Size is an issue with cameras. I miss a lot of good shots when I don’t feel like lugging around a hefty SLR (such as my current fav, the Nikon D90). And while my pocket camera (presently a Canon SD800) is easy to tote, the image quality is more for “snapshots” than “photographs.”
I, and a few other shutterbugs around the Popular Science office, have been looking into the middle category of cameras: big enough to take good pictures, but not so big that it’s a burden. Now is a good time to look, since several camera makers have fresh midsize camera offerings.
Nokia jumped into the crowding, iPhone-inspired geniusphone market today with the N97, which they gave the New York press a peek at last night. The 3G phone sports a full-body touchscreen (alas, resistive, not multi-touch capacitive) that when in landscape mode slides up, Sony Xperia-style, to expose a full QWERTY keyboard. (It offers virtual keypads and keyboards on the touchscreen, too.)
Having watched the slow development of pocket projectors for years, I'm thrilled to have not one but two real-life models to play with. 3M's MPro110 ($360) debuted in September and earned a grand award in our Best of What's New roster for 2008. This week, Optoma will start selling the first competing product, its Pico PK-101 projector, for $400.
The dreaded lost file syndrome: You know that somewhere on your hard drive, the file you seek is happily sitting, awaiting you. But you just can't find it, and you can't even remember the name of it.
Who can sit still, especially in a meeting? The only times I don't fidget around and change positions is when I simply fall asleep.
I guess I'm not alone, because Steelcase just developed a chair meant for the questionable posture practiced in meeting rooms. After taking a test-sit, I can say that the Cobi, coming out in February for $635, will support you just fine if you sit up with a straight back and feet on the floor. But it holds you well in just about any other position, too.
Nokia recently hosted a cocktail party to introduce journalists to its chief designer, Alastair Curtis. The Brit's formal slide presentation was a carefully crafted marketing piece, hammering in his Finnish employer's slogans such as "beautiful to use" and "connecting people." And he provided a bright glimpse into the company's future plans in response to our questions.
The revelations started when Curtis described Nokia's record in America. "The U.S. hasn't been Nokia's strongest suit," he conceded. But the company aims to change that, having just completed a fact-finding trip around the States, where Americans were "talking about music, talking about gestures, talking about what they want for the future."
Talking about gestures?
Commuters in Grand Central Station got a morning sugar shock of eye candy when Sharp unveiled a 26-foot tall Christmas tree made by stacking 43 of its Aquos LCD televisions. The panels, growing in size from 19 inches at the top to 52 inches at the bottom, are wired together to display coordinated video shows, such as a waterfall that spills from the top panels and splashes down on the bottom screens, or snowflakes that float down the length of the tree. It currently cycles through nine patterns created by Japanese video artist Tsuyoshi Takashiro. To keep things fresh, Sharp will replace the originals with about 10 new patterns in December.
The tree is greener than just the pine branches that stick out from between the panels. The company is using the display to publicize the Hope Program, a nonprofit that provides job training and career counseling to help New Yorkers get out of poverty. "Their whole mission is not just to become part of he working poor," said Judah Zeigler from Sharp's marketing department.
Passersby can sign up at –
Now bracing for category-4 mayhem means simply pulling down your shades. Storm-A-Rest manufacturer JHRG managed to turn a few pounds of .025-inch-thick fabric into stronger storm protection for windows than plywood. Faced with two-by-fours shot at 34 mph from an air cannon (one of the tests for category-4 certification in Florida), Storm-A-Rest panels survived undamaged; the boards punched right through plywood.
By John B. CarnettPosted 11.17.2008 at 12:26 pm 15 Comments
I didn’t think I was the sort of guy who develops addictions. But a few hours ago, I realized that I’ve long had a monkey on my back, and it’s probably never getting off.
I own a 3G iPhone, and I actually make calls with it—or rather I try to. I always start my conversations by telling the person “When the connection drops, I’ll call you back.”
I just accepted the phone problems because I’m an Apple nut and love everything about the iPhone—well, except the phone part.
Our gadget hound listens to several years' salary worth of audio
By Sean CaptainPosted 11.14.2008 at 9:33 am 0 Comments
I hate the word "audiophile," which implies a fanatic who imagines he hears things that don't exist and spends far too much money to get those imaginary sounds. But I do like music. And I'm extremely proud that I was able to put together a respectable stereo system for just $300 (thanks to eBay and close-out sales).