News of Technology

Latest news of Technology world.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Apple's Minuscule iPod Nano Dazzles

Slender, lightweight music player has a bright color display and 4GB of resilient flash memory.

The first thing you notice about the flash-based iPod Nano, of course, is its tiny size. But what's really impressive about the Nano--and represents a breakthrough for the category of lilliputian MP3 players--is its bright, crisp color display, which makes navigating your tunes a snap.

The slim Nano costs $249 for the 4GB version; a 2GB model sells for $199. It weighs 1.5 ounces and is about 0.25 inch thick--so small that you scarcely feel it when you have the Nano in your shirt pocket. Surprisingly, its size was no impediment to functionality: I navigated the Nano's menus, displayed on its barely-larger-than-a-postage-stamp display, without difficulty.

But as good as the display is, you shouldn't get too excited about the Nano's ability to display photos: The shots I viewed looked dark, and even high-quality photos don't look so great when they are shrunk down to 1.5 inches across.

Like other iPods, the Nano uses a rechargeable battery that you can't replace. It ships without an AC adapter, so you have to charge it through the included cable and your USB port. That process takes about 3 hours, and a single charge should last you 14 hours, according to Apple.

My chief complaint about the Nano involves the unfortunate design decision of positioning its headphone jack at the bottom of the player. This arrangement prevents users from standing the player up on a table while listening to it.

But if you're an iTunes devotee already--or if you want a featherweight, fashionable MP3 player--you'll find plenty to love about the iPod Nano.

A New Look for the Next MS Office

At the Microsoft Developers Conference in Los Angeles, Gates and company unveiled the new interface for Office 12. Among the changes you can look forward to are a less cluttered tab-style interface and a redefinition of the word "gallery."

Office 12's new menus will look cleaner and more orderly than in previous versions, thanks in large measure to a rethinking of the way content boxes are divided within the various Office applications. Where the menus in past versions were densely packed with buttons that looked remarkably similar, the new version will set aside the entire upper portion of the screen for a spacious array of buttons. The new layout will also include more intuitive buttons that are easier to navigate when you're in a rush.

Cyber-shot DSC-W7 Digital CameraspacerDSC-W7

With a huge 2.5 inch LCD screen and large 7.2 Megapixel image capture the Cyber-shot® DSC-W7 digital camera give your pictures the big screen treatment.

  • 7.2 Megapixel (3072 x 2304 Pixels)
  • 3X optical zoom lens
  • 2.5" LCD monitor
  • Compact rangefinder design
  • 32MB flash memory built-in
It combines a high quality 1/1.8" Super HAD CCD imaging device with a precision built Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar lens in a traditional rangefinder design that feels great and is amazingly easy to control.

The DSC-W7 features a 3X optical zoom with 2X digital zoom for great photos both near and far, Sony’s own Real Imaging Processo for ultra-fast start-up times and shutter speed, and 32 Megabytes of internal memory so you can still capture images even without your Memory Stick media. Running out of power is never an issue thanks to its incredible battery stamina. You can capture up to 380 shots with the supplied AA NiMH rechargeable batteries.

Like all Cyber-shot digital cameras, the DSC-W1 features a number of optional accessories that extend your photographic possibilities. From conversion lenses, lens filters, external flashes, and even underwater cases, Sony has exactly what you are looking for.

NEC launches world's thinnest foldaway phones

NEC Corp. (6701.T) has launched the world's thinnest foldaway mobile phone in Hong Kong in a bid to underscore its technological prowess, the Japanese electronics conglomerate said.

The new cell phone, which is 11.9 mm thick when folded and slimmer than an AA battery, is equipped with a 1.3-megapixel digital camera, 1.9-inch color display and music player function, the Tokyo-based company said.

Following the Hong Kong launch in mid-September, NEC plans to offer the mobile phone soon in Italy, Australia, Russia and China.

NEC declined to comment on expected retail prices or sales targets for the new phone, which works on GSM/GPRS networks, widely used in Europe and Asia.

NEC, a pioneer of high-speed third-generation phones, is the largest cell phone supplier in Japan's domestic market with a 16.2 percent share in the first half of 2005, according to research firm Gartner.(via by reuters)

Dr. Scalzo on Oracle Linux disk Optimization


Dr. Bert Scalzo (MBA, PhD) has published a superb benchmark titled “Optimizing Oracle 10g on Linux: Non-RAC ASM vs. LVM”. Bert has a valid test-case using the “Benchmark Factory” tool to simulate real-world data loads and provides expert tips for optimizing Oracle 10g on Linux:

http://www.linuxjournal.com/article/8539


Bert shows the differences in performance between disks mapped with Oracle 10g Automatic Storage Manager (ASM) and the Linux Logical Volume Manager LVM using a TPC-C (online) and TPC-H (warehouse) benchmark. Bert concludes:


For people doing RAC, ASM is a viable and credible approach for disk space management, with numerous administrative and maintenance benefits to its credit.

But for those simply doing non-RAC database deployments, ASM is not yet as scalable as the Linux ext3 filesystem using an LVM. . .


for people not doing RAC who care more about performance than
administrative ease, for now you should stick with the Linux filesystems
and an LVM.”

Friday, September 30, 2005

Adobe Introduces Photoshop Elements 4.0 and Adobe Premiere Elements 2.0


Adobe Systems Incorporated announced two new products for digital photo and digital video enthusiasts. Adobe® Photoshop® Elements 4.0 for Windows®, a new version of Adobe's No. 1 selling consumer photo editing software*, adds powerful and intuitive ways to organize, edit and share photos. For video hobbyists, the award-winning Adobe Premiere Elements 2.0 software for Windows brings unparalleled control, ease of use and more options for creative digital video editing with a self-adjusting workspace, support for all video types and DVD customization.

Available together in a single retail package, Adobe Photoshop Elements 4.0 Plus Adobe Premiere Elements 2.0 delivers the powerful and affordable software integration consumers need to be creative and impress friends and family with their digital photos and home videos. Photoshop Elements 4.0 and Adobe Premiere Elements 2.0 also are available as separate products.

Photoshop Elements 4.0 delivers more editing power with the new Magic Selection Brush that allows consumers to select specific parts of photos for easy color, lighting and contrast adjustments. The Magic Extractor easily extracts subjects from photos, with advanced edge defringing, for great composites.

Adobe Premiere Elements 2.0 offers the perfect combination of superior control, new self-adjusting workspace ease and reliability to help automate tedious video editing tasks so that consumers can be creative more quickly. Adobe Premiere Elements 2.0 makes it easy to import video clips from all digital video devices, experiment with hundreds of professional transitions and effects, and burn videos to DVD.

Photoshop Elements 4.0 is part of a complete family of Photoshop products that meet the needs of a diverse spectrum of digital photographers: the free Photoshop Album Starter Edition for the novice digital camera user; Photoshop Elements for the digital photography enthusiast; and Photoshop CS2 for the professional or the most demanding amateur photographer. Similarly, Adobe offers Adobe Premiere Elements 2.0 for superior quality home-video editing and Adobe Premiere Pro for the more advanced professional or the most demanding amateur videographer.(via by adobe)

Next generation from Siemens- SFG75



Video calls, music downloads, video streaming, MMS and much more – multimedia on the move is now really good fun with the Siemens SFG75. This stylish clamshell mobile for the fast UMTS mobile telephony networks provides everything necessary for mobile communication and entertainment. Two color displays, a 1.3-megapixel camera with flash and digital zoom, Bluetooth as well as an MP3 and video player satisfy every wish. Moreover, the compact mobile phone in the classic sophisticated look is exceedingly good value for money.

A slender shape and versatility are central characteristics of the compact SFG75 UMTS mobile from Siemens. Quality materials and a sophisticated appearance underpin its stylish, classical design.

Top-of-the-range multimedia provides for good entertainment on the move. Precious moments can be captured effortlessly either in pictures using the built-in 1.3 megapixel camera (with flash and 10x digital zoom) or as short film clips.

The SFG75 with integrated MP3 player as well as a music and video player that enable the memory-saving AAC and AMR formats to be played back also displays musical talent. Listening to favorite songs any time is easy now – whether doing sports, in the train or at the dentist’s.

No mobile is like the other. With elegant background pictures, fantastic logos and cheerful animations, the SFG75 can be given its own very individual character. Those with a playful bent can also try their hand at exciting Java games like tennis or Extreme Racing.

A stereo headset and a USB data cable for synchronizing data with a PC are also supplied with the SFG75.

Sales of LCD-TVs accelerating

Declining prices, rising consumer acceptance and increasingly efficient panel production results in LCD TV sales that are climbing faster than market researchers initially had expected. According to a new report released by iSuppli, 16.7 million TVs will be sold this year, and 55.1 million in 2009.

LCD-TVs are slowly losing their reputation to be a generally unaffordable luxury item, mainly caused by a circle of events that includes more efficient productivity, increased competition, falling prices and greater consumer demand.

According to iSuppli, especially expected growth for the 30- to 34-inch segment, gave reason to revise a market forecast for LCD-TV sales for the next four years. "This is due to the commencement of production in 2005 at four or more sixth-generation fabs, which are suited for producing panels in that size range. The operation of all of these fabs will result in greater output of larger-sized panels at more economical costs," iSuppli said.

The average selling price (ASP) of LCD-TVs in the 30- to 34-inch size range is expected to decline to $1548 in the fourth quarter, down 22.5 percent from $1997 in the first quarter of this year.

Overall worldwide LCD-TV shipments are estimated to rise to 61.2 million units in 2009, expanding at an average annual growth rate of 47.2 percent from 8.9 million units in 2004. For 2005, the firm puts likely sales at 16.7 million units, 23.8 million for 2006, 32.1 million for 2007, 42.2 million for 2008 and 55.1 million for 2009.( via by tom )

Innovations from Simens


  • Siemens Building Technologies’ fire safety, building automation and security systems improve the performance of more than 20,000 North American facilities
  • High voltage systems from Siemens have helped U.S. utilities increase capacity on existing transmission lines by up to 24 percent
  • Siemens' postal automation systems process more than 90 percent of the mail for the United StatesPostal Service (USPS)
  • Radiation therapy systems from Siemens treat more than 30,000 cancer patients every business day in the U.S.
  • Every tenth telephone call in the world is connected by a Siemens switching system
  • Power generation systems from Siemens Power Generation generate one-third of the nation's electricity
  • Siemens' technologies and systems can be found protecting many public areas including airports, hospitals, stadiums, universities and commercial buildings
  • Siemens systems can also be found monitoring and protecting our communications networks, our medical records and our energy grid
  • Siemens is a leading provider of consulting and managed IT outsourcing services, serving approximately half the top 100 Fortune 500 companies
  • The 2004 Fortune Global 500 ranked Siemens AG number one in the world's electronic industry

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Sub-$100 Laptop Design Revealed by MIT's Negroponte


Nicholas Negroponte, chairman and founder of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Labs showed designs for a sub-$100 laptop for kids in 3rd world countries.

Negroponte's non-profit One Laptop Per Child group plans to have up to 15 million machines in production within a year.
The Linux based computer is inside a rubber case and has a hand crank to generate power. Wi-fi and USB ports are also available.
I think this is a great idea to give kids all over the planet access to computer technology and the Internet. This can help change the world.(via by i4u.com)

Toyota to Offer Smart Key Wristwatches

Nikkei.net (subscription) reports that Toyota will introduce a Citizen Wristwatch with a smart key inside to lock and unlock cars automatically.

For new Toyota Crown car owners the fumbling for the car key has an end. The Toyota wristwatch (developed together with Citizen) transmits via a radio signal a code to unlock the wearers car.
There is also a button on the watch to manually lock or unlock the car from a distance. The Toyota wristwatch will be available starting next week in Japan, where else.

New Sony AIBO ERS-7M3 Robot Dog

Sony updates it's AIBO robot dog line with the ERS-7M3.

The Sony AIBO ERS-7M3 has compared to the AIBO ERS-7M2 now voice integration. The AIBO ERS-7M3 features a 1,000 word vocabulary that enables the robot dog to react to voice commands.
The ERS-7M3 is also Sony's first Spanish-speaking robot that responds to 35 Spanish-language commands.
The champagne brown AIBO Entertainment Robot model ERS-7M3/T will sell for about $2,100. The pearl white and pearl black models (ERS-7M3/W and ERS-7M3/B, respectively) will both sell for about $2,000.

The new AIBOs will ship end of October.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

A Pro Camera That Amateurs Can Afford


PREDICTING the future just by extrapolating from current trends can be risky business. One megabyte of memory in 1985, for example, would have cost you about $400. By 1995, the same amount cost about $35. You might conclude that memory makers will eventually have to start paying you.

Still, watching prices of popular technologies crash to earth is always exciting while it lasts. Take the highly regarded digital single-lens reflex cameras from Nikon, for example. Over the years, prices for Nikon S.L.R.'s hit $5,000 (the D1 in 1999), $4,000 (the D1H in 2001), $2,000 (the D100 in 2002), $1,000 (last year's D70) and $900 (last month's slightly upgraded D70S).

Nikon's latest data point represents a delicious addition to the line: the D50, due next week. It takes the same spectacular photos as the bestselling D70S - for a list price of $750.

Now, $900 may still sound like a lot, but these are professional cameras - or were, until amateur shutterbugs started snapping them up. And that price frees you from the teeth-grinding annoyances of everyday consumer cams.

What you can't do with a digital S.L.R., though, is capture digital movies, compose shots using the back-panel screen (you must look through the viewfinder) or put the camera in your pocket; a digital S.L.R. is bulky. Harsh trade-offs, yes, but that's the ballgame.

What does "family friendly" mean? It would be easy to say that the D50 is just a stripped-down D70, but that wouldn't be accurate. The D50 is certainly a modified D70, but it adds as many new features as it takes away.

The lower price is a key feature. But so is the reduction of size and weight, made possible in part by a switch in memory format (from Compact Flash to SD card). In conjunction with its new, compact 18- to 55-millimeter starter lens (a 3X zoom, the equivalent of a 28- to 80-millimeter zoom lens on a film-based S.L.R.), the fully assembled D50 makes a much less intimidating-looking package than its predecessor. (It's 5.2 by 4 by 3 inches, vs. 5.5 by 4.4 by 3.1 on the D70.)

If you can afford a second lens, Nikon's new, equally compact 55- to 200-millimeter telephoto lens (equivalent to an 80- to 300-millimeter lens on a film camera) makes a great choice at $250. Its zoom picks up where the starter lens leaves off, bringing you 11 times closer to soccer goals, school plays and shuttle launchings.

The D50 also features an improved autofocus system; in sports mode (one of its six scene presets), for example, it can track a subject as it moves. The D50's rubber eyepiece is larger and more comfortable than the D70's.

The displays have been rewritten for better clarity; the confirmation message when you delete a photo, for example, now tells you not only which button to press to proceed, but also which button cancels the operation. And the scene dial's new child mode is supposed to offer a magical combination of vivid clothing colors and natural flesh tones, although the pictures are generally indistinguishable from those of the auto setting.

The four-way controller's left and right arrow buttons now summon the previous and next photos. (On the D70, it was the up and down arrows, which always felt wrong.) Zooming in on a photo is still an awkward two-handed procedure that should send Nikon back to the drawing board - but at least on the D50, you can scroll through your pictures at the same magnification level, without having to rezoom each one.

So Nikon giveth, but it also taketh away - in this case, a bunch of tweaky features that nonprofessionals, it believes, won't miss. The D50's fastest shutter speed is 1/4000th of a second (slower than the 1/8000th of the D70). You can't choose any I.S.O. (light sensitivity) settings between 800 and 1600. The D50 can't drive a wireless flash attachment, as the D70 can. And the D50 lacks its predecessor's compositional grid option for the viewfinder, clip-on plastic screen protector and depth-of-field preview button. (The D.O.F. preview button closes down the lens aperture before shooting to give you an accurate view of what foreground and background elements will be in or out of focus at the selected aperture setting.)

In most cases, Nikon was right; for the amateur, most of these omissions are of advanced, fussy or obscure features. But in two cases, Nikon slipped with its scalpel, hacking off features that you may indeed miss in everyday shooting.

First, the burst mode captures only 2.5 frames per second, down from 3. That may not seem like a radical difference. But when you're trying to snap just the right instant in a skydiver's flight, the dog's trick or the children's ride on the Tilt-a-Whirl, every little frame helps.

Second, the L.C.D. status window on the top of the camera is no longer illuminated, which means you can't read it in dim light. To change flash, ISO or white-balance settings, for example, you're supposed to turn a dial - but without being able to see the status display, you have no idea how far you've cycled through the choices. (Note to D50 buyers: keep a keychain flashlight in your camera case. Note to Nikon: O.K., fine. Put the backlight back in, and raise the price 85 cents.)

Sold on the idea of a digital S.L.R. but not sure which one to buy? If you already own lenses for a certain brand, well, then, your decision is made. (Technical note: Remember though, that because a digital S.L.R.'s sensor is smaller than a frame of 35-millimeter film, traditional lenses act as though they are 1.5 times as long when they are mounted on a digital camera body. A 200-millimeter lens, for example, will give you an effective focal length of 300 millimeters.) )

NIKON D50 Smaller, lighter and easier to use than the D70. The status-panel back light is the most serious missing frill. Price, with lens: under $900. (Discounting online hasn't yet begun.)

NIKON D70S Greatest photographic flexibility. Loaded with features that come in handy, if only occasionally. Best battery life (2,500 shots per charge). Wireless flash option. Awkward playback controls, slow U.S.B. transfer. Online price, with lens: $1,120.

CANON DIGITAL REBEL XT Highest photo resolution (8 megapixels, vs. 6.1 on the Nikons), yet least expensive. Shortest battery life (600 shots) and smallest screen (1.8 inches vs. 2.0 on the Nikons). Inferior starter lens. Awkwardly shrunken handgrip. Online price, with lens: $835. (The older, slower, larger original digital Rebel is still available, too, for as little as $660 online.)(via by nyt)

Monday, September 26, 2005

Nokia Mobile Push email Client


The Blackberry, RIM’s succesfull mobile email device, has paved the way for many a competing device. Aside from devices that support a variety of email protocols, there is one obvious other weapon in the battle for the corporate email customer. This weapon, of course, is the ability to offer a portable email client, aimed at business email users. Nokia has recognised this and acted on it. Nokia Business Center was conceived, a push email solution for all java enabled phones. It is cost effective, partially because there will be no need to invest in new phones for all staff. Or at least, this will be the case for all phones that Nokia will certify.

Nokia Business Center is designed to expand the universe of potential mobile users by leveraging the broad availability of standard mobile phones and by providing a two-tier client strategy. The standard client will offer the ability to compose, read and delete email, manage local folders, and provides support for working offline, in addition to push-email and security. It will support for English, French, German, Italian and Spanish; and will be licensed on an unlimited basis with each Nokia Business Center server. A more richly featured professional client will be available for a minimal upgrade fee. It will offer all the features of the standard version as well as a rich, graphical email experience similar to using desktop email. Other professional client version features will include support for handling meeting requests, sorted views, full attachment support, the ability to access any employeers contact information from the company's corporate directory, the ability to search local folders, and more.

First Ever Handheld Version of Settlers of Catan Arrives On The N-Gage Platform

Nokia announced that it has started shipping Capcom's first game on the N-Gage platform - Catan. Inspired by Klaus Teuber's award-winning board game, Settlers of Catan, which has sold over 15 million copies, the N-Gage version finally takes the game mobile. Catan fans now have the opportunity to discover, settle and trade on the go. Catan on the N-Gage platform offers turn-based strategy multiplayer gaming for up to four players via Bluetooth wireless technology.
"Catan on the N-Gage platform is highly anticipated by the original board game fans. We believe the new mobile multiplayer version of Catan will be very popular with new fans as well," said Gregg Sauter, Director, Games Publishing, Nokia. " Fans also get great Japanese pop-style artwork, created by well-known illustrator Susumo Matsushita, as well as some very colorful characters."
In Catan gamers can compete with each other to build roads, settlements and cities. Gamers will occupy new land to develop into communities with the aim of expanding their civilization and squeezing out competitors. The N-Gage Arena provides tips and hints to gamers as they roll the dice to get the commodities they need to build new roads, cities and settlements. Players can also upload their high score to the N-Gage Arena. Catan offers a balanced mix of tactic, strategy, interaction and - of course - luck.
About Capcom
Capcom is a leading worldwide developer, publisher and distributor of interactive entertainment. Founded in 1983, the company has created world renowned franchises including Resident Evil, Street Fighter, Mega Man, Breath of Fire, Devil May Cry and the Onimusha series. Headquartered in Osaka, Japan, the company maintains operations in the U.S., United Kingdom, Germany, Tokyo and Hong Kong. More information about Capcom and its products can be found on the company's website at www.capcom.com.
About Catan GmbH
The Catan GmbH is the original licensor of the Catan brand and works closely with Capcom on promoting the Catan brand. The Catan designer Klaus Teuber has founded the Catan GmbH company in 2002 to promote and maintain the Catan brand, which has manifestations in board games, electronic games, literature and more. The Catan games alone have sold 11 million copies worldwide since 1995. More information about the Catan GmbH and Klaus Teuber can be found at www.catan.com and www.klausteuber.com
About N-Gage
The N-Gage game deck is an innovative mobile device that is creating an entirely new market for the games industry. Built for active gamers, the N-Gage platform is the first mobile and connected game deck to feature online high quality 3D multiplayer game play over Bluetooth wireless technology and GPRS. The N-Gage device also offers unique online games services as well as a comprehensive and growing games catalogue from the leading game publishers. Nokia is the world leader in mobile communications. Nokia and N-Gage are trademarks or registered trademarks of Nokia Corporation.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Solar-Power Cars Set off Across Outback


Twenty-two bug-shaped solar cars designed and built by corporations and universities from around the world set out across the vast, inhospitable Australian outback on Sunday in the eighth World Solar Challenge.

Japan’s Sky Ace Tiga car, from the Ashiya University in Osaka, led off after qualifying fastest for the 3,000 km (1,860 miles) race across the center of Australia from the tropical north city of Darwin to Adelaide in South Australia.

Ashiya University’s Professor Kunio Nakagawa said his team’s car, one of the race favorites, was capable of speeds averaging 95 kph (59 mph).

“The first target is hoping to finish this race with safety and the second target is to get a top-three position,” Nakagawa told Australian Broadcasting Corp. radio.

Dutch team Nuna 3 returns after winning the past two races in 2001 and 2003 and is joined by entrants from 10 other countries, including the United States, France and Canada.

Nuna 3 set the race-record time of 30 hours 54 minutes in 2003.

Race leaders were expected to reach Adelaide by mid-week.

The race was devised as a challenge to design and build solar-powered cars using the most innovative application of alternative energy and transport technologies.(via by reuters)

China Sets New Rules on Internet News

China set new regulations on Internet news content on Sunday, widening a campaign of controls it has imposed on other Web sites, such as discussion groups.

"The state bans the spreading of any news with content that is against national security and public interest," the official Xinhua news agency said in announcing the new rules, which took effect immediately.

The news agency did not detail the rules, but said Internet news sites must "be directed toward serving the people and socialism and insist on correct guidance of public opinion for maintaining national and public interests."

Established news media needed permission to run a news Web site, it said. New operators had to register themselves with government information offices.

China has a dedicated band of cyber police who patrol the Internet with the aim of regulating content. Postings that criticize the government or address sensitive topics are quickly removed.

Registration was a feature of rules imposed earlier this year aimed at not-for-profit Internet activities, such as personal Web sites and blogs.

Since March, university on-line discussion groups have been restricted to students, removing a once popular outlet for Chinese keen to publicize their views on sensitive issues. Student users and site managers must register using their real names.(via by yahoo)

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