Wednesday, 29 August 2012

New Ultra-thin Lens Technology

Gizmodo reports: [edited]

Using an ultrathin wafer of silicon and gold to focus lightwaves, researchers at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences have created a revolutionary new kind of camera lens that completely eliminates the image distortion created by traditional glass lenses.

It could not only pave the way for lighter cameras that are still as capable as today's swappable lens models, but even cameraphones that snap images as impressive as a DSLR.

The lens measures in at 60 nanometers thick, so for all intents and purposes it's almost a 2D object. It's made by plating a thin wafer of silicon with a layer of gold that's then etched away to create a series of V-shaped structures across its surface. When light hits these structures it's slowed ever so slightly which changes its direction—like the glass in a traditional lens does.

And by carefully tuning the angle, size, and spacing of these V-shaped structures across the surface of the lens, it can capture wide-angle or telephoto images without the distortion that's seen from something like a traditional fish-eye lens.

Mirrorless swappable lens cameras have already taken a bite out of the DSLR's market share, but if and when this technology hits the market it could serve as a death blow to the heavy bulky cameras preferred by professional photographers.

Friday, 24 August 2012

Logitech Washable Keyboard

core77 reports: [edited]

Logitech has just announced they're making a washable keyboard. You can run it under the tap or dunk it in a basin full of water, rinsing away the remnants of two weeks' worth of takeout. The letters are laser-etched into the keys so they won't wash off. And it is, of course, coffee-proof.

Available to pre-order for $40.

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Ten Android Smartphones for under £100

Register Hardware's review gives the Huawei Ascend G300 a big thumbs up.

"Huawei's first major do-it-yourself smartphone release is a surprising gem of a blower, particularly in terms of display. While some rivals also feature resolutions of 480 x 800, none of them boast the G300's 16m colour palette, a trait that brings real vibrancy to its 4in screen."

"The handset also dominates the budget blower category in terms of processing power, thanks to its current-gen 1GHz S1 chip, usually reserved for more mid-range priced devices. Running Android 2.3 Gingerbread it's extremely responsive."

"The G300 raises the bar with what to expect when spending less than £100 on your blower. It's a little weighty at 140g but it doesn't get much better than this for the money."

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

700 free icons

iconmonstr hosts a wide range of free icons, in png and svg formats.

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

BERG Cloud Little Printer

Announced last year, BERG Cloud's Little Printer Starter Pack is available for pre-order for £199, with a ship date of mid-October.

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Monday, 13 August 2012


The Atlantic reports: [edited]

I've yet to find anyone who reads the terms-of-service contracts that we 'agree' to on the various websites of the world. But now, a group of technologists, lawyers, and interested parties have created TOS;DR, a project to create peer-reviewed summaries of all those documents you will never actually read.

Launched in June, it's a brilliant and already-useful tool for some of the more heavily trafficked sites on the web. For example, if you're uploading photos to TwitPic, you might want to reconsider. They give the site their worst grade, a 'Class E'. Why? Well, they have an easy-to-understand summary right here. If you click on "Read the Details," you get an extended explanation of these warnings and can also link back (almost like a Wikipedia page) to the TOS;DR discussion that led to the thumbs-down.

Thanks to Conrad for the link.

Thursday, 9 August 2012

'iPad mini' product shots

Gizmodo, in collaboration with Nickolay Lamm to produce some high quality visuals of what Apple's heavily-rumoured iPad mini might look like.

Friday, 3 August 2012

Free Font - Source Sans Pro

Adobe have released this News Gothic influenced typeface in 6 weights and complementary 'proper' italics. A monospace version is also being developed.

The fonts offer wide language support for Latin script, including Western and Eastern European languages, Vietnamese, pinyin Romanization of Chinese, and Navajo. These fonts are the first available from Adobe to support both the Indian rupee and Turkish lira currency symbols.

Source Sans is available for use on the web via font hosting services including Typekit, WebInk, and Google Web Fonts, and will shortly be available for use directly in Google documents and Google presentations.

To find out more about the project, click here.

To download the font package, click here.

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Sony Cyber-shot RX100

Trusted Reviews have given Sony's latest large-sensored, wide-aperture compact a 9/10 review


"The Sony Cyber-shot RX100 is an excellent advanced compact that offers a near-perfect blend of size, performance and image quality."

"At over £500 though the RX100 doesn’t come cheap, putting it into the same kind of price bracket as many CSCs and even some entry-level DSLRs."

"Clearly the RX100 is a different kind of camera altogether that is designed to appeal to a different kind of user with a different set of needs, however if portability isn’t your number one priority then this is certainly something to think about. If not and you're looking for a premium advanced compact, then the RX100 certainly fits the bill."