Europe loves the VW Beetle, the Renault Twingo, and the Smart. The U.S. has the Mini and will finally get the Smart, too. And recently India proudly presented the spiritual successor to all of these--the $2,500 Tata Nano, a "people's car" that is widely gushed about, not only for its surprisingly slick design but also for its innovations.
In recent years, ecoconcerns, design savvy, and an (urban) willingness to quest for practicality have fostered the trend toward specialized cars that are as small as the niches they serve. While the idea of a small car … Read more
If you're a brand devotee to a certain electronics brand then CES and other trade shows are for you, stop your career now and get a vendoring job. Usually, most retailers usually group products by type, not brand. Thus breaking the brand's presence up in stores thus forcing companies to package their products even more boldy. Reverse that and you have CES, so here you can really buy into the 'lifestyle' of the brand (or are subjected to it before you move on to the next booth). So you have newly emerging companies like Sorny along side Sony … Read more
The open assault on cables and wires was on particular display at CES. Apparently, wires clutter your life and cause you misery, or some vendors would have you think. Whether it's faster and faster Wi-Fi from Intel, streaming video from Slingbox, in-home HD distribution, Bluetooth home theater audio from Samsung at different parts of the radio spectrum, the trend is moving away from physical media and physical connections.That said, I wondered how a leading wire cable company, Monster, would make themselves relevant in this anticable movement. Apart from having a sold-out Mary J. Blige concert, Monster has made … Read more
What's an electronics show without a robot, or 20. Well there weren't many at CES this week. Robots must not be the way forward to mass consumer electronics manufacturers. But this one was cute, dorky, and according to the rep, easy to build for your own home (AI not coming soon). And, as far as vendors go, this company (whose site is not up) was one those vendors that just seemed genuinely nice, unlike many massive CES booths that made you feel like you're at a cell phone store - impersonal and livestock-like. So, when robots come … Read more
As if reality were too mundane for you, many of the vendors at this year's CES would like to sell you a chair that vibrates in synch with your home theater system, a ultra-thin Hi-Def TVs that defies reality in terms of fidelity, clarity and color and now, televisions that attempt to be 3-D. Not satisfied? How about high-definition cameras? While I can't show you a picture of what 3-D TV image looks like, it's nowhere as cool as you may think.The people in the picture look like the SIMS and kind of resemble animated diorama. … Read more
LAS VEGAS--Lots of companies here are touting green design and environmental thinking, though in some cases it seemed more sloganeering than anything very deep. Here are just a few samples from the floor at the Consumer Electronics Show:
Among other things, Nokia was showing off their reduced packaging (50 percent smaller; most of their phones now shipping in it; have saved them $150 million to boot)By comparison, Casio's touting of their packaging reduction was a bit tepid
HP had a large area of their booth dedicated to their environmental efforts, and like Nokia had several people on hand … Read more
Sanyo has these "Infobar 2" phones showing at their booth, in lots of funky colors. They are quite large (about 1.5"/40mm longer than a standard candy bar phone, and relatively thick), but have a nice rounded smooth shape to them and interesting texture finishes. The smooth keys make them a bit of a challenge to use, but the 2.6" OLED screen has a 16:9 ratio that is geared toward watching movies and TV. They come with a built-in digital TV tuner.
They also come with a docking stand that charges the phone … Read more
Like moths to a flame, CES attendees were drawn to LG's prototype of Dick Tracy's wristwatch cell phone updated (of course).Based on currently available information, it's Bluetooth and GSM-based. It would have to be Bluetooth enabled, otherwise you'd look quite odd talking on the phone. No release date, no cost, no lack of interest. But here, at least is a picture.
Assessment: The watch phone would be coveted (if the crowds even near closing time were indicative) but the downside is that you'd definitely have to use a Bluetooth headset if you were out … Read more
So you've been convinced to make the leap from Photoshop to GIMP. You've downloaded the program, run the executable, figured out that old instructions decrying the difficult installation are outdated for the current version, but now what? Now, my GIMP Padawan, is when you start treating GIMP like it's Firefox and you get your plug-ins on.
What about GIMPshop, you say? No worries, as my Australian friends would say. We're going to take a look at the GIMP-plus-Photoshop mash-up, too.