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Thursday, September 27, 2007

Warner Bros. To Open Theme Park & Cinemas In Abu Dhabi

Warner Bros. In Yas Island

What’s up doc? Quite a bit in Abu Dhabi after a developer yesterday signed a multi-billion-dirham deal to bring the creative energy of Warner Bros Entertainment to the emirate.

A joint venture was created between Aldar and the newly-established Abu Dhabi Media Company and the studio that brought us the Harry Potter and Scooby-Doo films and Bugs Bunny.

The massive entertainment project will include a theme park, a luxury hotel and multiplex cinemas on Yas Island, the formation of a joint fund to finance feature films and develop and produce video games, as well as the growth of new media in the emirate.

And that’s not all, folks… New Warner Bros branded cinemas will also be built in Abu Dhabi’s under-construction Central Market, Ruwais in the Western Region and Al Ain.

Abu Dhabi Media Company Chairman Mohammed Khalaf Al Mazrouei said: “From theme parks to hotels, this agreement will put Abu Dhabi at the centre of the world’s entertainment map.” Aldar will co-ordinate and oversee physical construction of both the theme park and the hotel. Both projects are expected to start in 2009.

Warner Bros International Cinemas will develop, design and manage jointly owned multiplex cinemas in Abu Dhabi, to be built by Aldar. Construction on the multiplex cinemas at the Central Market development has already begun and they are due to open in the first quarter of 2010.

The film production fund, a 50-50 venture, calls for the development and production of broad-appeal films, with Warner Bros retaining worldwide distribution options and rights on all such projects.

Separate from this arrangement, Warner Bros Pictures International will work with Abu Dhabi Media Company to develop and produce Arabic-language films for local and regional distribution.

Specifics about the cost of the deal were not revealed in the announcement. Emirates Today spoke with Osama Ghanoum, Aldar’s Media and Marketing Manager in New York, who declined to reveal details but said: “It is a huge multi-billion-dirham project.” The agreement was signed in the presence of Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who is also the Chairman of the National Media Council.

Warner Bros Chairman and CEO Barry Meyer said he was “thrilled to be partnering with Aldar and the Abu Dhabi Media Company on these exciting endeavours”.

“We are impressed by their… philosophy. It is a firstrate company, led by first-rate executives,” said Meyer.

News of Abu Dhabi’s agreement with Warner Bros comes after Dubai is set to invest Dh8 billion in a Universal Studios theme park for Dubailand.

Universal Studios Dubai was announced in April and developers Tatweer expect it to attract five million visitors a year when it is completed in 2010.

The Universal Studios theme park is expected to cover 1.9 million square meters, with the whole Dubailand complex spreading over an area of some 280 sq km, twice the size of Walt Disney World in Florida.

The theme park will feature attractions based on films such as King Kong and The Mummy.

Paramount Pictures has also signed a licensing deal, with Ruwaad Holdings in Dubai, for the developer to build rides and attractions based on its library of films and characters.Ruwaad plans to spend $2.5bn (Dh9.1bn) on the Paramount Pictures branded park.

Read Also:
Warner Brothers to expand into Abu Dhabi (AFP)
Warner Bros. to develop Abu Dhabi park (Business Week)
Celluloid giant to deliver movie magic to Abu Dhabi (Emirates Today)
Warner Bros signs deal with Abu Dhabi firms for theme parks (Gulf News)

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Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Emirates Millionaire Show 2007: For The "Stinking" Rich In Dubai This December

World's Most Expensive Office Chair
World's Most Expensive Office Chair

Have you seen World's Most Expensive Office Chair? or the $620,000 Ud (Arabic Music Instrument)? or World's Most Expensive Computer Mouse? I have seen them all last year in Emirates Millionaire Show 2006. Now you will have the chance to experience even more amazing pieces of art for the "stinking" rich in Emirates Millionaire Show 2007.

Bahare Majd, Managing Director of Divine Events, said: 'The show is one of the highlights of the social calendar and it is in its right place at the DIFC, where every major global financial institution is represented, and will take place at the optimum time - December 13 -15 - at the end of Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) week. The stars and celebrities attending DIFF will naturally come on to EMS and the institutions in the Centre have shown an enormous appetite for what the show has to offer.

'Effectively, EMS will become one of the centerpieces of a month-long celebration not only of film and entertainment but of luxury and the establishment of a major regional financial center. Yet at the heart of it will be one of the main humanitarian occasions in the region, the highlight of which will be a charity auction of rare and one-off luxury items.'

$620,000 Ud (Arabic Music Instrument)
$620,000 Ud (Arabic Music Instrument)

The special thing about this year's show is that all the proceeds of the auction, which will be managed by a top international auctioneer, and the cash raised through ticket sales when the show opens to the public on the final day, will go to UNICEF to reach out to thousands of children.

Among the exhibitors, Arabian Oud, the exclusive perfumier; Il Tocoo Divino, which is able to manufacture high fashion and haute couture items out of pure spun gold; Xexoo, maker of the most expensive iPods in the world; and the world's most expensive mouse creator Pat Says Now are all looking to showcase items that are certain to generate interest during the show.

Just to give an example, take the Arabian Oud. This company is selling "one of the rarest and most expensive types of Oud" wood for $30,000 (Dh110,000) per kilo. Also on sale will be Oud oil for $4,000 (Dh14,680) per 12ml. "If you smell the oil, you won't like it, but if you mix it with the skin, it becomes majestic," said Tobi Abi Rashed, Arabian Oud's director of international franchising and leasing. For those with slightly less cash to splash, there is a perfume spray with pieces of 24 carat gold that leaves small flakes of gold on the skin when it is sprayed. This retails for Dh1,200 per bottle.

The following are details about dates and place of the show:

Dates: 13th-15th December 2007
Official Opening: 13th @ 11 AM
Timings: 11 AM to 9 PM
Venue: Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC), Dubai

Read Also:
Emirates Millionaire Show targets film stars and financiers with DIFC tie-up (AME Info)
Money, Money, Money (Gulf News)

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Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Nissan Concept Car with Anti-Drunk Driving Technology

Nissan Concept Car with Anti-Drunk Driving Technology
Nissan's latest sobriety technology can determine your level of consciousness by looking directly into your eyes.

Nissan has revealed last month a new concept car featuring multiple preventative features designed to help reduce drunk driving. Presently integrated on-board a production model Fuga sedan, the various technologies are designed to detect the driver's state of sobriety and to activate a range of preventive measures including immobilization of the vehicle.

A hi-sensitivity alcohol odor sensor is built into the transmission shift knob, which is able to detect the presence of alcohol in the perspiration of the driver's palm as he or she attempts to start driving. When the alcohol-level detected is above the pre-determined threshold, the system automatically locks the transmission, immobilizing the car. A “drunk driving” voice alert is also issued via the car navigation system.

Additional alcohol odor sensors are also incorporated into the driver’s and passenger seats to detect the presence of alcohol in the air inside the vehicle cabin. When alcohol is detected, the system issues both a voice alert and a message alert on the navigation system monitor.

Nissan Concept Car with Anti-Drunk Driving Technology

A camera is mounted on the instrument cluster facing the driver to monitor the driver’s face. The system is calibrated to monitor the driver's state of consciousness through the blinking of the eyes. When the system detects signs of drowsiness, a voice and message alert is triggered via the navigation system. Additionally, a seat-belt mechanism is activated which tightens around the driver to gain his or her immediate attention.

By constantly monitoring the operational behavior of the vehicle (e.g. sensing if the vehicle is veering out of its driving lane), the system can identify signs of inattentiveness or distraction in the driver. When the system detects such behavior, voice and message alerts are issued via the navigation system. The seat-belt alert mechanism is also activated, tightening around the driver to gain immediate attention.

With the inclining number of accidents due to drinking & driving in UAE recently, I think we should consider taking advantage of such technology in our cars (specially trucks).

Read Also:
Concept Car to Showcase Anti Drunk-Driving Technology (Nissan Press Release)
Nissan gets testy with drunk drivers (Reuters)
Nissan studies drink-proof cars (BBC News)

Brought to you by:

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Monday, September 24, 2007

USB 3.0 Coming Soon: Specs in 2008 & Release in 2010

USB Logo

The "SuperSpeed" USB Promotions Group was announced Tuesday at the Intel Developer Forum. The promotions group will get together with contributors over the next year to finalize a USB 3.0 spec that will, they hope, take care of our wired peripheral and syncing needs for another five years or more.

USB 3.0 is built upon, and is backwards-compatible with, the USB 2.0 "High Speed" spec. It would be generous to even call the specifications "early" at this stage, but the group still had lots of information about how USB 3.0 will work and what features it will provide. The spec should be finalized sometime in the middle of 2008, with initial devices available in '09, and broad deployment by 2010.

The main two goals of SuperSpeed USB are to provide a 10X boost in transfer rate (from 480-Mbits/s in USB 2.0 to 4.8 Gbits/s in USB 3.0), while dramatically lowering power consumption. One example of their speed goals is to transfer a 27GB HD movie to a portable device in 70 seconds. The same thing would take 15 minutes or more with HighSpeed USB (2.0). The SuperSpeed devices will use the same connectors and the same programming and device models as existing devices.

SuperSpeed USB (aka USB 3.0) still has a long way to go, but the development pace seems pretty rapid. The spec will probably be done, or nearly so, by the time Intel Development Forum rolls around next year, with initial device development underway. In two years' time, we might even have the first USB 3.0 devices on the market.

USB History
  • USB 0.7 Released in November 1994.
  • USB 0.8 Released in December 1994.
  • USB 0.9 Released in April 1995.
  • USB 0.99 Released in August 1995.
  • USB 1.0 Release Candidate: Released in November 1995.
  • USB 1.0 Released in January 1996. 1.5 Mbit/s (Low-Speed)
  • USB 1.1 Released in September 1998. 12 Mbit/s (Full-Speed)
  • USB 2.0 Released in April 2000. 480 Mbit/s (Hi-Speed)
  • USB 3.0 Specification to be released by Intel and its partners mid 2008. Initial devices available in 2009, and broad deployment by 2010. 4.8 Gbit/s (Super-Speed)

Read Also:
USB 3.0 Aims for 4.8Gbps, Switches to Optical & Will Probably be Late (Everything USB)
USB 3.0 To Boost Peripherals to Multi-Gigabit Speeds (ExtremeTech)
USB (Wikipedia)



Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Kensington Auto Power Inverter with USB Power Port

Kensington Auto Power Inverter with USB Power Port

Kensington announced yesterday 20 new products that will be available soon this month and among them is the Auto Power Inverter with USB Power Port. This inverter converts your vehicle power outlet (e.g. car cigarette lighter) into a 90 Watt wall outlet. It will power and charge Mac or PC notebooks and USB mobile devices simultaneously in your car. The Built-in USB power port lets you charge USB compatible devices. The auto power inverter has some safety features (over temperature, over current and short-circuit protection).

The Auto Power Inverter with USB Power Port is backed by the Kensington Limited Lifetime Warranty. The retail price is (US $39.99).

The new Kensington products will be available for pre-order at Amazon.com and Kensington.com starting on September 17, 2007, and at other major retailers in late September.

Read Also:
Kensington Launches New Products Designed for Consumer Lifestyles (Press Release)
Kensington Auto Power Inverter with USB Power Port (Product Page)
Kensington Power It Auto Inverter Turns Your 12V Cig Lighter Into a Grounded Socket (Plus Four Other Power Products) (Gizmodo)

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Saturday, September 15, 2007

Jaeger LeCoultre Unlocks & Starts Aston Martin DBS

Jaeger LeCoultre Unlocks Aston Martin DBS

Aston Martin is offering a limited edition Jaeger LeCoultre wristwatch for its new DBS that can be used to unlock the car and fire it up. Available only to buyers of the 510hp flagship, the new watch carries a price tag of €25,000. Remember, that’s on top of the €240,000 already put down for the car.

For that kind of money, customers get one of the most complex timepieces in the world. There’s over 200 parts used for just the casing and an additional 200 parts used for the watch movement itself, reports Automotive News. Engineers also managed to shrink the electronics inside the DBS transponder so that it fits inside the watch.

Aston Martin DBS

Jaeger boss Jérôme Lambert says the new watch allows you to do away with the keys, and hinted that an even more expensive model is in the works. Until that arrives, buyers will be limited to either the regular grade 5 titanium model or the more exclusive rose-gold edition.

Read Also:
Jaeger chronograph unlocks the Aston Martin DBS (Motor Authority)
Unaffordable Watch Unlocks And Starts Unaffordable Car (OhGizmo!)
Jaeger LeCoultre (Official Site)

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Saturday, September 01, 2007

Toshiba Announces 32GB, 16GB SDHC & 8GB microSDHC

Toshiba 32GB, 8GB SDHC & 8GB microSDHC

Toshiba announced August 22 that it has reinforced its line up of SD High Capacity (SDHC) cards with three new cards, including the world’s first 32-gigabyte2 (GB) memory card in this high density. Alongside the 32GB SDHC card, Toshiba also announced a 16GB SDHC card and an 8GB microSDHC card. All the new cards meet the Class 4 specification in the SD Speed Class, enabling them to deliver the high level performance and functionality essential for advanced mobile phones and other personal digital products.

The 16GB SDHC card will be available worldwide from October, and the 32GB SDHC card and 8GB microSDHC card will be launched worldwide in January next year.

The 32GB SDHC card will cost about (US $706). The 8GB microSDHC memory card will be around (US $170), and a 16GB SDHC memory card due for a launch in Japan in October will set Japanese consumers back the equivalent of around (US $353).

Read Also:
Press Release (Toshiba)
Toshiba announces £350 32GB SDHC memory card (Photograohy Press)



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