Keeping track of your system's temperature and operating conditions just makes good sense, especially since today's hardware makes it so easy, with a little help from programs like HWMonitor from CPUID. It's a handy, free tool for monitoring the built-in temperature sensors in your CPU, motherboard, video card, and other devices, as well as your hard drives' S.M.A.R.T. data, system fan speeds, and critical operating data like voltages. It can access most sensor chips and onboard thermal sensors, and it's even compatible with special hardware sensors in some components, including mainboard and … Read more
One of the major issues surrounding the iPhone 4 release this summer was the proximity sensor failing during phone calls, resulting in muting, conference calling, and other inadvertent touch input. Despite the promise of relief in the iOS 4.1 update, many users, including myself, are still having proximity sensor issues.
A forum thread on the Apple Support Discussions addresses a functionality of the sleep/wake button (the one on the top of the iPhone) that could help users experiencing proximity sensor problems, if Apple would adjust the code in iOS slightly.
Currently, the sleep/wake button, when pressed during … Read more
Cisco Systems on Thursday said it intends to acquire wireless sensor maker Arch Rock, a move that beefs up Cisco's smart-grid and data center businesses.
San Francisco-based Arch Rock makes a system for collecting information from mesh networks of IP-based wireless sensors, routers, and servers. Its sensors are placed in data centers and buildings to monitor heat and other environmental conditions to optimize cooling and improve the overall energy efficiency.
Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.
A week after announcing an image sensor with a whopping 120 megapixels, Canon revealed Monday it's created another boundary-pushing prototype: a chip with a light-gathering area measuring a vast 202x205mm.
The huge sensor is 40 times larger than even Canon's largest commercial image sensors, the full-frame chips measuring 36x24mm used in high-end SLRs. Indeed, it's a lot larger: big enough to swallow most of the surface area of the 300mm-diameter silicon crystal out of which it's made using a CMOS (complementary metal oxide semiconductor) process.
Notably, it employs new circuitry Canon had to develop to pump data off the processor fast enough to keep up with video.
One reason to build larger sensors is to increase their light-gathering area, and Canon delivers the goods here. It can record 60-frame-per-second video with light levels of 0.3 lux--about what a full moon overhead produces by some measurements. … Read more
The wheelchair, which is considered standard in all other respects, uses a distance sensor to determine which way the followed person's shoulders are facing so that it can change direction as the leader does.
"[Care] facilities sometimes don't have enough staff, so a single helper has to push two wheelchairs," a Saitama spokesperson says in a news report. "With wheelchairs like this, which can follow automatically, you can … Read more
While Apple cruises to new sales records with its latest iPhone family member, some users are finding the iPhone 4 to be more like the drunk uncle than the cool aunt, citing, among other glitches, proximity sensor issues when attempting to make calls.
How deep is the issue? On the Apple support discussion forums, it's 20 pages deep. And counting. Details of the issue vary throughout the forum posts, but essentially, the proximity sensor (the one that shuts down the screen functionality when your iPhone is close to your face or in your pocket) seems to be malfunctioning.
Some … Read more
The number of compact and ultracompact digital cameras available from major manufacturers is overwhelming--and it's about to get worse. Before summer's out, most of the companies will have announced a new batch of point-and-shoot models in an attempt to woo you into upgrading or at least penciling them into your holiday shopping budget. Judging by the reader e-mails I receive, none of the current crop seem to have all of the features you desire, so maybe some new options are exactly what's needed.
My fear, though, is it'll just be more of the same, with too … Read more
A few weeks ago, Nintendo developed a partnership with the American Heart Association. The Wii Fit is one of Nintendo's most successful product/game combinations ever. All new Wiis are now packaged with Wii Sports Resort and Wii MotionPlus, along with an approval stamp from the AHA.
It seemed like the stage was perfectly set to trot back out with the Vitality Sensor Satoru Iwata unveiled at last year's E3 press conference.
So, what happened?
Most folks think carefully before spending $300 on a new camera. I'm more serious about photography, but I still swallowed hard before buying an SLR costing about 10 times that.
But brace yourself for even more sticker shock, because there are some professionals who spend more than an order of magnitude beyond what I did. This is the domain of medium-format digital cameras, whose sensors have roughly twice the surface area of a high-end SLR for maximum image quality.
Medium-format gear is beyond my means but not beyond my curiosity, so I was pleased with an offer to try one out. In this case, it was Phase One's top-of-the line products--the 645AF and newer 645DF cameras, the P65+ image sensor back that can be attached, and a handful of lenses.
Such gear appeals chiefly to fashion and commercial photographers, the types who produce full-page ads of glamorous models and diamond-encrusted watches. Lacking the gaggle of assistants, spacious studio, and forest of flash equipment common in this realm, I'm not equipped to put a modern medium-format camera through its full paces. But I'm not a bad or inexperienced photographer, so for those who've wondered what a medium-format machine is like, here are my impressions.
So what do I think of a camera with this price tag? … Read more