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Sunday, September 28, 2008

Sony PS3 Games

Sony launched a pre-emptive strike on the E3 grapevine with its announcement yesterday that it's cutting the price of the 60GB PlayStation 3 to $500, and offering a new 80GB model for $600 in August. But what else does the company have up its sleeve for the show? There are still at least a couple of unanswered questions offering grist for the rumor mill:

rumble-enabled Sixaxis controller: Sony has already shot down rumors that the 80GB PS3 will come bundled with a new rumble-ready Sixaxis controller. (Of course, the company was denying rumors of a PS3 price cut as recently as last week.) But Sony's settlement with Immersion means that a rumble-ified PS3 controller is no longer an impossibility.

video download service: The Xbox 360's Video Marketplace gives users access to downloadable movies and TV shows, including plenty of HD content that looks far better than anything Apple's iTunes Store has offered to date. Newsweek (via Kotaku) reports that a Sony online media store may be announced at the show, even though it won't be ready to roll out until later in the year. Given Sony's ample content holdings--including all those Columbia, Tri-Star, and MGM movies and TV shows--this has always been a question of when, not if.

On the games front--which, after the price cut, is where the PS3 really needs to prove its mettle--there are quite a few exclusives to keep an eye on: Lair, Heavenly Sword, Warhawk, Metal Gear Solid 4, The Agency, and Killzone 2 will be among the titles making yet another E3 appearance. And we'll no doubt hear more news about the console's Second Life-like PlayStation Home service as well. But only time will tell whether one of those titles--or an as-yet-unseen game--will be the killer app that spurs PS3 sales back to the glory days of PlayStation dominance.

The Sony press conference is Wednesday, July 11 at 2:30pm ET/11:30am PT (directly after Nintendo's). Crave will have complete coverage at that time.


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Thursday, September 18, 2008

Social Bookmarking | Web 2.0 SEO

Social bookmarking is a method for Internet users to store, organize, search, and manage bookmarks of web pages on the Internet with the help of metadata.

In a social bookmarking system, users save links to web pages that they want to remember and/or share. These bookmarks are usually public, and can be saved privately, shared only with specified people or groups, shared only inside certain networks, or another combination of public and private domains. The allowed people can usually view these bookmarks chronologically, by category or tags, or via a search engine.

Most social bookmark services encourage users to organize their bookmarks with informal tags instead of the traditional browser-based system of folders, although some services feature categories/folders or a combination of folders and tags. They also enable viewing bookmarks associated with a chosen tag, and include information about the number of users who have bookmarked them. Some social bookmarking services also draw inferences from the relationship of tags to create clusters of tags or bookmarks.

Many social bookmarking services provide web feeds for their lists of bookmarks, including lists organized by tags. This allows subscribers to become aware of new bookmarks as they are saved, shared, and tagged by other users.

As these services have matured and grown more popular, they have added extra features such as ratings and comments on bookmarks, the ability to import and export bookmarks from browsers, emailing of bookmarks, web annotation, and groups or other social network features.


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Genepax Unveils a Car That Runs on Water and Air

Running a car on water has been the holy grail for car manufacturers for some time now, but it appears that a Japanese company named Genepax may have pulled ahead of the competition with a prototype vehicle that runs entirely on water and air. Their new "Water Energy System (WES)," generates power by supplying water and air to the fuel and air electrodes using a proprietary technology called the Membrane Electrode Assembly (MEA). The secret behind MEA is a special material that is capable of breaking down water into hydrogen and oxygen through a chemical reaction.

Not surprisingly, Genenpax has kept the exact details of their technology under wraps, but they did say that their new process, while based on existing technology, is expected to produce hydrogen from water for longer time than any method currently available. Furthermore, WES does not require a hydrogen reformer, a high-pressure hydrogen tank, or any special catalysts to get the job done.

During a recent conference, Genepax unveiled a fuel cell stack with a rated output of 120W and a fuel cell system with a rated output of 300W—and there are plans for a 1kw-class generation system for use in both electric vehicles and houses sometime in the future. At this point, the cost of production on the water-powered vehicle engine itself is around about ¥2,000,000 (US$18,522), but they hope to drop the price to ¥500,000 (US$4600) or less if they succeed in bringing it into mass production.


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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

10 Lust-Inspiring Phones

Vertu Constellation Monogram

Price: Around $7,000 online
Nokia subsidiary Vertu is probably the world's most recognizable luxury phone brand. The U.K.-based company released these special-edition handsets in April to celebrate its 10th anniversary. Like all Vertu phones, they are handcrafted in Europe. The phone's body is stainless steel, and the monogrammed leather back is handprinted in a four-hour process.

Mobiado Stealth

Price: 1,450 pounds ($2,875)
Inspired by military stealth aircraft, this phone is crafted out of one piece of aluminum to be both sturdy and light. Its screen is scratch-proof sapphire. Designer Mobiado, based in Vancouver, Canada, produced a limited edition of 1,200.

Gresso Steel

Price: 3,500 euros ($5,500)
Aircraft steel and sapphire glass figure in this phone, from Russian company Gresso. Like all Gresso phones, it sports a case made of African blackwood, which Gresso says is particularly resistant to decay.

Toshiba Cosmic Shiner

Price: $4,000
The Cosmic Shiner resembles more mainstream Toshiba phones, but with two key differences: diamond studs on its cover and a limited edition of 1,000.

Nokia 8800 Arte from Peter Aloisson

Price: 85,000 euros ($134,000)
The award for most dazzling bling may belong to this creation from Austrian designer Peter Aloisson. The company covered the Nokia phone with more than 21 carats of pink and white diamonds. It also offers decorated versions of Motorola and Sony Ericsson phones and Apple's iPhone.

Apple iPhone by Amosu

Price: 20,000 pounds ($39,600)
London designer Amosu says he was the first to encrust the iPhone in diamonds. His diamond iPhone will set you back almost $40,000. He also works with BlackBerry Pearls and N95s from Nokia

Chistian Dior phone

Price: 3,500 euros ($5,500)
Christian Dior's first cellphone resembles a sleek cosmetic compact and comes with a clip-on miniature phone that can be worn on a chain or attached to a handbag. The basic version costs $5,000. A deluxe model, with alligator skin case and 640 diamonds, is $27,000.

Tag Heuer Meridiist

Price: 3,400 to 3,900 euros ($5,400 to $6,200), depending on options
Watchmaker Tag Heuer is also getting into mobile with this phone, which will launch in September. Made out of 430 components and corrosion-resistant steel, it also features a crocodile skin back.

Porsche P9521

Price: 1,200 euros ($1,900)
Like fashion designers, carmakers invest in luxury phones as brand extensions. This Porsche phone has a fingerprint sensor for security. Its black-glass frame and brushed aluminum hinges are meant to evoke its namesake cars.

Asus Lamborghini ZX1

Price: Around $1,500
Asus teamed with Lamborghini to produce this phone, which has a large touch screen and built-in global positioning system.


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The World's Most Expensive Cellphones | Reviews

There is no cellphone more anticipated this year than the next generation of the Apple iPhone. But for some high rollers, the ultimate iPhone is a diamond-encrusted version from London jeweler Amosu. At 20,000 pounds ($39,600), the creation ranks among the world's most expensive phones.

Even a $40,000 iPhone seems tame compared with the 8800 Arte from Austrian designer Peter Aloisson. The luxury Nokia (nyse: NOK - news - people ) phone is posh to begin with, featuring designer ringtones and wallpapers and an 18-karat white gold finish. Encased in more than 680 pink and white brilliant-cut diamonds--sparing only the screen and slide-out keyboard--the embellished phone is a marvel. And, at 85,000 euros ($134,000), it's also the price of a college education.
In Pictures: 10 Lust-Inspiring Phones

These super high-end cellphones are a fascinating anomaly within the cellphone industry. While handset makers like Nokia, Samsung and Motorola (nyse: MOT - news - people ) churn out millions of $40 phones for developing markets such as China, Russia and India (see "Cellphones Your Wallet Will Love"), smaller firms like Amosu and Peter Aloisson focus on serving a much smaller population at the other end of the market.

It's a trend that shows no signs of halting. Fashion firms and automakers continue to show interest on the designer side. Last week, Christian Dior (other-otc: CHDRF.PK - news - people ) unveiled a $5,000 phone that resembles a sleek cosmetic compact. Watchmaker Tag Heuer is coming out with a $6,000 phone with a crocodile leather back. Porsche (other-otc: PSEPF.PK - news - people ) and Lamborghini have phones. Ferrari collaborated with Vertu, a U.K.-based luxury phone manufacturer owned by Nokia, on a special-edition phone last year.

Luxury firms say the steady march of cellphones across the globe is further expanding the market by popularizing the notion of luxury phones. "Mobile phones are becoming more and more an object of desire for people," says Alberto Torres, president of Vertu.

So what does a multi-thousand-dollar phone have that a $100 or $200 phone lacks? In the case of Vertu, whose phones range from $4,000 to $300,000, the difference begins with materials. Its handsets are crafted using scratch-proof sapphire glass screens, titanium frames, ruby bearings (for minimal wear and tear), fine leather and, in some models, gold and platinum.

Design inspirations are similarly highbrow. The brand's "Signature" line features details from jewelry and watchmaking. Its "Ascent" line is based on luxury automobiles and incorporates carbon fiber and rubber. (Torres uses a red Ascent handset.) Vertu's newest phones, the "Constellation" line, are meant to evoke images of classical aviation.

Then there is the painstaking construction. Though Vertu phones incorporate Nokia technology, they are developed and manufactured separately. Some models have more than 500 mechanical pieces, all assembled by hand in Europe. Torres compares the process to that of other luxury goods, such as cars, watches and handbags.

The phones are manufactured with longevity in mind, both in terms of tough construction and classic design. Vertu tests some phones by running a car over them. The goal, says Torres, is to make the phones functional for 20 years, even if users are likely to swap phones long before then.

The combination has attracted high-profile fans, such as former Ferrari Chief Executive Jean Todt, Beyoncé, Gwyneth Paltrow, Catherine Deneuve and Michelle Yeoh. Strikingly, most of these people shelled out money for their Vertu handsets. "We are very careful about gifting phones," says Torres. "We think it's more important that people buy into the brand and have a commitment to it."

According to luxury phone firms, plenty of people can afford to buy their wares. Vertu had triple-digit growth in 2006 and 2007 and is now in expansion mode, opening more stand-alone boutiques, including its first U.S. shops, in the Wynn Las Vegas and Plaza (New York) hotels. Despite a slowing economy, Torres says, the U.S. is the brand's fastest-growing market.

He thinks luxury phones will eventually ring up billions in sales. But some luxury analysts say upscale cellphones and other electronic gadgets will never be as popular as designer watches, handbags and cars. The rapid pace of innovation in cellphone technology means phones don't appreciate in value the way a Rolex does, notes Pamela Danziger, a luxury marketing expert. And phones, which most people carry everywhere, but rarely secure to their bodies, can be easily lost or misplaced, making them risky investments, she adds.

"It is a very, very limited market," says Danziger.

The two exceptions, she says, are young men, who are increasingly forgoing luxury watches in favor of using cellphones to tell time, a habit that could make them more receptive to spending thousands on a phone. The other: wealthy people she calls "exfluents" (or "extreme affluents"), who "go for the best of the best in everything they purchase."

In the end, as with any extremely expensive accessory, buying a $10,000 phone isn't about logic. Torres compares luxury phones to vintage Ferraris. "They might not last forever or have the latest technology, but they're beautiful things to drive."


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Thursday, September 4, 2008

HP TouchSmart PC

HP decided to show off its new wares in Berlin -- which is a rather strenuous yacht trip from the Engadget HQ, or so we hear -- but was kind enough to throw up a few pictures of the new gear in action. The TouchSmart 2 is a particularly interesting product in light of Microsoft's newfound emphasis on touchscreens in Windows 7. This could be a sign of things to come, or just a fun little approach to the all-in-one desktop for the here and now, but either way we're rather curious as to what makes a second human necessary in the operation of this unit.


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Google Chrome - Google's next generation web browser

At Google, we have a saying: “launch early and iterate.” While this approach is usually limited to our engineers, it apparently applies to our mailroom as well! As you may have read in the blogosphere, we hit "send" a bit early on a comic book introducing our new open source browser, Google Chrome. As we believe in access to information for everyone, we've now made the comic publicly available -- you can find it here. We will be launching the beta version of Google Chrome tomorrow in more than 100 countries.

So why are we launching Google Chrome? Because we believe we can add value for users and, at the same time, help drive innovation on the web.

All of us at Google spend much of our time working inside a browser. We search, chat, email and collaborate in a browser. And in our spare time, we shop, bank, read news and keep in touch with friends -- all using a browser. Because we spend so much time online, we began seriously thinking about what kind of browser could exist if we started from scratch and built on the best elements out there. We realized that the web had evolved from mainly simple text pages to rich, interactive applications and that we needed to completely rethink the browser. What we really needed was not just a browser, but also a modern platform for web pages and applications, and that's what we set out to build.

On the surface, we designed a browser window that is streamlined and simple. To most people, it isn't the browser that matters. It's only a tool to run the important stuff -- the pages, sites and applications that make up the web. Like the classic Google homepage, Google Chrome is clean and fast. It gets out of your way and gets you where you want to go.

Under the hood, we were able to build the foundation of a browser that runs today's complex web applications much better. By keeping each tab in an isolated "sandbox", we were able to prevent one tab from crashing another and provide improved protection from rogue sites. We improved speed and responsiveness across the board. We also built a more powerful JavaScript engine, V8, to power the next generation of web applications that aren't even possible in today's browsers.

This is just the beginning -- Google Chrome is far from done. We're releasing this beta for Windows to start the broader discussion and hear from you as quickly as possible. We're hard at work building versions for Mac and Linux too, and will continue to make it even faster and more robust.

We owe a great debt to many open source projects, and we're committed to continuing on their path. We've used components from Apple's WebKit and Mozilla's Firefox, among others -- and in that spirit, we are making all of our code open source as well. We hope to collaborate with the entire community to help drive the web forward.

The web gets better with more options and innovation. Google Chrome is another option, and we hope it contributes to making the web even better.

So check in again tomorrow to try Google Chrome for yourself.

Download google chrome here:


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The Most Expensive, High Tech Desktop Computer

On a lark, I went out to the Apple Store and priced the most expensive G5 Desktop on the planet. So what will $23,857.00 get you nowadays? Everything, and the kitchen sink from Apple buys you a 2.5Ghz Quad-core PowerPC G5 with 16GB of RAM, 1 TB of storage, Quadro FX 4500 graphics card with 512MB of memory, 16X dual-layer Superdrive, and two 30" Apple Cinema HD displays. Important to note: shipping on your new car desktop is free. Full specs after the jump.

The Most Expensive Desktop Computer

Apple 2.5GHz Quad-core PowerPC G5

- 2.5GHz Quad-core PowerPC G5
- 16GB 533 DDR2 ECC SDRAM- 8x2GB
- 2x500GB Serial ATA - 7200rpm
- Apple Cinema HD Display (30" flat panel)
- Apple Cinema HD Display (30" flat panel)
- AirPort Extreme + Bluetooth built-in
- Apple USB Modem
- 16x SuperDrive DL (DVD+R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)
- Fibre Channel PCI Express Card (w/ SFP-SFP cable)
- Apple Wireless Keyboard & Mouse - U.S. English
- Mac OS X - U.S. English
- iWork '05 preinstalled
- Accessory kit
- AppleCare Protection Plan for Power Mac (w/or w/o Display) - Auto-enroll


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Most Expensive Computer in the World

The Japanese government estimates the Earth Simulator cost $400,000,000, making it the most expensive computer ever built. The budget for the Earth Simulator project was authorized for the National Space Development Agency of Japan (NASDA) and the Power Reactor and Nuclear Fuel Development Corporation (PNC) in 1997, and NEC Corporation made the winning bid for the Japanese project.

By May 2002, the 640 processor node supercomputer was benchmarked with Linpack as having 35.86 TFlop/s performance. This gave it the top spot on the TOP500 Supercomputer Sites list until 2004 when IBM’s BlueGene/L supercomputer took its place using an architecture that cost less than half as much to implement.

Each processor node in the Earth Simulator contains 8 vector processors running at 500MHz with 16GB of shared memory, and the total main memory in the machine is 10 terabytes. The operating system running on the supercomputer is NEC’s UNIX-based OS called “SUPER-UX” which is used on NEC’s SX Series of supercomputers.

This expensive computer is used for a wide variety of international projects, most of which are related to atmospheric, climate, and oceanographic simulation.


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Simuloid - Dental training robot

A trip to the dentist could be a lot less painful in future thanks to this dental training robot.

The humanoid practice robot, dubbed Simroid for "simulator humanoid", alerts dentistry students if it is uncomfortable.

From a distance the Simroid looks like a petite Japanese woman, dressed in a pink sweater and loud red PVC heels.

On closer inspection, you realise the 'woman' is a robot - a new creation by Japanese engineers, in a bid to help dental students treat the patients in the gentlest way possible.

The Simroid's full set of white teeth are fitted with sensors and the robot will yelp when the dentist's equipment touches the virtual nerves.

The robot was on show at Japan's largest robotics convention in Tokyo this week.

As part of a demonstration, a young dental student poked her tools into the mouth of the Simroid and prompted an "Ow, that hurt" from the robot.

Open wide: The Simroid awaiting dental treatment

Dr. Naotake Shibui of the Nippon Dental University in Tokyo, who developed the robot with technicians at Kokoro Co., said: "Our aim is to train dentists to worry about whether patients are comfortable, and not just focus on technical expertise."

Shibui said scientists are further developing the robot to allow students to inject the Simroid's gums with anaesthetic.

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Xbox 360

The Xbox 360 is the second video game console produced by Microsoft, and was developed in cooperation with IBM, ATI, and SiS. The integrated Xbox Live service allows players to compete online and download content such as arcade games, game demos, trailers, TV shows, and movies. The Xbox 360 is the successor to the Xbox, and competes with Sony's PlayStation 3 and Nintendo's Wii as part of the seventh generation of video game consoles.

The Xbox 360 was officially unveiled on MTV on May 12, 2005, with detailed launch and game information divulged later that month at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3). The console sold out completely at release in all regions except in Japan,and, as of April 25, 2008, 19 million units have been sold worldwide according to Microsoft. The Xbox 360 comes in three different versions: the "Arcade" console, the "Premium" console, and the "Elite" console, each having its own selection of included and available accessories. Another version of the Xbox 360, called the "Core" which was available from launch, has since been discontinued for retail and replaced with the "Arcade".


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iPhone, iPod, Internet, and more.

Phone, iPod, Internet, and more.
Introducing iPhone 3G. With fast 3G wireless technology, GPS mapping, support for enterprise features like Microsoft Exchange, and the new App Store, iPhone 3G puts even more features at your fingertips. And like the original iPhone, it combines three products in one — a revolutionary phone, a widescreen iPod, and a breakthrough Internet device with rich HTML email and a desktop-class web browser. iPhone 3G. It redefines what a mobile phone can do — again.

Make a call by tapping a name or send a text with the intelligent keyboard.

Enjoy music and video on a widescreen display and shop for music with a tap.

Browse the web, get HTML email, and find yourself with GPS maps.


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NEW iPod Touch, iPod Classic, iPod Nano

With 80GB or 160GB of storage,1 iPod classic gives your music and video room to move. It also has plenty of energy (up to 40 hours of audio playback2), good looks (a sleek, all-metal design), and a great personality (a brand-new interface with Cover Flow). In other words, iPod classic makes an ideal companion. Why not get to know it better?

Cover Flow
If a picture says a thousand words, think of what all the album art in your collection might say. With Cover Flow on iPod classic, you can flip through your music to find the album you want to hear. Use the Click Wheel to browse music by album cover, then select an album to flip it over and see the track list.

Use the Click Wheel to adjust volume, navigate songs, browse in Cover Flow, or explore the Music menu by playlist, artist, album, song, genre, composer, and more. Want to mix things up? Click Shuffle Songs. iPod classic makes your music look as good as it sounds, thanks to its big, bright, color display.

Buy or rent movies from the iTunes Store and you can sync them to your iPod classic to watch anywhere, anytime. The gorgeous 2.5-inch display makes your movies pop. And iPod classic keeps you entertained for up to 7 hours. Long flight or darkened room? Adjust the brightness for even more video playback time.

TV Shows
There’s always something good on iPod classic. Browse thousands of episodes of your favorite TV shows on the iTunes Store, buy them for just $1.99 each, then sync them to iPod classic. Watch last night’s episodes this morning, or buy a whole TV series and play a pocket-size marathon

The iTunes Store features thousands of free video and audio podcasts, including indie favorites and offerings from such big names as ABC News, Comedy Central, ESPN, PBS, NPR, and many more. Browse and subscribe to podcasts, then sync them to your iPod classic. You can even play video podcasts on TV using an optional Apple component or composite AV cable.

The digital shelves of the iTunes Store are stocked with thousands of audiobooks — including exclusives like the entire Harry Potter series — so you can catch up on your reading wherever iPod classic takes you. iPod classic recognizes where you left off and bookmarks your place. You can even adjust the reading speed to suit you.

Put hours of fun at your fingertips. iPod classic comes with three games — Vortex, iQuiz, and Klondike — and you can download more from the iTunes Store for $4.99 each. All iPod games are designed specifically for the iPod interface. And all of them look great on the 2.5-inch color display.

iPod classic holds up to 25,000 photos you can sync from your Mac or PC via iTunes. Use the Click Wheel to scroll through photo thumbnails the same way you scroll through song titles. To see a photo full screen, click the center button. You can even view photo slideshows — complete with music and transitions — on iPod classic or on a TV using an optional Apple component or composite AV cable.

With up to 40,000 songs1 on your iPod classic, you need an easy way to search your collection. A built-in search function lets you use the Click Wheel to type out the name of the song, artist, album, audiobook, or podcast you’re looking for. iPod classic returns results instantly as you select letters.

Calendars, contacts, and a clock appear in the Extras menu, along with a few more handy items. Take the screen lock, for example. Spin the Click Wheel to choose a four-digit combination and protect your iPod classic from prying eyes. If you forget your combination, just reset when you sync. Or use the built-in stopwatch to log your best times.


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Microsoft Surface - The Possibilities

Microsoft Surface (Codename: Milan), is a Multi-touch product from Microsoft which is developed as a software and hardware combination technology that allows a user, or multiple users, to manipulate digital content by the use of natural motions, hand gestures, or physical objects. It was announced on May 29, 2007 at D5 conference. Initial customers will be in the hospitality businesses, such as restaurants, hotels, retail, public entertainment venues and the military for tactical overviews. The preliminary launch was on April 17, 2008, when Surface became available for customer use in AT&T stores.

Surface is essentially a Windows Vista PC tucked inside a table, topped with a 30-inch reflective surface in a clear acrylic frame. A projector underneath the surface projects an image onto its underside, while five cameras in the machine's housing record reflections of infrared light from human fingertips. The camera can also recognize objects placed on the surface if those objects have specially-designed "tags" applied to them. Users can interact with the machine by touching or dragging their fingertips and objects such as paintbrushes across the screen, or by placing and moving tagged objects. Surface has been optimized to respond to 52 touches at a time. During a demonstration with a reporter, Mark Bolger, the Surface Computing group's marketing director, "dipped" his finger in an on-screen paint palette, then dragged it across the screen to draw a smiley face. Then he used all 10 fingers at once to give the face a full head of hair.

Using the specially-designed "tags" on objects, Microsoft Surface can automatically offer additional wine choices tailored to the dinner being eaten based on the type of wine set on the Surface.

Prices will reportedly be $5,000 to $10,000 per unit. However Microsoft said it expects prices to drop enough to make consumer versions feasible in 2010.

Partner companies plan to use the Surface in their hotels, restaurants, and retail stores. The Surface is to be used to choose meals at restaurants, plan vacations and spots to visit from the hotel room. Starwood Hotels plan to allow users to drop a credit card on the table to pay for music, books, and other amenities offered at the resort. In AT&T stores, use of the Surface include interactive presentations of plans, coverage, and phone features, in addition to dropping two different phones on the table and having the customer be able to view and compare prices, features, and plans.

Microsoft notes four main components being important in Surface's interface: direct interaction, multi-touch contact, a multi-user experience, and object recognition.

Direct interaction refers to the user's ability to simply reach out and touch the interface of an application in order to interact with it, without the need for a mouse or keyboard. Multi-touch contact refers to the ability to have multiple contact points with an interface, unlike with a mouse, where there is only one cursor. Multi-user is a benefit of multi-touch -- several people can orient themselves on different sides of the surface to interact with an application simultaneously. Object recognition refers to the device's ability to recognize the presence and orientation of tagged objects placed on top of it.

The technology allows non-digital objects to be used as input devices. In one example, a normal paint brush was used to create a digital painting in the software. This is made possible by the fact that, in using cameras for input, the system does not rely on restrictive properties required of conventional touchscreen or touchpad devices such as the capacitance, electrical resistance, or temperature of the tool used (see Touchscreen).

The computer's "vision" is created by a near-infrared, 850-nanometer-wavelength LED light source aimed at the surface. When an object touches the tabletop, the light is reflected to multiple infrared cameras with a net resolution of 1280 x 960, allowing it to sense, and react to items touching the tabletop.

Surface will ship with basic applications, including photos, music, virtual concierge, and games, that can be customized for the customers.

Surface is a 30-inch (76 cm) display in a table-like form factor, 22 inches (56 cm) high, 21 inches (53 cm) deep, and 42 inches (107 cm) wide.[14]. The Surface tabletop is acrylic, and its interior frame is powder-coated steel. The software platform runs on a custom version of Windows Vista and has wired Ethernet 10/100, wireless 802.11 b/g, and Bluetooth 2.0 connectivity. Surface applications are written using either Windows Presentation Foundation or Microsoft XNA technology.

At Microsoft's MSDN Conference, Bill Gates told developers of "Maximum" setup the Microsoft Surface was going to have:

- Intel Core Quad Xeon "WoodCrest" @ 2.66GHz
- 4GB DDR2-1066 RAM
- 1TB 7200RPM Hard Drive

It has a custom motherboard form factor about the size of two ATX motherboards.

Applications Development
Microsoft Surface applications can be written in Windows Presentation Foundation or XNA. The development process is much like normal Vista development, but custom WPF controls had to be created by the Surface team due to the unique interface of Surface. Developers already proficient in WPF can utilize the SDK to write Surface apps for deployments for the large hotels, casinos, and restaurants at which the machines will be next deployed.


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Adobe Demos "Thermo" RIA Design Tool

Adobe Thermo Sneak Peek Part1

Adobe Thermo Sneak Peek Part2

At this morning's keynote at the Adobe MAX event in Chicago, Mark Anders and Steven Heintz of Adobe gave a sneak peek of a new application being developed by the company code-named "Thermo." Thermo is what they're terming a "rich internet application design tool." Its goal is to allow designers to create Flex-based RIAs without the need to touch any code and to create a more seamless workflow between designers and developers.

With Thermo, designers can build a web app UI and the MXML code to control it is automatically rendered by the application. Developers can then access that code and tie the UI to the rest of the application. Some conference attendees were rightly reminded of Visual Basic, but Thermo seems much smarter -- and, of course, is aimed at web app developers.

The demo at the conference was very compelling and drew the loudest applause of anything presented. Thermo has basic drawing tools that can be used to wireframe an app, but what really makes Thermo special for designers is that it understands Photoshop images and uses layer data to capture information about various UI elements (the application also plays nice with images from Illustrator and Fireworks). In their demonstration, Anders and Heintz imported a user interface mockup for a music browsing app. Thermo recognized the layer data from the PSD, allowing the duo to easily edit various elements inside the UI.

The presenters really got the MAX crowd rocking by showing off Thermo's "Convert artwork to..." feature. In a matter of a couple of clicks, a text input box on the UI went from static image to actual form field with the MXML code rendered automatically. Thermo even preserved styling of the form element from the PSD mockup.

The code view for Thermo is actually the full Flex Builder application, which means that it is a powerful development tool for programmers, as well. The idea is that developers can write underlying business logic for a Flex application while designers work on look and feel all from inside the same environment, and the process is as painless as possible for both sides.

Thermo was quickly the most buzzed about thing at the conference, and it was easy to see why. Anders and Heintz turned a static image of a web app interface into a working mockup -- complete with dummy lorem ipsum data created by Thermo -- in about 15 minutes without touching any code. Thermo allows designers to create interactive Flex-based applications without coding, then hand those apps off to programmers who can complete the development process by adding business logic.

Adobe expects to release an early version of Thermo sometime next year. For now they've set up a vague info page on the Adobe Labs site. When it drops, Thermo really could be a game changer that drops the barrier for entry into the web app market just that much more.

Note: Josh Catone is at the Adobe MAX 2007 conference in Chicago, September 30 - October 3, courtesy of Adobe.

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Today's Latest and Hot Stuff is a personal blog that aims to share online information about latest and in demand technology. This blog is a collaborative effort of individuals who are currently registered members of other online community sites. Today's Latest and Hot Stuff does not claim any form of ownership or copyright in the materials found in this blog. Most of the contents featured in this blog come from other sites. The said materials are owned by those sites where these resources are posted.