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Saturday, October 22, 2005

Panasonic VS7



Vivid 16 million* 2.5- inch Colour Display

The images depicted on screen always look remarkably true to life. Thanks to an amazing 240 x 320 pixels QVGA resolution, now enhanced to approximately 16 million* colours and a brightness that goes as high as 300cd/m2*.
The high-performance large 2.5-inch colour TFT screen is perfect to display crystal clear images.
The sub display is perfect for taking self portraits and provides excellent interface information.*

2.0 Megapixel Mobile Camera


The exceptional 2.0 megapixel resolution, with backlight compensation ensures every image captured and shown on screen is truly breathtaking. With the help of the 5x Zoom* function, you can zoom in to capture every detail beautifully.

Content

The VS7 comes with popular Sonic The Hedgehog pre-installed game from
SEGA® for you to enjoy in thrilling speed. You can also download original Sonic The Hedgehog wallpapers and ringtones from PANASONIC BOX.*
The VS7 also features 3D Soccer Game.


Bluetooth

With Bluetooth connectivity, the VS7 enables you to chat without holding on to the mobile phone, or the hassle of a wired hand-free set. In addition, the VS7 allows you transmit and receive data with other Bluetooth® enabled devices.

One Push Auto Open
A light touch of the button near the hinge is all it takes to pop open the handset. You can set VS7 so that you can receive a call or read messages automatically just by opening it.

Infrared Compatibility
It is a joy to send and receive data without cables. Just activate and align the infrared with the port on your computer to wirelessly transmit data.

Express Yourself with Colours
The VS7 features the new way to enjoy communication with colour. When a message is received, the indicator flashes in different colours and patterns depending on the emoticons in the message. You can feel the "emoticon" of the received message before even opening it.

GPRS
The VS7 comes equipped with high-speed GPRS that connects you to the internet with ease.
Ringtones

The VS7 features a great-sounding 40-polyphonic ringtone.



Panasonic Panasonic TH-42PD25 Plasma HDTV



As is usually the case, the display with the best black level, which usually means the best contrast ratio, won. What was interesting was how it just barely eked out that win. As I've said before, black level is important, but it's only one aspect of a good picture.

The "Montage of Images" from Video Essentials showed that the TH-42PD25 did some things better than the other plasmas and some things worse. As for the face that the other two plasmas had such difficulty with, the Panasonic had no visible quantization errors on this clip. Test patterns would later reveal that it wasn't capable of a perfectly smooth ramp from light to dark, but it was a lot smoother than the others, enough so that any steps weren't very visible in regular video.

While it may not have had quantization errors that were as severe as the other two, it crushed whites like it was a hobby. Any time there was a bright scene, you were guaranteed that the brightest information in the image would be crushed white. A cloud in the sky would have almost no detail; instead it would be a white blob. Reducing the contrast in the user menu only made the picture darker, while keeping the crushed whites.

Processing also wasn't the TH-42PD25's strong suit. It created very noticeable jagged edges in the waving flag from Video Essentials' "Montage of Images." Later, on Gladiator, the rooftops had obvious stair-stepping. Unlike the other two competitors, a decent progressive-scan DVD player is a must-have with this plasma.

What won this plasma its spot at the top was how everyone felt about it after calibration or, more likely, after the other plasmas were calibrated. The other two plasmas were extremely cool (very high color temperatures), which made the Panasonic, with its relatively accurate color temperature, seem overly warm. Once the other two plasmas were reigned in to a less-ionospheric level, the measurably accurate Panasonic finally appeared accurate. When I was running through my pre–Face Off setup, I kept going back to the Panasonic to double check that it was still set correctly and hadn't drifted into some bizarrely low color temperature. It's weird how the human eye works, isn't it?

Scientists Build Tiny Vehicles for Molecular Passengers

Scientists at Rice University have built molecular vehicles so small that more than 20,000 of them could sit side-by-side on a human hair.

The fleet consists of nanocars, nanotrucks capable of carrying small-molecule payloads, and trimers that pivot on their three axes. All of them roll on buckyballs, which are 60-atom, soccer-ball-shaped spheres of pure carbon. Each axis pivots up and down independently to allow the vehicles to negotiation atomic potholes and mounds.

The work, which was first described earlier this month in the online version of the journal Nano Letters, is the fruit of more than eight years of research led by Prof. James M. Tour into systems that could be used to build structures molecule-by-molecule.

"This is it, you can't make anything smaller to transport atoms around," Professor Tour said.

The vision of the Rice researchers, like many other specialists working in nanotechnology, is of a world where new materials can be fashioned by armies of tiny machines working in organized ranks. This so-called "bottoms up" version of manufacturing is patterned after biology and, in the view of many researchers, it could be far more efficient than current manufacturing systems.

Skeptics have said such molecular manufacturing will prove to be impractical in most cases and may pose unexpected environmental risks. But scientists working in the field almost universally dismiss visions of nanomachines proliferating into a deadly world-choking "gray goo" as popularized in Michael Crichton's novel "Prey."

Nanotechnology derives its name from the nanometer, or billionth of a meter. Nanoscale objects are tens to thousands of molecules in size. While they consist of familiar materials, the scale is so small that atomic forces affect their behavior and strange, potentially valuable traits emerge. The nanocars are immune to friction, for example, because the buckyball wheels are a single molecule that cannot be easily pulled apart into its 60 carbon atoms.

Professor Tour said the research marked the first time anyone had demonstrated nanoscale structures that roll rather than slide across a surface. The current generation of vehicles can be set in motion by heating the gold surface on which they sit to about 200 degrees Celsius. Absent any outside force, it is unpredictable whether they will move forward or backward, but once they start they will continue in that direction as long as heat is applied.

But Rice's researchers have shown that they can control the direction by applying an electrical field. They have also built a tiny light-powered motor for the devices consisting of 30 carbon atoms and a handful of sulfur atoms, Mr. Tour said. But that motor does not capture enough energy to move the devices over the gold surface because the gold molecules absorb most of the light.


Yahoo fixes Web mail security flaw

Yahoo has fixed a security flaw in its free Web-based e-mail service that opened the door to phishing scams, account hijacks and other attacks.

The flaw, known as a cross-site scripting vulnerability, existed because Yahoo's Web site did not detect certain script tags in combination with certain special characters, according to SEC Consult, which issued an advisory on the flaw Friday.

Cross-site scripting flaws are found regularly, including recently in Google's Web site and earlier this year in Microsoft's Xbox 360 site.

Flaws have also been found on Yahoo's site. An attacker could exploit this type of flaw to hijack user accounts, launch information-stealing phishing scams or even download malicious code onto users' computers, experts have said.

A Yahoo representative said it fixed the most recent flaws in the "last few weeks" and that its users are protected.

"Yahoo recently learned of an issue in Yahoo Mail and worked immediately to begin rollout of a server-side fix which does not require users to take any action," said Karen Mahon, a Yahoo spokeswoman. "We are unaware of any users who were impacted by this issue."(via by ZDnet)

Friday, October 21, 2005

Mission guide: Venus Express



The European Space Agency's Venus Express mission will study the atmosphere and clouds of the planet nearest to Earth.

Scientists hope the probe will beam back the clearest-ever images of the planet and provide new insight into its atmosphere.

1. MAG: Magnetometer - measures magnetic, field strength and direction

2. Virtis: (Visible and Infrared Thermal Imaging Spectrometer)imaging spectrometer that operates in the near ultraviolet, visible and infrared parts of the electromagnetic spectrum

3. Planetary Fourier Spectrometer - measures atmospheric temperature and concentration of known and unknown minor atmospheric constituents

4. Spicav/Soir (Spectroscopy for Investigation of Characteristics of the Atmosphere of Venus) Imaging spectrometer which detects ultraviolet and infrared radiation. Soir (Solar Occultation at Infrared) will observe the Sun through Venus's atmosphere at infrared wavelengths

5 . VMC wide angle camera which captures ultraviolet, visible and near infrared images

6. VeRa (Venus Radio science) Radio-sounding experiment which will examine the ionosphere, atmosphere and surface of Venus by means of radio waves transmitted from the spacecraft

7. Aspera (Analyser of Space Plasmas and Energetic Atoms) will study energetic neutral atoms (ENAs), ions and electrons in Venus' atmosphere

The mission is due to blast off atop a Soyuz rocket from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on 26 October. After a 153-day journey, the probe will reach Venus in April 2006.

Once there it will manoeuvre itself into an orbit that takes it looping round the planet's poles.

It is a peculiarity of Venus that the planet orbits the Sun much faster than it rotates, meaning a "day" lasts roughly 250 Earth days.

Its atmosphere consists mainly of carbon dioxide with a small amount of nitrogen and other trace gases.

Abundant CO2 has led to runaway greenhouse warming on Venus, with temperatures of approximately 460C on the surface.

Atmospheric pressure is some 90 times that of Earth. Standing on the surface of Venus, a hypothetical visitor would experience the same pressure as they would diving below 1km of water on Earth.

The spacecraft shares its design and manufacturing team with the Mars Express mission. This reduced the amount of time and money required in the preparatory stages.

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