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Tuesday, January 30, 2007

UAE Wins Arabian Gulf Cup for the First Time

18th Arabian Gulf Cup

Finally UAE Made it! It took the UAE Football Team 35 years to finally win the Arabian Gulf Cup after defeating the Omani Team (1-0).

Read the UAE Football Team history with Gulf Cup.

Congratulations UAE ... It's a dream finally came true :)

Read Also:
UAE Wins Arabian Gulf Cup for the First Time (UAE Community Blog)

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Microsoft Releases Windows Vista & Office 2007 Today

Windows Vista Bus

Microsoft has released Windows Vista and the 2007 Office System for consumers. The two flagship products, which were released to business customers on November 30, 2006, will be available for consumers starting January 30, 2007, in more than 70 countries, in 19 languages (with 99 languages anticipated by the end of the year), and at more than 39,000 retail stores and online.

Microsoft recommends machines have at least 512Mb of RAM, a 800Mhz processor and 15Gb of hard disk space. Microsoft has pledged to continue support for XP users until 2011.

The consumer launch of Windows Vista is also expected to unleash a flood of new next-generation hardware, software and entertainment devices and services. Currently, more than 1.5 million devices and peripherals are on the market that work with Windows Vista, including more than 2,500 that are Certified for Windows Vista. In addition, thousands of PC manufacturers and system builders around the globe will deliver the Windows Vista operating system and Microsoft Office 2007 on new PCs.

In the US prices start from $100 for an upgrade of Vista Home basic to $249 for the equivalent Ultimate version.

Read Also:
Microsoft Launches Windows Vista and Microsoft Office 2007 to Consumers Worldwide (Microsoft Press Release)
Microsoft starts Vista hard sell (BBC News)

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Saturday, January 27, 2007

US Military's New Ray Gun: Making People Feel "On Fire"

Ray Gun

The military calls its new weapon an "active denial system," but that's an understatement. It's a ray gun that shoots a beam that makes people feel as if they are about to catch fire.

Apart from causing that terrifying sensation, the technology is supposed to be harmless -- a non-lethal way to get enemies to drop their weapons. The weapon is not expected to go into production until at least 2010, but all branches of the military have expressed interest in it, officials said.

During the first media demonstration of the weapon Wednesday, airmen fired beams from a large dish antenna mounted atop a Humvee at people pretending to be rioters and acting out other scenarios that U.S. troops might encounter in war zones.

The device's two-man crew located their targets through powerful lenses and fired beams from more than 500 yards away. That is nearly 17 times the range of existing non-lethal weapons, such as rubber bullets.

Anyone hit by the beam immediately jumped out of its path because of the sudden blast of heat throughout the body. While the 130-degree heat was not painful, it was intense enough to make the participants think their clothes were about to ignite.

"This is one of the key technologies for the future," said Marine Col. Kirk Hymes, director of the non-lethal weapons program at Quantico, Va., which helped develop the new weapon. "Non-lethal weapons are important for the escalation of force, especially in the environments our forces are operating in."

The system uses electromagnetic millimeter waves, which can penetrate only 1/64th of an inch of skin, just enough to cause discomfort. By comparison, microwaves used in the common kitchen appliance penetrate several inches of flesh.

The millimeter waves cannot go through walls, but they can penetrate most clothing, officials said. They refused to comment on whether the waves can go through glass.

Read Also:
Military Shows Off New Ray Gun (Newsday.com)
Ray gun makes targets feel as if they are on fire (CNN Tech)

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Wednesday, January 24, 2007

BigString: For Self-Destruct, Recallable, & Trackable E-Mails

BigString

Bigstring.com allows you to take control of your email. Until now, email messages that you send stay as a permanent record on countless mail servers, inboxes, delete boxes and more. Bigstring.com's patent pending technology allows email users to recall, modify or set an expiration date for emails that have already been sent. These emails can be erased, modified or expired even if the recipient has read them. The email is not "deleted" from the recipient's computer. The message that the email refers to is dynamically generated, and therefore you have full control over it.

And just few days ago, BigString announced the beta release of video email that can be programmed to self-destruct after a specific number of viewings or a set time.

"This self-destructing feature allows individuals and companies to maintain control of their intellectual property,"stated Darin Myman, President and CEO of BigString Corporation. "For individuals it can prevent the forwarding of personal videos that can become embarrassing fodder for the Internet. Entertainment companies and musicians can now send a once-viewable video of a performance or song. Videos that are time sensitive can be set to self-destruct at a specific time or day."

Read Also:
BigString (Product Page)
Make e-mail regret a thing of the past with Big String (Sci Fi Tech)

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Saturday, January 20, 2007

Flickr Blocked Again In UAE

Flickr Blocked Again

Etisalat blocked Flickr for the first time in June 2005 then later it was unblocked. In November 2005, Flickr was blocked again then unblocked in October 2006. Now for the third time Flickr is blocked by Etisalat!

I can understand that Flickr have some inappropriate pictures available to the public (not to mention the private ones that can be easily hacked into). What I don't understand is why Etisalat is going back and forth between blocking & unblocking Flickr for UAE internet users! I don't think Flickr content of pictures have changed influencing Etisalat to left the ban on Flickr the first and the second times.

Anyway, you can still access Flickr by accessing the following alternate address:

http://www5.flickr.mud.yahoo.com/

If you wonder how I made the above logo, then click here

Read Also:
Flickr Blocked ... Again? (UAE Community Blog)

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Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Dell Launches Its First Ruggedized Notebook (Link)

Dell Latitude ATG

Dell announced yesterday the Latitude ATG D620 (All-Terrain Grade), its first semi-rugged notebook computer for customers who work in tough environments. The Latitude ATG is now available in the U.S. and will be available in other Dell regions in the next couple weeks.

The Latitude ATG meets military standards for vibration, humidity and altitude1 and is designed to protect against accidental bumps, moisture, and other elements that customers encounter working in the field.

The new system features a shock-mounted hard drive, spill-resistant keyboard, port covers and high durability paint and is designed to withstand challenging conditions commonly associated with military environments, construction sites and first responders, such as police and emergency organizations.

The Latitude ATG is a prime example of Dell’s commitment to customer-driven innovation,” said Jeff Clarke, senior vice president Dell Product Group. “We have heard from customers loud and clear that a tougher, highly protective notebook with a screen that is easy to see outdoors is necessary in many lines of work. We’re glad that we could meet that customer request with a product distinguished by industry-leading features.

Product Features
Priced from $2499, the Latitude ATG 620 features:
  • 500 NIT LCD with non-reflective coating
  • 14.1-inch WXGA screen (1,280 X 800 resolution)
  • Supports up to 4GB3 DDR2 SDRAM
  • ATG task lights for keyboard lighting
  • Shock mounted-hard drive and LCD
  • Intel Core 2 Duo processors
  • Microsoft Windows Vista Capable
Read Also:
Dell Latitude ATG Notebook (Product Page)
Dell Launches its First Ruggedized Notebook (Dell Press Release)
Dell Latitude ATG D620 Semi-Rugged Notebook Review (Notebook Review)
Dell's ruggedized Latitude ATG D620 launched, reviewed (Engadget)

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Monday, January 15, 2007

SanDisk Introduces USBTV: New Platform for Moving & Viewing Videos From PCs to TVs

USBTV

SanDisk introduced USBTV, a new, industry-wide initiative that is expected to enable consumers to easily move digital content from their PCs to their televisions for viewing in full, big-screen comfort. The announcement was made during a press conference at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), where the platform technology was demonstrated and several industry leaders announced their support for USBTV.

We believe that USBTV represents an exciting new category of flash-based products that will bring digital downloading of video to a broad spectrum of new consumers who prefer viewing on their TV sets rather than on a PC screen,” said Eli Harari, SanDisk CEO. “USBTV has the potential to become an industry-transforming category as significant as the introduction of the DVD and VHS players, because in the convergence of the Web and home entertainment, USBTV solves in a simple, elegant way the ‘last 10 feet’ of the content portability problem in the home between the PC and the TV,” he said.

USBTV is an emerging standard for simple and secure transmission of digital content between
computers and displays such as TVs, USBTV solves the challenge of conveniently moving
video from the PC to the TV. The heart of the solution is a USBTV player, a compact consumer
electronics device comprising:
  • Flash storage.
  • AV controller that decodes the video.
  • Software that manages the user interaction.
  • Connector between the USBTV player and the TV.
  • Remote control
To move video content from the PC to the TV, the consumer follows simple steps:
  1. Downloads a video file onto the PC.
  2. Plugs the USBTV player into a standard USB port on the PC, just as they would with any generic USB flash drive. The USBTV player requires no driver or specialized software installation and is compatible with all common operating systems.
  3. Drags and drops the downloaded file onto the USBTV player.
  4. Plugs the USBTV player into any of the supported inputs on the TV— their own TV or a friend’s.
  5. Plays the video. The USBTV player automatically decodes the files and plays the video.
Read Also:
SanDisk Unveils USBTV - First Digital "Flash DVD Player" for Porting Personal Video and Movies from Home PC to Home TV (Sandisk Press Release)

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Sunday, January 14, 2007

Saladin Animated Series: Glorifying or Uglying The Hero? (Link)

Saladin: The Animated Series

Saladin, is an animation project inspired by the life of Salah Al-Din Yusuf Ibn Ayyub, the Muslim hero who united the Muslims in the holy war against the Crusades in the 12th Century.

Malaysian Officials hope that the animated series will spur growth in Malaysia's digital content industry and help it tap into a global animation market expected to be worth US$644 billion (euro541 billion) by 2009.

The project is being undertaken by MDeC, the agency that runs MSC Malaysia, a 750 square kilometer (300 square mile) zone shaped after California's Silicon Valley that offers tax breaks and grants to information technology companies and researchers.

What surprised me, or rather shocked me, are what supposed to be the main characters helping this great Muslim hero. Read the description of those characters and you will know what I mean ...

Major Characters of Saladin, the Animated Series:

Tarik: Saladin's best friend. A bit of coward, he would much rather talk his way out of fight than resort to violence. With his knowledge of history and science, he is the lone voice of reason pleading for caution while Saladin and Duncan dive head long into all manner of dangerous situations.

Duncan: A former soldier of the Franks, Duncan grew disillusioned with General Reginald's leadership and decided to strike off on his own and make his living as a mercenary. Motivated mainly by self-interest, every course of action seems to revolve around how much he is getting paid versus how much personal risk he has to take.

Anisa: A pickpocket, theif and con woman. Anisa has spent her entire life on the wrong side of the law. Quick witted and charming, her speciality is lulling her marks into trusting her then taking them for all they're worth. Her only weakness is a growing attraction towards Saladin.

After reading the above, I starter to have doubts that this show will lead to glorifying the image of Saladin to the world ...

Read Also:
Saladin (Official Website)
Malaysia producing first high-tech TV animation series on Islamic hero Saladin (TMC Net)

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Friday, January 12, 2007

Burj Al-Arabi: World's Biggest Concrete & Glass Human Shaped Building

Burj Al-Arabi
Click above for larger image

As well as being visible to those flying in and out of Jebel Ali Airport, the AED 500 million Burj Al Arabi building will also keep a watchful eye over those living in both the Jebel Ali and Jumeirah Palm developments.

An AAA Group project, it will be part of the Jumeirah Village being developed by Limitless Co and will be expected to feature in the Guinness Book of Records as the biggest concrete and glass human shaped building in the world when completed in 2009.

Burj Al Arabi will be 140 meters tall and have 35 floors. It will have a total built area of 400,000 sq.ft, of which 350,000 sq.ft will be for commercial offices and the remainder will be for retail outlets, restaurants and parking. A major feature will be the use of specially colored glass that will be harmonized in the Arabic fashion.

The “iqal” or peak of the tower may include a rotating restaurant and conference center.

Burj Al-Arabi
Click above for larger image

AAA Group Chairman Mohammed Al Syoufi says the development of the Burj Al Arabi concept has come about through his desire to celebrate all that is good about the people of the Gulf and the Arab world in general.

It will rank alongside the Burj Arab and similar projects as a truly local icon that reflects both Islamic and Arabic history,” Al Syoufi says.

Read Also:
Symbolic “National” will bid warm AAA welcome to Dubai (Property World ME)
$136m Burj Al Arabi in Dubai (AME Info)
Dubai's Man Mountain unveiled (Gulf News)

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Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Apple iPhone: Mobile Phone, iPod, & Internet Device All-In-One

Apple iPhone
Courtesy of Apple

Yesterday, January 9th, Apple introduced iPhone, combining three products—a mobile phone, a widescreen iPod with touch controls, and an Internet communications device with desktop-class email, web browsing, searching and maps—into one small and lightweight handheld device. iPhone introduces an entirely new user interface based on a large multi-touch display and pioneering new software, letting users control iPhone with just their fingers. iPhone also ushers in an era of software power and sophistication never before seen in a mobile device, which completely redefines what users can do on their mobile phones.

iPhone is a revolutionary and magical product that is literally five years ahead of any other mobile phone,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “We are all born with the ultimate pointing device—our fingers—and iPhone uses them to create the most revolutionary user interface since the mouse.

iPhone will be available in the US in June 2007, Europe in late 2007, and Asia in 2008, in a 4GB model for $499 (US) and an 8GB model for $599 (US), and will work with either a PC or Mac.

iPhone includes support for quad-band GSM, EDGE, 802.11b/g Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 2.0 EDR wireless technologies.

Read Also:
Apple iPhone (Product Page)
Apple Reinvents the Phone with iPhone (Press Release)

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Sharp Develops World's Largest LCD TV (108-Inch)

World's Largest 108-Inch LCD TV
Source: Engadget

So much for Panasonic's World's Largest Plasma Display Panel (103-inch). Sharp has successfully developed a 108-inch LCD TV AQUOS, the world’s largest, and will exhibit a prototype at 2007 CES.

This 108-inch LCD screen, which measures 93.9-inches wide by 52.9-inches high, features a Black Advanced Super View Full-Spec HD LCD panel manufactured at Sharp’s Kameyama Plant No. 2, the first plant in the world to use 8th generation glass substrates.

With this development, Sharp has demonstrated that it is possible to produce LCD TVs in sizes ranging from 13-inches to super-large sizes like the 108-inch, and that LCD is the predominant display device in the flat-panel television market, which is forecast to grow dramatically in the future.

Major Features
  • Screen size: 108-inch (93.9-inches wide by 52.9-inches high; 107.8 inches on the diagonal)
  • Drive system: TFT (thin-film transistor) active-matrix drive
  • Number of pixels: 2.07 million pixels (1,920 x 1,080 pixels)
Read Also:
Sharp Develops 108-inch LCD TV, The World's Largest (Sharp Press Release)
Live pics of Sharp's 108-inch LCD HDTV (Engadget)

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Tuesday, January 09, 2007

LG Unveils World's First HD-DVD/Blu-Ray Dual Format Player



Now I don't have to decide which new high definition DVD player I should buy (HD DVD or Blu-Ray). South Korea's LG Electronics Inc. on Sunday January 7, 2007 introduced a single DVD player that supports both next-generation, high-definition DVD formats, offering a solution in an escalating war between Blu-ray and HD DVD.

At a news conference at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, LG said its Super Multi Blu Player would be available in early February in the United States for about $1,200. A computer drive would be available in the first quarter for about the same price.

We’ve developed the Super Multi Blue Player to end the confusion caused by the current competition between Blu-ray Disc and HD DVD. Customers are no longer forced to choose between the two formats,” said Dr. Hee Gook Lee, president and chief technology officer of LG Electronics.

"Most of the consumers felt they are confused ... reluctant to buy the (separate HD DVD or Blu-ray) player," said Michael Ahn, head of LG's North American operations. "Growth was much slower than it could be and that is a concern in the industry. We recognized the consumer needed something more."

He said the combination player could handle the interactive features of Sony's Blu-ray format, which includes looking at menus while a movie is playing. For HD DVD, a format backed by a group led by Toshiba, LG's machine can play the movies and has a simple menu, but it does not support all the interactive features included on an HD DVD disk.

"For most consumers this product will be the most useful and attractive product," Ahn said.

Read Also:
LG Electronics Launches Industry's First Dual-Format High Definition Disc Player (LG Press Release)
LG to unveil dual-format DVD player (LG Press Release)
LG unveils solution to new DVD format war (Reuters)

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Sunday, January 07, 2007

Hitachi Announces World's First Terabyte Hard Drive



Hitachi Global Storage Technologies announced Friday January 5, 2007 in CES the industry's first terabyte (TB) hard drive. Hitachi's Deskstar 7K1000 will begin shipping to retail customers in the first quarter of 2007 at a suggested retail price of $399 (USD), or 40 cents per gigabyte (GB). This new consumer-friendly price makes ultra-high storage capacity more affordable and accessible than ever before.

Along with the Deskstar 7K1000 for the retail market, Hitachi is also announcing today a CinemaStar version 1TB hard drive, which provides optimized capabilities specifically designed for digital video recording (DVR) applications.

"The industry's first one-terabyte hard drive represents a milestone that is 50 years in the making, and it reasserts the hard drive's leadership as the highest-capacity, lowest-cost storage technology," said Shinjiro Iwata, chief marketing officer, Hitachi Global Storage Technologies. "In the 51 st year, Hitachi is leading a new era for hard drives -- not only providing large amounts of affordable storage, but also customizing and optimizing hard drives to deliver products that are smarter, more durable and more useful to the consumer."

The Deskstar 7K1000 SATA version will be available in Q1 2007 at 750-GB and one-TB capacities. The 1TB capacity point will have a suggested retail price of $399 (USD). The CinemaStar 1TB hard drive will be available in the second quarter.

Read Also:
Hitachi Shatters Capacity Record with World's First Terabyte Hard Drive (Hitachi Press Release)
Hitachi hard drive heralds the Terabyte Era (SciFi.com)

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Microvision To Demonstrate Ultra-Miniature Projection Display for Mobile Devices



Microvision, leader in light scanning technologies for display and imaging products, announced Thursday that it will unveil and demonstrate during the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas an ultra-thin, miniature full-color projection display that is small enough to be embedded in portable hand-held devices including mobile phones. The miniature projection display prototype, based on Microvision's proprietary Integrated Photonics Module (IPM), has been developed in collaboration with one of the Company's high volume manufacturing partners to position Microvision to deliver mobile users worldwide a large screen viewing experience inside a thin and sleek portable package.

"Small, two inch displays that are common to mobile devices such as cell phones are barriers to growth of exciting mobility markets, because they limit the user viewing experience," said Alexander Tokman, President and CEO of Microvision. "Our projection display solution is expected to eliminate this bottleneck, benefiting consumers, mobile operators, content providers, and consumer electronics OEMs. As our display is further optimized for high volume manufacturing, OEMs are expected to create a new generation of mobile devices with powerful projection display capabilities. Content providers should benefit by expanding their portfolio of visually rich content and application services. Mobile operators should benefit from an enhanced user experience by increased adoption of mobile data services such as mobile TV. Consumers should be able to obtain a radically new viewing experience by projecting photos, videos, movies, and TV from personal mobile devices onto virtually any surface for entertaining and sharing with friends and family -- whenever, wherever."

The image produced by Microvision's display is extremely sharp and vivid whether being projected to view an image the size of a laptop screen or further away to view an image the size of a big screen plasma TV. Currently measuring a slim 8 mm this extremely small display package, about the size of a "thin mint" chocolate candy or the generation two iPod(R) shuffle, has been dramatically miniaturized to 1/10 the size of the company's original prototype shown in June 2006 at the Society for Information Display. The Company and its high volume manufacturing partners will continue to develop this exciting technology into products that are expected to meet very aggressive market requirements for size, power, cost, and performance.

Read Also:
Microvision To Demonstrate Breakthrough Ultra-Miniature ''Thin Mint'' Candy Sized Projection Display for Mobile Devices (Microvision Press Release)

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Saturday, January 06, 2007

CEA Co-Produces International CES at Hometech Middle East 2007 in Dubai



The 2007 International CES returns to Las Vegas, January 8-11, to celebrate the show's 40th anniversary. The 2007 show will feature the hottest products in consumer technology from 2,700 exhibitors from more than 135 countries, covering more than 30 product categories including the latest in wireless, digital imaging, mobile electronics, home networking and more.

Now I don't have to feel sorry for myself not being able to attend CES in Las Vegas ... cause soon it will be held here in Dubai! The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), producer of the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES), announced in November 8, 2006 in New York a partnership with Epoc Messe Frankfurt, producer of Hometech Middle East, the leading consumer technology event in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

CEA will sponsor Hometech Middle East 2007 and will co-produce an International CES pavilion at the 2007 event. Hometech Middle East 2007 is scheduled for May 13-15, at the Dubai International Exhibition and Convention Center in Dubai, UAE.

"The UAE has become increasingly important to the global consumer electronics marketplace. As such, this partnership between the International CES and Hometech Middle East will further brand the event, and the entire Middle East region, as a global hot spot for consumer technology," said Karen Chupka, senior vice president of events and conferences, CEA. "We are excited for this unique opportunity to expand the scope of the International CES, and to better position CEA's members in the growing Middle Eastern marketplace."

As part of the growing partnership with Messe Frankfurt, the event will be renamed the International CES/Hometech in 2008, and will feature the latest in consumer electronics, home appliances and home automation systems.

"CEA has been hugely successful in promoting and expanding the consumer technology industry through the International CES," said Christopher Hudson, exhibitions director for Messe Frankfurt in the Middle East. "Our partnership with CEA creates an excellent opportunity to expand the scope of the Hometech event, through the powerful name of the International CES."

Read Also:
CEA to Sponsor and Co-Produce Event in the United Arab Emirates (CEA Press Release)
CEA to Sponsor and Co-Produce Event in the United Arab Emirates (CES Press Release)
CEA to Sponsor and Co-Produce Event in the United Arab Emirates (Hometech Middle East Press Release)

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Friday, January 05, 2007

SanDisk 32GB SSD: Targeting Hard Disk Replacement In Notebooks

SanDisk SSD

SanDisk introduced yesterday a 32GB, 1.8-inch solid state drive (SSD) as a drop-in replacement for the standard mechanical hard disk drive. Initially aimed at enterprise users as the first step toward mass consumer adoption, SanDisk SSD offers field-proven durability to keep mobile PCs working in the toughest of conditions and improves the overall user experience.

“This is an important milestone for SanDisk in our relentless quest to create new large-scale markets for flash storage solutions for consumers in the personal computing space,” said Eli Harari, SanDisk CEO. “The 32-gigabyte SSD that we are announcing today represents the fifth generation of flash-based solid state drives developed by msystems, which we recently acquired. The 32GB SSD has been made commercially viable through SanDisk’s technology leadership coupled with msystems’ tremendous experience and IP, which are captured in the high-performance, low-cost system controllers that distinguish this product.

“Once we begin shipping the 32GB SSD for notebook PCs, we expect to see its increasing adoption in the coming years as we continue to reduce the cost of flash memory. When these SSD devices become more affordable, we expect that their superior features over rotating disk drives will create a new consumer category for our retail sales channels worldwide,” said Harari. It is projected that inclusion of the SanDisk 32GB SSD in a notebook PC could increase the end-user price by around $600 in the first half of 2007, he added.

The SanDisk SSD achieves a sustained read rate of 62MB per second and a random read rate of 7,000 inputs/outputs per second (IOPS) for a 512-byte transfer– more than 100 times faster than most hard disk drives. Taking advantage of this performance, a laptop PC equipped with SanDisk SSD can boot Microsoft Windows Vista Enterprise in as little as 35 seconds. It also can achieve an average file access rate of 0.12 milliseconds, compared with 55 seconds and 19 milliseconds, respectively, for a laptop PC with a hard disk drive.

Another advantage of SanDisk SSD is its extremely low power consumption rate compared to the hard disk drive: 0.4 watt during active operation versus 1.0 watt. This is particularly important to extend the battery life for the benefit of enterprise road warriors. These results enable new operating systems, such as Microsoft Vista, to provide mobile PC users with a superior overall system experience.

Read Also:
SanDisk Launches 32-Gigabyte Solid State Drive Targeting Hard Disk Replacement In Notebook Computers (SanDisk Press Release)
SanDisk SSD UATA 5000 1.8 (Product Page)
SanDisk Unveils 32GB Drop-In Replacement Drive for Notebooks (Gizmodo)

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Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Hydropolis: World’s First Luxury Underwater Hotel in Dubai

Hydropolis Hotel in Dubai

Currently under construction in Dubai, Hydropolis is the world's first luxury underwater hotel. It will include three elements: the land station, where guests will be welcomed, the connecting tunnel, which will transport people by train to the main area of the hotel, and the 220 suites within the submarine leisure complex. It is one of the largest contemporary construction projects in the world, covering an area of 260 hectares, about the size of London's Hyde Park.

"Hydropolis is not a project; it's a passion," enthuses Joachim Hauser, the developer and designer of the hotel. His futuristic vision is about to take shape 20m below the surface of the Arabian Gulf, just off the Jumeirah Beach coastline in Dubai. The £300 million, 220-suite hotel is due to open at the end of 2007.

"The hardest part of the process was finding sponsorship to the tune of €550 million," admits Hauser. "That's what brought me to Dubai. Still, it was a battle which took two-and-a-half years and proved tougher than developing the project itself. No bank would pay such an amount. It's a risky investment, as there are no pilots. We had to convince investors that it is safe and will bring returns on investment."

The land on which Hydropolis is being built belongs to His Highness General Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai. It was his last free beach property on this stretch of coast. The project is a fantastic one, yet Sheikh Mohammed's success record with comparable schemes instils confidence that science fiction can become fact. With his support, several companies have been formed to kick-start this phenomenal project, and around 150 firms are currently involved.

Read Also:
Hydropolis Underwater Hotel, Dubai (Design Build Network)
1,200 Square Feet Under the Sea (Popular Science)

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Inside EMS 2006: World's Most Expensive Computer Mouse

Diamond Flower Computer Mouse

One of the amazing things presented for the first time in Emirates Millionaire Show 2006 is Pat Says Now's Diamond Flower computer mouse. It was said to be the world’s most expensive computer mouse. This mouse is cast from 18-carat white gold and set with 59 brilliants.

The price tag is €18,600 (US$24,700) and it comes with certificate of authenticity.

Tech Specs:
  • Modern 3-Button Optical Wheelmouse
  • Connection: USB with PS/2-Plug (suitable for PC and Mac)
  • Resolution: 800 dpi
  • 3 years warranty
Pat Says Now is Switzerland's first manufacturer of individual computer mice. "We do not simply sell a product, but rather see the mouse as a personal accessory that can be changed to match any mood and style.", said the website of Pat Says Now. "We do not only create computer mice, we create personalities."

Read Also:
Product Page

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Monday, January 01, 2007

Obvio Tribrid Sports Car: Runs on Regular Gas, Natural Gas, & Electricity (Link)

Obvio Tribrid Sports Car

This Brazilian designed car is a high-performance microsport car with seating for three side-by-side. Obvio O12E runs on any percentage of ethanol or gasoline in any combination of the two and also with NCG (natural compressed gas) and on electricity.

The integrated browser allows you to review movie and restaurant listings. With all the Audio and Video options included, you can watch movies, live news, sports, and business information anywhere you go in a Windows based Multimedia environment with Dolby 5.1 output in digital SPDIF format, with XM satellite radio.

O12 (Non-Electric) Specs:
  • Fuel economy of 12.5 Km/Liter (29.40 MPG) in urban driving.
  • Fuel economy of 17.3 Km/Liter (40.69 MPG) during highway driving.
  • Top speed of 100 mph with 115 HP
  • Top Speed of more than 160 mph with 170 and 250 HP´s versions.
  • Optional six speed manual gearbox.
O12E Specs:
  • Range: 200 – 240 miles without charge.
  • Acceleration: 0 to 60 <>
  • Top Speed: 120 mph
  • Charge rate: 30 minutes for 20 – 50 miles
  • Full Charge: 2 hrs (fast), 5 hrs (normal)
  • Electric Propulsion Drive system: 120 kW, 220 Nm, 13,000 rpm
Dimensions and weight:
  • Width: 1800 mm (71 in.)
  • Wheelbase: 2250 mm (89 in.)
  • Height: 1500 mm (59.0 in.)
  • Overall length: 3200 mm (126 in.)
  • Curb weight: 750 kg (1,648 lb.)
  • Tank: 50 liters (13.21 Gallons)
O12E targeted price will be US$59,000 - available in the last quarter of 2008. The non-electric version (O12) with the same body has a target price of US$28,000.

Read Also:
Product Page

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Grand Illusions' Inkless Metal Pen (Link)

Inkless Metal Pen

A stainless steel pen, 8cm long. However when you unscrew the top, the 'nib' is a solid piece of metal. There is no ink, yet this pen will write on virtually any type of paper. This is what it looked like when we tried it on a piece of normal paper...

How does it work?

In the Medieval period, artists and scribes often used a metal stylus in order to draw on a specially prepared paper surface. Generally known as Metalpoint, or Silverpoint when the stylus was made of silver, artists such as Leonardo da Vinci, Dürer and Rembrandt all used this technique. Silver Point Web gives a lot of information about how it works.

As you are leaving a small amount of metal on the page, the nib will begin to wear down. However this has got to be a much slower process than with a pencil, which wears down pretty quickly. Since there is no ink, there is nothing to dry out, so the pen will work just as well in 25 years time as it does today. And of course it never needs sharpening!

The price is (US $30) per pen and it's available from Grand Illusions.

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2007 Lexus LS 460L with Self-Parking Technology

2007 Lexus LS 460L

Rarely that CNET rates a car 10 out of 10 and that exactly how CNET rated the 2007 Lexus LS 460L. "The Lexus LS 460L is the best car we've seen. We can't put it any more bluntly than that", said Wayne Cunningham in CNET.

2007 Lexus LS 460L with the world's first 8-speed automatic transmission includes also self-parking feature from Toyota. This is how CNET described it:

"The car can steer itself into parallel or slotted parking places. If the car has possible parking places around it and it's put into reverse, buttons appear on the touch screen that lets the driver choose parallel or slotted parking. Once the car is in self-parking mode, a green frame settles on the most likely parking spot, and arrow buttons let the driver adjust the positioning of the spot. Once the spot is chosen, the driver just needs to control the brake while the car steers itself back into the parking spot.

In our testing of the system, we found it identified a valid parking spot very quickly if we had the car positioned properly. For parallel parking, the driver's seat should be next to the front bumper of the car the Lexus is intended to park behind. We found the system works best if the curb is of normal height and there are cars in front and back of the space. Identifying a valid parking space is the biggest challenge--once it's set, the car steers itself right in. We were particularly impressed when the car put itself into a relatively tight spot. When we tried to park in a slotted spot with no cars to either side, we had to spend more time adjusting the green frame, but the car smoothly put itself into the spot. Overall, we like this feature. Although it didn't work under all circumstances, it worked in more than we would have expected."

Self-Parking Technology

Gizmodo took the car in a test drive and explained how the self-parking feature work:
  1. You drive past a parking spot at 12mph or less. The four rear and six front sonar sensors detect the cars, and the gap between them.
  2. Putting the car into reverse activates the wide-angle backup camera. There's a little button on the bottom of the screen that looks like a car parking. Hit it. If the spot is more than 6.5 feet longer than the car itself, the car enters Advanced Parking Guidance System mode. This is where the magic happens.
  3. Crawl backwards, keeping your foot on the brake. If you touch the gas, or the wheel, the mode shuts itself off. Make sure to stay under 2.5mph, or it'll shut off, too. The wheel spins itself like its being ghost-driven. The sonar system is constantly measuring distance, beeping with more urgency as you get closer to obstacles.
  4. When you're in the spot, the computer will announce that parking is complete.
Read Also:
2007 Lexus LS 460L (Product Page)
2007 Lexus LS 460L (CNET)
How self-parking cars work? (howstuffworks.com)
Lexus Self Parking Car Video and Review (Gizmodo)

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