Details leaked out today about the Canon 5D - an update to their 20D platform. The 5D will feature a 13 megapixel full frame sensor (35mm equivalent so EF mount lenses will not have a crop or magnification factor), 3 frame per second shooting speed, and a giant 2.5” LCD on the back. Like the rest of Canon’s pro series of cameras the 5D will feature a magnesium body, USB 2.0 and a DIGIC II processor for near instantaneous image processing with stunning detail and color. With a 13 megapixel sensor images taken in RAW format, the images will be able to be printed at poster size with very little post processing. While the 5D is not aimed at the average consumer (the 20D body with a cheap lens costs a minimum of $1200) any aspiring amateur or semi-pro looking for truly professional results will find the 5D an appealing choice. As a current owner of a 10D this is looking like an attractive upgrade for official Gear Live photo shoots.
BlackDog has started offering the open source development community a unique new server platform. Their USB powered dongle contains a 400mz PowerPC processor, 64MB of Ram, 256MB or 512MB of flash memory, and a biometric scanner for security. The BlackDog plugs into any standard Windows or Mac computer and upon connection takes over the hosts monitor, keyboard, mouse, and Internet connection acting as your very own ultra-portable desktop/server. While it’s clear that this is not a power users day to day tool, there is a lot of promise in a platform like this and it’s clear that similar technology will be very prevalent in the near future. With it’s two factor authentication this could provide a great secure way to port files around, and act as a recovery/repair tool for enterprises. What would you do if you could fit your desktop in your pocket?
This week, The Final Cut takes a closer look at two of this weekends most anticipated releases, The Skeleton Key with Kate Hudson and Four Brothers with Mark Wahlberg. Also out nationwide this Friday are Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo with Rob Schneider and Eddie Griffin, and The Great Raid with Benjamin Bratt and James Franco. In limited release, look for Asylum, Pretty Persuasion, and Grizzly Man. As always, if you’ve seen one of this weekends new releases, feel free to comment with your opinion. See The Final Cut’s recommendations after the jump.
Space Adventures, a startup out of Arlington, VA has reported to the New York Times that it is working on an agreement with Russian officials to send two tourists on a 10 to 21 day long space trip that will orbit the moon. The round-trip ticket will cost a cool $100 million dollars and will send the passengers with a Russian space crew. As unreasonable as the price-tag seems remember - for the ultra-rich the idea of being the first tourist in space could help pave the way for the rest of us to travel to the stars someday.
Read More | CNet
Talk about convenient, my boy William Bright decided that rather than pushing and shoving his way towards a subway map while riding the train, it would be much nicer to break out his iPod and check out the maps on its screen, thus making him the coolest guy in the train car. He is set to collect iPodified maps of other maps, but the NYC MTA maps will never be topped in my opinion. It’s just too cool - but what’s with the lack of love for Shaolin, man?
Read More | iPod Subway Maps
I, for one, am completely tired of all the fluctuating going on in the online DVD rental space. Prices have been raised and lowered more times than I can count on one hand. Yesterday I received an email from Blockbuster stating that my monthly cost would be climbing up from the $15 range to the $18 range for my “3 at a time” plan starting August 19, 2005. In fact, Blockbuster has raised the pricing on all of their plans so that they now cost exactly as much as similar plans on Netflix, those being the 5-out and 8-out plans at $29.99 and $47.99 respectively. The interesting thing here is that while Blockbuster Online has hit the 1 million member mark - and plans on doubling that within the next seven months - the company’s “No More Late Fees” mindset has resulted in a loss of about $140 million. I guess that is cause for raising prices wherever they can.
More interesting, however, is the fact that Blockbuster Online will now be giving an added bonus to its members on a monthly basis. If taken advantage of, then you actually come out ahead even with the extra $3 per month hit. For example, this month in addition to the two in-store game or DVD rental coupons that is a standard feature of the Blockbuster Online service, they are also giving out free previously viewed titles to Online members as well. There is a list of about 25 movies that you can choose from. I even had a fourth offer in my account, which allows me to purchase an previously viewed title selling for $9.99-14.99 at the price of $7.99. Not too shabby.
Ten Segways that were stolen on the night of April 24th from a New Hampshire dealership were found in perfect condition in a nearby garage bin. The two-wheeled personal transportation units were completely abandoned, most likely because they were difficult to sell, according to police opinion. While worth over $5,000 each, the Segways were seen as difficult to transport without rousing suspicion. Other industry speculation includes the fact that Segways are not selling up to expectations even in the legitimate marketplace, thus making them an extremely bad candidate for black market profiteering. A note to inventor Dean Kamen - If thieves can’t unload your product for a profit, you may need to head back to the drawing board.
Read More | WMUR
Harmony, a digital rights management translation system created by Real Networks which allows its own music formats to run on Apple iPods, may be the cause of some legal and technical issues for Real in the coming months. The company has admitted that although they believe that their software is completely legal, any disagreement from Apple that runs into a court process might jeopardize their bottom line. The company already expects to pay around $16 million in the coming year defending their software from litigation from Microsoft, but cannot afford any more. Additionally, Real also expects problems as Apple makes moves to update its software in ways that would require tweaking of Harmony’s specifications. Basically, it sounds like Harmony may represent Real biting off a bigger chunk than it can chew at this point. Stay tuned to see how these impending challenges pan out.
Read More | Macworld
You may soon be able bring your home or office system wherever you go, using almost any USB 2.0 device to carry your computer’s “soul.” SoulPad, which is being developed by IBM, stores three layers of software and information on the USB device – a base operating system, an encryption system, and a “virtual machine” which hold’s the user’s software and usage preferences. The entire process of booting any PC from your USB device should take less than 3 minutes. Once the PC is booted, the environment should look, feel, and act exactly like the system from which you took the information.
The creators of SoulPad have put together a short video demonstration of the system in action. While it does, in fact, show the SoulPad booting a PC, it will be interesting to see how the software holds up under the extreme variations of operating systems, user environments, and software packages that fall under the term “PC.”
Freedom Input just might be my hero at the moment. They have announced their Mini Bluetooth Keyboard - a credit card sized thumb board similar to those on the Treo, or Motorola Q - the difference being that this is a stand alone unit and could theoretically be used with Bluetooth-enabled smartphones, PDAs, TabletPC’s, and other devices. The problem is that it does not support the Bluetooth HID profile, so whatever device you want to use this on will require special drivers. Windows Mobile 5.0 and Windows XP already have support built in. This seems like the perfect solution for someone who does a lot of SMS or email on their phone, and wants a QWERTY keyboard without having a huge handheld to carry. The Mini Bluetooth Keyboard features backlit keys and features an innovative backlighting system for your “after hours” data entry needs. The Mini Bluetooth Keyboard is available for $60 and can run on 120 hours on two AAA batteries. The website says it will be available in Q3 2005 - not soon enough if you ask me!
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