By Theano NikitasPosted 09.10.2008 at 10:23 am 4 Comments
It’s ironic that the first digital SLR with video capabilities comes from a company that has never made a camcorder. But that didn’t stop Nikon from breaking new ground with the 12-megapixel D90, the long-anticipated successor to the popular D80 prosumer SLR.
Because a cramped apartment clearly shouldn't interfere with your love of a freshly-tapped keg, or a tan, or clean clothes. From the useful (a toilet which shoulders a washing machine) to the inane (showers sporting tanning lamps!), these gadgets all tap into a deep-seated desire: "It's a thing! That does another thing!"
Folks, this is human ingenuity at its apex. Enjoy.
One of the first things Eric Mattessich discovered in engineering school was that the typical internal combustion engine blows about 70 percent of the energy it creates straight out of the tailpipe in the form of heat. So, he wondered, could he adapt the kind of heat-recapturing mechanisms used to make powerplants more efficient to work on hybrid cars? “The technology has been around since the 1900s,” he points out. “It’s just that no one has put it into such a small package before.”
In 2003, a program funded by the Pentagon's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (Darpa) known as MONTAGE asked universities to find ways to squeeze unprecedented levels of magnification and resolution from small, super-thin lenses—technology that could be used in future imaging devices for finding, tracking, and identifying military targets. With some advice from his adviser Joseph Ford, UCSD graduate student Eric Tremblay decided to use an old idea—"folding" light, or reflecting it over and over—to solve the problem.
American soldiers have a bevy of hand-launched unmanned aerial vehicles to choose from these days, but nothing quite as nimble, lightweight and cheap as the Stevens Institute of Technology’s unmanned helicopter. The chopper would allow soldiers to check tall buildings for enemies by flying the camera-equipped, remote-controlled helicopter up staircases and into hidden corners before they go in. The four-pound prototype is made of a doughnut-shaped fiberglass shell 18 inches in diameter; inside, two counter-rotating 14-inch rotors create lift.
I suffer from a near-debilitating fear of tech commitment. Early adopter, I am not. With pre-orders of the first Google Android phone rumored to be kicking off any day now, early adoption is a topic I've been burning a lot of brain cells on lately. I mean, should I or shouldn't I? That's the eternal question of this transistor-dependent existence I lead. Unfortunately for my own technological evolution, I find early adoption to be a lot like playing Russian Roulette with a bullet lodged in all six chambers: I can't possibly win.
I often wonder what goes on inside the mind of an early-adopter.
Want a new cellphone? Just press a button. What looks like painted artwork on the Hitachi W61H phone is actually a new E-Ink screen. Unlike LCDs that add bulk to a device, manufacturers can add these screens—just twice the thickness of a hair—as if they were stickers.
Thirty-five millimeter film is dead. Everyone over the age of nine now owns a three-megapixel digital camera with a 10X optical zoom. Parents upgrading to telescopic lenses are passing down their relics to kids who can't aim and have never loaded a roll of film. In the digital revolution, the disposable camera was merely an innocent bystander (along with Polaroid). But at dive shops and drug stores, the single-use underwater film camera has survived as the practical option for honeymoon photography and pool party documentation. With the recent launch of the 5.0-megapixel Digital Underwater Camera Mask from Liquid Image ($99; a 3.1-megapixel version costs $79), the end is near. To see how potent the gadget could be, I spent an afternoon underwater attempting to document a most difficult subject matter: two kids under the age of seven.