Archive for March, 2008


Reminder, be careful with batteries.

evfire.jpgIn January, after mentioning how the FAA has cracked down on how many Lithium Ion batteries you can take on a plane, I further illustrated how catastrophic events don’t need anything out of the ordinary to happen.

First there was the Fletcher fire where batteries left to charge overnight were molten by morning. Now, as reported by Engadget, electric powered vehicles are burning up, and sub-stations for telecom data relays are literally blowing up. Have you taken some precautions at home yet?

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Movie Magic = free extras.

green.jpgKevin Kelly of  Conceptual Trends and Current Topics has an interesting writup and some great video of how four guys, a car full of props and gear, and a boatload of post-production time, can recreate the Normandy Invasion of WWII. All it takes is a lot of creativity, patience, and running. Lots of running, climbing, and, well, falling down. 

But it shows how anyone’s imagination can make things happen. No longer are high-end production tools restricted from anyone.  

Continue reading ‘Movie Magic = free extras.’


HDD / floppy now does FW800.

drivedocksm.gifI’ve mentioned this handy dandy little dock twice before, but now it adds FireWire 800 which makes it usable with far more computers than with just the SATA revision it previously received. This is good news.

Despite USB 2.0 being ubiquitous, test speeds have repeatedly demonstrated that it can’t even keep up with FW400. Now that you can treat your hard drive like a floppy (stick it in the slot- read the data) and do it at FW800 speeds. This little tool seems pretty darn handy at just $166.

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Illuminating Laptops – still the missing feature.

ideapad.jpgAn interesting image on CrunchGear shows a new Lenovo Laptop with a halogen bulb clamped above to illuminate the black keys. This is because it’s really hard to see a black laptop in a dark room. The people selling the laptop at CES realized that, so they clamped a light to the top of the screen so people can see the keyboard. But why haven’t manufacturers realized it?

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Sony HVR-Z7U / S270 lens issue?

z7lens.jpgMarshall Levy, who wrote our compact flash test results, is finding issues with the lenses that adorn the latest HDV camcorders from Sony- the HVR-Z7U and the HVR-S270. He’s found focusing issues, lens wobble and says the issue was confirmed by Sony.

Do you have one of the new camcorders?
Try out the tests he suggests to help determine if this is an isolated incident or a more widespread issue.


Super Hi-Vision makes HDTV look like…

panny150.jpgFor reasons that really are difficult to fathom, Japanese Broadcaster NHK has announced breakthroughs in what used to be called Ultra High Definition Video. Now Super Hi-Vision is expected to be the “broadcast” standard in Japan by 2015.

Never mind that the human eye actually has a hard time seeing the difference between 1080p and 720p at the normal home viewing distances from today’s screens. Never mind that 4k from camera to screen isn’t yet a reality, even in theatres.  Somehow, they see the need to replace our 2 megapixel images with 33 megapixel images.

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Digital Still Camera shoots HDTV.

kodakhd.jpgActually, this is not news. Numerous digital still cameras can record video, and the latest advancement is that they can shoot HD- usually 720p30 video. I haven’t seen any that shoot 1080p30 or 1080p24 yet, but I suppose it’s only a matter of time. Apparently, according to the review on FreshDV, the Kodak V1233 won’t replace our video camera- not by a long shot. But I look forward to more reviews of HD-capable still cameras.