The Rebirth of 3-D - Part I: 3-D Is Born

There has probably been no cinematic special effect that has the longevity that the process of three-dimensional filmmaking has. From the B-movies of the 1950's right up to the state of the art big-budget blockbusters being presented in 3-D on cinema screens today, the effect of 3-D has held a tremendous grip on moviegoers since its very inception and the allure of this tantalizing effect has on the eyes and the mind have kept moviegoers enraptured and hungry for more. In order to fully understand how movies in three-dimension became popular in the first place we must go back to America circa the 1950's. With the advent of television after the Second World War, many moviegoers opted to stay home and watch their television sets instead of going out to the cinema. Filmmakers needed a gimmick… something that would make the movie going experience unique and the gimmick would have to be something that could not be replicated on television sets. Thus, the concept of three-dimensional entertainment was born. When the 3-D format was first introduced on the American cinematic scene, the format could only be replicated in movie theaters and in order to view the film in the three-dimensional format, a movie goer would need a special pair of glasses and keep the glasses on while the movie was shown.

TV - Q&A

What is the difference between 1080p and 1080i displays? The difference is how the source conveys the information to the display. Interlaced: 1080i sources get transferred on the screen sequentially. The odd-numbered lines of resolution appear on your screen first, followed by the even-numbered lines all within 1/30 of a second. Progressive: 1080p sources get transferred with all lines of resolution simultaneously, which makes for a smoother, cleaner image, especially with sports and other motion-intensive content. The right technology for you is dependant on the content you watch. The majority of HD content via satellite and cable will be available in 720p & 1080i. Your Blu-ray or HD DVDs will be available in 1080p with the appropriate player.

Wall Of Sound

We at McIntosh Labs were pretty impressed with ourselves when we realized the McIntosh 2K reference system weighed in at close to one full ton. It never even occurred to us to imagine what kind of McIntosh system might weigh 75 tons. As it turns out, our imagination was not required. Nearly 32 years earlier, Owsley 'Bear' Stanley, Dan Healy and Mark Raizene of the Grateful Dead sound crew and Ron Wickersham and Rick Turner of Alembic Sound dared to dream of such a system.

What the heck is a Smart Grid?

Nowadays we have several issues to face that are causing concern to humanity in general and the western world specifically. I don't think I need to repeat them here but basically they are environmental as well as geopolitical in nature. Hence, the old coal or oil burning power plant needs to be phased out and we must become much more efficient at generating and delivering electricity to end users or the costs become extraordinary over time.

Timelapse Garden Video Camera

The Brinno timelapse garden video camera comes attached to a stake, making it easy to mount anywhere in your garden, and the lens can focus as close as 20-inches away from your subject, or it can capture a 54-inch wide field of view to get everything in frame. It snaps a photo at one of six preset time intervals, anywhere from every 5 seconds to every 24 hours, and the stills are compiled into a single 1280×1024 AVI file for watching on your computer. The camera's housing is weather-resistant, which means you can set it up and forget about it, and it has a built-in light sensor that turns the camera off at night to extend the battery life. The 2GB USB flash drive it uses can store around 18,000 photos, and on a single set of 4 x AA batteries the camera will run for about 4 months when shooting once every hour. Available here for $159.95 .

Energy Saving Core 2 Quad S - Series

Intel recently announced energy saving versions of its Core 2 Quad Q8200, Q9400 and Q9550 CPUs. These S-Series chips are built using the same 45 nanometer process technology used on the regular models and their performance is the same but instead of having a maximum thermal design power of 95 watts they're TDP is only 65 watts. The S-Series is priced higher than its 95 watt cousin and Tom's Hardware has some benchmarks which will help you decide if the power saving and cooling benefits outweigh the price increase.

Robot Friday

New product announcements are usually pretty quiet on Friday so here is an amazing video of a half dozen prototype robots created by the Hirose-Fukushima Robotics Lab at Tokyo Tech . Highlight include a swimming snake, hugging robot, and a roller skating quadruped.

Fingerprint Locks

If your quest for future living involves getting rid of those half dozen keys you lug around all day a biometric fingerprint lock might be worth the $150 dollars. Adel's TRINITY-788 stores up to 99 fingerprints which can be register directly on the lock itself. It also features a PIN Code, and mechanical key for futher convienence. If you require extra security Shepherd makes a fingerprint lock with a built-in dead bolt.

Kitchen Safe Touchscreen

The Demy Kitchen Safe Touchscreen stores recipes in its digital memory, and Demy syncs up to your keyingredient.com account just by plugging it into the USB port on your computer. The Demy is designed to be rugged and handle the spills of ingredients that are commonly found around a busy kitchen. There is no requirement to clean your hands of food stains before use because the screen can be wiped down with a damp cloth. Available for pre-order for $299 from Amazon .

Sharp AQUOS A Series Announced

Sharp of Japan recently unveiled the AQUOS A series of eco-friendly LCD HDTV . Three models will soon be available; a 40" (LC-40AE6), 46" (LC-46AE6) and 52″ (LC-52AE6) model. All three feautre 1,920 x 1,080 resolution, a digital TV tuner, 120Hz de-judder technology, a 15,000:1 contrast ratio, 450 nits of brightness and 176-degree viewing angles. Sharp also claims a drastically reduced power footprint with an improved backlight and overall power consumption of 175kWh/Year for the 52", 145kWh/Year for the 46", and only 120kWh/Year for the 40" model.

And Now For Something Truly Useful

The Power Shelf is an outlet with a built-in self that provides your hand held electronics with a convenient organized place to be stored and charged. The various models, which range in price online from $15.95 for a small Power Shelf to $59.95 for a laptop Power Shelf , have a tapered design that allows for charging cords to be wrapped around the base for further reduced clutter. Useful and simple.

AnandTech's In-Depth Power Supply Review

If you're planning on building a HTPC or a high end desktop PC, info about the right power supply can be hard to find. It's easy to find hundreds of in-depth reviews on the latest CPU or Video Card but rarely do power supplies get the same in depth treatment. Anantech has articles for people looking for concrete info about how much power you might need , a detailed comparison of 20 available PSU's in the 300W-450W range and a comparison of 12 in the higher 500W to 550W range .

The Zvox Z-Base 550 Low Profile Sound-bar

The ZVOX Z-Base 550 is a new low profile sound-bar style surround sound system that doubles as a base for your TV. The Zvox Z-Base 550 is 26 inches wide by 3.6 inches high by 14.5 deep and can hold a TV weighing up to 90 pounds. Everything is inside this compact cabinet - speakers, amplifier, virtual surround circuitry and powered subwoofer. Under $500 dollars with positive reviews from CNET and Home Theatre In A Box.

ReBraun Music Jukebox

The ReBraun music jukebox, which was modeled after Braun Designer Dieter Rams' Audio 1 Kompaktanlage (circa 1962) is a great mix of a classic design aesthetic with new technology. Two TFT-Displays take the place of the original radio scales and the antenna does not receive any FM radio but is used to connect the system to the internet via Wireless LAN. A one of a kind object produced for the web site Bootleg Objects .

Light Tape

Light Tape is a new type of lighting that is completely different from the conventional light 'bulb' in that it is as thin as a credit card and completely flexible. It works using electroluminescence - a way to produce light by using electrical energy to excite light-emitting phophors. The light tape is made of plastic and contains no gasses, glass or mercury. Light tape gets its name from the fact that is a light and functions and looks like tape. It can be fastened to any surface and is available in many lengths, widths and colors.

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