We compare three high-definition compact cameras to see which
captures the most cinematic footage
By Theano NikitasPosted 10.22.2008 at 11:24 am 2 Comments
New point-and-shoot cameras capture video in the 720p high-def format you've seen on TV networks such as ESPN. But all HD is not equal. The algorithm, or codec, that compresses the video onto a memory card affects the quality of the footage and your ability to edit it. We tried out three cameras, each sporting a different codec, to find the best mobile movie rig.
This ski stretches wide for easy turns and shrinks for downhill speed
By Mark AndersPosted 10.21.2008 at 3:55 pm 1 Comment
The Atomic D2 Vario Cut is like two skis in one: It's straight and narrow for zooming downhill but expands to be wider at the tip and tail when you turn -- creating a curved ski that, like a sharply turned car wheel, carves through a tight arc.
The T-Mobile G1 smartphone, which comes out October 22 for $179, is a serious upstart challenger; a device that provides an easy-to-use touchscreen display, lets you download music directly to the device from the Internet, and has a full QWERTY slide-out keyboard. Using the G1 is intuitive and enjoyable. It reveals to the world once again that every other smartphone you've ever used besides the iPhone (Motorola, Samsung—are you listening?) now seems clunky and old-fashioned.
Blasting some music while riding a bike isn't a terribly exciting or technologically novel concept. In the mid 80's grown men would hoist a boombox pumping Run-D.M.C with one arm while controlling their beach cruiser with the other. The Cy-Fi wireless speaker ($199.95) is a long overdue evolution in cycle speakers and it's a bit easier on the back. While it offers no singular technology worth noting, the finished product is as simple as it should be, a feat rare in modern electronics. We tested the iPod speaker (there's a Bluetooth model as well) on the local boardwalk in San Francisco.
Individual springs and plastic pivots let this chair fit any body
By Lauren AaronsonPosted 10.14.2008 at 5:24 pm 6 Comments
To follow up on its famed Aeron office chair, Herman Miller gave its engineers a challenge: Create a seat that offers a custom fit for anyone, no matter how big or small, round-shouldered or straight-backed. The engineers’ solution was to construct the frame from dozens of small, flexible pieces that bend precisely to your contours.
In the September issue of Popular Science, Mike Kobrin reviewed the Moog guitar—an incredible instrument whose electromagnet pickups actually change the string's motion. Stick it in "mute" mode and you're playing a banjo; turn on "sustain" and it holds notes indefinitely. It turns out, however that writing and reading about the guitar can never be quite adequate. So Kobrin sat down and filmed it in action. Rock on, after the jump.
Testing the first mouse designed to work on nearly any material, from shiny desks to shaggy rugs
By Lauren AaronsonPosted 10.13.2008 at 5:04 pm 12 Comments
To calculate their position, most mice use a red LED or a laser to light up a surface, take thousands of pictures per second of the shadows cast by the surface's microscopic bumps, and then analyze the differences between shots. But that doesn't work if there are no bumps, as on glossy tables, or if a jagged surface, like carpet, traps narrow light beams between fibers. So Microsoft's Explorer moves the camera sensor forward to capture the light reflected by any surface.
Every kid with a mother has been told to stop slouching and stand up straight. Every mother with a kid wished she had the ability to shock her kid when he didn't listen. Introducing the iPosture ($74.95). Developed by neurologist Dr. Moacir Schnapp, iPosture is a quarter-sized gadget that will shock you if you slouch. Somewhere, your mother is smiling.
Backing up my computer’s hard drive has always been like flossing: I know I should be doing it even though it’s one of life’s more prickly pains in the butt. Both chores are the kinds of thing you can never fully appreciate until something goes horribly wrong, like a hard drive fries or some teeth start jiggling loose.
Wear the same 23-ounce jacket whether it's slightly cool or downright frosty outside: A new North Face coat becomes more than a third warmer when it's turned inside-out. Its versatility comes primarily from the way the insulation is sewn. The quilted squares on the metallic -- or cool -- side have small pockets at their edges. When worn on the outside, the pockets stretch open and allow air to flow in and out. When reversed, the jacket pushes the pockets together and traps air inside them, providing greater warmth.