Thursday, December 30, 2010

Tamron 18-270mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD with Piezo Drive AF

Tamron has announced the 18-270mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD superzoom lens, the first to incorporate the company's Piezo Drive (PZD) technology that promises faster and quieter autofocus. A completely revised, smaller and lighter version of the popular AF 18-270mm F/3.5-6.3 Di II VC LD Aspherical (IF) Macro, it offers an enhanced Vibration Control (VC) image stabilization system, uses a new optical formula with fewer lens elements and takes 62mm filters. The lens will be available in Canon and Nikon mounts from December 20 followed by a Sony version next year.

The 18-270mm Di II VC PZD is an astonishingly light, compact ultra-high-power zoom lens with a filter diameter of Ø62mm. Weighing in at 15.9oz., this new all-in-one zoom lens is equipped with an AF unit driven by Tamron’s new PZD (Piezo Drive), an ultrasonic motor that delivers faster and quieter focusing when the autofocus is engaged.

The 18-270mm Di II VC PZD is easy to use and highly portable – a high-power zoom that will offer the user the versatility to shoot in a variety of situations. Its wide zoom range of 18-270mm positions the lens as an all-purpose workhorse for any photographic situation.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Samsung Prepping Android-based iPod Touch Competitor

Samsung is apparently readying an Android-based music player based on its popular line of "Galaxy S" smartphones.

The Galaxy Player will be similar to Apple's iPod Touch in that it'll basically be an Android phone without the phone part, much like the iPod Touch is more or less an iPhone without the cellular chipset. reports that the Galaxy Player will come in 8GB, 16GB and 32GB versions and will feature a 1GHz processor, 4-inch "Super Clear LCD screen" with an 800x480 resolution, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS, a microSD card slot, and front- and rear-facing cameras. The device will also feature access to the Android Market for downloading apps.

Samsung has apparently confirmed that it'll be showing the Galaxy Player at CES next week but there's no word on pricing or availability yet.

Assuming this device is coming to the US, it'll be a direct challenge to the iPod Touch and the first player from a major company with full Android Market access on board. If it's priced aggressively enough, it could help to expand Android's market share even more by opening the platform up to a segment of consumers who may be interested in Android but who aren't willing to get locked into a two-year cell phone contract for the privilege of using it.

Friday, December 17, 2010

AR Drone - The Flying Video Game

 The First quadricopter that can be controlled by an iPhone/iPod touch/iPad.

This is so cool.  It's available at the Toys 'r' us now selling at $499.  It's Christmas!!

Check it out here.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Google Nexus S: Top Android Smart Phone Now

"Pure Google." That's the tagline Google is using to promote the Nexus S, the newest smart phone to run its Android operating system. Which brings up an obvious question: If this phone is pure Google, just what do other Android phones offer — adulterated Google?

Yep, pretty much, they do. Android's openness — it's a piece of free software that any company can use and modify without Google's permission or active involvement — is one of its defining characteristics. But phonemakers and wireless carriers frequently exercise that freedom in strange ways. They ship phones with stale versions of Android long after newer, better ones are available. They tamper with the operating system's interface and clutter it up with preinstalled apps of questionable value. With its Fascinate, Verizon Wireless even dumped Google as Android's search engine and swapped in Microsoft's Bing — a move as perverse as a McDonald's franchise deciding to sell Whoppers.

The Nexus S, on the other hand, packs Android as Google intended it to be experienced, with a full suite of Google apps and services and no third-party detritus. It's also the first phone to run Android 2.3 Gingerbread, the operating system's latest version. The phone isn't without its quirks, and it doesn't threaten the bragging rights of Apple's iPhone 4 as the slickest, simplest, best-integrated smart phone available today. But it's the best all-around Android handset I've tried to date.

Back in January, Google took full responsibility for a Nexus S predecessor called the Nexus One — it even marketed it directly to consumers. Four and a half months later, however, the company concluded that it didn't want to be in the phone-selling business after all. (It turned out that people like to see handsets in person before they buy them and want a variety of service options rather than the Nexus One's single T-Mobile plan.) The Nexus S's distribution strategy is more conventional: it'll be sold at Best Buy, where it will sit alongside scads of competitors (including the iPhone) and go for $199 with a two-year T-Mobile contract or $529 with no commitment. Unlike most phones, the S is unlocked — a boon to world travelers, who can pop out the T-Mobile SIM card and replace it with a local SIM rather than paying wallet-busting international roaming fees.

The aspect of the Nexus S that's least purely Google's is the hardware. Manufactured by Samsung, it's a spruced-up variant of a pleasing design seen in Galaxy S phones such as Verizon's Fascinate and AT&T's Captivate, as well as the Windows Phone 7–based Focus. The 4-in. screen size is just right: it's noticeably roomier than the 3.5-in. iPhone 4 and 3.7-in. Droid Incredible displays, without the pocket-straining XXL feel of a phone like the 4.3-in. Droid X.

Rather than the more typical LCD, the screen uses AMOLED technology, which makes for vivid colors and deep blacks; unlike some AMOLED displays, it doesn't wash out in sunlight. It has a unique, ever so subtle curve that adds to the pleasantly swoopy industrial design, feels comfy when you press the handset to your cheek and reduces the chances of the screen shattering into a million pieces if the phone tumbles from your hand and smacks the pavement face-first.
As with an increasing percentage of new Android phones, the Nexus S boasts two cameras: a five-megapixel one on the back, plus a lower-resolution model on the front for video calls. But the back-facing one is just adequate — even when I had plenty of light, my snapshots were grainier than those from the best phone cameras, and it shoots only standard-definition video, not HD. Worse, the front-facing camera seems to be a useless appendage at the moment. Google doesn't provide video-calling software, and it doesn't yet work with the third-party apps I tried. It'll be a cool feature if and when Google or somebody else comes up with a video-chat service to rival the iPhone 4's FaceTime.

Another Nexus S feature, its support for a technology known as near-field communications (NFC), ventures even further into bleeding-edge territory. It lets the phone communicate wirelessly with other NFC-equipped objects that are no more than 4 in. away — a higher-tech twist on the old infrared technology that let PalmPilot owners squirt contact info back and forth. The Nexus S's NFC can't do much in the real world just yet, unless you happen to live in Portland, Ore., where a Google pilot program is giving local businesses NFC-powered window decals. (If you hold a Nexus S up to the sticker, it'll instantly display information about the establishment in question.) But chances are high that NFC will be all around us eventually, and the Nexus S will be ready.
How about that pure Google software? It helps. Android in its natural state is sleeker and less glitchy than it usually is once other companies have gotten their hands on it.

The more Google-centric your online life is, the higher the chances you'll love the Nexus S. Setting up the phone doesn't involve much more than entering your Google account name and password; Android then automatically configures services such as Gmail and Google Calendar. (If you're moving from another Android handset, it even copies your apps and wallpaper over.) Google makes plenty of its apps and services available for the iPhone too, but the Android versions often come out first and include more stuff. The Nexus S includes the latest versions of all of them, including Google Maps with turn-by-turn spoken driving directions.
The third-party apps in the Android Market continue to lag behind those in Apple's iPhone App Store in both quantity and quality. Still, the situation for Android users is far less bleak than it was a few months ago. These days, I'm startled when a major provider of mobile software tells me that it has no plans to support the operating system, and the best new apps are more likely to rival their iPhone counterparts. Even the megahit game Angry Birds has made its way over.

The fact that the Nexus S comes with Android 2.3 Gingerbread is a plus — just ask anybody whose brand-new phone uses an outdated version of the operating system, thereby preventing it from running high-profile programs like Flash Player. (Google will also likely push future upgrades out to the phone more promptly than wireless carriers get them to other handsets.) Gingerbread has been optimized for speed — the S is among the zippiest-feeling handsets I've used — and has a cleaner, classier look than its predecessors. It's got an improved interface for selecting, cutting and pasting text; the on-screen keyboard is easier to use; and it provides the Nexus with its ability to serve as a mobile hot spot that can zap wireless Internet access to up to six other devices, such as laptops, tablets and e-readers. 

Overall, though, Gingerbread is a minor upgrade that doesn't do enough to make Android feel less clunky and kludgy. For instance, there are multiple places where the new-and-improved text tools aren't available. Accomplishing tasks tends to take more taps than in Apple's iOS, and user interfaces vary needlessly from app to app. Inexplicably, the operating system retains two e-mail programs: one for Gmail, one for everything else, and each lacks at least one essential feature available in the other. At last week's All Things Digital: Dive into Mobile conference in San Francisco, Android honcho Andy Rubin hinted that a more coherent upgrade is in the works — but he didn't say when it would arrive.

For now, Apple does purity much better than Google does. Even so, I like the concept of pure Google phones, and I hope that the Nexus S isn't the last of its kind. By taking charge of the Android experience, Google has the power — and the responsibility — to iron out the operating system's remaining kinks without messing up all the things it already gets right.
By Harry McCracken Tuesday, Dec. 14, 2010

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Experience augmented reality and real-time object detection in action on the road

Fully exploit your iPhone 3GS hardware with this unique augmented reality app.

Are you often driving on highways or country roads? Then you do not want to miss the impressive technology of Augmented Driving with real-time object detection with up to 10 fps for your iPhone 3GS including the following features:

  1. Dynamic augmented reality overlays for lanes and vehicles
  2. Head-up display (HUD) for system and status information
  3. Lane detection and lane change warning
  4. Vehicle detection and low distance information
  5. Automatic system-calibration for easy setup
  6. Many configuration options and quick manual including video tutorial
It's available on the App Store for iPhone 3GS now

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Bottega Veneta Casing for tech toys

WOW!  Another of my favorite brands with the casing for the iPad, iPhone, and Blackberry.
Check out the video on their website, click below.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Salvatore Ferragamo iPad Cases

Joining the growing list of designers to release iPad cases, Salvatore Ferragamo announces they too will offer a collection of iPad cases ranging in price from $290 to $390. To be honest, as much as I loved the Louis Vuitton iPad Case and Gucci iPad Case, the Ferragamo iPad Cases might be my favorite.

One of the major aesthetic reasons this iPad case is set apart from the rest is the leather strap and envelope like design. Don’t get me wrong, the simplicity of the LV and Gucci design were just fine, but I find something more luxurious about what Ferragamo is offering.

The brand is known for their attention to detail, and this case is no exception. The body is made with European farmed calfskin leather (or there is the version shown with beige canvas and brown leather trim). The case is very structured, to offer protection to the screen and shell of the iPad. The envelope closure utilizes a magnet. And the inside is lined with Alcantara, which will help prevent scratches and is one of the softest materials to touch. Color options will include black, mandarin, and moss green. These iPad cases will be available at Salvatore Ferragamo boutiques nationwide.

Which designer iPad case do you prefer so far?

A City Map You'll Never Have to Fold Again

Crumpled City maps are designed to be casually balled up in your bag, instead of fastidiously (and always incorrectly) folded. 
I have a love/hate relationship with maps: I love to get lost in their intricate design, but I hate actually using them -- what with the folding and the tearing and the never-getting-it-exactly-the-right-shape-before-throwing-it-on-the-ground-in-frustration. Thank god for Emanuele Pizzolorusso's Crumpled City maps: they're actually designed to be wadded up in a ball without thinking.

Crumpled City maps come in a plastic bag, with no original creases to drive yourself mad attempting to preserve. In fact, the instructions command you to scrunch the map up into a ball before you even use it. After that cathartic experience, you're free to un-scrunch it and put Pizzolorusso's meticulous original cartography to use. The maps cover Rome, London, New York, Paris, and Berlin, and each one features a list of ten "SoulSights" "chosen to excite you" by the designer.

At only 12 Euros, these maps are inexpensive (and indestructible) enough to stuff into someone's Christmas stocking. If they're a frequent traveler, they'll thank you forever.

Here is a Reason why I Didn't get an iPad

Monday, December 6, 2010

Louis Vuitton iPad Cases

Wow.  Saw plenty of posts on the LV iPad cases.  It looks pretty cool.  Especially the Damier Graphite design.  I like that very much.

The cost of this luxury protection for your Apple iPad? About $366 when it goes on sale next year.  Not very sure about the pricing though, as it was lifted from other posts.

Couldn't find more information from the official Louis Vuitton website.

Will you get it?  :P