Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Samsung Galaxy Beam

Register Hardware reports: [edited]

The Samsung Galaxy Beam was first launched in Singapore in July 2010, although the feature of a built-in pico projector did little to propel the handset up the popularity charts.

Almost two years down the line, though, and Samsung reckons the time is right to revisit the prospect, pitching a refreshed Galaxy Beam to the rest of the world. The projector is able to cast a 50in beam with a 720p resolution.

The Beam packs a 4in, 480 x 800 display and a 1GHz dual-core processor running Android 2.3 Gingerbread. There's 8GB of internal memory expandable to 32GB through Micro SD cards, and a 2000mAh battery.

Pricing and availability to be announced.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

FujiFilm Finepix JV210

If you're looking for a 'cheap-as-chips' digital camera, this one (original price £150) is available new on ebay for under £50 including p&p.

It comes with a 14MP sensor, 3x optical zoom and a rechargeable battery. You can even capture videos with it. You'll need to supply an SD card, but you can get a 4GB version for under £4 (inc. p&p) from Amazon.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Teller reveals his secrets have published an entertaining article about how magicians manipulate the human mind.

Excerpts follow:

"In the last half decade, magic has become shockingly respectable in the scientific world. I asked a scientist friend why the sudden interest. He replied that those who fund science research find magicians “sexier than lab rats.”"

"I’m all for helping science. But after I share what I know, my neuroscientist friends thank me by showing me eye-tracking and MRI equipment, and promising that someday such machinery will help make me a better magician."

"I have my doubts. Neuroscientists are novices at deception. Magicians have done controlled testing in human perception for thousands of years. Magic’s not easy to pick apart with machines, because it’s not really about the mechanics of your senses. Magic’s about understanding — and then manipulating — how viewers digest the sensory information."

"It’s hard to think critically if you’re laughing. We often follow a secret move immediately with a joke. A viewer has only so much attention to give, and if he’s laughing, his mind is too busy with the joke to backtrack rationally."

"To fool the mind, combine at least two tricks. Every night in Las Vegas, I make a children’s ball come to life like a trained dog. My method — the thing that fools your eye — is to puppeteer the ball with a thread too fine to be seen from the audience. But during the routine, the ball jumps through a wooden hoop several times, and that seems to rule out the possibility of a thread."

Friday, February 24, 2012

Henry Miller on Practical Creativity

1. Work on one thing at a time until finished.

2. Start no more new books, add no more new material to ‘Black Spring.’

3. Don’t be nervous. Work calmly, joyously, recklessly on whatever is in hand.

4. Work according to Program and not according to mood. Stop at the appointed time!

5. When you can’t create you can work.

6. Cement a little every day, rather than add new fertilizers.

7. Keep human! See people, go places, drink if you feel like it.

8. Don’t be a draught-horse! Work with pleasure only.

9. Discard the Program when you feel like it—but go back to it next day. Concentrate. Narrow down. Exclude.

10. Forget the books you want to write. Think only of the book you are writing.

11. Write first and always. Painting, music, friends, cinema, all these come afterwards.

via Brain Pickings

Thursday, February 23, 2012

SXSW 2012 free music

Every year generous artists make one of their songs available for free download from the SXSW site. And each year the unofficial home of sxsw torrents collects and makes them available as a bittorrent file. There are 771 tracks currently available. Enjoy!

For cover art click here

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Panasonic Eluga

Register Hardware reports: [edited]

The skinny - it's 7.8mm thick and weighs 103g - handset sports a 4.3in, 540 x 960 (qHD) display and packs in near-field communications (NFC) contactless payment and file transfer tech.

The smartphone runs Android 2.3.5 running on a 1GHz Texas Instruments dual-core CPU. There's 8GB of Flash storage on board and an 8Mp camera on the back. Bluetooth 2.1 and 2.4GHz 802.11n Wi-Fi join 3G HSPA for wireless connectivity.

Eluga is also waterproof and dustproof, Panasonic claims.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Free Font - Amaranth

Font Squirrel has this quirky postmodern sans serif available to download in regular, italic, bold and bold italic.

Friday, February 17, 2012

5 colour scheme web apps

Design & Dev reports:

Colour is one of the most important aspects of any design. And since colour has such a massive impact on your viewers, it’s important to know your theory.

Warm colours give off a fiery message, while cool colours can provide a more calming effect. Analogous colour schemes, often found in nature, are comforting, while complementary colour schemes have a more energetic feel.

Here’s 5 Web apps to help you find the perfect colour palette for your next design.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Clear for iPhone

TechCrunch reports: [edited]

Clear, the heavily-anticipated touch-based to-do list iPhone app, is now available from the iTunes App Store (69p).

Why the big draw for what’s typically been a rather ho-hum app category, the lowly to-do list? Clear is pure eye candy, for starters. But it’s also representative of a major leap forward in smartphone app design, as it’s been built from the ground up for the touch interface. The app is based solely on the use of now-common gestures: swipes, pulls and pinches.

With Clear, there are only a few gestures you need to in order to use the app: pull down on a list to add an item, swipe to the right to complete an item or to the left to delete it, pinch apart two items to insert a new one in between, and pinch vertically to close the current list and see all the lists in the app. Lists are colour-coded with a heat map to show the most pressing tasks at a glance.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Pansonic Lumix DMC-GX1 - Review

Digital Photography Review has published a comprehensive review of Panasonic's top-of-the-range micro four thirds compact.

Summary of Conclusion:

The GX1 is a camera that gets a whole lot right. If the combination of small form factor and high number of external control points are priorities, the GX1 has to be at the top of an enthusiast's wish list. You'd be taking advantage of the highest quality image sensor available for the Micro Four Thirds market and buying into an extensive range of high quality optics including fast prime lenses.

The GX1 is a very capable and solid, but not ground-breaking camera that does a very fine job at what it sets out to accomplish. Panasonic has addressed almost every criticism of its early generation G-series cameras in a package that, when paired with its collapsible kit zoom is among the most pocketable cameras in its class.

Gerber Steady Tool reports: [edited]

Built for the weekend adventurer, the Gerber Steady combines the utility of a multi-tool and the functionality of a camera tripod. It comes equipped with an adjustable cell phone and screw-in camera mount and two foldable legs that serve as a tripod. The rest of the tool is all Gerber ingenuity – a fine edge blade, a serrated blade, three screwdrivers, a bottle opener, pliers and wire cutters.

Overall Length: 6", Closed Length: 4", Weight: 5.8 oz.

Price: $64.00

Monday, February 13, 2012

Painting with sound

The New York Times reports: [edited]

Like a 3-D take on Jackson Pollock, the latest work by the artist Martin Klimas begins with splatters of paint in fuchsia, teal and lime green, positioned on a scrim over the diaphragm of a speaker. Then the volume is turned up.

For each image, Klimas selects music — typically something dynamic and percussive, like Karlheinz Stockhausen, Miles Davis or Kraftwerk — and the vibration of the speaker sends the paint aloft in patterns that reveal themselves through the lens of his Hasselblad.

The resulting images are Klimas’s attempt to answer the question “What does music look like?”

via kottke

Friday, February 10, 2012

HoverBar for iPad 2

Twelve South reports: [edited]

HoverBar hangs iPad 2 beside your Mac, letting you use iPad as a secondary, touchscreen computer.

The flexible HoverBar arm positions iPad in a place where you can keep tabs on Twitter, stocks or partake in a FaceTime chat.

As a bonus, you can use HoverBar separately to float iPad 2 as a micro workstation, a handy kitchen mount or as a tool that elevates iPad, creating a whole new way to interact with apps.

Price: $79.99

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Classic Apple Products iPhone Cases

Core 77 reports: [edited]

A company called Schreer Delights is selling a line of iPhone cases that reference Apple's design history, printing visual elements from the original Mac, the original iMac and the original iPod directly onto the case. Each runs a little under 50 bucks.

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

'I Do' Wedding Bands

Sakurako Shimizu creates wedding bands with a representation of the waveform of the couple's own voices saying, 'I do' cut from the metal.

View more of his creations here

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Free Font - Open Sans

Open Sans is available in 5 weights (with complementary italics) from Font Squirrel.

Monday, February 06, 2012

Electric Tron Motorcycle

Bike EXIF reports: [edited]

It’ll cost you at least $55,000 but it’s electric, so you’ll save money on gas. The Xenon was styled by Florida-based Parker Brothers Choppers, and it’s based on the gas-powered "Light Cycle" they created for the movie 'Tron: Legacy'.

There are two versions of the production Xenon, a basic model and the “XR”, which doubles the battery power to give a 100-mile range. A 40,000W motor delivers a top speed of 70 mph, and the battery pack is fully charged in three to four hours.

Friday, February 03, 2012

Solar panels becoming financially viable

New Scientist reports: [edited]

SOLAR power has always had a reputation for being expensive, but not for much longer. In India, electricity from solar is now cheaper than that from diesel generators. The news - which will boost India's "Solar Mission" to install 20,000 megawatts of solar power by 2022 - could have implications for other developing nations as well.

In India, electricity from solar supplied to the grid has fallen to just 8.78 rupees per kilowatt-hour compared with 17 rupees for diesel. The drop has little to do with improvements in the notoriously poor efficiency of solar panels: industrial panels still only convert 15 to 18 per cent of the energy they receive into electricity. But they are now much cheaper to produce, so inefficiency is no longer a major sticking point.

Solar power is now cheaper than diesel anywhere as sunny as Spain. That means vast areas of Latin America, Africa and Asia could start adopting solar power.

The one thing stopping households buying a solar panel is the initial cost. Buying a solar panel is more expensive than buying a diesel generator, but solar becomes cheaper than diesel after seven years. The panels last 25 years.

Image: Joerg Boethling/Alamy

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Panasonic DMC-TZ30

Digital Photography Review reports: [edited]

Panasonic has updated its range of travel zoom cameras with the DMC-TZ30. It is the slimmest 20x zoom camera on the market. Its lens covers a 24-480mm equivalent range and features the company's latest Power O.I.S stabilization.

The high-speed 14MP MOS sensor allows autofocus taking as little as 0.1 seconds, and it can shoot at up to 10 frames per second (5fps with AF-tracking). It also has GPS and an updated mapping function to show photos on a map with greater detail. The usefulness of this and other features is increased by a touchscreen.

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Doxie Go reports: [edited]

Doxie Go + Wi-Fi is the tiny new wireless scanner that scans all your paper. Scan anywhere – no computer required – then sync wirelessly to Mac, PC, iPhone, iPad, or directly to the cloud [WiFi SD card required, Ed.].

- Tiny, fast, and rechargeable.

- Doxie 2.0 syncs scans, creates searchable PDFs, creates multi-page stacks, and sends directly to your favorite apps and cloud services.

- Works with Evernote, Dropbox, Flickr etc.

£204.75 (w/4GB WiFi SD card) from Amazon.