Tag Archives: Software

Robots take the big screen in NYC next week

(Credit:
robotfilmfestival.com)

Robots are getting their own film festival next week in New York City, an exciting collection of shorts featuring robots exploring everything from scientific research to romance.

Slated for July 16 and 17 at Three Legged Dog theater in lower Manhattan, the inaugural Robot Film Festival will feature dozens of short films as well as a filmmaking workshop, robot entertainers, and a red-carpet awards ceremony, The Botskers.

The festival opens with Spike Jonze‘s 2010 romantic short “I’m Here” (see trailer below) and includes a host of new productions.

If you like getting creeped out by bots, one of the shorts that will be screened is “CB2: Child Robot with Biomimetic Body,” showcasing the infamous CB2 cybertot developed at Osaka University.

The event is being organized by Heather Knight of Carnegie Mellon University’s Robotics Institute; Marek Michalowski, co-developer of the ineffably cute dance robot Keepon, is the video coordinator.

“Our goal with the film festival and the expanding community that we’re building around it is to explore modern relationships between mankind, technology and nature,” Knight said in a release.

“The films include stories about real and fictional robots, depicting interactions between robots, nature and society. They’re created with consideration of overall entertainment value, inspiration of future technologies, creativity and robot design.”

What with Daniel Wilson’s novel “Robopocalypse” and this film fest, robots are getting a lot of love this summer. Get your tickets to the show here.

Article source: http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-20078141-1/robots-take-the-big-screen-in-nyc-next-week/?part=rss&tag=feed&subj=Crave

iPad waistcoat straps you to your tablet

iPad waistcoat(Credit:
Proporta)

We love the
iPad and, ever since that big HR meeting, we’ve learned to love clothes too. Consequently, we’re sweating with excitement at the thought of this iPad-stashing waistcoat, which transforms into a trendy man bag. It’s the perfect accessory for the
tablet-toting chap or chapette about town.

The design is the result of a competition run by accessories manufacturer Proporta and the presumably bedecked London College of Fashion. Our very own mobile guru Flora Graham sat on the judging panel, which is how we know this transforming gadget gilet is the creme de la creme of tech fashion.

Read more of “Transforming iPad waistcoat straps you to your tablet,” and click through more photos, at Crave UK.

Article source: http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-20078033-1/ipad-waistcoat-straps-you-to-your-tablet/?part=rss&tag=feed&subj=Crave

Report: 500 million Web-enabled TVs by 2015

connected-TVs chart(Credit:
DisplaySearch)

TV makers are expected to ship more than 500 million sets with Internet connectivity by the end of 2015, according to a report from research firm DisplaySearch. This year alone, around 25 percent of all flat-panel sets will come with some form of Internet capability and this trend is expected to grow to 47 percent by 2015.

LG smart TV

LG LW6500-series 3D smart TVs.

(Credit:
LG)

“The adoption of connected TV is not just taking place in developed regions,” Paul Gray, DisplaySearch director of TV electronics research, in a statement. “Emerging markets often have good broadband services, and there is a thirst from consumers to get the best content available.”

Propelling the market share of these Web-enabled TVs is the convenience of wireless networking through Wi-Fi and smart-TV functions. The latter is a generic description of panels with the following features, according to DisplaySearch:

  • Capable of retrieving content from the Internet independent of a portal
  • Built-in intelligent search and recommendations
  • Can seamlessly connect with other devices in a home network

The company is also forecasting an encouraging 35 percent smart-TV market penetration in North America for 46-inch and larger models in four years.

Note that “smart TV” is a marketing term employed by LG, Samsung, and Philips to describe their smart TVs, while Sony has been using “Internet TV” instead.

(Source: Crave Asia)

Article source: http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-20078036-1/report-500-million-web-enabled-tvs-by-2015/?part=rss&tag=feed&subj=Crave

LED-based LCD TVs explained, compared

One of the best-performing LED-based LCDs we’ve ever tested, the expensive Sony XBR-HX929 uses a full-array backlight with local dimming.

(Credit:
Sarah Tew/CNET)

If you thought all
LED TVs were created equal, you’re underestimating the power of confusion as a marketing tool. In their continuing efforts to compete against the picture quality advantages of plasma-based flat-panel TVs, makers of LCDs TVs have introduced numerous new technologies. The most successful in our opinion is full-array LED backlighting with local dimming. When you see the words “LED TV” in an ad, it definitely refers to an LCD TV with an LED backlight, but what type of LED backlight and how it’s configured make all the difference.

In the article linked below we’ve gathered reviews of six different “LED TVs” that provide examples of all four LED backlight configurations, but first we’ll provide a bit of context. All LCD-based TVs rely on a backlight of some kind to illuminate the liquid-crystal panel itself. The most common use fluorescent backlights, known as CCFL, but a growing number feature LED backlights instead. LEDs use somewhat less power, can enable thinner flat-panel cabinets, and–crucially for TV makers–provide a great excuse to charge more money.

But make no mistake: despite the misleading marketing, LED TVs are just LCD TVs with fancy backlights.

Unfortunately for TV shoppers, the confusion just increases from there. To help cut through the clutter we’re going to lengthen our descriptions beyond the “LED TV” shorthand, and tell you how picture quality generally compares with standard LCD. Click through for all the details and comparisons among the newest TVs we’ve reviewed with each backlight type.

Read more about how different LED TV technologies compare, and check out the reviews, here.

Article source: http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-20077829-1/led-based-lcd-tvs-explained-compared/?part=rss&tag=feed&subj=Crave

ISS floating orbs to get Nexus S phones

(Credit:
NASA)

The shuttle Atlantis is set to carry two Nexus S phones into orbit tomorrow that will turn a trio of floating satellites on the International Space Station into remote-operated robots.

The 135th and last flight of the shuttle program, set for 11:26 a.m. ET, will help advance the cause of robotkind when the
Android handsets are attached to the bowling ball-size orbs.

Propelled by small CO2 thrusters, the Synchronized Position Hold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental Satellites (Spheres) were developed at MIT and have been in use on the ISS since 2006.

As seen in the vid below, they look like the Star Wars lightsaber training droid but are designed to test spacecraft maneuvers, satellite servicing, and flight formation.

Normally, the Spheres orbs carry out preprogrammed commands from a computer aboard the ISS, but the Nexus Android phones will give them increased computing power, cameras, and links to ground crew who will pilot them.

Related links
? Shuttle Atlantis poised for final mission
? GoAtlantis iOS app spots space shuttle in real time
? Robot gas station planned for final shuttle flight

“The goal is to find out how we can use telerobotics to increase the efficiency of human explorers and ground controllers,” says DW Wheeler of the Intelligent Robotics Group at NASA’s Ames Research Center.

The orbs could be used to perform mundane tasks such as inspections and checking inventory and supplies aboard the ISS, which would free up its human occupants for other work. The initial experiments to install the phones on the Spheres could happen in September or October, according to Wheeler.

Meanwhile, MIT is working with high school students under the 2011 Zero Robotics challenge that involves programming and controlling the Spheres in a tournament that happens on the ISS.

Too bad the orbs can’t fire lasers yet. They’d make great Jedi training tools.

Article source: http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-20077721-1/iss-floating-orbs-to-get-nexus-s-phones/?part=rss&tag=feed&subj=Crave

Verizon quietly launches Motorola Droid 3

Motorola Droid 3

Motorola Droid 3

(Credit:
Verizon Wireless)

The Motorola Droid 3 made its debut today with very little fanfare–despite previous hubbub of rumors and leaks–and is available now online from Verizon Wireless for $199.99 with a two-year contract ($459.99 off contract) and in stores by July 14.

Much like the original Droid and
Droid 2, the Droid 3 features a slide-out, five-row QWERTY keyboard but boasts a larger and better 4-inch qHD (960×540) touch screen. The
Android 2.3 Gingerbread-based smartphone also packs a dual-core processor, 16GB of internal memory, and an 8-megapixel camera with 1080p HD video capture. There is also a front-facing camera (though resolution was not specified at the time of this writing) for video calls, and the handset comes preloaded with Skype mobile.

The Droid 3 is a dual-mode phone, so you can use it globally. All the standard wireless options are there as well–Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, aGPS, 3G, and mobile hot spot capabilities for up to five devices. However, it does not support Verizon’s LTE 4G network.

We’re sure the lack of 4G will be a turn off for some, but there are plenty of people who still crave physical keyboards as well. We hope to get a review unit shortly so check back soon for our full review. If you do decide to get one now, remember that Verizon’s new tiered data and mobile hot-spot plans take effect today.

(Source: Verizon Wireless, Engadget Mobile)

Article source: http://reviews.cnet.com/8301-19736_7-20077461-251/verizon-quietly-launches-motorola-droid-3/?part=rss&tag=feed&subj=Crave