(Before I get started with this review, a note of caution about one of my other gizmos. My Sony PRS-500 eBook reader has developed some kind of display problem; the leftmost inch of the screen no longer updates. I checked around online and the going price for this repair appears to be about $250. That's on a gizmo that sells for $279 on Amazon right now. Not a good deal. I'll check with Sony and update this information if I get a better price.)
Remember the hubbub over Sony BMG Music Entertainment's rootkit debacle, involving its CDs?
Well, another arm of Sony, this time Sony Electronics, may face a little of the brouhaha, as well.
For those who missed out on the Sony BMG fiasco, a rootkit is a tool that can cloak the presence of certain files or processes and prevent users from performing certain tasks on their computer. While Sony BMG used the rootkits as a means to prevent … Read more
Apple's new iMac remains the all-purpose all-in-one to beat, but Sony's just-announced Vaio LT19U has three features we've never seen in a PC/monitor combo before. This $2,899 model (an update to last year's Vaio LS1) has a Blu-ray burner, a pull-out sled for adding a second hard drive, and a VESA-standard wall mount input. It also comes … Read more
Complex as they are, most robots solve dilemmas in a basic way: they fight each other. Then Michael Bay films it, charges $10 a ticket, and everyone enjoys the marvelous robots-kicking-the-crap-out-of-each-other show.
But there are plenty of robots that have no appetite for destruction. What about these robots, ones that have to rely on personality, artifical wits, social skills, and dance moves in order to survive?
Even if they banded together, these robots couldn't fight their … Read more
It's been a while since I received any new cell phones from Sony Ericsson. So when the company called to tell me they were sending me not just one, but three new handsets from the last CTIA show I was very excited. But leave it to Sony Ericsson, which takes its handset design very seriously (and to great success) to make the packaging equally as exciting.
A number of companies are trying to figure out ways to make cellulosic ethanol by breaking down sugar with microbes and enzymes. Sony has used similar principles to build a battery.
In short, the anode of the battery consists of enzymes--a protein that speeds up chemical reactions in living organisms--which digest sugar while the cathode that breaks down oxygen. The two are connected by a membrane. The anodie extracts electrons and hydrogen. The hydrogen migrates through a membrane to the cathode side and makes water with the oxygen. Those loose electrons go to power your MP3 player or phone.
Test … Read more
It may look a little scary to someone who's never held anything bigger than an HC7, but Sony's new HVR-HD1000U shares more in common with that model than the rest of its higher-end brethren. It uses the same single 3-megapixel, 1/2.9-inch ClearVid CMOS sensor and records 1080i HDV video. Even its price, slated to be $1,900 when it ships in December, fits right into the affluent consumer market segment. If that seems a bit steep, remember that its step-up sibling, the 3-chip HVR-V1U, will run you a minimum of $3,500.
Though it's unclear … Read more
Along with a few other tech journalists, I spent a couple of hours today over at the Westchester Country Club, which is gearing up for The Barclays PGA Tour event. What the hell was I doing there? Well, as part of a marketing deal with the PGA Tour, Mitsubishi is the "official large outdoor video display provider" of the Tour, and the PR team wanted us to see some of these displays in action--along with the Tour's ShotLink technology, which tracks players' shots almost down to the centimeter (the info is then displayed on those giant Mitsubishi scoreboards). That's all sorts of interesting if you're a golf fan, but things got a little sexier when Mitsubishi representatives took us into a hospitality suite, handed us each a pair of fancy 3D glasses (a little smaller than the ones shown in the photo), and showed us a demo of some new 3D-imaging technology the company's working on.
The demo was run from a massive Dell desktop and output onto a large DLP set. In an effort to inject new life into the fading rear-projection category, the company's pitch was that the 3D technology worked with existing DLP TVs and projectors (due to DLP's native 120Hz refresh rate, which allows you to split it into 60/60 for 3D) but not with LCD and plasma displays.
Most of us were pretty impressed by the demo, which included clips from movies, commercials, and sporting events. There was real depth to the 3D, and you got that 3D-feeling of objects poking out at you from the screen. All the demo material had been shot in 3D, but the kicker to the whole presentation was that Mitsubishi apparently has a Blu-ray player in its labs that can convert existing 2D movies into 3D on the fly. Better yet, according to company representatives, it may be available early next year.
Suddenly, it seems that compact, inexpensive megazooms without an eye-level viewfinder are all the rage. Canon just announced its first foray at the $300 price point, the PowerShot SX100, and now Sony follows suit with the Cyber-shot DSC-H3.
The H3 will offer the usual set of buzzword features, including face detection and HD downconversion for correct-aspect HDTV output.
Sony rated performance specs:Startup: 1.8 secs Shutter lag: 0.3 secs Shot to shot: 1.3 secs Burst: 2fps Battery life: 330 shot Canon SX100 IS Sony DSC-H3 Sony DSC-H7 Resolution 8 megapixels 8 megapixels 8 megapixels Lens f/… Read more
Sony's two new Cyber-shot T-series cameras don't look very different from past models, but they certainly feel different; these new cameras eschew buttons in favor of big, touch-sensitive LCD screens.
The Cyber-shot DSC-T200 and T70 respectively replace the DSC-T100 and DSC-T20 in Sony's lineup. Their 3.5 and 3-inch 16:9 touchscreens control nearly every aspect of the cameras. Besides changing settings and navigating the cameras' menus, users can also control focus with the touchscreens by tapping the object they want to focus on. This isn't the first time Sony has attempted a touchscreen system with … Read more