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Have something on your iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad that you really want to show off to people? What if you want to project an image onto the back of a seat on an airplane, during a long flight? MicroVision has your back, as the company has just released the MicroVision SHOWWX+ laser micro-projector, and [...]

If you’re an avid user of Twitter, then you know that updating the micro-blogging service is very important on a day-to-day basis. And if you’re a dog owner, then there’s probably been a few times where you’ve felt compelled to tweet something about your lovable animal companion. But, what if you could let your dog [...]

NBC Universal is in the processes of being taken over by Comcast Corp., and it seems that a change in management is first on the company’s agenda. In an email sent out to employees, and independently confirmed by NBCU’s parent company, General Electric Co., Jeffrey Zucker will step down from his position once the takeover finalizes, which is expected to complete by the end of 2010. Zucker is currently 45, and he has only ever worked at NBC, so it is more than likely a big blow for the current Chief Executive Officer.

Jeffrey Zucker

Zucker informed NBCU employees of the decision and movement in an email he sent out to everyone. GE then sent out an internal memo to the company, basically putting the last nail into the coffin for Zucker’s carrer at NBC Universal. Comcast is expected to finalize the takeover of NBCU, after it finishes purchasing 51 percent of NBCU, by the end of the year. Zucker has been in the Chief position for the company since 2007, which oversees cable channels like SyFy, as well as the Universal theme parks, and Universal Pictures studio.

As should be expected, until his departure from the company, Zucker will be working with the new CEO of NBCU, making sure that the transition is smooth. No announcements have been made for the replacement, but it’s believed that the new Chief of NBCU will be someone from Comcast.

[via BusinessWeek]

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A Lenovo spin-off team has apparently been working on a Microsoft Kinect competitor, planning to release the so-called Ebox in China as a motion-gaming rival to the Xbox 360.  According to China Daily, the new firm – Beijing eedoo Technology Ltd – is targeting casual gamers with their camera-based system; the hardware is expected to be priced higher than the Wii but, according to eedoo president Jack Luo, “may be slightly lower than Microsoft’s Xbox, which retails for $299.99.”

eedoo technology ebox console

“Our product is designed for family entertainment. Ebox may not have exquisite game graphics, or extensive violence, but it can inspire family members to get off the couch and get some exercise” Jack Luo, president, eedoo Technology

While clone consoles are not unheard of, what distinguishes eedoo’s project is its big-name investors.  Lenovo Group, Legend Holdings and Legend Capital have all apparently invested in the company, though nobody will reveal exactly to what financial extent; meanwhile a second round of funding, supposedly worth $10m, is expected by the end of 2010.

Luo claims 16 global game developers have signed contracts to provide content, and 30 free titles will be bundled with the Ebox.  Meanwhile the Xbox 360 is not currently on sale in China, blocked by the government over fears that gaming might potential damage physical and mental development in young players.  Luo hopes to develop more Chinese-centric titles that will bypass those concerns.

[via Reuters]

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Panasonic has made good on its promise to unveil a consumer-level 3D camcorder – though we did catch a glimpse of it on Monday – and the HDC-SDT750 certainly looks interesting.  In effect a regular Full HD camcorder with a new, image-splitting lens attachment, the SDT750 can shoot 960 x 1080 resolution 3D footage, or – with the lens taken off – 1080/60p HD 2D footage.

panasonic hdc sdt750 1 540x399

It’ll also take 3D images, which can be saved to an SD card and shown on a Blu-ray player hooked up to a 3D-capable TV, while 3D footage can be played with a direct HDMI connection from the camcorder itself.  Sound is recorded in 5.1 surround, thanks to five separate microphones, and there’s a 3-inch touchscreen LCD for controlling the whole show.

Otherwise it’s a pretty straightforward camcorder, with the usual high-end processing, a large-diameter (46mm) F1.5*3 Leica Dicomar lens, manual controls, face recognition and both optical and digital image stabilization.  The Panasonic HDC-SDT750 will arrive in October 2010, priced at $1,399.95.

Press Release:


New Panasonic HDC-SDT750 Shoots 3D Video Ready to Play Back on 3D-Capable Televisions, Perfect for Creating a 3D Entertainment Ecosystem at Home

SECAUCUS, NJ (July 27, 2010) – Panasonic ,today announced the launch of the Panasonic HDC-SDT750, the world’s first consumer 3D camcorder, which includes a 3D conversion lens*1 that enables the camcorder to shoot powerful and true-to-life 3D video content. The Panasonic SDT750 is a user-friendly consumer 3D camcorder that makes experiencing 3D at home easy and affordable*2. In addition to shooting 3D, the SDT750 can record full 1080p High Definition (HD) in AVCHD, when the 3D conversion lens is unattached, and includes powerful features such as a 3MOS system, a Leica Dicomar lens and a 12x optical zoom.

“As a result of research conducted through Panasonic Hollywood Laboratory, Panasonic developed a professional 3D system camera and successfully brought high-quality Full HD 3D images to the home for viewing on Panasonic VIERA Full HD 3D televisions. But now, Panasonic has taken it one step further and developed the world’s first consumer 3D camcorder, the HDC-SDT750 – creating a 3D ecosystem available for consumers in the home,” said Chris Rice, Senior Product Manager, Imaging, Panasonic Consumer Electronics Company. “Incorporating Panasonic’s professional broadcast technology and bringing it to an easy-to-use consumer model, the SDT750 makes high-quality 3D video content a reality in the home.”

To shoot 3D video with the Panasonic HDC-SDT750 camcorder, the user needs to attach the 3D conversion lens that comes included, to record dynamic images. The specially-designed 3D conversion lens records right-eye and left-eye images simultaneously through its two lenses, thus resulting in video that can be viewed in 3D. The right and left images (each with 960 x 1080 pixels) that enter through the lenses are recorded using the side-by-side method.

The Panasonic SDT750 features a Time Lapse Recording feature, which plays a scene such as a sunset or a blooming flower at an accelerated speed, similar to a fast-forward. By setting the recording interval to 1 second, 10 seconds, 30 seconds, 1 minute or 2 minutes, the user can view an otherwise long recording in a reduced time period. For example, when a scene is recorded at the 1-second interval setting, a 10-minute sunset scene can be played back in approximately 10 seconds, making the slow change in the subject appear as if it were taking place in a very short time. This interval recording feature is also available when the 3D conversion lens is attached to the SDT750.

Panasonic offers a 5.1-channel audio recording sound system that uses five microphones, so when voices are recorded from the front, right, left and back are played on a 5.1-channel home cinema system, users are surrounded by clear, detailed sound that makes them feel as if they are right in the middle of the action. The Focus Microphone function, which has been made possible by five highly-directional microphones, picks up the sounds from sources in the area in front of the camcorder, regardless of whether the lens is focusing on a near or distant object. It also allows footage recorded in 3D to be enjoyed with lifelike and dynamic sounds.
The high-sensitivity 3MOS System has 7.59 million effective motion image pixels (2.53 megapixels x 3), so this advanced image sensor separates the light received through the lens into the three primary colors – red, green and blue – and processes each color independently. As a result, the Panasonic SDT750 produces beautiful images with rich color quality, detail and gradation. Adding to the quality, the SDT750 also features a large-diameter (46mm) F1.5*3 Leica Dicomar lens and Crystal Engine PRO, a high-speed processing unit – both components which contribute to the effectiveness of the camcorder’s light gathering, increased sensitivity, and reduced noise when shooting, even in dim lighting.

Users can play back 3D videos recorded on the Panasonic HDC-SDT750 on 3D-capable televisions, such as Panasonic VIERA® Full HD 3D televisions, including the TC-P50VT25, TC-P54VT25, TC-P58VT25, TC-P65VT25 and the TC-P50VT20 models. Playback using a VIERA TV is done by connecting the 3D camcorder to the television using an HDMI cable. In addition, it is also possible to play 3D images recorded on SD Memory Cards by using an AVCHD compatible player,*4 such as a Panasonic 3D Blu-ray Disc player – the DMP-BDT350 or DMP-BDT300 models are currently available. When watching 3D content recorded by the SDT750 on any of the Panasonic Full HD 3D VIERA televisions, users can view the true-to-life content and the VIERA television will automatically engage the side-by-side method for smooth viewing of 3D content – no change of settings necessary.

The SDT750 comes with HD Writer AE 2.6T PC editing software, which allows users to easily edit recorded 3D images, and save them onto PCs or Blu-ray/DVD discs. HD Writer AE 2.6T features a “Smart Wizard” that starts as soon as the SDT750 is connected to the USB port of the computer, which gives simple on-screen guidance. HD Writer AE 2.6T also enables easy uploading and sharing online without the need for any cumbersome processes, so that even an inexperienced user can post video clips on the web. When uploading 3D images from a PC onto the web, they must first be converted into 2D images.

Even without the 3D conversion lens attached, the Panasonic SDT750 is an innovative and high-performance Full HD camcorder that is equipped with a wide range of sophisticated functions, including the 3MOS System, which features improved noise reduction (NR) technologies, and a wide-variety of manual adjustments controlled by a manual ring for easy, creative shooting. The manual ring provides convenient, fingertip control of the focus, zoom, exposure (iris), shutter speed and white balance settings. Using the ring is extremely intuitive, comfortable, and user-friendly. Only the white balance setting is available when the 3D conversion lens is attached. The SDT750 can shoot 1,080/60p recording (Full-HD 1,920 x 1,080, 60 progressive recording) and produces rich expressive images, with no detail loss and flickering.

Panasonic’s Intelligent Auto (iA) function makes the SDT750 extremely easy to use. When the 3D lens is not attached and iA is engaged, the SDT750 automatically selects the most suitable shooting mode with the press of a button. While shooting HD video, the Panasonic SDT750’s iA function offers the following six functions: Face Recognition, the new HYBRID O.I.S., AF/AE Tracking, Intelligent Scene Selector, Face Detection and Intelligent Contrast Control. HYBRID O.I.S., a new feature, provides extremely accurate hand-shake correction with its four-axis blur detection, resulting in steady images while zooming or shooting on the move.

Other features of the Panasonic HDC-SDT750 include:

Auto Power LCD automatically adjusts the brightness of the screen according to the shooting environment for comfortable use in a variety of different lighting situations.
Large 3.0” touch-screen LCD allows icons to be easily operated by touching them with a fingertip. On the LCD, recorded 3D images are displayed only as the 2D images that were recorded with the left lens.
Eco Mode automatically turns off the power when the camcorder is not operated for five minutes, reducing wasteful energy use and saving battery power.
Pre-Rec allows for the camcorder to continuously record three seconds of content into internal memory. Then, when the record button is pressed, the three seconds immediately prior will have been recorded.
The Panasonic HDC-SDT750 will be available in October 2010 with a suggested retail price of $1,399.95. For more information on Panasonic camcorders, please visit: www.panasonic.com/dvc.

*1 As a consumer camcorder with 3D conversion lens for the AVCHD standard (as of July 27, 2010).
*2 A TV that is capable of side-by-side method 3D playback, 3D Eyewear, and HDMI cable connection are required to play the recorded 3D images.
*3 F3.2 when the 3D conversion lens is attached.
*4 If the player/recorder is incompatible with 3D, the 3D mode must be set on the TV manually
*Design and specifications are subject to change without notice.

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We heard a couple of days ago that the Nexus One, the first “superphone,” was going to meet its end within the official Google Phone Store; and while we assumed that it wouldn’t last long, we’re still surprised to see that it happened this fast. Just two days later, and Google’s letting everyone know that the last Nexus One has already been sent out, leaving the digital store shelves blank and uninviting.

Nexus One sold out 540x245

But that doesn’t mean you’re completely without options. You just need to be near the wireless carrier KT in South Korea, or Vodafone in Europe to get your hands on one. Oh, and there’s still some chance that Google will ship them out to registered developers, so that’s another route. But, alas, you won’t be ordering it from the short-lived Google Store. Hopefully you got one when you had the chance.

[via Google]

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It’s probably not an issue to most people, considering if you get a Sony-branded 3D-enabled HDTV, then you’d expect Sony’s 3D glasses to work with them. And, the same goes for any other 3D TV out there. But, what if you know a lot of people, with a lot of different brands of 3D HDTVs? You need to put on a different pair of 3D glasses all the time, and that could get pretty annoying after awhile. Thanks to Monster, we don’t need to worry about that anymore.

Monster Vision

They’ve just announced hteir Max 3D Universal Glasses, and just as the name suggests, you’ll be able to use them with any and all 3D HDTVs out there. Monster’s calling them the first (and only) universal 3D glasses available, and to our memory they’re probably right. They’ve also got the first and only universal wireless 3D eyewear shutter system, along with the first and only Active 3D eyewear system, all equaling the only RF Shutter system that will work on any 3D HDTV.

As you can see from the picture, the glasses themselves are remarkably shiny. Glossy, even; so we expect to find plenty of fingerprints on these things before too long. The company says that the glasses are sized to fit any head, and you can even wear them over your prescription glasses, too. You’ll have to pick up the 3D glasses along with the trasmitter kit, which should be ready for prime time by September. You’ll spend $249.95 for the set, and each pair of glasses you need after that will run you a cold $169.95 per pair.

Press Release:

Monster Debuts Monster Vision “Max 3D”: The World’s First Universal 3D Eyewear “Shutter System”

– Innovative Monster Technologies Produce the Most Reliable Transmission Ever of 3D Sync Between the Source and Eyeglasses, Works with All 3D HDTV Brands –

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Monster, a world leader in advanced audio/video accessories, is opening up an exciting new category of lifestyle-enhancing consumer electronics products with the debut of Monster Vision “Max 3D” – the world’s first and only universal wireless 3D eyewear “shutter system.” Monster’s exclusive Active 3D eyewear system is the only RF Shutter system that will work with all brands of 3D HDTVs, allowing users to experience a new level of power and 3-dimensional visual immersion while watching Blu-ray movies or playing advanced video games.

Monster Vision Max 3D glasses feature a stylish and lightweight high-gloss black design that allows users to wear them for hours without experiencing any fatigue. They are sized to fit all head sizes and may even be worn over prescription glasses. Monster Vision “Max 3D” eyeglasses and transmitter kit are scheduled for availability in September for a suggested retail price of $249.95 per set. Additional Monster Vision Max 3D Eyeglasses will carry a suggested retail price of $169.95/pair.

The Monster Vision 3D Breakthrough: How It Works

Monster Vision Max 3D utilizes leading-edge RF technology to achieve its stunning results. The system uses Monster Vision Max 3D ACTIVE SYNC technology, based on Bit Cauldron’s HeartBeat technology. The result is an advancement that ensures reliable communication with the RF transmitter, producing the best and purest transmission of 3D content between the source and the eyeglasses and eliminating the common sync issues found in most IR based shutter glasses.

The system works through an innovative process whereby the ACTIVE SYNC technology allows the wireless Universal 3D Shutter Transmitter to listen to the signal from any 3D-enabled flat panel display. The transmitter then wirelessly decodes the shutter signals and transmits them to a sensor embedded in the glasses. Through this connection (via ZigBee’s 2.4 GHz radio technology), coupled with interference rejection software and sync correction, the specially designed lenses in the Monster Vision Max 3D glasses react electro-chromatically, literally blinking faster than the eye can see to create the most reliable, believable and immersive 3D images. Additionally, ACTIVE SYNC is the only technology that allows Monster Vision Max 3D glasses to work with one TV even when other 3D TVs or Monster Vision Max 3D Shutter Transmitters are in close proximity.

Importantly, Monster Vision Max 3D is the only system that has employed RF successfully and can work with ANY 3D-ready television set regardless of manufacturer. Notably, the glasses have a rechargeable lithium polymer battery enabling the user to enjoy thousands of hours of 3D content before replacing the battery. And to ensure total “future-readiness,” the glasses are adjustable to adapt to future standards – updating the system to learn new IR codes is simple via USB through the built-in Monster Vision update portal.

Noted Noel Lee, The Head Monster: “3D technology is fast becoming the ‘Holy Grail’ in advanced home entertainment and gaming, and until now there has not been a really great solution for enjoying the maximum power of the 3D effect in comfort, convenience and style. Thanks to our uniquely innovative method for delivering the 3D signal, wearers of our Monster Vision Max 3D glasses will not only be able to immerse themselves in a world of incredibly realistic 3D images, but they will be able to watch for hours without common effects of fatigue and eye strain caused by traditional IR based Shutter lenses.”


Monster was founded by Head Monster Noel Lee with a commitment to creating products under the Monster Cable® brand to literally “make music sound better.” Today, Monster has grown and diversified to become the world’s leading manufacturer of connectivity solutions for high-performance audio, video, car audio, computer, console and computer gaming, as well as a leading innovator in the field of iPod® and iPhone™ accessories and professional audio and sound reinforcement. As part of its commitment to improving the music listening experience, Monster worked with Dr. Dre and Interscope Geffen A&M Chairman Jimmy Iovine to create the Beats™ by Dr. Dre™ headphone line, including the Heartbeats by Lady Gaga headphones. The company is also continuing to innovate with its own line of Monster brand headphones, including “Turbine Pro™ In-Ear Speakers™,” the first in-ear headphones geared for use by music professionals and audiophiles. Additionally, under its Monster Power® brand, the company is the leading manufacturer of high-performance AC power line conditioning and protection products for audio/video systems.

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ukinfection sgComputer viruses are something that most computer users are familiar with. We know these infections can steal our personal data and render our computers useless. A scientist in the UK claims that he has become the first person infected with a computer virus. The claim isn’t as strange as it sounds.

The scientists took a small implantable ID chip similar to the type used to identify pets. He infected the chip with a specific sort of computer virus and then implanted the chip into his hand. The chip used allows the scientists to pass through security doors and activate his mobile phone.

The virus the researcher introduced to the chip also passes copies of itself to external control systems as the chip is read. That means that each security door he goes though is infected with the virus. The researcher is Dr. Mark Gasson form the University of Reading, and he admits that his test is merely a proof of concept. Proving that the implanted device can infect other systems has some serious implications for the future of implantable chips for medical monitoring and other uses.

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Fifteen times around the world every day; that’s the distance Nokia’s Ovi Maps guides users every day, and with the quiet introduction of Ovi Maps SR4 (v3.0.4) that number is likely to get even bigger. The first significant update since Ovi Maps went free four months ago, Nokia have already passed the 10m download mark and, while they’re not talking updated figures quite yet, are still apparently seeing a new download every second. Ovi Maps SR4 brings with it over 2m kilometres of newly navigable roads, boosts points of interest (POI) to over 25m and speeds up zooming and searching, not to mention slipping in Qype reviews and recommendations. We sat down with Marcel Duee, Places project manager on Nokia’s Ovi Maps team, for an update on why SR4 is special and what’s still in the pipeline.

Update: Video demo of Ovi Maps SR4 on a Nokia N8 after the cut!

nokia ovi maps sr4 5 540x383

The first thing Ovi Maps users should see is increased speed, both of the app itself and of the positioning lock. Nokia have developed their own WiFi triangulation system, which now means you’re more likely to get a positioning fix while indoors or in “urban canyon” style built-up areas. They’ve also set up a dedicated team to track hotspots, and the WiFi positioning system will be available as an API for other location-based services (LBS) to access on compatible Nokia devices. Meanwhile to speed positioning in larger countries, such as the US and China, Nokia have used a nifty shortcut to narrow down GPS/A-GPS positioning by factoring in cell tower ID.

While the technology might be getting more complex, the Ovi Maps UI has been tightened up. User feedback said the positioning indicator was too easily confused with the data meter, trying to give too much information when people only wanted to know if they had a fix or not, and if so how accurate it was. Now there’s a better partial-fix display, defaulting to a zoomed-out view that shows the limits of its accuracy. Zoom in, meanwhile, and that radius disappears so as not to overlap with the 3D landmarks, which have also seen a boost in number. City searches, meanwhile, default to a zoomed-out view that encompasses the whole city, rather than zooming in to the closest level.

nokia ovi maps sr4 0 540x425

Duee is particularly pleased with the Qype integration, which currently shows up as a new POI icon on the map itself and as an information source alongside wcities in a POI profile. Tapping that shows user ratings, information and reviews, all within Ovi Maps itself, plus you can tap through to more informationon Qype’s mobile site. Right now you can’t add your own Qype reviews through Ovi Maps, however, only rate the POI as before.

Nokia are pushing out nine “navigation packages” which will bundle an in-car holder and charger with an Ovi Maps compatible phone, and soon any Ovi Maps device will come with those accessories as standard. According to Duee, they’re also looking at other accessory possibilities, for instance tailored to the bike and pedestrian navigation guidance Ovi Maps offers.

As for what’s further down the line, as part of their recent corporate reshuffle the Ovi Maps teams have been made more focussed, and the end result of that should be faster releases in future. That should also include quicker NAVTEQ mapping data updates, and Duee’s team are looking at ways they could improve distribution for future releases, rather than users downloading a whole new version every time. They’re also considering how they can build user contribution into map and POI accuracy, whether that be a TomTom-style on-device flagging of incorrect roads, addresses or numbers, or some other system. What’s telling, though, is the amount to which Nokia are relying on consumer demand to shape the Ovi Maps service. Faster positioning, for instance, wasn’t top of the team’s list to tweak, but in-app feedback showed that it was at the top of the users’ list, and so it got prioritised.

Ovi Maps SR4 on Nokia N8:

We also asked Duee what he’d expect – or at least like – to see in five years time. He reckons that mapping and navigation will evolve to be a central context layer in mobile devices, not just an app you dip into to get from A to B or find a nearby restaurant. That might include augmented reality (AR) and Latitude-style updates on when friends, family and different social groups are nearby, but it will also likely incorporate new interaction technologies like voice search. Since Ovi Maps is integrated into a phone with a camera, you could take a photo of something and use that as a search trigger: pull up a digital menu from a photo of a restaurant sign, for instance, or get route information by snapping a shot of a bus stop. He’s also looking to gaming and online collaboration.

That’s all still to come, of course; for now, Ovi Maps SR4 (v3.0.4) is faster than before, looks better and packs more information. It’s available to download free from maps.ovi.com today, complete with new mapping data for Malta and the Maldives, among other places, and as before you can store maps on-device and not pay a cent in data fees while you’re on the move. Let us know how you get on!

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Well, that’s odd. Back in January, when Google officially unveiled the Nexus One to the world, the other big announcement was the Google Phone Store, where they would be selling the device. The Store wasn’t meant to just sell the Nexus One, or at least that was what the original goal seemed to be. Google’s ideas to sell multiple phones, to multiple carriers seemed like a great idea, until they began to run into some road blocks. Which, apparently, have lead to the result of the actual selling of phones through the digital retail shop.

Nexus One

The CDMA variations of the Nexus One have all but fallen off the map. Perhaps, in fact, entirely off the map. With Verizon opting out of the deal because of their recent launch of the HTC Incredible, and then Sprint deciding to say no to the Nexus One as well in light of the EVO 4G’s release not even a month away, the only two version of the Nexus One available in the United States were of the GSM variation. So, not much to go on. And now, Andy Rubin of Google has officially announced that, starting now, the Nexus One will start being sold in retail stores around the world. And that means it’s going to not be sold in the Google Phone Store.

To add to it, Google is saying that the Phone Store will now just be a “window to showcase a variety of Android phones available globally.” So, in just four months Google’s Phone Store has become nothing more than a window shopping tool. Though, this does mean the Nexus One will start being sold in retail stores, so that may be good news to some people out there.

[via Google's Official Blog]

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