Some brands of digital cameras and most digital photo editors include software to create panoramic photos, but the results are often less than compelling. Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University have now created a better way to shoot panoramic photos: get a robot to control the camera.
The New York Times reports that the GigaPan device can be used with almost any standard digital camera and creates very detailed panoramas about 1 gigapixel (one billion pixels) in size. By overlapping hundreds to thousands of individual frames, extremely detailed pictures (visible at the GigaPan website) can be created. Before taking a single frame, GigaPan also calculates how many shots to take and how to control the camera. An Adobe Flash-based control enables you to pan and zoom in and out of the picture to see every detail.
To find out how GigaPan compares to existing panoramic cameras, how much it will cost when it hits the market later this year, and how long it takes to create a panorama with GigaPan, see us after the jump.
Anyone that likes to blow things up, dissolve it in acid, or make death rays to burn things to ashes, has to like Mythbusters. They take all those dreary science principles and turn them into something destructive and interesting, all while trying to answer that nagging question…”is it possible”? What geek wouldn’t like that stuff?
It seems your chance may be here if you are interested in helping the Mythbusters attempt to re-bust a myth that they have tried before. They are going to make attempt number three on the Archimedes Death Ray myth. Basically the myth is that the Greek army defended themselves from invading Roman ships by using 300 soldiers with mirrored shields to focus the sun's rays on the invading ships so they could set them on fire and stop the invaders before they even land. Any kid that played with a magnifying glass can appreciate the sort of fun Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage can create with that myth.
So if standing in the hot sun all day, holding a mirror, somewhere in southern California for a MythBusters T-shirt, a signed autograph card and maybe a group photo with Jamie and Adam sounds like fun, head over to Makezine.com to check out the details to try and sign up. I’m going to take a pass on that one and catch it from the cool comfort of my living room.
There was a time when motherboards sporting integrated graphics were best avoided like the plague, and while that's still the case for the hardcore enthusiast, many modern micro ATX motherboards have begun closing the performance gap between their full ATX brethren. The situation looks to get even better by summer's end. According to a DigiTimes report, Nvidia plans to mass produce its latest Intel platform IGP chipset by the middle of next month with shipping product expected to hit retail shelves in early September.
Touting support for Nvidia's GeForce 9-series mGPU, the 730i MPC will be offered up with either an onboard GeForce 9400 graphics core (MCP7A-U) with a core frequency of 580MHz and shader frequency of 1500MHz, or with a GeForce 9300 (MCP7A-S) with a core and shader frequency of 450MHz and 1200MHz respectively. The GPUs don't look to rival anything close to a GTX 280, but with support for PCI Express 2.0, Shader Model 4.0, and DirectX 10, along with 16 built-in stream processors, less demanding gamers are likely to be able to get their gaming groove on with more than just Peggle.
Rounding out the feature list, both MCPs will support a 1333MHz frontside bus (think 45nm Penryn) and come in both DDR2 and DDR3 flavor. And for HTPC crowd, look for a bevy of connection options, including HDMI, dual-link DVI, DsiplayPort, and D-sub.
Intel’s CEO Paul Otellini had a bounce in his step going into his shareholder briefing on Tuesday. Intel’s continued dominance over AMD and a solid earnings report has left his investors glad they placed their money in hardware rather then software. Investors on the other hand are nothing if not fickle. The conference call quickly turned into a debate over the shortage of Atom processors and weakness in Intel’s flash memory business. Put on the defensive Paul Otellini hinted that Atom isn’t the chip maker’s primary focus. "(Atom) is less than a third the performance of our Centrino (processor). You're dealing with something that most of us wouldn't use," he said. He further goes on to clarify that Atom is aimed at the emerging Netbook audience and is a way that Intel can grow without cannibalizing its other processor offerings. He continued to reassure investors that Intel has plenty of Atom chips in stock and back end improvements to testing as well as increased production of chipsets should solve the problem. Intel has been steadily increasing its production capacity of the popular CPUs since November.
The New York State Attorney General’s office has won another battle in its war against child pornography on the Usenet. AT&T and AOL have joined Sprint and Verizon to drop large chunks of the alt.* hierarchy, thereby limiting access. This comes as a major disappointment to Usenet surfers who make legitimate use of the alt.* service. Internet service providers have been under increased public pressure to address Usenet abuse since a recent investigation turned up over 11,000 child porn images scattered across 88 different newsgroups. Intervention by ISPs was inevitable, but they are treading very carefully into the foray. Network providers maintain a strict policy of noninterference when it comes to moderating the content of their networks. Improper filtering of content can be seen as promotion and has lead to lawsuits in some cases.
Want to know more about Usenet?
Click the jump to see what else this little known corner of the web is used for.
Wikipedia is famous for being the free online encyclopedia that anyone can edit. Unfortunately, there are numerous examples of so-called "Wikipedia vandalism," where the reputations of people past and present have been blackened by bogus entries in their Wikipedia pages. To help reduce vandalism, Wikipedia is now experimenting with flagged revisions on its German Wikipedia site, which is apparently a hotbed of vandalism. When pages are changed, a checker must sign off on the changes to a page before they are posted.
How big a problem is Wikipedia vandalism? How do we know that the checkers who approve pages can be trusted? And what do Wikipedia fans think about all of this? To find out more, join us after the jump.
Relative newcomer Danamic looks to jump into the increasingly crowded CPU cooler market with a heatsink of its own, but this isn't like any other cooler you've seen before. Rather than rely on air, water, or phase-change cooling, Dynamic's new LM10 heatsink uses liquid metal, and according to the company, it's the world's first commercially available CPU cooler to do so.
That might be true, but liquid metal isn't an entirely new concept when it comes to cooling processors. Coollaboratory used to market the metalic goo as a thermal paste (Liquid Pro) and now sells a thermal pad it calls Liquid MetalPad aimed at both PC and console owners. Danamic's solution differs in that it's not a paste, but a fully-fledged heatsink solution. A multi-string electromagnetic pump sits atop the LM10 and pushes the liquid metal through a series of heatpipes without using any moving parts. Judging by the available pictures, the LM10 doesn't come with a fan, which would explain why the company can claim a power draw of less than 1W.
No word yet on pricing or availability, which means there aren't any hands-on reviews in the wild either. Have any expectations for this new cooler? Post them below.
It was more a question of when than if: Wii sales leaping past Xbox 360’s in the U.S. The Wii has formally breached Xbox 360’s bastion by going past its US sales tally, according to the latest data from NPD. Wii is now the best-selling console in the U.S also. The month of June proved to be quite fecund for the Wii, as the headcount of US Wii owners rose by 666,000 in this month. Nintendo has sold 10.9 million units of its popular 7th generation console in the States. The month of June was great for the US videogame industry as a whole. The PS3 saw a massive increase of 94% in sales compared to the preceding month and also trounced the Xbox 360 to finish second.
Stamford-based IT research firm Gartner has revealed the worldwide PC industry’s sales figures for the second quarter. Overall, the global PC industry registered a growth of 16% as a total of 71.9 million units were shipped during the quarter. More and more people are turning to notebooks, as opposed to desktops, as notebook prices continue to plummet. However, the US PC industry couldn’t keep up with the highly promising growth rate seen globally and managed a much subdued rate of 4.2% - total shipments stood at 16.5 million units.
If its Q2 performance is anything to go by, HP is not moving an inch from its position as the top PC maker in the world. HP’s sales grew at a faster rate than even the global average. But Dell is not too keen on staying at No.2 either. It raised its market share to 15.6% and even outshone HP’s year-over-year growth rate. These days one can’t resist mentioning netbooks but they really didn’t leave much of a mark in the US; still early days, though.
Google wants to further strengthen its grip on the online contextual ads business. To this end, it has announced that it is going to acquire a leading Russian contextual advertising company, Begun, for $140 million. Begun’s network encompasses 143,000 Russian websites and 40,000 publishers. Rambler Media, the majority owner of Begun, will buy the remaining stake in the company and in turn sell the entire company to Google. According to Rambler, the online search ads business in Russia is expected to grow by 50% in a year’s time. The acquisition will allow Google to expand its wings over the lucrative, Russian-speaking internet landmass.