Elgato EyeTV One Streams HD Videos Over the Air

We’ve been talking a lot about streaming video content over wireless connections during the past couple of weeks simply because numerous products enabling this functionality have made their way onto the CES showroom floor. However, Elgato’s latest release is a little different, because, unlike most other solutions mentioned above, this one is related directly to over-the-air broadcasts.

So, what we’re talking about here is the EyeTV One, an easy-to-use TV tuner for DTV antennas that’s capable of delivering digital TV and HDTV channels straight to a Mac or PC, enabling users to watch and record the huge variety of TV shows that are broadcast over-the-air for free.

The EyeTV One comes with a built-in, flexible USB extender cable, so it can be used on a Mac or PC without blocking other ports. EyeTV One also sports a standard full-size coaxial plug and can be connected to an indoor or outdoor antenna without the need for an additional adapter.

However, what really makes the EyeTV One “work its magic” is the EyeTV 3 software for Mac developed by Elgato. The EyeTV 3 enables users to watch, pause, and rewind live TV on a Mac, as well as record shows, subscribe to a favorite TV series, and create Smart Playlists. Additionally, the EyeTV 3 has a built-in editor to remove unwanted content and can automatically send recordings to iTunes to sync with an iPhone, iPod, or Apple TV.
Recordings can be shared over a local network with other Macs and Elgato also offers optional apps to stream live TV and manage recording schedules on an iPhone while away from home. Practically, this software manages to transform one’s Mac into a DVR on steroids, granting it an even higher level of functionality than most machines on the market.

The EyeTV One is available right now for just $119.99 US dollars, which, given the level of functionality it’s able to provide, is quite an OK and rather fair price point.


Even If You’re Running JVC’s HA-EB75 Earphones Will Stay on

There are a lot of people out there who simply love going out jogging in the morning or going to the gym and exercising while listening to their favorite music being played on their MP3 players. Unfortunately, most of these players’ standard earphones don’t provide a particular good level of stability for intense physical action, or, in simpler words, they tend to fall out of their users’ ears.

For this reason, JVC has brought to this year’s CES its HA-EB75 headphones, which feature an adjustable ear clip for increased security and comfort. Plus, in order to accommodate various customers’ tastes, the new JVC headphones are available in a choice of three different colors, namely blue, black and silver.

Designed for sports and other active uses, the JVC HA-EB75 splash-proof headphones incorporate a soft rubber ear clip that fits around the outer ear to hold the earbud in place. To ensure a comfortable and secure fit, the ear clip is adjustable, with a slide mechanism that offers five different positions to adjust to different size ears.

To ensure high quality sound reproduction, a 0.53-inch (13.5mm) neodymium driver in each earpiece provides powerful sound with bass boost earpieces to deliver enhanced audio quality. Also, the splash-proof design helps protect the headphones from the elements. The HA-EB75 come with a four-foot (1.2m) friction noise reduction cord and an iPhone-compatible plug.

Pricing for the new JVC headphones is quite interesting, making them more than affordable. So, according to the Japanese company, its HA-EB75 adjustable ear clip headphones are scheduled to officially arrive in stores at some point in February, pricing starting at a mere US $12.95. Pretty OK for a pair of headphones that will ensure a good fit pretty much wherever and whenever one might decide to use them, even while doing sports.


OfficialDisplayPort v1.2 Standard

Although the DisplayPort interface is still far from what we’d dare to call mainstream (after all, it’s been implemented, for the time being, in a fairly limited number of devices), it’s very likely that its popularity will greatly improve in the future, especially since we’re talking about a next-gen solution, by comparison to the already “old” DVI and VGA interfaces. 7981321321234564564
We’ve tackled the issue of DisplayPort because, during CES, the Video Electronics Standards Association (VESA) formally unveiled DisplayPort v1.2, an extension to the original DisplayPort standard offering many new benefits to the end user.
According to VESA, the DisplayPort v1.2 increases performance by doubling the maximum data transfer rate from 10.8 Gbps (Giga-bits-per-second) to 21.6 Gbps, greatly increasing display resolution, color depths, refresh rates, and multiple display capabilities. Moreover, the new standard supports “multi-streaming,” namely the ability to transport multiple independent uncompressed display and audio streams over a single cable, supporting protected content and high performance applications such as 3D gaming. This enables the use of multiple monitors connected by cable in a daisy chain or hub configuration. Whereas the current Display v1.1a standard can support one 2560 x 1600 monitor at 60Hz, DisplayPort v1.2 can support two such monitors with one cable, or four 1920 x 1200 monitors.

Another new feature is the ability to support high-speed, bi-directional data transfer, allowing USB 2.0 or Ethernet data to be carried within a standard DisplayPort cable. For DisplayPort v1.2, the maximum data rate of this “AUX” channel has been increased from 1 Mbps (megabits per second) to 720 Mbps, providing suitable bandwidth for USB 2.0. The DisplayPort cable can therefore support USB data to/from the display to support Display USB functions, in addition to sending the video and audio information. Standard Ethernet can also be transported in the DisplayPort cable.
DisplayPort v1.2 was designed to be compatible with existing DisplayPort systems and cables. To take advantage of the new capabilities, a PC will need to be DisplayPort v1.2 enabled. However, existing standard cables can still be used, including those with the new Mini-DisplayPort connector. To achieve the 21.6 Gbps rate, the per-lane data rate is doubled from 2.7 Gbps to 5.4 Gbps, over the four lanes that exist in the standard cable. For a single display, this enables up to 3840 x 2400 resolution at 60Hz, or a 3D display (120Hz) at 2560 x 1600.

As you can see, the new DisplayPort v1.2 standard marks some serious improvements over the initial versions, are we’re looking forward to seeing it implemented in more GPU solutions and monitors arriving on the market.


Skype HD has new Webcams — faceVsion Debuts 720p

As some of you might recall, one of the most important pre-CES announcements we talked about belonged to Skype, which announced back then the imminent roll out of an improved video communications solutions called Skype HD, which would enable people to engage in much more “lifelike” video conversations.

Furthermore, it also announced some important partnerships (with LG and Panasonic, just to name a few companies), as well as the incoming availability of some webcams designed specifically to work with the new service. And that’s exactly the subject we’ll tackle as follows, namely that of the new FV TouchCam N1 from faceVsion.

FV TouchCam N1 incorporates an H.264 codec chip and dual microphones supporting beamforming techniques, and also offers synchronized, crystal clear HD video (720p, 3X DVD resolution) and superior audio quality. The FV TouchCam N1 connects to a PC using a USB plug and comes with a flexible universal base that fits on any monitor.

“We are thrilled to bring HD video to Skype’s global community and that we are advancing online video calls to a whole new frontier together with Skype,” said Alex Huang, CEO of faceVsion. “At faceVsion, we believe video communications should be an incremental and seamless enhancement to existing modes of communication that does not involve purchasing and installing expensive videoconferencing equipment.”

With Skype’s expertise in internet communications and our disruptive technology, the partnership represents a milestone in instant and convenient HD video communications.” Huang added. Manrique Brenes, Skype’s director of business development and product management for consumer electronics, also commented on this issue, stating that “These easy-to-use HD webcams will make 720p video calling via Skype accessible to the millions of consumers around the world who do not have a high performance PC.”

Sadly, faceVsion doesn’t provide any pricing and/or availability details for the time being, but it’s likely that its new Skype HD compatible webcams will arrive in stores shortly, as demand for such products will surely increase.


New HA-FXC80 Model of JVC’s

Along with the many other products recently announced, introduced, presented or launched, JVC also announced the addition of a pair of in-ears to its premium Black series headphone line. These are the new HA-FXC80 headphones that mix advanced materials and the company’s Micro-HD driver, all in a uniquely designed cabinet that ensures comfort and a secure fit.475413212121

What makes the headphones perform so well, firstly, is mainly the core, that JVC Micro-HD driver, that via development and design is placed in the ear canal, rather than the common placement in the housing outside the ear found in conventional designs. The only result I can find in this is that the wearer’s ear itself will act as the driver’s cabinet, ensuring a more detailed sound reproduction than what happens in other designs along with sound reflections. Also, the sound isolation from outside noise is improved.

A further improvement in the design is the use of a carbon housing and carbon diaphragm, so that overall, the HA-FXC80 headphones deliver crisp, clean sound and that desired and demanded solid and rich bass.The Tri-form design is what enables users to wear the headphones with the cord below the ear or, if they wish, to turn the housing so that the cord is wrapped over the top and behind the ear, ensuring a more secure fit, for jogging as an example.

Even better, the company included detachable soft ear loops for securing even more the over-the-ear placement of the cord, while for the optimum in-ear fit and close to zero sound leakage JVC was kind enough to include three sizes of soft silicon earpieces. With a gold-plated iPhone-compatible slim plug and 1.2m pure copper cord, the JVC HA-FXC80 headphones are available this month for $59.99.


Firefox’s Fifth Birthday Celebrated with Some Amazing Art

Firefox owes its success to a solid list of features and its overall quality, but it also owes a lot to the Mozilla community and people all over the world who got behind the project and promoted it to their friends and families and everywhere else they could. This community spirit is alive today, five years after Firefox landed, and Mozilla is regularly organizing competitions and events to engage the regular users. Just recently it wrapped up two challenges, one to celebrate Firefox’s fifth birthday and another one dubbed “Light the World with Firefox.”

“[W]e’d like to announce the winner of the Mozilla Creative Collective Five Years of Firefox challenge — Rogelio Calamaya, Jr., also known as Lucero,” the announcement on the Mozilla blog read. “As inspiration for his design, Rogelio imagined a busy Firefox who’s always running around, stepping away from his 5th birthday party for a second to rest and enjoy some cake.”

The goal of the Five Years of Firefox challenge was to create a poster for the occasion which could then be used as part of the official Firefox artwork either online or in related merchandise. Firefox has a vibrant community of designers over at creative.mozilla.com that regularly post artwork mostly related to the browser. Those wanting to enter the competition had to upload their entries to the site and Mozilla picked the winner from the top five entries as voted by the community.
Unrelated to the competition but part of Mozilla alternative marketing effort, the foundation asked its users to light up their cities with Firefox logos or anything having to do with the browser. People all over the world contributed and Mozilla has selected some of the more interesting entries. Meanwhile, Mozilla developers are putting the finishing touches on Firefox 3.6, the first big update after the five year celebration. The release candidate version was just revealed and the final version should be coming soon.

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MSI Unleashes Hydra-Equipped Big Bang-Fuzion Motherboard

As some of you certainly remember, we’ve talked quite a few times about the HYDRA 200 chip, which allowed users to combine ATI and NVIDIA GPUs on a motherboard equipped with the respective component. Plus, we’ve also told you that MSI was one of the first motherboard manufacturers to roll out a mobo featuring this Hydra chip, namely the Big Bang model.
And for CES, MSI unveiled the second Big-Bang branded motherboard, the Big Bang-Fuzion, which, similar to its predecessor, offers gamers an enhanced level of versatility, as it permits them to install cross-vender GPU in a single system. Plus, according to MIS, this technology can “perform scalable rendering by load-balancing graphics processing tasks” and is also capable of delivering “near-linear gaming performance upgrade to break through the performance barrier with two or more graphics cards.”

Since this solution is clearly targeting gamers and enthusiasts, it also packs the Quantum Wave audio solution, which provides good audio, either when gaming or playing music through external speakers or headsets. Also, with the Creative EAX Advanced HD 5.0 and THX TruStudio PC audio tech, Big Bang-Fuzion pushes ahead the surround and HD experiences one might enjoy.
Big Bang-Fuzion also comes equipped with external OC Dashboard, V-Kit, and built-in chip-driven OC Genie auto overclocking technology for overclocking enthusiasts. It packs MSI’s exclusive DrMOS power supply modules and SuperPipe cooling technology, in order to allow users to easily and safely overclock it, pushing the boundaries of their desktop systems even further.

Luckily, people who are ready and willing to test MSI’s new motherboard for themselves should have no problems doing so, since the Big Bang-Fuzion Hydra-equipped motherboard is scheduled to become available in stores in mid-January 2010. Unfortunately, no pricing details have been yet provided, but we’ll find that out as well in a couple of days’ time.


Brando Unitek Adapter Bridges USB 3.0, SATA Interfaces

Heard about that uber-speedy new USB standard, SuperSpeed USB or USB 3.0, and you don’t want it to catch you unprepared when the first products packing this technology arrive on the market? Well, if that’s the case, you don’t really have to worry, since ol’ Brando’s got you covered with its brand-new Unitek USB 3.0 to SATA adapter, a device that will allow one to easily connect any SATA HDD to their USB 3.0-capable computer in a very fast and easy manner.

According to Brando, this gadget allows users to connect SATA/IDE HDD items to a computer via a USB port, practically turning any SATA HDD device into a convenient external storage solution. Nothing new so far, isn’t it (well, apart from the fact that this thing can “take” HDDs with storage capacities of up to 2TB)?

What really makes this adapter stand out from the crowd is the fact that it provides support for USB 3.0, which means that it can, theoretically, reach transfer speeds of up to 5 Gbps. Of course, the device is also backwards compatible with high-speed (480 Mbps) and full-speed (12 Mbps) USB specifications.

Plus, this will occupy only a very small amount of space wherever it might be installed, since it measures about 69 x 40 x 12mm and weighs around 67grams. Also, one won’t have to worry about the issue of operating systems either, the adapter providing support for Windows (including Windows 7) and Linux (sorry, Mac users, you’re out of luck).

As things usually stand with most of Brando’s products, pricing for this adapter is not exactly out of this world, the UNITEK USB 3.0 to SATA Adapter selling for just around 48 US dollars, which is a lot less than many of the SuperSpeed USB products we’ve seen arrive on the market lately.

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Nikon Unveiling the N-STORM High Resolution Microscope System

Nikon Corporation, one of the relevant innovators in advanced optical instruments, has just announced that it has signed a licensing agreement with Harvard University that is granting Nikon the rights to use the Stochastic Optical Reconstruction Microscopy (STORM) technology. Under the terms of that agreement, Nikon will be developing STORM enabled microscopy systems and market them with the N-STORM name.
Also, Nikon Corporation President, Mr. Michio Kariya, and Nikon Instruments Incorporated, are pleased to announce that the N-STORM Super Resolution microscope system will be introduced at the American Society For Cell Biology 49th Annual Meeting. This new microscope system packs the STORM methodology, as well as having a design that enables a higher resolution than was never before achieved by the conventional optical microscopes.
“Nikon is highly anticipating this exciting development in super resolution, providing scientists with exceptional optical instrumentation that allows visualization of nanoscopic cellular structures and molecular activity at unprecedented image resolution,” states Stanley Schwartz, vice president, Nikon Instruments, Inc. “This level of clarity has never been attainable by conventional light microscopy in a commercialized and easy-to-use microscopy system. Nikon is excited about this collaboration and looks forward to progressing together with our design engineers and the Zhuang lab to extend the capabilities and uses of STORM microscopy.”
Now, let’s look a little into that STORM technology, so that we’ll find out this is a novel advanced form of optical microscopy capable of providing a solution for the universal demand among life science researchers to observe tissues and cells more clearly. We all know that optical microscopy is one of the most common used imaging methods in the field of biomedical research nowadays. Nevertheless, the spatial resolution of optical microscopy, always limited by the diffraction of light to several hundred nanometers, is substantially larger than typical molecular length scales in cells, making many biological investigations beyond reach for scientists using light microscopy.

Nikon’s N-STORM Super Resolution microscope system should be available for delivery by May 2010, enabling researchers to take advantage of high resolution fluorescence images, both 2D and 3D, from localization information of fluorophores detected with high accuracy and calculated from multiple exposures.


SUV Navigation System Leads Couple Stuck in Eastern Oregon

Here’s another nice article that I am going to truly enjoy writing (well, at least for today), basically because it did confirm the fact that just about any GPS navigator can lead people in the wrong direction. Actually, just comparing with what I have heard from friends, that got led to the middle of mountains and such, this here happening is much worse.

This is the story of middle-aged couple John and Starry Rhoads that got misguided by their SUV’s navigational system, and ended stuck in high snow. This is definitely a win for the GPS in one of these people’s mobile phone, since that worked a lot more accurately than the SUV’s one that led them on a remote forest road, when traveling through the high desert of Eastern Oregon.
Doing so, the couple got stuck for no less than three days in the snow, and that would have probably got them killed, considering the low temperatures in that desert. Happily for them, and their relatives nevertheless, the middle-aged couple had some serious winter clothing packed for the road, and that is what saved their lives.
After those three days, the divinity (do call it weather) got some clear sky for the two, so they managed to send out their coordinates using their GPS-enabled mobile phone. Funny, isn’t it? GPS got them stuck and out of the trouble, but of course, different ones.
What I understand from this? Well, except for the times when you are only driving in the city boundaries, that one should always try the most efficient route rather than the shortest. Why? Just because I, for one, would rather get to my destination sooner or later, than not at all, and because the shortest way is not always the safest too.