted: 08 Feb 2011 09:36 AM PST

Verizon (like most operators) has thus far been coy about its plans for rolling out voice calling services on its LTE network, in part because voice isn't a core service of LTE -- everything is simply treated as data, which means carriers have needed to mull their options and decide how (and when) to add voice into the mix. We'd gotten the vague impression from Verizon's LTE launch event late last year that 4G voice wasn't in the company's 2011 plans, but it turns out that's not true: they've now come out to say that the LG Revolution -- announced at CES last month -- will be Verizon's first VoLTE device when it launches mid-year. Naturally, it'll fall back to CDMA voice when you're out of LTE range, but the move will represent the carrier's first baby step into the 4G voice realm; it'll offer higher sound quality than you're used to with traditional cellular and landline calls (akin to HD Voice, we imagine) which will be one of its selling points when it launches. Every indication is that this will be a glacially slow transition -- it'll take years for handsets to support the standard on a wide scale and LTE footprints to expand nationally, never mind inter-carrier call compatibility -- but it's a big move nonetheless. Look for more news on this at MWC next week.

[Thanks, Ravi]

Dell expands business lineup with new Latitudes, OptiPlex desktops, and Precision workstations

Posted: 08 Feb 2011 09:05 AM PST

Lest we forget, Dell is a major enterprise player, and today's truckload of new hardware announcements should further solidify that notion in your brain matter. There are 24 new "business computing solutions" in all, but to paint a broader picture... lots of laptops and desktops. On the mobile front, the Latitude E5000 series (E5420 and E5520 for the budget-conscious professional, start at $859) and "business rugged" E6000 series (E6220, E6320, E6420, and E6520 ATG) boast the Intel's 2nd generation Core ships, backlit keyboard, and "Latitude commonality" across 26 models. There's also talk of the 12.1-inch Latitude XT3 convertible tablet, but details are sparse beyond that. Mobility not a concern? New OptiPlex desktops (990, 790, and 390; starts at $650) have the Intel vPro processor and small footprints. The Precision T1600 workstation, which has 2nd-generation Intel Core / Xeon processors and AMD / NVIDIA graphics, starts at $840. Interests piqued? We know we're glossing over a lot of the more business-y details, so if you're inclined to find out more, press release after the break.
Show full PR text
Dell Unveils New Solutions for the Evolving Workforce
· Company's largest-ever business computing portfolio update improves access, manageability and security for organizations of all sizes

· Additional plans include an expansion to existing tablet portfolio with a 10-inch, Windows 7-based commercial tablet later this year

· Dell Services help customers efficiently deploy and manage corporate devices


ROUND ROCK, Texas, Feb. 8, 2011 - To address the needs of an evolving workforce that demands anytime, anywhere access to business applications and data, Dell today announced 24 new business computing solutions and form factors, including laptops, tablets, desktops and workstation computers in one of the largest-ever introductions in the company's history and part of 39 new solutions launching in the next year.

The way workers connect to and access business data and applications is rapidly changing, providing them unprecedented levels of productivity and knowledge. Additionally, the workforce is becoming more dispersed and global. IDC estimates that one-third of the world's workforce will be mobile by 2013.¹ The new Dell solutions give businesses the Power To Do More and raise the bar in terms of design, manageability and security and are engineered from the ground up to make end-users more efficient while providing the right level of control for IT.

New offerings include the Dell Latitude E5420, E5520, E6220, E6320, E6420, E6520, E6420 ATG laptops and XT3 convertible tablet. Additionally, Dell is introducing the Dell OptiPlex 990, 790 and 390 desktops as well as an OptiPlex Small Form Factor All-in-One Solution. Dell also announced the Dell Precision T1600 desktop workstation and Dell Precision M6600 and M4600 mobile workstations.

Additionally, Dell plans to extend its existing tablet portfolio with a 10-inch, Windows 7-based business-ready tablet later this year. The upcoming tablet is designed for end-users who need greater mobility, as well as IT organizations that demand control, security, manageability and integration with existing infrastructure investments. Dell's tablet will empower a more mobile workforce in a way that offers customers the business applications and corporate data they need, while meeting regulatory mandates and IT requirements.

Dell Latitude E-Family
The entire Latitude E-Family has been refreshed with the Latitude E5420, E5520, E6520, E6420, E6320, E6220, and E6420 ATG laptops and Latitude XT3 convertible tablet. The new Latitude family of laptops includes more than 100 design improvements and a range of new features to meet evolving business needs, including an increasing demand for security and manageability. New additions to the Dell Latitude family support a range of usage needs:
· The Latitude E5420 and E5520 laptops are ideal for professionals looking for a budget-conscientious blend of mobility and at-your-desk computing.

· The Latitude E6220, E6320, E6420, E6520 and E6420 ATG business-rugged laptops are designed for the most demanding conditions, with hard-wearing MIL-STD tested Tri-Metal™ casing and highly durable displays.


The new Latitude laptops offer the following:
• Completely new design from the ground up;
• Enhanced security– Dell Data Protection, Remote Data Delete and Free Fall Sensor to protect against drops;
• Planned support for pre-integrated Citrix and VMware remote desktop clients;
• Latitude commonality across 26 models – 1 dock, battery, keyboard footprint – making the management of systems much easier;
• Still the only enterprise platform with a backlit keyboard options for productivity anywhere; and,
• Intel® 2nd generation Core™ processors and new graphics and memory.

Dell OptiPlex Family
Designed to be the most secure, flexible and manageable desktops, the OptiPlex family provides day-to-day productivity of critical business tasks. The new family includes the OptiPlex 990, 790 and 390 desktops and offers the following:
• Common, stable image for all chassis - tool free access to system components;
• Small footprints and more chassis options;
• Planned compatibility with desktop virtualization lineup; and,
• New Intel® vPro™ processor technology and new graphics and memory.

Dell Precision Family
Dell Precision workstations are purpose built for high performance and high scalability. The systems are specifically designed for professional users who run graphics and compute-intensive applications for engineers in design and analysis, scientific exploration, special effects, animation, digital imaging, professional audio and economic and financial modeling.

Dell today announced the Dell Precision T1600 workstation and features the following:
• Single-socket, entry-level workstation designed for professional 2D and entry-level 3D applications;

• ISV certification on AutoCAD, Pro/ENGINEER and other select software applications;

• Intel® 2nd generation Core™ and Xeon™ processors, Intel HD or add-in professional; graphics from AMD and NVIDIA; and,

• Just-right-size toolless chassis.


Also announced today, the Dell Precision M6600 and M4600 mobile workstations are designed for users who need raw horsepower, superior design and usability, world-class scalable performance and certified-operation. More details on Dell's mobile workstations will be available in the coming months.

Dell Management & Security Solutions
To help companies quickly deploy and manage new business computing solutions, Dell KACE appliances automate time-consuming manual IT tasks from initial computer deployment to ongoing management and retirement. Providing hardware and software inventory, software distribution, patch management, and OS and application imaging, Dell KACE appliances offer easy-to-use, comprehensive management for local and remote systems.

Available with Dell's new business computing solutions, Dell Data Protection | Encryption is a flexible, manageable and auditable endpoint encryption solution that helps customers simplify data protection and comply with security regulations. The solution is designed to help companies protect endpoint devices, which serve as the "front door" to sensitive information.

Dell Services
Dell offers a comprehensive set of services that help customers automate the deployment and management of commercial laptops, mobile devices and desktops, as well as the ability to securely dispose of outdated or retired assets. Examples include:
· Deployment Services - Designed to simplify and accelerate the customization and utilization of new systems. Dell Deployment Services include everything from order consolidation to coordination of deployment resources.

· ProSupport Services - Designed to minimize disruptions and maintain high levels of productivity across end-user PCs. Dell Support Services protect client investments and free businesses from IT maintenance so they can focus on running their business.


Quotes
"As a leader in providing business solutions to organizations around the world, we are proud to announce this new portfolio of products that deliver secure, manageable and reliable solutions along with great new designs," said Steven Lalla, vice president and general manager of Commercial Client Product Group, Dell. "As the workforce continues to evolve, so will Dell, with the solutions both end-users and IT organizations need to improve efficiency and productivity regardless of the device they choose."

"As mobility continues to play a key role in enabling companies to achieve greater productivity worldwide, we expect the global mobile worker population to pass the one billion mark this year," said Bob O'Donnell, program vice president, Clients and Displays, IDC. "As the workforce transforms, becoming more mobile and increasingly global, organizations require PC solutions that meet employees' needs for increased flexibility and access while also meeting IT's requirements for manageability and security. "

Pricing and Availability:
· The Dell Latitude E5000 series starts at $859 USD.

· The Dell OptiPlex 390 pricing starts at $650 USD.

· The starting price for the Dell Precision T1600 workstation is $840 USD.



Availability information and pricing for additional systems will be released in the coming weeks.

Dell promises a 10-inch Windows 7 tablet later this year

Posted: 08 Feb 2011 09:01 AM PST

We've got very little information here, but Dell's just announced that it's planning to bring a 10-inch Windows 7 tablet to market later this year. According to the press release, it will be aimed at commercial and enterprise markets. Sound familiar? Yep, it sounds like a HP Slate in the making, but let's hope this one is faster and sticks to its shipping schedule. We've got no other details for now, but we're hoping to dig up more at the "Dell Means Business" event, which should be starting any moment now. Stay tuned...

Note: The pictures above were pulled from a Dell PowerPoint about the Win 7 tablet (full picture of the lovely slide after the break) -- we're assuming that's what the hardware will look like, but we're trying to get some better photos.



Show full PR text
Dell Unveils New Solutions for the Evolving Workforce
· Company's largest-ever business computing portfolio update improves access, manageability and security for organizations of all sizes
· Additional plans include an expansion to existing tablet portfolio with a 10-inch, Windows 7-based commercial tablet later this year
· Dell Services help customers efficiently deploy and manage corporate devices

ROUND ROCK, Texas, Feb. 8, 2011 - To address the needs of an evolving workforce that demands anytime, anywhere access to business applications and data, Dell today announced 24 new business computing solutions and form factors, including laptops, tablets, desktops and workstation computers in one of the largest-ever introductions in the company's history and part of 39 new solutions launching in the next year.

The way workers connect to and access business data and applications is rapidly changing, providing them unprecedented levels of productivity and knowledge. Additionally, the workforce is becoming more dispersed and global. IDC estimates that one-third of the world's workforce will be mobile by 2013.¹ The new Dell solutions give businesses the Power To Do More and raise the bar in terms of design, manageability and security and are engineered from the ground up to make end-users more efficient while providing the right level of control for IT.

New offerings include the Dell Latitude E5420, E5520, E6220, E6320, E6420, E6520, E6420 ATG laptops and XT3 convertible tablet. Additionally, Dell is introducing the Dell OptiPlex 990, 790 and 390 desktops as well as an OptiPlex Small Form Factor All-in-One Solution. Dell also announced the Dell Precision T1600 desktop workstation and Dell Precision M6600 and M4600 mobile workstations.

Additionally, Dell plans to extend its existing tablet portfolio with a 10-inch, Windows 7-based business-ready tablet later this year. The upcoming tablet is designed for end-users who need greater mobility, as well as IT organizations that demand control, security, manageability and integration with existing infrastructure investments. Dell's tablet will empower a more mobile workforce in a way that offers customers the business applications and corporate data they need, while meeting regulatory mandates and IT requirements.

Dell Latitude E-Family
The entire Latitude E-Family has been refreshed with the Latitude E5420, E5520, E6520, E6420, E6320, E6220, and E6420 ATG laptops and Latitude XT3 convertible tablet. The new Latitude family of laptops includes more than 100 design improvements and a range of new features to meet evolving business needs, including an increasing demand for security and manageability. New additions to the Dell Latitude family support a range of usage needs:

· The Latitude E5420 and E5520 laptops are ideal for professionals looking for a budget-conscientious blend of mobility and at-your-desk computing.
· The Latitude E6220, E6320, E6420, E6520 and E6420 ATG business-rugged laptops are designed for the most demanding conditions, with hard-wearing MIL-STD tested Tri-Metal™ casing and highly durable displays.

The new Latitude laptops offer the following:
• Completely new design from the ground up;
• Enhanced security– Dell Data Protection, Remote Data Delete and Free Fall Sensor to protect against drops;
• Planned support for pre-integrated Citrix and VMware remote desktop clients;
• Latitude commonality across 26 models – 1 dock, battery, keyboard footprint – making the management of systems much easier;
• Still the only enterprise platform with a backlit keyboard options for productivity anywhere; and,
• Intel® 2nd generation Core™ processors and new graphics and memory.

Dell OptiPlex Family
Designed to be the most secure, flexible and manageable desktops, the OptiPlex family provides day-to-day productivity of critical business tasks. The new family includes the OptiPlex 990, 790 and 390 desktops and offers the following:
• Common, stable image for all chassis - tool free access to system components;
• Small footprints and more chassis options;
• Planned compatibility with desktop virtualization lineup; and,
• New Intel® vPro™ processor technology and new graphics and memory.

Dell Precision Family
Dell Precision workstations are purpose built for high performance and high scalability. The systems are specifically designed for professional users who run graphics and compute-intensive applications for engineers in design and analysis, scientific exploration, special effects, animation, digital imaging, professional audio and economic and financial modeling.

Dell today announced the Dell Precision T1600 workstation and features the following:
• Single-socket, entry-level workstation designed for professional 2D and entry-level 3D applications;
• ISV certification on AutoCAD, Pro/ENGINEER and other select software applications;
• Intel® 2nd generation Core™ and Xeon™ processors, Intel HD or add-in professional; graphics from AMD and NVIDIA; and,
• Just-right-size toolless chassis.

Also announced today, the Dell Precision M6600 and M4600 mobile workstations are designed for users who need raw horsepower, superior design and usability, world-class scalable performance and certified-operation. More details on Dell's mobile workstations will be available in the coming months.

Dell Management & Security Solutions
To help companies quickly deploy and manage new business computing solutions, Dell KACE appliances automate time-consuming manual IT tasks from initial computer deployment to ongoing management and retirement. Providing hardware and software inventory, software distribution, patch management, and OS and application imaging, Dell KACE appliances offer easy-to-use, comprehensive management for local and remote systems.

Available with Dell's new business computing solutions, Dell Data Protection | Encryption is a flexible, manageable and auditable endpoint encryption solution that helps customers simplify data protection and comply with security regulations. The solution is designed to help companies protect endpoint devices, which serve as the "front door" to sensitive information.

Dell Services
Dell offers a comprehensive set of services that help customers automate the deployment and management of commercial laptops, mobile devices and desktops, as well as the ability to securely dispose of outdated or retired assets. Examples include:
· Deployment Services - Designed to simplify and accelerate the customization and utilization of new systems. Dell Deployment Services include everything from order consolidation to coordination of deployment resources.
· ProSupport Services - Designed to minimize disruptions and maintain high levels of productivity across end-user PCs. Dell Support Services protect client investments and free businesses from IT maintenance so they can focus on running their business.

Quotes
"As a leader in providing business solutions to organizations around the world, we are proud to announce this new portfolio of products that deliver secure, manageable and reliable solutions along with great new designs," said Steven Lalla, vice president and general manager of Commercial Client Product Group, Dell. "As the workforce continues to evolve, so will Dell, with the solutions both end-users and IT organizations need to improve efficiency and productivity regardless of the device they choose."

"As mobility continues to play a key role in enabling companies to achieve greater productivity worldwide, we expect the global mobile worker population to pass the one billion mark this year," said Bob O'Donnell, program vice president, Clients and Displays, IDC. "As the workforce transforms, becoming more mobile and increasingly global, organizations require PC solutions that meet employees' needs for increased flexibility and access while also meeting IT's requirements for manageability and security. "

Pricing and Availability:
· The Dell Latitude E5000 series starts at $859 USD.
· The Dell OptiPlex 390 pricing starts at $650 USD.
· The starting price for the Dell Precision T1600 workstation is $840 USD.

Availability information and pricing for additional systems will be released in the coming weeks.

Visualized: KIRFer's paradise

Posted: 08 Feb 2011 08:58 AM PST

Visualized: KIRFers paradise
LA lovers of things that Keep it Real Fake, finding your next knockoff might be a little harder than anticipated. The Los Angeles police just busted a warehouse full of knock-offs, things like GiPhones, iPhoncs, PNPs, and Poops. Among all this junk, some $10 million worth, two dudes were found and arrested -- two dudes who had records showing more than $7 million in profits. It seems KIRFing does pay, for a little while at least.

IDC says 100.9M smartphones sold in fourth quarter, PCs outsold for first time

Posted: 08 Feb 2011 08:36 AM PST

In case you had any lingering doubt that the smartphone is the new personal computer, just take a glance at IDC's new global smartphone sales numbers for the fourth quarter of 2010 where we learn that some 100.9 million units were pushed in the three-month period -- up a whopping 87.9 percent year over year. That figure compares to 92.1 million PCs sold during the same quarter, which, though a record for the PC industry, was left in the dust of the smartphone's stratospheric rise. This marks the very first quarter in history that smartphones have outsold traditional computers -- and considering the trajectories that both industries are in, we'd be surprised if they ever flip-flopped again. If anything, IDC and other analysis firms might need to readjust the nomenclature in their reports in a few years if (or when) convergence platforms like the Atrix 4G with its Laptop Dock start to gain traction. Of course, to Bill Gates and others, this technological cross-pollination comes as no surprise -- and really, who can argue with a handheld that's packing PC power?

Tachyon XC HD helmet camera review

Posted: 08 Feb 2011 08:05 AM PST

When last we saw a Tachyon XC helmet cam it was clinging futilely onto the side of another, stuck together so that the footage coming from the two could be combined to create 3D -- something GoPro is now trying to do much more expensively. We weren't particularly convinced at the time, largely in part because the resolution of each of those XC cameras was only VGA. Now there's an HD model we've been given to try, and while we've happily ditched the Siamese action to go solo this time, some issues remain here that keep us from giving the new, $179.99 Tachyon XC HD our universal recommendation.

Out of the box

How do you tell a Tachyon XC from a Tachyon XC HD helmet camera? Easy: you look for the "HD" printed on the side. We're pretty sure that's the only exterior distinguishing factor between the two, at least it's all our untrained eyes could pick out. And that's not a bad thing by any means.

Sure, the XC has a chassis that's slightly chunkier and bulkier than the Contour line of cameras, but it has one major advantage: it's totally waterproof right out of the box. The rear door shuts tight with a reassuringly loud noise that damages hearing and lets you feel confident the SD memory card and dual AA battery pack inside will be kept dry. It's far more beefy than the flimsy plastic latch on top of a GoPro. The Tachyon is rated to 100 feet, but we'd guess it'll manage a lot further before its little hull goes Das Boot.

It's incredibly durable feeling, too. While we never did try throwing one out of a moving car it surely wouldn't miss a single frame of tumbling highway and sky. We did, however, fumble it into the ground more than once, cold hands lacking dexterity. It shows no sign of damage.

Controls are just as simple as before, little power and menu buttons on top, and a larger start/stop button. There's a small LCD up there that lets you see whether you're capturing video or stills and just how much memory card and battery life is left. Up front, under the lens, hides a single tiny LED. It's green when ready to go, red when filming. It's never any other color but dark.

On the slopes

We tested the Tachyon XC HD in a number of situations, but we had the most fun with it on the slopes in what is truly an epic winter if you're the sort who likes to zip-tie pieces of paper to your jacket and stand in lines at lift gates. We busted out the goggle strap mount and found some black diamonds -- and some green dots, too.

Tachyon XC HD helmet camera reviewThe first problem carries over from the older XC: a start/stop recording button that's impossible to find with gloves on -- or at least with gloves that will keep your hands warm. Even bare-handed it's difficult to find and requires a heck of a squeeze before it starts filming. The company thoughtfully includes an IR remote that you can use instead, with a single start/stop button on it. This button is much easier to find, but if it's not pointed right at the camera it doesn't work.

The temptation is to just keep tapping the button a dozen times, but since it's one button to start and stop you run the risk of turning it on and then back off again. Curiously, the camera doesn't beep when turned on with the remote, so unless you have an assistant standing by to look at your little light it's awfully hard to tell whether you're recording. Woe betide those with red-green colorblind assistants.

Tachyon XC HDThankfully ours suffered no such affliction and, recording, we headed down. The Tachyon helmet mount can only be used on the right side of a helmet, and features no padding on the inside. So, skittering over the hard-pack it has a tendency to rattle against a helmet's exterior, something which you can definitely hear in the video. Naturally this won't be a problem if you're using any of the other camera mounts. This is particularly true for the picatinny rail mount for rifles, though we're thinking you'll have some other audio artifacts to deal with in that case.

Overall audio quality lacks definition, but that's thanks in large part to the waterproof nature of the device. It doesn't suffer the constant whooshing of the Contour, but as you can see in the video above it doesn't do much for capturing the spoken word.

And overall video quality is on the poor side compared to the other 720p models. We brought a Contour model along to compare. That ($100 more expensive) camera shoots at 1080p natively, but dropped to record in 720p you can still see the difference in clarity. The Tachyon XC HD just looks slightly blurry, lacking detail. It did, however, deliver a brighter picture on the cloudy day we tested.

For a battery life test we topped up a set of AA Eneloops on the charger and then pointed the camera out the window. A little over 3.5 hours later the thing recorded its last moments of footage, batteries dead. That's a quite healthy duration and, since it runs on standard batteries, adding more juice in the field is certainly easy enough.

Wrap-up
Ultimately the story here is much the same as it was with the original Tachyon XC, only this time we're talking about many more pixels. Image quality is definitely far improved with the HD model but still doesn't compare to other 720p offerings like the (now departed) 720p Contour model, nor the $180 GoPro 960. But, at $180, it is among the most affordable HD helmet cameras, on par with GoPro's cheapest and leaving us feeling a lot more confident about its durability.

So, good value then, or is it worth paying more for something fancier? That depends what you're going to do with it, and how nicely you're going to treat it. Are you looking for something you can get covered in mud, water, and whatever other filth comes your way without worry? Would you like to be able to hose off your helmet cam at the end of the day and then smack it against your leg a few times to dry? Do you need a camera that will shrug off a few-dozen magazines worth of practice? This is a good choice. If, however, you need a better picture quality and don't mind being a bit more gentle, you could do better elsewhere.

Barco's NX4 3D video wall does LED on a decidedly large scale (video)

Posted: 08 Feb 2011 07:41 AM PST

Barco's NX4 3D video wall does LED on a decidedly large scale (video)
If we've learned one thing over the years it's that Barco doesn't do small -- whether it's 3D CAD systems or even projectors. The company's latest mammoth offering is the NX4 3D LED videowall, measuring 10.453 meters wide by 2.352 meters tall -- about 35 feet wide and eight feet tall. It has a total resolution of 2240 x 504 with a 4.66mm pixel pitch, making this a definite candidate for a place where volume is more important than pixel density. A brightness of over 2000 nits and a 4000:1 contrast ratio means outdoor work is a possibility, though if you want 3D you'll have to BYO active-shutter glasses.

Nissan backs off 2011 Leaf delivery promises, expects 'a few hundred' sold in February

Posted: 08 Feb 2011 07:16 AM PST

Nissan backs off 2011 delivery promises, expects 'a few hundred' sold in FebruaryBad news for Leaf lovers. Back in December Nissan representative Tim Gallagher said "By the end of summer, our goal is to have everyone in their car." That would have meant 20,000-odd Leafs shipped before leaves start falling from trees, but now Nissan North America's Senior Vice President for Sales and Marketing Brian Carolin thinks we won't even see that many until next year. "I think 20,000 will be too high," he said, referring to total deliveries for 2011. "You just have to make this launch absolutely perfect. It's not a numbers game." Indeed it isn't, it's an expectations game, and how much lower can they go?

Study: 802.11ac devices to hit the one billion mark in 2015, get certified in 2048

Posted: 08 Feb 2011 06:53 AM PST

Okay, so there's a good chance that the developing 802.11ac Gigabit wireless standard will receive its official seal of approval long before 2048, but by 2015? Given that it took 802.11n a full seven years to move on from Draft N status, we aren't holding our collective breath. Regardless, there's obviously a need for a far faster interface than what we're using now, and the Wi-Fi Alliance is obviously doing everything it can to keep on keeping on. According to a loose study by In-Stat, Planet Earth will go from zero 802.11ac devices in 2010 to one billion by 2015, with Vice President of Research Frank Dickson noting that a draft of 802.11ac should be cleared at some point in 2011. As for backwards compatibility? Looks like you'll just have to wait and see.
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Zero to a Billion; 802.11ac-Enabled Device Shipments to Soar by 2015, Says In-Stat

SCOTTSDALE, AZ -- (Marketwire) -- 02/08/11 -- The continued quest for connectivity in a multitude of devices has now been joined by an additional requirement, an insatiable appetite for speed. 802.11ac is a new Wi-Fi technology standard developed to provide Gigabit speeds. In-Stat (www.in-stat.com), forecasts that the impact of this new standard will be equally as fast, as it will push shipments of 802.11ac-enabled devices from 0 in 2011 to nearly 1 billion by 2015.

"The goal of 802.11ac is to provide data speeds much faster than 802.11n, with speeds of around 1Gbps," says Frank Dickson, Vice President of Research. "The timing for 802.11ac approval is to have a draft standard created by 2011 and have the first 802.11ac products out by the end of 2012. The technology behind 802.11ac has not been finalized. However, it will likely involve bonding four or even eight channels together and some tweaks to the modulation scheme."

Some of the research findings include:

* Mobile devices with Wi-Fi will still dominate shipments. In 2015, shipments of mobile phones with embedded Wi-Fi are projected to approach 800 million.
* By 2015, In-Stat projects that 100% of mobile hotspot shipments will be 802.11ac-enabled.
* E-readers Wi-Fi attach rates will increase from 3% in 2009 to 90% by 2015.
* In 2012, Wi-Fi automotive shipments will reach nearly 20 million.

Recent In-Stat research, Wireless LAN Market Estimates and Forecast by Device and by Technology 2009-2015 (#IN1105001WS) covers the worldwide market for WLAN by device and by technology. The research includes:

* Forecasts of WLAN chipset units by market application segment and by 802.11b/g, 802.11n, and 802.11ac
* Segmentation for computing equipment, including Internet tablets, netbooks, and notebooks
* Segmentation for networking equipment, including access points, external adapters, gateways, and routers
* Segmentation for stationary consumer electronics (CE), including audio receivers, Blu-ray players, digital media adapters, digital picture frames, digital televisions, DVD players, gaming consoles, networked-attached storage, personal video recorders, and set-top boxes
* Segmentation for PC peripherals, including ink jet and laser printers
* Segmentation for portable CE, including digital cameras, handheld games, personal digital assistants (PDAs), portable media players (PMPs), and portable video camcorders
* Segmentation for mobile handsets, mobile hotspots, and automotive applications
* Segmentation for medical/industrial applications

iControlPad finally available for order, shipping next week

Posted: 08 Feb 2011 06:27 AM PST

iControlPad finally available for order, phone gamers finally get physical controls
The iControlPad hasn't been flirting with vaporware status for quite as long as Duke Nukem Forever but certainly long enough to make us wonder if we'd ever be able to use it to kick some in-game butt before we ran out of bubblegum. We've been tantalized by this formerly iPhone-exclusive adapter since way back in 2008, when it was going to be a simple case with a dock connector that would let you control those emulators with greater ease. It's grown significantly since then, the latest version shown above -- the final version, as it happens. It's now available for order at a cost of $74.99, and we're happy to say that ditching that dock connector and going for Bluetooth has expanded support well past the iDevice crowd, including things like the Motorola Blackflip, Blackberry Touch, and the now-classic G1. However, we're told not all games and emulators will work with the thing, so your mileage may vary. First devices ship next week, so make with the clicking.

[Thanks to everyone who sent this in]

Zero Motorcycles unveils faster-charging, even quieter 2011 motorcycle lineup (video)

Posted: 08 Feb 2011 06:06 AM PST

To those who are still convinced that loud motorcycles make you more safe: it's best you look away now. The quietest bikes in the business just got even more silent. Zero Motorcycles just has unveiled its 2011 lineup of electric motorcycles and among a suite of generally tidy enhancements comes a change to belt drive. This means no more chains, no more chain lube, and no more rattling and grating noises. There's nothing but the sound of the wind and the faint scream of the motor, which you can hear for yourself in the video below. Also new is a 12.5 percent boost in battery capacity and a quick-charge option that drops charging times in half -- but does so at an up-front cost of $595. That's on top of the $9,995 for a road-going Zero S. Meanwhile the dual-sport Zero DS starts at $10,495, off-road Zero X at $7,995, and the higher-spec Zero MX $9,495. All are available for order right now.

Update: We spoke with the kind folks at Zero and got a little more information on that new trick charger. A current Zero S or Zero DS will take about four hours to charge, but if you opt for the $595 quick-charge it'll go down to just two hours -- though you can get a 90 percent in about an hour. The X and MX, meanwhile, can be fully charged in about an hour. This is without requiring any fancy plugs or DC converters, it's still just a standard 110 outlet!

[Thanks, Darius]

Sony releases specifications for E-mount lenses, desperately wants you to build some

Posted: 08 Feb 2011 05:41 AM PST

Sony releases specifications for E-mount lenses, desparately wants you to build some
Some interchangeable lens standards have been around for ages. Others, however, are rather more modern contrivances, and Sony's E-mount definitely falls in that latter category. We've seen it hit HD camcorders as well as the NEX-3 and NEX-5 compacts, but so far the greatest selections of lenses we've yet seen has come courtesy of a simple adapter. Sony wants that to change, releasing the "basic" specifications for its E-mount interchangeable lens system and doing so for free, a move that lens makers like Carl Zeiss and Sigma have all lauded -- though none went so far as to say they'd actually start making this particular flavor of glass. Oh, and the specs for the NEX-5 Lego viewfinder? Still totally free.


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Sony Discloses Basic Specifications of the "E-mount" for Interchangeable Single Lens Cameras without Fee

Sony Corporation announced today it will disclose the basic specifications of its "E-mount" for interchangeable single lens cameras, without fee, to manufacturers of lenses and mount adaptors, starting April 1st, 2011.
This opens the way for manufacturers of various lenses and mount adaptors to effectively develop products conforming to "E-mount" specifications.
Users of the Sony's "NEX-3", "NEX-5", "NEX-VG10" and other "E-mount" compatible Sony digital imaging products to be launched in the future will now be able to use interchangeable lenses from both Sony and various other manufactures, while they will also be able to attach non-Sony lenses to their Sony digital imaging products via a mount adapter.
Sony believes the growth of digital imaging products employing the "E-mount" will further increase the enjoyment of photography and video shooting among an even wider range of users.

These basic specifications will be disclosed to manufactures of lenses and mount adaptors following a predefined process of approval and the signing a license agreement with Sony.

As of today, the decision to disclose basic specifications of the "E-mount" has been endorsed by the following companies.

Carl Zeiss AG
As an independent lens provider, Carl Zeiss welcomes the disclosure of the "E-mount" specifications by Sony. It helps manufacturer's product development, benefits customers and therefore assists in establishing "E-mount" as a new, healthy and strong system on the market.

Cosina Co., Ltd.
Cosina Co., Ltd is excited by the potential of Sony's "E-mount" which enables to a large-size image sensor to be incorporated in a compact, interchangeable lens camera. We have high expectations for the "E-mount" with its aims to create a new photography culture, and express its assent to Sony's decision to provide information related to "E-mount".

Sigma Corporation
Sigma Corporation fully supports Sony's decision to disclose basic "E-mount" specifications. We believe this move will spur the further growth and diversification of camera system across the industry, provide photo enthusiasts with a wealth of choice and enrich in their photographic lifestyles.

Tamron Co., Ltd.
Tamron Co., Ltd endorses Sony's decision to disclose basic "E-mount" specifications. We aim to offer our customers new solutions and unprecedented photo-shooting enjoyment through the manufacture and sale of "E-mount" lenses.

SWIGZ electric racing bike bests internal combustion competition, mostly (video)

Posted: 08 Feb 2011 05:16 AM PST

Make room, Brammo, MotoCzysz, and Mission Motors, there's a new motorcycle from Chip Yates and SWIGZ Pro Racing looking to join the electric bi-wheeled racing elite. The bike is doing its best to hasten the demise of the ICE with a 194hp DC motor (50+hp more than its EV brethren), putting down 295 ft-lbs of torque, which carried it to second- and third-place finishes against gas-powered competition in the WERA Heavyweight Twins Superstock and Superbike races at Auto Club Speedway in California on January 9th. Also on board is a first-of-its-kind front wheel KERS system that recharges the batteries en route to give the motor the juice it needs to hit racing speeds of up to 158mph. For those who'd like to own such an engineering marvel, keep dreaming, as Mr. Yates states the bike is a technical showcase that's not meant for production. However, patents are pending on the KERS technology and the plan is to license it out -- so gearheads can have a similar bike eventually -- for a not-so-insignificant sum, we'd imagine. See the bike in action after the break.

Huawei IDEOS X3 and IDEOS S7 Slim tablet revealed en route to MWC launch

Posted: 08 Feb 2011 04:26 AM PST

Huawei, the company whose name rhymes with the typical response of "who are they," has uploaded a few images to its Flickr page teasing new hardware bound for this year's Mobile World Congress. First up is the IDEOS X3, an Android handset seemingly set to provide a more budget-oriented family mate to the X5. It has two cameras, one on the front and one on the back, three Android buttons, and at least four different color options (red, blue, silver and black). The Barcelona event will see it joined by an IDEOS S7 Slim tablet, also running Google's mobile OS, though our knowledge about that device doesn't extend any further than noting it too has a front-facing camera. Check it out after the break.

Teleca working on Android platform for SiriusXM, enabling more Stern on more devices

Posted: 08 Feb 2011 04:00 AM PST

Teleca working on Android platform for SiriusXM, enabling more Stern on more devices
The details are unfortunately slim on this one, but we have word that satellite radio powerhouse SiriusXM is going Android for at least some of its future mobile offerings. Teleca, a company that works largely behind the scenes developing software for major companies in the mobile and automotive spaces, is peeking its head out from around the edge of the curtain to announce a new platform for SiriusXM based on Android. It will enable support for devices intended for pockets, car dashboards, and home entertainment centers. Sadly, we couldn't get anyone to tell us anything more about those devices, including whether SiriusXM is itself looking to release new hardware or just support more existing solutions, things like Ford's AppLink and Mini Connected. Given the success Pandora has found on that front we'd probably put our money on the latter, but maybe we'll find out which is the safer bet at Mobile World Congress next week.


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Teleca Announces Development of Platform for SiriusXM Radio

Solution showcases Teleca's expertise with Android IP integration

Seattle - February 8, 2011 Teleca, a world-leading supplier of embedded software solutions for
the consumer electronics, automotive and mobile industries, today announced the development
of an Android platform solution for use in SiriusXM's next generation vehicle, portable and home
products.

"SiriusXM continues to develop innovative products that allow our subscribers to experience the
best audio entertainment available," said Sean Gibbons, vice president of product marketing for
SiriusXM's aftermarket division. "We were impressed with Teleca's experience with the Android
Operating System and strong background in radio interface integration. Teleca is working with us
to develop a complete platform strategy for delivering our unique and compelling programming to
consumers."

"The platform we have developed for SiriusXM is an excellent example of Teleca's ability to
seamlessly integrate a customer's IP into a dynamic Android Operating System," said John
Trobough, president, Teleca USA. "Most importantly, the reference application allows SiriusXM
and third-party developers to quickly build out new products and thereby retain their competitive
edge."

Teleca will be demonstrating its comprehensive line of solutions at Mobile World Congress in
Barcelona, Hall 8 Stand 8B79, February 14-17.

About Teleca
Teleca is a world-leading supplier of embedded software solutions for a wide range of global
industries including mobile, automotive and consumer electronics. With unique global reach,
Teleca offers fully customized solutions, systems design, integration and testing to help drive
down development time and deliver value. For more information, please visit www.teleca.com.

iTunes salvation: Roman Catholic Church approves Confession app

Posted: 08 Feb 2011 03:35 AM PST

Roman Catholic Church approves Confession app, salvation now available on iTunes
Are you a sinner? Don't worry, there's an app for that. The Roman Catholic Church has approved a recent iTunes addition called Confession, a $1.99 app that bills itself as "the perfect aid for every penitent." As you can see above, it lets you pick a commandment and tick off all your sins, keeping a running tally to bring into the confessional with you -- a sort of anti-tasklist, if you will. Can't find your particular misstep? No problem! You're able to add your own, custom dastardly deeds, filling in those gaps the app's authors didn't think anyone would fill. Now all it needs is a random sin selector: shake the phone to instantly get a wicked suggestion. That certainly could make boring Thursday nights at the dormitory a little more exciting.

Fake robot baby provokes real screams (video)

Posted: 08 Feb 2011 02:58 AM PST

Uncanny valley, heard of it? No worries, you're knee-deep in it right now. It's the revulsion you feel to robots, prostheses, or zombies that try, but don't quite duplicate their human models. As the robot becomes more humanlike, however, our emotional response becomes increasingly positive and empathetic. Unfortunately, the goal of Osaka University's AFFETTO was to create a robot modeled after a young child that could produce realistic facial expressions in order to endear it to a human caregiver in a more natural way. Impressive, sure, but we're not ready to let it suckle from our teat just yet.



LG Optimus 3D teased again, this time shows off its dual cameras (video)

Posted: 08 Feb 2011 02:27 AM PST

We really should send a message to phone manufacturers and stop covering these tiny little leaks of controlled information, but when it's a phone with dual cameras and a 3D display we're talking about, we can't help it. Every minute detail must be digested and analyzed. There's a fast-moving video awaiting your Sherlockian wits after the break, or you can hit the source link for a gallery of screen captures that highlight the construction details of LG's upcoming Optimus 3D. Look for it to stop being a fancy render and become a corporeal entity at MWC early next week.

Last.fm radio app goes 'premium' on home and mobile devices, web and desktop streaming remain free

Posted: 08 Feb 2011 02:08 AM PST

Last.fm has decided to tweak its offering on the app front, where it is now introducing a new subscription requirement for most mobile and home entertainment devices. From here on out, you'll have to pay for the privilege of streaming music through the company's software on devices like the iPhone and Squeezebox, though the blow is nicely cushioned by the news that there won't be any ads to dilute your aural pleasure. Windows Phone 7 won't be subject to the new fee for the remainder of 2011 in the US and UK, while Sonos devices will continue to stream freely until this summer, but eventually it seems like all these apps will cost a little bit of cash to use. And "little" is the operative word here, as Last.fm is asking for only $3 / €3 / £3 per month. If you really can't stomach the outlay, however, just stream via the web or desktop application... you tightwad.

[Thanks to everyone who sent this in]

Myriad 'Alien Dalvik' runs Android apps on any phone... starting with MeeGo (video)

Posted: 08 Feb 2011 01:27 AM PST

You know that N900 you keep around, just because. The one that's been hacked so many times you call it "leatherface?" Well, it's about to get a lot more flexible. Built upon the app quickening Dalvik Turbo, OHA member Myriad just announced Alien Dalvik with the promise of running "the majority" of unmodified Android apps on non-Android platforms "without compromising performance." A bold claim, no doubt. Myriad will be backing this up at Mobile World Congress starting next week with plans to release it later this year on MeeGo. But why wait until then? You can see it demonstrated right now running on a Nokia N900 in the video after the break (it's running Google Maps in the picture above). Hey Mr. Elop, you want to build, catalyze or join a competitive ecosystem? Maybe this is your solution.


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Myriad Announces 'Alien Dalvik', Enables Android Apps to Run on Non-Android Phones

08 February 2011

Alien Dalvik allows operators, OEMs and application store owners to create new revenue opportunities from Android ecosystem

To be demonstrated for the first time next week at Mobile World Congress 2011 in Barcelona, Myriad Suite AV91

DUEBENDORF-ZURICH, Switzerland – 08 February 2011 – Myriad Group AG (SIX: MYRN), a global leader in mobile technology having shipped over 3.7 billion software applications on more than 2.2 billion phones, today announced the launch of Myriad Alien Dalvik, enabling Android apps to run on non-Android platforms. The launch opens up the Android experience to new audiences, generating new revenue opportunities for mobile operators, OEMs and app store owners.

Building on the launch of Dalvik Turbo, Alien Dalvik signifies Myriad's latest Android innovation by enabling Android apps to operate on a much wider range of platforms and devices. As a result, operators, OEMs and application store owners can now easily access the Android ecosystem and deploy Android applications across multiple device operating systems, all without compromising performance.

Alien Dalvik enables the majority of Android applications to run unmodified, allowing application store owners to quickly kick start Android application store services by simply repackaging Android Package (APK) files.

From a user perspective, Alien Dalvik is completely transparent. Alien Dalvik applications appear as native and can be seamlessly installed on device without user disruption. All the user sees is that he now has access to a wider range of applications, thus encouraging a higher frequency of downloads and increased ARPU.

"The proliferation of Android has been staggering, but there is still room for growth. By extending Android to other platforms, we are opening up the market even further, creating new audiences and revenue opportunities," said Simon Wilkinson, Chief Executive Officer, Myriad Group.

From application components to complete device integration, Myriad provides best-in- class Android solutions. As a founding member of the Open Handset Alliance (OHA), Myriad has been playing a key role in Android solutions since its early days. When partnering with Myriad for Android application development or porting, operators, OEMs and application store owners will benefit from Myriad's rich heritage in Java technology and unique Android expertise.

Myriad Alien Dalvik will be commercially available later this year on the MeeGo platform. Other platform support will be announced in the coming months. Alien Dalvik will be demonstrated for the first time on the Nokia N900 at this year's Mobile World Congress in Barcelona from February 14th-17th at the Myriad hospitality suite located at The Avenue, Stand AV91.


About Myriad

Myriad Group AG is a global leader in mobile technology and has shipped over 3.7 billion software applications in more than 2.2 billion mobile phones. Its comprehensive portfolio includes browsers, messaging, Java, social networking, user interfaces and middleware for all types of mobile phones, from ultra‐low cost handsets to advanced smartphones.

The company provides both individual components and complete solutions, which enable handset manufacturers and operators to deliver amazing experiences on mobile phones. Myriad also develops USSD‐based customer self‐care platforms that deliver over 10 billion messages a year to 220 million mobile users across more than 35 mobile operators worldwide.

Myriad was created from the combination of industry leading companies, Esmertec and Purple Labs. It operates worldwide, with offices in Switzerland, France, UK, USA, Mexico, China, South Korea, Taiwan, Japan and Australia. Headquartered in Dübendorf Zürich Switzerland, Myriad is listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange (SIX Symbol: MYRN). For more information, please visit www.myriadgroup.com.

Dell Streak gets Honeycomb SDK port, starting to look like a real tablet

Posted: 08 Feb 2011 12:46 AM PST

Dell always told us the Streak was a tablet and not a phone, so it makes perfect sense to see Android's latest version, the tablet-friendly Honeycomb, ported over to its 5-inch slate. As usual with these builds, we're still at a very early stage, with the chap responsible for the hack noting that "no way is this close to release," but it's still rather exciting to see that brand new interface freshening up familiar pieces of kit. And hey, it's not like Dell itself is going to be delivering Android 3.0 anytime soon either, right? Click the source link to keep yourself updated on how this community port progresses.

[Thanks, Chris]

LG G-Slate handled on video, looks like a giant Optimus 2X

Posted: 07 Feb 2011 11:54 PM PST

The wonders you can find on YouTube, eh? LG's G-Slate (to be known as the Optimus Pad outside the US) has made yet another appearance on Google's video repository, this time giving us a whirl to show off its slender body and port and speaker arrangement. The integrated 3D cameras also get a demo, as you can see above, though we're much more excited to be able to churn out 1080p video with this device thanks to the Tegra 2 SOC it's built around. Its smartphone buddy the Optimus 2X delivered some very smooth output and we can't see any reason why the G-Slate should do any worse. Make your way past the break for all the intimate video action.

[Thanks, KC]

Olympus SZ-10 and 3D VR-330 superzooms announced alongside entry-level VG-110

Posted: 07 Feb 2011 11:20 PM PST


What's your preference for getting up close to the action? 18x wide 28-504mm or 12.5x super-wide 24-300mm optical zoom? If it's the former then Olympus just announced its $249.99 (ships in March) SZ-10 ultra-zoomer pictured above, with 14 megapixel 1/2.3-inch CCD sensor, 3-inch LCD, TruPic III+ image processing, and Eye-Fi Card support. Otherwise, Oly's new £159.99 3D VR-330 for Europe dials back the zoom to 12.5x and and forgoes the newer image processing of the SZ-10 while boasting the same 14 megapixel sensor. Both cameras pack dual-image stabilization, 720p video capture, HDMI-out (with CEC support so that it works with your TV's existing remote control), and a dynamic "3D mode" that instructs you to pan and shoot a second image that will be combined into a .MPO file suitable for playback on a 3D display. The VR-330 is also available without the 3D mode as the $199.99 VR-320 which ships Stateside in February. Bringing up the rear is an entry-level $89.99 VG-110 with 12 megapixel sensor, 2.7-inch LCD, 4x zoom, and VGA video. Look for it sometime later this month.

Update: Press releases for all three are after the break.
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Olympus SZ-10™: Say Hello To The New Face Of Ultra-Zoom

Super-Slim, Pocket-Sized Ultra-Zoom Takes Imaging to the Next Level with Magic Art Filters, High-Definition (HD) Video, 3D Photos and Eye-Fi™ Card Compatibility


CENTER VALLEY, Pa., February 8, 2011 – Olympus today unveils the full-featured SZ-10, a lightweight, super-slim camera that reinvents the ultra-zoom category. The Olympus SZ-10 will enable you to capture it all with its 18x ultra-zoom 28-504mm wide-angle lens, 3.0-inch high-resolution LCD and 720p HD video. Whether you're taking portraits at a family gathering or telephoto action shots on the athletic field, this sleek and portable camera will enable you to chronicle all your adventures like a true travel journalist without the bulk. The SZ-10 comes packed with a variety of features that deliver a superior imaging experience far and wide:

New Magic Art Filters – make it possible to create special artistic effects in still images and movies directly in the camera;
HD Movie & HDMI® Control – HD video delivers a broadcast-quality movie experience when played back on an HDTV;
3D Photo Mode – captures two shots of a scene from two different angles to create still photos that can be viewed with the added excitement and realism of 3D;
Eye-Fi™ Card Compatibility – enables automatic wireless uploading of images to the website or PC of your choice; and
3.0-inch LCD– delivering 460,000 pixels of detailed resolution, this LCD is perfect for bright and easy image composition.
"To have ultra-zoom power, you previously had to carry around a bulky camera with a big telephoto lens," says Jennifer Schmell, product manager, Olympus Imaging America Inc. "With an 18x wide-angle optical zoom in a super-slim body, the Olympus SZ-10 is ideal for anyone looking for versatility and zoom power to capture postcard-perfect shots every time."

Ultra-Powerful Zoom in a Stylish Package
With an f2.8 (Wide) / f5.6 (Tele) wide-angle lens (28-504mm equivalent in 35mm photography), users can capture breathtaking landscapes and group shots. Whether capturing fast-action, life's everyday snapshots or HD videos, this S-series camera provides the versatility to get the job done like never before.

Express Your Inner Artist with New Magic Filter Movie
The Olympus SZ-10 is equipped with in-camera Magic Art Filters that enable users to enhance and customize images as they're being captured. Have more fun and get more flexibility without expensive and time-consuming computer software. Magic Filter Movie is a new feature that allows you to apply Magic Art Filters to your high-definition movies, taking them to a new level of artistic expression.

The Magic Art Filters for stills and HD movies include:

Pop Art -- enhance and saturate colors to create vivid, high-impact pictures that express the joyful, lighthearted feel of the Pop Art style of the 1960s;
Pin Hole -- reduce the peripheral brightness of an image as though it were shot through a pin hole, connecting the viewer intimately with the subject at the center;
Fish-Eye -- emulate the wide-angle of a fish-eye lens by taking extremely wide, hemispherical images and magnifying the center of the frame;
Soft Focus -- encloses the foreground of an image in gentle, pastel colors with a soft, elegant focus; similar to effects achieved in a studio;
Drawing -- turn your image into a sketch outline for children to color;
New! Watercolor -- transform your images with a finish like that of watercolor paintings;
New! Sparkle -- shoot photos with the luxurious feel of twinkling lights; and
Punk -- create two-tone images full of rock-and-roll spirit.
HD Videos and HDMI Control for a Home Theater Experience
The Olympus SZ-10 shoots gorgeous 720p HD video, so you'll capture your memories in clear, crisp high-definition at the touch of a button. With HDMI Control, playback also is a breeze. Gone are the days of friends and family huddling around your camera's tiny LCD to see the pictures and movies you just captured. Now, you'll be the hit of the party or any family event when you proudly display your brilliant images and movies on high-definition televisions. Simply connect the camera to an HDTV with an optional HDMI™ cable. With HDMI Control, you can use your HDTV's remote to control playback functions and navigate the camera's menus from the comfort of your couch.

3D Mode
Now you can add even more dimension to your photographs by shooting dynamic 3D photos in any mode from macro to landscape. Recreate a sense of depth like that of the original scene. Simply select the 3D Photo shooting mode, release the shutter for your first shot, slowly pan until the camera automatically takes a second image from a slightly different perspective. The 3D data is processed in-camera resulting in an .MPO file, the universal industry 3D format for easy display on 3D televisions or laptops.

Share Images Instantly with New Eye-Fi Card Compatibility
Ready to upload and share your party images live as they happen? The SZ-10 is compatible with an optional Eye-Fi SD card, adding Wi-Fi capability so you can automatically upload images to your computer as you take them. Be the life of the social media party by uploading your shots immediately.

Large High-Resolution LCD
The Olympus SZ-10 boasts a bright, high-resolution 3.0-inch LCD monitor with 460,000 pixels, which is ideal for viewing, composing and sharing all your favorite images and HD videos.

Cut Out the Blur with Dual Image Stabilization
Dual Image Stabilization combines two technologies – Mechanical Sensor-Shift Image Stabilization and Digital Image Stabilization – to provide one powerful anti-blur solution for capturing great images whether the photographer or the subject is moving. Olympus' Mechanical Sensor-Shift Image Stabilization keeps images sharp by adjusting the internal image sensor to compensate for camera movement, even in low-light conditions when shutter speeds are slower. Additionally, Digital Image Stabilization freezes the action with high ISO sensitivity and fast shutter speeds to prevent blurry images often caused by a moving subject.

Broaden Your Horizons with In-Camera Panorama
The places you can take the Olympus SZ-10 -national parks, weddings, sporting events or city streets-are locations where you want to capture as much of the scene as you can. In-Camera Panorama mode makes it possible by capturing three images and stitching them together to create one amazing panoramic picture. Simply press the shutter button and slowly pan across the scene. The second and third images will be captured automatically and stitched together with the first image – resulting in one seamless panorama-size picture. To create the ultimate panorama, consumers can use the OLYMPUS [ib] Software to stitch up to 10 images together.

Easier Group Shots with Face Detection!
Wedding, team shots and family reunion photos have never been easier with Face Detection. The Olympus SZ-10 detects up to 16 faces within the frame and automatically focuses and optimizes exposure to capture sharp, brilliant portraits and group shots. Even more remarkable, the SZ-10 comes equipped with Beauty Mode. Designed to touch up the appearance of your subject's skin as the photo is captured, enhancements that typically would necessitate retouching in a graphics editing program.

Lock Onto the Action with AF Tracking
AF Tracking technology locks focus on your fast-moving subject – everything from house cats to Siberian tigers – and continuously adjusts focus and brightness. This enables you to keep quick-moving and unpredictable subjects like kids and pets in focus for the perfect shot.

Easy Operation with Scene Modes and In-Camera Help Guide
The new S-series cameras have scene modes and enhanced In-Camera Help Guides that make digital photography simple and fun for users of all ages and skill levels. The scene modes include portrait to capture loved ones, landscape to show off the scenery and a fun fireworks mode. There's even two newly designed "Pet Modes" for animal lovers, offering the ability to recognize the faces of a variety of breeds of both cats and dogs.

The In-Camera Help Guide displays a brief description of camera settings and features on the LCD enabling consumers to easily adjust ISO and white balance settings using the Program Auto mode. Additionally, Exposure Compensation enables users to preview and select various exposure effects on a live, multi-frame window on the LCD before snapping the shot. This smart feature enables users to see precisely what the image will look like when adjustments are made, ensuring they are capturing the exact image desired. Program Auto and Exposure Compensation are great modes that enable novice users to get results like the pros while learning about the effects of different photography techniques. Menus are available in various languages for convenient operation.

Intelligent Auto Thinks for You
Taking a moonlit stroll on the beach? Intelligent Auto Mode automatically identifies what you are shooting (i.e., Portrait, Night + Portrait, Landscape, Macro or Sports) and adjusts the camera's settings to capture the best quality results. Amateurs can jump into this quick and hassle-free feature that does the thinking for them and produces incredible images.

Shadow Adjustment Technology
Shooting outdoors in bright daylight can be tricky because of the extreme contrast between dark shadowed areas and bright sunlight areas. While the human eye is capable of detecting the nuances between dark and light and all the details in between, image sensors traditionally have not been quite as sensitive. The Olympus SZ-10 addresses this challenge head-on with Shadow Adjustment Technology, which compensates for extreme contrast where the shadow areas are underexposed and lack visible detail. With this technology, users can preview and capture images that have the same contrast as seen with the naked eye.

TruePic™ III+ Image Processor Delivers Superior Quality and Performance
Whether you are globetrotting or attending a sporting event, the Olympus SZ-10 offers a 14-megapixel sensor, enabling consumers to achieve consistently sharp and vivid images when producing large-format prints or cropping/enlarging a portion of a photograph. Olympus developed its exclusive TruePic III+ Image Processor for the demanding performance of DSLRs and has migrated the technology to the S-series cameras for amazing image quality. Olympus' enhanced TruePic III+ Image Processor produces crystal clear photos using all the pixel information for each photo to deliver exceptional clarity with more accurate colors, true-to-life flesh tones and faster processing speeds. TruePic III+ also captures crisp, clear photos at high ISO settings, which are traditionally associated with increasing noise or producing grainy photos.

OLYMPUS [ib] Software Makes it Even Easier to Share and Print Your Photos
All Olympus digital compact cameras now offer the new OLYMPUS [ib] photo organizing and editing software. It includes photography workflow, browsing, editing and unique photo organizing functions. You can organize photos by person with automatic face-recognition technology, by place with a map-tagging function, or by event. All information will be tagged in each photo's data. You can then easily upload images to the integrated online service, [ib on the net], to share and backup photos, as well as order prints and photo merchandise. The name [ib] stands for image bridge, because the software is designed to create a bridge to help you get images from your camera to services where you can do more with your photos.

SD Compatibility
Olympus' Spring 2011 digital compact cameras have SD compatibility for up to 32 gigabytes of capacity.

Availability
The SZ-10 will be available in March 2011. It will ship with a Lithium-Ion Battery, USB Cable, Wrist Strap, Quick Start Guide, Warranty Card, Instruction Manual, OLYMPUS [ib] and Olympus Viewer 2 Software.

U.S. Pricing
SZ-10 Estimated Street Price: $249.99 (U.S.)

Journalists interested in more information, review units, product specifications and high-resolution images of the new SZ-10 should contact Jeff Hluchyj, Mullen Public Relations, 617-226-9939, jeff.hluchyj@mullen.com, or Jennifer Colucci, Olympus Imaging America Inc., 484-896-5719, jennifer.colucci@olympus.com, or visit the Olympus website: http://www.getolympus.com.

ABOUT OLYMPUS IMAGING AMERICA INC.
Olympus Imaging America Inc. is a precision technology leader, designing and delivering award-winning products for consumer and professional markets.

Olympus Imaging America Inc. works collaboratively with its customers and its ultimate parent company, Olympus Corporation, to develop breakthrough technologies with revolutionary product design and functionality that enhances people's lives every day. These include:

Digital Cameras
Professional and Interchangeable Lens System Cameras
Related Underwater Products and Accessories
Digital and Microcassette Recorders
Digital Media
Binoculars
Olympus Imaging America Inc. is responsible for sales in the United States, Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America. For more information, visit: www.olympusamerica.com

* Specifications and design are subject to change without any notice or obligation on the part of the manufacturer. All trademarks and registered trademarks listed herein are the property of their respective holders, in the US and/or other countries.


Olympus VR-320™: Feature Rich And Packed With Zoom

Capture It All with 14-Megapixels, a 24mm Wide-Angle 12.5x Lens, High-Definition (HD) Video and Display Results on a Crisp, 3.0-inch LCD


CENTER VALLEY, Pa., February 8, 2011 – People love shooting photos with powerful zoom lenses, but do not want to sacrifice portability for the extra zoom power. The Olympus VR-320 proves that you can have it all with the smart, impressive 12.5x extra-wide-angle optical zoom lens (24mm-300mm equivalent in 35mm photography) and an ultra-compact all-metal body that easily fits in your pocket. Aside from its extremely powerful optics and 14-megapixel sensor for super-detailed images, the VR-320 has Magic Art Filters to add a new level of creative expression to images and videos, Dual Image Stabilization to take the blur out of photography and a 3.0-inch LCD to compose and show off your work at the end of the day. The Olympus VR-320, available in silver, black, red and blue is as smart as it looks.

"The Olympus VR-320 is the perfect mix of power and portability," said Jennifer Schmell, product manager, Olympus Imaging America Inc. "Its wide-angle zoom lens captures all the action from close-ups to distant objects, while other features like HD video and Magic Art Filters ensure that consumers can truly capture it all."

12.5x Wide-Angle Zoom
Finally, a pocket-sized, portable camera with an impressive 12.5x wide-angle optical zoom lens (24mm-300mm equivalent in 35mm photography) captures expansive vistas, large groups of family and friends, and also zooms in on distant objects to make them appear as though they are right in front of you.

High-Definition with High Impact: 720p HD Video:
The Olympus VR-320 shoots gorgeous 720p HD video, so you'll always capture the moments you cherish in clear, crisp high-definition at the touch of a button. Gone are the days of friends and family huddling around your camera's tiny LCD to see the pictures and movies you just captured. Now, you'll be the hit of the party or any family event when you proudly display your brilliant images and movies on high-definition televisions.

See the Whole Picture on Large 3.0-inch LCD Display
Composing your shot has never been easier. With a large 3.0-inch LCD display, finding that perfect shot is a breeze. See what you've been missing with smaller displays! This large, crisp LCD is the perfect creative companion for reviewing your work on the fly and boasting your creativity to others.

Explore Your Inner Artist with Magic Art Filters
In-camera Creative Art Filters, called Magic Art Filters, enable users to enhance and tailor images as they're being captured. This translates into more fun and flexibility as customization is no longer limited to using expensive and time-consuming computer software.

The Magic Art Filters include:

Pop Art – enhance and saturate colors to create vivid, high-impact pictures that express the joyful, lighthearted feeling of the Pop Art style of the 1960s;
Pin Hole – reduce the peripheral brightness of an image as though it were shot through a pin hole, connecting the viewer intimately with the subject at the center;
Fish-Eye – emulate the wide-angle of a fish-eye lens by taking extremely wide, hemispherical images and magnifying the center of the frame;
Drawing – turn your image into a sketch outline for children to color;
Soft Focus – encloses the foreground of an image in gentle, pastel colors with a soft, elegant focus; similar to effects achieved in a studio;
New! Sparkle – shoot photos with the luxurious feel created by added twinkling lights; and
Punk – creates two-tone images full of rock-and-roll spirit.
14-Megapixels for Superior Image Quality
The Olympus VR-320 features a 14-megapixel image sensor enabling consumers to achieve consistently sharp and vivid images when producing large-format prints or cropping/enlarging a portion of an image.

Blur-Free Photos Two Ways
Dual Image Stabilization combines two technologies – Mechanical Sensor-Shift Image Stabilization and Digital Image Stabilization – to provide one powerful anti-blur solution for capturing great images whether the photographer or the subject is moving. Olympus' Mechanical Sensor-Shift Image Stabilization keeps images sharp by adjusting the internal image sensor to compensate for camera movement, even in low-light conditions when shutter speeds are slower. Additionally, Digital Image Stabilization freezes the action with high ISO sensitivity and fast shutter speeds to prevent blurry images often caused by a moving subject. By combining the two technologies, users of the Olympus VR-320 are able to take crystal clear images in any shooting situation.

Easier Group Shots with Face Detection!
Wedding, birthday and family reunion group shots have never been easier with Face Detection. The Olympus VR-320 detects up to eight faces within the frame and automatically focuses and optimizes exposure to capture sharp, brilliant portraits and group shots.

Capture the Action with AF Tracking
AF Tracking technology locks focus on your fast-moving subject – everything from house cats to Siberian tigers – and continuously adjusts focus and brightness. This enables you to keep quick-moving and unpredictable subjects like children in focus for the perfect shot.

Intelligent Auto for Incredibly Easy Images
Taking a moonlit stroll on the beach? Intelligent Auto Mode automatically indentifies what you are shooting (i.e., Portrait, Night + Portrait, Landscape, Macro, Sports) and adjusts the camera's settings to capture the best quality results. Amateurs can jump into this quick and hassle-free feature that does the thinking for them and produces incredible images.

Easy Operation with Scene Modes and In-Camera Help Guide
The new Olympus VR-320 has 14 scene modes and enhanced In-Camera Help Guides that make digital photography simple and fun for users of all ages and skill levels. The scene modes include portrait to capture loved ones, landscape to show off the scenery, a fun fireworks mode and a specially designed "Pet Mode" to help animal lovers capture man's best friend.

The In-Camera Help Guide displays a brief description of camera settings and features on the LCD allowing consumers to easily adjust ISO and white balance settings using the Program Auto mode. Additionally, Exposure Compensation enables users to preview and select various exposure effects on a live, multi-frame window on the LCD before snapping the shot. This smart feature allows users to see precisely what the image will look like when adjustments are made, ensuring they are capturing the exact image desired. Program Auto and Exposure Compensation are great modes that enable novice users to get results like the pros while learning about the effects of different photography techniques. Menus are available in various languages for convenient operation.

Shadow Adjustment Technology
Shooting outdoors in bright daylight can be tricky because of the extreme contrast between dark shadowed areas and bright sunlit areas. While the human eye is capable of detecting the nuances between dark and light and all the details in between, image sensors traditionally have not been quite as sensitive. The new V-series cameras address this challenge head-on with Shadow Adjustment Technology, which compensates for extreme contrast where the shadow areas are underexposed and lack visible detail. With this technology, users can preview and capture images with the same contrast as the naked eye.

SD Compatibility for Convenient Sharing
The Olympus VR-320 allows users to share their work easily through SD-compatible computers, digital picture frames and HDTVs.

OLYMPUS [ib] Software Makes it Even Easier to Share and Print Your Photos
All Olympus digital compact cameras now offer the new OLYMPUS [ib] photo organizing and editing software. It includes photography workflow, browsing, editing and unique photo organizing functions. You can organize photos by person with automatic face-recognition technology, by place with a map-tagging function, or by event. All information will be tagged in each photo's data. You can then easily upload images to the integrated online service, [ib on the net], to share and backup photos, as well as order prints and photo merchandise. The name [ib] stands for image bridge, because the software is designed to create a bridge to help you get images from your camera to services where you can do more with your photos.

Availability
The Olympus VR-320 will be available in March 2011. It will ship with a Lithium Ion Battery, USB Cable, Wrist Strap, Quick-Start Guide, Warranty Card, Instruction Manual, OLYMPUS [ib] and Olympus Viewer 2 software.

U.S. Pricing / Product Configurations
Estimated Street Price:
Olympus VR-320 - $199.99

Journalists interested in more information, review units and high-resolution images of the Olympus VR-320 should contact Jeff Hluchyj, Mullen Public Relations, 617-226-9939, jeff.hluchyj@mullen.com, or Jennifer Colucci, Olympus Imaging America Inc., 484-896-5719, jennifer.colucci@olympus.com, or visit the Olympus website: http://www.getolympus.com.

ABOUT OLYMPUS IMAGING AMERICA INC.
Olympus Imaging America Inc. is a precision technology leader, designing and delivering award-winning products for consumer and professional markets.

Olympus Imaging America Inc. works collaboratively with its customers and its ultimate parent company, Olympus Corporation, to develop breakthrough technologies with revolutionary product design and functionality that enhances people's lives every day. These include:

Digital Cameras
Professional and Interchangeable Lens System Cameras
Related Underwater Products and Accessories
Digital and Microcassette Recorders
Digital Media
Binoculars
Olympus Imaging America Inc. is responsible for sales in the United States, Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America. For more information, visit: www.olympusamerica.com

* Specifications and design are subject to change without any notice or obligation on the part of the manufacturer. All trademarks and registered trademarks listed herein are the property of their respective holders, in the US and/or other countries.


Compact, Sleek, Smart And Affordable Olympus VG-110™ Defies Your Expectations

Magic Art Filters, 12-Megapixels and 26mm 4x Wide-Angle Zoom Lens Make This Camera a Must-Have for Capturing Your World


CENTER VALLEY, Pa., February 8, 2011 – Today Olympus launches the VG-110, a sleek, smart, pocket-sized point-and-shoot with a 12-megapixel sensor to create large prints and 4x wide-angle zoom to help you capture your memories. The VG-110 also boasts Magic Art Filters to achieve a new level of artistic expression, AVI movie, AF Tracking to capture fast moving subjects, Digital Image Stabilization and a 2.7-inch LCD, all for the affordable price of $99.99. To add to these features, the Olympus VG-110 is a multi-function camera that's great for both the beginner and someone who's been photographing for years. It is available in black, red or silver to suit your individual style.

"With its 12-megapixel image sensor, 26mm 4x wide-angle zoom and slim body, the Olympus VG-110 provides the ultimate combination of value and functionality," said Jennifer Schmell, product manager, Olympus Imaging America Inc. "AF tracking makes it a breeze to capture images of a moving subject, while fun Magic Art Filters like Punk and Sparkle enable you to maximize your creativity."

Perfectly Frame Your Work with Each Shot
No more worrying about achieving the frame you desire. With the 26mm 4x wide-angle optical zoom, you can produce it effortlessly. Guaranteeing that each shot will be as beautiful and crisp as you had hoped, no matter how large you want it.

Express Your Inner Artist with Magic Art Filters
The Olympus VG-110 is equipped with in-camera Magic Art Filters that enable users to enhance and customize images as they're being captured. Have more fun and flexibility without expensive and time-consuming computer software.

The Magic Art Filters include:

Pop Art – enhance and saturate colors to create vivid, high-impact pictures that express the joyful, lighthearted feeling of the Pop Art style of the 1960s;
Pin Hole – reduce the peripheral brightness of an image as though it were shot through a pin hole, connecting the viewer intimately with the subject at the center;
Fish-Eye – emulate the wide-angle of a fish-eye effect lens by taking extremely wide, hemispherical images and magnifying the center of the frame;
Soft Focus – encloses the foreground of an image in gentle, pastel colors with a soft, elegant focus; similar to effects achieved in a studio;
Drawing – turn your image into a sketch outline for children to color;
New! Sparkle – shoot photos with the luxurious feel of added twinkling lights; and
Punk – create two-tone images full of rock-and-roll spirit.
Lock Onto the Action with AF Tracking
AF Tracking technology locks on your fast-moving subject and continuously adjusts focus and brightness. This enables you to keep fast-moving, unpredictable subjects like small children in focus for the perfect shot.

Record Those Special Moments
What's better than catching the action as it happens? The opportunity to replay each moment over and over again on your camera, television or on YouTube®. The Olympus VG-110 shoots amazing video, allowing every day to be a movie day. Playback is also a breeze. Gone are the days of friends and family huddling around a tiny LCD to see the pictures you just snapped.

Reviewing your Shots Just Got Easier
After you've taken your photographs, do you have trouble picking the best one? Say nothing more! With a 2.7-inch display, reviewing all your shots just got a lot easier. With just the click of a button, your crisp photos are displayed right before your eyes, enabling you to choose the perfect one to share with everyone.

Digital Image Stabilization to Eliminate Blurry Images
The Olympus VG-110 features Digital Image Stabilization (DIS) to capture crisp, clear pictures. By boosting the camera's ISO sensitivity and shutter speed, DIS freezes the action and provides virtually blur-free images, even when you or your subject is moving.

Face Detection for Better Group Shots!
Wedding, birthday and family reunion group shots have never been easier with Face Detection. The Olympus VG-110 detects up to 16 faces within the frame and automatically focuses and optimizes exposure to capture sharp, brilliant portraits and group shots. Even more remarkable, the VG-110 comes equipped with Beauty Mode. Designed to touch up the appearance of your subject's skin as the photo is captured, enhancements that typically would necessitate retouching in a graphics editing program.

Let the Camera Do the Thinking with Intelligent Auto
With the Intelligent Auto Mode in the Olympus VG-110, your camera knows and it automatically identifies what you are shooting (i.e., Portrait, Night + Portrait, Landscape, Macro and Sports) and adjusts the camera's settings to capture the best quality results. Anyone has the ability to jump into this quick and hassle-free feature that does the thinking for them and produces incredible images.

Perfect Fix In-Camera Editing
Olympus' Perfect Fix feature offers quick solutions for unanticipated image quality issues, which may be caused by several adverse conditions. Lighting Fix can be used to adjust any underexposed areas and Red-Eye Fix can be used to reduce the effects of red-eye sometimes caused by a direct flash. Additional in-camera editing functions can be quickly accessed right in the camera by the touch of a button; features available include resizing and trimming.

Easy Operation with Scene Modes and In-Camera Help Guide
The new Olympus VG-110 has 14 scene modes and enhanced In-Camera Help Guides that make digital photography simple and fun for users of all ages and skill levels. The scene modes include portrait to capture loved ones, landscape to show off the scenery, a fun fireworks mode and a specially designed "Pet Mode" to help animal lovers capture man's best friend.

The In-Camera Help Guide displays a brief description of camera settings and features on the LCD enabling consumers to easily adjust ISO and white balance settings using the Program Auto mode. Additionally, Exposure Compensation enables users to preview and select various exposure effects on a live, multi-frame window on the LCD before snapping the shot. This smart feature allows users to see precisely what the image will look like when adjustments are made, ensuring they are capturing the exact image desired. Program Auto and Exposure Compensation are great modes that enable novice users to get results like the pros while learning about the effects of different photography techniques. Menus are available in various languages for convenient operation.

Sharing is Caring: SD Compatibility
With SD compatibility, the Olympus VG-110 allows users to share their work easily through SD-compatible computers, digital picture frames and HDTVs.

OLYMPUS [ib] Software Makes it Even Easier to Share and Print Your Photos
All Olympus digital compact cameras now offer the new OLYMPUS [ib] photo organizing and editing software. It includes photography workflow, browsing, editing and unique photo organizing functions. You can organize photos by person with automatic face-recognition technology, by place with a map-tagging function, or by event. All information will be tagged in each photo's data. You can then easily upload images to the integrated online service, [ib on the net], to share and backup photos, as well as order prints and photo merchandise. The name [ib] stands for image bridge, because the software is designed to create a bridge to help you get images from your camera to services where you can do more with your photos.

Availability
The Olympus VG-110 will be available in February 2011. It will ship with a Lithium Ion Battery, USB Cable, Audio/Video Cable, Wrist Strap, Instruction Manual, Warranty Card and OLYMPUS [ib] software.

U.S. Pricing / Product Configurations
Estimated Street Price:
Olympus VG-110 - $99.99

Journalists interested in more information, review units and high-resolution images of the Olympus VG-110 should contact Jeff Hluchyj, Mullen Public Relations, 617-226-9939, jeff.hluchyj@mullen.com, or Jennifer Colucci, Olympus Imaging America Inc., 484-896-5719, jennifer.colucci@olympus.com, or visit the Olympus website: http://www.getolympus.com.

ABOUT OLYMPUS IMAGING AMERICA INC.
Olympus Imaging America Inc. is a precision technology leader, designing and delivering award-winning products for consumer and professional markets.

Olympus Imaging America Inc. works collaboratively with its customers and its ultimate parent company, Olympus Corporation, to develop breakthrough technologies with revolutionary product design and functionality that enhances people's lives every day. These include:

Digital Cameras
Professional and Interchangeable Lens System Cameras
Related Underwater Products and Accessories
Digital and Microcassette Recorders
Digital Media
Binoculars
Olympus Imaging America Inc. is responsible for sales in the United States, Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America. For more information, visit: www.olympusamerica.com

* Specifications and design are subject to change without any notice or obligation on the part of the manufacturer. All trademarks and registered trademarks listed herein are the property of their respective holders, in the US and/or other countries.

White Nexus S confirmed to be 'coming soon' to Vodafone

Posted: 07 Feb 2011 10:37 PM PST

We heard last month when we got our first glimpse of a white Nexus S that it might be headed to Vodafone, and that's now finally been confirmed by Vodafone itself. Details are still pretty light beyond that, but Vodafone says that the phone is "coming soon," and that it will be the only carrier to offer the phone in white -- in the UK, at least.

[Thanks to everyone who sent this in]

Alcatel-Lucent's lightRadio shoves a base station in a box, minimalists cheer

Posted: 07 Feb 2011 09:41 PM PST

They've been fashioned after palm trees, Christ on the cross, and what look to be Dyson Ball vacuum attachments. But now, Alcatel-Lucent is giving cellphone towers a makeover that might actually stick. The company's new broadband base station solution, known as lightRadio, eliminates the need for cumbersome huts at the base of cellphone towers and packs antennas into a series of 2.5-inch boxes, while simultaneously improving capacity and reducing cost. These so-called radio cubes combine 2G, 3G, and LTE antennas with an SoC for processing, making them small enough to prop up on a lamp post. They're firmware upgradable, and utilize beamforming to more efficiently connect to wireless devices; according to the company, groups of 'em can not only increase broadband capacity by 30 percent, but also cut operation costs and CO2 emissions in half. Clearly, lightRadio makes a compelling case for narrowing the digital divide, but it won't be available broadly until 2012, which means the creative cover ups will just keep on coming. Sorry, JC.

[Thanks, Nathan]

HTC to invest $40 million into OnLive to help with games on smartphones

Posted: 07 Feb 2011 08:49 PM PST

Let's be fair, for a company that pulled in NT$14.59 billion (about $500 million in US currency) in net profit last fiscal quarter, $40 million isn't exactly a huge chunk of change. But the recipient of HTC's money this go around is mighty interesting: cloud gaming experts OnLive. Said company spokesperson Maggie Cheng via Wall Street Journal, this will "strengthen its gaming capabilities and help HTC tap into increasing demand for games on smartphones" -- yep, smartphones. HTC also announced it has acquired London-based Saffron Digital for about $48.6 million, although it said the buyout shouldn't affect deals with its current content partners including Nokia, Sony Ericsson, LG, and Samsung. We don't think the OnLive investment will stop the cloud gaming company from pushing its way onto as many platforms as (in)humanly possible, but we'd be lying if we said we didn't expect HTC's versions to be even grander in scale and performance.

Fujifilm confirms Finepix X100 ship date, price and accessory line for US market

Posted: 07 Feb 2011 08:01 PM PST

We've spent quite a bit not nearly enough time with Fujifilm's fixed-lens Finepix X100, and while it felt that March would never actually come during Photokina 2010, it's actually just a few weeks away. The outfit has today confirmed that its 12.3 megapixel shooter will be shipping to America next month, with a wallet-burning $1,199.95 netting you a 23mm F2 prime lens, a standard ISO range of 200 to 6400 (with a boost to 12800), built-in ND filter, Hybrid Viewfinder and a magnesium alloy chassis. Feel free to peek back at our hands-on sessions to get a better idea if this is the retro body you've been yearning for, and hop on past the break if you'd care to see the official verbiage.
Show full PR text
FUJIFILM ANNOUNCES THE FINEPIX X100 PREMIUM DIGITAL CAMERA
BUILT BY PHOTOGRAPHERS FOR PHOTOGRAPHERS

Captures Extraordinary, High Quality Images with a Combination of Modern Technology –
APS CMOS Sensor, Fixed Focal Length FUJINON Lens and Debuting the World's First Hybrid Viewfinder – All Presented in a Classically Beautiful Design


Valhalla, N.Y., February 8, 2011 – FUJIFILM North America Corporation today announced the U.S. debut of its FinePix X100 premium digital camera which will begin shipping in March. Inspired by the groundswell of requests by professional and advanced amateur photographers from around the world, Fujifilm has developed a digital camera that was specifically engineered to appeal to this group's desire for capturing the highest quality images through a high-performance, beautifully crafted compact digital camera.

The FinePix X100 is a high precision digital compact camera that combines modern technology with a traditional camera design to deliver the ultimate in image quality. Featuring an APS-C CMOS sensor (12.3 megapixel), a FUJINON 23mm Single Focal Length Fixed F2 lens, a 2.8" LCD 460K, and the world's first Hybrid Viewfinder, the FinePix X100 captures exceptionally high quality images.

"It has always been important for Fujifilm to introduce products that are in a class of their own and with the FinePix X100, we have achieved that level," said Go Miyazaki, division president, Imaging and Electronic Imaging Divisions, FUJIFILM North America Corporation. "The combination of a hybrid viewfinder, large APS-C sensor and a precisely matched prime lens, make this camera unique to anything else in the market, and is presented within a rangefinder design that makes it an instant modern classic."

Quality Within - Custom 12.3 MP APS-C CMOS Sensor
The FinePix X100 features a custom 12.3 megapixel APS-C CMOS high-performance sensor, internally optimized and developed exclusively for this model. Optimization of the angle-of-incidence in conjunction with the specially developed lens maximizes light gathering efficiency extending to the perimeter of the sensor for a sharper image with exceptional clarity. When shooting HD movies, the combination of the large-sized sensor and the large aperture F2 lens, lets users create a soft out-of-focus image - a capability not available in conventional compact cameras. The ideal combination of a fixed focal length lens, high-sensitivity sensor (approximately 10 times the sensitivity of a conventional compact*) and a high-performance image processor captures extremely high quality images from low sensitivity to high sensitivity. In standard form, the planned ISO range is from 200 to 6400, but this can be expanded to include 100 and 12800.

The newly developed EXR Processor takes EXR processing to new heights. Combined with the high-sensitivity sensor, the EXR Processor achieves the highest resolution, sensitivity and dynamic range ever produced by a FinePix digital camera for the ultimate in image quality. The high-speed CMOS sensor read-out and the EXR Processor's enhanced focusing system contribute to the high-speed AF performance, while the combination of the optical viewfinder and extremely low shutter lag time enhance the image capture experience.

A Quality All Its Own – High-performance 23mm F2 FUJINON Lens
The FinePix X100 comes with a new FUJINON non-collapsible lens structure that expands the realm of photographic expression with sharper resolution from the center to the corners. It has a 23mm (135 equivalent: 35mm) F2 lens, with eight elements in six groups. One aspherical glass molded lens. The adoption of the non-collapsible lens structure with minimized lens length not only contributes to the compact size, but also eliminates telescoping of the lens when the power is on. It's ready to start taking photos the moment the user turns it on. In addition, the lens features not only the large F2 aperture value, but also an optical architecture that maintains a high degree of resolution even when closed by 1 to 2 stops. The adoption of a 9-blade aperture diaphragm combined with the large F2 aperture and high-quality optics lets users take photos with a beautiful circular soft out-of-focus (bokeh) effect. With macro shooting capability as close as four inches, users can explore the fun and fascination of close-up photography. The built-in ND filter (equivalent f-stop reduction of three) can be switched ON/OFF via simple in-camera settings.
Quality You Can See – World's First Hybrid Viewfinder
The true enjoyment of photography begins with the thrill of seeing the world through a viewfinder. The new Hybrid Viewfinder has been developed to reintroduce users to this essential camera experience. It combines the window-type "bright frame" optical viewfinder found in rangefinder-type film cameras such as the classic 135-size or medium-format cameras, with the electronic viewfinder system incorporated in most compact or mirrorless digital cameras. By integrating a prism for the 1,440,000 dot LCD panel image on the viewing screen in the reverse-Galilean optical finder, the Hybrid Viewfinder can show both the shooting frame and a variety of electronic shooting data. It can also be used as a high-quality electronic viewfinder to compose or playback shots. With this ability to instantly switch between optical and electronic viewfinder modes using the simple "one touch" control, the new Hybrid Viewfinder offers users expanded freedom in the composition and enjoyment of photography in a wide range of challenging shooting conditions.

The reverse Galilean optical finder with a 0.5X magnification features all-glass elements made from high-refractive index glass and demonstrates low chromatic aberration and distortion.
In optical viewfinder (OVF) mode, the brightness of both the "bright frame" and text data is automatically adjusted according to the brightness of scene area, ensuring that shooting information is always easily and clearly viewable. Also, the displayed shooting data is constantly updated according to changes in shutter speed, exposure, sensitivity and other settings, so that the user's eye never has to leave the viewfinder. In electronic viewfinder (EVF) mode, the photographer can preview the picture or playback the result with the "through the sensor" image review and high-resolution 1,440,000-dot quality. With a flick of the one-touch lever, the user can switch to EVF to preview and confirm exposure settings, depth-of-field, and white balance – an especially useful capability when shooting macro shots and other scenes that are hard to confirm with only an optical viewfinder.

Quality of Beauty – Stunning Retro Design
The FinePix X100 features a beautiful, high-quality design inspired by the classic look and feel of traditional film cameras. The top cover of the upper control deck and the bottom surface have been die-cast from magnesium alloy (semi-solid metal casting), contributing to a high-precision camera body. All dials and rings are precision milled from metal. The ergonomics of the design offer the perfect balance between compact convenience and user-friendly functionality. Traditional 'manual' dials lets the user confirm the position of the settings without turning on the power. The camera's controls have been carefully thought out to give the photographer simple and speedy access to aperture, shutter speed, exposure compensation...etc, allowing maximum creative expression with minimum hassle and enabling the user to view settings – even when the power of the camera is turned off. Custom modes can also be accessed with a one-touch settings change. The chassis has been finished with high-quality leather-like accents and is both a delight to use and a pleasure to hold.

RAW Quality – Image Enhancement Functions
Capturing the scene in RAW format is easy with just a press of the readily accessible RAW Button on the back of the camera. Photographers can use the built-in RAW Development function to process the RAW data in-camera using the camera's image quality settings. In addition to Fujifilm's original Film Simulation Modes that give photos the distinctive look of Velvia, PROVIA and ASTIA color reversal film emulsions, X100 expands the scope of photo expression with Monochrome Mode that can be fine-tuned with R/Ye/G filter settings. Separate adjustment of shadow tones and highlight tones lets users reproduce the rich tonality of high-contrast subjects.

Added Quality – The FinePix X100 also offers these additional features:
• EVF/OVF Focus Area: The FinePix X100 offers users the choice between the 49-point auto EVF focus area or the 25-point OVF auto focus area as well as the selection of 5 different focus area sizes in EVF mode. Depending on the needs of each scene, the FinePix X100 offers easy focusing by design.
• HD Movie mode: Lets users capture the action in 720p high-definition detail. Just like taking still photos, users can capture movies with aperture-priority AE and enjoy a soft, defocused background effect. In addition, the built-in HDMI Mini connector allows users to easily and directly connect the FinePix X100 to high-definition TVs for showing stills and movies with plug-and-play ease.
• Motion Panorama: With the built-in Motion Panorama function, it is easy to capture 180° and 120° panoramic photos. Later users can print the results as pin-sharp A3-size (11.7" X 16.5") enlargements and share the enjoyment of high-quality panoramic photography.
• Multi-Bracketing Functions: The FinePix X100 has four types of bracketing functions: AE, ISO, Dynamic Range and Film Simulation. One click of the shutter captures 3 bracketed images of the scene so the photographer knows he's captured the moment.
Star Quality – Premium Accessory Lineup
The FinePix X100 has these additional elegant accessory options:
• Luxury Case: To perfectly compliment the look and premium quality feel of the X100 camera body, a retro leather "quick shot" case with matching strap has been designed to fit the X100 like a glove. Made out of luxurious leather it has been designed with uncompromising attention to detail, ensuring the ultimate ease of use and practicality.
• Lens Hood and Adapter Ring: Precision milled from metal, the lens hood and adapter ring will be available as a set. The adapter ring is also compatible with commercially sold 49mm filters.
• Auto Flash (TTL – Through The Lens): EF-20 (Guide Number:20) and EF-42 (Guide Number:42) will be newly added to the TTL flash lineup.

Pricing and Availability
The FinePix X100 digital camera will be available in March 2011, and will be priced at $1,199.95.

HP's Pavilion dv6 and dv7 get Envy-like features, g-series loses the bargain basement looks

Posted: 07 Feb 2011 08:01 PM PST

We know the story: all you want is an HP Envy 14 or 17, but you just don't have the cash. Well, as it turns out, HP's been thinking long and hard about your issue, and its new Pavilion dv6 and dv7 may very well be what the doctor ordered. Pulling out some of the higher-end Envy features, the new 15.6- and 17.3-inch laptops have been refreshed not only with Beats Audio speakers, HD webcams, and HP's CoolSense technology, but they've also been given "dark umber" metal lids / palm rests. Oh, and did we mention the light-up touchpads? Okay, so it's not the same as the Envy's etched-metal case, but they're certainly a step up in design from the previous glossy rigs, and for their respective $750 and $1,000 starting prices, there's no arguing that it's a pretty sweet deal. Spec-wise the machines are just as impressive -- they boast Intel's latest Sandy Bridge Core i5 and i7 processors, AMD Radeon 6000M graphics, and USB 3.0 ports. Additionally, both models will be available with Blu-ray drives and up to two terabytes of storage. Want it tomorrow? We don't blame you, but you'll have to wait until "sometime in March" to order these bad boys.

On the lower end, HP's refreshed its Pavilion g-series, and you know what? For under $500, they don't look half bad. Yep, HP's gone ahead and given its budget mainstream line a total makeover with colorful lids (name a color, they've got it), a pseudo-chiclet keyboard, a touchpad that is totally flush with the palmrest, and Altec Lansing speakers. But while you may be able to take the bargain look out of the laptop, it's hard to remove those bargain specs -- the 14-inch g4, 15.4-inch g6, and 17.3-inch g7 get cut off at AMD's Athlon and Turion and Intel's Pentium and Core i3 processors. Still for the $450 to $600 price points, it's not too shabby. The g-series will be available on March 13th, but until then enjoy the hands-on shots below and the full press release after the break.

Show full PR text
HP Unveils New Designs for Consumer Notebook PCs
Updates across HP Pavilion line deliver unmatched usability, entertainment

PALO ALTO, Calif., Feb. 8, 2011 – HP today revealed a redesigned consumer notebook PC portfolio that enhances the user experience with sleek looks and the latest technologies.
With updates across the HP Pavilion line, the new notebooks draw inspiration from culture, art and fashion, and build on HP's MUSE (materials, usability, sensory appeal and experience) design philosophy.

Introduced last May, MUSE includes a mix of materials such as metals, alloys and plastics; easy-to-use features for improved usability; a blend of artisan elements for sensory appeal; and intuitive features for simple experiences.

The new notebooks also can be personalized with a choice of 17 exclusive wallpapers designed by six artists from around the world. These wallpapers and more are now available to download from HP's Facebook page.

HP's new Pavilion notebooks provide world-class audio, stylish metal and gloss finishes, and advanced cooling technology,‖ said Stacy Wolff, director, Notebook Design, Personal Systems Group, HP. ―The result is a line of notebooks that provide the best combination of power, entertainment and style available.

HP Pavilion dv6 and dv7
At the forefront of the redesigned lineup, the HP Pavilion dv6 and dv7 Notebook PCs offer performance, entertainment and security features that work together to fit seamlessly into the lives of users.

Available in a dark umber metal finish, the Pavilion dv6 and dv7 use design elements from the award-winning ENVY line such as sleek metal finishes and HP's exclusive Beats Audio. They also incorporate HP CoolSense Technology, USB 3.0 and on-board quad speakers to create the best possible personal computing experience.

Beats Audio, which was created by Beats by Dr. Dre co-founders Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine, restores the emotion that is missing from digital music. Working in collaboration with HP, Iovine and Dr. Dre tuned and applied the signature Beats sound profile across HP's premium notebook and desktop lines to provide the optimal sound experience – the way the artist intended it – when playing music or audio through headphones or external speakers.

The Pavilion dv6 and dv7 also include newly optimized on-board quad speakers, and the dv7 features a subwoofer for additional depth and power.

HP CoolSense Technology combines advanced hardware and intelligent cooling software for a notebook that feels noticeably cooler. The technology automatically adjusts cooling levels according to a customer's personal preferences.

The Pavilion dv6 and dv7 feature 15.6- and 17.3-inch diagonal high- definition (HD) BrightView displays,(1) respectively, and are available with an optional integrated Blu-ray disc player(2) and a built-in HP TrueVision HD Webcam(1) that offers crisp, clear video chatting even in low-light conditions.

Available with second-generation Intel® CoreTM i5 or i7 processors and optional AMD RadeonTM 6000M graphics, the Pavilion dv6 and dv7 provide superb performance. The notebooks include USB 3.0 for faster sharing and transferring of files and offer ample multimedia storage with up to 1 terabyte (TB) of storage for the Pavilion dv6 and up to 2 TB for the Pavilion dv7.(3)

To protect personal information and simplify password management, the Pavilion dv6 and dv7 include HP SimplePass, which provides enhanced security for access to online accounts and passwords with the swipe of a finger. In addition, all HP Pavilion dv-series notebooks feature HP ProtectSmart, which locks the hard drive to protect photos, music and memories in case the notebook is accidentally dropped.

HP Pavilion g-series
Striking a balance between design, performance and affordability, the 2/4new HP Pavilion g-series is ideal for the everyday user, offering reliable performance, attractive designs and essential features at a great value.

Available in a variety of colors and patterns to fit any style or personality, the HP Pavilion g4, g6 and g7 offer full connectivity for surfing the internet and connecting with friends.(4) The notebooks also include a HD BrightView display(1) with Altec Lansing speakers and SRS Premium Audio for enjoying movies and music.

HP consumer notebooks are backed by HP Total Care, the company's award-winning support program for both in- and out-of-warranty products. HP Total Care includes 24/7 access to phone support agents, online support options like the HP consumer support forum and more.

Pricing and availability(5)
- The HP Pavilion dv6 is expected to be available in the spring in the United States, with pricing to be determined.
- The HP Pavilion dv7 is expected to be available in the spring in the United States, with pricing to be determined.
- The HP Pavilion g4, g6 and g7 are expected to be available on March 13 in the United States, starting at $499.99, $449.99 and $599.99, respectively.
Additional information is available at www.hp.com/personal.

About HP
HP creates new possibilities for technology to have a meaningful impact on people, businesses, governments and society. The world's largest technology company, HP brings together a portfolio that spans printing, personal computing, software, services and IT infrastructure to solve customer problems. More information about HP (NYSE: HPQ) is available at http://www.hp.com.

(1) HD content is required to view HD images.
(2) As Blu-ray is a new format containing new technologies, certain disc, digital connection,
compatibility and/or performance issues may arise, and do not constitute defects in the product. Flawless playback on all systems is not guaranteed. In order for some Blu-ray titles to play, they may require a DVI or HDMI digital connection and your display may require HDCP support. This Blu-ray drive does not support writing to ultra-high speed CDRW media (16X to 32X advertised performance). HD-DVD movies cannot be played on this PC.
(3) For hard drives, 1 GB = 1 billion bytes and 1 TB = 1 trillion bytes. Actual formatted capacity is less. Up to 20 GB of hard drive is reserved for system recovery software.
3/4
(4) Wireless access point and internet service required and not included. Availability of public wireless access points limited.
(5) Estimated U.S. street prices. Actual prices may vary.
Intel and Intel Core are trademarks of Intel Corporation in the U.S. and other countries. AMD is a trademark of Advanced Micro Devices, Inc.
This news release contains forward-looking statements that involve risks, uncertainties and assumptions. If such risks or uncertainties materialize or such assumptions prove incorrect, the results of HP and its consolidated subsidiaries could differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements and assumptions. All statements other than statements of historical fact are statements that could be deemed forward-looking statements, including but not limited to statements of the plans, strategies and objectives of management for future operations; any statements concerning expected development, performance or market share relating to products and services; any statements regarding anticipated operational and financial results; any statements of expectation or belief; and any statements of assumptions underlying any of the foregoing. Risks, uncertainties and assumptions include macroeconomic and geopolitical trends and events; the competitive pressures faced by HP's businesses; the development and transition of new products and services (and the enhancement of existing products and services) to meet customer needs and respond to emerging technological trends; the execution and performance of contracts by HP and its customers, suppliers and partners; the achievement of expected operational and financial results; and other risks that are described in HP's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including but not limited to HP's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended October 31, 2010. HP assumes no obligation and does not intend to update these forward-looking statements.
© 2011 Hewlett-Packard Development Company, L.P. The information contained herein is subject to change without notice. The only warranties for HP products and services are set forth in the express warranty statements accompanying such products and services. Nothing herein should be construed as constituting an additional warranty. HP shall not be liable for technical or editorial errors or omissions contained herein.

Data Robotics launches Drobo for Business line, new 12-bay SAN option

Posted: 07 Feb 2011 08:01 PM PST

Data Robotics has certainly flexed its biz muscle before, but this is nothing short of a full-out assault on the boardroom. Or at least the boardroom's IT closet. The outfit's new Drobo for Business line is being revealed today, with three pieces of hardware making up the initial line. The new trio is primarily aimed at small businesses, but even average consumers in need of some serious at-home storage may find something worth investigating. Though the system designs are obviously built for use in rack-mount arrangements, you'll still find the same BeyondRAID setup that existing Drobo users have grown familiar with. At least initially, the company will be offering an 8-bay file sharing Drobo with remote backup, an 8-bay SAN (iSCSI-attached) Drobo and a 12-bay SAN (also iSCSI-attached) with expanded redundancy features, support for thin provisioning and deprovisioning and new data-aware tiering technology. Those who buy in will also be treated to a bolstered level of DroboCare business support, a refreshed management interface tailor to the needs of SMB, new functionality / redundancy and boosted performance from top to bottom. The former two are available now -- with pricing to start at just north of $2,000 ($8,500 on the 12-bay) -- while the latter can be reserved as we speak for a Q2 delivery.
Show full PR text
Drobo Means Business

New Drobo Business Line Delivers "Big Storage in a Small Box" - Unprecedented Combination of Technical Sophistication, Ease of Use and Affordability for Small and Medium Businesses


SANTA CLARA, Calif. – February 8, 2011 – Drobo

Interactive storefront displays show up at Canadian Starbucks, window licking discouraged

Posted: 07 Feb 2011 06:20 PM PST

Starbucks has given the caffeinated crowd a new reason, other than the free WiFi, to stop by a couple of locations in Toronto and Vancouver -- interactive window displays! Taking sidewalk passers-by on a journey to assemble their favorite Tazo teas, the interactivity comes via a vinyl screen, projector, and gesture controls. We've already seen an interactive storefront in the US, so its about time our friends up north got some geekified advertising of their own. Vid's after the break.

Steve Ballmer looking for a few good engineers for Microsoft management?

Posted: 07 Feb 2011 05:37 PM PST

Bloomberg's heard a couple whispers that Microsoft chief Steve Ballmer is looking to fill senior product executive roles with engineers. In other words, people who can really understand the products they're planning, pushing, and promoting -- a smart move, if it comes to pass. An announcement could reportedly be made as early as this month alongside a Courier resurgence. (Okay, not really, but let us dream a bit.)

BBC iPlayer app landing on UK iPads this Thursday, US in June

Posted: 07 Feb 2011 04:48 PM PST

A BBC Interactive Operations Engineer has British hearts all aflutter tonight with a tweet announcing that the iPlayer app for the iPad is ready to roll out this Thursday, February 10th. It's specific to the tablet for now, so no iPhone, and will only debut in the UK, so no BBC America for you just yet, though this is the first step toward making that cozy dream a reality. Taking the BBC TV catchup service into international waters will be done on the basis of a paid subscription model, which should dissuade all the TV License payers in the UK from revolting, but do bear in mind that this upcoming tablet app will only allow content streaming over WiFi. You'll be able to browse the iPlayer over 3G, we're told, but will need to hook up to some roomier wireless pipes to sip the sweet nectar of BBC Entertainment on your iPad (in app form, browser-based options are a whole other matter). Stay tuned for the fully detailed announcement in a couple of days.

Kindle gets software update 3.1 with real page numbers, public notes

Posted: 07 Feb 2011 04:11 PM PST

It'll still be at least a few more days before it's automatically pushed out to Kindles around the world, but those looking to get a jump on things can now download an "early preview" of software update version 3.1 for the latest generation Kindle. That update adds a new public notes feature that lets you share your notes with others and view the notes of those you follow, as well as real page numbers that match the page numbers in the print version of a book -- those have already been added to "tens of thousands of Kindle books," and will also be hitting the various Kindle apps in the "coming months." You'll also get a new layout for magazines and newspapers that gives you a quick snapshot of the latest edition, and a new "before you go" feature that lets you rate a book as soon as you've finished it and share a brief note about it on your social networks. Hit up the link below to download the update and try it out for yourself.

Gogo plans to expand into in-flight movies, possibly gaming

Posted: 07 Feb 2011 03:45 PM PST

There's not a lot of firm details just yet, but the CEO of Gogo's parent company, Aircell, has just confirmed that GoGo is planning to take a few steps beyond it's basic in-flight WiFi business this year. That will apparently start with a library of in-flight movies that customers will have access to "later this year," and could eventually expand to other in-flight content including "live gaming." No word on any content partners involved in any of those plans, but CEO Michael Small says that he believes content has the potential to be a" significant" revenue source for the company. Incidentally, this news coincided with GoGo's announcement of a $35 million boost from its latest round of funding and, as mocoNews reports, the company has apparently already hired "a number of executives from internet companies" to help it with its new content offerings.

Gmail brings Priority Inbox to mobile web app, stymies green-eyed monster

Posted: 07 Feb 2011 03:09 PM PST

Those of you suffering from Android envy can put your jealousy aside momentarily, because Priority Inbox is now available via Gmail's mobile web app. Up until now, the mail sorting system was available for the desktop and Android devices only, but now smart email prioritizing is anybody's game. If you didn't already know, Priority Inbox sorts emails in order of importance by learning from your actions, like how many times you read or reply to messages from a certain address. Mobile web users were always able to dig up those sorted messages with the "Important" label, but now all the good stuff is front and center. The feature is available right now on most HTML5-compatible browsers for devices running Android 1.5 and iOS 3.0 or higher, and while it may not be the great equalizer, it's bound to quell some feelings of OS inadequacy. We'll chalk it up as a win for the little green monster (and a loss for his green-eyed friend).

Sprint's Kyocera Echo dual-screen Android phone announced, we go hands-on (update)

Posted: 07 Feb 2011 02:30 PM PST

Sprint promised us an "industry first" at its event today, and it certainly delivered: check out the Kyocera Echo, the first dual-screen Android phone. That's right, dual-screen -- that's two 3.5-inch 480 x 800 displays which can be unfolded and used as a single 4.7-inch 960 x 800 surface. The screens are connected by a slick sliding liquid-metal hinge that Kyocera's filed several patents on -- the phone can be closed and used like a regular single-screen phone, unfolded all the way, or propped up into the faux-laptop configuration shown above. Under the hood there's a 1GHz second-gen Snapdragon running Android 2.2 -- we'll forgive the older software because Kyocera had to do extensive customization to add dual-screen support to seven core apps like the browser, email, and messaging. The seven optimized apps can be run on each screen individually so you can have the browser up top and email below, and several of them include useful full-dual-screen views as well. There's also a new dual-screen app manager, which is brought up by tapping the two screens simultaneously. Unfortunately, third party apps can't be run in any of the new modes and just fill the entire display for now -- Kyocera and Sprint say an SDK is coming shortly.

Interestingly, the Echo doesn't really run the optimized apps simultaneously when you have two of them open -- it quickly switches them in and out of hibernation, even though they're both displayed on screen. That means you can't do things like watch a video while writing an email, for example -- it's an odd limitation, but it seems like it'll only be an issue in limited circumstances. As for battery life, Kyocera and Sprint aren't giving definite numbers, but we were told things would last about a day with heavy use of both screens -- and the Echo is being sold in a bundle with a second battery in an external charging case, so you should have plenty of juice on the go. Downsides? Well, it's not the most attractive phone we've ever seen, and we'd be remiss if we didn't point out that there's just a lone rear-facing 5 megapixel camera with 720p video capture and that the Echo is 3G-only -- there's no WiMAX, which is a bit odd for a Sprint halo device. Still, it's definitely one of the most intriguing Android handsets we've ever seen, and at $199 (after a $100 rebate) when it launches sometime in the coming months, it's bound to pique some serious interest. Check a short hands-on video after the break.

Update: So the simultaneous apps thing appears to somewhat complex -- we weren't able to run a video and email when we played with the phone during our briefing, but Sprint's Fared Adib was able to do it when we ran into him during the launch event. We'll post that video soon -- and of course we'll dig deep into this when we get a review unit. One more thing we noticed: none of the devices we saw in action had pinch-to-zoom enabled anywhere, which is obviously very strange. We were told that the software is still early, so we'll have to see if it makes it into shipping product.

Update 2: It's attack of the press materials! New images, video, and release can be found below!

Show full PR text
Kyocera Echo, Exclusively from Sprint, Revolutionizes the Android Experience as the First Dual-Touchscreen Smartphone
Two screens connected by an innovative pivot hinge offer the ability to complete two tasks at once, taking the ability to multitask to a powerful new level

Available this spring for $199.99 after mail in rebate; Visit sprint.com/echo to pre-register and check out images of the only Android phone with two screens




Multimedia Gallery
Kyocera Echo(TM), exclusively from Sprint, shown in Simul-Task(TM) Mode (Photo: Business Wire)


Kyocera Echo(TM) shown in Optimized Mode with VueQue(TM) application (Photo: Business Wire)


Kyocera Echo(TM), exclusively from Sprint, shown in Standard Mode (Photo: Business Wire)


http://www.kyocera-wireless.com/


NEW YORK (BUSINESS WIRE), February 07, 2011 - Sprint (NYSE: S) and Kyocera Communications Inc. today announced the first dual-touchscreen Android™ smartphone, Kyocera Echo™, exclusively from Sprint. This Android-powered device features two high-resolution 3.5-inch WVGA touchscreen displays connected by a patent-pending "pivot hinge" that enables the two displays to operate independently, side-by-side or combined to form an oversized 4.7-inch (diagonally) integrated display.


Kyocera Echo(TM), exclusively from Sprint, shown in Simul-Task(TM) Mode (Photo: Business Wire)

Until now, a single screen on a smartphone could only be used to complete one task at a time, even with limited multitasking capabilities available on some smartphones. Kyocera Echo's second screen provides the ability to do two things at the same time and get more done – send an email on one screen while surfing the web on the other, watch a video on one screen while texting on the other, comparison shop online with one web site on each screen and so much more.

Images and video of Kyocera Echo's dynamic design in action are available now at www.echobykyocera.com. Pre-registration begins today at www.sprint.com/echo.

In its closed position, Kyocera Echo is a pocket-friendly, single-display smartphone. When opened, Kyocera Echo reveals a revolutionary new platform for wireless multitasking and gives customers a new level of versatility in Android. Its innovative hardware and optimized software enables consumers to use the touchscreens in four unique ways:

Single-Screen Mode with all the functionality of a single-display, touch-screen smartphone.
Simul-Task™ Mode with two of the phone's seven core apps (messaging, e-mail, Web browsing, phone, gallery, contacts and VueQue™) running concurrently but independently on the dual displays – e.g., reading e-mail on one screen and opening a text message on the other; checking Facebook® via the browser on one screen while looking through a photo gallery on the other; or even searching the Web on one screen and checking email on the other.

Optimized Mode with both displays supporting a single, optimized app with complementary functionality and enhanced usability – e.g., composing e-mail on one screen with a touchscreen keyboard on the other; watching a YouTube™ video on one display while browsing and queuing additional YouTube videos on the other (with a preloaded Kyocera app called VueQue™); or viewing gallery images on one display while browsing image thumbnails on the other.

Tablet Mode with one application spread across both displays for a full 4.7-inch viewing area. Tablet Mode is ideal for viewing maps, videos, websites, detailed documents, and long lists on-the-go.

"Sprint is proud to boast the most powerful Android portfolio available today and Echo adds to that legacy with industry-leading technology that will change the way our customers use smartphones," said Sprint CEO Dan Hesse. "Today's busy schedules often demand that we do at least two things at once. Kyocera Echo is the first device that allows us to do a different task on each of two screens while also providing a tablet-like, larger screen experience that easily fits in a pocket when closed."

Kyocera Echo will be available this spring for $199.99 with a new two-year service agreement or eligible upgrade and after a $100 mail-in rebate in all Sprint retail channels, including the Web (www.sprint.com) and Telesales (1-800-Sprint1). Pricing excludes surcharges and taxes.

"For years Kyocera has provided handsets to Sprint's Prepaid Group and MVNOs, as well as to Sprint under the Sanyo brand," said Eiichi Toriyama, president of Kyocera Communications Inc. "We value greatly our relationship with Sprint and we are thrilled that they have chosen Echo as the standout product with which to reintroduce its customers to the Kyocera brand. With Kyocera Echo, we are proud to give Sprint an iconic, industry-changing device that delivers an entirely new experience for smartphone users."

Kyocera Echo also includes customized apps optimized for the dual-screen Optimized Mode experience including VueQue™, which lets users watch a YouTube video on one display while browsing, queuing and buffering additional YouTube videos on the other display. Additional applications optimized for the dual-screen experience include:

Messaging and e-mail: Users can turn the device horizontally and use the top display to view the e-mail/message application while using the lower display as a full-sized virtual keyboard.
Browser: Takes the browser experience of a standard 3.5-inch smartphone and enhances it, allowing users to view two websites simultaneously.
Gallery: Users can scroll through thumbnail images on one screen while viewing an enlarged image on the other.
Contacts/phone: Users can view more of the phone's contact directory or an expanded virtual dial pad.
Beyond the dual touchscreen innovation, Kyocera Echo operates on the Android 2.2 system and has access to more than 100,000 apps in Android Market™ – everything from Facebook to Angry Birds. Additional key features include:

Sprint's nationwide 3G network and Wi-Fi (802.11 b/g)*
Wi-Fi hotspot capability, which supports wireless connections for up to five devices
5-megapixel camera with flash, autofocus and digital zoom
720p HD camcorder to quickly capture those on-the-go memorable moments
Corporate (Exchange ActiveSync®) and personal (POP & IMAP) e-mail, IM (Google Talk™), text messaging
Media player with a 3.5 mm stereo headset jack
Stereo Bluetooth® 2.1 (+ EDR)
Full HTML Web browser with Google Search™
1GHz Snapdragon processor (QSD 8650 Android)
1 gigabyte (GB) of onboard memory and an 8GB microSD™ card for the external memory card slot supporting cards up to 32GB
Voice and text prompts in both English and Spanish
Kyocera Echo comes packaged with a spare battery (1370 mAh) and a low-profile charging cradle. Along with charging the spare battery independently of the phone, the charging cradle also can tether the spare to Kyocera Echo as an external power supply.

Additional Google™ features include Google Maps™, Google Talk™, Gmail™, synchronization with Google Calendar™, and access to Google Goggles™ to search with pictures instead of words. With Sprint, Kyocera Echo users have access to Sprint Zone™, providing one-stop wireless account access, phone tips, news, a list of top apps plus TeleNav GPS Navigator, Sprint TV and Movies® and more.

A Software Development Kit (SDK) and developer guide for Kyocera Echo will be available before the launch on the Sprint Application Developer Program (ADP) website at http://developer.sprint.com/android. The developer guide will provide details on developing for a dual-screen handset and Android 2.2 device. It also will provide information on how to take advantage of Kyocera Echo's unique hardware and software capabilities on the Sprint Network. The Sprint ADP has been providing tools for third-party developers since Sprint first launched the Wireless Web on its phones in 2001.

Some competitors may offer lower prices, but Sprint customers get more with unlimited data while on the Sprint Network with their monthly plan. Sprint offers real simplicity, value and savings vs. competitors, making it easy for customers to get the most out of their phones without using a calculator to tally up costs or worrying about how much data they've used.

Kyocera Echo requires activation on one of Sprint's Everything Data plans plus required $10 Premium Data add-on charge for smartphones. Sprint's Everything Data plan with Any Mobile, AnytimeSM includes unlimited Web, texting and calling to and from any mobile in America while on the Sprint network, starting at just $69.99 per month plus required $10 Premium Data add-on charge – a savings of $39.99 per month vs. Verizon's comparable plan with unlimited talk, text and Web, and $35 per month vs. AT&T's comparable plan with unlimited talk, text and just 2GB of data (excluding Verizon's Southern California plan; pricing excludes surcharges and taxes.)

Sprint Everything Data plans qualify for automatic enrollment in the Sprint PremierSM loyalty program1. Existing Sprint customers can switch to an Everything Data plan without extending their service agreement. New lines of service require a two-year service agreement.

An optional charge of just $29.99 per month turns on Kyocera Echo's mobile hotspot feature, connecting up to five Wi-Fi enabled devices, such as laptops, gaming devices and digital cameras, at 3G speeds anywhere on the Sprint 3G network (pricing excludes surcharges and taxes).

About Sprint Nextel

Sprint Nextel offers a comprehensive range of wireless and wireline communications services bringing the freedom of mobility to consumers, businesses and government users. Sprint Nextel served more than 48.8 million customers at the end of the third quarter of 2010 and is widely recognized for developing, engineering and deploying innovative technologies, including the first wireless 4G service from a national carrier in the United States; offering industry-leading mobile data services, leading prepaid brands including Virgin Mobile USA, Boost Mobile, Common Cents Mobile and Assurance Wireless; instant national and international push-to-talk capabilities; and a global Tier 1 Internet backbone. Newsweek ranked Sprint No. 6 in its 2010 Green Rankings, listing it as one of the nation's greenest companies, the highest of any telecommunications company. You can learn more and visit Sprint at www.sprint.com or www.facebook.com/sprint and www.twitter.com/sprint.

About Kyocera Communications Inc.

Kyocera Communications Inc. (KCI) is the headquarters for Kyocera- and Sanyo-branded wireless products and accessories in the Americas. The company's devices are driving the convergence of telecommunications, broadband and multimedia. KCI was formed in April 2009 through the combination of Kyocera Wireless Corp. and Kyocera Sanyo Telecommunications Inc., two wholly owned subsidiaries of Kyocera International Inc. The former was created when Kyocera purchased QUALCOMM Incorporated's consumer wireless phone business in 2000, while the latter was formed when Kyocera purchased the wireless phone business of Sanyo Electric Co., Ltd. in 2008. Based in San Diego, KCI leverages Japan's history of creating advanced consumer technologies around humanism and respect for the environment and blending them with a Western entrepreneurialism and style, resulting in a unique design language and a natural, user-friendly interface. For more information, please visit http://www.kyocera-wireless.com or follow the company on Facebook at www.facebook.com/kyoceramobilephones.

Kyocera Corporation (NYSE:KYO) (TOKYO:6971) (http://global.kyocera.com/), the parent and global headquarters of the Kyocera Group, was founded in 1959 as a producer of fine ceramics (also known as "advanced ceramics"). By combining these engineered materials with metals and plastics, and integrating them with other technologies, Kyocera has become a leading supplier of telecommunications equipment, office-document imaging equipment, solar power generating systems, semiconductor packages, electronic components, cutting tools and industrial ceramics. During the year ended March 31, 2010, the company's net sales totaled 1.07 trillion yen (approximately US $11.5 billion). Kyocera marked its 50th anniversary in 2009, and the 40th anniversary of its U.S. operations. It is ranked #554 on Forbes magazine's 2010 "Global 2000" listing of the world's largest publicly traded companies.

NOTE TO EDITORS: Please visit www.sprint.com/newsroom for the product fact sheet and downloadable images.

1To qualify for Sprint Premier Silver customers must have a 3-month average monthly recurring charge (MRC) of individual plans of $69.99 - $89.98

*Sprint's 3G network features peak download speeds of 3.1 Mbps and peak upload speeds of 1.8 Mbps, average download speeds between 600 kpbs and 1.4 Mbps. No one has a more reliable network than Sprint based on a recent 13-city 3G performance test. PC World's test included Sprint, AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile in 13 major cities in all regions of the country during December 2009 and January 2010. In all, roughly 9,000 individual tests of Sprint's 3G service were conducted from 280 testing locations in 13 cities. Testing sessions were one minute in duration per location, and network performance can be highly variable from neighborhood to neighborhood. In laptop-based tests, Sprint tied with another carrier for first in 3G network reliability.

© 2011 Kyocera. All rights reserved. Kyocera, Simul-Task and VueQue are registered trademarks of Kyocera Corporation. Exchange ActiveSync is a registered trademark of Microsoft. Android, YouTube, Android Market, Google Talk, Google, Google Maps, Gmail, Google Calendar, and Google Googles are trademarks of Google Inc.; use of these trademarks is subject to Google Permissions. Bluetooth mark is owned by the Bluetooth SIG Inc. and any use of such mark is under license. microSD is a trademark of SanDisk Corporation. Facebook® is a registered trademark of Facebook Inc. All other marks are properties of their respective owners.

Photos/Multimedia Gallery Available: http://www.businesswire.com/cgi-bin/mmg.cgi?eid=6601680⟨=en



Live from Sprint's 'Industry First' event with Dan Hesse and... David Blaine

Posted: 07 Feb 2011 01:45 PM PST


6:47PM And that's it! Make sure you go and check out our Echo hands-on -- it's definitely a unique device.





6:47PM We're heading for the future! With... expanded maps!


6:47PM More bumping jams. Expand your horizons, guys!


6:46PM And we're closing with a video!

6:46PM "Most people who simultask are a little hyper, so we might also call it hypertasking." Oh boy.

6:45PM "Some people are going to be heavier in tablet usage, so we're including a charger with a separate battery." Really cool -- the charger has a second battery in it that you can swap in, or you can just use the charger as a battery pack.



6:43PM Fared is not very good at the Sims, is what we're learning here.

6:43PM Sprint and Kyocera will be releasing APIs so other developers can take advantage of the two screens.


6:42PM Loading up an optimized version of the Sims now -- the bottom screen is the controls, while the top screen shows the Sim. Looks really interesting.


6:41PM You can enlarge the browser to full screen, or run a different browser instance for each screen, to load, say, Twitter and Facebook. "That's not David Blaine, but that's not bad."




6:39PM He's got texting on the top and he's checking his email while waiting for a text. Nifty. A button in the task manager lets you switch app positions.

6:38PM Showing off some "simultasking" now -- he's launching email and then touching both screens at once to bring up the dual-screen task manager. There are seven bundled apps that can be run in the simultasking mode -- you pick them using the manager.


6:37PM Demoing an app called YouQueue -- you can watch YouTube videos on the top screen while queuing up others on the bottom screen.





6:35PM Playing a video in the gallery app while he sorts more videos on the bottom.


6:34PM Opening the picture gallery -- displaying a picture on the top screen while he sorts and selects them on the bottom.

6:34PM David: You're kind of stealing from the PC industry, here, with how we've designed this.

6:33PM Showing off the email client -- one screen is a preview pane and the other shows the message. Works in both landscape and portrait.


6:32PM Showing off the Echo in tablet mode -- he's swiping through the homescreens as though it's one big screen.


6:31PM "We wanted to start with the roots of a phone and make sure you could carry it around in your pocket or purse. A lot of devices are caught in this middle ground -- we didn't want to make a MID or anything like that."



6:30PM 3.5-inch WVGA LCD displays.


6:30PM Showing off the Echo in single screen mode -- looks like a regular phone, runs Android 2.2. Showing off the hinge -- you can put it in a tilted "laptop" mode. Six pending patents on the hinge.

6:29PM Fared: A lot of people have referred to multitasking, but on a phone it's about switching from one app to another. But we didn't want to do that -- we created a new term, called "simultasking."

6:28PM David: What was the rationale for building a dual-screen product?
Fared: When you look at the computer industry or television, a lot of people are doing a lot of things at the same time.



6:27PM And they're off the stage -- Sprint product chiefs Fared Adib and David Owens are out to demo the Echo.



6:26PM More insanely loud music is playing, while we pause for a photo opp.


6:25PM "I'm confident you will enjoy and love the Echo."

6:25PM He's big-upping Sprint. "We are very proud to reintroduce the Kyrocera brand to Sprint customers with this iconic device."

6:24PM Kyocera's CEO is speaking now. "I wish David Blaine would make me about six inches taller."



6:23PM "The Echo is a key device milestone in Sprint's history."

6:22PM Echo is a Sprint exclusive, available this spring for $189.


6:22PM A full 4.7-inch viewing area when combined, a third larger than 4-inch screens.

6:22PM The first dual touchscreen Android phone -- the Echo. You can do two things at once, or use them as one big screen. "It's almost like a tiny tablet, but you can put it into almost any pocket."





6:21PM Dan Hesse just said "extreme multitasking can be magical."

6:20PM Whoa! The Echo just flipped and folded open to reveal dual screens.



6:20PM A giant Kyocera phone is being wheeled out on stage -- it's clearly the leaked Echo.

6:19PM Incredibly aggressive guitar jams are playing now -- we're now permitted to take photos again. Sprint is "making the impossible possible."




6:18PM And with the appearance of many more fish, he's done! And that was David Blaine, everyone.

6:17PM He's waving around a cloth? It's hard to say. There are ocean noises now.

6:15PM We wonder how many ordinary men would have died by now? It seems like quite a few.

6:14PM He's going to pour some wine now. Underwater. He's pouring wine underwater.

6:14PM He's blowing fake smoke from his cigar. It's neat.

6:13PM He's trying to light a cigar. Dude, you're underwater! But then... magic! The magic of red and orange LEDs.

6:12PM He just opened a book and several more fish escaped.

6:11PM He just let a fish out of his month. A woman yelled "a fish!" That's what's happening here.

6:10PM Shocking news: Blaine is in the tank! He is wearing a suite, and not doing very much. We are literally sitting around, watching a man in a suit sit underwater.

6:10PM Here we go! "It defies everything you know about reality." A tank of 10,000 gallons of water is on stage. Apparently it can drown "up to 8 ordinary men."


6:09PM We were just told security would be closely monitoring people who dare to take photos of David Blaine. This is serious.

6:07PM Two minutes until Blaine time! We are ready. Ready for magic.

6:04PM And we're starting!... in five minutes. Audible sighs from the crowd.


5:57PM They're telling us we'll be underway in 10 minutes. We will continue to study foam preparation.



5:55PM It appears Sprint also wants us to stay for dinner -- the station behind us is prepping to serve braised short ribs with truffle potato foam, slow-cooked lamb shank with marscapone foam, and pulled BBQ pork with cheese foam. Let's hope David Blaine likes foams!


5:50PM Word on the street is that we're not allowed to take photos of David Blaine's segment -- likely because he cannot be adequately captured by human imaging technology.


5:48PM We're here, and in our... booth? Sprint's set this up like a club, not a regular presentation. There are tall cocktail tables and couches, and waiters are handing out drinks and appetizers. Whatever happens here, it's going to happen in style.
We're not exactly sure what kind of rabbit Sprint CEO Dan Hesse is planning to pull out of his hat here in New York tonight, but Sprint says it'll be an "industry first" and David Blaine is scheduled to appear, so we're definitely curious -- and hey, snacks. So what's it going to be? Unlimited multi-device data plans? That dualscreen Kyocera Echo which leaked a bit last night? David Blaine revealing Dan Hesse is actually a murderous robot from the future? We'll find out when things kick off at 6PM ET.

Pentax reveals Optio WG-1 and WG-1 GPS rugged cameras, limited edition K-5 DSLR

Posted: 07 Feb 2011 01:00 PM PST

Who woulda thunk it? Half a year ago, finding a conventional point-and-shoot with integrated GPS was a chore, but these days, it's growing tougher and tougher to find one without it. Pentax is joining the geotagging frenzy this evening with its Optio WG-1 GPS, a rugged 14 megapixel shooter that's waterproof up to 33 feet, shockproof in nature and engineered with a "crushproof" body that can withstand weight force of up to 220 pounds (but not another Black Eyed Peas halftime show). You'll also get integrated face detection technology, the ability to snap in sub-freezing temperatures, a 5x optical zoom lens and a 2.7-inch rear LCD. There's also a 720p movie mode, HDMI output, IR control compatibility and support for Eye-Fi's wireless SD card. It'll ship this April in black or yellow-green for $399.95, and if you're uncomfortable remembering where you took each and every photograph, the GPS-less Optio WG-1 will also be available (in black or purple) for $50 less.

In related news, the company is taking this opportunity to issue a limited edition K-5 DSLR, with this one touting a silver body, a uniquely shaped grip and shock-resistant, scratchproof glass surrounding the LCD. Outside of that, everything else about the 16.3 megapixel shooter will remain the same as it ever was, and the $1,699.95 (body only) price point is most certainly no easier to swallow. For those still sold on the idea, Pentax will also be offering a trifecta of silver prime lenses: the 21m f/3.2 AL, 40mm f/2.8 and the 70mm f/2.4. Check out Sir Silver (and the full press releases) just after the break.


Show full PR text
PENTAX ANNOUNCES OPTIO WG-1 AND WG-1 GPS DIGITAL CAMERAS: Flex Your Sense Of Adventure With The Newest Generation Of Waterproof, Shockproof, Coldproof, Dustproof Compacts

February 7, 2011(GOLDEN,CO)...PENTAX Imaging Company has announced its 12th generation of adventure series digital cameras – the PENTAX Optio WG-1 and PENTAX Optio WG-1 GPS. Featuring outstanding waterproof, dustproof, shockproof, coldproof, and crushproof capability, these extra-rugged models take adventure photography to new heights (and depths).

The new and improved features on the PENTAX Optio WG-1 include:
ï‚· 14 megapixel sensor.
ï‚· Waterproof to 33 feet.
ï‚· Shockproof, ruggedized design to withstand falls up to 5 feet.
ï‚· New crushproof construction* to withstand weight force up to 220 pounds (100kgf kilogram-force).
ï‚· Enhanced Digital Microscope mode that offers five macro LEDs for excellent macro lighting plus a detachable macro stand for steadier capture.
ï‚· Fast Face Detection technology, Smile Capture, and Blink Detection for portraits including a handy new Self-Portrait Assist mode perfect for facebooking and other social networking activities.
ï‚· Available with and without GPS, the WG-1 GPS functionality* tracks and records positional data recording with images for geo-tagging applications making it easy for users to check the shooting locations of captured images and link the data with PC-based maps.
*Measured under PENTAX-original testing standards.** GPS included only on the select WG-1 GPS model.

Other important WG-1 features include:
• Coldproof to sub-freezing temps of minus 10 degrees C (14 degrees F).
• Dustproof protection for dry, dusty environments.
• Wide angle 5X internal optical zoom lens (28-140mm equivalent).
• Large 2.7 inch LCD features a wide angle 16:9 aspect ratio with anti-reflective coating.
• Video capture in widescreen 720p HD at 30 frames per second.
• Pixel Track and Digital Shake Reduction ensure sharp, blur-free images.
• An autofocus assist lamp helps to quickly and accurately focus, even in challenging lighting.
• An HDMI port to play back beautiful, high definition images and video on HDTVs.
• Infrared remote control compatibility with the waterproof Remote Control WP, as well as other PENTAX infrared remotes.
• Designed with the look of mountaineering equipment, the new Optios includes a woven web fabric strap in complementary color accents complete with a carabiner to attach the camera to a backpack and other outdoor gear.
• Eye-Fi wireless SD memory card connectivity for built-in Wi-Fi capability to transfer photos and videos from the camera to a computer or an online sharing site (Eye-fi cards sold separately.)

Priced at $349.95 USD, Optio WG-1 will be available in a choice of Black or Purple, while the Optio WG-1 GPS will be priced at $399.95 USD and available in Black or Yellow Green. Both cameras will ship in April 2011.

A waterproof infared remote control (sold separately) for use with the PENTAX Optio WG-1 and other infrared compatible Optio models is available now for $29.95 USD. More information is available here: www.pentaximaging.com and product images are available here: http://www.pentaximaging.com/press/pressfiles.html

The PENTAX Optio WG-1 is available for preorder on: www.pentaxwebstore.com
PENTAX Imaging Company is an innovative leader in the production of a variety of digital cameras including weather- resistant digital SLRs and stylish, compact, waterproof cameras, as well as lenses, flash units, binoculars, scopes, and eyepieces. For more than 90 years, PENTAX has developed durable, reliable products that meet the needs of consumers and businesses. With headquarters in Golden, Colorado, PENTAX Imaging Company is a division of PENTAX of America, Inc.

________________________

PENTAX ANNOUNCES LIMITED EDITION SILVER K-5 AND THREE DA LIMITED EDITION SILVER LENSES

Golden, Colorado (February 7, 2011)...PENTAX Imaging Company has announced that the popular K-5 digital SLR will be available soon in Limited Edition Silver. Available in the US in limited quantities this special-edition model of the PENTAX K-5 digital SLR camera will feature an exclusive design with an original exterior color scheme and a uniquely shaped grip.

Along with the silver K-5, PENTAX announced three popular PENTAX DA Limited Edition Silver lens models designed for use with PENTAX digital SLR cameras also which will ship in the near future. Each limited edition lens will feature a high-quality, silver finish applied to the high precision machine shaped lens barrel, hood and cap.

The three prime lenses that will be available in silver include:

ï‚· smc PENTAX-DA 21mm F3.2 AL Limited Silver
ï‚· smc PENTAX-DA 40mm F2.8 Limited Silver
ï‚· smc PENTAX-DA 70mm F2.4 Limited Silver

The special edition, silver finish K-5 will match existing PENTAX FA-Limited series lenses and the new DA Limited Silver series lenses. The camera's mode dial, control buttons and levers all feature the elegant silver color. To improve handling, this special-edition model comes with an exclusively designed grip that is thicker than the standard K-5 model. Shock-resistant, scratchproof reinforced glass has been used to protect the LCD monitor on the camera's back panel and the status panel on the top panel.

First announced in September 2010, the K-5 DSLR offers a true high-end, weather-resistant prosumer design and features normally found only on the most costly of professional cameras including:

• High resolution 16.3 megapixel CMOS sensor.
• Fast 7 FPS to capture fast action shots.
• A high sensitivity 80-12800 ISO range, expandable to 51200, with improved noise performance overall.
• Widescreen 1080p HD video at 25 FPS with sound via built-in microphone or external 3.5mm stereo microphone jack.

The unique DA Limited series of prime lenses offers incredible sharpness and image quality, and are made specifically for PENTAX DSLR cameras. These lenses are ideal for even the most discerning photographer who demands top performance in an ultra-compact package. The high-grade aluminum construction of the DA Limited series provides the utmost durability and elegant design.
Whether paired or purchased separately, the Limited Edition Silver K-5 and the smc PENTAX DA

Limited Silver lenses will offer owners a classic, high-end photography expererience. Priced at $1699.95 (body kit), the PENTAX K-5 Limited Edition Silver will be available in April 2011.
The PENTAX DA Limited Edition Silver lens pricing and availability are TBA
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