You've gotta admire feisty little Pentax. Undeterred by a dSLR market dominated by Canon and Nikon, plus the deep-pocketed relative newcomer Sony and tireless veteran Olympus, Pentax continues to refine and innovate its offerings rather than just trying to sell cheap models built from off-the-shelf parts. This year sees the first tangible result of the company's alliance with Samsung, a 14.6-megapixel CMOS sensor, which makes its way into Pentax's new midrange model, the $1,300 K20D (body only). Pentax's other new model, the entry-level $799 K200D (a kit with the new smc PENTAX DA 18-55mm … Read more
This certainly isn't the first personal safe that's controlled by biometrics, but its design is a definite improvement over previous models we've seen. The "BioVault 2.0 Fingerprint Safe" from Sequiam Biometrics has the kind of futuristic look that's appropriate for a security technology of the future--in fact, it reminds us of the Enterprise's sliding doors on the original Star Trek.
It does seem kind of curious, however, that one of its highly touted features is the ability to work with the fingerprints of up to 50 people; we thought the idea was … Read more
The 2008 presidential race resembles any sophisticated Internet marketing campaign that lets consumers swap information, connect with friends, make a purchase--or, in this case, a donation.
It's not clear whether the online techniques will turn interest into actual votes, but the latest crop of candidates has built on Howard Dean's Web success in 2004, say experts at Wharton.
Read the full story at Knowledge@Wharton:" Marketing presidential candidates on the Web goes mainstream: But does it get votes?"
The LG KS20 isn't a new phone by any means, but we're showing it off here because, well, we won't be seeing it stateside any time soon. That's right, the LG KS20 is a lovely looking touch screen Windows Mobile 6 smartphone that's intended only for the European and Asian markets at the moment. It has a large, 2.8-inch touch screen display, a 2.0-megapixel camera, high-speed 3G support, on-demand video and music, and of course, all the features of a Windows Mobile 6 smartphone, such as mobile e-mail and documents on the go. … Read more
I've spent the last two weeks on the road, meeting with customers and prospects. It has been enlightening, to say the least. One primary theme has emerged: the Web 2.0 revolution is over. The web has already won. Its chief weapon? Open source.
It hasn't "won" in the sense that every application is now social. It hasn't won in the sense of market share. But it has clearly won in the sense of mindshare and intentions.
Today I'm meeting with one of the world's largest and oldest retailers. Old school, right? They're building out social networking/social content tools to bring vendors and consumers together. All those words that are passe in the Valley like "mashup" and "user-generated content"? They've hit this company (and others with whom I've met) and are rapidly being deployed in applications potentially worth billions to this enterprise.
On Thursday I met with a major media company. Same thing. In fact, the passion with which they expressed their ambition was striking:… Read more
Two years ago, Jabra wowed us with the Jabra JX10, a tiny yet elegant Bluetooth headset with plenty of power behind its design. This year, Jabra has done it again, with the Jabra JX20 Pura. Designed by Jacob Jensen, the same famous European designer that designed the JX10, the JX20 Pura simply oozes luxury. It is made with brushed, anodized titanium and has a glossy black trim all around, plus it has an innovative gel earbud for better comfort. As for features, it comes with digital sound enhancement via DSP, as much as six hours of talk time, adaptive sound, … Read more
Over the last few months month, Panasonic has put itself in the lead of the technological race between standalone Blu-ray players. Back in October, it released the first Profile 1.1 player before the deadline for the specification even hit. Now Panasonic is leapfrogging its competitors again with the newly announced Panasonic DMP-BD50, the first Blu-ray player to be Profile 2.0 compatible--also known as BD-Live. This means the DMP-BD50 will be able to handle any special features on future Blu-ray discs that utilize an Internet connection, similar to what has already been done on HD DVD discs like Blood … Read more
Debuting at CES is the iLuv i399, the successor to the i199, which we enjoyed for its array of features and affordable price. iLuv has completely redesigned the audio system into a much more compact unit.
Most of the features from the i199 look to be intact, although we're not sure the CD player survived the upgrade. What we do know is that the i399 has a built in subwoofer, support for iPod audio playback, an FM tuner, digital clock display, an auxiliary port, and features the next iteration of the company's "BluePin" Bluetooth dongle, called … Read more
With everyone becoming a producer in the YouTube age, self-branding ("The Brand Called You") has evolved from a fancy to a necessity.
Andy Warhol's 15 minutes of fame have shrunk to 5 seconds of microfame, and in the contained public arena of social networks, amateur paparazzi--thanks to the viral nature of social media--have the power to grant celebrity status. That, in a nutshell, is the thesis of Clive Thompson's poignant piece for Wired on the rise of "microcelebrities."
As Facebook walls make personal communications open to the rest of your trusted network, even your … Read more
Here's another trend for 2008: From micro-loans to micro-vacations, micro-celebrities to micro-trends, speed dating to speed cooking: the "long tail" world of consumers is becoming smaller and shorter. Products, services, and experiences are being deconstructed in easier-to-digest, easier-to-afford bits, allowing consumers to collect even more experiences, as often as possible, in an even shorter time frame. Shrinking attention spans have prompted the rise of what Wired Magazine calls "snack-size media," and the hyper-personalization of online communication has led to new formats (micro-blogs, widgets, feeds, texting, etc.) that challenge long-held marketing conventions.
The emerging "economy … Read more