Tag Archives: Buddhas Brother

Jonas Pfeil’s Spherical Panoramic Camera Ball…

As a species creativity has to be one of our greatest strengths, granted some ideas and inventions can come across a little whacky and strange, but with perseverance they often blossom into excellent gadgets. One such idea is the Spherical Panoramic Camera Ball, created by Jonas Pfeil. The ball is tossed into the air where it proceeds to snap a full 360 degree panoramic image of the surrounding scene. The images produced are an amazing snapshot of the moment, with every direction able to be explored. Unexpected details appear in every corner, even capturing the scene behind you that was till then unseen.

A built in accelerometer is able to calculate the launch speed of the ball, that is in turn used to calculate the maximum height and time to maximum height. This is then used to time the shot for that zero g moment when the camera ball is stationary. At that moment the 36 fixed-focus 2 megapixel mobile phone camera modules fire off simultaneously. The camera’s internal 8bit Risc processor then stitches them together into a panoramic picture of the scene. Depending on the surroundings the Camera Ball will capture detail out to a few hundred meters in each direction.

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Corsair 8GB Vengeance: 32GB Is Never Enough!

Technology advances in many directions, memory for example increases in both speed and capacity.

Corsair, the manufacturer of high performance computer parts and gaming goodness have upped the ante one more time. Throwing down the gauntlet to fellow memory manufacturers with the release of their high-speed 8GB Vengeance DDR3 RAM.

Worlds may well be colliding with the introduction of the new Vengeance modules with Workstations using professionals and Über Gamers both competing to buy the new Corsair sticks of RAM. With the capacity of normally slow Server and Workstation RAM but with the high speed performance of gaming memory the Vengeance will be in high demand. Stack four of these octo monsters in your gaming rig for an astounding 32GB of system memory that will let you take on any task. Edit that new 4k hi-def film while playing the latest first person shooter and rendering Toy Story 4 in the background.

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AMD FX-8150, The Battle Continues…

Consensus suggests that the release of AMD’s much anticipated Bulldozer CPU was a little underwhelming. Performance improvements were a mixed bag with gains in some areas and only just staying on par with older AMD CPU’s in other areas. While AMD’s older Athlon and Phenom processors were due for an overhaul, AMD still took the gutsy approach making such aggressive and forward looking changes. The Bulldozer architecture represents a total redesign of AMD’s processors.

The new top of the line AMD chip, the FX-8150 contains an astounding 2 billion transistors on 315 mm² of silicon. While the FX is unable to compete with Intel’s 980 Extreme Edition processors on raw performance AMD has priced the chip to compete with Intel’s Core i7-2600K, the current Value Performance King on the desktop. At $269 USD the AMD FX-8150 is avoiding the whole Extreme Edition comparisons altogether and taking the fight to Intel’s mid range processors.

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UAV Predator Virus: When Drones Go Rogue…

The world of espionage is full of twists and turns, plays and counter plays. In the latest twist, it was recently discovered that America’s most powerful surveillance tech gadgets, the Predator and Reaper UAVs – Unmanned Aerial Vehicles – have been infected by a keylogger virus. Discovered by the military’s Host-Based Security System the virus has made itself at home in the controller cockpits located at Creech Air Force Base at Indian Springs in Nevada. Most of the Afghanistan and Iraq are missions flown from Creech.

A defence official confirmed to CNN on Monday that the virus had infected the systems that control the drones but it hadn’t interfered with normal operations. Officials would not comment on the specific virus or how the virus had infected the systems.

The most likely source of infection seems to be the removable drives used to transfer data to and from the drones. The drones are in a sense debriefed upon their return, with all of the data collected during the mission unloaded to the removable drives. At some point the removable drives have been connected to the control systems, delivering it’s dangerous cargo. A persistent virus it is too, after each attempt at the cleaning process the virus seems to re-appear, even after 3 weeks the virus is still loitering away in the control system.

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World’s Largest Terrestrial Radio Telescope, ALMA Opens It’s Eyes…

The human senses are a marvel of natural design but they are limited by their physical qualities. Perfectly adapted to life on the surface of the planet Earth, not so great if you want to listen to faint stars on the other side of the universe.

Luckily enough one of humanities greatest survival techniques is making use of other sensory systems. Whether it be listening for the bark of a guard dog to pointing the largest telescope in the world at just the right bit of the sky humanity has always made use of tools to extend our senses.

The latest addition to our extra sensory abilities is the Worlds Largest Millimeter / Sub-Millimeter Radio Telescope in Chile, The Atacama Large Millimeter/sub millimeter Array – ALMA – sits upon the high planes of the Chajnantor plateau in northern Chile. At an altitude of 5000 meters.in the middle of an isolated plateau the ALMA telescope has one of the clearest sky to look through. The array itself consists of 66 individual radio telescopes networked together, with their combined power being pointed at a single point they are able to produce the highest resolution images possible of the furthest reaches of our universe. Helping us look at the coldest darkest parts of the Universe with new clarity. ALMA joins other great names such as Hubble and SDO in our list of most valuable scientific instruments, or was that most popular scientific instruments.

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Sony’s New Audio Sphere: The Omni-Direction Sound Ball Providing Audio Everywhere…

Being a little different is often the key to success, especially if your trying to introduce a product to a crowded market. Sony certainly has managed to produce something a little different with their new Omni-directional speakers, audio spheres. Using a single speaker Sony’s newly developed Circle Sound system is able to provide crisp and clear audio to every corner of a room.
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The long history of portable music has to take us back to the ghetto blasters of the 80’s. Large silver tape based portable stereo’s that were big on the noise and not so big on the portable. With large integrated speakers and dozens of D cell batteries these bad boys could pump music out to the whole block. Sony’s modern interpretation of the ghetto blaster is a ball, a ball of sound if you will. Sony have not only created a uniquely spherical design for their new wireless dock / speakers, they have also developed a new technology, Sony Circle Sound audio diffusion technology. Able to fill any room Sony Circle Sound audio diffusion technology delivers 360 sound from a single, compact enclosure providing rich sound to every corner of the room, no matter where you place the Sphere, omnidirectional audio.

Logitech Wireless Touchpad, The Finger Friendly Input Device…

The ultimate input device for a multimedia PC may just be a flat black 5″ square of plastic, the Logitech Wireless Touchpad for Windows 7. In one foul swoop – swipe ? – Logitech has shifted the PC world towards a finger friendly future. Smartphone and Tablets have changed the touch-screen interface forever, in the process showing the PC world how touch should be done in. The recent release of the Razor Switchblade LCD Touchscreen interface has helped the PC make up ground, a step forward. Now Logitech is bringing the gesture interface to the rest of the Windows 7 PC world. The Wireless Touchpad brings a fantastically familiar interface to the PC, if you’re a touchscreen fan or need to simplify controlling a desktop computer, especially Media-Centre PC’s, the Wireless Touchpad is an elegant solution to a dinosaur’s problem. Plug the incredibly small USB receiver into an empty USB port to drag any PC into the world of gesture and touch.
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Touchpads may all look the same but it what’s on the inside that makes all the difference. The Logitech Touchpad is an excellent interpretation of what a touchpad should be. The spacious 5″ touch sensitive surface offers plenty of room even for the most flamboyant gesturers. Powered by a built in Lithium-Ion rechargeable battery, Logitech quotes the time between charges of 4months, plenty of time to point fingers. Jumping on the Logitech Unifying receiver bandwagon the Wireless Touchpad’s ultra compact USB dongle can control up to six Logitech devices, so a mouse or keyboard can easily piggy-back off the one USB dongle. The 2.4Ghz receiver has a quoted range of 25 meters so you aren’t tied to the TV or computer your trying to control, not forced to sit in front of the TV like a 3 year old.

Electree, Solar Bonsai aka The Electric Ninja for Power Cables…

Electricity is the lifeblood of our gadget laden world. With each new generation of gadget comes more demanding power requirements. With every new gadget we bring into our homes comes the need to charge it, keep it fed. Mobile phones are just the tip of the ice-berg, tablets, MP3 players, cameras, remote controls, keyboards and game controllers all now need a place to charge. While Wi-Fi has loosened the shackles of the network cable, batteries still need to be plugged into power some-how, usually requiring a power point. Centralizing all of your charging needs into one spot, housing it in a stylish and Über cool design the Electree frees our gadgets from the power board nightmare evolving at every power point in every household. Powered by amorphous silicon solar panels that store their charge in the Electree’s on-board battery the Electree is always ready to bring those gadgets back to life. This is one of those rare gadgets that actually frees up power sockets in the grand power board of life.

The Electree is also one of those special gadgets that combines elegant design with brilliant functionality. Designer Vivian Muller has taken inspiration from nature, specifically drawing inspiration from the bonsai tree’s of Japan which are compact but still very efficient light collectors. Here at Highpants we think it could also be described as a power shrub, it may be the shrubbery that Monty Python were searching for all of this time. The Bonsai theme is continued with the Electree’s Japanese styled base, all it’s missing is some pebbles in the bases tray.

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HP’s ZR Series IPS Professional Display, The Affordable IPS Battle Heats up with new HP Sauce…

LCD Monitors are the work-horse of every computer setup, weather laptop or desktop your monitor has to represent the entire computer world, before your very eyes. The quality of that picture and the clarity of your window into the computer world comes down to the technology in the panel. IPS Panels are the professionals of the LCD world, for video editing these monitors are essential, photographers and graphic designers swear by them. HP’s newly released ZR-series Performance Displays use the latest IPS technology to provide a powerful salvo in the Über Monitor battle. There are four new members of the ZR series, with prices ranging from $729 USD to the unbelievably low $189 USD for the little brother of the family, the ZR2040w 20″ LCD.

The secret to professional looking images as it turns out isn’t just down to the camera you use. Editing and preparing your digital media requires the right tools for the job. Professionals have had a secret sitting on their desks for years now, with the rise of the digital photographer and home editing studio their secret is out. IPS high-color panels allow you to work with your digital content in its natural form. Most standard TFT LCD monitors say on the side of the box 16.7 million colors but the truth is they only do 80% of that, meaning that some colors in your photo’s or video won’t be properly represented. With high end camera’s like Nikon’s 7100 bringing high resolution and color digital photographs to the masses it may be time to consider an IPS panel.

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AOC USB LCD, One Cable To Rule Them All…

LCD Displays, our ubiquitous windows on the electronic world just became a whole lot more utilitarian. AOC’s latest piece of innovation is a shinny black LCD monitor with only one cable, USB. There’s no HDMI, DVI, D-Sub or power cabled required, the monitor is completely driven by USB, both picture and power. This may be the perfect companion for a netbook, a portable second monitor for the ultimate hotel room mobile setup. AOC’s new mini LCD is the e1649fwu, not a very catchy title for a very handy little display.

“The USB Monitor is ideal for business presentations, photo frame applications, multiple monitor displays and as a companion monitor for laptop and netbook users who want more out of their computer.”, Robert Velez, Marketing Manager of AOC.

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