Wednesday, August 10, 2011

NVIDIA, Fusion-io and HP drive a dozen 1080p streams on four displays at SIGGRAPH (video)

Fusion-io Teams Up With NVIDIA, Tweak Software and Thinkbox Software to Accelerate Entertainment Production

Innovative Industry Leaders Unlock Performance to Unleash Creativity in Digital Content Creation Tools Showcased at SIGGRAPH 2011

SALT LAKE CITY, Aug. 8, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Fusion-io (NYSE: FIO), a provider of a next-generation shared data decentralization platform, today announced its participation in the SIGGRAPH 2011 international conference on computer graphics and interactive technologies. Fusion-io is collaborating with a number of leading technology companies, including NVIDIA, Thinkbox Software and Tweak Software, to accelerate entertainment production by demonstrating full resolution, real-time digital content creation for many of the industry's most powerful applications.

"Entertainment artists who use Fusion's ioMemory technologies can now spend more time creating and less time waiting for content to load, playback and render," said Vincent Brisebois, Fusion-io Product Manager. "Multiple SSDs configured in a RAID can provide basic throughput, but struggle to provide the low latency required for delivering interactivity in powerful content creation applications. By working with our innovative partners NVIDIA, Thinkbox Software and Tweak Software, we are helping studios and artists unlock their creativity. Now, not only can artists do more faster, but with the flexibility offered by Fusion-io and our partners, studios can focus on the artistry that separates good from great."

In the NVIDIA booth at SIGGRAPH, (#453), the Fusion-io video wall showcases how Fusion ioMemory technology combined with the NVIDIA QuadroPlex 7000 Visual Computing System provides the throughput necessary to play 12 full HD(1080p) uncompressed video feeds simultaneously off a single workstation with interactive graphics processing unit (GPU)-based color correction. The video wall demonstration will be running on an HP Z800 workstation equipped with the NVIDIA QuadroPlex 7000 and Fusion ioMemory modules.

"Working with Fusion-io, we've created an impressive, large-scale visualization technology demonstration at SIGGRAPH for show attendees," said Jeff Brown, general manager, Professional Solutions Group, NVIDIA. "By combining Fusion's ioMemory technology with our powerful QuadroPlex 7000, we're demonstrating how to enable real-time color correction and processing of a dozen simultaneous uncompressed HD video streams – without being bottlenecked by disk speeds."

At Autodesk booth #429, Fusion ioMemory technology will accelerate demonstrations of Autodesk Composite software, which is included in the Autodesk 3ds Max, Autodesk Maya and Autodesk Softimage software applications. The Autodesk software packages feature integrated 3D modeling, animation, rendering, and compositing tools that enable artists and designers to quickly ramp up for production.

"Autodesk Composite software can be enhanced by technologies like Fusion ioMemory to help artists see their visions come to life more quickly," said Rob Hoffmann, senior product marketing manager, Autodesk. "When 3D artists can immediately see the impact of each tool and adjustment, their imagination is freed to try new and innovative approaches to creative storytelling."

Fusion ioMemory will be also integrated into a Supermicro SuperServer 8046B-6RF server in the Thinkbox Software Pacific Rim suite at the Fairmont hotel. This system provides increased speed and efficiency in demonstrations of Krakatoa, Thinkbox's production-proven volumetric particle rendering, manipulation and management toolkit. Krakatoa provides a pipeline for creating, shaping and rendering vast quantities of particles at unprecedented speed to represent natural phenomena like dust, smoke, silt, ocean surface foam, plasma and even solid objects.

"We have clients working with billions of particles per frame to create photo-real smoke, fire, water, creatures made of ink, and photorealistic visualization of volumetric objects such as bones and skin. When saving or loading those particles, we have found nothing faster than Fusion-io," said Chris Bond, Thinkbox Software CEO and founder. "We first tested Krakatoa 1.0 with Fusion-io. When we realized the potential of ioMemory, we optimized Krakatoa 2.0 to take advantage of its capabilities, and now our loading performance is an order of magnitude better."

In booth #963, Tweak Software will be utilizing ioMemory technology from Fusion-io to accelerate its flagship RV software. RV supports dual stream output for stereo playback, embeds audio in the SDI signal, and takes advantage of RV's flexible tools for review, editing, collaboration, an notation and comparison of media. At SIGGRAPH 2011, RV will be demonstrating its integration package that combines RV's real-time playback with the compositing abilities of The Foundry's Nuke software and Fusion ioMemory. The integration allows artists to save various iterations of their Nuke renders on the ioMemory and then immediately play them back in real-time in RV.

"Artists get a big benefit by combining the blazing fast memory technologies from Fusion-io with RV's advanced image and sequence playback abilities," said Seth Rosenthal, co-founder of Tweak Software. "The ability to stream film-res, stereo, high-dynamic-range imagery on the artist desktop or in the screening room gives artists immediate feedback so they have more time to try new things and get better results. This is all made possible by the remarkable data throughput and reduced latency offered by Fusion-io."

To learn more about Fusion-io, go to Follow Fusion-io on Twitter at or and on Facebook at

Near Times Square? Come see Engadget on a really big screen

By Tim Stevens posted Aug 9th 2011 6:25PM If you're on the island of Manhattan and are anywhere near Times Square, check out this lovely display of lights. For the next half-hour or so you'll be able to check out Engadget on one heck of a big screen, right above the NASDAQ sign. You won't even need those reading glasses! Wondering what this is all about? Check out the next Engadget Show, where all will be explained.

Panasonic outs Toughbook S10 with Sandy Bridge, USB 3.0, and 12.5-hour battery life


The next-generation device features an enhanced processor and 12.5 hour standard battery life – the longest in its class

Secaucus, NJ, August 10, 2011 – Panasonic Solutions Company, provider of collaboration, information-sharing and decision-support solutions for government and commercial enterprises, today announced the Panasonic Toughbook® S10. Powered by an Intel® Core™ i5-2520M vPro™ processor, the Toughbook S10 delivers up to 12.5 hours of standard battery life – the longest in its class – and weighs only 3.0 pounds. The notebook offers optional Gobi2000™ mobile broadband and other enhancements to increase performance and drive return on investment. This lightweight device is ideal for road warriors and other highly mobile workers in a variety of markets.

Additional Enhancements for Improved Performance
Panasonic has designed the Toughbook S10 for the most demanding mobile users, offering exceptional battery life, connectivity, security features and performance. The Toughbook S10 also supports both USB 3.0 and 2.0, analog (VGA) and digital (HDMI) video and the latest SD card standard (SDXC) to enable faster file transfer speeds and greater flexibility. A host of security features, including an optional fingerprint reader, are available to keep your data protected and secured while on the road.

"The vast majority of business notebooks lack the durability to survive a hectic travel schedule; however, the Toughbook S10 is designed to address the needs of business professionals with the integration of security and remote management capabilities, protection against drops and spills, and exceptional performance and battery life," said Kyp Walls, director of product management, Panasonic Solutions Company. "The Toughbook S10 provides road warriors a reliable and lightweight device that allows them to work virtually anywhere."

Business-rugged Durability
In order to withstand a highly mobile work environment, the Toughbook S10 is designed to survive drops, bumps and spills. Due to its magnesium alloy case and shock-mounted flex-connect hard drive, the device can handle up to a 30" drop to the base of the unit while operating. The Toughbook S10 also features a spill-resistant keyboard that can protect against spills up to six ounces (200 cc).

Embedded Wireless Connectivity
The Toughbook S10 offers a variety of embedded wireless technologies, including Wi-Fi, Bluetooth® and optional Gobi2000™ 3G mobile broadband technology from Qualcomm, allowing workers to stay connected virtually all of the time.

Panasonic Toughbook S10: Select Features and Specifications
Genuine Windows 7® Professional (32-bit or 64-bit)
Intel® Core™ i5-2520M vPro™ Processor (2.5GHz)
Turbo Boost up to 3.2GHz
Intel® Smart Cache 3MB
320GB 5400rpm shock-mounted flex-connect hard drive
12.1" widescreen WXGA (1280 x 800) LCD display with LED backlighting
Anti-glare screen treatment
12.5 hours of battery life with standard battery (MobileMark 2007)
3.0 lbs.
DVD drive
HDMI and VGA video outputs
Magnesium alloy case
30" operating drop (to base only)
26 sides 12" drop (non-operating)
220 lb compression-resistant
Spill-resistant keyboard/touchpad (protects against 6 ounce spills)
Embedded Connectivity
Optional Gobi™2000 3G mobile broadband
Intel® Centrino® Advanced-N 6205 802.11a/b/g/n
Bluetooth® v2.1 + EDR (class 2)
Integrated Security Features
o Cable lock slot

o Trusted platform module (TPM) security chip v.1.2

o Computrace® theft protection agent in BIOS®

o Intel® Anti-Theft technology

o Optional fingerprint reader

11.1" (H) x 8.3" (W) x 0.9-1.5" (D)

Pricing and Availability
In the United States, the Toughbook S10 is expected to be available in September 2011 from authorized Panasonic resellers starting at an estimated street price of $2,449.

The Toughbook S10 is backed with a three-year limited warranty, parts and labor.

Images of the Toughbook S10 can be found on the brand's Flickr page, and a post discussing mobile computing needs for road warriors can be found on the brand's blog -

Follow the Toughbook Brand
The Panasonic Toughbook brand can be followed on various social media channels, including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr and via our blog on mobile technology,

For more information on the Toughbook S10 and other Toughbook mobile computers, go to

Nintendo to release Flame Red 3DS console next month, sunglasses not included

Nintendo Gets Fired up for the Holidays with New Flame Red Nintendo 3DS

New Color, New Price and Great Games Make Nintendo 3DS a Must-Have

REDMOND, Wash.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Nintendo is making sure the holidays are hot this year with a new Flame Red version of its portable Nintendo 3DS™ system. The new color launches Sept. 9 alongside the new Star Fox 64™ 3D game, and comes on the heels of a new $169.99 suggested retail price, which goes into effect Aug. 12 in the United States. Flame Red joins Cosmo Black and Aqua Blue, so now shoppers have three distinct and fashionable colors to choose from.

"Nintendo 3DS is poised to be on fire for the holidays, with its new suggested retail price, great games and our new Flame Red color," said Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime. "With major upcoming releases in the Star Fox, Pokémon and Mario series, in addition to downloadable offerings from Nintendo eShop, Nintendo Video and Netflix, the system offers new and fun experiences to owners on a daily basis."

On the software side, third-party developers have lined up to deliver great new experiences that make use of the unique features of Nintendo 3DS.

"Nintendo 3DS is an amazing piece of technology that offers players incredible 3D games without the need for special glasses. Beyond that, it's an affordable dedicated gaming machine. Simply put, Nintendo 3DS is a fabulous device," said Laurent Detoc, President, North America, Ubisoft. "Ubisoft has been a big supporter of Nintendo 3DS since the beginning with eight Nintendo 3DS games released to date and another eight games coming out before the end of calendar year 2011."

Retailers are also anticipating a strong showing from Nintendo 3DS this holiday season.

"The new, lower Nintendo 3DS price combined with a hot new color and big-name games will entice even more Target guests to get their hands on this first-of-its-kind 3D gaming experience," said Nik Nayar, vice president of Merchandising, Target.

"GameStop customers were excited about the Nintendo 3DS launch, and this lower price point should spark additional demand," said GameStop President Tony Bartel. "With a solid back-half game lineup, the Nintendo 3DS price drop is well timed to drive consumer interest and purchases through the holiday season."

Nintendo is planning the release of two upcoming games starring its famous hero, Mario™, this holiday season. Super Mario™ 3D Land will launch in November, while Mario Kart™ 7 becomes available in December. Super Mario 3D Land is a new platforming game that takes full advantage of 3D graphics to deliver new puzzles, more precise jumping action and a remarkable new visual perspective on the Mushroom Kingdom. The game also marks the return of Mario's fan-favorite Tanooki Suit, which allows him to strike enemies with his tail and slowly descend after jumping. Mario Kart 7 is a new racing game that includes multiple characters from the Mushroom Kingdom, Kart customization and intense multiplayer action. Players can now race on land, sea and air, sail through the sky with the new hang glider feature and drive underwater in some stages. Both games are completely new and are designed specifically for the Nintendo 3DS system.

Since Nintendo 3DS launched in the United States on March 27, more than 830,000 units have been sold in the U.S. alone. Nintendo 3DS owners represent some of Nintendo's most loyal customers, and Nintendo is rewarding them for getting in on the action early with 20 free downloadable games from the Nintendo eShop.

These free games are available to anyone who owns a Nintendo 3DS system and uses a wireless broadband Internet signal to connect to the Nintendo eShop at least once or performs a system update before 11:59 p.m. Eastern time on Aug. 11. These users will automatically be registered in the Nintendo 3DS Ambassador program. The program contains two elements:

Starting Sept. 1, Nintendo 3DS Ambassadors will be able to download 10 NES™ Virtual Console™ games at no charge and before they are available in the Nintendo eShop to the general public. These games, including Super Mario Bros.™, Donkey Kong Jr.™, Balloon Fight™, Ice Climber™ and The Legend of Zelda™, are slated to become paid downloadable games, but Ambassadors get them early for free. Once the paid versions of the games are posted to the Nintendo eShop later in the year, the updated versions will be available to Ambassadors for download at no cost.

By the end of 2011, Nintendo will provide Ambassadors with 10 Game Boy™ Advance Virtual Console games. These include games like Yoshi's Island™: Super Mario™ Advance 3, Mario Kart™: Super Circuit, Metroid™ Fusion, WarioWare™, Inc.: Mega Microgame$ and Mario vs. Donkey Kong™. These games will be available exclusively to Ambassadors, and Nintendo currently has no plans to make these 10 games available to the general public on the Nintendo 3DS in the future.

For more information about the Nintendo 3DS Ambassador program, visit More details about this program will be announced in the future.

Remember that Nintendo 3DS features parental controls that let adults manage the content their children can access. For more information about this and other features, visit

*Online features require a broadband Internet connection. Netflix content is available to Netflix members who have an unlimited streaming plan.

Microsoft's designing women want to dress you up in wearable tech love (video)

Microsoft's no slouch when it comes to market expansion, with personal computing, mobile and even gaming under its Redmond wing -- but fashion? Well, it's time for pigs to fly because two of MS' very own took home Best Concept and Best in Show for their Printing Dress creation at the 15th Annual International Symposium on Wearable Computers. The dress, created by MS Research's Asta Roseway and the Xbox division's Sheridan Martin Small, incorporates a laptop, projector, four circuit boards and laser-cut, typewriter-shaped buttons into a black and white rice paper design. Wondering what all the gadgetry is for? Stressing the need for accountability in our age of anonymous, digital communication, the duo's winning entry aims to have us all wearing what we tweet -- literally, as messages typed via the bodice-sewn keys display on the gown's lower half. It might seem a far-fetched goal now, but these "eRenaissance women" hope to lure tech back from the "cold, unyielding" brink and into the warmth of a "human age." Jump past the break for a video peek at this ethical couture.

SandForce demos 24nm flash from Toshiba, cheaper SSDs on the horizon

SandForce First to Demonstrate 24nm Toshiba MLC Flash for SSDs

Break-through 2nd Generation SSD Processors Continue to Set the Technology Standard for Volume SSD Deployment with Industry's Most Advanced NAND Flash
Flash Memory Summit 2011
August 09, 2011 09:18 AM Eastern Daylight Time

SANTA CLARA, Calif.--(EON: Enhanced Online News)--SandForce® Inc., the innovator of Solid State Drive (SSD) Processors that drive ubiquitous deployment of volume flash memory into primary and I/O intensive data storage applications, today announced the first public demonstration of its award-winning SSD Processors working in concert with the industry's most aggressive NAND flash family for SSD applications -- 24 nanometer (nm) Multi-level Cell (MLC) NAND Flash from Toshiba. This product combination enables SandForce Driven™ SSD manufacturers to produce more affordable SSD products which will further accelerate adoption in the enterprise, client, and industrial computing markets that demand optimized reliability, performance, and power efficiency. Industry analyst Gartner (May 2011 forecast) reports SSD unit shipments in the three target markets will surpass 66 million units in 2014 -- an astounding 61% compound annual growth rate from 2010 shipments.

"As the principal inventor of NAND Flash memory, Toshiba is constantly evolving this technology to be the highest quality and most cost effective media for SSDs by working closely with innovative companies like SandForce," said Shigeo Ohshima, Technology Executive, Memory Design and Application Engineering, Toshiba Corporation. "The SandForce SF-2000 SSD Processor, combined with our new 24nm NAND Flash memory provides an optimal SSD solution to enable accelerated deployment of thin-and-light notebooks as well as mainstream enterprise applications."

To date, SandForce has shipped well over 2 million SSD Processors through more than 30 SandForce Driven and other SSD manufacturers in 18 months, validating the tremendous demand and market need for the performance and capability of the SandForce SF-1000 and SF-2000 product families. SandForce SSD Processors use innovative DuraClass™ technology with RAISE™ and patented and patent pending DuraWrite™ to optimize the entire user computing experience.

"Our award winning DuraClass technology includes a number of features enabling the industry's highest level of reliability, endurance, performance, and power efficiency in a single SSD Processor solution," said Thad Omura, vice president of marketing at SandForce. "We worked closely with Toshiba to expand DuraClass with additional advanced read recovery techniques vital to the successful operation of SSDs that use more aggressive NAND Flash process nodes."

See the Technology Live at Flash Memory Summit, August 9-11!

SandForce will demonstrate the powerful combination of the Toshiba 24nm MLC Flash memory and its latest SF-2000 SSD Processor in a 2.5" SSD form factor during exhibition hours at booth #407-409 (Santa Clara Convention Center, Santa Clara, California). The demonstration features the company's 6 Gigabit-per-second (Gb/s) SATA SF-2000 SSD Processors with balanced read and write speeds up to 500 Megabytes per second and up to 60,000 IOPS with state-of-the-art, Toshiba 24nm Toggle Flash memory operating at 166 mega-transfers per second.

Other products on display include complete SandForce reference designs and non-HDD form factor SSDs from various SandForce Driven™ members.

About SandForce

SandForce SSD Processors use DuraClass technology with RAISE and patented and patent pending DuraWrite to drive ubiquitous deployment of volume flash memory into primary and I/O intensive data storage applications. SandForce Driven SSDs dramatically optimize mission-critical application reliability, IT infrastructure ROI, green power preservation, and everyday computing user experiences. Founded in 2006, SandForce is funded by leading venture capital investors and first tier storage companies. For more information, visit SandForce at and follow SandForce on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube.

SandForce and the SandForce logo are registered trademarks, and DuraClass, DuraWrite, RAISE, SandForce Driven, the SandForce Driven logo, SandForce Trusted, and the SandForce Trusted logo are trademarks of SandForce Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

Tokyoflash's Kisai 3D Unlimited watch turns time into a colorful ice cube (video)

By Amar Toor posted Aug 9th 2011 1:52PM The folks over at Tokyoflash tend to come up with some pretty inscrutable watches, but their latest creation, the Kisai 3D Unlimited, looks refreshingly... simple. Its cube-like, "3D" time display may not be conventional, but its mirrored LCD doesn't require a degree in cryptology, either (the time displayed above is 12:34. See it?). The watch also features a pretty sleek, stainless steel design, with a case measuring just 8.5mm thick, and a fully adjustable strap that can fit even the daintiest of wrists. If you're interested in grabbing one, you can choose from seven different colors at the source link, for about $120. Otherwise, check out some more pics in the gallery below, or slip past the break for a couple of demo videos from Tokyoflash Japan.

Australia's first mobile network celebrates 30th birthday with a quiet night in

By Amar Toor posted Aug 10th 2011 7:11AM Why is this phone staring at the ground in dismay? Because it can't believe that it's been 30 years since it made history. On this day three decades ago, this 14 kilogram beast was used to place the very first call on Australia's very first mobile network -- the Public Automatic Telephone System, operated by Telstra (or Telecom, as it was known at the time). Back then, the network could only support 1,000 users at once and provide coverage for the greater Melbourne area (things have since changed for the better). The device, meanwhile, was known simply as The Mobile Phone and, in retrospect, wasn't all that mobile; the carphone system included a 45 centimeter handset, a transceiver and rooftop antenna -- all for a little over $5,000. It could also store a whopping 16 phone numbers and would notify users of incoming calls by sounding the car's horn and flashing its headlights. The Mobile Phone's Australian reign, however, would be relatively short-lived, with the DynaTAC 8000x ushering in a new handheld era, just two years after Telstra's inaugural call. Dial past the break for a Wagnerian commercial that'll tell you everything you always wanted to know about antiquity, but were too afraid to ask.

[Thanks, Vincent]

Organic Motion's OpenStage motion capture system grabs 200FPS, no backdrop required (video)

Organic Motion Launches New Markerless Motion Capture System with Major New Capabilities

OpenStage® Delivers Multiple Actor Tracking, Increased Accuracy, No Backdrop, and More in-Demand Capabilities

VANCOUVER--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Organic Motion, Inc. today announced the release of its new markerless motion capture system – the first major upgrade to its award-winning computer vision platform. Branded OpenStage, the new feature-rich system is designed to meet the demanding and varied requirements of commercial animators, educators, and public exhibitors. OpenStage is being demonstrated at SIGGRAPH 2011 in Vancouver at Booth 579.

Based on proprietary computer vision software and high speed color cameras, OpenStage provides many important capabilities, including multiple actor tracking, basic prop tracking, no backdrop, larger scanning space, increased accuracy, portability, and other features. OpenStage fulfills the key requirements for preproduction, production, live entertainment, and educational needs.

"We are excited to unleash the power of our new computer vision software – taking away the backdrop, tracking multiple actors using props in larger spaces, all of course with no markers at all. OpenStage is our answer to the thousands of industry people who have requested more from our commercial systems," says Andrew Tschesnok, Organic Motion, CEO.

The Company expects OpenStage to gain traction with three audiences that most frequently need convenient, accurate, and flexible methods to capture human motion for 3D animation and related works:

Animation – A comprehensive motion capture solution, OpenStage is specifically designed for flexible, convenient, and accurate content creation and animation of multiple actors. OpenStage reduces the time and cost required to create 3D animations, and provides speed and flexibility for a range of previz projects.

Education – The ability to track multiple students simultaneously, combined with portability for use in different rooms around campus, makes OpenStage ideal for hands-on teaching and learning. Many schools have integrated Organic Motion's system into their gaming, animation, virtual reality, computer science, and life science classes.

Public Interactive Exhibits – The instant tracking of attendees in their regular clothes makes innovative exhibits possible for the science center and public exhibition market. Interactive agencies and their clients requested no backdrop and more flexible sizing to best enable OpenStage to serve hundreds of visitors daily.

Samsung Galaxy XCover gets uncovered in Germany, dares us to drop it in mud

Water-resistant case meets social networking and Android ™ 2.3: The Samsung Galaxy Xcover

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

The combination of protective housing with IP67 certification, scratch-resistant touch screen display, Android and Samsung Social Hub ™ 2.3 makes the Samsung Galaxy Xcover the ideal device for users with an active lifestyle

Schwalbach / Ts., 9 August 2011 - With the Galaxy Xcover Samsung expands its range of rugged mobile phones for outdoor use. The device combines outdoor skills with the ability of a powerful smartphone.

Whether water, dust or hard surfaces: the Samsung Galaxy Xcover is well prepared against harmful environmental influences. This IP67 certified enclosure protects the unit against dust and dirt there. In addition, the Samsung Galaxy Xcover to a depth of one meter for a period is waterproof up to half an hour. The touch-screen display with a diagonal measurement of 9.27 inches is made of scratch-resistant tempered glass. The 3.2-megapixel camera of the Samsung Galaxy Xcover is supported by an LED photo light, which can be used when needed as a flashlight or signal light.

Smart through social networking apps and running the Samsung Galaxy Xcover with the Android ™ 2.3 platform and is using apps ideally suit her personal needs. Provide wireless connectivity for fast n-standard, and an HSDPA connection with a transfer rate of up to 7.2 Mbit / s.

The Samsung Galaxy Xcover is available from October in the trade.

Apple puts PCs on free recycling party list, opens doors to iPads, iPhones

By Lydia Leavitt posted Aug 10th 2011 12:32AM After being forced to pay off the door man to get into Apple's electronics recycling party for years now, PCs are finally getting in for free -- VIP style. Apple has revised its Reuse and Recycling Program and opened the gates to sheep from another shepherd's flock. The new rules are quite a departure from past protocol, which charged PC users 30 bones to recycle non-Apple computers and displays -- unless of course they agreed to purchase a Mac, in which case Apple would kindly do it for free. As part of the restructured program, ripe old iPads and iPhones are now eligible for Apple's exchange program as well, where you'll get a gift card if your device is actually worth anything. The company still recycles old iPods and mobile phones (regardless of manufacturer) for free, and offers 10% off a new iPod if you hand over an old one. With the revised plan it's safe to say the folks at Apple ditched the program's old theme song, "It's Not Easy Being Green," and are instead spinning a new track. Sparkly silver jacket not included.

Vudu starts streaming movies to the iPad, chooses the web app route

Walmart Brings VUDU's Movie Streaming Service to iPad
More than 20,000 blockbusters, Hollywood classics and independent films can be
instantly streamed through on iPad

SANTA CLARA, Calif. and BENTONVILLE, Ark. – (Aug. 10, 2011) – Walmart announced today the
launch of VUDU for the iPad. VUDU, a leading subscription-free, video-on-demand movie service and
wholly owned subsidiary of Walmart stores, has optimized the navigation experience of to
enable millions of iPad owners to rent or buy entertainment content and then stream it easily through any
iPad browser.

Beginning today, iPad users can go to and browse through VUDU's entertainment content
library, which includes more than 20,000 blockbusters, Hollywood classics, independent films and TV
episodes, then rent or purchase and watch them instantly. For one touch access to VUDU, customers
can add a VUDU icon to their iPad desktops by clicking the "Add to Home Screen" button when on

"At Walmart, one of our key priorities is to provide one continuous experience for our customers to
interact with our brand - whether that is in stores, online or from their mobile devices," said Edward
Lichty, general manager, VUDU. "VUDU's launch on the iPad plays into that vision as we're committed
to offering the VUDU experience on as many devices as possible so customers can shop for and access
their favorite movies and TV shows however they want, whenever they want."

Movies purchased and/or rented on the iPad can also be viewed on,
or on any VUDU-enabled consumer electronics device. VUDU is currently available on more than 300
consumer electronics devices including Internet-capable HDTVs, Blu-ray Disc players and the PlayStation
3 - more than any other pay-per-view service.
About VUDU
A leader in HD streaming, VUDU offers the world's largest online selection of HD movies, including
thousands of blockbusters, Hollywood classics and indies available in stunning HDX 1080p with Dolby
Digital Plus 5.1 surround sound. Movies are available the same day they are released on DVD or Blu-ray,
and can be rented or purchased without a subscription. VUDU is available on Internet-capable HDTVs
and Blu-ray Disc players from FUNAI Electronics (Magnavox, Sylvania), LG Electronics, Mitsubishi
Digital Electronics, Panasonic, Philips, Samsung, SANYO, Sharp, Sony, Toshiba and VIZIO, and on
the PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system from Sony. VUDU is a wholly owned subsidiary
of Walmart Stores, Inc., and is headquartered in Santa Clara, CA. For more information, visit http://

About Walmart
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT) serves customers and members more than 200 million times per
week at over 9,200 retail units under 69 different banners in 28 countries. With fiscal year 2011 sales
of $419 billion, Walmart employs 2.1 million associates worldwide. Walmart continues to be a leader in
sustainability, corporate philanthropy and employment opportunity. Additional information about Walmart

can be found by visiting and on Twitter at Online
merchandise sales are available at and


HDI 3D to ship new line of 3D projectors next year, we mortgage our homes

HDI 3D Begins Manufacturing of High-Definition Laser-Driven 2D/3D Projectors for Home Theater, Corporate and Film Industry Applications

August 10, 2011 – Los Gatos, CA - HDI 3D announces it has begun manufacturing its line of proprietary and patented Laser-Driven 2D/3D Switchable Dynamic Video Projectors. HDI 3D projectors derive their stereoscopic 2K image-quality from dual 2K RGB laser-illuminated Liquid Crystal on Silicon (LCOS) micro display imagers. At 1080 frames per second, 360 color frames per second per eye, HDI 3D projectors offer the fasted 3D, as well as 2D, refresh rate in the world, while also delivering a laser color gamut up to 200% NTSC.

The first pre-production run of 100 hand-made-in-the-USA HDI 3D Model LSS Pro 1 Projectors will be available in mid-February 2012. As many as five other models are expected to be available by the end of 2012.

Designed for a multitude of fully immersive 3D applications, including home theater, professional screening rooms, corporate, systems integration, and more, HDI 3D Projectors are designed for compatibility with their own proprietary line of Laser Silver Screens in 120-inch, 200-inch and 300-inch diagonal models. The 120-inch diagonal screen offers 70 Foot Lambert in 2D and 35 Foot Lambert in 3D, and the 200 and 300-inch diagonal screens offer 35 Foot Lambert in 2D and 18 Foot Lambert in 3D.

HDI 3D has completely eliminated the adverse effects, such as migraines, dizziness, nausea, and motion sickness, long associated with inferior and expensive shutter glasses and substandard 3D technology. HDI 3D delivers the most immersive, comfortable, and natural 3D viewing experience in the world with low-cost and light-weight proprietary polarized glasses. Technology journalist Richard Hart called HDI 3D's picture quality, "the smoothest yet, and smoothness means no headaches," and Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple Computers, stated, "Without a doubt, the best demonstration of 3D technology I have ever seen."

HDI 3D first announced their new laser-driven projection technology in September 2009 after three years of intensive R&D at a cost of, to date, approximately $6.7 million dollars in personal and private funding, with founder and CEO Ingemar Jansson as the primary investor. Recently Hollywood entertainment industry entities and leading manufacturers of consumer electronics and display technologies have expressed interest in partnering and/or investing to fast-track mass production of the HDI 3D projectors, especially for the home theater marketplace.

Perceptive Pixel shows world's largest projected capacitive display at SIGGRAPH, we go hands-on (video)

By Darren Murph posted Aug 9th 2011 8:06PM Perceptive Pixel wasn't kidding around when it launched the planet's biggest projected capacitive display here at SIGGRAPH -- all 82 inches of it were here on display, and naturally, we stopped by to give it a look. While 82-inch panels aren't anything new, this one's particularly special. You see, the company actually procures the panels from Samsung, and then it rips the guts out while bonding its own network of sensors directly to it; most large-screen touch devices simply pop a touch layer on top of whatever TV shows up in the labs, but this integrated approach takes sensitivity to a whole 'nother level. For those unfamiliar with the term 'projected capacitive,' we're surmising that it's actually far less foreign than you think -- it's a technology used in a handful of smartphones, from Samsung's Moment to Apple's iPhone. 3M was also showing off a PC tech preview back at CES, and after using it here on the show floor, there's no question that it's the future for larger-screen devices. To quote CEO Jeff Han: "once consumers get a taste of this on the mobile front, they start demanding it elsewhere."

True enough, but the 27-inch and 82-inch pro-cap displays shown here are far from consumer-oriented. Priced at $12,000 and $120,000 (respectively) with a workstation and software included, you probably won't be considering either for your looming man cave. But according to the company, the 82-incher is already proving to be a hot commodity; it's scheduled to go on sale to pre-orderers next month, and every single one it can make has already been claimed. A wider release is targeted for Q4, and while the company wouldn't divulge any details on who's buying, we're guessing it's CNN and the like -- don't be shocked to see these very panels used in the 2012 election coverage. The kicker here is the truly unlimited acceptance of touch points; toss all the digits you want on the panel, and it'll calculate the exact point and movement associated with 'em. We've toyed with plenty of alternatives before, and it's safe to say that Pixel Perspective has the slickest, most responsive iteration that we've seen to date. Moreover, the outfit took the opportunity today to speak of its homegrown stylus; it's an in-house solution that'll only work on its panels, but it's designed to help artists who'd like to manipulate an object with one hand while doodling with the other. We're told to expect more UI announcements on that front in the coming months, but the precision we witnessed here is already worth drooling about.

Finally, Jeff affirmed that the consumer landscape is "most definitely" on his radar, and just as soon as this technology becomes affordable enough for the mainstream, it'll be headed your way. Where? That's a topic he wouldn't broach quite yet, but all-in-one touch PCs and interactive televisions don't seem all that far-fetched. Come to think about, neither does an 82-inch selection board for your impending Fantasty Football draft.

Unreleased Sony Alpha A77 already nominated for Good Design Award, reveals several new features

By Richard Lai posted Aug 10th 2011 5:55AM Sony may have yet to officially announce its upcoming Alpha A77 camera, but thanks to a nomination page ahead of this month's Good Design Expo, we can finally get a glimpse of what this imager will pack internally. Indeed, the A77 will come with a 24 megapixel Exmor CMOS sensor, along with a translucent mirror that enables full-time continuous autofocus. Additionally, with the help of its new BIONZ engine, we have a "world's fastest" burst rate of 12 frames per second, which goes nicely alongside the camera's 60p and 24p video recording modes (presumably in AVCHD). What also caught our eyes was this "world's first" XGA OLED electronic viewfinder, while the A55 and A35 come with just LCD versions. Well, only time will tell whether this camera lives up to expectations -- by the sound of it, we'll probably be able to play with one within a few weeks from now.

[Thanks, pontsuku.]

Update: And just like that, the nomination page has promptly been taken down. Good thing we saved a copy, though -- check it out after the break, if you want to practise your Japanese.
web coverage

Robot skin captures super detailed 3D surface images

By Lydia Leavitt posted Aug 10th 2011 8:10AM Remember those awesome pin art toys where you could press your hand (or face) into the pins to leaving a lasting impression? Researchers at MIT have taken the idea one (or two) steps further with "GelSight," a hunk of synthetic rubber that creates a detailed computer visualized image of whatever surface you press it against. It works as such: push the reflective side of the gummy against an object (they chose a chicken feather and a $20 bill) and the camera on the other end will capture a 3-D image of the microscopic surface structure. Originally designed as robot "skin," researchers realized the tool could be used in applications from criminal forensics (think bullets and fingerprints) to dermatology. The Coke can-sized machine is so sensitive, it can capture surface subtleties as small as one by two micrometer in surface -- finally solving the mystery of who stole the cookies from the cookie jar. (Hint: we know it was you Velvet Sledgehammer).

Bluelounge MiniDock for iOS cuts the cord, declutters your life

Bluelounge Launches MiniDock Home and Travel iPhone/iPod Wall Charger and Display-Docking Station

Cord-free and compact, MiniDock simplifies travel and household charging needs.

Pasadena, CA (PRWEB) August 08, 2011

Bluelounge, the award-winning international design studio known for sleek, functional, design-forward cable management and home/office organization products, today announced the market-wide availability of MiniDock, a cord-free wall charger and display-docking station made for Apple iPhone and iPod devices that uses the existing Apple USB Power Adapter. MiniDock represents the latest in a series of sleek, innovative cord management products from Bluelounge, all designed specifically for Apple iPhones and essential for travel and household charging needs.

MiniDock allows consumers to charge and display their iPhone in an upright position in any electrical outlet without disorganized cords. Intended for use with existing Apple USB Power Adapter, iPhone or iPod can now plug directly into an electrical outlet. Ideal while traveling or in any home or office environment, MiniDock is lightweight, cord-free, and allows users to simplify and de-clutter the charging areas normally occupied with the unsightly and wayward cords. Users no longer need to deal with untidy cords while packing or when charging their device. With MiniDock, the user can charge their Apple devices upright, directly into their Apple USB Power Adapter, conveniently and seamlessly anywhere where an electric outlet is available.

"Our customers are passionate about their iPhones and their accessories," said Dominic Symons, Bluelounge Principal and Creative Director. "People are proud of their devices so they treat them with care and worry about their phones getting damaged when in use or while traveling. MiniDock meets the public's desire perfectly, with a sleek and innovative charging station that doubles as a display stand, so proud iPhone owners can use their hardware efficiently while they charge it. Our unique design keeps their phones safe, off the floor and out of harm's way-all at the same time."

Microsoft's KinectFusion research project offers real-time 3D reconstruction, wild AR possibilities

By Darren Murph posted Aug 9th 2011 2:48PM It's a little shocking to think about the impact that Microsoft's Kinect camera has had on the gaming industry at large, let alone the 3D modeling industry. Here at SIGGRAPH 2011, we attended a KinectFusion research talk hosted by Microsoft, where a fascinating new look at real-time 3D reconstruction was detailed. To better appreciate what's happening here, we'd actually encourage you to hop back and have a gander at our hands-on with PrimeSense's raw motion sensing hardware from GDC 2010 -- for those who've forgotten, that very hardware was finally outed as the guts behind what consumers simply know as "Kinect." The breakthrough wasn't in how it allowed gamers to control common software titles sans a joystick -- the breakthrough was the price. The Kinect took 3D sensing to the mainstream, and moreover, allowed researchers to pick up a commodity product and go absolutely nuts. Turns out, that's precisely what a smattering of highly intelligent blokes in the UK have done, and they've built a new method for reconstructing 3D scenes (read: real-life) in real-time by using a simple Xbox 360 peripheral.

The actual technobabble ran deep -- not shocking given the academic nature of the conference -- but the demos shown were nothing short of jaw-dropping. There's no question that this methodology could be used to spark the next generation of gaming interaction and augmented reality, taking a user's surroundings and making it a live part of the experience. Moreover, game design could be significantly impacted, with live scenes able to be acted out and stored in real-time rather than having to build something frame by frame within an application. According to the presenter, the tech that's been created here can "extract surface geometry in real-time," right down to the millimeter level. Of course, the Kinect's camera and abilities are relatively limited when it comes to resolution; you won't be building 1080p scenes with a $150 camera, but as CPUs and GPUs become more powerful, there's nothing stopping this from scaling with the future. Have a peek at the links below if you're interested in diving deeper -- don't be shocked if you can't find the exit, though.

Facebook introduces separate Messenger app for iPhone and Android

By Donald Melanson posted Aug 9th 2011 3:53PM It's not clear if its recently acquired group messaging firm, Beluga, had anything to do with it or not, but Facebook has branched out further into the increasingly crowded messaging space today with the announcement of a separate Facebook Messenger app. Available for iPhone and Android, the app lets you send messages directly to individual friends or groups, which they'll of course receive instantly (a la BBM, Huddle for Google+, and Apple's forthcoming iMessage). You're also able to share your location if you choose, and attach photos to your messages, but the app is otherwise streamlined and barebones -- which Facebook says is just the point. You can grab it from the App Store or Android Market now via the links below.

Update: As pointed out by Mark Levin in comments, it turns out the Beluga team did indeed have a hand in the development of the app.

Sixaxis Controller Android app makes firing off hadoukens easy as pie (video)

SIxaxis Controller for AndroidN900 owners have been able to press their Sixaxis controllers into service on their handsets for quite sometime, but Android tablets have been stubbornly stuck to a USB tether. That is, until now. Dancing Pixel Studios' Sixaxis Controller app for Android does exactly what you expect -- allows you wirelessly control games on your Google-powered device with a PS3 gamepad. It's not the simplest setup on Earth. You'll need to be rooted, and before you can pair it with your phone or tablet you'll have to connect to a PC via USB and fire up the SixaxisPairTool. The app also doesn't play nice with most HTC devices or newer Samsung ones. Thankfully, before you drop your hard-earned $1.67 on the app you can download the free Sixaxis Compatibility Checker. Don't miss the video after the break, and hit up the source links to download both now and make pulling off a hadouken that much easier.

Nokia to retire Symbian in North America, going all-in on Windows Phone

By Tim Stevens posted Aug 9th 2011 2:22PM Nokia to retire Symbian in North America, going all-in on Windows PhoneWe know that Symbian isn't dying any time soon, but here in the US of A the little OS that couldn't quite captivate our picky buyers will soon be mighty hard to find. Speaking with All Things D, Chris Weber, President of Nokia's US operations, said "When we launch Windows Phones we will essentially be out of the Symbian business, the S40 business, etc." That means no more full-price or business-focused devices in the US, and no more Symbian love. This is at least in part thanks to the failure of the Astound to find a solid foothold, but Nokia's upcoming Windows Phone offerings (like the Sea Ray) will at least follow in its footsteps, being sold with proper carrier subsidies and riding the wave of a giant advertising blitz. Will it work? According to Weber, it has to: "The reality is if we are not successful with Windows Phone, it doesn't matter what we do." 

T-Mobile myTouch 4G designer Donn Koh unveils the process, how he brings the heat

By Billy Steele posted Aug 10th 2011 4:19AM Have you ever wanted a look inside the mind of a mobile handset designer? Of course you do, and so do we, for that matter. Donn Koh, lead designer of smartphones like Sprint's Evo 4G and T-Mobile's myTouch 4G, has in-depth breakdowns of the design process on his personal website for our perusal. Going into detail about how the team managed to raise the bar while still including all the required elements, Koh also speaks about the goals for creating a dock for the myTouch 4G that would allow the phone itself to be the main attraction. Check out the source for the full rundown, and peep another sweet design shot after the break -- especially if you enjoy well-designed, well thought out tech.

Big box earbuds put to a blind 'taste' test in the Engadget Labs

Engadget Labs EarbudsHello, and welcome to yet another installment of Engadget Laboratories. This time around we're taking a pseudo scientific look at sub-$100 earbuds. We've all been caught out, headphoneless, and desperate to put some tunes in our ears. So, the question is, what exactly do you get for your money when you stumble into a Best Buy and pick up whatever happens to be hanging on the shelves? Clearly you're trading convenience for selection when you shuffle into a big box shop for your audio needs, but that doesn't necessarily mean you should just grab the cheapest thing hanging by the register, or the most expensive for that matter. We randomly selected four sets of phones, at four different price points, and put it to a group of average Joes and Janes to see if they could actually tell the difference between a $100 pair of buds and a $10 pair (while blindfolded and trapped inside a booth).
We sent our crack team of researchers out to the nearest Best Buy, and they emerged with a sack of earbuds and, most importantly, the receipt (our budget wouldn't even allow us to buy new lab coats after all the blood, sweat, and champagne we spilled in our last experiment). A group of four individuals were ushered into our testing facility, treated to a musical selection, and asked to rate the sound quality of each of set of headphones, on a scale of one to ten. The test was performed blindfolded and without knowing how much the buds cost. For each evaluation we put our victims subjects inside a booth. Said contraption was not sound proof, nor would we want it to be (sound isolation is an important test criteria), we just did it 'cause it seemed like it would be fun.
Philips ratings
Philips earbudsThese basic buds probably don't offer any advantage over the ones that came packaged with your last iPod -- unless you happen to really like the color black. If you're not a particularly demanding listener, like David who awarded this set an eight, you may find they get the job done just fine. But the truth is, at this price point, you'll be dealing with tinny sound, poor fit, and little in the way of actual sound isolation. Two of our testers gave this particular model a six, while Jason gave it only a one. Will the sound you get for a Jefferson be passable? Sure -- but chances are you wouldn't want to make these your every day pair of headphones. Even at top volumes, which could potentially blow less durable drivers like these 13.5mm ones, loud conversations will be audible over your tunes and if you've got smaller ears, good luck getting these one-size-fits-all earbuds to stay in place.

Total score: 21 out of 40

iFrogz rating
iFrogzStepping up a notch might not actually offer much of an improvement over cheaper options. The representative $25 set we tested from iFrogz didn't fair much better than the Philips, and our subject Donna found them to be vastly inferior, giving them only a two. Though, Jason thought these buds were much better, rating them an eight. The drivers in the EarPollutions are small, only 9mm, but a tube feeding the sound into your ears improves bass response and sound isolation, allowing you to hear more of your music. The extra $15 also buys you a few nice extras like foam (or rubber in the case of the iFrogz) earpieces that improve fit and block out external noise as well as a microphone for use as a wired headset. However, David was unable to distinguish between the sound of our first two units and Chris actually thought the Philips were marginally better. It seems that the extra cash for this level of earbud is primarily buying you a slightly better design, but not necessarily better sound.

Total score: 23 out of 40

Kickers rating
KickersWith the jump up to $45 our tester Donna remained unimpressed, awarding the Kickers only a two but, overall the company's "premium" earbuds fared better with our testers. The slightly larger 10mm drivers produced a broader range of frequencies and deeper bass than the cheaper models. In addition, the Kickers were the first buds we encountered with a truly adjustable fit. Inside the package were three different sets of silicone tips and one pair of foam ones that would fit almost any ears. They also sport a thicker-gauge, cloth covered wire that, while not exactly "tangle-free," is certainly less likely to wind up a knotted ball. The Kickers are a little more gimmicky than some other headphones in this price range from companies like Sennheiser (which provide an even wider frequency response) but are still well reviewed. The $40-50 range is where you finally start seeing significant return for your audio dollar when it comes to sound quality and they often offer much more in the way of sound isolation.

Total score: 27 out of 40

Bose ratings
BoseThe most recognizable name on the shelves when you hit the $100 mark is probably Bose, followed closely by Monster's Beats. Both of these makers share something in common besides cost -- they're pretty universally reviled by audio purists. However, the largest jump in perceived quality came with move to these somewhat strange looking buds -- scoring a pair of tens and a nine. Only Chris didn't care for the IE2s, giving them just a three. The truth is, with Bose and Monster, you're paying almost as much for fancy marketing and "proprietary technologies" as you are for actual quality. That doesn't mean you're not getting a solid sounding pair of ear-speakers though. You're getting larger, higher-quality drivers and much better sound isolation when you hit this price range, even from a somewhat disdained brand like Bose. If you consider yourself a more serious listener with a distaste for the over-emphasized low-end of Bose and Monster there are comparably priced, but more balanced sounding buds from the likes of Shure and Sennheiser that sometimes sneak into large electronics chains. Some even pack higher impedance 20-ohm drivers.

Total score: 32 out of 40

When you walk into a big box store your options will be fairly limited but, unless you're looking for a toss away pair of buds just for the afternoon, it's worth the extra couple of bucks for a decent set of headphones. We probably didn't have to tell you this but, the more you pay for earbuds, the better they sound as a general rule. Now, that doesn't mean you have to slap a Benjamin on the counter, it just means you'll want to look for a basic features like sound-isolating tips and keep an eye on frequency response (most will list the range on the packaging). Having a broader response or higher SPL (sometimes called sensitivity) doesn't necessarily equal higher-quality, but it is a useful indicator, and watch out for marketing schemes -- Dr. Dre doesn't put his name on a pair of headphones for free. Ultimately though, as you can see by the sometimes wildly varying scores, earbud preference is largely a personal decision affected by every thing from ear size to how much bass you want for your face.

Nintendo opens 5,000 free WiFi hotspots across the pond, connects your 3DS to The Cloud

By Joseph Volpe posted Aug 9th 2011 9:07PM Still fuming over that 3DS price drop despite the Big N's conciliatory make-goods? If you happen to be a resident gamer in the UK, tack some 5,000 free WiFi hotspots onto the company's apology. According to a report from International Business Times, the service, backed by BSkyB-controlled The Cloud, goes live today, bringing users access to all the console's usual online features and should come in handy when in-game DLC becomes available later this year. No doubt the move from Nintendo's British outfit is intended to add a little purchase incentive to the DS' underwhelming successor, as well as boosting the gaming giant's own declining earnings. No matter, with twenty free games and gratis WiFi -- it's looking good to be an early adopter.

Runco announces LightStyle LS-1 DLP projector, shines 1080p on your wall for $4,000

Runco's LightStyle Series Expands to Achieve their Most Affordable Price Point Ever

New LS-1 introduces Runco's high-quality, affordable projection to value-conscious customers looking for the very best performance.

Beaverton, OR – August 9, 2011 – Runco® is excited to announce the newest addition to its critically-acclaimed LightStyle™ Series DLP™ projectors, the LS-1. The LS-1 is a single-chip 1080p DLP projector that provides an unprecedented option to homeowners looking for the performance and flexibility of a Runco projector at a very attractive price point.

"With the introduction of the LS-1, we are able to bring the renowned Runco performance to a broader group of video enthusiasts," said Jennifer Davis, VP of Marketing at Runco. "Being able to hit this competitive price point enables our integrators more opportunities to sell to a large, previously-untapped market and for homeowners to enjoy the benefits owning a Runco brings."

The Runco LS-1 is an ideal alternative for homeowners who want a high performance video option for watching TV or movies, but also want the color depth and picture quality for console gaming (i.e., PlayStation, Wii or Kinect), internet browsing or streaming video and movies via a set-top box. The Runco LightStyle product line offers the greatest range of brightness and image performance for different rooms and needs.

"Runco's LightStyle Series allows us to deliver Runco performance to a new group of clients," said Brian Hudkins, president of Gramophone LTD. "The beauty of the LightStyle Series is that we have been able reach a larger customer base due to its affordability, without sacrificing performance OR reliability as these projectors meet the high quality standards of Runco."

The LS-1 uses Digital Light Processing (DLP) technology to deliver the best color and crisp detail available in this product class and combines Runco's SuperOnyx™ technology with ConstantContrast™ and ViVix™ proprietary digital video processing to achieve deep black levels and significant contrast, well above 10:000:1. The LS-1 also incorporates the ISF™ (Imaging Science Foundation) calibration suite for optimal performance in various rooms and lighting conditions. These calibration tools feature day and night calibration memory settings, individual sharpness and noise reduction controls, programmable image memory selection keys, built-in test patterns and a dark room-optimized remote.

Its sleek, glamorous design and customization options make the Runco LightStyle Series projectors the perfect solution to pair with a design-conscious homeowner. The LS-1 can be customized with Runco's FinishPalette™ which enables complete projector customization for the homeowner. FinishPalette adds full-color design options, including exact PMS color matching for any college or pro-sports teams, a gallery of artist impressions and the option to custom-print your own artwork. Complementing the FinishPalette offering are 25 hand-finished signature paint colors to compliment any décor.

The LS-1 is also available with Runco's CineGlide™ lens solution that enables a motorized, mechanical 2.35:1 anamorphic lens to move in front of the standard lens for perfect Scope reproduction. Runco CineGlide enables the viewer to switch from 16:9 content to 2.35:1 content, without black bars on the top or side of the image, with the touch of a button.

The MSRP of the LS-1 is $3,995 and will be available to Runco dealers on August 16th. All Runco displays feature a two-year RuncoCare™ standard warranty. Runco RedCarpet™ and PremierCare™ extended service options are also available. Runco's new LightStyle Series projectors are available exclusively through the best dealers in the home theater business - the Runco authorized dealer network. For more information about Runco or to find a local dealer in your area, please visit

Plug-in Prius pulling into American driveways in February or March of 2012

By Terrence O'Brien posted Aug 9th 2011 3:47PM Plug-in PriusGood new PHV fans, the plug-in Prius you've been promised should start pulling into American driveways in February or March of 2012 -- at least according to a startup date chart at Donlen. The fleet management firm claims initial orders will be taken on November 10th of this year, with the vehicle scheduled to into production in January. An Autoblog tipster also claims to have some rather vague details about trim and color options, as well as its estimated MSRP, which should be below $30,000. Now we've just got to figure out how many extension cords it'll take to reach from our apartment window to the street below.

Amazon snatches up Kindle related domains, Kindle Air rumors start circulating

By Terrence O'Brien posted Aug 9th 2011 5:37PM Kindle domainsHonestly, we're not sure what to make of all the rumors and leaks surrounding Amazon recently. It's safe to assume the company is working on a tablet, and we're long overdue for an update to E-Ink Kindle. But, a recent round of domain registrations has sent the interwebs into a tizzy with some suggesting a new product, dubbed the Kindle Air, is in the pipeline. Though Amazon's name doesn't appear anywhere in the registrant information for, the name MarkMonitor does -- the firm Bezos and crew just used to register and Now, companies pickup domains all the time just to protect their brand, and it seems a bit odd that Amazon would choose a moniker so similar to a particular sliver of aluminum and silicon out of Cupertino. Unfortunately, we'll just have to wait and see if an even lighter and thinner e-reader is on its way from the Seattle company. web coverage

Walmart to shutter its online music store, somewhere Steve Jobs is smiling

By Michael Gorman posted Aug 10th 2011 2:16AM It seems like only yesterday that Walmart was doing its best to beat Apple at the digital music game by delivering us DRM-free digital music. Alas, the inexorable might of iTunes has, at last, become too much to bear. According to Digital Music News, Wally World's MP3 store will shut its digital doors forever on August 28th. Chin up, Walmart, we won't be coming to you for the new Kanye jam (not that we ever would), but we'll still head on down when we're in need of damn near anything else.

Samsung Galaxy R officially announced for Europe and Asia, nobody surprised

NVIDIA and Samsung Expand GALAXY Smartphones with New GALAXY R Smartphone

World's Largest Android Smartphone Maker Ships First Tegra-Powered
Super Phone

Santa Clara, Calif. ­- Aug. 10, 2011-NVIDIA and Samsung Electronics announced the latest GALAXY smartphone, the GALAXY R, which sports a 4.19-inch screen, features the NVIDIA® Tegra™ 2 mobile super chip and the Android 2.3 (also known as Gingerbread) operating system.

Samsung's GALAXY smartphones are among the world's most popular handheld devices.

The GALAXY R gives more consumers the opportunity to enjoy the never-before-seen experiences enabled by Tegra, the world's first mobile processor with a dual-core CPU. The GALAXY R also features a GeForce™ GPU for fast Web browsing with hardware-accelerated Adobe Flash Player support, full HD video and console-quality gaming.

Using the GALAXY R, consumers can multitask efficiently, surf the Web quickly with fast-loading pages and Flash-based content and enjoy HD movies. They can also access Tegra-optimized games through the Tegra Zone app on Android Market.

"Samsung's newest super phone shows off Tegra's multimedia power, and is a great example of what consumers expect from one of the world's top phone makers," said Michael Rayfield, general manager of NVIDIA's mobile business.

The GALAXY R features:
· Tegra 2 super chip
· 4.19" WVGA Super Clear LCD touchscreen
· Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) operating system
· 720p HD video capture and 1080p Full HD playback (Divx, WMV, MP4, H.264 B/P only)
· Built-in memory of 8GB and support for 32GB Micro SD
· Size: 125.7 x 66.7 x 9.55 mm
· Weight: 131 grams

The GALAXY R is available in Sweden, and is coming to other regions soon, including North & Eastern Europe, South East & West Asia, Middle East Asia, and China.

SATA-IO outs new SATA Express and Embedded SSD standards, acronyms abound

It's a big day for SATA-IO, as the organization has just announced not one, but two new SATA standards. The first of these, the SATA Express specification, gets the latter half of its name from the 'e' in PCIe, as it will allow current SATA standards to piggyback on the PCIe interface, boosting speeds to 8Gbps and 16Gbps, up from the current 6Gbps. SATA Express is expected to make its official debut later this year. SATA µSSD, on the other hand, is currently ready to go, and already implemented in SanDisk's iSSD embedded drive. It ditches the module connector from the old interface, allowing OEMs to stack single-chip drives right on the motherboard. A plethora of SATA-related press releases awaits you after the break -- if you're into that sort of thing. SATA-IO to Enable Higher Speed Storage Applications with SATA Express Specification

New Specification Provides Next Generation Storage Solutions for Solid State and Hybrid Drives

BEAVERTON, Ore.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Serial ATA International Organization (SATA-IO), the industry consortium dedicated to sustaining the quality, integrity and dissemination of Serial ATA (SATA™) technology, today announced it is developing SATA Express™, a new specification that combines SATA software infrastructure with the PCI Express® (PCIe®) interface. SATA Express enables the development of new devices that utilize the PCIe interface and maintain compatibility with existing SATA applications. The technology will provide a cost-effective means to increase device interface speeds to 8Gb/s and 16Gb/s.

"We expect the SATA Express specification to be completed by the end of 2011."

Solid state (SSDs) and hybrid drives are already pushing the limits of existing storage interfaces. SATA Express will provide a low-cost solution to fully utilize the performance of these devices. Storage devices not requiring the speed of SATA Express will continue to be served by existing SATA technology. The specification will define new device and motherboard connectors that will support both new SATA Express and current SATA devices.

"The SATA Express specification provides SSD and hybrid drive manufacturers the advantages of performance and scalability enabled by PCIe 3.0 – which is available now – and the ubiquity of SATA," said Mladen Luksic, SATA-IO president. "We expect the SATA Express specification to be completed by the end of 2011."

SanDisk Implements New SATA µSSD™ Specification for Embedded Solid State Drives
• Connector-free, high-capacity, embedded SSDs enable new generation of tablets and ultrathin notebooks
• SanDisk® iSSD™ integrated solid state device series featuring the new SATA µSSD specification is available for sampling now

Flash Memory Summit 2011

(NASDAQ:SNDK), a global leader in flash memory storage solutions, today announced that it has implemented the new SATA µSSD™ specification into its SanDisk iSSD product line of postage stamp-sized embedded SSDs. SATA-IO, an industry consortium dedicated to sustaining the quality, integrity and dissemination of serial ATA (SATA™) technology, introduced the standard today.

"Initiatives such as the µSSD specification promote the development of new standards for storage solutions that help manufacturers continually refine their end consumer product and drive new industry sectors."

The number of media tablets shipped worldwide is expected to grow from 17.8 million units in 2010 to 53.5 million units in 2011. The five-year CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) is 48.5 percent, according to the IDC 1Q11 Media Tablet and eReader Tracker Forecast. These thin, high-performance mobile computing platforms combine sophisticated components in a small physical area, compounding design complexity and driving the need for industry standards.

Embedded SSDs offer fast performance in a tiny footprint, making them an attractive solution for all categories of ultrathin devices. The SATA µSSD specification eliminates the module connector from the traditional SATA interface, enabling developers to produce a single-chip SATA implementation for embedded storage applications. Among the first products to implement the new standard, the SanDisk iSSD series is an ideal storage solution for OEMs developing the next generation of thin, powerful mobile computing platforms.

"To widely adopt a new component technology, manufacturers need to have confidence in its performance, longevity and cost-effectiveness," said Jeff Janukowicz, research manager, solid state storage technology, IDC. "Today's announcement of an industry-wide standardization for embedded SSDs, combined with OEM requirements for size and performance gains in storage, should help propel the market for these tiny, versatile drives."

"Connector-free embedded SSDs allow OEMs to develop a new generation of thin yet powerful tablets and ultrathin notebooks," said Kevin Conley, senior vice president, client storage solutions, SanDisk. "Initiatives such as the µSSD specification promote the development of new standards for storage solutions that help manufacturers continually refine their end consumer product and drive new industry sectors."

The SATA µSSD standard-conforming SanDisk iSSD series utilizes a new electrical pin-out that allows SATA delivery using a single ball grid array (BGA) package. The BGA package sits directly on the motherboard, allowing for form factors as small as 16mm x 20mm x 1.2mm (up to 32GB)/1.4mm (for 64GB) and 16mm x 20mm x 1.85mm (for 128GB). The SanDisk iSSD i100 SSD is available in 8 gigabyte (GB)1 to 128GB capacities, offering OEMs a flexible range of storage options.

"The market for tablets and ultrathin computing devices continues to grow along with the need for small form factor storage solutions," said Mladen Luksic, president, SATA-IO. "We are excited to have industry-wide support for the µSSD specification and look forward to seeing many µSSD-based products available in the near future."
SanDisk Solid State Drives

Supported by vertical integration and more than 20 years of flash memory innovation, SanDisk SSDs empower global manufacturers to satisfy the growing consumer demand for powerful mobile computing platforms such as tablets and notebooks. SanDisk offers a full range of client PC SSD products, including the U100 SSD for cost-effective performance and customizable form factors, the SanDisk iSSD for OEMs who need an embedded µSSD SATA form factor, and a consumer offering that includes the SanDisk Ultra® SSD, which serves as a drop-in replacement for hard disk drives.

About SanDisk
SanDisk Corporation (NASDAQ:SNDK) is a global leader in flash memory storage solutions, from research and development, product design and manufacturing to branding and distribution for OEM and retail channels. Since 1988, SanDisk's innovations in flash memory and storage system technologies have provided customers with new and transformational digital experiences. SanDisk's diverse product portfolio includes flash memory cards and embedded solutions used in smart phones, tablets, digital cameras, camcorders, digital media players and other consumer electronic devices, as well as USB flash drives and solid-state drives (SSD) for the computing market. SanDisk's products are used by consumers and enterprise customers around the world.

SATA-IO Introduces New Standard for Embedded SSDs
µSSD Specification Eliminates Connector for Easy Integration in Embedded Devices

BEAVERTON, Ore.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Serial ATA International Organization (SATA-IO), the consortium dedicated to sustaining the quality, integrity and dissemination of serial ATA (SATA™) technology, today announced a new standard for embedded solid state drives (SSDs). The SATA µSSD™ specification eliminates the module connector from the traditional SATA Interface, enabling developers to produce a single-chip SATA implementation for embedded storage applications.

"As tablets and other small computing devices continue to proliferate in the market, the need for scalable small form factor storage solutions rises exponentially"

The µSSD standard offers a high-performance, low-cost, embedded storage solution for mobile computing platforms like ultra-thin laptops. The specification defines a new electrical pin-out that allows SATA to be delivered using a single ball grid array (BGA) package. The BGA package sits directly on the motherboard, supporting the SATA interface without a connecting module. By eliminating the connector the µSSD standard enables the physically smallest SATA implementation to date, making it an ideal solution for embedding storage in small form factor devices.

"As tablets and other small computing devices continue to proliferate in the market, the need for scalable small form factor storage solutions rises exponentially," said Mladen Luksic, SATA-IO president. "µSSD provides a new way to leverage the speed, reliability, and low power requirements of SATA technology in these types of products to enable powerful new computing platforms."

SATA-IO is also developing interoperability tests for µSSD products that will help ensure devices based on the µSSD standard will be compatible with other µSSD-based products. Products based on the µSSD specification are already available from SanDisk Corporation. Samsung and Toshiba have also expressed support for the standard.

The µSSD specification was developed as part of SATA-IO's continued mission to provide low-cost, high performance storage solutions optimized for a variety of device segments. Since its introduction in 2001, SATA technology has evolved to enable storage options for a number of applications beyond traditional hard disk PC storage. SATA is now implemented in a variety of applications including solid state and optical drives, embedded mobile devices, consumer electronics products and enterprise storage.

SATA specifications are available for members to download at no cost. Non-members may purchase the specification for a nominal fee. Click here for more information on accessing the specifications.

Industry Support for µSSD
Flash industry leaders are supportive of the µSSD initiative. SanDisk currently utilizes the new specification in its iSSD™ integrated storage device, the world's smallest, fastest 128GB (SATA 6 G/bs) SSD, and other companies are making plans to follow suit.

"The SATA µSSD™ standard is a significant industry achievement that brings high-performance SSD storage in a BGA form factor," said Kevin Conley, senior vice president, client storage solutions, SanDisk. "This is enabling OEM designs of new super-thin Ultrabooks and tablets with high SATA performance."

"The µSSD specification will enable embedded storage applications to give designers greater design flexibility," said Scott Nelson, VP Memory Toshiba America Electronic Components, Inc. "Toshiba is pleased to support the development of this specification, which will help enable the continued evolution of thinner and smaller personal computing devices."

Formed in September 2004, SATA-IO is the International Organization that owns and manages Serial ATA specifications as open industry standards. The organization defines and implements the Serial ATA specifications as the industry's storage needs evolve. It is dedicated to sustaining the quality, integrity and dissemination of SATA technology by maintaining the specifications, promoting and marketing the benefits of the technology and creating future interface features and specifications that carry storage into the next decade. Additional information about the organization, its participating companies and membership is available at

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