Friday, March 26, 2010

Earth Hour 2010

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Carl Zeiss celebrates 120 years of lens production

Carl Zeiss is celebrating 120 years of camera lens production this month. The German company started off in 1846 manufacturing microscopes before moving onto lenses in 1890. A press release from the company stresses milestones in its history, including its lenses being used in man's first lunar expedition and Hollywood movies such as Barry Lyndon (which famously used an f/0.7 Zeiss lens to shoot scenes by candlelight). Along the way, Carl Zeiss's notable technical achievements have included the Planar and Tessar lens designs, its T* anti-reflective coatings and the development of MTF testing to measure lens quality. 

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Windows Phone 7 Series won't have copy and paste

Ready for another long, drawn-out copy and paste controversy to overtake your every waking moment for a year or two? Good: Microsoft just mentioned in a Q&A session here at MIX10 in no uncertain terms that clipboard operations won't be supported on Windows Phone 7 Series... so that's that. Kind of ironic considering that the WinMo of old has been enjoying the functionality since time immemorial, isn't it? Of course, anything is possible going forward -- they've said on several occasions in different talks and sessions this week that they're already looking at a number of enhancements that were scoped out of the initial release of the platform -- but for the phones you buy this holiday season, don't expect to be copying anything between apps.

Update: We just super-double-ultra-plus-confirmed this with Microsoft -- Windows Phone 7 Series will not have copy and paste functionality. There is a data-detection service built into the text-handling API that will recognize phone numbers and addresses, but Microsoft says most users, including Office users, don't really need clipboard functionality. We... respectfully disagree? Sure, let's leave it at that.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

First Commercial Jet Packs for £50,000

It is the perfect way for city high-fliers to miss the morning rush hour. A company is set to produce the first commercial JETPACKS - and one could be yours for just £50,000.
The traffic jam-beating packs will be manufactured after a multi-million pound deal was signed with an international aircraft company this week.  
Martin Aircraft Company, in Christchurch, New Zealand, aims to make 500 packs a year allowing first-person propulsion through the skies for commuters.

The 200 horsepower dual-propeller packs can travel at 60mph for up to 30miles on a full tank of fuel. They have been reached heights of 7,800ft in tests.
At 250lbs when empty, the jet pack is not heavy enough to require a pilot's licence, although users will take part in a Martin Jetpack training programme.
However, the gadget is not environmentally friendly burning 10 gallons of fuel per hour - five times as much as the average car.

The 5ft by 5.5ft device is the brainchild of Kiwi inventor Glenn Martin who unveiled his machine for the first time in July last year.  While jetpacks are traditionally powered by jets of escaping gases, the new device uses a gas engine with two ducted fans to provide lift.  Pitch and roll are controlled by one hand, yaw and the throttle by the other.  Martin Aircraft Company chief executive Richard Lauder said the pack could be perfect for the emergency services, private users and even the military. 

Friday, March 5, 2010

Asus Protect 3.0 Motherboards

It’s not easy to make motherboards exciting but with its new Protect 3.0 technology, ASUS has achieved just that. Protect 3.0 is an ASUS initiative to protect the Earth, protect PCs and protect the most important thing of all – you, the user.

At the heart of all Protect 3.0 motherboards is an ASUS Energy Processing Unit, or EPU. This monitors power use in real time, automatically saving energy when demand for the computer’s resources is low. As this accounts for around 75% of daily PC the power reductions can be considerable – up to 33KW of electricity saved for every PC built around an ASUS Protect 3.0 motherboard.

Looked at another way, if 10 million computers used an EPU-enabled Protect 3.0 motherboard then it’s calculated that 207,430 tons of CO2 emissions would be eliminated. That’s equivalent to the entire annual carbon emissions from Australia.

However, energy saving is just one aspect of the innovative Protect 3.0 technology. Real-time surge protection means that ASUS Protect 3.0 motherboards shield sensitive (not to mention valuable) PC components from electrical spikes in a way that no other motherboard can.

As well, ASUS has produced a low-radiation design for Protect 3.0 motherboards. The effective radiation reduction compared to other motherboard brands is up to 50%.

Protect the planet and yourself!