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Lexar Introduces USB 3.0 Dual-Slot Reader

Daily Mailbox

LaCie Rolls Out 5big Storage Server

Microsoft Gives Away Free Xbox 360 Consoles With Select Windows 7-based PCs

Sharp and NHK Develop 85-Inch Direct-View LCD Compatible with Super Hi-Vision

PowerColor Releases Passively Cooled Radeon HD 6850

Sony Develops SmartAR Integrated Augmented Reality Technology



Lexar Introduces USB 3.0 Dual-Slot Reader

Lexar Media announced the new Lexar Professional USB 3.0 Dual-Slot Reader that supports the CompactFlash (CF) UDMA, Secure Digital Extended Capacity (SDXC), and SD Ultra High Speed-I (UHS-I) memory cards. The reader is also backwards compatible with standard CF, SD, and Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) memory cards and USB 2.0 host devices.



The reader can transfer content from both SD and CF cards simultaneously, and allows for easy file transfer from one card to another. It also features a pop-up mechanism that lets you close it when not in use, protecting the device from dirt and debris.

The novelty comes with a five-year limited warranty. It is available now for purchase on www.lexar.com, and will be available at photo retailers in June, with an MSRP of $49.99.

Source: Micron


Daily Mailbox

Today's collection of reviews published by our colleagues.


LaCie Rolls Out 5big Storage Server

Today, LaCie announced that its 5big Storage Server, a professional file-sharing appliance for small and medium businesses, is now offered in a 1TB model (up to 10TB of expandable capacity).

In addition to its capacity update, 5big Storage Server has been optimized for performance, and is claimed to offer up to 20% faster speeds than traditional NAS solutions. By combining enterprise-class components 64-bit dual-core hyperthreaded 1.6 GHz Intel Atom processor and Microsoft Storage Server 2008 Standard as well as dual Gigabit Ethernet links for link aggregation, 5big Storage Server delivers up to 180MB/s throughput.



5big Storage Server can operate in various SAN environments and can even support demanding virtualization applications, Windows server failover clustering and Hyper-V.

Additional features:

  • 5big Storage Server features RAID 0/1/5 and JBOD.
  • Thanks to Microsoft's Single Instance Storage (SIS), 5big Storage Server will provide file-level deduplication, so duplicate files will only be stored once.
  • 5big Storage Server incorporates Microsoft's DFS-R technology, allowing corporate administrators to complete an offsite backup of their critical data. NAS-to-NAS replication performance is up to 112MB/s. The DFS-R technology can also be used as a simple tool for offsite backups.
  • 5big Storage Server will work in heterogeneous environments. PC and Mac users will be able to work and collaborate on the same storage unit.
  • Back up 5big Storage Server to eSATA hard drive attached. Back up 10GB to the external hard drive in a minute, or a 1TB 5big Storage Server in just two hours.


Brief specifications:

  • Dual-core Intel Atom D510 processor (1.6 GHz)
  • 2GB DDR2-667 SODIMM
  • Intel ICH9-R Southbridge
  • 2 x Gigabit Ethernet controllers based on Intel 82574L
  • 1 x eSATA, 3 x USB 2.0 (type A), 1 x VGA ports
  • 173 x 196 x 220 mm / 6.8 x 7.7 x 8.6 in.
  • 4.7 kg / 10.4 lbs.

The LaCie 5big Storage Server is available in 1TB, 5TB and 10TB capacities, priced at $1199, $1599, and $1999, respectively.

Source: LaCie


Microsoft Gives Away Free Xbox 360 Consoles With Select Windows 7-based PCs

Microsoft announced a new offer for students who purchase a new Windows 7-based PC. Starting May 22, students buying a new Windows 7-based PC priced at $699 or more will also get a free Xbox 360 4GB console.

The offer is available at participating retailers for current students in the U.S. while supplies last. Similar student-focused offers will be coming soon in Canada and France.

To take advantage of this offer, students or parents must provide valid student identification as defined by the participating retailer. More information about this offer can be found at http://www.windows.com/freexbox.

Source: Microsoft


Sharp and NHK Develop 85-Inch Direct-View LCD Compatible with Super Hi-Vision

NHK and Sharp have jointly developed an 85-inch (1.9 x 1.05 m) LCD compatible with Super Hi-Vision, a next-generation television broadcast format. This is a world first for a direct-view display.

NHK began R&D into Super Hi-Vision in 1995 and aims to begin trial broadcasts in 2020. With approximately 33 megapixels (7680 x 4320 pixels), or 16 times the resolution of HDTV, Super Hi-Vision will offer powerful, life-like image reproduction. The LCD is based on Sharp's UV²A technology, and also has 300 cd/m2 brightness, and 10 bits for each RGB color.

This LCD will be shown to the public at NHK's Science & Technology Research Laboratories in Tokyo from May 26 to 29, 2011.

Source: Sharp


PowerColor Releases Passively Cooled Radeon HD 6850

TUL Corporation introduced the new, passively cooled PowerColor SCS3 HD6850 graphics card that has GPU clocked at 775 MHz, memory, at 1000 MHz memory.



The heatsink features 62 L-shaped fins and 5 heatpipes, and the baseplate fully covers memory and PCB.

Also, the card utilizes the "Gold Power Kit" which includes Shielded Alloy Choke, solid capacitor, and 3+1-phase power design. Other features are pretty much standard. The card dimensions are 223.3 x 111.2 x38 mm. Oh, the the package includes a DiRT 3 game coupon.

Source: TUL Corporation


Sony Develops SmartAR Integrated Augmented Reality Technology

Sony has developed integrated Augmented Reality technology' called 'Smart AR.' When capturing visuals through a camera on a device such as a smartphone, the technology enables additional information to be displayed on the device's screens such as virtual objects, or images and texts that cannot be identified by visual perception alone.


Video clip courtesy of Sony

The technology employs the markerless approach, forgoing any requirement for special markers such as 2D barcodes. The object captured by the camera is quickly recognized and can be tracked at high-speed along with the movement of the camera, as it is displayed over the actual 3D space.

Sony began researching AR in 1994 with two-dimensional barcodes recognition (marker approach), and in 1998, it developed VAIO 'PCG-C1' personal computers equipped with software which automatically recognized 'CyberCode.'

SmartAR combines object recognition technology (markerless approach in which no special markers are required) for recognition of general objects such as photographs and posters with Sony's own proprietary 3D space recognition technology, which has been fostered through the research of robots such as AIBO and QRIO. With SmartAR, objects can be recognized and tracked at high-speed. In addition to displaying virtual objects or additional image or text information (hereafter, 'AR information'), the technology also facilitates the expression of AR information over an extended space, thus producing a dynamic, large-scale AR experience.

Furthermore, information can be acquired or navigated by simply touching the AR information directly on the screen of the smartphone or other device.

Main features:

  1. Object recognition that enables the markerless approach.
    AR information can be displayed on the captured image which appears on a device's screen, including those images that do not have any special markers for AR. This technology is also compatible with image recognition technologies that use conventional markers (such as CyberCode). Because SmartAR can recognize everyday objects such as posters and menus, it has the potential for a wide variety of applications.
    SmartAR object recognition technology identifies objects by analyzing features detected from a portion of the image ('local features') together with their positional relationship. Sony's feature matching technology that employs a proprietary probabilistic method that matches local features with minimal calculations enables high-speed recognition that is resistant to changes in lighting or the position of the object. In addition, recognition is still possible even if the object captured appears to be comparatively small in the display.
  2. High-speed tracking.
  3. 3D space recognition.
    With Sony's dynamic, large-scale AR, virtual objects can be merged with 3D structures detected in the physical world. For example, even if the AR image is a gigantic virtual character whose size exceeds the dimensions of the device's screen, the technology allows the user to grasp the entirety of the virtual character when the camera is moved around. Furthermore, it is also possible to move the virtual object in the actual 3D space as if it were really there.
    Three-dimensional space recognition technology is based on use of the disparity observed by the camera movements to estimate the shape of the 3D space and the position and angle of the camera. By combining this with object recognition technology, devices become capable of identifying and remembering 3D space constructions.
  4. AR interaction.
    Information can be intuitively acquired and navigated by directly touching the AR information displayed on the smartphone or device's screen. The distinctiveness of SmartAR technology comes from the user interface which enables users to naturally use and operate additional information and virtual objects.

Source: Sony


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